Tag Archives: Law Enforcement

Miracles Do Happen

by Kimberly A. Cook                       (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

When last we chatted Oregon was preparing for the fabulous eclipse. It was a great party. Since then, correct me if I’m wrong, but it feels like we’ve been playing a national game of disaster whack-a-mole. Hurricane Harvey, wildfires in Oregon and the West, then Hurricane Irma. Yowsa.

Whoever ticked off Mother Nature, apologize now.

But miracles do happen through the efforts of “ordinary” Americans:

The fire fighters who stood their ground and saved the historic lodge at Multnomah Falls by surrounding it in a wall of water all night while the flames burned all around and over them and embers flew across the Columbia River. No easy feat that save, with the fire coming within thirty yards of the wood shingled lodge.

The shelter dogs and cats evacuated ahead of Hurricane Harvey from Houston to Oregon and Washington, many have already been adopted.

The 1,700 food boxes packed and shipped by the Oregon Food Bank to Houston to help feed those in need. Know they will be packing more for Florida.

The curator and a staff of nine at the Hemingway House in Key West, Florida who rode out the storm with the fifty-four Hemingway cats and all were spared. Angels were above them all.

The news reporter who helped get one exhausted baby dolphin back out into the sea and helped with other volunteers to carry another stranded dolphin back out into the ocean.

The bystanders who quickly realized two manatees were stranded in the mud after the storm suck took all the water from the bay. With the help of Manatee Sheriff Deputies, they dragged the two manatees back out into the ocean a hundred yards.

There will be many stories of kind acts and we will grieve for those who have died. We will also rejoice in the team who went out in the storm to help deliver a baby. Baby’s don’t wait for weather.

Through all the damage and destruction, we’ve seen the best of our country while Mother Nature hit us with her worst. Maybe she wanted to let us know she was in charge after all, by blocking out the sun then hitting us with her best shots.

Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Oregon, California, Washington, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the East Coast, we’ve got your back. Huge hugs and thanks to all the law enforcement, fire fighters, U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines, National Guard, FEMA, federal, state, county, city, power company and gasoline employees working their butts off now and for weeks to come.

A special thank you to the men and women at the National Weather Service in Key West, Florida and the military personnel at the Key West Naval Station who stayed behind and did their jobs. You guys are rock stars!

Also gratitude to the American Red Cross volunteers and staff, the non-profit agencies, and all the animal rescue groups. The retailers who opened their stores and the restaurants who are feeding people now are all a big part of our USA team.

Our hearts swell from the volunteer efforts of the Cajun Navy to the monster truck drivers and the thousands of folks who helped their neighbors and the news crews who jumped in to help when needed.

This is going to be a long rebuild, but we’ll get through this together. What better way to honor the loss of the men, women and children on 9/11 that we honored yesterday, than to become a better nation after their and their family’s sacrifice.

With folks like the ones in the video below, USA, we’ve got this.


Filed under Personal Essay

Can We Open Our Minds With Empathy To Change Hearts And Fears?

by Kimberly A. Cook                 (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

In my closet hangs a beautiful multi-colored scarf I bought in a beach-side shop in Nice, France in 1983. It shimmers in the light and is one of my favorite souvenirs from that three-month camping trip in Europe.


The Peace rose. A goal for all of us.


Dallas, Texas always reminds me of sprinting through its huge airport to try to get from gate to gate to catch a connecting flight for desert training with the Air Force Reserve.

Never having stepped foot in Louisiana, I got a taste of it when Pops Borskey, a Louisiana native and World War II Seabee, hauled my butt from Cimarron, New Mexico to Washington, D.C. in May 1998 in his red chase truck while we were on the Run For The Wall to honor POWs and MIAs.

Images, memories and places all tied together now in a matter of days because of tragedy. What struck me so hard about two of these nightmares was realizing military veterans killed their fellow military veterans and police officers.

First my condolences to the families, friends and co-workers of the fallen. Law enforcement members are a tight family and they all bleed for each other, literally.

Freedom comes at a cost, both at home and around the world. But acts of evil are no reason to change our lives because if we do, evil wins.

We strive on. We honor the fallen and support their families, friends and communities. We must work to make sure we remain committed to each other, not divided.

As a young nation during the Civil War, brother fought against brother for the right of African Americans to be free people.

In that bloodiest of wars there were 2,213,363 Union soldiers and 1,050,000 Confederate soldiers. A total of 140,414 Union and 74, 524 Confederate battle deaths, plus 224,097 other Union and 59,297 Confederate deaths in theater.

A total of 498,332 lives lost from 1861 to 1865. The United States population in 1861 was 31,443,321. Our ancestors killed almost sixteen percent of the entire population of this country; fighting ourselves for the rights of one race to be free.

We cannot go back to fear and hate, we must move forward. Losing one life is too many. We must open our hearts and minds and truly listen to each other. We have to work together to speak frankly and exercise our empathy toward all.

In my wallet I carry a laminated letter to Ann Landers from April 18, 1990.

Dear Ann Landers: Recently you printed that wonderful quote from Edmund Burke, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

I can’t resist the temptation to add these words from a speech by William Faulkner when his daughter, Jill, graduated from high school: “Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world, in thousands of rooms like this one, would do this, it would change the earth.”

-A.H.P., Memphis

Let’s honor the lives of the Americans we’ve lost by forging stronger communities. Let’s look inward to our own prejudices and listen outside of ourselves to learn how we can stop those whose pain, anger and mental health issues are so great they speak with violence instead of words.

Let’s change the earth, our nation and ourselves; one mind at a time. We owe it to those we’ve lost too soon.





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Filed under Personal Essay

Have A Safe And Fabulous Fourth!

by Kimberly A. Cook                    (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

It’s our nation’s birthday on Monday and I’ve got a lot to be thankful for these days. The simple things in life are the biggies for me right now. Since my military days I love indoor plumbing, electricity, baggage with wheels, automatic transmissions, not walking post guard at 4 a.m. at Fort Carson, Colorado and a queen size bed to name a few luxuries.

A big shout out to all the military, law enforcement and medical personnel working this long weekend at home and around the world to keep us safe. I salute you all. Thank you.

Sometimes it’s not easy being citizens of the United States of America, but it’s never boring. We may be a very large dysfunctional family at times, be we are family. Have a safe and Happy Fourth of July.

Happy Quirky Friday!


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