“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It's that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.

--Robert Ricciardelli”

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wednesday Hero: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Olga Elliott

Capt. Lyle L. Gordon
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Olga Elliott
U.S. Army

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Olga Elliott, a Multi-National Corps-Iraq human resources technician, poses with MNC-I Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Grippe after finishing the Bobby Crim 10-Miler Aug. 22, at Camp Victory in Baghdad. Elliott, a San Diego native, finished the race in 1 hour, 9 minutes, 57 seconds, earning her top female honors.


Photo Courtesy United States Army

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Monday, December 28, 2009

The Lexiphanic Version of THe Night Before Christmas

(I found this in my email box...it's a bit after the holidays...but still worth the read...)


'Twas the Night Before Christmas' as written by a technical writer for a firm that does Gov't contracting...

'Twas the nocturnal segment of the diurnal period preceding the annual Yuletide celebration, and throughout our place of residence, kinetic activity was not in evidence among the possessors of this potential, including that species of domestic rodent known as Mus musculus. Hosiery was meticulously suspended from the forward edge of the wood burning caloric apparatus, pursuant to our anticipatory pleasure regarding an imminent visitation from an eccentric philanthropist among whose folkloric appellations is the honorific title of St. Nicholas.

The prepubescent siblings, comfortably ensconced in their respective accommodations of repose, were experiencing subconscious visual hallucinations of variegated fruit confections moving rhythmically through their cerebrums.

My conjugal partner and I, attired in our nocturnal head coverings, were about to take slumberous advantage of the hibernal darkness when upon the avenaceous exterior portion of the grounds there ascended such a cacophony of dissonance that I felt compelled to arise with alacrity from my place of repose for the purpose of ascertaining the precise source thereof.

Hastening to the casement, I forthwith opened the barriers sealing this fenestration, noting thereupon that the lunar brilliance without, reflected as it was on the surface of a recent crystalline precipitation, might be said to rival that of the solar meridian itself - thus permitting my incredulous optical sensory organs to behold a miniature airborne runnered conveyance drawn by eight diminutive specimens of the genus Rangifer, piloted by a minuscule, aged chauffeur so ebullient and nimble that it became instantly apparent to me that he was indeed our anticipated caller. With his ungulate motive power travelling at what may possibly have been more vertiginous velocity than patriotic alar predators, he vociferated loudly, expelled breath musically through contracted labia, and addressed each of the octet by his or her respective cognomen - "Now Daasher, now Dancer..." et al. - guiding them to the uppermost exterior level of our abode, through which structure I could readily distinguish the concatenations of each of the 32 cloven pedal extremities.

As I retracted my cranium from its erstwhile location, and was performing a 180-degree pivot, our distinguished visitant achieved - with utmost celerity and via a downward leap - entry by way of the smoke passage. He was clad entirely in animal pelts soiled by the ebony residue from oxidations of carboniferous fuels which had accumulated on the walls thereof. His resemblance to a street vendor I attributed largely to the plethora of assorted playthings which he bore dorsally in a commodious cloth receptacle.

His orbs were scintillant with reflected luminosity, while his submaxillary dermal indentations gave every evidence of engaging amiability. The capillaries of his malar regions and nasal appurtenance were engorged with blood which suffused the subcutaneous layers, the former approximating the coloration of Albion's floral emblem, the latter that of the Prunus avium, or sweet cherry. His amusing sub- and supralabials resembled nothing so much as a common loop knot, and their ambient hirsute facial adornment appeared like small, tabular and columnar crystals of frozen water.

Clenched firmly between his incisors was a smoking piece whose grey fumes, forming a tenuous ellipse about his occiput, were suggestive of a decorative seasonal circlet of holly. His visage was wider than it was high, and when he waxed audibly mirthful, his corpulent abdominal region undulated in the manner of impectinated fruit syrup in a hemispherical container. He was, in short, neither more nor less than an obese, jocund, multigenarian gnome, the optical perception of whom rendered me visibly frolicsome despite every effort to refrain from so being. By rapidly lowering and then elevating one eyelid and rotating his head slightly to one side, he indicated that trepidation on my part was groundless.

Without utterance and with dispatch, he commenced filling the aforementioned appended hosiery with various of the aforementioned articles of merchandise extracted from his aforementioned previously dorsally transported cloth receptacle. Upon completion of this task, he executed an abrupt about- face, placed a single manual digit in lateral juxtaposition to his olfactory organ, inclined his cranium forward in a gesture of leave-taking, and forthwith effected his egress by renegotiating (in reverse) the smoke passage.

He then propelled himself in a short vector onto his conveyance, directed a musical expulsion of air through his contracted oral sphincter to the antlered quadrupeds of burden, and proceeded to soar aloft in a movement hitherto observable chiefly among the seed-bearing portions of a common weed. But I overheard his parting exclamation, audible immediately prior to his vehiculation beyond the limits of visibility: "Ecstatic Yuletide to the planetary constituency, and to that self same assemblage, my sincerest wishes for a salubriously beneficial and gratifyingly pleasurable period between sunset and dawn."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday Hero: Merry Christmas And God Bless

With only two days until Christmas, I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and to remind you to keep our men and women that are not able to be with their friends and families this time of year in your thoughts a prayers. They do so much without ever asking for anything in return.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday Hero: Milbloggers & Army Master Sgt. C. J. Grisham

This Weeks Post Was Suggested & Written By Greta


This week's Wednesday Hero is both an individual, and a group. The group we honor are the milblogs: the military blogs, spouse blogs, and support blogs who bring you the news and information you can get nowhere else. The information and news that matter to you. The individual we honor today is C. J. Grisham.

