Archive for May, 2010
I more or less grew up in the hills of North Georgia.
A small town known as Big Creek, well outside of the confines of the county seat, Ellijay.
In 2005 I had went home for Memorial Day. Ellijay has one of the largest Memorial Day celebrations in the entire state of Georgia. My father, my uncle, myself, and my cousin all marched, in uniform.
I had recently been discharged myself from the 3rd Brigade 2 Infantry Division, Ft Lewis WA. An Air Defense Artillery Unit.
After the parade we gathered in the town square. My former teacher from Gilmer County Elementary, stepped to the podium. Unbeknown to me at the time, Noah Harris, was her son. That was made clear in her speech.
1st Lt. Noah Harris, also of Ellijay had passed away. He was several years younger than myself. He outranked me. He entered the service after I. He graduated from college. I quit college to serve. The differences are not as vast as the parallels.
In death he is still an inspiration
In Baqubah, Iraq, Lt. Harris was mortally wounded from injuries sustained on June 17 when he was on mounted patrol and his Humvee was attacked by enemy forces using rocket-propelled grenades in Buritz, Iraq. Also killed was Cpl. William A. Long.
What are the chances, mind you, two men, of eight years age different, would come from the same town, population less than 10,000, and end up serving for the same Brigade? He of 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga. I of the 2 ID in Ft. Lewis, WA.
What are the chances, like ships passing in the night that I would arrive at our home town Memorial Day, on the eve of his passing? Two fellow soldiers, of similar generations? That I, whom had sat in his mothers classroom, would be spared, and he called on?
It bears thought.
I knew his family, but only in passing. I never met the man. I never served under him, but as a fellow Army service member, I served with him.
It is Memorial Day, or rather the day we observe it.
As I sit in my recliner, and I think back to the difference a few years makes. I’m older now, put on a few pounds, but my reasons for joining have not changed.
Somehow I think LT Harris’s reasons, have not changed either.
For better or worse we make our choices. For better or worse with live with those decisions.
I only wish I had met him before he passed on to meet mine.
The bonds that bind us, even as strangers among men, are smaller than we think.
I recorded this last year, in my hotel room with cheap 4 dollar microphone. The audio quality is not the best in the world. That said I did it because I wanted to do something different for my brothers and sisters in arms whom never made it home. Something to give a little peace, something to give a little guidance. My apologies if its not up to par with a pro singers work, and my apologies if it comes off churlish. I make no apologies for the effort however. -BS
I first published this back in 2008 over at our sister site Techography.com. Hence the opening credits. Its footage that I, and other MilBloggers pieced together to benefit VALOUR-IT in a fundraiser at the time. Donations are still welcome there and I am sure they would appreciate it, especially this time of year. Its quite a video if I do say so myself, even if rudimentary in its construction. I hope you enjoy this Memorial Day Weekend. And Remember, please always Remember. -BS
I’ll tell you who doesn’t care…..the so called “president”.
Could he be the first president who did not attend the Memorial Day Service at Arlington? I think so….
Even looking back at the last 2 presidents, Clinton went to all 8 services in his presidency, Bush went to 7 of the 8, and he did not attend one because he was at another ceremony in France honouring D-Day Vets. What really amazes me, is the fact that this is his second vacation just since the oil spill….that’s 2, count them, 2 vacations in just over a month? WTF!? and this is only his first year in office. To me, this is total BS, and a complete lack of respect for this great nation, and the soldiers who bravely died so that we could enjoy freedom. Mr. President, have fun shucking your duties, and ignoring the American people. Hell, that’s what you have been doing so far, why should this surprise us. I hope you have a rotten, crappy, miserable vacation. Maybe if you get food poisoning, you might have a taste of what the people of this country are feeling because of your ignorance.
Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something.
Pancho Villa (his last words)
We all have visions of what we might say if the bad guys “got us”.
Sometimes the reality is much different than Hollywood’s take
You’ve got to be original, because if you’re like someone else, what do they need you for?
My new chapter in life continues…
So, my landlord bought the property that I live on now a few years ago, and on this 7 acre lot there was a small farm section, a house (which I now live in), and a burned down barn. As best we can figure at the moment, our house was built some time in the late 1930′s to the early 1940′s. It still has the old cloth wrapped wiring in the walls, and the original glass doorknobs with the skeleton keyholes. The site of the old barn is where he built his house. It sits about 200 yards from our house, and he has a few roosters. Now, mind you I *hate* getting up in the morning. If it was my choice, morning would start at the crack of 12 noon.
