One of the things I like to do here at my site is to give you all something positive to believe in because all we get from today’s media is death, hatred, and Trump. It is enough to make the sanest of us want to slice our collective wrists with rusty, dull butter knives. Last week, my daughter’s Middle School volleyball team completed their season, I have got to tell you about it. I hope that you will leave with a renewed faith in some of the girls the schools are pumping out. There are a lot of words here, please hang with me.
Last week my family and I were consumed with all things volleyball and by the time it was over, we all were plumb worn out. My daughter’s coach is a graduate of the school. When Coach Wilson played at the school, her teams had a record of 60-0 at one point and won the state championship three times in four years playing varsity volleyball. I don’t care who you are, that is very impressive. Coach Wilson went on to play college volleyball at Pensacola Christian College. After her first month, the head coach called her to his office before practice. She thought that he was going to make her a starter, instead he told her that she wasn’t good enough to play for the team. She wasn’t just bad but she couldn’t even do the fundamentals of volleyball correctly. Her only chance stay on the team was to come in an hour before practice and learn everything all over. She spent her Freshman year wearing training wheels never creeping away from the end of the bench but she didn’t quit and she didn’t let herself be run off.
Her second year she got some court time and was a starter her Junior year playing on the back row and never left the court her Senior year. Just before graduating college, she had a job offer at a large private school outside Cleveland to be a Math teacher and the Head Coach of the High School volleyball team. She had the signed contract in front of her just waiting to mail it off when she decided to call the Principle of her former school. To her surprise, the Principle had an opening and it was exactly the same job description as the job in Cleveland. When she left our little Mayberry town, she swore that she wouldn’t come back but after a few minutes talking to the Principle she had verbally accepted his job offer.
Her first year back, she found that the program that she left four years earlier as the best in the state was now in shambles. The school had not put enough emphasis on the Middle School program and there was no talent on the High School team. At the tender age of twenty-one, Coach Wilson decided that she needed to start from the scratch. She became the Head Coach of the Middle School team. That year, they had one eighth grader, a couple of seventh graders and a handful of sixth graders. But there weren’t enough girls to have a full bench so Coach Wilson dropped down to the fifth grade and pulled six girls out to fill out the team. My daughter was one of those girls.
That first year, they got the ever living snot kicked out of them. We would drive two hours to play a match that was over in fifteen minutes. I don’t think they won a game let alone a match that first year. Last year, the team won a few matches but in the state tournament they lost twice and were out on the first day. But there were signs of improvement. This year they had seven eighth graders, four starters, one regular sub and two bench players. My daughter’s group are now seventh graders, provided the other two starters and my daughter was the other regular sub with three more girls on the bench. They were a strong team and after the first week of practice Coach Wilson told me they had a real chance to win it all this year. Coach worked them hard, they ran, they served and competed every day in practice. Wanting more competition, Coach Wilson invited a couple of the High School girls out on Saturday practices to play against the Middle School starters and Coach Wilson regularly played against the starters spiking the ball as hard as she could.
The first game of the season was against Elk Valley Christian School. This school resides at the edge of the flood zone from earlier this summer. Even at the edge of the zone, the school received extensive damage and was closed for at least a month after all the other schools. Almost everyone in that town lost something in the flood; many lost their house. I imagine all of the girls and their families were affected somehow. After that game, Coach Wilson was determined that her team would not lose another game this year. And they didn’t.
My daughter’s team went into the state tournament as the number two seed with a 14-1 record. Elk Valley was the number one seed also with a 14-1 record. Our girl’s didn’t get a return match with Elk Valley because the night they were scheduled to play was the night before the re-opening of their school. They had an open house along with other ceremonies so the game was canceled.
The number three seed was the defending State Champion from Beckley, WV. We were not scheduled to play them in the regular season and they came into the tournament with two losses and a lot of attitude. Their school is easily twice the size of my daughter’s school but with a reputation of several state championships including last year. We played them last year and when Coach Wilson called a time out, their coach wouldn’t huddle up her players. They stayed on the court and waited. Intimation at its best.
