AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM


AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM: GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE,FOR THE PEOPLE -- ECONOMIC FREEDOM BASED ON FREE MARKET INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURISM -- WEALTH CREATION AS A SOURCE OF GREAT GOOD FOR THE DISADVANTAGED -- IMMIGRANTS PROVIDING UNPARALELLED ETHNIC, RELIGIOUS, RACIAL DIVERSITY -- OUR MILITARY PROVIDING AND PROTECTING WORLDWIDE INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Amazing Wisom of Our Great Country's Founders




There are 3,141 counties in the United States.

Trump won 3,084 of them.
Clinton won 57.

There are 62 counties in New York State.

Trump won 46 of them.
Clinton won 16.

Clinton won the popular vote by approx. 1.5 million votes.

In the 5 counties that encompass NYC, (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Richmond & Queens) Clinton received well over 2 million more votes than Trump. (Clinton only won 4 of these counties; Trump won Richmond)

Therefore these 5 counties alone, more than accounted for Clinton winning the popular vote of the entire country.

These 5 counties comprise 319 square miles.
The United States is comprised of 3, 797,000 square miles.

When you have a country that encompasses almost 4 million square miles of territory, it would be ludicrous to even suggest that the vote of those who inhabit a mere 319 square miles should dictate the outcome of a national election.

Large, densely populated Democrat cities (NYC, Chicago, LA, etc) don’t and shouldn’t speak for the rest of our country.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

What We All Know About Hillary



Trump Apology

Bret Stephens Wall Street Journal
What follows is a draft of a speech Donald Trump is scheduled to deliver Tuesday, Oct. 4 in Prescott Valley, Ariz. We haven’t confirmed its authenticity because, like the rest of the corrupt media, we’re totally dishonest.
Thank you, everybody, thank you. It’s good to be back in Arizona. And you know we’re going to win, right? The polls say we’re going to win in Arizona, and we will.
The polls also say we’d lose the general election if it were held today. But they’re wrong. So wrong. You know how pollsters work? They guess who will show up to vote on election day, and then they poll these “likely voters.”
But let me tell you something. The pollsters have no clue. None. They don’t have a clue who the electorate is, and they don’t have a clue of what’s going on in America. Believe me, folks, on election day they’re going to find out.
The other day, in Colombia—I’m talking about the country in South America—they held a vote. A referendum. President Santos staked his reputation on a, quote-unquote, peace deal with the terrorists of the FARC.
Now the FARC, they’re the worst people in the world. They’ve killed tens of thousands of people. They make their money through drug trafficking and kidnapping. They’ve been terrorizing Colombians for 50 years.
Along comes Santos, and he makes this terrible deal that says to the FARC: We’re not going to send you to jail. We’re going to sentence your leaders to community service. We’re even going to guarantee you seats in the Congress.
And all the polls said the deal was going to win in a landslide. Obama and Kerry lined up behind it. Santos told Colombians they had no choice, that it was the only road to peace.
Guess what? The polls were wrong. The Colombians knew a bad deal when they saw one. They weren’t going to let killers get away with their crimes. The only deal they want with the FARC is the same deal Reagan got from Russia: We win, they lose.
Folks, it was the same story with the Brexit vote in June. All the polls said the Brits wouldn’t vote to leave the European Union. They did. All the experts said the sky would fall if the Brits voted to go. It didn’t. These geniuses said that Britain was too small to be the master of its own destiny. The British people believe otherwise, and I’m with them!
What happened in Britain, in Colombia, it’s going to happen here. Because, like them, we’re sick of it.
We’re sick of hearing ObamaCare is working when even the New York Times admits it’s a total disaster. We’re sick of hearing how great the economy is when it’s floating on a big wave of cheap credit that benefits Wall Street at the expense of savers. We’re sick of hearing how great the Iran deal is, then watching our sailors being humiliated while we secretly fork over pallets of cash.
You know what we’re also sick of? Liberal hypocrites.
I’m not supposed to say the name I’m about to say. Well, two words: Alicia. Machado.
Who is this Alicia Machado, other than a political prop for Hillary? She was a beauty queen for a business I helped run called “ Miss Universe.” The business of beauty queens is to be beautiful, just like it’s the business of athletes to be fit. Duh! And when she gained some weight, I insisted she lose it. Did I call her “ Miss Piggy”? Boo hoo. Get over it.
For this I’m being treated very badly. Let me ask you something: Other than Lena Dunham, when was the last time Anna Wintour ran a fat person on the cover of Vogue? And when was the last time Hillary said no to one of Ms. Wintour’s big fundraisers because of Vogue’s “lookism”?
So spare me the sensitivity lectures. Spare me the business lectures, too. Those tax returns someone stole and the New York Times published? The ones that showed I once lost nearly a billion dollars and used every legal trick in the book to stage a comeback?
All of you here understand this is how business is done in America. Some years you make money. Some years you lose. You take advantage of every tax break you can because the government is trying to screw you every other way.
That’s the real world. It’s only in the unreal world that Hillary lives in that you can make a fortune by being a failed secretary of state and then cash in on obscene speaking fees, or arrange for Bill to get an $18 million salary to be “honorary chancellor” at a for-profit college while the Obama administration destroys every other for-profit. That’s called corruption, no matter whether it’s legal or not.
Folks, there’s a giant wave coming. A tsunami of Americans who won’t stand for being told we don’t know what’s good for us. Who refuse to be lectured by political grifters about how to make an honest buck. Who don’t need our morals improved by Hillary Macbethand Billy Caligula. And who refuse to accept that we have to make lousy deals, or make do with less, or that America can’t ever be great again.
To all the liberals and Never Trumpers who don’t get why Hillary isn’t ahead by 50 points—I just explained it. To all of you, get ready for Nov. 8. It’s going to be a beautiful thing. Believe me.
 
 

Trunp Apology

Bret Stephens Wall Street Journal
What follows is a draft of a speech Donald Trump is scheduled to deliver Tuesday, Oct. 4 in Prescott Valley, Ariz. We haven’t confirmed its authenticity because, like the rest of the corrupt media, we’re totally dishonest.
Thank you, everybody, thank you. It’s good to be back in Arizona. And you know we’re going to win, right? The polls say we’re going to win in Arizona, and we will.
The polls also say we’d lose the general election if it were held today. But they’re wrong. So wrong. You know how pollsters work? They guess who will show up to vote on election day, and then they poll these “likely voters.”
But let me tell you something. The pollsters have no clue. None. They don’t have a clue who the electorate is, and they don’t have a clue of what’s going on in America. Believe me, folks, on election day they’re going to find out.
The other day, in Colombia—I’m talking about the country in South America—they held a vote. A referendum. President Santos staked his reputation on a, quote-unquote, peace deal with the terrorists of the FARC.
Now the FARC, they’re the worst people in the world. They’ve killed tens of thousands of people. They make their money through drug trafficking and kidnapping. They’ve been terrorizing Colombians for 50 years.
Along comes Santos, and he makes this terrible deal that says to the FARC: We’re not going to send you to jail. We’re going to sentence your leaders to community service. We’re even going to guarantee you seats in the Congress.
And all the polls said the deal was going to win in a landslide. Obama and Kerry lined up behind it. Santos told Colombians they had no choice, that it was the only road to peace.
Guess what? The polls were wrong. The Colombians knew a bad deal when they saw one. They weren’t going to let killers get away with their crimes. The only deal they want with the FARC is the same deal Reagan got from Russia: We win, they lose.
Folks, it was the same story with the Brexit vote in June. All the polls said the Brits wouldn’t vote to leave the European Union. They did. All the experts said the sky would fall if the Brits voted to go. It didn’t. These geniuses said that Britain was too small to be the master of its own destiny. The British people believe otherwise, and I’m with them!
What happened in Britain, in Colombia, it’s going to happen here. Because, like them, we’re sick of it.
We’re sick of hearing ObamaCare is working when even the New York Times admits it’s a total disaster. We’re sick of hearing how great the economy is when it’s floating on a big wave of cheap credit that benefits Wall Street at the expense of savers. We’re sick of hearing how great the Iran deal is, then watching our sailors being humiliated while we secretly fork over pallets of cash.
You know what we’re also sick of? Liberal hypocrites.
I’m not supposed to say the name I’m about to say. Well, two words: Alicia. Machado.
Who is this Alicia Machado, other than a political prop for Hillary? She was a beauty queen for a business I helped run called “ Miss Universe.” The business of beauty queens is to be beautiful, just like it’s the business of athletes to be fit. Duh! And when she gained some weight, I insisted she lose it. Did I call her “ Miss Piggy”? Boo hoo. Get over it.
For this I’m being treated very badly. Let me ask you something: Other than Lena Dunham, when was the last time Anna Wintour ran a fat person on the cover of Vogue? And when was the last time Hillary said no to one of Ms. Wintour’s big fundraisers because of Vogue’s “lookism”?
So spare me the sensitivity lectures. Spare me the business lectures, too. Those tax returns someone stole and the New York Times published? The ones that showed I once lost nearly a billion dollars and used every legal trick in the book to stage a comeback?
All of you here understand this is how business is done in America. Some years you make money. Some years you lose. You take advantage of every tax break you can because the government is trying to screw you every other way.
That’s the real world. It’s only in the unreal world that Hillary lives in that you can make a fortune by being a failed secretary of state and then cash in on obscene speaking fees, or arrange for Bill to get an $18 million salary to be “honorary chancellor” at a for-profit college while the Obama administration destroys every other for-profit. That’s called corruption, no matter whether it’s legal or not.
Folks, there’s a giant wave coming. A tsunami of Americans who won’t stand for being told we don’t know what’s good for us. Who refuse to be lectured by political grifters about how to make an honest buck. Who don’t need our morals improved by Hillary Macbethand Billy Caligula. And who refuse to accept that we have to make lousy deals, or make do with less, or that America can’t ever be great again.
To all the liberals and Never Trumpers who don’t get why Hillary isn’t ahead by 50 points—I just explained it. To all of you, get ready for Nov. 8. It’s going to be a beautiful thing. Believe me.
 
