Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day

Being the middle child, you may think I would get a lot of hand-me-downs. Well, thank goodness I am in between two girls. I have an older sister and a younger sister so the hand-me-downs from my older went directly to my younger sister and bypassed me all together. About the only hand-me-down I got from my older sister, was aggravation, and I got lots of that.

The hand-me-downs I received was more information that my father passed on to me. I learned quite a bit from my father and the information he passed down to me is the basics of any young man coming of age.

He taught me things by lessons and some by example. He would tell me to go put on a dirty shirt or a work shirt and I knew we were going to get our hands dirty. He taught me how to change spark plugs on all of our vehicles. I learned how to drive a stick on an old Volkswagen camper bus. The gears were on a diagonal, not straight up and down. The reverse on that bus was odd. At least it was odd for a fifteen-year-old boy... you had to push the gear shift stick down and then into Reverse. It was kind of cool.

He taught me how to change the fan belts, yes belt(S) plural, in our cars and my truck. This was a time when you have four or five belts running at one time. Now a days you have but the one serpentine belt. Did I spell that correctly? The one belt wraps around every pulley and keeps it all going. I was able to help myself if I ever was to find myself broke down on the side of the road with a busted fan belt or a flat tire. Most fathers taught their sons these little tasks when he was growing up and he passed them along to me.

I don't know if fathers do this anymore. I would like to think they, I hope they do, but if not please take some of your knowledge and skills and hand it down to your child. If that child be a girl or a boy, it matters not, teach your child some basics.

My father took me fishin' many times while I was growing up. If he had to work, my grandfather took me. I remember being in a boat with my my dad, who can't swim by the way, and he would take me in a boat out to Grassy Pond and we would go fishing. I loved those times. He taught me to love the outdoors and fishing.

Remember that old Volkswagen camper bus I told you about, the one I learned how to drive a stick in, well, he would take me camping in that bus a few times as well. I remember going to Alligator point and we spent a couple of nights. Reed Bingham State Park, in Adel, Georgia. I don't think we ever fished there, but we camped there a lot because it was so close to Valdosta.

The things he taught me by example was how to treat a lady. My father actually loves and cares deeply for my mother. I see the way he treats her, respects her, and loves here every day of my life. Both when we were younger and now. My mother knows this and appreciates it. I try to live by his example and love and respect my wife as well.

I really enjoyed those times we spent together. Take your son or daughter camping, teach them how to change the oil in a car, change the spark plugs, and the ONE fan belt. Teach them about the outdoors, fishin', huntin', campin'... or what ever your hobby is. Spend time with your children.  Spend time with your dad if he is still around. Take him fishin' or just for a ride in the boat. Go buy him a beer or a Coke, or a cup of coffee. Spend time with him and tell him you appreciate and love him.

Happy Father's Day

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thank You, Soldier

        A soldier is the man or woman who fights for their government and carries the weapons, risking their life in the process. The word comes from the Latin solidus, which is the name of the gold coin used to pay soldiers who fought in the Roman army.

        A soldier is one who fights as part of an organized land-based armed force. A soldier can be an enlisted person, a non-commissioned officer, or junior-commissioned officer, or an officer.

        As a Soldier in the U.S. Army, you're tasked with upholding the Constitution and protecting America's freedoms. But it's not always work — Soldiers have free time just like everyone else to spend with friends and family, or take part in sports or hobbies. Soldiers continually strengthen themselves mentally and physically through Ongoing Training. And most important — Soldiers live the Seven Core Army Values every day.

If you wear the uniform, and serve in the military, to protect my freedom, whether it be the USAF, ARMY, NAVY, or the USMC, I want to say thank you for what you do.

You may be on a hill somewhere in another country with your scope set on a target that is plotting to do me and my country harm, Thank you for that.

You may be behind a desk translating encrypted letters to the brass that holds some information about those that intend to do us harm, I want to thank you for that.

You may be two miles deep below the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or even the Baltic, on a nuclear sub with a few hundred other soldiers guarding the border or watching the bad guys... If no one has said it yet, I would like to thank you for all that you do and sacrifice for my freedom and my country.

Memorial Day, is an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May. It was originally known as Decoration Day, and started not long after the Civil War. Memorial Day became an official federal holiday in 1971. 

After the Civil War claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history, this required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries. Starting late in the 1860s, Americans all over used this time of the year to remember, honor, and pay tribute to these fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and other acts of love and respect.

It is unclear just where this tradition started, but in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day. Waterloo was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event. During this time, businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags. Waterloo first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866.

Memorial Day is used as the unofficial beginning of Summer and many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and enjoying or even participating in parades.

There is much more to this day than a parade or a cookout, so please google Memorial Day and read about its history and those involved in its origin. Remind yourself and others the true reason for this holiday.

Originally Memorial Day was for Americans to take the opportunity to remember the fallen soldiers, and pay tribute to their sacrifice for our freedom. Some soldiers paid the ultimate price with their life, and some have lost limbs, and some are still suffering from their service.

While you are celebrating the freedom we have to cook out, spend time with family and friends, please find a vet and say thank you. Shake his or her hand offer a heart-felt thanks to what they have sacrificed for our freedom.

Remember that because of these soldiers, both past and present, we have the freedom that some countries only read about. We have the freedom to gather with friends and family and enjoy a day off. We have the freedom to make YouTube videos, write blogs, write books, sing songs, and say what we want to say without persecution from the law. It's called the first amendment. This is just one of he freedoms these soldiers have fought for, on our behalf.

So on this Memorial Day, I would like to simply say thank you to all the soldiers that stand up for my freedom.