Proving Loyalty: Vincent Okamoto in Vietnam

Proving Loyalty

Imagine being born in a concentration camp. Now imagine your family being placed there by your government only because of your cultural heritage. How would you prove your loyalty to the country that put you there? That is what happened to Vincent Okamoto and his family in 1943 at the outbreak of World War II.


How integrity is…everything

One man's example to adhering to moral principles

Integrity in battle

On a crisp morning of an Autumn solstice, Julius led his men towards their adversary not knowing how the next day would unfold. Under intense pressure from the enemy, Julius and his men battled fiercely while forging up steep hills. It was a strange, dangerous place. Julius aimed to do what’s right when everything around him told him to do the opposite. The battle forced him to confront his fears. He was faced with hard moral choices in the circumstances without the usual external restraints. Julius relied on his inner resources to not quit and to continue.

Fighting with the 2nd Inf. Div. north of the Chongchon River, Sfc. Major Cleveland, weapons squad leader, points out communist-led North Korean position to his machine gun crew. November 20, 1950.

2nd Infantry Division north of the Chongchon River, Sergeant First Class Cleveland, weapons squad leader, points out North Korean positions to his machine gun crew. November 20, 1950.


Power of Perseverance: a story of survival, courage, and love

The life story of Sidney Shachnow

Power of Perseverance

Sometimes life can be a challenge. People who overcome adversity inspire us to face our challenges. The power of perseverance is an essential ingredient in facing challenges and for human progress. Sydney Shachnow is an inspirational example of a man who demonstrated the power of perseverance over a lifetime.

Sidney Shachnow was born in Kaunas, Lithuania and raised in a Jewish family. From the ages of seven to ten, Nazis imprisoned him in the Kovno concentration camp during World War II. The camp was a ghetto initially housing over 40,000 Jewish families. Only 5% of the people survived the camp once it was liberated by the Russians in 1944.

Major General Sidney Shachnow power of perseverance

Major General Sidney Shachnow


Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez: Telling a tale of bravery and ingenuity

Stars and Stripes by Meredith Tibbetts
November 13, 2015

Navajo Code Talker,  Chester Nez

Chester Nez, Navajo Code Talker, relied on his native language to develop the code, which helped to turn the course of World War II in the favor of the Allies. “I was very proud to say that the Japanese did everything in their power to break that code but they never did,” Chester Nez said in an interview with Stars and Stripes. If any Navajo Code Talker was caught, he said, they would be tortured and their tongues cut out. They risked everything for the United States, even though they were raised in military boarding schools that prohibited them from speaking their native language.

Chester Nez

Chester Nez in uniform

That didn’t stop them from whispering Navajo to each other in secret, said Latham Nez, who travels with his grandfather helping him tell his story. Their language, however, would serve the United States well later, in 1942, when Americans were dying in rising numbers overseas, especially in the Pacific. The Japanese seemed to know what the U.S. military was planning well before it took place.

Find more stories of virtue tested in battle at

What is honor? The story of Pat Tillman

What is honor? The story of Pat Tillman

What is honor? Honor is respect that is given to someone who is admired for their actions. We often see, hear and read stories honoring those who sacrificed for others. A life of honor is living the values of duty, selfless service, loyalty, personal courage, respect, and integrity. People who make honor a part of how they live daily inspire others to live with honor. They solidify that habit with every choice they make. Honor is a matter of carrying out, through action, values in everything we do.

Pat Tillman

Pat Tillman June 2003 Photo by U.S. Army


Why humility is a strength

The story of General Grant and humility

Humility is strength

In the context of warfare, humility may elicit images of weakness, submissiveness, and fear. I suggest that this is a false idea of humility. Real humility is a sign of strength, authentic confidence, and courage. It is the mark of a virtuous person. Benjamin Franklin pursued the goal of living a virtuous life and he sought to attain it through living 13 virtues. One of these virtues is humility- having the quiet confidence to allow your actions to speak for themselves.

General Grant at Cold Harbor, Virginia June 11, 1864


Medal of Honor Recipient Capt. Mike Rose Inducted Into Hall of Heroes

Army News Service By Devon L. Suits
October 25, 2017

If you didn’t catch this story, Medal of Honor recipient retired Army Captain Mike Rose was awarded the Medal of Honor and inducted into the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon. He served as a medic in the U.S. Army Special Forces, received the Medal of Honor for his actions in Laos from September 11-14, 1970, as part of Operation Tailwind. It is an amazing story and worth the read.

Mike Rose in Vietnam


Modern War Institute at West Point, by James King
September 21, 2017


“Only about one percent of any given officer year group in the Army will make it to the level of general officer. Most of those who do will serve their time and retire without much notice by the general public. Even amongst those in the Army, most general officers are only known by those within their sphere of influence. Not until history steps in do general officers become famous for having perfected their craft. Even then only a small number of those generals seize the opportunity, distinguishing themselves above their peers.”

Everybody has their favorite generals and I have mine, most of which the general public never heard of. As a retired Colonel, I’ve worked under some fantastic General Officers. They are tireless, smart, driven and true leaders of character. What are yours?

Connect with me and tell me your favorite by clicking here.

Donald Malarkey, portrayed in ‘Band of Brothers,’ has died

Stars and Stripes
October 1, 2017

Donald Malarkey, a World War II paratrooper who was awarded the Bronze Star after parachuting behind enemy lines at Normandy to destroy German artillery on D-Day, has died. He was 96.

Malarkey was one of several members of “Easy Company” to be widely portrayed in the HBO miniseries, “Band of Brothers.” He died Sept. 30, 2017  in Salem, Oregon of age-related causes.

Dunkirk: the man who won the Second World War.

August 4, 2017

British Admiral Bertram Ramsay was the mastermind of behind Dunkirk. “Dunkirk kept Britain in the war, enabling all that followed, culminating in the Allied invasion of Europe in 1944. Without Dunkirk, 400,000 British soldiers — five times as many as our entire regular army today — would have been killed or in prison camps in Germany.” Full article here.