The Unintended Soldier

This Memorial Day night I want to pause to remember all of those who gave their lives so that we may be safe. I know that this day is for the soldiers but there is another unintended soldier…

Those who died, in order for us to do the right thing.

To those of the Titanic, who lost their lives to change the safety protocols regarding lifeboats, regulations and transmissions. To those who lost the lives to sharks on the USS Indianapolis, so that the military would change the way they handle distress calls in time of war and who taught us that we needed to seriously address sharks’ feeding behavior.

To those who died in the great molasses flood, which changed the laws regarding the proper storage of such materials. 

To the endangered animals in zoos and attractions, whose death will hopefully change our views on how we engage and protect these creatures. To those mauled or abused by these animals, who demonstrated that we shouldn’t be so conceited as to believe we actually have control over these animals.

To those who suffered and died in the holocaust and the genocide in Rwanda, your cries for justice demand that the world realize no man is better than another. To those who suffered the horrors of slavery, both in the US and in Europe centuries before,so that we may we learn that no man should “own” another.

To all the woman and children who have suffered through the humiliation of publicly announcing their abuse, so that we may learn that women aren’t chattel and children aren’t born to be abused.  

To all of these and many, many more who have given this generation the safety and awareness we now take for granted, I remember you. I thank you, your lives and scars are not in vain. I have listened and I am not alone. You, the unintended soldiers of our past are the reason for our “comforts” today. You have focused our attention, made us aware and precipitated change.

For all of that, I thank you.

Would you stand atop the wall?

Like it or not we are a warrior species. Trace our history throughout the recorded centuries and you will hear tales of wars, of the conquerors and the conquered.  We battle even in today’s age of technology and enlightenment.

We can talk of pacifism today, but our current nations were built on the bones of those who believed in their countries and their people. We may regret the actions of the past looking back at a safe distance, but we were not where our ancestors stood.

Our country has many problems, and will never be the utopia of which poets praise and dreamers dream.  Yet, it was built on the belief that we can rise above our past, that we could achieve our dreams.  We can be free to choose, not just the rich or royal but Everyman.

It is this belief that so many went to battle for, it is this belief spurred on by advancements in technology that has us striving to do better, to call out the politicians and hypocrites. It is this belief that keeps inching us onward slowly to progress.

We stand atop the wall against those who would take our freedom, who would subject us to torment, who would see the rise of enslavement and ritual cruelty again.  We stand the wall; an invisible barrier of the hopeful who believe in freedom and who know that freedom is never free.


…stand face to face with our enemies as they scream and taunt?

…stand ready to give your life to protect your countrymen and the values we hold so dear?

…stand strong defying tyranny to pass.

…stand there preventing those who would prey on innocence



Tell me is it worth it?

Below you will find a little story.  If you find its worth a chuckle, click the link at the bottom.  If you don’t, please leave me a comment. 
Chiquita Banana

When we were young, long before cell phones and selfies, was our senior prom. It was the ’80’s; home of big hair an cotillion style gowns.

My friend Tony, always the last to make up his mind, waited too late to ask me and I already had a date. With only 2 weeks left for his prom he put the remaining girls’ names in a hat and pulled out a name.

First mistake: it was a girl he barely knew, but he called her up and she was eager to go.  She even had a dress in baby blue.  She told him the silver would compliment her dark chocolate skin.

Thinking he was all set, he got his tux with a baby blue tie and cumberbund.

Second mistake: Two days before the prom, she calls him, crying.

“The dress doesn’t fit!”

“Doesn’t fit?!? Didn’t you try it on before you bought it?”

“Well I bought it a while ago, and when I put it on today the whole side ripped.  I guess I’ve gained a little weight.”

“I guess so!  So what are you going to do ”

“Don’t worry, my cousin has a dress I can borrow she’s coming over.  I will call you and tell you the color.”

“Ok, just make sure it fits.”
Mistake three:  She calls him later that day.

“It fits! But, it’s yellow. Can you get a yellow tie and cumberbund? Or black?”

“Man I don’t know it was pretty much sold out but he’s a friend so let’s see.

