On the Waterfront – Sailing Into History: Dolphins in the Midst (Pensacola, Florida; April 26, 2022) – The ex-USS Ponce (LPD 15) has arrived at her final berth in Texas at the scrapper’s yard. So, it’s time for another ‘On the Waterfront’ sea story about the Proud Lion and the adventures of her intrepid crew, … Continue reading On the Waterfront – Sailing Into History: Dolphins in the Midst
(Pensacola, Florida; May 20, 2022) – As Luke Skywalker helped the Rebel Alliance find a new hope against the darkness of the Empire, so too can we find new hope against the darkness of PTSD and other mental health challenges facing some veterans following military service. I make no secret of my years-long frustration (well, … Continue reading Veteran Talk – Episode Fore! A New Hope…
(Pensacola, Florida; April 21, 2022) – I posted the original version of this column nearly two years ago while I was still in Washington State. However, as the Proud Lion is sailing into history now, this memory has taken up pride of place in the formation of memories gliding along the channel for the Grand … Continue reading On the Waterfront – Sailing Into History: The Greatest Seaman
(Pensacola, Florida; Jan. 23, 2022) – The military life is a fast-paced, tightly scheduled animal defined by rigid schedules and flavored with the endless expectation each member will never stop striving forward towards greater leadership and responsibility. The post-military ‘slow down’ in life can make you feel like a bird flying smack into a plate … Continue reading Veteran Talk – Deceleration is Authorized!
(Niceville, Florida; 16 September 2021) – Twenty-four years ago today I was a trembling, quaking, skinny (yes, I was skinny!) 25-year-old kid swearing into the Navy at the MEPS in Jacksonville, Florida. It’s always fun to look back a bit and see how far you’ve come. It doesn’t take a scanning electron microscope to see … Continue reading Veteran Talk – Morning Quarters
(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
(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
BIVOUAC OF THE DEAD The muffled drum's sad roll has beatThe soldier's last tattoo;No more on life's parade shall meetThat brave and fallen few.On Fame's eternal camping-groundTheir silent tents are spread,And Glory guards, with solemn round,The bivouac of the dead. No rumor of the foe's advanceNow swells upon the wind;Nor troubled thought at midnight hauntsOf … Continue reading Memorial Day 2021