Posts Tagged ‘USMC’

D Day Retrospective

Friday, June 6th, 2014
A Life of Service. Ceremony for MOH Col Lewis Millett at Riverside.

A Life of Service. Ceremony for MOH Col Lewis Millett at Riverside.

 

June 6, 2014, Today in the US, we look back on an event in WW2, remembered as D Day.

Here is the original historic dispatch from Associated Press.

CNN brings us a fantastic retrospective on D Day in this Op Ed history based feature

An amphibious assault vehicle being serviced at Camp Pendleton, Ca.

An amphibious assault vehicle being serviced at Camp Pendleton, Ca.

 

If you were a young American, British or Canadian soldier landing on the shores of France on June 6 1944, chances are you went into a very well defended series of kill zones in an early variant of an AAV. You can read a bit on the history of the LVT craft here.

Or you jumped in.

Jump Wings

Today, maybe have a little think about what these men experienced, as doors slammed open and they waded into what would be a maelstrom of metal and explosions. Maybe place yourself, in your mind’s eye, into that Historic moment, which would cull a large percentage of your brothers, and possibly you.

Or ponder what it would be like dropping in suspended by silk, a simple target for anyone with  a week’s training in marksmanship, let alone a hardened soldier.

Your life really was in God’s hands. Or was it? War is hell. As a Nation, we underscore that fact repeatedly,  with the stories of each one of our Veterans, who ever deign to share their experiences with us. I always count it an honor when one sits me down and tells me things only he or she could know. We all should.

Here is a fantastic collection of images of D Day. Our History is special, because it is simply that: ours.

I saw that Shawn was off training with the guys again this week, having just returned from leading a USCG course in Juneau Alaska. Coincidentally, I had just re processed this character portrait of her during 1st Recon training, and that was what she was up to again this week. Busy lady, Her service activity level is beyond anything I have ever seen.

Though she looks pretty tough here, she really cannot arm wrestle worth a damn.

Ms Alladio in a break from PWC training at Camp Pendleton with a LVT-AAV/ Like the PWC they are jet powered at sea.

Ms Alladio in a break from PWC training at Camp Pendleton with a LVT-AAV Like the PWC. They are jet powered at sea.

Though it is an honor to serve, the service must go both ways, or our Nation will wind up as a footnote in History not unlike that of Rome.

Why those responsible for the disaster that is the care of our people through the VA, must be held to a high accounting.

And why  honoring the memory of the sacrifices of D Day should mean so much for us all here today.

 

Memorial Day Is….

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Memorial

A culture which does not connect accurately, reverentially or beautifully with it’s past, is akin to a rudderless boat: doomed to be at the whim of waves and weather.

So today is Memorial Day. So what? Why should you or I care? Only because to not do so, is to engage in our personal demise and that of our families, and in turn, our Nation.

Wiki does a great job with relating the History of Memorial Day.

Memory Flags

In the course of my work, on a somewhat regular basis, I get the opportunity to serve the various Military Communities which heed and fulfill our Nation’s call to Arms. I take a lot of joy, and more than a little bit of concern from those experiences, home with me. I hear their stories. These affect the perception of both my own life, and what time maybe ought to be spent doing. The experience is barometric in many ways.

Everyone has a story. There are many. But this is an aspect of the tale of Memorial Day which I want to be clear about. Those whose memory we honor today perished serving us, some of them anyway. Many of the remainder who are still alive, continue to serve,  albeit possibly out of uniform.

67

A classic example being two young men who I met while working on a Phoenix Patriot project. They had both had their legs blown off, and were within a year of that crisis, swooping back into life with a vengeance. When the Boston Marathon Bombing took place, those men and their comrades went to Boston to counsel the blast victims. That is how those which this holiday is founded upon, think, and act.

In this culture, currently, it is in vogue, this saying :”Thank a Veteran”.  My friend and colleague, Shawn Alladio of K38 Rescue, regularly calls BS on this when she writes, states and acts this out: “Don’t just thank them. Do something for them.”

So part of my day today, and small way of honoring the memory of those dead and alive, whose duty to Country, Comrade and Family is absolute, is to share a few stories.

