J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the tag “Veteran”

Release Day Blitz – Justice Gone

Justice Gone Cover copy

When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down. A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran’s counselor, is caught up in the chase. Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa’s patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers get there first, leading to Darfield’s dramatic capture. Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge? Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr Tessa Thorpe, wrapped in the divisive issues of modern American society including police brutality and disenfranchised returning war veterans.

Book Links:

Goodreads * Amazon

Read an Excerpt:

Chapter 7

The funeral services, particularly the burial, had been announced as private and that sympathizers should remain at a discreet distance; and in a demonstration of exemplary respect, the hundreds of supporters complied with the request.

Family and comrades, especially those from the New Hope Clinic, were designated to be at the gravesite. An uninvited guest, surprisingly, was also among them: John Garson, Police Chief of Bruntfield Township.

After the lowering of the coffin, and the slow deliberate departure of the mourners, Garson slipped away, in the opposite direction that everyone else would follow toward their cars and hired limos: crossing fields of gravestones until he reached the coppices of oak trees, in order to escape the press.

Everyone else present merged into the group of activists who assembled at the gate of the plot, all intent upon making known the measure of their sorrow to the public.

The crowd that participated was moderate in numbers, but in no way insignificant—about seven hundred were reported to have shown up. They marched, waving their signs and chanting slogans, from the central commercial district to the Bruntfield Veterans Memorial Park, where a makeshift stage had been set up for the guest speakers. The local TV stations from Newark and Trenton, including the network affiliates, were present covering the march.

The whole thing was fairly orderly, despite the loud chants of “Justice for Jay” and the cardboard signs that said: WE DON’T WANT KILLER COPS, SHAME ON YOU, PROTECT NOT KILL, PUT THE ANIMALS BEHIND BARS. Police presence was minimal and subdued.

Once they arrived at the previously setup podium in the park, representatives of the various groups got their chance to express their views with the condition of keeping it short, and as per Marshal Felson’s request, focused on the incident. The fact that Jay Felson was approached by police when he was not in the act of committing any crime was stressed on more than one occasion. The TV crews covered the speeches with utmost diligence, as this was one of the highlights to be expected. Finally, for the emotional touch, the organizers called on the young man’s father.

“We are here today to let the city authorities know that we will be following very closely the grand jury proceedings!” Marshal Felson shouted. “That we, as a community, will not just brush this aside. I am grateful to all of you who have shown concern and have voiced their support for my son.” He gave up the mike and walked off the stage amid cheers and applause.

A rather frail-looking young man with glasses took control of the audience to announce that Dr. Tessa Thorpe from the New Hope Trauma Recovery Clinic was to be the next speaker.

Tessa had given much thought as to how she should dress for the occasion. Her first instinct was her Karen Kane pants suit, but dismissed that idea to wear her copper-brown print kaftan in its stead.

Now, with its folds caught in the vigorous September breeze, giving the illusion of a multitude of miniature flags fluttering around her, her thick locks of hair dancing around her head, she spoke to the crowd, slowly, deliberately taking her time. “Hello, my fellow citizens.” She stopped to survey the mass of people standing in front of her. Dramatic pauses replete with eye contact, if not overdone, were quite effective in getting one’s message across. Not surprisingly, Tessa knew how to get her message across, a special art in the realm of behavioral scientists. Public relations firms, advertising companies, political campaigns, all hired an army of psychologists to sell a product. And Tessa Thorpe, as someone who had thirty years’ experience as a criminal psychiatrist, could sell as well as any of them. “We are here today for two reasons, two very important reasons that are essential to our well-being in a modern society. Freedom is one, and justice is the other.”

Enthusiastic cheers.

“When the call for war came, we were told that our enemies hated our freedoms. We were told that the citizens of Iraq had been held hostage by a ruthless dictator who denied his own people these freedoms. Our invasion of that country was sold to us as Operation Iraqi Freedom. And so we sent our young men and women off to war, the most traumatic experience a human being could ever go through, with the belief that they were fighting for liberty and freedom. And yet, one of those whom we had sent…had come back to us only to have his own freedom denied. His single offence at the time he was approached by law enforcement officers was that he was exercising his freedom to stand on a street corner.”

This elicited a roar from the crowd.

“This is not merely tragic, it is an act of deplorable fraud, being denied the very thing he fought for!”

More heartfelt cheering.

“When I was young, we were made to pledge allegiance, an oath that ended with the phrase, ‘with liberty and justice for all.’ Well, Jay Felson was denied liberty…let us make sure he is NOT DENIED JUSTICE!”

An ear-shattering reverberation of concurrence.

Having descended from the little platform with the crowd still shouting in endorsement, Tessa was serially embraced by her coworkers: Casey, Ed, Penny…all with praise about her wonderful speech, culminating in Marshal Felson’s hug, whispering into her ear, “Amazing.”

