Following the end of World War II, many members of the Third Reich fled Germany, and relocated to Argentina this had all been planned as it became more and more clear that the Nazi Regime would not be successful. The ultimate plan was to lay low for a while, and then form a new Third Reich, or more likely the Fourth Reich. The main figures of the Third Reich were given new identities and smuggled out as soon as they could. It is unknown just exactly how many made it out, but files discovered in Argentina reveal the names of 12,000 Nazis who lived there in the 1930s, many of whom had Swiss bank accounts.
The Jewish people were understandably furious at not only the atrocities that their people had been subjected to, but the fact that with the escape, the fact is that many of the Nazi criminals would never answer for what they did, much less be punished for those atrocities. Nevertheless, the initial intent was to seek justice.
So, on December 13, 1949, Mossad was established. It later became the Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations. While Mossad has many uses today, it was primarily designed to go out and get the war criminals who were in hiding in Argentina and other parts of South America, where there was no extradition. Mossad planned to go in without authorization, kidnap the Nazi war criminals, and take them to Israel to stand trial.
Some people may assume that Israel’s vaunted Mossad intelligence service devoted a great deal of energy to hunting for Nazis to seek revenge for the Holocaust. That was not the case. The desire to bring the murderers of Jews to justice was not deemed as important to Israel’s leaders in the early years of statehood as more pressing issues directly effecting the nation’s security. One of those issues, was preventing Nazis who went to Egypt from aiding in Nasser’s development of missile technology.
There were a few of the war criminals that the Mossad brought to Justice. One well known criminal was Adolf Eichmann, the man who engineered the Final Solution. His “contribution” to the atrocity that was the Holocaust was one of the most heinous. In 1960, Mossad tracked Eighmann to his home in Argentina, kidnapped him, and brought him to trial in Israel. He was convicted of war crimes and was actually the only person ever sentenced to death in Israel. The Argentinian government was furious because their no extradition policy was violated by Mossad. The immediately demanded that Israel return Eichmann, and then asked for reparations for Eichmann’s seizure by Mossad agents in Buenos Aires. Nevertheless, on August 2, 1969 the dispute was resolved by Israel keeping Eichmann, but acknowledging that Argentina’s fundamental rights had been infringed upon. No further repercussions were given.
They say that everyone remembers that moment when they are told that they have Cancer, and I’m sure that is true. For my sister, Alena Stevens, it all started in November of 2022. She had gone in for her annual screening and pap smear. Normally, the Gynecologist gave her the paperwork to go and set up her mammogram, which she had always filed in file 13. She hadn’t gone in for years, but by Divine Intervention, the doctor took it out of her hands and had Casper Imaging call her to get an appointment. So, reluctantly, she went in and had a mammogram. She was texted about two weeks later and told that she needed to come in for more images. Her first thought was, “Ok, no big deal.” She went in for the pictures, and they did several of them. They also wanted ultrasound pictures for a better look at four areas. Finally, they narrowed it down to one area in one breast and sent it to Dr Smothers, a surgeon.
The doctor was very upbeat and said it was no big deal because it was super small. He put Alena at ease immediately. He sent her back to Casper Medical Imaging for a biopsy. The initial determination was that the lump was not cancerous, but they had also sent it to Utah for a second opinion. It was determined to be cancer, but a very non-aggressive type. Again, Dr Smothers was very upbeat. He went in on January 23, 2023, and took it out. At that time, he did find a very small mass in one lymph node. That mass was the size of a grain of sugar, and he took it out too. The original lump in Alena’s breast was the size of a pepper corn or smaller. Alena was given 33 radiation treatments, done every day, five days a week for six weeks. The treatments were very successful, and Alena is now cancer free.
While Alena’s discovery and treatment story is amazing, it must be said that her support group was phenomenal. Her husband, Mike and kids, Michelle (Matt) Miller, Garrett (Kayla) Stevens, and Lacey Stevens (Chris Killinger) were all amazing!! Alena says, “Mike was a rock, as were the kids. I am so thankful for the support of my sisters, Cheryl Masterson, Caryn (Bob) Schulenberg, Caryl (Mike) Reed, and Allyn (Chris) Hadlock and their families; as well as Mike’s family, Scott (Barb) Stevens, Pat (Susie) Stevens, Annette (Hermis) Decoteau, Carrie (Mike) VonSenden, and Kathy (Mike) Huval and their families. Everyone was so great and checked with me often. But, above all, I give God the glory. We took communion every day and stood on the Word!”
