"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Grey-Haired Brigade

[Contributed by my brother-in-law, Dennis L. Kempf]

The typical U.S. household headed by a person age 65 or older has a net worth 47 times greater than a household headed by someone under 35, according to an analysis of census data released Monday.
If us old farts have all the money, then let's try to elect someone who might be near honest and not be after feathering their own nests.

They like to refer to us as senior citizens, old fogies, geezers, and in some cases, dinosaurs. Some of us are "Baby Boomers" getting ready to retire. Others have been retired for some time. We walk a little slower these days and our eyes and hearing are not what they once were. 

We have worked hard, raised our children, worshiped God and grown old together. Yes, we are the ones some refer to as being over the hill, and that is probably true. But before writing us off completely, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration.

In school we studied English, history, math, and science which enabled us to lead America into the technological age. Most of us remember what outhouses were, many of us with firsthand experience.

We remember the days of telephone party-lines, 25 cent gasoline, and milk and ice being delivered to our homes. For those of you who don't know what an icebox is, today they are electric and referred to as refrigerators. A few even remember when cars were started with a crank.

Yes, we lived those days. We are probably considered old fashioned and out-dated by many. But there are a few things you need to remember before completely writing us off. 

We won World War II, fought in Korea and Vietnam. We can quote "The Pledge of Allegiance", and we know where to place our hand while doing so. We wore the uniform of our country with pride and lost many friends on the battlefield. 

We didn't fight for the Socialist States of America; we fought for The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. We know this is a Republic and NOT a Democracy and the difference is vast and extremely important! 

We wore different uniforms but we carried the same flag. We know the words to the "Star Spangled Banner", "America", and "America the Beautiful" by heart, and you may even see some tears running down our cheeks as we sing. 

We have lived what many of you have only read in history books and we feel no obligation to apologize to anyone for America.

Yes, we are old and slow these days but rest assured, we have at least one good fight left in us. We have loved this country, fought for it, and died for it, and now we are going to save it. 

It is our country and nobody is going to take it away from us. We took oaths to defend America against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and that is an oath we plan to keep. There are those who want to destroy this land we love but, like our founders, there is no way we are going to remain silent.

It was mostly the young people of this nation who elected Obama and the Democratic Congress. You fell for Hope and Change which in reality was nothing but Hype and Lies.

You now have tasted socialism and seen true evil face to face and have found you don't like it after all. You make a lot of noise, but most are all too interested in their careers or Climbing the Social Ladder to be involved in such mundane things as patriotism, your freedom, and voting. 

Many of those who fell for The Great Lie in 2008 are now having buyer's remorse. With all the education we gave you, you didn't have sense enough to see through the lies and instead, drank the Kool-Aid. 

Now you're paying the price and complaining about it. No jobs, lost mortgages, higher taxes, and far less freedom. This is what you voted for and this is what you got. We entrusted you with the Torch of Liberty and you traded it for a paycheck and a fancy house.

Well, don't worry youngsters, the Grey-Haired Brigade is here, and in 2014, we are going to take back our nation! We may drive a little slower than you would like but we'll get where we're going, and in 2014 we're going to the polls by the millions!

This land does not belong to the man in the White House, nor to the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. It belongs to We the People and We the People plan to reclaim our land and our freedom. We hope this time you will do a better job of preserving it and passing it along to our grandchildren. 

So the next time you have the chance to say the "Pledge of Allegiance", stand up, put your hand over your heart, honor our country, and thank God for the old geezers of the Grey-Haired Brigade.

Can you feel the ground shaking?  It's not an earthquake, it's a STAMPEDE.

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

To All My Veteran Friends

On April 3, I put an article on the blog with the title, "Do You Still Think About Vietnam?"  

It was an excellent article, by a Vietnam Veteran, who shared his thoughts and feelings about how and why he cannot NOT still think about Vietnam.

He did not put his name on the article, preferring to remain anonymous, but he should feel proud, because it became immediately obvious that his article touched on something important which was universal among all Vietnam Veterans: Yes, they do still think about Vietnam.  

I'm only sorry I can't thank the veteran for his article.  The feelings and memories it evoked have been overwhelming, not only for those in every group where it was posted on Facebook and LinkedIn, but for me, as well.

To All My Veteran Friends:

I want to thank you, all of you, for your honesty and for openly sharing your thoughts and feelings about the Vietnam War.  I expected to hear that you do still think about Vietnam, just like our anonymous veteran.  What I wasn't expecting was how deeply everything you had to say would also touch me.

Every time I read something one of you shared, without your knowing it, you helped me face many things I have also buried since 1969. 

Through reading about your experiences and your loss, I have felt your anguish, because it also touched those things that I had buried and brought them to the surface. Often, it was sudden, like a body slam and it was frightening. Other times, it was a gentle pull, like a whisper and I cried.

But I'm learning. I know that to heal, that's exactly what I need to do more of.

Pain is pain. It doesn't matter who owns it, or from which direction it comes, or how it got there. Pain is pain, it hurts like bloody hell, and we want to avoid it, because we're afrait it will consume us. But stuffing it brings even worse pain, the kind that can haunt forever, through nightmares or flashbacks.

You have helped me see that we are not our fear, nor are we the pain. They do not own us. And, we are not separate.  We are whole, we are good, and above all else ... we are human.

I've found that healing begins with the realization that the horror, loss, or even the guilt of still being alive -- are all significant and defining moments in our lives. They couldn't help but change us.  We are who we are because of those defining moments and that can bring acceptance.

Every time one of us shares something, we are all facing it together -- and we are honoring the men, like my husband, and the women on The Wall, the fallen heroes who can never share their stories.  Through sharing, we give them a voice ...

I just needed you to know how very much you have helped me. So, once again, I thank you.  My only hope is that I have in some way also helped you.

I am here for you ...

With my deepest respect and admiration, I remain ...
your friend,

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Final Inspection


The Soldier stood and faced his God,
which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
just as brightly as his brass.
"Step forward now, My Soldier,
how shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My church have you been true?"

The soldier squared his shoulders.
'No, Lord, guess I ain't.
Those of us who carry guns,
can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
and at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
-- the world is awfully rough.
But I never took a penny
that wasn't mine to keep.
I worked a lot of overtime,
'cause the bills just got too steep.

I never passed a cry for help,
though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
it needn't be too grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand.
A silence fell around the throne,
where the saints had often trod.
As the Soldier waited quietly,
for the judgment of his God.
"Step forward now, My Soldier,
you've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets.
You've done your time in Hell."

~Author Unknown~ 

Contributed by John Norwood
Retired aircraft Flt Engineer

It's the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us the freedom of the press.
It's the Soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us the freedom of speech.
It's the Soldier, not the politicians that ensures
Our right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
It's the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag.

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

Monday, April 14, 2014

Documentary: "The Ghosts of Ripcord"

The Last Battle of the Vietnam War.  Coming in the fall of 2014.  

"It is an incredible story that needed to be told." ~Director John Daily

[Documentary, "The Ghosts of Ripcord", produced by Temple University, written and directed by John Daily, and produced by Amanda Boisselle and Katie Frueh. The premier of the documentary recently took place April 6, 2013 at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia.]

FSB Ripcord (upper left), A-Shau Valley)
The documentary tells the story via old photographs, film, and interviews with those who served, of the disastrous overrun of Fire Base Ripcord by approximately 30,000 North Vietnamese Army regulars in 1970.

Nearly forgotten back home, fighting for their lives against impossible odds, the heroes of RIPCORD withstood the advancement of more than 30,000 enemy troops.

The siege of Ripcord cost the lives of hundreds of American soldiers and thousands of those on the opposite side. This is their story:

Fire Support Base Ripcord was located in the A-Shau Valley in the Northern part of I Corps in South Vietnam.

Because of the heroics of the battle, three Congressional Metal of Honors and six Distinguished Service Crosses were ultimately awarded.  248 American soldiers were killed and three were missing in action during the time that the 101st occupied the firebase.

Fire Support Base Ripcord
The actual Battle of Fire Support Base Ripcord was a 23 day battle between the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division and the North Vietnamese Army from July 1, 1970 until July 23, 1970. It was the last major confrontation between United States ground forces and North Vietnam of the Vietnam War.

Little was known about the battle until 1985, when the FSB Ripcord Association was founded.

President Nixon secretly began the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam early in 1969. As the only full-strength division remaining in Vietnam in early 1970, the 101st Airborne Division was ordered to conduct the planned offensive Operation Texas Star near the A-Shau Valley.

On March 12, 1970, the 3rd Brigade, 101st began rebuilding abandoned Fire Support Base Ripcord which relied, as with most remote bases at the time, on a helicopter lifeline to get supplies in and the personnel out. 

The firebase was to be used for a planned offensive by the 101st to destroy NVA supply bases in the mountains overlooking the valley. Located on the eastern edge of the valley and taking place at the same time as the Cambodian Incursion, the operation was considered covert.

As the 101st Airborne Division planned the attack on enemy supply bases, the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) was secretly observing their activities. 

From March 12 until June 30, the NVA was sporadically attacking the firebase. After weeks of reconnaissance by the NVA, on the morning of July 1, 1970 the North Vietnamese Army launched a mortar attack on the firebase.

During the 23-day siege, many were killed, including Colonel Andre Lucas, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, and First Lieutenant Bob Kalsu, the only active pro athlete to be killed during the war.

Kalsu was an All-American tackle at the University of Oklahoma and an eighth-round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills of the American Football League in 1968. Kalsu was a starting guard in 1968. He played the entire season and was the Bills' team rookie-of-the-year. After his rookie season, he enlisted in the Army to fulfill an ROTC requirement from college and was sent to Vietnam Nov. 15, 1969, as a first lieutenant.

On July 21, 1970, the base received word that a damaged helicopter would be coming in for an emergency landing, and that enemy troops would be in close pursuit. Kalsu left the bunker to warn the soldiers serving under him when a mortar shell went off 15 feet from him, killing him instantly.

Kalsu left behind a wife and two children – one of whom was born just days after Kalsu's death. A base in Iraq has been named after him, and he is on the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame.

The actor, Chuck Norris, also had a brother who was killed in the battle.

Fighting from four hilltops, surrounded, and outnumbered nearly ten to one, U.S. forces brought about heavy losses on eight enemy battalions before an aerial withdrawal under heavy mortar, anti-aircraft, and small arms fire. After the U.S. Army withdrew from the firebase, Air Force B-52 heavy bombers were sent in to carpet bomb the area.

By end of day on July 1st, a Chinook CH-47 had been shot down, and there were fifteen wounded. At 1030 on July 2nd, another Chinook was shot down.

On July 23rd, the final day of the battle, from around 6 a.m. until around noon, FSB Ripcord was being evacuated. The Chinooks took out the artillery and heavy equipment first.

Eight Chinooks were hit by fire, including mortars and .51-cals atop Hill 805, and AK-47 fire from NVA in the debris at the base of Ripcord. Another two Chinooks were shot down, the latter crashing into the previously destroyed 105mm guns of B/2-319th, preventing their extraction. 

During the extraction of the infantry, two Cobras attacked helicopters and twelve Hueys (UH-1) were hit. There were a total of 22 Chinook sorties and 100 Huey sorties.

The last living man off Ripcord was a Kit Carson Scout. "A Cobra saw him walking around," a door gunner wrote. They immediately had a LOH (Light observation helicopter) OH-6A go in to get him. They barely got him off in time. 

