Monday, August 10, 2015

"'Tis not important how the hero does this or that, but what he is." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Welcome back folks. I do hope you are all excited about this brand new work week. We get started off here on this Monday, August 10, 2015. I was thinking the other day about how privileged I feel to have worked in the places God has provided for me to labor. When I transferred from working in administration at the VA Hospital to Fort Polk, Louisiana to work in the Public Affairs office I had to do a crash course in all things military as it related to Army basic and advanced training of our soldiers. The commanding general at that time was Major General Ellis Williamson. I remember reading his bio and about some of his heroic exploits during his service to our nation. This fellow was an amazing soldier. Within the office where I worked I could feel the sense of pride in having such an illustrious leader in charge of this major training facility. General Williamson passed away in 2007 at age 88. I recently read his obituary and looked at the photos of his funeral at Arlington. Here are some of the many decorations he was awarded: The Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal (2 OLC, Oak Leaf Cluster), the Silver Star (5 OLC), the Legion of Merit (OLC), the Bronze Star Medal (3 OLC), the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal (28 OLC), the Purple Heart (4 OLC), the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge and Army Aviator Wings. A true American hero and I was privileged to be a witness to how his exemplary service along with his presence could be a source of inspiration to an entire military facility. Pretty heady stuff folks. Heady stuff indeed! May God bless the memory of so many like him from the past and so many today who continue this legacy. Amen.

President Truman announcing the dropping of the atomic bomb.
The 70th anniversary of dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima was observed last week. It was a horrific and devastating event that did lead to the ending of the war. The further we get away from this decision the more voices are out there calling for President Harry Truman to be labeled a war criminal. Facts really have little to do with it. Many of those calling for this to be officially established are people who have never had anything at all to do with war. Many of them were not even alive when the President was given this option as a way of causing Japan to capitulate. The civilians killed is a tragic outcome. Yet, we do know that thousands upon thousands of American lives were saved by this war ending act. President Truman is not around to defend himself. He certainly has plenty of folks from our country who are busy apologizing for America and our war crimes and they fill up Twitter, Facebook, and other forums as well. This groundswell to turn us into the enemy has actually taken hold in some quarters in Japan. There's no telling how the history books will report all of this in coming generations. I, for one, am proud of the fact that the war was ended and I believe our President at that time made the best decision he could based on all the factors at work at that time. I, for one, wish the revisionists would find themselves a new line of work.

If the Lord provides within a few days I will hit the three score and nine mark. If I make it that will be quite an accomplishment for men folks who carry my surname. My dad left this world four months from reaching the age of 31. Through research I was able to find out that his father made it to age 71. My dad's twin brother did really well, living to the age of 83. His son, my first cousin, recently died at age 67. My older brother left at age 19 and my younger brother checked out at age 62. A few years ago when I was hot and heavy into ancestor searching I made contact with a lady who had spent several years doing the same. She was a distant cousin but had taken our surname back into the 1700's. One day she sent me a note with somewhat of a warning included. I'll not go into all the details regarding some behavior and health related issues she spotted in my lineage but one thing did stick out. She said that men folk that carry my name and that are a part of my family lineage do not on average tend to stick around a long time. I've said all of that to say this. I'm thankful for each day the Lord has provided to me. I do know that what you do with the time you are given is much more important than how long you hang around. I also know that this matter is in God's hands, therefore, I feel comfortable that He knows best. Not only for me but for you too. That's the truth. It really is. We have His word on it! Amen. ....More later.

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