What you will find here

This is a place to examine plans filled with hope; plans which promise a refuge from chaos; plans which will shape our futures. Veterans with and without PTSD, Pentecostal Presbyterians, Adjudicated Youth, and Artists-Musicians-Writers: I write what I know. ~~~ Evelyn

Thursday, December 27, 2012

What is a Veteran?


You’ve seen the bumper stickers and worn the T-shirts. “I’m a Proud Veteran”. But you’ve also seen the cardboard signs held in the hands of a vagrant, “Homeless Vet, Please Help.” Some camps argue that “true” veterans are only those servicemen who fought in “real wars”, or “real wars and declared conflicts”, or are anyone who has served in the military.

So, what is a veteran?

Quite simply, veteran comes from the Latin word vetus which means old. O L D

I’m sure something was lost in translation, because the word veteran lends itself to venerable, too. Wise, specialized, tested and proved ready.

In the military world, veteran refers to someone who is or has served in the armed forces of any country.

Veterans are usually respected. Most countries have a day set aside to honor veterans (except Germany – Nazi veterans have no special Veterans Day). For decades after WWII, a wounded French veteran would be given a seat on the public transportation.

Veterans are also people who have had to put up with discrimination, abuse, and ridicule for their beliefs.

Did you know that Veterans helped shape the United States current history?

After WWI, unemployed vets became very important in the protest movement during the Great Depression. They belonged to a brotherhood which was nationwide and overlapped all political, economic and social boundaries. Veterans marched on Washington DC to get the bonus Congress had promised them. This “march” was the first of many to follow.

After WWII, veteran groups (specifically the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars ) pressed Congress and got the GI Bill enacted. This GI Bill, which made provisions for free or subsidized education and health care for veterans, was the lead cause of economic change and the birth of the middle class in the US. Newly educated soldiers were better equipped to find higher salaried jobs and therefore buy houses and spend money to a higher degree than seen before.

Veterans have also been instrumental in improving the rights of under-represented populations. The military was desegregated by President Harry S. Truman. Black veterans who balked under the inequalities they were expected to bear as they returned to civilian life became strong leaders and activists in the Civil Rights Movement of the ensuing decades. Women also tasted the sweetness of equality in the military and added their voices to the throng.

Who are the Veterans of the US? Movers, shakers, presidents, teachers, writers, dreamers, all ethnicities and any gender. They are also the homeless, the ill, the disposed, and the unemployed. No matter what their age, they are the old. They have seen things which aged them spiritually. Some veterans turned this experience into wisdom, and some into despair.

But the bottom line is that a veteran is the reason our country is the one people flock to, the one people escape to, the one people plead for sanctuary and asylum in.

We would not be America without them.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Old Earth


No greater gift can a man give but to lay down his life for his friends. Old Earth (Jesus of Nazareth)


Scriptures from A Filker’s Companion to Bedina’s War

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Commonwealth

May Angels guide him across.Commonwealth


Scriptures from A Filker’s Companion to Bedina’s War

Friday, December 14, 2012

Lazy Eight Ladies

Lazy Eight Ladies
Sung to Buffalo Gals

Lazy Eight Ladies won’t you come out tonight,
Come out tonight,
Come out tonight.
Lazy Eight Ladies won’t you come out tonight
AND dance by the light of the moons!

Songs and Stories from A Filker’s Companion to Bedina’s War

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mission

Once an orphan, always an orphan. Mission


Scriptures from A Filker’s Companion to Bedina’s War

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Petrified Sod

by Evelyn Rainey



Petrified Sod



A rock

A stone

A piece of God

Rests in my hand

As petrified sod.



It’s cold

And dirty

And very hard

Bespeckled, it sparkles,

By millennium marred.



Some gray

Some white

Some mostly gold

Tiny prisms of sand

By glaciers rolled.



Compacted

Heated

Then thoroughly squashed

And from the Earth’s

Bowels t’was tossed.



So here

It sits

This piece of God

And rests in my hand

As petrified sod.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Ballad of Jacob and Julian final chorus

The Ballad of Jacob and Julian
Orchidea
Your name shall always be revered
With tales of glory, sacrifice and honor,
And from the leaves of history shall shine two names:
Chervok Jacob and Quartz Julian.


