I do solemnly swear…

As I stood at graveside for a funeral at Arlington National Cemetery last week, I realized that on inauguration day, Donald Trump becomes eligible for burial there. During dozens of services as an Arlington Lady, I’ve heard the Chaplain’s reminder to mourners that no resting place at Arlington National Cemetery can be purchased; it must be earned…

It’s Elemental…

On Kodiak, the second-largest US island, you can count on wind and water. If you’ve watched the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch,” you may recognize the area  since several fishing boats  have their home port in Kodiak.  Of course, it’s an island and surrounded by water, but there’s also precipitation. While Kodiak’s weather tends to be milder than…

Shift Happens, But Not Without Struggle

  Like many of the other 1500 students who entered the United States Military Academy with me in July 1976, I was drawn to an educational opportunity at a prestigious college subsidized by US taxpayers. I had first visited West Point with a high school friend whose brother was a cadet. The school impressed me;…

Share the road

My first assignment in the Army was as a platoon leader in Mannheim, Germany. The US was still involved in a cold war with the Soviet Union. My unit had HETs—heavy equipment transporters. Due to their size, weight and cargo, often M60 tanks, driving on the autobahns required special clearances from the Germans and the…

That was then, this is now…

7 July 1976. Forty years ago. It was the year of the bicentennial of the United States. A flotilla of tall ships paraded in New York City harbor. And I entered West Point for Beast, probably the most psychologically and physically grueling voluntary seven week of my life. But I and the other 1500 new cadets…

Honoring veterans’ service

Over the weekend, I attended a Stand-Up for Women Vets. And what exactly is a Stand-up? While I don’t know where the phrase, Stand-up, originated; perhaps it indicates showing support, like when we stand for the national anthem. It’s clearly not the opposite of stand-down; a military term that means cease-fire or truce. This Stand-Up for…