The fourth seed was from Huntington and they were the classic never make a mistake team. They had a great back line and always bumped the serve, got it to the middle and hit it back over the net. Well coached in the fundamentals, they were not a team that would beat itself. The fifth place team was from just up the road in Cross Lanes, they were the only team to beat Elk Valley this year and they had the very best player in the league. This young lady is already 5-10 and can jump out of the gym. She sports blond hair cut short with a strong face. She already has a broad back and her arms hang almost down to the floor. She is a total power player and wants nothing more than to drive the ball straight into the face of the girl on the other side of the net. My wife got mad when I called her a gorilla, but that is the best word to describe her. The thing is that off the court, she is one of the nicest, most polite young ladies you could ever meet. Their only problem was that she didn’t have a strong supporting cast, I described them as Snow White and the seven dwarves to my daughter and her team mates one day. One of the girls pointed out that only six people could play at a time so we amended it to Snow White and the five dwarves.
On Monday, we hosted Snow White’s team and beat them in two very close games. It was a great confidence boost for the girls. On Tuesday, we played a school that wasn’t very good. It was the last regular season home game for the eighth graders so they had their night getting their gifts and they proceeded to go out and win the match in fifteen minutes. Thursday the team had probably their very best practice of the year. Coach Wilson was pounding her serves at the team and they were returning them all. Imagine a former college player hitting a ball with everything she has at a twelve-year-old. It doesn’t seem fair but everyone handled the heater. I was impressed and excited.
The only problem was that in the game Tuesday, my daughter pulled a muscle in her shoulder when she was serving. It hurt and she couldn’t serve. She tried in practice to go but as it wore on, she couldn’t play. We tried treatments, ice and heat. We got the kinesiology tape but when she tried to warm up for the game on Friday morning, it didn’t look good. Coach Wilson put her in for a couple of plays on Friday morning but my daughter’s confidence was shot and I knew she was out. Our team dispatched their opening round victim in eleven minutes. It would have been faster but Coach Wilson emptied the bench in the second game. Their next game was against Beckley because they won their first round game just as easily.
Since we were hosting the tournament, our girls went back to class following their game but one of the most exciting things for me was that the entire school in attendance. The gym was electric as two hundred kids from Kindergarten to High School were cheering every single point. Originally the Principal wasn’t going to interrupt school to send the kids down but fortunately he is open to opposing arguments. I got chills watching my daughter and the other girls play in that environment.
The second round matchup was two verses three in a classic matchup of two teams that were mirror images of each other. They had two big girls and so did we but we had the better overall team and would have had a deeper bench of two girls that would be starters on every other team in the league except that my daughter was injured and mentally not confident enough to play. The gym was filled with parents, some students and the two teams that were playing in the second game. If the first game was the biggest crowd these girls had played for during the season, then the night game was the second largest. And both teams put on a show.
Beckley had the second best player in the tournament and she had a great supporting cast but we still had the best overall team top to bottom. The first match was a three-point game from start to finish. It was crazy exciting as neither team flinched. The points were long and included digs out of the net and girls running from sideline to sideline. Our team won the first game 26-24. Before the game, I spoke to several of the Beckley parents just because I’m a nice guy and I was fishing for information. They had four girls that played travel volleyball exclusively and these parents never thought that our school would be too much trouble for their team. They were very nice and they said all the right things but I could tell that they were very confident going into the tournament thinking that they would win it again.
After the first game, one of the dads made eye contact with me and he nodded. Not arrogantly but as a sign of respect. I felt good, we had two games to play only needing to win one while they had to win both. We had home court advantage and we had not really played at the level that they had practiced at just a day earlier. The second game, our first serve went into the net and their opening server ran off nine straight points jumping out to a 10-1 lead. I was so proud of the girls as they came back and kept fighting but they lost the second game 25-19. But our confidence had been shaken.
The third game was another close game but Beckley was able to fight off every time we closed within four points. They ended up winning the third game 25-21. It was a gut shot to everyone from our school. The dream season had come to a close. The girls were in the locker room for about twenty minutes, in tears. We didn’t stay for the next game choosing to take my daughter home. Several of the girls did and it was tough on them to watch knowing they were playing for third place.
