I grew up with science fiction and the very real space program. I watched the first Mercury Missions and the Gemini Missions with their space walks and two man capsules. I was also privileged to live in a time to see all of the Apollo missions and man’s first steps on the Moon. Once those were concluded, I’ve followed the Shuttle Program, and the first real “Enterprise” with her glide tests. Then I watched the rest of our space missions to include the horrible disasters. At the same time, I grew up on Star Trek (the original, and almost every iteration of it since the 1960s), Dune, and even Star Wars. For me the preference has always been for the plausible and the hard science. This I guess makes me technically a “Trekkie”. So, imagine the sorrow I felt last week when we lost one of our REAL pioneers in space, the legendary Scott Carpenter, the fourth U.S. astronaut to fly in space as part of the Mercury Project and a veteran of the Korean War. He passed away on October 10, 2013, and will be sorely missed by this old grunt. God speed, Commander Malcolm Scott Carpenter, USN (Ret.). ~ Michael S. Pauley
Michael S. Pauley is a Navy brat and an old soldier who served in all three components of the United States Army. Living in Lexington, South Carolina, Michael is now a practicing attorney and member of the United States Naval Institute and the American Legion, Post 154, Tybee Island, Georgia.