The next event on the program was to go together to the site where Jay was killed at the bus depot in order to lay memorial flowers and gifts. The TV teams followed, instinctively knowing that this was indeed another newsworthy item. In fact, as a human interest story, it tugged at the heart to see the gift bearers laying their offers down. And what made it even more poignant was the huge bloodstain that had yet to be cleaned off the pavement, a crimson smear that drew numerous zoomed-in shots by the camera crews.

About the Author:

N Lombardi copy

Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).

In 1997, while visiting Lao People’s Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.

Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc.

His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.

His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.

Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Follow the Author:

Website * Goodreads * Amazon

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Meet Uncle Robert Wilson

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Uncle Robert Wilson who left this planet at 112 years old and whom the United Daughters of the Confederacy buried.

“RICHMOND BORN CIVIL WAR VETERAN DIES IN ILLINOIS
Elgin, Ill April 11- UP

Robert Wilson, oldest patient of the Elgin State Hospital, died today.
Confederate army records establish his age as 112.

Wilson, a Negro, was born in slavery January 12, 1836, at Richmond, VA, hospital files indicate. He was credited with service in the Confederate army during the Civil War (sic).

Known in the institution as Uncle Bob, he practiced evangelism before entering seven years ago.

He told attendants in the veterans’ ward that he was proudest of his knowledge of the Bible and of a half a dollar given him by Governor Dwight H Green, of Illinois, during a visit to the hospital several years ago.

Several months ago, Wilson lost the silver piece. His dismay was mentioned to Governor Green, who sent him another half dollar to replace it on his 112th birthday this year.

The oldest veteran had no living relatives. Hospital authorities said that plans are being made for his funeral by the Daughters of the Confederacy.”

ELGIN DAILY COURIER NEWS Elgin, IL.
April 11, 1948 Special thanks to Commander Randall Freeman for the information.

Lani Burnette – BLACK CONFEDERATES AND OTHER MINORITIES IN THE WAR OF NORTHERN AGGRESSION

(Article courtesy of the Southern Comfort, Sons of Confederate Veterans Private Samuel A. Hughey Camp 1452, Volume 43, Issue #2, February 2019 ed.)

An Interesting Twist of Events

Perhaps the assault on historical monuments and markers is losing momentum. If this article is any indication, it might be. I certainly hope so. As I have stated in past posts, I believe destroying these national treasures is destroying our history.

Lakeland

A MURDER MAY SAVE A MONUMENT

Yes, You read right!

Hold the presses on the recent vote that we reported last week to remove the Confederate monument in Lakeland, Florida by the end of January.
The driving force behind the monument’s removal, Commissioner Michael Dunn, has resigned after being charged with second-degree murder. This is forcing a special election scheduled for January 15th to elect Dunn’s replacement.

There is also a lot of opposition around town to the Commission’s decision to install red-light cameras to raise the money to pay for the monument’s removal.

So Commissioner Scott Franklin has asked City Attorney Tim McCausland to add a line on the Jan. 15 ballot allowing the voters of Lakeland to decide the fate of the monument and on the purchase/installation of red light cameras.
Commissioner Troller wanted the monument put on a ballot last year but the Mayor and Commission refused to allow that for fear that a public vote may have ended in the monument’s favor. Now it would appear that the politicians prefer the monument’s final fate be blamed on the voters and not on themselves.

Commissioner Selvage has said that he has personally agonized over the decision to move the monument and how to pay for it. He said he has spent time in Munn Park looking at the statue. “I imagine him to be a 19-year-old young man, whose country was being invaded and he went to serve,” said the U.S. Marine veteran who served in Vietnam. “One hundred years later, I was 19, I did the same thing – I went to fight communists. I didn’t know what in the heck I was doing, I found myself in a far-off land, fighting, and now people say that was wrong, that was immoral. I looked at that soldier and thought, ‘That soldier was the same. He went to save his hide and, unlike me, he didn’t come back.'” Selvage added that the monument should remain in or be removed to, “where it will be treated with honor and respect.”

(Dr. Ed is a pastor, author, public speaker, radio personality, lobbyist, re-enactor, and the Director of Dixie Heritage.)
(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, Nov. 23, 2018 ed.)

Leave General Lee Alone!

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Last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, “white-nationalists” protested the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from a park previously known as Lee Park, which has since been renamed. I’m not certain why these groups were demonstrating on behalf of the monument. They epitomize racism, and the KKK has flagrantly used the Confederate battle flag to represent themselves in the past, thus tainting the flag’s original meaning. Counter-protesters arrived and, sadly, one deranged young man, reportedly a Neo-Nazi, killed a demonstrator.

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A flurry of controversy and speculation postings on Facebook and Twitter has taken place about why the incident happened. Many wonder why the cops were told to stand down. Others think it was a way for the main stream media to avoid reporting negative publicity toward the Democrats. I believe that this entire movement is slowly chipping away at Southern heritage by claiming it to be racist, which is completely untrue. Unfortunately, extremist groups have become embroiled in the battle to preserve Southern history. What wasn’t an issue until just a few years ago has become an all out attack on Confederate history.

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The fact of the matter is, none of these monuments should be or should have been removed. In fact, none of the street names, schools, etc. should be renamed. History should never be erased, or we will forget where we came from. And those monuments are not a reminder of slavery, they are a reminder of how Southerners suffered and died for truths they believed in, and for defending their homes. In their eyes, the North was a tyranny, and they had every legal right to secede. To claim Robert E. Lee was a racist is nothing less than ridiculous. He was an honorable soldier and family man with strong Christian morals and beliefs. He didn’t own slaves during the Civil War. In fact, he inherited them and set them all free. So to claim he was a racist is ludicrous.

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I don’t think the white-nationalists had any business protesting the removal of General Lee’s statue. This should have been done by heritage groups. When word got out that this protest would take place, the Charlottesville police department should have anticipated trouble and should have been ready. Removing monuments, which honor our American war veterans and are supposed to be protected by law, is disgraceful. Destruction of these monuments of Confederate veterans and war heroes will only lead to more eradication of our history and national landmarks. Ex-presidents who are not considered to be politically correct today, such as Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, and the father of our country, George Washington, are all future targets. This is the disintegration of America, taken down from within. President Lincoln predicted it himself.

And today, another Confederate monument went down:

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/08/just-protesters-destroy-confederate-monument-outside-durham-county-nc-courthouse-video/

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Colorado Confederates (Part 3)

It is an ongoing process discovering Civil War veterans who were buried in unexpected, out of the way places. One such example is Leadville, Colorado. Originally a mining town, Leadville gained fame with such characters as “Texas Jack” Omohundro, “the unsinkable” Molly Brown, and Baby Doe Tabor, to name a few.

Not surprisingly, many ex-Confederates traveled west after the war to claim their fortunes in the mines. Sadly, most didn’t fulfill their dreams, and some even died in the deep recesses of the silver mines. Others panned for gold, but very few found riches there, either.

Leadville’s Evergreen Cemetery hosts many Civil War veterans. The following links display their names:

Mr. Jack Box established the website and researched the soldiers over the past six years. When you go to the site, click on the surname and a photo of each soldier’s headstone will appear. I think it is amazing that Mr. Box has provided us with this information. Thanks to people like him, these soldiers will not be forgotten.

Colorado Confederates (Part 2)

Thanks to the research of Mr. Jack R. Box, the names of several Confederate veterans have been preserved in the archives. The following is a list of those who are buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Leadville, Colorado.

001 A  C  DAVIS
002 PAUL  HENEY
003 LOUIS  HESS
004 FRANK  KEITING
005 GEO  E  KELLE
006 CHARLES  MILBURN
007 JAMES  R  MILBURN
008 JACK  OMOHOUDRO (TEXAS JACK)
009 J  H  ROBINSON
010 ALFRED  SHULTZ
011 W J SLOAN
012 JOHN  J  WITZMANN
 
Apparently, these Civil War vets are buried there, but only one has a headstone marker, that of Texas Jack. I will write more about this fascinating character in later blogs. For more information, please visit:
 

Veteran Denied Confederate Flag

TV station WREG in Memphis reported yesterday that a Korean War veteran, Perry Thrasher, who has been a resident at the Memphis VA Hospital since 2007, was forced to take down his Confederate flag on Friday. The 75-year-old paralyzed veteran had a large flag displayed over his bed in honor of his great grandfather, who fought in the Civil War for Company I, 44th Alabama Infantry Regiment, and was mortally wounded at the siege of Petersburg.

According to the report, a nurse at the facility was offended by the displayed flag. This in turn, of course, offended the Thrasher family, who claims Mr. Thrasher’s rights are being violated. According to a hospital rep, only the United States flag is allowed inside the premises.

In April, a similar controversy arose concerning Mr. Thrasher, only that time, a small flag was under attack. In response, members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Nathan Bedford Forrest Camp, as well as Black Confederate activist H.K. Edgerton, presented Mr. Thrasher with the large flag that is now receiving criticism. Mr. Edgerton said, “It’s disgraceful that a veteran who defended his country should be treated in this manner in a Veterans Administration Hospital where the protections of the Bill of Rights should theoretically apply.”

The hospital is being investigated for allegedly forbidding the taking of family photographs at the facility, and VA police reportedly harassed and threatened the Thrasher family and their friends. Hospital representatives told reporters that Mr. Thrasher will be allowed to keep his flag in a drawer in his room, but if anyone tries to fly it, the flag will be permanently removed.

Further info at http://www.wreg.com/wreg-flag-flap-at-veterans-hospital,0,4250910.story

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