The day after

WhySoldiersCryI’ve not held California responsible for the way they vote since I’ve been here (1987). This ain’t Reagan’s California, not by a long shot. This is more like Che’s California. There’s an epic battle coming here in a few days regarding the next democrat to run for president. Killary has her fair share of followers but I have a feeling a lot of young and Hispanics are going to be feeling the Bern come June 7. This socialist leaning state is going to choose a socialist I believe and that, coupled with the renewed call for Killary’s head over her misuse of a personal server to do our county’s business, might just be enough to make the DNC a rather entertaining side story to the general election.

That’s not why I’m writing today though. There are other things Americana that I don’t see here in Cali or pretty much anywhere very often, if at all.

Yesterday, Memorial Day, I witnessed something I’ve not seen in years and it warmed my heart. I’ve been to ceremonies on this solemn day across the country. At most there have been a few hundred folks in attendance. Mostly older Americans who probably struggled to make it but make it they did. This has been a severe test of my endurance over the years. The more I believed you all didn’t give a damn, the less I wanted to be part of your world… and I would isolate until late June at best. To ease my pain and prevent catastrophic meltdowns, I’ve stuck with my hometown ceremonies here in Livermore since about the year 2000. There are never big crowds mind you but there are 3 of them and each carries several hundred participants each year. That seemed to appease the beast within that wants all of your attention on the fallen for this day.

This year has been a kind of awakening for me so at the behest of some really wonderful new veteran friends, I branched out once again and attended the ceremony in Danville, CA at the “All Wars Memorial” run by the Vietnam Veterans of Diablo Valley.  I was astounded.  I was in tears. I was prouder of my America than I’ve been able to be in a while. There were a thousand people there at least. Not just old folks but whole families braved the sun and heat for a few hours to pay their respect to the best of us no longer with us.  Danville, a little town with a huge heart made my day. Thank you Danville. Thank you VNDVD.

I slept good last night. My brothers and sisters were remembered and they let me be.

There is hope…

Why soldiers cry

No one strives for glory
It comes at too great a cost
For buried in that story
Are lives forever lost

Smiles and pride for those who survive
On the surface all is swell
Deep inside where memories strive
The soldier flirts with hell

A battle never ending
Rages on within
Past and present blending
Neither one will win

The moments few without care
A soldier’s strength decays
Another brother is always there
Or a sister in harm’s way

The soldier watches in abject fear
As others enter the murk
Of battle’s grind, of rend and tear
Where grief and shadows lurk

Sentries we wait for the return
Of any who may survive
Dying more with each soul turned
Crying for those still alive

There are no words, no prayer will do
No song that soothes our pain
When a teammate falls we fall too
Our hearts are one and the same.

No one told us the reason why
The price we paid was right
But now we know why soldiers cry
For the souls in eternal night.

What makes perfect?

In 1971 I spent Memorial Day Weekend on Fort Polk practicing for qualifying with the 1911 .45ACP pistol soon after we would return to work after the holiday. I would grow to love this weapon and my love affair began that Memorial Day Weekend.

Staff Sargent Griffith, my drill instructor there at AIT School, took a liking to my determination to learn to shoot the M-16 with a natural handicap to overcome, poor eyesight on my dominant side. In other words, my best mechanical control was on my right side (holding steady and squeezing trigger without jerking it, etc.), but my dominant and better seeing eye was my left.

I tried shooting from the left side but I couldn’t manage to NOT jerk the trigger. My accuracy suffered dramatically. I asked for and received permission to try something unorthodox. I shot from the right side using my left eye to sight. You’ll have to try it yourself to see how difficult this is, but I did it and qualified as a sharpshooter, one grade off expert. Just thinking about stretching my neck far enough to put my left eye in line with the pipper through the eyesight makes me ache now.

For you purists, yes I now that method would be a hindrance in close combat. And also I was quite susceptible to catching a hot casing after ejection.  But this was for qualifications and I knew what was coming. Who uses the sights in close combat anyway? Center of mass and squeeze, etc

Qualifying is another thing altogether. You’re shooting at static targets from a static position. The only thing I couldn’t hit consistently from this position was the 300 meter targets. Again because of poor vision I had trouble picking the targets up through the sight with either eye, so I got about half of those (most were lucky guesses looking over the pipper and lining up by mark one eyeball), but hit every other target with the M-16.