Here is a video I created as part of a project. The song it is cut to is called Dancing Girl, and is written by USMC veteran Samuel Shoemaker and performed by the Shoemaker Brothers. In it you can see, hear and feel, some of the tableau which should be endemic within every Memorial day.

This story is entitled “Purple Heart’s Final Beat – A Soldier Suicide Story”

This link explains the Spartan Pledge. I hope everyone reading this understands. I have lived through this with great men faced with daunting challenges. As a  culture and community, we need to know that this exists. And we need to act to ensure our people are not slaughtered by the broken Veteran’s Administration system, which  I have seen first hand, abuse and hurt some of my friends and colleagues in the Military in a criminally negligent manner..

This well produced tale walks sensitive ground. Again, a service rich look at our people published through Funker 530 Veterans Community and produced by CBS.  Sgt. Kenneth Westbrook’s Memory is honored here.

Right now Shawn Alladio, Liquid Militia, Kawasaki and our friends are holding what they call a LM Team Weekend up on the Gaviota Coast at Rancho Dos Pueblos which very generously hosts the 5 day event. It is a campout where families of military communities meet up with the action sport and PWC communities, have fun in the Ocean, and generally just have a great time in the peace and security of Dos Pueblos Ranch’s private beach.

What Memorial Day looks like to me: Memory, Gratitude, Honor and Service.

It is why the stories matter so much. They are our strong foundation as a people. Best to do some maintenance on that when possible.

Lastly, here is a piece written by one of the single most decorated warriors in US History. The title is “War is a Racket”

It is up to us to change that.

A glimpse at what I have stood before is below. Click on any of the images for a larger view.Dos Pueblos Memorial_MG_4915 _MG_5759 _MG_7540-95 oj.adj1 copy puu.a-4277

Rescuers

WAR _MG_4417 _MG_4578

K38 Rescue: Precept and Example

Thursday, March 8th, 2012
Shawn aboard "Jay"

Shawn aboard "Jay"

I sent Shawn Alladio a note yesterday afternoon. Here it is.

At least TRY to have a good time tonight, will ya? This is important.

Here is her response.

Shut up! LOL

 

USCG STAN Team training. Columbia River.

USCG STAN Team training. Columbia River.

 

That pretty much sums up what many of us feel, who are on the back end of rendering service, when accolades come our way.

Shawn was headed to an awards ceremony. I knew about it. Barely. It is not what we talk about. But a friend had reminded me, and I knew that Dr Andrea Neal, was down to see her in the midst of what for all of us, was an impossible week. And we all keep track of each other. Teams and families are like that. And it was Shawn actually, who taught me to always be watching, everything. Apex Predators. It is how anyone who is under her authority is taught to be.

Here is a basic element of K38 philosophy, that is an embed in our psychology. One of thousands. But an important one.

“Think like a victim. But act like a rescuer.” I am going to let that sink in. Volumes have been spoken and written on this.

Learning Flow

Learning Flow

 

Even now as I type this, I know that Shawn is headed up to Washington for work. I wish I was with her. We were up last year working with the STAN team at  the USCG Base at Tongue Point, and out on the Columbia River Bar. I liked it, and the Advance Helo Rescue Swimmer guys. It was good to us all, the time together.

Shawn Alladio, Serious instructions with K38 Mavericks Team

Shawn Alladio, Serious instructions with K38 Mavericks Team

I appreciate that Shawn invited me into her world so many years ago. With all the controversy of late, regarding the marginalization of women, and commentary surrounding a radio personality, who intentionally verbally degraded a female Law student on air, and a bunch of decrepit, corrupt politicians doing what they do, I was a bit taken aback, and had to figure out what the uproar was about.

I have an entirely different baseline about service, and women.

I have never had an issue placing myself under the command of a woman. Maybe because I have been under Shawn’s for so long, and her’s is efficient. So well run in fact, that she somehow finds herself in the unenviable process of having to deal with accolades from time to time. We ALL hate them. Any of us in service positions do them to serve. Though gratitude is great. (It is wonderful being appreciated) What we all aspire to do, is to educate, inspire and push OTHERS forward.

