April 23, 2014
This May will see the 50th Anniversary of the Hazel Dell Parade of Bands as school bands, businesses and community groups converge to march through the middle of Hazel Dell, Washington.
This “Golden Jubilee” celebrates the founding of the Parade in 1964, a time of a troubled America ripped apart by a Presidential Assassination, Civil Rights struggle, the Cold War and in need of such a spirit-lifting event.
Nineteen sixty-four also saw a growing involvement 8,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean in the small Asian country of Vietnam that would further divide the American public, with returning Troops met with scorn and derision by a misunderstanding population.
read more »
March 2, 2014
Very brief excerpts of some of the talent seen at the February 22, 2014 Luau to Honor World War Two and Korean War Veterans in Vancouver, Washington.
read more »
January 5, 2014
December 7, 1941, the “date that will live in infamy” marked America’s entrance into World War II, what was to become the bloodiest conflict in recorded history that saw over 16 Million Americans putting on the uniform of one of the various branches making up our Armed Services.
When the world needed them the most, these men & women answered the call to fight a tyrannical enemy on the battlefields, in the air and on the open seas, prevailing four years later after over 400,000 of their number lay dead with another 670,000 wounded.
Five years later, 1950, many answered the call again to stand against another enemy to freedom in the small country of Korea, joining the younger men & women until a cease fire was signed 3 years later.
read more »
November 12, 2013
Thanksgiving Day will soon be upon us and we will likely sit down with family and friends, overeat, watch a ball game and of course, somewhere in the course of the day we will give thanks for living in such a great country.
Most of us do not know hunger; fear of being dragged from our homes in the middle of the night to be interrogated or targeted by despots merely because we disagree with them and wish to lobby for changes.
We have fields of grain unlike many other countries and such bountiful farmlands that even the poorest among us are fed regularly.
We will give credit to many for such riches, but who really deserves credit?
read more »
March 25, 2013
In today’s modern society, filled with time-consuming activity and daily distractions we all deserve a time out simply to enjoy ourselves, be entertained, escape from daily woes that face us all and if we can do that while helping someone in need, all that much better.
We live in increasingly partisan times. It seems more and more we are divided as we bicker among ourselves on issues of the day. Be it taxes, civil rights, infrastructure projects or any number of issues facing us, we remain divided and apparently unable to find a compatible middle ground.
But when it comes to supporting veterans, we are united. Even though our bickering extends into partisan rancor over sending them off into harm’s way, we remain united in appreciating their willingness to stand between us and our enemies, having learned decades ago that those that we send to war are not the designers of war and THEY deserve our support.
read more »
December 27, 2012
BY REES LLOYD (Reposted by author’s request)
A great gift to give to veterans with stress this Christmas or for the new year is information about or sponsorship in the unique “Join-Up”® equine therapy program of Monty Roberts, the internationally famous horseman, horse trainer, and humanitarian known as the “Horse Whisperer.”
Roberts’ “Horse Sense & Soldiers” workshops, through his International Join-Up® Organization, are being credited with transforming the lives of veterans wounded by service-related post traumatic stress injury by teaching them to use his unique method of working with, and ultimately “joining up” with, untrained horses without the use of any violence whatsoever.
read more »
November 21, 2012
UPDATE: Lindsey Stone resigned from her job, November 21, 2012. Both her and Jamie Schuh are no longer are employed by LIFE.
By now just about everybody know of the reprehensible photo taken of 30 year-old Lindsey Stone mocking the ‘Silence and Respect’ sign next to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery. If somehow you missed it, you can read about it here
The photo has gone viral in the last 24 hours and elicited hundreds of thousands of comments throughout the internet, most condemning the act in strong terms and several others either agreeing with her, saying she has freedom of speech (she also has freedom to be held accountable) and some not understanding why so many are outraged.
For those who do not understand our outrage, please view the Canadian video below produced and performed by Terry Kelly addressing a man who showed disrespect during their two minute time of Remembrance of their fallen heroes.
If you do not yet understand, you never will.
