Thursday, July 20, 2006

A letter to the Editor of News of The Force

I am going to depart from my usual posts today. Below is the text of a letter to the editor of News of The Force regarding the current negative publicity surrounding Maj. Gen. Pineda, the national commander of the Civil Air Patrol. I hope many of you will echo my sentiments. The articles can be found at refered to can be found at .

Dear Editor,

I have been in CAP for almost 5 years and proudly serve as a chaplain in what I believe to be the finest volunteer chaplain corps in the nation. I have also found that the vast majority of people in CAP are fine dedicated people who give so very much in service of our nation. This includes Col. Rex Glasgow who was my region commander until his election as national vice commander.
Having said this I feel compelled to write regarding the articles that have been published in News of The Force, about Maj. Gen. Pineda and others in national leadership, over the last few months. As a chaplain I am dismayed that accusations of power brooking and misconduct continue to surface. As a chaplain I also strive to encourage the highest of ethical standards in my unit and wherever I may be called upon to serve. It is with this in mind that I am writing this letter.
Accusations and innuendo only serve to damage and destroy good people and good organizations. I have no idea whether anything that Gen. Pineda is accused of is true or false. The very fact that accusations continue to surface causes me to publicly ask Gen. Pineda to personally call for an open and independent investigation of the actions of all CAP national leadership including himself.
The best cure for accusation and innuendo is openness. When truth is openly brought before the public false accusations quickly evaporate. If the accusations are false then you certainly should have nothing to fear from a full, open, and independent investigation.
Gen. Pineda , your personal call for an independent investigation would do much to engender support for you as our national commander. Failure to call for an investigation while stories filled with accusation continue to surface will only erode confidence in your leadership and cast shadows over CAP at the very time CAP is working hard to forge itself new missions in the post 911 world. For the good of CAP please call today for an independent investigation so all these stories can stop once and for all.

Chaplain (Capt.) Randolph Colby CAP

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Kansas I know

This is a scenic shot that many people may consider boring or empty because of the lack of mountains and trees. To me this photo is my heart and life. I took this shortly after Memorial day while visiting the graves of my maternal grandparents, Benjamin and Ruth Creed. They are buried at the Rose Hill cemetery just east of South Haven Kansas. This is the Kansas I know and love, a scene that I have looked upon so many times over my nearly 50 years. The wide open wheat fields. The constant breeze. The singing meadowlarks and bobwhite quail. I was moved by the wheat and clouds on this beautiful spring day.
Kansas is a land of wide open spaces, of elbow room and quiet contentment. This photo is what I hope heaven is like. I look forward to the time I can walk down the quiet country roads with my savior at my side. This photo also reminds me of the great call of Christ to go into all the world for the fields are ripe unto harvest. What is your relationship to Christ. I hope you know Him.
I took this with an old Konica T3 with a 40mm lens and Kodak film.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Pittsburgs Avenue of Flags

Another shot of the Pittsburg State veterans Memorial. This is the Avenue of Flags that follow the Vietnam wall. This as well as the other Pittsburg shots are from my Pentax 645 with 75mm lens.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Steven Bennefeld remembered

I have never met Steven Bennefeld. But I know he served well and was loved and respected by this memorial for him left at the Pittsburg State Veterans Memorial. I came across this memorial display while visiting. It moved me to photograph this touching remembrance of a loved one who had served. Who do you know that served America in her armed forces? Give them a hug and a thank you.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Names on the Wall

This is a section of the names on the Vietnam wall at the Pittsburg State Veterans Memorial. Names are important. Each human being is given a name by his/her parents. That name identifies that person as an individual. Our names give each of us a significance. Even God has a name, I am that I am. (See Exodus 2.14) casualties are inevitable in war. It is also inevitable that each casualty will be remembered individually by family, friends, and comrades. When we read the names of casualties in Iraq or any other war, let us remember that each gave their all for others, lets remember that each was a special individual, a special gift from God.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Lest We Forget

Having just celebrated the 4th of July I thought some photos from a recent trip would be appropriate. Not long ago I visited the veterans memorial at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg Kansas. The memorial was just dedicated last year. A replica of the Vietnam wall along with a flag row and reflection fountain are included. This photo is a photo of one of many bricks set into the sidewalks surrounding the memorial. Each brick honors a specific veteran. It wasn't long after memorial day when I visited and some of the bricks had personal decorations that had been left by I assume family or friends. Let's not forget to remember all veterans. The fight to maintain not only our freedom, but the freedom of people they don't even know.
I took this with a Pentax 645 with 75mm lens on Fuji NPS.