Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Leavin Home, Out On The Road I've Been Down Before..........

I have been below the radar for the past little bit, three days worth of state mandated training to keep up my L.E. certification and getting ready for a short road trip to old San Juan for a reenactment. I leave at o dark thirty in the morning to catch a flight out of Charlotte. I will need to get there real early to let the TSA types to look over my surgeon's kit before allowing it on board the aircraft.

The training classes weren't too bad. It consisted of mostly new law updates and other odds and ends but there was one instructor who wasn't (IMHO) very good. He reminded me a great deal of the Economics Teacher in the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The same monotone, boring subject (bicycle and pedestrian law and safety) and it was taught way too early in the morning. -grin- I managed to stay awake through it all.

This will be my second trip to San Juan. I am looking forward to heading back down this year, as long as the knees hold up. Three other members of the hospital are also going, so I will be the trusty guide to show them the sites. It should be fun. I will post a full report when I get back.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Today In History...............

In 1746...........

The Young Pretender, Prince Charles Edward Stewart and the Scottish Highland Clan members who had rallied to his cause were defeated by a British Army under the command of William, the Duke of Cumberland at the battle of Culloden. This was the last battle that was ever fought on English soil and was the end of the wars for Scottish Independence. In the aftermath of this battle, the British Army brutally suppressed the people of the Scottish highlands, forever breaking the clan system.

In 1912...........

Harriet Quimby, was the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel.

In 1917...........

Valdimir Ilyich Lenin
after years of exile, was transported by the German government in a locked train car back to Russia. This was a effort to take the Russian Army out of the First World War but by opening this Pandora's box, the Germans caused the Russian Revolution. The effects of which are still felt to this day.

In 1922...........

Annie Oakley shot 100 clay targets in a row, setting a world record.

In 1945...........

The destroyer U.S.S. Laffey (DD-724) Became a part of naval legend when it survived three bomb and five Kamikaze hits (as well as two near bomb misses, which also caused damage) while off the coast of Okinawa. Known as "The ship that would not die" The Laffy survived this battle and proudly served on until she was retired and placed at Patriot's Point Museum Complex, Charleston, SC.
The post war years have not been so kind to this old war horse, It is reported that she is leaking and in danger of sinking at the dock.

In 1947.............

The largest harbor explosion occurred in Texas City, Texas. 576 people were killed when two ships loaded with Ammonium Nitrate fertilizer and fuel oil caught fire and exploded.

What A Little Cutie!!!!!!!!!!!

Over at another blog I follow, there is a slide show that features my favorite little sweetheart, the world famous Miss Susan. The slides were taken at Military through the Ages event at Jamestown while my hospital unit was there in March.

Check it out:

Ain't she the cutie I said she was? -grin-

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Today In History...............

In 1755........

Dr. Samuel Johnson, poet, author and journalist published his dictionary.

In 1770........

Joseph Priestly, English scientist and chemist coins the term "eraser" after discovering that a piece of latex would remove marks from paper.

In 1945.........

British and Canadian troops took control of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. They liberated 28,000 women, 12,000 men and discovered 13,000 unburied bodies. Once again, man's inhumanity to man was displayed for the whole world to see.

In 1947........

Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier by making his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team.

In 1955........

Ray Kroc
opened the first McDonald's in Des Plaines, Illinois. The first day after selling 15 cent hamburgers and 10 cent french fries, the store made $366.12

Todays Birthday of Note............

In 1452..........

The TRUE Renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci, artist, inventor, architect, and true genius.

Well Call ME Suprised.............

Didn't take long did it? Our friends off the coast of Somalia hit a American ship yesterday with RPGs and small arms fire. No one was hurt, but it will just be a matter of time before they do kill or capture U.S. citizens. We need to be proactive on this folks. HUNT them down before they hit us, or we are just playing catch up.

But what do "I" know?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Today In History...............

In 1865........

Abraham Lincoln received a fatal gunshot wound in his head from the actor John Wilkes Booth. Booth, a southern supporter who would not serve in the confederate army thought to avenge the south by this act, but all he did was cause untold suffering to the southern people by murdering a man who wished to "heal the nation's wounds" and put the horrors of the civil war behind us.

