Moments in time REMEMBERING!!!

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Photo by:1st Sense photography

Location: Spring Grove Illinois

As Memorial day 2018 Fast Approaches and we sit and Barbecue, we tend to forget those who served our country. We sit with our families at Parades honoring those who fell, and our children chase after candy. Yet after we go home and start the festivities of fishing, camping, and cooking on the grill. We never attend what happens after the parade. Usually every parade ends at a cemetery, and eulogies and a roll call for those lost in the many wars fought for this country are given. Flags adorn the graves of those lives lost and those who served but have since passed from this world. The Photo above I found this marker in a local cemetery in Spring Grove, Illinois. It made me think about who this man was, what he saw, the fact it was not a mechanized war but many men still lost their lives. I think we tend to forget the smaller wars, because our education mainly hit on wars such as the Revolutionary war, The Civil War, World War 1 and 2. The Smaller wars get buried in books somewhere, Wars such as the War of 1812, The Mexican-American war, The Blackhawk war etc… We forget that men no matter where they were from defended their countries and beliefs.

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Photo by: 1st Sense Photography

Location: Woodstock, Illinois

Here I was strolling taking photos during a memorial day parade my sons youth football team had been in. This is a sight I will never, ever forget, a memory emblazoned in my mind forever. The soldier stood guard against a pole with his sons, and daughter wearing shirts that said welcome home Daddy. I was Choked up and decided to pick up the camera. Whether or not they knew it they created a moment. these children probably watched their dad go off to war not knowing the consequences of war, and that their dad may never return home. Yet he did unlike many others before him. I guess in a way this was my way of thanking him for defending our freedom from terrorism.

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Photo by: 1st Sense Photography

Location: Woodstock, Illinois

At the end of the Parade a new flag upon the square dedicated to those who served the flag is replaced every year by those who served. Boots, Dogtags and a Rifle with the helmet of a fallen soldier stood in front of me. The soldiers lowered the flag and stood at attention as a new one replaced it. I really wish I would have looked at the dog tags that adorned the memorial for the fallen. We forget as we live our everyday lives, these soldiers go out fight and die for the freedom we take for granted. We may be watching a ballgame at home, or fishing. While men fall we forget about them, and think our lives are a given.

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Photo by: 1st Sense Photography

Location: Tuscola, Illinois

a few years later I moved to a town called Atwood, Illinois. But before my ex and I moved there, she used to live in a tiny little town about half an hour away from Champaign, Illinois called Tuscola, Illinois. As I strolled the streets of Tuscola taking photos, I ran across this spray painted on a road for a fallen soldier. I actually was seeing this person meant something to someone. Sgt. Flynn Schultz was someones family, and friend I never knew the family, but I found this moving because it made you realize someone made this because he meant something to the people he knew and the people who lived in that tiny town. This may not have been how he wanted to be remembered as spray paint on a road in the middle of nowhere, but it was how someone made him remembered for a very long time to come. So when people walked past people would see his name and maybe take a second to pay their respects to a fallen soldier.

Hopefully this Memorial day before you go to parades, camp, go parties or whatever it is you may do, you will take the time out to remember those who died for your freedoms. If it is a moment of silence, or a prayer or writing maybe a memorial to someone you knew served and died for our country. Just all I ask is you REMEMBER!!!!

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A life remembered, Msg. Timothy R. Bodden part 2

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So this morning while I was sitting down to breakfast with my mom and dad, I started talking about the book The things they carried by Timothy O’Brien. Well I said that I think most soldiers during war cover up their actual feelings of what is going on around them by thinking about other things even if it is just about the color of the sky are the white clouds that are floating through it. Which reminded me of the scene in Forest Gump, when the clouds break and he sees the stars for the first time in a long time.

