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Stanley Gerald Bronstrup

| Obituaries | 24 hours ago

Stanley Bronstrup, the eclectic original owner of the “famous greasy spoon eatery”, The Way Station Coffee Shop in Newhall, California, died October 15th, 2014, of colon and liver cancer, at his son’s home in Stevenson Ranch, California. He died less than a month shy of his 81st birthday. Born November 12th, 1933 in Springfield Ohio, Stanley opted to stay on in California after spending four years in the Navy during the Korean War. During his early career, Stanley spent time as a Los Angeles County Sherriff Reserve Officer and later in the Hollywood film industry as both a bit part actor and camera repair technician.

Stanley, a resident of the Santa Clarita Valley since 1967, opened the Way Station Coffee Shop two weeks after the February 9th, 1971, San Fernando Earthquake, when his tobacco shop just a block up the street in Old Newhall, was destroyed. After quick negotiations with the owner of Curry’s Ice Cream Parlor, Stanley moved what was left of his “Smoke Shop and Unusual’s tobacco and antique store into the malt shop and changed the name to “The Way Station”. Breakfast history soon ensued…and fortunately for breakfast lovers, the tobacco store faded into history. He did keep the odd and rather unique collection of antiques and old signs. You can still see a few there today. Most are in his private collection including the wooden Indians and old coke signs that many love and remember.

It wasn’t long before Stanley’s original “Breakfast Club” developed. Sorry Emilio and Molly, Stan’s Breakfast Club started way before you guys existed and by all accounts was far more colorful and interesting. The Way Station quickly became the 5:00 AM starting point for many “a who’s-who of the Santa Clarita Valley”. Tom Lee, President of Newhall Land, and many other notables made the Way Station a part of their daily morning ritual, stopping by for a cup of coffee and to talk politics, the weather, and local happenings. On a regular basis you could find the head coach of both Hart and Canyon’s football team sitting together discussing what… strategy? You never know… Vic from the hardware store, Milt from the western store or Dick from the motorcycle shop were always discussing something with Stanley. Nobody quite knew they were talking about; it was too noisy with so many people clamoring for a seat. Often times you would find a line of early risers waiting as Stanley pulled up in his vintage gold Mercedes sometimes before 4:30 in the morning. Coffee and a donut for most, but the hardy or the tardy, (Harry Welch and quite a few others included), would wait for the grill and Stanley’s famous hash browns. It took well over 40 minutes to get that first batch ready. Jose, a fixture since 1971, (and still there in 2014), or Mamma Sue, followed in later years by Khris, Cindy, and daughter Patty, poured coffee for a buck, refills free, while waiting for the grill to get hot. From that moment on, it was bumper to bumper people as the morning rush for good old fashioned cooking stacked up the order wheel with Stanley behind the grill tossing eggs and hash browns, and one liner’s.

When the first morning rush slowed, Stanley knew who and when his regulars would arrive, and prepared their meal just in time, exactly how he wanted it. Yep, At the Way Station it was how Stanley wanted to cook your meal, not the way you wanted your meal to be cooked. You wanted two eggs over easy with sausage, Stanley would prepare three eggs scrambled with bacon, French toast, and of course those hash browns, with onions, whether you liked them or not. Short-stack of pancakes, (that would be two), nope! You’d get three or four, and you had to cut a hole in the middle to pour the syrup, least it ran off the plate and into your lap. Most ate what they got while enjoying good conversation about whatever was on Stanley’s mind that day. The coffee was hot and thanks to the girls and Jose, always kept pouring, except For Harry the Shoe repair man. He always got his morning cup of luke-warm black coffee and one donut, yesterdays if you please, for a discount, and sat in silence reading the morning headlines in the Signal. A friendly fellow, a bit odd but friendly. Just another character in the “club” called The Way Station. Next was the boys from Randall Ranch. They came along round 10:00 AM or so looking for an early lunch. Ranch hands started early and often didn’t have time to wait for the grill to warm.

Hollywood found Stanley, again in 1974, and it wasn’t long before A-lister celebs of the time were stopping by for breakfast or just to say hello. Sam Elliot, Willford Brimley, Linda Grey, Gary Busey, even Darth Vader, or at least his voice, James Earl Jones, became fans of Stanley and his Way Station. With Stanley at the grill, The Way Station became a regular stop for an ever growing eclectic bunch of characters, all heading off to make their own mark on the world after a full belly and Stanley’s “two cents”. Case in point: Paul Ruben aka Pee Wee Herman was often spotted at the Way Station, incognito of course. I know I’m missing many more, but you get the point.

After a divorce in 1989, Stanley left the restaurant he created and loved, and moved to the mountains of central California where he opened another well known eatery, The “Buckhorn”, which he ran successfully until retirement in 2002. Shortly thereafter he moved back to the Santa Clarita Valley, but soon began working again, this time as the patriarchal figurehead of his son’s construction restoration company. Stanley was working full-time right through August of this year barking orders and opinionating on just about everything when cancer struck him down. Even today many old friends stop and tell me, “The Way Station was never the same without Stanley”.

Before he died, I asked my dad what his biggest regret was. He said, “Not being able to see each morning, all the many people he called friends, after he left the Way Station”. I also think all those friends feel the same way.

Stanley leaves behind his sister; Gene Egloff and her extended family, son Jerry and his wife Gigi, daughter Patty McIntosh, five grandchildren, Justin and Rachael Ward, (last year’s Mrs. SCV), Erika Bronstrup, Kyle Bronstrup, Lauren Bronstrup, Alli McIntosh, and three great grand children, with one more on the way, God-daughter Tina Crowell and many dear friends. He also leaves behind that large turquoise ring he always wore. Those of you who knew and loved Stanley will remember it well. He will be sorely missed.

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Golf Tournament to Raise Funds for Cancer Foundation

| Community, News | October 18, 2014

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Scott Schauer is honoring his father with a golf tournament, while raising money for a non-profit group benefiting cancer patients. Calling it a “win-win” event, the Jerry Schauer Golf Invitational Golf Tournament is set for Saturday, Nov. 16 at Robinson Ranch Golf Club in Canyon Country. All proceeds will benefit the Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Children’s Cancer.

The younger Schauer is former executive director of the Santa Clarita-based foundation, and said his father, who has himself been battling cancer, is a longtime backer of the charity group and wanted to do something to raise support.

In addition to a day on the greens, the tournament will wrap up with an awards dinner and an auction. ABC7 sports anchor Curt Sandoval will serve as master of ceremonies. Schauer said his father is hoping to feel well enough to attend.

“The love of his life has been his wife and golf,” Scott Schauer said. “This is just a win-win opportunity that we’re excited to get off the ground.”

With a target of attracting 100-150 golfers, Schauer hopes the tournament raises anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 to support the foundation. Foursome tickets are available for $600. Individual golfer tickets are $175.

Foundation officials were heartwarmed when Schauer told them his idea for the golf tournament.
“I think it’s amazing. Scott has always had the Michael Hoefflin Foundation first and foremost in his mind,” Executive Director Gillian Stone said. “He’s passionate about what he’s doing.”

Stone said fundraising efforts are crucial for the organization, and said there is a constant need for purchasing grocery cards, parking passes and gas cards to provide to families.

There are a variety of sponsorship opportunities ranging from $10,000 to $300 available, including Presenting Sponsor, Title Sponsor, Major Sponsor, Golf Cart Sponsor, Awards Ceremony Sponsor, Closest to the Pin Sponsor, Hole in One Sponsor, Longest Drive Sponsor and Hole Sponsors.

For information, contact Scott Schauer at (661) 713-6099 or email schauerscott@gmail.com.

About the Michael Hoefflin Foundation
Established in 1994, the Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Children’s Cancer is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides financial and emotional support to children and their families in the Santa Clarita Valley and surrounding areas. The organization’s goals are to find better treatments and cures through medical research, promote awareness of childhood cancer; and assist local children and their families through outreach programs. For more information call (661) 250-4100 or visit www.mhf.org.

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Hero of the Week – Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel

| Scene in SCV | October 18, 2014

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Born in Glendale to parents Melvin Erskine, a public relations executive, and Dorothy Sellers, a homemaker/nature nut, Dianne was taught at an early age that she could do anything if she just applied herself. She attended high school at a progressive, ”experimental” school in California, skipping the 10thgrade and finishing grades 11-12 in one year. She attended Spain’s University of Salamanca, followed by USC (earning a bachelor’s degree in biology) and UCLA.

In addition to performing in television commercials since the age of four and doing film work, which provided her with a SAG/AFTRA membership, Dianne discovered her true calling, which was a love for nature and the wilderness. Hikes with her mother from toddler age led to her passion for mountain climbing, including peaks such as Kilimanjaro and Everest. She has visited 75 countries, having set foot on every continent except Antarctica.

Back on the homefront, Dianne has proven herself a leader in advocating for preservation of wilderness and protection of the natural environment. She serves as executive director and president of the locally-based Community Hiking Club, with more than 5,200 members, for which she writes monthly newsletters and coordinates the event schedule. She is also president and acting executive director of the Santa Clara River Watershed Conservancy, and is a board member of the SCV Historical Society. In addition, she designs and maintains trails, leads hikes on city, state and federal lands, rehabilitates open space with native plants, coordinates stewardship events, and presents informative nature lectures.

Her passion to assist at-risk youth knows no bounds and she’s developed ongoing programs, regarding such issues as nature deficit disorder and childhood obesity. One of her greatest achievements was the mapping and vetting of Magic Mountain (the mountain), Pleasant View Ridge and Piru Creek. Her work went into the Omnibus Wilderness bill in 2009, California’s largest land bill, which put 470,000 acres into wilderness and designated Piru Creek as a wild and scenic river. She continues to map and propose wilderness, monuments, and memorials.

A coalition builder, she has fostered positive relationships with Congressman Buck McKeon (R-California) and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Californis), Friends of the River, the Forest Service, the National Park Service and Habitat for Humanity, among others.

Dianne and her husband Don have been residents of Newhall for 38 years, with a view of the mountains of East and Towsley Canyons.

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Non-Profit of the Week – Santa Clarita Historical Society

| Scene in SCV | October 17, 2014

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It was founded in 1975 with an aim to stimulate public interest in the history of the SCV and surrounding areas, to collect and preserve the stories and artifacts which relate to local history, and to provide educational services to the community. With the increasing destruction of local historic sites, the Society realized that it must rescue, restore and conserve those important or representative structures within the community, or they would be lost forever. As these structures were threatened, they moved to land leased from the County of Los Angeles adjacent to William S. Hart Park and Museum in downtown Newhall. Thus came into being the idea of a heritage park, where the community and visitors could enjoy the rich heritage of this unique region.

Southern Pacific deeded the Saugus Train Station to the Society in 1980 with money raised through a variety of community functions and the Station was moved from its original site and restored to its original condition; it has since served as the headquarters for the Society and as a museum of local history.

In 1982, the Society was given Mogul Steam Engine 1629, located at Melody Ranch, by Gene Autry. It now sits alongside the Saugus Station; a group of Society members, who are also railroad enthusiasts, are currently working on its restoration to full steam operation.

In 1986, the Society took a stand (literally) around the Mitchell Ranch, an adobe and a Victorian farm house in Sulphur Springs. As the bulldozer approached the farm house, members formed a barricade with residents to stop the impending destruction. They were unsuccessful, but as the machinery approached the adobe on the same property, Mother Nature intervened with a swarm of bees coming from within the building. This delay allowed the Society to negotiate with the property owners and retrieve the surviving adobe bricks, removing them to a spot across from the Saugus Station. Today, those bricks are reassembled within Heritage Junction as the Mitchell Schoolhouse Adobe. Six other buildings have since been moved to Heritage Junction, and are in various stages of restoration.

The Society maintains a museum of local history, provides guest speakers for clubs and school groups, gives tours of its Heritage Junction Historic Park and holds public meetings with speakers of general historic interest. The museum is open from 1-4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. Exhibits include memorabilia from downtown Newhall’s heyday, the pioneer oil and mining industries, the railroad and the discovery of gold in Placerita Canyon. The fledgling movie industry is also celebrated with items from early cowboy and silent movie stars on display. Docents are available to answer questions about the museum, the Junction, and local points of historical interest.

The Historical Society advocated for the successful implementation of the first Historic Preservation Ordinance in the history of the City of Santa Clarita. The group is currently supporting a bill introduced in Congress by Representative Buck McKeon to designate the site of the St. Francis Dam disaster as a National Memorial.

For more information visit www.scvhs.org.

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Police Blotter

| Police Blotter | October 17, 2014

There was a lot of battery in the blotter this week. A 36-year-old construction worker from San Diego was arrested for sexual battery/touching an intimate part of another. Also, a 52-year-old handyman from Castaic was arrested for kidnapping to commit a robbery/rape, etc.

A 65-year-old manager from Castaic and an unemployed 25-year-old Newhall man were arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, not a firearm, with great bodily injury. A 31-year-old Valencia caterer was cited for battery on a police officer/emergency personnel, without injury, while a 25-year-old forklift driver from Bloomington, Calif. was picked up for evading a police officer: disregarding safety. A 24-year-old student from Lancaster was charged with battery against a former spouse, as was a 53-year-old unemployed Castaic woman. Also, a 29-year-old unemployed Stevenson Ranch man was charged with corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant, etc.

A 34-year-old Fresno student was charged with carrying a loaded firearm on his person/vehicle in a public place. A 38-year-old housewife from Calimesa was charged with contempt of court—disobeying a court order.

A 22-year-old unemployed Burbank woman, a 19-year-old mechanic from Valencia and an unemployed 28-year-old Santa Clarita man were each arrested for burglary in the last week. A 50-year-old Santa Clarita construction worker and a 28-year-old North Hollywood man were each cited for theft of personal property. A 22-year-old telemarketer from Canyon Country was picked up for mail theft, etc. A 21-year-old Canyon Country cashier was arrested for grand theft of money/labor from an employer with a value greater than $400. A 27-year-old dental assistant from Sylmar and a 48-year-old oil rig worker from Ventura were each charged with taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

Possession of a controlled substance charges went to:

37-year-old carpenter
54-year-old aircraft mechanic from Val Verde
26-year-old unemployed Canyon Country man
33-year-old self-employed Sylmar man
32-year-old mover from Castaic
27-year-old unemployed Saugus man
22-year-old car washer from Newhall
41-year-old roofer from Canyon Country

A 26-year-old laborer from Sultana and a 36-year-old self-employed Fresno man were charged with transporting/selling/furnishing marijuana. A 43-year-old electrician from Colton was picked up for transporting/selling a controlled substance. And a 24-year-old unemployed San Jose man was picked up for transporting/concealing/etc. gains from a controlled substance.

DUIs with prior arrests included:

29-year-old teacher from Bakersfield
24-year-old cashier from Saugus
26-year-old security guard from Palmdale
32-year-old client associate from Canyon Country
22-year-old construction worker from Panorama City
30-year-old construction worker from Newhall

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Female Athlete of the Week

| Scene in SCV | October 17, 2014

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Corrine is a three-year varsity starter on the William S. Hart High School volleyball team. Her outstanding efforts this year have moved her to a libero position from her previous outside position the last few years.

Coach Mary Keen says that Corinne has made a tremendous impact on the team’s serve receive and defense this season, which is why, in large part, the team is so successful this year. Keen adds, “Not only is Corrine a dynamic player on the court, but she is a kind, sweet, and an all around great individual.”

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Fillmore & Western Railway Takes Brave Souls to Zombie Land

| Community, News | October 17, 2014

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by Michelle Sandoval
If you have yet to experience a train ride on the historic Fillmore & Western Railway, this Halloween season would be the ideal time. Located in the Heritage Valley, which is full of rich farming history and agriculture, the railway runs through lush orchards, making any ride enjoyable and picturesque. The train itself is a step back in time, with coach and dining cars from the 1930s and locomotives dating back to the 1950s.

During the month of October, the Railway is offering a number of different attractions for riders to experience, ranging from family-friendly to more frightening night trains for those brave at heart. The Santa Clarita Gazette was invited to ride along on the “Zombie Land in Search of Pumpkinhead” train this past weekend, and we spent a great evening hiding from monsters and wandering through corn mazes. Somehow, we made it out alive!

The “Zombie Land in Search of Pumpkinhead” train leaves the Fillmore station at 7 p.m. on select weekend evenings this month. It will take passengers along the dark railway into the night, where the orchards have naturally transformed into spooky surroundings full of ominous trees. During the ride you will meet character actors as they make their way through the train cars warning you of the dangers you are about to encounter, and giving you a bit of history on Zombie Land itself.

When you arrive there will be plenty to keep you busy through the evening, both for those seeking a good scare and for those who just want to dance the night away. There is a corn maze (the mere mention of it gave me goose bumps) where you will weave between cornhusks in the dark. A haunted hayride will take you across the grounds where your guide will share scary stories with you and ultimately see if you can catch a glimpse of the monster that haunts the grounds, the terrifying Pumpkinhead.

There is no doubt you will be hungry after all these scares and the Railway has made sure to barbecue up some delicious eats to keep you going deep into the night. The cost of your ticket includes a delicious barbecue dinner with tri tip, chicken, veggies and all the fixings. There is also a bar where you can purchase alcohol if you need a little liquid courage. Plus, Zombie Land isn’t all about the scares—make sure you set aside some time to show off your dance moves on their massive dance floor.

Guests are invited to come in their Halloween costumes and, while dressing up is a lot of fun, keep in mind that the night will be a long one, and comfort and warmth should be a priority. Children are invited to experience this trip to Zombie Land, and we were delighted to see a number of young passengers onboard, but only those truly brave little souls should participate, because the train ride does have its scary moments.

In the end, Fillmore & Western Railway’s “Zombie Land in Search of Pumpkinhead” offers a night of frightening good times. From the lovely train ride, to the eerie corn maze, and everything in between, this is a perfect activity to celebrate this most haunted of seasons.

Trains run October 17, 25 and 26, departing at 7 p.m. and returning back to the land of the living at 10 p.m. Ticket prices are $49 for adults and $34 for kids. For more information visit www.fwry-blog.com or call 805-524-2546.

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Review-Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

| Community, News | October 16, 2014

Haunted Hayride

To me, Halloween has never been a one-night celebration, but rather a month full of festivities. Last week I attended the official opening night of the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride at Griffith Park, one of the premier attractions in Southern California. Now in its 6th year, the Hayride will take you and a group through the dark areas of the Park that have been infested by creatures and monsters of all shapes and the sizes. There are also two haunted mazes to wander through, a demented seven sins sideshow and plenty of live entertainment. I can honestly say that, without a doubt, this year the Haunted Hayride is one of my absolute favorites. The folks over at TenThirtyOne Productions, the team behind the event, have definitely not held back the scares.

The hayride itself is approximately 25 minutes and will take you for a ride where you will encounter all types of spooky beings. To say that the special effects, animatronics, talented actors, and overall atmosphere created were excellent would be an understatement. The experience was wonderfully creepy and featured life-sized dragons, scarecrows balancing on stilts and lunging at you from cornfields, ghostly mothers sacrificing their babies, and pretty much anything and everything that would give you nightmares. Make sure to uncover your eyes long enough to peek behind you as you leave the monsters behind, because their waving silhouettes still send chills up my spine.

Aside from the hayride there are two haunted mazes. The “In-Between Dark” maze is definitely not for the faint of heart. Participants are basically thrown into pitch black darkness with nothing but a faint lantern and are left to touch and feel their way out of the dark through what seems like endless twists and turns. While the typical Halloween scares here are minimal, you won’t encounter many monsters along the way, you’ll find your anxiety and paranoia at an all-time high as you try to find your way out. The “House of the Horseman” maze is also great as you are led through various rooms of an asylum where certain participants need to perform tasks to move forward. It is wonderfully gory and by the end you’ll find yourself in a giant cremation chamber, where your ultimate fears will be met. The Seven Sins Sideshow will take you through seven different tents, each presenting an individual sin and each growing more and more disturbing the further you venture in.

The entire experience offered up plenty of legitimate frights throughout the night. If you’re going to venture off to only one haunted attraction this year, your money would be very well spent at The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride.

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride runs through October 31. Tickets range from $25 – $58; with an all attraction pass costing $42. For tickets and info, visit www.losangeleshauntedhayride.com.

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Male Athlete of the Week

| Scene in SCV | October 16, 2014

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Currently a team captain, Henry has been running on the Valencia High School Cross Country team for the last three years, spending the last two on the varsity team. He recently ran an impressive 16:54 at the Clovis Invitational. His cumulative 3.5 GPA proves he is as determined to succeed in his studies as he is on the track. Henry has expressed interest in continuing to participate in cross country when he goes off to college.

“Henry is hardworking, dedicated, and a quality leader in our program. He motivates his teammates through his work ethic and results,” boasts his coach, Kevin Berns.

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Is This What We Shed Our Blood For?

| Opinion | October 16, 2014

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“You can love your country without having to love your government” is a quote that some may see as quite strange being repeated by a former Green Beret combat-veteran, raised in the conservative heartland of Texas and from a large military family, but these days it seems eerily appropriate.

And, as the laissez-faire attitude of the current administration of the United States government towards the security and wellbeing of our country continues, it is a call that I constantly hear echoed from my fellow veterans, active duty brothers and sisters in uniform and friends.

ISIS Amongst Us
Stories have begun to circulate in the media about four ISIS fighters being detained along the U.S.-Mexico border this week and, as is the status quo, different media outlets have chosen their respective sides of the story (it’s true and we should be afraid vs. it’s all propaganda for more funding). These reports are based purely on politics, rather than any type of investigative journalism or research.

As a former Green Beret, I have what some may call a pretty decent amount of training and experience in what we call “unconventional” or “guerilla” warfare, so while the left loves to take these stories and use any chance they can to discredit the story immediately and fight the idea of policing our borders wholeheartedly (purely because they don’t want to lose the votes), let me take a moment to explain why, whether or not these were in fact ISIS agents, we should be prepared and taking action.

Some would look at this story and immediately say that we shouldn’t be worried about such a small group of people being detained, and there’s nothing to worry about with only four people, even if they are ISIS; but those people have absolutely no understanding of “guerilla warfare” and “small unit tactics.” If you are sending an army into a country for a large scale, blue-on-red type invasion, yes, the boats, planes and tanks start rolling. But, when your agenda is guerilla warfare, the smaller the units the better.

ISIS has made statements that its intent is to infiltrate the U.S. and send terror squads to hunt down our military members and their families, and that is a different form of invasion altogether. When using this style of attack, the method of infiltration is much like the drug cartels that Central and South America use; divide up the total package into many smaller parts and send them all to the border. Because of our lax security and sheer statistics, they know it won’t all get through, but some of it will.

And when you’re dealing with a terrorist organization bent on guerilla warfare, all it takes is one man with a bomb or a gun to bring havoc to our homes.

