Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Will Of a Marine

This is an email that Pia was kind enough to forward to me. Thanks, Pia.
The Will Of A Marine

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Yesterday I ran in the 33rd Marine Corps Marathon with the Injured Marine Team (Team Semper Fi) along with our supporters. The goal of our team is to raise awareness for the “Injured Marine Fund” by competing in athletic events across the country. The money that is donated to the “Injured Marine Fund” goes to financially assist and support injured Marines who are recovering from wounds sustained in combat. It’s a great organization and if you click on the link below, you can make a difference today for an injured Marine that is undergoing a painful recovery.

Myself at Brooke Army Medical Hospital after being injured.

Wounded Marine; Eric Santellana and myself, prior to the start of the 33rd Marine Corps Marathon.

It’s an honor to be part of the Marine Corps brotherhood and to be a member of “Team Semper Fi”! After I was wounded in Iraq in December 2006, one of my care givers was informed by a doctor of mine that I would be physically handicapped for the rest of my life. Two years later, my accomplishments have been four marathons and one triathlon. It seems that the doctors once again under estimated the will of a Marine.

I hope my story motivates any military service member currently undergoing care at one of our Veterans Hospitals. My message that I would like to convey to them is simple. They need challenge themselves and set their goals high. If I can be burned on nearly 50% of my body with 3rd degree burns and later run 26 miles in “Boots and Utes” (Boot and Trousers) then anything is possible.
After running 26.2 miles in boots, near the finish line with marathon medal
Make a donation today at:
Sgt. TJ Edwards
Thank you Sgt. Edwards


Pia said...


SK said...

Another amazing young man. We can just never thank them enough.

Stella said...

That we need an "Injured Marine Fund" in this country is a disgrace. That 2% reduction in military weapons to increase veterans' benefits would do more good for this nation's security than a bucket of bolts.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: our troops deserve the best possible care. No one should have to donate money to care for them. Our government should give them the best of the best.

Sgt. TJ Edwards is not only a hero but an inspiration.

BostonMaggie said...

Pia & SK - Exactly!

Stella - We just don't think alike. It's a fundamental difference.

You see a problem and think the government should fix it. Doesn't matter how big or how small.

I see a problem and think, "How can I fix that?". If I need help, a little help from Uncle Sam might be good. But basically, Uncle Sam helps me best by staying out of my way.

Also, government, the military, huge agencies....they don't just turn on a dime. It's just not the way the system works. There are people right now in Congress and the Pentagon working on these very problems. They will come up with a solution, but it will take a while.

In the mean time, stuff needs to happen now, so people step up to the plate.

People like the Sgt. that wrote the letter.

People like Pia who forwarded it (and I'm sure tossed something in the kitty).

People like me who blogged it and emailed it and will toss something in the kitty.

People like SK who just read this and will forward it and probably organize one of those cool, how'd-ya-do-that? things she does with no fuss and little recognition.

It's a few minutes to midnight here in Boston. There were 204 visitors here today. It's safe to say that without ever commenting, some clicked that link and checked into that charity.

That's the way we handle things and we are the silent majority.

That's why in European countries their government gives a percentage of GDP to charity and by and large individual citizens don't.....yet here in America we give a very small percentage of our government's budget to charity, but still in any given crisis the biggest chunk comes from America percentage wise.

Individuals make it happen.

America is unique. We can't follow anyone else's process. We must go our own way. And Stella - most of the time we get it more right than anyone else.

Stella said...

Oh, don't get me wrong, Maggie. We handle charities and issues the same way. We post and donate in exactly the manner you describe. I think you are under the assumption that Liberals don't donate to causes just believe in "tax and spend." I see now that's an erroneous assumption from conservatives.

We don't believe government giveaways solve all problems. I can assure you as someone who donates time and will be deeply involved in this election, we also take matters into our own hands as individuals. Of course, individuals make things happen. That's not solely a conservative belief.

I do resent 42% of my tax dollars going to the military (non-veteran) budget. The issue that my tax money supports military supplies more than military people unnerves me.

Yes, I concede this point: Americans are the most generous people in the world. Certainly, we donate less in percentage but far more in actual dollars. My concern is that the money gets where it's needed.

The divisiveness of the past eight years has ruined the economy, the infrastructure, and many people's retirement. The financial crisis caused people to lose their privatized retirement funds.

Liberals and Conservatives are working in exactly the same way to advance our principles. Believe me, it's not just about tax and spend: oversight is critical, the lack of which cost America billions of dollars to military contractors and creating the federal crisis from which we all suffer now.

I don't see a fundamental difference. We're working for those issues in which we believe in the same way. That's a positive understanding.

BostonMaggie said...

Stella you are going to cite some source for this one. Because your statement that "42% of my tax dollars going to the military (non-veteran) budget." is incorrect.

42% of the "discretionary" budget is defense.

That is completely different.

2007 defense was 20.1% of the total budget.

That is not a direct comparison to your 42% because the 20.1% does include DoD, GWOT, & veterans.

From of OMB "Mid-Session Review Budget of the U.S. Government FY08"

Go to page 4; Chart 4 "Federal Outlays in 2007"

Here is the link

SK said...

Nicely said Maggie. I also thank you for the compliment, but you give me far too much credit.

Our silly little Constitution provides for our national defense, if I'm not mistaken. And our guys DO deserve better IMO. But I have family that served in WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam. Although things should and need to continue to improve, the current quality and length of care far exceeds what they were given in the past. Is it perfect? Nope. And it never will be because it's part of the huge Government machine. I was honored to tour Walter Reed, and to meet some of our finest and bravest. I would have given them the world on a platter, had I been able to. But that is not, and should not be the goal of our government. So I'll keep doing what I do, and hope that it makes a small difference to even one of our guys.

I'll never say that liberals don't donate to charities, because that's painting all of them with the same brush, and wrong. BUT, I will say that none of the ones I personally know do. A handful will go serve dinner at a homeless shelter on holidays, but not one of them will donate cash, unless it's to some org like Code Pink (which is not a charity). And yes, I actually do know many liberals.

As for the divisiveness of the past 8 years, yup it's definitely there. Those on the left are feeling it, just like those of us who voted against Clinton felt it during his administration. The biggest difference IMO is that the media portrayed Clinton in a MUCH better light and has absolutely demonized President Bush.

Stella said...

Our silly little Constitution provides for our national defense, if I'm not mistaken. You're not, of course, SK. All nations have that right.

Yes, SK, our troops deserve far better. We both have family who were in the military. Mine were in WWII, Korea, and Iraq. I had a couple of friends in 'Nam who came back with serious mental problems. I admire you for visiting our soldiers at Walter Reed: that's wonderful!

I'll never say that liberals don't donate to charities, because that's painting all of them with the same brush, and wrong. Thank you for that comment, SK. I agree that grouping people together with particular traits is wrong, also.

Please let me assure you we provide money to environmental causes, animal welfare, Amnesty International, SOS Children's fund, and various other organizations that help others. In fact, liberal Jerry Brown who started wind power in California, which provided 90% of the nation's wind energy until recently. He was a pioneer of green energy. We can thank Gov. Moonbeam: He "worked hard for that title." (And that's a direct quote.)

I disagree that the media portrayed Clinton in a better light. Remember Monica? (That poor girl...) Further, there were many divisive comments arising from the Republican Congress. Unlike Bush, who richly deserved it, Clinton was impeached.

Now, I will admit he lied. I wish Clinton had said, "It's between me and my wife. The issue is none of your business." Frankly, I was more upset about the lies than the liason. I mean, really, who cares? Nevertheless, Clinton was absolutely demonized by the press. The media put the Clintons through hell.

Not all of the press absolutely demonized President Bush. And Bush has lied on numerous occasions, but no one is impeaching him. The Democrats should be thanked for their discretion.

He has bankrupted every company he ever owned, including our nation. Bush's errors are far more debilitating to the freedom of this nation than Clinton, who was willing to work with Republicans and sign NAFTA. George Bush gave off-shore companies tax breaks. In addition, these companies pay less for workers. As a result, America is in a devastating financial situation.

Maggie, I'm standing by my statistic of 42%: if the money is discretionary, it can be used. How much of that discretionary income when to private military contractors? Why can't we use some of these "discretionary" funds for our soldiers? What happened to the Homeland Security Budget, which is seriously underfunded.

The House Oversight Committee has held hearings about the "discretionary" use of funds by the Bush Admin. I need some rest, and am having trouble with my PDF.

As concerns the MSM, I think they don't care whether the issue is conservative or liberal. Most just want drama so they can increase their ratings.

Thanks for your thoughtful comments, SK. And Maggie, as Ahnold says, "I'll be bahk."

BostonMaggie said...

Ahhhhhh Stella, I must not be explaining this well. It is steroid day. I can't find how you arrive at 42%. Where did it come from?

You said 42% of your tax dollars go to the military. That is incorrect.
20.1% of your tax dollars went to defense.

