“The term posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has become a household name since its first appearance in 1980 in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-lll) published by the American Psychiatric Association, In the collective mind, this diagnosis is associated with the legacy of the Vietnam War disaster. Earlier conflicts had given birth to terms, such as “soldier’s heart, ” “shell shock,” and “war neurosis.” The latter diagnosis was equivalent to the névrose de guerre and Kriegsneurose of French and German scientific literature. This article describes how the immediate and chronic consequences of psychological trauma made their way into medical literature, and how concepts of diagnosis and treatment evolved over time.” – US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health
I didn’t know what was going on about PTSD in the 1980s. I was too busy teaching in a community based public school district 1975 – 2005, often working 60 to 100 hours a week. If I wasn’t teaching, I was planning lessons, calling parents, and correcting the school work my students turned in.
During those years, the PTSD was still managing my life in devious ways, playing a role in my first two divorces.
Maybe it was a survival mechanism that kicked in that stopped me from drinking too much booze on a daily basis and often being hung over the next day before I started drinking again. I crossed that threshold in 1982, the year I stopped drinking booze of all kinds and drastically changed my lifestyle from fast-food and alcohol to become a vegan.
Thirty-nine years later, I’m still a vegan and haven’t been drunk once.
During that drastic lifestyle transition in 1982 where I lost 60 pounds and turned orange from drinking too much organic carrot juice, I was working days and earning an MFA in writing nights and summers.
The summer of 1982, I took a poetry workshop and most of the poems I wrote that year explored the mental and physical damage caused by war.
This post is the first of many. I am going to dust off those decades old poems, update and revise them, and publish them here on my Soulful Veteran Blog.
Chocolate in the Mud by Lloyd Lofthouse
Dark is better Magic black Spiritual money Treat yourself to a truffle Buy a bon-bon
Discovered in the rain forests Two thousand years ago Maya and Aztec royalty Drank it frothy Spicy and bitter
Mom baked Mouth-watering Chocolate cakes Along with pecan Chocolate chip cookies Heating the savory Kitchen scented air
Hanging around like a puppy Scraping the frosting bowl clean Licking the spatula Was more fun than playing Front yard pirates
Rainy days still trigger Left over memories Of that long ago kitchen Bringing desire A craving for something creamy and dark Like a chocolate fudge Sunday Smearing lips with sticky Lip clinging excellent mud
When I was a U.S. Marine No longer a child It rained hundreds of inches in Vietnam. Slogging in from a recon patrol or ambush Surviving another day after too many close calls With mucky fudge clinging to our weapons
That mud was a reminder of younger days Raised in a country Where pampered children May be a protected alien species Living a fantasy life filled with Chocolate treats
Today, when some turn eighteen They join the military like I did Take the Loyalty Oath Washington was the first to take Before shipping out to Iraq and Afghanistan
Will those troops dream of chocolate in the bloody Sand Box?
When I Googled this topic, why were the first two sources VOX and the BBC? Why not the New York Times and other major traditional American news sources? To be fair, the NYT and the Atlantic was mentioned on the first page of the search but they were near the bottom of the page.
VOX is a general interest news site and in 2019, readership was estimated to be 33.4 million visitors to its website, less than 10% of the US population. Vox is an American news and opinion website owned by Vox Media. The website was founded in April 2014 and is noted for its concept of explanatory journalism. Media Bias/Fact Check rates VOX as Mostly Factual for its reporting, a bit lower than the BBC’s rating.
The BBC’s global reach is 468.2 million people a week and it is one of the most trusted news sources in the…
Have you seen the recent 30 minute documentary about COVID-19 and Trump? The documentary says that 90% of the U.S. deaths from the virus could have been avoided, and Trump is responsible for those deaths.
Here’s the link to American Pathogen, the documentary. I had to stop at 21 minutes because I could feel the RAGE growing inside my chest like and H-bomb ready to explode.
