Monthly Archives: February 2021

Semper I

Semper I is an old Marine Corps term applied to those selfish careerists who place their own success ahead of their men and the  wellbeing of  the Corps. Congressman John Murtha is a living example of that disgraceful term.

A bugle blows in Arlington,Lilting notes fill still sad air,An eagle’s tears a globe fall on,Trail an anchor with despair, For a man we’d wish had not to die, Brave youth among the best, A Marine, he lived for Semper Fi, And with Semper Fi he’ll rest.

So sadly is the contrast,Between those who talk and fight; Fat Pols for whom their war’s past, But now can’t see the light, Accusing brave young fighting men, Of crimes they can’t defend,Disgraceful fat old congressmen, Who’ve lost the will to win.

Yes there we see the difference,Between those who fight to win, And a congressman with no sense, Who’s committed grievous sin;He’s turned against his Corps, And no one knows quite why,Except he loves himself much more: Classic case of Semper I.

Semper Fi to all Marines everywhere from an old paratrooper who holds Murtha in as much contempt as you do.

Russ Vaughn
327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66

[Webmaster’s note 2006.07.18.23:30:  Murtha portrait added, courtesy of Click it to see their post, where they have a larger version.  Now’s a perfect time to visit]

What next?

My astute co-contributors have clearly defined several closely related parts of a larger problem.  Steve’s take is here. And Gene offers a positive solution here.  Others, here and elsewhere,  have offered even more perspective and possible solutions.

But, while the first step in solving a problem is to correctly identify it, I think there are still some pieces missing before we can be certain we have.

A clear Declaration of War would be a first step, but War against what?  One of the flaws in The Global War on Terror has been noted by the liberal/left; terrorism is an act, not a government.

I’m all for a pre-emptive strategy, I support the use of carefully targeted Nukes. North Korea’s launch site(s), Iran’s military and nuclear facilities, and a few more similar targets, but the list is, frankly, short.

And, for the record, I could care less about international reaction.

But even if we followed that path, we’re still left with the billions (externally) and millions (internally) that do not want  the U.S. to survive in any form most of us would recognize.

Those tactics won’t work in London or Dearborn anyway.

One real problem, and one only WE can solve, is that we, collectively, have no identity any more. I’m not certain we ever did! But that point is a bit off topic unless we address the politicians.

As much as I’d like to blame the congresscritters in D.C., they are only a symptom.

So I’m left asking ‘What Next’?

I willing to get off my ass and do something, helping dump Murtha, for example. But there are many more where he came from.

An armed revolt sounds interesting, but it would allow those on the sidelines (Islamists, anti-American illegal immigrants, etc.) to pick up the pieces at their leisure.

I’m armed, with a vote and a gun, give me target. I don’t have enough ammo to ‘spray and pray’ and only one vote.

Bill Faith; My Buddy

The following was forwarded to me from Russ Vaughn. It is difficult to separate, Bill and Russ, as to who did what first to give birth to Old War Dogs.

By Russ Vaughn

Bill Faith was my buddy, a term that has particular meaning for those who have worn a uniform in service to this country. And though I never met him, nor even heard his voice a single time, that’s how I will remember Bill, as my buddy, someone who served alongside me through victory and defeat, through thick and thin, but who always could be counted on to stand up and be counted when it counted most.

I must first apologize to Bill’s family and all of you out there for being tardy in posting my thoughts on Bill’s passing. Two months ago my wife and I were abruptly thrust into the role of primary caregivers for her almost ninety-year-old parents, a responsibility which has kept both of us away from our computers and me from my blogging efforts. It was only through an email from The Gray Dog, Mike Connelly, that I learned belatedly of Bill’s death.

I don’t even remember precisely when Bill and I became acquainted, just that it was sometime after John Kerry became the Democrat frontrunner in 2004 and this old Vietnam vet, like millions of my brothers, swore to do everything in my power to prevent that traitor from ever becoming commander in chief. Scott Swett, at Wintersoldier blog, first began posting my anti-Kerry rants, which were then picked up by the Freepers and spread to other like-minded sites. Shortly thereafter I received an email from Bill, telling me he would like to post my pieces at his Small Town Veteran blog. As soon as I visited the site, I knew I had found an ally, one who quickly became a long-distance friend and a valued editor of my sometimes rough expositions.

When Kerry was defeated in November 2004, Bill and I, like all our Vietnam veteran brothers who had fought to keep Kerry out of the presidency, were exhilarated and felt that at last we had been exonerated. In sharing that victory, we became buddies, and the bond became even stronger in the summer of 2006 when Bill became webmaster of our new blog, Old War Dogs, which may have been my brainstorm but was Bill’s baby from the outset. He built the pen and the doghouse from scratch and fed and watered that pup every day. And like most proud papas, he could get quickly cantankerous if he felt like someone was mistreating his dog, including me.

Bill kept OWD up and running all through this last election fiasco even though, like me, he was never more than lukewarm to the idea of John McCain as our candidate. But, good soldier that he was, Bill fought the good fight right up until the bitter end. And as bitter as it was for the rest of us, his email telling me that he was going to back away from daily blogging at OWD, made me aware that my buddy was battle weary and in need of some respite. I regret not then realizing just how badly needed it was.