 

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Utter Travesty Of Poliitical Correctness!!



 

The single most prominent characteristic of contemporary America is that common sense has been abandoned to political correctness and "feelings".

 

As President George W. Bush's top speech writer, Marc Thiessen was provided unique access to the CIA program used in interrogating top Al Qaeda terrorists, including the mastermind of the 9/11 attack, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (KSM).

 

Now, his riveting new book, "Courting Disaster", How the CIA Kept America Safe (Regnery), has been published. Here is an excerpt from "Courting Disaster":

 

"Just before dawn on March 1, 2003, two dozen heavily armed Pakistani tactical assault forces move in and surround a safe house in Rawalpindi. A few hours earlier they had received a text message from an informant inside the house. It read: "I am with KSM."

 

Bursting in, they find the disheveled mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in his bedroom. He is taken into custody. In the safe house, they find a treasure trove of computers, documents, cell phones and other valuable "pocket litter."

 

Once in custody, KSM is defiant. He refuses to answer questions,informing his captors that he will tell them everything when he gets to America and sees his lawyer. But KSM is not taken to America to see a lawyer Instead he is taken to a secret CIA "black site" in an undisclosed location.

 

Upon arrival, KSM finds himself in the complete control of Americans. He does not know where he is, how long he will be there, or what his fate will be. Despite his circumstances, KSM still refuses to talk. He spews contempt at his interrogators, telling them Americans are weak, lack resilience, and are unable to do what is necessary to prevent the terrorists from succeeding in their goals. He has trained to resist interrogation.

 

When he is asked for information about future attacks, he tells his questioners scornfully: "Soon, you will know."

 

It becomes clear he will not reveal the information using traditional interrogation techniques. So he undergoes a series of "enhanced interrogation techniques" approved for use only on the most high-value detainees. The techniques include water-boarding.

