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    A Chat with Reggie A United States Navy Veteran.
    By Skyviper,
    A Chat with Reggie: A United States Navy Veteran The USS San Jacinto (CG-56)     A few weeks ago a local news paper, The Daily Citizen, wanted to test out a new feature where someone would interview everyday people and share their stories. I was selected to bring in some samples to see how it would work out for the paper. My first assignment came to me, literally. I was having some cable problems and a technician was sent out. He has some nice tattoos on his arm and I asked if they were related the military. They were not related to the military; but were the names of his kids and a tribute to poker, one of his favorite games.   His name is Reggie and he's a Veteran of the United States Navy, with 5 six month cruises and 1 eight month cruise under his belt. He was on the USS San Jacinto (CG-56) when she made history. The San Jacinto, was among the first US Naval ships allowed inside of Russian waters after a long period of tension between the United States and Russia has been settled. A source here at CombatACE confirmed that the USS San Jacinto and another boat the USS Kaufman, an FFG, did indeed visit Russia in August of 1989.   Reggie says one of the things he'll always remember. The citizens, in the part of Russia he visited with his crew, have never seen an African American, other than on TV. “We got off the boat landing and I can remember we had a translator with every group as were walking down the street.” Reggie said, “These people spotted us because we're in groups of ten and they started running and the translator explained to us what was going on.” The experience Reggie recalled involved curious children touching their skin and hair to see if he and some of his shipmates were real. They even wanted to take pictures with them.   The trip to Russia went well and Reggie's service gave him the opportunity to visit many different countries.“As a kid you hear stories about different places and wonder how it is.” Reggie said “All these places over seas are just like everywhere else. You have your good times you have bad times.” Reggie went on to explain that most of the times what we see in the news is what they want people to see. The opportunities the Navy gave him allowed him to broadened his horizons and better understand different cultures around the world. He got to see first hand how people live their lives. It frustrates him to see how the news reports various events. “Me and guys at my job, the old crew, who aren't there anymore, were all ex military.” said Reggie “We used to try to tell these people that half the things they see on TV is nothing like they said. My parents would call, worried about me, because of the events they heard about on TV, and I would just laugh. When I came home my mother would ask why I was laughing. I would tell her that things weren't as bad as they news was making it seem.”   Reggie was on the job and I did enjoy talking to him, as I do a lot of people. It turns that he too likes talking to veterans especially those from the WW2 era. He admires how well they did their jobs despite the challenges they faced and the equipment they had to work with. I asked Reggie what is a lesson he'd be willing to share, considering all of the time he spent in the Navy. He said “When I first joined I had an older man on the ship who said to me “I'm going to tell you one thing young man 'Always stay true to who you are.' Even though you're going to a lot of places, and will see a lot of things and even when people are going to put you on a pedestal. Stay true to who you are. At first I was thinking that makes to sense. As I got older I got to see what he was talking about... If I had to talk to someone now that was considering to join the Navy. I would tell him to work hard, be smart, and stay true to who you are.”   Sound advice for those willing to enter the service or stay in civilian life. Reggie explained about not letting people talk you into doing something you're not comfortable with. Do not feel compelled to buy into the hype. Stay true to yourself and do your role.     We here at CombatACE want to thank Reggie for taking the time to tell us his story, and for his service in the United States Navy.   We would also like to extend our thanks to the many members here of CombatACE who too have served, or are serving in the United States Armed Forces and the Armed Forces of their countries around the world.   Lastly I would like to thank Typhoid, he too is a veteran of the United Sates Navy, and I invite you to read his interview. He was also the one who confirmed the events of the article. His ship the USS Belknap got a chance to visit Russia as well but they were not with San Jacinto and Kaufman. They were called away to handle a crisis but in December 1989 they were able to visit.       Speaking of crisis, when you read Typhoid's interview you'll learn about another event he was apart of, and how you can use Strike Fighter to revisit that event.     CombatACE Interview with Typhoid

    DCS Weekend News - 19 May
    By MigBuster,
    DCS: Normandy 1944 Map and DCS: World War II Assets Pack – Available on 26 May 2017   We are happy to announce that the DCS: Normandy 1944 Map and DCS: World War II Assets Pack will be available as Early Access downloads on 26 May 2017. On Friday 26 May 2017, the pre-purchase bundle of 20% off the map and assets pack will end. Act now before it’s too late!   Bundle Pack Pre-purchase Check out Frooglesim's first impressions   DCS World War II Aircraft and Combined Arms Sale In preparation for the release of the DCS: Normandy 1944 map, we are offering 30% off on all DCS World War II aircraft and DCS: Combined Arms. This sale starts today at 1500 GMT and will last until 29 May at 0900 GMT. DCS: Spitfire LF Mk.IV DCS: P-51D Mustang DCS: Bf 109 K-4 Kurfürst DCS: Fw 190 D-9 Dora DCS: Combined Arms DCS: Normandy 1944 Map Lottery Winners Congratulations to the three winners of the Normandy Map lottery! Cameron Berk
    Laurent Resende
    Igor Lyakhovich   We very much hope you enjoy your time over Normandy. We will send a private message to your Facebook pages with your keys following the release on 26 May 2017.         Sincerely,
    The Eagle Dynamics SA Team

    Developer Interview: Simple Planes
    By Skyviper,
      Developer Interview with Andrew Garrison, Creator of Simple Planes     Over the years there have been many great flight simulators that brought us to various worlds to fly in and fight in. Today it is the pleasure of CombatACE to feature this interview with Andrew Garrison, the creator of a very neat flight sim called Simple Airplanes. Which isn't as simple as it sounds. For those who aren't familiar with the game; Simple Planes allows you to build and then fly your creation. There are thousands of mods that players can use, in case they're aren't up to building their own aircraft. Over the years there have been many interesting aircraft that took to the virtual skies of Simple Planes. Some of the have been based on actual aircraft or fictional aircraft from various anime series. Yet there are still a few aircraft that are the creations of people's wild imaginations. Some fly and some don't. It's as simple as that no pun intended. CombatACE reached out to Andrew Garrison, the developer of Simple Planes, and kindly took some time to do this interview with us.    Thank you Mr. Garrison for taking the time to do this interview with us. To get started, your bio states how you bought a book about game development and taught yourself how to create games. What motivated you to create some of your earlier work and continue with teaching yourself how to make games? My first experience with programming was when my computer lab instructor showed us the simplest possible program you could write. I still remember it: 10 x = x + 1 20 print x 30 goto 10   After seeing him type that in on an Apple II and then run the program, for some reason I thought that was amazing. I had no idea programming was so accessible. After that I started getting books and learning on my own. I started making text based adventures, and soon started making graphical games. Soon after getting started with programming, I realized that I actually enjoyed programming games more than I enjoyed playing games. I was hooked.  

    You shared on Youtube how Scorn is the second game you ever wrote. What was the first game, and how did it compare to Scorn? The first game was called Red Pulse and it was very inspired by space invaders. The art in that screenshot is actually by another random person on the internet. The original version with my artwork looked terrible, but someone downloaded it from my Geocities website and liked it well enough to to update the graphics for me. They did it free of charge! I was blown away by their kindness.   
    So you went from being a self taught amateur to a well educated professional over the years. What motivated you to create Simple Planes? SimplePlanes was the next logical step after SimpleRockets. We wanted to make a game that our players would enjoy and I reasoned that most players that enjoy building rockets would also enjoy building airplanes. Also, Philip and I are both previously worked as software engineers at Boeing and we both love flight sims, so we were excited to build our own.   
    The game looks very simple, but most know it's more challenging than it let's on. Speaking of those challenges, how hard is it to get proficient with Simple Planes? Building planes is hard, but we did our best to make it as easy as possible. You can follow the Build Your First Plane tutorial and have your own plane up and flying in minutes. Becoming proficient obviously takes much longer, and it varies with each person and their own prior experience and knowledge of airplanes. There doesn't seem to be an upper limit to what people can create either. I am often blown away by what the players are uploading to SimplePlanes.com.  
    Now what kind of challenges did you and your team encounter while building Simple Plane and how were those challenges overcome? We didn't actually know if it would be possible to make a game where the player could easily create airplanes. Several months into development and I was starting to have doubts about it. We kept working through it and obviously things worked out, but there was a big stretch during early development where we were more than a little stressed out.   After that, there were several challenges, but one that was a particular pain was getting the game to work well on mobile. It was difficult to get the performance good enough on mobile and it was very challenging getting the user interface to fit and work well on mobile.     Do you have any fond memories that you'd like share about the development of Simple Planes? Was there any moments of discovery that occurred as a result of an accident? I can't think of any Louis Pasteur-like accidental discoveries but I will always look back fondly on 2014 when Philip quit his job to come work with me. He went from a high paying salary job to making $0/month, working with me in my basement on a $30 folding table from Walmart. I was still living on sales from my previous games, but there were quickly declining. We were trying to build a game that we didn't know would be possible, while learning Unity, a game engine we had never used before. It was stressful, but things worked out in the end and I will always look back fondly on that year.    Also, it's always fun to look back at the early screenshots and videos of Simple Planes from that year.  
    What are the limitations, if any, for someone who wants to build their aircraft or spacecraft? Custom cockpits are particularly difficult to do well in the game. The built-in cockpits often don't look the way players really want, so they tend to want to build their own cockpits but there's no great way to go about doing it. They have to slap a bunch of parts together and painstakingly nudge them into place. It takes a very skilled player to get a good looking custom built cockpit.   
    Other than aircraft, what else can be made? Could someone make a weapon to deploy? Or a satellite to launch? They can do all of the above and so much more. In fact I just saw that our highest rated player on SimplePlanes.com just uploaded a space shuttle with multiple stages capable of delivering a satellite into "space."  Don't mind that the clouds are still above you at 500km altitude.....those are just space clouds.   There have been several awesome players who built bombs and missiles. Also, some players even make incredibly detailed guns.  
    Do you care to share any of your plans about future for any of your titles? Will there be any updates or are you and your team planning on the next big project? I'm just guessing here, but would you ever do something like Simple Cars? We are currently working hard on SimpleRockets 2. I'm really happy with how the game has progressed in the past several months and I can't wait to share it with everyone, but we're just not quite ready to unveil anything yet. We also have a completely different kind of game in the works. It's a much simpler game, and has been sort of a back burner game, and in a weird way, a relaxing project to work on. Building complex sim games like SP and SR2 is extremely difficult, and sometimes it's so nice to work on a game that is actually simple. We're hoping to release it in the next 1-2 months. We haven't decided on what project we'll tackle next after SimpleRockets 2, but most likely it won't be SimpleCars. I'd like to do a robotics game, or maybe a game about evolution.    We do plan on doing at least one more substantial update to SimplePlanes, maybe more. Ideally we will release a new update for SP at the same time we release SR2. So much work to do!  
    What is the most bizarre aircraft you have seen built, for either Simple Planes or Simple Rockets, and it could still fly? The Flying Toaster is the first one that jumps into my mind. It fires bacon missiles and actually can eject its toast.      I understand that game development isn't cheap. Having said that. If your company, had the time, money, and staff, what would be a title that you'd like to create? What adventures would await a bold gamer? To be honest, I couldn't be happier with the games we are making. They are the kind of games I've always wanted to make, and the kind of games that I enjoy playing.   
    Again Mr. Garrison thank you for taking the time to this interview with us. Do you have any final thoughts that you would like to share with your supporters? Thank you for the interview questions and thanks for playing!   If you're interested in getting your hands on a copy of simple planes, we invite you to visit their website here:   We also invite you to share the results of your creation and tests on our CombatACE forums where we'll look forward to seeing what you can come up with.

    Panzer Elite - Enter the Tigers!
    By 33LIMA,
    First peep at a new mission for a new mod for an old tanksim!     If anyone's been wondering what's stifled the flow of mission reports for several weeks, this is the answer. As in, working with Panzer Elite guru 'Brit 44' Aldo on a new mod for that sim.   You may wonder why, precisely - pure nostalgia apart - anyone would want to put time and effort into a simulation first released about eighteen years ago. Well, the answer of course is that several people are, because good old 'PE' is still one of the very best tank simulators you can play today. As well as adding to the considerable scope and content of the original, several available mods improve the original rather brash, almost 'cartoony' graphics to the point they are still quite serviceable, if little competition in the eye candy stakes for newer products like the excellent Graviteam Steel Fury - Kharkov 1942 and Steel Armor - Blaze of War.   Recent work has adopted the latest core code files developed by Aldo, known as PE-x, and which over time implemented a whole range of improvements ranging from accurate time of flight/ballistics with proper tracer effects, better tank and infantry AI, and better visuals including an extended maximum view range and fogging with distance. Slomo's PP2-x has been out for a while, and featured many much-improved tank models, like the US Sherman and German Panther pictured below.       And just recently, Daskal released Ostpak Redux, a makeover of the full game to PE-x standards but also building in the famous Ostpak Eastern Front mod and other, additional campaigns which add the early Blitzkrieg of 1939-40 and the Western Desert to the original three stock campaigns - Tunisia, Italy and Normandy.         Along with Michael Y's 'Monty v Rommel' mod, my PE favourite was always Britpack '44, which replaced the US Normandy kit with a very comprehensive set of British AFVs, soft-skins, guns and troops - heck, there was even a Sherman DD 'swimming' tank...     Sadly, Britpack '44 never got updated to PE-x standards. But this work is now under way, with Aldo doing the heavy lifting/smart stuff, and myself trying to break it (aka testing) plus adding new missions. The original Britpack '44 - introduced with Panzer Elite Special Edition, 'PESE' to its friends, in 2001 - made minimal changes to the stock US Normandy missions, beyond replacing the US kit with British stuff. The battles were all US bocage ops from July-August 1944, complete with original 'briefings', usually given by what sounded like a private soldier from the Bronx irritatingly laying out the law to, or even chewing out, his superiors. Back in the day, I recorded a British Voice Pack, still available, so that at least once you were playing, you didn't have to pretend that you were in a Canadian unit every time.   This time, while I am adapting the stock mission maps to save time, all the operations are entirey new, and feature realistic mission orders (incorrectly called 'briefings') delivered in an appropriate format and (except for single troop/platoon missions) given by your company commander to all his troop leaders, not just to the player. Apart from the first mission - there will be at least twelve - all are set during Operation Bluecoat, which was fought next to the US sector in Normandy and in similar bocage country, just a few miles east of the actual historical battlefields so accurately reproduced in the PE Normandy campaign. All I have done is re-label a few towns - and replace the 'cartoon' mission maps with the real c.1944 alternatives, scans of which were very helpfuly included by developers Wings Simulations with the project files in PESE. So instead of something like this...     ...you get something like this...     ...complete with the contours you need to be able to get a decent picture of the all-important lie of the land. You can see where I have crudely edited in new placenames to suit the mission, the map having been chosen to portray at least some of the topography relevant to the actual battles. And by 'actual battles' I mean that the missions - 'scenarios' in PE Speak - are, like the stock PE ones, scaled down or localised representations of actual historical actions. The original plan was to create a set following the career of an individual unit but as any tankie memoir will show you, they spent significant periods out of the line. So to fit in with Bluecoat's relatively short duration -  and to showcase the variety of British vehicles available - I have settled for featuring different historical units. Unlike PE, which doesn't tell you which unit you're serving with, in my missions the player is an actual named participant in a named unit which fought in the real battle. For example, in 'Dickie's Bridge' you are Lt Dickie Powle of 2 HCR whose armoured car patrol famously secured the bridge he gave his name to, well behind German lines (porous as they were) on Day 2 of the operation. We don't have the correct Daimler Armoured and Scout Cars it's now known he used, but the Humber Armoured Car we do have makes a nice substitute, clad in modder and artist Geezer's fine, well-muddied textures.     The first mission is 'South of Hill 112', whch I started on over 20 years ago (!) but gave up on getting working in the version of PE then available (well short of the PE-x we have now). Also a casualty back then was a planned 'Yankeepak' of additional US missions, which foundered in circumstaces now lost to fading memories. The first thing I did on retrning to the fray was fix Hill 112, which is still not perfect but now functions much more reliably, and as the sort of reasonably authentic portrayal of a real tank-infantry action that I thought PE's stock missions didn't represent terribly well, seeming to play out like a platoon drive in the countryside, rather than a proper company-level operation.   After this scenario, the action switches to Bluecoat, at the end of July 1944, This was a much more successful operation than the famous and costly tank action of Operation Goodwood which preceeded it to the east of the Normandy bridgehead. Ian Daglish's excellent Pen & Sword Battleground Europework on the Op is my main source, and provides good unit-level descriptions of the actions I'm attempting to recreate now for Britpack '44-x.   'Enter the Tigers' I'll illustrate this piece next with a short report on the scenario I'm currently working on. This action was fought on 2nd August, by which time the British advance had pressed well south from their Start Lines near Caumont, past St Martin des Besaces and Hills 309 and 226 nearby - the latter being where 3 Scots Guards's Churchills were famously mauled by the Jagdpanthers of sch.Pz. Abt 654, a battle I have already completed for Britpack '44-x. This next action was also fought by Churchills of 6 Guards Tank Brigade, this time by the Coldstream Guards. My version of the battle sends a squadron of that unit's Churchill Mk IVs to re-inforce the Seaforth Highlanders on Hill 309, who are being flayed by enemy mortar and artillery fire and facing a counterattack by elements of 21 Panzer Division, supported by some King Tigers from 3 Kompanie, sch, Pz. Abt. 503.     The real attack was intended to cut off the British drive by severing the spear near its base, but floundered in the face of stout tank and infantry resistance backed up by torrents of British artillery fire, of the sort said to have resulted in at least one German prisoner asking to be allowed to see the infamous British wonder-weapon, the belt-fed, multi-barrelled 25 Pounder gun.   The mission's not completed yet, but from the playthroughs so far, it's just as well that I am equally well supported by artillery! We'll have a look at some scenes from the battlefield, next, before I mention what else to expect from Britpack '44-x, and when.   ...to be continued!

    CombatACE Interview with Barbara Owens
    By Skyviper,
    CombatACE Interview with: Barbara Owens  
    Bullying is a problem we are all familiar with. New reports released by various organizations, including the United States CDC, reveal shocking statistics about the negative impact bullying has on it's victims. CombatACE has featured the interview of an USAF JROTC Cadet who is helping to lead the way for the development of a Speak Life chapter in his area. To learn more about the Speak Life chapter, I reached out to Barbara Owens, the founder of Speak Life. Yes this interview may not be focused on military, gaming, or aviation; however, this organization is something I think many of you would like to know about.
    Ms. Owens has kindly agreed to do an interview with CombatACE and tell us more about Speak Life. Thank you so much Ms. Owens for taking the time to do this interview. So to get started, the short description about your organization, Speak Life, is that it's an anti-bullying program. Could you tell us a little more about Speak Life?
    Speak Life’s Mission is to Unite & Improve Our Community Through Our Local Youth. We strive to bring awareness and hope to educate on the issue of bullying and the effects that it can have on our children today. We want to offer hope for every child who experiences the harmful effects of bullying and help guide them to pursue their passions whatever they may be. It’s so important to teach them that Confidence is key.
    What were the events that motivated you to create Speak Life?
    It was the children. Years ago we didn’t have to worry about bullies except on a school yard or at a local park. Today, that’s not the case. Children and teens, because of social media have bullies that follow them right into their homes. We want to remain a positive outlet for children that reminds them that they are not alone in what they are facing. It is imperative that we show them that no matter what life throws your way, confidence is key. In Speak Life they learn that they aren’t alone, they connect with other children and teens that are going through the same situations that they too are facing, they connect through what they are passionate about and begin working with our organization to make a difference. Once their confidence is restored it’s truly amazing to see these children begin mentoring others.
    How well has your organization been received by your community as well as other communities?