It's like the difference between gross and net pay.

"Discretionary spending" is a part of the budget the way "entitlements" are a part of the budget.

I tried to figure out how you arrived at 42%. So you could see my apple and your orange. But no go. So I sent it to my brilliant sister Jennifer (accounting manager and Suffolk University grad) and she will make it clear.

I will do a post about it.

I also have to do a detailed post with links about Bush and the veteran's benefits. You are wrong when you say he has cut them.

But I can't figure out why you think it.

BostonMaggie said...

Stella commented, in part -

"Yes, I concede this point: Americans are the most generous people in the world. Certainly, we donate less in percentage but far more in actual dollars. My concern is that the money gets where it's needed."

No, we donate more as a percentage when you count donations from individuals as well as straight from the federal budget. The Millenium Goals only count governement donation which come directly from taxes.

If you only count what we give directly from the budget - we give a smaller percentage but more actual dollars merely because our GDP is bigger.

We want both counted, government and individual. Most other countries give far less as a percentage of individuals.

If you count government *and* individuals we give a large percentage of GDP and far and away a larger number of actual dollars.

And our logistical support is beyond price and no one else can do it but us.

Yet the head of UN Humanitarian assistance is a guy from Norway named Egelund and he is mad and calls us cheap. He wants the line item in our budget increased.

I went into this on the post on the Millenium Goals

You see, the UN is not happy with their piece of our budget pie and they are not happy with how it comes to them.

If they get their 0.7% of our GDP, it comes with no strings.

Money from individuals comes through different NGOs and there are strings, and accountability.

Currently they get 0.16% of our GDP directly from the budget.

They want more money and less accountability.

BostonMaggie said...


Back this comment up.
Not all of the press absolutely demonized President Bush. And Bush has lied on numerous occasions, but no one is impeaching him.
Name one specific lie and cite non-partisan proof.

BostonMaggie said...

Thanks to SK for pointing out my use of this phrase -

"You see a problem and think the government should fix it. Doesn't matter how big or how small."

This is not a lib vs. conservative mindset in all cases. I think it is in many because true conservatives want smaller government all around.

It is definitely not a Republican vs. Democrat mindset because Bush has increased the budget.

I have been disappointed with soem of Bush's spending.

My point is this

Should the government make the charity we are discussing here obsolete? Probably.

Will they? The some extent at soem point in the future.

Is it soon enough to help these guys right now today? NOPE

So no matter what we must push this charity and others.

Stella said...


Back this comment up... Name one specific lie and cite non-partisan proof.
Yes, relentless one, let me see if I can summon my energy to prognosticate your question after four hours in traffic.

Issue: George Bush stated we need to invade Iraq, which has weapons of mass destruction.

Response: In three months, Hans Blix investigated Iraq, he never found any WMDs. In fairness, Blix accused U.S. President George W. Bush and U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair of acting not in bad faith, but with a severe lack of "critical thinking." I am unnerved hearing about America's and Britain's leaders lacking "critical thinking" However, it's somewhat understandable. Times were terrifying given the second major terrorist attack on our nation in the biggest metropolis in the world. (The first was Oklahoma City.)

Blix later repeated accusations the US and British governments were "hyped" intelligence and lacking critical thinking. "They used exclamation marks instead of question marks." The question remains whether one can surmise that such comments serve as lies of omission.

In Disarming Iraq, a book review from the NYT, Blix stated ''I needed evidence.'' His frustration with the Bush administration, expressed throughout this book, was that it was both supremely confident that the weapons existed and utterly uninterested in evidence."

In fairness, PNAC disagrees, calling The absurdity of this charge... mind-boggling. (2003). If so, why did Bush himself agree the war was a terrible mistake? And when did he know?

You can find more WMD information at the WMD Commission. The story appeared in USA Today.

Prior to this time, he linked 9/11 to Saddam Hussein, but later recanted. Yet, Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens.

No foreign diplomat has been closer or had more access to President Bush, his family and his administration than the magnetic and fabulously wealthy Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia, referred to by George Bush, as Bandar Bush. What did Prince Bandar know?

PNAC provides a report entitled, "Our Basic Instincts Were Sound" from 2004 [I]t looks like U.S. intelligence simply didn't do its job regarding Iraq. Could Bush have known?

And I found this clip so horribly sad given the hundreds of thousands of lost lives.

What would one say to Joe, whose video you posted?

