Pearl Harbor is remembered

GP Cox posted a great remembrance for Pearl Harbor Day on his blog, Pacific Paratrooper. Please take the time to check out his great blog.

Pacific Paratrooper

Crew of the USS Arizona

When diplomacy failed and power and greed survived – the Pacific skies went dark….

Hickam Field

Aerial view during the attack

Battleship Row, as seen by Japanese pilot during the attack

From the Smithsonian Museum……

USS Oklahoma stamp

This relic marks the movements before the U.S. was launched into WWII….To record when a piece of mail was processed aboard ship, the Navy used wooden postmark stamps.  This one bears an ominous date: 6 December 1941 PM.  It was recovered from the battleship Oklahoma after it was hit by several torpedoes, listed to a 45-degree angle, capsized and sank in the attack on Pearl Harbor.  The ship lost 429 sailors and Marines; one-third of its crew.

For a different view on the Pearl Harbor “surprise”……..

https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/2016/12/07/the-other-pearl-harbor-story-kimmel-and-short/

For a wonderful Pearl Harbor poem, by Lee…..

https://mypoetrythatrhymes.wordpress.com/2018/08/

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Farewell Salutes – 

William Barnes – Brookston, IN ,& Lake Worth…

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Midway (2019)

The overview …

Monday night I went to see Midway at The Carolina Cinemark Asheville theater. I was slightly hesitant to do so since I have always enjoyed the 1976 Midway film staring Charleton Heston. However, it turned out to not be a problem for me. The movies are different enough that I enjoyed them both.

Like its predecessor, this new version of the centers on the historic Battle of Midway fought during World War II. This clash between the badly-mauled American fleet, which had just suffered horrific losses during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and the Imperial Japanese Navy marked a pivotal turning point in the Pacific Theater during WWII.

midway 2019

This film is based on the real-life events of this heroic American defeat of the Japanese fleet and Admiral Yamamoto’s grand plan to quickly destroy the U.S. Navy in the Pacific. The story tells the tale of the leaders sailors, and pilots who relied on their instincts, intestinal fortitude, bravery (and a good deal of luck) to overcome incredible odds and a Navy force that had them greatly outnumbered and was better equipped.

The Japanese attack on Midway involved four aircraft carriers, seven battleships, 150 support ships, 248 carrier aircraft and 15 submarines.

The U.S. Navy, meanwhile, was down to just three aircraft carriers, 50 support ships, 233 carrier aircraft, 127 land-based aircraft on Midway, and eight submarines after the Pearl Harbor attack.

The Critics

The Bad …

Many critics seem do dislike the film. I don’t know if it is because they really thought the film was that bad, or if it was because “belittling” American history has become popular with the elite crowd. Here are a few examples:

It’s hard to imagine, if you’ve already seen a film like Pearl Harbor, why you would need to see Midway.

Amy Nicholson, FilmWeek

The digitized combat looks like something traced and transplanted from another war, one that took place in a galaxy far, far away.

Scott Marks, San Diego Reader

It has the tone, mostly, of kids’ TV. Or a poor, very poor, supplementary video for a history.

Kevin Maher, TImes (UK)

The good …

The great appeal of the film are the aerial battles, strengthened by excellent digital effects.

Marcelo Stiletano, La Nacion (Argentina)

“Midway” tells a story that’s vividly and viscerally rendered, with all the entertainment value of a big, old-fashioned war movie, cutting back and forth between the home front and front line.

Micheal O’Sullivan, Washington Post

“Midway” is a rollicking war film. History buffs need not apply.

Adam Graham, Detroit News

My thoughts …

I enjoyed the movie. For me, it was a lot like 1965 movie, The Battle of the Bulge with Henry Fonda, which was also short on historical accuracy and plot, but long on entertainment value.

Despite its obvious drawbacks, Midway is a rip-roaring military saga and a testament to the men who fought and won this battle. The Americas are portrayed as being brave and heroic during the movie, and so are the Japanese. Both sides are depicted as fighting for a cause they believed in.

I also thought the mixture of real-life and CGI did a great job in the battle scenes. If anyone has seen tracers fired, especially at night, it can indeed look a bit like a scene out of a Star Wars movie.

