Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The house - 1886, thru the 1900's to present day 2006

Original house, 1886, saltbox structure, wood built on piers -- third house from the right in the photo. Church on right, preacher's house next to church, and what was then the original house (with white picket fence). I've heard different accounts as to when the house was built - 1886, 1887, 1892. Whichever of those years it was built in, it is still standing sturdy over a century later and that's something!

The first modifications to the house in early 1900's. Added was the second story level cupola, and the two large bay windows on side of the house. The porch remains, and the white picket fence remains. House originally built by the Miller's; her daughter married Harry Bochau and they became the owners of the house. Harry Bochau was a barge builder by trade and added the architectual details of the second story cupola and the two bay windows on the side of the house. Mrs. Bochau was pleased with the additions and called her house a chateau. It came to be known in the community as the Bochau Chateau.

Lower left hand photo and you can see the baby Monkey Puzzle Tree that was planted then. As this is a community on Willapa Bay, it was more so then that all the communities on the bay commerced by boat, ferry and ships. When the ships would sail into this community, Mrs. Bochau would go down to meet and greet the ship and boat captains, invite them to dinner, while others in the community would do likewise for the rest of the crew. One ship captain had monkey puzzle trees from Chile, South America, on his ship and gifted one of the trees to Mrs. Bochau (so I'm told the story goes). When we bought the house, the monkey puzzle tree she planted was still there and 92 yrs old. But our saga of the monkey puzzle tree is for another blog entry and I'll tell that story another time.

The house as it is today after several more modifications and additions by the 3 owners who followed the Bochau's. This is the house in 2003, not quite one year after we bought it.

entry by Lietta Ruger - the woman of the house
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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Exlusive Interview w/ Lt. Ehren Watada; Answers oppositions questions

In the most recent 'exclusive interview' with Lt. Ehren Watada, on July 12, 2006, in Seattle, WA, hear him respond to legitmate criticisms and oppositions to his decision to refuse orders to deploy to Iraq. As an Officer of U.S. Army, he has taken his responsibility seriously to discern legal from illegal orders. In his best judgment, he has refused to deploy to Iraq as in his consideration it is an illegal order to an illegal war. There has been plenty of time now between June 7, 2006 when he announced his intention and decision to refuse to deploy with his Stryker brigade unit for people to weigh in with opinions to his decision. Hear for yourself, first hand, Lt. Watada respond to those criticisms.

Much of what has been stated as opinion critical of Lt. Watada pose legitimate questions, deserving to be discussed and considered. Lt. Ehren Watada, as a trained Officer, fully expects the range of opinions questioning of his decision and is no stranger to military cultural training and process. Hear him first hand respond to the criticisms in the videos posted at exclusive July 12 interview with Diana Ako . Before commenting with criticisms already expressed and Lt. Watada's responses to those criticisms, please first actually listen to Lt. Watada himself, then comment. Thank you.

Friends and Family of Lt. Ehren Watada support continues to grow and actions of support for Lt. Watada continue to be planned in the upcoming days and weeks before his first scheduled Article 32 military hearing set for August 17, 2006. As one of those on the national coordinating council of Friends and Family of Lt. Watada, I can tell you candidly that the expected opposition from military at Fort Lewis, WA is as expected, but simultaneously as hoped, there is also considerable support from Fort Lewis military as is being shown privately for Lt. Watada.

There is not, imo, a right and wrong absolutism opinion to have on Lt. Watada's decision. Rather, there is considerable middle ground to explore with the invasion/occupation of Iraq at a critical stage for our deployed military. As our political leaders continue to posture in what positions or stands to make regarding Iraq, it seems evident that any forthcoming changes will need to be initiated by courage of a different kind. I believe Lt. Watada IS exercising a different kind of courage and I salute him for his willingness to make a different kind of sacrifice of service on behalf of his country.

I say this as a military family with two returning Iraq veterans in our family. Both will face repeat deployments to Iraq. Both are Sgts in U.S. Army and I support their bravery as I do every one of our military troops. In supporting a different kind of bravery exercised by Lt. Watada, I do not believe this in any way diminishes support and pride in the service in combat of my own loved ones, of our troops. I believe that it is entirely possible for military families to support our troops best by wading through the complexities instead of settling for the forced dialogue that pits military family against military family with fixed opinions for which there seems to be no middle ground.

I say this as a military family well exposed to the culture, honor and dignity of military life; raised in military family; young wife to young husband deployed to Vietnam; married to Vietnam-era veteran; and now mother, grandmother with son-in-law and nephew who have served proudly in OIF and are Iraq veterans. Serving proudly does not with absolutism indicate belief in the value of invasion/occupation of Iraq as much as it harkens back to a time-honored tradition in military to serve proudly at the behest of the Commander-in-Chief. I believe Lt. Watada's decision and action call attention to the loss of trust in this Commander-in-Chief and I will say betrayal of this Commander-in-Chief in committing our valued military and young in an ill-defined military mission. I did not need Lt. Watada to tell me what I already came to believe in that this Commander-in-Chief has abandoned our troops which I have said myself a number of times.

