Monday, December 19, 2011

Who to Thank

A list of those to thank when people you know - disappear never to be seen again - because the Government said so.

The list of the Senators who passed the NDAA bill: YEAs —86 *

Akaka (D-HI)
Alexander (R -TN)
Ayotte (R -NH)
Barrasso (R -WY)
Baucus (D-MT)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Blunt (R -MO)
Boozman (R -AR)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Brown (R -MA)
Burr (R -NC)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Chambliss (R -GA)
Coats (R -IN)
Cochran (R -MS)
Collins (R -ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Coons (D-DE)
Corker (R -TN)
Cornyn (R -TX)
Enzi (R -WY)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Graham (R -SC)
Grassley (R -IA)
Hagan (D-NC)
Hatch (R -UT)
Heller (R -NV)
Hoeven (R -ND)
Hutchison (R -TX)
Inhofe (R -OK)
Inouye (D-HI)
Isakson (R -GA)
Johanns (R -NE)
Johnson (D-SD)
Johnson (R -WI)
Kerry (D-MA)
Kirk (R -IL)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Kyl (R -AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lugar (R -IN)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCain (R -AZ)
McCaskill (D-MO)
McConnell (R -KY)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R -AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Portman (R -OH)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Roberts (R -KS)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Rubio (R -FL)
Schumer (D-NY)
Sessions (R -AL)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Shelby (R -AL)
Snowe (R -ME)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Thune (R -SD)
Toomey (R -PA)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Vitter (R -LA)
Warner (D-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wicker (R -MS)

Remember these " public servants" when they run in future elections.

*List from FreakOutNation

Monday, December 5, 2011

Quiet Peace

December 25th 1998
Bamberg, Germany

He stood alone in a dimly lit room staring out of an open window. In the foreground the branches of a tree made bare by the winter chill. In the distance a snowy German landscape at dusk. Though he knew there was a castle on a hill on the horizon the clouds had hidden it from view. Aside from the snow on the red rooftops there was not much to admire, yet, this view brought a peaceful stillness to his soul.
The barracks were almost empty. Most soldiers had gone on leave and the ones who stayed were out having a holiday meal. He had made it a point to stay away from everyone on this day. Going as far as eating a frozen pizza pocket for dinner in order to avoid any casual conversation or holiday greetings. He couldn't even remember calling home on this "special" date. A feat rewarded by a few minutes of silence and absolute quiet in his soul. What was this emotionless awareness? In the moment, nothing was and nothing had ever been.
He closed the windows and went to bed.

December 1999
Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo

He sat on the wooden steps of a C-hut holding a lit Romeo and Julieta cigarrillo. The winter chill brought a familiar stillness to the air. Once again he experienced what would be a quiet melancholie, if it wasn't for the absence of emotion. A moment in time when the world moved in slow motion if it didn't come to a complete stop. Not yet knowing the purpose of these amazing moments of perfect peace he allowed his soul to soak it in.

May 2005
Mosul, Iraq

The stryker ramp dropped revealing a surreal scene filled with chaos. To the right Recon soldiers attempting to put out the fire on a detonated car bomb. In the smoke filled street families bringing their wounded children out to receive aid. In the midst of this hectic scene he felt that quiet stillness again. Everything seemed to move in slow motion and even the screams of children were almost inaudible. He bandaged adults and children as if on auto pilot. It was not a cold day, yet, his blood ran cold as it did on those peaceful winter days. Just when dealing with the pain before him seemed possible he was handed a small girl warped in a bloody blanket. The blast had taken a large portion of her back completely away. All the quiet moments of peace and quiet stillness would not undo this moment of chaotic reality. Yet, they were the only thing that kept him from breaking.

On a cold day, like today, I am thankful for those quiet moments that have nurtured my soul throughout the years. Don't know what I would have done without ever experienced that blissful peace. Now, I know the purpose for the stillness of a winter chill.