Legacy and Sacrifice Live On 75 Years Later on National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

by Kimberly A. Cook                       (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

The importance of military veteran stories grows with the passing of time. For those who have not experienced combat, military service or being in a war-torn country as a civilian, aid worker or journalist, the catastrophe of war can drift away like a mirage.


Looking from the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri Memorial to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial. I took these pictures in November 2012. This photo always gives me pause.



December 7, 2016 is the 75th Anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The U.S.S. Arizona lost 1,177 sailors and Marines from her crew that day. There were 333 U.S.S. Arizona survivors.

According to the Time Special Edition “Commemorating 75 Years since Pearl Harbor,” seventy-five years later only six of the sailors who survived the sinking are still alive. Four of the five of them hope to be at the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial tomorrow to honor their fellow shipmates.

Some Pearl Harbor stories you might not know:

Doris Miller, an African American serving as a Cook Third Class in the segregated U.S. Navy, fought back manning a machine gun he had never been trained on when Japanese planes fired on the U.S.S. West Virginia. Miller received the Navy Cross for his actions. The first African American to receive the Navy Cross, he died in November 1943 when his next ship, the U.S.S. Liscome Bay, was torpedoed and sank.

“In four years at sea, I sat through 78 air attacks, but nothing was as frightening as the attack on Pearl Harbor,” Warren K. Taylor, ensign, U.S.S. Sumner in Time Special Edition.

The U.S.S. Oklahoma lost 429 sailors in the bombing. While being towed to California in 1947 after being lifted from Battleship Row, the ship was lost at sea. In 2007 the National Park Service opened a memorial to the ship and her crew on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor.

After the bombing a total of 2,403 were killed or missing, half of them from the U.S.S. Arizona, and 1,178 service members and civilians were injured. All the U.S. casualties from sailors to civilians were listed as noncombatants since the U.S. was not in a state of war with Japan.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Congress passed public law 503 which ordered the internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of them born in America. There was no due process of law for these United States citizens.

All proceeds from her autobiography, “Wherever You Need Me,” by Anna Busby, go to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial Fund. Busby was an Army Second Lieutenant in the Nurse Corps who witnessed the attacks on Pearl Harbor and Hickam Field from the lanai at Tripler Hospital in Honolulu.


The plaque on the U.S.S. Missouri’s teak deck where the surrender was signed. My Dad’s ship sailed past the Mighty Mo two days after the surrender signing in Tokyo Bay. He was part of the occupation forces first into Japan with the Army Air Corps. After she was discharged from the Marines, my Mom sailed into Tokyo Bay on a Liberty Ship to work as civilian staff for the Army Transportation Department for a year. Mom and Dad both sailed in and out of Pearl Harbor on their deployments.


One of the U.S.S. Arizona’s three anchors. The U.S.S. Arizona Memorial and U.S.S. Missouri Memorial are in the background on the left.


“It’s so important that Americans don’t forget this day,” Donald Stratton, 94, Seaman First Class, U.S.S. Arizona.   

IMG_8920.JPGVisit the National Park Service’s World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument web site below.


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Does Snow Make You Nuts?

by Kimberly A. Cook                  (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Feeling a bit squirrely today.  Forecast says chance of snow next week and the freak out is on here in normally wet Oregon. We love Mt. Hood to be covered with snow, looks gorgeous right now when we can see it, but snow in the valley makes us nuts.

Folks back East think we’re wussies about it, but with a high water content we get snow/ice. In my opinion the only good uses for ice are hockey rinks, skating and alcoholic beverages, not on roads.

So while the grocery shopping frenzy ramps up for chips, dips and ice cream in the Portland metro area – our preferred snow supplies – let’s check out how our furry friend handles the white stuff.

This little guy reminds me of trying to find my car at the shopping mall. Or has he lost his nuts? Join the crowd little guy!

Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

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Got Holiday Squirrel Brain?

by Kimberly A. Cook              (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Ever have one of those moments when you find yourself in a situation and can’t figure out how the holy jumping beans you thought it was a good idea? Happened to me Thanksgiving night. Going to blame my delirium on turkey overdose, sugar rush and maximum salt intake.


Smart squirrel. Eating not shopping the holiday sales.


Found myself at 8 p.m. in the Kohl’s store by my Mom’s house with 10,000 other shoppers. That is a conservative estimate. Somehow my brain decided I really wanted the set of eight remote controlled LED candles on sale for $19.99. Saw them looking at the turkey day ads that morning.

Parking was okay. Swam to the doors since we had a huge rainfall and it continued into the night. Started down the middle aisle to find the candles and noticed lots of hard core shoppers, but it didn’t really sink in. I blame the turkey tryptophan for my delayed reaction.

Since this Kohl’s store is arranged differently than my regular Kohl’s store my right turn led me away from the candle area. By the time I figured out I was looking at vacuum cleaners against the far wall instead of candles, I saw a line.

Hugh, my brain said. A line. Seems odd. I knew where I entered the store was the main checkout. Moving forward I realized it was THE CHECKOUT LINE. Awareness and a creeping sense of dread soon confirmed the nightmare; the checkout line was HALF WAY around the inside of the STORE. HALF THE LENGTH OF THE STORE.

