All posts by Mustang.Koji

I have found that "family" around you is a product of twists of fate, world events and personal decisions made long ago. Anguish, happiness, despair and harmony. The effect of war on families and the resulting peace from the untold sacrifices made by the Greatest Generation. While I am not a writer, I hope to be able to bring to light the spontaneity of life. As I wish to be historically accurate, some quotes will be as I heard them...but there was no malice coming from those that spoke those words. They were reliving the past horrors of war - a war that you nor I fought in. They did.

Iwo Jima


The horrific battle for Iwo Jima would start in a few days 75 years ago. The iconic flag raising would be one week from now.

A story I wrote in 2013 about Iwo Jima and a little known fact that 50 Japanese-Americans US Army soldiers also fought there.

Masako and Spam Musubi

DC My two smallest kids had the honor to see the memorial first hand in June 2010.

Life has been quite unpredictable for me for the past six weeks or so – as well as tiring.  I am quite behind in reading many of your fine blogs and that is on my priority to-do list.  But it is a hollow descriptive for me to say I am tired.

I am still alive.

Twenty-nine thousand are not.

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The battle for Iwo Jima began 68 years ago on February 19, 1945.

Sixty-eight years ago.  Just yesterday for many.

Sixty-eight years ago, about 29,000 young men met horrible deaths on that demonic volcanic island – 22,000 Japanese soldiers and 7,000 Marines.  That unforgiving island still has not given up all of her dead to this day…  American and Japanese.

Kan Japanese Prime Minister Kan in blue visited Iwo Jima (now renamed Iwo To) in…

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Operation Detachment – The Battle for Iwo Jima


Iwo Jima was 75 years ago this month… God bless the Corps.

Fix Bayonets!

Note: So much has been written about the Battle of Iwo Jima, by individuals far more qualified than myself, some of whom participated in it, all of whom conducted extensive research on this iconic battle, that I have avoided the effort for years.  But the Battle of Iwo Jima has called out to me to write something in tribute to the men who served there.  What follows is my unworthy summary an event that traumatized its survivors for the balance of their lives.    

Iwo Jima 001American successes in the Pacific campaign forced the Japanese war machine to reevaluate their situation.  By the end of the Marshal Islands campaign, senior Japanese naval and army officers realized the truth of what Admiral Yamamoto had predicted three years earlier.  Japan had awoken a sleeping giant.

It was always Japan’s intention to create an inner perimeter defense of its home…

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Introducing Jasper


My little cake boss is now 17 years old but has had a devil of a time the past four months.

But since she moved in with me full time after school started in September last year, we had talked about getting another family member.

Well, it was time… Meet Jasper, a Corgi, now four months old.

Jasper, in his new home after being picked up at LAX.

It was not easy finding a Corgi pup – especially a “rescue”. There just weren’t any. Who would turn in an adorable Corgi pup anyways? So the search widened to a good kennel; indeed, there are quite a few scam sites preying on lonely people looking for four legged companionship as well. She had come across an “available” puppy but her instincts told her to ask her old man (me!) for advice. Indeed, it was a scammer.¹

Worse than scammers are the puppy mills.

But no pups were to be found within 500 miles of us – not a single one… but we finally came across a nice, family run kennel in Iowa. It was then I found out puppies can be shipped. I still don’t like the idea but there was no other choice.

…So the deal was struck.

The Cold, Bumpy Journey

His cold journey began at 8:30 am in Iowa on January 23, 2020. He was checked onto a Delta flight out of Des Moines which landed a couple of hours later at the Atlanta hub after a noon takeoff.

However, the flight tracker shows a number of altitude changes on the long leg to LAX – which to me means the flight crew was trying to escape chop. Imagine being a pup – it doesn’t even know what this large, cold machine is let along being artificially off the ground and being tossed around by chop.

The Arrival at Delta Cargo

My oldest daughter who lives miles away kindly offered to pick my Little Cake Boss and me up in Long Beach, CA. We got there just as Brooke’s new boy was deplaned and taken to Delta Cargo’s LAX facility.

Everyone was anxious.

It was like driving to the hospital for the birth of a first child. 🙂

The Delta team brought him up to the counter very quickly! But we could tell the poor thing was scared out of his wits from the flight.

He was quite damp and shied away from us humans.  Of course, after spending his first four months of life on an isolated farmland and kennel in Iowa, the constant rambling of noisy big rigs and trucks just ten yards behind us didn’t help much, I’m sure.

Brooke’s first hug with her new boy… The poor thing was terrified plus all the big rigs and noise on the street behind us were probably terrifying to him too.

My oldest daughter Robyn was a big help too, being the consummate dog lover since getting her first Golden Retriever at five years of age.  Her soothing “doggie voice” helped soothe the poor thing… plus the portable dog carrier wouldn’t have fit into my Ford Mustang’s trunk.

Adjusting and a Surprise

Brooke wrapped Jasper in my old airline blankets and held him all the way home.  He was still so scared – or so we thought.

After we first walked into our home, he tried to hide in dark spaces or corners.  “What’s wrong, Jasper?” she would ask in dog speak – but he wouldn’t answer.  He also wouldn’t eat much or drink.

Well, a couple of days later, Brooke looked at the papers from the kennel.  As it turns out, Jasper was given a rabies vaccination right before being put on the flight.  I recalled our other small dog; she hid under the bed for two days after getting one… So I figure his suppressed mood was from a one-two punch: the bumpy flight and the ill effects of the rabies shot.

Happily, its been five days since Brooke’s new boy joined our family… and he is doing super! His other ear is now beginning to stand up, He’s eating, drinking and follows his new mama wherever she goes.  He sleeps right next to her; I’m sure it is very comforting.  Jasper even sits on my lap!

But most of all, I miss my oldest daughter’s Corgi, “Yogi”…

May he be at peace.

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Footnote:

  1. Some scammer tipoffs include, but is not limited to, absence of a phone number, absence of a verified physical address, communication by email only, and much lower than normal pricing.  They will also demand an upfront, non-refundable “deposit”.

Hilarious Impersonations by an 8th Grader!


This is kid was phenomenal! Performed at his graduation, he imitates President Trump, President Obama, Cruz, Bernie and Hillary. (ps I cannot figure out how to show a screen preview. It is just a link.)

https://www.npr.org/2016/06/16/482344060/watch-8th-grader-impersonates-trump-clinton-sanders?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20160616&fbclid=IwAR3sRdY62_0MO4kq38WjdS7qcdybLs6pUnVoRyTNkSQmaDuf8xYeajppNR8