Hugh’s article starts like this…….”JOHN KERRY now closes his presidential campaign exactly as he opened his political life: Attacking the United States military.” Read it. It’s great!
This has me thinking about our life as a military family.
From the beginning of my adult life I have been a member of a military family. Our life on the move as my husband served in the Army kept us alert, ready to try new things, meet new people and live overseas.
My husband and I were lucky that we started our family during the last days of Carter. Our youngest daughter was born in 1980 during the Presidential campaign. Although my husband and I thought Jimmy Carter was a good man when he was first in office by the time our tour in Germany was up we were totally disillusioned with the man.
Actually, our experience during the Carter tenure while overseas helped us both to grow up spiritually as well as emotionally. I will never forget the feeling of pride when we voted for President Reagan for the first time. Our three year tour in Germany was an anxious time. There were terror attacks on the U. S. military and we were all taught about OP-SEC.
My husband was a Captain in the Army at the time and was dealing with the demoralization of the military under Carter. Troops were undisciplined, and there were drug problems and racial tension. There was a sad lack of leadership from Carter. After Reagan was inaugurated things began to get better and kept getting better.
By the time our children were in upper elementary and junior high school Vice President George H.W. Bush was elected President. We moved to Panama just after Operation Just Cause and lived in a bullet-ridden house that had a board that we put across the door to secure it. I wondered how fearful the time must have been during the last days of Noriega and we soon learned that it had been a terrifying time.
We lived next door to a house that had been used during Noriega’s regime as a “witch house.” Noriega allowed his police to use the house for prostitution, drugs and other unsavory activities.
The U.S. military made the mistake of allowing the “new” Panamanian police force to use the house as a sort of “lounge” and soon it became a meeting place for those who were plotting an overthrow of the government. The Panamanian police would sit outside in the yard and glare at my son as he walked down to Balboa High School in his JrROTC uniform.
One night a good friend who was a commander in the MPs came over very late. He had on a long sleeved overcoat which we thought was strange in that tropical climate. (he had on a bullet proof vest) He quickly explained what was going on.
He told us that the CIA and the new Panamanian government had discovered that a group that was plotting to overthrow the government was based in the house next door to us (the former “witch house”) and that there was going to be a raid in the middle of the night to arrest the people and clean it out.
He urged us to get blankets and pillows and sleep on the floor in one room. So, we scurried about and got ready. Meanwhile, the Lt. Col was using our phone, calling around to the people in the neighborhood to warn them. (we lived in military housing but it was an open neighborhood)
Our youngest daughter was ten at the time and kept following my husband around trying to talk to him. Finally, she got his attention. She told him that she had been on the swing in the backyard that day and had noticed some wires connecting the “witch house” to ours.
She also said that she and her friend had seen one of the men come out of the witch house with a stack of documents in his hands and put them in the barbecue pit. The Lt. Col overheard her and turned pale. He and my husband and some of the other MPs went outside and discovered that our phone was tapped.
So, the raid didn’t go as planned. It was supposed to occur around five A.M. and basically caused us to miss a night’s sleep for nothing. Evidentally, someone had leaked the word of the raid earlier in the day which was the reason for the the barbecue pit burn. And of course our phone was tapped which I thought was a hoot. We rarely used it except for calls to each other to give information about our whereabouts.
My husband and his cohorts had contempt for the CIA but after that botched raid there was very little respect for it at all. My husband was working on the Drug War and had come into contact with people in the state department and the CIA who were basically working against President G.W. Bush every step of the way. I am sure that they fit right into the Clinton administration a few years later.
The “raid” finally came at twelve noon that following day. School was out (one of many Panamanian holidays) and I was walking my youngest daughter down to the orthodontist’ office. Just as we passed by the “witchhouse” military police cars whizzed by us and pulled in front of the house.
The witchhouse was boarded up and empty until the day we left Panama. That was a relief to us all. We still had odd things happen in Panama. Noriega had emptied all the mental hospitals and one night as I was going to get into the car and take my daughter to a school event a Panamanian woman was standing behind the car and refused to move. I even started the car and backed up hoping that she would move but she wouldn’t. We had to call the MPs who then had to call the Panamanian police to deal with her.
