Written by: J.P.G.

{"The Shadow of My Father" is pure fiction. As I am writing this story, I am above the age of 21. If you want a story with lots of sex, look elsewhere. This is a love story. Seeing as it is a love story, sex is in there, but it's in realistic balance in the characters' lives.

Any similarity to any real events, names, or life events is purely accidental. If you're underage, (according to your state laws, a minor), if this literature is offensive to you or to anyone around your viewing area, or it is illegal for you to view such content where you're reading it, stop reading the story.

This story can't be distributed in anyway, shape or form without author's express written consent.}

Special Disclaimer and Credit: The actual composer, producer and singer of the song that I used at the end of this chapter was Tim McGraw along with Brad Warren and Brett Warren. The actual performer of the song is the great Tim McGraw. Please see further notes in the Author's Corner at the end of the Chapter.

Story Written by: J.P.G.

Love Scenes Written By: Daddy Rick

Edited By: Daddy Rick

Chapter 57

Chris opened his mouth letting Rusty's tongue in. He has not allowed anyone to kiss him this passionately since the last kiss he had with Josh. But for the first time since then he feels free and ready to move on. Hopefully he can move on with Rusty if he will take him back after what happened the last time they dated.

They sat there holding the kiss for almost two minutes before Rusty broke it. He moved his face a couple inches away from Chris' and they just sat there in silence looking at each other. Both of them feeling the same things, but were unable to put it into words. So they just sat there communicating through their facial expressions.

The Coach's wife voice came echoing through the door, bringing them back to reality. Chris got up from the bed and brushed himself off as if he had dust on his pants. Rusty got up and did the same thing before the boys headed out. Just as they walked out of the house, the Coach started to car.

The car ride all the way to the church was quiet. Halfway to the church, Rusty reached over and took a hold of Chris' hand, putting a smile on his face. Through the rear view mirror, the Coach saw Chris smiling for the first time in months, which was contagious. It put a smile on his face and that resulted in a smile on his wife's face.

When they pulled up to the church, Bernice, Eric and Immanuel were standing there in their Sunday best. Chris didn't recognize the new guy, but when he approached Bernice she introduced him as Patrick's boyfriend. The introduction not only surprised Chris, but it surprised Immanuel as well.

Out of respect to Chris, not his father, the Coach and his wife stayed in the car while the service was going on. They felt that it was not right for them to attend a service because of what happened. Mr. Jimenez life was taken by the Coach and he didn't want to show disrespect by attending his funeral.

Before heading in, everyone that showed up stayed outside of the church talking for a few minutes. As they were talking, Chris wasn't surprised that no one showed up. Chris hesitantly let his friends into the church to get the service over with so they could go home and get on with their lives.

The priest was not willing to give up as easily on people to arrive to pay their last respects to Mr. Jimenez, as Chris did. He delayed the service for another fifteen minutes, but finally gave up. It was a very short service since the priest didn't know much about Chris' father and no one went up and gave testimony.

The simple casket with Chris' dad's remains was carried to a plot and once again the priest tried to get someone to say a few words, but no one did. So he had the casket lowered into the ground as he said a final prayer.

Once the priest was done, he headed back to the church followed by everyone except Chris. When Bernice noticed that Chris wasn't at her side, she turned around and started walking back to him, but stopped in her tracks when she was about five feet away. She heard Chris talking to his father and she didn't want to interrupt.

"I don't know why I am feeling sorrow for you, because you don't deserve it. You were a hateful man and very vindictive. You blamed everybody for everything that was going wrong in your life and never looked at yourself. Everything that went wrong in your life is because of the decisions you made.

I hate you dad and there isn'thing anyone can say to ever change my mind or my heart. I hope you're in hell where you belong and the devil is torturing you the way you tortured me every day of my life. That way you can finally see that you made every day of my life a living hell." Chris wiped away the tears rolling down his cheeks.

"I am going to forgive you for everything you did to me, but it's not for you, but for me. That is the only way I'm going to put you behind me and move on with my life. I forgive you dad! I hope your afterlife is as miserable as the life you've had here on earth in the life you gave me."

Chris knelt down and instead of throwing dirt on his father's casket, he spit on it. After gathering himself, he got up and rejoined his friends. Bernice had returned to the others as soon as she realized what Chris was doing. So Chris had no idea that any of his friends heard what he was saying to his father.

Immediately Daniel senior was greeted by the senior officers of the base when he arrived. They gave him a tour before showing him to his room. After washing up, Daniel made his way to the mess hall. When he walked in, every soldier that was in line and sitting down eating stood up at attention. They waited for the four-star General to give them permission to continue as they were which Daniel did.

He grabbed his meal and made his way to a table of lower ranking NCOs and privates. Once again they stood up as Daniel approach them. Daniel had them take their seat and asked permission to join them. Not only did they give him permission, they were excited that a famous four-star General wants to break bread with them.

It only took a couple minutes for the soldiers to relax, but once they did they got to know their four-star General. He wasn't what they expected or were told by their higher ranking officers. He was totally the opposite of what they heard. He was easy-going and an officer that can be talked to without fear of repercussions.

Daniel like talking to a lower ranking NCOs and privates because he gets the truth from them, even though he might not like the truth he hears at times. All too often officers like to cover their own butts and say what they think he wants to hear.

By the time they finished eating; every soldier in the dining hall had pulled up a chair and joined into the conversation. The Governor found out how the soldiers were being treated and what they needed to do their job. Before leaving them he promised them that he would do what he can to get them the material they need to get the job done. The soldiers broke into cheers as Daniel left the dining hall.

He made his way to the base commander's office. When he walked into the office, the base commander's secretary let him walk straight through. As he entered into the inner office, the one star General stood up immediately at attention. "As you were..." Daniel started waving his hands down indicating to the base commander take his seat.

"The reason I came in here is to ask you if it's possible that for you can line me up a plane to Kuwait. I want to visit the soldiers that are putting their lives on the line for our freedoms over there. They are doing so much and I would like to check in and make sure they have everything they need to get the job done."

The base commander pulled down a binder from a shelf and started going through it. After looking it over, he closed it and walked up to Daniel. "General, I have a cargo plane going out in a couple of hours. If you don't mind riding along with supplies, you can hitch a ride on that plane."

"I don't mind riding with supplies at all General. If the plane is going to leave in a couple hours I better get back to my room and pack the few things I'm going to need for the trip. Thank you for let me tag along with a cargo plane. I know it isn't procedure and you're bending some rules to get me over there."

