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After a year of preparation, a new bike and renewed confidence I entered the Dirty Kanza gravel bike race again this year. It is held in my hometown of Emporia, Kansas, and this year all four of the Bacon brothers came home to compete. Our wives, one of our cousins and one daughter also rode, but they were in the wimpy 20 miler. Amateurs. We were in the macho 100 mile trek, and we were ready. For everything but mud. Two years ago, Kansas was in a drought. Not this year. Record rainfall for the month of May fell over…

Think back to January 21st of this year. Now imagine that every single day since then until today you have been shot at by thousands of rounds of mortars, artillery and small arms, and you cannot leave. That is what the survivors of one of the most intense and desperate battles of the Vietnam War experienced every day from late January through early April of 1968. The place was called Khe Sanh. One of them, Ken Rodgers, along with his wife Betty created a riveting documentary called “Bravo!, Common Men, Uncommon Valor”. Here is the trailer. The film is as…

This is my favorite day because it is the only day, really, that I can talk about my true hero. She does not like the spotlight or fanfare, but today I will take the risk. For thirty years she and I have walked arm in arm through all that life has thrown our way. Joy. Tragedy. Hardships and laughter. But through it all, she has always been there. You never know who you are marrying, really. It takes a year or two before the protective walls dissolve and you see the real person for who she is. What I found…

If you have been following this blog for a while, you will know that I donate most of my free time to assisting severely wounded, injured and ill veterans transition out of the military and into civilian careers through the Wyakin Warrior Foundation. Wyakin is a Native American term meaning “Guardian Spirit.” I am but a small part of a large cadre of volunteers from the community who, along with a small staff, have wrapped themselves around these incredible young veterans as they shun their physical challenges and charge forward toward their dreams. It is the hardest and most satisfying…

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