The first time I fired a .45 caliber pistol, the recoil near floored me. I learned to brace better but had trouble keeping the weapon on target while squeezing…something to do with having my arms fully extended made me less stable at the end of my reach. I asked Sarge for help because it was my determination to qualify on every infantry weapon there was. Once he was sure I would commit, he had my word in other words and you don’t cross your drill instructor, nohow, he voluntold me to show up Saturday morning for extra weapons training.  After two days of workouts I was at the range Memorial Day morning with him in fact…at that time I was still struggling to hit the target at all beyond 5 meters but before then I couldn’t hit even them more than 25% of the time.

Oh, By the way, that effort to qualify with all infantry weapons fell short when I couldn’t hold the M-60 up firing from the waist. Third burst would be 20-30 meters in front of me with the nearest targets at least 100 meters down range (“get that SOB off my range right-f-ing-now”, screamed the range master over the PA.

But before then, 😂, I was Mr Gung Ho Joe.

Over the weekend and right up to qualifying Sarge had me doing exercises with a plunger (yes a toilet plunger). Holding the rubber end in both hands with a 1 lb weight clamp attached to the other end. I had to bring the plunger up to shooting position, hold the tip inside a circle drawn on the wall without touching the wall and slowly squeeze the rubber with thumb and fore finger so neither hand compressed it all the way and the other end can’t cross the edge of the circle. Then I had to make the squeeze faster still without collapsing the rubber all the way but getting closer to touching each time.

By the time qualifying came by a month later I was hitting everything out to 15, meters with both hands. Qualification involved, 15 pop-up targets day and night from ranges of 5 – 15 meters. I shot expert, and am proud to say, I still do. Mind you, I didn’t hit a bullseye per say.  I hit somewhere center of mass enough to knock the pop-up target down. With a round like the .45 caliber, you usually don’t have to worry about a perfect shot either. Hit your target; it’s going down.

All that stuff about practice making perfect, guess what? It really does.

Not today

I don’t have much to talk about
My brain hurts today
Instead I’ll purge things with a shout
Let it fade away

So many promises of good times to come
Never a moments relief
How many voices to make up the sum
That might end our grief

I can’t be angry at everyone
So I will isolate
I pray that when His will is done
I’ll be feeling great

Memorial Day Weekend

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I know exactly where I’ll be

My brother’s voice is calling me

Reminding me of the debt I owe

Directing me too make a show

Of those whose effort we all know

Gave us life in the land of the free

Their fall our price for liberty.

 

This weekend and especially on Monday, May 30th – Memorial Day, please remember my brothers and sisters-in-arms who’ve given all for us. They are your brothers and sisters too, and aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends, nieces and nephews.  Remember. Just for even 5 minutes, remember. If you honestly have no one to remember, you are very welcome to remember my brother Santi with me, or visit any cemetery.  You’ll see the flags. That’s them. Say hello. Say thank you. Say RIP or say nothing. Hold their spirit in your heart for just a moment, feel the strength of a nation.  Remember!

http://www.virtualwall.org/de/EscobarSH01a.htm

May God forever bless these United States of America.

Please feel free to forward this to all you can.  There is no political content here. Let’s restore the true meaning to this solemn day of remembrance.

flag-wall-3soldiers

 

News and some recap

Cosby is going to be tried.   Hey,  hey,  hey!

Lodge Pole Pines are moving to higher elevations in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range in search of cooler temps. This must be significant since it’s on page one.  I’m guessing this has to do with, oh,  say “climate global warming colding change” or something.  Yes? Okay, I guess you win.  80 years, 500 feet, let’s legislate NOW. I expect notification anytime now about a new parcel tax or some such because the Sierras have less than a week to live.  😮😱😨😵 Mother Nature will do her thing children.  You can prepare for the aftermath or you can try to stop Mother. For me,  the choice is laughably simple.

