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Warrior’s Welcome : Faithful 44

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Editor’s Prologue

January 25, 2015 — Philippines National Police Special Actions Force commanders enter the jungle to “Arrest” a suspected Islamic terrorist.  The PNP’s SAF commandos end up engaged in a firefight with “The Enemy.”

January 30, 2015 is declared “The National Day Of Mourning” to honor the memories of the brave men who engaged and fought the criminals and terrorists in the jungle.

I am a retired United States Air Force photojournalist and editor.  I am a pro-military writer.

Christy, my wife, is a Filipina.  My children, Samuel Ranilo Warren and Donna Junea Warren are Filipino-Americans.  My father, Samuel E. Warren served in The United States Army Signal Corps in the Philippines in World War II.  I was assigned to and served at Clark Air Base in the Republic Of The Philippines in the 1980s.

Needless to say, whenever anything happens in The United States or The Republic Of The Philippines, I and my family feel “Connected.”

I have been fortunate to meet and work with members of the Armed Forces Of The Philippines and The Philippines National Police.

I can understand and related to the grief of the families who lost loved ones in the combat in the jungle.

As a writer, I felt the best way I could express my condolences to the family members was to author a short story to celebrate the devotion, duty and dedication of the Philippines National Police Special Actions Force commandos.

Samuel E. Warren Jr.

One Warren Way

Barangay Baras, Republic Of The Philippines

Warriors Welcome: Faithful 44

FALLEN 44 Graphic e164b190-a820-11e4-b9c1-bf0dde9868b9_Screen-Shot-2015-01-30-at-9-32-29-AM

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Trumpets Of The Universe sound.  Planets in space reverberate. 

Comets and asteroids brighten for an instant and shimmer as the celestial symphony of sound passes them.

The solar bodies of stars glow with renewed radiation, which causes them to shine light Gold, Ruby and Lapis against The Eternal Charcoal Of The Universe.

For an instant, The Celestial Trumpets Sound and The Universe is a Crystal Of Courage And Compassion, which spreads throughout the infinite canvas of Eternal Night. 

Not a single scientific instrument on Earth or adrift in the Infinite Celestial Sea will record the miraculous music.

The Archangels and Angels, in their dress uniforms, stand in their positions, on both sides of The Red Carpet Corridor.

The Souls arrive at the end of the carpet and begin their measured step down the great corridor.

At the end of the red carpet is The Mystical Presence Of The Stranger.

The 44 Souls stroll the carpet past the formation of archangels and angels, who stand in Admiration and Respect.

The 44 Souls stop at about six feet away from The Mystical Presence Of The Stranger, which has the energy form of a human, but not the definition of flesh and form.

Before their eyes, the 44 watch The Transition.  The Stranger’s energy takes on a human form in a military dress uniform.

“Welcome To Valhalla !”

The words are spoken and emerge as English, Tagalog, Cebuano, and Waray.

The stranger smiles and nods.  “Call me, what you will, ‘ God’, ‘Mars’, ‘Ares’, ‘Thor’, I am your host for this ‘Welcome Reception.”

“You, Gentlemen, are ‘The Fallen 44 of the Philippines National Police Special Action Force’ we are assembled here, this evening. to salute, honor, witness and testify to your courage in battle.”

“You all perished in combat.  None of you made the conscious choice ‘To Die.’  All of you fought diligently and courageously to protect yourselves, your comrades-in-arms and to achieve your Mission.  No one in The Universe can question your courage and dedication.  You died in service to your country, your families and your fellow citizens.  There is No Greater Selfless Sacrifice In The Universe.”

“Tonight, this feast is to ‘Welcome You To Our Immortal Ranks.’  Tomorrow, you will witness from your positions here in Valhalla, ‘The National Day Of Mourning’ in the Republic Of The Philippines.  It will be a challenge for you.” 

“As Souls, you have your celestial bodies.  You retain the memories of Love for your families on Earth.  Grief, is difficult for humans to understand and express.  It will be difficult for you to watch your families grieve and it will be hard for you to accept and acknowledge the intense emotions.”