Well after talking about it, My dad started talking about as he calls him Bodden. Let me explain, Bodden Joined the Marines about the same time my father did, along with Richard Puckett. During Basic training they were almost inseparable.  You can call them the Three Musketeers, or the Three Amigos if you will. One of the first times my father got to start to know Bodden they were doing KP together. Well my Fathers job was to make the salad, and Bodden’s Job was to do the dishes. My father has never been much of a cook the microwave oven and anything quick to make is basically what he does. Well he said Bodden got along better with the drill sergeant than my father did. So Bodden told my father he would switch him Jobs because Bodden apparently loved to cook. So my dad wound out doing the dishes rather than the salad.

So further on in the discussion he talked about another incident with Bodden, Now I am not clear on whether it was in the barracks or they were at a bar or wherever it might have been. Another Marine had started with Bodden and according to my dad Bodden was not a very big guy but he said after studying martial arts that he could handle his own. Well the Marine starting apparently swung on Bodden and he put the other Marine to the ground as quickly as the fight started it ended.

After I wrote the original blog, A life remembered Msg. Timothy R. Bodden his Daughter whom he had never known wrote me and gave a thank you. She explained who she was her name was Leona Estes. She had informed me that she had never known her father because he went off to Vietnam before she was born, or to young maybe to remember either way she never got to know him. I included the full report on the incident where Bodden and his other crew members aboard a CH-46 were shot down on June 3rd 1967. Either he was the door gunner or another part of the crew. But Bodden had his back broken during the crash, and according to some was shot in the back Execution style either by the Viet-cong or the North Vietnamese. One or two members of the crew survived and lived to tell the tale. But they fought valiantly according to the reports trying to fend off the enemy.

A few years down the road a reply came to my wall on my blog from a Jeff Hinga. I am actually going to copy and paste here his story, Because I cannot tell it as well as he did because it is his story.

During this Memorial Day weekend I would like to post this about a marine named Timothy Bodden. Tim died on a mission in Vietnam and the significance of this tragedy is enormous for my family. You see, this mission was supposed to be my fathers but he had just got back from two back to back missions and Timothy pulled rank over him and made him stay behind while he took dads place on the chopper. My dad has always talked about this and credits his life and the lives of myself and my sister to Timothy Bodden. Rip Mr. Bodden. You are not forgotten.

– Jeff Hinga –

If it were not for Timothy Bodden and his Sacrifice, Mr, Hinga and his Sister would not be around today. This meant Bodden was a Hero in more than one way. Not only did he save a life but because of that life saved two more were created. Mr Hinga’s Father passed away on August 30th 2016, from complications stemming from the use of Agent Orange a chemical weapon during Vietnam. May he also be remembered for his Valiant service to this country and God rest his soul.

Today I decided to look up Tim again because I wondered how much had been posted since I originally wrote the first blog. Well I ran across an obituary for his mother Dorothy Bodden Semrau on Pownetwork.com. In September of 2010 she passed away. But it said after her sons helicopter crash on June 3rd 1967, she had spent 34 years of her life in finding the whereabouts of her son. Traveling to foreign countries, speaking to their leaders, our presidents, congressman and anyone who would listen to her cause. She was probably so struck and upset by this event in her life that as a mother she would stop at nothing to bring her son home. She in a way is a Hero to because of her dedication to bringing home her son. Hopefully she is now at rest and spending time in Heaven with her son.

To end this little blog I would like to say when we were younger as kids my father often spoke of Bodden, and Puckett and some other Marine buddies. But suddenly after my mother had found out they pronounced him dead during a class she was teaching in genealogy. I think my father felt some sort of way because he stopped talking about his friend and was in his own way grieving in Marine fashion. My dad is still never good about his feelings and showing them. But that is my Father. I am proud to have him as my dad, My dad never reenlisted right before Vietnam and a few buddies went over and one never returned. As I said in the beginning I think soldiers use other methods like remembering them as being alive and not passed before they even really lived. I was shocked after I asked him years ago about Timothy Bodden I basically got the brush off like it was a sore subject which it might have been, and now he started to talk again. Hopefully maybe over the next few months he will open up with more stories I can write so the family and friends of Bodden can learn more about him. One more little tidbit though Bodden was a talker he loved talking to the point his other Marine Friends and acquaintances would ask does he ever shut up? I found that to be humorous since alot of people say the same thing about me. Hope this gives everyone a little more insight into the life of Msg. Timothy R. Bodden.