Five minutes after his rescue, several hundred NVA charged up the hill and threw satchel charges into the empty bunkers and operations center. At 1225, the final extraction began.

The heroics of those who fought on Ripcord have not fully been properly conveyed. Since the disaster of Hamburger Hill, Hill 937 on Ap Bia Mountain in May of 1969, the media was deterred from reporting other major battles.

The only documented pieces of Ripcord come from Army photographers and film crews, pictures and films from those who fought and verbal accounts of those who served. 

It was not until the Ripcord Association was created that members started to come together in reunions and other gatherings to talk about their memories of the battle. 

In 2000, the Ripcord Association website www.ripcordassociation.com was created and is managed by Frank Marshall.  There is also a Ripcord Association Group on Facebook (by Anthony Critchlow).

It is the hope of the association that with documentaries such as this, that the true significance of the battle of Ripcord will never be forgotten.

Reviews of the "Ghosts of Ripcord" Preview:

"In every one's life, one looks back to see what he or she has accomplished.

In your case, the documentary you did for us on Ripcord will always be a shining moment of many accomplishments to come.  For me it was a powerful film. It brought back memories of the experiences I had at Ripcord and gave me a better idea of what went on. One realized that something was happening, but not the magnitude of the situation at the time.

Getting the the story from all the units involved in the operation was enlightening as well as your getting the events of the situation first hand. I have never been more proud to have served with the Veterans of Ripcord.
If anything your film has given the Vietnam Veteran the respect he deserves by showing the sacrifices he made while over there.
John, thank you for taking the time do this project and for your interest in us. You are now a member of Ripcord."
Curaheee Brother
Tim Newman 
Forever Proud

"Everyone who was on Ripcord has their own small personal experience of the battle, but after seeing The Ghosts of Ripcord Documentary premier, I feel all of us now have a much better understanding of the entire battle and all that went on. I learned a lot I didn't know before. I thought Temple University did an excellent job of telling our story in the time they did. Great job!"
George D. Murphy
B 2/320 Arty

"I was overwhelmed with emotions after viewing your film Saturday night. Actually, I haven't slept a whole lot since then, as so many memories have flooded back in. It is absolutely the best documentary I have seen, which so accurately relates the story of the guys on the ground. 

Most such films come through the filter of those who were not actually in harm's way. Yours, so eloquently told by the veterans on camera, was spot on. It captured the gritty reality of that event, including the understandable bitterness about some of the tactical decisions that were made, which ended up costing lives, and the quiet heroism of those brave men who endured, and who took care of each other.

I was a pilot with the Lancers, Co. B, 158th Assault Helicopter Bn. As such, our role was solely to support the guys on the ground. If we could actually get in and out of Ripcord, or any of the "LZs" surrounding the FSB, without getting shot down, we were out of harm's way until the next sortie. Each trip in was an adventure in just trying to limit ours and the ground troops exposure to all of the weaponry the NVA could bring to bear, which was formidable.

The guys on the ground, however, had no respite from that onslaught. I salute them all, and you, too, for telling their story.

I could not be prouder of the number of times our aircraft, with the telltale white dot on the tail boom, were included in the footage. I can now show my children, that "We were there".
Bill Walker
(Lancer 17)
Co B, 158th Aslt. Hel. Bn., 101st Abn, Div. 1970

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Sport of Kings

by Lloyd Cates

Lloyd Cates

Combat is the world’s ultimate sport, the “Super Bowl” of life itself.

Other sports exist to serve as theatre for the masses as they eat their popcorn, drink their beer and place their bets.

Combat requires the consummate bet, as the ante is your sanity and the wager, your life. It is man on man, will against will, and stink on stink.

The playing field lies at the intersection of Kiss Your Ass Goodbye and The Gates of Hell. 

