Until recently, the person I most closely related with the war in Iraq was Pat Tillman. Pat Tillman was the former Arizona Cardinal who gave up a multi-million dollar salary, and then ultimately his life, for his country. He gave up his life as an NFL football player because for him it was the right thing to do. He wanted to serve his country.
There are numerous mothers out there that are going through the same grief that Pat Tillman's mother is going through. There are mothers who are serving our country, leaving their families to worry about their mother. There are many more mothers that worry about the welfare of their son or daughter.
My mother is now going to join the list of those worrying about her son, with the recent call to duty of my brother, Mike. He is a member of the United States Border Patrol and the National Guard. He will spend several weeks training here in the States before going to Afghanistan and then on to Iraq.
My mom is a very strong woman. She loves her kids and is concerned for their welfare. I know that her mental toughness will be challenged during this time that her eldest son is put in harm's way. For this, Mom, I am sorry you have to be put through this. Mom, your son is a patriot. He always has been. One way he is like Pat Tillman is that he is willing to do whatever his country asks of him. In other ways he's like every other service person, it's his duty and he will accept it.
Have your son or daughter in your prayers, think about them often, and be very proud of them. I respect all of you mothers and all you do for our country.
Political bus trip
A bus carrying many children with wide diversity was going on a long field trip to the shining city on a hill. Some kids belonged to gangs and caused the bus driver much trouble. They taunted him, threw things, and hit the other children.
One punk demanded a U-turn at every gravel road or else he'd hit another good child, but the driver stayed the course on the highway's right-hand side without any sharp left or right hand turns. Finally the gang went too far. The driver stopped the bus, went back, spanked them, and put them on the road to walk to their nearby church. The church also considered one gang leader trouble, so little Osama had to hide out in the hills.
Some scruffy Democrat kids claimed the bus driver had no right to discipline gang members so harshly. Many of them openly sided with the gangs and wanted the bus turned around even though they had almost arrived. At every bump in the road they'd sing annoyingly in unison. 'Are we there yet, are we there yet?' and at every puddle they'd shrilly scream, 'Look out for the mud. Quagmire, quagmire!' One of them, named John, wanted to veer the bus so sharply left that they'd be spun around. Many kids from different backgrounds rebuked John since he's always changing his mind. After all, he had first wanted to go on the trip before he didn't want to go.
The Republicans generally behaved well, boys wore belts, tucked in shirts, and even some wing tips. Girls wore nice conservative skirts or pantsuits. Along with many Independents, they resented misbehaving gang members and supported the bus driver. They also weren't very happy with John for encouraging gangs, so big John is in for a big surprise next November.
'Nobody felt welcome'
My husband and I had an interesting lesson in city government May 3. We have a safety and liability issue with the new development to the west of our horse farm located south of Brainerd on County Rd. 45. We were there to request a measure that had already been approved by the planning commission. The request would have been at the expense of the developer...not the city. The developer was cordial and would have willingly complied...and we would have been willing to make an adjustment also.
But, when our item finally came up, the developer was asked to present his position. We were not asked for ours. When one of the council members asked permission for us to speak...not only was permission denied...she was verbally thrashed for "interrupting."
In the 38 years we have been in Brainerd, my husband and I have only had one other occasion to write an "open letter" through the Dispatch and that was with gratitude to the people of this community who helped us in so many ways at the time of the June 2001 tornado. Now, as Crow Wing Township residents, unable to vote on city issues, we asked the people of Brainerd to please attend some city council meetings or watch them on TV before you vote again for your council members You will see who cares about the people of Brainerd and who cares only for their own agendas. It will be quite apparent which members are your public servants, have a sense of propriety and common sense...and which are arrogant, capricious and self-serving.
A fellow supporter from our township who stayed with us to the bitter end was asked, "Didn't you feel welcome there?" His reply... "Nobody felt welcome."
Credibility is once again at stake from the Bush Administration.
Since before 9-11 and now again with these inhumane atrocities, the American people, the Congress, the investigative probings, and now the world is watching and listening to, "I don't recall, I don't remember."
The intelligence community has a serious problem. We will, of course, compensate the families and surviving members. Of course it's the easy way out, to hand out more hard earned U.S. taxpayer monies. What we need is accountability. How many times is Bush going to tell us, "That's a end to it, it's my decision. He works for me." How many times are we informed the President had full knowledge of these events, but chose not to pursue them because of time constraints and other commitments, and that paramount importance was not placed on these briefings. How many times are we going to sit there and listen to, "I don't know, I don't recall, that's not my department, Had I known, etc." I, for one, am tired of all the political gobbly gook, and, passing the buck. The buck stops at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., U.S.A.
Stephen D. Luoma
Hats off to Razidlo
I am writing to make certain that graduating seniors, their parents, and the general public are aware that on Wednesday evening, May 19 at 7 p.m. there will be a baccalaureate service in the high school gym honoring Brainerd High School's graduating seniors. The school has asked that Brainerd Area Youth (B.A.Y.) Ministries take over the sponsorship of this event this year.
Although sponsored by B.A.Y. Ministries, the entire service will be student led. The theme for the evening is "Connected to Our Future," and will feature student speakers, the BHS band, choir, and orchestra, and a special band to accompany group singing.
Many communities have done away with baccalaureate services because of the confusion over the separation of church and state. Hats off to Principal Razidlo for finding a viable alternative to canceling the service, and instead, placing it in the capable hands of B.A.Y. Ministries, which has been responsible for bringing many quality Christian concerts and other events to our area. I believe our community should show their support of this event by attending.
I also hope the Dispatch will find this event worthy of sending a reporter to cover.
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