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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 5 years, 2 months ago at 6:13 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, 8 months ago at 12:56 pm.

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A Date That Will Live in Infamy…

Attack on Pearl Harbor HawaiiThe morning of December 7, 1941 –  seventy years ago today  December 7, 2011 –  The Japanese sprung a surprise attack on the US Navy at Pearl Harbor Hawaii .  Included in the attack were many of the ships docked in the harbor and Hickham Airfield.

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Posted 6 years ago at 6:33 am.

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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 7 years, 1 month ago at 11:56 am.

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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, 11 months ago at 5:50 am.

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Mission: ANC

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

For those who have followed me on Facebook, you have seen how from Saturday morning in the frenzy of the snowstorm, I attempted daily to get into Arlington National Cemetery.  The mission was to capture some of the beauty of this hallowed place in the snow…   ANC closed on Saturday, and when I arrived, the barriers were symbolically across Memorial Drive.

I turned around and decided that Sunday morning was probably a better choice and when I returned on Sunday, I found the roadway of Memorial Drive completely clear thanks to the efforts of the National Park Service.  Alas, the gates of ANC were closed and locked …

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Posted 7 years, 11 months ago at 11:36 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 8 years, 1 month ago at 6:47 am.

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Operation Dragoon 15 AUG 1944

THE FORGOTTEN – OTHER D-DAY….

At the Rhone American Cemetery north of St. Tropez, in the little city of Draguignan, above all the graves, a stone wall is inscribed:
“We who lie here died that future generations might live in peace.”

In all, 250,000 Allied soldiers stormed France’s Mediterranean shores on Aug. 15, 1944, just 70 days after the D-Day landings at Normandy, catching German troops in a pincer so tight that Hitler muttered to aides, “This is the darkest day of my life.”

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Posted 8 years, 4 months ago at 9:36 am.

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I will never leave a fallen comrade…

The news that the remains of the downed US Navy pilot from the first Iraq war was comforting for all and shows the determination to find those who have pledged to defend the United States of America.  They are’ also vigilant to remember a fallen comrade.

A Fallen Comrade Table

A Fallen Comrade Table

Over the years, I have been blessed to capture the final honors of many of those who were considered “Missing in Action” from WW II, from the Korean War, from the Vietnam War — it provides closure for the family, friends and comrades that anxiously await word that someday their loved ones were found.

 
Earlier this year, I attended a US Army Special Forces event and was moved by the narration that began the evening about the table that you see to your left. I was able to secure a copy of the narration and I offer it to you…
“Preserving the memories so others will remember…” ™
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Posted 8 years, 4 months ago at 9:20 pm.

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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 8 years, 7 months ago at 9:20 am.

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