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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Political statement of the day!! With all this talk of terrorism and the war on the same at the GOP convention this week, we seem to have forgotten the most important name of all - BIN LADEN!!!! How, over the last few years, have we managed to forget that name????????? Isn't HE the guy we should have gone after, isn't HE the one that attacked our country? Amazing isn't it how the GOP seems to dwell on 9/11, but just skips right over the little fact that HE is still out there and they have done nothing to stop him. The next attack is coming right from him and we had best wake up to that fact and stop letting the GOP keep taking applause for NOT targeting the right villians!

And Bravos for Michael Moore for laughing his way through last nights jabs!

And Curses on the delegates for their purple heart band-aids! Revolting display - revolting, and NOT just for the guys who have earned them, BUT for Kerry as well. Stop this damn crap from the GOP saying it hurts the ones fighting now. Sure it does, no doubt, but we all know why they are wearing them and we also know that Kerry earned his fair and square. There is a real one sitting in this house and a real one on the other candidate running for office. Don't see any hanging off of Bush's and Cheney's lapels now do we!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I will leave the politics alone for today, even though I have much to say, for this seems to be a day of personal musings and I must set the thoughts down to carry on with my day.

A lot of people like Fall - not me, never me. Fall has always meant to me - goodbye. Goodbye to freedom, family, garden, bare feet, and joy. The crisp Autumn air that is always talked about does more than chill my body - it chills my soul. I marvel at the parents (and yes, I hear a lot from them being a dance teacher) that rejoice when school starts so their kids are back in school. Do they not know that the best sound in the whole world is the sound of children's laughter pouring through the open windows as they play outside on a summer's day? Now that my children are grown or almost so, summer is a time of precious visits - time needed to be with them and to share a summer's easy day listening to them share their lives and to watch them, first hand, move through their day once again. And, when you are married to a teacher, and you like this guy, really like this guy, ah summer days are sweet. There is freedom to move through life together - sharing everything from the most mundane of daily tasks to the frivolous shopping spree. Time for easy dinners with no rush to get things done because more work awaits, time to sit and talk or just to listen to the sounds of him and what circles around this world of ours. Isn't that what life is supposed to be or have I missed some deep mystery of life that says we are meant to be ruled by bosses, deadlines, mounds of paperwork, alarm clocks, and rush hours? Nope, the rest of the world can have their Fall leaves and their crisp air. I will take "sitting a spell" in my garden after my hands have been in the earth. I will take sinking my toes in the ocean's sand with a grandson's little ones right beside me. I will take driving to visit a son with my husband beside me and both of us smiling. I will take watching a teen rush off to spend his day in freedom with his friends. I will take the summer's gifts - all of them. And, as I watch others don their sweaters and rush off into life again, I will mourn the loss of life's simple pleasures that get swallowed up in all the "have to's" and not in the "want to's". But, more importantly, I will learn from yet another summer and catch glimpses of it in a husband's smile and a son's excited phone call. I will keep it all locked in my heart, kept safe until it comes again.

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Sunday, August 22, 2004

New letter to the "swift boat" committee:

Honor is a very important word in the United States military, as well it should be. It is a word you seem to have forgotten. When John Kerry came home and fought against the war, he was fighting a moral, philisophical, and political battle against a policy gone wrong, NOT one against his fellow soldiers or veterans. You, on the other hand, dishonor us all no matter what our beliefs or political persuasion. You have chosen to bash not an opinion or ideology, but rather a fellow veteran, and that is the greatest dishonor of all.

Would really like to send a form of this to the "The Washington Post" as a letter to the editor. Any thoughts?

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Saturday, August 21, 2004

Read below to see comments on the "swift boat" idiots and other thoughts, but had to share what we wrote to Kerry via his website.

Just wanted to let you know that as Vietnam Veterans (yes, she considers herself one too being the wife of a combat soldier in Vietnam) that we are behind you 100% and will fight against the "swift boat" accusations whenever and wherever we can! We thank you for your service to our country as a veteran and as a leader in the anti-war movement. Anyone who lived through that time understands how turbulent and difficult it was, but one need not only carry a gun to fight for one's country. Your courage "in country" as well as at home mirrors what so many of us felt and believed at the time, and still do. Don't let the vocal minority opinion get you down and keep on, keeping on. Be honest with the way it was and the way you felt at the time. You are not alone with these thoughts. We are proud that a Vietnam Vet is running for president, but more so because he came home to tell the American people what was happening there and here!!!! You have our vote!

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OK, here is what Dad and I wrote to the "swift boat" idiots!!! Damn, didn't we have enough of this crap during the 60's. Never, ever did we bash, criticize, or demean a vet, NEVER did anti-war mean anti-vet to us or to many who disagreed with the war. Sure, there are extremists everywhere and those hurt, but not nearly as much as a government who let us down!!! Every person there was just doing their damndest to get home, or get their guys home. (Well, OK, not all - when we left Ft. Sill, OK with orders for Vietnam, Dad's commanding officer looked at us both and said - Well, Lt. this will be good for your career!! - Hell yeh, if you didn't die or get maimed first!! - so, yeh some people saw it as a good thing - go figure!) Fighting for America????? Who are these people kidding! The fighting was for political reasons - pure and simple! It is about time EVERYONE got over this nonsense, admit that the whole damn thing was a waste of human life, and that every dude there was just trying to do their best. And, yes, we have worked really hard at getting over the whole damn thing over the years and are royally pissed off that here we are back right where we left off!!! In Dad's words - pretty hard to believe that some early 20 something guy plotted this whole thing hoping that he could some day run for president. And when my sister asked - Is it really possible to get three Purple Hearts in four months? - Dad's answer was an immediate and almost angry - YES!!!! And, well, let's see who are we voting for - a guy who went and then came back to fight for his country AGAIN OR the one who managed to go into the National Guard so he didn't have to go?????? (and hey, did he ever show up for his NG duty?). OK, enough ranting (sorry, this whole thing is really pissing me off), so here is what we wrote - short, simple and to the point!

Knock it off already!!! Didn't we have enough of this BS when your buddy was working for Nixon!!! We all know Vietnam was wrong and we all know your facts are faulty, SO, get over yourselves and stop the bashing!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vietnam combat VET US Army (Lt.) 1970!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And hey everyone, if you want us to write again and more, just say the word. And, we are damn close to writing to the great Senator McCain. Wow, has the guy fallen from grace with us! How can you disagree on so many issues and then go out and campaign???? Tough for us, cause nothing broke our hearts more than the POW's, but dang, he needs to read his book on courage again. Courage is standing up even if your whole party disagrees and it hurts your career. And, yes, we have read a majority of the book.

And one more thing, you may not be seeing it on the news like we saw it every night during Vietnam, but living close to DC and being in touch with many military people including nurses and doctors at the area military hospitals, let it be known that while we hear about the 1, 2, or 3 that have been killed during a day in Iraq (horrific in and of itself), the hospitals are filled with soldiers (men and women) who have lost arms, legs, or are torn up in many ways. One parent told me that her daughter (they are military) couldn't get a water proof cast when she broke her arm because that material is being saved for the soldiers coming home who need it more! Why aren't we seeing these soldiers on the news????? Why don't we know what has happened to these people and WHY don't we know the numbers??????? And, what the hell is being done for them now??????

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Thursday, August 19, 2004

Please read my son's latest blog - bile and venom. Way to go Chris, and thanks so much for the views and the shout out! It is time McCain "fish or cut bait". Could have said that differently, but wanted to be "good"! And, will somebody please stand up (candidate or non) and say what is really going on and what needs to be done.

And, hey, is anyone out there and is anyone reading these??????

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Friday, August 13, 2004

Please don't groan, all you Generation X'ers who are so tired (can't say as I blame you for I am really sick of hearing about the Greatest Generation!) when you read this blog from a 60's lady, but I just had to have somewhere to write it down. So, do forgive me! But, the nomination of Kerry for president has given us Vietnam Vets (yes, I consider myself one being the wife of one) a respect we have waited 30 plus years for. After being spit on, refused jobs, ignored, denied benefits and most importantly respect, it is so utterly amazing to see a vet now running for president. And, not just a vet, but one that returned from that horror to stand up and say it was wrong. He embodies all of those emotions of that time, and defines us with dignity. Many of us do not wear Vietnam "on our sleeve", yet many of us have never fully let it go. Mostly, we have always felt alone. Corny though it might have been and politically motivated, it was none the less touching for us to see those men come along with him on the trip into Boston and to see them stand beside him on the podium. We don't want to be heroes, we don't want belated thanks or even to be a "band of brothers". But, wow, isn't it nice to know that we can fight for this country in war and in dissent and still be nominated for president!

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For those of you who read my son's blogs, Days in the life of a normal TEEN, you will have become acquainted somewhat with his Katie and and his struggles to woo her. What you may not have learned is that this is one amazing young lady. Katie has a heart that is deep, wide, and reaches out to people all around her. I have done a lot of thinking on Katie the last few days as I am struggling with some caring, or lack thereof, in my own life. Every time I have needed a boost, needed to know that someone was there, Katie has been. How amazing in such a young woman and how incredible during those typical and necessary selfish teen years. When my friend lost her son this past spring and I had travelled much of the awful journey with her, Katie showed up at my door the night of the funeral with a bouquet of flowers, a note, and a hug. When I returned from the beach (always sad to have it over), a hand made poster was waiting on my bed and chocolate (my favorite) was waiting in the frig - birthday gifts because I was not at home for my birthday.

Now, lest you think that these are "suck up routines" to win over the mom of your "honey", let me assure you that this is not the case. You know upon meeting her that there is something special in this girl for she makes you feel happy and cared for just being around her.

What has caused me to think on her so much is that I have always considered myself a kind and caring person. It is how people have described me. What I am finding difficult is not having it come back. Not that I do for others to get back - not at all. Just that the heart hurts when it doesn't happen. And, my heart has hurt a lot of late. I don't want this for Katie. I don't want her to reach the middle of her life and wonder why she hurts, why people don't understand, why people can't react to her with the same caring she gives. And, why selfish seems the necessary way to live one's life. The greatest thing I learned from a hellish year of a husband in Vietnam is empathy. Isn't that what we all want? Isn't that what so many of us don't get?

Maybe the thing that will set Katie apart from me is that she has a toughness I never had. Maybe it is that the young women of today have been taught better, raised to believe in themselves more. And, having talked several times with her mom (who deserves much of the credit for her daughter), I can see that she is raising Katie to face life head on and to take care of herself. Wouldn't it be wonderful if tomorrow's women could bring to the world the tender caring that it craves, and the toughness to keep right on believing in oneself and life no matter what. To not be defined, to be made to feel less than, or to become the same as those selfish people despite the aches along the way, would be a triumph for women.

Carry on Katie, and all the new Katie's of this life. I am cheering you on!

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