Posts tagged ‘Christmas’

December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas to All

by lewwaters

May each and every one of you have the most enjoyable Christmas surrounded by loved ones.

And please, take time out to give thanks to those unable to be with their loved ones on Christmas so that we may.

December 1, 2012

The Sound of Christmas

by lewwaters

The latest release from Michael and Angela Souders and of course, those wonderful kids at Tussing Elementary School, Colonial Heights, Virginia

See more information at Restored Faith

December 24, 2011

Thanks For The Memories

by lewwaters

Like many, I grew up in the early days of television and enjoyed seeing Bob Hope entertaining our Troops every Christmas. I wasn’t fortunate enough to be able to attend either of the shows during my two Christmas’ in Vietnam, but continued to enjoy seeing them when televised over the years.

We could sure use more celebrities like Bob Hope.

Thanks for the memories, Bob.

You will never be forgotten.

December 25, 2010

A Soldier’s Christmas Poem

by lewwaters

For all who have served or are currently serving, especially those who might be far from home, or have missed having holidays with their families.

Have tissues on hand.

As Christmas draws to a close, please remember those far from home and their families.

December 23, 2010

Grandma Got Molested At The Airport

by lewwaters
December 20, 2010

“Forgive the expression, ‘A Christmas Party’?”

by lewwaters

How ridiculous that the assault on Christmas is now an expression requiring a request for forgiveness when spoken on air by NPR reporter Nina Totenberg.


The transcript of her words, spoken in a broadcast discussion over the recently defeated Omnibus Bill,

“I want to say one thing about the budget that didn’t get passed, the omnibus bill. You know, we talk a lot about – we just passed this huge tax cut in part because business said, you know, we have to plan, we have to know what kind of tax cuts we have. Well, these agencies, including the Defense Department, don’t know how much money they’ve got and for what. And I was at – forgive the expression – a Christmas party at the Department of Justice and people actually were really worried about this. These are law enforcement people don’t know exactly what kind of money they can spend for what.”

Will John Laird or Lou Brancaccio pick up on this blurb and editorialize on how silly her words are? Don’t hold your breath.

After all, haven’t we been told that it is us who are being silly and creating a problem where none exists?

Will “Christmas” one day be transformed into “Expletive Deleted” by the politically correct media types?


January 4, 2010

VP Biden Makes Unexpected Visit To Troops At Walter Reed

by lewwaters

Giving credit where credit is due, following in the precedent set by President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, current VP Joe Biden took time out on Friday, December 25, Christmas Day to spend some time with our wounded Troops at Walter Reed Hospital.

He did not travel to Walter Reed with a press entourage or to make headlines, unlike his boss who flew off to Hawaii for some personal relaxation, golf and watching the waves.

I’m not a big fan of Biden’s, but such a visit, not a photo op and made out of appreciation for our Troops sacrifice, earn a bit of admiration from me.

Good going, Joe. At least one person in the White House has a little class.

Few reports of the visit were made known, other than by the Hill, Politico and Fox News

December 31, 2009

New Year 1971 – Will I Ever Get Out Of Viet Nam?

by lewwaters

Since I told the story of my first Christmas in Viet Nam, I also add that New years 1970 was once again spent with me sitting on the same perimeter bunker I sat on just the week before on Christmas. It was another uneventful night, though.

New Years 1971 was one of those memories no one wants, but laughs at today.

By late December 1970, I was eager to go home, since I had been in Vietnam since July of 1969. All in all, I have to say it was probably the worst trip of my entire life. It should have been the best.

To start with, when I went over to Camp Holloway, in Pleiku, to pick up my manifest ticket, some weird nut came running up to me and threw his arm around my shoulders. Unlike today, that was frowned upon back then. He was wearing fatigues with a Warrant Officer insignia and Captains Bars. Even after our best Jungle Juice party, we didn’t get that weird. His aide snapped a Polaroid of us and while he was treating it, I found out that it was Rick Jason, none other than the star of the TV Show, Combat. After realizing this, I thought to myself, “Whoopee, I just want out of this country.”

Since then, I have come to appreciate what Mr. Jason was doing there and visiting the Troops of such an unpopular war.

Later that same day, I hitched a ride on a ‘Huey’ to Nha Trang to sign in at the replacement center. To my amazement, I was scheduled to leave the next day, leaving me to believe I would be home on New Years day. I grabbed some chow and settled in to a bunk in the transient hooch to grab some shuteye.

Waking up the next day, I took my last in country cold shower, threw away my faded and worn Jungle Fatigues and put on my Dress Green Uniform, which I had brought back over with me after my extension leave in July.

All of us scheduled on the flight huddled together under a shed to await the planes arrival to fly us home. It turned out to be on Flying Tigers, a cargo line no less. We waited and waited and after a few hours a Sergeant let us know that the plane was having engine trouble in Japan and that Flying Tigers had sent another one from the states. I sat there losing count of how many flights left before our plane arrived, still in full Class A Uniform, sweating in the heat.

Finally, as the sun was setting on New Years Eve, we were told that the plane had arrived at nearby Cam Rhan. We boarded a bus, drove to the Airbase and headed up the gangplank to the beautiful DC-8. Some one had a radio on and AFVN played Peter, Paul & Mary’s, Leaving On A Jet Plane. The sight of that plane was one of the most welcome sights I ever saw. I entered it and no sooner found my seat, than four other Army guys and I were bumped from the flight in favor of some Air Force dudes.

Of course, our duffle bags with clean clothes, shaving equipment and such remained on the plane, now heading to the world. We were promised seats on the next flight out. I spent New Years watching two Vietnamese women fighting over an inflated balloon at the terminal, until one of them popped it. Unable to contain my excitement, I drifted off to sleep on the wooden bench.

The next morning, we were placed on another Flying Tigers plane. Personally, by this time, I couldn’t care if it were a Cessna Bird Dog, I just wanted out of that country. As was normal, when the airplane lifted off and the wheels left Vietnamese soil, we all went nuts cheering, clapping and just being guys. We were served a breakfast and I settled back until a few hours later, we landed at Yakota Airbase, Japan, for refueling.

Unbeknownst to me, this turned out to be the very same plane that was experiencing engine trouble at the beginning of my little odyssey. As it turned out, it was again having engine trouble and we were told there would be a yet another slight delay. You know, there just isn’t much to do at the Yakota Air Force terminal for hours on end all day!

By the time they said the plane was fixed, another Flying Tigers plane, with the exact flight number as ours, had recently landed. Not wanting the flights to get mixed up, they roped off a corridor for us to follow to our flight. Of course, we all stayed within that corridor, right?

The Flight Attendants did a quick headcount, to insure none of the guys from the other flight had snuck on to our plane. It turned up two extra people than the manifest showed. So, we spent another two hours while they checked our tickets and I.D. To say tempers where flaring would be a gross understatement. Even the flight attendants, usually calm, good natured and friendly, were sounding like sailors over the planes intercom as they too were becoming irritated.

Come to find out, the head attendant had grabbed the wrong manifest in the first place and was counting for the other flight. A full Colonel onboard, also going home, stood up and informed the flight crew that if they wished to live a peaceful life, it would behoove them to get that plane off the ground and headed eastwardly, quickly.

Fortunately for the flight crew, liquor was not served to GIs on MAC flights.

We landed at McCord Air Force Base late afternoon, but still New Years Day. We found our gear waiting for us, just outside the U.S. Customs. Since it had been there so long, they all but strip-searched us, probing tubes of toothpaste, cutting open containers of talcum powder and such. Finding no contraband, we cleared Customs.

Since I had taken my dress greens back to Vietnam with me and wore them home on this flight, I was put on a bus to SeaTac airport to get a connecting flight home. With all the delays, I must have looked and smelled a sight. I did, at least, get a shave at the barbershop at Yakota Air Base, so I wasn’t as bad as I could have been.

Not knowing much about what airlines went where on the West Coast, I stopped at the first counter I ran in to for a ticket to Redding, California, where I was to meet a young lady I had been writing to and who would became my first wife. United Airlines booked me on a flight to San Francisco to make a connection to Hughes Airwest, then back up to Redding that evening.

Arriving in San Francisco, I ran to the other terminal to make my connection, only to discover, that since it was New Years Day, flight crews had been given the evening off and the flight to Redding had been canceled. The next flight was at 6 A.M. the next morning. Little did I know that I could have made a direct flight from SeaTac to Redding by Hughes Airwest, as the ticket agent then explained. Thanks a lot, United.

Realizing I was to enjoy yet another evening in an airport, I headed for the nearest bar in the airport for a couple beers and then went looking for a comfortable bench to fall asleep on. No sooner had I leaned back and closed my eyes than a Security Guard came along and informed me I wasn’t allowed to sleep in the airport. The entire night was spent with me catching catnaps between his rounds.

I got on the flight at 6 the next morning and headed to Redding, smelly, sticky and just grungy as all get out. No one said anything around me, which surprised me, looking back today. I was met in Redding by the young lady and being as grungy as I was, not to mention sleepy from playing cat & mouse with San Francisco Airports finest, acted like a complete dork.

We headed to the peoples house she was staying with, where they held a little delayed Christmas for me complete with a few gifts and all. First, I took a shower, threw away my underwear, and shopped for a set of civvies.

Relaxing and enjoying being back in the USA, I began nodding off on their couch, until the Christmas tree they decided to burn started popping. The man was a WW2 vet and seemed to understand why I all but did a back flip over the couch and told the girl to show me to the room I was staying in, where I fell asleep again, on top of the electric blanket.

December 24, 2009

Christmas 1969, In Viet Nam

by lewwaters

Repost from December 2009

Church a

I can still vividly recall my first Christmas in Viet Nam. I was one of the ‘lucky’ ones who pulled perimeter guard Christmas Eve and into Christmas morning.

But, it was a quiet night, no problems.

I recall how odd it felt, Christmas Eve and Morning, sitting behind sand bags, an M-16 beside me and an M-60 machine gun in front of me, flares and an assortment of grenades with my steel pot on my head and flak jacket over my chest prepared to “light ’em up” if need be.

Shortly after dawn, the poor guys who drew day guard on the bunker on Christmas Day relieved us and we went back to the ‘hooch’ for a little sleep.

We were on a stand down so no missions were scheduled and Christmas Day itself, we didn’t have to go down to the flight line to work on the helicopters, it was actually a day off, a real day off.

Some time shortly after noon, a bunch of packages showed up, I believe from the Red Cross, wrapped and with small tokens in them, some cookies, a card, just little items from home.

Some guys had received packages from their families with crumbled cake, stale cookies; some little token that brightened their time. Didn’t matter what it was, all were appreciated, especially the unexpected Red Cross packages as they came from home.

The Mess Hall had turkey, a welcome change from what they jokingly referred to often as Roast Beef, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, a regular Christmas meal with the Mess Cooks wearing Santa Hats and a small minimally decorated tree on a table just inside.

Whatever services the Chaplain held Christmas morning I missed since I was catching up on some sleep after pulling guard duty all night. But in a strange way, it was a peaceful and nice day; even with war all about us and the red clay dust of Viet Nam all over us.

The calmness of that afternoon almost felt out of place, after being in country nearly 5 months. The fear I felt arriving at Ben Hoa earlier that year was now hidden more from view. But, that afternoon, it was not there at all.

Even though we doubled up on guard duty during the stand down, ‘Charlie’ respected it that year.

It was my first Christmas ever away from home, family and friends, although I had made new friends there.

Mostly older teens and young twenties, we became boys again in the midst of a war as we laughed, swapped trinkets from our packages, took time to play ball or listen to stereo’s of somewhat latest releases someone received from home.

It was an odd but pleasurable Christmas Day, that Christmas 1969 in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam.

Strangely enough and I cannot for the life of me understand it, I cannot remember a thing about Christmas 1970, my second Christmas in Viet Nam.

Within days, I was on that freedom bird heading back to ‘the world,’ arriving New Years Day 1971.

As non-eventful as Christmas 1969 was, it is forever embedded in my memory.

December 20, 2009

Christmas Spirit Lives In Clark County

by lewwaters

It seems everywhere we turn today, we hear or read of yet another attack on Christmas. Be it Nativity Scenes are banned at a public building or the ACLU is filing charges over some symbol that someone is “offended” by, we see Christmas attacked and denigrated to just another commercialized holiday.

We can argue endlessly about the origins of Christmas or what the meaning behind it really is, even if it is really about Christ or not. Missed in all of that is Christmas is about giving. When we wrap and give gifts to our children we are teaching them to give, not take.

We see and hear so little today about giving to others. I don’t mean the endless cries for welfare, higher taxes and bailouts, but true giving of one’s self to others.

Maybe that is why I was somewhat taken aback this morning as I was sipping on my morning coffee, standing and just looking out my patio door as I saw a large bright red bus drive by, slow down and turn down my street, a cul de sac.

Seeing Fire District 6 on the side and not knowing that they had such a bus, my curiosity was aroused as to why they were here and what was going on.

My wife and I had to see and coffee in hand, walked out to our front yard to see if the bus had made a mistake and was now struggling to turn around.

What I saw was some young children jumping out of the bus at a home down the street where lives a young single woman with children that my wife and I have helped out from time to time. They had bags in hand; delivering gifts, food and whatever else was in the bags to her home. The children and the adults helping them weren’t doing it with frowns, as if it was something they had to do, but were smiling and happily helping someone less fortunate.

This is a program that has been ongoing for the last 12 years. It’s a program by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office called Santa’s Posse and is in partnership with the Rotary Clubs of Clark County, Fire District 6 and Kindercare Learning Centers.

They collect donations of new, unwrapped toys for children of all ages, nonperishable food, toiletry items, and cash at various locations around Clark County. Then they stock food baskets and wrap the presents, this year at the empty Best Buy building in Hazel Dell, so graciously offered by the people of Best Buy.

Witnessing this kind act of giving this morning has replenished some of my own spirit as it reminds me of my childhood when Christmas wasn’t under attack nor were elected officials ashamed of it.

I congratulate and thank the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, the Rotary Clubs of Clark County, Fire District 6 and Kindercare Learning Centers for still displaying what I feel is the true meaning of Christmas, remembering our neighbors in need and giving on ones self, not calling on others to do it for them as well as teaching the children who accompanied them this morning what giving really is.

Merry Christmas to all and hopes for a brighter New Year.

December 13, 2008

Moratorium Announced On Capital Christmas Display Requests

by lewwaters

As was previously discussed under Governor Gregoire Shames Washington State, our state made national news as Governor Gregoire’s folly of allowing counter displays to Christmas to be displayed next to a Christmas Nativity scene in the states Capital.

The so-called counter display was not a display at all but a hate Christianity sign placed there by an atheist group.

The previous discussion focused more on a secular view in regards to our economy and efforts to turn people away from Christmas and therefore, shopping and gift giving. We all have our own reasons to celebrate or not take part in Christmas and I can respect that reason that is our right. But, this poor move of political correctness by Gregoire has embarrassed our state beyond belief, hence the need, I feel, to place a moratorium on a flood of requests for other displays alongside the Nativity.

Included in those requests were a sign that says “Santa Claus will take you to Hell” and a “Festivus” pole, Festivius being a mock holiday from the sitcom, ‘Seinfeld.’ The hate filled Westboro Baptist Church from Kansas also made their request to place a display referencing Santa, rape and “God’s hate” of homosexuals, which they are notorious for.

Several other requests were made, but as you can see, once you try for political correctness where it is not needed, it always gets out of hand.

General Administration director Linda Bremer made the decision to cut them off and ran it by the Governor and Attorney General; all agreeing it is the right decision.

Ms Bremer released a statement saying,

“The moratorium applies to pending and any future applications for exhibits and displays. It will remain in effect until General Administration completes a review of its current policy for exhibits and displays for the Legislative Building. General Administration made the decision on a display moratorium after receiving a greater number of applications than it had anticipated and that reasonably can be accommodated in the display area set aside on the third floor of the Legislative Building.”

It is my hope that General Administration and the Governor comes to their senses and realizes that Christmas is a Federal Holiday. Even though religious in nature, it is a Federally recognized Holiday. If it is not to be a Federally recognized, or even a State recognized Holiday, Governor Gregoire and our legislators and all State workers must report for work this Thursday, December 25, Christmas Day.

I also hope all atheists who so soundly oppose Christmas report for work on the day also, but somehow, I think even they take a paid day off from work on December 25.

While I welcome this moratorium, it is something that never should have happened. Unlike placing a Jewish Menorah near a Nativity Scene, a sign filled with hateful words against Christianity has no place in our capital during Christmas Season.

You need not embrace the Holiday or take part in it; no one forces you to. But, how about showing some respect to others that do and displaying some of that ‘tolerance’ ya’ll are always demanding for yourselves?

December 4, 2008

Governor Gregoire Shames Washington State

by lewwaters

By now, most all have heard of the atheist display allowed at the Capital in Olympia alongside the Christmas Nativity scene and that Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly ripped Gregoire a new one over this egregious violation of Christianity’s Sacred belief in the birth of Jesus Christ.

Understandably, Gregoire’s office has been deluged with calls of protest.

Apparently the atheists believe they have a right not only to their own non-belief, but a right to denigrate and belittle Christians long held belief in Jesus and God, not being satisfied with having a right to not follow any belief them selves.

However, there is another aspect to this not seen by many.

For the sake of argument, let’s take Jesus’ birth out of the holiday for a moment. Let’s look at it in a little more pragmatic light.

Doing so, I recall one of my favorite Christmas movies of all time, 1947’s Miracle on 34th Street, where a kindly older gent who claims to be Santa Claus is tried in a New York court for mental incompetence for holding that belief and defended by a young lawyer.

At one point, the D.A. stands up and demands the judge rule on the existence of Santa Claus. At this point, the judges campaign manager clears his throat and signals the judge to meet him in his chambers where he says to the judge who is prepared to rule there is no Santa Claus,

“All right, you go back and tell them that the New York State Supreme Court rules there’s no Santa Claus. It’s all over the papers. The kids read it and they don’t hang up their stockings. Now what happens to all the toys that are supposed to be in those stockings? Nobody buys them. The toy manufacturers are going to like that; so they have to lay off a lot of their employees, union employees. Now you got the CIO and the AF of L against you and they’re going to adore you for it and they’re going to say it with votes. Oh, and the department stores are going to love you too and the Christmas card makers and the candy companies. Ho ho. Henry, you’re going to be an awful popular fella. And what about the Salvation Army? Why, they got a Santa Claus on every corner, and they’re taking a fortune. But you go ahead Henry, you do it your way. You go on back in there and tell them that you rule there is no Santy Claus. Go on. But if you do, remember this: you can count on getting just two votes, your own and that district attorney’s out there.”

Are we not seeing something similar in allowing this countering display to Christmas in Olympia? At a time we are in an economic downturn and revenues have dried up, knowing that Christmas season is when many retailers depend on sales to keep their doors open, should we allow measures that encourage others to give up the season and gift giving to each other?

Yes, I know that Christmas is about much more than gift giving to each other and the commercialism of the federally mandated holiday has grown out of hand, but from a more secular standpoint, Christmas is the main holiday merchants depend on to stay afloat.

I’m sure Gregoire thinks she is only being fair, but will she feel so fair should more merchants go out of business and unemployment rise due to people falling for the atheists attack on Christmas in our capital?

I don’t care if atheists don’t believe in God, that’s their right. I really don’t care if they don’t celebrate Christmas, again, their business.

I do care that they are allowed to openly denigrate and counter the beliefs of others as well as their idiotic actions just may help bring economic harm to our struggling state.

Chrissie, you blew it on this one, hon.

UPDATE: According to a KGW News release. the offending sign was stolen and delivered to Seattle Radio Station KMPS this morning, December 5, 2008. No one taking credit for the theft.