I was going through my emails and deleting some old ones that I don't need anymore and Came across some old ones from an Army buddy of mine and some from my father. They shook me up pretty good, the Army buddy is Sgt. Ernest "Ernie" Bucklew 55B20, was killed in Iraq November 2003 when his helicopter was shot down. My father passed away 3 weeks ago from liver/kidney failure. I thought I'd share them.

From Ernie:

Subject: LESSON TO MY SON


Pretty powerful
stuff




LESSON TO MY SON (written
by a mother who served in Desert Storm with her
husband)



The other day, my nine year old
son wanted to know why we were at war. My husband looked at our son and then
looked at me. My husband and I were in the Army during the Gulf War and we would
be honored to serve and defend our country again today. I knew that my husband
would give him a good explanation.



My husband thought for a few
minutes and then told my son to go stand in our front living room
window.



He told him:



"Son, stand
there and tell me what you see?"



"I see trees and cars and our
neighbors houses," he replied.



"OK, now I want you to
pretend that our house and our yard is the United States of
America and you are President
Bush."



Our son giggled and said
"OK."



"Now son, I want you to
look out the window and pretend that every house and yard on
this block is a different country," my husband
said.



"OK Dad, I'm
pretending."



"Now I want you to stand
there and look out the window and see that man come out of his
house with his wife and he has her by the hair
and is hitting her. You see her
bleeding and crying. He hits her in the face, he throws her on
the ground, then he starts to kick her to death! Their children run out and are afraid to stop him, they are crying,
they are watching this but do
nothing because they are kids and afraid of their father. You see all of this son.... what do you
do?"



"Dad?"



"What do you do
son?!"



"I call the police,
Dad."



"OK... Pretend that the
police are the United Nations and they take your call, listen to what you
know and saw but they refuse to help.



What do you do then
son?!"



"Dad, but the police are
supposed to help!" My son starts to whine.



"They don't want to son,
because they say that it is not their place OR your place to get involved and that you should stay out of
it," my husband
says.



"But Dad...he killed
her!!" my son exclaims.



"I know he did...but the
police tell you to stay out of it.



Now I want you to look
out that window and pretend you see our neighbor who you're pretending is Saddam turn around and do the
same thing to his
children."



"Daddy...he kills
them?"



"Yes, son, he does. What
do you do?"



"Well, if the police
don't want to help, I will go and ask my next door neighbor to help me
stop him," our son says.



"Son, our next-door
neighbor sees what is happening and refuses to
get involved as well. He refuses to open the door and help you stop
him," my husband
says.



"But Dad, I NEED help!!!
I can't stop him by myself!!"



"WHAT DO YOU DO
SON?"



Our son starts to
cry.



"OK, no one wants to
help you, the man across the street saw you ask for help and saw
that no one would help you stop him. He stands
taller and puffs out his chest. Guess what he does
next son?"



"What
Daddy?"



"He walks across the
street to the old ladies house and breaks down her door and drags
her out, steals all her stuff and sets her house
on fire and then...he kills
her. He turns around and sees you standing in he window and laughs at you. WHAT DO YOU
DO?!!!"




"Daddy..."



"WHAT DO YOU
DO?!!!"



Our son is crying and he
looks down and he whispers, "I close the blinds,
Daddy." My husband looks at our son with
tears in his eyes



and asks
him...



"Why?"



"Because
Daddy.....the police are supposed to help...people who needs
it....and they won't help....You always say that neighbors are
supposed to HELP neighbors, but they won't help either...they won't
help
me stop him...I'm afraid....I can't
do it by myself...Daddy.....I can't look out my window and just
watch him do all these terrible things and...and.....do
nothing...so....I'm just going to close the blinds....so I
can't see what he's doing........and
I'm going to pretend that it is not happening."



I start to
cry.



My husband looks at our
nine year old son standing in the window, looking pitiful and ashamed at his answers to my
husbands questions and he tells
him...."Son"




"Yes, Daddy."




"Open the blinds because that man....he's at your
front
door..."WHAT DO YOU DO?!!!!"



My son looks at his
father, anger and defiance in his eyes. He balls up his tiny fists and looks his father square in the eyes,
without hesitation he says: "I
DEFEND MY FAMILY DAD!! I'M NOT GONNA LET HIM HURT MOMMY OR MY SISTER, DAD!!! I'M GONNA FIGHT HIM,
DAD, I'M GONNA FIGHT
HIM!!!!!"



