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Posts Tagged ‘Memorial Day’

Our Beautiful View

Posted on: November 12th, 2012 by Lisa Hampton 3 Comments

Our place sits out in the open prairie but up above the valley, to our south the rim rock of the mesas climbs a thousand feet above us.  The country between is blanketed with Oak Brush, Pinõn, and Cedar, with Blue Spruce, Aspen and Ponderosas as its crowning glory.  To the west the Sangre de Christos paint the horizon with a multitude of purples, blues and greys as each mountain and ridge falls away to another higher one. To our north and east you can look out for miles across a sea of rolling prairie grass that’s colors change not only with the seasons but also with the time of day and the shadows of the clouds above.

From the porch I look out at this version of heaven and know just how special it is, but, the very best part of the view is down at the end of our gravel driveway.

There, every day, waves our American flag; a beautiful reminder of who I am, what I stand for, and what not only our fathers and fore-fathers fought for, but now also our son.  What better reminder could there be, than this beautiful flag in the early morning sunlight blowing in the breeze?

And so today, we gather as a nation to honor those who serve or have served.  This is our day to thank them.

And like that flag, their service is a beautiful thing. Thank them with all your heart; tell them how much their service means to you.  Honor them by supporting the values that this country was built on, created for, and endures because of.  These men and women, they deserve so much more than just hanging our flag up for the day; more than we can ever possibly give back to them, and more than they will ever ask for.  But when you go about your day, not just today but every day, when you see that beautiful American flag, be proud, not only of our country, but of these men and women who have sworn to protect it, and then tell them and find some little way to do more for them.

She’s Not For Sale

Posted on: May 28th, 2012 by R.W. Hampton 5 Comments

American Flag @ Washington Cemetary

Not For Sale

There’s a trail of blood

Back through the sacred halls of history

Follow it back to where our fathers fought and died

Across the waves see the crosses on the hillside

On the wind hear their voices as they cry

We’ve got to get back

To the faith of our fathers

And find our way back

To the Liberty Bell

And never forget that ol’ flag

And all she stands for

It’s time to rise up and say

“This country’s not for sale!”

She’s not for sale

From Valley Forge they’re callin’

Not for sale

From Gettysburg they cry

From Belleauwood to the battle for Fallujah

She’s not for sale no, not at any price

There was a time

When we all stood together

There was a time

When by fire we were tried

But we lost our way

And it’s a way that cost so dearly

It’s not too late

To saddle up and ride

We’ve got to get back

To the faith of our fathers

And find our way back

To the Liberty Bell

And never forget

That ol’ flag and all she stands for

It’s time to tell Washington

“My country’s not for sale!”

From the Alamo hear ’em call

To the sands of Iwo Jima

From Normandy hear ’em cry

To that Chossen Reservoir

Back to Battan

To the muddy Mekong Delta

From the Helmand Province

To the Solomon’s bloody shores

They cry

We’ve got to get back

To the faith of our fathers

Written by R.W. and Lisa Hampton – ©June 2010

Flags at Sunset

Hampton’s Cimarron Sounds, BMI

R.W. is in the process of recording this song as well as another, “Hell in a Helmet” with the proceeds to be donated to a Wounded Warrior program close to his heart.

If you are interested in contributing to this cause please contact the Hamptons at rw@rwhamton(dot)com or call their office in New Mexico 1-800-392-0822.

To see R.W.’s Youtube Version of this song recorded on his porch at Clearview Ranch right after the song was written click here:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChXt_c0uOwg

The Face of Memorial Day

Posted on: May 27th, 2012 by Lisa Hampton No Comments

Honor - public image - photographer unknown

Memorial Day weekend is usually packed with BBQs, picnics, fishing at the lake, the first camp-out of summer, and graduations across the country. All celebrations of life, of milestones made, of classes finished, of hard-work accomplished. But on Monday, as we gather with family and friends please keep this face of Memorial day in mind.

On this weekend I hope every American thinks about the love of his country that this handsome young boy’s father must have had. He is representative of all the children who have lost a parent to war. He represents all the family members who have felt that lose so keenly.

My own father was but a toddler when his mother received news that my grandfather’s ship had been sunk in the Pacific returning from a battle and that only a handful of survivors had been rescued. Although my grandfather was never found so that my father, grandmother and family could have a service, his loss was no less painful for them.

The young man in this photo had a father who gave up his life in a battle that we sent him to fight. He wasn’t a Marine because he needed a job and he wasn’t a hero because he needed a college degree on America’s dime. He was something more than most of us could ever hope to be…and all Americans need to be able to look this child in the eyes and tell him that we truly honor his father and we will NEVER take his sacrifice for granted.

Americans owe him nothing less.

I have been to a full military funeral for a Marine who gave his life recently in Afghanistan and I know the same scene as is in the photo above has played out many times across America.

This young boy has a long road ahead but he is holding his head up and making his father proud…now we need to make his father proud of us.

Stand up America and on this Memorial Day and remember what it is about our country that is worth dying for, and NEVER for one moment forget those who have sacraficed for it.

Veteran’s Day thoughts… For Those Who Have Signed the Dotted Line

Posted on: November 11th, 2011 by Lisa Hampton 3 Comments

If you have been a fan of R.W. Hampton music for longer than, well, let’s say 4 minutes, (which is the amount of time it takes to listen to most of his songs), you know that R.W. is feverishly patriotic.

Yes, patriotism runs deep in the Hampton family and days like Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day are not merely for putting out the flag, but a time when we pause to honor those around us who have served our nation or are currently serving. 

On these special days we get a chance to stand up and thank those around us who have signed that dotted line saying “America, I’m yours.  I will stand up and fight for you, your citizens, your government, your flag and all that it stands for.  Regardless of whether I like that government, those citizens, or the cause I have been sent to accomplish.  Because as an American, I believe that in the end, right will win; evil will be conquered; freedom will reign and my family, my country, and my fellow soldier/marine/sailor/airman needs me.”     

Yes, these are special days.  Not just to honor men like these.

Members of the US Navy in Pacific Theater - WWII                    And these.        Sgt G Meisner, 2/9 Fox Co

 

But also these.                        2/9 Golf Co Ar Ramadi 2009

And women like these.   WAAC WWII

 

Violet Askins aka Violet Hill Gordon

Women Soldiers in AfghanistanAnd these… 

They are what make our country great. 

It’s what’s inside them.  They know that they were willing to stand up for their country and sign that dotted line. Willing to face our enemies in that  moment of battle and know the courage it takes.

Neither R.W. nor I have done this.  Signed the dotted line.  Faced our enemies across a battlefield.  

Brig General TC Lyster - Theodore C. Lyster is a familiar name to aerospace medicine physicians. His early recognition of the unique physical requirements of aviators, the specialized training necessary for flight surgeons, and the need for altitude physiology research provided the foundation on which the specialty of aviation medicine was built. Lyster's medical career, however, encompassed much more than aviation medicine. From his earliest assignment as a contract physician in Cuba in 1899 until his entry into private practice in 1921, he was heavily involved with the fight against yellow fever. In the era before medical residencies were commonplace, Lyster sought out training in ophthalmology and otolaryngology in the U.S. and abroad. His clinical and organizational abilities made him a valuable asset during the construction of the Panama Canal and during World War I. Lyster's many talents and his philosophy about aviation medicine make him a worthy role model for flight surgeons today.

Brig General TC Lyster, 1875 - 1933da

 

Army, Navy, Air Force & Marines. 
Our fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, and our oldest son, Cooper, have all signed it. 
Lieutenant General Wade Hampton III, 1818 - 1902

Lieutenant General Wade Hampton III, 1818 - 1902

For as R.W. said to me one day, “My greatest disappointment in life as an adult is that I will never know if I had it inside me to do what they have done; to face what they have faced and to know that I did my part for my country.”

And so, although we are not Veteran’s ourselves, our part now is to support and honor these men and women who are.  To encourage them, to enlighten our community to their sacrifices, and to keep their memories alive; this is our job now. 

 God bless everyone of our Veterans.  We go to sleep tonight safe because at one point you had the courage to sign that dotted line.

OXO – Lisa H.

22 Years and 5 Days: A Life Well Lived

Posted on: June 4th, 2010 by R.W. Hampton 9 Comments

Last Monday, Memorial Day, Lisa inspired me to do something different, something special that would teach our boys and remind us adults about the real meaning of this day.  And so, about sundown, we found ourselves at a little mountain cemetery almost hidden in the shadows of the pines, sagebrush and yucca plants.

We were there to visit the final resting place of Lance Corporal Chad Hildebrandt U.S.M.C. As Lisa, the boys and I laid flowers on his grave, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of a life well lived. Lisa and I talked about how Chad’s sacrifice in Operation Iraqi Freedom has blessed and inspired so many and continues to do so even today. It would seem that laying down one’s life to help buy freedom for a stranger on foreign soil would be enough, but it doesn’t stop there.

Lance Corporal Chad Hildebrandt U.S.M.C.

My song, For the Freedom, was partially inspired by this man. I know my own son’s choosing to join the Marine Corps was influenced by Chad’s service. This life that lasted only 22 years and 5 days has birthed friendships and bonds that will last forever. A career in teaching rose up and grew from a mother‘s love and grief. Now countless children reap the benefits of this woman’s love and nurturing, not the least of whom is my 3-year-old son, Ethan. And on and on it goes.

Many of us could make it to the century mark and not make such a positive impact and leave so rich a legacy.
 
And so a life well lived, no matter how short, is still a life well lived. Especially when that life ends while performing one’s earthly calling, passion and duty. I know when this man met his maker, he was greeted by the words, “ Welcome home, warrior. Well done. Well done!”
 
Is there any greater achievement than this? I think not!