What it means to be Airborne……. An essay by William Marshall

It is one thing to jump out of an airplane, it is one thing to volunteer to serve your country.  It is one thing to raise your right hand, it is another to take the next step.  

Many ask me about jumping from a plane and how we ever got the guts to do it.  I realized about our mission, I realized that jumping was just the beginning of it, such a small part.

 Being Airborne isn’t really about jumping.  It is about fighting, it is about winning, it is about commitment to finishing the challenge………
Being Airborne isn’t about jumping out of airplanes, it is so much more……….
Airborne, All The Way!!

Whispers in the Wind……. An essay by William Marshall

Fifteen-year-old Ava stood at the edge of the small cliff, peering over the precipice to the winding river below. Her heart raced, not from fear but from excitement. Her friends had dared her to leap from the cliff, a rite of passage in their small town. Many had done it before, but not her. Yet.

The wind caressed her face and played with her hair. In that moment of quiet contemplation, she remembered a phrase her grandmother had often repeated, “Before you choose to do anything, ask me if your choice is in accord with mine. If you are sure that it is, there will be no fear.” Grandma had always said it was a guidance from the Holy Spirit, an ethereal voice of intuition and love. Closing her eyes, Ava took a deep breath and whispered, “Is this right for me?”

A gentle but firm voice, more of a feeling than an actual sound, replied, “Is it for them or for you?” She pondered the question. Was she doing it to prove something to others or because she truly wanted to?

Opening her eyes, she took a step back from the cliff’s edge. “It’s not the right time,” she murmured. Her friends, who had been waiting at a distance, rushed to her. “Did you get scared?” one asked. Ava smiled confidently, “No, I just chose a different adventure for today.”

The group looked a little confused but respected her decision. They spent the rest of the day exploring the woods, and to Ava’s surprise, it was filled with new paths, hidden nooks, and moments of laughter. As the sun set, Ava felt a deep contentment. She realized that real adventures came from following one’s heart, and the courage it took to listen to that inner voice was the most daring leap of all.

From that day forward, she became known among her peers as the girl who listened to whispers in the wind, making choices that resonated with her soul, fearlessly following the path laid out by the Holy Spirit. And in doing so, she inspired others to do the same.

I spent the weekend in Heaven………. An essay by William Marshall

SGM(R) Bobby Howard is one year older than my dad.  He was the Soldier of the Year and the NCO of the Year and Drill Sergeant of the Year in every unit that he was in.  He joined the Army in 1963 at age 17. 

He talked about how Korea didn’t have any trees left when he was there on the DMZ and how the kids ate out of the trash can.  He talked about the Little John Missile and running in boots. He spent nine months as the CSM for the 3-4 ADAR and was the 1SG for both A and C BTRY.

We rode together to the military reunion in Nashville.  We never cut the radio on the entire way, there was never more than 5 minutes went by when we weren’t telling a story or sharing a memory.  I recorded most of it on the way up.  I look forward to reviewing it.

On the way home, on Sunday morning, we talked about Spiritual things for almost 6 hours.  We shared our faith and our love for others and for the Spirit that Jesus gave us to share.

While I was up there, I got to see one of my Soldiers when I was his platoon SGT.  I hadn’t seen his since 2000 when I left for JRTC and he went to Alaska.  We had deployed to war together, reunited once again. Love you Papi!

I sat next to the General.  BG(R) Underhill sat next to me and we listened to CSM(R) Lehr regale us with stories as far ranging as Bass fishing cheating, to narrow eyed intelligence, to the lack of a true National Debt. The General told about how he was in the car with GEN Shinseki and proofreading his speech for him when he found out the first time we were going to the black beret.  Our beloved Underhill helped draft the wording and gave advice on the matter.  

We gathered at the VFW where Walter and others cooked so much food.  Such awesome food.  Thanks Joe and Family for the T-shirts and all the great sides.  I think the Chicken and baked beans earned the title on the food with the ribs cannot go without mentioning the flavor and how they fell off the bone. Our bartender was Linda I’m not sure if we got to the $1500 mark for the bar tab, but we sure tried.

