Back Surgery Is Hell, Just Saying



imageedit_3_2321775108September 15, 2016

by Lorra B.

Just a quick note to say that I have not dropped off the face of the earth my friends but have been down the last couple weeks with back issues and have not been online much.

But, on Tuesday I went in for back surgery and just home a bit ago. So, while I am currently flying very pleasantly on Hydrocodone pain medication I thought I would post and let you all know I will only be online sporadically over the next couple of weeks. Then, it will be work as usual, I hope!

Missing you all!




Taking A Knee in Prayer. Was a Line Crossed After Army Football Game?

Army football players are shown praying together after beating Temple last week. (Photo: Screen Shot from Youtube)

Army football players are shown praying together after beating Temple last week.
(Photo: Screen Shot from Youtube)

September 12, 2016

By Lorra B.

Coach Jeff Monken, the U.S. Military Academy’s Army football coach at West Point, finds himself in the spotlight after the top general at the academy raised “valid concerns” about prayer.

After West Point was victorious in last week’s game, Monken requested that a staff assistant lead the team in prayer, according to Checkpoint. This has apparently opened a can of worms and brought up the question of separation of church and state.

“The issue emerged after Coach Jeff Monken was shown in a video produced by West Point celebrating with his players and directing a member of his staff to lead a prayer after an upset victory Sept. 2 over Temple University,” reports Checkpoint.

Complaints were received about the prayer and the video was taken down at the request of Athletic Director Boo Corrigan. The superintendent at West Point, Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen, stated that to leave the video online would be “like grinding salt into the wound.”

According to Army Times, the video was taken down but replaced with a shorter version. The shorter version shows the celebrating players and that they are ending the game in prayer, though the video does not show the prayer itself.

The majority of the people, about 90 percent, supported the prayer, according to Caslen. He then went on to say, “But, when you look at it from a legal basis and from a legal standpoint, and then you look at it from a leadership standpoint, there were some concerns, and I think they’re valid concerns.”

It is Caslen’s belief that for Monken to encourage or ask anyone to lead in prayer was a mistake when looked at from a leadership or ‘legal standpoint.’

“It creates an atmosphere where it is expected from everybody to say a prayer regardless of their faith or no faith,” Caslen said. “It’s like me as the superintendent of the Corps of Cadets saying, ‘Let’s take a knee and say a prayer together.’ I don’t have the authority to do that. I cannot use my position of authority — my public position of authority — to direct my subordinates to do something that is inconsistent with their rights. So, that’s probably where we crossed the line.”

Students are free, according to the Supreme Court, to lead religious activities and even to lead in prayer. School-sponsored prayer, however, has been ruled against time after time.

Funny how it seems to be Christianity continually in the hot-seat while other religious public displays are rarely talked about in the media. Why is that?

By Lorra B.

$1 Billion Cost Overrun & Artwork Scandal, Veterans Affairs Has Once Again Been Subpoenaed

Unacceptable VA wait times lead to over 40 Veteran deaths. (Photo: Public Domain)

Unacceptable VA wait times lead to over 40 Veteran deaths.
(Photo: Public Domain)

September 8, 2016

By Lorra B.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has received a subpoena that was issued by a House panel on Wednesday.

According to the Associate Press, the House panel is insisting on explanations for a cost overrun of $1 billion and they want documents to back it up.

The Denver VA hospital in question spent millions of dollars on artwork and furnishings and spent almost three times what their earlier estimates were.

But the Denver VA is not the only VA under the spotlight. Nationwide the VA has spent a staggering amount of money on sprucing up their offices, “including more than $6.4 million spent on the Palo Alto, California, health care system.”

“We will not accept VA trying to pull the wool over the eyes of this committee and the American people for poor decision-making and waste of funds,” stated the chairman of the veteran’s panel, Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla.

Miller went on to say that it was “unfortunate that VA’s continued lack of transparency has led us to this decision” to issue the subpoena, but contended that lawmakers had little choice.”

It seems unimaginable that over 40 veterans died on waiting lists waiting to be seen by a doctor, according to a VA inspector general investigation, while monies that could have been spent saving their lives was used to buy artwork and statues.

This is the fourth subpoena issued by the House panel since 2014 “amid continuing frustration over the VA’s performance following the wait-time scandal that led to the ouster of the VA secretary and a $16 billion overhaul approved by Congress,” according to the AP.

The Denver VA hospital has been dodging the committee’s request for documents by providing only “a summary of an internal inquiry, but not the supporting documents, despite repeated requests from lawmakers.”

Miller has been after the documents related to the art contracts for well over a year. He said he is trying to get to the bottom of why the Palo Alto VA spent almost $500, 000 on two sculptures and a total of more than $6.4 million on furnishings and artwork on that facility alone.

The subpoena, however, is seeking nationwide information on purchases since 2010.

The VA has until September 28 to respond.

By Lorra B.

Cowardly Grave-Robbers Defile the Final Resting Place of Veteran Heroes

Medallion of bronze shown just under the American Flag. (Photo: Public Domain)

Medallion of bronze shown just under the American Flag. (Photo: Public Domain)

August 25, 2016

By Lorra B.

In a despicable show of the ugly and cowardly side of the human condition, thieves vandalized and robbed many graves of our veteran heroes in Laporte, Indiana.

Over 300 medallions of bronze were snatched from Patton Cemetery, according to The South Bend Tribune.

The resolve of our military heroes, however, show no boundaries and veterans are banding together to raise the money needed to replace the precious medallions that honor our fallen.

James Hiles, the financial officer for the American Legion Post 83, stated, ”People don’t have any morals anymore, apparently.”

With appalling acts of vandalism such as this being done against the very heroes protecting the lives and rights of even these wicked individuals, it’s hard not to reach the same conclusion.

“’This isn’t just a piece of bronze. This means somebody’s life has been given for this country,” Hiles went on to say.

An employee at a post near the cemetery, Bridgett Smith, stated, “We switched to a cheaper metal that’s not expensive, and they’re not taking those.”

The thieves are not even after the bronze medallions but the brass rods that holds the medallions in place. The brass rods they can sell but the medallions would be recognized and draw the attention of the police. The bronze medals, therefore, are simply tossed away like so much trash.

Each piece of Bronze ‘trash’ snatched from a heroes resting place reportedly cost $35 each. Because of this, military officials will now be replacing the bronze with a much less costly material, aluminum and steel. The cost of the new medallions will be as low as $13 a piece.

The American Legion has already raised close to $2,000 to not only replace the stolen medallions but medallions for our future veteran heroes as well.

Post commander Wayne Zeman stated, “It’s bad enough robbing graves and robbing veteran’s graves of, like I said, in a lot of cases the only thing that notates it’s a veteran’s grave in the first place.”

There should be a special place in prison for the unconscionable deeds of these cowards.

Related Videos:

Grave Robbery, Military medallions

By Lorra B.

Soldier Carries Thank-You Letter from 8-Year-Old for 10 Years Through Several Deployments – Watch Their Reunion!

Soldier Saves Boy’s Touching Letter, Tracks Him Down After 10 Years. (Photo: Public Domain)

Soldier Saves Boy’s Touching Letter, Tracks Him Down After 10 Years. (Photo: Public Domain)

August 24, 2016

By, Lorra B.

Young 8-year-old Collin Martin was attending Kennesaw Elementary School in 2007 when Lt. Col. Sharlene Pigg, a Major in the Army and on leave at that time, came to speak to his second grade class. The boy was so impacted by this soldier that he wrote her a thank-you letter, a letter that Lt. Col. Pigg carried with her for over ten years and through numerous deployments.

After 10 years the retired Army Lieutenant colonel decided it was finally time to find this now teenager and take him up on the free pizza he had offered in his letter, reported Fox 5.

“Many of the students wrote letters thanking her for speaking to them — but Collin Martin also invited her to share a pizza at his family’s restaurant upon her safe return.”

Other than Martin’s declaration in his letter for his love of flag football and soccer, it was his love of Pizza that would unite the two.

“When you get home, please come have pizza with us.”

To have been a fly on the wall when Martin received the phone call that Lt. Col. Pigg was actually taking him up on his offer would have been priceless. But, would he even remember her? Of course he did! He remembered her visit very well. He did admit, however, that he did not remember writing her the letter.

For Martin, it was “just an amazing experience” seeing her again. “I never thought she’d actually come in and meet me.”

“I just really wanted to meet the boy behind the letter,” stated Lt. Col. Sharlene Pigg.

Imagine the stories that could be told if more of us actually followed through with invitations such as the one sent from the then young Collin Martin.