I see a tear roll down my
husband's cheek and he grabs my son to his chest and hugs him
tight, and cries..."It's too late to fight him, he's too strong and
he's already at YOUR front door son.....you should
have stopped him BEFORE he
killed his wife. You have to do what's right, even
if you have to do it alone,
before........it's too late," my husband
whispers.



THAT scenario I just
gave you is WHY we are at war with Iraq.



When good men stand by
and let evil happen is the greatest EVIL of all. Our President is doing what IS
right. We, as a free nation, must understand that this
war is a war of humanity. WE must remove this evil man from
power so that we can continue to live in a free world where we are
not afraid to look out our window and see crimes on humanity. So
that my nine
year old son won't grow up in a world where he feels that if he just
"closes" the blinds--the
atrocities in the world won't affect him. Today the second day of "WAR on IRAQ" I felt compelled
to write this and pass it along. Hopefully, you will understand the lesson my husband
tried to teach our
son.



"YOU MUST NEVER BE
AFRAID TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT! EVEN IF YOU HAVE
TO DO IT ALONE!" BE PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN! BE
PROUD OF OUR PRESIDENT! BE PROUD OF OUR TROOPS!!
SUPPORT THEM!!! SUPPORT AMERICA!! SO THAT IN THE
FUTURE OUR CHILDREN WILL NEVER
HAVE TO "CLOSE" THEIR BLINDS...."



John and Daifenny

>I Am the Flag of the>>Of America>> I am the flag of the United States of America.> My name is Old Glory.> I fly atop the world's tallest buildings.> I stand watch in America's halls of justice.> I fly majestically over institutions of learning.> I stand guard with power in the world.> Look up and see me.>>I stand for peace, honor, truth and justice.> I stand for freedom.>I am confident.>I am arrogant.>I am proud.>>When I am flown with my fellow banners,>My head is a little higher,>My colors a little truer.>>I bow to no one!>I am recognized all over the world.>I am worshipped - I am saluted.>I am loved - I am revered.>I am respected - and I am feared.>>I have fought in every battle>of every war>for more then 200 years.>>I was flown at Valley Forge,>Gettysburg, Shiloh and Appamatox.>I was there at San Juan Hill,>the trenches of France,>in the Argonne Forest,>Anzio, Rome and the beaches of Normandy.>>Guam, Okinawa, Korea and>KheSan, Saigon, Vietnam know me.>I was there.>I led my troops, I was dirty, battleworn and tired,>But my soldiers cheered me and I was proud.>>I have been burned, torn and trampled on the>streets of countries I have helped set free.>It does not hurt for I am invincible.>I have been soiled upon, burned, torn and>trampled in the streets of my country.>And when it's done by those>Whom I've served in battle - it hurts.>But I shall overcome - for I am strong.>>I have slipped the bonds of Earth>and stood watch over the uncharted>frontiers of space from my vantage point on the moon.>I have borne silent witness to all of America's finest hours.>>But my finest hours are yet to come.>>When I am torn into strips and used as bandages>for my wounded comrades on the battlefield,>When I am flown at half-mast to honor my soldier,>Or when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving parent>at the grave of their fallen son or daughter,>>I am proud.>>>Please forward this message to all who still love>and respect me that I may fly proudly>for another two hundred years.



>Last week, the Shelby County Alabama Legislative Delegation hosted a

>"Stand Up for America Rally." More than 1,200 people attended including

>featured speakers Chief Justice Roy Moore, Adjutant General Mark Bowen

>and Alabama State Auditor Beth Chapman. Attached is a copy of Mrs.

>Chapman's speech, which resulted in five standing ovations, tremendous

>applause and an encore. It's a short read and well worth it.

>

>I hope you enjoy it as we continue to "Stand up for America!"

>

>Stand Up for America Rally Speech By: Beth Chapman

>

>I'm here tonight because men and women of the United States military

>have given their lives for my freedom. I am not here tonight because

>Sheryl Crowe, Rosie O'Donnell, Martin Sheen, George Clooney, Jane Fonda

>or Phil Donahue, sacrificed their lives for me.

>

>If my memory serves me correctly, it was not movie stars or musicians,

>but the United States Military who fought on the shores of Iwo Jima, the

>jungles of Vietnam, and the beaches of Normandy. Tonight, I say we

>

>should support the President of the United States and the U. S. Military

>and tell the liberal, tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, hippy, tie-dyed

>liberals to go make their movies and music and whine somewhere else.

>

>After all, if they lived in Iraq, they wouldn't be allowed the freedom

>of speech they're being given here today. Ironically, they would be put

>to death at the hands of Sadam Husssein or Osama Bin Laden. I want to

>know how the very people who are against war because of the loss of

>life, can possibly be the same people who are for abortion?

