And then there were four…

Of the eleven men who were in Alcatraz, the most notorious Hanoi POW camp, only four remain with the death of Jeremiah (Jerry) A. Denton Jr., RADM USN Ret and former Senator.  He actually died March 28th in the Norfolk area, but due to the busy schedule at Arlington, he was finally laid to rest on Tuesday July the 21st.  Approved or not, the Navy did send two F/A-18s up from Norfolk for the flyover, but they were too high by the time they went over the office for me to see which squadron they were.  From what I understand, there was quite a turnout for him, and a well deserved one.

Shot down in 1965 while flying an A-6 Intruder and badly injured, he was a POW for seven years and seven months.  He was also the one that blinked in Morse Code T O R T U R E in the infamous television interview.

ob-main-denton28

I was honored to meet him a number of years ago at a function in Pensacola, and he always said he survived through his faith in God, the USA, his family, and the Navy.  He was considered by all who knew him to be a patriot’s patriot, and one that truly NEVER gave up.  He wrote When Hell is in Session in 1976, and it was considered then (and probably still is) one of the definitive books on POW life in Vietnam.  You can find it HERE.

Captain Denton was the first officer off the first C-141 from Hanoi in 1973.  That video is HERE.  Captain Denton is at 3:03 into the video.

Thank you for the example you set for us with your sacrifices….

RIP RADM Denton, you deserve it.

Trigger The Vote…

The NRA is starting the Trigger the Vote campaign with among other things a revamped website. Take a minute to read and check it out!!!

Honorary Chairman Chuck Norris Will Lead the Campaign to Defend our Freedom

Fairfax, Va. – The National Rifle Association’s Freedom Action Foundation (NRA-FAF) announced the kickoff of its 2014 “Trigger the Vote” voter registration campaign, and also unveiled its captivating new ad, “Father and Son,” which can be viewed here.

The campaign once again enjoys the support of Honorary Chairman Chuck Norris, and will soon be releasing exclusive new videos featuring Norris that can’t be seen anywhere else.

One of the missions of NRA-FAF is to protect the Second Amendment through a vigorous non-partisan voter registration program. The initial “Trigger the Vote” campaign was introduced in 2009, and it has expanded in scope and reach in every election cycle since.  The program uses a variety of means of communications to connect gun owners and Second Amendment supporters with tools to facilitate the voter registration process, and ensure that they are prepared to cast an informed ballot on Election Day.  Trigger the Vote field teams have been visiting events across the nation since May of this year to register new voters in person.

This year, Trigger the Vote is also releasing its redesigned website, www.TriggerTheVote.org . The site has new, robust user-friendly tools to help gun owners and Second Amendment supporters easily register to vote, check to make sure their existing registration is current, as well as locate their polling place.

“The Freedom Action Foundation is one of the most critical parts of the NRA,” explained NRA-FAF President Chris W. Cox. “Through its valuable work, the NRA is able to reach millions of freedom-loving Americans and ensure that they are prepared to exercise their right to vote.”

To learn more about Trigger the Vote and how you can be a part of it, please visit www.TriggerTheVote.org .

PSA for retired military…

If you’re retired military and/or have dependents with ID cards that have your SSN on it, beware…

Department of Defense ID card replacement

If you’re retired from the Armed Forces, listen up! On July 17th we drove aboard Charleston AFB about 11 A.M. to ‘check-in’ at the USAF ‘Inns of Charleston’. When I approached the gate and presented my retired ID card to the sentry there she swiped it through a reader and informed me that my ID card had been ‘terminated’ and could not be returned to me. I protested that it was an ‘indefinite’ expiration and had been accepted the week prior at Ft Gordon without any problems. Sorry ‘bout that! I was directed to make a U-turn and go back to the visitors building to get a temporary one-day pass. (My problem, not her’s.)

The problem seems to be that any ID card that has a Social Security number on it may/will be confiscated upon presentation leaving the bearer without military ID until they can get another card issued with a DoD control number vice an SSN. Had this been later at night when I came aboard, it would have been a real problem. As it was, I was directed to a building that issued ID cards and (because I had no appointment) sat for over an hour until they got around to me while my wife and grandson waited in the car.