“Here, I have designed a way that you can welcome and accept the true emotions without you experiencing overwhelming grief for the families you have left behind.  Yes, your loved ones remain on Earth.”

“They are angry.  They are upset.  They are broken.  They are confused.  In time, they will understand your devotion and dedication to duty demonstrated your undying Love for them.  You sought to protect their Lives and an infinite number of lives around the globe by the successful execution of your Mission.  There was a definite valid reason for your sacrifice.”

“You, Gentlemen, are representative of what humankind was intended to be.  Caring, humane, selfless individuals who lived your lives in appreciation of each sunrise and helped other people on your journey through Life.”

“I salute you.  We salute you.  The Archangels and Angels Of The Universe salute you.  Gentlemen,  I welcome you to our ranks.”

“You, now, stand enshrined in eternity as “Heroes.” 

You out rank every prophet, saint, pope, ecumenical patriarch, archbishop, grand mufti, rabbi, ayatollah, imam, cleric, priest, preacher, or evangelist who has every lived, who lives or who will ever Live.”

“This is Warrior Heaven.  This is Warrior Paradise.  You ended your lives on Earth trying to protect and save the lives of others, there is No Greater Love.  You perished in a thought for your comrades-in-arms, your families, your country and your world.  No God, No Goddess, No Entity In All Of Creation could ‘Ask’ more of any mortal in The Universe.” 

“I Welcome You To Valhalla !”

God salutes the assembled 44, who stand at attention proud, but, slightly uncomfortable at the celestial pomp and circumstance.

The Archangels and Angels salute.

God smiles and nods.  “Gentelmen, the Valkyries, Amazons and Archangels stand ready to help you settle into your quarters at the conclusion of our formal dinner this evening.  Saint Michael and Saint Samuel will show you gentlemen to your seats at the head table.”

God winks.  “Tomorrow, will be a challenge for you, gentlemen.  Tonight, you dine and rest to witness tomorrow’s activities on Earth.

God smiles and gestures to The Official Reception Line.  “Gentlemen, this concludes my official welcome speech.  Here in the reception line are The Ancestral Comrades-In-Arms who are anxious to congratulate on your acceptance into our ranks at Valhalla.”

“I believe, many of you, gentlemen are familiar with the combat records and historic valor of your hosts this evening.  Allow me to introduce General Emilio Aquinaldo and General Paulino Santos of the Republic Of The Philippines and General Douglas MacArthur and General Mark Clark of the United States Of America.”

God smiles and steps back to allow the 44 Souls in their dress uniforms proceed to the reception line.

God proceeds to His Throne at The Command Table and raises his glass to the assembled heroes, “Gentlemen, I salute, ‘The Fallen 44’ !”  God renders a salute.

God raises his glass at the table and looks at all of the honored souls in uniform and into their eyes : “I welcome you into my presence.”

“I welcome you into Valhalla.  I hereby confirm your immortal rank, honor and glory and welcome you, as the risen ‘Faithful 44 ! ’”

The End

Philippines National Police Special Action Force National Day Of Morning Jan 30 2015 Image

Philippines National Police

http://pnp.gov.ph/portal/

Philippines National Police symbol 1017742_710715138969745_6654143956528279625_n

Philippine National Police — Quezon City — facebook

https://www.facebook.com/pnp.pio

Fallen 44 Links

Acting PNP chief: Retrieving, treating casualties in Maguindanao clash a priority

January 25, 2015 11:48pm

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/416668/news/regions/acting-pnp-chief-retrieving-treating-casualties-in-maguindanao-clash-a-priority

At least 30 elite cops killed in clash with MILF

ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at 01/25/2015 7:18 PM | Updated as of 01/25/2015 10:57 PM

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/01/25/15/govt-milf-report-casualties-rare-clash

Editor’s Epilogue

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

I am not a religious man.

