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My wife, Robin, likes to tease me that I'm a creature of habit.

She's right, of course (as she usually is).

This is especially true with books or movies that I really like. There are a handful of flicks that I've watched 20 times during my life. And there are books that I've read an equal number of times.

One of those "favorite" books is Baa Baa Black Sheep, the autobiography of U.S. Marine Corps ace Gregory "Pappy" Boyington. Pappy got his nickname (he was also known as "Gramps") because he was commanding a squadron of 20-somethings at the advanced age of 31 - ancient for a combat pilot at the time.

Boyington, who'd also flown for Claire Chennault's American Volunteer Group (AVG),more popularly known as the Flying Tigers, shot down somewhere between 22 and 28 planes (depending on the account), making him a quadruple ace. He spent time as a POW. And he won the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Boyington was flamboyant. And he was controversial. But he was also a difference-maker when America needed such personalities. And he was a guy I wish I'd had the chance to meet.

We want to be a "difference-maker" for you.

  1. THOMAS B. | May 2, 2017

    Bill: I was hooked at the mentioned of VMF 214 and Pappy. Great book and TV series. All of the concerns you mentioned are real and being in the Military Aerospace Engineering side of the house for over 35 years( I'm a little older then you 63) I couldn't agree more with "watch your 6" I look forward to part 2
    and do enjoy your writing.
    Warmest regards
    Thomas Baydala
    Bay Engineering

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