I first wrote this a few Christmases ago. It still seems to resonate. Every Christmas, I look back to my Christmas in Iraq, some six years ago.  I served as a Civil Affairs officer supervising a staff of 3.  In the war zone, everyday is a work day. On Christmas Eve, we worked a full

I first wrote this for Veterans Day in 2009.  On Veterans Day, we note the spirit of service. Here are some examples:

The Ft. Hood 13

Today comes another Veteran’s Day.  Many of us recall a grandfather who served or an uncle who endured. The 13 who were killed at Ft. Hood exemplify the hundreds

Back in the 90’s, I recall folks, pundits and the like, asking if the kids of the time would step up the way prior generations did in WW II and even in the Viet Nam War. Folks doubted the young people, spoiled as they seemed, would step up. I was in the Texas National Guard

You served in Iraq twice. Both times, you served in a combat role, kicking in doors. You lost a few members of your Army family, but you accepted that. It is part of the deal you made with Uncle Sam. You were commissioned through ROTC at one of the Ivy league schools. You get out

I had a dream a couple of nights ago in which I visited the netherworld. Felt this overwhelming desire to assure those brave men buried at the Aisne-Marne American cemetery in France that the President’s comments were wrong, all wrong. For those of us with a modest bit of PTSD, Pres. Trump’s comments stung. Those

SPC Vincent Ibarria, 21 years old, died in Afghanistan recently. SPC Ibarria was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division. He died in a vehicle rollover accident. SPC Ibarria joined the Army in 2017. He was described as a soldier who always volunteered. He believed firmly in the motto, “Choose the harder right over the easier

I served in the Iraq war 2005 to 2006. My job was to approve (or not) reconstruction projects. My post was at division level. We had some $90 million dollars each fiscal year to spend on projects inside Iraq. There were various civil affairs constraints on how to spend that money. It was my job

In the military, it is has always ben understood that discipline is critical. But, what does that mean in actual practice? Proper discipline starts with the small things. Commanders eat last. Officers do not leave the bivouac area to go into town for a shower and a nice meal. Those small things matter. They create

SSGT David bellavia was just awarded the Medal of Honor. He took out a building that was threatening his platoon. His battle devolved into hand-to-hand combat at times. In his speech, he gave credit to his squad, his platoon and his company. He recognized his interpreter, Sammy, who was just made a U.S. citizen. Sammy,

As I have mentioned here before, I served 12 months in Iraq during the Iraq war. It was one of the most wonderful experience of my life – except when it was not! ….   Seriously, it was a searing and very positive sort of experience, overall. The big fear in the war was the IED’s,