In America you can Still have Opinions

AL Vasquez

Opinion Journalist

It is interesting how the First Amendment of the Constitution is treated by certain elements of the political realm. Weekly, I get feedback on the articles I write. This to me is encouraging that the school system is so effective; reading at the fifth grade level is still attainable by the masses. What baffles my mind is the fact many responders take issue with what I say and must be reminded an “Opinion Journalist” shares opinions not hope and change. Some are upset about the fact I do not believe as they do. I use upset as a kind term. Politically instigated complainers are usually mindless and function as directed robots that have a list of talking points issued to them by an envoy of God. God help you if you attempt to use the mind you have personally cultivated based on your life experiences.
I have to take all the “feedback” as it comes and adjust my thoughts accordingly. A click to the right, a click to the left and in the end, it is what it is! I take my inspiration from an ol buddy of mine who I have not seen nor heard of for decades. Lord knows if he is still with us although I am reminded of him often. I will give you a glimpse into a world I seldom venture into with my readers.
One day while in the Marine Corps I asked my best friend who had been in the Corps for nearly four years and was still a Private, the lowest rank in the Corps after recruit. This gives you an idea on his personal skills in dealing with superiors. His name is Lawrence Cahill and he had just been thoroughly chewed out for an unkempt uniform by a starched Second Lieutenant barely out of Officers Candidate School. The question was “How’d it go today Cahill?” With black streams of sweat racing down his face, cartridge belt empty on his green, battered utility uniform, his first aid kit a fixture on the ammo belt remained unopened. His canteen cover unclasped, he sat down beside me on his camo covered helmet .Slowly he pulled out his canteen from the faded green canvas cover. He swirled it to sense if it had any liquid and you could hear the remnants of perhaps a mouthful of water in an otherwise empty aluminum dented jar. You could see in his face more years of life than his 22 years on earth should have given him. He had seen and lived what most only read about. This was the Corps and it is what it is! Cahill took a deep breath, leaned against a stuffed dirty laundry bag, gently placed his rifle next to him and swigged his last mouthful of water. He looked at me with a broad smile on his face, the type of smile you would see on a man who just won a free trip to Vegas and said “Squez, today I have been shot at and missed and shit at and hit, that my friend makes me a winner!” In the tumultuous world we lived in, I take pleasure in revisiting his wise assessment of how being fortunate is defined. Daily we are confronted with choices of good or bad and for living in the United States of America, we are the winners. Leadership and action is reality. Hope and change is just a slogan.