May 24, 2013:
Back in 1988, twenty years after I had left Vietnam, I went to Washington, D.C. on a pilgrimage to "The Wall," the Vietnam Memorial. Before I left Seattle, I was asked by my brother-in-law to get a 'rubbing' of his cousin's name off of that black granite wall. I remember, to this day, how important it was for my brother-in-law's family to have at least that rubbing of his name off of that special memorial.
May 23, 2013:
This is a great homecoming video. It is so special it even moves the local reporter who is covering the homecoming story. This soldier is coming home to his family from a year long tour in Afghanistan. The usual joy is evident here, but there is something else too. I won't tell you what that is. You'll see what it is in the course of the film.
May 22, 2013:
Most of you have seen them covering the ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, or doing the Honor Guard duties at the Tomb of the Unknowns. They are the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment
May 21, 2013:
Every soldier, sailor, airman, Marine and Coast Guardsman knows the anticipation of returning home after a long deployment, especially one to a war zone. Any time away from family is a heavy burden, but when that distance includes the daily threat of death or injury, that long-awaited return home is precious beyond comprehension.
May 20, 2013:
Here are some very important statistics that most Americans do not know. As of now, there are 313 million people in America. As of January 31, 2013 1,429,995 people were on active duty in the military, with an additional 850,880 people in the seven reserve components. It is an all-volunteer military at this time. Women make up about 14% of that total.
May 13, 2013:
Seal Team Six is best known for its very successful mission to get Osama Bin Laden. But it did something equally impressive a little over a year ago in a very different effort. In this case it was to simply to save an American who had been kidnapped by Somali bandits. I saw this story on CBS 60 Minutes last night and felt that is was a story I would like to recount here.
May 10, 2013:
"I still miss my team." David, an Army Recon Vietnam veteran had been wounded and was receiving treatment at a hospital in Vietnam when his team went out on patrol and never came back.
May 8, 2013:
Today, May 8, 2013 is the 68th anniversary of V.E. Day. The long and terrible war was over in Europe. That continent was devastated by the aggressive attempt of Nazi and fascist forces to conquer it under their dark cultures of death. The forces of freedom had won out and the celebrations were immense and fervent.
May 6, 2013:
CBS 60 Minutes presented a very powerful piece last night, May 5, 2013, on traumatic brain injuries (TBI's) as real, and this is important, physical wounds. TBI is not the same as PTSD. It is something completely separate from PTSD, but can be an extremely debilitating factor if both are being experienced by the same person.
May 5, 2013:
It has been 45 years since I left Vietnam. Much has happened during that time, of course. I married, had two daughters and now, two, soon to be three, grandchildren. I got an education and had a career in teaching at both the high school and university levels. And now, I am very pleasantly retired.
May 4, 2013:
This story is being repeated more and more these days. The Joint POW/MIA Command organizes 90-100 missions each year all over the world trying to recover the remains of service members listed as missing from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War. Every month they positively identify six to eight of the MIA's and take them off the list.
May 3, 2013:
The private sector has been making commitments to hire veterans for some time now. For example, Walmart, UPS, and others have been doing this for some time. The White House has recently announced a "significant new effort to reduce unemployment and improve job prospects among veterans." They say that they are "enlisting the support" of U.S. companies to hire 435,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years. I am pleased to see a coordinated effort by both the public and private sectors in this effort. All such efforts are to be welcomed, and might I add, encouraged. It is after all, the right thing to do.
May 2, 2013:
This is a powerful video of a wife speaking about her Vietnam veteran husband's struggles to recover from the debilitating effects of PTSD. Her love and understanding, as well as that of fellow veterans brought him to recognize his need for help.
May 1, 2013:
This is a video of an outdoor concert for the Vietnam Veterans of San Diego. The musicians range in age from the Vietnam era to the present, and they know how to jam and have some fun.
Apr 30, 2013:
A lot has transpired in the two weeks that have passed since the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 14, 2013. The cowardly, destructive intent of terrorism made it through the fire walls of our national security and tried, once again, to cause fear and panic among us. Once again, it has failed. The people of Boston showed the world that Americans do not scare easily. That freedom will not be cowed by the cowardly forces of terror.