Monday, November 28, 2016

AND THE WINNER IS

I don't generally like talking politics -- specially when I saw the hypocrisy at work back in the 60s when the Nixon and Kennedy kids showed up at the Flying W Ranch, Pemberton, NJ in taxpayer paid for turbo prop aircraft and with a secret service crew to have fun while the parents were out making the general public believe the were arch enemies.

In fact, to be honest, I've never voted for anyone because of that reason. There's just too much lying, too much back stabbing and way too much talking and nothing being done to right the atrocities that have occurred over the past 35 years.

When I went into the Army 1969, I did so for two very specific reasons:

  1. I wanted an education
  2. I wanted to be part of something that was larger than life
The education never happened. The larger than life did. The first didn't happened because I got out in 1979 and the 80's saw one of the worst recessions since the great depression in the 20s.

The second was realized only because I had some of the best senior Officers to ever come out of West Point and ROTC in the history of the Army. People like Generals Sidney S. Berry, Gary E. Luck, and John N. Brandenburg.

And some that didn't make General status. People like Colonels A.G. Klose, Gerald E. Letchoe, Craig Gies and Burdett R. Sanders. I could never have done the things that I did back then without them.

But then, neither could they have done the things that they were able to do without people like me. Which means, we worked as a team with one single minded intent: Educate and inform the rest of the Army on the value and importance the role of the Cobra helicopter had as an flying aerial artillery rocket, TOW missile, or Hellfire missile firing platform.

I spent the better part of 10 years proving and improving on my abilities to communicate with a camera and with the words that I wrote.

Will I be remembered?

Probably not.

While I do like talking about my accomplishments in the military -- 6 stories published in Soldier's Magazine and 27 articles accepted in EurArmy Magazine ( and hundreds of images and articles published throughout the military public affairs media -- and I like to talk about my experiences with the senior ranking officers, I wasn't one of them nor did I ever want to be one of them.

You see, one of the beauties of pushing yourself to the point where you know you much better than others who tried to do the same is the fact that you are destined by the sheer nature of the business to push yourself to newer levels of visual and descriptive impact.

Besides, people who are well known are well known because someone else wanted to make them well known.

My interest was in making the people and the unit those people were part of well known.  The everyday E-1 to E-5 with a story to tell that would have gotten told hadn't I come along and brought my tape recorder and my camera along and was willing to find a story or an angle that would convince an editor the story was worth running.

They had the story to tell and I had the hard copy to prove it.

Which brings me to why I'm writing this here and now.

If American Journalism was for one year sensitive as I was to covering the true stories and the true reality of this nation, there wouldn't be a President Donald Trump or a Clinton, because those people wouldn't be as important as the mother and father barely scraping by and literally screaming for justice because every job isn't one but a dead end street.

When you say 50% of this country is living in poverty, that isn't just a number, that is millions of people who once had a dream of their own.

And I know exactly what that feels like when you can never have enough money coming in to even dream about owning your own home. Or enough to retire on because no one heard the story on how credit scores and inflated housing prices has pushed this country beyond the brink of accepting someday you'll get your shot.

I'll be dead before that someday happens. And the winner is death.