N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Posts tagged “veterans

TOUGH WORDS

A close friend of mine sent me the writing below and ask that I pass it on. Just before we celebrate the 4th of July, our great Independence Day, I am happy to do so. They are definitely “tough words.”

As we look back at what it cost to free ourselves, as a nation, from England, in order to gain independence….our American flag stands for all the freedoms we enjoy and all that it has cost since then. This includes the freedom of speech…for those who speak out for or against a certain action.

The following are not my words, but I believe they speak the feelings of many Americans who love their sports and the players, but not some of their actions or attitudes. You be the judge.

“TO THE NFL (NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE) and ITS PLAYERS:

If I have brain cancer, I don’t ask my dentist what I should do. If my car has a problem, I don’t seek help from a plumber! Why do you think the public cares what a football player thinks about politics? If we want to know about football, then depending on the information we seek, we might consult with you, but even a quarterback doesn’t seek advice on playing his position from a defensive tackle!

You seem to have this over inflated view of yourselves, thinking because you enjoy working on such a large scale stage, that somehow your opinion about everything matters. The NFL realizes the importance of its “image” so it has rules that specify the clothes and insignia you can wear, the language you use, and your “antics” after a touchdown or other “great” play. But somehow you and your employer don’t seem to care that you disgrace the entire nation and its 320 million people in the eyes of the world by publicly disrespecting this country, its flag, and its anthem! The taxpaying citizens of this country subsidize your plush work environments, yet you choose to use those venues to openly offend those very citizens.

Do you even understand what the flag of this country means to so many of its citizens before you choose to “take a knee” in protest of this “country” during our national anthem?

You may think because you are paid so much that your job is tough, but you are clueless when it comes to tough.  Let me show you those whose job is really tough.

You are spoiled babies who stand around and have staff squirt GatorAid in your mouths, sit in front of misting cooling fans when it’s warm, and sit on heated benches when it’s cold. That’s not “tough” that’s pampered.

You think that you deserve to be paid excessively high salaries, because you play a “dangerous” game where you can incur career ending injuries. Let me show you career ending injuries!

You think you that you deserve immediate medical attention and the best medical facilities and doctors when injured. Let me show you what it’s like for those who really need and deserve medical attention.

You think you have the right to disrespect the flag of the United States, the one our veterans fought for, risked limbs and mental stability to defend, in many cases died for. Let me show you what our flag means to them, their families, and their friends.

You believe you are our heroes, when in reality you are nothing but overpaid entertainers, who exist solely for our enjoyment! Well, your current antics are neither entertaining nor enjoyable, but rather a disgrace to this country, its citizens, all our veterans and their families, and the sacrifices they have made to ensure this country remains free. You choose to openly disgrace this country in the eyes of the rest of the world, yet with all your money, still choose to live here rather than in any other country. People with even the slightest amount of “Class” will stand and respect our flag. Where does that put you? You want to see heroes… here are this countries heroes!

You can protest policies, the current government, or anything else you choose, that is your right. But when you “protest” our flag and anthem, you are insulting the nation we all live in and love, and all those who have served, been injured, or died to keep it free. There is nothing you can do or say that can make your actions anything more than the arrogance of classless people, who care about themselves more than our country or the freedoms for which our veterans and their families have sacrificed so much, to ensure you have the “right” to speak freely. Our country is far from perfect, but if you can point to any other country where your freedom and opportunities are better than they are here, then you just might want to go there and show respect for their flag!”

VIDEO “GOD BLESS AMERICA” Turn up sound


Frozen Legs Miracle…A Veteran’s Story

9-11 flags (2)Boyer Writes honors all Veterans

THANK YOU for your service to our country!

  While living part-time in Virginia, my husband and I were honored to interview a number of veterans of the Blue Ridge Mountain area.  Many had never been interviewed about their service and were happy to finally tell their stories. This led to the writing of our book entitled Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge.

Their stories were amazing.  We were honored to meet Sharon Plichta and her husband who served in Vietnam. Sharon was a military nurse who earned the Bronze Star for her bravery caring for the wounded under fire.

SH74B3~1

Sharon receives Bronze Star

The veteran that I’d like to share with you from this book is Myron Cardward Harold of M.C., as he was called.  He served in Korea with the U.S. Army’s 40th Division, 22nd Regiment.  He was 21 years old as he fought across Heartbreak Ridge.MCYOUN~1

Here is a part of the chapter featuring this soldier of Valor in Korea:

Myron C. Harold, better known as “MC” has an amazing story of bravery when he served his country in the United States Army during the Korean War. He was a Staff Sergeant who almost lost both his legs. The fighting had been so terrible in the middle of winter on what is known as Heartbreak Ridge and they were walking and fighting at night through the mountains. His legs were beginning to freeze and he was picked up in a truck and taken to a field hospital at the Yalu River.
When he arrived at a medic station, the soles of his shoes were worn out and flapping. By this time, both legs had frozen. The surgeons said, “We must take these legs off now. It can’t wait. We must do it now.” MC was prepared to face whatever he had to in order to live.
He says he does not remember getting to the medics. Now they were about to remove his legs and send him back to the Blue Ridge Mountains, where they had large fruit orchards that his father had started years before.
The surgeon that day in Korea wanted to help MC stand on his legs one more time before performing the operation. When he did, MC recalls with tears in his eyes, “It felt like a shot had gone all through my body.”   Immediately the surgeon recognized that the blood had started flowing throughout MC’s legs. Removing the legs would not be necessary. “That was my miracle,” MC said with tears in his eyes.

