I’ve told a few tales about our first Scottish Terrier and our First Mutt. But growing up I had lots of pets. Some sanctioned, many not so much. In Homestead AFB, a boys paradise, there were lizards, toads, frogs, snakes (STRICTLY VERBOTEN, at least in the house) and eventually the huge Bufo Marinais, very toxic and not any fun. My mother laid down the law, no reptiles in the house, of course, always the hair-splitter, I reasoned that a toad was an amphibian and so exempt from that dire edict. Little did I (and the toad) know. I placed my favorite toad in a basket and brought it inside. Now this was pre-Scotty days. Thinking proactively, or believing myself to be in any case, I placed a paper plate over the basket to secure Mr Toad in his new house.

Now my mom until very late in her life took to wandering the halls checking on everyone and thing (a practice I lamented in my teens more than once). About 2:00 AM the entire house, and quite possibly the entire Island of Cuba as well was treated to a ear splitting, glass shattering psyche warping scream. It seems that 1) Mr Toad decided to stretch his legs. 2) It seems that my Mom and Mr Toad met in the dark hallway. 3) It seemed that Mr Toad did not survive the meeting, being difficult to live as a toad while being forced up through my dear clear-lunged mother’s five toes. 4) It came to pass that there were almost two other causalities that night, Mom from a heart attack, and darling, sweet John Paul from one of the few beltings administered. At the time I was pretty hazy as to why I was being punished which was OK, I think Dad was pretty hazy as to why he was punishing me. It took a while, a whole day in fact for mom to get over it. She suffered PTSD  over toad guts and toes for decades

John Paul Jones

Children & War: A Weekend of Reflection

“SHOUT: Sharing Our Truth: An Anthology of Writings by LGBT Veterans and Family Members of the U.S. Military Services”

MAMF Special Projects Writer Caroline LeBlanc is seeking stories for:

SHOUT: Sharing Our Truth: An Anthology of Writings by LGBT Veterans and Family Members of the U.S. Military Services”

This anthology seeks first-hand experiences—good, bad, and in between—as an LGBT veteran or family member, during and/or after military service. Our goal is to create a book that will allow you to tell parts of your story that will also be helpful for others to read—others who live or want to understand the LGBT veteran experience. The last chapter of the book will list resources available to LGBT veterans.

Do not submit any materials previously published in print or online. Identifying information should be included in the body of the email only.

What Genres to Submit:

Fiction: up to 1200 words.

Non-Fiction (memoir, essays, and other non-fiction): up to 1200 words

Poetry: up to 40 lines.

Reviews: up to 1200 words about a movie, book, music, etc. that you think are important for others to know about.

Resources: submit information on resources you have found particularly helpful. (Name, webpage, telephone number, and services)

 You may submit up to 2 pieces in each genre. Each piece must be attached in a separate file. All pieces in a given category must be submitted in the same email. Pieces in separate categories must be submitted in separate emails.

Submissions are accepted between March 20 and June 20, 2016. For more information or for guidelines on how to submit, please visit:

our projects website