I Got a Phone Call Today

It was a pleasant surprise. A representative of a local American Legion Post here in Central West Virginia called.

Note please, that I’m an annual member of the Legion, and a life member of the VFW and DAV.  BUT I don’t go to meetings.  First off…the meetings are at night and my night driving vision is simply not good. Just one of those blue headlights oncoming and I’m blind for 30 seconds or so. And as some here might easily testify, I also ain’t very good with mundane social interactions anyway.

So out of the blue I get this call. The fellow said that his post had been notified by National that I was a member in good standing but belonged to no local post, just some sort ephemeral State post, and he’d like to invite me to join with them.

I described my night vision problem and instead of backing off he started kinda casting around to see if I could get a ride with someone in the area. I was deeply impressed.  No one from any other Vet group has expended even that amount of effort.

My contact and I WILL get together in the spring (he’s traveling, as am I) and we’ll see how this shakes out, BUT I am looking forward to the effort.

I joined these groups even after being dismissed many years ago by several of them. Nam vets need not apply. But I have always felt they could provide a sort of backstop to prevent our government from leaving us to rot. So when I could – I joined.

I dunno how this particular exercise will develop, but the mere fact that is has happened is, for me anyway, a sort of bellwether event.

And kudos to the American Legion for the effort, however it turns out for me.

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A Time for Gratitude

Gratitude is one of those things which is good to have every day. It is so important that a special day is set aside for that specific purpose in spite of it having now morphed into also being synonymous with commercial sales and football games. Still, most of us associate Thanksgiving Day with giving thanks and being with the people who are most important in our lives. And food. Lots and lots of food.

It is no accident that Thanksgiving Day is at the end of the harvest season. After the bounty of farm life has been put up for the winter is a wonderful time to express our thanks. And take a breather from the labors of the fields. Some of us even grew up with Fall Festivals specifically designed to express that community gratitude with parades, dances, and church services. Continue reading

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When A Song Uses a Hammer to Make a Point.

You may not be interested in the genesis of the tune, but when it grabs hold of something you can’t ignore ya gotta acknowledge that thing.

Here is my current reality hammer:

I have known those faces… BUT some of the references to groups offered during the end of video are suspect.

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Zero and the Giant Thumping Machine – A Tale of Almost Terror

I approached the imposing building quite late in the day with some trepidation.  The doors were inviting enough, I guess, and they did swing open as I neared, but there were no humans in sight.

I was there for a test – a special sort of test where any METAL is evil indeed. I’d already shed every trace of the foul stuff. I was clad only in sweat pants and a tee-shirt. No keys, not even a wedding ring. I was ready, or so I thought.

As I made my way through the brightly lit halls it seemed those few humans I encountered were staring at me; some with pity and some with a touch of awe. Maybe the drugs I’d been given earlier had somehow heightened my sense of awareness. I dunno.

Far back in a corner of the building I came upon a seemingly armored door. No windows nor any glimpse of what was beyond. Just a push-button and a sign that said “Ring Bell for Admittance.” I pushed the button and the door was slowly opened.

Inside were three apparent humans dressed in medical garb. They were not masked, which I took to be a good sign. The tiny entry area itself was quite plain but I could almost feel something large just beyond the wall.

Continue reading

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Oh what a tangled web we weave

Everyone knows the second line of the quote attributed to Sir Walter Scott. I’ll leave it to your Google-Fu if you are curious enough to explore.

My small point is a reflection of OUR current news.  And the phonies dancing when they are called out. I’ll leave the latter to Jonn et al at TAH.
My primary premise is kinda based on the old joke: “How do you know when a politician is lying? His lips are moving.”

Even with the recent elections we are left with the simple idea that those in DC are, at least, suspect.  How do we properly approach a system that is broken? Term limits for Congress Critters has been mentioned. I dunno, but I am skeptical.

No pragmatist could successfully argue that our current system works. Our military and VA system are so top-heavy that they serve as very real and very negative examples.

I’m not prepared to offer anything easy, or maybe even useful, but few can argue that we are better off today as a country than in the past.  Do keep in mind that our country once went to war over what was considered an arguably not simple notion.

I’m old enough that I am genuinely only peripherally involved in what will come. You younger folks better start learning the dance.


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Beware: I Usually Get It Wrong….

Spent time yesterday with some young folks at my local grade school.  It went well.  Actually got a medal?

Read Jonn’s post about today

His post is/was moving, It captured my feelings rather profoundly, BUT even though it ain’t Memorial day I just can not feel free to easily celebrate.  No free meals, etc.

May well get this post deleted, but this  has been ringing in MY ears for a coupla days.

Cross posted minus the probable editor slash.

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Vets Deserve Better

Vets Deserve Better Care, and Obama Knows It (Yet Fails to Provide It)

by Kevin L. Martin

There are plenty of veterans such as myself who see President Obama’s public reaction to the scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs as both political theater and a desperate attempt to cover his posterior.

First of all, his reaction time to reports of poor service and long wait times at VA facilities was lacking, considering that the allegations slowly rolled out over months and were cited by veterans organizations. It was already far too late when the President finally acknowledged the problem and dispatched a political deputy to fix the problems.

What makes matters worse is that the Bush Administration warned about problems at the VA during the presidential transition and after Obama already pledged to take care of it.  Continue reading

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Hope and Change?

Change is coming.  It may already be here.  There was an election earlier this week.  Among other things, 11 new members of Congress have military service according to the National Journal.  Not a large percentage of the 60 total new members, but still, it may show that the electorate considers military service significant in those who receive their vote.

We can only hope that the new members of Congress don’t continue to misinterpret our anger as fear.


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Thank You For Your Service

I think I posted about this before, but it happened again today and I STILL get rattled when it happens – enough to post about it yet again.

Some back-story: For 30 plus years I didn’t acknowledge my Vietnam service outside of some very narrow confines. BTW – The only VN mud I got on me was during a one-time trip to a bar in DaNang .

Around the time we did GoE (Gathering of Eagles in ’07) it kinda felt okay to do so. A coupla years ago I bought a baseball cap (made in China?) , and I wear it often.

So today I visited my local Mini-Mart and a guy also checking out said “Thank you for your service.” I had enough wits to respond with “Thanks, we all did what we could.” But THEN he added “I hope you didn’t get greeted like some did?”

By this time there were, maybe, a half dozen folks standing there and I kinda blurted out ” Got spit at and called Baby Killer once in San Fransisco in ’69.” Noted some odd looks from the mini-group and left.

Yeah, I know the PC answer to the “Thank You…” is a simple “you’re welcome”, but I still get flummoxed and fumble.

Just might be too old to learn proper decorum?

Cross posted from TAH.

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Ebola, What’s the Plan?

This ebola thing has had many of us scratching our heads.  Not sure if we are confused, frustrated, angry, all the above, or something else, but we are at best not happy with the official response.

With the recent news that the administration is considering imposing some limited quarantines upon medical personnel returning from Africa,  I am definitely at the anger stage.  Yeah, we are said to be afraid, acting irrationally because of fear and all sorts of other ridiculous things, but  anger accurately describes my reaction to the continuing cluelessness of those whose job it is to protect us from such things as infectious disease.  There are, as seems usual, several levels of points being missed, by a whole lot of folks and agencies, for whatever reasons. Continue reading

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