Army Master Sgt. C. J. Grisham has always led from the front, from combat that earned him the Bronze Star with V device, to doing right by the men he led. His honesty won him readership and respect, from the White House on down. Yet, when he stood up for his children in school, his command did not stand by him. You can read more at Military Times to get the full story.

Please donate via PayPal; or you can log into PayPal on your own, go to the send money page, and put in his email: dj_chcknhawk AT yahoo DOT com; or, you can send donations directly to:

Grisham Legal Fund
c/o Redstone Federal Credit Union
220 Wynn Drive
Huntsville, AL 35893
Please write "Grisham Legal Fund" in the memo line if you use this option.


Milblogs have been a vital link in getting accurate news and information about the military, and military operations, to you. Today, many milblogs are gone and others are under attack from within and without. Today, you have the chance to imagine a world without milblogs, and to do something about it. Make your voice heard by writing your congressional representatives and others, and by making donations as you see fit.

The battle for freedom of speech and the marketplace of ideas is fought on many fronts and in many ways. Without your help, the battle may well be lost.


These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Godly Thoughts On Environmentalism

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

If God gave mankind the responsibility to rule, that is manage, the Earth, why aren't we leading the charge for environmentalism? Why are we not demanding corporations set aside their desire for profits and make them accountable for managing the resources they use? Instead, we look at the ungodly who are doing so and protest their ungodliness, all the while letting them take over our God given responsibility.

The New Age movement is worshiping the Earth. And, we point and say “evil”, but refuse to fulfill the original call placed upon man in the Garden of Eden. Why? The only reason I have ever heard is that we must not worship the creation, only the Creator. This is right and proper. However, we are called to love more than serve. When you truly love someone, you do the things that make them happy. And, you do it, not because you have to do them, Instead, you do those things to see the one you love smile.

If we really love God, why are we not doing more things that make Him smile? He asked to manage and care for His creation. Why are we not demanding this, along with caring for the unborn, the poor, abandoned, neglected?

Perhaps Paul wrote more prophetically than anyone previously thought when he said:

Romans 8:19-21. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

When will we bring a smile to our Lord and Saviors face by doing what makes Him, and all creation, happy?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Wednesday Hero: Spc. Michael P. Garton

Spc. Michael P. Garton & Spc. Rolando R. FloresSpc. Michael P. Garton & Spc. Rolando R. Flores
U.S. Army


Spc. Michael P. Garton, a gunner with the Personal Security Detachment, with the 36th Sustainment Brigade out of Temple, Texas, and a Texarkana, Texas, native, relaxes on a Humvee and shares a laugh with Spc. Rolando R. Flores, a gunner with the PSD and a San Antonio native, during a break in preparations for a mission Nov. 23 in the maintenance yard at Contingency Operating Location Adder, Iraq.



Photo Courtesy U.S. Army

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Questions of Perspective

On this Thanksgiving, as a man of Faith I would like to share a profound thought. Are we living in times of darkness or Glory? The choice truly is up to us. Yes, things are going bad to worse. The rule of man is continually and increasing degree replacing the rule of God. And, I do mean the rule of God. The Church was not meant to rule, but to influence. But, I digress. Yes, all manner of evil things are occurring throughout the world. So, yes darkness is increasing.

BUT, at the same time, all of this was foretold. So, that makes it the unfolding of the will and plan of God. And, that makes all of it glorious because God is revealing Himself in our days for all who are willing to recognize Him.

How you view it, and how you react to it, is up to you. We can see the darkness and revel in God's glory, while letting Christ and the Holy Spirit work through us to influence others. Or, we can point to everything evil, decry how bad it is, and demand people change. Personally, I prefer to focus on glory rather than darkness.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday Hero: Rear Adm. Ned Deets

Rear Adm. Ned DeetsRear Adm. Ned Deets
U.S. Navy


Rear Adm. Ned Deets speaks with Frank Chebatar, president of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, at the conclusion of the base consolidation ceremony. The two bases consolidated to form Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Fort Story.



These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wednesday Hero: Staff Sgt. Dennisur Thompson

Staff Sgt. Dennisur ThompsonStaff Sgt. Dennisur Thompson
U.S. Army

Staff Sgt. Dennisur Thompson, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, overcompensates a left turn while on a driving simulator as a part of the Save a Life Tour in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army



These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Media Let's Obama Slide...Again...And Again...And...

Obama has been bragging about wrong stimulus job numbers. And, they have admitted it. Now, they are working to correct the reporting. And, as the article clearly shows, the media thinks that's ok since the administration is working to correct it. It was wonderful that the same treatment was given to Republicans and non-liberals. It's always wonderful to see that there really is no favortism in the media.

Meanwhile, the media prenes over Obama for honoring fallen soldiers. The big point of the article is:

The dramatic image of a president on the tarmac was a portrait not witnessed in years. Former President George W. Bush spent lots of time with grieving military families but never went to Dover to meet the remains coming off the cargo plane. Obama did so with the weight of knowing he may soon send more troops off to war.
Personally, I would rather have my President come see me personally if my child had died on combat than just have a symbolic salute. Let's be honest. Which is harder, dealing with grieving people faced to face, as Bush did, or merely saluting the dead, as Obama did? But, once again, the media praises mediocrity and selfishness.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday Hero: Spc. Justin Slagle

Spc. Justin SlagleSpc. Justin Slagle
U.S. Army

Spc. Justin Slagle returns to Forward Operating Base Lane in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter after an air assault mission in the Zabul province of Afghanistan, Oct. 15, 2009. Even as leaders in Washington struggle with the next steps in Afghanistan, troops there are moving to better protect the Afghan people by separating them from Taliban influence and intimidation.


Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday Heros: Volleyball

Sailors & Marines Playing Volleyball With Local School ChildrenU.S. Navy

Sailors and Marines assigned to the amphibious dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46) play volleyball with students from Sangley Point National High School during a lunch break at a community service project. Tortuga, the amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) are participating in Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) 2009. PHIBLEX is designed to improve interoperability, increase readiness and develop professional relationships between the U.S. military and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.</center></I>

Photo Courtesy Navy.mil; Taken By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Geronimo Aquino

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday Hero: Cpl. Benjamin S. Kopp

This Week's Post Was Suggested By Beth

Cpl. Benjamin S. KoppCpl. Benjamin S. Kopp
21 years old from Rosemont, Minnesota
3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
July 18, 2009
U.S. Army

Ben Kopp has been a fighter since the day he was born. When he was born his mother was given morphine to stop her labor so the doctors could deliver her via a cesarean section. But it caused his heart rate to slow and when he was born he wasn't breathing. But he recovered to the amazement of everyone. "Ben has always been up for a challenge," said his mother, Jill Stephenson. "He came into the world a fighter."

On July 10, 2009, Cpl. Benjamin Kopp was wounded in the Helmand province of Afghanistan. He was hit in the knee that hit his popliteal artery and the loss of blood caused him to go into cardiac arrest on the operating table at a battalion surgical center. As a result of his injuries, Cpl. Kopp developed swelling in his brain was put into an induced coma to try and save his life. But he died on July 18.

But his service didn't end with his passing. Upon his death, by his own desire, his organs were donated to people in need saving their lives.

"Please continue to say prayers for all of the men and women who so proudly serve our country," Stephenson wrote online. "Ben had a deep love of country and has just left a legacy of heroism for all of us to cherish. Be as proud of him as I was as his mother."

You can read much more about Cpl. Benjamin S. Kopp here.


These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Myth-conceptions About Government and Finance

For those who want to know how complex some of the labor and retirement laws are, check this out: Participants and Advisors Are Hurt By High 401K Fees. Apparently the retirement plans have high fees the advisors never get any part of, and may not be aware of. But, that's not the kicker. To find out what those fees are, you have to file a US Department of Labor form. In other words, we are being fleeced by our retirement plans, the government is aware of it—and has made it more difficult for us to find out (kind of like the Freedom of Information Act filing requirements). And, we trust Washington to straighten this whole thing out with more rules and regulations? Hmmm...

Then there is the explosion over the insurance industry report indicating health care insurance costs will rise if the government plan is enacted. No surprise, the Democrats are claiming it's self serving of the industry to publish the report, according to a Reuters news report. This after an AP report that Democrats were scrambling because of the report.

But, let's consider what may be false assumptions by the Democrats. Apparently, savings from cheaper insurance plans are begin considered in the cost-benefit calculations by the Democrats:

Critics of the study said it tilted those assumptions too far toward a worst case, ignoring the bill's potential to curb costs.

For example, the tax on high-cost health insurance that Baucus is proposing could lead employers and individuals to switch to lower-cost plans and avoid the levy. If that happens, there would be no additional costs to pass on to consumers.
Now, I am not a whiz at this. But, a couple of things become quickly apparent from this. First, does anyone else believe that a tax is supposed to lower costs? In business terms taxes are costs, and they get factored into price. Second, cheaper insurance plans also means higher out of pocket expenses. How does that translate to savings? When insurance premiums are factored, they are based on the likelihood of payout. Escalating risk by forcing absolute coverage increases payouts. If you don't believe me, consider the insurance cost and premium escalation for coastal home owners. Does anyone really believe it would be different for health insurance?

As far as I can tell, the plan does not limit costs, despite all the rhetoric. It adds them, through taxation and increased business risk. Previous reports from CNN indicate that at best the plan will decrease rate of cost increase by about a third of what it needs to reduce it by. That type of change will merely prolong the problem, while increasing the deficit. And, one important thing to remember: government reports of deficit control are almost always wrong when it includes spending increases. Instead it merely prolongs it.

