Wednesday, April 25, 2007


We're blogging at THE TANK

UPDATE: Been to Iraq and back since last posting here.
For the latest, check out our regular updates at National Review Online's new military blog, THE TANK.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


"The Marines have landed!"

Today marks the 231st anniversary of the raid on British-held Nassau, Bahamas (March 3, 1776).
It was the first-ever amphibious landing of American Marines and sailors, and it was the first time American forces landed on foreign shores.
We talk about it at 'The Corner' (National Review Online).

The picture you see here is of Major Samuel Nicholas, the first commandant of the Marine Corps, and the officer who - as a captain - led the amphibious assault on Nassau.

Semper Fidelis,
[Visit W. Thomas Smith Jr.'s official website at]

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


The New York Giant who died on Iwo Jima

Receiving lots of wonderful mail about our latest, The New York Giant who died on Iwo Jima (published yesterday at and today at Family Security Matters).

Thanks to the many bloggers and others who have since picked it up, including Michelle Malkin who often links to our stories.

Also, two unrelated posts on The Corner at National Review Online, here and here.

Oh, and the picture you see here is, yes, the New Giant who died on Iwo Jima - 1st Lieutenant Jack Lummus, a Marine infantry officer, a recipient of the Medal of Honor, and one of America's greatest heroes.

Semper Fi,

P.S. Will try to be better about posting. Have been neglecting this blog for months.

[Visit W. Thomas Smith Jr.'s official website at]

Monday, February 26, 2007


We're quoted in The Writer, again ...

In her latest, Bring the beat to your community during National Poetry Month, Kay Day, a web columnist for The Writer magazine, writes:

For those who don't write poetry, there's certainly a place for verse amid the rigors of daily life. American journalist W. Thomas Smith Jr. says poetry definitely has a place in our lives. "Poetry is indeed relevant to the enrichment of our daily lives," he says. "Poetry, like art and music, is remembered. We recall paintings we saw as a child, as well as lyrics, tunes, and the strains of certain instruments we heard. It's the same with poetic lines and stanzas. In well-written prose we may remember the story, sometimes a perfect line or two. In well-written poetry, however, we always remember the actual words and how they were used." Smith is a South Carolina author of six books whose articles have appeared in publications like USA Today and U.S. News and World Report.

Read Kay's entire column here.
[Visit W. Thomas Smith Jr.'s official website at]

Sunday, February 25, 2007


The Navy - Marine Corps relationship

I've been asked over the years - more so recently - how much is the Marine Corps part of the Navy, or the Navy part of the Marines.
Of course, I could go into all of the bit about Navy Department organization, the history of our two Naval services, Naval tradition, etc. But the better answer I can give is to first look at this picture of the Marines raising the flag over Iwo Jima, and then remember, the second man from the right (in fact, the center man in the picture), is Navy Corpsman John "Doc" Bradley, a U.S. sailor.
They are us ... and we are them.

Semper Fi,
W. Thomas Smith Jr.
former Marine rifle squad leader

[Visit W. Thomas Smith Jr.'s official website at]

Thursday, February 01, 2007


"The new phone books are here! The new phone books are here!"

OK, I know I haven't posted anything for over two months - and there have been lots of post-worthy events happening, stories published, and media appearances - but I've just been insanely busy. That's my only excuse.
Anyway, Remember Steve Martin in The Jerk? "The new phone books are here! The new phone books are here!"
Well, I'm singing the same song these days, because a picture I took of the Gervais Street bridge spanning the Congaree River is featured on the cover of The Real Yellow Pages 2007 for Greater Columbia - Lexington, S.C .

Stay tuned for more fun.

Oh, and following are the comments given during the unveiling here in Columbia on January 18, 2007:

"This picture chosen by AT&T and the River Alliance for the 2007 Real Yellow Pages is special to me in ways almost impossible to articulate.

My dad, the late William Thomas 'Bill' Smith, is part of this. Let me tell you why.

In the last years of his life, Dad and I spent many a Saturday morning driving along the streets of downtown Columbia.

I would drive, while Dad – sitting on the passenger side – would reminisce about the days (decades earlier) when he was a young businessman strolling down Main Street in a dark suit, a white shirt and tie. Perhaps ducking into the Capital Newsstand for a copy of The Columbia Record, then sticking his head in the door of the Capital Café, speaking to old friends.

We would then turn off Main onto Gervais, and ride by The State House: There he'd remind me – as he had since I was a boy – of where ol' General Sherman's shells hit.

We'd drive down other streets – never the same route: Perhaps from the State House through the USC campus, then maybe north toward Elmwood Cemetery, then back over to the site of the old Lincoln Street Seaboard train station, across the old brick-paved road from where Dad once operated a tire dealership that at its zenith would for a brief time be the largest tire-dealership in the state.

But on the last leg of our Saturday morning jaunts, we would always drive over to the west bank of the Congaree – on the Cayce-West Columbia side – just south of the Gervais Street bridge.
There we would sit, long before the riverwalk had been built.

Dad would talk about all the rockfish in the river, and the great flood of 1908 that washed over the wooden slats of the old bridge that the current bridge replaced in the late 1920s (about the same time Dad was born), and that in 1791 George Washington himself crossed into the city at a point not far from where we were.

Dad and I had a special father-son relationship.

We both loved the past and our eternal connection to it, which was one of the reasons I believe he was so proud of my work as a writer.

Dad read everything I wrote as soon as he got his hands on it. He was thrilled when I interviewed Gen. Westmoreland for George magazine in 1998, and – in a special feature of that issue – shared a byline with publisher John Kennedy Jr.

Dad never lived to see any of my books published, or my columns and essays in some of the world's largest publications. He would have been so proud. But I can tell you – and every member of my family will attest – nothing would have made him more proud than to see my picture of the bridge and the river we shared on the cover of the directory of this great Southern city and the Midlands he so-loved.

And for that – and on behalf of my family – I thank AT&T and the River Alliance.

Thank you, all."

--- WTS (comments on January 18, 2007)

[Visit W. Thomas Smith Jr.'s official website at]

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


The assassination of Lebanon's Pierre Amine Gemayel

The following unedited statement was just issued by my friend, Dr. Walid Phares, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) and a columnist at World Defense Review:

"The terrorist assassination of Minister Pierre Gemayel in Beirut is another war crime against the democratically elected Government and Parliament of Lebanon, and another strike in the Terror War waged by the Syrian regime and its allies against the Cedars Revolution and Lebanon 's democracy. Hence, the response should be at the hands of the international community, starting from the United Nations' Security Council to the various countries worldwide concerned with democracy and human rights.

"Pierre Amin Gemayel was elected a member of parliament in June 2005 after the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon in April of that same year. He was one of the leaders of the Cedars Revolution and the minister of industry in the Seniora Government. Gemayel was an active advocate against the Syrian occupation of Lebanon , for the implementation of UNSCR 1559 and calling for the disarming of all militias, including Hezbollah. The young leader has been calling for the resignation of pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud and for prosecuting the assassins of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. In short, Pierre A. Gemayel was one of the pillars of the political resistance to the Syrian and Iranian regimes in Lebanon . He and his colleagues were calling for the disarming of Hezbollah and the inclusion of moderate Shiite leaders in the political process.

"Hezbollah and the Syrian-Iranian axis have considered the last legislative elections in the US and the formation of the Baker Commission as a signal to wage terror campaigns to crumble the political process in Iraq and the cabinet in Lebanon . This week, secretary general of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah and his allies were preparing to wage an urban uprising against the Government. But the supporters of the Cedars Revolution said they will take the streets again.

"Hence, as we witnessed today in Beirut , the 'Terror arm' of the Syro-Iranian camp moved forward to strike the Government instead.

"1) Killing three ministers would paralyze the functioning of the cabinet per internal regulations. The assassination of Pierre Gemayel is a step in the campaign to "empty the cabinet" of its members.

"2) This assassination aims at intimidating civil society from mobilizing against the pro-Syrian campaign.

"In response, the international community should act swiftly in defense of Lebanon 's population under the UN chapter 7, by voting a new resolution to reinforce the UNIFIL in Lebanon and endow it with a deterrence and security mandate to protect civil society from violence as was the case in East Timor and Kosovo.

"The Cedars Revolution real and strategic response to the Terror War waged against Lebanon 's civil society should be to press for the removal of Emile Lahoud from the Presidency and disband his security operatives."

Tony Badran, a research fellow at FDD, says:

"A few days ago, another Lebanese leader warned that the Syrians might kill ministers in order to force the dissolving of the government after the resignation of the Shiite ministers.

"The Syrians have one overriding objective: the scuttling of the international tribunal into the assassination of Hariri in which Syria was implicated. The U.N. is meeting today to adopt it and send it back to the Lebanese gov. to be ratified.

"The noise and chatter about 'engaging' Syria has emboldened Syria to mount an offensive in Lebanon , interpreting what it sees as U.S. weakness as a license to kill and redominate Lebanon.

"The Syrians have told a recent British delegate that cooperation on Lebanon is out of the question. The Syrians are set to redominate Lebanon . "

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Congaree River Bridge - Columbia, S.C.

Also known as the Gervais Street Bridge
I don't know how many times - probably about a zillion - I've photographed this bridge over the years.

Did so again today before the 52-7 whippin' we (Carolina) gave Middle Tennessee State.


[Visit W. Thomas Smith Jr.'s official website at]

Thursday, November 16, 2006


"The T"

Who is this?
Think you know?
Be the first to contact me here with the correct answer, and we'll post your name and tell everybody what a smart guy or gal you are.

Sorry, no hints (or have I already given you one?). This is too easy.

UPDATE: Folks, no: This is NOT some Russian general. He is NOT a pirate captain. And he is NOT Alexander Hamilton.
This is too easy, and I've given you a hint.
OK, one more - "T" is for a particular battle maneuver.


Importance of a 5-Point Harness Carseat

Here is a must see video posted at YouTube by a mom who lost her precious little three-year-old son, Kyle David Miller, in an accident because of a faulty seatbelt.
Absolutely hearbreaking. If you can get through this video without shedding a tear - or a bucket of them - you are a better person than me.
Here 'tis
PLEASE, if you have little ones, strap them in with a five-point harness carseat.

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