Monday, April 14, 2014

Memories of Vietnam Shared with Me Tonight

I’ve had the privilege of knowing several veterans from many wars.  Steve Haisley, the man whose computer I’m fixing tonight, is also a writer, and I would like to share some of his stories with you.

A Root Beer Float

We met on the afternoon of September 15, 1968. We were both 19-year old Marines who were part of a battalion size operation in the hills of South Vietnam near the DMZ. I don’t remember why we struck up a conversation that day, but I remember talking about home, how hot it was, and how nice it would be to have an ice cold root beer float. I also remember you telling me that your nickname was Swampy. We talked for several minutes and parted ways. Later that night our perimeter was probed by the NVA you were killed.

For decades that conversation has haunted me. Why do I remember the trivial things we talked about that fateful day, but not your face? Through the marvels of the Internet and a lot of detective work, I was finally able to determine your name. I was also able to correspond with a friend of your family, and your sister. Your sister and I e-mailed back and forth several times, but she told me that she couldn’t talk to me on the phone because the pain is still too great. A year or so ago I received a phone call from your brother. He told me about you and your family, and how your parents never recovered from the devastation of your death. He sent me a photograph of you, which was taken in Vietnam shortly before you were killed. Even after seeing the picture I don’t remember your face.

I speak to high school students about my experiences in Vietnam and have included your photograph and story as part of my presentation. On this Memorial Day I honor you and all the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our great country. My Marine Corps flag is flying proudly, and I will have the root beer float that the young Marine from Louisiana never got to enjoy. Semper Fidelis

Steve Haisley

Memorial Day Tribute

Today we remember and honor the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our great nation. Sadly, many will give no thought to those sacrifices or to their significance. Seldom has a day passed during the last 44 years that I haven’t thought about you and the events of that September afternoon. It is the most defining moment of my life. I learned about life, death, fear, and most of all, helplessness. I still don’t know your name or anything about you. We were young Marines who were being medevaced by helicopter after being severely wounded. I will never forget the look in your eyes or the helplessness I felt as you begged and pleaded with me to help you, but all I could do was hold your hand as life slowly left your body. I’m sure that someone today is remembering you as a wonderful husband, father, son, brother, uncle or friend. Your death changed the life of a 19-year old kid forever. You have not been forgotten. Semper Fidelis

Steve Haisley

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Dr. Norman Borlaug, Likely The Greatest Humanitarian of all Time and the Bright Side of GMO's - Ever heard of him?

Dr. Norman Borlaug, is an amazing man who changed the world and saved a billion lives.  And I only heard of him yesterday?  How about you, have you heard of him?

He moved to Mexico, fixed their dying wheat crops and saved a million lives there, then he packed up his family and moved to India, (during their war with Pakistan,) and  quadrupled their food output.  But he wasn't done there either.  He did the same thing with a new rice in China, and then he visited as much of Africa as he was allowed too and improved their crops as well.  All said and done, Norman Borlaug personally saved over a billion lives.

I just saved a ton of money by switching my car insurance to Geico, no, truthfully, I haven't even done that.  What has happened, is now I have been given pause to ask; what are the positives to GMO's?

I'm not ready to let Monsanto's heavy handed oppression and legal manipulation go completely.  But it's very nice to hear the other side of an argument.  That said, my excerpt Irreplaceable Natural Resource System on Round Up ready crops and neonicotinoids decimating honey bee and Monarch butterfly populations is valid, and must be addressed.  But I'm willing to give Monsanto a little slack here and say; "maybe it's possible that their agenda isn't as greed driven as I thought."

Now that I've conceded that point, please don't kill off my Monarch's, thank you.  Oh and Penn, as usual, well done!

Norman Borlaug

Agricultural Scientist

Norman Ernest Borlaug was an American biologist, humanitarian and Nobel laureate who has been called "the father of the Green Revolution", "agriculture's greatest spokesperson" and "The Man Who Saved A Billion Lives".

Born: March 25, 1914, Cresco, IA
Died: September 12, 2009, Dallas, TX


Education: University of Minnesota


     Nobel Peace Prize
     Congressional Gold Medal
     Presidential Medal of Freedom
     Padma Vibhushan
     Public Welfare Medal
     National Medal of Science for Biological Sciences

Link to World Food Prize . org