Timothy R. Bodden

Born November, 6 1942 Downers Grove, Illinois

Missing June 3rd, 1967 Laos, Vietnam

Pronunced KIA February 26,1980

May you never be forgotten.1058hanson_jpg

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Anxiety and how it takes over.

Years ago after my divorce with my kids mother I discovered that I could not control everything. This bothered me so greatly. I felt as if I was losing part of my life and things were spinning out of control. Control was something I always seemed to have until that point as I was always a very competitive athlete all my life. I was usually able to control the outcome of an at bat or a game. I never took the word lose very lightly. I would kick dirt throw my helmet in the dugout if things started to go wrong and I felt like I was losing control. I would always try to rally the troops. But with divorce I could not do this the courts had control over everything including visitation. It disturbed me not having control for the first time in my life. I was losing being able to see my kids full time to becoming a weekend dad.

Over the years I tried to learn I could not control everything, no matter how hard I wanted to control things, I tried to tell myself over and over again eventually things would be alright. Those thoughts would paralyze me at times lay me up in bed, as I tried to get through the mess of losing control and seeing my kids only on weekends. This drove me nuts still does at times as I want to be the real father I know I can be.

Now as i get older I feel like I only have a few real friends who support me and understand that at times my anxiety gets the best of me. Losing friends over the years was another thing I could not control. So when I do have friends who are always there it really makes a world of difference to me. But the thing I fear the most is those friends will someday leave find significant others, and i will be alone in the world to navigate once more. That Scares me alot. This is why I discovered that the one thing I have that is a constant in my life no matter what is my photography, I can capture one moment in time and go back look and relive that moment in my head.

this year with the surgery I had no control, without it I would lose use of my left arm. This made my anxiety act up in the worst way, and the healing process has been long and out of my control. I always hate when I have no control It makes me feel like there must be some way and than my mind goes into overdrive. I think most of the things I think are mostly big what ifs . Like what if I have no more control, what if I cant make the best of myself anymore. What if people think my photography is crap? All scary thoughts and we let thoughts like that get worse and worse til we are almost paralyzed with fear.

Like I said I watched Friends move on and now when I have friends sometimes I think I drive them nuts. I try to be the friend who knows everything, the friend who needs the attention because of friendships Ive lost I think I try to replace those and keep the ones I now have.  The one constant i have had by my side this past year is my one friend and my son. Ive watched my son become the competitive athlete I once was and it makes me very very proud, He has shown me things even I did not know he is a very smart kid, although maybe he lets his ego shine through sometimes, but that was me at his age.

Hopefully this explains a little bit about how I feel when things seem out of control for me so people get a little bit more of an understanding of me.

What would you miss?

 

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So I am reading a book called station eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. About a pandemic called the Georgia Flu that nearly wipes out mankind. Behind is left abandoned places, with no electricity, or running water etc… She poses an interesting question in the book. If this really happened and we had limited resources, and we were forced to use horses, hunt and scrounge for water clothing etc… What would you miss most.

I am really not sure what I would miss most. Today everything is stored in modern forms of media such as computers. People really do not go to the library, or take photographs put them in albums. I think I would miss forms of visual stimulation such as photographs. Photographs tell the stories of where we have been, who we are and were. They tell most of our modern history. I am sure we would eventually lose visual forms of art to vandals and thieves. What would be left are the images in our heads.

We would lose most modern music and have to rely on what instruments we had left to entertain. We would rely on the old fashioned play, no more television, or going on YouTube for entertainment. We would have storytellers again, people who would tell stories of the past we would have to rely on their memories to provide us some of our human history. I am sure some of us would probably lose the skills to read or write to communicate.

