Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Navy Week - Day 2 Wednesday, July 1st

Day 2 of Boston Navy Week

All events are listed here

Wednesday, July 1st

10 a.m.-5:50 p.m.
USS Constitution, Charlestown Navy Yard-free public tours

10 a.m.-6 p.m.
F/A18 Flight Simulator and Chevy Suburban-City Hall Plaza

11 a.m. - 2p.m.
Community Service Project at the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans, 17 Court Street

1:30 p.m. - 2p.m.
The Navy's Blue Angels fly over the City of Boston.

2 p.m.
USS Constitution, Charlestown Navy Yard-boarding pike and gun drills

4 p.m.
USS Constitution, Charlestown Navy Yard-boarding pike and gun drills

6 p.m.
Vice Admiral Kevin McCoy is the guest speaker at the Boston Rotary Club meeting, Park Plaza Hotel, 64 Arlington Street - You can attend by registering here.

SB Sends

I sent SB an email yesterday about this. It was just too big to wait for a phone call. I got back -

"How big is your head??!!"

Hehehe!

I told him not to worry, his BFF Jen would pound it back down and his friend Grace would join her Saturday.

It's hard work keeping my ego in check....I have a whole team.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Navy Week Boston!!!!!

It's here! Navy Week Boston!

Events start tomorrow and run through the weekend.

All events are listed here.

Tuesday, June 30th

10 a.m.-5:50 p.m.
USS Constitution, Charlestown Navy Yard-free public tours

10 a.m.
USS Constitution, Charlestown Navy Yard-boarding pike and gun drills

Noon
Harborfest Opening Ceremony-Faneuil Hall Marketplace

2 p.m.
USS Constitution, Charlestown Navy Yard-boarding pike and gun drills

6 p.m.
Navy Northeast Showband Concert-Faneuil Hall Marketplace

The Coast Guard Loves Me!!!!

That high pitched squealing you heard earlier??? Yeah, that was me!

In my email this morning -

Good Morning Ma'am,

I am a U.S. Coast Guard Public Affairs Officer here in Washington, DC and I heard from Commander Ron LaBrec that you two talked at the Pentagon one time. He said he saw a follow-on post on your blog where you mentioned that "a boat ride would be nice."

Well, how does a ride on the Coast Guard's tall ship, Barque Eagle, sound? She is making a port call in Boston next week and we would like to invite you on the inbound transit. Are you interested?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Am I interested?!?! Hell ya!

I sent back a very calm "Thank you. I accept." Then went back to screaming. LOL

I would have told you all to come out for the Tall Ships anyway....but now you have the added motivation of waving to me aboard Barque Eagle!

One Of The Many Reasons We Say....

Navy Leads The Way!!!

Iranian protesters avoid censorship with Navy technology
By (Contact)
June 26, 2009

Iranians seeking to share videos and other eyewitness accounts of the demonstrations that have roiled their country since disputed elections two weeks ago are using an Internet encryption program originally developed by and for the U.S. Navy.

Designed a decade ago to secure Internet communications between U.S. ships at sea, The Onion Router, or TOR, has become one of the most important proxies in Iran for gaining access to Web sites such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

The system of proxy servers that disguise a user's Internet traffic is now operated by a nonprofit, the Tor Project, that is independent from the U.S. government and military and is used all over the world.

