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Thursday, July 31 2014 @ 10:44 PM PDT

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Burned Out Moms

General NewsMost of you are probably aware of the search that is going on for missing Oregon mom Jennifer Huston. It hits close to home literally and figuratively, so I thought I should add my two cents.

Disclaimer: I HAVE NO INSIDE INFORMATION. I'm not Jennifer, I don't know her, I haven't seen her. I wish I could help in the search but I have my own mom-duties. This is my own speculation based on regional knowledge, news reports and life as a mom.

She gassed up her SUV, bought trail mix, Gatorade and OTC sleeping pills, and got less than $100 from an ATM. This isn't suicide. This isn't a woman leaving her husband. This is a woman who just wants a little short-term escape. I get that. When the story first broke and she had only been missing a short time, I had a brief moment of cheering her on, because I imagined her getting some well-deserved sleep in a private parking spot somewhere. Now, of course, it's evident that something went awry.

Ever wonder about those "baby on board" placards on cars? Supposedly they're to remind other drivers to not endanger the vehicle, but in truth they are warnings that the driver of the vehicle is not in prime condition. With the kids in the car, the driver may be running on adrenaline, dodging flying objects and trying to block out screams. But when the parent is alone, the exhaustion hits. You're not directly responsible for another life at that precise moment. And both reckless driving (ah, the freedom!) and being drowsy at the wheel are distinct possibilities. Then you add the landscape in the area surrounding Dundee/Newberg. It's wine country and forests, with lots of roads to nowhere, deep gulleys, sharp curves and no shoulders to the roads. I used to drive that area a lot when WatchKitten was a baby and the constant turns would rock him to sleep, but it required both hands on the wheel at all times and constant vigilance. Reaching for a drink or snack on those roads could be deadly. It would also be highly possible to pull into the wrong person's driveway, and that's a scenario no one wants to think about. Family and friends have asked people to drive the back roads looking for disturbed vegetation, dented barriers etc, but unless they close the roads to non-searchers, those drivers could end up in a bad situation as well. You'd have to drive at a snail's pace in order to scan the area safely.

As always, there are questions for the husband and relatives. The husband has passed a polygraph, and to the best of my knowledge there's no reason to suspect that he harmed his wife. But I was uneasy about quotes of "he's the most patient person I know" and general comments about the perfection of the marriage. Perfection is pressure. And parenthood...the pressures in our culture are huge. But I suspect that the pressure got to her, not her husband. And whether it was an accident or a medical issue or simply waking up after her face was already on the news, a few hour's escape turned into something worse.

Jennifer, if you're holed up in some cheap hotel reading this, know that a lot of burned out moms understand your need to escape. We're hoping your sanity time just got a little out of hand. We'll pray and search, and we hope to cheer your homecoming too.
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Wednesday Hero

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WASP

WASP
U.S.
Army Air Forces

The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) was a paramilitary aviation organization. In 1943 they were created when the Women's Flying Training Detachment (WFTD) and the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) were merged together. The female pilots of the WASP ended up numbering 1,074, each freeing a male pilot for combat service and duties. They flew over 60 million miles in every type of military aircraft. The WASP was granted veteran status in 1977, and given the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009. Some 25,000 women applied to join the WASP, but only 1,830 were accepted and took the oath. Only 1,074 of them passed the training and joined. Thirty-eight died flying in the WASP

You can read more about WASP here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

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The Forgotten 14

Samuel Gerald Dean, Edward Joseph Wolbers, Radamés E. Cáceres, Douglas Laurent Dauphin, Bert Garland Sauls Jr., Kenneth N. Markle, Louis Karp, James Henry Henderson, Douglas Vincent Schmoker, Howard George Sewell, George M. Durrett, Robert H. Watson, Harold Edwin Richards & James Dixon Fore

December 22nd, 1943

U.S. Army Air Corps

Three days before Christmas in 1943, two hours past midnight, 14 men climbed into an airplane and lifted into the dark sky over the slumbering hamlet of West Palm Beach. Their journey lasted but a few moments, and killed every one of them.