By, Lorra B.

Pledge of Allegiance Is Waived In Some Schools, The Death Of Patriotism?

Schools may not require that children recite the Pledge of Allegiance. (Photo: Public Domain)

Schools may not require that children recite the Pledge of Allegiance. (Photo: Public Domain)

August 23, 2016

By, Lorra B.

A Tallahassee, Florida, public school has found itself at the center of controversy after sending students home with Pledge of Allegiance waivers.

The parents were asked to sign and return the waiver if they wished their child to be excused from Pledge of Allegiance participation.

According to Fox News, the notice stated:

I understand my rights as a parent and I request that my child, noted above, be excused from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. This request includes standing and placing his/her right hand over his/her heart.

Michah Brienen, a resident of Bonita Springs, Florida, was stunned by the waiver and thought the request his niece received was a joke. It was no joke.

“I was immediately shocked by it,” said Brienen. “I thought it was a fake.”

Brienen’s sister-in-law was also very surprised by the waiver and returned the form to the school with a message of her own. Her message read, “This is the dumbest thing I have ever read and I am so ashamed of this.”

Frustrated with this school and what they are teaching our children, Mr. Brienen decided to take this matter public and vented on Facebook.

“My niece brought this home from school today…What is happening to our country?!?” This initial post was shared more than 23,000 times.


Brienen does not usually jump on the political band-wagon on Facebook but he was still angry several days later and posted once again to Facebook asking friends and family to get involved by letting the school’s superintendent know exactly how they all felt about the situation.


“I thought it was definitely something that needed to be out on social media,” Brienen stated. “I believe it’s another stop in the progressive political movement to destroy the education system. We have a lot of American values and traditions that seem to be whittling away.”

What might surprise you is that this decision to present the waiver was made by Republicans, not just liberal Democrats, according to Fox News.

A spokesman for Leon County Schools, Chris Petley, stated that Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature voted into law Florida Statue 1033.44 that states, “to all school districts in Florida that, ‘each student shall be informed by a written notice published in the student handbook or a similar publication pursuant to s. 1006.07(2) that the student has the right not to participate in reciting the pledge.”

Brienen uttered the same sentiment that many are feeling, “If we don’t make a stand now – we might not have the Pledge of Allegiance in school.” “What’s next, removing the flags? It’s only the beginning.”

What will happen to patriotism in our country? Will our children grow up with the same Love of Country that we, our fathers and their fathers before them did? What will the impact for future generations be?


By, Lorra B.

Obama Released 15 More Guantanamo Bay Prisoners. Does This Make You Angry?

A holding area at Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay in 2002. (Photo: Public Domain)

A holding area at Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay in 2002. (Photo: Public Domain)

August 16, 2016

By Lorra B.

Guantanamo Bay, long a thorn in the side of the Obama administration, is in the news again with the recent release of 15 detainees.

In the largest transfer under Obama, detainees were shipped to the United Arab Emirates in an effort to close Guantanamo Bay permanently.

The recently released detainees, mostly held without charges ever having been filed against then, had been there approximately 14 years, according to the Associated Press.

The Periodic Review Board cleared the detainees for release and includes representatives from six U.S. government agencies.

“The Pentagon says 61 detainees now remain at Guantanamo, which was opened in January 2002 to hold foreign fighters suspected of links to the Taliban or the Al Qaeda terrorist organization. During the Bush administration, 532 prisoners were released from Guantanamo, often in large groups to Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia,” reports the Associated Press.

Of the 61 detainees, according to the U.S. Department of Defense, 20 have been approved for transfer, 7 are facing criminal charges and 34 remain in continued detention. At its peak in June of 2003 Guantanamo Bay’s population reached 684 detainees.

The State Department’s special representative, Lee Wolosky, stated that the administration was ‘grateful’ that the detainees were accepted by the United Arab Emirates.

“The continued operation of the detention facility weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and partners, and emboldening violent extremists.”

It is Obama’s contention that keeping Guantanamo Bay open will severely hinder relationships with other countries that the U.S. needs to help in the fight of global terrorism. Guantanamo “undermines our standing in the world,” Obama stated.

With a majority Republican congress since 1929, it has been a challenge for Obama to close the facility that has a price tag of $445 million annually.

“In clearing [one of the detainees] for transfer, the review board said he hasn’t expressed any anti-U.S. sentiment or intent to re-engage in militant activities. However, a Pentagon detainee profile also said he provided little information and they had little “insight into his current mindset.”

