Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Life after Navy

  • Now that my son has retired from the U.S. Navy, shall I retire my blog?  
  • Will I have nothing more relevant to say? 
  • Am I no longer a Navy Mom?
When I finish reading a book, I don't declare the end to all reading. Instead, I take my bookmark from the finished book and place it in the front of another book waiting nearby.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

August 1864 a Civil War Naval Adventure


Captain John Taylor Wood was the commander of a fast cruiser named the Tallahassee during the American Civil War. During a single month, under Wood’s command, the Tallahassee captured more than 30 enemy ships . Some days, she captured as many as four or five ships in one day.

 H.V. Rhodes, a retired U.S. Naval officer wrote August 1864 a Civil War Naval Adventure and the amount of extensive research he put into his book is evident. 
 

Through narrative and realistic dialogue, he carries readers back in time, to naval warfare as it was 152 years ago and brings his characters to life, filled with virtues, flaw and a natural authenticity. It's easy to believe his characters, or people like them, existed.  Rhodes dramatically and honestly captures the emotions of the men, and sometimes women, on these ships as well as persons on land, those who influenced the sailors from afar. 

As with many wars, some battles are fought, won and lost in boardrooms and staterooms, behind closed doors, within the documents of politicians and the voice of public opinion or in the media. Rhodes touches on this but does not overwork the theme.

His use of romance and intrigue make readers yearn to know more about the era when dialogue portrayed the polite civility common to the time when men apologized for using foul language that is gentler than what can be heard on today's school playgrounds. 

His familiarity within the Navy's chain of command and strong research easily bridges the gap between pure history and dramatic fiction.

I recommend August 1864 to everyone who enjoys reading about romance, political intrigue or historical events or life at sea.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Retirement on the horizon

Not my retirement, but my sailor son's, looms and now he has begun the dreaded health checks with the VA. I'll never understand why that organization twists veterans the way it does. Rather than being easy to navigate and help the vets, it seems to rejoice in finding new ways to perplex and confound.

Case in point: His first appointment with the VA is in a facility more than 150 mile from where he lives. That appointment is at 8 in the morning. Then he has two more, with the last of the day at 2 in the afternoon. The next morning, he has another appointment nearer his home, then, the next day, more appointments after driving more than 2 hours.

I'm grateful he doesn't have anything "major" wrong with him, at least by their standards.

Monday, November 9, 2015

I recently had the honor and privilege to read a book written by WWII Navy veteran, Henry Scott Harris. I'd been assigned to read and review the book for one of my writing clients and my first thought was, "Oh, no, not another self-published book."

As a whole, self-published authors often forego the need for an editor. Everybody needs an editor. I can find mistakes in best-selling books, but the self-published books' errors often make reading difficult and unpleasant. All Blood Runs Red is the exception. Oh, it has mistakes and I yearned to grab my red pen and dig into them, but the mistakes were minor typos and infrequent.

They did not diminish my reading pleasure of this historical novel at all.


Traces of Harris' naval career showed up when Bullard spoke of keeping his head on a swivel and I chuckled. I appreciated the author's military background as he described the French Legion's equivalent of MEPS.

Harris is all that I admire about the US Navy. He set about to right an injustice. If you thought the Tuskegee Airmen were the first pilots in US military aviation, you're going to want to pick up a copy of All Blood Runs Red.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

At no cost to Taxpayers

This summer, the USS George H.W. Bush underwent maintenance for, among other things, repairs to the faulty Vacuum flush toilet "heads" that had sailors standing in line for hours, doing what some reporters called "the pee pee dance." At no cost to taxpayers, the repairs have been made. Washington Post reporter Al Kamen wrote:
The Navy is working to finally fix a chronic problem that has been bedeviling sailors aboard its newest aircraft carrier — clogged toilets.
Kamen linked to an earlier article by Michael Welles Shapiro of the Daily Press, a Virginia newspaper. Shapiro reported that special anti-snag devices had been installed in the toilet drainage lines that would prevent future clogs. He also reported:
EVAC has not charged the Navy for the work.
EVAC of North America Inc. headquartered in Cherry Valley, Ill. is the company that built the waste management system on the Bush and executed the repairs, which included reconfiguring the system to increase its capacity.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

If I had become a sailor

If I had become a sailor, I might not have been retained by the ERB and I might be facing early dismissal. But, I'm not a sailor. If I had become a sailor, I might have been assigned to the USS George HW Bush's maiden voyage and I would have had to deal with the ship's malfunctioning heads. But, I'm not a sailor. If I had become a sailor, I know I would not have had the freedom to become a HANC for my mother. If you want to know more about what a HANC is, visit 37 Not-necessarily-easy-steps to become a Master HANC