The Only Man Who Can’t Cross the Border
And while the left fights any attempt to beef up our security at the border, it seems the only inhabitant south of the border who can’t seem to find any way across is U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who has been held in a Mexican prison for over six months to date.

Over the past few years, Americans fed up with this administration and its anti-business, anti-individual rights and anti-Americanism have been renouncing their citizenship in record numbers (932 in 2012, 2,999 in 2013, and 1,577 as of August 2014), with arguably the largest negative impact being a renunciation of their passports, inability to travel as Americans and the loss of U.S. Government assistance, should they get themselves into trouble overseas.

In this case, we not only have a valid citizen of the United States of America, but a uniformed soldier, no less, who this administration can’t see worth the effort to get across the border. I guess they see it as a better use of their time to ensure ISIS agents and future Democratic voters get across first.

Back to Iraq (and on to Syria)
At the same time that all of this is going on, the media and administration are announcing what any soldier with experience in Iraq could have (and did) tell you and the administration years ago: we’re going back to Iraq.

When we would send up SITREPS (Situational Reports) on our Iraqi counterparts during my last trip to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) in 2008-2009, any report stating the truth that the Iraqis were nowhere near ready to take over full control would be kicked back and forcibly re-written to say they were ready. Everyone with boots on the ground knew the end-state of pulling out when we did, but politics always trumps ground truth, even when the politicians have zero ground truth experience in warfare.

Not only are we sending my brothers back into combat in Iraq, but we’ve added another wonderful destination to the vacation package of deployments for our lucky soldiers: Syria. The thing that strikes me as rather odd is that we couldn’t seem to find the reasoning to move into Syria when a brutal dictator was murdering his own people in massive numbers due to their religious affiliations, but as soon as a rag-tag group of fighters start cutting a few journalists’ heads off, it’s bombs away. Does that make a lot of sense to you?

Oh, But For Our Brave Leader
And as all of this happens on our borders and around the world, where is our Commander in Chief? Probably on the golf course or at a fundraiser. Obama has spent so much time on the golf course that there has been an entire website created to track just how many days he spends hitting the links instead of doing his job. ObamaGolfCounter.com currently has him at 192 days spent golfing as of August 23, 2014. On August 14, 2014 he couldn’t afford the time to attend the funeral for General Greene (the U.S. General killed in Afghanistan), but had no problem penciling in a few rounds at Vineyard Golf Club.

Is This What We Shed Our Blood For?
So, if you have to wonder why a former Green Beret combat-veteran raised in the conservative heartland of Texas and from a large military family would repeat the slogan “You can love your country without having to love your government,” you’re obviously not paying attention. My brothers and sisters in arms and I shed our blood, sweat and tears fighting for, defending and sometimes giving the ultimate sacrifice for our country. We left our families, our lives, our hopes and dreams behind to go to awful places and defend that flag that still moves us to tears when we see it waving in the crisp morning air, at a ballgame, or in our neighbor’s front yard.

We gladly sacrificed all that we know and potentially all that we had for that flag, but more importantly for what it represented: the land of the free and the home of the brave, a country that would do anything to protect and do right by its citizens. A country that is the greatest social experiment known to mankind, that is so great that millions around the world still spend their lives hoping and dreaming to one day make it here and proudly be able to call themselves Americans.

Yet, we’re allowing it to be targeted from the inside by an administration who seems hell-bent on its demise; we allow thousands to pour across our borders unhindered and even create legislation to provide amnesty, but can’t muster up the time to bring one of our own back home from trumped up charges in a Mexican jail. We’re sending American troops right back into a war that every one of them knew we weren’t finished with when we left the first time, and sending others into a war that could have been fought in the name of freedom from oppression, the greatest of American rights, and are instead going in the name of retribution.

As a man who has a purple heart from combat in Afghanistan, who has lost more than his fair share of brothers to combat and who spent a fair share of his life devoted to fighting for a country he loves, cherishes and believes in, I have to ask, just as many of my brothers and sisters in uniform are asking at this very moment: is this what we shed our blood for?”

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