The next morning, my daughter and I went to the gym early to watch the fifth/sixth place game. Snow White’s team was playing and she was a monster. They lost to the team from Huntington the day earlier so she took out her fury on the team that we beat in the opening round. She was incredible and there was no doubt that she is the best player in the league. Our girls trickled in as the first game went on. The mood was somber. They all cried all night. Coach Wilson was just as devastated. She said she was working on a couple hours of restless sleep. Up at five, she didn’t have anything to do so she tried to go to some garage sales but couldn’t find the motivation to do anything but walk around like a zombie.
We were playing the team from Huntington as they lost to Elk Valley in what was described to me as a match that was as exciting as our match. Our school has a great relationship with the Grace Christian School. The schools always compete hard but we very friendly with them afterwards. Coach Wilson competed against the Coach of Grace Christian and they are friends. I was talking to one of the parents after we lost the night before and they were so wonderful. One lady noticed that my daughter didn’t play and they were sad that she was hurt. I wished them well and the next morning told them that we were sorry that they lost. Our girls would have liked to have had the opportunity to play Elk Valley and at least have the chance to win the re-match.
We started out slowly but our girls put the wheels when Coach put in the super sub and first girl off the bench. She was a rock star on the court and pulled the team out of their funk. Coach started her the second game and they rolled to victory and third place in the state. The Championship game started and the team from Beckley walked into the gym with all the confidence. But there is something to be said for having a team that just five months ago wasn’t sure they would even have a school to play for this year. There is a different level of determination that comes from seeing your life turned totally upside down in the course of a single night.
That team from Elk Valley didn’t look like a championship team when they got off the bus but they played like one. They dominated a much bigger and more talented team from start to finish and did what our girls couldn’t do. They won the state championship.
I have said a lot of words to this point and I hope you are still with me. As soon as the game was over, while the girls from Elk Valley were jumping on each other, hugging and celebrating their Championship; and while the girls from Beckley were holding their heads and trying to figure out what had just happened; and while three hundred parents from six schools were standing up and stretching for a car drive home. The girls from our school, all fifteen of them ran to the door of the locker room to form a victory tunnel for Elk Valley. Only they were not alone in making the tunnel as the girls from the other five teams ran out of the stands to join them. Very soon afterwards the girls that had just lost from Beckley joined the other players to form a tunnel that reached out onto the court.
It happened so fast that I couldn’t get my phone out. At the time, I was surprised and now I am moved towards tears just knowing that these girls get it. When you are in the game, you play to win but afterwards your goal is to love and celebrate others. They didn’t learn that from me, they learned it from Coach Wilson and the other two assistant coaches.
Would those girls have done that for Beckley? I doubt it. Would the other teams have done that for our girls? I don’t know. On Friday night, I was a mess. I was mad, angry and just devastated. I was sad for my girls because they lost and I was sad for my daughter because she didn’t get to play. But after witnessing that spontaneous display of sportsmanship, I know that the tournament was meant to end just like it did. The right team won and the right teams taught a gym full of parents that we are so fortunate to have all of these girls in our lives.
Sorry for all the words but I really needed to get them off my chest. Until next time, keep on rockin.
In the spring of 2005, my crew took me out from home back to war. This time we were not headed to the relatively flat Iraqi desert, but to the very mountainous Afghanistan region. Like we did in Iraq, we were fortunate to have to live in country. The bad news was that Afghanistan was an hour or so away but the good news was that we didn’t get mortared every night. All things being equal, I was okay with the extra flight time.
We moved into the nice, little oasis of Karshi-Kanabad (K2) Airbase in Uzbekistan. During this time, I was pushed out of shape emotionally but I immediately fell into love with K2. It was a small base that was run by the Army. I have no idea what they did there, but they did leave us alone. We had hard shelters made of shipping containers. They were a huge upgrade over tents. It was nice to have a hard walled, solid floor and a prebuilt cubicle as opposed to a flapping wall, dusty floor and sheet walls for privacy.
The bathroom connex box was right next door so no one had to make the 142 step walk of shame to shower or potty. The Uzbek Air Force occasionally flew their SU-27s and it was cool when they did because they flew a great low level air show over the base.
Richie found a coffee shop called the green bean. Every day before we went out to fly, I would stop into the green bean and get him a triple late’ with three extra shots of caffeine. I don’t drink coffee but the locals didn’t know that. When I walked in, they would start to make the drink to go. Shy Dog would always chuckle when he went with me to order the super strong coffee. But Richie was always happy with his piping hot coffee right before we started the engines.
Before our first flight, Shy Dog, Anita and I spent several hours in tactics, looking over the mountains of scattered information that we needed to know before we flew. I never understood why the important stuff couldn’t be put on a single document that would be easily accessed. It is the Air Force way so I didn’t try to fight city hall. We just learned it all. The nice thing, is that all of the important stuff did fit into a single five-inch binder that we called the Book of Knowledge. We worked out a system where Shy Dog would get the secrets, Anita would carry the Book of Knowledge and I carried Richie’s coffee.
Flying in Afghanistan was more difficult than Iraq in that the mountains really prevented us from flying a true low level arrival or departure. The threat was from shoulder fired ground to air missiles known most commonly as the SA-7. There were several variants of the missile and depending on where the missile was made. Russia, China and Iran were the most common producers of the SA-7 design. There were others that were more hazardous to us, the SA-14, SA-16 and SA -18 were newer technology and considered to be a real threat. As a general purpose, my philosophy was that any missile fired at us was the SA-18 and we reacted appropriately. Also, as a general rule I considered any take-off or landing that was not in North America as a tactical departure. Not that Uzbekistan was a dangerous place, but I wasn’t willing to trust them as much as I was willing to trust Canada.
The goal of every tactical approach was to fly to a point where we would pull the throttles to idle at altitude. Then we would try to fly all the way down to a very low level altitude of 100 feet or lower before pushing up the power again. I never strove to pull the power off and not touch it to touchdown because I didn’t want to be that close to the airport in the descent. I figured that we were more of a target there rather than dropping down twenty miles from the field and flying in from there. It was just a personal preference.
But coming in over the twenty thousand foot mountains into the valley where Bagram or Kabul were located, made things much more difficult to plan. In tactics prior to the first flight, we worked out or game plan and then we had the next two months to perfect it. It really helped to have Shy Dog and his experience on our side. By that time in his career, I don’t think he could have flown a “training instrument approach” but he was a fantastic tactical pilot. The reason he couldn’t fly an instrument approach was because he never had the opportunity to practice them. All things being equal, I would take Shy Dogs experience everyday and twice on Sunday.
One of the items of knowledge that we made a mental note of was that off the approach end of Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan was the base burn pit where they burned their garbage. The procedure was to turn off the missile warning system before passing over the burn pit so that you didn’t drop flares onto the people working there if the system sensed an incoming missile. That made perfect sense to me because no one wants a one-thousand-degree flare dropping on their head while they are working. That responsibility was Anita’s to flip the proper switches, but as Aircraft Commander it was mine to ensure it was done.
Flying out of altitude towards Bagram, I was really struggling to max perform the airplane while trying to get the “feel of old girl” as Scotty described it from years earlier. There really is a difference between flying low and feeling comfortable flying low. When you don’t feel comfortable, you are really dangerous because you are pushing your personal safety boundaries. I always found that it took me at least a couple of weeks to feel comfortable down low. When I had been out of the tactical environment for several months, it took much longer to feel safe flying at house top level.
Since this was the first flight, I was working much harder than I liked and 99% of my attention was focused on keeping the nose of the airplane out of the dirt. Well we forgot to turn off the missile warning system and sure enough, we got a false indication right over the end of the runway. I immediately knew what was happening because when the flares are ejected from their canisters, it really sounds like someone is hitting the airplane with a sledge hammer. Fortunately, we had passed the burn pit but it really is a bad feeling to know that you are pumping out several one thousand degree flares that are bouncing off the runway in every direction. That is a loss of cool points and the tower guy made sure that we knew that we were required to secure the system.
We shook it off and went out and finished the day without any other incidents. But the lesson had been learned, Anita always remembered to turn it off.
Until next time, keep on rockin.
