Family, History, War

“His Holiness Will Receive You in a Few Moments. I could Have Dropped Dead!”

One of the touchstones of my life has always been the story of how my dad met the Pope, in Rome, on June 5, 1944. Truth be told, my mother always pooh-poohed the whole thing a bit (not unusual for Mum to do something like that, especially for an event in which she wasn’t the main… Continue reading “His Holiness Will Receive You in a Few Moments. I could Have Dropped Dead!”

Culture, Plain Speaking, Politics, War

The Simple Things

More than five years ago (November 2016, just before the election), I wrote this post on Ricochet.  I've not posted it here yet, but today I do. A headline in today's Telegraph: "A Shell Crushed the Family Next Door." Memories. For Ukraine.  And the glory of the simple things.   I spent several hours this… Continue reading The Simple Things

Quote of the Day, War

Russian Soldiers: “We were deceived and used like meat shields”

Unlike many these days, I don’t pretend to know exactly what’s going to happen in Ukraine over the short and long term.  My own position is that Russia has invaded a sovereign country that has just as much right to make its own way as does any other, and that that fact in and of… Continue reading Russian Soldiers: “We were deceived and used like meat shields”

Culture, Family, History, Life, Plain Speaking, Quote of the Day, War

Rosyjskie Diabły

I learned that little Polish phrase from the late Mr. She, not very long after I met him, on a day when we were swapping stories about our eccentric and (in wholly different ways) exceptional families. It’s one of the few (SFW) bits of Polish I know, and I say it with great determination and… Continue reading Rosyjskie Diabły

Culture, Military, USMC, War

An Update on (Former) USMC LtCol Stuart Scheller

LtCol Stuart Scheller’s service in the United States Marine Corps came to an end on December 23, 2021 when he was separated from that service with a General Discharge Under Honorable Conditions.  Having served only seventeen of the requisite twenty years in order to qualify for a pension, he will not receive one.  In addition,… Continue reading An Update on (Former) USMC LtCol Stuart Scheller

History, Literature, War

“Theirs But To Do and Die”

Some things never change. On 25th October 1854, during the Battle of Balaclava, 670 British soldiers under the command of Lord Cardigan, launched an ill-fated attack upon a well-defended Russian artillery battery and sustained 40 percent casualties in the form of approximately 120 killed, and at least 160 wounded. Fifty were taken prisoner. Also killed… Continue reading “Theirs But To Do and Die”

Loss, War

The Best Way to Memorialize the Dead…

...is to tell their stories. That's what I've tried to do, over the years, with my family members--father, mother, husband, stepson Sam, stepson Mike, friend Colleen, Mr. Right's first wife, and many others I've lost over the years.  Some of them certainly didn't start out as natural allies.  But they ended up as beloved friends.… Continue reading The Best Way to Memorialize the Dead…

History, Quote of the Day, War

December 7, 1941: A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

President Franklin D. Roosevelt asks the United States Congress to declare that a state of war now exists between the United States of America and the Japanese Empire: https://youtu.be/lK8gYGg0dkE   On this eightieth anniversary, then U.S. Navy Seaman 1st Class David Russell, now 101 years old, revisits Pearl Harbor for the service commemorating those who… Continue reading December 7, 1941: A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

Book Review, Guest Post, War

Book Review by Seawriter–Dreadnoughts at War

The dreadnought battleship was an iconic technology in the first half of the twentieth century. Nations poured millions into their construction. Despite – or perhaps because of – the money spent building them, they were rarely used. Clash of the Capital Ships: From the Yorkshire Raids to Jutland, by Eric Dorn Brose, presents one period… Continue reading Book Review by Seawriter–Dreadnoughts at War

Book Review, Guest Post, War

Book Review by Seawriter: Adventure in the Persian Gulf

Jack “Rattler” Owen had a dream when he was growing up--to become a US Navy fighter pilot. He is now a Navy pilot in today’s US Navy, but he is flying the E-2C Hawkeye, not fighters. Treason Flight, a thriller by T. R. Matson opens with Owen discovering flying the Hawkeye can be every bit… Continue reading Book Review by Seawriter: Adventure in the Persian Gulf