I thought the end of the movie was also very well done. You are shown real photos of the real heroes of the battle, along with biographies of them and any citations they received. I was struck with the idea that some of the actors were chosen because they strongly resembled the actual characters they portrayed. Woody Harrelson, in his white hair, looked a great deal like Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. I thought Dennis Quaid also looked a lot like Admiral “Bull” Halsey.

This film really stirred the patriotic blood in me. And, not just for America’s victory at Battle of Midway, but for the sacrifices all our brave fighting men and women have made for our country throughout its history. Maybe that is why some of the critics didn’t care for it.


If you like military history, or military action adventures or action thrillers, check out Serpents Underfoot, available online at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million. Click here to read more interesting blog posts and reviews!

D.C. Gilbert’s Top 10 Christmas Movies

As Christmas draws closer, my mind turns to some very serious questions. Key among them is which movies I will watch while digesting my Christmas goose (or turkey, or ham, or Lasagna, or whatever). I can just about guarantee that whichever I watch, it will be one of those found here on this blog post! Here are my Top 10 All-Time favorites movies to watch at Christmas … in no particular order.

#1: The Battle of the Bulge

Will the war be over in time for Christmas? Will Lt. Col. Dan Kiley get to enjoy the General’s planned Christmas dinner? Inquiring minds want to know!

While not historically accurate and pretty much devoid of a plot, Battle of the Bulge still delivers as an entertaining war movie that will stir any true American’s patriotic porridge!

Click here to see the 1965 Battle of the Bulge Official Trailer HD.

#2: Scrooge (George C. Scott)

The classic “A Christmas Carol” with George C Scott has been a family Christmas tradition since I was a kid. None of the other versions can hold a candle to it.

First as a kid, with eggnog and Christmas cookies, now perhaps as an adult, with cheese and crackers and a good bourbon on the rocks.

It doesn’t matter that I’ve seen this movie probably once a year for as long as I can remember. It is simply part of my family Christmas tradition and I faithfully continue to follow it. Check out the trailer here if you haven’t seen it!

#3: Die Hard

Ho-ho-ho, he’s got a machine gun! Probably the most exciting office Christmas party in the history of offices.

Bruce Willis’s plays NYPD detective John McClane, a lone hero fighting overwhelming odds and battling terrorists on Christmas eve! Of course, it’s his wife’s boss’s office Christmas party at their nearly completed new skyscraper!

Just a great movie to kick back and relax to while eating copious amounts of buttered popcorn! Click here to view the Die Hard (1988) Theatrical Trailer #1.

#4: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Since its release in 1989, this movie joined Scrooge (with George C Scott) as a must see at Christmas time movie!

This movie is absolutely hilarious, and to beat all, my family Christmas memories are included in so many great scenes in this movie. We just didn’t take them to quite the extreme that Chevy Chase does. The relatives, cutting the perfect Christmas tree, the Christmas lights, etc. They are all there, just exaggerated a bit in the film.

Click here to view the trailer, and if you have not seen this movie, do yourself a favor and do!

#5: Big Jake

One of my all time favorite John Wayne movies. A great classic western story about a crusty old rancher who’s grandson is kidnapped for ransom by a gang of cutthroat outlaws.

Called home by his estranged wife, Jacob McCandles teams up with the now grown two sons he hasn’t seen in a decade to rescue his young grandson who is named Jacob; after his grandfather.

There are lots of memorable lines I find myself using to this day. For instance, if you don’t click here to view the trailer, “that would cause me great annoyance and displeasure.”

#6: The Lord of the Rings (Trilogy)

Each movie in this great trilogy was released at Christmas. So, for three successive years, my family went down to the old Ritz Theater in Clinton, Tennessee on Christmas Day and watched Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. It was a three-year family tradition!

Though all three films are great, my favorite of the three movies is The Return of the King. Click here to view the #1 (2003) HD trailer for Return of the King.

#7: Polar Express

First, I enjoyed watching this movie with my kids when they were young. Overtime, it became a Christmas season must watch movie as well.

Hot Chocolate would make a pretty good quickstep for anyone interested in Ballroom Dancing and you even get to rock out with Aerosmith at the end of the movie.

