A tribute to my favorite veteran: my father

Published 8:19 am Thursday, November 11, 2010

Scott Schmeltzer, Thanks for Listening

Army brat: the child of a career officer of the United States Army.

When I speak to people I often refer to myself as an Army brat. My father, Richard, served in the Army from 1950 until 1971 and was in the Korean War. As an Army brat I got to learn things that other kids did not get to learn.

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Growing up my dad taught me to do the Queen Anne salute with a fake little gun and then later with a .410 rifle (not loaded). We also learned other rifle and cadence type Army training maneuvers that were quite cool. My dad was also a skilled woodsman who trained all of my brothers and sisters how to clean and take care of our guns when hunting. He taught us hunter’s safety and always stressed the importance of teamwork and believing in your country.

Growing up Army style, we brats also learned how to make a bed until you could bounce a quarter off of it and how not to ever talk back to your superiors (mostly Mom).

Learning about the flag and our country was the other important part of what we Army brats knew about. My dad made sure we respected the flag, knew the rules and knew the Pledge of Allegiance. You know it makes me quite sad that today our flag and the Pledge are not honored as much as when I grew up.

Please, today, honor our veterans by taking a look at our grand old flag, saying the pledge and then dropping to your knees to really think about your favorite veteran and what he or she did for you and this great country.

Dad, thanks for bringing me up as an Army brat. I miss you.

To all veterans, thank you for giving the ultimate sacrifice for us. Bless you all.

Bullying series

Tomorrow in the Albert Lea Tribune, we are kicking off an important series on bullying. Our bullying series will run for the next couple of months in the Friday edition of your newspaper. Our special sections editor Kelli Lageson, who also is the education reporter, has been interviewing and searching out the many intricacies of this dangerous game.

Bullying takes many different forms and hurts in many different ways. Bullying is in schools, on the Internet and is a part of daily life for both students and adults alike. I ask you not only to read this amazing series but to react to it. Ask yourself what you can do to help prevent bullying.

In no way do we expect this series to make bullying go away, but if it can help one person, isn’t it worth it? If any story or statistic strikes a nerve in you, feel free to call us or e-mail us at anytime, as this is an ongoing series that we want to expose to the light of kindness.

Our hope is that after this series, children and adults alike will be able to better see and more importantly react when a bullying act is taking place before them. This series is not about pointing fingers but about finding answers and, even better than that, giving hope and a place to turn to if bullying is affecting you or a loved one. Thank you.

Please contact:

Kelli Lageson

• 379-3439

• kelli.lageson@albertleatribune.com

Scott Schmeltzer

• 379-3420

• scott.schmeltzer@albertleatribune.com

Tribune Publisher Scott Schmeltzer’s column appears every Thursday.