Good news and disgust
Good news! Grannie heard from her warriors in Afghanistan and all is well. Actually she received a form letter thanking all who had sent boxes to the troops during the unit's tour of duty. They are rotating back to their regular duty station, from whence they came, in Germany.
Nothing personal, just a militarily correct form letter from "her" chaplain's assistant.
The good news came from a young female reservist who had recently been assigned to the forward operating base where Grannie Annie sends her stuff. The lady, a major with the specialty of nurse anaesthetist, was evidently having a hard go of it. She'd volunteered to go for six months duty rather than the usual three months, had received a chilly reception and was missing her husband and children, ages three and eight years, back home in New Jersey. On Easter she had gone to the base chapel, empty, for a bit of quiet and personal reflection. On leaving she picked up a package of chocolate and a Bible from one of the boxes sent from this community.
"I didn't need the chocolate, I just wanted to take something to remind me of home," she wrote. She also took one of the hand-crafted ribbon cross bookmarks that Ann sends and the combination touched her heart. Her beautiful thank-you note to Grannie drew grateful tears and a renewed sense of pride that her, and this community's, contributions are worth the effort. There is no better pay for a job well done!
Now to comment on the latest from fellow Gazette columnist "Mike atNight" Hendricks. Mike titled it "The Roots of Racism" and it can be found in the May 4 edition or: http://www.mccookgazette.com/story/1845375.html
Reading through Mike's mini-screed I suspect that the author, like many who voted for President Barrack Obama is suffering buyer's remorse. There is no doubt, in my mind, that one aspect of racism, more specifically "white guilt" about this country's past record on racism, helped to get President Obama elected in the first place. Mike blames the current dissatisfaction with our president on traditional racism, the oldtime southern variety. I beg to differ.
Mike's experiences as a youth were vastly different from my own as he grew up in the racially divided South. I was born and raised in snow-white Southwestern Nebraska. To sight a black face was for me a rare event. Sure, the Hispanic community was well represented but those people were all friends and one doesn't exhibit racism against friends.
Family lore concedes that my grandfather was active in the Klu Klux Klan, which always was a puzzle because I know of no Negro neighbors. It turns out that his Klan here was organized against Catholics. But, then, that same grandfather had married a young Catholic lady, the mother of his children, so that whole memory makes no sense at all. Go figure.
My first exposure to racism was during Air Force pilot training in south Texas. Two of my fellow student officers were black. College educated, fine young men both became casual friends. We had a couple of weeks off at Christmas and a fellow white guy, Wayne Park, car pooled with the two black gents to drive to their homes in the Northeast. Along the way, they stopped at a restaurant in northeastern Texas for a bite of supper.
The proprietor of the restaurant told Wayne that he was welcome, but that the two black guys were not. Lt. Park objected and explained that those two gentlemen were officers in the U.S. Air Force all to no effect. Still not welcome, the three left, but Wayne was still incensed two weeks later when he returned to Moore Air Base.
The Air Force became an independent arm of the service in 1947. It was racially integrated by order of President Truman in 1949 (well before my time) and I can proudly say that racism was never a factor throughout my 25-plus years of service. I served with many black officers and enlisted with never a problem. We learned to judge individuals on their competency in doing their job; skin color was not remotely a part of the equation. In fact, one of my all- time heroes is legendary fighter pilot Daniel "Chappie" James, Jr., one of the famed Tuskegee Airmen that retired as a four-star general.
Contrary to Mike I believe that President Obama is being judged on his competency in executing the duties as president. Mike quotes statistics to prove that President Obama is the greatest president ever but as they say "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
I suspect that the hordes of currently unemployed would beg to differ that our current president is doing a great job.
In my opinion, President Obama has proven himself to be incompetent in both domestic and foreign policy.
His efforts to gut the military, whom he not only does not understand and overtly dislikes, will likely put our country in grave danger. Campaigner in chief he is using our tax money to buy votes through a burgeoning social welfare programs that will have to be paid for by our children and grandchildren.
I could go on and on but feel in my heart that racism has little to do with President Obama's chances of re-election.
I resent being accused of racism when all I see is incompetency. But then, I feel sorry for the Democrats who voted for him in the first place as they suffer the pain of buyers' remorse.
That is how I saw it.