Category Archives: Patriotic

Where Soldiers Find Peace

It’s a long way from the dusty battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan to the crystalline waters of Lake Clark in the mountains of Alaska. But every summer since 2012, hundreds of current and former members of the military and their spouses make their way there through Operation Heal Our Patriots, a ministry of Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse.

Many of these veterans arrive at Samaritan Lodge dealing with the aftermath of their service to our nation—wounded in their bodies, minds and spirits. The stress of learning to adjust to civilian life with their families and dealing with new physical limitations caused by injuries puts a strain on military couples. Many of them don’t make it. The ministry began as a way to reach out to these battle-weary soldiers and their spouses and help them refocus on building and maintaining strong marriages. Some couples, on the verge of divorce, find a new love for each other as they spend a week experiencing the natural beauty of Alaska and attending Bible-based marriage enrichment classes. Retired military chaplains are on staff to encourage and pray with attendees. Operation Heal Our Patriot marriage retreats often end with vow renewals for many of the couples, as well as baptisms for those who are either re-dedicating their lives to Jesus Christ or finding Him for the first time.

One couple who found respite during their time in Alaska is Army Staff Sergeant Juan Montealvo and his wife Tanya. A few days before Christmas in 2004, Montealvo was on a mission to deliver school supplies to Iraqi children in Mosul when a bomb planted by insurgents exploded near his vehicle. He survived that and several other explosions during his three combat tours to Iraq, and when he came home for good in 2010, Tanya noticed he wasn’t quite himself. Montealvo was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and went through physical and speech therapy. Tanya became his care-giver, and the strain of adapting to their new normal was something they never prepared themselves to handle.

When Tanya heard about Operation Heal Our Patriots, she believed it was an answer to their prayers and said, “Our souls, our spirits, our minds needed this to reset…I’m ready for a new beginning with my husband, walking along with Jesus.”

The ministry doesn’t end once these families leave Alaska, however. Ongoing outreach helps them to find a church or military chaplain in their local communities so they can develop a strong network of support. Reunions are also held at the Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in North Carolina so that participants can make new friendships and renew those they made in the Alaskan wilderness. All of this—including travel to Alaska—is free to the couples and is made possible by donations to Samaritan’s Purse/ Operation Heal Our Patriots.

This ministry is open to all current and former veterans who have served since September 11, 2001. Interested couples can go to the Samaritan’s Purse website to fill out an application. If you’d like to help send these brave American heroes to Lake Clark next summer, please consider making a donation on the website. What better way to say “thank you” to them this Veterans Day?

Wedding vow renewal ceremonies are common during Operation Heal Our Patriot's Alaskan retreats.-  Courtesy

Wedding vow renewal ceremonies are common during Operation Heal Our Patriot’s Alaskan retreats.- Courtesy

Fallen Hero’s Parents Write Open Letter to Obama (Guest Commentary)

***NOTE:  The following letter to President Obama was written by Billy and Karen Vaughn, parents of Aaron Carson Vaughn of SEAL Team VI who was killed in action in Afghanistan on 8/6/11.  It was originally published on 2 weeks ago and is re-printed here with the Vaughns’ permission.  Learn more about their story at

After finally choosing to view the barbaric, on-camera beheading by ISIS of freelance war correspondent James Foley, I have been left with a level of rage known only to those of us who have sacrificed unspeakable offerings on the altar of world peace.

My offering was my only son — Aaron Carson Vaughn. Aaron was a member of SEAL Team VI. He was killed in action when a CH47D Chinook, carrying thirty Americans and eight Afghans was shot down in the Tangi River Valley of Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011.

Many times over the past three years, I have been asked what drove my son to choose his particular career. What made him want to be a Navy SEAL? My answer is simple.

Aaron Vaughn was a man who possessed the courage to acknowledge evil. And evil, once truly acknowledged, demands response. Perhaps this is why so few are willing to look it in the eye. It is much simpler — much safer — to look the other way.

That is, unless you are the leader of the Free World.

As Commander-in-Chief, your actions — or lack thereof — Mr. President, cost lives. As you bumble about in your golf cart, slapping on a happy face and fist-pounding your buddies, your cowardly lack of leadership has left a gaping hole — not only in America’s security — but the security of the entire globe. Your message has come across loud and clear, sir: You are not up to this job. You know it. We know it. The world knows it.

Please vacate the people’s house and allow a man or woman of courage and substance to seize the reigns of this out-of-control thug-fest and regain the balance we, America, have provided throughout our great history.

Thanks to your “leadership” from whatever multi-million dollar vacation you happen to be on at any given moment, the world is in chaos. What’s been gained, you’ve lost. What’s been lost, you’ve decimated. You’ve demolished our ability to hold the trust of allies. You’ve made a mockery of the title “President.” And you’ve betrayed the nation for which my son and over 1.3 million others have sacrificed their very lives.

But this should come as no surprise, since your wife uttered a vile statement on Feb. 18, 2008, during the primary campaign — one that speaks volumes of your true convictions. “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country,” she said.

I am sure my deceased son thanks you for that, Mrs. Obama. Oh, and you’re welcome.

Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such despair and such growing fear that the world’s last best hope, America, has finally been dismantled. Perhaps the better word is transformed — fundamentally transformed. Come to think of it, it’s become difficult — if not impossible — to believe things haven’t gone exactly as you planned, Mr. President.

Amazingly, in five short years, your administration has lurched from one disaster to another. You spearheaded the ambitious rush to end the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan — with no plan on how to do so effectively. Also, the release of “the Taliban five” in exchange for one American — without consulting Congress — is on your shoulders.

You have been at the helm during unprecedented national security leaks — including, but not limited to the outing of SEAL Team VI on the Bin laden raid, the outing of the Pakistani doctor who provided the intelligence for that raid, the outing of Afghanistan’s CIA station chief, and the outing of your personal “kill list” to make you look tough. In addition, 75 percent of American deaths in Afghanistan and 83 percent of Americans-wounded-in-action have occurred on your watch, according to

And now, we have this recent, heinous event: the beheading of an American citizen by a barbaric organization you foolishly referred to as “the JV team” in your statements to the New Yorker magazine in January.

You, sir, are the JV team. It’s time for you to step down and allow a true leader to restore our honor and protect our sons and daughters.

America has always been exceptional. And she will be again. You, Mr. President, are a bump in our road.

Chief Petty Officer Aaron Carson Vaughn of SEAL Team VI

Chief Petty Officer Aaron Carson Vaughn of SEAL Team VI

Land of the Free? (Guest Commentary)

**In this month where we celebrate freedom and independence, many Americans are feeling less free in their everyday lives. A recent Gallop poll found 79 percent of Americans were satisfied with their level of freedom. That was down 12 points from 2006. It’s clear something is very wrong with our perceptions of freedom and liberty. The following is an editorial my father wrote to his local newspaper, The Batavia (NY) Daily News. He wrote this prior to 2009, and it seems even more applicable now.

There were 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. Fifty-two of them were orthodox, deeply-committed Christians; the other four all believed in the Bible as the Divine Truth. These brave patriots put up their money, property and lives to build this new nation. They were hunted like wild animals; their homes were burned; their property confiscated; their families had to go into hiding and were mistreated if found. If caught, they would hang. Most were homeless, in very poor health and broke by the end of the war. These great patriots were statesmen, not merely politicians. I wonder how our ten percent [approval rating] Congress would act under similar events.

We are losing our freedoms every day. While Americans sleep, [they] wake up long enough to vote these same jokers back into office. From here, some of the worst are appointed to cabinet positions—that is like having the inmates run the asylum. For the readers over 50 [or 55 now], the ones who should remember when we were a God-fearing nation, everything was going our way. We became a great and powerful nation. People from around the world came seeking religious freedom and a better life.

Then in the sixties, we started down the slippery slope to where we are now. In 1962, the Supreme Court restricted prayer in public schools; in 1973 the court found that the so-called “right to privacy” includes unrestricted access to abortion. In 1985 the court overturned a state law setting aside a moment of silence for voluntary prayer in public schools. In 2000, the court overruled a Texas law allowing high school students to pray at athletic events. In 2002, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion because it contains the words “under God”. In 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the display of the Ten Commandments in a state courthouse was unconstitutional.

These decisions by a handful of unelected, imperious Justices are determined to control more and more of our private lives, erase our spiritual heritage and forever redefine us as a nation. The Constitution charges Congress with the responsibility to check the Federal Courts; they have totally abdicated that duty. Nationwide, we have high courts—an unaccountable arrogant judiciary appointed for life–determined to make us dance to their music.

P.S. :  “Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster and what has happened once in 6,000 years may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fall, there will be anarchy throughout the world.”—U.S. Sen. Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Declaration of Independence and American Flag

Movie Review- “America”

AMERICA_DesktopWidescreenThe creator of one of the highest-grossing documentaries in box-office history has paired once again with an Academy-Award-winning producer to bring another unsettling scenario to the big screen as we prepare to celebrate America’s 238th birthday.

Dinesh D’Souza (2016: Obama’s America) and Gerald Molen (Shindler’s List) present viewers with the question: What if the United States of America had never been? In fact, the movie’s subtitle invites us to “imagine the world without her.”

The film first faces the critics of America head-on by breaking down the arguments that the radical left has made against this country: it was founded on racism, genocide, oppression and theft. These beliefs are behind their desire to see the country get taken down a few pegs—to a point where we’re no longer a leader in the world. D’Souza interviews those who hold these beliefs (and have passed them onto younger generations), like Ward Churchill. He was a college professor best known for his disparaging remarks about the victims of 9/11 shortly after that event. Sitting through this portion of the film gave me some idea of what it must be like to be a conservative student on nearly any college campus today, where history, economics and pretty much any other subject are presented from the point of view of the left.

This was really a strong point of the movie. By setting up the fact there’s been an effort among many in our society who wish to undermine the American idea—and backing it up with interviews—D’Souza shows us that not everyone who lives here or who was born here loves it here. This is important to establish up front, as he then goes one by one, refuting each claim made against America. He does this quite well using news clips and more interviews that give the story of America the balance it deserves.

America isn’t just a series of news clips and sit-down interviews, however. Dramatic re-enactments are used effectively throughout the movie to bring moments in history, and those who made history, to life. We see General George Washington commanding his troops; President Abraham Lincoln giving his last speech before being gunned down by an assassin’s bullet; former slave-turned-abolitionist Frederick Douglass, and the experience of one Vietnam POW at the Hanoi Hilton.

D’Souza and co-director John Sullivan (2016: Obama’s America) are skilled storytellers, as they bring the audience into the past, all the while making connections to today. Anyone who may not be familiar with the teachings of Saul Alinsky will come away from this film with a better understanding of who he was and how his radical views have come full circle in the current occupant of the White House, as well as the woman who hopes to follow him (Hillary Clinton).

While watching America, you get a sense of how important it is to learn American history, and how much has already been lost due to revisionism. After all, you can’t really know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been. D’Souza maintains that America is now at a crossroads. As other generations have had to step up to preserve and protect the nation at various points in time, it’s now up to us to restore America. As he says in the film, “We need another Washington or Lincoln or Reagan…but we don’t have them. We have us.”

America is a feast for history lovers, but it’s also got a great soundtrack. Stay through the end credits and enjoy an uplifting—and rocking—new version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by a group I’ve never heard of called Madison Rising. They call themselves “America’s most patriotic rock band” and it’s worth sticking around for a listen. You may even want to download it to accompany you on your Independence Day Weekend activities.


Historical Amnesia

Allied forces on their way to the French coastline on June 6, 1944

Allied forces on their way to the French coastline on June 6, 1944

“I was looking toward land and saw a large shell fall right on a landing craft full of men. I had been praying quite a bit through the night as we approached the French coast but now I began praying more earnestly than ever. Danger was everywhere; death was not far off. I knew that God alone is the maker and preserver of life, who loves to hear and answer prayer. We finally landed and our assault craft was miraculously spared, for we landed with no shells hitting our boat.”– Capt. John G. Burkhalter, Chaplain with the “Fighting First” division in Normandy, France in a letter to his wife, Mable

When Captain Burkhalter wrote those words to his wife 70 years ago, many of us readers and writers of blogs weren’t even born yet…some of our parents may not have been around either. It’s hard to imagine the horrific sights and sounds that greeted the soldiers and airmen who stormed the beaches of France on June 6, 1944. They were, as Capt. Burkhalter says later in his letter, “impressions made on my mind that will never leave it.”

For those who care to look, their words and remembrances of that day are easily found. But what if we don’t even know or care to know what happened on D-Day and why Americans died for a cause that they knew was bigger than them?

Evidence is all around us of the lack of knowledge the average educated American has of our own nation’s history. According to a recent study done by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), less than half of those surveyed knew who was president on D-Day (it was Roosevelt) and one quarter of us don’t even know that it happened during World War II!

This is sad news for a nation that expects to remain free. Anne Neal, president of ACTA, calls it “a slap in the face for all those who fought so valiantly for America’s freedoms.” She goes on to say that college students are graduating with little understanding of American history because courses in it are no longer required on most campuses: “We aren’t adequately preparing the next generation for the challenges of career and community with this apathetic approach to our national heritage. These college graduates are unlikely to understand the cost of maintaining our nation’s freedom.”

Capt. Burkhalter knew the cost because he saw it firsthand. So did Navy medic Virgil Mounts, who at age 16 (according to most accounts) was the youngest hero to die on D-Day. Hospital Apprentice Mounts, a Kentucky boy, was barely old enough to drive when he and fellow medic Frank Walden were attending to some wounded GI’s on the beach when enemy fire landed near them. Shrapnel tore through Beachmaster Mounts’ body and into Walden. The only difference in the stories of these two men is that one ended that day, while the other (Walden) lived to become an old man.

Contrary to the popular saying, ignorance is not bliss.  How long can it be acceptable when most people know more about who won the last Survivor competition than they do about their own history or how their government is supposed to work?  ACTA’s president is exactly right to say that this is a slap in the face to those who gave their lives in service to our nation.  No one can defend—or have the responsibility to defend– freedoms they don’t even know they have. It’s the reason why it was unlawful to educate slaves here in America…and why homeschooling was illegal in Nazi Germany…

Tyranny thrives on ignorance.


No Help For This Hero?

Is the case against a traumatized Marine imprisoned in Mexico being built upon a lie? That’s the claim this Memorial Day by the loved ones of Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, a young Marine reservist who was undergoing treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder in California.

Family members say that on March 31, Sgt. Tahmooressi, 25, made one wrong turn and accidentally crossed the border into Mexico in his car, loaded with all of his personal belongings—including three registered firearms. He had moved to San Diego to receive treatment for PTSD and still had most of his possessions in his vehicle because he was looking for a permanent place to live. According to his mother Jill, he was driving near the border in Tijuana and ended up in the customs lane, missing the place where he could have turned around before ending up in Mexico. Reports indicate Sgt. Tahmooressi may have missed the turn due to construction taking place on the border, and the sign marking the U-turn back to the U.S. was not as prominent as it had been before construction.

Jill Tahmooressi, who has been in contact with her son, told The Blaze last week that she fears his case is “doomed” since the head of Tijuana’s customs office spoke out against him. Alejandro Gonzalez claims Sgt. Tahmooressi drove across the border on purpose to receive medical attention and meet friends—something his mother calls a “flat-out lie”. She said, “There’s no reason why he would ever go down to Mexico for medical care, especially when they don’t even know how to treat foreign combat PTSD. They never send their military to fight foreign wars.” She said her son can still receive health care under her insurance (since he’s under 26), and through the VA.

Sgt. Tahmooressi was initially placed in La Mesa prison in Tijuana, which was the site of 2 uprisings in 2008 that resulted in the deaths of 21 inmates. His hands and feet were chained to a bed for a number of weeks; he was threatened with rape and death. He was recently transferred to El Hongo prison—considered less dangerous than La Mesa—but still houses some dangerous characters. His mother says his condition has improved since being transferred since he’s no longer shackled and is in a private cell, away from the general prison population. He is waiting for his first court appearance on Wednesday when the Mexican border guards who arrested him will testify.

The plight of this soldier is coming out as the scandals with VA hospitals around the country are coming to light, leaving anyone paying attention to wonder, “Is this the best we can do for our veterans?” Some lawmakers, including Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) have rallied around Sgt. Tahmooressi, calling on the State Department and the Marine Corps to get involved. Rep. Hunter, who is also a Marine veteran, pleaded his case to Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos in which he gave details of Sgt. Tahmooressi’s heroic actions while serving in Afghanistan. He also lambasted Secretary of State John Kerry last week on The Glenn Beck Program saying he didn’t believe Kerry “gives a damn”. Since that interview, the Los Angeles Times has reported that Kerry did “mention” the plight of the Marine reservist to Mexican authorities, but the details of that conversation have not been made public.

Meanwhile, Jill Tahmooressi remains hopeful that justice will be done for her son. She said, “I’m still very faithful and know God will help us out.”

**If you would like to sign the petition in support of Sgt. Tahmooressi, you may do so here.

Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, imprisoned in Mexico

Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, imprisoned in Mexico

Bad Seeds Make Rotten Apples

ccs-apple2This wasn’t the post I expected to be writing about the Common Core State Standards today. But sometimes you hear something so alarming, it just can’t wait. Parents, please take note: if you aren’t looking at your children’s textbooks—especially their history books—you may want to start. That goes for their assignments as well.

Eighth graders in one Southern California school district are being asked to consider the issue that the Holocaust may be “a hoax”! Students at the Rialto Unified School District near L.A. were asked to write a paper on whether they believe the Holocaust happened or whether it was a hoax perpetrated by Jews to “influence public emotion and gain wealth.”

The Common Core-aligned assignment was 18 pages long and provided students with a list of “credible sources”. One of these sources claims Anne Frank faked her famous diary. Once a local paper exposed the assignment, the Anti-Defamation League and other Jewish groups made a fuss about it. The school district initially stood by the assignment, but as you can see from this press release issued Monday on their website, things have changed. They will also be having an “Emergency Board Meeting” this evening to discuss the issue.

Maybe they can discuss how such a question got in there in the first place. It’s hard to defend an 18-page assignment as a “mistake”. You can debate many things about history, but to plant the seeds of doubt into young minds that such a major and horrific event as the Holocaust may not have really happened is just plain irresponsible. The proof is on film, in the artifacts left behind and in the lives of those still alive who managed to survive it. Six million Jewish people were murdered (as well as many Catholics, disabled people, homosexuals and others) at the hands of the Nazis in the years between 1939 and 1945.

Revising history is nothing new, and the implementation of Common Core is only going to intensify these kinds of school assignments. Many schools across the nation have already abandoned teaching elementary school children how to read and write in cursive. This is not only a bad idea for them developmentally, but it’s taking from them the ability to read original documents as they were written. Not just The Constitution or Declaration of Independence, but the personal letters and journals that we’ve always used to help us to understand historical events. We learn history by reading the stories of people who came before us written in their own hands.

It’s long been par for the course for liberal/progressive school teachers and professors to bastardize the lives, beliefs and reputations of the Founders of this nation in order to separate as many people as possible from our history. To plant the seeds of doubt about America’s founding and its exceptional, unique role in the world.

What is the country going to reap tomorrow if these are the seeds being sown in today’s classrooms?

When Leaders Lead

Today is Veterans Day.  Some people may have this day off from work or from school, and as with any other holiday, retailers have found a way to make some extra money as we all (hopefully) take this day to thank those who serve—and have served— this great and very blessed nation.

Those currently serving in the armed forces need extra prayers these days.  It seems like their own government is preying on them rather than praying for them.  Their training and resources are being cut.  Those of the Christian faith are forbidden to share their faith with their fellow soldiers, and Obama’s war on the chaplains during the government shutdown was big news (on conservative news sites at least).  It’s ironic that the very people who are right now defending our rights to speak our minds are having their own rights curtailed.  They have to serve under a Commander in Chief who neither respects them, nor goes out of his way to boost their morale.  It was his administration who concocted the asinine motto, “leading from behind”.

It wasn’t always this way. There was a time when Commanders in Chief and other military leaders were men of honor…true patriots and people of faith who did hard things, even when it wasn’t popular.  Many of them led, not from behind, but from beside and even from below:  as in down on their knees, in prayer for those they were leading into battle, and for the wisdom they needed during turbulent times.  Here’s just a few, in their own words:

“The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training—sacrifice.  In battle and in the face of danger and death, he discloses those divine attributes which his Maker gave when He created man in His own image.  No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of the Divine help which alone can sustain him.”- General Douglas Mac Arthur

“The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and Saint Matthew, from Isaiah and Saint Paul…if we don’t have a proper fundamental background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the State!”-  Harry Truman, 33rd president

“Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men.” – General George Patton

Peace fails when we forget what we stand for. It fails when we forget that our Republic is based on firm principles, principles that have real meaning, that with them, we are the last, best hope of man on Earth; without them, we’re little more than the crust of a continent. Peace also fails when we forget to bring to the bargaining table God’s first intellectual gift to man: common sense.” – Ronald Reagan, 40th president

Finally there was the Father of Our Country, President and General George Washington, who is portrayed in the famous painting in prayer at Valley Forge.  He said, “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

It may be time to pray for another George Washington, but until such time that a strong Commander in Chief is raised up to lead our dedicated armed forces…may they be safe in whatever situation they find themselves in at the moment, and may they return to their families very soon…and if you happen to be a veteran, thank you for your service!

A leader prays for his nation.

A leader prays for his nation.

My Dad in the Air Force in Korea in the early 1950's

My Dad in the Air Force in Korea in the early 1950’s

Hitting Below the Beltway

In an effort to spread misery amongst “the masses”, as any good progressive sees the rest of us, the Obama Administration continues to show its true colors during this second week of the so-called “government shutdown”.  So called, because, by most reports, about 80 percent of the government is running as usual.

Some good people are without their paychecks because they’ve been deemed “non-essential” and have been furloughed.  Why Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are considered essential is beyond my ability to explain, even in good times.  But that’s another story.

The worst thing to come out of the “shutdown”, besides the mass media focusing their blame on the wrong people (Tea Party Republicans instead of big government progressives from BOTH parties), is the shutdown of national parks and memorials.  Even—maybe especially—the open air memorials in Washington, D.C. that never have guards around them, such as the World War II and the Vietnam memorials.

Imagine a government that would deny access to the National Mall to American citizens, many of whom have fought for this nation, but open it up for thousands of illegal aliens for an amnesty rally.  They found the cash to build a big stage and I assume needed all of the appropriate police on duty that most rallies on the National Mall require—all for a bunch of discontented felons who broke federal law to be here, who only want to gather to demand citizenship to a country they hate in order to get the benefits they love.  And they did it with the support of some left-wing Congressmen, many of whom were arrested at the rally.  These future democrat voters had the red carpet laid out for them by the administration, but 90-year-old WWII veterans in wheelchairs are apparently the enemy.  When you have Obama’s union buddies sponsoring your rally, you get treated differently than a busload of elderly veterans in town for a few hours to view their own memorial.  To paraphrase George Orwell in his book Animal Farm, all are equal, but some are more equal than others.

The treatment of veterans in this government shutdown has been disgusting, and it hasn’t just been the people who came on Honor Flights—many of them either ignored the barricades set up by federal officials (who apparently haven’t been furloughed)—and went in to see the memorial anyway.  For most of these heroes, this is the first and last opportunity they’ll have to see it, and they weren’t about to take any Obama-crap.

Other shutdown shenanigans using veterans as pawns have included not issuing death benefits to the families of fallen soldiers.  Within three days of a soldier’s death, the Pentagon usually pays out $100,000, but has said there is no authority to make those payments due to the shutdown.  However, Congress contested this saying that a law passed prior to the shutdown gave the Department of Defense the authority to make such payments. The Senate also passed such a law, but the White House resisted because the president doesn’t want to deal with these “piecemeal” laws that fund various parts of the government, but not his precious Obamacare.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said that no legislation was needed for this because a private foundation, The Fisher House, has agreed to pay these benefits for the duration of the shutdown.  Carney said they would be reimbursed by the DoD once the shutdown is over.

But wait…there’s more:  military chaplains who have been furloughed were threatened that they will be punished if they perform masses and baptisms for free.

-Obama made sure to spread the hurt across the Atlantic:  he closed the D-Day Memorial in Normandy, France as well as a number of other military cemeteries.

-Obama has dictated that the only part of the American Forces Network that won’t be shut down is the news division.  AFN provides news, sports and entertainment to our soldiers stationed abroad.  During the shutdown, as they risk life and limb for their nation, they will only be allowed to watch the news programming- nothing that will entertain them.

Obama has never been good at hiding his disdain for the military and his choice of what to close and what to keep open speaks volumes.  That’s why veterans from all over will be making their voices heard this Sunday, October 13th in Washington, D.C. for the “Million Vet March on the Memorials”.  If you live within driving distance, please go to show your support for them, or at least take a minute to sign their petition on the website.

The whole shutdown is really about the complete funding for the leviathan law known as Obamacare, which in its first week of operation, has proven itself to be as successful as a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest.  Obama wasn’t willing to let Republicans in on the crafting of the law before it was passed, and he’s not willing to negotiate with them now.  He doesn’t like opposing views, and in his arrogance, doesn’t believe he has to hear them.

These events can’t be taken lightly.  I hope anyone who reads this will keep all of this in the back of your mind as a red flag.  Any president who would be willing to bully elderly veterans and keep a group of senior citizen tourists at Yellowstone under armed guard (yes, it happened, please read the article linked here) will do anything that needs to be done to make average citizens feel the pain in order to get what he wants…anything.

government-shutdown-cartoon-heller1-495x341***UPDATE 10/14/13:  Thousands of vets and supporters (including Sarah Palin) turned out yesterday to re-open the memorials in Washington, D.C.  Check out some memorable pictures here and here of the day’s peaceful protests.

Wake Up! It’s Monday Again!

“One year like any old other year

In a week like any week

Monday lying down

Half asleep

People doing what people do

Loving, working and getting through

No portraits on the walls

Of Seventh Avenue”

-lyrics to “Tuesday” by Five for Fighting

In a couple of days, we’ll mark another anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania that took the lives of nearly 3,000 people.  It’s also the first anniversary of the attack on our embassy in Benghazi that left our ambassador there dead, along with three brave Americans.  That second incident could never have happened, I’m afraid, without some amount of forgetting about the first one by some people in very high places.  It appears now we may be on the eve of yet another war…this time, though, our brave soldiers will be sent to Syria to fight on the side of the people who took down those two massive towers—and left the lives of thousands changed forever.

Sure, we’re being told that this isn’t going to war, necessarily- just some very precise strikes at certain locations.  Does anyone really believe this?  Given the record of this president and his cohorts, how can we ever trust what they say?  These are the same people who blamed the Benghazi attack on a poorly-made You Tube movie by some guy no one ever heard of (who only recently got out of jail on supposedly “unrelated charges”).

They’re the same people who, to this day, refer to the deadly shootings at Fort Hood in 2009, as an incident of “workplace violence” instead of calling it what it really was.  Just for future reference, Mr. President and Mr. Eric Holder:  when someone shouts “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is greater”) while shooting American soldiers—or while flying planes full of people into buildings full of people—he or she is in full jihadi mode.  It’s called a terrorist attack.

They also ignored warnings from Russian intelligence about the two brothers who executed a successful attack at the Boston Marathon earlier this year where 3 people died and hundreds more sustained life-altering injuries.  At least that one they did see fit to call an act of terrorism, even though they had proclaimed last year that the War on Terror was officially over.  In fact, when Obama became president, he didn’t even want the phrase to be a part of the government’s lexicon, preferring to call the War on Terror an “overseas contingency operation”.  Political correctness gone wild.

Since then, he’s tried to fight multiple wars the PC way, by letting the enemy know in advance when we’ll be leaving the area, not even calling those who want to kill us “enemies” (or acknowledging that there are people who want to kill us), and neither defining nor desiring victory.   Only a horse’s behind could concoct such a motto as “Lead from behind.”

The words from the song noted above were written by John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting.  He captures very well the mindset of Monday, September 10, 2001.  I wouldn’t say we were a nation of innocence and naiveté back then, but compared to what happened on Tuesday and in the years since, it pretty much was an innocent time.

Maybe we’ve forgotten that there was once a time when people who took you to the airport or picked you up could actually go right up to the gate.  Or that getting on a plane didn’t involve removing any articles of clothing or being touched by a total stranger.  The Constitution of the United States has taken a brutal beating over the past twelve years (even before Obama) to the point that the Founding Fathers wouldn’t recognize it or the nation that still claims to be governed by it.

It’s easy and maybe even convenient for those of us who didn’t lose a loved one, either on 9/11/01 or 9/11/12 to allow our memories of these days to fade, only to look back once a year when we’re sure to see some retrospective on a cable news channel.

But for those who lost someone, they live with the results of terrorism every day.  They’d probably give anything for it to be Monday, September 10th  again, just to have one last chance to see, talk to or hug the one they lost.  Many of us haven’t forgotten them, but I’m not so sure about our “leaders”.  It took less than a dozen years to go from Never Forget…to Try to Remember.

 “The thing about memories

They’re sure and bound to fade

Except for the stolen souls

Left upon her blade

Is Monday coming back?

That’s what Mondays do”

Ground Zero in 2006:  Memorial wall listing names of victims of WTC attacks

Ground Zero in 2006: Memorial wall listing names of victims of WTC attacks

***NOTE:  You can listen to “Tuesday” by Five for Fighting HERE.  And watch my video tribute to the victims of 9/11/01 by clicking the “Remembering 9/11/01” photo that is always linked from this page.