Job Security- Unfortunatly

If you spend more than a fortnight living the life of a HP, you will come across some kid that has been abused and/ or neglected so badly you will wonder how God could let such evil exist.

There was one boy when I first became a HP that suffered the worst case of abuse I ever came across. What that boys mother and her boyfriend did to him still bothers me to this day, I still have dreams occasionally of meeting up with them in a dark alley and giving them both the mother of all beat downs.

The first time I met Dexter he was jumping out of the back of an ambulance and running over to the garden we had planted beside the office. He never saw tomatoes growing on a vine before and it was just an odd concept to him. I introduced myself and he shook my hand. The ambulance driver tossed me a mega-size bottle of Depakote and said good luck. I never had a kid show up in an ambulance and just dropped off. No paperwork and no case worker, just Dexter and enough Depakote to put a horse down.

Dexter had just spent the last year and a half at a children’s psychiatric ward just outside of Baltimore. Having no paper work and no idea who to contact to find out what was going on with this kid, we headed back to the shelter to get him settled in for the night.

At 2am I awoke to the sound of screaming and banging coming from Dexters room. He was running around the room swinging a curtain rod trying to swat the “Purple Things”. He then started hitting his head with the bar and I had to restrain him to keep him from hurting himself further. The restraint lasted for more than two hours. I really was starting to wonder what was going on with this kid. Fortunately we made it thru the weekend and Monday his case worker faxed over his files.

Dexter suffered repeated sexual abuse from the mom’s boyfriend and had been beaten severely. All of this happened before he turned five. Unfortunately the kid was a complete basket case from those days on. His mind was in a world somewhere between reality and a cartoon show.

When Dexter was not talking to invisible blue demons, or in a hysterical crying fit, he was the most lovable and sincere kid I ever met. However, due to the frequent breaks with reality and the hysterical crying fits that could last more than 4 hours, Dexter had to go to a long term children’s psychiatric hospital.

The truly sad thing about this story is the fact we all know a Dexter. There is no shortage of hard-luck stories or broken kids in our world. One leaves another comes in, the levels of abuse and neglect may vary, but the tragedy is not one of them deserve the cards they were dealt.

Anytime you start thinking you are not making a difference in these kids lives, keep in mind you are at least doing better than those that sent them to you. -Launch

The Art Of Hospitality

One of the chores of being a HP at a large facility, especially an old large facility, is the steady stream of visitors that cross the threshold of our cottage on a weekly basis. We all know it’s one of them things you have to do, and many people who donate large sums of money tend to want to see if it’s actually doing some good.

But any of us that are on the receiving end of the tour bite our finger nails and worry if some of the kids are going to put on a “Show” for our visitors. I have this recurring nightmare that Daddy Warbucks is going to walk into my cottage and one of my boys will come out of the kitchen covered in ketchup yelling “Please help, they are trying to kill us”. Daddy Warbucks then proceeds to rip his 5 million dollar check in half, causing my normally calm and cool director to kick me in the groin and call me bad names.

Needless to say, I do worry about making a good impression on visitors. I understand fully that the support they give allows us to do the ministry we do. Being a private facility, we run almost exclusively off of private funding and donations. Which means I constantly have to be ready for a drop in visitor and to present the perfect family- and depending on what kind of mood the whole house is in, “Perfect Family” is very loosely defined.

One of the core skills our kids are taught when they first arrive is “Greeting Skills”. When a guest arrives, they answer the door, introduce themselves and offer the guest something to drink and then takes them on a tour of the house. My Kindergartner has gotten this skill down pat, he will chat up the guest and then drop little pieces of info like what year the house was built. He is my House Realtor. Once he learns what money is, were gonna have to watch he doesn’t try to sell the Cottage out from under us.

I have to admit, our kids posses better communication skills and proper manners than most adults I know. Every time we take the kids out shopping or to a restaurant it amazes me how they are the best behaved kids wherever we go. The so called “Normal” kids act like a bunch of fools while Mom and Dad set there smiling at what is to be their legacy on this earth sticking straws in their noses and yelling at the top of their lungs.

The tours that are at times a pain in the neck, have become a very important social skill lesson for the kids. Instead of talking with their heads down and mumbling under their breath when a question is asked, they learn to take pride in the cottage and eventually in themselves by showing off the place they call home. They even enjoy showing off their toys which has caused them to not bust up all of their belongings.

I may gripe about having to do another tour tomorrow, but just between us- I’m kinda looking forward to showing off how well my kids do and how proud they are of who and where they are. -Launch

How I got to Mississippi!

Most people that know me realize fairly quickly that I am not from Mississippi. I am from the West (Montana, California, Nevada, Idaho and Wyoming – though I call Montana home). Usually their first question is, How did you get to Mississippi?” After I laugh, mostly at myself, I tell them my story:

In 1998 we were working at a home in Cody, Wyoming working mostly with juvenile delinquent and crisis kids. It was hard work. We had young children that we didn’t like exposing to some of their behaviors, our living quarters were really cramped and we were looking for something in the way of basic care. I was also studying to be a pastor with the Assemblies of God. My thought was to work at an AG home and mentor with AG ministers while I worked to become one. I found an open position at a home in Texas and sent them a resume.

They liked our resume and we talked several times on the phone and through E-mail. They told us they could not afford to pay for us to come down and interview because we lived so far away, but if we wanted to pay for it ourselves they would love to meet us. It was going to take every penny I had to move, so there was no way we could afford to pay for it. We decided that we would make a video of us and they would make a video of the home and staff and we would exchange them. It should have been a red flag when we never received their video, but they offered us a position and we accepted it, SIGHT UNSEEN!!!

We left Cody, Wyoming on January 3rd, 1999 in route to Fairfield, Texas, arriving 4 days later. Upon arriving we quickly found out that 4 days before we left Cody, the executive director that hired us was forced to retire (was fired) by the board, and they had hired a consultant to move the home in a new direction. I assure you that had we known this, we would have stayed in Wyoming. They didn’t start looking for new staff until we started loading the U-haul, hoping to change our mind and that we would have stayed.

We quickly discovered that accepting a position sight unseen is probably not the wisest thing to do. Had we actually visited the home, we would have found out about many of the things that were going on, and could have made a much more informed decision. We probably would have never accepted the position.

It didn’t take very long, about two months, for us to realize that we didn’t really want to be there and should start looking for a position somewhere else. It took us another month before we actually started sending out resumes. I found some houseparent job listings on a job board that also included listings for houseparents and sent off some resumes to different facilities. Some in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and to a place called “Palmer Home for Children” in Columbus, MS.

Here is where things continued to go wrong! Having forgotten all my 5th grade geography and two letter postal codes-I thought MS stood for Missouri. I figured that living in Missouri; we would one day closer to home and could easily drive there in a day and a half. And for all of you that are currently laughing, yes I now remember that Missouri is MO.

About thirty minutes after I sent the resume, I got an E-mail reply from the director telling me how much he liked our resumes and how great the home, staff and kids were at Palmer Home for Children, in Columbus, Mississippi. Now I had seen the movie “Mississippi Burning” and “In the Heat of the Night” was one of my favorite TV shows. We also had a friend from Georgia that we worked with in Wyoming that used to make Mississippi jokes. There was NO WAY we were moving to Mississippi.

The director sent us an application and several brochures about the home, which we read. I couldn’t visit their website, because I didn’t know enough about websites and hadn’t created it yet.

Being a computer novice, I still believed that Microsoft would send you $10 for everyone you forwarded an E-mail to, with their new e-mail tracking software. I sent the e-mail to everyone in my address book, using my new computer, not realizing that some of those people were administrators at the home we worked at. That wouldn’t have been so bad, except I included with the E-mail that, I was looking for a new position and planned to use the money I got from Microsoft to move with.

After realizing my blunder we went ahead and completed the application along with all the other applications we had, because we knew our days were numbered. Fortunately, we had already set up an interview with Palmer Home by the time our director called us in a week later and told us that since we were looking to leave anyway that we had 30 days to be out. We said that’s fine and tendered our resignation, along with three other sets of houseparents (out of 5) and prayed that one of the positions we were looking at would come through quickly. I had no idea what we were going to do if one didn’t. We were 1500 miles away from home, with virtually no money.

We came down the next week for a visit and spent three days visiting. Turns out that Mississippi wasn’t such a bad place, and the home was a pretty nice place. We must have made a good impression, because after we got back to Texas and I called several times to ask if they had made a decision, they still offered us a position.

