1966 Chevy Nova, Navy Tribute Car

Kevyn Major Howard, “Rafterman” from Stanley Kubrick’s blockbuster film Full Metal Jacket, challenged himself in 2007 to name just one Hero that had died for his freedom. “I was watching the nightly news as they announced that 12 died this day and 7 that day”, Kevyn said. “I woke up one morning and challenged myself to name just one person who has died for my freedom”, he continued. “I couldn’t.”

So Kevyn decided to do something about it. He started the Fueled By The Fallen, a 501(c)3 non-profit. Kevyn enlisted the expertise of Chuck Spiker, a lifelong drag racer and former National Go Kart Champion, to create a memorial that would get the attention of all Americans.

When I was in high school, I did some bodywork on a Chevy Nova SS. (The car was not mine, it was a friend’s.) I had the front quarter panel memorized so often did I lather it with bondo. I won’t claim I knew what I was doing, but I got better at it.

When I saw this great tribute car, I was reminded of that Nova we had worked on. And I wonder, where is it now?

Sons of Guns, the Best TV Show on Weapons

Guess who’s back? If you are thinking Santa Claus, you are right, although only partially. Think similar body type, with a love for guns. Will Hayden? You got it! He is a prior Marine who works as a master armorer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Will Hayden, Sons of Guns, Prior Marine, Master Armorer

Back for a third season, Discovery Channel’s “Sons of Guns,” seems ready to explode. The first episode finds:

Will and the Red Jacket crew restore a 20 mm Oerlikon cannon and twin 40 mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns aboard the World War II destroyer USS Kidd (DD-661) for an explosive Fourth of July air show. Meanwhile, Steph designs a line of ladies Saiga 5.45 rifles — with fashionable custom paint jobs — much to Will’s chagrin.

There exists simmering tension between Will and his 25 year-old daughter Stephanie‘s new boyfriend, Kris. Will had given Kris Ford the ultimatum, either work at Red Jacket and don’t date Stephanie. Or find another job. We find out in the first episode that he is still working at Red Jacket and dating Stephanie. Perhaps I misunderstood how the last season ended? Or is Kris craftier than he appears?

Stephanie Hayden, Sons of Guns, Discovery Channel 

If you have never watched the show, check it out. Be prepared to hum the theme song, Shelter Me by Buddy Miller, though. It is catchy. (Hmmm, the Yahoo link says: The song is “Shelter me” by Tab Benoit, written by Julie and Buddy Miller, performed by Tab Benoit.)

The crack staff at Navy Times asked Will as to his favorite gun movies. Here is his list:

Last of the Mohicans: “Beautiful work with a musket, a long rifle and a war club.”

Predator: “For a purely fun gun movie, it’s just badass.”

Red Dawn: Remains to be seen if the remake will be any good, but the original is timeless gun-lovin’ glory.

True Grit: “There’s a new one? Sorry, any movie called ‘True Grit’ has got John Wayne in it.”

All Quiet on the Western Front:“I’m looking at a Springfield and an early Enfield here in my office right now.”

Full Metal Jacket and Platoon:“Every war or gun collection has to have those two.”

What no Dirty Harry? Still, good choices. . .