Democrats and liberals are selling us a bigger bill of goods. And, unfortunately, this is a huge social hot button. With the volume of public support and demand for this, government is likely to win. Which means, we the American public are buying that bill of goods.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Wednesday Hero: Sgt. Michael Egan

Sgt. Michael EganSgt. Michael Egan

36 years old from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

104th Cavalry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania Army National Guard

September 19, 2005

U.S. Army

News of Egan’s death came to Pennsauken shortly after 6 a.m. Tuesday, Krista Egan, Sgt. Egan's sister-in-law, said. His mother, Irene, was on the telephone when an Army sergeant walked up to the door. "My mother-in-law was talking on the telephone to Mike’s wife, Maria, when he came. Maria had just got the news. The Army sergeant told my mother-in-law it was his first time notifying a family."

Sgt. Egan served in the Marine Corps for eight years, was a civilian for a year, then joined the National Guard. As a Marine, he had been previously served in Afghanistan.

"He was well-liked by everyone," Patrick Egan, Sgt. Egan's brother, said.

Sgt. Michael Egan was killed when an IED detonated near his vehicle while on patrol in Ramadi. Also killed in the attack were Spc. William Evans, 22, of Hallstead, PA, Spc. William Fernandez, 37, of Reading, PA and Lt. Mark Dooley of the Vermont National Guard.

Information Was Found On And Copied From MilitaryCity.com & You Can Read Much More About Sgt. Michael Egan Here.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Global Warming, Unemployment, and History Repeats

In the latest salvo by global warming alarmists, it is being claimed that the economic downturn is an opportunity to build a low carbon future. China and others are angry that western nations are trying to keep the emission targets from being legally binding. But, those same nations come uder no real threat from the plans, which has frustrated industrialized nations such as the US.

Developed countries, which it defines as those in the OECD and/or EU, will have to slash energy-related emissions by 17% in the next 11 years and by 50% by 2030.

Other major emitters such as China, India and Brazil would have to keep the rise in their emissions to 14% above current levels by 2030.

Countries in earlier stages of development would be able to increase their greenhouse gas output.
Now, I understand the idea is top make it economically feasible for developing countries to develop, without stifling them through the high costs of limiting carbon emmissions. But, the idea is flawed. At what point do those nations suddenly become accountable for these standards? And, what will the cost be at that point to convert their industries? Certainly it won't be cheaper than it is to set them up now. Or should we consider that China and Idia are now the greatest carbon polluters on the planet? Yet, we will make the industrialized nations pay for all of their growth. At what cost to them? No noe seems to care. This type of couble standard is why many opponents scoff at such plans.

Meanwhile, the Obama adminstration and the press keep telling us things are getting better. And, many Americans believe them. But, at the same time, there are other stories that are slowly planting the seeds things are not so good. Time Magazine had an article on unemployment last month. The title ON THE COVER says it all: Why Double Digit UnemploymentMay Be Here To Stay. America has been conditioned to trust the media, who only reports certain things by the way, and reports them in certain ways. It's kind of like the Townhall meetings on Healthcare Reform--every question was prescripted. If you are wondering how it is done, how people are being convinced out their firm beliefs of ethics, religion, or whatever, you should go read the 2006 book Influencer: the Power to Change Anything. It's very informative and eye opening.

You should also learn to pay attention to legislative history in new ways. In case you missed it a couple weeks ago, there was an indication of things to come in the news. It seems French President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to tax bank financial transactions. Now, the goal is to limit risky behavior. And, other EU officials say there is "less than minimal" chances of it happening. But, when it comes to government, if it gets proposed sooner or later something like it goes into law. After all, this particular tax was first proposed in the US during the 1970s.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday Hero: 1st Sgt. Jose San Nicolas Crisostomo

This Week's Post Was Suggested By Cindy

1st Sgt. Jose San Nicolas Crisostomo
1st Sgt. Jose San Nicolas Crisostomo
59 years old from Spanaway, Washington
August 18, 2009
U.S. Army

Sorry for the presentation of this post, but haven't been feeling well and don't feel much like typing. You can read Sgt. Crisostomo's story here and here.


These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Economics, Politics, and Smokescreens

There was an AP news reports yesterday declaring that Social Security will pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes the next two years. The AP also reported that regulators shut down the 95th U.S. bank to fail this year as loan defaults rise in the worst financial climate in decades. Meanwhile, the New York Times reported that job seekers exceed job openings 6-1. All of which leaves me wondering why are so many Americans are buying the media blitz and Obama's declarations that things are improving? It's time for Americans to pay attention to the facts being reported by mainstream media, and sorting them out of the hype and distractions these reports are filled with.

Meanwhile, for those who are complacent about their freedoms, you should be aware that Presidential Power to shut down the Internet is being debated in Congress. This comes at the same time that the Justice Department says Federal Computer program to watch computer use is no problem...legally or otherwise. Privacy groups disagree.

But, still, we sit back and listen as one government move after another removes freedoms and personal rights in the name of the public good. The thing to recall is the Socialist party leaders said in the 1944 that they did not need to run for office anymore because the Democratic Party had adopted their ideas.

