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The Difference of Two Wars

There is a debate about should we have left Afghanistan, or should we have stayed and all fingers are pointed at President Biden because he COMPLETED leaving Afghanistan. Some say he was right, and some say he was wrong. The agreement to pullout was agreed upon a couple of years before he came into office, and he could not stop it. Then there are those that compare leaving Afghanistan to the way we left Viet Nam, which, in a way, is true. Also, there are some that compare how Viet Nam was and lives lost to the war in Afghanistan. Not true. The majority that are saying this were not born at the time.

               During the time of Viet Nam there was a draft that all eligible American males had to register for. They even alluded all branches of the military was involved in the draft. Wrong, the air force did not participate in the draft. The air force never drafted except when it was a part of the army which was called the Army Air Corp.

               We got into Viet Nam the same way we got into Afghanistan. The French were there and left the country. Next came the American advisors to teach the people how to fight, etc. When things started to go bad, America started sending in ground personnel and air support. Years later we, like the French, pulled out of the country. In Afghanistan and Viet Nam, there was a warning about the pullout and the Vietnamese that wanted to go left the country. But, in Afghanistan, most waited until it was too late.

               Let us not forget the American men and women that died. There is no comparison. There was a couple thousand that died in Afghanistan (Americans yelled long and hard about that) compared to a couple hundred thousand that died in Viet Nam (I do not have the exact number, but most Americans rarely spoke about the lives lost). I was air force, and I was among the first waves of American troops going to Viet Nam. I remember, every base was either mortared or attempted to be over run or both by enemy forces. Everyone wondered if the next mortar round or next bullet would have their name on it and they would go home in a casket, so many thousands did. That is a big difference in the two wars.

               Another big difference is upon returning home because the Viet Nam veterans were hated by the American populace. I still remember returning home, in 1966, I landed at Travis, AFB, California and had to change into civilian clothes, before leaving base to catch a plane to my next base, for fear of being cat called, spit on, or assaulted. I then hoped my haircut did not give me away.

               As far as leaving the country’s people behind (news media also), there was ample time to leave because for a long time it was known that the American forces were leaving. There was more than enough time to get out. Those that waited until the last minute and found themselves stuck want to put the onus on someone else and want someone to risk their life to save theirs. This have happened in every conflict and, rest assured, it will happen again because we do not learn from history.

               There is much more between the differences of the two wars, I have only lightly touched of a few points. To get into the political points would take one or two more blogs. It is a very complicated subject, and it would ruffle a lot of feathers. I was there, on the ground in Viet Nam and Thailand (which some people do not know was a part of the Viet Nam war), I was not a draft dodger, but I did dodge the bullets and mortars and made it home. I was not in Afghanistan, but I read enough and watched enough news reels to know the difference.

I Was Lazy (correction)

I made a mistake. I know, not too many people admit to making a mistake, but I will. In yesterday’s blog I wrote my e-mail address wrong. It should be tega227@yahoo.com not the web address as written. Please forgive my mistake. For those of you that read and follow www.faithingodministries.net the e-mail address is tega4180@yahoo.com . Keep reading, following, and committing because it gives me incentive to keep writing. Again, please forgive me for my mistake.

I Was Lazy

Most of you have noticed my blog have been missing for a couple of months. In this article I will tell you why because a few people missed the every other week blog. I had my right knee replaced plus, during the recuperation, I got lazy. I guess you can say being lazy was in the forefront.

               Both knees have been giving me trouble for quite a few years and I just shrugged it off and kept moving forward. A few years ago, I had my right knee worked on by having pieces of cartilage cleaned out. That lasted for a few years. I then started getting occasional shots in both knees, first cortisone and, after that started to have no effect, second came a serum made from rooster combs (so I was told). That helped for two or three years until it felt as if nothing was in the shot.

               I was going to see my granddaughter’s new apartment and my right knee gave out while I was going up the stone steps and I landed on my knees. Skinned my knees pretty good. I started thinking about having my right knee replaced but was still unsure. Three days later, I was getting on my stationary bike, my right knee gave out and I landed on the floor with my legs entangled in the body of the stationary bike. I decided to have my knee replaced as soon as possible.

