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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sgt Ron reflects on Memorial Day

     For those of you who missed the Memorial Day observances at the military museum in Weston this Saturday, you missed the opportunity of a life time. Aside from the fact that the parade was rather nice, the ceremony at the court house very dignified and well planned, the food outstanding, and the flag and wreath ceremony at the museum being very moving as always, there were a group of men and women at the museum you really should have met.

     Present for the event were representatives of every conflict the US military has participated in since WWII. We had veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Honduras, Somalia, Bosnia, Desert Storm, OIF, OEF, and Granada. We even had a WAC in attendance, a marine who charged the embassy during the hostage crisis in the mid 1980s, a marine who was present when the college students were liberated from the campus in Granada, a soldier who started his career in the army and finished in the newly constructed air force during WWII, a marine who fought at midway, a soldier who landed at Omaha beach then fought across all of Germany, and a soldier who not only fought at the Battle of the Bulge, but also liberated TWO concentration camps. We even had a doctor present who was involved in the ground floor building of the PTSD treatments developed by the VA after Vietnam.

     I did a rough count in my head, and between all of the veterans there, we had over 50 purple hearts between us (though many of us had multiple awards). One soldier even received two purple hearts in four days, taking shrapnel injuries during the D-Day assaults, and then a bullet wound to the shoulder during skirmish activity farther inland. The stories told under that tent would have awed any man. From tales of  encounters in the trenches in France, to stories of battles fought on the Ho Chi Min Trail in Vietnam. Never once were there complaints about our sacrifices, only a few grumbles about the VA care and such (the usual griping, it's a soldiers' duty to complain, if we aren't complaining about something we are mostly likely plotting *snicker*).

     As I sat there listening to the others, and sharing my own stories of the war, I was reminded of a man I met while in Washington during Memorial Day, in 2008. His name eludes me now, but the encounter will live with me forever.

     He came up to a group of us (wounded warriors from Walter Reed Army Hospital, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans wounded in action), shook our hands, hugged us, welcomed us home and told us he loved us. We talked with him for a bit, and he was more interested in hearing about us than talking about himself. Finally he told us, when we asked what he did in his war, that he flew for Air America over Cambodia during Vietnam, he even showed us his DD214 and some other papers about it. The thing that bothered me was that his DD214, while acknowledging his service in Vietnam, and stating that he had participated in "covert flight operations outside of the combat theater", and that he was wounded during combat operations, did not have a purple heart listed or a service connected injury statement. The man stood there on two canes held together with wire and tape, got down on knees that must have felt like shards of broken glass, and thanked ME? I don't think I have ever felt that humble in my life and doubt I ever shall again.

     There was a tent set up near us for the Walter Reed soldiers to get food and drinks. When we went to enter, the officer in charge of the tent told us that our new friend would have to wait outside and that the refreshments were only for us. I went into the tent, got a ham sandwich, a bottle of water, and retrieved a pair of transfer canes that I no longer used (I had at that point been told I would never walk again), and went back outside. I gave them to that man, and said, "Here brother, thank you, we love you too." He wept like a child. You would have thought I had given him a pile of gold, and that he had never received anything from anyone ever before. We cried and held each other, and later we went to the wall and he showed me his friends and I showed him my families names. It was a moving day, and an educational one. I learned the most important lesson of my life. A sergeant takes care of his soldiers, not out of duty, but out of love, and that love doesn't end simply because you are no longer on duty. It stays with you forever. A sergeant loves his soldiers, all of them, no matter how young, no matter how old, no matter where they are or have been, forever. And frankly, in a sergeant's eyes, all soldiers are his soldiers. All of them, everywhere.

     God bless you all this Memorial Day, may we never forget.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Catching up on the past weekend

     Well, some weekend we had, hmm?

     Newt Gingrich finally took the final step into insanity, and in case you missed it he was attacked by a man at a book signing. It was terribly funny, I will have to find it on you tube and post the link, the man showered him with pixy dust! It was a riot. His crash and burn should be worth weeks of entertainment. I imagine John Stewart and Stephen Colbert are already planning entire shows revolving around him in the coming weeks.

     I had barely digested this momentous turn of events, when suddenly I was informed the world was going to end due to a sudden rescheduling of the rapture! It's Monday evening, the rapture was supposed to occur on Saturday, so I am assuming it was not a full fledged crash, but simply a reboot, I hope everyone concerned backed up their software for that one. The thing that kills me about it, isn't the belief that the rapture could occur (I happen to be very Catholic, if I were any more Catholic I would be a pair of red shoes in the Pope's closet). What bothers me is that the entire stunt was instigated by the 700 club people and for some strange reason, even with the impending rapture, they prepared the scripts for the entire next month in advance last week, and preprinted their staff's paychecks for the end of month pay period. I won't go any further other than to say this directly to the 700 club network; You people are sick! How could you possibly believe in the teachings of Christ, and think a publicity stunt of this magnitude was a good thing? There were people gathering by the hundreds all over the country waiting for the end, what do you tell them now? I feel sorry for all those poor innocent, gullible people out there who fell for that crap fest. In the future, don't worry about when things like that are going to happen, if you are ready for it, the timing really isn't important is it?
     Once again, no sooner had I processed this madness, than CNN, MSNBC, FOX and their affiliates declared that the US was headed directly into an apocalyptic financial scenario due to the fact we have finally reached out debt cap. Sorry folks at the main stream media franchises, it appears we are a bit more prepared for this than you declared. I will however say this, I don't like how they found the money to keep us afloat. They decided to stop all money input into the pension funds for ALL government employees. In essence, we are stealing from the elderly so that we can borrow more money. Wake up and listen to wiser heads, Washington. Borrowing and spending are NOT the way to cure a debt crisis. Who am I tho, just some schmuck from rural WV I guess.
      As if all of this wasn't enough, Blackwater took advantage of the chaos in the news and snuck a nasty one by us. They were awarded an additional 10 year contract for (and I quote here) "Front line combat support personnel to assist active duty military personnel in the global war on terrorism". It is indeed a sad day when we are hiring mercenaries openly to fight our battles for us,  not to mention the fact that........TEN YEARS! OMFG how long are we staying over there??!!?!?!?

     I am sure I am missing a few headlines that blew me away this weekend, but wow, give me a break, I haven't seen this much media madness since.....well, since the royal wedding a couple weeks back I guess......damn, can we have a week where the only news is some kitten getting rescued from a tree in New Hampshire?


     CO2 approached me with a question. Would I be interested in doing some editorials for our local newspaper? What do you folks think? I'll post it as a poll in the right margin of the blog.

Last Week's Poll Results

Poll Results for the week of 14 May, 2011:

1. Veterans Benefits have been chosen as the most desired new blog issue to address

2. Even tho a bit divided, the majority of you state that the capture of Bin Laden, as desirable and satisfying as it was, really does not have much of a bearing on our continued presence in the middle east

3. The Catholics won, 6 votes to 2 in the battle of the churches (you really must go read that blog, it was a riot)

4. And finally, sadly speaking about today's moral standards in the media, and happily that the people I know actually think for themselves, the majority of you stated that you watch Comedy Central to get the majority of your news.

Well, off to post more nonsense in the side bars to vote on.............jk lol

I'm back

     It was a fairly rough weekend for me. Spent a few days resting up from my little spill. But, I am back up and into the fight. The only problem I have is that so many absurd things happened in the news over the weekend, I am having trouble sorting out which one to comment on first. Give me a little time to prioritize and arrange my thoughts, then prepare for a marathon blogging session (lol). Until then, just think about Newt Gingrich getting attacked by sparkle dust wielding maniacs. (If you don't know about that reference, go Internet cruising for it, you missed a dooooosy this weekend.)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Circumstances beyond my control....

     For the next few days there will be no new blog posts on my site. I had a fall as I was transferring from the bathroom to my wheelchair. It's not too serious but I am in excruciating pain. I'm going to take a few days off to rest up and stay in bed. I need to save up some energy for a conference call this week with the OFA, so don't plan on any posts before Tuesday. Keep me in your your prayers, this is rough.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Church Wars! (and you thought North Ireland was rough)

     Two churches located adjacently across the street from one another, engaged in a rather heated war of sign postings in front of their respective chapels. (The two churches in question being Presbyterian and Catholic). I will post a poll on the right hand column of the page for you to vote as to whom you feel the winner was.

     View the link listed below to see the battle of the signs.

WARNING! ALERT! Living dead invasion imminent CDC warns! WARNING! ALERT!

     The CDC has released an emergency 101 preparedness guide for the imminent invasion of zombies along our coastlines. If you wish to live, read this:

     Now, you are not only prepared for the imminent zombie apocalypse, you also know what to do to prepare your family for REAL emergencies. Who says keeping your self aware can't be fun?