November 19, 2012
Latest Update: Lindsey Stone resigned from her job, November 21, 2012. Both her and Jamie Schuh are no longer are employed by LIFE. The employer issued the following on their facebook page,
Vandalization of our Veterans Memorials has been a problem for some time. If it wasn’t vandals then it was the ACLU, atheists, anti-war ilk and more and each has been met head on, in one way or another informing them that our Memorials are sacred and sit on hallowed ground. But, as the photo below shows, some take their disrespect too far.
read more »
October 27, 2012
Please visit Special Operations Speaks and help this message get out.
Time is short to save our country.
October 24, 2012
“There’s a condition in combat. Most people know about it. It’s when a fighting person’s nervous system has been stressed to its absolute peak and maximum. In the First World War, that condition was called shell shock. Then a whole generation went by and the Second World War came along and very same combat condition was called battle fatigue. Then we had the war in Korea, 1950. Madison Avenue was riding high by that time, and the very same combat condition was called operational exhaustion. Then of course, came the war in Viet Nam…, the very same condition was called post-traumatic stress disorder. I’ll bet you if we’d of still been calling it shell shock, some of those Viet Nam veterans might have gotten the attention they needed at the time.” George Carlin – 1990 “Euphemisms”
George Carlin was well known for his biting humor and as in the words above, often injected social awareness. While I can’t say his words would have changed anything, he did show that society was finally coming to grips with the fact that they owed Veterans something, especially those suffering from PTSD and experiencing problems readjusting back into a peaceful civilian life.
Unlike when those of my generation and before returned from our wars, programs and treatments to help those Veterans are becoming more and more available. Knowing that when dealing with something like PTSD there is no such thing as a ‘one size fits all,’ we are seeing several different approaches, all showing results to help the Veteran overcome their wartime trauma.
read more »
September 27, 2012
For being such a young country, America is steeped in tradition and most Americans despise giving them up. Americans enjoy their traditions and celebration and at one time, stood up for them against any who would seek to destroy any of those.
Can you recall the outrage across America when there was a Baseball Strike and no games? Have you listened as we are told that eating hot dogs are bad for us? Would you stand for a ban on Mom’s Apple Pie?
No, like other Americans, you would strongly oppose any such banning of a favorite pass time for most Americans.
But curiously, another long held tradition has been slowly chipped away at and even outright banned in some regions and Americans remains silent, obediently falling in line and doing as they are told. Celebrating our Independence from Britain with our own fireworks is dying before our very eyes as municipalities and busybodies who don’t like them convince people they are better off giving up the long held tradition and allowing their elected leaders to show them such displays, provided you can handle the crowds or even get into whatever venue they are set off at.
Our own community has a long proud tradition of fireworks and at one time was used both for Independence Day and New Years, joining World Leaders from before America was founded in celebrating important events with fireworks.
read more »
August 15, 2012
The 2004 elections saw what can happen when retired Veterans band together to expose one of their own standing on a false image as a hero when they are anything but. We know them as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, later changed to the Swift boat Veterans and POWs for truth as a group of dedicated former Prisoners of war joined them to expose Massachusetts then junior Senator, John F’in Kerry, noted for bugging out of Vietnam after a brief time in country, fabricating as much as he could for a chest full of unearned medals to stand on for future political causes.
In spite of continual criticisms, attacks and demeaning coverage from the Jurassic Media and false allegations of being a Republican front group, the guys prevailed in exposing Kerry for the poseur he is and for his anti-military antics in the early 1970’s, including a lengthy so-called testimony before the Fulbright Commission where he lied through his teeth about our efforts in Vietnam, throwing Vietnam Veterans under the bus. Vietnam Veterans who returned the favor in 2004 by opposing his candidacy by as high as 80% of us.
read more »
July 30, 2012
To say people were shocked to hear that a major shopping Mall, Clackamas Town Center in Oregon, had informed the operator of a Kiddie Train that he must remove the American Flag he had placed on the train, due to it being “against policy” would be a gross understatement. To think that a local and popular shopping venue would jump on the bandwagon of anti-American flag hysteria was not only unthinkable, but caused a huge uproar in both Oregon and Southwest Washington, from where many drive the 20 miles or more to shop and dine at mall establishments.
