Portrait of a loser

My father was a loser.

At the age of 18, Henry Paul LoGuercio was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he was quickly transformed from the valedictorian of his military high school, student body president, and master of five languages into a soldier. Because of his academic success in military school, he was immediately made a 2nd Lieutenant in charge of a unit of soldiers.

They were shipped out in the midst of World War II, landing on Omaha Beach on D-Day in Normandy, France. Jumping off the ship and sloshing through the waves in full military gear, my father and his unit stormed the beach amid a hail of German bullets. Those who survived charged ahead and took refuge in a barn.

My father never spoke of his military service, other than to tell me what happened next: German war planes overhead strafed the building. He could hear the ackackack of the bullets whizzing through the ceiling and all around him. When he looked up, all around him were dead and dying soldiers. Right next to him was a dead soldier with his face completely blown off.

Miraculously, not one bullet had grazed my father. However, there were dual strips of bullet holes alongside where he’d lain. He was rescued by other American soldiers in a complete state of shock. Master of five languages? He was unable to speak or even say his own name. He was taken to an army hospital where he was “rehabilitated.” He had to be taught to write again. My grandmother showed me a little note he’d managed to scrawl from his hospital bed in something more like chicken scratch than letters. It said, “Hi Mom and Pop, Everything here is swell. Love, Henry.” He was released to his parents six months later, with basically a “Sucks to be you” salute and a shove out the door. He suffered for the remainder of his life from “shell shock,” which we now call PTSD.

My father managed to make something of his life, and chose to go into medicine. He said he’d seen enough death, and wanted to devote himself to saving lives. He became an outstanding osteopath and surgeon. However, the PTSD haunted him… a shadow that never left his side, never let him forget the horrors he’d witnessed—in an era where we didn’t have war movies to desensitize us to the horrors of the battlefield. The first death and carnage he witnessed was not on a movie screen. It was bleeding at his side. When he was 18.

PTSD was a constant presence, which he attempted to chase away with alcohol. More and more and more, but the demons just laughed. At that time, the U.S. Army didn’t recognize “shell shock” as a disability. He was on his own to figure it out, discharged with a “Hey, sucks to be you, have a great life.” He never got a Purple Heart. From that point on, as far as the Veterans Administration was concerned, he was “Henry Who?”

Ultimately, alcohol and PTSD eroded my dad’s ability to function as a physician any longer. His hands began shaking. He was unable to do surgery with shaking hands, and unable to get malpractice insurance because of that. Unable to work, he rapidly downspiraled into out of control alcoholism, PTSD, and paranoia. In November 1977, he had a massive brain aneurysm, and was in a coma for nearly two months. He eventually woke up, paralyzed on one side, most of his intellectual capacity destroyed. He had become a shell, filled only with sadness and loss. Yet, he lingered on like that until 2003, when he died alone the day after Christmas in a convalescent hospital, apparently suffering another stroke in the middle of the night. Or, maybe he’d finally just had enough of this life.

When it became time to plan his funeral, the local Veterans of Foreign Wars group discovered that my dad was a WWII veteran because one of them was married to the woman who ran the local flower shop, where I’d ordered the roses for his casket. The VFW wanted to give my dad military honors upon his burial.

As friends and family carried my father’s casket to the open grave, there were several VFW members there in full uniform, rifles at the ready. He was given a rifle salute, and “Taps” was the only song that played. When they were done, their quartermaster presented me with an American flag, neatly and tightly wrapped into a triangle, and told me he appreciated my father’s service.

After all those years, and from veterans who never even knew him, he was still their brother in arms, and they wouldn’t let him be laid to rest without acknowledging his service. What a bunch of losers, to care for a sucker like that.

I’ll tell you one thing: There was more patriotism and courage in one hair follicle on any of those veterans’ heads, or on my dad’s, than there is in the entire character of our President. When called to serve this country, they didn’t fake bone spurs, likely because they weren’t amongst the rich and privileged who can slide out of service with a purchased note from the family doctor.

