33 & 34 years old from Valdosta, Georgia
2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment, 48th Infantry Brigade, Georgia Army National Guard
July 24, 2005 & July 30, 2005
Sgt. Ronnie "Rod" Shelley and Sgt. John F. Thomas became best friends in the Georgia Army National Guard.
They both were ex-Marines, both about the same age, and both enjoyed searching for arrowheads and fishing together. As their friendship grew, Thomas often came over to Shelley’s house for steaks and ribs barbecued by his friend. And when their infantry unit was sent to Iraq in May of 2005, they went to war together.
When their unit was mobilized for combat duty in Iraq, Shelley promised to watch out for Thomas. "Ronnie said, 'Don't you worry, I'll bring him back safely,"' said Thomas' grandfather. But neither Sgt. Thomas or Sgt. Shelley made it back safely. Sgt. Thomas was killed July 24, 2005 by a roadside bomb near Baghdad. And Sgt. Shelley was killed six days later on July 30 by another roadside bomb, also near Baghdad.
Shelley was a family man, married with three children, who was obsessed with having a neat yard, his wife said. "The grass had to be two inches," she said. "If the neighbor mowed the grass, Rod had to mow. He also wanted the biggest, baddest lawn mower."
She said she fell in love with his "gorgeous blue ... eyes," and "he had a laid back attitude. I could not make him mad."
Thomas was married but had no children. His grandparents said he dreamed of becoming a forest ranger. "John wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail. Now the only trail he can walk is the trail in heaven," the grandfather said.
Mrs. Thomas, wiping back tears, said the soldier felt responsible for the others in his unit. "He cared for people," she said. "That's why he had so many friends. People cared for him."
Killed alongside Sgt. Shelley were Staff Sgt. David R. Jones Sr., Sgt. 1st Class Victor A. Anderson and Sgt. Jonathon C. Haggin and killed alongside Sgt. Thomas were Army Spc. Jacques E. Brunson, Army Staff Sgt. Carl R. Fuller and Army Sgt. James O. Kinlow.
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived
This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
From country to city, From farm to fireworks…Through marriage & children, Through employment & ownership, Life continues to be an amazing journey…
Wednesday, May 21
Tuesday, May 20
When I first discovered MICHAEL YON I had long ago made up my own mind as to my feelings on our war(s). I was however distraught that I could NEVER find any actual true reporting of the real war, its repercussions, benefits, real progress or digress. When I stumbled across Michael Yon’s blog quite by accident, I introduced him to my readers HERE and then again HERE.
As horrible as war is, I have always known that our original decision to go to war was valid. Our war(s) has not been perfect. Some believe we went on false pretenses of weapons of mass destruction. Some believe that Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11. Radical terrorism is the reason we went to war, its threat is still valid and sure. Good, bad, or indifferent, this war is real, the reasons our nation went there are justified, and victory through a definitive end with a more stable and moderate Islam Nation(s) is paramount. OUR MEDIA HAS NEVER portrayed this war(s) with truth, objectivity, or with any thought to actuality.
Michael Yon however is THERE. He has told the truth without thought to taking sides. He went as a journalist; he had no side through that venue and that self. He sees it, photographs it, and tells it just like it is. I’ve long been amazed that he can be in such horrible or beautiful places and still print news giving each side the truth. Again; good, bad, or indifferent…Michael Yon just “calls ‘em like he sees ‘em” EXACTLY.
By tragic coincidence, Mr. Yon captured a photograph of a lifetime. One of his photos is likened to the Iwo Jima photo that lives so famous today many years after WWII. After yet another homicide bombing, he captured an American soldier carrying a baby girl named Farah. So many were saved that day, but Farah didn’t make it. She touched all around her, she was a soul lost sadly in a war. But her death had nothing to do with our war. She was killed by radical Muslim bombers that blow up their own people on a daily basis.
Michal Moore, the left wing moonbat took this photo and made it part of his website banner. Mr. Michael Yon asked him to remove it as he had no permission to put it there. Michael Moore has not removed it, but keeps portraying it in a way not respectful or in design with its true meaning.
While we all agree with free speech and the openness of the internet; and we all know that images are easily re-produced and are basically free; the simple truth remains that without permission, and if asked; one should remove content from any website that the author doesn’t approve or want there.
As with all Michael Yon stories, his public response to Michael Moore’s defecation on Farah and her image speaks volumes to his fair reporting and the real objective observation to left wing liberalism and its destruction to the coverage of our wars and our truth.
Might I invite you ALL to READ THIS AWESOME “bashing” of Mr. Michael Moore given with the debonair eloquence and fairness that only objective journalists like Michael Yon who embody all that is Conservative and fair can give. Sticks and stones may break your bones while words “won’t hurt you”, but TRUTH does hurt sometimes and I see Michael Moore GUILTY OF WAR PORN in this article and deservedly so. Frankly, ALL of Michael Moore’s sad ramblings are porn of one sort or another in my eyes. Michael Yon’s explanation of Moore’s infraction: Michael Moore's Crime, and his fair assessment of Moore’s right to try only strengthens my belief in the truths he brings us from the front lines of our war.
When you CLICK THIS LINK and see what he’s talking about…do Michael Yon the favor of NOT giving Michael Moore negative comment or negative attacks at his website. This is Yon’s fight and he plans to handle it civilly and respectfully. Anyway, given enough rope, Michael Moore and all far left liberals will hang themselves. It needs to be known by all though that if we give them that rope, they’ll snatch up the rest of us in their hanging!
If you would like to hear the REAL TRUTH IN IRAQ then I encourage you to buy Michael Yon’s book “MOMENT OF TRUTH IN IRAQ”. You’ll never get a truer picture of actual events throughout this war than you will within this book, or by reading MICHAEL YON DISPATCHES that can be found at MICHAEL YON ONLINE. His efforts are solely funded by him, or by donation. He does not get support from any group or political affiliation.
Keep up the fight Michael; you are an inspiration to us all!
Tuesday, May 13
100%. What does that mean to you and do you see the finality and reality of 100%? YES, it’s a math question, but its answer is as simple to derive as is the answer is to the sum of 2+2. (By the way, 2+2=4). There is no other answer to 2+2 literally than 4. When trying to achieve the euphoric accomplishment of infinity, there is still no greater number than 100%.
Depending on many variables, the top rung of one ladder might be greater in rung numbers than some other ladders, but even an idiot savant can determine that the top rung of even the shortest ladder is the highest, equaling 100%.
Let’s talk about today’s “prophets” though. Let’s talk about the load of crap that has been shoved up our asses for many decades now. The “marketing” aspect, the “corporate achievement” aspect, the “political / policy / government” aspect…NEW MATH we’ll call it. Remember “New Math”? Well remember this…if we just get back to ATTITUDE and the REALITY that 100% is the goal, and when achieved, there is NO GREATER accomplishment. Even in imagination, dreams, and euphoria…at some point, 100% of it can be reached, but NO MORE…NO MATTER WHAT YOU’VE BEEN TOLD.
Put those simple letters of the entire ENGLISH language into NUMBERS.
In correct order, assigning each letter its corresponding number value, there are some interesting values to some valuable words.
8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%
11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%
RIGHT HERE, WE ARE AT EUPHORIA, WE ARE ACHIEVING THE BEST POSSIBLE WITH ATTITUDE…100%. From here, it all goes downhill, while MANY MILLIONS OF PEOPLE BELIEVE we can actually do better than euphoria. Many people believe we can achieve SO MUCH MORE BY “GIVING MORE”. People actually believe the sad conception that by giving MORE than 100%, we can accomplish more (there is no more than 100%).
Some will say, “You’re a business owner, you KNOW that 100% would mean breaking even.” NO, I can add, subtract, multiply, and divide. I know that I have to add a percentage factor to make a living. I know that if I buy it for a $1.00 and I sell it to you for $1.10, most think that’s 110%. It’s not. It’s simply a 10% addition to an original cost when the smart way to do business is to add a 10% margin. (Margin & Markup are quite different…do it the smart way). All units of 100 are divisible by 10, easy math. $1.00 x 10% = $1.10. (100 divided by 10 = 10 is where we get that ability to get 10%) (100 – 10 = 90) One would think if you multiplied $1.00 by 10% it’s easy to get $1.10. One would also assume that given 100 – 10 = 90, that if you were to “check your answer” and DIVIDE $1.00 by .9 you would still get $1.10. NOT TRUE. $1.00 x 10% = $1.10. $1.00 divided by .9 = $1.11. $2.00 divided by .9 = $2.22, etc. That is a TRUE NET 10% MARGIN. Do your business by division, NOT BY MULTIPLICATION! You’ll come out ahead every time :)
No matter which way you do math though, there is no better than 100%. Anything else is just another number added to 100%. It’s a number added to which means extra effort, more time, a push beyond, a fight to a finish. But in reality, if there were more to give, if there were more to be had, if there were a profit to be made…it all ends up at 100%. I sold it to you for $1.11…I bought it for $1.00. $1.11 was 100% of what you were willing to pay…not 110% of what I was willing to spend. At the end of each rope is 100%...NO MORE.
I only wish I knew the formula to prove with numbers the tragic reality of what trying to poke a square peg into a round hole will do to the natural balance of common sense and proven reality of simple attitude and 100%, the best that can be accomplished.
“So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that While Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it's the Bullshit and Ass Kissing that will put you over the top.”
NO, one CANNOT and absolutely SHOULD NOT accept that particular train of thought or ATTITUDE…REMEMBER…Attitude is 100%. While numbers can be spun any way one wants to make them add up…it’s the spinning of fictional numbers that has gotten us all into the disastrous positions our nation is in.
Our government has tried to shove more than 100% down our throats, and we’ve let them succeed at the concept. At some point, the first jack off got away with proving to a weaker person who was actually giving 100% that bullshit and ass kissing was a better way.
If we work 8 hours (a seeming 100%) and then we do overtime, we are taught to believe we’ve given 110% for that effort. We haven’t. We’ve accepted that we are willing to work overtime (for greater pay sometimes, sometimes not)…but in reality…whatever we give is our own personal 100%. In those times we tell our bosses we just cannot work overtime today, it also doesn’t mean we gave 90%, it’s just that on that day…8 hours was the 100% we had to give. That is common sense; if we all lived that way…it would all work fine.