As a supporter of Friends and Family of Lt. Watada, I have had opportunity by invitation of Friends and Family of Lt. Watada to speak in two radio interviews in late June with what could be characterized as conservative belief sets. One interview with Larry Elder show which I thought went well on both sides; facilitating what would be expected opposition and criticisms from which Lt. Watada does not wither and full expects as part of the dialogue. The other interview was more local to Seattle, in what could be characterized as a perhaps an Evangelical political talk show (pardon my lack of perhaps a better characterization). Oddly, I found that interview to be far more aggessive and less facilitative of actual discussion. However, that was in the immediate weeks following Lt. Watada announcement of his decision in public press conference in Tacoma, WA.

Some weeks have passed, and as the newness and knee jerk reactionary reactions give pause to more deliberate consideration, I hope the discussion can continue with courage, dignity and honor on all sides.

Thank you and I encourage your support for a different kind of courage and will lend that support to Lt. Ehren Watada in the days and weeks ahead. It is my belief he is providing a service to this country for which he is willing to give up his liberty, freedom, and life.

Lietta Ruger
Military Families Speak Out
Washington state chapter

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Thursday, July 6, 2006

Ohio Marine group To Return Service Medal To Bush In Protest

Several Marines plan to return their War on Terrorism service medal to President Bush.... where have I seen this happen before? Can you say Vietnam Veterans?

Sgt. Matthew Bee, a decorated Akron Marine who spent seven months in Hadeetha, received six medals of commendation. He will give one back to President Bush, calling the medal 'political'.

The medal is the War on Terrorism service medal, and Bee calls it "eye candy" from Bush."So, he took something noble and honorable and made it kind of dirty. And I always thought that medal was the one he pinned on us and said, 'This is my war. This is my stamp in history,'" said Bee.

Bee said he is not anti-war, but rather pro-peace.
He plans to travel to Washington, D.C., with a small group of Marines who feel the same way he does. They will all try to return their War on Terrorism medal to Bush personally or to members of Congress.

NewsNet5.com - Akron-Canton News - Local Marine To Return Service Medal To Bush In Protest
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Monday, July 3, 2006

4th of July reflections; I'd like your blessing Dad

Last year I wrote an article here and here "Mr President, I'll fly my flag at half mast on July 4'. This year I'd like to feature for my blog a most poignant article written by a father and a veteran trying to address his adult child making a decision to enlist ... by my dear husband; I'd like your blessing Dad

Best read where he posted it this past weekend. Best read as we are now into the third year of this occupation/war in Iraq. Best read in mind with the recent distinctive actions of Lt. Ehren Watada refusing what he considers an illegal order to deploy to Iraq. Best read with all our courageous young men and women in uniform, serving in combat now. And there are so not so young men and women in uniform serving as well, deserving honor at this time. Best read in rememberance of origins of our own country's declaration of independence, and the concepts fought for in 1776.

But in event you don't want to click on the link, I'm posting entirety here.

I'd like your blessing Dad

by Arthur Ruger
Sat Jul 01, 2006

My generation is one in which there are still many living veterans. Furthermore, from our generation primarily come the children who make up the current blood and guts of America's military with its duty of defending the American Constitution, Country and Citizens.

If our children - or their children - come to us when considering enlistment or a commission, asking our reaction or even our blessing for their willingness to sign the bottom line, are we ready to speak honestly with them?

Have the things we've taught them about citizenship and patriotism come back to gratify us?

... or haunt us?

Just what have we tried to instill in them in terms of a civic and patriotic sense? What did we teach and model for them when they were young?

... we who were part of a generation of soldiers betrayed by a government we all wanted desperately to trust?

The letter from college arrives.

"Dear Dad .......

Dad, I'm signing on and I'd like your blessing and advice.

I'm not having too many doubts about signing on Dad. Not too many questions - but I want your support and endorsement. You've never talked much about your service and I need to know what's in your mind before I leave."

Very well then ....

Dear daughter,

As you know, you do not come from a family of warriors.

Your Grandfather was drafted.

Your uncle and I joined up in the 1960's because it was that or the draft. Our national leadership had failed us badly because of their misguided and exaggerated fear of communist enemies;

Of foes who had never proven themselves capable of toppling continents nation-by-nation, domino-like, let alone conquering the world based on military or economic power.

As a result of those years, the extremely poor choices made by politicians we trusted and elected left us with a powerful legacy not previously seen so powerfully in this country ... acceptance of dissent as a patriotic act.

To this day, that concept has not been refuted. More so, this current government has tragically demonstrated again just why it is vital that citizens hold government accountable.

Viet Nam legitimized a permanent change in civic thinking. That's why a large segment of today's society sustained by legitimate baby-boomer wisdom remains willing to question the motives and speak out against the administration ... and with greater empowerment to resist being isolated and marginalized by pseudo-patriotic politics. Our perspective is much more legitimate than it was in the 60's and 70's. We as citizens are duty bound to take and hold the ethical and moral high ground in this country rather than trust broadcast blowhards and pretend political genuises.

The party officials, cheerleading TV networks and pundit blowhards don't have a monopoly on patriotism, daughter. Those are - every one of them - the least qualified to tell you or me what it means to be patriotic. They are the cut-and-run actors from my generation who have never served and have never justifiably spoken for the troops and veterans in today's world.

You are going to join an all-volunteer military force that has the same commission given the military services during World War II. The big difference today is that the bulk of the troops back then were drafted. Your choice is voluntary - signing a contract offered by the Pentagon.

When you sign, remember that we who are not military members make up - along with you - the citizenship that expects you to honor that contract you endorse.

Citizens of this country expect total fealty from you which means loyalty to the United States, to the Constitution, and to the Flag. Citizens of this country expect the same from our elected leadership. They all owe us that same fealty, loyalty to the United States, to the Constitution and to the Flag.

Citizens also expect of our soldiers the highest honesty, integrity and honorable behavior of which they are capable. Military behavior that is dishonest, lacks integrity and dishonors troops, citizens and country is a betrayal of all that America has traditionally stood for.

The same is absolutely true and equally vital of our elected and appointed leaders.

Citizens do not expect that our fully trained and capable military members are so brainwashed to fight and kill that they have transitioned to a place of shame. While desiring that our military children develop instinctive and effective military and combat skills, we do not expect our children to be turned into mindless killing machines devoid of conscience or the ability to make a moral choice.

Arguments insisting that combat training must teach instinctive hate, bigotry, racial profiling and cultural inferiority in order to create armies and soldiers capable of efficient killing and destruction of enemies are not legitimate reasons for why we fight.

Nor do they hold out a possibly for what we hope the end result of a national military objective will look like.

Citizens want and expect that our troops are warriors of honor who instinctively act and react with exceptional valor;

...Warriors who reflect national ethics, a positive national morality, compassion and respect.

If those things are lacking in the leadership, a way to intervene before a corrupt leadership can poison the military is vital.

The nation cannot abide armies of failed or corrupted warriors.

If those values are lacking in the country, it is the citizens who have failed the military.

Military service is and should always be thought of as an honorable profession where men and women serve with honor;

... are treated with honor by a grateful nation.

If you are joining the military, I expect you to have a career of honor.

I fear for you but will keep those fears managed in my own heart.

It is your life, not mine, and I do not pretend to dictate your choices.

Nor is it a life that belongs specifically to a General, a Secretary of Defense, a President or a Political Party.

You are not to be a tool of helping a party focus national priorities in such a way as to win elections.

There is no military code of silence or submissive loyalty to the Commander-in-Chief that requires that you do not seriously consider the legality and morality of orders given you regardless of their source.

I of course hope that your own sense of civic and moral integrity is honed sufficiently strong as to allow you to perceive almost instantaneously whether or not an order is illegal.

But if you need time and have time, then I expect you to take that time and make up your own mind. Whatever decision you make - if informed by your own study, searching and wisdom - is all anyone can ask of you.

Blind obedience in a combat moment is not the same as blind obedience when you are not in a combat moment. Rather in a moment of moral or ethical questioning when a different kind of instinct takes over, if you have a strong sense of ethics and honor, you will not be helplessly tempted to shame yourself, your unit, or your country.

You have a right to expect and function under the integrity and honor of the commander in chief of the military.

You have a right to expect and demand the Commander In Chief's honesty, honor, skill, wisdom and understanding of all reasons when and why military citizens are to be placed in harm's way.

I in turn have a right to expect that you pay attention - for me, for your family and for your country - to whether or not your Commander in Chief is being honest, honorable and legal.

The Commander-in-chief is hardly going to order me to do something illegal or immoral. If he gives an illegal or immoral order there's a greater risk he will give it to you whom he might see as bound to obey blindly and without question.

So your father, your family and your country are at the mercy of your ability to discern and act on that discernment.

You are then left at the mercy of your father's, your family's and your country's ability to discern the acts of our President, to hold him accountable and take action - if necessary - to make sure he is accountable.

You must trust me to be willing and supportive in making sure the leadership does not waste your vital blood, devotion and patriotism in pipe dreams, self-interested agenda's and ideologies.

In closing, my adult child, I express my pride in you and your willingness to act on your desires only after you've given them serious thought and consideration.

I accept and endorse your decision as I trust it is your own.

You do your part and serve.

I'll do my part and cover your back.

Anyone inside or outside this government who wants to criticize, harm or otherwise betray you will have to deal directly with me.

I promise.



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