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Loss

Two of the very dearest people I knew

Ahh what a great day today has turned out to be. Followed by a weekend that was less then pleasant, thats the way its supposed to work right? Well we all know it doesn’t always pan out like that, but it is nice when it does. We started the weekend off with the loss of a very dear family member, my grandmother had lost her long hard fought battle with Cancer. Durning the middle of a three week stretch of myself doing a lot of self-pitying and moping about my own problems, my grandmother was in the heat of the battle, with Cancer. My problems all of a sudden didn’t seem so big.

So far Cancer has gone out of its way to take out many members of my family. Right now the score is Cancer 4 Us 0. How many other families could tell the same tale? I am sure there isn’t a family out there that has not lost at least one member to this awful disease. In the end this story is not so much about Cancer is it is about self-pitty. Even in the morning hours when I got the word I was “Cleared for Duty” I couldn’t help but keep my excitement to a dull roar, after all, I had just lost my Grandmother.

Her name was Mildred Vorse and what a wonderful women she was. I tend to thank some of my traits were directly handed down from my Grandmother. She was gracious, I am not. She was thoughtful, me eh not so much. She was Caring, yes, I got one. She had an uncanny ability to tell it like it is, yes, I got another. She loved golf, score another for me. She loved her family with all her heart, yet another point for me. She never backed down from a fight…………..

I stopped at the last one for a reason, Grandma never backed down from anything or anyone. I have this trait, sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. I have learned over the years to pick my fights wisely, and only stand my ground when the issue at hand is of the utmost importance to me. Its worked out quite well and I have my Grandmother to thank for that. My only regret is that I wasn’t unselfish enough to spend more time with her. I got so wrapped up in my own life that I didn’t seem to truly understand what was going on in hers. Yet again another lesson she had to teach me………

As those that have gone before me, My Grandfather, My Mother, My Father and now my Grandmother, I will continue to live my life with the utmost of responsibility and sense of accomplishment that I can. I have learned many lessons from all of you, and I am so very grateful for everything. Not a day goes by I assure you, that I don’t think of you, and believe it or not I rarely ever make a decision without wondering what you would do. I already miss the first three of you with all my heart, and Grandma your loss will hold an empty spot inside of me as well, and I will continue to live my life for you.

One final thought hey Cancer—–look out pal—this games not over yet and I assure you, your going to lose.

Doping Allegations

Let me first start by saying I am not, nor will I bash the American Government. I am a member of the United States Air Force, and I am strictly forbidden from doing that, this article is not about bashing but more about awareness and confusion.  By now most of you may know that due to allegations released by Floyd Landis, Lance Armstrong has come under scrutiny in the doping allegation front.  The point behind this blog is not to defend Lance Armstrong one way or the other, but to shed some light on the fallout that will occur should he be found guilty.  It’s my opinion that the benefits to a guilty charge do not in any way shape or form out weigh the costs. Sometimes it’s better to let sleeping dogs lie.

It’s no secret that being a cancer survivor and seven-time Tour De France winner brings with it a sense of responsibility, a higher calling if you will.  Lance answered that call head on, just as he does everything else in life with his Lance Armstrong Foundation must of you know it as LIVESTRONG.  Lance started the foundation shortly after his bout with cancer out of a need to help others as a cancer survivor.  I feel that it is important that I let you know I am huge supporter of his foundation, and that you understand just what it means to millions of cancer fighters across the world.

Millions of cancer fighter’s worldwide log onto LIVESTRONGS website nearly everyday. They are either looking for support, information, fundraising options or simply out of fear due to a recent diagnosis.  What would happen if that was all gone?  What if god-forbid you were diagnosed with cancer today, where would you turn to for information?  I know for me LIVESTRONG.COM would almost certainly be my first stop. I have visited it before, as I lost my mother in 2005 to cervical cancer. What would the result be if you got an HTTP error?

Since the formation of LIVESTRONG they have raised over $250 million is support of finding a cure for cancer.  That’s $250 million dollars toward research and development for a cure, according to CHACHA.com website.  Now imagine if that was all gone, imagine if they stopped raising money today.  I am here to tell you that this is a possibility given recent allegations and Grand Jury incitements.

