Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Dying Spider

Something we all know is fear.
Some, more than others become intimate with it.

October 17th, 1969, Suy Koa Valley, Viet Nam

"Four-four, Get out of there, you're on fire..."
the radio screams in your ears. An R.P.G. in the
fuel cell flying past a ridge in the valley.

The smoke, heat and flames you know are there
only show on the instruments now.
The bird was hit...Hit hard.

For a moment time stops...You see the jungle below,
the fear on the co-pilots face.
Hear the crew chief and door gunner yelling.
The packs are screaming.

Time rushes back in, seconds you need are tearing past you.
Engines out, left pedal turn, and try for the mouth of the valley.
Auto-rotate, extend it.
"Christ!" "Not in the trees...We'll go up like a balloon there."

Too low, too fast...Clear of the trees, and flare.
"Flare out the God Damned speed."
You scream, "Get those grunts out of here."
No one hears, but they are jumping.
Crew chief and door gunner on the skids outside,
Impact! Thrown forward, and back...One time.
Flames overhead, licking your shoulders

Time slows again. Images you will keep.
Door gunner thrown forward, rolling just under the blades.
Crew chief outside your door, trying to open it.
Tearing his hands on it...Its buckled in a crazy vee.
Co-pilot hitting his door, the windshield, then between the seats and out.

Time speeds again...Fall through the shattered windshield.
Grab the crew chief's arm, and run.
Behind a rice paddy dike. Look back.
The birds engulfed in flames.
The blades just now slowing to a stop.
Curling up, in the fire.
Like a dying spiders legs.

Two-six is landing behind you, run to meet it. Hop on.
Co-pilot turns, yelling "Two-two picked up your troops."
"One may got a broken leg."

One last look, lean back.
Try to light a cigarette through your shakes.
Two minutes...It's over.
"Oh God."

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Last year my wife, my youngest son and I went to a Native American Pow Wow in honor of Veteran's Day. As all the veterans walked in a line behind the native dancers, and then stood in line to introduce themselves, I felt both humbled and proud. I don't believe I could find the words to tell you the pride I felt when my youngest son (The Warrior from the Sea) introduced himself.

I never met my own father. He lost his life serving as a marine on Iwo Jima in 1945. Twenty five years later I was serving in Viet Nam as an Army helicopter Pilot. Twenty five years after that, my youngest son serving in the Marine Corps returned to Iwo Jima as part of the delegation attending the 50th anniversary of the flag raising on Mount Suribachi.

He told me how he felt when he walked up onto the beach. He said he and his comrades didn't know where to step. Each place they put their foot, a Marine may have died. He said it was like walking on a shrine. Like walking where God had walked. He brought me some of the useless, precious black volcanic sand from Iwo Jima. It's all I have of my father. It is one of my most treasured possessions.

Tonight I went to another Pow Wow honoring Veteran's Day. This time at the Yakama Nations
reservation in White Swan, Washington. Again all the veterans followed the dancers in a circle following the American Flag. When we introduced ourselves, they handed us a blanket and a cap from our branches of service. Other things followed, a folding chair, a bag of peanuts, candy, and deer jerky. All among us there was a feeling of kinship. The Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and even the Coast Guard. As we walked down the line, shaking hands with each other, it was as though we were one family. The old, young and all in between.

I wish my youngest son had been able to be there.

If you know a veteran, or have veterans in your family...Take the time to call them, or see them this Veteran's Day. If they have passed on...remember them. If you have some one serving now, let them know they are remembered and honored. Give them your pride, your love, and respect. As much as the United States needs them...they need you.

May God bless our military, and may God bless the United States.

I wish my son had been able to be there.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

All Right...The other guy won.

O.K....So the other guy won. I'm disappointed, and not a little dispirited...BUT...As an old soldier who still considers himself under the oath taken so many years ago, I'll accept it, and defend it. I will support the President elect in all issues that do not offend my sensibilities too much, and try to give my best counsel in those issues I cannot agree with. Of best counsel would never be heard by the President, but I will share them with those who would listen.

What I would like to see is a stop to the Palin bashing. She may not have had all facts and figures at her fingertips early in the campaign, but she is obviously a quick study. She has demonstrated herself to be a competent administrator who has the ability and character to overcome enormous odds and issues. "You Go Lady." I would probably support her in any endeavour she chose to pursue.

My heart is with Senator McCain, and I will continue to cheer his efforts...Now against odds even greater than before. I believe in America, I will stand with America, and as the words in that long ago oath state; I will defend the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Whoever you pray to; Ask for guidance for the President, and may God Bless America.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

When the Media Chooses Who Is To Be President

I am disappointed and shocked at the behavior of the news media today. I wonder now who owns the media. They select who to poll, who's comments to publish, whatever slant to bring to the news, what stories they bring forth, and now it seems...they have decided who will be our President. The favoritism they have brought forth to one candidate, and disapproval of the other makes suspect all of the news they bring us.

As a veteran of Viet Nam, I remember the slant they took there. Reporting the bad and not the good. It seemed to almost all of us that the media poisoned the American public about those of us that served. We were called baby killers and worse, and treated with high disdain. While it was our first living room war, seen on TV every evening, we were not the animals we seemed to be portrayed as. Now in Iraq and Afghanistan we hear and see reports of Americans who have killed civilians, of bombs hitting the wrong targets, and murders by our soldiers. Where are the reports of the good? Where are the heartwarming stories of people saved by Americans and their allies. Where are the videos and reports of what we have built, and helped to build in these countries? I guess only shock, horror and bad news seems to be the SELL.

Sometimes I have to wonder if the media is involved in some outlandish plot to help destroy the United States. I can't believe that, it's a ridiculous notion. Unless... there is a heckova lot of hostile ownership in the news media.

Now they seem to have decided unfair, and unequal reporting is acceptable to sway a Presidential election. I just read an article about Obama flexing his muscle in a thirty minute ad. Another ad saying it was appropriate to slam Governor Palin. There was a spot for comments at the bottom. Enough comments were posted that it took twenty minutes to read. There were only two comments defending Governor Palin. WHAT? That's right; only two. Every where she goes, we see thousands of people cheering her. Where are those people represented in your comments. The media chooses what comments they will publish.

Beyond her obvious intelligence and accomplishments, she is the only one of the three who has governed, and she has done that extremely well. It appalls me that the media is able to endorse one candidate over another. This is an admission of favoring one candidate in preference to another. I don't believe that is appropriate for any news outlet. They cast suspicion on all their reporting. What prevents them from flavoring any story to their taste. NOTHING!

I have heard nothing from any live report about the controversy concerning Obama's legal status to even run for president. It seems to be banned from the live news. Several lawsuits are demanding authoritative proof of his citizenship, but is is noticeably missing from the news. What can be learned must come from research into the subject. I believe the United States can survive even Obama in the White House, but I not sure about about our security when it seems as though almost all the media is demanding the right to lead us. The only media I now trust is FOX news. They at least give equal opportunity to opposing views.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Our Life is Being Written

Sometimes in conversation,
I mention,"I am Native."
They say: "You don't look it, you look Irish."
I tell them; "That is only the cover of my book."
"You have to read. "

From an Irish grandfather, I have my face.
From his Cherokee wife, I have my height.
From a German grandfather, I have my solid, stubborn beliefs.
From his Choctaw wife, I have my build.

From my children I have pride,
Each more accomplished than I
From my Choctaw-Cherokee wife,
my Tripping Buffalo Woman,
I have my heart, my soul,
and more dreams to build.

I am an old soldier,
A Native American Veteran.
I still believe the soldiers creed, sworn long ago.

I am an American fighting man.
I serve in the forces that guard our country,
and our way of life.
I am prepared to give my life in their defense.

No longer on the battlefield,
with silver gray on top,
my fight is left to words.
They mean nothing without you to hear.

I do not do enough for my Native Blood,
Perhaps it will do
that it courses through the veins of my children,
and the blood I left in a land, far away.

I am Native, it is my heart and my soul.
You have seen the first page
of this book that is still being written.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Flat Tax

Okay...Lets talk about Flat Taxes. Would it benefit us? Would it help the economy? The government? The United States as a whole? I think so.

How would the ordinary people feel about being taxed .05% on every dollar earned, and .05% on every dollar spent. Hey; that's a no brainer. The common people would love it. If you earned $100.00 a day...$5.00 would go to taxes. Not 35% for a $500.00 week. (= $175.00 or a net earning of $325.00) It would total $25.00 in taxes for the whole week.

Now some people would say the government could not function on so little... BUT, AHA, The big earners would have to pay the same tax. The oil companies showing record profits every quarter for the past millinia would also have to kick in that same .05% Imagine the billions of dollars made by them in three months. Insurance companies, auto makers, everyone who made money in the United States. Including the CEOs of those companies. Then when they spent it on what ever...goodies, vacations, retreats, wine, persons of the opposite sex, and song...They have to pay another .05%.

State funding by prorated contribution, and the government share of public works funding. Geez, the oil companies alone post more profit than than the government reports as GNP for the nation. Whats up with that? I guess it has something to do with what they call net profit.

What is painfully obvious is that they don't pay their fair share of taxes. It's hidden under research and development costs. Its forgiven as tax shelters, and tax breaks to stimulate the economy. The biggest companies are not building new factories with their big profits. They are researching ways to reward themselves more greatly by saving money for themselves by shipping jobs to cheaper labor countries. Yet their biggest customer base is in the United States. Do we see anything wrong with that picture? Like eventual collapse of the economy?

R&D is a natural cost of doing business. Keep up or get swamped by the competition. It should not be in the tax shelter business. Big companies get a double whammy on savings because they report direct cost of R&D as an expense, and then get a tax break to do further. Huh?

A flat tax would eliminate that. Every dollar earned. A person buys a gallons of gas...Its five cents tax...Every gallon. The oil companies pay five cents for every dollar they generate. No hidden money. God! Think of that. The little guy gets by cheaper, and the big guy has to pay his share. We would generate more money than ever in taxes. The big guy would complain that the amount of his taxes was unfair, but the CEO of Exxon Mobil made over $44,000,000.00 last year. Gee, I would feel so sorry for that guy if he had to pay the same percentage as the guy making a hundred bucks a day.

Then we would also have to address the issue of punishment for tax cheats. Who is going to take the chance on cheating if it meant thirty years in prison with no chance for parole or clemency.
Most really wealthy people are at the age when that may mean the rest of their lives in jail. What young millionaire is going to risk the balance of his youth in jail for a dime a dollar. A nickle earned and a nickle spent.

Lets knock off the exemption for anything. While its a touchy feeling to approach churches and charities, my sense is that they should also pay taxes. Too many churches make way too much money, and too many charities give too little to the needy. If a church is too small, and say they can't afford it...well their tax bill would also be tiny. I wouldn't mind if a nickle of my charitable contribution went to taxes. I would at least have the knowledge that those crystal palace churches, and high earning charities were also paying. I'm sure to get some negative feeling from some folks about this. But its fair.

Lets fire the opponents and get back to FAIR

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Money and Obama?

Obama has set records with his fund raising. I'd like to know where it came from. I hear he's buying a half hour prime time program to further his campaign. Where is all this coming from. He says that McCain is protecting the rich by extending tax breaks from the wealthy, but he has come up with millions and millions more for his campaign. Who is giving it to him...? The poor can't afford it, and according to him, the rich don't want him in the White House.

So come on Obama, wheres the money coming from? Are you getting $100.00 dollar checks from homeless people, $1000.00 dollar checks from people losing their homes? Something smells like rotten fish to me. It really sounds like foreign money. I'm not accusing, just saying what it sounds like. Early in your campaign you said withdraw all American troops home, cut the military in half, the nuclear arsenal in half, and stop all development of new weapons. ( I saved that u-tube speech) Now you temporize, and say more what the people want...A strong military, and more money and benefits for that strong military. Wow, can you ever waggle what you say. Then and now.

You mention a strong economy, but your programs will leave us deeper in debt than ever before. The best economists say somewhere in the neighborhood of 13 Trillion dollars by 2012.
You know, we wouldn't need a space program if you piled all that much money in one spot...We could climb it to the moon. While we would all like to see universal health care, we should realize that someone has to pay for it.

Meanwhile; you are spending money on your campaign that staggers my imagination. Where does it come from..? I see,... the wealthy that you want to tax so heavily, are lining up to give you millions of dollars so you can punish them for having money. Sure...That makes sense. It makes one wonder if you have sold something worth that much. I just hope it's not America. It seem as though the wealthy that you say McCain wants to protect has gone nuts, and supports your program.

I have always espoused the idea of a flat tax... .05% when you earn and .05% when your spend. That would support almost every program needed. Maybe not all that is wanted, but all that are needed. And HEAVY punishment for those that would cheat.

Senator Obama...You frighten me.