Tony goes to the tux shop, there’s no black and only a mustard green-yellow.

“It’s going to have to do, I can’t wear blue.”

“I will knock off 5% of the rental price.”

“Thanks man I owe you.”

Mistake 4:  He calls her up and tells her that the limo will be outside at six. She says she’ll be ready. 

They arrive and her parents say she’s running just a little late.  15 min go by, 20, an hour and a half. Tony clearly agitated says he will be waiting in the limo.  Just as he is about to say “let’s go, I’ll stag it,” she emerges. His best friend starts laughing and Tony is stunned.

“Driver take me to the liquor store two blocks away.”

Arriving at the store, He tells the clerk, “take pity on a brother.  My tie looks like puke and my date looks like big bird! I just need a pint of Hennessy!”

The clerk was laughing so hard he was crying and sold him the liquor.

It was 1/2 gone by the time the got to the yaht club two and a half hours late. 

We were eating dessert when Tony, Marco, Yvette came in trailing this girl.

My mouth dropped open as this giant bruised banana walked in with silver white hose and silver shoes. ‘Please let that be Marco’s date and let Tony be with Yvette.’

A quick swig from the bottle he had hidden in his jacket and a glimpse of his tie let me know that my hope was wrong. Chiquita banana bird was Tony’s date.

He looked at me like ‘help me god’ and went to find his table in the back.  Since they missed dinner we started a assembly line of desserts from the front to the back, which Tony gobbled down because he was starving.  The date soon graves the camera and disappeared into the crowd of dancing ballgowns. Off came the tie and cumberbund and Tony was free to dance with his friends without big bird following.  I gave him a hug.

“You poor thing who is that?”

“A bad nightmare”
Mistake 5:  At The Hotel 

As with all 80’s proms the party continued after the prom at various hotels. Tony was hanging with a group of friends called “The Lowy Boys” for their love of Lowenbrau beer? Big bird got sick and went to the room the 4 of them were sharing.  When Yvette went to the room to sleep, the date was getting busy with someone else. Yvette left.  Tony never made it back to the room and Marco took his date home.

Year’s later we all meet up again, Yvette tells me how the night ended and I laughed “oh no! Where was Tony?”

“Probably passed out in the tub.”

By chance Tony was telling the prom story when he saw me walking towards him.
“There you are! You owe me a prom date. I wrapped my arms around him and said well if you had asked sooner I would have and I guarantee you one thing if you had taken me.”

“What’s that?”

“Your prom date wouldn’t have slept with the school Gigalo. 

Tony’s mouth dropped open.  “H-how’d, h-how’d ya know…Yvette”

We all laughed.
So? Worth a chuckle?

No?  Please leave me a message.

Yes? Click the link and donate to my friend Tony’s funeral fund.  He was a dear friend who was taken too soon by cancer.

Calling All 49er fans TOUCH DOWN!

Despite being a New Englander Tony McNeil has been a loyal 9er’s fan since the days of Montana and Rice. About the only thing he liked as much was his Hennessy.

His dream was to see the 9’er’s live.  We planned to go this year, to celebrate his overcoming colon cancer. 

Unfortunately, we will never enjoy that game together.  After a year of chemo and radiation, the cancer had spread to his groin, brain and heart.  Still he fought on, then the strokes. Nearly blind he joked that he would make it to pre-season.

He fought on, but this week it proved too much for him, with friends and family by his side, he let a single tear fall, before letting go, letting the cancer take him far from us.

This disease not only ravaged his body, it ravaged him financially.  He had no insurance and no one who can afford to pay the entire cost of the funeral.

$2500 is all that is needed to send him to eternal rest instyle like a true 9ers fan should be, we are not a rich group, but several of us have donated to a fund to see this man buried with dignity; to insure that cancer doesn’t take that from him.

Won’t you help a fellow 9ers fan? And contribute any amount to his go fund? You don’t need to know him, show him that 9er’s fans look after each other.

Let’s show him that cancer sucks!, but it can’t rob us from our dignity.

To make a donation, Just click the link below: