Air Evacuation Nursing


image001-2In 1942, during World War II, a new type of nursing—known as air evacuation nursing—was ushered into the U.S. military forces. Medical teams consisting of flight surgeons, enlisted medical technicians, and flight nurses staffed transport aircraft, which were specially rigged to carry injured soldiers from the battlefield to fully equipped hospitals located away from the front. Air evacuation planes—or “air ambulances” as some called them—often landed in hostile territory and did not bear the familiar red cross, so there was always a real danger that the planes could be shot down by enemy forces. Read the rest of this entry »



By Circe Olson Woessner

In Karlsruhe, Germany, when I was a child, there was a street I used to love to walk down. I don’t remember the name–it may have been Hirschstrasse, but sometimes my memory fails me… …It was about two blocks from my apartment on Kriegstrasse and on it was everything I ever needed.

In my memory, I can walk down it even now—I see it in remarkable detail, just as though I were twelve years old again. It was primarily a residential street lined with row houses of limestone and sandstone. As the street neared the city center, the residences gave way to chic boutiques and cafes.

At the top of Hirschstrasse, as I walked down the narrow sidewalk, I would pass the pet store where I bought my first parakeet and subsequent parakeets. I remember the small friendly shopkeepers and that there were fish, rabbits and parakeets– I have no idea if there were cats or dogs or hamsters or anything else– all I remember were the parakeets, which soon became my very beloved Peetie, Petra and Patty— To this day, I can still hear the scrabble of bird feet inside the tiny cardboard box as I carefully carried my precious pet home. I also remember running to the pet store when one of my birds became sick, and the comfortable German lady cupping my stricken parakeet in her hands and shaking her head, clucking sympathetically.

Next to the pet store was the coffin store. In the window there would always be three or four wooden coffins solemnly lined up in front of a background of white linen curtains. I would walk by that store never really realizing that I, too, was mortal. Instead I would shiver deliciously and feel sorry for those who would die– but it never would be me. Read the rest of this entry »

“McCain Institute’s Rebecca Schneider named to Top 99 under 33!”

by Steve Sparks from his blog

Young American Leaders Committed to Service! McCain Institute’s

Rebecca Schneider…


Rebecca Anne Schneider is an Army Brat

The McCain Institute mission statement:

“To advance leadership based on security, economic opportunity, freedom, and human dignity, in the United States and around the world.”

Rebecca Schneider serves as Chief of Staff to Ambassador Kurt Volker at the McCain Institute for international leadership…  Quote from the website…

“Prior to joining The McCain Institute, she worked in the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service as an International Trade Assistant. She specializes in EU trade policy and foreign trade agreements, particularly regarding the World Trade Organization. The USDA presented her an award in 2010 for reviewing and redrafting commentary on an EU-US trade policy.”


My favorite little girl in our neighborhood of long ago, would say, “Mr. Sparks, Mr. Sparks, Mr. Sparks” at least 3 times!  At just 5 years old Becca talked and talked about her ideas from, “Beanie Babies” to religion and politics.   From the time daughter, Sarah and I picked her up for a ride to or from the Upper Valley Christian School in Leavenworth, Washington the conversation was non-stop…  I watched her grow up with Sarah, and become close family friends.

Becca and Sarah loved the Living Nativity event presented by the Upper Valley Christian School every year during the week of Christmas.  They argued at times about who would play the Angel Gabriel or the animal keeper leading Mary into Bethlehem.  We so enjoyed this annual family Christmas celebration and event with Becca’s parents, Robert and Anne along with many of our neighbors.  Becca now calls me “Steve” after many years of giving her permission to do so.  Her Mom, Anne, reminded her of the importance of addressing adults as Mr. or Ms. all the time…  Now, I enjoy signing off as “Mr. Sparks” when we chat on Facebook to preserve the heartwarming memories of days gone by…

I am so lucky to have been able to stay in close touch with Rebecca over the years.  I am equally proud of her accomplishments.  She is making a huge difference for countless others around the globe and close to home.  Rebecca Schneider is an exemplary professional and a compassionate person destined for great deeds in the future.  Rebecca represents our future and we should all be proud to pass the torch on to her to help America protect human dignity and freedom around the globe.

