9/11, Here We Go Again


I am sure that this post is going to piss some people off, but I really don’t care. On September 11th, a truly tragic event was brought upon the US by a group of cowards that were not man enough to come face to face with our people or our military. Many lives were lost and many more were affected for the remainder of their lives. This is about where the sympathy ends for me. 343 firefighters were killed on that day, as a firefighter myself, I can say that truly sucks. What about the other 2634 deaths of Americans. We don’t seem to remember the overall number on any other day. If you add in the 19 cowards you have a total of 2996 people. I don’t give a rat’s ass about the 19 terrorists, but that makes up the total number.  Far too often I hear people say that the firefighters entered the building knowing that they were going to die. Bullshit!! Was the possibility high that day? Yes. Did they go in there knowing that they were never coming out alive, I don’t think so. The command center was placed inside of the of the towers. This may have been the protocol, but I obviously do not know because I am not a member of that dept., and do not know their policies. What I can be almost certain of is if they knew that the towers collapses were possible, there may have been a change of plans. That is not for me to judge. On the most devastating attack on US soil, there were alot of brave men who took it upon themselves to go into harms way to do the job that they know and love. Unfortunately it did not end well for them and 2634 other US citizens, or their families. It does deserve remembrance, and we should be thankful for the job well done of saving many people.

Now we face another group of cowards that claim they will attack our country. This time we are ready, but we have our troops and money spread so far across the world, are we truly safer than we were before. I don’t think so. It is way past the time to keep our military on our own soil and protect the homeland. The days of trying to be the police force of the world needs to end. When will the idiots of D.C., and POTUS, realize this and do what we the people clearly see is better for the stability of this country, both safety wise, and financially. I feel for my grand children and their children, because at the rate we are going, we will sooner rather than later become a third world country. I love my country, I wish the politicians did!!!! God bless the families of  all lost on that day. To hell with the 19 cowardly assholes that caused it.

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Pussification of America


I think that this post will be short and sweet but sometimes when I get on this topic I tend to let all of my feelings air out at once.

Although the title may not be “Politically Correct” I really don’t care. That is pretty much my point. Since when should we have to worry about being politically correct when it

Political Correctness Sucks

Political Correctness Sucks (Photo credit: KAZVorpal)

comes to our everyday lives. That term has become one that is used way too often and it is leading into the pussification of America.

I strongly believe that there is a major difference between being rude or ignorant , and politically correct. When you are asked a question or to give your opinion you should be able to give it from your heart without being rude but by being specific and to the point.

All we ever see the newer generation do, mine included is spend all of their time with their head buried in a computer or a tablet, or a smart phone. I used to think that it was hilarious to watch a video of somebody walking into a parking meter or a parked car because they had their head in their phone until I saw it in person. It actually made me feel bad for the person. Guys ask girls out on the internet, people argue on the internet, phone calls have turned in to text messages. Person to person conversations have turned into face chatting or whatever you want to call it.

This country still teaches all of our main subjects in school but as soon as we graduate all we need is a smart phone or an internet connection and all that education can just go out the window. I am willing to bet that probably 70 to 80 percent of people between the age of 18-23 probably cannot read a map because of TomTom and smart phones. Probably 95 percent could not find their way home on a map if you took all of the street names and route numbers off of it. If it was handed to them upside down they may not be able to find North.

I am by no means talking down on younger people, it is the older generations fault for allowing the technology to take over common sense. If you are 40 or older you should still be teaching the younger crowd basic survival skills in case some day the power goes down and the technology takes a little nap on us.

These days when a child acts up they are automatically medicated. If the people in this country could still give their child a disciplinary whoopin in public without worrying about the police and child services knocking on the door some of this could be avoided. Some of these children are not able to control their tantrums reasons that we do not know of, I understand this, but every now and then a child just needs to be told no and that needs to be stuck with.

A kid playing little league cant throw more than 85 pitches, no double sessions in high school football, a student cant compete in two sports. We are holding them back people, open your eyes.

In our military we hand out stress cards to the cadets. The old way to build a soldier was working great, why would we change it. Two grown men having just an old fashioned slug fest then going out for a beer afterwards is now a crime. What are we thinking ?  If two kids duke it out in school, send them to the principals office and give them detention like we used to. A couple times of sitting in school after class will teach them. That is the worst punishment ever.

The bottom line in my opinion is that we need to toughen up this country and our kids or the grand kids and their kids don’t stand a damn chance in this country. It may not even be called America by then.

We should have listened to George Carlin years ago

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Still with Hurricane Katrina


A stray dog abandoned by its owners approaches...

A stray dog abandoned by its owners approaches a rescue worker in New Orleans. Many animals were left by their owners who could not take them to the evacuation shelters. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I stated in my last post that I was going to post again on this subject and if you were faint at heart you may want to read cautiously. We were still staying at the same fire dept. or the one down the street responding to calls with them to be sure that the members of the dept’s were able to get the rest that they needed and tend to their own affairs. there were two journalists that also stayed at the station, but really never talked because they were always on a computer. We even had a little mascot. It was a dog that came wandering in all beat up and hungry. I was very surprised by looking at this little 6 pound dog that he was able to survive. It crossed my mind occasionally when I petted him if his family had survived or if they had perished in the storm.

