Positive isn’t Always the News

I have noticed something lately, and it’s not a negative thing and definitely deserves attention. During these strange times, it’s obvious how negative stories can dominate headlines, because apparently that is the news. Yet right in front of all of us are real acts of kindness, heart, and compassion.

I am seeing true American ingenuity. For example, several of our fitness experts and gym owners like Dion SgroMariah Prussia, and April Imholte are providing online workouts for people to do in their homes. I am seeing parents teaching their children about cooking, conserving resources, and using technology to teach their children who are currently at home due to this situation. People like Rozalyn Howery taking her children on virtual tours of many places in the world through the internet and reading books.

Our small businesses, like restaurants are offering carryout services. These Americans are still there, still serving our communities.

Even social clubs are encouraging online groups to help maintain some socialization. It’s different, but allows some level of interaction and a breath of normal.

American resilience and ingenuity has always prevailed, and always will. We can take a lesson from those like Teresa Terry who understand the gravity of these times, but know how to find the best in not only the situation, but their fellow Americans, encouraging people to remember compassion.

People like Dave Jopp who encourage music and keep people entertained through radio.

People like Sandy Zok who offer their expertise to those who may need some type of social service.

People like Josh Kehr, who continues to play excellent music and offers help to those who may need deliveries or anything else.

These are just a small sample of the positive things happening during this time.

In the end, this virus, like any other virus or crisis, does not discriminate against your skin color, past, present, ethnicity, political affiliation, or sexual orientation. In the end, we will prevail as we always have. In the end, we are all still human. Be kind and compassionate to those most vulnerable in our society.

Reach out should you need help, it is out there. Support your local small businesses, neighbors, and friends. Thank you for being a great American.

Let’s Make an Immediate and Direct Impact

As you all may know, writing, music, and the arts have been proven to be absolute excellent therapy in the treatment regarding the symptoms of PTSD.
 
There are currently several organizations such as, Song Writing with Soldiers, that pair musicians with veterans. The veterans often times tell their stories or share songs they have written. The artists collaborates with the veteran and together, they create a song based on that story. These organizations are invaluable.
 
In an attempt to get one of these excellent organizations to come locally, I have discovered that this process is so popular and effective that the organizations are booked out nearly two years.
 
The group I work with at the VA is committed to educating the public regarding PTSD for not only veterans, but all first responders. I don’t like to re-invent the wheel, but now have a goal.
 
What better way to educate the public than to include them in the process. There is so much talent locally and nationally that I believe starting an organization that accomplishes this goal does two things. First, it provides the same opportunity as the larger organization. Second, it directly involves our local and national talent, educating the public via participation.
 
I bear first hand witness to the therapeutic benefits of the arts regarding managing the symptoms of PTSD. I am happy, able, and willing to set up the organization and begin collaboration as soon as possible. The goal is to have a song or two by November 2020 that would be performed live at an event sponsored by the Fargo, ND VA at a local venue.
 
If you are a musician, song writer, or have a absolute desire to make a direct impact, regardless of where you live, please message me. There really are no rules. A great deal of this can be done over email, however I feel it is imperative that the artist meet the veteran at some point. I promise you the end result will make a positive difference in a veteran, first responder, and your life.
 
Thank you all for being the kind of Americans worth fighting for!
 
Dan

Listen to My Radio Interview

Hi Everyone!

In case you missed it, feel free to click the link below to listen to my radio interview on the Heroes of the Heartland Radio program from this morning!  Thank you all so much for the continued support for this project! I used to say it meant the world to me, and it does, but now I am starting to see that there is a bigger picture.  Thank you for all the phone calls, texts, and emails. Keep them coming!

Heroes of the Heartland: Dan Hudson | INFORUM

Using Yours

Like a loving mother that would starve to feed her young,  life too will feed you if you are willing to eat.  On the other hand, should you find yourself not hungry, give your plate to another, for then you become life.
DTH 2019
Using Yours.
I was recently in Charleston, SC and found it was every bit beautiful as I had been told.  Like most cities, there are several faces of the city, even if you travel just a short distance.  I find this same comparison in people.  Some may look good on the outside, but more often than not, they too have another face.    
Arguably, I am a humble guy. I prefer to encourage people and congratulate their successes.  Don’t get that confused with credit.  I am a firm believer in giving credit where credit is due.  A Champion of the soon to be successful underdog. 
In reality, There are those that ask for your “help”, and once provided, give little to no credit to those whom really do the work.  Often times this occurs in the Supervisor/Supervised relationship.  The unfortunate result is a moral destroying situation for the supervised. 
The above scenario used to really drive me crazy.  Pages and volumes of my research, making those in higher positions look good. Furthermore, the posturing that ensues is almost comical with no ex post facto benefit for those who actually have done the work.   Unfortunately, this seems to be a common scenario regardless of where you have employment. 
Most people do not need to be paraded around cubicle city upon their co-workers shoulders, yet some do.  My point is, the simple act of giving credit where credit is due by a supervisor is sign of strength, not weakness. 
When, not if, this happens to you, remember some advice the smartest guy I know told me. “We always win in the end.”
This ever happen to any of you?  I can measure this in days and weeks for the most part. The thing is, learn from this as someday you will be the person who passes the plate, or throws it in the garbage.  I encourage you to pass the plate and give everyone the best opportunity to succeed.  Leaders eat last, my friends.
Thanks for taking a look!
Dan

“The Letter”

The Letter

Today I met you for the very first time,

Many questions need answers,

Seeing you are the victim of your own crime.

 

We are about the same age, your home similar to mine,

Pictures and favorite things,

 you are not a hard person to define.

 

On the table is camera with an impressive lens,

A camera similar to mine,

Who knows, maybe we could have been friends.

 

 The puzzle piece of your life summed up in a letter left on the floor,

Together our time will be short,

 Absorbing your written thoughts, as I slowly close the door.

 

I am not here to judge you and can only assume,

Your thoughts consumed your soul,

your world, now this dark room.

 

Your life on paper, like a script from a show,

Every pain, hardship and sorrow,

Left to be found by me, someone you didn’t even know.

 

To this earth, this life, you are no longer bound,

Placing a small part of your burden on me,

This scene of sadness, in a letter left to be found.

 

You answer the question why and the how has been done,

The haunting torment ends,

for those who cared, it has only just begun.

 

Understand when I read this, there is no way for me to feel what you did,

A spirit gone and wasted ,

For me like before, these images hidden, secured with a tight lid.

 

I was summoned here today certainly not by my choice,

Putting your story in a stranger’s hands,

Trusting that I will now be your voice.

 

I don’t know your whole life or why you chose this day,

but who cared for you are now my concern,

And I will not let them see you this way.

 

If you can hear me, know I think you made a mistake,

Your tragedy now mine too,  

The details with be softened, simply for your family’s sake.

 

What is going to happen now isn’t what you think,

The pictures and your story will be re-written,

Like others before and after, the effect will not grow, but shrink.

 

It is better me do this rather than someone who you knew,

A permanent solution to a temporary problem,

Their hearts broken, my next call waits with something new.

 

You may think I don’t care, but you committed your own crime,

There have been many before you,

Understand that this certainly is not my first time.

 

Quietly I speak hoping my words you can hear,

Many have traveled the same path,

Some who do my job, their memories met with my tear.

 

Make no mistake, with me this day will remain,

But your face and story will be placed with the others,

another link in an unfortunate chain.

 

In one quick action this life came to a tragic stop,

You took your own life today,

This life, this story, now retold by this stranger, this cop.

©


Suicide and suicide prevention have such profound effects on those around each tragedy.  I have unfortunately had to deal with an unusual number of suicides as a police officer.  As my career progressed, these suicides really hit home when my co-workers, my friends, decided that this was also their escape.  The true answers and circumstances rarely, if ever, are brought to light. 

I recently red an article regarding police officers that have considered either harming themselves or taking their own lives.  This is a tough world.  This article is eye opening.  No longer should we be turning a blind eye to the epidemic of first responders and soldiers regarding the trauma that they face throughout their career. Bravado and toughness come with acceptance and help.  Please get help.  Please speak with your family and friends.  

