Wednesday, December 26, 2007

VBOB meeting

Christmas is past, and my writer's block is finally gone. So here are my impressions from the last Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge meeting that my buddy Doug and I attended last month.

First, in answer to my question about the value they placed on tactics as opposed to strategy, the vast majority of the vets I talked to responded in the following vein. They weren't concerned about the big picture. Mostly what they cared about was themselves, their fox hole buddy, and their unit. Sound tactics kept them safe, or at least as safe as it's possible to be in the midst of a battle. It was only when they went on leave or after the war that they learned of and criticized the grand strategy. I have learned from these vets and my reading that soldiers complain. They always have, and they always will at least among themselves. They feel it's their right, earned by dint of their submission to discipline and hardship that is absent from civilian life. I couldn't agree more.

Second, the speaker was a copilot on a bombing run who was shot down and taken prisoner by the Germans. He was excellent and was the third speaker we've had who was a POW, one from the Pacific and two from Europe. Their stories were all different. Yet they contained common elements. To paraphrase a short essay by Bill Hall, an ex-POW in Europe:

"The POW experiences hunger, cold (or heat), fear, anger and deep depression that the rest of us can never imagine."

The ex-POW can show you a loaf of bread made mostly from sawdust which at times was his only sustenance, and you are horrified as I was when my friend showed me one that he brought home from the war. But you and I can never really understand what the POW's went through. We weren't there, and thank God for that.

Finally, the members of the group voted to cut the number of meetings per year from four to two. I understand their reasons, but it still makes me sad. I enjoy these meetings immensely. They're not all about sad stories. They're also about seeing these people who have become friends, good conversation, and laughter. Sorry to end on such a sad note, but that's all there is to say. Good night.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I've finally gotten over my writer's block, and I wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very merry Christmas as in celebrating the birth of Christ. Yes, I am a Christian and humbled to be one by the grace of God. What I am not is a fundamentalist or even a conservative. In fact I am a liberal. While I can't quote chapter and verse, I can quote a couple of my favorite Bible passages from the New Testament as attributed to Christ.

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

"As you do to the least of these, so you do to me."

What better expression of the liberal philosophy could you find? I have no intention of starting a political or theological argument here. This is simply my belief and my faith that compel me to follow, as best as I am able, in the footsteps of Jesus. That is one thing that I think all Christians, regardless of their political leanings, can agree on.

Again, I wish you all a blessed and merry Christmas. For now, good night.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Writer's block

Well, this is new. I seem to suffering from writer's block except in responding to writing that touches me personally. I know what I want to write here. I just can't think how to write it. Want to see more of my writing? Post a comment that will compel me to respond. Otherwise I'll be back when I get over this frustrating malady.

Good night.

About Me

I work in health care, love books, love music, enjoy the internet, my friends, and my routine. 8-)