Posts for the category "Push to Test; Release to Detonate"

Join me today…

Join me today, Monday May 25, Memorial Day (observed) at 1:00pm EST for a special You Served Blog Talk Radio show.

Bob Parks, a Navy Veteran, owner of the website Black & Right.com, an “African American leader” according to the Washington Times, conservative activist, and co-founder of New Media Alliance Television will join us Monday to talk about Memorial Day, what it means to him and any how we can observe it respectfully.

Also joining me on the show is Jim Spiri. Jim and his wife of 35-years, Candi, are both Gold and Blue star parents. The Spiri’s lost their beloved son, 2nd Lieutenant Jesse James Spiri to a brain tumor. Lt. Spiri served in the USMC.

A battle with Tri-Care followed the death of their son that led them to Congress and the passing of the “2nd Lt. Jesse James Spiri Military Medical Coverage Act of 2004″ signed by former President George W. Bush, on November 25, 2003.

The Spiri’s youngest son joined the Army in 2000 and is currently serving in his 5th deployment. He is an Army Aviator flying CH47 helicopters. Jim and Candi have joined their son in Iraq on several occasions filling various jobs and roles. Jim traveled with the USMC Infantry and US Army Infantry as a combat photographer during the Surge.

Jim will join us and talk about the trips he has been on to Iraq, his love for America’s sons and daughters who are in harms way in that war zone, and what he is doing to try and go back again.

I also have a few Memorial Day write ups submitted by listeners and readers that I will read off at the end of the show.

It’s sure to be a great show! Please join us if you can. I will have the chat room open right before the show. I hope to see you there!

Most decorated soldier died without any public notice

I posted this at KDH, and I wanted to post it here with the citation from Joe Hooper’s Arlington page.I am a little bit overwhelmed by the whole article. I posted clips from it below. I am deeply saddened that this man fought so hard and so bravely for our Country, and yet we did not fight equally as hard and bravely for him.

We have let our Veterans down in this Country. It’s a shame. It’s outright immoral. You do not send a man in to fight for you, and then fail to extend your hand and heart to him when he comes back from defending you and protecting your freedom.

If thank you feels inadequate then “I’m sorry” feels outright shameful.

God help us.

Most decorated soldier died without any public notice

Taken from the December 1989 Issue #20, Delta Raider Newsletter

Reprinted from the Seattle Times.

EXCERPT

Joe Hooper was the most decorated soldier in the Vietnam War, earning more decorations than World War II’s Audie Murphy or World War I’s Sgt. Alvin York.

Hooper was just 40 years old when he died in a hotel room in Kentucky, where he had gone to learn about raising race horses. In his own way, Hooper was an appropriate hero for the Vietnam War and the millions of men and women it touched. He was a good soldier, but a troubled civilian.

Hooper had been awarded 35 medals, including the Congressional Medal of Honor, two Silver Stars, six Bronze Stars and eight Purple Hearts. He was credited with killing 115 North Vietnamese, but the number was probably higher. He used to say he could smell the enemy.

Hooper knew that heroes from other wars would be remembered long after him. In 1977, Hooper summed up his fleeting fame and the war in Vietnam.

“It’s sort of like the war itself,” he said. “So many people wanted to forget it when I was fighting it. Why would they want to remember us now?”

On Feb. 21, 1968, during the Tet offensive and some of the hardest fighting of the war, Staff Sgt. Joe Hooper was leading a recon squad near the northern city of Hue. “We stumbled across what turned out to be the North Vietnamese divisional headquarters,” he recalled later. “It was six of us against maybe 140 of them. It was hand to hand and the main battle lasted 6 1/2 hours and it seemed like a long time before other companies got there to help.”

“In all we killed 85 and captured 13. I was credited with 22 killed.”

When Hooper used to talk about the day for which he won the Congressional Medal of Honor, he told the story matter of factly. The telling wasn’t much different than the way it is told on the official citation that went with the award.

Hooper and his men came on a heavily defended North Vietnamese position and were hit by machine-gun fire, rockets and automatic weapons. Hooper was wounded four times, but kept up the attack.

At one point, Company D was coming under enemy fire from four bunkers. Hooper gathered an armful of hand grenades and ran down the line of bunkers, tossing the grenades inside. Then he ran across an open field and rescued a wounded soldier. While rescuing the soldier, Hooper shot three more North Vietnamese officers and set up a defense line before allowing himself to be taken out for treatment.

He was promoted to second lieutenant, went on a worldwide speaking tour and then went back to Vietnam for a second tour. “I went back partly because on my first tour I didn’t lose a man,” he said, “and with my training and leadership qualities, I thought I could save some lives again.”

After his second tour, Hooper went to Fort Polk, La., where he was in charge of basic trainees. But he didn’t fit in well with the stateside version of the Army, and he resigned his commission. He returned to Yakima, but found civilian life a bit boring.

Hooper moved to Kentucky to attend school on raising thoroughbreds, and he was going to the Kentucky Derby when he died peacefully in his hotel room on May 4 or 5, 1979. A blood vessel had burst in his head.

His death was not noted by the media until a year later, when a story about local Medal of Honor winners mentioned that he was dead. The only mention before that was in the Medal of Honor Society’s newsletter. Hooper was buried in Arlington, VA….near the tomb of the unknown soldier.

Their was some talk of making a movie about him, as was done with Audie Murphy and Alvin York, but the Vietnam war and its soldiers were not popular subjects back then.

When Hooper talked with high school students, the veteran with the most decorations from the Vietnam war would offer this piece of advice about serving in that war:

“I would tell my children, if I were to do this over, ‘Go to Canada, don’t fight.’ Don’t fight a war you can’t win.”

LINK to full article

From his Arlington Page:

Born at Piedmont, South Carolina, August 8, 1938, he earned the Medal of Honorwhile serving as Staff Sergeant, Company D, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 501st Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, on February 21, 1968 near Hue, Vietnam.

His citation reads:

“For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty. He distinguished himself while serving as a squad leader with Company D. The company was assaulting a heavily defended position along a river bank when it encountered withering fire from rockets, machineguns and automatic weapons. He rallied several men and stormed across the river, overrunning several bunkers on the opposite shore. Thus inspired, the rest of the company moved on the attack. With utter disregard for his own safety, he moved our under intense fire again and pulled back the wounded, refused medical aid and returned to his men. With the relentless enemy fire disrupting the attack, he single-handedly stormed three enemy bunkers, destroying them with hand grenades and rifle fire, and shot two enemy soldiers who had attacked and wounded the Chaplain. Leading his men forward in a sweep of the area, he destroyed three buildings housing enemy riflemen. At this point he was attacked by a North Vietnamese officer whom he fatally wounded with his bayonet. Finding his men under heavy fire from a house to the front, he proceeded alone to the building, killing its occupants with rifle fire and grenades. By now his initial body wound had been compounded by grenade fragments, despite multiple wounds and the loss of blood, he continued to lead his men against the intense enemy resistance. As his squad reached the final lines of the enemy, it received devastating fire from four bunkers in line on their left flank. He gathered several hand grenades and raced down a small trench which ran the length of the bunker line, tossing grenades into each bunker as he passed by, killing all but two of the occupants. With these positions destroyed, he concentrated on the last bunkers facing his men, destroying the first with an incendiary grenade and neutralizing two more by rifle fire. He then raced across an open field, still under enemy fire, to rescue a wounded man who was trapped in a trench. Upon reaching the man, he was faced by an armed enemy soldier whom he killed with his pistol. Moving his comrade to safety, he returned to his men, neutralized the final pocket of enemy resistance bu fatally wounding three North Vietnamese officers with rifle fire. He then established a final line and reorganized his men, not accepting medical treatment until this was accomplished and not consenting to evacuation until the following morning. His supreme valor, inspiring leadership and heroic self-sacrifice were directly responsible for the company’s success are provided a lasting example in personal courage for every man on the field. His actions were in keeping with the highest tradition of military service and reflect great honor upon himself and the United States Army.”

He was presented with the Medal by President Richard Nixon at the White House on March 7, 1969. He served a total of two tours of duty in Vietnam.

He died of natural causes on May 6, 1979 after his return home and was buried in Section 46 of Arlington National Cemetery, adjacent to the Memorial Amphitheater.

His other decorations include two Silver Stars (one of them which began as a recommendation for a second Medal of Honor), six Bronze Stars and eight Purple Hearts.

HOOPER, JOE R
CPT US ARMY
VIETNAM
DATE OF BIRTH: 08/08/1938
DATE OF DEATH: 05/06/1979
BURIED AT: SECTION 46 SITE 656-17
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

Currahee

From Hot Air:

Via This Ain’t Hell, here’s the best thing you’ll see today. We already knew from the surge that Petraeus was a miracle worker — but evidently we didn’t know the extent of it. Forward this to a vet you love.

