Wolf SilverOak
Akita Owner.
Marine.
Artist.
Pagan.
Foodie.

You don't like it, don't read it.

"I believe in god, only I call it Nature."
- Frank Lloyd Wright

June 2021

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Posts Tagged: 'montage'

Jun. 9th, 2021

Still here.

Went to the InLaws' for the weekend, first time in 2 years.

Leo's anxiety was on high all weekend, because the FiL could not get it through his head that THIS DOG does not like you, LEAVE HIM ALONE. And yes, Leo snapped at him several times. He still didn't learn. (Thank gods for muzzles.)

Brought back an antique china set from Mark's grandparents'. There's another set that's supposed to go to his sister, but we both know, she'll never go get it. She'll make up excuses as to why. Need to look up our pattern on Replacements.com and see what it's called. We plan to use ours from now on, whenever we have company, instead of leaving it packed away. I'll have to get photos.

Also brought back 75% of a collection from his dad. He kept calling it 'a burden'. If it's such a burden, why keep it? Why keep collecting it? anyway. I'll use it to fill out my collection and figure out what to do with the rest. It's not like I'll get any of my dad's collection, after all, it was supposed to go to my brother, though Mom has said she was going to split it between us and the grandkids. It's not that large, Mom, just give it to Dan.

Cooked and froze at least 3 months worth of meals for the InLaws', since MiL is completely bedridden and mostly non verbal now (damn Alzheimer's). It'll make things easier on the FiL, who is her primary caregiver, when it comes to meals.

Mom is moved out to my brother's. She never told me she was moving that quickly. Last I was told, she wouldn't be until the middle of this month. Still deciding how I feel about that.

Trying to get back into the groove of going to the dojo, and trying to find motivation for it again. Caena's 13th birthday would have been tomorrow, so I know that's influencing things.

Voted yesterday in the Democratic Primary. At least one person I voted for won. So that's something. The other two who won (that I did not vote for) were honestly , well, why bother type of wins. Because both have been in their positions before, so both were essentially shoo-ins. and unfortunately, older White Guys. Again. But our new Dem Lt Governor candidate is a Woman of Color, which is a first for Virginia. So hopefully that opens the floodgates from here on out.

Got a KickStarter reward on Monday, themed dice that we plan to use as Yule gifts for our gaming group. They're really adorable. Need to photograph them as well.

Anyway, that's the bare bones. More after I ruminate on it a bit longer.


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May. 26th, 2021

The heaviness of knowing...

(I double checked by posting this as private, me only to be sure I did the cut tag properly. Please let me know if there's issues, because, well, content warning.)

Talked to my mom yesterday, about various things mostly, what I wanted from the house, that sort of thing.

Then she caught me up on the rest of the family.

First, mom is moving out to my brother's, to the InLaw suite next month likely. All well and good and load of worry off our minds, as she won't be alone in the house anymore.

It's an old house, close to 200 yrs now, and starting to really show it. It's bigger than she really needs, at 3 bed and 2 bath, with full basement, a couple acres and a garage.

So my SiL's brother and his daughter will be renting it from her instead. Which means I have time to get up there, gather some rocks from dad's rock garden, and dig up Irises. There's no rush anymore.

Next, she was telling me about my sister Jean and my oldest niece, as well as her kids (she has 3). Jean has 4 days off (she works for the school system), so will be coming by to see if there's anything she wants, which was why mom called.

We got to talking about Becky, my oldest niece. Apparently, she's recently been diagnosed as autistic.

We knew that already, Mark and I.

The rest of the family just went along with the BiPolar and OCD diagnosis. Even though, they never really *fit*, properly or entirely.

So Becky has been researching (good for her!) and figuring out that this explains a lot of things for her. But to top it off, Ellie, her oldest, has also been diagnosed as autistic. So Becky researching means she'll be better able to help Ellie as well as herself.

Which brings us to Eli, Becky's middle child.

Eli is transgender. Eli likes bright colors, rainbows, pinks, and wearing dresses.

The best thing about all of this is that Becky and Jean have recognized the issues Eli was having with fellow students at school (bullying) so Eli and Ellie will both be homeschooled until further notice, to protect them, or until a better school is found for Eli.

I do not know Eli's pronouns, as I do not have regular contact with Jean and Becky- mostly Becky, after I had to force her to leave my parents' house for verbally attacking my dad, threatening to hit him, then me.

But I am really proud of Jean for stepping up for her grandkids.

Mom said Oliver, the youngest was 'all boy' and not autistic. A bit of foreshadowing tells me, he'll grow up to be his older siblings' protector of sorts. I did.


So that brings us to the events of August 25, 2020.

Content Warning- home invasion, death )

So. Yeah.

Still processing this.

Anyway, woke up to a dead Dish internet modem, so am hotspotting my phone. Been having issues with the modem the last couple weeks, betting that's why they keep saying we've used up our allocated data a week before the end of the month.

But I can't hotspot my phone indefinitely, so will only do it long enough to update/catch up on emails and here.

Should have a new modem by Monday. Next month, we're switching to a local company that claims to not throttle or have a data cap, as well as the new tower is a mile from the house. They say everyone on our road is eligible to use their internet, so we'll see.

Maybe we'll finally be able to stream.



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May. 17th, 2021

You either succeed or you kill yourself trying.

1st Degree Black Belts, Senshi Ryu martial arts

We succeeded. May 15th, 2021. 1st Degree Black Belts, Senshi Ryu martial arts.



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May. 12th, 2021

Semi Wordless Wednesday- Do your own research or pay me.

Simple as that.

Everyone should be saying that to idiots who demand their time on stupid shit they themselves can easily research.

Do it yourself, or pay me.



Anyway, more Irises bloomed-

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3 days.


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May. 7th, 2021

In which the brain squirrals are rampaging

Last night was a shitty night for sleeping.

Mischief deliberately antagonizes Morrigan, so I had to deal with a multi-room cat chase that almost became a fight if one of them hadn't knocked over a fan, successfully scaring themselves out of fighting.

Mischief is a bully at times. Mayhem doesn't put up with it anymore- he's almost as big as she is now. But Morrigan has never had to deal with another cat being mean to her, so doesn't know how to react except to hiss and flee. WE do what we can to mitigate it and are successful most of the time. But sometimes, like last night, they're quicker. Especially when it's zero dark thirty.

Tonight is Kama certification. Which means weapons ranking testing as well. So that means showing our profiency in Sai, Escrima, Nunchaku, Bo *and* Kama. So today I'll be running through the katas for all of them multiple times, to be sure I know them still. Not that we *haven't* been practicing, it's just extra practice.

Brain squirrals decided, hey, let's dredge up memories from our time as a Unit Tech at BSTS (Battle Skills Training School) in the Marine Corps. Wheee!!! Only, not. The memories they dredged up are not the good memories.

I know a lot of it is stress and anxiety over next weekend and knowing that *helps*, but doesn't *stop* it. Ugh.

Stupid brain squirrals.

7 days.



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May. 5th, 2021

Oh Pollux. The view will never be the same without you.

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Yesterday's severe storms had 60mph winds and they proved too much for Pollux.

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He snapped at his base.

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Crushed the Adirondack chair and foot stool.
But thankfully, where he fell, all he took out was invasive Ailanthus which was slated for removal this year anyway.
Ironically, the young Black Walnuts were untouched.


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The top of the base where he snapped *was* a large root. It looks like it had some rot and just gave way, causing him to collapse.

Trying to identify what type of pine he was, so we can replace him, even if we won't be here to see it mature to this size.


In other news...

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Spotted this absolutely gorgeous Cecropia moth on a bush outside the dojo last night.


10 days.



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Apr. 30th, 2021

Is it any wonder...

That Irises are my favorite flower?

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(Internet issues have resolved. But of course, none of it was because of Dish, mind. *insert eyeroll here* )


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Apr. 27th, 2021

We really need better internet options.

My computer downloads an update- generally during the day, because that's when I'm on it and when it's running- and wipes out the 'allotted' data for the month.

Well, instead of simply slowing it down, Dish has started in with putting a banner across the top of my webpages that tells me I have to log in to the network to use the internet. Annoying, but can be closed.

On top of that though, they've now, after about an hour, started hijacking webpages and redirecting to *their* website. Even typing in an address doesn't work. Closing the browser and reopening it, redirects directly to the Dish website.

Asking them about why they are doing this, gets the standard 'we're not doing anything, it must be on your end' spiel.

With Win10, you can no longer simply turn off updates, but only delay them up to 35 days, then you absolutely *have* to update before you can delay again. And metering the data usage doesn't stop the downloading of updates either, only makes it so they download a lot slower- it still uses up the internet data allotment.

Unfortunately, our internet options where we are are slim and none. We're pretty much stuck with what we have because the local cable companies won't expand to our 'neighborhood', and the local phone company (Verizon) claims they do not service our location, despite there being a junction box directly behind the house, on the other side of the cattle fence and the prior owners having had internet through them (dial up, but still).

So. Yeah. Fun times. And why I'm not around much right now. No internet data.


Mowed half the property this passed weekend. First mowing of the year. It rained all day Saturday, so we mowed on Sunday and boy was that fun.

The grass is extra everything this year- extra long, extra heavy, extra thick. It took 3 hours for the two of us to do what we did. We were beat after. Hoping it doesn't rain tomorrow or this weekend so we can get the rest done.

Then it won't be so bad when we do it once a month (we like the slightly meadow look).

The kittens have more or less settled in. Mischief plays more now, but still really wants to simply be where her humans are. She'll meow her head off until you call her. She's all about sleeping with you when she can. She also likes the kitchen sink, and sitting in it calling for you.

Mayhem is all kitten, and has now managed to escape the house twice. We really do think he was born feral. The big outdoors doesn't scare him much. He talks *a lot*. If you don't open the back door in the morning when he wants it open, you get yelled at. The birds get chattered at. Right now, he's on the back porch, yeowling out the door.

Morrigan, well, she's a grumpy old lady. 'Get off my lawn!' type. Mayhem wants nothing more than to play with her, and she wants nothing more than to be left alone, oh my gods, go away now. Mischief likes to anatognize her though. She';ll deliberately walk into the room and just stand there staring at Morrigan until Morrigan gets fed up. They've gotten into it twice now. Not blood and fur flying, but bad enough that they both hide after. *sigh*

I have to remind myself it's only been 2 weeks, despite feeling like it's been longer.

Leo is gradually learning that cats, particularly young ones, are noisy and like to play. That that is ok and he doesn't need to whine at them because he's 'concerned'. He's learning to walk away when Mayhem stands his ground and hisses at him. He's allowed Mischief to not only sniff his nose, but to rub against his face. While he's wearing the muzzle, but still, progress. He still really wants to chase them when they run from him though. We're still working on that part. That's going to take longer.

2 weeks to belt testing. Still need to tighten up some things, so we've been trying to practice nightly. Don't always succeed- the motivation sometimes just isn't there. Kama certification is next week though, so that's first. Then belt testing the weekend after. Fingers crossed. At this point, we just want it over with.

We won't talk about all the damn police shootings since the Floyd verdict. Because it's too anger inducing. None of them should have happened. There are better ways. ACAB. All of them.



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Apr. 21st, 2021

Wordless Wednesday, a study in cats

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Apr. 15th, 2021

Random noises from the next room...

Of a 10 month old kitten having an absolute ball.

With what, who knows. But Mayhem is definitely enjoying himself. Mischief is in the office with me, up in a window, cat tv watching.

I should really investigate...



Ah, he found a rattle ball and was chasing it under the table. Heh.

Mayhem is all about Mark. He loves to curl up next to him on the daybed and just sleep. He's not so in to me. Mischief is all about greeting you at the door, then content to just be in the room with you. She'll also sleep on your head or shoulder and chest for about 5 minutes, if you lay on the daybed, purring madly. She's very people oriented.

Leo wants nothing more than to sniff the hell out of them. But Mayhem still throws a fit when Leo is too close- as in on the other side of a screen door or the baby gate. Mischief, on the other hand, sniffs noses with Leo, then tries to rub all over his face. Again, through the baby gates. No, still not letting them be in a room together quite yet. Too soon.

They've met Morrigan, who wants nothing to do with them, because they hiss at her. So we keep areas just for her, even when the duo are allowed to roam the rest of the house while Leo is either outside or in his kennel eating (bedroom, upstairs).

It's not been quite a week, but they both have opened up a lot, regardless. They don't want to be cooped up, they want to explore. He plays and plays and plays, then crashes hard, like a typical 10 month old kitten. She actually had the zoomies today, racing from kitchen through the office into the library and back again. There's flashes of the kitten she may never have gotten to be when she spontaneously randomly plays.

Got them some calming treats to help with Leo and Morrigan. They won't eat them. (Of course.) Got Mayhem some hairball treats because he has medium to long fur, especially on his tail. He won't eat them. I even crumbled one over their food- he tried to bury it. Guess they don't like salmon right now.

Bought the three of them a new cat tree. Tonight we'll put it together and set it in place. Plenty of space for each to have a perch , so hopefully they take to it.

They're really not going to like me when I do their flea treatment tonight. All of them.

Now if we could just get Leo to stop barking at Mayhem when he hisses at him...


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Apr. 14th, 2021

Wordless Wednesday- Mayhem is a water fiend, Mischief is not impressed

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Apr. 12th, 2021

A little Mischief and a little Mayhem...

Thanks, Caena and Miss Sassy.



Mischief

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Mayhem

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Ninja escape artists. She's approx 1 yr, he's approx 10 months. They want to be out and about, not stuck in one room. So they find ways to escape. A lot. We doubled the baby gates, they were climbing and jumping one. Had to completely close the other door, couldn't even leave it cracked for Morrigan to sniff noses with them, they squeezed through.

Leo actually whines to let me know when one has escaped.

Sorry kittens, but it's only been 3 days, you can wait to have another room opened up to you.

They have Mark wrapped around their paws. Which is good, as he picked them out at the local shelter's adoption event. Heh.



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Apr. 2nd, 2021

Apparently 2021 told 2020 to hold its drink of choice...

My 2nd oldest niece lost her Siamese kitteh, Mai, today.

I just can't with people anymore.

People I know keep posting photos of their Covid-19 vaccination cards. With their full names and full bithdate showing. Hello, identity thieves? Have free personal information!

I was called a troll this week for pointing out the inherant food privelege and classim in the 'these 10 companies own the majority of all the brands you buy, so boycott all of them!' meme.

And told since I was 'wallowing in privelege', I didn't have the right to point it out in said meme, on a different post that was made to complain about people pointing out exactly the same things I did. From someone who hadn't even seen the original post.

Today, people are saying that copyright/IP theft is 'a-ok if it's a giant corporation! They'll never even notice!"

Copyright law doesn't care how big the company is. You still won't be able to afford the fines when you get caught. Because eventually, you will get caught.

Add in the claims that George Floyd died of a drug overdose, not the blood flow being cut off by a knee on his throat for over 9 minutes, and well, I'm just over it all.

The internet is a damn dumpster fire.


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Mar. 29th, 2021

It's Monday, right? That means scammers are busy...

So I got to have some fun with one today.

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Protip- You don't get to use the name of a good friend, not ask after my pets and expect me not to catch it. 1-866 is meaningless, the rest, well, that's just funny. (Please don't ruin the joke.)

Bad scammer, no cookies for you.


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Mar. 26th, 2021

"There's an unceasing wind that blows through this night...

...And there's dust in my eyes, that blinds my sight..."

Caena was Mark's heart dog.

Adorableness Incarnate


He's not dealing with her loss very well. And having had Dante as my heart dog, I know how he feels.

She would chew on sticks, and we indulged her by letting her bring them inside to do so. She'd literally make *mulch* out of them. We called it 'making mulch'.

So Tuesday, I picked up every piece of the final stick she chewed on, earlier last week, before she crashed so drastically, and made up a couple tiny bags of it, one for him, one for me and some in the bag of her fur.

I gave him one and he asked for some of her fur to be put in it, so I added some.

He now carries that little bag in his pocket and says it's helping.

Yesterday, we got the Chewy order that contained the picture frame I found that'll hold a photo of her and her collar. He saw it laying on the shelf, waiting for this weekend to be put together, and immediately choked up. He'd forgotten we were getting it yesterday.

I promised him it does get easier. I still miss her a whole hell of a lot, particularly in the mornings, or when we come home and she's not waiting just inside the door, but not near as much as he does.

*He* picked her, she was his, from the start. He's not a dog person, but she made him one. He was her person, and she was his dog.

...And silence that speaks so much louder than words
Of promises broken...



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Mar. 23rd, 2021

When a house is not home...

Sleep is extremely elusive right now. Has been for days.

I hate this.

I hate how *empty* the house feels now.

You don't realize how big of a presence a pet has until they're gone.

This is a different feeling of loss than I felt when I lost Dante. Caena had a different presence.

And that presence filled this house in so many ways.

We miss her so much right now. We're not ok, but we're ok *enough*, for right now.



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Mar. 10th, 2021

Wordless Wednesday thinks these very real photos look fake, but aren't

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Mar. 8th, 2021

Kitchen progress...

So, we finished priming the rest of the kitchen with Kilz yesterday and got about half of the room painted with 2 coats of Valspar Ultra Semi-Gloss in Ghost Ship.

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I also scraped the ceiling where the paint and plaster had cracked, so it could be repatched before priming and painting (the trim, doors and ceiling will be high gloss white). The indoor unit sits upstairs in about that area, and at some past point, the condesation pump had overflowed, resulting in the damage on the ceiling below. There's the original masonboard, then a thin layer of plaster, and gods only know how many layers of paint.

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This is a good photo of the primed wall, the original color we're changing from and the new color. The next project is to replace all outlets with GFC outlets and new cover plates.

I couldn't get a good count on how many, even where I scraped the cracked paint on the pantry door frame. There's at least 6. Yeah. And no, the walls in here are so not smooth. They're plaster with who knows how many layers of paint. Adds character, I think.

So, today, I worked on finishing the main color. The Trim and such won't take too long.

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The spice rack will be gloss white. The risers will be repainted gloss white too and nonslip carpet will be put on each tread going upstairs.

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This space by the stove is currently drying , and still needs it's second coat. Then the main color is done. We plan to prime the cabinets and the uppers will be gloss white, the bottoms and the island will be 'Stained Glass Blue', which is as close to Tardis blue as we've found. Hardware as far as handles and knobs will be switched out to match the new server and buffet. Also plan to get new runner rugs to replace the ones that came with the house.

After that, all that'll be left is the floor.

We also got our tax refunds already, so were able to update the microwave cart- nothing wrong with it, it's going to my brother, but we wanted something that better fits us - and the existing black buffet will be moved to the back porch to be used as a potting bench and storage.

This is replacing the microwave cart and this is replacing the buffet. They're actually ready to be picked up, but we'll get them on Sat, as that's when we'll have time.

We also finally decided on a new couch, which we'd been planning and saving for, for a couple years now. That'll be here about July. Yes, really. 16-18 weeks before we get our new couch, and I cannot wait. (The pandemic pushed furniture sales through the roof everywhere and lead times are ridiculous right now. Everyone being home made them all realize they needed new furniture I guess.)

So. That's my weekend and week, how's yours going?


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Feb. 5th, 2021

In between project stuff..,

So I'm between weaving projects right now, and needed to finish the quilt top, so I could potentially have it finished by March.

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That means, catching up on piling up sewing projects.

Two pairs of flannel pj bottoms needed seams fixed. Done.

Still haven't washed, blocked and cut out the border for the next square in the baby quilt for Jace though. That might happen today.

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The big project was the last 3 rows for the quilt top. I pieced them together, and sewed the 3 rows to each other. So far, so good, I was relatively happy with it.


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After a final seam, the quilt top was done except for ironing that last seam open. Yeah, this will work. Heh. Not bad for only have 5 pins with which to pin the pieces with. (Thanks, house, I'd really like my box of quilting pins back now please.)

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Even Morrigan approved.

It's not quite a square, not a rectangle. Not as long as I expected the finished piece to be. Still debating tweaking the bottom and adding a row of white. But , to *this point*, it's finished. I can see what the end result will be and I'm fairly happy with it.

This afternoon, I'll have to hang it and get a full shot of it.

But first, I need to order batting and backing fabric.



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Feb. 1st, 2021

The Harlem Hellfighters, part one

The Harlem Hellfighters, WWI, part one



The 369th Infantry Regiment of the 15th New York Army National Guard was formed, in part, due to the work of Emmett Jay Scott, long time secretary of Booker T. Washington, who was appointed Special Assistant to Newton D. Baker, the Secretary of War & the efforts of the 10th Calvery in Mexico, in 1913.

Prior to 1917, many Black men were turned away from military service. After the passing of the Selective Service Act of 1917, they seized the opportunity to signup, in the hopes of using it as a chance to change racial discrimination & how they were viewed by fellow white compatriots throughout the US.

Along with the 370th Infantry Regiment, they are known for being the first African-American regiments to serve with the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in WWI.

But how they got there is a long, hard earned story.

Originally, they were nicknamed the 'Black Rattlers'. The French nicknamed them the 'Men of Bronze' (Hommes de Guerre), & the Germans called them 'Hell-fighters' (Hollenkompfer), a name that stuck.

The 369th was called up to federal service, July 25, 1917, at Camp Whitman, NY, where they received formal military training. They were then called to active duty & split into 3 battalions, spread throughout New York, to defend rail lines, construction sites & other camps.

Oct of 1917, the Regiment was sent to Camp Wadsworth in South Carolina, for combat training based on the French frontlines. There, they faced severe discrimination, including an incident where 2 tried to buy a newspaper & were denied service.

Members of the 27th Division, an all white unit, came to their defense, saying if shop owners would not serve their Black compatriots, they could close up & leave.

But that was the exception, not the rule, & racial discrimination was rampant among other all white units, many of whom refused to serve alongside the 369th.

In April of 1918, the 369th was assigned to the French Army for the duration of US participation in WWI. There, they were treated like any other French unit. The Germans, however, tried propaganda to turn them against the Allied Forces, claiming Germany had never done anything to Blacks. Needless to say, it didn't work.

While still in the US, they experienced severe racial discrimination from other US units, to the point that the French Colonel J.L.A. Linard, of AEF headquarters was persuaded to write a discriminatory pamplet to distribute among French soldiers, titled 'Secret Information Concerning Black American Troops', making such claims of alleged inferior nature & racial tendencies of African-Americans.

May of 1918, they were attached to the French 16th Battalion & sent to the frontlines. There, they served continuously, until July 3rd, before returning to combat at the Battle of the Marne.

After that battle, they were then assigned to the 161st Division to participate in the Allied counterattack.

One tour for the 369th lasted 6 months, the longest of any American unit in WWI.

Sept 25, 1918, with the French 4th Army, they went on the offensive at Meuse-Argonne. There they sustained heavy losses, but managed to capture the important village of Sechault. At one point, they had pushed so hard & so fast, they left the French units behind & risked being cut off by the Germans. Hence, the name 'Hell-Fighters'.

By October, they were reassigned to the quieter village of Vosges, and remained there until Armistace Day, Nov 11, 1918. Nov 25th, they made their last advance & on Nov 26th, reached the banks of the River Rhine, becoming the first Allied unit to do so.

Dec 12, 1918, they were relieved of assignment & sent home, becoming the first unit to return. The unit was 'demobilized' Feb 28, 1919, at Camp Upton, NY.

The 369th became the first American unit to march up Fifth Avenue of New York City to their Armory in Harlem, from the Washington Square Park Arch.

Among the numerous honors the 369th received, they count 1 Medal of Honor, & numerous Distinguished Service Crosses, a unit citation- pinned to their colors, along with the first French 'Croix de Guerre' awarded an American, Pvt Henry Johnson, totaling 170 'Croix de Guerre' awarded among the entire unit, on Dec 13, 1918.


Officially, the 369th was under fire for a total of 191 days, never lost a foot of gained ground, never had any men taken prisoner of war- though they did have 2 captured who were recovered within days- and only once failed to fulfill an objective, due to French failures.

By the end of WWI, they had been at The Champagne- Marne, Meuse, Argonne, Champagne 1918, Alsace 1918- where they lost 1500 men, the highest casualty loss of any US regiment at the time. They also fought in the Battle of Belleau Wood and at Chateau-Thierry.

They went on to serve just as honorably in WWII, reorganized as the 369th Anti-aircraft Artillery Regiment.

In 1933, the 369th Regiment Armory was created to honor the unit for their service. The Armory stands at 142nd & Fifth Avenue in the heart of Harlem. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994 and listed as a City Landmark in 1985.

In 201,7 the documentary movie was released, titled 'The Harlem Hellfighters Great War'.

Today, the 369th is known as the 369th Sustainment Brigade.

Part two- The 369th Harlem Hellfighters Military Band.