I do believe it is logical that there is an intelligence in The Universe beyond the understanding and comprehension of humans.

Thus, I tend to believe in “A Spiritual Intelligence” in The Universe.

In my mind and heart, I believe, “Heroes”, especially “Military Heroes” are always honored for their selfless dedication to their country and their fellow citizens.

I choose to believe “The Fallen 44“ have an immortal place of honor in the ranks of all the military warriors who have always served their nations and fellow citizens.

I salute “The Fallen 44“ as “The Faithful 44“

Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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February 8, 2015 at 1:58 PM

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Summer Hiatus by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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Surf’s Up” on Yahoo News

Summer Hiatus

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by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

I write.

 

I love to write.

 

I write something almost everyday.

 

What To Write

 

The challenge of being a writer is knowing that people will read what you write.

Even after you “Officially Retire” as a writer, you may still want to write and know that you have readers.

 

A blog is an outlet for a writer. Of course, there are so many blogs in cyberspace that a writer has to try to figure out how to attract and keep readers.

 

I remember a rule from an English Creative Writing Class in Galena High School: “Write About What You Know.”

 

When you are 13 to 16, you really do know more than you think you do. You just have to figure out how to put the words on paper to interest the reader.

 

Naturally, when you are 57, you have a lot more “Life Experiences” to write about than when you were 13. I sit at a keyboard and the words flow. I am blessed because I have never really had a problem with “Writer’s Block.”

 

I have been away from the blog for a few months. The problem was not the writing or the words. The problem was “The Writer.”

 

Readers’ Comments

 

I have never wanted my blog to be a “Dear Diary” that focused on the mundane routine of Life like, “I got out of bed today. Nothing really noteworthy happened.”

 

I have always aspired to try and find issues to write about that challenge my readers. I read the comment forms on my blog. The comment forms seemed more and more to be robotic software trying to carry out it’s own “Sell You Something” agenda. I periodically go through and delete the obvious email spam.

 

I wasn’t getting feedback and comments from readers that often. March 2013 arrived, which meant the “kids” my nieces and nephews would be out of school.

 

School Is Out For The Summer”

 

School Is Out For The Summer” takes on a different meaning in The Republic Of The Philippines than in the United States.

 

The kids were out of school. It seemed a perfect time to “Go On Holiday.”

 

I grew up on a farm in the United States in The Ozarks. The idea of a vacation or a holiday is just not a concept that always translates that well to my mind.

 

Farming is a 24-hour a day job that lasts seven days a week. Forget taking off The Fourth Of July,Halloween,Thanksgiving and Christmas.

 

Livestock does not come with calendars, cattle, horses, hogs, pigs, chickens, dogs and cats all expect to eat. Even the humans, regardless of the holiday or the day of the week, still expect to eat.

 

On a farm, Mother Nature is always The Girl Next Door and she seldom cooperates with your wishes. When you need rain; you will get a drought. When you need a dry spell; you will get a monsoon of rain.

 

The Extremes” Of Farm Life

 

Since the constant fluctuation of temperatures never seem to be enough for Mother Nature you can count on “The Extremes” in the United States. The United States is a “temperate climate”, which means we have four seasons, but temperatures and weather conditions can always be in “The Extremes”, during the season.

 

The four seasons often have The Extremes. If you expect a comfortable summer; summer will go in the record books as “One Of The Hottest Summers On Record. If you expect a mild winter; winter will break all the records and be “One Of The Coldest Winters In History.

 

In Farming, the weather NEVER cooperates. The chores on a farm are not something you can do in a few minutes and get on with your day. Farming is hard work.

 

In Missouri, by the end of the 20th Century, small family farmers had to have “public jobs” just to make “ends meet” and to be able to “earn a living.”

 

On Leave

 

Before I enlisted in the United States Air Force, the recruiter told me about “Leave.” I would get “30 days a year.” The word, “Leave”, meant I would be “On Vacation” for 30 days every year with pay. It sounded like a great deal. It was.

 

However, at the time, there were just a couple of items, the recruiter kind of overlooked explaining in detail. First, it is not an absolute guarantee.

 

If the United States is at War – you might not be going “On Leave”, during that year.

 

Second, you have to request the dates you want. The Needs Of The Mission always come first. If you can get the dates you want, then, you get them. However, you may not always get the dates you want.

 

The military, like the civilian world, realizes everyone “Needs Time Off”, so vacations are scheduled. No one ever explains the procedures to wide-eyed kids ready to enlist.

 

The Needs Of The Mission. . .”

 

Third, “30 Days Paid Vacation Every Year” looks good on paper. Uncle was “True” to his word. I could get my “30 Days.” However, there was no guarantee all those days would be together as in getting “A Month Off From Work.” Sometimes you might get a week here and two weeks there. At the end of the year, you could sit down with your calendar and pencil and Uncle had always kept his word.

 

The Magic Phrase in The United States Armed Forces at the time was : “The Needs Of The Mission Come First.”

 

Since I served in the United States Air Force The Magic Phrase was: “The Needs Of The United States Air Force Comes First.” And, of course, the word, “Needs”, was simply another way of saying, “Mission.” The Mission Of The United States Air Force Comes First.”

 

Regardless, Uncle Sam, also known as, The United States Government did their best to make sure I got my “30 Days Leave” a year; if I wanted it.

 

I came from a family of “Workaholics”, so the concept of, “Vacation” was always more the idea of “A Working Vacation” or “A Vacation On The Road.”

 

As Sam The Senior Citizen Writer, the idea of “A Vacation” is still not something I can relate to or even really appreciate.

 

I used “The Vacation Time” to back away from the keyboard. I did not write articles to publish for my blog.

 

Printer’s Ink

 

However, my calling in life was, “News.” I worked as a reporter and editor for several United States Air Force newspapers. Printer’s ink has always flowed in my blood.

 

On duty, Uncle Sam spent a tremendous effort to teach us the specifics of journalism from punctuation and grammar to the ethics of “Objectiveness.”

 

A Military Reporter like a Civilian Reporter was suppose to be an independent and impartial observer, who collected the facts and wrote a balanced story, which offered both sides of the story to allow the reader to decide.

 

The Editorial Page

 

On duty, we were taught never to “Slant” a story. “Reporters do not have opinions,” would state the numerous editors time and again through the years.

 

Opinions, Comments, Commentary are all saved for The Editorial page. If you have an opinion, a comment, a commentary, a personal view on an issue or situation, then, you write an Editorial for The Editorial Page.

 

In retirement, I am still a newsman, which means I keep up and read the news.

 

However, since I am retired – My Opinions are my own. I often express my opinion in print.

 

The Opinion Man

 

My favorite news source is Yahoo. My Yahoo News Page lists The Top Stories, Yahoo News, ABC News, Associated Press and Reuters. I glance at the headlines and select stories to read.

 

I have always been “A Man With An Opinion.”

 

I read a story and being the emotional person that I have always been – I always have an opinion.

 

I go to the Comments section of Yahoo News and leave my opinion in the form of a Comment. To find my Comments simply look for the names: Sergeant Sam or Samuel Warren in the Comments section.

 

Life has taught me when you Live long enough You will have an opinion on everything.

 

I have Lived past the Half-Century Mark, so I definitely have an opinion on every issue imaginable

 

I choose my words carefully to get my point across. I am not a “Politically Correct Person”. I am well past the silly stage of “Political Correctness” in my Life; so I don’t play the silly word game.

 

I do not pull punches with my comments. I write what I believe. I usually write like I talk.

 

Country Boy Commentary

 

I am a proud country boy. Thus, I tend to use the colorful expressions of The Ozarks often in comments and editorials. The expression, “I told them how the cow ate the cabbage”, means the speaker was angry, mad and upset to the point that he opened his mouth and let the words fly.

 

How the cow ate the cabbage”, is just one example of an Ozarks expressions that has a colorful way of getting to the heart of the matter to express an issue.

 

Politics

I find Politics invigorates. It is a challenge to bring people together on a variety of different social issues. The goal is to get people to reach a working compromise on an issue for a domestic or foreign policy.

 

Still, I have little use for professional politicians. Professional politicians try to wiggle around an issue to arrive at a solution.

 

DEMOCRAT MULE PIN FACE LEFTWhen it comes to American Political Parties – I am a Democrat.

 

I grew up in Stone County, Missouri, in The Ozarks, which is one of The Most Devout And Hardcore Strongholds of Republican Politics in The United States.

 

In my opinion,The Grand Old Party is conservative to the extreme and cements Christianity into the approach to changing social issues. I grew up exposed to that stringent political philosophy in the southwest Missouri Ozarks.

 

Since my twenties I have worked in political campaigns against America’s “Greedy Old Politicians” and their problematic, pilgrim, political party platforms.

 

I have no use for Republicans.  REPUBLICAN ELEPHANT PIN_btn_gop 

 

Religion

 

I have no use for Religion.

 

Religion is the Providence Of Fools – created by Fools and for Fools.

 

Some people have a Fear Of Death, so they seek some belief that when The Day Of Their Death comes – they will not cease to exist.

 

Instead of an intelligent person using their mind to reach a logical, rationale solution, some people do what centuries of people have done before them and turn to the flawed fairy tales of The World’s Old Major Religions.

 

The temptation of the insane and archaic prophecies by old dead foolish storyteller prophets seems to entice many people to believe.

 

Many people never seem to stop and question what it is the prophecy is asking them to believe in.

 

In Catholicism, Christianity and Protestant religions you are expected to believe in a ridiculous old dead Arab hippie criminal who destroyed business property. Jesus Christ The Bum, who trained as a carpenter,never worked a day in his life.

 

In Islam, you are expected to believe in an old dead Arab prophet, who could not use religion to unite The Arab World, so he proclaims on-going Holy Wars to destroy The World for Allah, who created The World.

 

Regardless of which silly faith of The World’s Old Major Religions that you fall victim to – you get to spend an Eternity with a Jealous, Hateful sadistic, psychotic, misogynistic entity, who really enjoys punishing people and destroying them for the fun of it.

 

Who gets to be The Martyr Today ?”

 

Religion is of Fools, by Fools and for the Fools, who are afraid to experience the reality of Life.

 

Thus, most of my Comments will be found in Politics and Religion.

 

For All The World To Read

 

I leave my opinions for all the world to read.

 

When you put your opinion out to the public; you can expect feedback. Not everyone will agree with you. The purpose though of putting out your opinion is to get people to think and express their own opinions.

 

At first leaving comments on Yahoo News was simply “Putting In My Two Cents”, but, now, it is an opportunity to get my ideas out there to The Readers Of The World. It is a daily task I enjoy.

 

Since I love to write, I will continue to write articles for my “Sam I Am Blog” and my “Samuel E. Warren Jr. The Prophet” blog.

 

However, I am not going to be as “deadline driven” as I have been in the past. I want to continue to inspire, motivate and challenge fellow readers on Yahoo News.

Sam

Written by samwarren55

July 9, 2013 at 11:30 PM

Posted in Bloggers, Blogs, Business, Crafts, Current Events, Editorial, Opinion, Politics, Religion, Sam I Am, Soap Box Political Opinion, Soap Box Religious Opinion

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Saint Michael On Duty In The P. I.

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Saint Michael On Duty In The P. I.

