Happy 106th Birthday, Dad!

August 19, 2016 would have been my dad’s 106th birthday.  I truly miss him, yet the wisdom he imparted upon me and his place as my original role model still guide me to this very day!

Luis C. Campos was born in Maribojoc, Bohol in the Philippines in 1910.  He and some of his friends immigrated to the United States in 1931, right in the middle of the Great Depression.

During World War II, he served as part of the distinctive First Filipino Infantry Regiment, a United States Army unit formed for Filipino-Americans and immigrants from the Philippines who wanted to directly contribute to the efforts of the Allied forces in liberating the Philippines from Japanese invaders.

I found an interesting history of dad’s unit here:


California’s Filipino Infantry

by Alex S. Fabros



In one combat action, the regiment reported killing 1,572 Japanese soldiers while five of its men were killed in action.

These soldiers were clearly motivated to repel the Japanese from their ancestral homeland.  That I can believe, as my friends and I grew up hearing so many stories of the atrocities performed by many of the Japanese troops.

Having endured white America’s racism, these men knew how to adapt to rapidly changing situations. They relied upon one another for strength.

My dad was usually silent about many of the injustices and the rampant racism in America, but inevitably he would tell stories that serve to remind me of how far, yet how little our country has progressed since then.

Colonel Offley had a major dilemma on his hands. Even though his regimental chaplains were prepared to perform marriage ceremonies between the Filipino soldiers and their white girlfriends, the strict anti-miscegenation laws in California prevented the men from applying for marriage licenses. Colonel Offley solved this by sending his soldiers and their sweethearts to Gallup, New Mexico on chartered buses that soon came to be called the “honeymoon express.”

Before and during the war, Filipinos (and other ethnic groups) were forbidden from marrying whites.  Dad drove his friend Andy Pontillas and his white girlfriend Betty to Arizona to get married.  We used to go to their house during every Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday.

There are so many parallels between the MilitaryMuseum.org account and my dad’s stories.  I only wish I had more time to go into those.

On the other hand, I see some slight inconsistencies in Alex Fabros’ historical account, but while Dad’s stories were very consistent during the lifetime that he told them, one most certainly must consider that the memories of those contributing to this work and my father’s were also affected by the many years that have passed and the different perspectives that each has.   Both sources without a doubt give us insights into an aspect of modern American history that most people know nothing about.

With the increasing resurgence of bigotry and divisiveness in our nation today, stories like these must serve to remind us that we are one America, a nation of immigrants that has come together in the past to do great things and that the United States still has incredible potential to achieve so much, so long as we are indivisible.





Primary Day. Vote. For What Matters to YOU.

It’s Primary Day here in California!   Vote, because you CAN make a difference.  Vote for what is best for YOU and what you stand for.

Do not be swayed by useless rhetoric.  There seems to be a lot of that going around.  Do not vote because some party tells you to.  Do not vote because of what others are doing.

Consider what truly matters to YOU.  Look for candidates who support who and what you believe in.

And look beyond the words.   There are a lot of smooth talkers, some career politicians, some capitalizing on the fact that many are fed up with career politicians.   Just see what they are really doing.  With the internet that’s pretty easy.  I certainly had an interesting time with Google looking up all the state and local candidates last night.

But no matter what…never ever lose faith in the importance of your part in the political process.  It may not be perfect, but it is what we have and it is most certainly better than what much of the world has.  Many fought and died so you can vote today.  Many struggle in other lands, just to be able to go to the polls and make their choice.

Do not take Freedom for granted.  Do not let the rights won for you go to waste.




Why Jar Jar?

So why am I using the image of Jar Jar Binks?  Well, any Star Wars fan will point out that it was Jar Jar’s speech to the Imperial Senate that convinced people who were supposed to be the best and brightest in the galaxy to hand over absolute rule to Chancellor Palpatine.  In short, appealing rhetoric led to an upheaval of political stability that led rise to an evil Empire and hurled thousands of worlds and billions of lives into darkness.

Am I addressing this towards anyone in particular?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Perhaps it is best I borrow from another science fiction franchise and say, “All this has happened before.  And will happen again.

Do not let history repeat itself.








Good Friday: Let Us LIVE to Make Men FREE

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free,
While God is marching on.

The Battle Hymn of the Republic,
US Civil War Song

Many of us grew up singing Julia Ward Howe’s Battle Hymn of the Republic in school and we certainly sing this in church on patriotic holidays, like July 4th and Memorial Day.

This final verse has always inspired me.   I personally feel that it has more meaning now, with our country so ideologically divided, perhaps more so than at any time since the Civil War.

Let us learn to put aside our political and religious differences.  Let us recognize and put an end to our bigotry…racial, religious, and otherwise.

WE are America and our diversity is what has made us great, and strong, and free!

God so loved the world that he sent us this only Son.  May we Americans build on that sacrifice to bring freedom to all men, women, and children!


This gemstone painting was one of three just completed by my friend, Jim Kuehne of JimsGems.org   – please check out his work.  It’s truly inspired!

I picked this particular work for this post because the shape of the stone struck me as having a deeper meaning.  With it’s resemblance to an arrowhead, it symbolized the fight for freedom and American unity that the Battle Hymn represents.  More importantly, it also can be interpreted as a forward button, as in we as a nation and a people must move forward from division to unity.






Remembering Ian…and What He DEFENDED!

Six years ago today, my nephew, Sgt. Ian T.D. Gelig, made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.  With all the irreverent rhetoric and hateful division in our country today, I feel we must all remember the individual FREEDOMS and RIGHTS that brave soldiers like Ian fought and died for.  MAY THEIR DEATHS NOT BE IN VAIN!


When our Founding Fathers spoke of LIBERTY AND JUSTICE…they did specifically say FOR ALL!  NEVER FORGET!