a small experiment in linking peers + postings
© ROBIN AVNI, MCDM, Cohort 12
My father was a POW in World War II in Stalag Luft 42 in Barth, Germany. He used to joke when we watched Hogan’s Heroes that it was exactly like his experience in Germany. But even as a little girl I knew that wasn’t true as I had already found the diaries buried in his office drawer and read them several times. The stories he would tell me about his imprisonment as a Air Force navigator, who was Jewish, shot down over Germany while on a routine bombing mission, continue to fascinate me to this day. It seemed especially poignant to pull out his diaries and, once again, read a favorite passage or two in honor of his service for Veteran’s Day. He was one of the lucky ones, he came home after 18 months in the prison camp. Being an officer kept him from being in a labor camp but the internment was far from a holiday. As he wrote in his diary: “The little obstacles that I used to whimper about are dwarfed in their importance compared to the obstacles that we must surmount to come home alive.”
We are honored to have in Cohort 12 members who have served in the military in various capacities and in this issue we highlight two colleagues with two different types of military service. Sarah McCaffery posts regularly on her blog the Unicorn in Uniform about women in uniform. Re-posted here is her recent Wonder Woman Wednesday column where she gave a shout out to another women in uniform ― her Mom. Cohort colleague Jessica Hall shares a different view of military life with her blog More Than A Military Spouse. I wish I had known the wisdom of her posting Care Packages 101 when my Air Force son was stationed overseas in Germany.
In this issue dedicated to service there are others Cohort 12 members who are giving back to their community and sharing out their learnings. On Intentional Seattle, Amber is exploring the redefinition of radical living. Here’s a re-post of her first blog entry that explains her motivations. And, we couldn’t very well think about service without talking about the environment. Cohort 12 member Greg Bisland has made a Pledge Off Plastic and is attempting to live for 90 days without buying anything that contains plastic. Motivated by a moving TED Talk, his chronicling is a wonderful mix of his humor and his motivation.
And, finally, a chance to honor old friends. I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Pulitzer-prize winners photographer Michael S. Williamson and author Dale Maharidge many years ago at The Sacramento Bee. While we each have traveled many miles since then, Michael and Dale continue to travel the troublesome roads of this country to tell the story of the forgotten. They have pledged to use their creative gifts to remind us how rough it is out there on the home front.
Thank you. A salute to you all!