 

 

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

SAINT MICHAEL ON THE GROUND IN COUNTRY AND ON DUTY IN THE P.I. I

Saint  Michael, On The Ground, In Country and On Duty In The P.I. – Photo by Retired United States Air Force Staff Sergeant Samuel E. Warren Jr. – My wife, Christy Warren purchased this statue of Saint Michael The Archangel as a gift for me from the Holy Rosary Religious Store in Tacloban, City, Republic of the Philippines, March 13,2012.  Saint Michael The Archangel is known as The Patron Saint of all soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines of all nation’s armed forces in peace and war.This Saint Michael is on the ground, in country, and on duty at my home in the Philippine Island of Leyte.  The coconut trees stand at attention against the blue skies of Barangay Baras.  Photo by Retired United States Air Force Public Affairs Staff Sergeant Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

I am not a religious man.

I am a spiritual man.

As a child, I always knew “There Is A God.”

There is a supernatural entity beyond humankind’s logical and scientific frame of references.

Everyone knows that “Angels Are The Messengers Of God.”

In paintings, books and movies I have always been attracted to The Military Angels Of God, even as a child.

I believe The Armed Forces Of God, like any professional military unit stands ready to carry out their objectives.

I believe that Saint Michael is the ranking “six-star” Commanding General Of Heaven, who oversees, directs and answers to his Supreme Commander-In-Chief.

As the Patron Saint Of Global Military Forces Saint Michael – I believe, there has never been a man or woman who joined the military or went into combat that Saint Michael did not know about.

The Seraphim, are “The Enlisted Angels” and they are “ on the ground” and “in the action” – they are responsible for being alongside their human counterparts. Seraphim as “Sergeant Angels,” know they are tasked to make sure the mission is completed.

I believe, in human combat, The Sergeant Angels are always alongside their human counterparts fighting “the good fight” to survive and obtain the objective. And, Saint Michael sword in hand is always on the field of battle, land, air and sea.

Since I believe that God Almighty has his standing Heavenly Armed Forces, I believe that Saint Michael and the other Archangels are the “Celestial Pentagon” that serves alongside humans in combat and on active duty in peacetime.

I believe that once a man or woman has donned a uniform of their nation to serve as a soldier, sailor, airmen or Marine, that the members of the Celestial Pentagon are always with them. Once that human veteran or military retiree goes off active duty, I believe, they remain on the Active Duty Roster Of The Celestial Pentagon until the human warrior retires his or her earthly life. “Once a G.I., Always a G.I., In Heaven, or On Earth “ – Samuel E. Warren Jr.

While everyone will not share my beliefs about God’s Armed Forces – that is alright. I have worn and served in my nation’s armed forces, so I have earned the right to my Military Angels Beliefs.

SAINT MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL STATUE PURCHASED AT THE HOLY ROSARY RELIGIOUS STORE IN TACLOBAN CITY PHILIPPINES

 

This Saint Michael The Archangel statue was created in Manila and shipped to the Holy Rosary Store in Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines.  This statue is about four feet tall and the wing span of the sculpture is also about four feet.  Prices always fluctuate in all businesses, but on the day of purchase this sculpture cost 7,000 pesos.  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

In the Philippine Islands, the sunshine, blue skies, coconut trees, and sapphire ocean waves are my Real World version of The Garden Of Eden. But, even in the P.I., you have to go about the daily matters of your life to earn a living and put food on the table. In the course of daily affairs in the barangay or in Tanauan or Tacloban City, my wife, Christy, often makes the time to stop by a church. The statues of Saint Michael always catches my eye.

A couple of weeks ago, when my wife, Christy,was shopping, near The Santo Nino Shrine in Tacloban City, we browsed the religious artifact vendors near the church and strolled along to the religious supply stores nearby. My eyes automatically scanned the religious merchandise and my eyes always “lock on” to the statues of Saint Michael from the smallest to the biggest statue. After all, a G.I. Always Recognizes Another G.I., In Uniform Or Out.

 

 

 

 

Christy had noticed me intently studying the colors, artistic composition,sculpture, and craftsmanship of all the Saint Michael statues and listened as I asked the saleswoman, “Do you have any Saint Michael SMALL SAINT MICHAEL STATUEmedals ?”

