Throughout my career in the US Army, I distributed a quote from W. Peter Blitchington. It reads: “No one is indispensable or irreplaceable at work….anyone from the lowliest yard worker to the highest executive, could easily be replaced and few tears would be shed. The most important person in the US---the Presidency---is rotated every four years with little mourning. But try replacing a son or daughter, a mother or father, a husband or wife without grave psychological damage. For it’s in our homes that we are needed; it’s to our family that we are important.”
That quote was widely distributed thru out my commands. I think it made people stop and think about how they were living their lives, and to ask themselves how were they doing with their priorities.
I tried to ensure that everyone that worked for me understood my personal priorities. My priorities have always been (and remain
Sarah and I spent time last week with the Gary Sinise Foundation (GSF). We are on Gary Sinise’s Advisory Board and Ambassadors for the Foundation. Gary Sinise is an amazing humanitarian. Folks know him as an accomplished actor. We know him as a great human being who always focuses on taking care of others. He places service above self, everyday.
It is amazing what the GSF has accomplished in four short years. They focus on honoring our Nation’s defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need. Gary always says we can never do enough for our Nation’s defenders, but we can always do a little more. It is wonderful to be part of the Gary Sinise Foundation and I urge you to see what you can do to help them in their efforts.
Calvin Coolidge, our Nation’s 30th President said “A Nation that forgets it’s defenders will soon itself
Click here to see an article on Army.mil that features the Army's need for unmanned vehicles.
Dull, dirty, dangerous mission? Send in the robot
I am not sure what is going on in our Nation now with the random acts of violence. I can’t imagine why someone would go into a school and slaughter innocent people. I pray daily that these attacks will stop, but they continue at an ever increasing frequency.
As I write this, someone out there is planning an attack on innocent people. Is it because they want the notoriety? Is it because they truly hate folks and want to kill them? Is it because they have a mental disorder? Who knows? One thing is for sure, they are out there, and they have access to weapons and ammunition. They want to hurt us and our Families.
What you call these bad folks seems to confuse some folks. People get uncomfortable using the word terrorist. I am convinced that bad people out there want to do bad things. Whether they are doing
I am currently in Ohio spending time with my Dad. He is now 88 years old. My Mom passed away in 2009 and he has been by himself ever since. He lives in the home that I was born in, and refuses to leave. We would love to have him come to Texas and live with us, and be surrounded by Family, but he refuses. Every three months I return to Ohio to spend time with him and check on his condition.
Many of us are dealing with aging parents and other elderly folks. Sometimes we get frustrated and overly concerned. Over the past 7 years of dealing with my Dad I have learned a couple of things.
The first is that he wants control. He does not want to be dependent on anyone. He wants to set his own schedule and do what he wants to do. He continually refers
I tell folks in my public presentations that if they slept well last night, they are not paying attention. We are a Nation at risk. We are at risk from external threats (ISIS, Russia, Iran…) and internal threats (domestic terrorism, lack of respect for law enforcement, divisive elements). We must acknowledge this, and then take actions to protect ourselves, our Families, and our Nation.
I believe that the Bible is the Word of God. In 2 Chronicles 7:14 it reads:
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
As this scripture says, the first thing we must do as a Nation is to humble ourselves and pray to God for His strength, courage and wisdom to do the right things.
I love being an American. I love our Nation and all it stands for. I spent 35 years of my life protecting our freedoms and our way of life.
I am concerned about many things, however. One is that we as a Nation have a short term memory. Last week was the 14th anniversary of 9/11, and day when we as a Nation were attacked on our very own soil and over 3000 Americans lost their lives. In many cases, the day passed as just another day.
Many Americans have forgotten that dreadful day. They seem unaware of the fact that the folks who attacked us on 9/11 are still out there, and they still hate us. They hate our democracy and our ideals, and they have dedicated their lives to destroy us as a Nation. The only way we keep that from happening is to continue to take the fight
I believe that there is strength in diversity. We as a society should embrace diversity, and not shrink away from it. Celebrating diversity provides for an environment where many different thoughts and ideas come into play. When I visit with corporate and community leaders across the Nation, I am always looking closely at their “inner circle”, the folks closest to them. If those folks look just like the leader it is an indication of a potential problem. There is a lack of diversity.
On a larger scale, I continue to find myself worried about the future of our Nation. Unfortunately, there are elements in our society who want to emphasize divisiveness over diversity. They want to drive a wedge between us. I saw this in Iraq during my service there. Folks there committed specific acts of terror to inflame tension between the Iraqi Shias and Sunnis. We can’t allow that
It has been said that the hardest thing about getting a new idea in, is getting the old idea out.
That is what is going on now in the US Army. Two female Soldiers have successfully completed the most challenging course the Army has to offer – US Army Ranger School. They are to be commended for their efforts. They knew how difficult the course was going to be, but they volunteered to attend anyway and accepted the challenge. They worked thru very difficult tasks and situations, and then successfully completed the course. I am very proud of them.
I am disappointed, however, that folks can’t (or won’t) accept the fact that they competed the course successfully. There is way too much negative traffic on social media today. Some folks allege that the US Army lowered their standards at Ranger School so that the female Soldiers could graduate. I don’t buy
The Army sent me to MIT in 1985 to study robotics, and I have had a passion for that technology ever since. Over the past 3 decades the technology continues to evolve at an amazing pace. The question is whether or not we as a society are taking advantage of that technology.
My passion is to use robotic technology to remove human beings from dirty, dull and dangerous tasks. From a military perspective, unmanned systems could be sent into harms way in place of the Soldier. Many dangerous tasks, like ground surveillance, route clearance, and convoy operations could all be performed by unmanned systems. If the system gets destroyed, it can be replaced. A human life cannot be replaced.
From a civilian perspective, the same thing holds true. The most pressing case is in law enforcement. Let’s develop unmanned systems that allow police officers to “send in the robot” first….before exposing