A Nightmare in Norway

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As most of you already know, I enjoy finding inspirational, motivational, heartwarming stories and any other kind of story, picture, etc. that will leave a person giggling, smiling, or feeling good about life. Well, today’s story is no exception. The author is unknown, but the story is a tale about some soldiers who confronted a mob of angry warriors and an eyewitness account of what they experienced…then lived to tell the tale.

Here is their story.

“We were in the United States Marines, doing a mock war in the Norwegian city of Trondheim with the Dutch, Germans, and other allies, training in urban combat> My infantry unit was positioned in a large soccer field next to an elementary school. Keep in mind there was no actual combat, even simulated; it was mostly just practicing maneuvers and tactics. But we still looked out of place with our weapons and gear, etc. It was February in Norway. Cold a sheck. Snow up to our knees. Norway obviously has no snow days, so the kids were all in school.

Anyway, so Norway has this most delicious and amazing delicacy, I have no idea what it is called, but it is basically a bacon-wrapped hot dog; we assumed it was called Candy of the Lord. As Americans, we were naturally and instantly addicted. You find them in gas stations, and there just happened to be one on the other side of the school where we were camped. A few of my fellow Marines and I requested permission to go to the gas station and we set out on our way.

We made it to right about where the main entrance of the school was, and the doors opened…school was out. There were only a few kids, probably 6 or 7 years old. Lots of talking and laughing. Gawking at us as we walked by, with our guns and huge ridiculous snow suits. One precocious little guy made shooting noises at us. We made shooting noises right back.

Then someone in my group…I don’t know who…God help me, I don’t know who…

Someone threw a snowball and hit a little girl in the leg.

Then those little Norwegian children unleashed hell.

There was a shrill cry of unintelligible gibberish and the doors of the school burst open. School children flooded out like a never-ending flood of something that never ends. Screeching, smiling, sprinting – how in the world were they sprinting?” the little bastards were slinging snowballs faster than the law of physics should allow. It was like the movie Elf. If you can imagine riding fast in a car during a snowstorm and sticking your head out the window. Now imagine the snowflakes that are hitting your face are snowballs.

We couldn’t see a thing. We couldn’t run.

We could barely breathe

We were in hell.

We tried to return fire and threw one, maybe two half-packed crappy snowballs that fell apart in the air, arms flailing like a wimpy little kid. I am from Texas. We are a unit stationed in North Carolina. We were so outmatched and out of our element, it made them laugh even harder. We were cut off from our main forces. We tried to perform a flanking maneuver, but they were too fast. I think that some of them were even throwing rocks!

As for my comrades, I could see them speed waddling in their huge snow suits back to camp like a messed-up pair of Teletubbies under withering fire. Screw tactics, screw me, screw the Candy of the Lord…this was survival! I was the slow one in the group. My snow boots were too big but they were the smallest size they had at the Issue tent! My Marines had left me behind!

I tried pulling my hood over my head and keeping my head down. No longer content to pelt my body with ballistic snow, the enemy swarmed me and dragged me down, cackling like a bunch of hyenas descending on a wildebeest.  I tried to sling them off me by spinning. I came out of one of my boots and fell. I began to scream and plead for them to stop but they neither understood nor gave a single Nordic damn. They literally pinned me down with about five kids on each limb. It was then that I actually thought – “oh crap…I’m really in trouble.” My snow mittens were ripped off and flung into the trees. They started shoveling snow down my suit. Have you ever had anyone drop an ice cube down your back? Well, now imagine someone shoveling handfuls of ice cubes down your shirt. It literally shocked the breath out of my body!

They left me laying there like a Family Guy accident victim. Moaning and screaming in the cold. Rifle packed with snow and dirt. Boot buried somewhere. The kids ran away laughing and jabbering in their crazy language. I just lay there trying to figure out what in the world had just happened.”

 

Have a safe, warm day!

Three Great Life Lessons From Alexander the Great

Jean Simon Berthelemy
Painting by Jean-Simon Berthelemy

I am a big fan of history. I love reading and listening to books and documentaries of all kinds of history that ha spanned over the centuries. It is fascinating to see how past world leaders, inventors, athletes, armies, scientists, politicians, wars, etc.

One of the people who has always fascinated me was Alexander the Great. He was a supreme commander who, believe it or not, was actually tutored under the great philosopher, Aristotle! He wasn’t a big man…he was actually a short and stocky man who had two different color eyes…one brown and one blue. He also founded over 20 cities that bore his name…the greatest being the famous city of Alexandria in Egypt. At the peak of his reign, he ruled over 2007731 square miles of the world!!

