Drawing a life

At the stroke of the hour in walked Mac. Mac was a seriously iffy looking sketchy Dundee individual if you ever saw one. The kind of sketchy where if you were drowning and he was on the riverbank you’d look around for another option

Thanks for Thanksgiving

So much of the U.S. still feels foreign to me, but not your Thanksgiving holiday. It’s something I wholeheartedly get behind. I mean, is there another public holiday anywhere in the world where almost fifty million people migrate suddenly home just so they can see and embrace the people they love?

For the Old Man

This is where he buried her ashes. And this quiet spot is where he comes – when he is well enough to walk the distance – less often now since the new hip, but he still comes. To sit.

Thomas W. Miller – USMC Veteran

Miller, a USMC Private First Class, was fast asleep when the Japanese struck. He was part of a group of Marines guarding a Naval ammunition dump at the West Loch of Pearl Harbor on the 7th of December 1941. He had come off shift on the front gate the night before and crashed out in a small two-man tent behind the guard post. He was nineteen years old.

Blossoming and wilting on Election Day

Now being Scottish AND Canadian but not yet American, I don’t as yet get to vote here. I already have two political systems I follow closely. And although I follow U.S. politics, much as the rest of the world does, I am still a bit of a voyeur on the whole thing for now. So I live here, I pay taxes, but I don't as yet feel governmentally slighted or politically frustrated – yet.

Displaced and homeless

My first impressions of the District of Columbia when I arrived a year ago were that it seemed to be populated entirely either by tourists, policemen and homeless people. Exactly 12 months later and I’d like to revisit that misconception.

Not so fast, Sunshine

Well getting out of Afghanistan turned out to be a wee bit harder than I expected. Standing at the immigration counter at Kabul Airport - just before I hit the lounge - I was already daydreaming about my two hours of actual dreaming on the flight to Dubai. I was quite taken by surprise when the nice man behind the thick glass handed me back my passport and said ‘no.’ “No what,” I remember thinking, I hadn’t asked anything.

Small pictures, larger truths

I can’t pretend to be able to see the whole picture or to be able to answer the big questions. But perhaps sometimes once in a while those ‘small pictures’ can give us a glimpse of larger truths.

The last patrols

I spent a couple of days foot patrolling with the Apache Troop (3rd Platoon), 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Their mission is ‘area reconnaissance to confirm or deny enemy activity.’ They are scouts who leave the base every day to go out to where they think the bad guys might be in order to find out if they are there for sure.

Dancing out of Afghanistan

It’s always a little awkward embedding with medical folks, with the perception that you’re waiting for something bad to happen so you can get the story.