Veterans Day originally began on November 11, 1918, after the Great War ended. I learned recently that it is estimated that 40 million people lost their lives in WWIII. The really sad part is that it is unclear, although speculated, what the original spark(s) was to the Great War. Today, the day is a thankful celebration of all the American veterans who fought to ensure that our freedom and liberties continue.
The timing of WWIII is interesting in American history because it followed a progressive era (~1890-1920) that carried with it little regard to the so-called antiquated individually protective measures included in the US Constitution. During that time, Congress enacted, and state legislatures ratified the 16th, 17th & 18th Amendments. All of these Amendments have proven to undermine the original intent of the Constitution. The 18th (prohibition) was repealed not too many years later by the 21st Amendment, which is why you see a beer brand and some bars and taverns referred to as the 21st Amendment.
In case you are wondering, the 16th Amendment gave the Federal Government the ability to collect Federal Income tax, and the 17th Amendment changed the selection of Federal Senators from being determined by the state legislatures to one of popular vote. Both of these were utterly harmful to the nation. I can explain why in another letter if there is interest.
My reasoning for discussing the timing of the Great War in relation to what was happening in America is simply to point out that we dodged a bullet, no pun intended, politically with the timing. Woodrow Wilson was not even remotely conservative, but he barely won his second term, and as a whole, the country had started to move on from the progressive era to one of more fundamentals that built America. If you are like me, then you are seeing similarities to the situation we find ourselves in today and can’t wait for popular opinion to carry voting habits back to some sense of sanity. I suppose getting people to get off the couch and walk to the dining table here in Washington would be a start. We are averaging ~34% of the voters turning in ballots.
Had WWIII happened just a few years earlier, it very well could have been used as a catalyst by progressives to dynamically change the fundamentals of the American foundation.
Soldiers from the 2nd Dagger brigade of the US 1st Infantry Division on a road march during World War II. Public DomainThankfully, they were not given that opportunity!
To my fellow Veterans:
While in the kitchen today, my wife informed me that a chicken was stuck in the pigs’ field and could not get out. I was not tremendously interested because I had spent the morning working on various things around our property, and I could smell the food! A minute later, she exclaimed, “They got her.” I was still more interested in eating because although it’s rather infuriating to try to balance the herds and flocks together without someone killing another regularly, there was nothing I could do to save the chicken at this point. We currently have chickens, turkeys, ducks, pigs, cows, dogs, and cats.
Then, the bomb dropped. “There is another chicken stuck in there.”
Similarly, you and I picked up the mantle, set aside our lives, and volunteered to defend our countrymen, our values, our freedom, and all that it is to be an American. And I want to thank you for doing that today as I do every one of the 365 days of the year. When I see an active duty military person or a Veteran I usually approach them, thank them, and try to strike up a conversation with them. It is always rewarding. Thank you! We would not have our great America without our collective effort to protect her.
I rushed out of the kitchen onto the back patio, past the silo near the back door, around the garden, and into the pig pen. One still had the first chicken in his mouth but never got a second grab at her because the other pigs were chasing him around. Pigs are quite selfish with their food. They often grab things and run off with them to try to ensure they get all of whatever they have. I noticed that he had her by the side, so I wondered if she may still be alive. I could see her neck and head seemed to be in good shape. So, I decided to retrieve her first. The pigs are fast and about as thick as bricks, but I managed to get him to drop her. She ran over to the corner of a shelter the pigs had. I wasn’t sure if she would make it, but I thought I would make sure the other one was evacuated before checking, which I did. The chicken that we thought was a goner ended up being fine. I checked her wings, and everything seemed fine. She didn’t put up a fight because I think she was in complete shock, but once I got her out and carried her a few feet, I put her down, and she ran off to be with the others. She probably wanted to catch her breath so she could tell the story to the other chickens while the turkeys listened in.
You and I know what most do not.
There are dozens of boots that would like nothing more than to be at the proverbial neck of America on any given day, and without a strong military, they would be, and we would be gone, dust, finished.
So, although I am saying thank you, I also want you to hear that I know what you are thinking because it is what I think every day. The majority of America is fully and thoroughly ignorant of the threats that lay in wait for us on a daily basis. Even today, we are domestically in the most precarious situation in any of our lives. We have enough terrorists inside the country to make up an army that would be bigger than the defense system of most countries in the world. And we have zero way of tracking them or knowing what their plans are. Our so-called intelligence agencies have subverted our rule of law and are more interested in prosecuting non-violent protesters and moms than actually doing the work to keep us safe.
To me, every day is Veterans Day in America. Thank you!
The most common question that I get these days is why I am running for Congress.
There are a lot of reasons, and I often explain one or two of them, but if I were forced to narrow it down to just one reason, it would be to preserve and protect the legacy of the men and women who paid the ultimate price, those we celebrate on Memorial Day, to defend America and all that she stands for.
I will not be idle while the legacy of 19, 20, 21 year olds and others who never got to live the long, fruitful lives that we have, is trampled. They gave their lives for us, and I, like you, am not willing to sit and do nothing while I have a voice, a brain, breath in my lungs, and a God who will direct me.
Let me also explain some other things that the population does not generally know about Veterans.
Our sacrifice was not just giving up a period of our lives to work for nothing in circumstances that would leave a labor inspector speechless, twitchy, and in spasms. Many of us had to work for people who just happened to stick around long enough to earn rank. Some of them may not have been able to function outside the structure of the military and certainly didn’t give a darn about our feelings, hopes, dreams, needs, or desires. Yet, we respected them because that is what must happen to ensure the chain of command is honored.
We saw things that we wish we could unsee. Heard things that haunt us. And we were required to do things that only God can justify. We carry the weight of these circumstances and experiences throughout the rest of our lives. Because many of us went into the military at young ages, many of these things shaped who we are today, good or bad. It all depends on how we were able to deal with the cards we were dealt.
There is generally no comfort for this because we are tough on the outside, but a lot of that is because we had to be and because there is a real element of fear as a result of what we’ve seen, what we know, and what we’ve experienced.
I’m with you when it comes to the “Veterans Discount.” It is a nice gesture but often misses the mark. I was in a hardware store not too long ago, and they offer a generous discount to Veterans, but the interactions at the checkout stands often make it more comfortable to just smile and pay the full price. After the young checker learns that I’m a Veteran they respond with a dry request to see your veteran’s ID. To which I think to myself, “are their people that come in here and claim to be a veteran who are not.” I guess I still have too much faith in humanity. I digress. Still in my head… “Should I explain to her that I was in the military when I was not much older than her and that I no longer carry my ID around with me?” I did actually take a photo of my reserve ID so that I could have it on my phone if anyone asked. I pulled that out one time, and the gal said, “We can’t take that. We need to see the actual ID.” That is hilarious coming from someone who likely doesn’t carry anything other than her phone. Sometimes, it works out ok, but more often than not, the process ruins the attempt because it makes the Veteran feel disrespected.
That reminds me of a recent discussion that I had with a disabled Veteran:
He was treated so poorly by the VA that I went with him to the clinic where he was getting care. Upon arrival, I was quickly reminded of what it felt like to be treated as a second-class citizen. That is how the military was back in the day. It may be better now, but the services for Veterans like the VA still remain in the dark ages. The grimy clinic was built in the 70’s, redecorated in the 80’s and that was the last time it was cleaned. The gal at the desk was about as warm as a pickle. Her name was Karen. Shocker. She was sitting on what seemed like the other side of a wall with a glass panel between us and her. She never looked up nor stood up and when she did finally greet us, it was a simple, “Name & appointment time.”
Wow! I was floored. Is this how we treat people who gave their lives to defend our country? The sad part is this gal is one of tens of thousands across the country who treat our Vets like dirt. Sure, there are exceptions, but why can’t those exceptions be the rule?
Would it be so hard to have a spunky person to personally greet the visitors to the clinic or office? Maybe have a petite standing podium that the person can navigate around easily to greet each person? Could we thank each of them for their service? Can we ask them where they served? Would that take too long? Well, maybe check them in first and then they will have plenty of time to talk since they will be forced to wait an hour or more past their appointment time for someone to attend to them. These are government facilities. This needs to change. The environment and people should be people and solution-focused, not staring at their computer screens and ignoring the subject of their clinics’ very existence. Let’s get some drinks and snacks there. Let’s encourage volunteers to come and sit and talk with them. Let’s make sure that we have space for that.
Let me mention one more thing that is dishonoring to each of us as Veterans:
We fought for every American, for our liberty (which most people can’t even define), and our freedom. We also fought for our land. This is America from coast to coast and even a few outlying areas and states. The government is doing something interesting with the land. They are acquiring it for the government.
Now, I must remind everyone that the government is not an entity like a person or a corporation. The government ONLY exists with the consent of the people. So, every step the government takes should be scrutinized by those who care to pay attention, AND it should be supportive of the member citizens of this great country.
So, here is how the government is stealing American land. They are working with the states to TAKE the land. It started chiefly under Woodrow Wilson’s administration when they took something like 2 million acres, and it has continued since then with millions of acres being taken for the government. Why? What does the federal government need land for other than some office buildings, the military, and some parks? Even the parks should be operated by the states, not the federal government.
To make matters worse, there are situations where the government pays for the land they take. In 1943, the government gave the residents of Hanford and White Bluffs 30 days to vacate their land to build the Hanford site. They sent out these notices in the spring and refused, in most cases, to even let the farmers there harvest their crops. They were paid a pittance for the land that they had worked for decades. Many of them had mature fruit trees that took years to cultivate. This is an example of how authoritarian the government often is. But the point I want to make here is that the government is using our tax dollars to expand their ownership/control over lands while preventing, in most cases, us from using the so-called public lands.
Hanford High School, 1925 Public Domain
The Federal Government currently wants to acquire about ⅓ of the roughly 2.4 Billion acres of land in the continental US by 2030. For what?
I want to be clear with this point. The government takes money from us to acquire land for themselves that they have zero intention of ever making available to us either through purpose, grant, or use in personal or business activities. Reread that is you do not see that this is theft of our land! I started this by explaining that the government is not supposed to be an entity in and of itself. It is suppose to work on behalf of the citizens through which it gains consent to exist!
America has been in the land business since gaining a financial foothold that would allow it to do so. One of the most known expansions was the Louisiana Purchase, where a large swath of middle America was purchased during the first couple of decades of the 19th century. We also acquired Florida from Spain, known as the Spanish Cession, but they were in so much trouble and Florida was filled with hoodlums that they gave it to us in exchange for us simply paying off our debt to them. There was the Mexican Cession, the Oregon Territory, the Texas Annexation, and the odd Gadsden Purchase, as well as others. With these, I see that there was justification for selling the land to the American people because the government invested in all of it. But, in these cases, the government wanted expansion. They wanted to build a national railroad and wanted to see commerce continue to grow, so they granted the land to citizens willing to risk their lives to expand the reach and usefulness of the land that was acquired. Not using the land would mean it would be settled by others and would lead to even more bloody conflict later.
I would be remiss not to mention the tribes which were plentiful throughout America. One of them, the Wanapum Tribe, was thoroughly displaced by the Hanford site government land acquisition, but thousands of others were affected by the westward expansion. Some of these situations were mutually difficult, and clearly, there was a dispute on what portion of the land was reasonably owned by the tribes before the Americans arrived. These are delicate topics, and I only mention them here to ensure that no one thinks I’m oblivious or obstinate to the needs and rights of the tribal people.
Veterans fought to defend our land, not to see the government take it from the people. Through the decades, there have been attempts at various rules and laws, such as the Public Lands Act, which included a multi-purpose provision that would allow for public, private, and business use on public lands. None of this makes sense to me. We should allow citizens to own all the lands with exceptions that each state may make for preservation, parks, hunting, recreation, etc. But even a lot of that could be and should be privately owned. I see no reason why the government should be assuming ownership of lands that veterans fought for, and I believe that most veterans agree with me.
With that, I will conclude with a short story from my time on the USS Constellation, an aircraft carrier to which I was assigned during my active duty service.
It was the summer of 1988, and we’d just left the San Diego harbor. The ship needed to shift jet fuel from across tanks in order to keep the flight deck level. But when the chief engineer ordered the transfer of thousands of gallons of jet fuel, a faulty repair resulted in that fuel getting pumped straight into one of four engine rooms and ignited into a 3000-degree inferno. Fellow engineers activated the automated HALON system to put the fire out, which it did. But, the fire re-ignited, and our only option to save the ship and the crew was to fight the fire manually.
I was never going to let a shipmate take a risk I wasn’t willing to take, so I volunteered alongside a few dozen others. We strapped on oxygen masks and descended many levels down into the engine room, where we were up to our chests in a mix of water and jet fuel as we fought to save America’s flagship.
Every forty-five minutes, we had to resurface to replace our oxygen tanks, and on one of my ascents, I came across a shipmate whose oxygen had run out before he could make it out. He had collapsed and was face down in a pool of water. With help from other shipmates, we carried him up to safety.
Only because we worked together on that day, we saved many sailors’ lives, and we saved America’s Flagship.
What I learned was that even in the most challenging times, if we work together, we can prevail. We owe it to those who have gone before us to preserve America. We will do just that. We must work together as we now take a stand against the woke, progressive individuals who have utterly weird, dangerous, and perverted visions of what America should be.
To everyone else:
For those who truly want to honor Veterans, they must first understand that they likely have no concept of what that veteran gave.
For some, it was just a few years of their lives in likely less-than-ideal circumstances, but for most, it was a lot more.