On Monday, September 5, 2016, Joe Hosteen Kellwood, one of the few remaining Navajo Code Talkers passed away at the age of 95.
As many people who read this blog will know, the use of codes before and during military engagements is mandatory lest the enemies knows the disposition of forces, the plans for those forces and are then able to respond to the plan. Referring to the use of codes and deceptions, Winston Churchill, thought that, during a time of war, the truth was so important that it required a bodyguard of lies to protect it. In 1942, a man named Philip Johnston thought of a code he thought unbreakable by the enemy. A code based on the Navajo language. Philip Johnston was the son of Missionaries who had grown up on the Navajo Indian Reservations and who had spent his entire early life with the children and adults of the Tribe. Mr. Johnston became fluent in the language of the Navajo and was also steeped in their customs. Early in the war Mr. Johnston realized that the Navajo Language was unlike any other in the world and he also realized that communications during battle could be completed using Members of the Navajo Tribe who had been properly trained in the use of codes. All of the Navajo Code Talkers that went to war in World War II were members of the United States Marine Corps.
The original group of Navajo Code Talkers numbered 30 but one of them dropped out before he began training trimming the number to 29. Mr. Joe Hosteen Kellwood was one of those original 29 Navajo Code Talkers and I am sure that he is responsible for saving the lives of thousands of Marines as he passed information to battle Commanders through other Navajo Code Talkers. After the war, the Japanese admitted that the Navajo Code was one of the few that the were not able to break.
Mr. Kellwood, from one Marine to another, Semper Fidelis and thank you for your service to this great Country. Now, as we say in our Hymn, you guard the streets of heaven and every Marine salutes you. You and your memory will live on in the hearts of every Marine and you are one of those great men who has defined Semper Fidelis for all of us. Rest in Peace, Sir.
OK, I am not going to write a blog defending the Police Officers of Ferguson, MO, New York City, NY or any other Jurisdiction for that matter because to do so only invites those who will never be satisfied with the results of our justice system to respond in a vehement fashion. By the way, regardless of the outcome of the trial, I am still not entirely convinced that OJ didn’t take the life of two people in Brentwood CA. But, I am not going to burn down my house because of that.
My entire point in writing this blog entry is summed up in the title. When you are told to do something by an Officer of the Law, unless it puts you or someone else in danger, DO IT. Believe me, there will be any number of times and places for you to disagree with what the Officer has ordered you to do. If you are charged with a crime, you will have ample opportunity to present your case in the courts of your State or City and a Neutral Finder of Fact will determine the legitimacy of the arrest and detention. If you are not charged with a crime and the Officer has ordered you to do something that you feel is not justified under the circumstances (Like, don’t walk in the middle of the street because you might be struck by a motor vehicle and severely injured or killed), then you have every right to take your grievance to the Local Authorities and make your complaint. I assure you that, in most cases, you will get a fair investigation and hearing of your complaint and the Local Authorities will notify you of the disposition of your complaint. This is called, “Living within the system”. Lord knows that there are people in this great Country of ours who take advantage of the “system” each and every day of their lives but, when the system works against them they riot and loot. Police Officers live with the “system” far more often than your average citizen. Police Officers lose cases every day where they know without a doubt that the accused committed the crime with which they are charged but they don’t leave the courthouse and burn their patrol car when they lose a case. They “Live within the system”. They don’t like it any more than anyone else does when they lose but they live with it and get on with their lives.
Now for a question; If Michael Brown would have moved off of the street and onto the sidewalk and if Eric Garner would have submitted peacefully to arrest do you not think they would both be alive today? Let me answer that for you; YES, they both would be alive today because Law Enforcement Officers do not go to work each day planning on shooting someone or forcibly subduing someone who refuses to follow simple instructions. Every Police Officer that I know wishes that each of his or her arrests of suspects or contacts with the general public end in a very peaceful manner but, with that said, they also know that they cannot be intimidated in backing away from an arrest or in ensuring the safety of someone because they just refuse to comply with simple instructions. They have a sworn duty to uphold the law and protect you even if you don’t want them to.
So please, I beg of you, when you are given some simple instructions, please Just Do What The Nice Law Enforcement Officer Asks and we will not suffer the result of endless destruction, looting and riots that some people feel are justified when someone does not follow simple instructions.
Sitting here at my computer on this, the 239th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps, I have finally realized that I owe a huge Thank You to four men who probably never really wanted or thought they would get a thank you. Those four men are the Drill Instructors who took 75 boys and turned them into Marines.
Platoon 141 began training at the Marine Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina in June of 1965 and graduated in September just as the war in Vietnam was starting to warm up. Most of the 75 Marines of Platoon 141 went on to serve in Vietnam and some of their names are etched forever in the black granite of the Vietnam War Memorial in our Nation’s Capital. I can truthfully say that, during the three months of recruit training these four men were at most times despised for the treatment that they doled out to us. That treatment was intended to turn us into United States Marines and, I will tell you, it worked.
