The WALTHER REPORT
By Tony Walther
If you don’t tear up and get a lump in your throat and want to salute the flag while attending a Memorial Day ceremony, well I don’t know what to say. I did.
At my wife’s urging, we attended a ceremony in our home town. There was a color guard, drill team, a fighter jet flyover, speeches, patriotic music, the national anthem, and even a parachutist who jumped in.
What got me all teary eyed was when they played “Over Hill, Over Dale,” the Army theme song. And isn’t that kind of silly? I mean even though I joined the Army, I was not, to say the least, an enthusiastic soldier, much of the time. I served in Germany for most of my tour, even though it was during the Vietnam War. No, it was not the Army I was feeling nostalgic or whatever about, it was being part of something. If it were a bunch of people just like me that we were supposed to recognize, it wouldn’t be worth the bother. But I was there along with everyone else to honor those who should be honored. I am just grateful that I could have been an inconsequential part of the whole thing.
But it all makes me so frustrated. Here I come back home all fired up with patriotism and the pride of what our flag, the Red White and Blue, represents (or should). But I feel there is some kind of disconnect. Our leaders seem to say one thing and do another. They spur us on to fight or support the fight for freedom. But they then quibble about how best to do it (and expecting the troops to get it done all the while). Send in more troops, pull out troops, send more in or hand it over to someone else. Meanwhile, the troops on the ground (or in the air, for that matter), men and women, are left to fight on while the so called leaders wring their hands or give silly speeches saying we have already won.
Here at home we have polls. The public is growing tired of the war (or maybe they are not). I suspect that most (yes most) are actually rather oblivious to it all. Life goes on here.
Come on folks. If we really are in a fight for freedom and our survival, then we need to get on with it. If not, then how did we get suckered into going over there in the first place? (Oh, that’s right. You were to busy with your own life. Wasn’t someone else supposed to be watching that?).
It seems that rightly or wrongly we have committed ourselves to the fight over there. Maybe we need to get serious and consolidate our gains, secure what we have and hold it at that. We have taken over Iraq and I suppose Afghanistan (you don’t hear much about that one) too. We do have troubles holding on to all of it, but with a total commitment of forces we can do it.
The Democratic candidates have pledged to get us disengaged, although they have hedged on that a bit if you read the fine print. The Republican candidate wants to fight for as long as it takes, but I’m sure he could find wiggle room on that one too (it’s time to hand it over to the Iraqis. Remember what happened when we handed it over to the Vietnamese? Well, in case you forget, there was a lot of bad stuff, executions and retraining camps. Years of misery and then they got over it. And maybe that’s what will happen this time, or maybe this is different).
I have written on all of this many times. I think a lot of different ways all at once on it all. But I am not in charge. And thank goodness for that. But leadership is what we need now.
We need someone or some people who know and can articulate what our exact mission is over there and come up with a clear and reasonable proposal on how to accomplish it. Spelling out every detail would not be practicable, necessary, nor wise. But we need more than vague generalities and platitudes.
I think someone who could articulate a clear and convincing and doable sounding plan might be worth voting for.
It’s hard to mix complicated politics with natural, instinctive feelings of patriotism, and I am glad that the speakers kind of over simplified things (we’re fighting “the war on terror,” as if such a thing could be won and won for how long?), and I didn’t mind that they overlooked the fact that we are not always one hundred percent correct in all of our ventures (well meaning I can only hope).
I wanted a day to feel good about things. I saw our flag. I heard the speeches and thought of our fallen veterans and those still fighting. I heard the music, and I watched and heard the jet fighter fly over. And that parachutist flying the national banner with him landed right on target, feet flat on the ground. I got what I came for.
Thanks dear for asking me to go.
Postscript: My quick research tells me “Over Hill, Over Dale” is not technically the name of the Army theme song and that the lyrics have been changed from the original version of what was called the “Caisson Song”. But everyone has heard it that way. Sometimes you just have to go with what really is.
So Mitt Romney’s looking to buy some ocean front property in La Jolla, Ca. He’s on McCain’s short list for VP. And it’s speculated he also might be establishing residency to run for Governor of California. Please say it isn’t so. Even though I don’t care for Mitt, I had earlier, before I started this blogging thing, predicted Romney would go far. He’s a smooth talker. I did not realize the Morman thing would cause him problems. Anyway he’s at it again. I have more to say on McCain VP selection later in this blog.
I hope you’ll check out my in progress online novel at my Yahoo 360 blog site. I’m new at this blogging stuff, so if you don’t already have it on your favorites list, I have some complicated (not really) instructions:
Call up Yahoo 360, then look for Home with a blue background, to the right of that click on search, and key in Anthony Walther. That should do it. You’ll have to look down the page a bit, but you should see Anthony W and also the title of my novel, Tuleville Sundown.
