rancherwriterpoet

Poetry, musings, reflections, life

HEROES…REMEMBERED

Today is an honorable day. Memorial Day! A day we, as Americans, have come to celebrate as the first day of summer. That means we will be off to the beaches, to the mountains, to the lakes, to backyard barbeques and homemade ice cream. This year is different. We will obviously be observing the precautions brought on by the pandemic virus. This adds a completely new dimension to our celebration. We have been beset with guidelines, stay-at-home orders, restricted travels, and anything the politicians can devise. Some for the benefit of the population and others maybe not so much. The scientists also issue their dire warnings. Complications, for sure!

But today, is so much more than a day at the beach. While the world mourns the deaths of those who contracted the disease let us not forget the sacrifices of our Armed Forces.

Allow me to introduce a few of those who perished in the service of our country. Names are selected at random and I have no personal knowledge of many of the brave men and women who served, however I chose Gregory’s name because he was the son of my friends, Scott and Melba Morgan, Atlanta, Ga. Greg’s name is on the Vietnam Memorial, Washington D.C..

ATCHISON, John Calvin    PVT. USMC, Missouri, perished on the USS Arizona, December 7, 1941. Private Atchison served his country in honor and died for his service. I chose his name from the casualty list of the USS Arizona to serve as representative of all those men who perished during WWII.

In 1944 First lieutenant U.S. Army Nurse Aleda E. Lutz of Freeland Michigan was the first U.S. military woman to die in a combat zone during World War II when her hospital plane went down on her 196th rescue mission.  I chose LT Aleda Lutz, to serve as a representative of all those women who perished during WWII.

First Lieutenant William Edward (Buddy) Robertson, Jr. was a member of the 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. He was Killed in Action while fighting the enemy in North Korea on October 3, 1951. He was born in Chillicothe, Hardeman County, Texas. LT Buddy Robertson serves as a reminder of all those who died during the Korean war.

Navy Hospital Corpsman Joshua Dwayne McIntosh 22, of Kingman, Arizona, died June 6th, 2003 while serving in Karbula, Iraq. McIntosh died in Karbala, Iraq, from a non-hostile gunshot wound. He was assigned to the Third Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment, Twentynine Palms, California. Corpsman McIntosh represents those from the middle east conflicts.

SP4 GREGORY SCOTT MORGAN experienced a traumatic event which resulted in loss of life on March 15, 1971. Recorded circumstances attributed to: “Died through non-hostile action, air crash on land”. Incident location: South Vietnam, Gia Dinh province.

If any of these service members are a part of your family, let me say to you, I am proud of their service and I thank them for their allegiance to America. I pray a special prayer for all those Gold Star Families.

There are far more names that I could place on the tribute list, but I think you get the meaning of my post.

And as an additional note, I am aware of the thousands of Covid 19 frontline workers and first responders who have also perished in an untimely manner. I clearly wish to pay tribute to them as well.

So, on your way to the beaches, to the mountains, to the lakes, to backyard barbeques and homemade ice cream, stop for a moment and give thanks for these individuals who rose to the occasion, to give us those opportunities to celebrate. Make this Memorial Day a remembrance of all who sacrificed their lives.

These are my heroes.

       

 

RIP Sweet Apollo

Today, May 18, 2020, was the passing of King Louie’s Dance of Apollo.Apollo Jennie Pete

Our Sweet Apollo crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. He had a welcoming committee, for sure. There was Denali and Prada and Munchie, all friends from his past. And his long- time buddy, B.J. And I am sure he met new friends, as well. He has given us such joy around the Fuzzy Chicken Farm, and it is so difficult to experience this once again.

Apollo was full of energy and had a very loving demeanor. He would have been 14 years old on July 29th. He is a Standard Poodle and the epitome of a canine that loves his family. And his family loved him.

I recall a few of his antics. For one, he loved to go with me to the post office, protecting me, or so he thought. And if he did not go, then he would wait at the front door until I returned. In fact, many times when we left on errands, he would wait there and bark when we did return. Sadly, the past year he was unable to do that.

He loved company. Furiously, he would bark at the doorbell and then he would introduce himself to the guests, especially the female gender. One could see the excitement in his eyes. When they would sit down, he would promptly raise his paw for assurances that they were welcome.

