Friday, April 18, 2014

The A.W.O.L. ARMY Private by unknown

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Army Private Steven Gerner disappeared seven years ago, officially listed as AWOL. His family, friends and Army buddies all assumed he’d had an accident or lost his nerve and no one ever expected to see him again. He returned yesterday, only to find himself arrested by Military Police. What happened in between is a tale too implausible to be disbelieved.

Pvt. Gerner joined the Army in 2004 out of Sangre de Cristo, AZ. He reached his first assignment, to the infantry, in 2005, eager to please and wanting to belong.

“Well, it was my first day, and I guess I was pretty nervous and not really sure of what to do,” said Gerner. “Before I had even reported in to the first sergeant, a sergeant, and two specialists walked up to me. Of course, I did what I was trained to do, and immediately snapped to the position of parade rest and gave them all the greeting of the day.”

He continued: “After that, they started laughing and talking among themselves about ‘this gay-ass slick-sleeve saying good morning,’ whoever that was. Before I knew it, the Sergeant was in my face and told me to find a box of grid squares. I tried to explain I didn’t know where to find that! Hell, I didn’t even know where the unit supply office was, but he didn’t relent.”

Soldiers new to units often become the subject to pranks that are as old as the Army itself. Often, these pranks involve seasoned soldiers sending the new Private on a quest for objects that don’t exist. Chem light batteries, exhaust samples, frequency grease, and muzzle blast have been sought after by well-intended, yet unaware, junior soldiers.

Former Sgt. Zachary Willburn, who sent Gerner to find the box of grid squares, took a break from “smoking flavored tobacco” to speak with Duffel Blog by phone from his home in Boulder, Colo..

“Yeah, Gerner. That guy went AWOL his first day after I told him to get some grid squares. I’ve never seen someone take off so fast. Me and the other guys had a pretty big laugh, but, uh, we kinda expected him to come back a few minutes later. I never saw him again after that,” said Willburn.

“After a few days, they officially marked him as AWOL. We all though he deserted because we were heading to Iraq in a month.”

Gerner claims to have found the elusive box of grid squares in a remote region in the Himalayan Mountains. “At first, I spent about a year traveling across the United States, Canada, and then South America. After I couldn’t find it in Colombia, I almost gave up hope–you can find anything in Colombia. That’s when I caught a flight to the Middle East. I figured, it’s the cradle of civilization; if this exists, it has to be there.”

When asked how he was able to afford the airline tickets, Gerner explained, “Apparently when they marked me AWOL they never stopped my pay, so I just used what I had at the time to move around. I also got tax free pay and combat pay while my unit was in Iraq for 18 months. I filled out travel vouchers through the Defense Travel System over the course of the last seven years, but I still haven’t seen any of that money.”

While he ultimately found the mystical box, Gerner relates some dark times during his journey.

“Once, I was making my way across Iraq and ran into a pretty crazy firefight. The other soldiers were screaming at me, telling me to ‘get inside the wire,’ whatever that means, but I told them I had to go find a box of grid-squares or my Sergeant was going to kill me. They all started laughing until some stuff started falling out of the sky and blowing up, I think they might have been the air-launched improvised explosive devices that I heard about at Basic Training.”

Gerner’s quest had a happy ending, after one final twist.
The official report released from Gerner’s unit states that he returned to his unit Friday morning with an odd-shaped box, after being marked AWOL seven years ago to the day. The current company commander, Capt. Gregory Schwarz, was stunned.

“Private Gerner was arrested for desertion, but the interviewing JAG officer released him as soon as he heard his story. He won’t be receiving Non-Judicial Punishment, or a Court-martial for being AWOL, as it has been found he was simply following orders. Truthfully, he was officially separated from the Army after his six year contract was up.”

Schwarz elaborated, “In light of his actions, a review board has found in his favor and will be upgrading his Dishonorable Discharge to an Honorable Discharge. He has also been awarded the Iraq campaign medal with two stars, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary medal, and the Afghanistan Campaign medal with one star, as we found in our investigation he traveled through all of these areas while looking for this box.”

“Gerner was also awarded four Army Commendation Medals due to his unit being deployed four times during his 7 year journey,” he added.

Gerner’s mother was ecstatic at the news of her son’s return.

“I’m so proud of my baby boy. We were so worried while he was gone. I guess I’ve always kind of known my son was destined for great things, ever since that large black recruiter with the sunglasses once told me when he was just a child, ‘he’s the One.’ I didn’t know what he meant at the time, but now it’s all so clear.”

His recruiter, Sgt. First Class Stokes, recounted of his meeting with the then 18 year old shortly before he signed his papers, sealing his fate. “He asked me about Iraq. I said, ‘unfortunately, no one can be told what Iraq is. You have to see it for yourself.’”

Even though his journey was harrowing at times, Gerner expresses nothing but fond memories of his time in the Army, especially when he searched in Tahiti for three years.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Way of the Warrior by: unknown

I see through different eyes.

Though many can’t conceive it,

I stand…facing the wind.

My bravery not from fighting,

But from my strength within,

I am a Warrior.


I will walk the extra mile,

Not because I have to,

But because it’s worth my while.

I know that I am different,

When I am standing on a crowded street.

I know fullness of winning;

I’ve tasted the cup of defeat.

I am a Warrior.


They say I walk with ease.

Though trained for bodily harm,

My intentions are for peace.

The world may come and go,

But a different path I’ll choose.

A path I will not stray from,

No matter…win or lose.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Why Mormonism’s Claim is So Crazy to People


Mormonism is either one of the biggest frauds in human history or it is the second most important thing to ever happen on this planet. Let me be clear and immediately state that I believe the most important event to ever take place on this earth was the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know the first statement is a bold one, but let me try to explain why its true…

Mormonism makes a bold claim, which is why they also take a lot of heat from other Christian religions. They believe that Jesus Christ established His Church when he was on the earth. That Paul wasn’t kidding when he said that there was “One Lord, One Faith, and One Baptism” (Eph 4:5). They believe that before Christ was killed, he bestowed the priesthood upon Peter and the apostles. (Matt 16:19) They were ordained and set apart by Christ himself. (John 15:16) That the apostles held a power that could not be purchased with money, (Acts 8) or acquired at a university. They believe that men should not be paid for their ministry in the gospel which is why they spend countless hours on missions and in various church callings without receiving any monetary gain. (1 Cor 9:18)

As time went on in the first century, the apostles and the Christians were hunted and scattered by almost every group in the region. Peter was crucified upside down in Rome and Paul was beheaded after his 5th missionary journey. The other apostles met a similar fate with the exception of John the Beloved. Before the apostles died, all they did was travel and write to the various churches (who were all actually one church with different locations) in order to keep them in line. The New Testament is primarily a collection of those letters in which the apostles are trying to govern the church. With them gone and no one to lead the church, men began interpreting the scriptures for themselves and twisting the doctrine. Over time, the churches began to fall away from the truth because the apostles were not there to lead them. By 325 AD, the nature of God and the doctrine of the Christian faith was being voted on by pagans in Rome as a political maneuver rather than a religious one. Formal creeds, and a Catholic, or “Universal” church was formed as the state religion for the most powerful country in the world.

If you doubt any of it, I have a 45 volume set of Ante-Nicene, Nicene, and Post-Nicene writings sitting on my shelf as a reference. (They are not written or edited by Mormon scholars.) The early Christian fathers witnessed the church fall into deep apostasy and they wrote about it. This is the primary reason for all of the great reformers who came on to the scene to “protest” (protestant) what the Catholic church was doing at the time. No one believed that Christ’s church was found upon the earth, and therefore many sought to reform what they already knew. These were righteous dudes who deserve our respect, but as sincere as they were, they did not have the power to restore the church. They tried their best according to the knowledge they possessed. Many longed for the day when Christ would restore His church and call apostles to lead that Church once again. Roger Williams, the founder of the Baptist church in America said that “there is no regularly constituted church on earth, nor any person qualified to administer any church ordinances; nor can there be until new apostles are sent by the Great Head of the Church for whose coming I am seeking.” (Picturesque America (1872) by William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)

This is where Mormons start getting crazy to people. Mormons believe that a prophet as notable as Moses or Elijah was called in 1820 to “restore” Christ’s church in it’s fullness on to this earth. They claim that God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith in North America. They claim that an ancient record called the Book of Mormon was buried in the earth and that it contains a history of some of the ancient inhabitants of North, South, and Central America. They believe that this nation was established and the revolutionary war was fought so that religious freedom could prevail. They believe that this was and is the only nation on the globe that this restoration could have taken place in because of this newfound religious freedom that had never occurred in the history of the world. They believe that the priesthood was restored, and that families can be sealed together after death. They believe that there is a prophet and 12 apostles that walk the earth today. I won’t go on but there is plenty more…
greg trimble mormon
But think about it for a second. If all of this is false, it would rank as one of the greatest deceptions in human history. It would give new meaning to the word hoax. BUT if this restoration did actually happen and it is true, it is the greatest message that could ever be shared second only to the message of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. IF it is true there could be nothing more exciting for the people on this planet to know at this time. It seems like an outrageous claim, but I guarantee that when Noah starting building an ark, his generation thought that was pretty outrageous as well. When a Prophet is on the earth…few ever accept him. Christ made that very clear when He said, “ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would have accepted the prophets” (Matt 23:29-30)

I am a Mormon for reasons other than logic, but if I was to rely on logic alone… here is my logic on the topic.