In 1912.......

The White Star Liner R.M.S. Titanic struck a iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic on her maiden voyage. 1517 Men, Women and Children died in the sinking, most due to hypothermia. The water in the North Atlantic at that time of year was around 28 degrees and survival time of a person in water that temperature can be counted in minutes. The cause of so many deaths was simply due to the fact that the ship did not have enough life boats for the number of passengers and crew it carried.

Todays Birthdays Of Note............

In 1932........

Anthony Perkins
, actor.

He freaked me out in his role in the movie Psycho and I have no doubts, caused a heck of a lot of people to double check before taking a shower.

In 1935........

Miss Loretta Lynn
, Country music legend.

I can remember many times watching my mom ironing clothing on the back porch in the evening, with the old brown plastic cased radio playing Loretta's music. At a time when women didn't have much of a voice, Loretta sang about love gone bad, husbands cheating, drinking and generally treating their women poorly. Women like my mom, saw Loretta as a kindred spirit and felt just a little bit less alone and isolated when she sang her songs. Thank you Miss Lynn.......

In 1940........

Miss Julie Christie
, actress

One of my first childhood crushes, I fell madly in love with her when I first saw the movie, Dr. Zhivago and also in the movie Fahrenheit 451. Miss Christie continues to act and although I no longer carry the torch I did for her, I still enjoy seeing her in her many roles.

Tea For Two.............

Tomorrow is Tax Day and there is a great deal of talk about all the "tea party" protest that are going to be held all over America. I will wait and see what happens with the protest to see if they make any impression on the powers that be. I get the feeling that they will not receive much coverage in the media.

However I am glad to see that people are starting to stand up and speak out, rather than being a bunch of sheep. So these protest are good because it will give people a voice to speak up for what they believe in. I just hope that this effort isn't taken over by nutcases or hard core right wingers.

I was doing some reading on the original Tea Party over the past few days and found out a few fascinating things about it that I thought I would share with you all. Fair warning however, I look at ALL the facts of history, not just the ones that agree with the points that we were taught in school. Sometimes these facts just don't make our founding fathers look like the paragons of virtue that we were taught they were. I don't consider that as a negative, as a matter of fact, it makes me think more of them and their accomplishments considering their faults. It makes me feel like even a mutt like me could accomplish anything. -grin-

O.K. the overview of the Boston tea party goes like this.

By 1773 the colonies had been jousting with the English Parliament over the cost of the French and Indian War. The British point of view was that they had just fought a World War and the American colonies had reaped the benefits of that war. It was only fair that they helped pay for the cost of that war and the continuing cost of providing protection from the Royal Navy and British Army. There had been several attempts at obtaining funding from taxes with various duties on items imported into the colonies. These had been fought against with various protest and non-importation agreements and boycotts. The argument was that the colonies could not be taxed without their agreement and without proper representation in the British Parliament. Now this was for the most part smoke and mirrors on the part of out founding fathers, because there was no way that they would agree to representation in the Parliament, since they would have a very small number of votes and would be out voted on almost every matter.

Sam Adams, the leading firebrand of the protest against the taxes had at one time been a tax collector himself. He had difficulties in turning in all the tax money that he collected. Some say that he was too tender-hearted to collect tax from poor people, others say that he was just a poor record keeper, a few said that he embezzled the money. No matter what the situation, it put Adams and the royal governor of Massachusetts, Thomas Hutchinson at swords point.

Adams, being no one's fool, organized a political action committee which he named the Sons of Liberty. While there were important and influential Bostonians in the Sons, there were others, such as unemployed dockworkers, tavern idlers, sailors, and others who would play patriot for a shilling or two.

Of course, this kind of political action needed financing so into the breech stepped John Hancock. A man who was described by contemporaries as having deep pockets and shallow thoughts. Hancock was one of the wealthiest men in Boston. Some of this money came from smuggling goods in to the colonies to avoid paying duties to the British government. Now here is the interesting thing. Some of these smuggled items consisted of shipments of tea from Holland. Smuggled tea could be sold at a considerable savings to the buyer, and a considerable profit to the seller. Keep that in the back of your mind.

