Tag Archives: Support Our Troops

“Excelsior” Ever Upward! ~ Book Review

Please allow me to begin by saying what an honor & privilege it is to review “Excelsior” by George H. Sirois for the Indie Book Collective’s incredible Veteran’s Day event, Blog Tour de Troops. Would you, my wonderful readers, like to read “Excelsior” for free as well as have a copy sent to a soldier just for leaving a comment? What about nearly fifty free ebooks, giving you & our troops the chance to discover some new authors to love? Sound good? I thought you might like that. Details will follow my review of “Excelsior”.

On the surface, it may seem that “Excelsior” by George H. Sirois is simply going to be a fun read—one of those great little sci-fi gems to be enjoyed as an escape or distraction from everyday real life. While it is definitely one of those great little gems, with the usual good versus evil to save the world themes, I must forewarn you—the undercurrents of the basic overlying theme of “Excelsior” takes the reader far deeper than simple escapism. It is exciting, inspiring, intensely gripping, & even spiritual if one allows one’s self to feel it in the soul rather than simply reading it. The world of “Excelsior” grabs you & just doesn’t let go. I found myself glued to my Kindle, eagerly anticipating what might be just around the corner on that next page. The excitement & tension continue to ratchet up from beginning to end. To say this book had me breathless at times would be an understatement. Continue reading

Proud To Be An American Woman

Warning: The following blog will offend the sensibilities of individuals who seem to be clueless when it comes to being a patriotic American citizen, who believe it’s shameful to take pride in America, who can’t be bothered to respect & support our troops, or those who continually apologize for even being American. Basically, at some point in this entry, I will probably manage to offend just about everyone on the planet & I could really care less at the moment. Make no mistake. This particular blog entry is not intended to be nice, pretty, or even remotely politically correct. I am an angry American woman right now & I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with even trying to remain somewhat polite.

First of all—I love the U.S.A. It’s the ever so devious & divisive politicians I don’t trust. That being said, how dare anyone attempt to make me or any other person who still takes pride in this nation feel ashamed for being an American? Let’s get two things straight right here & now. I will never be ashamed of being American & I will never turn my back on supporting our troops!

While my blogs are generally my personal opinion on various events or topics, I do make every effort to research the facts on my chosen subject matter prior to firing off those opinions. While searching various forms of media for a heartfelt Memorial Day tribute blog of gratitude honoring our nation’s fallen heroes, I found so much blatant disrespect, not only for our troops, but for the U.S.A. as a whole that I was literally sick to my stomach with a roiling mixture of rage, sadness, & frustration. I’m utterly disgusted by some of the things I’ve read or seen over the past few weeks, let alone just this past Memorial Day weekend.

Those of you who are so ashamed to be Americans, bash on U.S. soldiers in commentary, or apologize to others for being American should find another country to live in! Heck! From what I’ve seen some sorry excuses for human beings say or write, I’m quite certain Al-Qaeda or the Taliban would be overjoyed to recruit them! If you can’t even be bothered to stand behind our troops & support them, I suggest you please do all of us who do respect, appreciate, & care for those soldiers a favor & stand in front of them—that way you can take that random spray of insurgents’ bullets or that IED blast before they do.

What gives you the right to prance all over a the comments page of a beautifully patriotic YouTube video tribute to our soldiers set to the music of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” spewing filth about how horrible it is to take pride in America & blessing Agent Orange for its negative health impact on our veterans? Oh damn it! That’s right! Those very same soldiers who you were virtually spitting on gave you that right by ensuring you still have freedom of speech! Then again, it’s pretty easy to hide behind your computer screen & fling such flagrant insults isn’t it, Keyboard Rambo? My bet is that you wouldn’t have the guts to say that kind of rubbish to a soldier’s face. If you did, my bet is also on that soldier to display more honor & dignity than you could ever hope to possess by actually refraining from twisting your worthless head off like a flimsy bottle cap.

Then we have the example of one of my fellow Michiganders, whose blog I ordinarily happen to find interesting, blogging & tweeting away on Memorial Day that war is a racket & that military actions are all about money. Fine. If that’s what you choose to believe, you’re entitled. I can even acknowledge that there were some truths to some of the points made in that article. However, Memorial Day was most certainly not the day to blog such rhetoric. Couple the incredibly distasteful timing with the fact that this ordinarily informative person hadn’t even bothered to post a single tweet or blog of gratitude about the people who died protecting their right to behave in such a self-centered manner & you’ve got a prime example of the shameful lack of patriotism I’ve been seeing everywhere I turn lately.

