Mug Shot from the land of the Rising Sun

Flag of Japan.svgNaval Ensign of Japan.svg

  The flag of Japan.

 

 

 

I was motivated to do another Mug Shot Blog from the recent meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Japan Prime Minister Minister Shinzo Abe. 
During the years 1967- 1968 I was stationed in Iwakuni, Japan with the Marine Corps in support of the Viet Nam War.  I would spend my time working as an Aerographer at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni. During this time my wife of two years and our daughter, seven months old at the time were back home in New Jersey. No internet, no cell phones, little communication. It’s not a far removed time from where I live now, communication wise. On many occasion we would travel to Hiroshima for a baseball game and sight-seeing ventures. Hiroshima had a team in the Japan Professional Baseball League.

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One of the big issues I’m sure being talked about between the two world leaders is MCAS Futenma which is on the island of Okinawa. Everyone in the Marine Corps going to SE Asia in 1967 went through Okinawa and I was no exception. The island was not the property of Japan at the time.


The Mug Shot featured here was purchased in a small shop in Iwakuni back in 1967 and today sits on my desk and holds pens, pencils and Magic Markers. It serves a function and serves as a reminder to years long ago, fifty of them in fact.

Once back in the states I would separate from the Marine Corps and reunite with my family in what has been fifty one wonderful years featuring three children, nine grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and herself putting up with me day in and day out. I have been blessed.

As for herself, a young Nurse, single mother and a real trooper, she kept the home fires going. She worked in a hospital close to Fort Dix, NJ and most of the CNA’s were medics recently back from Viet Nam. Her praise of their dedication, professionalism and knowledge speaks well of our military men and women during those trying times. Many years later our eldest daughter, a young Navy Nurse Corps Ensign would be stationed at Fort Dix with a Mobile Field Hospital unit.

Five years later herself would endure once again with three children this time while I was off once again at the CT State Police Academy starting that career. God bless the strength and endurance of our women.

Tweeter in Charge

So, needless to say President Trump was back to Tweeting about this meeting.

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BY
Denis Slattery
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, February 11, 2017, 8:43 PM

President Trump hit the links and took a swing at some fairway diplomacy Saturday as he hosted his first foreign leader at one of his signature golf courses.

The President spent the morning golfing with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla.

The pair, along with their wives, are spending the weekend at Trump’s winter estate Mar-a-Lago in nearby Palm Beach.

“Having a great time hosting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the United States!” Trump tweeted alongside a picture of the pair high-fiving on a green.

President Trump suggests rapid action on additional U.S. security

White House reporters tasked with covering the event were not allowed to tag along for the 18-hole conference and said the accommodations were not up to par.

The group was confined to a basement suite where windows were covered with black plastic bags so they couldn’t see out.

“The door and windows are covered with black plastic so we can’t see out,” the official White House pool report stated.

The Rooster says! 

“Wow, what are we becoming, Paranoia is in the air?  Is the president’s golf game that bad that no press can follow? ” I’d love to see a 44  vs 45 golf match on TV. I’ll bet ESPN would love to carry it.

Have a great rest of the day, and thanks for following.

Happy New Year

How can I not tout what day this is, Happy New Year and the year of the Rooster. Red is the color, I think I have a pair of red drawers some place. Gotta find them and wear them today.
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The Rooster is one of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The Year of the Rooster is represented by the Earthly Branch character 酉. Wikipedia

I was born a goat

goat-year

Type of Goat Year of Birth Characteristics
Wood Goat 1955, 2015 Amicable, gentle, and compassionate.
Fire Goat 1907, 1967 Amicable, frank, and honest, always making everything clean and tidy.
Earth Goat 1919, 1979 Righteous, honest, straightforward, and will never harm their friends.
Gold Goat 1931, 1991 Ambitious and kind-hearted with a strong sense of responsibility in work; sometimes too stubborn.
Water Goat 1943, 2003 Always ready to help others, and they can sacrifice their own interests for others

in the year 1943 and on this day, 28 January 2017,  I celebrate the Chinese New Year and the year of the Rooster. How appropriate is that? The 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac in order are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig. Each year is associated with a zodiac animal. If I make it, I’ll be 85 the next time “The Rooster Crows.”

