Socking it to the troops with the Blue Star Moms

Filed under: , by: Krystal

Our friend Cheré called last week and asked us to come over to photograph the Blue Star Mothers of NV (Henderson & Boulder City chapter) while they packed up holiday care packages and Christmas stockings for NV servicemen and women. With the help of many businesses who donated items, lots of ladies who sewed up the stockings and an army of determined volunteers, the Moms sent over 1,000 stockings out, just in time to brighten up the holidays.


It was quite an operation with assembly line stuffing and boxing.





The gentlemen in the suit is the Mayor of Henderson, who came out despite an injured hand, to show his support. Of course, the news crew came too...



Volunteers swarm over the pile of stuffed stockings to get them boxed for shipping.


These two gents took a well deserved break after helping to reduce the mammoth pile of stockings to boxed and sealed packages.

We could have just taken pictures, but that's not what we do ... so here's Krystal sealing and taping boxes for the overseas flight.

Dana with loot
The moms ran low on socks and a few other supplies. We got the operation back on track with a trip to Costco. You should have seen all the strange looks we got with two cases of socks on the cart. That's 296 pairs of warm feet right there with 1,000 clean pairs of hands, 24 hot meals, 12 packs of beef jerky, lots of candy and many cans of fruit.


There's no doubt that Cheré knows where her son is. As you gather with your friends and family this season, take a few minutes to send good thoughts to our troops for a safe return home.

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Toys for Tots Charity Golf Tournament at Nellis AFB

Filed under: , by: Krystal


Last week, we attended the annual Toys for Tots Charity Golf Classic at Nellis Air Force Base. As it was the weekend before Aviation Nation, we were treated to quite the airshow. Some of our pics are below.


B-25 Mitchells used to great effect by flyers off the USS Hornet in the Doolittle Raid to bomb Tokyo, Japan and 4 other cities 4 months after the Pearl Harbor attack.

During the practice flying for the Aviation Nation Air Show at Nellis Airforce Base we got buzzed by history. Wish we could have gotten a closer in shot, but it's not wasy to catch planes flying over 200 mph!

From top left, an F-4 Phantom which flew during Vietnam, a P-38 Lightning from World War II which was fast enough to outrun the German Messerschmitts, an F-86 Sabre from the Korean War which fought Russian-made MIGs, and an A-10 Warthog which is flying right now over Afghanistan and Iraq.


A C-17 Globemaster III ( shows off her surprising agility over the golf course at Nellis Air Force Base during the Toys for Tots Golf Tournament.


Perfect blue sky shot of two Navy planes with a little Photoshop

Story in The Answer

Filed under: , by: Krystal

Metal of Honor and the work I do with the Las Vegas Pearl Harbor Survivors will be in the December issue of The Answer. We met the editor Toni Terrell while having lunch with the Survivors just before Veteran's Day. She was intrigued by seeing us with this group, as we are obviously not Survivors ourselves. After explaining our drive to help the Survivors' legacy live on, she decided to do a story on our work.

The passing of a hero...

Filed under: , , by: PearlsofHonor

The Medal of Honor (and just about every other award the US military can bestow upon a person) are what caught my attention when I first met Colonel Millett. Being military myself, I know more than most what it takes to earn even one of these honors and this guy could have filled a safe-deposit box with his ribbons and medals!

How could one man earn so many medals? How much effort, toil, blood and sacrifice has this man given for this nation? How many wars was he in? How many battles was he in? My God, do they make men any tougher than this one?

Later, I learned that he fought in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. In the middle of 1941 (before Pearl Harbor), Millett actually deserted from the US Army to join the Canadian Army in order to be able to actively fight the rise of fascism and the Nazis. He was upset that FDR had pledged to keep America out of the war. He was court-martialed for desertion, but when his paperwork finally caught up with him after he'd fought his way across Italy, he was charged only a $52 dollar fine and promoted due to his uncommon acts of bravery. His life story reads like an action movie script writer's dream and his conviction in defense of the ideals of American freedom was unshakable. This man was the real life incarnation of that imaginary war hero I saw on TV and looked up to as a kid. I count myself lucky to have known him, in even the small way that our paths crossed.

