US Army Retired

US Army Retired

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I've lived upon this earth 73 years and can never remember one day when I was not completely, totally proud of my country, The United States of America.

That is – until today, November 7th, 2012.

As of the 2010 Census, there are 305,358,275 American citizens
Of those, 225,746,457 are eligible to vote
Yet only 169,000,000 bothered to register to vote
And, of those, only 116,713,320 VOTED!

Pres Obama receives 59,667.012 votes over Gov Romney's 57,046,308 [with more to be counted], the lowest percentage of win in generations.

So, only about 68% of Americans registered to vote bothered to vote and the president was re-elected by a mere 25% of citizens eligible to vote.

[My math may be a bit fuzzy, but I think you get the point.]

2012, to me, was a most important election as it was a chance for Americans to decide which way they wanted this nation to go in the future. The big-government policies of the president or the free enterprise policies of the governor.

But, let's go even beyond the presidential results and look to the Senate. Fauxahantas won? You gotta be kidding me! I guess I never expected the Whatever Wrestling Thingie to win Lieberman's seat. And, Murdock put his big foot in his mouth giving a Democrat the seat. The toughest part is seeing Dingy Harry, from my state, as Senate Majority Leader [at least until the mid-terms!].

I could go on a rant as to my opinion of the president – but that will do no good. I can only express my deepest sorrow that Governor Romney did not run the kind of campaign needed to ensure his victory. All I do know is that the president DOES NOT have a mandate! He only holds his office because far too many American citizens fail to take responsibility for the future of this country and don't bother to even register to vote – let alone make the mighty effect to vote. What a sad comment about our nation.

My only hope is that the U.S. House of Representatives will continue to be “obstructionist” and do everything it can to halt the president's efforts to turn us into a Socialist Paradise. Shades of Big Brother.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Betrayal proudly announces the release of War Story Anthology comprised of stories written by US veterans and military personnel. It will be available November 11, 2012 at, <> and major eBook retailers.

Yours truly is very pleased to announce that my short story, Betrayal, has been selected for inclusion in the anthology.

All proceeds will benefit MilSpeak Foundation, Inc. (501c3), which exists to raise awareness about creative works by military people to a more visible and influential position in American culture. MilSpeak Books, the nonprofit, independent publishing division of MilSpeak Foundation, publishes only creative works by military people. Visit <

This is a short story that has never appeared on this site and tells of the emotions of a soldier in his private life. I look forward to reading the anthology and want all of you to know that 100% of the proceeds goes to the foundation to help military authors.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Sweet Little Girl In Our Lives

Not exactly related to military service, but ...

We had a Pit/Australian Shepherd we raised from a pup. Buddy was a great watch dog and we loved him dearly. One night, while we slept, he either got out or someone took him. It was difficult to believe as he would've had to go over an 8' wall in order to get out.

We looked everywhere for him with no results.

One does not realize how attached we get to an animal until they're gone.

Our son's girlfriend raises Pomeranians. She had a little of four, three girls and a boy. My wife fell in love with one of the girls but sadly discovered just how allergic she was to them. We sadly had to give them up.

Then another son stopped by one day with the most precious little dog we'd ever seen. A miniature Chihuahua, she weighs between 2 and 3 pounds and fits in the palms of my hand. We laughingly say she has the ears of a mule [fuzzy], the neck of a giraffe, and the tail of a mouse. She was 4 months old and the previous owner had a little boy who didn't know how to care for a pet.

In the past 2+ months, out little Pixie has become a part of our lives. She greets us in the morning, whines when we leave her home along, and lets us know how happy she is to see us with a tail wagging como loco. [She is, after all, a little Mexican! And she has become bi-lingual as we speak both English and Spanish to her.]

We'll be going to Mazatlan in November and she's going with us. We have a great hotel apartment where they accept dogs and we know we can take her with us wherever we go. Just wish I had a picture to upload.

Anyhow, we're thankful every day for her presence.

Has a dog effected your life? Tell me about it.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Yellow Journalism Rag

After years of posting items and participating in discussions on the Las Vegas Review/Journal eforums, I finally gave up.

It was one of my most difficult decisions. I have always defended the rights of any- and everyone to speak their minds, no matter how disgusting or inane I thought them to be. But, there comes a time when constantly being insulted and threatened reaches a point of no more acceptance.

