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Cal Thomas: America’s Expiration Date — Will US collapse in 2026?

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6124813690001_6124818490001-vs Cal Thomas: America's Expiration Date — Will US collapse in 2026? fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/science/archaeology/ancient-rome fox-news/politics fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc fcdb73da-3696-5a07-8850-8bda2fb41874 Cal Thomas article

Must nations, like a library book, be renewed if one wishes to keep it beyond the date stamped in the back?

If you are too young to remember libraries and borrowing books, think of the date stamped on milk cartons, which indicate its sell-by date beyond which the milk can turn sour.

In my new book, “America’s Expiration Date: The Fall of Empires and Superpowers … and the Future of the United States,” I examine eight empires that believed their economic strength and military power were enough to sustain them well into the future and in the case of the Roman Empire, eternally.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: MEMBERS OF PREVIOUS GENERATIONS NOW SEEM LIKE GIANTS — WHEN DID WE BECOME SO SMALL?

Nations are made up of people. While modes of transportation, hairstyles, clothing and other things change, human nature remains the same. A nation’s strength and sustainability require more than economic and military success. There are issues of character and virtue that are stronger supporters and sustainers of any nation. As the Psalmist asked, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” He isn’t talking about money and a military.

The book is inspired by the late British diplomat Sir John Glubb, who found a pattern to the decline of nations. He said that pattern has not changed in the 4,000 years of history he studied and that the average age of great nations is 250 years. Rome was an exception, but even Rome followed the same path to self-destruction.

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The final stage before collapse is what Sir John calls “decadence.”

This includes uncontrolled immigration without assimilation. No nation can be sustained if it forgets its identity and fails to absorb new immigrants, requiring they learn the native language and understand the native history while leaving behind the agendas and issues of the country from which they came, while obeying the laws.

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In the past, immigrants came to America to become fully American. Now, in too many cases, we are becoming hyphenated Americans and have devolved into “tribes” that don’t know or even speak to each other.

Massive national debt is another cause of the decline of superpowers. The U.S. currently is $23 trillion in the red (and counting). Neither political party will do what is necessary to reverse course, though both parties know entitlement reform is a key to the restoration of financial stability.

A third contributor to national decline is military overreach. The U.S. has troops all over the world. In some cases – especially in Afghanistan and now increasingly in the Middle East – the wars seem never to end. They are costly in blood and money and victory continues to elude us.

The loss of a shared morality and abandoning God are perhaps the greatest contributors to decline. We live in an “anything goes” culture in which everything is to be tolerated, except those who disagree, who are denounced as intolerant and bigots. The Pew Research Center asked millennials their religious preference. Twenty percent said “none.” A nation that does not have a transcendent sense of purpose beyond just existing will not exist for long.

Sir John Glubb calculated that the average age of empires and superpowers is 250 years. On July 4, 2026, the United States will be 250 years old. We have been living off the inertia of past generations. Ronald Reagan used to say we are only one generation away from losing it all. Nations, like library books, must be renewed by each generation and sometimes within a generation if they are to survive or exist beyond mere shells of their former selves, like the United Kingdom, which is no more united, much less still a kingdom in its historic sense.

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There is still time to turn things around, but that time is growing short. I offer some positive suggestions in the book for how this might be done.

It will be up to us now living to determine whether those alive on July 4, 2026 will be celebrating a renewed national life, or mourning as at a funeral.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM CAL THOMAS

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6124813690001_6124818490001-vs Cal Thomas: America's Expiration Date — Will US collapse in 2026? fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/science/archaeology/ancient-rome fox-news/politics fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc fcdb73da-3696-5a07-8850-8bda2fb41874 Cal Thomas article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6124813690001_6124818490001-vs Cal Thomas: America's Expiration Date — Will US collapse in 2026? fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/science/archaeology/ancient-rome fox-news/politics fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc fcdb73da-3696-5a07-8850-8bda2fb41874 Cal Thomas article

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Doris Miller: What to know about the African American Pearl Harbor hero honored by US Navy

At Pearl Harbor Monday, the U.S. Navy will honor a World War II hero when a new aircraft carrier is named for Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller.

He was an American man of many firsts, going beyond the call of duty.

HONORS

A future Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier will be named after him.

It’s the first aircraft carrier ever named for a black American.

“In selecting this name, we honor the contributions of all our enlisted ranks, past and present, men and women, of every race, religion and background,” said Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly in a statement. “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. observed, ‘Everybody can be great – because anybody can serve’. No one understands the importance and true meaning of service than those who have volunteered to put the needs of others above themselves.”

This will be the second ship named in honor of Miller.

USS Miller, a destroyer escort, was previously named in his honor.

His image was used in a 1943 U.S. Navy recruitment poster.

Westlake Legal Group US-Recruitement-poster Doris Miller: What to know about the African American Pearl Harbor hero honored by US Navy Frank Miles fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox news fnc/us fnc article 78769b4f-7b93-5e59-8e2a-98d182772d3b

The image of Doris Miller was used in a 1943 U.S. Navy recruitment poster. (David Stone Martin/Library of Congress)

PEARL HARBOR

Miller was recognized for manning a machine gun on the USS West Virginia and returning fire against Japanese planes during the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

Miller, then 22, was collecting laundry when the attack alarm sounded. His normal battle station in an antiaircraft battery magazine was destroyed by a torpedo. He went on deck and carried wounded soldiers to safety before receiving orders to aid the mortally wounded captain on the bridge.

A black American was not allowed to man a gun in the Navy in 1941, Doreen Ravenscroft, a team leader for the Doris Miller Memorial, said, as The Associated Press reported.

“He subsequently manned a 50-cal. Browning anti-aircraft machine gun until he ran out of ammunition and was ordered to abandon ship,” the Navy said, noting Miller was not trained to operate the gun.

“It wasn’t hard. I just pulled the trigger and she worked fine. I had watched the others with these guns. I guess I fired her for about 15 minutes,” Miller said later, according to Naval history records.

NAVY CROSS

Miller was the first black American to receive the Navy Cross for valor.

Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, presented the Navy Cross to Miller in Pearl Harbor in May 1942.

Westlake Legal Group Doris-Miller-1942 Doris Miller: What to know about the African American Pearl Harbor hero honored by US Navy Frank Miles fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox news fnc/us fnc article 78769b4f-7b93-5e59-8e2a-98d182772d3b

The U.S. Navy is expected to honor a World War II hero when a new aircraft carrier is named for Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller. (US Army)

DEATH

Miller died while serving on a ship that was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in November 1943.

“I think that Doris Miller is an American hero simply because of what he represents as a young man going beyond the call of what’s expected,” said Ravenscroft.

“Without him really knowing, he actually was a part of the Civil Rights movement because he changed the thinking in the Navy,” Ravenscroft added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Doris-Miller-1942 Doris Miller: What to know about the African American Pearl Harbor hero honored by US Navy Frank Miles fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox news fnc/us fnc article 78769b4f-7b93-5e59-8e2a-98d182772d3b   Westlake Legal Group Doris-Miller-1942 Doris Miller: What to know about the African American Pearl Harbor hero honored by US Navy Frank Miles fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox news fnc/us fnc article 78769b4f-7b93-5e59-8e2a-98d182772d3b

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Florida police department invites public to homeless veteran’s funeral

A Florida police department is making sure that a homeless veteran who served during the Vietnam War and was described as “a unique soul” will be buried Friday with the honors he deserved.

The afternoon burial for John Meade Jr. at the Jacksonville National Cemetery is being hosted by the St. Augustine Police Department with the public invited.

“John Meade Jr. was a unique soul and connected with everyone he met,” the department said in a Facebook post on Tuesday. “That’s why the St. Augustine Police Department’s Outreach Team exhausted all resources to find information that would help them learn a little more about Meade. Unfortunately, Meade lived off the grid alone.”

IT WAS REALLY OVERWHELMING’: THOUSANDS ATTEND FUNERAL OF VETERAN WHO HAD NO FAMILY

<img src="https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2020/01/640/320/Homeless-Veteran-.jpg?ve=1&tl=1" alt="John Meade Jr., a member of the Army during the Vietnam War, was a unique soul and connected with everyone he met, police said.
​​​”>

John Meade Jr., a member of the Army during the Vietnam War, was a unique soul and connected with everyone he met, police said.<br> ​​​ (St. Augustine Police Department)

The team was unable to locate Meade’s family but did discover he served in the Army from 1966 to 1968 and was honorably discharged.

“It was kind of my mission to make sure that he got what he deserved,” Officer Steven Fischer told Fox 30 Jacksonville.

STRANGERS ATTEND ELDERLY ARMY VETERAN’S FUNERAL IN TEXAS AFTER REQUEST FROM FRIENDS

It’s unclear how old Meade was when he died several months ago. A cause of death wasn’t revealed.

Fox 30 reported interviewing David Carni, a friend of Meade’s, who said, “He was a part of our town.”

Facebook commentators praised the police department for its efforts on Meade’s behalf.

“Every time I drove by him I would give him money,” Dan O’Connor Sr. wrote. “He never asked for it and never held a sign.”

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He added, “I had seen a couple of people trying to reach out to him from time to time, but he was content where he was at. He made my day a lot of times. I only hope I did the same in return.

Westlake Legal Group Homeless-Veteran- Florida police department invites public to homeless veteran's funeral Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc d663c8e6-2140-53ff-999f-de626f9bbf88 article   Westlake Legal Group Homeless-Veteran- Florida police department invites public to homeless veteran's funeral Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc d663c8e6-2140-53ff-999f-de626f9bbf88 article

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Navy SEAL, doctor becomes astronaut: ‘A true privilege and honor’

Westlake Legal Group Tweet-US-EMBASSY-SEOUL Navy SEAL, doctor becomes astronaut: 'A true privilege and honor' Frank Miles fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox news fnc/science fnc be3ad5cf-85f7-5123-bb45-af8f4a9fa0c6 article

He was a physician who trained at Harvard University.

He served as a Navy SEAL.

Now he is set to become the first Korean-American to join a NASA mission in space.

Dr. Jonny Kim, son of poor South Korean immigrants who arrived in Los Angeles in the early 1980s, is the American Dream.

The 35-year-old started his career as a seaman recruit after graduating from Santa Monica High School in 2002.

“I didn’t like the person I was growing up to become,” Kim said in a 2017 profile in the Harvard Gazette about his decision to enlist. “I needed to find myself and my identity. And for me, getting out of my comfort zone, getting away from the people I grew up with, and finding adventure, that was my odyssey, and it was the best decision I ever made.”

As a member of SEAL Team 3, he served as a combat medic, sniper, navigator and point man on more than 100 combat operations across two deployments to the Middle East.

His duty led him to his next career.

Kim told the Gazette about a wounded comrade: “He had a pretty grave wound to the face. It was one of the worst feelings of helplessness. There wasn’t much I could do, just make sure his bleeding wasn’t obstructing his airway, making sure he was positioned well. He needed a surgeon. He needed a physician, and I did eventually get him to one, but … that feeling of helplessness was very profound for me.”

In 2012, he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics at University of San Diego. He earned a medical degree in 2016 at Harvard Medical School.

One year into a four-year residency at Massachusetts General Hospital he was selected as a NASA astronaut candidate.

Out of more than 18,300 applicants, only Kim and 11 other Americans were selected for the 2017 class.

Training started in 2017, and he graduated the program last Friday.

“A true privilege and honor to walk among the @NASA Astronaut Corps with my brothers and sisters. We know there are many qualified and deserving candidates out there – we’re the lucky ones to represent humanity. Let’s work towards a better future for our world and our children,” he tweeted on Monday.

As a member of NASA’s Artemis program, the triple threat is eligible for future missions to the moon, and perhaps even Mars.

“I’m excited for the adventure,” Kim told the Gazette in 2017. “I think it’ll be another occupation where I say, ‘I can’t believe I’m getting paid for doing this.'”

Westlake Legal Group Tweet-US-EMBASSY-SEOUL Navy SEAL, doctor becomes astronaut: 'A true privilege and honor' Frank Miles fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox news fnc/science fnc be3ad5cf-85f7-5123-bb45-af8f4a9fa0c6 article   Westlake Legal Group Tweet-US-EMBASSY-SEOUL Navy SEAL, doctor becomes astronaut: 'A true privilege and honor' Frank Miles fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox news fnc/science fnc be3ad5cf-85f7-5123-bb45-af8f4a9fa0c6 article

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Paul Batura: Online shopping has lots of pluses – But one big minus

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118267181001_6118271951001-vs Paul Batura: Online shopping has lots of pluses – But one big minus Paul Batura fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/economy/consumerism fox-news/us/economy fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 3ee86adb-194a-51fa-bd4e-54659fab65c9

Macy’s has decided to close dozens of its brick-and-mortar stores amidst an accelerating retail revolution.

Founded by Rowland Hussey Macy in 1858, the iconic retailer joins several other popular brands like JCPenney and Kohl’s that are currently struggling to navigate a titanic consumer shift in personal purchasing habits.

Despite retail sales growing 3.7 percent industry-wide during the past holiday shopping season, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to convince patrons to actually drive to a traditional store to buy something.

ONLINE SALES RECORD LEADS HOLIDAY SHOPPING SURGE

Can you blame consumers for not wanting to trudge out in the cold, find a parking spot and run the likely risk of not finding the item in their desired size or color, let alone at the best possible price?

The explosion and convenience of “one-click” online shopping is truly one of the most remarkable developments of the last few decades. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were debating whether even inputting our credit-card number online was wise.

Incessant hacking and identity theft notwithstanding, we’ve all pretty much acquiesced to the new ways. Even my late father was ordering items from Amazon when he was in his 80s.

But convenience always comes at a cost – and the cost is not always financial.

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In many ways, I grieve the fading of the brick-and-mortar store for reasons great and small.

Revolutions often come in incremental waves these days, and so it’s not unusual for people living through them to not fully appreciate the scope and significance of the change happening right before their eyes.

Of course, I appreciate being able to order what I want, when I want. The arrival of the big blue Amazon van on our Colorado Springs street elicits a good feeling, especially if I’m waiting for a new pair of running shoes or a David McCullough bestseller.

Yet, turning shopping into a purely transactional arrangement is something of a blow to our sense of humanity.

As a former retail employee myself, I have wonderful memories of conversations and interactions with so many of my customers. Almost all of them were serendipitous and interesting in numerous ways. At the risk of overstating it, those happy (and sometimes tense) exchanges helped shape me into the person I am today.

By contrast, and with no offense to Amazon Prime, I’ve never walked away from an online purchase a better man.

