A TRIBUTE TO AMERICA’S HEROES

In the mid 1980’s I had the privilege of meeting some veterans of the 158th Regimental Combat Team, aOLD HEROES - Platform World War II U.S. Army fighting outfit that had been known as the “Bushmasters.” They were attending an East Coast reunion of their old unit near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The Bushmasters took their name from a deadly snake in Panama where the men trained before entering the war in the South Pacific. There they were turned into what was to become known as one of the toughest, most feared American combat units in the Pacific Theater.

When I arrived at the reunion hotel, I was slightly surprised to find a room full of old men. What should I have expected? After all, it was four decades since the end of their war. It occurred to me as I looked at the gray-haired veterans to wonder what it was that made them the fierce fighters so revered by General Douglas MacArthur and so dreaded by Japanese soldiers who had the misfortune of facing them in the jungles and on the beaches in the South Pacific.

While talking with the men, I heard story upon story of incidents during the years they spent in battles from New Guinea to the Philippines. Some of the tales, frankly, appeared far-fetched. But, with each anecdote, twenty or so other men standing within earshot would nod, validating events related by the others.

I happened to mention that some of the incidents sounded familiar and asked whether their stories had ever been dramatized in the movies.

The laughter was deafening.

“Yeah,” one of the men said. “A lot of movies. But the films were usually about the U.S. Marines.”

The 158th was not a large force. It began as an Arizona National Guard unit with approximately three-thousand men. It was an unusually small group considering the big job ahead. Still, undermanned and the odds weighed heavily against them on so many occasions, the American soldiers won the day . . . and a great many terrifying nights.

As Japanese troops who went up against them soon learned, being compared with the reputation of the venomous snake from which the Bushmasters got their name was a frightening understatement.

Most striking was the fact that these old men had retained their humanity. These were not cold killers. They were people just like those we see in the supermarket aisles and those with their families next to us in restaurants, in theater lines, and at the gas pumps. Something happened to them out there that turned those “ordinary” men into extraordinary warriors.

It was their job to save the world. And they did.

There were other WWII combat units, of course. I just happened to have met these men personally. I’m certain other outfits also fought hard and well. “Old Heroes” is a work of fiction. The idea came to me after my brief meeting with the real-life veterans and convinced me that under similar circumstances today, even at their advanced ages, these men and others like them would rise to the challenge again, just as they had during those terrible war years so long ago.

Those I encountered that day in a hotel meeting room and all the men who fought and died on those South Pacific islands deserve my best effort in honoring them. OLD HEROES is a novel that was done with great affection and respect. I hope all those who participated in the war will accept this work in the admiring spirit intended.

Steve Liddick, Author

 

OLD HEROES is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Old-Heroes-Steve-Liddick/dp/097141937X/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1472406493&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=steve+liddick

 

PUT HUMANITY BACK IN HUMAN NATURE

I suppose it’s human nature to be wary of an individual who has offended, injured, disrespected, or committed a crime against us. It is natural to be reluctant to allow that person to ever get close to us again or to enjoy a position of trust.
But is it right to distrust an entire race, religion, occupational group, or political body because of the actions of a few? That kind of thinking got Japanese-Americans imprisoned during WWII. They looked like the enemy, so they were treated like the enemy and locked up—just in case.
There is a theory making the rounds these days that, since a group of terrorists using Islam as its umbrella organization is forcing a malignant version of Islam on the world, then all followers of Islam must also be bad and all Muslims should be booted out of America and no more allowed in.
There were good Germans during World War II who fought against the Nazis and supported the Jews that were so hated by Adolph Hitler and his evil band of followers. There are Muslims who resent that their religion has been hijacked by a band of thugs that believes that those who do not think as they do should be killed.
As difficult as it might be to believe, there are more good members than bad ones in our gridlocked Congress. Crooked, self-serving politicians are in the minority. The other kind are in the news, hungry for your attention and their aspirations for re-election and higher office.
There are a lot of good cops out there, working to make their cities and towns safe. It is wrong to target all police because of a few rogues.
Let’s not punish the honorable and the innocent while punishing the guilty.
Let’s not treat everyone like the worst one

WANTED: UNIFYING CRISIS

Proof of how people pull together in a crisis happens all around us nearly every week. When a madman killed 49 people in an Orlando club, the entire community pulled together. We all remember Boston after the marathon bombing. Strangers came to the rescue of the injured. It happens in war, too. Soldiers faced daily with death rely on each other as they never had in civilian life.
Why then, can’t we find that kind of reliance on each other in everyday life?
The answer may be that we are too comfortable. Nothing in the physical sense is threatening us in an average day.
Maybe what the world needs is a great tragedy to bring us all together. Sad, isn’t it, that the only way we give of ourselves is in an emergency; one that requires us to be reliable so that we can rely on others for our own protection.
There are people out there who could benefit from what we know and what we can do that they do not have the skills, knowledge or resources to do for themselves.
I’d like to see a world-wide outreach movement; people doing good, helping others just because it’s the right thing to do, not just for self-preservation.
And let’s do it before the pandemic, the terrorist attack, the famine, the economic collapse. If you understand that you will have to do it then, you need to understand that you have to do it now.

Steve Liddick, Author of “All That Time.”