>

>They are the same people who are for animal rights but against the

>rights of the unborn. The movie stars say they want to go to Iraq and

>serve as "human shields" for the Iraqis. I say let them buy a one-way

>ticket and go.

>

>No one likes war. I hate war! But the one thing I hate more is the fact

>that this country has been forced into war-innocent people have lost

>their lives - - and there but for the grace of God, it could have been

>

>my brother, my husband, or even worse my own son.

>

>On December 7, 1941, there are no records of movie stars treading the

>blazing waters of Pearl Harbor.

>

>On September 11, 2001; there are no photos of movie stars standing as

>"human shields" against the debris and falling bodies ascending from the

>World Trade Center. There were only policemen and firemen - -underpaid

>civil servants who gave their all with nothing expected in return.

>

>When the USS Cole was bombed, there were no movie stars guarding the

>ship - - where were the human shields then?

>

>If America's movie stars want to be human shields, let them shield the

>gang-ridden streets of Los Angeles, or New York City, let them shield

>the lives of the children of North Birmingham whose mothers lay them

>down to sleep on the floor each night to shelter them from stray

>bullets.

>

>If they want to be human shields, I say let them shield the men and

>women of honesty and integrity that epitomizes courage and embody the

>

>spirit of freedom by wearing the proud uniforms of the United States

>Military. Those are the people who have earned and deserve shielding!

>

>Throughout the course of history, this country has remained free, not

>because of movie stars and liberal activists, but because of brave men

>and women who hated war too. However, they lay down their lives so that

>we all may live in freedom. After all - "What greater love hath no man,

>that he lay down his life for his friend," or in this case a country.

>

>We should give our military honor and acknowledgement and not let their

>lives be in vain. If you want to see true human shields, walk through

>Arlington Cemetery. There lie human shields, heroes, and the BRAVE

>Americans who didn't get on television and talk about being a human

>shield - they were human shields.

>

>I thank God tonight for freedom - - those who bought and paid for it

>with their lives in the past - - those who will protect it in the

>present and defend it in the future.

>

>

>America has remained silent too long! God-fearing people have remained

>silent too long!

>

>We must lift our voices united in a humble prayer to God for guidance

>and the strength and courage to sustain us throughout whatever the

>future may hold.

>

>After the tragic events of Sept. 11th, my then eleven -year-old son said

>terrorism is a war against them and us and if you're not one of us, then

>you're one of them.

>

>So in closing tonight, let us be of one accord, let us stand proud, and

>let us be the human shields of prayer, encouragement and support for the

>President, our troops and their families and our country.

>

>May God bless America, the land of the free, the home of the brave and

>the greatest country on the face of this earth!

Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 19:07:46 -0800


This was in Pepper's school newsletter...I found it sweet, and thought I'd share.
He Has Our Back
I am a small and precious child, my Dad's been sent to fight...The only place I'll see his face, is in my dreams at night.He will be gone too many days for my young mind to keep track.I may be sad, but I am proud.My Daddy's got your back.

I am a caring mother. My son has gone to war...My mind is filled worries that I've never known before.Everyday I try to keep my thoughts from turning black.I may be scared, but I am proud.My son has got your back.

I am a strong and loving wife, with a husband who had to go.There are times I'm terrified in a way most never know.I bite my lip and force a smile as I watch my husband pack...My heart may break, but I am proud.My husband's got your back.

I am a soldier...Serving Proudly, standing tall.I fight for freedom, yours and mine, by answering this call.I do my job while knowing the thanks it sometimes lacks.Say a prayer that I'll come home.It's me who's got your back.

From My Dad:

WHAT IS A VET ? Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, ajagged scar, a certain look in the eye. Others may carry the evidenceinside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in theleg - or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's ally forged inthe refinery of adversity. Except in parades, however, the men andwomen who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. You can'ttell a vet just by looking. What is a vet? He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweatingtwo gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't runout of fuel. He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whoseovergrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmicscales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel. She or he-is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleepsobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang. He is the POW who went away one person and came back another-or didn'tcome back AT ALL. He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat-but hassaved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gangmembers into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs. He is the parade-riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medalswith a prosthetic hand. He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals passhim by. He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whosepresence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve thememory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized withthem on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep. He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket-palsied now andaggravatingly slow-who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishesall day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when thenightmares come. He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being-a person whooffered some of his life's most vital years in the service of hiscountry, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have tosacrifice theirs. He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he isnothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of thefinest, greatest nation ever known. So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, justlean over and say Thank You. That's all most people need, and in mostcases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded orwere awarded. Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU." "It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of thepress. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom ofspeech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given usthe freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, who salutes the flag,who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, whoallows the protester to burn the flag." Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, USMC

