A boy becomes a man.
Along the line,
life grabs him, rattles his innards
like a wooden roller coaster catapulting him into the jaws
of a treacherous society.
As this becomes clear, a reality,
a game if you will,
one he cannot win no matter the effort
or how sly he’s become, begins.
Only then does the risk
become the fuel to survive,
–C. L. Swinney (c) 2017
I’m happy to announce the first phase of this project launch. Essentially, I’m going to be selling decals, shirts, hats, and other items in the next few months that are cop-related. Proceeds will be donated to the families of fallen officers. Please check this out.
Watch your six decal with thin blue line. Size 2.75″ X 6″ Cost $5.00
*Always remember to watch your six. Watch your partner’s six. Watch your family’s six. This is the decal to remind you every day to be vigilant and make it home each shift. NEVER LET YOURSELF BECOME COMPLACENT.
“Not Today” broom decal. Size 3″ X 7″ Cost $5.00
“Not Today.” This is for sheepdog to remind them that they need to believe that they will not die today. We SWEEP the streets of evil, law breakers, criminals, and of the stuff no one else wants to deal with. In the process, we risk our lives for complete strangers. Rest assured, there will be no ambush, not today, not any day. NEVER LET YOURSELF BECOME COMPLACENT.
Roman Numeral Six decal. Size 5″ X 5.5″ Cost $5.00
Always remember to watch your six. Watch your partner’s six. Watch your family’s six. Do not become complacent. Recall that Gladiators did not give up until their death. We must do the same when we gear up for duty as well as off duty. NEVER LET YOURSELF BECOME COMPLACENT.
Shirts and hats to follow.
Your tainted mouth kills
my ears, my heart, my weary
soul and words have failed.
(c) C. L. Swinney 2016
In a pool of his own urine he sleeps,
homeless, scared, and lacking food or shelter.
Then along comes the law, this sight he weeps.
People turn away, all helter-skelter,
while the rest of us throw most of our scraps
away, cast long and menacing sharp glares.
For what? What does your heart see as he naps?
Your soul and heart should burn wild like flares.
Pretending he is not there, no answer,
but strife. Remember he is still a man.
Most fought to protect and came home with cancer.
Some fraud, not he, looking for an open hand
and I’ll be damned if I didn’t get involved
while you sit there…a conscious un-evolved.
(c) C.L.Swinney 2016
Just wanted to throw this out there…
I’m flawed. There, I said it.
Also, I learned the hard way that pretending to be someone else only exacerbates such flaws.
Be who you are, accept it, and either work around it or work to better yourself. They say the greatest accomplishment in life is to inspire. I’ve done that for many folks with my writing. I honestly feel better about myself when hearing their stories…but, I know I have much more to accomplish with the time I have left on Earth. I no longer get pissed off if people don’t reciprocate what I do…and I often wonder, is that the problem? The fact I’m expecting people to return the favor? It would be easy to say people are all about themselves, and I wouldn’t have many people who would challenge me on this; however, I shouldn’t be frustrated by the lack of support from them. In fact, I should work harder at what I love to do. Write. I also love to show people how to achieve their goals. All that matters is that I feel good about myself, I have a great family, and I keep doing the best I can everyday. The rest doesn’t really matter. Be happy, people, I’m being worn down by your negativity. But, I WILL NOT BE KNOCKED OUT 🙂
Guys, check out this amazing deal!!!!!
Tattoo artist, Roman Abrego @romantattoos, is giving up his beloved Charger to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Give his twitter and promotion some love!
You can get kick ass t-shirts, book a tattoo, and be entered in the drawing for his Charger here http://artisticelementtattoo.com/home
His twitter is here https://twitter.com/romantattoos
His FB is here https://www.facebook.com/romantattoos?fref=ts
C. L. Swinney 🙂
4-27-14 Compassionate Cops?
I seem to be having a tough time getting my brothers and sisters in law enforcement to submit work regarding the compassionate side of what we do and how we live. I can’t let this concept go to the wayside; however, and have decided to put my own work up in a serialized fashion. That is, when I see compassion or feel compassionate about something, I’ll post it on this page on my blog. Among all the other stuff in my life I can’t guarantee this will be regular, but I’ll do my best to keep this thing alive 🙂
The most recent thing I can recall is members of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office conducting a fundraiser event for Special Olympics. Many people in the general public who are not fans of law enforcement believe officers “just do these events to keep a decent public image.” Not true. The men and women I see volunteering hundreds of hours of time for planning, preparing, soliciting, and running these events is overwhelming. They do it because they are kind people, and feel the need to help others. It’s why they wear a badge and swear to protect society. It runs through our blood, an insatiable thirst to do good for others, particularly for those who may not be able to to it for themselves, or those who need a tiny bit of assistance.
Men and women wearing a badge are ordinary people just like everyone else. Many of them have children with special needs, debilitating diseases, or huge obstacles to overcome. They cry and stress out just like you. We’re not any better than the next person, we’ve just chosen a profession that is highly visible and overly scrutinized. All that we can ask is that society is a fair to us as we are to them every time we show up to a call. Nothing more, nothing less. Law enforcement, in my eyes, is the social glue that keeps society together and allows cohesion to form among all members of society. We aren’t looking for handouts or freebies. Our primary mission is to serve and protect, but it would sure feel great to believe we are on the same playing field as the rest of society.
Thanks and God Bless,
C. L. Swinney
Take a look at the picture above and reflect on what it means to you. I’m sure it means plenty of different things to people throughout the United States, but good or bad, it sure is a powerful image. Some of you won’t have any idea what these soldiers are doing or who they are. But you should know that these are Tomb Soldiers protecting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in this case, during a terrible storm. Not too many things in my life have caused the hair on the back of my neck to stand straight up or forced me to stop dead in my tracks in awe. In fact, when I was baptized at the age of 22, and the one and only time I visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are the only times in my life I felt I was truly witnessing something very special.
Whether you are for or against war, support or do not support American military, what’s happening at this tomb should still hit you squarely in the jaw. Men, willing to give their lives so complete strangers would remain free have died in every war American troops have been in. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier contains the remains of, “one known to God.” Yet, every day of the year, through rain, snow, and heat, this tomb is protected by American troops.
When I saw these men and women (called Sentinels) marching in front of the tomb, then later changing of the guard, I was blown away. I did not utter a word and I stood there just watching. I’ve never been in the military, but I respect the hell out of American troops. What these men and women do everyday for our country is amazing. Then I noticed the concrete where the soldiers marched was worn. That’s right, the concrete was worn from these brave men marching back and forth, back and forth, protecting the tomb. You cannot talk to these soldiers, and if you try, they will not answer. They take their job extremely seriously and it made me proud to be an American. I’ve included below what Sentinels must do JUST TO GET A CHANCE TO get this detail. Read it and ask yourself, “Do you have what it takes?”
The Tomb of the Unknowns (also known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier) is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and in any weather by Tomb Guard sentinels. Sentinels, all volunteers, are considered to be the best of the elite 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), headquartered at Fort Myer, Va.
After members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment become ceremonially qualified, they are eligible to volunteer for duty as sentinels at the Tomb. If accepted, they are assigned to Company E of The Old Guard. Each soldier must be in superb physical condition, possess an unblemished military record and be between 5 feet, 10 inches and 6 feet, 4 inches tall, with a proportionate weight and build. An interview and a two-week trial to determine a volunteer’s capability to train as a tomb guard is required.
During the trial phase, would-be sentinels memorize seven pages of Arlington National Cemetery history. This information must be recited verbatim in order to earn a “walk.” A walk occurs between guard changes. A daytime walk is one-half hour in the summer and one hour in the winter. All night walks are one hour.
If a soldier passes the first training phase, “new-soldier” training begins. New sentinels learn the history of Arlington National Cemetery and the grave locations of nearly 300 veterans. They learn the guard-change ceremony and the manual of arms that takes place during the inspection portion of the Changing of the Guard. Sentinels learn to keep their uniforms and weapons in immaculate condition.
The sentinels will be tested to earn the privilege of wearing the silver Tomb Guard Identification Badge after several months of serving. First, they are tested on their manual of arms, uniform preparation and their walks. Then, the Badge Test is given. The test is 100 randomly selected questions of the 300 items memorized during training on the history of Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknowns. The would-be badge holder must get more than 95 percent correct to succeed. Only 400 Tomb Guard Badges have been awarded since it was created in February 1958.
The Tomb Guard Identification Badge is a temporary award until the badge-holding sentinel has honorably served at the Tomb of the Unknowns for nine months. At that time, the award can be made a permanent badge, which may then be worn for the rest of a military career. The silver badge is an upside-down, laurel-leaf wreath surrounding a depiction of the front face of the Tomb. Peace, Victory and Valor are portrayed as Greek figures. The words “Honor Guard” are shown below the Tomb on the badge.
There are three reliefs, each having one relief commander and about six sentinels. The three reliefs are divided by height so that those in each guard change ceremony look similar. The sentinels rotate walks every hour in the winter and at night, and every half-hour in the day during the summer. The Tomb Guard Quarters is staffed using a rotating Kelly system. Each relief has the following schedule: first day on, one day off, second day on, one day off, third day on, four days off. Then, their schedule repeats.