Intermission (6) – The Janitor Who Won the Medal of Honor

Pacific Paratrooper

William J. Crawford William J. Crawford

During every intermission I include at least one story from the European Theater.  This following article showed me once again the honor and humility that was common to the Greatest Generation.

Perhaps it was the way he carried himself in an unassuming and humble manner, but day after day hundreds of Air Force Academy cadets would pass this janitor in the hall oblivious to the greatness that was among them.

In the mid-1970s, William Crawford might spend one day sweeping the halls and another cleaning the bathrooms, but it was a day approximately 30 years prior that would create for him a special place in the history of war. In 1943 in Italy, the only thing  Private William Crawford was cleaning out was German machine gun nest and bunkers.

William Crawford – Medal of Honor recipient

Under heavy fire and at great risk to himself, his gallantry…

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Twenty Year Plan

ashlandrail

Driverless trafficThe DRPT (Department of Rail and Public Transportation) uses railroad modeling software to forecast the effect of changes to the performance of the trains. While such software is useful, and probably reasonably valid, for thinking through short-term changes, it cannot predict what is going to happen twenty years from now. Yet this is what they are attempting to do. The assume that,

 The future is a linear continuation of the present

 This assumption is particularly problematic given the profound changes that are currently taking place in the transportation industry. These include:

  • Driverless trucks that will upend the road transportation business.
  • Driverless trains.
  • Mag-lev trains in vacuum tunnels (hyperloop).
  • Great improvements to train management with the use of modern scheduling software and signaling systems.
  • Uber-like systems for both freight and passengers.

I have drafted a letter to the DRPT challenging their way of planning and urging them to include…

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