According to the Tor Project, connections to TOR have gone up by 600 percent since mass protests erupted after the June 12 vote, which gave a purported landslide victory to incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
~~~~~~~~~~~
Read the rest here.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Miss You Too!

LOL....... The Taj Hotel Group sends me emails occasionally. They don't send them to SouthieBoy and I always snicker "They miss me!" He never rises to the bait - "I'm sure they do, Maggie" in that infuriatingly even tone.

Today's email -
Complimentary nights in Maldives - at the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa
Thursday, June 25, 2009 1:00 PM
From: "Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces"
To: bostonmaggie@yahoo.com

Rekindle the flame... Renew those vows... Discover the deep blue...Taste the thrill of water sports... Experience that perfect communion with nature.
Many reasons, one destination - the Maldives.
And, a luxury resort that's meant only to indulge you.

Welcome to the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives.

Dear Maggie,

1200 islands make the archipelago of Maldives. Of which only a sixth are populated. Honeymooners, bliss-seekers, divers, adventure sport enthusiasts... the Maldives have lured them all. People are known to make the trip more than once – only the purpose changes.
Sparkling blue waters, miles of sugary beach, vast coral reefs, an underwater world that gives new meaning to the word 'colourful', Robinson Crusoe-type isolation and a luxury resort whose sole purpose is to pamper you…these are but a few ingredients of your holiday at the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Maldives.

Go snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, jet-skiing, sightseeing, or just put up your feet and relax - enjoy therapeutic spa treatments, give in to the gourmet in you - allow our Chefs to work a few culinary magics. Do all these and more this season, with these incredible value offers valid till 31 October 2009.

Stay a bit longer: Book for 5 nights, stay for 7, or book for 3 and stay for 4 - Choose the Best Available Rate (BAR) the day you call, and save as much as 40% on your vacation! Room types: Lagoon Villa, Deluxe Lagoon Villa with Plunge Pool, Deluxe beach Villa with Plunge Pool, Villa Suite with Plunge Pool.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I have one thing to say to the Taj Group - I miss you too!!

Uncle J Brings Up Something I Want To Know About

Nukes, Missile Defense & EMP

I attended a luncheon at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies on the topic of the danger posed to our infrastructure by an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) nuclear detonation in the air over our country. It was a back to the future feeling as this was a serious concern during the Cold War, but it is a major concern now for a couple of reasons. First is the increasing dependence of our society on high tech circuitry to run vital infrastructure and basically everything, and second because of proliferation in countries like North Korea, and Iran.

Read more here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

Jen & I went to see "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3". We both enjoyed it very much.

I loved the shout out to AIRBORNE!!!

Go see it and you'll get what I mean.

Subway Strips Franchises From Serving Soldier

From Chuck at America's North Shore Journal

Subway Strips Franchises From Serving Soldier

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Coast Guard Auxiliary celebrates 70th anniversary

Is there cake?

Office of Public Affairs U.S. Coast Guard

WASHINGTON — Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen presented the Auxiliary with a Coast Guard Unit Commendation award Tuesday at Coast Guard Headquarters as part of the Coast Guard's celebration of the Coast Guard Auxiliary's 70th anniversary.

"The Coast Guard Auxiliary is the finest all-volunteer organization in our nation," said Adm. Thad Allen, Commandant of the Coast Guard. "It is an integral part of our Coast Guard. We simply could not meet the challenges we face or conduct the missions we do on a day-to-day basis without their selfless devotion to duty."

For the past decade, Coast Guard Auxiliary efforts have accounted for more than 3,100 lives saved, assistance to more than 91,000 boaters in distress, the prevention of the loss of more than $437 million in property and the education of more than 1.6 million boaters through boating safety courses, in addition to the many other services the Auxiliary provides. Coast Guard Auxiliarists accomplished these feats by volunteering more than 36 million hours of their time.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary was founded June 23, 1939, when Congress authorized legislation that established a volunteer civilian component of the Coast Guard to promote boating safety and to facilitate operations of the Coast Guard. Auxiliary members initially conducted safety and security patrols and helped enforce provisions of the 1940 Federal Boating and Espionage Acts. In 1996, the Auxiliary’s role was expanded to allow members to assist in any Coast Guard mission, with the exceptions of law enforcement and military operations.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary, with the motto "America's volunteer guardians," is one of the largest volunteer marine safety organizations in the nation.

I Want To Go See This Movie

"Waves of Freedom"

It's showing at the MFA on Sunday

Boston Jewish Film Festival: Encores
Film
Waves of Freedom
12:20 — 1:15 pm
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Remis Auditorium

Waves of Freedom (Becheshkhat Ha'galim) by Alan Rosenthal (Israel, 2008, 52 min.). Recruited in 1947 by the Haganah to break the British naval blockade of Palestine, Paul Kaye and twenty-five other American recruits set sail in a dilapidated ship, pick up 1,500 displaced persons in the middle of the night, and engage in a naval battle with three British warships. And that is just the beginning of their astounding true story.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Whew!

OK, I finally saw Dan. It wasn't as bad as I thought.

As Stephen King said in his non-fiction book "Danse Macabre" - what you see is always less scary than what you don't.......

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Biting Off More Than I Can Chew

I think I am at a crossroads.

But probably not. Because a "Being at a crossroads" infers a choice. And I don't think I have a choice.

Everyone in life has a combination of people who lift them up and people who weigh them down. I judge people by how they juggle their mix. I've always been pretty comfortable with my ratio.

Sure I make jokes "it's all about Maggie" - "all time is Maggie time" - but I also believe in a cosmic point system and I try to squirrel away some points for the day I stand at the gate. Of course I probably won't have a single point more than I need....let's not get carried away. I'll never be confused with Mother Theresa.

However, some things aren't a choice. Some things, I am simply compelled to do. I don't choose to take care of Tommy, Frankie, Bill or Dan. They are my boys.

I thought I was at the tail end of this and I remember thinking that I was glad that my cancer wasn't diagnosed until this point. It meant I could focus on that.....not that I've been all that focused....but that's another story, huh?

So it appears there will be one more......ah, what the hell do I call it? Project? Complication? Undertaking?