The obvious effect is that all of your medical records, and other admin records, have your SSN, both military and civilian records. You need your military ID for Tricare medical care and for access to all military facilities. Both the retiree and their dependents will require new ID cards. To save some stress, you might consider this step. You can go to any Reserve or National Guard base that has access to DEERS and can produce new (service-specific) ID cards. Certainly, major military bases can do this but many require appointments or a long walk-in wait time. You must have at least two forms of picture ID with you (passport, driver license, VA medical card, carry-concealed ID, etc.).

Your card may be confiscated at the worst possible time (in an ER room for example) so this should be considered as an action item. Just trying to be helpful.

Semper Fidelis

Apparently the USAF has jumped squarely on the enforcement of this with no options for the service member (or dependents probably)…

We’ve all been told it was ‘coming’, but apparently the USAF has decided it’s here.  Guess I better go get a new ID card most skosh quickly…

h/t Ackro

Gun Pron…

Borepatch has a post up about honest wear on guns HERE.  Lots of folks go after those ‘pristine’ guns that are 95% or better and consider anything below that to be beneath them…

We have a few family guns in the safe, and only one of them is truly pristine (it came from a family friend), most of them are well used…

My cousin had this old warhorse out last month and ‘something’ went clink instead of clank…

73 profileIt’s an 1873 Winchester in 44-40, and it’s been rode hard and put up wet literally…

But it’s STILL a shooter!  I drug it down to Speer to have him go through the gun and do what needs to be done to get it back right.  His comment was that it looked like a gunsmith had never been into the gun, which is extremely possible…

As you can see, most of the bluing is gone…

It was carried by my great grandfather on my mother’s side when he was a ranch foreman in Texas in the 1870s-1880s…

73 Tang

It’s a 20 inch octagonal barrel, so it’s not a ‘light’ gun, and it’s not worth much past 100 yards…73 Roll mark

Furniture is pretty beat up…73 right side

On both sides… the stock on the left side is a little chewed up from riding in a stock forward saddle scabbard and having the lasso rubbing on it (According to what grandpa told me years ago).  73 left sideShe may not be pretty, but I’d have to say we’re pretty proud of this old gun.

73 side plate

The best I could chase it down, it was manufactured in July of 1876, making it 138 years old this year.

 

 

WWII Poster…

This one is a ‘generic’ poster for lack of a better way to title it…

WorldWar14

I wasn’t able to find out who did this one, but it was probably done in early 1942.  I believe by a gent named Allen Saalberg. Ironically, I can’t find anything that says he did ANY posters for the war.  He apparently was a silk screen artist…

Bonus points if you can place the quote…

Back in Battery…

3414 miles, 9 days = flat butt…

Having said that, it was a great (if too short) trip. Saw a lot of friends and family, and ended with dinner last night with Peter and Wing in Nashville.  Great food and conversation, and we really ARE a tribe… Multiple different backgrounds, vocations (or avocations as the case may be), young, old and in between…

But, the last 614 miles home today, 580 of which was in the rain, just flat sucked…

Anyhoo, thanks to all those who took time out of their busy schedules to meet with me. It was truly a pleasure…

And damned if I didn’t finally get over the 1,000,000 visits mark today while I was on the road!  Sadly, I don’t know who it was…

Seven years, 2472 posts, 32590 comments.  I know I’m a very small fish in a very large pond, but I truly appreciate y’alls reading my brain dribbles over the years.  Thank you for sticking with me.

Wow, just wow…

Some things…

Never change…

Others… Well…

And you ‘can’ go home again, you just may not want to.  One of the bright spots of the trip this far is four lane roads in Louisiana and East Texas… Woo hoo!!! :-)

Having grown up driving those narrow 2 lane roads in central and northern Louisiana, dodging s**t falling off pulpwood trucks, and praying they didn’t run over me, it was really nice, especially in the rain! :-)

Bonus points if you recognize this bridge…IMG_1748

I will tell you this IS the scariest bridge I ever went across…

Why you ask???  Well, it’s a steel suspension bridge.  It ‘also’ has a railroad track on it, in addition to two VERY narrow lanes (e.g. 18 wheelers routinely used to smash each other’s mirrors).