Here is the tricky part. When one leads by both precept and example, people lock onto the example first, and precept last. That is why frequently, our culture lends itself to the development of a cult of personality. But leaders, real ones, (politicians by their job description, are not leaders per se) know to actively resist iconization.

Precept and Example

Precept and Example

Why?

It weakens your team. You want a strong team, a vital community, that by it’s diversity and understanding and respect of each individual’s strengths and weaknesses, you may grow. That is our precept. Get it?

I learned a heck of a lot as a professional athlete (what I was, prior to being a businessman and a photographer-film maker). If one wants to be successful, you hone your strengths, refine those, but you train your weaknesses. Weakness is what kills your performance, and jeopardizes your goals long term. Shawn and I have been discussing this. I know she is writing on the subject. I look forward to the read.

Onboard Instruction

Onboard Instruction

In recent years, K38 Rescue, headed by Shawn Alladio, and a global collective of Rescue Professionals  trained by her, has raised a standard that did not formerly exist. This standard follows the design evolutionary process of the Personal Watercraft, PWC, or RWC (Rescue Watercraft), as we are now beginning to call these boats. A new generation of craft is about to come into our watery arena.

Shawn has applied her company assets as a civilian contractor, and as what I would call a Patriot, thrown everything into training with various branches of our Military and aiding in the development of the usage of the RWC in Military Rescue and various other ops. In a world full of bullshit artists who try to attach themselves and brand by association with the elite of our armed services who are water based, Shawn refuses to talk about it.

So I am.

Why?

Because Shawn by her service, has literally changed the course of History, in the usage of the personal watercraft for Rescue, and developed a detailed training modus that builds warriors out of boys who just liked fast toys. I know. I am one of them. Her understanding of, and education on Rescue theory, can revolutionize a life.

Shawn Alladio, Colombia River Bar

Shawn Alladio, Colombia River Bar

It has made a huge difference in mine. I have learned how to better, do no harm, as I go forward into a production. For eight plus years she has tolerated me, my lens and my Hawaiian hard headedness. I think she sort of fixed me. I needed that. I became a Rescue Boat Operator.  Never my plan, it is just what occurred over the years. I highly recommend it, in spite of the boot camp nature and long cold wet nights K38 training involves. In fact, after awhile you really begin to look forward to dark and inclement conditions. Tougher. More challenge.

Training is Living, Living is Training

Training is Living, Living is Training

So last night, this is what happened.

Shawn received an award, presented by the NSBC. Shawn Alladio was inducted into the National Safe Boating Council Hall of Fame on March 7th 2012. To illustrate how remarkable this is, understand that much older men with decades at the helm of other types of craft under their belts, would be typical inductees. Shawn, a female, and private contractor, and a PWC proponent, was being congratulated and honored on her command and the success of her vision. Important thing.

In her world, there really is no such thing as equality. Equality will drown and kill you. It is all about service and strength.

Here is the K38 Rescue blog. She is a member of NASBLA, and a woman whose love of the Sea and Ocean experiences are vast. I am really grateful for what she has done for my Community, the tribe of people who live in and around the water. The skills she mentors  in not only save lives, but enable us to set higher standards, in all that we do.

Headed down to Camp Pendleton

Headed down to Camp Pendleton

 

The only real reward for that, is in seeing others thrive, and coming home at the end of the day, to those who love us. But no matter how hard we train or how diligent we are, each of us acknowledges that it is grace that leads us home. I know someone who regularly falls asleep to this song.  The source of Grace is praise. I use it a lot. We all should.

Golden Reward

Golden Reward

Sliding into 2011: Year in Pictures

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Golden Reflection

Golden Reflections

This link is to a new piece by Zuri Star called Keep Holding on. It fits the New Year quite well.

It seems that all around us this past year there was friction. In fact, I found myself enmeshed in three massive battles, all at the same time. I did not author those. I simply said “no” to three entities I saw as abusive of my fellow man, community and Ocean Environment.

friction |ˈfrik sh ən|
noun
the resistance that one surface or object encounters when moving over another : a lubrication system that reduces friction.
• the action of one surface or object rubbing against another : the friction of braking.
• conflict or animosity caused by a clash of wills, temperaments, or opinions : a considerable amount of friction between father and son.

