Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Commander or a Fool - I don't know.

April 30, 2014.

I asked Colonel Harry Rilley - Director, Operation American Spring, pointed questions, seeking to gauge his understanding of the Emergency Powers Tyranny in which we live.  His answer to me, amounted to, "Awe Shucks, I don't know. " 

My Uncle Larry Thomas, went ashore on D-Day, then endured the Battle of the Bulge. They made many movies about the exploits of his Battalion.  One day, in the early 1970s we were having a deep discussion on his front lawn.  He was battling cancer and didn't know it yet. That day he was grieving watching a little seven year old girl across the street dying of leukemia.  We were in his yard across the street watching her play on play-sets and a play house he had made for her. Looking at her I could see him grieving, uncertain how long she would be around. Uncle Larry said to me, “Butch, you know I went ashore on D-Day . . . well you know . . . You see, I've been there and I've been back.  Do you know where 'there' is?”
“Yeah, hell.  I don't talk about it because five seconds of the memory of that hell has the power to ruin a month of these times.   You see. I can't talk about it.”
“I understand.” 
“I don't know why, but I think you do.” There was a long silence. He smoked a cigarette, his left eye closed to the sting of the smoke. In a moment he said, “So you know, so you understand, that I've been to hell and back.”
“Bubba, I don't know. I can't imagine.”
He looked at me for a long time after that rebuff and said, “Do you understand the stories that, that woman Corrie Ten Boom has told you?”  I winced.  I didn't know he knew about my friendship with Corrie. “Just understand what I'm telling you, okay?”
I nodded that I would.  He reached under the bush and retrieved a bottle and took a swig. Then he continued, “You see, I've been there, to hell and back and in all these years there is one thing that I have learned for certain.”

To say the air was electrified would be an understatement.  I felt an unusual sense of peace.  I looked at Uncle Larry and he was a thousand miles away, watching the little girl happily play in the sunset, knowing that her sunsets were numbered and in weeks or at best months she would die.  He took another drink of the “spring water” he kept under the front bush, because his wife didn't like him drinking spring water.  What seemed like an interminable length of time he stood in silence his eyes watching her, in mellow light (my most beautiful and meaningful memories of him to this day). 
Finally hoping to gain the understanding of the experience of that brave soul, I asked, “Uncle Larry, What did you learn for certain?” 
He smiled at me with deep love, almost a playful smile, but with tears welling in his eyes and he said, “Shit, Butch. I don't know.” 

I shared that story so that you can understand that I don't judge the heart or soul or bravery or accomplishments, or sincerity of  Colonel Harry Rilley - Director, Operation American Spring. What I question is his knowledge.  To follow a leader who will not express clear knowledge of the mutual enemy we face, seems more than fool-hearty to me.  There are Colonels and there are Corporals, and Colonels ought to be able to conjugate his verbs and also be an expert on the enemy against which he intends to lead you  into battle.  

My closest friend in the world, is a Retired full-bird Air Force Colonel, who was commander of all the Air Force Hospitals across the globe.  I was his mentor in his retirement as he accomplished Seminary.  He is an organized and brilliant man, whose insights I have depended upon, in decisions of life and death for nearly two decades now.  Understanding the ignorance of a beloved dear Uncle, and following someone into battle are two very different things.  I left last night's conversations about The American Spring, not just disappointed, but GRIEVED.  

Here is a link for Retired Colonel Harry Rilley – Director, Operation American Spring.  It takes an absolute innocent with good intentions (Like my uncle Larry) or an absolute fool to allow yourself to appear on “before it is news.”

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