Yeah, I guess undertaking. Dan has a problem. I want Dan to come back. Frankie is going to go get him.

I am filled with dread.

June 21, 1768

James Otis, Jr. called the British Parliment "button-makers, horse jockey gamesters, pensioners, pimps, and whore-masters."

Wonder what he'd say about our Congress today.......

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Father's Day Is Tomorrow

Homefront Six will have her first one without her father.....in a way. But in a way, good fathers never leave. Just like I still have my grandmother. I quote Mama Kelley so often that sometimes people who haven't know me long don't realize she passed away over ten years ago.

HF6's loss is new and raw but I pray the happy memories overtake the pain.

Meanwhile, I will be in Charlestown tomorrow. Not wasting my opportunities.

Ok, So I Know I Am Missing The Point

Yahoo runs this story....

California girl gets dying wish to see movie 'Up'

It's sad and I want to say to the Pixar people - "Good on you!"

But this line drove me crazy -
"Colby, who was diagnosed with vascular cancer in 2005, saw previews for the film in April.

"It was from then on, she said, 'I have to see that movie. It is so cool,'" family friend Carole Lynch said.

But the girl's health began to deteriorate. On June 4, Curtin asked a hospice company to bring a wheelchair so that her daughter could go to a movie theater but the chair was not delivered over the weekend, Curtin said.

By June 9, Colby was too sick to go anywhere."

WTF - over?

My company is the medical equipment supplier for the local hospice. They would not have waited an hour to get that wheelchiar. My hospice people have my friggin' cell phone number! I am in awe of the hospice nurses. I have no idea how someone does that day after day and I would extend any possible effort for them.

They call to order equipment and they convey clearly what is urgent and what is not. But even if it was not urgent.....you don't wait five freaking days for a wheelchair!

Being the hospice supplier is no money maker and their requests are often more time sensitive and complicated than other orders......but good God! It's the least we can do!

When they call and say "Ok" and hesitate because they are going to request something out of the norm, my answer is always the same "Tell me what you need."

CNO'S COMMENTS TO CONGRESS ABOUT NAVY RESERVE

My friend, RDML Messerschmidt, would like me to share this with you.......and I am ever at his disposal!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Force Leadership:

CNO ADM Gary Roughead briefed the Subcommittee on Defense, Senate Committee on Appropriations (SACD) On June 2, 2009. Following the admiral's prepared posture statement, Sen. Thad Cocharan, (R-Mississippi) asked the CNO about the Navy Reserve (below).

This shows how much the Navy Reserve is valued for our capabilities and expertise. I encourage you to share this quote with your Sailors and civilians as an example of how their contributions are being noticed and honored at the highest levels.

Vr & Wr/RDML M
Rear Admiral John Messerschmidt
Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command

==============

COCHRAN: I had the pleasure of spending several years as a Reserve officer following active duty in the Navy, and I enjoyed the opportunities of going back to Newport, Rhode Island, for example, and being on the staff of the -- of the faculty at Officer Candidate School, and continuing to be involved.

Do you still have a strong Reserve program utilizing the experience and talents of -- of former active duty officers in Reserve activities, or do we -- is that a wise investment? Or what is your impression of the naval Reserve mission today in -- in how it complements the active duty forces?

ROUGHEAD: Senator, we are one force today. The integration of our active component and our Reserve component is as close as it has ever been. And in fact, most of the individual augmentees that have gone into the Central Command area of operation over the past eight years are -- are Reserve sailors and officers.

We cannot be the Navy we are today without our Reserve component. And the way that they move in -- into our active force after having served in an active capacity is absolutely seamless. And the importance that we place on our Reserve programs is -- is extremely high.

And the Navy that the secretary was referring to as being as professional and as competent and as agile as it is today is a function of that active-Reserve integration that -- that has taken place.

CDR & Mrs. Salamander Are Good Parents

So were mine.

LOL, doens't always work.

I doubt he is comforted by my comment in his post. He writes about protecting his children from bad influences. I applaud them. Then I wrote about "working around" my parents similar efforts.

The irony is my boys were not readers. Frank read some sports biographies. Tom devoured maps, graphs and almanacs. If I had thought it would have made them read more, I would have BOUGHT questionable material for them, lol!

I can't wait to head up to the cottage in two minutes and recall these happy memories with my sisters and mother. They will all have their own to throw in about reading something they shouldn't have.

"My mother did her best to be careful with me, but I often was able to work around her efforts....so we can't blame Muriel, lol.

In particular I recall two things.

First, "The Exorcist". One of my uncles gave it to my mother right around the time of the movie in '73 - it had been written a year of two earlier. I was 12. I was FORBIDDEN to read it. I grew up in a three story townhouse in Charlestown. My mother had housework to do on the 2nd and 3rd floors and meals to prepare in the kitchen. But the best, longest chunks of time were when friends would come to visit and they would have tea/coffee in the kitchen. One quick hello and a smile and I was off to my mother's seat in the parlor (pronounced pah-la) careful never to move her bookmark. LOL! I finished before she did - it was awful! I had nightmares for weeks! I slept with my Rosary beads under my pillow.

The 2nd was finding a shopping bag of books left behind by my uncle Kevin. My sister Grace & I inherited Kevin's old room complete with Hi-Fi, some records & books. Several books were by Robert Rimmer, author of "The Harrad Experiment". According to Wikipedia - "The recurring theme in all or almost all of Rimmer's writing was a criticism of the assumption of monogamy as a societal norm. All the protagonists in his novels discover that they are happier in arrangements which would nowadays be called polyamorous or polyfidelitous."
*cough cough* I have nothing more to say on that subject.

Good for you and Mrs. Salamander"

I told my mother about "The Exorcist" long ago and she said I deserved every one of those nightmares for disobeying her.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Girl's Weekend!

My mother, sisters, nieces and possibly a special guest star will join me at the cottage for a weekend of reading, snacking, game playing and lollygagging.

But very little internets..........

So here's some stuff to keep you occupied.

From American's North Shore Journal
Hyman G. Rickover Naval Academy

From the Castle of Argghhh!!!
Chance Encounter

From Information Dissemination
The Reality of Generation Y's Virtual World.

A primer on the firing of IG Gerald Walpin on YouTube. It's Glen Beck. If you don't like Beck, ignore him and listen to Walpin.

On Twitter, follow my friend Steve Schippert. He is one funny bastid. Better than that he is wicked smart. He is one of my favorites for keeping up on the Iran Election stuff.

The Most Important Thing I Will Blog Today

Free Chocolate

M&M Mars "The Real Chocolate Relief Act".

Click the link and fill in your age to get to the home page. From there you have 5 minutes to complete your registration for on of 250,000 coupons per Friday (9:00:00AM ET to 11:59:59PM ET)

Screw TARP! Go RCRA!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Shouldn't There Be A Drink-Ex?

Galrahn is in Newport for the "Current Strategy Forum" at the US Naval War College.

While I actually grasp why I wasn't invited.....shouldn't there be a Drink-Ex for this thing?

Where is my invitation to that??????

***Notice I didn't ask about the reading list....shhhh*****

June 18, 1812

The incident between the HMS "Leopard" and the USS "Chesapeake" that sparked the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair. Drawn by Fred S. Cozzens and published in 1897

Story Number: NNS020418-26Release Date: 4/18/2002 9:35:00 PM
From the Navy News Service

1812 - U.S. declares war on Great Britain for impressment of Sailors and interference with commerce.

Declaration of War 1812

An Act Declaring War Between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Dependencies Thereof and the United States of America and Their Territories.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That war be and the same is hereby declared to exist between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the dependencies thereof, and the United States of America and their territories; and that the President of the United States is hereby authorized to use the whole land and naval force of the United States to carry the same into effect, and to issue to private armed vessels of the United States commissions or letters of marque and general reprisal, in such form as he shall think proper, and under the seal of the United States, against the vessels, goods, and effects of the government of the said United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the subjects thereof.
APPROVED, June 18, 1812

Let's say I break into your house. . .

I got this forwarded to my email account by Nic's Dad, Fred. It is supposedly a "Letter to the Editor" of a newspaper. If anyone knows the origin, please let me know. I'd like to link and credit it properly. I have used this same arguement with many pro-amnesty people - usually to no avail.

Recently, large demonstrations have taken place across the country, protesting the fact that Congress is finally addressing the issue of illegal immigration.

Certain people are angry that the U.S. might protect its own borders, might make it harder to sneak into this country and, once here, to stay indefinitely.

Let me see if I correctly understand the thinking behind these protests.

Let's say I break into your house. Let's say that when you discover me in your house, you insist that I leave.

But I say, "I've made all the beds and washed the dishes and did the laundry and swept the floors. I've done all the things you don't like to do. I'm hard-working and honest (except for when I broke into your house).

According to the protesters:

You are Required to let me stay in your house.
You are Required to add me to your family's insurance plan.
You are Required to Educate my kids.
You are Required to Provide other benefits to me & to my family (my husband will do all of your yard work because he is also hard-working and honest, except for that breaking in part).

If you try to call the police or force me out, I will call my friends who will picket your house carrying signs that proclaim my RIGHT to be there. It's only fair, after all, because you have a nicer house than I do, and I'm just trying to better myself. I'm a hard-working and honest, person, except for well, you know, I did break into your house. And oh yeah, I get a free education, where you have to pay your own way through college.(TEEHEE)

And what a deal it is for me!!!

I live in your house, contributing only a fraction of the cost of my keep, and there is nothing you can do about it without being accused of cold, uncaring, selfish, prejudiced, and bigoted behavior.

Oh yeah, I DEMAND that you learn MY LANGUAGE!!! So you can communicate with me. And don't forget to make sure your forms are in MY language - I need to understand them...

Why can't people see how ridiculous this is?! Only in America !

Remarkable Restraint

Someday I hope I have the chance to buy BG Michael Walsh a beer - for his service & for the bullshit he's put up with.

Sir, you showed remarkable restraint in this encounter and I applaud you.

You can not imagine my response if the day should come that I take myself away from my important work at the Pentagon (use your imagination here, lol) and go before a Senate subcommittee to speak on serious matters (again - imagination) and Sen Barbara Boxer (D-CA) says "Do me a favor. Could say senator instead of Ma'am It's just a thing, I worked so hard to get that title, so I'd appreciate it, thank you."

Whatever, you self important jackass.

So, BG Walsh called her "Senator" and got the hell out of there and back to his real work.

BZ sir!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Happy Bunker Hill Day!

June 17, 2009
It's late, I've almost missed it. But the nuns will tell you.....Maggie is often tardy!

Today is the 234th anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill. An important event that is much sited and little understood in American history.

So....how to commemorate such an event?

Well you could visit the Bunker Hill Monument whose cornerstone was laid on this day in 1825 (with construction completed in 1843). You could climb the 294 stairs and enjoy the vista. Although, I will be honest and say it's not as exciting since they installed the plexiglass to keep nitwits from throwing stuff out of the windows. What can you do? Anyway, after you climb back down, you could go across the street to the Bunker Hill Museum. It's in the old library where I spent many happy hours. Then of course it would be a waste if you didn't sneak down to the Navy Yard and visit my friends on USS Constitution & USS Cassin Young DD-793.

But maybe you are not in or near Boston (I'm sorry). Maybe you are on the west coast. In that case, you should visit the USS Bunker Hill CG-52 in it's home port of San Diego. Tours of "The Sword of the Fleet" were the highlight during last weekend's 23rd annual "Seabee Days" at the Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme, CA.

If that's not possible you could always read "Dangers Hour" by Max Kennedy. It's the story of USS Bunker Hill CV-17 and the fateful day, May 11, 1945 when Japanese kamikazes that struck her.

If you paid any attention in school, you hear Bunker Hill Day and you think ""Do not fire until you see the whites of their eyes".

If you live in the Boston area, you hear Bunker Hill Day and you think "hack holiday".

If you live in Charlestown or know someone from Charlestown you think "parade & parties"

But I tied it to the Navy and I can do this with almost any subject, lol.

Godspeed VADM James Calvert

Navy Mourns Loss of Former Academy Superintendent, WWII Submariner
Story Number: NNS090616-06Release Date: 6/16/2009 3:25:00 PM
From United States Naval Academy
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- Vice Adm. James "Jim" Calvert, a career submarine officer who served in World War II and a former U.S. Naval Academy superintendent, died June 3.

A funeral service with full military honors will be held for Calvert June 17 at 1 p.m. in the United States Naval Academy Chapel. Interment will take place at the Naval Academy Cemetery immediately following the service.

