The Guilt of a Veteran by Paul D. Clark, Retired US Navy CPO

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I had the honor of serving in the United States Navy from 1961 to 1981, retiring as a Chief Electronics Warfare Technician. I have always been proud of being allowed to serve my country and also achieving the signal honor of being initiated into the fraternity of Chief Petty Officer (CPO) of the United States Navy. Through the years, however, there has always been a struggle within me when someone thanks me for my service.

 

When thanked, the first thought I always have is one of surprised gratitude that there are citizens who still recognize the value of military service. That event warms my heart. Then comes the ever occurring guilt of trying to find the proper response to the compliment. “You’re welcome” is not a proper response from my perspective. It was my honor to have served. I should be the one thanking America for the opportunity to serve. No thanks needed or wanted. My response of “It was my honor” leaves me feeling guilty of a prideful boasting that I served.

 

This guilt of pride is all about what I was allowed to do and what I was allowed to accomplish. Thanks to the Navy I have been places and experienced things that most people would pay big money for the price of admission. See me back then and you saw a top of his game CPO. That pride lives on, but grows dimmer with time and telling. I am also embarrassed that I am no longer that person. To tell people how glorious that time was seems to be nothing but empty boasting, however well intentioned.

 

The guilt of being mistaken for a hero comes to worry me every time a veterans event occurs. I am no hero by any stretch of the story, and I did nothing remotely heroic for all twenty years served. I saw heroes in action and have seen or heard stories of heroes. All that I can lay claim to is being true to my oath of enlistment and standing on the proverbial wall. Do not mistake me for any of those great ones that paid the price required of true heroes.

 

The Navy may have brought Barbara and I together, however there is always the guilt of the time stolen from my family. I am that thief. I stole from my children and from my wife. I gave that time to the Navy. Barbara, on the other hand, had the toughest job in the Navy – Navy Wife. She was and is jealous of the Navy. Rightly so, but with a wisdom that I lacked in this matter, she allowed me to pursue my dreams in the Navy. For that alone I thank her and owe her for the rest of our days. My children, on the other hand, consider being called Navy Brats as the highest among honors. Go figure.

 

I am guilty of loving the Navy and the ships too much. So much so was this love that separation from the Navy left me feeling guilt ridden and in anguish over abandoning the Brotherhood. Realizing that I could no longer contribute was the cause of a great and dark depression. That is all behind me now and I have moved forward. Now I cherish those memories of days/weeks/months at sea, sailors as close as brothers, and challenging events on the horizon

 

Finally, I am completely guilty of telling sea stories. The stories that are told always contain elements of truth, humor, and amazement. They are meant to entertain as well. They are my hard earned right and privilege to tell. I intend them to educate you and amaze you and to also satiate that longing within me to remain forever young and at sea. If by chance it inspires another to serve then we are all twice blessed.

 

Of all these things I am guilty of because that is who I am. A veteran shaped by the decisions made and the course laid in. A volunteering of service that rewarded the giver more than the gift. All that I ever did was my duty. To be allowed the memory of that is all the reward or thanks I’ll ever need, Thank you.

 

Retired United States Navy CPO, Paul D. Clark

(Paul D. Clark is the father of Tanya Grimsley)

 

Allen West “Against All Enemies, Foreign And Domestic.” Newsletter 11/10/13

ABW

Friends,

Today is the 238th birthday of the greatest and most lethal fighting force known to man, the United States Marine Corps.

Tomorrow on Veteran’s Day, a grateful nation thanks those who have been willing to make the last full measure of devotion in service to our Republic. These are the men and women who have been our guardians and stood watch on freedom’s rampart.

But today we must ask, what exactly are those in uniform guarding now? The day has come upon us in America where we accept lies from our president. We accept laws that do not apply to everyone, not even to our elected officials. We find our Supreme Court hearing a case as to whether or not we can pray openly before civic meetings, when our nation’s motto is “In God We Trust.”

The oath of office taken by our men and women in uniform is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The oath of an American guardian has no statute of limitations. We serve, sacrifice, and defend until we draw our last breath.

Don’t forget to thank our veterans, our guardians, on Monday.

Steadfast and Loyal

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@AllenWest “I’ll be on Sean Hannity’s show to discuss the “Extortion 17″ aircraft shot down in August 2011”

AW Ext 17

by Allen West via Facebook Status

“If you’re by the radio this afternoon, I’ll be on Sean Hannity’s show to discuss the “Extortion 17” aircraft shot down in August 2011 where we lost members of US Navy SEAL Team 6 along with parents of one of the fallen warriors, and my former constituents, Billy and Karen Vaughan.”

