3 Quarters Today

My Life, my photography, my passions

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Operation Longhorn was the Jade Helm of the 1950’s

Everyone is up in arms about Jade Helm, but have you heard about Operation Longhorn? Watch YouTube or many of the alternative media outlets and according to them, the military is preparing to take over cities across the United States and enact martial law.

Military invades Texas Jade Helm Style

Texas Newspaper Article on Military Invasion

“Little Lampasas tonight waited for a green clad enemy to take it over- to test Army military government and to show what happens when you lose your everyday liberties”

“…it took us about a month to convince some people that this ” play” war wasn’t going to mean they were going to be pulled out of their beds at midnight”

Ok, take a deep breath and calm down. This was written in In April of 1952 when over 115,000 military men and women of the Army and Air Force invaded Lampasas Texas and occupied an area of 1,800 sq miles. This was before the age of social media and I imagine few outside of Texas knew about the 18 day operation.

First let me tell you I am NOT a conspiracy theorists, I am a realist and realize that the possibility of keeping a secret between more than a dozen citizens, or thousands of military members and hundreds of journalists just is impossible. I do not believe in the 911 conspiracies, death squads, death camps, or the gloom and doom some are predicting about Jade Helm. Entire books have been written about Jade Helm and I’ll be interested to see how many conspiracy theories are debunked and end up being false.

Debunked!: Conspiracy Theories, Urban Legends, and Evil Plots of the 21st CenturyWhat Is The Jade Helm 15 Project?:  Is it Martial law?Jade Helm Prophecy: A Revelation From Rev. David SteeleJade Helm 15: The Patriot Report (The Strategic Incremental steps towards martial law in America)

Largest Civilian Military Exercise in the United States

There have been several military training exercises that use public land and use civilians to role-play casualties. If you live near an Army National Guard base you see trucks, tanks, and other military equipment, you get used to maneuvers and understand the relationship with the local military and the citizens of the area. However, if you aren’t used to military protocols, or operations the name Jade Helm might scare you to death.

Military Agressors and Government to Run Town

Military Agressors and Government to Run Town

Military operations on public land, or using civilians to play act as participants (as wounded etc) is nothing new, we just haven’t done this in a large massive scale in a few generations.

The largest domestic military exercise in the United States involved the Army and the United States Air Force where the goal was to invade a town of 20,000 people in Lampasas Texas. My Dad was one of the paratroopers that landed northwest of Austin Texas as a member of the 508th division of the 82nd Airborne.

Facts About The Texas Invasion

  • Operation lasted for 18 days
  • Military invaders wore German styled caps
  • Flyers were distributed outlining the following:
  • A 6pm curfew on the town
  • Theatres closed until “Centralist” entertainment films arrive
  • Churches closed
  • Men will be posted outside school classrooms to “check” on teachings
  • Private vehicles confiscated
  • However the working day was shortened to only 22 hours (isn’t that nice)
  • Over 20,000 people watched the maneuvers including many “foreign observers”

This mythical war happened just a few years after the end of World War II, and memories of Nazi invasion was still fresh in the minds of many people.

Mock War Down in Texas Is No Laughing Matter

Mock War in Texas- newspaper article from 1952

Mock War in Texas- newspaper article from 1952

Although this was a training exercise, a mock war, it was no “laughing matter”. Many from the 82nd Airborne lost their lives when they either got tangled in rigging in other chutes, or their chutes failed to open. A total of 10 men died during Operation Longhorn. For months they planned and it was a ” paper operation, but when the cocky parachute infantrymen hit the lazy Lampasas, you couldn’t tell it from the real thing”

These few newspaper clippings represent the little I know about my Father and his military career. Many of the articles sound like they could have been written today. The biggest difference is the lack of social media and the frenzy was isolated to the geographic region, not the entire country. Life Magazine did cover the “event” and considering their influence at the time they were the social media of the day, yet did not “spin the news” to martial law.

Invasion of Texas and the closing of Churches in Operation Longhorn

Invasion of Texas and the closing of Churches in Operation Longhorn

No matter how much we don’t trust or government, but we should trust the men and women of our military. They are citizens of the United States and have taken an oath to protect and serve the United States. Just like in Operation Longhorn, the communities participating in Jade Helm have been briefed, consulted, and are fully cooperating with the military.