Calvert was a member of the Academy's Class of 1943. During WW II, the submarine officer completed nine wartime patrols and later served an instrumental role in the development of modern submarine operations. Calvert authored two books about his service on submarines, "Silent Running: My Years on a World War II Attack Submarine" and "Surface at the Pole."

Serving from 1968-1972 as the 46th Naval Academy Superintendent, Calvert helped implement the academy's academic majors program, which continues today to be the foundation of the academy's academic reputation. In 2004, Calvert was honored as a Naval Academy Alumni Distinguished Graduate.

"Vice Admiral Calvert embodied the highest ideals of the academy's mission and dedicated himself to a lifetime of selfless and distinguished service to his nation," said current Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Jeffrey L. Fowler.

For more news from the U.S. Naval Academy, visit www.navy.mil/local/usna.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I Like This Guy's Attitude!

From the US Naval War College

SECNAV Kicks Off NWC Current Strategy Forum

Mabus, who was sworn in as the 75th secretary of the Navy on May 19, reflected on his position nearly a month after his initial swearing-in.

"I never dreamed I would be standing here when I began my naval service nearly four decades ago as a junior Surface Warfare Officer," Mabus told the audience in Newport. More recently, Mabus served as the governor of Mississippi and the Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

"I am proud beyond words to finally return home to the Department of the Navy," Mabus told forum participants.

Excellent!
H/T @NavalWarCollege

The Things You Find On The Internets!

So I was out scouting online for pics from this years Bunker Hill Parade because my sister-in-law still hasn't sent any. A link at Universal Hub sent me the Culture Junkie. I was poking around there and surprise!

There's my oncologist! LOL

I really like him. Watch the video and you will see why.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Three Years Ago Today

****This is largely what I wrote on the 1st anniversary in 2007, but it's still very true today.***One of the saddest things I was ever a part of happened. We lost our friend Paul Barry in a tragic accident. He was a very good man who left us too young. I blogged about this time in my life here and here if you care to go read it.

I still think about his funeral and it hurts today.
I think of you and your children often, Maryellen.

I Am Wiped Out!

All the partying.

All the carbs.

All the stalking of Sailors.

All the crashing of parties.

I had fun with family - and cake on Saturday.

I had a blast at the Bunker Hill Day Parade - and cake on Sunday.

Today I got a private tour of USS Samuel B. Roberts FFG-58 and absolutely couldn't be more impressed with my tour guide, ENS Dick. She was courteous and enthusiastic. She put up with all my nonsense questions.

I am grateful to everyone on board for their service and their courtesy to me. Especially to the very brace CO, CDR Sellers who did not flinch in the face of Hurricane Maggie!

Tonight I was front and center at the Old South Meeting House for David O Stewart's appearance. The details are here.

My copy of "Impeached - the Trial of President Andrews Johnson and the Fight For Lincoln's Legacy" is inscribed -

"To Maggie,
With gratitude for telling me where to go,
David O. Stewart"

To get the joke you have to here.

And now I have to go to bed. I haven't blogged sufficient details on anything. I haven't gotten my other stuff onto the Navy Memorial. I haven't answered all my emails. I haven't retweeted all the messages I liked on Twitter.

But I have to go to bed. Not to worry, I won't leave you without stuff to read!

First, a quickie at Cincinnatus on how the numbers on the uninsured break down.
"Obama Care - The Real Numbers"

Next (tissue alert) GI Jess blogs on "They Way We Get By" - I can't wait for this movie to come out on DVD. I can't believe they didn't think to release this movie in time for Father's Day! Jess gets to see it when it shows in DC - I am jealous!

Bill Maher grudgingly admitting that McCain (and the rest of us) was right about the cult of Obama. He's a jerk about Bush, but I didn't expect it to be otherwise. But it is delicious to hear him to rip Obama.

And today in Medal of Honor history is NAVY & he is from BOSTON! Thanks to TSO at "This Ain't Hell" for emailing it to our group with the title "Today in Medal of Honor history....For Maggie". You know I love presents baby!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

USS Constitution Hosts Re-Enlistment

PROUD: Senior Chief Hayley Zeller, who took the oath of re-enlistment aboard the USS Constitution yesterday, waves to onlookers on the dock in the Charlestown Navy Yard

Friday two Sailors from the visiting USS Samuel B Roberts FFG-58 re-enlisted aboard USS Constiutution -
By Katy JordanSaturday, June 13, 2009
It was a sun- and promise-filled day for sailors aboard the USS Samuel B. Roberts, which arrived Thursday morning in the Charlestown Navy Yard, sharing waters with Boston’s own USS Constitution.
Two sailors from the visiting vessel, based in Mayport, Fla., re-enlisted yesterday aboard the Constitution, reciting their oath a second time to continue their Naval service.
About 20 people attended the ceremony, according to a Navy spokesman, including the USS Roberts’ Commander Chuck L. Sellers.
Yesterday’s afternoon sunshine will continue throughout today in the Hub, where the visiting vessel will be open for public viewing from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Charlestown Navy Yard.

The Day Turned Out to Be Perfect!

So you know I stink at taking pics. So I've cribbed these from a newspaper. My sister-in-law took a few and as soon as those are downloaded I will post them. This first pic is the Navy band passing under the flag at the top of Bunker Hill in front of St. Francis de Sales.


101st Engineer Battalion Sendoff

In tearful send-off, Mass. Guard unit mobilizes for Iraq
Friends, family say goodbye to 101st Engineer Battalion
By Nandini Jayakrishna
Globe Correspondent / June 14, 2009


Waving flags and holding red and blue balloons, proud friends and family members bade farewell yesterday to a Massachusetts National Guard unit preparing for deployment to Iraq.

"It's exciting to be part of history," Captain Paul A. Barnett, 38, a chaplain in the 101st Engineer Battalion, said before the unit's send-off ceremony on a dock at the Charlestown Navy Yard.

"We are doing something not only for our generation but for the generations to come, and not only for our country but for the world."

With the USS Constitution, the Navy's storied frigate, as a backdrop, Major General Joseph C. Carter, the Guard's adjutant general, told the 180 soldiers to continue their battalion's legacy of devotion and sacrifice.

"Always place the mission first," he said. "Never accept defeat. Never surrender. And never, never, never leave an American serviceman behind."

Specialist Kristen L. Cunha, 28, said that she will miss her 9-year-old son, Tyler, and 6-year-old daughter, Kayla, as she follows her lifelong dream of serving in the Army, but that she knows her husband supports her decision and will do his best to care for the family in her absence.

Failing to control his tears, Cunha's husband, Adalto, 40, a truck driver, said he was extremely proud of his wife and looked forward to hearing from her. When Tyler and Kayla cry for their mother, he said, he will do his best to console them.

