Wednesday, January 16, 2008, 10:37 PMEver since I was a kid I've tried to put on weight, but for some reason, it never happened. So I went through life being a skinny kid, at times being laughed at and made jokes about, as I am sure others out there know what it's like. It made life a bit rough, and really made self confidence a difficult thing to maintain.
When the opportunity arose, on my 18th birthday, I decided to make a difference in my life, and get away from the things that were holding me down. I joined the Marine Corp in December 1974 and left for boot camp a few weeks later. But, even with all the physical conditioning, confidence building and self determination, I was only able to get my weight up to 125 at the max. And that's all that happened. No problem with self confidence, and feeling good about myself, proud of what I had become and accomplished, and able to handle anything that came my way, except for gaining weight. I even tried all the weight gain drinks and powders and whatever else there was, but I just wasn't getting anywhere. After so many years I kind of gave up the thought of ever being able to gain weight.
Once I lost my stomach and other digestive parts, my weight fell down to 95 lbs. This really set me back, and because I only had 1/4th of my stomach left, the doctor said it wouldn't be able to stretch out, and I had to totally change my diet, I gave up any idea of ever being able to gain weight let alone do anything else since I am also a disabled veteran with major spine and back issues. I talked to dieticians, doctors, anyone and everyone that I could find to see if there was anything at all they could help me at least put on a few pounds. Not to mention the non-stop dumping issues I had to deal with day to day. It was like talking to the walls around me, never getting any answer.
Just over 4 months ago, September 2007, I had an appointment with a stomach specialist at the Ann Arbor VAMC. The wife thought it's just be another waste of time, as with all the past appointments and doctor's we've been to ove the years. But to our surprise, the intern that was doing my workup said there might be something to help. There is this medication called Megestrol Acetate that they give to cancer and other patients to help with their appetites. Not expecting much of anything to come from it, we headed back home and the medication arrived in the mail a few days later.
Now I can't say what happened, or how it's possible, but what ever this medication is, to me it's a miracle. Within a couple of weeks I was putting on weight, and can't explain what happened to the major dumping that went along with every meal I would eat. granted I still have to watch what and how much I eat, but in the 4 months that I've been using the Megestrol Acetate I have put on 40 lbs. I've gone from 105 lbs to 146 lbs, the most I've ever weighed in my entire life, roughly 52 years!
Whatever this stuff is and does, I don't want to stop taking it. I have never seen results like this, and probsably never will again. The only drawback, in a way, is now I have to go buy all new clothes because none of the clothes Ihave will fit me anymore. I am totallly amazed, impressed, and thankful. I only wish that someone would have thought of this years ago after my operation and attempts to find help everywhere I went.
Friday, December 28, 2007, 11:43 PMOur government and those we've elected to "serve" the people are no better than criminals.
I cannot understand why every bill that is brought up to be voted on has bribery connected to it in one fashion or another. If the Democrats need some additional Republican support, or even full support of their own party, they have to bribe them by adding items within the bill that benefit those they need to obtaina the vote from. Some call it Pork fat, or something similar, where in all honesty, it is a form of bribery, and they do this with any and every bill regardless of the outcome to the people and our service members who have voted them in to office in the first place.
There should be a law in place where a bill should only contain the wording and intent in it that it is actually for, not having additional "perks" included somewhere mixed in the writing of the bills. We voted these people into office under the belief that they were there to do what's right for us, the people of America, the ones that were supposedly setting the example for other nations to follow and believe in. Instead our so called elected officials are teaching other nations just how low, and thoughtless towards others they really are.
How can we expect other nations to embrace and strive for freedom and democracy from a nation that is no better than a bunch of liars, theives and bribers, that only say what you want to hear in order to get in to office and make a name and money for themselves instead of "For the people, by the people!"
It's time we all wake up, face the truth, take a damn good look at what our government is like and do something about it.
Sunday, December 2, 2007, 07:02 PMWhy would anyone expect people to vote for them if they refuse to come to that persons state to campaign and talk to the people and tell us why we should vote for them over someone else? Especailly a Presidential Candidate!
