I’ll Never Forget

And I’ll never forgive

God Bless Them

Every one.

#NeverForget

Hurricane Preparation Tips So Your Humble Abode Won’t Blow Away: From Acknowledged Hurricane Experts

…us.

*2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 “Here We Go Again” Edition*

major dad and I are veterans of major Hurricanes Bertha, Fran, Ivan and Dennis (along with others less significant in damage for us, but worth preparing for). Thanks to Irene and Super Storm Sandy visiting brother Bingley, I thought I would offer up what’s worked for us in terms of preparation, both food-wise, house-wise PLUS some of the things folks don’t know about, that make life bearable if those winds of almost-September come early. I hope you’ll find something that you didn’t know before. (And please feel free to visit our previous posts afterwards for the EXCELLENT COMMENTS.) First up is the heavy lifting.

1: Shopping list suggestions for tonight/assoonasyoufreakincan is up underneath the board pictures.

2: And our “WHAT TO DO TO GET INSIDE READY” is posted at the bottom of it all, so now we have our experience covered completely, soup to nuts: food/supply shopping, to board up, to getting the inside of the house set. Make lists. Don’t trust yourself to remember everything you need and/or want to do. Write it all down. I do, every time. I hope the ‘all in one place’ format is proving helpful and PLEASE don’t hesitate to comment or email questions if you have any at all. thsister-at-gmail-dot-com

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Full disclosure. For Bertha and Fran in NC (Cat 2 and 3, 56 days apart in ’96), we only lived 10 miles inland, were on the eastern side of the storm both times (translation: got beat all to hell), never boarded up and did just fine. The most important thing we did, and have always done, is CLEAR THE AREA OF POTENTIAL FLYING OBJECTS. Anything and everything in our yard AND the neighborhood that could be turned into a missile (including that 100lb garden pot you don’t think can fly…it can), goes into the garage. Bertha came in during the daytime and, along around noon, we got to watch the neighbor’s metal shed explode and fly through our backyard at about 110 mph. That was the only thing we couldn’t control that day that went walkabout, and it would have killed someone if the wind hadn’t been parallel to the house.

BOARDING UP: If you want to board up, this is how we did it (In Pensacola, ’04 for Hurricane Ivan). (Now, there are terrific Plylox Hurricane Clips available, which will save you step #2, if you can find them. Be prepared ~ they’re a bitch to get them on the house, but they’re simple and great*.) They were all sold out when we hit Lowe’s, pre-Ivan.

Be prepared ~ NONE of this is cheap. BUT. The peace of mind is ENORMOUS. Plus, you’re so pooped from the effort, not to mention standing in line for supplies, that you sleep soundly. Measure and KNOW WHAT YOU NEED BEFORE YOU GET THERE. Be ready to make quick adjustments for what’s left on the shelves.

1) Don’t screw with anything less than 1/2 inch plywood, REAL plywood. (That’s assuming there’s any left when you get to Home Depot. We used 3/4″.) Cut to fit flush INSIDE the windowframe. (We used two pieces here. Shaved the edge off a 5′ by 8′ full sheet and then a smaller piece to cover completely to the top of the window, hence, if you squint, you’ll notice a seam in the plywood about 3/4 of the way up.)

2) What’s going to hold those boards in place are 1 x 4’s on either side, snugged up tight against the plywood, cut to the height of the window, drilled into the frame from the side and held in with hex top TapCon screws, because of the masonry. I think we had a max of 5 screws per side.

* Handy Tip: The Squid Terrorist actually drilled through his clips and screwed them to the plywood sheets before attempting to pop them into the windows. Saves a ton of frustration.

And in 2005, right after Rita went overhead on her way to Lousiana, we upgraded to aluminum shutters all around.

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CHECK ON YOUR NEIGHBORS: See what their plans are (Do they HAVE any?! Do they need to GET MOVING…?!), can you all work together, help each other out, etc…. That neighborhood coordination is precious.

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Alright, shopping time.