"To tell you the truth I am not bending any rules as far as getting you to Kuwait." The base commander got up from his desk and walked around to talk with Daniel as he walked out of the office. "You're a five-star General heading into a war zone. We can't fly you in there in a regular plane that will give the enemy the chance to shoot you down. Your safety is our number one priority whenever it comes to getting you in and out of war zones.

With that said, you will need to return on the cargo plane tomorrow. That gives you less than one day to be with the soldiers and get whatever you need from them. So if I was you I would use the time you have down there wisely."

"I understand and again I thank you. I will be on that cargo plane leaving Kuwait tomorrow." Daniel shook the hand of the base commander as he walked out of his office. He headed straight to his room and packed a small bag of items before changing into his desert uniform. Once he was ready to go he headed over to the hangar where the cargo plane was being loaded.

The colonel and his cocaptain walked up to Daniel immediately when they saw him walking into the hangar. Snapping to attention and raising their hands to salute the General, the General returned the salute. "We are going to be the ones flying cargo plane to Kuwait, Sir. For your safety there are a couple things we would like to go over before we take off."

The colonel explained to Daniel that he wishes he could have him fly up front with him and his cocaptain, but there was just no room. Daniel had no problem finding them back and he told them just that. They walked into the plane and they showed him where he will be sitting, how the buckle up and went through all the rules.

Shortly after they finished talking Daniel through everything, they went to their own checklist before taking off. As soon as Daniel was able to take off the seatbelt, he did and started walking around the back of the plane. Several of his security detail were granted permission to go as long as they integrated military personnel into the protection detail. They were also wearing Army BDU'S. Now of course the security detail's uniform didn't have rank on it because they weren't in the military, which was fine by them.

As the Governor was heading to Kuwait, back in Austin the Republican run state house and senate called an emergency session. With the Governor gone the leadership figured this was going to be the only chance to get their legislation passed and signed into law since the Lieutenant Governor is acting Governor.

The Democrats were pulled kicking and screaming into the emergency session. They didn't agree with the tactics the Republican Party is using to ram through legislation they know would be vetoed by the Governor. They made that very clear the moment they walked into the chambers, but the Republican Party leaders don't care because they were the controlling party.

While all this was going on in the Capitol building, back at the Governor's offices the Lieutenant Governor was making himself at home. He and his staff moved into the Governor's office the minute the Governor reported in for duty. They moved everything around as if they were in power.

The Lieutenant Governor's secretary took over the desk of the Governor's secretary and stuffed all of her stuff in the bottom drawer before putting her stuff on the desk. The Lieutenant Governor did the same thing in the Governor's office. He took down everything that was personal to the Governor and replaced it with his own personal pictures and items like that.

Within an hour the Governor's office was completely transformed into the Lieutenant Governor's office. Neither Rich nor any of the Governor's immediate staff knew what was going on because they were busy with the work that the Governor left them. They were all on the other side of the building locked in a conference room banging out final details of several of the Governor's pieces of legislation.

So the Lieutenant Governor didn't have anyone there to stop him from hijacking Governor Lopez's term. As soon as he settled into the Governor seat, he was on the phone with the Republican leadership of the State Congress. They all understood they had a short window of time to get the legislation through. They weren't willing to compromise to get some Democrats on board. As far as they care they can all vote against the bill because it will still pass since they have the majority.

As soon as the phone call ended, the houses were called into session and the debate on the bills got started. Using several rules that were at their disposal, the Republican Party limited debate time on each bill. This further angered the members of the Democratic Party to the point they threatened to walk out.

What the Democratic Party didn't know was, behind the scenes many of the Republican members don't like what was going on either. Their leadership did a lot of arm twisting and threats to get them on their side. The main threat was that they don't want to make an enemy out of their fellow legislators, which every politician knows they need their party members support in order to survive.

The threats the Democratic Party members were throwing out there didn't change the speed or the attitude of how the Republican Party was going about passing their bills. So they either had the choice to follow up on the threats, or stay their and get their negative votes on the record. They all decided it was best to stay there and try to chip away enough Republicans to their side to defeat the bills that are on the floor right now.

Four hours into the debates, the first two bills got passed straight down party lines. The Democrats were only successful in getting two Republicans to change their mind, which was not enough to defeat the bills. Two hours later, the other two bills were passed and once again the Democrats were only able to get an additional two more Republicans to vote against the bills. When the night was over, the Republicans got the bills they wanted passed through both houses.

As the last bill was being voted on, the minority leader of the Democratic Party left the Senate floor looking for the Governor's staff. He found it weird that not one of them had shown up to stop this catastrophe. He knows that the Governor is doing his time in the reserves, but his staff is still here and should know what was going on.

When he didn't find the Chief of Staff in his office, he asked Rich's secretary where her boss was. At first she refused to give up his location, but the minority leader kept asking. Finally she gave up and told him that he was in a locked session with the rest of staff. Still not satisfied with the answer, he demanded for her to tell him where this locked session was being held.

Seeing that the minority leader was not going to leave without getting what he wanted, the secretary told him which conference room they were in. As he walked out she yelled at him that he was not going to get in there. When he heard that, he couldn't help but think to himself nothing is going to keep him from getting to the Chief of Staff.

It didn't take long for the minority leader to get from the Chief of Staff's office to the conference room where the Governor's staff was at. The guards at the door tried to stop the minority leader from going in, but were unsuccessful. As he busted in, Rich and several other members of the Governor's staff stood up.

"Who in the hell do you think you're?" Rich looked angrily at the minority leader. "We are in a private meeting. So if you don't mind you go right back out that door." Not giving the minority leader a chance to say a word, Rich flagged over the guards.

"Before you have me removed let me tell you that whatever you guys are working on here is going to be worthless because of what's going on in the Capitol building." That grabbed Rich's attention. He asked the guards to step back and let the minority leader say what he came there to say.

"The Republican Party called an emergency session and pushed through four pieces of legislation. Legislation they know if they would've tried to pass with the Governor here that would be vetoed. That means the Lieutenant Governor is behind this because there is no other way they would've pulled this stunt."

Rich and other members of the administration asked what was passed, and when they found out, they lost their cool. Picking up the phone, Rich called the switchboard for them to call in the Attorney General. He wanted to find out if the Lieutenant Governor has the power to sign the bills that were just passed. If he does have that power he needs to know where his boss stands to get the bills overturned.

Eight hours after the Governor took off, the cargo plane landed at a military base in France. In order to keep the General safe, Daniel had to stay on the plane. No one wanted the word to get out that not only a high ranking officer was on the plane, and the Governor of Texas to boot. They know that if he gets out, the chances of this trip being safe will go up in flames.

Luckily for Daniel, the stay in France wasn't long. The plane stayed on the ground as long as it took to fuel it up and to load medical supplies. Once both of those things were done, they were back in the air and five hours later landing in Kuwait.

No one, including the commanding General's, knew that a four-star General was coming in on a cargo plane. It was no surprise to Daniel that there was no one there to meet him as far as higher ranking officer, which he didn't mind. He didn't take the trip to get hot air blown up his butt. He was there to meet and talk to as many soldiers as he could.

Before going anywhere, Daniel quickly did his math. The sun still hasn't come up yet, which means he can find a lot of the soldiers sitting down at this moment eating breakfast. He turned to his security detail and told them where they are going and started walking off to the mess hall, which was a tent.

As soon as the first person that noticed the rank on Daniel's shoulder, the soldier yelled out for everyone to come up to attention. At first no one had any idea what was going on, but did as they were told, including the ranking officers. When the high-ranking officers saw that it was Gen. Lopez, they immediately walked over to him and greeted him.

"We had no idea Sir that you were coming in this morning." The highest ranking officer spoke as he and the other officers stood there at attention saluting Daniel.

"That is how I planned it and wanted it." Daniel saluted the officers or they could bring down their salute. He turned and saluted the soldiers and asked them to take their seats. "I came in to speak with the soldiers, not to be briefed on what is going on here. That isn't my position anymore. So if I may, I would like to speak with the soldiers here."

"The soldiers and the officers would be honored if you would say a few words. You're a legend here for all of us. So please give me a few moments and I will get a microphone hooked up and get you introduced to the soldiers."

"There's no need for microphone and there's no need for you to introduce me. I know this is going to be hard for you guys to do, but treat me like any other soldier that is coming in for a visit. The more attention you give me, the more chances that I put this base and the soldiers in harm's way."

The captain understood and did as he was asked. He walked with the General to the front and yelled out to the soldiers for their attention. Immediately the room went quiet and every soldier looked at Daniel. They wanted to hear from the former army commander of the ground troops.

"Good morning..." All at once every soldier yelled back good morning. "I am honored to be here with the greatest military on the face of this earth!" The soldiers yelled out in agreement. "As many of you know I had the honor to command the ground troops when this war first started. And let me tell you I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for the great men and women I had the honor to serve with.

We have the largest volunteer military in the world. Every one of you here today signed up and wants to serve our nation. Putting your lives on the line every single minute of every single day so where every American back home could enjoy the freedoms that every generation before them have had.

The reason that every generation can enjoy the freedoms that our Constitution gives them is because of men and women like you. Men and women like you that are willing to sacrifice their lives in faraway countries, so the evilness of this world never touches our shorelines.

Other citizens from other countries die in the hundreds and in the thousands every year trying to get to our country, the country where hopes and dreams come true. Those hopes and dreams are made available because the men and women of this military." The soldiers broke out in cheers that echoed throughout the adjoining tents and buildings.

"I am proud to be part of such a great group of soldiers. When it came time for me to do my time in the reserves, many told me that I could defer it. You know what I told them." The soldiers yelled out "HELL NO"! "That's right! I will never defer doing my duty as a soldier in this army. Just like you I signed on the dotted line promising Uncle Sam a certain amount of years. That hasn't changed even though I got elected into political office." All the other officers, including the base commander walked in.

"Let me stop there before I go any further because I didn't come down here as a politician, I came down here as a soldier." The soldiers stood up in a roar yelling and applauding giving Daniel a chance to catch his breath and drink some water. As soon as the soldiers settled down, Daniel picked right up where he left off.

"I will not ever use my position in the military to gain political points. The reason I came here was to talk with the men and women that are putting their lives on the line to give me the opportunity to be a Governor. I am also here to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the service you're giving your country. There is no doubt in my mind that every American feels the same way I feel and would like me to thank you from the bottom of their hearts. They would do it in person if they could.

So let me let you guys get back to your breakfast and I would be honored if you'd let me join you." The soldiers yelled out "HELL YEAH!" over and over again. "Also, I am hoping that some of you will sit down with me and give me some your time while I am here. I am hoping when I leave here that I leave with a list of things that I can do to pay you guys back for the hard work you're doing here. Thank you again for everything!"

The soldiers stood up applauding. Slowly a chant from the back of the tent got louder and louder. At first Daniel couldn't make out what they were saying, but as it got louder, he was able to. They were chanting "PRES-I-DENT, PRES-I-DENT, PRES-I-DENT". He loved that they wanted him to be their President, but he was happy being the Governor of the state of Texas.

Back home in Austin, Rich and the rest of the Governor's staff pulled an all nighter. That's something that Rich hasn't done since the election, but he wanted to get all his ducks in a row before talking to his boss or the Lieutenant Governor.

Having no other choice they had put aside the bills are working on and start talking about what just happened over at the Capitol building. A little over an hour after calling in the Attorney General, he walked in. He made it very clear that he wasn't happy being called in, but after hearing why he was called in, he changed his tune.

"The law is very gray in this area and gentlemen, we are in uncharted waters because no other Governor has stepped away from his office for a few days to serve in the military. With that said, Governor Lopez isn't incapacitated or out of reach. That means he still is in power as the Governor."

"Mister Attorney General, please forgive me, but I am a little confused here. The little bit that I know about the law, the Governor had to hand over his office to the Lieutenant Governor since he is holding another position. By him doing so, doesn't that mean that the Lieutenant Governor can sign anything into law that is passed?"

"You're right, you're little confused about the law, but that's okay. That is why you're sitting where you're sitting at and why I'm sitting where I'm sitting at." Rich was more confused than he was before his question. "I can see in all your faces that you're confused on what I just said. So let me go ahead and clarify what I mean.

Right now the only power the Lieutenant Governor has is the power of his office. He can't sign any kind of legislation or change staff or anything that normally the Governor does. The only thing he can do while the Governor is out is make a decision on something that needs immediate attention or comes up in emergency situation.

In other words, his power is still limited to his position as Lieutenant Governor. If an emergency comes up like a terrorist attack in our state or an uprising again in one of the prisons, he can act with the power of the Governor Lopez's office. But even then I would think that the Governor would return and the Army wouldn't have a problem with that."