Alena’s daughter, Michelle says, “Mom was a perfect example of faith, grace, and strength throughout this whole process. Obviously, we were very upset to hear about her diagnosis, but from the start she was positive and very strong about all of it. She led the way in moving through this process and she was a warrior. It was so touching to see how much it effected my dad, who is usually very stoic, as well. He was by her side and very supportive. And once she finished treatment, seeing how happy and proud of her, he was absolutely amazing. God is so good and the older we get, it’s amazing to see how much of an example our parents can still be to us. Also, the older we get the more thankful we are for our parents, so this process just made me even more thankful to have her. She is amazing and I feel like she is living her best life these days.”
Alena’s son Garrett says, “The only thing I have to add is that she wanted absolutely zero negativity from the beginning. She told everyone that this was already taken care of on the cross and that she didn’t want any negative thoughts about it. It was positive thoughts and planning only. I think she went through it all without any real fear and full of faith!!”
Lacey told me just how proud she was of her dad, who was so supportive. She was proud to watch how positive her parents were. Their positive attitudes allowed their kids to stay positive about everything, and free from fear!! They just knew she would be ok, and they never worried about that. They all stood strong in faith, because of the leading of their parents.
Alena’s family all saw the same thing in her…a strong faith in God for her complete healing. And now, we are all rejoicing in her great victory. Above all else…to God be the glory!!
My younger daughter was born and raised in Casper, Wyoming, but these days she calls Ferndale, Washington home. Amy always hated the cold Wyoming winters, and while it does get somewhat cold in northern western Washington state, it’s nothing like the cold of Wyoming. Plus, my Wyoming born and raised, beach girl couldn’t resist the fact that she could be just eight miles from Birch Bay, and the beautiful beach there. The beach is definitely Amy’s happy place, and she loves Birch Bay.
In addition to her love of the beach, Amy is a garden girl, with a green thumb that shocks her brown thumbed mom. I think she must have gotten it from grandparents, because they were all blessed with a green thumb and beautiful gardens. Amy’s favorite flower is the Calla Lily, but it is followed closely be a number of other flowers, like orchids, bleeding hearts, roses, and any new species that catches her eye. Amy and her husband, Travis have turned their back yard into an oasis, and they love spending time out there. The put in a couple of ponds, and now they have little frogs that have moved it, plus, they have snails, of course. The snails have lived around there forever, so they are nothing new…except to me.
Amy is an insurance agent with Rice Insurance and has one of their biggest books of business. Since Covid, most of their agents began working from home, and Amy loves that. She loves her house so much, and now she gets to be there all the time. They even put a computer connection extension outside on their patio, so on nice days, she can actually take her computer outside, ads still get her work done. One of the nice things about the Ferndale area is that they don’t have a mosquito problem, so sitting outside for hours is not a problem. Working from home, keeps her at the house, and that doesn’t often allow for lunch out, but once in a will, she is able to take a long enough lunch to go out to eat. Then, she and Travis might drive that eight miles to have lunch at one of the restaurants at Birch Bay. That satisfies her beach girl sand and water needs quite nicely.
Amy and Travis love to entertain too, so their beautiful back yard is the perfect place. Recently, they had friends over for a Corn Hole tournament. I figured that since Amy and Travis were running the tournament, that they would win, but their friends must be really good at it too, because Amy and Travis were the first ones out. In the end, their son, Caalab and friend, Sam won it. Oh well, you can’t win them all, and I know Caalab is good. I’ve played against him, and well, I didn’t fare well either. Anyone who is blessed to be invited to the Royce T&Avern (as they call their rec room), always has a great time. Today is Amy’s birthday. Happy birthday Amy!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
In December of 2006, some 10,000 US researchers signed a statement protesting about political interference in the scientific process. In other words, the politicians were manipulating the scientific outcomes of research in order to sell their own agenda to the people. The statement, which included the backing of 52 Nobel Laureates, demanded a restoration of scientific integrity in government policy. These scientists were tired of being forced to have their research line up with the outcome that the government wanted. According to the American Union of Concerned Scientists, their research data is being misrepresented for political reasons. The statement claims that scientists working for federal agencies have been asked to change data to fit policy initiatives. Basically, these scientists are whistle blowers, who stand to lose their funding because they won’t play ball anymore, but science whose outcome is manipulated by politics isn’t science anymore anyway, is it.
