Friday, October 29, 2010

Veteran's Chapter - Adam Burke

Trying to focus.

Being great is about focus. You probably know the successful artist, writer and business person. One thing they all have in common is focus.

I got in touch with Adam Burke of WVFV (Work Vessels For Veterns). Here in Jacksonville they are giving farms to help the Vetern. Red White and Blueberries. I can attest that there is nothing better than working out in the fresh air, digging in the soil and growing things. They are having a booth at the Duval County Fair on November 3rd and 4th.

I think this is a great organization and I plan on getting involved. This is not about the politics of war...

It's about knowing the person behind the uniform.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Afghanistan Through My Eyes

Today was total procrastination. I should be preparing.

Mentally, I'm totally not prepared to go. I really want to go. But I know in my heart I'm not ready. It would be good if I got my orders and only had two weeks to think about it. I guess being a writer I function better on deadlines.

I had written a whole other piece for this blog, but then found this video. It reminded me that life is about perspective. We all need an adjustment.

Tonight when you sleep in your comfortable warm bed, kiss your mate or children, aren't hungry and have a job to wake up to tomorrow or just plain get to wake up, remember it could be a lot different.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Afghanistan Through My Eyes

I heard from Gabriel. He let me know that 80% of the embeds happen. The only reason they don't is because the division requested isn't accepting embeds or there are too many reporters requesting time. He also wrote that the embed usually comes about two weeks before you go. EGAD! This means I better make an appointment to get all those inoculations.

Today on NPR radio I heard the sad statistic that suicides of soldiers has now surpassed all the soldiers killed the entire time we have been in Afghanistan.

Why, how could this happen?

Perhaps, it's because the atrocites of war aren't even imaginable. Worse, it's likely that when the soldier gets home and needs help there isn't any or it takes 3 months to see a psychiatrist or get therapy. Our VA hospitals are an embarrassement.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Afghanistan Through My Eyes - Garry Trudeau

Still waiting.

I awoke today to hear Garry Trudeau speak about his new book, 4 decades of Doonesbury. I remember reading that comic strip. As a 12 year old in 1970 I didn't really understand the level of integrity and truth a comic strip holds. Imagine telling a story in 4 panels with fewer than 75 words.

I have followed the characters ever since. I know these characters like my family. I know BD and I remember when he lost his leg in Iraq and his ever evolving helmet came off. I know the character BD behing that uniform.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Afghanistan Through My Eyes

I broke down today and emailed my guardian angel Gabriel. I'm getting a little concerned about the logistics. Hopefully I'll hear from him tomorrow.

I have always been interested in logistics and how things work. I didn't know about the Ordnance Division until I read Ernie Pyle's book, "Brave Men". They are the division that repairs refurbishes or recycles everything, from jeeps, to tanks to ammunition and small arms.

In WWII they couldn't get the rifles back out to the infantry fast enough. Soldiers would be standing around begging for them so they could get back to the front.

Of course soldiers being people, like to personalize things, carve their names etc. There was a story about a rifle butt that had a circle hollowed out and replaced with a picture of a girlfriend or young wife and sealed with a silver dollar size crystal probably from a watch. They didn't know what had happened to the soldier, but some other guy was out in battle with someone else's girl.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Veteran's Chapter - WVFV

I still haven't heard from ISAF. I'm hoping because tomorrow is Monday I'll be getting that email.

Last night, I attended an amazing concert and benefit for Work Vessels For Veterans. It was very exciting because after the first act of Kal David and The Real Deal they had an award ceremony. A gentleman who flew in a bomadier squadron during WWII was there. He had a hard time getting on stage. He then told about his service during the war and how he had a hard time balancing because his feet had been frostbit so many times while flying missions.

He went on to talk about being a person behind the uniform and how hard it was to return to civilian life. He came all the way from Connecticut to make the presentaion of a star cut out of an American Flag to the organizer of the WVFV here in Jacksonville, Florida.

I wish I had a pen and paper because I wanted to write it all down. I am just terrible with names. He went on to explain that it was perfectly acceptable to award the star from the actual flag because they had to be either disposed of by burning or by serving another useful purpose.

I have always been a patriotic person and still get goosebumbs when I sing the star spangled banner looking at the flag blowing in the wind. I think of all the soldiers who fight under it and sometimes die for it.

Did you know that: When the Flag is used to cover a casket, it should be so placed that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.

Aftet the awards ceremony we were treated to Dave Mason who plays one mean guitar and performed his song, "All Along the Watchtower".

I was proud to be there in support of the Vets.