I may just dedicate this site to my novel(s).
Wouldn’t mind if you’d check out my Tony’s Transport Blog at
I’ve done about three posts on the transport blog. Wished I could make that one into some kind of business, but I’m stuck in slow gear. I do think, though, that if I could keep it up, I could provide some good info and thoughts on the subject. I spent some 13 years hauling freight and have watched the trends in shipping all that time. For over-the-road trucking, it was go-go-go, when I first started. Wait, no, that is not actually correct. Trucking is always susceptible to up and down freight levels. I was once laid over for a week on the east coast and then finally got a load of empty plastic containers that I hauled to the Hershey plant in Oakdale, Ca. I think that plant is now closed down.
Even if you’re not hot on freight, it’s interesting, because really, that’s how everyone gets what they need. It comes to you on a truck, as well as via other modes of transportation. But trucks account for most of it, and are virtually always in the chain of transport somewhere.
Okay, I’m stuck on one subject here, so let’s move on:
–Hillary maybe has gone off the deep end implying that she needs to stay in the race in case her opponent meets an untimely demise. That’s not actually what she said, but it could have been interpreted as such. Somehow, I think the Clintons have worn out their welcome.
–Although I wrote a Walther Report that called for us to speak softly and carry a big stick, Obama may be risking being seen as a Neville Chamberlain type appeaser with his willingness to talk to anyone attitude. Peace in our time.
–If McCain can keep his energy level up, I think he could really give Obama (or Hillary) a run for the money. That is not an endorsement of McCain.
–I think McCain ought to choose Condoleeza Rice as his running mate. Now I have not been impressed with her, but I know she is a smart woman, and I think once she sheds Bush, she might show better judgment, or not. She certainly has the credentials to be president and could be if McCain were to win, then become incapacitated (and no I’m not committing another Hillaryism) or decide not to run for a second term or she might run later for the top spot after being vice president. If they ran against Obama, the Republicans could crow that at least they are willing to put a woman on the ticket.
–Young voters may make the difference this time around. If they vote, they could well provide the winning majority for Obama.
–And, as the Clintons used to say, “it’s the economy stupid.” If the economy stays bad, the Democrats will likely win. I still can’t figure out why they lost after Clinton, since he left office with a booming economy (although it was ready to go bust). Oh., that’s right, I always forget, Gore did win the majority of popular vote, but it was close.
–Skyrocketing fuel prices are forcing us to adopt economies and efficiencies we should have been practicing all along. In this instance, the free market, supply and demand, seems to be working. While I always suspect that there is at least some manipulation going on, I think the law of supply and demand is the main culprit.
–I wish our politicians would quit kowtowing to pastors such as Wright and Hagee (Obama had to shed the first and McCain the second) and all those right wing religious groups. Rather than try to impress them, they should look up and then look in the mirror and quietly give thought and prayer. What if a politician never spoke of religion, but quietly attended church once a week? Would he or she be any less righteous? And what if a politician were not a believer? Well then that would be up to the voters to decide, if that was among their criteria.
–Need to write a Walther Report about my own bout with cancer. But it is not something I care to dwell on that much. But it would help me to learn more about what I need to know and I think it might help others too, who might stumble upon these words on the world wide web.
–Doctor’s orders, due to a possibly compromised immune system I have to stay away from crowds, so I am imprisoned here at home over this long and rainy Memorial Day weekend in Northern California.
–Talk about wrapping one’s self up in the flag, the wife (“the wife”, as the oldtimers used to say) bought this humongous flag (made in USA) that we are flying out on the front porch. The breeze makes it wrap around the unsuspecting walking by. It also gets caught up in the rain gutter. I better break to Google up instructions about proper flag etiquette. While I’ve never considered myself a flag waver, I do have great respect for the old Red White and Blue and don’t see any good coming out of dishonoring it. I’ll look that up right now…..Okay, I’m back. The site I brought up claims if it’s an all-weather flag it’s okay to fly it in the rain (the gutter thing is a problem).
–I wish everyone, including me, would quit watching commercial televison. The programs are junk and the commercials are too many, too fast, to zippy, to edgy, obscene, often violent (both program content and commercials) and most of the time I don’t even get them (they apparently are not targeting me). And why must we be bombarded with all those personal product messages and the endless sex enhancement ones?
–No one forces us to watch TV and apparently no one is forced to read my blogs, because according to my blog services, I’m not getting many hits. Later.