Once a Marine

San Diego, California, 1969: Palm trees swayed in the morning breeze. Platoon 1037 emerged from out of the shadows, shouldering rifles, marching since long before daybreak. We weren’t marines, far from it, just homesick kids in a frightening, unfamiliar world.

Staff Sargent Pepka was formidable, daunting, and vicious–vicious, like a swamp infested with alligators. PLATOOOOON, HAULT. LEEEEFFT, FACE,” he barked.

A blood-thirsty mosquito landed on my neck. With quick decisive action, I smashed it. In less than a heartbeat, I was yanked from out of the platoon.

“You are pathetic. You are a ******* disgrace to the Corps,” roared the strapping drill instructor. “On your knuckles, Private Scumbag,” he ordered. You owe me pushups, five hundred.”

“Sir, aye aye Sir!” I yelled, “one, Sir, two, Sir.”

A sweet mental vacation, reminiscences of life as I once knew it, flooded my mind: my folks back home, my college friends, my dog, and every lake, river and babbling brook I ever fished.

“I hope you ***** come back from Vietnam in a body bag, Idiot.” he thundered.

Through psychological terror, I instantly learned to obey orders. Every day was a test, a transformation process. Twelve weeks of Pepka’s sadism changed me from a wayward youth, into a proverbial lean, mean, fighting machine.

Graduation day: Platoon 1037 marched in formation for the last time. My name was no longer “Scumbag.” I felt salty, indestructible, capable of taking on an entire regiment.

After the ceremonies, Staff Sargent Pepka walked up to me and stuck out a powerful hand. “Well done, Marine,” came a thundering voice. MARINE: was there ever a word in the English dictionary with a sweeter ring? Never!

We climbed aboard cattle cars destined for Camp Pendleton, preparing to confront an enemy who fought with homemade bombs, traps, and Soviet rifles in a tiny country on the opposite side of the planet. One day I stepped out of a C-130 cargo plane onto Vietnam soil. I was greeted by a small band of grungy, bantering “short-timers;” and so begins another chapter of my life as a U.S. Marine. Boot Camp will never be forgotten. Even if I live to be a hundred, I’ll always remember the man who made a marine out of me, Staff Sargent Edgar.

Anti Bullying Workshops in Schools

An anti bullying workshop should be required among schools because it teaches students to be respectful to others. Students will only benefit from an anti bullying workshop. Results include , students learn the effects of bullying, and there becomes a decrease in bullying in schools. Students that have been bullied before can open up about their past experience. If kids are not taught the effects, they will never understand the consequences of bullying. Educating students about anti bullying creates a safer learning environment.

Three students are a victim to bullying each year. A workshop would decrease these numbers. In fact, 67% of students believe that schools do not respond to bullying. 1/10 students do not complete schools due to excessive bullying. Schools should do a better job of controlling bullying. In conclusion, An anti bullying workshop should be required by schools.


My name is Kelley Isaacs. I am 55 years old and have lived to see a lot of ups and downs in this world. I was diagnosed with rapid cycle bipolar as well as generalized anxiety disorder at a young age. I still am not quite sure how I feel about such diagnosis. On one hand it can assist in finding medications that may ease symptoms, however it might also stifle growth and create unseen boundaries for a patient diagnosed with such illnesses.

Myself, I have chosen to believe in “me”. I do not take prescription medications because I think I was made exactly as I am meant to be…flaws and all. Once I accepted myself for who I am I became successful.

I graduated from Portland State University with a B.S. in criminology and I minored in Psychology. I went on to become a paralegal in the field of Intellectual Property. Law.

I am writing to discuss what I believe to be a pretty simple and straight forward solution to some of the most prevalent problems in our society.

We have to start with a very significant change in our school systems. I think that we have got it all wrong. We hold math and other science, History, English and Social studies in high regard (as they should be). However those are only a small portion of skills that children require in order to grow up and be happy. I think first and foremost we need to teach Lessons in self esteem. I’m talking about starting in kindergarten and continuing throughout the years that a child is in school. Success is based on a persons happiness and self worth. It should be the first thing that we teach and nurtured always. The greed and hate and dishonesty that plagues our society, in my opinion all begins with unhappy people. People who are looking for self fulfillment from the outside instead of from within.

It has always seemed strange to me that we hold certain strengths in high regard while we barely speak of others. Our society has taught us that certain skills are valuable (which is wonderful for those who are lucky enough to posses those skills) while other skills are menial. This I think has caused the power to be unfairly balanced. One thing that will help boost self esteem is to help each child figure out where their strengths are. Everyone is good at something. Find what a child is good at e.g., math, writing, painting, piano, helping others achieve their goals, organizing, cooking etc., and formulate a plan for growth of those abilities. I am a believer that we are good at those things we like to do, so start with figuring out what a child likes to do. Does the child love animals? Drawing? Working with a lot of people? Wouldn’t it be a much better place if most people could get paid to do those things that they love and are good at?

This may sound like a large task that would take time and money to integrate into our current school system and it is. But it is not impossible. It can be done. I think we need to individualize teaching and not treat children as if they are all the same. They are complex beings that are not getting what they need to properly grow and fulfill their potential. Anyway, that is my food for thought.

So much this..

When I was driving down a lonely two-lane road, I saw a diesel truck parked on the side of the
road. The driver was out of the truck and when he saw me he ran into the orchard. Which was
on both sides of the road. The driver was out of the truck and when he saw me he ran into the
orchard. He was holding something when he hurried out of sight. I pulled over and got out to
see if maybe he needed help. I got out and followed him, not knowing what I was going to find.
To my surprise, what I saw on this day I will never witness this again. The man was setting
down, into a small grave he dug. A small rodent, a squirrel that he had hit, he claimed. He then
buried it and asked me if I would say some words for the dead squirrel. Or just join him in
silence. Without any sign of laughter, I was speechless all right. He was sorry and asked God
to forgive him and take the animal to be with God. And to take away guilt and to be with him for
the rest of his travels. As he was saying these words, he had reached out his hands, as to hold
my hands. In that instant I felt an electrical charge throughout my whole body and something
made me squeeze tightly. When I did this he opened his eyes and met mine. My stomach sank
as I felt like I was in an elevator. This was an adrenaline rush so noticeable , that despite the 37
degrees outside,we were both sweating as we were trying to let go of hands. We caught
ourselves in an awkward moment or, situation with a stranger. He was embarrassed, and I was
more than speechless. We were still there and he said, “please forgive me for you stopped
here for a reason and that was to assist me, and I thank you”, he wiggles his way out of my grip.
Although I do not normally pull over to help people usually. My curiosity was driving and made
me stop to be honest. The man wasn’t attractive, but I just had to learn more about him. And I
felt that my life has changed, the moment I met him. Still speechless ,he motioned us, out of the
orchard. I wanted to get in his truck , forget about my car. I was swept off my feet and still
cannot speak! He said, “how did you know I needed help?” Well I needed help because I was
hurt, saddened, about what I did”. My mouth opens and said,” you ran into the orchard when
you saw me so. By then he interrupted, “I never saw you until you walked in there!” That was
when I realized his heart and mind was only on the squirrel. And my heart sank again! He
walked me to my car and that’s when I realized that I better do something fast or he would be
gone. I could not think of any excuses to say to get him to stop. I got in my car, he shut my
door. I turned the key about third of the way and another loud diesel passed by. I secretly put
my car in gear with the key on, but the car was not. He did not notice. I know my car wouldn’t
start if it was in gear. I turned the key and nothing happened. And he said,” pop the hood”, I did.
He he found nothing wrong with the car or battery. It has spark ,and our meeting had exploded.
He offered me a lift and for to call AAA. I accepted the lift .I ended up going with him not
knowing him, where to go, I only focused on him. He happened to noticed this and admired me
for my fearless, mystified personality. He was delighted by my interest in him. It didn’t end
there. I had a boyfriend at the time but was so moved by this man that no one else mattered to
me. To make a long story short ,one day I decided to marry this man. We were married one year
later. I never knew that I too would have a special love for squirrels for the rest of my life.

