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“I speak to you from hallowed ground.”

 

“I am speaking to you today from hallowed ground.”

Just for the period of time it takes to read this post, I’d like you to imagine the words are being read to you by Charles Kuralt. All of you under forty are probably asking, “Who in the hell is Charles Kuralt?” Charles Kuralt was “the voice” of a CBS program that aired for years. It was titled On The Road. His distinctive voice was the signature for this show … a show that was all his.  On The Road was just that, Charlie nosed around the nooks, crannies, highways, and byways of the US. I know it may be hard for the younger folks who read this post to believe, but once upon a time their were actual journalists on national television that were true to their vocation, not their political beliefs. It was a time before we were divided into blocks for political opportunism. Kuralt found and touched the heart and the soul of his viewers. As you read my words, hear them through his voice.

The historical marker for Camp Blanding. Though it tries to tell the story it can only hint at the brave people who traveled through history here.

I’m speaking to you today from a few hundred yards off of Florida Highway 16. It’s about midway between two places you probably never heard of, the towns of Starke to the west and Green Cove Springs which lies eastward. The grass field I’m sitting in the middle of, is part of the Camp Blanding Museum. Around me are the tools of wars past. They’re reminders of what this place was, one of the important training areas for a war that would engulf the world. What remains of this site as an active military center is behind the entrance south of the museum. It’s only a token of what was once arguably the largest city in Florida. Over 300,000 men and women trained or worked here. Look around and you see what young men came to this place to learn to use. They had to do this to help win a war we could have lost and as importantly to give them their best chance of surviving it.

One of the artillery pieces on display. An artillery barrage was an infantryman’s worst nightmare.

This 1 1/2 ton truck was a World War II workhorse. Men road in it and supplies it carried kept them fighting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sherman. This M4A1 version was a medium tank. Shermans were the primary battle armor used by US forces in WWII. Its numbers offset the German armors superiority.

Looking inside the drivers compartments of these vehicles is a shock to some. The levers, switches, and mechanisms are crude by 2017 standards. A young man asked, “Did they really fight in these things?” An old man answered, “We sure did and we did a damned good job of it!” There was more in his voice than pride in having served and survived. In his eye and tone there was that reverence those who have experienced combat have for those they knew who did not return to stand here today.

The lawn around the museum is home to many vehicles. Half-tracks, DUKWs, ambulances, trucks, field pieces, all are pages of a book that tell us a story. Even a C-47 transport plane with D-day markings graces a concrete pad, a reminder of 508th Paratroop Regiment who trained in the sands beyond the guard gate.

Mixed in with the vehicles are monuments to the Army units that trained here and the people that were flesh and bone that gave them life. Among them was the Big Red One – the first army division. Nine infantry divisions lived here and learned about war on these grounds. There are monuments to the extra brave who began their journey into hell at this place. One honors distinguished service cross recipients and another the nations highest award, The Medal of Honor. Both have a significant number of names chiseled into stone to remind us of sacrifice and that sometimes forgotten word – honor.

Going inside the museum is like stepping through a time portal on Star Trek. We see what we were. What we did. Right and wrong.

A D-day newspaper. This sealed Hitler’s fate.

A GI dressed for battle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pictures and exhibits show us what a base for a quarter of a million men looked like. Row upon row of small cabins, barracks like the one the museum is housed in, hospitals, theaters, commissary buildings, maintenance facilities, everything that a city of that size needed to exist was built in Florida’s wilderness. Work on Blanding was a seven day a week, three shift schedule in 1940-1941. Today, most of the 150,000 acres that is Camp Blanding has been reclaimed by the pine barrens and swamps from which it was hacked. Concrete foundations, weathered and hidden by nature, dot the ground and are the ghosts that haunt these woods.

Reminders of the past always bring bitter to go with sweet. Exhibits remind us of where we’ve been, some of them telling us of what we did wrong. The Army of 1940 was one that was still segregated. Separate facilities, living areas, even swimming lakes are indictments of what just one of our societies mistakes has been.

