Still Having Fun documents military family life

Day by day the resilience of American military families is tested. Their triumphs and tears are rarely captured and chronicled. Their stories certainly are still few relative to their numbers across the land and their vast contribution as supports to service members, and to the fabric of society. We are most likely to hear of their challenges and regrettably, the tragedies they experience.

Candace George Thompson

Candace George Thompson

Author, Candace George Thompson’s glimpse into the intimate life of one family is, therefore, a rarity and a delight. She is the daughter of a career Air Force Officer whose first mission was on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

Her book, Still Having Fun, a Portrait of the Military Marriage of Rex and Bettie George, 1941–2007  is today’s Words on Wednesdays (WoW) selection. It adds joy and love to the narrative of military family life, as most of us might imagine it to be.

In today’s Words on Wednesday:

  • Still Having Fun.. the award winning book
  • Author Candace George Thompson transitions
  • Life lessons shared

Excerpts from a recent interview with Military Success Network comprise today’s WoW post:   [Read more…]


Emily Carr closes to honor resilience and reconciliation process in Canada

It’s not generally expected that the topic of resilience and the discussion of trauma will shut down an entire organization. Yet, in Vancouver on September 20, 2013 one school – The Emily Carr University of Art & Design will – do exactly that.

This post is about:

* Canadians now refer to the original peoples of the continent, which you and I grew up calling Indians, and then aboriginals, as 1st Nations. On this part of the continent it is most correct both politically and culturally. 

The institute is closing down to honour its Aboriginal constituents, [Read more…]


Star Spangled Banner written this day in 1814

It’s Friday the 13th but our day here at base camp MilSuccessNet ‘unfurls’ magnificently today in full and glorious color and in tune!

Portrait of Francis Scott Key writer of The Star Spangled Banner

Francis Scott Key

It is the day that inspired the man who wrote the lyrics to The Star Spangled Banner. Francis Scott Key, a poet and a lawyer, penned the famous stanzas in 1814.

His words added to the beautiful tune, stir tremendous loyalty. The notes that follow were taken directly from the Writer’s Almanac. In a sense, this small poem became the soundtrack to a transition by a nation moved, musically, to great patriotism… [Read more…]


Gettysburg 150th detailed via The National Guard

To mark the 150th anniversary year of the Battle of Gettysburg, MilSuccessNet has dipped into the excellent historic ‘slide’ offered by the National Guard.  The battle and other interestingly presented information  is totally worth checking out at their site. 

It’s also our nod to our resident historian and writer of almost all of the site’s early history posts. Not long after the launch of MilitarySuccessNetwork.com, he began his own military to civilian transformation after years of service with the National Guard.  While still connected to some degree with the Guard, Marius Tecoanta has transitioned to become an engineer in a corporation, been published as a blogger and novelist and woven both his military and civilian training into his current leadership role.    

And now….   the introduction to Gettysburg from the National Guard’s online pages dedicated to this defining battle: [Read more…]


D-Day’s 69 year anniversary marked during momentous month at MilSuccessNet

Military Minds, is the source of our 2013 post on D-Day. It is the largest organization in the world raising awareness of the stigma around Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Their mission of support and constant peer reminder to show warriors that they are not alone in the aftermath of  war, of deployment.

Their ‘reprinted’ post today honors those on the front lines on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

MilSuccessNet’s team chose this post because Military Minds which “began in Canada (where our editor is from) and now also serves veterans in U.S.A., Australia, U.K. , New Zealand, Germany and other nations that have participated in multiple conflicts over the past decades.”

It honors the past and supports today’s veterans now battling the stigma of PTSD and its daily realities for them. Check out their You Are Not Alone campaign, amongst other programs on their website.

And, June is also PTSD Awareness Month, Lest we forget… any of it..   and now..  in “Kevin’s” own words from his post, found on the organizations 52,000 member Facebook page…. [Read more…]


Basil Plumley “America’s soldier” depicted in We Were Soldiers Once… and Young

Basil Plumley as a young man

Basil Plumley as a young man

Books and films featured on “Words on Wednesdays might center on a particular individual or maybe an epic battle in a particular war.  Today’s “WoW” focuses on a story that had both, and more.

Command Sergeant Major (ret.) Basil L. Plumley was a real flesh and blood man yet also a larger than life character. He was a warrior who served in three wars: Korea, World War II and Vietnam in the Airborne Infantry, as parachutist and in the Cavalry (Airborne).

Cover of 1st edition

Cover of 1st edition

Plumley was at the heart of the book, We Were Soldiers Once… and Young. 

He was not a man to tell war stories, nor did he give interviews even though he surely could have told many. Each ribbon and award on his heavily decorated uniform no doubt represented substantial moments in history and military experiences.

When he was presented a Combat Infantry Badge with Two Stars he joined the only 325 men to receive this award, even rarer than the select 3,400 or so Medal of Honor recipients.

He has been called “America’s Soldier.”    [Read more…]


Doolittle Raiders post sparks memories in advance of Memorial Day on MilSuccessNet

In advance of Memorial Day 2013, the WoW – Words on Wednesdays post touches on only one of the many layers of service and sacrifice that will be remembered by its spotlight of The Doolittle Raiders.

Doolittle Raiders, 1st crew set for take off

Doolittle Raiders, 1st crew set for take off

A major “Navy and Army show”, much has been written about this group of 80 courageous men. They took on the death defying mission to fly 16 B-25s in 5-man crews to retaliate against Japan for Pearl Harbor from the only possible launch, a US Navy carrier. Their actions sent a strong message to the world and helped restore America’s fighting spirit. The basic details of their story are so well written by author and journalist Bob Greene, that we are reposting his CNN article of April 14, 2013 below.

The Raiders’ stories have been presented in books as wells as movies, the first of which had great impact on America in Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. It is immediately accessible in its entirely on YouTube starting with this 1st 10 min segment. 

We are grateful to Isaac Cubillos, for his original photo of 3 of the 4 surviving Raiders to accompany this tribute. Cubillos traveled to what is understood to be the last public reunion of the Doolittle Raiders in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. One Raider was not well enough to travel and a 5th died at the age of  96, in only February of this year.

Cubillos, journalist, military reporter, editor and significant friend of Military Success Network.com has informational pages of both his written and photographic work on Facebook, other social media and on his website. 

The MilSuccessNet editorial team also acknowledges past guest contributors, some of whom  are veterans of active duty, and others the children of veterans who brought the impact of war into their home. 

Now, onto CNN contributor Bob Greene, and more than 500 comments by his readers following his article link.………in his own words [Read more…]


Armed Forces Day observed in 2013 on May 18

This content on the basics of Armed Forces Day was taken “off the wire” as it were, from the time and date website .

We like that it is a day to honour ALL armed forces.

And if you noticed the “U” in honour it’s because it is a symbolic extension to H.ear, U.nderstand and A.cknowledge YOU dear reader. Also..it’s our Canadian editor’s long weekend to mark more than 65 years on the job for Queen Victoria, in her day. Canada marks Armed Forces Day in June and that covers Navy, Army, Air Force.  And now…. on to the celebration of the dedicated military members of the U.S. of A!

What do people do?

Many events across the United States take place on Armed Forces Day to honor Americans in uniform who served their country in times of war and peace. [Read more…]


John Holmes illustrates service life and transition, frame by frame

Sweat, as in equity and hard-won military experience, paint, line drawings and bubbles of text comprise our WoW today as Words on Wednesdays spotlights John Holmes – creator of Power Point Ranger, EZKGTB and The Longest War. 

John Holmes, PPR creator

John Holmes, PPR creator

The comic strip, zombie tales book and story collection, respectively originated with John Holmes. When I interviewed him near his home and work in Saratoga, New York, we spoke of his having spent half his 44 years in the service of his country. Of those 22 years, 14 were in the army and the balance in the National Guard.

As of this publishing time, only days after our long-awaited phone call, Holmes announced that he had officially chosen to enter civilian life, full time. It appeared shortly after the fact on his social media page. 

Transition, while it does reach deeply into our personal and professional lives, is not always, for most of us, immensely public. The process for Holmes has been graduated in his shift from one service to another and now the big leap into life as most of America knows it.

And, it has been very public. Holmes has folded a lifetime of experience along with humor and relevant commentary into his creative efforts frame by frame and chapter by chapter.

His tips on transition next time. Today, a peek into his creative side, via a May 2013 interview, in John Holmes’ s own words…… [Read more…]


Petraeus joins the team of veterans in transition

Gen. Petraeus is in transition. It’s something we all experience, most especially Veterans who meet the challenge of moving from a strong military identification to the sometimes vague and just a touch confusing civilian work and life situation.

General David Petraeus prior to transition

General David Petraeus (US Military photo 2011)

 “He’s a little lonely and trying to figure it out like other returning veterans. I met with him and it just dawned on me that he’s looking for a new mission and a new sense of purpose, and he went back to something that he was comfortable with.”

Kaj Larsen, a former Navy Seal and advocate for returning veterans, is quoted in this excerpt from BuzzFeed.
Headlines in the story hint at other motives. Well orchestrated comebacks. Polishing of image and restoration of prestige. [Read more…]