Hennessy's View

The torch has been passed

I feel old. It’s not my knees or my eyes. Nothing physical. It’s bigger than that. Be Kind to Him, World My mom framed a column she read in the St. Louis Globe Democrat in about 1969, just about the time I started kindergarten. The Globe title was “Be Kind To Him, World,” but Dan Valentine’s orginal title was “Dear World.” That column moved from place to place in our house most of the time I lived at home. Read more →

The Week: November 15, 2015

Viva la France This week, let’s say a special prayer for the people of France. And the whole world. Mayor Slay About to Change Tune on Refugees On September 11, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay announced plans to accept 10,000 non-Christian Syrian refugees to St. Louis. After the coordinated attacks by ISIS terrorists in Paris on Friday, expect the mayor come under intense pressure to change plans. News that at least one of the Paris attackers entered France from Serbia as a Syrian war refugee will only intensify the pressure on Slay. Read more →

You Have a New Son, America

My son Patrick (closest to the camera at a civilian’s idea of parade rest) listens to the instructions of the enlisting officer among 9 young men and women preparing to swear an oath to the Constitution of the United States. They were here to make their first commitment to the armed forces. [caption id=“attachment_16700” align=“alignleft” width=“711”]Patrick Hennessy takes the oath of enlistment at the Federal Building in St. Louis August 14, 2015. Read more →

849 Reasons You’ll Never Succeed

View Full Album Major General Stephen Layfield, the reviewing officer at the Navy’s June 11 Boot Camp Graduation, introduced my son, AT Jack Hennessy, and 848 of Jack’s fellow sailors to America’s enemies. He mocked at our enemies’ plots to destroy America, pointing out that before him stood “eight hundred and forty-nine reasons why you’ll never succeed.” The crowd of about 4,000 roared. The sailors, in ranks, could not even clap. Read more →

Jack Called Home

I heard from my son, Jack, tonight for the first time since he left for Navy boot camp on April 14. He is doing well. He survived the first week. He’s been declared fit for full duty. He’s learned to fold things very compactly, to recite the General Orders to the Sentry on command, and to identify his Chain of Command through the President of the United States. If boot camp hasn’t changed, week two is worse that week one, but I didn’t tell him that. Read more →

Fair Winds and Following Seas, Son

I spent the afternoon with my oldest son, Jack. It was his last day as a civilian. It was probably the last day that he and I will share a mailing address. In a few days, I’ll get a postcard containing a new address at RTC Great Lakes. It will be written in his own hand. He will miss home when he writes it. I hope I’m not revealing too much. Read more →