I was asked the question of, “What the military met to me?” I responded by saying; everything that I am and everything that I have, I owe in part to my 20 years of military service. I met my wife while stationed in Korea, we have been married going on 21-years. KJ and Gloria both were born while I was in the military. I received four of my five college degrees while on active duty. I went in the military a Bartow boy and came out a husband, I came out a father, I came out much stronger, wiser, and educated Christian man. My hospital experience while in the military brought me closer to God. So what does the military means to me?
It means: Vision, Voice, and Values.
I came out of the military with a vision of knowing that, I needed to always have a plan A and B. A plan that consisted of continuous growth physically, spiritually and mentally. I have five college degree and the military paid for most of them. Every year I make plans to do something that will increase me; Educationally, Spiritually, Physically or Mentally. I came out of the military with a vision of knowing that life will throw you curves ball, I just need to know when to swing and when not to swing.
I came out of the military with a voice always ready to step up, speak up and stand up for what is right no matter what the cost. A voice that resonates to educate young, middle age and seasoned men and women about life.
I came out of the military with a set of values that still remains relevant in my life today. I have a set of standards that provide me with a level of expectations that I have for myself. Expectations to never settle because it is easy, but to always push for what is right. I was told as a young recruit that if I see a piece of paper on the ground and walk by that piece of paper without picking it up because there was no one around, I just set the standard for my self. I came out with a set of values to respect everyone regardless of what I believe and what I stand for.
Thank you my fellow veterans and thank you to all those who currently are serving this great country of ours today.
As I sit here at my kitchen table the clock reads 4:00 AM in the morning. I realized that it is November 1st 2016. We are just seven days from the most important election in our country history. An election that is filled with separation and segregation. An election that has developed over the course of a Black Lives movement that has seen the killing of black men at the hands of white police officers. How does the BLM movement effect me? I asked my self this question, because after all, I am a 53-year old educated, retired United States Army First Sergeant, I am an Associate Pastor of a growing predominantly African American church where one of our associate pastors is an ex-top Klan leader, I teach at a Christian university where the Superintendent has personally written a letter to all the churches in the Assembly to spirituality support the BLM movement. Why should I be concerned or why should I care? After pondering the question in my mind, I realized that I should care because, I’m not immune or have somehow become vaccinated from the reality of the BLM movement because of all that I have accomplished in my life, with all that I have achieved, and with all that I have sacrificed while serving this great country of ours. I realized that even with my heart and soul commitment to Christ Jesus, at the end of the day, when all is said and done, there’s still one remaining question that that awakens me out of my sleep and keeps me awake more often than none, the question of “Can you see me?” Can you see me Donald Trump? Can you see me Hillary Clinton? Can you see me Congressional and Senate leaders? Can you see me Fox News? Can you see me CNN?
Can you see me? I’m standing right here. Can you see me? Not as the world sees me dark and full of fear? Can you see me? I only ask, because I really need to know, where do I need to stand, where is it that I need to go? Before you see me, for who I am and not for what, you think you know! Can you see me, I’m standing right here, my life is an open book filled with pages of invisible words that seem to appear and disappear? Each new chapter ends as it begins with one question that has yet to be answered still today, Can You See Me, I’m standing right here? Am I a person?, Am I a place?, Am I a thing?, Am I in The United States of America, where everyone comes in search of the American dream? A dream of “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. —Can you see me America? I ask, am I living the American Dream? Can you see me, my Life, my Liberty, my Pursuit of happiness what does all that mean? If you can’t see me, it doesn’t mean a thing! Can you see me; I’m standing right here? I only ask because I need to know. Is there somewhere else I need to stand is there somewhere else I need to go? Can you see me?
Open Letter to Men
As I sat and watched the Antwan Fisher movie tears flowing from my eyes, I tried to grasp the depth of my emotions searching deep for the meaning behind what I was feeling. It’s only a movie, so why am I so affected by something that’s simply entertainment? Continue reading Open Letter
My definition of a “FATHER” Is the positive impact that the father makes in the lives of his children and that positive impact is passed on from generation to generation.
Dr. Kenneth Stephens
Hello everyone, I am new to the blogging scene.
The role of the biological father in the life of his children is just as important today as it was decades and centuries ago. When the biological father is absent it leaves a void that has to be filled. There are stepfathers, mentors, uncles and male figures that step-up and step-in to fill the void but, coming from a point of view of experience, there is still a void that a child or adult yearns for in connecting with his or her biological father.
I find myself time and time again asking the question of when did it become or seems to become easier for fathers to step-out of the lives of their child or children? Join in the discussion on absent fathers.
If you are in the Lakeland Florida area on April 25th come out and be a part of the discussion/focus groups that will be taking place to address the issues of absent fathers and they can reconnect with their child or children.
Southeastern University, College of Behavioral and Social Science, Department of Human Services is hosting a forum on April 25th entitled “Father from .M.I.A to A.I.M. which is “Missing, Invisible, and Absent to Involved. Active, Making a Difference.” Absent fathers from the home is a growing problem especially in our African American communities. How can we get fathers to reconnect with their children? The forum will focus on boys 12 years and older and the impact of an absent biological father.
The reason, I am highlighting biological father is because although I have/had a step farther growing up, I still felt/feel a void in the absence of my biological father. There is a void in that no matter how far I go and how much I accomplish there is a burning desire to connect with someone who has made it clear that they do not want a connection. I’m looking to start the conversation and a movement that will address the issue of how easy it has become for fathers to walk out of the life of their children or never engage at all. Why is it happening? How can we make a difference? “From M.I.A. to A.I.M.”
My first blog