Catholicism claims that they are the true church and that they perpetuated the priesthood through the generations. Therefore Catholicism claims that all other protestant and Evangelical churches are nothing but apostate off shoots of the Catholic church. So…you must think to yourself, if the Catholic church is right…and they do have the truth and the priesthood authority to lead and administer Christ’s church, then they are technically right about protestant Christianity. Any church that broke off from them or received the Bible through them cannot have the fullness of the gospel. However, if the Catholic church never had the authority and it was lost in the early centuries shortly after the apostles were killed, then none of the reformers could have the complete truth or the authority because…well…where could they have gotten it from?

The only Church on the planet that could have a solid argument would be one that claims a complete restoration through a prophet that has had direct communication with God. Anything short of that would place someone in the pool of thousands of reformers that are dividing to form new Churches on a daily basis.

Mormon’s make a claim equal to the almost unfathomable stories you might hear in the Bible. Prophets, apostles, miracles, additional scripture, temples, and a massive missionary force makes the Mormon church stick out like a sore thumb…and seldom do people like sore thumbs.

Though it sounds a little crazy… is not a message like this worth a few minutes of consideration? I thought it was…

Sunday, March 2, 2014

100 Dollars for an hour of your time. By Unknown

SON: "Daddy, may I ask you a question?"

DAD: "Yeah sure, what is it?"

SON: "Daddy, how much do you make an hour?"

DAD: "That's none of your business. Why do you... ask such a thing?"
SON: "I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?"
DAD: "If you must know, I make $100 an hour."
SON: "Oh! (With his head down).
SON: "Daddy, may I please borrow $50?"
The father was furious.
DAD: "If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I work hard everyday for such this childish behavior."

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.
The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?
After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think:
Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $ 50 and he really didn't ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the door.

DAD: "Are you asleep, son?"

SON: "No daddy, I'm awake".
DAD: "I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier. It's been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here's the $50 you asked for."
The little boy sat straight up, smiling.
SON: "Oh, thank you daddy!"
Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills. The man saw that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father.

DAD: "Why do you want more money if you already have some?"

SON: "Because I didn't have enough, but now I do.
  "Daddy, I have $100 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you."
The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness. It's just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share that $100 worth of your time with someone you love? If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family and friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our family.

Friday, January 31, 2014

“The Time Is Always Right, To Do What Is Right” - Martin Luther King

        In the time in which he lived in, things were not as black in white as they may seem to be. I think he was talking about how we as a people must at all times in all places stand up for righteousness and up hold the laws of God not just the laws of the land. For God’s laws are everlasting, were as the laws of the land are all ways changing. “The Time Is Always Right, To Do What Is Right” is not just a saying; it is a way of live. Those who have the ability to change things for the better must do so or lose their right to freedom. Like those that go around saying W.W.J.D. or C.T.R. He was trying to say that we must, at all times and in all places and at all levels of government; do the right thing unto the people and unto and under God’s direction. In order to live in peace and in happiness with your follow man or woman.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Power of Prayer

           When we think of prayer we may think of, how, when, and why we must pray. However, do we really think about how the power of our prayers affects those around us? More important how it effects our own lives. Are “Heavenly Father is always ready to hear and answer your prayers. The power of your prayers depends on you.” In the “True to the Faith” hand book put out by the L.D.S. Church, there is a few ways in which you can improve the power of your prayers. We can start by making our prayers meaningful. By using language that shows love, respect, reverence, and closeness with our Heavenly Father.

          We must remember to give thanks to your Heavenly Father for the things he has done for us and to ask for the needs of others. We have to seek his guidance and strength in all we do and that of the Holy Ghost. Remember that prayer is a two-way communication between you and our Heavenly Father. Never give into the idea that you are not worthy to pray or that because you don’t know how to pray that your prayers don’t have some power to them.

          Even as a child pray’s, so to must we do the same. With a sincere heart, with faith, and with real intent. “And if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost” (Moroni 10:4). Remember not to repeat meaningless words and phrases. “When ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:7-8).

          Are Heavenly Father does answer our sincere prayers, sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes the answer is no and sometimes the answer is not right now, and other times is I have something better for you. However, he answers is up to what you have asked and how you had asked him. “Our prayers are always answered at a time and in a way that the Lord knows will help us the most” (Gospel Principles page 37).

          “Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them” (Bible Dictionary, 752-53). Some may be asking right about now, how does all of these and or what does all of these have to do with the power of prayer.

          Let me relay some stories to you by the past leaders of the L.D.S. Church.

