The USS Indianapolis + 75 Years

Georgia Men Among the Crew of the Ill-fated USS Indianapolis in 1945 Seventy-five years ago, only minutes past midnight on July 30, 1945, the Imperial Japanese submarine I-58 launched two torpedoes in the dark waters of the south Pacific. They sped toward the USS Indianapolis striking her in the bow and at midship. The story of what transpired following the attack is well known to navy veterans and WWII historians and … Continue reading The USS Indianapolis + 75 Years

A Witness to the Start of D-Day

The Neyland home, a bright white house with a long narrow front porch, sits back from the street and is surrounded by the last of spring’s pink and lavender blooms. It’s a quiet street, two blocks off a thoroughfare in Marietta, Georgia, and four thousand miles from where James once stood guard and witnessed the start of the invasion of Normandy on a night in … Continue reading A Witness to the Start of D-Day

At the Century Mark

Am I the only one to notice? It seems I cannot scroll through another Facebook news, or Twitter feed, or Youtube channel without seeing a post or video of a 100-year-old WWII veteran celebrating life. I thought, in these dire times engendered by the coronavirus, it might be worth highlighting a few of these remarkable people. Each and every one has an inspirational and uplifting … Continue reading At the Century Mark

Recognized in a SOTU: Military Wives

Part 2 As promised, this is a follow up to my February 20 blog post, “Recognized in a SOTU, Then What?” in which I wrote about individuals with military affiliations who have been recognized during a state of the union address. Today, I’ll note the handful of women recognized for their lives as wives of military figures and as citizens who made a difference in … Continue reading Recognized in a SOTU: Military Wives

Recognized in a SOTU, Then What?

PART 1 Last week in his State of the Union (SOTU) address, President Trump recognized a number of “ordinary citizens” in the gallery, continuing the practice begun by President Reagan in 1982. This year the group included four members and veterans of the military or their families:  Tony Rankins who served in the US Army in Afghanistan, suffered from PTSD and drug addiction but who … Continue reading Recognized in a SOTU, Then What?

The Three-War Survivor’s League

Just over one thousand men. That’s how many veterans the Veterans Administration estimates still remain of the 72,000 who served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, according to an article by the Panama Herald in May 2019. One of the three-war-veterans was one-hundred-year-old US Air Force Col. Charles McGee (pictured above) who helped toss the coin for the 54th Super Bowl (and 100th NFL season) in … Continue reading The Three-War Survivor’s League

The King and the War

Despite a desire to serve their country in any capacity they could, at the start of the Second World War the military was reluctant to allow blacks to enlist. If they did enlist local draft boards often passed blacks over in favor of white recruits, resulting in fewer than 4,000 black troops and a mere dozen black officers in the ranks in late 1941. Eventually, … Continue reading The King and the War

WWII on Main Street

75 years after the war ended my hometown unveiled a memorial to World War II veterans, and veterans of all wars. On the anniversary of D-Day a crowd (yes, a crowd) in relatively tiny Cumming, Georgia braved the near-winter breezes and just a sprinkling of sun to view the ceremony outside city hall on 100 Main Street. Perhaps fittingly, for today’s generation, the sculpture recognized … Continue reading WWII on Main Street

On Veterans Day: Keepsakes

Historians have traced the origin of dog tags to ancient times. Roman Legionnaires wore a lead emblem bearing their name on a rope they tied around their necks. The Chinese used them in the mid 1800s and the Prussians in the Franco Prussian War in the 1870s. But in America, Civil War soldiers resorted to writing their names on scraps of paper they carried in … Continue reading On Veterans Day: Keepsakes