lifelibertyhonor2.jpg

Home
America's Core Values
Civics & Society
Patriotism & Resistance Journal
Wise Governance
God & Politics
Elections & Campaigns
On War and the Military
Foolish Theoretical Foreign Policy
Broadcast Betrayal
The Stampeders
On Economic Issues
Humor, Satire & Parody
Immigration
The Ultimate Indictment of Christian Hypocrisy
Lietta Ruger: Crawford Tx, and Bring Them Home Now
Contact Arthur


The Political Writings  of Arthur Ruger
 
Are you really going to let fear be the only basis for choosing a leader?

"We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men."
Edward R. Murrow

Direct Comments or queries to aruger at gmail dot com

05/28/2008
A Day's Memorial

Atop one of the bookshelves in another room in my home sits the triangularly-folded American Flag given me at the gravesite of my father back in 1993.

Dad's death came upon us quite suddenly. We had long anticipated his passing as the years wore on - our unspoken suspicion that it would be liver failure that would get him.

We were right.

When our fears were realized things happened quickly. From  the time of diagnosis to the grave site was six or seven weeks in February and March, 1993 when I drove the 800 miles to Idaho so we four adult children could meet with his Doctor. Then a drive back to Idaho a few weeks later in March for his funeral.

As the oldest son I was allowed to speak at Dad's service in the church in the small town where I grew up - a village from which Dad rarely strayed over most of his life. The longest time away was his service in the war.

I remember standing at the podium in that funeral service and looking into faces of folks old and young whom I'd seen in that church practically every week for the first 19 years of my life.

I recall assuring all the devout and not-so-devout  who had come to the service that although my Dad had not been a church-goer, was not temple-endowed (an LDS thing) nor temple-married, none of that mattered to God. There was joy in heaven when Dad showed up.

I grew up in a house Dad paid $47 a month to purchase in a town four blocks wide and four blocks long that sheltered less than 500 souls.

My earliest memories of Dad working are at the gas station he ran in the late 40's and early 50's. Then he became a John Deere farm-implement salesman all over the Southeastern corner of Idaho.

Dad did alright selling tractors cause lots of farmers knew him as the singer and sax player in a three-man combo that played every Friday and Saturday night for 20 years from the Wyoming line to Pocatello.

That was my Dad as I grew up knowing him.

I didn't know what he did in the war until one night when I was playing on a kids' Morse code toy connected by a long wire to the neighbor kid next door. Dad got a big grin, went into a closet and pulled out a large chrome or silver electronic Morse-code device that was much more than push down on a cheap plastic tab.

After plugging it in he laid his arm on the table so that the end piece fit between his thumb and first finger and began moving his wrist back and forth causing the metal key to touch connectors on each side at the other end. They emitted a beeping sound. Dih-dih-dih, dah-dah-dah and all that.

He folded up the newspaper and although he hadn't touched the device to my knowledge since the late 40's he proceeded immediately to "send."

He tapped out an entire Salt Lake Tribune newspaper article at an incredible speed that sounded like it might be as fast or faster than I could have read it aloud.  

That was his duty - among other things - that he did in the war while stationed on the Aleutian Islands . He sent, received and monitored radio transmissions out over the Pacific.

He didn't talk about it.

So far as we knew he had no apparent combat scars and never had to fire a weapon in anger at anybody. There were a couple of photo albums of Dad in training in Missouri and Wisconsin followed by pages of Aleutian shots - mostly quonset-hut barracks.

But Lietta and I watched a show in the past year about how back then Japan took one of those Aleutian Islands and the Americans had to fight like hell to throw them back out.

Those were the years Dad was there but I never heard him talk about those events and to this day none of us know whether he participated in battle.

When I was growing up Dad belonged to the American Legion - which meant very little to me until the day I was called to the High School office and was told that I had been selected to go to the Idaho Boys State (a summertime mini-legislature at the State Capitol.)

My mother said it was because among boys my age  eligible to go, it was my Dad's active membership in the American Legion that gave me an edge.

No, he didn't talk much about what he did in the war.

My younger brother and I are also Veterans who in the 1960's enlisted within six weeks of each other. We both held Security Clearances and neither of us talked at all about what we did back then.

We were Cold Warriors, but Dad's was Hot.

None of us talked about it casually ... ever.

You served, you paid attention to your duties and kept most of it to yourself.

We learned to be just like Dad.

In his later years we all had become somewhat estranged from Dad because of his drinking and deliberate quest to be alone all the time.

My mother divorced Dad when I was in my early thirties and living in Texas.

Dad didn't move far away from that $47-a-month house. I remember visiting him when I was in my late 30's and he was living in an apartment 16 miles from where he had raised me.

The room was mostly dark, the curtains drawn and the television was always on. I knew he had the TV schedule for all three network channels memorized. He once told me he was ready for us to leave cause one of "his shows" was about to come on.

There was no bookshelf in his living room - just a night stand next to his lazy-boy. There were a couple of photograph albums full of pictures taken in the late 30's, 40's and early 50's. There was also a thick and heavy remembrance book about World War II.

I have that book and those albums on the same bookshelf where the tri-corner Flag sits atop it on the highest shelf.

After the funeral we drove less than a mile to the town cemetery. It was cold and the wind was blowing  but there was a fine group of family and friends who watched as his flag-draped casket was off-loaded from the mortuary limousine and in short order lowered into the ground.

I don't remember who retrieved the flag from that casket but when he gave that Flag to an American Veteran's son, the son finally cried.

Bookmark and Share


The Real American Choice


Google

[Aberdeen] DAILY WORLD / DAVID SANDLER
Arthur Ruger of Bay Center talks about his views of the Iraq war with Congressman Brian Baird at a town hall meeting at Raymond High School on Saturday. Ruger and his wife, Lietta, have a nephew and a son-in-law currently serving in the military.
And who Writes here?
 
A Viet Nam era military Veteran, Arthur Ruger is a social worker, poet and writer on politics, religion and spirituality.

Originally trained for priesthood and ministry in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Arthur more recently has labored at St. Johns Episcopal Parish in South Bend, Washington as a lay preacher, organist and Senior Warden.

In addition to an intense interest in the American political and regious scene, Arthur's is actively concerned with leigitmate family values and priorities and not the pretend issues of those seeking political power and wealth.

"Family issues and values are important as we are parents of a blended family with 8 children and 16 grandchildren."



My Veterans Group

Prop-Wash Gang's Home site

Author & Freelance Writer

Magpie Watch

When I want to know what's on Fox News I go to Media Matters. Magpie Watch courtesy of MediaMatters.org


Click on image to learn about this novel.

Arthur & Lietta Ruger 2002-2008. The American Choice is a  political internet journal based in Bay Center, Washington. The views expressed not authored by Arthur or Lietta Ruger are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of The American Choice or SwanDeer Productions. Permission of author required for reprinting original material, and only requests for reprinting a specific item are considered.

mailto:arthur@swandeer.com