I was asked to write a short story about my ascent from poverty that would be a part of a book written by several that had come from poverty to make their way in the world, this is my story.

First Sergeant at 169th SIG CO in Korea contributed by the author

It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up. — George Herman “Babe” Ruth

I was asked to write a short story about my ascent from poverty that would be a part of a book written by several that had come from poverty to make their way in the world, this is my story.

No matter what misery life hands you, handle it! Never give up, for you never know what lies around the corner.

I was born in a one-room, converted garage in West Old Town, Maine. …


I never felt safer or more loved than in my Nana’s kitchen. Also, I never went hungry.

Image by Digna Cassens from Pixabay

The Rules Are Simple:

When you accept the challenge, you must tag who you received it from and add/tag others. I received the challenge from Ana Ryan. Look for my tags at the end. Copy the subtitles and share your own experiences. It’s that easy, and kind of fun!

We tend to put a monetary “value” on everything or use money as a yardstick. I remember my first article for Yahoo contributor paid $14. You would have thought I wrote a Pulitzer.

The amount didn’t matter. Yahoo also paid a per view stipend, so it could have meant a residual income, but they dropped the program a few months later.

I wrote for Textbroker at around $3 to $5 per article. Longer articles meant more money! On a typical day, I made $25 or $30, though I had rare days when I made over $200.

I have had two…


The Global War on Terrorism has enlightened the world to the problem of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but it is not just a combat Veterans’ disorder.

Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels

As a First Sergeant in the US Army with 28 years of service, I witnessed many PTSD incidents both diagnosed and suspected.

Leaders at all levels, military and civilian, should avoid making diagnoses about PTSD without consulting medical personnel. Even experienced medical personnel find it challenging to diagnose accurately.

I remember one such first-line supervisor I had to correct because he told me one of his Soldiers was faking PTSD to get out of work. He said, “He’s full of shit, First Sergeant, he probably never even saw combat.”

He was shocked to learn that not all PTSD is combat-related…


If you’re thinking you won’t like it because you don’t like manga, put that out of your mind. This is excellent!

Alice in Borderland Collage Created by the Author

NOTE: I guess we should get the warnings out of the way. If you have a weak heart, you should probably choose another series. Likewise, there are some scenes with sexual overtones, though no full nudity. However, it is for mature audiences as there is plenty of blood and violence.

AiB is a Japanese manga series illustrated and written by Haro Aso. The series was brought to Netflix in live-action.

In the eight, roughly 42-minute episodes, near Tokyo, three high school kids bored with life are transported to an alternate universe (best guess by the participants).

The three are recklessly…


I see many people ask how to get a picture of a personality or politician without infringing on copyright laws or relying on “fair use” as a legal exception.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

In some cases, fair use of an online image could be legal, but do you know how that works?

Many try to explain this on YouTube and many other forums. Still, unless you have the money to fight a court claim, you probably should use a “free” image from Freepik, Rawpixel, Canva (which also has a great Infographic tool), or better yet, pay for one. Depositphotos has a really good deal starting at $0.22 per photo.

Someone probably holds exclusive rights to that photo, especially those used by newspapers or magazines that pay the photographer. Therefore, be careful when you…


I studied journalism in college at the University of Maryland while I was in the US Army. I started in 1989, with primarily nights and weekend courses, and graduated in 2000, on the Dean’s List with a 3.86 GPA.

Top Dalton & The Write Results, LLC

It was a long journey, interrupted several times for field exercises and Drill Sergeant duty. I was a Drill Sergeant for three years.

You do not have time for anything else as a Drill Sergeant. My wife actually left me because she didn’t understand why I spent so much time working when my neighbor, who was in the Army too, came home at 5:30 pm every day. Unfortunately, she came back later.

Well, it was fortunate for my kids. Anyone in the Army should not have to raise kids on their own, though I saw many of my sisters-in-arms do…


Who says Millennials even like avocado toast? It’s a generalization. Don’t you hate abstract notions and half-truths that supposedly define who we are just because we were born in a specific generation?

Ripe Avocados. Marco Verch Professional Photographer — Flickr.

It’s like “OK Boomer,” those born between ’46 and ’65 who have “mortgaged the future, or Millennials who must like avocado toast and “participation trophies.” Actually, everything about categorizing people by the generation of their birth is bogus, and it’s discrimination. Give it a rest!

While you’re resting, grab a cup of coffee and some avocado toast regardless of your generation of birth.

BTW, is it avocados or avocadoes? The California Avocado Association, according to an article, What’s in a Name? …


Whether it’s you isolated in a different state or country during the pandemic, or this is a gift for a Maine Servicemember in a foreign land, a gift of Maine products are hidden gems in a box.

An American Soldier in Afghanistan gets a Box of Maine from home. Used by permission from Box of Maine.

About Box of Maine

Daniel Finnemore is the owner of this local, small family business that has been in operation since 2015.

His parents moved here from Santa Monica, CA, before he was born. He says, “Growing up here we attended Maine’s agricultural fairs, festivals, camped at state parks, cooked red hot dogs on sticks over campfires, made many fluffernutter sandwiches, stopped by the streams to pick fiddleheads, bought fresh blueberry pies off the side of the road, went hiking, fishing and so much more.”

Ayuh, I’ve done a lot of those things myself.

He describes the core of Box of Maine as “…an…


San Francisco, CA could also be called “Food Truck City,” with close to 200 food trucks. Everyone knows that San Fran is obsessed with culinary goodness, but it’s no longer a novelty to see a line of food trucks in SF.

San Francisco, CA, Off the Grid food truck round-up. Todd Lappin — Flickr

It seems food trucks are popping up everywhere across the country. Food trucks were already a hot item before the pandemic. However, the pandemic caused many restaurants to close, either temporarily or permanently.

Popular San Francisco Food Truck Company Señor Sisig Opens Restaurant in the Mission District

KPIX, San Francisco uploaded this video to YouTube.

Many of those brick-and-mortar restaurants opened food trucks to continue serving their meals to the masses. Some of those owned their restaurants, while some that had rented buildings had to give up. Others transformed their business by cooking at the restaurant, filling orders online, cash and carry, and fulfilled orders for food truck operators.

Food trucks are big business

Even White Castle, Starbucks…

Stephen Dalton

Stephen Dalton is a retired US Army First Sergeant with a degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. Top Writer in VR, Short Story, and Creativity!

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