Type of Rooster Year of Birth Characteristics
Wood Rooster 1945, 2005 Energetic, overconfident, tender, and unstable
Fire Rooster 1957, 2017 Trustworthy, with a strong sense of timekeeping and responsibility at work
Earth Rooster 1909, 1969 Lovely, generous, trustworthy, and popular with their friends
Gold Rooster 1921, 1981 Determined, brave, perseverance, and hardworking
Water Rooster 1933, 1993 Smart, quick-witted, tender-hearted, and compassionate

So in the tradition of the Chinese, should you have any Fire Crackers left over from the 4th of July, light them up and have a BANG of a good time. “Happy New Year!”

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Where in the World is Jeff Berthiaume????????

At 2300 hours on Thursday the 26th I got a text from our world traveler (my son in-law) that he was in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Considering the fact that he departed Maryland’s Eastern Shore on Monday Mid-Day, got delayed a day due to a Nor-Easter and a ground halt for weather in Istanbul, I guess that’s not half bad time. And besides, how lucky can one be to spend the end of January in such a wonderful tourist mecca of the world. Tashkent lies 465 miles due north of Kabul Afghanistan. No palm trees there I’d bet. He did earn 6,317 mileage points though on his Capitol One card.

The accused perpetrator of the deadly ISIS acknowledged killings on New Years day in Istanbul, Turkey was identified as a Uzbeki citizen. Remember what I’ve told you over your many years of making the big bucks elJefi. Just remember, “DUCK” is not a web-footed animal, when you hear the word, don’t be a feckin eejit, “HIT THE FLOOR!!”

I’m sure our Embassy in Tashkent is doing wonderful things. If your truly interested check out their website at:  https://uz.usembassy.gov/

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The Embassy Courtesy of state.gov

Travels with Charley

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My last little tidbit for this Blog edition is in relation to my current read, well, one of my current reads anyway. I’ve always got two or three books and several periodicals going.  I’m traveling our country with John Steinbeck and reading “Travels with Charley.” Charley is Steinbeck’s Standard Poodle. Were I to go off on a similar venture and write about it, “Travels with Ben” would be the title.

The journey takes place in the early sixties and I found an interesting similarity between the politics of the time and our recent debacle that led to our crowning of our newest leader here in the United States.

For those who were not around during that time, John F. Kennedy was the Democratic nominee and Richard M. Nixon carried the banner for the Republicans. Kennedy was a Catholic from Massachusetts and Nixon a Californian was a Quaker. To this day I can hear my mother saying, “we should never elect a Catholic for  president, the Pope would be telling the president what to do.”

At one of Steinbeck’s overnight stops he had company for a cup of coffee in his camper and conversation about the upcoming election and the goings on in the news. This was the time when Russian Premier Khrushchev was at the United Nations. Mr K would be famous for taking off his shoe and pounding the desk in front of him with it.

Steinbeck and the visitor poured themselves another coffee, added a bit of Apple Jack and continued to talk election issues. Steinbeck asked his guest “I’m not taking a poll, but how does the election seem to be going around here?” “I wish I knew,” he said, “People aren’t talking. I think this might be the scariest election we ever had. People just won’t put out an opinion.”

“Could it be they haven’t got one?”

“Maybe, or maybe they just don’t want to tell. I remember other elections where there would be pretty peppery arguments. I haven’t heard even one.”

