The Soldier and the Squirrel introduces children to the Purple Heart

through a loving story of a friendship between a newly wounded soldier

and Rocky the squirrel with his backyard friends. This story began as a

blog during my first year in bed after my incident. With much

encouragement, it is now a book and has been placed in the

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum. Please watch the video

on the About page to learn for the Soldier & Rocky are changing children's






Glorious Rejoice Dots Glitter





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Wrapping Up Duck Dynasty

I stared at the Duck Dynasty board game as it sat on the Christmas wrapping paper, not knowing whether or not to proceed.

I was blazing hot mad at what Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the family, had said. The Duck Dynasty Disaster crawled up and down my Facebook feed. So many friends went wild with their memes in support of Phil.

Now, before anyone gets mad at me - Understand that the part of me that reacted this way, was the part with a best friend who happens to be gay and married. He and his his husband are Guncles to our children, and we could not love a couple more if they where blood-related to our family. So, the first place I went, was anger. Anger at what he said, and how he said it.

The other part of me just purchased a Duck Dynasty board game for our kids for Christmas, and has 20 episodes of Duck Dynasty waiting to be devoured on our DVR.

I was completely conflicted.

I love the Robertsons because for all their gun-totin', Bible-thumping quirkiness, the bottom line was the love for family. It didn't matter what that family looked like, dressed like, suddenly our children were relating to their humor and at the end of every episode I had a lump in my throat.

So how did my vision of this imperfectly perfect family implode with an interview and one very unfortunate YouTube? It was as though I had fallen in love with a guy and he suddenly declared he was a mass-murderer.

Then I stopped to think about the way I was reacting. Yes, I may not agree with Phil's statements. Yes, I wish he had never said those things. But what is worse, living in a country with differences, or living in a country without the right to express our beliefs? In storming my aggression against Phil for voicing his opinion, wasn't I simply becoming just as hateful as I felt his own comments were? Wasn't I turning on a family with so many amazing qualities, just because they hold a belief I disagree with, when they have filled our lives with joy and a new perspective on acceptance of diversity?

A&E's firing of Phil makes me long for the days of the disclaimer, "The views expressed by the Robertson family are not necessarily those of A&E". And leave it at that.

I wish we all agreed on everything. I wish gays had equal rights on every level of society. But stripping away Phil's right to free speech is the precursor to out-lawing parades that celebrate gay rights. They are two sides of the same coin.

Thousands upon thousands of American troops have died to protect this freedom of expression, and to keep our country free from tyranny. To take away this right negates the very purpose of our men and women fighting for the very principals upon which our country was founded.

I pull the wrapping paper up and over the game, tying a red bow on top. This Christmas will not be about hate. I will not engage in a heated debate on Facebook. Instead I will explain to our children that although we don't agree with what he said, at least we live in a country where we can voice our own opinion in favor of gay rights. And how terrible it would be if we were silenced for what it is that we believe. The only one who lost in this, are the suits of A&E.

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