A Tale of Two Turkeys

Monday, April 20, 2020 I spent yesterday turkey hunting again.  Nothing says social distancing like sitting in the woods by yourself.  After hearing one gobble right away in the morning and then hiking all around that same basin all day, I was pretty much done by about 3:00.  While I was riding out, I thought…

Memorial Day — Pause for a Random Hero

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” General George S. Patton It’s coming around again. For many it is the first real holiday since New Year’s Day and it has been a long winter in most of the United States. Memorial Day…

Patches

September 9th, 2017 “What are you doing?”  A little boy asked me as I tapped an Army patch hanging in the doorway at our gym.  He, like many kids, was hanging out, playing with toys as his mom or dad worked out. “I’m just saying ‘Hi’ to my buddies.  This is one of my Army…

Green Chiles and Elk

“You should apply for a tag here in New Mexico, we have a ton of elk!” Those words from my buddy working on our NM projects echoed in my head as I flew home.  I told myself I wasn’t getting any younger…why not? Later that month I asked around about logical units and then applied for…

When Humanitarian Projects Aren’t

Engineers, especially civil engineers, build things.  It’s what we do, and we consider each project, large or small, “our” project.  Being a civil engineer in the Army engineer branch was especially rewarding.  We played with bridge sets, construction equipment, and building parts.  Army combat engineering also meant building structures for war: runways, fighting positions for…

High Comedy in Low Places

War means something different to every person, especially every participant.  We did manage a few laughs here and there in Afghanistan.  We took our missions seriously, but that didn’t mean we had to take ourselves seriously every second of the day. A Peck of Afghan Peppers Early in 2003, my engineer team frequently worked directly…

On the Water with Patriots

“Do you want to come on a sturgeon fishing and kayaking trip on the Columbia River with us?” Reading that email from Micah stopped me mid-click during my daily grind of paperwork. Sturgeon? The giant, sometimes 10-feet-long monster river fish? I had heard and read about fishing for those but never thought I’d get a…

Elk Hunting, Sometimes it’s Ugly

I debated with myself a long time about posting this one.  Not every hunt turns out like you’ve planned.  Most are far from it.  Some hunts are downright ugly.  I normally like stories about the animals, but the stupid human tricks were the most interesting part of this hunt since the elk were few and…

Fresh Air Poisoning

“Fresh air poisoning” is a running joke in our house, and most outdoor recreation enthusiasts of all types know it well.  “The Outdoor Cleanse” or “Soul Candy” or whatever you want to call that endorphin-fueled peace you attain after being outside for sometimes just a few hours.  Playing outside isn’t for everyone.  But I believe…