I put in my two weeks notice and reserved a u-haul. I even had a week to spare on my 30 day deadline. It will be nine years in June, and though I would be happy to be able to go home tomorrow it has been a great experience for me and my family.

I was able to learn about computers and websites and started this one, The Houseparent Network, in 2001 as well as others. I have developed enough of a proficiency with computers to be considered an expert. We have cared for some really great kids, one of which still calls us Mom and Dad and has provided us with a grandson. We have made some great friends. We discovered the greatest sport on earth  NASCAR and learned some really cool phrases like, “Y’all” and “Fixin ta.” I am thankful for that brain-fart that day!!

Rage Against The Machine

Last week I took a stand against the establishment and refused to do any office paperwork while I have the kids in the cottage after school. Instead of staying up till the wee hours of the morning doing paperwork, I’m discovering that I actually posses some time management skills. Besides feeling a lot more relaxed AND getting more accomplished, I’m having more time to do what I’m really supposed to be doing in the first place- Spend time with the boys.

This morning we decided to ride bikes to school instead of taking the bus. Before anyone starts thinking I’m some sort of fitness buff, y’all should know I was on my motorcycle doing 10 miles an hour with a cup of coffee between my legs while the boys were peddling their collective little butts off trying to keep up. Needless to say I got all kinds of weird stares on the way to school.

This afternoon I headed back to get the boys after school. I did get a few odd stares, but the vast majority of people in the school line smiled and waved. One guy stopped us on the way out and asked the boys names and where they were from. He then went on to tell them he wished he could do what we were doing with his kids. The poor guy looked like he just worked a 80 hour week, and it’s only Tuesday. The look on his face reminded me of just how blessed I am to be doing this ministry.

Coming home the boys wanted to race from sign to sign and I had a blast gunning the bike past them while they yelled and pedaled harder. Now that I think about it, they probably just wanted scare the retirement community we were going through.

I realize (now) that all my paperwork woes were a result of poor time management and ultimately led to my defiant announcement to the world that I was taking a stand against the machine. Kinda humbling when I finally figured out the machine was me. Not quite as romantic as taking a stand against an evil, power hungry child care facility or a corrupt city government, but I gotta give credit where it is due.

For the other 90% of my fellow comrades- Take a stand against intolerable working conditions that stop you from spending time with the kids, especially if your the one causing the problem.

Mac Attack

I spent the last three days trying to install my new whiz bang toy- a Macintosh. I have never been a Mac man and most of my experience has been with a tried and true PC. Part of the frustration is I’m completely surrounded by mac’s. All of our kids work on mac’s in school and our facility supplies nothing but mac’s for the cottages and administration. I however, have chosen to stay mac free, even to the point of not having a computer in our personal quarters because I’d rather save up enough money for a PC than go the way of the rotten Apple.But, I found a found a deal on a Mac that I could not refuse. Our tech guy on campus is replacing all the old Mac’s with new ones. For 25 bucks I found myself with my first Mac. For that cheap how could I possibly go wrong? I decided to give this Mac a chance. Maybe, just maybe, I’ve been wrong all of these years. So I placed the Mac on my desk in the living room, made a fire, poured a glass of wine and put some Marvin Gaye on the radio to get this relationship on the right footing. I turned the Mac on and everything was moving along smoothly.

I then try and click on itunes to get my new ipod loaded up with some tunes…. Error message. I chuckle, it must be a fluke because Mac never crashes, right? Again I click on itunes, this time I get a network time out error.

Still being open minded about my new Mac experience, I try looking for a customer support number. TWO DAYS LATER I have yet to find a phone number for anyone that can help me.

I have googled and researched how to fix the issues. Unfortunately all the mac forums are full of nothing but disgruntled Mac owners. I did find one guy that shares my frustrations, a fellow Mac hater. (Caution, language is rough in a few areas).

I think as soon as I gather enough cash to get to the store to purchase a new PC, I’ll either donate this piece of junk to the cottage or the rifle range. -Launch

Question #20 – 3/4/2008 – I need to know the truth

I need to know the truth. 

