"World Changer" Forging A Warrior

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Books

To begin with, I don’t remember when I’ve gotten so emotional with tears running down my face while reading a book.  I guess that's due in large part because I’ve been blessed to become friends with Karen and Billy Vaughn, and their story hits home; even when I’ve gone back and reread several sections, I still get misty as Karen pours out her soul describing Aaron and how she and Billy raised him. 

Whether they are working individually in different locations or together as a team, Gold Star parents Karen and Billy Vaughn are iconic American Treasures.  They certainly did not set out to be such, and no one would disagree that if they could go back in time to change the circumstances that brought them into the public spotlight, they gladly would.

Recently, in her “spare” time, when Karen wasn’t busy travelling and speaking around the country to Tea Party groups, High School Assemblies, Churches, Rotary Clubs, radio shows, appearances on Fox News and a myriad of countless other venues, she pulled out her keyboard and wrote a National Best Selling Book titled “World Changer” which invites the reader to a ring side seat to the molding of a hero.

If you are not familiar with their story, Karen and Billy Vaughn are the parents of SOC Aaron Carson Vaughn, who along with 29 other Americans lost their lives on the fateful evening of August 6, 2011 when Extortion 17 was brought down in Afghanistan under what can best be described as questionable circumstances.

Just like any other parents, Karen and Billy will never completely recover from the tragic loss of their only son, and only their strong faith in our Lord Jesus and knowledge of Aaron’s strong faith in Him, along with the outpouring of love and support from family and friends has allowed them to keep moving ahead.

Instead of letting their grief overcome them, they have chosen to share Aaron’s legacy with all those who will listen, and “World Changer” does exactly that.

“World Changer” starts at the very beginning from when this amazing young man was born, through some of his very 'untypical’ crazy kid stuff, because even as a child, there was something noticeably different about him. 

She describes one of the early and really big moments with one of the cows on the family farm by the name of “White Cow.”  From Karen’s description, one can visualize that “White Cow” was something like a cartoonized snortin’ brahma bull straight out of Warner Bros.  You see, “White Cow” was the alpha animal and bully on the farm, with ridiculously long horns, a take no prisoners kind of attitude, and was something of a nemesis to young Aaron; that is until the day that the Vaughn’s were rounding up all of the cattle into a corral.  While reading, you can picture the scene, Aaron was at the gate getting ready to close it behind the last cow, and a little nervous about what “White Cow” might do.  Billy told him that if “WC” started giving him a hard time to just haul off and punch her on the snout, which is exactly what Aaron did.  Apparently, “WC” looked a little stunned and accepted that there was no pushing this kid around, and when “WC” eventually wound up as a pot roast, I have to believe that Aaron’s portion tasted just a little better than everyone else’s.

It’s funny how such defining moments stick out.  Over the ensuing years, a lot of “White Cows” helped forge this hero into the man he would become, and just like he did with that 1800 pounds of snortin’ attitude, Aaron stood up and punched them all square in the nose to victory. 

High School Sports were no exception either.  Whether just practicing or engaged in a scheduled game, Aaron gave it everything he had; to the point that one time during a scrimmage, a teammate who happened to be the quarterback, walked off the field demanding that something be done about Aaron and his aggressive methods.  Even though they did find it kind of funny, the coaches had to politely suggest to Aaron that “kill the quarterback” was reserved for games against other teams.  I can only imagine the smiles on Karen and Billy, as well as Aaron over that.  After all, that other player might have torn his skirt or something if they hadn’t reined Aaron in a bit.

From the time he was about eight years old, Aaron knew that he wanted to be a Navy SEAL and focused on that singular goal his entire life; not simply doing everything he needed to do, but excelling and overcoming any and all obstacles, every step of the way.  For most people, the potentially life-disabling event of a destroyed ACL, with other severely torn ligaments would have seen them settle into lives of “cuda been” mediocrity; but Aaron, with the mind and heart of a warrior SEAL, wasn’t like most people or anyone really, because he simply turned those things into minor setbacks that forced him to work even harder.  And not just once, but twice. 

This is a great place to mention a scripture Aaron read often and new well, “I can do all things through Christ, Who gives me strength.”  (Philippians 4:13) 

When America was attacked on 9/11, Aaron steeled in his resolve and enlisted in the US Navy’s BUD/S program on his 21st birthday.  The rest as they say is history and this book about Aaron’s legacy is a must read.  

If you haven’t yet, get your hands on a copy of “World Changer.”  Learn about this amazing young man and his family, and read all the way to the end to see some of the great “parent coaching” ideas Karen offers her readers.  If you are so moved, reach out to Operation 300 and see how you can become involved with helping the widows, children, and families of fallen heroes, or at very least come away from it resolved to make your own local area, our nation, and the world in general a much better place.

Let the words of this amazing woman sink in and let them challenge us all to become “World Changers.”

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Hitlerland: A Book Review...Tim Dunkin

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Books

Publisher’s note:  As unlikely a concept it might be, I could be mistaken, however I don’t believe Tim Dunkin ever sleeps.  I think instead that his mind forces his fingers to dance across his keyboard in the wee hours of the morning as he effortlessly pens some of the most thought provoking information I have ever had the privilege to read and share.  

In a nutshell, whether he is discussing his brilliant book review below or simply poking his finger in the eye of some imbecilic liberal ideology, Tim gets it.  In a little less than two pages Tim Dunkin describes in easy to follow terms the parallels and the almost identical similarities between the rise of the Nazis during the decades between WWI and WWII and the progressive agenda of the liberals today.  

I cannot thank him enough for the opportunity to share all of his thoughts with my readers. 

Tim Dunkin:  There have been two times in our history in which Americans have been firsthand witnesses to the destruction of a republican government and its replacement with a fascist system.  The first of these was in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s; the second we are seeing here and now.  As you read Hitlerland, by journalist Andrew Nagorski, the parallels between the two sets of events can appear to be quite uncanny.  Indeed, today’s American Left, the progressives and the social justice warriors and the rest, bear an eerie resemblance to the Nazis who came to power out of the decaying corpse of the Weimar Republic.

The first thing to keep in mind when talking about the rise of Hitler is that it did not happen in a vacuum.  Instead, Hitler went through a long process of party building to turn the National Socialists (who, ironically, he had joined as spy for the Weimar government – it turns out he actually listened to the speeches he was supposed to be reporting to the authorities and liked what he heard) into the vehicle for his rise to power.  Though Hitler certainly is the central focus of the narrative Nagorski builds, he does not neglect to discuss in detail other prominent early Nazis who built the Party into what it became.  For this reason, the Nazis did not remain just one of dozens of fringe and ephemeral parties built around a single personality and which flashed into and out of existence during the Weimar period; their broad infiltration of the pivotal sectors of society allowed them to succeed where less-prepared rivals failed.  The rise of Hitler necessarily relied heavily upon the rise of the National Socialists as a group.

This is, of course, not too different from what we see today.  The radical Left has infiltrated itself into most of the key centers of power and influence in our society, such as the media, the universities, the arts, and so forth.  Their nearly uniform control of the media is reminiscent of that sought for and then established by Hitler’s propagandists – a process started by Hitler’s confidant Putzi Hanfstaengel, and then after he fell from favor, continued by Josef Goebbels. The universities – always incubators for horrible ideas – saw students and professors alike drawn to Nazism, just as they are drawn the progressive ideology of political correctness today.  Leni Riefenstahl and her mesmerizing film productions promoting the ideology and power of Nazism anticipated today’s Hollywood obsession with promoting a radically leftist social and cultural agenda.  Even the authoritarian political correctness promoted by big businesses such as Apple, IBM, Google, and others was prefigured in the control of industry and business sought for and achieved by the Nazis.