Songs and Stories from A Filker’s Companion to Bedina’s War

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Spa'Lab

For every whip, there is a carrot.Spa’Lab


Scriptures from A Filker’s Companion to Bedina’s War

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Ballad of Jacob and Julian verse 5

The Ballad of Jacob and Julian
Orchidea
Hear now the words of Julian,
“Get up dear friend, we’ve radmeds on Tinker’s Damn.
We’ve just to make it to my shuttle over there.
Get up dear friend, I cannot leave you here.”
Orchidea
Now hear the words of Chervok Jacob
The last words he did speak to Julian.
“I don’t think I’ll take long in dying,
But I thank you waiting with me‘til it’s done.”


Songs and Stories from A Filker’s Companion to Bedina’s War

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Commonwealth

Better to get forgiveness than permission.Commonwealth


Scriptures from A Filker’s Companion to Bedina’s War

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Only Laughter

by Evelyn Rainey



Only Laughter



Darkness evades direct thought.

Fear trembles and sadness concedes

The emptiness; futility.



Constricting circles on a broken glass,

Shattered by a single shot

That left only laughter.



I must fight this prevailing madness

That crept so seductively from the night

And now crushes me in her hateful breast.



The scream that never quite escapes,

Lies buried beneath the seething teeth

Which gnash and snarl



Respectfully veiled from those

Who lovingly stab

And never contemplate.


Friday, November 23, 2012

The Ballad of Jacob and Julian verse 4

The Ballad of Jacob and Julian
Orchidea
When Allies Folly ravaged you
Jacob fell and Julian did fall back
As jungle life shimmered with radiation’s death
T’was brave Jacob who saved Julian’s life.
Orchidea
Two husbands for their wives did bind
The Commonwealth and Dam’lince for all time
Where one went on to forge the Songbox for Spa’Labs
The other sacrificed himself and died.


Songs and Stories from A Filker’s Companion to Bedina’s War

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

NewPhee

Any soldier can kill; it takes a true warrior to refrain from killing so that the honor of the adversary might live on.The Caliph -- New Phoenix


Scriptures from A Filker’s Companion to Bedina’s War

Carolina Renaissance Festival 2012

 Dawn Dilts and me at the Great Wolf Lodge






Friday, November 16, 2012

The Ballad of Jacob and Julian verse 3

The Ballad of Jacob and Julian
Orchidea
How strange your trees must’ve looked to him
A soldier born and bred on sun-baked dirt
And yet he gave his life to keep your people free
And lies alone beneath your loamy fields.
Orchidea
Spa’Labs would be naught but for you,
Around their necks hang Julian’s greatest fruit
A silver box that breaks the curse of the Walking Dead
The heart, The Song of the Tinker’s Damn.


Songs and Stories from A Filker’s Companion to Bedina’s War

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Carolina Renassaince Festival 2012


Medal of Honor


The Medal of Honor is awarded for Conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against any enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

Most often, a service member is nominated through his or her chain of command. However, he or she may also be nominated by a member of Congress and approved by a special act of Congress. Either way a service member is nominated, the Medal of Honor is presented by the President on behalf of the Congress.


History

July 12, 1862
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby, authorized to cause two thousand "medals of honor" to be prepared with suitable emblematic devices, and to direct that the same be presented, in the name of the Congress, to such non--commissioned officers and privates as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action, and other soldier-like qualities, during the present insurrection (For those of you that didn’t catch the date above, this was during the Civil War).


To date:
Total Recipients: 3,448
Living Recipients: 87
Double Recipients: 19

By branch of service
Army 2401
Navy 747
Marines 297
Air Force 18
Coast Guard 1

Because it is given specifically for Conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life, the Medal of Honor is often awarded after death. More than half of those awarded since 1941, and all but one out of ten of them awarded since the end of Viet Nam (a total of 624 in all) have been awarded posthumously. Staff Sgt. Salvatore “Sal” Guinta will receive the Medal of Honor for his actions during a firefight Oct. 25, 2007 in Korengal Valley in Afghanistan. (This was announced by the White House on September 10, 2010, but his presentation ceremony has not yet been set.)

Dr. Mary Edwards Walker (see the article below on the Mary E. Walker House for homeless veteran women) was awarded the Medal of Honor for her work as a surgeon during the Civil War. However, because hers (along with others) were not considered combat related, the medal was rescinded in 1917. Thanks to one of our most incredible presidents – Jimmy Carter, her award was restored in 1977. She remains the only woman to have received the Medal of Honor to date.

One must serve in the US armed forces to be awarded the Medal of Honor, but one does not have to be an American citizen. Sixty-one Canadians (only one – Peter C. Lemon – during the Vietnam War, and only four since 1900) have been awarded the medal. The British Unknown Warrior was awarded the Medal of Honor on October 17, 1921 by General Pershing, and then the Victoria Cross (highest British award equivalent to the American Medal of Honor) was awarded to the US Unknown Soldier on Nov. 11, 1921

Sometimes is takes years for the award to be presented. Master Sergeant Woodrow W. Keeble (who died in 1982) was presented with the medal posthumously in March 3, 2008 by President Bush. Keeble was the first member of the Sioux tribe to be awarded the medal.


The Medal of Honor has gone through several physical metamorphoses. Initially, the Medal of Honor for the Navy was an inverted five-point star. Each point has a cluster of laurel leaves (representing victory) and oaks (representing strength) Thirty four stars circled this insignia (the number of stars on the US flag at that time – 1862 – including the 11 Confederate states). On the right, side was Minerva, the Roman Goddess of War and Wisdom. The owl on her helmet represented wisdom and the bundle of rods and the axe in her left hand represented authority. The shield in her right hand stood for the Union. Opposite Minerva is Discord – represented by a man holding snakes in his hands.

The neck ribbon (one of the only neck ribbons awarded in the US) was originally blue on top with thirteen red and white vertical stripes. The color white represents purity and innocence; red represents hardiness, valor and blood; blue signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice. The stripes also represent the rays of the sun. The 13 represents the original 13 colonies.

The Army version added an Eagle (representing the US) perched on cannon, grasping swords in its talons.

The Gillespie version of 1904 replaced Minerva with a simpler Goddess of War and replaced the ribbon with a light blue background with 13 white stars. This remains the contemporary ribbon’s design used today.

The Tiffany version of 1919 proved unpopular and did not last beyond 1942. It replaced the inverted star with an eight-pointed cross (representing the eight virtues of knighthood).

In 1965, Minerva was ousted in place of the head of the Statue of Liberty, with a crown of stars instead of the helmet.

America takes her heroes seriously. Any misuse, unauthorized manufacturing or wearing of the Medal of Honor is against the law. Breaking this law is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 and up to one year of imprisonment. It is illegal to produce, wear, or distribute the Medal of Honor without proper authority of the Department of Defense.

Problems

From WWII until 1993, no Black soldiers had received a Medal of Honor. The Army investigated the possibility of overlooking potential candidates for possible racially-discriminatory reasons and rectified this error by awarding seven African American WWII vets with the Medal of Honor in place of their Distinguished Service Cross awards. A similar study was conducted for Asian Americans and twenty-one Medals of Honor were awarded in 2000 (twenty of them to members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team).(See the article below about this incredible 442nd Battalion -- Go For Broke)

Special Privileges for Medal of Honor Recipients include a special pension of $1027 per month above and beyond any military pensions or other benefits he/she might receive plus a 10% raise in retirement pay. The recipient’s name is entered on the Medal of Honor Roll. The recipient is entitled to a supplemental uniform allowance. Under provisions of DoD Regulation 4515.13-R, recipients are entitled to special air transportation privileges. They can be buried or inurned at Arlington National Cemetery. Special ID cards, commissary and exchange privileges are provided for the recipient and their eligible dependents. The dependents may be admitted to US Military Academies without having to be nominated.

How to contact/honor recipients

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society has several ideas on their website of ways to educate our younger generations about these heroes. They also encourage citizens to contact them and through them, contact the Medal of Honor recipients who are still alive or honor the graves of those passed. There is also a scholarship available to which students may apply and citizens may contribute funds.

Congressional Medal of Honor Society
40 Patriots Point Rd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
Phone: 843.884.8862
Fax: 843.884.1471
Or Victoria Kueck at MEDALHQ @ EARTHLINK (DOT) NET

As Veterans Day has just passed (or, depending on when you read this article – Memorial Day), you might consider sending a card of thanks to those Medal of Honor recipients still living and placing flowers on the graves of those who have gravesites near you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Carolina Renaissance Festival 2012

Catapults, cannons, trebuchets, a la mini-marshmellows!
This man and his wife were wonderful and very friendly!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

One Less Soldier's Widow

by Evelyn Rainey





“Give me one less soldier’s widow,” I hear you cry at me.

“One less flag-draped casket,” you sigh pathetically.

“One less gun salute, we don’t need guns no more.

“One less sound of Taps,” you say. “We’ll have an end of war.”



As the soldier’s wife became a widow, his children remained free.

As one flag draped his casket, it whispered ‘Old Glory’.

As the rifles cracked in honor, they shattered tyranny.

As the trumpet solo carried, the note pledged Liberty.



Every death brings sorrow, and every sorrow pain.

A sacrifice bravely given changes bitter loss to gain.

For if we had one less widow we would have a weaker stand.

And if one less casket, an undefended land.



Degradation would erupt if there were one less gun salute.

We’d hear the cry of slavery if Taps were to fall mute.

So preach to me of peace and the fellowship of men.

But know that fellowship and peace were bought

By each fallen veteran.


Carolina Renaissance Festival 2012


They had camels to ride!

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Ballad of Jacob and Julian verse 2

The Ballad of Jacob and Julian
Orchidea
Sing praises of Chervok Jacob
A Newphee warrior, strong and brave and true
But here he died, while Allies Folly set the flames
Of the worst fate true people ever knew.
Orchidea
Whose babies know the Tree’s Embrace
Whose ‘longers held back Dam’lince with their blood,
We sing to Ye but more than this, we sing, we sing,
We sing of Jacob and of Julian.


Songs and Stories from A Filker’s Companion to Bedina’s War

Carolina Renaissance Festival 2012


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Show Your Support on Veterans Day


I believe in keeping things simple and doing what you can - when you can - to make a difference in the world. Below are twenty little things you can do which will show our Veterans your support. Yes, there are elaborate, great, expensive things you could do, but you probably won’t do those. Little things. Simple things. Things which could easily become a part of your every day life. That’s what I have listed below. You don’t have to do all of them on Nov. 11. But do one of them. And then do one the next day, and one the next. These suggestions work just as well on Memorial Day, or any other day of the year when you want to show your support of Veterans.

1. Fly the American Flag outside your house.

2. Wear red, white, and blue.

3. Buy and wear a poppy.

4. Attend a Veterans’ Day ceremony.

5. Write thank you notes to the Veterans you know.

6. Say the Pledge of Allegiance – out loud.

7. Sing our National Anthem – out loud.

8. Learn the words to and sing at least one of these songs:
a. Marines’ Hymn
b. Anchors Aweigh
c. The US Air Force
d. Caisson
e. Semper Paratus


9. Put miniature US Flags on the graves of servicemen at your local cemetery.

10. Call your favorite radio station and dedicate a patriotic song to a specific Veteran.

11. Stop everything you are doing at 11:00 on Nov. 11 and reflect on the enormity of sacrifice, duty, and honor which this day represents.

12. Send eleven dollars to eleven Veterans charities.

13. If you see a Veteran at a restaurant, anonymously pay for their meal. Write a brief “Thank you – you helped pay for my freedom by serving in the military” note on their paid bill.

14. Sign up to volunteer at a VA hospital, clinic, or resthome for eleven hours a month.

15. Make something with your own hands to give away: a Prayer Shawl for the PS4FS Dover Project, a lap quilt for a Veteran in a wheel chair, chemo caps to the VA hospitals.

16. Offer to escort a military widow to a Veterans Day service.

17. Write your local bank, post office, county/city hall and express your appreciation for them closing for Veterans Day.

18. Donate extra blankets to Homeless Veterans shelters.

19. Write, call, or email a politician in support of one of the many Veteran-related amendments.

20. Teach your children and your grandchildren about Veterans Day.

 

Carolina Renaissance Festival 2012

One of the shops

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Erinyes

Each of us must look to death, and he who can should do mighty deeds before it comes.Erinyes (originally from Beowulf)


Scriptures from A Filker’s Companion to Bedina’s War

Carolina Renaissance Festival 2012

More Morris Dancers!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mist on the Water

by Evelyn Rainey


Mist on the Water





Mist on the water

Ghosts under the bed

Monsters in the closet

Rings around the moon



Mist on the water

Thoughts in my head

Stories not yet written

Undecipherable rune



Mist on the water

Things I should have said

Cowardly civility

Unfamiliar tune



Mist on the water

Evening’s sky is red

Tomorrow is another day

July will follow June.

Carolina Renaissance Festival 2012

Morris Dancers!

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Ballad of Jacob and Julian verse 1

The Ballad of Jacob and Julian
Sung to Londonderry

Orchidea
Your name shall always be revered
With tales of glory, sacrifice and honor
And from the leaves of history shall shine two names
Of men whose love gave us the gift of time.
Orchidea
Sing praises of Quartz Julian
Whose hands did craft the Songbox for his wife
Orchidean by birth and Commonwealth by choice,
He roamed the stars aboard the Tinker’s Damn.


Songs and Stories from A Filker’s Companion to Bedina’s War

Carolina Renaissance Festival 2012


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Carolina Renaissance Festival 2012


Review - Charlie Company


Overview copied directly from the book’s flap:
There were no homecoming parades for the million men and women who served in combat at the longest war America has ever fought, the only war it has ever lost. There were no brass bands or crowd cheering at the dock or celebratory speeches floating across the village greens. The veterans of the failed United States mission in Vietnam returned instead to a kind of embarrassed silence, as if, one of them thought, everybody was ashamed of us. They were obliged to bear an inordinate share of the blame for having fought at all and for not having won. Some paid a terrible further cost in stunted careers, shattered marriages and disfigured lives. Most have endured with the same stubborn will to survive they brought to the least popular war in our history – a war that has never really ended for them or for their countrymen.
This is a book about sixty-five of those nearly forgotten men who soldiered in the late 1960s in a gook-hunting, dirt-eating, dog-soldiering combat infantry unit called Charlie Company. They were boys then, nineteen or twenty years old on the average. The army had snatched them up out of towns named Ottumwa and Puxico and San Prairie, suited them up as soldiers and sent them off to a place they could not locate on a globe to fight a war they could not understand. They served a year apiece there, those who survived, and then came back to fight a second war, this one waged at home and in the mind. They waged it alone for the most part, their stories and their scar tissue unknown even to their wives and parents. It was, one of them thought, as if they were the bearers of some unspeakable disease. Until a team of Newsweek correspondents sought them out between the late summer of 1981 and the spring of 1982, some of them had never been asked what they had experienced in the war, or back home in what the grunts in the bunkers of ‘Nam thought of wistfully as The World.

Their story is not military history in any formal sense; it is not the record of great battles won or lost. Vietnam was not that sort of war, and Charlie Company’s piece of it was fought over bloodied patches of ground that nobody really wanted anyway. Neither is this book a moral commentary on the war, or an analysis of its geopolitical origins and consequences, or an account of the travail of the Vietnamese people, or an attempt to assess the relative virtue and valor of those Americans who served as against those who chose not to. It is instead the chess game viewed – or, more accurately, remembered – by the pawns. It is a collective memoir of the war and the homecoming, filtered through layers of time and pain, anger and guilt, bitterness and forgetfulness.

Praise
Like the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project, Charlie Company is a blend of voices and experiences about the war which shaped, or mutated, my generation. As the child of a man who served two terms in Vietnam, I still remember the phone calls claiming that my dad was a baby killer. I still remember the police who came to help when we were threatened by local teenagers who protested the war and we were the closest link to the war they could find. I will always bless the postal worker who discovered a letter from my dad after he'd been MIA for months and brought it to my mother as soon as he found it. I still remember seeing my father dressed in civies step off a plane; he had been warned to change out of his military uniform before he landed in Florida. It was OK for him to wear an officer’s uniform in a war zone, but too dangerous for him to wear it in the country that he served.
Charlie Company – What Vietnam Did to Us tells this story well. If you never read the words, you can see this story in the pictures; the faces of the kids that were sent to win the war, and how they changed over the years. Haunting. Devastating. So real.

Purchasing Information
I received a copy of this book from my friend Mike McDonald who himself was a member of Charlie Company. It is out of print now, but new or used copies can be purchased through a major on-line bookseller with prices ranging between two dollars and forty-six dollars, average about twenty dollars. This surprised me in that not too many years ago, this book was on the required reading list for my county’s high schools.
Charlie Company – What Vietnam Did to Us by Peter Goldman and Tony Fuller is a Newsweek Book published by William Morrow and Company, Inc. 105 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10016

Conclusion
Read this book. Vietnam touched us all in ways that changed the world forever. Whether Vietnam fell in your generation, your parents’ generation, or your children’s generation, it changed us all. History books track this change. Political science books analyze this change. Charlie Company lived this change.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Carolina Renaissance Festival Oct. 2012

Carolina Renaissance Festival Oct. 2012 



A happy couple enters the war...

Xiang

It’s a small universe where truth connects to truth.Xiang


Scriptures from A Filker’s Companion to Bedina’s War

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Carolina Renaissance Festival Oct. 2012

Carolina Renaissance Festival Oct. 2012 



The parasols were a wonderful help in the hot sun, but I do believe Ms. Massey got sun-burnt.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Carolina Renaissance Festival Oct. 2012

Carolina Renaissance Festival Oct. 2012 



This was a very nice woman who worked with the Book Seller.  Her friend made his dress for her.  It was beautifully detailed!