"So with what you've just said, those pieces of legislation that were passed pretty much are dead on arrival." The attorney General shook his head. "That is all I need to know. These guys, the Lieutenant Governor and his cronies, thought that they found a way to get the legislation they wanted through. Thankfully they didn't consult an attorney to see if they could do what they did. Because they have created that mess for themselves, the Republican Party might lose control of the state houses."

The Press Secretary, Johnny Walker, spoke for the first time. "That is neither here or there because they knew what they were doing. I would hate to lose control of the state houses, but they have been working against us since Governor Lopez took office. It has been the Democratic Party that has been backing the Governor and getting his bills through."

"I hate to say this Johnny, but I agree with you." Rich got up and looked around the table into each of the staff members faces. "Ladies and gentlemen I thank you for pulling an all nighter with me. I know many of you have families at home that you would like to see, so I will not keep you here any longer. Please go home and enjoy what is left of your weekend. I will see you all here bright and early come Monday morning."

The Governor's administration put together their stuff and filed out of the conference room. Rich knew that he had one more thing to do before he was able to go home and catch a couple hours of sleep before coming back to the office. He knows he has no other choice but to deal with the Lieutenant Governor before any more time passes by.

The minute that Daniel started to walk towards the meal line, he was greeted by the base commander and his staff. They asked him to join them at their table, but he polity turned them down. He wanted to eat with the men and women he came down to see. No disrespect to the officers, but he didn't come down for them.

After getting his tray of food, he sat down at a table that was full of enlisted personnel. Just like the last meal, it took a few minutes, before the soldiers started opening up. By the time they finished eating the General got what he wanted, the truth. Now he can go back home with a list of things that the soldiers need in order to get the job done.

The soldiers filed out of the mess hall, leaving the General with the officers. They sat there talking for a few minutes before they headed out. The base commander started to give Daniel a tour of the base when Daniel reminded him that he was one of the ones that put the base up. Things have changed, but the base is basically the same as it was when he left Kuwait almost a year prior.

The base commander felt a bit foolish when he had to be reminded by Daniel that he was one of the ones that originally set up the camp. Not knowing what to do with the unexpected guest, the base commander took him to the hospital to visit troops that were injured. He heard that the General liked to visit with soldiers that are injured, so he took a shot to get some egg off his face.

All the critical soldiers have already been airlifted out of Kuwait. The only soldiers in the medical center were soldiers that were going to return to their unit within a couple days. Still Governor Lopez enjoyed his time with the soldiers. He tried his best to stop and speak with every soldier there, but time just didn't permit.

He wanted to still go out to the oilfields and see for himself the damag the Iraqi Army did to them as they retreated back into Iraq. So he asked if they could bring all of the soldiers into one room that way he could at least meet and shake their hands. Even though the General was unable to speak with them personally, the injured soldiers were honored that he took the time to at least see them as a group without the press.

Other leaders like congressmen and senators and even the highest staff members of the President used them as a photo opportunity whenever they had come down to visit. Not the General and that is what they liked about him. Seeing that he wasn't like the others, they were able to take him at his word that he was there to thank them for their service, not for any kind of political gain.

After spending another forty-five minutes with the injured soldiers, Daniel headed off in a convoy of armored Humvees with tanks escorting. When they reached the oil fields that were still burning, the base commander and Daniel's security detail tried to keep him inside the Humvee, but were unsuccessful. Their main concern were sharpshooters hidden somewhere to take out any high-ranking American or allied officers that might show up to survey the damage.

Daniel walked around the oil fields and got as close as he could to the ones that were on fire to get a better look. After spending a few minutes there, he jumped back into the Humvee and asked them to take him to the soldiers on the frontline. Once again the base commander and the security detail tried to talk him out of it, but lost the battle.

When they arrived, they asked Daniel to put on a helmet and a bulletproof vest at least if he was going to get out. He agreed to that, as soon as he got them on he got out of the Humvee. The soldiers this time didn't go to attention and salute any of the officers because they are way too close to the Iraqi border. For sure there are sharpshooters hidden in the desert waiting to take a shot at any high ranking military personnel.

Knowing that he is tight on time, Daniel spoke with the soldiers that were standing guard. Some of them were Americans and some of them were allied soldiers, but that didn't matter to him. In his mind they are all his soldiers because they are together defending the freedom of the Kuwaiti people.

As he talked to the soldiers, he looked through a scope that was pointing to several Iraqi sharpshooters. He can see through that scope that they were looking straight at him through theirs. As he stood there looking he found it kind of funny that neither side tried to take out the other since they both knew where the other was at.

"Has anyone on either side ever tried to shoot the other?" Daniel asked as he handed back the rifle to one of the American soldiers.

"Of course we haven't tried to shoot any of them because of standing orders not to. Now for them I think the reason that they don't shoot at us is because of the fear it will restart the war. They don't want the American military coming down on them at full force."

Daniel chuckled at what the soldier said. "To be completely honest with your son, I don't want the American military coming down on me." The soldiers around Daniel started to laugh. "So I understand their fear and not wanting to shoot at you guys. And be completely honest with you again, they can't shoot a person right in front of him, more or less you guys. You guys are way too far for them to even get close to a hit."

The soldiers agreed with Daniel before getting back to their post. Daniel thanked them for their time and wished them a safe return home. After shaking their hands once more, Daniel, the base commander and his security detail headed back to the Humvees. As soon as they were in the Humvees they headed back to the base.

"General Lopez, are you going to be returning back to Austin when you leave here?" The base commander looked over at Daniel as he was shaking his hand. "The reason I ask that is because there's going to be a little over six hundred troops returning on Monday. Sadly with those troops there is going to be twenty-five troops returning in a casket. Maybe you would like to be there to welcome them home and speak with the family members of the fallen."

"I would be honored to speak with the family members of the fallen soldiers and greet the soldiers that are returning home. They returning soldiers need to know how thankful we as Americans are for their service. In the family members of the fallen soldiers need to know that there are husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, sons or daughters didn't die in vain. They may have lost their lives on a foreign land, but they did it defending the red, white and blue."

The base commander couldn't respond because he was a little bit choked up by what Daniel said. He heard that when Daniel spoke he spoke elegantly, but never believed it until hearing him speak today. He had always wanted to meet him and serve alongside him, but never got the chance, at least until today as far as meeting him. Serving with him will be every man and woman that puts on the uniform serves along with him until the day he officially retires from the military.

