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» Where Were You When...
By Michael Kannon | Published 08/10/2006 | Reflections | Rating:

December 8th 1941
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
"Yesterday, December 7th, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."

November 22nd 1963
Walter Cronkite
"In Dallas, Texas, three shots were fired at President Kennedy's motorcade in downtown Dallas...President Kennedy died at 1:00 P.M. Central Standard Time, two o'clock Eastern Standard Time."

September 11th 2001
Andy Card, White House Chief of Staff
"A second plane has hit the tower, America is under attack."

September 11th 2001
Michelle, My Wife
"Wake up honey, a plane crashed into the World Trade Center."

» When the Shit Hits the Fan
By Mike Smith | Published 07/11/2006 | Reflections | Rating:
You are not alone.

When the shit hits the fan, the world becomes a very small place. Imagine if you will, standing on the beach. The incredibly blue Pacific stretched out before you as the sun peeks over the horizon behind you. The sky slowly edges from black to purple to pink. You can smell the coffee brewing as the soft, sweet music from the radio lulls you, caresses you, takes you back home to her, to Mom's bread baking, to Dad's pipe smoke, to Grandpa's farm where the fresh cut alfalfa makes the air even better than this salt-fresh air. Back home, they would all be getting ready for church, this being Sunday morning. As you stare out over the crisp blue ocean at the sea birds flying almost as if in formation, it slowly dawns on you that they really are flying in formation. What kind of birds fly like that? Well, they are flying in to shore, so pretty soon you will be able to identify them. Maybe write back home to let everyone know about them. But they are not birds. They are planes. Japanese Zeros.
» My Mistress
By Mike Smith | Published 06/18/2006 | Reflections | Rating:

I have a confession to make to my wife. I have a mistress.

35 years is a long time to spend with a mistress, but that is how long we've been together. And, as long as I'm telling the truth, she hasn't treated me very well. In fact, she is the cause of a lot of sleepless nights. She makes me depressed and angry. She makes me feel isolated and numb and guilty. She is the one who makes me feel like I don't fit in, that I'm not normal, that I'm unlovable and unworthy. She is the reason that I drink too much and hide in my bunker.

But let's be fair. She also gave me the best times of my life. She showed me what it means to be so close to someone that I would defend their safety at any cost. She was with me when I became a man. She taught me to share my last cigarette, my last can of beans, my thoughts, and my dreams; all of those things that are so hard for me to share with you, my wife. She taught me to recognize the flavor of what it is like to be alive, and the sound of that roaring silence after a fight. She gave me a thousand things that only she could give me; things that I can never give to you, my wife. And I am happy that I can't give them to you.

» Did we ever really get out?
By Michael Kannon | Published 06/16/2006 | Reflections | Rating:

Did we ever really get out? Over 20 years later I still have the Corps deep in my bones. I still get a stirring in my heart when I hear The Marine’s Hymn or even when someone mentions Chesty Puller.


My MOS of 4063 Mainframe Programmer is now obsolete. However the essential Corps Values are very much alive.


When I first got out I had some difficulty finding a job. Work wasn’t the problem. I had a hard time relating to civilian bosses and coworkers. I was used to the outstanding leadership and Gung-Ho spirit that we find in the Corps. Did you know that civilians will actually quit work after 8 hours, even if the job is still not done!

» Talking To A Wall
By Mike Smith | Published 05/15/2006 | Reflections | Unrated

Talking to some people is like talking to a wall: a shiny black wall with names carved into it.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington is a black granite wall engraved with the names of each of the 58,245 U.S. servicemen who were killed in Vietnam from October, 1957 to May, 1975. Each of the 140 granite slabs is polished to a mirror finish so that, as visitors look into the engraved names, they will see the reflection of themselves. The names of the dead are not organized by rank or alphabet. They are listed in chronological order of their deaths.

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