Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘honor’

You CAN!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 24, 2017

My late father, who grew up in abject poverty in rural West Alabama in Lamar County, escaped poverty by serving in the Navy during the Korean War. Daddy said he asked his father – who had at most, a 3rd Grade education, and who, like him was well-acquainted with the backside of a mule and a plough – if he thought it would be a good idea for him to join the Navy. Daddy said that his father replied, “I think it’s a good idea. Maybe you won’t have to work as hard as I have.”

Daddy completed High School, which was almost an unheard-of thing for many in that era, especially in that location, and then went to Navy Boot Camp at San Diego, which is now San Diego Naval Air Station, where he experienced culture shock. Though he never identified it as such, his stories to me about his time there clearly indicate it was.

The idiomatic phrase “everything but the squeal” was a very real thing for him. That phrase means Read the rest of this entry »

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Playing Piano With Grandmother In The Rain

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, July 5, 2017

As a child and youth – even later in life – when visiting my maternal grandmother, I would often play her baby grand piano.

As a child, when a summer thunderstorm would approach, she would tell me to stop playing, because, as she said, lightning would strike the piano because of the metal wires in it. She falsely supposed it to be an attractive force of some type.

Of course, at the time, I thought such an idea to be preposterously absurd… and still do. And in retrospect, I saw my obedience, then rebellion, and later obsequiousness, more as a reflection of my love to, and respect for her.

Naturally, as a youth, I attempted to reason with her by asking her if she’d ever heard of, or knew anyone who’d ever had their piano struck by lightning while being played during a thunderstorm, and she said Read the rest of this entry »

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On the Bleeding Edge of the Front Line

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 7, 2015

Uncle Dean never spoke to his blood relatives about his WWII service – even though they inquired – which was for them, perplexing, and they eventually stopped asking. However, he voluntarily spoke at length about it with me.

Perhaps it was because we shared a common bond of military service, I don’t know. They never understood why he didn’t talk about his experience. His Purple Hearts, Bronze and Silver Stars, and other medals of valor that Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Retired Marine’s Life Told Story of Dignity of Man

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 23, 2012

The few, the proud, the father who stamps his family with a purpose

By DAVID LAUDERDALE
DLauderdale@IslandPacket.com
843-706-8115
Published Saturday, September 22, 2012

Retired Gunnery Sgt Lasalle Vaughn

Retired Gunnery Sergeant LaSalle R. Vaughn in his U.S. Marine Corps uniform at the funeral of his best friend and next-door-neighbor, retired Marine Master Sergeant Frederick Drake, in November 2010. Both were Montford Point Marines.

LaSalle R. Vaughn was a Marine gunnery sergeant whose eyes could bore into you like a nail, and whose body was still taut as new rope when he died last Sunday at 88.

But everyone talks about his cinnamon rolls. Their sweet aroma would pull children into his kitchen from all over Sergeants Drive in Port Royal.

In 1943 he joined a U.S. Marine Corps that didn’t really want the feisty half African-American, half Native American from Baton Rouge, La. But he’d seen the sharp uniform with a red stripe down blue pants, and he insisted on joining the Marines.

His vision of what it would be like changed quickly when he was sent to the segregated boot camp for African-Americans at Montford Point, outside Camp Lejeune, N.C.

He was immensely proud to have served more than two decades. He was a steward and chef to seven generals, even preparing a meal for a U.S. president. But he said paving the road to integration was hell.

The Rev. James E. Moore, pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Dale and national chaplain of the Montford Point Marine Association, said: “I am convinced that had they failed — and there were many people who felt they would fail and wanted them to fail — I would not have been the first black sergeant major of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and Eastern Recruiting Region. I attribute that to what they went through and what they endured.”

Montford Point Marines were honored in June with the Congressional Gold Medal.

But it’s the corps within Vaughn’s own home — his fatherhood — that should be talked about most during his final salute.

STRONG MEN

“Lord knows we need in our society today positive examples of strong men who accept the responsibility to be the people we were created to be,” said Moore. “And when I say that, I mean first being fathers. I think fatherhood has been diminished in our society.”

LaSalle and Catherine Vaughn — who would have been married 66 years in December — had five boys and two girls.

The oldest, LaSalle II, is a retired Air Force officer who Read the rest of this entry »

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The Practical Side to Commitment for Husbands & Wives

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, January 9, 2012

Periodically, in this blog I have shared tips for spouses – husbands & wives – to improve the quality of their marriage. Typically, those entries have been from other reputable sources, not merely my opinion, nor something from a popular consumer magazine that presents the relationship “flavor of the day.”

Love, it has been said, is a commitment – it is neither exclusively, nor merely a good feeling based upon a mutual attraction, sexual or otherwise. Because love is a commitment, there are certain things that one should do to honor and demonstrate the commitment. Oftentimes as well, those commitments have been unspoken – although they may occupy significant real estate silently in our imaginations. It is precisely those times that the unspoken should be spoken.

With an eye toward speaking the unspoken, I share with you the following.

List of 20 Absolute Face-to-Face Commitments

 By Paul D. Refior

Copyright 1994, 1998 and 2005

You will certainly agree that marriage is infinitely more than a list of do’s and don’ts.