               I made an appointment with my orthopedic doctor and scheduled my operation. He wanted to operate on both knees, but I declined. My thinking was to have one partially good leg while I was recuperating. The doctor told me I would have therapy and it would take six to twelve months before I would be one hundred percent, or almost one hundred percent, physically fit. I would also spend at least one day in the hospital and walk with a walker.

               After the operation and a day in the hospital I went home with a walker, my knee and half my leg heavily bandaged, and a bag of pills. I was also assigned a home physical therapist that came to my home three days a week for a month. Billy, the physical therapist, did a great job. I saw the doctor and he agreed I could have more therapy, but I would have to go to a clinic. I was walking with a cane by then and could drive (I missed driving myself around).

               I contacted Virginia Center for Spine & Sports Therapy and signed up for physical therapy. After arriving there I was assigned Ashley and Gabby, two young women that really know what to do. I named them torturer number one and number two. It is all in fun and I tried hard to follow their instructions and do my homework. They have bought me from barely bending my knee to bending my knee without pain, walking without my cane, putting my shoes and socks on without any problems and enjoying the workout with a smile on my face and a joke or two with them. I appreciate them and was lucky to have them assigned to me.

               I am still in therapy, and I am back to writing my blogs. I will not promise I will not get lazy again, but I will try to get this blog written every other week with www.faithingodministries.net in between. If I get lazy again send me a message in the comments, like the blog, follow it, or email me ( www.tega227.com ). In the meantime, I thank Billy, Ashley, and Gabby for getting me back on my feet and back in the mood. I will also try not to be lazy.

Nothing Changes

I am an old man. Almost ancient to some people. I have seen a lot and have been involved in a lot. Most of the things I have seen and been involved in I have not told anyone. Most people would not believe it anyway. Actually, the things I have seen and done have been done many times before me and is now repeating. Maybe not in the same way but it is happening. History repeat itself time and time again. People either learn from history and do not go down the wrong road as before or suffer the consequences when they do.

               On the news I see the inequities against people that are not White, especially against Blacks and I only see repeats. Years ago, it was worst, and it seem as though it is trying to get back to that. This week my wife and I went to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, of which we are members. While walking through a special showing of ‘The Dirty South’ for members only I pointed to a picture in a glass enclosed frame to my wife (my finger was about six inches away). A museum employee immediately ran up to me and said to be at least an arm’s length from the gallery items. I stepped back and apologized for being too close. Later I saw a White man sitting on a gallery display and the same museum person looked at him and did not say anything. Then, unfortunately, when it comes to voting rights, White people, especially the middle class, are caught up in the suppressing the Black vote. Everything possible is being done to accomplish this. History is definitely repeating itself.

               Then there are the people that holler about their rights. Yes, they have a right not to take the vaccine and not to wear a mask. But they do not have the right to mingle with healthy people and infect them. They do not remember how lepers were kept in leper colonies away from everyone else. Maybe that should happen again. When one of them cough or spit on someone on purpose, to me, that is attempted murder and should be handled accordingly. If anyone attempts to get around the mask and/or vaccination rule, they should pay a heavy price. I want to live a little longer and get back to normalcy.  

               Then there are the political fights. Not about what the people need or want but about not liking the other party. This happens even if what a party want is good for all it is no good because it is the other party. The Congress was elected to legislate the will of the people that placed them in the position to do so. Yet they lie, steal, hoodwink their way to wealth and prosperity for their own good and not for the people that elected them. Even when their party does something bad and get caught, it is okay for their party and unbelievably bad and want to prosecute when it is the other party. No equality, no equal justice. Just finger pointing.

               I am an old man, and my time is almost up. I could go on and on, point after point but what good will it garner? Who will listen? History will repeat itself when what we are going through is over. We, who are alive and seeing it now, may not be around to see it happen again. But there are some things that never end, like the bickering between the parties and that is because we are allowing it to happen. We cannot change history and we cannot change the future, but we can do something about it now. It is up to the people younger than I am because I am an old man seeing nothing changing.

P.S. For those that are new to my blog, I have another blog at: www.faithingodministries.net  Check it out. You may like it.

Quanah Parker

This is the last of Black History Month and I was asked to do one more but with a twist. The twist will be not of a Black person but to give honor to an American Indian. Indians are seldom mentioned when it comes to doing something great but with just a little research shows there are many.

