On Memorial Day I want to talk about my father, Vasco L. Walters. He joined the Texas Army National Guard in 1936. He began his military career in the 112 th battalion as a horse rider. When World War II broke out, he shipped out to fight in the Pacific. He ended up on New Herbides. He valiantly fought against the Japanese. He also contracted malaria. ( This disease haunted him for the rest of his life.) He was sent to Melbourne, Australia to recuperate. When he got better, he came back to the US, He was assigned to the field artillery. He went to England. He landed in France six days after D-Day. He was a sergeant in charge of a 155 mm howitzer mounted on a tank body. He fought in rough battles in France. He also fought valiantly during the Battle of the Bulge in December of 1944. Forget the civil war, this battle was the most costly in US history with some 75,000 to 100,000 US servicemen killed and wounded. Dad then rolled into Germany. He spoke excellent German. The highlight of his military career was when he captured a German officer who turned out to be a Field Marshal who had studied at the University of Tennessee during the 1920’s. Dad’s saddest moment was when he went with General Patton to tour a Nazi death camp. He could only talk about this experience when he was very drunk. Dad went all the way to the Elbe River in the Czech Republic when his unit linked up with the Red Army. Dad was always a modest man who never boasted about his bravery. He won some medals. He always spoke with respect about the German fighting man. He instilled in me this idea that service to country was a vital part of every citizen’s life. He loved our country and all of the opportunities that it offered people. This is one story of the millions of American men and women who have put on the uniform to serve this country.
After starting work at four in the morning, I took some time off to go and see Star Trek Into Darkness. A talented British actor named Benedict Cumberbatch stole the show. He played a bad guy with super human strength named Khan. I knew his mother. Her name is Wanda Ventham. She’s a beautiful lady who played in many British sci-fi movies in the 60’s and 70’s. The special effects and computer graphics were incredible and it was downright entertaining. But it tailored for people of the age of Luah.
This week I’m at the Humans 2 Mars conference in Washington,DC. Yesterday I was fortunate to meet one of the founders of Mars One. This is a Dutch company with an audacious plan to set up a fully-functioning human colony on Mars starting in 2023. I heard the amazing news that they opened up applications for colonists one week ago. (Please bear in mind that this is a one- way trip to Mars!) I got the amazing news that 70,000 people from all over the world had already signed up to be Mars pioneers. My readers we are on the cusp of a social and technological revolution!
I got the shocking news yesterday that a dear friend from Ross Sterling High School 46 years ago was killed in Vietnam on January 21.1970. I was heart broken all day long.