Veteran Talk – Twenty Years Later

(Niceville, Florida; 11 September 2021) – Twenty years ago today I was standing on the flight deck of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) as we spun up the Tomcats of VF-213 for a routine day of flying over the Arabian Sea. One of our civilian tech reps had a small camera and waved to me, … Continue reading Veteran Talk – Twenty Years Later

Mental Health: Open Letter to Afghanistan Veterans 2

(Niceville, Florida; August 21, 2021) – It’s been five days now since we watched the horrific farce play out in Afghanistan. I can’t even look at any of my ‘Navy Pride’ stuff.  T-shirts, ball caps, anything.  Looking at it fills me with such rage, such betrayal, such a singular sense of senseless futility that I … Continue reading Mental Health: Open Letter to Afghanistan Veterans 2

Mental Health: Open Letter to Afghanistan Veterans

(Niceville, Florida; August 17, 2021) – I cannot offer any witty remarks or humorous proverbs about what happened yesterday in Afghanistan.  I’m a veteran myself.  My deployments were at sea, but all were in support of my brothers and sisters on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq.  I helped launch the first Navy manned strikes … Continue reading Mental Health: Open Letter to Afghanistan Veterans

Mental Health: Stop Talking and Start LISTENING, for Crying out Loud!

**Author's Note: This column was supposed to be published yesterday morning (Nov. 19), but human error delayed it by 24 hours. I uploaded and prepped everything, but forgot to hit the "publish" button. (Silverdale, Washington; Nov. 19, 2020) – I did something this past Monday I’ve never done before: I walked out of my counselor’s … Continue reading Mental Health: Stop Talking and Start LISTENING, for Crying out Loud!

Mental Health: Into the Volcano

(Silverdale, Washington; Jun. 23, 2019) – I debated for a long time whether this column should go under “Travel” or “Mental Health,” but the mental health analogy won out. However, that does not alter the fact that, last Saturday (June 15) I accidentally hiked right into an active volcano’s crater. I know, I know—you’re wondering … Continue reading Mental Health: Into the Volcano

Mental Health: Where I Have Been

(Silverdale, Washington; Jun. 9, 2019) – I’m back. I was able to finish the Grand Tour properly and a bit early (all 50 states, and a bit of Canada, from Nov. 2017 – Oct. 2018). But I had to lop off a lot of stops in order to see all 50 and get home in … Continue reading Mental Health: Where I Have Been

Mental Health: Be kind, Be Patient, Be Courageous and Act

(Virginia Beach, Virginia; July 13, 20187) – This was not the column I had planned to write tonight. I’m back in Hampton Roads. Earlier today I was the master of ceremonies for a fellow Navy chief petty officer’s retirement ceremony. Currently I’m sitting in Barnes and Noble in Lynnhaven Mall. I’d hit up a young … Continue reading Mental Health: Be kind, Be Patient, Be Courageous and Act

Mental Health: Anxiety and Experience

(Bowie, Maryland; May 5, 20187) According to the American Psychiatric Association, an anxiety disorder is defined as: Anxiety out of proportion to the situation or age inappropriate Anxiety that hinders one’s ability to function normally This can be found on their website (https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/anxiety-disorders/what-are-anxiety-disorders), but the mere definition of it doesn’t do much to help those … Continue reading Mental Health: Anxiety and Experience

Mental Health – Depression

(Nov. 19, 2017) - This will be brief. It’s late and I’m tired and soul-sick. Nothing bad has happened.  I’m at my parents’ house in Niceville, Florida (yes, Niceville) following my retirement from the Navy. I’m between jobs at the moment and planning to do a massive road trip. But the upheavals I’ve experienced these … Continue reading Mental Health – Depression