Posted in event, Thoughts

Happy Veteran’s Day

I’m so proud of the military men and women who have touched my life and heart.

I come from a long line of veterans. My father, uncles and cousins served in every branch of the military. My father was in the Air Force when he married my mother and when I was born. My uncles were in the Navy, Coast Guard and merchant marines. My cousin served many years in the Army. My middle son and his wife also served in the Army, in fact, that is where they met and became friends, and later, fell in love. My youngest is now serving in the Navy. My father-in-law, his brothers and his brother-in-law were all Marines, and all in Viet Nam at the same time. I come from a long line of veterans and I joined a family who also proudly served their country.

While my husband nor I served in the military, service to our country and community has been ingrained in us. We support our military veterans and proudly raise our flag. We honor those who sacrificed to keep us free. For many, being in the military is a job, for others a calling, but for those of us who are free today because of our veterans, it is a blessing.

We are proud to be American citizens and even with all the blemishes we still feel this country is a beauty. She is not perfect for she is made up of humans and none of us are perfect. We strive to be better to continue to build bridges that allow us to reach the other side. I don’t know what it means to be a person of color in this country, but I can open my heart and listen. I don’t know what it means to be a non-Christian in a country built on “in God we Trust,” but I can be respectful of our differences and learn acceptance. I don’t know what it means to be gay, handicapped or anyway marginalized but I can be a friend, an advocate, a neighbor.

As we celebrate Veteran’s Day, let us remember what they fought for…OUR FREEDOM. All men (and women) are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Thank you to all who have served and to all those who are still serving this country. Thank you for doing a difficult job. God Bless the USA.

Posted in Book Review

By Way of Water by Doris Schneider

This is second novel by my friend Doris Schneider, I’ve thought of it as a prequel but in truth it takes place in real time after Borrowed Things. Paul Santino and Marjorie Hester were such compelling characters in Borrowed Things that they needed their own story. In By Way of Water much of the story takes place in the past as Paul reads Sarah “Sissy” Hester’s journals and diaries.
Sissy Hester was supposed to be a big sister but fate was not kind to her parents. This coming of age story unfolds amid the chaos and changes effecting the world during the sixties. In a small town in North Carolina Sissy is sheltered from much of the racial and civil unrest and the horrors of war. But as new people come to town so does the rest of the world. Sissy, a rescuer of wild, damaged things becomes a rescuer of people when Paul enters her life.
A story of love, friendship and doing the right thing. As Paul reads Sissy’s journals he relives their time together, falling in love with her again and again as understanding brings him the peace so long absent from that part of his life.
This a beautiful story of first love and enduring love, belonging and being true to yourself.

Posted in Thoughts

Unsung Heroes

Unsung Heroes
When I first started working for the Pamlico News it was just in time for the Viet Nam Veteran’s Homecoming in Charlotte, North Carolina. In preparations for attending the homecoming with my father-in-law, I did several interviews with veterans of the Viet Nam War. The men and women I spoke to were from every branch of service. They told stories that could make your blood run cold and some that could fill you with joy. Surprisingly, none felt the were heroes. The common mantra was “I was just doing my job”.
My friends Robert and Avonne Quinn were newly weds when Robert was drafted. He did not want to go to Viet Nam and chose not to enlist, hoping to just do his job and come home.
“When we landed in Viet Nam we had to sit on the tarmac and extinguish our cigarettes and all lights. There was a fire fight going on in the town near the air port. When the bus finally got through to pick us up, the driver sped through town barely keeping the tires on the road in his haste to get us to the base alive,” Robert told me when I did my interview with him. Yet he says he is not a hero.
He was lucky to get a job on a boat ferrying supplies up and down the river. “We had to sleep on our boat to keep them from being stolen or sabotaged.” Mr. Quinn told of supplies and boats blowing up and ports being sabotaged.
Young, afraid, away from home and his life, Mr. Quinn was one of the lucky ones. He came home to his wife and the baby girl who was born while he was gone.
He was a hero and still is, he did his job and supported his country to the best of his ability.
When my son, Jason came home from his first tour of Afghanistan, he came home to a country who called him a hero. His experience was so different from those retuning from Viet Nam but it was still difficult. He didn’t know how to handle being called a hero. He wasn’t on the front line, he simply did his job.
Mr. Robert helped me understand, there is a guilt the survivors bring home. When so many are lost and left behind.
As we celebrate Veteran’s Day, I am reminded of the men and women who do not call themselves heroes. Who like my son and my friend, just feel they are doing their job. Being in the military is the ultimate team program. It works because everyone does their job. Each job is important because one cannot win a battle alone.
To all the men and women who are serving or have served their country, Thank you. You are true heroes and I appreciate your sacrifices.
God Bless America!