After returning from Korea, MC and his son grew many acres of apples in the Blue Ridge. Today, as an elderly man, he is a resident at the V.A. hospital in Virginia.  He had survived to tell his story of God’s miracle in a land far away. MCANDS~1

Other veterans of the Blue Ridge interviewed served in Vietnam, Korea, and World War II.   They stand proud with all their comrades in arms who have faithfully served.

They are:

  • Rob Redus ( In submarines…Vietnam)
  • Dr. Tom Whartenby (Vietnam)
  • Clinton Moles (World War II)
  • Leonard Marshall (Survived the sinking of the USS Gambier  by the Japanese)
  • Troy Davis (World War II and recently passed away in Spain)
  • Elmo McAlexander as an Army Medic during the Cold War
  • Frank and Sharan Plichta (Vietnam)
  • Paul Childress (World War II under Patton and guarded Dachau prisoner)
  • Tommy Ellis  (Served in the Marines and regularly is in an Honor Guard for those veterans who pass away.)   Roy McAlexander also has served hundreds of the fallen at funerals.

Men and Women of Valor (3)To those who may be interested in the many stories of honor and courage in Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge Click here           

 

 

Video below:  God Bless the USA


N.W. BOYER looks forward to a NEW BOOK

Today is a good day!  I am looking forward to a new book to hold in my hands and share with others.  Over a year ago, my husband, a retired Navy Chaplain, and I started interviewing our American veterans in the Blue Ridge mountains for a new book called,  Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge.  This week I sent it to the publishers.  We are excited to share this news with our readers. Stay tuned for a special availability announcement of the book hopefully in the next couple weeks on Amazon.Men and Women of Valor Book Front revised

We think the people whose stories were shared with us will be a real inspiration…and their stories needed to be told.  Some are in their 90’s and are in nursing homes.   We are losing our American World War II veterans and those of our allies at an alarming rate. Hopefully, there will be many books that share their stories.  During the terrible battles to keep freedom alive,  hope often seemed dim as the bombs dropped and men and women died. There were many prayers for miracles.  Our book covers other men and women who served in Korea and Vietnam.  It gives honor to those serving their country in the fight against terrorism in more recent battles.

Below is a video of some beautiful children singing in honor of all World War II veterans as they walk on the very ground where furious battles were fought.

One Voice Children’s Choir, under the direction of Masa Fukuda, performs “When You Believe.” Filmed on-location at Omaha Beach and Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial in Normandy, France. Performed in English, Hebrew and French. This song is dedicated to all the soldiers who fought in World War II, including those who fought at Normandy’s Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword Beaches in the D-Day Invasion; and to the millions of Jewish victims who lost their lives during the Nazi Holocaust.  (video credit)

We add our appreciation and honor for American and Allied veterans in all wars since WWII.

Men and Women of Valor Back FINALrevised

 VIDEO  (Turn on sound)

 

 

 


Small Towns Remember MEMORIAL DAY

Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia are small towns with people who will never forget those brave men and women who left their farms and home places to fight for our country and freedom in the world.  Throughout the rolling countryside and along the blue colored ridges of the mountains… filled with cattle, fields, and beautiful wildflowers, one will find small family graves with an American flag.  This will always indicate that the person buried there served in an American war.

Military Memorial at Galax, Virginia

On this Memorial Day, the young Military Science students and the older men and women of this Blue Ridge area remember the Fallen of all wars and pray prayers for the many POW-MIA’s who are still missing.    (Slide show below)

 

 

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As my husband and I joined in this day of Remembrance,  I’m in the midst of writing a new book about American military veterans, entitled  Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge, which should be on Amazon by July, 2018.

Men and Women of Valor Book Front copy

  My interviews with those who went to serve during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and more recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been eye-opening.  These are people of great courage and fortitude.  Millions did not return, but for those here in the Blue Ridge, these men forged new lives and continued to make our FREE America an even better place.

One chapter in my book will feature the Childress family in the Blue Ridge who had four men in the military at once during World War II.  Paul (upper right picture and with wife and baby) served in Patton’s Command in France.

 

Francis Childress

The women of the Blue Ridge served as well, including Francis Childress, a cousin to Paul.  Other chapters will take notice of a female military nurse who was awarded the Bronze Star.  The Bronze Star Medal is a decoration awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for either heroic achievement, valor, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone.

As I read memoirs and listened, I learned that fighting on Heart Break Ridge in Korea with legs frozen, slipping out of camp at night in France during World War II to find food for hungry soldiers, spending weeks in the confines of a submarine, fighting off boredom and jungle heat in Vietnam or losing limbs in Afghanistan or Iraq were difficult and in most cases horrible experiences.  It was their part of life that they were willing to share with me and I am grateful because I will never look at a veteran again in the same way.