We were the only house that wasn’t robbed in our neighborhood thanks to our fiercely loyal cocker spaniel, Pattertwig.
The summer we arrived in Panama Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Everything was in an uproar at Southcom. So many of my husband’s fellow officers were trying their best to get transferred so they could go to war, including my husband. Some were able to go because they were at the end of their tour in Panama but we had just arrived so my husband coudn’t go.
But my brothers did. They served in the 142nd Field Artillery and came home safely.
In June, 1992, when our family PCSd from Panama to Fort Drum, New York Clinton had reared his ugly head. Being a native of Arkansas I was shocked that the American people would be fooled by such a slick used car salesman.
In January, 1993, my husband was deployed to Somalia and we were left in upstate New York with the army-issued snowblower. We had 224 inches of snow that winter. My husband came home safely but some soldiers stationed at Fort Drum did not. We were full of bitterness and disgust at the weak leadership of Clinton.
My son graduated from the Catholic high school in Watertown, New York and left for Beast Barracks at West Point. I actually breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that we would have him out of Clinton’s line of fire for four years at least. I could sense a national state of denial in the country. A state that seemed to see no evil, unless it was in conservatives.
I started to read conservative publications during our tour at Fort Drum and that bolstered my confidence in my own conservative views but the massacre of good soldiers in Somalia and Clinton’s subsequent cut-and-run gave me a very bad feeling.
When my husband was stationed at the Pentagon for his next tour I started to read the Washington Times. I learned more about the state of our nation and still that sense of dread wouldn’t go away. I remember once when my son was home during his yearling year from West Point and we were discussing military issues I told my son that our country was in a historical cycle that always seemed to occur before a great national crisis.
Although the Republicans won the house in 1994 and a man named George W. Bush became the governor of Texas, Clinton sailed to a second term in 1996. I wrote a letter to the editor of the Patriot News in Harrisburg, PA to state my dread of another term of Clinton and they published it. My husband was at the War College in Carlisle and that one year stay was one of the most enjoyable and memorable times of our life as a family.
After Clinton was re-elected in 1996 and the Monica days began I was again horrified when I learned that Clinton actually planned troop movements while being serviced by that sad young woman. No respect for the military was ever displayed during the eight years of Clinton.
After the War College our family moved to Fort Sill. Our oldest daughter was in college in Pennsylvania and our youngest daughter was in her senior year of high school. Our son was in his Cow year at West Point. We lived on the Old Quadrangle in a 130 year old stone house built by the Buffalo Soldiers. We threw great parties and really enjoyed my husband’s Brigade Command.
The military managed to “grin and bear it” during the Clinton administration but everyone was really looking forward to the end of the second four years of Clinton. As we prepared to move to Germany and Clinton managed to hang onto his office I began to notice news coverage of Governor George W. Bush of Texas, who had just won his second term by a landslide.
One night while sleeping in the old stone house I had a dream. It was the kind of dream that awakens you and you don’t forget. I dreamed that George W. Bush was standing in the middle of a boxing ring with a golden aura around him. He had a look of serenity and kindness on his face. He was standing alone so seemed to be the winner. I woke up and immediately thought, “He will be our next President.”
Before I go further I have to state that I am not into dreams or soothsaying or any of that stuff. I am a born-again Christian. I don’t believe in that at all. But I dreamed that dream.
At three A.M. on election night in 2000 in Germany I was fighting to stay awake to read the election results on my computer. When the news networks called Florida for Gore I turned my computer off and went upstairs to bed. I laid down in another bedroom (so I wouldn’t awaken my husband) and I couldn’t stop the tears. My husband had told me that he would retire if Gore won and other officers also felt the same way. As I was drifting off I thought about the dream that I had had earlier in the year. I little thought came to me that it wasn’t over, that Bush would win. So I went to sleep.
Three hours later my husband woke me to tell me that George W. Bush had won. I raced downstairs to watch AFN and actually danced around the house for a while until Gore’s snippy phone call to President Bush taking back his concession.
I have forgotten how many days it took before the election was finally over and the rightful winner proclaimed but it was stressful and upsetting to those of us in Heidelberg.
So now that my husband has retired I find myself thinking about the endurance of those in the military and their families. Our son is a Captain and an engineer currently going through his advanced course. My brothers are still active duty. Once a military family always a military family.
The disgraceful behavior of John F. Kerry throughout this election has brought back all the disgust that I felt when Bill Clinton was President. Neither men have any clue about duty, honor, country. It is all about themselves. The military is still what they loathe the most. Kerry’s attack on President Bush over the missing munitions has demonstrated that he has no clue that when the American Commander in Chief is attacked so is his troops. And so are all of us in the military family.
This article by NEDRA PICKLER is a hoot. Guess she is a little disillusioned by the poser.
I always remember this day. “Saint Crispin’s Day is a good day to honor lives well lived, beliefs held dear and shoes well made.”
My college roommate died on this day of MS at the young age of 41. Although she suffered from the disease from her twenties on she had a life well lived.
Here is some background on St. Crispin’s Day…
Crispin was a nobly born Roman who, along with his brother Crispinius, became a missionary to Gaul. They took up the cobbler’s trade so the faithful wouldn’t have to support them - or, depending on the version you read - so they could give shoes to the poor. Crispin and Crispinius were martyred around 256, and over the years their stomping grounds became popular shrines. St. Crispin’s Feast Day is October 25.
St. Crispin was memorialized in Shakespeare’s Henry V.
From Henry V: “St. Crispins’s Day” That he which hath no stomach to this fight, Let him depart. His passport shall be made And crowns for convoy put into his purse. We would not die in that man’s company That fears his fellowship to die with us. This day is called the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day and comes safe home Will stand a-tiptoe when this day is named And rouse him at the name of Crispian. He that shall see this day and live t’old age And say, “Tomorrow is Saint Crispian.” Then will he he strip his sleeve and show his scars And say, “These wound I had on Crispin’s day.”
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot, But he’ll remember, with advantages, What feats he did that day. Then shall our names, Familiar in his mouth as household words - Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Glouster - Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered. This story shall the good man teach his son,
And Cripin Crispian shall ne’er go by From this day to the ending of the world But we in it shall be remembered, We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition. And gentlemen in England now abed Shall think themselves accursed they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day. –
Shakespeare, Henry V
The future of our country is on the line this November 2nd and if the American people choose wrongly we are done. The choice between straight talk and action and the words of ambivalence, retreat, and abdication cannot be more stark. On September 14, 2001, grabbing a bullhorn President Bush told the chanting, cheering crowd, “I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked down these buildings will hear from all of us soon.”
Ever since September 11th President George W. Bush has chosen the harder right instead of the easier wrong. Our nations military and our allies under his watch have freed the nations of Afghanistan and Iraq and the terrorists are fighting us on foreign soil, not in our homeland.
Senator John F. Kerry has accomplished little in the past twenty years. Had he stood on that mound of rubble in New York, Senator Kerry would have pronounced pretty words of comfort, followed by judicially approved warrants. Osama Bin Laden would not be in hiding today. Saddam Hussein would still be torturing his people.
Kerry is not the right man to lead us. In these historic times our national domestic issues are secondary to our national security. We can care nothing about our social security or our prescription drugs if our homeland is under attack. President George W. Bush has vowed to defend us and he can be believed. Kerry promises to defend us after we are attacked. Those are the only believable words he has spoken.
Lynne Cheney said of John F. Kerry’s abominable use of Mary Kerry’s lesbianism at the debate last night, “This is not a good man.”
This was a shameless, repulsive dirty trick. Here is more from Wizbang:
“Most of you probably know that John Kerry and John Edwards went out of their way in the last two debates to mention that Dick and Lynne Cheney’s daughter is gay. This has elicited a media and blogosphere buzz that’s been generally negative toward both Kerry and Edwards in regards to their remarks.