Apollo Begging forgiveness

His had his moments. Another one was him being unable to come into the kitchen. We never scolded him, I would only ask, “Apollo, are you in the kitchen?” at which he would abruptly turn around and depart the area. Or begging for a bite of our sandwich. He had this habit of laying his chin (?) on the footrest of the recliner at which time I would promptly call him “Despicable”. Apollo despicable (2)

Then the “Rancherette” would take up for him and say, “You’re not Despicable.” And of course, he got his bites of a sandwich. There are many stories about Apollo. These are but a few.

But life itself includes those moments when not all is good news.

For several months Apollo’s health has declined. He struggled to catch his breath, mostly because of a heart condition. Arthritis had set in his hips and his both front legs.  It has caught him in his elder years. His heart was giving out and he could no longer walk. So, we did what was necessary to relieve his pain. And it was bittersweet.

I have gone through the happening of having a trusted animal member cross over the Rainbow Bridge too many times in the past. It never gets any easier, but love transcends the life experience, and this is the ultimate life experience. We love all our animals. We want them to live forever. Sadly, they do not. Then, neither do we.

So, Apollo, cross on over that colored bridge. Meet up with your friends, run and bark and spend your days knowing you no longer suffer on this earth. We miss you my friend.

HONEY, I REMEMBERED!

Honey, I remembered!

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10, 11……….12

I remembered that I could count, at least to 12. I promise I did not use Google for any help. So, what do the numbers represent?

Year number one began on May 15, 2009 and was our Wedding day. That was a remarkable day. The first year was a honeymoon that lasted all year and into the next and continues today.

Numbers 1-11 represent the number of years that Jennifer and Pete have been married. Each year was complete and utterly successful. At least to my way of thinking. Each year has been a wonderful sequence of a marriage.

This woman I married has an amazing stamina. She is, of course, the queen of the chicken world. She certainly has the Chicken world of exhibition’s attention. Her office is covered in awards. I am extremely proud of her and her accomplishments. But that’s not why I married her.

She is a super gardener, vegetables in season, flowers in season, indoor plants, tropical and home managed. But, that’s not why I married her.

She is a great cook. She is in the gourmet chef style.She sometimes posts her achievements to the social media world and has them drooling. Cakes, pies, and of course delicacies from the food group. Chocolate being my favorite. But that’s not why I married her.

She has other talents, such as mowing the yard, attending to our retired show dogs, cutting limbs, and I dare not forget the geese. The geese are like her children. But that is a separate issue altogether.

We have our challenges and those continue. Most of our trials have come from health issues. We have faced numerous tests and treatments and she has risen to the occasion. She is a remarkable nurse; however, she has not had the perfect patient. But she has endured. I think it is because she loves me.

We seem to roller coaster our health issues, me then her, her then me. I have been a nurse to her as well. However, I have had a much easier time taking care of her than she of me. She has been a particularly good patient, unlike me.  So, she is a great nurse and a great patient. But, that’s not why I married her.

As I count of the years, I am reminded that love is the key ingredient to a marriage. And that brings me to the year 12.  We start off our next year with uncertainties in the world we know. And while we will adapt to the changes that inevitably will face us, I know that our marriage will survive.

So why did I marry her?  Because, as I said, “love is the key ingredient to a marriage”.

I write this simply to let the world know that God put us together and I thank Him for that. I could not be more blessed at this time in my life. Thank you Jennifer for marrying me.

I love you, Jennifer Robertson, and Happy Anniversary.

One Sunday Morning

Very early on a clear vibrant Sunday morning,
I awaken from a deep sleep at dawn’s first light.
The stillness of the early hour retreats
For the bright morning sun overtakes the night.

I begin my day running through the forest,
Down pathways and under branches covered with moss.
Along the way, I stop to rest and catch my breath.
It is then I see a small piece of wood in the shape of a cross.

As my morning run continues through this scenic wonder,
The pathway begins to narrow and becomes no more than a trail.
I wonder at the colorful landscape that surrounds me
But ahead of me, I catch sight of a rusty nail.

I’m amazed at the stunning beauty that encompasses me.
Countless living creatures, caterpillars, butterflies and moths,
Nature’s storybook in brilliant pictures of living things.
And I glimpse before me an iridescent piece of cloth.

The on-going journey through this vast and pulsating place,
Presents me with a remarkably, priceless event of my own.
For how could anyone predict such picturesque beauty?
And at that moment I set eyes on a small smooth stone.

