Archive for the Uncategorized Category

I-66 Commuter Bus Blues

Posted in Uncategorized on May 29, 2015 by jimmyfblackmon

Track #1

Today I reported to work. It was my first day at the Pentagon, and I was quickly overwhelmed by the Joint Staff/Pentagon acronym centric vernacular known only to “The Building.” It was one of those first day, drinking from the fire hydrant, kind of experiences. At the end of the day, I boarded a bus bound for Egypt (Manassas/Bristow and beyond) exhausted, and it occurred to me – John Cougar Mellencamp is the greatest artist in the universe.

I’m serious. I sat staring out of the window of the bus, as we crawled along I-66 West, and I was reminded of a time when I wore a Levi jacket and soaked my permed hair with Aqua Net. Yes, I literally sported a perm at one time. I was reminded of an era long since faded with time when Harris Jones and I sat in his basement bedroom in complete silence, staring at each other through thin lipped grins, as Cougar wailed out poetry to our young ears. We listened to the seemingly endless intro to, “I Need A Lover” through Bose speakers that I was convinced would blow themselves or our ear drums at any moment.
John Cougar captured lightening in a bottle.

He sang, “Well there’s a young man in a T-shirt
Listenin’ to a rock ‘n’ roll station
He’s got a greasy hair, greasy smile
He says: “Lord, this must be my destination”
‘Cause they told me, when I was younger
Sayin’ “Boy, you’re gonna be president”
But just like everything else, those old crazy dreams
Just kinda came and went
Oh but ain’t that America, for you and me
Ain’t that America, we’re something to see baby
Ain’t that America, home of the free, yeah
Little pink houses, for you and me, oh baby for you and me”

And of all people, an icon himself, John Fogerty, said, “It was perhaps the greatest song ever written.” I think he got it right. Now to bed. And back to work on the bus.

Rick Bragg’s piece in Southern Living

Posted in Uncategorized on March 3, 2015 by jimmyfblackmon

http://thedailysouth.southernliving.com/2014/05/06/pretty-girl/

Mr. David Wisnia

Posted in Uncategorized on February 8, 2015 by jimmyfblackmon

Well, the evening was wonderful. What an honor to stand among 101st Airborne Division Veterans spanning 75 years and sing the national anthem. The gentleman in the picture is Mr. David Wisnia. He was born in Poland. During WWII his entire family was killed and he, an able-bodied 18-year-old boy, was put into the concentration camp, Auschwitz. Some time later, the Germans werIMG_0141e moving the prisoners to Dachau. During the trip Mr. Wisnia miraculously escaped. He had not gone far when he ran into a column of men from the 101st Airborne Division. Mr. Wisnia spoke six languages. He joined the 101st that day and never left them throughout the rest of the war. “I had no family,” he told me tonight. “They became my family.”

Remarkable People making Remarkable History

Posted in Uncategorized on February 7, 2015 by jimmyfblackmon

If you do nothing else today read my story and watch the video. It will be the best 11 minutes you give away this year. I promise. Three years ago I was the guest speaker at the 101 Association reunion and that was the first time Vinny told his amazing story. It has since been recorded, and I have attached it below. Watch it. You won’t believe the ending.
Now, to get you there…
It is truly an honor to be the guest speaker, again, at tonights 101st Airborne Division Association Snowbird dinner. There are hundreds of veterans here who have served in our great division since WWII. Here are a few of the remarkable American’s present. I am pictured with Pat Macri and his wife in the first picture. Pat jumped into Normandy on D-Day with the 101st. He jumped with two carrier pigeons under his arms. One pigeon had a message attached to its leg that said, “The jump was a success.” The other pigeon’s message said, “The jump was a failure.”
When Pat landed on the LZ the “success” pigeon was dead. It had been killed on impact. He removed the message from its leg and replace the failure message on the other pigeons leg, and then he set it free to fly back to England, reporting the mission a success. I literally had tears in my eyes as this dear man told me how he prayed that the Lord would help him endure.
In the other photo I am standing between Richard Pack and Tom Sewell. Richard went to Baylor H.S. in Chattanooga, and dated a girl from Ranger, GA – my hometown. He first commanded an infantry company in Vietnam and then commanded Charlie Company, 101st Aviation Group. Charlie Company (Black Widows) is now a company in my brigade. Tom was Richard’s operations officer. Richard would go on to serve as the 1st Ranger Battalion Operations Officer and was the Army Aviation planner, whiles serving as the Ranger OPSO, for Operation Eagle Claw, the attempt to rescue American hostages in Iran.

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Montana

Posted in Uncategorized on December 28, 2014 by jimmyfblackmon

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Western Montana

Posted in Uncategorized on December 28, 2014 by jimmyfblackmon

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Jimmy talking about Afghanistan at Sertoma Nashville

Posted in Uncategorized on December 4, 2014 by jimmyfblackmon

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