When they arrived at the hangar, the cargo plane was already loaded and ready to go. Daniel thanked the base commander and his officers for their hospitality and wished them a safe return home. They shook hands before the General got on the plane. The officer stood there watching as the huge cargo plane lifted off into the blue sky.

The flight back to the states seemed shorter for the General. When they landed to fuel up at the same base they did coming, there were soldiers there to greet them. The word got out that the plane was carrying special cargo. While the plane was being serviced, the General got down and visited with the soldiers that came to greet him.

Meanwhile as Daniel was overseas visiting with soldiers, Rich was in a battle with the Lieutenant Governor. The congress convened and pushed through several pieces of legislation they knew was going to be dead on arrival with Governor Lopez in office. Since he was gone and the Lieutenant Governor was acting Governor, they knew the legislation was going to be signed.

When Rich heard what was going on, he immediately went to the Lieutenant Governor's office to stop this catastrophe. He was surprised not to find him in his office, but was told that she was in Governor Lopez's office. Already angry about the legislation being pushed through, hearing that he took up office in the Governor's office pushed him into full-blown rage.

As he headed down the halls to the Governor's office, everyone moved out of his way because they knew the look on his face. They knew that someone was going to get their butt chewed and hoping it wasn't them. So when Rich passed them, they breathed in a sigh of relief because they have heard that it isn't good to have the Chief of Staff of the Governor angry with you.

Rich didn't ask the secretary of the Lieutenant Governor if he could go in when he reached the office. He just walked right past her even though she yelled at him to stop. When he busted through the doors he was not surprised to find the Republican leaders of both houses sitting there with the Lieutenant Governor.

"With all due respect sir, this isn't your office. Get your stuff and get out of the Governor's office. The day that you're elected as Governor is the day you can sit in that seat and until then you stay out of this office." Rich immediately spoke in an authority manner as he stared down the Lieutenant Governor.

"Do you know who you're talking to? You're talking to Lieutenant Governor of this state of Texas. Not one of your staff members so you better lower your voice and treat me with respect. Not only have I earned the respect, but the respect is given to meet because of the office I hold."

"If you want my respect you will handle your office with dignity. By coming in here and taking over the Governor's office isn't showing the respect to the elected Governor. You need to keep in mind that you were elected the Lieutenant Governor. So that alone means you're in the wrong office.

Furthermore the legislation you guys passed will be overturned the minute Governor Lopez comes back on Tuesday." Rich walked over to the Governor's desk and picked up the legislation and tossed it in the trash. "These pieces of legislation were a waste of paper and should not have ever been brought onto the floor for debate, let alone less voted on. And I believe you know that."

"Governor Lopez can't do a thing when he returns because I am acting Governor and anything I sign into law will stay law. Unless he is able to get the legislation overturned in the houses and that is very doubtful."

"If I were you I would brush up on state law. The only time you can sign anything into law as if the Governor is incapacitated to the point that he is unable to carry out the duties of his office. The only thing you can do with acting Governor is deal with anything that comes up on emergency basis. Other than that all legislation that is passed by the houses can't be signed by you. It has to stay on the Governor's desk and only can be signed by the Governor when he returns."

The Lieutenant Governor looked over at the Republican leaders for their guidance, but all they did was shrug their shoulders. "If you don't believe me, Lieutenant Governor, we can bring in the Attorney General and he can explain it to you." Rich looked at the Republican leaders before he continued talking.

"So gentleman you wasted tax payers' time debating bills that will never be signed into law. As soon as they find out what you have done, you will be out a job. That's one thing the voters of this state don't like is their money being wasted."

Neither the Lieutenant Governor nor the Republican leaders replied back to Rich. They gathered their stuff and walked out of Governor Lopez's office. Rich pulled them out and when he reached the secretary's desk he stopped and waited for the secretary together her stuff and leave, but she didn't and got Rich angry again.

"Ma'am that isn't your desk nor is that your seat. So if you want to keep your job, you will get yourself out of that desk, gather your stuff and head back to your office. If I ever see you again behind that desk, the Lieutenant Governor won't have the power to save your job. Don't test to see if I have that kind of power."

The secretary quickly gathered all of her stuff and left the out of office of the Governor. Rich couldn't believe that not only did they have the gall to take over offices that weren't theirs, but to personalize the desks. The Lieutenant Governor actually moved all the Governor's personal pictures to the side and put up his own. His secretary did the same thing with a desk that wasn't even hers.

Back in the Lieutenant Governor's office, Lieutenant Governor and the Republican leadership were discussing what Rich just told them. None of them believed Rich, but they wanted to make sure. So the Lieutenant Governor called for the Attorney General to come to his office immediately.

Since the Attorney General was still in the building, it didn't take him long to get to the Lieutenant Governor's office. He knew what he was being called for. So he was ready to answer any questions that were asked of him.

The minute he walked into the office, he was asked questions after question. "Gentleman you should have consulted either me or another attorney before you acted. You acted recklessly and almost broke the law." The Attorney General looked straight into the Lieutenant Governor's eyes. "If you would have signed those bills, you could have been brought up on malfeasance charges. Even though that isn't what you were doing, but that is how it would have looked to everyone on the outside and in the eyes of the law ."

The room went quiet and everyone slouched in their seats in defeat. "Let me say this to you all before I leave. I like the bills that you passed, but you did it the wrong way. Your chances before were very slim, and now by your pulling this stunt those bills will never see the light of day!

If you attempt to even put those bills on the floor for debate, the people of this state will be asking for your resignation. That is if they don't ask for it after hearing what you guys pulled in the last twenty-four hours. The voters of this state can forgive a lot, but not the hijacking of their government. That is how it will look and play once the media gets ahold of what has happened here."

The Attorney General turned around and walked out of the office, leaving the Lieutenant Governor and the Republican leadership sitting there speechless. As he walked to his office, the Attorney General knew that the Lieutenant Governor wasn't about to throw in the towel. He knows his friend too well, and the guy doesn't know the meaning of defeat.

While the state government was in turmoil in Austin, the Governor was on his final leg of his trip back home. As he sat there putting together what he's going to do with the returning soldiers on Monday, he started to get a weird feeling in the pit of his stomach. He has had these feelings before and they never turned out to be good for him.

Something about the feelings he was getting was telling him it wasn't about his kids, wife or family. It has to do with something either with the military or his job in Austin. Since there isn'thing much more for him to do except bang his head against the wall, which the Governor doesn't want to do he decided to try to take his mind off of something he has no idea about and he can't correct right now while he is still on this plane.