IMHO and hard won experience, these are stores every single household should have (and you may already have much of it). Use your brain, based on the number and age of folks in your household.
Remember you are going to be HOT, cranky and exerting yourself in the aftermath if, GOD FORBID, the thing smacks you good.
Think of preparing for this as a picnic on crack. Take a good hard look at what you already have on your shelves first, add or subtract according to what you have on hand vs your particular needs/family’s tastes and then…

A Few Days PRIOR (three days out may be TOO LATE to find everything):

3 gallons BOTTLED water per person (for 3 days) minimum
enough prescription medication to get you through 10 DAYS if you take any
canned tuna/chicken/SPAM/shelf stable meats
those damned nasty vienna snausages
canned chili
beenie weenies
canned soups like “chunky” that don’t need water added
mayo/mustard/ketchup
bread (Get the one with the FURTHEST OUT SHELF DATE)
canned vegetables, like green beans or baby peas
kraft macaroni and cheese in a box
dry snackable cereal (like Cheerios, MiniWheats etc – they make a great snack when you’re just looking to mindless munch)
instant oatmeal
squeezy cheese
large jar(s) peanut butter
large jar(s) jelly
various boxes of crackers
instant coffee or tea
coffemate, dry milk or shelf stable milk
sugar, salt, pepper
juice boxes
instant potatoes (like a BIG box of “Potato Buds”)
whatever fresh fruit your family enjoys
butter or (gulp) margarine
dogfood/catfood/kitty litter if you have furry family members besides, well…
snacks and chips
canned/plastic jarred fruits, like cocktail or peaches
pudding cups
dish detergent
antiseptic hand soap
disinfecting wipes
paper towels
paper napkins
plastic utensils (forks, knives,spoons)
paper plates
plastic trash bags
ZIPLOCK baggies, QT and GAL
DUCK tape
boxes of wooden matches, sealed in ziplock bag
MANUAL CAN OPENER
BABY FOOD, BABY FORMULA, CLEAN/DISPOSABLE BOTTLES & NIPPLES. If the formula is powdered, WATER TO MAKE IT
large candles (and NOT stinky ones)
~WITH a GAS LEAK, CANDLES CAN BE BAD. **SITUATIONAL AWARENESS** KNOW what’s going on~
bug spray, both yard and personal
A BATTERY OPERATED RADIO (that voice in the dark from the local TV station will be your BEST FRIEND, trust me.) They make them now w/ additional hand cranks.
LARGE BATTERY OPERATED LIGHTS that will sit independently (hard to go to a dark bathroom holding a flashlight)
small flashlights
LED poplights or lanterns are great
BATTERIES and SPARES that fit EVERY SINGLE THING YOU NEED BATTERIES FOR!!!
FILL YOUR PROPANE CANNISTER NOW (if you are on a direct gas hook-up, get a charcoal grill)
3 bags of charcoal (wrapped and taped in heavy duty plastic bags)
cans of lighter fluid for the charcoal
CASH (ATMs take electricity, so do credit card machines at registers)
CAR CHARGER for cell phones (ours were worthless during Ivan but I’ve heard they’ve come a long way, tower-wise…)
One old-fashioned TIRE REPAIR KIT and, additionally, one can of RUN-FLAT per vehicle, IN each vehicle
BIG COOLERS for the ice (and the stuff that’ll come out of that fridge)
FIRST AID KIT which I bolster with additional Ace bandages, BandAids of every size and description, sterile wraps, tapes, Neosporin, hydrocortizone, anti-histimine pills, aspirin etc.
Little Coleman propane tanks, if you have camping stoves or lights (as always, to be USED ONLY OUTSIDE AFTERWARDS…DUH)
Old fashioned board games, playing cards, Mille Bornes, Yahtzee, books (especially with wired little ones)

Hold off on ice until the latest you possibly can, which is why it’s NOT on the “go after work TONIGHT” list.
TOP YOUR GAS TANKS off WHILE/WHENEVER YOU CAN. You all will have to fight a ton more people at the last second, as well as the very REAL possibility of GAS SHORTAGES prior TO/for a while AFTER ANY STORM. Then, don’t go places you don’t need to.

*DIRECT plug-in phone like a Princess type, if you have a PHONE COMPANY landline. Your multiple remote handset phone will not work when the power goes out, and your old fashioned one may very well get a call out on the substation batteries. See below.

(That’s dogfood double-wrapped in the plastic bags and Miller Light for the Squid Terrorist -our infamous next-door neighbor- to keep the generator running…)

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When you’re ready to close the house up,
LOCK YOUR GARAGE DOORS DOWN. If you don’t park in your garage, PULL YOUR CARS SNUG UP TO THE DOORS. They provide the most excellent wind baffle you can imagine and, considering the further up the East Coast you go, the less the doors are reinforced like ours here in the Panhandle, you will NEED every little bit of wind mitigation you can muster. Your car insurance will take care of whatever said named storm does to the vehicle.

This is doubly important because, contrary to the old wives tale about “equalizing pressure’, if those winds get into your garage? Not only do they start tearing the garage to bits, they start LIFTING YOUR ROOF OFF. And then your whole house is a goner. The only house in our neighborhood to have the roof blown to bits during the 140mph+ gusts of Ivan was the ONE home where the owner had the garage door “cracked” opened to “relieve the pressure”. Derp.

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*What to Do Inside*

Get Your Important “Stuff” Together

Your papers, diplomas, etc. All those things that make your life identifiable? Those things you would rush out of a burning building with? If they’re not already in one place together, get them together NOW. And add one more thing ~ a copy of a utility bill, like electric or phone. If, God forbid, you have to evacuate and they work it like they do down here, that address on your driver’s license WILL NOT BE SUFFICIENT PROOF OF YOUR RESIDENCY. You HAVE to have a utility bill with THAT address and YOUR name in your possession to return to your home. Period. (Great evacuation tips here in the comments.)

Have a “plan”. WHO are you going to call when it’s over, WHO knows where all your stuff is if, God forbid, something happens. If you get separated, have a meet-up location agreed to in advance. In our family, it’s Bingster and me tag-teaming. He has all our info for both sides of the family (including Kcruella). When the batteries on the landline substations were still working the morning after Ivan, I got a call out to him, and that’s how everyone else knew we were okay. AT&T screwed the pooch cell-phone-wise here, so we have KEPT our landline, in spite of everything, until this year. *sniffle* Yeah, it’s finally gone.$75 mth that only telemarketers called – can’t do it. We’ll see how 4G advances in cell technology pay off. I also have blankets for smoke signals.

What to Do With Important “Stuff”

You all will laugh, but I double plastic bag it, duct tape it…and put it in the dishwasher, then latch the thing shut and tape over the entire front control panel. It’s waterproof and even if one of those spin-up tornados takes a chunk of the roof, the documents of my life are going nowhere, because they’re bolted under the counter and DRY. Other middlin’ precious things I double bag up as well and stash in a rack-free self-cleaning oven and the dryer (duct-taping the door of that shut).

Potable Water

Make sure every single water toting vessel is clean and filled with filtered (if you can) water, from the sun-tea jar to the ancient Igloo softball cooler, to tea kettle, and all the pitchers in between. This augments the bottled water on your list, and is the FIRST water you use. (Make sure it’s COVERED to keep out bugs/dust.) As well, EVERY POT is filled to the brim with tap water for use as either coffee/tea/mac ‘n cheese makings or wash/rinse water, as well as pet drinking water. All that’s staged on the kitchen counters.

Get ALL Your Laundry Done

You can run out of underwear FAST and blow through some serious t-shirts clearing flotsom. Plus, the second the last load is out of the washer, fill it up on it’s largest setting with cold water and STOP it. Voilà. Another source of water for rinse/washing. (The washing machine also makes an EXCELLENT ice cooler if you are space challenged, trust me. Fill it with THAT instead. Cover ice with plastic bags and towels for additional insulation.)

Bathrooms

Scrub EVERY tub SPARKLING With a bleach based cleaner. We use a piece of saran wrap over the stopper, then plug it to make absolutely sure there’s NO leakage, then FILL THAT SUCKER UP. This becomes both relatively clean water to dip out for a sink sponge bath AND the ALL IMPORTANT FLUSH THE TOILET water. (And is ONLY used for…well, not tinkling.) Speaking of which, it doesn’t hurt to have a “Tidy Bowl” beforehand, if there’s a chance the power might be out for DAYS, if you get my drift…
Now, you may get lucky and have a trickle of water like we did after Fran, but the water company may beg you not to use it, because they’re trying to find leaks, or it’s not potable or whatever. (Another reason to HAVE A REAL RADIO: PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE)

GIVE YOUR PETS AMPLE OPPORTUNITIES TO “DO THEIR BUSINESS”. Once the front door shuts on the howling outside, it’s shut for GOOD. If it comes in during the day, we make meals a tad lighter and earlier than usual. The Scotties and Labradors always seemed to know something big was on the way, and their systems have responded accordingly, but, let’s face it: when you gotta go, you gotta go. So don’t force the poor things into that position in the first place. Plenty of available water, but schmaybe that big dinner/breakfast isn’t necessary, okay? Feed them when it’s blown over.

LOCAL RADIO STATIONS (as well as simulcasts from local TV channels or your local university Public Radio) WILL BE YOUR BEST SOURCE OF WEATHER INFO for your area, not to mention what’s happening as the storm whirls overhead. John Ed Thompson out of Fox10, Mobile, AL is a GOD in our household for what he did during Ivan. At 3 in the morning, when ~ to quote the Squid Terrorist on the walkie talkie from next door ~ it “Sounds like the Devil’s trying to beat my front door down! I’m fixin’ to nail 2×4’s over it and, if that doesn’t work, I’m breaking apart the china cabinet to use IT!” It will be friendly voices in the dark, going through the SAME THING YOU ARE, WHERE you are and you’ll know about hazards/news pertinent to YOUR area (bridges out, electric crews on the way, boil water advisories) that simply WILL NOT be available on that NOAA stream. Plus, we have learned something new and incredibly helpful from callers to the station every single storm that could conceivably save lives or property.

As for just a weather radio I’m torn on that one. They do come in handy for a constant stream of information, BUT they also tend to be for a LARGE general area, and wear on the nerves after a while, since it’s a constant stream of computer voiced info, occasionally punctuated by earsplitting alarms that MAY/MAY NOT have anything to do with YOU. If you can have only one radio going, get one that has BOTH (we do!). It’s a Midland that has the NOAA feeds/alerts on bands, as well as AM/FM, plus a hand crank, in addition to regular battery AND plug-in. DOES IT ALL!

I canNOT stress enough: Your BEST information for YOUR local area will be your LOCAL radio stations, public or otherwise. KNOW AHEAD OF TIME: Spin that dial, find the ones that have affiliations with your local TV stations’ Weather/News programs and head directly for them when the shit hits the fan.

Creature Comforts

While you’re busy as a bee, I always, ALWAYS recommend setting the thermostat on your A/C (while you have it) as LOW AS YOU CAN POSSIBLY STAND IT.

As in MEATLOCKER. Wearing SWEATS IN AUGUST cold. “But, ths, why?” you ask.

Because the second that power goes out and ALL those anxious people are still in your house in August breathing?

That temp is going to climb and F.A.S.T. And it will suck so bad.

And you will still have HOURS of storm to go, and schmaybe days without power. You’ll thank me.

The Refrigerator

We were sort of old school with this. As I told Bingley in the comments, this is what we’ve always done, and ONLY works with a mostly FULL FREEZER. Once we’ve gotten ice ~ usually three to four of the big coolers’ worth, then three stacked on each other, on a beach towel, covered with garbage bags, then blankets for insulation ~ we already have inventoried the fridge itself. When the power starts going dodgey, we’ll transfer all the perishables out of the fridge to the lone ice chest (milk, BACON, eggs, half & half, etc.) and shut the door FOR GOOD. That’s IT. No peeking, no forgetting, no going in for something ~ you want the fridge to cool completely back down. When the power finally gives up the ghost, we throw unopened, big plastic garbage bags over the whole fridge, then cover that with packing blankets or whatever you have. Wrap some duct tape around it and keep your paws off. Believe or not, that will keep all but the flimsiest frozen goods rock solid for at about three days. If you don’t have power by then, you can start defrosting stuff and eating it. *NEVER eat anything that’s partially thawed. Throw it out. (*CHECK FOR THIS THE SECOND THE POWER COMES BACK ON as well, or it’ll refreeze and you could easily get sick from it later, and be clueless why. Don’t take the chance.)

With your ice chests, just break them out as you need them, always keeping the extras covered. We had ice for a week and a half after Ivan doing it this way, and thank goodness. (The stack worked out great against the door when the winds were threatening to blow it in. Dual purpose! And good times…)

There is NOTHING like the comfort of knowing you did everything you could possibly do to prepare. It’s out of your hands from that point forward.

Have a cocktail.

It’s amazing how many knuckleheads who evacuated and watched the whole damn thing on TV came home empty handed, small children in tow no less! We were living like refugees and had to give THEM supplies.

DO NOT RUN OUTSIDE THE SECOND THE WIND SORT OF DIES DOWN

Trees will still be falling. On your gourd.

DO NOT GO LOLLYGAGGING AROUND AFTERWARD TO “SEE”

No electricity TO RUN GAS STATION PUMPS – do NOT WASTE on sightseeing what may turn out to be your last tank of petrol for WEEKS! No electricity TO RUN STOP LIGHTS. LIVE ELECTRICAL WIRES LAYING EVERYWHERE Flat tires upon multiple flat tires.

IT’S ANARCHY. STAY HOME.

Whip you up some coffee, scrambled eggs and lovely applewood smoked bacon sammiches on the Weber gas grill, like we’ve done the morning after EVERY hurricane.

It’s a good thing.

©2019 Coalition of the Swilling

When the Bag Fights Back

I’m figuring he forgot the “don’t eat food on camera/fuck with a speed bag” rule for doddering old man candidates.

Dammit. Forgot.

– Bernie Sanders probably

Thought so.

Rest In Peace, Al Haynes

A model of heroism and professionalism, the Captain of United 232 died Sunday.

Read the cockpit transcript, and the story of one he saved.

Dear Pennsylvania Residents

Were you aware the state treasury thinks they’re so much smarter than you? And REALLY socialist in tenor?

I don’t want to alarm anyone, and if you’re okay with it…


…then never mind.

Fly Me to the Moon

Let me play among the stars,

Let me tap into your checking,

See if you’re shagging chicks in bars.

In other words, please be true.

In other words, I’ll know if you do.

It’s a brave, new world.

UPDATE: So far, the female astronauts at NASA have not covered themselves in glory, and it’s worse if you look at it from a percentage aspect! I can’t name a single male astronaut with an assault case or attempted murder off the top of my head.

Okay. Quick search says 50 women have qualified as US “astronauts,” in space or waiting to go. So far one certified homicidal maniac, and now this whack job felon. There have been 336 guys. Hmmm…what am I missing here?

Cockadoodledone

I’m thinking that leaving rice cookers in a subway station is the least of his problems

According to police in West Virginia, Griffin was charged in 2017 for showing a video to a minor that involved him having sex with a chicken. The case is still pending.

You know, every now and then you read one of those sentences that you just could never imagine reading.

30 Years

We just got back from a simply lovely weekend in Cape May, where we celebrated our 30th anniversary. Can’t believe it.

Happy Birthday

…to THIS guy.

Ebola and I loveses ya like CRAZY, you know.

Who Dat Burfday Boy?

It Wasn’t Me. I Swear.

I have an alibi.

[slurp]

And if I don’t, I’ll invent one:

A Florida seafood company is less than happy that someone decided to loot its oysters. So they’re offering a reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
On Tuesday, Pensacola Bay Oyster Co. learned that 17,000 oysters were stolen from its East Bay property, according to a Pensacola Oyster instagram post.

I Can’t Access The Story

(it’s behind an Aussie paywall) but with a headline like this, I really don’t need to:

“Traumatic effect of beheading on boy who hid in house”

This Is The Funniest Thing You’ll Read All Week

Thanks to Ace, I will say up front I feel very sorry for this guy’s kids, it’s horrible what he’s put them through, but sweet baby Jeebus I swear it’s impossible to read through this without laughing out loud several times:

“The Most Gullible Man in Cambridge A Harvard Law professor who teaches a class on judgment wouldn’t seem like an obvious mark, would he? “

This Morning

…a couple years ago.

There Be Burgers

Just Saw The Movie “Yesterday”

It is excellent. Go see it.

That is all, for it’s beer and burger time now.

Happy Birthday, AMERICA!!!

The Fourth of July is the GREATEST HOLIDAY on the FACE OF THE EARTH.

Period.

This Is Beyond Pathetic

C-Ville will no longer celebrate Mr. Jefferson’s birthday.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/jul/2/charlottesville-drops-thomas-jeffersons-birthday-h/


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Charlottesville, Virginia, will no longer celebrate Thomas Jefferson’s birthday as an official city holiday and instead will observe a day recognizing the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans.
The city council voted Monday night to scrap the decades-old April 13 holiday honoring the slave-holding president and Founding Father. Charlottesville will now mark Liberation and Freedom Day on March 3, the day U.S. Army forces arrived in the city in 1865.

I’m really, really getting tired of this shit.

Filed Under: Don’t Change a Thing, Kids


In this week’s Democratic debates, it wasn’t just individual candidates who presented themselves to the public. It was also the party itself. What conclusions should ordinary people draw about what Democrats stand for, other than a thunderous repudiation of Donald Trump, and how they see America, other than as a land of unscrupulous profiteers and hapless victims?


Here’s what: a party that makes too many Americans feel like strangers in their own country. A party that puts more of its faith, and invests most of its efforts, in them instead of us.


They speak Spanish. We don’t. They are not U.S. citizens or legal residents. We are. They broke the rules to get into this country. We didn’t. They pay few or no taxes. We already pay most of those taxes. They willingly got themselves into debt. We’re asked to write it off. They don’t pay the premiums for private health insurance. We’re supposed to give up ours in exchange for some V.A.-type nightmare. They didn’t start enterprises that create employment and drive innovation. We’re expected to join the candidates in demonizing the job-creators, breaking up their businesses and taxing them to the hilt.


Sub-titled: No shit, Sherlock. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/28/opinion/democrats-debate-2020.html

Dem Debate Films New Trump 2020 Ad

And they’re ALL in.

Oh Hell YES

Gibson was decided…for the Gibsons https://legalinsurrection.com/2019/06/verdict-jury-awards-gibsons-bakery-11-million-against-oberlin-college/


“The Jury in the Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College case has reached a verdict.

According to our reporter in the Courtroom, the jury awarded $11 million. Here are the details: Allyn W. Gibson was awarded $3 million, David Gibson $5.8 million, Gibson Bros. $2,274,500. Next Tuesday there will be a separate punitive damages which could be a double award (meaning tripling the $11 million to $33 million).”

This is fantastic news.

June 6

We’ll Never Meet Again This Side Of Heaven

Memorial Day 2019 – We Remember

So, the Veteran’s Memorial Park here in Pensacola – home of The Wall South – decided they would love to have a memorial walkway leading into The Wall, and offered bricks for sale. It’s a splendid place, and a wonderful idea.

We got the email that our nephew John’s brick had been laid last Tuesday, and got out there this past Thursday, my next day off. The new sections are overwhelmed by the concrete leading into The Wall, but it made quick work to find his. And, frankly, it was an unexpected emotional hit when major dad said, “I found him!,” tenderly brushing the last of the fine sand from the brick’s face. The tears. Out of nowhere. Oh, John. Dammit.

Things happen for a reason, I guess.
At the very moment we were rewrapped in that cocoon of grief, trying to capture one decent picture through tears and blazing sunshine, a matter-of-fact voice broke into our sad sniffling, “Do either of you know how to run that damn computer?” I had to shake my head a moment, before I could look up, wiping my cheeks with my fingers and drying them on the tail of my shirt. Here stood a whip thin older gentleman in shorts, a blue polo, sunglasses, and straw chapeau, gesturing at The Wall’s locator computer kiosk, and, obviously, wondering why he hadn’t got an answer out of us.
“THAT computer,” he reiterated to the obviously challenged dolts before him.

“Um…no.” I said. “But it can’t be too hard, if it hasn’t fried from being out here all these years. Let’s see what we can do.” Over we trot.

Man. Was that thing cranky. He was looking for a friend he’d served with in Vietnam…who hadn’t come home. He’d plugged in 50 combinations of names, dates, and still no joy. After a 5 or 6 futile attempts using his suggestions – and with him ready to throw in the towel – I said, “Let’s try to strip this down to bare minimums. First and last name.”

Nothing again.
major dad and the fellow started to walk off, when miraculously there was a flicker, and I yelled, “Hey! He’s from Daleville, AL, right?” Back to the screen he came.

There were a number of “Williams” who had suddenly popped up on the locator matrix. And there was his friend, with his wall section and line. “But he was a captain,” the man mused, as the line said ‘major.’ “I’m sure he was posthumously promoted, which is why your searching for a captain couldn’t find him. These old computers are very literal.”
He kept repeating the entry address, and major dad gently said, “Come on. Let’s go find him.” Off they went.

I stayed at the computer while the two of them went down the walk to the 1972 section of The Wall. major dad helped him find his buddy, spent a moment with him, and then left them to visit.

We were just saying goodbye to John’s brick, when the gentleman came back up the walk. As he passed by, in a voice choked with tears, he said, “Thank you for helping me find him,” continuing straight to his car, shutting the door, and sat, head drooped over the steering wheel.

I looked at major dad, and we gave each other a little hand squeeze.
I guess we were meant to be there.
We miss our John every single day.
We remember Maj Robert John Williams, who never came home.

We remember, and thank them all.

God bless America.

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