Geroge Orwell

We sleep safe in our beds at because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

What Soldiers are Made Of

We have all heard American Soldiers are the best trained, best equipped and best led soldiers on Earth. They are made of something that only an American Soldier has. That something is born and bred into them. You can't buy it, you can't manufacture it, and it sure doesn't come in pill or capsule form. I have seen paratroopers jump from planes I swear I could throw a baseball up and hit. I've watched them tumble, roll, get up, gather up their 70 plus pounds of gear and run across a field just to hear their cadre say "Way to go Airborne!" Some of them barely are tall enough to keep their reserve chute from dragging the ground. Some them are probably outweighed by the gear they carry to survive in combat. But, their heart is as big as the very sky they fall so effortlessly from.

Who are they? What are they made of? Just flesh and blood, like you and me. But, with something inside them you can't name, some kind of drive that only a few have. One minute they are under fire from the enemy in life and death situations. The next they smile at a child that knows only he is hungry and the " American soldier" has given him something to eat, a smile and a pat on the head. Or maybe the soldier has just smiled at a puppy which reminds him of his child's puppy, safe and free in Anytown USA. He has been asked to do things he never thought he could or would do. He has pushed his body to the limit and then pushed again. He has accomplished that which he would have thought un-doable. Then shortly thereafter knelt to pray with his comrades for a successful mission and everyone of them is ok.

Ask them why they do what they do and you will get many answers. Words like Pride, Patriotism, Freedom, Family, Tradition are words you will likely here. I assure you when you pin them down they will say something like "it's just something I have to do, I don't really know why." If you have read my previous post you know about my son's battle buddy, Kody. If not, read it now, this post will make more sense.

Let me tell you about one soldier. Son of a former Marine and barely old enough to shave. At 19 he was one of the first surge paratroopers to enter Baghdad, not in the safe "Green Zone". On the border of the notorious Sadr City. His unit spent their first months kicking in doors, and I might add, kicking "butt" (sorry Chaplins). Patrols that lasted 3 days with little or no sleep. The chow was the wonderful MRE's. You know what? These soldiers were happy to have them! Did they complain about them? Hell yes! Have ever eaten an MRE? Most of these soldiers say "it doesn't taste too bad." But, cardboard tastes good if you put enough ketchup on it! Did they go on? Hell yes! Did they do their job to 110% of their capability? Hell yes, and then some more!

After 13 months this kid of soldier gets the message his father has passed away. He is on his way home, sad as the occasion may be, but home. No more mortars, IED'S. No more patrols where you don't know what is behind the next door or around the next corner. He spends his time at home with his family and lays his Marine father to rest. Now he has to pick up the pieces of his life and go on with his head held high. That's what his father would have said. "I'm in a better place now he would have told him. You have to take care of you now."

He has his ticket back to Fort Bragg, his home base. Home in the US of A. SAFE, HOT SHOWERS AND CHOW! What more could you ask for after what he has been through. Ride it out for a month until his unit gets back. What does this solider do? He requests to go back to his unit, they are still at the Combat Outpost and have a month to do. He gets a ticket, flies 18 hours, grabs some chopper rides and is back with his unit. Would you have done it? Do you have the guts to do it. I have asked myself that question many times since I found out about it.

Did this soldier take the easy way out, Hell no! He's an American soldier, an American Paratrooper, he has pride, faith and a heart that knows no boundaries. This, is what the American soldier is made of. You can't label it, you can't touch it, and you can't put a name on.

So, the next time you see someone in a military uniform, dog gone it, don't be afraid, walk up to them and say, Hi, I just want to thank you for my FREEDOM and keeping my family safe! The next time you go in "Harm's way" I'll be praying for your safe return. Who knows after you say it a couple of times you might just start a new revolution!

I waited to post this until the 2-319th Black Falcons arrived home last week. They are safely on the ground arriving at 0441 Hrs. , 4:41AM, Wednesday , March 19th.

Welcome home! and Thanks!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Thank You.

This post is pre-written and will be posted as soon after BOG (Boots on the Ground) return date for my son, March 17th as possible. Unlike most of my posts is is relatively short but needs to be said.

My wife bore me a son
We gave the war a boy
God gave me back a man
Thank you Lord

To all the people who have supported me and my family and my son for the past 15 months no "Thank you" is enough but, it's the only thing I have to give. Your prayers and support helped me through some very tough times. I wish to name a few of you here and if I have forgotten someone please forgive me.

In no special order

Airborne Dad, theonepercenters.blogspot.com, Mighty Mom, texassiren.blogspot. com, Pastor Ed Boston, Dotherighthing blogspot.com, Infantry Dad, infantrydad.blogspot.com, Chaplin Lynn, worthmysalt.blogspot.com Pastor (Chaplin,retired) Flesher, greencastlebiblechurch.org, Don and Sue, Uncle Don, St. John Lutheran Church members, Sarah, my daughter, and all the members at Hope Bible Church, Walmart employees, George, Betty, Pat, Patricia, Steve.

Barb F and Dave P of Greencastle. may your sons be safe from harm.

Subvet, agangershome.blogspot.com, all the kind and wonderful people who have seen my "Proud Parent" lapel pin and asked me to send my thanks to my son. I feel like the people at these dumm award shows on TV. Sarah, my daughter, and all the members at Hope Bible Church, At work, Jennifer, Steve, Mary Mac, my boss, "J", who has put up with my moods (?) , Jackey, Charline, Margene, Teresa, Ian, Mary C, Debbie, Alice and Otto, Charlie C, Darrel, my other brother, Jeff, even if he likes the 20 car, Dayngr, dayngrzone.blogspot.com.

I have to mention this guy by himself for being one heck of a human being and one hell of a photographer, Andrew Craft,acraftphoto.blogspot.com/. I must tell you why. An exploded IED photo was posted on the net by Mr. Craft. It was near where my son was stationed. I had not heard from my son for a couple of days. I em'd Mr. Craft who was kind enough to em back and tell me NO servicemen had been hurt in the explosion. My anxiety level dropped to zero with his email. Thanks again Andrew. He does great work in my humble opinion.

Finally a special thanks to my daughter-in-law, Ally. What a girl, she bleeds Red, White (opps) and Blue and Army green (?), I am an old guy remember! She has put up with my 15 months of guidance, hmm, and said nary a word. She has been there for "our soldier" All The Way!!

To anyone I forgot I apologize. Thanks to all and

God Bless America


Dilemma

For those of you who have read my thoughts, rantings, and raves I thank you. For those of you who have not maybe you are better off. I come to ask, oh boy here it comes, HELP! No I don't need money,you are off the hook. If you have read my first post I say this is not a red blog or blue blog. I just try to make it a blog that on occasion will be interesting, make people think and comment. Therefore give me information I may not have (aka comments).

We are currently in the midst of a a very long (winded) presidential campaign. Too long in my ever so humble opinion but, that's another story. Here's where I need your help. My candidate for the highest office in this land dropped out! Now I have to decide between currently 3 people, but in November 2 people. I am looking for why or why not to vote for a particular candidate. If you haven't all ready figured it out I am not a straight line party guy. I vote for the person whom I think will be the best for the America, not personally for me. My thoughts are if it's good for America, it's probably good for me. That is OK for me.

Being a male, sometimes chauvinist pig, ladies first. Sorry Gloria S. I ain't changing at this age!

Hilary Clinton: Don't really know much about the woman save what I hear and read. She's about my age, which is good. Don't need too young or too old of a president. She likes giving everyone health care. That is good. Being associated with the medical profession for over 30 years I don't know any person who has not received medical treatment when they really needed it. Who's going to pay for the health care? She stood by her man during some pretty tough times. That says to me she is capable of making a commitment and standing by it. Why she was so committed on that one I am not sure. She really has never managed anything that I know of, that's not good. She's a US Senator that, isn't a recommendation in my book.

Barack Obama: Don't really know much about him either. First time Senator with no significant mention of his record in the Senate. Seems to like to make people feel good. I have heard his speeches about raising minimum wages, that would be nice. If I pay a stock person at Wal-Mart more money to stock the shelves doesn't that make the cost of the merchandise go up? He got an endorsement from Louis Farrakhan, but rejected it. That seems reasonable. He doesn't place is hand over his heart during the National Anthem (saw the video). He doesn't wear a flag lapel pin. I don't wear a Flag lapel pin however, I am not running for the Presidency of the United States. If he wore it for political purposes that wouldn't be good. By not wearing it he shows commitment, that's good. He's a US Senator that, isn't a recommendation in my book.

John McCain: The first thing that comes to my mind is "war hero". My heart goes out to him for all he has suffered. Is being a "war hero" a qualification for the most powerful post in the world? He's from Arizona, never been there, hear it's got a lot of sand and is pretty hot and dry. I don't know what his management qualifications are. I will interject the thought, doesn't being President of the United States require some management experience? None of the candidates have any that I see. Some of the people say he's too old. Experience is not bad. My father-in-law is 76 and sharp as a tack. He doesn't always go along with party lines. Is that good or bad? Commitment keeps coming to mind. Is that good or bad? He's a a US Senator that, isn't a recommendation in my book.

Folks, there is my dilemma. Can you help me? I really would appreciate you comments and opinions. Now how many people ask you for your opinion?