This is why I write this blog to encourage you to take an hour or so on Memorial Day from your interest in sports events, picnics or other activities to give our military the honor they so deserve.  Your freedom today is what they did to keep us free.  It is important that our children and grandchildren are taught history and the meaning of our national Memorial Day.  I was amazed to see that since the last Memorial Day ceremony of 2017, in the small town of Galax, VA. that 90+ people had died who were veterans in this part of the Blue Ridge.  We are rapidly losing those who fought in World War II and their stories should be told.

 

To those whose lives and deaths were the ultimate sacrifice….there is not enough thanks in heaven or earth to give to you…but we will try.

To the gravely wounded warriors who have come home and forged new lives, we give you honor.   We have contacted this brave warrior for an interview that will shed light on all those who have suffered so much.

On April 7, 2011, J. B. Kerns, a combat engineer, and fellow Marines moved into the notoriously dangerous Ladar Bazaar in Afghanistan to attempt to clear it of improvised explosive devices. A soldier near Kerns stepped on a pressure plate and triggered an IED. (Credit to Roanoke Times full story)

Thank you to all veterans…men and women.  We give tribute to all the wives and families that were left behind to faithfully live and wait for their loved ones to return home.

VIDEO    Turn up sound    (Credit “American Soldier” by Toby Keith)


CELL PHONES & OLD ARMY HATS

 

children on cell phones

teens on cell phones

Put down your phones…and give this some thought.  This post is especially for the young people of our country.

When you look at older people in a restaurant or some other place, what do you see?   Would it occur to you, as a young person, that this person may have made it possible for you to sit there playing with your phone?  Yes, I know all the Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin (and more) founders are young.  However, I’m not talking about them.  I am talking about those who didn’t become rich, but gave their all for us and liberty.

men in restaurant

What do I mean? I’m going to tell you because it is possible that you have missed knowing some of the greatest people in the world because you have not learned the art of asking questions.  What kind of questions?   Something like….”What did you do when you were my age and didn’t have cell phones?”  That person with the grey hair and a limp may have something very interesting to share with you.   In fact, it could change your life more than anything you might see or learn on social media.

Another thought ran through my mind as I began to write this post.  A neighbor’s husband had passed away.  She had a set of encyclopedias that belonged to a distant relative who would have experienced World War II.  They were written in German.  When asked about them, I heard a story of a family who emigrated to America after the horrors of that war.  She said that none of her children wanted any of the things that were part of their history.

Remembering the Fallen - Worldwide

I have been hearing this statement many time recently…that the young families don’t want anything that belonged to Grandma or Grandpa…or even their own parents.   Why? It is “old stuff.”   Is family history not as important to our youth and their parents as their cell phones?

You will notice that I have mentioned electronics several times. This is because more often than not families who have gone out to spend time together are rarely doing so.   The children are playing their games or texting. The parents are checking emails or answering their phones. Little time is actually spent talking to one another.  Don’t get me wrong.  Cell phones have their place, but I would encourage you to put them down for a while and experience life around you.  If you know an older person, ask a few questions that will give you special insight into life.  They are often the brave who left everything to keep us a free nation.

veteran with flag

When I took students to Auschwitz in Poland, the one thing they learned was this…“Those who do not remember history will live it over again.”   Too much was sacrificed to let that happen.  Young people, there have been many sacrifices for you.  I hope you are asking right now…what do you mean?

  • Men and women fought and died to prevent aggression into our country. They are still doing that.
  • Men, such as Dr. Martin L. King Jr., fought to give all people civil rights.
  • Mothers and fathers have worked hard to give you the things of life that you need.  That may include your cell phone…but food and a warm bed are more important.  Remember that you are not entitled, but blessed.

By the way, if you see a person wearing a uniform or a hat that reads where they served, don’t be shy.  Go right up to them and say, “Thank you for your service.”   That will make their day…especially coming from a young person.  This also includes policemen, medics and fire fighters.

vets with flag

In the video below, you are going to hear a song about an Old Army Hat.  There may be one in your house or it could be an American flag neatly folded and displayed in a wooden box. Ask about it.  There is a story there.  Then, if you must, use your phone and tell someone about what you have learned…or better still, tell them face to face.  That way they can see you smile and point to something important to you and your family history.  If your family member with the grey hair is still living, let fly the questions.  I bet you’ll get amazing answers that could change your life.

VIDEO (turn up sound)

 


PLAY FOOTBALL…HONOR YOUR COUNTRY

 

Football players make extremely high salaries…more than many CEO”s and other professionals.   This is the country that gave them the opportunity to be the best at what they do…play football.   Why it is hard to be thankful to those who spent hours teaching and training them in a free environment that has given this privilege, is hard to understand.   Politics aside….just LOVE your country….PLAY your best ball…and keep politics or personal “beefs” out of it.

Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva …who served three tours in Afghanistan,

It appears that the fans and those who buy football paraphernalia may feel the same way, according to the recent article by Greg Norman.

“Football fans across America were clamoring for the jersey of Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva on Monday, a day after the former Army Ranger broke team orders by being the only player to come out of the locker room for the national anthem. Villanueva, who stood alone while “The Star-Spangled Banner” was being played Sunday in Chicago, currently has the #1 selling jersey on the NFL’s web store, ahead of top players including Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Derek Carr.

“Like I said, I was looking for 100 percent participation, we were gonna be respectful of our football team,” Tomlin said when asked about Villanueva ignoring the order and coming out for the anthem.

Tomlin added the intent was to have his team focus on the game and not President Trump’s comments blasting players who chose to protest during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“Many of them felt like something needed to be done. I asked those guys to discuss it and whatever they discussed that we have 100 percent participation or we do nothing,” Tomlin said after the game. “They discussed it for an appropriate length of time and they couldn’t come to an understanding, so they chose to remove themselves from it. They were not going to be disrespectful in the anthem so they chose not to participate, but at the same time many of them were not going to accept the words of the president.” Villanueva, who served three tours in Afghanistan, decided to stand his ground instead and placed his hand over his heart while the anthem played. He has not spoken publicly since Sunday’s game.

One of Villanueva’s teammates, Cam Heyward, said “We support our guy Al. He feels he had to do it. This guy served our country, and we thank him for it,” Heyward told ESPN. Tomlin said Sunday that the team is not “politicians” but “coaches and professional athletes.”

My husband is the big football fan in this household, but we just came back from talking to a Korean War (Conflict) vet, who just about had his legs amputated because they were frozen.  His shoes were so worn that they flapped when he walked.  Men died all around him. Just as the surgeons were preparing him, they said for him to stand up just one more time. That was when the miracle happened.  He felt a rush of blood fly through both legs, saving them from the knife.  He believes God gave him a chance to do much more in life, which he has done. He could have died for his country or been an invalid the rest of his life.   He said that he can no longer watch T.V. programs on war.

It is my opinion that he may also have to decide if he will watch football if there is no more respect by some players for the National Anthem of his beloved America.  Head Coach, Mike Tomlin, said he wanted them “to be respectful to the team”.  I would challenge that by asking if respect for the team’s overall wishes takes priority over respect for the country?  It appears that we are mixing up freedom of speech (or political dissent) with rights and privilege for something we can never regain if it is lost…RESPECT FOR COUNTRY.

Thank you, M. C. and Alejandro.  You probably know something about the real love of country more than any of us.  Thank God because of you and the veterans of all wars, the fighters against terrorism and all patriots that we have a free country in which to PLAY BALL.

Post Comment:   Since writing this “thank you” to Alejandro, he seems to want to play down what he did that was right…coming out and standing for the National Anthem.  NO,  You did not “throw your teammates under the bus.  You honored your country.  Don’t do a dishonor by trying to resend what you did in order to go with the flow or be politically correct.  In Afghanistan, you would have stood alone if you had to in order to do what you thought was right.  Fortunately, you probably had a unit in your Army Rangers that would die, if need be, for their country.  I’m not sure about your football team.  Thankfully, their choices are not a matter of life and death.

VIDEO (Turn up sound)   The True Story of why Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner

 

All the verses, that you may not have heard, of our National Anthem.

 


Pearl Harbor…and our Vets

Today is December 7 when we remember the surprise attack on our military at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.    We honor the thousands who perished in that terrible time.  My husband and I had a privilege of going to the memorials at Pearl Harbor.

Below are some of the historical pictures, as well as the modern-day memorial that stands over the USS Arizona where so many have a watery grave.  It is a touching and sacred place.

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WE MUST NEVER FORGET THOSE WHO SERVED OUR COUNTRY…then and now.

1897    Recessional   by Rudyard Kipling
“God of our fathers, known of old,
   Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
   Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!..”

FLY YOUR FLAG

Click:   A modern-day story of a disabled vet and his dog.  One company making a difference to our vets.  They also must not be forgotten.pearl-harbour


Compassion goes the Extra Mile

Judge Lou Olivera and Sgt. Serna

Left: Judge Lou Olivera  Right: Sgt.Joseph Serna, Special Forces

What would make a prominent judge spend the night in jail with a man he hardly knew?   The only answer to that is a compassionate heart for those who have served and served well…but have problems.

Sgt. Joseph Serna  of North Carolina was a Green Beret.  He had four combat tours in Afghanistan as a Special Forces soldier.   His army career had stretched over two decades. Because of a roadside bomb and a suicide bomber, he almost lost his life three different times.  In Kandahar, his armored truck careened into a canal and his fellow soldier, Sgt. James Treber, saved him.

“I felt a hand come down and unfasten my seat belt and release my body armor,” Serna recalled. “Sgt. Treber picked me up and moved me to a small pocket of air. He knew there was not enough room for both of us to breathe so he went under water to find another pocket of air.”  Unfortunately, Sgt. Treber died and Serna survived.

Sgt. Serna earned three Purple Hearts, but returned home suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. This led him to drinking to excess and was picked up for driving while intoxicated.

This event landed him in the Cumberland County, N.C. court of Judge Lou Olivera. The Judge spent numerous times with Serna to evaluate his progress with these problems. Finally after being untruthful about one of his tests, the Judge sentenced him to a day in jail.