A piece of wood about 2 inches long, stained by years of exposure,
A rusty nail with orange colored flakes that fall gently when stirred;
A scrap of white linen cloth, crumpled and resting beside the rusty nail;
And a small stone, worn smooth from seasons deferred.

It was then that I understood. Love came to me.
Love was crucified!
Flesh was wounded and nailed to a cross.
Love was hidden!
Flesh was wrapped in white linen cloth.
Love was buried!
Flesh was sealed in a tomb.
Love came alive!
The stone was rolled away.

The Cross

Even during this worldwide calamity, we can take hope that there is peace from the comforter of the universe. This was accomplished through the death, burial and the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The following is my interpretation of those events on the first Easter weekend.

Conversation at the Cross

The suffering unfolds at that ultimate place where the condemned are sent for reckoning. Spread across the hill, three crosses are embedded.  Execution awaits by official decree. The crosses prolong the agony.

An angry mob surrounds the three crosses, gawking at those who await their fate. Covert friends intermingle with thrill-seekers. Conflicting points of view become manifest.  Conversation at the cross begins.

Arrogance remains openly defiant, returning verbal assaults to the hostile masses.The anger and pain notwithstanding, he addresses his cursing to Mercy. In response, Mercy beseeches Unseen.

 Seeking Forgiveness counters to Arrogance, “Your foolish outburst has overcome your sanity. You have no decency! No decency!  Judging of our deeds is truthful. Mercy’s condemnation is undeserved.”

Seeking Forgiveness cries out to Mercy, pleading a sympathetic desire for remembrance. Mercy grants his plea for sanctuary. Desiring a perfect destination for both, Mercy presents Himself finally to Unseen.

Conversation at the cross is ended. Apprehension envelops the onlookers. Fear is rampant, anxiety builds, remorse sets in.  Innocence is proclaimed by centurions. Mercy is sacrificed, the Cross-is finished.

Imagine if you were an actual witness to the crucifixion of Christ. 

Witness

Sounds of cursing and anger fill the air.
And yet, He groans quietly.
The burden on His shoulders grows heavy
As He walks, stooped over slightly.

The flesh on His back… lay bare by the whip,
And His feet have swollen as well.
His vision is blurred by sweat mixed with blood.
He stumbled…and He fell.

The soldiers’ authority commands fear.
One man is conscripted for use.
“Carry the beam!” they directed the man.
For the young one is weak from abuse.

The young man moves slowly, climbing the hill.
His condition prevents a fast pace.
People are gathering to witness this scene,
For there’s something peculiar about this place.

I sense something special about this young man.
He seems so confident in His fate.
But others about Him don’t seem to care,
For they scorn Him and verbalize hate.

The instrument of death is placed on the ground.
The young man is secured to the post.
Spikes penetrate His hands… and His feet…
The soldiers stand back and boast.

clouds grow dark and they cover the sun,
Thunder breaks loudly and clear.
The ground begins cracking and groaning,
And the people who’ve gathered begin to fear.

In a loud voice, I hear Him cry out
In a language, I don’t understand.
Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani,*
There’s something unusual about this man…

His death is complete and His body’s removed,
He’s placed in a borrowed tomb.
Grief and sadness overcome His friends
As they endure this period of gloom.

And now! It’s the third day! His body isn’t here!
The story He told, really is true!
He died for atonement, was buried for sin,
Resurrected… for life anew.

I witness this scene as though I were there,
For it’s embedded completely in mind.
How Jesus… suffered and died,
Was raised, giving life for His kind.

Pete Robertson
© 1992

*Mark 15:34 NASB      

 

I hope you have an amazing Easter celebration. May God bless your family during this crisis.                     

 

What Happened on Palm Sunday?

Today begins what Christians call Holy Week. It is the week leading up to the Crucifixion of Christ and His resurrection. This gives cause for reflection of our own life, or at least it does for me. Put your mind in the mind of the owner of that donkey. Perhaps it could have been as told here.

So, What’s Your Donkey?

Jesus rode into Jerusalem on what we now call Palm Sunday; palm branches, which symbolize triumph or victory, were strewn in Jesus’ path, as He rode into the city. He rode into town on a humble donkey, fulfilling the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your kings comes to you, righteous and victorious, low and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

“You don’t know me. You’ve never heard my name. It isn’t important. But you know my donkey. I’m sure you’ve heard of him. You know, the donkey that Jesus rode into Jerusalem with on that day He made his triumphal entry? Yeah, that donkey. Well, I was the guy with the donkey. I’m the guy who was living in Bethphage. The guy who was walking home from the market that day, only to see two men untying my young donkey and her mother. I couldn’t believe I was getting ripped off! Bethphage had been such a quiet town. This was our first donkey-jacking! I ran and called out, “Why are you untying those donkeys? I remember it like it was yesterday: the two men called back, ‘The Lord needs them!

That answer stopped me cold………

      Normally, I liked to keep my animals for myself. But for some reason, I couldn’t argue. Two guys I have never seen are taking my donkeys away. But the LORD needs them. They’re just plain old donkeys. But if the Lord needs them, well then, the Lord can have them!

So, I waved good bye! I never would’ve guessed that my generosity would be used for such a noble purpose! I never would’ve guessed that GOD was going to ride my humble donkey! But that day was a life-changing day for me.

      We followed these men back to their little group. We saw them cover my donkey with their cloaks, and watched Jesus get on this young donkey that had never been ridden. We followed the crowd into Jerusalem and helped make a road for the Lord with our cloaks and branches we cut from trees. We wanted to let everyone know that someone important was coming to Jerusalem!

      We hailed this man as a King! But not just a King. The Messiah! The Chosen, the Promised One who would come from the family of David! The One who was coming to save us!

      We didn’t understand everything that day, but it turned out this was the man that God sent to save us! This was God’s own Son. Who loved us enough to come and ride my humble little donkey into a city where He knew He would suffer and die. Later that week, his journey into Jerusalem ended on a cross. Where He took my sins and yours, and let Himself be punished for them. Yes, He saved us alright. Sunday morning proved it! He walked out of his tomb! A conquering, victorious King!  Friends, I can’t tell you how honored I am to have been given the chance to let Jesus use my donkey to take his Kingdom forward a few more steps. I’m thankful I had the chance to serve our Lord in such a little way. So what’s your donkey? What do you have to give to Him?

Christmas, 1948

Christmas wasn’t going to be like all our Christmases before.

For eighty years, I have been celebrating Christmas. At my age, don’t expect me to remember all of them, but one I especially remember is Christmas, 1948. I was nine years old and we were living in tough times, not that I knew anything about that. It was said that Santa Claus was not likely to visit our house that year. Because of the divorce of my adoptive parents and the illness of my grandfather, my mother and I lived with my grandparents.

My grandfather, Papa, was suffering with cancer and many believed would not live until Christmas. My mother told me he had a disease that was infectious. That was to keep me from bothering him. I wasn’t allowed to go in his room; but I did stand at the door and talk to him. I remember Papa smiling at me between his coughing and wheezing. I always thought he would get well. Once, during that Christmas time, I sneaked into his bedroom, even though it was off-limits to me, and I told him Merry Christmas. He motioned for me to lean over closely, so I could hear him better. He told me that better times were coming, both for him and for me. I wasn’t sure what he meant, after all, I was only nine.

Now, in hindsight, I know that Christmas 1948 was a memorable one for me. I’m sure you have an unforgettable Christmas in your memory.  Christmases are supposed to be a joyous time, a time for family to come together and share the joys, to celebrate the birth of Christ, and to remember the good things. Sometimes it doesn’t quite turn out that way, but then again…

You See… I Remember…

My folks didn’t want to celebrate Christmas… in nineteen forty-eight.
We had no money…, and my  Papa, was so sick… he didn’t even know the date.
My Granny Mama wasn’t feeling well…, seems like Christmas might have to wait.
And if old Santa even came at all…, he’d probably show up late.

No…, Christmas wasn’t going to be like all our Christmases before.

No one much wanted … to decorate that year
Wasn’t going be like Christmas… wasn’t much Christmas cheer.
Then my Mama set about… to proudly trim a little tree
Thankful for the neighbor who cut and gave it to us free.

Mama wrapped her little tree… with gold and silver rope.
placed her special angel on the top!… she said, “to give us hope”,
like the angel from the Bible announcing Jesus’ birth
telling all the shepherds of Good News that’s come to earth.

I remember helping Mama… decorate our little Christmas tree.
And I remember especially…, all those joys it brought to me.
It had loads of shiny lights… that glimmered all around.
And Papa’s homemade ornaments… that almost touched the ground.

Our decorated Christmas tree… stood in its usual place.
Over by the window…‘cause we didn’t have much space
We had no chimney in our home… that Santa could come down
So I hung my cotton stocking by the door… just in case he came around.

