FROM THE MAILBAG

One of the enjoyable things about the Internet is the people you “meet”… and their contributions to Americana. While you may never meet them in person, you communicate with them on common interest grounds and often develop Internet friendships. Sometimes these can develop into personal friendships as well.

E-mail visitor John Roat recently sent a “thank you” for some KA articles he liked… which made me feel good, of course… but he also included two links of his own that were highly interesting, so I checked them out and am passing them along to you. Like many professions, his http://offshorediver.com/ has a language all of its own, but even if you are unfamiliar with deep sea diving you should enjoy various aspects of this site. His other site contains some reviews of his book Class-29 about Navy Seals, http://sealstrike.com/jcroat.htm. I haven’t read it yet, but these reviews seem worthy of a visit to the bookstore.

Coincidentally, I received in the mail a copy of another KA visitor’s work, The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook, by author Army Sgt Michael Volkin. It is on my reading list to review when time permits, but a quick scan looks interesting. I was particularly intrigued by why he wrote the book and how he researched it while undergoing basic training himself. See http://ultimatebasictrainingguidebook.com.

Another interesting message came from Bernie at huebiemars@yahoo.com about the KA article, Twin of the Iwo Jima Monument. He said in part, “There was another artist who designed two statues of the Iwo Jima Monument. His name was Philip Bernhard Johnson (a.k.a. Ben Johnson), an artist who worked for Gorhams Silver in Providence, RI. Ben created the Iwo Jima statues from the original pictures which were sent to Gorhams during the War. There was an article in the Providence Journal describing how he worked after hours to finish the statue. Two were made; one was given to Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. and the other to the Secretary of War. I believe these were the very first statues made, before any other artist had seen the pictures.” He is sending me more information for a possible KA article.

From Pruden414@aol.com was this response: “Mainstream media is despicable, and unworthy of my time, money, and attention. I have been pissed about this issue since I returned from Marine Corps duty in Iraq last summer. I prefer to spend my precious time reading sites like yours and of course the official Marine Corps web site/Iraqi Freedom news stories. I'm also in receipt, as I'm sure you are, of email blurbs directly from the Marines currently in and around the Al Anbar Province. I love “truth data”. Too bad the press hasn't given attention to the four Marines recently awarded the Navy Cross for extraordinary gallantry in action in Iraq last year! Although our dear Sgt. Conde's intrepidity in combat was awesome, the citations of these four Navy Cross Marines will knock your socks off.”