Over 100,000 men hit the beaches during the invasion of Normandy. Around 4,500 of them paid the ultimate cost and over 10,000 were wounded…

Remember those who served, those who were wounded and those who died to free a continent from oppression and tyranny. May the Lord bless them and hold them in His arms…

Wow…What A Time It Has Been!

It has been almost two weeks since I updated the blog and what a time it has been!

In that time I have been to New York City for a conference, explored the city for another four days with Wonderful Wife, returned to one of our busiest weeks of the year for work, a new president was inaugurated, and then I spent a weekend aboard the USS Lexington with my grandson and his scout troop. I am worn out…completely…but it was well worth it. I won’t bore everyone with a full trip report of our little vacation on the island of Manhattan (with a brief foray into Brooklyn for pizza) or the time on the Lexington but I would like to share a few impressions that really stood out.

New York City is an amazing place and well worth the visit.

Wonderful Wife and I at Trump’s house Yes, I am that bad at selfies

With that said, I hate being places where my right to self-defense has not only been infringed but has been, essentially, removed. Even the 2.5 and 3 inch pocket knives I generally carry will get you, at best, a ticket in the Big Apple. I don’t consider these weapons so much as tools for everyday tasks like opening packages or mail, for cutting anything from a loose thread to a steak and even as a screwdriver or pry bar (not recommended if you value your knife). Since Wonderful Wife and I were essentially unarmed (and too old to run or fight) we were particularly careful about where we went and when. Staying on Manhattan, this wasn’t all that tough. Only a late evening trip to the lower east side and the subway ride back from Brooklyn gave us reason for pause. We also made sure to be a little extra vigilant but I will say that, from a personal security perspective, taking a stroll and doing some shopping in the vicinity of Trump Tower was probably not a great decision but it worked out fine.

We also worked pretty well as a team. She steered me clear of the PETA nuts on the street and I steered her clear of the anti-Trumpsters. She laughs at the PETA nuts but knows I would probably try and explain the wonders of hunting and killing your own food. Neither of us are huge fans of Trump but she would be a lot more vocal about the inappropriateness of their behavior and slogans. Regardless of whether you like or agree with the occupant of the White House there are bounds for good behavior and these mental munchkins left those bounds way back behind them. As much as I despised and disagreed Obama, I would have felt the same about anyone using those terms and that language about him…

We visited several historic and beautiful churches and took time to pray in each. We also said prayers at Ground Zero as we stared into the memorial there. I will admit that this was a very emotional part of the trip. Although I was not close to anyone who was killed that day I shed tears for them as I prayed. We took no pictures there but I will never forget what I saw there. It was powerful enough that we visited the site twice on back to back days.

Just a side note, if you are visiting the site be respectful. This is a place of memorial not a place for loud and rude behavior. If are obviously Muslim and visiting this site making jokes and laughing loudly as you point at the memorials is an especially bad idea…

I was excited to see the statue of liberty but I was surprised at how emotional my response to seeing it was. Having just left Ground Zero could have had something to do with it but I’ll be honest she took my breath away.


New York City is filled with amazing buildings and locations of historical significance and I look forward to returning again because we still left so much undone and unseen. I just wish New Yorkers and those visiting the city were not stripped of the rights people like General Gates and Alexander Hamilton fought to win for the citizens of this nation.

Marker for General Gates
Marker for General Gates
Alexander Hamilton’s tomb

The USS Lexington was saved from the scrap yards and has been turned into a museum in Corpus Christi bay. I won’t go into the full history of this famous ship but let’s just say she was a critical part of the US military efforts in the Pacific theater during World War II. This was the one thing I wanted to do when we went to Corpus on vacation a few years ago…and it was the one thing we didn’t do while we were there. So when my son-in-law asked me to accompany him and my oldest grandson on a cub scouts sleepover on the “Blue Ghost” I couldn’t say yes fast enough!

The Lexington today
The Lexington in 1943
The Lexington in 1943

It was an opportunity to bond with my grandson and my son-in-law (Moose). It was an opportunity to teach both of them a little of the history of our nation and of WWII. It was a time teach my grandson about duty, honor and what it means to be an American and a patriot. It was a time to say a prayer for those who sacrificed so much to defend our nation. It was a time for wonder and awe at the engineering marvels that we can build like the Lexington herself and the planes that flew from her decks.

A grandson, an F-14 and a beautiful day.
A grandson, an F-14 and a beautiful day.

It was also a time for play and for kids to enjoy being kids with a couple hundred of their closest friends.

How awesome for a kids to be able to play in the cockpit of an F-4 Phantom

The last few weeks have been amazingly wonderful and I have been truly blessed to have experienced them. I have been even more blessed to have those in my life with whom I was able to experience these things.

Today, it is back to the grind, back to the real world, but God willing and the creeks don’t rise there are other adventures to come.

God bless.

Never Surrender, Never Forget: Pearl Harbor

Seventy five years ago today, in two waves of attacks starting at 7:55 AM the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked the US Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbor. In the 110 minutes that it took for the two waves of attacks over 20 US ships were damaged or destroyed, over 300 aircraft were destroyed, 1,178 Americans were wounded and 2,403 were killed.

pearl-harbor_0We can never let ourselves forget this day. We can never let ourselves fall into the trap of complacency and and hubris that allowed such an attack to happen and to be so devastating. Evil exists in this world and we should never allow ourselves to forget that.

We can never surrender because as long as evil remains a part of this world we must stand fast and oppose it. For good to win over evil we must remain vigilant and committed. If we do not, then we condemn more human lives to be lost.

Lord have mercy on the souls of those lost that day, their families and the thousands more who stood up to fight and defeat the evil that perpetrated this attack.

God Bless.

Never Surrender, Never Forget: Pearl Harbor

On this day in 1941 the Japanese Empire attacked the US military installations at Pearl Harbor.

The planning for this attack began months before in early 1941. In two waves of attacks, planes from the Japanese Imperial fleet sank the backbone of the US Pacific fleet, destroyed almost 200 aircraft and killed over 2400 Americans.

We should never forget this attack or the lives lost. It should serve as an eternal reminder that vigilance is the price of preventing such attacks in the future and the cost of ensuring our freedom.

Lord have mercy on the souls of those lost that day and their families. Have mercy on the thousands who died to fight against the evil of the day. May we never forget their sacrifice or give up fighting evil wherever it exists.

An Amazing Story

Yes, I will admit that this story brought tears to my eyes.

Sarah and Eddie in 1940

The guys over at American Handgunner have an article about a young couple who were married just before the young man was shipped off to North Africa during WWII. The young man, Eddie, was issued an M1 carbine as well as a 1911A1 as his sidearm. Along the way the young man happened across a downed Nazi aircraft and in a moment of inspiration salvaged some of the plexiglass from the cockpit. From the plexiglass he fashioned a set of clear custom grips with a photo of his beloved Sarah underneath.

Eddie’s customer grips mounted to a new 1911

He carried the 1911 through the remainder of the war but kept the grips when he was shipped home. He kept them in a box until one of their daughters discovered them. With some help the grips were mounted on a new Springfield 1911. Along with a commemorative box of ammo and a reproduction of the holster he was issued in the army these were presented to the now not so young Eddie and his bride…

Sarah and Eddie in 2015

Yes, I am a little choked up again.

God bless…