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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

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)

 

@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 “American military history remembers its great Airborne units”

allen-west-LT

Written by Allen West on October 22, 2013

Two hundred and sixteen years ago on this day, in 1797, a Frenchman named Andrew Garnerin became the first person known to jump with a frame-less parachute. Interestingly, the first female parachutist was his student Jeanne Geneviève Labrosse, who later became his wife. Little did Garnerin know he would be the inspiration for a new generation of soldier: the Sky Trooper, Airborne, the Paratrooper.

I am honored to be counted as one of those who have braved the fear of jumping from an aircraft while in flight, a storied history that bonds men and women from countries far and wide. American military history remembers its great Airborne units who have made such incredible combat operations as Salerno, Normandy, Market Garden, Tagaytay, Corregidor, Sukchon, Junction City, Grenada, Panama, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The lineage of the Airborne trooper is interwoven into modern American history, and it extends across all branches of our services: Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. Monsieur Garnerin undoubtedly had no idea that his simple stunt would result in the development of a new strategic military tactic, giving rise to the motto of all American Paratroopers regardless of age, “Airborne, All the Way.”

However, the greatest testimony to the Sky Soldier comes from the words of a towering leader from World War II, British Field Marshal Bernard Law “Monty” Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein:

  • What Manner Of Men Are These, That Wear The Maroon Beret

CONTINUE THE REST OF THE STORY HERE:

 http://allenbwest.com/2013/10/real-men-women-wear-maroon/#Bdy4FIxMmHrKPGd5.99

 

Allen West “Happy 238th birthday to the greatest Naval force known to man, our United States Navy”

1383752_10152223128706729_2123698366_n

by Allen West via Facebook

Happy 238th birthday to the greatest Naval force known to man, our United States Navy. Through time there have been great navies; Athenian, Roman, Spanish, British, German, Japanese. However from the traditions of John Paul Jones, Farragut, Halsey, & Nimitz to today’s exceptional Sailors and leaders, our Naval force spans the globe bringing humanitarian relief or a bullet to the head of evil. From this ol’ Soldier I simply say Bravo Zulu, Anchors Aweigh, and Happy Birthday Sailors. Sure hope we best y’all in football this year.



USN - Together We Served

Together We Served – Click TWS Photo to Find Out More

The largest exclusively U.S. Navy Network of its type, Together We Served enables Sailors, of all eras, to re-connect with former Shipmates, share in the camaraderie of other Sailors and record their entire U.S. Navy service in the finest presentation available so this may never be forgotten.

Congressman Allen West’s Final Weekly Wrap-Up

6711696859_fd62dedf74

Dear Patriot,

Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and indeed all Americans, it is time to prepare our weekly update for dissemination.

Today is the 71st Anniversary of the attack on US Naval Base, Pearl Harbor which truly marked our entry into World War II. I can still remember my dad sharing with me his feeling when he heard about this attack on the radio. Of course, he would go forth and serve in the US Army during World War II in the European Theater of Operations (ETO).

Little did my dad realize at the time, that he was beginning a legacy of service to our nation that has now spanned four generations. My dad was a member of that “Greatest Generation” and today his grandson, my nephew, carries that honor to this day.

As with the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, America has, and always will, produce the caliber of men and women who stand as guardians for our nation’s honor. These are men and women who have answered the call then and continue to do so now.

Tomorrow many in our nation will watch the next generation of these men and women as “America’s Football Game” takes place, Army vs. Navy. I wonder how many of these young men and women have relatives who were at Pearl Harbor, or served in World War II?

I am proud to know that my own godson, Midshipman John Melvin Hendricks (that rascal who joined the Navy) will be taking that field tomorrow, his second year.

So as we remember Pearl Harbor today, let us never forget those who will stand and answer the call to arms to protect this Republic, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

And in speaking of those who serve, I was angered by the developments this week surrounding Army Major Nidal Hasan who three years ago shot 43 soldiers and Department of the Army Civilians, killing 13. An Army appellate court decision removed the current assigned judge from the case citing that he was not impartial. Furthermore, the court backed the assertion that Major Hasan did not have to be forced to shave his beard.

It just appears again that we are placating and playing the game of political correctness. It is horrific enough that we have classified this terrorist attack as “work place violence” but consider the continued disappointment of those who lost loved ones on that day… for them, it will always be a day which shall live in infamy.

This week we voted in the House of Representatives to remove the word “lunatic” from federal law. However, that does not mean there isn’t plenty of lunacy going on in the workings of the federal government!

Further, I find it interesting when media pundits and talking heads ask the disturbing question, “What will America do if Bashar al-Asad uses chemical weapons in his people?” I would have hoped it would never get to the point of his feeling empowered to use those weapons. It just seems we continue to take a defensive posture reacting to events.

If we had done as military generals on the ground had suggested in Iraq and retained a viable and credible military presence in the region, we could have precluded this. Instead we now have Iran transiting across Iraq to support Asad… and continuing to support terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad.

The Obama Administration was in such a rush to demand former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak step down. Why not the same vigor when it comes to Mohammed Morsi?

I also recall the Obama Administration supporting a Marxist/Socialist President in Honduras and not supporting the movement in Iran against Mahmoud Ahmandinejad.

Confusing? Just imagine what our allies are thinking.

And what happened in Benghazi? America must never stop asking that question, regardless of what the mainstream media wants to hide. Losing an Ambassador, a Foreign Service officer, and two former US Navy SEALS must never EVER become the new normal.

Today, we received the monthly jobs report for November, with 7.7% unemployment and 146,000 jobs created. On the surface it is good news. However, one step beyond the superficial, we realize this is still an economy limping along.