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 – Christy, Marife, Ninoy and I strolled into the Holy Rosary Store in Tacloban City. My eyes widened when the smiling salesman walked past me carrying the large Saint Michael statue and I watched Christy takes the pesos from her wallet to pay for the statue.

This small Saint Michael statue is about 10 inches tall and has an approximate wing span of about 7 inches.  The size of this statue would allow it to ride on an automobile dashboard or to be sat on a dresser.  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

In the Real World, when a general or admiral walks into a room, the modern day warrior rises out of protocol and respect. At home, I rearranged things to give Saint Michael, his place of honor. A senior military commander, officer or NCO, should always be treated with honor and respect. Since the statue of Saint Michael represents a Heavenly Host Commander and the Ultimate Armed Forces, it was only appropriate to find the statue the proper “Command Post.”

My Saint Michael statue arrived with “Permanent Change Of Station” orders to go “PCS” to my home. This General Saint Michael is now “On Duty” in my home, which in a military literary sense, makes my home a “Base Of Operations,” for Saint Michael. I trust that the general will watch over this old soldier and his family. I believe, Saint Michael is now “In Position” to watch over any of my nieces and nephews, who may answer their nation’s call to don the uniform and serve their country, on land, in flight in the air, and afloat on the sea.

“Present Arms !”

SALUTE 001A

“Order Arms !”

“Hoo-rah !”

 

Fourth of July Empowerment Editorial – Jet Jockey Jam The Sorties Of Life

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Fourth of July Personal Empowerment Editorial

Jet Jockey Jam

The Sorties Of Life

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

The sun is up.

We suit up.

In the cockpit, we taxi out on to the Active Runway Of Life.

We tromp the “pedal to the medal” and kick in the afterburners.

Rockin and rollin’ into the Wild Blue Yonder. Another day at school, another day at the office, another day on the farm – whatever our job – we have a few hours to work to earn the paycheck to put food on the table, a roof over our head, gas in the car and try to make it home in one piece.

We all do the “Jet Jockey Jam.”

We all fly “The Sorties Of Life,” each day.

Airborne, we soar through the clouds and think about the day’s “mission.” We know the day’s “objectives,” But, we also know we have to be ready for the “bandits and bogeys” that will drop out of the sun and “engage” us during the flight.

No day in Life – is truly “a routine flight.” We soar along until some challenge “flames” us – then, the “Jet Jockey Jam Joined,” – we respond – our guns blazing !

Pitch, roll, bank, climb, drop down, pop up, turn, burn, – drop down on the deck, and trim the tree tops.” “Locked and loaded” – we engage the bogey and bandits of our lives. The unpredictable events of life is like weather that comes out of know where to create the turbulence and stress in our lives. We ride out the lightning strikes of life and stay focused to try and fly through the zero visibility cloud cover of life.

We pray.

Sometimes in our Sortie Of Life, we are fortunate enough to have a “wingman” to watch our “six.”

We sit in the cockpit and fly our daily Sorties Of Life. We try to avoid the “flame outs.” We ride the rough air and take the flak and try not to “punch out” or “crash and burn.” At the day’s end, we line it up and try to glide in for an easy landing. At home, we take off our “poopy suits,” and chow down. Then, we debrief in front of the “boob tube” and realize again tomorrow we’ll do “The Jet Jockey Jam” and fly another “Sortie of Life.”

Like it or not, Life is combat – even in peacetime. We all face the “bandits” and “bogeys” and just try to make a few coins of the realm to put food on the table and a roof over our head.

What we forget is we are not alone.