Recently, though, I have been making an extreme effort to get up early, sit on the porch and drink coffee, and have some quiet time for my wife and I before we start our day. Most days, our baby Gavin allows this. All this week, I have found that the quality of my day is a direct result of how the morning starts off.
Every day this week, with the roosters crowing, my wife and I on the front porch, watching the world wake up….its been the kind of simple life I have always dreamed of…….
Back in April I said there were 3 options that the Federal Government would possibly undertake in reaction to Arizona’s new Immigration Law.
* Either A they will take action and begin securing the border all the while saying states need take no further action and renouncing Arizona’s law
* Or B they will attack Arizona’s law. They will lambaste it as unconstitutional, they will investigate, call hearings and order investigations. All the while our Southern borders will remain untouched.
There is a third option as well, however
They’ll fight for amnesty so that anyone who enters this country is automatically a citizen
Looks like they took Option B.
Why is that important?
Because a State of this United States, passed a law that only applies to its borders, and it’s regions, by its citizenry. Much like medicinal marijuana, or drinking ages. By challenging this law, the Federal Government sets precedent: that they are the ruling law of the land and there is nothing our states or we as a nation of citizens can do to stop.
Get ready folks.
This will just be the tip of the ice berg, but its the most blatant attack on state sovereignty in well over 70 years.
There’s no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.
Fortunately I’m not the only one.
And while my monthly check is a trifle smaller, and I did not handle nukes, I still receive one and mine’s from jumping out of perfectly good airplanes. Oh and lots of good beer.
And I still propose we host a Bar B Que to protest this travesty……
Now bugger off and die while I spend your money on a Big Mac, you pencil-necked sunken chested tofu-eating asshat.
Amen, Armorer. Amen!
Ben Shaw is a former infantryman turned photojournalist.
He knows what it is like to be both a civilian in a war zone and a combat trooper.
Beyond the romance of wounded soldiers with gentle eyes, past the mystique of hard core adventurers who live for the thrill of battle and the conquest of the enemy, or the age old stories of officers and gentlemen is the trip home.
That flight on the big iron bird that, if your lucky, return you to the arms of someone you love. Anf if not it returns you to home sweet home.
If you read nothing else today. Read this.
If you are just coming out of a combat zone (specifically from combat arms), you are about to encounter a wave of emotions, thoughts and dreams for which we are all unprepared. Some of them will make perfect sense considering the environment you just left, but most will bother you. A few may even scare you. While virtually none of the generalizations listed below help overcome these sensations, perhaps knowing about them in advance will help eliminate confusion or the feeling that you’ve lost control. At the very least, take some comfort knowing that you’re not the only one who has encountered this. Millions before you have, and future generations will as well.
Without a doubt the most accurate portrayal of what it’s like when you first come home.
Journalism is just a gun. It’s only got one bullet in it, but if you aim right, that’s all you need. Aim it right and you can blow a kneecap off the world. Aim it wrong…
Is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
The KING 5 Investigators have learned that an illegal immigrant accused of raping a woman in Edmonds Sunday has been deported nine times. That’s much more than previously reported.
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement won’t comment on the case of Jose Lopez Madrigal. But KING 5 got the information through confidential sources and documents.
Larry Klein was the man who heard the alleged victim’s cries for help.
…Klein called police, who quickly arrested the suspect. But learning his identity took much longer because of some 30 aliases. It was only through fingerprints that they identified him as Madrigal, a Mexican citizen.
Madrigal’s arrest and immigration record includes a staggering number of contacts with law enforcement since 1989. That’s the year he was convicted of theft using a firearm in California. He was deported a couple of times after that. Then in 1999, he was arrested for drug sales in both San Diego and San Francisco. Records show that he was deported three times that year between April and August. He was arrested for drugs again in Stockton, Calif. in 2000. In 2002, he pleaded to third degree sexual assault in Denver. Later that year, he was deported again. And in 2003, records show he was deported three more times.
People who live near the scene of Sunday’s alleged rape wonder how it could keep happening.
H/t Michelle Malkin
How many people have to be killed, raped or injured before the Federal government does something about our borders?
How many innocents have to be hurt or injured, how many families broken or left in tears?
How many states will need to follow Arizona’s lead before the Feds stand up and do the job that they are Constitutionally required too?
Article 4 Clause 2 of our Constitution has been used to validate our searches and seizures at the border, and as it pertains to Domestic Violence can be used (by definition) to protect our borders as well. This falls specifically within the realm of the Federal Goverment.
However. Our Constitution is written specifically so that when the Federal government fails to perform the services it is required to perform, the states may act to protect their own sovereignty in its steed, intro the 10th Amendment.
Enough is enough.
The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.