This may not make the sense I wish, given that I am exhausted, but I did use partisan proof—from PNAC—in the interests of fairness. The invasion of Iraq and Bush's possible knowledge still puzzles me.

Maggie, I of course recognize you may not agree with what I write. Or, you may just dismiss it. On the other hand, you may take everything I wrote and put a different perspective with other sources on these words.

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President.
~~President Theodore Roosevelt

BostonMaggie said...

Ok Stella, let's start here - your first accustion is that "W" "lied"

From Webster's "to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive"

In your first link about Blix he does indeed state that "W" & Blair acted without critical thinking. That's Blix's opinion and while I of course disagree.....Blix does not state that "W" "lied". You, Stella, can fault "W"'s rationale or critical thinking or judgement, if you like. But that is not the same as *lying*.
Next, you have another quote from Mr. Blix where he states "I don't buy the argument the war was legalized by the Iraqi violation of earlier resolutions."
Ok, again, Blix is saying that he has a differing opinion of how Tony Blair interpreted the law. He doesn't even mention "W" here except in passing. He does not state or prove that either "W" or Blair lied.
3rd paragraph, under "Response". Again Blix states that the US & GB were "over-confident". Again he does not say or prove "lying".
My conclusion is this. While you can argue that Blix was right and "W" judgement was wrong. No where is there proof he ever "LIED".

Next, Blix is someone who I do not find all that credible. For all the quotes you can supply where he seems to be some voice in the wilderness....there are plenty of links where he said something that bears out "W"s thoughts. You even have a few in your response.

Someone I find more competent is Charles Duelfer. His conclusions were that Saddam had some stuff, wanted more stuff and made every effort to fool everyone. His view was that reasonable people could have honest differences as to the question.

Further, how is it a lie if they existed?

**550 metric tons of "yellowcake" — the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment**

Iraqi Chemical Stash Uncovered
Post-Invasion Cache Could Have Been For Use in Weapons

By Ellen Knickmeyer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, August 14, 2005; Page A18

BAGHDAD, Aug. 13 -- U.S. troops raiding a warehouse in the northern city of Mosul uncovered a suspected chemical weapons factory containing 1,500 gallons of chemicals believed destined for attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces and civilians, military officials said Saturday.

Monday's early morning raid found 11 precursor agents, "some of them quite dangerous by themselves," a military spokesman, Lt. Col. Steven A. Boylan, said in Baghdad.
Exactly how close should we have let him get? Should we have waited until he had stuff that could have killed more of our troops? would it have been ok if we had more dead Israelis?
My point here is that while these are questions that deserve debate, when the anti-war side states that Bush lied, they completely turn off people like me. It's overblown. He didn't lie. No one can prove otherwise. It's a "throw it against the wall and see what sticks" arguement and it's completely counter productive to moving forward as a country. George Bush is a man who, while you disagree with many of his conclusions (and I disagree with some myself) took what he had and did what he thought was best.

He didn't lie.

He didn't do what he did to benefit some secret cabal.

He didn't do what he did to benefit the Saudi's over our country's interests.

People on the left and the media have crucified him as a liar without justification. I think it's intentional. I think if people who disagreed with "W" had said "I think he looked at this evidence and drew the wrong conclusion" they wouldn't have the support they wanted. So instead they screamed "Liar" and said it long enough and loud enough that in this shallow, "American Idol" age, they turned public opinion.

Well yelling something long enough and loud enough doesn't make it true. "W" may only have a 25% approval rating, but that simply means that 25% of Americans can't be swept along in a tide of public opinion and I am proud to be in that group.

Lastly, the presence of WMD and their imminent use may have been the reason most Americans agreed that our going into Iraq was a good idea (of those who did agree), but it was never the only reason and it was never the primary reason. Most "I don't read past the headlines, if I even make that much of an effort" Americans never bothered to understand and frankly their approval was always in the wind and their opinions never mattered to me.

I am only sorry that "W"'s inability to properly articulate the full rationale is harming John McCain now.

Homefront Six said...

I do resent 42% of my tax dollars going to the military (non-veteran) budget. The issue that my tax money supports military supplies more than military people unnerves me.

What I resent is any percentage of my tax dollars going to anything other than national defense or infrastructure. Everything else should be taken care of completely by the private sector.

And using tax dollars to get our military members the best that money can buy IS supporting military members.

FbL said...

I think you are under the assumption that Liberals don't donate to causes just believe in "tax and spend." I see now that's an erroneous assumption from conservatives.

Actually, on average, conservatives give more in hours and percent of income to charity than do liberals.

Proof here.