Then there’s “Rage”, the new book by Bob Woodward.
President Trump is defending himself after interviews from a new book by legendary reporter Bob Woodward reveal that Trump acknowledged the deadliness of the coronavirus in early February and admitted in March to playing down its severity.
NPR reports, “This is deadly stuff,” the president told Woodward in a Feb. 7 conversation, according to the book, which is called Rage. “You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed. And so…
Disruption: disturbance or problems which interrupt an event, activity, or process
Last Saturday, July 18, 2020, my blogging was disrupted by WordPress, and my temper, calm for months, exploded. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I had lunch with friends every week and joined others in group meetups. Thanks to the virus, I have lived alone since March 13. No one has visited me, and I have visited no one. Zoom, e-mails, phone calls, and WebEx help but cannot replace face-to-face visits.
Back to July 18 when I logged onto my iLookChina.net blog to schedule three new posts for August, my first thought when I saw the new editing page for WordPress was, “What the FUCK!”
I complained to WordPress and the little help they offered did nothing to end the stress from the disruption they caused.
I learned that WordPress was changing the Classic Editor I had been using for a decade to a Block Editor (whatever that is). From what I saw, I did not like the Block Editor and that feeling has not changed.
I was comfortable using the Classic Editor. I have better things to do than being forced to learn something new that stresses me out.
On Sunday, July 19, I wrote an angry letter expressing my frustration to Matthew Charles Mullenweg, the Founder, and CEO of WordPress. When I write an angry letter, I never mail the rough draft. I wait a few days and then revise to filter out the worst of my anger. But that rough draft will never be revised and mailed to Mr. Mullenweg. Instead, that letter has been added to this post.
Matthew Charles Mullenweg, Founder, and CEO of WordPress
WordPress Corporate Office Headquarters Automatic, Inc. 60 29th Street #343 San Francisco, California 94110-4929
Dear Mr. Mullenweg:
This morning I attempted to start scheduling the August 2020 posts for my https://ilookchina.com/ blog [806,254 hits/visits], and ran into an “alleged” improvement to the page where bloggers like me create their posts and schedule them. The changes to the WordPress editing page were so drastic that I couldn’t complete that task. I did not know what to do. I was lost. All the old menus were gone. I did see how I would upload a photo from one of the files on my desktop. I am not in the mood to learn how to use the new and disruptive Block Editor that is replacing the Classic Editor.
I always write my blog posts offline and copy and paste them into the Classic Editor that I have been using for a decade for all four of my WordPress Blogs.
WordPress just became the flaming straw that set off the fuse to my explosive anger. Somehow I managed to stay calm since March while billions of people around the world (including you) are struggling to avoid dying of COVID-19. Last month, when the electrical circuits in my garage blew out, I still managed to stay calm. Then last week, my HVAC system stopped cooling my house in the middle of a heatwave. That HVAC was a new system installed in 2017 for $18k, but I still did not flip my lid.
Then along came WordPress with its NEW Block Editor.
Why change something that was working? Why not set up an easy to find a button where we are allowed to keep the old design over the new one? What is wrong with you guys? Keep it simple. Do not change the old so drastically that it becomes stressful to deal with.
In the short term, stress can leave us anxious, tearful and struggling to sleep. But over time, continuously feeling frazzled could trigger heart attacks, strokes, and even suicidal thoughts. “In short, yes, stress can kill you,” – The American Institute of Stress
In case you don’t know it, change is not always good.
Sincerely (not really, I’m too angry to feel sincere), Lloyd Lofthouse
High levels of cortisol caused by stress over a long period of time wreak havoc on your brain.
A few days after writing the letter to Matthew Charles Mullenweg, I read a piece from The San Francisco Chronicle. There’s a name for tech’s attitude problem: toxic positivity, Silicon Valley’s obsession with disruption and destruction of the existing order and evangelical embrace of the new. It’s better on the other side of the river, we promise … in recent years, that’s become its own kind of orthodoxy, where the only appropriate response to new technology, according to the insiders of Silicon Valley, is cheerleading. Criticism of technology isn’t viewed as rational skepticism by those for whom innovation has become a religion; it’s heresy.”