There are men and women just like that, right now, fighting to protect our country’s interests all over the world, who put their lives on the line for our country every single day, and who will selflessly charge into battle to save this country and defend our Constitution. And, they are led by a Commander in Chief who views them as “losers” and “suckers,” and who says if they are captured in battle, don’t deserve to be saved because they’d allowed themselves to be caught. He has less respect or concern for them than the dirt under his heel.

I have been a professional writer for going on 30 years, and I do not have the words within me to fully express my fury and outrage at what Donald Trump has said about the members of our miltary. His words in the Atlantic Monthly story this week are corroborated by his denigration of a genuine military hero, John McCain, as well as his lack of interest in doing anything when it was recently revealed that Russia had funded attacks on American soldiers in Afganistan.

He DOES NOT CARE about our service members. Or us.

HE.

DOES.

NOT.

CARE.

How about you? Do you care about them? If you do, then VOTE this November, and save our military members and our entire country from this soulless sociopath who doesn’t give a shit about anyone but himself.

Trump is an enemy of the state. He should be treated as such.

They spit on the grave of every soldier

On Memorial Day, hopefully, we pause to remember those who gave their lives in service to our country. Some died in the process of that ultimate gift, others returned home broken and battered. All of them put their country before their own goals and ambitions, and personal gain. All of them will have little American flags flying over their graves on Monday, my father amongst them.

There is no greater sacrifice than to give your life for the greater good of all. In our country, for the military, this has meant to do your duty with honor in your heart, knowing that standing up for the Rule of Law and our Constitution is the ultimate responsibility, even to the point of risking your own life.

I must ask, when all the politicians mouth words of praise for fallen soldiers on Memorial Day, wearing their obligatory lapel American flag pins and giving “heartfelt” speeches, how they go home and sleep at night if they aren’t pushing hard for impeachment of the most corrupt, dishonest, unbalanced President in U.S. history?

I have listened to news program after news program, talk show after talk show, and every discussion of impeachment revolves around the calculation of how such a move will affect the 2020 elections. Every time I hear it, I could launch from my chair in flabbergasted disbelief. When you distill this conversation down to its essence, these politicians are completely focused on their own personal gain and re-election than on the Constitution they swore to uphold.

Just like this President who unabashedly puts his own self-interest above every single thing that happens in this country, when you think about it, every politician who talks about the effect impeachment would have on the 2020 election rather than doing what is right is essentially doing the same thing: What’s in it for me, and to hell with the country.

I ask again: How do you people sleep at night? Have you no honor? No shame? No integrity?

The definition of a sociopath is one who walks through life doing whatever he wants with absolutely no concern or empathy for anyone he harms. Walking over people is how he operates in the world. Clearly, our President fits this description. However, I suspect that a lot of politicians fit this description as well, based upon their drive to protect themselves and their jobs above all else.

Sociopaths can be very convincing and charming when it serves their own needs. They’ll lie to your face without blinking if it means you’ll vote for them. If you voted for someone who now balks at impeachment, sorry, my friend — you’ve been duped by a sociopath.

Having sworn to uphold the Constitution and now flagrantly not doing that by refusing to impeach a President who so clearly deserves impeachment, many times over, means that these politicians are as guilty as he. Theoretically, there could be a clean sweep through Congress if all those who swore to uphold the Constitution and now will not were held up to the Rule of Law. To add irony to insult, these politicians make decisions that affect the lives of every member of our Armed Forces.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi week stated this week that the President is involved in a cover-up and has obstructed justice; “is” and “has.” Not might have. And yet, she drags her heels when it comes to holding him accountable. When stating that these are “impeachable offenses,” she nearly chokes on the words. And why won’t she push harder, and respond to the demands of the far-left freshman Democratic representatives? Because her only calculation is how it will effect the 2020 election.

I admire Nancy Pelosi, but I am hugely disappointed in her choice to put ambition ahead of country. Hugely.

Sometimes you are called to put your own needs aside and do what is best for the greater good of all. Sometimes you dedicate yourself to your country and the Constitution it stands for, because that is the right thing to do. People who feel this why will have little American flags fluttering over their graves on Memorial Day. And every politician that will not set his or her own needs aside and serve their country first spits on those graves.

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Photo by History.com