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November 11, 2011 [LINK / comment]

Veterans Day 2011

To mark Veterans Day this year, the PBS program Need to Know (see had a special report entitled "Coming home: The enduring sacrifice." It focused on the plight of military veterans struggling to cope with a bleak economy. Some of them are even homeless, or dependent upon relatives for shelter. Unemployment among war vets runs 12.1% nationwide, compared to 9% overall. There is a report about the reasons for this at The biggest reason cited by prospective employers was uncertainty about the veterans' jobs skills. Whatever the cause, it would seem to be a matter of widespread consensus that Congress pass the necessary laws to make sure that current and past armed forces personnel get the proper training and counseling they need to transition to the civilian labor force. Those who have sacrificed years of their lives for the sake of their country deserve nothing less. There is no excuse for stalling on this issue.

Tomorrow there will be a Veterans Day parade in Staunton, which I plan to attend.

Johnny Clem, the drummer boy

When Jacqueline and I were visiting Arlington National Cemetery in September, I was startled to come across a large tombstone with the Clem family name on it. It turns out that it marks the final resting place of John Joseph Klem, a hero of the Civil War. After repeated attempts to volunteer at nine years of age, he was finally accepted by the 22nd Michigan (Regiment), where he served as an unofficial drummer boy. He went on to perform feats of bravery and heroism at the Battle of Chickamauga in September 1863, gaining fame as "Johnny Clem, the drummer boy." He changed his name to John Lincoln Clem in honor of the president. After the war, he stayed in the Army and eventually became commissioned as an officer and rose to the rank of general before retiring in 1915. See the New York Times. Hat tip to Connie.

John L. Clem grave

John L. Clem grave, at Arlington National Cemetery.

[See the updated Military photo gallery page, including additional views of World War II aircraft I took in October 2009.]

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 12 Nov 2011, 12: 47 AM

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Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.


The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:

  1. Wild birds (LAST)
  2. War
  3. Science & Technology
  4. Politics
  5. Latin America
  6. Culture & Travel
  7. Canaries ("Home birds")
  8. Baseball (FIRST)