"I'll tell them, 'Your mom has not gone just for herself, but for all of us,' " he said.

One of the oldest units in the Army, the 101st has fought in six major conflicts, from the Revolution to the current war on terrorism. Eight of its soldiers have received the Medal of Honor, the country's highest military decoration.

Governor Deval Patrick also lauded the soldiers, who have been training for several months for their deployment, for their devotion to the country and asked them to draw inspiration from the Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world.

"What a glorious morning to recognize and acknowledge glorious service," Patrick said in his brief remarks. "Take inspiration from this ship, as we do from you."

Barnett, who hails from Wareham and fought in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, said leaving his family is the hardest part of his job.

But he said that soldiers develop strong bonds that allow them to get through adversity together.

"We laugh, we joke, we play music," he said. "Just like kids in the candy store, we find something to keep us laughing."

His mother, Rita J. Barnett, said seeing her son ship out a second time is just as difficult as it was 18 years ago.

"I'm feeling weak, numb," she said. "Don't make me cry."

"I have my Kleenex right here," she added, laughing and patting her blouse.

Barnett's sister said she was proud of her brother but worried about him.

"I want him to come back, mind, body, soul," said Robin L. Barnett, 34.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than half of the state's 8,000 guardsmen have been deployed overseas to countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait.

The exact date and time of the unit's departure for Operation Iraqi Freedom were not disclosed by officials.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Watch out for each other and come home safely.

It's Raining -

Jen thinks it's a bad thing and in some ways it is. But in my mind it just equals less traffic and few people at the parade.

Happy Bunker Hill Day!

Happy Birthday US Army!

Cmd. Sgt. Maj. Frank A. Grippe leads the troops in Iraq in singing the Army song on "The Colbert Report"
Over on Twitter, I heard there was cake.....I didn't get any!
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Operation Iraqi Stephen - Frank A. Grippe
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorStephen Colbert in Iraq

Saturday, June 13, 2009

USNI Essay Contest

USNI sent us out an email...an email to the USNI Team.... I teased their blogger wrangler "A team? I'm on the team!" I was pretty pleased with it.

But it's the weekend and I have family stuff, so I will just ride CDR Salamander's coattails.

NEED 10 LARGE?

How Did This Happen To Me?

The USS Samuel B Roberts is in the Charlestown Navy Yard.

It arrived Thursday.

I had no idea!!!!

I was driving my parents home from Grace's and my Dad said "Are you going down to see the Sammy B?" I gave him a look that revealed I was clueless (I have perfected the look). He said "It's in town for Bunker Hill Day."

So I go look and sure enough - tours were yesterday and today....and I missed them.

I read all this Navy stuff, I have all these Navy Tweeps....I THOUGHT I had a connection aboard USS Constitution....apparently not!

I guess I'll pop down tomorrow and at least see it from the pier. You know I thought I was all set for this weekend. I called my father earlier this week and reminded him I would need my Navy flag. I left it at his house last year after the parade so it wouldn't be misplaced.

It is partially my fault - I am not following the new blog at the Navy Times closely enough. It was noted in The Scoop Deck.

*sigh*

Friday, June 12, 2009

How's My Attention Deficit Going?

In the post below I say the USS Bataan LHD 5 is coming to Boston.

No it's not.

First I mentioned it out on Twitter and one of my fav Tweeps @NavyNews comes out and says....."No, it's not." I say "Well Sea Waves says it is."

Then I post it below and another of Princess Crabby's Navy Coterie emails -

Maggie,
BATAAN deployed mid-April to the Persian Gulf. Where'd you hear she was coming to Boston? She was there already last summer, wasn't she?

I direct him to the SeaWaves website. He writes back.

Just looked and it says "cancelled"...but I'm on my blackberry and websites are never exactly right.Cool website, though!

So I look and there is another column if you scroll to the right.

Ahhhh!

Yeah, ADD, not so good for the reading comprehension skills.

But...........

USS Winston Churchill DDG 81 is coming to Newport next month......paging CDR Pyle!

USS Bataan LHD 5

090610-N-9740S-006 ADRIATIC SEA (June 10, 2009) The sun sets on a day of at-sea operations aboard the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5). Bataan is on a scheduled deployment performing maritime security operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Tony Sisti/Released)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
****UPDATE - No it's not! LOL I had read in SeaWaves that USS Bataan would be in Boston. But it's not. Thank you to a valuable member of Princess Crabby's Navy Coterie who pointed out that if you scroll across the info for LHD 5, it says cancelled!

You know, USS Bataan is supposed to visiting Boston soon.........hmmmmm, I wonder how one would get invited aboard?????

Interesting Blog Find

From David at The Thunder Run

In Iraq Now (at 56)

Operation Sand Flea

From G.I. Jess' blog -

"Operation Sand Flea"
There's an amazing skin care company right here in D.C., Skincando is helping service members in Iraq who deal with sand flea bites, sunburn, and extreme dry skin everyday. Sara Damelio, an aesthetician at Still Point in the DC area, created her own balm out of all natural ingredients in her apartment. She had bad skin growing up and she attributes it to the harsh chemicals in most make-up and creams. Her balm is 100% organic. It was discovered this balm is excellent at treating many ailments including soldier's bites from the sand fleas in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also treats sunburn, dry skin, etc.

Read the rest here.

You can follow Jess on Twitter @GIJessDC I do.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

USS Decatur DDG 73

090606-N-3659B-297 PACIFIC OCEAN (June 6, 2009) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73) steams through the Pacific Ocean after participating in a burial at sea and wreath laying ceremony. Deactur was the lead ship in a four ship diamond formation during the ceremony which concluded with four F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets flying over the ships in the missing-man formation. Decatur is currently on a routine deployment in the Western Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication 2nd Class Joseph M. Buliavac/Released)
Then @NavyNews added that it needed Victory at Sea music - perfect!!!!

All I Want Is Your Little Typing Fingers!

***UPDATE 10 JUN - Soldiers' Angels has gone from 33rd place to 8th place in just the last 24 hours - KEEP IT GOING - email this around because you can only vote once from each email address. Good thing I have many aliases!****

First off Laughing Wolf at Blackfive has the details

Help Me Win A Makeover
Posted By Laughing_Wolf
Well, sort of. Yes, those who have met me can attest I could use a rather extensive one. Yet, this one's not for me. If you go here and vote, and put in Soldiers' Angels, they could win a $25,000.00 social media makeover. That would be a huge help to any charity in these times, so please go vote. As for me and my makeover, belt sanders are cheap...
LW
~~~~~~

