I am pleased to welcome you to my personal blog, which I started in March 2009. I first became interested in blogging about five years ago, using old "blogger.com", which was cumbersome to use and I never mastered. About a year ago I discovered that Google had bought "blogger.com" and had revised it considerably, making it fun to use, so much so that I have devised at least 15 blogs on various subjects and frequently add posts and Gadgets to them.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

My "Dear John" Letter

This is the only picture I can find of my wedding November 20, 1954. Left to right: W. T. Callaway, my father-in-law; Lollie Callaway, my mother-in-law; William T. Johnson III, me; Louise Callaway Johnson, my wife; Mildred Reeves Johnson, my mother; William T. Johnson, Jr., my father.

Patty thinks I should write about my thoughts and feelings over the years, so here goes. As I remember, about August 1953 I was at summer camp with my National Guard unit at Fort Stewart, GA. I was a Warrant Officer serving in a personnel position in Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 214th AAA Group. It was probably Tuesday of the second week of camp, and I opened a letter from Louise Callaway, whom I had known since fifth grade and considered as my girl friend for years. As I read the letter, I was shocked by its coldness. "Dear William", it began - no "est" on the "Dear", and ended with "Sincerely, Louise" - no "Love, Louise" as was usual. In the middle, she indicated her unhappiness that I had been stringing her along for years without a proposal. She thought we should stop seeing each other.  This was the low point of my life, I am convinced.  

     That night I called her to try to make up with her and  I succeeded. The following Friday she was going to Miami Beach with her parents. Her father was school superintendent and was going to the National Education Association (NEA) convention.  She said that they would be glad to take me along if I could meet them somewhere, perhaps in Jesup, south of Fort Stewart. I arranged to leave camp two days early and to have Neal Merritt drive my car back from Jesup and drive it to Washington on Sunday. As it worked out, I met the Callaways at the Wayne County Courthouse in Jesup with no trouble and continued with them to Miami Beach and had a wonderful time. 

As I remember, I proposed in the front porch swing at her home soon after we returned from Miami Beach. At any rate, we had an "understanding" that had been missing before. There was much to be done and we could not set a date at that time. Louise was working for the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta and invited me to company parties over the years. She lived in a boarding house at 50 Lombardy Way and had many friends, both at work and at the house.

Louise had been given a large diamond by her great-aunt Annie Spratlin that she wanted set into an engagement ring. We had that done at Maier & Berkley in Atlanta where we also bought both our wedding rings. She wanted to be married in a blue suit so I helped her to buy that in Atlanta. By the following summer, Louise had left her job and moved back to her parents' home near Rayle. We were distressed when she developed phlebitis in her left leg. This was overcome and we arranged to marry on
Saturday, November 20, 1954, at Rock United Methodist Church, Rayle, Georgia. Her uncle Edgar Allen "Billy" Callaway was to perform the service; her close friend, Lavonia Sparks Ricketson, was to be her maid of honor; and my brother, James Reeves "Jimsie" Johnson, was to be my best man. The wedding dinner was to be at the Woman's Club in Washington, as was the wedding reception. I rented an apartment at 509 W. Liberty St. in Washington. All these plans worked out perfectly. Louise had a four-door Plymouth that was roomier than my two-door Chevrolet, so we used her car on the honeymoon to Gray, Thomasville, Waycross, and Savannah.

United States Coast Guard

United States Coast Guard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States Coast Guard

United States Coast Guard portal
Active4 August 1790 - Present
CountryUnited States of America
Typecoast guard
Size42,000 active duty personnel
~252 cutters, ~1600 boats ~194 aircraft [1]
Part ofDepartment of Homeland Security
MottoSemper Paratus
ColorsWhiteOrange, & Blue             
MarchSemper Paratus
EngagementsAmerican Civil War
World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Gulf War
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Operation Sea Dragon III
War on Terror
DecorationsPresidential Unit Citation
Secretary of Homeland SecurityJanet Napolitano
CommandantAdmiral Thad Allen
Master Chief Petty OfficerMCPOCG Charles W. Bowen
Racing Stripe
Aircraft flown
HelicopterHH-60 JayhawkHH-65 Dolphin,
PatrolHC-130HU-25A GuardianHC-144A Ocean Sentry

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of seven uniformed services. It is unique among the military branches in that it has a maritime law enforcement mission (with jurisdiction both domestically and in international waters) and a federalregulatory agency mission as part of its mission set. It operates under theDepartment of Homeland Security during peacetime, and can be transferred to the Department of the Navy by the President or Congress during a time of war.

The overall mission of the Coast Guard is to protect the public, the environment, and the United States economic and security interests in anymaritime region in which those interests may be at risk, including international waters and United States coasts, ports, and inland waterways.

The Coast Guard motto is "Semper Paratus", Latin for "Always Ready" or "Always Prepared".



United States Marine Corps


The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the U.S. military responsible for providing power projection from the sea, utilizing the mobility of the U.S. Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces to global crises. Alongside the U.S. Navy, the Marine Corps operates under the United States Department of the Navy.

Originally organized as the Continental Marines on November 101775 as naval infantry, the Marine Corps would evolve its mission with changing military doctrine and American foreign policy. Owing to the availability of Marines at sea, the Marine Corps has served in every American armed conflict going back to the Revolutionary War. It attained prominence in the 20th century when its theories and practice of amphibious warfare proved prescient, and ultimately formed a cornerstone of the Pacific campaign of World War II. Its ability to rapidly respond to regional crises continues to make it an important body in the implementation and execution of American foreign policy.

The Marine Corps, with 193,000 active duty and 40,000 reserve Marines as of April 2008, is the smallest of the United States' armed forces in the Department of Defense (the United States Coast Guard, about one fifth the size of the Marine Corps, is under the Department of Homeland Security). The Corps is nonetheless larger than the entire armed forces of many significant military powers; for example, it is larger than the Israeli Defense Forces.

United States Army

United States Army

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States Army

United States Army portal
Active14 June 1775 - today
CountryUnited States of America
Part ofDepartment of Defense
Department of the Army
MottoThis We'll Defend
Army Strong (recruiting)
ColorsBlack & Gold         
MarchThe Army Goes Rolling Along
EngagementsRevolutionary War
Northwest Indian War
Tecumseh's War
Creek War
Peoria War
War of 1812
Seminole Wars
Black Hawk War
Mexican-American War
Utah War
American Civil War
Spanish-American War
Philippine-American War
Banana Wars
Boxer Rebellion
World War I
World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Gulf War
Kosovo War
Operation Enduring Freedom
Iraq War
Chief of StaffGEN George W. Casey, Jr.
Vice Chief of StaffGEN Peter W. Chiarelli
Sergeant MajorSMA Kenneth O. Preston
Recruiting Logo

The United States Army is the branch of the United States armed forcesresponsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military and is one of seven uniformed services. The modern Army has its roots in the Continental Army which was formed on 14 June 1775,[1] before the establishment of the United States, to meet the demands of the American Revolutionary WarCongress created the United States Army on 14 June 1784 after the end of the war to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The Army considers itself to be descended from the Continental Army and thus dates its inception from the origins of that force.[1]

The primary mission of the Army is to "provide necessary forces and capabilities ... in support of the National Security and Defense Strategies."[2]Control and operation is administered by the Department of the Army, one of the three service departments of the Department of Defense. The civilian head is the Secretary of the Army and the highest ranking military officer in the department is the Chief of Staff, unless the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are Army officers. TheRegular Army reported a strength of approximately 547,400, soldiers as of 28 February 2009.[3] The Army National Guard (ARNG) reported 358,200 and the United States Army Reserve (USAR) reported 205,000, putting the approximate combined component strength total approximately 1,110,600 soldiers.[4]