And it frikkin BOUNCED when a train went across it.  I got caught meeting a train on that bridge, and I swore it was going to collapse!!!

And that was in the early 70′s…  And now the hair on the back of my neck is standing up…

And you can go home and get totally @#$%#@ lost… sigh…

I really didn’t remember (or even know) they’d re-routed the roads so I took what ‘was’ the right streets (40 years ago), only to end up at a dead end… I could see where I wanted to go, I just had NO idea how to get there… dammit…

And it’s truly sad when ‘iconic’ restaurants close.  For probably 60+ years, Sproul’s Fish Camp was one of those, just north of the Louisiana line in Arkansas. You had to drive down a dirt road then across a field to get there; it sat on the banks of the Sulfur River and served melt in your mouth good Catfish, hush puppies and they did a helluva good job with pickled green tomatoes.  And the pies… sigh…

And then there’s this one…

This 57 Chevy has sat in the same spot since 1973…

IMG_1757Many years ago this was a little country store, and from what I understand, that four door Belair was the wife of the owner’s car. She had a problem with the clutch going out, and the car sat in front of the store.  The husband was supposedly going to get it fixed, but he never did. I ‘think’ the store got closed when he died some time in the late 80′s, but the car never got fixed…

I tried to buy the car in the late 70s and again in the early 80s… Back then it was a complete car, a pretty blue color, with a white top and the one little dent in the left rear fender.

IMG_1755In the intervening years, parts have been stolen including the wheels (they were the nice painted ones with the Chevy baby moon hubcaps), the front bumper, the Chevy V off the hood, some trim pieces and the headlights.

IMG_1756I stopped again on this trip when I saw an old man out there mowing, but he said he will never sell the car.  He did let me take pictures, and it’s truly sad… The interior is really not bad for 41 years sitting out in the sun…

Random stuff…

It’s official, Jace is now an ankle biter… :-)

IMG_5770

In other news, a three hour trip turned into four and a half due to rain and idjits…

And a pro-tip to the s**thead in the hot rodded Honda with all the body panels and the fart pack muffler, weaving in and out of traffic in the rain IS NOT conducive to your continued good health…

I will give you an 8.0 for the departure into the median, only because you didn’t touch a single other vehicle.

BUT…

I’ll only give you a 2.0 for the technical execution…

Four spins, but you only shed THREE body parts, that’s 2 points there.

And that landing?  It sucked… the ONLY thing you did right was end up still on the wheels.  That’s 3 points right there.

And you’re supposed to bow to the crowd, not have your nose up in the air, even if it was sitting on the remnants of your fancy airdam, frontend- nicky neat aero package.  So that’s another 3 points for esthetics…

And good luck getting those fancy seat cushions outta your ass…

Oopsie…

One last comment on Bergdahl…
This is what happens at the end of wars,” President Barack Obama said Tuesday when he was asked
about swapping American Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban terrorists.
“That was true for George Washington, that was true for Abraham Lincoln,that was true for FDR.
That’s been true of every combat situation, that at some point, you make sure that you try to get your folks back.  And that’s the right thing to do.”
While that sounds good, let’s check our historical facts.  His reference was to George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and FDR – and their actions, as president, when wars ended.
 
·       The Revolutionary War ended in 1783 and Washington did not become president until 1789.
·       Lincoln was assassinated in mid-April, 1865 and the war didn’t end until May, the month following.
·       As for FDR, he died of a stroke before the end of WWII.
 
So there you have it, none of these presidents were in office at the ends of those wars, making it impossible for them to make any prisoner swaps “at the end of wars”.
So much for our historically illiterate president.  You would think that someone on his staff would keep him from making these foolish blunders, but speaking half truths and telling whole lies has become his pattern of speechwhen it comes to the American public.
 
Maybe his staff doesn’t know any better either . . .
And one other question-  WHY is a 2-star General running an article 32 hearing???  I never saw that in 22 years…  
Usually, it was the Battalion Commnader or CO that ran an Article 32…
Also, rumor has it this was already done in 2009, and the documents were classified…  WTF???
And now Bergdahl has a high priced lawyer???