So, it is no surprise that when I read the following story about Alexander the Great on Speakbindas.com, it fascinated me and actually reminded me of me some really good concepts and lessons in life, that we all, should never forget! I encourage you to take the lessons that you will read and put them into your heart!!


There is very instructive incident involving the life of Alexander, the great Macedonian king. Alexander, after conquering many kingdoms, was returning home. On the way, he fell ill and it took him to his death bed. With death staring him in his face, Alexander realized how his conquests, his great army, his sharp sword and all his wealth were of no consequence.

He now longed to reach home to see his mother’s face and bid her his last adieu. But, he had to accept the fact that his sinking health would not permit him to reach his distant homeland. So, the mighty conqueror lay prostrate and pale, helplessly waiting to breathe his last. He called his generals and said, “I will depart from this world soon, I have three wishes, please carry them out without fail.” With tears flowing down their cheeks, the generals agreed to abide by their king’s last wishes.

“My first desire is that,” said Alexander, “My physicians alone must carry my coffin.” After a pause, he continued, “Secondly, I desire that when my coffin is being carried to the grave, the path leading to the graveyard be strewn with gold, silver and precious stones which I have collected in my treasury.

“The king felt exhausted after saying this. He took a minute’s rest and continued. “My third and last wish is that both my hands be kept dangling out of my coffin.”The people who had gathered there wondered at the king’s strange wishes. But no one dare bring the question to their lips.

Alexander’s favorite general kissed his hand and pressed them to his heart. “O king, we assure you that your wishes will all be fulfilled. But tell us why do you make such strange wishes?”

At this Alexander took a deep breath and said: “I would like the world to know of the three lessons I have just learnt. I want my physicians to carry my coffin because people should realize that no doctor can really cure any body. They are powerless and cannot save a person from the clutches of death. So let not people take life for granted.

The second wish of strewing gold, silver and other riches on the way to the graveyard is to tell People that not even a fraction of gold will come with me. I spent all my life earning riches but cannot take anything with me. Let people realize that it is a sheer waste of time to chase wealth.

And about my third wish of having my hands dangling out of the coffin, I wish people to know that I came empty handed into this world and empty handed I go out of this world.”

Alexander’s last words:  “Bury my body, do not build any monument, keep my hands outside so that the world knows the person who won the world had nothing in his hands when dying“.

With these words, the king closed his eyes. Soon he let death conquer him and breathed his last.

Fun Facts About Memorial Day

Bruce Tuten
Photo Credit: Bruce Tuten via CC Flickr

Memorial day, here in America, is a solemn and somber day in America in which people from around the country can stop, remember, and thank the men and women who have fought and have given parts of their lives for our freedom.

It was once said that Freedom is a lot like oxygen: when you have it, nobody notices it…but go without it, and, wow, do you wish you had it!! It is SO true!

Even though I have celebrated Memorial Day every year since I was a kid, I was wondering the other day…what is the truth and facts behind this hallowed day? In today’s blog, I decided to find out and then, let you know by sharing my findings with you!

Enjoy!

  • Memorial Day originally started during the Civil War.
  • Approximately 750,000 Americans died in the Civil War which made it the deadliest war in American history (just for the record, there were more deaths in the Civil War than all of the other wars combined).
  • Memorial Day used to be known as Decoration Day and was meant to honor both the Union and Confederate men who lost their lives during the Civil War. By the 1900’s it became a day to celebrate and remember all of the soldiers who died in the military.
  • One of the earliest ceremonies honoring the fallen was organized by freed slaves!
  • Memorial Day actually didn’t become an official federal holiday until 1971.
  • In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson named Waterloo, New York, as the official birthplace of Memorial Day.
  • According to custom, the American flag is to fly at half staff until noon, and then raise it to full staff until sunset.
  • In 1915, a Georgian school teacher named, Moina Michael, began a movement to make the Red Poppy the national symbol of tribute to veterans and for “keeping the faith with all who died.” The idea of wearing Red Poppies originated from a poem written in 1915, by John McCrae, “In Flanders Field.”
  • It is common for volunteers to place American flags on the graves in the national cemeteries.
  • It has been estimated that 30-35 million people travel by car over the Memorial Day Weekend.

 

 

A Beautiful Story of  911: God Bless Our Military

Instapinch
Photo Credit: Instapinch via CC Flickr

AFTER FLIGHT 77 hit the Pentagon on 9/11, the following incident occurred:

A chaplain, who happened to be assigned to the Pentagon, told of an incident that never made the news. A daycare facility inside the Pentagon had many children, including infants who were in  heavy cribs. The daycare supervisor, looking at all the children they needed to evacuate, was in a panic over what they could do. There were many children, mostly toddlers, as well as the infants that would need to be taken out with the cribs.

There was no time to try to bundle them into carriers and strollers. Just then a young Marine came running into the center and asked what they needed. After hearing what the center director was trying to do, he ran back out into the hallway and disappeared. The director thought, “Well, here we are, on our own.”

About 2 minutes later, that Marine returned with 40 other Marines in tow. Each of them grabbed a crib with a child, and the rest started gathering up toddlers. The director and her staff then helped them take all the children out of the center and down toward the park near the Potomac River.

Once they got about 3/4 of a mile outside the building, the Marines stopped in the park, and then did a fabulous thing – they formed a circle with the cribs, which were quite sturdy and heavy, like the covered wagons in the Old West. Inside this circle of cribs, they put the toddlers, to keep them from wandering off. Outside this circle were the 40 Marines, forming a perimeter around the children and waiting for instructions. There they remained until the parents could be notified and come get their children.

The chaplain then said, “I don’t think any of us saw nor heard of this on any of the news stories of the day. It was an incredible story of our men there.” There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. The thought of those Marines and what they did and how fast they reacted; could we expect any less from them? It was one of the most touching stories from the Pentagon.

It’s the Military, not the politicians that ensures our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s the Military who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag. If you care to offer the smallest token of recognition and appreciation for the military, please pass this on and pray for our men and women, who have served and are currently serving our country, and pray for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

God Bless Our Troops!

There is nothing in this world that I respect more than the people who represent our country in the armed services. The courage, valor and bravery is unmatched by anything civilians like me can ever imagine. 

It is fascinating to me when I hear stories of how people in the military go above and beyond the line of duty for a brother or sister in the heat of combat…sometimes giving the ultimate sacrifice…their lives…for their friends.

I recently saw the following video excerpt from the David Letterman Show in which Marine Corporal Kyle Carpenter was interviewed in front of a national audience. Needless to say, the entire crowd fell silent as the list of his injuries were read off and my gratitude and thankfulness for our troops sky-rocketed.

Corporal Carpenter, who was 19 years old at the time, fell on top of a grenade that was thrown at him and his best friend while they were in their observation post. After over 40 surgeries and receiving the Purple Heart, Kyle came onto the show to share his experience. I can’t even imagine the hundreds of thousands of other stories that we will never hear about.

Watch how he acts, speaks and how he perceives life. Simply awesome! It is my hope that this short video clip will inspire and warm your heart as much as it did mine!

Dressing A Soldier For The Last Time

 

Photo Credit: Sheep Dog - Impact Assistance's
Photo Credit: Sheep Dog – Impact Assistance’s

This is a picture the military has never let anyone see until now.

This is a picture behind the scenes at Dover Air Force Base where the bodies of fallen soldiers are prepared for burial.

And that includes being properly dressed, all the way down to the smallest detail.
In this picture Staff Sgt. Miguel Deynes is making sure the uniform is just right for an army pilot recently killed in Afghanistan.

There is a very specific process once a fallen soldier is returned home.

The bodies are flown back to the U.S. on a cargo jet.

A team of service members wearing white gloves carries the coffins, covered with flags, to a white van that takes them to the Armed Forces Medical Examiner.

The remains are washed, the hands are scrubbed clean, and the hair is shampooed. If necessary bones are wired together and damaged tissue is reconstructed with flesh-toned wax.

Sometimes they will use photos, sometimes just intuition to recreate the wrinkles in faces, and the lines around the mouth or the corner of the eyes.

“It has to look normal, like someone who is sleeping.”

Once the body is ready then the uniform is prepared.

That includes putting medals in the proper order on the ribbon rack above the jacket’s breast pocket.
During the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan 10 to 20 bodies were arriving every day.

The embalmers often worked all night to get the bodies home on time. That can take an emotional toll so the mortuary has a large gym so workers can blow off steam.

Many say they are haunted by how young the fallen soldiers are, and by how many of them leave behind small children.

That’s why Sgt. Deynes says they are advised not to do research into the backgrounds of the soldiers.

“If I knew the story of every individual who went through here, I would probably be in a padded cell.”
The dress uniform being prepared in this particular case will be in a closed casket.

Even so, it will be perfectly tailored, starched and pressed. Everything will be checked down to the last detail.
Sgt. Deynes says, “They’re (the family) not going to see it. I do it for myself. It’s more than an honor it’s a blessing to dress that soldier for the last time.”

NEVER FORGET OUR FALLEN HEROES!!

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