This morning I found myself flying out of my hometown heading to Detroit for the week. Last night after the kids went to bed, my wife and I spoke a few words about the day that was 11 September. My son’s fourth grade teacher posted on Facebook that she was going to speak to the class about 9-11 and she included a video online. It was one of those heart wrenching, sad music type videos that opened with pictures of the sun rising all over the United States and after five minutes of typical, normal life it went into the events of that day. I had to focus on something else to keep from crying so please forgive my angst when you read the following words.
Several thoughts, the first is that I wonder how long my son and the rest of the class sat still looking at pictures of random buildings and sun rises. That’s not important right now. What is important is where we are as a nation fifteen years after 9-11. Using a limited comparison of where we were as a nation fifteen years after Pearl Harbor might not be appropriate but it is sobering. Please remember that I am not that guy who wants to live in the past but can it be more obvious that we have squandered the national unity that arose following the attacks.
This morning I sat in the Chicago airport and thought about what was different today than it was at 7:30 AM on 11 September 2001. You know as well as I do that everything has changed and probably not for the better. We are constantly told by those in power that they need more power, more surveillance, and more money to keep us free. But I just can’t see anyway that we have more freedom today than we did fifteen years ago.
Those same people tell us that we need to fight the enemy over there so we don’t have to fight them here. That sounds reasonable until you try to count how many people since 2001 have walked across the southern border or that we are importing another 10,000 more people from Syria on top of the 10,000 that we have already brought in this year. All this on top of all the attacks that have happened within our borders in the past five years.
I left the Air Force in 2007 because of the constant deployments and the strain that it had placed on my marriage. Even then, it was becoming apparent that we did not have the political leadership that was willing to take the restraints off the military and let us fight a total war with the intention of winning. At the time, I thought that if we were not going to fight to win, then we should pull out and bring everyone home. As a small personal form of protest, I resigned my commission. When I told the personnel office that I wanted to resign it, I had to talk to the Colonel. He told me that in his career that he had never had heard of anyone resigning their commission. I told him it was about time someone did. I don’t think he liked that but I really didn’t care. With the hindsight of history, I can’t think of a President who did more harm to the United States, than President Bush, Vice President Chaney and the Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.
When President Obama took office in 2008, I was hopeful that we (as a nation) would choose peace over war and we would end the constant mind-numbing archaic fight of a nation state verses an idea. But here we are eight years later and we have lost total control of events. Russia and China are stronger than ever. North Korea with China’s approval is in a proxy war with Japan. Turkey is aligned with Russia. Russia is openly fighting US forces in Syria. Our drones are killing people left and right in countries that we don’t even know exist. Someone (probably Russia) is hacking our government computers and trying to manipulate the election. The US consulate was burned to the ground and an American Ambassador was killed in the process. Britain left the European Union after our President begged them to stay in the EU. The NSA is collecting everything that I am thinking right now and Gitmo is still open. I guess that I am glad I voted for the other guy twice so it isn’t on me.
Even with having the two least qualified candidates running for President, I still think that America is the best nation on the face of the Earth. But is isn’t quite the slam dunk that it was fifteen years ago.
Until next time, keep on rockin.
Last week, I was in Chicago working. To be fair to Chicago, it is a great town. At least the downtown area where I stayed. I didn’t see anyone get shot and I was overwhelmed by all the choices for dinner. It really makes me pine away for tropical locations like Flint, MI or Allentown, PA where there are just a couple of food choices and I am afraid to leave the hotel.
On Tuesday of last week, I went with old school Chicago pizza. Because the hotel didn’t have a mini-fridge and I am unable to cram an entire pizza down my throat, I had some left over. Walking around, I passed several less fortunate folks who were looking for some extra money so I asked the waitress to box up the pizza leftovers and I intended on giving it to the first person I came across. When I stopped, the homeless guy was really happy and I felt good that I had not wasted the uneaten food.
That night, I told the guy I was working with about what I had done, and he said that he would do the same thing the next day. He chose Indian food for dinner and when he approached the homeless guy about giving him the food, the guy took a look inside the box and replied “Aw Hell No! I ain’t eatin that.”
My friend and I laughed about that the rest of the week.
