Posts Tagged ‘family’

How Babies are made in Canada

January 21, 2013

Canadian photographer Patrice Laroche surely will have no trouble explaining his kids about the birds and the bees. During his wife Sandra Denis’ pregnancy, the artist created hilarious explanatory photo series titled “How to Make a Baby”.
The creative couple planned and carried out their project throughout the whole period of 9 months, taking pictures in the exact same settings as Sandra’s belly expanded.
The pregnancy saga of Sandra and Patrice basically denounces all the traditional cabbage and the stork stories.
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A Culture of Corruption

February 7, 2011

Here’s something to think about…

I remember asking dad about Castro when I was about 9 years old.  I asked, “Is Castro a good guy or bad?”  Dad said he couldn’t tell!!  This was about 1955.  We were living in Louisiana at the time.  Dad was in the army there.

Cuba was fairly close and in the news a lot.  The Cubans were asking the same question! Ike was president.

This past July, we had the pleasure of sharing a summer barbecue with a refugee from Cuba.  Our dinner conversation was starkly different than most. This refugee came to the United States as a young boy in the early 1960s. His family was more fortunate than most as they were able to bring a suitcase and $100 when they fled Castro’s newly formed revolutionary paradise.

Our dinner consisted of all-American fare: hamburgers, potato salad, watermelon and fresh ears of sweet corn.  This is a menu shared with family and friends nationwide, while celebrating the birth of our beloved America on the Fourth of July.

We began with a simple discussion about our country and the direction it has taken since Barack Obama came to power.  We shared the usual complaints about the sour economy and liberal social engineering emanating from the rulers in Washington.

But then he said it.  The sentence came naturally.  I assume it was unplanned. But it carried the weight of a freight train.  “You know when Castro took power, none of us knew he was a Communist.”

We sat stunned.  He continued, “Yes, we all thought he was a patriot, a nationalist.  Before the revolution he didn’t sound like a radical.”

The comparison at this point was easy, and I interjected, “You mean just like Barack Obama?”

He responded; “Yes, just like Barack Obama.”

He continued, “We were all shocked as the government just continued to grab more power.  First they said the revolution is over, so please turn in your guns.  We all complied.”

“I remember my uncle saying after it started, ‘Castro will only nationalize some of the big industries, he will never come and take our family hardware store.’ But that is exactly what happened; Castro started with the sugar mills and the large industries, but they eventually came and knocked on the door of our family hardware store.  My family had run this store for generations.  They said we now own the hardware store, you work for us.  And that nice, large four-bedroom home you own, it is now our property also, and you can move yourself and five children into two rooms of the house because others are moving in with you.”

The lesson learned from this discussion is a lesson most Americans refuse to hear.  Political leaders can lie about their agenda and once in office they can take totally unexpected turns.

If you had asked us three years ago if we thought General Motors would be nationalized, we would have never believed it.  We could never contemplate a country where the rule of law, the most fundamental building block of a justice society would be evaporating just like it did in Castro’s Cuba in the early 1960s.

But the news of injustice keeps increasing.  Black Panthers are not charged with wrongdoing by the U.S. Department of Justice because their crimes are against whites. The bondholders of GM are stripped of their assets without due process by the government.  Governmental leaders are bribed in full daylight only to have all investigation of the crimes stifled by the Attorney General. The U.S. borders are overrun with crime and illegal activity and the leaders in D.C. act as if it is important to protect the lawbreakers while the innocent are killed and overrun.  When local communities attempt to enforce the law, they are ridiculed and threatened as racists and bigots.  They are sued by the very administration entrusted with enforcing the law.

Without the rule of law the U.S. Constitution is a sham. Without the rule of law our beloved America is swiftly becoming a country where only the well connected and politically powerful will be safe. As Michelle Malkin has so eloquently explained in her recent book, a culture of corruption has replaced honest government.

The only way this problem will be fixed is by massive citizen action. All honest citizens that want to be treated equally must come together and demand that the favoritism, the bribes, the uneven enforcement of law end now.  And yes, it can happen here.

PLEASE SEND THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW …

And may God save the United States of America!

The True Story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

December 24, 2010

A man named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night.

His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bob’s wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer Little Barbara couldn’t understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad’s eyes and asked, “Why isn’t Mommy just like everybody else’s Mommy?” Bob’s jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob’s life. Life always had to be different for Bob.

Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names he’d rather not remember. From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in. Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived. Evelyn’s bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums. Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938.

Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn’t even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he couldn’t buy a gift, he was determined to make one – a storybook! Bob had created an animal character in his own mind and told the animal’s story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. Again and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling. Who was the character? What was the story all about? The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose. Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day. But the story doesn’t end there.

The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book. Wards went on to print, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores. By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph. That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book.

In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all rights back to Bob May. The book became a best seller. Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter. But the story doesn’t end there either.

Bob’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore, it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry.  “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of “White Christmas.”

The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn’t so bad. In fact, being different can be a blessing.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

JUST A MOM? – an inspirational story

June 9, 2010

A woman, renewing her driver’s license at the County Clerk’s office, was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation.

She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

“What I mean is,” explained the recorder, “do you have a job or are you just a …?”

“Of course I have a job,” snapped the woman.

“I’m a Mom.”

“We don’t list ‘Mom’ as an occupation, ‘housewife’ covers it,” said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like, “Official Interrogator” or “Town Registrar.”

“What is your occupation?” she probed.

What made me say it? I do not know. The words simply popped out. “I’m a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations.”

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair and looked up as though she had not heard right.

I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written, in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

“Might I ask,” said the clerk with new interest, “just what you do in your field?”

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, “I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn’t) in the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out). I’m working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family) and already have four credits (all daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money.”

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk’s voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants — ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the child development program, testing out a new vocal pattern.

I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than “just another Mom.”

Motherhood!

What a glorious career! Especially when there’s a title on the door.

Does this make grandmothers “Senior Research associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations” and great grandmothers “Executive Senior Research Associates?”

I think so!!!

I also think it makes Aunts “Associate Research Assistants.”

Please send this to another Mom, Grandmother, Aunt, and other friends you know.

May your troubles be less, Your blessing be more,
And nothing but happiness come through your door!

‘3900 Saturdays’ – an inspirational story

April 9, 2010

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it’s the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other.  What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time.  Let me tell you about it.

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business.  He was telling whom-ever he was talking with something about ‘a thousand marbles…’ I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say…..

‘Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much.  Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet.  It’s too bad you missed your daughter’s ‘dance recital’ he continued. ‘Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities.’ And that’s when he began to explain his theory of a ‘thousand marbles.’

‘You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic.  The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.

‘Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I’m getting to the important part.

It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail’, he went on, ‘and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays.’ ‘I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy.  So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had.  I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear.’

‘Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life.

There’s nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.’

‘Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time… And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.’

‘It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band.  This is a 75-year-old man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!’

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off… I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.

Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. ‘C’mon honey, I’m taking you and the kids to breakfast.’ ‘What brought this on?’ she asked with a smile. ‘Oh, nothing special, it’s just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles.

A friend sent this to me, so I to you, my friend.

And so, as one smart bear once said…..’If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.’ – Winnie the Pooh

Pass this on to all of your FRIENDS, even if it means sending it to the person that sent it to you.

And if you receive this e-mail many times from many different people, it only means that you have many FRIENDS.

And if you get it but once, do not be discouraged for you will know that you have at least one good friend…

And that would be ME.

