If a person is serious about writing, I think they should express their personal opinions in public with great restraint. That doesn’t mean you need to go around kissing agent arse.** (There’s a story that goes with this I will relate later.) It does mean you should refrain from expressing strong political opinions unless you are in a certain sector, you shouldn’t discuss religion, you shouldn’t diss the publishing industry, agents, editors and publishers. Having said that, I think it’s fine to express an opinion about the publishing industry and all the various minions, but there is a difference from presenting an intelligent point of view and a baseless rant.

Lord knows I have never been shy about expressing my opinion, but I do try to keep it to a low roar. And, with no apologies to those who are offended by Christians, I will occasionally post a faith story. My life, my blog, my testimony. If this eventually hurts my potential reader base, I will suffer the consequences. I’m not hiding the fact I am a Christian so I don’t offend someone.

Back in the 70’s, it was popular to toss a lot of hatred towards the returning vets. I went to school with some of them. Almost everyone I knew had a relative in Nam. My half-brother was a highly decorated vet who served three tours he volunteered for. Some people now say it never happened, but I was there and I assure you the disrespect and hatred towards soldiers was real.

Will was going to join the Marines when he graduated from high school, but he found out he could join the National Guard when he was a junior in high school and seventeen. By the time he graduated, he would have nearly eighteen months in on his enlistment and if he wanted to transfer to Marines later he could. He later decided to stay with his unit because he had bonded with them even though it meant losing his enlistment bonus since they did away with his job in that unit. $6,000 to a kid with nothing is a lot of money.

The recruiter was very honest with us. Don’t join if you don’t want to deploy. It’s not a matter of if you will deploy, but when. However, since they had been called up to go to New York after 9-11, he said they probably wouldn’t get called up again very soon even though there was a war on. The normal rotation was once every six years.

We had some long discussions about this and I asked Will if he was sure this was what he wanted to do. He planned to be career military and this would give him a head start.

Fortunately, even though the war quickly became unpopular, most people were smart enough to keep their negative thoughts to themselves about the soldiers. One told me he thought anyone who put on a uniform deserved what he got, dead, blown up or captured. Thankfully, the majority who hold these opinions keep them shut around me.

While most kids are goofing off their summer vacation between junior and senior years, Will was in basic training, which included having one of the guys they were training with get killed. Kind of a tough vacation. He sent me the following pictures, which someone had sent to him and he thought they were cool.

In December of his senior year, his unit deployed to Iraq. He couldn’t go because he was still in school and still had his AIT to finish when he graduated. They deployed again in October of this year. He was supposed to get a few weeks off paternity leave when Katie had the baby, but they were short-handed and he was one of the important people, so they canceled his leave. He didn’t see Logan until their four-day pass before shipping out. So, if you look at the album to the right, you can see why he is so mesmerized with the little guy.

These pictures are from Kuwait. They arrived there and couldn’t get a plane to their base so they slept on the ground for several days

These pictures are from a recent convoy Will was on.

These pictures are the weather conditions they deal with all the time. They have four men sleeping in a room designed for two. He asked me not to send books because he doesn’t have room for one. He doesn’t even have room for a picture frame, but he is going to find space to put a digital frame so he can have pictures of Katie and Logan near him.

Now, I realize there are some bad apples who ruin the reputation of the soldiers. However, that is a very small percentage of the thousands who have been there. There are also teachers, Sunday school teachers, entertainers, politicians, homemakers, police officers who have hurt people. We don’t have a government official sending out a report that these people are terrorist threats. Well, I don’t know, supposedly pro-life people are right wing extremists. I suppose I should be more careful about what I say lest they come haul me away.

I got an email from Will. Emails are usually brief because internet connections are spotty and he works in the armory. Every time a convoy rolls out, he checks out supplies and the convoys roll out 24/7. He catches naps in between working, so he doesn’t have a lot of down time. He sends me an email now and then to let me know he’s ok.

Hi Sweetheart.

I’ve been wondering about you. I know you’re busy so I don’t want to bug you. Did you get the toothpaste out of the last box?

Love you so much.

Hard to believe Logan has grown so much. His hair almost looks auburn. It’s really lightened up.

If we could work it out, I would go get the Lincoln and let Katie have the Crown Vic until you can get home and get a vehicle you want.

I had to replace rotors and power steering hoses so it’s had about $1,000 worth of work done recently and it’s all warranted.

How is the situation there? I am really worried. Now they are going to make everything public so everyone gets the warm fuzzies? I would think that will be fuel on the fire over there.

I’m checking into some jobs in Afghanistan and Iraq though I think I would prefer Afghanistan. Just hard to find legitimate job listings.

I hope all is going well. I miss you terribly.

Love you so much


Yes I got the toothpaste. I used it this morning. Things keep getting dumber and dumber here. Sand’s blowing even more. It’s great. It’s like something out of The Mummy.  Yea I guess uncle Bama has labeled all returning Iraq and Afghan vets national security threats. That’s awesome. Well love you mom have to get back to work. Guys are rollin out. Talk to you later.

I love the way our government shows respect for our soldiers who are living like they do and getting killed and maimed. We have to be careful not to profile Muslims, but the government can issue a blanket statement our vets are potential terrorists? My child has given as much as he has to be branded by his own government as a potential terrorist?

When Napolitano does get called on it she issues a statement that the report shouldn’t have been made public and they will correct that. Not that targeting vets is unjustified, but the report should have been kept from public view. Their justification? Timothy McVeigh. One instance from millions of vets and so the rest of them must be potential terrorists.

I want to slap the crap out of the idiot.

I have never really been worried about going to the mid-east. I confess now I am not really nervous, but more concerned. I think the partisan witch hunt about the CIA is going to do nothing but make some politicians feel good and give the terrorists more ammunition to stir up more hate campaigns. I don’t condone torture or cover up, but turning this into a multi-million dollar media feeding frenzy isn’t going to solve anything. We’ve already hashed out Abu over and over. Spending millions more to rehash it isn’t going to do anything except give politicians face time and if there is one thing they need less of it’s that. Have your hearings if it makes you feel better, but making it as spectacular as possible to exact revenge doesn’t solve anything.

View from a Muslim.

** Lisa and Mark Norman have an aviation service. In a recent discussion with a problem child mechanic, Mark referred to his ass. The problem child responded, “That’s another problem I have. I hate those four letter words.”

Lisa, “It’s a three letter word you idiot.” (I’m sure this was muttered. Lisa, unlike me, is a very kind, sweet person.)

Mark now, to be more politically sensitive and to properly use four letter words, refers to that part of his anatomy as his “arse.”


  1. Actually, Mark was referring to his own anatomy in the original comment…the mechanic complained about his use of a 4 letter word, and that was the end of me. Later, Mark switched to “arse” as the appropriate term for his derriere, this prompting me to point out that arse was in fact a 4 letter word. He’d never refer to a person as a donkey…in public! ROFLM(arse)O

  2. Oops, need to change that.

    I thought it was hilarious. I know you muttered it under your breath, but you know me. I would have been screaming it at him. I am not sweet natured as you are.

  3. Julie, thanks for letting us in and see with eyes that we might not have had otherwise. Praying for those wonderful guys and gals who give everything. XOXO

  4. It is with great gratitude that I thank your son and others like him protecting our shores, our hearts, our homes, and our freedom. The government and such elected officials should be grateful they can speak as they do now, hopefully they won’t forever as the public awakens to such stupidity spoken by the likes of Napolitano, who should be ashamed to open their mouths in public, as they do. Do they think they will hold office forever, I think not, the public is becoming aware of the ranting and ravings.

  5. Thanks, CJ. What really burns me is the hardships they go through without complaint and then to have their own government announce to the world they are classified as potential terrorists. I am so hurt and angry.

    Now I read Holder is close to making a decision on what to do with Gitmo detainees and they may be released in the US. Our soldiers are potential terrorists and men captured on a battlefield are no threat?

    I don’t understand.

  6. JB,

    The people have spoken and I trust America is strong enough to survive anything. However, what does this say to our young people who give all for their country and to be classified this way. I wonder what effect it will have on future employers.

    Who is going to hire someone the government says is a potential terrorist?

    Will gave up a very important part of his teen years to follow this dream. His sophomore summer he was at an ROTC camp. His junior year he was in basic and his senior year he was back puking his guts out from heat exhaustion.

    I just don’t know, but I am pretty disgusted right now.

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