Sunday, April 14, 2013

2 Minute Moment 3

2 Minute Moment #3

The BentProp Project

Two minutes really isn't enough time to explain why this is a compelling experience for me.  As I stated in the video, before becoming a teacher I sent 20 years in the Army.  As a sergeant in the Army I was responsible for taking care of soldiers.  I feel that the U.S. has an obligation to take care of its military men and women.

All of us who enter the military know that we may be called upon to risk our lives.  That comes with the territory.  But, we also expect not to be left behind on the battlefield.  We expect that our buddy's will continue to fight for us and look for us if we become separated from our unit.  We hope that our country will honor its commitment to us and if we are lost or captured fight for our return.

I've been a member of the American Legion since Desert Storm and while the Legion is a veterans organization.  I feel that they spend the vast majority of their time lobbying congress and are not completely focused on the plight of POWs and MIA's.  What the Legion does is important but I wanted to do more so I joined the BentProp Project.

I feel that the mission is compelling.  To search for missing airmen in the Palau Islands.  While it is demanding and challenging work it is also rewarding.  I'm able to use my former military skills and training in a positive manner.  The work is ever changing and rarely boring.  Plus I get to scuba dive and work in some potentially dangerous and exciting situations.  Something I miss in my new career as a teacher.  The chance to travel and work with like minded individuals is also part of this experience being compelling.

The chance to spend time with WWII veterans and their families is also compelling and touching.  Just last week a 90 year old WWII veteran contacted me at school.  He was a B-24 pilot during the war and flew off of Anguar Island in Palau.  He heard about our work in Palau and he asked about a former pilot and friend of his who he watched get shot down over Koror, Palau in 1944.    The question he asked were the greatest questions all week in school.  The pilot he mentioned is in our records and I've actually seen part of his wrecked B-24.  We are still searching for members of that crew.

Being in BentProp is sometimes explained as kinda like being in an Indiana Jones movie.  


  1. Robert- This is a very unique passion of yours in which I knew very little about. Your contributions through this work are far reaching and very powerful in nature. I love the way you tie the work related to BentProp into what you do within your own teaching. Going into how you use your military background was also a good point to add in. The visuals were very helpful into providing me with greater insight. I wanted to add that I also found it tough to sum up everything I wanted to share within the two short minutes allotted. This is something that I also struggled with too. I think you did a nice job with your project. Again, super work. ~ Leah

  2. My goodness, Robert... On the first two 2MM's, I kept straining under the 2 minute limit, but it's hard to believe you managed to convey this passion in under the time limit. The links to other passions are what really make this compelling in my mind: scuba diving, history, and solving mysteries. Including the still shots from your experiences are what made this come through the video. In a way, it's like a stripped down iMovie advert for a History Channel special =)

    I'm a bit obsessed with various areas of history as well. I was aware of large numbers of MIA from WWII in the Pacific theatre, but not to that extent. I admire your active dedication to such an interesting project. Thank you for your military service as well.

    Cheers, Robert. Great display.



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  4. My grandfather was nearly one of those MIA's in WWII ... but Maer is right; between your written statement and the video itself you drove home what this project means to you and why you find it so compelling. Searching old corsairs underwater must be thrilling and a little un-nerving, never knowing what you may or may not find. The snapshots of the sea-chewed hulls is haunting. At any rate, your passion for this projet and why it's close to your heart really came through strongly. Great job.

  5. Robert, I really liked how you transitioned from you speaking to quick snapshots of the things that you have worked on. I think your ability to share information and show so many different ways that you try complete your goal made this 2MM seem so much more than just a passion. It really seemed like this is a massive part of your life, and I have nothing but respect for your dedication and commitment. Thanks for a great semester!


  6. Robert ~
    First of all, I really admire what you are doing! What a kind heart you must have to recognize the importance of recovering missing airmen. I was thankful for the text explanation you gave aside from the video, it really helped understand as I'm quite sure it would have taken longer than two minutes to reflect all that information. I loved the mix of pictures and your narration. The snapshots of props underwater are captivating. I'm a Titanic junkie, and some of your underwater shots conveyed a very similar emotion for me. Thanks for sharing.


  7. Robert,

    Your life sounds so interesting and adventurous! I am genuinely jealous that you can incorporate your passion and interest in your job. You did a great job illustrating (through images) and explaining what the BentProp Project was, among other concepts, which was really inclusive for the audience.