Forbes also published a piece on this topic. “The Myths of Disruption: How Should You Really Respond to Emerging Technologies? Disruption may be the most overused term in the business lexicon today. Every startup wants to disrupt the established order. Every incumbent is scared of being disrupted. Disruption is a rallying cry or a bogeyman, depending on where you sit. And no one is immune: if an executive dares to suggest that their industry is free from the threat of disruption, they are accused of being short-sighted or in denial, and heading the way of the Titanic or the T-Rex. I find this obsession with disruption a little disturbing. “
Years ago, I started rebelling against technology’s forced disruption.
I bought two Kindle e-readers. Then a couple of years later, I returned to reading books printed on paper and my kindles have been gathering dust ever since. Old fashioned books do not have batteries that need to be recharged and do not have software to update. This is ironic since the novels I have published have sold more than 60,000 e-books through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other bookselling sites.
The new should always be easier to use than the old.
I had a smartphone once, and after a couple of years I turned it in for a dumb phone. I do not text. I do not run around taking smartphone videos and photographs of myself. My dumb phone gets used about five-minutes a month. That smartphone was a fucking pain in the ass, always demanding attention to keep working.
Fuck that shit! If you want to replace something old with something new, keep it simple!
When I bought my first tablet computer, it lasted a day before I returned it, because it wasn’t easy to set up and use.
I have an HP laptop locked in a safe. I update the laptop once a month. If my desktop gets hijacked again by ransomware, that laptop will be my backup while the desktop is in the shop being unhacked.
The last two times I bought new cars, I refused to sign the contract unless the dealers replaced the satellite-linked, streaming radio with the fancy touch screen with a CD player that was easier to use. The only new shit I liked was the backup camera and the chirping thing that warns me when another car is in one of my blind spots.
I plan to do the same thing with the next car I buy. If the dealer wants my money, they have to replace the irritating new crap with a CD player, or I will start looking for an older, used car that predates the annoying disruptive tech. If I can afford to buy a new car every few years, I can afford to rebuild an old one when it wears out and even have someone add batteries and turn it into a plugin hybrid. I’ve read about people that have done that on their own.
I have news for disrupters like WordPress, Microsoft, Apple, and all the other tech geniuses. I do not want anyone else disrupting my life. I do that just fine by myself, and when it comes to learning new things, I want to make that decision and not have it forced on me.
This might be my last post for all of four of my blogs if I cannot get the Classical WordPress Editor back. There is enough stress in this world without Donald Trump and Silicon Valley companies like WordPress generating disruption.
Will this be my last blog post? I do not know. I have been blogging for a decade. I have written and published 2,455 posts for iLookChina, 614 for LloydLofthouse.com, 1.444 for Crazy Normal, the classroom exposé, and 269 for The Soulful Veteran. That is a lot of writing, research, and reading. Those posts have generated more than a million reads or visits.
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat vet living with PTSD. He went to college on the GI Bill and earned a BA in journalism followed by an MFA in writing.
“Nobody knows what the coming months are going to hold. When asked when life might go back to normal by ABC News on March 15, Fauci stated that it will likely be ‘several weeks to a few months.’ So COVID-19 is going to be with us for a while.”
Today, March 25, we are about 7 months from the November 3, 2020 election, and President Trump has been talking about going back to the way it was to save the economy. In fact, since he made that announcement, the average of all the reputable polls, according to Real Clear Politics, Trump’s unpopularity dropped more than half from a minus 8.5% to a minus 3.5% in a couple of days.
When I joined the Marines in 1965, I wasn’t thinking of the flag or what freedom meant. I joined for another reason. I wanted to know if I had what it takes to become a U.S. Marine. Several years later in 1968, I left active duty with an honorable discharge and went to college with help from the G.I. Bill.
