America

Remember September

On a bright day in late summer 2001 a plane flew into the Trade World Center. A short time later it was followed by a second plane.

In Washington D.C. another plane hit the Pentagon.

A fourth plane failed to reach its intended target when a few brave and heroic passengers forced the plane down in Pennsylvania. All those on board were killed.

Over 3,000 people were killed on American soil in these acts of terrorism.

I ask you to pray for those who died on September 11, 2001, and for all their families who have had to live with their absence every day since.

May the Lord our God grant peace and healing to the families of the victims, and may the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen

I also ask you to pray for America. Our country is in dire straits. our defenses are down and we are vulnerable.

I ask you all to pray that she may heal quickly, and return to her great state, without the tragedy of another 9/11.

God bless America. Land that I love. Stand beside her, and guide her. Thru the night with a light from above.

God bless.

Advertisements

Book Review: Divided We Fall

Divided We Fall by Trent Reedy

DwF

4 stars

So what, did I like about this book?

For one thing, the characters.

Danny Wright is a very real 17 year old boy from a small town. He is a good guy, has practical goals in life, and has a very strong devotion to his country.
His girlfriend, JoBell, is incredibly smart. She is very into politics and the big world outside of Idaho. She has big dreams for herself that are well within her reach.
Cal and Sweeney. What can I say about them? We don’t really get to know them as well as Jobell and Danny, but we do see what great friends they are.
Becca is a farmgirl, and the quiet collected one of the gang. I also get a sense that she has a thing for Danny, but she’s smart and considerate enough not to pursue it.
Danny’s mom is wonderful. She’s so sweet, and seems to always know exactly what is happening to her son. She suffers from panic attacks, and Danny does everything he can to help her, but she’s also strong when she has to be.

Plot wise, this is a well crafted story that takes a constantly debated subject and puts it in extreme circumstances in a very possible future. I enjoyed it, and can think of nothing negative to say about the plot.

Bonus likes:
The Constitution is a major theme in the book, and the author does well in integrating it into the story.
Each chapter ends with excerpts from speeches and news programs from the book world. It helps add understanding of the situation as well as tension.

Warnings:
This book does NOT CONTAIN any *cough* in-appropriate relations, but it does HINT at them.
It contains at least Mild Language, I can’t remember exactly. I tend to blank out any bad words, and then never remember if there were any in the first place.
This book also describes some sometimes graphic images.
Just remember, this book is about shootings, and a stand-off between a state and national government.

Who should read this? I think this book can be read by anyone AGE 15 +, but it does lean more towards the boy side of literature. I’m a girl, and I enjoyed it, but that’s because I like that kind of story.

EDIT: Sorry, I forgot to mention something in the warning. This book does involve underage drinking. In case I didn’t stress this enough, it is an older kids book.

Something I Should Have Done Long Ago… and More!

Okay! I have wonderful news!

However, to understand this news, I need to do what I should have done a while back.

An Introduction to Civil Air Patrol

Civil Air Patrol, or CAP (pronounced either C-A-P or Cap as in ball CAP) as it is more commonly known, is an organization founded in December 1942, days before an attack on Pearl Harbor brought the US into World War II. It has grown and developed into the organization it is today, with three main missions.

Emergency Services – We can get called out to look for missing persons or downed aircraft, or to help with natural disaster relief.

Aerospace Education – We help educate the public on the history and lasted advances of aerospace. At the same time, we cadets (and the senior members as well) learn about it ourselves.

Cadet Programs– this is my favorite! It’s for anyone ages 12 – 18 who is interested in gaining more leadership experience and having fun in after-school type activities like Color guard or drill team.

My news is connected with cadet programs, so now I shall expand on it a bit.

CSC

Cadet programs is broken into 4 leadership phases during which cadets learn different skills based on their current rank and phase. It is similar to the Air Force’s chain of command.
Let me show you…

Phase 1
The Learning Phase

C/Amn – C/SSgt

In this phase the focus is to train the cadet in how to be a follower. They are introduced to the core values of CAP and how to be the best cadet they can be.

Phase 2
The Leadership Phase (and my current phase!)

C/TSgt – C/2ndLt

The last phase taught how to follow, and look to your leaders. This phase transitions from being a follower learning to lead, to a leader who knows how to follow.
I hope that made sense…
Basically in this phase you are actually taking on minor leadership roles in which to practice the skills you were learning in phase one.

