Q&A / 

May 29, 2022 AsktheBuilder Newsletter

Issue #1184

I'd like you to look at the following photos.

They're beautiful.

bronze star
world war 2 victory medal
us army pow medal
melvin carter purple heart medal
rear of melvin carter purple heart medal

Memorial Day
My Dad

This weekend here in the USA, we celebrate Memorial Day. It's the day set aside to honor all who gave their lives while in active military service to protect the US Constitution.

The US Constitution has been under assault for hundreds of years, but never so much as it is now in my opinion.

We're overrun with domestic enemies trying to reduce that hallowed document to shreds and erase it from the memory of all on the planet. You know what a foreign enemy is and their intentions, right? How much thought have you given to the term, domestic enemy?

If you're not aware of this, the US Constitution is the best blueprint for personal freedom and liberty that has ever been created on this planet.

Perhaps the best part of the Constitution is the Bill of Rights. When you read that part, you'll discover the rights given to you by God.

All too often many forget these rights are NOT TO BE infringed upon by any man or woman.

There have always been a segment of humans who think the concept of personal freedom and liberty is HATEFUL. We have millions of them now here in the USA. They want to control you. They want to tell you what to do, what to put into your body, and when to do it.

If my dad were alive today to see what's going on he'd be so angry he couldn't talk. He be more upset than the morning after I ruined a front tire and bent the wheel rim of his new Ford Custom 500.

It happened one sultry summer night within a few weeks of me getting my driver's license. I had hit a giant pothole up near St. X high school while out on a mission with a few of my buddies. We were out scouting some stunning XX chromosomes.

What is Bravery?

Some who gave the ultimate sacrifice ran towards withering gunfire. Some drowned exiting landing craft. Some were shot out of the sky at 30,000 feet. Some had just launched a torpedo or two.

The manner in which each one of the millions of military members met their Maker is as varied as leaves gently rustling in the trees outlining military cemeteries around the world.

Take my dad for example. He didn't die on the battlefield, but I can assure you his death was directly attributed to his service as a Medical Corpsman in the great WW II.

My dear friend Richard Anderson is another. His death was directly attributed to exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam.

Your soulmate, a member of your family, or a close friend may have offered up their life for you and the rest of us.

You have to ask yourself on this special weekend if you're cut from the same cloth, or are you a coward?

It's one or the other.

It's like day and night.

It's like good or bad.

It's like hot or cold.

It's like love or hate.

There's no gray area when it comes to bravery.

You're either BRAVE, or you're a chicken.

The events of the past few days have brought bravery into the spotlight. It's one thing to face hundreds of enemy soldiers in hardened pillboxes firing deadly 88's or 50-caliber machine guns at you.

It's almost impossible to compare that to a coward, quite possibly on evil psychotropic drugs, holed up in a classroom surrounded by death armed with a single .223 and maybe a handgun.

Over the past few days, I wondered what my Dad would have said about what happened in Texas. I have a distinct feeling he would have taken in a deep breath and pursed his lips.

One of his favorite words was chickenshit.

My Dad's Medals

Those medals above are my dad's. I didn't show you his Good Conduct one because I felt it goes without saying he also got that one.

The medal at the top is his Bronze Star.

The Bronze Star Medal is a United States decoration awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for either heroic achievement, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone. Go here to see what my Dad did to earn it.

The medal below the Bronze Star is the WW II Victory decoration. Yes, to the victor go the spoils.

The next medal is my dad's POW decoration. He spent seven months in a POW camp in Poland.

Just below that is dad's Purple Heart. He was wounded twice so he has two of them. I love the one with his name on the back.

What About You?

Each Memorial Day weekend, I spend lots of time pondering my dad's time in the US Army. I have all of his memorabilia and two giant scrapbooks my mom created. I have the grim telegram sent to my grandmother letting her know her son was Missing in Action.

I have another that lets her know he was alive and a POW. The best one announces he's back in the possession of the US Army and about to be shipped back home.

But what about you? What will you think about this weekend? Will you contemplate bravery? Will you think of what millions of soldiers both alive and dead did for you so that you can read this newsletter and I can write it with no fear of reprisal?

How Brave are You?

Would you have run away from the French farmhouse and abandon my dad as his buddies did on that October afternoon when they were overrun by the Huns? Or, would you have stayed helping him attend to the wounded and dying soldiers he was comforting?

Would you not given it a second thought and run into the Texas school with ten, twenty, or fifty of your buddies days ago or would you have made excuses to stay outside?

Excuses are reasons for failure.

I'm so proud of my dad. That said, I'm sad that I didn't get to hear all about what happened all those years ago. Most didn't want to talk about it after they got back.

It makes sense when you think of it. Think about the men he was trying to bandage on the battlefield. Imagine sleeping night after night in his blood-stained uniform. Think of the screams of pain and anguish he heard while injecting his buddies with morphine.

That's the stuff nightmares are made from. That's what causes one to undergo hellish shock treatments to try to make the reruns of the memories go away.

Think of what it took for my dad and millions of others to wake up the next day and do it all over.

To march, walk, or run towards death.

What Does Bravery Look Like?

Yes, the more I think about it I know exactly what my dad would say about what happened this past week.

My guess is my dad and a few of his buddies would have raced into that Texas school with just their unsheathed bayonet knives knowing that a madman was killing defenseless 4th graders and young teachers.

They would have known the coward's magazine would eventually run out of cartridges. A lucky few would get to see the wide-eyed fear on the coward's face as they rushed him knowing that at least one would make it before the coward could reload.

Then it would be all over.

That's exactly what bravery looks like.

Don't allow any chickenshit talking head on TV tell you otherwise.

And for the love of God don't allow anyone to convince you the GUNS caused the mayhem. Humans squeeze gun triggers just as they squeeze forceps inserted into a mother's body.

Lay the blame at the feet of the coward's psychiatrist if she/he wrote the prescription for a psychotropic drug.

I love you Dad. I can't wait to hug you up in Heaven. You too, Mom!

Tim's Dad and MomADA compliant Shovel Man
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