One of our treasured Stinger Team Chief and Retention NCO, Doug Ports sponsored our brunch on Saturday morning. We toasted to some heroes that have passed before us.  We called their names, raised our glasses, and praised their service and love for us.  We all know that we ultimately fought for our teammates and they fought for us.

As we gathered on the bus heading to the event, we played the All American Soldier at the highest levels, we put on our boots and parachutes.  Many of us “hit it” as we exited the bus counting to 4000. I cherry’d up and dropped the guidon as we were preparing for the group picture, of course, I had to get down and knock out 10.  I only did 7.  Lehr made sure he knew I left three out there.

We are going to El Paso next month.  I get to see so many out there. I’m gonna stay with Raynor.  My first friend in the Army.  The one who took Ginger and I in and showed us what a friend was like in the Army.  Heaven will be out there too.

I spent the weekend in Heaven.  AUDACIA!

Ardennes was a proving ground……. An essay by William Marshall

No walking on Ardennes between 0630 and 0730, if you did, you heard about it.  Ardennes was a proving ground for us.  We ran Area J, we ran Longstreet for the Division run but for the most part we ran Ardennes.  I grew up on Ardennes.

There we times when we brawled with our brothers from other units on Ardennes, there were times we pealed off into the woodline to handle private bodily issues, there were times we ran ahead so we could tie our shoe.  There were times I relieved my upset stomach in the grass and just kept right on running.

Ardennes has a special place in my heart, if you read this far, I bet it has a special place for you too.

It is my job to judge you………… An essay by William Marshall

I asked him in my best military tone, “Say again?”

“Yep,” he said, “Basically, if I read the Bible correctly, it is my job to judge you and help you to see the error in your ways, according to the Bible. You should understand that you are wrong and lost in your sin, in accordance with the Bible. I am then called to explain how you can live a better life by changing your sinful ways, repent, then go with me forth into the world and spread this same Gospel. We use the King James Version, the only version, that is the true and Living Word of God. Isn’t that what Jesus did? Didn’t he go all over the land telling sinners to repent and sin no more? Same thing! So of course, it’s my job to judge you. That is what Jesus is all about. Right?”

I remembered it wasn’t my job to judge him, I had to love him as he was trying his best to love me wasn’t he? I listened a little while longer before moving along. He was blooming his flower

I want war…….. An essay by William Marshal

Everyday about this time, I get an email from Google that tells me all about Air Defense Artillery. I continue to watch us try to send capabilities away from our border. At every turn, we are pushing out. Expanding. We are giving and pushing, selling and donating every old bomb and bullet, missile and mortar to anyone who will shoot them. Once we do that, we egg them on, hope that they will. So that we can sell them another one day.

I spent 20 years in the Army being told that Russia and China were bad and that we were the only good ones. I was present, part of the Army when we invaded several countries. Part of a few, “invasions” myself. As I look back on it, I was the war monger, I was the mercanary. As Colin Powell told me about the Powder Cake that the CIA told him about, he and I both believed it. We invaded one of those countries…… Iraq, but not the two other countries involved. Looking back, now we know it was all bullshit planted by some sales guy.

Now I watch us give NASAMs away to be destroyed like a little toy. Is it firing? Even in place? Already destroyed? How many sidewinders has it flung into the air. If it was operating in Washington we would demand to know. Now? Crickets……….We pretend we care about Ukraine and we parade the comedian president around like a Hero. And now we are lining up PATRIOT Batteries to give them like that is going to solve the problem. We are gonna send American service member overseas to train one battery? Two batteries? Any of my buddies that knows anything about what is going on, knows how ludicrous this is……..The problem is that we want war. The US wants war. I’m in the US, I guess I want war………Do you want war?

