About Me

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I am a lifelong student of military history with particular interest in the Battle of Antietam. I work for the federal government in Washington DC and have two young adult children who I love very much. I currently volunteer at Antietam and devote much time to the study of this battle and the Maryland Campaign. I enjoy collecting notable contemporary quotations by and about the men of Antietam. Since 2013 I have been conducting in depth research on the regular artillery companies of the Union Army and their leaders. I hope to turn this into a book on this subject in the future. My perspective comes from a 28-year career in the U.S. Army. Travels took me to World War II battlefields in Europe and the Pacific where American valor ended the tyranny of Nazism and Empire. But our country faced its own greatest challenge 80 years earlier during the Civil War. And it was the critical late summer of 1862, when Robert E. Lee launched the Maryland Campaign. It is an incredible story of drama, carnage, bravery, and missed opportunities that culminated around the fields and woodlots of peaceful Sharpsburg MD. So join me as I make this journey South from the North Woods.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

F350 to Yuma

My son Jim, now a Lance Corporal in the Marine Corps has been home the last couple of weeks on his way to his first duty assignment. Jim got time to see a lot of his friend but he also took a couple of days to remember his friends at Antietam National Battlefield. Jim started out there with the Youth Conversation Corps a couple of years ago, planted trees in the East Woods for his Eagle Project and more recently worked in the book store, volunteered, and was a cannoneer with Battery B, the Antietam volunteer cannon crew. On his last night of leave, Jim volunteered at the Salute to Independence celebration held this year on July 2, 2011. Pictured on the left is Jim with some of his Antietam ranger friends. Pictured from left to right are Dan Vermilya, Mannie Gentile, the Lance Corporal, Christie Stanczak, and Alann Schmidt.

Jim recently completed his training at Cherry Point North Carolina. While on leave, he bought an F350 diesel pickup truck and father and son are driving the truck cross country to Jim's new assignment at the Marine Corps Air Station at Yuma Arizona. Hence, my post title F350 to Yuma. Remember 310 to Yuma??? Oh well.

Jim's squadron VMA 513 "The Flying Nightmares" flies the AV8B Harrier and is deployed to Afghanistan.Please join me in wishing my son well on his first assignment.


  1. Jim, thank you for serving! Safe journey to you. P.S. Good choice on the F-350!

  2. A 350? Wow, is he going to haul the entire PLL for a Harrier? Jim, what a great opportunity for you and your son... for him to see his old man from the perspective of an adult and you to see how he has matured in such a short time... Both will garner new appreciations. Good luck and safe trip.
    Ron Dickey

  3. Ron, you are right. It is turning out to be one of those trips that I at least will never forget. In days he will be with his unit most likely writing new pages in his book of life and lands far away. Thanks for your best wishes. Jim