Open Letter To My Dearest Friend, Fawn Germer, And All Woman’s Leadership Groups Who Work Together to Change The World and Their Own Lives!
Here’s a shout-out to all wonderful, dedicated Women of The World! Together we can change things! I highly recommend: www.fawngermer.com author of Work-Life Reset! and many other excellent, motivational books. She knows what she’s doing and is calling you and me and everyone else, to combine to solve sticky questions and not to be frightened of their challenges!
To all women, everywhere, who gather to change things! I wish I could be there, to share your self-discoveries in your wonderful Work-Life Reset sessions. I’d love to walk along a beach or climb a mountain together as you change everything that needs changing in your life, your work, your family. I’ve never needed this sort of emergency brain surgery, as much as I need it right this minute. Or yesterday! But, I’m not exactly the one that I’m trying to change! It’s the whole, wide, bloomin’ world; beginning with our own country: America, The U.S.of A! And, I really, really need your help!
With a little caring. A little loving attention. A little effort from we, women….. we, mothers…. we, grannies! We can set this right again! So here I am, ostensibly hijacking my best-friend-in-the-whole-wide-world, Fawn Germer’s Re-Set/Re-Do/Re-Learn/Re-Build Foundation and begging her to share this sudden, worldscale, journalistic discovery with you. I honestly, can’t imagine any other way to approach this problem so, I’ll share my yesterday’s journal entry to see if that will explain things adequately:
5:00 a.m., Saturday, March 17, 2018 –
“I woke up “Mad” today! I slept well, but I have changed recently. I am now TOUGH! I can feel it in the expression of my face, especially, the undeniable “glint in my eye,” mostly the left one; an expression which I can feel from the inside. When that face is there, I am fearless! More than usual! And, I know exactly what I’m doing….. but, not until I actually begin to do it!????
“The Holy Spirit was talking to me in fairly hushed tones, as I came awake in this Mixay Paradise Hotel in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, Southeast Asia. He was commenting on yesterday and my reactions to the shocking news of America’s Secret War, back in the Sixties, during the Vietnam War. All night, I had been trying to figure out what I could do about that! Then, at dawn today, with that new and unmistakable glint in my eye, I got up and journaled the following material:
“We live with an idea of our own Image!” As individuals, as Americans. We are naive! Yes, many of our assumptions are true; but not in-between the cracks. Things happened…. that were “innocent, in and of themselves.” But, they were terrible, nonetheless! This is true of nations, as well. Cracks appear, like the ones which felled the pedestrian bridge in Miami this week. What a visceral symbol for me! In my own State of Florida, and synonymous with the innocence I once had for my beloved homeland.
America had a “Secret War” (it’s actually called that) which we, Americans, have never heard about! For years, our warplanes deliberately dropped cluster bombs on sweet, innocent, uninvolved, Laos, the next-door country to Vietnam; just so they wouldn’t have to land with dangerous cargo still aboard. Maybe, those big, leftover cluster bombs would have killed the pilot if he had touched down too roughly; or sunk his aircraft carrier or blown a hole in a runway somewhere? Better to clear the cargo bay over Laos and dump the payload originally meant for North Vietnam! So, instead of a few Americans being blown up, thousands of Asians paid the price and are still paying it, half a century later. Very likely, this was SOP, Standard Operating Procedure. Simple practicality! One doesn’t question orders!
Every eight minutes, around the clock, for nine years, between 1964 – 1973, American pilots made this fatal decision. Also, bombing Laos was an official U.S. policy under both Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, probably, to eliminate the Ho Chi Minh Trail and destroy North Vietnam’s supply chain.
Cluster Bombs were the instrument of choice. As sharklike as a conventional explosive, these bombs opened their jaws on the way down and rained metal beanbags, called Bombies, on villages below. Designed to kill living creatures, rather than destroy structures or blast large craters, these killers devoured life, itself. Seventy percent of the pellet-filled, orange-sized balls obligingly exploded on contact, as desired by our munitions inventors, and Honeywell Corporation, the US manufacturer. But, thirty percent of those, “death-waiting-to-happen”, Bombies still lie buried in Lao rice fields, in branches of trees; under soil where houses and roads are built. Villagers naturally recycle all found metal, making cups and utensils out of bomb scraps; so kids see a familiar object and pick it up to take it home. With their diminuitive name and size, Bombies look like yellow tennis balls. They feel like ordinary rocks when a hoe strikes one in a field. Water buffaloes set them off with one step into the squishy mud of their fulltime plowing employment.
Death and disablement is America’s Legacy here in modern-day Laos! Every day of every year, for fifty-four years, and counting!
