Veterans Day with Todd Taylor

We have many veterans in the club that could do a presentation for Veteran’s Day, but I believe few with more military “connections” or the ability to make it as entertaining as Todd Taylor. 

Todd’s military career in the Navy also brought him a distinction few can claim.  Of the billions of humans that have ever walked the earth only about 200,000 have ever set foot on the continent of Antarctic, where he set both feet and flew helicopters. So here is his invocation and veterans’day presentation, which followed the singing of all the services songs by the Rotary Chorus and of club members brave enough to join in.  Here is Todd’s invocation and presentation.

When my son was in Scouts, we had a couple WWII vets speak to the boys.  They walked from Normandy to Germany all along the way they spoke of how singing sustained them.  Popular songs to hymns.  They sang to keep morale up.

A lad was to make a sea voyage in 1860 and was petrified of the thought.  William Whiting wrote a hymn for that young man to sustain him on the voyage.  Eternal Father has become a beloved song of the military today.  Sung at every service I attended in the Navy, and every time, this song got to me.

Let us pray:

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe’er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.


It is Veterans Day @ Rotary!

It should come as no surprise that I come from a crazy mixed up background touched by every branch of service.

I graduated from High School, in 1975, just after the fall of South Vietnam, so I went into my counselors office when I turned 18 and said “ I guess I have to sign up for the draft?”

“I would love to help you” she said, “but they no longer require people to sign up.”

I was the first generation that would not have to serve.

So what did I do when graduating from college? …… I volunteered and joined the Navy.  I ended up a helicopter pilot for 17 years. I amassed over 3000 hours in fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft.  Mostly H-3’s at sea and Hueys in training and Antarctica.

IF you are a Navy Veteran, please stand up. 

We salute you.

I grew up in Charlotte to Yankee parents from the Boston area.  So I reckon and things are over yonder, but I don’t y’all, I say “you guys”.  My Dad was drafted in WWII as a water treatment specialist due to his textile background.

Because he had a nice tenor voice, he was assigned to assist the chaplain singing in services in the Azores.  He was part of the Army Air Corps which became the Air Force.

If you are an Air Force veteran, please stand up. 

We salute you.

Since he was Army Air Corps,

If you are an Army Veteran or Army National Guard, please stand up.

We salute you.

When my dad was drafted, my mother was not about to sit at home and pine.  AND she did not want to be “auxiliary” anything No WAC or WAV for her.    So she signed up to be among the first 90 women to join the Marine Corps.  She was a Woman Marine and VERY proud of it.

When she got off the train as B. Taylor along with all the other women, the drill instructor turned to his corporal and said “they are women, they ALL women, nobody told me they were women.  What are we supposed to do with women?”  So my mother had to do all the same stuff the men had to do in boot camp.  From the same PT requirements to the gas chamber, she was Very Proud.  Oo rah.

If you are a Marine, please stand up. 

We salute you.

Much of my time was spent flying search and rescue.  I have been officially credited with 26 lives saved as determined by the Rescue Coordination Center, on many missions, we worked closely with the Coast Guard.

If you are a Coastie with US Coast Guard, please stand up. 

We salute you.


So there you have it, I am a military mutt, and very proud to have served this great nation.  You will find no better people than those in uniform, whatever uniform.    My mother would want to take note that in this photo, she has one more stripe than my dad.  She made the photographer change their seating positions so this fact would not be missed.

Please join in a salute to all the veterans and let us not forget those currently in harm’s way on active duty.

Speak Your Mind