Steinbeck went on to say that is what he heard all over the  country, no arguments, no discussion. I guess we had lots of discussion but for the person who won, not many were claiming to vote for him. I didn’t hear a whole lot of folks say they were voting for the her that lost either. The day after outcome was a surprise to most everyone, especially the media.  In this past election year so many people would not say,  I’m voting this person or that person, most likely embarrassment at the entire process is my guess. I was told at an early age never talk religion or politics, you’ll ruin friendships. My mother didn’t listen I guess.

As for me and my vote, I gave it to Senator Tom Cotton of the great state of Arkansas. No recount there.

In November of 1963 I was honored to serve as a  United States Marine and a member of the Honor Guard stationed at Marine Barracks, 8th & I, Washington, D.C. During the funeral proceedings for President John F. Kennedy I remember feeling sad and angry for our country’s loss. At the time of his election I was not old enough to vote. Would I have voted for him, most likely not, he had a funny accent. But then again, Nixon was a Quaker, aren’t they a strange lot? Wasn’t it Art Linkletter who said “People are Funny?”

While reading of Kennedy and Nixon it got a bit nostalgic for me. God Bless America!

Image result for marine barracks, washington, DC

Credits for this post are acknowledged as :

Google images & Penguin Books
http://www.chinahighlights.com
https://en.wikipedia.org
https://www.cotton.senate.gov/

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Great Grandchild #4Arrives

Touched

by c12samb

My granddaughter, eldest daughter of my eldest daughter arrived here on Maryland’s Eastern Shore a week prior to Christmas from Oklahoma City,OK.  Sam’s Mom and Dad had flown to OKC, jumped into the Cow Pusher Suburban with children # 1, 2 & 3 and headed East to Maryland. Sam was with child and would deliver that child here in Maryland. PRMC would be the hospital, no barn stall for this child due shortly after Christmas.

Husband Z was in the Gulf or Desert if you wish, acting as a Taxi Driver in a A-3 ,AWACS, 707. Both Father and Mother 2B are U.S. Air Force Captains on active duty. Mama would deliver her newest child here on the Eastern Shore and if all went well, dad would view the coming attraction on the Internet. ( If you follow my writing at all your aware this might not happen in this suspect IT zone).

I can not say any plaudits that would be inadequate in describing the love and sacrifice the  grandparents to be have put forth for this child and grandchild to be. Oh, and the three come priors, S p O I L e D! There is also a BiG YeLLoW Lab, Lady Liberty is her name who has given nothing but licks of love to all involved. Oh, did I mention Libby is just thrilled with on the floor food droppings during this entire event.

Mama is amazing, as she waited and she goes this adventure alone. Aunt Abby was right there day in and day out until she said, “Mississippi State her I come”. Love you girl, and we all miss you, including the mail box  (It’s a family thing). Aunt Sarah and Aunt Ray have been there also doing their bit to help make things as smooth as they can be.

Last but not least, the Matriarch of this clan, Granny ,(Herself), you are so-so special, I love you.

So, enjoy the new mothers post, she’s an amazing young lady, wife, mother and Air Force officer and Proud to be an American

Touched

təCHt/

adjective

  1. 1.feeling gratitude or sympathy; moved.

    “the star said he was ‘very touched’ to receive his medal”

  2. 2.informal

    slightly insane; crazy.

    “you have to be a little touched to do my job”

This word was used numerous times the 36hrs I was in the hospital; by the nurses, midwives, and birth photographer.

It all started with a stress test at my OBs office. No signs of contractions, no signs of stress on the baby, no signs of labor starting any time soon. I was able to delay setting an induce date and scheduled my next appointment. I picked up the girls and headed home (well to my parents home that I’ve adopted these past few weeks). I settled them in, made some dinner for them, ate a delicious dinner prepared by my grandmother and got ready for another evening of chasing 3 hoping it would get things going.

About 6pm I started noticing tightening in my belly, but this had happened before and I didn’t pay much attention to it. It was tub time for the kiddos after all. With kids smelling yummy and dressed I couldn’t ignore the tightening anymore. I started tracking it…30sec long and 4min apart.

By 7pm they were about 45sec long and 3mim apart. This is when it finally hit me that Z would not be in the room when this baby was born. I packed up my hospital bag (trying to delay as long as possible) and broke down and called Z. Thankfully we had made a plan months ago and timing worked out great that he wasn’t busy and was able to answer. He told me I needed to get to the hospital and to call again when I’m settled in and ready to go. I got my mom and grandmother and we were off.

I am not the nicest laboring mama (think Jekyll and Hyde). Thank you Mom and Granny for putting up with me. We arrive to the hospital at 8:05pm, 6hrs after my OB had told me see you next week and 2hrs after noticing labor starting.

The nurses at PRMC were fantastic. I told them I have super short labors and they listened. I had three nurses working together to get me admitted, in a room, and an epidural as quickly as possible. Now that I was in a happy place the nurses asked my story.

They knew this was baby #4 in 4yrs. I told them a birth photographer was on her way and they told me to tell her to hurry. I then said Z would be here via FaceTime from his deployed location. The midwife came in and heard my story too.

In walked the birth photographer. She had never had the opportunity to photograph a live birth, she had only ever worked with stillborns. She was so excited that she could help capture these moments for Z.

We got Z on FaceTime and on the next contraction Baby Z was born at 10:05. 8hrs after my OB saying see you next week, 4hrs after noticing labor starting, and 2hrs after arriving at the hospital. She weighed 7lbs 1oz and was 19in long. She came into this world healthy and alert. Seeing Z’s face upon meeting his little girl via FaceTime had the entire room quiet and in awe. It was an amazing image that I will have for the rest of my life.

Thank you Jennifer Seay Photography for capturing it.

For the next 36hrs Baby Z and I spent as much time with Z as we could (having two Z’s may get tough…Need to figure that out). Each time anyone would walk in the room and see the iPad on they would ask if Daddy was on, if he was they would leave if not they would come in and do whatever checks they needed.

Everyone knew our story. Everyone expressed their appreciation for our family’s sacrifice. Everyone said our family had touched them. The outpouring of support from the hospital was amazing and completely unexpected (I’m in a town that never sees a military member in uniform, people rarely move away, and who proudly display Confederate flags). This experience made me appreciate my little hometown so much more.

When I looked up the definition for touched I love that both apply. Our family had touched the lives of others, but we are also touched…As in insane…As in who would have 4 under 4 while both parents are active duty military. We love our life and we wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s chaos, but it’s a lot of fun.

Baby Z’s current stats at 2wks old…20in/7lbs1oz

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“Good friends are like quilts-they age with you, yet never lose their warmth.”

Some of this was forwarded to me in an email and for those of you who fit the bill, so to speak, I’m sure you can relate. I love to share.

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One of many made by Herself.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world, too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

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Whose business is it, if I choose to read, or play on the computer, until 4 AM, or sleep until noon? That actually never happens in my case. I will dance with myself to those  wonderful tunes of the 50s, 60s & 70s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will.

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I will walk the beach, in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves, with abandon, if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And, eventually, I remember the important things.

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Sure, over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break, when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody’s beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength, and understanding, and compassion. A heart never broken, is pristine, and sterile, and will never know the joy of being imperfect. You, mend a broken heart?

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Miss you Maggie.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turn gray, actually bald and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched  into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

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a Wiki image

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself anymore.  I’ve even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever,  but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).

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My only regret,  is living in the Boon Docks and having to go searching for the high speed internet needed to get a Blog out!

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Thanks Pinterest

 

A Letter from Ben

As many of you know our faithful companion Maggie, a standard Poodle died this past June. After lots of thought we decided to get another dog. Another Poodle would be a member of the household. Herself has a close friend in her Gym class that recently added a couple of Standard Poodles to her household. Murphy and Pepper , short for Peppermint Paddy, recently joined their household. Thanks Jen.