Sgt. Serna Special Forces

Sgt. Serna 

The next part is why I am writing this blog because there could be numerous writings on the problems that our Veterans have with stress after serving their country.  Here enters the Judge and his compassion for this young soldier.  Judge Olivera drives Serna to the jail.

“Where are we going?” Serna asked the Judge. The reply was, We are going to turn ourselves in.” What Serna did not know was Judge Olivera had decided that this prisoner would not spend the night or 24 hours alone.  He  decided to spend the sentence with the prisoner.  Judge Olivera is also a veteran of the Gulf War and he was so concerned about Serna that he did not want the isolation to trigger Serna’s PTSD.

As Serna sat down on the cot in his cell,  he heard the door rattle open again and saw Judge Olivera standing before him. Olivera sat down beside him. Someone came and locked the door. This was a one-man cell so we sat on the bunk and I said, ‘You are here for the entire time with me?’” Sgt. Serna said. “He said, ‘Yeah that’s what I am doing.’”

 

“They have worn the uniform and we know they can be contributing members of society,” Olivera said. “We just want to get them back there.”    

judge has compassion on vet

Judge Olivera

(Taken in part from an article by Yanet Yang of the Washington Post)

CLICK TO VIEW SOME OF THE SYMPTOMS OF PTSD

If you or someone you know has these symptoms along with alcohol or drug abuse, seek medical help immediately.  The sooner the help, the better the results.

 


VETERANS….PAST AND PRESENT..true courage

us patch

So much has happened to our veterans since this post in 2009 when vets were waiting eagerly to visit the Washington memorials.  Many have died..or continued to linger in hospitals.  Others perished, not on the battle field, but while waiting to see a doctor stateside. Nevertheless, this is the day that we remember them…their courage, their fortitude and much more.  They are the young and the old among us who should never be forgotten.

greeting the vets(from a previous post)  Probably He had a twinkle in his eye as he waited outside the restroom in our plane.  As I opened the door, he said “I’ve cleared the decks for you!”   Laughing, I said “Well, I want to thank you for your service to our country.”   He responded that his job had been to bury thousands and thousands of men who died on foreign shores.  “This was my job.”    I looked into those bright, blue eyes of a man in his eighties and knew he had seen the horrors of war.  He had been the last to look on the torn and battered bodies of those young men who had never made it home.

Pres Bush gives hugThese veterans on our plane were being sent free of charge by Southwest Airlines  to Washington, D.C to see the memorial for these brave men.    Honor Flight Network (  www.honorflight.org   ) was their sponsor.  They raise funds to transport and house veterans to the D.C. area to view the WWII memorial. Many of them had never seen the memorial and knew their chances were getting shorter and some could not afford to go on their own.   Their decision was to go to D.C.  and to share with other WWII veterans their stories and  their lives.  The media was there to talk with them, as we waited for our flight.   We had a short service in the terminal where American flags were given out and a young man sang the National Anthem.   I noticed several things about the reactions of the people, which I hoped these veterans did not observe.   A young man sitting  across the aisle laughed at the singing of the anthem.  Many, however, gave an applause as the veterans entered in wheelchairs and with canes.   Most regretful of all was once we were on our plane, one woman, perhaps in her 50’s, was complaining to everyone that she had to sit behind the group.  She made a statement  “We have  paid for our flight.”    My statement to her is that these men paid much more in suffering, years away from home, and the sadness they had endured in war.   I liked what one of the volunteers had on the back of her t-shirt.   “If you can read this, thank a teacher.   If you can read it in English, thank a veteran.”    

On board USS Juneau (CL-52) at the time of her commissioning ceremonies at the New York Navy Yard, 14 February 1942.

On board USS Juneau (CL-52) at the time of her commissioning ceremonies at the New York Navy Yard, 14 February 1942.

   

While I was teaching 5th graders in Florida schools, one of my projects was to have  veterans and  Holocaust survivors come to the classroom and talk one on one with my students.    They heard their stories and then shared them with the rest of the class.  One of my fifth graders was wise enough to say, “My generation may be the last to speak in person to these men and women.”  

FrancesHoffman WWIIMarine

Francis Hoffman WWII

We must not forget the women who contributed so much during the war, either on the front or at home in the plants making munitions and other necessities for the war.  My mother, who is now 92, worked in one of these plants.  A newspaper clipping is special to us, showing her listening to the radio and hearing that  “Japan Surrenders”.

nancyBooks 045

WWII soldier relaxes

There used to be 16 million U.S. veterans of World War II . Now they are dying at a rate of more than 1,000 a day and number about 2.5 million according to the  Department of Veterans Affairs.  My husband, Bill, is a retired Navy Chaplain who is called on to speak at many of these burials.  Recently, he presided at a funeral for a WWII veteran who  was a POW (Prisoner of War) and had never received his Purple Heart. Unfortunately, he died two days before receiving it officially.

