With Regret

Whitney Houston dead and flags are flown at half staff for her .. she killed herself with drugs and booze.

Charlie Sheen is 45 and his story is all over the news because he is a substance abuser, an adulterer, sexually promiscuous and obnoxious.

Lindsay Lohan is 24 and her story is all over the news because she is a celebrity drug addict and thief.  Now she is sober and making a comeback as if anyone really cares?

Something as frivolous as Kim Kardashian’s stupid wedding [and short-lived marriage] was shoved down our throats. Meanwhile, while all of this was going on, these people listed below died for the cause.

Justin Allen 23  Brett Linley 29
Matthew Weikert 29  Justus Bartett 27
Dave Santos 21  Jesse Reed 26

Matthew Johnson 21  Zachary Fisher 24 

Brandon King 23  Christopher Goeke 23  and Sheldon Tate 27…

Are all Marines that gave their lives last month for you.

There is no nationwide coverage; not even a mention of their names.

Rest In Peace.

THANK  YOU, TROOPS.

OOO

Related:  Get It Right America

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The World Is Your Oyster

I have been wanting to write about a remarkable life, but as with all things, it often gets shuffled off the table or put off.  Recently the oldest survivor of the Bataan Death March died (this was in August of this year).  That is a somber statement, but it is true.  So what is so remarkable or memorable about this?  Another old soldier has been laid down to rest.  What I discovered buried here, was a life worth living and I thought it worth sharing.

During his three years in a Japanese POW camp and on the infamous Bataan Death March that got him there, Albert Brown suffered a broken back and a broken neck, he was also wounded with a bayonet, and had experienced or suffered thru several tropical jungle diseases.  At the end of the war he was freed and sent to a Vet hospital where after extensive examinations they told him “that he would be lucky if he even made it to fifty” because of the damage done to his body at the hands of his captors.  He was at that time, 40 years of age.  He was advised to see as much of life as he could, because his days were numbered.

But Brown, the oldest Bataan survivor made it to 105 before he died.  

His secret?  He had this incredible spirit to live and overcome, positive thinking or whatever you call it, he survived and he did it during what were termed insurmountable odds.  His story, a testament to the human spirit is worth repeating.  Each and every day in this country, we have wounded warriors coming home, some or most, do not fare as well as Mr Brown did. 

Here is a brief history for you.

He was shipped off to the Philippines just a short three months before Japan invaded the country.  As most of you know, outnumbered and outgunned, the American and Filipino forces pulled back in the mountainous areas of the island near Manila.  There they fought for some four months but with their ranks decimated by hunger, disease, they finally surrendered.  

This is when the nightmare begins.

Some 76,000 allied captives were forced to march seventy miles to an interment camp.  This took a little over six days, in 100 degree humid weather.  During this forced march they were denied food, water, and those who stumbled and fell were executed on the spot by the Japanese.  They were savagely beaten with rifle butts and often tortured beyond comprehension before they died.

Sword wielding captors beheaded those unfortunate who were not strong enough and more than 10,000 men died on this march.  Brown said that he survived during this period simply by sheer will.  During his internment he ate three ping-pong sized balls of rice daily and was routinely beaten.  By the end of the war, the six foot Brown had withered to just 90 pounds and was nearly blind.

But thru it all, Brown soldiered on.  

He spent over two years recuperating in a Denver hospital and then he moved to California where he set up a business renting out properties to Hollywood stars.  With resilience and sheer will, he survived and came out the other side to emerge on top.  A man who was reported to only make it to 50 managed to do twice that.  When he died, he had 12 grandchildren and was a positive role model not only for his community but his family.

We have a video for you on this day, the end of another week.  You more than likely won’t understand a word of it.  It is from Korea and it has English sub-titles, you have to read most of it.  Rest assured it is worth the watch and it will resonate with your soul. 

If Mr. Albert Brown were here to watch it I am pretty sure he would tell us “that even if your world is full of garbage, go on and sing anyway.”  It is in that spirit that we share this with you.


See y’all on Monday …

OOO

Between A Rock And A Hard Place

As a small lad I found that Gun Boat Diplomacy, American Doctrine, the Foreign Policy, as it was explained to me just did not make sense.  I remember one day talking to my father about it and his only explanation was this.  “Listen son, as long as there is a rock here, and a rock there, we will have idiots that will fight over them.”

Now I must admit, that at the time, that just did not make a whole lot of sense to me.  Just like, “Eat all your vegetables, there are kids in China that are starving too death.” And I knew damn well, that my father had never in his life, been to China.

Maybe Watonga Oklahoma or Amarillo, Texas, but surely not Beijing.

Yesterday I read where Kentucky and Ohio are conducting a legal battle over a rock.  Yes I said a rock.  “Indian Head Rock” had jutted out of the Kentucky side of the Ohio River until some Ohioans uprooted the iconic 8-ton boulder and moved it to Ohio.  Kentucky sued, and has regained possession until the legal wrangling is resolved.  “We’ll keep it in a safe and secure place,” promised Kentucky officials.

See?  If you wait long enough, your chickens will come home to roost.

Took awhile, but I now understand the rock part of all this, unfortunately Gun Boat Diplomacy and all this Middle East garbage, still doesn’t make sense to me here.  Locked down in the Heartland … Middle America … But the rock, well, it finally happened.  Perhaps I will someday understand the part my Uncle Sam plays in all this, the diplomacy thing and all that, but the jury is still out on that one.

UNCLE SAM

Now that I am older, I more or less feel different
About what my Uncle Sam said, through the use of me
And my brief tenure in the U.S.Government.

Uncle Sam said, “Watch them.” Don’t you bend one inch
They are out to bury you with subtle subversion
and politics.

Uncle Sam said, “I want you to serve” My every wish, shall be your command
So I carried a gun in my early youth working for my Uncle Sam.

I have a duty to my scarred and weary brothers
Who were raped in a land … far, far away
I have a duty and I have something to say.

My voice will ring out loud upon the land … I will stand up, I will be counted
Truly, I will be heard because, in a place called Viet Nam my brothers and I served working for my Uncle Sam

When I was young I carried a gun my Uncle Sam patted my strong back
He told me of the fine job my brothers and I had done, in a strange and foreign land

I know now that I have a duty to teach others of our mistakes
Regardless of what the politicians say
No matter how long it takes to effect a change.

Have a great weekend …

OOO

Sack Lunches

wild-flowersNow and then, you find something really stirring in the mailbox, it is all not hateful and mean, often amongst the trash and garbage of man, you will find a gem.

Such is this, it was entitled “Sack Lunches.”  I now pass it on in the spirit it was given to me.

Please Enjoy

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I felt this needed to be forwarded so that folks would take a moment and thanks those who took our place.   The men and women in service to our country don’t need to be recognized 2-3 days a year on holidays……they sacrifice and die every day.

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat.  It was going to be a long flight. ‘I’m glad I have a good book to read.   Perhaps I will get a short nap,’ I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me.  I decided to start a conversation.  ‘Where are you headed?’ I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.

‘Chicago – to Great Lakes Base. We’ll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we’re being deployed to Iraq’.  After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars.  It would be several hours before we reached Chicago, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time.

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch.  ‘No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch.  Probably wouldn’t be worth five bucks.  I’ll wait till we get to Chicago ‘

His friend agreed.   I looked around at the other soldiers.  None were buying lunch.  I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill.  ‘Take a lunch to all those soldiers.’  She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly.  Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me.  ‘My son was a soldier in Iraq ; it’s almost like you are doing it for him.’

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated.  She stopped at my seat and asked, ‘Which do you like best – beef or chicken?’  ‘Chicken,’ I replied, wondering why she asked.  She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class.  ‘This is your thanks.’

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room.  A man stopped me.  ‘I saw what you did.  I want to be part of it.  Here, take this.’  He handed me twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane.  When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand, an said, ‘I want to shake your hand.’

Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain’s hand.  With a booming voice he said, ‘I was a soldier and I was a military pilot.  Once, someone bought me a lunch.  It was an act of kindness I never forgot.’  I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs.  A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine.  He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed in Chicago I gathered my belongings and started to deplane.  Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word.  Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base.  I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars.  ‘It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich.  God Bless You.’

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers.  As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return.  These soldiers were giving their all for our country.  I could only give them a couple of meals.

It seemed so little… A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America’ for an amount of  ‘up to and including my life.’

That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.’

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I don’t know who wrote this, but I thank them for every cotton-picking word of it.  Never forget the hand that helps you up or the boot that shows you the door.  Who is it that says a “buck don’t go very far anymore?”  It is my profound pleasure to share it with America and the World this morning.

Mr. Obama, it is time to bring the boys home, all of them.

000

If you want to read a stirring well written and moving piece on war, on vets, please follow this link.  It will move your spirit.  More on this at:  Telling Secrets.com