You wanna talk fed up? I’m fed up with every single apologetic sniveling whiner who is ashamed to stand proud as a United States citizen simply because of the actions or inactions of the current administration’s leadership, who they probably voted for in the first place. These people disgust me by acting ashamed to be Americans simply because the aforementioned current leadership is incompetent, inept, & seems to have an oddly suspicious deep-seated desire for America to become IslAmerica. The continuing slide down the slippery slope toward complete dhimmitude  exhibited by some in this country is appalling. There is absolutely no shame in being American, folks! Those in our current administration are elected & appointed officials, many of whom quite likely lied, cheated, or bought their way into office & have completely lost touch with the wants & needs of the American people—if they ever were in touch at all. They are not America, itself. We the People are! The sooner everyone gets that through their heads, the better off we’ll all be.

Another topic that found its way into my crosshairs while I was researching ways of honoring our nation’s heroes was a news story that begs a serious question. Exactly why are our generals scurrying to apologize for the accidental deaths of nine civilians during a NATO air strike on a house/compound in Afghanistan where a group of insurgents, who had already killed one U.S. Marine, had taken refuge & from which they were still fighting? Excuse me? Let’s be real, here, folks. Were the other troops who were under attack along with that Marine supposed to simply stroll up, politely knock on the front door & ask for the insurgents/terrorists to please come back outside to play nicely by the rule book? I don’t think so. Call me a horrible person if it makes you feel superior, but I don’t give a damn about those nine civilians. If they gave a damn about themselves, they should have defended their own home & not allowed the insurgents to take refuge there in the first place! Any civilian that allows terrorist insurgents to take refuge in their home is no longer a civilian, in my opinion. They have, essentially, transformed themselves into criminals by harboring fugitives & have made themselves accessories after the fact. Both of these are, indeed, criminal acts punishable to the fullest extent of the law. Well, this time the ‘law’ just so happened to come in the form of a NATO air strike. Tough. How’s that for political correctness? I wonder General Petraeus, did you just as quickly rush to the side of the grieving family of that fallen U.S. Marine?

For those of you who I’m sure now feel the intense need to pontificate & snivel about things such as the Rules of Engagement or the Geneva Convention, you are in dire need of a serious wake-up call, for you are the ones responsible for the deaths of so many American soldiers deployed to the Afghan & Iraqi theatres. Their blood is on your hands. Get a clue. These insurgents/terrorists do not adhere to these ‘rules’ in any way, shape, or form. As a matter of fact, they find them laughable &, knowing full well that coalition forces are attempting to abide by these rules, strategically manipulate them as tactics to use against U.S. & Allied troops in order to gain both the upper hand in battle & to garner global media sympathies. Those of you insisting on such niceties are nothing more than armchair generals living in a utopian dream world while placing our coalition forces in a clear & present danger. You are essentially tying the hands, under threat of prosecution, of those who are actually out there facing this enemy, are highly trained to do their jobs, do them well, & do them conscientiously. Does strict adherence to these rules make our troops more civilized or ‘better’ than the enemy they face? No. For the most part, it makes them injured or dead. Period.

I certainly didn’t see any terrorist organizations rushing to apologize for the 3,000+ civilians & public servants they killed on September 11, 2001. As a matter of fact, I distinctly recall seeing a whole lot of people in the Middle East dancing in the streets, gleefully waving their flags, cheering, & tossing candy in the streets parade-style in celebration of the events of that day. Yet, when Americans gathered together & celebrated the news of Usama bin Laden’s demise, we were chastised from just about every direction—including from within. Those that chastised America’s celebratory behavior that night seem to have forgotten or are simply oblivious to the fact that bin Laden’s terrorist activities were not reserved solely for the United States, but were global. The number of casualties throughout various parts of the world that can be attributed to that monstrous Al-Qaeda snake is estimated to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 16,000+, including at least 3,000 Muslim people who he claimed to be the guardian of.

Therefore, again, I must ask—why in the world is the United States scrambling to apologize for the accidental death of nine Afghan civilians who were harboring terrorist insurgents in their home? Why are there so many that feel Usama bin Laden should have been more respectfully laid to rest & are behaving apologetically about that, as well? And please, I beg of you, don’t dare even fathom regurgitating that lovely new catchphrase “because that’s not who we are” to me because I’m beyond done hearing that inane line! However, if that’s truly the only answer you can come up with, then answer me this. Who, exactly, are we then? Is America simply the global scapegoat doormat to be trampled on? Is America here to be begged for military assistance only to be backstabbed later by those very same people that beseeched us to help them in the first place? Or is it America’s job to plunge itself even deeper in debt by pledging financial assistance anytime another country needs a handout to bolster their economy while many of our own citizens suffer in financial hardship every day?

