For Those Who Have Fallen

Last Wednesday the rain and breezy weather set a somber mood for the LBCC Memorial Day Vigil. It rained enough to move the event from the courtyard to the Eastern entrance of the campus. The event was sponsored by the LBCC Veteran’s Club and featured the members of the American Legion Post 10 in Albany and their color guard, Vets Helping Vets HQ, and Local vets from different wars and different branches of the service made appearances at the ceremony.
Derek Smith, the LBCC Vets Club president, presided over the ceremony which included the LBCC choir honoring the ceremony with a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem and America the Beautiful, and the Color Guard posted the colors,(the US and Oregon State flag). Before Smith began the proceedings he requested a moment of silence for those suffering in Oklahoma during the recent storm.
The main speaker, Victor Kuhns, President of Vets Helping Vets HQ, first gave a history of Memorial Day, then explained to the crowd of about 30 to 40 students, staff and guests what Memorial Day meant to him. Kuhns explained, “Because to them [Veterans] we are able to live in a free society with liberties that even our most desperate and reviled enemies admire”.
As he spoke, tears were dapped around the vigil. Kuhns continued with, “The price was paid for each one of us here today. As my hear weeps and the tears flow”, he said while choking back his own emotions, “the voice says you will never be forgotten”. Kuhns also said, “The ones that have come home have settled into my heart, the ones that didn’t come home have settled deeper into my heart”.
After Mr. Kuhns completed his thoughts in words, Derek Smith introduced Eriq Thompson of the Boy Scout Troop 99 in Albany. The young Mr. Thompson played a heart wrenching presentation of Taps in honor of all the fallen from the past and present.
Derek Smith explained that before the ending of the vigil, there were some very special guests, Robin and Mecenna Davis, which needed to be recognized. Smith, struggling with his own emotions, announced the presentation of a memorial flag to Robin in honor of her father, Staff Sargent Kevin Davis, US Army. Tears streamed down Mecenna’s face as Robin was presented a folded flag by a color guard member who handed it to her on bended knee.
Smith continued after the presentation with, “We would like to extend our sincere condolences to your entire family”, again Smith battled with his emotions, “The loss of Kevin was not in vain and we are truly in dept to you”, Smith said as he spoke directly to the Davis Family members who were there.
Derek Smith concluded the vigil by thanking all those groups and people who were responsible in making the event successful, including the LBCC Vets Club, LBCC Student Leadership Council, campus staff and administration, LBCC Choral Group, American Legion, Post 10 and Color Guard in Albany, American Legion, Post 51 in Lebanon, Victor Kuhns, President, Vets Helping Vets HQ, and Eriq Thompson of the Boy Scout Troop 99 in Albany. After the colors were retired, everyone was thanked and dismissed.
One of the things that made this event special was the presence of Dave Adams of KGAL Radio. The entire ceremony was being broadcasted on KGAL during their Valley Talk radio show and was also being streamed live on operationeagleswing.com and vetshelpingvetshq.us. The entire vigil can be seen on YouTube at youtu.be/8hyFNA51JyE
One of the people in attendance was LBCC’s own theater instructor and director Dan Stone, who said, “I want thank the Veteran’s Club for a memorable heart felt service today. As a veteran myself who has experienced the loss of friends and family in the line of duty I am greatly appreciative.”
Even with the vigil being moved to a less than high traffic area on campus, and with less than perfect weather, it seems to be very success full. Even though the attendance was a little less than expected, it seemed to be a wonderful and emotional event in showing respect to those armed services that have fallen.

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Conservaitve Corner: The Price for Freedom

America is a wonderful place. The freedom to speak and gather without concern of punishment from government or royalty, the freedom for us to keep and bear arms without confiscation from an overbearing authority, and the freedom to worship(or not) any deity you wish without fear persecution.

However, even though in the eyes of some conservative groups these freedoms seem to be threatened, there is a group of exceptional people who tirelessly and selflessly put their lives at risk every day and are prepared to pay the ultimate price to defend the freedom of Americans. These incredible individuals are the defenders of our country and our liberties; they are the US Army, Navy, Air Force, and US Marines, They are the United States Armed Forces.

The beginning of our armed forces goes back to 1747 as www.u-s-history.com tells us. This unit was commanded under the British Crown at that time, but it was manned by American colonists. It was the first all-American armed unit. The American Army continued to be small groups of men using ambush and guerilla techniques; however the military we know today got its start on June 14 1775 with the establishment of the Continental Army. The very next day George Washington was chosen as Commander in Chief and commanded ten rifle companies.

