Memorial Day, 2020

 

As I sit here this day, I feel compelled to say something … to speak up. Sitting down and being quiet doesn’t cut it today.

In Florida, we have just concluded a two month period when our fundamental freedoms were taken from us. By our government, no less.

I think back to my early years. I listened to my Dad tell stories about his time in Europe during World War II.  He landed in Normandy on D-Day + 4. He was on a wire team in the Second Armored. It was their job to lay wire to those on the front so they could communicate with command.

He explained to my quizzical look: radios were out; the Germans could eavesdrop.  Hardwired phone were the only viable option and his team laid the wire.

 

He endured a freezing winter. Outside. In fox holes. He went more than a month without a bath or shower; it could have been longer because he lost track.

I couldn’t imagine.

We fought to give those people their freedom and kill the man who took it away. And that is exactly what they did.

It took years for me to understand what ‘Freedom’ was because I never knew life without it.

Jumping ahead, I recall graduating from high school with 575 other young people. We thought we knew everything and, for a short moment in time – we did.

Then, came the end of June. Just a couple of weeks later. Dick, my foster brother, enlisted in the Marine Corps. My folks had taken Dick in when his parents threw him out of the house. Mom said he needed a home so he could finish school and she was going to make sure that happened.

And she did.

Dick was with us nearly a year. He was part of the family: Thanksgiving, Christmas, fun times and … cutting the grass along with taking out the trash. He was part-and-parcel my new brother.

The Vietnam War raged on. Dick signed up to go. Our family took him to the airport that evening. He would leave shortly on a flight to MCRD in San Diego. There were hugs, tears, laughter and handshakes. Plenty to go around.

After all, we might not see him again.

It was like I got smacked in the back of the head with a baseball bat. This guy – who I had come to love like my own flesh and blood – was off to a war in a far-away place.

I went to Michigan State in the fall and every day, I would look at his picture and pray for his safe return.

Thank God, he did. That was my first real dose of being an adult.

Jumping many years into the future, I was working with police departments in Michigan. I helped them select and install their first in-car computers. For about three years, I was training cops on the software and ultimately the best tactics when using them.

After a particularly risky call one night in Monroe County, I decided that it would be wise if I went through the police academy. If I learned about good tactics and self-protection, I would be more safe on my many ride-alongs each week.

By the time the sixteen week academy ended, I was the class spokesman. I had been taken on, part time, by a suburban Detroit agency and the hook was set. I realized then that being a cop is what the Big Guy upstairs had planned for me, all along.

Only a few short weeks after the academy ended, a cop I had worked with on computers was shot to death.

My first funeral. At the F.O.P. Hall, cops were crying. There was plenty of alcohol and food along with cops who were dazed. Overtaken with grief. Grief they only showed in front of other cops. I was part of that brotherhood. The ache in my gut was agonizing.

Now, here we are at Memorial Day, 2020.

More than ONE HUNDRED of my brothers and sisters have died from the COVID-19 Virus.

As a wise man once said, “When one of us goes, a little piece of the rest of us goes with him.”   Amen.

 

EVERY ONE OF US has sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution. Yet, we have stood by and watched politicians piss on it.

If the leader of China did that, he would be dead where he stood.

Yet, we have let it happen. Some of us have followed orders that were as unconstitutional as they could be.

I don’t judge anyone for what they have done in recent weeks. The heat of the battle can warp the judgement of anyone.

BUT, now that this mess is calming down, and we have a grasp on how to fight it, it’s time to look in the mirror and recite your oath, anew:

I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.

 Think about that while you watch this video:

 

GOD BLESS AMERICA

 

“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “

We couldn’t agree more.

 


 

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