For me it is just a feel-good Christmas story … kind of a more modern version of the classic, Twas the Night Before Christmas …

Click here to view the official Polar Express trailer!

#8: Kill Bill, Vol. 1

Not a big fan of Quentin Tarantino as a person, but I do like a lot of his movies. How is this a Christmas favorite? I think it must be the samurai duel in the snow between Uma Thurman and Lucy Liu. It is such a cool scene!

In this film, The Bride (Uma Thurman), a former assassin, awakens from a four-year coma and wreaks bloody vengeance on the team of assassins who betrayed her.

Lots of blood and gore, sword fights, knife fights, and rip-roaring vengeance wreaking! Probably not for everyone, and definitely not for kids, but I sure like it! Click here to view the trailer.

#9 Braveheart

This is a movie that should stir the “warrior soul” that has been an integral part of being a man since the dawn of time.

It is like an annual reminder for me that there is much in this world that is good … life, freedom, love of God, love of family, and love of country. And … those things are worth fighting for!

Christmas is a remembrance of the most important event in the history of man, the birth of Jesus Christ. It is also a great time for men to remind themselves what it should mean to be a man. Click here to check out the official 1995 Braveheart trailer.

#10: A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas is a classic. In this 1965 animated television special, Charlie Brown finds himself depressed despite the onset of the cheerful holiday season. Lucy suggests he direct a neighborhood Christmas play, but his best efforts are ignored and mocked by his peers.

After Linus tells Charlie Brown about the true meaning of Christmas, Charlie Brown cheers up, and the Peanuts gang unites to celebrate the Christmas season. Does it get any better than that? Click here to watch on YouTube.

Reblog from National Anthem Girl: Send Christmas Cards to Lonely Vets in Hospice Care

Great post. I wish I had seen this a little sooner!

e-Quips

1: SEND CHRISTMAS CARDS TO LONELY VETS IN HOSPICE CARE!

Veteran’s Last Patrol’s purpose is to ensure no veteran faces their last years, months, weeks of their lives alone. They would love to deliver YOUR cards to veterans who are alone in hospice this holiday season! This is a GREAT project for your students, children, office group…everyone! Please consider sharing this mission with others. Here’s all the info you need:

How many cards should I send? As many as you can! Veteran’s Last Patrol is currently working with about 100 veterans. The more cards each vet receives the merrier! Be creative! If you’ve got some creative students/kids – have them draw pictures too!
Do I need to put postage on each card? No. If you’re sending more than one card, just put them all in one package or envelope and send. Feel free to put your return address on each…

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Montagnard: Chapter Sample #1

Setting the stage …

In this sample, we jump into the past to find young Dish, a Montagnard warrior and ally to the American’s during the Vietnam War, narrowly escaping certain death at the hands of the Viet Cong.

Dish is the adopted brother of Mai, a Vietnamese woman and mother to the main character in this exciting sequel to Serpents Underfoot. He plays a key role in this new tale of kidnap, rescue, redemption, and revenge.


17 September 1967

Dish leaned his back against a tall Dalat pine and struggled to quiet his heavy breathing to listen for sounds of enemy pursuit. The ambush had been perfect. Dish, as point man, had been allowed through the kill zone. Somehow he’d missed it, which meant that whoever laid that ambush was also damn good; because Dish was damn good.

The terrain had not allowed for the typical L-shaped ambush, or the Viet Cong’s favorite, a V-shaped ambush. But the Green Beret A-team he was scouting for was now caught in a deadly cross-fire from both sides of their position. Separated from the team by a dense hail of bullets created by both the ambushers and the Green Berets who were returning fire, Dish tried, unsuccessfully, to circle back and rejoin them. Unfortunately, he ran directly in to a group of a dozen or so VC that were moving up to reinforce the right leg of the ambush. Spotting Dish, the group opened fire, and he could do little more than turn and flee back down the trail. The excited VC, forgetting their mission, took off after him, following in hot pursuit.

Reaching up, he removed his Boonie hat to wipe his sweaty brow with the sleeve of his olive drab jungle fatigue jacket. Listening , he heard nothing.  

There’s no way I lost them, Dish thought. Maybe I outran them? He doubted that was the case and was sure they’d be along. More likely, they were moving cautiously.

