Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Oldest Living Member of ‘Band of Brothers’ Dies

“From Associated Press:

By Timberly Ross, Associated Press

January 22, 2011

OMAHA, Neb. – A member of the "Band of Brothers" who fought in some of World War II's fiercest European battles, Ed Mauser shunned the limelight and kept his service with the Army unit a secret, even from some of his family.”

A link to the above story:


Many other veterans of wars and conflicts within which they participated have also been very quiet about their service. I had several uncles that served in the Navy during WWII. Even when we had big family reunions or birthdays, one never heard any of them recount the events that they had witnessed.

There is something about the spilling of blood for an ideal or a friend that cannot be described with mere words. Many an old, grizzled veteran has been seen with a tear in his eye, and that can express much more than words. Way too many of them have seen comrades-in-arms fall in combat and wondered what is the value that calls for so much sacrifice. But, then they found the courage to continue, whether it was for their country or just to be there for their friends.

The efforts of those in that war brought about changes that would have been unthinkable at the time. Who might have even considered that two of our enemies would someday become two of our staunchest allies in freedom? That the USSR might become an enemy was a consideration, and they did fulfill that consideration. Some WWII veterans today cannot find it within themselves to buy a vehicle made in either Germany or Japan.

I heard a commentary the other day by Glenn Beck regarding the generation of WWII. Not only did they become “The Greatest Generation,” as Tom Brokaw wrote of them, but many of them accomplished much both during the war and afterwards with only an eighth grade education. I can remember my parents and many of my uncles speak of only having that level of education. Thus, it wasn’t unusual to see successful people doing great things with mostly common sense.

To the family of Ed Mauser and to other surviving veterans and their families, know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. So many times, the sacrifices of the families are overlooked.

Let me leave you with a quote from an anonymous source:

"A veteran is someone who wrote a blank check, payable to the United States of America for an amount up to and including his life.”

It matters not which service they were in, nor whether it was active duty, reserves or National Guard. The currency of freedom is the blood, sweat and tears of a nation's people, and their willingness to shed all there is to shed.

God bless you all.

In association with all previous and current veterans and those currently serving.


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