Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Robbers, Elephants, and Seals. C'mon, I'll Get There....

Well, it finally happened.  The sibling bank robbers have been caught.  Aged 21, 26, and 29, these two men and a woman, known as The Doughertys, were finally apprehended in Colorado earlier today.  What were they carrying?  A MAC-11 machine pistol, two AK-47's and a handgun.  All this after they left Zephyrhills, FL and a police pursuit, then robbed a bank in Valdosta, GA.  My guess is they were going hunting, however I don't think it was for wildlife.

Okay, when can we decidedly say that we've lost the battle in disciplining our kids?  Yeah, I know - there are "bad eggs" everywhere.  The parents probably spanked them and caused this behavior, right?  Wrong.  When a 21-year old leaves a note for his mother that says, "There's a time for us all to die," I think it's safe to say they were hellbent on destruction.  I'm guessing that, at some point, mom thought it best to discipline them and remembered that if she struck them in any way, she'd be going to jail.  I love that law.  I'm sorry...was that sarcasm actually 'dripping'?  Okay, you cannot hit your kids because, as we all well know, the system has redefined abuse.  Instead of it being an ongoing, chronic, long-term problem, abuse is now defined as laying a hand on your child.  Yeah, well....I still think paddlings aren't necessarily a bad thing.  I might be wrong, but it sure got my attention as a kid.  I knew better than to act up because, well....let's just say I knew the back of my dad's hand like....the back of his hand.  Met it a few times close-up, too.  NOT a fun time.  Did I do those things again?  I'm breathing, aren't I?  THAT is your answer.  Let's just say my picture was never on the Post Office wall.....and the thought of shooting anyone...much less an officer of the law...NEVER crossed my mind.  Okay, there was one traffic stop, never.  He was still bigger and had a rather large handgun.

Elephants......why am I bringing up elephants?  For those that know me, it's because (yeah, you'll hear more of this over the following months)'s FOOTBALL SEASON! in the Alabama Crimson Tide.  Showing up in the preseason polls at #2 is okay - they like being the underdog.  So this year it's Oklahoma as the new #1.  Good team that might end up winning it all.  Then again, as we saw last year, anyone can win it all....especially if they hail from the SEC.

 Either way, the Crimson Tide are ready and, thanks to a very good friend, we'll be heading to Happy Valley on September 10th to watch, as they are billing the matchup, "Gridiron Legends Collide."  To see Penn State head to the field behind the incomparable Joe Paterno is something beyond moving.  "Legendary" is an understatement.  No, Bear Bryant never had 400 victories.  We get it.  Bear cut out in the early 80's, though, too....and had well over 300.  Geez, give him those extra years and Bear might've had the team wearing a '20' on the side of their helmets for the logo.  Not to worry - Nick Saban can get us there.  Saban has two Championships under his belt and will get the Tide more.  We believe it.  The kool-aid he served was shared by players and fans alike.  And, as I mentioned last year, there will never be another Bear, JoePa, or Bobby Bowden.  There will, however, be someone that leads this newest group of younger coaches and reestablishes the bar.  That man, in my opinion, is the CEO in Tuscaloosa.  See?  Told you the kool-aid was good.  Cherry flavored, too!

Finally, I wanted to share a bit about a show I watched last evening - "Secrets of Seal Team Six."  We all know these are the fabled characters that killed Osama Bin Laden.  We also know, as the dedication played at the beginning of the show, that these were men that were killed on August 6, 2011 in a helicopter crash after they were fired upon.  I wanted to share this story as we have a good friend that has a son that joined the Navy SEALS.  We know little of what he does...and I really don't care to.  What I need to know is that he's there.  That ALL these men are there.  The description I loved was when they likened these brave individuals to surgeons.  Many in the military use brute force and superior firepower.  These are the surgeons that can go in, extract, and leave with few, if any, knowing they were there.

Make NO mistake - these men are trained killers...and I want it to stay that way.  Remember the Maersk Alabama that was hijacked.  The civilian ship that eventually saw three pirates holding the captain at gunpoint.  Here's what they didn't tell us - the snipers from Seal Team Six were lying prone on a Naval ship hundreds of yards away for more than 24 hours before they got their orders.  Their "GO" order came after they were in position for over a full day.  Have that in you?  Seriously - anyone got a sandwich?  They didn't waiver.  Then, when the time ultimately came, three extraordinary men lying on a bobbing vessel took their shots.  In a coordinated fire with all three shots ringing out at one time, the three bullets each struck their targets with NO collateral damage.  The pirates, too, were on a similarly bobbing vessel...and it was not in unison with the Naval ship. How many men in the WORLD do you think could make those shots?  Personally, I don't care - I just know they're based in Virginia...and they're Americans.  If you get a chance to catch this show, I highly recommend it.  To let you know how secretive they are, even President Obama, when asked, was denied the identity of the actual shooter of Bin Laden.  Their response?  "Assume we all did."  Imagine the personal pride in doing a job that affects  not only the lives of their teams, the lives of Americans everywhere, but actually changes and writes history.  Who among us would not want to feel that pride if even for a day?  What an incredible honor...and, quite honestly, that's why they do it.  For God, For Honor, For Country.  You'll probably never know what these men do or even who they are.  Just know that THEY ARE.  I want to know, as Jack Nicholson said in "A Few Good Men," that they stand on that wall every night and tell us it's okay to go to sleep.  They'll protect us.  So...because we will, most likely, never know these men or their families, we can only thank them in our hearts and prayers.  I try to thank the mother of the SEAL member we know every chance I get.  She is a lot of fun as she takes delight in watching his Saturday morning 'fun trips' - jumping into the ocean from a helicopter or swimming underwater from, probably, country to country.  Yeah, they're that good.  To all active and retired military - I don't want you to think we need a national holiday to say it - We appreciate everything you do and have done.  We are in awe of the freedoms you have given us and the jobs you have done.  YOU are the ones that truly preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.  On behalf of a grateful nation, we thank and salute those SEAL Team Six members that so valiantly gave their lives this week.....and for every mission in the past.

Until next time....

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