It tells us of things we did correctly. Few know that many German POWs were transported to the USA. Camp Blanding hosted around 2,000. They lived in the same type facilities as our GIs. They were given jobs and paid to do them. Contrast that to the fate of POWs in German or Russian hands. Less than 10% survived the war and literally this amounted to millions of deaths. More than 15% of Germans elected to stay in the US and become citizens and over 98% survived.

Places like this, Camp Blanding, are places that should bring us together. We can attempt to change history, there are those who do, but it really won’t change. Camp Blanding is a string tied around our finger, like ones used by our country men before computers, to remind them of something they had to do. If we forget the good and bad that history teaches, we’ll neither continue our virtues or avoid our mistakes. Humans are on a long voyage of discovery. That discovery is how imperfect we really are. We have to embrace what we have become, not languish in what we were, but learn from where we’ve been.

The Medal of Honor.

 

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Saaaa-lute!

My salute to all U.S. veterans and our current military. To the living and especially to those who gave their all, God bless you!

 

Thank you!

 

Thank you, Thank you, Thank You!

Words aren’t always enough. We owe so much to those who have fought for our freedom, gained it and have protected it ever since. But since this is the best we can do … THANK YOU from my heart … and the Geezer’s.

 

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21st Century Torture … Political Conventions

 

Enough already. I'm weary of politics. Won't somebody flush?

Enough already. I’m weary of politics. Won’t somebody flush?

 

Water Boarding? Child’s play. The Rack? A stretching experience. Iron Maiden? Pin cushion in a case. Glowing hot pokers? Localized sun tans. All these tortures pale when compared to being exposed to the political conventions my human has on the tube.

I’ve compiled some of my thoughts after listening to the verbal vomit for the last two weeks.

  1. I wonder if many of the commentators prefer not to think before speaking because they like to be surprised by what their tongue produces.
  2. Humans are great examples of Darwin’s theory of evolution. Homo sapiens must have evolved from lemmings – they’re dumb enough to follow their leaders off of cliffs.
  3. Many convention speakers have the attitude that, “I could explain things to you, but I doubt you’d understand since you’re not elite like me.”
  4. Watching the protesters outside the conventions it’s plain these folk’s weren’t born with that little thing inside human brain’s that keeps them from saying or doing something they shouldn’t.
  5. As a canine, I have developed my understanding for normal human behavior to an acceptable level. It’s my tolerance for idiots that must be improved.
  6. Listening to many speakers, protesters, and commentators at these events you have to wonder if they use toilet paper with printed instructions on every sheet.
  7. Hey protesters: When is “old enough to know better” supposed to kick in?
  8. I couldn’t help wondering if all the human mental asylum’s in the nation had be shut and their inhabitants shipped to Philly and Cleveland.
  9. Let me get this straight humans – You humans lecture us on how love is the universal answer then follow that with how much you hate and despise the other 50% in the country. I’ve seen two rival wolf packs fighting over a kill that have more understanding of the other group.
  10. These events verify the saying, “When you’re stupid, you don’t know you’re stupid – It’s only difficult for others!”

November can’t come quick enough.

 

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Happy Fourth on the Fifth. …

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Sorry I’m late — Happy Fourth on the Fifth.

 

Happy birthday to all US citizens. That’s for people that really love this 240 year old country. I HOPE WE WILL BE ABLE TO ALL CELEBRATE 250 YEARS. Unless there is real change in the leadership, I don’t think we’ll see it. This is one time I don’t want to see something go to the dogs.

Happy Fourth of July to my human friends in the US.

Happy Fourth of July to my human friends in the US.

 

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Sometimes humans do horrible things – And Nero fiddles …

Sometimes humans do good things -

At times humans do good things – Sometimes they’re plain horrible!

