Friday, November 21, 2014

Posted on 21 Nov 2014

46 Years After The Terrible Siege At Khe Sanh, A Vietnam Veteran Reunites With His Fellow Marines

The year was 1968, it was January, and the Tet Offensive had begun. My unit, Bravo Co., was at a forward air base called Khe Sanh — now surrounded by a force of about 20,000 North Vietnamese Army (NVA) troops — and, for seventy-seven days, the Marines at Khe Sanh would endure daily artillery, rocket, and mortar barrages.
Within days we had dug deep into the ground to make bunkers and eight-foot-deep trenches, connecting them in an effort to find some level of protection against the endless barrages. All too often, the size of the artillery and mortar rounds made all that effort an exercise in wishful thinking.
Notes from a Veteran author, Dan Doyle, joins his Marine brothers for a photo shortly after his arrival at Khe Sanh.

Reunion and Reflection

That was 46 years ago. Today, I am in Sparks, Nevada, attending a reunion with my Marines from Bravo, 3rd Recon for the first time. It is proving to be a powerful experience. We are old men now. We were in our late teens and early twenties then. We were thinner, had all of our hair, and had the muscle and the energy of youth then. As life and luck would have it, we are old men, now in our late sixties and early seventies in varying stages of health.
But when we look at each other’s ID tags and remember those names, we embrace. That brotherhood born in the crucible of that far away war reignites, and we settle quickly into recounting our old memories. While some of the shared memories are full of the pathos of those days, there is much laughter in our conversations, too. Somehow we have always been able to use humor to deal with the weird reality we found ourselves in. Many of our conversations are born out of that mutual experience and a sense of wonder that we survived all of that and even went on to have families and careers. We made lives for ourselves. But we never forget those whose lives ended back there. They are still missed and mourned for as if it were yesterday.
Many of these men have been coming to these reunions for years. This is my first time to be back with my brothers from Bravo Co., 3rd Recon. It has surprised me how quickly I felt at home with them all. There are men from the whole Battalion here, so there are many that I did not know then and am meeting for the first time here. But that doesn’t make a difference — we are all Marines (even we Corpsmen).

Tedium and Terror

At the time the siege began Bravo, 3rd Recon about 110 men. At the end of it we had lost 19 of our brothers and many more had been wounded. We were a small unit on the base and our typical task of reconnaissance, being the “eyes and ears” of the 3rd Marine Division, had been rendered moot by the siege. We did not have to go sneaking around in the jungle looking for the enemy; the enemy had surrounded us and was at our perimeter. You could see them and their trenches creeping closer, testing our defenses every day. As a result we were often called upon to do other things.
For example, we were called upon regularly to collect the garbage on the base and then take it outside of the wires to the dump site. This was not as easy as it may sound, as the artillery and mortar barrages could come at any time. Getting caught out in the open, above ground, standing on a pile of garbage in the open bed of a truck, nowhere near a bunker was not good.
A U.S. Air Force North American F-100 Super Sabre drops its bombs close to the Khe Sanh Combat Base, in 1968.
It seemed crazy, but it was an absolute necessity. We were already overrun with rats. They didn’t need any more encouragement. When we went outside the wire to the dump site, we went with weapons locked and loaded. We pushed that trash off of the back end of that truck like madmen and retreated back behind the wires as fast as we could. Corpsmen were assigned the duty of burning the waste in the outhouses every day. That meant being exposed to sniper fire, or being away from the bunkers and trenches while you were engaged in this nasty job. But we did it, every day.
We would be called on occasion to help out at Graves Registration too. This was the difficult job of identifying and body-bagging our fellow Marines. Most of us were 18-22 year old kids, but we already knew the reality of death intimately. We lived with the threat of it on a daily basis. We smelled it. We touched it. And it touched us.

