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 … Continue reading Patches

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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 … Continue reading Green Chiles and Elk

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 … Continue reading When Humanitarian Projects Aren’t

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 Aghanistan.  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 … Continue reading High Comedy in Low Places

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 … Continue reading On the Water with Patriots

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 … Continue reading Elk Hunting, Sometimes it’s Ugly

The Flying Moose and the Blueberry Bear, Part III

We took a few pictures around that bull moose and I sent out a SPOT satellite beacon message, "Critter Down!" for the outfitter and the folks at home. After a quick walk back to camp to call Powers, eat, and grab knives, a saw and tarp, we came back to the bull and butchered until … Continue reading The Flying Moose and the Blueberry Bear, Part III