First, the previous job creation numbers from the months of September and October were revised downward by 50,000 respectively. Second, the unemployment rate dropped due to another 350,000 Americans dropping out of the labor force. This means we still have a labor force participation rate hovering at 63.6%, which has and continues to be a record low. At this rate, we could theoretically achieve an unemployment rate of zero if everyone just quit working altogether.

Finally, our U6 computation rate remains dangerously high, due not only to 12 million unemployed Americans, but also a little over 8 million underemployed Americans.

Combined with a fragile economy where the US Federal Reserve is printing money in order to cover a monthly $40 billion mortgage debt, America is hardly out of the woods.

These simple facts just reinforce the need to have sound fiscal, tax, and regulatory policy — not politics — that will incentivize economic growth and wealth expansion. The last thing the private sector and job creators need worry about is more confiscatory economics masquerading as viable solutions to a serious fiscal problem.

Washington DC spends too much, and sending this Administration more American taxpayer dollars is not the answer. It is mathematically impossible to tax “the rich” enough to make a dent in our debt. We must be talking about where to reduce spending first. And why is it that only taxpayers, not the federal government, are expected to “share the burden?”

This is my final weekly update from our Congressional office, but it is by no means my final weekly update… When one door closes, another opens and we shall continue to advocate for truth, the restoration of this Republic, and promote Constitutional conservative principles in the New Year.

It has been my honor to serve as the Representative of the People of Florida’s 22nd Congressional District. The fight for our Constitutional Republic has truly begun and I will be on the frontline.

May everyone have a wonderful holiday season and may God bless the United States of America.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Legislative Update:

-This Week

Coast Guard Authorization—On Wednesday, the United States House of Representatives passed legislation to authorize appropriations for the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) through Fiscal Year 2014 and for the Maritime Administration through fiscal year 2013. H.Res.825, Providing for the concurrence by the House of Representatives in the United States Senate amendments to H.R. 2838, with an amendment, passed by voice. The amended Coast Guard authorization would authorize$17.34 billion for Coast Guard operations and $296 million for the national security aspects of the Maritime Administration. H.R. 2838, the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2011, originally passed the House of Representatives in November, 2011. That bill passed the United States Senate with an amendment in September, 2012.

– Next Week

The United States House of Representatives will meet next week on Tuesday, December 11, for legislative business. The House will consider a number of bills under a suspension of the rules throughout the week. Last votes for the week are now expected on Thursday, December 13 (this is a change from the announced calendar). Also, in a change to the official calendar, the House of Representatives is now expected to be in session the week of December 17.

Highlights of the Week:

– Mon, 3 Dec; presented the USSOUTHCOM Colors, delivered blessing, and gave a short address to open the Annual Caddy for the Cure golf tournament and Wounded Warrior recognition at TPC Eagle Trace in Coral Springs; attended the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) annual Awards dinner.

– Fri, 7 Dec; 71st Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, a “day which shall live in infamy;”attended Memorial service for a supporter and dear friend, Warren Maretsky, who unexpectedly lost his life this week. Warren was a great man, husband, and father who will be sorely missed, especially at the morning gatherings at Pomperdale Deli.

– Sat, 8 Dec; will watch America’s football game, Army-Navy, praying for an Army victory, we sure could use it… GO ARMY, BEAT NAVY; traveled over to Tampa to be the keynote speaker for the annual United States Army St. Barbara’s Day Dining-Out and Ball.

–  Sunday, 9 Dec; will participate in the Annual South Florida President’s Council (SFPC) Christmas Toy Run motorcycle ride in Broward County.

Rep. Allen West – Statement After Last Nights Presidential Debate “The Choice is Clear to Me”

“After a series of debates it is clear to me and I pray to my fellow Americans that the past four years have been a failure. Government does not invest, it spends and often wastes our tax dollars. Right now, America does not look like the great nation we know it should be. Our embassies and consulates have been attacked, and an ambassador has been murdered. Radical Islamists are emboldened and our allies feel abandoned. Quitting is not the means by which one ends a war. Americans do so by winning. To win we need a powerful military that is a deterrent and a force for good. And the Navy does require 313 warships Mr. President. We have more debt, more unemployed Americans, more Americans in poverty, and a diminished influence in the world. President Obama has failed and Governor Romney is correct in stating that attacking your political opponent is not an agenda, and certainly not a strategy. In order to ensure the promise of our Republic, the choice is clear….and it ain’t Barack Obama.” – Rep. Allen West via Facebook

Congressman Allen West’s Veterans Day Events – Attending and/or Speaking

Veteran’s Day Events

Congressman West will be speaking and or attending the following Veteran’s Day events:

Friday, November 11th:

8:45 am to 10:00 am: Wellington Christian School, 1000 Wellington Trace, Wellington

11:00 am to 12:30 pm:  Palm Beach County Veteran’s Day Parade, Clematis & Tamarind, Downtown West Palm Beach   *Congressman West will be riding his motorcycle in the parade

2:00 pm to 3:00 pm:  The Benjamin School, 4875 Grandiflora Road, Palm Beach Gardens

7:00 pm to 8:00 pm:  Wounded Warriors Second Chance Fundraiser, Lankler Property, 102 and 106 Riverside Dr., Jupiter

Saturday, November 12th

9:00 am to 10:00 am: Rebuilding Together Veteran’s Event, Repairing various homes of veterans, 919 N.E. 13th Street, Fort Lauderdale

10:00 am to 12:00 pm:  Speaking to VFW Post 10556, Veteran’s Park, Palmetto Park Road, Boca Raton