Bombs don’t make peace, Peace makes Peace……..

Strike in Advance vs. Turn the other cheek…… An essay by William Marshall

USA is opposite of Christ…… right? 

We employ, Strike in advance, strength through power, defy me and I destroy you.  Whereas Christ recommends the opposite, turn the other cheek, help no matter what, wash the feet of, condemn not lest yea be condemned…….

USA is opposite of Christ…….  Let’s forgive others their transgressions and we forgive those that transgressed against us…

Can a Warrior beg for Peace, who can speak out?…… An essay by William Marshall

As I sit here tonight, my mind is troubled by a conversation I had with a friend, a fellow warrior. He told me that I should leave the country because I spoke out against our country’s warmongering ways. He compared me to Eric Snowden and called me a hypocrite.

But is it hypocritical to want peace? Is it hypocritical to question the morality of sending our warriors overseas to die or kill others in the name of some elusive notion of patriotism? We act as if we are the good guys in all of this, but history will remember us differently.

My friend calls me a Commie because I dare to speak out against our country’s actions. He tells me to leave the country in shame. He works for a private company now, and he tells me, his job is to “shut Russia down.”

Private companies, it seems, are just as eager as our government to quell the competition.

But do we really want to bomb others? Do we really want to spread democracy, whatever that even means? The truth is that we don’t have a democracy. We argue and fight about what it means to have a constitutional republic, but at the end of the day, we don’t really care about people who are not like us or close to us. We are willing to bomb others over there, but would we be willing to do the same to our own people here?

I am begging for peace. Can we not move past this cycle of violence? Can we not choose to sing songs out of our foxholes like the soldiers did on Christmas in WWII? Can a warrior beg for peace without being called a traitor and being asked to leave? What kind of society are we if we cannot even have a conversation about the morality of war without resorting to insults and threats?

I fought for this country because I believed in its values of freedom and justice for all. But now I see those values being trampled upon in the name of war. I beg for peace. I beg you to join me and take a stand against war mongering. Stop the bombs. Beg for peace. Let us be the society that we claim to be.

Whose to blame (Your life matters to me)………… An essay by William Marshall

Most of us have been touched by suicide. If you haven’t, it will come. It is particularly confusing to us when we watch our mentors, our leaders succumb to some crazy call to end their lives. It always makes me look at myself. Look inward. Try to place blame on……. On……… I guess I have to lay blame on me. Right? I sure can’t blame the one who committed the act. Can I? Should I? No. The blame lies with me.

There is something, something that I could have done. Why did we not agree to never do that without calling at least one person? How many safety briefings and memorial services do we have to attend.

I went to a psychiatrist one time in my life. My ex wife suggested that I go because I was making suicidal ideations. I was.I talked to the man. That’s a whole story in itself. We decided that I wasn’t crazy, I wasn’t suicidal. I left, I had done my duty.

He called me about two hours later, on his personal cell. He asked me to make a promise with him, man to man, not Dr/Patient. He said it’s important. I made it. It’s One I fully intend to keep, One I have kept, One I will keep. He asked me, he said, “Make this agreement with me, ok.” I said sure, but I had no idea what it was. I want you to make this agreement with me now. This important one.

If you are ever in a situation where you see no other options, none. Do this one simple thing, plead for more time, time for your Spirit to come home. That Dr. made me promise that I would make my way to the nearest emergency room or medical facility before I did anything to harm myself. I promised him I would. I made that man to man promise. I agreed to call 911 before I ever hurt myself.

Make that promise with me today. If you are ever, go to the emergency room, dial 911. Please, promise me. Your life matters to me!

Insert picture of great leader here……..

Cherryyyyyyyy!!!!!! An essay by William Marshall

The Cherryyyyyyyy just seemed to go on and on. 

In my world of the 82nd, if you dropped something in the mess hall, fumbled your weapon, messed up just a little somehow, and you heard it from your buddies……. Cherryyyyy!!!@@@@