Obama Article from the Wall Street Journal Forum by Eddie Sessions

February 17, 2010

Note:  The Wall Street Journal Forum is not THE Wall Street Journal – info:  ‘Eddie Sessions’ is a name assumed used for posting on the Wall Street Journal Forum, a story comment board.  The original article by author Alan Caruba

http://coralvillecourier.typepad.com/community/2010/02/article-from-the-wall-street-journal-forum-by-eddie-sessions.html

http://amoralcompass.blogspot.com/2010/02/article-form-wall-street-journal-form.html

Googling ‘Wall Street Journal Forum’ doesn’t bring up a specific webpage called that…. Just those words in various combinations…. So representing this as being printed in the Wall Street Journal is not accurate.

Article from the Wall Street Journal Forum by Eddie Sessions:

I have this theory about Barack Obama. I think he’s led a kind of make-believe life in which money was provided and doors were opened because at some point early on somebody or some group took a look at this tall, good -looking, half-white, half-black, young man with an exotic African/Muslim name and concluded he could be guided toward a life in politics where his facile speaking skills could even put him in the White House.

In a very real way, he has been a young man in a very big hurry. Who else do you know has written two memoirs before the age of 45? “Dreams of My Father” was published in 1995 when he was only 34 years old. The “Audacity of Hope” followed in 2006. If, indeed he did write them himself. There are some who think that his mentor and friend, Bill Ayers, a man who calls himself a “communist with a small ‘c'” was the real author.

His political skills consisted of rarely voting on anything that might be deemed controversial… He went from a legislator in the Illinois legislature to the Senator from that state because he had the good fortune of having Mayor Daley’s formidable political machine at his disposal.

He was in the U.S. Senate so briefly that his bid for the presidency was either an act of astonishing self-confidence or part of some greater game plan that had been determined before he first stepped foot in the Capital. How, many must wonder, was he selected to be a 2004 keynote speaker at the Democrat convention that nominated John Kerry when virtually no one had ever even heard of him before?

He outmaneuvered Hillary Clinton in primaries. He took Iowa by storm. A charming young man, an anomaly in the state with a very small black population, he oozed “cool” in a place where agriculture was the antithesis of cool. He dazzled the locals. And he had an army of volunteers drawn to a charisma that hid any real substance.

And then he had the great good fortune of having the Republicans select one of the most inept candidates for the presidency since Bob Dole. And then John McCain did something crazy. He picked Sarah Palin, an unknown female governor from the very distant state of Alaska.  It was a ticket that was reminiscent of 1984’s Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro and they went down to defeat.

The mainstream political media fell in love with him. It was a schoolgirl crush with febrile commentators like Chris Mathews swooning then and now over the man. The venom directed against McCain and, in particular, Palin, was extraordinary.

Now, nearly a full year into his first term, all of those gilded years leading up to the White House have left him unprepared to be President. Left to his own instincts, he has a talent for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. It swiftly became a joke that he could not deliver even the briefest of statements without the ever-present Tele-Prompters.

Far worse, however, is his capacity to want to “wish away” some terrible realities, not the least of which is the Islamist intention to destroy America and enslave the West. Any student of history knows how swiftly Islam initially spread. It knocked on the doors of Europe, having gained a foothold in Spain.

The great crowds that greeted him at home or on his campaign “world tour” were no substitute for having even the slightest grasp of history and the reality of a world filled with really bad people with really bad intentions.

Oddly and perhaps even inevitably, his political experience, a cakewalk, has positioned him to destroy the Democrat Party’s hold on power in Congress because in the end it was never about the Party. It was always about his communist ideology, learned at an early age from family, mentors, college professors, and extreme leftist friends and colleagues.

Obama is a man who could deliver a snap judgment about a Boston police officer who arrested an “obstreperous” Harvard professor-friend, but would warn Americans against “jumping to conclusions” about a mass murderer at Fort Hood who shouted “Allahu Akbar.” The absurdity of that was lost on no one. He has since compounded this by calling the Christmas bomber “an isolated extremist” only to have to admit a day or two later that he was part of an al Qaeda plot.