Jet Jockey Jam Hand Of God - Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr. The F-4 Rhino military aircraft in the photo - obviously, is not real. This F-4 is a wooden replica carved and painted by a Filipino craftsman. At my Fairwell Party at Clark Air Base Republic of the Philippines, this unique artistic gift was presented to me. It fits on a black base, where the names of the people I served with are inscribed. Once I wrote my Jet Jockey Jam article, I treid to think of some clipart to go with the story. I glanced over at a dresser and the F-4 model grinned back at me. Story Behind The Photo - I looked at the F-4 model and thought of line art to support my editorial. Thus, the afternoon of June 28, 2011, I take the model, a camera and walk out the door to the pasture. I raised up the model against the sky and tried numerous shots. I selected a photo and opened it in an older version of JASC Paint Shop Pro, then, I opened the photo into a version of Corel Paint Shop Pro. I couldn't get the image I wanted. I ended up wasting more time trying to fix the photo by removing the black base arm that supported the model airplane, than it took for me to originally write the editorial. The words of the editorial flowed fairly easily, but, I went back and wordsmithed words and the overall flow of the article. I spent at least two hours writing and tweaking the article. The original photo I had selected to edit was beginning to require meticulous brain surgery that seem to require a pixel by pixel correction to try and eliminate the black base out of the photo. After several minutes of trying to paint out the black base, the portion closest to the model plane seemed too close to safely paint out of the photo. Thus, I discarded the original and selected this photo. I decided to leave the hand in the photo for a different view of an airborne aircraft, per se. Basically, all I had to do with this photo is to lighten the background to lighten up the sky. I believe the hand in the photo may cause readers to pause and look at the photo for a moment. The Hand Of God cutline will probably upset some religious people, but that is okay - I've spent most of my life annoying holy men and orthodox religions - and, I'm not going to change. After all, I've always believed God has a sense of humor - he did create humankind. Since there weren't any supermodels "handy," I became the hand model and the photographer. It's not to easy to balance a camera and click the shutter while holding something up at arm's length. Feel free to smile at the photo.

Society At Large has convinced us all that we are Atlas doomed to always carry the weigh of the world upon our shoulders. None of us should ever feel like Life is “A Suicide Mission.”

We all serve in Humankind’s Life Force. We all have our Headquarters Of Obligations. We all have our Numbered Forces of Responsibilities. But, we all have our Wings Of Colleagues. We all have our Groups Of Fellow Workers, Squadrons Of Friends and Flights Of Family.

Farmer, secretary, neurosurgeon or grade school student – we all settle into the cockpit alone. Each day, we taxi past our crew chiefs, who give us the “thumbs up” as we turn out on to the Active Runway Of Life.

In the thickest cloud cover, we sometimes forget to glance out the canopy and notice the other jets soaring alongside us. Above us and below us, we are “boxed in” by our fellow airmen of life, who are flying the Same Survival Sortie.

We need to remember besides our “God-given skills and intellect,” the love of our family is the “Whammo Ammo” of life. We can count on the Ordnance Of Life Of Family Love because it is the “missiles beneath our wings” that keeps us on course and on target.

We all have our days, when we take our hits and limp back to repair our battle damage.

Still, we don’t “punch out “ along the way.

We take the “flak.”

A Sudden Life and Death Crisis – sometimes forces us to “fly by the seat of our pants.”

We don’t always “hit the target,” but, we are always “on target.”

Until we fly our Final Flight, we do “The Jet Jockey Jam” each day of our lives. When we finally “cool our jets” and taxi in to “shut her down” for the last time, we need to climb down from the cockpit and stroll confidently down the flight line into the Sunset Of Infinity. We take the first step into the “Base Ops Of The Afterlife, with the conviction that we did our best.

We all fly our Sorties Of Life. We should retire from our Mission Of Life pleased with our efforts.

Our family and friends will have their own daily sorties to plan and fly. But, from time to time, they may recall or share some of our “war stories.” They will smile at our “wheels up,” “barrel rolls,” “wing waves,” and “barnstorming” aerobatics of our lives. They will bring people to the edge of their seats with the tales of our exploits of dropping “down on the deck,” and “afterburners blazing” to “pray, play, or pay” for those risky gambles in the Sorties Of Life.

Tomorrow, is another Jet Jockey Jam in the Sortie Of Life.

And, may our family members never forget the Day Of “Our Missing Man Formation.”

Sam

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