 

He begins telling his CIA debriefers about active al Qaeda plots to launch attacks against the United States and other Western targets. He holds classes for CIA officials, using a chalkboard to draw a picture of al Qaeda's operating structure, financing, communications, and logistics. He identifies al Qaeda travel routes and safe havens, and helps intelligence officers make sense of documents and computer records seized in terrorist raids.

 

He identifies voices in intercepted telephone calls, and helps officials understand the meaning of coded terrorist communications. He provides information that helps our intelligence community capture other high-ranking terrorists.

 

KSM's questioning, and that of other captured terrorists, produces more than 6,000 intelligence reports, which are shared across the intelligence community, as well as with our allies across the world.

 

In one of these reports, KSM describes in detail the revisions he made to his failed 1994-1995 plan known as the "Bojinka plot" to blow up a dozen airplanes carrying some 4,000 passengers over the Pacific Ocean.

 

Years later, an observant CIA officer notices the activities of a cell being followed by British authorities appear to match KSM's description of his plans for a Bojinka-style attack.

 

In an operation that involves unprecedented intelligence cooperation between our countries, British officials proceed to unravel the plot.

 

On the night of Aug. 9, 2006 they launch a series of raids in a northeast London suburb that lead to the arrest of two dozen al Qaeda terrorist suspects. They find a USB thumb-drive in the pocket of one of the men with security details for Heathrow airport, and information on seven Trans -Atlantic flights that were scheduled to take off within hours of each other:

  1. United Airlines Flight 931 to San Francisco departing at 2:15 PM
  2. Air Canada Flight 849 to Toronto departing at 3:00 PM
  3. Air Canada Flight 865 to Montreal departing at 3:15 PM
  4. United Airlines Flight 959 to Chicago departing at 3:40 PM
  5. United Airlines Flight 925 to Washington departing at 4:20 PM
  6. American Airlines Flight 131 to New York departing at 4:35 PM
  7. American Airlines Flight 91 to Chicago departing at 4:50 PM

They seize bomb-making equipment and hydrogen peroxide to make liquid explosives. And they find the chilling martyrdom videos the suicide bombers had prepared.

 

Today, if you asked an average person on the street what they know about the 2006 airlines plot, most would not be able to tell you much. Few Americans are aware of the fact al Qaeda had planned to mark the fifth anniversary of 9/11 with an attack of similar scope and magnitude. And still fewer realize the terrorists' true intentions in this plot were uncovered thanks to critical information obtained through the interrogation of the man who conceived it: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

 

This is only one of the many attacks stopped with the help of the CIA interrogation program established by the Bush Administration in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

 

In addition to helping break up these specific terrorist cells and plots, CIA questioning provided our intelligence community with an unparalleled body of information about al Qaeda Until the program was temporarily suspended in 2006, intelligence officials say, well over half of the information our government had about al Qaeda; how it operates, how it moves money, how it communicates, how it recruits operatives, how it picks targets, how it plans and carries out attacks-came from the interrogation of terrorists in CIA custody.

 

Former CIA Director George Tenet has declared: "I know this program has saved lives. I know we've disrupted plots. I know this program alone is worth more than what the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us."

 

Former CIA Director Mike Hayden has said: "The facts of the case are that the use of these techniques against these terrorists made us safer. It really did work."

Even Barack Obama's Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, has acknowledged: "High-value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qaeda organization that was attacking this country."

Leon Panetta, Obama's CIA Director, has said: "Important information was gathered from these detainees. It provided information that was acted upon."

 

John Brennan, Obama's Homeland Security Advisor, when asked in an interview if enhanced-interrogation techniques were necessary to keep America safe, replied: "Would the U. S. be handicapped if the CIA was not, in fact, able to carry out these types of detention and debriefing activities, I would say yes."

 

On Jan. 22, 2009, President Obama issued Executive Order 13491, closing the CIA program and directing that, henceforth, all interrogations by U. S. personnel must follow the techniques contained in the Army Field Manual.

 

The morning of the announcement, Mike Hayden was still in his post as CIA Director, He called White House Counsel Greg Craig and told him bluntly: "You didn't ask, but this is the CIA officially non-concurring". The president went ahead anyway, over ruling the objections of the agency.

 

A few months later, on April 16, 2009, President Obama ordered the release of four Justice Department memos that described in detail the techniques used to interrogate KSM and other high-value terrorists. This time, not just Hayden (who was now retired) but five CIA directors-including Obama's own director, Leon Panetta objected. George Tenet called to urge against the memos' release. So did Porter Goss.

 

So did John Deutch. Hayden says: "You had CIA directors in a continuous unbroken stream to 1995 calling saying,'Don't do this.'"

 

In addition to objections from the men who led the agency for a collective 14 years, the President also heard objections from the agency's covert field operatives. A few weeks earlier, Panetta had arranged for the eight top officials of the Clandestine Service to meet with the President.

 

It was highly unusual for these clandestine officers to visit the Oval Office, and they used the opportunity to warn the President that releasing the memos would put agency operatives at risk.

 

The President reportedly listened respectfully-and then ignored their advice.

 

With these actions, Barack Obama arguably did more damage to America's national security in his first 100 days of office than any President in American history.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Thursday, September 29, 2016

How The World Sees Us: “Leading From Behind” May Work With Grazing Sheep. It Does Not Work In Wolf Country.

Denmark’s former prime minister exhorts Americans to resist retreat.
By Josef Joffe


When you chance on a book by a former NATO chief, your eyes glaze over. Please, not another “Whither NATO?” or a compendium of boilerplate, stitched together by a ghostwriter. Yet crack open “The Will to Lead” by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who also served as Denmark’s prime minister for eight years, and the glaze will vanish.

This book reads like a letter to an American friend, written by a “European classical liberal who has always counted on American leadership.” On the cusp of a new administration, this European doesn’t pine for yet another pledge of American allegiance. Instead he exhorts the U.S. “not to abandon its vital role as champion of freedom and guarantor of the global order.”

He sees the “global village” burning while its inhabitants bicker. So “we need a policeman to restore order; we need a fireman to put out the fire; we need a mayor, smart and sensible, to lead the rebuilding.” That sums up the role the U.S. ditched after World War I—and brilliantly reclaimed after World War II.

Why the alarm? Because, as Mr. Rasmussen writes, neo-isolationism, economic as well as strategic, is on a roll on both sides of the ocean. TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, is on the way to the morgue, as may be TPP, the Pacific version. Under Barack Obama, the U.S. has pulled out of Iraq while downscaling in Afghanistan. He has turned away from old allies in the Middle East, working hard to secure a nuclear deal with the theocrats of Iran. He has given the Russians an all but free ride in Ukraine and in Syria.

When Mr. Obama trumpeted the “audacity of hope,” he forsook the first rule of statecraft: It is better (and cheaper) to man the lines than to return. Being there deters; pulling out suggests indifference, if not an invitation to rivals. “Leading from behind” may work with grazing sheep. It does not in wolf country.

Mr. Rasmussen’s hero is Harry S. Truman. The “little haberdasher from Missouri,” as his detractors had it, was a giant on the world stage. While FDR trusted in “Uncle Joe” Stalin, foreshadowing America’s withdrawal from Europe, Truman rearmed with a vengeance. His historic achievement was a new global order that endures to this day. Behold the alphabet soup: U.N., NATO, IMF, the World Bank, GATT (now WTO, the World Trade Organization). It still nourishes the rest of the world.

Call it “empire,” but it was one by invitation, not by imposition. It served American interests by serving those of others, be it security or free trade. It was rules, not rule. Never was awesome power so nicely enveloped in the common good.

Naturally, Mr. Rasmussen is no admirer of the 44th president, though his critique never strays from the polite. But you get the point when he muses that “Yes, we can” should actually have read “Yes, only we can.” For “only superpowers have the necessary capabilities to get things done.”

Alas, America is tiring of the burden, as the “come home” reflexes of the Obama years show both right and left. Hillary Clinton is trying to outbid Donald Trump on protectionism. The GOP, once the party of liberal internationalism, has now nominated a man whose campaign slogan is “America First.”

Mr. Rasmussen marshals two arguments against this downsizing of America. To “pull up the drawbridge” is, first of all, “morally repugnant.” It is “letting bad things happen and standing idly by.” Second, retraction embodies the erroneous belief that “if America stays away from the troubles of the world, the troubles of the world will stay away from America.” That wasn’t even true in the 20th century when Germany and Japan conquered Europe and much of Asia as prelude to war against the United States. Today the speed of travel and communication has shrunk distance to near naught, as this month’s terrorist attack in downtown New York demonstrates.

Hence Mr. Rasmussen counsels a global “broken window” strategy, just as the Romans did: respice finem, consider the end. He pleads for robust American interventionism: Hit them hard and early. If the “indispensable nation” won’t do it, nobody will. When the U.S. doesn’t act, it gets genocide, as in Rwanda. When it does, as against Serbia, peace has a chance. The author sticks to his guns even on Iraq, which he considers a legitimate war. The problem, he avers, was “not the military mission” but what he delicately calls the “political follow-up”—that is, restoring governance and the economy.

Let’s go back to his triple-image of America as “policeman, fireman and mayor.” The American temper lends itself perfectly to the firefighter role. The trucks rush in, the guys break down the walls and flood the building. Then back to the station house. But the police have to stay forever; so does the mayor. That’s not the American way of war, leaving aside the miraculous exceptions of postwar Europe, Korea and Japan, where U.S. troops still deter and reassure. In general, democracies do not like long, indecisive wars in faraway locales. In the end, they pull out. And the locals know it.

Iraq was a disaster not simply because of the “political follow-up.” It also comes with a cruel realpolitik lesson: By eliminating Saddam and the Iraqi army, the U.S. acted as unwitting handmaiden of Iranian power. Iraq used to be the mightiest bulwark against Tehran’s ambitions, whether under the shah or the Khomeinists. Today the country is practically a Persian fiefdom, and Iranian forces and surrogates now range all the way to the Levant, carving up Syria and threatening Israel.

So take Mr. Rasmussen with a spoonful of salt. Intervene only if moral duty aligns with inherently limited means and strategic interests. Above all, don’t go after the wrong enemy, which was not Baghdad but Tehran. Always the strongest player in the Middle East, Iran is now challenging the “Great Satan” for primacy from Basra to Beirut. Neither George W. Bush nor Barack Obama grasped this elementary point.

That said, “The Will to Lead” delivers an altogether salutary counter to Obamism as well as Trumpism, not to mention those feeling the Bern on the left. There is no other “indispensable power”—and there won’t be for a long time.

Mr. Joffe is editor of the German weekly Die Zeit and a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, where he teaches U.S. foreign policy.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Colin Kapernick Shredded: "Whining. Indulgent, Attention Seekiing Crybaby"

She speaks for so many of us.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qq0_nyWVXCI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


What a diifference -

Left coast eliitist, overpaid, spoiled, whining Americans
Levi Field - San Francisco, Californa




Middle America - plain, ordinary, hard workiing, proud Americans
Lambeau Field - Green Bay, Wisconsin





Walmart Peolple - No Doubt Deplorable


His uncontrollable laughter makes this well worth watching.

 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Great American Story

They told me the big black Lab's name was Reggie, as I lI'd only been in the area for six months, but everywhere I went in the small college town, people were welcoming and open.  Everyone waves when you pass them on the street.ooked at him lying in his pen.  The shelter was clean,no-kill, and the people really friendly. But something was still missing as I attempted to settle in to my new life here, and I though a dog couldn't hurt.
Give me someone to talk to.  And I had just seen Reggie's advertisement on the local news.  The shelter said they had received numerous calls right after, but they said the people who had come down to see him just didn't look like "Lab people," whatever that meant.  They must’ve thought I did.
 

But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie and his things, which consisted of a dog pad, bag of toys almost all of which were brand new tennis balls, his dishes and a sealed letter from his previous owner.