In 1773 all taxes had been lifted from the colonies. The British Parliament figured to give it another go and also to help out the British East India Company at the same time, by bringing in a large shipment of tea into the colonies. Since the shipment of tea was so large, it was meant to sell very cheaply even with the tax charge placed on it. The tax was so small that it was said that the average citizen would be required to drink gallons of tea before paying a pence in tax. The tax was in place only to prove that Parliament had the RIGHT to tax.

Even with the tax in place, the suggested price of the East Indian tea was so low` as to undercut the price of the smuggled Dutch tea thus hurting the smugglers. On December 16th 1773, it all came to a head. In a meeting at the Old South Meeting house in Boston, Adams addressed a crowd of around 7000 people some of which whether by a pre-arranged signal or not, left the meeting, went to the harbor, boarded the three tea ships and dumped 342 chest of tea into the harbor.

Now this tea was the property of the East India Company and they of course wanted someone to pay for it. Since there were no suspects in the destruction of the tea, the British Parliament passed the Intolerable Acts, which first and foremost shut the port of Boston until the tea had been paid for.

Of course this act and others passed at the same time turned a lot of fence sitters into people who saw their rights as being threatened and could should rightly be considered to be another step in the direction of a final break with England.

Now the jury is still out as to whether or not Adams and Hancock organized this event to make a stand for the liberties of the people, or perhaps to assure that the flow of money that Hancock was receiving from smuggled goods continued. No matter which, it all led to the eventual organization and development of what I consider to be the greatest nation on earth.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Turn Out The Lights........(For Now)

Yesterday, Navy snipers took out the Somali Pirates holding Captain Richard Phillips. Three shots, three hits. A good and brave man is going to get to go home to his family. Three bad guys will not be able to threaten or harm anyone again. This part of the crisis at least is over.

However, we are foolish if we think that this will be the end of it. Now is the time to take effective and firm action to prevent it from happening again. A message should be sent now that ANYONE who dares to attack a American flagged vessel or interferes with American citizens on the high seas shall be dealt with in a like manner. We should be proactive in dealing with this situation rather than reactive as we normally are.

As for the Navy personnel who handled this crisis, a hardy "Well Done" to them all. They live out the quote that President Kennedy made so long ago,

Any man who may be asked in this century, what he did to make his life Worthwhile, can respond with a good deal of Pride and Satisfaction, "I served in the United States Navy".

Friday, April 10, 2009

To The Shores Of Tripoli.............

The saga off the coast of Somalia continues.

I understand that the skipper made a attempt to escape the pirates but was quickly recaptured. All this under the eyes of a U.S. warship. I will not make any judgment on what occurred since I wasn't there. I know it must be frustrating to the personnel on scene. I hope this situation will end well.

Now what to do about future incidents? The talking heads are already saying the U.S. Navy just doesn't have enough ships or personnel to patrol the area. I have a simple solution. The congress should start issuing Letters of Marque and Reprisal.

Basically this would allows private citizens to arm ships and sail against enemies of our country. This is a very old policy which goes back to the days of sail. Smaller nations have always fallen back on this when engaged in war, since a standing navy was sometimes cost prohibitive to small or young countries. During the period of the colonial wars, all the great nations of Europe would allow privateers to sail against enemy shipping, the Letters of Marque was a protection against the privateers from being considered pirates. The sponsoring country would be entitled to a percentage of all ships or goods taken by the privateers. The rest would be divided between the privateer crew and the ship owner who armed and equipped the ship used as the privateer vessel.

American privateers were of great service to the American cause in both the Revolution and the War of 1812. Sometimes the only supplies that the American army received, particularly during the Revolutionary War was as the results of captures of British ships by American privateers.

The use of privateers fell by the wayside in the mid 1800's because of a treaty ending the Crimean War in 1856. In a annex to this treaty, the signatories agreed to give up the right to issue such letters and end the use of privateers.

The United States never signed this treaty, so is not bound by it's requirements. Based on the little research that I have done, During the American Civil War and the Spanish American War, the American Government stated that it wound observe the requirement of the treaty, however during World War II a Letter of Marque was issued to a American civilian airship crew to allow them to hunt for submarines.

