A Nurse with a Gun

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Reason to Drive to Missouri


Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Colt .22 Tactical M4 Rifle

One of the loudly heralded rifles from the 2009 SHOT Show was the Umarex/Walther/Colt M-forgery. I had heard that the big box store had a couple of Colt rimfire M4s in stock, so I drove over to take a gander for the first time today. Overall I was impressed at Walther's ability to make a rimfire replica of America's favorite black rifle. The fact that the carry handle was detachable on the M4 version was a big plus for me. The barrel contour seemed pretty close to correct. I'm not certain if the hand grip or the adjustable buttstock will swap out with conventional AR aftermarket equipment though. If it does not, then shame on Walther. A major component of the AR's allure is the modularity that makes the rifle user friendly towards customization.

The magazine was not in the rifle that I examined, so I asked to take a look at it. The salesman assured me it was "exactly like a M-sixteen clip." All I had to do was fill out this yellow sheet....... I asked again to see the magazine. When the salesman's assistant brought the 30 round magazine from the rear of the big box store, I was not surprised. It was heavy plastic with a cut out on either side to show the remaining ammunition inside. A follower button was present on each side to aid in loading. That was a shame, to make a replica so close and then let the magazine destroy the illusion. There are many who would purchase the Colt/Walther M-forgery as a 22 rifle simply because it mimics the real deal so well. With the magazine in place, only Paul Helmke would have a problem seeing the difference.

The blue hang tag on the forward sling swivel attested to the rimfire rifle's all metal construction. Indeed, it felt to be about the same weight as it's more powerful cousin. I began to wonder if the receiver was good aluminum, or if it was pot metal. I remembered the problems Walther had a couple of years ago with the P22 slides. I envisioned this rifle after a year of use, with silver showing through the black paint on the receiver. It would certainly take on a patina common to a well used and well loved rifle through legitimate high volume use.

The asking price at the big box store was $589 before tax. I had ascertained that this was about a hundred bucks above dealer cost. That was fair enough, and for a man who shoots a lot of .223, it could mean the rifle would pay for itself quickly. My appetite for black rifle goodness is not that voracious, however. Perhaps it should be. If I owned one of these carbines, I would likely shoot it a lot. It would not be a substitute for a rifle i presently shoot a lot however.

I decided I would wait. I would wait until I saw some real world durability reports and real world reliability complaints. I would wait until the aftermarket caught up and accessories became available to fit the rifle. I would wait until I could purchase it used at the next gun show. Before I saw the magazine I almost had my checkbook out. I had always said if Colt made a 22 rimfire M4 replica, I would buy it. I probably still will, in time. I just want to know a little more at the price they are asking.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

House for Sale

I don't usually list homes for sale on my blog, but this one might be of interest.
Beds: 8
Baths: 2.5
Square Feet: 6,912
Property Type: Residential Single Family
Status: Active

The John Browning Mansion - complete with turrets, dormers, grand staircases, amazing hardwood floors, original windows & moulding, new commerical-grade kitchen with corian counters, potential new baths for bed and breakfast use. A definite must see!
closeThe John Browning Mansion - complete with turrets, dormers, grand staircases, amazing hardwood floors, original windows & moulding, new commerical-grade kitchen with corian counters, potential new baths for bed and breakfast use. A definite must see!

The NY Times even gave it a nice write up!

Ogden, Utah
WHAT: An eight-bedroom two-bath mansion with two half baths
HOW MUCH: $374,900
SETTING: This mansion, formerly used as a Y.W.C.A., was originally built in 1900 for John Browning — of Browning firearms — on a corner lot in Ogden, population 83,000, a city between the Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lake. According to the listing agent, Ogden was a railroad hub that fell into disrepair by the 1950s but picked back up in recent years with the influx of outdoor types and sporting-goods manufacturers, including Amer Sports (parent company of Salomon and Atomic), and Rossignol. There are three ski resorts within 25 miles: Snowbasin, Powder Mountain and Wolf Mountain.

This house is in a neighborhood of older homes within two miles of big-box shopping and one mile of boutique shopping in a district along 25th Street, near Wall Avenue. Ogden is about 40 miles from Salt Lake City, which has an international airport. The Wasatch Mountains are visible from nearly everywhere in town.

COMMON SPACES: Most of the house is original, including a banister stretching from the entry to the attic, beveled windows, hardwood floors and fireplaces. There are built-in cupboards in the dining room and storage drawers on each of the house’s three floors.

PERSONAL SPACES: There are two bedrooms in the finished basement, one on the main level and four on the second level. An eighth bedroom is in the attic suite, which includes a living room that, according to the listing agent, served as a workshop for John Browning (and includes remnants of a wiring system used to buzz his maids). Most bedrooms have views of the yard and neighboring historic houses; the attic has treetop and mountain views.

OUTDOOR SPACE: A fenced-in, fully landscaped yard on two sides of the house, facing the street.

TAXES: $2,400 a year (estimated, if owner-occupied); around $4,500 a year if home is converted to apartments or used as a rental

CONTACT: Sue Wilkerson, Terra Venture Real Estate, (801) 393-1188; www.suewilkerson.com

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Gun in the Home

Imagine being a ten year old boy home alone with your eight year old sister. There is a knock at the door. You tell your sister to be quiet. The knock becomes more insistent, and ultimately two grown thugs kick your door in.

That is what happened at a Port Allen, Louisiana apartment complex. The boy and his sister ran to hide in a closet. The home invaders quickly gave chase. They snatched open the closet door, pouring a blinding light on the trembling children.

But the ten year old boy had grabbed his mother's handgun as he closed the closet door behind himself and his sister. Because that handgun was in that home, two children are alive and well, and two armed criminals who would assault and quite probably kill without remorse are behind bars. Their juvenile get-away driver is in jail as well.

In case this video feed ever goes down, the boy shot one of the criminals, Roderick Porter, in the mouth with the handgun. Porter and his accomplice, Dean Favron, turned tail and ran from the armed adolescent. They did not run because they changed their mind about hurting children. They were not reformed. They had no religious conversion. No, the epithany they had was that the boy they had threatened had the means and the willingness to kill them dead, to place them rotting in their graves if they did not retreat. That is why they ran. The boy's willingness came from his resolve to live and protect his sister. The means came from the gun his mother kept in the home.

This home invasion occured in a part of town that is not exactly economically privileged. Chances are, the gun was an inexpensive type, such as a Hi Point or possibly even a Raven or Bryco. The type of handgun used is not important. The thing is, the gun was there, a boy was willing to use it to save lives, and the handgun worked. Tonight, in Baton Rouge Louisiana, three violent armed criminals are in jail awaiting trial because of that boy and that gun. In Port Allen, a mother tucks her children into bed and thanks God she had a gun in the home.

Paul Helmke, put that in your pipe and smoke it.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Shooting the Clark Commander

It was a gorgeous day to be at the range. The skies were blue with puffy cotton clouds, and a cool breeze whisked the sweat away. Frieda had not been back to the range since we last shot, although she had been doing a lot of dry fire practice. Click to enlargeTruthfully, I had not made it to the range as much as I should have. The heat and humidity just kept me away. Today was a new day though, and I wanted to put some copper jacketed lead through my new pistol. I brought along my Ruger MKII fishing gun, and my Clark Meltdown Colt Commander, fresh from Jim Clark's hands. Frieda had her Ruger MKII, and Little Darling was along for the ride.

First off, the Clark Commander shot well. As usual, it was more accurate than myself, and it was totally reliable. Over the course of the afternoon, I put 200 rounds through it with no failures. I ran drills of one, then two shots using a flash sight picture. The pistol pointed naturally, and came to sights without error. I rotated between the Commander and my MKII to prevent myself from getting too comfortable.

Frieda was excited to get back to the range. She had brought along a box of Blazer ammunition. I grimaced at the sight. Click to enlargeCall me a nut, but I just prefer the copper washed Federal bulk pack stuff. Frieda did not need my assistance though. She was able to load her own magazines, and when a cold range was called, she set her target out at ten yards.

Her first couple of magazines were shot low, and I had to talk to her again about the human sympathetic grip. As we coil our index finger, the remaining three fingers of the hand tend to tighten. When holding a pistol, this can make the muzzle drop. I reminded Frieda to take a firm grip on the gun with her right hand. If our fingers are already tightly grasping an object, the sympathetic grip is minimized when we use our index finger. Frieda listened, and applied my suggestion. She found herself shooting in the red again immediately.

After Frieda got a couple hundred rounds downrange, she began to have occasional stovepipe jams. I would have to clear her pistol for her, and I attributed the problem to the Blazer ammunition. Frieda with her target, Click to enlargeI was still shooting just fine with Federal. Its my belief that Blazer may have a reduced charge in some rounds, and less consistency from round to round. A pistol depends on the recoil impulse to eject the spent brass from the gun. When the recoil impulse is reduced because the ammunition is loaded lighter, the bolt doesn't move as quickly and ejection problems can occur. I have not performed my Ruger magazine modification on Frieda's mags. That could have played a role as well. Frieda persevered though, and resolved to buy Federal ammunition next time.

Frieda and Little Darling kept looking at my target and comparing their shooting with mine. This is a natural thing for anyone to do, and it is one of the reasons I do not shoot when I am teaching a novice. It is also a reason why I will work on drills that impair my accuracy when shooting with someone who has established competence and needs to push themselves a bit more. Frieda and Little Darling with my target, Click to enlargeFrieda noticed that I was working on flash sighting. She remembered me talking about it with her, and asked me why I was shooting that way.

"The person most likely to survive a gunfight unscathed is not necessarily the person who is the most accurate," I told her. "Almost invariably the person who is shot first will be the person who comes out on the short end of the stick. Shooting accurately is important. Shooting accurately enough, fast enough is more important. You can train for target shooting, or you can train to survive a lethal encounter. Proficiency at target shooting teaches you to use a gun in a certain manner. Under the stress of unexpected violence, we will revert back to the way we trained ourselves to shoot. I want to be the guy who gets shots on target first, not the guy who does it most accurately. I just need to be accurate enough."

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Clark Meltdown Colt Commander

Back in 2006, I went to a gun show with a Kahr K40 to trade off. The Kahr had been a good and reliable gun, but it was a bit heavy, and I had moved away from the .40S&W cartridge. Click to enlargeIt was time. I ended up trading the Kahr for a Colt Combat Commander that had been modified with a ramp front sight with an orange insert, a fixed rear sight, and a flare cut into the ejection port. It was the perfect pistol to continue modifying.

The next couple of years saw a trigger replacement, a Nowlin hammer installation, a Ed Brown thumb safety, and an aluminum mainspring housing. The Pachmayr grips were exchanged for cocobolo. The pistol was a good gun, reliable, and accurate. It carried well. It did not really bother me that it was a rather homely pistol, it made up for the difference at the range. Still, I just felt it deserved better.

At the same time, I had always wanted a pistol that encapsulated Clark Custom's signature modification, the Clark Meltdown. Because the Commander was finished in electroless nickel, the refinishing costs would include stripping off the e-nickel. Not exorbitant, but more expensive than usual. So I waited. Click to enlargeA year went by, and the pistol still shot unfailingly. Another year went by. The pistol never failed.

Finally, I made the drive to Shootout Lane, and discussed the pistol with Jim Clark Jr. I did not want to upset the applecart on a great pistol, so we decided to just melt the Commander and hard chrome the result. The pistol had no need for a trigger job, tightening, or accurizing, and Jim did not try to sell me anything I did not need. We agreed to replace the front sight insert after the hard chrome was completed. I left my pistol in Clark's competent hands, confident that I would be pleased when I saw it again. That was February.

Yesterday, as I was closing up my last case, my cell phone rang. My Commander was ready. I made another trip to Shootout Lane and received a familiar friend with a beautiful facelift. There are some that call the Clark Meltdown the revenge of the belt sander. If that is the case, the sander is in the hands of an artist. Jim and I had discussed leaving the original bushing in the gun. I did not want to upset a reliable and accurate barrel fit. The fit of the pistol was exactly as I remembered, but every sharp edge had been removed. Click to enlargeThe rear of the slide had been rounded. No a corner remained. It had the feel of a well used bar of Ivory soap. Flawless hard chrome covered everything, including the steel low profile base plate of the Wilson magazine. Jim had even cleaned up my roughly done insetting of the slide release pin. The pistol was beautiful.

I caught up with the fellows who massage pistols in Princeton Louisiana, and I needed to inquire about one thing in particular. In Louisiana, a person with a CCW has a duty to inform an officer of the law who engages them on official business, of the presence of their firearm. I had heard rumors that law abiding licensed concealed carriers were having their handguns confiscated by the Shreveport police at traffic stops. I was informed the rumors were not only true, but the weapons had not been returned, and the mayor had the balls to say his officers could do whatever they liked. Attorneys have been hired, and court dates are pending. Hopefully, the Shreveport police department will become reacquainted with the US Constitution, as well as the Louisiana constitution soon.

While we were talking, Jim broke out a revolver he was working on for a customer. He was installing an XS Tritium shotgun bead in a dovetail he had milled into the barrel of a J frame revolver. Click to enlargeHe had widened the notch in the rear of the top strap to accommodate it in the sight picture. The set-up was sweet. He had serrated the top of the barrel to reduce glare. Jim informed me the modification was still experimental, but he expected it to work well.

I just happened to have my Smith & Wesson Model 649 out in the car. Several years ago, I had seen a pair of 44 magnum snubbies that Jim had melted and set up as a brace of bear protection for a friend who was traveling through the Yukon. I left my little 649 with Jim to be melted with a bead blast finish, and to receive a new front sight if the XS Tritium sight modification works out well. Another Clark gun coming up.........

FWIW, Jim also had a well worn but complete and original 1918 M1911 in his used gun case for $1000 even. If anyone is interested, give him a ring.....

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ring ring Ring ring

Click to enlarge
I received a call from Renee at Clark Custom telling me my Commander is ready to be picked up.

Pick it up tomorrow, hit the range with Frieda on Thursday........

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ugly Gun Sunday

Friday, July 17, 2009

USA Today Poll

Keyhole Mags

after conferring with some real experts, it seems I need a "keyhole" magazine to make my 1912 M1911 complete. This esoteric Colt magazine is the same as a usual lanyard loop two tone M1911 magazine, except it has a "keyhole."

I didn't even know such an animal existed. Learn something new every day..... Ah well, I might find turtle teeth in my mailbox first......... At least I have an excuse for using a standard GI magazine..... If anyone has a keyhole mag in the bottom of their range bag, shoot me an email......


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Detail Stripping the 1912 M1911

I finally got around to detail stripping the 1912 M1911 that I acquired. Unfortunately, underneath the grips, especially on the right side, I found rust.

I soaked the rust with Ballistol, and scraped at it with a copper penny. I have, over the years, adopted the Lincoln cent for a scraping tool on guns. The copper is softer than the metal, and I have yet to scratch a finish with old Honest Abe. The grips were quite stuck, but with a little persuasion, they let go of the bushings.

As I dived deeper into the detail strip and evaluation, I saw that this pistol did indeed have the original finish. The two toned look on the grip frame is actually two different directions of polishing applied at the factory. This two toned appearance is quickly altered in a M1911 has been refinished.

I lubricated the pistol like I do all my 1911s, grease on the slide rails and sear, oil on the pivoting parts. When I was done, the pistol was glistening with Ballistol, inside and out. I will let the Ballistol remain on the gun, not wiping it off, for several days. Hopefully it will soak into the remaining oxidation and help loosen it from the finish.

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Pawn Shop Circuit: Tough Times

I had some time off call after cases today, and I used part of it driving around to several pawn shops looking for guns. What I found was reaffirmation of why I tapered off on the pawn shop circuit. The pickings were available, but the entry price was high. I found 9mm Glocks at each pawn shop. The cheapest one was $499. The most expensive was $579. I'm not enough of a Glock fan to distinguish between them all, but there were little ones, short ones long ones, and they were all black and polymer. Five hundred bucks and a twenty or two seems to be the going rate right now.

Neil had two Taurus 1911s, one in 45ACP for $549, and one in .38 super for $499. His rack was full of shotguns and deer rifles. He told me times are getting tough, and people are not showing back up with their pawn tickets. At Kenny's shop I found a couple of Smith & Wesson M&P pistols, and a Springfield XD. Kenny also had a full rack of deer rifles and shotguns. I noticed in each pawn shop the power tool shelves were full of tools. That's probably a fair indicator of the economy.

A new place had opened up, so I decided to check out their wares as well. They had a couple of Browning Challengers that were priced around three fifty, and a Colt WWI Reproduction tagged at $1300. Several black rifles were among the display of long guns. The lady behind the counter informed me that she would be happy to order what ever I wanted, and I guess I should have asked what she charges for a FFL transfer. I haven't ordered a firearm and paid a transfer in a couple of years now. I just haven't had the need to do so. Also on her shelves were two Colt 1911s in bright nickel, and a slew of revolvers, all new, and most of them Rossi. Seeing the pawn shop shelves fill back up, it makes me wonder what might become available in the coming months. Hopefully, a few guns more to my taste will emerge, and they will be in my price range.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Who Died Last Week?

-SPC Joshua L. Hazlewood, 22
Manvel, TX
US Army

-PVT Steven T. Drees, 19
Peshtigo, WI
US Army

-PFC Peter K. Cross, 20
Saginaw, TX
US Army

-SGT Terry J. Lynch, 22
Shepherd, MT
US Army

-SGT Timothy A. David, 28
Gladwin, MI
US Army

-SGT Roger L. Adams Jr., 36
Jacksonville, NC
US Army

-SGT Juan C. Baldeosingh, 30
Newport, NC
US Army

-SPC Robert L. Bittiker, 39
Jacksonville, NC
US Army

-SFC Edward C. Kramer, 39
Wilmington, NC
US Army

-1LT Brian N. Bradshaw, 24
Steilacoom, WA
US Army

Oh yeah, and a pop singer from Gary Indiana and the woman who sold a million posters in the seventies.

edited to add: Thanks for all who informed me of Col. Ed McMahon's service. It is a shame his service was not mentioned by the media. Perhaps I just missed it....... Thank you Colonel.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ugly Gun Sunday

I hope it shoots better than.......

Sorry so tardy....

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Sorry for my absence. Please enjoy the previous posts and archives.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Colt Recall Update

On Tuesday of last week I filled out Colt's online request for a new Defender recoil assembly. I received the unit in a bubble wrapped plastic envelope today. Decently fast service.

I'm not wanting to send in the other two pistols for a thumb safety replacement under Colt's recall. I don't mind sending them in, it's just that I don't want to have to wait at the house to sign for the package when it returns. I can replace the New Agent thumb safety myself, if Hartford will just send a new recoil assembly my way for it as well. I will have to give them a call and see if they will. Doubtful, but you never know.........

edited on Saturday, 7-11-09: I used the website link and had a new recoil assembly for my Defender in two days.

I called Colt and spoke with a young lady about my New Agent. I explained that the thumb safety had already been replaced by a competent gunsmith (I did not say the competent gunsmith was myself....). Colt agreed to send me a new recoil assembly through the mail for the New Agent. Colt did ask that I ensure the recall thumb safety was destroyed. The second recoil assembly for the New Agent arrived today.

On my WWI Reproduction, I will order a new thumb safety from Colt, and pay for it myself, when they become available. That's my solution to the problem.

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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Ugly Gun Sunday

Happy Independence Day, Don't puke up your hotdogs......

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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Clear that Chamber!

Be advised, this is not Xavier's hand...... Warm regards for recovery should be directed to the actual shooter in question.
"I decided to share my accident from a couple months ago. Glock 19.

I was "sure" I had cleared it. Clip was removed and empty on the table. I reached across the table aiming at the wall to drop the hammer so I could complete disassembly and was resting my left hand on top of the slide, slightly forward such that (apparently) the edge of my palm was down in front of the muzzle.

The huge loss of skin must have been from the muzzle blast. Well, the pictures speak for themselves. The wound is now closed and looks pretty good, but the nerves have not completed healing and the hand surgeon says it will be another two months before my hand and little finger feel normal again.

I share, hoping that my experience will help others realize that no matter how old you are and how many years of experience you have, it just takes a momentary lapse of concentration to do stuff like this ... or worse.

Like I told my understanding wife ... nothing anyone can say will teach me anything more than I learned the hard way. But fire away if you must. I am just hoping this helps someone else learn / re-learn the easy way ... never let anything or anyone make you lose your concentration and focus.

And no I don't blame the Glock. This is MY fault and my fault alone. The Glock is not a hard weapon to clear."


Friday, July 03, 2009

A Dollar Seventy-nine


Yesterday, as I was starting an IV on a patient in preparation for sedation, I noticed a tattoo on his arm. It was a Japanese koi. The sweep of the fins and the old but delicate line work told me this tattoo was not the crude marking of a stateside tattoo artist. The old man I was inserting the IV catheter into was a stoic sort, grizzled and grey haired with bulging eyes. He did not flinch as I slid the 18 gauge needle under his skin and into his radial vein.

Later, as the old man awoke in Recovery, I walked over and said "Reveille Sailor, all hands on deck. Time to heave out and tryst up." He smiled through the evaporating post surgical mental fog and pain .

"How did you know I was a sailor?" he muttered in slurred speech.

"Well, with that haircut, I knew you were no Marine," I replied. "I recognized your tattoo. Okinawa or Honshu?"

"I was on the Bon Homme Richard , CV-31, did a couple of world cruises and Korea. I got the koi in Yokosuka."

"I was on the Midway, home ported out of Yoko," I told him. "The honch was still hopping when I was there, but the exchange rate made it kind of expensive."

After he was more awake, we talked about his surgery a bit, I let him know what his recovery would entail. Before he rolled out and I went to the cafeteria, I told him "Thank you for your service."

"No, son," he replied. "Thank you for yours."

Update to today, and an open letter to Home Depot.