Also take a look at the article link below.  Thank you for reading this difficult poem.

https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/I-Team-Nearly-1-in-5-Cops-Has-Considered-Suicide-Amid-Stigma-Around-Mental-Health-Issues-500928011.html?fbclid=IwAR1vugiFPxNXFJn406RAnBfgOjubZ5QktrmFhYvTK7f_UJY6vf66O9OJSeY

Pray for Our Country

Pray for Our Country

Pray for our beautiful country,

It is what we all have together,

One nation united under God.

©


Whether you believe or not, what does it hurt? Our country, our name is supposed to unite all.  Do we always get along? No.  Do we always agree? No.  Will we ever get along and agree?  No.  What we can do is disagree, respectfully, and still be one nation.  It makes us stronger and better every day. 

If you pray, pray for this country as a whole.  If you don’t pray, see the previous sentence.  If you choose not to, understand your choice is accepted because of the very country of which you live. 

The freedom to respectfully express oneself and opinions is something of which we have, and continue to, pay a dear price.  Be responsible with these freedoms.  Be respectful to your fellow countrymen and countrywomen. 

Thank you to my beautiful wife for taking a picture of these less than perfect hands.

“Command of Fate”

Command of Fate

Upon the snowy plain shadowed by a dimming sun,

Take this moment, your moment, cherish it,

Like a bar of gold, it cannot be taken with when life is done.

 

Emotions consume the thoughts, visiting in daydreams and nightmares,

A created prison, the fences high and electric,

A life sentence of torment, no parole here as the heart tears.

 

What is it worth, the caring, the anger, thoughts that make no real matter?

The happiness of the smallest joy clouded,

As a flag ignored and unlit, the weather fades and is left to tatter.

 

There is no control of fate, as the story already been written,

Succumbing to ignorant prophecy,

Surrendering to tread not swim, shy because once bitten.

 

As an eagle stalks its prey, or protects its nest,

Subtle balances of forces within,

Profound thoughts come to the mind, given its needed rest.

 

Command of the battlefield, calling each solider to bear arm,

Acceptance of inevitable conclusions,

A warrior survives,  the fate of this war has done them but mental harm.

 

I know, I know, not my usual stuff, settle down everyone!  I just wanted to try something different.  The picture is my grandfather.  He would have been 100 on Armistice Day. Read through it a couple times and fall in love or divorce it.  

Also, a little plug to one of my favorite bands, Great White.

Poetry “The Calmness of a Warrior”

I never intended on writing this poem.  It is pretty sensitive in nature, but I feel it is necessary.  I guess I will just let it speak for itself.  There are many who will understand, probably more that will not.  I am hoping you do.  I also hope you like it.

The picture was my rig.  I wanted a photo with me in it so bad.  When the opportunity arose, another soldier snapped the picture.  I didn’t realize it would be a silhouette.  I was really disappointed.  Looking at it today, I don’t think it could have turned out any more perfect.

This is for my brothers and sisters that had to deal, and still do, with situations similar to this. Thank you for your service.

Thank you for taking a look at “The Calmness of a Warrior”.  It means the world to me.

The Calmness of a Warrior

Answering the call, giving it little thought,

Honor your country are the values he was taught.

 

His blood pump red, skin white, and mind blue,

Like generations before, this is what he was made to do.

 

From a child when he would hold his father’s hand,

Now patrolling a dangerous road, surrounded by hot sand.

 

Committed to freedom, honorably serving with others,

This, now his family, both sisters and brothers.

 

Each day, each mission on paper often look the same,

Moving out in the morning, before the sun becomes hot as a flame.

 

Was it a flash of lighting followed by deafening thunder,

Or something more sinister, making him wonder.

 

This day, this moment, there was a different feeling he did not share,

Time stopped for just a moment, as he was flown into the air.

 

His mind took him to church, where he was taught to do no harm,

And early Sunday dinners on his grandparents farm.

 

He thought of high school and wondered what his friends would say,

Making jokes and asking him, did you kill anyone today?

 

He thought of his dog, no matter what stood by his side,

If he were here, would have been next to him, begging for a ride.

 

Remembering homecoming and every high school dance,

Asking out all the girls when he knew he didn’t have a chance.

 

He thought, then forgot, eyes jarred open as he met the ground,

Metal torn from his vehicle was scattered all around.

 

He could see but not feel, move or hear,

Next to him lay his torn bandolier.

