The Man Next To You

I wrote the following for a friend who had been visiting VA hospitals in the Northwest during the Fall of 2007.  My friend was not part of any larger group or organization, he was visiting wounded vets simply because he believed he needed to.  After delivering some books and spending a few precious moments with one gravely wounded Marine, he reluctantly left the ward and proceeded to leave the hospital.   Not more than a minute later, a nurse came running down the hall after my friend in order to tell him that the Marine he had just spoken with had expired.   My friend was the last living soul to speak with this Marine.   It is my honor to call one man my friend.  It is my honor to call the other my countryman.

The Man Next To You

He waited.

He waited, but not for a parade, nor permission, nor a public pat on the head from some opportunistic policy maker.

He waited because he had yet to confirm he was good to go – but he couldn’t just hear it from anyone.

He waited to hear it from someone who mattered.

He waited to hear that it mattered.

He waited to hear that he mattered.

He waited for the only one with whom he knew he could trust his life.

He waited for the only one for whom he would give his life.

He waited for the man next to him.

He waited because, in the end, the man next to him was all that really mattered.

He waited because he knew the man next to him had always understood.

He departed knowing the man next to him had always had his back, and would someday stand beside another man.  The man next to him is who he was fighting for – who they‘re all still fighting for.  The rest is just background noise.

Just noise, that is, save for the last man to stand next to and comfort a wounded Marine.

At that moment, the man next to him became every man who’s ever stood at the side of another man in war.   At that moment, he more than mattered.

He made a difference.

He made us worthy.

Semper Fidelis, indeed.


What exactly DID we vote for, anyway?

The man I voted for as President said the following.  The man or woman far more Americans voted for could never say this, because that man or woman could not now, nor would they ever, understand that some Americans would rather stand divided than kneel united.  They embrace outright fascism because most of their constituents are clamoring for it — just like the German masses did when they voted for Hitler.  If Americans of good will who voted for any of those men or women cannot see this by now, their eyes are shut, and yet another tedious history lesson will not change the fact they will never open them until it’s too late.

How do I know?

Because it’s already too late.

Enjoy the ride, America — even if some of us are prepared to unbuckle our freight cars before we reach your all-too-final destination.

Just my extremist whack-job opinion, 4.23.09

“Secession is a good principle.  Just think of the benefits that would have come over these last 230-some years if the principle of secession had existed.  That means the federal government would always have been restrained, not to overburden the states with too much federalism, too many federal rules and regulations.  But since that was all wiped out with the Civil War, the federal government has grown by leaps and bounds and we have suffered the consequences, and we need to reconsider this.  It’s not un-American to think about the possibility of secession.  This is something that’s voluntary.  We came together voluntarily.  A free society means you can dissolve it voluntarily.  That was [what] the whole issue was about.”

Rep. Ron Paul, (R-TX)
April 21, 2009