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Thursday, September 03 2015 @ 08:06 AM PDT

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Community

General News**As I write, reports are coming in regarding another shooting at Ft. Hood. Prayers for all involved**

I recently returned to my church after a rather complicated hiatus. The warmth of the welcome took me by surprise. I remembered that friendships had changed but by no means dissolved. But two things particularly stood out:

1) When I was isolated from the community, my attention very naturally focused on my own concerns. I came back and realized that I had friends who were in the midst of some terrible battles. Shaky marriages, new grief... we're meant to bear each other's burdens and I was falling down on the job.

2) A friend told me: "It is good to see you back in your place again. When you were gone, your place remained empty." It was a lovely double entendre about both a tangible place and my position within the community.

We need community. When we're tired and hurting, it's too easy to think we're a burden. So we slink away. We top up our most pressing need with superficial interaction like a tired mom soothing her hunger pangs with a mocha. ;) We sit in a quiet house or have the TV on nonstop, and then we wonder about those thoughts that come into our heads. Or eventually, we just believe them.

Community shouts down the thoughts and turns us away from the TV. Community teaches us to pray when we can't put our own troubles into words but make the effort for our friends' troubles. Community...real, not utopian....changes the equation to one in which our life is more than our individual success.

Today, success is a friend persevering in her marriage for another day.
Today, success is making wise choices about hospice.
Today, success is a card written to a grieving friend.
Today, success is another day of choosing life.

Whatever the means, success is making sure no one is truly alone.
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Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero BlogrollThis post was suggested by SJ

SSgt. William
Guarnere

SSgt. William Guarnere

90 years old from Philadelphia, Penn.

Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division

April 28, 1923 - March 8, 2014

U.S.
Army

SSgt. William "Wild Bill" Guarnere passed away three weeks ago at the age of 90. SSgt. Guarnere was part of Easy Company, made famous by the HBO mini-series "Band Of Brothers". During his three years of service, SSgt. Guarnere saw action throughout Europe, including being part of the invasion of Normandy on D-Day. He was awarded the Silver and Bronze stars, the Purple Heart and the French Liberation Medal.

You can read more about SSgt. Guarnere 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

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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Great story to start the day...

Sheriff's Office Locates Petty Officer Who Pulled Man From Burning Jeep
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Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero BlogrollThis post was suggested by Michael

Lt. Milton Ricketts

Lt. Milton Ricketts

28 years old from Baltimore, Maryland

USS Yorktown (CV-5)

August 5, 1913 - May 8, 1942

U.S.
Navy

For extraordinary and distinguished gallantry above and beyond the call of duty as Officer-in-Charge of the Engineering Repair Party of the U.S.S. Yorktown in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Battle of the Coral Sea on 8 May 1942. During the severe bombarding of the Yorktown by enemy Japanese forces, an aerial bomb passed through and exploded directly beneath the compartment in which Lt. Ricketts' battle station was located, killing, wounding or stunning all of his men and mortally wounding him. Despite his ebbing strength, Lt. Ricketts promptly opened the valve of a near-by fireplug, partially led out the fire hose and directed a heavy stream of water into the fire before dropping dead beside the hose. His courageous action, which undoubtedly prevented the rapid spread of fire to serious proportions, and his unflinching devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

You can read more 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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Close Call

General NewsOn a personal level, the blog is for days like today. For those days when there are warning bells in your head and you still don't know how you made it through what unfolded next. For those days when you feel guilty for what might have happened even though you did everything reasonable to avoid it and then some.

In short, we were nearly in a car accident today. My son and I. It would have been purely the other guy's fault; I had the right of way and he turned left into my left turn. I veered right and took every last scrap of road I could to get out of his way, and he missed the driver's side doors by inches. If I'd have stopped or stayed on course, we would have been hit. I'm sure of it. And so I still ask myself if I should have put my turn signal on earlier, and of course I'm mad about the wrong turn that put me on that particular road in the first place.

Thank God for our survival. Thank the angels and the saints. And I'm also thankful for the Muscovites and Cairo taxi drivers who influenced my understanding of what is possible on the road.

It's a lesson in gratitude for all those things "which we know and which we know not." Life is saved or lost by a thread. Remember to be thankful for even the threads we don't understand.
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More STS Awards

PJ StuffOregon Air National Guard Airman Receives Silver Star, 3 Others, Bronze Star
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PJ News

PJ StuffSpecial Tactics Airmen Awarded Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart H/T BK/SOFREP
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Wednesday Scramble

ScramblesJudge Questions Prosecution of Mechanic Who Built Silencers for Navy SEALs

Civilian Navy Intelligence Officer Indicted in Unregistered Silencer Scheme

The Science of Identity Theft

A Startlingly Simple Theory About the Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet

10 Ways to Love Someone with Depression

The Moral Injuries of War

When the Music Stops

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Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero BlogrollThis post was suggested by Sarah

U.S.
Army

Yesterday marked the end of a 12-year review by the Pentagon when 24 soldiers from WWII to Vietnam, who were denied the award they earned, finally received their Medals Of Honor.

Spc. 4 Santiago J. Erevia

Staff Sgt. Melvin Morris

Sgt. 1st Class Jose Rodela

Sgt. Candelario Garcia

Spc. 4 Leonard L. Alvarado

Staff Sgt. Felix M. Conde-Falcon

Spc. 4 Ardie R. Copas

Spc. 4 Jesus S. Duran

Cpl. Joe R. Baldonado

Cpl. Victor H. Espinoza

Sgt. Eduardo C. Gomez

Pfc. Leonard M. Kravitz

Master Sgt. Juan E. Negron

Master Sgt. Mike C. Pena

Pvt. Demensio Rivera

Pvt. Miguel A. Vera

Sgt. Jack Weinstein

Private Pedro Cano

Pvt. Joe Gandara

Pfc. Salvador J. Lara

Sgt. William F. Leonard

Staff Sgt. Manuel V. Mendoza

Sgt. Alfred B. Nietzel

1st Lt. Donald K. Schwab

You can find more information 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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Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero BlogrollThis post was suggested by Michael

Cmdr. Ernest Edwin
Evans

Cmdr. Ernest Edwin Evans

36 years old from Pawnee, Oklahoma

Commanding Officer USS Johnson (DD 557)

August 13, 1908 - October 25, 1944

U.S.
Navy

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the U.S.S. Johnston in action against major units of the enemy Japanese fleet during the battle off Samar on 25 October 1944. The first to lay a smokescreen and to open fire as an enemy task force, vastly superior in number, firepower and armor, rapidly approached. Comdr. Evans gallantly diverted the powerful blasts of hostile guns from the lightly armed and armored carriers under his protection, launching the first torpedo attack when the Johnston came under straddling Japanese shellfire. Undaunted by damage sustained under the terrific volume of fire, he unhesitatingly joined others of his group to provide fire support during subsequent torpedo attacks against the Japanese and, outshooting and outmaneuvering the enemy as he consistently interposed his vessel between the hostile fleet units and our carriers despite the crippling loss of engine power and communications with steering aft, shifted command to the fantail, shouted steering orders through an open hatch to men turning the rudder by hand and battled furiously until the Johnston, burning and shuddering from a mortal blow, lay dead in the water after 3 hours of fierce combat. Seriously wounded early in the engagement, Comdr. Evans, by his indomitable courage and brilliant professional skill, aided materially in turning back the enemy during a critical phase of the action. His valiant fighting spirit throughout this historic battle will venture as an inspiration to all who served with him.

You can read more about Commander Evans 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

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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