A poster there, hiding behind the pseudonym "Shurn" not only insulted me, but my wife! I could no longer tolerate such vitriolic hatred by a putrid piece of swine excrement like that - and said so!

Even worse, after contacting the Editor-in-Chief, no action was taken against Shurn whose posts were clearly against the rules of the forum.

I have unashamedly supported conservative causes and find the current occupant of the Oval Office a vile individual who clearly hates America and wishes to turn it into a socialist/fascist nation. I never hid those feelings from anyone and have done all I could to spread the word about his history and associations. I guess that was simply too much for the mind-numbed sycophants who cannot think for themselves and can only repeat the party line or call names or use vile language to attack the truth instead of trying to logically refute it.

So, while I do not plan to turn this into a place for political or ideological discourse, I could not go on without expressing here my complete disgust for such individuals.

I will miss many of the posters there - and be glad to be rid of others. Fortunately, this pig turds cannot spread their slime here to inflict that muck and mire to those who have chosen to follow or read these blogs.

If any of you can recommend other discussion forums, please let me know.

Thank all of you for putting up with this.

Til next time and hopefully a cheerier post.

Monday, July 16, 2012


The internet is a boon to anyone seeking information. With a click of a mouse, one may connect with endless libraries, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and directly to people and places throughout the world. It offers unlimited discourse between people of all races, beliefs, locales, and economic situations.

In the early 1980's I logged onto electronic bulletin board systems (EBBS) where we shared ideas and information with the world. Most of that intercourse was civil. Personal attacks were unheard of.

Journalism has always included personal attacks, some far, far worse than what we see today. How can the media not be biased? It is owned by individuals with beliefs who hire those with similar ideals to write and spread opinions similar to theirs.

Until several years ago, the press and broadcast media held a primary place in the spreading of information. However, this leadership is being overshadowed by internet websites and Blogs (Web Logs or online journals). Some of these blogs have more followers than many large city periodicals or viewership of certain television and radio sources.

And then, there are electronic discussion forums. These forums cover the entire spectrum of ideas and information. If you have a special interest, hobby, or career field, there is a plethora of forums just for you. They also deal with age, ethnicity, religion, and yes, politics. Many newspapers provide forums for their readers to exchange information.

But, the most expanding area of information exchange takes place in the area called Social Media. Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, indicates that;

Social networking now accounts for 22% of all time spent online in the US.

A total of 234 million people age 13 and older in the U.S. used mobile devices in December 2009.

Twitter processed more than one billion tweets in December 2009 and averages almost 40 million tweets per day.

Over 25% of U.S. internet page views occurred at one of the top social networking sites in December 2009, up from 13.8% a year before

As this information is three years old and the availability of devices for accessing social media has blossomed beyond belief! These figures have to be far below current 2012 figures.

There are so many social media services that I don't know where to begin. Facebook. Twitter. Linked In. YouTube. On and on and on. Have you ever seen four people sitting at a table in a restaurant, each of them busily texting on their cell phones? Are we losing the art of talking to people face-to-face?

And yes, there is a very important upside to this social media! Witness some recent instances where people did some truly horrid and stupid things and were caught in the act by someone recording it on a cell phone, then sharing that information with the world. What would have happened if some alert individuals had not taken the time to record the act?

However, the use of pseudonyms to hide one's true identity is bringing about a dark and dangerous side to this amazing tool. When one individual does not like the viewpoint or information you are sharing, instead of responding with a counter argument or logical explanation, the responses are far too often personal attacks and name-calling, some of it even degenerates into gutter language and libelous charges.

This is not to say that such extremism has not existed before now. There were and still are many groups and organizations that do not tolerate any but their own opinions and beliefs. But, with but a few months to go until the 2012 General Election, those extremists have expanded their efforts a hundred-fold in order to force their beliefs upon the rest of us. We are no longer just Americans. We have to have hyphenated designations and names. There are the horrid rich who gained their evil fortunes using the poor and downtrodden. There are the poor masses with no chance in life if it not be for government largess. All blacks are liberals. Only certain few Uncle Tom African-Americans are conservatives and they are blasted for being so. Every well-to-do white person is a greedy individual who cares for nothing but themselves. The vast majority of middle-of-the-road Americans are simply too stupid to make their own decisions.

When and where does this stop? Does it always get down to a legal charge or suit to abate the vitriol? Does the blame game ever stop?