What happens to Lance Armstrong’s image should he be found guilty of doping allegations?  Well let’s take a look back, you heard from Barry Bonds lately? Nope, look at what Tiger Woods has gone through; though he is rebounding he still took a huge hit. Alex Rodriguez recently passed 600 homeruns an impressive feat, though it went largely undocumented due to his tainted numbers.  It’s my opinion that there will be grave consequences for many of us, should Armstrong be found guilty.

It seems like all that we are faced with today that Capitol Hill would have their hands full with other concerns.  I mean after all we are fighting a war in two different countries, the worst environmental disaster ever is going on out in the gulf and poverty levels are at an all-time high.  Yet we are going to spend millions on a Grand Jury indictment to find out whether or not Armstrong was doping during his US Postal Service Team days. Now it’s not for me to say whether or not this is wrong, as I stated in the beginning I can’t do that, but you certainly can.

In the end if Armstrong is found guilty we will have spent million upon millions of dollars coming to this conclusion.  On top of all that we could very possibly see one of the greatest foundations of our time collapse in the fallout.  So what did we really accomplish by doing all of this? Did the benefit of knowing, really out weigh the costs?  You decide, what I will tell you is that if you find this concerning, alarming or down right ridiculous you need to write your congressmen and you need to do it now.

Overwhelming support from you can put a stop to this if you so choose. You can easily send them an email by visiting https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml make your voice heard today.

Veterans Day

FlyingThe American Public gets this sense of pride every so often; typically when something bad happens to the United States or when a significant achievement is accomplish by our men & women in uniform. One would think that as a member of the Armed Forces I would have this sense of pride everyday. Fact of the matter is, I am just like everyone else and the in and out’s of life tend to override my patriotic feeling on most days. However, Veterans Day is not one of those days. 

Nothing irritates me more then the way we act as Americans when the National Anthem plays. For me, when the Anthem is playing, I reflect, not once in a while but every single time. It’s a brief minute thirty seconds that I use to remember our men and women who at that very moment are pinned down and fighting for their lives. However, if you look around you will see hats still on top of heads, people talking, or doing whatever they can to pass the time. When the National Anthem plays, it should be a mini-veterans day each and every time. 

I have served in the United States Air Force for Sixteen years. I do not command respect from the American Public, nor do I become unraveled when it isn’t given. There is a reason for that, the same reason that stands for your right to burn the very flag we have chosen to protect, for it is called freedom. Freedom is your right to make your own decisions. Freedom is your right to carry guns, to burn the American Flag, and to show no respect whatsoever to the American Fighting forces. Having said that, we are more then thankful to all of you, and all you do. 

I have been in bunkers, pinned down with enemy shelling coming in from all angles. I have looked into my fellow Airman’s eyes and wondered if it was the last face I would ever see. My mind tends to wonder to my family, hoping I will get to see them again, wishing for a moment that I was a Marine or a Soldier so I could do more then sit in that damn bunker and wait for the shelling to stop. Knowing that when it does stop, we will get our revenge from the sky. I also tend to think of you, the American public and how much you mean to me. 

US_Air_Force_C-17_I often hear, “What can I do to say Thank You?” For me and most of the men and women that I serve with, keep doing what you are doing.  Keep holding the door for others when coming in and out of the building. Keep your values and integrity of the highest accord. Continue to be the great Americans that ninety-eight percent of you are.  I have three loves in this world: my family, my country and the American Public.  You are why I serve, you are why I put my life on the line everyday, you are why I kiss my kids goodbye for long periods of time, you are why, again this year, I will not be home for the holidays. You are my strength, my rock and my shield. 

As much as you love your family, I love them too.  When you kiss your children in the morning and in the evening, I am with them.  When you make choices in life I am there, when feel your proudest I am behind you, and when you are at your lowest I am there to lift you up and make sure you get another chance. For I am a member of the American Armed Forces, my job is to protect you and stand beside you and I take it very serious. I want you all to know, that I love you with every square inch of my heart. You are the greatest gift I could have ever recieved, and I will continue to protect you each and every day.

So the next time you want to thanks us, just keep doing what is you do and we will keep doing what what it is we do. 

Bless you all!

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A video about us.