I Probably Should've Skipped This One

Sunday, June 29, 2014
An advertisement for Mrs. Clinton's book signing event in last Sunday's Dayton Daily News.

Over the years (has it really been that long?), I have shared my adventures and milestones in exploring and practicing journalism in my local area and at a few places away from home via this blog. During that time, I have had the opportunity of covering events involving politicians, celebrities and national heroes with 2012 being my "banner year" due to Ohio's importance during the recent presidential election cycle and the 70th anniversary of the Doolittle Raiders heroic exploits during World War II. I've had some remarkable successes (gaining press credentials for both a VP and POTUS campaign event) and a failure or two along the way (turned down for an Air Force One arrival and the Obama campaign kick-off event in Columbus). I chose to forgo a rather significant event in the 2012 general election campaign (the joint Romney-Ryan appearance) for which I openly regretted not making the effort to attend. It was in the spirit of that last "no-show" that I decided to try and cover a potentially significant event leading up to the upcoming 2016 presidential race--a local appearance of the presumptive Democratic nominee, former First Lady/US Senator/Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a bookstore in the greater Dayton area. Regrettably, after you read what I provide below, you will probably agree with me that this was an event where I should've just stayed home.

A More Frequently Witnessed "Historic" Event

Monday, June 23, 2014

[NOTE: this is a consolidated product--one part reporting, one part analyzing and a heap of opining for good measure--and I didn't know what label to use...I opted for none.]

Major General John Shanahan, commander of the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency, presents the unit guidon to Colonel Leah Lauderback, the first openly gay leader of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, during the May 28th change-of-command ceremony at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. (photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force / Airman 1st Class Samuel Earick)

It's an increasingly rare occasion when a person can claim to be involved in a truly historic event this far along in our civilization's history. About 400 people, including me, can now do that after witnessing what was initially thought to be just a run-of-the-mill biennial display of military continuity and tradition at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base's National Museum of the United States Air Force.  On May 28th, Colonel Leah Lauderback assumed command of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center from Colonel Aaron Prupas but its historical significance was not because of her gender but due solely to the person she recently married. As it turns out, Lauderback is now the first openly gay commander of this storied intelligence organization and her spouse, Brenda, was publicly included in this ceremony just a little over two years after the Defense Department's rescinding of a policy that banned the disclosure of same-sex relations.