Accounts of Operation Longhorn

 

82nd Airborne 508th before leaving for Operation Longhorn, much like Jade Helm

Texas 1952 (April) – Just before jump at “Operation Longhorn”. 3rd Platoon, K Co., 508th RCT, 82nd Airborne Division (photo credit to John G Hopkins Family)

Operation Longhorn– G503 Military Forum Photos, Photographer: John Dominis

Soldier Recalls Invasion of Lampasas County in Operation Longhorn, Lampasas Dispatch, Oct 26, 2010

Actual Military Video Footage of Operation Longhorn, Shutterstock.com

Grandmas Ranch and Operation Longhorn, Tyler Morning Telegraph 2/15/2015

Photos and flyers from the Agressors, The Circle Trigonists

Largest military operation on US public soil, took over a Texas town and people think Jade Helm has caused an uproar

Largest military operation on US public soil, took over a Texas town and people think Jade Helm has caused an uproar

Information About Jade Helm

Texans brace for Jade Helm 15, massive federal military exercise

Even the governor is encouraging state troops to monitor Jade Helm, which is largely subject to a media blackout. Conspiracy theories about the goals of Jade Helm 15 include imposition of martial law, an unannounced asteroid impact, or part of a plan

Local fears swell as Jade Helm brings troops to Camp Bullis

SAN ANTONIO — Hundreds of U.S. military troops are coming through San Antonio as part of an 8-week training program shrouded in secrecy. The operation, called Jade Helm, begins on the 15th and involves 1200 troops across a number of Southern states.

Jade Helm 15, the military exercise that begat a thousand …

It begins. The geographically sweeping but otherwise banal military training exercise known as Jade Helm 15 is upon us, bringing special forces troops to Texas and other states where they will … train. And a collection of the …

Texans Just Responded To Jade Helm In This EPIC Way …

The Houston Chronicle reported Friday that several hundred people started Operation Counter Jade Helm, whose aim is not to stop the operation but to practice their own skills–according to their website. Anyone can …

Jade Helm 15: One nation under siege? — RT Op-Edge

Jade Helm 15, the largest domestic military exercise ever held on US soil, will bring together over 1000 members from the nation’s elite forces, including Green Berets, Special Ops from the Navy and…

 Military Books on Code of Conduct and Secret Operations

Between Threats and War: U.S. Discrete Military Operations in the Post-Cold War World (A Council on Foreign Relations)Code of Conduct, an inspiration story of self-healing by an ex-POWLincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American HistoryCode of Conduct, Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) Training (Army Regulations Series)

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4th of July Traditions

It is during the holidays you miss your family being all together and the traditions of the 4th of July. Parades, watermelon, laying in the grass watching the fireworks and then going home to set off your own. Happy 4th of July, where ever you and your family may be this year. I celebrated in the town of Murdock Nebraska, who celebrated their 125th birthday in style with a parade, breakfast, a road race, pie and ice cream at the church, BBQ, and a fireworks display.

4th of July parade in Murdock Nebraska

4th of July parade in Murdock Nebraska.

My oldest son, I hope, will be watching the fireworks off Navy Pier in Chicago. Last year I spent a weekend in July and a trip down to Navy Pier to watch the fireworks is definitely worth staying up late.

Chicago 4th of July

Chicago 4th of July

My youngest son, an active Marine unfortunately posted a message on Facebook. “Don’t remember a 4th of July that I haven’t worked these past few years. What are fireworks?” He’s on duty tonight, just like last year. Even my youngest daughter will have to work tonight, but at least she watched the parade this morning and had some “Flag Cake” to celebrate.

This is the first year I’ve made a flag cake, but it reminds me of a tradition when I was in high school. My best friend always had a 4th of July Party at the lake and she always brought the flag cake for dessert. So now, after 40 years I think I’ll start a new tradition. It’s super easy to make. Bake a white cake in a 9 x 13 inch pan, frost with Cool Whip, decorate with blueberries and sliced strawberries.

A 4th of July Tradition, Flag Cake

4th of July Flag Cake

 

No matter where you are you can still appreciate the patriotic spirit of the day, the red, white, and blue decor and even pull up the Patriotic station on Pandora to recognize Independence Day when we declared our Independence from our “Mother Country” England and decided to become our own country in 1776. The United States is a young country in comparison to the rest of the world and let us never become jaded and forget our countries birthday.

United States of America Flag Vintage T-shirt Flag Shirts #13500ASHERANGEL Women’s Sexy Lace Floral Sleeveless Camisole Crop Tank Top Shirts

Happy 4th of July, enjoy your family and enjoy creating new traditions.

4th of July Traditions

A look at July 4th traditions across the US

July 3, 2014: Fair St. Louis fireworks illuminate the sky in front of the St. Louis Art Museum. (AP/St. Louis Post-Dispatch). The United States marks 238 years as an independent nation as it celebrates the Fourth of July with fireworks, food and music

4th Of July Traditions: Eight Ways Americans Celebrate Independence

4th Of July Traditions: Eight Ways Americans Celebrate Independence. Eight Traditions For Independence Day. The 4th of July is often filled with parades, barbecues, fireworks, and impromptu baseball games. Families, friends, and neighbors often get …

The Best Places to Watch Fireworks Across America

Plans or traditions for the 4th of July… 4th of July traditions have always included lots of grilling, watermelon, sparklers and being outside! We usually watch fireworks the night before the 4th and then head into the woods for a …

Creating 4th of July Traditions and Frozen Graham Cracker …

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Honey Maid. All thoughts and experiences shared are our own. Sparklers, sprinklers, and cool treats were the highlights of my childhood 4th of …

Sisters Marie: Top Five 4th of July Traditions

Top Five 4th of July Traditions. Our annual 4th of July party is one of those traditions that’s been happening for so long, we can’t even remember life before it. Each year, the excitement begins after the out of office message …

 

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My Most Memorable Memorial Day Weekend

The year I spent Memorial Day in Washington DC was one of the most memorable weekends I have ever had in my life. My kids were part of the Elmwood-Murdock marching band and participated in the annual Memorial Day parade. But, what meant more to me was being able to witness the outpouring of love, honor, and support for our military and having my kids be a part of the ceremonies. From marching in the National Memorial Day parade down Constitution Avenue to their school laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Marine uniform left at the Vietnam Wall in Washington DC

Marine uniform left at the Vietnam Wall in Washington DC

Every war memorial was decorated with flowers and tributes. I know this happens throughout the year, but on Memorial Day weekend the effect takes your breath away. Veterans and their families pour into the Washington area to participate in Rolling Thunder and for many this trip is a once in a lifetime destination.

Nurses Veteran Memorial, Washington DC

Nurses Veteran Memorial, Washington DC

I have visited the Vietnam Memorial during other times of the year, and although the wall speaks to you with with it’s design and overwhelming names on the wall of those veterans lost, on Memorial Day it’s different. The mementos carpet the wall and the surrounding memorials and cry out as if to say “Don’t forget me.” It is this outpouring of gratitude that stays with you for a lifetime and causes everyone to shed a tear or two.

Even the teenagers, far removed from Vietnam were quiet, respectful and introspective at “The Wall”. The men and women who died in battle were real, not only did they have names, but their friends and family were real and every memory from dog tags to a pair of boots, beer bottle, or letter touched an emotional nerve with the visitors.

Vietnam War Memorial, Washington DC

Vietnam War Memorial, Washington DC

Each veterans memorial in the Washington area has a different feeling and tone. The World War II Memorial is inviting and welcomes people is open, expansive, welcoming, and peaceful. Many people sit by the fountain to relax and even in middle of the massive pillars it’s a place that makes you smile instead of cry. It’s a memorial that celebrates freedom, recognizes triumph, and honors the heroes who served.

The Wall of Stars, WWII National Memorial

The Wall of Stars, WWII National Memorial

Memories of my Dad, who served on a Navy destroyer, in WWII came to mind. My son had lots of questions, of which I had very few answers. Since then I have learned more about his military record, but there are still many gaps.

I caught my youngest son standing and staring at the Wall of Stars and as a Mother who just had her first son graduate from Marine Boot Camp this scene was very poignant. Each gold star represents 100 servicemen and women who died, or are still missing in action in World War II. There are 4,048 gold stars on the wall. In my heart I was praying I would never be a Gold Star Mother. A year later my youngest son would join the Marines.

Wall of Stars, World War II Memorial

Wall of Stars, World War II Memorial

The entire trip it was almost as if my Dad was speaking to me and I half expected to see him as we turned the corner to the Korean War Memorial. This military memorial projected an almost reverent feeling, almost as ghosts of the past were walking out of the fog.

Korean War Memorial, Washington DC Mall

Korean War Memorial,

Again, more wreaths adorned the walkway and were placed on the walls, everywhere you saw tributes from people who just wanted to show their appreciation and thanks to our military for service to our country.

Have you ever been to Washington DC during Memorial Day? If so what is your favorite memory? Leave a comment below.

Memorial Day in Our Nations Capitol

Rolling Thunder – Memorial Day – Washington DC – Julius …

Rolling Thunder – Memorial Day – Washington DC. Posted by Julius Hrivnac at Monday, May 28, 2012 · Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest …
Michael Mercurio’s Read|Delete: Memorial Day Facts For …

Today we honor those who lost their lives in service to this country. This day of remembrance was first celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 1868 and was first named Decoration Day. Arlington National …
8 Trips to Celebrate Memorial Day with Travel | A Traveler’s …

… men and women who have died while serving in the US Armed Forces, here are a few ideas for booking travel for Memorial Day: Washington, DC Get a prime spot for the National Memorial Day Parade honoring veterans.
Memorial Day Parade: A tradition of honor that stretches back 150 years

This year, Mr. Shima will return to Constitution Avenue with dozens of surviving World War II veterans to serve as grand marshals of the National Memorial Day Parade, participating in honor of the 16 million who served and in memory of those who died.
Memorial Day Weekend 2015 Events Washington DC: 10 Free, Fun Things To …

The National Memorial Day Parade will be held Monday at 2 p.m. along Constitution Avenue and 7th Street, NW. It continues past the White House. The National Memorial Day Parade is sponsored by the World War II Veterans Committee and includes …

 

 

 

 

 

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Flower Photography, My Favorite Spring Hoby

Spring has finally arrived and I was able to pick daffodils and tulips for my dining room table. That means my camera comes out of it’s winter hibernation and I get into my flower photography again. I’m not a winter person and by February and March the lack of sunshine and Vitamin D squash any creative photographic ventures.

But with the first blooms of the daffodils and warmth of sun I get inspired again to take pictures. I don’t have a photo studio but I use my dining room which has south facing windows to created a makeshift photography studio. The southern exposure gives me plenty of light during the afternoon. Then it’s a matter of using white art matte boards to bounce light.

IMG_1805-305_flowerslogo

Daffodils and Hyacinths

My favorite photos this year actually belong to my tulips. The setup included flowers in vases, various colors of artist mat board for the backgrounds, a tripod and my Canon Rebel with the shutter on a 2 second delay. This might seem strange but you can achieve sharper images when you don’t manually press the shutter. With shutter speeds over 1/500 it isn’t an issue, but for macro photography or shutter speeds less than 1/250th it does make a difference. Give it a try and let me know how it works.

Flower Photography

Tulips edited in Lightroom

All the flowers I edited in Lightroom some, like the one below I experimented with various looks to achieve more of a fine art effect. I decreased the vibrancy and contrast for a softer look.

Flower photography and editing in Lightroom

Tulips edited in Lightroom

The flowers on the black matte I left pretty much their natural colors to contrast with the dark background. Yes the colors were just this vibrant. I did pull the “blacks” slider in the editor down to saturate and even out the black mat. But other than that I did very little.

Tulips edited in Lightroom

Set against a black mat board

Single orange tulip

Single orange tulip

I love post production and Lightroom! It’s so much fun to explore what you can do with an image to improve the beauty and artistry. I’ve never taken any classes in either computer program, most has all been self-taught with use of a few YouTube videos, books and a LOT of experimentation. I’m still using the stand alone Adobe programs and Lightroom 6 was released in April of 2015. When I get a new computer I will subscribe to the Creative Cloud with the latest version of Photoshop and Lightroom continually updated for $10/mo

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan (Photoshop CC + Lightroom)

Tips on Photographing Flowers

Photos: After Saturday night showers, Sunday sunshine casts light on flowers

After a dreary, rainy Saturday night, Sunday’s weather – which for days looked like it might be similarly rainy and dreary – turned into a pleasant surprise. Low pressure scooted by to the south and quickly cleared, allowing dry northerly winds to

How to master the art of flower photography

Spring has finally arrived, and with it some of nature’s most stunning artistry: flowers. A favorite of nature photographers around the world, flowers can be a surprisingly finicky photo subject. Simply snapping a photo in passing doesn’t quite do the

25 flower photography tips for beginners | Digital Camera …

Improve your spring photography with these 25 flower photography tips that show you everything from how to compose to how to set your camera.

25 Flower Photography Tutorials To Help You Perfect Your …

Here’s 25 features and techniques that’ll inspire and educate you on flower photography.

Spring is Here: Beautiful Flower Photography – PictureCorrect

Just step out of your door and turn around. Someone has planted flowers in front of the building? That could be the perfect place to trigger a few photos! For some unusual and interesting flower photography, take a trip to nature, maybe to park …

Improve your flower photography | Milton Keynes Natural …

Improve your flower photography. Now that Spring has arrived, why not read this article for helpful tips on how to improve your flower photography. This entry was posted in News on 19/04/2015 by admin.

 

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How to Divide Daffodil Bulbs

I used to be afraid to divide daffodil bulbs, but no longer. Wait, you say you can’t split  them in the spring. Well, that’s just wrong and I’ve proved that this is just not the case. Last year I did a simple experiment and it was very surprised at the outcome a year later.

Dividing Daffodils

Daffodils in the garden

Like many of you I searched the internet on when the best time was to divide spring bulbs. They pretty much all said wait until fall, or the leaves were brown and the plants dormant. However, there were a few gardening sites that convinced me these yellow beauties are very hardy and can be dug up, separated and plated just about any time of year. Narcissus are very forgiving.

So I decided to give it a go.

How to Divide Daffodils

Dividing daffodils

As you can see from the clump above the leaves were not yellow or brown yet. But I had ambition, energy (which I don’t always have) the sun was shining and what harm could I really do. These bunches of daffodils were very over crowed and some groups would have 30-40 blooms.

So I got out my shovel and started to dig. Easier said than done. This year I’m going to plant them closer together and get a drill attachment, or a bulb auger  to make the planting process faster and easier. I have at least three more clumps to divide.

Flower Bulb Planter

How to Dig and Transplant Daffodil Bulbs:

Transplant on a day that is cool and the ground damp and moist.

  1. Start on the outer edges of the grouping. Insert your shovel as far down as you can all the way around the bunch loosening up the soil.
  2. With the shovel in the ground pull back and gently push the daffodil bulbs to the surface.
  3. You may have to pull the clump out of the ground
  4. Gently pull apart and separate the individual bulbs. (in my case one clump had over 50!)
  5. Place in a bucket, or on paper towels and immediately replant
  6. Dig a four inch hole with a spade, insert the freshly dug bulb and cover with dirt.
  7. Water deeply after transplanting.

How to divide spring daffodils

Replanting immediately I believe is the key. Don’t let the bulbs dry out or get “stale”. To tell the truth after I watered the plants the first time I kinda forgot about them. They were only watered once. But they still survived.

Newly transplanted daffodils

Newly transplanted daffodils

My experiment from last year was very successful, I had over a 95% germination rate and every day when I go out in my garden I count to see how many “baby” daffodils I have popping up in the gardens. From one large bunch of overgrown and crowded daffodils I now have 48 separate plantings in three new areas.

Transplanted Daffodil bulbs one year after planting

Transplanted Daffodil bulbs one year after planting

If I didn’t already have a garden nursery full of crowed bulbs ready to be transplanted I would probably buy daffodil bulbs and plant them in the fall, which is when you’re supposed to plant spring bulbs.

TotalGreen 72415100 Daffodil Bulbs90 Large Long Lasting Assorted Color Trumpet

More Information on Transplanting and Dividing Bulbs

Over the Garden Fence: Cultivation, rodent issues may stunt blooms

Daffodils: cutting foliage before it turns yellow; bulbs need dividing; bulbs too small to bloom; poor drainage; spring cold snap killed flowers before they opened; dry soil caused flowers to abort. • Dogwood: not enough sun; tree is seedling and not

Expert Advice: Divide and transplant spring-flowering bulbs now

#For more detailed information on planting and dividing bulbs in Georgia as well as a complete list of recommended varieties, see the UGA Extension publication B918, “Flowering Bulbs for Georgia Gardens,” at extension.uga.edu/publications. #Sharon …

Deb Babcock: Trademarked and patented plants

#When we talk about propagating plants, we’re talking about plant reproduction that happens by dividing bulbs and rhizomes or roots, taking cuttings, grafting and budding a plant, and collecting and planting seeds, among other methods. #Since fall is a …

Flower power

Ross Harmon, a fourth-generation Wye United Methodist Church member who Friday was digging up the bulbs to be sold during the festival, said the tradition of church members selling daffodil bulbs to support the church started long before the church

Daffodil season is here in the daffodil city

Look for suppliers who provide mixtures of daffodil bulbs for sale to make “a springtime parade” of colour. The Paperwhite narcissus, which is popular along with the amaryllis around Christmas, is one of the tazetta species and is not hardy here. Each

 

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Squeaky Dog Toy Passes the Jack Russell Test

Tough Dog Toy Review

It’s been a week since we bought the PetSafe Squeak and Treat Booya dog toy and the verdict is in! It is truly an indestructible tough dog toy and it squeaks! It can not be destroyed. My Jack Russell, Brody, has given it over over a week of intense heavy chewing and biting. He has almost driven himself insane and he can’t tear it apart. It you don’t believe me watch the video below.

Brody is what you call a super-chew in the dog world. He may be only twenty pounds but he has jaws of steel and a biting grip worthy of a dog twice his size.

Toughest Squeaky Dog Toy Ever

The Busy Buddy line of dog toys are tough, in fact the toughest I’ve ever tried and I have tried almost every dog toy from Tuffy toys, to Kongs and Kyjens. The Nylabones last, but they don’t squeak and after a little Brody is bored. My goal was to find a fun, tough, engaging squeaky toy that could not be destroyed. It was almost like an obsession. I canvased the pet store aisles, even the grocery store and hardware stores thinking I might find that unique dog toy.

Squeaky tennis balls he shredded and I found tiny bits all over the living room floor. The squeaker mats with multiple squeakers lasted longer, but because they were plush fabric they ripped easy. My terrier is a little terror, he’s orally motivated and very tenacious. Food and noise get his attention. This Booya Squeaker toy gets his attention and keeps it. In fact I had to buy another as the two dogs play keep away with it.

As you can see in the video, Leah the Boxer didn’t have a chance the first couple of days. Another plus is I can put dog treats, cookies and their food inside the Booya for an added bonus. This has kept both dogs engaged and entertained the whole afternoon.

Where to Buy the Toughest Dog Toys

The verdict is in, the toughest dog toys are made by PetSafe and this one is my favorite by far. Stay tuned for continuing updates as the months go by to see how it stands up over time. It is one tough dog toy.

Busy Buddy Squeak N Treat Booya Dog Toy (SM, Med, & Large)

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Facts About Iwo Jima, One of the Most Famous Battles of World War II

Ever since my sons became Marines I have been interested in my family’s military history and wonder where my Dad would of been on significant dates like Iwo Jima. February 19, 1945 the landing at Iwo Jima and he was assigned to the Destroyer the USS Edison DD439. I can’t find record of where exactly on this date his ship was, but I do know my Dad was only twenty years old.

According to records I found on Ancestry.com, my father was AOL (absent over liberty) more than once. Once in July of 1945 after liberty in San Diego. I can’t even imagine being twenty years old and loading guns on the deck of a destroyer, seeing men die on your ship, rescuing prisoners from an enemy sub off of Italy and keeping your sanity. Maybe that’s why he took extra time when he was on liberty leave, he didn’t want to go back.

My Dad rarely talked about World War II, and most of the men who fought on that hell hole of an island, filled with Japanese hiding in caves and tunnels, didn’t want to talk about it either. Many young men just like my Dad landed on February 19, 1945, many didn’t return, many saw things they would rather forget, but carried with them all their lives.

Books and Movies About Iwo Jima

By far the best book on Iwo Jima is James Bradleys, Flags of our Fathers is on the USMC Commandants reading list for Iintermeidiate level enlisted personal: INTERMEDIATE  GYSGT, MSGT, and 1STSGT. I think its a book everyone should read to appreciate what the sacrifices our military makes not only during war, but when they return.

Flags of Our FathersIwo Jima: 50 Years of Memories

Facts about Iwo Jima

Dozens, if not hundreds of books and movies have been written about this famous battle that turned history, but below are just a few facts.

  1. The island of Iwo Jima is 4.5 miles long by 2.5 miles wide and lies 650 miles south of mainland Toykyo.23
  2. The island was a strategic airfield position for the Japanese who intercepted US flying missions to Tokyo. Once taken the United States could then invade Japan and thus end the war.² ³
  3. The Battle of Iwo Jima lasted for 36 days starting on February 19th and ending on March 16, 1945.
  4. One third of all Medal of Honor award for World War II were given for gallant action in Iwo JIm, a total of 23 out of 82 given to Marines during the war.¹
  5. Iwo Jima was the costliest battle in the history of the Marine Corps, One in ten Marines lost their lives on the tiny island. 70,000 Marines fought on the island and 7,000 lost their lives ³
  6. Out of the 21,000 Japanese troops only 1,083 survived, the remainder were either killed or committed suicide.²
  7. Two Japanese soldiers didn’t surrender until 1949, they dug into tunnels and caves to avoid detection for over four years.¹
  8. Major General Howard Connor gives the Navajo code talkers, who relayed messages in their tribal tongue, for the success of the Marines taking Iwo Jima.¹
  9. Mount Suribachi, the highest point on the island at 528 ft in elevation
  10. Mt Suribachi was taken on February 23rd on the third day of fighting and is the site of the the famous flag raising.
  11. After the battle the island served as an emergency landing strip for more than 2,00 B-29 bombers thus saving more than 24,000 airman.¹
  12. The United States returned the island to Japan as a gift in 1968.¹
Iwo Jima Marine Corps Memorial Card

Iwo Jima Greeting Card

The question is often asked and disputed by many, was the iconic flag raising staged. The answer quite simply is no. Yes there were two flag raisings, the first was a smaller flag which was celebrated and cheered. However the Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal wanted the flag as a souvenir and thought the official flag should be larger.

Joe Rosenthal, an AP reporter, missed the first flag raising as he was shooting photographs of the harbor. He actually didn’t see the photo before it was sent in and published in the papers. When he was told it was all over the front pages he asked “Which one, the posed one?” for he had also taken another photo with the same flag with all the men standing and raising their arms.

The actual US Flag flown at Iwo Jima displayed at the National Marine Corps Museum

The actual US Flag flown at Iwo Jima displayed at the National Marine Corps Museum

I was lucky enough to view the actual flag in the Rosenthal photograph at the Marine Corps museum in Virginia with my youngest Marine son.If you ever have the chance to visit the museum it is very much worth your time.

One of the most popular exhibits is the Iwo Jima area, and the most popular person is Frank Matthews (24th Marines, 4th Marine Division – Iwo Jima) a volunteer docent at the museum who was 18 years old when he fought on that island in the middle of the Pacific. Frank was not at the museum when we visited that weekend and I wish he was, I would of loved to meet him and shook his hand.

On this 70th anniversary of Iwo Jima let’s remind people that is was the military who deserves the recognition for keeping our country free and safe. World War II was the first time American soil was attacked at Pearly Harbor and if it hadn’t been for our brave men and women in uniform fighting in fox holes, ditches, and in muck and grime American history would of been a lot different.

To all the veterans the world owes you a great deal of thanks.