Even more recently, I understand that Ron Paul has twice suggested that Letters of Marque be issued to deal with terrorist threats. This would allow the U.S. to fight against any such threats without being in danger of being drawn into a larger war.

Once again, we can learn from our past history.

So, who would that be up for a summer vacation like that? Going pirate hunting? -grin-

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Quarters That We Showed Them Was To Sink Them In The Tide.

Today I have been keeping up with the saga of the American flagged cargo ship Maersk Alabama. She and her crew of 20 U.S. seamen was taken by pirates 240 miles off the Somali coast. The latest information is that the crew retook the ship, capturing one of the pirates, and tossing the rest overboard. There are reports that the Captain and possibly another crew member of the ship was taken off the ship by other pirates, and are still missing.

The first thing that should be done is that every effort should be made to recover the Captain and crew member. That far off the coast off the Somalia, they should still be on the water, and it MAY be easier to find them rather than to try to locate them once they go ashore.

Then all the ship's crew should be stood to all the drinks they can hold when they return to port. I believe they call Norfolk VA their home port.

I think that the crew did the right thing in resisting the pirates. If ship crews resist, there may be some life loss, but who is to say that if they do surrender, that the pirate wouldn't kill the crew anyway? There have been countless cases where pirates acted on the old saying "Dead men tell no tales".

Some of the talking heads on the tube have been pontificating about what is needed to stop pirates operating out of Somalia. They keep on about how that is the only way the Somali people have of making a living and we just can't do anything to stop this. I beg to differ. My suggestion is to hang them. The very moment they are taken with arms in hand, engaged in acts of piracy they should be hanged. I think it would serve as a damned good deterrent to anyone who was thinking of taking up the trade, and it is a known fact that once a person is hanged, he will no longer be a threat to anyone.

Piracy has been with us since the beginning of time. You can not deal with pirates, nor negotiate with them. You either have to give them what they want or hunt them down and make sure that they are not a threat to anyone, any more. Julius Caesar as a young man was once taken captive by pirates and held for ransom. When he was ransomed, he organized a military force, went back and captured the pirates who had taken him captive. He then crucified them. Of course, there were also the pirates we are familiar with such as Blackbeard and others in the Caribbean. The Royal Navy took care of them. Blackbeard was killed and had his decapitated head hung from the bowsprit of the navy ship that he was fighting against. All these groups of pirates were put down and suppressed by displays of strength and firm will.

I don't know what international law is in these matters, but to a degree, I don't care. I do know that this is the first time since 1804 that an American flagged vessel has been taken in this manner and action should be taken to prevent it from happening again.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Joke For The Times..................


I recently asked my friend's little girl what she wanted to be when she grows up. She said she wanted to be President some day. Both of her parents, liberal Democrats, were standing there, so I asked her, 'If you were President what would be the first thing you would do?'
She replied, 'I'd give food and houses to all the homeless people.'
Her parents beamed.
'Wow...what a worthy goal.' I told her, 'But you don't have to wait until you're President to do that. You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and sweep my yard, and I'll pay you $50. Then I'll take you over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward food and a new house.'
She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, 'Why doesn't the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?'
I said, 'Welcome to the Republican Party.'

Her parents still aren't speaking to me

Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate's Life For Me..............

This post is not about pirates for the most part, but I knew that the title would yank the chain of my messmate Andrew.(aka Leonidas the spear bearer)He HATES pirates.

I spent Saturday at historic Bath, a state historic site in eastern North Carolina. Bath is the oldest incorporated town in the state, having received it's incorporation in 1705. The town of Bath isn't really near anything, so it has been pretty well preserved. Very few modern conveniences, I don't even think they have a "Stop and Rob" in the town limits. It has a old town quaintness and there just isn't a big rush for any of the locals to do anything. It was a great event for me because in the past I have been to historic sites where people were there either because there wasn't anything else to do, or perhaps they were in the area and just decided to "stop by" It's a lot like a historic site that is close to the interstate. Folks will stop there because it has clean restrooms, and then since they are there, they might as well look around. Bath wasn't like that at all. Since it IS out of the way, you go to Bath because you WANT to be there.

