Wednesday, June 25, 2008
25 June 1950 -- 0400 hrs. North Korea launches a full-scale invasion of South Korea across the 38th Parallel. Three days later, Seoul, the capital of South Korea, falls into North Korean hands.
President Truman, Gen. Douglas MacArthur and countless thousands of brave Americans like my father answered the call. From holding the line at the bloody Pusan Perimeter to the daunting heroism in the Frozen Chosin reservoir, theirs is a history that I remembered today by going down to the Korean War Memorial here in Washington, DC.
I met a South Korean man with his pregnant wife and 2 year old son laying flowers at the memorial. He told me that he wanted to come give thanks to the soldiers that gave their lives so his parents could come to America - and that he would eventually have been born here to raise his own family.
For all who served there, in a war that began 58 years ago today...
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!
Posted by Griff at 5:30 PM
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
According to Surfer Mag, Barack Obama told supporters at a fundraiser about a year ago that he grew up surfing as a kid in Hawaii - which would certainly make sense since pretty much everybody in Hawaii surfs or has tried it at some point in their lives.
I'm looking into this one... Go here to check out the board that one supporter designed for him. Very hip stick, I must confess!
Posted by Griff at 6:39 PM
I'm hitting the road soon and taking the family to the beach for a quick getaway and while I am less than thrilled about the high price of gas, it's not going to stop me.
According to the latest FOX News-Opinion Dynamics poll, 48% of you said that you ARE changing your summer plans - a large jump from 30% who said the same two years ago.
And I don't really blame you because it now costs about 80 bucks to fill the tank!
However... I also think there's a bit of HGPH syndrome (High Gas Prices Hysteria) going on out there!
Here's a few examples:
1. Brothels in Nevada now offering $50 Gas cards to big spending customers. That story is here.
2. Montgomery County Maryland Schools are telling the kids: Costs too much to fill up the bus, so WALK! Parents soon to stop complaining about walking 5 miles to school... uphill... barefoot!
3. Indie Rock Bands are having to cancel tours because of high gas prices -- lack of talent or ability to pack "Ladies Night Free Drink Mondays" not a factor.
Posted by Griff at 3:54 PM
Friday, June 20, 2008
Did you know?
Today, June 20th, is the "Happiest" day of the year. According to a British shrink with a flair for creating mathematical formulas, the combination of longer daylight hours, summer vacation anticipation and memories of being a kid during summertime produces a heightened sense of optimism.
What's the equation, you ask?
O + (NxS) + Cpm/T + He
What do the symbols stand for?
I have no idea. But who cares, just be HAPPY!
And the saddest day?
Creator Cliff Arnall calculates around the end of January when the weather's cold and gloomy and the Christmas bill are due.
Posted by Griff at 5:41 PM
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
When you go to the home page of Cpl Frank Woodruff Buckles, this is the message that greets the viewers...
Thank-you for your interest in my story as America's last World War One Survivor. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers and am humbled to be the representative of nearly 5 million Americans who served with me. I receive many requests for autographs and interviews and at 107 I do my best to respond as quickly as I can.
Well, just happened that Cpl Buckles was being honored on Capitol Hill today and I took the opportunity to ask a few questions of this great American Hero.
It was a tremendous honor and privilege, and after the interview, I thanked him for his service - service that began in 1917 at age 16.
I won't give away all the juicy details here because we're saving this one for a Fourth of July special... but Buckles told me of fond memories on the Fourth of July "listening to his grandfather talking about hearing stories of his own grandfather... who had fought in the American Revolution."
Posted by Griff at 5:36 PM
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Five years ago, I had just returned from serving as Col. Oliver North's cameraman during the initial invasion in Iraq. I wrote an article in the Washington Times for Father's Day reflecting on my experiences there and what it meant to me on this day.
Today, the United States remains engaged in Iraq. Many fathers are now serving their third, fourth and even fifth deployment. It is important to celebrate those brave dads all across America.
I have since returned to Iraq twice - the third time as a reporter, embedded solo in Fallujah at the end of 2006. My father remains my "greatest hero" and there's nothing I strive more to become in this lifetime than simply the kind of father that he has been to me.
Happy Father's Day, Dad!
(from the Washington Times, 13 June 2003)
My father was in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. He never talked much about it to my brother, sister or me and still doesn't to this day. It's been called the "forgotten war," and for most of my generation it's just that. I can't recall studying anything about it in school or even hearing anything about honoring its veterans. It's only now that I have spent nearly three months in a combat zone and saw the routines of our military's heroism, that I can even begin to fully appreciate what my dad went through.
Neither my brother nor I were ever in the military, and for the most part it has never been an experience that was significant to our family. My dad didn't receive a Medal of Honor or a Purple Heart. We don't have pictures of him in uniform on the walls at home. He did his duty and went on to further his career on the GI bill. The only thing I can be sure of is that he turned out to be one great father.
Four months ago, on the day before I left for Kuwait, my father wished me well and told me that he always believed "one member of the family in a war was enough for him." At the time, I didn't think much of it because I had no way to know what he had seen, or what I would see. I had a lot more on my mind as I packed my bags and began to mentally prepare for the unknown. I would soon spend 44 days on the front lines of Operation Iraqi Freedom serving as Lt. Col. Oliver North's cameraman and field producer for Fox News Channel as an embedded journalist with Marine Medium Helicopter Unit HMM 268, "The Red Dragons."
There were many engagements and incidences that could have easily taken my life. A memorable one occurred during the opening phases of the war, as our unit was airlifting American and British forces into the Al Faw peninsula in southern Iraq to fight for control of the oil fields. Col. North was in the lead bird, I in the second, and the third of nearly 50 helicopters crashed immediately behind mine, killing everyone aboard. These were the first casualties of the war, and I was a witness to something that I had never seen before the ultimate sacrifice that our men and women in times of war are willing to make without hesitation.
Those guys are heroes, and there were many more like them who we would cover before the combat operations ended. I had lived, eaten and slept with these courageous Marines, and for the most part they had accepted my as one of their own. They even shaved me head as a rite of passage. And yet, I wondered, what was my father like during times like these?
Well, now I know. I went there and did it. I slept under a starry sky full of tracer rounds hoping that one wouldn't land on us, not knowing what the next day would bring. I fumbled in the dark for a dry pair of socks while obeying the "no light" rule so the enemy couldn't spot us. And if it had come to it, I was willing to give my own life to save another's, as our helicopters stormed into the presidential palace in Baghdad, taking casualties out of the battlefield to the field hospitals.
My brother told me when I got back that the whole family watched Ollie's reports on television with great concern. What really struck me was that our father was more involved and inquisitive than anyone. After all, he knew what I was going through and he had been there before not in Iraq, but in a small unit of Marines in a foreign land fighting for their lives and the lives of others.
We must all be eternally grateful to those men and women who paid that ultimate price for our freedom. Personally, I have a few visits to make to the wives and children of the guys I got to know pretty well before they too paid with their own lives. And this Father's Day, I can't wait to call my dad and tell him that now I understand a few things I didn't before and that he is a "hero" too and thank him. Every American owes that sense of gratitude to all like him and the many who are still in Iraq, as well as those who will surely follow. No one wants to go to war, but I was fortunate enough to spend 10 weeks with those who have the courage to accept that responsibility to risk their lives so that we can have a safe and happy Father's Day. We're a better nation for their having done it. Thanks, Dad.
Posted by Griff at 4:00 PM
Friday, June 13, 2008
It is a sad day in America as we learn of the passing of Tim Russert at age 58.
An undisputed King of Sunday mornings, sitting in a chair across from him on "Meet the Press" was a rite of passage for any politician hoping to climb in the ranks. Some faired well, some fell short. Yet the same Tim Russert showed up week after week, year after year. No one was better at it than him.
You'd also be hard pressed to find folks who'd say he was anything but a kind and gracious guy. On the few occasions I had to meet and work with him, I was always reminded of his genuine humanity.
But perhaps his greatest legacy may yet be, in such sad irony considering the timing, his gift at writing about the things that mattered most to him - fathers.
Our condolences and prayers are with his family and friends.
Posted by Griff at 6:25 PM
Thursday, June 12, 2008
After being told that I'd have the high honor of interviewing legendary NYTimes best-selling author Jackie Collins this weekend for Fox and Friends, I figured I'd better pick up a copy of her latest novel Married Lovers.
