The World’s REAL Heroes

Last week, I met a man named Chet Elliot who served in World War II!

He joined the military when he was nineteen years old and chose to serve in the Army instead of the Navy or Marines.  He was a foot soldier and he worked on and in half tracks.  He also served in Germany, France, England, Scotland, and more, but I didn’t catch them all.


This is a half track.

One of his crazy encounters during the war was when he was when he was guarding the half tracks and a German tank rolled in.  At first he thought it was an allied tank, until it started blowing up their equipment!  The tank saw him, but chose not to shoot.  That experience would later save three German soldiers.


The reason his experience would save three soldiers is because during the war, he captured three German soldiers.  He could have killed them, but he thought about his tank encounter and instead, turned them over to the U.S. Army to be taken as prisoners of war.  The good thing is, the war was over soon after that, so they weren’t in prison very long.

He was injured extremely bad when a grenade exploded on his shoulder.  He was afraid his girlfriend wouldn’t  like him anymore, but now they’ve been married for seventy years!  They were married July 12th, 1946.

P.S. Real heroes don’t wear capes, they wear dog tags.

I SURVIVED! The Voyage on the Student Driver

Based off of a true story… wait, it is a true story.

1:00 P.M. Friday, January 27….

I sat down in the boat not suspecting anything of the trip.  As they raised the sails, I went down into the cabin to check things out.  The rest of the kids were going on about how they thought a storage compartment was a toilet.  John and Ian were doing their usual….. talking about why they didn’t get this Nerf gun or why they’re going to get that one.  I was just hanging out, sitting next to the beds which Kate and Sarah were inexplicably examining.  I then decided to go up to the deck.

Promptly, the boat pulled out from the dock.  The instructors on the boat were arguing about something, although through all the yelling -and some of my nervousness- I didn’t understand any of it.  Soon enough, the ‘Student Driver’ was on its way (the boat was named that because it drove students).  It wasn’t swaying that much until we were going really fast.  Tack, after tack, the boat felt like it was going over.  When I went to the cabin, it felt a lot better.  Somehow, seeing the water through the window facing upward was relaxing.

There was a girl sitting on the low side of the boat about fifteen years old who had a tear running down her face.  Due to my nervousness, I did not judge.  Every time the boat would lean, she clutched a pole running through the middle of the boat.  I can, however, judge for not switching sides.  Anyway, after about an hour of that madness, we were out of the harbor.  I did not approve of that at all.  Obviously, the instructor wouldn’t stop the entire trip because of one kid’s opinion.

As we went out, we saw sea lions basking on a buoy.  That was the least scary part of the trip.  A few more minutes that felt like hours later, we had turned around and were heading home.  Finally, we were back in the harbor.  I was sitting in the cabin talking to my friends when BAM!!!!!!!!!!!  Suddenly, we all felt a worrying and abrupt jerk that had immediately brought us to a stop.

Worriedly, I asked the instructors what happened.  We had run aground, but one of the instructors reassured me because he said it would take a tank shell (bullet) to break the keel.  The reason that was comforting is because the only way to capsize the boat was to break the keel.

Minutes later, Orange County Harbor Patrol showed up.  We were loaded onto the patrol boat while a whaler (a type of small motor boat) pulled our sail boat out of the mud under the water.  Meanwhile, one of the instructors was actually yelling at the officer for not marking the shallow water.

Everything from there was calm because they tied the whaler to the side of the boat to pull it back to the docks.  We did run the boat through a flock of seagulls on the way back though.

The End.


My Story of the Galactic Empire Inspired by Jots By John: part four

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

“Tell me of the turnout of the battle, Lord Vader,” the Emperor requested.

“Yes, my master,” replied Vader,”the rebels….they escaped.”

“I see,” said the Emperor.”So be it, we can still destroy these rebels.  Have you any new information on our stolen lambda shuttle?”

“No.  We haven’t located it yet,” Vader said back. “I am sensing  something.  A presence.”

“Perhaps it is a Jedi,” the Emperor commented.

“Yes.  I will go down to Endor.  It may be Skywalker,” told Darth Vader.

Darth Vader walked down to one of the hangars where his shuttle (the one that hadn’t been stolen) was docked.

“Summon the pilot,” Vader commanded.

“Yes, Lord Vader,” replied an imperial officer.

About twenty-five minutes later, the shuttle had touched down on a landing pad on Endor, where he was then escorted by an AT-AT walker to another imperial base.  There, to his surprise, he met Luke Skywalker, who had turned himself in.


(In the movie ‘The Return of the Jedi’)


Endor…………………………….a forest covered moon that inhabits life called ewoks.

My Story of the Galactic Empire Inspired by Jots By John part three

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

“Imperial walkers spotted, scramble snow speeders!  I repeat, imperial walkers spotted, scramble snow speeders!  To battle stations!”  Alarms rang out as the rebels were manning their battle stations,  hoping to be able to suppress the incoming walkers set on their destruction.

“We are approaching the rebel base.  We will be there shortly,” said General Veers through a radio in an AT-AT.

“Good, make sure these rebel scum pay!” Darth Vader replied.

“They appear to have a new sort of air ship.  It may be designed specifically for our walkers,” Veers noted.

“Make sure the AT-STs wipe them out,” Vader demanded.

T-47 snow speeders were zooming past ground troops heading straight for the AT-ATs.  Ten speeders came rushing towards the five walkers.

“Use your tow cables. That armor is too strong for blasters,” said a rebel officer talking to a pilot through a speaker.

“Copy that, I’m going in!” replied the pilot.

The T-47  took four laps around the walker and tripped up the AT-AT.  With four walkers left, not including AT-STs, the war raged on.

“Remember, your goal is to take down the power generator so that the transport ships cannot get off world,” Vader reminded.

“Yes, lord Vader,” Veers replied.

T-47s were buzzing around the walkers like bees with only four walkers left.  Five out of the eight remaining speeders had a miscommunication and three crashed because of it.

“Blast it!  We’ve lost three more speeders!” said the rebel officer in frustration. “We can’t afford to lose any more!”

The remaining speeders were tripping walkers up rapidly and Veers was growing more and more nervous.

“General, your walkers are decreasing. You only have two left,” said Vader.

“Don’t remind me,” replied Veers nervously.

One of the walkers went down making Veers’ AT-AT the last one standing.  As a T-47 swung around for the kill, the AT-AT pilot happened to shoot it down.  Little did they know, it was Luke Skywalker.  He jumped out of the T-47, shot his grappling hook up into the underside of the walker.  He then cut a hole in the bottom of the walker, threw a grenade into it, then hopped down and watched the AT-AT go down in flames and Veers along with it.

“The transport ships are escaping!” Vader said, frustrated.”And, we have lost our general!  I need to find a new one.  The Emperor will not be pleased with this.”


My story of the Galactic Empire Inspired by Jots By John: part two

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

“Where are those rebels!?” said Darth Vader, slamming his fist on a control panel.

“We are searching all around the galaxy for where they’re hiding, Lord Vader”  General Veers Replied.

“Where have you searched?”  Asked Vader.

“Everywhere.  Well, everywhere except for Hoth”  said General Veers.

“Then that’s where they are, you block head!”  Darth Vader said back.

“Yes, Lord Vader, we’ll send probes in immediately to search for rebel activity”  The General assured.

Not even two minutes later, six probe droids dropped out from under a star destroyer orbiting Hoth.  The droids headed straight for the frigid ice planet.

One of the droids landed near Han Solo, who was on a scout run with Chewbacca.

Back on the star destroyer,  General Veers was pacing the floor of the control room awaiting a status report,

“We’ve found rebels, sir” said a probe droid operator.

“How many?”  replied General Veers

“Two, one is very…uh…tall, sir” The operator said back.

“It must be that roaring teddy bear they call a wookie”  the General jeered.

Just then, Veers noticed the droid was taking damage.

“Our droid is taking hits!  Self destruct the probe before it’s taken down!  It holds to much information!”  The General snapped.

The operator immediately disintegrated the droid and the information along with it.

“That was too close!” General Veers said, extremely relieved,”But, now we know where the rebels are hiding out”

Veers went straight to hangar 34.  There, Darth Vader was supervising the construction of his new TIE advanced fighter, after his first one was destroyed by the Millennium Falcon.  “Have you any new information, General?” asked Darth Vader.

“Yes, Lord Vader.” Veers replied, “We’ve found the wookie, which means Solo must me near by.”

“Now it is assured.  The rebels are on Hoth!”  Vader said in excitement.

“Since the Death Star is still under construction, we will send in our walkers.” Veers said

“We will make these rebel scum pay!”  Vader vowed.


 See the other side of the story on Jots By John.

My Story of the Galactic Empire Inspired by Jots By John: part one

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

An imperial TIE fighter squadron was on a scout run, when they spotted an X-wing flying back to Yavin 4.  Fortunately for them, none of the fighters fired, so they then found out the exact location of the rebel base.  When they got back to their star destroyer, the fighter squadron leader told them of their findings, and the leader was promoted to officer.

After the battle of Yavin, when the first DEATH STAR had been destroyed, the Empire started to develop a new weapon.  Surprisingly, it was NOT the second DEATH STAR!

Out in the the foggy jungles of Yavin 4, twenty-five stormtroopers, twenty-five shoretroopers, eight AT-ST walkers, and four AT-ATs were camped, waiting for orders to ambush the rebel base!  It was night time when they finally got clearance to attack.  The rebels, unaware of the impending attack, were slow to their battle stations, which gave the Empire a tremendous head start.  While the battle raged on, the TIE bombers were starting to trickle in as they were being escorted by TIE fighters and interceptors.  Eventually, the imperials had destroyed their defenses, and took the base.

The rebels, after being defeated, set up a temporary outpost on Tatooine until they had enough resources to counterattack the imperials.  About a month later, the rebels attacked the imperials in an attempt to reclaim their base on Yavin 4.  After a long while, the imperials were overwhelmed by the vast number of troops the rebels had sent in to defeat the imperials.

After the battle, Darth Vader decided to send in imperial scouts to spy on the rebel base.  It was abandoned!  So, the scout team went back to the main star destroyer and told Vader about their discovery.  Darth Vader was outraged and the Empire began an immediate search for the rebels!


See the rebel’s side of the story at Jots By John


AT-AT……………………………………………….All Terrain-Armored Transport

AT-ST…………………………………………………….All Terrain-Scout Transport

Yavin 4…………………Foggy, jungle covered moon (the fourth moon of Yavin)

Tatooine………………………………………Desert planet in the Tatooine system

TIE fighter………………………………………………..The basic imperial starship

TIE interceptor………………Imperial starship used to intercept rebel fighters

TIE bomber…………………………………………………………….Imperial bomber

Apples to Apples


We went to the Apple Store today and made movies about anything we could think up. Walking into the store, I thought it was pretty odd that we were having our field trip there.  But when we got into the briefing room, I saw the view of the ocean and Catalina just beyond the parking lot and a bunch of iPads and computers they let us use to play games.  I played on one of them.

The real fun began when the instructor let me make my video on Photo Booth.  Since I couldn’t load the video to this page, here is an example of the Photo Booth effects.

Once I had the video clips recorded, we used iMovie to edit it and add in special effects.  My friends played a big part in my movie called “BREAKING NEWS: My Friends Are Weirdos!” We all had a good laugh when we watched each other’s videos.  My favorite was the one called “The Baby”.