Caught My Eye…

WARNING: Buckle up!

Welcome to another exciting edition of “Caught My Eye!”

If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” is posted here every Friday morning. This column is where I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. Sometimes I throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – maybe both.

Today’s topics include the difference between Memorial Day & Veterans Day, Lee Newspapers State Bureau, Veterans Affairs Appropriations, Patriot Act – The Big Picture, Top 10 Candidates, Josh Duggar of TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” show. There’s a lot more so read on!

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Veterans: Good Stuff!

Happy Monday – May the fourth be with you!

In the past few weeks, there have been some good things done by the Montana Congressional delegation for veterans. They deserve some recognition for it.

With over 100,000 veterans in Montana, we are a force to be reckoned with.

I am a veteran and I believe that credit should be given when it’s due no matter what side of the political fence the member of Congress resides. The Western Word is independent and most importantly pro-veteran – a voice for Montana veterans on the web!

Here are some of the great things that U.S. Senator Jon Tester, U.S. Senator Steve Daines, and U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke are doing for veterans:

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Memorial Day: A Look Back

If you are an elected official, then it’s a must that you attend a Memorial Day ceremony in the state you represent. Although most of our elected officials these days did not serve in the military, they have a staffer put together a few lines for a speech, and they talk about a relative who served way back when.

Here in Montana, the place to be for the elected officials was Laurel where the Yellowstone County Veterans Cemetery was dedicated and renamed the Yellowstone National Cemetery. Congratulations to all those who made the Yellowstone National Cemetery possible.  The Billings Gazette has the story.

Senators Jon Tester, John Walsh, and Congressman Steve Daines all attended the event. I am sure all their speeches were carefully crafted with the next election in mind – with video trackers recording their every moment.

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The Sunday Message

I thank my God every time I remember you.Philippians 1:3 (NIV)

Around Memorial Day each year I always feel a touch of sadness. Memorial Day is when we remember and honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country. I am proud to have known some of these people.

I will have my Memorial Day column posted early Monday morning.

I remember as a child being loaded into a car with a bunch of flowers and heading out on “decoration day” which was what my parents called Memorial Day. We would spend the day visiting the graves of relatives – some who served in the military and some who did not. I was amazed that my parents knew where everyone was buried!

I remember seeing a few graves side by side where everyone died in the same year (mother, father, sons and daughters) and my dad said the family had contracted some disease and they all died in short time.

A whole family gone – just like that.

Human life is like grass; we grow like a flower in the field. After the wind blows, the flower is gone, and there is no sign of where it was.Psalm 103:15-16 (NCV)


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Memorial Day & Veterans Day: There’s a Difference

Memorial Day is now past and today (Tuesday) feels like a Monday. Some schools are out for the summer and others are winding down. Personally, I believe public schools should start after Labor Day and end on the Friday before Memorial Day. Maybe that’s a column for another day.

It has always been pretty interesting to me to watch and read what people say and do on Memorial Day, and I’m not talking about what the folks do or say after they have been drinking beer and eating barbecue all day on Memorial Day.

Memorial Day was first called Decoration Day and it was held on May 30 of each year. It was a time set aside for the nation “to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.” Notice they said, “war dead.” According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) website, “In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May” (Congress loves three-day weekends).

You can read more about the history of Memorial Day HERE.

When I was a child, my parents would load me and a bunch of flowers (some real flowers and some plastic flowers) in the car and head off for a day of decorating graves across northern Missouri and southern Iowa. Some of the graves were for veterans and others were not. My parents and my grandmother decorated the graves and told story after story about the uncle, aunt, grandparent, or cousin’s life whose grave we were visiting. Looking back, I am amazed that my parents remembered where everyone was buried. It was an all-day trip. Continue reading

The Sunday Message

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of Wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible Swift sword;
His truth is marching on.

-The Battle Hymn of the Republic (Julia Ward Howe)

On this Memorial Day weekend please take a moment to honor those who have died while serving our country in the United States military. God bless them and their families.

Psalm 23 (NKJV):

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

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