September 15, 2009

Back From My First Tailhook Reunion and Symposium

As most of you know, a couple of years ago I took on the task of creating, writing, editing, and taking photos for the Tailhook Association’s blog, “The Tailhook Daily Briefing.”  In the two years I have been the editor, the blog has received over a quarter of a million hits and is regularly landed on hundreds of times daily as the number one return on various Google and Yahoo searches.  All very gratifying for me as I try to give something back the some of my greatest heroes, Naval Aviators.

Well, earlier this year I was informed I had been nominated for “Honorary Tailhooker of the IMG_0111Year” for my efforts.  I can never be nominated for “Tailhooker of the Year” as I am not an aviator, nor do I have any traps or cat shots to my name.  (Maybe someday…).  I was honored by the nomination, hell some of the past winners of the award are former Secretaries of the Navy for God’s sake!  Who wouldn’t welcome being included in such revered  company?

About a month ago, I was informed by “Tag” Ostertag (Naval Aviator Extraordinaire … and not just in his mind!) that I had indeed won the award, and that I was expected to be in Reno to receive my plaque at the Saturday awards lunch.  Again, I was floored!  And Honored! And humbled!


So come this past September 10th, Ginger and I fly out to Reno, to attend my first (Ginger’s too for that matter) Tailhook Annual Reunion and Symposium.  I am glad I went.

We met up in Reno with my long time friend and fellow Tailhooker, Ken Schoeni, (actually Ken has been a Tailhooker longer than I have).  Ken was kind enough to help me take care of a few awkward logistic issues as I would be unable to arrive until late on Thursday night, and would need our registration materials early Friday Morning as we headed off from Reno to see the Blue Angels perform at the September 11th Remembrance NAS Fallon Airshow.

The Airshow was fantastic, Severe Clear and Beer! No better way to see an airshow! 


image image


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After the show, we boogied back in the bus to Reno to attend the Bug Roach Mixer.  A great cocktail party where Hawaiian Shirts and Flight Suits are the Uniform of the Day.  It is a great, cocktail fueled, party where one really has the opportunity to meet and greet the greatest pilots and NFO’s on the planet.

Seriously, I met up with dozens of old acquaintances and made an equal number of new friends at this year’s event.  I ran into a number of folks who are good friends of my Mom and Dad, as well as many familiar faces I had met at the Colorado Tailhooker parties Hans and Kathy Schmoldt have thrown at their ranch in Grand Junction.  Old Home week does not do it justice.

Every night is late night at Tailhook, after the scheduled events everyone regroups at the “Admin Rooms” to continue the camaraderie, the lie story telling competitions, accompanied by various bar games and the obligatory adult beverages!  I’m pretty sure one of the communities was serving up Cubi Cocktails AKA Radford Specials!  Wow, that’ll put hair on your feet!

We returned to our Hotel much much earlier than the young JO’s and somewhat older LCDRs in the crowd, leaving the olympic drinking events to those better able, and wanting… to deal with the after effects of such activities.  Even so it was well after midnight before we turned in. 

The next day after grabbing a few extra winks I headed back to the Nugget (we were staying in the Silver Legacy), but as I hailed a cab, at 10:00am mind you, who should get out but a LCDR and LT I had chatted briefly with at the Mixer the previous evening… they were just rolling in!  And were planning to return to forward battle area by noon!  IN—TREP—ID!

The warm up act before the lunch was the symposium session on “Pushing the Edge of the Envelope” which had current and former Blue Angels on one side pitted against Topgun Aviators on the other!  No better stories to be told than when on the opposing side is the “Oh Yeah?” gang.  I promise to post  few of those tails over at TDB in the future.

Next came the awards lunch, where all sorts of achievement awards were handed to the deserving flight crews, for bombing excellence, missile accuracy, most carrier landings (Traps), 1,000 trap milestones… etc.  And finally the Honorary Tailhooker of the Year.  There were two recipients this year, Mr. Woody Sales, a man who coordinated more Distinguished Visitors tours of carriers this year than anyone else, and insured that countless crewmembers of the USS Roosevelt received free passes to the Ryder Cup Golf Tournament last year!

