Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Deer Hunting With Jesus

Deer Hunting With Jesus

One of the few books I've read on "class" in America. If we want some changes (which the author says we don't) keeping abreast of the reality of class is paramount. We don't attack the  issue because we don't see it. This book is a "shout out" about "class." If we are not careful, we become part of the problem.  

Although the book is several years old,  even more relevant today. It speaks to the "Trump" phenom--easy to discern that the working class would support Trump who plays to their ignorance. The book isn't about politics, rather where we are in America as relates to class and an entire group of citizens who have been left behind. 

The military is a good example of what the book is trying to get at, at least I think so. We do in fact have a "de facto" draft: they are the children of the working poor who have run out of options. For these youngsters who get in the military and excel, inconceivable possibilities happen that they never would have known are reachable. 

Even the military could not rescue Lynddie England, remember her? The book touches on her decent into an existence that merely extends what she has known: bad choices. Because of her "class," she never had a chance--ignorant, uneducated, left behind. She was destined to be one of the Abu Ghraib screw-ups. 

The military provides the opportunity to excel, to rise above what they've known. But, let's not for a moment think the military is representative of our culture, cause it ain't. It is the defacto draft; and, the defacto draft, now called, All Volunteer Force, is a far cry from what Mort Friedman and the Secretary of Defense, at the time, Mel Laird,  envisioned. Major F..k up. 

The great cry and hue, "support the troops" at sports events especially, sounds pretty hollow when we realize that it is in fact the kids of the working poor who are fighting and dying in America's ill conceived wars. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

We Will Never Get Over It

Thank you for your comments about PTSD. My deceased spouse, 2 tours in Vietnam in your same unit in101st Airborne. He had what they called Velcro stripes. Only vets know what that is. So sorry about your friend and your friend that passed from cancer. They are never really far away from us are they? Col.C

Thanks for your comments on the website. Our webmaster keeps it up and post my meanderings, of course. 


PTSD is strange and I do think that my hero, Al Pachino, in some movie where he played a detective and was a Korean War veteran said something like, "what the hell is this, all these veterans claiming "shell shock" when all vets have to pay the price for going to war." So true. 

For Vietnam vets, it is even harder because of the rejection. I don't think we'll ever get over it really. Not just Vietnam vets but all vets of that era. I just ran into a guy who was a GI in Germany during Vietnam. He said it was great but when he got home, people treated him like s..t. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016


My granddaughter, Lilly, went with me to see "Ben Hur." Way down from the "Charton Heston" version. In the old one, my favorite scene--Jesus is captive and Ben Hur gives him water and Jesus' shadow falls across Ben Hur which is symbolic of the Christian conversion. Ben Hur, for instance, is never the same again. 

There were so many things that the old Ben Hur did better. Anyway, even though Lilly got it and she is only 11; that whole period of history, amazing. The Romans, of course, ruled the land and in the present movie, I couldn't  figure out if the Roman character was either  Pilate or Caesar. Regardless, they, whichever one it was, had a good philosophy about what was happening in Roman/Jewish life. The chariot race was good. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Disheartening politics

These comments were going to be for a previous blog post but just hit me. F..King politicians like the Clintons in Arkansas, still poorest state or one of them in the country. Haley Barbour in Mississippi. Same thing, scandalous as my mom would say. These politciians don't do s..t for the state. Damn discouraging. You would think they would reach out to the poor, the disenfranchised. They don't. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016


Today is my good friend, Sharon's birth day. I love to honor those who have meant lots to me and have departed this life for the next. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHARON. Thinking of Sharon reminds me of my best bud in Vietnam, John Kerr. A West Pointer, good looking, slim, had that natural look about him. Could have easily posed for a "reup" poster. One of those guys who had it all. When I got to the Unit, (1/501 Infantry Battalion) he had been in country six months, commanding B Company. I met him, seemed like really a nice guy, kind of soft spoken. In those days the Chaplain resided back at the FSB (fire support base), the "Aide Station" or the Brigade area, way away from the fighting. 

I had been at the battalion a couple of weeks and really didn't know what I was suppose to be doing. One day, I am standing around and some soldier walks up and says, "Sir, Captain Kerr wants to speak to you and he hands me what I guess was the hand set for the radio (PRC25). I say, "this is the Chaplain."  Captain Kerr says, "Chaplain, where the fuck are you. My soldiers need to see you. You are not doing shit back at the rear. I will expect to see you before close of business today." Thus began this terrific relationship with the Company B Commander. He commanded respect and absolutely was leadership personified. He said to me one day, "Chaplain you don't know anything about what it means to be in combat but I am going to teach you." So, for the next couple of months I was his shadow. It was unbelievable. We would be in firefights, calling in artillery. Things that you did in Vietnam. We talked. He was like a master tactician, my mentor: "if this happens, we do this." It was a great continual "classroom in combat." One day he tells me, "you need to start carrying a weapon." Why? "Well, my soldiers will try to protect you and they need to be taking of themselves. If you have a weapon, my bet is they won't worry about you." 

Captain Kerr ran a tight ship. He seemed to be on top of everything. I got to know the other commanders and troops but nobody like John. He was always after me to come to his Company. I had to tell him a couple of times, there are other companies. It was like he didn't hear me. "Where are you? When are you coming out?" I loved the guy. A typical example of how he was is that he despised the S3, Operations guy. He calls him up and says something like, "since you never leave your bunker, I want you to give the Chaplain that little Car15 you have." An argument ensued. I really don't know what happened but the next thing I know, the S3 finds me and hands over the weapon. In those days there were at best a few of these--they were a little cut down version of an M16. I loved that weapon and only fired it at the range in the "rear" a few times. But, John was right, it seemed that the attitude of soldiers changed when they didn't feel they had to protect me. I had my own weapon. 

I was going on Rand R, meeting my wife in Hawaii. John came to the FSB to see me off. He said,  "Chaplain, your mission is to bring me a fifth of "Chives Regal." (SCOTCH) You bring me one back or I am going to kick your ass." He laughed big. It was the last time I would see John. He got killed in a kind of freaky way. The headquarters element was walking through a ville when a VC popped up out of a spider hole and killed John and three others. I was devastated. I was so angry at God, the war. My grief overwhelmed me. It was like I had lost a part of myself. I sat in my tent literally for two days. Finally somehow I moved on but  think of my good buddy John, often. I am always sad when I do. I kept the bottle of "Chives" for a long time. 

Sharon and her good friend, Flora, at the Infusion Center. Sharon loved Elvis. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Paratroopers 'relevant as ever,' leaders say at National Airborne Day celebration. 

National Airborne Day should be celebrating its "founder." General William C.  Lee was in his last military assignment and wanted nothing more than to return to his tobacco farm when he was plucked out of obscurity by American military leaders to develop a paratroop unit that could parachute behind enrmy lines. In somewhat of either a myth or fact, President FDR saw Germans training in airborne operations. He asked his military liaison about any such unit in the American forces. The only person who knew anything about airborne was a Lieutenant Colonel Lee. The rest is history as Lee led the airborne from nothing into fhe very formidable forces of WW||. Lee became the first commander of the Screaming Eagles, the 101st Airborne Division. 

If I had my way, I'd give the President another four years. His first term he had to learn  how to to do it. He did. I haven't always agreed with him especially on foreign policy. I think he has been way to quick to embrace the generals military strategy. But, he is holding his own. The generals always want more troops and have these grand strategies. Our biggest challenges are the Mideast. We don't even know who the players are.  

Saturday, August 13, 2016


Psychological projection is a theory in which a person defends themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others.

One of my all time favorite movies (Looking for Mr. Goodbar) has as one of several themes, projection. Without spoiling the movie, by day the protagonist is a school teacher but at night, something altogether different. My experience has been that when you see someone like this preacher who makes such an outlandish  statement, "Christians who don't vote for Trump will have gay children." I simply want to say, "SO?" But, I have a point to make. And, remember the Sacramento preacher who wanted to blame the  shooting in Orlando as God's punishment for being gay. Using the idea of projection, these TWO BIGOTS ARE PROBABLY GAY. 


All along, I've had about as much interest in Trump as in "Duck Dynasty". To be honest, I don't think talking Trump or politics is very useful but talking about his following fascinates me. My wife recently  interrupted my contemplation to say, "just when you think you've heard it all, along comes this preacher, Kenneth Copeland, only worth something like $760 mil, who says,  "Christians Who Vote Against Trump Will Be Cursed With Poverty and Gay Children." LOL. THIS f..ker is obviously, crazy like a fox. Google the Pharisee. 

Got to love it. God bless "Merica."

Friday, August 12, 2016


Yesterday, I had lunch with this millennial kid, 28. His dad is an old Army buddy who wanted me to talk to him about the military. I actually think that he would be a good fit. The military appears to be regressing back to the "Cold War" scenario which is not good from my perspective. Worse is what we are now doing, with more troops to Iraq and already a too big contingency in Afghanistan. The Prez is listening to the generals again. 

This kid is really like the movie, "Failure to Launch." He just thinks differently. "Well, what do you and friends do?" We play alot of video games. I actually think this youngster might "work" for the Marines. He is in great shape and the Marines don't want you to think. "Drop down and give me twenty." He could do a hundred. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016


Recently, a friend sent me this long harangue where evangelical leaders met with Trump and anointed him as "The Messiah." My answer to my buddy: You don't have to be religious to be a bigot but it helps. These bigots are a minority of Christians and they are not getting any, let's face it. 

I personally am ashamed. The religious bigots have hi-jacked the term, "evangelical" which merely means propagating the faith. Those who met with Trump are sorry MFs and will have little to no impact in the election. My belief. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


When I was in the Army as a chaplain, one of the first things I learned was the Army's peculiar definition of pluralism. Simply that the majority had an obligation to look after the minority. 

Saturday, August 06, 2016

MILITARY WAR STORIES or The Taxpayer Finally Gets Something Useful For His Money

When I was in the Army in Germany in the early seventies, they were still putting soldiers on KP (kitchen police), washing dishes, bussing tables, etc.  When I would go into the Mess Hall in one of our Missile Batteries, this one GI was always washing dishes. Looking at him was painful. He was absolutely and I'm being kind, hideous looking. I felt so sorry for him. He looked like that youngster in the movie "Mask," but worst. In the movie, the character suffers from a facial deformity called "lionitis." Cher was the movie mother.  

The GI had this hydrocephalus look like in the movie. He was a McNamara 100,000, guys who had low IQs but the Army needed bodies and so they were drafted. How he made it in was beyond me. He told me he tried to disguise himself. A doc declared him fit and here he was. 

He was almost impossible to describe. No exaggeration, really. Eyes wide apart, simply weird. People just stayed away. I would intentionally go in and shoot the breeze with him. I was a young captain, been in the Army less than two years, just back from Vietnam, 27. Didn't know my arsh from a hole in the ground. 

The GI had a little bunk in the back of the mess hall. I felt so sorry for him, honestly. One day I'm playing tennis with this doc buddy and he's bitching about not having enough to do. What does an Oral Surgeon do anyway? He tells me and I immediately thought of the GI; what about taking a look? I round up the soldier and get him to my buddy, the Oral Surgeon. About two hours later I'm still waiting. My Doc friend finally comes out from behind closed doors with three other doctors. They are taking this soldier on as a project. Long story short, they repositioned his teeth, did a little plastic surgery, there is no way to exaggerate this. When they were through, this GI looked like a different person, unbelievably handsome even. He could hardly believe it. I could hardly believe it-- one happy soldier. HELL OF A LOT BETTER THAN MAKING WAR. 

Wednesday, August 03, 2016


Surprise. Surprise. The "NY Times" had two opinion articles written by 2 guys who called themselves “draft dodgers." They detailed their thinking then and our present NEMESIS, "the Donald," who has no remorse for dodging. F..K him. There seems to be a genuine sense that now those who didn’t serve, missed something. It was the event of their generation and they missed it. In my view, Vietnam was a “sorry war “ and we should have learned something from it for future wars but we didn’t. Not a thing in my view. Those
 guys who didn’t go to Nam, might be dead now. 

Get your arsh over to the Bayside so we can dialogue. We had so much fun Monday, plus they are training a little Neapolise(sp) youngster that we need to be there to support. Get out of the bed. Airborne. 

Tuesday, August 02, 2016


No, not quite that bad. But, this election is different. Consequently, I would hope that the people come out in droves to vote. If this election doesn't capture them, I don't know what will. 

Mainly, because we can't afford a Trump Presidency. It is not a matter of "getting on board" with Hillary. It is a matter of escaping the clutches of a demigod, egomaniac. I keep thinking that he will bury himself with his bias and utter disdain for decent convention. Forget it. If you think for a moment that anything will bring down Trump's devotees, I say again, forget it. What we have is our vote. Remember that scene in "Sound of Music." Christopher Plummer and Max and Elenor Parker who played the Countess, are waiting for Plummer's children. A telegram comes to Plummer, a retired Navy Captain. Plummer shows his anger toward the youngster delivering the telegram who doesn help himself by giving the "Heil Hitle" salute. (Austria is in the throes of Nazism). Max says to Plummer, "you know I am not political." Plummer screams at him, "Max, you better get political." This is the way I often feel about where we are. We better get political.