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Sunday, May 30, 2010

They Fought For Each Other

Your right . It is hard to read. I paused and took deep breaths many times at every twist and painful turn. And yet if a book can be a "must read" about this ongoing war....this is it. Half of the heroes of Charlie Company 1/26th infantry Charley Company were killed in Iraq. Many came home after 15th month broken in body and spirit. PTSD was only one of many problems.

A reporter for the Army Times, author Kelly Kennedy developed the book from Blood Brothers, a series of articles she had written. A former soldier herself , she tells the story of a Charley company's fight against insurgents and terrorists in a Bagdad neighborhood. Somehow it reminded me of a yearlong version of the day long fight for survival in Blackhawk Down. The following link to the final chapter of the Blood Brother series by the author in Army Times will introduce you to some of the men whose stories are told in the book.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention this unit was the only one to mutiny (refuse orders) during the war. Of course, you didn't know that nor did I before reading their story. Soldiers were rotated as units rather than individuals in this war as opposed to Korea and Vietnam. The consequences of this cuts to the heart of this story. You won't be disappointed in finding out why they did what they had to do.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Up North

There was a time when the phrase "up north" meant going to a mom and pop resort for a week or two of a fishing vacation in Northern Minnesota. That tradition has faded quite a bit over the years. Today, fancy resorts with tennis courts, golf courses, computer game rooms and "conference centers" dominate. Ah for the good old days.
Here I am checking out the beach with my Aunt Pearl and my mom (on the right) sometime during WWII.

A few years later, can you believe the striped pants my mom made me wear. The cabins were always "rustic." But what fun. I was an only child in those days as my little brothers didn't show up till I was almost ten.

This sudden dash of nostaligia may have been inspired by getting my Alumacraft fishing boat ready for the season yesterday. The images of long past fishing lakes "up north" kept flashing through my mind. They are far away in time and distance but not in memory. Farm Island, Ball Club, Potato, Sawbill, Mantrap, Battle Ax, Lida, Hoot Owl, and on and on. Those were the days my friends.....