With all the injustice, dirty politics, and hate in our country, I’m still not sure what freedom means.
It took me decades to come to the realization that the real foundation of our country is the U.S. Constitution. Without the Constitution, the flag that Americans stand for has no meaning.
Without the U.S. Constitution defining and protecting our freedoms, that flag is just a tyrant’s rag.
In that video, not once did I hear the U.S. Constitution mentioned. I think defending the U.S. Constitution is more important than pledging allegiance to a piece of cloth.
The Constitution is silent on the American flag. Its general design is codified in law under Title 4 of the United States Code, which governs the official symbols of the United States and the government. Its manufacturing standards are detailed in Executive Order 10834
What has been a part of the U.S. Constitution from day one is the Oath of Office. George Washington was the first president to take that oath. Every man and woman that joins the seven uniformed services also take that oath to defend the U.S. Construction.
“Presidents come and go, as do commanders and officers. The mission, style and location of war changes as does the enemy. But for every member of the Armed Forces, whether wearing a uniform of blue or green, one thing remains constant: They raise their right hands and pledge to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
I think that we now have a lot of traitors serving in our government that took that Oath with no intentions of protecting the U.S. Constitution. Instead, these enemies see the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States as a way to get blind obedience from ignorant citizens that do not know that it is our country’s Constitution that defines and protects our freedoms.
The Oath of Office:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution requires that before presidents can assume their duties they must take the oath of office. The completion of this thirty-five-word oath ends one president’s term and begins the next.
From the day George Washington placed his hand on the Bible and recited the oath, the inaugural ceremonies have been an important symbol of our government’s continuity and permanence.
I think the pledge of allegiance to our flag should also say that it is every citizens’ responsibility to defend the U.S. Constitution because it is in the Constitution that our freedoms are defined.
Is there a video that says our flag is a symbol that represents the U.S. Constitution?
Any president that demands loyalty over the U.S. Constitution is a tyrant and cannot be trusted.
“In the 241-year history of the United States of America, there’s never been a commander in chief who has thought about loyalty and attempted to use it and enforce it quite like Trump.”
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran, retired public school teacher, journalist, and award-winning author. Running with the Enemy “is a riveting but cruel story, not for the faint of heart.” This novel “has a lot to say about the nature of conflict.”
Some of us are old enough to remember the New York Times publication of “The Pentagon Papers,” the secret history of the war in Vietnam compiled by the Department of Defense; they were purloined by Daniel Ellsberg, who opposed the war and shared with the Times. The revelations in those papers helped to end that conflict.
Now the Washington Post is publishing government papers about the long-lasting war in Afghanistan that it obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Its revelations are familiar and depressing. Our government lied to us. There were no realistic plans in place for success. Thousands of lives and about a trillion dollars were spent without a strategy.
The article was written by Craig Whitlock. If you want to read the story in full, subscribe to the Washington Post.
KONAR PROVINCE, 2010 (Moises Saman/Magnum Photos)
THE PENTAGON, 2003 (David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)
Mental Health America says, “Writing down your thoughts can be a great way to work through issues. Researchers have found that writing about painful events can reduce stress and improve health.”
That is why I belong to two groups of combat vets that meet each week for an hour and a half. We share our writing as a form of therapy to deal with the PTSD that followed us home from Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia. The Marines, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Special Forces, and the Airforce are all represented at these two tables located in two different locations on different days. One is located at a VA facility and the other group meets at a Vet Center.
“Vet Centers are community-based counseling centers that provide a wide range of social and psychological services, including professional readjustment counseling to eligible Veterans, active duty service members, including National Guard and Reserve components, and their families.”
When we meet, there is no pressure to write and share. It is okay to just listen. We can write just about anything we want in any form and each week at the end of each session, there is a prompt to help any of us that are blocked. What we share through our writing often results in healing conversations. Poetry, non-fiction, and fiction are all acceptable. Through fiction, we can deal with our personal issues through our characters.
One of those prompts gave birth to “The Patriot Oath.” At the time, I didn’t know the prompt “heads or tails” would end up becoming a novel. It wasn’t until the second prompt, “If I could go back and do it all over again (must be a military theme),” that I decided to challenge myself and keep the same characters and story going from prompt-to-prompt.
The title for this novel wasn’t born until much later. Even the characters names went through changes. I never planned to write this book. It came about organically one week and prompt, at a time, but somewhere along the way, the story stopped being driven by the weekly prompts and the characters took over and made the prompts fit their story.
Thirty-five weeks after the first prompt, I had a novel that I named “The Patriot Oath”, and here is the first chapter that was written for the prompt “heads or tails”.
The Patriot Oath
Chapter One (written from the prompt “head or tails”)
Josh Keagan was on his way home for the first time in twenty-three years, because his younger sister had been raped.
When Josh joined the United States Marines at eighteen after graduating from high school, he didn’t plan on returning home to Montana. Growing up on a ranch had been a hard life, and he’d resented it. It didn’t take long to discover the Marine Corps was tougher, but he excelled at it. When he retired a few weeks earlier, he’d just been promoted to O-5. His first year out, he was going to earn more than $5,000 a month, and every year he’d get a pay raise of about two percent. And then there was the contracting business he’d started with his mentor and old friend LG. That venture was bringing in good money, too.
Josh was the oldest of four siblings, and the youngest, Susan was his only sister. She’d been three when he’d left for the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California. Knowing his father’s stubbornness and temper, Josh suspected his name had been banished from the dinner table and he would not be surprised if Susan didn’t know she had an older brother.
Without a car, he’d spent hours sprawled on the back seat of a Greyhound Bus from Denver, Colorado to Billings, Montana where he’d hitched a ride with an eighteen-wheeler that dropped him at Great Falls. With his duffle bag slung over his shoulder, he’d hitch-hiked along route 87 and caught rides that carried him to Stanford where his brother Samuel, five years younger than him, was supposed to be waiting.
When he climbed down from the eighteen wheeler’s cab, he spotted a familiar 1942 blue Chevy pickup parked on the far side of the gravel lot. It was the same one his grandfather had cherished, and Josh was willing to bet it still ran like a Swiss watch.
“How is she, Sammy?” Josh asked his smiling brother, who was leaning on the pickup’s hood watching him approach. As kids, Samuel had always preferred to be called Sam or Sammy.
Sammy was all smiles as he tapped the hood with the tip of an index finger. “This old dependable sexy Chevy keeps on running. I’ve been rebuilding it, and it’s better than the Energizer Bunny. Grandpa would be proud.”
“Good to know, but I’m not talking about the fucking truck,” Josh said. He tossed his hundred-pound duffel bag in the open bed of the truck and slid onto the cab’s worn passenger seat. “I’m hungry. Let’s have lunch first. We’ll talk after we eat.”
They ate in silence at a local spot. After lunch, when Sammy climbed in behind the steering wheel, his expression had sobered. He said, “We never leave her alone. Today, my wife is with her. Wednesday, Cousin Betty will come from Eddies Corner and stay for a few days.”
“You know who did it, right?” Josh asked.
“Yea, it was an asshole whose dad is a billionaire. It’s the same old shit. His dad brought in a hot-shot lawyer that made her look like a whore.”
“How are the small farmers doing locally?”
“Not so good. We’ve been lucky because of what Mom earns from her books and because the ranch is nestled in a small valley surrounded by hills, but too many of the local farmers have lost everything because they were talked into planting and growing Frankenstein Food and when the monster seed blew onto the land of farmers that refused to grow that shit and sprouted, the corporation took them to court and screwed them bankrupt with court costs. Then to keep their farms, they agreed to become paid corporate slaves. Once a farmer signs, it’s impossible to get out of it, and most of the consumers don’t want to eat that poison.”