Six-time Socialist Party candidate for president of the U.S., Norman Mattoon Thomas, said in a speech in 1944 that "The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But, under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened."
Then, he went on to say, "I no longer need to run as a presidential candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democratic Party has adopted our platform."

Even worse, by 1948 all items of the Socialist platform had been co-opted by either the Republicans or the Democrats. Obviously, the goal is to have government in charge of everything. For example, healthcare, while important, does not have to be run by the government. But, both parties are talking about how important it is for the government to be in charge of how healthcare is handled. And, the media is complicit, since they rarely if ever give equal space to those who oppose it. We should all probably spend more energy remembering that...as we consider both political parties, coming elections, and what the media feeds us.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday Hero: Lt. John Madea

Lt. John Madea
Lt. John Madea
U.S. Navy

Lt. John Madea holds his daughter as she is baptized with holy water from the ship's bell of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46). This is the fourth person baptized aboard Tortuga since the ship's christening in 1988, and her name will be inscribed inside the bell as a tradition of the U.S. Navy.


Photo Courtesy U.S. Navy
Taken By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Geronimo Aquino

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Unethics of Government, Lead by our President

Citezens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a left-leaning watchdog group, has released its annual report on the most corrupt members of Congress. And, strangely enough, most of the top-ten are Democrats.



On the subject of ethics issues and government officials, And according to Liveleak.com, Obama spent $20.3M to bring Hamas "refugees" to America. Well, it was part of H.R. 1388, which passed by the way. Don’t believe me? Here is the Federal Register entry on it…

Federal Register: February 4, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 22)
DOCID: fr04fe09-106 FR Doc E9-2488
Presidential Documents
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
NOTICE: Part II
DOCID: fr04fe09-106
DOCUMENT SUMMARY:

[[Page 6115]]
Presidential Determination No. 2009-15 of January 27, 2009
Go look it up for yourself.



Obama also claims the fines for not carrying health insurance are not taxes. But, according to fact checking that’s a lie.
...the language of Democratic bills to revamp the nation's health care system doesn't quibble. Both the House bill and the Senate Finance Committee proposal clearly state that the fines would be a tax.”
It’s totally amazing to me how many times our President can lie, and not get called for it by the media. Left wing political watchdog groups I can understand skipping over it. But, the media not only downplays the all, but spends huge amounts of time attempting to marginalize anyone who tries to bring these lies to the light of day. How do I know? Check out this quote from later in the article:
Some liberals acknowledge that Obama might be vulnerable on the insurance requirement. But they say most people will understand as long as the legislation provides enough of a subsidy to make the coverage affordable. That's a central issue this week as the Senate Finance Committee starts voting on legislation.
Not only that, it goes on to quote a left wing group as saying whether it’s a tax or not is “a metaphysical question.” And, the media never even questioned that approach.



There were two other articles today that really caught my attention. The media and the President have been touting how much the economy is improving. They have been doing it a lot. So, explain today’s article about “10 Companies Approaching Bankruptcy”. It would appear with these big companies so close to bankruptcy that the economy is not as sound as our leaders would ahve us believe.

This was quickly followed by the article titled “FDIC Might Need To Borrow From Banks.” Turns out the FDIC doesn’t want to tap it’s credit line at the FED. So, they are trying to make banks foot the bill. Of course, the money would be borrowed, meaning banks would get some income off of it. And, borrowing from the big banks is just one option, but it is being seriously considered.
“Regulators also are considering levying a special emergency fee on all banks, charging regular fees early or tapping a $100 billion credit line with the U.S. Treasury, the officials said.”
Perhaps I’m just a bit na├»ve, but, aren’t these banks in danger of failing due to bad lending, and so forth? Especially the big banks? The same banks that are being told not to repay their TARP funds due to possible solvency issues? And, the government is now going to borrow from the same banks it bailed out?

Monday, September 21, 2009

The REAL Man-made God!

I had a really interesting…and frightening…thought today. But, have you ever considered how government is becoming like a god?

Let’s think about this for a minute. When things went wrong, people used to cry out to their deity of choice for relief. Who do we cry out to now? The government! Most religions have some clause where you give some percentage of your income to them to placate the anger of your particular deity. So what do we have now? The IRS! Most religions go to great lengths to keep you from finding out about other religions. So, what do we have? Separation church and state…where you can’t discuss other things or have government funding if whatever you does so! And, let’s not forget that every religion has all kinds of rules for proper behavior to keep your deity happy…or at least less mad at you. Dare we even discuss the size and complexity of legal code coming out of Washington (or whatever other world capital) these days? We can even carry out the Biblical analogy and say we have our own Pharisees and Saducees (feuding sects, a.k.a. Republicans and Democrats). This religion even has it’s own mouthpiece to declare it’s worthiness and greatness! Enter Mainstream media (MSM). And, finally, like all relgions, it wants to be incontrol of everything. So…we get nationalization of business and industry!

I tell you, it’s a religious monopoly! Government is forcing us all into religious service! It shuts down or marginalizes other religious views, defines proper behavior and activity, and demands out obeisance by threatening to not meet our needs. If that isn’t a man-made god, I don’t know what is.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wednesday Hero: PFC Thomas Lowell Tucker

This Week's Post Is Via Gazing At The Flag

PFC Thomas Lowell Tucker
PFC Thomas Lowell Tucker
24 years old from Madras, Oregon
B Company, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division
June 16, 2006
U.S. Army

Flag Gazer has a great post up on the dedication of the PFC Thomas Tucker memorial.