The “Mr. Sparks” family, including wife, Judy, and childhood friend, Sarah, extend our love and best wishes to Rebecca Schneider!

“Mr. Sparks,” Judy, and Sarah

Remembering the Seven Seas Locker Club

by Kim Medders, US Navy, retired


The Seven Seas Locker Club in downtown San Diego was a huge place off Broadway that took up a city block and never closed. You could go there at anytime, day or night, and get your uniform cleaned, pressed or completely tailored, complete with full zippers on each side of your jumper. Don’t forget to get liberty cuffs along with that. Could get your shoes re-soled and have a complete meal. One of the really cool things you could have done there was to get your neckerchief rolled. They had a machine that would perfectly roll it so you wouldn’t look like a boot. At one time, enlisted sailors were not allowed to have civilian clothes on bases or ships. The “7-Seas” provided a very large locker room so you could change into civies and “blend in” to avoid the Shore Patrol.

To new sailors fresh from boot camp, the Seven Seas was a wonderland of militaria. The Navy and Marine Corps Exchange system was pretty conservative, and would not stock some of the great stuff this store had. In addition to uniform stuff, Boots would go there to get postcards and souvenirs. You had to be careful though, because sometimes you could get talked into getting into trouble. There was this guy in my boot camp company who came back from Recruit liberty with a chest full of ribbons he had bought at the 7-Seas. He said the man who sold them to him said since he was in the Navy, he could wear any ribbons his dad or granddad had earned. This poor fella was sporting WWI, WWII and Korean ribbons. Luckily we were leaving the next day so the Company Commander only chewed his ass a little.

The last time I was in San Diego I went looking for the Seven Seas, but could not find it. I asked and someone said it was long gone, a victim of a changing world and a changing Navy. Admiral Zumwalt probably started its decline when he changed the Navy’s uniform and loosened regulations allowing sailors to wear civilian clothes off base. The exchanges have become more service orientated, and the Navy presence in San Diego has been significantly reduced with the closure of the Navy boot camp there and other downsizing. Still, the Seven Seas Locker Club had been around since WWII and I feel the Navy or the City of San Diego should have made it into a landmark.

I’m Part of the Tupperware Family

By Mary Elliott Raynor from her blog

I got an e-mail from the Tupperware company today, which was an answer to an e-mail I sent them yesterday, after I was putting away some leftovers and mentioning to my husband how I’d had that particular piece of Tupperware since we were newlyweds in Germany, 42 years ago!

“You oughtta write to them and tell them that,” said Glenn, a retired Air Force sergeant, “how your 40-year-old Tupperware is still going strong.”

“Hmmm, Maybe I will,” I said. “I’ll e-mail them.

So I did, and I got a nice e-mail back from them thanking me for taking the time to write and informing me that I am now part of the Tupperware family.

I liked that.

I became a member of the Tupperware family when I was a young military wife, building my home. But, my fascination with Tupperware started when I was very young.

I remember when Tupperware was the newest thing, and my Irish grandmother, whom we called “Mother,” was persuaded to host one of the first Tupperware parties in our area. It was 1963 and I was 10 years old. At that time, the hostess got points toward free stuff for each guest that attended her party, and so Mother in turn persuaded the dealer-lady to count me as one of the guests. “Shure, she can be counted as a little lady,” said Mother, who was quite the bargainer, and the dealer-lady reluctantly agreed to it, so Mother got some more points toward free gifts.

“Thank you for letting me come into your lovely home,” the dealer-lady said to Mother when the party began, and I remember looking around at our still-unfinished kitchen with the dime-store plastic curtains in the windows and thinking, “THIS place?” My first lesson in professional insincerity. Read the rest of this entry »