It’s time we get it together

November 29, 2020

Good morning friends.  I wish you all a happy and healthy day!  It’s the last Sunday (and second to the last day) of November.  I’m hoping December (the last month of 2020) will be a happy, healthy and prosperous month.  The holidays and New Year are rapidly approaching.  Time is   moving at a fast pace.  It often passes us by in a flash.  Take the time to slow down and soak up the beauty all around you.  Enjoy each new day and all it has to offer.  Be grateful for all the possibilities and opportunities every new sunrise brings.  We have much to be thankful for; beginning with life.  It’s a gift, so don’t waste it.

Needless to say it’s been an interesting, crazy and turbulent year!  So why did you think this presidential election would be any different?  There are people (Americans) in our country creating and condoning much of the madness.  Watching political leaders propagate unrest is even more absurd.  I never thought I’d see the day fellow countrymen (including so called leaders) would be working to tear down the moral fiber of this great nation.  They tout equal rights for all, but push for defunding law enforcement as a solution.  How does anyone in their right mind believe demonizing the police is good, while supporting criminal activity.  Leftist politicians, main stream news and social media spread this propaganda to every door step of our country and the world.  The fear, hate and division this creates is real and damaging to us all.  These individuals have no reservations blocking free speech, unless it mirrors their own twisted version.  I spent over half my life in law enforcement.  I thought I had seen the worst evil had to offer.  The unscrupulous politicians at the forefront of this crazy agenda, neither love this country nor its people.  They only work to serve themselves and their wealthy contributors.  I’m not a fan of Joe, but hope he can bring some stability to this country.  I have my doubts he’s an instigator, but rather just a pawn for his political party.  The real perpetrators behind this faction are the wealthy corrupt thugs pulling the strings for the far left movement. 

There is misinformation and untruths being spread by sources everywhere.  How do you stay informed about what’s happening in our country or the world?  Please take time to seek out fair, honest and unbiased sources for news and information.  I don’t rely on main stream news, social media, entertainers, athletes or billionaires for reliable or factual information.  I place my faith in trusted avenues for current affairs.  Independent outlets, such as the Voice of America, report the facts, instead of fear based propaganda or misinformation.  Look for true journalism over editorial opinions.  Genuine news mediums exist if you take the time to search for them.  I pray for our great nation and all our people.  What has transpired during this election, and with other events over the last four years, have solidified my point of view.  It’s difficult imagining the depth of hate, greed, arrogance and sadistic morals these involved individuals possess.   The vast majority of people across our nation (democrats, republicans, independents or whatever your political affiliation) are good individuals and strive for similar desires.  We want to live our lives in a free society that is safe, secure and economically thriving.  There is a small percentage of the population that have an extreme agenda.  This is true for both the far left or far right movements.  The left has been busy acting out their plan in an unprecedented fashion over the last four years.  2020 has brought us, and our nation, to a new low.  The virus closures, economic decline, deaths, violence, looting, destruction, hatred and division are all a result of one agenda.  The far left and their obsessed push for control, power and wealth have brought us to this day.  The fear, manipulation and messages spread by some political leaders, main stream and social media have been non-stop.  The control is real and extreme.  How many times in one year can unsympathetic political leaders shut down businesses, churches, weddings, funerals, family gatherings and social events?

These have been sad days for many in our Nation.  The affects from the mental, physical and economic stress will be felt for years.  We witnessed a never ending bashing and assault on the president during his entire term, that began the day he won the election.  Were they upset Hillary didn’t win or are they just anti-America?  I do not understand how good people have succumbed to this insanity.  While I do not care for our president’s antics, he has done good things for our nation.  I ask that you take a step back, open yourself for an honest view of what transpired during this presidency and the election.  What was the basis of the initial character attack lead by democratic leaders?  Maybe these career politicians felt threatened.  This outspoken businessman wanted to “drain the swamp” and expose the corruption of some political leaders.  I realize, as in all walks of life, there are good and bad on all sides of the political arena.  How they obsessed over one man (the president of the United States) amazes me!  It’s quite baffling the lengths some will take to sway, manipulate, or control others by any means necessary.  This election process has been agonizing and idiotic.  We (the people) need to insist our government representatives do better than they have in the past.  This begins with improving a secure voting process; we can also deal with many social and economic issues facing our country.  Whether corruption of this election occurred or not, it’s difficult to discern what is valid or true.  Will we ever know the truth?  It amazes me our country hasn’t established set controls and a secure way to ensure all votes are legitimate.  Why aren’t technological advances utilized to support identification of voters and the security of their ballots.  Our nation is strong and a world leader in so many areas, but we are failing in the simplest of ways.  I believe when the presidency changes in January, and time passes, it will become clear who was a more beneficial leader for our country. 

It breaks my heart how law enforcement officers across our nation have been treated, targeted and attacked unfairly and unjustly.  The verbal abuse is foul and unwarranted, while the physical attacks are brutal and deadly.  This crazy, lawless and inexcusable behavior must end.  I spoke about my anniversary with the LAPD a couple weeks ago.  Police work is not a glamorous or pretty job.  Hollywood, “tinsel town” and the world of make believe attempt to portray it in a colorful way, using sex and violence as an entertainment tool.  Their portrayal is not necessarily real life (and many times not even close to being true).  Don’t believe everything you see or hear on that screen.  A life on the streets means dealing with offenders, thugs, criminals and other vermin that prey on the weak.  These daily occurrences are sad, tragic and never easy.  Officers maintain the peace and enforce laws.  Confrontations with perpetrators require police action.  Some of these incidents result in the use of force to control aggressive or combative individuals.  Struggles to subdue these individuals can appear brutal and ugly.  When you engage in a fight for your life it rarely looks gentle or pleasant.  I’ve had my share of violent encounters during arrests.  Some of these situations involved criminals who would rather injure or kill me (officers) rather than submit to arrest.  Few people understand the dynamics associated with these encounters.  Few individuals have been in a situation that require them to fight for their life.  Most do not have a clear idea of what is involved or the consequences of such an altercation.  There are individuals who believe all people are good.  While that is a nice thought, it isn’t necessarily reality, especially when dealing with a hard core criminal or violent offender.  Some people have don’t know why force must be used; or they believe situations can be controlled with soft words and a delicate touch.  Unfortunately, the world is not always a pleasant and peaceful place.  There are individuals lurking in our society who have no concept of respect for others, authority or the law.  This absurd mentality isn’t limited to criminals.  There are people living in our society that share this sad mind set. 

The most rewarding aspect of my career was when I had the opportunity to help or assist individuals suffering from tragic circumstances.  Unfortunately, those times were limited, as was time spent with these people.  An officer’s duties, and calls for service, keep them moving from one situation to the next.  I often wish it would have been possible to stay and render more aid.  In large metropolitan areas, with hundreds of calls to answer, it just isn’t feasible.  My greatest satisfaction came while mentoring other officers.  I was grateful I could assist others in developing their skills to reach for their goals.  Witnessing officers experience personal or career growth to achieve their potential is a fabulous feeling.  That was a benefit I swore to achieve when I became a supervisor.  The vast majority of an officer’s time is devoured with completing reports and documentation of incidents, crimes and arrests.  Contacts with good people often only occur when they’ve been victimized by criminals, involved in domestic incidents or accidents.  It’s sad to realize how hate and violence have become tools for power hungry individuals.  Our country is inhabited by many amazing and wonderful people.  Now is the time for us to get it together to keep our nation strong and our freedoms in place.  Don’t be swayed by propaganda or mixed ideologies of the extreme. 

So how do we move forward into better days; Happy Holidays and a brand New Year?  The answer is simple: Gratitude.  There is so much to be grateful and thankful for daily.  It seems like some people across America have forgotten how lucky we are to live in this beautiful nation. Consider what we have here, as compared to other lands.  Every country on this planet has negative issues.  Some nations have few positive attributes.  Many people around the globe are subjected to isolationism, totalitarian leaders, lack of food, water or basic human services.  Many lands are controlled by repressive and violent governments.  People live in “sub-standard” conditions, with little to no hope of help or support.  Our country has similar issues with economic distress, poverty and homelessness.  Some people living in our nation will complain that their political party isn’t in control.  That may be true, but in four years the balance of power will change again.  We can only hope our leaders do what is fair and honest for us; and not just to bolster their own political wealth and power.  Remember our elected leaders work for and represent us.  It is their duty and responsibility to carry out our wishes, not their own.  We must hold them accountable.  Do not blindly allow them to make decisions based on their agenda.  Now is the time to stand up and be heard.  No more sitting on the sidelines waiting for politicians to do the right thing.  It’s time for us to get it together.  Let’s unite for law, order and freedom.  The holidays offer the perfect opportunity for us all to show respect, love, and compassion to one another.  If we begin now, we can carry our goodness through December, 2021 and beyond.  We can make it a fantastic New Year!  Begin with smiles, kindness and show gratitude.

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

Give Thanks at Thanksgiving

November 22, 2020

Good morning friends.  I wish you all a happy and healthy day!  It’s time to enjoy life; nature and the outdoors are calling.  This is a special and joyous time of year.  Even with all the madness across our country and around the world, we have so much to be thankful for and enjoy.  Life is a precious gift.  Don’t waste it.  Be grateful each day and make it the best day ever. 

This week bring us to a true day of thanks on Thursday, November 26th.   It’s Thanksgiving Day! Thanksgiving is an American holiday dating back to 1621.  There are various versions, stories, inaccuracies and myths associated with the account of that first thanksgiving.  Colonists and Indians did gather, but what ultimately occurred is both tragic and sad.  I’ll let you do your own history work on the past.  Obviously none of us were here 400 years ago.  We can’t change the past or what occurred then.  We can only acknowledge the truth, learn from it and become better humans.  What’s more important today, and what we do have control over, is what happens here in the now.  Living in the present, not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, is where our focus should be directed.  We are responsible and in control of our own happiness.  If you want to complain and cry about things you have no control over, you only succeed in making your life (and the lives of others around you) miserable.  Why would you want to be anything less than positive?  No one enjoys any of that negativity nonsense.  It serves no purpose and only sinks you further into a depressed mental and physical state.  

Thanksgiving has always been known as a day to give thanks.  It should also be a day of showing gratitude.  There are Americans (and other people around this planet) that take too much for granted.  We are a large nation with a diverse population, with freedom and many comforts other nations do not share.  Many people in our own country live below the poverty level.  Today would be a great day to share your abundance with others.  There are great organizations out there that assist people and families in need.  At this time of year, local area food banks or “Toys for Tots” programs are wonderful organizations, if you wish to donate.  Cleaning out your closet and home of excess clothing and household items is a great way of giving as well.   If you plan to support or donate to any organization, examine where or how much actually makes it to the people in need.  Unfortunately, there are some organizations where small amounts actually make it to the people who need it most.  In essence, ensure the nonprofit is who they say they are.  We all believe in goodness, but evil and unscrupulous individuals still prey on others.

The next part of showing gratitude and thanks is to take better care of yourself.  Too often we put off or simply don’t do all we can to ensure self-care and love for ourselves.  I’m talking to both men and women here.  When was the last time you pampered yourself, took a day off just to do something that satisfied you?  As adults, and for you parents, we typically get caught up in life, taking care of everyone around us, especially our kids, and have little if any time left over for us.  Now is the time to change that narrative.  Start by setting time aside weekly (monthly at the minimum) just for you.  If you have a spouse, partner or significant other; together time is much needed and fabulous.  This doesn’t preclude you from needing some alone time as well.  We all need some down or quiet time to reset our minds and bodies.  Use this time to do what brings you joy, happiness and relaxation.  Maybe it’s meditation, reading, gardening, cooking, getting outside and enjoying nature or a million other things!  The point is, go do it!  Don’t wait.  I know when I nurture my mind, body and spirit, I feel brighter and happier.  Your chosen activity could include exercise (mine does).  There are so many fabulous ways to achieve that goal.  Take the time to discover yourself.  Whatever your choice, this activity is meant to relieve stress and anxiety.  Let it bring happiness and confidence into your life.   

There is so much craziness in our world today.  The pandemic imposed rules and restrictions are created by politics and politicians.  Don’t wall yourself off from the outside world because someone told you too.  For some it may mean staying away from family and friends.  For others it may be wearing that mask all day long; even while alone.  Even if this virus scares you, life is meant to be lived.  Take the necessary precautions if you feel you need them.  Diseases, including a vast variety of viruses have been lurking around our world for thousands of years.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics indicate the threat of death directly associated with the corona virus is relatively low.  Sure there is a surge in cases, because testing is at an all-time high.  How many people are actually sick, hospitalized; or are these increased cases just “positive” test results?  Main stream and social media thrive on spreading fear.  Politicians drive the pandemic and political agenda with closures, lockdowns and control.  I know many share various views and opinions on this topic.  I’m not downplaying parts of the virus, but we need to realize how it’s being used to manipulate the population.

Researches now know so much more about the coronavirus than when it first began.  I will do what I believe is needed to ensure my good health, as I hope you will too.  Don’t allow it to envelop and rule your life.  Find some open space if needed, take off that mask and enjoy breathing.  Living life in fear, trapped inside your home, behind a mask, is not what God intended.  There are politicians making decisions to manipulate, restrict and control us.  Their plan has been part of a large specific agenda since this pandemic began last March.  I have my doubts that some of these individuals have our best interest at heart.  The effects (physically, mentally, spiritually and economically) are real and lasting.  Remember, these are elected politicians and they work for us.  Break that cycle of fear.  Go enjoy some nature, breath, relax and feel the beauty all around you. 

Whether you indulge in Thanksgiving feasts or abstain, utilize this time for you.  Be good to yourself, so you can in turn be extra good to all those wonderful people around you.  Enjoy your family, friends and the fast approaching holidays.  Share quality time with everyone you love.  Be thankful and grateful for life and the many blessings we are surrounded with daily. If you slow down and look, you will actually see amazing things before they pass you by.  Recognize them for what they truly are and mean.  The opportunities can be endless.  Don’t wait for “someday” as it may never come.  Tomorrow is never guaranteed.  Live with purpose, energy and respect for all.  Enjoy your life and the holidays!  Cheers!

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

40 Years for 11-80

November 15, 2020

Good morning friends.  I wish you all a happy and healthy day!  Here we are, already mid-way through the month.  The best part about life, is having the opportunity to make each day amazing.  Whether your candidate won or lost, now is the time for us to re-unite as Americans.  If you were rioting, looting or attempting to destroy our nation, it’s going to take much more than a reunion to bring you back.  That’s just my opinion.  I can only imagine what would have happened if President Trump would have won.  We have so much to be thankful for and enjoy in this country.  Freedom is an incredible right, but it doesn’t include criminal activity or anarchy.  

Based on my knowledge and experience, I know that without adequate support from law enforcement, our society and nation will cease to exist.  There are people (including some political leaders) demanding that we defund the police.  This is both insane and ludicrous.  We have continued to witness a sharp increase in violent crimes across our country since this madness began.  This is due to the efforts by liberal or far left individuals enabling this reign of terror to continue.  These people are pushing for an agenda that creates fear and division among all people.  They speak about equality and freedom, while praising lawless demonstrations, looting and destruction of property.  These are some of the same individuals that continue to lock down our cities and states, bringing more economic devastation to people and businesses.  I pray our new administration recognizes the necessity for law enforcement as an essential entity in the preservation of our land.  The president has an obligation to maintain law and order, as well as equality and freedom for all.  It is our duty as Americans to hold him, and other elected leaders, accountable for their decisions.  They represent and work for us, the American people.  They were not elected to achieve their own gains or political plans.

This coming Tuesday holds a very special anniversary date for me (and 45 classmates).  On November 17th we celebrate our 40th year of being sworn in as Los Angeles Police Officers.  Protecting and serving with the amazing men and women of the LAPD was both an honor and privilege.  My career in law enforcement spanned nearly 34 years.  I had little idea what those many years of service would bring.  It was my beginning into an unprecedented adventure.  That process included much more than training and hard work.  It took discipline, dedication, pain, sorrow, compassion and even sometimes heartbreak.  A vast array of emotions, many more than you can imagine, were often felt and internalized.  You really must live a life consumed in law enforcement to have a basis for what I am talking about.  Some base their knowledge or experience about police from an interaction or what they’ve heard from others.  People often refer to main stream media for their information, which is often distorted or bias.  There are sad parts associated with this career; lack of understanding or misconceptions are integral pieces of this puzzle. 

Some people think they know what we (police officers) experience, based on movies and television.  Those Hollywood productions never seem to capture this life accurately.  What you see on those big screens are mostly fabrications for your entertainment.  With nearly one million law enforcement personnel in this nation, officer involved shootings are rare.  Vehicle pursuits are more common place, but with much less theatrics than presented by “tinsel town.”  What I witnessed, dealt with or endured on a daily basis seems to be difficult to replicate in movies or television shows.  That may also be directly related to what Hollywood wants to portray.  Action, violence and sex sell, not facts or true life.   It really is one of those professions where you have to be there to fully understand it.  Actors can only attempt to display the emotions, passions and stresses of the job.  The strains of life and death decision making requirements of this job are real.  The many complexities of law enforcement are rarely known or understood by outsiders.  Explanations have been presented on numerous occasions, but questions still remain.  I’ve shared a glimpse into a variety of professions, before becoming a police officer.  There are so many careers that involve knowledge or experience to perform.  Many skills I did not possess or wish to pursue.  I may not be able to accurately comment regarding these jobs, but I do know other careers bring stress in various forms and intensity.  Any job that involves life and death situations intensifies the stress in those decision making processes.  Police work, as with other high pressure job, increases the stress and anxiety levels accordingly.  How that stress and anxiety is processed and relieved is the challenge.  Reducing stress is a key ingredient and important to live a happy life.

Now six years later, after retiring from the rigors of law enforcement, I find it easy to reflect on what works best in my life.  Eliminating stress and anxiety from my life was (and remains) an integral part to attaining bliss.  I know this sounds like a huge and impossible undertaking.  It really is quite attainable when you consciously work toward that goal.  The best way to begin this process is by making a commitment to yourself to reduce stress.  Part of that is being responsible for your own happiness.  In order to balance your daily activities, you must be willing to make the necessary adjustments to achieve what’s most important.  One of the best methods I have found, especially over the years in law enforcement, of reducing stress is exercise.  This still serves as the best way for me to calm my soul and relax my mind.  Meditation works wonders as well, but for me nothing beats exercise.  This past Wednesday I attended my first spin class since before the pandemic lock down occurred in March.  Gyms and studios were closed, while we were imprisoned in our homes.  I began working out at home as much as possible, but it often doesn’t replicate a great gym session.  This particular spin class, not only kicked my butt, but it energized me beyond belief.  It was fabulous being pushed by an awesome instructor, while in the company of a room full of other riders.  Let me clarify, it was half capacity (every other bike) with the pandemic social distancing protocol in effect.  I don’t want to get off topic, but this entire “distancing” protocol is ridiculous.  Restaurants, gyms, studios and other important establishments are seriously being affected by the devastating economic impact.  Then you have huge big box, home improvement, retail stores and markets overflowing with shoppers.  The people setting the rules for these measures are just as idiotic as wearing a mask in your car alone.  Being in a confined space with potentially sick individuals may change things.  My faith (and protection) go far beyond a face covering. 

The significant effects I experience from exercise are immediate and lasting.  I feel the rush of energy as endorphins kick in and sweep through my body.   It can be as simple as a walk or as drastic as a tough gym session or group fitness routine.  You are your own boss on what to do and when.  My suggestion is to begin small and work your way into it.  If you are new to exercise, you may want to ensure you are in good health by getting your doctors okay before you begin.  Having that assurance is a fantastic start.  Then go out and work some magic.  Going to a gym or taking organized classes are good, but nothing replicates being outside.  The more time you can spend outdoors in nature the better.  Twenty minutes in the sun provides your daily dose of vitamin D.  Spending time in a forest or on the beach can bring fantastic results to lower stress levels.           

As I age, the focus, intensity and motivation of my workouts continue to adjust and change.  It’s no longer about building muscle and increasing strength.  The primary purpose is more about maintaining endurance and longevity.  Flexibility, range of motion and movement are the new simple keys to success.  I work to keep what I have, while fighting the natural progression of time and the bodies decline.  My goal is to achieve a more balanced and healthy me; mind, body and soul.  I accomplish this with a balance of stretching, cardio, weights, yoga and meditation.  For me, it’s a daily endeavor, but a beneficial and much enjoyed process.  These activities provide a boost to my body and energize my mind.  It brings hope of being here a little longer, so I can thrive each day.  Just as we are responsible for our own happiness, we are in-charge of our energy.  It is up to each of us to maintain and project positive power.  Whenever you allow negative energy in, it has the ability to paralyze and defeat you.  I will not succumb to this pointless behavior.  Stay positive and happy my friends.  Positivity creates determination, happiness and power.  It’s an incredible sensation.  Don’t sweat the small stuff or things you have no control over.  Be thrilled to wake up with each new day.  Take the time to recognize and enjoy the opportunities for amazing successes.  Let’s unite to preserve our land, rights and freedom.  Live your life in peace and kindness.  Being a good person doesn’t equal weakness.  It represents your inner strength and fortitude, that will manifest with incredible results.  Be the inspiration that energizes others to action.  It’s up to each of us to make it happen.  

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

Dealing with Trauma

November 8, 2020

Good morning friends.  I wish you all a happy and healthy day!  It’s definitely been an interesting presidential election here in the United States.  It’s both disheartening and ludicrous when you realize what some individuals will do to sway, manipulate and influence an outcome.  I pray our new president will do all he can to uphold and support the values, liberties, economy and rights of our nation.  I’m a bit skeptical based on his past history of 47 years in politics; not to mention the current agenda of the democratic party.  Now, more than ever we, as Americans, need to work together in harmony to keep America great.  Let’s hope law, order, equality and freedom is maintained.  I’m going to give this topic another week to settle before I discuss it further.  I have more important issues to discuss today.   

We have two important dates coming this week.  Tuesday, November 10th the United States Marine Corps will celebrate its birthday.  The Corps was established on this date in 1775, during the Revolutionary War.  The USMC will pay tribute to their 245 years of service to our great nation.  They celebrate their inception every year.  I have had the privilege of knowing and working with many Marines over the years.  I also have several family members that served in the Corps.  While I was assigned to LAPD SWAT, I spent many days training at Camp Pendleton (a Marine Corps base in Southern California).  I attended an abbreviated version of Scout Sniper Training at this facility.  It was a fabulous opportunity, but also an honor to be trained by an outstanding group of individuals.  Loyalty, integrity and courage are a few words of description I use for these men and women.  Happy Birthday and thank you for your service!

The second important date is Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11th.  This is a celebration of ALL our military veterans, living and deceased.  It is a day to honor, salute and thank them for their service and maintaining our freedom.  Their dedication and sacrifice preserve the rights, privileges and the security we enjoy each and every day.  Be sure to thank them!

Veterans Day began as Armistice Day, after World War I ended.  A cease fire to end conflict was agreed to on November 11, 1918.  The Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, ending the war.  President Woodrow Wilson declared November 11th as Armistice Day, to honor those who served and died in the war.  It was later declared a National Holiday on June 4, 1926.  On June 1,1954, Armistice Day officially became Veterans Day.  This was done after World War II in order to honor all American veterans of all wars.

Veterans Day was one of my favorite days to celebrate with my Dad.  He served in the US Army, during both World War II and the Korean War.  I always enjoyed making November 11th all about him.  Honoring him for his service to our nation was the least I could do.  I did my best to ensure I could spend the morning, if not the entire day with him.  Bear claw sweet rolls (his absolute favorite) and coffee always kicked off our morning celebration.   I know he truly loved the attention I gave him, but it wasn’t because he ever believed he deserved it.  He was honored to have served in the military, but rarely spoke about his duties overseas or during the war.  He was part of the “Greatest Generation.”   These individuals were raised during the Great Depression of the 1930’s.  This was a period of global economic decline and social turmoil.  It was an intense period in U.S. history, that had devastating effects on our nation.  Our great country rose out of this crisis, only to be thrown into another world war.  The men and women of this generation were the primary participants of World War II.  They endured great hardships, but ultimately triumphed over the misfortune and sadness that had plagued these times.  The courage, determination and tenacity they displayed to pull themselves up and achieve these successes truly earned them the moniker, “the Greatest Generation.”

Our veterans have endured trauma and adversity during the history of our nation.  These men and women deserve so much more than they receive; not only in thanks and praise, but in monetary rewards and covered health care.  Their health services should be the best our nation can offer, including all available physical and mental resources.  Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.  Our military active duty suicide rate increased by 20% this year (2020), compared to same time during 2019.  Officials believe the pandemic has added to the stress of an already strained force.  The virus and quarantine continue to negatively impact mental health worldwide.  A recent study indicated approximately 17 U.S. military veterans die by suicide every day; according to Veterans Affairs (VA) 2019 report.   Conflicting reports put veteran suicides at 20 or 22 per day, after the VA altered its calculations and adjusted the new number. 

How we examine these reports and the number of deaths by suicide is totally unacceptable.  It’s taken many years for veteran suicides to finally take center stage on Capitol Hill.  That occurred in March 2020, but was overshadowed by the pandemic, as was most of life.  Many republican leaders pushed for various programs, like community outreach or funding other resources that better serve veterans.  This issue goes beyond simple mental health issues.  Pouring more money into the VA isn’t the answer, because many veterans use other medical institutions.  Congress continues to slowly move forward with its measures to deal with suicide prevention.  New ideas, increased funding and additional programs are needed.

The Veterans Administration and hospital services need to be re-organized, updated and energized.  I remember my Dad going to the VA for health care needs.  Each time he would spend nearly an entire day and not get the needed care he required.  Luckily he had good medical insurance through his work.  He opted to seek his own care after his frustration with the VA became detrimental to his health.  Many veterans may not be as lucky to have good health care coverage outside of the VA.  This needs to change.  Our government (and you as Americans) should ensure our veterans are happy and secure with extensive medical plans before we give it to non-citizens for free.  These men and women have earned it.       

Law enforcement professionals suffer similar risks from mental health issues and suicide.  A 2019 study highlighted law enforcement as the highest at risk for suicide than any other profession.  The study stated police suicides were more than double that of officers killed in the line of duty.  New York, California, Texas and Florida suffer the highest number of officer suicides.  I hope the chaos this year, in many states and cities, do not increase this trend throughout our nation.  These are sad and tragic times for many individuals, but especially law enforcement and military personnel.

During my career I have witnessed the effects of suicide; within law enforcement, the military and in our communities.  I’ve worked at the same station as officers that succumbed and took their own lives.  I have heard stories of countless others.  The individuals I’ve seen or known, typically outwardly appear like most of the others around them.  Sadly, no one really knows what struggles are occurring inwardly.  There have been several that have touched me personally.  One particular suicide was extremely tragic and difficult.  This still haunts me today.  I worked closely with this officer early in my career.  We were assigned to the same crime task force in the mid 1980’s.  We became good friends and often talked about personal struggles, relationships and life.  He often spoke cryptically, but that soon just became part of his persona.  About ten years, and several work assignments later, I unintentionally run into him coming out of a police station in the valley.  I’m walking in the back door as he’s walking out; surprise!  We’re excited to see each other and quickly exchange out current situations.  We both have daughters and have struggled with lasting relationship issues.  He has never considered himself a “good looking” guy and continues to suffer from low self-esteem.  I have always told him what a great man he is and continue to convey that message.

Our conversation moves quickly as we both have work pulling us in different directions.  I tell him we need to catch up on life and next week is open.  He agrees and says he’ll call to set something up.  The following week passes quickly.  We all know how our busy lives can take us down our own path very fast.  It’s been over a week and I tell myself I need to reach out to him.  The day in roll call briefing begins like many others.  Then the news is read, as sergeant in the valley has taken his own life.  It’s my friend.  I can’t believe my ears.  I ask myself, “How can this be true?  What did I miss in our conversation?  What did he tell me that I should have known he was heading down this path?”  I doubt I will ever fully understand or know what happened.  I’ve talked with many friends and discussed it during my therapy.  I think of the struggles he has dealt with for many years.  I understand his pain, but not the outcome.  The difficult part to this puzzle, there are times we can never really know what others are thinking.  We may know some of their struggles, but not comprehend what these issues are doing in their own mind.

The trauma experienced by the men and women of our military and law enforcement is real and horrific.  Many people will never know or understand what these experiences are or how they negatively impact lives.  You cannot fully comprehend the magnitude of these incidents unless you have participated or witnessed them first hand.  Over the course of my career with the LAPD I have seen countless tragic and horrific scenes of violence, death and destruction.  There have been times I have attempted to tear them from my memory.  That isn’t possible.  These images and incidents often haunt my life and dreams.  It took many years for me to realize that my mental health was compromised.  Fortunately, I had support along my path and good medical coverage.  I am happy suicide was never an option for me.         

Health care, especially mental health, for our veterans and law enforcement personnel should be of the upmost importance.  This isn’t a topic for republicans or democrats to argue or posture over to bolster their own agenda.  Elected politicians and government law makers work for us.  Let’s ensure we push them to provide the proper care and assistance our veterans and law enforcement professionals require and deserve.  This should be at the top of their agenda; before they give more free handouts to non-citizens, illegals or other countries.  Our own men and women should be our top priority.  None of these deaths should require a debate between political leadership.  These are Americans who have sacrificed their lives, to protect us and preserve our freedom.  The men and women of the military and law enforcement deserve so much more, and then some more after that!  They are entitled to better health care, including physical and mental health services.  Outreach and community programs should be instituted to allow them greater access to medical care and associated resources.  Services to assist them in dealing with trauma, addictions, housing, jobs and more is needed.  Let’s focus our efforts, not for our own self- indulgent desires, but for a boost to halt the floundering of so many of our hero’s.  It’s past time for us to show our kindness and thanks to those that have served and protected us.

All gave some and some gave all to ensure our freedom and secure way of life.  Let’s never forget their sacrifice or courage.  We owe them all a debt of gratitude and honor.

Happy Birthday Marines and Happy Veterans Day to all our vets!!!

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

Falling Backward

November 1, 2020

Good morning friends.  It’s the first day (and Sunday) of November 2020.  It’s difficult to believe (and sort of fabulous) there are only two months left of this crazy year.  Did you remember to “fall back” an hour, ending daylight savings time?  It’s always wonderful to enjoy and utilize an extra hour.  Life is typically fast paced and seems to be governed by how much stuff we acquire.  Use these extra 60 minutes wisely; whether it’s extra sleep, self-care or to accomplish something productive and beneficial.  Use the time for you!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy the beautiful day!  It doesn’t matter where you live; west coast, east coast, plains, mountains, desert, or around the globe; we are all on this planet together.  Let’s do our best to make life happy and wonderful.   Do your best not to fall backward too far, like I did a few years ago.

Saturday, January 15, 1994, was shaping up to be an awesome day.  I was enjoying a rare Saturday day off.  Half time had just begun, as the San Francisco 49ers were on their way to a sure victory over the New York Giants.  My two-year old daughter and I were home enjoying the morning together.  I decided to take her outside to soak up some warm Southern California sunshine.  I wanted to repair a couple roof tiles that had been dislodged by Santa Ana winds a few days prior.  I set up my extension ladder, gathered my tools and began my ascent.  I neared the top and began to step from the ladder to the roof.  My daughter appeared from around the corner of the house and yelled, “Hi Daddy!”  I looked to my left, smiled and waved to her.  At that moment I felt the ladder begin to slide out from under me.  It happened with incredible speed.  I had no time to react, as the sensation of falling backward flooded my brain.  I remember seeing the blue sky for an instant.  Then everything went dark.

I opened my eyes and recall being face down on the hardwood floor.  I thought, why am I laying here?  I was in the house and had no idea why.  I attempted to push myself up, but was unable to lift or move my body.  I felt my daughter next to me, as she rubbed my back.  I heard her say, “Daddy,” several times.  It was like I was floating in a dream.  My body felt numb and unresponsive.  I heard the telephone ring; it was right next to me.  My daughter was holding the receiver.  I heard her mom saying, “Are you alright?  I’m coming home.”  I don’t recall if I answered the phone, what else she said, if I replied, how long I had been there or why.  She later said her girlfriend called her saying, “John just called. He wants me to come over and watch Nicole.  He sounds drunk.”  She called 911 because I “didn’t sound right.”  The emergency operator told her they had already been called and dispatched personnel.  It was never determined who actually made the initial 911 call.  As events unfolded that day, they all just seemed to stream together.  I remember firefighters and Sheriff deputies standing in the room and working over me.  I was strapped to a backboard, placed in an ambulance and transported to the hospital.        

The injuries sustained by falling backward off a roof and landing on a concrete paver can be extensive and sometimes deadly.  I remember being examined in the hospital ER.  I thought I was fine, just a little dazed.  The results of my fall included a fractured skull, concussion, two broken ribs and a fractured shoulder (all on the left side).  I’d say I was lucky and had someone watching over me that day.  The impact to the left side of my head caused a traumatic brain injury (TBI), with a blood clot in the left temporal lobe of my brain.  I was placed in the critical care unit for several days.  Two days after the fall, Monday, January 17, 1994, at 4:31am, the massive and deadly Northridge Earthquake struck.  The ferocity of a magnitude 6.7 quake made the hospital I was in, 20 miles from the epicenter, shake violently.  Ceiling tiles in my room fell to the floor and instruments rattled.  My bed seemed to bounce as flashes of light filled my room.  I heard voices and screams as nurses ran past my room.  I was able to get out of bed, gather my IV and peek out my door to view the chaos.  I yelled to two nurses, “Are you okay?”  The two women immediately turned toward me and said, “You’re not supposed to be out of bed!”  They assisted me back into bed as I offered words of comfort for them.  Peace slowly returned to the hospital, accompanied by intermittent after-shocks and frightened nurses.

During a later exam I’d learn that turning my head to the side, to wave to my daughter, may have saved my life.  The neurologist advised an impact at the rear of the skull, with this type of force, could have likely killed me.  I was only able to remember a handful of the events that day.  I don’t know how long I was unconscious, how I got into the house or other important facts.  As my recovery progressed, my brain became selective in what memory remained, was foggy or just wiped away.  It really is frustrating when you can’t remember parts of your life.  I look at photos or someone speaks about an event I attended, but I’d have no recollection or memory I was there.  It really is a challenge (and often sad), when your daughter, family or friends talk about parts of your life you should know about and cherish.  There are times I’d shrug it off or just nod in agreement.  I have a difficult time saying, “I don’t remember.”  No one wants to seem foolish, especially when it involves important life issues or events.  I was sad and often couldn’t explain why.  There were times when my brain controlled me and I was just a spectator.  I don’t like that feeling. 

The blood clot slowly dissolved over a four to six-month period.  I cautiously returned to my life.  I felt good and immediately dove back into my career.  What I was unaware of, or just didn’t recall, the gradual onset of symptoms of the TBI.  It created stress, anxiety, irritability and depression.  Those feelings often morphed into anger, which was never an appropriate response.  As time passed I experienced unexplained fatigue, less motivation and struggled with sleeplessness.  The physical and emotional symptoms created negative personality changes.  I doubt I recognized them for what they were or understood how they occurred within me.  I don’t recall learning any additional information concerning my TBI; other than what doctors told me during my initial and follow-up treatment.  I’m not sure if I think too, or was just resistant.  Later, I couldn’t remember what the doctors told me, as I was a confused and frustrated mess. 

To this point in my career I had experienced work related trauma from some horrific incidents.  The images and events associated with them were stored in my mind.  Stress and anxiety were real and sometimes overwhelming.  Communication in relationships was never easy for me.  The effects of the TBI further contributed and compounded these issues.  This ultimately lead to demise of my marriage.  My uncontrollable irritability and anger typically manifested after a harsh day at work.  This behavior is never good in any setting.  It influenced my moods, personal interactions and relationships.  I have no recollection of knowing what was occurring with my brain.  I’m surprised it didn’t have a significant impact on my career.  The TBI, and a second injury in October of that year, made me realize I could no longer maintain my position in SWAT.  This is an assignment where ultimate mental and physical conditioning is a significant requirement.  I was lacking in both categories.  I needed more time to recoup and rebuild myself.  I transferred to the Mounted Unit, where I was able to reconstruct my mind and body, while working without any difficulty.  Not being able to remember specific events or becoming frustrated over minor issues often plagued me.  The loss of memory pertained more directly to childhood or other life events.  These issues would extend further over time; indiscriminately deleting, altering or removing recollection or remembrance. 

For many years I never really understood the extent of my injury or how it affected me.  It altered moods, changed personality traits and brought on anger without any meaning or warning.  It compounded the stress and anxiety I felt at work, by unknowingly bringing those issues home.  It increased tensions in relationships and daily living situations.  The impact was real, but often I had no idea why or how to control the feelings I was experiencing.  I felt isolated, alone and refused help; even though I had plenty of support.  I believed I was fine, but no idea what havoc my behavior was doing to those closest to me.  The brain is wonderful and an amazing mechanism; yet when damaged it can be a determent in many ways.  It took a divorce and many years of failed relationships to bring myself to the realization I required help.  Talking about events then, leave me with a blank page in my mind.  I dedicated time to learn more about TBI and what many others have experienced.  Knowledge is power.  Doing my own research helped me recognize the effects of this injury.  I was able to better understand what it may have created within me.  This knowledge has provided a unique ability to know what other TBI victims endure while healing.  A friend, fellow SWAT operator, suffered a similar fall during training, striking the back of his head.  The severity of the injury claimed his life.  I knew I had been lucky and was grateful to be alive.  Now I have this opportunity to share.  I sympathize with many of our veterans (and others) who have suffered concussions and brain injuries.  It isn’t an easy or simple road to recovery.  The difficulties are real, so please don’t wait to seek the help you need.       

My childhood helped shape my mental psyche, including a bit of OCD and that perfectionist behavior.  I have my Mom to thank for that nonsense.  If it hadn’t been for my Dad and his awesome male influence, who knows what could have happened.  The blending of childhood, adolescence, adulthood and a TBI have not fared well for my relationships.  It’s difficult to discern what role the TBI may have contributed to my behavior, but I do know I was different after the accident.  I believe my brain (TBI) has healed significantly over the last 26 years.  The trauma experienced from this, coupled with a career in law enforcement closed my mind and locked me up.  Relationship and internal struggles continued for years.  Seeking counseling and therapy (including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy or EMDR) brought new joy and happiness.  It unlocked many conflicts within and allowed my brain to properly process and release the negativity trapped inside my mind.  I no longer feel the anxiety, irritability, anger or crazy mood swings.  What I continue to grapple with is the loss of pieces of memory.  

There are events in my past I wish I could change.  Unfortunately, that isn’t possible.  Recently we have witnessed people attempting to alter American history.  Life just doesn’t work that way, plus it’s destructive.  Instead of dwelling on the past and what we are no longer in control of, let’s focus on what we can do right now.  I want to be the best possible version of myself today.  My attention is directed at living in the present.  I’ve learned valuable lessons from the past.  There are good and bad parts, but each has taught me new meanings about myself and life.  Each day I learn more and strive to be a better human.  We are not perfect beings, but we have the capacity to learn, grow and evolve.  I want to make sure I am heading in the right direction; never backwards.  I am grateful every day, not just for life, but all the amazing opportunities that have crossed my path.  Life isn’t about speed.  Instead, use your time wisely and enjoy each breath on this planet.  Be grateful, have compassion and show kindness; you never know what struggles others may have in their life.  I keep moving forward with awareness.  I hope you are moving in a positive direction.  Together, we can each make the world a better place.

For all my fellow Americans, election day is Tuesday, November 3rd.   Be sure to cast your ballot (if you haven’t already).  Let’s vote for a better, safer and prosperous America.  Please show your support for freedom, equality, law and order.  I want to keep America great!   

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

Another Birthday

October 25, 2020

Good morning friends.  Happy last Sunday of October 2020!  It’s not an official holiday or a unique day marked on the calendar.  Today, however, is a special day for me.  It’s the day I was born (many years ago).  Happy Birthday to me!  This means Halloween is less than a week away and Thanksgiving is in a month.  Then, obviously, the countdown begins for Christmas and the New Year.  Yikes, it’s all right around the corner!  I’m hoping and praying the next week brings great things for our nation.  We definitely need better days, good health and some law and order.  I’m sending positive vibes that 2021 will be a fabulous year! 

I’ve reached that point in life where I realize there is more time behind me than in front of me.  As I reflect on my years on this earth, I know I can’t alter my past, nor do I have control of my future.  What I can control daily are my thoughts, actions and words.  Many people attempt to control or manipulate every aspect of life, including everything and everyone around them.  The effort associated with that endeavor is wasted time.  Those scenarios just never work out the way you wish.  I’m happier allowing God and the Universe that duty and responsibility.  I don’t plan on leaving this life anytime soon, but that’s not really up to me.  I’m not throwing in the towel just yet by any means.  I will continue to live a happy and healthy lifestyle each and every day.  I am grateful for each new morning and the opportunities and possibilities it brings.  

I remain committed to fitness and good health, while striving for longevity.  I never imagined myself as being invincible, but I feel even less inclined with age.  My increasing years on this planet, coupled with personal and work experiences, have provided an array of skills and knowledge.  These life learning lessons have enriched my mind with insight, wisdom and maturity.  We never stop learning; as long as we are open and receptive.  I love to learn new things; whether it’s past history, current events or new technology.  Reading non-fiction is my new found passion.  It’s a fabulous way to grow my mind and expand my horizons.  I’m always excited to watch a well done documentary on any worthy topic.   Knowledge is power.  

I live an easier lifestyle now; with much less stress, little anxiety and more happiness.  I take the good and bad parts of life and digest them in a more meaningful way.  We all struggle with various issues during the course of our lives.  How we handle and resolve those issues help define who we are as individuals.  Anxiety and anger issues plagued me in adult and married life.  It’s frustrating and agonizing when you hurt people you love.  I allowed this hateful cycle to continue far too long, before admitting I needed help.  Professional assistance, and my true commitment to change, brought me out of despair and revitalized me.  Life isn’t about drama, having everything you want or acquiring more possessions.  Life is meant to be lived freely, openly and enjoyed.  Love with all your heart.  Be who you want to be.  I am doing my best to be a better me, while enjoying each day.  No matter where you are in life, put aside the chaos, hate, anger, confusion and just be happy with you.    

I believe in God, but I’m not an organized religion type person.  I was raised in a Catholic family, so understand it very well.  I pray every day, just don’t feel the desire or need to attend church services.  I’ve studied and attended other religious services during my life.  People and cultures have been offering praise to a Higher Power (or God) for thousands of years.  Their beliefs, rituals or practices may vary, but the knowledge that a Being with greater power than ours exists is real.  I’m not here to tell you to believe (or not believe) in God.  Your decisions and beliefs are your own.  My belief system has given me a greater respect and reverence for life.  I’ve witnessed a lack of those beliefs and character traits during my career in law enforcement.  I’m not saying that people who believe in God aren’t criminals, because evil individuals come from all races, nationalities and religious beliefs.  The foundation of a good person begins at home, with good parental support, upbringing and love.  Our growth and education can be enhanced with a belief that we are truly insignificant creatures on this earth.  There are Powers far greater than our own.  Our soul inhabits a worldly body, on a tiny planet in this vast universe we call home.  Each time I consider these facts, it grounds me to remember what a tiny human I am.

We weren’t put here to control life.  We have the ability to make choices and decisions that alter our path.  People, governments and nations have attempted this domination in the past.  It may last for a period of time, but it doesn’t go well.  People and countries have suffered greatly because of these actions.  The clashes of good and evil have been harsh and costly.  You would think that all people would welcome living in an orderly and peaceful society.  Unfortunately, there are those who only put their faith in greed, power, wealth and control.  These are the individuals that perpetuate division, hate, outrage and violence.  They use these “tools” as a means to an end.  Their agenda has nothing to do with freedom, equality, peace or God.  They only seek to control everything and everyone.  If you want proof, look at nations like China, North Korea, Argentina and Russia.  We do not want our country to fall victim to this end.

Character traits like respect, integrity, honesty, loyalty and courage seem to have fallen by the wayside for some.  Some people have put greed in front of humanity.  These individuals have no intention of treating people fairly or equally.  This is where we need to focus our efforts to turn our world around.  It doesn’t matter if you believe in God, but you do need to believe in the goodness of everyone and everything on this planet.  We all deserve to live in a lawful, equal and free society.  The more effort and harder we work together to achieve this goal; the better, stronger and more unified our nation will be.      

I am not asking for gifts, donations to a cause or even a card.  My birthday wish is for all people to recognize this precious gift of life.  We exist on this planet for a limited time.  I can’t explain why we were placed here or what is our purpose is before our time ends.  Each of us will discover that purpose, if we allow it to happen.  I do know the universe works in mysterious ways.  When we open ourselves to the possibilities, that’s when magical things occur.  We waste so much time during our lives in pursuit of frivolous ends.  There is so much good we can all do, not only to benefit ourselves and our families; but to serve a higher purpose.   We don’t always have to agree, but we need to make a greater effort to understand and respect one another.

In keeping with my birthday agenda, I’m off to celebrate my special day!  I urge you to get outside, breathe (without a mask), have fun, commune with nature, spend time with your family and friends.  Stick your toes in the sand, walk barefoot on the grass and soak up some sunshine.  Don’t wait!  It’s time to go out and live.  Stay happy, healthy and energized.  It’s up to each of us to be grateful and appreciate what we have every day.  Life is too short not to be thrilled and filled with bliss.  Enjoy your Sunday!  Cheers my friends!  

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

Election Politics

October 18, 2020

Good morning friends.  Take time to get outside and enjoy this beautiful October Sunday.  The presidential election is ramping up.  Mail in voting is underway.  Depending on where you live, polling places will soon open for in-person voting too.  This election will be critical in deciding the future of America.  Do you want law and order or chaos?  Do you want freedom and equality or oppression and control?  What do you stand for?  I’m not voting for a man or his personality.  I am voting for what I believe is best for our nation.  Please join me and choose wisely.

It baffles me that in nation with a population of over 331,000,000+ people, these are the “best” two candidates for president of the United States.  I am certain there are better people out there.  It’s evident we have brilliant individuals residing in this country.  There are some that share good leadership skills, common sense and innovative policy ideas or solutions that are logical and strong for our country.  Why aren’t they in the mix, stepping up or becoming part of this process?  Maybe they have witnessed so much hate, manipulation and distrust within the system over the last four years, it has dissuaded them.  Politics has evolved into a ruthless and brutal game, involving money, control, power and greed.  These are traits many good people shy away from because they are kind and good hearted individuals.

I don’t particularly care for the entire political scene.  The constant drama, egos, criticism and arrogance drives me crazy.  In a country like America, you’d think our elected leaders would have one primary focus; do what’s in our best interests and for our nation.  Instead, some of these individuals are only concerned with maintaining or increasing their influence, power, wealth and control. They are not serving the people who elected them; or what they were put in office to accomplish.  We are overloaded with career politicians who have done little to nothing over multiple years in office.  So why are they elected and how are they still in office?  It’s clear these individuals have no viable solutions or ideas that work.  They say whatever buys them the most support or votes.  Each particular group receives a different message.  Some say or do whatever it takes; with no accountability for the consequences of their actions.

If you pay just a little attention to social media and news outlets, it’s easy to recognize these sources have a slanted view of the current administration.  I find it extremely disgusting how nearly all main stream and social media sources report every negative aspect they can create about the president, his family and his administration.  I have seen very little, if anything, reported in a positive or fair manner.  This has been the case since the president was elected (nearly four years ago).  Our countries political leadership has been in turmoil for nearly the entire period.  This is all because a person, who isn’t a politician, was elected to president.  He defied the odds, especially considering how billionaires put millions into Hilary’s win.  If our political leadership could have been a little more unified, our nation could have been much more productive and stronger.  Instead, it has been a constant battle or vendetta to block, slander and attempt to remove him from office.  It baffles me how, so called leaders of our own nation, can display such disdain and hate of their own land, people and one individual. 

Political leaders are elected to office to do what’s best for the population.  Ruining America isn’t what “we the people” want.  Our constitution was built on the premise of preserving and protecting individual rights and freedom.  What many on the far left are proposing has nothing to do with our protection or freedom.  Did you watch any of the DNC in August?  I’m not just talking about the nightly speeches.  I’m referring to the daily meetings and forums, where proposals and dialogue regarding the future of our nation were discussed.

Abolishing law enforcement is at the top of their list.  Closing prisons and releasing criminals into our neighborhoods is another objective.  These two ideas are absolutely ludicrous.  Neither of them are solutions or answers.  These objectives will only lead to more destruction and death.

Our people, cities and land need protection to ensure the safety and security of all.  There are evil people in our world.  Some live within our own borders and communities.  We cannot allow individuals that commit horrific or sadistic crimes to roam freely.  Defunding police agencies and no bail policies are causing us more harm. 

It was never my intention to write about politics or religion when I began this blog nearly a year ago.  My goal was to focus on health and wellness.  When the virus lockdowns began in March, it was evident that the mental, physical and spiritual well-being of all people needed to be addressed.  These topics clearly include what is occurring with government leaders across our nation.  Their actions and decisions have a significant impact on our health, lives and future. 

I’m not a fan of some antics our president engages in, but then he’s clearly not a career politician.  He’s a shrewd business man with an ego, sometimes rough around the edges.  He may not always represent our country, as I’d hope a president would, but I do recognize he loves America.  I’ve considered how our president should act, while being the leader of the greatest nation in the world.  I believe our president should be stronger than any other leader.  The president has to be outspoken, tough on crime, yet compassionate, fair and willing to stand firm on important principles.  You must be well versed in foreign and domestic policy, open to new and innovative ideas or solutions issues facing our land.  To do accomplish all this, a president must have a powerful personality and ego.  There are so many individuals, political parties and foreign leaders always at your heels, so you have to be powerful and objective.  Our president has to be intelligent and well versed in a multitude of subjects, policies and laws.  It’s impossible for one person do all this without the support of a loyal and well informed staff.     

With all this being said, who do you want to lead our nation?  Our choices are limited to two men and their vice presidential picks.  As much as our current president’s social media antics annoy me, he really has done an amazing job of standing up for himself and our nation.  He’s been under attack since he began his campaign over four years ago.  The attacks intensified after he was elected.  These are perpetrated by a rival political party within our own nation.  Why would fellow Americans go to such great lengths to tear down one man?  Why would they drag their entire country down in the process?  It makes no sense why political “leaders” would create hate, fear and division throughout their own nation.  When you examine this phenomenon with an honest unbiased view, the truth becomes evident.

It must be frightening for those who have been in politics all their lives that Trump isn’t a career politician.  I’m sure some are fearful an outsider will expose them for what they truly are; unscrupulous crooks.  When you examine what these particular individuals have accomplished over their years of political service, you find very little.  They are good at pointing a finger of blame to others, but not at offering any viable solutions to problems.  Unfortunately, these types of individuals are spread throughout our nation, not just in politics. The problem is, we allow these individuals to remain in office.  They are elected to positions of power and authority, that we, as Americans, have bestowed upon them to be our decision makers.  Their job is to do what we want, not what they want.  If we allow them to maintain that power and control, after they abuse it, they become imbedded in office.  They will do or say anything to retain that authority, even if it means bringing our nation to ruin.

If you believe socialism, or anything similar, is an answer or solution for America; please do your homework.  Look open and honest at countries like Venezuela, Cuba, China or others.  You will see where socialism has lead these nations.  When you examine these lands, and their populations, we discover people under strict control with very limited freedoms or rights.  These countries are divided into two classes, the wealth and poor.  Most people living in these lands have little in the way of opportunity, services or goods.  Oppression, tyranny, violence, poverty and government control are key elements to these places.  It is not a pleasant or peaceful way of life.  

Before you vote, do the research to find the truth.  In order to accomplish this, you must keep an honest and open mind.  This will be the most difficult part of the process.  We all tend to see things the way we want, but there are times we must open ourselves to the possibilities.  Please search for the facts.  Take the time to calm your mind and body.  Relax, breathe and reduce the fear and anxiety within yourself.  Don’t look at social media or main stream news outlets; because you won’t find truth there.  You will only see slanted views, opinions or a version of the news they want you to believe.  They have their own agenda, their own “truth.”  These sources are manipulated by powerful people seeking their own type of control.  Open your heart, mind and soul to all reliable sources of information.   It may not jump out and slap you in the face, but it’s there.  Think logically and put the puzzle pieces together.    

Our world, culture and society contain good and elements of evil.  At the present time evil seems to be prevailing, but I know there is much more good out there.  Tearing down and destroying our country is not the answer or a solution.  Attacking others because of a different point of view isn’t a free society.  Hate, division and outrage does nothing to build confidence, create solutions or solve issues facing our nation.  Hate only breeds more hate and social discourse.  Wealth and power are the driving forces for some of these career politicians.  They have been in office for far too long, with too much control.  Now, they do not want to relinquish the authority we’ve allowed them to have all these years.  Their greed and maniacal behavior are creating more division, hate and racial discontent.   

I thought this simply analogy was interesting.  Think an auto mechanic who has worked on your car for 47 years.  During all those years the car has run horrible.  You keep swearing you’ll never take it back to him!  Now he is telling you to give him another opportunity to make it right.  Would you have faith in that person?  My response, “Why would I want to give a man a chance to be in “the drivers’ seat” when he has never fixed anything or rendered a solution to any issue in 47 years of service.”  That would be ludicrous.  

I want to elect the best person who shares a similar vison for our nation.  I want a leader who stands for freedom, equality, safety, equal rights, law and order and a bright economic future.  Vote wisely for the person that will lead us into a better future.  It’s a pretty simple choice.  Please vote!

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

Columbus Day?

October 11, 2020

Good morning friends and happy Sunday!  I hope you are doing well, staying healthy and enjoying plenty of outdoor time.  Tomorrow, Monday, October 12th, is our nations traditional celebration of Columbus Day.  It’s sad contemplating what may happen to holidays like this and many others.  The outrage, hate and violence being perpetrated across our nation is sickening.  The atrocities some political leaders are allowing and advocating is maddening.  The agenda of a small percentage of our population has nothing to do with equality or rights.  Their actions constitute anarchy; by creating fear, hate, division and frustration.  When and how do we stop this insanity?  We need to wake our leaders up to take action.  Now is the time to demand law, order and freedom for all.  The principles of our nation were forged by the sacrifice of many to preserve our rights.

The past several months of rioting, looting and destruction have seen countless statues, monuments and memorials vandalized, defaced, destroyed or torn down.  Left wing radicals demand their removal from view and our history.  This is a sad commentary on our youth, young adults, society and where our culture is heading.  The outrage and violence is both unnecessary and unwarranted.  We have political leaders that condone this activity and urge followers to cause more unrest.  Who are these people?  Are these individuals Americans?  Do they care about us or our country?  What will they gain by tearing our nation apart?  The answers are simple and horrific.  Theirs is a crazed agenda; to gain more power, control and wealth.  These individuals have no compassion for America or our people.  They have been feeding Americans a steady diet of lies and falsehoods for years.  These long time politicians shower us with promises that are never kept.  They have offered no solutions to the real issues facing our land.  Some politicians (and their followers) set out on a specific goal nearly four years ago.  Their political party lost an election, which infuriated these people.  This vendetta has increased its intensity as the years passed.  Their goal focuses on total destruction of a president they dislike, while destroying a nation we all love.  They don’t care what methods are utilized to achieve this or who is hurt by the consequences of their actions.  

Our country was thriving economically and socially prior to the pandemic.  Now, ruthless individuals are spreading hate to destroy it further.  Their actions allow violent groups to continue a reign of terror against our country and its history.   Do they believe erasing images of the past will change the future?  Is what occurred years ago really who we are or what we stand for now?  I believe history has provided us with many valuable lessons.  It’s empowered us with great insight and information.  We continue to learn more daily; what to do and what not to do, to make our nation great.  Do we value our history or despise it?  The world and all people in it are made from the past.  We live, learn and grow with each new encounter.  Good and bad have coexisted from the beginning of time.  Each step to defeat evil brings us closer together, unifying all “good” people to stand against it. 

Our nation, like the world, has had its share of brushes with evil.  Fortunately, our nation, and other countries on this planet, have unified for good, triumphing over evil.  I value our history.  It’s not perfect, nothing is, it’s just part of our past.  It has shaped our world, our nation and our people.  It doesn’t mean I idolize the bad parts, but I do appreciate where this journey has brought us today.  I am not responsible for the past.  I wasn’t here during the good or bad times of decades past.  None of us were.  We do not condone the despicable actions that occurred during those days.  You cannot live in the past; it creates hate and despair.  You become trapped by agony and self-pity.  If you live with this mindset, you are unable to forge a new and better life into future.  Now our world, and more specifically America, needs to stand together against radical anarchists attempting to destroy our society.

Christopher Columbus and the discovery of the Americas is a beautiful story.  I still recall a verse learned in elementary school, “In 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”  I realize this story, as is true with many others in past history, is not all roses or pure in nature.  History books painted such beautiful tales, as did Hollywood and the movies.  The truth is, the past has a darker side that needs to be shared and understood.  There are people who attempt to either glorify past events or make them overly ugly.  If you read the true history, you will learn what actually transpired.  This is true of all world history.  The facts provide insightful knowledge regarding the true accounts of our past.  It’s important for our educational system to teach the truth about history; including the good or bad.  There are many important events from world history that are not discussed in history books or in classrooms.  Events are often glossed over because we have become so afraid of offending individuals by telling the truth.  

Columbus and other explorers paved the way for colonization of the American continent.  If we examine history, we see other explorers visited these lands before Columbus.  They might not have received the recognition or credit for discovering the Americas, but we know they were here.  Tribes of people settled and lived in these lands when Columbus and other explorers came to America.  We know the outcome and affects migration of millions of people from many parts of the world had on these tribes.  Migration of people meant others were displaced and often killed.  It’s not often a pretty story.  It’s part of this lands early history.  World growth and expansion has been a way of life for decades.  The population of the planet continues to increase daily, as does movement and migration of peoples.    

The unrest and anarchy occurring in our nation today, alters my visualization of our land.  I perceive the hate and anger in an uneasy or unsettled fashion.  For generations, millions of Americans have worked hard every day to provide homes and comforts for their family.  Now, groups like antifa or BLM anarchists threaten to disrupt our society, destroy our vision and divide our nation.  They invade communities, destroy businesses and intimidate peaceful and law abiding individuals.  They demand reparations for events that occurred decades ago; that you, I or our families neither participated in, nor condoned.  The vast majority of people weren’t alive when this part of history occurred.  What does this have to do with equality or justice?  The answer is, “it doesn’t have anything to do with either.”  This craziness is part of a larger agenda to instill fear by pointing the finger of blame on others.  When you are afraid, it becomes easier to manipulate and control you.  These are tools used by powerful individuals that seek domination.  Any radical group, from the far left or right, with a propensity to destroy our nation or take away our freedom is our enemy.

The violence occurring in cities like Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles and other once great cities; is truly agonizing.  The magnitude and scope of this hate and destruction is beyond comprehension.  How can political leaders in these cities and states allow, and often times condone or promote such actions?  These so called leaders have removed, defunded or handcuffed the ability of law enforcement to maintain order and control.  They allow the criminals to go free, without bail or incarceration.  Often times liberal district attorneys decline to seek prosecution or retribution for crimes committed by these thugs.  The statement made by leaders on the left is clear.  They blame others for their failed actions, arouse division, spread unrest and amplify the fear.  Their problem solving method is only about creating more problems.  Criminals, anarchists and people with hate or evil in their hearts are not our friends.  We need stricter laws, focused enforcement and an improved judicial system that imposes long term consequences for criminals.  Individuals engaged in human trafficking, illicit drugs, sex and child predators are a threat to everyone.  Let’s make ridding our world of these vermin a priority.

Our nation has endured a turbulent and troubled past.  There isn’t a country, land or nation on this planet that has gone unscathed.  Our world is filled with history.  The greatest part of our nation is its ability to learn, grow and develop; improving each step of the way.  The past doesn’t represent or define who we are now.  Some are trying to convince us otherwise; based on their own radical agenda.  Don’t believe this nonsense.  Let’s be honest about our past.  Don’t try to bury it, tear it down or hide it.  That won’t change the past, help our nation or solve the issues we face.  The unsavory parts of history need to be shared along with the good.  We have evolved and enriched our society and people over the decades.  Let’s continue to seek knowledge, truth and understanding to progress into the future.  Our nation is a diverse and amazing people.  It’s time we progress beyond the hatred and fear.  Don’t be influenced, shamed or coerced by radical politicians, individuals or groups.  They do not want freedom. 

I love America.  It’s my nation of birth.  Our land and people are great.  Let’s work together to maintain our values, history and a free society.  I appreciate and respect what our statues, memorials and monuments represent.  I pray we never allow the evil portions of history to repeat itself here or abroad.  I stand for law and order, equality and freedom.  We live in a time when outrage and violence is praised by some.  Remember that doing good, being kind and showing respect is a powerful force.  It’s the right thing to do.  Integrity, honesty, respect, courage and loyalty are character traits I value and live by.  What are ideals or principles do you believe in, encourage or expect from others?   

Law enforcement personnel continue working hard 24/7 to keep our communities safe and free.  Their dedication and efforts are appreciated by many.  This is our time to unite and stand together as Americans.  I respect the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and what our nation represents.  I want a strong economy.  I want our military to return home.   They deserve our praise and amazing care.  I want to ensure law and order is maintained.  Let’s improve our law enforcement officer’s skills, training and accountability with nationwide standards.  Together we can discuss change and improvement openly, without the threat of outrage or violence.  It’s time we assist in maintaining a safe land where we all coexist in peace.  We need to defend the principles our nation was founded on; including the struggles of the past and present.  Our first priority as Americans should be freedom, equality and human rights, for all people. Together we can build a great country and ensure a better world.  

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

It’s time for logical thinking

October 4, 2020

Good morning friends.   I hope you are doing well, staying safe, healthy and informed.  How do you stay up to date with what’s happening in our world?  If you place your trust in news outlets or social media, it’s time to rethink that idea.  Many news sources don’t provide all the facts, twist stories, use misleading or false information to fit their own narrative.  Social media platforms are not any better at providing facts or the truth.  These sources are a “tool” used by powerful individuals or corporations to influence our behavior by what we see or read.  It’s best to exercise caution where we place our trust.  

Much of main stream media seems to be all about doom and gloom.  If it’s not bad, sad or fearful, they aren’t talking about it.  These outlets seem to add an element of fear to all stories.  They beat us up with continual coverage until a new situation grabs the spotlight.  They tell us they are providing the “news” we need to know, but is that really what they do or what we want?   When you examine the facts, you’ll realize these are businesses selling “air” time.  The stories they select are the products and we’re the consumers.  These companies compete in a frenzied, high priced and lucrative market.  Their intention is to sell us what they’re saying by any and all methods necessary.  Their objective is about making money and increasing profits, over people.  They aren’t working to make the world a better place.  I suggest you track the amount of time you spend daily looking at news and social media sites. You may be surprised.  I limit my exposure to all sources.  Then ask yourself, “How much time do my children spend on social media?  How much of what they see is influencing them or their behavior?”  Be fair and true with your analysis, especially for the sake of your children.        

The behavior of media outlets is upsetting, frustrating and wrong to say the least.  We should all be aware how quickly fake news or “misinformation” spreads across all media platforms.  This is where inaccurate or unreliable information grows like a plague.  The effects are real; creating fear, hate, social unrest and violence.  Are you asking yourself, “How can this happen?”  The answer is simple, “We’re allowing it.”  Main stream media companies mislead, manipulate and deceive us daily.  I monitor a couple sites, where it was fun staying in contact with family and friends.  Now social media is riddled with junk, hate and a divisive on sided influence.  Let’s look at a couple of examples.  I prefer to know all the facts before making any decisions.  This allows a clear understanding of an incident and what may have transpired.  Wouldn’t you rather know the truth of any occurrence before rendering conclusions or passing judgement?  Is it really up to us to pass judgement on anyone?  It’s time for logical thinking my friends.   

Have you been following the coronavirus pandemic?  The virus isn’t a hoax.  It’s real, like all other illnesses and diseases.  I’m sure you’ve heard of it, because it continues to be thrown at us daily.  News outlets and social media sites continue their nearly 24/7 incessant coverage.  The only breaks come when they share news about protests, violence, hatred and distrust of law enforcement.  Yes, believe it or not, there are politicians, media sources and radical groups that want to create fear, division, racial tension and hate.  The virus gives them the perfect platform to further their agenda.  They are establishing more control by manipulating us and our nation.  As some news stories unravel and accurate information is revealed, I seriously question the factual and truthful basis for many of the media reports.  They seem to twist their version of the facts into what they want.  The only time these outlets share world coverage is when some horrific or tragic event occurs.  When you sit down and take time to evaluate the factual evidence, you will understand how these outlets control our lives by the news content they allow us to view.  

The fervor over the pandemic continues to loom.  News outlets and social media remain a vibrant buzz with misinformation and fear.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) readjusted the statistics on deaths and positive cases, yet the lies persist.  It’s easy to recognize and understand the CDC (or other medical experts) continue to learn about this virus daily.  They have altered their guidelines multiple times regarding transmission, symptoms, care and deaths.  When it comes to wearing masks and “social distancing,” do they really know what works or what doesn’t?  Are we being honestly informed, or being controlled?  Do we know the entire truth?  It’s up to us to sift through all the information to determine what is fact from fiction.  It’s not an easy task, but one we all must do. 

At the end of August 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised their statistics regarding Covid-19.  The CDC advised that approximately 94% of the deaths (in the United States), associated with the coronavirus, had underlying health conditions.  This new information translates into an approximate .0005% chance of death from Covid-19 for healthy individuals.  I do not recall seeing these new facts on main stream media reports.  It’s sad and disheartening we aren’t being told the truth.  The media continues with the same fear based narrative and statistics.  If they were to alter or change their reporting it may indicate they had been presenting misleading information to the population.  Armed with the new CDC information, we know the deaths actually caused by the virus are very much reduced.  Please keep in mind that all of these numbers and statistics change daily.

So, how do we know who is telling the truth, providing factual information and are trustworthy?  This is indeed a monumental task.  The facts are out there.  We just have to sift through all the debris to find them.  While there are some who twist the truth, remember the facts don’t lie.  Look for supporting numbers and information that support them.  What we do know; there are lots of “experts” providing varying opinions about different aspects of the coronavirus.  Every news channel, outlet and media source has their own “expert” on hand to deliver advice.  Since this ordeal began, information about the virus has changed multiple times.  Researchers continue to study and learn about the virus daily.  Diseases or viruses can take years to decipher or understand.  We still don’t have a clear understanding of how Covid-19 began, spreads or why.  A potential Covid-19 vaccine is being developed, but we all know the effectiveness of the current flu vaccine.  Consider the many years of research and usage of this injection.  I can’t imagine an instant cure or the immediate disappearance of any virus.  The world and science just don’t work that way.

Let’s remove the fear factor and think about this logically.  Consider the new information and statistical facts from the CDC.  The population of the United States is approximately 331,000,000.  The latest statistics show approximately 7+ million have contracted the virus (this number includes positive tests, no symptoms, with symptoms but not sick or sick).  This equates to an approximate .02% chance to contract the virus.  The current recovery rate is well above 99+%.  The World population is approximately 7.7 billion, with an estimated 1+ million coronavirus deaths.  The death rate worldwide is approximately .0001%.  I will let you do the math for how likely you would be to contract the virus, possibly get sick or even die.  The chances of recover, for the vast majority of the world population, are huge.  From the inception of the outbreak the statistics have remained consistent, even while the number of cases increased.  This is true both here in the USA and worldwide.  The death rate has remained at less than 1%. 

What bothers me most is the political rhetoric used by unscrupulous politicians.  Their influence has assisted with the spread of division, hatred and violence in our nation.  Their misinformation and manipulation has been used to control this country and its people.  News and social media

sources continue fear based reporting, creating uncertainty, anxiety and stress.  Many people are suffering mentally, physically and spiritually.  Isolation and economic hardships have brought on depression, domestic violence, suicides, violence and deaths.  It astounds me how some American politicians are bent on destroying our own nation due to their hatred and intolerance.

A considerable amount of information we see from main stream news and social media sources is slanted to the left.  Stories are often embellished, misleading or fear based.  A recent case of media misreporting details a police shooting death of a female during a warrant service in Louisville.  The media spread false and unsubstantiated information regarding the circumstances of the incident.  This misleading information blossomed onto social media.  When the true facts of what occurred were revealed no one seemed interested in sharing those facts.  Instead, the lies continue to spread.  This despicable reporting led to further unrest and violence.

My years in law enforcement taught me many things.  Complex investigations, especially officer involved shootings, take time to investigate, determine facts and render conclusions.  There are several significant aspects required so accurate and honest findings can be established.  Completion of interviews with all involved parties and witnesses is vital.  Collection and examination of all crime scene evidence; including ballistic, forensic, video and audio data offer key parts to the investigation.  Detectives establish time lines and mapping of the entire event from all evidence.  Depending on the complexity, some investigations may take months to complete.  The task to complete a thorough and transparent report takes time.  Anytime a news outlet is reporting the circumstances of an incident, (such as an officer involved shooting), immediately after it occurs, typically means they do not have the truth or facts.  I have witnessed this numerous times, when news outlets use statements from someone claiming to be an “eye witness,” only later to learn they didn’t see what occurred.      

Why is it so important for the media to rush to conclusions?  The use of fear is an amazing tool for control.  They want to be the first, whether the information is factual or not.  Sometimes these scenarios play directly into the agenda they are pushing.  When a message of hate and fear is constantly pushed on you daily, it begins to paralyze you.  If you watch this junk day after day or believe all you see on social media, it is the equivalent to brainwashing propaganda.  You begin to believe what they are saying must be true (even if it isn’t).  It brings on that feeling of hopelessness and floundering.  The altered truth changes your beliefs and ideals.  An example would be the fear spread about the coronavirus.  They say to stay at home.  Don’t go out.  If you go anywhere, wear a mask.  Don’t get close to others.  If you fail to follow all the guidelines; you catch, spread or die from this disease. 

If you need a few more examples, look at what’s being reported about the ongoing riots, the debates, upcoming election, President Trump’s brush with Covid-19, California wildfires or our economy.  I could go on and on.  As I’ve learned from past events, much of the fear laden “news” and social media information is misleading, not factual or just false.  There are a few great sources for news and fact based information.  You can locate the truth when you take time to look.

Our world seems consumed with madness brought on by fear.  Now, more than ever, we must remain committed to our own self-care and good health.  Ensure your family and friends are doing the same.  Join me as we continue our united efforts for freedom, independence and equality for all.  Don’t be misled or controlled by outrage, lies, finger pointing or fear from the radical politicians, groups or associated news sources.  Today, many seem to be quick to pass judgement without knowing the facts or truth.  When you search for information, look for independent sources; free of ties to politics or extremist views.  These sources do exist and offer unbiased data, facts and truth.  Knowledge and wisdom is based on factual evidence, not conjecture.  Facts don’t lie, they only reveal and support the truth.       

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!


September 27, 2020

Good morning friends.  It’s already the last Sunday of September 2020.  It seems like the weeks and months are speeding by at an accelerated pace.  What do you think?  We are about to enter that last quarter of the year.  I pray the final three months will be happier, healthier and more prosperous (for All humans and America too).  I urge you to keep making time for yourself.  Self-care is a fabulous way to maintain a balance of your physical, mental and spiritual health.  Get outdoors, enjoy nature, life and the people around you.  Enjoy experiences and have fun.  Please don’t wait.  Time is ticking away and nothing is guaranteed.

I realize it’s only the end of September, and don’t want to jump forward, but the holidays are right around the corner.  Now is a great time to be grateful for all you have and say thank you.  Show respect and kindness to others.  A positive word does wonders for those not feeling their best.  We often never realize the trauma or sadness others may be experiencing.  Human connections are needed and encouraged.  We all exist on this planet together.  No one is better than the other.  We are all equal in God’s eyes.  There are a few who want you to believe otherwise.  They spread fear, hate and descent.  Please see past their lies and the deception.  See the good in all and it will see good in you.   

In honor of National Daughter Day (which was this past Friday, September 25th), I’m doing something different today with my typical weekly blog.  I’m diverting a bit to pay tribute to my amazing daughter.  September is also her birth month.  Today I am dedicating my writing to her.  She is my only child and a true source of love.  I have nieces and nephews that are all fabulous.  Unfortunately, I can’t render an insightful first hand opinion on sons.  I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge and experience from all my interactions with these wonderful kids.  My daughter has provided such insight and clarity into life.  I know our children are an amazing gift.  Raising our kids is a huge responsibility for all parents.  We need to share our wisdom, insight, knowledge and be sure to fill them with all the best qualities and characteristics.   They require the proper tools and support to mature into amazing adults.  Support comes in several forms; including physical, monetary and emotional.  I believe maintaining their emotional well-being is more important than anything else.  Building a strong character, then reinforcing it with love and positive input is huge.

As parents, it is our duty to ensure our children grow and develop with the skills to function in this crazy world.  That begins with us (parents) showing up every day, doing our best and being there for them.  I fear many of the teens and young adults out in the streets during these crazy times may not have had solid family support or parental guidance.  It is so important, that we as parents, provide the necessary character traits (honesty, integrity, respect) that help our children grow into adults.  My parents taught me those traits, plus instilled the drive to work hard in order to achieve my goals and dreams.  I passed all those lessons, and more, on to my daughter.  I wanted her to grow up strong and unafraid of the challenges of life.  Discipline, determination and integrity, coupled with happiness and love, make for stronger kids.  As parents, we all want what’s best for them.         

With my daughter’s birthday approaching, what better and more fitting time to share my thoughts and love.  As a Dad, I wanted to send something special in her honor.  I am extremely proud of her and all she has accomplished in life thus far.  She is an exceptional and amazing young lady.  I wrote this original poem for her (and daughters everywhere).


Daughters really are a gift from Above

God created them to give us unconditional Love

They fill our hearts with excitement and joy

Making each day brighter and more fun to enjoy 

Daughters love to cuddle and squeeze and pinch you

And will make you play dolls whether or not you need too

She’s your little girl and lots more fun than life itself

You’ll never want to let go or you’ll be beside yourself

As babies they cry, eat, burp and sometimes vomit

But we love more when we cradle them and comment

When young girls they enjoy calling you Dad

And when they get a scrape you feel really sad

Teenage daughters are full of energy and guff

And sometimes as Dads we have to say “that’s enough!”

Our daughters grow older and go off to college

They say, “Don’t worry Dad, we’ll be a wealth of knowledge.”

They grow into women and impress you with new wisdom

You’re proud of them and wish you could kiss them 

Next thing you know they are off to get married

You walk your baby down the aisle, happy but deflated

You know she’ll always Love you and call you her Dad

They hug you, kiss you and promise they’ll never make you sad. 

Enjoy each moment you share together

It’s something you’ll cherish forever and ever.

My plan, God willing, is to be on this planet a long time to enjoy her company.  I want to share many more special moments together with her, family and friends.  It begins with me helping celebrate her today.  I don’t know what the future holds for us, our nation or the world.  I do hope and pray it is filled with peaceful celebrations of life.  Life is a gift we often take for granted.  It is a limited time opportunity given to each of us, that will end, often without warning.  We all have so much to be grateful for, yet often times forget or fail to realize how important life can be.  Let’s do our best to ensure we offer the best we have each and every day.  Always take the time to maintain your own health and happiness.  You are the only person responsible for you.  When you are happy, the world is a better and brighter place. 

We are all creatures of this earth, under Gods care.  Show kindness and gratitude to all people, animals and things.  I am extremely grateful for life, health, family and friends.  I’m thankful to live in the “land of the free and home of the brave.”  American is an amazing place.  Please, let’s keep it that way.  Share your love, joy and happiness for a brighter and vibrant future.      

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong: mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!