And then me… 


Wow, what an honor.  I was presented the award by Vice Admiral Thomas Kilcline Jr., Commander, Naval Air Forces, COMNAVAIRPAC, RADM Jay Campbell, Capt Russ ‘Galdis’ Knight

tailhook3 007 (2)

Seriously, I am humbled by the honor.  I love being a Tailhooker, and contributing where I can.  I may not be able to fly for this great nation but maybe I can contribute something on behalf of those who do. 

After the Awards Lunch, the Admiral’s Briefing followed, this is really the event to attend!  It is comprised of a number of Admirals in the Air Navy chain of command, and is the opportunity for a Honest “No Holds Barred” Q&A session of the Navy Leadership.  Cuts to the quick. 

And then the final event of the Reunion is the Formal Banquet.  Where Ginger and I sat with Hans and Kathy, and had the fortune to sit with the CO and XO of VAQ-140 charming men both, and Capt. “Sterls” Gilliam, one of the officers of Tailhook, and one of the most complimentary gentlemen I could have had the fortune of sitting next to.  It made for a great evening of stories and general conversation.

We stayed up late into the morning that night as well, and after Saturday merged into Sunday, and we managed to capture a few hours of shut-eye… not nearly enough… we bid farewell to Reno, and the 2009 Tailhook Reunion, promising to return for 2010’s shindig!

September 15, 2009 in Aviation, Biographical, Just Plain Cool, Military, Navy, Photo, Travel | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack


June 09, 2009

Obama Fears Our Navy?

In a note in the Washington Times, it appears that Midshipmen and Officers at this year’s Graduation and Commissioning Ceremonies at the United States Naval Academy were prohibited from wearing their swords as a protection measure for President Obama.

No… seriously… THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF is concerned that his Military may have weapons that threaten him!


Graduating midshipmen of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis are being told in writing to leave at home or in their vehicles all "ceremonial swords" and anything else "that might be considered a weapon or a threat by screeners" for Friday's outdoor commencement ceremonies featuring an address by President Barack Obama.

Inside the Beltway has obtained the academy's list of prohibited items for this year's graduation exercises, which, besides ceremonial swords, includes umbrellas.


I did some investigating and… Yep… No Mameluke on the Marine General or Sword on the Admiral in the following image from the ceremonies. Understand that in formal Naval Ceremonies (even in choker whites) wearing a sword is optional for the Naval Officer, however, for the Marine it is a “Requirement” as the Mameluke Sword is part of the Dress Uniform!

image image

So it got me to wondering if this was some sort of muckraking pointing to Barak Obama as having the same fear as King James I…Fear of Unsheathed Swords.

So I dug through my photos of another recent ceremony involving a formal Navy occasion and hosting not just the current President (at that time) George W. Bush but also his father former President George H.W. Bush  (also present were the Vice President and the Secretary of State), the commissioning of the USS George HW Bush (CVN-77).  And what did I see?  But any number of swords completely within swinging range of any of the VIP’s and honored guests.  (See the images below of Capt. O’Flaherty wearing his sword while standing immediately next to the President of the United States.) Were any of VIP’s concerned about these men possessing such threatening carving implements.  NOT A CHANCE!  They were honored to be in the presence of such heroes and trust these men and women with their lives and freedom!

image image


Note the immediate above image was taken by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Micah P. Blechner.


So what gives?  Does Obama not trust his Military Officers with cake carvers?


HT Giorgio

June 9, 2009 in Idiots on Parade, Military, Navy, Photo, Politics | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack


May 06, 2009

Ain’t Got the Blues in Colorado this Year!

blues no go 4

Word just out is that the Blue Angels will not be coming to Colorado this year after all.  The Front Range Airshow scheduled for June 13-14, 2009 has been canceled due to airspace confliction with Denver International Airport.  From Denver’s Channel 7 News

Denver International and Front Range airports have canceled the previously scheduled air show, which included performances by the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels aerobatic flight team and other air show performers.

The air show was to take place this summer at Front Range Airport as part of the facility’s 25th anniversary.

Airport officials said they made the decision to cancel the performance after determining the negative impact on commercial air traffic to and from adjacent Denver International Airport was no longer acceptable.

"It was determined that the resulting flight delays and cancellations would cost DIA’s airlines hundreds of thousands of dollars, and adversely impact tens of thousands of passengers," said Kim Day, the manager at Denver Interntional Airport. "We have looked at a number of alternatives in an effort to find a way to make this happen, but the impact is far too immense at this time."

Always wondered about that.  The Blues usually require a 5 nautical mile radius from show center point, and 15,000 feet above ground level (AGL) and this requirement would certainly interfere with DIA (KDEN) operations.  These clearances are required not only on “The Show Day” but are required for:

  1. Thursday from 12:00 to 14:00 (Circle and arrival - 2 hours)
  2. Thursday from 15:00 to 16:15 (Practice-1 hour 15 minutes)
  3. Friday from 15:00 to 17:00 (Demonstration-2 hours)
  4. Saturday from 15:00 to 17:00 (Demonstration-2 hours)
  5. Sunday from 15:00 to 17:00 (Demonstration-2 hours)

DIA Front Range Airport

The Lighter area around Front Range Airport indicates the 5 mile Radius.  This would in effect shut down, at minimum, 3 of Denver International Airport’s Runways to Arriving and Departing traffic. 

As saddened as I am that the Blues will not be here in Denver this year I have to say I can certainly understand.  I might just have to catch them out at Tailhook this year at Fallon.

May 6, 2009 in Aviation, Current Affairs, Navy | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


March 31, 2009

Yippie Skippy-san

Because of who else I write and edit a blog for I cannot go too far out on this limb.  But let’s just say, yep, I couldn’t agree more!

From Skippy-san AKA “Far East Cynic”:

So, lets say hello to Pat Schroeder (Worthless Whore-CO). A bitter, angry, cold hearted, soulless creature, she nonetheless has amassed a considerable fortune. Her entire life has been devoted to one thing and one thing only. Screwing over men at any and every opportunity. Shakespeare even wrote a play about her-The Taming of the Shrew. She takes pride in that fact that she has screwed over legions of men and has a legislative record to prove it. She, probably more than any other woman in the last 30 years, has done more to set back the progress of both men and women. She was, what the Phibian would call, the first Diversity Bully.

I watched first hand as many o fine very reputable aviator got witch hunted into early retirement, for parts they didn’t play in the Tailhook fiasco of 1991, all because they wore the uniform and didn’t necessarily disagree with the fraternal nature of Naval Aviation.

I’m not to fond of Fonda, but there is one worse, …cough cough… nope can’t print that word and still retain my PG-13 rating…  Pat Schroeder is by far my least favorite person on this planet!

March 31, 2009 in Idiots on Parade, Military, Navy, Politics | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


January 13, 2009

Bring The USS George H. W. Bush to Life!

This past weekend I found myself in Norfolk, VA.  I was there with my wife Ginger, and my Mom and Dad to attend the commissioning of the US Navy's newest aircraft carrier the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77).  And what a spectacle it was...


I have witnessed other ships commissioning's including the USS New Jersey back in 1982, Ronald Reagan himself was there for that one.  I have also attended the decommissioning of the USS Midway (CV-41)... truly an emotional day that. 

But alas I had never seen a Carrier "Brought to Life."  My first clue that I might be able to see the GHW Bush commissioned came many months ago when I received an e-mail from the Pre-Commissioning Unit GHW Bush's PAO (Public Affairs Officer) asking if I could provide my father's address to send him an invite to the event... "Hey? What about me?"... "We'll be in touch."

Ok... So a few months later Dad does indeed receive his invite along with the opportunity to invite his family.  Dad asks if I and Ginger can make it.  "Uh... lemme think about it..."

The much anticipated weekend arrives, Ginger and I fly out on Friday from Denver to meet up in Norfolk with Mom and Dad who are driving up from Jax.  All goes smoothly.  Until Saturday morning, the day of the commissioning when I learn from Dad that Mom has been nauseated all night and she will not be able to attend the commissioning.  Damn!  Dad initially was going to beg off too and stay with mom.  But the Navy Wife from Georgia Farm Country wouldn't stand for it!  It's a good thing she doesn't cuss, because if she could, Navy Chiefs would be offended!... Dad decided it would be in all of our best interests if he did indeed attend the event with Ginger and me.  Smart man that Hoagy!


The initial weather forecast for the Commissioning Day was not a favorable one... cloudy skies with a good chance of showers had been predicted for most of the week... however once the day actually arrived we were greeted by "Severe Clear" blown in on a brisk January breeze.


We arrived at Naval Station Norfolk early, as directed on our invites, so we could access Pier 14 though the requisite security in plenty of time to take our seats (we're talking 2 and a half hours before the mark time).

Seaman Jones Once on the pier we began our long walk to the far end to where the "White Tickets" seating was... after moving slowly along with the rest of the herd, Dad made a decision...  I won't elaborate, but let's just say we ended up in much more favorable seats than assigned.  Seaman Jones knew it probably best not to argue, Smart man that Seaman Jones! ;-)


We ended up seated among the members of the USS San Jacinto (CVL-30)Reunion Association.  For those of you who may not be familiar with the importance of the "San Jac..." She was the light carrier then Ensign George H. W. Bush flew from in his TBM "Avenger" Torpedo Bomber.  Ens. Bush (the Navy's youngest Naval Aviator) was forced to bail out of his shot up Avenger after a bombing mission against Japanese radio towers on Chichi Jima. He was rescued by the US Submarine USS Finback.  He later returned to fly and fight from the decks of the San Jacicinto.

USSGHWBush san jac

From the Daily Press

During his remarks at Saturday's commissioning, Bush reminisced fondly about the ship he called "the San Jac." He wished more of his fellow crew members were on hand, he said, but many in the 1,500-member crew have died.

"I feel like Phyllis Diller when she said, "All my friends are dying — in alphabetical order," Bush quipped. "But I'm happy to be here."

USSGHWBush Dad and the Chief2   USSGHWBush the chief

Fortunately those fine veterans from the San Jacinto are as pleasant as most all veterans from the "Greatest Generation" I have ever met.  They welcomed we three interlopers into their party with open arms and many o' tale for we the willing listener.

USSGHWBush marine one2Presidents' Bush and Bush began the festivities by flying aboard the carrier on "Marine One", with the other "Official" party members having already landed shortly before in the VIP CH-53E. This was indeed a who's who event with the following being a mere sampling of the VIPs in attendance:

  • President and Mrs. George W. Bush
  • Former President and Mrs. George H.W. Bush
  • Vice President and Mrs. Dick Cheney
  • Governor of the Virginia Commonwealth, Timothy Kaine
  • Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
  • Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
  • Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter
  • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen
  • Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead

And many more with lots of scrambled eggs on the bills of their covers...

The ceremony began in known and proper formal Navy Tradition, after the announcements of the official party by the USS GHW Bush's Executive Officer, Captain Robert Roth, honors were rendered to President George W. Bush.

GeorgeBushandCaptOflahertyIn the Navy... Honors means GUN SALUTE!  And for POTUS that equals 21 very poignant 3 inch cannon rapports!  Very cool!  Nothing like the feeling in your chest as you count... "WHABOOM!... one,  WHABOOM... two, WHABOOM..." you get the picture.

The colors were paraded, the National Anthem sung by the Naval Academy Choir, and the Invocation asked.  One by one of the Platform guests had their turn at the podium for their prepared remarks, then came time for business.

First the President of the United States and the Secretary of the Navy issue the order to "Place the USS George H.W. Bush into Commission"  this transfers the ship officially into the US Navy's register and the ship is officially now recognized as "USS" for the first time.

take command

Following the commissioning statement, Captain Kevin O'Flaherty formally assumes command of the ship, by stating to the CNO, "Admiral, the USS George H.W. Bush is in commission and I assume command." 

first watch

The first official order for the ship is to "Set the first Watch" at this time former President and ship's namesake, George H.W. Bush issued the order to Lt. Commander George Brickhouse, the first Officer of the Deck, to "Set the first watch!" at the same time issuing the traditional ships spyglass to the OOD.  From this point until the ship's decommissioning a watch will always be set on the ship.


