Category Archives: girls

Of Strength, and Courage

Strength and courage in such measures that I cannot do justice to using  a keyboard.  Indy Star sportswriter Gregg Doyel does, however: (To do his article justice, I have inserted it here in its entirety.)

She had one more soccer game to watch, and maybe then she would let herself die. But not before Saturday afternoon, no matter what the doctors were saying, because what the doctors were saying was unacceptable.

They were saying almost two weeks ago that Stephanie Turner had just a few days to live, that what had started five years ago as breast cancer and had come back with a vengeance a month ago was now rampaging through her body and shutting down her liver and, well. It was a matter of days. That’s what the doctors were saying.

No, Stephanie Turner had said. I need two weeks.

Because her daughter, Brebeuf goalkeeper Lauren Turner, had a state championship to win.

And Stephanie was going to be there.

Stephanie has always been there, for all three of her kids, starting years ago when her eldest played football at Cathedral. John Turner is a senior safety at Notre Dame now, and Stephanie goes to those games, too. She watches William, her youngest, a freshman running back on the Brebeuf varsity.

On Saturday, Lauren Turner and the Brebeuf girls soccer team played Penn for the Class 2A state title at Carroll Stadium. Lauren was in goal.

Stephanie Turner was in a Carroll Stadium suite, in a wheelchair, under a blanket.

The family let me inside Suite 7, offering hot dogs and soda and strength and grace, and Stephanie is beautiful under her blanket. She is so weak she can barely speak, her words coming softly in small mouthfuls, gentle words like, “I love my kids.”

She tells me, “I had to be here.”

She tells me, “I wouldn’t miss this.”

One by one the Brebeuf starters are introduced before the game. One by one they jog onto the field, wave to the crowd, then turn toward Suite 7 behind them and wave to Stephanie Turner.

The announcer introduces Lauren Turner.

“There’s your baby!” says Stephanie’s mom, Nettie Watkins. “Oh, and she waved to her mama. Did you see?”

Stephanie Turner responds in the affirmative.

“Mmm-hmm,” she coos.

She is wearing a maroon Brebeuf hat, with a Brebeuf windbreaker over her Brebeuf soccer shirt. Her eyes are yellowing behind her glasses, jaundiced from liver failure. She didn’t have to be here.

She had to be here.

“I think it’s keeping her going,” Stephanie’s husband, Troy, is telling me.

We’re sitting in the bleachers in front of the suite, just a few minutes before kickoff of the Class 2A title game, and I’m asking him how his daughter is holding it together on the soccer field. Lauren Turner has been blanking opponents for weeks, even as her mom has been growing weaker and weaker, and her brothers – John at Notre Dame, William at Brebeuf – likewise have been maintaining their academic and football commitments. I’m asking Troy: How can these children be so strong?

Troy smiles. He gestures at the suite behind us, at Stephanie in her wheelchair, under the blanket.

“She’s our strength,” he says. “If she can handle this, we can’t justify not being able to handle it, too.”

And she can handle this? That’s what I ask Troy Turner about his wife, dying of cancer. Even now? Today? Is she still handling it?

Troy nods and tells me what happened this morning.

Well, it was game day. And Stephanie Turner, home on hospice care for almost a week, unable to get out of bed, suddenly was able.

Her parents have been in town for a week, Nettie and John from Baltimore, and for almost a week they’ve seen their daughter in her bed. Now they see her up and wearing the Brebeuf shirt and windbreaker, and she’s ready to go, and it’s not time.

“She was ready two hours early!” Nettie was telling me. “We had to tell her she could get back into bed for a little while.”

They’ve come from all over for these final days – her parents and sister from Baltimore, Uncle Bill from Atlanta, a handsome nephew named Carter, more – and on Saturday morning 12 members of the family woke up under the same roof. That included John, the senior safety at Notre Dame. The Irish played at Temple on Saturday, but Troy Turner had told Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly about the situation back home. He asked if John could come home to see his mom for perhaps the last time.

“And Coach Kelly was great about it,” Troy said.

Everyone has been great about it. U.S. World Cup keeper Hope Solo – Brebeuf coach Angela Berry-White is a U.S. national team alum – sent Lauren Turner a signed pair of soccer gloves. While Stephanie was in intensive care last week at IU Hospital downtown, seven members of the Brebeuf team visited her. And Stephanie being Stephanie, this is what she did: She had the soccer players stand over her bed, put their hands together and holler, “Braves!”

This game Saturday, it wasn’t going so great for the Braves. Penn scores two minutes into the game, just the eighth goal that has gotten past Lauren Turner this season – eight goals in more than 1,200 minutes –  and the score stays 1-0 into the second half.

Stephanie watches the game quietly, barely moving, until Brebeuf scores midway through the second half to tie the game at 1. Suite 7 explodes in happy noise. Family members turn to Stephanie, who bumps fists with her sister, Crystal, and raises her hand to the glass window in front of her, pantomiming a high five with her sons outside. Troy comes inside to wrap an arm triumphantly around her shoulder, then goes back out.

With 6 minutes left Brebeuf scores the go-ahead goal and Suite 7 erupts again. Stephanie is smiling and holding up her right hand, and family members rush to pat it. Troy comes inside for a hug, then goes back out.

“Six minutes!” Uncle Bill says. “Run that clock down.”

Six minutes later, it’s over. Brebeuf wins 2-1. Lauren Turner and the Braves are state champions.

“That’s my La-La,” Stephanie Turner says, softly, as Suite 7 explodes for a third time.

And then the most amazing thing happens.

The clock shows zeroes and a horn sounds and the Brebeuf soccer team is celebrating, and Lauren Turner is sprinting off the field, onto the track around it, over the railing. The Brebeuf goalkeeper has scaled the wall and is running up the bleachers toward Suite 7, and now the Brebeuf soccer team is following her.

Lauren bursts into Suite 7, and Stephanie is crying, and Lauren is crying, and now the whole suite is crying. And here come the Braves, one after another, forwards and midfielders and defenders and they’re all crying and hugging their goalkeeper’s mom. They’re hugging Stephanie Turner, who is wiping tears from her eyes as her husband watches.

In a corner of Suite 7, Lauren Turner is almost inconsolable. Teammates are holding her up, and after about three minutes the team is heading back onto the field for the trophy presentation.

Troy asks Stephanie if she wants to leave the warmth of Suite 7. Does she want to go onto the field for the trophy ceremony?


Stephanie says something I’ve heard her say before.

“I have to be there,” she says, and in a few minutes she is in her wheelchair, under her blanket, next to the field. She watches her daughter receive a championship medal.

Brebeuf gets the team trophy, a giant plaque of wood and brass, and now Lauren has it. She walks to her mom, setting the trophy on her lap. Behind them, Troy is tucking the blanket around his wife’s neck, and draping a jacket over that. Warm now, she lowers her head and closes her eyes.

Stephanie Turner is tired, so tired, but she has seen what she came to see. Whatever happens next, whenever it happens, she saw the game. And she saw her daughter win that state championship.

Troy Turner was one of the best Marine Officers I have ever served with.  He was one of my Lieutenants when I had the honor of commanding Romeo Battery 5/10 back in the mid-1990s.  Troy was the kind of young Officer I could rely on for anything.  I could assign him any task, and he was smart enough and professional enough to figure it out.  And a finer man, one could not find.  He and Stephanie were a delightful young couple.   Now, as they face this tragedy, I am in awe of the indomitable strength and courage of Troy’s lovely Stephanie, and of Troy’s, and that of his daughter and other children.   I haven’t words.   God bless you all.

-Rhino 6


“Lieutenant” Mewborn


Filed under Artillery, girls, leadership, Personal, veterans

Man’s Best Friend


Good boy!  Good boy!!


Filed under girls, Humor, Politics

‘England Expects Every Man to Do His Duty’


When the fragile Peace of Amiens collapsed after just fourteen months in May of 1803, triggering the War of the Third Coalition, French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was determined to invade England.  His goal was to remove once and for all the British interference with his plans for the conquest of Europe. In 1803, England was a part of that ultimately unsuccessful Third Coalition (Austria, Russia, England, Sweden, the Holy Roman Empire, Napoli and Sicily) opposing France and Napoleon’s alliance which included Spain, Württemberg, and Bavaria.

The main obstacle to those invasion plans, as had been so often in the past (and would be in the future) was the Royal Navy. Britain had stood, alone, against revolutionary Republican France, and against Napoleon, at various times between 1789 and 1803. In the autumn of 1805, a combined French and Spanish fleet under French Admiral Pierre-Charles-Jean-Baptiste-Silvestre de Villeneuve, operating in the western approaches of the Mediterranean, were to combine with other squadrons at Brest and elsewhere to challenge the Royal Navy’s sea power in the English Channel.

Lord Nelson, after less than a month ashore from two years at sea, was ordered to take command of approximately 30 vessels, which included 27 ships of the line, and sail to meet the combined French/Spanish fleet gathered at Cadiz.   Aboard HMS Victory, Nelson eschewed the more conservative tactic of engaging the enemy in line-ahead, trading broadsides while alongside the parallel column of the enemy. Nelson instead planned to maneuver perpendicular to the enemy line of battle, with his fleet in two columns. Nelson in Victory would lead the larger, northern (windward) column, while Cuthbert Collingwood in HMS Royal Sovereign, would lead the southern (leeward) column.

The goal was to divide the French/Spanish fleet into smaller pieces and leverage local superiority to destroy the fleet in detail before the remainder could be brought to bear. (The risk, of course, was the possibility that the allied broadsides would rake and destroy the British columns upon their approach before they could bring their own broadsides into action.)  It was a tactic used by Admiral Sir John Jervis at the battle of St. Vincent some eight years before, a British victory in which Commodore Nelson had served under the future Earl St. Vincent.

The French/Spanish fleet was larger, with 40 ships to Nelson’s 33, and counted more ships of the line, 33 to the Royal Navy’s 27. Several of the French and Spanish ships were far larger than even Nelson’s Victory, carrying considerably more cannon.   But the Royal Navy held two important advantages.

Firstly, the Officers of the RN were far more experienced than their French and Spanish counterparts, and of significantly higher quality. The bloodbath of the French Revolution, predictive of the Soviet purges of the 20th Century, saw the execution or cashiering of the cream of the French Officer Corps. Also, the British crews, particularly the gunners, were far better trained and disciplined than those on the allied ships. In the coming battle, both fleet maneuver and ship handling would be critical to the outcome.

Just after noon on 21 October, Nelson observed the French/Spanish fleet struggling with light and variable winds, in loose formation off Cape Trafalgar, wallowing in a rolling sea. Nelson and Collingwood led their respective columns toward the enemy, enduring broadsides without the ability to respond, and suffering considerable casualties.  However, allied gunnery was not accurate and the rate of fire was subpar, allowing the British warships to close.

As the two British columns sliced through the allied line, the battle degenerated into individual battles between ships, and sometimes two and three against one. Casualties on both sides soared, as cannon and musket fire raked gun decks and topside. Nelson’s flagship Victory herself was almost boarded, by the French Redoubtable, saved at the last minute by HMS Temeraire, whose timely broadside slaughtered the French crews preparing to board.

At quarter past 1pm, as Nelson walked topside with Victory’s Captain, Thomas Hardy,  he collapsed to the deck, struck in the left shoulder with a musket ball. The ball had torn through his chest and severed his spine. Nelson knew he had been mortally wounded.   Carried belowdecks, he lingered for about three hours, weakening, but still inquiring about the course of the battle. His last words, according to physician William Beatty, who was an eyewitness, were, “Thank God I have done my duty.”

Slowly, the superior British gunnery and seamanship began to tell.  Ships in the allied column, many a bloody shambles of broken masts, shredded sails, and dead crewmen, began to surrender.  By 4pm, the action came to a merciful end.  The result of the battle was a serious defeat of the French/Spanish fleet. The van of the allied line never were able to circle back and engage either of the two British columns. Twenty-two allied ships were captured, one French vessel sunk. The French and Spanish suffered almost 14,000 casualties, with more than 8,000 seamen and Officers captured, including Admiral Villeneuve. The Royal Navy had lost no ships, despite the dismasting of two frigates. Casualties numbered 1,666, with 458 dead, including Britain’s greatest Naval hero.


It was Nelson himself who was, of course, the greatest advantage the Royal Navy possessed. Nelson’s skill and aggressive command style, his ability to motivate men and engender something very close to complete devotion in his junior commanders, and his willingness to issue orders and refrain from meddling, all were part of the famous “Nelson touch”.   His tawdry personal life, his open affair with Lady Hamilton, a lawsuit against Earl St. Vincent over prize money from the Battle of Copenhagen, all this was overlooked, and in some cases added to the legend and celebrity of Horatio Nelson. His likeness, replete with empty sleeve (from a grievous wound received at Santa Cruz) adorns a 143-foot column in Trafalgar Square. Lord Nelson’s name is synonymous with the Royal Navy. The guidance he gave to his ships’ captains echoes down through the centuries. “No captain can do very wrong should he lay his ship alongside that of the enemy”**.

Ironically, the great victory at Trafalgar came one day after the annihilation of an Austrian army at Ulm, another in an unbroken string of successes for Napoleon’s armies on the European mainland. The Third Coalition, like the two previous would suffer defeat at Napoleon’s hand. As would the Fourth Coalition. It would not be until 1815 that Napoleon would be defeated for good, this time, on land, by Wellington at Waterloo.

Of course, Nelson hadn’t any knowledge of the Battle of Ulm, or even the campaign. But he likely did know that his defeat of the combined French and Spanish naval forces off Cape Trafalgar had once and for all eliminated the threat of invasion of the British Isles.

**A fascinating look at the evolution from Nelson’s entreaty of the duty of a Royal Navy captain to the risk-averse and centralized sclerosis of command that plagued the Royal Navy in the First World War is provided in a masterpiece by Andrew Gordon called The Rules of the Game (USNI Press). Worth every second of the read, as both a historical work and as a cautionary tale.


Filed under army, Artillery, Defense, girls, guns, history, leadership, marines, navy, ships, SIR!, training, veterans, war, weapons

Load HEAT – Lara Pulver

XBrad is on the road, so while the cat’s away, the mice will play. I picked Lara Pulver for today’s Load HEAT. She played Clarice Orsini on Da Vinci’s Demons and Irene Adler on BBC’s Sherlock.
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Filed under ducks, girls, Load Heat

Happy Birthday, George Orwell


Somewhat belatedly.  Born Eric Arthur Blair, in India, on June 25th, 1903.

It is hardly the man’s fault that his seminal work, written as a chilling dystopian warning regarding the destruction of liberty, has become an instruction manual for the far-Left “Liberal” Secular-Progressive Statists who now hold the levers of power in our once-great Republic.

He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”

“We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.”

“They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening.”

If you refuse to agree that 2 + 2 = 5, you are racist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, Islamophobic, anti-child, and probably watch Fox News.


Filed under Around the web, Cold War, Defense, girls, helicopters, history, islam, leadership, obama, Personal, Politics, recruiting, terrorism, training, veterans, war, weapons

NAACP- National Association for the Advancement of Coke Peddlers


Sometimes the stories just write themselves.   From NYDN:

An Indiana bus transit system director and president of a local NAACP chapter was arrested for selling cocaine to a confidential informant, once asking for sexual favors in exchange for the drug, cops say.

Miles told cops he’d buy an ounce of coke for $1,250, then sell it off and double his take to pay off his child support, according to the documents.

Child support?  Good lordy.  I know some guys call it “junior”, but that doesn’t really make it “supporting a child”.

Miles, who has been president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People chapter in Muncie since December 2013, reportedly sold drugs to the informant three different times. Once was in a park with kids nearby and another time, he asked for sex instead of cash, according to cops.

But you have to admire his entrepreneurial acumen, as he was leveraging his position as a transportation official with Muncie Indiana Transit System (MITS) to aid in the distribution of his burgeoning enterprise.

Timothy Miles, 49, was in uniform, wearing his work badge and in a Muncie Indiana Transit System (MITS) vehicle when he was arrested Wednesday near the downtown Muncie Civic Center, according to the Delaware County Sheriff’s Department.

What would a beer commercial say?  “Here’s to you, dealing cocaine from a gummint vehicle guy!”

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Filed under Around the web, budget, girls, logistics, stupid, Uncategorized

Load Heat: Annet Mahendru

If you aren’t watching the  FX hit series The Americans, you probably should. Annet Mahendru plays the Soviet KGB temptress/double agent, Nina Sergeevna. Ironically Annet is of Russian and Indian descent and was born in Afganistan.












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