Dear Sirs,

Today, I went in your store to purchase two air conditioner filters. I do not normally shop at Home Depot because several years back your store refused a return on an item that had been purchased the same day, and did not function. Never the less, since Lowes and a local home owned hardware store were out of the size filter I needed, I decided to let bygones be bygones, and give your store another chance. After all, what could go wrong with an air conditioner filter?

As I entered your store, I took note of a sign at the entrance heralding a ten percent discount for active military, reserves, retirees and veterans. "That's nice," I remarked to my wife, as I went to the heating and cooling aisle, "I'll have to ask for that."

I found my filter, and I picked up a spare as well and approached the register. As the young cashier rang me up, I asked for the 10% discount for veterans. She asked to see my driver's license. This was rather confusing, since I was paying cash. Then she said she needed to see ID to confirm my status as a veteran.

I informed your employee that I do not normally walk around with my DD214, but I would still like the discount, because I was indeed a veteran. Now most people would take one look at me with the military style haircut that I still wear, and the posture forged into my spine and know that military service was in my background. A veteran isn't hard to spot, and the monetary figure in question with this transaction was one dollar and seventy-nine cents. $1.79. After a couple of misguided remarks from your cashier and a conversation with the manager, I was awarded my dollar seventy-nine.

I served six years active duty. I served ten years inactive. I fought in one war, and a couple of campaigns. I have 123 days of actual combat, and numerous days that qualified for combat pay and hazardous duty pay in my military record. I am a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. I served with distinction and honor. I am a veteran. One dollar and seventy-nine cents.

The slight I suffered from your cashier is minor. My purchase was small, and my military service relatively insignificant in comparison to others. In our city, we have numerous veterans. Some served in World War II. One was held prisoner by the Japanese, suffering brutal torture and starvation. Others served in Korea. Two were held captive in Hanoi, and still bear the scars from torture they endured while trying to survive. Many who live in our city fought in Vietnam. Younger men and women have fought in the Middle East. They have come home missing limbs and broken. They struggle to regain the life they left the United States with.

Suppose a Marine who lost a leg in Iraq, proudly walked into your store on a titanium prosthesis to purchase lumber for a project and asked for the discount you are offering. Lets suppose the purchase was two hundred dollars. Would the twenty dollars offered make up for his sacrifice? No.

Suppose a gentleman who served in Burma as a volunteer under General Claire Chenault, as a Flying Tiger, who was shot down over the South China sea, and who swam among sharks for three days awaiting rescue was to come into your store to buy a two dollar tube of caulk. Would the twenty cents you allowed him make up for his sacrifice? No way in Hell.

What about the husband who is struggling on a fixed income who hopes that the five dollars he will save on his fifty dollar purchase in your store will help him and his wife make ends meet? Is the fact that he still walks on crutches after having his legs broken in multiple places by his Japanese captors enough to prove he is a veteran? Does he need to contact the Department of Defense for a copy of his service record to present to your cashier?

These men walk among us. They are shopping at your store. They are our fathers, our grandfathers, our sisters, brothers, and our sons and daughters. They are real, and they do not carry an ID card to prove they are a veteran. They might be a tattooed biker, an accountant, a doctor, a waitress, or an unemployed vagrant with dreadlocks and a drug habit. If they served they are all veterans. Your cashier should not question the service of any of them. Not one. A discount is a poor excuse for a thank you. More over, a discount becomes less when the person receiving it must prove they deserve it. When that person must meet your standard to receive your corporate "thank you," then the gratitude is meaningless. Neither I, nor my brethren have anything to prove to Home Depot. You can keep your discount until you learn that it is no thank you without genuine appreciation.

At this point, it appears that your offering is no more than an apathetic and cynical advertising gimmick devised to take advantage of the service that others have given our country. You, and the employees you place in your stead before the public may not know what a veteran is, and you may not care. That is fine by me, and by thousands of other veterans. Using our military service and our sacrifices for your financial gain, however, is unacceptable.

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July. Independence Day. Your store will be open for business. It is my sincere hope that you will educate your employees in what constitutes a veteran and what constitutes appreciation. It is apparent Home Depot does not understand the meaning of either.


Please feel free to circulate........

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A Phone Call

Ring ring! Ring ring!

"This is Xavier, may I help you?" I always answer the cellphone like that in case it's a physician I work with. My daughter finds it amusing at least.........

"Hey Xav, he accepted your offer, five o'clock OK?"

"Roger that."

Colt M1911 Click to enlarge

More later.........

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