Sergeant Tony's Blog

Archive for the 'Serious Thoughts' Category

VETERAN’S DAY — November 11, 2008

Nov. 11th 2008

Despite the deployment of National Guardsmen and military reservists to Iraq and Afghanistan, there are a lot of people who don’t know anyone in the military. Over the years I’ve discovered that the average civilian doesn’t know much about the military. They have no real understanding of the differences between the branches of services.

Most know that the Navy is the one that has the boats. That the Air Force has the planes. And the Army and the Marine Corps has something to do with shooting and blowin’ up stuff on the ground.

On this Veteran’s Day we take a day to express our appreciation for those men and women who have served, and are serving, our country in one of the branches of our Armed Forces. It’s a simple day for a simple “thank you.”

The veterans of Vietnam didn’t start getting any thanks until years after the war was over. Most Vietnam vets have yet to be thanked. It was a different time and a different culture when they returned from their war. The anti-war sentiments in this country had spread from marches on Washington and peaceful demonstrations on Main Street America, to violent and belligerent assaults on returning veterans themselves.

There were no happy celebrations greeting our brave men when they returned from the horrors of that war. There were no parades. There were no cheers of excitement and admiration. There were no public or even private expressions of gratitude. No words of thanks. No pats on the back. Returning Vietnam vets returned to jeers and hate, their service ridiculed and maligned. They were made to feel shame and guilt for answering their country’s call to serve.

In 1970, my 21 year old brother, a decorated Marine, returned from honorable and heroic service in Vietnam. He was met at the San Francisco airport by a huge crowd of loud and angry protesters. This mob included a young mother, a little older than my brother, who stepped in front of him blocking his way, thrust her young child into my brother’s face, and screamed “YOU FILTHY BABY KILLER!! THIS IS WHAT YOU KILLED IN VIETNAM!” She then spat in his face and on his dress uniform.

Over 20 years later my brother confessed to me that the pain and rejection that he felt at that very moment, the moment that woman screamed at him and accused him of unthinkable acts, had never left him. He felt it over 20 years later.

When the first Gulf War ended, our country turned out in masses and welcomed our heroes home. We had committed a horrible sin against those who served in Vietnam and we were determined not to have another generation of honorable veterans made to feel like war criminals. So we really threw a party! In fact, we probably went a little overboard. As if the make up for our tragic mistake with the Vietnam era vets.

Unfortunately, we were making up to the wrong generation.

Hundreds of Vietnam vets watched those celebrations and parades … heard the speeches … and felt even more rejected.

The first Gulf War was measured in days and had less than 200 casualties. Vietnam was measured in multiplied years and claimed almost 70,000 American lives. It was like honoring someone for jogging around the block, while ignoring someone who’d survived a death march of a thousand miles.

Vietnam vets felt even more marginalized. Shoved into the corner of American history reserved for our mistakes. We’d ignored them again.

My brother took his life within weeks of the end of the first Gulf War. He is buried in the National Cemetery in Fort Smith, Arkansas. It was only in death that his country, our country, reserved for him a place of honor.

On this Veteran’s Day, and any day you have the opportunity, be sure and single out the aging Vietnam Veteran. They don’t look like the young men they were when our country sent them to a foreign land to serve … and to do what most would like to forget. But inside that 59 or 60 year old veteran is a young man longing to be told, “thank you for your service.”

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CALLING FORMER MARINES!

Jan. 16th 2008

When my older brother, a Staff Sergeant in the Marine Corps at the time, attended my graduation from Parris Island he shook my hand and said, “Now we’re brothers twice!”

If you’re a Marine, no longer on active duty (once a Marine, always a Marine!), then I’m your brother and I’ve got a business opportunity for you.

This is a no BS, real proposition, for the right former Marines.

On the home page of this website you’ll find a “DI School” link to click on. Go there and click on it. It’ll take you to a description of a couple of business opportunities I’d like to share with you.

You will want to do this. I promise you.

USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP is a program like no other. Successful and rewarding and something that you definitely want to consider being a part of. We’re expanding and I’m looking for local instructors here in the Memphis area, as well as business partners in other parts of the country — former Marines who want to start their own battalion of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP!

Take a look at the info and then let me hear from you. Let’s talk about the possibilities of your future success doing something I bet you’re already doing!

Semper Fi,

Tony



TIME HAS COME TODAY – Goals & Resolutions for 2008

Jan. 2nd 2008

Time Has Come Today – Goals & Resolutions for 2008

It happens this time every year. At the stroke of midnight on December 31, we launch out to make improvements in every area of our lives. We make goals and resolutions and attack them with great gusto … only to abandon them by mid January.