You can read more here and here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

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PJ News

PJ StuffRescue group Hosts Pilot For a Day
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The Ventura Idiot

General NewsWitnesses Rebuff Ventura's Assertion That Fight Was a Lie

After reading the various statements, I have a hard time imagining what Jesse Ventura thinks he's going to accomplish apart from dragging a bunch of good people through a miserable lawsuit. He was humiliated (deservedly so) and now seems to be seeking revenge in a petty, reprehensible manner that is consistent with the original behavior cited.

The article states that there is a discrepancy in the testimony regarding the location of the fight. One witness said patio and one said sidewalk. I've been to McP's. The patio area bleeds into the sidewalk, so unless there's a distinction of "inner patio" I don't see that as a true discrepancy. If anything, such minor variations are more consistent with individuals' memory rather than a made-up story. I also recognize enough names on the witness list to doubt that any of them would have used Michael Monsoor's wake as a context for a smear campaign.

Jesse Ventura is responsible for his own defamation. I wish I could hope he would man up and leave Taya Kyle alone, but his history suggests otherwise. I haven't yet read Chris Kyle's book. But Jesse Ventura has ruined his own reputation, and thus will never get my vote.

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Capt. Linda Bray

Capt. Linda Bray

53 years old from Clemmons, North Carolina

988th Military Police Company

U.S. Army

Capt. Linda Bray made national headlines when she became the first woman in U.S. history to lead troops into combat during the 1989 invasion of Panama. As a result she was met with a lot of resistance and anger to what she had accomplished because she was a woman.

Bray and 45 soldiers under her command, nearly all of them men, encountered a unit of Panamanian special operations soldiers holed up inside a military barracks and dog kennel. They killed three of the enemy and took one prisoner before the rest were forced to flee.

You can read more about Capt. Bray here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Cpl. Tom Jones, Jr.

Cpl. Tom Jones, Jr.

89 years old from Hogback, New Mexico

3rd Division, Unit 297, Navajo Code Talkers 767 and Navajo Code Talkers 642 Platoons

1925? - May 12, 2014

U.S. Marines

Another Navajo Code Talker has passed away. Tom Jones, Jr. passed away on May 12.

You can read more about Cpl. Jones here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Stan White

Stan White

94 years old from Albuquerque, New Mexico

U.S. Army

Albuquerque veteran Stan E. White, a Pearl Harbor survivor who was injured during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, was awarded the Legion of Honor, France's highest decoration, according to Perry Bendicksen, Honorary French Consul for New Mexico.

Although he was raised in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, White was a 19-year-old athlete and cowboy living in New Mexico when he enlisted in the Army. He said he saw it as an opportunity for travel, adventure and education. He ended up with a life he never could have predicted.

You can read more about Stan White here & here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Pfc. Clarence Wolf Guts

Pfc. Clarence Wolf Guts

86 years old from South Dakota

1924? - June 16, 2010

U.S. Army

When the towers of the World Trade Center fell on Sept. 11, 2001, Clarence Wolf Guts asked his son to call the U.S. Department of Defense to see if the country needed his code talking abilities to find Osama Bin Laden. Wolf Guts was in his late 70s at the time, so his son did not make the call, but said the request personified his father's love of country. "He still wanted to help. He was trying to still be patriotic".

Pfc. Wolf Guts was the last surviving Oglala Lakota code talker from WWII.

You can read more about Pfc. Wolf Guts here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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My view of fog

General NewsIt has been...a storm.
And an almost peaceful week, the eye of the storm, is drawing to a close and I jump back into the fray tomorrow.

I used to think that gated communities were way too uptight for my taste, but I'm finding it a blessing to just exhale because I don't have to worry about who is driving by. While it's not true security, it's easier to relax here.

I met a Navy guy today who assumed I was a veteran. It's not the first time I've been mistaken for one, and it's always an odd feeling. I know I've done good work in my life, despite some missteps, but days like today make me feel like I missed my niche. And it's even stranger in these turbulent times when so many veterans are depressed and disillusioned by what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. I've always thought it would have been an honor to serve...but was I spared something?

I don't know what to make of this life. So many mistakes entangle us, yet the oddest things preserve us.

I'm getting ready to leave my new favorite place, and I'm trying to cultivate an attitude of patience. There's a life I want, but it's not yet in my reach.

One step forward in faith. Another day of endurance and looking hard for joy. Digging deeper, inside and out, for that first handhold.

There are circumstances and then there are choices. We mess up when we confuse the two.