Home Columnist THE WEEKENDER by Clyde Black: USA, USA, USA




 I’m back and I sure appreciate the Strong Woman covering for me here in the Messenger.  I know you all like it when I get outspoken and political so let me at least say that I’m proud of what our newly elected President is doing to bring jobs and dignity and strength back to our country.  No doubt we could accomplish a lot with him if some republican congressmen (Kevin Brady) and democrats would grow some “courage” and make some tough decisions.  The democrats are like children who don’t want to play with others.  But, I’m not going there this week.  I am a mellow man!  I just rode my Can-Am Spyder to Apalachicola, Fla., and back last week.

 My mission was to hook up with my old Corpsman from Vietnam.  I was a Marine assigned to a little known group of advisors working under MACV in the Rung Sat Special Zone, Vietnam.  It’s enough to say that we did things Steven Seagal thinks up for his movies.  Doc Smith has been ill and even his wife has had recent heart surgery.  He indicated he wanted to see me so I had a jacket made and ordered him a medal I knew he earned and never got and off I went by myself on my bike.  Do you remember the weather along the gulf coast the week prior to Memorial Day?  It was awful with rainstorms and thunder showers all week long.  Not to mention strong winds.  Not good bike riding conditions.  Somebody told me that when I get to Pensacola I should follow the scenic coast route to Apalachicola.  It was like driving 250 miles on 1960!  Awful. 

 I had conspired with Doc’s wife, Barbara, to get his friends to a local bar where I planned to surprise him with the gifts.  We got there and it was crowded!  The waitresses asked the crowd to calm down that a presentation was about to take place.  I rose and got into a speech telling Doc’s neighbors and friends about his heroics.  To my surprise the crowd started cheering.  “USA, USA, USA”   As a Vietnam Vet I was touched.  Everyone got emotional and friends and strangers approached Doc and thanked him for his service.  I am still in awe of the kindness and spirit of American Patriotism I felt that evening.  Strangers told me that I was wonderful for making that journey to honor a friend and that we needed more of that kind of love.  A couple from Dallas, without leaving their name picked up the whole tab.  WOW! 

 Please keep your chins up and be proud to be Americans!  There is a reason immigrants want to come here!  We must continue to be a nation of law and respect that law.  Thank God for his blessings of the past and we must pray for his help to preserve those blessings.  May He bless Houston County.