Brothers, Again and Always

My Bravo Co. and some of the men from Delta Co. were the only elements of the Battalion at Khe Sanh, but we all went on Recon patrols in our small squads and share the unique realities of that experience. We all know what it means to have each other’s back. These men cared for one another, protected one another, helped one another with an affection unlike any other. This brotherhood is a phenomenon of war that much has been written about, but to be a part of it is one of the most cherished things in our lives. We are never strangers to one another. Even though we see each other rarely, when we do get together, we are brothers again.
Being here with my Recon Marines again has been a very moving experience for me. I am enjoying the old camaraderie and am taking it all in, for we will part again and go back to our homes to carry on with our lives as usual. But for these few days we can step out of the usual and remember that unusual reality that we shared and survived together so many years ago.
It is good to be with my Marines again. They are good men, one and all. I love them. They are my brothers.


Elder's Meditation of the Day November 21

Elder's Meditation of the Day November 21
"In the absence of the sacred, nothing is sacred, everything is for sale."
--Oren Lyons, ONONDAGA
The Elders often say that when something is sacred it has spiritual value. You'll hear, on the Earth there are sacred spots. You'll hear, our ceremonies are sacred, our children are sacred, marriage is sacred. When something is sacred it means it's so holy you can't attach a value to it. Therefore, it's not for sale. It's an insult to suggest buying something sacred. On the other hand, if we look at it differently, as there is no sacred land, ceremonies are not sacred, our children are not sacred, etc., then everything is for sale. Sacredness creates spiritual space. Sacredness makes things holy. Sacredness shows respect for God.
Great Spirit, let me honor things that are sacred.

4 directions & everything that is

When Native Americans pray to the 4 directions it is a prayer to the spirits of the world, to life & the Great Spirit that encompasses the 4 directions & everything that is. The Medicine Wheel is a symbol that incorporates the 4 directions. Its spokes point east, south, west, & north. The 4 quarters are colored red, yellow, black, & white representing all races, seasons, & stages of life. The circle is the earth, moon & planets. It is the circle of life & all creation.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Elder's Meditation of the Day November 20

Elder's Meditation of the Day November 20
"Money cannot buy affection."
--Mangas Coloradas, APACHE
In these modern times we put too much emphasis on material things and on money. We believe that money is power. If we have money, people will respect us. If we have money, people will admire us. If we have money, we can have anything we want. Maybe we can purchase anything in the material world, but we cannot purchase anything in the Unseen World. The Unseen World is not for sale. It can only be given away. Love, affection, admiration, trust, respect, commitment -- these must be earned or given away. If we use these things from the Unseen World, we are using real power.
My Creator, let me demonstrate Your power today. Let me be loving to all I meet.

Alan Houser (Apache)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Elder's Meditation of the Day November 19

Elder's Meditation of the Day November 19
Where there is vision, the people live. They are made rich in the things of the spirit; and then, as the logical next step, they are rich in human life.
--Phil Lane, Sr., YANKTON SIOUX
Since the beginning of time, Indian people have been blessed with the ability and knowledge of the vision. The vision determines our future. The concept is, we move toward and become that which we think about. We have known that all visions are about the Great Spirit. They should include God's will in every area of our lives. We should have visions about our people, about healthy relationships, about helping others, about being happy, about being educated. Each day we should renew our vision. We should ask the Creator to give us a vision of what He wants us to be and where He wants us to go in our lives. We should be the seekers of vision.
Great Spirit, give me a vision to follow today. Let me do Your will.

Today we have detail from a great painting by Doc Tate Nevaquaya (Comanche)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


The Rosebud Sioux Tribe stands its ground against the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline ‪#‎NoKXL‬ ‪#‎StandTheLine‬

Wikoskalaka Yuwita Pi - Lakota Gathering of Young Women

Found this, it is so beautiful!! Throughout our lives we are faced with many challenges. This is especially true living in a white world. As indigenous people with one life, one heart, one tribe and one truth it is understood that we are all related. Unci says as Lakota Oyate we greet one another as relatives so that we can care and love with Tawacin Wanji- with one mind!-

Elder's Meditation of the Day November 18

Elder's Meditation of the Day November 18
"Power is not manifested in the human being. True power is in the Creator."
--Oren Lyons, ONONDAGA
The Old Ones say the only true power is spiritual power. Sometimes our egos tell us we have power but really we don't. Great Spirit power is called by other names such as love, forgiveness, intelligence, life, principles, and laws. When the Creator uses this power to make the human being powerful, we must stay humble. We should constantly acknowledge that we are who we are. We do what we do because of the power of the Great One.
Great One, guide me to use Your power well. I will use it only to serve the people.

Monday, November 17, 2014

How many tones does Mandarin Chinese have?

How many tones does Mandarin Chinese have?

Mandarin Chinese has four tones. It means that for one given syllable, or word, you have four different meanings. For example: the word "ma" can either mean horse, mother, hemp, or to scold. Mastering the four Chinese tones is one of the most difficult aspects of learning Mandarin Chinese.
When reading pinyin, you can see the tone marks above each Chinese word.
pinyin mandarin chinese

This Chinese Symbol represents the Cannabis Sativa Plant.

This Chinese Symbol represents the Cannabis Sativa Plant. Pronounced Ma this plant has a history with mankind since the beginning of notable human evolution upwards of 10,000 years. This character explains the drying branches of the Cannabis Sativa Hemp Plant. It is said that drying the flowers held upside down they will benefit from gravity pulling the most Tetra Hydra Cannibanol to its intoxicating flowers.This evidence proves to me that the Chinese culture have respected Cannabis as a Medicine and social activity. We as a collective humanity have cultivated Her seed for food and oil, Her bast for fiber used in twine and rope, Her stalk for pulp for paper and building materials, Her flowers for medicine and Her biannualcrop possibility entices us now with the opportunity to capitalize on for Her generous bounty.She plays a key role in at least 50,000 products. Not to mention the groundworks for research for many other unchartered uses. This resilient plant has most recently been recognized as possessing medicinal qualities for terminally ill, glaucoma, and AIDS patients it helps them with their appetite and mood. She has been respected in Chinese culture as an earthly way to remedy menstrual cramps, nausea, headaches, and stress. She is respected as a sacrament by children of God. She indeed has contributed to some of the greatest controversy in the culture of our world through time and in our present. We must all recognize the conspiracy that pushed Her away from our culture and realize the conspiracy that will eventually bring Her back. "She was God given but Governments prohibit us from Cannabis." Johnny.
In 1938, a year after the passing of the Marihuana Tax Act. The Cannabis Sativa family of plants seemed to have promise as Americas' newest Billion Dollar cash crop. Cannabis Sativa Hemp and its promise would be stifled due to its versatility. The perceived competition it would present to major industry leaders threatened their extravagant livelihoods and the stronghold their big money presented in American politics. Those outside of the influence of propaganda toward Hemp respected its vast benefits not only to economy but to its versatility as a renewable resource. It was not seen in this light by leaders of the then infant War on drugs or those who profited in the industries of cotton, paper and fossil fuels. Its leaders to opposition could be found among our big business leaders and their powerful lobby in Washington would soon successfully apply a stranglehold suffocating a crop which has not been able to achieve a glimpse of its potential as a viable textile for the American farmer. Companies beginning with Dupont chemical, leaders in the textiles industry and especially William Randolf Hearst himself had ill will to this very versatile plant due to innovations in production of raw hemp into an estimated 50,000 household products and it providing major competition to their interests in said industries.
Popular Mechanics reported in February of 1938 that hemp and newly engineered machines would soon guide the American textile industry to be the leader in the world for producing Hemp textiles. At this time worldwide Hemp was the most widely used fabric, underpaid coolie and peasant workers were what made this the case. The blossoming American industry built on Hemp was reaching its pinnacle due to new machinery which took most of the tedious aspects of the plant to fabric process out of human hands and into industry. Fine silk blends, Ships sails, canvas, and twine, Hemps varied textures mixed with its natural qualities of durability threatened not only a standardized, subsidized cotton industry but a paper industry which both had ties to a booming chemical industry of America. At this time new innovations in chemical based fertilizers, pesticides, and abrasives used to break down wood pulp to paper, married these industries together. Their influence in Washington coupled with the ability of the Newspapers of William Hearst, whom coincidentally owned vast forest lands in the northeast he was cashing in on in addition to media empire, to make their competition disappear. Even with its illegal status its Hemp has managed to not only stay in the eye of the American media but respected as a logical environment friendly alternative to soil depleting standards used with conventional cotton and wood pulp papers productions.
Cannabis Sativa Hemp L. even with its state of legality grew in the 1990's to be a Billion dollar cash crop worldwide due primarily to a subculture of America supporting an again budding industry with the power of purchase. We have seen its fiber in clothing; twine, shoes, shirts, bedding, with its organic nature, short growing season, and ability to be cultivated in all 50 states it is an entrepreneurs dream. Hemp is the longest and strongest natural fiber, a solution to global warming with mainstream support and yet what leaves it on the wings is an unjust interpretation of its sister plant that is corrupting the youth of today by leaving those whom use its intoxicating flowers as criminals fueled with lust to commit other crimes. Marijuana is respected as the gateway drug while tobacco and alcohol get the support of our government because they are easily controlled and taxed. The first Levi denim pants were Hemp canvas. Which has since change to an inferior cotton version of the same style in order to insure repeat customers more frequently. Durability equates to less profit in our consumer driven economy.
In December of 1941 two major events happened, Henry Ford unveiled his 12 years of research and dream to “grow automobiles from the soil” using technology similar to what we see in the Saturn automobile line of today. He was ahead of his time not only creating plastics from natural and synthetic methods that were reported to be 10 times as resilient as steel he used Carbon Dioxide burning Methanol to fuel his car of the future. December 7 the Japanese bombed Pearl harbor, America and more importantly to this case Henry Fords interests were propelled into the war effort. In the case of Ford he supplied autos to both sides of the war effort so when it all came to a head with the signing of the Marshall Plan the focus of the Ford motor company shifted from cars from the soil to supplying a now very wealthy middle class with autos that fit their needs in America with conventional means.
With my eye on the past I think one of the most destructive technology that has changed our recent history is the evolution of our textile industry. Once a simple concept of products of the earth. Now a conglomeration of subsidized farmers and chemical companies; who provide manmade pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers to said farmers; whose association is bleeding toxic, disease causing elements into the groundwater we all drink everyday. The innovative spirit of America has defined a new world to live in, yet the main stumbling block we have reached is the necessity to refine our publics support toward desecrating, earth polluting products. Some of these polluting products are seemingly the obvious choice as a consumer due to either their affordable retail price or ignorance to a better option. The uninformed consumer never takes into consideration that either subsidies or slave labor has attributed to the affordability of most of the seemingly cheap textile products they purchase. T-Shirts, Jeans, bath towels, bedding, among others all are seemingly harmless purchases but with the observation of how that product arrived at the retail outlet at such a low price, the price is a lot more than what you spend in dollars and sense. With the tax dollar of Joe American tax payer, not only do we support a government that does not necessarily practice a “People for People America” conscientiously. We also participate in the funding of the underbelly of American Politics; Corporate control of the American right. From our tax dollar cotton subsidies amount to almost $4 billion which is portioned to about 25,000 American Cotton farmers a year. An estimated $230 per acre is given to these farmers to insure the lowest price in this competitive world market for cotton textiles. Without going great detail this is simply making third world producers of cotton starve from the ground up. All the money they have goes into this crop because it is what they know how to grow and manufacture but due to the American system they can no longer compete or break even with their crops with the plummeting price of American Cotton.
The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 basically was the foundation to ludicrous laws that keep Cannabis Sativa Hemp L. a virtually THC (Tetra hydra cannibanol- the Psychoactive subsatance found in Marijuana) free strand of the Cannabis family illegal to cultivate in the United States. Although it is said that smoking a whole field of Industrial strand Hemp could not intoxicate one looking for the medicinal, or recreation purposes of Marijuana's intoxicating flowers. The benefits far out weigh its potential destruction of youth because the American youth of today already spends more money on Marijuana than ever before(the price of gold on the street for high grade Canadian Marijuana in upwards of $300 and ounce), enough money to have Forbes magazine in its November 10, 2003 edition detail the blossoming number one cash crop of Canada being high grade Marijuana. Smuggled across its open border to America, this Billion dollar business seems more important to black list in the eyes of Media moguls than possibly solving some of the most prevalent environmental issues our world has ever seen.
I initially thought Organic Cotton (grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and herbicides) compared to the destructive force of Cotton and the subsidies programs of America was the concept I would initially tackle in this evaluation. All of my initial research steered me to Cannabis Sativa Hemp L. as a much more dynamic ultimatum toward reorganizing an environment friendly textiles industry. I realize I have barely scratched the surface in this broad subject. I've gained strength in conviction toward Hemp. Uncovering and extrapolating solution driven literature toward the industrialization of Industrial Hemp is the most valuable lesson I've evaluated inside myself. I hold true to beliefs that my goal in helping create more social awareness to Hemp as a mainstay of my lifes quest. My research to uncovering conspiracies that keep it in its forbidden state and participation in the Industrial Hemp movement has just begun…

The Sand Creek Massacre: 8 Hours That Changed the Great Plains Forever

Robert Lindneaux Painting Sand Creek
History Colorado
Robert Lindneaux portrays his concept of the Sand Creek Massacre.

The Sand Creek Massacre: 8 Hours That Changed the Great Plains Forever

This article is part of a series by the National Park Service concerning the 150thAnniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre.
The Sand Creek Massacre, tragic and unnecessary, impacted Federal-Indian relations and created the circumstances for years of warfare. With the events of November 29, 1864 fixed in their minds, Plains Indian nations faced an uncertain future between warring against and accommodating the federal government.
Cheyenne and Arapaho peace chiefs, influenced by assurances of peace at the Camp Weld Conference, reported to Fort Lyon throughout October of 1864. The fort’s commander told Chief Black Kettle and other leaders to await a peace delegation at their camp on Sand Creek and to fly the U.S. flag to indicate their peaceful intent. Throughout November, these elders waited.
On November 29, U.S. Army (Volunteer) soldiers attacked the village. Disregarding the greetings and calls to stop, these “beings in the form of men” fired indiscriminately at the Cheyenne and Arapaho. Of approximately 700 people in the village, about 200 died that day—two-thirds of the dead and mutilated bodies left on the ground were women and children.
Boasting of his victory and downplaying Army casualties, Colonel John Chivington paraded the body parts of dead Cheyenne and Arapaho through the streets of Denver, Colorado, reveling in the acclaim he long-sought. However, not all of Chivington’s officers and men agreed with his actions, and soon the consequences of these actions would sweep up and down the Plains, back to Washington, D.C., and into the lives of thousands of people.


Elder's Meditation of the Day November 17

Elder's Meditation of the Day November 17
"Humbleness means peace and honesty -- both mean Hopi. True, honest, perfect words -- that's what we call Hopi words. In all languages, not just in Hopi. We strive to be Hopi. We call ourselves Hopi because maybe one or two of us will become Hopi. Each person must look into their heart and make changes so that you may become Hopi when you reach your destination."
--Percy Lomaquahu, HOPI
The Creator has made available to us all the laws, principles and values which we need to know to live in harmony. The Creator also designed each human being to learn and grow by trial and error. We have tools to help us live the right way. We have prayers, visions, nature, teachers, Elders, and we have the Great Spirit to talk to and ask for help when we have problems. We also have choice. To walk the Red Road takes courage and a lot of prayer.
Creator, give me courage to walk the Red Road.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Good Mornin' Friends

Elder's Meditation of the Day November 16

Elder's Meditation of the Day November 16
"We do not want riches, but we want to train our children right. Riches would do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world. We do not want riches, we want peace and love."
The Elders say that what is important is peace and love. To have material things is okay, but if not, that's okay too. To have peace and love is more important than anything material. Our children will see the value of peace and love only if adults show they are a priority. Too often we think we can offer material things and they will replace the time spent with our children. But the most important way to give our children peace and love is to spend time with them.
My Creator, give me Your peace and love today.