Over the course of 10 years photographing the Pearl Harbor Survivors at various events in the San Diego area, every so often I would see Colonel Millett in attendance. Many events that Survivor and Medal of Honor Recipient John Finn attended would also bring out other Medal of Honors. Happy occasions such as John Finn's 95th birthday in 2004 were my favorites. In this photo, the Colonel's daughter Elizabeth helps him get his jacket straightened as he enters the party.

Here he is shown laughing with several other Medal of Honors during the party.

From left: Col. Millett, John W. Finn, One of John's friends from Kanehoe.
Back Row: Jay Vargas and John J. McGinty III

But of course, there are the many solemn memorials for the "Greatest Generation" as they leave us with memories and a duty to try to fill their shoes. Here, Colonel Millett was arriving aboard the USS Ronald W. Reagan (CVN-76) for the memorial services of a fellow Medal of Honor Recipient Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale.

Colonel Millett with Medal of Honor Recipients John Finn (seated) Walter D. Ehlers and John J. McGinty III. (right to left)

Just meeting this hero so many times left me wanting to chat with him whenever possible. Although he was seemingly a man of few words, his presence was to me, and to all who met him, larger than life.

Farewell, Lewis. May you be watched over in your rest and dream the dreams of true heroes.

Pearl Harbor Survivors on KNPR State of Nevada

Filed under: , , by: PearlsofHonor

Pearl Harbor Survivors Ed Hall and Clif Dohrmann (with his wife Ginnie) enjoyed their appearance on KNPR's award-winning local affairs program State of Nevada. The conversation ranged over a number of topics, from the importance of Remerbering Pearl Harbor and World War II to my upcoming book about the Survivors to our opinions as veterans on Post Tramautic Stress Disorder and the VA's treatment of veterans from all wars. The episode was broadcast on 11-11-2009 in honor of Veteran's Day. You can listen online here.

2009 Las Vegas Veteran's Day Parade with the Pearl Harbor Survivors

Filed under: , , , by: PearlsofHonor

Pearl Harbor Survivors muster up

I was so honored to escort our local Pearl Harbor Survivors for the 2009 Las Vegas Veteran's Day Parade. Ginnie (the Vice President's wife, who organizes the parades) was very concerned that they wouldn't be able to appear because none of them are strong enough to carry the banners and flags for the mile plus parade route. She asked me to find some volunteers. My marketing director Krystal's daughter and and her family and friends were happy to help out.

I rode Metal of Honor in the front, followed by the big banner carried by Holly and best friend Madison, Dr. Collins and Madison's Grandpa Ken came next, proudly carrying the American flag and the Survivors flag followed by the Survivors in two cars. Ike (89), Jack (94, the oldest Survivor in Las Vegas) and Tiny Gold and Clif (88, Vice President of the Chapter) & Ginnie Dohrmann were able to make it out. President Ed Hall and his wife Doreen had to cancel due to illness. Krystal and Norah (with her two patriotic parade dogs) roamed up and down the group, passing out bumper stickers and bookmarks to the huge crowds. We ran out before we even hit the halfway mark! Krystal decked out the cars with ribbon and tinsel, not to mention painting & decorating the kids.

Despite Clif's advancing age, he marched alongside the car for most of the route. The crowd gave him a lot of applause. Ginnie told us later that we had made it so worry-free for them that if they are still able to drive next year, they will attend now that they know they have our support.

We are still adding to our flickr album, so please check back for more pics.

Vegas Valley Book Festival

Filed under: , , by: Krystal

We had a great time out at the Vegas Valley Book Festival this weekend. Our friend Richard had a nice tent set up for us in the Local Authors Fair area in the historic Frank Lloyd Wright courtyard of the 5th Street School.