Finally, he risked a swallow of water from his canteen, relieving the dryness of his throat. Placing the canteen back in its pouch on his left hip, Dish returned the Boonie hat to his head and crouched down, shifting his grip on the M-16 rifle he carried. He listened for several long minutes. Had he lost them? It still seemed unlikely.

That question was answered a few seconds later when Dish heard a twig snap a short distance to his left. He froze. A hushed admonishment in Vietnamese immediately followed.

Then, his eye caught a movement. Dish held his breath as two black-clad figures stepped out of the brush and into a small clearing just a few yards down the slope from where he now stood, pressed against the Dalat pine. Both VC carried AK-47s and wore bandoliers with extra ammunition hanging sash-style over their shoulders. Each wore the trademark conical straw hats as protection from the sun, which luckily at this moment was directly behind Dish.

He felt a bead sweat run down the back of his neck. More sweat stung his eyes. Dish could do nothing; even the slightest movement might give his position away. To his surprise, the two enemy fighters never even glanced his way. Their attention seemed focused on something downslope. Seconds later, the two continued to carefully work their way down the hill and away from where Dish was willing himself to become part of the tree. Then, like jungle ghosts, they were gone.

Turning, Dish began running along an outcropping of rock that was partially concealed by the Dalat pine against which he’d rested. There was a shout. An AK-47 fired, and a spattering of bullets ricocheted off the rock just behind him. They were right on his tail. Dish spotted an outcropping of rock just ahead and raced toward it. Hearing his pursuers closing in behind him, he ducked behind it.

I hope this isn’t a dead-end!

There was no place to hide. The crack created by the outcropping was narrow and not very deep. Perhaps five feet wide at its opening, in narrowed to maybe eighteen inches where it ended in a rock face.  It was seven or at feet deep at best with a thick growth of leafy scrub brush at the base of the rock face. It was a dead end.

At twenty-three years old, Dish had been fighting the North Vietnamese and their VC allies for seven years and had witnessed much of their evil brutality. He was determined not to be taken alive. Moving quickly to the rear of the crack, he pressed his back into the brush and checked the action of his M-16 rifle. Dish had ten fully loaded 30-round magazines available in his rucksack but doubted he’d get a chance to reload very many times.  When he died, several of them would come with him.

Pressing the magazine release, he quietly slid the partial magazine from the well and replaced it with a full one. Working the charging handle as noiselessly as possible, he moved back as far as he could into the split in the rock. Turning to face the opening, Dish leaned back into the brush, wanting to feel something substantial behind him. Nothing. He shifted back just a bit and pressed back again. Still, there was nothing. Crouching, he worked himself farther back into the scrubby growth and suddenly tumbled over backward.

Getting to his feet, Dish looked back at the crack. He was now standing on the other side. The rock face in front of him was solid, but there was a hole, probably cut by water at its base. Stooping, he peered into the hole and estimated the rock wall to be several feet thick. The scrub brush concealed the hole, and he had luckily fallen right into it. Dish listened but could hear nothing. The VC were cautious in their approach, suspecting they had him trapped and in no rush to get themselves killed. Even a trapped rat will turn on its pursuers, and Dish was no rat, more like a tiger.

Dish quickly took stock of his situation and could see he was in a big bowl cut by falling water. He spotted a rocky wash on his right that led up a steep, almost vertical, bank.

The only way out of here is up, he decided.

He slung the rifle across his back and started climbing up the wash, making as little noise as possible. He’d climbed about a hundred feet or so when the wash suddenly turned out onto a rock ledge. Flattening himself out, Dish lay on the shelf and quieting his ragged breath, listened. He could hear the VC below him, now searching for him, calling out to each other in Vietnamese.

“Fan out! He can’t have just disappeared. Poh! Use your bayonet and check that brush.” There was the sound of a bayonet snapping into place on a rifle barrel and then being thrust repeatedly into the brush.  

“I tell you he isn’t here!”

After a time, the perplexed group of VC moved on, their voices fading as they drew farther away. They’d completely missed the hole into which he’d fallen.


I think my readers will find real improvements in style and substance in this new release, due out next summer … a result of lessons learned while writing my first novel.

