(Contact Info: larry at larryblakeley.com)
Important Note: You will need to click this icon to download the free needed to view most of the images on this Web site - just a couple of clicks and you're "good to go." For reasons why - go here.
A listing and access link to all:
song lyrics and mp3 audio files http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/ (all of which are a part of this Web site) can be accessed simply by selecting the "htm" file for the song you want;
quotations http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/quotations.htm; and
essays written by Larry Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/articles_larry_blakeley.htm,
all of which are used to tell the story in this Web site, can be accessed by going to each respective link set out above.
My son, Larry Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/larryblakeley_photos_jpeg.htm manages this Web site.
Major Roy James Blakeley (December 10, 1928 - July 22, 1965) - USAF (KIA)
When I was young my dad would say
Come on son let's go out and play
No matter how hard I try
No matter how many tears I cry
No matter how many years go by
I still can't say goodbye
- "I Still Can't Say Goodbye," Performer: Chet Atkins
MP3 audio file/lyrics http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/still_cant_say_goodbye.htm
For a larger image click on the photograph.
"I have no problem with war in principle," McPeak told one group of reporters. "I kind of enjoy it, and I'm good at it...." - General Merrill McPeak, Ex-Air Force chief critical of Bush's Iraq policy, article by Jeff Mapes, The Oregonian, August 31, 2004. http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/109395356159060.xml
Ms. McPeak - you can tell your husband that the Blakeley family does not agree with this pompous and foolhardy statement; nor do we appreciate the way those of us, widows, sons and daughters were "left behind" and abandoned by the U.S. government over 39 years ago.
Even General Chuck Horner only allotted 2 pages of his book to the wives - he did not even mention the widows, sons, and daughters ("Every Man A Tiger"). My father was his flight leader in Lakeheath, England.
In fact, Horner admitted to having to "grow up" - when at 12 years old I knew more about pain and suffering than he ever imagined existed until that terrible tragedy around Christmas, 1964.
I'm not looking forward to the fact that I will ultimately grieve longer since your husband, Horner, and many others will be long-gone to their "greater reward."
Larry Blakeley on behalf of Major Roy James Blakeley "a soldier of America since he was 17 years old." http://www.royblakeley.name
NEW YORK -- After twice serving in prominent roles in Republican presidential campaigns, retired Air Force Chief of Staff Merrill A. "Tony" McPeak was popping up all over the cable TV networks Monday at this year's GOP convention.
But this time, to the annoyance of his former Republican comrades back home in Oregon, the Lake Oswego resident is in New York working on behalf of the Democratic Party and its nominee, Sen. John Kerry.
Democratic officials asked McPeak to serve as the party's main spokesman on military and foreign affairs issues while the Republicans are meeting here. As a result, McPeak spent the day moving through a series of press conferences and television studios firing one salvo after another at President Bush -- particularly on his handling of the war in Iraq.
"I have no problem with war in principle," McPeak told one group of reporters. "I kind of enjoy it, and I'm good at it. What I don't like and what drove me out of the Republican Party was carelessness and slipshod work of the kind we've seen from this administration."
Oregon Republicans who know McPeak, 68, sought to portray him as an ex-general upset he didn't have any influence with the Bush administration. McPeak countered that he isn't seeking power and has been content in his new role as a businessman in Oregon.
Whatever the case, with his storied military career -- he headed the Air Force during the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and flew more than 300 missions as a fighter pilot in Vietnam -- McPeak has become an increasingly visible figure for the Democrats.
Featured for ad, advice
The party featured him in a television advertisement that aired in 21 battleground states. And McPeak has joined Kerry's stable of national security advisers and made several appearances on his behalf, including at the Democratic convention in Boston.
This is not where McPeak expected to be when he retired to Oregon in 1995 after 37 years in the Air Force. He immediately threw himself into Republican politics, and many local party figures quickly began talking him up as a potential candidate for office.
McPeak declined entreaties to run for anything -- although his wife, Ellie, is now a Lake Oswego City Council member -- but he did serve as the Oregon chairman of Bob Dole's presidential campaign in 1996. In 2000, along with former Congressman Denny Smith, McPeak was co-chairman of Oregon Veterans for Bush-Cheney.
McPeak, who was Air Force chief of staff in the first Bush administration, said he quickly became disenchanted at the new President Bush's handling of foreign policy issues. Among other things, he said Bush was too quick to walk away from international agreements.
The real break between McPeak and the current administration came over the invasion of Iraq. McPeak praised the performance of the military and its quick ouster of Saddam Hussein's regime. But before the first shots were fired, he warned that the invasion could isolate the United States in the world community and set off a long, messy occupation.
By November last year, McPeak had re-registered as an independent and had signed on as an adviser to former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who was then the front-runner in the Democratic presidential race. After Dean faltered, McPeak moved over to the Kerry camp. T
his has all struck Republicans back in Oregon as questionably ambitious.
"Perhaps he is disappointed he hasn't been utilized by the Bush administration," said Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., who added, "The world is full of armchair generals. They're in great surplus today."
Deanna Smith, the wife of former Rep. Denny Smith, R-Ore., and the manager of the Dole campaign in Oregon, said she and her husband remain friends of the McPeaks. She thought McPeak was frustrated he didn't have the ear of the Bush administration.
"He tried to give his input," she said, "but he was rejected."
"It's true nobody paid any attention to me in the Bush administration," said McPeak, "but I don't think the Bush administration . . . is paying attention to anybody. (Secretary of State) Colin Powell can't even get a word in edgewise."
Molly Bordonaro, the Northwest head of the Bush campaign, said McPeak is a relatively lonely figure. Polls show strong support for the president among Republican voters, and a recent survey -- taken as the controversy raged over the ads attacking Kerry from some fellow Swift boat veterans -- suggested Bush also is favored by veterans.
Hate mail, encouragement
McPeak said he's received "my share of hate mail and nasty phone calls" from voters criticizing his defection to the Democrats. He said he's also had quiet encouragement from some Republicans and veterans.
After all, he argued, many Republicans would have a different view if a Democrat had invaded Iraq.
"If Al Gore had got us in this mess in Iraq," he said, "believe me, you wouldn't have heard the end of it from Republicans."
- "Ex-Air Force chief critical of Bush's Iraq policy," Gen. Merrill McPeak has severed his GOP ties and signed on as the Democrats' on-air military expert Tuesday, Jeff Mapes, The Oregonian (OreganLive.com), August 31, 2004 http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/109395356159060.xml
GENERAL MERRILL A. MCPEAK (his military bio)
Retired effective Nov. 1, 1994
General Merrill A. McPeak is chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. As chief, he serves as the senior uniformed Air Force officer responsible for the organization, training and equipage of a combined active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian force of over 850,000 people serving at approximately 1,300 locations in the United States and overseas. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he and the other service chiefs function as military advisers to the secretary of defense, National Security Council and the president.
The general entered the Air Force in 1957 as a distinguished graduate of the San Diego State College ROTC program. He has commanded an Air Force wing, a numbered Air Force and, before becoming Air Force chief of staff, commanded the Pacific Air Forces, a major command. He is a command pilot, having flown more than 6,000 hours, principally in fighter aircraft. He flew two years as a solo pilot for the elite aerial demonstration team, the Thunderbirds, and flew as an attack pilot and high-speed forward air controller in Vietnam.
1957 Bachelor of arts degree in economics, San Diego State College
1970 Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
1974 Master's degree in international relations, George Washington University
1974 National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
1979 The Executive Development Program, University of Michigan Graduate School of Business
1. November 1957 - January 1958, student, Officer Preflight Training, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
2. January 1958 - January 1959, student, pilot training, Hondo Air Base, Texas, and Vance Air Force Base, Okla.
3. February 1959 - December 1959, student, F-100 combat crew training, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., and Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
4. December 1959 - August 1961, F-104C fighter pilot, 436th Tactical Fighter Squadron, George Air Force Base, Calif.
5. August 1961 - May 1964, F-100D fighter pilot, 79th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Royal Air Force Station Woodbridge, England
6. May 1964 - August 1965, fighter staff officer, tactical evaluation division, Headquarters 3rd Air Force, South Ruislip Air Station, England
7. September 1965 - December 1966, F-104G instructor pilot, 4443rd Combat Crew Training Squadron; later, F-104G weapons officer, 4510th Combat Crew Training Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.
8. December 1966 - December 1968, demonstration pilot, U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
9. December 1968 - January 1969, F-100D fighter pilot, 612th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Phu Cat Air Base, Republic of Vietnam
10. January 1969 - August 1969, operations officer, later commander, Operation Commando Sabre (Misty Fast FACs), Phu Cat Air Base, Republic of Vietnam
11. August 1969 - December 1969, chief, standardization and evaluation division, 31st Tactical Fighter Wing, Tuy Hoa Air Base, Republic of Vietnam
12. January 1970 - July 1970, student, Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
13. August 1970 - August 1973, air operations staff officer, Mideast Division, directorate of plans and policy, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
14. August 1973 - June 1974, student, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
15. June 1974 - April 1975, assistant deputy commander for operations, 1st Tactical Fighter Wing, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
16. April 1975 - June 1975, student, French language training (en route for duty as air attache to Republic of Cambodia), Foreign Service Institute, Washington, D.C.
17. July 1975 - June 1976, military fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, New York City
18. July 1976 - July 1977, commander, 513th Combat Support Group, Royal Air Force Station Mildenhall, England
19. July 1977 - July 1978, vice commander, 406th Tactical Fighter Training Wing, Zaragoza Air Base, Spain
20. July 1978 - February 1980, assistant chief of staff, current operations, Allied Air Forces Central Europe, Boerfink, West Germany
21. February 1980 - June 1981, commander, 20th Tactical Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Station Upper Heyford, England
22. June 1981 - October 1982, chief of staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein Air Base, West Germany
23. October 1982 - May 1985, deputy chief of staff, plans, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va.
24. May 1985 - June 1987, deputy chief of staff, programs and resources, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
25. June 1987 - July 1988, commander, 12th Air Force and commander, U.S. Southern Command Air Forces, Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas
26. July 1988 - October 1990, commander in chief, Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii
27. October 1990 - present, chief of staff, U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.