From CBS You Tube channel:

Lt. Brian Brennan was severely wounded in Iraq and faced unbeatable odds but, as David Martin reports, he made a remarkable recovery with a little help from a special Cherokee word.

 

Watch CBS Videos Online

Operation Gratitude

If you did not catch the blog talk radio broadcast I did this weekend, please stop by and listen to the archive. I was very blessed to interview three ladies who work with Operation Gratitude. In the interviews Carolyn Blashek tells us how a chance encounter with a very distressed soldier spurred her to start this organization that has now sent over 417,000 care packages to deployed men and women in our Armed Forces. She talks about the mission and how you can help!

The interview includes a conversation with a Staff Sergeant with the National Guard who has been a very instrumental member of Operation Gratitude since it started, and a chat with a Blue Star Navy mom who has proudly served with Operaiton Gratitude for more than 4-years now.

The stories these ladies share really touched me and I hope they bless you when you take some time to listen. You can either listen to the show on the player offered at the Blog Talk Radio show or you can download the mp3 to your player and listen to it later! Let me know what you think!

LINK to Radio Show

You call that entertainment?

Here’s a social commentary I wrote for catharsis this past weekend. If I didn’t write who knows what I would do to relieve frustration, but you all are safe… for now!

**************

When I was a kid I remember watching shows that were just funny. There were no deeper messages or some harping point that was more annoying than your mother riding your back to clean your bedroom. Not today. The entertainment industry is fast becoming irrelevant, and it doesn’t surprise me considering the issues around talent, content, and the inappropriate insertion of political commentary,

My Mother in Law and I were discussing the overnight sensation Susan Boyle last night. Boyle was the contestant on “Britain’s Got Talent” who shocked the audience and judges with an outstanding performance. The reason the audience and the judges were so shocked by the lovely singer is that she does not fit the model of what we expect on stage today.

People describe her as “frumpy” “dowdy” or maybe just a “plain Jane.” Her voice, however, is absolutely stunning and so is her stage presence. We have (in the USA and now I wonder if in Great Britain too) thrown talent to the wayside for lewd, foul mouthed, drug addicted, dysfunctional tarts whose talent is just as falsely generated as their looks — and that goes double for the men in the industry. I told my Mother in Law last night that I too was shocked by Boyle’s performance, but not because someone with her appearance could sing that way. I was shocked that a modern pop show claiming to judge talent actually had someone WITH talent to judge.

If Susan Boyle had come out on stage looking a 14-year old Britney Spears (you know before she was washed up) people would have assumed, and wrongly so, that she must have talent since she looks a certain way. With that bias in place people will settle for the crumbs that are offered to them for the little bit of “eye-candy” and they throw out the marvelous “cake” with people like Boyle because she is not appealing to the eye. She wasn’t there to proclaim she wanted to be a super model. She’s a singer and she wanted to sing. She is in her upper-40s and this was her first chance to sing in front of a large audience. Why? Because even though she has a voice that can move people to tears, she doesn’t “look” the role and has never been given a chance. Give me a break. I am proud of Susan Boyle and her courage. She knew what those people were thinking — she has faced that mentality her whole life.

Outside of my boycott of main stream talentless music there is another deep irritation for me concerning the entertainment industry. The content in most movies, shows, and dramas are not even yawn worthy. If it’s not overdone, over the top, outrageously stupid story lines, then it’s sex, sex, sex, and usually it’s those two are combined. When we are not convulsing due to sensory overload from screen action that wears out the most hyperactive ADD kid, then we are being preached to. We can not even watch a stupid PBS cartoon with out being reminded that our juice box is environmentally unfriendly and our choices as 4-year olds will more than likely destroy the earth before we get to break the pinata at our 6-birthday celebration. Maybe the anti-depressant manufacturers are sponsoring the shows nowadays.

Why can’t kid’s shows be fun? I personally can attest to the fact that not one person I know who grew up on Bugs Bunny has ever tried to kill anyone because of what they saw on the show.  I can say the same for Wiley Coyote fans I know. Not one of them has tried to do the whole jumping off the cliff with an anvil on their head trick. These shows have been discontinued because they are “violent in nature”, and they are “not nice.” When you are in 6th grade and your best friend just dumped your sorry butt on the playground after school, you want funny, man! You want to see that Coyote go over the cliff. It’s funny. It made us laugh and it relieved our stress. That’s what entertainment is supposed to be. When I am watching a show or a movie, I don’t want to be reminded constantly of the world’s problems. I am paying to escape them, thank you very much. I will worry and stress for free.