A KATU-News Report posted on Sunday, July 29, 2012 told us that Thomas Phelps, manager of the children’s train at the mall, said he was “being forced to remove flags that he uses to decorate the train ride.” Phelps, a Vietnam Veteran, was told displaying the flag was “unapproved visuals.”
I am left to ponder just when did the flag of our nation that has proudly flown and carried into many battles fighting for freedom and liberty around the world become an “unapproved visual” in America?
read more »
July 5, 2012
The itsy-bitsy spider Climbed up the water spout Down came the rain And washed the spider out
Out came the sun And dried up all the rain And the itsy-bitsy spider Climbed up the spout again
As we get older and our children have grown and began families of their own, we tend to forget little things we heard from our parents to teach us how to handle our own adulthood. We use them for our own small children, but once they are grown and gone, little lullaby’s like above seem to slip from our minds.
Perhaps you’re wondering just what a children’s lullaby has to do with the Clark County Veterans Court Board or feel lullaby’s have no place in dealing with troubled Veterans, but this one does.
It provides a very simple message to all of us, “don’t give up.”
Those few Veterans experiencing trouble readjusting and the community both need to remember to never give up on each other. Veterans, don’t give up on yourselves either.
read more »
July 4, 2012
Once again, we celebrate our Independence from Britain over 200 years ago. We will enjoy backyard barbecues, community picnics, fireworks displays or just a pleasant time enjoying friends and family, many people receiving the day off from work. We’ll hear speeches and thanks given out for why we are a free country, those few throughout our history who have stood in the fire to fight for and protect our freedoms.
Tomorrow, everything will return to normal, though. Forgotten by all too many will be the fleeting words of praise given to Veterans of all past wars as people return to business as usual and Veterans will be shoved off into the back corners of people’s minds until the next time a holiday rolls around and some politician feels they need to score a few points.
All too many really don’t care very much about the sacrifices of our Veterans and this can be readily seen in politicians and our media, who sees Veterans as little more than props to score points against an opponent or to sell newspapers or build ratings by flashy reports.
We claim deep respect and admiration for our Veterans and Military and many individuals actually do hold deep respect for them. But, all too many do not. To many we are little more than tools to promote their agenda. To others, we are damaged and something to be fearful of, afraid we may “go off” at any time.
I covered part of this years ago in the posts Veterans, Warriors and Heroes, not Victims and America’s Veterans, A Better Breed.
read more »
July 1, 2012
The 18th Legislative District has been a strong Republican district for a long time. It is noted for electing strong conservative Republicans like Joe Zarelli, Ann Rivers and Ed Orcutt.
The recent redistricting saw Democrats licking their chops in hopes they might gain a foothold with Orcutt being districted out. Enter Liz Pike, a long time Republican who wants to see the 18th remain in the GOP’s hands and is facing two before unheard of Democrats, David Shehorn, retired computer systems worker and Ryan Gompertz, barely out of High School and studying history and economics at UW.
Neither Democrat has any political experience to speak of other than volunteer work with the party.
Liz Pike, on the other hand, comes with the experience of running for and winning an election to serve the community on the Camas City Council, as well as owning her own small business, Pike Advertising Agency.
She currently serves as Political Affairs Director for the Building Industry Association of Clark County as well and true to her roots growing up on a Clark County Dairy Farm, operates Shangri-La Farm, a small scale sustainable farm in Fern Prairie. She also was a volunteer co-organizer for the Washougal Farmers’ Market as well as an avid promoter of the “buy local, slow food” movement and more.
read more »
June 28, 2012
Once again, as we approach another Independence Day celebration, we see the usual slate of fireworks haters writing letters to the editor, speaking before city council demanding the long held tradition of citizens using fireworks to celebrate the day be banned within the city.
As I have previously noted, such a ban is ill-advised and unenforceable, but that doesn’t stop the haters from trumping up their yearly hyperbole of Battle Zone, Armageddon and what have you.
