Tag Archives: US of A

Salute! to Those Who Gave Their All

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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 Homer. 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 Homer 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.

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:

grandpaaward

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.

armyjack

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!

Danger, Hillary, Danger

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The people of New Hampshire have spoken.

Donald Trump was the choice by more than a third of Republicans.

Nearly two-thirds of Democrats chose Bernie Sanders.

While the GOP continues to thrash around figuring out whether to coalesce behind one so-called “Establishment” candidate to go up against The Donald and untrustworthy Ted Cruz, the real news may be on the Democratic side of the race.

And that news is not good for Hillary Clinton. Last night’s exit polls showed that 66% of men preferred Bernie over Hillary. That is not surprising. Men have always eschewed a Hillary run.

What is a clear danger sign is the way the female vote went.

According to the exit polls, 53% of women voters felt the Bern.

So much for Gloria Steinem’s and Madeleine Albright’s comments to younger women pressing it was a woman’s duty to vote for another woman.

If the vote of women continues to break toward Bernie in Nevada and South Carolina, this will not bode well for the woman who hopes to be the first US female president.

Another danger signal was the way the 18-29-year-old vote broke. Bernie garnered 85% of that vote, which is more than that of President Barack Obama back in 2008.

Perhaps former Obama campaign manager, David Axelrod, got it right in his tweet the other day about the problem not being with the campaign staff – but – the candidate.

From the Cornfield, will Hillary listen to the sirens going off or will she ignore?

Will the coronation of Queen Hillary be usurped by the court jester?

Maybe we will get answers on Thursday night when Bernie and Hillary once more debate on PBS and simulcast on CNN.

Cha-Ching! Dems Debate

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I noted Wednesday following the Tuesday Republican debates: human nature is such that each of us hears what we want to hear and see what we want to see in most situations. This is definitely true when it comes to the realm of politics and political debates. Often our mindset and preconceived notions determine what we perceive.

This is particularly true of Saturday night’s Democratic presidential candidates’ debate. From the punditry, the analysis, snippets from supporters and opponents, everyone saw and heard differing debate results.

For me one hyphenated word stood out – cha-ching! Yes, there were other moments and some substantial differences between Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley.

Yet, my head was resounding with the sound of money clinking as the Democratic contenders talked about how they want to expand the government’s involvement in our every day lives, the offers of “free education”, revamping healthcare and defeating the Islamic State.

Even when the three tangled over gun control, I could hear a tinkling of coins in the background. None were specific in numbers and details of how much their ideas were going to cost us – but – cost us it would. All three held their own with supporters being able to claim victory for each one with reasons to back up the claim.

To me Hillary won the day by not losing.

Others saw other things.

Good Morning America found nine moments that mattered:

  • Sanders Says He Is Sorry
  • Clinton Calls Trump ISIS Best Recruiter
  • Sanders’ Moment of Zen
  • No Fly, No Problem?
  • Sanders Gets Challenged “to Join the Democrats”
  • Hillary Goes Missing — Briefly
  • Everybody Loves Hillary?
  • Of “Lust” and Libya
  • Presidential Spouses Take Center Stage

Read the reasoning: https://gma.yahoo.com/third-democratic-presidential-debate-9-moments-mattered-042523396–abc-news-topstories.html

From the Cornfield, there will be two more Republican debates before the next Democratic debate. Then Iowa and New Hampshire vote.

By the way, the numbers were not good for last night’s showing.

Campaigning Versus Reality – Rhetoric Can Be Dangerous

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Most Americans realize that candidates, no matter the office, will say anything to get elected to office. This is very evident with the 2016 presidential campaign – especially with Donald Trump.

Trump’s most outrageous statement to-date is calling for a total, but temporary, ban on allowing any Muslim to enter the US of A – which would be patently unconstitutional. But reaction from his supporters is, “Do it!”

Trump is tapping into the phobia – irrational fear – of anyone who happens to be followers of the Islamic faith. It is not unheard tactic in US politics.

George Wallace, in this third party bid in 1968, used it. He garnered 13.53% of the national vote and won five Southern states giving him 45 electoral votes.

But – he lost the general election.

Trump and his supporters should take note.

The rhetoric on the campaign trail can be harsh, can be borderline insanity, but can also cause rifts and scars on the American psyche. The words spoken can pierce to the marrow of the American spirit.

Most Americans surely know by now also that what candidates say and pledge when faced with the reality of governing usually come to naught.

Take for example President Barack Obama, then Senator, vowing to close the military prison at Guantanomo Bay, Cuba. With a year left to be President, Obama has finally admitted Gitmo will not be closed on his watch, if ever.

What one promises on the campaign trail and what one is able to do once in the job often become empty words spoken in the heat of the race.

Should Trump emerge as the Republican nominee to run for President in 2016, if history is an indicator, the GOP will hand the keys to the White House to the Democrats in an unprecedented outcome.

Should Trump defy history and be elected, he will learn quickly as did Obama, that being President and running for President are worlds apart.

From the Cornfield, while I strongly denounce much of what Trump has said, I also know that the institution of the Presidency will and can survive even a Donald Trump. It has survived and will survive a Barack Obama.