Monday, August 31, 2020

Antifa is UnAmerican, Must be Defeated

This must be said.

As a U.S. Army Veteran, I and millions like me over the years have served in the various branches of the Military, some in war losing friends, but all to secure individual rights to vote and support whomever one chooses for office.

Groups like Antifa, Black Lives Matter, Ku Klux Klan or any others have no right whatsoever to intimidate or physically assault people that support a candidate they oppose.

No one has any right whatsoever to vandalize, destroy property, threaten or chase people supporting the current President out of any town and no one should fear for their safety and well being walking down a street while Antifa is given a pass to instill fear and intimidate citizens.

Any elected official allowing such intimidation in their city is not worthy of office and should be voted out.

Veterans have paid a high price for all to feel secure in those rights and anyone opposing the free exercise of those freedoms and rights, as Antifa is currently doing, makes them domestic terrorists and tyrants.

This is the United States of America, may freedom continue to ring

Monday, July 20, 2020

Crazy Liberal ‘Karen’

I had a mask on
The following is what happened today, July 20, 2020 checking out from my local Walmart.

Getting in line, ‘Crazy Liberal ‘Karen’ was ahead of me in the checkout with a buggy full of merchandise. I had my own buggy with less stuff, but patiently waited for my turn to checkout.

There was some guy walking through another checkout that had taken his mask off and speaking very loudly against the mask requirement our governor has mandated on us. For me, it is his right to speak out and if he draws attention, so be it.

I just want to check out and go home before the day gets much hotter.

Crazy Liberal ‘Karen’ turns around to me and comments to the effect, “they’re everywhere now,” regarding the other loud shopper. I replied I mostly agree with his point, but will play the game up until the time they tell me to get into the boxcar.

Crazy Liberal Karen did not like that at all and her eyes showed it. She mumbled something at me from behind her mask and I leaned forward slightly and asked her to repeat it. I asked twice and she replied “nothing!” I said, “that’s what I figured.”

As she continued placing her many items on the conveyor, she kept looking back at me, glaring each time. I ignored her.

This was a woman, maybe 50ish who apparently believes she is entitled.

I say that as when her merchandise was well down the conveyor, I began placing mine on the rear most portion, maintaining a decent interval between hers and mine since the store does not offer those bars to place between items now.

This woman went absolutely NUTs over that, began yelling at me, grabbing my items to throw back in my buggy because some of hers were still being scanned and she had not fully cleared the conveyor.

I rather impolitely informed her to get her hands off of my items and the ‘F-bombs” flowed from her mouth.

I began adding my own as loudly as I could as she continued berating me for “getting into her space,” “giving her a virus” even though she was who continued walking back towards me.

It didn’t take long before the manger came over and got between us as she continued yelling for her to make me move back.

Both me and the manager reminded her that she was who kept stepping back towards me.

I will admit that I was not polite at all, but felt my blood pressure rising and began calming down, since another heart attack is not something I want.

Crazy Liberal Karen continued her barrage of foul language, calling me a crazy old white man, going to infect her with the virus (although it was her touching my items, not me touching hers) and I believe I recall her mentioning something about white privilege, which is funny since she had skin as white as mine.

Those of you that know me personally know that whenever I venture outdoors, I wear my Vietnam Veteran cap and Crazy Liberal Karen could have cared less, only that according to her, I was invading her space by placing my items on the back of the checkout conveyor before every last single one of her items was bagged and in her cart.

After she finally left, the manager and at least two other cashiers apologized to me for what happened. But it was not their fault as I understand this is the atmosphere created by Governor Jay Inslee, empowering Crazy Liberal Karen’s and other Mask Nazi’s.

I also appreciate the half dozen or so other shoppers that made a point to pat me on the shoulder and also apologize for the actions of Crazy Liberal Karen and to thank me for my service.

To the rest of you Crazy Liberal Karen’s that feel Inslee has granted you the right to get in our faces and force us to bend to your whims, think again.

We ain’t backing down!

Sunday, June 21, 2020

First They Came

Amazing how those who applauded and gave approval of Confederate statues and Memorials being torn down are now alarmed seeing all other Statues and Memorials targeted for destruction as well.

Y'all opened the door for this and approved of it, that is, until it was something that you revered.

It fits perfectly with the tone of Martin Niemöller's poem,

First, they revised history and painted the South as evil and I accepted it.

Then they banned the Confederate flag, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Southerner.

Then they tore down the Confederate Statues and Memorials, and I did not speak out— because I was afraid of being labeled a racist.

Then they began tearing down statues of the founding fathers, and I cried out forgive their sins, but was ignored.

Then they burned the constitution and enslaved us under Socialism and now, I am forbidden to speak.

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Return to “New Normal”

Does the recent talk of a “new normal” give you an uneasy feeling deep in the pit of your stomach? Well, it should since through most of the 8 years of the Obama administration we were continually told how higher unemployment, fewer jobs, stagnant economic growth and of course, increased dependency on government for our day to day survival was to be accepted as “the New Normal.”

But it didn’t happen as the left expected. No, over the last three years our country thrived with the highest stock market gains ever, lowest unemployment in decades, astronomical job growth and fewer people relying on government assistance.

That is, until claiming the need to stop the spread of this Coronavirus, governors across the country declared emergencies, issued ‘stay at home orders’ closing many businesses deemed “non-essential,’ closed parks, issued “social distancing orders,” and again forcing people back to reliance on government programs and payments to feed and care for their families.

Once again, we’re right back to “the New Normal,” even to proclaiming it such by the media and others. They didn’t even bother to rename it, just once again claim it as this “New Normal” that was rejected and countered with the election of Donald Trump in 2016.

To be up front, I did not support Trump in 2016, but didn’t support his opponent, Hillary Clinton. In fact, my claim at the time was “the two worst candidates in our history.” Unlike others, though, I didn’t feel the need to ‘flip out’ over the results and since Trump won, admitted he was entitled to govern, succeeding or falling on his face, as all before him were granted.

Admittedly my assessment wasn’t accurate and even though I still have issues with the man, we were heading towards a much improved country, even though there was little to no cooperation from Democrats as all they could do was seek impeachment to have him ousted from office. As we know, they succeeded in a highly partisan impeachment passed that was rejected in the Senate.

Things were looking really good for the U.S. and even the world, up until the Coronavirus hit and maximum effort resulted in a near complete shut-down of the country, pushing us right back towards economic uncertainty of the Obama years.

A Sept. 29, 2012 New York Times article informed us, “a slim majority of Americans now say they define getting ahead as not falling behind — not losing ground or falling into debt — rather than the more traditional definition of enjoying steady increases in pay and income.”

A June 12, 2014 American Economic Institute article quoted Obama Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew saying, “the US GDP growth rate, adjusted for inflation, is now projected to run a little above 2% a year. That would be a significant downshift from the 3.4% average growth rate from the end of World War II until 2007.”

Forbes let us know, in an Jan 14, 2014 article titled Obama's Unemployment 'New Normal' Foretells A 'Lost Decade', pertaining to an effort to paint a rosy picture of the then lagging economy, “A quick look at the BLS Household Survey showed that, rather than being bad, December was actually a better-than-average month in President Obama’s ‘new normal’ economy. This is not a huge accomplishment, given that ‘Obama’s new normal’ comprises slow GDP growth, a stagnant jobs market, and falling real household incomes.” (Emphasis added)

In the waning days of the Obama administration, a July 8, 2016 Washington Post column, Is anemic growth the new normal? quoted James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, “The grim news is not that the economy continues to resist returning to normal. Rather, it is that this ‘current equilibrium’ is the new normal. If 2 percent growth is ‘the most likely scenario’ for the foreseeable future, the nation faces a second consecutive lost decade — one without a year of 3 percent growth.”

Suffice it to say, we saw through the efforts to convince us how much better off we were under the economic oppression offered by Obama’s “New Normal”

However, even though a serious outbreak, this COVID-19 virus appears to be being used to stall out our economic progress, plunging us right back to the misery we escaped from by the 2016 election.

With “stay at home orders” issued by governors, citizens arrested for playing tee ball with their child or taking them to a park or just being alone outdoors at the beach. Paychecks drying up as businesses are closed, not meeting the government’s level of what they deem “essential,” and forcing people onto government assistance in order to care for themselves and their families.

While it might be nice to receive a check from the government, never forget that the money was first taken away from someone else. And with so many businesses closures and rapidly increasing unemployment, government is receiving far less revenue, forcing them to borrow even more from somewhere or somebody in order to continue sending out those checks.

And now, as eastern and central states are easing up on their restrictions, west coast governors are extending their orders of stay at home, even though several citizens have formed rallies in protest around the state and at the capital.

Make no mistake, “New Normal” is nothing more than government dependence and oppression in the long run and is not what we need.

What we really need is for government to get out of our way and let us work and restore the nation to what it has always been destined to be, a Great Country with a free people.

After all, it wasn’t government that built this nation, but the people embracing their freedom to create, grow and thrive.

Let’s not throw it all away due to fearmongering by government.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

I’m a Hero, You’re a Hero, Wouldn’t You Like to be a Hero Too?

Outside an Assisted Living facility
My apologies to Dr. Pepper for highjacking their old lingo, but during this so-called crisis we’re enduring, it appears like everybody has suddenly been declared a hero for simply doing their jobs. The jobs they were hired to do.

While we should be appreciative and show gratitude for those workers stocking grocery shelves or cleaning stores and fixtures, truck drivers for delivering our goods, even those hired to deliver pizza we may order or deliver our mail to our mailboxes, is it really heroics?

Four definitions given by Merriam-Webster dictionary are: a: a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability; b: an illustrious warrior; c: a person admired for achievements and noble qualities; d: one who shows great courage.

An Ohio group claims the dictionary definition is “far too stuffy” in their “Tell us about your 'Daily Hero'” effort.

Their idea of a “daily hero?”
”Maybe someone delivered food to your door. Maybe someone called to re-connect with you, to brighten your day and to make sure you're doing OK. Maybe someone just held a door open for you (while maintaining proper social distancing, of course).”
Locally, KOIN 6 asks, “Know someone who is working to help others right now in this time of crisis? Maybe your cousin is a nurse, your sibling is a doctor, your child is a grocery store worker or your loved one is a sanitation services employee” on their Salute page.

It seems everywhere we turn we hear of “hero hours” at stores, a “Hero Fund” for what is now considered “essential workers” as our unemployment rate rises into double digits again, Numerous images have begun appearing on the internet proclaiming, “be a hero, stay home.”

We have endured many crises throughout our history, wars, pandemics, economic depressions, the great Dust Bowl of the 1930’s. These were truly hard times for people where sacrifices had to be made in order to keep the country going.

Just about everybody pitched in, doing what they were able to do without being labeled “heroes” or even expecting to be.

With so many declarations of hero today, it appears to be little more than participation trophies for everybody.

Is this part of the hoped for New World Order or “New Normal” we keep hearing about?

Cry Virus, place restrictions never seen before on the people, while declaring them all heroes to mask or make them feel better as they are being corralled?

We do have real heroes among us and recorded in our history. Washington D.C. and several communities have memorialized them on monuments, memorials and statues.

We see doctors and nurses going above and beyond in critical situations.

Likewise, Police Officers and Firefighters too will be called upon to risk their lives to save others lives.

Our Military is placed in harm’s way to protect our freedoms and way of life with some making the ultimate sacrifice of trading their life for the lives of others.

An actress approaching 40 years of age and letting her hair go gray in “solidarity with front-line workers” is neither brave nor heroic. Its normal aging as well as trying to draw the spotlight upon yourself and make yourself appear relevant.

There’s nothing heroic in government creating bread lines for us to be required to stand in outside of grocery stores, waiting to enter in hopes finding the food we seek on partially empty selves.

It’s very reminiscent of images smuggled out of Eastern Bloc nations under Communist rule.

So why this sudden everybody is a hero scheme? Is it part of the push towards Socialism with their false cry of making everybody equal?

Is it worthwhile to be broke and struggle to feed our families, all for a hollow title of “hero?”

I really can’t answer for you, but it feels uncomfortable to suddenly see such cries of heroics directed at everyday activities during this time.

It does smack of “never let a crisis go to waste.”

Saturday, March 21, 2020

I talked to a man today

Shared from a facebook post, original author unknown

I talked with a man today, an 80+ year old man. I asked him if there was anything I can get him while this Coronavirus scare was gripping America.

He simply smiled, looked away and said:

"Let me tell you what I need! I need to believe, at some point, this country my generation fought for... I need to believe this nation we handed safely to our children and their children...

I need to know this generation will quit being a bunch of sissies...that they respect what they've been given...that they've earned what others sacrificed for."

I wasn't sure where the conversation was going or if it was going anywhere at all. So, I sat there, quietly observing.

"You know, I was a little boy during WWII. Those were scary days. We didn't know if we were going to be speaking English, German or Japanese at the end of the war. There was no certainty, no guarantees like Americans enjoy today.

And no home went without sacrifice or loss. Every house, up and down every street, had someone in harm's way. Maybe their Daddy was a soldier, maybe their son was a sailor, maybe it was an uncle. Sometimes it was the whole damn family...fathers, sons, uncles...

Having someone, you love, sent off to wasn't less frightening than it is today. It was scary as Hell. If anything, it was more frightening. We didn't have battle front news. We didn't have email or cellphones. You sent them away and you prayed. You may not hear from them for months, if ever. Sometimes a mother was getting her son's letters the same day Dad was comforting her over their child's death.

And we sacrificed. You couldn't buy things. Everything was rationed. You were only allowed so much milk per month, only so much bread, toilet paper. EVERYTHING was restricted for the war effort. And what you weren't using, what you didn't need, things you threw away, they were saved and sorted for the war effort. My generation was the original recycling movement in America.

And we had viruses back then...serious viruses. Things like polio, measles, and such. It was nothing to walk to school and pass a house or two that was quarantined. We didn't shut down our schools. We didn't shut down our cities. We carried on, without masks, without hand sanitizer. And do you know what? We persevered. We overcame. We didn't attack our President, we came together. We rallied around the flag for the war. Thick or thin, we were in it to win. And we would lose more boys in an hour of combat than we lose in entire wars today."

He slowly looked away again. Maybe I saw a small tear in the corner of his eye. Then he continued:

"Today's kids don't know sacrifice. They think a sacrifice is not having coverage on their phone while they freely drive across the country. Today's kids are selfish and spoiled. In my generation, we looked out for our elders. We helped out with single moms who's husbands were either at war or dead from war. Today's kids rush the store, buying everything they concern for anyone but themselves. It's shameful the way Americans behave these days. None of them deserve the sacrifices their granddads made.

So, no I don't need anything. I appreciate your offer but, I know I've been through worse things than this virus. But maybe I should be asking you, what can I do to help you? Do you have enough pop to get through this, enough steak? Will you be able to survive with 113 channels on your tv?"

I smiled, fighting back a tear of my humbled by a man in his 80's. All I could do was thank him for the history lesson, leave my number for emergency and leave with my ego firmly tucked in my rear.

I talked to a man today. A real man. An American man from an era long gone and forgotten. We will never understand the sacrifices. We will never fully earn their sacrifices. But we should work harder to learn about them..learn from respect them.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Democrat Asks to Campaign Inside Clark County Republican Party - Updated

Peter Khalil facebook image
I don’t know whether to classify this one as a massive pair or of left leaning, Bernie Sanders supported candidate, Peter Khalil, hoping to replace incumbent 3rd Congressional District Republican, Jaime Herrera Beutler seeing the years of ongoing in-fighting and discord in the CCGOP as a possible inroad to gaining Republican votes.

Yes, I was somewhat surprised to see Khalil post an open letter on facebook to both the Clark County Republican Party and chair Earl Bowerman requesting he be allowed to speak before the next meeting and to “introduce himself as a candidate for Congress from the 3rd District of Washington.”

It has to be stated that the Clark County Republican Party itself in past elections chose not to back JHB, save for the 2018 election when a more moderate faction held leadership of the party. The more fringe, far right factions that have held leadership of the county party cite JHB not fully backing issues they deem mandatory while many within the Democrat Party oppose JHB claiming she is “in lock-step” with the far right.

Letter Text;
“Today, I reached out: 
Dear Clark County Republican Party and Mr. Earl Bowerman, 
I am writing to you with humility and respect to request that I be allowed to introduce myself at your next meeting as a candidate for Congress from the 3rd District of Washington. Although I am running officially as a Democrat, I think we live in times where we must look past party affiliation and consider that we are neighbors – neighbors who share the same problems: mounting medical debt, a lack of access to information technology in our rural areas, a lack of jobs, crumbling infrastructure. 
I am humbly asking that I be given an opportunity to introduce myself and discuss my candidacy at your next meeting on December 7. It is fitting that that day is Pearl Harbor Day, an anniversary of another time our country came together under difficult circumstances. 
I can assure you that I will not attack or otherwise speak negatively about our incumbent Congresswoman Jaime Herrera-Beutler. She has served this country for almost a decade and I believe she deserves the respect her office commands. I seek only to be heard and to make my own case for why I should be our next U.S. Representative. 
I look forward to your timely reply. 
Very truly yours, 
Peter Khalil”
I find it very interesting that Khalil requests the meeting on December 7 as he wrote, “It is fitting that that day is Pearl Harbor Day, an anniversary of another time our country came together under difficult circumstances.”

I fail to see any intent of the country, or even the county for that matter “coming together” as we remain deeply divided as the Democrat Party continues to push for impeachment of the sitting Republican President while others that lean left seem to believe they have a right to assault supporters of the President in public, both verbally and at times, physically.

I also find it remarkable he would make such a request as from what I have observed, his stand on issues are opposite of what Republicans state they stand for, Bernie Sanders Socialism appearing to be where Khalil mostly aligns.

Pretty amazing too is seeing some comments from his supporters;
“LOVE this! Our country, our state, our county, our city need this desperately.” 
“A great step in reaching across aisles to work together (we need way more of this) is to literally reach out! Thank you!” 
THAT is what I want to see from Democrats representing me!”
Try as hard as I can, I fail to remember any invites from the Clark County Democrat Party extended to any Republican candidate in the past to introduce themselves at a party meeting, given the claim of Democrats now saying they love this and want to see more and such.

Then too, if “reaching across the aisle” is what Democrats desire, why do they not practice it in the legislature or efforts to undo the 2016 Presidential election?

Outspoken Republican activist and former candidate Carolyn Crain comments;
“This is supposed to be the Clark County Republican Party. If Earl responds to allow his introduction of his convictions to the pcos it will be war.”
Given the amount and years of in-fighting seen in the Clark County Republican Party, the war has been waging for many years now.

I’ve yet to see any reply from Bowerman and strangely, no mentions on social media in the far left’s public pages of the request being made.

It is unknown if the CCGOP will entertain this request. I’d like to say of course they wouldn’t, but the party is unpredictable and given the many comments in years past of, “you’re better off electing a Real Democrat over those the far right deems RINO,” those that fall right of center, Khalil quite possibly could gain their spiteful votes since they too despise JHB for her centrist stands.

Yes, strange and interesting times we live in.

Update: Comments being made from both sides range from supportive to opposing the effort.

On the right we read from some;

“This is not a wise idea.” Answered by “Are we afraid of differing ideas?”

A former party chair chimes in with, “This liberal Democrat is looking to take advantage of the very public division in the Party,” and “We have enough of our own foxes in the hen house without inviting theirs in.”

Another commenter says, “I think we should let him talk. People can decide how they want.”

Another former chair states, “I can't think of a single reason to spend our time having a Democrat address our PCOs.”

Comments being made from the left;

“ ‘I promise not to say anything mean about JHB’ is not the message a democratic candidate should be sending, in my opinion.”

“[M]y question isn’t is he progressive or not, its why pander to republicans as if you are centrist if you really are not.”

“And here I thought ‘compromise is a sign of weakness/failure’ was reserved for the far right.”

“I like the idea that he is trying to represent the people in his district whether they are blue, red or whatever color you want to stick on that group.”

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Veterans Day Parade 2019

The full Veterans Day Parade, held at Vancouver Barracks, Vancouver, Washington November 9, 2019

Friday, November 08, 2019

Veterans Day 2019 Tribute

From the Third Grade at Tussing Elementary School; “I’d Be the Hero”


Sunday, September 08, 2019

Updated: Does Sacrifices of Our Troops Mean Anything?

We all hear and say it, “thank you for your service” to Veterans and active duty Military. I’m sure most actually mean it when said, but do people actually understand what sacrifices our Troops have made over the years?

If so, why are those sacrifices so easily cast aside as if they hold no meaning?

What do I mean?

Think about it. Shortly after the Allies complete victory in World War Two, we saw the battles flare up again in Korea where Communist Forces of the North decided to conquer the South and impose total Communism in the country. American Troops sacrificed close to 34,000 dead with thousand coming back scared with wounds both physical and mental.

The Vietnam War saw us sacrifice over 58,000 lives with thousands more maimed for life.

The first Gulf War, Desert Storm saw almost 150 deaths of American Troops, but again, thousands left with lifelong issues, both physical and mental.

Then comes the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq after the horrific attacks witnessed on September 11, 2001 and still ongoing with again over 7,000 Troops paying the ultimate sacrifice and thousands more suffering from debilitating wounds and mental issues.

Needless to say, our Service Members have paid a high cost for us to remain free.

So why is it so easy to cast their sacrifices aside?

By that I mean take a look at the ending of the above conflicts, even today’s ongoing conflict against Terrorists.

We left Korea under a cease fire agreement that although the heavy fighting ended in 1953, animosities continued over the years. America put that war aside and got on with their lives, the Korean War becoming known also as “the Forgotten War” as accolades were paid to WWII battles and Troops.

Along comes Vietnam and the subsequent escalation into a full blown war, complete with battles, firefights and body counts reported nightly on American television. We left it under the “Paris Peace Accords” in 1973 with promises of if the North Vietnamese Communists violated the accords, we would return to ensure the South Vietnamese remained free.

We reneged on that promise as the North did violate the accords multiples times, concluding in all out invasion in 1975 as the American Congress and citizens turned a blind eye to the plight of the Vietnamese people and we saw on television Communist tanks break down the gates of the Presidential Palace while American Diplomatic staff tried desperately to escape from rooftops on helicopters, untold numbers of sympathetic South Vietnamese left to their own devices, trapped under the Communist Forces.

Few in America gave a damn.

Fast forward to Desert Storm and again, we committed Troops to repel Iraqi Saddam Hussein’s Troops after they invaded neighboring Kuwait. As we know, they were ejected and the conflict ended again with a Cease Fire agreement.

Throughout the 1990’s, under the B.J. Clinton administration, Saddam Hussein repeatedly violated the terms the Cease Fire and was met with a couple Cruise Missile reprisals and political rhetoric stated in television speeches by Clinton.

Saddam continued supporting terror unhindered and seeking Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Then came September 11, 2001 and the most horrific terrorist attack in history as highjacked aircraft were flowed into the World Trade Center buildings, the Pentagon and another forcibly crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, taken over by passengers, destination unknown, but believed by many to be the White House or Congress.

Many called for President Bush to immediately retaliate, some believing Saddam Hussein’s involvement that ultimately proved untrue in this particular instance. Bush held them back with his famous comment, “When I take action, I’m not gonna fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It’s going to be decisive.”

And it was decisive as after the Afghani Taliban refused to oust Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden from their midst, our Troops were sent in.

Shortly after as Afghanistan looked to be coming under control, the decision was made to implement the Clinton era policy of deposing Saddam Hussein and ridding his support of terrorists and providing safe haven for some.

Even though a policy signed by President Clinton in 1998, it was opposed by many Democrats who continued their opposition even after our Troops were sent in and largely successful after many bloody battles and sacrifices. With Saddam deposed and eventually executed by hanging, Iraq appeared on the road to better lives for most citizens and late 2007 began seeing a drawdown of American Troops, President Obama ordering a complete withdrawal of our Troops by 2011.

Obama, having ignored calls of withdrawing too soon, ended up having to send our Troops back to Iraq in 2014 as a renewed Jihadist enemy, now labeled ISIS began taking territory and establishing a very harsh ‘caliphate’ in Northern Iraq and beyond.

Afghanistan too saw a resurgence of Jihadist even though Osama bin Laden was killed. The Taliban began reasserting themselves in the region and reclaiming Afghani territory.

Now, we read of President Trump making overtures to the Taliban and setting up secret negotiations, now cancelled after a Taliban attack in Afghanistan killed several, including a US Soldier.

Whatever happened to our policy of not negotiating with terror groups?

While I do not support endless war, whatever happened to fighting for Victory over ‘how do we get out of it?’

Soldiers from the Korean War were forgotten. Soldiers from the Vietnam War were despised and demoralized seeing their hard fought sacrifices for naught as we handed the freedoms of the South Vietnamese to the brutality of Communists on a silver platter.

In Iraq, we crowed victory, Obama claiming, “After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over,” only to see renewed fighting and our Troops reengaging enemies in the Middle East.

I’m sure Trump would love to run for reelection in 2020 as the President that got us out of Afghanistan. But at what cost?

How many experiences do we need to see these negotiations and withdrawals make a mockery of the sacrifices made by our Troops as our enemies wait a short spell and renew their attacks, believing with good cause, we will capitulate and ignore their hostilities?

I’ve said before, I was still in the Army when Saigon fell in 1975. I had spent 19 months in Vietnam and knew we had promised to return if there were violations of the Peace Accords. The evening of April 30, 1975 saw me and rest of my company sitting on our gear in the company area in Ft. Bragg, N.C. just waiting on the orders to load up and deploy back to Vietnam.

The orders never came and were sent home where I too watched TV broadcast of the embarrassing actions of American escaping from roof tops and helicopters being pushed over the side of their aircraft carrier to make room.

I could only think, “Why was I ever sent there? Why did over 58,000 of my brothers sacrifice their lives only to see us hand it over to our sworn enemy?”

We did everything asked of us then. Troops today have done everything they have been asked to do as well.

Will there sacrifices be cast aside as easily as was ours, only to see the enemy they fought be given back power to enslave people again while Americans ignore it all and go shopping?

What good is it to say “Thank you for your service” if you are not willing to support the high price of the sacrifices made?

Why hold Memorial Day parades if those sacrifices are thrown away and cast aside as if nothing?

And to our elected officials I can only say if you are unwilling to support our Troops, whether you voted to deploy them or not, don’t send us into Harm’s Way.

Don’t seek photo ops with us to gain votes for reelection after you dishonor our sacrifices by voting to capitulate to an enemy.

If you cannot support our Troops being victorious over always wanting an exit strategy first, don’t send us.

Our sacrifices must have value too, just as our fathers and grandfathers sacrifices in the previous wars did.

Update Oct 10, 2019: Sad to add to the list of abandoned allies, the Kurds in Syria as Turkey now attacks them after President Trump called for American Troops to be pulled back. This habit we Americans seem to have developed over the decades towards allies and supporting their quest for freedom and Liberty reminds me of a letter written by Cambodia's Prince Sirik Matak, declining to accept our offer of withdrawing him from the country as the Khmer Rouge swarmed over Cambodia in 1975;
Dear Excellency and friend,

I thank you very sincerely for your letter and for your offer to transport me towards freedom. I cannot, alas, leave in such a cowardly fashion.

As for you and in particular for your great country, I never believed for a moment that you would have this sentiment of abandoning a people which has chosen liberty. You have refused us your protection and we can do nothing about it. You leave us and it is my wish that you and your country will find happiness under the sky.

But mark it well that, if I shall die here on the spot and in my country that I love, it is too bad because we are all born and must die one day. I have only committed the mistake of believing in you, the Americans. (Emphasis added)
Please accept, Excellency, my dear friend, my faithful and friendly sentiments. Sirik Matak.

Within two weeks, Prince Matak and his family were all executed by the Khmer Rouge and the country was plunged into what became known as “the Killing Fields.”

It is my guess that we will find few allies ready to assist us in future battles as they see our long history of walking away and leaving them to face mutual enemies on their own.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Do We Really Need Separate Veteran’s Days?

Does every group that has served in the Military get to have an official Veterans Day dedicated solely to them now, as some Women Veterans now seem to want?

Oregon joins 3 other states marking June 12 as ‘Women Veterans Day’

Does this mean they will no longer be part of the November 11 recognition that they have been? Or do they receive special treatment and recognition with multiple days of honor others aren’t entitled to?

Do we set a special date to recognize Black Veterans, Native American Veterans, Gay Veterans or Foreign National Veterans that crossed borders to serve in our Military?

What about former WWII Nazi’s that joined in our Military to serve our nation after the war, such as the former Waffen SS soldier turned Green Beret currently buried in Arlington Cemetery?

Should we reach back in time to hold special honors to former Confederate soldiers that enlisted in the U.S. Military after the Civil War and fought for America in battles?

What about Draftees that were conscripted to serve and did not willingly enlist? Will they merit some special recognition some feel denied?

A Veteran is a Veteran, regardless of race, gender or even nationality, if they served in our Military. All served and all are due respect and honor for their service. Equal respect and honor!

One of the aspects of Military service I recall was the efforts to remove all notion of separateness in Basic, all of us being equal in training and treatment, right down to shaving off our hair and sending all civilian clothes we wore to the Army back home.

Yes, historically some have been barred from serving in a capacity they might have wanted to.

In the early days of the Civil War, Frederick Douglass penned an essay, “Fighting Rebels With Only One Hand” complaining of Blacks not being allowed to serve in the Union Army, when there were Blacks armed in the South.

Sometime later they were permitted to serve and served with distinction, as seen with the Buffalo Soldiers. However, they were not permitted to serve alongside White Soldiers, which remained in place until the mid 20th century.

Women have served as well and even though barred from combat service before, some have sacrificed their lives and others have taken up arms if need be.

We fully recognize that women have traditionally played an important role in our defense and it was only of late they were granted the right to be recognized and honored alongside the men, which is what I have thought the goal was, to be treated equally as the men that served.

But is it really equal that they be granted a special day of recognition others are not included in?

And as I asked above, what about the others honored on November 11? Are they now to be granted a special day just for themselves, above and beyond the rest?

Is there a legitimate reason to drive a wedge between Veterans by granting a special day to just a few?

We’re all Veterans and accepted as such, even though society is still adjusting to having female warriors. We stand together, shoulder to shoulder, side by side on Veteran’s Day as is seen today on the battle fields.

In the end I fear this special day for women Veterans will see a backlash come November 11 as those that have been opposed to women serving all along will discount recognizing them alongside their brothers at Veterans Day recognition, claiming they already had their day.

Many of us welcomed women into our ranks over the years. Even most that were initially opposed have come to accept women in more traditional male roles. Don’t spit in our faces now by declaring yourselves somehow more deserving or entitled to special recognition above and beyond the rest.

My apologies to all of you women not wishing to participate in this extra day and speaking out against it.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Vietnam Plus Fifty

Recently I acknowledged on facebook of the date, February 6, 1969, the 50th anniversary of my entering the U.S. Army. Looking back it’s hard to believe that was actually 50 years ago, just a few months after my 20th birthday.

As I have said to others many times over the years, I enlisted after earlier receiving my draft notice, hoping to receive training in the “job of my choice” instead of automatically being placed into the infantry and shipped off to Vietnam, as my career Army cousin had told me would most likely have happened if drafted.

As luck would have it, on July 13, 1969 I landed at Bien Hoa Airbase in South Vietnam after completing training in my “job of choice” in helicopters from Ft. Eustis, Virginia.

Like most men that I served with, I believed in what we were sent over there to do and did not approve of the actions of the few that seemed to draw the headlines back in the U.S. claiming day to day atrocities and mayhem.

Although aware before going over of the anti-war factions hating on military members, I was naive enough to consider them in the minority. Perhaps they were, but upon my return from Vietnam, they felt like a majority of American citizens that held us in disdain for serving in the military and trying to fight for the freedoms of the South Vietnamese people.

I’m not going to go into the war itself, it still be hashed over whether or not we should have been there, past leaders that sent us there back then today claiming they knew all along they were sending us off on a losing proposition and it being they without the stomach to support us in what they sent us to do.

No, that will continue to be debated well after I am dead and buried and likely never actually agreed upon.

What I do intend to address is how so many of us were given little regard upon return by society in general. And no, not everybody engaged in such fashion and not everyone was “spat upon” physically when returning, but in a sense, all of us were spat upon in a more emotional sense as we were labeled “baby killers,” “trained killers,” “monsters trained in violence” and largely had much of the blame for society’s ills placed at our feet, especially the growing drug problem.

Sadly, American society seems to have issues with returning veterans once the fighting is over and we return to the country we loved enough to place our lives on the line for.

World War One saw the U.S. Government send troops to attack some Veterans seeking financial promises during the Great Depression in what is known as the Bonus Army. Saddest of it all, Officers we held in highest regard for leadership in the coming World War Two led the charge against these Veterans as some were killed and many others injured, falsely accused of subversion by General Douglas MacArthur who claimed, “They had come to the conclusion that they were going to take over the government in an arbitrary way or by indirect means.”

Most of us ‘baby boomers’ grew up holding Veterans of World War Two in high regard, seeing movies and early TV shows portray them as heroic and patriotic. What we were too young to realize was they too were initially held in low regard as many that did not serve feared losing their jobs to returning Veterans and the women enlisted to work the factory’s and manufacture the tools of war were being told to go home now and let then men resume earning the paychecks. It was brought to light in the 1946 movie, the Best Years of Our Lives.

In 1950 we saw our Military sent off once again to a foreign land to oppose the spread of Communism in South Korea. Overshadowed by both World War Two and Vietnam, as well as media censorship, it became known as the “Forgotten War” as little was said about it as through the 1950’s, World War Two continued to be glorified in movies with the Korean War relegated back to a handful of ‘B movies.”

And of course, we all know how the conflict in Vietnam came to dominate the news media as the public was treated to nightly “reports” during dinner in living color with little censorship lots of bloody scenes and body counts.

Most of us serving there knew the reporting wasn’t very accurate and this can be attested to by a story given in a speech by former Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Frederick C. Weyand;

“After Tet [of 68], General Westmoreland sent Walter Cronkite out to interview me. I was in Command of the Forces in the South around Saigon and below and I was proud of what we'd done. We had done a good job there. So, Walter came down and he spent about an hour and a half interviewing me. And when we got done, he said, ‘well you've got a fine story. But I'm not going to use any of it because I've been up to Hue. I've seen the thousands of bodies up there in mass graves and I'm determined to do all in my power to bring this war to an end as soon as possible’.”

“It didn't seem to matter that those thousands of bodies were of South Vietnamese citizens who had been killed by the Hanoi soldiers and Walter wasn't alone in this because I think many in the media mirrored his view.”

It wasn’t long after that Cronkite made his now famous “we can’t win” broadcast

Soon the public began hearing of the atrocity of My Lai and subsequent trial of Lt. Calley as more and more the public was led to believe actions as that were condoned by both the troops and our leaders. It wasn’t.

What media never bothered to add to their reports was the actions of a lone helicopter pilot and his crew in bringing the carnage of that day to an end.

It would be many years before the public heard of the heroic actions of Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson and his crew who served and acted as did the majority of U.S. Servicemen there.

Since the Gulf War and War on Terror, the public has repeatedly heard “never again” uttered as we see returning troops honored, applauded in airports and given both the support and appreciation they deserve and have earned. Few realize though, that is due in large part to aging Vietnam Veterans who recall the catcalls and demeaning acts we endured upon return, many trying to hide the fact they were soldiers when possible.

If ever there was a more despicable time for soldiers serving their country, I don’t know when it would have been. To this I refer readers to an open letter authored several years to all Vietnam Veterans by a young lady caught up in the anti-military hysteria of the day expressing her regret.

Today, most people have stopped looking down on us as they did back then, but not all. There are still many who feel they were in the right and actually accomplished something by taking out their aggressions and frustrations on soldiers. Many of that particular group feel they “stopped the war” when in fact they prolonged it by some five years and thousands more American lives lost, hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese lives.

March 29, 1973 saw the last American troops departing South Vietnam as agreed upon by the ill fated Paris Peace Accords that the Communist North Vietnamese soon began violating as promises of aid and support from the U.S. should they violate the accords fell by the wayside, April 30, 1975 seeing the capitol of South Vietnam fall to the Communist North, leaving many of us wondering just what were we sent to do if we were just going to hand it to the Commies so easily after so many American sacrifices.

Some of us felt violated, wasted and sold out, our youth stolen from us over there as too often draft dodgers and anti-military protesters seemed to be held up in esteem as we continued to be subjects of scorn and ridicule in TV But much of shows and movies. Even efforts to honor us in some movies fell flat as we ended up being portrayed as PTSD afflicted misfits unable to handle a simple rejection or hold a job until we deal with our particular ‘demons.’

The First Blood series and the 1985 movie Cease Fire are prime examples, the latter being one I was once told was a “must see” for every Vietnam Veteran. It wasn’t.

But even that fell by the wayside as the years rolled on and we once again sent our troops off to foreign soil to fight and now the leadership of the Military was often Vietnam Veterans that corrected the poor leadership seen during the Vietnam conflict and we aging Vietnam Veterans that left the military led the way in supporting our troops now.

March 29 is now officially designated as NATIONAL VIETNAM WAR VETERANS DAY and as an overdue salute for all that served back then.

I salute all who are wearing or have worn the uniform of any of our branches of the military service.

I encourage readers to reach out to any Veterans you may know and if they served in Vietnam, give them a heartfelt “welcome home.”

Friday, January 18, 2019

Will Trump & Pelosi Destroy What’s Left of the U.S.?

In the early 1970’s, Scottish rock band, Stealers Wheel released a song, Stuck in the Middle containing the lyrics, “Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, here I am, Stuck in the middle with you.”

Who would have ever guessed that those lyrics would today provide the perfect representation of the current state of affairs in the United States of America?

Yes, this ongoing political feud over securing our Southern Border between President Trump and recently reinstalled Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi has brought about the longest government shutdown in our history with no end in sight and the left-leaning media fawning all over Pelosi, condemning Trump and crying the blues over how tough it is for furloughed Government Union workers.

Missing of course, is media outrage over the porosity of the Southern Border or calls for Pelosi and the Democrats to actually work to resolve the issue, even though they and the Republicans have for decades now told us how they intend to provide Border Security.

Trump wants to have more wall built along the Southern Border and Pelosi wants to ensure Trump is defeated in 2020 and a Democrat elected.

And we citizens are stuck in the middle as more and more, sides are chosen and nothing gets done as dire warnings of looming catastrophe permeate the news cycles.

As readers recall, I am not a fan of Trump, but in this instance I do lean towards his effort of constructing more wall along the Southern Border, even though I don’t really like the idea very much.

I don’t care for it due to one of the jobs I had in the Army was flying the border separating Western Germany with Eastern Germany and Czechoslovakia and patrolling the fence separating the nations. Yes, in the early 1970’s, before the collapse of the Communist Soviet Union, there was a physical fence erected not to keep people out, but to keep people in and manned by armed guards in towers ready to shoot anybody trying to exit the country along the fence.

In spite of my personal misgivings, I am at a loss as to what else can deter the influx of illegal immigration along the Southern Border and the problems it brings with it.

After all, how many decades now have members of both parties been giving us lip service on how they plan to deal with illegal immigration, pour Billions of dollars of our hard earned taxes into border issues and we have yet to see it decreasing?

1986 saw an amnesty deal struck with the promise of it would curtail illegal immigration. It didn’t and we saw it increase.

Since then we have had several proposals and bills passed into law to deal with the problem, including the Secure Fence Act of 2006 that saw some Democrats today opposing any fence or wall supporting a fence and wall back then.

Even the media was crying about a Border Crisis before, but now it suddenly no longer is?

I hear reports and calls of pending TSA strikes to further cripple the country and cause hardship of the populace during this shutdown.

But unions’ representing furloughed federal workers is apparently not doing anything to help those workers, instead trying to seek unemployment or food stamps.

So we enter a shutdown of nonessential government and suddenly, it becomes a catastrophe. Not the border mind you, but that federal employees have been furloughed that somehow, even though union employees with generous paychecks and benefits, are suddenly starving, unable to meet their responsibilities, can’t afford medical care, missing mortgage payments amid reports of life as we know it will soon end if Trump doesn’t back down.

Why only Trump?

What confuses me, I’m 70 years old, retired on social security and have a monetary reserve that with little effort would carry me a good six months if need be. That and I never earned more than $40K in a single year, but managed to hold some back for a rainy day.

And government has lectured us how long on saving and managing our resources?

And the feud goes on. Pelosi requests Trump to postpone giving the State of the Union speech and Trump postpones a flight on Military aircraft for her and other Democrats to the Middle East. Pelosi cries foul, of course and blames Trump for leaking word of the trip and breeching security.

But in spite of past claims she made on securing the border, she stiffens her back to prevent just that.

This is getting ridiculous. We’ve had border issues for several decades and have only received lip service as illegal immigrants continue to cross the borders. With them come gang members, criminals, drugs and even sex trafficking. And yes, many are decent people just seeking a better life. But is it really better if they ignore our laws to get here?

We have no way of knowing if any carry disease or are smuggling weapons or drugs when they cross. We do know over the years they have cost taxpayers more than they have contributed, as was reported in a 2012 NBC Affiliate Series.

As previously said, I don’t care for the idea of a wall, but I remain at a loss of what else could be done to curtail much of the illegal immigration along the Southern Border. We’ve received lip service far too long from both parties and elected officials and little has worked in getting it under control.

It’s time Trump and Pelosi both, as well as other so-called leaders to put egos aside, sit down and if not a physical wall, come up with a plan to deal with the problem.

Maybe too they could discover how to deal with problem in the other areas where illegal immigration occurs, but let’s get the Southern Border under control first.

It’s on them to end this ego driven feud on both of their parts and work it out. Come up with a real solution, not more of the same lip service we’ve been fed all of these decades.

Do it while we still have a country.

UPDATE I: Shouldn’t they be willing to at least hear the proposal before rejecting it? Democrats signal they'll reject Trump shutdown proposal

UPDATE II: CNN reporting Donald Trump caved. And now the government is going to re-open.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Veterans Day Parade

A few excerpts of the Veterans Day Parade in Vancouver, Washington at the historic Vancouver Barracks

To all of my fellow Veterans, Welcome Home, thank you for stepping up when needed.

Monday, October 29, 2018

A Divided America

As readers might have noticed, I have been posting on how divided we in America are. I have done so because our divisions are not improving, but seemingly getting worse, much worse. And we don’t have to be so divided.

I have no desire to see the country slide once again into a civil war and pray we never get to that point.

To that end, I was honored to be included in a project led by the Wall Street Journal as they crisscrossed the country speaking with citizens from across the political spectrum on the division and how each of us are dealing with it.

I’m a Fish Out of Water

The project in its entirety can be viewed at Voices From a Divided America

Remember, we don’t have to continue down this road to civil war. We must learn again how to be civil and listen to each other.

I don’t believe we are quite past the point of no return, but we are getting closer every day.