This is moment that is by far the most dramatic in the process of commissioning a United States Warship.  Crew of the ship have been in formation on the pier, awaiting the order to man the ship.  This order is traditionally issued by the Ships Sponsor.  The Sponsor for the USS GHW Bush was George H. W. Bush's daughter Dorothy Bush Koch.  After she took the podium offering her remarks, she concluded with.

"... And now, Officers and Crew of the USS George H.W. Bush man our ship and bring her to life!"

And with a vaulted "AYE AYE Ma'am!" the crew of the USS GHW Bush responded to the long awaited order and did just that, brought the US Navy's newest aircraft carrier to life.


The dockside crew then begins to run... not march... onboard the newly designated United States Warship manning their stations and manning the rails USSGHWBush bring to lifefor all to see the pride they have in serving on the USS George H.W. Bush.  As  more and more of the crew board the vessel, systems begin to "Come to Life."  Radar dishes begin to turn, running lights are illuminated, alarms are sounded, defensive weapons systems are spun up twisting in a mechanical dance smooth yet menacing none the less.  An F/A-18F is taxied by the deck crew on the flight deck immediately above the presenters on Elevator 2, again the cannon is fired and finally the ships whistle is blown in a long monotone deep howl! 

USSGHWBush_233 USSGHWBush on the rail

The cacophony of sights in sound must be seen, felt and heard to be believed.  An awesome spectacle of precision, tradition, discipline and pride!  One like me is simply humbled by the experience.  Our nation can take pride knowing the men and women now serving on the USS George H.W. Bush will be there for us.


Thank you Officers and Crew of USS George H.W. Bush... Bravo Zulu!

More of my photos from the commissioning are now posted here [Link]

January 13, 2009 in Aviation, Current Affairs, Just Plain Cool, Military, Navy, Photo, Travel | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


November 18, 2008

Hoagy Carmichael Turns 75 Today!

Today is my Dad's Birthday! And,I am really bummed I cannot be in Jax for his 75th Birthday, however, I know he is surrounded by his friends Hoagysheros from the neighborhood and the church this evening having a good time. 

I wanted to give Dad something nice for his birthday so I sent him my first copy of "We Own The Airfield and the Airspace" as both a gift and a thank you for all the inspiration he has given my in my love for Naval Aviation... Signed of course with a nice long note.

imageI think it odd when I realize Hoagy is 75 today and Naval Aviation is only now approaching 100 years in 2011.  Which means NAVAIR was a whopping 22 years old when the Naval Aviator I respect the most showed up on the scene, to earn his wings some 21 years later.

But I also wanted to give Dad something fun... I came up with this... I hope he likes it.  (or at least my readers do...)

Happy Birthday Dad! I Love Ya!!!!!

November 18, 2008 in Aviation, Biographical, Just Plain Cool, Military, Navy | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack


November 06, 2008


Well sort of...


I've created and published my first book, "We Own the Airfield and the Airspace!" It is actually an experiment in using the popular book making organization "Blurb." 

I have to say I'm mostly happy with the experiment thus far.  The process of creating (layouts), editing, and writing were all fairly easy. 

I learned of Blurb through an announcement on my Smugmug account and, not too long ago, I had received a book published in a similar way from a good friend of mine.  So I wanted to see if I could assemble a compelling photo essay of something that most interests me... as Brad Wilson so noted in a recent comment to one of my more political posts... "Shiny Airplanes!"

"We Own the Airfield and the Airspace!" is a photo essay of the Grand Junction 2008 Airshow, emphasizing the US Navy Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron.  Other aircraft featured are the US Air Force F-15 Eagle and F-16 Viper, as well as warbirds like the P-51 Mustang and B-25 Mitchell and Civilian acts like Gene Soucy and his Showcat and Les Shockley in his rocket truck "Shockwave"!

The process involves signing up as a Blurb user, very standard. Then you will need to download the FREE formatting software, which is actually a great way to do this as you can assemble, write, format etc... entirely off line if need be.

