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

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.

“Goodbye Dark Stranger”

Goodbye Dark Stranger

 

You lied to me today, and said this would never happen again,

My heart was pounding for little reason,  filled with adrenaline.

 

You promised that there was a way to take control of these things,

I don’t believe you know what you are doing, and each time it stings.

 

You lied to me today to make me believe things were better,

The ideas are mere words, unraveling like threads of a sweater.

 

You say next time will be different, I can walk away without anger,

It has never happened, and who appears is a dark stranger.

 

He trusts no one, never resting and has no peace,

Willing to do whatever is needed, the chaos he causes does not cease.

 

The damage he has done is like a hole in a battleship’s hull,

It is still a ship but sinks, because the water has made it full.

 

You lied to me today because surely you believe,

You actually have an answer and think that I cannot leave.

 

Or was it because you thought I wouldn’t notice that nothing would change,

Comfortable torment fills this life, decisions made however strange.

 

This time I don’t  forgive you as I have done many times before,

You will do it again, the cut is to deep, I will not take it anymore.

 

I tell you the truth today, this dark stranger, it’s time for him to go,

Silence your lips and listen, these things that you will have to know.

 

You have been here my whole life, even in my youth,

But I have learned that to lie, you must first know the truth.

 

No longer do you get to make all of life’s decisions,

The past is script that is forever, but now I am making some revisions.

 

Words before they are spoken, will be made with careful thought,

Better ways of living will be learned from the bad lessons you have taught.

 

I tell you the truth today because things will be done now the way they should,

Repairing the pieces that you broke, broken pieces you never would.

 

With nothing left to say, you are no longer welcome here,

Smiling I switched off the light, and turned away from the mirror.

Poetry “A Distance Hug from a Mother”

 

A Distant Hug from a Mother

With great thought and care it was carefully made,

A gift for me to be used, but also to be displayed.

Holding stars and stripes in each perfect square,

Also with old planes that long ago, flew in the air.

Each stitch a memory, each pattern a short story,

Red, white, and blue colors, that resemble Old Glory.

It is here not just for me, built of love and to share,

You can find it on the sofa, sometimes on the back of a chair.

Cloth and thread mended together, beautiful yet more than just decor,

It tells tell part of my story, good, bad,  and so much more.

Tough days they can come, full of anger and guilt,

Like a distant hug from mother, I surround myself with her homemade quilt.


I wish I had the talent and patience to make a quilt.  A quilt, to me, encompasses so many things.  The time, creativity, patience, and effort that goes into its construction is truly overwhelming.  I was fortunate to receive this quilt.  It is more of a fight around our house of who gets to wrap themselves up in the detailed work of art.

Like a tapestry or priceless painting, I look at this quilt everyday.  I am grateful for my life, family, and those around me.

Thank you for taking a look at a short poem that means a lot to me.

I have the dictated words below as they are hard to read on the photograph.  Thank you for reading “A Distance Hug from a Mother”.

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 “Broken Windows”

Broken Windows

Hot brown days, counting each as they go by,

Staring into a dry nothing, remembering times gone by.

 

Lost in a million thoughts, like vagabonds through my head they roam,

            One-step forward, is another step towards home.

 

I cannot explain what happened, or how it got inside,

            Pushed deep in my soul, but it came out no matter how hard I tried.

 

Time just could not erase the things I have seen,

Hiding from everything became such a routine.

 

I now walk among you, but will not know my name,

            Nothing happens on my watch, if so; I am the one to blame.

 

Watching waistbands and hands, vigilance ever so high,

            Measuring every risk, willing to sacrifice, or even die.

 

My memories are postcards scattered by a fan in my brain,

            Pictures of happiness, and sorrow, others bring pain.

 

Images flash by, some more than others,

Each as important as the next, often of my sisters and brothers.

 

A carousel of memories that have no absolute order,

            Fracturing my sense of peace like an exploding mortar.

 

My solid ground disappeared; I had nowhere left to stand,

            From the light, there became darkness in the hot desert sand.

 

I needed a guide, hero, someone to show me the way,

            God only knows the hell she would have to pay.

 

She became a foundation, my clarity, my life,

I am here today because of forgiveness, and the patience of my wife.

 

She grabbed my hand when I started sink,

            Counted my scars, and filled them with ink.

 

Standing tall for family, nephews and nieces,

            One at a time, picking up my life’s shattered pieces.

 

I know now that before the day I die,

Into the broken window frame of my life, a thousand shards of glass will fly.


I wrote this poem not to long ago.  It will be ready publicly at a college for a local event.  Please feel free to give it a read. Thanks for taking a look!

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