“Tell me something I don’t know,” Josh said.
Sammy glanced at his brother’s craggy features. “You look older than forty-one,” he said. “You never wrote about what you did in the military. What happened to you in there?”
“Nothing I did is worth talking about and most of it’s classified,” Josh replied.
“What do you mean, it ain’t worth talking about? Everyone knows about your Purple Hearts, the Navy Cross, the three Silver Stars, and the Bronze Star. What we don’t know is what you did to earn it all?”
“Like I said, most of it is classified.” Josh was chewing on a wooden toothpick he’d picked up at Dauna’s Deli in Stanford where he’d had his favorite French Dip Sandwich for lunch. Every bite had come with a flood of memories from his youth. He’d been so bitter when he’d left home, he’d forgotten that there had been good times, too.
“Can you at least tell me what you did in the Marines?”
“Once I graduated from boot camp, I became a Scout Sniper. A few years later I left the Marines to become a Navy Seal.” He stopped talking and a moment of silence slipped by.
“That’s all I’m willing to talk about. That life is behind me now. What happened to Susan is more important then what I did for the last twenty-three years.”
Sammy’s eyes widened. “Jesus,” he said. “You don’t like talking about what you did in the military, do you?”
Josh grunted. “I got better things to do then jaw about old news.”
“You were a blabbermouth when we were kids. What changed?”
Josh switched the toothpick to the other side of his mouth and said, “You’re kidding, right?”
It was quiet for the next few miles before Sammy asked, “What are you planning to do now that you’re back?” He was keeping his eyes on the road and worry lines had appeared around his eyes. “Dad and mom don’t want any trouble with Charles Tweet and his youngest son Darwin. We talked it over and it has been decided that we want to put this behind us and forget about what happened to Suki.”
“Suki?” Josh asked.
“That’s the name she prefers. Don’t call her Susan.”
“I’m not going to forget about what happened to Suki.” Josh dragged out her name longer than necessary. “You do not have a need to know the details of this operation, baby brother.”
“Operation?” Sammy said with a shaky voice. “You can’t leave me out of this. They crippled Mel and gang-raped Suki. After the way that fancy, fast-talking corporate-bought lawyer trashed her in court, she’s almost a basket case.”
Mel was the youngest brother who had been ten when Josh left. “So you do not agree with mom and dad that we should put what happened to Suki behind us and pretend it never happened?” he asked.
“If you are going to get revenge, I want in on it.”
“You don’t have the training or experience for what’s coming,” Josh said.
“Fuck that!” Sammy slammed on the brakes and brought the Chevy to a screeching halt by the side of the narrow, worn, two-lane road. He face was blooming with anger.
Josh sighed. “We are not going to argue.”
“You can’t do this alone.”
“I’m not alone.” His voice was crisp. “My Semper Fi brothers are already in the hills above the ranch waiting for me. We’ve done this type of shit dozens of times in too many countries to count. When we’re done, this billionaire and his family will leave Montana and never return. I plan on teaching them a lesson they will never forget, and you don’t want that crap in your head when you try to sleep at night.”
“How is this going to help Mel or Suki? You are underestimating Charles Tweet. He is a fucking brutal monster that thrives on getting even with anyone that crosses him. What if you make things worse for her?”
“I’ve got a counselor friend from a vet center in California that has agreed to use some of her vacation time to come to Montana and work with Suki and Mel and help them rebuild their lives. Dr. Tate is an expert in dealing with this kind of trauma.” Josh took the toothpick out of his mouth and faced his brother. “As for Charles Tweet and his evil heart, he has no idea what’s coming. As for his son the rapist, I have something special planned for him.”
“What do you mean by something special?” Sammy asked.