Blurb is very well connected to a number of photo sites and blog sites making importing your content from your Blog or your online photo albums a breeze!  I grabbed my photos both from my smugmug account and my hard drive.

The software makes formatting super easy!  You can select from a large number of pre-built themes or create one entirely of your own.  The select the aspect ratio of the book you want (portrait, landscape, square, big coffee table size, etc...) and then soft cover, hardcover jacketed, or hardcover image wrap.  Once complete with the preliminaries, you are free to create!  the internal pages have a wealth of templates to choose from that render very professional outcomes.  All you have to do is simply drag and drop which of your image you want on the page into the gray area designated... and voila' it shows up there, where you then have the opportunity to resize and manipulate the image to you liking.  Editing text is a similar easy process.

Once you have what you like... you click "Publish" and your software connects to the Blurb servers (under your account) and begins to assemble your book, you'll be prompted to answer a few questions, then you will want to order your first copy.  It is HIGHLY recommended you order one for yourself to receive a "Proof" if you will... because unless you are a super dedicated photographer and have calibrated your screen exactly to match color, your exposures colors and image quality will be off slightly.  You can use the first copy as a guide to change your book's photo quality, color, brightness, etc... before you take the plunge and expose your work to others!  That's right you can sell your creations right from the site!  They even allow you to set a price (above their cost of course) so if you have a quality product, you might even make a small profit.

I received my first copy today (8 business days after I ordered it) delivered via FedEx ground.  And indeed the cover and binding are very professionally done and easily meet up to most professional publishing standards.  The internal pages are well binded and printed.  I ordered on premium paper, and I would recommend always doing so, I've seen the other and... well it lacks!  Even so, the internal page quality of premium paper could use an even higher boost, but in all honesty it is quite adequate for amateur publishing.  But again... if you choose to make a book, I would not waste time with anything less than the premium paper.

Also, one other slight (and I do mean minor) drawback was in the creation process of the cover, I wanted more flexibility in creating my title.  Blurb does provide a plethora of fonts, colors and scales to choose from, however the effects offered are extremely limited (not much much more complex than an e-mail editor... limited to bold, underline, italics...) I could not locate simple additions like shadowing, embossing etc...  Fortunately I have Photoshop at my disposal to create a title look I am happy with, but most of us do not ($600.00 for photo editing software is not in most people's budgets).

All in all I am quite happy with the results, certainly the service has been exemplary.  I would like to see slightly higher quality internal pages, but again it is probably a limit of the "On-demand" publishing agencies used.

If you would like to preview my book, click here:  "We Own The Airfield and the Airspace" you will be able to virtually thumb through the first 15 pages.  And hell, if you want to contribute to the Carmichael Enterprises (Guinness fund) bottom line please feel free to purchase a copy.  Especially if you like Shiny Airplanes! 

November 6, 2008 in Aviation, Biographical, Books, Current Affairs, Just Plain Cool, Navy, Photo, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack


October 04, 2008

Grand Junction Airshow 2008... A photo essay...


Last weekend I had the great pleasure of attending the Grand Junction Airshow.  This one is always  a fun one for me as not only do we go to a great airshow, but we also attend one of the coolest Tailhook Parties of the year, Hans and Kathy Schmoldt's Cattle Barons BBQ! More on that in a later post.

This year had some added perks, as editor of the Tailhook Daily Briefing (The Tailhook Association's Blog) I was afforded a few extra opportunities this year.

Thanks to Darlyne Merkel, the official airshow photographer and Julie Schafer the marketing coordinator of the show, I had the opportunity to Interview and photograph the Blue Angels, and was granted access to the entire practice day at the field.  I cannot thank these two wonderful ladies enough! 

And none of this would have happened without the help of Kathy Schmoldt who reached out to Darlyne to assist me in attaining access to the show.  Thank you Kathy you are always there for we Tailhookers! 

So, below are some of my favorites from this year's show, I have more on my smugmug account and I'll be posting an article about my interview with the Pilot of "Fat Albert," Marine Captain Brendan "Cletus" Burks over on The Tailhook Daily Briefing.