This makes no sense to me. But, this being the case for the Democrats, I say to hell with all of you, stay out of our state, you don't deserve to come here let alone be our President. Just because someone wanted to move a date to an earlier time frame means that all the Democrats, and people in general, are banned from participating in the DNC, as well as be denied to hear from the so-called Presidential Candidates. But, mind you, other states are more deserving of having earlier dates because it's been that way and they don't want anyone to take their time in the spotlight because they are something special. They are about as special as a pile of crap and no longer make up the variety of people in the US in order to make any so called predictions. It's all about money, greed, money, greed, money, greed, get the picture?
I am NOT a Democrat by any means. Nor am I a Republican. What I am is an American, with the freedom of choice. To choose who I want to be the President of our country, and lead us in to a more prosperous, trusted and respected nation, of the people, for the people, regardless of race, religion or gender. And at this point in the game of politics, I see no one on either side that is capable of doing this, at least they haven't shown it. And now that many are refusing to come to our state, we will never have that opportunity to find out.
My only hope is that somehow, somewhere, there will be a real Presidential candidate that steps in to the picture to give us all something to look forward to, a chance for a better and brighter future for the USA.
Saturday, December 1, 2007, 12:29 AMA Different Christmas Poem
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then, the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."
PLEASE, Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.
LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq
Thursday, November 22, 2007, 12:17 AMFor those of us here in our homes, we can smell the cooking and baking odors throughout the house, bringing out all the memories throughout the years of family gatherings. With lots of food and desserts to appease any appetite. Not to leave out the annual football games and many other Thanksgiving traditions.
For me, it's a bit differen this year. The wife and I are still planning on our traditional Thanksgiving dinner, with all the fixings we lke to have with it. Oh, and the desserts as well! But, like so many others we'll be having it without our family. For us, our kids have grown into adults, and have their own life to live and memories to make for themselves. But then there's many other families that won't be sharing the holiday with their loved ones because they are somewhere else in the world, on duty, in harms way, just like any other day they wake up.
Our troops, our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles, loved ones and childhood friends, are out in the world serving our country. They serve us Freedom, freedom to wake up each day and decide what it is we want to do that day, because we have that freedom to do just that. Somewhere out there a service member is walking a fine line between death, and making it back to camp, safe and sound, only to get up the next day and do it all over again. When they wake up on Thanksgiving morning, they don't smell those same cooking and baking odors we do. Instead, they smell diesel fuel, gun powder, and the stench from the surrounding villages, towns and cities that don't have proper plumbing to carry the waste to a treatment plant. It's been that way for years now, ever since it was blown up and made unrepairable due to bombs of all kinds, both friendly and enemy.
When they wake up Thanksgiving morning their thoughts are going to be of "who's next today, will it be this person, that person, will it be me?" As they eat their breakfast and sip on some coffee, their minds flee for a moment back to the days of being home, with family and loved ones, the smell of the turkey cooking in the oven, of pumpkin pies and all the fixings. They can see and smell it just as if they were there, until they hear the order to "Lets Move out soldiers!" Suddenly, the memories are gone, and reality sits back in, and you wonder once again, who will it be today.....
These people, these Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and the Coast Guard are no different than you and I, except for one thing. They decided to do something for their country and countrymen, they volunteered a portion of their lives to do whatever it took to serve "us all!" Regardless of who you are, what your color, race or religion is, whether or not you believe in God or something or someone else, so that we can still wake up each day and decide.... "what do I want to do today?"
I wish there was a way for everyone, young or old, to feel the same experience our service members feel every day they awake, whether it's in harms way or back on base stateside. To feel the thrill, excitement and the pride of being able to serve their country, as well as the fear, lonliness and despair of not knowing from day to day if they'll still be here. But, they do it, without question, without pause or hesitation, because it's their duty, it's what they are there for, to gaurd and defend our great country, as well as the citizens of other countries struggling to make a better life for their families as well.
I wish that this Thanksgiving everyone would take time to stop, and listen with your heart, take a moment of silence to think about our brave and dedicated service members making our way of life possible. Take a moment to thank the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles and loved ones that have made that ultimate sacrifice, so we can wake up each morning as every morning, and decide what we want to do that day. It's something that we take for granted all to much, so please, take a little bit of that time, and offer a heart felt "Thank you!"