I will openly admit I am writing this because I have recently been the recipient of vile and vitriolic attacks in the electronic forum of The Review/Journal newspaper in Las Vegas. I have been called a variety of names that would anger any non-saintly person. My wife, who has never expressed a single opinion, has all but been accused of being an illegal and a prostitute. And the R/J continues to let it happen – another example of just how deep into the mire the media has sunk.

I sincerely hope that somehow we will find a way to make our way back to a point where we discuss our differences in a reasoned, well-though-out, and civil manner.

Sadly, I am not keeping my fingers crossed.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Aother Delay

It will be a little bit before I post again.

First, I just received the first edit of my historical novel, The Sailor and The Carpenter. After going through the editor's comments/changes, I have to do a line-by-line review of my own. At 110k, that's not going to be quick.

After that, I am going to do a rough first draft of a novella about the live and times of Governor Rivera of

But, I WILL be back as soon as possible.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Step II - Inprocessing

The sharp notes of Revile roused me from a light sleep and I was in the shower before the sergeant came through the barracks. Even over the sound of the running water, I heard him yelling at the “lazy 'cruits, too stupid to drag their butts out of the sack.” [My words are, of course, a bit milder than what the sergeant had to say.]

It felt strange not to have a uniform to don but I found my way to the street, waiting for someone to point out where we were to form up. A corporal appeared and pointed to a spot. As I moved to it, he asked, “Prior service?” I nodded and he told me I'd be the formation guideon. It didn't take long 'til the others shambled outside, followed by the sergeant still indicating his poor opinions of them.

After the national anthem and raising the flag, we straggled our way to the messhall for breakfast. A lot of GIs have complained about Army food for generations but, the truth is, it's actually quite good. The hot and hearty coffee perked me up while a heaping pile of scrambled eggs, crisp bacon, country-fried potatoes, and toast with lots of butter and jam, filled my tray. I found a place to set and watched the others in the room. All but our group already had their uniforms so we naturally stood out. Snickers and asides showed the disdain of those who felt themselves better than us.

After chow, we were marched – or at least the sergeant tried to teach the others how to march – to a building where we stripped down to skivvies and lined up for step one of becoming a soldier – a haircut. [I look at today's fashions and laugh at those who pay to have their heads all but shaved.] From there, we went through another into a large room with tables down the length, each piled high with uniforms. The civilians behind the tables didn't have to use measuring tapes, simply eying each of us and tossing folded clothes at us to dump into a large duffel bag we'd picked up at the door. We went into yet another big bay where he stripped down and changed into military gear.

Our next stop was another bay filled with desks. We went through the process of filling out forms which where then typed up and put into a buff-colored folder – out 201 File, something that would follow us throughout our military service. As we finished, we were led in front of a camera where out picture was taken – I seem to remember we were separated into groups of a dozen. The film went to the lab to be developed and we went into another room to wait.

It there's any military motto, it's “Hurry up – and wait!”

Once the pictures were ready, we were called up to review and sign the small card that was to become our identification card. The picture was pasted to it and it went through a sort of oven where plastic was melted around it. 
From there, we were led back to our barracks where the sergeant calmly [Yeah. Sure] told us to sort and use a black marker to put our identification numbers on each – except for the socks. RA19599748. Lord! I don't know how many years it's been since I used that number but it's something one never forgets. Numbers starting in RA meant Regular Army – or volunteers. US meant Draftee, the vast majority of those in my group. We were given until noon to finish that before being marched back to the messhall for lunch.

Another hearty meals with lots of calories. Actually, according to the USDA, a well-balanced meal. Turns out we needed the calories as, after lunch, we got our first taste of the military – an after-lunch stroll at double time! Two miles in length, at least half of the group falling out after one. I still don't know how but I managed to make it the entire length before collapsing to fight from barfing my guts out.

We had no time to recuperate as the sergeant took the opportunity to form us up – I was now the groups guideon – to march us back to the barracks, picking up the stragglers along the way. I am certain it was a hilarious sight as some of the 'cruits couldn't tell their left from their right feet and had absolutely no idea of how to stay in step with the rest of us. We spent the entire afternoon marching. We finally broke for dinner. I have a very faint memory that it was some kind of roast beef, mashed potatoes, vegetables, a large bowl of soup, a desert, and all the milk we could drink.

But, the day wasn't done.

After Retreat – the lowering of the flag - our NCOIC, Noncommissioned Officer in Charge, felt the need to teach us how to put our things in the footlocker and wall-locker at each bunk. He also spend the time explaining the proper way to make a bed. At last, we heard Taps followed by the blaring of speakers all over the area, “Lights out!”
I'd made it through my first full day back uniform.

I spent two or three days in the processing center, fidgeting because I couldn't figure out why they had not published my orders. But, at last, I was called out of formation and told to report to the personnel building. A clerk sat me down and asked if I wanted Advance Leave to go home before reporting to Fort Bliss. “I just came from there, specialist. No need to go back.” He smiled and looked into an army pamphlet with the various travel times from one post to another. [Yes, I once used it too.] According to it the distance was 940 miles. As 500 miles per day, that meant I would have three days to get there. He asked if I wanted to go to the finance office for an advanced pay or perhaps a travel voucher and smiled when I told him I had my car and didn't need any money. It was but a matter of minutes until he completed a mimeograph form, took it to the personnel officer for his signature, and put it on the machine, cranking the handle to turn out fifty copies of my orders. [Didn't want to run short, did we.]

I was ready to go right then but had to wait until the following day to sign out out in Orderly Room. I awakened right after midnight, showered, shaved, and put on my khaki uniform, gathered up my duffel bag, and walked to the Orderly Room. The Charge of Quarter's eyes widened when he saw me but glancing at my orders told him it was okay. I walked to where my car was parked and unlocked it – I only had my door key with me, the rest were hidden under the front seat – and tossed my duffel in the back. Putting my key chain back together, I let out a sigh and started the car. 
The military policeman at the gate stopped me, carefully checked my ID and orders, then smiled and waved me on through. 
I was on my way on the second step of my journey back in the Army. Off to learn how to become a heavy truck driver.

[Wanna bet yet?]

Sunday, June 3, 2012

On My Way

I swore the oath and the recruiter handed me a set of mimeographed orders. I had 24 hours to report to the processing center at Fort Ord. The other recruits were loaded into a van [as I had been the first time] to go to the main processing center in downtown Los Angeles.

My car was gassed up, everything I owned in the trunk, and I’d said all my goodbyes. I turned the ignition and the big Police Interceptor V8 roared to life. Off I went west on Olympic Boulevard headed for The Pacific Coast Highway and U.S. Route 101 - there were freeways but no Interstates like today. Eisenhower had started the nation-wide project to equal the Autobahns of Germany, but they were still a long way from where they were planned to be.

PCH was quite familiar to me. It was the way to reach some truly beautiful beaches where all you had to do was find a parking spot off the highway and walk down steep paths to reach sometimes isolated beaches. A great place to take dates.

I have always loved the California coastline. It has some truly beautiful vistas and an hour or two in a tide pool will make you appreciate just how diverse life on this planet can be. Once past Malibu, the CHIPS didn’t hassle you and the needle soon reached the 85mph mark. I, of course, had to slow down for Ventura and Santa Barbara but picked up speed to Pismo Beach.

As I did not yet an ID card, I couldn’t stop for lunch at Vandenberg AFB, so I stopped at Santa Maria, finding a nice little roadside diner. A good old burger and fries with a strawberry malt and I was back on the road.

I’d never driven that far north so I’d bought a Rand/McNally Atlas so knew where I was going. The main highway with the faux mission bells went one way and I took California state highway one to Cayucos and Cambria. I wish I’d had time to visit Hearst Castle but made it a point to do so the first chance I got.

I’m sure you’ve seen these pictures but they really can’t show you the awesome views with the tangy smell of the ocean.

A brief stop at Big Sur and I was on my way. It was growing late when I reached Carmel and made it over the hill to Monterey. I knew the processing point was open 24 hours so, after a light snack at a diner in town, I headed up the highway to the main gate. My driver’s license and my orders got me onto the post and the military policeman gave me a map [which I didn’t need] to the processing center.

There I was once again. Only this time with a difference - I was no longer a raw recruit but a Previous Service type with the rave of Private. I reported in and was led to a barracks where I was issued a mattress, pillow, sheets and a blanket. I was told to be in the morning formation so I could start in processing and be issued my military uniforms and equipment.

The ‘Cruits stared at me as I’d already been there and knew what to expect. I was too tired to chat it up so I stripped to my skivvies and hit the sack.

Tomorrow I’d be a soldier again.