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One of my best friends is David Bervig, a renaissance gentleman of the old school, but also something of a do-it-yourself sage. Whenever I’m flummoxed with a home project, which is often, I know he’ll have the solution.

David’s late father, Farris, was the long-time owner of the True Value Hardware store in Alamosa, Colo. He was also the mayor of the town, a sprawling Adams State College community in the high-altitude San Luis Valley. As a high school student, David went to work for his father at the store, and encountered contractors coming in for plumbing, paint and electrical supplies.

“In helping them find what they needed, they wound up teaching me everything I know,” he told me. “And you know what? The more they taught me, the more I was able to help those who walked into the store.”

Change is always inevitable, and the loss of one tradition usually ushers in another benefit we wonder how we ever lived without. YouTube tutorials are quickly replacing how-to-chats with weathered hardware store aficionados. The change may help you get the job done, but it will never leave you changed like a warmhearted face-to-face chat with Farris Bervig would.

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I guess I mourn some of the shift in retail trends because behind all the numbers of the closed stores, there are the names of people I’ll never meet and conversations I’ll never have with the good folks who would have been inside of them.

Bervig’s hardware store closed several years ago, shortly before Mayor Bervig passed away himself. A happy man with a wide smile and an infectious laugh, I think a part of him died along with it.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY PAUL BATURA

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118267181001_6118271951001-vs Paul Batura: Online shopping has lots of pluses – But one big minus Paul Batura fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/economy/consumerism fox-news/us/economy fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 3ee86adb-194a-51fa-bd4e-54659fab65c9   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118267181001_6118271951001-vs Paul Batura: Online shopping has lots of pluses – But one big minus Paul Batura fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/economy/consumerism fox-news/us/economy fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 3ee86adb-194a-51fa-bd4e-54659fab65c9

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Army veteran recycles Christmas trees into canes

COPPERAS COVE, Texas – A U.S. Army veteran from Copperas Cove, Texas, is continuing to serve his country even without the uniform.

Jamie Willis is a Desert Storm vet who suffered a back injury during his eight years of service. After the Veterans Affairs hospital gave him a diagnosis of 100-percent disability, Willis has since relied on a cane to walk. That inspired his non-profit, Canes for Veterans Central Texas.

The 50-year-old started making canes out of recycled Christmas trees in 2016. Since then, he’s made more than 200 and given them all away.

“It’s not about me, it’s about the veterans, getting the canes out to all my brother and sisters out there,” Willis said. “It starts with one cane, make one cane and give it away.”

With the holidays nearing an end, Willis called on his community to donate their Christmas trees so he could make more canes in 2020. The community responded quickly, donating more than 1,000 trees to the non-profit.

“The community has been great, they have shown so much love and support for this and without them there is no way this could have happened,” Willis said. “This has spread like wildfire, pretty much.”

Westlake Legal Group 705a378a-christmas-tree Army veteran recycles Christmas trees into canes Hunter Davis fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/military-families fox-news/lifestyle/occasions/christmas fox-news/entertainment/events/charity fox news fnc/us fnc bdea1dcf-5778-5f94-94fb-0d7b23da6e63 article

Volunteers helping Jamie Willis get Christmas trees ready for woodworking. (Hunter Davis/Fox News)

Willis said of all the support he has received, one story in particular stood out to him the most.

“There was a lady that drove all the way from Dallas with her son, who is a veteran, just to drop off a single tree and to meet me and to shake my hand and say thank you. That one touched me big time, that to me was amazing,” Willis said.

Stores including Lowe’s and The Home Depot also donated to Willis. The Home Depot told Fox News: “… Because veterans are such a big part of our own company culture, we understand the importance of serving those who have served us all…”

Once the trees are donated, crews would cut off the limbs and leave the trees to dry out. Once the trees dried, Willis would strip the bark off and attach handles to them, add coats of polyurethane and ship them off to people in need. Willis said he learned the process from Oscar De Vere Morris, the owner of a group called Free Canes for Veterans.

The canes have been sent to several different places, including Texas, North Carolina, Arizona, Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio, California, Alaska, Germany and the U.K.

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“There is more good people out here than what you normally see. It has just been amazing, I can’t really put it into words,” Willis said.

Willis said it will take about four to six months for his newly donated trees to dry out before he could start turning them into canes. In the meantime, the veteran has prepared a list of things he will need to get going once the wood is ready, including sandpaper, grinder discs, polyurethane and paintbrushes.

Westlake Legal Group 705a378a-christmas-tree Army veteran recycles Christmas trees into canes Hunter Davis fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/military-families fox-news/lifestyle/occasions/christmas fox-news/entertainment/events/charity fox news fnc/us fnc bdea1dcf-5778-5f94-94fb-0d7b23da6e63 article   Westlake Legal Group 705a378a-christmas-tree Army veteran recycles Christmas trees into canes Hunter Davis fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/military-families fox-news/lifestyle/occasions/christmas fox-news/entertainment/events/charity fox news fnc/us fnc bdea1dcf-5778-5f94-94fb-0d7b23da6e63 article

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Wisconsin waitress gets $1,300 tip after valiant cancer fight alongside her sister

A group of women in Wisconsin surprised a waitress, a cancer survivor who had lost her sister to the disease in October, with a $1,300 tip for Christmas.

Jessica Greb, the founder of Orchestrating Good, a group focusing on performing acts of kindness in the community, told Fox News on Wednesday that a group of 13 women, including herself, gave the generous tip to waitress Michele Bachmann this past weekend.

“About a week prior, a friend shared a story she had seen about a group who had done a similar thing for their server in another state and thought that it was something we should try to do before Christmas,” Greb told Fox News.

MIRACLE BABY GETS TO SPEND HER FIRST CHRISTMAS AT HOME

“So, a few of my friends and I reached out to our network of friends and knowing it was really close to the holiday we didn’t know how many people would be available a few days before Christmas, but we were able to find 13 of us who could have breakfast together and bless whoever our server was going to be.”

Westlake Legal Group Orchestrating-Good-2-full Wisconsin waitress gets $1,300 tip after valiant cancer fight alongside her sister Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/wisconsin fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/lifestyle/occasions/christmas fox-news/health/cancer fox-news/good-news fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/us fnc c8b17ce9-4030-59d1-bff0-1ec7b715ea05 article

Jessica Greb (center left), the founder of Orchestrating Good, told Fox News that she and others gave a $1,300 tip to waitress Michele Bachmann (center right). (Orchestrating Good)

Greb said the group went to Mulberry’s Pancakes and Café in Union Grove, a half-hour’s drive southwest of Milwaukee, on Sunday and Bachmann happened to be their waitress.

Bachmann recalled, “I put the check down and told them all, ‘Merry Christmas, it was a pleasure taking care of them,’ and I walked away,” as Fox 6 reported.

The women then gave Backmann a Christmas card.

“I opened it up, and I see a $100 bill, and I was like, literally shocked,” Bachmann said.

Greb told Fox News that 13 $100 bills were inside the card. She added that after the group gave Bachmann the card they learned she lost her sister to cancer in October.  Bachmann reportedly battled cancer at the same time as her sister.

“As Christmas came, I kind of felt like I had lost a part of me,” Bachmann said. “I think actually, she’s up there, and she knew that I was kind of still sad about this, and honestly, I feel like she sent those, she’s an angel, and she sent those angels to me.”

SANTA MAKES SURPRISE VISITS TO TWO YOUNG BOYS WHO WERE DENIED MEETING HIM OVER THEIR SERVICE DOGS

“Knowing she struggled, I think for us, us being able to gift her with that was a gift in and of itself to all of us,” Greb told Fox News, adding that she had no idea what Bachmann had been through when the group gave her the $1,300 tip.

Westlake Legal Group Orchestrating-Good-full Wisconsin waitress gets $1,300 tip after valiant cancer fight alongside her sister Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/wisconsin fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/lifestyle/occasions/christmas fox-news/health/cancer fox-news/good-news fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/us fnc c8b17ce9-4030-59d1-bff0-1ec7b715ea05 article

This group of women in Wisconsin surprised waitress Michele Bachmann, a cancer survivor who had lost her sister to the disease in October, with a $1,300 tip for Christmas. (Orchestrating Good)

“It just reminded me about how important it is to treat anyone with kindness because you just don’t know the journey they have been on leading up to the moment you meet them.”

“Thank you all so very much. I’m still speechless,” Bachmann wrote on Orchestrating Good’s Facebook page. “You hear about this but never ever believe it could happen to you. I feel beyond blessed. Thank you so very much and Merry Christmas to all of you.”

Bachmann said she wasn’t yet sure how she would spend the money, but said she’d be sure to spread acts of kindness.

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“Ever since then, I don’t think I’ve stopped smiling,” Bachmann said.

“I wouldn’t wish anybody to have to battle cancer and lose anyone especially this close to the holidays,” Greb said. “So, for her to have been the one that we were able to bless by showing her this act of kindness, hopefully we were able to reignite her spirit and remind her that there is a lot of good in the world.”

Westlake Legal Group Orchestrating-Good-2-full Wisconsin waitress gets $1,300 tip after valiant cancer fight alongside her sister Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/wisconsin fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/lifestyle/occasions/christmas fox-news/health/cancer fox-news/good-news fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/us fnc c8b17ce9-4030-59d1-bff0-1ec7b715ea05 article   Westlake Legal Group Orchestrating-Good-2-full Wisconsin waitress gets $1,300 tip after valiant cancer fight alongside her sister Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/wisconsin fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/lifestyle/occasions/christmas fox-news/health/cancer fox-news/good-news fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/us fnc c8b17ce9-4030-59d1-bff0-1ec7b715ea05 article

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Navy SEAL who survived 37 surgeries tells tale of redemption and shares how he overcame adversity

Former Navy SEAL and Army Ranger Jason Redman‘s motto is “Lead always and overcome all.” Those words became a way of life for the soldier-turned-author after he battled back from 37 surgeries and years of recovery to become one of America’s most inspirational figures.