So as we close out 2010 here are a few things to lubricate the road ahead.

A fantastic treatise on “love”, from the eyes of babes.

How to change the world completely, one girl at a time: The Girl Effect.

Beauty that matters. Sent along by Fernando Ismerio. A stunning high speed (slow motion) look at the oceans.

Seth Godin on 2011

Best to use lubrication when you have something big to move.

Because as it stands, anything worth attaining must overcome the things that impede progress and the only lubricant that sustains that in our lives is love.

Perfect love casts out all fear. (John 4:18) Fear is a mind killer

Easily said.

Lubricate.

Do it.

The images below are a small selection that are my Year in Pictures gallery. Click on any of them to toggle through as a slide show. I am stunned at what I managed to produce in motion and in stills with the Canon 5d Mark 2 system. 3 Music videos. 2 reality show teasers. 6 commercial Photography campaigns. 18 editorial features, and a book and six covers. Then there is all the random wonderfulness below.

An Independent Nature

Sunday, July 4th, 2010
Americana

Americana

The United States Of America is founded on the tenets located in the US Constitution. All laws and the people who preside over the law, are based on this document. All Municipal and State laws are superceded and presided over by the Federal laws, based on this document. So no entity may pass a law that is not in accordance with this document. If you find that someone has. You not only have a right, but a civil responsibility to inform and if necessary, litigate that entity.

That is what is meant by the legal tort of Rule of Law, which dates back to Aristotle in 350 BC.

HERE. Know the Law of your land. Your liberty rests on you knowing this.

Those precepts were instituted by the biggest collection of social misfits that the world in Western Europe could produce in the late 1600′s. Wiki has a pretty good summary here. It is informative to understand the History of a thing, as there is power in that. Within it resides truth, for the most part. Though admittedly, History is written by the victors.

But a revelation of the true strength and character of the United States, lies in an examination of the nature of those individuals who had the tenacity to put their lives and their families on the line, and leave a vast history and legacy behind them in order to venture out to a new frontier in the Americas.

It all is summed up pretty well in this image loaned to me by the Dunbar’s of their son, who after severe stress in childbirth, had this to say, as he lay in Neo Natal Care, full of tubes. Kate Slaton Dunbar is descended from the people who settled the area in which I live.

When I saw this image, which her husband shot, I was surprised. To me, it seems sometimes like all of the world would love to snuff America out. This boy’s response is the basis for what our instinctive reply should be to ANY entity within or without, that attempts to rob this country of what we paid for in vision, obstinence, perseverence, bravery, and blood sacrifice.

One thing to say

One thing to say

Independence Day. Think about that word.

independent |ˌindəˈpendənt|
adjective
1 free from outside control; not depending on another’s authority : the study is totally independent of central government | Canada’s largest independent investment firm.
• (of a country) self-governing : India became independent in 1947.
• not belonging to or supported by a political party : the independent candidate.
• (of broadcasting, a school, etc.) not supported by public funds.
• not influenced or affected by others; impartial : a thorough and independent investigation of the case.
• ( Independent) historical Congregational.
2 not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence : I wanted to remain independent in old age.
• capable of thinking or acting for oneself : advice for independent travelers.
• (of income or resources) making it unnecessary to earn one’s living : a woman of independent means.
3 not connected with another or with each other; separate : we need two independent witnesses to testify | the legislature and the judicature are independent of each other.
• not depending on something else for strength or effectiveness; freestanding : an independent electric shower.
• Mathematics (of one of a set of axioms, equations, or quantities) incapable of being expressed in terms of, or derived or deduced from, the others.
noun
an independent person or body.
• an independent political candidate, voter, etc.
• ( Independent) historical a Congregationalist.

If we truly stand united. Expect to stand alone amongst the Nations. Independent. Victory is never given. You have to earn and seize  it. That is us, from our inception. It is what we were. It is what we should be.

One of the single most powerful songs that I have heard. America. Samuel Shoemaker and the Shoemaker Brothers. It has inspired quite a bit for me in the month or so since I first heard them play it live here, in Ventura.

America the diverse, proud, obstinent, independent and free. It is our nature.

The following gallery is a memorial homage in honor of our obstinence, persistence, and our laws.



© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

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