Museum preserves Arizona’s military history

October 31, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Posted in Military Museum | Leave a comment

At the west end of Papago Park Military Reservation, a large, plain building houses memorabilia, documents and all things involved with Arizona’s military history.  The Arizona Military Museum contains a wide assortment of military memorabilia including weapons, uniforms, a helicopter and a Jeep from the Viet Nam era, flags and many other items.

Located on Papago Park Military Reservation, the Arizona Military Museum houses items from Arizona's military history.

Located on Papago Park Military Reservation, the Arizona Military Museum houses items from Arizona’s military history.

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Book chronicles life of Navy SEAL sniper

May 29, 2013 at 10:36 am | Posted in Book Review | Leave a comment
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Even though we tragically lost Navy SEAL Chris Kyle on Feb. 2, 2013, his autobiography, “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History,” gives us a perspective of the life he lived. The book chronicles life from his days growing up in Texas to becoming a Navy SEAL and serving his country with multiple deployments to Iraq.  He shares time spent at home between deployments and after his service with his wife, Taya, and their two children.

"American Sniper" tells the story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.

“American Sniper” tells the story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.

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Book weaves love story through loss, recovery

May 1, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Posted in Book Review | Leave a comment
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On April 22, 2004, the United States lost a unique man, and Marie Tillman lost her husband, Pat Tillman. In her book, “The Letter: My Journey Through Love, Loss & Life,” Marie writes her intimate story of her life with Pat Tillman, her emotions on the day she found out about her husband’s death and the road she travelled after his death.

Marie Tillman writes about "The Letter: My Journey Through Love, Loss & Life."

Marie Tillman writes about “The Letter: My Journey Through Love, Loss & Life.”

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Heard Museum features Code Talker exhibit

February 28, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Posted in Military Event | 1 Comment
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Even though the United States government took many American Indian children away from their families and sent them to boarding schools where they learned English and were punished for using their native language, during World War I and World War II, the United States found a secret weapon in using these same American Indians and their native language to help win wars.

The Heard Museum hosts a Code Talker Exhibit through March 31, 2013.

The Heard Museum hosts a Code Talker Exhibit through March 31, 2013.

The Heard Museum presents a joint exhibit, Native Words Native Warriors and Navajo Code Talkers Photographs by Kenji Kawano, through March 31, 2013. The exhibit includes story boards; an 11 minute and 46 second video, “The Power of Words: Native Languages as Weapons of War;” photographs of the Code Talkers by Kenji Kawano; and display cases filled with uniforms, medals and the equipment they used during the wars.

A video shows interviews with 10 Code Talkers.

A video shows interviews with 10 Code Talkers.

In the film, 10 different Code Talkers share their experiences. They talk about how their regimented experiences in boarding schools help them in the military and how they invented the code using their native languages. They all speak with pride about their service. One, Frank Senache from the Meskwaki tribe and a member of the U.S. Army, reveals the atrocities he suffered as a prisoner of war. Another, Chester Nez a Navajo with the U.S. Marine Corps, explains the hurt he felt when he returned home and found he needed to register “because the government said you’re not a citizen yet.”

The map shows the World War II Code Talker tribes and communities.

The map shows the World War II Code Talker tribes and communities.

Maps showed the tribe and their home communities in World War I and World War II. The military used American Indians from many more tribes and communities during World War II. Other story boards document their service in the Pacific Campaign, at Iwo Jima, in Europe and from North Africa to Italy.

A glass case contains a Code Talker photos and the radios and weapons they used during World War II.

A glass case contains a Code Talker photo and the radios and weapons they used during World War II.

Glass cases show the uniforms the Code Talkers wore, the medals they earned and the weapons and radio equipment they used. Framed photos taken by Kenji Kawano line the walls and help to tell the story of the Code Talkers.

A glass case contains Code Talker uniforms, medals and memorabilia.

A glass case contains Code Talker uniforms, medals and memorabilia.

For 23 years, the Code Talkers maintained their silence about the Navajo Code Talker Program, but in 1968, the U. S. declassified the program and in the following years, the Code Talkers received awards and recognition for their service as Code Talkers. One of those honors occurred on Aug. 14, 1982 when Pres. Ronald Reagan declared National Navajo Code Talkers Day.

In 1968, the United States began to recognize Code Talkers after declassification of the program.