A couple of Sunday’s out of the month, I volunteer to help teach the middle school kids at my church. This week’s lesson was on being grateful for our blessings and about giving to those who are less fortunate, just as I had done last week. The class was taught by a really great dude named John G. I really hate when he is teaching because he always makes me think, half the time he makes feel inferior and sometimes he makes me leave class an emotional wreck.
This past Sunday, he showed the class a photo. The thirty or so middle school kids didn’t flinch from picking their noses and scratching their butts. However, I was captivated by the image of the little girl. You can’t read the rest of what the caption says but this girl was wearing a dress that was turned inside out and on backwards. Her hair was matted and turning orange because of malnutrition. The lady that took the picture was in Haiti on a medical mission trip (I think) and after snapping the picture, the lady held the girl for a very long time. I know the words feel hollow compared with the picture but there is the other side of the story.
Later Sunday evening, my family had a very minor issue with some misplaced money that was resolved quickly and was a total non-event. But it got me thinking about that little girl and how a few dollars to my family here in the USA would have been a fortune to her and her village in Haiti. My wife and I spoke about it a couple of days later and we agreed that we were truly blessed. She also said that she was thinking about going back to Haiti and we talked about when a good time for her to go would be among other important topics like where we will vacation next year.
Even after talking it over with my wife, Listening to some soft rock by Slipknot and Metallica and trying to convince myself that I don’t need to get involved. I could not get the image of that little girl out of my mind so I texted John G and asked him for the link to the person who took the picture. He told me to go to Facebook and check out her profile. I confessed that I am not on Facebook and he called me a dinosaur so he sent me a link to an organization. He said he didn’t know much about it other than the lady who took the picture had something to do with it.
Armed with that amount of knowledge, I very hesitantly send them an email today. I say hesitantly because that best describes my feelings towards online organizations that operate charities to “feed the poor” somewhere in a 3rd world sludge hole. I do like to think that I am a compassionate person but I also know a lot of the tricks and when I feel like I am being tricked, I throw the shields up and the stiff arm my way out. Do you hear me every sad infomercial on TV after midnight? Yes, I change the channel with no remorse.
An hour or so after I sent the email, I was at my daughter’s volleyball practice all ticked off because she is having trouble getting her serves in. She is more than physically capable; it is the mental part that she is struggling with right now. My phone rang. You all know that I am a huge social reject, that I am always excited when it rings even though usually it is a telemarketer. The person on the other end of the call was the lady who took the picture of the Haitian girl. Right off the bat, Jacqui Ranson thanked me for asking about the organization. Jacqui went on to tell me what she and her husband Mark do, how they got started, why they exist and so many more details that can only be shared by voice contact.
We spoke for just over an hour. Several times Jacqui apologized for talking so much. She said Mark warned her to be brief and to be considerate of my time. But to be honest, the hour flew by and I selfishly didn’t want to end the call which is crazy because I hate talking on the phone especially to some lady I have never met. But I was moved to tears several times, I laughed with her and shook my head in disbelief when she relayed how impossible it is that she and Mark started the organization and how looking back it is so obvious that there is a higher power at work in this organization. Just the sheer number of events that happened at just the right time are impossible to calculate and they all culminated with the beginning of the charity.
Just two weeks ago, Jacqui and Mark completed the requirements to be a legally licensed charitable organization. They started down this path in February, six months ago. When they started, the school that they primarily support now was supported by another organization. That school lost their funding at the start of the summer. Last week, less than ten days after opening they were able to send enough money to the school to ensure it would be opening on Monday (they don’t do Labor Day in Haiti) along with books and school materials for all of the students. I think around 350 kids. The most amazing thing is that Jacqui just called me to talk about the organization and find out how I found them. Not once did she ever ask for a dime, because I don’t think she cares about money. I know she cares about people. NOTE: I might have my facts off slightly but that is the gist of what they have already accomplished.
I know I have taken enough of your time. I am still dismayed that a single picture of a little girl could distract me from so many big events this week. Tonight, I spoke with John G and I blamed him for distracting me from the most important events of the week.
My son had his ninth birthday.
Last week, we got a new puppy.
Monday, Kevin Owens became the Universal Champion with a little help from Triple-H.
On Tuesday, my daughter’s volleyball team won their first game of the year.
On Wednesday, I was all enthralled with Colin Kaepernick and his refusal to stand for the national anthem. I was going to write about him but this article is way more important. But, if you think you know the whole story because you saw it on the nightly news, think again. His comments that have half the nation ticked off were highly edited by the national media. Read this link about what he said after what was reported and maybe it will change your mind a little. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-29/what-media-did-not-report-here-ignored-part-kaepernicks-speech
Tonight college football kicked off and tomorrow is a huge day for me sports wise. My daughter has a game at 5PM and at 8PM, the Arkansas State Red Wolves open their season hosting the Toledo Rockets on little boy ESPNU for the rematch of last year’s Go Daddy Bowl. I am a nervous wreck.
Saturday and Sunday, we have a couple of cookouts planned so stop on by if you are around.
Like I said, there is so much to think about, but here I am up well after midnight writing about a little girl wearing a dress that is inside out and backwards.
One picture…one thousand emotions that wont stop.
Here is their website. Please check them out and contact them before you send any money. Not because they aren’t worthy but because their story will change yours.
Until next time, keep on rockin.
I’m using a slightly different format today so pay attention to the time/date headers because this is a journey back in time. Also, there is a fairly graphic photo at the end of article. If your squeamish, you have my permission to not scroll down. If your nosy, they you’re going straight to the picture. I know how humans think.
Sunday 21 August 2016, 11:45 EST
Medical clinic, Scott Depot West Virginia
“Mr. Akers, what brings you in today?”
“Doc. I got a new debit card in the mail.”
Sunday 14 August 2016, 16:35 EST
Couch in the Living Room, Hurricane, West Virginia
“Other than a puppy, what do you want for your birthday?” I asked my son.
“Pocket knife.” The soon to be nine-year-old boy answered.
“Pocket knives are dangerous. You really have to be careful when using them and it hurts when you get cut.”
“Have you been cut before?”
Sunday 13 April 2003, 0930 AST (Arabia Standard Time)
Cargo Ramp, Balad Airfield, Iraq
“What did you do Rob!”
“I cut myself again. Can you grab the medical kit?”
“Sure.” The six foot three African-American Navigator passed up some napkins to sop up the blood.
“Hey, don’t tell Tracy.”
“They are having a problem get a pallet on-board. I will be back.”
Three minutes later, Gary returned handing over the olive drab bag with the red cross on the front. When I reached around to grab the kit, I saw a new face looking down at me. “This is Lieutenant Colonel I forgot her name. She is an Aero-Med.”
As he spoke, Scott the co-pilot and Paul the Flight Engineer returned helping to load the airplane.
“Dude, did you cut your leg?” Paul asked
“No, my hand. Just bled a little.” I replied.
“Keep pressure on the wound and hold it above your head.” The flight nurse ordered.
“I know what to do.” I fired back.
“I doubt that.” The nurse said.
Gary, Paul and Scott laughed.
The battle axe flight nurse took her time putting on her rubber gloves and opening her medical kit. “Well the good news is that you’re in better shape than most of my patients. How did you do this?”
“I was trying to tighten up the approach plate holder on the yoke. I couldn’t find a screwdriver so I used my knife.”
Tracy called out over the intercom. “We are closed up and ready for taxi.”
“It is going to be a couple of minutes. Rob cut himself again.” Paul responded.
“When he gets patched up, take all his knives from him. If we ever get steak, I will cut it up like I would for a kid.” Tracy said.
“Maybe we could put a cork on the end of the knife. Like Rupert.”
Saturday 20 August 2016, 22:15 EST
Master Bathroom, Hurricane West Virginia
“Keep pressure on it and hold it above your head.” My wife said.
“I know what to do.” I fired back.
“I doubt that.” She replied.
“What did you do Daddy?” My son asked.
“I couldn’t find scissors to cut up the debt card. There was a box cutter on the office desk.”
“That old, rusty box cutter?” My wife asked.
“Yes, I thought it was too dull to cut the card that easy.”
“Guess where you’re going after church in the morning?”