So he went back to work putting together what he's going to do to welcome the soldiers back home. He left the decision-making of what is going to do about the returning coffins to the end. When he finally got to the subject, he hated it because there is willing nothing that can be said to a family member to make them feel better that they have just lost a loved one.

Wracking his head over and over again he finally came up with a solution to the question he was working on, Josh. His son performed a song for him and the family several nights before he reported for duty that he and his younger brother Brandon wrote together. It was a beautiful military song that will fit this occasion. So he decided the very first person that he is going to call when he lands is his son to see if he is ready to perform that song in front of an emotional live audience.

The Governor had no clue his plans were going to change. As the plane landed in Austin, the Governor's Chief of Staff, Press Secretary and several members of the administration were standing there on the tarmac waiting for him. So when the door opened on the plane, the very first people the Governor saw was his administration. When he saw their looks on their faces, the Governor knew right there and then the news their about to deliver him wasn't going to be good.

The Governor walked over to his Chief of Staff and asked him what was going on. "Mr. Governor the news I have isn't good news at all. In the last twenty-four hours the Lieutenant Governor and the state Republican leadership tried to ram through four pieces of legislation. They thought that by you being gone and the Lieutenant Governor acting as Governor was going to be able to sign the bills into law."

"What the hell were they thinking?" Governor Lopez yelled out in anger to his Chief of Staff. "Those guys have been in the political arena a lot longer than I have. They should have known that they couldn't do that. Any legislation that got passed while I was doing my duty in the military would stay unsigned until I return to my office!"

"That is accurate and I told the Lieutenant Governor and his cronies. He still didn't believe me and he called in the Attorney General to see if I was right. Before I acted on anything I spoke with the Attorney General and he is the one that confirmed where we stood as far as the law. But even with that, I don't think the Lieutenant Governor is going to admit defeat. He still has one more day to find a way to get those bills through."

The Governor and Rich continued the conversation in the Humvee. They really had no other choice but to do that because they were in the way of the crew that was unloading the plane. But as soon as they got into the Humvee, the Governor picked up right where they left off.

He turned to his Press Secretary and asked him how much does the press know. "Mr. Governor the press knows everything. It wasn't our office that let them know was going on. It was several members of the state Democratic Party that spiled the beans."

"Johnny I want the press to know what they attempted to do while I was gone. In fact I am glad that it was the other side that spoke to the press first. That way we don't look like we are crying we go and speak to them about this. I am pretty sure you're office is getting tons of calls for comments about what had happened. What I want you to do is hold a press conference and speak the truth."

Rich interrupted the Governor is he turned to Johnny. "Before you go to the press you and I need to sit down and put together what you're going to say. I want the truth to come out, but at the same time just like the Governor said we can't be looking like we are running to them crying. So by putting our heads together we will come up with the right angle so we don't sound like we are crying."

Johnny agreed with Rich. Once Rich and Johnny put aside time to put together a statement, Rich turned his attention back to the Governor. He told the Governor what he found going on in his office. Before Rich could finish, the Governor exploded.

"Right now Mr. Governor we must keep cool heads. When I saw what the Lieutenant Governor and his staff were doing, I did the same thing you just did. Afterwards I kind of regretted it because I allowed my anger to get the best of me. I'm advising you not to make the same mistake I did earlier."

"I agree with Rich. Let's not allow what they did to make us act unprofessionally. They may have acted unprofessionally, but we will not lower ourselves to their level. At the same time we will not put this in our press statement. It would look like were being petty and it will overshadow the actual story."

"But I want the people of this state to know what their Lieutenant Governor attempted to do Johnny. He and the Republican leadership can't get away with this attempted mutiny." Everyone in the Humvee looked at the Governor stunned. "You all heard me right. I said `mutiny' because that's basically what they attempted to do."

"No don't get us wrong, we agree with you. It's just you're using colorful and inflammatory words that we wouldn't use. Let's stay away from words like mutiny and treason whenever the subject comes up, and it WILL come up. Let the press find it and let them use those words. We must stay above the fray and name-calling."

Everyone agreed with Rich. They discussed a little bit more about that subject before getting out of the Humvee. When everything was said and done the Governor settled down and thanked his staff for acting so promptly. Rich also suggested that the Governor should also thank the minority leader of the Senate.

At first the Governor didn't understand Rich's point but after explaining the Governor understood. He promised Rich that he will call the minority leader first thing in the morning. All he wanted to do at this point is get to his room and get some sleep before he has to deal with the Lieutenant Governor.

Rich and the others thanked the Governor for his time and made their way back to their cars. As the Humvee made its way to the barracks, the Governor sat there fighting with his body to stay awake. He feels like he has been up for days, but it's only been a day. Flying back and forth from one country to the other in one day has screwed up Daniel's biological clock. All that he knows right now is that it's late Saturday night and he wants to get at least a couple of hours of shut eye.

The next morning every time the Governor called the Lieutenant Governor's office, he was told that the Lieutenant Governor was in a meeting. By the third call, the Governor knew that his Lieutenant Governor was refusing to talk with him. The Governor figured that either the Lieutenant Governor knew he did wrong or hopes to keep the Governor at bay long enough to figure out another way to get those bills into law.

While the Governor was playing phone tag with the Lieutenant Governor, the members of the Republican Party that went into to work refused to give a statement to the press. They were bombarded with question after question, but said those famous words, `no comment'. That didn't make the press happy at all. In fact it made the press go after them even harder than they had started out.

As all this was going on at the capitol building, Johnny held a press conference. He walked out to the podium at ten on the dot, gave the statement he and Rich prepared and then opened the floor up for questions. Just as they discussed the night before, the press went digging and found out what the Lieutenant Governor and his staff had done. Johnny answered those questions generally, which didn't make the press happy. So they kept at it, trying to get the Governor's Press Secretary on the record saying a lot more than he has, but they were unsuccessful. So they finally gave up and moved on.

By noon, the Governor stopped trying to get a hold of the Lieutenant Governor. He figured when he returns to work on Tuesday, he can deal with him then. For now he's going to concentrate on the matters at hand, which is completing his weekend of service in putting together something to welcome home the troops from Kuwait.

After his training exercises, the Governor returned to his room to shower. Once he had a shower, the Governor picked up the phone and called home. His wife answered and they spoke for awhile before she handed the phone to Daniel Junior. The Governor tried his best to be equal with this time for each of his kids. But when he came down to him talking to Josh, he ended up spending almost double the time.

