Sunday, November 11, 2007


Even though I put a post up yesterday about the writers strike I got to thinking. The following is the result of those thoughts:
Today and tomorrow there will be programs honoring Veterans. The brave men past and present who insure that I can continue to go to the church I choose , Worship my God as I please, elect my own representatives in government, and continue to speak the english language if I choose to. The list goes on and on. These freedoms of ours are under constant attack now. Mostly through misguided political correctness and the efforts of the ACLU and the acadamia nuts running many of our extreme left wing Universities.
With that in mind I know that my freedoms are the result of brave service men. None of those freedoms are the result of something that an attorney did. For certain none of them are because of something a misguided attorney acting as a supreme court justice did to try and and write his own version of the law and thereby over step the U.S. Constitution. Bravery cannot be understood by these types. But those who did, and do serve our U. S. Armed Forces know the meaning well. I did not serve. I do have the utmost of respect for those who have and do serve. For you Veterans past and present, I am re-running my post of two years ago.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Veterans Day
Friday evening there was a Veterans Day program in our little town. About four to five hundred people filled our auditorium. The reason they all came, was to witness a production of Bob Brodersons Diary. Bob is a highly regarded local farmer, who by the way, has had to reside in a 'care home' for the past couple of years, and who had piloted 37 missions over enemy territory in World War II. The Brodersons, (pronounced as broaderson)are an old Burt County family and you'll not find their enemies here. There aren't any that I know of. The show consisted of period songs sung by a quartet, mixed with readings from the diary he kept during the war. An actor played his part. They carried on five or six large black and white photos of him from the combat zone, during the show.When he went over, he was promised that all he had to do was fly twenty five missions, and he could go home. When he was more that half way to that number, they extended the number to thirty. At about the twenty five mark they extended the missions to thirty three. When he got over thirty missions flown, his commanding officer 'asked' him if he would fly four more missions out of Russia. "No hard feelings if you won't". Part of his crew were to finish with him, and part needed the flights out of Russia to finish. His crew begged him to fly with them so they could all get done together. They had no desire to fly with someone else. So he did. They finished. There is no bravado in the diaries. There is none in Bob's life. He is plain spoken, quiet, and if you'd ever talked with him you'd get the idea he hadn't done anything in particular worthy of note in his life except to raise a fine family and become a good farmer. In my book, both worthy of note in these times.The diary just told of the struggle of keeping a B-17 bomber in the air that was continually being shot at and hit. It told of the planes from his squadron they lost nearly everytime they went out. Of constantly being under attack as they flew. Of one of his buddies who began as the pilot but had a sort of mental melt down and couldn't take-off or land the plane anymore.Of he and his buddies who had a job to do and just did it. Of the first plane they lost. "She was a good ship" Bob said. Of some humorous things that happened like the night he and buddy won a lot of money playing poker and bought a horse and buggy to take back to the base. These same two dated a couple of local gals from near the base in England. Only to find out they were dating a mother-daughter combo.We laughed with him as he tried to divert his mind while off duty, we struggled with him to endure all of those missions he detailed so eloquently, and we cheered and cried for joy when the plane crossed the channel into English territory after the thirty seventh mission. He described the jubilation in the plane as they shook up a bottle of beer and sprayed it around. He wrote that it was the end of what he knew would be a part of his life he would never forget.In the end he simply wanted to come home to Burt County and farm. He did. A lot of his friends never made it back to America alive.The frail little man was there in a wheelchair. I'm not sure he knew why he was there, but we did. He represents the men from Burt County, from Nebraska, and our Nation,who went to battle, in this war and others. Without these plain spoken heros, America doesn't survive. Thanks to you Bob, and to all the others. We too must never forget that part of Bob's life.


Ralph's Homespun Headlines said...

Great post Cliff. Thanks for re-running it. Some post, this is one, needs to seen again and again.

Janell said...

Well said. I remember reading some of Bob's writings. The horse's name was Queenie and they fed her leftover corn flakes that they got from the company cook. Bob was one of the greatest, quietest heroes on the planet - and one of millions.

nora said...

Thank you Cliff.
That is a great story.

I contributed to the Marine Corp birthday yesterday by getting a group of them get good and drunk, then calling their wives to fetch them. After working the last five Corp birthdays I've got the routine down.

I wrote a piece about them for the Gazette last year (leaving out the beer and shots part), I need to dig it out.

Rachel said...

Wonderful story Cliff. Just wonderful.

1 plus twins said...

what a wonderful story. i wish i would have had the honor of attending that performance. have you ever talked to him in person. that is something i would love to do, actually sit with a man like that and just listen. that would be amazing.

Peter said...

Good story then Cliff, and just as good now.

Paul said...

Good job, Cliff.

Maybe we should require military service for elected officials and appointed justices.

Jim said...

Thank you, Cliff. This was needed.

Flip Flop Momma said...

nice job cliff...nice job;)

LZ Blogger said...

Cliff ~
As a Vietnam Vet, I appreciate your kind words to Vets here. And, although I am proud to have served our country, I still think of those friends I lost over there and of the families that they left behind. They will always be MY HEROES. I was just a guy doing what my country asked me to do and I was happy to have been able to do it. FREEDOM IS NOT FREE! And ALL of us need to remember that.

Many of us Vietnam Vets were met with hostility of a different sort when we came home (back to the WORLD as we called it) and NONE of us felt like heroes (more like piranha). Most of us came back to our families, picked back up our jobs, families and just left our memories in the rice paddies and jungles of that country.

I thought that the feelings of most of us were summed up very well by these words taken from the Novel “Up Country” by Nelson Demille. The quote is; “If we have any guilt, it is a shared guilt, if we have any honor, it is amongst ourselves only. We are bound together for all time by blood and common nightmares.” ~ Thanks for your expressed “honor” here Cliff! ~ jb///

Cliff said...

You are my hero Jerry. Thank you for doing that for us.

lisa van valin said...

Great comments. I am proud to be related to my great uncle Bob. I got out his diary of missions to reread. My dad said when he was training he would buzz and fly low over the Van Valin house in Wakefield to give the kids a thrill.

Jamie Dawn said...

Great post and re-post!!
What a treasure Bob is and what a treasure that diary is. His family will cherish that always and for generations to come. I sure wish I had something like that of my Grandpa's to tell in detail what he saw and did during WWII. I know he helped free one of the concentration camps which I think is amazing and something I cannot even imagine having seen with one's own eyes.
I have great respect for our veterans who have bravely and selflessly served on our behalf.

Raggedy said...

Great post!
Thank you for sharing Bob's story. What a beautiful way to honor Veterans Day!

If you have the time or opportunity please visit my post from Saturday November 10th.

Gette said...

Nice post Cliff. As well as the wonderful Vet's repost, I was tckled by the term "academia nuts". I'm stealin' it!