My messmates in the Carolina Living History Guild agreed to set up a display on colonial sailors for the site, I figured I would head down and do some sewing or rope work. Another of my messmates Johnny Mo wasn't going to go, but I talked him into it by saying I would drop by and pick him up. I must say, I am one charming and convincing soul when I need to be, so he agreed. It was a bit out of my way, but it was well worth it, since John is good company and keeps me out of trouble with my knees.

It is about three hours from my home to Wilmington where John lives, then three more hours to Bath. Coffee, icebag and a collection of Sea Shanties and Sailor's songs CDs`and I was ready for my road trip. When I picked up John, I plugged in the Garmin and headed north. As neither of us had ever been to Bath, we were trusting the Garmin to get us there. It would have, but for one small thing. It didn't take into account the fact that the ferry that it said to take quit running at midnight. So after this discovery, we needed to backtrack just a bit. We arrived at Bath at around 1:30 AM. We crashed at a house that the site people loaned us and I slept like a dead man.

The next morning, refreshed, we started gathering our kit and got a wee bit of coffee on board before heading to the location where we were going to set up our display. As I was putting on my clothing, I heard a few muffled curses coming from the room next door, where John was. It seems that he had forgotten his period pants. Since pants are a very important part of period clothing, John thought that we had a major crisis. I on the other hand, having seen this happen before,didn't think so. I had a spare pair of trousers. Of course John and I are very different in clothing sizes, (Sorta like Laurel and Hardy) so my trousers didn't fit John. But with the help of a sail needle and some twine, I did enough modification on the trousers to allow John to keep them up. I will admit they did look just a bit like M.C. Hammer parachute pants on him however.

One thing I forgot to mention when talking about Bath is that one of it's "selling points" is that at one time the pirate Blackbeard lived in the town. While we were setting up and putting all our show and tell stuff out, a few people asked if we were pirates. Of course we told them no, and used the opportunity to educate folks about piracy, the life of the common sailor, and the weapons of the age of fighting sail. I noticed that each time someone mentioned the word pirate, Andrew twitched just a little bit.

About Andrew's dislike for pirates, well different strokes for different folks, but for the most part, people who dress up as pirates practice bad history. Their clothing and actions are based more on movies and what looks "cool" rather than what is historically documented. Again, I say what ever trips your trigger, but you shouldn't go to a historic site and fool the public by saying what you do is historically accurate. Those types of pirate folks don't care for people like us either. I have been called a "stitch Nazi" and other things less even less flattering because I have a desire to do it right.

Just so I don't paint with a too wide brush, there ARE some pirate reenactors who are spot on and do a wonderful job. They are a joy to behold and are assets to the the world of living history. If you are wondering what the difference is, just think of someone dressed like Jack Sparrow, that would be an example of the non-authentic pirate reenactor.

While the other fellows were giving both musket and swivel gun demonstrations, I was working on putting buckles on a pair of colonial shoes and sewing on a seaman's hammock. Again, people just LOVE to see someone making something with their hands. We talked to the public all day long, visitation was steady, but not overwhelming. We packed it up about 4 PM having spent a very good day doing what we love and hopefully sharing a bit of information wit the public. The site employees were very pleased with what we did and we were invited back in the future.

Oh yeah, While packing up, Andrew took up our boarding pike and hefted it as if it was a throwing spear. With the sun glinting off his rippling biceps, he looked very much like he should have been in the movie 300, thus his nickname, Leonidas.........

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Today In History.......

In 1513.........

Juan Ponce de Leon, landed on a beach on the coast of a land he named La Florida claiming it for the glory of God and in the name of Spain. The landing spot later named St. Augustine, became the oldest continually occupied settlement in America.

In 1982.........

In one of the greatest underestimation in recent history, The Argentinian military, in a effort to take the Argentine people's mind off their economic troubles, invaded the British occupied Falkland Islands. The thinking was that the British would not fight to get the islands back. They were wrong. The British Prime Minister at the time was Margaret Thatcher. Mrs. Thatcher sent the Royal Navy, The Royal Air Force and the British Army down south with orders to take the islands back, no mater what the cost.

They did.

Today's Birthdays Of Note.............

In 1942........

Singer, Songwriter and honky-tonk piano player, Leon Russell

In 1947........

Singer, Songwriter and woman who holds my heart in her hands, Emmylou Harris

Bang, Bang, She Shot Me Down...............

