From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ultimate Betrayal

This poem is dark.  It is about the ultimate betrayal of a Soldier.  A Soldier I know was assigned the duty of staying behind from a mission in Iraq in the barracks, and "watching" a young Soldier who had received a "Dear John" letter.  There was concern about his mental state.  The young Soldier spent hours trying to lift the spirits of the grieving Soldier, and had finally lain down on the cot in the room still talking to him, but not with his eyes directly on the Soldier.  When the shot rang out, two Soldiers were wounded, one fatally, and one with an invisible wound and images he will never erase.  

 Two things about this story bother me; first that someone without psychiatric training, credentials qualifying him, or actually the responsibility of this young mans mental welfare, was left with a grief and guilt that should never have been his to bear.  Of course there was an investigation to make sure that the surviving Soldier had not been derelict in his duty.  Even I know that Soldiers are never supposed to be given assignments for which they do not have professional training.  That is one of the reasons The United States of America can boast the finest fighting force the world has ever known.  I know the Soldier very well, and I would not have had to investigate, his life is a living testimony to devotion to duty.

The second thing is that a commander left this young man to become a victim of the commander's lack of skill to command, when surely he should have realized that his youth made him lack the knowledge, training and skill to prevent this tragedy.  In my opinion, that error in judgment screams that the commander was not qualified with the common sense and other skills critical to the position he held in a war zone, where so many lives hung in the balance of his decisions.  

Many advances in the care of a Soldiers mental health have been made since this incident, things might have gone differently today.  That being said, I am going to make a strange dedication with this poem  It is dedicated to all the wives, girl friends, husbands, and boyfriends, from the youngest through the oldest, of anyone serving in the military, who have ever cheated on a Service Person while they were deployed.  I wont cast any stones, I have no right, but during a deployment  You know who and what you arethe stories of your betrayals are legendary, and understand there are no excuses, and one day you will answer.  We all do for each and every act unless before The Living God who has offered the shedding of His blood as the ransom for all our sin, and who stands waiting in love to forgive you cry out for his forgiveness.  Like David, a man after God's own heart, who himself committed a form of this sin, you must ask God to wash you, cleanse your heart, and make it white as snow. 

 However, even though she may well have sought Gods forgiveness, I wonder if the young woman who penned that letter after her betrayal which the Soldier discovered on the internet, has ever had a peaceful nights sleep since. I think probably not.  

Betrayed Soldier

Smiling faces took my breath today,
Made me ask could she our love betray.

She said she meant to take the images away.
That told me she knew it was wrong that day.

The pictures were made on a day in May,
All this time she had allowed them to stay.

She will never know the price I have had to pay,
While I went to war and she stayed.

My heart aches and I cant hold the tears at bay,
I feel loneliness has been my constant companion always,

This pain holds me captive in its sway.
I cannot escape; my world has gone dark and gray.

Her words to me a love story do not portray.
I think never will I feel loved again in any way.

I cannot in this world I am in, where all there seems to be is pain,
See within myself or anywhere, something I have the desire to gain.

Daily all around me there are those who escape this world's ultimate despair.
In this solitary place I have the means and courage their fate to share.

To anyone who has ever faced this kind of pain I would with passion and a love that comes to me for you from my Father, and which makes me stagger in awe of it's depth, promise there is an answer.  The Keeper of the Stars is waiting His love and care to pour out on your broken and bleeding heart.  One of His eternal, magnificent names is The Great Physician.  He is your only hope and salvation, and He never fails.  The power of His love is everlasting, just as you are.  To quote one of my favorite authors, You do not have a soul, you are a soul, you have a body.  I would say to you also, without question, you too will exist somewhere eternally.  Leaving this life you will only step out into your eternal life.  It is Gods greatest desire, the thing for which He made the truly ultimate sacrifice, to spend that eternal existence with you in His presence, and at the center of His unfathomable love.  God will help you through this, suicide is an act of rebellion and a demonstrates a lack of faith in God.  If you will trust Him, He will meet your every need, he will heal your heart, and restore you joy in living.  God knows each of our unique needs, and always validates the worth to Him of each individual by bringing His divine power, grace, mercy, and tender love to meet those needs.  He will not only see you through this, but bring good from the experience if you will but trust Him.  God is not a liar or deceiver, and His love motivates all He does.