Police Appreciation

Police Appreciation

Most people show uneducated remorse towards the police system. The articles, “How to Become a Police Officer,” and, “Why are the Police Important?,” provide information on the requirements and provision police officers supply. The jobs of police officers require more information, knowledge, and effort then the average human would assume.
The jobs of police officers require an excessive amount of effort because of the daily struggles and obstacles they will encounter. The article, “Why are Police Important?” gives an inside look on the hardships the force has dealt with in the past and will most likely encounter in the future. For instance, police handle all law violations including vandalism, robbery, road safety, physical assault, shootings, financial fraud, etc. Thus, the police department is credible for much more than they are given credit for.
The profession of a police officer requires more information, knowledge, than some would infer. The article,”How to Become a Police Officer,” describes the education needed to properly perform the task of law enforcement. Intellectual abilities of decoding circumstances and memorizing codes are necessary while execution of justice is served. Although Americans have created the misleading illusion that policemen are men and women who enjoy the company of a comfy chair and a big donut most officers dedicate a large portion of their lives to the greater good.
Police officers are not receptive of the merit they are deserving of. Principally because of the effort supplied throughout their time spent policing. The said effort is complemented with the amounts of information required to fulfill the expectation the public indirectly applies to their professions.

Between Religion And Spirituality

Whatever religion one belongs to, it is important to note that religion is a matter of culture or a way of life. In an era in which science and computer are the powerful tools that give life a firm foundation, I just simply can not discount religion.

It is noteworthy that an oath taking uses the phrase “So help me God” at the end of an oath. The importance of using this phrase in most jurisdictions helps in the understanding of the seriousness of the oath, as well as its religious character. And it is interesting to know that this is how the Americans have lived for over two centuries now. Coming from a religious country and being a first generation American, this thought has strengthened my faith. And this faith would carry me through the years just as the Americans who had lived before me relied on God when they took an oath.

A friend once asked me, “What keeps you strong?” I thought it was a question that deserved a straightforward answer. Immediately I said, “My faith.” When I said that, I meant God. In the course of our conversation, I felt I was successful in making my friend understand that my religion defined me. It made me land on American soil. Without it, I would not have the courage to enter a foreign land and eventually make it my own. It was not easy. But a country as diverse and mighty as ours, and undeniably one that had watched others’ backs was surely watched by a divine power. I became more aware of God’s will as I embraced this idea.

It will certainly entice one to know that my understanding of religion is not about rigidity. I have learned through the years that people may be different from one another but can live in harmony as they please. Spirituality requires a person to learn about the different elements that make humans as they are in order to be at peace with everyone around them. We do not expect someone to impose a religion on others. That is the beauty of the United States of America. It is only fair to show dignity and respect to others. This ideology should be enough to create a peaceful society since we know for a fact that we cannot make every human being on earth agree on just one religion.

When I had the opportunity to pass through Capital cities, I could not help but notice steeples, and wondered what these stood for many people aside from being a downtown attraction. Now as I think, it makes me feel good that though there are several denominations, certain groups of people share a common core that characterizes their faith. But what about those with a totally different perspective? I can only be certain that the origin and nature of beliefs deserve a look. These are like parts of history that when dug up may bridge the gaps among us and give clarifications to existing points of view.

The freedom to practice a religion deserves understanding rather than disgust. And if our religion teaches us to do no harm, then it is only proper to have a full understanding of what spirituality is about. We can never say that our religion is good if it causes someone to grieve and suffer. Bearing this in mind, I find delight in seeing myself between religion and spirituality. This is something to reflect on. I know my faith like I know myself. In this regard, I can never be misled. I do not find it inappropriate to practice spirituality within the realm of my religious beliefs. That is the bottom line, and I encourage everyone to have an open mind.


By Jessica Roman
Empower each other, love one another
Some may require more than others, still stuck in your stubborn ways,
always questioning your faith.
I am here to tell you today; you don’t have to feel that way!
Jesus already took up your cross, you don’t have to feel lost.
He is the best guider and provider, and he is never a liar.
His word always remains true, just read the bible to find the clues.
Don’t dare listen to the enemy, don’t give him no victory.
When you come to Jesus your made new, he wants to build a
relationship with you
Will you accept him today, what do you have to lose.
He will Guide you as long as you abide by him.
Follow in his ways, He will make all your blues go away.
Accept him as your personal lord and savior today
He will change your heart and rip the ugly broken parts
You will never have to feel broken again. ’’So, if the son sets you free,
you will be free indeed! Says Mark10:45

A Legitimate Shot Against Coronavirus

The average American cannot help but fear the health implications of contracting the novel coronavirus. While the novel virus, according to experts, is here to stay, it is noteworthy that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has laid down the guidance that allows in vitro diagnostic tests in certified laboratories prior to the issuance of emergency use authorizations (EUA) for such diagnostics. This is considered a prompt move on the part of the FDA against the threats posed by the virus since a medical catastrophe was ascertained by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Statistics shows that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spreads faster than the dreaded swine flu in 2009. As with any outbreak, early detection of the virus and containment of COVID-19 become a protocol. This entails a systematic approach within the agencies concerned. The step taken by the FDA has been one proof which shows that the important goals are now in the works.

The recommendations for test developers is clearly the greatest impact of the FDA guidance. This policy will enable laboratories to use validated diagnostics before an FDA review. In this manner, tests will become more available across the states. A faster healthcare delivery system is ensured. Doctors and other healthcare practitioners are furtherly guided. More lives are saved when misdiagnoses and delays in management are prevented. Moreover, the containment of the epidemic will erase societal stigma and cease interruptions in daily operations.

Community spread is preventable. It matters a lot if an asymptomatic carrier of the virus is immediately tested rather than catching the virus late when it has already weakened a person’s immune system. Medical practitioners can only do so much depending on how a patient presents or manifests a disease.

The American people will directly benefit from the legitimate move made by the FDA. This should be a common ground. In the coming days, there will be changes on how citizens perceive the coronavirus. Slowly but surely, the utilization of more and newer tests for the coronavirus will open doors for optimism and pave the way for a better understanding of the virus that can be used to advance the quality of treatment and service.

Continued success of the FDA policy will materialize when there is proper implementation. This denotes cooperation from agencies that are directly concerned. Resources must be allocated to make sure that aims and purposes within the scope of every department are maintained.

The approach done by the FDA regarding the coronavirus has been pragmatic. The decision to allow the performance of tests that will detect the coronavirus prior to issuing emergency use authorizations means greater availability of the tests, and therefore a larger population can be diagnosed whether the carrier is in the active stage of the disease or not presenting symptoms. The FDA has certainly asserted its function of protecting public health.

The Jury

Abortions; Are Right (s) or Wrong(s)?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,the CDC defines a legal induced abortion as an intervention performed by a licensed clinician within the limits of state regulations that is intended to terminate a suspected or ongoing intrauterine pregnancy and that does not result in live birth (CDC). Fourty to Fifty million abortions are performed both legal and ilegally world-wide each year, this calculates to a total of 125,000 abortions a day in the US. alone (CDC). Although in the past several years there has been a lot on controversy on whether or not all abortions should be made illegal or if all women should have the right to terminate their preganacy. The right to terminate a pregnancy should be available to all women no matter the age, race, religion, and no matter what circumstances they are under, yet in the past years many states have been fighting to make it illegal for all women to terminate a pregnancy.
The argument between people who are “Pro-Life” (those against abortions) and “Pro-Choice” (those who support a woman’s right to choose, even if they would not have an abortions themselves) has been going on for more than five decades. Although,In 1973, The US. Supreme Court declared abortion to be a “fundamental right” after the case of Roe v Wade (Higgins) which is the case of Jane Roe (court given name for privacy reasons), a young lady who challegned Texas law that criminalized abortion unless it was performed by a doctor’s order to save a woman’s life (Higgins). The lawsuit was filed against Henry Wade, district attorney of Dallas County, Texas.Roe’s attorney claimed that the state law was unconstitutional and went against her right to privacy and that the Texas law went against some of the most important amendments such as the 1st one which deals with freedom of religion and speech. According to Melissa Higgins author of the award selling book “Roe V. Wade: Abortion and Woman’s Rights to Privacy”, “the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects against state action the right to) privacy”.Therefore, by prohibiting a woman from having an abortion, Doctors are disobeying amendments that our founding fathers gave to us huundreds of years ago. With that being said, What kind of mothering does one expect from women that gave birth only because they were denied access to abortions? How does it feel being a child having a child? How should any woman feel carrying around an offspring of a man who took advantage of her? How should one feel about bringing a child into the world knowing she isn’t financially stable to take care of the child? These are all questions that should be taken into consideration when you are making decisions about whether to be a Pro-Life or Pro-Choice advocate.
Pro life advocates would say that someone shouldn’t have sex or unprotected sex if they aren’t ready for a child, and even though there is some right in that once again how does one tell a woman who was just sexually assualted and raped that she now how to carry her rapist baby because she “Had sex”.Those who believe in Pro-Life don’t think about the long-term consequences of making such a huge choice in a woman’s life and then the life of the child who is being born into a world where they weren’t wantedA Prolifer might also give an argument that women who have abortiona are murders but according to ProCon.org Pro #3, “Personhood begins after a fetus becomes “Viable” (able to survive outside the womb) or after birth not at conception.In 1 Corinthians 6:19, it states that your body is a temple, telling a woman how to act and build her temple goes against more than her rights but also one’s beliefs, and even those who don’t believe in the bible should feel the same way about themselves No woman on this earth should be forced or pressured to keep a child and shouldn’t be denied access to the medical help that she seeks.
Overall, it may be said that both sides of this feuding topic can be argued but with all the facts being considered it should still be believed the woman should always have an option on what to do with their own body.A woman shouldn’t have to be without the satisfaction of having sex just because many people in this world see this as a irresponsible thing because she has a chance of getting pregnant. A woman shouldn’t have to carry her rapist child because she was denied the right to terminate her pregnancy.A woman should have the choice to spend or not to spend the next 9 months carrying a baby then an additional 18 years taking care of that child ( sometimes even by herself, without the child’s father). A woman should have the right to terminate her pregnancy no matter the circumstances she is under.

Works Cited
“BibleGateway.” 1 Corinthians 6:19 KJV – – Bible Gateway, BibleGateway, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1 Corinthians+6:19&version=KJV.
“Data & Statistics – Reproductive Health.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18 Nov. 2019, https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/data_stats/index.htm.
Higgins, Melissa, and Joseph W. Dellapenna. Roe V. Wade : Abortion and a Woman’s Right to Privacy. Abdo Publishing, 2013. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=472126&site=eds-live&scope=site.
“Footnotes & Sources – Abortion – ProCon.org.” Abortion, ProCon, https://abortion.procon.org/additional-resources/footnotes-sources/.

A short test

A short test of faith has gone on for over 11 years now it seems like not long ago I was thinking I need to change my thinking to change my surroundings what I thought was going to be hard is extremely hard but fun test of good and evil is constant with people places and actions my brain is constantly trying to think positive with no bad words Ned Flanders like it helps and The re are real demons that have recently popped up because of the current situation of aggression In my environment.or rather the surrounding environment I will be reprimanded by evil if I stray off and have in healthy thinking.it does help spiritual to me means loving god and trying and doing his will with a positive outlook ,god you are in control and if I am here you know about it and the re is an assignment it is hard to hold my tongue at times it is true evil demons will repeat everything I think or say that’s what they do the father forgives and I can move on evil wants to hear or say it over and over again hoping I will think have been forgiving for this?ha its true though doubt is what evil craves.religion is being a believer of god and Jesus and knowing Jesus rose from the dead.thanks for allowing me to share a bit of a bit of a short time of being a believer in Christ I’m wanting to obey because this is my soul who I am no room for fake not really who I am cherry it feels better too. CHRIST IS THE LORD AND SAVIOR