The first trip that we had taken down into the city, downtown was still flooded all except for the French Quarter and some of Bourbon St. there were people just sitting on the street having a drink of their cocktail of choice, in other words a little whiskey.

We saw air boats combing the flooded streets looking for people who needed help out and also assessing the city. The Superdome was devastated as seen alot on TV but the TV could not do it justice. There were helicopters flying overhead still looking for people that needed pulled from rooftops, and there was smoke visible from numerous fires on the outskirts of the city. The next paragraph will be a little graphic

Next we were teamed up with a couple of US Marshalls that would do patrols throughout the city at night. Our team was asked to send someone along because we had medical training. The marshalls would do their job as far as law enforcement and keeping people peaceful and we would do ours as EMT’s if needed. On more than 1 trip into the city we wold see a body laying on the roadway only covered with a trash bag because they had not been picked up and cared for yet. This did not happen all the time, but once was more than enough. We were asked to send some people over to the airport where we could help with bodies at the makeshift morgue. This was not a task that anyone wanted to take part in, but they needed it done because the President was going to be coming to landing there. Fortunately they must have found another team to do the job because we never had to go. I was very thankful for that.

I remember one day very vividly that we were heading in to the city and were stopped a t an intersection where there was a man with his hands in his cooler and shaking his head at the same time. It rather obvious to me that this man was in desperate need of some ice in his cooler. We got out of the car and dumped every piece of ice we had in our cooler into his. He almost had tears in his eyes. We may as well have handed that man a bag of gold. It was a   very good feeling to help someone with something so easy to do.

Back at the fire dept. the members were able to make a comfortable sleeping area for their new guests. they had built a wall behind the engines and placed an air conditioner so it wold be cool when we had time to sleep. They called it the bunny ranch. Where they came up with the materials I don’t really know but it was a great relief after being out in the heat all day.

We ate alot of MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) but we also were treated to straight up cajun meal when time allowed. Gumbo, tamale’s, and jambalaya to name a few. It was a nice change from the MRE’s. At night you could always here fighting going on in the neighborhood behind us, and on one occasion you could hear gun shots in the neighborhood in the distance. I just stayed where I was because I knew the guys out front were very well armed and not afraid to defend the dept. if needed.

Once our main goals were accomplished, we would be ready to head back to Pennsylvania. It would be a few more days of running calls and keeping the station fully manned then our time here would be over. I can’t say that I was ready to leave because we were doing an important job. I can say that I did miss my family and was ready to get on that plane back to PA. We said our good byes to the dept members and other members of our team and we went our separate ways. Occasionally we would talk on the phone but have lost track of them since.

I am very proud to say that I was able to be a part of a response team, but I can also say that there was a lot of things that angered and frustrated me over the amount of time that we spent in that big convention center in Atlanta prior to our deployment.

A Day on the Water


Today was a day that I had as much time as I wanted to just sit and think, but guess what I DIDN’T DO IT.

 

Today we spent the day on the water kayaking and fishing with my oldest daughter and some good people. We ranged from 13 years old to 42. When did I become the old guy?  My daughter and I had a friendly fishing competition. She won the first part by catching the first fish and I won the second two by catching the most and the biggest. We watched a bald eagle fly over us and land in a tree directly over us. I wish I could take my camera on the creek with me when I was out there.

 

We stopped at the half way point and started a small fire to cook some hot dogs and hot sausage. It was nice to just be out there and not have to worry about the things that normally go through my mind on a daily basis.

Bald eagle

There was one spot on the trip as there always is that is not too much fun. There is a certain point in the journey where we have a choice to go left or right of an island. The left side is a nice easy slow trip and the right side is a slightly faster trip where there are two crosses pinned to trees. That is where we lost the two young ladies to canoeing accident years ago. I always choose to go to the right and always ask the others to go to the left. I was the first rescuer on scene and we were unable to save them. I always take a minute or two, stop at the crosses and say a small prayer for the girls and their families.

I also ask them to forgive us that tried so long to get them out there and save their lives. I know that we did everything we could do, but I still always ask. I want them to know that I have not forgotten that day and I never will.

There are some things that I wish this TBI would have erased from my memory. Some of them are the way that I acted after my injury towards my family and friends and the others so some of the things that I have seen since I became an adult. From the Gulf War to firefighting there are alot of things that have been stored in my mind for a long time. Every now and then they peek out of storage and bring me back to that time. It is never fun and none of them are good memories but it is the life that I have chosen and I have no regrets.

The life choices that I have made in my career have given me many opportunities that others will never be able to understand. I am very proud that I have done my very best and made the most out of them. Whatever it is you do for a living or in life, do your very best as well. It will make a difference to someone even if you do’t see it.

I am going to close this post by saying that in the last week or so I have seen that this blog is working for the purpose that I intended. I have been motivated by the comments that I have received. When I first started this blog I thought that I would be lucky if this worked, and I set my goal at six to eight months to make a positive difference to someone. I think this is my third month and it has already happened. I want to thank each and every one of you that follow this blog and leave comments . You are all helping “My Fall to Life” succeed.