Updated: November 27, 2013 at 7:14 pm
Leadership is leading by example
I was one of the very few non-cadets in attendance at the Air Force Academy final home game of the season at Falcon Stadium. I witnessed a situation that deserves attention.
As I was sitting there in the north end zone freezing along with the cadets, I wondered about the lucky people who were up there in the private boxes on the west side of the stadium, all cozy and warm. I figured all of the academy command staff would certainly be there enjoying the warmth, if not the game itself.
When AFA scored a touchdown, my son, a cadet first class, sitting next to me, nudged me and gestured toward the end zone about 30 feet away. He said, "Look, there's Gen. Johnson, doing push-ups!" Sure enough, there was the superintendent, in ABUs, down on the turf doing push-ups with the other cadets. When she finished, she got up and high-fived everyone. She then returned to the field on the cadet side where she stood in the freezing cold with a few other staff and cadets for the rest of the game!
This speaks volumes about Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson's character and leadership and serves as the best example for integrity and excellence for all cadets. As a Civil War historian, this made me think of Confederate Gen. Barnard Bee, trying to rally the troops at the 1st Battle of Manassas in 1861, when he saw Gen. Thomas Jackson nearby: "Look, boys. There stands Gen. Jackson, like a stone wall! Rally to the Virginians!" Effective leadership is all about leading by example, and there was Lt. Gen. Johnson, doing just that, in a powerful and impressive way!
The reason for the season
It is that time of year when we began to view commercials on the television urging us to shop at their business establishments. They end by saying "Happy Holidays." Remember, "Jesus is the reason for the season," and do not shop at stores unless you hear 'Merry Christmas." Let's return Christmas, Christmas carols and Christmas tree to our vocabulary.
Donald G. Worley
Christmas in the middle of July
Some years ago, I worked in one of the local retail stores. One July, I approached the store manager and told him, "As a conscientious employee, I feel I should remind you that there are only 178 shopping days left until Christmas."
We had a good laugh, and of course I was kidding. At the time, I didn't seriously believe that some day the stores will be plugging Christmas as early as the middle of July. But the way things are going, I'm not so sure any more.
Dust off the old playbook
Secretary of State John Kerry is negotiating with the Afghans to keep American troops in country to fight al-Qaida, and the price we will pay for this "privilege" is to continue funding that country's inept security forces. We did this in Vietnam early on, and in some cases, Americans did the fighting and Vietnamese did the cleaning up.
We also paid the South Koreans to come and fight by paying for a deployed brigade and a stay-at-home group, the White Horse. The deployed Koreans were fearsome fighters, just not enough. That Vietnam thing didn't turn out so well. After destroying Iraq's military, we funded their security force, rebuild to stabilize the country, that also has not turned out so good.
So not learning anything, we dust off the old playbook and pour money into another corrupt, inept country so that the U.S. military can stay engaged to deny al-Qaida a safe haven, besides the one they enjoy in neighboring Pakistan.
This is a fight like a chess game, one of attrition. We aren't opening a new frontier, gaining land or freeing enslaved populations. This is fighting for an ideal, and history shows that while the struggle can be long and bloody, most of which will come from the aggressor (us), it will not be solved by force of arms. As a review, the Indian wars in America show we didn't defeat them through military might, they were starved out - an option not available in Afghanistan. Heck, the Seminoles in Florida never did surrender. It might be better to pull back, come home, let the locals work it out for themselves and gather in the light of day.
Of course, we could always use a couple of drone strikes whenever there was a large celebration gathering if nobody could see reason.
Michael S. Welsh
Thanks for the improvements
After being out of state for a month on business, I was pleased to return home and find two critical road projects in my neighborhood completed. After detouring around them previously, it was a pleasure to cruise through both intersections in a smooth, efficient and safe manner.
First, the two traffic circles installed on North Gate Road as it intersects with Interstate 25 are beautiful. No more confusing lane changes and dangerous intersections. No traffic lights, no confusing signs, no surprise merging of lanes. Great job, Colorado DOT.
Second, the Black Forest neighborhood intersection of Black Forest Road and Burgess Road is great. Thanks for bringing this intersection into the 21st century. It was so narrow, rough and outdated that it slowed traffic from all directions and discouraged drivers from even coming this way. The new signage, traffic lane markings, drainage, erosion control and everything about it were completed in excellent manner.
It is now a safer intersection for all, and it facilitates efficient traffic flow, in all directions.
I realize there was vocal opposition to this county project. There was also citizen support, albeit not so vocal. Thanks for weathering the storm, listening to citizen input, reducing the footprint of the project and bringing it to completion. It now is an excellent improvement to the Black Forest community.
El Paso County, we appreciate this investment in Black Forest.