And the one issue that has put the final nail in the proverbial coffin of my partaking in the modern entertainment industry? The political views. Oh yes. You know what I mean. The Dixie Chicks are a great example of what happens when people who are supposed to be entertaining decide to use their platform for a political statement. Sure, it’s their right, and no they were never censored. They got the good old fashioned cold shoulder, ain’t gonna buy your crappy music anymore, treatment from their fans. That’s the consequence, so stop writing books and claiming victim-hood. You did it to yourselves. We have seen the same stuff happen with the likes of nearly every big name in Hollywood. If they want to use their platform to preach their political message, that’s fine, but if they want to insult me and millions of other Americans constantly because we don’t agree with their view point — that’s totally unacceptable.

Just the other day the “24″ actress Garofalo went on another one of her moonbat, hate driven, bigoted tirades on how all Conservatives are racists, and how we hate the President because he’s black and not because he is in fact screwing our Country up beyond belief in such a short time. Her moonbat rant was very a la Rosie. Whatever. If you are a Conservative and you watch this show, you need to keep her words going through your mind while you watch it again. Are you really going to spend your time watching a supposed actress who is constantly bashing you?

She is not just saying she disagrees, she says you have a mental disorder. She is inciting hatred toward you based on your beliefs and your convictions. Keep that in mind, and if you can keep watching her and keep supporting her job by giving her the viewership she needs, then you are able to compartmentalize more than I can.

I boycotted paying for any television many years ago. It’s a decision we do not regret in our home at all. We get one news channel for our local news and we get PBS. We watch movies when we watch TV together, and you can bet those movies are not only screened for content, but they are screened for who they support.

Maybe we will see a shift in perception in this Country in the years to come. It would be wonderful for all of us to remember that the entertainment industry works for us, not us working for them. They are paid by your money. They are kept in business by you. If you think they are doing a crappy job, don’t just settle and watch it anyway. Turn it off and write to the channel who is broadcasting it. Don’t go to the movies of crazy actors who hate you. Why would you do that? Would you give your money to anyone else who was slandering your character?

It’s not worth it. Entertainment is only useful inasmuch as it entertains. Everything outside of that is your personal funding of broadcasting loud mouthed, lewd, and bigoted opinions. Sure, it’s your choice, but Bugs Bunny is a much smarter choice, in my opinion.

Month of the Military Child

April is designated as the Month of the Military Child. I will be posting resources, articles, and stories about military children in our Spouse and Family section in the blog this month. Please join me! I would love to hear any stories you have to share about your military child. Please feel free to post them here in the comments section, or email them to at claire@kneedeepinthehooah.com

Here’s a couple of favorites from the mouth of my own little Emma. She was about 3-4 years old when these occurred:

This happened in July 2007, during a visit to Ft. Benning:

When we were going into the bay to wait for our soldiers to come down for Family Day last week, a platoon of soldiers (Emma calls all soldiers ‘Michaels’ because that’s her soldier brother’s name) marched by singing a cadence. Emma stood with her eyes fixated on them, and then she excitedly turned to me and said “Mama! The Michaels are singing!” Then when she saw them all marching she said “Mama the Michaels are singing AND dancing!” Since then she keeps asking when we can go back and see the “singing and dancing Michaels.” Later that day a platoon walked by in formation, but were not marching or “singing.” Emma looked up and said “Those aren’t singing and dancing Michaels.” I think she is going to like being a military brat!

On her 3rd Birthday, June 8 2007:

She got a little birthday card from him yesterday. He wrote it out on her birthday, but it only made it to the mail late last week. She carried that little card around with her all day today. Mr. Hooah! doodled a little bunny rabbit in the card for her, so she keeps saying “Look! Look at what my papa drew to me!” She slept with it last night. Here all this time I was worrying about how I would be able to keep the bonds between her and her papa strong while he is away, and now I realize I just need to keep doing what I do. I will keep telling her that her papa loves her and misses her, and I will let God and Emma’s sweet memories do the rest.

And after her papa came home, but her Michael was still in Iraq, she hit me with this one…

Then about two weeks ago we were driving to Damon’s work, and Emma spotted a horse out in a meadow as we drove by. “Mama! I see a horsey!” She was so excited so I asked her what color it was, and it morphed from being a brown horse, to being a brown horse with red and pink hair (a punk rock horse I am to assume). Somehow this talk of horses then morphed into a talk of modes of transportation.

This was not a connection I was expecting her to make. She is not old enough, in my mind anyway, to understand that a horse and an airplane are similar in that they are vehicles we use to get from one place to another. So, Emma pipes up and loudly proclaims “Mama, I am going to fly on the airplane!” To which I reply “Oh really now?! And who is going to fly with you?” Emma reassured me that her papa was going to take her onto the airplane. “Oh really? So, you and papa are going on the airplane? And just where are you and papa going, little girl?”

“Mama! Papa is going to fly with me to Iraq and we will get our Michael.” she squealed loudly!

I am glad I had my sunglasses on. How did she come to know and understand that Iraq is a place? How I pray that she will not have to know much more than that, for a very, very long time. How I pray for the day when she can see her Michael walking down that long ramp and into the arms of his anticipating family.

To which I want to close by saying that she did indeed see her Michael coming down that ramp, and in his hand was a little play horsey just for her.

 

 

Join me in the Spouse section…

I just posted about pro-active self defense. I had become pretty complacent and was taking my safety for granted, until something happened last week that reminded me that “it” could happen to me…

CLICK HERE (you won’t leave Allmilitary.com)

Wounded Warriors Need You!

This is a cross post from Assoluta Tranquillita:

Click to see detail image:

That is the official flyer of an incredible weekend in May that the Combat Warrior Crisis Network and The Independence Fund are hosting. Happening 14 – 17 May, this Independence Ride is CWCN’s way of giving back to some of our bravest warriors.

Some information (since I can’t figure out how to improve the quality on that flyer):

The Independence Fund and Combat Warrior Crisis Network are working together to bring about 250 wounded soldiers from all over the country to Pensacola. We have DOD and VA support.

Take a look at this video and see some of the great work these groups do for our wounded warriors.

I don’t need to tell any of you that these events, this work on behalf of our wounded warriors, takes money – LOTS of $ for plane fares, lodging, food, etc etc.

This is where you come in. PLEASE, for the price of just one day’s worth of lattes or whatever you can afford, you can help these guys. They need YOUR donation to make this year’s Independence Ride happen.

Go to the Combat Warriors Crisis Network’s site here, and check out their programmes such as Take A Soldier Fishing. Then donate. They have PayPal to make it really easy for you to get involved and tell our warriors that you care. The PayPal link is on this page here.

The founder of the Combat Warriors Crisis Network is Mike Nashif. Active duty soldier, he is also on FaceBook. If you have any questions, you can either go to their website, or find Mike on FaceBook.(hint: he is on a certain brat’s “friends” list…lol)

The Combat Warriors Crisis Network is a 501c(3) registered group, so every dime you give them goes to their programmes.

Their site says:

Who is Combat Warrior Crisis Network?
CWCN is a Faith Based 501 (c) 3, non- profit public charity and Ministry, an Affiliate Subordinate Ministry of Chaplain Fellowship Ministries Inc. Intl. Our focus is to provide the Armed Forces with an alternate view or means to assist the healing process after a combat related injury.

Our Mission Statement:
We strive to show that there are people out there that care, and want to help. There are resources in both the public and military communities, many armed forces members are not aware that exist. One of the programs we offer is Take a Soldier Fishing.
Our organization focuses on the ever growing need to support the service members AND their spouses before, during, and after deployments. Fishing and the outdoors are our main focus for support and assisting our participants in learning positive tools to assist with stress. (here)

Check out Take A Soldier Fishing here, too.

Another way you can help financially? By buying an event t-shirt from The Independence Fund. The t-shirt picture is at the top of this post. And where do you buy these great t-shirts for this event? Right here, of course, on The Independence Fund’s site! When you have donated, be sure and read all about this event, and The Independence Fund while you are there!

We all know heroes that we see on a daily basis. Now, we have an opportunity to make sure that “The Heroes are coming” to Pensacola for an unforgettable weekend.

I have given you a few options for ways to donate whatever you can afford. Let’s get ‘er done!

Thank you.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Servitude?

Reflection from the weekend:

The one good thing this Administration has done is reconnect voters with their elected officials. I have never had so many reasons to write my elected officials as I have in just the past few months. The stuff this POTUS (or his teleprompter) is proposing is not just marginally questionable. He is constantly proposing things that are diametrically opposed to the Constitution. Since he’s a lawyer we can only assume that he has actually had to read it, or at least the Cliff Notes version. Anyone who has ever watched Schoolhouse Rock knows that the programs coming from this Administration are hugely unconstitutional.