I am the primary teaching parent for a cottage of 8 children (mixed-gender), and I need to give a little detail about each of my kids, before I ask my question. First, I have two 3 yr olds. Then I have a 4 year old, which is highly sexually reactive, therefore requiring constant (and I mean constant) supervision. I have a 5 yr old, which is your typical, full of energy, curious about everything, 5 year old. My fifth child is a 6 yr old who is one of the few that I would positvely diagnose as ADHD at that young of an age if I were a counselor. Then there is my 10 yr 0ld boy who is as O.D.D. as they come, and my 12 yr old girl that has demonstrated such a profound inability to conform to, and even learn, social norms (including such basic things as thinking of somone besides her self for a few minutes a day, moderately respectful behavior, and occasional obedience) that her counselor has said that she would probably diagnose her with Borderline Personality Disorder if the ! industry norm didn’t require her to wait till she was 18 to give her such a serious label. Last, but not least, there’s my 13 year old boy who, praise God, is a normal, every day 13 year old boy who just has normal problems. 

I feel the need to give one more piece of information before I ask my question. I have experience as a house parent; I was in this industry for almost three years before I came to my current position (I’ve been here seven months, but most of this current bunch of kids has come with in the last 3 month’s), including three months at my former children’s home, where I had to run a cottage of 7 hyperactive teen aged boys who thought there former houseparent (who got fired) was God, basically by myself because my wife was teaching at the time, and as low-man-on-the-totem-pole in administration, it fell to me to take the cottage over till replacements could be found. Even so, I will admit that my experience has been completely with older kids. There was a serious misunderstanding between myself and my current administration about what the average age of this cottage was to be, or I would never have taken this position in the first place. 

Secondly, I do admit that my relief staff just resigned, and I am on the tale end of a 12 day shift (and about the fourth nasty email from my boss), so I’m not seeing the picture as objectively as I should at the moment. But the fact remains that this cottage is a mess right now. I can’t get paperwork done on time; I can’t get the house cleaned to even my standards (which admitadly is lower than most administrations at a children’s home’s standards), and I definately can not find the time to spend any time at all with the kids one on one (which, call me an adealist, is what I see as my primary job). My boss is convinced that I don’t belong in this position. “That I should seriously consider whether or not God has really called me here before myself, or one of the children gets injured. (I pulled that one straight out of her last email)” because of these issues. 

I, frankly, am convinced that that the job is unrealistic, and am very, very frustrated that my administration will not help out, or even consider the possibility that some of this is there fault, not mine. Admitadly, two days a week, we have a third person come in to the cottage during peak hours, but that just doesn’t seem to be enough. My wife and I simply spend our days putting out fires, cooking, doing laundry (by the way, 5 of the 8 kids are bed wetters), and praying for our next day off. 

You’ve probably guessed my question. Is she right? When I was a young teen ager, I was convinced I could sing in spite of the fact that the world just didn’t want to listen to me trying (needless to say, I hate watching American Idle auditions). Have I fooled myself again into thinking that I have talents and gifts in an area where I really don’t? Be honest. I really need to know. If I were gifted in this area, should my wife and I be able to handle the kind of kids that I just described, and get everything else done as well? Should I find another job, and start over in trying to find where my gifts and talents really lie, or is it possible, even probable, that anyone would need help with this bunch of kids? 

Thx for your response. 

Mike’s Response 

I am not sure how much I can judge your situation based solely on your E-mail but maybe some information about mine may help.  I also have been in a co-ed cottage for the better part of the last six years, minus a nine month sabbatical when I thought I wanted to do something else, and the administration at the time felt they couldn’t work with us.  We have been back in the cottage for three years now and those administrators have gone back into their previous field of ministry.  I currently have 7 cottage children, 2 birth children, and a 3 yr old grandchild (through a previous resident that has informally adopted us as her parents) that is here whenever his mother is working.  

 My youngest cottage child just turned 5, when she came to us 15 months ago she could be described as nothing less that a wild child, it was if she was raised by wolves. Her first few months here she got about 70% of all the attention that was given out.  Next is our set of twins, age 6.  The boy is severe ADHD and is a bed wetter, the girl is not, but they both have been slow academically and are in their second year of kindergarten.  Next is a boy age 8, he is pretty normal and smart.  His 10 yr old brother is ADD, hates living in the home and only looks forward to the day he can leave here, even though he has lived here for 60% of life.  Next we have an 11 yr old girl that has a very bad case of attachment disorder, is ADHD and is now starting puberty.  Finally there is a 12 yr old boy that has a form of autism which results in a huge deficiency in social skills, he finally out grew bed wetting about 4 months ago.  My grandson is now potty trained but we had diapers on top of everything until just recently.  

