soldiers Posts

Living Rightly

As you may have heard by now, I’m on book tour. Tonight I’m at HUB CITY Bookstore in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Hub City was named by Southern Living magazine as one of the South’s finest bookstores and I always try to get up this way because that’s more than just a label, it’s the truth.

One of my favorite things to do when traveling is to stop by local libraries and visit with people. I’m sitting in a library now, typing this. I got into this habit years ago when iPhones and wireless didn’t exist in hotel rooms. I’d use local libraries to dispatch reports to the newsroom, etc. read more

Protesting the Protestors at Arlington

IMG_7423I couldn’t make up my mind: “Do I go to Arlington prior to the service at the Wall or not?” I asked my daughter.

“It’s up to you,” Shelby replied. “I’ll do whatever you want.”

It was almost ten o’clock. The service at the Wall wasn’t until 1 p.m. I debated the matter in the hotel elevator and as we walked through the lobby of the Key Bridge Marriott. By the time we walked outside, I called for an Uber to take us to Arlington. read more

Lester’s Legacy

Maddox2

Allow me to speak to you as a Gold Star Daughter, would you?

Being part of a Gold Star family isn’t something anyone aspires to. It’s an exclusive club, membership will cost you a life. In my case, it cost my father’s life.

He was 34.

Daddy grew up in Appalachia. He dropped out of school after the 8th grade. As one of the oldest among his eight siblings, it fell to the older boys to help provide for the younger ones, or at least, not to be a further financial burden upon his family. read more

Pray for Peace


Pray for Peace.

I spoke with a soldier friend of mine today. He’s an active-duty soldier who has served several tours of duty in Iraq. He is also somebody who grew up in war-torn Sudan. He remembers when he was a child how his homeland was torn-apart by the internal conflict of extreme militants who used religion as a vehicle for evil. He lost many friends when the rebel forces moved into Southern Sudan and began systematically killing Christians. read more

John Deere Brigade

It’s fair week in Umatilla County. Shelby and Konnie were home over the weekend and we headed downtown on Saturday to take in the parade activities. I don’t know if the girls think it’s as much fun as it used to be, back when they could chase after the candy for their own selves and not for the kids sitting next to them. But even I got a tootsie roll tossed my way. I kept it, rather than sharing it with the girls. That’s the kind of mother I am — selfish with the tootsie rolls. read more