Sunday, 01 February 2009

Stimulating the troops…
Contributed by J D

J. D. Pendry

“… I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending. I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems."

“I will institute an independent defense priorities board to ensure that the Quadrennial Review is not used to justify unnecessary defense spending."

“Third, I will set a goal for a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, I will not develop nuclear weapons; I will seek a global ban on the production of fissile material; and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert, and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenal.” – President Barack Hussein Obama

A revisit of that quote and everyone should be clear on what the President intends when he tells the Joint Chiefs to cut their fiscal year 2010 budget request (fiscal year 2010 begins October 1, 2009) by 55 billion dollars. There are only a few places where the defense budget can be cut. Personnel costs are fixed. The only way to reduce that cost is to slow promotions, reduce the size of the force (something that many argue effectively needs to grow) or reduce pay, benefits or the services provided to active duty families. For example, as I mentioned last week, the Congressional Budget Office proposal to have active duty military family members pay for their healthcare. The cuts, when they come, will be in the areas dangerous to the Armed Forces, much the same as they were under the Carter and Clinton Administrations.

Read the rest:

Trackbacks:

Contributed by J D on February 1, 2009 at 12:06 PM in J D Pendry | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Sucking off the government tit…
Contributed by J D

J. D. Pendry

I often receive condescending email from liberals. Some of them from a gentleman who identifies himself as Will Estes. Mr. Estes, like most liberals, uses projection to attack people who do not view the world as he does. Mr. Estes believes that if everyone is looking for government handouts or as he so eloquently phrases it, sucking off the government tit, then it justifies his own desires to have someone else carry the load for him. I sent an angry, although short, response to Mr. Estes. I called him a complete idiot.

“Greetings J.D.

So sorry to hear about your heel problem.. I do hope that with your military retirement plan that the VA. hospital was ready ...waiting and was there for you. Of course this is a benefit that is a social program to the people who served this great country as you did..”

Let’s be clear on one point Will. A social program is one that provides something to someone who never contributed toward the benefit received. Welfare as an example.

Read the rest:

Trackbacks:

Contributed by J D on January 28, 2009 at 01:34 PM in J D Pendry | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Wiggle your toes...
Contributed by J D

J. D. Pendry

We live in a changing world in more ways than many of us could even comprehend only short years ago. I expect that most people who read this electronic publication have some Internet acquaintances. Someone you met on the web and with whom you have regular electronic conversations and feel as though you have come to know them even though you have never spoken face to face. I have accumulated quite a few over the years. One of them was Bill Faith, the founder and webmaster of Old War Dogs. It was Bill and others who invited me to post at OWD. I returned from a short absence sadly to read email informing me that Bill answered the final recall following a heart attack. Bill was passionate in his beliefs and his support of Veterans and serving men and women. As God wraps his arms around you Bill, stand tall knowing that your earthly mission was completed.

Now about that title. Since the day before Christmas Eve, my most prominent view has of been of an elevated foot with toes sticking out of bandages and a splint. On that day, I managed to shatter a heel bone. If you are curious, it is a major ouch. The injury required surgical reconstruction of the heel bone, which I had last week. I spent two nights in the hospital. Each time there was a shift change at the hospital, the new nurse would come in and ask me to wiggle my toes, block my view and ask me to tell her which toe she was tickling and then give me a listening to through the stethoscope.

Read the rest:

Trackbacks:

Contributed by J D on January 24, 2009 at 09:36 AM in J D Pendry | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, 19 January 2009

Bill Faith; My Buddy
Contributed by The Gray Dog

The following was forwarded to me from Russ Vaughn.  It is difficult to separate, Bill and Russ, as to  who did what first to give birth to Old War Dogs.

By Russ Vaughn

Bill Faith was my buddy, a term that has particular meaning for those who have worn a uniform in service to this country. And though I never met him, nor even heard his voice a single time, that’s how I will remember Bill, as my buddy, someone who served alongside me through victory and defeat, through thick and thin, but who always could be counted on to stand up and be counted when it counted most.

I must first apologize to Bill’s family and all of you out there for being tardy in posting my thoughts on Bill’s passing. Two months ago my wife and I were abruptly thrust into the role of primary caregivers for her almost ninety-year-old parents, a responsibility which has kept both of us away from our computers and me from my blogging efforts. It was only through an email from The Gray Dog, Mike Connelly, that I learned belatedly of Bill’s death.

I don’t even remember precisely when Bill and I became acquainted, just that it was sometime after John Kerry became the Democrat frontrunner in 2004 and this old Vietnam vet, like millions of my brothers, swore to do everything in my power to prevent that traitor from ever becoming commander in chief. Scott Swett, at Wintersoldier blog, first began posting my anti-Kerry rants, which were then picked up by the Freepers and spread to other like-minded sites. Shortly thereafter I received an email from Bill, telling me he would like to post my pieces at his Small Town Veteran blog. As soon as I visited the site, I knew I had found an ally, one who quickly became a long-distance friend and a valued editor of my sometimes rough expositions.

When Kerry was defeated in November 2004, Bill and I, like all our Vietnam veteran brothers who had fought to keep Kerry out of the presidency, were exhilarated and felt that at last we had been exonerated. In sharing that victory, we became buddies, and the bond became even stronger in the summer of 2006 when Bill became webmaster of our new blog, Old War Dogs, which may have been my brainstorm but was Bill’s baby from the outset. He built the pen and the doghouse from scratch and fed and watered that pup every day. And like most proud papas, he could get quickly cantankerous if he felt like someone was mistreating his dog, including me.

Bill kept OWD up and running all through this last election fiasco even though, like me, he was never more than lukewarm to the idea of John McCain as our candidate. But, good soldier that he was, Bill fought the good fight right up until the bitter end. And as bitter as it was for the rest of us, his email telling me that he was going to back away from daily blogging at OWD, made me aware that my buddy was battle weary and in need of some respite. I regret not then realizing just how badly needed it was.

Michelle Malkin’s farewell post to Bill includes my poem, The Sheepdogs, and I thank her for that because there was never a more dedicated Sheepdog than Bill Faith. He loved his flock, both the immediate, his family, especially his new grandbaby, and that much larger flock, his countrymen.

Bill, I’m gonna miss you, Buddy.

Russ Vaughn

Trackbacks:

Contributed by The Gray Dog on January 19, 2009 at 05:19 PM in Best of Old War Dogs, Bill Faith, Bill's Bites, Coming home, Current Affairs, Russ Vaughn | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Bill Faith - "Aim High" My Friend
Contributed by The Gray Dog

*** Update Sunday January 18, 2009 ***

I should have added this link to Michelle Malkin's article.

Also to Uncle Jimbo's post at BlackFive.

Here are a whole bunch more:

The Rude News

Illusion or reality

WizBang

Another Voice

Confedrate Yankee

The Radio Patriot

Brutally Honest

Bookworm Room

Also, Bill's sister has requested donations be made to Soldier's Angels in lieu of flowers.

Finally, I am unable to approve any comments left for Bill at other posts.  Some of you already have posted elsewhere.  If you wish to leave a comment for Bill please do so at this article, for which I am able to approve comments for.  Thank You.

                                                **********************************************

It is with a saddened heart that I just heard from another Old War Dog, Zero Ponsdorf, that Michelle Malkin reported the death of Old War Dog founder and webmaster Bill Faith.  I missed a couple of opportunities this year as I traveled through Southern Illinois, to stop and meet Bill in person.  This is a mistake I will regret for the rest of my life.

Through an electronic introduction from another Old War Dog, Jim Bartimus, I was introduced to Bill in July of 2005.  It was then that Bill extended the invitation to join the Old War Dogs Blog, and it was the first type of anything in my adult lifetime I had ever joined.

Bill could be cantankerous at times, often causing a bit of dissent among the ranks.  But, I know that Bill’s life centered around two things: Old War Dogs and his Grandson.  His Blogging and love of America, I can speak to.  His abundant love for his daughter and grandson I will leave for others.

Many years later, Bill and I discovered that I had preceded him into the Air Force by a mere week back in the summer of 1970, and that most of our time at Lackland AFB and afterward at Sheppard AFB, had overlapped.  That’s where the similarity ended.  Bill went on to serve in Vietnam, while I defended America from the frozen moonscapes of Alaska.  I think it was our same age, military branch, and the fact that we were both Illinoisans, that caused Bill to always favor my writing and give it a little boost in the Blog position each day.  In fact I was often embarrassed by the favoritism. 

Others, such as Russ Vaughn, JD Pendry, George “Rurik” Mellinger, William “1st Cav” Page and Zero Ponsdorf knew Bill longer and perhaps better than I, although most of us have been strangers to Old War Dogs for a couple of years now. 

A couple of years ago, Bill had entrusted the “keys” to the Old War Dogs Site with me and Russ Vaughn.  I haven’t been in contact with Russ for some time, and I’m not sure how to proceed.  Old War Dogs and Small Town Veteran were 100% Bill Faith.  There is a part of me that says we should keep OWD going as a tribute to Bill, yet another that says it would only be a cheap imitation.  As mentioned before, Russ and JD and perhaps a few others will have more to say on the topic. 

In closing, I simply want to say that Bill was a patriot, a loving father and grandfather, and a clear voice for veteran’s causes throughout the blogosphere.  And for me personally, he was a friend and fellow Old War Dog.  I will miss him.

Mike Connelly
The Gray Dog

Trackbacks:

Contributed by The Gray Dog on January 17, 2009 at 07:12 PM in Best of Old War Dogs, Bill Faith, Current Affairs, Patriotism, The Gray Dog, US Air Force | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, 05 January 2009

Family Bragging
Contributed by Bill Faith

It was great to see my nephew, Captain Rob Faith, USAF, when he dropped in unexpectedly last night. He's on his way from Ft. Rucker, AL, where he just completed basic helicopter training, to Albuquerque for Huey training. From there he'll be going to Minot, ND to fly for SAC for a while. I'm not sure what they use Hueys for at Minot but I guess he'll find out when he gets there.

Trackbacks:

Contributed by Bill Faith on January 5, 2009 at 01:36 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, 04 January 2009

Happy 2009
Contributed by J D

J. D. Pendry

Entering 2009, we find that the centuries old battle between the sons of Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael, continues. The children of Isaac have endured a relentless fight for their existence against the children of Ishmael, often alone, from the beginning of human history. Ishmael, led by fanatical Mullahs and because of them, will never reconcile with Isaac. Some of us, considered the weak minded by the all knowing elitists of our world, know the roots of this epic struggle and how it ends. We have called it by many names. The war on terror is just one of the misnomers we have given it. We rarely, however, want to accept what it truly is - the epic battle between Isaac and Ishmael playing for us as if it was another of Cecil B. Demille’s Biblical productions. Whether you accept that premise or not, you must decide during this new year behind which son of Abraham you stand. There is no alternative choice for you. The fight will not leave you alone. Events, history and ideology force you to one side or the other. Isaac is defending his right to existence as I write this. Also, there are Ishmael terrorist supporting anti Isaac [anti-Western] protestors in the streets of our country, in New York no less. They kill us in our own cities we then allow them to protest in support of the murderers in the streets of the city where their most devastating attack occurred. What does that say about us as we begin the era of hope and change? We can hope, but they will not change. I did not want to depress you with my first thought of the new year, but that is what came to my mind today.

Read the rest:

Trackbacks:

Contributed by J D on January 4, 2009 at 09:29 AM in J D Pendry | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Hope
Contributed by J D

J. D. Pendry

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. – Isaiah 7:14 (NIV)

Today is the third Sunday of Advent. My wife and I were honored to light the Advent candles during Church services this morning. The third Advent Candle is the Candle of Hope.

We hear a lot about hope during our endless political campaigning by people who when asked can barely discuss intelligently the words that come out of their own mouths. It is only later; after their handlers and marketers have schooled them that they offer us what I really meant to say was…. Unfortunately, this is where Americans have largely placed hope- in men and their promises. And as we see more each day, that hope is on men who are unethical, unscrupulous, immoral, proven incompetents and some of them just outright criminals. Sad place for the hope of a people and a nation, isn’t it?

Read the rest:

Trackbacks:

Contributed by J D on December 14, 2008 at 03:24 PM in J D Pendry | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Classy Cussing for Disgraced Democrats
Contributed by Ron Winter

CAUTION: CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE AND ADULT SITUATIONS!!
An example of just how difficult it is to be a woman in politics these days surfaced late this week when the Democrat Attack Machine, known here as the American Terrorist Media, ATM, went after Patti Blagojevich, wife of the embattled Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich.

Aside from the rampant misogynism that also launched the attacks on Hillary Clinton, and the ongoing character assassination on Sarah Palin, the reasoning behind the attacks on Mrs. Blagojevich is that she swears!

The government has wiretapped tape recordings of her husband allegedly trying to sell Barack Obama's now vacant Illinois Senate seat to the highest bidder, and in the background a woman who allegedly is Patti Blagojevich is yelling obscenities. How dare she?

What gives with this woman? Swearing!?

I know what you're thinking and you're right. Back in the 60s one of the premier identity factors for the new, liberal, liberated, feminist-type woman was taking the shackles off their mouths, and cursing word-for-word, obscenity-for-obscenity with the guys. And not just any guys, because most educated and refined guys didn't use four letter words and related curses, especially in the presence of women.

No, the sign of the liberated woman was using the worst type of gutter language in the presence of anyone, anywhere, to show that aged social conventions were no longer in vogue. But obviously times have changed and it no longer is a sign of the ultimate feminist to stand toe to toe with any man in the room and swear him under the table.

Considering that no one has claimed she has Tourette's Syndrome, Patti Blagojevich apparently didn't get the memo. Or maybe she was a journalist in a previous incarnation and is just trying to conserve words and get her point across in as few as possible. Interesting isn't it that the only time a Democratic woman's use of the King's English becomes an issue is when the ATM decides she is no longer a useful tool for the prevailing political agenda.

Continue reading Winter's Soldier Story at www.RonaldWinterbooks.com

Trackbacks:

Contributed by Ron Winter on December 14, 2008 at 11:41 AM in Ron Winter | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Soldier's Silent Night
Contributed by Bill Faith


If the audio player doesn't work for you click here.

This is an obvious adaptation of "Merry Christmas, My Friend," which I posted here, but it's very well done. Blackfive has more information here.

Trackbacks:

Contributed by Bill Faith on December 14, 2008 at 01:44 AM in Christmas | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, 07 December 2008

We Stink
Contributed by J D

J. D. Pendry

According to Democrat Senator Harry Reid we are little more than putrid peasants. On opening the new Capitol Visitor’s Center, the Senator was most grateful that he would no longer have to smell the Americans who wished to visit the palatial digs they paid for with their blood and tax dollars. Sadly, I fear Senator Reid is not alone in his aristocratic view of the peasantry.

Yes Senator Reid there is a stench emanating from Washington. I suggest that to locate the source of it, you begin searching in increasingly larger concentric circles around your own little piece of the Capitol building. The peasantry will have to tolerate Harry Reid et al as long as the people keep sending them back to Washington. Harry Reid is an insignificant man who, if history remembers him at all, will recall that he declared a victory in Iraq as a lost war and went on to lead the most ineffective and least popular Congress our nation has ever known.

Today is the second Sunday of Advent. It is also the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii that propelled the United States into World War II.

Read the rest:

Trackbacks:

Contributed by J D on December 7, 2008 at 04:04 PM in J D Pendry | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, 04 December 2008

I think I may be done blogging for good
Contributed by Bill Faith

I know I'm done doing daily roundups like I used to; you're just as capable as I am of surfing the net looking for important news. Fat lot of good they did anyway. Those of you who frequent this site would have voted the right way anyway and the hell with those of you who didn't. I might or might not eventually feel the urge to round up some links and comment on some particular subject now and then but for now it feels good just sitting back and relaxing and not trying to meet any sort of deadlines. I think it's called "burnout."

Fellow Dogs, I am not resigning my position as webmaster. I'll keep paying the rent just like I always have and keeping an eye on the site. If you run into any problems I might be able to help with don't hesitate to write.

Trackbacks:

Contributed by Bill Faith on December 4, 2008 at 12:09 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Tell me again about that National Security Force….
Contributed by J D

J. D. Pendry

What do you think about the Russian analyst who predicted the demise and breakup of the United States? I have news for him. The breakup of the United States was completed the day that being a Hyphenated-American became more important than being just an American. I needed to clear that thought from my mind before moving on.

I recently scanned an article in a paper produced by a professional military association. It talked about the President-elect and what the military and veterans should expect from him. What the article amounted to was a regurgitation of talking points provided to them by a political campaign. I was rather disappointed.

One political statement made by President-elect Obama, or campaign promise, whichever way you choose to characterize it, concerns me a great deal. It should concern everyone.

Read the rest:

Trackbacks:

Contributed by J D on November 30, 2008 at 04:58 PM in J D Pendry | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Terrorist Attacks in Mumbai, India Reveal Tactical Shift in War on Terror; Look To Scottish History to Solve Afghanistan, Pakistan Dilemma
Contributed by Ron Winter

The death toll is still climbing in Mumbai, India where Islamo-fascist terrorists struck Wednesday, targeting American and British citizens, Jews and police. News reports say the carnage and chaos were well planned, and the targets were pre-selected.

Among the dead in the initial moments of the assault were police officials who would have been in a position to direct a coordinated counter-assault. As a result the terrorists roamed freely, killing, taking hostages, and digging in for a protracted battle.

The attacks in India point out tragically just how simple it is to turn normal life into unthinkable horror. And they underscore the extent to which free societies must exert themselves if they are to deliver a death blow to terrorism.

Although security officials believe the attackers were members of an extreme Islamo-fascist organization based in Pakistan, and presumably had terrorist dollars and organizational capabilities backing them up, their weaponry was mostly small arms, grenades, and assault rifles. Mumbai, formerly Bombay, sits on the shore of the Arabian Sea and the attackers arrived aboard motorized rubber rafts.

Depending on the point of origin and the route taken, it is about 600-800 nautical miles from the shore of Pakistan to the water's edge in Mumbai, far too long and uncertain for a voyage entirely by motorized rafts. Thus, Indian security officials surmise that the rafts were launched from a larger ship.

But even arranging for sea transportation is not that difficult in areas of the world where pirates roam. In short, although there was significant pre-planning and intelligence gathering to launch the assault on Mumbai, the level of organization necessary to do it was not that complicated.

With US forces victorious in Iraq, and the Iraqi parliament approving an agreement outlining responsibility for its own security, it is obvious that worldwide terrorist organizations are looking for softer targets. They also need some form of "victory" to draw attention away from their overwhelming losses in Iraq.

As the assault continued into its third day, international news organizations reported on the possible identity of the attackers.

Foremost among the organizations blamed was Lashkar-e-Taiba - which in the depth of hypocrisy means Army of the Righteous. Attempts were made to shift the blame to a heretofore unheard of domestic (Indian) terror group, calling itself Deccan Mujahideen, but evidence indicates that the attacks originated with Pakistan/Afghanistan based "traditional" terrorists.

Although the terrorists claimed to be citizens of India, analyses of tape recordings between the attackers and the media indicated they were speaking with Pakistani accents.

Lashkar-e-Taiba reportedly originated in Kunar, Afghanistan, on the border with Pakistan, adjacent to the wild and Taliban/Al Qaeda friendly Tribal Areas. Regardless of which splinter group actually did the shooting, it is obvious that with Al Qaeda defeated in Iraq, there is a shift in emphasis to targets closer to its last remaining stronghold on the Afghan/Pakistan border.

Herein lies the reference to Scotland. One of the saddest chapters in Scottish history is the brutal end of the clan system by which the Scottish Highlands were emptied of inhabitants, their way of life, the homes, their language, and their culture.

Scotland and England ceased to be separate countries beginning with the Union of the Crowns in 1603 - which actually placed a Scottish king on the throne of England - and their Parliaments united in 1707. Nonetheless, there was still animosity between and within both countries, based to a large degree on religious issues as well as politics and nationalism. Catholicism was favored by some, opposed by others, and wars were fought and monarchs toppled over the question of whether Scotland would accept Catholicism as its state religion.

(To this day the National Church of Scotland is Presbyterian, although it is not considered the "state" church.)

This animosity, and efforts to restore a Scottish monarch, led ultimately to the Battle of Culloden in 1746, in which the pro-government forces (backed by England) brutally defeated the outnumbered and significantly outgunned Scottish Jacobites. The loss on the battlefield was only the beginning, and the real impact came in the following years during the Highland Clearances, more than a century of unchecked brutality.

During this time land speculators from England, backed by the English Army, invaded traditional Scottish Clan lands, threw the inhabitants out of their homes and communities, shot many, hanged many, and forced others to the coasts where they lived in abject penury. Tens of thousands were forced onto ships heading anywhere else in the world.

To accomplish this the Highland Scots were ordered to disarm, a violation of which brought instant death. To facilitate the army's access to the highland clans, many located in inaccessible areas where they had thrived for centuries, the English built roads and bridges to enhance the movement of troops.

But one of the most effective tactics used by the English in the Highland Clearances was not the brutality, which often has the affect of uniting the afflicted, but the practice of separating the clan chiefs from the clans.

The English did this by inviting the highest and most powerful chieftains to London, where they were assimilated into the English society. Their children, especially those born in England, were educated in English schools, taught English customs and within one generation any attachment to the Highlands was removed from their collective consciousness.

Today, if you travel north along Scotland's east coast, and then inland from the town of Helmsdale, to the lands once populated by the most northern clans you will find ... next to nothing.

If you go to the Helmsdale home page on the Internet you will find references to the emptiness of the land between the coast and the next inland settlement. Where the clans once thrived, now there are only scattered domiciles, and little to remind travellers of what once existed there.

I am not advocating using these tactics on the inhabitants of the Tribal Areas on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. I don't advocate ripping people away from their homes, their families and their heritage.

But if the leaders of those tribes are going to conspire with extremists seeking world domination, then I do advocate separating the head from the body. One way or another, the leaders of these vicious attacks have to be separated from the people they are recruiting for their dirty work.

The Highland Clearances are a historical blot on the history of England, and a devastating era in Scottish history. But, from the standpoint of English rulers who wanted to ensure that they were never again threatened with invasion from the wild clansman of the Scottish Highlands, they were devastatingly effective.

The attacks in Mumbai have shown that no one in the free world is safe from terrorist attacks, launched by zealots who use murder, torture and mayhem as a means of imposing their will on everyone else.

But if free world forces can figure out a way to achieve the same level of effectiveness as the Highland Clearance, separating the head from the body and redirecting the energies of those doing the fighting - without brutalizing innocent civilians - there may still be some hope for the human race.

Trackbacks:

Contributed by Ron Winter on November 29, 2008 at 04:35 PM in Ron Winter | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, 28 November 2008

Having some trouble getting in the mood this year?
Contributed by Bill Faith

The Sands Of Christmas

I had no Christmas spirit when I breathed a weary sigh,
and looked across the table where the bills were piled too high.
The laundry wasn’t finished and the car I had to fix,
My stocks were down another point, the Dolphins lost by six.

And so with only minutes till my son got home from school
I gave up on the drudgery and grabbed a wooden stool.
The burdens that I carried were about all I could take,
and so I flipped the TV on to catch a little break.

I came upon a desert scene in shades of tan and rust,
No snowflakes hung upon the wind, just clouds of swirling dust.
And where the reindeer should have stood before a laden sleigh,
eight hummers ran a column right behind an M1A.

A group of boys walked past the tank, not one was past his teens,
Their eyes were hard as polished flint, their faces drawn and lean.
They walked the street in armor with their rifles shouldered tight,
their dearest wish for Christmas, just to have a silent night.

Other soldiers gathered, hunkered down against the wind,
To share a scrap of mail and dreams of going home again.
There wasn’t much at all to put their lonely hearts at ease,
They had no Christmas turkey, just a pack of MREs.

They didn’t have a garland or a stocking I could see,
They didn’t need an ornament-- they lacked a Christmas Tree.
They didn’t have a present even though it was tradition,
the only boxes I could see were labeled “ammunition.”

I felt a little tug and found my son now by my side,
He asked me what it was I feared, and why it was I cried.
I swept him up into my arms and held him oh so near
and kissed him on the forehead as I whispered in his ear.

There’s nothing wrong my little son, for safe we sleep tonight,
our heroes stand on foreign land to give us all the right,
to worry on the things in life that mean nothing at all,
instead of wondering if we will be the next to fall.

He looked at me as children do and said its always right,
to thank the ones who help us and perhaps that we should write.
And so we pushed aside the bills and sat to draft a note,
to thank the many far from home, and this is what we wrote,

God bless you all and keep you safe, and speed your way back home.
Remember that we love you so, and that you’re not alone.
The gift you give you share with all, a present every day,
You give the gift of liberty and that we can’t repay.

©Copyright December 2003 by Michael Marks
Used with the author's permission.

Trackbacks:

Contributed by Bill Faith on November 28, 2008 at 11:56 PM in Christmas, Michael Marks | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Got a few minutes to help a very worthy cause?
Contributed by Bill Faith

This post will remain at the top of the site through Thanksgiving day.
Please scroll down to see newer content. Posted 2008.11.11.

It's that time of year again folks. Time for a partial payment on some debts we can never repay in full.

Learn more about Project Valour IT here, then, please, pick a link above and give till it hurts. Then give some more.

Trackbacks:

  • Canadian buy codeine on line. linked with "Codeine."

Contributed by Bill Faith on November 27, 2008 at 11:59 PM in Valour IT | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (2)

Somewhere a Veteran is Hungry on Thanksgiving
Contributed by Ron Winter

Michelle Malkin ran an article on her blog the other day about the National Park Police hassling a Vietnam veteran for handing out Buddy Poppies on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The veteran, John Miska, served in Vietnam and is active to say the least in his Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Arlington, VA. But the park police say that because he accepts donations from some people who take a poppy, even if he doesn't ask for them, he is thus a panhandler, and that makes him a lawbreaker.

You can read the entire article at Michelle's blog here: http://michellemalkin.com/2008/11/25/disabled-vet-branded-panhandler-for-handing-out-memorial-poppies/

I'm certain I met John on one of my many trips to DC in the past few years and there is a good reason why I remember the encounter.

John was distributing the Buddy Poppies, which are little paper imitation flowers that that VFW uses to remind people of the blood shed in war. On that particular day I was looking to see how many people were wearing VFW or American Legion garb. We were standing up to the pro-terrorist coalition ANSWER, and there were damn few representatives from the major veterans organizations standing with the thousands of veterans who took it personally that the pro-terrorism crowd wanted to deface our memorials.

So when I saw a guy wearing a VFW hat and offering the poppies I took note. I also am the Buddy Poppy chairman for my local VFW post and organize our annual vigils in my town on the weekend before Memorial Day. My community, unlike the National Park Police, has an abundance of generous people who appreciate and support veterans and we thus are able to help the less fortunate among us - which is the sole purpose of the Buddy Poppy program in the first place.

The poppies harken back to World War I and specifically the poem On Flanders Fields, which talks of the horror of war and the need to remember veterans who fought in those far off battles.

I guess all that is lost in the government bureaucracies that are running our country right down the sewer.

But, John has friends like Michelle Malkin and she isn't one to let an issue like this go unchallenged.

From her blog: Now the Charlottesville-based Rutherford Institute has stepped in and filed a First Amendment lawsuit against the National Park Police.

John Miska enjoys volunteering and spends most of his time helping injured veterans and distributing "Buddy Poppies."

"They're handed out as a remembrance of veterans' sacrifice. The poppies are red, representing the blood the soldiers shed and it's a reminder and it gives people pause to think," said Miska.

"People see me standing there and they approach me and ask 'may I have a Poppy' and I give them a Poppy. If people are moved to offer a donation we accept the donations," said Miska.

According to president of the Rutherford Institute Miska hasn't done anything wrong, he has only expressed his First Amendment rights.

"People occasionally give him money. There's a statute, it's a D.C. law, that says you can't aggressively solicit money, but he doesn't do any of that. We feel it's a violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution which guarantees you the right to assemble or guarantees you the right to free speech to hand out Buddy Poppies," said John Whitehead, President, Rutherford Institute.

Miska says this experience isn't going to stop him from his mission and that it will only encourage him to do more.

"I took an oath to the constitution to preserve, protect and defend and I feel if you don't stand up for you rights you will lose those rights," said Miska.

I took the same oath as John and I feel the same way. And as I normally do on Thanksgiving I would like to call your attention to the fact that millions of American servicemen and women are not at home today. Many are in combat zones, facing enemies who not only don't celebrate our national holiday, they would spit on it if they had the chance.

These defenders of our country, our freedoms and our way of life are not here to speak out for themselves so it is up to people like John Miska to do it for them.

Think for a moment if you will, that right now there is a soldier standing a lonely watch in a desert outpost. He might be thinking of turkey, but even if he gets it, he won't really be able to enjoy it as he would at home.

Elsewhere a Marine is pulling his field jacket closer as he braces against a bitter mountain wind, looking for signs that terrorists are about to launch an attack. He is keeping one eye on the sky, hoping a resupply helicopter will be coming to his area, possibly loaded with hot meals for the grunts.

Across the world American sailors are standing watch on vast oceans, while airmen are refueling patrol aircraft in distant and lonely airfields, and coast guardsmen are intercepting drug runners, terrorists, or saving the lives of those in peril.

Right here in America, veterans who have served their country honorably are hoping for a crumb, or a warm place to spend the night, not even daring to think of sitting down to a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. Except those who have found John Miska or been found by him.

He helps organize dinners at his VFW post, and makes certain that wounded hospitalized vets are not forgotten. That's a big, big job but Miska does it, and only asks that he not be hassled.

I don't think that's too much to ask. Somewhere today a veteran will go hungry because there aren't enough John Miska's in this world. But somewhere else a veteran will have an opportunity for a meal and a few hours away from the cares and woes of daily life, thanks to people like John.

Do you think the Park Police bureaucrats who don't understand the meaning of Buddy Poppies could take a few minutes to look them up on the Internet and for just once try to lighten up? Maybe at the same time, if it isn't too taxing mentally, they could reflect on the fact that 93 percent of all living Americans are free to live their lives because a mere 7 percent have served in the military - going all the way back to WWII and earlier.

If that 7 percent hadn't sacrificed, and continue to sacrifice to this very minute, the bureaucrats who are stuffing themselves today just might understand the true meaning of hunger and want.

Maybe, for a change, they could go to John Miska's VFW post and help serve meals to deserving veterans this holiday season. Maybe they could accompany him to a hospital when he visits the wounded and disabled.

Maybe then they would get an idea of the real meaning of Thanksgiving.

Trackbacks:

Contributed by Ron Winter on November 27, 2008 at 10:50 AM in Ron Winter | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Happy Thanksgiving
Contributed by J D

J. D. Pendry

I was going to write something different this evening, instead I will share this from my archives. I wish all of you and your families a joyous and blessed Thanksgiving day. - JD

On Thanksgiving Day 1971, I was a 19-year-old Private in basic combat training at Fort Ord, California. My military career did not have a grand beginning. For that matter it never had a grand middle or end either, but that’s a story for another day.

In September of that year, just before my 19th birthday, I stepped down from a Greyhound bus onto Fort Ord’s sand and ice plant. It wasn’t the type of greeting that folklore and movies primed me to expect. A Corporal wearing heavily starched cotton fatigues, spit shined boots and a glossy black helmet with large white Corporal stripes painted on the front greeted the few of us arriving from San Francisco Airport. He wasn’t loud and ornery as we expected, but he did walk so fast that most of my small group had to jog to keep up. His first stop with us was an Army Mess Hall where we ate our first Army meal of warm soup and cold sandwiches. A week later, all hell broke loose for us when the cattle car we were crammed into stopped in front of our basic training company.

Read the rest:

Trackbacks:

Contributed by J D on November 26, 2008 at 09:39 PM in J D Pendry | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, 23 November 2008

The evolution of liberalism…
Contributed by J D

J. D. Pendry

I just returned from a two-week trip to Korea. My jets are still lagging, which might explain why I was wide-awake at 0300. If my jet lag runs its typical course, I should be sleeping soundly somewhere mid-sermon.

Korea is an interesting place and an interesting lesson. My history there goes back to 1972 when I was an Army Private in I Corps stationed at Camp Red Cloud in Uijongbu, Korea. Uijongbu is just down the road a piece from communist North Korea and the world’s most heavily fortified and defended border along the 38th latitudinal parallel north, which if your curious about such things also passes through Wild Wonderful West Virginia where I sit this early Sunday morning. Although today’s average public school product probably could not tell you this, the Korean War never ended officially. There exists only a cease-fire. In 1972, dirt streets and roads were common to many areas. Most Koreans had neither a telephone nor a car. Women wading through the flooded paddies mostly planted rice by hand. In the countryside, thatched roofs were common and many rural areas still had no electricity.

Read the rest:

Trackbacks:

Contributed by J D on November 23, 2008 at 06:51 AM in J D Pendry | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, 21 November 2008

It's a girl!
Contributed by Bill Faith

Not really OWD matter but I have to tell the world anyway. My little girl had a little girl this morning! Now I have two -- count 'em, two -- grandkids. (More here as I learn more.)

Trackbacks:

Contributed by Bill Faith on November 21, 2008 at 12:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)