It seems odd, the President of our country visiting an upper, middleclass high school, to discuss the economy and housing. He talked about fixing the tax code and making the rich pay more. Most of the kids attending Desert Vista High School come from some of the higher income families in the city of Phoenix (Arizona).
Obama said “thanks to the help of a lot of people like you” it helped to make things turn around economically. He was talking to seniors in high school, in the packed school gymnasium and through a live feed on campus, to the other 14 – 18 year olds, who attend Desert Vista. (Not a lot of help from that demographic group.) Maybe he was just trying to include them in the conversation as he directed his thanks to the local political community, who made up the balance of the, invitation only, audience.
Yet maybe, Obama was trying to “indoctrinate” younger people into his illusion of grandeur? Drawing them in with his charisma, to have them go home and “educate” the adults around them about his plans. To have them remind their parents that he is fighting to help the middle class and trying to make the rich pay more of their fair share. Remember his plan to use Los Angeles County schools as a bastion of student healthcare “educators”?
Obama reinforced to the students, the past year had been filled with “phony scandals” and “distractions”. Many of the accomplishments he bragged about could be categorized themselves as “phony” and “distractions”, from the truth that he isn’t doing his job.
It seemed odd for him to be discussing economic woes, when the large amount of students standing in the Desert Vista High School gymnasium were recording his speech with their iPhones and most probably had their own cars sitting in the student parking lot.
Many of these kids won’t fact check his speech. They will believe Obama is doing exactly as he should as president and walk blindly into his socialistic ideas and beliefs.
What the president didn’t realize, as he bragged on his “accomplishments”, was sitting on that campus was a Desert Vista High school Junior, who is taking care of the military Obama is forgetting in Afghanistan.
As President Obama bragged of saving the nation at home, he didn’t know about 16 year old Caleb Foreman. As Caleb sat listening with fellow Desert Vista students, he knew his Eagle Scout project is supporting our Service men and women serving in Afghanistan, better than the Commander in Chief.
In light of the braggadocios speeches Mr. Obama always gives, Caleb’s story is one of true patriotism and the silent commitment of a teenager, who values those who serve their country.
Caleb is sixteen years old, but when he was in the seventh grade he began thinking of serving his country. By eighth grade, his determination to serve was solidified. Examples of patriotism and service have filled Caleb’s life. His grandfather was a member of the second graduation class of the Air Force Academy, a friend attended West Point and throughout his high school career, he has seen fellow students receive commissions to some of America’s finest military academies. This type of influence has propelled Caleb’s interest not only in the military itself, but to take action beyond himself and his community.
When the time came for Caleb to work for his Eagle Scout ranking, he wanted to develop a project with a more global perspective and decided his project should support the U.S. Military.
This past spring, “S.O.S.” (“Supply Our Soldiers”), was born in Caleb’s dining room.
Here, at home, when the President began to announce the drawdown of soldiers, in Afghanistan, everyone cheered. It is a great announcement to know our military would be brought back home, out of harm’s way and into the arms of their loved ones.
What we weren’t being told and what those serving, or their families, will never or very quietly discuss for fear of backlash, is some of the first things drawn down in these regions are the military stores (PX’s) and other services to help make life better, while in these remote places.
As Caleb became more aware of the needs of these service men and women, he learned more of the challenges they were facing. In speaking with one family, whose brother-in-law was serving his third tour in Afghanistan, the PX for his assigned post wasn’t in existence when he arrived for his third tour.
The PX, or Post Exchange, is the place where military personnel purchase everything from snacks to socks. It is like your local Target store for soldiers.
Imagine showing up for duty, in Afghanistan, and not having the ability to purchase basic necessities, not “freely” supplied by the military, or having the ability to buy comfort items like a pack of chewing gum.
Not only did Caleb learn the PX service was gone, because military store workers were being pulled out of Afghanistan first as well as other similar staffing, such as kitchen staff, had been reduced.
Because of the reduction of more “non-essential” staff, although all military staff is important, kitchen staffs were only able to prepare 1 hot meal a day, which was usually dinner and a cold sandwich, was offered at another time of day. Word coming out of this area was the third meal was an MRE (“Meal Ready-to-Eat”) or food family from home would send to soldiers.
Caleb wanted to help, so he jumped in and began collecting non-perishable food items, personal items and other comforts from home for soldiers in Afghanistan. Caleb’s mom saw a special need for female soldiers and packed special boxes to fill some of their specific needs, also.
Students from the Desert Vista High School choir, some of which I am sure sat in front of the President during his speech, donated items, other Boy Scouts donated and various local groups, family and friends have helped Caleb collect items to send to Afghanistan, since June. He even invited local elementary school students to write letters and draw pictures for the soldiers, to be included in the boxes sent overseas.
Now Caleb is receiving reaction from Afghanistan from those who have received his S.O.S. boxes. Letters were written by Platoon Sergeants, Staff Sergeants and other Army personnel, thanking Caleb for the items sent and thanking the younger students for their pictures and letters.
One Staff Sergeant (SS) wrote to Caleb, “I just wanted to write and let you know that I got one of your boxes. The contents were great and I can put all of them to use.”
Another Sergeant First Class (SFC) sent a note to one of the students who wrote letters for Caleb. It read, “The care package that was received, was received with open arms. It is the small things that count. Your care package brought a little bit of that home feeling to us here in Afghanistan”. In appreciation to this student, the same soldiers also wrote, “I have enclosed one of my combat patches which has seen the sun, rain, snow, dust and altitude of Afghanistan. Hope you like it and can share it with your friends”.
Other letters from our soldiers described their families back home. One soldier wrote he and his wife both are stationed in Afghanistan and have children here in America who are 9 and 12 years old. Another said the support from home helps soldiers to stay focused on their mission, which is “protecting America’s freedom and civil rights from terrorist attacks in the United States and abroad”. The same soldier reminded Caleb, he and his friends need to “do their part also, by continuing to study in school and become model citizens, maybe even a soldier one day”.
One of the military posts, which have received S.O.S. packages, flew an American flag on July 4th, 2013 above their post in honor of Caleb and “his dedication, support, and appreciation”. Caleb was sent the flag and a certificate of appreciation, a gift I am sure he will cherish forever.
It’s amazing how the President comes to a suburb of Phoenix, talks to high school seniors and local dignitaries, boasting how wonderful he is and what he is doing for our country and in his midst is a true hero. A teenager, who can see past himself and his possible glory, to serve those who so freely and willingly serve our country.
God Bless Caleb and those like him and God Bless the U.S.A.