Lynne Cheney reacted to Kerry’s debate comments, telling a post-debate rally in Corapolis, PA: “The only thing I could conclude is that this is not a good man. This is not a good man. And, of course, I’m speaking as a mom. And a pretty indignant one. This is not a good man. What a cheap and tawdry political trick.”
It seems that the Kerry/Edward ticket got this idea in their head via campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill, who declared Mary Cheney “fair game.”
Elizabeth Edward’s interview with ABC News Radio this morning where she responded to Lynne’s remarks is telling.” (via the Note)
“It makes me really sad that that’s Lynne’s response. I think that it indicates a certain degree of shame with respect to her daughter’s sexual preferences that I’m certain makes her daughter uncomfortable. That makes me very sad on a personal level.”
She called Kerry’s response “very thoughtful” and “extremely sensitive.” She also said Lynne Cheney has been a “wonderful advocate for her daughter,” but feels “she has over-reacted to this” and “that’s a very sad state of affairs.”
John Edwards and John Kerry brought up Mary Cheney’s Lesbianism in two debates for a reason and it is not a pretty one. They did it to try to shock conservative Christians in hopes that they will not turn out to vote for Bush. It is as simple as that. John Kerry finished the third and last debate sliming a young woman simply because she is the daughter of Dick Cheney. He is no better than the National Enquirer.
There was just something very creepy about Kerry’s comments last night. His delivery was both smarmy and awkward. When I heard him make that statement I was stunned. I mean John Kerry has spent this entire campaign pandering and saying whatever helps him. But I never expected to hear such an obviously craven statement. It was as if he were trying to channel Mary Cheney, in an attempt to pretend to know her deepest thoughts. Stalker type language. Unseemly. Ghastly really.
Had Kerry brought up someone’s terminal illness and claimed to know their suffering it would have been just as horrid. There is just no excuse. (and of course, Edwards is now promising that in a Kerry Presidency people like Christopher Reeve would arise out of their wheelchairs)
Update: I talked to fellow female teachers at school yesterday and even though some hadn’t watched the third and final debate they had already heard about Kerry’s remarks about Mary Cheney and were disgusted. Most of the teachers are mothers and were personally offended by his remarks and said Kerry should not have intruded into the Cheney family.
Update Two: Thanks to Hugh Hewitt for linking this little blog. Hugh has been an inspiration to me since the 2000 Presidential election. My husband and I both started listening to Hugh on the internet while we were stationed in Heidelberg, Germany (we discovered him on Free Republic) His optimistic view of life and his on target political analysis was a bridge over those troubled days during the Florida fiasco. (or Gore’s attempt to win by counting chads)
We still listen to Hugh online and wish he were on our local channel.
No doubt about it. Edwards reminded me of that televangelist, Robert Tilton, promising eternal life and healthcare. Cheney went after Kerry’s senate record and Edwards did not or could not defend it.
That is my prediction for tonight’s debate. I was able to shake Vice President Cheney’s hand at a rally in our town this past summer and he had a warm grasp. He spent time in the ropeline listening to people’s concerns and he was especially nice to my two young nephews. The media has so demonized Dick Cheney that to me he has become an “anti-hero.” (although of course he is a hero) What we will get tonight with Cheney will not be a “What we’ve got here, is, failure, to communicate”moment. He might not use Luke’s ribald language but I do expect to hear something along this line…. Luke: I ain’t heard that much worth listenin’ to. There’s a lot of guys layin’ down a lot of rules and regulations. Cheney will be concise, calm, cool, and unflappable and Edwards will end up with big egg on his pretty, shiny face. Then we will see that ol’ Cheney smile.
I guess undecideds tend to go for the “undecided candidate.” We know which one that is.
It bothers me that the next debate will be a Townhall format featuring “undecided voters.” Who are these people? I have never met any. All of the people in my circle are voting for Bush (and are broken glass voters for Bush) Some odd relatives of my husband are Bush haters and will vote for Kerry. But I don’t know anyone who hasn’t made up their mind yet.
I would prefer that the questioners were partisans. It would make the debate much more interesting and honest.