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Retarded is Wrong

First, we all know that you should not have a dog doing work on your house. It’s just wrong!

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Second, the word retarded should not be in your vocabulary. It’s also wrong! Right?

It’s a word that’s considered to be “very insulting and inappropriate”. Unless you are talking about something like slowing down your speed on your bike. “I am retarding my progress“. See! There it is just a word that makes us happy. Like Pop Tarts, even though that’s two words.

So here is a  story where a kid uses retarded to describe his grandparents. And I am sure that as long as you are describing retirement… it’s OK!

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I will be taking a long weekend. I will be back with the blog on Tuesday. (Almost like retirement?).

It’s truly a weekend with great significance. A time to be thankful for our freedom. And a time to stop and remember those that have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedom.    I hope you do have a great and thoughtful Memorial Day weekend. May we remember and never forget.

A boy scout offers a salute at the foot of a grave after volunteers placed flags at the Los Angeles National Cemetery on Saturday, May 28, 2016 in preparation for Memorial Day. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

A Bit O’ Blog

We are now coasting into the Memorial Day weekend. Be honest! You don’t have time to read one of my blog epistles…. Right?

So, I am posting some pic o’s for thought as you head into the weekend. I hope you have a wonderful and thoughtful weekend… and I will be back on Tuesday morning!

 

So, here’s some lion wisdom:

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Some Croc:

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And some animal humor among “friends”:

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A Good Night’s Sleep

This is the my blog until Tuesday, as we head into the weekend and Memorial Day. I wanted to write something about relaxation. That led me to thinking about a bed.

In the time of Shakespeare, mattresses were held securely to bed frames by ropes. A person could pull on the rope to tighten the mattress. The more a person pulled on the rope, the more the bed felt firmer. That’s where we get the expression Goodnight… sleep tight!

I hope it’s a great weekend and that you do get some relaxation. And for Monday, a time to remember those who have died in the armed services, protecting us.

And for pic o’ day

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Charles Whittlesey: What Happened?

     Wednesday’s Our Daily Bread , with a look toward Labor Day, briefly recited the story of Charles Whittlesey.

      Whittle

      Whittlesey initially graduated from law school and joined a law firm partnership. However, he felt a duty to join the military when the United States entered World War I. He left his partnership and shipped to France as a captain.

     At one point, he and his battalion were behind enemy lines as he commanded 554 soldiers. They were cut off from supplies. At one point, his unit was dubbed the “Lost Battalion” because all contact with the U.S. Army had been lost.

     On October 7, 1918, the Germans sent a blindfolded American prisoner of war carrying a white flag toward the battalion. He was carrying a letter that said the following:

 “The suffering of your wounded men can be heard over here in the German lines, and we are appealing to your humane sentiments to stop. A white flag shown by one of your men will tell us that you agree with these conditions. Please treat Private Lowell R. Hollingshead [the bearer] as an honorable man. He is quite a soldier. We envy you. The German commanding officer.”

     Whittlesey would not allow his men to surrender. Instead, he ordered that the white sheets that had been placed as signals to the Allied troops be removed, just in case the Germans would think that they were surrendering. That night, a relief force arrived and rescued the Battalion. Whittlesey received a battlefield promotion to lieutenant-colonel and ultimately received three medals of honor.

     He was considered a war hero of heroes. .

     His Wikipedia story summarizes the ending of his life with the following:

In November 1921, Whittlesey acted as a pallbearer at the burial of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, along with fellow Medal of Honor recipients Samuel Woodfill and Alvin York. A few days later he booked passage from New York to Havana aboard the SS Toloa, a United Fruit Company ship. On November 26, 1921, the first night out of New York, he dined with the captain and left the smoking room at 11:15 p.m. stating he was retiring for the evening, and it was noted by the captain that he was in good spirits. Whittlesey was never seen again. He was reported missing at 8:00 a.m. the following morning. He is presumed to have committed suicide by jumping overboard, although no one reported seeing him jump and Whittlesey’s body was never recovered. Before leaving New York, he prepared a will leaving his property to his mother. He also left a series of letters in his cabin addressed to relatives and friends. The letters were addressed to his parents, his brothers Elisha and Melzar, his uncle Granville Whittlesey, and to his friends George McMurtry, J. Bayard Pruyn, Robert Forsyth Little and Herman Livingston, Jr. Also in his cabin was found a note to the captain of the Toloa leaving instructions for the disposition of the baggage left in his stateroom. He left the famous German letter asking for surrender to McMurtry.

     This life story of this hero is fitting as a remembrance, as we head into Labor Day. As Our Daily Bread referenced, Charles Whittlesey was publicly strong. Because he took his life, inwardly he must have been dealing with such emotions of despair.

     Maybe it’s a good reminder to us that just because someone says that everything is great, doesn’t mean that “everything is great”. That they sure could use a word of encouragement. Also, that those returning from the battlefield many times need more than a welcome home.     

 

     I hope you have a great weekend. Back on Tuesday. 

     And for pic o’ day, I felt the need to go a bit on the light side… in changing places:

changing places

Heading into Memorial Day Weekend

Our Richmond office is not far from Monument Avenue, where there are several civil war statues. These serve to honor those who served for the Confederacy, but they also have clues on each.

If a person is sitting on a horse that has both front legs in the air, that means that the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air, that tells us that the person died as a result of wounds that were received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, then it indicates that the person died of natural causes.

 

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(I am not sure what this tells us)

I know that it will be a weekend of relaxation for some that includes many pools opening across America. Who doesn’t enjoy the pool?

Bear in pool

Many will have an opportunity to catch up on some chores!

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Memorial Day takes me back in my mind’s eye to the Memorial Day Parade In Muncy, Pennsylvania. They taught us to remember and to honor those who had died in military service by having us carry flowers down Main Street. A good lesson and a good memory!

I hope you have a great weekend and that you also have some down time to reflect during this Memorial Day.

For Weekend and Day of Remembrance.

     For this weekend, I hope you get to relax

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     Maybe enjoy some exercise.exercise Dog

      Have a time of reflection and maybe even a parade.A1 (well, these kinda reminded me of a parade)parade

 

 

 

 

     A time with friends. with friends

     And a time to remember. remember

     I hope you have a great weekend and Memorial Day. And,  I hope you will be back on Tuesday… well rested!

A Soldier and PTSD

      George S. Patton, Jr. was a World War II General, known for his leadership and hard work. His website attributes quotes to him that describe the kind of man that made him a General. “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week”. 

     He considered himself a soldier. Such quotes as “In case of doubt, attack”, and “May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won’t”; is the kind of thinking that even appeals to us today.

     It is undisputed that he was a driven man. However, his toughness on soldiers, became his downfall. The event was known as the “Patton slap”, but was basically the “slap heard round the world”. His Wikipedia description provides a pretty good account of what happened that effected his career and how he was viewed as a soldier. The entry is called the “slapping incident”.

     In the summer of 1943,  General  Patton’s Seventh Army  was engaged in a campaign to seize control of Sicily from the Germans and Italians. History records that the heat and the pace of the “Sicily campaign”, so frustrated Patton that he wrote that he was eager “to get out of this infernal island.”

     On the afternoon of August 2,  a 27-year-old Private,  named Charles H. Kuhl, checked into the aid station, with a diagnosis of “exhaustion”. According to the medical records still available today, it was the 3rd time that Private Kuhl had been admitted.

     On August 3, 1943, Kuhl’s medical note indicates that he was in a “Psychoneurosis anxiety state- moderate to severe”.  His medical record indicates that he was given “sodium mytal” , (sodium amytal). It is a drug that is used to combat insomnia. Recipients typically become very drowsy and it lasts into the next day.

     While Kuhl was receiving this medical attention, General Patton was making his rounds among the wounded soldiers; He came across Kuhl,  and Patton saw a 1st Division infantry man,  who showed no apparent wound or injury.

     In a 1970 interview, after the movie “Patton” was released, the “South Bend Tribune” reported that Kuhl remembered that when Patton entered the hospital tent, “all the soldiers jumped to attention except me. I was suffering from battle fatigue and just didn’t know what to do.”

     Patton went around to each soldier and individually asked about their specific injuries. Patton questioned Kuhl about why he had not stood and saluted. Kuhl told The Tribune, “I told him my nerves were shot and, of course, I didn’t feel like getting up to salute him.”

     The above attachment records that the furious General began swearing at Kuhl; calling him a coward and ordering him to leave the hospital tent that was occupied by brave soldiers who had “real” battle wounds.

     The frightened Kuhl did not move, which only further enraged Patton. Patton then, according to an eyewitness, slapped Kuhl’s face with a glove, raised him to his feet by the scruff of his neck and forced him out of the medical tent, with a final “kick in the rear.” Patton ordered the private to return to his unit and told the doctors not to re-admit him to the hospital.

     Kuhl fled from the tent and hid until Patton left the hospital. The soldier was then picked up by Corpsmen and returned to the ward tent and was admitted for acute anxiety, chronic diarrhea, malaria and a  fever with a 102.2 temperature. He suffered with malarial parasites and diarrhea for over a month.   Two days later, Patton ordered that Seventh Army soldiers alleging shell shock, not be admitted to hospitals; and that those who refused to fight would be court-martialed “for cowardice in the face of the enemy.”

       Word of the slap, did not make it back to the United States for a few months. History indicates that this allegedly was not the only soldier that Patton had slapped.

     Realizing that striking an enlisted man was a court-martial offense, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Patton’s senior commander, needed to both punish Patton and prevent the incident from causing a stir back home. Eisenhower was faced with a dilemma. He didn’t want to lose a general,  so crucial to the war effort. At one point, radio reports claimed that Eisenhower was attempting to cover it up.

      Eisenhower then knew that he had to take public actions. As part of Patton’s punishment, Eisenhower formally censured him, saying that he did not condone brutality or uncontrollable temper in front of the enlisted men. Eisenhower ordered Patton to publicly apologize for his actions.

     On Aug. 22, Patton summoned all of the Seventh Army to Palermo to publicly apologize for his actions. Beyond his public apology, Patton also personally apologized to Kuhl. He told the private that his slapping and verbal abuse were intended to motivate Kuhl to fight. General Patton asked Kuhl to shake his hand in forgiveness. An observer noted that Kuhl grinned enthusiastically and shook Patton’s hand.

     The slapping incident nearly ended Patton’s military career. He remained in the European war theater, but was never given a major command. Patton died in December 1945 from injuries suffered in an automobile accident in Luxembourg. Charles Kuhl returned to the Michiana area and worked at Bendix. He died in Mishawaka on Jan. 31, 1971, and is buried in Mishawaka’s Fairview Cemetery.

     Next Monday, we will honor and remember our war heroes. One book “Shell Shock to PTSD“, considers many of the injuries that soldiers suffered, from 1900 to 2005; Many of those injuries were like those that were suffered by Private Kuhl, that went undiagnosed during and after all the wars during that period.

     Trauma and psychiatric injuries were undiagnosed, when war Veterans returned back to society. Brain injury and long lasting effects were not treated because these injuries couldn’t be seen.

     It is estimated that 30 out of 100 Vietnam veterans, suffered the effects of PTSD, At least 15 out of every 100 that returned from Iraq, were dealing with symptoms of PTSD.

     In WWII, they were just treating soldiers, like Private Kuhl, with something to help them sleep. Then, they were sent right back out to the battlefield, which is why someone like Kuhl, returned to the battlefield again and again.   The indication is that, perhaps, even General Patton was suffering from symptoms of exhaustion that could have been PTSD. 

       What we now recognize as PTSD, used to be called or simply known as “shell shcok”, “combat fatigue” or “war neurosis”. We now know that these conditions  need continuing and long term care.

     In facing budget issues and what kind of medical care that our military and our Veterans deserve; politicians and the public are now aware of the need. It’s just a question of what can and will be done.  As a nation, what are we really going to do for those that we honor on Memorial Day.


A Memorial Day to Remember

     Some blogging can stir us up. If the topic is “Are Ramen noodles good for our health?”.  Well, that’s more drive-by. You might look at it but it doesn’t have a lasting impression as a topic.

     Memorial Day is a combination of  “get togethers”, honoring and remembering. Hopefully, our emphasis will be on the latter.  On this day, there will be parades, picnics, family and relaxation . There will be arguments over whether Barbeque should be vinegar or sauce. For others, there will be choices of a  day off or work and possible overtime. 

     Thursday’s USA Today  reported on two WW II veterans, Bob Murphy and George O’Connell, who met in a continuing care community in Georgia.  A former war pilot and the other, a ship’s captain. I hope you will click on the story if you have not yet seen it. It’s a story of military veterans,  not unlike many others.

     It’s a reminder of two that returned who downplay their sacrifice and accomplishment. They are living heroes who say that they aren’t heroes;  they say that the real heroes never returned. 

     Whenever I sit to blog, I pick a topic and category and have the freedom to type without fear. A recent Nielsen poll says that a majority of voters say that in the next election, they will vote for the candidate not already in office. No experience is better than what is currently governing.  They give this opinion and challenge our current government leadership without fear. What an amazing freedom without fear.  

     This Memorial Day is a time to remember those that protected our freedoms. It’s to honor those who didn’t come back; for those who did come back and for those who are fighting right now and keep protecting. There is a great deal of meaning in this single day. I hope that you have a great Memorial Day.      

 

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