When people put in power stretch our 100% beyond what we have to give and beyond what we can all collectively manage to pay back, then we aren’t beyond 100%, we are at failure. You see, math proves that there is no greater number we can all give greater than 100%. Call it 1000%, call it infinity, call it “futures”, call it national debt. Whatever value you put on it other than 100%, it equals failure and demise. Your banker (when your account is overdrawn) will cease your cash flow. Your power company will turn your lights off when you cannot achieve 100% of your bill payment. Your child’s daycare center will lock the door on you if you cannot find the 100% brand of payment they require. We all know this and we live within those means. People that you OWE something to will NOT extend your REALITY beyond 100%. There is no 150% when you are the one OWING. It’s ONLY the ones TAKING that preach percentages beyond 100%.
Some give their children, friends, or local citizens more than they have coming (i.e. bailing out troubled folks over and over). We all give friends and family money. At some point though (far longer for some than others) you have to quit giving. At SOME POINT even the “most well intended” supporters have to say NO MORE. So many people put their own well being at risk or demise because they think they are helping those in need. At which point you’re 100% makes YOU WEAK while those taking your 100% are becoming seemingly STRONG yet giving very little in return, you are NOT HELPING…you are HURTING an entire nation. In reality…YOU are giving to an EXTREME your 100%.
In the “old days” there was no money value placed on 100%. A barter system allowed folks to give of talent, effort, and spirit of what they had; while those receiving gave back a talent, effort, or spirit unique to them. Each gave 100%, and each party felt equally compensated. Even when dollar values became placed on said trades, those parties involved felt justifiably compensated. Pride was accomplished, and success followed for the masses. That is not the case today. Today, it’s all about who can “one-up” the other, as if getting “one-up” on the next guy equals success. It equals failure.
Let me place a definitive point here. If I own a bigger house than another, does that mean I "one-up'ed" the other guy?...NO. I came from nothing monetarily, but I have always been rich in love and teaching. I try today each day to give 100%. There were times when I didn't have much, and there were times when I didn't give 100%. Even today when I "think" I give 100%, I know some days I could and should give a little more and try a little harder. Prosperity on whichever level one might think they are above another doesn't mean those with less money give less.
The people in this world I know, love, and respect the highest have all sorts of incomes. I know some very wealthy people that I respect highly and model some of my actions in life behind. I know and love many more people that give 100% each day, but have little monetarily, but they give me untold fortunes by their example in ATTITUDE. But those same people with "less" are just as happy as the folks with "more" are happy. I fit somewhere in the middle. I am blessed in materials and I am blessed with love. I am blessed with intimate knowledge of wonderful people in every "status level".
I've learned that with truly happy and successful people...belongings, homes, cars, and etc. are a very small portion of what makes a human spirit. People making it successfully on their own...people actually paying their bills on time as they responsibly committed themselves to doing...people who pay rent, raise kids, and still have a couple of bucks to buy a burger, go on a trip, or splurge on something that feels good to their family are successful. "Status" levels are just titles that folks on the bullshit and ass kissing levels placed upon the rest of us. People that can add 2+2 and get 4, and people that don't buy into something beyond 100% are really happy, no matter how big or small their 4 or 100 is. Our founding fathers got that concept.
I know women / men that get all frothy over a new $100,000 car or boat. I know folks that get excited to go to McDonalds and get that sweet $.25 ice cream cone. But, both those people can get together on Saturday night and have a great time together. There is no jealousy and no comparison, there is just common friendship. That is true Americana.
WE HAVE TO GET BACK TO THE CONCEPT OF ATTITUDE! We all have to DEMAND of each other, up to AND MOST IMPORTANTLY OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS, that 100% is IT...THAT IS SUCCESS, but no more of trying to get us to give BEYOND. It is not mathematically possible. Those trying (us…we the people), don’t possibly have more than 100% to give.
It all goes back to another old cliché’ but one MOST IMPORTANT TODAY. “All gave some…some gave ALL”. While that most beautiful cliché’ was accredited to servicemen in war…turn it to reality. Let's pretend that the saying didn't have anything to do with our wonderful and selfless servicemen and women. Let's pretend that "All gave SOME and SOME gave ALL" was just a saying given to day to day life.
Bums, homeless, regular citizens, young and old, silly rich and grossly poor…ALL GIVE SOME…but some give ALL. It needs to be more even. Our government has taken the good nature of those of us willing to give all beyond what we can give, and hasn’t made any allowances for those that just give some. Some is not enough. Some need to work on their ATTITUDE.
Friday, May 9
Here’s a perfect example of liberal minded “policies” and wasteful overkill in action. Some poor gentleman in a
NOTE: IN THE OFFICIAL RESPONSE…THERE WAS NO DANGER! If there was NO DANGER then WHY do we keep on doing these costly and senseless things like massive lockdowns? Ridiculous I tell you!
Monday, May 5
A reader sends this along and I couldn’t agree more:
It's time to re-evaluate our involvement.