The Vietnam Conflict

Written By: Gary Wonning

Like many my age, the Vietnam war came about during my late teenage years and I was faced with a difficult decision.

The conflict was, to say the least, controversial. I assume all wars are controversial, but this one seemed more so because many couldn’t justify a reason for going to war in a foreign distant land. Many didn’t even know where Vietnam was or had even heard of it.

The biggest case for engagement was to prevent the spread of communism. We were in the middle of the cold war and the threat of nuclear war was ever present with Russia continuously threatening our way of life and our very existence continuously.

The year before, it was discovered Russia had placed missile silos in Cuba, only ninety miles from our shores. The conflict ended one October evening after we stood up to them saying the missiles  had to be removed. many of us went to bed that evening, not sure if we would wake up in the morning.

The ultimatum had been given, the warships put in place, and we waited.

Many of us went to bed that evening, not sure if we would wake up in the morning.

Someone once told me that if we were dead and pinched oursleves we wouldn’t feel it, upon waking , I pinched myself, it hurt so I got up and went to work.

The crisis had been averted.

I was at the legal draft age and a prime target for the draft, not wanting to go to college or get married, I would soon be bound for the military.

Many questions entered my mind, did I want to serve , and if I did which branch did I want to serve in.

I didn’t really want to kill anyone, even in defence of my freedoms and my coutry.  I decided that if it came down to that , I would, but I had done that so many times in past lifetimes, I really didn’t want to do it any more. But I knew that if push came to shove and it was necessary to defend my way of life, my country and my family, there was no question I would do it.

Many went to Canada to escape the draft, that was totally out of the question and the thought only entered my mind as an after thought. There wasn’t any way that would be an option.

I finally decided that I wanted to serve my country  and the Air Froce seemed to be the best option for me.

Hence I joined the Air Force on Reserve status and began fulfilling my obligation.

As time went by, the Vietnam War heated up and it seemed more likely I  would be called to active duty.

And then it happened, in the spring of 1968, during the Tet offensive, we were called to active duty. There probably never is a good time to be called to fight in a foreign land, but I was getting married and we had bought a hosue, with only a year and a half to serve I was looking forward to getting discharged.

More contemplation, I , like most never wanted to go to war, but I decided to let it up to God, if he wanted me to serve, I would go, and began mentally preparing to serve.

I began comtemplating the reasons to defend one’s country. In the United States, we don’t fight for a King or Queen, we don’t fight to gain foreign lands for the homeland, we fight for an idea, the ideas of what America was founded on, freedom and the right of the idividual to choose the life they desire, without interference from a government.

Even if we don’t approve of our president, or what our government is doing, we fight for the sublime ideas our country was founded on.

My bags were packed and I was ready to go, when word came down three days before my departure. 

I had been deactivated, God didn’t want me to serve in that manner.

It’s best to think things  through, decide what you would do in the most extreme situation, and let God make the final decision.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

Peak Season Frustrations, UPS

Written By; Gary Wonning

One of my first years on the job, I arrived back at the center about five o’clock on Christmas Eve. I was looking forward to going home and enjoying the evening attending church and unwrapping gifts with my family. I hadn’t been home before dark for a couple of months.

Lying in the middle of the floor of the center were a stack of parcels about four feet tall. There had been a late feeder arrive in Indianapolis that morning and consequently the parcels had missed the morning sort. The parcels were unloaded and sent to the extended centers during the day, and were waiting for us when we returned.

We were to find anything in the stack that was on our delivery area and go back out and deliver them. Man, I would sooner get hit with a blivet stick than go back out there. My delivery area is thirty five miles south of here, and I live fifteen miles north. But I knew I couldn’t enjoy my Christmas if I knew there was a parcel for some little kid in that pile and he or she wasn’t going to be able to get it before Christmas.

Reluctantly, hoping against hope I began looking for something. Thankfully, I found nothing that was on my area. I did find a couple addressed to my home town, I picked them up, grabbed a couple of delivery sheets and headed off to Batesville in my pick-up truck, delivering them on my way home.

The forgotten gifts were all delivered that evening; some drivers didn’t get home until after nine pm.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

The First Four Years Of School

Written By: Gary Wonning

The first four years of school, I had a bus driver who couldn’t keep any order. The bus ride became a real adventure, I was one of the youngest and not having any siblings to help me out, I became quite masterful at the art of diplomacy and became adept at staying unnoticed as to not invite the wrath of upper-class boys and girls who were bent on creating a disturbance.

One never knew quite what to expect and whatever happened it was always an adventure.

The bus had no heater, so one evening several senior girls decided it would be a good idea to build a fire in the aisle of the bus using old homework papers as fuel. It didn’t provide any heat, just some entertainment for a few moments.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

Illegal Immigration Isn’t A Victim-less Crime

Sometime ago, an illegal immigrant who had been deported eight times hit and killed a woman in Louisville Kentucky, leaving behind her son.

It so happens this woman and her son were recent immigrants from Cuba who came here legally.

How ironic, two people who immigrated to this country legally, completed all the paperwork and requirements to become a citizen were killed by someone who continuously broke the law, someone who our government continuously gave another chance by looking the other way.

Now this woman from Cuba is gone and she leaves behind a son who has no relatives in this country. What a shame.

By trying to give someone a break who didn’t deserve a break, a law abiding citizen is given a life sentence of grief they don’t deserve.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

Surviving The Winter Down On the Farm

Written By: Gary Wonning

To be able to go to school every day we would wait at an intersection along the highway for the school bus to arrive in the morning and dad would be there waiting for me when the bus arrived back in the evening.

It was the end of March before Santa found out where I was living. When I came home from school one evening, there in a Montgomery Ward shopping bag was my basketball lying in Grandpa’s chair waiting for me. No Christmas wrappings, I guess Santa ran out of paper.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

The George Washington Masonic Memorial

The George Washington Masonic Memorial

Located on Shuter’s Hill in Alexandria Virgina, the memorial can be seen for miles in every direction.

How this all came to be is an interesting story.

Shuter’s Hill, or as it was named during the Civil War, Shooters Hill, because at that time there was a fort on this mound and it’s garrison regularly shot cannon and rifles on a regular basis.

Today, most call it Shuter’s Hill.

In 1669 the hill was the property of Robert Howson who sold it to John Alexander for six thousand pounds of tobacco. Eighty years later his great-grandson sold it to John Mills who built a large house on it.

In 1790, Col. Ludwell Lee,  the son of Richard Henry Lee purchased it.  Richard Henry Lee had served during the American Revolution and was present at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.

It then came under the ownership of Benjamin Dulaney a third generation Irish American and friend of George Washington. Dulaney was a member of Alexandria Lodge F&AM, he subsequently was present when the lodge elected Washington an honorary member and at the cornerstone ceremony of the US capitol in 1793.

During the civil war, the military built a series of forts the defend the Federal District and to protect the western front. No shots were ever fired and after Lee’s surrender, the forts were decommissioned.

The land eventually became transferred to the George Washington National Memorial Association, and ground was broken on June 4, 1922, construction began on November 5, 1923, with the laying of the cornerstone.

Today, even after thousands of years, the hill remains and now is dedicated to George Washington and the masonic order that did much to establish the United States as the beacon of light it is today.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

Money Can’t Buy Happiness

 

Written By: Gary Wonning

Money can’t buy happiness.

How often have you heard that statement? I know I have heard it many times in my life. I also know that poverty doesn’t buy happiness either. I know many people who are wealthy and happy and many who are poor and happy, so I knew the money didn’t matter.

Nevertheless, I have pondered this statement for many years. I’ve seen many people, including celebrities and sports heroes who have become extremely wealthy and turned out to be some of the most guilt-ridden, unhappy people on the planet.

As a result, their unhappiness and guilt lead to a life of drug and alcohol addiction, resulting eventually in their downfall and returning once again to a life of hardship and want. All at the same time blaming all their problems on money and the capitalist system that could have provided them all their worldly desires.

As usual, the questions to life’s most challenging questions normally come when least expected and from a situation that is totally unrelated.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome