Sweet Victory

I’m in Oswego, New York this morning. I’m sitting at a Macintosh in the new campus center. I came here last night to watch the Fredonia State Blue Devils compete in the SUNYAC Men’s Basketball Championship. The Blue Devils prevailed in a close contest winning in the final 8.5 seconds on a driving layup by Junior guard, Brad Coooper.  I brought an overnight bag in case they  won and I got to use it. I stayed overnight at the Scottish Inn near the college. I’ve stayed there a number of times when our son Devin was playing for the Blue Devils. I miss seeing Devin play and wish that his basketball career could have lasted longer. I never would have thought that my allegiance to Fredonia State would have continued, but it has. I’ve been a member of the Fredonia Boosters since Devin was playing and I’ve continued my membership. 

I’m really delighted for the young men of this year’s squad and happy that they can be in today’s final game which will be played at Laker Hall on campus here at SUNY Oswego. This afternoon’s opponent for the Blue Devils will be SUNY Brockport. Brockport’s got a great team and they’ve prevailed against Fredonia in two earlier meetings this year. Nonetheless, whatever happens Fredonia State Head Coach Kevin Moore can take pride in his team’s accomplishments this season.

After last night’s game I text messaged my wife, my daughter Dara who is a Fredonia State Senior and my son Devin who is former Blue Devil player. We were all excited and happy for the team and especially for  Kevin Moore.  Like all coaches Kevin has had his ups and downs and I was happy to see him so elated with last night’s victory. I’m hoping that the Blue Devils can upset Brockport today, but even if they don’t I’m glad that I’m in Oswego this morning even though it is only 7 degrees above zero.  Life is never what we expect. It is full of pleasant surprises and ironies and this morning I’m sitting in a building that didn’t exist thirty-seven years ago when I was in the middle of my second semester at SUNY Oswego, but I’m in full sight of the campus that did, the dorm I lived in and the buildings in which I attended classes. Thirty-seven years ago I had no idea that I would be transformed from an Anthropology major to a Hospital Corpsman in the U.S. Navy in less than a year. In the ensuing thirty-seven years I would complete an enlistment in the U.S. Navy, meet a lovely young lady, get married, have two children, finish college, work in public school for over thirty years and be considered by some a geek. Those items weren’t on my plate or even in my imagination in February 1972. 

I’m trying to say that you ought never put limits on what can happen. Whatever God you believe in or don’t has plans for you. There is a force in the universe that works for good even though sometimes the good is hard to see.  I don’t know what today will bring but I’m going to try to be open. Openness and flexibility are the keys. Godspeed Fredonia State!

Real American hero

Much has been made of Rev. Jeremiah Wright ever since some of his sermons were taken out of context and smattered across the front pages of newspapers, tabloids and other media outlets. Last night I listened to Fr. Pfleger defend Rev. Wright as a man of faith and a man who loved his country but had the courage to speak truth to power when his country was wrong. I wanted to check on what Fr. Pfleger had said and so I did some Googling tonight and my results reinforce Fr. Pfleger’s assertions. Rev. Wright is a decorated veteran of the United State Military having served first with the United States Marines and then later with the United States Navy as a Hospital Corpsman. Having been a Corpsman myself I can attest that service in the Hospital Corps is not only voluntary but courageous too. You can read more about Rev. Wright’s service to our country here.

I find the ad hominem attacks of Rev. Wright and his character to be repulsive and what’s more many of the commentators initiating these attacks have no record of military service themselves. There is a major difference between prophetic Christianity and pathetic Christianity. It seems to me that Rev. Wright has put the cross on top of the flag rather than the flag on top of the cross. He is being attacked by partisan hacks who are carrying water for entrenched corporate and political interests.

35th Anniversary

Thirty-five years ago today I graduated from the United States Navy Hospital Corps School at Great Lakes, Illinois. I was a member of Company 7316 as we were officially known. I was eighth in a class of sixty-eight other new Hospital Corpsman that crossed the stage that day. We were mostly draftees who chose to join the Navy rather than take our chances wandering in the jungles of South East Asia. Some of us would later serve with the Fleet Marine Force as HM-8404’s and many would later face peril somewhere else. I often wondered if any of my shipmates were injured in Beirut in the 1980’s. Continue reading “35th Anniversary”