And all through the apartment,
Not a creature was stirring,
Aside from a very restless Panda...
Why was the Panda restless? It might have to do with the radio and TV features he saw that left him bitterly sleepless. Read on, folks....
Earlier, as I was driving back from a morning of teaching from 7-12noon, I heard an AM radio interview with some veterans talking about the Iraq & Vietnam Wars. What I heard troubled me so deeply that it left an ache in my heart all day long. One veteran from the Vietnam War said that he was deeply disappointed in the Veterans Administration and the government, saying that he expected his government to treat him with honesty, fairness, and good faith. Those three things are the cornerstone of any relationship, let alone how a government should treat its own soldiers, and his words troubled me so deeply that I had to sit in my car for a while reflecting on them after I'd pulled into my driveway.
The next thing on the news at 9pm was a story about how some folks are celebrating their Veterans' Day by packaging a bunch of little care packages for the soldiers in Iraq & Afghanistan. That story, while not exactly lifting my spirits, made me want to do something more to show the people of the US Armed Services that their innumerable sacrifices are not in vain.
Many of these armed forces personnel leave (and sometimes lose) their jobs, their friends, and most importantly their loved ones to serve our government's interests. Now while you may not be a fan of the current administration, you cannot fault these valiant people for doing their duty. Like it or not, they are the ones who, as so well put in one e-mail, put their lives on the line and suffer every day so you can enjoy your designer tea at Starbucks and whine about how bad things are.
I'm not over there with them, but I'll put it down in print on the internet as this. I'm honored to say that I've been one to try to do whatever I can for the people who do whatever they can to take care of our safety and our freedoms. Whether you're part of the police, the firefighters, or the active duty or retired military personnel, I want you to know that I and the people of Kettlebells Los Angeles appreciate you.
For the first 5 active duty personnel from Iraq and the first 5 active duty personnel from Afghanistan, e-mail me a clear picture of you in uniform with Dragon Door kettlebells from wherever in Iraq or Afghanistan that you're stationed. I'll send you an Enter the Kettlebell DVD, an Enter the Kettlebell book, and 1 martial arts or H2H DVD from my personal martial arts video collection. I will pay all shipping, all handling, everything. This offer ends on 11/17/07, since I want to try to get these packages out to you before Thanksgiving.
For the veterans who are back stateside, you train with KBLA as my guests for the remainder of 2007 completely free of charge. Just show me proof of honorable discharge, and you're welcome to train as part of my KBLA family.
I'm not a loaded guy. But I deeply appreciate the sacrifices you're making for us. I look forward to showing you that some of us are here at home are more than willing to give you the honesty, fairness, and good faith that you so truly deserve.
With respect and gratitude,
Dr. Mark Cheng, RKC II