Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Little Sneak-Peak of my Love-Bug

I took a couple photos last week that I had to share with you! The warmer weather sure is making it easier for the little guy and I to get outside and enjoy the days!

Memorial Day and Josh's Birthday

A photo of a flag I took flying proudly this Memorial Weekend!
The weather was mixed with sunshine, hail, rain, and heat.

Two little old dogs were pretty tired after fishing all day!

Achims Northern

The birthday boy enjoying his cheesecakse!

The Heart and The Fist

This is a book that I simply feel in love with. Eric is a Navy SEAL and a humanitarian, which some people find to be a bit hypocritical. Any form of military is far from the first thing people think of when humanity is brought up. But in this book it is so obvious that the best way to serve people in any country is to invest in all humans. And to be good as well as strong.

 One of my favorite points the author discusses is that we as Americans often feel that throwing money into causes, solves problems. Giving aid alone is not a solution. If children are uneducated, Americans build a school rather investing in a couple of adults who we could train to become teachers, and coach them on leading. Eric states that if we want to change something we must begin with understanding.

Eric Greitens visited several countries while in college, such as: Bosnia, Rwanda, Bolivia, and China. All of this was prior to him becoming a Navy SEAL.  During this time he encountered countless experiences that gave him a faith in humans, despite oppression and war.  Eric was often times volunteering in dangerous territory, yet fear never seemed to overtake him. He was there to help as many people possible during his stays. While in Bolivia, Eric worked at a children's home, where he served abandoned children off the streets. At one point Eric makes the statement that out of all of the places he has visited and out of all the children he has seen, it is the children of Bolivia who have never known the comfort of family. Few of them would ever have a carefree day in their lives. For all the violence and pain that conflict brings, he thought that it might be easier for a child to lose a parent or grow up in war, than to grow up abandoned and alone like the children on the streets of Bolivia. I am envious of the authors compassion and fearlessness towards world travel and foreign culture. I know that in my own case fear is often the reason for lack of experience. I cant help but wonder where this world could be if regular people like me and you were able to set fear aside and step out of the world as we know it to help others, and in the process help ourselves. While finishing his 441 page dissertation, the author realised that all the policy papers, articles, protests,  talking, negotiation, and volunteering, it just wasn't enough. "It takes people with courage to protect those in need of protecting"( p. 125). " I could keep on talking or I could live my beliefs" ( p. 125). He signed the military papers as soon as he graduated college.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the accounts of "Hell Week" and I must say that I am happy those who made it through SEALS training are those people fighting for our country. They are truly the best of the best. Eric describes his service in Kenya, Afghanistan, Southeast Asia and finally Iraq. It was in Iraq that Mortars hit the barracks where Eric was sleeping followed by a suicide truck bomb. While Eric survived not everyone he was serving with that day would be so lucky. After returning home Eric donated his combat pay to begin an organization for Veterans called The Mission Continues. It is a way to offer fellowships for wounded and disabled veterans to serve at nonprofits, charitable, and public organizations. His organization honors fallen service members by serving in their communities. Eric states, that the best way to honor those who have fallen is to live their values. Today, the organization has had over twelve thousand volunteers who have performed over seventy five thousand hours of service across the country. "I've learned that courage and compassion are two sides of the same coin, and that every warrior, humanitarian, and citizen is built to live with both. In fact, to win a war, to create peace, to save a life, or just live a good life requires every one of us- that we be both good and strong" (p.297).