> > >> > >Subject: The Average Military Man> > >> > >> > >> > >> > >> > >> > >Say a Prayer for The Average Military Man> > >> > >The Average Military Man The average age of the> > >military man is 19 years.> > >> > >He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who,> > >under normal circumstances is considered by> > >society as half man, half boy.> > >Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to> > >buy a beer, but old enough to die for his> > >country.> > >> > >He never really cared much for work and he would> > >rather wax his own car than wash his father's;> > >but he has never collected unemployment either.> > >> > >He's a recent High School graduate; he was> > >probably an average student, pursued some form of> > >sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy,> > >and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up> > >with him when he left, or swears to be waiting> > >when he returns from half a world away.> > >> > >He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or> > >jazz or swing and 155mm Howitzers.> > >> > >He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he> > >was at home because he is working or fighting> > >from before dawn to well after dusk.> > >> > >He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a> > >pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in> > >30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the> > >dark.> > >> > >He can recite to you the nomenclature of a> > >machine gun or grenade launcher and use either> > >one effectively if he must.> > >> > >He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first> > >aid like a professional.> > >> > >He can march until he is told to stop or stop> > >until he is told to march.> > >> > >He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation,> > >but he is not without spirit or individual> > >dignity.> > >> > >He is self-sufficient. He has two sets of> > >fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He> > >keeps his canteens full and his feet dry.> > >> > >He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but> > >never to clean his rifle.> > >> > >He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes,> > >and fix his own hurts. If you're thirsty, he'll> > >share his water with you; if you are hungry, his> > >food.> > >> > >He'll even split his ammunition with you in the> > >midst of battle when you run low.> > >> > >He has learned to use his hands like weapons and> > >weapons like they were his hands. He can save> > >your life - or take it, because that is his job.> > >> > >He will often do twice the work of a civilian,> > >draw half the pay and still find ironic humor in> > >it all. He has seen more suffering and death> > >then he should have in his short lifetime.> > >> > >He has stood atop mountains of dead bodies, and> > >helped to create them.> > >> > >He has wept in public and in private, for friends> > >who have fallen in combat and is unashamed.> > >> > >He feels every note of the National Anthem> > >vibrate through his body while at rigid> > >attention, while tempering the burning desire to> > >'square-away' those around him who haven't> > >bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop> > >talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out,> > >far from home, he defends their right to be> > >disrespectful.> > >> > >Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and> > >Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our> > >freedom.> > >> > >Beardless or not, he is not a boy.> > >> > >He is the American Fighting Man that has kept> > >this country free for over> > >200 years.> > >> > >He has asked nothing in return, except our> > >friendship and understanding.> > >> > >Remember him, always, for he has earned our> > >respect and admiration with his blood.> > >> > >Michael Jameson Carrolton, TX> > >> > >> > >



Subject: Robin Williams Peace Plan

Leave it to Robin Williams to come up with the perfect plan...
what we need now is for our UN Ambassador to stand up and repeat this message.

Robin Williams' plan...(Hard to argue with this logic!)

I see a lot of people yelling for peace but I have not heard of a plan for peace. So, here's one plan:

1) The US will apologize to the world for our "interference" in their
affairs, past &present. We will promise never to "interfere" again.

2) We will withdraw our troops from all over the world, starting with Germany, South Korea and the Philippines. They don't want us there.

We would station troops at our borders. No more sneaking through holes in the fence.

3) All illegal aliens have 90 days to get their affairs together and
leave. We'll give them a free trip home. After 90 days the remainder
will be gathered up and deported immediately, regardless of who or
where they are. France would welcome them.

4) All future visitors will be thoroughly checked and limited to
90 day visits unless given a special permit. No one from a terrorist
nation would be allowed in. If you don't like it there, change it yourself.
Don't hide here. Asylum would not ever be available to anyone. We don't need any more cab drivers.

5) No "students" over age 21. The older ones are the bombers. If
they don't attend classes, they get a "D" and it's back home, baby.

6) The US will make a strong effort to become self sufficient energy
wise. This will include developing non polluting sources of energy
but will require a temporary drilling of oil in the Alaskan
wilderness. The caribou will have to cope for a while.

7) Offer Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries $10 a barrel
for their oil. If they don't like it, we go someplace else.

8) If there is a famine or other natural catastrophe in the world, we
will not "interfere". They can pray to Allah or whomever, for seeds,
rain, cement or whatever they need. Besides, most of what we give
them gets "lost" or is taken by their army. The people who need it
most get very little, anyway.

9) Ship the UN Headquarters to an island some place. We don't need
the spies and fair weather friends here. Besides, it would make a
good homeless shelter or lockup for illegal aliens.

10) Use the buildings as replacement for the twin towers.

11) All Americans must go to charm and beauty school. That way, no
one can call us "Ugly Americans" any longer.

12) Now, ain't that a winner of a plan.

13) "The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying 'Give me your poor,
your tired, your huddled masses.' She's got a baseball bat and she's
yelling, 'You want a piece of me?'

I sat in my seat of the Boeing 767 waiting for
everyone to hurry and stow their carry ons and grab a
seat so we could start what I was sure to be a long
and uneventful flight home. With the huge capacity and
slow moving people taking their time to stuff luggage
far too big for the overhead and never paying much
attention to holding up the growing line behind them,
I simply shook my head knowing that this flight was
not starting out very well and although I had a great
bunch of meetings while conducting business on this
trip, it was quickly becoming tarnished with these
delays in my getting home to my loved one whom I had
not seen in several days.

The meetings although fruitful were long and I had not
slept well, not to mention those blasted new dress
shoes that rubbed a blister on my heel. I was pretty
focused on "my" issues and just felt like standing up
and yelling for some of these clowns to get their act
together and focus on taking their seats.

No wonder the airline industry is in trouble I told
myself. Don't they realize we have some place we are
supposed to be? We should be treated with more
importance, after all we are the customers, right?
Just then, the attendant came on the intercom to
inform us all "that we were being delayed"...as she
paused, the entire plane let out a collective groan.
>
She resumed her announcement, 'we are holding the
aircraft for some very special people who are on their
way to the plane and that the delay should not be more
than five more minutes. Their connecting flight had
traveled a long way and we would get underway just as
soon as possible."
Now, I have had this happen to me before and more
often than not, I had to catch the next flight or even
go to another carrier to get to my destination. Still,
I was grateful for the times when they waited for me,
so I thought that I would go back to my sky mall pages
and try to forget just how much "I" was being
inconvenienced.
Why the hoopla over when these folks? Just get their butts
in a seat and lets hit the gas, I thought to myself.
After a few minutes we were all "locked on" when the
attendant came back on the speaker, semi expecting
some celebrity or sport figure to be announced as the
reason the aircraft was delayed so long. I thought who
cares, let's go! She announced in a loud and excited
voice that we were being joined by several United
States Marines returning home from Iraq!!!! Just as
they walked onboard the entire plane erupted into
applause. The Men were a bit taken by the surprise of
the 340+ people cheering for them as they searched for
their seats. It didn't stop, they were having their
hands shook and touched by almost everyone who was
within an arm's distance of them as they tried to push
thru the aisles. Whistles, cheering, an occasional
"oorrahh", one elderly woman kissed the hand of one of
the Marines as he passed by her, and the applause
didn't stop for a long time as they continued toward
the back of the aircraft.
When we finally got air born I am sure I was not the
only civilian checking his conscious as to the
"delays" in me getting home from my "hard business
meetings", finding my easy chair and remote, a cold
beverage, and tending to my blister". In fact I felt
pretty stupid as I am sure many did. After what these
Men had done for all of us, and I had been complaining
silently about "me" and "my issues"?

I attempted to get my selfish outlook back in order
and minutes before we landed I suggested to the
attendant she announced over the speaker a request for
everyone to remain in their seats until our Hero's
were allowed to gather their things and be first off
the plane. The cheers and applause continued until the
last Marine stepped off and we all rose to go about
our too often taken for granted everyday freedoms....
I felt Proud of Them. I felt it an Honor and a
privilege to be among the first to welcome them home
and say Thank You for a job well done.

I vowed that I will never forget that flight nor the
lesson learned. I have said it before but I can't say
it enough, THANK YOU to those VETERANS and ACTIVE
SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN who may read this, and a prayer
everyday for those who cannot because they are no
longer with us. GOD BLESS AMERICA.




>Check this out everyone!

>

>This is something to think about! Since America is typically represented by an eagle. Saddam should have read up on his Muslim passages... The following verse is from the Quran, (the Islamic Bible)

>

>Quran (9:11) -- For it is written that a son of Arabia would awaken a fearsome Eagle. The wrath of the Eagle would be felt throughout the lands of Allah and lo, while some of the people trembled in despair still more rejoiced; for the wrath of the Eagle cleansed the lands of Allah; and there was peace.

>

>Note the verse number!!!!!

>

>Love to all, Diane