In 1968, the United States began to recognize Code Talkers after declassification of the program.

The exhibit shows how these heroes came forward and helped the United States using their Native language to shorten and help end World War II. It’s a great exhibit and the Books & More store at the Heard Museum carries many books with additional information on the Code Talkers.

© 2013 Photos Janice Semmel

 

Code talker legacy preserved in film

January 7, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Posted in Military Event | 2 Comments
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On Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, the Heard Museum presented “The Power of Words: Native Languages as Weapons of War” as part of its Code Talker exhibits. The film produced and directed by Patty Talahongva, a Hopi journalist,  captured interviews of 10 American Indian men, who joined the military during World War II and became code talkers.

Hopi journalist, director and producer Patty Talahongva answers questions after the showing of "The Power of Words: Native Languages as Weapons of War."

Hopi journalist, director and producer Patty Talahongva answers questions after the showing of “The Power of Words: Native Languages as Weapons of War.”

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Arizona commemorates Pearl Harbor Day

December 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Posted in Military Event | Leave a comment
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Dec. 7, 2012 marked the 71st anniversary of the Pearl Harbor invasion. Arizona commemorated the historic date with an event at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza attended by seven Pearl Harbor survivors, veterans, active military personnel, guests, dignitaries and the general public.

Arizona commemorates Pearl Harbor Day at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza.

Arizona commemorates Pearl Harbor Day at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza.

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Former Navy SEAL tells of Bin Laden mission, life as a SEAL

November 24, 2012 at 10:23 am | Posted in Book Review | Leave a comment
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U.S. Navy SEAL Mark Owen with Kevin Maurer writes the first-hand account of what actually happened the day Osama Bin Laden died in “No Easy Day: The Autobiography of a Navy SEAL.” Owen gives his reasons in the Epilogue for his desire to write the book and to set the story straight as to what happened that day and how all of those involved in the mission sacrificed everyday to accomplish a favorable outcome.

U.S. Navy SEAL sets the record straight on Osama Bin Laden's death in "No Easy Day."

U.S. Navy SEAL sets the record straight on Osama Bin Laden’s death in “No Easy Day.”

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Phoenix parade honors veterans

November 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Posted in Military Event | Leave a comment
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Nov. 12, 2012 turned into a bright, sunny day just the kind of glorious day to honor our veterans at a parade. Phoenix VA Health Care Systems threw a spectacular parade; its theme was “Healing Wounds, Honoring Their Sacrifice.” Thousands of people turned out to watch military personnel and equipment, marching bands, floats, balloons and aircraft.

Vintage U.S. Army aircraft leave colorful vapor trails in the cloudless Phoenix sky.

Vintage U.S. Army aircraft leave colorful vapor trails in the cloudless Phoenix sky.

My logistics were a bit off since this was the first year I attended the parade, but people lined both sides of Central Avenue at North Phoenix Baptist Church. Families with small children attended. They brought their blankets and chairs to sit on and snacks or a picnic lunch to enjoy as they watched and cheered the parade. Continue Reading Phoenix parade honors veterans…

Medal of Honor winner shares perspective on life, battle of Ganjigal

November 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Posted in Book Review | Leave a comment
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Bing West, who wrote “Into the Fire” with Dakota Meyer, Medal of Honor winner, says he met Meyer at Combat Outpost Monti after the Ganjigal battle. Lt. Jake Kerr made sure that West got introduced to the “pit bull,” and the book shows what a pit bull Meyer is.

"Into the Fire," written by Dakota Meyer, Medal of Honor winner, and Bing West, documents the battle of Ganjigal.

“Into the Fire,” written by Dakota Meyer, Medal of Honor winner, and Bing West, documents the battle of Ganjigal.

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Arizona cemetery honors veterans

October 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Posted in Military Site | Leave a comment
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Until my friend Maggy’s husband died on Oct. 1, 2012, I never took the opportunity to visit the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona. Located just east of Cave Creek Road with its entrance on Pinnacle Peak Road, the cemetery created by a state law in 1976 consists of 225 acres. No grass exists in the cemetery, but the desert landscape includes plants like saguaro and barrel cactus, which gives the cemetery its own unique, beautiful appearance.

Graves at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona stretch east toward the Founders Plaza.

Graves at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona stretch east toward the Founders Plaza.

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