Look for the Helpers

Look for the Helpers

Our neighbor, Mr. Rogers left a quote of his mothers in a book, it read “Always look for the helpers, there will always be helpers.” Today, it’s often used after a tragedy to comfort people, or to tell people that someone is coming to help.

However, that was not Mrs. Rogers intention of the quote, not exactly. It was to comfort a young Fred Rogers, to prepare him as a child when or if he were to witness something bad, possibly a car crash, a natural disaster, etc. To comfort a child, someone without the means to help themselves. That one quote stuck with Mr. Rogers and by proxy prepared him for what dangers may lie ahead.

For better or worse that quote has been taken out of context, and this isn’t me saying it’s being used wrong, rather to explain the truth behind it.

I’ve unknowingly used it in the wrong context, nonetheless I understand the need to be prepared. This is where I would add a bit of my resume as a servicemember, security professional, fireman, etc. and brag that I’m a macho man and I know best, and I couldn’t possibly ever need help. However, that line of thinking kills and is categorically wrong.

The thing is, who is the helper when I need help? Who does a fireman call when they’ve fallen through a floor of a burning building? A cop when the welfare check turns into homicidal person with nothing to lose? A lone medic doing CPR? A school resource officer when all hell breaks loose, and they’ve got 2000 kids to protect from a gunman?

Well, a team of fireman, a squad of cops, another medic in the ambo, or God forbid a teacher trained, equipped, willing and able to protect her kids.

In our day-to-day lives, we must be prepared to charge in and face the dangers. That quote, as pliable as it may be, isn’t meant for adults. We should have already taken the steps necessary to respond to any number of scenarios.

I hope I never have to call for backup, but if I do I hope it’s the type of people who responded on 9-11, not knowing the dangers, just knowing someone, somewhere needed help.

People like Tim Duffy, who rode his motorcycle in full bunker gear through ash and debris to ground zero. Here is a link to his charity where he links servicemembers with therapy dogs.

Men like Gary Box whose last photo was of him disembarking his fire apparatus and running towards danger, screams, and ultimately his death.

My good friend Garrett Goodwin, God rest his soul, was one of the first to respond on 9-11, only to later succumb to the illness caused by the hazards of the cleanup.

Men and women have always stood guard, answered the call, responded knowing the dangers. So I leave you with this, look for the helpers or become one, you may be the first responder for the next tragedy. 

Independence Day

Independence Day

I consider myself quite the history buff. I find most fascinating how our country came to be. Did you know the United States is considered a social experiment? You have likely heard that we’re a government of, by and for the people. A government based on self-rule and certain rights not given by man but by a higher power. That we have certain inalienable rights, even prior to them being enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Well, it’s all true, and you are fortunate to be living in the greatest social experiment in the world.

History is a neat thing, and if you delve deep enough, you’ll learn that it often repeats itself. We had a Civil War, prior to our nation even existing for 100 years. It’s certainly possible for it to happen again, and the crazy thing is people talk about wanting it to happen. I can talk at length about how I don’t want that to happen, but I’d like to make a point about how we can prevent it. Through education.

You can tell someone that we are living in the greatest country in the world, or you can show them. There are many examples in everyday life that people take for granted. I have, and still do take things for granted like air conditioning, I’m spoiled by it. One thing I do not take for granted is the freedom that has been bestowed upon me by my creator and secured through harsh battles by those before me.

I firmly believe, the more people learn of our history, the less likely we are to repeat it. Educating ourselves and our youth will secure our freedom for generations to come. Pick up a book and do some reading. I didn’t pick up casual reading until roughly Junior High, the Iliad and the Odyssey got me hooked. They’re excellent fictional books that do a great job of helping a reader visualize the story. Now that I enjoy reading, I prefer to pick up books on our founding documents, founding fathers, and historical events. Two books I have read in the past but just recently acquired are the Federalist Papers, and the Anti-Federalist Papers. These are in short, the arguments for and against the Constitution, truthfully these should be required reading in school. *list some of your favorite books in the comments*

Our National Anthem provides a great visual to the beauty found in the chaos of war. Read or listen to the full version, immerse yourself in that visual. It also helps if you’ve got fireworks blasting in the distance, as I currently do. Which brings me to my next point, does the symbolism of fireworks and Independence Day get lost on people?

The fireworks are a celebration of rebellion; of victory; of war; of freedom, yet for liability or nuisance reasons they’re typically “illegal” unless during the week of Independence Day, often called the 4th of July. Now I’m not typically a stickler when it comes to the suppressor/silencer debate, but I do prefer to call this glorious birthday Independence Day over the 4th of July. I think in this case the term is important, what are we independent from? Tea and crumpets, gun control, oppressive dictators, tyrannical governments. The symbolism behind this day can’t get lost on people, we are Americans, and our identity is that of the gold standard of living freely.

Happy Independence Day America.

Dillon Daughenbaugh – IFC Communications Director and  Board Secretary

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A Rendezvous With Destiny

A Rendezvous With Destiny

Weak men create hard times, you’ve heard the rest. It comes full circle and strong men are created through hard times. The greatest generation were men and women whose strength was forged through unimagined adversity, earning the title. Growing up during WWI, clawing through the Great Depression and battling through WWII. An entire nation supporting the war effort, imagine that. We can’t fathom the mental fortitude it takes to make it through, but we can appreciate it and that’s what remembering D-Day means.