Obviously, I’m quite ashamed at & outraged by the behavior of some Americans. That does not, however, mean I am or ever will be ashamed of the United States of America. Do I like war? Of course not! Does anyone really like war? I highly doubt it. However, I’m also intelligent enough to grasp that approximately 1,600 year old concept put forth by Roman strategist, author, & veterinarian, Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus—“Let him who desires peace prepare for war.” Those who feel the call of duty within their hearts & choose to serve in our military also clearly understand this concept; otherwise they wouldn’t train so rigorously or sacrifice so much of their lives & the everyday things we take for granted in order to be ready when our nation calls upon them. They are literally willing to lay down their lives for this country. Therefore, I will always support, honor, & respect those courageous men & women that fight for our nation.

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, & handed on for them to do the same." -- Ronald Reagan

{Addendum by Cari on July 22, 2011: Not long after I’d written this article, I finished the book “Lone Survivor” by Marcus Luttrell which is a compelling, honest, & heartwrenching account of the reality of a Navy Seal mission in Afghanistan. Hardly a day has gone by since that I haven’t reflected upon Mr. Luttrell’s words which now compel me to write this addendum. While I do not apologize for my words entirely as they were my truth & my feelings at the time they were written, I will say this: I’ve been humbled into the realization that there truly are good & decent Afghan people. I know now that terrorist organizations attempt to intimidate or threaten these otherwise decent & relatively peaceful Afghan villagers into following their orders on pain of death & I now give respect as well as appreciation to those particular Afghan citizens that do have the courage & strength of their convictions to stand up & reject these terrorist threats. It is for those villagers that I learned about in Luttrell’s book that I humbly write this addendum.}

Memorial Day ~ Honor, Respect, & Gratitude

Memorial Day’s meaning seems to vary between each & every citizen of this great nation, The United States of America. While it’s wonderful having a three day weekend to gather with family & friends, that’s not the sole reason for this holiday. I hope that everyone has taken or will take at least a moment of their time today to reflect upon the true reason for this holiday & the sacrifices made by courageous people throughout U.S. history that have given us the freedoms we enjoy or even, at times, take for granted.

The U. S. Department of Defense gives us a wonderful background on the origins, history, & traditions of Memorial Day on their website. The portion I have posted below is merely the beginning & I strongly encourage you to visit their website to read the rest of the article. I also suggest browsing the website whenever you have the opportunity in order to broaden your understanding of what the brave individuals of the U. S. Armed Services do for us each & every day.

     “On Memorial Day, men and women across the nation pause to remember America’s fallen soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of protecting American freedom.
Originally known as “Decoration Day,” Memorial Day came into existence just three years after the Civil War ended. Decoration Day was intended as a time to remember the soldiers who lost their lives during the Civil War and more specifically, to honor their memory by decorating their graves.
On May 5, 1868, Gen. John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic declared the first Decoration Day to be held on May 30, 1868. As part of the day’s observances, flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
By the late 1800s, as the holiday grew in popularity and was observed by more states, Decoration Day had become better known as Memorial Day. But it wasn’t until the end of World War I that Memorial Day was opened to include fallen soldiers who fought in all U.S. wars.” (continued here)

Speaking for myself, there are three words that are etched into my heart on Memorial Day & always when it comes to defining my feelings about those brave individuals — past, present, & future — who serve in the U. S. military. Honor, Respect, & Gratitude. Our U. S. troops & their loved ones who have sacrificed so much — including the ultimate sacrifice — deserve, at the very least, for those three words to be taken to heart by all Americans. Those three words should be forever linked in the hearts & minds of every American citizen to the gifts that have been so bravely & selflessly bestowed upon us by each & every U. S. Soldier that has answered the call of duty throughout our nation’s history. The gifts of life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness. Love your freedom? Thank a soldier!

“The Soldier” – By Charles M. Province
It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
If you can read this message thank a teacher,
If you are reading it in English of your own free will thank a soldier!
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves under the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.
To all the brave men and women who have dedicated or given their lives
to protecting this country and its freedoms:
Thank you.