DSC_0007b DSC_0038b


DSC_0079b DSC_0092c


DSC_0208c  DSC_0129 DSC_0052 DSC_0110 DSC_0322bDSC_0436

DSC_0289c  DSC_0306bDSC_0281b  DSC_0026 DSC_0141bDSC_0229b DSC_0105b  DSC_0222b DSC_0067b DSC_0107b Fat landing IMG_6859  DSC_0003b DSC_0296b DSC_0113b DSC_0210 Bert Low 2 DSC_0184b

DSC_0057 DSC_0144DSC_0162b  DSC_0206DSC_0063

DSC_0304   DSC_0369



October 4, 2008 in Aviation, Biographical, Just Plain Cool, Military, Navy, Photo, Travel | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack


September 09, 2008

A Good Way To Remember Those Who Gave All

From my buddy Stu ...


Your blog readership is much larger than mine. I just published a post I'd like you to consider either linking to or re-posting on one of yours. Permission has already been granted by the original author. Thanks, this is one of those causes you can't ignore.


Republished from Stu's Blog, It's Only Rocket Science

Below is some gently edited text from Doc Doolittle, a gentleman I have known for a short time but am getting to know better and whom I have a great amount of respect for. Thanks to all for taking the time to read and remember. Text below:

Greetings to all I wish to take a few minutes of your time to share. I am not asking that everyone who gets the word contribute to the cause but I am asking that you, and any you forward this on to, take a moment on 23 October 2008 to Remember the Peacekeepers that lost their lives in Beirut on that date in 1983 as well as those between 1982 & 1984.

I will be comforted in knowing that my efforts to get the word out and for people to remember these fallen warriors is enough. This is not a political event; nor is it likely to get much publicity. I am doing what I can in their memory and with your help this will be a successful event.

If you have any questions please contact me at the published email address in the text below.  Thank you for passing the word.


Beirut Remembrance Walk - 25th Anniversary of the Bombing of the Beirut Barracks 23 October, 1983, to benefit The Wounded Marine & Family Assistance Program and Veterans Memorial Day Tribute.

In this first-time walk of remembrance, Doc Doolittle (Sgt. USMC 1/81 - 6/91, Marine Security Guard Beirut 7/85 - image7/86), challenges everyone to never forget the sacrifices that were made by our Marines, Sailors and Soldiers as he walks 271 miles from Virginia Beach, VA to the Marine Corp Base at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC. "Our goal is simple; we will organize a walk to honor our fallen brothers and their families", Doc states.

This walk is to not only mark the 25th anniversary of that tragic event, but also to remember each Service Member's life lost in Lebanon from 1982 - 1984. It is so friends, family of the fallen, veterans and anyone else has an opportunity to walk a mile for one of our own that were killed in country. The walk will kick-off on 1 October in Virginia Beach, VA and cover 271 miles (one for each man lost), and will culminated at the Beirut Memorial (Jacksonville, NC; just outside Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base) on 23 October, 2008.

image In Doc’s words, “I am walking to remember those Marines, Sailors and Soldiers that 'Gave All' during that period. I know a number of family members and veterans and it is the least I can do to show honor to them and the memory of the fallen.”

A $10 donation will provide lodging, food and support transportation on the walk and all monies over and above costs will be divided equally and sent to the two sponsors listed below.

For further information on how you can be involved, please contact Doc Doolittle by clicking HERE

  • The Wounded Marine & Family Assistance Program by clicking HERE
  • Veterans Memorial Day Tribute (Denver, CO) by clicking HERE

September 9, 2008 in Current Affairs, Just Plain Cool, Military, Navy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


May 06, 2008

Red Bull Air Races in San Diego!

While in San Diego this past weekend we had the opportunity to watch some of the Red Bull Air Races... actually they were taking place right outside our hotel room on Coronado! 

Words cannot do it justice, so here's a bit of a photo montage to capture the moments!  If only I had the sound of those props!  Wow!   Enjoy...

IMG_5695b IMG_5676b IMG_5680b IMG_5655IMG_5255b  IMG_5252a

IMG_5234 IMG_5169

IMG_5669  IMG_5671b






May 6, 2008 in Aviation, Just Plain Cool, Navy, Photo, Sports, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack