Category Archives: Military

To Those Who Served – Salute!

From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield

Today, we stop and give thanks for all those who have served the nation in uniform, protecting the freedoms we hold so dear. Some gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in order to ensure that we have the life we so proudly proclaim.

Their sacrifice is honored with each election where not by coup, but by ordinary Americans casting a ballot and choosing those who will lead and represent them. The power and authority of those officials are transferred from one elected official to the next, from the precinct level to the highest office in the land, the Presidency, without the need for troops in the streets because of those who answered the call to duty, honor and service.

The ability to vote, the ability to choose, the ability to speak our minds, the ability to worship or not worship, the ability to write these words without fear, the ability to work, to succeed, to fail, to rise above our circumstances, all of this we owe to those men and women who fought for peace, justice and freedom.

None of our liberties came without cost and thus we owe a debt to each of our veterans and to those who still serve.

On a more personal note:

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In those dark days following the sneak attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, four brothers from Nashville, Brown County, Indiana lined up at the recruiting office and joined the US Navy. These four brothers went off to save the world for democracy both in the European Theater and in the Pacific.

Three made it back home at the close of World War II. The one who didn’t return was my Uncle Homer. My grandfather and his other two brothers, Herman and Wesley, came home, but changed, never to be the same.

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My step-father, a fresh-faced kid from Sullivan County, Indiana didn’t wait to be drafted. He went to the recruiting office and signed up to be a soldier for Uncle Sam. He survived, though wounded once, three tours in Viet Nam. He remained in the US Army to retire after 20 years as an E-8 First Sergeant.

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My grandfather’s only son, my uncle, later followed in his father’s footsteps and sailed off on the ocean blue with the Navy. He served around the world, then came home.

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All of these veterans within my own family are now gone, but not forgotten.

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Their service made it possible for me to join the US Air Force in 1976. My time was spent at Grissom AFB, right here in the Cornfield.

It also allowed my step-brother, John Hollifield, a few years later to join the US Army. Unfortunately, we lost him in a drunk driving incident after he did his duty and was home.

The sacrifice of my grandfather, great-uncles and step-father also allowed all of us to still be living in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

This is why I am always appreciative of those who choose to serve in our military. This is why I always have an empathy and a connection to the families left behind to keep the home fires burning to shine the light to lead our service members home.

Each November 11th, we celebrate, not just the veterans of that long ago war that was to be the war to end all wars, but the holiday has evolved to celebrate and to show appreciation for all who have served our great nation and those who continue to serve.

From the Cornfield, veterans, I salute you and thank you!

Remembering D-Day

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Today, June 6th, 2016 is dedicated the memory of all those who gave their lives on Omaha Beach, Normandy, France 68 years ago in what proved to be the drive that led to the fall of the Nazi regime and brought peace to a world torn by war.

My grandfather and great uncles were among those who served. One of my great uncles, Hobart Powell, did not return from that war. Though I never was given the pleasure of knowing him, he is still alive in our hearts and memories.

Of those who assaulted the beach that day, some came home, but many were left dying or dead in the sand. As the Nazi forces tried to beat back the coalition forces of Allied powers, the German High Command failed to understand the resolve of these brave soldiers to make the world safe, to end the scourge of the Nazi atrocities and to bring peace to a troubled people.

Those efforts, those deaths were not in vain. The comrades of those who had been killed kept pressing on until they marched into Berlin and put an end to the tyranny.

From the Cornfield, pause with me now to remember and to salute those who gave their lives and all of those whom Tom Brokaw rightly labeled, “The Greatest Generation“.

A Debt We Can Never Repay

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Today is Memorial Day.

It is a time to stop, reflect and remember those military personnel who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to maintain and protect our freedom and way of life in the US of A.

The tradition of Memorial Day originally began in commemoration of those soldiers lost during the Civil War. It was known in various communities and states as Decoration Day. The date set aside was May 30. This was later changed to allow for a 3-day weekend by Congress to be the last Monday in May.

For the vast majority of Americans it is just another holiday weekend and the unofficial start to the summer vacation season. For many others it’s the weekend when millions around the world tune in to watch or listen to the greatest spectacle in racing, the Indy 500.

To too many it’s just a day to get together with family, have picnics and barbecues, go to the opening of community pools across the nation.

It’s a time to lay back and enjoy having three days off in a row with no worries.

Yet, Memorial Day symbolizes much more.

Ask any veterans’ organization or any military person in uniform or any family member who has lost a loved one in war, whether declared or undeclared, in peacetime or wartime.

Memorial Day was meant to be a day upon which a grateful nation pauses to remember those who donned a uniform and gave their lives in defense of our American way of life.

These brave men and women paid the ultimate price to make sure we could have our picnics, our barbecues, our splashing around in the pool.

The sacrifice of those who gave their lives is honored with each election where not by coup, but by ordinary Americans casting a ballot and choosing those who will lead and represent them.

The power and authority of those officials are transferred from one elected official to the next, from the precinct level to the highest office in the land, the Presidency, without the need for troops in the streets because of those who answered the call to duty, honor and service.

The ability to vote, the ability to choose, the ability to speak our minds, the ability to worship or not worship, the ability to write these words without fear, the ability to work, to succeed, to fail, to rise above our circumstances, all of this we owe to those men and women who fought and died for peace, justice and freedom.

None of our liberties came without cost and thus we owe a debt to those men and women who died in defense of our freedom.

On a personal note:

In those dark days following the sneak attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, four brothers from Nashville, Brown County, Indiana lined up at the recruiting office and joined the US Navy. These four brothers went off to save the world for democracy both in the European Theater and in the Pacific.

Three made it back home at the close of the war. The one who didn’t return was my Great-Uncle Hobert. My grandfather and his other two brothers, Herman and Wesley, came home, but changed, never to be the same.

I never was afforded the pleasure of meeting my Great-Uncle Hobert Powell, a sailor who gave his life for our nation during World War II and long before I was born. The family seldom mentioned his name, but it was apparent Great-Uncle Hobert was not forgotten. His picture, in uniform, hung proudly in my Great-Grandpa Ancil Powell’s living room. In silence, his memory was honored.

Today thousands still are in the fight to keep us safe. Over the past 10+ years, thousands more have shed their blood and forfeited their lives. We must never forget their sacrifice, their bravery, the lives they lived.

This is why we owe a debt of gratitude we can never repay and should never stop repaying.

This is why the deaths of veterans waiting on care from the Veterans Affairs medical facilities is such a gaping wound on the American conscious and must be addressed not after another study, but with action now.

From the Cornfield, I hope each of you will take time from the barbecuing, the playing games with family, watching reruns of yesterday’s race or enjoying the water and sun to stop – remember our heroes who gave their all so that we can live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Memorial Day History, Rochester!

Through the years, America has been involved in several forms of war-combat. Many of us here, in Mark’s news bureaus are most familiar with the Vietnam war. It’s within our age, time frame.

Here in Rochester next to the Monroe County Airport is a terminal for the National Guard chapter, And this old helicopter from Vietnam sets there.

I wanted to share this bit of history, picture with our readers and wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day!
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Salute to Those Who Gave Their All

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Memorial Day…

For the vast majority of Americans it is just another 3-day weekend and the unofficial start to the summer vacation season. For many others it’s the weekend when millions around the world tune in to watch or listen to the greatest spectacle in racing, the Indy 500.

To too many it’s just a day to get together with family, have picnics and barbecues, go the opening of community pools across the nation. It’s a time to just lay back and enjoy having 3 days off in a row with no worries.

Yet, Memorial Day symbolizes much more. Ask any veterans’ organization or any military person in uniform or any family member who has lost a loved one in war, whether declared or undeclared, in peacetime or wartime.

Memorial Day was meant to be a day a grateful nation pauses to remember those who donned a uniform and gave their lives in defense of our American way of life. These brave men and women paid the ultimate price to make sure we could have our picnics, our barbecues, our splashing around in the pool.

The tradition of Memorial Day originally began in commemoration of those soldiers lost during the Civil War. It was known in various communities and states as Decoration Day. The date set aside was May 30. This was later changed to allow for a 3-day weekend by Congress to be the last Monday in May.

There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920).

While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868.

It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873.

By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).

It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

http://usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html

It is traditional to fly the flag of the United States at half mast from dawn until noon. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries. Memorial Day is combined with Jefferson Davis’ Birthday in Mississippi.

Memorial Day started as an event to honor Union soldiers, who had died during the American Civil War. It was inspired by the way people in the Southern states honored their dead. After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women, who died in any war or military action.

http://timeanddate.com/holidays/us/memorial-day

From the Cornfield, I invite one and all to stop this coming Monday at 3 p.m. for a moment to reflect and be thankful to all our fallen heroes. Without their blood we would not be able to enjoy and express the freedoms we hold so dear.

Policy Fail Again for Obama!

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On a night when President Barack Obama planned to make a victory lap, highlighting the wins of his two-term Administration, Iran has cast a dark shadow on the State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress.

The Persian nation, long a pariah in the international community, has seized two small US Navy boats in the Persian Gulf. Ten American sailors, including one woman, have been, according to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard been arrested after one of the boats is alleged to have had engine trouble and ran aground on an Iranian island.

This is also on the eve of the release of $150 billion to the regime for agreeing to an international deal to limit its nuclear ambitions.

Never mind that the President did not press for nor has yet to secure the release of four Americans being held illegally by Iran before reaching any deal with the Iranians or that the nation fired live rockets within 1,500 feet of Navy vessels last month, this gives the President’s foreign policy yet another black eye and proves how ineffective that policy is and has been.

When will this President realize and wake up to the fact you cannot talk your way to peace with radicals and jihadists?

The only bright spot is that this is the last year of this Administration and the last address by this President to Congress. Our long national nightmare may soon be over.

But for now 10 American sailors are being held captive by the most belligerent and bellicose segment of the Iranian military. Iran says it will release the sailors and the boats. The Administration is stressing there were no sinister motives while the Iranian press details the weapons seized and how the Americans were arrested.

Time to stop playing nice.

Time to stop the release of the money.

Time to demand not only the release of our sailors, but also the other four Americans being illegally detained.

From the Cornfield, how many more fails before the President stops his Neville Chamberlain act?

It has never worked and never will. Radicals do not play by the rules and only understand might.

27th Antietam National Battlefield Memorial Illumination December 5th 2015 Sharpsburg Maryland

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My husband and I accompanied my daughter, her husband and my granddaughter to take  in the 23,000 luminaries   representing the soldiers that fell at the  bloodiest battle of the Civil War, Antietam Battlegrounds.

After a two hour wait in the car( we were over a mile away in the line) we finally inched our way to the National Park. The site was surreal, a little spooky and heart breaking.

To understand each of the 23,000 luminaries following a five mile road around the battlefield, represented a fallen or missing soldier was so thought provoking, especially thinking of what our own country is enduring today and fearful it will become worse. 

The countryside is beautiful today…the town of Sharpsburg and the university town of Shepherdstown  are much like Harper’s Ferry, gorgeous pre-Civil War houses, quaint shops and restaurants, lovingly kept as if time stood still.

We should always learn from the past, always.

DSCN1471DSCN1511When soldiers of two American armies converged on the peaceful village of Sharpsburg, they transformed the once tranquil farms that surrounded the town into horrific fields of combat. This community would never be the same.

Five days after the guns fell silent, President Abraham Lincoln redefined the meaning of the war when he announced the Emancipation  Proclamation , No Longer was the conflict being waged solely to reunite a divided country, now this war would also be fought to abolish slavery.

As the years passed, the site of the Civil War’s bloodiest  single day battle revolved into a place of reflection and national remembrance.

Though the scars of war have faded from the landscape, Antietam National Battlefield remains hallowed ground. It is a place where America forever changed – a place to ponder the meaning of sacrifice and freedom.

We light these candles tonight to honor 23,000 soldiers of the Blue and Gray who were killed, wounded, or reported missing on September 17, 1862

Presented by American Business Women’s Association Hagerstown-Washington  County Convention & Visitors Bureau