Please Vote Yourselves "Grassroots All-Stars" Right Now

I really need your help today.

As you know, North Carolina's 'can do' campaign has been honored as one of the picks in Democracy For America's 2007 All-Star Grassroots challengers. What you may not know is we've learned we held the early lead thanks to netroots support and our outreach efforts, but have quickly dropped behind, most likely due to the large population in the states we're up against.

I know that can't sit well with North Carolina Democrats any more than it does with me. YOU are the grassroots All-Stars of 2006, and will be of 2008. Let's prove it to the world.

Weekend Wound Up: Open Thread

A roller-coaster week all around. The storms. The power outages. The Blacksburg shootings. The media frenzy. Anarchy breaking out all over Iraq (again). The Bush-appointed liars in the Supreme Court. The Bush appointed liars in the Justice Department. Liddy Dull flip-flopping on the OLF. Patty McHenry wanting to attack Iran. The touching stories on BlueNC Veterans Day. Taxes. I'm glad the weekend is upon us. How about you?

My Service

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While not born on the 4th of July, patriotism runs deep in my family (the real kind, not the yellow ribbon magnet variety). As I listed previously the service of my family (too tired to find the actual post), my father and his father were the greatest influence on my decision to join.

My father, had he not been given a medical discharge for a destroyed knee (he's on his 2nd titanium knee now) during the Korean conflict, would have been a lifer. His sense of duty, honor, country was instilled in his two sons. I went Army, my brother Air Force.

McHenry set to attack Iran

Insists we wait until 2008 to evaluate surge in Iraq

North Carolina's 10th District Congressman Pat McHenry told Hardball's Chris Matthews today that he supports a military strike in Iran "to eliminate their nuclear capability." Matthews confirmed with this question: "You believe the possession of a nuclear weapon is itself justification for a US air attack?" McHenry replied, "I believe so."

My Vets blog

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I am a proud Navy Vet. I served 22 years in the Navy before retiring. I was a leader, follower, technician, teacher, sportsman, father, arbiter, mentor, royal pain in the rump to many folks. I am fairly positive that I had a positive impact to many people in and out of the Navy.

I was an ambassador for the United States on many continents of the world. I served in 4 ships, (John F. Kennedy CV-67, Nimitz CVN-68, Josephus Daniels CG-27 and Caron DD-970). I taught young sailors the intricacies of computers that todays computer schools would not dare try to teach. I was a Sailor 24 hours a day for those 22 years. I protected many of you and enabled many of you the ability to pursue your dreams and desires. I did this because I wanted to. My father served 20 years in the Air Force and my grandfather also served 20+ years in the Army Air Corps. My brothers (3 of em) all have retired or soon will. My oldest brother is about to go to Iraq for the second time.

Better late than never . . .

Dole: Navy must withdraw recommendation for Washington County OLF

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole today sent a letter to the Secretary of the Navy opposing the Navy’s proposal to build an outlying landing field in Washington County and calling on the service to withdraw its recommendation for an OLF at that site.

“I appreciate the extensive discussions that we and our staffs have had over the last several weeks regarding the Navy’s proposal for an outlying landing field in North Carolina,” Dole wrote to Navy Secretary Donald Winter. “As I have conveyed to you, the Navy’s proposal to build an OLF in Washington County is simply not feasible.

As a former Marine

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As a former Marine (of 8 ½ years) and current Department of Defense employee, others expect that I support the Bush Administration, from top to bottom and bow to stern. While that expectation is supported by aspects of my daily job in that I provide support to military families, I do not support the Bush Administration.

The biggest boost to my political ideology came last year when the II Marine Expeditionary Force (II MEF) designated a “Wounded Warriors Program” and installed them into the building I worked (we've since been relocated).

Every day I saw the results of the disastrous policy in Iraq. I saw Marines with bandaged arms and legs and Marines in wheelchairs or on crutches. They would all go back to Iraq if they were ordered - it's their duty, after all. But most would volunteer to go back and some have. I've asked a few of them why and the answers are almost all the same: Revenge. That's not to say that America's military forces are full of revenge-minded thugs. That’s completely not the case.

We did what we were asked to do...

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A recent college graduate and newly minted ROTC 2nd LT in January, 1965, I reported to Ft. Bliss Texas and joined about 50 others to start my Officers Basic Class in Air Defense Artillery (ADA). A few months later I was assigned to a STRAC (Strategic Army Corp - combat groups designated to be ready to go anywhere in the world in 72hrs) HAWK missile battalion at Ft. Bliss. The next month or so was intense. We lived in the desert...moving, setting up, and running ORE's. (Operational Readiness Evaluations). Sleeping in the desert in a bag on the sand is a treat...snakes, bugs, and cold...not to mention the blowing, stinging, sand.

What's in a word?

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Veteran. It’s such a weird word, implying all sorts of common ground in terms of experience and patriotism. And yet we are as varied as our fingerprints. For my part, I have struggled with my identity as a veteran for many of my 56 years, a love-hate roller-coaster that continues to this very day.


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