Phase 3
The Command Phase

C/2ndlt – C/Capt

This phase takes what you learned in phase two and kicks it up a notch. This involves higher leadership roles, more people to work with, and more opportunities to practice everything you’re learning.

Phase 4
The Executive Phase

C/Capt – C/LtCol

Okay, this is a little bit of a mystery phase to me, as my old squadron didn’t currently have anybody above the rank C/Capt during my time there… from what I understand, it’s the transition phase from the cadet program to senior program. The cadets who reach this rank are typically older cadets who are almost or already a college student. This marks the last years of their time as a cadet.
It means more leadership, more work, and I believe (or at least hope… ) greater rewards through life.

Okay! I would now like to direct you attention to the Cadet Super Chart that is hopefully readable near the top.

Looked at it? Okay, good.

What you should have noticed is the majority of the achievements are named for great pioneers in aerospace. I love that about the cadet programs, and so does my former squadron commander.
Every time someone would promote (earn a new rank in the cadet program) he’d quiz them on what achievement (i.e. Curry, Fiek, Lindbergh…) they’ve just earned, and what that person did.

It is my absolute favorite part of promoting.

Now, there are eight achievements that are not named for great aviation pioneers and heroes.
Those would be 9 – 16.
They have been unnamed since the founding of the cadet program.
But now, no more!
CAP nationals is finally looking at naming them. The eight nominees for the unnamed achievements could not be more worthy, and I was actually naming one of them as deserving the achievement before I even knew they were going to name them!
And here they are!

Achievement 9

Colonel Eileen Collins
First female space shuttle pilot

Achievement 10

Gen Daniel “Chappie” James
First African American 4 star general of the Air Force.

Achievement 11

LtCol Nicole Malachowski
First female pilot in the United States Air Force Air demonstration squadron. Better known as the Thunderbirds.

Achievement 12

Col Jeanie M. Leavitt
First USAF female fighter pilot.

Achievement 13

Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman
First African American women to be a licensed airplane pilot.

Achievement 14

Lt Gen Elwood R. “Pete” Quesada
Elwood Quesada was a member of the famous Question Mark endurance crew of 1929.
Quesada was also the first administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Achievement 15

Jacqueline Cochran
Where to start with Jackie… she was the first woman to win the Bendix Trophy Race, the first woman to pilot a jet, first woman to break the sound barrier… she’s probably best known for her role in forming Women’s Air Force Service Pilots, or WASP, program during World War II

Achievement 16

Gen Curtis Lemay
Was commander of the US Air Force in Europe during WW II, during which time he planned air raids over Japan and the Berlin airlift.
He helped form Strategic Air Command, or SAC, and assumed command of the newly formed SAC in 1948 where he laid plans for the ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile).

Alternate Nominees

Alan B. Shepard, Jr.
First American in Space

Col Guion S. “Guy” Bluford
First African American in space

Clarence “Kelly” Johnson
Helped design over 40 of the world’s top aircraft including the U-2 and the SR-71 “Blackbird”.

Now, we are not sure if all eight primary nominees will be approved, they may pull some of the alternate nominees to be used. However, what I am hopeful is that there won’t be a big bureaucratic discussion on it so that those eight achievements can be named, and us cadets can have the fun of rattling off bios every time we promote.

To learn more about these amazing people, go here! Cadet Blog

Now that I’ve shared my news, time to do some internet recruiting. 🙂

Civil Air Patrol is really an amazing organization, and I love being a part of it.
You can do so much, from being a flight commander, to teaching kids how to make paper rockets at an air show.
You learn Air force style drill (marching, column movements, things like that) and compete against and meet cadets from all over the US, and sometimes over seas!
There are camps, and special national level activities you can participate in.
You don’t have to love the military life, or want to be a fighter pilot.
True. most cadets you meet have that life in mind, but not all.
The older brother of one of my old… friends? Acquaintances?… anyway, her brother was the former Cadet Commander of my former squadron. He got accepted to both the Air Force Academy and West Point, but instead went to a nearby Catholic college to study to be a priest.
So you see, it has it’s benefits for those who are considering a military career, but it’s also just a fun group to join.

Check out the following sites for more information

gocivilairpatrol.com

capmembers.com

A Quote to Share

I have been struggling the past two days to come up with a suitable next post.
My life is fairly dull at the moment.. all school and unpacking.
Since I have yet to construct an interesting (and hopefully thought provoking) post in connection with my school, I am sharing one of my favorite quotes.
I have only heard it once, and it has taken me ages to locate.
I first heard this quote just this past July in the new movie America: Imagine a World Without Her, based on the novel by Dinesh D’Souza.
The only reason I have not offered a review of this movie is because I find myself yet incapable of doing the movie justice. Were I to attempt writing a review now I can honestly say that it would lack the energy and thoughtful analyses it so rightly deserves.
I simply urge you to see the film, and read the novel when you have the time.

“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”

– Abraham Lincoln

That is all.

Independence Day

Happy Fourth everyone!

What a special day it is… this is seriously one of my favorite days in the entire year.

But why?

Well, it’s so important to what makes America, America. It ties us back to our Forefathers and the morals that our great land was built on. Without the Fourth, would we remember these men who signed a paper that started a country? Would we even remember the paper? How much of our respect for our own history would we have without this marked day in the calendar reminding us to stop and look back?

I went to a Day long Lecture on WW1 last fall, and one of the points that was made about why some wars are restarted and fought all over again (for example, both WWs) is that over the generations, people start to forget what war is like. After a couple generations stories become just that, stories. Without experiencing the events first hand, it’s hard for us as humans to fully comprehend what it is.
And that’s, I think, what our founding fathers had in mind when they saw that the Fourth of July was set aside in America as a day of celebration and remembrance. To remember the great step that was taken, and what it cost the first Americans.

And that, I believe, is why The Fourth of July is so important.

It has been a beacon of hope in dark days. A torch that reminds us that we are still American, no matter who is running this country, or how far things have fallen from what the Founding Fathers designed. We are American, and if we could last 238 years while other countries rose and fell around us, we can last a couple hundred more!

I firmly believe that this is more then just a holiday to be celebrated, or another three-day weekend from work. This day is a symbol not just to us but to the rest of the world that we will not relent. We will strive to remain the America that was signed into existence on two occasions. On July 2nd, when the Continental Congress put their names to a Declaration of Independence, and then again on June 21 when the Constitution was finally ratified.

So today, remember what today is. A symbol to the ages. A connection back to 1776.

Today is Independence Day

And now for a gift to you all… a playlist of my favorite Fourth of July tunes.

Made in America – Toby Keith

God Bless America – Celine Dion

God Bless the USA – Lee Greenwood

Chicken Fried – Zac Brown Band

Independence Day – Martina McBride

God Bless America!

P.S. let me know in the comments how you are celebrating Independence day! Are you watching a Liberty Kids marathon? The Patriot? 1776? Are you eating only Red, White, and Blue foods? Are you visiting a Veteran’s Home? Let me know!
I’ll be watching The Patriot. Family tradition 🙂

July 2nd

July 2nd, 1776. Philadelphia. A document is signed that will forever change the world’s ideas of government. A Declaration of Independence is issued from a nation that is little more then 13 colonies who can’t get along, but agree on one important issue. That freedom is for all mankind, and they at last are demanding their share of it.
What an amazing feeling that must have been to stand outside the hall, waiting for the moment when it comes; the bells, and cheers, the knowledge that no matter what, you’ve done it. You’ve declared your independence to the world.
Back here in 2014, how many of us actually celebrate the Fourth like it originally was meant to be celebrated? I like to think of it as a renewal of those words from long ago in the hearts of Americans, relearning what we were supposed to memorize in Middle school.

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

I could put the whole Declaration up, it is such a mesmerizing and poetic piece of work!
This is what I think of on the Fourth. Not fireworks (though that does come close second… I am American after all!) and certainly not silly hats and beer.
Now, I am not accusing America of not taking to heart the truth about the Fourth, there are to many people out there who’ve lost someone in the pursuit of independence to not understand. But often people can get swept in the flow, and forget.
Do not forget.
There are men and women fighting for your freedom that this document secured for you over 200 years ago. The least you could do is read it once more, and let yourself be amazed that this mighty nation was born from this small piece of paper.
I know I will.
Oh, and if you haven’t seen The Patriot with Mel Gibson (*gasp*) please go watch it.
This is the week to after all. 🙂

God Bless America!

P.S. There will be more liberty themed posts upcoming.