Saturday, April 28, 2012

"Outlaw Platoon" is a Must Read Book!

I've read a lot of war memoirs, but have never been moved to tears until I read "Outlaw Platoon", by Captain Sean Parnell (USA, Ret) and John Bruning. CPT Parnell commanded 3rd Plt, Bravo Co, 2/87 Inf, part of the 10th Mountain Division, in Afghanistan during some of the fiercest combat actions of the war. Sean Parnell and his co-author, John Bruning are gifted at conveying the emotions and thoughts experienced by a frontline junior officer. I was sucked in to the story by the middle of page 2, and held there to the very end.
I never review a book by rehashing it, so you will need to purchase or borrow "Outlaw Platoon", and read it yourself. I guarantee that you will be a little different person by the time you finish it, and in a good way.
"Thank you" to my friend and colleague, LTC Hank Cramer (USA, Ret), for sharing this superb story with me...and to the men of "Outlaw Platoon", you have my undiminished gratitude for your service, sacrifice, and heroism under fire.

This Is Why I Still Love the Seattle Mariners!

More audio at

Friday, April 27, 2012

Good Stuff!

I got together for a beer and a burger with my Team Chief from Iraq last evening. This dude is a real professional, and an excellent leader, plus an all-around good guy, despite his exceptionally bad taste in music. Anyway, it was a rare pleasure to hang out for a couple of hours and catch up.

I know that there are folks I deployed with who will always be a pleasure to see, just as there are a few who would cause me to duck into an alley to avoid any contact...(Thankfully, those who fall into the latter category are very small in number!) I'm sure that I also fall into both categories for some of my former "Double Douche" compatriots...but that's what life is all about.

Anyway, for anyone from the ol' unit out there who I haven't talked to in a while, here's to ya, and I hope life is treating you well!


SA Leprechaun  

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Running To Honor Pat Tillman's Legacy This Morning

I'm looking forward to be taking part in "Pat's Run" this morning, one of the many Shadow Runs around the country, concurrent with the main event in Tempe, AZ. "Pat's Run" honors the legacy, honor, and courage of Pat Tillman, ASU and NFL football star who left his promising pro football career to join the U.S. Army after 9-11. I'm sure everybody knows his story. What you may not know is how the Tillman Foundation carries on Pat's service to our nation, primarily by selecting military veterans as Tillman Scholars, funding their advanced education. This gives an added boost to those who have shown themselves to be outstanding leaders in the armed forces, private sector, and their communities.

We'll be running 4.2 miles at Point Defiance in Tacoma, wearing Arizona Cardinals Red shirts with the number 42 on the back...That was Pat's football jersey number...and while most of the runners here will no doubt speeding through the course, I will be gimping along, geezer-style, and probably bringing up the rear. No matter, I'm just honored to be able to contribute to the Tillman Foundation, and at the same time pay tribute to an American Hero. Hooah!

UPDATE: I finished, with no major injuries, and although the oldest runner by quite a few years, I was NOT LAST!!!!  The Shadow Run organizer, Major Steve Buchanon, is a very impressive fellow, currently completing his law degree AND an MBA at the UW. Everyone taking part, whether ASU alumni, or military folks, were first class examples of the folks who honor Pat Tillman by their service.

And fair warning to all of my friends who read this blog...I'm going to be hitting you up next year to participate in the 2nd Annual Tacoma Shadow Run! Start training now, because you don't want The Fighting Leprechaun to outrun you!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Proof Positive of the "Chuck Norris Combat Superiority Theory"

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Tale of Two Good Emergency Management Dudes

The emergency management profession is a lot like bouillabaisse: there are lots of different kinds of seafood...but all seafood, no beef, pork, or poultry. Two good dudes in my world have announced their intention of retiring this summer. Both are retired military, one a former Army officer, the other a former Air Force senior NCO. One of the guys was a first responder medic type, teacher, and public safety administrator before winding up working as a full-time emergency management supervisor. My other colleague joined a county as a planner right out of the Army. Each served in Vietnam. Aside from similar Gaelic roots, and a tendency to be, shall we say, outspoken, each of these dudes have very different interests and talents. Yet they belong to the same species: Disasterus Responderis Unselfishus. When the guacamole hits the fan, they are among the first through the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) door, working their butts off to bring order out of chaos. These guys praise common sense, and abhor stupid bureaucracy. (Okay, is there such a thing as smart bureaucracy? Naw, didn't think so.) As a result of their service in the emergency management field, their respective jurisdictions have been better prepared, the organizations have responded more effectively, and their fellow citizens have benefitted greatly from each dude's collective contributions.
I'm going to miss working with those guys. Our shared profession is taking a hit, but I'm happy that they are going to reap the benefits of their hard work, hopefully with a golf club or hockey stick in their hand while we former colleagues have our rear ends planted in the less than comfortable office chairs for our 12-hour EOC shifts.
Thanks, dudes! Happy Retirement!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Beeb help keep the mystique of Augusta alive

 Here's a great perspective from The Irish Times about the BBC's television coverage of The Masters:  Beeb help keep the mystique of Augusta alive

It's BASEBALL Season!

A friend of mine wisely says, "The only thing Seattle Mariners fans are entitled to is disappointment." While he has been (unfortunately) proven correct every year since 1977, such realism doesn't dampen my April Enthusiasm for the M's prospects each season.  This year is no different. While the Mariners and Oakland Athletics officially started the Major League Baseball 2012 season in Japan, last night was their first regular season game back in the USA...and the Mariners kicked Oakland's buttocks...well, a little bit, anyway.
I  do KNOW that this was only one game out of 160, but after watching the M's getting timely hits, and even better, scoring a bunch of runs...well, a fan can dream, right? And the dream can stay alive until tonight's game, which gives me 9 more hours of happiness.
Now if only Freddie Couples can win the Masters tomorrow...