    We have a lot of amazing and wonderful people in our community that have supported our efforts and still do. Other communities love what we are doing with the kids and the events that we have done for the past four years and now have a Speak Life in Beebe, Ark. Others have reached out to start a Speak Life in their area. I think people like the positive message that we try so hard to send to the kids. It’s not about dwelling on what you’re going through but using that as a stepping stone to make you stronger.
    What are some of things Speak Life does for the kids who are victims of bullying?
    I don’t feel that there are victims, just children that have had to deal with bullies. You’re only a victim if you allow the bully to victimize you and life is too short and precious to fall victim to anyone or anything. For children or teens that have been through bullying situations we have connected them with celebrities, internships, jobs, and other areas that allows them to pursue what they are passionate about in order to restructure and build their self-confidence.
    Speaking of being the victim of bullying, is your organization just a place for kids to find a shoulder to cry on? What are some of the things Speak Life does to help the those are subject to bullying?
    We are definitely not just a shoulder to cry on. Of course we are there to support these children in every way possible but the goal is to redirect the negative influences and information into positive concepts that will change hearts and attitudes and have a lasting impression on the kids that need it the most.     What about the bullies themselves? Does your organization offer any help to them? There are some who might say that the bullies too have problems to deal with. Or that kids need to learn how to cope with these things.
    It’s not meant for us to know what someone else is facing and we can’t walk a mile in their shoes so you never know what a bully could also be facing. Yes, some bully just because but there are others that are bullying because they are facing problems that others aren’t aware of. It is so important that you always be open to helping everyone because unless you can walk in their shoes, you have no idea what life has thrown their way and they just may need your help.
    What are some of the challenges you and your team encounter and how are those challenges overcome?
    It took quite some time for us to send the message that we are not here to do anything but send a positive message and support the children in our community in a positive way. When you mention the word “bully” people tend to get really defensive and think that you are wanting to harp on the negative when you are working so hard to do exactly the opposite.
    What kind of impact has Speak Life had on the teens in your program?
    I think it’s had a great impact and we hope to do more. We make every effort to show these children just how amazing they truly are. With every child comes a story and they truly are the light, sometimes they just lose sight of that and need us to remind them of just how wonderful and confident they are.
    What are some of the things you'd like Speak Life to accomplish?
    An office space is now what we are working to accomplish so that we can do more. We have children that are interested in web design, social media, photography, journalism and much more and with an office space we can better connect these children in working directly with our organization, celebrities and upcoming programs.
    What can someone do to help your organization? Can they open a new chapter in
    their area?
    Yes, people can always connect with us if they are interested in opening a Speak Life in their area and if they are in the Heber Springs area we can always use volunteers.
    Speaking of opening new chapters, how many different branches does Speak Life and how many are you planning to have by the end of the year?
    Right now we just have a Speak Life in Heber Springs and one in Beebe Arkansas
    Some people will probably like the fact you teach your teens to find the positive things in life. To hold on to them and move forward as much as they can beyond the negativity. So where can they send their donations?
    They can send any donations for Teen Recruiters to any US Bank Location and thank you so much for any donations in advance without them we couldn’t continue our efforts with the children. We are a 501c3 non-profit organization so they can contact us and their donations are tax deductible.
    Do you have final thoughts that you'd like share with your teens, supporters, our readers?
    Yes, thank you.
    To our teens and children, you have changed my life. Watching all of you come into our program and accomplish so much gives me so much strength and happiness you’ll never know. We all face so much in life but surround yourself with positive people and work every day to change the lives of others whether that’s through helping someone with their books, giving someone a smile that needs it or volunteering in your community to create a better tomorrow.
    To our supporters, we couldn’t do half of what we do without you. Thank you for helping us to continue to make a difference.
    To our readers, if your child is withdrawn, going through a situation or being bullied, it’s so important to let that child know that they aren’t alone. That tends to be the first thing a child or teen thinks. In finding that they aren’t alone in what they are facing they immediately feel a sense of relief. Find out what their passion is and create connections that will support that in ways that will help to build their self-confidence again. We will all experience bumps in the road, but as long as you stay positive and believe in yourself, you can get through anything.   Speak Life Videos

    Helping to Lead the Way!