I kept walking because my addled brain and eyes could not quite believe what they were seeing. Then I saw one shopper in line with a BIG BOX in front of her. Like a four-foot high cardboard box. Full to overflowing. No idea what all was inside the box, but I bet they’re still ringing up her purchases today.

That moment my real brain returned from vacation. WTF are we doing here? Screw the candles! Abort! Abort! Escape and evade! Dive! Dive! My military training kicks in at the oddest moments; must have been a turkey coma delay. Why didn’t it stop me in the first place from entering the parking lot?

Nearing the front of the store I observed nine checkout stands going full tilt. Still the humongo line. Bless all their little shopping crazed hearts.

Escaping out the front doors I launched myself into Subie and headed for home. I have not braved holiday deals/Black Friday sales for more than twenty years. It used to be a blast to dive under the raising gate into the Hallmark store the day after Christmas and get the ornaments on sale. But that ship has sailed for me.

At some point you realize you don’t need more ornaments or holiday decorations or any additional seasonal booty in the house. When you have more ornaments than trees could fit in your abode, tis the season to purge.

When I got home Spec Ops Cat was not happy his dinner was late. Where had I been?

No LED candles, cranky cat and temporary insanity. Welcome to the holidays!

Got holiday squirrel brain?



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Pumpkin Pie For Hamsters Too?

by Kimberly A. Cook                   (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

The only thing better than Thanksgiving is turkey and pie leftovers. Obviously this well-loved hamster has the same weakness I do for pumpkin pie. Watch this expert chow down on an entire pie; hamster size that is.

Have a great weekend and Happy After Thanksgiving Quirky Friday!

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Making A Thankful List?

by Kimberly A. Cook               (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Spending time with family and chowing down on turkey, stuffing and pie is always a winner. Each year I think about what I’m thankful for and make a mental list. The more vintage I get in age, the simpler the items on my list have become.


Nature views like this one by Suttle Lake Lodge.


  • A day off to relax.
  • Sleeping in.
  • Real whipped cream on the pies.
  • Mom’s famous lime Jell-O with pineapple and cream cheese.
  • Laughing with family.
  • Gravy.
  • Full tummy.
  • Stopping the rat race for a national holiday.
  • Kitty cuddles.
  • Nap time.
  • Claymation Christmas.
  • Leftovers.
  • Pumpkin pie.
  • Good health.
  • Cozy warm home protecting us from the rain.
  • Taking time to listen.
  • Grateful for the good fortune we have.
  • Remembering family members we have lost but reliving the fun memories.
  • Thankful for the military personnel around the globe protecting us while we relax.
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas.
  • Hoping for peace and goodwill toward all women and men.

Wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Let the competitive napping begin!

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Let The Holiday Chaos Begin!

by Kimberly A. Cook                   (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Confession: I bought Christmas bows last night. But they were on sale! Since I saw my first neighborhood Christmas lights ablaze on Veterans Day, I’ve surrendered to the holidays. Figure it’s a grand distraction from everything else and it comes with food. Lots of food.

So in the interest of a holiday public safety announcement, watch this video and learn. Yes, Temptations cat treats are Spec Ops Cat’s favorite. He approved this message.

Stock up now for your furry friends!




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Comfort Food Here I Come!

by Kimberly A. Cook                  (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Between the time change, sick cat, election day, my job and Veterans Day last week, by the time Saturday arrived I could have used a cattle prod and a six-pack of energy drinks to get out of bed. Luckily a new purchase arrived and I was feeling dangerous.


Little Red bravely doing the water test. Such a trooper.


My mini pressure cooker. Two quart size. Nickname – Little Red. Since I’m trying to increase my cooking skills, I never would’ve attempted this piece of equipment but it’s small. Figured I might be able to handle it. Maybe.

First I had to go through the precautions and initiate a water safety test. Felt like I was back on drown-proofing duty in the Army. Thirty minutes later I hadn’t blown anything up or had leaking machine parts. Fabo!

Next on to real food. One of the many things that hooked me while watching this little gem on Home Shopping Network, HSN to us loyal fans, was being able to cook things quickly and keep the nutrients in without firing up the big oven.


Even I can cut up potatoes. Love the skins for fiber and taste. How festive. 


Decided to go for mashed potatoes on my maiden voyage. Cut up my favorite red potatoes, skins and all. Put in water. Locked down the lid. Pushed the potato button. How easy is that? Waited. About ten minutes later it beeped at me. Perfect potatoes!

I smashed them with the egg salad maker since I didn’t have a potato masher; then added milk and butter. Next was pepper and done. Wonderful. Ate the leftovers most of the rainy week. Emboldened by my success, I promptly purchased a potato masher. Every girl should have one.


After the mash and before the ingredients. Can you smell the starch?


Think next I’m going big time, moving up to frozen pork chops. Little Red will cook frozen foods, just have to add time from the list in the book. Think I can handle the math.

Figure the worst that happens is I have to wipe pork chops off the kitchen ceiling; but since I haven’t fixed the ceiling yet from the peeing furnace that got torn out, who cares?


Mix up the pepper and done! Actually, I could carry the entire mini pan and eat out of it, but I chose to go with a plate. Bring on winter!  


Supposedly one can bake cakes, pasta and chicken wings in Little Red too. Seems I’ve hired a cook in the kitchen while I watch Football. Perfect.

Viva la Pressure Cooker! Viva la Comfort Food!

Got steam?




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