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#OutdoorNation

In High Ropes Course on October 8, 2014 at 10:42 pm

As a part-time staff member of George Mason University — working at a challenge course called THE EDGE — I’m a part of a team that’s competing in a competition to get outdoors. I can’t think of a more healthful and pleasant way to enjoy the fall season.

Here are a few images taken so far to document my outdoor activities. (Excuse the fact that these are all “selfies.” This is a condition of the contest and there are a lot of college-aged young adults participating along with those of us who may be called “boomers” or who attended the “Un-college”)

Leading a group of students at The EDGE.

Leading a group of students at The EDGE.

Biking along Route 234 (a.k.a. Dumfries Road).

Biking along Route 234 (a.k.a. Dumfries Road).

Walking along Route 234.

Walking along Route 234.

Taking a night time stroll at GMU's main campus.

Taking a night time stroll at GMU’s main campus.

Daydreaming.

Daydreaming.

Mowing.

Mowing.

Bagging leaves and vines.

Bagging leaves and vines.

Raking leaves. Now I know why they call this season fall.

Raking leaves. Now I know why they call this season fall.

Planting bulbs and anticipating a spring bloom.

Planting bulbs and anticipating a spring bloom.

Brisk walk along Route 234.

Brisk walk along Route 234.

Participating at our team debrief at the end of the day at The EDGE.

Participating at our team debrief at the end of the day at The EDGE.

We "pushed" 150 climbers over our Alpine Tower today. Students are in the bleachers waiting for their buses.

We “pushed” 150 climbers over our Alpine Tower today. Students are in the bleachers waiting for their buses.

Walking the boundary of my nearest National Park.

Walking the boundary of my nearest National Park.

Arrrrgh! Why this fascination with being a Pirate?

In Active Learning, Cartooning, Communication, Conflict Resolution, facilitation skills, How To, Leave Your Comfort Zone, Tall Tales on September 17, 2014 at 5:51 pm

Edward_Low_Flag

Arrrrgh! Why this fascination with being a Pirate? Simply put, September 19th marks a fun-filled (and unofficial) holiday. To learn more about how to talk like a pirate visit http://www.talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html

I saw my first major league baseball game at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. Fingers (and bats) are crossed that they make it to the playoffs this year.

I saw my first major league baseball game at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. Fingers (and bats) are crossed that they make it to the playoffs this year.

A JPG-version of this document is also available for my facilitator colleagues. See fight-flee-flow (below)

A JPG-version of this document is also available for my facilitator colleagues. See fight-flee-flow (below)

fight-flee-flow <– Click here for a PDF-version of this Jack Sparrow-inspired poster.

The Mighty Eighth Air Force

In Epiphanies, leadership, Leave Your Comfort Zone on September 12, 2014 at 7:08 pm
Shoulder patch for the Mighty Eighth Air Force

Shoulder patch for the Mighty Eighth Air Force

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to visit the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum just north of Savannah, Georgia. This was to be a day trip for my brother-in-law and I. Our wives were to enjoy yet another day at the beach and out shopping in and around Hilton Head Island, SC. Paul and I took advantage of a “guys’ day away” from the blazing sun and too much sand in our swim suits. But I digress …

While at this museum I asked the docent — a retired Colonel from the US Air Force — about the research library that was upstairs. His eyes lit up when I mentioned that my uncle had served in the Mighty Eighth. His eyes saddened and mine teared up a bit when I commented that I’d never met this uncle since he was shot down over Germany during World War II. But then he encouraged me to visit the research team upstairs and to learn more about this not-so-distant relative.

So what did I learn?

M/Sgt George A. Lesko was a senior non-commissioned officer responsible for several aircraft. He was mainly a part of the ground crew responsible for preparing the bombers for daily missions over enemy territory. He flew one — and only one — mission as the Top Turret Gunner in a B-17. The record states: “Shot down by fighters and crashed SW of Ulm, GR on the return from a mission to Landsberg am Lech, GR on 18 Mar 1944 in B-17G #42-31966. KIA.”

We will never know why he chose to man the twin .50 caliber machine guns that day. Was he checking out the aircraft in-flight? Did he volunteer to take the seat of another crewman? Did he step up because he wanted to experience for himself what a combat mission was like over Germany?

This we do know; he completed his mission and died a hero.

____________

On a related note … I recently attended the 35th reunion of the West Point Class of 1979. While at the Academy, I enjoyed catching up with many of my classmates. We told a few tall tales; reliving our experiences from time spent at the Academy and also while serving in the Army. More importantly, I had a chance to speak with today’s cadets. I am certain that they too — like my Uncle — will do their duty. God bless them and may God show mercy on those who doubt the resolve of today’s soldiers, sailors, airmen, or marines. “Bombs away.”

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