“What is holding
William was born
in a small town in Alabama, the youngest of 3 children. They had
His older brother
was severely injured in high school and never fully recovered. Then
his father’s business failed. Shortly thereafter his father began
to drink…a lot. He would become violent and abusive. During these
drunken episodes, William would sleep outside in the family car or
on the roof of their house. His Mother did all she could to keep
the family together.
house was foreclosed and his parents divorced. He and his mother
stayed with relatives or friends as they could not afford rent.
Despite these issues, William was an honors student and football
star in high school.
After high school
William applied to the University of Alabama. Just as he was to
enroll his Pell Grant was delayed. The university required $550 to
enroll. Both he and his mother were turned down for loans. He was
devastated feeling that he would never play for Alabama. With
nowhere else to turn he prayed to God for an answer. The answer
came the next day in the form of a pre-approved $1000 Discover
card. He paid $550 for his tuition and $450 for his rent. To save
money, he and his mother rented a small apartment with one bed.
They shared that same bed for several years.
At Alabama there
were 45 “walk-on” athletes trying to make the team. He was 1 of 2
who succeeded. Everywhere the team went he and his camera recorded
these events. He progressed but was not a stand-out player. In time
he received an athletic scholarship. Now his mother could get a
place of her own.
After college he
was a graduate assistant for several years, then an assistant
coach. He was fired a few years later when a new head coach was
hired. He spent the next two years working in Birmingham. During
this time, he reconciled with his father and helped him stop
drinking and turn his life around.
In 2003, he was
recruited to become an assistant coach at a major college. He
accepted the job as head coach several years later. You all will
recognize William. He is Dabo Swinney, head football coach at
“What is holding
you back?” Is it your family
history, where you were born, your lack of education? Stop making
excuses. Decide what you want. Then work hard to achieve
And, that is
today’s Morning Minute!
Two days from now
we will honor all past and present military veterans here in the
United States. It might benefit us to learn how this holiday came
to be celebrated.
World War I
officially ended in 1918 on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day,
of the eleventh month of that year. In the United States that day
became known as “Armistice Day.” In 1926, Congress passed a
resolution designating November 11 of each year as “Armistice
Day.” Several years later Congress declared that day each year be
celebrated as a national holiday.
The first World
War was supposed to be the “War to end all Wars.” However,
that idea was shattered when World War II erupted in Europe in
1939. Four hundred seven thousand American military personnel were
killed during that war. To honor those who made the ultimate
sacrifice “Armistice Day” was changed “Veteran’s
In 1947, the
first Veteran’s Day celebration was organized by Raymond Weeks, a
WWII veteran. Mr. Weeks sponsored a celebration and parade in
Birmingham, Alabama on Veteran’s Day to honor all past and present
veterans of all the military branches. Over the next several years
this celebration of our nation’s veterans spread throughout the
As we approach
Veteran’s Day 2022, please consider the many sacrifices made, not
only by the citizens who have served or are serving in the
military, but also by the families who support their service. We
Americans are free today because of the men and women who fight our
wars, protect our homeland and its citizens, and endure long
separations from their families, the risk of horrible injuries or
death, and the emotional scars that never fade away completely.
These heroes deserve our love, our respect, and our
It is with their
service and sacrifices in mind that I respectfully request, as you
enjoy this holiday on November 11, 2022, you pause your celebration
for just a short while. Say a prayer for these heroes and their
families. Buy a veteran a meal. Take the time when you encounter
these wonderful warriors to stop, thank them, and shake their hand.
By letting them know that their service and sacrifices are
appreciated by all Americans, we ensure that there will always be
those who place service above self as they defend our country, our
citizens, and our American way of life.
May God bless
That is today’s
Today, we are
going a little off script.
She wrote, “I
am extremely offended!”
We received that
comment from a highly “educated” woman concerning my
previous article about the history of Veterans Day in America.
Rather than engage in pointless conversation with her, attempting
to change her mind, her statement made me reflect on why someone
would object to supporting and honoring our service men and
Vietnam War, those who objected to the war set about to dishonor
those serving our country in our military services. Those in
uniform were heckled, belittled, and harassed in public. Protestors
burned and desecrated our flag. Government buildings were ransacked
and burned. Those war protestors became parents and taught their
hatred of the military to their children. We even had a future
presidential candidate and a celebrity actress give aid and support
to our enemy as they dishonored themselves.
Prior to that
war, most colleges had mandatory ROTC basic military training for
male freshman and sophomore students. The US Army received
thousands of draftees every year to ensure that we would have
enough personnel to fight the “next war.” And, there will
always be a “next war.” After Vietnam, due to the
unpopularity of the military, these ROTC programs were scaled back
drastically and the draft discontinued to make way for an
The children of
those war protestors became teachers, politicians, journalists, and
lobbyists. The most recent generation of children in schools and
colleges are not even taught true American history. They are not
held accountable for their behavior. They received participation
trophies they did not earn. And, they never learned to respect our
country, our flag, or our Constitution. Many have no use for God,
His commandments, or the Bible.
I have no
knowledge of which part of my previous article offended that woman.
She must understand, however, that well over one million service
people have made the ultimate sacrifice to give her the freedoms
she enjoys. It is my prayer, that in time, she will come to
understand that her freedom is not free. It was purchased with the
blood of many patriots who came before her. And it will continue to
be purchased by those patriots who serve now and will serve in the
And, that is
today’s Morning Minute for Veteran’s Day, 2022.