I would probably miss being able to travel where you wanted to go on a whim and seeing friends and talking to friends from distances. We would not have cellular phones or Skype. We would not be able to just turn a key and go visit those friends when we want to. We would have to go back to letter writing and delivery services such as the Pony Express again. I would miss everyday conversation quite a bit. Really we do not know how lucky we are to be able to use phones, and social media to keep up with what is going on with our friends.

We would probably miss going shopping for the goods we need. We would have to learn new skills to survive, We would not be able to go to Walmart or the Mall to get clothing, or food or supplies we need for everyday living. We would have to learn to hunt, fish, sew and make items we needed to even travel from place to place. We would have to fabricate parts we needed for wagons etc…

 

Being able to go to a ballgame with my kid, or take them places like amusement parks. We would not be able to do any of that anymore. our entertainment would be limited, and we would again have to rely on old forms of entertainment that would probably be very new to most of the modern generations who have probably never even been to a play for entertainment.

Anyways just a few thoughts as into how life might be had we lost everything we know. What would you miss most?

My Hometown and simpler times

I was remembering my hometown tonight when I sat down at Steak and Shake with my friend Omar. We sat and talked about how things have changed within the past 30 years or so. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago called Bartlett, Illinois. Not much ever seemed to change. Of course over time we made new friends. Some stayed in our lives and some well I never knew what happened to them after I left.

I grew up in Bartlett until I was about 13 years old. I seemed to grow up on a very simple block, everyone knew everyone, and families always seemed to know where we were because they all communicated with one another almost on a daily basis. Our block was nice but most of the boys on my block were all older, and growing up some of them took us under their wings. They taught us how to skateboard, or they would throw the ball around with us normal boy stuff.

I had mainly friends who were girls in my neighborhood because those were all the kids around my age. I had my Friend Dina your typical girl who was kind of the smart ass athlete though. She was more a tomboy growing up with our group. She played baseball, running bases, soccer, sometimes even a football game with us. We would ride our bikes up and down the block, play on each-others swing sets. We really never worried about getting injured when we played.

We would go to the park right down the road. The parks back then were not these plastic parks you see now. We had the cage rocket ship slide made of metal, swing sets and monkey bars also made of metal. If we got hurt we went home got bandaged up and were right back at the park in 5 minutes. Like most kids we were a bit reckless and our parents knew where we were, and knew atleast one of us if not all of us were coming home with bumps, scrapes, and cuts. We understood doing stupid tricks might cause injury but we were kids. We did not want to sue the world because the playground was metal, or because we got injured just being kids.

The park was divided by a creek with woods on one side where many spring and summer days we spent playing war in the woods trying to build forts, and finding wood to build bridges to cross the creek. My first kiss was by that creek and it was with a girl named Melanie. Across that creek was a field with hills we also used to play tag and war and hide and seek. At the back of the field was an old rusted out propane tank apparently once meant for a house of some sort. but it was long abandoned and we used it to sit inside of and have juvenile conversations, Probably conversations to those similar to the conversations in the movie Stand By Me.

Another few girls I grew up with were Scooter, Sissy and Robin all sisters. We all kind of had our own cliche and knew almost what one another were thinking at times. I once climbed a tree in Scooters backyard and they had and old jeep body leaning against the back of their garage the branch snapped and i fell onto the jeep body. I am sure I probably cried but in 5 minutes we were back to playing.

Many summer nights were taken up by us playing baseball in the street, many times we played until we could no longer see where the ball was. Many times we would hit the ball into the “Old Geezers” yard. He was an mean old fool of a man who rented the house across the street with him and his wife. We would run quickly into his yard trying to avoid being seen so we did not experience his wrath and he would tell us how we should not hit the ball into his precious yard and yell and scream and throw a fit. Of course like the movie Wayne’s World, we had to move every time a car would come down the road. Most of the times those cars were neighbors returning home from shopping or work and would always wave to us kids. About half way through the baseball games in the evening the ice cream man would come down the road where each of us had a dollar for ice cream, My ice cream of choice was almost always the screwball with the gumball at the bottom.