Arguing the danger these detainees pose to the U.S., some politicians from both sides stated their frustration at the prison still being open saying that they are too dangerous to remain in either civilian prisons or on American soil.

But what has happened to the detainees already released thus far? According to the Director of National Intelligence, 21% of the detainees released under George W. Bush went straight back to militant motion.

Under the Obama administration 5% have been confirmed to have reengaged in militant activities that they know of.

There is, however, a huge resentment of the U.S. by Afghans who felt their treatment was deplorable and they were confused at why they were sent there in the first place.

The Pentagon, however, feels that the resentment felt by the detainees was due more to “an emotion that probably is motivated more by frustration over his continuing detention than by a commitment to global jihad.”

By Lorra B.

Court’s-Martialed. Do The Armed Forces Have a Constitutional Right to Religious Freedoms?

A Combat Soldiers Prayer (Photo: Public Domain)

A Combat Soldiers Prayer (Photo: Public Domain)

August 12, 2016

By Lorra B.

A U.S. Marine’s appeal has been denied by a federal court.

Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling received several charges of disobeying orders in 2014 and was court’s-martialed. Having received a bad-conduct discharge and demoted to Private, she left the Marine Corps. Sterling received her discharge orders, in part, for refusing to remove a bible verse from her workstation.

In three areas of her workspace, Sterling posted the verse from Isaiah 54-17 “No weapons formed against me shall prosper.”

Sterling’s supervisor stated, “I don’t like the tone” and Sterling was ordered to take the verses down. According to WND, “When Sterling declined, her supervisor took them down at the end of the duty day. Sterling reprinted and re-posted the messages, but she found them in the trash the next morning. She was then court-martialed.”

The court of Appeals for the military seems to have determined what religious practice is and is not ‘important’ enough to be protected and president of First Liberty Institute, Kelly Shackelford, is not happy.

“This is absolutely outrageous. A few judges decided they could strip a Marine of her constitutional rights just because they didn’t think her beliefs were important enough to be protected,” he said. “If they can court-martial a Marine over a Bible verse, what’s to stop them from punishing service members for reading the Bible, [talking] about their faith, or praying?”

Although Shackelford believes the punishment Sterling received to be unconstitutional the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces determined otherwise.

“Appellant has failed to establish that the orders to remove the signs substantially burdened her religious beliefs. While Appellant seeks to cast the substantial burden as caused by the choice between obeying the orders to remove the signs and potentially facing a court-martial, this logic is flawed, as it presumes that taking down the signs constitutes a substantial burden—a burden imposing both secular and religious costs. This is the very legal question to be decided. We reject the argument that every interference with a religiously motivated act constitutes a substantial burden on the exercise of religion.

In this case, Appellant did not present any testimony that the signs were important to her exercise of religion, or that removing the signs would either prevent her from engaging in conduct [her] religion requires, or cause her to “abandon one of the precepts of her religion. While Appellant testified that posting the signs was religiously motivated in part, she did not testify that she believed it is any tenet or practice of her faith to display signs at work. Nor does Appellant’s testimony indicate how complying with the order to remove the signs pressured her to either change or abandon her beliefs or forced her to act contrary to her religious beliefs. Although Appellant did not have to provide evidence that posting signs in her shared workspace was central to her belief system, she did have to provide evidence indicating an honest belief that “the practice [was] important to [her] free exercise of religion.” Contrary to Appellant’s assertions before this Court, the trial evidence does not even begin to establish how the orders to take down the signs interfered with any precept of her religion let alone forced her to choose between a practice or principle important to her faith and disciplinary action.”

A former Air Force JAG officer, Daniel Briggs, stated, “No one in our military who goes to work every day to defend our freedoms should then be court-martialed for exercising those very freedoms.”

Briggs went on to say, ““This case is about Monifa, but it is also about every American who puts on the uniform in service to this country. The question is whether they will be allowed to exercise their faith in the military, or whether they will be denied the same constitutionally protected freedoms they have volunteered to defend and are willing to die for.”

This is an issue of just what extent religious freedom protections will be allowed members of the Armed Forces. It begs the question of whether or not military members, who are considered to be government property, have a constitutional right to religious freedom.

