Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bob the Builder Award: Jerry Barham and The Wall That Heals

They call it "The Wall That Heals."

Walls, as I think about it, aren't always considered very "healing."
There is the Berlin Wall.

Which is now in pieces around the world.  Some of which are in Fulton, Missouri. I touched it last summer. 

Designed to keep people in.

There is the Great Wall of China. 

Which is falling apart into pieces.  Some of those pieces happen to be in a film canister on my dresser in my bedroom.  I touched that in May of 2001.

Designed to keep people out.

Then there is the Vietnam Wall.

I have touched it as well.  Once in 1995 and once in 2004.  The one in Washington DC that is.

But in case you didn't know, there is another one.  A miniature one called "The Traveling Wall."

It is an exact scale replica of the one in Washington, but is carefully brought to the people around the United States.

Carefully carried to the regular folks who don't have the money or frequent flier miles to visit the big one.

I have seen it twice as well.
If you want to feel humbled and a spirit of reverence, visit The Wall That Heals with a former Vietnam vet.

Like my dad, for example.

My dad is a simple fella, manly and sort of tucked inside when it comes to emotion.  He isn't one who has talked much about his service, even though he comes from generations of soldiers.  It was only a few years ago that he had healed enough that he bought himself a Vietnam Vet hat.  I was there that day and it was almost like it opened up that part of his heart that had been closed for 35 years.

The Boy and The Girl came along to North Kansas City to see the Wall this go around.

We got to see some maps relative to where he served.

We got to see his half-brother, Kenny, who was killed in 1969 as a 19 year old marine.

I was surprised when he picked out another name....

Glenn P.  McADoo

I had known as a kid that my dad served with a man who was killed....a buddy from his troop.  I never knew his name until this day.  Glenn.  He told us that Glenn had taken his RR to Australia and while he was there, he had fallen in love.  He had plans to return to marry the girl.  

And then he was killed.

No one in his group knew her name or how to contact her.  And that was the end of Glenn's love story.  :(

My dad served in the Army.

There was a poster for vets to sign for classroom sharing work.

All sorts of people turned out to visit the wall.  Including heros.

My dad was in the Electric Strawberry Unit. 

I love my dad.  He is a true hero to me.

There is someone else who has acted heroically recently who didn't die in Vietnam.  It is a guy you probably haven't heard of named Jerry Barham.

Jerry is a fellow Rotarian friend of mine who financially sponsored The Traveling Wall to come to KC.  He is such a nice man, it is easy to be impressed with him.  And it is not surprising that he went the distance to bring The Wall here.

When his brother left for Vietnam in the late 1960's, he left Jerry his car to take care while he was gone.

Jerry's brother never returned.  But Jerry had kept his word.  He is still taking care of brother' car.

Jerry is often found donating to the community and the greater good.  As heros are known to do, I suppose.

Thank you, Jerry, on behalf of me and my family.
As The Girl and I work to finish our membership application to the Daughters of the American Revolution,  you could see our ancestrial "fight against oppression" genes coming out that day in the t-shirts we chose to wear...

The Girl's

And this is the one I picked out from the exhibit....


I know, this day on a hot astroturf high school football field, there was no doubt there was some healing that was felt. 

God bless the USA.  :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Gift of runs in my blood

Since this is my journal in most aspects, I have to give a shout out to a little thing I have little of time.

The last six months have been a donation, a very large donation, to my God and my fellow men.

When you are in the business of giving away your time and self for free, time is often your best asset you have to give.  However, like all blessings, it can be a curse as well.

But I feel like it contributes to the "big picture" and I know it is the right thing for me to do.  And I figured out it runs in my blood.
The last six months have included working on the temple book, which included helping to put 150 years of history into ten pages.  Photographs of the temple for the book.  Lots and lots of photographs that will never be used.  Maybe some will.  Haven't seen the book yet, so I am not sure.  :)

The Temple Open House.

The Cultural Celebration.  Present to witness a miracle in person.

The Temple Dedication which included an excellant talk by Jeffrey R. Holland, author of the "in the boat" saying in our lives.


The Girl graduates with her Associate's Degree.

Significant recognitions for the photographs from the LDS Church.  The newest being that one of my prints was just selected as the photograph the KC Temple will be giving away to all their marriage couples for the next 9-12 months.  :) 

The Girl's boyfriend leaves for the 2 year mission.

My parents are moving this week.

Grieving period of Tom is at one year.  We ate ice cream sundaes at his grave (his favorite) and I put my grieving to rest.  No pun intended.

Helping ready a homeless women's shelter clothing room.

Sent Mr. Fun overseas a couple times.

Started my own Temple Worker Hostel program that has a couple staying with us three out of the four weeks.  Indefinately.

Hosted three weeks of various company.  Who we love.

Mr. Fun gets Bells Palsey.  During a dinner for 21 at our house.  :)  I hear it was a really fun gathering(we were at the ER).

Started my new Church History photography project "The Mini Mission." Haven't had a second to work on it except for one blog post.  In April.

Got The Boy passing his 9th grade year.  Barely.

Sprinkle in there is everyday life, and you can see why a girl could use a break. 

Which, technically started Thursday afternoon. 

And it has been delicious.
Seems to perfect timing to write a blog about soldiers and their service since we are heading to July 4th week.

I love a good holiday, especially this one because our besties Dave and Carol Tallant throw a big happy "Come one Come all" party.  I love to see how happy it makes Dave to do it, as well as happy everyone is when they attend.  It is a treasured annual tradition. 

But this year, this holiday season means even more to me.

Of all the things that we have passed through as a family these last six months, there is something that I have really been wanting to finish up.....

Our Daughters of the American Revolution application forms.

The Girl and I attended a DAR meeting about a year ago.  We were some of the youngest in the room by decades. 

For me, joining is a way to honor my grandparents (latest count is 17 grandfathers and 1 stud muffin grandmother) service in the way they saw fit to give.

We just received the last document of proof we needed to join, which I will ceremoniously fill it out this week....but of course, Independence Day week.

But there is more.

We took a side field trip to the Lexington Battle Field (google it) the other day on the way home from finishing RYLA.  Our first Civil War field trip.

We read there is a group for them as well....a Daughters of the Confederacy group.  Which, thanks to  grandpa James N. Lovvorn's service, we will be joining for $2 a year as well.

 (this was neat...the military school students
were doing manuvers on the battlefield)

And yesterday, we took a family trip to the traveling Vietnam Wall that has stopped in KC for four days.  We went with my dad, Joe,  a Vietnam Vet.  :)

So, while you eat your watermelon and throw your popping fireworks all over the ground this week, please think of those who gave their service to the big picture.  Because they felt like it was the right thing to do.  It must have run in their blood, too.

(the battlefield of Lexington with current military students sitting
behind the Union soldier cemetery....soo cool)