I really admire the mission of the New England Center and Home for Veterans. Their mission focus is to serve a segment of the Veteran population that is disadvantaged – homeless Veterans. However, in recent years the Center has transformed into a place that serves all Veterans. It was great seeing all the people come out to support NECHV during their 16th Annual Leave No One Behind Gala.
Really enjoyed Bill Brett’s writeup about the Gala. I am extremely happy to see all the support for the Center and their mission as well. I am already looking forward to 2019!
The Chatham Coast Guard rowed wooden boats in the middle of the U-Boat attack to rescue crew, their wives and children. I had never heard about this until recently. This is the kind of subject I wanted to cover for my World War One Series.
Perth Amboy Sunk
Big thanks to Davide Henke, Veterans Outreach Coordinator for the VA Boston System for providing these upcoming events to check out.
The North Shore Veterans Collaborative Bi-Monthly Meeting:
October 18, 2018 @ 6:30pm – Portuguese American War Vets Club; 103 Tremont St., Peabody, MA 01960
Vets In Tech Training – 22-26 October – Boston – there a few slots left in the cybersecurity course. Veterans and spouses can attend and they cover the tuition / course materials. Go to:
Or contact Christopher Starling, VetsinTech, 415-713-0722
Hire a Veteran Month Kick Off at the Massachusetts State House: October 31st – Members of all Massachusetts Chambers of Commerce, Workforce Development Boards and Businesses in the Massachusetts area are invited to discuss veteran’s programs within the Commonwealth. One of the primary focuses of this event will be the Department of Labor’s Veteran’s Medallion Program to employers, along with other resources available to Businesses in hiring veterans. Event showcases the Commonwealth’s Workforce System re-branding to implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). All of their work has culminated into One Vision, One Mission and One Name bringing the Commonwealth’s Workforce System into a new era based on Collaboration, Respect, Reliability and Ingenuity.
I wanted to spend a month talking about World War 1. I started setting up the series, and realized just how little I know about this war. Also I would need a year doing one podcast a month just to scratch the surface. WW1 really was the “Great War”.
No matter what I did with this podcast, there was no way I could get all the history and detail at a high level distilled into 30 minutes. The goal is to talk about aspects of World War 1 that people don’t know about.
Trench warfare was hell. A literal hell for the men who fought and died in those trenches. Technology was changing and warfare changed more in this war than WW2 some would argue.
So stay tuned and I am working to tell these stories in a meaningful way.
Have you heard about the Sailor who performs in drag on the USS Ronald Regan? Read the Navy Times Article about Joshua Kelley (Navy Times Article about Harpy Daniels). This administrative supervisor pushes paperwork by day and performs in drag at night.
Not sure what I think about this. Certainly things have changed since I was in the Marine Corps. I really didn’t know what to say. I am not sure what is going on. On one hand it seems kind of odd, but on the other hand he isn’t hurting anyone so more power to him.
I talked in Episode 48 (Reality Loser) about how Reality Winner(Her real name) gave classified information out to c to the online news outlet Intercept. She got sentenced to prison for 5 years and 3 years supervision.
Some people think that Reality was punished too harshly. I don’t think so. There was a time in this country that if someone gave up classified information they would look at death by firing squad.
I don’t feel sorry for her situation and you shouldn’t either. It is all fun and games until she gives away someone’s cover or a unit’s movements. The reality is, she is not a winner.
All these items were in use at one time, even the signs.
I got invited to check out a private military collection. This was to support a project I am working on for the New England Center and Home for Veterans. The team needed some research done on World War One. Gary, who is a Marine Veteran, was gracious enough to allow me to come see what he had been doing.
I walked into the area and had to pause for a minute. I had been to plenty of military museums before, but this was the first time I had seen items like this up close and personal. This was the first time where someone other than a tour guide was telling me stories about each item. Many of these items had a personal story behind them.
Gary told me about a uniform that actually belonged to his father. His father’s story as an 18 year old kid working on a landing craft for D-Day. He told me about items his father wore and I could see a look of pride in his eye has he talked about that time.
However, it was during the podcast that this experience came in focus for me. He talked about another group that came and looked at the collection. One of the viewers said that there must be a lot of ghosts in these rooms. Gary looked at me and told me that there were, “No Ghosts Here”. This is not a place for ghosts he said, it is place of dignity. Where the deeds of those who went before us are kept alive.
I spent a lot of time reflecting on that thought as I prepared this podcast. I want to thank Gary and his son for taking the time to talk with me and show me something truly remarkable. Memories can be kept alive as long as we choose remember with dignity those who have gone before us.
Two pictures showing how Camp Edwards (Now Otis Air Base) changed in a year during WWII
Episode 105 – Richard Fitts Jr’s Family at The Wall that Heals
Richard Fitts Jr. and the Abington Color Guard
I had first met Richard Fitts Jr. when we were talking about his documentary 21 Years a Folded Flag. ( Episode 92 – 21 Years a Folded Flag ) This is a labor of love for a father he could not remember because SSgt Richard Fitts was killed in Laos during the Vietnam War. He reached out recently because he wanted me to meet the crew from the Abington VFW when the Fitts Family joined them to do the Colors Ceremony for The Wall that Heals.
One of the take aways from the film is how Abington, Massachusetts wrapped their arms around the Fitts family. I got a chance to see this in action for the ceremony. Richard, his mother Valerie and his son Austin joined the guys from the VFW for this special ceremony. I got to spend time with Richard talking about everything from Joe Satriani to bass guitar styles to aspects of parenthood. I enjoyed how Mrs. Fitts was the “den mother” for all the Abington VFW crew. It was more like a family event than anything else.
After the ceremony, Richard and his son Austin talked with me about the film. He is almost done with it. He was able to interview a General who in Richard’s view adds a lot to the project. There is a lot of movement going on with another entry into a film contest, and he is finalizing the sound.
Seeing a Gold Star family like the Fitts participate in the color guard brought a different kind feeling out in me. It shows that family in the military can mean those who haven’t served as well as those from different branches of service.
Abington VFW & Mrs Fitts – Richard Fitts Jr is on the far left