But Christmas wasn’t going to be like all our Christmases before

I remember Mama… made her breakfast Mac and cheese
It was her specialty… we all were very pleased
I remember Papa peeking out his bedroom door
And saying maybe… Maybe Christmas might be like before

But, No, this Christmas wasn’t meant to be… like all our Christmases before

I remember Mickey Mouse… and the watch I got that year
And my cotton stocking… packed with Christmas cheer,
crammed with apples and oranges and walnuts and stuff
And good hard ribbon candy, plenty sticky… sure enough.

It must have been old Santa… who left those gifts for me,
‘cause no one had no money… and stuff like that’s not free.
But sometimes… like at Christmas… miracles do take place
And seems like miracles always put a smile on a little boy’s face.

But Christmas ‘forty-eight wasn’t like all our Christmases before.

So many years have passed since that Christmas ‘forty eight
But Miracles still happen…and that’s cause to celebrate
I remember Mama… telling… the wonder of Jesus’ birth
And Papa listening closely, his last few days on earth.

Ahhh.. Christmas ‘Forty-Eight…it came and went so quick
And Papa kept us laughing just like he wasn’t sick
Then February nineteen forty-nine, his cancer staked its claim
Christmases… ever after… would never be the same.

No…, Christmas wasn’t going to be like all our Christmases before.

Just a side note, one Christmas when our family celebrated together, I bought some cotton stockings like my Granny Mama used to wear, and I fixed each grandchild a stocking with the same fruits and nuts and stuff I got when I was a child. They thought it was funny… I smiled at the memory.
You see… I Remember… Christmas ‘forty-eight…

christmas-card-sayings-remember-when

I’m pretty sure I know what my Papa meant when he said better times are coming.

Thank you for allowing me to share some of my thoughts with you.
From me and all my family,
I hope you have a very miraculously, and memorable Christmas.

Christmas Dream

Hopefully, it isn’t too late for you to take this last minute effort to set things straight.

Santa laughing

 

I had this weird and crazy dream again,
about an old grey-headed mirthful man.
he had a hoary look upon his placid face
yet not one… whisker… twisted out of place.

In my dream, he called my name,
Curious to know who was to blame?
He said my name was on his naughty list
This Christmas, he’s sure my house he’ll miss.

Santa and computer

In my dream I wonder, “Just who is this guy?”
I’m pretty all-fired sure we don’t see eye to eye
There’s no naughty stuff to which I will confess
And if my name is on your list you need to reassess.

In my dream, this stout and rotund chap
has caused a bit of anguish and somewhat of a flap.
These so-called naughty things he has inside his file?
nothing but lies and frankly…, it makes me smile.

It’s time to put this stupid dream on pause
What’s your name? I ask, He said…, “it’s Clause.
First name’s Santa, just to be exact;
Your numbers up, your Christmas bag’s not packed”.

In my dream, I wonder can I fix this matter?
Maybe leave some treats on a silver platter?
Perhaps a glass of golden chardonnay
will make this awkward crisis fade away.

But wine’s not guaranteed to fix your sordid case
You’re naughtier than me, he’s not coming to your place.
‘Cause in my dream, I see the lengthy “naughty” list.
My name’s erased, but your name still exists.

So, here’s a plan that might not seem too weird
go sit in Santa’s lap and smoooooth… his bushy beard
Check out the gleaming in his sparkling eyes
And if that doesn’t work, then improvise.

Santas lap

I won’t be describing all the intricate details.
I can tell by observation, your tactics did prevail
I don’t know the tricks in your repertoire.
But your name’s erased, and that was no small chore.

So, it looks to be a Merry Christmas after all.
with Christmas trees decked out in shiny Christmas balls.
Be sure to leave him cookies, we’ll surely wear a smile
since he wiped our names from his lengthy file.

Merry Christmas

P.S.

Glad we made it through this year and so we bid adieu
but Old Man Santa’s list will soon begin anew
I’m starting out from scratch to mend my naughty stuff
I hope you do as well, and hope that it’s enough.

                                                                                                            Pete Robertson
© 2013

 

Thanks, for Giving

Thanksgiving!