In 1993 the Religious Freedom Restoration Act became law. The act requires the government to seek the “least burdensome” means when dealing with religious beliefs.

The court, however, ruled, “In this case, the record does not clearly address whether [Sterling’s] conduct was based on a ‘sincerely held religious belief’ or motivated by animosity toward her chain of command.”

Judge Kevin Ohlson stated, “while the military’s asserted interest in good order and discipline surely deserves great deference, it does not demand reflexive devotion.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces denied Sterling’s case in a 4-1 opinion.

With the Armed Forces religious freedoms at risk, Sterling and First Liberty Institute plan on appealing this decision to the Supreme Court.

By Lorra B


Air Force Lands New Ski Resort In Utah For Military & Their Families

U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Justin Hoppis skis with his fellow Marines during ski tour training conducted at the Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif.  (Photo: Public domain)

U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Justin Hoppis skis with his fellow Marines during ski tour training conducted at the Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif.
(Photo: Public domain)

August 10, 2016

By Lorra B.

After 14 years of searching it is Park City, Utah, where construction on a new ski lodge for military and their families could start within a few years.

According to Hill Air Force Base, the Air Force and Utah have partnered together on this project and will be built on six acres in Wasatch County on prime real estate.

“This really, I think, will provide a world-class recreation experience for military members and their families,” stated David Williamsen, who heads up the ‘enhanced-use’ offices at Hill Air Force Base. “It’s something that I think will be a good thing for Utah and a good thing for the Air Force and the military.”

The ski resort will be for use by all four branches of the military as well as the general public.

Rooms from the resort will be set aside for military personnel at reduced rates; the lower your rank, the less you pay, reports The Salt Lake Tribune.

According to the U.S. Military hotels like this boost morale.

“The Air Force is really good at doing our mission, which is defending the nation,” Williamsen said. “We recognize that we don’t run resorts. We try to do a really good job with our Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities, but really recognize that if this is going to work, it needs to be done on a very professional basis.”

The military currently has four other recreational resorts that are operated by MWR employees. These resorts, open only to approved military users and ‘sponsored guests,’ made a $39.8 million profit in 2015.

The Utah resort, however, will most likely be owned by Utah’s Military Installation Development Authority.

Williamsen stated that the resort has been a long time coming.

Related Video:

ISIS Militants Have Seized US Military Equipment and ID Cards After Recent Combat Encounter

US Military Hardware Lost in Afghanistan , Found with ISIS. (Photo: Public Domain)

US Military Hardware Lost in Afghanistan , Found with ISIS. (Photo: Public Domain)

August 8, 2016

By Lorra B. 

Photos of American military equipment, identification cards and weapons appear to have been seized by ISIS militants in Afghanistan, though how they attained these items remains unclear.

Saturday, photos were released on social media after recent combat engagements which depict not only images of ammunition, a rocket launcher and communication equipment but a close up shot of U.S. Army Specialist Ryan Jay Larson’s ID as well.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

‘Amaq posted photos of documents and gear of soldiers allegedly taken by ISIS fighters in

Larson was not captured by ISIS.

“Obviously, SPC Larson is not captured – he is accounted for and with his unit despite having lost his ID card and possibly some of his equipment during recent operations,” Brigadier General Charlie Cleveland told Fox News. “Beyond that, there is a lot of equipment in those pictures.

“At this point, we don’t know if all of the equipment in the pictures was lost during recent operations or at some other time in the past.”

Defense Department spokesperson, Henrietta Levin, stated that they have no idea when the photos were taken or how they came into the equipment but assured Americans that no military personnel have been captured, according to Military Times.

“We are aware of erroneous reports that U.S. Army Specialist Ryan Jay Larson was captured by ISIL in Afghanistan,” Levin said, referring to one the Islamic State group’s other monikers. “These reports are false. He has been accounted for and remains in a duty status within his unit. We are looking into how he lost possession of his ID but can confirm he has been accounted for with his unit. ‎”

Defense Secretary Ash Carter confirmed that was the same location were almost 150 “heroic” Army Rangers were in heavy combat and took out “hundreds” of ISIS fighters.

Some of the equipment may have been left behind during this operation. Cleveland stated, however, that the lost equipment was not due to a “hasty” extraction.

How the items were left behind or lost is still being worked out by officials.

By Lorra B. 

Video: What Is Going On? IS Militants Claim to Have Captured Advanced US Weapons