“No more details,” Josh said as his eyes bored into his brother’s face. “I’ve already told you too much. It’s been a long trip and I want to see the ranch before the sun goes down. I’m back to stay. Our family and neighbors need me more than the US of A does, and I’m not in this alone. Some of my Semper Fi friends grew up on small farms, too. In fact, I convinced a few of the retired ones to buy some of the local farms that went bankrupt because of the Frankenstein Food thing.”
Josh smiled for the first time as he shifted his gaze back to the view in front of the windshield. “Tell me, baby brother, is it true that my high school sweetheart hasn’t changed and she divorced that asshole she married?”
“The night she kicked him out,” Sammy replied, “she had the locks changed and her dad and brother were there when he came home drunk, as usual. That was seven months ago. A week later, he kicked in the door and attacked her, but she was ready and broke his right shoulder and a couple of ribs with a baseball bat. The next day Rachel took out a restraining order on Luke.”
Josh pressed his lips together and twerked them back and forth as he thought. “What she did was pure her,” he said. “She would have made a great Marine, and when we were kids, she was a better shot than me.” Then he lifted his butt off the seat and stretched his torso. With two fingers, he fished a quarter out of the tight watch pocket of his faded denim jeans. “Heads, I take the cowards way out, write a letter, and mail it. Tales, I show up at her place unannounced and knock on the door and hope she blows her lid.”
Sammy glanced at him like he was nuts. “What are you talking about?”
Josh flipped the coin and grinned when he saw the results.
“What is it?” Sammy asked.
“Tales,” Josh replied. “I’m going to enjoy getting my ass kicked.” He closed his eyes and rubbed his face with the fingers of both hands. “At least I hope she does.”
“What did the Marines do to you?” Sammy asked. “Who in their right mind wants to get their ass kicked?”
Josh’s eyes sparkled. He pinched a thumb and index finger together and pretended to zip his mouth shut.
“Damn it,” Sammy said. “Tell me what the Marines did to you.”
“It wasn’t just the Marines,” Josh said. “I served in the Marines, then the Navy, and then the Army and I returned to the Marines to finish up.”
“It felt like the right thing to do at the time.”
Josh nodded. “Yea, I got exactly what I wanted.”
“And what was that?”
“Enough talk. Just drive.”
“Try everything because something will click with you.”
My goal is to publish “The Patriot Oath” before the end of this year or early in 2020. The finished novel is now going through revisions and editing. In the meantime, the story of the characters that were born in the first novel continues with the sequel, “Never for Glory”, and I am still fitting the weekly prompts in chapter-by-chapter. The prompts for this week (August 4 -10) were: “horse” and “I’m a believer”. I haven’t started writing that chapter yet but plan to have it done before the first meeting next week so I can share it with both groups.
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran, retired public school teacher, journalist, and award-winning author.
If every voter that does not approve of Donald Trump votes on November 3 in 2020, then Donald Trump cannot win the election. The only way Trump will win is if millions of voters stay home because they don’t like what they are reading or hearing about the Democrat running against him.
Real Clear Politics reports that the trends say there is a strong chance that at least 66.5 percent of eligible voters will vote in 2020. With more than 50-percent of the population not approving of Donald Trump, he could lose by as much as twenty-million votes … if everyone that does not approve of Trump, votes!
This Presidential election is not about the positions you support or do…
First, standing for The Pledge of Allegiance and holding a hand over your heart does not make you a patriot. Did you know that it was written in 1892 by Francis Julius Bellamy (1855 – 1931), an American Christian socialist minister and author, and it was formally adopted by the U.S Congress in 1945. The words “under God” were added in 1954.
The “Always Trump” basket of deplorable loyalists will probably define a patriot as someone who is loyal to President Trump, because most if not all of them think “their” (false) god sent Trump to them to Make America Great Again, whatever that means because Trump has never been clear about that. Since he’s making a profit off of each hat sold, I suspect he doesn’t want to come up with a definition. According to one estimate, Trump’s profit for the…