Michelle Malkin’s farewell post to Bill includes my poem, The Sheepdogs, and I thank her for that because there was never a more dedicated Sheepdog than Bill Faith. He loved his flock, both the immediate, his family, especially his new grandbaby, and that much larger flock, his countrymen.

Bill, I’m gonna miss you, Buddy.

Russ Vaughn

Taps for a Warrior

Frederick M. Burr, USA, retired, passed away today at 2:55 p.m. Mountain Time at age 91. He was my father-in-law.

He became acquainted with the Army while traveling as a very young man when he visited an uncle who was on Gen. MacArthur’s staff in the Philippines. When World War II broke out, he joined Patton’s Army, serving as a sergeant on the staff of his Regimental Combat Team Commander in Europe. After the war, he became a Warrant Officer in Military Intelligence; in that capacity, he served in Vietnam, bracketed in his wartime tour by two stepsons, also in the Army.

He later served with the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, Romania, in the early 1970s. CW4 Burr interviewed returning POWs from Vietnam and continued to serve in the Army until he was well-past retirement age, having been granted special dispensation due to his intelligence skills and knowledge.

When he did retire, he held the distinction of being the oldest, longest serving Warrant Officer in the U.S. Army. After retiring from the Army, he remained active in military and veterans affairs and national security organizations and even accomplished something he never had time for as a younger man–he finished college.

A couple of years ago, Fred joined my wife and my Father (along with a friend and my brother) on a trip to Washington, D.C., to see the new World War II Memorial. It was a gift my wife and I gave both our Dads, since both were World War II-Korea-Vietnam Veterans. We also visited the memorials from those two wars. For the occasion, we outfitted both Dads in caps conveying their triple-war service, and it was great to watch all their fellow veterans, young and old, as well as active duty personnel and civilians, come up to thank them for their service.

Fred was a proud man, an old school gentleman and as loyal an American patriot as anyone who ever lived. He lived a good, long life and will be fondly remembered by his large family and many friends. The nation and all of us who live in freedom, owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude.

I salute you, Fred. It was an honor to be your son-in law. Rest in peace. You’ve certainly earned it.

Bill Faith – “Aim High” My Friend

*** Update Sunday January 18, 2009 ***

I should have added this link to Michelle Malkin’s article.

Also to Uncle Jimbo’s post at BlackFive.

Here are a whole bunch more:

The Rude News

Illusion or reality


Another Voice

Confedrate Yankee

The Radio Patriot

Brutally Honest

Bookworm Room


Also, Bill’s sister has requested donations be made to Soldier’s Angels in lieu of flowers.

Finally, I am unable to approve any comments left for Bill at other posts.  Some of you already have posted elsewhere.  If you wish to leave a comment for Bill please do so at this article, for which I am able to approve comments for.  Thank You.


It is with a saddened heart that I just heard from another Old War Dog, Zero Ponsdorf, that Michelle Malkin reported the death of Old War Dog founder and webmaster Bill Faith.  I missed a couple of opportunities this year as I traveled through Southern Illinois, to stop and meet Bill in person.  This is a mistake I will regret for the rest of my life.

Through an electronic introduction from another Old War Dog, Jim Bartimus, I was introduced to Bill in July of 2005.  It was then that Bill extended the invitation to join the Old War Dogs Blog, and it was the first type of anything in my adult lifetime I had ever joined.

Bill could be cantankerous at times, often causing a bit of dissent among the ranks.  But, I know that Bill’s life centered around two things: Old War Dogs and his Grandson.  His Blogging and love of America, I can speak to.  His abundant love for his daughter and grandson I will leave for others.

Many years later, Bill and I discovered that I had preceded him into the Air Force by a mere week back in the summer of 1970, and that most of our time at Lackland AFB and afterward at Sheppard AFB, had overlapped.  That’s where the similarity ended.  Bill went on to serve in Vietnam, while I defended America from the frozen moonscapes of Alaska.  I think it was our same age, military branch, and the fact that we were both Illinoisans, that caused Bill to always favor my writing and give it a little boost in the Blog position each day.  In fact I was often embarrassed by the favoritism.

Others, such as Russ Vaughn, JD Pendry, George “Rurik” Mellinger, William “1st Cav” Page and Zero Ponsdorf knew Bill longer and perhaps better than I, although most of us have been strangers to Old War Dogs for a couple of years now.

A couple of years ago, Bill had entrusted the “keys” to the Old War Dogs Site with me and Russ Vaughn.  I haven’t been in contact with Russ for some time, and I’m not sure how to proceed.  Old War Dogs and Small Town Veteran were 100% Bill Faith.  There is a part of me that says we should keep OWD going as a tribute to Bill, yet another that says it would only be a cheap imitation.  As mentioned before, Russ and JD and perhaps a few others will have more to say on the topic.

In closing, I simply want to say that Bill was a patriot, a loving father and grandfather, and a clear voice for veteran’s causes throughout the blogosphere.  And for me personally, he was a friend and fellow Old War Dog.  I will miss him.

Mike Connelly
The Gray Dog