I have gotten great feedback in emails and reviews of Serpents Underfoot, and I always take that feedback to heart as I strive to improve my skills in my chosen craft as a writer. I am looking forward to hearing from my readers about this second novel when it is released.

Let's Talk Turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving

happy thanksgiving

A Tom (male) turkey’s head is normally white or light gray. When his head turns blue, that indicates he’s really excited. This happens during the Spring mating season. I took this photo last April. This Tom was strutting around and courting several hens in the front yard.

As a little side note, a friend commented that he think it’s a pretty darn good thing human male’s heads don’t turn blue when they are excited.


A Little Thanksgiving Humor

I Just Added This To My Reading List!

PROMISES TO THE FALLEN

A VIETNAM WAR NOVEL

Glyn Haynie

Cover image of the new novel by Author Glyn Haynie
New Release

I just ordered a signed hardcover copy of Glyn Haynie’s newest release and cannot wait to read it!

Author Glyn Haynie

From the age of 19 until he retired in March of 1989, Glyn Haynie served his country as a member of the United States Army. Starting in 1969, his military career spanned 20 years. Haynie found himself turning 19 while fighting in the jungles of Vietnam with the 23rd Infantry Division. Before retiring, Haynie went on to serve as a drill instructor, a first sergeant, and finally as an instructor for the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA).


I have read all three of his earlier books!

When I Turned Nineteen: A Vietnam War Memoir

Glyn Haynie’s first book, When I Turned Nineteen: A Vietnam War Memoir, tells of the author’s experiences as a 19-year-old soldier sent off to fight an unpopular war. In this gripping narrative, Haynie shares his war experience with his readers.

They were just average Americans – sons, fathers, husbands, and brothers. Men who who came together and formed a bond that would endure a lifetime, a bond formed in combat.

Glyn Haynie shares the vivid experiences of his period as a soldier during the War in Vietnam.

Weeks of boredom, minutes of terror. Surviving the humidity, the heat, the monsoons, a raging jungle fire, and struggling to build a firebase on a remote jungle hilltop, all while fighting fear, exhaustion, and facing a fierce and implacable enemy.

Soldiering After The Vietnam War: Changed Soldiers In A Changed Country

This second work, Soldiering After The Vietnam War: Changed Soldiers In A Changed Country, picks up where the first book leaves off and gives the reader a rare glimpse of what it meant to a soldier to return from Vietnam and continue to serve his country despite the lack of respect and appreciation typically afforded soldiers returning home from war.

The vast majority of American service men who served in Vietnam served bravely and honorably. The atrocities so often focused on by the media, and in films and documentaries were actually few and far between. Men like Glyn Haynie would probably never ask, but many in this country owe them an apology … and some long overdue respect and appreciation.

Finding My Platoon Brothers: Vietnam Then and Now

Glyn Haynie carries the names of 13 brothers forever engraved on his heart. They are the names of brothers-in-arms, killed in combat during the War in Vietnam.

The bonds formed in battle are unique and not understood by anyone who has not served in the military.

This third book by Glyn Haynie, Finding My Platoon Brothers, Vietnam Then and Now, describes his efforts to find and reconnect with his brothers of First Platoon. These men, with whom he served during the War in Vietnam, are indeed a real part of his family.


And now, to Glyn Haynie’s newest release, a very intriguing Vietnam War novel.

PROMISES TO THE FALLEN: A Vietnam War Novel

I have not yet read Glyn Haynie’s new novel, Promises to the Fallen: A Vietnam War Novel, but I have just ordered a signed copy! You can order a signed hardcover or paperback copy by clicking here!

While I have not actually met Glyn, I have gotten to know him through collaboration on some projects as well as through social media vehicles such as Twitter, and Instagram where we have shared tips on topics such as marketing books on Twitter or Instagram and using Amazon Ads.

I did read one chapter of his novel while it was in-progress and found it very intriguing. And, I believe that if you’re interested in military history, the Vietnam War era, its soldiers, and its heroes, this will be one novel you will definitely want to add to your reading list. It is now available at Amazon.com in Kindle, paperback and hardcover formats.

Once I have received my copy of the book and read it, I will post a review here on my blog!