So we contacted Bierley Poodles, they’re of Facebook if you’re interested and found Pepper’s brother. His name is Bejamin Franklin Fiddler, BFF, can you dig it?

https://www.facebook.com/BireleyStandardPoodles/

After two weeks in our home Ben sent a letter to the former Mid- Husband and wife.

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Here’s the letter:

Dear Linda and Ron;

Well, I have been with these people for two weeks now. I’m pretty much used to my crate, which is where I sleep at night and spend time when The Rooster and Herself are out for a few hours. I am accident free in the crate but have taken a few Liberties about the house. Sometimes they just don’t get the signals I put out. Humans, not as smart as they think they are. I weighed 14 lbs. at my vet visit and was told I was A-OK. I go back again on the 10th.

When I’m out in the yard I usually come to my name when called, treats help of course. I really like the Duck treats. The Rooster has a crazy whistle, I always come to that, a treat awaits me. I love chasing and pushing a soccer ball around and fetching a tennis ball. I have fun chasing the 7 chickens that free range about the yard also.

I don’t sleep all night yet, I’ve done six hours at a clip a few times. I love whimpering and waking the humans between 0230 and 0300 and taking them out in the cold night air. I’ll go out and Pee, sometimes Poop and coming back in to return to the crate and my pigs foot with peanut butter.

I have a large cash of toys, when they throw them in the crate I take them out to the living room one at a time, drives The Rooster crazy, I love it. Oh, did I mention Simon, he’s their cat and has been in the house about 5 years with freedom to roam. No more freedom for him, he keeps me exercised as I chase him all over the place. He gets a safety pass when he jumps on to the washing machine where they keep his food. I really got a “Dang blast you” when I skidded after him and spilled my water bowl. I licked up most of it but Lee was not a happy camper.

It’s nice having the cat and chickens, kind of keeps me from missing my brothers and sisters. I visit the Wojciechowski’s house, they have a 6 month old Rat Terrier that gives me a run for my money. That dog has legs like a Giraffe .Kathy, that’s the Fiddler’s oldest daughter has a Yellow Lab, Libby is her name. She is a quiet friend, I sniff her butt, she sniffs mine and then she ignores me the rest of the time I’m there.

Kathy and her husband Jeff have their daughter and her 3 children, all under 4 years old at the house. Samantha, thats their daughter, is expecting a 4th child on January 6. They will be here until mid February, Samantha and her husband Zed are both Captains in the Air Force . Zed is flying E-3 AWACS in the Gulf until march. The 3 great grandchildren keep me running for my life. I in turn. nibble on the food they drop.

All in all I’m happy here and trying my best to settle The Rooster and Herself in. I just heard the Mrs. pour some food into my supper bowl, gotta go, sorry.

Love,  Ben

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A pet is such a Joy!

 

The End is Near

My wife has a cousin out in Louisville, KY  (land of great Bourbon)  who is always sending thought provoking material. Back in February of this year one such piece of Email held the below Old Man, Boy and Donkey story.

What a great time thought I, to share this on the eve of the new year. Who will we listen to, follow or be guided by in 2017?  Or, as Polonius said in Hamlet, ” be true to thy own self.”


Will we be true to our own self as we cross our bridges throughout the year?

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Holy Spirit Interactive Kids

AN OLD MAN, A BOY AND A DONKEY WERE GOING TO TOWN.  THE BOY RODE ON THE DONKEY, AND THE OLD MAN WALKED.  AS THEY WENT ALONG THEY PASSED SOME PEOPLE WHO REMARKED “WHAT A SHAME, THE OLD MAN IS WALKING, THE BOY IS RIDING.”

THE MAN AND BOY THOUGHT MAYBE THE CRITICS WERE RIGHT, SO THEY CHANGED POSITIONS.
LATER THEY PASSED SOME PEOPLE WHO REMARKED “WHAT A SHAME, HE MAKES THAT LITTLE BOY WALK”.  SO THEY DECIDED THEY’D BOTH WALK.

SOON THEY PASSED SOME MORE PEOPLE WHO REMARKED “THEY’RE REALLY STUPID TO WALK WHEN THEY HAVE A DECENT DONKEY TO RIDE.”  SO THEY BOTH DECIDED TO RIDE THE DONKEY.

THEY PASSED SOME PEOPLE WHO SHAMED THEM BY SAYING “HOW AWFUL TO PUT SUCH A LOAD ON A POOR DONKEY.” THE BOY AND THE MAN FIGURED THEY WERE PROBABLY RIGHT, SO THEY DECIDE TO CARRY THE DONKEY.

AS THEY CROSSED THE BRIDGE, THEY LOST THEIR GRIP ON THE DONKEY, THE DONKEY FELL INTO THE RIVER AND DROWNED.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY:  IF YOU TRY TO PLEASE EVERYONE, YOU MIGHT AS WELL KISS YOUR ASS GOODBYE.

HAVE A NICE DAY!

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Sent by a friend.

 

Isaiah 40:30-31

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

As you pour that first cup of Coffee on New Years day, know “The Rooster” is wishing all of you the very best in 2017.

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(It is with special note that on this day my beloved signal carrier, Verizon, is sending a signal strong enough to post this dispatch from home. I am truly Blessed on this final day of 2016.)    Ah- the joy of country living!

Let There Be Peace

 

 

 

My eldest child, a daughter, a former Air Force enlisted airmen, a retired Air Force Major, mother of two, a Doctor of Nursing Practice and presently a hospital administrator sent the following message to her team at work prior to the Christmas Holiday. I have her permission to share.

Team,

I have always enjoyed Christmas.  For me it is a holiday filled with food, family and often many beautiful miracles.  One of the best parts of Christmas, and this entire holiday season, regardless of religion is the sense of camaraderie and peace I often feel, something our busy lives don’t often have.  One of my greatest memories of the power of peace came over 20 years ago and I was scheduled to work the week of Christmas. I was a young Airman, living in Berlin, West Germany behind the Berlin wall.  My day to day job was to identify Russian or other communist aircraft and provide early warning to the field Generals so that we could deploy resources to prevent the Russians from entering Europe and invading.  It was often a tense job.  There were many times when we scrambled aircraft in light of a threat and worried that we may be entering into WWIII.   One year, I learned that even for our enemies, there was the hope of something different.   My first year in Berlin, Christmas Eve, I came into work for the 5PM – 5AM shift.  As was typically the case, the other shift briefed me on the current state of operations, which areas I should be focused on and the current state of threat.  It was not a Russian holiday, so there was no need to think the night would be quiet.  I sat back, with my sergeant beside me watching and prepared for a night of work.  As I sat there I noticed all the aircraft slowly returning to base.  By 10PM, Christmas Eve there were no aircraft in the skies, the area was quiet.  Out team sat there all night and watched a beautiful sight, an empty radar screen – for me – evidence of true peace, perhaps, world peace, as the two largest superpowers backed down and rested.  For me, a young 19 year old away from home, this evidence, that at our core the world is good and peace is possible, if only for a short time, gave me hope…. which is what Christmas and this holiday season is all about.
Our world is crazy – we have struggled through an election that has divided us in many ways.  Terrorists continue to try to impact our ability to feel safe.  Our own lives and families struggle each and every day with many challenges, but this should not be what guides our day or our purpose.  I encourage you to use this season, with your families and friends to share time, fellowship, and good food with each other, and reflect on what is truly important to you.  Each of you are changing lives every day, providing our community with the gift of peace of mind, peace in knowing they are getting better support and healthcare, peace in knowing that they are not alone in their life’s journey.  Thank you for all you do for each other, for our team, for our organization and our community.
May you each have a moment of peace in the coming days.
Kathryn
peace
Rooster LogoSemper-fidelis