               I could talk about this great nation being taken from the Indian. I could talk about the ‘Wind Talkers’ that helped win WWII. I even could talk about the Indians that lead the wagon trains across the west to help White people settle their lands. But this blog installment is about a man that led his people from certain extension. I will write this in the way I write for The Albemarle Tradewinds Magazine of which I am a regular contributor for their music column and special interest column.

Quanah Parker

                                               (1845-February 24, 1911)

               Quanah Parker was a war leader of the Kwahadi (Antelope) band of the Comanche nation. Quanah (Comanche, ‘smell, odor’) was born about 1850 on Elk Creek just below the Wichita Mountains to Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker. Cynthia Ann Parker (born c. 1827), was a member of the large Parker frontier family that settled in east Texas in the 1930s. She was captured in 1936 (c. age nine) by Comanches during the raid of Fort Parker near present-day Groesbeck, Texas.

               At the battle of Pease River, as the American Forces (U.S. 2nd Cavalry and Texas Rangers) Quanah Parker and his brother were the only warriors to escape by horseback. After his father’s death, Horseback, the head of the Nokoni people, took Quanah and his brother under his wing. Horseback taught them the ways of the Comanche warrior, and Quanah grew to considerable standing as a warrior. He left and rejoined the Kwahadi band with warriors from another band. Quanah Parker surrendered and was taken to Fort Sill, Indian Territory where he led Comanches successfully for several years on the reservation.

               Quanah Parker was never elected principal chief of the Comanche by the tribe, but the U.S. government appointed him principal chief of the entire nation once the people had gathered on the reservation and later introduced general elections. He also became a primary emissary of southwest indigenous Americans to the United States legislature. In civilian life, he gained wealth as a rancher, settling near Cache, Oklahoma. Though he encouraged Christianization of Comanche people he also advocated the syncretic Native American Church (of which he founded), and passionately fought for the use of peyote in the movement’s religious practices.

               He was elected deputy sheriff of Lawson in 1902. After his death in 1911, the leadership title of Chief was replaced with Chairman; Quanah Parker is thereby described as the “Last Chief of the Comanche,” a term also applied to Horseback. He is buried at Chief’s Knoll on Fort Sill. Many cities and highway systems in southwest Oklahoma and north Texas, once southern Comancheria, bear references to his name.

               Quanah is only one person out of many, many more. Take the time to research and read about them. I squashed Quanah’s bio down to a few words, there is quite a bit more. I hope all of you have found this piece interesting. Let me know.

I’ve Said It Before

Well, the country has gotten an exceedingly rare one-two punch from two hurricanes this week and I, for one, am not surprised. I have talked about this happening for some time, especially in my other blog (www.faithingodministries.net). I could explain why but I have written about this for a long time and have explained this repeatedly. I will let you meet your due because, as it is said, ’you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink’.

The present administration, taking the lead from their President, does not believe in science, unless the President says they may, does not believe in medical experts, unless they concur what the President says, and never mention any form of religion unless it suits their agenda. I know many people will say I am wrong, but I have my mind and eyes open and I am not afraid to say I am wrong when I am. However, the great majority of President Trump’s supporters (enablers) will never admit they are wrong, nor will they admit he is wrong. As he idolizes himself, they idolize him.

I have many times said history repeats itself, and, if you have read history, the world has been through this a few times before. It is not the same exact way but similar and it is not going to stop. We can slow it down, maybe, but we will greatly suffer if we continue to put our head in the sand and think this President will solve our dilemma when he is only thinking of himself. There are his supporters that want their old prejudicial ways, thinking their skin color made the world a better place when it took all peoples to do it.

It took slaved Black people, Latinos, and Asians to make this land, which was taken from the Native Americans, what it is today. It took the brains and technology of many peoples, especially the Black people, to build and fine tune everything. Because of the inequity of multitudes of prejudicial people, we are beginning to see more and more bad things happen around the world.

Floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, typhoons, ice cap melting, fires, pandemics, and much more is happening. Read the Bible and history books (the Bible is a history book) and all of it is written there. It will not get better; it will get worst and we can only blame ourselves. Our President does not read, at least like he should, and he think he knows better than anyone about everything. He believes that and his supporters believe that. I, for one, do not.

