Friday, December 22, 2006

A different Christmas poem

Read this email this morning. Given my recent post on Seth - I figured it was very appropriate.

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."
"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

Yeah... it was a blizzard

Out shoveling the driveway (for about 3 hours) yesterday and talking to the neighbor across the street who was shoveling her driveway with her son when we heard something coming down the street and looked up to see a dog sled team coming down the street. It was being pulled by 3 "snow dogs". First time I've ever seen that in Colorado!

Also a few snow mobiles driving down the street. Common in Big Timber, MT, where I grew up, but never have I seen it here.

Also heard the neighbor say to her son, after the two of them had been shoveling for about an hour, "I think we should get your dad a snowblower for Christmas!". :)

It snows big like this very infrequently - so you have to shovel maybe a couple of times a year. So there are far fewer snow blowers bought than in other "snow states". Its a pain - but when its only a few times a year, it just doesn't seem worth it. Although we've already had two big snows this year...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The war hits home

Jaime got word Sunday night that Seth Stanton, a friend of hers, had died from injuries suffered in Iraq. There were a number of news reports here and here.

I particularly liked this post:
One of the last pictures taken of Private First Class Seth Stanton was just as the sun was coming up in Iraq. The caption read "this is me, at 5 am, protecting those who sleep.

I didn't know Seth that well... saw him at youth a few times. But Jaime was talking about him the other night, "I don't think he'd want me to be sad. Any time I was sad at youth he'd always say, 'Jaime. Be Happy. Don't be so down.' and make me smile. I don't think he'd want me to be all sad at Christmas, even though he died." Seems to tie in well with someone that would say "This is me, at 5 AM, protecting those who sleep."

Not only was he protecting those who sleep there, but he was protecting those who sleep here.

Seth, Although words can't well express it, and you'll never read this, I appreciate that you were protecting me. I appreciate the sacrifice you and your family gave. And I appreciate that your words uplifted my daughter when you spoke them - and they continue to uplift her and help her to deal with your death.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Location Earth - Dog Tags

This is just what everyone needs! ;)

Actually kind of cool. Its worth reading the site. I particularly like:
should you ever be abducted by aliens while wearing Location Earth Dog Tags and not returned safely to Earth you will be entitled to a full refund of the purchase price

T.F. Boggs - a solider's point of view

In this post by Hugh Hewitt, I found a link to T.F. Boggs' post about his thoughts on the ISG report. Good reading. I read some of his earlier posts as well, and thought they were all good. I especially liked the following from near the end of an earlier post:

I survived bullets and bombs now let’s see if I can survive a country where Nancy Pelosi is third in command

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Pay attention

A number of posts this morning discussing the cluelessness (imo) of the Democrats - or at least the Democrats in power, Main Stream Media, etc. As a military person said on the radio yesterday "We are an army at war and a nation at peace." People don't believe there really is a war going on. We are just sticking our noses in where they don't belong. If we quite messing with them, they'd stop messing with us. Regardless of the fact that they have called for the destruction of Israel and of the United States.

So - as depresessing as that seems... Its a *good* thing to be informed. Yeah, the talk shows I listen to our biased... but I'm still hearing the congressional exchanges, hearing senators say that no intelligent young person would join the military, etc.

People feel like they can't make a difference. You can. Yeah, its just one vote... but its worth voting anyway. No one's perfect. No candidate backs all your beliefs, feels the way you do on all the issues. But come on - some are obviously worse than others. "The better of two evils" may kind of suck... but hey, if you don't vote, you're going to potentially get the "Worst of two evils".

So yeah - it might not be good news - but its news. And its good to stay informed and realize what is going on in the world right now and how important some of these issues are - and what they could mean to the future of our country.

And our media continues to be their propaganda machine

Speaking shortly before senior diplomats from six world powers were scheduled to meet in Paris on Tuesday to discuss sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned the European Union that any punitive measure would be considered an act of hostility by Tehran. "I am telling you in plain language that from now on, if you try, whether in your propaganda or at international organisations, to take steps against the rights of the Iranian nation, the Iranian nation will consider it an act of hostility," Ahmadinejad said.

Yeah - who would have seen that comming? After stating that we wouldn't attack them because it would be too costly they turn around and say "If you put sanctions on us, we'll consider it an act of war".

  • war is too costly and we don't want to go to war,
  • sanctions == war
  • therefore; we don't want sanctions

And people think that this (not getting into a conflict with Iran, minding our own business, keeping to ourselves, etc.) is in the best interests of our country and the world. Yeah... because we are too big and powerful and no-one would ever think of attacking us. Sigh.

Its just an unbiased study to get to the truth...

From Hugh Hewitt's post: From Tehran:Iran's study of the Holocaust "does not mean we deny the crimes of Hitler"., his quoting a news article that I couldn't get a link to:

MORE than 60 researchers from 30 countries will attend a controversial conference on the Holocaust next week to examine the event without any "preconceived ideas", Iran said today.

Deputy Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mohammadi said the staging of the conference on December 11 and 12 was a response to the lack of answers to questions posed over the Holocaust by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mr Ahmadinejad, who has also called for Israel to be wiped off the map, has repeatedly raised questions about the scale of the Holocaust and even described the mass slaughter of Jews in World War II as a "myth".

"Ahmadinejad asked, did the Holocaust happen or not? And if it happened why are scholars prevented from doing research on this and why are revisionists thrown into prison?" Mr Mohammadi said.

"And if it happened, why should the Palestinians pay for this?"

The conference would, "without any preconceived ideas, provide the atmosphere for scholars and researchers from both sides to give their papers in the utmost freedom".

Mr Mohammadi declined to give the names of the 67 international scholars he said would be attending, because of fears their home countries would ban them from travelling to Tehran.

He stressed that Iran's study of the Holocaust "does not mean we deny the crimes of Hitler"

And their study is going to find that the Holocaust did not happen, and be just one more reason for them to wipe Israel off the face of the map.

"There is no Holocaust, there should be no Israel, we have WMDs and the US Democrats and Mass Media have stated over and over that we are good guys and they don't want to go to war with us. What have we got to lose. Push the button."

Maybe I should stop reading political blogs and listening to talk radio. The cluelessness is really starting to get to me.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Honor and Duty - its something not everyone gets

I was listening to talk radio the other night on the way home and heard a quote by Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. It floored me. I found it today in
Military mockery: Democrats harbor outdated, outlandish views of those who serve our nation a post by Jack Kelly:

"I want to make it abundantly clear: If there's anyone who believes that these youngsters want to fight, as the Pentagon and some generals have said, you can just forget about it. No young, bright individual wants to fight just because of a bonus and just because of educational benefits. And most all of them come from communities of very, very high unemployment. If a young fella has an option of having a decent career or joining the Army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq."

It struck me that someone could be so out of touch with what is really going on in this country. Sure, there are some that join the army looking for a job or a paycheck (alhtough the pay isn't that good) - but there are many people that do it out of a sense of honor, duty, etc.

As Jack Kelly said:

But many bright young people have enlisted to fight and have re-enlisted after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. That the reason is a mystery to Rep. Rangel, Sen. Kerry and many other Democratic leaders is troubling for the future of our country.

They believe every inteligent/bright person thinks/feels like them, and the fact that they have no honor or sense of duty means that no-one else does either. So their *must* be some other reason for joining like money or because they can't get a job anywhere else.

And his closing comment:

For many Democrats, being an American is all about rights, not duties. Though the rights they demand would not exist were it not for the dwindling number of Americans willing to perform the duties of citizenship, they regard with barely concealed contempt those Americans whose sense of duty causes them to go in harm's way. If America's "leaders" have such attitudes, can the nation long survive?

Sigh. Good point.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

For Christ's sake -- literally

From Kathryn Jean Lopez article entitled: For Christ's sake -- literally:
Yes, seriously, red and green -- great threats to the Establishment Clause if caught anywhere near a public school, right? Gibson writes of his experience over the last year: "Many parents contacted me and said the story of Plano, Texas, where the school board wouldn't allow the colors red and green for the plates and cups and napkins at the kids 'winter' party, was actually quite common. I heard about one school where the principal went to each schoolroom before Thanksgiving and put all red and green construction paper under lock and key until after New Years. It is silly and paranoid actions like that which make people certain the war is real and not a figment of their imagination."

It just gets more and more stupid...