Veteran’s Day: We Will Never Forget

November poses as an extremely important month for a particular group of Americans who deserve an enormous amount of recognition. On this day, Veteran’s Day, there is no amount of gratitude too spectacular that can be expressed sincerely enough for protecting our nation’s freedom. As noble of an honor as it to be a Veteran, the title came with a hefty price. Some of these people are forever inevitably forced to live with the memories of the horrific traumatic visuals of death, gruesome scenes of mutilation, and unspeakable methods of torture they’ve encountered while trying to fight for their lives during times of war. Not only that, these very same unselfish heroic people were also fighting for the lives and freedom for individuals of whom they’ve never met, have never heard of, and will never see. Those who were fortunate enough to survive and return home, return with having to totally restructure their way of living due to the loss of their mobility while they watch various strangers, whom they have literally rescued, walk pass them with all their limbs still intact.

For this, each and every American citizen should acknowledge all Veterans, the living and the deceased, on every Veteran’s Day of every year in the month of November. Free and/or discounted meals are being offered exclusively to the military and ex-military community this Monday, November 11, 2013 at the following restaurants:

Applebee’s – free meal
Bar Louie – free meal
Bj’s Restaurant & Brewery – free meal
Bob Evans – free all-you-can-eat meal
California Pizza Kitchen – free meal
Carraba’s – free appetizer
Champps Americana – free meal
Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse – free meal
Cheeseburger in Paradise – free meal
Chili’s – free meal
Denny’s – free all-you-can-eat meal
Einstein’s Bros Bagel – free bagel
Famous Dave’s – free or discount meal
Fox & Hound & Bailey’s Sports Grille – Free or discounted meal
Friendly’s – free breakfast & coffee
Golden Corral – free meal
HoneyBaked Stores – free meal (lunch)
Hooters – free meal
Hoss’s Family Steak & Sea House – free meal
Hy-Vee – free breakfast
IKEA – free sandwich, hot dish, or entrée salad
Krispy Kreme – free doughnut & coffee
Little Caesars® – free crazy bread®
Lone Star Steakhouse – free entrée
LongHorn Steakhouse – free Texas Tonion and alcoholic beverage
Max & Erma’s – free meal
McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants – free lunch or dinner
Menchi’s – free 6 oz. frozen yogurt
O’Charley’s – free entrée
On The Border – free meal
Outback Steakhouse – free Bloomin’ Onion & drink
Paciugo Gelato Caffe – free 12oz gelatte
Red Lobster – free appetizer
Red Robin – free Red’s Tavern Double & Bottomless Steak Fries
Ruby’s Diner – free Cinnamon Roll French Toast until 11:30am.
Shoney’s – free All-American Burger
Spaghetti Warehouse – buy one entrée, get one free
Sizzler Restaurant – free meal until 4pm.
Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes – buy one meal, get one free
Texas Corral – free meal
Texas Land & Cattle Steak House – free appetizer
Texas Roadhouse – free lunch
T.G.I. Friday’s – free lunch
The Olive Garden – free meal; 10% off family dining with a veteran
Tim Hortons – free donut
Tony Roma’s – free entrée
Twin Peaks – free meal
Uno Chicago Grill – free individual pizza
Village Inn – free breakfast item

Note: please call your local restaurant of choice listed above to confirm discounts, or check their websites for further details. Remember to bring your proof of military service for verification.

Aside from enjoying a complimentary meal, Veterans can also enjoy free or discounted services at the following companies and attractions:

Anheuser-Busch Parks – free admission for service member and up to 3 dependents

Bed, Bath & Beyond – 20% off entire purchase
Colonial Williamsburg – free admission
Car Washes – free car wash
Great Clips – free haircut
Home Depot – 10% discount (year around)
Historic Jamestowne – free admission
Joann Fabric & Craft Stores – 20% off entire purchase
Knotts Berry Farm – free admission
Lowe’s – 10% off entire purchase (year around)
Pro Football Hall of Fame – free admission
Sport Clips – free haircut
Walgreens – 15% off eligible store items; 20% off Walgreens brands

For those who do not qualify for the aforementioned discounts but will be out and about at any one of these locations on Monday, please show your appreciation and gratitude if you should happen to run into a Veteran, or anyone from the military community for that matter. Give them a handshake, tell them thank you, or simply stop and say hello. Do this not only every Veteran’s Day, but also on any given day of the year. By acknowledging our beloved Veterans, it is a symbolic way of expressing the context of the 9/11 slogan to them: “We Will Never Forget.”

©2013 Learus Ohnine

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How Far Is Too Far?

In light of the recent worldwide travel alert warnings of potential terrorist attacks issued by the U.S. State Department, issues surround the risks posed manly on the safety of Americans or its allies have, once again, become a major top concern. Seeing as the season is not over yet for vacationers and tourists, some have come to think just how far is considered too far to protect our country.

Take for instance the controversy over whether or not Edward Snowden, former employee for the National Security Agency, did the right thing by leaking classified information that should have been kept confidential as to how the United States finds out what goes on behind closed doors. Since this worldwide terrorist alert has been issued, many who viewed this as the United States engaging in unconstitutional behavior have changed from animosity to appreciation.

The events of September 11, 2001 have without a doubt left a serious impact on just how far terrorists will go to make a statement. With no holds barred as being their personal mission statement, it would seem feasible that we as Americans take the same stance by whatever means necessary to ensure we do not suffer the same catastrophic event ever again. But is that really possible?

Apparently, it is possible. Intelligence officials claim to have evidence supporting a possible terrorist attack to occur from now until the end of August, thereby putting embassies and public transportation systems on high alert. By announcing this recent finding, this let’s all terrorist groups know “we are on to them”, however, that does not guarantee their possible plan of attack will cease; they could change their strategy.

Should we protect our nation by any means necessary? Absolute, thanks to this so-called “infringement on our privacy” technique. We may not appreciate whatever those necessary means are, especially if it includes infringing on our privacy. If there was ever a choice to be made, many U.S. citizens can be rest assured nothing can ultimately replace their lives once lost if sacrificing their privacy means preserving it.

©2013 Learus Ohnine

Innocent Blood From Open Borders

Terrorism– its not like its a hobby or just a fad. It is a force; a life-threatening one that can and should be reckoned with. Whenever a terroristic tragedy strikes on U.S. soil, it’s natural that we will tamper with ideologies of how and why the attacks occurred to eliminate the possibility of all future attacks. With the latest of terroristic attacks, such as with the attack on September 11, 2001 and the Boston Marathon bombings, our analysis of these situations reveals one commonality that leads to only one possible solution: enhancement of our security by means of stricter immigration laws.

Americans were alarmed to discover that Ramzi Yousef and Ahmad Ajaj, the masterminds behind the planning of the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, were allowed into the United States using false passports that showed obvious signs of tampering. Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, a co-conspirator in the bombings and leader of “The Islamic Group” who spoke very adamantly and publicly about his “anti-american” viewpoints, was on the U.S. State Department’s terrorist watch list yet was freely allowed to travel in and out of the United States on an expired visa while conducting terrorist attacks in Egypt.

Nawaf muhammed Salim al-Hazmi, one of the chosen pilots by Osama bin Laden in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States, obtained a tourist visa which showed evidence of his association with Al-Quaeda. Because immigration inspectors were not officially trained to be aware of this sort of evidence, he was allowed to enter and exit the United States repeatedly. In 1999, the CIA was informed by Saudi Intelligence of Khalid al-Mihdhar’s (another chosen pilot in the attack) association with Al-Quaeda but was still allowed into the United States in 2000 to attend flight school.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013, was allowed to continue to live in the United States in spite of Tamerlan’s application for U.S. citizenship being placed on hold because of speculations of his association with Chechen terrorists. These suspicions were reported by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) in 2011 to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. However, the FSB never responded to requests by the FBI for more supporting evidence of this speculation, therefore the case was closed.

Under the current immigration laws, certain offenses can disqualify an immigrant from obtaining and/or retaining American citizenship. With all the facts being apparent as to how and why the above terrorist were able to bypass these laws, it is obvious the current laws are not working. Unless stricter immigration laws are implemented immediately, we can expect more innocent blood to be shed because the United States will have failed, once again, to protect its citizens.

©2013 Learus Ohnine