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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?

PS

     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.

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fdoctordavidtennant.tumblr.com%2Fpost%2F5321318141%2Ftwo-churches-located-across-the-street-from-each-other&h=42ee7

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:

http://emergency.cdc.gov/socialmedia/zombies_blog.asp

     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?

President Obama speaks out on the situation in the middle east

     First, I would like to apologize for not having posted yesterday in a timely manner. I was having a rough day, medical issues beyond my control. I'm feeling a bit better now, so I hope you don't mind a day old news topic, lol.

     President Obama gave a press release interview in an address to the nation, on the topic of the current rebellious unrest in the middle east. His message was clear and straight forward, we support the freedom of all mankind and it's inalienable rights. I agree whole heartedly with this, and as always, I support my president in all ways. He went on to say that in the majority of the cases of civil unrest in that area, the populace was reacting to regimes that had held them in a state of dictatorial slavery for decades. Also, in this I support his opinions one hundred percent.

     I do have a few reservations and questions, however. Before I address them I would like to ask you this: If George Bush, his father or (God forbid), Ronald Reagan, had been in this situation, do you think they would have even bothered discussing the issue at hand before reacting with armed response?

     These are my questions and issues:

  1. Does our support of the unrest in these areas require military reinforcement of the rebels?
  2. How much economic assistance will we be committing ourselves to if we do ally ourselves with the resistance movements?
  3. If we plan to support democratic movements in these areas, will we still be committed to a continuing military presence in the theaters of Iraq and Afghanistan?
     I believe we have an obligation to support democracy for all mankind, no matter where it exists in the world. I do not, however, believe it is our responsibility to act as the world's private police force. If these countries want democracy, then by all means they should have it, and I think we would be remiss if we did not give them full technical support in the form of advisory liaisons, political and diplomatic envoys, and of course emergency aid in the form of the red cross, peace corps and other non-profit groups aimed at feeding and medically caring for the victims of the inevitable military actions that will take place within each of the effected countries. I also believe that it would be unacceptable if we did not offer to secure the movement of these noncombatant civilian volunteer organizations into and out of the regions, via naval and air presence of our military service men and women. The involvement of infantry and ground troops into the areas, however, would be a grave mistake. I am still confused as to why we are still in Iraq. I even question our continued presence in Afghanistan.

     We had a moral imperative to invade Afghanistan, the mission is complete, Al Quiada is crushed, Bin Laden is dead, let's go home. As for Iraq; I lost my ability to walk so that Bush could make a few more cents on the barrel and make daddy proud that sonny boy went and whooped some ass for him, at least that's how I see it. Correct me if I am wrong.

     I suppose what I am trying to say is this. Mr. President, by all means let us help these people in their efforts to form a democratic life style for themselves, but before we do, can we please recall our current military involvements, and set forth a preliminary rules of engagement policy concerning our new operative involvements, before we move forward. I don't need anymore wheelchair buddies.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Heartfelt Farewell....Donnie goes bye-bye

     Well, as most of you already know, Donald Trump has declared he will not be running for a presidential bid with the republican party. I must admit, I am saddened by this event. He was the best friend the democratic party could ever have had.

     Donald Trump was everything we could have wished for in a republican candidate. He was incredibly inept, mentally unstable, and wildly conspiratorial in a very open and candid manor. When he wasn't chasing insane theories about Pres. Obama's birth records, he was spouting some irrelevant nonsense about his television show and it's relevance to the American economic situation, or he was illegally building monumentally garish flag poles in California, claiming it to be his patriotic duty (instead of spending a half million dollars on the worlds most insanely huge flag pole for one of his elitist golf courses, he could have spent far less and put a 15 foot pole on the lawn of every disabled veteran in the state, but, hey, who am I? I'm just some schmuck from rural American, what do I know?). These actions, combined with that camel hair rug stapled to his forehead and a total lack of anything even close to a solidly mentally stable thought on politics, made him a sure fire guarantee that the democrats would have OWNED in the upcoming elections. His mere presence in the republican camp would have caused more chaos than if Polly Shore were set loose in a convent (The man is a political comedian's wet dream come to life). Oh well, at least now he can move on to something more relevant, like chasing Bigfoot rumors on the Canadian border.

     I think John Stewart put it best last night on the Daily Show, when he said, "Donald Trump looks like the offspring of Newt Gingrich if he had knocked up Beaker the Muppet.".

     Bye-bye, Donnie me boyo, you will be sadly missed by every democrat in the entire country.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend Annual Vet-Together and Memorial Day Parade

     Just a reminder for all you vets, and family and friends of vets. 28 May, 2011 is the annual Memorial Day Parade and Vet-Together at the Mountaineer Military Museum in Weston, WV. I'm not sure the exact time it starts (Barb could you post a comment with the details on that for me please), but there will be food, drink, fellow combat vets, a parade (well....sort of....but, at least they have one, which is more than I can say for my home town, Buckhannon). The parade is secondary anyway, it's the museum and gathering that are the real blast. I had a ton of fun there last year. If you have never been there, and you can't make the event, check the museum out when you get the chance. They are reopening for the summer months (once again can you post a comment with the hours on the museum, Barb). Thank you, and a super huge thank you to Barb McVaney and her husband, curator, manager, fund raising coordinator, janitor, and every other title you can imagine of the musuem.

Big Oil....the ultimate welfare fraud

     Yesterday, I read a blog post on Eclectablog (www.eclectablog.com), that I think all of you should read;  http://www.eclectablog.com/2011/05/its-unamerican-to-want-to-end-corporate.html . It is a very informative and well researched blog about how corporate big oil is not only raping us at the gas pumps, but, with the full power of the republican party behind them, is STILL sucking in over $4 billion in tax incentives and subsidies every year. This is an issue I have been ranting and raving about for years.

     Pres. Obama and the democratic party, have taken the fight against this outrage into the open, and ConocoPhillips had the audacity to say that anyone who wanted to kill these absurd subsidies was, "Un-American". Let me take a minute for you to digest that......

     I'm just going to give you a basic rundown on this situation to make sure you have the facts (once again, make sure you go to the above link and read the blog I posted from Eclecta, there are some great graphs and stat sheets to back up any claims I make here).

     In the past decade, big oil companies have seen a profit of $1 trillion dollars, $30 billion dollars so far in the first quarter of 2011 alone, AND they are seeking their yearly $4 billion dollar tax incentive subsidy from the US Government. They are pushing for more lenient regulations on drilling standards (remember the Gulf Spill? think we really need looser drilling regulation?). They claim that these lower standards and tax breaks will assist in lowering the price of gas per gallon at the pump.

     Folks, additional funds and easier reg.s are not going to change the price of gas by one red cent! Additional oil production in the US only means that the corporations will have a few hundred thousand extra barrels of oil to distribute in the international market. They don't tell you that the oil produced MIGHT be sold within US borders, or it MIGHT be sold internationally. It's a case of consumption and commodity pricing. We can only burn so much oil (thank God), so additional production just means we have more EXCESS oil to sell to others. It won't change the fact that we purchase two thirds of our oil from foreign markets. In fact, the additional production is so insignificant, that it will barely change overall global oil pricing at all! The only effect that these changes will have, is that corporate oil will see an additional profit this fiscal year, and a very significant profit at that. We are getting charged twice at the pump is what it boils down to.

     Let me give you an analogy:

     Joe Shmoe, works a full time job. He gets his pay every week, but he doesn't think that's enough money, so, he illegally files for welfare and gets it. Joe gets caught. Joe goes to jail. Because, what Joe did, is against the law.
     Now, suppose Joe works at a job where he can get paid under the table (his pay isn't recorded as a taxable income in other words). He then files for welfare, receives it, and GETS AWAY WITH IT!

     Show me the difference between this scenario and big oil's larcenous activities.

     'Nuff said. Go read Eclecta's post, I'm too @#$#'d off at the moment to type more.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Netspeak...or what the heck is ROFLMAO?

     Recently, I have received several emails from friends and family inquiring what all of my little abbreviations mean. For instance, when I am chatting online or doing a rapid email or face book post, I might type something like this:

Im SS 4 dly, uber busy atm, ttyl roflmao

this translates to ... i am so sorry for the delay but i have been very busy at the moment, talk to you later, (roll on the floor and laugh my ass off)

     To make things a bit easier for you all, I have found a posting from Pogo, under the Ms. Netiquette forum that has a huge list of almost every conceivable netspeach abbreviation in existence. I hope I don't need permission to post this, after all I am giving credit to Pogo for posting.

Pogo Netspeak Posting List

Common Abbreviations:

    -- A --
  • a&f = always & forever
  • aamof = as a matter of fact
  • adn = any day now
  • afaic = as far as I'm concerned
  • afaik = as far as I know
  • afk = away from keyboard
  • ai = artificial intelligence (often in reference to computer players)
  • aiamu = and I'm a monkey's uncle
  • anim8 = animate
  • aota = all of the above
  • aoyp = angels on your pillow
  • asl = age sex location
  • atm = at the moment
  • atp = answer the phone
  • ayt? = are you there?
  • -- B --
  • b& = banned
  • b2u = back to you
  • b4n = bye for now
  • b/c = because
  • bbiaf = be back in a few
  • bbfn = bye bye for now
  • bbiab = be back in a bit
  • bbl = be back later
  • bbq = be back quick
  • bbw = be back whenever
  • bf = boyfriend
  • bff = best friends forever
  • bf4l = best friends for life
  • bil = brother in law
  • bk = back
  • blnr = better luck next round
  • blnt = better luck next time
  • bion = believe it or not
  • brb = be right back
  • btdt = been there, done that
  • btw = by the way
  • byob = bring your own bottle
  • -- C --
  • c/t = can't talk
  • cbb = can't be bothered
  • ccl = couldn't care less
  • cg = congratulations
  • cmiiw = correct me if I'm wrong
  • cod = call of duty
  • cual = see you all later
  • cul = see you later
  • ctn = can't talk now
  • cts = changing the subject
  • cuz = because or cousin
  • cya = see you
  • cyl = see you later
  • -- D --
  • dbeyr = don't believe everything you read
  • dbm = don't bother me
  • dc'd = disconnected
  • dd = dear daughter
  • detai = don't even think about it
  • dgms = don't get me started
  • dgt = don't go there
  • diky? = do I know you?
  • dju? = did you?
  • dmaf = do me a favor?
  • dnd = do not disturb
  • dq = drama queen
  • dwai = don't worry about it
  • dwbh = don't worry, be happy
  • -- E --
  • eg = evil grin
  • e1 = everyone
  • eos = end of story
  • -- F --
  • f2f = face to face
  • f2t = free to talk
  • fav = favorite
  • fcol = for crying out loud
  • fil = father in law
  • focl = falling off chair laughing
  • ftw = for the win
  • -- G --
  • g2cu = good to see you
  • g2g = got to go
  • g4u = good for you
  • g2g2w = got to go to work
  • gr8 = great
  • gal = get a life
  • gb = God bless
  • gbh = great big hug
  • gbu = god bless you
  • gf = girlfriend
  • gg = good game
  • gga = good game all
  • ggp = gotta go potty
  • gj = good job
  • gjp = good job, partner
  • gl2a = good luck to all
  • gl2u = good luck to you
  • gl2u2 = good luck to you, too
  • glev1 = good luck everyone
  • glhf = good luck, have fun
  • glng = good luck next game
  • glnr = good luck next round
  • gmngl = good morning and good luck
  • gmta = great minds think alike
  • gn = good night
  • gr = get real
  • grg = gotta run guys
  • gt = good try
  • gtgn = gotta go now
  • gtr = gotta run
  • gws = get well soon
  • gyb = got your back
  • -- H --
  • h&k = hugs & kisses
  • h2cus or htsys = hope to see you soon
  • habd = have a blessed day
  • habt = how about this?
  • hagd = have a good day
  • hage = have a good evening
  • hagn = have a good night
  • hawd = have a wonderful day
  • hayd? = how are you doing?
  • hb = hurry back
  • hbiab = hurry back in a bit
  • hbl = hurry back later
  • hbd = happy birthday
  • hru? = how are you?
  • hrgl2ua = hello room good luck to you all
  • hsik? = how should I know?
  • hth = hope this helps
  • hwga = here we go again
  • -- I --
  • iag = it's all good
  • iawy = I agree with you
  • ib = I'm back
  • icbyst = I can't believe you said that
  • icr = I can't remember
  • ictrn = I can't talk right now
  • idc = I don't care
  • idgi = I don't get it
  • idk = I don't know
  • idky = I don't know you
  • idm = I don't mind
  • idw2n = I don't wanna know
  • idwk = I don't wanna know
  • ihnc = I have no clue
  • ihni = I have no idea
  • ikr = I know right
  • ilu = I love you
  • ily = I love you
  • im = instant message
  • imb = I am back
  • imho = in my humble opinion
  • imnl = I am not laughing
  • ink = I'm not kidding
  • irl = in real life
  • ita = I totally agree
  • itd = in the dark
  • iyd = in your dreams
  • -- J --
  • j/a = just asking
  • j/c = just curious
  • j/j = just joking
  • j/k = just kidding
  • j2lyk = just to let you know
  • j4f = just for fun
  • j4g = just for grins
  • j4l = just for laughs
  • j4u = just for you
  • jas = just a second
  • jml = just my luck
  • jp = jackpot spin
  • jw = just wondering
  • -- K --
  • kah = kisses and hugs
  • khuf = know how you feel
  • kis = keep it simple
  • kotc/kotch = kiss on the cheek
  • kwim = know what I mean?
  • kutgw = keep up the good work
  • -- L --
  • l2m = listening to music
  • L8r = later
  • l8rg8r = later gator
  • lafs = love at first site
  • ldr = long distance relationship
  • lfr = laughing for real
  • llap = live long and prosper
  • lmbo = laughing my butt off
  • lmk = let me know
  • lol = laugh out loud
  • lqtm= laughing quietly to myself
  • ltns = long time no see
  • lshigp = laughing so hard I'm going to pee
  • luv = love
  • lyl = love you lots
  • -- M --
  • mawou/y = may angels watch over you
  • mbio hagd = my break is over have a good day
  • mdf = my dear friend
  • mf = my friend
  • mil = mother in law
  • mml = made me laugh
  • mnm = mix-n-match (badges)
  • mp = my pleasure
  • mpa = my pleasure always
  • mpty/mp2u = more power to you
  • msmd = monkey see monkey do
  • myob = mind your own business
  • -- N --
  • n2g = not too good
  • n2bb = nice to be back
  • n2cu = nice to see you
  • n2k = need to know
  • n2mu = nice to meet you
  • nb = not bad
  • nbd = no big deal
  • ng = nice game
  • nh = nice hand
  • nhwb = need help with badge
  • ni = no idea
  • nj = nice job
  • njp = nice job, partner
  • nk = no kidding
  • nm = nice move
  • no = no offense
  • np = no problem
  • nr = nice roll
  • ns = nice score
  • ns = nice streak
  • nt = nice try
  • ntmy = nice to meet you
  • ntw = not to worry
  • nty = no, thank you
  • ntty = nice talking to you
  • nyf = not your fault
  • -- O --
  • oar = on a roll
  • obtw = oh by the way
  • oic = oh I see
  • oidia = oops I did it again
  • omg = oh my goodness
  • omt = one more time
  • omw = on my way
  • ootb = out of the blue
  • os = operating system
  • otoh = on the other hand
  • otp = on the phone
  • -- P --
  • p4b = playing for badge
  • pdg = please don't go
  • pdgy = please don't go yet
  • pdq = pretty darn quick
  • peeps = people
  • pita = pain in the appendix (or perhaps another body part)
  • plz = please
  • ppl = people
  • ptb = powers that be
  • pto = paid time off/personal time off
  • pyt = pretty young thing
  • -- Q --
  • qt = cutie
  • -- R --
  • rbay = right back at you
  • rofl = rolling on floor laughing
  • rtg = ready to go
  • rtm = read the manual
  • -- S --
  • s2u = same to you
  • sahm = stay at home mom
  • sbt = sorry about that
  • sd = sweet dreams
  • sg = something
  • shmily = see how much I love you
  • sil = sister in law
  • smh = shaking my head
  • snf = so not fair
  • sob = sweet old boy (among other things)
  • sof = smile on face
  • sofas = stepping out for a second
  • so = significant other
  • ss = so sorry
  • swak = sealed with a kiss
  • swalcakws = sealed with a lick cuz a kiss won't stick
  • sstht = so sorry to hear that
  • syl = see you later
  • -- T --
  • tab = totally amazing beauty
  • taig = that's all I got
  • tbf = to be fair
  • tbph = to be perfectly honest
  • tbnt = thanks but no thanks
  • tc = take care
  • tcfc = too close for comfort
  • tffw = too funny for words
  • tfic = tongue firmly in cheek
  • tioli = take it or leave it
  • tisc = that is so cool
  • tma = take my advice
  • tl = tough luck
  • tlc = tender loving care
  • tmai = tell me about it
  • tmi = too much information
  • tmsg = tell me something good
  • totp = talking on the phone
  • tptb = the powers that be
  • tokies = tokens
  • tss = that's so sweet
  • ttfn = ta ta for now
  • ttth = talk to the hand
  • tttt = to tell the truth
  • ttyiab = talk to ya in a bit
  • ttyl = talk to ya later
  • ttyt = talk to ya tomorrow
  • tut/tyt = take your time
  • twfaf = that's what friends are for
  • ty = thank you
  • tyfi = thank you for the invite
  • tyfp = thank you for playing
  • tyk = thank you kindly
  • -- U --
  • udwk = you don't wanna know
  • ugtr = you got that right
  • urtbitw = you are the best in the world
  • ut? = you there?
  • utm = you tell me
  • -- V --
  • vbg = very big grin
  • vf = very funny
  • vgg = very good game
  • vwd = very well done
  • -- W --
  • w/ = with
  • w/o = without
  • w2g = way to go
  • wad = without a doubt
  • way? = what about you?
  • wayd? = what are you doing?
  • wayg? = where are you going?
  • wayt? = what are you thinking?
  • wb = welcome back
  • wbp = welcome back, partner
  • wd = well done
  • wdyt? = what do you think?
  • we = whatever
  • wfh = work from home
  • witw? = what in the world?
  • wp = well played
  • wtb? = what's the buzz?
  • wtg = way to go
  • wth = what the heck?
  • wywh = wish you were here
  • wysiwyg = what you see is what you get
  • -- X --
  • xlnt = excellent
  • xoxo = hugs and kisses
  • -- Y --
  • yaqw = you are quite welcome
  • ygg = you go girl!
  • ygm = you got mail
  • yk = you're kidding
  • ykw? = you know what?
  • ymw = you're most welcome
  • ynk = you never know
  • yty = why thank you
  • yqw = you're quite welcome
  • yvw = you're very welcome
  • yw = you're welcome

Not So Common Abbreviations:

  • #tgtb = to get the badge (example: 6tgtb)
  • !$#%#@!#% = I lost again
  • bmoc = big man on campus
  • bwoc = big woman on campus
  • brb-brb = be right back, bathroom break
  • ejp = excellent job, partner
  • glng = good luck next game
  • icbidt = I can't believe I did that
  • fps = for Pete's sake
  • lbalt = luck be a lady tonight
  • ll = leapin' lizards
  • lylas = love ya like a sister
  • masoyp = may angels sleep on your pillow
  • mnc = mother nature calls
  • oftloh = oh for the love of Henry
  • v/r = virtual reality
  • ypmbtm = you play much better than me



Game Specific Abbreviations:

Bingo Games:

  • gjb = good job passing
  • njp = nice job passing
  • np = nice passing
  • ns = nice solo
  • ty4s = thank you for sharing
  • ty4w = thank you for wilds

BOGGLE Bash:

  • nf = nice find

Canasta:

  • nm = nice meld

Lottso:

  • sl = super lottso card
  • tyfc or ty4c = thank you for charity

Pogo Bowl:

  • nd = nice double
  • ifyp = I feel your pain
  • n(*)> = nice turkey
  • nr = nice run
  • nt = nice turkey
  • nx = nice strike
  • sir = strike it rich
  • ss = so sorry
  • sso = so sorry opens
  • ifyp = I feel your pain

Poker Games:

  • gs = good split
  • nf = nice fold
  • nk = nice kick
  • ns = nice split

Tri-Peaks Solitaire:

  • fud = face up deal

Word Riot Deluxe:

  • cg = clue giver
  • gjt = good job team
  • te = team effort

League Abbreviations:

  • blnr = better luck next round
  • blnt = better luck next time
  • bolnr = best of luck next round
  • bolnt = best of luck next tourney
  • rd = round
  • rds = rounds
  • tyfpm = thank you for playing me
  • tyfj = thank you for jumping/joining
  • tyfh = thank you for hosting

Funny or Obscure Abbreviations:

  • bw/bs/moa/hf = be well, be safe, most of all... have fun!
  • ibdiyh = I bow down in your honor
  • inw = I'm not worthy
  • iwiwiwimiwtwtgt = I wish I will I wish I might I wish to win this game tonight
  • ltalwdls = let's twist again like we did last summer
  • lumcomn = laughed until milk came out of my nose
  • rofgmbo = rolling on floor giggling my butt off
  • ualhagnuheer = you all have a good night, you hear? (Southern talk)
  • witsoohc = what is the sound of one hand clapping?

Ms. Netiquette's Favorites:

  • grmn = go read ms. netiquette
  • utm= use the mute

     I hope this helps you all a bit. Ttyl ualhagnuheer, rofgmbo.

Proposed Civilian Job Corp Educational Bill

     Before I begin this post, I would like to add a disclaimer. I am not a lawyer. I have a BS in management, and an Associates in both Psych and Criminal Justice as well as a General Associates in Military Science. I do not now nor do I foresee myself, feeling qualified to present an actual bill for consideration. I do, however, feel justified in presenting a preliminary idea for a bill to be presented after thorough legal review. That in mind, here is my proposal for a functional and mutually beneficial package for a civilian job corp educational bill.

     Presently, the US Armed Forces offer an educational program called the GI Bill. The soldier invests $100.00 per month for a period of 3 years in conjunction with a three year military commitment. After these conditions have been met, the government matches the amount, invests it in a group investment fund and then makes these funds available for general educational use by all qualifying participants in the program.
    
     The key to this program is that the military benefits from the soldier's service and the group body benefits from the mass investments of it's participants. This is what makes the program viable and provides profit for both agencies involved. In order to provide a civilian bill of equal value, these two elements must be the primary focus in order to attract political support. It must be a win/win scenario or it would just wind up in the bottom of some politician's waste bin.

     With this in mind I propose the following:

A. Applicants to the program should meet the following criteria:
  1. Applicants should pass a physical screening that finds them capable of performing basic manual labor.
  2. Applicants should pass a mental health screening that finds them psychologically fit for community service.
  3. Applicants should pass a back ground investigation that proves their moral commitment to their community. Any applicant who is a felon, violent criminal, or sexual offender, would be deemed ineligible. This is subject to adjustment as I believe this area needs to be expanded to cover all contingencies. Moral fiber is essential in community activity.
  4. Applicants should fall below a set income level, to be determined at a later date. This program is designed to provide for those who can not afford to provide for themselves, through education and employment.
B. Accepted Candidates to the Program should be willing to do the following:

  1. Relocate to a designated work site as determined by the needs of the program.
  2. Sign a three to five year contract, committing them to the program. Failure to meet their contractual obligation would nullify all benefits.
  3. Prepare themselves for strenuous work in the form of menial labor, training in counseling of victims, and the rigors of experiencing areas deemed to be effected by disaster.
C. A Community Service Organization (CSO) be formed at first the state level and later the federal level, to first test it's fiscal viability. The CSO would have the following missions:

  1. To provide emergency relief personnel to areas effected by disaster: eg ... flood, famine, fire, acts of god, etc.
  2. To work towards the improvement of the community through area beatification, maintenance and repair: eg....road cleanup, park restoration, rural road and bridge repair in conjunction with the DOH (department of highways), general building maintenance and repair of community buildings essential to the moral, spiritual, emotional and physical well being of the citizenry (churches, community centers, crisis support centers such as rape counseling and domestic violence, food kitchens, half way houses, etc).
  3. To provide support and counseling for disaster and trauma survivors: eg....suicide prevention hot lines, walk in support counseling for disaster victims, initial rape counseling support groups, temporary domestic violence safe housing (temporary in that the victim could seek shelter there in until the staff can obtain permanent accommodations through other support organizations; it should be added that the CSO must be prepared for extensive communication with other organizations at all times. Networking with others is one of the highest of all valued skills in community service), establishment of food kitchens, emergency shelter, temporary educational facilities for under age school age children to maintain continuity in the face of adversity, and basic medical and sanitary services.
  4. To teach at all times and on all levels. To instruct it's staff in the areas of counseling, empathetic response to victimization, and how to direct customers to other agencies that can further assist them in their time of loss and/or trauma.
D. The CSO should show a profit. In order to provide the services required of it, the agency in question should have a method of deriving funds on it's own rather than find it's self dependant on state and federal funding. This has always been the failure of previous programs. When cut comes to shove, the good guys always get the shaft during budget discussions. Revenue can be garnered in the following ways:

  1. An initial loan from the state level (amount to determined at a later date) would be issued to establish the agency, to be repaid at an acceptable interest rate over the first 4 to 10 years of the programs operation (actual time frame also to be determined at a later date in reference to the actual amount of the loan).
  2. As one of the missions of the CSO would be community beatification and maintenance (see paragraph C, article 2), the CSO would seek out and obtain contracts throughout the state to do labor work replacing rural bridges, repairing churches, and other forms of menial construction and repair.
  3. A department within the CSO would be established to perform telemarketing campaigns to raise funding. The CSO
  4. The CSO would sub contract it's services to state and national parks for restoration and improvement of the those facilities in replacement of the expensive and time consuming process of the "open contractors bidding system".
E. The CSO would provide it's accepted applicants with a base wage on a sliding scale similar to military service. An example of this pay scale is shown below:

YEARS OF SERVICE  MONTHLY SALARY  HAZARDOUS DUTY ASSIGNMENT BONUS
1st year of service          $800.00                          $400.00
2 to 3 years                     $1000.00
4 years plus                     $1200.00

Those with long terms of service would be provided a slightly elevated pay scale to be determined at a later date.
     
F. The CSO would provide all accepted applicants with adequate housing and three well balanced meals a day, as well uniforms and equipment deemed necessary for their job performance. I would suggest a dormitory style environment with a cafeteria. To minimize costs the applicants would rotate duties within the kitchen and be required to perform their own household maintenance.

G. Membership within the job corp would not require the participants to enroll in the educational bill itself, this would be an option available to them. If they desire to participate, they would be required to invest $100.00 per month for a term of no less than three years and no more than six. The funds invested would be placed in a high yield 401k style account. At the completion of their service, the applicants would have available to them, their initial investment of $3,600.00 to $7,200.00, plus an accrued interest roughly in the neighborhood of $1,800.00 to $3,600.00, giving them and available amount of $5,400.00 to $10,800.00 towards their college or trade school educational fees. This equates to two to four years of tuition fees, depending on their investment. They of course would need additional financial aid, but the Pel Grant and student work programs would more than cover the needs of food, housing, books and school supplies.


     To summarize, the CSO, would be a non-profit group devoted to not only bettering the community, but also providing for it's participants both a wage, education, and pride in their state and country, and providing the state/federal government, a much needed series of services and in the process turning a profit that partially assists in lowering the national and state debts.

     The pilot program would be established on a small scale within one of the rural communities in WVa. It would be a one building operation, consisting of housing and a kitchen for the staff, and offices for the various departments run by the CSO. The primary focus of the first few years would be to build the programs themselves, and to establish a base revenue for the CSO. Once these conditions have been met, the CSO can expand upon itself, concentrating on repaying its loans and working towards federal acceptance and assistance in a nation wide program of expansion.

     One item of note; enrollment and completion of service commitment within the CSO would be considered the equivalent of completion of military service. The service member would be considered exempt from involuntary state and federal service, eg... the draft.

Sgt Ron Responds.....

     Recently I received an onslaught of emails, primarily from a friend of mine that, until she gives me permission to use her full name online, I will refer to as C. The content of the emails involved some highly intensive requests. I've reviewed them and framed my answers in my mind; let's see how well put them into type. This is a list of the requests and proposals sent to me....

1. Would I be willing to take a more active leadership role in my local Democratic party

2. Would I also be willing to format my thoughts on education into a proposal for a bill to provide a civilian job corp educational program

3. As a veteran myself, would I be willing to help in the community, especially with a program to gather donated commodities for shipment to soldiers in Iraq, as well as other programs to come

     I would be willing to do all these things; however I do have some reservations that I should like to state upfront before continuing in any direction with them, and I also would like to present my answers here, so that the community can have the opportunity to review my ideas and responses and voice their opinions and input on them.
  
     I will not appear before the media, should I accept these offers. I do not like media exposure. I had enough of that at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital. You have to understand not only my viewpoint but the Army's viewpoint on this issue as well, in order to understand why I will NEVER appear on camera, in an interview, or on a radio program, or any other form of media EVER again. The Army needs positive media exposure, unfortunately they do this by any means at their disposal. A wounded soldier is still a soldier and still subject to the orders of his superiors. I happen to be well spoken, and, to be frank, I am a pretty boy on camera. This is a bad combination in a military hospital. I often found myself "asked" to "participate" in media events. I performed numerous television specials, interviews, radio talk show appearances, and attended so many political functions throughout Washington, that I believe I now can recite the shoe size of every politician in that town. Washington was the circus, I was the two headed goat in the side show. If you want to get elected, getting your picture taken with a pretty cripple is a great way to start.

     There was a good side to this. It opened my eyes and enlightened me as to what the republican party, in charge at the time, was realy about. Needless to say, after that carnival ride, I am firmly entrenched in the democratic camp now. It is amazing how much people will say around a cripple. They are so used to ignoring us, that after a time, they actualy forget we are in the room. I heard things in Washington that turned my pubic hair straight!

     That having been said, as long as I am not expected to participate with or appear before any media exposure, I would be overjoyed to take on a leadership capacity with the local party. I will also attempt to frame a proposal on education; however, I am a passionate speaker, not a lawyer, I am fairly certain that whatever I put into type, should be reviewed by legal parties prior to presentation beyond the local arena.

     As to the third point, gathering comodities for donation to soldiers in Iraq. THERE I CAN REALY HELP! I have a LIST of organizations that do precisely that. We should contact them for input on adopting a unit overseas, and getting mailing addresses for shipment. Next we need to make a list of needed items, I already have that. And finaly, we need to contact the local elementary, middle and high schools, preferably the art and english departments, so that the children of the community can include hand written letters, pictures and other art works to include in the care packages ( The key word in care package is "Care"). Soldiers aren't as concerned with what they get as who sent it and why. I remember a few of the toughest men I know, breaking down into tears over a kindergartner's fingerprint card. Below are two lists; organizations and commodity donation guide lines.

ORGANIZATIONS

Soldiers' Angels
USO
VFW
American Legion
DAV
Rolling Thunder
The National Military Spouses' Support Group
Red Cross
Peace Corp (I'm not kidding they realy sent us stuff)
The Wesleyan Foundation

I'm sure there are many more, but those are the ones that immediately come to mind.

DONATION GUIDELINES
*canned food, with very long shelf lives, and tasty...eg ravioli, tuna, spaghetti o's, viena sausages
*dry goods that only require water to cook...eg ramen noodles, kraft macaroni dinners
*candy that WILL NOT MELT....dont send chocolate...eg gum, twizlers, candied nuts, dry fruit
*dried foods....eq peanuts, dry fruit, raisens, trail mix
*powdered drink mixes
*instant coffee and tea
*DO NOT send sugar or creamer......thet tend to absorb moisture and attract insects during shipping
*AVOID SENDING personal hygiene items.....there is an abundance of both in combat theaters and a
     soldier can only use so many bars of soap
*Things that provide entertainment.....pocket games, decks of cards, puzzle books, small board games
*DO NOT send home baked goods....I remember an old story, true or not I can not say, that tells of a
     vietnam veteran who recieved a pack of bad brownies, luckily he was captured and the captors
     stole and ate them, he was saved by a good dose of food poisoning
*Personal messages of encouragement and love....soldiers will openly make fun of each other for          them..but later when they are alone they will read them until they are nothing but taters of paper

The key to a good care package is to send what the soldiers will most enjoy, will survive shipping, and
     will have the most possitive impact on their morale.

     I hope this response covers most of the emails I have recieved to date. Please, feel free to comment on the post. I never turn down input, whether it be complimentary or critique. All input is good input, you just need to learn how to take critisism as well as pats on the back. Tomorrow or later tonight, after I have had time to digest the idea, I will post a preliminary proposal on education. Until then, I just want to end this blog with a large thank you to all of you for your support, encouragement, and love. Thank you, Sgt Ron.


PS

     I, for a change, have a job for all of YOU. I would like each of you to forward this blog site's address to five of you friends. The more people I get to come to this site, the more communication we can develop. Blogging is great, but it realy doesnt accomplish anything without participation.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Favorite Quote of the Week

From Eclectablog

May 11th, 2011

And when [the preemptive whingers] don't have anything to get upset about, that's no problem. They just invent something. Here's the playbook for your reference:
  1. Read the day's headlines.
  2. Determine a spin that characterizes the President and his administration in the worst possible light.
  3. If such a spin does not exist, postulate what the President and his administration's response will be. Make sure that it is as negative as possible, even if it contradicts his past behavior.
  4. Write endless blogs on how the President has once again sold his "base" down the river and kicked hippies in the teeth (after punching them, of course.) It is not necessary for him to actually have done this. Your prediction that he WILL do this is sufficient.
  5. When what you predicted turns out to be quite wrong, ignore that and focus on the next day's news item. No point in issuing a mea culpa. Just raise a fuss about something new and nobody will notice.
  6. Lather, rinse and repeat.


So aptly put Eclecta........bravo!

    Immigration....the republicans' private ATM

         Immigration has increasingly become a very heated topic of debate between the republican and democratic parties over the past few decades. The central focus of the argument has been centered on illegal immigration and the approaches to responding to it. The republican response is harsher measures, stricter control of borders, and military involvement along the Mexican frontier. The illegal immigration of Mexican immigrants has been tied firmly into the war on drugs by the republican party and is constantly brought to the forefront of the combatant political arena. Watching CNN, MSNBC, FOX and their various affiliated networks, the public has been witness to the rising tide of mass illegal migration of Mexican nationals and the drugs they bring to our streets.

         That's exactly what the republican party wants you to see. They want us to be afraid. They want us to hate them. They want us to view them as the enemy and the republican response to be our great salvation. They want us to be fools.

         Illegal immigration and drug influx are indeed issues. Issues expertly manufactured and nurtured by the very party that decries their existence. Wake up.

         Until the 1970s, illegal immigration was never a serious issue. Harsher, more unattainable immigration standards, slowly built up over the past 40+ years, have made it almost as likely to become an American citizen, as it is to win the state lottery. As a consequence, entrance into the United States, has become more and more a criminal practice, bringing with it the other aspects of crime in an ever increasing cycle of severity. Of course the drug war is tied in with illegal immigration. Illegal immigration is a crime and criminals go where other criminals go. Its the natural order of human response to congregate with circles of others who condone our actions.

         The war on drugs is an extremely profitable endeavor, both for the those who sell the drugs and those combat them. A harsh statement you say? Then consider this....

    1. Money is diverted from tax payer funds to hire and maintain task forces to fight the threats

    2. Illegal immigrants work for villainous low salaries just for the opportunity to have work at all

    3. Individuals profit from their low wage workers AND from the private organizations established to support those combating in the drug war

         We are talking billions of dollars from both ends of this self perpetuating and escalating nightmare. Why would they ever WANT it to stop?

         If entrance restrictions to the US were lowered to NORMAL expectations, as they were prior to the 1970s, illegal immigration would dramatically decrease as legal immigration increased. The importation of drugs would dwindle by an exponential rate as the current transportation network enabling their flow into this country ceased. The resultant legitimate work force that would influx the country would bring a tax paying labor pool, increased economic input, and completely eliminate the illegal immigrant competition nation wide, adding hundreds of thousands of previously unavailable jobs to the market. The only losers in this situation would be the 1% of Americans who control 90% of the nation's economy and make a fortune by paying criminally low salaries to people who have no choice in the matter then turn around and rake the cash in hand over fist as they take out government contracts as support services on the drug war.

         Think I am over reacting? Go ask a recent immigrant from Ireland how long it took for them to get citizenship and compare it to a Mexican nationals. Talk about bias (BTW I happen to be an Irish American, so don't even try to play the race card with me). This isn't about illegal immigration, it's about Mexican immigration. Who are we to tell others who can and can not immigrate to this country. As long as they are not criminals and pass a security investigation, can pass the immigration test established for entrance, and are willing to work and contribute to the community welfare....then I say, give us your poor and your hungry.......we got plenty of room.

         Is it any wonder that Mexican population of California, both legal and illegal, wave the Mexican flag in the streets of our cities? I would too if I were being used like they are. You want them to love the America they are trying to be a part of? Then for God's sakes, MAKE THEM CITIZENS AND TREAT THEM WITH THE RESPECT ALL MEN ARE ENTITLED TO!!! If they actually are criminals, as would be determined by a routine back ground check, arrest and deport them then, and not proclaim them guilty without probable cause. (I thought our legal system was based on that precept....Innocent until proven guilty.....or perhaps that no longer applies.)

         Frankly I only have one question.................Where the hell were your immigration laws when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock?

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Who Is Sgt Ron?

         Many of my friends and family have often requested that I put pen to paper (or key stroke to blog as the case may be) and share part of my life with them. I don't really feel like writing an entire biography at the moment so I'll just sketch in the parts that are relevant to this blog site. If enough people hound me, perhaps I shall add more later. In the mean time, however.....here goes...



         At the age of 17 years old, I enlisted in the US Army. I did this for many reasons, patriotism and a desire to serve my country, a compulsion to follow in my father's footsteps, a need to earn money for college, and a minor case of the teenage "I gotta prove I am a man" syndrome. I believe, looking back on it all, that I achieved all but the last of those goals, I found out the hard way that I really didn't have anything to prove to begin with. I only wish I had come to that realisation earlier.

         I served my country from 1986 to 2009, during which I deployed (among other locations) to combat theaters in Panama, Honduras, Somalia, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq ( for both desert storm and operation Iraqi freedom). On my last combat tour in Iraq I received my final and most impacting injury.

         I won't go into the details of the incident, suffice it to say that I was injured in a road side bomb attack that has left me permanently disabled and confined to a wheelchair. I suffer from numerous arthritic ailments, permanent nerve pain, an inability to walk, psychological trauma (PTSD) and other medical conditions that make life a trial for both myself and those whom I love. Those who get to know me are amazed that despite all of this, I am grateful. It could have been so much worse.

         What others fail to realise is that I have a unique perspective on my situation. I spent YEARS in military hospitals around the globe. I have seen almost every possible injury a man or woman could sustain. My life is good. I do not dwell on what I have lost, I thank God for what he has given me.
    I have retained my mental faculties, I have use of all my functions from the knees up, I can speak, think, hear and see. I have the love of one of the noblest and self sacrificing women ever to walk this earth, four wonderful children who love me almost as much as I love them, and now, FOUR grandchildren (you count too Blake you little scoundrel lol) so lovely it makes my breath catch in my chest just to look at them. I am not cursed, I am blessed.

         You asked who I am. I gave you a lengthy little rambling essay in return. Maybe I should just summarize it a bit.....

          I am Sgt Ron.....I am a wounded warrior.....I am grateful.

    God bless the army wife

         I just wanted to take a moment to comment on my wife.

         My wife and I have been married for over 15 years. She has stood by my side faithfully every step of the way, enduring numerous military deployments, my extended hospitalization, my permanent physical handicap, and the countless psychological, physical, emotional and spiritual scars I now carry, without, I might add, even one word of complaint. She has raised our four children, is now very active in our grandchildrens' lives, works a full time job and is in the process of developing that into a very promising career, is my primary care giver, AND maintains our household.

         My wife is an army wife, the hardest job in the world, the definition of which would fill numerous blogs and can never adequately be recognized.

         My wife is a saint and I thank God for her every day.

         If you are reading this hun, I love you more today than yesterday, but not even half as much as tomorrow.

    Educational reform

         Growing up in rural WVa, and a member of a large family, the possiblities of college education were extremely limited. In all reality I had two choices after high school graduation; military service or the coal mines. Frankly, the prospects of military service (at the time) seemed to have a far higher life expectancy. Also, with military service, came the GI Bill; an educational funding program designed to make available college funds for military veterans.
         Twenty five years later, I look around me and I see hardly any change in the status of our current youths' choices. They can take a menial and highly dangerous job working in a coal mine or on an oil rig, or .... they can join the army. I have several misgivings about both, but most especialy about the former option. Why is it, that the young people of our nation, unless they come from very high income families, in order to attend college, must contemplate combat service, a lifetime of mental trama, possible permanent physical injury or even death, just to get an education? The GI Bill is a gamble. It simply states, "You can go to college......if you live."
         Don't get me wrong, please. I served my country for more than twenty years. I served in multiple combat zones, have been wounded multiple times in combat, and am now permanently disabled from injuries sustatained in combat during operation Iraqi freedom. My only question is, if we can have a bill for soldiers, is there not some way to provide one for the people we so desperately served to protect in the first place? Or, am I forced to concede that my children are damned to the same life I found myself leading?
         If soldiers can serve a tour of duty, investing a small portion of their pay in a GI Bill, is it possible that we could develope a program for civilians to enter, either as volunteers, or as governmental employees, by which they could earn the same right? This is assuming of course, that our country still recognizes the equal rights of all of it's citizens and isn't based on the concept of war for profit.