The Navy’s history is almost as old as the Army’s. The Navy sees its original birthday as October 13 1775 when The Continental Congress approved the Continental Navy, but when the war for independence ended the ships were sold and Continental Navy was disbanded, however, eleven years later American merchant ships were trying to deal with pirates in the Mediterranean Sea which created the Navel Act of 1794. For the next twenty years the Navy used just 6 frigates in battles.

The Air Force, according to http://www.hill.af.mi, is the youngest of the US Armed Forces. It was originally called The Aeronautical Division of the U.S. Army Signal Corps when in was formed on August 1st 1907. For the next several years’ service men test flew planes and even delivered the US mail. But then on June 4th, 1920 The Army Reorganization Bill was approved. This created an Air Service with its own servicemen. On June 20th 1941 The United States Army Air Forces was created, then on the 18th of September, 1947 the Air Force we know today was born and all air actives that the Army was doing at that time was transferred to the Air Force.

The Marines have also been around for a while. The Marine Corps celebrates its birthday on November 10, 1775 when a committee of the Continental Congress met at a tavern in Philadelphia and wrote up a draft calling for 2 battalions of Marines to fight on ships and on the shores during the fight for independence. In 1800 there were 368 Marines, 343 Enlisted; 25 Officers. Today the Marines total more than 204,153. The Marines have been known to be a special force in the US military with specialized and more intense tactical training than most other branches. According to http://www.marines.com/history-heritage, “Our purpose, by congressional mandate, is to be this nation’s rapid response force; we are thus called to be “most ready when the nation is least ready.”

No matter what your opinion is of the US Military, they are defenders of our freedoms, and guaranty our rights. Like anywhere else, not all military people serve their country proudly, but all military people have taken an oath, “I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

Some milestones do exist in the military. On July 26, 1948, an executive order was signed that forbid discriminating against military personnel because of race, color, religion, or national origin. The Women’s Armed Services Integration Act was signed into law by President Truman on June 12, 1948 allowing women to join the regular Army.  In December 2010 President Obama signed the bill lifting restrictions on gay, lesbian, and bisexual personnel.

Regardless of what you think the US Military does one thing for sure, they protect you and your rights as an American. So the next time you protest or rally in support of anything, just remember, you have that right because it was paid for with the blood of American men and women in the armed service. So please so respect our men and women in uniform and the next time you see one thank them for their service to our country. If you see a disabled vet, thank them for their sacrifice.  God bless our military and God bless America!

                      dkhummel.blogspot.com, dkhummel.com

 

Conservative Corner: Then and Now

Some of us many remember those times as kids when we would sit down and listen with interest to Grandpa or Grandma talk about “the good ‘ol days”, or even the “not-so-good days” and how things were for them when they were younger. Of course experiences were different depending upon what part of the country you lived in and, (unfortunately), what you looked like, however, one thing is for certain; we as a country have changed.
It seems back when I was young there was a lot more pride and honor in the cities, states and in the country. No matter where the neighbors came from, the adults would go out and share business or war stories, cups of sugar, and beers during Barbeques or after mowing the lawn. All the kids would play together without the worry of being taken or bullying. The families were of course, different. This did not frighten us. In fact, it was quite interesting. We all took turns playing in each other’s house and cherished how the houses were decorated and the environments that we had become a part of.
All of the fathers in the neighborhood were decent men. They took care of their families and weren’t afraid to inform all us kids when we were doing something we shouldn’t be. Even though the economy was different then, no one was on welfare, or would have been ashamed of it. I remember when it was shameful to be on welfare, now it seems like a badge of honor for some people. Even in the 1970’s sitcom, “All in The Family”, Archie and Edith Bunker sat at their piano and sang “didn’t need no welfare state, everybody pulled his weight.” The Obama Administration hasn’t helped to bring honor back to man’s traditional role in the family, or pride back to the family unit.
From 2008 to 2012 the food stamp problem has gone from 1.45 million users in 2008 to 3.35 million, according to heritage.org. To make matters work, heritage also tells us that in 2009 the president suspended work requirements for food stamp users. I seems as though Americans have just given up. Even though the U.S. unemployment rate has fallen to 7.5, examiner.com says it is not from an increase of jobs, but rather from people just giving up and dropping out of the labor force.
I have also noticed how unfriendly people seem to be today. It seems you will more likely see a scowl on the face of a passerby instead of a smile, or at least a friendly nod. I recall my father driving his vehicle and flipping his hand up every time a car would pass by. I one day I asked him if he knew those people he waved to. “Nope” he replied, “It’s just a nice thing to do”. Granted, we did live in a smaller town, however, I do miss the close feeling of connection with the people in the small towns.
Speaking of human contact, that is something that is also missing in today’s world. Technology is a wonderful thing, unfortunately, the more we are connected to everyone through the internet, the more we avoid the ones who are not connected. When I was young the internet was use for the public. We would actually talk, to each other, face to face.
The world has definitely changed. Some say for the better, others say not so much. But, like anything else, everything in moderation. So, no matter if you’re a young person who enjoys life today or an older person who longs for human contact, pride and honor of yesterday, the world is not the same. That is not a bad thing, just different. We need to change with the world as long as we keep our pride, and honor and values intact, and, above all, don’t let technology push you away from actual human contact.

