I can remember as a child the nation looking up to the President of the United States, at least that was my impression and memory. Granted as a child we really didn't know or care about what was occurring in the world as much as whether we were having macaroni and cheese for lunch, or if our neighbor could come out to play.

A police officer was one held in high regard with much respect, never questioned and always answered with "Yes Sir", or "No Officer".

Our parents were treated with respect as well. We knew from them what was expected of us, and we never questioned our parents or back talked to them. If we did exercise poor judgement, it was dealt with in such a manner you learned not to do it again.

The world has changed dramatically in the last 40 years. I suspect the generation before me has said the same thing, as generations before them also. I think I may be getting old.

The world of politics really didn't enter my world arena until I was about ten years old, more specifically when Jimmy Carter came into office. In fact, my world really didn't start to open up until the fall of 1975, November 10th to be exact. That was when the Edmund Fitzgerald sank off Whitefish Point, taking all 29 of her crew to the bottom. It was that moment I realized that my parents were not going to be able to protect me, and my fate was not in mine or my parents control. I can tell you that, but for some reason my dad serving in Vietnam had no bearing, perhaps it was because of the fact any war movie I may have seen at that young age was glorified.

My dad served a tour in Vietnam, and another in Guam in support of the war. I am very proud of my father, he retired after 22 years in the Air Force. He didn't talk about what happened in Vietnam, perhaps he just wanted to keep it a memory, or just found it was easier to keep it all in. I know were things that bothered him about it, and it changed him. In his later years is when I really noticed how it affected him as he would flinch or twitch. I didn't understand it at first, it was later in my career when I realized it was post traumatic stress he was silently dealing with. His flinches were flashbacks, as real as the day was long, from previous visions he experienced in Vietnam. I would eventually understand these as I too began to experience them from previous scenes that I had responded to as a first responder. Things you can't get out of your head. I can remember later on in his life catching him flinch, then immediately telling him "they missed". The look on his face told me I almost knew what he was experiencing. I said almost, because no one but a war veteran could really understand.

Jimmy Carter was the President at the time I really started to pay any attention to world politics and happenings that occurred elsewhere, other than my own backyard.

It is a strange thing as a child when you reach that moment in your life, or begin to realize what in fact is actually going on around you and the world. While President Carter was dealing with the Iran hostage crisis, my brothers and I took turns backing our parents 1967 Chevy Impala in the yard, and driving it forward. All this while my parents were out bowling in the evening. Granted it was only about 20 feet of movement, but it was some serious shenanigans for 3 kids all younger than 12, my brothers were a bad influence.

As we grow older we generally learn from our mistakes and think about past shenanigans and think "Thank God I didn't get caught doing...". I'm as guilty as the next guy on a few things that I have done, and fortunate enough to have learned from my mistakes. Some of those mistakes stand out and serve as daily reminders to keep me in line, and to be able to share those experiences with my son.

One of the most sobering incidents in my life happened November 20, 1987. I was all of 21 years old at the time, cocky and thought I could handle anything the world threw at me. I had been a member of the local volunteer fire department just over two years, and just that year had received my certification as an Emergency Medical Technician. We were dispatched to a car accident where a vehicle had rolled over, unknown extent of injuries. Upon arriving on the scene in the ambulance we quickly discovered debris all over the road, and multiple patients scattered about. There was myself and another EMT in the ambulance at the time. We quickly split up and each did quick assessments of the patients, and narrowed it down to only two injured that needed to be transported, as opposed to 5. The two we had were serious injuries. We each took care of a patient until further help arrived. Just as the second ambulance arrived, my patient looked at me and said "Oh God, I can't breath", I remember telling her to "try and relax, we're taking good care of you". Those were her last words as she quickly went unconscious and slipped into cardiac arrest. I later learned that both her lungs had collapsed from the trauma. I doubt I will ever forget that day, her name, or the chain of events that happened. That experience changed me as a young man forever, which is what life is about, one big learning event. There is something to be said of young adults having to deal with death. I think everyone should have to be an EMT and firefighter early in their young adult life. When you are dealing with people roughly your own age in a traumatic event such as that, you learn how fragile life really is.

It is discouraging to watch the news lately. The last few years have shown the true social ills that our society has kept hidden, until social media has come into play. It seems everyone has turned to his own way and gone astray from God.

I feel so bad for our law enforcement agencies, all have received black eyes because of a few bad apples. But if you watch social media, you would think the police are all corrupt. The public shootings, the corrupt people in powerful positions. People are so quick to jump to conclusions, it seems nobody takes the time to understand.

What could possible be next on our horizon..

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