Yes, we are grateful for all they did.   We are glad they could see a memorial meant for them and those who died in World War II.   We will honor them always.  They are the ones called the “Greatest Generation“.    We must not forget them.    We also must not forget that there are very young men and women who have given so much of their lives on recent war fronts. 

Yes, this WWII vet  had a twinkle in his eyes  and a smile on his face, as we talked on the plane.  May he always keep this wonderful joy for living.  He is a special person.Obama Awards 24 Medals of Honor at White House

Our brave men and women are still on the fighting front…even though we are told they are not taking a “combat” position.  We know the truth is that once you are facing danger from a foe, the enemy does not stop to ask “Are you in combat or just advising?”.   The American people are smart enough to see through the semantics.   These active duty young people are in harms way and deserve our respect and prayers…as do all veterans.

 

In this photo taken Monday, Feb. 15, 2010, U.S. Army soldiers from 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment are seen at a ceremony launching the Combined Security Force on Kirkuk, north of Baghdad, Iraq. The U.S. military mission in Iraq will soon be getting a new name. As of Sept. 1, Operation Iraqi Freedom becomes Operation New Dawn. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in a memo Wednesday that the name change will send a strong signal that American forces have a new mission, which recognizes "our evolving relationship" with the government in Baghdad. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

(AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

 


VETERAN’S DAY …To honor those who have given so much

President Obama and V.P Biden lay a wreath to honor veterans

President Obama and V.P Biden lay a wreath to honor veterans

 

 

Every President has been part of the ceremonial duties of honoring the men and women who have served.  I looked carefully at the pictures of the most recent military recognition of those honored and visited by our Heads of State.

 

 

 

 

 

Sgt. Jose Rodela receives the Medal of Honor for his military service

Sgt. Jose Rodela receives the Medal of Honor for his military service

 

There have been a number of Medal of Honor recipients in the last few years, but some of the most warmly human interaction that I could find would have to be the pictures of Pres. George Bush.

I believe that on this Veteran’s Day, it would be good to see a few of these pictures between a Commander in Chief and those who served…often giving so much sacrificially.

Pres Bush gives hug

 

greeting the vets

serving the troops

jogging togetherhospital visitsvisiting familyso much given

To all those in all wars that served and gave the ultimate sacrifice…we HONOR you today.

Barack Obama, Dale R. Griffin


War is Hell…and the soldier asks “Who will love me?”

War is hell…anyway one looks at it. For every soldier that has fought, there has been the thought in the back of the mind…”Will I ever get out of this situation? Will I die here…and will my life have counted for something?” They listen to their commanders; do their duty; feel fear and sadness…and hope and pray for the best.

Yes in all the wars, some have turned their backs on country and comrades.. running away from a situation…with only their tortured thoughts to live with for the rest of their lives. Others can be proud that they faced each obstacle whenever and from wherever it came.   They marched into the unknown to rescue their own.  They faced the enemy not knowing if it would be their last day.   Many gave their all and we must not forget them.

As the 4th of July is approaching, we think of liberty and what it means.

Every now and then I find an old movie that is worth watching.   This was the case when I turned to  Born on the 4th of July  starring a young  Tom Cruise.  It is a violent movie with nudity and the worst of language, but a gripping reality of the Vietnam War and all that the young men went through, especially after they came  home.  Cruise stretches his acting ability to the limit in this dramatization of  a patriotic young man who loses it all in the horrors of battle.  It is a  realistic look at what  the families go through in coping with the aftermath of the veteran’s home-coming.

Movie “Born on the 4th of July”

A line in the film  that stood out to me was when this  young Marine cried to his father about his condition, asking ” Who will love me?” 

Not unlike the young men coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, he felt he was half a man because he was now paralyzed from the waist down  with no hope of walking or having a family.  War  is raw…crude…and real.

It is hopeful that our military, who stayed the course and did their duty,  will have the proper home-coming.  Vividly portrayed,  the Vietnam vet continued to deteriorate emotionally with flash backs.  To add to the insults, the crowds spit on them and jeered at them, even during the 4th of July parades.  Politics had changed in the U.S. about the war even while the men were away fighting.

Many of these men signed up to fight communism before it took over the world.  They bled for what they thought was the enemy to our country’s future.    Torn apart, physically and emotionally, there seemed to be no future.   The Vietnam vet often  turned to drugs and alcohol for relief.    Broken in spirit, the question  remains,  “Who is going to love me?”

For anyone facing a devastating situation, there is only One who gives that unconditional love.

” For God so loved the World that He gave His only Son  that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

 This film reminds me that if I see  an older man with long hair,  somewhat shabby … in a wheelchair…or walking the streets with the homeless, it may be a Marine who once served proudly.  They came back to an embittered country and never got over it.   Other Vietnam vets returned to live productive lives, but never received the thanks due to them until more recently.

  Living with a tortured mind is a difficult thing. One evening, when my children were young, my front door flew open and a man yelled in the door, ” Is Charlie here?!”  He slammed the door and disappeared into the night.   He did not seem to see that we were sitting there.      I am sure that this man, who was living out a previous  war… thousands of miles away at another time.    (“Charlie” originates from the abbreviation VC for “Vietcong.” In the NATO phonetic alphabet, used in radio transmissions, the words for V and C are “Victor” and “Charlie”.   Victor Charlie for the Vietcong was soon shortened to Charlie.)

Our sons and daughters have given much in all the wars that America has fought.  Who will love them and care for them in their time of healing and need for excellent care?   It is a simple question that needs answering. Another question is “Who in military command and the U.S. government will be honest and as well as loving and comforting to the families of those who were flown home for their funerals?”  Often the family simply wants to know how their son or daughter died and was everything done possible to save them?  It is the least that can be given to them in their grief.

VIDEO  



In HONOR of my Mother, Alta Bishop

December 6  is the day that my Mother, Alta Ellis Bishop, would have been 96.  It is a day to remember exactly how much my mother meant to me and her family.   She was 93 when she passed from this life, but her life was one of courage, determination and making the most of all her talents.  She left home at age 16 to work her way through life; built a career in hair design and took time to be a patriot, working at a munitions factory, when W.W.II was being fought.  Her dedication reminded me of the brave men and women who have given so much and why my mother’s generation was called “The Greatest Generation”.  Thank you, Mother,  for your generosity and love.

Once again we take a look at the era in which my mother was a young woman and mother.

Alta Ellis Bishop  At her funeral, a tribute was made of her patriotism.     Alta  stepped forth to do what is right and for the freedom and men  she loved.

                                                               

We start with Winston Churchill.          His famous speech echos through the years.    (I paraphrase)  “WE SHALL FIGHT....in the fields, on the sea, in the streets, on the land….and  where we cannot…the new world will take up the fight….”

It is not easy to be a leader when the world is falling in around you.  Neither is it easy to inspire an entire nation…but inspire he did. When bombs were daily pounding, one can imagine what the economy was like.  Just living from day-to-day was an effort for all of Europe. It was not only a battle to secure land, but a battle for the very existence of mankind as millions were being murdered in concentration camps.

The movie, The Longest Day, shows the thousands of men, ships, and planes that came to the aid of France, giving  great detail of what it was like for the people living in France on the coast of Normandy and those who braved the assault to free them.

There are two videos below:  The first of Alta Bishop…The second one reminds us that the United States  and the free people of Europe were not going to be in bondage.  It is worth a journey back in time because our own nation must have this same fighting spirit if we are to survive today.

Churchill would not have guessed that the “new world”, as he called it would face a 9-11 or that his own beloved land would see suicide bombers.  He would not have known about “cyber threats”, but had he been in a different time and place, one CAN BE ASSURED  that he would step up to the challenge.   He would warn against apathy and talk about pulling together.

It may seem strange to link a family member to a great man of history. Yet, the determination and sacrifice they shared for the lands they loved links them and all of us together. Freedom is all we have and as my mother and so many were willing to give of their  efforts and their lives….so should we.    I love you, Mother, and always will.  Happy Birthday, even though you are unable to blow out the candles with us.  We will go to your grave site and put a red poinsettia there to remember the many years that we celebrated your birthday and Christmas together.   Christmas was one of your favorite times and we will miss you.   We are certain that the stars and planets are so bright where you are as the hosts of heaven sing praises to the “New Born King”.

 

The Men of the war Years….Always brave!


Chaplains Make a Difference “Would you care to say a prayer with me?”

My husband was a chaplain in the Navy for many years.  He is still called upon to do military funerals and this means a great deal to him. He often stops by a table in a restaurant and thanks an older veteran or a young service man for their “service to our country”.  A dear friend of ours has served on a number of tours to Afghanistan and other areas of the world as a Christian chaplain.  Some chaplains, however, who served faithfully and  given more than could be expected, have never received the highest honor our nation has to offer, but one will finally have that honor….62 years late. ..thanks to fellow soldiers who are senior citizens now.

Chaplain Emil Kapaun

Chaplain Emil Kapaun

Writings  by Sharon Cohen  and Lawrence Grayson tells us the story of  Chaplain Emil Kapaun in what is called the “Forgotten War”…Korea.  In the light of recent events of North Korea’s threats, it would be good to not forget what our troops suffered there and sacrificed to make what is now South Korea the vibrant nation that it is today.

On Easter morning, March 25, 1951, the Catholic priest mounted the steps  of a partially destroyed church, and turned to face his congregation,  some 60 men – gaunt, foul-smelling, in tattered clothing.

Fr. Emil  Kapaun raised a small, homemade, wooden cross to begin a prayer service,  led the men in the Rosary, heard the confessions of the Catholics, and  performed a Baptism.  Then, he wept because there was no bread or wine  to consecrate so that the men could receive the Eucharist.”

“The Rev. Emil Kapaun was weak, his body wracked by pneumonia and dysentery. After six brutal months in the hellish camp, the once sturdy Kansas farmer’s son could take no more. Thousands of soldiers had already died, some starving, others freezing to death. Now the end was near for the chaplain.Lt. Mike Dowe said goodbye to the man who’d given him hope during those terrible days. The young West Point grad cried, even as the chaplain, he says, tried to comfort him with his parting words: “Hey, Mike, don’t worry about me. I’m going to where I always wanted to go and I’ll say a prayer for all of you.”
Lt. Robert Wood wept, too, watching the Roman Catholic chaplain bless and forgive his captors. He helped carry Kapaun out of the mud hut and up a hill on a stretcher after Chinese soldiers ordered he be moved to a hospital — a wretched, maggot-filled place the POWs dubbed “the death house.” There was little or no medical care there. Kapaun died on May 23, 1951.
These two soldiers — and many more — never forgot their chaplain. Not his courage in swatting away an enemy soldier pointing a gun at a GI’s head. Not his talent for stealing food, then sneaking it to emaciated troops. Not the inspiring way he rallied his “boys,” as he called them, urging them to keep their spirits up.Chaplain Emil Kapaun4The plain-spoken, pipe-smoking, bike-riding chaplain was credited with saving hundreds of soldiers during the Korean War…”Chaplain Emil Kapaun3
What was Fr.  like as a person?
Roy Wenzl tells us. “Father Emil Kapaun was considered an unusual man even before the 8th Cavalry’s 3rd Battalion was overrun at Unsan.
Many devout Christians believe, for example, that they must overtly preach Christianity, but Kapaun by all accounts never lectured, never forced it. What he did instead was scrounge food for soldiers, write letters to their families, pass his tobacco pipe around for a few puffs, and run through machine gun fire, rescuing wounded. If he brought up religion in foxholes, he asked permission first: “Would you care to say a prayer with me?”
He treated Protestants, Jews and atheists the same way he treated Catholics — and he treated Catholics like loved ones. Some GIs did not like some chaplains. They loved this one
.…Survivors at Unsan broke out and fought south through the hills. Most were captured. Chinese soldiers stole their watches, rings, helmets and boots. Some of them thought this was the end, that they’d be shot now. The enemy in Korea frequently murdered prisoners. Sgt. Herb Miller, his ankle shredded and bleeding, rode away from slaughter on Kapaun’s back.Lt. Walt Mayo, who had saved Kapaun the first time he was captured at Unsan, escaped from the perimeter with his friend Phil Peterson, running across a road covered with dead Chinese. They were captured three days later. Mayo, who spent four months in a German prisoner of war camp in World War II, would spend 34 months in a camp more deadly.”

After all these years, with pressure on Washington and so many hundreds of Korean veterans dying, the honor due this chaplain is finally happening.

This brave chaplain will finally receive this country’s Medal of Honor.  Two lieutenants who served with him, now age 85 and 86, will join in the ceremony to honor Chaplain Kapaun.  “What he did and what he meant is so important,” Dowe says. “It’s worth finding a way to carry that forward. … I can only say I’m glad it’s happening. It’s a shame it couldn’t have been sooner.”Chaplain Emil Kapaun2

  Ray Kapaun, a family member, says, ” This day would never have arrived without their (fellow soldiers’) persistence. Some didn’t live to witness the ceremony, but others will finally see their beloved chaplain given the recognition they’ve called for so long.
Under extreme circumstances, this Chaplain would ask a soldier if he could minister to their needs…physically or spiritually.    How often do we have that same opportunity when a person is in trouble, sick or dying, or simply sad.  How difficult we find  to step out of our comfort and just ask.  How often is the opportunity not taken……to say…..  “Would you care to say a prayer with me?”

From Boyer Writes and Boyer Gifts MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Having just returned from Washington, D.C with my husband who attended the Army-Navy game (He was a Navy chaplain.), we ran into some strong, motorcyclist who were there to help lay the wreaths, shown above,  at Arlington Cemetery.   Some may not know that these wreaths, some 5,000, are donated by Worchester Wreath Co. of Harrington, Maine.   The owner, Merrill Worchester, provides the wreaths and the trucking cost from Maine to Washington each year, since 1992.   Harrington is not a wealthy town, but is  proud that these wreaths are given each year to honor the many fallen from all wars.  Hats off to Mr. Worchester and a very Merry Christmas. 

We at Boyer Writes and Boyer Gifts, also wish you, our readers,  the Happiest Holidays and a very Merry Christmas.  For us, it is the  season for joy at the birth of  our  Savior.  We wish you and the world personal peace and joy.

Enjoy the wonderful Christmas  performance below.


Sunset Beach Cape May, NJ, USA Everynight!

Most people have trouble doing something, even religiously, every day…or every week…and especially EVERY NIGHT!?

You are going to meet a man, who has kept his promise to the man who sold him property, and to the service men and women of America who gave so much!   Every night, at sunset…on Sunset Beach…Cape May, NJ…the crowd gathers.   I am sure it goes on whether it rains or if it is cold.  If you were in your 80’s…if I were, I am wondering if the dedication would be so strong.  Take a look for yourself.  It is inspiring.  Thank you, Kelly, for sharing this with Boyer Writes.

SUNSET BEACH


In Flanders Fields and Those Who Serve

Boyer Writes presents In Flanders Fields in honor of all veterans in all wars. Take up the torch….and pass it on.
Click to hear.

  IN FLANDERS FIELDS   (The Poem read)      
             

To Whose Who Serve

A MUSICAL TRIBUTE