I can also truthfully say, and almost every Marine will agree, that the day we boarded the buses to leave Parris Island and we shook our Drill Instructors hands, each of us wondered what we would do now that there would be no one to tell us when to get out of the rack, when to eat or when to go to bed at night. These four men had taken the 75 boys of Platoon 141 and turned them into Marines and now they wouldn’t be there to lead us.
Well, I learned a lesson about people who have an effect on your life forever. These four men and what they taught me continued to lead me as my life progressed and as I passed through my career as a member of the Pennsylvania State Police. Every success that I had in my career can be directly attributed to my Parents and to the United States Marine Corps but specifically to these four men who taught us that you must never let your buddy down and that the success of the group is dependent upon the success of every individual in the group. If you fail, the group may fail also, therefore you must strive to succeed for the sake of everyone. They also taught us that Semper Fidelis was more than just a motto. It is a commitment to be always faithful to your Family, Country and Corps. It is a way of life that most Marines take very seriously until the day that they leave this life to guard the streets of Heaven.
I would mention the names of these four men but I don’t want to embarrass them in any way. But, have no doubt, I remember very clearly those four names and I remember, even after 49 years how those men looked and carried themselves as examples to the 75 boys who became Marines in 1965. Thank you Gentlemen; it was an honor being a recruit in Platoon 141.
Tomorrow morning in the City of Scranton, Pennsylvania there will be a Mass of Christian Burial for Corporal Bryon Dickson, Pennsylvania State Police who was assassinated by a coward who concealed himself in a wooded area across from the Pennsylvania State Police Station at Blooming Grove. There will be hundreds, if not thousands of Police Officers and Public Safety Professionals from all over Pennsylvania and this Nation as well as Canada. They will come to honor the memory of Cpl. Dickson and also to honor the heroism that he displayed each and every day just by putting on the uniform of the Pennsylvania State Police and going to work with a true desire to serve the people of the Commonwealth to the best of his ability. I can tell you from personal experience that every person in attendance at that Mass will shed tears for Cpl. Dickson and especially for his wife and his two little boys who now face a life without a Husband and Father whose only desire was to live the Call of Honor of the Pennsylvania State Police: I am a Pennsylvania State Trooper, a soldier of the law. To me is entrusted the honor of the force. I must serve honestly, faithfully, and if need be, lay down my life as others have done before me, rather than swerve from the path of duty. It is my duty to obey the law and to enforce it without any consideration of class, color, creed or condition. It is also my duty to be of service to anyone who may be in danger or distress, and at all times so conduct myself that the honor of the force may be upheld. During the assassination of Cpl. Dixon, Trooper Alex Douglass was shot and critically wounded. Tpr. Douglass is recuperating in the hospital at this time and our prayers for his speedy recovery and his return to duty are with him and his Family. Now, to the coward who took Cpl. Dickson’s life and critically wounded Tpr. Douglass; when you are apprehended, you can rest assured that the Law Enforcement Professional who apprehends you will respect every right given to you by the Constitution of Pennsylvania and the Constitution of the United States. You will be treated with respect, even though you don’t deserve the respect of any human being, much less that of any Member of the Pennsylvania State Police. Why will you be treated in a dignified manner when you do not deserve it? In case you missed it, read the Pennsylvania State Police Call of Honor above. I know the Men and Women of the Pennsylvania State Police, I know how they are trained and I know that they will do the right thing, at the right time and for the right reason. They will expect nothing less from themselves. It is my prayer that Cpl. Dickson finds peace in the arms of a loving God and that he continues to watch over his Family and all of his Colleagues left behind.
As I admitted in my previous blog entry on Brad Thor’s newest action thriller, “Act of War”, I am and will always be a slow reader. Don’t ask me why, it is just the way I read and I enjoy it that way so I don’t intend to change at this late stage.
With that being said, I finally reached the TruckVault reference in Brad Thor’s “Act of War” and I must admit that Brad truly has a handle on the quality and utility of TruckVault’s Secure In-Vehicle Storage systems. His description of Scott Harvath’s TruckVault as a virtual “Armory” in the cargo area of his vehicle is spot on. As Brad lists the various weapons and equipment that Scott removes from the TruckVault you get the idea of just how secure a TruckVault truly is and exactly why Brad believes in our product enough to include a mention of it in his book.
Our first defense against theft is the “out of sight, out of mind” concept. When a TruckVault is properly installed in a vehicle, any person looking into the locked cargo area through the window will only see what appears to be the floor of the cargo area as TruckVault products are designed to fit into the vehicle wall to wall. In addition, the matching of the TruckVault carpet color to the interior carpet color of the vehicle assists with giving this impression. Further defenses against unauthorized entry are provided in every TruckVault. They include, anti-pry devices built into the drawer and top of the unit along with a heavy duty angle iron along the top front of the TruckVault which strengthens the unit against a pry type entry. All of the locks provided by TruckVault are the best in the industry and we continue to study new lock products as they come on the market in an attempt to stay ahead of the curve and ahead of the crooks.
Receiving and reading this prepublication copy of “Act of War” has been the highlight of my year. As I continue to read, “Act of War” I also continue to hope that there really are people out there like Scott Harvath who dedicate their lives and their sacred honor to the defense of this great Republic. All of us at TruckVault want to thank Brad for giving Scott Harvath a TruckVault for his vehicle and for taking the time to give his readers a very accurate description of what TruckVault is and what it is capable of.
On a personal note, I want to thank Brad once more for remembering me and for the sending me “Act of War”. I don’t claim to have any talent for book review but, in a future blog, I will try my best to give you my thoughts on “Act of War”.
I have been working for TruckVault for seven years now and each year, I have had the opportunity to represent the Company at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) held every year in January. At every one of the seven shows I have worked, I have had the opportunity to meet and, sometime speak with a celebrity. This year, I had the opportunity and honor to meet my favorite author, Mr. Brad Thor. Naturally, I was star struck but Brad turned out to be one of the most approachable celebrities that I have had the pleasure to meet. He spent a significant amount of time talking to me and even went so far as to tell me that he was honored that I read his books.
During our conversation, Brad told me that his new book would be coming out this summer and he promised to send me an advance copy so that I could enjoy it before the actual publication date. He hinted that he was going to include a reference to TruckVault in his new novel and we spent a good bit of time just talking about TruckVault products. Now, I must say that, if I did not get the advance copy of the book, it would have been alright because I can only imagine how busy someone like Brad is and how easy it is to forget that you told someone at a trade show that you would send them a copy of your book. Well, yesterday the United States Postal Service delivered a package which contained Brad Thor’s latest novel, “Act of War”. I was overwhelmed and felt very privileged to have this book in my hands. The fact that Brad would actually remember to send it to me shows that he is a man of his word and truly cares about his readers and fans.
I started to read “Act of War” last evening but I must admit that I am not a graduate of the Evelyn Wood Speed Reading course but I read slowly so that I can truly enjoy what the author has worked very hard to portray for me. Thus far, I will tell you that “Act of War” will be one of the best Brad Thor thrillers rivaling all that have come before. I have yet to get to the TruckVault reference but I know that it is there as it was marked for me by someone at our home office who sent me a photo of the reference. Personally, I am going to wait to arrive at that place in the book and let Brad tell me how Scott Harvath uses his TruckVault.
I just want to take this opportunity to thank Brad for remembering me and for remembering to send me an advance copy of “Act of War” and also for mentioning TruckVault in his book. Obviously Brad is impressed with the quality and security of TruckVault’s Secure In-Vehicle Storage Systems. For every other person who is eagerly awaiting this book, it will be available on July 8 and I suggest that you get it as soon as possible. For those of you who currently have not read any of Brad’s work, I encourage you to do so and, before you start, go to Brad’s Website, www.BradThor.com where you can obtain information about Brad’s work and a list of his novels in order which is the best way to read them. Believe me, you will not be disappointed.
Today, after watching some of the ceremonies commemorating the beginning of Operation Overlord, better known as D-Day, I feel compelled to pay homage to the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Coast Guardsmen and Merchant Marine Sailors who took part in that Operation and especially those men who paid the ultimate price on the beaches of Normandy.
Every time, I see one of these commemorations, be it at Normandy, Pearl Harbor or at any other piece of hallowed ground and I see the men who went to war out of a true passion to do their part to serve this Nation, I am in awe. Unfortunately, there are fewer of those men to attend these commemorations and soon they will have all passed into history and that will be a very sad day indeed as these men (and women) changed the face of the world and changed the history of this world in a very positive way.
As I watched the ceremony today, I learned some facts that I never knew before. Of the more than six thousand men buried in the U.S. Military Cemetery at Normandy, thirty three Brothers and one Father and Son are buried next to each other. On the first day of fighting, over 2500 American lives were lost but, in spite of that, the Allied Forces took the beaches of Normandy and thus began the fall of the Axis powers. These facts are only a small part of the entire story but the realization that the families of these men each suffered an unimaginable loss is something that humbles me.
As I said, I am in awe of what these men did, the sacrifices they made and the complete dedication to God, Country and Family that they displayed. I will admit to having a tear in my eye as I watched the D-Day survivors and realized how much we really owe these men.
SHOT Show 2014 is history and I have to say that this SHOT show was far and away the very best show that I have experienced in my seven years working for TruckVault and attending the show. From the very beginning, crowds of attendees mobbed the TruckVault booth keeping all of us busy demonstrating both our TruckVault, New Prisoner Partition and ShotLock Products. The installation of the TruckVault in the 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe was a huge hit with everyone who visited us and the upgrade to our Table Extension Option got plenty of attention.