Brad Pitt had his body guards save a little girl from being crushed by other fan’s up against a fence.  She was OK but in tears.  Good on ya Brad.

We are still battling over LGBT rights. You know my stand. Unisex bathrooms have been around forever.  Make more.  As to locker room/shower room sharing,  I doubt you’re going to find many women wanting to share those spaces with a penis swinging by. I will still stop any man trying to get into a bathroom with my female family members. If one is disguised well enough, they’ll be in deep shit if it’s my daughter.  If I otherwise hear screaming, I’ll give one very loud warning, then I’m in. Jail is not my concern. I identify as a protective father, husband and grandfather and I will play the part. Occupy that!

Bernie wants a recanvas of Kentucky’s primary.  Haven’t heard that one before.  It’s not quite a recount of votes,  it’s a review of the voting totals and could swing 1 delegate either way. One vote!  This is never say die stuff.  He Could request a recount,  but his campaign would have to pay for it. Right now Killary is leading by a bit less than 2000 votes in the state.

Democrats found a paid judge to challenge Ohio’s early voting law.  The bill would have eliminated a week of early voting where voters could register and vote.  Its called “golden week”.  If would save the state big bucks and there are ample opportunities for all voters to register and vote.  However, it’s apparently too difficult for the majority of the Dems constituents to have to register and then vote on different days.  Republican voters are obviously mean-spirited bigots because they somehow can do both even on different days, even on different days in two different months.  Oh my!😜

In similar news, in 2013 SCOTUS struck down a key section of the “Voting Rights Act”. This year 17 states will have restricted voting rights in effect for the first time since the law was passed in 1965. Section 4 was eliminated which required certain states and congressional districts to seek permission from the feds to change their voting laws. It was just more unnecessary federal overwatch anyway. This is why Ohio is making an effort to eliminate fraud now.  They can.  Little by little we are getting back to the America that was intended by the founders. Hopefully we can continue this trend.  Of course there’s a group of about 50 congressmen forming a “Voting Rights Caucus” to educate the public about voting restrictions. This again is a Democrat effort. I’m a Republican and I already knew this and the restrictions. No republican representative has had to call me or educate me.  Must be a thing with democrat voters that they need to be spoon fed anything to do with voting.  Am I not truly blessed to be in a party that allows me to think for myself? Wicked pissah! 😈

I still can’t make up my mind about arms deals with the oppressive regime in Vietnam. I see both sides and value both’s concerns. From the looks of it,  things haven’t really changed much if dissidents are restricted.  Ugh!

The latest attack on Trump of course has to do with taxes.  I never understood what difference if makes how much taxes a person paid. Regardless, unless we are talking a criminal, it’s really none of our business however hard the Killary owned media cry.  Move on. Besides, I bet he still pays more than most states do. I’m willing to bet he was far more honest about his holdings than slick willy and the bitch queen have ever been.

The first of the bee tests are in.  This particular bee from the hive was NOT Africanized. There are 2 other tests being done and perhaps the drones will turn out to be Africanized.

SPORTS: There’s been a huge playoff role reversal in the bay area.  The Dubs are struggling and the Sharks are flying.  Yikes. Got to say it,  the officiating leaves much to be desired.  Without taking away from the awesome work Westbrook and Durant are doing, it’s quite evident that the Dubs are getting hammered with few calls against the Thunder while playing good defense appears to be a capital offense for the Dubs. Come on refs, you’re not the ones who should decide these games.  The Dubs need to get their game together too. Credit Oklahoma for putting a severe crimp in the Dubs style.  Let’s go Dubs and Sharks.

Suddenly LeBron and the Cavs can’t win?

How bout them Red Sox,  eh? David Ortiz running for a triple crown at 40.  6 players batting over 300. Double dog wicked pissah!

Scientists say that the 2nd circuit court’s finding that Tom Brady’s suspension was justified, is lacking in any kind of proof. No shit Shakespeare. Goodell and that cry baby from Indianapolis should go to jail for wasting taxpayer dollars on completely created bullshit.

That’s all I gots. I ain’t gots no more. (Someone famous said that but it wasn’t me even though it sounds like something  I would say.)