After it got nearly dark our parents were usually by this point yelling for us to come in for dinner. We had no cell phones no pagers just good old fashioned loud parents who made their voices heard. We seemed to always rush through dinner on a summer night when we did not have school the next day. We tried to get back outside because it was time for the fireflies to come out. then afer that we would usually play a few rounds of ghost in the graveyard.

Some summer days we spent riding our bikes to Lizzie’s which was the local ice cream parlor and gag gift store, I bought my first can of fart spray there and I sprayed it on Dina’s bicycle seat, Her father Wayne did not find it so funny. Wayne could be a smart ass but we as children respected him because he had a very authoritative voice . He actually made me clean her bike… Funny thing years later I went to my Junior Prom with Dina.

Alot of days we also took our bikes to the Baseball Card shop on almost a daily basis. We collected baseball cards for a very long time and well trading cards with the other kids on the front stoop of the shop kinda became a staple of everyday life. The people who owned the shop always welcomed us in and never said a cross word to any of us. After the baseball card shop we would sometimes go to the drug store get candy and garbage pail kids. The hot dog joint Annie’s was right next door and we always went there for fries or a drink. Tcby was in the same complex for those who do not know what Tcby is it means the countries best yogurt it was a frozen yogurt shop and sometimes we would go there to, I stil know of one in chicago if your ever into finding frozen yogurt shops.

Sometimes we would go to the railroad station and we would of course be kids watch the trains pass count the cars, but the real motive was putting pennies on the tracks and having them flattened, Sometimes it would take us a few minutes to find the pennies in the rocks after. But we had fun social media, the internet did not exist. So we actually had to physically make contact with people, go outside and play and get exercise and fresh air. I loved growing up in that era because now we hide behind keyboards and we find love online. We do not date the old fashioned way anymore and everyone wants to move to the next level in a few weeks. Kids are now trying to grow up acting like thugs on the internet, and we as parents act like well they are just being kids. We should ban them all from the internet their phones for a month I guarantee they would be different at the end and see the importance of actual human interaction.

Anyways getting tired as I am sitting here typing this and I am sure I have plenty more memories to share but these were just a few thoughts that crossed my mind… hope you all read and enjoy.

 

 

 

Memorial Day, May we Remember

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On this Memorial Day we recognize those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to this country. We sit here and not only mourn the loss of those who gave their lives but remember those who did. I took this a few years ago In Woodstock, Illinois. As the soldiers you see changing out the old flag with the new salute as the change is made, the Rifle was with the pair of boots, and the helmet and dog tags adorned it. This is a way to honor a fallen soldier in the battle field.This is called the Battlefield Cross this practice goes back to the Civil War possibly earlier. It was a way to mark the dead or fallen before they were removed from the battle field.

This one was raised on a memorial day vigil for a fallen soldier from the surrounding area. I never did read the dog tags on the rifle. I often wondered who it was. I wish I knew the man who gave his life for this country. My way of showing he was remembered was from this photo. It was later published on Vogue.It Photovogue.

We often forget those who watched their brothers fall on the battlefield and do not think what they watched, what they witnessed or how they felt at that very moment. They watched their brother in arms fall before them. They were possibly a friend or even family member at times. Soldiers looked out for each other as they even lay dying. Some would try to comfort them in their last moments as they drew their final breath.

I am sure I cannot imagine the pure horror as soldiers came off a troop transport and stormed a beach as German soldiers following their orders to open fire opened up their full arsenal on our soldiers.the pure horror as their friends fell and they had to move over them as they lay there dead. Bombs dropping, the beach being shelled from a distance by battleships to try to compromise enemy positions and destroy them. Bullets flying through the air, and grenades, and mortars exploding all around them. I really cannot imagine the sights the sounds or the screams. To me it was the ultimate sacrifice. these soldiers were out to stop a ruthless dictator who had his sights set on taking over the world.