He is a man who could strive to close down our detention facility at Guantanamo even though those released were known to have returned to the battlefield against America… He could even instruct his Attorney General to afford the perpetrator of 9/11 a civil trial when no one else would ever even consider such an obscenity. And he is a man who could wait three days before having anything to say about the perpetrator of yet another terrorist attack on Americans and then have to elaborate on his remarks the following day because his first statement was so lame.

The pattern repeats itself. He either blames any problem on the Bush administration or he naively seeks to wish away the truth.

Knock, knock. Anyone home? Anyone there? Barack Obama exists only as the sock puppet of his handlers, of the people who have maneuvered and manufactured this pathetic individual’s life.

When anyone else would quickly and easily produce a birth certificate, this man has spent over a million dollars to deny access to his. Most other documents, the paper trail we all leave in our wake, have been sequestered from review. He has lived a make-believe life whose true facts remain hidden.

We laugh at the ventriloquist’s dummy, but what do you do when the dummy is President of the United States of America?

Swim in Deep Water – by Mitt Romney

January 4, 2010

Swim in Deep Water by Mitt Romney

I don’t remember when it was exactly that I finally went past the sandbar. My family had a summer cottage on the shores of one of the Great Lakes. For the first forty or so feet, the lake is shallow, warm, and protected from big waves by the sandbar. That’s where I spent most of the hot summer days as a boy. I liked it there.

One day, my brother got me up on water skis. Perhaps fearing that a turn would make me fall, he drove the boat, and me, straight out into the deep. By the way, this lake is over 100 miles wide.  I screamed at him the whole terrifying ride. He took me about a half mile out. But ever after, the deep water was where I wanted to be: surfing in the breakers, water skiing, diving. I got out of the shallow water for good. Over the years, I have watched a good number of people live out their lives in the shallows. In the shallows, life is all about yourself, your job, your money, your house, your rights, your needs, your opinions, your ideas, and your comfort.

In the deeper waters, life is about others: family, friends, faith, community, country, caring, commitment. In the deeper waters, there are challenging ideas, opposing opinions, and uncomfortable battles. Almost every dimension of your life can be held to the shallows or taken into the deeper water. Your career, your involvement with others, your spouse and your children, your politics, each can be lived with you comfortably at the center. Or, they can draw you out of yourself, into service and sacrifice, into selflessness.

At some point in your life, a few of you may be presented with the opportunity to step off your career path, to give yourself fully to some kind of service. When I was asked to leave my investment company to run the Olympics in Salt Lake City, I dismissed the idea out of hand. I was making too much money, I didn’t know bupkes about running a sports event. The job would pay me nothing. The organization was in the worst condition of any I had ever seen. And, after the Games were over, the position would lead nowhere. It was a dead end. I took it. It was the highlight of my professional life. I gave more of myself than I ever had before. I came to know and respect remarkable people.

There are currencies more lasting than money. It can be enormously rewarding to take the unobvious course, to jump into the deep water. Bias is shallow thinking and shallow water. Read widely, particularly from people who disagree with you. Argue to learn rather than to win. If you don’t respect, I mean really respect, the views of people who disagree with you, then you don’t understand them yet.

There are smart people on both sides of almost every important issue. Learn from them all. If you have life all figured out in neat little packages, you’re in Neverland, not the real world. And it’s boring there. There’s one more thing I’ve seen in the people who swim in the deep waters of life. They don’t fashion their values and principles to suit their self-interest; they live instead by enduring principles that are fundamental to society and to successful, great lives.

I learned important lessons about those principles from some of the Olympians I saw in Salt Lake City, like bobsledder Vonetta Flowers. Vonetta was brakeman on USA sled two. All the attention, however, was on sled one, the sled that had taken the World Cup and was a lock for the Olympic Gold. But just before the Olympics, the pilot of sled one dropped her partner and invited Vonetta Flowers to join her. Vonetta had a tough decision. On sled one, she’d get a gold medal for sure; the first Olympic gold to be won by an African American in the Olympic Winter Games. Those of us rooting for US medals hoped she would jump to sled one. She didn’t. She decided that friendship and loyalty to her longtime teammate on sled two was more important than winning the gold. Of course, sled one did well. But when sled two beat them all, coming in first, the crowd went nuts. And tears dripped off Vonetta’s cheeks. Friendship and loyalty above gold.

You live one time only. Don’t spend it in safe, shallow water. Launch out into the deep. Give yourself to your family, to your career, to your community. Open your mind to diverging viewpoints. And live, not by what suits the moment, but by the principles that endure for a lifetime.  Jump in, the water’s fine!

How to create a “Google Alert” for your ancestor

December 28, 2009

How to create a “Google Alert” for your ancestor

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We spend a lot of time looking for our ancestors. Wouldn’t it be nice if they just showed up in our email’s inbox? With the free tool, Google Alerts, this is possible.

With hundreds of millions of web sites on the Internet, we typically use search engines, such as Google, Bing, Excite, etc. to find what we are looking for, such as our ancestors. Some of us probably even search for our own names to see what others are saying about us.

I don’t know how many thousands or millions of new web sites are created each month, but if we really want to find on the Internet what we are looking for, then we have to continually search and re-search – and then do this every month to see if any of the new web sites contain what we are looking for.

By creating a Google Alert, whenever Google finds your word or phrase that you are interested in, Google will automatically send you an email. For example, I am searching for an ancestor, James Marion McCall. If, today, I don’t find anything relevant, I can create a Google Alert for his name, and then work on other things, such as get ready for our 7th annual Legacy Genealogy Cruise to Australia and New Zealand. 🙂 Then, if someone publishes new information to a website that Google finds, I’ll get an email with a direct link to the new page.

In a sense, our ancestors are hunting for us for a change.

Here’s how to do it.

1) Go to www.google.com/alerts, enter your search terms, your email address, and click “Create Alert”.

Googlealert1

2) Google then sends you a verification email. You will not receive Google Alerts on your topic until you click the link in the verification email to confirm your request.

3) Sit back and relax. Do something with your living relatives. Go on vacation. Read a book.

While you are enjoying life, Google is working for you. When it finds your phrase, you will receive an email with a link to the website, and hopefully information about your ancestor.

For more information or to create an alert, visit www.google.com/alerts.

(Info from Legacynews.com)

A Dogs life… an inspirational story

December 5, 2009

I am certain that this child has the answer… and believe what he said to be the truth…

This little boy really gets it…

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker and they were hoping for a miracle. I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family there were no miracles left for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for their six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away. The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion.

We sat together for a while after Belker’s death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, “I know why.”  Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice.” The boy continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

1/2 boy, 1/2 man – The American Soldier

November 11, 2009

1/2 boy – 1/2 man

If you read this, you WILL forward it on.

The average age of the military man is 19 years. He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father’s, but he has never collected unemployment either.

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He’s a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and a 155mm howitzer.

He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk. He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.

He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional.

He can march until he is told to stop, or stop until he is told to march.

He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient.

He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry.

He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts.

If you’re thirsty, he’ll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He’ll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.

He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands.

He can save your life – or take it, because that is his job.

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He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, and still find ironic humor in it all.

He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime.

He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed…

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He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to ‘square-away’ those around him who haven’t bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.

Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.

image004He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding.

Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.

And now we even have women over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so.

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As you go to bed tonight, remember this shot…

A short lull, a little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets.

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Prayer wheel for our military… please don’t break it. Please send this on after a short prayer.

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Prayer Wheel

‘Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen.’

When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our ground troops in Afghanistan, sailors on ships, and airmen in the air, and for those in Iraq, Afghanistan and all foreign countries.

There is nothing attached… This can be very powerful…

Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier, Sailor, Marine, or Airman, prayer is the very best one.

I can’t break this one, sorry. Pass it on to everyone and pray.

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