These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Monday, September 14, 2009

Around The World, And Healthcare Non-Reform?

In world news, Germany faces energy decisions that are changing power lines (pun intended). Due to be phased out by 2022 after the Greens passed legislation in 2000, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is trying to revamp and start construction again. Despite the expense of building nuclear plants, they are cheap to run. And, with oil prices still around $70 a barrel, and solar plants still only providing a small portion of power, the attractiveness of cheap power will be hard to ignore. It could also mean Germany misses the greenhouse gas targets it has to achieve. These same issues face Americans, as well. Is there room for solar fields to generate power? Is it possible for America to make a real difference in pollution emissions, besides the new tax structure of the cap-and-trade system currently making it’s way to the Senate?

Closer to home, Russia is financing arms for Hugo Chavez. This time the amount is $2.2 billion, bringing the total value of Russian weapons contracts to almost $4 billion. Chavez is claiming he needs them for “self-defense” against American attacks, now that the US has access to Columbian military bases. Many conservatives in America thought that with President Obama’s election and the power of the Left emerging that there would be a reduction in Chavez’s anti-US rhetoric. Obviously that has not been the case. More distrurbing than the weapons contracts is news that the Venezuelan leader is going to use Russian aid to develop nuclear power. This could easily lead to an Iran like standoff in the west.

Here at home, the big issue is healthcare reform, followed closely by financial reform. Both are high on Obama’s agenda, as well as Democrats in general. Shawn Tully has a series of articles that grade the proposed healthcare reforms. The 8th in the series covers Obama’s latest speech. Tulley’s overall picture paints something along the lines of no improvement, other than more government control through subsidies, giving non-profits and government agencies a huge leg up on private insurers. This follows on the heels of reports indicating that reform won’t reduce cost of healthcare. Now, there are two goals to healthcare reform. The first is to provide healthcare to the uninsured. The second is to cut down on the rising cost of healthcare, which is a major reason so many are uninsured. IF the legislation goes through without reducing costs, what is gained beyond more government domination of private industry? Couple that with the necessity of raising taxes to pay for it, and it’s a wonder so many Americans are in favor of it. What legislation actually comes out of Washington remains to be seen, with much debate about whether a public option will actually be available. But, it will be very important to watch where and how the costs are covered—if they can be.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11 Morning Report

Today is mostly a day of remembrance. When i first started this blog, I wrote something on 9-11. Those thoughts apply today, just as much as they did in 2006. So, before going on to current events, I ask you once again: Where Were you?

There was a pretty good article by Robert Tracinski yesterday about what President Obama is saying, and has said, regarding healthcare legislation. I would behoove us all to pay attention to what has been said, what is being said, and how it has changed during the so far short length of his administration. For example:

he assures us that "My guiding principle is, and always has been, that consumers do better when there is choice and competition." So how is it that he was recorded only six years ago describing himself as an advocate of a Canadian style "single payer" system — the very opposite of "choice and competition"?

This goes nicely with a great ironic little cartoon yesterday:




You can hear a lot of dissenting voices on what Obama did and did not say at the NYTimes article ”What was missing from Obama’s speech”. But, it merely echoes what I said the other day. The plan throws more money at the symptoms, but does nothing to actually control costs. Put another way, it makes great political hoopla, but actually doesn’t accomplish the goal. And,that basically means the conservative claims of merely being about government control and taxation could be the real truth of what is going on.


Meanwhile, there is the war effort going on in Afghanistan. And, thanks to so many months and years of anti-Iraq involvement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can truly say there is little support for increased involvement. That is sad. The U.S. has once again entered into Afghan life, and once again—this time because of Democrats—is deciding to run away before the full requirement is complete. The U.S. did it under Regan after the Russians gave up, and that let the Taliban take over. I wonder what will happen if the U.S. walks out this time? And how the Democrats will save their face. You should consider the sobering conclusions and thoughts of Michael Yon. He started recognizing the problems and potentials in Afghanistan before the pundits and politicians—just as he did in Iraq.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More Unkept Promises...

Did anyone see the latest ideas from Congress on limits to healthcare? Yep. This makes good stuff available to those UNDER 25, but not over.

The measure -- offered by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont. -- would impose new fees on some healthcare industry segments to help offset the estimated $880 billion in initial costs over 10 years, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The plan would provide a lower-cost insurance plan for catastrophic coverage only to people up to age 25, people familiar with the outline said. It also would expand less comprehensive Medicaid coverage to millions of low-income people who now are ineligible.
With Medicaid losing money, how is this going to be funded? The question still waits a full answer.

A related article at the NYTimes adds a bit more detail about Baucus’ proposal:
To help finance the legislation, Mr. Baucus is expected to propose a new tax on insurance companies selling policies with premiums far exceeding the national average, roughly $13,000 a year for family coverage.
Government healthcare is no longer a government program, apparently. It is a commercial industry killing plan. Risk management implies that higher risk has higher costs…but not according to the government’s coming “guidelines.”

Meanwhile, there is a petition circulating to drum up support for House Bill HR676 to make establishing health care a civil right, giving it equal status with race, sex, and creed. The petition specifically states the Bill
Whereas HR676 provides for Medicare for All, a universal, single payer, not-for-profit health care system which means the end of premiums, copays and deductibles; and

Whereas we are already paying for a universal standard of care but are not getting it because one of every three dollars in the health care system goes to the activities of the for-profit insurance system…
In short, this Bill and the petition openly state the goal is to replace or eliminate the insurance industry. That should do wonders for the deficit effects of the healthcare plan, already planned to be partially funded by money from the insurance industry. (…not to mention Democrats have openly said that is not what they are doing or have planned…)
But, those are not as concerning as the latest changes from President Obama himself. There was a short fact check on some points from his latest speech to Congress. Gone are guarantees about personal choice. Gone is the refusal to require everyone to be insured. Gone as well is his promise to “not increase the deficit by one dime.” Why? Government accounting that lets them say what they want it to say. The article states:
House Democrats offered a bill that the Congressional Budget Office said would add $220 billion to the deficit over 10 years. But Democrats and Obama administration officials claimed the bill was actually deficit-neutral. They said they simply didn't have to count $245 billion of it — the cost of adjusting Medicare reimbursement rates so physicians don't face big annual pay cuts.
Let’s see…Broken promises…Rising deficits…A not recovering economy…Sounds like Bush all over again…doesn’t it? Or at least that’s what the media and the Left used to accuse him of. Think they might accuse their Golden Boy Obama of the same thing?

Still, all of this legislation aimed at providing healthcare to all fails to address the real problem: rising healthcare costs. None of the legislation as far as I know does anything to reign in costs. It just throws more money into the healthcare system. As education has proven, more money does not solve the problem. The United States spends more per student on education than other countries, but we have a lower student success rate. More money is not a solution to cost control issues. Basic economics says that if more money chases the same amount of goods, the price goes up. So, why do we believe more money is the solution for healthcare when the problem is costs? As the debate and clamor for this legislation goes on, let’s remember that the real problem still remains unaddressed.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Wednesday Hero: Year 3 (Part 2)



This would have been with last weeks post, but Kathi, who's done these for the past three years without even being asked to do so, was super busy and wasn't able to get to it. So after you view it, head over to her site and thank her.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Food For Thought...

Here's an odd thought...considering my sual bent here.

We live in a rather frightening environment these days. People make choices, and then blame God for not stopping or correcting their choices when they go bad or have a negative affect on others. Why is God responsible for your choices, or mine, for that matter? He chooses to respect us enough to let us make our own choices, and let's us live with the consequences of them.

As long as we blame God for the outcomes, rather than humble ourselves and take responsibility for what we have done, God will not get involved in redeeming these things in our lives. The good news is Jesus died so you could have the chance to humble yourself before Him, honor and respect God, and let His redemption flow into your mistakes.

So…which one would you rather have?

Friday, September 04, 2009

Big Brother Is About To Grow

Go ahead and post your comments on the White House’s publicly accessible sites. Just be prepared. The government is hiring vendors to market and store your information.

The National Legal and Policy Center, or NLPC, revealed the White House New Media team is seeking to hire a technology vendor to collect data such as comments, tag lines, e-mail, audio and video from any place where the White House "maintains a presence" – for a period of up to eight years.
How much would you like to bet it won’t be just the information posted to their pages that gets examined, harvested and stored? For example, all they need to do is turn their page into an application at Facebook and it automatically shares all of your information. I’ll bet this gets billed as a means to hunt down threats to the President, but I bet all it eventually does is stifle dissent.


But, then again, that shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Consider the President’s address to school children—just school children, by the way. Did you know the speech comes with accompanying lesson plans tailored to various grade levels? That’s the chief complaint from Republicans and other conservatives.
NBC spoke with Katie Gordon, a spokeswoman for the Florida Republican Party, who said the party's "beef" is with the accompanying lesson plans.
According to the article, people are calling those against the speech ignorant for keeping their children from being encouraged by the President. But, obviously that is not the goal. It is all about what the children are supposed to learn. That makes it an indoctrination event, using the basic definition from the dictionary (check this reference at Dictionary.com if you doubt what I say.) Maybe those accusing others of ignorance should better educate themselves on what is going in this case.

Speaking of ignorance, do you know what been going on with the money from the Stimulus package? Joe Biden gave of speech filled with praise on what the package has accomplished. But, the AP did a fact check that shows it isn’t as good as the administration would like it to appear.

(…and Obama wonders why his popularity is dropping…hmmm…)

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Socialization of America...continues...

About 10 months ago, hyper liberal Maxine Waters, Democratic representative from California, announced that the agenda was to socialize big oil, and by extension business in general. The so-called ”Democratic Underground” promptly labeled it as a smear campaign by Fox News, in spite of the fact that Waters clearly stated what she believed should happen. Then back in May, at a regional Democratic conference, delegates specifically stated one agenda of the healthcare reform was to get rid of the insurance industry. (The video used to be on YouTube, but has been removed due to copyrights belonging to Boiling Water Media.) The Obama administration had several soundbites over the following couple of weeks denying this revelation. And, Americans, for the most part, accepted it.