That we are currently in a compromise worked out with the haters a few years ago is of no consequence to them as they now demand yet another compromise, a tactic of incremental compromises until they get their way and the responsible citizens lose their tradition.
As also noted before, responsible users are who will lose out, those few pinheads who opt to buy illegal firework already banned will just continue to buy them from the Indian Reservations, setting them off at will, ban or no ban.
We have seen warnings for years of scaring pets, burning down homes, injuries to children and more hype, even though the newspaper of record, the Columbian has reported the last two years in a row that incidents from fireworks have shown a decrease each year respectively.
But that isn’t good enough for the haters who continue to demand a full ban, many being recent transplants from other regions that came here to escape those regions and now strive to recreate the very region they fled.
read more »
June 28, 2012
As if the Supreme Court ruling upholding Obamacare as constitutional, mandating America citizens be forced to purchase health insurance, they slapped the honor of Veterans who have fought for and defended the freedoms and liberties of American citizens since our founding.
In yet another stunningly surprise ruling, the court ruled in a 6 to 3 decision that “the government does not have the power to punish people for making false claims regarding military service or honors.”
The government has the right to force Americans to purchase expensive health insurance or be fined, but cannot prosecute those who lie and steal the valor of honorable Veterans by falsely claiming receiving Medals of Valor awarded to Heroes for conspicuous gallantry in battle?
Free speech advocates are praising the decision, but since when does free speech give anyone a right to steal the valor of true Heroes?
We have long acknowledged that free speech has its limits, such as yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.
read more »
June 11, 2012
Here we go again, the regular hype associated with Independence Day from those who hate seeing people enjoy themselves with fireworks. To be sure, fireworks are loud and can be dangerous, if improperly handled and we have seen no shortage of pinheads over the years acting irresponsibly.
Fortunately, the pinheads have been decreasing as noted in past Columbian articles Fireworks posed fewer problems for officials in 2010 and Fourth of July fallout fairly minimal in 2011.
But that isn’t good enough as there are those who want a total and complete ban on any sort of fireworks, even the so-called “Safe and Sane” fireworks which, let’s face it, are boring as all hell and not enjoyable.
I find it quite odd that there are those who stand strongly on personal freedoms and the second amendment rights of all Americans, yet they join in the call to ban those same people from enjoying their long held freedom to celebrate our 4th of July Independence Day with fireworks, if they so choose.
How they go from “my cold, dead hands” when it comes to their gun ownership to telling others they must not celebrate our Independence Day as it was intended is beyond me.
John Adams, who was to become our second President of the newly formed Republic, wrote to his wife on July 3, 1776, “The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. . . . It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations (fireworks) from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”
read more »
April 19, 2012
The annual 4th of July celebration of our Independence from Britain will be here in just over 2 months. Along with that will come the fireworks set off by the city, along with the sales of private fireworks that will be set off all around the county. People of all sorts, fun seekers from all over Clark County and Portland, Patriots hoping to honor the birth of our nation and undoubtedly the pinheads who don’t have a lick of common sense in the use of simple fireworks will be hitting the various fireworks stands spending obscene amounts of money to purchase them.
The purchases also give the city and county a revenue boost from the sales.
Along with that will come the usual Letters to the Editor condemning private fireworks, complaining about the noise, lack of courtesy of the pinheads who don’t have the sense to use them, effects on Veterans, animals, children, the elderly, what have you, the complaints will flow just as they have for years.
The Vancouver City Council held a workshop on March 5, 2012 where the discussion centered on, “considering further restrictions on sales and use days, eliminating sales of aerial and other more dangerous fireworks, or a possible multiyear phase-out to a total ban,” moving the city closer to Portland, Oregon’s limitations to the use of only “safe and sane” fireworks, if not an outright ban.
City council members are receiving letters and emails urging bans on our use of fireworks, much like was posted in the Columbian’s All Politics is Local last year, as seen here and here.
Each article is met with those opposing further restrictions and bans in the comments underneath.
read more »