Updated: March 22, 2015
It took me a lot of thought to design and develop this page back in February of 2008. I started thinking about doing a support page
about a month before I started the page. During my internet travels, I come across many pages of support and tribute and I thought
that it would be a good idea to have one on my own site. I have had for several years, several links at the bottom of my third
introduction page below the showcase section of the most recent awards that this site has won but I thought that it wasn't enough.
I knew in my heart that I had to do something better.
I guess that the real push to get this page done happened a couple of days before I had started this page when I got a newsletter
from a new musician friend and he made a comment in it wondering whether a famous musician of our generation if they were still
alive now would write songs against the current war situation and perform them at protest rallies. Also, the friend who was staying
with at the time had some different political views than my own and he was always bringing up that he is anti-Bush and anti-war
and he told me about his participation during the protest rallies that were held in Washington, D.C. at the beginning of this war
situation but I still like him.
As a minister, I've taken a vow of non-violence but I understand that military conflicts and wars happen. When I became a citizen of the
United States over 30 years ago in 1984, I took an oath of allegiance to uphold and support the Constitution. For the past fourteen years,
I have been a member of the Presidential Prayer Team.
I have a personal debt of gratitude to the U.S. Armed Forces because if it wasn't for them I wouldn't be alive now. I myself come from a
liberated country. I am of the first-generation post-Holocaust and I was born eleven years after World War 2 ended. If the military forces
led by the U.S. armed forces hadn't liberated Germany when they did either one of my parents or both of them might have been killed and I
wouldn't have been born as a product of their marriage. My parents were pre-adolescents when Hitler started his vengeance on the Jews and
somehow my parents survived through their early teen-age years during those seven years of European conflict because some people took
compassion on them and hid them like the people seen in the beginning of the movie Schindler's List did. There was always the threat that
some how they would be found out and sent to a concentration death camp.
Throughout these twenty-two years of my ministry, members of the U.S. Armed Forces have helped me out in many different ways. If I had not
met that Army soldier back in 1993 while I was cycling Eastward through the California Mojave Desert, I probably wouldn't have had my first
real hot meal in about a week or I wouldn't have had enough food to get me as far as Williams, Arizona.
A few months later another soldier helped me out while I was doing disaster relief in Iowa and Missouri during the Great Mississippi River
Flood. In 1994, National Guardsmen befriended me while I was doing relief work in Northridge and Reseda, California after the January 17th
earthquake. I remember the shadows on my tent walls of the guardsmen patrolling the high school's grounds with their arms drawn at that ready
and I knew that I was safe. There have been countless other times when armed forces personnel have helped me out in minor and major ways
with just having the words "Thank You" as being their payment.
Several years ago while I was struggling against a very powerful headwind in North Central Texas on a Sunday afternoon, I had another chance
encounter with another armed forces personnel. A guy in a pick-up truck stopped along side the road and asked me if I needed a lift. He was
going way beyond the town that I was trying to get to and he told me that he wouldn't mind me sharing the thirty minutes of travel with him
to the town where I needed to be.
During those thirty minutes of the trip, he told me is story. He had recently come back to the States after a tour of service in the Middle
East. His life was in a little turmoil at the time because while he was overseas he got injured and he needed to get some more extensive
medical work done on his back. He told me that he didn't have any grudge against the military because of his injury and if it wasn't as bad
as it was he would have signed up for another tour of duty.
I tried to give him as much counseling and comfort as I could but he expressed that he was more interested in what I was doing and if there
was anything that he could do for me. He asked me about my food situation and I told him that it was a little low. He told me not to worry
since he had quite a few complete packets of MRE's (Meals Ready To Eat) and he wanted to give me as many as I could carry. I didn't really
have any number my mind so he suggested that I take six with me. He was wanting to give me a dozen but I didn't think that there would have
been a way for me to carry them. When I broke these packets down and stored their contents into the pannier (saddle bag) that I was carrying
my food in, the pannier over-flowed beyond capacity and I had enough food for at least ten more days on the road.
Before we parted company, my new friend pulled out his wallet and gave me some money in a handshake. I told him that he did not need to do
that but he said that he wanted to. There was one other item that he gave me that I still have today. He gave me the compass that he carried
with him through the Middle Eastern deserts to find his way. He told me that whenever I used it to find my way I was to lift a few prayers
Heavenwards for the military still abroad where ever they might be for their safety. I had the compass fastened to the back of the seat of
my recumbent on a long cord so that it is easily accessible when I need it and of course when ever I look at it I say a few prayers. After
reading what I've written here, you can figure out why I can't say anything against the military.
As I've done before on my tribute page for September 11th (2001), I've showcased some of the best video tribute presentations that I've come
across. I've must have viewed over one hundred but I narrowed my choices down to the fifteen that I showcase now. Some of the ones that I've
chosen didn't really have many links to them and I knew that they needed to be made available to a bigger viewing audience. I've shed a lot
of tears viewing these and I'm sure that you might also. When you click on the title graphics that I've made, another browser window will
pop open for the viewing of that video.
Below the videos, you would find some links to some great organizations that I hope that you will take part in as I am doing so myself.
Clicking on their banner will also open up another browser window so that you can view each website without losing your place here. The
eagle graphic at the top of this page with the message "Freedom Is Not Free" is also a hyperlink.
Mixed with these organizations, I hyperlinked to a site where you can hear the wonderful story that Red Skelton in 1969 told about the
"Pledge of Allegiance." Once you get finished viewing this page, will you click on the link near the bottom of this page to go to the
site map of this website to get to the link for the tribute that I made for September 11th.
"L-RD, hold our troops in your loving hands Protect them as they protect us Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform
for us in our time of need. In Your Son's Holy Name, Amen."