Saturday, June 27, 2015


The President singing "Amazing Grace" brought tears to my eyes. I don't know when I have been more touched. I choose to believe it was spontaneous. He was good, can carry a tune but mainly, so sincere, so very Ametican. I was moved and every person, especially African Americans, I have spoken too and it is almost every one I see, feel the same way. They say positive things. At "Faith's Coffee Shop. (I am in Raleigh,  NC at my great Nephew's wedding) all say that out of this tragedy, good has come. Faith (that's her real name) said it had "brought us together as one." I don't know about that but I do know we've been touched and will never ever be the same, again. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015


One of the things I feel badly about, among many, in the Charleston massacre is that the people, most effected, won't be able to have their private grief and that is very important. Now, it's the politicians, the debate over the rebel flag, like that is going to help anything, adinfinitum. Very sad. People need to be able to grieve in private. God bless them. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


The thing that irritated me most about this heinous act is that we let some ignorant, stupid, dumb, uneducated, brainwashed biget who doesn't know his arsh fron a hole in the ground create such havoc, sadness, sense of helplessness and for me as a Souherner, shame. First of all that a stupid human being can even exist witout somebody kicking his ass till his nose bleeds, is amazing to me. 

The flip sign of the coin is that this unbelievable happening has shattered an aspect of white Americans like nothing else could, not Frrguson, not Baltimore, not Freddy Gray. Messing with their sense of decency grounded in their spiritual lives is beyond the pall. The governor of SC didn't say God bless you. (Well, she may have). She said something like, "we know they (the victims) are now in heaven. No hesitation, she invoked obviously her own Christianity. What this moronic stupid idiot has done is surface people who care, whose basic sense of race is changed forever. Watching the Rmanuel AME church service I was moved at their sense of forgiveness, Americans were moved by the process. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015


I have never been much on the idea of good coming from bad. But, if I ever wanted to embrace the idea, now is it. Seeing those wonderful folks at the Emanual AME church putting their faith to work was awe inspiring. I could not do it. God bless them. 


Went to visit my dad. Happy Father's Day. 


Recently someone was telling me about this program on NPR (National Public Radio) they had heard. This woman on the program was saying that her Dad never, in her whole life, said, "I love you (conversation was around Father's Day).  

By contrast, I can never, not one single time, remember when my Dad and I were together that he didn't say, "I love you", preceded usually be a kiss. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015


"The Charleston shooting is the largest mass shooting in a house of worship since 1991," The Washington Post, June 18, 2015 

They need to take that flag down!  I am disowning SC, the state of my birth!  Meg


It's time to put a symbol of rebellion and racism behind us and move toward healing and a better United States of America. Katherine

Symbols of hate and division have no place in our government. It's time to stand up for what's right and take down the Confederate flag. MSD

The Confederate flag is not a symbol of southern pride but rather a symbol of rebellion and hate. Stacy


I am personally in grief over this. If we think about it, for us, if we are honest, can understand. I personally think that in the deep "South," we have produced a culture where some crazy, ignorant, brainwashed youngster could spout off such racism/fanaticism and not get called on it. 

When I was growing up, it was a culture, "blacks in their place." The "N" word was part of our vocabulary. Everything was segregated and there were all these conspiracy theories. People talked about "them and us."  We had all these social mores, i.e., I worked in a grocery store when I was about 12 and the rule was that you called a black by his first name and whites, Mr or Mrs/Miss. 

Has it changed? No! Not really. More integration in schools and the workplace but no social integration. 

We are not going to solve the race problem in our lifetime but  to me, I feel awful that we have a culture in the South where something like this can happen. 
Here is this 21 year old, goes to a black church. They are having a prayer meeting and welcome him and are so kind, he almost changes his mind. He shoots nine. 

By contrast, in San Francisco, every crazy in the world, has appeared at one time or the other but not someone like the murderer, Roof. It is just less likely to happen as somebody would be all over a racist like this. But, in the South, it does happen because nobody will get "called out." I am more than ashamed. 

Brainwashed? Sure. He's been spouting off all these slogans, hanging out, watching people nod their heads. He says, "I'm going to shoot me some n.....s." Nobody says a word. In a sense, I think all Southerners are complicit. 

Friday, June 19, 2015


 "Lingering Fire" touched me. (I love the title) Literally, the small volumn of poetry brought tears to my eyes on several pages. Some of the poetry you have to be a Vietbam vet "to get."  However, the mystery in the common GI expressions are touching to all, vet or not. 

Thank you for this great effort and although some think it is trite, not me, "thank you for your service." God bless.


My cousin, who was also drafted into the military but served in Egypt during the Vietnam War called yesterday.   He had read my book and and said he felt like he was in Vietnam even if he wasn't.  He too said he touched and was glad that I had written the book so people could understand even a little bit more.  Since coming home he has basically made himself . . . as he said it clearly . . . a hermit.   Before the military he was an outgoing vivacious young man.  He spends a lot of hours alone . . . . playing his guitar but has terrible stage fright.  Is this connected? . . . who knows?

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Recently, with the "passing" of James B Lee, (distant relative) a true "Captain of Industry, (Wall street Premier deal maker) the point is reenforced, "Everybody dies." Died at 62. Had shortness of breath on the treadmill. Goes to the hospital, dies. From what little I know, Mr. Lee was an exceptional person. TRULY, NONE OF US ARE PROMISED TOMORROW. 

I have often wondered: if we knew that we were going to die early as Mr Lee did at 62, would we live our lives any differently. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015



Richard, one of the characters from the HBO series, "Boardwalk Empire." He was severely wounded in WW l and nicknamed the "Tin Man" by mostly his detractors. 

Monday, June 15, 2015


22 Vets per day do themselves in. WHY? F..K if I know. Vets taking their lives is 50% higher than the population in general. Just some ideas as possibilities. Drugs/Alcohol often involved. Little or no support system, family estrangement. Finally, the intangible: the effect of war on a soldier's psyche leads him to despair.  


"Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world. This just showed up in my memory. What the hay!

Personally, I think that Ms. Dolezal (pronounced DOLE-uh-zhal) can be anything she wants. I 
have only slightly followed this. Who the f..k ever knows about issues like race when they get all caught up in the media. It is why we have to remind ourselves with great regularity that the media is interested in a story, not the truth. 

But, an interesting issue conjured up is the so called sense of race. There are so many tentacles to it--racism is rampant in America, let's face it.  I am often amazed at how little things have changed. If Ms Dolezal wants to be black, fine. 

Race happens to be one of those areas that we are generations from where people will look at each other as persons and not black, white, etc. It is an issue that in our lifetime, cannot be solved. My view. I often say if you want to see racism, merely look no further than the President. (I am thinking the Deep South). There are great pockets of Americans that, "hate the Prez." They always come up with some policy issue: Obamacare, global bullshit, pick a subject: typical rhetoric but down deep, the psyche says,  "they don't want a 'N word' in the White House. 

I don't think there is any real identity at being white. I know blacks that the only thing black about them is their skin. Black, if meaning identifying with black poverty, joblessness, etc., forget it. They are professionals, exist in all walks of life. It is economics. F..k. If you are poor, it doesn't matter if you are purple, you are poor. 

I still think that the poor can rise in our country. If you are motivated, have drive, you can do it. If you are poor and homeless and are on the streets of LA, who cares what color you are. Not your fellow homeless. I don't know why Ms. Dolezal feels the need to identify as black. Who gives a flying fig as my dad would say. God bless her. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015


I personally think the military is in trouble. The Volunteer Army has produced an aristocratic Officer Corp, educated, mostly Academy graduates. Enlisted, they are the lower socioeconomic classes. For a "fighting force" has all sorts of problems. We have way too many generals, among many problems. 

To be perfectly honest, I have become somewhat of an solationist, especially as relates the MidEast. But, all started with my own war, Vietnam. Useless war, accomplished nothing. Then Iraq, what a disaster. Afghanistan, no possibility that we can truly effect, much less basically change anything. So, what would I do. First of all, I would allow Iran, even as much as we can't forgive them for taking hostages; still, they are the only ones to get ISIS if that is our goal. (We aligned ourselves with Joseph Stalin, a mass murderer to defeat Nazi Germany. 

I would involve Assad of Syria. The Arab Spring, what good has that done but create chaos. Where do we think Assad can go. Doing more than we are doing is stupid. We don't even know the players in Syria. Yet I hear these "talking heads" giving these rosy reports. Please! The worse ones are the State Dept types. Youngsters who wouldn't know soldiering and combat if it ran over them. And, they are talking about "boots on the ground" as if they had been there. 

Anyway on a tangent. God bless. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Now, the U.S. (military leadership) takes an even greater stupid pill--Bases all around Iraq. HELLO! What do you think we tried for all those years. PBS (that I listen too) has these "talking heads" on. They sing the same old tired tune which hasn't worked. The only one who seems to tell it like it is, the SECDEF (Secretary of Defense) Iraqis don't seem to have the will to fight, only to retreat and resupply ISIS. 

5000 years of secretarian fighting and we think we can make a difference. I surely don't know but only that what we have been doing isn't working. What about getting out of the way and let the Iranians go at it if our goal is to defeat ISIS. Or, see what Assad can do. Some guest on PBS, referenced WW ll--to defeat Nazi Germany, we allied ourselves with Stalin, a mass murderer. 

What is true beyond a shadow of a doubt is what we are doing isn't working and more bases for Americans to occupy is bullshit. Wake up and smell the roses. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Fighting For Their Lives

Recently, a nurse friend of mine received a nice compliment from a former patient. It was so to the point that I felt that I should respond. 

I think about your work lots. What a nice letter. The ending, "YOU ROCK." How great is that! You touch people in what you do and that is no small thing. Everybody that comes for treatment is in a life and death struggle. For many, their lives have spun out of control and you are at the pivot spot to catch them and offer some hope. Every single one of your patients has a "story." God bless you. 

Monday, June 08, 2015

Getting This Straight

IRAQ Let me get this straight once again. Billions of dollers and thousands of lost lives and problems with wounded soldiers lasting forever. 

Part of the spin when we were there in great numbers was that we were training the Iraqis to fight. So, as Dr Phil says, 'how did that work out?' Here's how?
They face off against ISIS. They "bug" out, leaving all the valuable equipment we have "given" them behind. And now, we have this great push to send more men and more equipment. Am I missing something here ?????? 

Saturday, June 06, 2015


Recently PBS (Public Broadcasting Station) did a program on preserving the history of the AIDS epidemic. Quite sobering and reminded me of how we handled the epidemic in the military. Not very good I might say. 

AIDS had begun to come in the early 80s. Really sad. The military didn't know what to do. Letterman (on the Presidio) established a "Ward" (half a floor) for HIV positive soldiers who were really sick. A trying time. The Medical Center (Letterman) became the repository for HIV positive soldiers, for the Pacific Rim. The docs/chaplains didn't want to get involved. To their credit, early on, the medical types really didn't know much about AIDS and how it happened. I finally took over the Ward myself. Hell, I was a paratrooper, think I was going to let a little sickness scare me. 

Soldiers begin to get really sick and die. The saddest experiences for me began to be when lovers/parents got involved in the death and dying process and found themselves in strange territory. 

When we had an AIDS patient to die, the local contract funeral home took the body, prepared it, at military expense, to wait further instructions. Most of the time I knew the person and was sad myself and tried to facilitate the process. More often than not, the soldier was estranged from his parents and the partner was the grieving one sitting by the bedside. 

One young soldier I remember, especially, which was more the rule than the exception. The soldier had come from Fort Riley, Kansas. A Sergeant E5 as I remember. San Francisco and the Presidio was his dream town. I didn't know all those things that came before but after the soldier was sick, the partner, a civilian, came to nurse him. He came everyday and sat by the bed, and I got to know him pretty well. Wonderful guy.  The soldier died and the partner was a heap laying on the floor when I found him. Usually I had the hospital wait for goodbyes but this one slipped by me. The general was already ticked at me plus the hospital Sergeant Major. F..K.  

The parents arrived. I met them and tried to talk about the partner. No way. They wanted nothing to do with his "sordid life", the father said. They were Christians and didn't know this son and hadn't for years but they wanted to do their Christian duty and take his body home to Texas for burial. They gathered the soldier's personal effects and left. I found the partner at the back of the chapel crying his eyes out, overwhelmed with grief. 

Friday, June 05, 2015


Tonight, I went to an investiture for a Judge. Really a nice program. His Dad and I were Army buddies. Terrific family--everybody made a speech, extolling how great the investituree was, which was true.  

Fine young troop, the now Judge. The rub always for me and it doesn't take away from his accomplishments; but, he had every advantage. Dad, a doctor; Mom, school teacher. Only child. 

What about those kids that have no advantage. If we compare, just thinking out loud, philosophically speaking, the double admiration goes to those who make it without having the advantages. 

Thursday, June 04, 2015


What do you think about the "trannies? The Bruce Jenners? Very confusing to me and the way the media plays it up, especially. Here is someone born a female, wants to be a man. Or, the other way around. What the f..K. LOL. I guess my feeling is, "people can be what they want." After all, this is "Merica."


I think more about the people in backwards towns not being given the same support and love. Bruce Jenner has resources and lots of them to make himself/herself the person he so wants to be. I think his courage is in direct alignment with his $$. In other words he /she would not be out in the open with out $$. That to me makes him a coward.Will Caitlyn set up a foundation to help others that don't have the $$$ that are flat broke and have no place to turn?

Wednesday, June 03, 2015


 D-Day just passed us by. It coincided this year with the sadness of the Vice President's sadness in the loss of his son, Beau. Because the VP is a public figure, he pretty much shares his grief with all of us. The sadness introduced me to Chris Matthews and his music, "Coldplay." I immediately bought the song, "Till Kingdom Come."

Here's my sadness and "shout out" for the moment. 153 San Franciscans died in Vietnam. We honor them.