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Photography by John Michael

"Preserving the memories so others will remember"™

Top 10 Things Your Combat Veteran Wants You To Know:

Iron Mike

Iron Mike

One of my Facebook friends (Thanks Chris…) shared this with me and I thought it deserved a permanent place on my website.

Over many years,  since 2000 specifically, I have had the honor of walking and working among many who have and are serving among the United States military. Many of them have shared some of their experiences with me… others haven’t.  In many cases I’ve heard and  seen first hand some of the sacrifices they and those around them have and are making to defend the freedoms that are enjoyed in the United States of America and are the envy of the world.

It is because of the military that I can post this and other items as they have sworn to defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies both foreign and domestic.   I don’t know where or who originally wrote what follows, but I thank them for writing these words….

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Posted 4 years, 7 months ago at 6:13 am.

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ARMY Air Corps becomes ARMY Air Forces

US Army Air Forces Branch Insignia

US Army Air Forces Branch Insignia

It was 20 JUNE 1941 that the US Army Air Corps becomes the US ARMY Air Forces.   Yet it would take until after WW II for the US Air Force to emerge as a separate military service from what the US Army Signal Corps began in 1908 when the Wright brothers responded to the US Army’s request for a heavier than air flying machine.  

 That first military flight occurred on Fort Myer Virginia during September 1908.   It would be in July 1909 that upon the Wright Brothers return to Fort Myer that the Signal Corps of the US Army would accept the Wright Flyer as the approved response to their request.  After an appropriate location was selected while using a gas balloon, the Wright Brothers begin flight training of US Army pilots at what now is College Park, Maryland.  It is where the oldest continuous operating airport in the world, still exists along with a museum to the history of aviation.   Pilots trained at College Park included Frank Lahm and Henry A.  Arnold.

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Posted 4 years, 10 months ago at 6:44 am.

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The Last 2012 Washington DC Cherry Blossoms

Finding a parking pl;ace on the Saturday that they are holding the Cherry Blossom parade in Washington DC is a challenge.  Finally I found one on a street near the Potomac River.  From there Washington DC Cherry BlossomsI had trekked down to the Jefferson Memorial to catch the action of the All-Service Drill Team Competition, something that is a true sight to see — rifles with bayonets fixed the spinning and twirling of the nearly 11 pound weapons by these talented members of the military – the Drill teams of the services:  US Army, US Marine Corps, US Navy, US Air Force, US Coast Guard and the US Merchant Marine.

I had gotten there just as the US Marine Corps began their routine and continued to photograph until they announced the winner for 2012. With the memory card full of hundreds of photos, I walked back around the tidal basin and along the Potomac River – all lined with the cherry trees which normally at this time would still be in bloom, yet a very warm March forced them all to jump out early and now the trees were full of leaves … all except one.

As I approached where my vehicle was parked, there still loaded with blossoms was a cherry tree. An though my extensive inventory of photos from days past includes many cherry blossom photos, it was serendipitous, there was  space for one photo remaining on the memory card in the camera. So here up close and personal is “The Last Washington DC Cherry Blossoms of 2012″ 

For those who missed the spectacular display of color when the  other trees were in bloom, sorry, you’ll have to wait until 2013.

 

Did you see the 2012 cherry blossoms in full bloom?

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Posted 5 years ago at 12:56 pm.

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US Air Force Began Here

Wright Flyer aloft over Fort Myer Drill FieldFirst known as Fort Whipple when it was part of the Defenses of Washington DC during the US Civil War, Fort Myer, Virginia  is key in the US Air Force’s history. A significant milestone, actually the cornerstone, as the first military aviation flights occurred on Post in September 1908 when the Wright Flyer ascended the skies above the drill field.  In response to the US Army’s Signal Corps request, the fledgling craft would spend the days of the next week that September circling the acres where the US Army’s cavalry and field artillery trained and General Philip Sheridan deemed a showcase for the Cavalry.

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Posted 5 years, 7 months ago at 12:46 pm.

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Remembering our military

Saluting Soldier
 

 In a few days, we’ll honor our military on Veterans’s Day –

 
the 11th Month, the 11th Day at the 11th Hour…
 

 The sacrifices that they and their families have and continue to make to defend the freedoms and foundation of the United States of America.

 

 I am fortunate to have a fantastic group of friends and they are always giving me ideas or sending me great insights and items.  This is a special one from Larry who served in the US Marine Corps and I’d like to share it with you.    And please share it with your family and friends as a rememberance of what you have to be thankful.

 

And

Thank you for your service Larrry!

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Posted 6 years, 5 months ago at 11:56 am.

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Over 40 years ago

On 25 APR 1967 we lost another pioneer of the US Army Air Corps…

MG Benjamin Foulois

MG Benjamin Foulois

Major General Benjamin Delahauf Foulois, the first chief of the Army Air Corps to be a military aviator, had a number of “firsts” in his long and illustrious career. His accomplishments spanned 56 years during active-duty and retired military aviation service.

He was a contemporary of  LtThomas Selfridge, who was the first military aviation fatality when the Wright Flyer he and Orville Wright were flying over Fort Myer, VA in 1908 crashed.

General Hap Arnold, the only 5 star General in two service branches was also contemporary of both MG Foulois and LT Selfridge

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Posted 7 years ago at 10:39 pm.

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PART ONE: TOG on a Mission – 2010

Here’s a more in-depth look at the making and background of the calendar – “The Old Guard on Mission – 2010” – some history and little known facts…

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Posted 7 years, 3 months ago at 5:50 am.

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Sometimes we forget the sacrifices..

Today 11 NOV is Veterans’ Day – I thank all  who have given of themselves for their service.

There are nearly 125,000 Americans who are buried on foreign soil among 24 cemeteries in places such as Tunisia in North Africa, Flanders Field in Belgium… Continue Reading…

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Posted 7 years, 5 months ago at 6:47 am.

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Nearly 60 Years ago – Armed Forces Day

In August of 1949, it was Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson who proclaimed 3rd Saturday in May – A day to honor those who are serving in the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard & Marines!

It was 20 MAY 1950, when President Harry S. Truman declared the first Armed Forces Day to thank those who serve to protect the freedoms of our United States of America.

Some 44 million Americans have served in the Armed Forces of the United States according to the Veterans’ Administration. It’s because of them and the ones who now serve that I can sit here and write these words without any cause of concern.

Thank someone in the military today…

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Posted 7 years, 11 months ago at 9:20 am.

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I couldn’t sleep …

Last night was a bit of a challenge, and I continued to wake and finally out of something to distract the active mind, I turned on the laptop and resumed my synopsis of Tuesday… I didn’t finish yet. I must admit I checked email and found that my network of friends & fans continued to grow.

I also saw that a soldier on their 3d deployment was on – it was morning there. but no reason for me to be on. I reached out and we had a nice chat. Nice, but rather disturbing. I learned from him that he had to reach into his own funds and buy ‘necessities’ for his soldiers. I was shocked and dismayed that we send our soldiers into harm’s way and we can’t provide “basic coverage” to do their jobs.

I alerted him to a website that I’ve used repeatedly to surprise the troops with “STUFF” that I have assembled (paperback books, treats, batteries, even my notecards with plenty of pens). I urged him to sign up and see what ‘donations’ he could attract.

I know that it’s tight for a lot of us these days (me included) but if you can, go out to the website http://www.anysoldier.com/ and pick a soldier and find out what they want/need and if you can send it off. You’ll feel better. I know I do when I head to the post office with that package.

They’re fighting for you… won’t you help them?

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Posted 8 years, 3 months ago at 12:47 pm.

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