THE GEORGE JARKESY SHOW WELCOMES SPECAL GUEST DAVID RODRIGUEZ FROM FXCM AS WELL AS WWII VETERAN RICHARD KIRKLAND.
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Born in 1923, Richard was raised in a rural community in California’s Tehachapi Mountains during the Great Depression. At the outbreak of WWII he joined the Army Air Corps and served in the famous “Flying Knights” Fighter Squadron with Major Dick Bong, America’s all time ace of aces. Lieutenant Kirkland flew 103 combat missions in P-38 and P-47 fighters dogfighting Japanese Zeros, attacking enemy installations, ships, and flying escort for bombers.
After WWII, Lt. Kirkland was assigned to a top secret project of testing atomic bombs in the Marshall Islands. When the project was declassified, he wrote “The Ultimate Game,” the story of his fascinating experiences with atomic bombs.
During the Korean War, Captain Kirkland traded his wings for rotors and flew 69 helicopter missions rescuing downed pilots from behind enemy lines and snatching wounded soldiers from the battlefield at the 8055 MASH, home of the infamous “Hawkeye.” Major Kirkland was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, five Air Medals, the Air Force Commendation Medal and both the U.S. and Korean Presidential citations for his service in WWII and the Korean War.
After his military service Richard joined Howard Hughes’ Aircraft Division and subsequently in sales and management at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft, and Boeing Aircraft.
Richard had sketched and painted his surroundings as a boy in California’s Tehachapi Mountains, writing short stories to match his art work. During his military service he continued, sketching and painting his surroundings, capturing history as it occurred. He subsequently used his art for inspiration in his writing. He has written and published numerous magazine short stories and articles, and four non fiction books about his experiences. (Smithsonian Press and Random House) His latest book “Wide Place in the Road,” (released June 1, 2012) is historic fiction, based on true historic incidents with real characters that Richard knew and associated with during the span of the book from the Great Depression through World War Two.
Richard is very active and speaks regularly at schools and various civic, social, and historic societies. He has been a featured speaker at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., and was interviewed on both the American and Canadian History Channels. He and his wife Maria, who is also an artist, have nine children, sixteen grandchildren and one great grandson. They live in Vienna, VA and their studio in White Stone, Virginia.
Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government. A long time communications professional, Rick served as the Public Affairs Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Labor during the George W. Bush Administration, and has worked in numerous grassroots and political communications roles, most notably, as a state lobbyist for the National Rifle Association for nine years.
Rick, a graduate of the University of Southern California, is a former town councilman in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland.