Iron Wil on Veterans Day and Service

Chat about my appreciation for those who have served in the US Armed Services. Thanks for your service! Brotherhood and Sisterhood or dedication and service.

iron wil

The Magic in Differences

We see a lot of destructive focus on our differences in many places today.

The beauty in diversity is the respect we should be showing to each other. I was scrolling through YouTube today and came across a song called “Why”, I had not heard of the artist before and so I figured I would watch it. This is video and song were the impetus for this post.

As the young man in the song explains the reason some people don’t think they belong together is because of their differences. There is magic or synergy that happens when people from different backgrounds come together to work on a project they are committed too. If we look at Silicon Valley, there is a huge number of success stories that come out of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. We can look at Apple, Google, and HP as examples of people with differences coming together to make amazing things!

Continue reading “The Magic in Differences” »

Receiving Wise Council

Recently, a quote was shared with me that came from a man I greatly respect. He lived a life that was full of work and commitments. When asked, he always gave very wise council. He words can be trusted. The dilemma that I now face is a personal one. I know that you may be wondering what the quote is … which aside from my personal decision doesn’t really matter.

My life has been spent in the pursuit of wisdom and council from some very well known individuals and by some not known outside of my religious life. My desire to learn and grow and become a better person has challenged me in many ways. Most have dealt with changing my thinking and actions. Each time I select a quote is because in some way it spoke to my heart and soul. It gave me a glimmer of hope that I could change myself enough to become more like the ideal encapsulated in the quote. I could see the quote as a stepping stone to becoming the old man I desire to be. I know an old man! I say that because I see becoming a better person as a marathon not a sprint. A journey that will take my whole life. The life a christian is to be spent following Christ; in subjugating our will to His. He does not subjugate us, He provides the law by which we are to live and we are the one that must chose to walk the path or not.

Since the day I chose to walk this path and committed 100% to the cause of Christ; I strive to be a better man. As always, some days are better than others and the cost is one I do not count. I made the choice to give somethings up; not for any another reason, than I felt it would help me on my way.

Again, wisdom from a tried and true source can always be trusted and those values that have lasted for thousands of years … and see controversial today will stand you in good stead. A man can live a life with a clear conscience when he is right in his heart and if he be religious, he can stand before his god with a clear conscience. That is a feeling that gives the ultimate confidence in oneself and the journey he has been called to serve.

iron wil

Equality

With all the commotion in the media, communities, and peoples minds. I felt that this topic is relevant.

There is a lot of clamor about equality, so lets take a look at the definition.

equality (ĭ-kwŏl′ĭ-tē) n. pl. e·qual·i·ties (1)
1. The state or quality of being equal.
2. Mathematics A statement, usually an equation, that one thing equals another.
[Middle English equalite, from Old French, from Latin aequālitās, from aequālis, equal; see equal.]

and…

Social equality (redirected from Equality (law))

Social equality is a state of affairs in which all people within a specific society or isolated group have the same status in certain respects. At the very least, social equality includes equal rights under the law, such as security, voting rights, freedom of speech and assembly, property rights, and equal access to social goods and services. However, it also includes concepts of economic equity, i.e. access to education, health care and other social securities. It also includes equal opportunities and obligations, and so involves the whole of society.

Social equality requires the absence of legally enforced social class or caste boundaries and the absence of discrimination motivated by an inalienable part of a person’s identity. For example, sex, gender, race, age, sexual orientation, origin, caste or class, income or property, language, religion, convictions, opinions, health or disability must not result in unequal treatment under the law and should not reduce opportunities unjustifiably.

Social equality refers to social, rather than economic, or income equality. “Equal opportunities” is interpreted as being judged by ability, which is compatible with a free-market economy. A problem is horizontal inequality, the inequality of two persons of same origin and ability.

Perfect social equality is an ideal situation that does not occur in actuality. In complexity economics, it has been found that horizontal inequality arises in complex systems. (2)

In America, it was the intent of our Founding Father to provide a place where the citizens could be equal before the law. In the Declaration of Independence it states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (3) The train of thought that developed into this phrase started with Joh Locke, who said; “”All men are born equally free and independent and have certain inherent natural rights of which they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.” (4) The problem that Americans had, starting with the Pilgrims, is they were not treated equally before the law. The Pilgrims fled England to seek religious freedom, they did not believe in the Church of England‘s theology. They were followed by others, primarily from England, that were seeking religious freedom. In many ways, the United States was founded and created by a group of people willing to die for their beliefs. Which would also explain why the First Amendment to the Constitution is about religious freedom and peaceable assembly. This would also explain why Americans are also the first to stand in the breach when others rights are being trampled (at least to me it does).