dkhummel.blogspot.com, dkhummel.com

Conservative Corner: The Death of True Journalism

There was a time in America when anyone could turn on a TV, radio or open a newspaper and be informed on the real news and not some talking head, corporate yes-man, or government approved idea of what was happening in the United States or the world.
What has happened to real journalism? The days of true journalism legends like Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, I fear, are long gone. I long for the days when an anchor person would sit in front of the camera or a reporter would sit at his desk in a newspaper and simply give the public the staples of true journalism, the truth. All we really need to know is who, what, when, where, why and how and not all this other nonsense.
Today, no matter what network news broadcast you get your information from, you will probably see a “face man”,(or woman) sitting behind a desk reading the teleprompter and just smiling. Almost like they are just telling a fairy tale that they don’t believe in. On the next set you will see a collection of people who call themselves “experts” sit around a table surrounded by cameras and try to convince the public and each other that what they are saying, (whatever it is) is true. It is closer to The Jerry Springer Show than it is to real news.
Most of the cable TV news programs are extremely bad at this. No matter what political or social side they are on, the lack of real news and media bias is staggering. To those young people or liberals who think Fox is the only bias news source out there, think again. Yes, there are some definite biases in Fox News however; what Fox says is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to the liberal media agenda of CNN, MSNBC and even the network news broadcasts like NBC, CBS, and ABC. Besides, to my count, 5 against 1 hardly seems fair.
Some of the worst offenders in the liberal cable TV “news” seem to go out of their way to show how bias they really are, despite the praise from their wayward, brainwashed viewers.
According to huffingtonpost.com, Chris Matthews of MSNBC is infamous for his quote, “when they hear Barack Obama’s speech, I felt this thrill going up my leg.” Ed Shultz and Rachel Maddow have shown the same affection toward the president in their broadcasts. That’s a little too bias for me.
Piers Morgan is a talk show host on CNN and avidly is in support of strict gun control. He is British and has said, “If you don’t change your gun laws you don’t have to worry about deporting me, I would seriously consider deporting myself”, according to http://www.inquisitr.com. Once again, too much bias for real journalism.
The examiner.com tells us of the bias for Obama and Muslims at the Fort Hood terrorist attack. I recall the day it happened. I remember it took at least 3 days for even Fox News to admit it was an attack from a Muslim American soldier. Before Nidal Hasan shot and killed 13 people he shouted the Muslim expression “Allahu Akbar.” In an outrageous attempt at political correctness, many media reports failed to mention the killer’s religion.
I am not saying that Fox News is not without issues. From what sourcewatch.org tells us, the news channel is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and co-owned by Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. To many critics it is a “quasi-arm of the Republican Party” and possibly the right-wing conservative movement. It is, however, well known that Fox News broadcasts are right-leaning and has no love affair with Democrats, liberals, or Obama.
It boggles the mind that many young people will watch fake news shows to get their information. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is one of these kinds of “news” broadcasts. According to the Pew Research Center, 80% of people from 18 to 49 enjoy The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. I am assuming they do not realize it is not real news, but watch is just for the comedic value. These two shows are as real as Saturday Night Lives’ Weekend Report. However, many of these same people will watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report thinking it is real while convinced that Fox News is fake. They even go as far as calling the Fox News broadcast the “Faux” news.
No matter what kind of news source you choose, unfortunately most news is bias and deceives the American public in one way or another. Weather you get your news from cable TV, the internet, radio, or the newspaper, the secret for the news junkies; do not believe what TV cable news tells you. What kind of news are you to subscribe to make sure you are properly informed? That is something only you will know. That will depend on your system of values. When you do find news that looks inviting, look for the key elements; who, what, when, where, why and how. As Fox News radio infers, let them report and you decide.