The Sky is NOT the Limit!

When I was a young boy the world seemed so different than now. Things were magical and hopeful regardless the Cold War, beginings of the Vietnam War, and Civil Rights initiatives. For me it ended when John F. Kennady was assassinated. I grew up that day. But before that it seemed anything was possible for anyone. I was 10 years old when space travel faciniated me.

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The Root of The Matter

When I was a high school student in 1968 in southern California I enrolled in my school’s first Black History class. Two of us in the class were not black but we were all friends. I had the opportunity to read “The Big C” by Langston Hughes and The Autobiography of Malcom X by Alex Haley. These books and interesting conversations with an excellent class and teacher gave me a deeper appreciation for the contributions and struggles of other Americans. Later I was glued to the mini series “Roots”, also a product of Alex Haley who was a Coastie veteran. I found his works to be thoughtful and meaningful. As Historian I discovered this fellow veteran left us on this day in 1992. He was retired Coast Guard Chief Journalist Alex Haley, internationally noted author and the first person to ever hold that rate in the Coast Guard. He died of a heart attack.

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The Start of Change

Like many in my age group I recall “Drills” in school of crawling under my desk and covering my head. The fear of Soviet nuclear attack was real and actions to prepare for the eventuality equally real. How many of us watched “Dr. Strangelove” with Peter Sellers? Although much has changed, as I will relate, some things never do in light of the ongoing tensions on nuclear arms control between our country and Russia even this week.

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Never Again!

This past week we remembered the six million people lost in the holocaust and commit to standing up against bigotry so the world will #NeverAgain experience such atrocities. #HolocaustRemembranceDay. My father was a WWII Army Sgt who fought the Nazi from north Africa, through Siciliy, Italy, and up into Germany. When I was was the last kid home his health was failing and I was with him alone many evenings. He told me stories none of my older siblings had heard of war and horror. Among those stories was when his platoon came upon a concentration camp. They had no idea what they had stumbled into. Atrocities so striking that some of the men executed the German Nazi officers on the site. The placed the enlisted Nazis as POWs as they were “following orders”.

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What a Week!!

This past week was packed with recognition of veterans of all branches as well as the U.S. Marine Corps 243rd Birthday (10 Nov 2018). My weekend began as a guest at the Owasso HS Veteran recognition luncheon. It was great seeing a few other oldtimers and seeing the kids realise our service. Saturday brought the annual Veteran’s Day parade in Fairfax, OK. It was cold, I almost did not attend, but decided “what the heck”.

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