References

  1. The Battle of Iwo Jima: 5 Things You Didn’t Know, Ross Bonander
  2. The Battle for Iwo Jima, The National WWII Museum
  3. Was the Flag Raising at Iwo Jima Staged, Skeptical Humanities blog

More Information on the 70th Anniversary of Iwo Jima

 

Iwo Jima vets mark 70th anniversary

Marine Sgt. Major Michael “Iron Mike” Mervosh who served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam spoke with passion about his time as a Marine and his support for building the Iwo Jima Memorial at Camp Pendleton. — John Gastaldo …
The inside story of the famous Iwo Jima photo

Monday marks 70 years since Joe Rosenthal captured the iconic picture of five U.S. Marines and a Navy sailor raising an American flag over the battle-scarred Japanese island of Iwo Jima. The image was so inspiring that, by 1945 standards, it went viral.
Local veteran remembers Battle of Iwo Jima; 70 years ago

McKay was aboard the USS Mifflin when he was ordered to the shore of Iwo Jima for almost a week. On Tuesday he recalled the day his crew landed on Iwo Jima 70 years ago. “February the 19th,1945,” McKay said. McKay’s beach party landed on Yellow …
Commemorating the 70th anniversary of Iwo Jima

church on the Big Island. Marines and their families spent today honoring and remembering America’s Heroes who served on Iwo Jima. We sat down with Karen Offerdahl, the daughter of Marine Supply Sergeant Melvin Offerdahl, who shared stories her …
Iwo Jima veterans reunite 70 years after historic WWII battle

(FOX News) It’s been 70 years since U.S. forces began a successful battle to capture the Japanese island of Iwo Jima during World War II. Veterans who survived the bloody battle reunited in Washington, D.C. for a ceremony last week to honor the nearly …
70th Anniversary: The story behind the famous Iwo Jima photo (Video)

23, 1945, file photo, U.S. Marines of the 28th Regiment, 5th Division, raise a U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima. Two Gastonia, N.C., men, Joseph Tedder, 90, and Mack Drake, 89, fought alongside more than 70,000 Marines, sailors and airmen on

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Finally Found an Indestructible Squeaky Dog Toy!

I am so excited! For more than ten years I have been trying to find indestructible squeaky toys for my dog Brody, a Jack Russell terrier. Seriously, if you have followed this blog since the beginning you will have watched him tear apart hundreds of dollars of squeaky plush dog toys within minutes. I have picked fluff off the floor more times than I can count. If it has a squeaker it gets destroyed.

Jack Russell Destroying a Dog Toy

Another toy bites the dust

We even had pet companies send us boxes of samples to test, all with no luck. Some were made of fire hydrant material, others tested by actual tigers, but they could not pass the Brody test. The tough dog toys designed for strong chewers didn’t have a squeaker, so unless I could put food inside he soon lost interest.

Indestructible Dog Toy Search

Indestructible Dog Toy Search

The best dog toy I have ever found, up to this point, has been the Busy Buddy bone, which I bought shortly after I brought Brody home (he was a rescue). Even after ten years of chewing, being left in the backyard, and hundreds of hours of abuse is has survived. I always wanted Petsafe to release a squeaky dog toy with this material and they HAVE!!

My husband and I went to Bass Pro Shop, and displayed on an end cap at the front of the store were PetSafe dog toys. Look what I found, the first treat dispensing dog toy that squeaks. Seriously, I don’t know when it cam out, but Brody has been chewing on it for six hours and it barely has a scratch!

Even though my Jack Russell would be considered a small to medium dog I bought the large sized Booya toy. On the scale of chew intensity Brody is extreme and has no problem squeezing the rubber and making it squeak. He is a little bit obsessed with it and I don’t expect the behavior to change.

 

DogToy

I’m going to have to get two or three they are that good, my Boxer just has to wait her turn or beg me to take it away from Brody and give it to her. The rubber is infused with a vanilla scent, much like the bacon infused Nylabone he loves. I’ll post a video later of Brody going to town on chewing on his Booya dog toy. This dog toy is amazing and puts all the others to shame.

I have filled it a couple times with treats for Leah (the Boxer) because although she is bigger, she doesn’t have the “chew and destroy” drive of the terrier. With all full confidence I can say this is an indestructible squeaky toy for dogs of all kinds.

Where to find an Indestructible Squeaky Toy

If your favorite pet store (or Bass ProShop) doesn’t carry the Busy Buddy Booya the head on over Amazon, they have everything. Premier-Pet Products has a whole line of indestructible dog toys, they are also the makers of the Gentle Leader dog harness that stopped Brody from pulling on his leash.

 Busy Buddy Squeak N Treat Booya Dog Toy Large PetSafe Busy Buddy Waggle Dog Toy, Medium/Large PetSafe Busy Buddy Barnacle Dog Toy, Large PetSafe Busy Buddy Chuckle Dog Toy, Medium/Large PetSafe Busy Buddy Gnawbrush Dog Toy, Large

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Countdown to Christmas: The Season of Advent

Getting ready for Christmas is not just about the lights, the tree, the cookies, or the presents. The season of Advent, preparing for the birth of Jesus Christ, is the real reason for the season. Advent is about the anticipation of the coming of Christ. In the middle of all the hectic rushing around preparing for our “worldly” Christmas, Advent reminds us to slow down and reflect on the real gift of Christmas, the gift of God’s own Son.

The birth of Jesus Christ, is the real reason for the season. I prepare in many ways, but during Advent our church adds vesper services on Wednesday nights. It’s a shorter liturgical service, without communion. Pastor reads the Christmas story during the reading, one section at at time, one week at a time, and then brings it to life during the sermon.

Season of Advent

My View from the Church Piano during the Advent Season

I play the piano for Wednesday night Advent services, and I love to sit quietly in front of the church and absorb the message and hear the congregation sing. It fills the church and my soul. On Sunday I help the kids get ready for the childrens’ program on Christmas Eve, not only do I play during Advent services, but for the Christmas Eve program. The organist and I rotate songs and end with a piano-organ duet to Joy to the World.

The church is decorated not only with an Advent wreath and candles, but poinsettias, candles, and the blue vestments of Advent. I love many of the church seasons, but the season of Advent and Christmas as two of my favorite.

What Is the Season of Advent?

Christian Observers of Advent Prayerfully Wait for Christmas Season

But waiting is what the Christian season of Advent is all about: contemplating the Second Coming of Christ, the Messiah, while also preparing to celebrate the First Coming, the birth of Jesus at Christmas. It is a season marked by prayer, song and
Advent 2014: A Season Of Waiting For The Coming Of Christ (PHOTOS)

For Christians, the season of Advent serves as a reminder both of the original waiting by Israelites for the birth of the Messiah, and the waiting by Christians for the return of Christ. The most famous hymn of Advent is “O Come Emmanuel.” Its lyrics
Advent: Unplugged

In the conglomerated holiday season that is HalloThanksMas, the tiny season of Advent gets lost in the rush. In Christian tradition, especially in liturgical churches, the season of Advent began on Sunday, Nov. 30 and continues until Christmas. The
St Charles Borromeo on the Season of Advent

CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) – Beloved, now is the acceptable time spoken of by the Spirit, the day of salvation, peace and reconciliation: the great season of Advent. This is the time eagerly awaited by the patriarchs and prophets, the time that

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Do Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies Count as Christmas Cookies?

Countdown To Christmas: Cookie Time

Starting in the beginning of December I start baking cookies, lots of cookies. Now Peanut Butter Kiss cookies don’t look like Christmas cookies, but they are one of my kids favorites, so they get made. I usually make at least six different varieties of cookies every year, not including my candies. This tradition started when I moved from Connecticut to Oklahoma for school and was looking for an inexpensive gift to send to friends.

Another reason I started making peanut butter cookies is one year I ran our of flour and these have three ingredients: peanut butter, sugar, and an egg. So not only is it inexpensive it’s a gluten-free cookie for a friend who is gluten intolerant.

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Recipe for Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Preheat oven to 350F, unwrap candy kisses

  • 1 Cup Peanut Butter ( I use smooth)
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 large egg
  1. Mix together, roll teaspoon size balls, I use a melon scoop for uniform size balls
  2. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes
  3. Remove cookies from oven and immediately place an unwrapped Hershey Kiss into the cooked ball.
  4. Cool slightly and remove from baking sheet.

There you go, so easy a child could do it, and who doesn’t like peanut butter and chocolate? Enjoy your peanut butter kiss cookies and if you have a favorite cookie recipe please share it in the comments.

More Christmas Cookie Recipes

Christmas Cookie Recipes: 20 Treats With Nuts And Fruit

Christmas Cookies Recipes – Joyofbaking.com *Video Recipes* · Christmas Cookie Recipes: 20 Sugar Cookies · Christmas Cookie Recipes: 20 Cookies Made With Chocolate · Christmas Cookies Recipe: Your Cheatsheet For Holiday Baking. Click here to …
Day 5: Shortbread wafer cookies

Is it even possible to eat a Kit Kat bar without triggering that “Give me a break!” earworm from the ’80s? Seems not. So our cure to keep us from humming “Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar!” for the rest of the day is to bake up a batch of these
Christmas Cookie Recipes (PHOTOS)

There are many reasons to love the holidays, but Christmas cookies are definitely on the top of that list. With that in mind, we gathered together all the important Christmas cookie recipes you need to get through this season — and some great twists
7 Christmas Cookie Recipes You Need to Make NOW

christmas cookie recipe I know it’s not even December yet, but I’m telling you the time to get started on your holiday baking is now. As the big days draw nearer and nearer, suddenly things start spiraling out of control with parties here, travel there
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