Alexander Film Works

At A Loss For Something To Add…

In It Bugs Me, Just Because... on August 16, 2012 at 9:53 pm

The past two weeks or so have been interesting, to say the least.  Megan and I have been active in our roles as members of the Patriot Guard Riders, standing honor at funerals for military personnel and veterans who died, and I have been battling a dearth of inspiration for writing something to film, for editing documentary footage I have already shot, and trying to balance what is with what I want.

This seems to be quite a balancing act… sort of like juggling live chainsaws – blindfolded – while tap dancing – in a minefield.

PGR Staging

Staging for the ride to Holly National Cemetery

The Great Lakes National Cemetery, just outside Holly, Michigan, is a breathtaking place… the lines of flagpoles beside the main entry road, the identical white marble tombstones lined in precise rows… it makes me both sad and proud at the same time every time I go there.  Going to stand honor line at a commitment service at one of the shelters is even more impressive… and the solemnity of the services only makes it more so.

The most recent one we went for was for a 62-year-old Marine and Navy veteran of Vietnam.  (Yes, he was in both services… after he received a Purple Heart in the Marines, and they wouldn’t let him return for another deployment, he let them discharge him, went to the Navy recruiter, and signed back on.  He received another Purple Heart in his Navy service.)  His name was John Villneff.

He had moved in with his son on the west side of Detroit, because the son had gotten seriously injured in an accident.  His son and his daughter were at a Detroit Tigers game, which they had won tickets to, when a bunch of neighborhood toughs broke into his daughter’s home next door, looking for her shotgun.  They beat John’s sixteen year old grandson severely with a baseball bat, splitting his head open and shattering his jaw.  They stole a Wii and an Xbox, and one of John’s granddaughters was taking pictures of them with her new iPad, which she’d gotten as a present.  They went to shoot at her, and she ran next door to John.

John put himself between his granddaughter and the shooters, and took two bullets meant for her.  One went through his heart.  With what strength he had remaining, he called his son on the cell phone and told him he’d been shot, and was dying.

These grandchildren watched their grandfather bleed out in front of them.

The main shooter, who apparently had an outstanding warrant for murder on him already, went down to a local party store shortly after, with John’s blood and his grandson’s blood still on his shirt, told the clerk “I own this side of town now, so you better give me what I want whenever I come in here,” and held up the clerk.

Let me spell out a few things here, just so I don’t mislead anyone about my position on these events.  I do not believe that automatic weapons are necessary or proper for anyone outside the armed forces or law enforcement to own.  I am hesitant to advocate that NO ONE should own a firearm, but it is rapidly heading that way, with the accidents that occur when a young child finds their parent’s or relative’s firearm, loaded, cocked, with a bullet in the chamber, and shoots themselves or a playmate.  I am rapidly becoming convinced that we have already lost the battle to maintain civilization in the United States, and that the slide to barbarism is almost inevitable.

And I despair that anything can be done about it.

I don’t like that.  At all.

But I feel my duty to continue to stand in honor of those of our military and veterans, because if not for them we would not have our freedoms we still enjoy.

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