So you click on the link and you fill in "Soldiers' Angels" As you start to type it will finish filling it in for you. Then you put your email.

Then it will prompt you "You are voting for "Soldiers' Angels" Confirm." Hell ya, hit that button!

Then you get an email and you must hit the link to confirm your vote.

Ok, I know this is several steps. But come on it's not like I'm holding you up for money.

~~~~~~~~
Full disclosure about my ADD, I read too quickly and thought LW was asking me to help him win a "Hangover", lol.

Doo-Bee-Doo-Bee-Doo

Beware of the Penquins.......

We ended up in Rockland at "Players".

13 TVs.

Fabulous onion rings. Although the fried pickles.....I think they are a southern thing.

Reasonable prices.

Loved our bartenders. One was a part owner. He was paying no attention to any of the games and it was driving Jen CRAZY. Finally after all her arguements and you know there were plenty....he says "Listen. Sports is like sex. I don't want to watch, I want to play."
We all laughed and then I said "Hey! I like both!"

Then I stepped outside to whine and moan to SB about this cool Navy thing I got offered and had to turn down. Why? Money. Time off work. And the fact that physically I am not in any shape to hack it.

So there I was all spooled up in my little pity party.........and SB tells me something I didn't know. Something that made the offer SO MUCH MORE COOL!!!! Something that made having to turn it down bum me out even more.

"OMG! you've completely ruined my night!"

He replies - "I live to serve!" Bastid!


Anyway, we will be back there Friday....doo-be-doo-be-doo!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Gallivanting?

This story was forwarded to my email this morning with a little note "Since lately you've been spending your time gallivanting on battleships..." Gallivanting? What could he be talking about?
By Rusty Dennen, from The Free Lance-Star

On Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the USS Pennsylvania sat in dry dock not far from other ships in the Pacific fleet.
Its deck raked by machine-gun fire and hit by one bomb, it fared better than other large warships that fateful morning.
Yesterday, some of the last remnants of the Pennsylvania--two of its massive 14-inch gun barrels--were loaded on trucks at the Naval Support Facility Dahlgren for a trip to their new home at the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
"I've been working on this project for 10 years now," said Dave Rhoades, a member of the friends of the Pennsylvania museum who arranged for the transport. He and his wife, Shirley, drove six hours to Dahlgren for the occasion and watched the loading process unfold near the gun line along the Potomac River.
The museum, near State College, Pa., learned in 1999 that the Navy, which has been storing the barrels at the King George County base since World War II, had them. And later, that it was planning to scrap them.
The museum was looking for Navy-related displays to add to its collection and decided that the barrels would be a great choice because of the Pennsylvania's connection to the most infamous date in World War II, and to the Keystone state. One of the barrels was forged at a Pennsylvania foundry.
"It's a pretty big undertaking. Not a lot of museums would go to the effort of hauling two 66-ton [ship] artifacts 250 miles inland," Joseph Horvath, the museum's educator, said in a telephone interview.
As with all things military, the request had to go through proper channels. Museum officials contacted Dahlgren, which then got in touch with the Naval History and Heritage Command at the Washington Navy Yard for approval.
Technically, the guns are on loan to the museum, but they probably will remain in Pennsylvania indefinitely. "We'll have them as long as the Navy will allow," Horvath said.
The museum spent $100,000 to build a reinforced concrete cradle on which the barrels will rest. It initially had planned on receiving three, but one was not intact. The Pennsylvania had 12 14-inch guns, three to a turret. The museum also secured two rounds to put on display. The gun could fire a 1,400-pound projectile more than 15 miles.
Dozens of gun barrels, covered in Navy gray paint or orange with rust, sit near the headquarters of Dahlgren's Potomac River Test Range. Every gun used by Navy ships is tested at Dahlgren before going to the fleet. Barrels include those from 16-inch guns used by the Navy until the 1990s, and an 18-inch gun prototype that never made it on Navy ships.
Big as they are, the steel tubes are in demand.
"The last barrel that went out of here was from the battleship USS South Dakota, to Rapid City," said Doug Davant, a spokesman for the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren's largest tenant command. That barrel went to the South Dakota Memorial.
"They're valuable. They're a piece of history," Davant said.
Bethlehem Steel in Pennsylvania requested the return of a 14-inch gun barrel it had made for a battleship.
The barrels from the USS Pennsylvania wound up at Dahlgren in 1945 after the ship was refitted with guns from the USS Oklahoma.
Readying them for transport yesterday took several hours as a small crowd gathered to watch.
A crane capable of lifting 365 tons was brought in by W.O. Grubb. Workers fastened straps to the barrels, which were slowly lifted onto 13-axle trailers.
Handling extremely heavy loads "is a different kind of a job," said crane operator Don Themer.
Before heading to Dahlgren, "We picked up a 68,000 pound Chris-Craft" yacht for shipment from Maryland, he said.
Once the barrels arrive at the museum, they'll be reconditioned, repainted and placed on the cradle for display.
Rhoades, who served in the Army, said the barrels are more than a museum display.
His cousin, Paul Rydbon, was killed during World War II in the Pacific.
"To me, this is a remembrance of him."
Here is a pic of the 14" guns and there are many more at the Pennsylvania Military Museum website.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Sunday, June 07, 2009

I Was Invited To This

I couldn't make it.......but guess who did? My pal, Petty Officer Selby!

I could have waved to Greta and the Ogre..........my peeps in NOLA.
BZ Petty Officer Selby!

For Bob Carbone........

.....who is in California, but his heart in Massachusetts! A little bit ago, Bob wrote to scold me for not paying enough attention to Battleship Cove....especially his ship the USS Massachusetts. So guess where Maggie was today?

The 64th reunion of the USS Massachusetts BB-59.

I tried to video tape some stuff, so we'll see how that goes, but I spotted a guy filming the whole thing so I am going to try to get some of his stuff.

I introduced myself to CAPT John S Casey, USNR (Ret.) and I'll see if I can't get a copy of his remarks.

How'd I do baby?

Princess Crabby's Grand Vizier

Running with Kings…

The Piper struck up a lively air, and the race was on!

I started out strong, knowing that the ten or so seconds I needed for the end of the race should be made up now, since I had the quick energy… I needed to come in at 18 minutes, 40 seconds to pass. I had hovered around 19 minutes even…

At the quarter mile mark, somebody had gathered the rest of the band, and my mind was filled with the full resounding glory of the Pipes and Drums, as well as the panting breath and bawdy quips of the two ghosts who ran on either side of me…

The finish line lay about a quarter mile ahead of me, and I saw SSG “Elder” waiting at the line. “Let’s go, lad, you’ve got a bit left in you!” William growled. SSG “Elder” began to run towards me. He reached my side, and then reversed direction, “Push it, SGT B!”

100 meters, with SSG “Elder” exhorting me onwards, Robert the Bruce offering encouragement, and Cousin Billy threatening to put his claidheamh mòr (Claymore sword) up where the sun don’t shine iff’n I didn’t get my arse in gear in short order!

50 meters, all four of us sprinting for the prize!

25 meters, and I poured it on, the Pipes screaming in my ears!

Finish, with a war cry that they heard at the gates of Castle Stirling!

The time: 18 minutes 19 seconds…

I had passed the Army Physical Fitness Test…

There's more. Go read it all.

A Great Behind The Scenes of BOM Commemoration

Go to this blog and read the "rest of the story" on Thursday's Battle of Midway commemoration aboard USS Cassin Young.

Takes a little of the pressure off of me.....now I can stick with my usual nonsense.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

#DDay65 on Twitter

****UPDATE - Hour 2, I am still shut out of Twitter******
I've been following, reading and retweeting Twitters on DDay observences. Some of it is about the commemoration ceremonies at Normandy today. Some of it is just people's personal thoughts. I have also been carrying on a little of my usual nonsense.

Then......

Twitter shut me off!! LOL

So I am going to go shower and see if I am reset when I come back.

Go to Twitter and follow @paojohn @WWIIToday @US_EUCOM @dgipao

You can also do searches by the hashtag #DDay65

Friday, June 05, 2009

A Midway Remembrance From The Dawn Patrol

The Battle of Midway
By Greyhawk

Go read it. It's about John Ford's documentary. Outstanding!

General Petraeus Misses Out!

There were actually two things on my dance card for this week. Midway and General Petraeus. I have blogged and Twittered and emailed endlessly the last few weeks about the Battle of Midway observance. However, I had to keep my lips zipped about General P.


I did mention it to a few people (that was allowed), I just couldn't blog it. You see the General was in Boston yesterday and today to commission ROTC candidates.

Today's ceremony was scheduled to be held at USS Constitution. As one might imagine I have cultivated a tie or two there.

So yesterday I was relaying some of my "Midway Day" to the Armorer.

Explaining how wonderful it was I said "Oh, you have no idea!!! And tomorrow, if things go as expected, General Petraeus will have the pleasure of meeting me.........."

His reply was not unlike that of SB, SB's BFF - my sister Jen, etc. -
"Oh, I have *every* idea.
Has anyone warned Petraeus? I have his email somewhere
..."

Anyway, due to weather conditions, the ceremony was moved to the Coast Guard station.....where I have yet to have a handle on the strings.....much less pull them.....

As I explained to the person who had invited me in the first place -
"I'm fine with it. To tell you the truth of the two events this week, I got to the one I cared about. Sure it would have been a "blog coup" to brag about meeting Petraeus and thanks for permission to do so. But it was Midway that had me excited. It was the Midway commemoration that mattered."

And I meant it.

So depending on your point of view - General Petraeus missed out on the chance of a lifetime....or he narrowly escaped!

70th In Command, USS Constitution

That is how the Navy identifies CDR Bullard. These are the remarks he delivered on an incredibly perfect late spring day aboard USS Cassin Young DD-793. We were gathered on the fantail to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the Battle of Midway.
Thank you, XO.

Distinguished guests, guests, fellow commanding officers and friends thank you for joining us today as we recognize the 67th anniversary of the Battle of Midway and reflect on its meaning, both past and present. I would like to specifically thank Terry Savage and the Boston National Historic Park for allowing us to hold our ceremony here aboard CASSIN YOUNG. Thank you to all veterans or wars past and present and veteran’s organizations present today; we are proud to follow in your footsteps and uphold your legacy of service. I especially want to thank Aviation Machinists Mate 1st Class John Chayka, Commander Armand Legare USN(Ret) and their families. By taking the time to attend you allow us to personally connect with this pivotal event, in the same way that Old Ironsides allows us to connect with the origins of our sea services.

Why commemorate Midway? And why here, in one of the parts of America that is farthest from the place? I can think of several reasons.

First, the Chief of Naval Operations told me to. As the 67th anniversary of Midway approached, he directed that “Now is the time to renew and build upon our obligation to preserve our rich naval history and heritage. As the World War II veterans pass from our lives, we must carry their legacy forward by speaking to our Sailors and the public about their contributions to the Navy and the nation.”

And what exactly was this “contribution”? The Battle of Midway is unfortunately not among the more widely recognized and commemorated events in our nation’s history, so allow me just a brief minute or two to explain. In the six months since Pearl Harbor Japan’s advance across the Pacific had gone largely unchecked. The battered allied navies were on the ropes, Japanese expansion was threatening India and Australia, and even an invasion of Hawaii was a distinct possibility. On this day in 1942 the only thing standing between the weight of the combined Japanese fleet – including a carrier force, and large invasion and surface forces - and the reality of an invasion were three American aircraft carriers, a handful of escorts and a small joint force of Sailors, Marines and Airmen on Midway Island. They were where they were because Naval Intelligence had broken Japan’s naval code allowing Admiral Chester Nimitz to determine the Japanese were heading there. This in itself proved a great advantage, but everyone knows you need to do more than just show up to win. Through a combination of great leadership, judicious application of “calculated risk”, boatloads of courage, determination and sacrifice, and more than a little luck the American forces decisively defeated the Japanese navy at Midway. Four Japanese carriers – along with their air groups - were destroyed, to the loss of one American carrier, USS YORKTOWN. The Japanese advance was stopped dead in its tracks, and ultimate victory was forever put out of their reach.

Second, I see some interesting comparisons between the great victory at the Battle of Midway and the victories won by Boston’s very own Old Ironsides. The United States Navy faced an opponent superior in numbers that was, quite frankly, on a roll and not accustomed to defeat. The balance of sea power was clearly against the United States. In 1812 and 1942, the relatively new ship types – heavy frigates and aircraft carriers - were facing their first tests in combat and earned widespread recognition because of their success. As CONSTITUTION remains the centerpiece of Navy heritage and history today, so is the carrier the centerpiece of America’s power projection capability in the joint force. And, just like Old Ironsides, six of the ships at the Battle of Midway – four destroyers and two cruisers - were built right here in Boston.

But that’s where these faint similarities end. As proud and biased as I am toward CONSTITUTION and her victories, in importance they do not even register on the same scale as The Battle of Midway. The victory at Midway leveled the playing field in the Pacific, and shortly thereafter the allies would take the offensive. More importantly it bought time – time for the United States to execute the “Europe First” strategy agreed upon by the allies. Without the victory at Midway D-Day – which we rightfully hold in all due reverence – may have been delayed (or, worse yet, not have happened). Make no mistake – the Battle of Midway was a world-shaping event.

Finally, we should do it for the veterans - those who were there. There are many books, each with many hundreds of pages that go into excruciating (but very interesting) detail about every aspect of the battle, the ships, the equipment, the role of luck, who made mistakes, etc. etc. ad infinitum. But one fact remains immutable; the victory belongs to those who were there. And all that it gave our nation and the world was bought by the courage and sacrifice of young American Sailors and Marines, in spirit very much the same as those who walked the decks of Old Ironsides two centuries ago. Men like John Chayka and Armand Legare who, in the spirit of those who went before, paved the way for those veterans who came after, and so forth passing on this great American legacy to the young men and women who today sail into harm’s way.

Interestingly enough, I have found one more connection between Old Ironsides and the Battle of Midway. Both have a poem named after them. Many who have taken a tour of my ship (and I hope you all have…it’s free you know) have heard “Old Ironsides” by Oliver Wendell Holmes. Among some material that Mr. Chayka has generously provided, is the poem “Men of Midway” by CAPT John W. Crawford, USN(Ret) who, as an Ensign, served aboard USS YORKTOWN at Midway.

MEN OF MIDWAY

Men of Midway, still on duty,
Far beyond the western shore,
Strong in courage, love of country
Unconquered, as in days of yore.

To the nation, send your message.
Down the years, a clarion call
Whate’er the odds, the answer, courage.
Bravery still will vanquish all.

When the call of duty beckons,
Proud to fight for home and nation,
Rise and meet the foe that threatens
As T’was done on Midway station.

Men of Midway, still on duty,
Down the ages, at the fore
Leading, guiding, still inspiring
As you did in days of yore.

I’m going to quote my boss one more time and leave with you a request (my crew can consider it an order). The CNO further said “In 2010, I intend for each region to host a similar ceremony as a focal point for commands and the community at large”. CONSTITUTION, the origin of our Navy’s history, must keep this day in 2010 and the years that follow. I would respectfully ask that our brothers and sisters in arms, and the communities and organizations of this great city and state, who provide such outstanding recognition and support to our military and veterans, keep this day with us. It is only fitting that we, who together keep and care for the origin of the world’s greatest Navy, take the time to honor and commemorate its greatest victory.

Thank You.

DDay Soldiers on Ship Celebrating Mass

From @WWII on Twitter DDay soldiers on ship celebrating Mass #dday65 #wwii

June 5, 1968

I really can't put more into it than I already have.

From last year -

Kennedy is Dead, Victim of Assassin; Suspect, Arab Immigrant, Arraigned; Johnson Appoints Panel on Violenc

"R.F.K., R.I.P., Revisited"

"Is Everybody Ok?"

"He loved life completely and he lived it intensely."

"The Train"

Thursday, June 04, 2009

More Midway

I love this one. It's CDR Bullard (far left) and the two Midway vets cutting the cake flanked by their spouses.
What's a party without cake?
Eleanor Samuels of the Navy League on the right and CDR Bullard on the left. I know the name of the gentleman in the middle, but for the moment it escapes me. I will come back and fix it. Promise! They are getting ready to present flags and accompanying certificates to the Midway vets. The flags were flown over USS Constitution and USS Cassin Young earlier this morning.
CDR Bullard comes out in the comments and saves me -
"That is CDR Armand F. F. Legare, USN(Ret). Radioman Third Class aboard USS MINNEAPOLIS (CG 36) at Midway. What a fine gentleman."
Again these pics are from Mr. Samuels of the Mass Bay Navy League.

From The Navy League

The Massachusetts Bay Council of the Navy League was present today. I met President Eleanor Samuels. Ivan Samuels emailed me these pics from today. Wayyyyy better than anything I would have taken, lol.

Video From NECN

Yeah, I have surfaced for a few minutes. Someone emailed me pics and someone else sent me this link.

OK, I Know You Expect More From Me

But I have to go lie down. Maybe I'll get up later and blog, maybe not. I was so worried about not getting to sleep early enough last night that I took two pills. Well, then I just had bad dreams and woke up at 0417. Then I sat in the sun and baked my brain....good thing there was no quiz at the end of the ceremony.

But you know, if you thought my plans would survive contact with reality.....well, you haven't been paying attention, lol.

So, CancerGirl (du-du-du-dah!) is going to go take it easy for a bit.

Look on the side at my "Naval Blogosphere". There are lots of good choices there. And don't be fooled by that "one month ago" under SJS. He's got brand new stuff today. I don't know why it doesn't update.

No, I am not putting links in this post....for pity's sake, scroll over, lol. I told you, I'm wiped out.