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

The National WWII Museum

Quick! In what city is The National WWII Museum located? If you answered, Washington, DC you would be wrong. New Orleans has the honor of hosting the museum. New Orleans? Why, other than it is a great place to visit?  Think Higgins Boats, those low slung, battleship gray, flat bottom barges with ramps for unloading men and material. Those very same boats portrayed in WWII … Continue reading The National WWII Museum

Close Encounters of the Presidential Kind

George Herbert Walker Bush (and George W. Bush) Back in the year 2000, my father turned eighty. I was at a loss as to what I could give him to celebrate–like many another elderly gentleman, he had everything he needed and wanted nothing. I’d heard that the White House would send birthday greetings to seniors on their reaching major milestones: eighty, ninety, and one hundred … Continue reading Close Encounters of the Presidential Kind

Shimpai Nai (No Worry)

One of the side benefits of writing World War II stories is the opportunity to stand next to one of the dwindling number of veterans who were there, who witnessed the war up close and personal, and who are here to remind us about the war’s purpose. James Stockton is one of those veterans. He is a former marine–if there is such a thing. I’m … Continue reading Shimpai Nai (No Worry)