See, Reggie and I didn't really hit it off when we got home.  We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter told me to give him to adjust to his new home).  Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too.  Maybe we were too much alike.  I saw the sealed envelope.  I had completely forgotten about that. “Okay, Reggie," I said out loud, "let's see if your previous owner has any advice.


To Whomever Gets My Dog:  Well, I can't say that I'm happy you're reading this, a letter I told the shelter could only be opened by Reggie's new owner.  I'm not even happy writing it.  He knew something was different.

So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes that it will help you bond with him and he with you.  First, he loves tennis balls.  The more the merrier.  Sometime I think he's part squirrel, the way he hoards them.  He usually always has two in his mouth, and he tries to get a third in there.  Hasn't done it yet.  Doesn't matter where you
throw them, he'll bound after them, so be careful. Don't do it by any roads.

Next, commands.  Reggie knows the obvious ones ---"sit," "stay," "come," "heel." He knows hand signals, too:  He knows "ball" and "food" and "bone" and "treat" like nobody's business.  Feeding schedule:  twice a day, regular store-bought stuff; the shelter has the brand.
He's up on his shots.  Be forewarned: Reggie hates the vet. Good luck getting him in the car.  I don't know how he knows when it's time to go to the vet, but he knows.
Finally, give him some time.  It's only been Reggie and me for his whole life.  He's gone everywhere with me, so please include him on your daily car rides if you can.  He sits well in the backseat, and he doesn't bark or complain.  He just loves to be around people, and me most especially.

And that's why I need to share one more bit of info with you...  His name's not Reggie.  He's a smart dog, he'll get used to it and will respond to it, of that I have no doubt.
But I just couldn't bear to give them his real name.  But if someone is reading this ...well it means that his new owner should know his real name.  His real name is "Tank."  Because, that is what I drive.  I told the shelter that they couldn't make "Reggie" available for adoption until they received word from my company commander.
You see, my parents are gone, I have no siblings, no one I could've left Tank with ... and it was my only real request of the Army upon my deployment to Iraq, that they make one phone call to the shelter ...in the "event" ... to tell them that Tank could be put up for adoption.  Luckily, my CO is a dog-guy, too, and he knew where my platoon was headed.
He said he'd do it personally. And if you're reading this, then he made good on his word.  Tank has been my family for the last six years, almost as long as the Army has been my family.  And now I hope and pray that you make him part of your family, too, and that he will adjust and come to love you the same way he loved me.  If I have to give up Tank to keep those terrible people from coming to the US I am glad to have done so.  He is my example of service and of love.
I hope I honored him by my service to my country and comrades.  All right, that's enough.  I deploy this evening and have to drop this letter off at the shelter.  Maybe I'll peek in on him and see if he finally got that third tennis ball in his mouth.  Good luck with Tank.  Give him a good home, and give him an extra kiss goodnight - every night - from me.
Thank you, Paul Mallory


_____________________

I folded the letter and slipped it back in the envelope.  Sure, I had heard of Paul Mallory, everyone in town knew him, even new people like me.  Local kid, killed in Iraq a few months
ago and posthumously earning the Silver Star when he gave his life to save three buddies.
Flags had been at half-mast all summer.


I leaned forward in my chair and rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the dog.  "Hey, Tank," I said quietly. The dog's head whipped up, his ears cocked and his eyes bright.
“C'mere boy."


He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on the hardwood floor.  He sat in front of me, his head tilted, searching for the name he hadn't heard in months. "Tank," I whispered.  His tail swished. I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each time, his ears lowered, his eyes softened, and his posture relaxed as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood him.  I stroked his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried my face into his scruff and hugged him.

"It's me now, Tank, just you and me.  Your old pal gave you to me."  Tank reached up and licked my cheek.
"So whatdasay we play some ball?"  His ears perked again.
"Yeah? Ball?  You likes that? Ball?"
Tank tore from my hands and disappeared into the next room.  And when he came back, he had three tennis balls in his mouth.


 

If you can read this without getting a lump in your throat or a tear in your eye, you just ain’t right. 

 "The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him."
 ~ G.K. Chesterton


To ALL the veterans, I THANK YOU for your Service to our great County!!