Veterans Day 2017

A Veteran is someone, who at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to, and including, their life. – José N. Harris

To my fellow Veterans – THANK YOU for your service!

 

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Bergdahl: An Appropriate Sentence?

In June 2009, U.S. Army Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl deserted his post in Afghanistan and was captured by Taliban forces. He was held for five years where he was tortured, beaten, and held in a cage in darkness after he tried to escape.

In May of 2014, Bergdahl was released in exchange for five Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. The exchange was approved by then President Barack Obama.

After an investigation, the US military charged Bergdahl with one count each of desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty, and misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit, or place.

Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

Last week Bergdahl received a dishonorable discharge from the US Army with no prison time. His rank will be reduced from sergeant to private, he will be required to pay a $1,000 fine from his salary for the next 10 months. The sentence will be reviewed by higher authorities.

I think the sentence is appropriate.

Many people were outraged at the sentence and that is fine. Some of the reasons they were outraged were false reasons – like that soldiers were killed looking for Bergdahl. It’s true that soldiers looked for Bergdahl and some were badly injured, but the only death was a military working dog.

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The Sunday Message

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave. -Elmer Davis

Here’s a reminder that Veterans Day will be observed on Saturday (Nov. 11) to honor all U.S. military veterans. So please take a few moments to say thanks to a veteran – and pray for our veterans, too.

There will also be Veterans Day sales for cars, furniture, mattresses, etc. Some people or businesses just don’t understand what Veterans Day is. They seldom get my business.

For the veteran, thank you for bravely doing what you’re called to do so we can safely do what we’re free to do. –Unknown

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Tester to Zinke – Lifetime Pass for Veterans

It was nice to read a press release from U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) that said he was asking Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to support the creation of a lifetime national park pass allowing America’s veterans to enter all of the nation’s National Park Service sites for free.

Tester has introduced a bipartisan bill with Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) to allow veterans to purchase a lifetime pass good for all federal sites for a discounted, one-time fee.

I think this is a good idea. The bill, S- 521, makes the cost $80 for a lifetime pass. That seems like a Washington, D.C. amount. I was thinking $25 would be perfect – I mean if you want to make it a good thing for veterans.

Now to get picky – it’s not really free as Tester says in his press release “America’s veterans to enter all of the nation’s National Park Service sites for free.”

The cost is $80 according to the bill.

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This is Good/This is Bad

Fear of something is at the root of hate for others, and hate within will eventually destroy the hater. – George Washington Carver

Today I take a little different look at some of the stories I’ve recently read – dividing them into “This is Good” and “This is Bad” categories.

The topics today are veterans, President Trump, healthcare, a Facebook post, the National Anthem, and fallen soldiers. You’ll have to read the column to see which is good or bad. Enjoy!

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The President & the NFL

Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s FIRED!’ – President Donald J. Trump, September 22, 2017

In calling those NFL players who peacefully protest during the National Anthem, a “son of a bitch” President Trump united the NFL players, owners, and many others.

First of all, let me get this straight, I stand during the National Anthem and I either place my hand over my heart while facing the flag or during some events, I salute the flag because I am a veteran.

I know several people who died while serving in our military defending our freedoms. That is my way of honoring them and my country.

The big news on Sunday was showing how NFL players and fans reacted during the beginning of each game when the National Anthem was played. Many locked arms and some knelt during the playing of the National Anthem. Some raised their arms and made a fist. It was peaceful.

None of those protesting were showing disrespect to military personnel or to anyone in uniform. That angle used by those who dislike the protests is a non-starter.

Maybe you feel differently, but none of those protests bothered me. I served my country so people could have the freedom of speech and of expression. I am happy we still have that freedom.

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Caught My Eye…

Sometimes it takes a natural disaster to reveal a social disaster. – Jim Wallis

Welcome to the big show to end the week “Caught My Eye” (CME)!

If you are a first-time visitor, CME is posted right here every Friday morning. This is when I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. I often throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – maybe both.

Topics that I am providing commentary about today include Trump & Democrats, Daines & Tester, L-O-L-A Lola & Troy Downing, Tester & single-payer, Montana State Fair, Chiefs & Patriots, Marcus Peters & the national anthem, One More Thing, and lots more!

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