NEXT MONDAY is Veterans Day — a day to honor all men and women who have served honorably in the military. Memorial Day was back in the Spring. It was the day for remembering and honoring the men and women who died defending the nation in time of war.
This short repeat article is resurrection of an old Mine Creek Revelations Gem, and it about veterans AND veterans who died in service to our country.
IF YOU ARE DRIVING into Texarkana on US Highway 71 you’ll cross over I-30 on a bridge with an odd name: Zainah Caye Creamer Kyle Brandon Stout Memorial Bridge. There’s a story in the name.
Both were soldiers who were killed in military action in Afghanistan. Creamer was killed in 2011; Stout was killed in 2010. Both were from Texarkana — Creamer was from the Arkansas side; Stout from the Texas side. Creamer was a she; Stout was he.
Creamer was just 28 and she was a dog-handler in the Military Police. Stout was just 25 and he was a wheeled vehicle and weapons expert.
They were heavily-decorated during their active duty days and also posthumously. Someone in the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter in Texarkana had the idea of honoring these heroes. A petition started.
Creamer and Stout represented both sides of the city, so both city councils had to pass resolutions. And because the bridge was on State Line it took approval of Departments of Transportation from both states (and that apparently took some real arm-bending).
Some bordering towns even passed resolutions calling for the bridge to be named in their honor. As far as I know none of our area towns were asked to lend support, but I’m sure ‘we’ would have, if asked.
In April of 2012 the sign went up on the Texas side; in November the Arkansas-side sign was put up.
When you go across that fine bridge, take a moment to remember all of our nation’s heroes who have made the supreme sacrifice.
Because I know a lot of you are dog-lovers, I am happy to tell you that Creamer’s dog, Jofa, survived the attack which took her master’s life.
And, yes, I am very proud to be a veteran.
When local veterans line up in ranks in front of the war memorial monument on the courthouse grounds, next week, I most likely will be on the sidelines taking pictures and jotting down quotes. But I will also be standing in spirit with my brothers-and-sisters-in-arms. There is a bond among vets that is sorta hard to explain. Thank goodness I don’t have to make my living with words.
I finished my own active duty in April of 1966. To this very day I am in email contact with about a dozen of my fellow helicopter aircrew shipmates of those days. We are planning a reunion in 2020 and are arguing amongst ourselves whether to have it in Pensacola, Fla., where there is a Navy air museum, or Imperial Beach, Calif., which is where our squadron was based when we were not aboard ship. I am lobbying hard for Pensacola. I can drive there in 1.5 days. I dread the thought of flying to Southern California, but I don’t know if I’m up to a three-day drive.
I keep hearing horror stories about flight cancellations and overbooking and delays and whatnot. The last time I went through security to board an airplane the guy who was checking me and my luggage had ‘LOVE’ and ‘HATE’ tattoo’d on his knuckles.
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THE GOOD EARTH. Some perfessers in Siberia found some old seeds. Real old seeds. In fact, the seeds are thought to be 32,000 years old.
The seeds had been buried by some ice age squirrel in a den that later was buried under the permafrost. And there they waited for the mastodons to go away and the perfessers to show up. This is a science story and it just amazes me.
These Russian perfessers somehow got the seeds to produce a flowering plant. It is called ‘Silene Stenophylla’ and it is still common to Siberia. The ‘new’ plants they grew from seeds bloomed and made more seeds. It’s the hand of the Almighty, in my opinion.
Before ‘old’ Silene Stenophylla was coaxed back to life, the plants grown from oldest seed were some Judean Date Palms which sprang — or sprung — from seeds that were more than 2,000 years old and had been found in a cave in the Middle East.
The difference between the Date Palm story and Silene story is that date palms were TOTALLY EXTINCT. That is, the Date Palms existed NOWHERE else on the face of the planet. Silene had evolved some and the recent version showed change — the perfessers could tel.
I hope there are some American kids out there who are studying botany instead of rap.
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THINGS I LEARNED from opening (and believing) email: If you spin an Oriental man in a circle three times does he become disoriented? Is this a politically incorrect joke?
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WORD GAMES. A charming young couple: Adam and Eve. Theirs was an arranged marriage.
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HE SAID: “Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man’s life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self.” B.R. Ambedkar, one of the founding fathers of India
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SHE SAID: “The key to nature’s therapy is feeling like a tiny part of it, not a master over it. There’s amazing pride in seeing a bee land on a flower you planted – but that’s not your act of creation, it’s your act of joining in.” Victoria Coren Mitchell, professional poker player
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SWEET DREAMS, Baby