Time and time again the United States has offered her bravest and brightest warriors to fend off the world’s enemies. I had the distinct honor of serving with the 101st Airborne. Immediately upon reception we had the history of the unit instilled in us. The story of “Old Abe,” an eagle whose image would become the most recognizable and decorated unit insignia. Also, the lesser-known quote from Major General William C. Lee stated prior to the invasion that the 101st Division had no history, but a Rendezvous with Destiny, which would later become the division’s motto.

There are stories of heroism, one of my personal favorites is that of Paratrooper Vincent Speranza’s story of his famous Bastogne beer run which has made its way into a movie. You may have seen him singing the paratrooper song “Blood on the Risers.”

There was an emphasis placed on remembering one’s history, for good reason.

“Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Without using the internet, tell me in the comments who is attributed with that quote.

I would be remiss to say history won’t repeat itself as it often does.

As a country who has been at peace a fraction (roughly 7%) of the time it’s existed, America has sought out and fought Socialism, Communism, Terrorism to the end of the Earth. For now, here we are with members of Congress openly claiming their Socialist ties. I feel we are destined for some hard times as the cycle continues.

To honor those who on D Day were willing to die or did lose their life, we must remember and honor them so that their sacrifice is not lost on us. We must raise America’s sons and daughters by instilling in them what it means to be an American. With us being at war for roughly 93% of our existence, it’s our culture to be the world police, to protect the innocent the world over. To end genocide, to be the beacon of hope for anyone who seeks it. To vehemently protect what it means to be free.

I leave you with this, Americanism – A collective political identity based on the principles outlined in the Constitution of the United States by the Founding Fathers. Such ideologies include republicanism, freedom, liberty, individualism, constitutionalism, human rights, and the rule of law.

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Dillon Daughenbaugh

Memorial Day Address

Memorial Day Address

On this day, let us not forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may enjoy all the freedoms we hold dear today.

As we look back on over 20 years of war in both Iraq and Afghanistan, there are and will continue to be more stories that are told and brought to light than we can ever imagine. Let us not forget those sacrifices by the ones who didn’t make it home with their life. Honor them the best way you can.

In truth, that’s what this day is about. To remember, and to talk about those who gave their last full measure, for us. It’s often used as a day of reflection for all who passed on, which is acceptable.

There is a quote attributed to Plato, “Only the dead have seen the end of war.” I wholeheartedly agree with it. One of the worst parts of war is that for those of us who have seen it and made it through, it still lives within us. We fight these burdens, often alone. For some this holiday is a day where the wound of grief is reopened, and sometimes that may be necessary to heal.

While I don’t like to write about the negative side of an otherwise joyful “holiday weekend,” I feel it necessary as it is a somber day many spend reflecting on the lives of their loved ones.

We can take experiences, stories, and lessons from our now deceased loved ones and sulk or we can stay positive and live a life worthy of their sacrifice.

If there is one piece of advice I can offer, it’s to tell their stories while sharing some laughs and tears.

Live a life worth dying for. God bless all the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice, thank you for those who continue to toe the line for freedom.

In Liberty
Dillon Daughenbaugh

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Enough: Improve Iowa School Security Now!

Enough: Improve Iowa School Security Now!

(DES MOINES, Iowa) — In the wake of Monday’s senseless act of targeted violence at the Starts Right Here outreach center, the Iowa Firearms Coalition (IFC) is again calling on Des Moines and state education officials to begin implementing proven strategies to address an active attack.  
“Our prayers are with the families of all those who are grieving and have been hurt by this act of pure evil,” said IFC President Dave Funk. “Current Iowa Code is already on the books that’s designed to empower our education officials in Des Moines and throughout the state to take steps to protect our children at school from an active threat. We call on them to do so now.”
Iowa Code 724.4B allows school districts to regulate armed personnel on school grounds and IFC has proudly offered the organization’s support and expertise to school districts which have expressed interest in implementing strong security measures. This legislative session, IFC is also working with lawmakers to usher in new reforms that would allow for more self-defense tools on school grounds. 
In December, IFC held a free seminar for educators, members of law enforcement and the public in Des Moines to help Iowans who oversee soft targets to develop their own strategies to improve security measures.  
Last year, the Spirit Lake and Cherokee School Boards each voted unanimously to implement programs that allow for specially selected and trained staff members to carry self-defense tools inside their respective schools. 
“It’s long overdue for Iowa’s education officials to put their personal politics aside and allow those who love their students enough to protect them to do so,” said Funk. “When seconds count, our children deserve to have well-trained personnel on campus who are willing and able to take out a threat immediately. It is unconscionable that banks, elected officials and government owned properties have better security measures in place than our schools, our children are worth protecting.”   
The Iowa Firearms Coalition, an affiliate of both the NRA and the NSSF, is a 501(c4) nonprofit and is Iowa’s only effective pro-Second Amendment rights organization.