Browsing: Stories

Men and women have had entire careers – joined the Navy and retired after 30 years – within the time we have been married. At thirty-two years of marriage, we are officially lifers now. It is my true belief that no one knows who he or she is marrying. We all have our game faces on for at least a year before our true selves begin to emerge. It is then that we come to see whether (a) we married the right person, or (b) we didn’t. I did, and she just keeps getting better. We lived in eleven different…

What do they have in common? Holy cow, they will all be in Boise this weekend for the Guardian Ball (December 3rd) to raise money in support of wounded and injured veterans pursuing careers! GUARDIAN Paul Combs, a real life firefighter blessed with unfair supernatural talent, has drawn an original piece of art he calls GUARDIAN as a tip of the hat to the Wyakin Foundation, since Wyakin is a Native American term meaning Guardian Spirit. RAT FINK Any motor head or drag racing fan knows Rat Fink art. Originally created in the 1950s by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth as…

In May of this year, Special Warfare Operator 1st Class (SEAL) Charlie Keating IV was killed in northern Iraq when his quick reaction force confronted over a hundred ISIS fighters who were threatening to overwhelm a small American advise-and-assist team and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces it was supporting. A US Naval Institute article from May 4, 2016 describes the scene: “The U.S. advise-and-assist team – composed of fewer than a dozen U.S. troops — was in the town of Tel Askuf when the force of more than 120 ISIS fighters pushed into the area. The ISIS force was made up…

My father was a World War II veteran, an experience that he credited for changing his life for the better. A high school dropout and part time troublemaker, he joined the Navy two days before his 18th birthday, on June 6, 1944. D-Day. He loved the Navy until the day he died, marrying his beautiful bride on the same day ten years later in Emporia, Kansas, the town where Veterans Day was first created, and where my mother and brother (and family) still live. One of my father’s favorite songs was Amazing Grace. It was played during his memorial service…

(If you haven’t seen the video at the top of the page, take five minutes and watch it.) “On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress approved the resolution to establish two battalions of Marines able to fight for independence at sea and on shore. This date marks the official formation of the Continental Marines.” 1st Commandant: Major Samuel Nicholas (1775-1783) From its founding days before the Revolution to today’s ongoing operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and other deadly places around the world, the Marine Corps has unblinkingly answered the clarion call whenever the nation needed protectors. More than those serving in…

Today is election day and most of the people I talk to think we are in deep kimchi no matter who wins. I don’t do politics, but what I DO know is that my town…heck, my state is in Big Trouble because it is about to be overrun by a rogue band of [gulp]… Cartoonists. I know. Scary. They will be in town to support the Wyakin Foundation’s Guardian Ball on December 3rd, and the authorities have been alerted. You can join them, you know – heck, even sit at their tables and dine with them. All you have to…

Every day I get the privilege of working with some incredible human beings. Each of them has suffered a life-altering injury in service to the country, and as we get to know each veteran, we learn what overcoming challenges really means. To me, it might be dealing with some lingering knee pain. To Wyakin Warriors like Colby Morgan, it is dealing with blindness that resulted from receiving a series of shots as he prepared to deploy to Afghanistan. His body reacted to them by damaging his eyes. What would you do as a suddenly-blind teenager whose Army career was so…

Whatever happened to uniform shorts? The Navy used to have them in the inventory. I know because I have worn them before. In fact, here is a page right out of the Navy uniform regulations in 1995: Dapper. Don’t laugh too hard, ladies, because you had them too. Suave. If you look for them now, however, they cannot be found in Navy uniform regulations or just about anywhere else you look. It is as if they were erased from history altogether. Like Stalin did after he had one of his advisors executed. I have a theory that the tropical attire…

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