Soldiers who have died during battle knew the ultimate price they had to possibly pay, and yet they enlisted to defend you and I. They had families to lets also not forget them, moms, Dads, Brothers, Sisters, Cousins, Uncles, and Aunts. Those people have had to deal everyday with the loss of their loved ones. They watched their family members leave for war knowing they may never see them again.

Memorial Day is not just about your backyard Barbecue, or that beer you hold in your hand. It is not about going out to the lake, or seeing how drunk you can get. Memorial Day is about recognizing those who have served and  gave their lives for our country defending our freedom. It is also about honoring the families of the fallen those who have had to watch as their loved ones casket was carried that last 15 feet, with an American Flag Draped over it. It is about the Mother, or the son daughter or father who stand and lay their head on the casket as they weep because their family gave their life. They gave their lives for their families, friends, and for us the strangers they never knew so that we could have our Freedom.

Today as you watch the parades, or the wreath being laid on the tomb of the unknown soldier on television. Please take a moment of silence and say a prayer no matter your religion. people of all different races and religions and sexual orientations gave their life to defend you. They defended you so that you could be with your family, and be there to honor them today.

Thank you to those who gave their lives,

Brian Andrews

Wondering what is around the Corner

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       So next week January 15th, 2014 I leave Northern, Illinois for the Fields consisting of Corn, and Soy and a Vintage town in Central Illinois. At the same time I am excited, I still feel some sadness, because of some things I leave behind, like my Family, and Friends mainly. I grew up here since I was about 14 years old or so, and have been in this area since. I got Used to places like McHenry, Illinois. Although me and my ex-wife are no longer together, I met her here in this area, and we had 3 beautiful kids together. I will be getting them a week of winter break, spring break, and all of summer. It is more time to spend with them overall though. Normally I only get them every other weekend on Saturdays and Sundays. I will be sad that they are over 200 miles away.

     I know this will be a change, like I said I am leaving my kids here with their mother, but I know they are still in good hands. I have many memories here though. High School Hanging out with my friends at the High School football games when I was a teenager and the dances after the games. Homecomings, turnabouts, and proms where many new relationships were made, but heartbreak also happened at times. Spending Time at the Spot which was a pool hall in McHenry, Illinois. Working at the McHenry outdoor theater forever and a day.Many nights spent there watching movies. Movies such as Casper, Finding Nemo, Jay, and Silent Bob Strikes Back, The Others, and the list goes on and on.

     The good thing about moving though is I am starting a new life, and getting to make new friends. I will also be able to break out the camera and explore new areas. the closest Wal-Mart will be about half an hour or so away. It is an amazing little town so Vintage, with a splash of modern with the outlet mall. St. Louis and Chicago are only about 2 hours or so away in case I do want to go to either city. Lets face it going to see a Blackhawks game at the United Center is Expensive and it will be cheaper for me to go to see them play the Blues in St. Louis.  Monicals Pizza is a delight to go to if your ever in Central, Illinois, and they have the most amazing French Dressing for their salads, and an even more amazing Pizza. We may not have places like we got up here like a Jewel, as those seem reserved for northern Illinois, and the Chicago Land area. We do on the other hand have the convenience of an IGA. If your hungry late at night places like Denny’s and a 24 hour subway are open. Some of the Best Carmel Apples I have ever had come from the Candy Kitchen there.

    I know I will miss the convenience of some of the stuff here. Most of all though I will miss My family, kids, and My Friends the most. I will be back occasionally to see them and spend holidays and such with them though. I hope my friends also maybe find it in their heart occasionally to come visit me to, I will not have very many friends to start down their, and sure would be nice to see some familiar faces on occasion!!! Well I am going to go for now I hope you enjoyed this it is different than I normally write. But if you like this hit like share it and please follow!!!

Thank You,

Brian