In the statement the Union released, it included an “A to Z” guide that it says documents dozens of recent allegations involving censorship and political interference in federal science, covering issues ranging from global warming to sex education. When Congress won’t stand up for scientific integrity, it left the door open for the White House to censor the work of agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration. Dr Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security said, “It’s very difficult to make good public policy without good science, and it’s even harder to make good public policy with bad science. In the last several years, we’ve seen an increase in both the misuse of science, and I would say an increase of bad science in a number of very important issues; for example, in global climate change, international peace and security, and water resources.”
The statement released at the American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting…the annual gathering of Earth scientists, triggered a major row when a discussion resulted in the renowned US space agency climate scientist Dr James Hansen claimed that he had come under pressure not to talk to the media on global warming issues. Michael Halpern from the UCS said the statement of objection to political interference had been supported by researchers regardless of their political views. Halpern said, “This science statement that has now been signed by the 10,000 scientists is signed by science advisers to both Republican and Democratic administrations dating back to President Eisenhower, stating that this is not business as usual and calling for this practice to stop.” With the statement of objection, the Union expressed a hopefulness that the new Congress taking office that January would show a greater commitment to protecting the integrity of the scientific process. Unfortunately, I don’t think that has been the case with that Congress, nor with any others. Manipulating science to control the population seems to be the political way of doing things.
My great grandnephew, Jaxx Harman is such a wonderful young man. He makes it his mission to exhort other people. His mom, Melanie Harman tells me that he is the biggest sweetheart ever. Whenever he talks to his family, he always calls his mom and his sister, Izabella (Belle), beautiful and his daddy, Jake Harman, handsome. Jaxx really comes by this happy trait naturally, because he acts exactly like his daddy does. Jake has made it his mission to make everyone feel loved and appreciated, and now he is teaching this very important habit to his son. Many people don’t really know how to make a woman feel appreciated, because they don’t see that at home. I’m not saying that Jake is the only man who treats people, and especially women, well, but many men, while they appreciate their wife or daughters, don’t exhort them…don’t make them feel beautiful. Jake does, and now he is teaching that to his son. He is very loving, always saying, “I love you and you are my best friend” to his mom and dad, every chance he gets.
Jaxx has a great personality!! He loves to be silly…loves funny jokes!! For Jaxx, it’s really all about making people laugh. He doesn’t care if he has to look silly to do so either. Jaxx does some weird dance moves all the time…just to see who will laugh. Then, he will sing a version of “Broken Heart” by Axel Rudi Pell…with a minor alteration…Jaxx sings, “Don’t leave me alone with my broken hotdog!!” Jaxx also loves to randomly say “I am not a pickle, sir!!” or “Spider man, spider man, hit you in the face with a pickle man!!” Hahahahahaha!! You just can’t help but laugh at the funny things he says. He one time took a bite out of his hotdog and said, “Mom, Mom it looks like a screaming hotdog!”
Like most kids, Jaxx loves to play games. He likes to play games with his pops, but also plays with his grandpa, Dave Balcerzak or Uncle Chris Kirk. His family loves to hike, so Jaxx gets to get his fill of climbing on rocks…like all little boys like to. There really isn’t anything in life that doesn’t excite Jaxx. He is a little boy who is full of life, love, and joy. Is there a better combination? I don’t think so. Today is Jaxx’s 6th birthday. Happy birthday Jaxx!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My niece Kellie Hadlock’s boyfriend, Tim Thompson is having a great summer, and it’s just getting started. Now that school is out, Tim gets to have his daughter, Jolene Thompson for the whole summer. Tim and Kellie have so many plans for the summer. For starters, they went camping in the Green Mountains over the Memorial Day weekend. Then, they celebrated his birthday last night, because Tim and Jolene have to head back to Gillette in the morning. Tim is so excited about have his daughter for the summer. It’s been really hard being so far away from her. Tim and Kellie have already been fishing a ton and Tim is super excited that the camper is up and running! Tim is an outdoor fanatic. He loves hunting, fishing, camping, and hiking; and so, they have many plans for the camper and camping this summer!! They are always out doing fun things and being active and, the girls love that!!
Kellie tells me that Tim is such an amazing person!! He is so selfless and is always wanting to take care of his daughter, Jolene and Kellie, and their dogs too, of course!! And speaking of dogs, Kellie’s neighbor is not able to get around easily, and when we had the three feet of snow this winter, she was worried about letting her little dog outside to potty, because if the dog got stuck, it might not be able to get free and she wouldn’t have been able to get it. She asked Tim, if he would mind watching to make sure the dog got back in, and Tim did one better. He went out and shoveled her walks so that not only could the dog get in and out safely but so could the neighbor. That kindness will never be forgotten. It’s a hard thing to be unable to take you pet outside, because you are afraid for the pet and for yourself. Tim saw that and made sure he gave both of them a safe passage.
Tim is such an amazing blessing to anyone he comes in contact with, but especially for his girls, Kellie and Jolene and their dogs, and Kellie tells me that she is “so thankful that God gave me him!!” Tim has brought Kellie out of her comfort zone on a few things, such as the outdoor things. She wasn’t really an outdoorsy girl, and now she is. She has even gone ice fishing and enjoyed it!! Life is always better when your partner is a gift from God!! Today is Tim’s birthday. Happy birthday Tim!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Today is a very important day. It is not about having a three-day weekend, a barbecue, picnic, or even a holiday camping trip. It’s not that these things are bad, or even wrong. It’s really just a matter of remembering and showing respect for those men and women who went to war and didn’t come home alive. Those men and women gave their all, their very lives to keep us and so many others around the world safe. They could have stayed home. There isn’t a draft anymore, although many were drafted, because in a war the likes of the world wars, and others, the men and women were dying so fast that the volunteers couldn’t keep up. So, they held a draft, and those men, because at that time women weren’t drafted, did their duty, and went to fight the war, many losing their lives in the process.
I happened to watch a movie the other night, called “The Lost Battalion.” It was a true event from World War I. It was called “The Lost Battalion” because of the heavy losses incurred by the nine companies of the US 77th Division of roughly 554 men, who were isolated by German forces during World War I after an American attack in the Argonne Forest in October 1918. Of the 554 men, roughly 197 were killed in action and approximately 150 missing or taken prisoner before the 194 remaining men were rescued. These men were not lost. The US Army knew where they were…pretty much, but they were lost, because it was expected that all would be lost, and that was almost the case. During the battle, the men had to leave the trenches and run, almost completely unprotected at the Germans entrenched on the other side of the hill. The battle was gruesome, and the movie was quite graphic. I’m sure many people would say that they shouldn’t have shown so much blood and mutilation, but if they “sugar coat” it, do we really understand how horrible war is?
The battalion was led by Major Charles W Whittlesey who survived the attack, but refused to be transported out ahead of his men, choosing instead to walk out with them. When the attack began in the Argonne, the 77th Division was under the belief that French forces were supporting their left flank and two American units including the 92nd Infantry Division were supporting their right. Within the 77th sector, some units, including Whittlesey’s 308th Infantry, were making significant headway, but unbeknownst to Whittlesey’s unit, the units to their left and right had been stalled, and actually retreated. Without this knowledge, the 77th Battalion moved beyond the rest of the Allied line and found themselves surrounded by German forces. As I watched the movie, my first thought was, why don’t they stay and fight from the trenches? Of course, I quickly realized that you can’t take the hill from the trench. These men had to dig deep within themselves, and leave the safety of the trench, knowing that they would most likely die right there, if the Allies were to have the victory. That is giving your all!! That is what Memorial Day is really all about…the men and women who charged the enemy, accepting their fate of almost certain death, to win the war and protect our freedoms. These men and so many like them are the heroes of this day…a fact that we must never forget. I thank every fallen soldier this day, because you gave your all…selflessly and willingly, and you will never be forgotten!!
As each birthday comes and goes, I am amazed that our grandpa, Walt Hein could have been in Heaven as long as he has. Grandpa was born on May 29, 1906, which means that this is the 117th anniversary of his birth. I so enjoyed spending time with this man on our many trips to Forsyth, Montana over the years. He was so funny and was a ruthless card player. He wasn’t mean…just determined to win. That was similar to my own card playing style, so we invariably played as partners. That left the other two players, one of whom was my husband, Bob and the other who was most often grandma, Vina Hein, to play as partners, and most often lose. Grandma and Bob didn’t really care. They knew that for Grandpa, the win was a big deal, and for them, since it didn’t really matter so much, they decided that it was all in fun anyway.