 

What he saw ,he knew, but did trust to believe,

The destruction before him was his vehicle hit by an I.E.D.

 

His body now slowly moved, but still could not stand,

Reaching for his leg and putting his pistol in his hand.

 

If you come for me to see if I am dead,

I will take this pistol and put a bullet in your head.

 

Confusion turned to rage, and fear for the others,

What drove him now was to check on is brothers.

 

From a gash in his forehead where his red blood bled,

Calling to his friends, not sure if out loud or in his head.

 

Every bit of energy crawling to once was their car,

It felt like miles, but he didn’t move far.

 

Where are you all, I need to know if you are hurt,

Hot blood dripped slowly onto his tan shirt.

 

None of this made sense, they drove a Humvee not a car,

And the roads here are made of sand, not concrete and tar.

 

A firm hand grabbed his shoulder and spun him around,

Pistol in hand, leveled his sights and drew down.

 

We are going to be late if you don’t wake up soon,

Wide open eyes, realizing he is in his own room.

 

Before him stood a smiling wife,

Another dream, a nightmare, of a past life.

 

So many years had passed between now and then,

But the years were like minutes, reliving it all again.

 

This woman, she cared for him, walking together a path to heal,

Uncontrollable horrors persist but together, learning how to deal.

 

Those days had made him something he was not,

The simple details of life were often forgot.

 

Once trusting others that they would have his back,

Was erased over time and bright days had turned black.

 

This woman, she also saw and felt the change,

Receiving the most fire from being directly down range.

 

Admiring her patience and trying to understand her love,

Explaining that so many visions, down deep he would shove.

 

She said I know, I am a volunteer too,

Remember the promise made when I chose to marry you.

 

I want you back, we will do it together,

These memories will always be there, but we can make it better.

 

Always on edge, instincts sharper than ever,

Feelings that can switch like a quick shift of a lever.

 

The flashing pictures and memories now being organized in his mind,

Always a soldier, now husband and father, learning again to be patient and kind.

 

Searching for peace, these dark memories have become inferior,

Stronger than ever, now the calmness of this warrior.

 

DTH 2018

Poetry “Heart of Stone”

Heart of Stone

The sounds and faces that one could not save,

These dark thoughts come in, wave after grueling wave.

 

There is no rhythm to how often they appear,

Too proud, too strong, thoughts far away as they are near.

 

Haunting memories seem to persist, not leaving done to be done,

A cylinder click breaks the silence from a freshly polished gun.

 

Broken is to  feel pain rather than nothing at all,

The heart beats faster with each chest rise and fall.

 

Happiness is a mere word, put all upon oneself,

Awards bravely earned are boxed up, taken down from shelf.

 

All interest has left in wondering how or why,

No feelings towards life, or when something has to die.

The armor has dents on both front and back,

Put down that pistol, move forward, don’t look back.

 

The time has  come to lower the guard,

Climb this mountain, each footstep forward will be less hard.

 

When the mountain is climbed at the top will be found,

Its heart made of stone, symbolic and profound.

 

Care for others, and oneself too,

Allowing to love again, love like its brand new.

 

Take care and choose wisely the words that are spoken,

Because even a mountain made of stone can have its heart broken.


It doesn’t matter where you come from, who you are, what you look like, we all have that space inside of us where we push stuff down and don’t let it out.  Maybe it was a bad relationship, a car accident, or just words that tore into your very soul.

This poem is about just that.  Like a bank, these ideologies are stored in a vault.  The problem we encounter, again like a bank, you get charged interest.  What I mean is that the memories of whatever the situation, recur and compound, just like interest. The way I see it, it is easy to become consumed by these thoughts and memories because they build up over time.

Understanding that you push these thoughts away, instead of learning how to manage them, is literally killing you softly over time. Whether you lock them up to avoid them or because it is just too much to hold, like a teenager, they will sneak out of your house and do their thing.

I took this picture in Utah while hiking up Capital Reef.  I was amazed when I got to the top to find this huge boulder, cracked the way it was.  I didn’t think much more of it at the time.  Recently, while going through my pictures, I re-discovered this photo.  I love it more now than I did then.  Maybe because life was trying to tell me something then, but I just wasn’t listening.

Thank you for taking a look at Heart of Stone!

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