The RLDS Peacekeepers newsletter is available in an e-mail and a "dead tree" edition. Active-duty military members who join the association can receive either edition for free. Non-active-duty members receive either edition with a paid membership.
Association Dinner Meeting at World Conference
We will be having our regular dinner at the East Alton Church on Wednesday of conference. The cost will be $7.50 per person. Reservations will be required as the dinner is catered so we have to know exactly how many will be there.
Reservations can be made by sending your check to Lehman Heaviland Treasurer, 309 Shrank, Independence, MO 64056. We hope to have an excellent turnout to start the millennium.
We will be having election of officers. The only office not up for election is that of president as the term runs for four years. If any of you would like to have a shot at leadership, please send me your name and we'll get you on the ballot.
The next order of business will be - "What do we want to accomplish in the next two years?"
We will also have an address by Dr. Paul Edwards on the status of the Korean War Museum that is housed in Independence. He talked to a number of us in Independence in October but we wanted to share with more of you at conference so we invited him back.
Let me hear from you so I can get your thoughts on the agenda. Either firstname.lastname@example.org or Curt Heaviland, 1228 Scott, Independence, MO 64052-3818. Either way I'll get it.
Germany, Japan, and to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.
When the franc was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and it was their reward to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it. When distant cities are hit by earthquakes, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped.
The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans. I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over erosion of the United States Dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tristar, or the Douglas DC 10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon?
You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everyone to look at. Even their draft dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here. When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them.
When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke. I can name you 5000 times when Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake. Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm a Canadian who is danged tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of the thing with their flags held high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those....Think About it!
At that moment, I realized who the most undervalued and underappreciated segment of society is. And it ain't teachers.
Teachers, I believe, rank second on that list. Heading the list are the men and women of the armed forces, who, throughout history, have protected our country from the Hitlers and Stalins - they would have had our white children marching to the school bus in jackboots and our minority children locked up in laboratories and labor camps.
The U.S. Military - the most powerful and influential group of people in the world, hands-down - gets an awfully bad rap these days. Many Americans seem to think that simply because communist Soviet Union no longer exists, the world is as safe as Beaver Cleaver's neighborhood.
This, of course, ignores three facts:
Though some would like to fashion the U.S. of the 21st century as a flowery feel-good fantasy where war and violence are mere afterthoughts of a time gone by, that can never be the case. As bad as our crime and drug problems are, we're still considered the jewel of the planet by half of the world that has yet to make its first phone call.
In ancient Greece, the people of Athens were unparalleled world leaders in art, philosophy and technology. Their rivals in Sparta were not, instead, the Spartans built massive, well-trained armies. When the two countries fought, who won? Sparta. And guess who lost their entire civilization because they didn't think it was important to build an appropriate army? Athens. Right now, the U.S. has the best of Athens and Sparta: we are the most cultured and most well defended country in the world. As we continue to lower our defenses by devaluing the military, though, we open ourselves wider and wider to takeover. A takeover of the U.S.? Ridiculous, one might say. But why does it seem so unlikely?
Because the power and protection of the U.S. Military has been so overwhelming in the last century that Americans have been free to enjoy a comfort level unlike any in the world. We all take it for granted that we will never be invaded by another country, but few other countries can afford to be so sure of themselves.
It's not only Americans who can go to bed feeling safe. Children everywhere from Israel to England, from Brazil to Japan - know that, if their country is attacked the U.S. will be there to help.
On TV, the military is often represented by stiff, buttoned-down generals or the occasional drill sergeant who is accused of feeling a female recruit. In reality, things are much different. The men and women of the armed forces are, in most ways, just like everyone else: they are mechanics, pilots, cooks, photographers, engineers, secretaries and X-ray technicians. They work from 8 to 5 and then come home to their families.
The one difference comes when the U.S. or any of its allies is threatened by a foreign power. In that case, military people pack up and ship out, off to fight - and many times die - so the rest of the country, including teachers , can continue their lives without interruption.
Teachers mold young minds into intelligent, independent people, and they should be admired for the job they do; however, I don't know of any teachers who are required to catch bullets and swallow shrapnel if so ordered by the principal.
So, old-fashioned as it may seem, I'm happy to give my taxes to the
military and tell the tots an teachers to fire up the oven if they want
extra dough. Make muffins, cookies and candy and be happy you are allowed
Because, as the old saying goes, " if it weren't for the U.S. Military, we'd all be speaking' German now"
The author is unknown but it is sure some food for thought as well as some truthful points to be considered.