Our trips weren’t just about cards, however. There were many things to do on the ranch, and sometimes the men would go out and take care of the animals, or sometimes, Grandpa would bring our girls out to the corral and lead them around of one of the horses. They had a blast riding the horses. We lived in the country, but in a much more urban kind of country area…or at least because it was subdivided, the places were smaller, and we didn’t think that our five acres could handle horses and the two cows that we raised. We felt like the beef was more important than riding horses. We also didn’t have chickens, so being around Grandma and Grandpa’s chickens was a fun experience for the. I’m not sure what the chickens thought about it, when my girls began chasing them the first time, but I know they didn’t hate that, because they would often stop and look back to see if the girls were still coming, and when they saw that they were, the chickens were off again. I think they got a kick out of it. Grandpa also had a bathtub in the yard…long before that was a thing. When the summer days got hot, Grandpa would fill that tub with water, and the girls got to go “swimming” in that tub. They had a great time, and all of these things really endeared Grandpa to them. It was that Grandpa’s heart. They were always ready to go to Forsyth to visit the family.
When I think about the fact that, if he were still alive, Grandpa would have been 117 years old, I am rather stunned. It’s so strange to think that I could have known someone who is now 117 years old. I shouldn’t be surprised, because that statement applies to all of my grandparents, and one would have been even older…one 144 years old. I suppose that as we grow older, having known people from our childhood, it will become more common to know people who are almost 200 years old. Nevertheless, it will probably never cease to amaze me. Today is the 117th anniversary of Grandpa Walt Hein’s birth. Happy birthday in Heaven, Grandpa. We love and miss you very much.
My grandniece, Brooklyn Killinger is such a sweet little girl, and she is growing up so fast. Today, she officially hit the double digits in age, reaching the age of 10 years. While she is growing up, she is still a little girl, and as such, she loves her dolls. In reality, the dolls are probably an interim replacement for the real thing. Brooklyn loves babies, and while she plays with her dolls, she would much rather have the “real” thing when it comes to babies. It helps that she has a baby cousin…Maya Stevens, because while Maya lives in Sheridan and Brooklyn lives in Casper, she gets to see her quite a bit, and when she does, everyone else might just as well understand that Brooklyn will be holding Maya as much as is humanly possible. In fact, I’m told by her bonus mom, Lacey Stevens, that Brooklyn is “still obsessed with Maya.” She will let her little brother, Jaxon Killinger hold Maya, but he must understand that she will be supervising this process and giving him pointers on how to properly hold a baby. So, Jax has to get used to hearing things like, “make sure you hold her like this” or “you’re not doing it right.” She’s very motherly, and Jax is a pretty good sport about it…understanding that being motherly is her thing. It’s super cute, and it helps that Maya seems to be obsessed with her too. Maya doesn’t let a lot of people hold her, but Brooklyn is always allowed to hold her, and that is totally ok with both of the girls.
Brooklyn really does love babies, and since she can’t always be with Maya, she chooses to improvise, by giving her dolls the very best of care. Brooklyn has two baby dolls that she treats like real babies. The dolls are named Navy and Seth. Brooklyn has car seats, highchairs, and strollers for them. She gets up to get ready for school, but she needs to be up in time to allow for feeding them before she leaves and making sure they are set for their day before she leaves. She is just a loving and motherly toward her little brother, Jaxon. Like all siblings, she sometimes gets annoyed with him, but she does not get overly angry or speak harshly to him. That is just not in her nature. She is a sweetheart who is so kind and gentle.
For the Memorial Day weekend, Brooklyn’s dad, Chris Killinger, took the family to Denver. They are having a wonderful time. It is the very first visit to Denver for Brooklyn and Jaxon, and as a very cool sidenote, her first visit included her birthday. Chris and Lacey took the kids to the Denver Zoo, and they had a great time seeing all of the animals. Brooklyn liked the elephants, but she was a little bit scared of them too. They are, after all huge!! Thankfully, there was a safety divider between the elephants and the people. I’m sure that…and the ice cream…eased Brooklyn’s jitters a little bit. Nevertheless, she was pretty wide eyed while they were watching the elephants. They are having lots of fun, and I’m sure she will have lots to tell everyone about all the animals they saw, and I’m sure Chris and Lacey have lots more super fun plans for the weekend. Today is Brooklyn’s 10th birthday. Happy birthday Brooklyn!! Have a great day!! We love you!!