A Star-spangled Thank-you to Our Soldiers

The thundrous booms, showering crackles of light, and the piercing whistle of fireworks are enjoyed by millions of blue-blooded Americans each year as we celebrate our independence on the 4th of July. These spectacular displays of light, color, and sound inspire us while bringing to remembrance the courageous men and women who fought to protect our country’s liberties and freedoms; many paying the ultimate price.

For the soldier the “rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air” aren’t necessarilly cause for celebration as much as they are a call to duty. Plumbs of smoke, and the earth rumbling beneath their feet brings a soldier to a state of readiness. Rapid gunfire, roadside bombs, and fellow soldiers falling at your side are grim realities for our brave servicemen and women. Sleepless nights, frightening memories, and post traumatic stress disorder, are ever surfacing reminders, while your enemies may no longer be physically present, their ghosts forever haunt the landscape of your life. Their lives will forever be affected, their perceptions, and perceptions of them, forever altered.

This Independence Day, as you “OOOO” and “AHHH” over the brilliant displays of light, color, and sound, pause to reflect upon the sacrifices of those who braved the “perilous fight” to make such displays of pride and patriotism possible. As God’s Word implores us all, “Give honor where honor is due.” Whether in the Airforce, Army, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reserves; past, present, or fallen, on behalf of the entire Mangold Family, here is a heart-felt thank-you for all you have done and sacrificed to protect the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!”

God bless our Troops and God bless America!

Pastor Rodger D. Mangold and Family

“American Heart” Song by Jon David – Buy This Song; Help a Soldier

Add to Cart

This should be our
campaign theme song for 2010

– Andrew Breitbart“As powerful and moving as anything I’ve ever heard
– Curt Schilling

Jon David’s
American Heart is the anthem

-Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Check out “American Heart!”  Buy the Song, Help a Soldier at


via Check out “American Heart

2009 Military Tribute at Grace Apostolic Church of Clawson

GAC’s Annual Military Tribute was a great success. With the help of the Roseville VFW Post #2358  and the rifle volley, taps, and Honor Guard’s presentation of the colors, the tone was one of reverence, admiration, and patroitism. For more information go to Grace’s website:http://www.gracenewsinfo.com

God bless America and God bless our Vets!

Below is video of the Rifle Volley that took place May 17, 2009

(NOTE: My apologies – the Flanders Field poem that is being read in the background was not picked up by the camera’s mic)

Book Review on “When We Are Free” by Timothy G. Nash

when-we-are-free1Last weekend I had the privilege of attending a 3-day class centered on the book “When We Are Free,” by Timothy G. Nash, Dale C Matcheck, Evgeniy I. Gentchev, Alexander Watts. My professor was Kent Snyder, who in addition to teaching at Northwood is a financial advisor in Troy, MI. I am attending Northwood University in pursuit of my BBA and this May I will be graduating with my associates. After 10 papers, we had to write an overview of this book. Since I took the time to write it, I thought I would share it with my visitors. This is not exactly the most fascinating of reads, but if you are interested in freedom, capitalism, free enterprise, and the role of government in it all, reading this book will indeed open your eyes to the twisted ways in which our government has misrepresented the Constitution of the United States. With government bailouts, welfare, and stimulus packages, our government is not getting smaller, it’s increasing in magnitude. I thought I had a grasp of what freedom was and how it related to how we conduct business, after reading When We Are Free I realized I had a lot to learn…and still do!

Review of When We Are Free by Rodger Mangold

We hear them all the time; terms like free enterprise, capitalism, limited government, socialism, etc. But, when asked to define these terms and relate them to today’s current affairs I admit I would have been hard-pressed. That is of course is prior to having read the book, When We Are Free.

At first glance I thought When We Are Free to be just a collection of essays that would prompt discussion about issues related to the market, but after having read the entire book I find it to be more of a creed by which those that enjoy freedom could further enhance and appreciate what “true” freedom, as it relates to the market could mean. Every-day things we take for granted; full shelves at the local Wal-Mart, interstate and global commerce, supply and demand, currency value, market fluctuations and trends, if left uninhibited by government have proven to be more effective than government policy, legislation, or regulation. When government seeks to overstep its Constitutional boundaries, as it so often is willing to do, the market is adversely affected as has been demonstrated throughout history.

When has the government gone too far, one might ask? How should the government be involved in the market, in our businesses, in our economy? Should the government be involved at all? Our forefathers had the exceptional ability and foresight into the common pitfalls of government and to address those pitfalls through our country’s Constitution. This document is not simply a commentary on how things should be, but rather a contract that every democratically elected public servant vows to uphold. One of the stories that told of a member of congress who misrepresented the Constitution, and was confronted, can be found in Chapter 34, Not Yours to Give by Edward S. Ellis.

Col. Davey Crockett was campaigning along the countryside and was challenged by one of his constituents as having overstepped his Constitutional obligation. In awarding taxpayers’ money to aid those that had lost their homes in a fire, Davey Crockett had violated an article of the American Constitution. Despite the best of intentions, as may well be the case in our modern day, by giving away what is “not theirs to give,” Congress is in direct violation of the Constitution. Congress is not at liberty to provide charitable contributions regardless of circumstance. America has been blessed with thousands of non-profit organizations, philanthropists, and other charitable foundations that can and will come to the aid of those in need. By usurping congressional authority in this area, congress has effectively violated the trust of the American people, and indirectly has stated they know what is better for us than we even know for ourselves.

Some would argue, “Where is your compassion? How could you in all fairness turn people away knowing full-well they were in need of your assistance?” When vowing to uphold the Constitution of the United States, taking liberties as to its interpretation has not been granted to a member of Congress. By overstepping the Constitutional boundaries, they have violated what they have vowed to uphold, and by so doing they trample underfoot the very document that enabled them freedom to run for office and be elected in the first place. A little ironic is it not – holding true to one aspect of the Constitution, but ignoring the other? In an act of true humility and meekness, Col. Davey Crockett publically admitted he had misrepresented the Constitution and would from that moment do all within his power to correct his error, and never again make that mistake. That is true integrity and willingness to set aside one’s pride and ego in true deference to the Constitution, and the American people who elected him. So, a true understanding of the Constitution of the United States, and an adherence to what it says about our government are essential to fully embrace and appreciate the freedoms it guarantees.

When We Are Free is centered on capitalism. As it is described in this book, capitalism is a theory of economics that is not without its criticisms. Some assert that capitalism is rooted in greed, self-interest, and waste. In the chapter entitled, Nine Lies About Capitalism by Madison Pirie, I found the best evidence to support capitalism than anywhere else in the book. Lie, by lie, Pirie combats each with truth, truly dispelling commonly held myths about capitalism. Those that take a seemingly pious view of capitalism and claim it is immoral, according to the author, fail to see how capitalism actually encourages us to put the needs of others above our own. Granted, we are expecting compensation when that need is met, but if we are not sensitive enough to meet that need, or if the incentive were not there (due to capitalism), neither we nor our neighbor benefit. Capitalism is truly the fairest way for both parties to be equally benefitted. Time would escape each myth to be dispelled, but suffice it to say, capitalism versus any other type of economic environment does the best job of creating a fair and balanced playing field for those that wish to invest the time, energy, and capital to improve their lives, and the lives of others.

Overall, When We are Free is an excellent perspective on our government and its role (or lack thereof) in our economy as it pertains to a free enterprise market system. Milton Friedman describes the role of government as follows: to preserve law and order, protect the nation against foreign entities, to establish laws and a framework of rules by which to conduct business, to enforce contracts that have been entered into voluntarily, to provide judiciary to settle disputes, to provide a monetary system, and lastly a “paternalistic role” that would aid people in desperate need of assistance. Sadly, as Friedman points out, the government has expanded its activities in areas not intended by our forefathers, and it is in these areas they are performing so poorly that they are doing more harm than good.

It is my opinion that rather than stimulate our economy, they stifle it. Rather than helping the people who need it, they enable the wrong people causing them to become dependent. Rather than shrinking and limiting their size, they are expanding. And, rather than doing a service to our great Nation, they do a disservice if they fail to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

I am certainly going to recommend When We Are Free to those that have a genuine interest in either capitalism or government. This will undoubtedly shed new insight into the roles of each.

Memorial Day Revival – By Joseph M. Salvia

Reverence – We must not forget to honor those who lost their lives serving our Country. Even though we may not know them or their families personally, we must gather each year and stand together to show our appreciation for their sacrifices. We must continue to gather every year. We must teach our young people and our children the importance of carrying on this honored tradition and foster a “Spirit of Patriotism” for our Country.

Remember – We must not forget to respect, and give thanks to those who served in the past wars and other armed conflicts in our history; especially those who were wounded that may continue a life of suffering because of those injuries. They deserve to be honored and appreciated by all of us. Many of them returned home only to feel rejected, humiliated, or laughed at because of their military service. Those who served and are now present in our community, it is time for you to come forward and receive the welcome and thanks for the commitment of your time in serving our Country.

Recognition – There are many men and women that live in our community that served in the military forces during times of peace. They gave of their time in active duty or served in the Reserves or the National Guard. They also made a decision to serve our Country not knowing what might occur during the duration of their tour of duty. It was simply a choice to volunteer and do their part. This great multitude must now come forth and join with the war veterans so our community can recognize them for the role they performed. Once again, the youth of our community need to see that there have been many individuals living here that were not afraid to make a commitment to serve in a military capacity.

Respect – Last, but not least by any means, we must not forget those who are currently serving in the armed forces, or those that have just recently enlisted. We must give them the same thanks and appreciation as well, even in their absence, for their commitment in making our current military forces the best in the world. We welcome the spouses, parents, or other family members to represent them in the parade and carry a sign with their name in the event they are not available to attend personally.

`All of this can only happen if all of us step forward and get involved.

Those who have served or are serving in any capacity please come forward. Let this community see you and show their thanks, appreciation and support for all the time you have devoted during your tour of duty.

Those in the community! You must come forward and be there to clap your hands and salute our veterans. Buy a flag and bring it with you. Make a sign saying “Thank You Veterans”, “Welcome Home” to show your appreciation.

Please come, RAIN or SHINE! Our veterans served regardless of what the weather conditions were at any given moment in time past. What a great tribute it would be to see 10,000 umbrellas lining our streets as the veterans pass by.

Let us make a commitment not to forget anymore, but to make Memorial Day a day that we can all cherish!

May the only complaint heard from those in attendance on this day be, “I could not find a place to stand.”

Pemission to publish was granted by the author.

By : Joseph M. Salvia
Former 1 SG U.S. Army Michigan National Guard (1962-1968)
Former American Legion Post 216 Commander

Photo Note: As of this posting, the owner of this graphic is unknown. It was retrieved from an email I received. If you, or someone you know, owns the rights to this picture please contact me at starspangled@comcast.net and I will either give credit or remove at the author’s discretion.