What I didn't expect was to LOVE IT! My wife, along with many of my female friends at work, the airline stewardesses on the Delta Shuttle this morning... and the list goes on of the people who were shocked that I'd really enjoy such a book.
But it's GREAT - You gotta READ IT!
Although, my only beef with Jackie is that the abusive ne'erdowell ex-husband of the heroine, Cameron Paradise, is a former Pro-Surfer...
WHY DOES THE BAD GUY HAVE TO BE A SURFER??
(We dealt with that image crisis once before thanks to Patrick Swayze in Point Break)
Jackie has a blog too - check it out here. And be sure to tune into Fox and Friends this weekend (7a-10aET) to catch Clayton Morris and I interviewing her.
Posted by Griff at 1:03 PM
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
THE TOMATOES ARE BAD. DON'T EAT THEM. REPEAT, DO NOT CONSUME TOMATOES - MAY HAVE SALMONELLA -- CAN KILL YOU!!
Last year it was spinach, the year before strawberries... this is the year of the killer tomatoes. Read more here.
This has been a Griffsnotes Public Safety Announcement.
Posted by Griff at 4:13 PM
Monday, June 9, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Sen. McCain congratulated Sen. Obama today on his historic win of the Democratic Party's Presidential nomination... then challenged him to 10 Town Hall meetings across the country.
Now, if one watched the speeches last night from all three of the candidates, its fairly easy to understand why McCain wants to get Obama to agree to do the town halls, a format where McCain has proven fairly adept at campaigning.
Today, on a conference call of bloggers with McCain, I had the chance to ask the Senator about it. Here is what transpired:
Griff: Thank you very much for taking time... it seems to many of us that this is more about your interest in getting him into a format where you feel you excel as opposed to the long speech format. So my question is if Sen Obama doesn't accept this invitation do you have any plans to adapt your speaking style and do you feel like Sen Obama is better in this long speech format and its something you have to address going forward?
JSM: I dont know... I'm happy with the attendance and the formats and the fact that 101 town halls mtgs got me the nomination of my party... I think its the best format by far, I think its the participation... it's the oldest form of the way we participate in democracy. I think americans probably, if you asked the majority of them, in long speeches (laughs) are not their favorite topic. so I think they want to participate. They want a great debate. I don't think they want to hear long speeches to tell you the truth - that's why I keep mine short. That's why at town hall mtgs I try to keep my opening comments short as possible so people can participate - believe me, when they leave the town hall mtg they seem to be more than satisfied with the format. I'm very happy the way things are going, I'm very happy with the way I have conducted my campaign and I intend to have this great debate across this country and let the american people participate and thats what it should be all about in my view.
As of this afternoon, the Obama camp seemed warm to the idea and wanted to have it more reflective of the true Lincoln-Douglas debates.
And while Sen. McCain doesn't have the gift that Sen. Obama has in the oratory department, we haven't seen a lot of Obama "outside of the bubble" as we say in the press.
So let the debates begin!
Posted by Griff at 5:00 PM
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
A couple of stories that you might have missed today in lieu of the dominating Democratic Presidential Nomination news.
Did you know...
THAT the creator of the famous PRINGLES potato chips, Fredric J. Baur of Cincinatti, was SO proud of his invention that he had his ashes BURIED in one of the trademark tubes last month! Baur was 89 years old and a retired chemist... and it's not known what flavor of can was used.
THAT the NEW CLUB DRUG on the scene is the hemorrhoid-fighting PREPARATION-H according to a FOX News story! Apparently the youngsters are lathering themselves all over to get that "ripped" look with their shirts off?!
THAT PETA's latest crusade for critters is turning a century old jail in Skohegan, Maine into a LOBSTER EMPATHY CENTER according to the Bangor Daily News. Makes ya feel kinda guilty about dropping them in that boiling water, now doesn't it?!
OR EVEN THAT a twenty-something Dutchman injured his derriere after a MOONING INCIDENT WENT HORRIBLY WRONG. Turns out the prankster misjudged the strength of the front glass window of a Utrecht restaurant and fell in after pressing his bare buns too firmly against it. Ouch!
And now you know the stories that you MIGHT have missed if it weren't for keen news nose.
Posted by Griff at 4:46 PM