 Physically this is the most demanding cottage I have ever had and has been since we came back three years ago.  We don’t have the cleanest cottage on campus but we keep it in good condition and it is one of the most visited cottages on campus.  Thankfully, we don’t have a bunch of paperwork to do and sometimes it gets behind but we are pretty good about staying on top of it.  That said I can tell you that not everyone can handle our cottage.  

 When we were forced to leave the last time, the cottage and children quickly deteriorated both in appearance and behavior.  We were asked to come back by the upper administration because they were unable to find a replacement to deal with the combination of children we had in the cottage.  When the former administrator said that it was either him or us, he was reassigned to another position and ended up leaving about a month later.  You have to make concessions and realize that the vast majority of what you do with a cottage that age is physical.  You have to do everything they can’t.  Don’t look for one on one time, it is mostly group time.  Recreation is a luxury, as is peace and quite, but we are able to manage things.  I don’t know if that makes us super houseparents or if we have just found our niche.  I can honestly tell you there have been many days I just wanted to quit.  

 There seems to be a big difference between our situations and that is the support of administration.  I can honestly tell you from what I have seen in the past and from what has happened to us that when you lose support of the administration your days are probably numbered anyway.  The huge advantage that we had in our situation was that we had been here for 6 years previous and were highly regarded and the admin was fairly new 1.5 years.  

 I have also talked with many other houseparents that are unable to work with younger children and will only work with teens.  If you can’t handle it don’t feel ashamed, you certainly wouldn’t be the first.        

  Finally, no situation is totally the blame of one person or couple, however if administration thinks you are the whole problem you are not going to get a lot of additional support.  If it was me I would probably be at the very least be putting out feelers for a different position or even a different field.  The admin’s e-mail suggesting you look for something else should probably be heeded before they force it.  I do however think it is inappropriate to deal with issues like that through e-mail; the admin should at the very least be talking to you face to face about the situation. 
If anybody has any other ideas or you would like to add something, just register and add your comments.
If you would like to ask your own question CLICK HERE to go the submission form.


I don’t want to make light of this situation because it is very tragic, but it truly illustrates how important communication is and how bad it can get totally messed up!!!

I live in a fairly small community of about 26,000 people, and though I am sure it is nothing like Washington D.C. or East St. Louis we have our fair share of crime.  Friday evening was one of those times.  Let me first describe the situation how it was originally reported to me by different people within about and hour of the shooting.

At about 6:00 pm I got a phone call from my wife, she was at the salon with the girls getting their hair done.  She had heard that a gunman had entered a local Fred’s store and shot and killed 4 people.  She called back a few minutes later and told me that our friend that works there is fine, but heard that there was two gunmen.  One was shot by the police and the other stole a police car after shooting the officer and got away. 

About twenty minutes later I received a call from somebody else.  They asked me if I had heard anything about the shooting and if I knew if any of our staff or kids were involved.  I told him that I knew there was a shooting at Fred’s and that 4 people were shot.  That a former staff member that works there was OK but I didn’t have any more information.  He said that the gunman that took the police car had also shot up the McDonald’s, the Kroger grocery store, and the Wal-mart.  I told him that I hadn’t heard that but if I hear anything about our staff or kids, that I would call him back.  After the elementary program that we went to see at 7:00 pm was over our 5th grade girl came back and told us what she heard about the shootings and that 4 people were wounded and one person was dead and there was a bad guy still out there.  I asked her how she knew this and she said her teacher told her.

I can honestly tell you that most people I talked to were really freaked out and had some strange stories.  I was somewhat skeptical but I kept listening.

To the best of my knowledge, here is what really happened:

At about 5:00 PM the gunman approached two people at a self service gas station that is also located in the same parking lot as the Fred’s Store, as well as about 10 other stores.  He fired four shots at a woman with a small caliber handgun, hitting her once.  He then fired three shots at her male companion hitting him all three times in non lethal areas.  The gunman was a 70 year old retired teacher and the first two people he shot was his wife, about 15 years his junior, and a former city councilman that had previously been convicted of felony crimes.  It is believed that the man and woman may have been having an affair and that is what originally set off the gunman.