 

Unless you are deaf, dumb or blind, you can’t be ignorant of the events of the last 48 hours. Humanities scum, filth, garbage … showed its depravity in Orlando. Unfortunately, the human who perpetrated this event will get the headlines. Sharing those headlines will be pundits and politicos who ask everyone to “be as one.” Aaaaaa … humans, let me enlighten you … you’re already divided. If you don’t make changes, severe ones, World War Three is in the wings. You cannot allow the type evil that is evolving in all areas of the world to grow and prosper. I’d prefer not to have to scavenge your bodies to survive.

I don’t like to talk politics so I won’t say more than this. You humans need change. In thinking. In policy. In honesty. In functionality. Most of all, in leadership. That’s at all levels, in all organizations. Government and the news media should be first, followed closely by what you humans humorously call collegiate education. Barking won’t get it. The only way a mouth saves is CPR. We have had way to much mouth – in fact, fifteen years of it is enough.

 

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Does it make you sick, too?

Sometimes I want to go hide from the humans and their animosities.

Sometimes I want to go hide from the humans and their animosities.

 

Does it make you sick? It sure makes me want to puke. Humans are becoming more despicable every day. I’ve always enjoyed riding in the car, but now even more! There is NO TV, and the Geezer refuses to have the radio turned on. Why is that good: I’m not tortured by the hostility and violence that is constantly present on the media and masquerades as humanity. I’m tired of people screaming at each other. I’m tired of every TV and movie drama and sitcom having violence or political propaganda at its center. I’m tired of people professing knowledge of things they know nothing about. I’m really tired of folks who dislike others and can’t explain why. (Other than someone else told them they should.) I’m tired of division, division, division, particularly those who accuse others of dividing then do it themselves. I sick of people carrying “stop hate” signs rioting, destroying other peoples property, and trying to injure those who think differently from them. (They are the bottom of the human trash heap. It has to be their way or the violent way.)

Let me share some canine common sense with you humans. I’ll put in bold, colored font so it’s easy to read.

HEY HUMANS:  START EMPHASIZING THE THINGS YOU HAVE IN COMMON AND DE-EMPHASIZING  YOUR DIFFERENCES – – – –

IF YOU WANT TO SURVIVE!

Sometimes a dog has to say what a dog has to say! I’m usually a glass half full, try to write neutral, kind of canine, but I’m really getting to abhor politics and particularly all the political groups stirring up trouble. Pass this along if you agree.

 

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Take this Poll … I know it’s early … Animals vs Humans for President in 2016

Geezer & I share a Christmas kiss

By word (or treat) of mouth – my choices to out run the front-runners.

Didn’t we just go through the modern version of the Spanish Inquisition? An election? The ballots haven’t had a chance to mold and the news media is consumed by 2016. Humans should revolt and burn down the TV news networks and newspapers and give us all a rest. The idiots incorrectly labeled “journalists” remind me of Shakespeare’s witches in MacBeth … huddling around the caldron chanting “Double, Double, Toil and Trouble, Parties Burn and Nonsense Bubble.” Instead of the caldron, their instruments of evil are microphones, word-processors, and polls.

Like their Shakespearean counter-parts they’re up to no good, trying to keep the populace angry, divided, and misinformed. Half the population wants to cut the other half’s throats and all are ready to burn Washington. (That might not be a bad idea if all the politicians and bureaucrats are there at the time it’s made into ashes.)

The information these news folks put out sounds as though it was gathered at a sixth grade sleep-over. It sometimes is a series: one side dares the other, the other side double-dares the first, and the first side double-dog-dares the second, and so on. Think … the tongue-froze-to-flagpole scene in the “Christmas Story.” Of course those actors were more mature. But, remember, we’re talking about humans.

Then there are the polls. You know, those things the media says measure your thoughts, but are designed to shape them instead. They try to make one candidate inevitable and one mission impossible. Well, I’ve decided to give my readers a chance to pick animal competitors for the 2016 Presidency against two of the front-running human candidates. Take the poll and encourage others to do so. I’ll send the results to the TV networks.