Hello and thanks for reading.

You have stumbled upon my little chalkboard of a blog. I am a prior-enlisted Arabic linguist, current naval officer. And my co-bloggers are all navally types: retired, active-duty, or a combination of both. (Wink, you know the type. . .)

The blog’s name, The Mellow Jihadi, is the title of an unpublished novel I wrote while deployed.

Fellow bloggers, I am always looking to share links or to introduce myself to this wonderful thing called the Blogosphere. If you link me, I will find a way to reciprocate. Or, comment here and I will mosey over to your blog.

Lastly, I am new to this, so if I trample some sacred blogger code, I apologize. I have not received the secret handshake yet. And I finally just housebroke myself last week. As for my house, it is indeed broken.

Make yourself at home, link, and share stories. It is my honor to host your visit. . .

72 thoughts on “About”

  1. Got to your blog through Americas First Sgt ,Castra Praetoria – Kanani Fong-The Kitchen Dispatch.
    Enjoying your site.


    mark (a Doc,Marine Grunts, at one time)(72-76)
    Connie ( Navy Nurse Corps at one time) 70-75

    Northern MN Rez

    1. I heard about your blog through Hunter CS Armstrong of Man of Action Magazine (www.manofactionmagazine.com). He extolled the virtues, not just of the content of your blog, but of the amazing growth of the blog. Very impressive on both realms.
      My blog http://www.sylviasfriends.com is about “The Challenges of Becoming.” Your’s is chock full of stories of that share amazing examples of “becoming.” I also have a section on “Supporting the Front Line.” Here I like to highlight people and organizations that support the people who put their lives on the line for us all every day. Your links and sources are also great for that.
      Thank you for the inspiration, Sylvia Sepielli

  2. Loved yer AT piece .. .brought back memories of Pensacola sand and crabgrass .. .and poopy suits .. . and my first salute 45 years ago last spring from Gunnery Sergeant Jim who gave it all in Viet Nam .. .

    New to yer site. . .keep up the good work .. .



  3. Your article today, My Drill Instructor, brought tears to my eyes. It must be, because I appreciate the struggle the so many have made in order to qualify to defend the country; so much physical and mental stamina required in order to serve others. Bravo to all servicemen!

  4. I finished last in AOC class Zero three sixty-nine. I wanted to quit everyday during a grueling 16 weeks before receiving a commission. After an additional thirty-two and one half years service, I can honestly say that my Gunny was better and tougher than yours. But then the best squadron I was ever in was the one I just left. The self-discipline and tenacity instilled in me and others by Gunny Pilger carried me through many of life’s battles and then some. Your tribute to Gunny W and all the rest is fitting. Thanks!

  5. Great article on AT. I’m a staunch conservative military retiree. Your comments about your DI remind me of my first flight instructor! He chewed me out from the very moment we got on the flight line. He was a former Naval aviator who had flown off Navy carriers during the Korean War. That was over 50 years ago and I’ll never forget his name! Not only that, he drove a ’57 Thunderbird with chrome spare tire rack on the back. He chewed me out because he thought that those of us who were officer pilot trainees were spending toooo!! much time at the O’Club and not enough time studying our flight manual!!
    Back then it was all:”Duty-Honor-Country”, “Yes Sir, No SIr, No Excuse Sir”

  6. I’m an Army vet (but I love my Navy brothers and sisters). Retired California police officer (small city a couple of hours south of Berkeley). Got here from Ace of Spades and dang glad I did. I love your work here and have added you to my blogroll. Thank you for your service both in the navy and here.

  7. Howdy NavyOne.
    Appreciate your comment in the overnight thread at Ace’s. I will check out the link to Castra Praetoria.

    USMC 8541

      1. ahh…awake and only slightly fuzzy from the party last night. I’ll assume you are using “Shipmate” in it’s original meaning- The one that has connotations of “Friend” in it’s usage. Not the modern usage that conveys a meaning similar to “Dumbass”.
        Although, since I work with active duty Navy on a day to day basis, I am aware there is an effort underway to take the use of “Shipmate” back to it’s original meaning…

        Now, back to my regularly scheduled coffee consumption.

  8. I just wanted to thank you for your service. I also want to compliment you for your brave website. Good luck to you in all of your patriotic efforts, which are significant. People like you can do more than you might ever know to end the bigotry often associated with our history of the wars in the middle east.

  9. Good stuff! This site is without the bullsh_t and gets to the damn point. Thank you for staying a true a American. I’m trying to get the word out on these elected officials who have not cared about Old Glory. I have been shutdown by the MT Sidney Herald emailing me “we think this subject has run its’ course”. “We” who? a course usually has an ending. If I started this course then, I end it. Many readers tell me that they did not know.
    Situation: Resided in Sidney MT for six months now and kept my mouth shut. I observe and gather information or INTEL. Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 rolls around and not one of the elected official or public buildings flew Old Glory at half staff/mass. Ok, I will notify them of the Presidential Proclamation. Ignorance is one thing. Then, the 70th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor rolls up and once again the flags are full staff. I once again informed them of the situation.

    Eric B. Twigg

  10. Like your reader, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting then BG Brady. He was speaking at a conference in Syracues, NY and I was MC for the formal military dinner. I had a chance to ask him a question as we snuck off the dias before the program began. I simply asked “Why” and he knew when I was asking. His reply was very simple and humble, “Someone had to do it.”

    True heroes do not brag and are humble to a fault. I will never forget this encounter with a true American hero.

  11. I came across your site while searching for Vince from sons of guns…I have to say I was leary of clicking on a site with the word “Jihadi” in it…but I see now it is the title of a book. The word Jihadi certainly has a negative connotation to me, but I will keep reading.

    By the way I am the son of a true American Hero from WWII…no bragging, just tough and true as a man can be…88 yrs old and strong as wire rope…bless all the servicemen.

  12. Hi, I read your article about Kristen Bell’s sloth meltdown, and you mentioned a sloth rental in California… Is that something you just made up or is it real? I am obsessed with sloths and it would be a dream come true to rent one for an hour!!!!! Please let me know if I can actually rent a sloth! Or, if you know of any places in the bay area that have sloths.
    Thank you!!!

  13. Hello There!

    Your blog came up in my Google Alerts that I have set up for the term Chalk Paint™. I am an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint2 decorative paint retailer in Virginia. Thanks for the great post on painting your floor with Annie’s paints. I have a fellow retailer friend in Tampa, Florida who painted her driveway in a checkerboard design and did not seal it…it is still gorgeous a year and a half later…in the Florida sun and rain! Proff that Annie’s paints are very durable…so go for it! Be sure to post a picture for us.

    Happy to have found you and than ks for your service…it is appreciated.

    Janet xox
    The Empty Nest

  14. Hi,

    My name is Rebecca Johnson and I am a graduate student at The University of Southern California where, under the supervision of Professor Peter Monge of the Annenberg School of Communication, I am conducting research into the ways in which military personnel use music when on active duty. It is important that you know how much we appreciate the service and personal sacrifice that you have made. The study is to help deepen our understanding of the role music plays in the life of deployed members of the armed forces.

    I am asking volunteers who were/are deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan post-9/11 to anonymously complete a 10 minute online survey consisting of questions about various situations in which you use or used music or reasons why you listened to music. You can decline to answer any questions for any reason and can withdraw from participating at any time by simply not submitting your responses. There are no known or anticipated risks from participating in this type of study.

    Any and all information that you provide will be anonymous. The website is programmed to collect responses alone and will not collect any information that could potentially identify you.

    If you are willing to participate please visit the survey at https://uscannenberg.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_5cFBsCpypJQNIZT. If you know anyone else who might be interested in participating, please forward this information.

    Please contact me by email at rljohnso@usc.edu should you have any questions about the study, which is being conducted in compliance with ethical guidelines established by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) here at USC. You can learn more about IRB at their website: http://www.thehastingscenter.org/Publications/IRB/About.aspx

    Thank you for considering this study for your participation.

    Rebecca Johnson

  15. I stumbled on to your site just today. It’s very interesting to me, because you’re a Naval officer and you have a breezy way of delivering your message and light touch of humor
    I noticed you have a quotation from one of the stories in my short-story collection, ONCE UPON A DECADE: TALES OF THE FIFTIES. The stories in the book take place against a background of the 1950s, a very different era from the present. Four of the 17 stories involve the Navy. I was in the Naval Reserve for many years, and reached Chief Petty Officer (starting, of course) as Apprentice Seaman.

    1. Thanks for your thanks! I (obviously) love the Navy and love the job (most of the time.) I stumbled across your book quotes on Good Reads, a site that has literary quotes. I plugged in Navy and it spat back out your writing. Which fit perfectly. I’ll have to pick up your book when I get the chance!

  16. Dear Mellow Jahadi,
    Searching for Marine Joshua Boston to give him a big AMEN. I lived in Viet-Nam 68-70, taught school, married to an Air America pilot KIA Laos 18 Feb 70. I retired from 38 yrs teaching at a girls’ school in Dallas & now volunteer at the VA Hosp teaching creative writing in their Vet Recovery Center. My brother was 101st Airborne 2 tours VN & Special Ops Rhodesia. Finish you novel ASAP. & send greeting to Boston.

    1. Mary, My condolences on the loss of your brave husband. I know someone who worked for that organization. And he, as well as your husband, are great (unsung) Americans.

      I love the fact that you teach writing to our guys. That is a dream of mine when I retire. Thank you so much for all that you do!

  17. very interesting blog, never read anything like it, I do appreciate you standing up for what you believe is right. Blessings.

    1. My understanding of Tom’s situation was that he had a congenital condition that was not tracked by the Docs. And the PT inflamed it. This is just a couple of the folks who knew him talking though. He was/is a great guy. I am honored to have known him.

  18. What a hoot! Just read your older blog about running a retiree’s flag up the pole! Being of the medical community, I always thought it was just “us” that would have a story like yours. There’s comfort in knowing that those who went to OCS have some of the same issues (but generally wouldn’t admit to it!).

  19. I was there at yest hearing we my daughter brittney gillis and I, went to see the the whitey bulger case while there we were able to see the bomber case also, my daughter simply made a statement that many thought he was a good kid at the college she attending while she maintained she did not know him personally this web site did is try to make a story from nothing she wasn’t a supporter and she also maintained he should serve life in prison,
    At this pont I will be speaking with an attorney for defrimation of character , take her name off your site listing her as a supporter.

  20. Hey there: New to this stuff. Saw your site while searching for a good deal on a handgun. Was a little concerned at first when i saw the jihadi thing but the more i read it seems like a group of prior military guys getting together and sharing past experiences and advice. I did 20 yrs in Army retired E-7. Looking forward to blogging with yall.

    1. HI Jimmy, welcome aboard. Please read and comment at will! We are always interested in the Army perspective. (Well, mostly always interested!)

  21. Hello there. Apologies if this isn’t common blog etiquette, but, well, I’m wondering if you’d ever be down to talk with me about your experience as a linguist? I’ve been considering joining, and stumbled across your blog in my research…

    1. No problem! It is not a serious breach of blog etiquette at all. I just emailed you, please fire away with any questions. I enjoy chatting about the field and will help you in any way I can. (Trust me, I received a lot of assistance when I joined and I am happy to pay it back/forward. . .)

  22. Found your blog doing a Google on “AJ Dicken”. You did a nice piece on him (as well as others!) and it would be helpful to getting him actually arrested if you would do a follow up. ABC 20/20 aired a segment on Dicken last night. The previews that were on Good Morning America and ABC World News are located here:

    It would be nice if military fakers like Dicken actually got arrested instead of just running to another state. It takes the power of the internet to get the attention of the Carson City, NV District Attorney’s office.

    Thanks for all you do! You all are the true heroes of the world not people like Dicken.

    1. Carol, I am just about to do a post on this loser. I find it incredible that such people can actually make money through their fraudulent activity.

      I know there are those who are mentally challenged who do the same, who can be forgiven, up to a certain point. But for those who knowingly steal the valour of those who are serving, as well as those who have served; simply beggars belief at times… Yours Aye.

  23. Thanks Bootneck. Dicken has been doing this for a decade at least. It’s time to stop.

    From one vet to another, thanks. :)

  24. I have just published a novel about the SOE’s involvement with the Rudolf Hess flight to Scotland and subsequent investigations of the Nazi Occult and the use of astrology to gain support of America in World War II. The novel is entitled Occult House. It is available at Amazon.com. I have a web site for the novel: http://www.robertmbennett.org, as well as a Facebook page.

    How can I publicize this book on your blog ?

  25. I vaguely remember either Navy One or Ex-Bootneck mentioning their fondness for the Flashman books by that great adventure writer (and Burma Campaign veteran) George Macdonald Fraser. Ever since Mr. Fraser died a few years ago, I’ve missed reading new installments about the “history” of Flashman. Apparently, so did some others, for at least two other authors have picked up the Flashman series. One of these books is now on sale for 99 cents (about 60p I think) in Kindle form. This sale (about 93% off!) is only good through January 25th, so you’ll have to move quickly to take advantage of it. I just ordered my copy and will begin reading it after dinner. I’ll let you know what I think, if you’d like. Best wishes, Bryan

    1. Bryan, it must have been NavyOne as I have never read a Flashman book, though I have George Macdonald Fraser’s book ‘Quartered Safe Out Here’ which is about his time in Burma WWII. A cracking read. Aye.

      1. “Quartered Safe” is very good, I agree. He also published a series of short non-fiction pieces about his time as an officer in a Scottish regiment titled “The General Danced At Dawn.” The stories take place after he got back from Burma and was commissioned. After he left the Army, he moved to the United States and worked as a screenwriter for many years. The Flashman novels are about a fictional ne’er-do-well Victorian officer who ends up in the middle of all sorts of adventures. A lot of fun.

  26. Many thanks for your blog about my father (Lt Col O’Leary), and the ensuing comments are wonderful to read. I didn’t think I could be more proud, so thank you.

    1. Kate, a great and good man who served his country well, you should be so proud of him and his actions. Yours Aye.

  27. Thank you very much for posting my video “Original Gentleman” I really appreciate you including it in your blog. Peter.

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