People started calling 911 right away and an officer just two blocks away responded.  He stopped and got out of his car to confront the gunman.  The gunman, who I think was trying to commit suicide by cop, started firing at the officer.  I still haven’t heard where to officer was hit but it must have been somewhere not covered by his ballistic vest.  The gunman then took his car and departed the area.  During this time our Chief of Police, who was working out at a gym in the same shopping center, came out and fired at the gunman leaving in the police car several times as he departed the area.

The gunman drove about 6 blocks and abandoned the car near the Wal-mart.  He temporarily eluded officers but was eventually shot in the back of the neck by an officer, while he was trying to get away.  It was originally thought that he would not survive the shot, but he was transported from our local hospital to the University Hospital for specialized treatment just in case.  Turns out it was a minor wound and he ended being released the next day and transported to the local jail. 

Officer’s continued to look for the second gunman until about 8:00 pm when it was confirmed that there was only one gunman.  Apparently the accounts given by witnesses differed enough for the police, wanting to be thorough, to continue looking for a second shooter.

Of the four people shot, none were critically injured.  All are out of the hospital and two were released the next day.  No bystanders were shot and shots were only fired in two locations.  The original location and behind the Wal-mart, not the McDonald’s, or Kroger or any other location.

A question that I have is:  Would the information been as distorted as it was if everyone didn’t have a cell phones?  I think information can travel too quickly and a lot of bogus information gets shared.  I also think that people get so wrapped up into a situation that they become more concerned about being a participant than getting their facts correct.  Had people had their facts correct they could have saved the officers from spending two hours looking for a non-existent person.

We run into the same problems at many of the facilities we work at.  How many times do people share bits and pieces of information about some staff member or child without really making sure of the source?  How many times do we take action in a situation, without having all the facts or even worrying about all the facts?  How many times do we just flat out spread rumors?  These are things we need to think about before we communicate or take action, and I bet if we did, we would be much more effective.


I got a very surprising phone call from one of the kids I use to work with. It’s hard to believe the 16 year old kid that use to hide his cigarettes in the sock drawer is now a nineteen year old Corporal in the Army. I am still in shock of how much he has changed since he was in our house.

My last conversation with Cory was about how he needed to finish high school so he could achieve his dream of going into the Army. He would follow me around and ask a thousand questions about my service time, it seemed like the only thing he was passionate about was going into the service and getting out of a little mountain town to see the world. And see the world he has.

As I talked with him I heard the voice of young man that has seen and experienced more life and death over the last year than any person should have to. He has seen the worst side of humanity, but at the same time has witnessed heroic deeds and shown immense compassion for others.

I am proud of him on many different levels. Cory ended up being stationed with my old unit at FT. Campbell, KY with the 101st Airborne Division. He decided to be an Infantryman and seems to have excelled at his new profession. Most importantly he has a faith in Christ that is genuine and real. Most of our conversation focused on his walk with Christ.

I have mixed emotions about our talk. On one hand I am so grateful he took the opportunity to better his life by choosing to serve our country and take advantage of all the benefits they have to offer. The Cory I knew was on the verge of dropping out of high school, the Cory I talked to this evening is taking college courses and wants to start his own business someday.

On the other hand I worry. When he was sixteen I worried about him smoking and getting a passing grade in school. It was my job as a HP to protect him from a course of self destruction and repeating his family history. Now I find myself wishing I could be there to look after him and make sure he stays safe- and it has nothing to do with the “Job”. Truth is he would be the one keeping my old, fat butt safe if I was over there.

I never had to deal with the thought of one of my kids living in a combat zone. I have had to deal with friends and fellow soldiers making that ultimate sacrifice for God and Country. But it’s a whole different level when it’s a kid you took part in raising.

A conversation I had with someone not long ago about the war was over CNN’s coverage of the casualties. They list the names and circumstance surrounding the death of the service member. The person I was talking with felt that it was turning public opinion against the war by listing the names of all the soldiers who have died. My feeling is everyone needs to read that casualty list on a regular basis. After looking at all of those pictures if you still believe the war is just than it should motivate you to do as much as you can to support the President and the war. If you are on the other side of the fence than it is your responsibility to end this thing and bring the best and brightest this country has produced back home.

I know many of you out there have kids in the same scenario as Cory right now. They are all truly in Gods hand now, and no matter what your opinion on the war is, we have much to be proud of that there are men and women like Cory doing what we don’t want to do. -Launch