We are sheep, as a nation. Unfortunately, sheep are dumb and do nothing about their condition. We are told, repeated, that national, government healthcare is a must to “save our country.” Wonderful waving of the American flag to stir our patriotism for this “crisis.” I won’t argue that healthcare costs are not out of control, they are. But, unless government can prove to me it can successfully run something without losing money…I don’t want government in charge of my healthcare.

You should also consider that Democratic Congressmen and Senators have openly stated healthcare may go to people based on the economic benefit. That is one method of cost containment being actively considered. You might want to consider an article at The Free Liberal.

As the healthcare debate rages on, there is one reality that even the proponents of this hostile takeover of healthcare by government cannot ignore – and that is money. The government simply does not have the money for a new, expansive, public healthcare plan.



It is still surreal that in a free country we are talking only about HOW government should fix healthcare, rather than WHY government should fix healthcare.
Indeed why do Americans believe that government is always the solution to a problem? The answer is, they have been conditioned by the media and school s to believe that.

As a final thought, here is an ACLU video of where nationalized healthcare could take us. Enjoy your pizza.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Wednesday Hero 3rd Anniversary

Today marks the third anniversary of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. Not the actual Wednesday Hero posts. Those posts were started in 2005. This marks the third year of when these posts went public for anyone to post them. And it's taken off like gangbusters. People have signed up and wanted to take part in honoring those who do what they do in the name of freedom. At one point reaching over 100 participating sites. Thank you all who have signed up and those of you who read and comment on these posts. These people, whether they're actually in the military or are just doing something to aid those in the military, deserve to be remembered.

Christopher Lee
Right-Wing & Rightminded

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday Hero: Sgt. 1st Class Donald Johnson

Sgt. 1st Class Donald Johnson
Sgt. 1st Class Donald Johnson
U.S. Army

Sgt. 1st Class Donald Johnson, the electronic warfare officer of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, talks with local Iraqi kids while on a patrol.


Photo courtesy of United States Army
Taken by Pfc. Evan Loyd

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Obama And the Ever Increasing Deficit

The AP article headline reads White House, Congress projects record deficits. Honestly, does this surprise anyone?

Both the White House Office of Management and Budget and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted the budget deficit this year would swell to nearly $1.6 trillion, a record, and far above the then-record 2008 budget deficit of $455 billion.
Most of that increase is from stimulus spending. And, many are still arguing over whether the stimulus is actually accomplishing what it was supposed to do: job creation.

Meanwhile, there is a very important, and very over-looked, point in all of this:
Both see the national debt — the accumulation of annual budget deficits — as nearly doubling over the next day. The total national debt, made up of amounts the government owes to the public, including foreign governments, as well as money it has borrowed from itself, stood Tuesday at a staggering $11.7 trillion.
How many people realize the government has been borrowing from itself? This is one reason why Social Security is nearly broke. But, in the double entry world of accounting that becomes OK. I have money, I loan it to myself at interst, and that creates an asset to counter balance the liability. The problem is, in effective reality, the government is now out the money twice...and still can't pay it back.

And, the fiscal responsibility mud should get slung both ways. As much as the Democrats and the media slung it at Bush and the Republicans, we should expect to see it fly the other way. But, the media is already hiding things in these articles to gloss things over. For example, this article ends by saying:
The Obama administration did tout one number in its budget review: The 2009 deficit is now expected to be $1.58 trillion, $263 billion less than projected by the White House in May. That's largely because the White House removed a $250 billion item that it had inserted as a "place holder" in case banks needed another bailout.
The effect of ending on such a note is to say "Obama did good, so everything is OK." Which basically means the media will gloss over this. And, the American public will be hoodwinked again.

Oh! Haven't you realized? The media and government is playing the same games it did over the Vietnam War protests and 60s economy. Only this time, it's the liberals in control of what's being fed to the public.

(...my how the times they are a-changin...)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday Hero: Pfc. Tavonte Johnson

Pfc. Tavonte Johnson
Pfc. Tavonte Johnson
U.S. Marine Corps

Pfc. Tavonte Johnson, a field radio operator with Headquarters Company, 7th Marine Regiment, provides security after a simulated attack by a suicide bomber on Aug. 8, as part of 7th Marine Regiment’s pre-deployment training exercise.


Photo courtesy of United States Marine Corps

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday Hero: Yeoman 1st Class Timothy Gilbert

Yeoman 1st Class Timothy Gilbert
Yeoman 1st Class Timothy Gilbert
U.S. Navy

Yeoman 1st Class Timothy Gilbert, assigned to Headquarters Company of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB 74), donates blood during a blood drive for his six-year-old daughter at the Naval Construction Battalion Center base chapel. Gilbert's daughter has been diagnosed with atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor and is receiving chemotherapy at Tulane Childrens Hospital.

You can read more about Yeoman Gilbert and his daughter, Timia, here.


Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan G. Wilber courtesy of United States Navy.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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