A famous British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli once said, "There are three types of lies, Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics" I was amused to see that our leaders were tripped up by these statistics they were quoting on the weapons being used by the drug gangs down Mexico way. They were chanting the mantra that 90% of the weapons used in illigal activities were from the good old U.S.

Now if anyone that knows anything at all about weapons has been looking at the film and photos on the tube, you know that the largest part of the weapons never came from our country. You can not get rockets, full autos, grenades or anything else like that in the states. Of course, you just know that little fact somehow got overlooked by the powers that be. Today, Fox News reports that the new figures are just a wee bit different. According to Fox, only about 17 percent of the confiscated weapons have been traced back to the U.S. Of course the other media didn't cover that little fact, but then, I didn't expect them to. Perhaps it would be wise for both our leaders and the media that they should take to heart another Disraeli quote or two,

"As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information."


"Ignorance never settles a question."

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Was Born, Six Gun In My Hand..............

Today was day two on the pistol range with my old department. I am very pleased with how everyone has done so far. I can remember not so long ago that I couldn't say that, but the folks have worked real hard and it shows on their targets.

I was sitting here thinking how shooting and qualification has changed since I first started in Law Enforcement. Let me share what was considered adequate training not so very long ago.

My first weapon that I carried on duty was a Model 28 Smith & Wesson revolver. It was in .357 cal. and was a BIG weapon. (The Model 28 is built on the same frame that the .44 Magnum is built on, you non-gun nuts, remember Dirty Harry's weapon?) My duty ammunition was .357 magnum 125 gr. J.H.P. Now this is a pretty good load for that day and time, but I never shot it to qualify with. Are you kidding? That stuff was too damned expensive to shoot that many rounds. Besides that, my department furnished ammunition to qualify with. Good old 148 gr. hollow base wad cutters in .38 spl.

Our qualification day was considered a sort of holiday. Off duty officers would bring a grill, coolers, various odds and ends and have a cookout when the shooting was over. (On duty officers could come by and get something to eat, but nothing to drink, if you know what I mean) Since our range was a gravel pit with a couple of heavy steel cables to hang targets off of, no matter what we did down there would disturb anyone. I drank my first legal beer after a firearms qualification.

We didn't shoot on time, loaded from our pockets, (Dump the whole box of 50 rounds in your front pants pocket) and dumped our empty shell casings into large cardboard buckets thoughtfully donated by the local KFC. We also didn't take very many safety precautions either. No hearing protection, (Unless you either used empty shell casings or cigarette buts, but if you did, the old timers considered you a "candy-ass") no eye protection, there was smoking and tobacco chewing on the line and I don't even think that anyone even washed their hands before eating.

Now before everyone freaks out, at that time there were no standards for law enforcement training or even firearms qualification. Departments could and did set their own standards and if there was someone "progressive" in management they might have some requirement for officers to shoot to a certain level. A lot would depend on the chief, or more importantly the budget. You know what they say, No bucks, No Buck Rogers. Our chief was a NOT a bad guy, he got us what he thought he could. But he DID know which side of the bread his butter was on.

However, in my department there were a few "gun nuts" who read the gospel according to the prophets, Jeff Cooper, Elmer Keith, "Skeeter" Skelton, Bill Jordan and other such writers, fellow law officers or others who had "seen the elephant". They told me about the Newhall, California shootout where 4 C.H.P. officers were killed in a brutal four and a half minute gunfight with 2 highly motivated and well armed criminals. They were the ones shooting "hot loads" to qualify with, who carried speed loaders and wore ear muffs or plugs when shooting. Luckily, those were the folks that I hung with. I learned a great deal from those folks, my friends and brother officers who I never really thanked for taking me under their wing and teaching me how to survive as a law enforcement officer. I do think that their time and efforts paid off however. I think that one of the reasons that I went into firearms training for was to save all today's young pups from making all the mistakes that I made, when I was first starting out. (and maybe to keep them safe, so they can go home at the end of their watch) Maybe my old friends and fellow officers, (some of whom have passed on) can consider what I do today on the range as a trainer as a small tribute to them and as a thanks for the time they invested in me so long ago. I sure do hope so.