Afghanistan.

Recently, while I was in the midst of my workday routine (flying, sleeping, eating), I received an email from my stepson who is serving his second tour in Afghanistan. I was solemnly reminded of the high cost of war. 

My stepson described the procedure when the soldiers are notified of the loss of their fellow servicemen. 

At the airfield, the coffins of the fallen are moved across the tarmac to the aircraft that will carry their bodies’ home.

The date and time of this procession along the flight line are posted.  Hundreds of service men and women line the path as they pay their final respects to our brave heroes. 

As we carry on our everyday lives, let’s not forget our brave men and women fighting on our behalf.  Let’s remember those that have fallen -- the high price they paid, the personal loss to the families, and their commitment to our freedom and security.  It is the very least we can do.

Commitment to Science and Technology Is the Best Way to Create Jobs

“ One small step for man, one giant step for mankind.”

That statement by Astronaut Neil Armstrong as he became the first human on the moon signified the culmination of an entire decade of American scientific commitment.

Where is our commitment today? What kind of large scientific goal are we pursuing?

Actually, there is none. In fact, our lack of excitement toward science and technology is dragging us down in world competition.

Asia is booming ahead of us with South Korea leading the way in Research and Development.

The following is from the National Science Foundation:

Over the past decade, R&D intensity--how much of a country's economic activity or gross domestic product is expended on R&D--has grown considerably in Asia, while remaining steady in the U.S. Annual growth of R&D expenditures in the U.S. averaged 5 to 6 percent while in Asia, it has skyrocketed. In some Asian countries, R&D growth rate is two, three, even four, times that of the U.S.

And why does this matter?

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[SC-03] Jane Dyer Announces for 3rd Congressional District Seatt

January 20, 2010,  Easley, SC – Jane Dyer announced today that she is running for the open 3rd District Congressional seat. Dyer is a Democrat from Easley. This is her second campaign for the post.

Dyer is running because the 3rd District needs leadership, committed to economic recovery.

"While the rest of the United States is slowly pulling out of this awful recession," Dyer commented, "South Carolina continues to suffer with growing unemployment numbers."

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Giving The Gifts That Mean The Most: Joy, Peace, Hope

Regardless of how difficult times are, there are gifts that we can give that don't cost anything.  These are the gifts of joy, peace and hope.

Joy is the ability to see the positive in all things. A great friend of mine does just that.  After serving in the Air Force as a C-5 aircraft commander in the first Gulf War, she came down with a disabling disease. Also, she has a teenage daughter with cerebral palsy.  But, every time I talk or visit with her, she gives me the gift of joy.  Her life is tough and challenging every minute of every day, but she is always positive, kind, and thoughtful.

The gift of joy.

Peace is the ability to be calm and understanding at all times. One of my favorite airline captains had a sense of true peace.  Regardless of how frantic things got in the cockpit, or how ugly someone treated him, or how unfair life seemed, he never got upset or angry.  His peace permeated everyone around him.

The gift of peace.

Hope is to know that regardless of how tough things are, tomorrow will be better. The barrage of today's negativism, anger, and fear leaves many people hopeless.

The true American spirit is the belief that anything is possible, that anyone can achieve any goal, and that we can overcome anything when we work together.  This spirit is what binds us together as Americans.

Tomorrow will be a better day.  We will survive these dark days.  We can achieve anything.

The gift of hope.

My family will celebrate this Christmas together.  We will work to give one another these gifts that cost nothing but reflect the best of the human spirit.

I hope that you and your family, as you open presents around the tree, will have the opportunity to give the gifts that really matter ...  joy, peace and hope.

We do wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful Holiday Season.

Jane, John and the gang!

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Pearl Harbor: Igniting the American Spirit

The attack on Pearl Harbor ignited the soul of the United States.  That spark inspired hundreds of thousands to join the military, and millions to labor back home in support. All Americans sacrificed.  Because of our American spirit, the flame that became the US war machine succeeded in guaranteeing our freedom during those dark days.

December 7, 1941, Roosevelt's "a day that will live in infamy"...

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