I was in the Army Air Corps, Army of the United States from December 1942 until Sept. of 1946. This was the Civilian Army as opposed to the United States Army, which was the regular army. The main difference being that the AUS people got to go home once the war was over without completing a regular tour of duty.
How did God fit into all of this? I was brought up in the Reorganized Church and could have been a conscientious objector. I didn't believe I violence. Having grown up in Oklahoma among a great many American Indians, I believed the Indian wars were an atrocity. I thought, and still think, General Custer got his just deserts. My great grandfather on my mother's side lost an eye fighting on the confederate side of the civil war. He owned slaves and most of them stayed on with him after the war. They were free men and women and their children were free of course. I knew, of course, that slavery was evil and the war was a necessity. Still Robert E. Lee was one of my heroes as was Tecumseh, Push-ma-ta-ha, and other Indian leaders in Oklahoma history.
I knew before Pearl Harbor that we were going to have to join the allied forces in WWII. We didn't have CNN Headline news but we knew about the movements of the Nazi forces into Poland, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, and France. Blitzkrieg was a common term for vicious aggression. I was only seventeen years old and a freshman in college on Dec. 7, 1941. I did not join the army immediately but I did change my college courses from Music Education to Science and Mathematics. I heard all the recruiting talks in college convocations. I opted for the Pilot Training program of the Army Air Corps.
I had no desire to become a flying ace. I asked for multiengine
training when I was in the Classification Center. Also in the Classification
Center we were subjected to much testing, part of which was psychological.
The fellows who had already taken the tests all told us that when the Psychiatrist
asked if we has ever had sex with a woman we'd better say yes or
we'd be washed out for certain. When I was asked that question I
told the truth. Then he asked if I had a girlfriend. I answered
that one affirmatively and explained that I felt premarital sex would be
damaging to the girl. He asked why I had chosen multi engine training.
I told him I didn't think I had the killer instinct which a fighter pilot
should have. When he asked about how I would feel about dropping bombs,
I told him that I would try my very best to drop them only on military
targets. I wasn't eliminated from the program.
Upon graduation I was assigned to operational training in the Troop carrier Command where we learned to fly the venerable DC-3. A lot of them we were training with were actual DC-3's, former airline planes, which had been pressed back into service for training purposes. Before long we were training with actual C-47's. Here we learned all the things the combat pilots had learned the hard way, through trial and error on actual assault missions. We flew the mass formations , towed up to two gliders, held exercises delivering actual paratroopers and gliders. Then my crew and two others right from the middle of the alphabet were assigned three brand spanking new C-47's with two stage boosters and the latest onboard radar to be ferried to Naples, Italy.
I joined the 35th squadron, 64th Troop Carrier Group, 51st Wing, 12th Air Force. I carried mail, evacuated wounded from Pisa and Florence back to Naples, carried freight and a few times dropped supplies to Italian partisans up in the Italian Alps. When I wasn't flying missions there was training. The 35th Squadron never lost a crew flying under squadron orders from 1942 when they first went to England, and later to N. Africa, Sicily, Southern France, with a 90 day TDY in India in the spring of 1944 supporting General Stillwell. We lost an airplane or two with the crew being picked up and there were one or two crews lost while assigned to other units. This, I believe, is due to the leadership of Colonel Roger D. Coleson, our squadron CO and later Group Commander. I personally feel that God was along also.
During the summer of 1945 I was busy ferrying troops back to the States from Southern France. I was en route between Puerto Rico and Miami, Florida with a plane load of ground troops when the atomic bomb was first dropped over Hiroshima, Japan. Shortly thereafter I was again bound for Miami when the news came that Japan had unconditionally surrendered. Pleas do not let any modern day revisionist tell you that dropping those two Atomic bombs on Hiroshema and Nagasaki were acts of aggression by United States forces. Had those bombs not been dropped the troops I was ferrying back from Europe would have been on troop trains across the US and on their way to Japan. Within a few months I would have been carrying paratroopers for landings on the Islands of Japan. There is no telling how many casualties would have been on both sides before the fanatical Japanese would have surrendered.
The mission of the armed services has changed since August of 1945. The role of PEACEKEEPERS is perhaps more difficult than that of War Winners. Fortunately our national leaders have, for the most part, used our armed strength wisely and with reticence. It was difficult for me to accept the limitations placed upon our fighter pilots not being able to cross the Yalu River and destroy the MIG bases during the Korean conflict.
My prayers are with our national leaders that they might not repeat the mistakes made in Korea and Viet NAM, that they not embroil our men and women in conflict which cannot be won and with no honorable way of getting out.
My prayers are with our Military leaders that they not have to plan and execute dangerous missions under the watchful cameras of the international news services.
Additions? Corrections? Questions?