Posted by: SJS | April 3, 2022

A profound salute!

As a column of Ukrainian soldiers rolls toward the front lines to confront the barbaric, inhuman invaders who are attempting to annihilate their country, they are greeted by two children whose rapt attention and wordless admiration evokes broad smiles and spontaneous gestures of gratitude from the troops.

In the faces of those courageous Ukrainian fighters, I can see the face of my father, Red Stahley, and his fellow PT sailors who never hesitated to jump into their boats on a moment’s notice to head out on missions that were fraught with unknown dangers against larger and better armed adversaries. There was never one minute of doubt about what they needed to do–and they did it over and over and over again. Like the determined, unstoppable Ukranian soldiers, the PT crews knew what they were fighting for and they never forgot it for a minute.

And like the brave fighters in Ukraine, the PT crews never saw themselves as playing defense–it was offense all the way. You take the battle to your enemy and you fight like hell. There were no pulled punches. Like the Ukrainians, the PT sailors were superb counterpunchers.

In the stance of that little boy in the photo, saluting his fellow Ukrainians, I see myself as a child–so proud to wear my father’s white Navy cap and so proud to remember what he did on behalf of our country. With his toy gun slung across his back, it is clear that the boy’s spirit is with those soldiers who are more than ready to take on whatever pathetic Russians might be in their path ahead.

The armed forces, the political leaders, and the noble people of Ukraine have already won this horrific war and they will see it through to the end. They are paying an enormous cost and they deserve every bit of help we can give them. Russia has already lost this war. The horrors and death and loss they are visiting on Ukraine will rebound on them one thousand times over.

Glory to Ukraine!


  1. This photograph should win a Pulitzer Prize.

  2. Incredible Photo!

  3. With you, for Ukraine, all the way. Glory to Ukraine!

  4. Thank you Steve! Powerful. Motivating. Uplifting. Hope-filled! Such nice reflections on your dad and you too !

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