Redman joined the Navy in 1992 and spent 11 years as an enlisted SEAL. He was commissioned in 2004 as a SEAL officer, and in 2006, he graduated from U.S. Army Ranger School before deploying to Fallujah, Iraq.

In 2007, while commanding a mission to capture a high-value Al Qaeda target, Redman and his team came under heavy machine-gun fire, severely wounding him in the left arm and face.

The Purple Heart recipient required dozens of operations and skin grafts to survive but managed to find meaning within his intense suffering. During his recovery, he placed a sign on his hospital door that read:

“Attention to all who enter here. If you are coming into this room with sorrow or to feel sorry for my wounds, go elsewhere. The wounds I received I got in a job I love, doing it for people I love, supporting the freedom of a country I deeply love. I am incredibly tough and will make a full recovery. What is full? That is the absolute utmost physically my body has the ability to recover. Then I will push that about 20 percent further through sheer mental tenacity. This room you are about to enter is a room of fun, optimism and intense rapid regrowth. If you are not prepared for that, go elsewhere.”

Westlake Legal Group Redman-story-sign-pic-1-copy Navy SEAL who survived 37 surgeries tells tale of redemption and shares how he overcame adversity Nick Givas fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/army fox news fnc/us fnc article a266cd5e-f0c8-575e-80c4-1e3cb0cfd1a7

The sign Redman posted after his surgery at the Bethesda Naval Hospital in late-September 2007. It went on to become a national statement and symbol for wounded warriors across the country. The original sign was signed by then-President George W. Bush and framed at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. (Jason Redman)

Redman recently sat down with Fox News to discuss his new book, “Overcome,” and detail how he survived his daunting ordeal.

TRUMP DECLARES NAVY WILL NOT TAKE AWAY EDDIE GALLAGHER’S SEAL TRIDENT, AS ATTORNEY BLASTS ADMIRAL

“It feels awesome. It feels like I’ve been given a second chance,” Redman told Fox News. “I [tell myself], this is what you definitely should be doing. Pay it forward, and try to motivate and inspire other people.”

Redman, 44, has lent his voice and experience to various charitable organizations geared toward helping combat veterans. He also founded a clothing line called “Wounded Wear” for soldiers who suffered amputations or facial disfigurement.

“Facial injuries are the worst because as humans, we speak to each other by looking at each other’s faces,” Redman said. “Anytime you have a facial disfigurement it causes people to do a double-take.”

“Coming back from one of my surgeries in Chicago, I had a lot of people looking at me and it frustrated me,” he continued. “So, I went home on the computer and I went to a make-your-own-T-shirt website and made a shirt with an American flag on the back, and I called it ‘Wounded Wear.’ On the front, it said, ‘Stop staring. I got shot by a machine gun. It would have killed you.’ And, that was the very first Wounded Wear shirt that we ever made.”

His organization has helped thousands of wounded warriors and raised over $3 million for veterans, but Redman said he felt it failed to treat “the mental wounds” many combat veterans have faced.

“It made me realize that we can take guys hunting, fishing, help them find a job, but if we don’t fix [the mental issues] first, none of that matters,” he said. “We’re basically slapping a Band-Aid on a sucking chest wound.”

FORGING AND RE-FORGING OF A NAVY SEAL LEADER

Westlake Legal Group Redman-Pic-3-copy Navy SEAL who survived 37 surgeries tells tale of redemption and shares how he overcame adversity Nick Givas fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/army fox news fnc/us fnc article a266cd5e-f0c8-575e-80c4-1e3cb0cfd1a7

Redman at the Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad on Sept 13, 2007 — after emergency surgery, following the firefight that almost took his life. (Jason Redman)

Redman, who’s lived in Chesapeake, Va., for almost 30 years, embraced two pillars of thought during his own recovery. The first was an acronym he called “REACT.”

“R stands for, you’ve got to recognize the reality,” he said. “When we are in a crisis or dealing with a problem, we push it off. We don’t really want to deal with it.

“E stands for evaluating your assets,” Redman continued. “If you recognize you have a problem, what are the things you can bring to bear to be able to deal with it? A is assessing possible options and outcomes. This is really critical. Once people finally understand they have a problem, we rush to get out of it and sometimes make things worse.

“C is choosing a direction and communicating it,” he said. “You’re never in a life ambush alone… The last one, T, is, you have to take action. You’ve got to execute.”

Redman’s second pillar: “The Pentagon of Peak Performance,” in which he seeks to fulfill five elements of leadership, physical, spiritual and emotional in nature.

“This was something that took years to understand,” he said. “Now having worked with thousands of wounded warriors, I saw a common thread. There were five key areas that if you’re strong in, you’re better prepared and balanced to deal with all the problems that come along.”

