Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day Thoughts

It's been said a veteran is someone who, at some point in his/her life, writes a blank check payable to "The people of the United States of America" in the amount of "Up to and including my life." Many of you have read this before on my Facebook page and/or in my blog but I wonder how many of you really understand the true meaning of what it says? I served eight years in the U.S. Air Force and it never occurred to me. I knew if asked I would go to war; knew I would do what was asked of me by my country... but it never occurred to me that I was offering my life to my fellow Americans. It was a job, an adventure and it was fun.

As I said - I was in the Air Force. I didn't train for war every day and didn't ever have to face combat. I could have, I suppose. Being a medic with extensive Emergency Room training it was possible I could have been deployed to a war zone but there were very few skurmishes while I was active duty and very few of those involved Air Force personnel on the ground, if any. I was safe.

I can't imagine what our young heroes go through mentally and emotionally when they join the Army and/or Marines knowing they will be sent off to war. Most face this duty with pride and courage. Some don't make it home and those who do are never the same as they were before they went. Families can be torn apart not only by the death of a military hero but by the changes in the ones who return. Still they go. They fight for their country and for each and every one of us. And I, for one, am forever grateful to them.

On this Memorial Day weekend may we all remember the reason we are able to cook out, entertain and enjoy the blessings of our freedoms - the men and women of our armed forces who sacrificed their lives to ensure those blessings for us. A huge salute to those who have served as well as to those still serving and carrying the burden for us all. We owe our freedom and security to all of you. We also owe you our thanks. The people who volunteer their lives in service to each of us are true heroes.

This year my thoughts are with my dear sister-in-law, Tami, and remembering her brave and honorable son, Marine Corporal Chad S. Wade. Love you Tami and my heart is with you this weekend. Thank you for Chad and thank you for your oh, so painful sacrifice. Chad will not be forgotten. Promise.

Please read about "Wings For Our Troops, in loving memory of CPL Chad S. Wade" on Facebook and at, and consider helping if you're able, even if it's only by spreading the word. To do so would honor two heroes, Chad and his incredible mom!

May God bless and keep safe our American heroes who are still out there serving each and every one of us. To those fallen veterans and their families that carry on, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sacrifice. It's because of people like you that our nation succeeded and continues to do so.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Worthy Cause In Honor Of A Hero

One day last week my sister-in-law, Tami Boyett, debuted, through a blog site,, her new foundation that in the near future will assist Marines (and hopefully other branches of our military) to get a trip home to see their families before they are deployed to a war zone. If the Marine or their families cannot afford the tickets, “Wings For Our Troops – in loving memory of CPL Chad S. Wade” will pick up the tab.

As the dedication suggests, Tami and her husband started this foundation in memory of Tami’s son, Corporal Chad S. Wade, who made the ultimate sacrifice to his country on December 1, 2010. Chad was a proud Marine. So proud, in fact, that he deployed to Afghanistan with only nine months left in his enlistment. Being an only child he didn’t have to go. But he didn’t want his buddies to go to war without him.

I posted a blog about Chad and what an incredible young man he was on December 6th. It’s called “A Hero Died Last Week”. It was read by quite a few people, for which I am honored. However, last week I received permission from Tami to post it again on her page, in honor of Chad. I wanted even more people to read about this remarkable man, this hero, who served his country proudly and gave his all. Within just a couple days of posting it, it quickly moved up to be the most read post on my blog page. I am extremely proud of that fact and happy that people are not only reading about Chad but more importantly, they are learning about the “Wings For Our Troops” foundation and many are asking what they can do to help.

I would ask that if you have the time you visit, and learn about this really wonderful new foundation. See what you can do to help if you’ve a mind to. They will need help from all sources to get it off the ground. And if you haven’t read my blog about Chad,, stop by and check it out. I’m sure you will be as impressed with him as I am.

God bless you all and God bless and protect our troops.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

So Many Topics, So Many Thoughts...