This is not a game for bush-leaguers, or the timid, and spectators are discouraged. No official score is kept, but the field is strewn with winners and losers. The pay is low and the risk is high but all you need to participate is backbone and a short memory. A player would be well advised to bring his “A-Game”. 

Lloyd Cates
Come on boys, its hotter than hell, it looks like rain, we’re suited up and we ain’t showered in a month. It’s a perfect day to die. 

 Somebody kick the Devil in the nuts and let’s get this show started.

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

Friday, April 11, 2014

Welcome Home - Then and Now

by Craig Latham
34th PID
101st Airborne Div. (Ambl)
Phu Bai, S. Vietnam

I'm going to say something nice and then I'm probably going to rant ...

I think what our citizens are doing for our returning soldiers is the greatest thing in the world. We show that they are appreciated for the sacrifices they have made and the paths they have taken in life. 

Now, that being said: Where was this "Welcome Home" for the returning Vietnam War Veteran or the Korean War Veteran (YES these were Wars, too)? 

We were treated badly upon arriving home from something we did that we thought was right. Now everyone is getting on the band-wagon and thinking they can right a wrong done to us by saying, "Welcome Home". 

What about all the Vietnam Vets who didn't make it this far to hear a "Welcome Home"? 

The homeless Vets that people still don't care about? 

The broken homes from soldiers suffering from PTSD? 

The Agent Orange that the government said wouldn't and wasn't hurting us? 

The suicides? 

The ones who are still missing? 

The ones who breathed their last breath for this Country? 

What about them? 

Our government still treats the Veterans badly. Cutting benefits. All the while, the "Fat-cats" in Washington would have you believe they are trying to help this country, while they line their pockets with our hard earned cash. 

Yes, give a "Welcome Home" to our returning Vets, but please don't think that just because you say, "Welcome Home" to a Vietnam Veteran, or a Korean Veteran, that everything is forgotten. IT ISN'T. 

My 2 cents', for what it's worth.

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Healing: by Ben Weihrich

Long ago, in the Age of Aquarius, there was a war; a war which divided father against son, brother against brother, friend against friend; a war which left mothers, wives, sweethearts in tears and questions in their hearts.

Some of those brothers, friends, fathers and sons came home whole, others missing limbs, others who came home in a gray coffin, and still others who are yet missing.

Time has passed, as time does, and the wounds from that war have slowly healed -- not completely though. 

The people still remember the hurt, the anger, the grief, and the terror of that war. The nation had tried to forget the war because that war was never won and the nation was disgraced by that war. The warriors who came home hoped for empathy, but faced ridicule, hopelessness, nightmares, fear and terror.

These disheartened warriors tried to distance themselves from that war, but they could not. The war drew them like a moth to a flame. So with courage and faith these grunts, flyers, radiomen, medics, docs, nurses, cap'ts, swabjocks, jarheads, doggies, chopper jocks, all kinds of rank and file, hippies, dissenters, draft dodgers, went to the people of that nation seeking to heal those wounds caused by the war.

Without the capital of the capitol, but with the clout of the Powers That Be behind the seats of government, these warriors made their dream and the nation's come true in the fall of '82. Together with courage and compromise, "THE WALL" is a reality today. 

The fathers, mothers, sweethearts, brothers, sisters, friends, foes, strangers all came to see, touch, cry, and rejoice when they saw (or did not see) a name on the "THE WALL". Friends were made and reunited, wounds healed, goodbyes said, unspoken words were spoken, and things of love were left.

The hippies and hawks became one, the glorifiers and the demeanors are silenced by the "Blackness Of The Wall".

No Shame No Glory.

Just a celebration of heroes.

Respectfully Submitted,
Ben Weihrich, Jr.
USMC '69-'75
Proud Grad of "Saigon U"

"The man who will go where his colors go without asking, who will fight a phantom foe in the jungle and mountain range without counting, and who will suffer and die in the midst of incredible hardship without complaint, is still what he has always been, from Imperial Rome to sceptered Britain to democratic America.

He is the stuff of which legions are made. His pride is in his colors and his regiment, his training hard and thoroughly, and coldly realistic, to fit him for whatever he must face. And his obedience is to his orders. He has been called UNITED STATES MARINE." 
 ~T.R. Ferenhoch, ['This Kind Of War']

email Ben

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Yeah - I Knew Him: by Ben Weihrich

Ben Weihrich

It took years to write this here little ditty, but in '92 it was placed in the "VETERAN'S VOICE", a mag for hospitalized veterans (almost 2 yrs in and out of nut wards, but things are straight now). Then in '94 it was placed at the PERMIAN BASIN VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL 11/11/94. ~Ben Weihrich


For My Brothers and Sisters who stood the watch in the “RICE PADDIES.”

The “DUKE” (John Wayne) in “THE FLYING LEATHERNECKS” said it best when he found out that one of his buddies had “bought the farm” (KIA – killed in action), ”Yeah – I knew him”.

Yeah – Vietnam: I knew him.  I knew of his dreams, his loves, his wish to be in the arms of his family. To be working on his hot rod, instead of being a “tunnel rat”, to be at the ballpark cheering on the Dodgers or whoever, instead of doing a “body count” in some jungle.

Yeah – Vietnam: I knew him. To be on the beach enjoying the sun, surf, the girls and having a few cold ones, not waiting in a damn rice paddy on an ambush. Wanting to be home at Christmastime singing carols in the snow, but instead on a LRRP or on a search and destroy mission.

Yeah – Vietnam: I knew him. Holding his newborn child in his arms and looking at his wife in love and wonderment. Not screaming out in terror in the middle of the night because of some nightmare that happened today or a dozen years ago.

Yeah – Vietnam: I knew him. Late at night, in the bunker drinking hot beer, talking about things and girls, maybe the women we loved, going steady with, married to, or just got a “Dear John” from. Remembering her pretty eyes, the way she made love, the way she kisses, maybe how she could make us feel to be beside her, or away from her.

Yeah – Vietnam: I knew him. Knocking the grand slam at the softball game, selling that new car to the newlywed couple, planting the last seed on the north 40, instead of holding onto his closest buddy, making his last moments in this hellhole the best, sharing his last smoke because there was no way to save him.

Yeah – Vietnam: I knew him. Every time I light a square, because he left his “Zippo” to me, the one he bought at the PX and engraved “Joe Ragman – Nam, II Corps, War Zone C”. My mind flashes back to those days.

Yeah – Vietnam: I knew him. As I knock on his parents', wife’s or girlfriend’s door to pay my last respects. Telling them how we were friends, how he felt about the war, how much he wanted to be back home as I gave them his last letter which he had not mailed. I saw their eyes fill with anger, hurt, tears and then the questions. Damn.

Yeah – Vietnam: I knew him. As I stared into his face that's lost forever in the never-never-land of the V.A. Hospital and drugs: He never came home as Joe Ragman, but as a zombie, lost forever somewhere in that last firefight, dancing the “Thorazine shuffle”.

Yeah – Vietnam: I knew him. As the friend who lives under the bridge or deep in the woods, scraping an existence off Mother Nature or out of the dumpster of Burger King or grocery stores. Hiding out to escape the stares, the hatred, and the ugliness of the war. Staying loaded to kill the pain, the loneliness, the desperation of life.

Yeah – Vietnam: I knew him. As I walked among the rows of white headstones in the “Garden of Stones” looking at all of the names, dates and places. I look at “The Wall” finding and touching your name. I remember the good and bad times, the hopes, the dreams. I cry, not in sadness, but in hope that “This Wall” shall be the last memorial to those who fought in a war. In a war where all sides, the Victor and the Vanquished, lost. There are no winners in a war.

