Salute! ~ To Those Who Served

From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield

Tomorrow, we stop and give thanks for all those who have served the nation in uniform, protecting the freedoms we hold so dear. Some gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in order to ensure that we have the life we so proudly proclaim.

Their sacrifice is honored with each election where not by coup, but by ordinary Americans casting a ballot and choosing those who will lead and represent them. The power and authority of those officials are transferred from one elected official to the next, from the precinct level to the highest office in the land, the Presidency, without the need for troops in the streets because of those who answered the call to duty, honor and service.

The ability to vote, the ability to choose, the ability to speak our minds, the ability to worship or not worship, the ability to write these words without fear, the ability to work, to succeed, to fail, to rise above our circumstances, all of this we owe to those men and women who fought for peace, justice and freedom.

None of our liberties came without cost and thus we owe a debt to each of our veterans and to those who still serve.

Beginning at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 with the treaty signed ending the “Great War” between the Triple Entente and the Allies, the veterans are now honored each year as Veteran’s Day, though initially Armistice Day.

On a more personal note:

Normandy Award to Luther C. Powell

In those dark days following the sneak attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, four brothers from Nashville, Brown County, Indiana lined up at the recruiting office and joined the US Navy. These four brothers went off to save the world for democracy both in the European Theater and in the Pacific.

Homer Powell lost in World War II

Three made it back home at the close of World War II. The one who didn’t return was my Uncle Homer. My grandfather and his other two brothers, Herman and Wesley, came home, but changed, never to be the same.

First Sergeant Jack L. Hollifield

My step-father, a fresh-faced kid from Sullivan County, Indiana didn’t wait to be drafted. He went to the recruiting office and signed up to be a soldier for Uncle Sam. He survived, though wounded once, three tours in Viet Nam. He remained in the US Army to retire after 20 years as an E-8 First Sergeant.

USN veteran Allen Powell

My grandfather’s only son, my uncle, later followed in his father’s footsteps and sailed off on the ocean blue with the Navy. He served around the world, then came home.

Allen's Honorable Discharge

All of these veterans within my own family are now gone, but not forgotten.

AFC Mark after USAF Basic Training

Their service made it possible for me to join the US Air Force in 1976. My time was spent at Grissom AFB, right here in the Cornfield.

It also allowed my step-brother, John Hollifield, a few years later to join the US Army. Unfortunately, we lost him in a drunk driving incident after he did his duty and was home.

US Army vet John Hollifield, victim of a DUI driver

The sacrifice of my grandfather, great-uncles and step-father also allowed all of us to still be living in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

This is why I am always appreciative of those who choose to serve in our military. This is why I always have an empathy and a connection to the families left behind to keep the home fires burning to shine the light to lead our service members home.

Each November 11th, we celebrate, not just the veterans of that long ago war that was to be the war to end all wars, but the holiday has evolved to celebrate and to show appreciation for all who have served our great nation and those who continue to serve.

From the Cornfield, veterans, I salute you and thank you!

Crunching Numbers

There is consternation in the chattering class and with the national journalists club members over the low approval number of President Donald Trump. No President in this very early stage of his term has ever had such a low approval percentage.

But does this number mean anything of substance?

The President, as a candidate, had abysmal numbers in the polls. No one, not even the Prez, actually thought he would pull off the upset. No one thought, based on his low approval number, that Queen Hillary Clinton could be prevented from assuming the throne in the Oval Office.

But – the polls did not tell the tale.

And methinks, even now, the polls do not tell the tale on whether the Prez will last or succeed this initial term in office.

The numbers should be of no surprise if we look back at the 2016 election. By nearly 3 million votes, Clinton won the popular vote.

In the Heartland, where Electoral College votes count, Clinton was sank before she could get in the boat.

Here is what happened:

About 139 million Americans, or 60.2% of the voting-eligible population, cast a ballot in November’s elections, according to data compiled by the US Elections Project. That compares with 58.6% of eligible voters who turned out in 2012, but it’s below the 62.2% who turned out to help elect President Barack Obama for the first time in 2008.

The popular vote totals:

Clinton 71 million
Trump 68 million

This was out of 139 million total ballots cast.

Trump scored big in the Heartland amassing 307 Electors. That was pushing close to 40 Electors more than the 270 needed to earn the seat in the Oval Office.

On Meet the Press today, retired distinguished NBC Anchor Tom Brokaw pointed out in a recent trip to the Heartland, he talked to Trump voters. Brokaw noted that some 99% said they would vote for Trump all over again.

In other words, ignore the polls.

It is not about likability.

It is not a beauty pageant.

It is about getting things done.

It’s about hearing someone who “talks like me.”

From the Cornfield, Trump will never get anywhere close to 50%. Let’s put that pipe dream where it belongs – stuffed away in the back of the closet.

The next Presidential Election will be here soon enough. Then we will know what America wants for another four years.

For the overwhelming majority who did not want The Donald in the presidency – sorry, elections are not about getting what you want. For now just deal and wait. The next election will come soon enough.

But remember – the Heartland matters too. It is not just about the Northeast and the West Coast.

Windfall?

Hard to believe, but Republicans in the US House of Representative rolled out a reform in the tax code along with a tax cut today.

And what boon it is for American taxpayers!

I mean how it set me heart to flutter listening to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan saying that American families would be keeping $1,129 each year in their paycheck!

Whatever can an average family not do with extra money?

We are talking here of nearly a whopping $22 per week!

I tell ya, the sky’s the limit now!

From the Cornfield, no wonder the lawmakers who drafted the bill and reform are strutting and beaming, crowing to the world about such a substantial tax cut!

What, if you are an average family of four, going to do with your big windfall?

Full Disclosure: I am not eligible for the big money. 🤣😭🤔