So many things going on in the world. Osama Bin Laden, possibly the most hated man in the world, was killed by U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 on Sunday. Or was he? There are so many conflicting stories coming from the White House that it’s hard to decipher the truth from the hype and fiction. I believe they got him. I see no reason for them to lie about it. They say they have DNA but we’ll never know if that’s true nor see the evidence. And if we could see it, how would be prove it to be his? Maybe it will have a label on it that says “Osama Bin Laden”. That should be good enough, right?

As I said – I see no reason for them to lie about it. However, the way things were handled afterward do leave a lot of questions in some people’s minds – even staunch leftists. Why were the SEALs sent in to kill him, regardless of the circumstances? If that wasn’t so, why did they shoot an unarmed man in the head? How long did they know where he was and why was the raid executed when it was? And the biggest question, I suppose – why dump the body at sea so there’s no evidence?

I know the official reason but that only makes a small amount of sense and only because Barack Obama is President. He says the U.S. was trying to give Bin Laden a Muslim funeral, within the required time limits, and put him somewhere that could not be turned into a shrine to that evil man. I can somewhat understand the last part but I guess it’s the first part that bothers me. This man planned and had carried out numerous bombings, murders of innocent people around the world, including over 3000 on 9/11/01 in the United States. We sent our military in to, for lack of a better word, assassinate him. He was unarmed and hiding behind a woman when he was shot in the head. We go into Pakistan, without their government’s permission, to carry out this secret mission, kill an unarmed man, and then worry about whether or not he gets a proper Muslim funeral? Is it me?

President Obama was in El Paso, Texas, today to promote immigration reform. During his remarks he said the borders are safer than they have ever been. Really, Mr. President? When we continue to hear about Americans getting killed on or near the border, in Mexico and in the U.S., and when our Homeland Security Chief, the former governor of Arizona, touts the safety of the borders even as she erects signs warning Americans not to go near the border for fear of their safety? Really?

I heard someone on a local radio show today say that the timing of President Obama’s killing of Osama Bin Laden was planned to draw attention away from the fact that our economy is starting to turn the other way again and unemployment numbers are going up. I don’t know whether that’s the reason or not but I do know if it was me, I’d have waited until a week before the election so the reaction in the polls would still be there on election day. But that would be dirty politics, wouldn’t it?

In other news, my dear sister-in-law, Tami, had to spend her first Mothers’ Day without the reason for her to celebrate it. How well I know that feeling. Fathers’ Day still gets to me every year. However, as I tried to explain to her, it will get easier and she will eventually celebrate the fact that she is a mom and always will be. She doesn’t believe me now and I fully understand that. When your only child dies you feel like you’re no longer a parent. You feel that if the child is no longer here you’re not a mother or a father. But the fact is, once you’re a parent you will always be a parent, whether the child is still here or not. And in time that fact will become obvious again. It may take a few years but your memories of the child, your love for the child, won’t let you deny him/her forever. The pain will never go away but most times, as time goes by, the memories and love far outweigh the pain.

A man who I will call my friend, even though we’ve never met face to face and we disagree about almost everything, is going to have a new daughter very soon. David and his wife are expecting their first baby any time. In fact, she’s a day or two late from what he has said. I want to wish them every happiness that goes with having a child of their own and wish them all a long, healthy and happy life. Some people worry it might hurt or upset me if they talk about their babies or how happy they are, once they know my circumstances. Honestly, I’m happy for them all. There is nothing in the world like the experience of having a child of your own. The love you have for your spouse, the one you married and who helped you create the child, pales in the light of the love you have for a child you created.

I suppose that sounds harsh but it’s a different love so it’s not as bad as it sounds. There is a connection between a parent and a child that is not there between a wife and a husband. It’s physical, genetic, and the only way to attain it is to create a new life from your own. So it’s not that you no longer love your spouse – normally it’s quite the contrary. Usually you love them even more because they helped you create this wonderful little person. But the love you have for a part of yourself is different and, in many ways, stronger. And it’s OK.

And one more thing… an old friend lost his father on Sunday, Mothers’ Day. How ironic and sad is that? It makes me think of my own father, who will be 90 on May 21st and is not well. For the last 11 years Dad has faced numerous health difficulties with a positive attitude, faith in God and a smile on his face. I thank God every day that my Dad is still here, even as I understand that one of these days God will take him. John – you have my deepest sympathies. May God comfort you and your family in this time of sorrow.

I guess I’m done for tonight. I hope the world gets a little better tomorrow and that everyone has, or finds. what they need to make it through another day. Life can be difficult but it can also be so wonderful. Go out and make yours wonderful.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Death Of Bin Laden - Who Deserves The Credit?

There are a lot of opinions floating around about the killing of Osama Bin Laden. They vary from elation that an evil man is dead to sadness that our country still resorts to this type of action to accomplish a goal. Since I’m so very shy about sharing my thoughts, I’ll do something unusual today and voice my opinion….

Osama Bin Laden was an evil man. His hatred of the Western world and our way of life, combined with his desire to restore full Sharia law to the Middle East, led to his formation of Al Qaeda, the terrorist organization responsible not only for the massacres in this country on 9/11/01 but for other terrorist attacks on innocent people throughout the world.

It is not known at this time just how much influence Bin Laden still had over Al Qaeda at the time of his death. He had been in hiding since the 2001 attacks and it is believed he had been in Pakistan for about six years. It is also believed he suffered from health problems for several years. Whether he was still calling the shots isn’t known in the civilian world. Either way he was a threat since I’m sure his wishes were carried out whether or not he was still actively leading the group.

While it is somewhat sad to see people reveling and rejoicing over the death of another person, it is certainly understandable. This is the man whose terrorist organization killed over 3,000 innocent people on that day in 2001. His organization is also responsible for the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 and for countless other terrorist attacks on the Western world over the years. Of course people are happy about it. I, myself, am glad such an evil man is gone from the world. However, I won’t go out in the streets and celebrate, for several reasons, the biggest of which is because Bin Laden’s death won’t change 9/11, it won’t bring back one person who died as a result of Al Qaeda’s actions, nor will it end the conflict in the Middle East.

Will the death of Bin Laden change anything as far as Al Qaeda goes? That is yet to be seen however, I don’t believe it will cause their activity to stop, or even slow down. In fact, as law enforcement, politicians and intelligence sources believe, it’s likely to cause a retaliation of some sort and increase the violence for a while. So was it a good thing to take him out? For that matter, since we’ve seen no pictures or body, is he really dead?

I’ll address the second question first. I believe the government, in this situation, has no reason to lie. If it were a week prior to an election I could possibly see a reason for a conspiracy. Getting Bin Laden a week before the next election would probably secure more votes for the President. But at this stage of the game I have no reason to believe there’s a conspiracy.

There is the problem that we have seen no real proof and the body was dropped into the ocean. Again, while I choose to believe the government is telling the truth, I believe it would be in their best interest to release a photo of Bin Laden in death to quell any disbelief before it gets out of hand.

Some people are politicizing the event and saying Obama didn’t do anything – that it was the CIA and the Navy SEALs who deserve all the credit. Although I am by no means a Barack Obama fan, in this case I think these people are wrong. Obama has been holding secret meetings with the Security Council for months talking about Bin Laden. He put the head of the CIA, Leon Panetta, in charge of finding Bin Laden, which was accomplished. (The CIA’s hunt for him has been going on since 2004 and was continued by Obama, making Bush partly responsible for it as well.) He allowed the CIA to use information gleaned from the terrorists held in Guantanamo Bay to help locate Bin Laden’s compound. The President believed in his intel advice and in his Navy SEAL team 6 and signed an order authorizing the covert assault in Pakistan, which was technically against international rules. So the President deserves much credit in this successful operation. If the mission had failed, if we had even heard about it in that case, he would have been labeled a bungler. Instead the plan worked flawlessly and Bin Laden is now dead, and all involved, including the President, deserve the credit for a successful operation.

To those who want to use partisanship to say Obama deserves no credit I ask you – if George W Bush had accomplished this very same thing, in the same way, during his Presidency, would you praise Bush for doing it? If so then Obama deserves that same credit. If you say no I would highly doubt you.

The President, the CIA, the Department of the Navy, and Navy SEAL team 6 all deserve our thanks and our praise for this. Thank you. Thank you all.
Of course, in the words of the great Dennis Miller… “That’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.”