This year, TruckVault was very proud to introduce Ms. Kim Rhode, five time Olympic Medalist and 14 time National Trap and Skeet Shooting Champion to our customers. Kim spent at least one hour each day with us signing autographs and talking with her fans. Kim brought along her Olympic Medals and gave her fans an opportunity to try them on and be photographed with her and the medals. It was truly a thrill for every one of us at TruckVault and for all of our customers and Kim’s fans. We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with Kim as she works and trains for the upcoming World Trap and Skeet Championship as well as the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro Brazil.
It seems that, every year at SHOT show we have at least one or more celebrities stop at the booth and this year was no exception. A real personal thrill for me was a visit by the #1 New York Times Best Selling Author, Brad Thor. Brad has been called “the master of thrillers,” “as current as tomorrow’s headlines,” “quite possibly the next coming of Robert Ludlum,” and “America’s favorite author.” Brad spent some time talking with me and discussing the TruckVault that we had on display in our 2014 Tahoe. As I said, it was a real pleasure to have Brad stop by our booth and discover that he is a fan of TruckVault. Almost forgot. Rumor has it that Scot Harvath (Brad’s recurring character) will have a TruckVault very soon. Just rumor, but you will have to read Brad’s upcoming titles to find out.
Best Regards and thanks to everyone who made SHOT show a great experience again this year.
Once again this year, TruckVault will be exhibiting at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas Nevada. SHOT Show this year will be held January 14 – 17 with show hours 8:30 – 5:30 Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and 8:30 – 4:00 on Friday.
We will once again be exhibiting in the Sands Expo Center Booth Number 12879 which is located along the rear wall of the Exhibit Hall. Our new Chevrolet Tahoe will be there with us and will be equipped with the latest in TruckVault innovations. We will also bring along some of our ShotLock Products which will include the brand new ShotLock solution for AR frame rifles.
Each day beginning at 8:30 Kim Rhode, American Skeet Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist from Team Berretta will be at our booth for one hour so be sure to stop by and see Kim.
As always, we look forward to meeting with all of our friends and customers both present and future and we will be happy to spend as much time as you need discussing the TruckVault family of products.
The Spokane Washington Police Department says in a press release that officers responded to reports of an assault Wednesday and found the victim, 88-year-old Delbert Belton, in his car with serious head injuries. He died Thursday in the hospital.
Friends identified Mr. Belton, and say he was sitting outside a lodge for the Fraternal Order of the Eagles when he was attacked. Information indicated that Mr. Belton was beaten with heavy metal flashlights.
Mr. Belton, known to his friends as “Shorty” was a Veteran of World War 2 where he fought in the Battle of Okinawa and was injured when he was shot in the leg. Reports by the Spokane Police indicate that Mr. Belton was the victim of a robbery perpetrated by two gutless and cowardly young punks who didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to take on someone who could defend themselves. These two cowards obviously chose Mr. Belton at random and decided that it would be “cool” to rip off a man who was too old to defend himself against two young punks who had nothing better to do and considered Mr. Belton’s possessions theirs because “he had it and they wanted it”. God forbid that these two and their ilk would go out, get a job and contribute to the world they live in. Why work when the Government will give you whatever you want. A free phone, SNAP Benefits, Housing Benefits, etc. etc. Then whatever the Government doesn’t provide you can always steal from someone like Mr. Belton because they are an easy mark and, what the heck, you deserve it.
I am personally sick and tired of the rhetoric and the talking heads who just plain refuse to admit that the majority of the ills affecting the poor communities is the lack of a Father in the home who takes responsibility and demands accountability from his offspring. These so called Men and Women who bring forth children merely for the purpose of increasing and perpetuating their eligibility for Government Welfare need to be held accountable for raising those offspring and making them responsible citizens. When I was a young lad growing up in the 50’s and early 60’s my Dad and every other Dad in the neighborhood would take you to task for any indiscretion or even perceived indiscretion that you committed or may have committed. Believe me, I did not grow up in a privileged childhood and rich neighborhood but men of that era, regardless of their station in life, took responsibility for their children and, when necessary, the children of others. What has happened to this Great Nation that the Greatest Generation including Mr. Belton fought for? Where are the real men who believe that this is the Greatest Nation on the face of the earth and that we must take responsibility for its future?
It is high time that the leaders of this Nation, Republican, Democrat, Black, White, Brown or whatever start to put the blame where it belongs. On Fathers who fail to take responsibility for the offspring they produce. If Mr. Belton’s death causes that to happen, then maybe, just maybe he will not have died in vain. Rest in Peace Mr. Belton and thank you for your service to this Nation.