    By Skyviper,
    Helping to Lead the Way!         Over the years we've discussed video games, aircraft, and people who played an amazing role in aviation history. Today, CombatACE is proud to shine the light on a young cadet in the United States Air Force JROTC. An organization that makes it a mission to “develop citizens of character dedicated to serving nation and community.” The organization is “grounded in the Air Force core values”, which are, “Integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do.” When it comes to Anthony Conklin, a 16 year old acting Cadet Captain within his JROTC Unit, you will see each of those values in all he does.   Barbara Owens, CEO of Speak Life, an anti-bullying organization, directed CombatACEs attention, to a young man who is helping lead the way for a new, Central Arkansas, chapter of Speak Life. The new chapter has been founded by Kim Helm who states “Mr. Conklin has supported our mission statement by choosing to make a difference. He stands by our mission statement fully on a daily basis by not bullying, judging, or separating people. He wants to help everyone feel that they have a place to belong in this world and is helping us find positive ways to channel these kids into areas they fit in.”   Yes, Speak Life is an organization that helps the victims of bullying find a place to fit in. They also prevent certain victims from committing suicide. However, do not mistake this organization as a giant shoulder to cry on. Their CEO, Ms. Owens, constantly spreads the message of holding on to your strengths, and moving forward with the positive things. Mr Conklin told CombatACE what he likes about Speak Life; he states “What I find fascinating about this Speak Life organization is the fact that we, as a community, can be the difference makers. While bullying will never stop, we can be the reason it slows down in our community!”   And the reason one Central Arkansas Speak Life chapter will make such an impact is Mr. Conklin. As Ms. Helm states “Anthony has already superseded my expectations for what a 15/16 year old would be capable of. He is an exceptional young man with a super heart. He gives his all in everything he does including this organization. If I could turn back time and be half the kid Anthony is – I'd have gone further in life!”   Anthony is heavily involved with coordinating events that the Central Arkansas Speak Life plan to role out soon. He's also designed their website, as well as the website for his local school district. He's coordinating with fellow student and various community leaders to move the Speak Life agenda forward. Below is the interview that we did with Mr. Conklin.               Hello Anthony, thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us. To get started could you tell us a little bit about yourself? My name is Anthony Conklin and I am currently 16 years old. I live in Austin, AR. I am acting as a Cadet Captain within my Air Force JROTC unit. I am super involved within every organization that I play a part in. I take everything that I participate in very serious and value my role within those organization.   What are some of the things that motivated you to join your local JROTC program? At first, just receiving the P.E. credit motivated me to join the local JROTC program here. Then knowing and seeing the difference I can make within the corps and the community made me continue to stay super involved within my organization.   What is a job that you like to do when you get out of school? When I get out of school I will act as a correctional officer while I am in college. Post college I will become a Arkansas State Trooper or an Officer in the United States Air Force. Both of these jobs will maintain the military structure, which I like.   We understand that you are spearheading the activities for an organization in your area called Speak Life. What motivated you to join this anti-bullying organization? What motivated me to join the anti-bullying organization, Speak Life, was seeing that a change was needed within our community. I want to continue to be a difference maker within my communities and surrounding communities.   What are some of the things that you do for Speak Life? Some things I do for Speak Life is act as the Secretary, act as the webmaster for our newly created website: speaklifebeebe.org. This was created by me.   What do you find fascinating about the Speak Life organization? What I find fascinating about this Speak Life organization is the fact that we as an organization can be the difference makers. While bullying will never stop, we can be the reason it slows down in our community!   What do you hope others will learn from your actions and from the organization? I hope others will learn that they can all be difference makers and make our community a better place by my actions.   Has working with the Speak Life organization taught you anything? If so the care to In just a short time, Speak Life Beebe has already taught me that people do care. That there are people willing to bridge the gap between bullies and their victims. share some of those lessons that you learned during your time with Speak Life?   What are some of the memories that you will try to cherish as long as you can from your time with Speak Life? As of now, we've only had board meetings. I will cherish those until we start having these amazing events we are currently putting together.     Editors Note: Stay tuned, because we're going off mission next week. I was very curious about Speak Life and reached out to Barabara Owens who agreed to tell me a little more about her organization.

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