What are we going to do about this?
- Make it secret no longer!
- Send money!
- Open a GoFundMe account and fill it up!
- Prosthetics! These people need artificial legs, arms, hands and eyes! Medical care; job training!
- They need the means to carry on long after the war that they never fought in is over and forgotten.
- Friends! Most of all, they need us to help them to cope! COPE needs us to help them do the above, in-country tasks!
Girlfriends! How’s your Umbrage?
Mine, it turns out, is alive and well! You are motivated to re-set and redo your life! To get that glint back in your eye! Try practicing on Lady Laos; or any particular part of her. Fix your Inner Goddess! Let ‘er fly, in more ways than one! Get on the horn! Rev’ up your typewriter! Say your piece!
There are no devils to stop; no guns to put down. All that action was over a long time ago. The fighters went home, dragging their consciences behind them. They know what they did but nobody else does. It’s too late for recriminations. The Laotians put me to shame. I’m mad about this whole situation…. but then, I’ve just found out. You should be mad, too! Here, the people are sweet, welcoming and very, very spiritual! Oh my God, are they ever! But, they limp or hop, or wear prosthetics. Dominated by the past. Our past! And this is where we can help!
A group called COPE, Cooperative Orthotic Prosthetic Enterprise, is well-organized here in Vientiane and they do their best to fix the broken. Read about all this on YouTube and their own website, www.copelaos.org They don’t need volunteers, as far as I can tell. I tried. Those must come through United Nations NGOs. But, they do need ongoing funds, both to clear the land of buried UXOs, Unexploded Ordinance; and to pay for the manufacture of artificial limbs, which are carefully-crafted for each injured person. A child will need a new device every few months or years, for a long time. And, that’s only part of it. The whole person is treated for life. And, new injuries can occur every day.
You are Life-Changing, Direction-Crystalizers! You are the Leaders of the Free World, who want to break down barriers and make massive changes in your own selves and in life at large! Me? I just want to keep on traveling solo around the world at age 80 and counting, and to keep on discovering life’s glories. Hopefully, this is the only brushfire that I will come across.
The Laotians want exactly the same thing that we do. A Re-Set! A good life! Not hand-holding! But, they do need a Hands Up! And so do we, after this shock to our system! This dreadful secret, uncovered! Helping hands always pull a person, and a country, up.
Come on, Gals! It’s our turn now! Let’s cluster together like Mama Hens! Cackle in the Big Boy’s ears, if you have access to any. Insist upon reparations, as late as they might be in coming. I plan to visit our American Embassy here to find out just what our government is doing and for how long it’s been going on? Or not, and why not? Why isn’t the USA listed among the many countries that have banned cluster bombs? This is peacetime, except that, forty-four years after our terrible toys began raining upon this innocent, non-warring country, the babies are still being killed. My babies were being born when the bombing started and that was a long, long time ago.
This Secret War needs exposure. It’s not that we don’t care; it’s that we can’t care when we don’t even know about it.
Okay, Girlfriends! Show your stuff! Re-Set History! Re-Set the Future! Come to Laos and see what total forgiveness looks like! See what a peaceful presence and a complete lack of blame, hatred, anger looks like! Witness the results of a cheerful shouldering of life’s most dreadful visitations and inconvenient requirements. A complete lack of self-pity! An enormous vacumn of Beggary!
But, we all feel a thrilling jolt of joy when that first new step is taken! Let’s join hearts and hands and help these people heal. And within this completely unexpected challenge (who ever heard of little old Laos?) encountered in this retreat, from a long-absentee, old friend of Fawn’s, your own wishes for self-discovery will come true! I promise!
So, roll up your sleeves, my darling Daughters! You have a right, and an obligation here, to Bare Arms. And boy, do you know how to use them! Rosie, the Riveter’s got nothing on you!
- Write songs and sing ’em!
- Create poems and quote ’em!
- Think up puns and spread ’em! They’re infectious! As you will soon realize when they start sprouting on your tongue!
- Do the audacious…. just like this letter is to you! Step out of the box and take a chance!
- And be happy, no matter what! Sincerely, incurably happy! Love humor so much that you can find it anywhere, everywhere! A page from Laos’ playbook.
- Let your words, sharp, pointed but sometimes, very funny, be your adorning!
- And, all I’m really asking is “SHOW ME WHATCHA GOT!”
- Send money to a dedicated account and keep it coming by sharing this appeal with all your friends and bigwigs who can get things accomplished.
Wish I could be there with you! But, this is pretty good!
Linda J. Brown,