Please, if your world is dark and gray, call me day or night, send me an email, just contact me in some way.  I know with certainty of His love for you personally, because by His grace and love, I am His daughter.  How humbling it is, how glorious and too wonderful it is, to live in that happiness and assurance, and the privilege of being the daughter of The Eternal God.  Because of this relationship, nothing can overcome me.  Pain and suffering may come, but it will not overcome me.  I know my Father, and all His ways.  His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.  I would love to share with you all He has done for me personally, all I have seen Him do for others.  One of my dear earthly fathers favorite scriptures is found in Isaiah 41.

Fear thou not: for I am with thee; be not dismayed: for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee: yea I will help thee: yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

None of us ever need make the journey of this life alone He always has grace and love sufficient for whatever comes to our lives, and unlike those around us, He is incapable of failing us. If as so many Soldiers and others do, you find yourself betrayed and with a broken heart, throw yourself without reservation on The Rock of Your Salvation.  You will not need strength, you will not need courage, you will not need wisdom, and He will never require you to lift yourself up by your bootstraps.  His all powerful arms will lift you to heights you have never known; as you realize the depth of His love for you.  You will find too that one of Gods favorite things is to restore the years of the locust.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

More News For Wounded Warriors and Their Families

Please pass along that if you are a survivor, and your Service member was stop-lossed after September 11th, 2001, you may be entitled to receive retro-active stop-loss payments. Learn more and view President Obama's Message here: You may be
eligible to receive $500 for each month/partial month your Service member
served in stop loss status. Service members, veterans, and beneficiaries of
Service members whose service was involuntarily extended under Stop Loss
between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2009.

Of note today:

DOD, VA Agree To Develop Joint Electronic Health Record System. In
continuing coverage, the New York Times
A12, Dao, Subscription Publication, 950K) reports, "For many years, service
members who were leaving the military have had to worry about whether their
medical records would be properly transferred from one vast computer network
in the Defense Department to another in the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Now, the two departments have agreed to develop a joint computerized system
for health care records that could provide a single source of data on a
veteran's health from enlistment through death, officials said," adding that
the agreement was made early this month by DOD Secretary Robert Gates and VA
Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Former Army Wounded Warrior Fights for Employment with Help of the National
Organization on Disability (NOD
). Army AW2 Veteran Danelea Kelly had
two tours in Iraq, one in 2005-2006 and again in 2007-2008. Kelly praised
AW2 and NOD, when they arranged for her to speak about her experiences with
members of Congress. AW2 and NOD have been assisting her in finding the
right resources, such as financial and career and education assistance.
Kelly has been outspoken about her struggles with PTSD and finding
employment. She talked about the importance of programs like AW2 and NOD,
and asked Congress to expand these programs.

US Army Carries Out Pre-Memorial Day Tradition At Arlington National
Cemetery. NBC Nightly News
story 12, 0:30, Williams) broadcast video of a "Memorial Day weekend
tradition: A ceremony that's been carried out every year since 1948 by the
Army's Third Infantry Regiment called 'Flags In'."

Website Offers Virtual War Memorial Tours. In a column for Government
Computer News

(5/27), Kevin McCaney notes that while the original purpose of Memorial Day
is to "remember all those who have given their lives in military service to
the country," it also is the "unofficial start of summer," so families will
have plans. In "that case, you can still observe the day in other ways, one
of them being a virtual tour of one or more of the websites attached to the
nation's war memorials.

Citigroup Announces Mortgage Relief Program For Military Homeowners. In a
story for the Huffington Post
(5/27), Chris Birk, "director of communications for the VA Mortgage
Center, which specializes in VA loans for veterans and active duty service
members," says military homeowners, who "have taken a beating the last few
months at the hands of some of the country's largest mortgage lenders," are
"just now finally starting to catch a break.

House Passes Defense Bill Containing Slight TRICARE Increase. The Washington
(5/27, Pincus) reports, "The House passed
overwhelmingly Thursday a $690 billion defense authorization bill for fiscal
year 2012 that fully funds operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and limits
President Obama's authority to deal with Guantanamo detainees and to reduce
the number of nuclear weapons." The bill also "includes a 1.6 percent pay
increase for service personnel and, though it increases the amount
working-age military retirees will have to pay for their TRICARE health
care, it would result in lower future fee increases than Defense Secretary
Robert M. Gates was seeking."

Koby J. Langley, JD, CM

Senior Adviser

Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy (WWCTP)

4000 Defense Pentagon, Room 5A688A

Washington, DC 20301-4000

Ph: 571-256-4035

WWCTP Blog -

Wounded Warrior Resource Directory -

If in This Economy You Are Looking For a Job...

Here's some great tips passed on by the Ft. Benning Warrior Transition Unit to Soldiers and others changing jobs or careers...

 Interview Tips

So, you've got the interview! Here are some basic tips on succeeding in a job interview:

1.      Google the company and visit the company's website to fully research the company before the interview.
2.      Check what is the range of salary for your industry and job title. (Try or

3.      Dress smartly or smart casually depending on the type of company and position you applied for.

4.      Avoid cancelling an interview; arrive on time.

5.      Turn your cell phone off.

6.      Be nice to everyone - receptionist secretary and anyone else you meet. They'll talk and influence!

7.      Shake hands firmly.

8.      Be yourself; don't show anxiety; act self-assured and with confidence.

9.      Have an appropriate, job-related short answer to "Tell me about yourself."

10.     Don't interrupt the interviewer. Don't monopolize the interview or bore the interviewer with too much unnecessary information.

11.     Be ready to address the question of why you are leaving/have left your former company.

12.     Ask the question "what happened to the person who was formerly in this job?"

13.     If you are interviewing with someone who will be your boss, as her/him "what is your management style and what is the organization's culture?"

14.     Always let the interviewer bring up the salary thing.

15.     If they ask you what salary you are looking for, hedge. Ask them what range is the job paying. If they say $60,000 to $65,000, you can say, 'I was really looking for $65,000 to 75,000"

16.     Discuss job advancement opportunities within the company.

17.     At the end of the interview, ask "when and how would you like me to follow up?"

18.     Send a thank you note a couple of days after the interview.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I Must Pass This On...

I received this message today from my sister-in-law.  I wept... you should too...

No one has been able to explain to me why young
men and women serve in the U.S. Military for 20 years, risking their lives protecting freedom, and only get 50% of their pay. While Politicians hold their political positions in the safe confines of the capital, protected by these same men and women, and receive full pay retirement after serving one term. It just does not make
any sense.

Monday on Fox news they learned that the staffers
of Congress family members are exempt from
having  to pay back student loans. This will get
national attention if other news networks will
broadcast it. When you add this to the below,
just where will all
of it stop?

35 States file lawsuit against the Federal Government

Governors of 35 states have filed suit against the
Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens
upon them. It only takes 38 (of the 50) States to
convene a Constitutional Convention.

This will take less than thirty seconds to read. If you
agree, please pass it on.

This is an idea that we should address.

For too long we have been too complacent about the
workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that
members of Congress could retire with the same pay
after only one term, that they specifically exempted
themselves from many of the laws they have passed
(such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for
sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live
under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves
from the Healthcare Reform... in all of its forms.
Somehow, that doesn't seem logical. We do not have
an elite that is above the law.
I truly don't care if they are Democrat, Republican,
Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop.

If each person that receives this will forward it on to
20 people, in three days, most people in The United
States of America will have the message.. This is one
proposal that really should be passed around.

Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States
Constitution: "Congress shall make no law that applies
to the citizens of the United States that does not apply
equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and,
Congress shall make no law that applies to the
Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply
equally to the citizens of the United States ..."

You are one of my 20+