Yeah – Vietnam: I knew him. Here’s to you, Buddy, to your memory, to honor you, to remember you and love you. “Sleep in peace, comrade dear, God is nigh." [1]*

[*From Col Butterfield, "TAPS"] 

Respectfully submitted,

Ben Weihrich
Texican by Birth
MARINE by Choice
USMC '69 - '75
Graduate of Saigon "U" 

"The man who will go where his colors go without asking, who will fight a phantom foe in the jungle and mountain range without counting, and who will suffer and die in the midst of incredible hardship without complaint, is still what he has always been, from Imperial Rome to sceptered Britain to democratic America.

He is the stuff of which legions are made. His pride is in his colors and his regiment, his training hard and thoroughly, and coldly realistic, to fit him for whatever he must face. And his obedience is to his orders. He has been called UNITED STATES MARINE."
 ~T.R. Ferenhoch, ['This Kind Of War']

email Ben

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

Monday, April 7, 2014

This is My Country

[This was sent to me by my brother-in-law, Dennis Kempf.  As far as we know, it was anonymous]

"My great-great-grandfather watched as his friends died in the Civil War. My grandfather watched as his friends died in WWI.  My father watched as his friends died in WWII and I watched as my friends died in Vietnam.

Every single one of them died for the U.S. flag.

In Texas, a student raised a Mexican flag on a school flag pole; another student took it down. The kid who took it down was expelled.

Kids in high school in California were sent home last year on Cinco de Mayo.  Why?  Because they wore T-shirts with the American flag printed on them.

Enough is enough.

The message needs to be viewed by every American and every American needs to stand up for America.  We've bent over backwards to appease the America-haters long enough.  I'm taking a stand.

I'm standing up because the hundreds of thousands who died fighting in the wars that were fought for this country and for the U.S. flag can't stand up.

And shame on anyone who tries to make this a racist message.  Let me make this perfectly clear:

This is MY country! And because I make this statement it does NOT mean I'm against immigration.  I am not -- hell, my ancestors were immigrants!

YOU ARE WELCOME HERE IN MY COUNTRY, but only if you come through LEGALLY and:

1. Get a sponsor.
2. Get a place to lay your head.
3. Get a job.
4. Live by the same rules the rest of us have to live by.
5. Pay your taxes.
6. Learn to speak our language like all immigrants -- our ancestors -- did in the past.
7. Please don't demand that we hand over our lifetime savings of Social Security Funds to you.

and last but certainly not least ...

8. Since American children are no longer allowed to  pray in schools, your children shouldn't be allowed to either.

When will Americans stop giving away their rights?  We've gone so far the other way and we have bent over backwards not to offend anyone. But it seems no one cares anymore about the American citizen that's being offended.

Wake up America!

If you agree, please share this with everyone you know.

If you don't agree, well gee, maybe YOU are part of the problem ..."

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

Sunday, April 6, 2014


By Robert S. Cosmar

Some wounds never heal, because we are unable to express our feelings about them.

Our beliefs stand in judgment over our experiences and we cannot find room to forgive ourselves to release them. Our mind and ego are both cruel taskmasters that give no quarter in matters of what we, or society, might think of as right and wrong.

Inner conflict torments us consciously and unconsciously when we are forced to do that which feels at odds with our heart and soul. The mind and ego can only judge, not forgive, because forgiveness is beyond the duality of mind vs. heart.

We do not need to forgive ourselves. We have done nothing against the universe. It is the mind and ego that feel guilt and shame for any actions we have taken. They weigh every thought and action and compare it against their code of right and wrong.

The mind and ego set up commandments to judge the self, knowing that they cannot keep them. Then they judge self again for failing to keep them. It is a no-win scenario.

Only through awareness and the surrender of the mind and ego do we find the forgiveness and peace we seek.

To learn more about Robert Cosmar, please visit:  
Goodreads: Robert S. Cosmar

If you have questions about this article, you may email Robert.

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale
"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate, anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite, as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us." ~Susan Wittig Albert