Yet one of the problems these days is that so many couples fail or refuse to acknowledge important do’s and don’ts, and these couples do not make or fulfill important commitments and promises. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man? | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Important Purpose of Veterans Day

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, November 11, 2010

Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, wait for the end of hostilities. This photo was taken at 10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect.

Today is Veterans Day.

The important purpose of Veterans Day is a celebration to honor America‘s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

Annually, since November 11, 1918 – the day an armistice, or temporary cessation of World War I hostilities between Allied nations and Germany became effective, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – America has celebrated what is now known as Veterans Day. …Continue…

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In Memory on Memorial Day

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 31, 2010

My Great-Grandfather Michael emigrated from Ireland to the United States, and enlisted in the Union Army in Corinth, MS, 1862, and served the United States of America in the First Alabama Cavalry as a farrier. For more history on Union soldiers from the South, and the 1st Alabama Cavalry United States Volunteers, specifically, please see: http://www.1stAlabamaCavalryUSV.com

Age: 38
Birthplace: Langford, Ireland
Rank at enlistment: Private
Rank at discharge: Corporal
Company Assignment: C

12/6/1862  Enlisted, Corinth, MS
12/22/1862  Mustered In, Corinth, MS
12/17/1863 Mustered Out, Memphis, TN

My Great Grandfather, my father – a Korean War veteran of the Navy …Continue…

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Veteran’s Day 2009

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 9, 2009

I’m proud to have served my nation in the uniform armed services, having done so voluntarily. I think every young American should do similarly. And, I believe our nation should provide significant benefit to those whom so choose.

Some years ago, I envisioned what I called a “234 Plan,” which would:

  1. Double pay grade for two years up to pay grade E-3 for initial enlistees;
  2. Require a minimum of Four Years of service;
  3. Pay for four years of higher education, up to and including Ph.D., with the ability to transfer benefits to first-degree relatives;

and perhaps most importantly,

4. Provide such income as federally Tax-Free, forever.

At current pay rates, that would be slightly under $76,000 for a period of two years at pay grade E-3 – not a bad nest egg. And then, there’s the 30 days paid vacation, head-to-toe health care, incentive/bonus pay for skills, BAH (basic allowance for housing), and a host of other remunerations and fiduciary potential – all of which are added to Basic Pay, thereby increasing take-home pay. Potentially, managing money wisely, a young enlistee could emerge from a four year commitment with very nearly $125,000 in pocket, VA health benefits, GI Bill benefits, and more.

The money could be used wisely, or squandered. But the principle would forever be federally tax-free – and I think it should be at the state level, as well. It’s well known that young enlistees have high levels of “disposable” income. But WISE fiscal management could yield significant benefits to them individually, and by extension, to our nation.

Part three of the plan I envisioned – higher education – was implemented when President Obama signed the Post 9/1 G.I. Bill, providing the most comprehensive expansion and provision of educational benefits our troops have received since F.D.R.’s presidency.

I recollect a report entitled “Young Virginians: Ready, Willing, and Unable to Serve,” having read and saved it September 2, this year. It was authored and advised by an impressive cadre of Generals, Admirals, field-grade officers, and senior executive NCOs, from all branches of the service, and “supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts, and Pre-K Now, campaign of the Pew center on the States.”

Interestingly, NPR has only recently reported on it.

The problems the report addresses are from a thorough examination of Virginia, though it’s findings can be extrapolated to the United States at large.

According to the report, the three greatest problems disqualifying American youth from service to our nation include:

1.) Criminality – felony and serious misdemeanor offense;

2.) Education – failure to graduate high school, and low achievement in reading & math, 30% unable to pass the Armed Forces Qualification Test; and

3.) Health – specifically obesity, although asthma, eyesight, hearing, mental health, ADHD and additional health problems factor in, thereby disqualifying over half of all young adults.

Additional disqualifiers include single custodial parenthood, and drug or alcohol abuse.

These are all social ills.

Mission: Readiness – Military Leaders for Kids is a bipartisan, nonprofit, national security organization of more than 80 retired generals and admirals,” whom “accept no funds from federal, state, or local governments,”  and “call on all policymakers to ensure America’s security and prosperity by supporting interventions proven to help America’s youth succeed academically, stay physically fit, and abide by the law. Pre-K Now collaborates with organizations and policy makers to lead a movement toward high-quality, voluntary pre-kindergarten for all 3- and 4-year-olds.”

In recent political history, social programs have been an “easy target” for many of the Republican stripe whom have seriously reduced or eliminated such programs’ funding, effectively or outright killing the very programs that could have done much to have prevented these anathemas.

Ironically, prison construction and maintenance is a capital expenditure. And of all the world’s nations, ours has more incarcerations per capita than any other, having exploded (doubling 2.5 times) since 1980 (though incarcerations remained relatively stable since 1920, according to the U.S. Department of Justice).

How’s that THAT for the so-called “Reagan Revolution?” It sounds more like a “Contract on America” rather than “with America,” to me.

Wonder why no more.

Governance is much more than infrastructure expenditures, and military readiness includes a strong social component.

Our Constitution calls it providing “for the common defense,” by promoting “the general welfare,” to “secure the blessings of liberty.”

Healthcare is an integral and unequivocal part of that equation… as we can now painfully, and plainly see.

I suppose it would be apropos and germane – though perhaps trite – to conclude with a line from advertising: “You can pay me now… or, pay me later.”

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