Sean Hannity Radio Show

SGT Alexander J. Bennett
SPC Spencer Duncan
CWO Bryan J. Nichols
CWO David R. Carter
SSG Patrick D. Hamburger
TSgt John W. Brown
SSgt Andrew W. Harvell
TSgt Daniel L. Zerbe
PO1 (SEAL) Darrick C. Benson
CPO (SEAL) Brian R. Bill
PO1 (SEAL) Christopher G. Campbell
PO1 Jared W. Day
PO1 John Douangdara & Navy SEAL Dog “Bart”
CPO (SEAL) John W. Faas
CPO (SEAL) Kevin A. Houston
Lt. Cmdr. (SEAL) Jonas B. Kelsall
MCPO (SEAL) Louis J. Langlais
CPO (SEAL) Matthew D. Mason
CPO (SEAL) Stephen M. Mills
CPO Nicholas H. Null
PO1 (SEAL) Jesse D. Pittman
SCPO (SEAL) Thomas A. Ratzlaff
CPO (SEAL) Robert J. Reeves
CPO (SEAL) Heath M. Robinson
PO2 (SEAL) Nicholas P. Spehar
PO1 Michael J. Strange
PO1 (SEAL) Jon T. Tumilson
PO1 (SEAL) Aaron C. Vaughn
SCPO Kraig M. Vickers
PO1 (SEAL) Jason R. Workman

Allen West Discusses “What are the priorities of the federal government?” with Brian Kilmeade

AWHannity

LT. COL. ALLEN WEST weighed in on the government shut down.  West said that this is a great time to start looking at what is essential in the government.  “What are the priorities of the federal government?” West asked.  He went on to state that 6.6 percent of the EPA was deemed essential, which is a little over 1,000 of the 16,000 people. “This is a great time for us to start looking and saying ‘What can we do to trim back the government?’”

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE AUDIO: FOX NEWS RADIO 

@AllenWest discussed “The People’s House, Only for Lobbyists?” on @Gretawire 9/18/13

Allen West with Greta

@AllenWest with @gretawire discussed is ‘The People’s House’ only for lobbyists? – Pres. Obama eliminated public tours of the White House as part of the sequester, but hundreds of K Street lobbyists have continued to have access.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH: http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/on-the-record/index.html#http://video.foxnews.com/v/2679465381001/the-peoples-house-is-only-for-lobbyists/?playlist_id=86925

A Personal Message from Ryan Dean for Allen West Supporters Nationwide

Allen West with Ryan Dean

I am so incredibly impressed by the dedication and spirit of the people I saw and met in St Lucie County at the SOE. Not since September of 2001, walking to and from Ground Zero in NYC, have I seen such patriotism and comradely from Americans for other Americans that they have never met before. I am deeply touched by the outpouring of genuine emotion and support from people all over this country. Although I could not keep up with all of the social media feeds, I know that there was a plethora of support from people who could not physically be there. As it did for me personally during the recovery efforts after 911, the abundance of support from friends present and the social media feeds was uplifting and very much appreciated. So many people contributed in ANY way that they could to do “Something” to help and support each other and Allen West. Allen West has done so much to bring good people together, he has inspired all of us to become engaged, informed and involved. I am so blessed to have had an opportunity to serve with a Great Man and meet so many wonderful people. I will never forget this experience, it has been one of the best life experiences I have ever had. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank Colonel, Congressman, and my friend Allen West. Also, I want to thank each and every one of you for being such good Americans and great Patriots.

God Bless you, God Bless Allen West and God Bless America!

Ryan Dean

(If you are not familiar with Ryan Dean, Ryan has had the wonderful opportunity of being the personal bodyguard and  friend to Allen West. Ryan is an amazing patriot.)

Rep Allen West “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” – Video

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VIDEO – Rep. Allen West on Fight to Avoid Defense Cuts After Super Committee Failure – Americas Newsroom

Congressman Allen West joined America’s Newsroom to explain why he’ll fight to prevent cuts to defense spending after the Super Committee’s failure to reach a compromise. Part of the $1 trillion in automatic spending cuts triggered when they failed to reach a deal will come from cuts in military spending.

West said, “The primary role and responsibility of the federal government is to protect the American people. Therefore, we need to make sure that we do have a strong defense.”

When asked how he balances his belief in the need for defense spending with pressure from his Tea Party supporters to cut spending in general, West said, “I think we also have to look at many different government agencies, failed, duplicative programs. Let’s start looking at the subsidies that we have coming out of the Department of Agriculture. Why do we have a Department of Commerce when we have a U.S. Chamber of Commerce? A Department of Energy that was created some 40 years ago to make the United States of America energy independent, but yet our dependency on foreign energy sources have increased from 18 to 66 percent.“

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO: AMERICA’S NEWSROOM

 

Video – Congressman Allen West, Paul Gosar Press Conference: Calling for Holders Resignation

House GOP Press Conference November 15, 2011

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