If this President continues with four more years of chaos, we, as the United States of America, is lost forever and we cannot fault anyone but ourselves. More poverty, pandemics, war, chaos, you name it is our destiny. We cannot and will not survive. Voting him out is the only hope that is left for us plus a strong faith in God. Beware, there will be all manner of cheating, and intimidation for him to win. Vote as early as you can and tell your family and friends to do so also. I have said it before and I will say it again, we will be in more trouble if he is not voted out.

Also beware of other people, attempting to carry out the President’s agenda, coming from other states and cities, infiltrating peaceful demonstrations, causing trouble. These are the people that assault, loot, burn, damage things, and even murder. I said it before and I say it again, wake-up, vote and pray for a better day.

 

I Could Be Next

I never think about racist people because, all my life, in every facet of my life, they were always there. Sometimes overtly but most times covertly, always there. It is impossible for White people to understand living through constantly watching your back, looking over your shoulder all your life, knowing they are always there. Literally. In fact, before I reached my teenage years, it was natural to be forever on guard for the comment, subtle action, where I am always, escape routes, and other things White people never have to consider as a life mechanism for protection.
As a child, as far back as I can remember, I was taught how to act, what to say and not say, around White people. I was especially taught to be on watch for the police and, as a child, I have seen the aggressive actions police have toward Black people. I learned that what a White person does and say is always right and a Black person is considered wrong while doing or saying the same exact thing.
It was drilled into my head many times that as a Black person, applying for a job, would have to know two or three times as much, be much better at, if not perfect, and present a better dress and attitude to even be considered than a White person. I remember my first real job where I did almost everything there was to do on the job except, I could not touch the cash register, I had to wait for a White clerk to receive the payment. I still remember some of the rude remarks made to me or about me when all I was doing was my job, silently. A White person would never bear that nor understand that. To the Black people, I was a big successful person because I was the only Black person working in an all-White store.
While in the military I endured, over and over, many rude comments, missed promotions, uncalled for actions but I made it to retirement. I was told, to my face (after the Bill of Rights was passed), that I could not be in a particular corps of military duty because I was Black, it took me three years to finally make it into the outfit and another four years to be its leader. However, I had to endure many, upon many racist attacks. I constantly watched my back and trusted no one at all.
Upon retiring from the military, I joined the police force and immediately met racism that was everywhere within the force. I have seen racist actions, heard racist comments and endured every type of racism there is. Who could I turn to? What could I do? Who could I trust? No one. If I did or said anything I could be like my cousin, the first Black policeman of the same force years ago, setup and killed.
Yes, I have been around it and have seen it all my life and the marching today are echoes of when I marched in the ‘60s. In my blogs, this one and http://www.faithingodministries.net, I often have said that history repeats itself with the only difference being the date. Blacks have died for thousands of years (it goes back to before the Pyramids) because of racism and it is not over yet. Although I would like to see the end of it all, I won’t hold my breathe. I have lived a full and interesting life and, today, I still watch my back. I am still very, very careful. I could be next. I could be stopped by the police for anything at all. I could be erroneously accused by a White person and be killed for being Black. I am in my 70s and I could be next.

 

Let’s Come Together

COVID-19 is not “Fake News” nor is it something that is overblown to make the President look bad. It is serious business and everyone, both sides of the aisle, should come together and fight with everything available. We have, in the past, stood together and fought things that were harming the nation. In this case, it is harming the entire world and every nation in the world should join forces and fight this virus.
Today’s blog will not be long, I just want people, around the world, to listen to qualified health professionals and stop the spread of the virus. Politicians have said that we will have a cure in a few weeks but, if you listen closely, health professionals have said it will take many months. I tend to believe them instead of politicians.
Unfortunately, normal routines will be disrupted, and, for a short while, life will seem hard, if not unbearable. But life will go on and this too will pass, maybe not exactly as before but it will be better than a quarantine. I wrote in my other blog (www.faithingodministries.net) about coming pandemics and those of the ancient past. This too will pass, but we all, worldwide, must do our parts. Not one person knows it all and not one person can do it all. We all must come together and work together to beat this no matter your politics or faith.
All daily routines will seem tedious at best but if we put politics aside and do what is right, what is good for the nation, what is good for the world, we will live on to see another day. If we continue to let politics get in the way, many of us will perish, many may not be able to fight and there will be a different world.
Therefore, I am pleading with everyone to take this virus seriously and do the right things. Listen to the medical people and seriously do the things you are told. Be careful and hang in there. This COVID-19 is nothing to play with or to take for granted.