One is tempted to see an analog between Hitler then and Barack Obama now – certainly, both were/are reputedly gifted and charismatic leaders who seduced their respective nations to accept the destruction of their freedom.  However, I’m not certain that the resemblance is more than superficial.  While Hitler was a magnetic orator who was able to combine cutting-edge stagecraft with genuine theatrical skills, Obama is a stuttering bandersnatch who is lost without his teleprompter.  But more to the point, Hitler was a real power within his party and actually had quite a bit to do with its direction and, after he started his purges in 1933, its composition. I strongly suspect that Barack Obama is merely a figurehead, and that the real power behind the throne is Valerie Jarrett and her cadre.  Nevertheless, there’s enough Hitler in today’s Democratic Party for the overall point to still stand.

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Charlie Bisol...One Veterans struggle

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Books

Sometimes I get a little emotional when I meet certain people.  About two weeks ago I pulled into a Walgreens Store and noticed a man getting into a car.  Nothing really unusual about that given that people do it countless times a day all across the country.  However, my eyes were immediately drawn to the bumper stickers on his car.  One read "Wounded WWII Veteran,” and the other read "Bastogne/Ardennes.”  That was enough for me.

I had to acknowledge this man and say something, shake his hand, and otherwise honor him. I might add, his hands are as big as catcher’s mitts and are as warm as his heart.  So I got out of my car and approached his, and tapped on his window.  I thanked him for his service and we chatted for a little while.  I asked if he’d ever been on an Honor Flight to which he said “no,” and that he couldn’t.  To make a long story short, my new friend has PTSD, and has had it since WWII before they called it that or had any idea just how devastating it was and is.  Anyway, I gave Charlie my card and wished him well.

The story might have ended there, however I mentioned this chance encounter to a friend of mine that more than a few of my readers know.  This friend of mine and her husband, Andrea and Frank Plescia, are among the most vibrant and staunch supporters of Veterans in South Florida, if not the entire country.  Whenever they meet or become aware of a veteran or soldier in need of anything, they are right there.  I’m certain neither of them understands the concept of sleep.  But I digress.

When I mentioned this meeting to Andrea, she simply asked if I had gotten the man’s contact information.  Well, come to think of it I hadn’t, but somehow I felt that he and I would be crossing paths again…forgetting that I had in fact given him my business card in that parking lot.

Well dontcha know it, about three days later, my phone rang and it was him.  Charlie wanted to chat, and boy oh boy, did I ever want to chat with him.  For starters, I asked if I could share his contact info with some friends of mine.  He approved and I got him in touch with Andrea, who I might add, didn’t miss a beat.  She began doing her magic and got this hero plugged in to some great stuff.  He may not be able to get on an airplane, but Charlie is a man that has something to say and he is an inspiration…he has a message and a voice.

Let me take a moment and properly introduce this blessed soul to you.  Charlie Bisol is just that guy next door, he got born at a rough time in our nation’s history; he grew up, and he did what kids have been doing since time began.  He had fights with other kids in his neighborhood in the morning, and laughed about it later that day with the same kids.  Maybe, more than a few times like so many other kids back in the day, he and the gang scraped up a nickel together and bought a pack of cigarettes and maybe snuck away with everyone else on the block.  The point is, he was just a normal kid growing up in the twenties and thirties. Guys like Al Capone and John Dillinger were on the newsreels in the movie houses and the world was a very different place, albeit a very dangerous place.

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Undaunted Courage, a review

Written by Tim Dunkin on . Posted in Books

Publisher's note:  Tim Dunkin does a great job discussing this book, 'Undaunted Courage.'  I have to agree with his assessment that we have lost the pioneer spirit that once drove this great nation, and replaced it with the latest cultural titillation and distractive nonsense. Personally, I can't wait to read it myself.

Tim Dunkin:  Within the hearts of those of us who love liberty, there is a pioneer and an explorer seeking an outlet.  Which of us hasn’t dreamed of some new frontier to discover?

Because of the circumstances of our nation’s history and geography, this drive has been central to the American character.  It’s why we went west.  It’s why we went to the moon. It’s why we talk of going to Mars.  It’s why much of our fiction envisions the exploration of the stars.  

Even today, as we live our generally dull lives commuting to work, sitting behind a desk, and commuting home, pursuing our routine day in and day out, we dream of being able to go beyond the boundaries of civilized life and explore and subdue the wild unknown.

In his work 'Undaunted Courage,' historian Stephen Ambrose tells us the story of a party of men led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark who were able to live the dream.  

For the reader who is looking for a fast-paced adventure with explosive action on every page, this book will not be for you.  The author spends several chapters before he even gets to the onset of the expedition itself.  Indeed, the work at first seems as if it will be more a biography of Meriwether Lewis (who occupies the focal point of attention throughout most of the book) than anything else.  However, if the reader has the fortitude to abide, what follows is a thorough exposition, based upon copious documentation, of every aspect of the exploratory trip to the Pacific.  Sometimes humorous, sometimes gripping, sometimes tedious, its faithfulness to the sources mirrors what the real act of exploration must have been like – short periods of intense excitement punctuating much longer periods of hunting, rowing, carrying things, and such.  In other words – realism.  In my opinion, this is much better than the expectation of constant stimulation that has been inculcated in modern America’s consumers of popular entertainment.

One of the things the author takes pains to inform the reader is that this expedition from start to finish was a huge gamble.  Thomas Jefferson, despite the stereotype of constitutional scrupulousness, went out on a limb politically, both in the acquisition of the Louisiana Purchase and in spending public monies to prepare and send the expedition.  He had to sell his contemporaries – who had not yet acquired the habit of us moderns of spending copious amounts of money that we do not possess – on funding the expedition by appealing both to scientific interest and to political instinct.  Most specifically, it was argued that America must reach the Northwest – what is now Washington, Oregon, and Idaho – before any of the other great powers did.  Doing so, of course, generated its own risks by placing our fledgling nation into direct geopolitical competition with Britain and Russia, both of whom had claims in the area.  Already under fire from his Federalist opposition, the failure of the Lewis and Clark expedition would have destroyed him politically and allowed his name to be tarnished for posterity.

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Who stole our culture?

Written by William S. Lind on . Posted in Books

Publisher's note:  I came across this excerpt from the book “The Culture-wise Family: Upholding Christian Values in a Mass Media World," written by Dr. Ted Baehr and Pat Boone.  The excerpt itself is from Chapter 10 of the book and was written by William S. Lind.  As of this posting, I have not read the book, however I have put it on the front of my list of books to read.

William S. Lind:  Sometime during the last half-century, someone stole our culture. Just 50 years ago, in the 1950s, America was a great place. It was safe. It was decent. Children got good educations in the public schools. Even blue-collar fathers brought home middle-class incomes, so moms could stay home with the kids. Television shows reflected sound, traditional values.

Where did it all go? How did that America become the sleazy, decadent place we live in today – so different that those who grew up prior to the ’60s feel like it’s a foreign country? Did it just “happen”?

It didn’t just “happen.” In fact, a deliberate agenda was followed to steal our culture and leave a new and very different one in its place. The story of how and why is one of the most important parts of our nation’s history – and it is a story almost no one knows. The people behind it wanted it that way.

What happened, in short, is that America’s traditional culture, which had grown up over generations from our Western, Judeo-Christian roots, was swept aside by an ideology. We know that ideology best as “political correctness” or “multi-culturalism.” It really is cultural Marxism, Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms in an effort that goes back not to the 1960s, but to World War I. Incredible as it may seem, just as the old economic Marxism of the Soviet Union has faded away, a new cultural Marxism has become the ruling ideology of America’s elites. The No. 1 goal of that cultural Marxism, since its creation, has been the destruction of Western culture and the Christian religion.  Please click for the complete excerpt.

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