 

Today we  celebrate Thanksgiving. It seems that the early focus on commercial Christmas has removed  the true meaning of Thanksgiving. but look around you, there is someone who would appreciate a word of thanks. The grocery clerk, the construction worker, the bank teller, the pastor; there are many individuals you may consider in your world. Seeing a smile on another person’s face will bring a smile to your own. Do we really understand the significance of this word? Breaking it down, we know what the word, “Thanks”, means.  “A word of appreciation for something received or for an act of kindness”. It is an expression of gratitude. But, does it come with sincerity or is it just another word in our vocabulary?

The word, “Giving”, means to make a gift of material value or perform an act of kindness. So “Thanks” and “Giving” are combined to form not just a word, but also, an act of expression.  However, it seems to me to be more fitting to say, “Thanks, for Giving.” In the true sense of poetry, a list can be a poem. So too, can the alphabet. Here is my list of the ABC’s:   

The Alphabet of Thanks

Thanks, for giving…

Apples, I love apple pies,

Babies, for the twinkling in their eyes,

Car horns, to sound a warning noise,

Dogs, for fetching sticks and squeaky toys.

Elbows to bend and wash my face,

Fathers, for showing children grace

Golf, a senseless sport that doth confound,

Hamsters, for making little wheels go round.

Thanks, for giving…

Ice cream, the special homemade kind,

Jello, a spineless gel that quivers the mind,

Kindergarten, for learning all I ever need,

Limousines, and drivers who don’t know how to speed.

Maple Syrup, a tonic for the tooth,

Noses that grow considerably after youth,

Onions, a noxious kind of root,

Pajamas, not your usual, business suit.

Thanks, for giving…

Quilts, pieced together with spirited devotion,

Romance, passionate love set in motion,

Salt, crystallized preservative to suit the taste,

Texas, homeland, native born and God placed.

Ukuleles, a miniature of tuneful sound,

Valleys, and the mountains that surround,

Waltzes, my favorite kind of dance,

Xylophones, instruments of chance,

Yankees even, but I’m thankful still,

And lastly,

Zenith, the high point in God’s perfect will.

 

These words have no special or significant meaning. Your words may be different, write your own alphabet of thanks. Start with the Gift of God, His only begotten Son, Jesus. I am thankful He thought about me. I hope you are as well.

My Flag is Still Flying

Memories can evoke a wide variety of thoughts. They have a way of inducing our mind back to a time when life was simpler, or so we believe. A statement by an old friend or an old photo can stir emotions and reverberate up and down your spine, from the bottom to the top, eventually reaching the frontal lobe. It is this part of the brain that suggests we look back on our life and of those who made it possible. Thus, it is very appropriate on this Veteran’s Day that we remind ourselves of those events of years past and of those who still serve.

None could have made it more possible than the veterans of military service. I think of my father, J.C. Morrison, who did not enter military service in WWII, but served in a civilian capacity at Dow Chemical in Freeport, Texas. I think of my Father-in-Law, Lucious Maddux, serving in a construction battalion in the South Pacific, better known as SeaBees. I think of my uncle Homer Morrison, who served in the U.S. Army in the European forces. He served throughout the war effort without a scratch only to be killed in a tornado six months after the war’s end. These three individuals served in different parts of the world yet with the same goals in mind. Freedom! There are countless numbers of veterans who served and many lost their lives. You know someone who did. I pay tribute to your friends, acquaintances, family members and to you for that service.

And I think of those from my home town who served and those who lost their lives during the Vietnam War. From Palestine, Tx:

1LT JAMES CHRISTOPHER BECKER, CAPT TONIE LEE ENGLAND Jr., PFC JAMES AUBREY HULSEY, PFC DONALD RAY JOHNSON, PFC EARL DAWSON LAWRENCE, PO3 AMON FRANKLIN MOORE Jr., CWO TERRELL LEE RAWLINSON, 2LT JAMES TUCKER STOVALL, LCPL ROGER ALLEN THOMPSON, SP4 THOMAS DARRELL WILLIAMSON.

“Young men, most around my age or younger, who fought for our freedoms and as I have said in “My Flag is Flying, is Yours?” took my place. Had I been born only a few years later, I would have been in Vietnam. With each news report of casualties, I hurt. I lost shipmates, classmates and family members. My country was at war.

Today, I feel humbled each time I see or hear of any veteran who passes from this life. Yet, Vietnam holds a special place in my heart, not because I served, but because someone else did and I know that person took my place.”

Take a moment today and remind yourselves of the heroic actions of our military men and women. They deserve the honor and respect. And to those who are serving today, my hat’s off to you. God Bless and thank you.

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