The bike got a lot of attention, but it was eclipsed by our special guests — local Survivor Clif Dohrmann and his wife Ginnie.

Las Vegas Pearl Harbor Survivor Clif Dohrmann (Navy Aircrew, Kanehoe Bay) tells a young man about his experiences on the morning of December 7, 1941 at the Pearls Of Honor booth during the local Authors Fair at the 2009 Vegas Valley Book Festival.

Clif spoke to several people about his experiences on December 7th and even took to the podium to educate the audience on the importance of supporting today's military personnel.

Two sisters listen intently to living history as local Pearl Harbor Survivor Clif Dohrmann recounts his experiences on the morning of December 7, 1941 during the Local Author's Fair at the 2009 Vegas Valley Book Festival. Mr. Dohrmann was the guest of author Dana Harbaugh. Mr. Harbaugh's book Pearls of Honor: Their Duty to Remember will profile the current activities of the Survivors to keep the memory of World War II and the attack on Pearl Harbor alive for today's generation.

Dana visits with Clif and Ginnie.

Ginnie showing some children a picture of the PBY aircraft that Clif flew aboard throughout World War II. Clif related that of the 36 PBYs stationed at Kanehoe Bay on December 7th, only 3 were intact after the Japanese attacks because they had been out on patrol.

When the Zeros arrived, the aircraft were parked wing to wing, fully fueled with 1,700 tons of high octane gas for Monday morning maneuvers. When the bombs and gun fire hit them, they went up like bombs themselves. There was little the Navy sailors could do. Clif and other sailors pulled machine guns from the burning planes and ran to the ammo lockers as fast as they could in an attempt to meet the threat from the air.

Dana yielded his time on the microphone over to Clif in order for the audience to get a taste of "living history" right from the mouth of a Survivor.

We hope to see our Las Vegas residents come out for tomorrow's Veteran's Day Parade. As I mentioned earlier, this will be the chapter's last parade. Join us at 4th Street and Gass Ave. at 10am to show your support for all of our troops and veterans.

Taping for KNPR's State of Nevada

Filed under: , , by: Krystal

KNPRImage via Wikipedia

Dana will be joining local Pearl Harbor Survivors Clif Dohrmann and Ed Hall at KNPR's studio tomorrow morning to tape a segment for their local news and culture program State of Nevada. It will probably be broadcast on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week to coincide with Veteran's Day and the Survivors appearance in the Las Vegas Veteran's Day Parade. Due to their advanced ages, this will likely be the last year they are in the parade.

State of Nevada airs weekdays at 9am and repeats at 8pm. It is archived as a podcast if you miss the show.

If you have a question you like the Survivors to answer, please email the show.
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Metal of Honor's first big media splash

Filed under: , , by: PearlsofHonor

We just got word that Metal of Honor will be prominently featured in an upcoming issue of HOT BIKE Magazine. They will be doing a story on the creation of this exquisite work of art created by our team of Las Vegas-based artisans. More details as they come in.

VVBF This Weekend

Filed under: , , , by: PearlsofHonor

Nearing 90 years old, Las Vegas Survivor Clifton Dohrmann climbed right up on Metal of Honor for a picture during our visit to Nellis AFB in July of 2009. He was just delighted to see the bike and his picture on the front of the trailer. Once up on the bike, he gave Metal a good look over. He seemed very touched by the tribute to him and those he served with at Pearl Harbor.

While you're enjoying the Target Children's Book Festival during the Vegas Valley Book Festival, stop by to see Metal of Honor in the Plaza. You'll have the rare chance to meet living history in the person of our good friend Clif Dohrmann, Pearl Harbor Survivor. He'll be on hand to meet the kids and tell them a bit about life in the Service during World War II and elaborate on some of the images on our bike.Clif was in the Navy stationed at NAS Kanehoe Bay as part of a PBY Catalina aircraft crew on the day of the attack. He served a full 8 years and was in most of the major battles of the War. This is a great chance to introduce your kids to the War that shaped the world as we know it and get them excited about history.

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