As a matter of fact I am seriously considering having a contest so I can give a prize to the first person who can name one Constitutionally supported action this POTUS has done. Nothing he does in Iraq and Afghanistan counts because we all know he hates the wars and he was forced to inherit those from the previous POTUS.

After hearing about the new forced servitude he is trying to implement I wasn’t sure if I should laugh, cry, or scream. Now I understand why the Pentagon is doing away with Stop-Loss. After all we can force citizens into “volunteerism” so why do we need a separate program for soldiers? Basically we could all wind up “stop-lossed” under this Administration.

Just a forewarning… if this bill is passed I will not serve a second of time under this Administration. I absolutely, positively refuse to hand my freedom and liberty over to this Constitution hating man. I will submit to authority when that authority is within the alignment of our Constitution and when a President is upholding his oath.

I have spent many years of my life in a profession that is focused on giving back to populations that need help. I have documented thousands of unpaid hours in a prison for women, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, supporting our troops, supporting public education programs, and visiting the elderly. I did not need my government to force me to go where my conscience already led me. I filled those hours with joy because I know I was filling them out of a personal conviction. To do otherwise would have robbed me greatly out of my own personal reward.

Do I feel more righteous than people who have not done much if any volunteering in their communities? No, I don’t. Working in these kinds of programs and with populations that can be very needy is a calling. We are all called to have mercy on those around us, but that directive is from God — the One who also made us free. That does not mean that every person has the same calling in life. I was not called to be a soldier, for example, and I know there are many who are not called to serve soup in a local homeless shelter.

I have to sit here and wonder how many thousands of hours of volunteer work the President and his wife have given over the years. I hate to the be the one to break this to them, but this is something that millions of Americans ALREADY do every week. It’s not a new concept.

So, once again, I encourage you… I implore you to please write your elected officials and tell them that if this program is implemented there will be hell to pay and the one handing the bill over will be the citizens of this Country who are sick and tired of seeing their Constitutional rights chucked out the window by the very man who promised to uphold said document when he spoke the following words, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

In reality he is working overtime to debase the Constitution. Actions speak louder than words.

If you get a chance, please read the article “David Crockett, Charity and Congress.” Here’s a snippet of an answer a farmer gave to him when Colonel Crockett asked him for his vote. The man’s answer was based on the knowledge that Crockett had voted in favor of appropriating $20,000 tax dollars to aid in relief efforts after a huge fire in Georgetown.

“It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the Government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing to do with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means. What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the Government. So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he. If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. If you have the right: to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive, what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had been burned in this county as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. There are about two hundred and forty members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the sufferers by contributing each one week’s pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of wealthy men in and around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life. The Congressmen chose to keep their own money, which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditably; and the people about Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from the necessity of giving by giving what was not yours to give. The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution.”

“I have given you,” continued Crockett, “an imperfect account of what he said. Long before he was through, I was convinced that I had done wrong. He wound up by saying:

“So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you.”

The entire story is worth the time it takes to read. You can find it HERE.

Operation Purple Accepting Applications

I found the following article at the Ft. Gordon Signal:

“The National Military Family Association’s Operation Purple camp program will once again be accepting applications online, beginning March 16, at www.operationpurple.org

The program aims to help military kids experience carefree fun while also learning coping skills to deal with war-related stress, and fosters relationships with others who know what they are going through because they are experiencing it, too.

Operation Purple camp also helps kids to gain confidence and teaches them to be stewards of the community and of the environment.

In 2008, military children ages seven to 17 had a chance to stay at the free, week-long, overnight camp at one of 62 locations in 37 states and territories.

Camps are free to all participants, thanks to support from the Sierra Club and the Sierra Club Foundation. More than 20,000 kids have participated in the program since its inception.

War takes its toll not only on the troops who fight in the field, but also on the Families who wait and worry at home. More than 155,000 kids have at least one parent who is deployed in the war on terrorism. That number doesn’t include those experiencing routine, but often lengthy, deployments and separations from loved ones through military service.

Many of these children have more than one parent or Family member deployed. The OperationPurple camp program, created in 2004, imparts the message on these young heroes that “they serve, too.”

Any military child can apply, but priority is given to those who have a parent, guardian, or Family household member deployed between September 2008 and December 2009.

If all spaces are not filled with campers who meet the deployment criteria, the remaining camp slots are filled with any military child from any service branch, the National Guard, Reserve, U.S. Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

For more information about the program, visit the Web site

www.operationpurple.org

For information about the National Military Family Association, contact them by phone at (703) 931-6632, or by E-mail at families@nmfa.org”