This equality that is being asked for today is not equality before the law, it is special treatment before the law. When Christians bakers are sued out of business and Muslim bakers can turn down LBGT customers there is a very serious problem. Each person and individual should be equal. If you have committed a crime then you should be forced to face the full brunt of the law; there should be no getting out because of questionable legal status or because the state doesn’t have any more funding. When a law is broken there should be a consequence.

Now, Latter-day Saints believe like many other Christians that America is a blessed and sacred land. I have listed a few of our scriptures that give us ground to stand on; and yes, they are all from the Book of Mormon. They are not in any particular order.

  1. Alma 30:11 “…therefore all men were on equal grounds.”
  2. Mosiah 27:3 “…that there should be no persecutions among them, that there should be an equality among all men…”
  3. Mosiah 29:32 “And now I desire that this inequality should be no more in this land, especially among this people; but I desire that this land be a land of liberty, and every man may enjoy his rights and privileges alike…”
  4. Alma 46:10 “…he led away the hearts of many people to do wickedly; yea, and to seek to destroy the church of God, and to destroy the foundation of liberty which God had granted unto them, or which blessing God had sent upon the face of the land for the righteous sake.”
  5. 2nd Nephi 10:11 “And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall rise up unto the Gentiles.”
  6. 2nd Nephi 1:7 “Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever.”

I hope my point is taken that this land if a place of freedom like no other nation in the world and if we can become students of history and seek knowledge we can see how wonderful this nation called America has been for 230 years. While I am not saying you have to believe in GOD, I am saying you should learn the truth about the birth of our nation and understand our roots.

iron wil

(1) Dictionary.com Equality

(2) Dictionary.com Equality (law)

(3) Wikipedia: Declaration of Independence

(4) Wikipedia: All men are created equal

(5) Wikipedia : Church of England

Thank You for Your Service!

I recently came across an article on Recoil, a site I visit daily for gun and shooting news. I saw this article by Candice Horner, titled “Stop Thanking Veterans”. I was taken aback and then I had to think about it.

I took the weekend and reflected on Ms. Horner’s article. I am not sure what her motivation or intention was for this article. Personally, I found it a offensive. Not because I served, that honor belongs to my grandfather (Earl), my father-in-law (Lee), grandad (Gordon), my father (Kerry), and my brother (David). I grew up Army Brat. I didn’t see or hear everything that happened to the soldiers. I heard enough. There was always talk about what happened on base or to someone’s father or sibling when deployed. I remember when Desert Storm ended and all the soldiers returning were bussed back to base. It was a huge party in the PX parking lot! I had friends returning to their families or the barracks. I remember the elation when a husband or wife stepped off the bus, I remember my own fathers relief when he returned to normal duty after the 7/12’s he pulled in the mail room for his Unit while everyone was deployed.

To me, and I think for many Americans who for their own reasons didn’t or couldn’t serve; the only thing we can say is “Thank You”. Not because we are ungrateful or superficial. It is because there is NOTHING we can say that would properly express our gratitude for those men and women who wear (or have worn) a military uniform.

I have no other words. I know no other way to express the gratitude that is rooted deep in my soul.

I have enough friends today that are prior service, some served a shorter stint and some served 20 or more years. We talk about their service when they want to or if I have a specific question and they are willing to answer it. I never ask about their MOS or if they got deployed, that doesn’t matter to me! Anyone of them could have ended up in a situation where they had to fight. Before the Desert Storm deployment, my grandmother (dad’s side) spent the money to call Germany and ask if my dad was going to be deployed. I remember her being upset about it. After my parents got off the phone we had a conversation, I don’t remember if it was all of us kids or just me. My mom simply said, when Dad joined the Army he accepted that if war came it was likely he could be deployed; whether in his MOS or as infantry. It was matter of fact no B.S. … it could happen.

Now, I learned from my dad to show respect where (and when) respect is due. Today, when I see a soldier or airman and I can do it discreetly I will say “Thank You” and extend my hand to shake theirs. Sometimes we chat and sometimes I get a humble thank you. Once with my boys in our local Walmart, I came across a Vietnam Vet (he was wearing a black ball cap) in a wheel-chair and his wife. As I passed them, I stopped to say thank you, at first he didn’t understand and his wife, who choked up a bit, leaned over and said, “he says thanks”. He grinned and it warmed my heart and I teared up a bit. My boys asked what happened and if I knew that man. I explained that he is a hero and a man who deserves our respect.

Now, I don’t know how Ms. Horner can feel that “The standard phrase that so many people use to express thanks is inadequate; it’s empty.” Those I get a chance to speak with have not yet expressed this sentiment. I can’t count how many Veterans and Active Duty service men and women I have thanked; I never counted, because what mattered to me is that they knew I appreciate them.

Today, I try to find ways to serve. I have donated to charities and done a few other things. We can serve our Vets through various methods; including charities or better yet, get personally involved and volunteer!

iron wil