Some dedicated folks actually make it to February before they throw in the towel!

But others will actually follow through and be successful by year’s end.

Last year at this time I also drew up a list of goals and resolutions.

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TRADITIONS — 11/12/07

Nov. 12th 2007

HAPPY VETERAN’S DAY! – Observed. November 12, 2007

Today is the day our country sets aside to honor all those who’ve worn the uniform of one of our armed forces.

I have a tradition of going to the national cemetery on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. I borrow a Japanese tradition of taking stones or coins to the graves of their loved ones. Today I took seven smooth stones and found the graves of seven different service members. I kneel and place a stone on top of the headstone, and say a short prayer of thanksgiving for that person and their service to our country. And then I ask God’s mercy and blessings on that person’s family, most of whom must still grieve over their lost loved one. Then I stand and salute the name on the headstone.

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PRAYER REQUEST — 10/30/07

Oct. 30th 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Request for prayer.

I just got a call this morning from my friend Troy Donald. Troy and I were teaching and coaching partners at Memphis Catholic High School. He called to tell me that one of our former students, Darius Truly, had been murdered on Saturday in Los Angeles.

Darius had become an aspiring actor and had received awesome reviews for his performances on stages across the country. As a high school student, he was one of the brightest students I ever taught. He was funny and intelligent beyond his years, popular with students and teachers alike. He challenged me everyday to think outside of my own racial and cultural templates. His violent death is tragic and sad. Please pray for his family and for all who knew him.

darius-truly.jpg
Darius Truly and J. Nicole Brooks in Suzan-Lori Parks’ “The America Play.”

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FIRES AND GOLD IN CALIFORNIA — AN AWESOME EMAIL

Oct. 23rd 2007

FIRES AND GOLD IN CALIFORNIA

The following is an incredible email written by James Ray and sent out just the other day. You don’t even need to know anything about Mr. Ray to mine the gold from this email.

Thanks Wendy for sending this to me!

October 22, 2007
4:45 PM
Friends,
At the time of writing, my home and office have been evacuated due to the fires raging in

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MY NEPHEW, JEFF LUDLOW, IN IRAQ — SERIOUS THOUGHTS

Jul. 21st 2007

This is an unpublished article written last week by a military corespondent. It will appear in several publications, but you get it first.

Compassion from a Combat Medic to an Iraqi Child
By 2nd Lt. Liz Lopez

The most important quality a combat medic can possess is compassion. By the very nature of their jobs, these men and women not only witness, but participate in some of combat’s most heart-wrenching stories. But, a patient’s well-being is always foremost in their concern.

Late on the day of June 21, the normally quiet Yusufiyah Aid Station suddenly erupted into chaos as eight casualties from a nearby mortar attach were brought in.

Among the wounded were seven Iraqi children ranging in age from three to twelve.

That evening, Sgt. William Ludlow of Fort Smith, Ark., a combat medic from Company C, 210th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), was responsible for the care of a six-year-old girl named Tebarek.

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AMERICA’S SECURITY AT RISK — SOUND THE ALARM

Apr. 25th 2007

For the first time in US history, we’ve got a national security crisis that comes from within our own borders. The threat has nothing to do with illegal immigration or Muslim extremists. The Founding Fathers couldn’t have possibly looked down the tunnel of time and seen this danger.

The threat is such that Homeland Security is powerless to stop it.

The danger is so real that our Department of Defense is also unable to stem the growing menace.

You should be alarmed.

I know that I am.

What’s the threat?

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Charge of the Light Brigade 2007 Style – Smiles, Smokes, and Shiny Suits

Apr. 6th 2007

Charge of the Light Brigade 2007 Style – Smiles, Smokes, and Shiny Suits

My family comes from the British Isles, England and Scotland. There is a Ludlow, England with a castle (Ludlow Castle) and coat of arms. York, Scotland was the birthplace and home of one of my ancient grandmothers. So, I’d always been a little proud of my British roots.

Until now.

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KEN KENWORTHY — A LIFE WELL LIVED

Mar. 14th 2007

Boot Campers are more than just clients or customers to me. Ken Kenworthy was my buddy, but he was also my older brother. From our very beginning in 1999, members of our little group have been family to me and Ken was one of my bros.

When we were at the U of M, I referred to him as “The Weatherman”

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