A blessed Veterans Day to my readers

  My military service was in another uniform, serving another country, on another continent.  Nevertheless, I’ve gained many friends who served in the US armed forces, and who’ve shared their experiences of military life and combat with me.  Turns out most militaries are the same under the skin.  Whether it’s a US Drill Instructor demanding… Continue reading A blessed Veterans Day to my readers

Oh, my itchy trigger finger . . .

Yesterday Miss D. and I went to the Guardians of Freedom Air Show at Sheppard Air Force Base near Wichita Falls.  It was a lot of fun, with a surprisingly good range of aircraft for a training base, including the F-22 and F-35 fifth-generation combat aircraft.  There was a decent-size crowd, too. While we were… Continue reading Oh, my itchy trigger finger . . .

It’s a bittersweet feeling . . .

Two Russian Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bombers are paying an official visit to South Africa at present.  They landed at Waterkloof Air Force Base near Pretoria yesterday.  Here’s video of one of them on final approach, escorted by two South African Air Force Hawk trainer aircraft.  I know the area where the photographer was standing very… Continue reading It’s a bittersweet feeling . . .

Where was this guy when we needed him???

A link at SNAFU’s place showed me a fast, ingenious way to fill sandbags. When I think of the literally thousands of never-to-be-sufficiently-damned sandbags that I filled the hard way, bending over with an entrenching tool and scooping sand, earth, mud and rock into a bag that always flopped closed at the critical moment .… Continue reading Where was this guy when we needed him???

A feel-good story for Veterans Day

This report brought a smile to my face. A 90-year-old World War II veteran, who described being a Marine as the “high point” of his life, has been reunited with his M1 Garand rifle after 73 years. Resident Dick Cowell was 18 and the war was in full swing when he enlisted in the Marine… Continue reading A feel-good story for Veterans Day

“The last hot battle of the Cold War”

That’s how one author referred to the 1987-88 battles between Cuban and South African forces (with support from, respectively, Angolan and UNITA troops).  I was there, and remember it well. Fred Bridgland wrote a book shortly after the fighting, titled ‘The War for Africa:  Twelve Months that Transformed a Continent‘. I bought it as soon… Continue reading “The last hot battle of the Cold War”

Sobering memories from World War II

Here’s a long talk (1 hour 25 minutes) from a survivor of the Bataan Death March in the Philippines in 1942, followed by over three years in Japanese captivity.  It’s a sobering reminder of a period of history about which far too many are ignorant today. There are very few survivors left among us from… Continue reading Sobering memories from World War II

Bullets, balloons and resistance

Here’s a fun excerpt from a TV program showing how water, so much more dense than air, can slow down a bullet. I used to think that the stories of divers attacking harbors, and swimming safely underneath a hail of bullets fired by sentries on shore, were just that – stories.  However, way back when,… Continue reading Bullets, balloons and resistance