Happy Birthday, United States Navy!

CDR Carl B. Forkner, Ph.D., USN(Ret)

This is to honor the finest Navy in the history of humankind on its 242nd birthday.

I actually had the opportunity to attend a number of Navy Balls in my career. Likewise, I attended a number of Marine Corps balls — our sister service in the Department of the Navy. Continue reading “Happy Birthday, United States Navy!”

When a “Miracle” has an Unhappy Ending

CDR Carl B. Forkner, Ph.D., USN(Ret)

It was the height of the Cold War. We were still stinging from Congress’s mis-management of our involvement in Vietnam. Liberalism was sweeping America, changing the landscape of communities, congregations, schools, and families. The gas shortage of 1973 was over and compact cars were becoming the norm as rampant inflation gripped America during the Carter years. Ronald Reagan had just moved into the White House, with his first victory being the demarche–and threat–to Iran that if the hostages were not released by Inauguration Day, he was coming to get them…they were released before that day. BUT…there was also good news… Continue reading “When a “Miracle” has an Unhappy Ending”

Illinois Veterans Remembered

CDR Carl B. Forkner, Ph.D., CDR, USN(Ret)

This August, we took a trip to Illinois to visit family for a wedding and two birthdays. It was a great 10 days, filled with family, fun, and historic sites. One of the days included a visit to Lincoln’s Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery. On the cemetery grounds also stand memorials to Illinois patriots who fought during many conflicts, both historic and contemporary. Although I did not have the time to transit the entire cemetery, I was able to capture some of the major memorials, as well as a few minor ones. I share them here… Continue reading “Illinois Veterans Remembered”

A Great Day for the United States Navy and the United States!

CDR Carl B. Forkner, Ph.D., USN(Ret)

After nearly three decades of naval service, I have had the opportunity to see much of the world, meet men and women who were true heroes, be part of the planning and execution of operations against our enemies, and serve with my brothers and sisters in the our exceptional joint military services. But there is something special about some parts of our naval culture that stand out as being something special–something that you stop what you are doing and to which you have a burning desire to be a part.

Continue reading “A Great Day for the United States Navy and the United States!”

2017 BUC Joel E. Baldwin Award Recipient

CDR Carl B. Forkner, Ph.D., USN(Ret)

BUC Joel Egan BaldwinEach year, the Tempe Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee (TCC MAC) recognizes exceptional service members and students with awards and scholarships. One of those annual awards is the BUC Joel E. Baldwin Memorial Award, named for Chief Builder (BUC) Joel Egan Baldwin, USN, who was serving in Mosul, Iraq, when he was killed in a 2004 attack on the base. The award is given to a deserving SeaBee in honor of Chief Baldwin. Continue reading “2017 BUC Joel E. Baldwin Award Recipient”

A Special Night for Special Young Patriots

CDR Carl B. Forkner, Ph.D., USN(Ret)

One of the most wonderful experiences for retirees and other military Veterans is the soldier-salutingopportunity that we may have to influence and celebrate the accomplishments of those who now Stand the Watch and maintain the tradition. Even more exciting is to welcome those young men and women who stand tall, raise their right hand, and choose to become part of the military brotherhood and sisterhood — the next generation of people who love America like we do and are willing to sign the same check, payable up to and including our lives to defend her.

Continue reading “A Special Night for Special Young Patriots”

A Historic Week in June

CDR Carl B. Forkner, Ph.D., USN(Ret)

This past week in June was one during which two significant events that helped turn the tide of evil into the light of freedom occurred. No, not this week; rather three-quarters of a century ago at opposite ends of the Earth. In both cases, the events underscored the determination, bravery, and selfless sacrifice of what Tom Brokaw–and now the nation–refer to as The Greatest Generation.  Continue reading “A Historic Week in June”