       ““In the spring of 1921 (Then Elder) David O. McKay and Brother Hugh J. Cannon visited New Zealand as part of their worldwide tour of the missions of the Church. One Sunday, Elder McKay was scheduled to speak to a conference of Saints in the afternoon. However, when he awoke that morning he was ill and so hoarse he could barely speak above a whisper. Nevertheless, he attended the conference with faith he would be able to deliver his message. He later recorded: “A thousand people… assembled for the afternoon service. They came with curiosity and high expectations. It was my duty. To give them a message, but I was not only too hoarse to speak and be heard by the crowd, but I was also ill. However, with a most appealing prayer in my heart for divine help and guidance, I arose to perform my duty. My voice was tight and husky…then happened what had never before happened to me. I entered into my theme with all the earnestness… I could command and spoke as loud as possible. Feeling my voice getting clearer and more resonant, I soon forgot I had a voice and thought only of the truth. For forty minutes I continued with my address, and when I concluded, my voice was as resonant and clear as it ever was…” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay, page 71).””

          ““President Woodruff showed his faith as he, his wife, and several others traveled by boat to serve in England. “We had been traveling three days and nights in a heavy gale, and were being driven backwards,” he recounted. “Finally I asked my companions to come into the cabin with me, and I told them to pray that the Lord would change the wind. I had no fears of being lost; but I did not like the idea of being driven back to New York, as I wanted to go on my journey. We all offered…(a) prayer, both men and women; and we got through, we stepped on to the deck and in less than a minute it was as though a man had taken a sword and cut that gale through…”” (Teaching of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff, pages 109-110).

          ““As a young boy, Heber J. Grant frequented President Brigham Young’s home. If Heber happened to be there at prayer time, he was invited to kneel with the family and participate in family prayer. Those prayers had a lasting effect on Heber. He later recalled, “Upon more than one Occasion, because of the inspiration of the Lord to Brigham Young while he was (inquiring of) God for guidance, I have lifted my head, turned and looked at the place where Brigham Young was praying, to see if the Lord was not there. It seemed to me that he talked to the Lord as one man would talk to another.”” (Teaching of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant, page 173).

          ““On a beautiful spring morning in 1820, alone in a grove of trees near his home, Joseph Smith knelt down and began to offer up the desires of his heart to God, asking for guidance. He described what then happened: “Immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.” (Joseph Smith History 1:15).

          The adversary of all righteousness knew that Joseph had a great work to do and attempted to destroy him, but Joseph, exerting all his powers, called upon God and was immediately delivered. “At this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other - This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!””  ((Joseph Smith History 1:16-17) “Our Heritage” A Brief History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).

          I would like now to close with my own story of when I prayed onto our Heavenly Father. I was coming home from work one night a few months back when I was coming up onto the interstate. I had seen all the traffic had stopped. As I was starting to go by, when I had seen a S.U.V. up on its side along the center concrete divider in the middle of the interstate. I then went down to the next exit then came back up on the other side to block traffic. I got out of my van, seeing and or found a lady lying on the ground 1/2 way out of the S.U.V. pinned between the S.U.V. and the concrete divider.

          Other people were trying to get her to respond to them. However, she was not talking and or responding to them. I was thinking signal (7) seven. In FL this is a dead person and or fatal accident. I prayed to Heavenly Father, that if this is her time to go, that she passed without any pain and to help her family in this hard time. If this is not her time to go, to help me know what to do. I got a feeling to call out to her and asking if she can hear me. I said it about (3) three to (4) four times when she started to responded to me. I don’t know if me being there made things better or not. However, knowing that I hold the priesthood and able to call upon the powers of heaven in time of great need made me know that God had heard and answered my prayer according to the desires of my heart.

          She was airlifted out and taking to the hospital and I was thank by the Tampa Police, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department and the Florida Highway Patrol for my help and stopping and getting help there as fast as possible and for directing traffic.

Monday, January 6, 2014


 While visiting some cemeteries you may notice that headstones marking certain graves have coins on them, left by previous visitors to the grave.

These coins have distinct meanings when left on the headstones of those who gave their life while serving in America's military, and these meanings vary depending on the denomination of coin.

A coin left on a headstone or at the grave site is meant as a message to the deceased soldier's family that someone else has visited the grave to pay respect. Leaving a penny at the grave means simply that you visited.

A nickel indicates that you and the deceased trained at boot camp together, while a dime means you served with him in some capacity. By leaving a quarter at the grave, you are telling the family that you were with the solider when he was killed.

According to tradition, the money left at graves in national cemeteries and state veterans cemeteries is eventually collected, and the funds are put toward maintaining the cemetery or paying burial costs for indigent veterans.

In the US, this practice became common during the Vietnam war, due to the political divide in the country over the war; leaving a coin was seen as a more practical way to communicate that you had visited the grave than contacting the soldier's family, which could devolve into an uncomfortable argument over politics relating to the war.

Some Vietnam veterans would leave coins as a "down payment" to buy their fallen comrades a beer or play a hand of cards when they would finally be reunited.

The tradition of leaving coins on the headstones of military men and women can be traced to as far back as the Roman Empire.