Two Scenarios

I thought about the debacle that happened in the Senate impeachment trial and a couple (among a few others) of scenarios came to me. I had to agree that there isn’t a trial without physical evidence or witnesses or a jury that have not already said guilty or not guilty before the trial have begun. Also, there is a law against taking revenge against witnesses.

I was in the military (K-9) for many years and we had a protocol for the event of a loose dog. By that I mean when an animal escapes his quarters and was running loose through the area, people had to be warned to the hazard. The person that discovers the problem immediately yells ‘loose dog, loose dog’. What should be yelled in the case of the President now that he is free to do whatever he wants to do to anyone he chooses? Mad President?

The other scenario I thought of is when there is a nuclear incident. I have been a witness to a few and with one I put out the warning. Your heart really pumps when it happens. The person that discover an incident immediately yells (and radio HQ) ‘broken arrow, broken arrow, broken arrow’. Now there is a warning about the President and what he may do. Everyone must be aware that he may feel emboldened and with that he may do anything, legal or illegal. And he has.

It’s terrible to think of our President in the way I think about him. Frequently I say to myself that he could not get to be any worst and I am often proven wrong more times than I want. I cannot believe a liar especially when I know the truth. I have my eyes wide open and my heart is broken. It’s crying because our government have slipped so low. I am also amazed that so many people buy anything he does or say. I must take another look at humanity and rethink the actions of our government.

For years I did not closely look at our government because I was in the military and swore an oath to obey and do my job for whomever was in command. Since I retired, I have been watching them and I am amazed that so many people in the government get away with so much. What amazes me more are the people that let them get away with it. So many government officials say one thing to get what they want but do another when they get where they want to go.

So, I know I am not the first person to see this, but I want to yell anyway ‘mad President, mad President’. Maybe people that condone this will finally hear and take action to corral the situation. I have my doubts, but I want to try. Maybe I’ll get lucky and sway a few and get the ball rolling.

SPECIAL NOTE: There will not be a blog ( www.faithingodministries.net ) next weekend because I am moving again, back to the Richmond area. Also, don’t forget, I write in a monthly magazine (the online glitches have been corrected). Look for Robert Threatt in www.albemarletradewinds.blogspot.com, normally near the rear of the magazine. It is published (hard copy and internet) around the fourth of each month. See ya in two weeks!!!

 

I’m Gone Again

If you follow my blogs, you are wondering why this blog is early this week. Simple answer. This weekend is The Jazz Legacy in Hampton, Virginia. My wife and I attend every year and tickets must be gotten a year or close to a year in advance because tickets sellout quickly. It is held at The Hampton Convention Center and The Annual Christmas Bazaar is held at the same time in the same building.

I like the jazz legacy over The Hampton Jazz Festival, held at The Hampton Coliseum every summer, which is very close to the convention center, because the performers are close and most of the time they come into the audience while they perform. At the jazz legacy we have rubbed shoulders with, shook hands with or have been close enough to breathe on many, many highly renowned jazz players while they were at the Christmas Bazaar or in the selling booth areas or just simply walking around before or after their performance. Something like that cannot be done at the coliseum. Jazz, a potion for soothing the rabid soul.

I really don’t have much to say this time because of two things. First, I have the jazz legacy occupying most of my mind. I can hardly wait to get there, to take plenty of photos and to hear the beautiful music plus meet many interesting people. Second, while writing this, I am watching the voting results. I am happy to see so many areas and states turn ‘blue’. We can now begin to get the states back into some sort of legal order while working on getting the Presidency, and its administration, back from the edge of hell.

I do not dislike Republicans or people that vote Republican. I do not like the President and by association, I want every Democrat to win. I have voted both parties and will again. I do not vote the party; I vote for the person. However, this time I voted for the Democrat party because of the President of the United States of America and what his Republican party is saying and doing.

I will end this by saying follow me here by clicking the ‘follow’ button and don’t forget the ‘like’ button (I don’t get enough ‘like’). You can also follow my other blog at www.faithingodministries.net . I also write an article in The Albemarle Tradewinds Magazine at www.albemarletradewinds.blogspot.com (once there scroll down to ‘online edition click to read’ ). With my fingers crossed, I hope to have another writing spot for another organization. Wish me luck and I’ll write for you when I get back from The Jazz Legacy.