BULLYING BEHAVIOR MUST BE CHANGED EARLY

Babies see themselves as the center of the universe. They expect to be indulged. For the most part, they are. Left to their own devices children can be selfish and demanding. Taken to the extreme they can try to dominate others physically and psychologically. As they grow out of their babyhood they are expected to learn consideration for others. Unless that behavior is interrupted in the formative years antisocial behavior will become more pronounced as they grow to adolescence and adulthood. It’s up to the parents to show the child that, while a certain degree of assertiveness is acceptable as a way of making their way in the world, the instinct must be moderated in the very young before it can turn into unacceptable behavior beyond adolescence; spousal abuse, criminal assault, sexual assault, workplace aggression, etc.

https://www.amazon.com/All-That-Time-Steve-Liddick/dp/0971419345/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1470331979&sr=8-1&keywords=steve+liddick

 

CHILDHOOD BULLYING TRAUMA CARRIES FORTH

Being bullied in childhood can have a devastating effect on the victim well into his and her adult years. Similar to combat trauma where the victim suffers flashbacks, low self-esteem, a lack of professional success and personal fulfillment. For many, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that can ruin lives as surely in a child as if their trauma came from a wartime battlefield.
Bullies go for the weak, the quiet, the “different.” Victims are often afraid to tell anyone the problem for fear of making things worse . . . or that no one will believe them.
It is imperative that parents, friends, school officials learn to recognize the signs: changes in behavior; suddenly getting lower grades in school; withdrawn; spending too much time alone.
Anyone witnessing bullying should step in on behalf of the victim and report such incidents to those who can do something about it, including law enforcement.
The just published novel, “All That Time” deals with the effects of childhood bullying that linger in a 55-year-old university computer science professor. A trip back in time to his adolescence gives him a new perspective on what happened to him.

https://www.amazon.com/All-That-Time-Steve-Liddick/dp/0971419345/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1470331979&sr=8-1&keywords=steve+liddick

IS CHILD ABUSE MORE PREVALENT TODAY?

Is there more child abuse today than in the past or are we just hearing more about it in this hyper-communication era? Sometimes it seems as though there is a fiend on every street corner in America. My novel, All That Time deals in part with a case of child sexual abuse in the 1960s and how it was resolved.

https://www.amazon.com/All-That-Time-Steve-Liddick/dp/0971419345/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1470331979&sr=8-1&keywords=steve+liddick

 

BULLYING DOES NOT STOP AT CHILDHOOD

We hear a lot about young people whose lives have been dramatically affected by bullying. Some have even ended their lives because the pressure was too much to bear. Those who survive to adulthood often carry with them wounds that have never healed. Being made to feel worthless or unacceptable as a child can impact the adult years, as well. Damaged self-esteem can affect future personal relationships, professional success, lifetime earnings. There are bullies in the adult world, as well; the domineering boss, the back-stabbing fellow employee, the abusive spouse. Those who were abused when they were young may not have the confidence to resist the adult bully. The psychological effects of bullying can be even more damaging than physical abuse in the long term.

My new novel, All That Time is about Ted McBride, a man whose life has been damaged by the bullies of his childhood, up through adolescence . . . and how it took a trip back in time to combat his demons. All About Time is now available in paperback at bookstores and on-line booksellers and as a digital download through all the major Internet eBook distributors.

novel, fiction, time travel, fantasy

HOW ACCURATE ARE OUR MEMORIES?

We think we have accurate memories of people and events, but do we really? One theory has it that we don’t actually remember those people, places and events. Rather, each time we think of something from the past the image changes a little . . . to the point where the thought is nothing like the original. It may explain why Uncle Fred remembers something that happened one way and Aunt Flo gets upset with him because she recalls it very differently. My new novel, “All That Time,” explores the question. Now available in paperback and ebook.

YOUR FIRST CAR

Remember your first car? It was more than a car, really. It was freedom. It expanded your world from the neighborhood you walked around in, the town you rode a bicycle in. Now you could go to the horizon and beyond. Well, you could go as far as your gas budget would take you and that little band of youthful friends. And the car came into your life just about the same time as you were getting more interested in the opposite gender. That was another world expander of a sort. Nothing like that first car. And no car since then has meant as much. Ever think about what happened to that first car?  Ever wonder what  happened to that band of pals? Ever think about that first gender opposite? Ever wonder what happened to all those years that went by so fast since that first car?

YOU SAY GRANDMA ONLY GOT AN EIGHTH GRADE EDUCATION?

Wow! I doubt if many adults and children of today could pass this exam.  Wouldn’t it Be wonderful if our children were being taught these life skills today?

1895 8th grade final exam

Take this test and share it with your more literate friends..
What it took to get an 8th grade education in 1895…

Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents stated that they only had an 8th grade education? Well, check this out. Could any of us have passed the 8th grade in 1895? This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina, Kansas. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

 

8th Grade Final Exam: Salina, KS – 1895

Grammar (Time, one hour)

  1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
  2. Name the parts of speech and define those that

have no modifications.

  1. Define verse, stanza and paragraph.
  2. What are the principal parts of a verb?  Give principal parts of ‘lie,”play,’ and ‘run.’
  3. Define case; illustrate each case.
  4. What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.

7-10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

Arithmetic (Time,1 hour 15 minutes)

  1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
  2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
  3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1,050 lbs. For tare?
  4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
  5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton.
  6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
  7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft.. Long at $20 per metre?
  8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
  9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?
  10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)

  1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.
  2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
  3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
  4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
  5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
  6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
  7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
  8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.

Orthography (Time, one hour)

[Do we even know what this is??]

  1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication.
  2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
  3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals.
  4. Give four substitutes for caret ‘u.’ (HUH?)
  5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e.’ Name two exceptions under each rule.
  6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
  7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis-mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
  8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
  9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
  10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

Geography (Time, one hour)

  1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
  2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?
  3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
  4. Describe the mountains of North America.
  5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.
  6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
  7. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
  8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
  9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
  10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete.

    Gives the saying ‘he only had an 8th grade education’ a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?! No wonder they dropped out after 8th grade. They already knew more than they needed to know!

     

Have fun with this…pass it on so we’re not the only ones who feel stupid!!!