Step one: “physical leadership.” It involved devoting time to “fitness, nutrition and sleep,” he explained.

“Your physical health plays such a [big] part in your ability to deal with stress and deal with depression,” Redman said.

WOUNDED WARRIOR RECEIVES SPECIAL GIFT FROM FORD

Westlake Legal Group redman-pic-4-copy Navy SEAL who survived 37 surgeries tells tale of redemption and shares how he overcame adversity Nick Givas fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/army fox news fnc/us fnc article a266cd5e-f0c8-575e-80c4-1e3cb0cfd1a7

Redman speaking at a national entrepreneurship “Empire” summit hosted by the Fitness franchise Fit Body Boot Camp in San Diego this past August. (Jason Redman)

“Two is mental leadership,” he continued. “What are you doing to educate yourself and get outside your comfort zone? What are you doing to surround yourself with like-minded people? Three is emotional leadership — choosing positivity over negativity. In this day and age, social media and the media [itself], there’s a lot of negativity in the media… How much time do you allow yourself to get put into that?”

“Four is social leadership,” Redman said. “Who do you surround yourself with — and investing in the right relationships. I started cutting out negative people in my life.”

“The last one is spiritual leadership,” he added. “For me, religion plays a part in that, but if it’s not a religion, then what are you doing to get outside of yourself? We live in this world where it’s the selfie world. It’s all about ourselves. So, how do you get outside of yourself?”

The husband and father of three has begun each day by reading Bible verses before starting his exercise regiment and nutrition program. He then would dive into “mental leadership” by educating himself on important topics, reading three books at a time and trying to devote 20 minutes a day to seeking knowledge. Two of his current books: “The Case for a Creator” by Lee Strobel and “1984” by George Orwell.

The combat veteran said he’s had to sharpen his focus to deal with depression and self-doubt, but his system has better prepared him to face “the demon” within.

“Life ambushes are coming for all of us,” he said. “This thing up inside our head is the most dangerous battlefield you’ll ever be on. It’s an insidious little beast and I call that little voice inside my head ‘the demon.’ And, he’s a vicious little son of a bi—, and he will frequently tell me, ‘You’re not good enough. Who do you think you are?'”

U.S. ARMY RANGERS REENACT RISKY CLIMB TO HONHOR D-DAY HEROES

Redman said his process would take time; it’s not a silver bullet. But, people who stayed active and avoided self-medicating would have a better chance of climbing out of the pit and avoiding the ambush of negativity that ultimately could drag them down.

“Everybody in life has these hard moments, these sticking points. I call them the X,” he said. “In military jargon, it’s an ambush. You get stuck on the X. In life, we get stuck on the X. I talk about there being different levels of life ambushes. There [are] micro, mini and major life ambushes. So, micro-ambushes oftentimes are the most dangerous because they’re the ambushes of the mind, and this is where depression comes in.”

Redman added, “You got to get off that X, whatever that X is, and it was one of the things I talked to a lot of the wounded warriors about. You cannot sit there and feel sorry for yourself and ruminate and spiral down.”

The most positive part of Redman’s comeback was when he volunteered his time to veterans in need, he said. His ability to give hope to others was the driving force behind his miraculous recovery, and it has continued to fuel his actions to this day.

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“It doesn’t happen overnight,” he said. “It’s not this quick fix that we throw a switch and it just occurs. For me, when I was going through all that, I started to help other wounded warriors. That was a big thing for me. I like helping people. I like seeing people get better.”

He added, “I like trying to motivate and inspire other wounded warriors out of that hard, dark time.”

Westlake Legal Group Redman-5-copy Navy SEAL who survived 37 surgeries tells tale of redemption and shares how he overcame adversity Nick Givas fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/army fox news fnc/us fnc article a266cd5e-f0c8-575e-80c4-1e3cb0cfd1a7   Westlake Legal Group Redman-5-copy Navy SEAL who survived 37 surgeries tells tale of redemption and shares how he overcame adversity Nick Givas fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/army fox news fnc/us fnc article a266cd5e-f0c8-575e-80c4-1e3cb0cfd1a7

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Pictures: Christmas in FOX Square brings holiday cheer

Westlake Legal Group 01_IMG_5873 Pictures: Christmas in FOX Square brings holiday cheer fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us fox-news/lifestyle/occasions/christmas fox-news/good-news fox-news/food-drink/recipes/meals/holiday fox news fnc/us fnc article 31d15f7c-83e7-52bc-b1f8-f618e5b55f5a

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People stop to have their picture taken in front of the Christmas tree in FOX Square in New York City.

FOX News/Gary Hershorn

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Westlake Legal Group 01_IMG_5873 Pictures: Christmas in FOX Square brings holiday cheer fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us fox-news/lifestyle/occasions/christmas fox-news/good-news fox-news/food-drink/recipes/meals/holiday fox news fnc/us fnc article 31d15f7c-83e7-52bc-b1f8-f618e5b55f5a   Westlake Legal Group 01_IMG_5873 Pictures: Christmas in FOX Square brings holiday cheer fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us fox-news/lifestyle/occasions/christmas fox-news/good-news fox-news/food-drink/recipes/meals/holiday fox news fnc/us fnc article 31d15f7c-83e7-52bc-b1f8-f618e5b55f5a

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Walter Borneman: Battle of the Bulge — waged on victory’s doorstep — proved WWII wasn’t over yet

Westlake Legal Group BattleoftheBulge2 Walter Borneman: Battle of the Bulge -- waged on victory's doorstep -- proved WWII wasn't over yet Walter R. Borneman fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 1f81735c-a2be-5a2e-a3b7-0c400c03f317

The most perilous periods in any contest — whether in war, politics, or sport — are those moments passed in anticipation of apparent victory. The win is not yet secure, but a sense of inevitable triumph hangs in the air. One’s opponent, however, is still dangerous. The U.S. Army experienced such anticipation with deadly results 75 years ago in the forests of western Europe.

Six months after the Normandy invasion, there was much talk that World War II in Europe was all but over. “Home for Christmas” was a sentiment espoused from top leaders down to frontline troops. But as December snows fell and temperatures plummeted, American soldiers still faced the enemy. Throughout eastern Belgium, Luxembourg and northeastern France, GIs settled in for what they anticipated would be a cold but quiet Christmas.

Meanwhile, undetected and far from being destroyed, the German army had marshaled its strength for one last powerful punch.

On the morning of Dec.16, 1944, Adolf Hitler unleashed 400,000 men and over 1,400 tanks in a massive counterattack along a 65-mile front. Spearheaded by Panzer divisions with Tiger II tanks, its objective was to split Allied forces in half and capture the critical supply port of Antwerp, forcing a peace before the Allies crossed the Rhine into Germany itself.

WWII VETERAN RECOUNTS PEARL HARBOR ATTACK

From out of the wintry gloom this juggernaut crashed through forests and villages and sent American troops reeling in retreat. Allied airpower might have blunted the attack, but planes were momentarily grounded by bad weather. Pockets of resistance stiffened but some units, such as the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne, were cut off and surrounded. The only saving grace proved to be that snow-covered roads also hampered the German advance.

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In recently liberated towns, there was a sense of dread. American flags hung by locals celebrating freedom only weeks before were quickly taken down as khaki-clad troops loaded into trucks and continued their retreat westward. A war correspondent hastening to pay his hotel bill and escape one Belgium town was assured by the landlady, “That’s all right. You’ll be back in a few days and you can pay me then.” But there was no guarantee and there were tears in her eyes. She, too, had savored the anticipation of victory.

What came to be called the Battle of the Bulge was the bloodiest single battle fought by U.S. troops during World War II. Some 19,000 Americans were killed and more than 46,000 wounded.

Back home in the United States, there had been similar anticipation.

Families preparing for Christmas hoped for the imminent return of loved ones in uniform. My grandmother was one of them. Her only child, a son just turned 19, was coming home on leave after completing basic training. She fervently prayed the fighting would end before he was ordered overseas.

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But holiday newspapers around the country offered little hope of that and instead told of a growing bulge in the Allied lines. Throughout the Ardennes Forest and across hedgerows and fields, casualties mounted. Bullets, frostbite and bitter cold took their toll and many Americans were taken prisoner. The burden of the fight fell without discrimination among the relatively inexperienced as well the battle-hardened troops of the 28th Infantry Division, ironically “resting” in a supposed quiet area after months in fierce combat.

It took renewed American resolve to prevail and achieve the anticipated victory. After three German lines of attack pushed the bulge deep into American lines, they sputtered to a halt far short of Antwerp. The 2nd Armored Division stopped the Panzer spearhead at Celles and units from Gen. George Patton’s Third Army broke the siege of Bastogne on the day after Christmas. When urged to surrender by encircling German forces, the commander of the 101st Division had replied, “Nuts!” and held on.

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What came to be called the Battle of the Bulge was the bloodiest single battle fought by U.S. troops during World War II. Some 19,000 Americans were killed and more than 46,000 wounded. The war proved to be far from over that December.

The bulge in the Allied lines was eliminated by February 1945, but the war in Europe went on for another four months. There were many more casualties during campaigns to cross the Rhine into Germany as well as advances in southeastern France and northern Italy. The anticipation of victory had indeed been premature.

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Westlake Legal Group BattleoftheBulge2 Walter Borneman: Battle of the Bulge -- waged on victory's doorstep -- proved WWII wasn't over yet Walter R. Borneman fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 1f81735c-a2be-5a2e-a3b7-0c400c03f317   Westlake Legal Group BattleoftheBulge2 Walter Borneman: Battle of the Bulge -- waged on victory's doorstep -- proved WWII wasn't over yet Walter R. Borneman fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 1f81735c-a2be-5a2e-a3b7-0c400c03f317

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