The Roof

On the flight deck, broiling hot sun, bright blue sky, blue sea, whitecaps throwing spindrift with the wind, another day in the Persian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom, I’m standing between eighty thousand pounds of Hornet and sixty thousand pounds of thrust at full throttle, two fighter aircraft held back against their will, straining to break free, to pierce the sky, my head on a … Continue reading The Roof

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Five

Shit River. Whatever the official name for the brown sliver of putrefaction that separated Subic Bay Naval Station from Olongapo, the Sailor’s crude, but descriptive, nickname stuck. I held my breath to avoid breathing the noxious odors emanating from the slow moving, vile smelling, lumpy ribbon of waste. Halfway across, a Sailor in civilian clothes tossed a few pesos to the river princesses sitting below … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Five

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Two

Whatever thoughts lay hidden behind Aida’s wide, brown eyes, my words pushed them away. The long hoped-for proposal had barely left my lips before Aida’s face broke into a smile so bright the moon might have blushed with shame. When she could no longer contain her emotions, when the smile alone could no longer express the rapturous joy overflowing her tender heart, Aida’s eyes filled … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Two

Eighteen Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty

For Dad John William Pennington 12/29/1926 – 12/10/1994. GM2C US Navy WWII; SSGT USAF Korea, Vietnam There are two kinds of dead in war: those who die and those who live. Those who die stay dead; those who live die again and again and again until, someday, they too stay dead. He died in World War II during the Battle of Okinawa, but lived another … Continue reading Eighteen Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty

Servicemembers We Lost in 2017

Rest In Peace 12 Dec 2017 Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Staff Sgt. David Thomas Brabander, 24, of Anchorage, Alaska, died Dec. 11 in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, as a result of a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Alaska, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. 27 Nov 2017 Operation Inherent Resolve. Cpl. … Continue reading Servicemembers We Lost in 2017

A Wished-For Love, Chapter One

. Olongapo, Philippines 1991 Aida, sweet and lovely like the opera, a pretty and petite Filipina in the full bloom of her twenty-one years, searched bare-footed for treasure among debris washed ashore by the late storm. She collected her treasure, a bright and colorful smörgåsbord of seashells, pebbles, smooth-worn glass, and curious shapes of driftwood, in a net bag that let sand fall away rather than … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter One

Sasi and Tom, A Wished-For Love, Chapter Twenty-One

I’m pretty happy with this chapter 🙂 Ten minute read Tom grinned when Sasi waved and called to him from her balcony. He returned her wave and walked faster. When he looked again she had gone. He pushed through the revolving door and strode through the lobby to the elevator. The clerk called to him but the words didn’t register. The elevator doors opened and … Continue reading Sasi and Tom, A Wished-For Love, Chapter Twenty-One

Wake of the Wahoo, a non-Book Review Review

I’ve never written a book review; this is not one, sort of. Book critics who use William Faulkner words and philosophical language to sell books, or not, intimidate me so I leave that skill to others. However, Wake of the Wahoo, by Forest J. Sterling, struck a chord with me and I wanted to share a few observations. Wake of the Wahoo is the story of … Continue reading Wake of the Wahoo, a non-Book Review Review

The Satisfied Life

When I was in the Navy, I was stationed, among many other places, in Brunswick, Maine, and Barbers Point, Hawaii. At both duty stations, there were places overlooking the sea that I frequently visited to relax, take photos, and swim or scramble around the cliff faces. In Maine, that place was on Bailey Island at a place along the cliffs called The Giant’s Stairs. There … Continue reading The Satisfied Life

Chilly Willy

Winter appears to have returned with a vengeance over the weekend. The high in Southern Maryland yesterday was forty-three degrees, and may reach thirty-four today. I’m not one to complain about the cold (except for a cold seat-of-ease; don’t they make heated ones?), and believe temperatures this cold should be accompanied by snow. My northern friends may cast eye darts at me, but I don’t … Continue reading Chilly Willy

Sea Duty, Cont’d

It thrilled me to learn I was going to deploy overseas with my squadron, Patrol Squadron Eight, the “Fighting Tigers”. My first military deployment! The P-3 Orion is an anti-submarine warfare aircraft; Soviet submarines were their primary targets. Although I was a groundpounder – a mechanic, not aircrew – everyone shared in the glory when our squadron aircrews found and tracked a Soviet boomer, sometimes … Continue reading Sea Duty, Cont’d

Eighteen Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty

For my father, John William Pennington 12/29/1926 – 12/10/1994. US Navy WWII; USAF Korea, Vietnam There are two kinds of dead in war: those who die and those who live. Those who die stay dead; those who live die again and again and again until, someday, they too stay dead. He died in World War II during the Battle of Okinawa, but lived another forty-nine … Continue reading Eighteen Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty

Ode to Orion (or Mechanic’s Lament)

Great metal Goddess, mined from deepest earth, Forged in blazing flame, molded, beaten, formed at birth; Measured, cut, and riveted, assembled frame by frame, The beauty of this graceful beast, too marvelous to tame; Glorious vision, Orion, strong upon Her legs, Pins of solid steel, shining sliding shock absorbing pistons beg Disbelief that such a being could be wrought by hand of man; Her might … Continue reading Ode to Orion (or Mechanic’s Lament)

Eighteen Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty

There are two kinds of dead in war: those who die and those who live. Those who die stay dead; those who live die again and again and again until, someday, they too stay dead. He died in World War II during the Battle of Okinawa, but lived another forty-nine years filled with anger that he did not die in the war and stay dead. … Continue reading Eighteen Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty