From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Oh My Sweet Texas, You are Beautiful This Time of Year!

    Indian Blanket is what we folks from Texas call this little beauty!  (Gaillardia pulchella)

 I just can't get enough of them!

I Have Come to Know an Exceptional Young Woman

In life many times you have to deal with people who are not honest, people who will lie to you, cheat you, or otherwise do harm to you.  Those who have faced Military Sexual Trauma are especially familiar with those kinds of people.  Many times in the past, those persons who have perpetrated sexual crimes in the military have gotten away with those crimes.  Even though things are changing in this area, there are hundreds of thousands of victims for whom the changes did not come soon enough.  Their assailants remain free and unpunished, and the devastation caused by their crimes haunt everyday of the victims lives .

That is a very difficult thing for the victims of these crimes to deal with.  Someone they should have been able to trust, has betrayed and harmed them, and then the Military fails them in a system that has historically covered up the crimes of the offenders.  Anyone who tries to say that anything different was the rule, is lying.  The investigation and prosecution of Military Sexual Trauma has long been the shame of the United States Military.  I do see things changing, and I am encouraged, but there have been many who have not survived the crimes, and how those crimes were handled by the Military.

Some lives just go to pieces, and people become addicted to substances or bad choices, unable to struggle through the grief, despair, and injury.  In extreme cases, some even become homeless, not being able to deal with the PTSD, (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,) which develops in the aftermath of their life altering ordeal.  Regardless, no one walks away from such a crime unscathed, and the road back to a normal life is long and difficult.

There are those who go to dark places and never return, and they wind up taking their own lives, unable to deal with their suffering.  There are also those who go to dark places, and with the love and support of family and friends, and professional help, make it back to the light of successful living.  I know one such young woman.

I met my friend on Facebook as a result of attending the SWAN, (Service Women's Action Network) Conference in Washington D.C. a few years back.  I have written of what happened to her, and watched her struggle from defeat to triumph.  She is now a published author, and will soon finish her degree to become a substance abuse counselor.  What once defeated her has become her power, and she will soon become a beacon for others, for whom life has dealt hard blows.  She loves horses, and many times we have discussed the special relationship that horses bring a person.  She has told me of experience with horses which have given her courage and stamina to go forward toward recovery.

I remember how angry and negative my friend was when I first met her, and I have watched as she has overcome those two things.  Not that her life is completely void of those feelings, but now they are just feelings, not life controlling handicaps. She is still facing difficulties in life, her mother has been very ill, but such things no longer send her into the dark.

There is hope of recovery for even the most painful and difficult situations life can bring to a person.  My friend is the living proof of that.  Congratulations my sweet friend, for all you have overcome, and for all you have accomplished.  I know even more success is to come!  The tragedies of your life have been made into the tools which empower you, and they are going to be a resource to help empower others.  Watch her very moving video, and buy her book, some things are worth a person's time, and listening to the story of this young woman will encourage you in your own life.


Monday, April 20, 2015

My Grand-daughter Teaches me Things

She found a song on You Tube, and she shared it with me.

It really moved my soul and made me think of my retired Soldier.

It must be considered outside of the context of the media which used the song, 
I believe it was a vampire show, but it is way above that context in message.

It obviously is a song for weddings, and I think it will long endure the test of time!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

At First I Was Against This

I was sent an email concerning this training which is being provided at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas, and at many other U.S. Military institutions.  The headlines are rather deceiving concerning what the training involves and what the cost is.  The 10K cost was presented in the email I received as $2,222.00 an hour.  That was a deceptive message.  Perhaps the cost should be weighed at cost per service member, and certainly the content as a whole should be considered rather than the indications that the title suggests...


I fired an impassioned email off after I read the email that was sent to me.  Serves me right that I embarrassed myself in my email, because I did not research the information that was sent me.  So tell me, what do you think of the training, considering the cost per Service Member, which is according to the number present at each session.  For instance at the Service Academies, each session could have as many as say a thousand people in attendance... so that would make the cost per Service Member under $2.50.  Sometimes how ideas are presented can be deceptive.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Many Who Have Served Still Struggle With War

“A sad soul can kill quicker than a germ.”  John Steinbeck

After the attack, I joined with the brave who heard the call,
To protect our country from an enemy determined to cause it to fall.
This duty my mind and heart could completely understand.

Then with my brothers and sisters, I went to a foreign soil.
Together we followed every order, and endured each mission, as on we toiled.
The need for this work I still understand.

I came home, and visions returned of things no man should ever hold in sight.
Always now I must be vigilant and watch for a means of flight.
These things were very difficult for me to understand.

Sometimes my mind begins to falter, and I feel cold fear rise.
I am now someone my family and friends do not recognize.
Of this I have no ability to understand.

Finally, in shame and despair, I went to my commander.
Grasping for words to make this man hear, I could only stammer.
I longed for him to understand.

The expression and tone of the words I received in return,
Have dealt wounds and pain that cause my very soul to burn.
All efforts failed to cause him to understand.

Since this confession, I know, though long I stood strong,
To my beloved band of brothers I will never again belong.
I have slowly and painfully come to understand.

Tonight in the solitude of this lonely room, I’ll make my last stand.
Summon courage and my life lay down, by my own hand.
For no longer do I have the desire to understand.

by Debra LeCompte 

When anyone, especially a Veteran, is suffering from depression it is a given that the person may very well not have the ability to help themselves. It may be up to us, those who love them, to be there, and know what to do.  Know the signs and symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.  It might save the life of someone you encounter.