Posts Tagged ‘soldier’

Memorial Day – a tribute to our military

July 9, 2011

He was getting old and paunchy
and his hair was falling fast,
and he sat around the Legion,
telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he once fought in
and the deeds that he had done,
in his exploits with his buddies;
they were heroes, every one.

And though sometimes to his neighbors
his tales became a joke,
all his buddies listened quietly
for they knew whereof he spoke.

But we’ll hear his tales no longer,
for old Bob has passed away,
and the world’s a little poorer
For a Soldier died today.

He won’t be mourned by many,
just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary,
very quiet sort of life.

He held a job and raised a family,
going quietly on his way;
and the world won’t note his passing,
though a Soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth,
their bodies lie in state,
while thousands note their passing,
and proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell of their life stories
from the time that they were young
but the passing of a Soldier
goes unnoticed, and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution
to the welfare of our land,
someone who breaks his promise
and cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow
who in times of war and strife,
goes off to serve his country
and offers up his life?

The politician’s stipend
and the style in which he lives,
are often disproportionate,
to the service that he gives.

While the ordinary Soldier,
who offered up his all,
is paid off with a medal
and perhaps a pension, small.

It is not the politicians
with their compromise and ploys,
who won for us the freedom
that our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger,
with your enemies at hand,
would you really want some cop-out,
with his ever-waffling stand?

Or would you want a Soldier–
his home, his country, his kin,
just a common Soldier,
who would fight until the end?

He was just a common Soldier,
and his ranks are growing thin,
but his presence should remind us
we may need his like again.

For when countries are in conflict,
we find the Soldier’s part
is to clean up all the troubles
that the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor
while he’s here to hear the praise,
then at least let’s give him homage
at the ending of his days.

Perhaps just a simple headline
in the paper that might say:
“OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,
A SOLDIER DIED TODAY.”

Take my Son… – an inspirational story

January 14, 2011

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art…

When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.

About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands…

He said, ‘Sir, you don’t know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly… He often talked about you, and your love for art.’ The young man held out this package. ‘I know this isn’t much. I’m not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.’

The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture… ‘Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It’s a gift.’

The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.

The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection.

On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. ‘We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?’

There was silence… Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, ‘We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one.’

But the auctioneer persisted. ‘Will somebody bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?’

Another voice angrily said, ‘We didn’t come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Gogh’s, the Rembrandts. Get on with the Real bids!’

But still the auctioneer continued, ‘The son! The son! Who’ll take the son?’

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. ‘I’ll give $10 for the painting…’ Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.

‘We have $10, who will bid $20?’

‘Give it to him for $10. Let’s see the masters.’ The crowd was becoming angry. They didn’t want the picture of the son.

They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer pounded the gavel… ‘Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!’

A man sitting on the second row shouted, ‘Now let’s get on with the collection!’

The auctioneer laid down his gavel. ‘I’m sorry, the auction is over.’

‘I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will… I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!’

God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on the cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is: ‘The son, the son, who’ll take the son?’ Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.

FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, WHO SO EVER BELIEVETH, SHALL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. THAT’S LOVE!

A Great Lady Dies – an inspirational story

May 9, 2010

You will not see this in the “Lame” Stream media!!

Dennis McCarthy
Los Angeles Times on April 15, 2010

October 7, 1923 – April 8, 2010

Pamela Murphy, widow of WWII hero and actor, Audie Murphy, died peacefully at her home on April 8, 2010. She is survived by sons, Terry and James. Pam established her own distinctive 30 year career working as a patient liaison at the Sepulveda VA Hospital, where she was much beloved. Services will be held at Forest Lawn (Hollywood Hills) on Friday April 16 at 2:30 PM.

Pam Murphy, the widow of Audie Murphy, was involved in the Sepulveda VA hospital and care center over the course of 35 years, treating every veteran who visited the facility as if they were a VIP. Pam Murphy died last week at the age of 90.

After Audie died, they all became her boys. Every last one of them.  Any soldier or Marine who walked into the Sepulveda VA hospital and care center in the last 35 years got the VIP treatment from Pam Murphy. The widow of Audie Murphy – the most decorated soldier in World War II – would walk the hallways with her clipboard in hand making sure her boys got to see a specialist or doctor — STAT. If they didn’t, watch out. Her boys weren’t Medal of Honor recipients or movie stars like Audie, but that didn’t matter to Pam. They had served their country. That was good enough for her.  She never called a veteran by his first name. It was always “Mister.” Respect came with the job. “Nobody could cut through VA red tape faster than Mrs. Murphy,” said veteran Stephen Sherman, speaking for thousands of veterans she befriended over the years. “Many times I watched her march a veteran who had been waiting more than an hour right into the doctor’s office. She was even reprimanded a few times, but it didn’t matter to Mrs. Murphy. “Only her boys mattered. She was our angel.”

Last week, Sepulveda VA’s angel for the last 35 years died peacefully in her sleep at age 90.  “She was in bed watching the Laker game, took one last breath, and that was it,” said Diane Ruiz, who also worked at the VA and cared for Pam in the last years of her life in her Canoga Park apartment.  It was the same apartment Pam moved into soon after Audie died in a plane crash on Memorial Day weekend in 1971. Audie Murphy died broke, squandering million of dollars on gambling, bad investments, and yes, other women.  “Even with the adultery and desertion at the end, he always remained my hero,” Pam told me.

She went from a comfortable ranch-style home in Van Nuys where she raised two sons to a small apartment – taking a clerk’s job at the nearby VA to support herself and start paying off her faded movie star husband’s debts.  At first, no one knew who she was. Soon, though, word spread through the VA that the nice woman with the clipboard was Audie Murphy’s widow.  It was like saying Patton had just walked in the front door. Men with tears in their eyes walked up to her and gave her a hug. “Thank you,” they said, over and over.  The first couple of years, I think the hugs were more for Audie’s memory as a war hero. The last 30 years, they were for Pam.

She hated the spotlight. One year I asked her to be the focus of a Veteran’s Day column for all the work she had done. Pam just shook her head no.  “Honor them, not me,” she said, pointing to a group of veterans down the hallway. “They’re the ones who deserve it.”

The vets disagreed. Mrs. Murphy deserved the accolades, they said. Incredibly, in 2002, Pam’s job was going to be eliminated in budget cuts. She was considered “excess staff.”

“I don’t think helping cut down on veterans’ complaints and showing them the respect they deserve, should be considered excess staff,” she told me.  Neither did the veterans. They went ballistic, holding a rally for her outside the VA gates.  Pretty soon, word came down from the top of the VA. Pam Murphy was no longer considered “excess staff.” She remained working full time at the VA until 2007 when she was 87.  “The last time she was here was a couple of years ago for the conference we had for homeless veterans,” said Becky James, coordinator of the VA’s Veterans History Project.  Pam wanted to see if there was anything she could do to help some more of her boys.

Dennis McCarthy’s column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

About Audie Murphy > http://www.warfoto.com/AudieMurphy.htm

A Different Christmas Poem

December 19, 2009

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

“What are you doing?” I asked without fear,
“Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts…
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
Then he sighed and he said “Its really all right,

I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.
So that your family can sleep without fright.
It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ‘Pearl on a day in December,”
Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers”

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘Nam’,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue… an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..

Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.”
“So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”

“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
“Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.”

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
“Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”
PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. Service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.

Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq

THE FINAL INSPECTION – the Soldier

November 14, 2009

The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

‘Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you ?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?’

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
‘No, Lord, I guess I ain’t.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can’t always be a saint.

I’ve had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I’ve been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn’t mine to keep…
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I’ve wept unmanly tears.

I know I don’t deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you’ve a place for me here, Lord,
It needn’t be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don’t, I’ll understand.

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

‘Step forward now, you soldier,
You’ve borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets,
You’ve done your time in Hell.’

Author Unknown~

It is the Soldier – by Father Dennis O’Brien

November 11, 2009

It is the soldier, not the President, who gives us democracy,

It is the soldier, not the Congress, who takes care of us.

It is the soldier, not the Reporter, who has given us Freedom of Press.

It is the soldier, not the Poet, who has given us Freedom of Speech.

It is the soldier, not the campus Organizer, who has given us the Freedom to Demonstrate.

It is the soldier, who salutes the flag; who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, that allows the protester to burn the flag.

Father Dennis O’Brien,

US Marine Corp. Chaplain

To Our Veterans – Video “Before You Go”

November 3, 2009

The elderly parking lot attendant wasn’t in a good mood!

Neither was Sam Bierstock. It was around 1 a.m., and Bierstock, a Delray Beach, Florida, eye doctor, business consultant, corporate speaker, and musician, was bone tired after appearing at an event.

He pulled up in his car, and the parking attendant began to speak. ‘I took two bullets for this country and look what I’m doing,’ he said bitterly.

At first, Bierstock didn’t know what to say to the World War II veteran.  But he rolled down his window and told the man, ‘Really, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you.’

Then the old soldier began to cry.

‘That really got to me,’ Bierstock says.

Cut to today.

Bierstock, 58, and John Melnick, 54, of Pompano Beach – a member of Bierstock’s band, Dr. Sam and the Managed Care Band – have written a song inspired by that old soldier in the airport parking lot.
The mournful ‘Before You Go’ does more than salute those who fought in WWII. It encourages people to go out of their way to thank the aging warriors before they die.

‘If we had lost that particular war, our whole way of life would have been shot,’ says Bierstock, who plays harmonica. ‘The WWII soldiers are now dying at the rate of about 2,000 every day. I thought we needed to thank them.’

The song is striking a chord. Within four days of Bierstock placing it on the Web, the song and accompanying photo essay have bounced around nine countries, producing tears and heartfelt thanks from veterans, their sons and daughters and grandchildren.  ‘It made me cry,’ wrote one veteran’s son.  Another sent an e-mail saying that only after his father consumed several glasses of wine would he discuss ‘the unspeakable horrors’ he and other soldiers had witnessed in places such as Anzio, Iwo Jima, Bataan, and Omaha Beach.  ‘I can never thank them enough,’ the son wrote.  ‘Thank you for thinking about them.’

Bierstock and Melnick thought about shipping it off to a professional singer, maybe a Lee Greenwood type, but because time was running out for so many veterans, they decided it was best to release it quickly, for free, on the Web.  They’ve sent the song to Sen. John McCain and others in Washington.  Already they have been invited to perform it in Houston for a Veterans Day tribute – this after just a few days on the Web.  They hope every veteran in America gets a chance to hear it.

GOD BLESS EVERY veteran…
and THANK YOU to those of you veterans who may receive this!

CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO HEAR THE SONG AND SEE THE PICTURES:

‘Before You Go’

There are only two people that have died for us.  One is Jesus Christ and the other is the American soldier. Take the time and thank a veteran today!

God bless America.


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