When Josh got off the phone with his father, he went to his room and pulled out his sheet music of the song that he and Brandon composed. Looking it over several times, Josh grabbed his guitar and sat down on the bed. Just as he started to play Cesar walked in. He not only noticed his boyfriend really concentrating on the music, but he looked very nervous and scared at the same time.

So he walked over to Josh and sat down next to him. Gently he placed his hand on the strings of the guitar to get Josh to stop playing. "I don't know what dad told you, but whatever it is you should not allow it to affect you this way. There is no way dad is going to ask you to do something that he doesn't think you can handle."

Josh looked into Cesar's eyes and saw that he was very concerned about him. "I know you're right, but I can't help myself. Dad loved the song that Brandon and I wrote so much that he wants me to sing it tomorrow in front of a live audience."

Not meaning to, Cesar chuckled. "I am sorry; I am not laughing at you." He pulled Josh into him and kissed him on the forehead. "You have already performed in front of millions of people and you were good. So there is no reason for you to be nervous or scared to perform tomorrow in front of a live audience."

"It's not that I'm scared to performing in front of an audience of any size anymore. In fact that doesn't scare me anymore like it did when I first started performing. What is scary is that I will be performing a song that I helped write for the very first time and I will be performing that song in front of grieving family members."

Cesar let go of Josh and looked at him confused. He had no idea what Josh is talking about and Josh was able to read up from his face. "I guess dad didn't tell you guys about the return of soldiers in coffins tomorrow. There is something like six hundred soldiers coming home, but among those soldiers are twenty-five coffins with soldiers who lost their lives over there in Kuwait. He wants me to perform this song for the families after he speaks with them."

"Oh now I understand where you're coming from." Cesar got up from the bed and knelt in front of Josh. "You have something in your voice that is able to reach people when you sing. I can't explain what you do in words as you sing, but trust me when I tell you thatyou're able to reach into the soul of each person and touch them in a way that no one I have ever seen do.

I believe that is why dad is asking you to do this. He reaches people the same way you do when you sing in his speeches, but I think he really wants to let those family members know how much this country owes them for the sacrifice their family made. Your song that you and Brandon wrote does just that."

Josh was all choked up over what Cesar just told him. He pulled his boyfriend into a hug, crushing the guitar between them, but neither of them cared about that. After breaking the hug, Josh went to work. He practice this song over and over again until dinner at they get right back up after he finished eating. By eight that evening, Josh felt he was ready to go.

Over at the base, the Governor was having his last meal in the mess hall. As of midnight his duty is over until he is called back up again. The base commander was offering him a chance to go home early, but the Governor didn't accept. He didn't want any special treatment that was not being given to the other soldiers that do their weekend of service.

The base commander changed the subject and asked the Governor what he's going to be wearing tomorrow when welcomes the troops home. The Governor stopped eating and thought about it for the first time. He was so occupied on what happened while he was gone that he never thought of that. Now that the base commander brought it up, he debated on civilian clothes or his uniform.

"To be completely honest with you General, I have not thought about that. Out of respect to the men and women wearing the uniform, I'd better wear a suit instead of my uniform. The reason for that is because my service is over with as of midnight tonight and I don't want to disrespect the uniform."

"I know I'm not speaking out of turn here, but I don't think the men and women of our Armed Forces would hold it against you if you wear your class `A' uniform. After all you're in the military and deserve to wear the uniform if you choose. But that is all up to you to decide because you need to be able to justify it to yourself." The base commander got up and headed out of the mess hall.

The Governor didn't leave the mess hall until twenty minutes later. He weighed the pros and cons of wearing the uniform tomorrow. The biggest con he has is what the press is going to report. Knowing them the way he does, the press will twist it up and make it look like he's trying to get political points off of the returning soldiers that lost their lives on the battlefield in Kuwait.

When the Governor crawled into bed, he still hadn't made up his mind. His head was swimming with so many things, he couldn't think straight. Finally after an hour or so of trying to get his mind to settle down, he fell asleep. The next thing he knew that he was waking up with his alarm clock going off.

He pulled himself out of bed and headed to the bathroom down the hall with his shower stuff. As he was taking a shower he asked several of the soldiers that were in there with him what they thought about the dilemma he was in. Each of them told him without any hesitation that he should wear his uniform. After hearing that, Daniel had his answer.

After finishing up a shower, Daniel shaved and headed back to his room. He got dressed in his class `A' uniform before packing up all of his personal items. Once he was ready to go, he walked out to find not only the soldiers on the base heading over to the airfield, but the soldiers that were set to go home after their weekend of duty were in their class `A' uniform and heading over to the airfield as well.

Just as the Governor started making his way to the airfield, he heard a horn blowing behind him. He turned around to find his limousine pulling up to him. The door opened and his sons got out, followed by his wife, mother, Patrick and Cesar. Carlos was the first one to reach his father and he gave him a hug. After letting him go, the other boys took their turns. The last to greet Daniel was Barbara, which Daniel was anxiously anticipating. Not only did they hug, but held a kiss for a very long time.

When they finally broke the kiss, they walked together as a family to the airfield. When they arrived, the soldiers were brought to attention and stayed there until Daniel gave the order for them to stand at ease. After giving the order Daniel and his family made their way to the front. A few minutes after they got there, several huge aircraft were seen coming into the airport.

As the first one came to a halt, the second one started its approach. When it finally landed and the stairs were moved up to the door, the band started to play and the soldiers started making their way off of the plane. The minute the very first soldier stepped out; the airfield erupted in to loud cheers of either `welcome home' or chants of `USA!'.

The Governor stood there with the base commander welcoming every soldier personally with a handshake as they made their way off of the plane. Some of them had family members that were there to greet them, and those that didn't have any family there, the Governor made sure that there was someone there to personally welcome them home.

It took almost two hours for the soldiers to get off of the planes. Once they did, they were called up to attention as the back door of the plane opened up. The first squad of soldiers made their way into the back of the plane and slowly made their way out carrying the first coffin. The soldiers brought up a salute and kept it until the coffin was laid down on the tarmac. They did this procedure twenty-four more times.

When all twenty-five coffins were unloaded from the plane and were laid side-by-side on the tarmac, the Governor and the base commander made their way to them. One by one they turned to each coffin and paid their respects to the fallen soldier that was in it. As soon as they finished paying their respects, they made their way back to the he middle of the coffins.

"Today we are here to welcome home our fellow soldiers that have served our country in a time of war. We are happy that over six hundred soldiers returned home to us alive, but sadly, as in any war, we lose the youth of our nation. Behind me sits twenty-five coffins that hold twenty-five American men and women that lost their lives standing up against the evil in this world.

I wish we could all live in this world in peace and harmony where no one loses their life in a war from any country. But we don't live in a world like that. Instead we live in a world of leaders like Saddam Hussein who want to become this generation's Hitler. We can't stand idly by and allow this man or any dictator to think that they are going to rule with impunity.

Men and women are called upon in this country to stop leaders like that and spread democracy and freedom around the world to those who want it." The Governor turned and faced the twenty-five coffins. "These twenty-five men and women didn't lose their life in vain. They gave their lives so tens of thousands can ultimately live free from oppression. They gave their lives so that the hatred of Saddam Hussein and people like him doesn't reach our shores. They gave their lives so we can have our freedoms and fly the red, white and blue.

Their names and their sacrifice will never be forgotten. I will make sure that never happens. No soldier will ever lose their life on the battlefield in vain as long as I am breathing." The Governor turned and looked at the families of the fallen soldiers. "I promise you that your husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters or sons and daughters will not be forgotten. From the bottom of my heart and every soldier that puts on a uniform thanks you for the sacrifice your families have made for our freedoms."

The Governor walked over to the family members and hugged each and every single one of them. While he was talking to the family members, the small army band started to set up. They were the only ones that were moving around as the Governor and the base commander paid their respects to the family members of the fallen soldiers. The other soldiers stood there at attention as this was happening.

Finally the Governor finished up with the last family member and made his way back to where he was to introduce his son. "Ladies and gentlemen please stand at ease! As you all know my son Josh is a singer and has performed in several concerts already. For the first time he is going to perform here today a song that he and my youngest son Brandon composed together. I believe this song says it all and I am proud to bring up my son Josh to perform the song for the very first time."

The Governor stepped aside and started to applaud along with everyone that was there. Josh thanked his father for the introduction as he put on his guitar. The soldiers stopped applauding a few minutes later. Josh turned and looked at the family members and started to play the guitar, the band followed right behind him.

If you're reading this

My momma is sitting there

Looks like I only got a one-way ticket over here

I sure wish I could give you one more kiss

War was just a game we played when we were kids

Well I am laying down my gun

I'm hanging up my boots

I'm up here with God

And we're both watching over you


So lay me down

On that open field out on the edge of town

And know my soul

Is where my momma always prayed where it would go.

If you're reading this I'm already home.


It didn't take long into the song for every person that was there listening to Josh sing to start tearing up. Josh himself was barely holding together as he looked into the faces of the family members he was singing directly to. They were actually crying, which was making it very hard for Josh to continue singing, but he did.

If you're reading this

Half way around the world

I won't be there to see the birth of our little girl

I hope she looks like you

I hope she fights like me

Stand up for the innocent and the week

I'm laying down my gun

Hanging up my boots

Tell dad I don't regret that id follow in his shoes


At this point you could hear the person next to you crying. It didn't matter if you're a man or woman, the verses of this song cut right through the toughest armor. No one was able to fight off their tears, including Josh's dad. He thought that he was prepared to hold it together, but boy was he wrong.

So lay me down

In that open field out on the edge of town

And know my soul is where my momma always prayed where it would go

If you reading this, I'm already home


If you're reading this

You move on and find someone else and that's okay

Just remember this

I'm in a better place

Soldiers live in peace and angels sing amazing Grace


Josh got up and turned around to sing directly the last verse of the song to the fallen soldiers that were laying in rest behind him.

So lay me down

In that open field out on the edge of town

And know my soul is where my momma always prayed where it would go

If you're reading this

If you're reading this

I'm already home


The music came to an end and it was complete silence on the tarmac. The only thing you could hear it is sniffling of noses and those who are crying. The family members of the fallen soldiers were the first to stand up and started to applaud. Seconds after they started to applaud, the airfield broke out in loud applause.

Josh unstrapped his guitar and started to wipe away his tears as the first family member walked up to him and pulled him into a hug. One after another walked up to Josh, thanked him for such a beautiful song and hugged him. By the time the eighth family made their way to Josh, he couldn't hold back his tears anymore. They started to flow like a running river as the other seventeen families walked up and thanked him.


I have a home page for you to see what the characters look like or what the places look like. If you want to walk in their shoes, please go to: http://jacobmillertex.com/.


{I like to welcome you guys back to another emotional and exciting chapter of "Shadow of My Father". Before I continue with this I need to make it clear who is the actual composer, producer and singer of that beautiful song that I used at the end of this chapter. It was written by Tim McGraw, Brad Warren and Brett Warren. The actual singer of the song is the great Tim McGraw. It is such a beautiful song and it fit just right in this chapter. If you love this song as much as I do, go out and buy it by Tim McGraw on his album; "Let It Go". It was released in June, 2007.

Never forget, these stories are FICTION!

Now let's get to the summation of this chapter. There was a roller coaster ride of emotion and excitement. We had a funeral, an attempt to take over of the Governorship of Texas, the Governor reporting in for his military service, welcoming home American heroes in the emotional goodbye to twenty-five fallen soldiers.

At the beginning we picked up right where we left off that in the last chapter dealing with the funeral of Chris' dad. It was simple and not too many people showed up. Chris said his final goodbyes to his dad and actually forgave him. Something that surprised me that he did, but I'm glad that he did forgive his father!

Now what is going on with Rusty and Chris? Are they going to get back together? Or is this just something is happening because of the loss Chris just had. I know where I am going to go with this plot and let me tell you guys will be in for a ride. Please stay tuned and keep coming back to see what happens here.

The Governor did his duty and reported in for his weekend of service. Man was he busy for those two days from going to go Kuwait to what was going on in Austin. The Governor didn't have a minute of rest.

Let's start with the trip to Kuwait. The Governor when in with no one knowing and accomplished what he wanted and that was to talk and spend time with the soldiers on the battlefield. He visited with soldiers in the mess hall, out on the front lines and in the medical tent. They gave him what they feel they needed to get the job done. The only question I have is can he and will he deliver.

What is going on with the Lieutenant Governor and the Republican leadership of the state houses? Did they actually think they were going to get away with the passing of those bills? Even if the Lieutenant Governor was able to sign those bills into law, the Governor would do everything he could to get those bills overturned when he returned. Now there is a huge fight brewing in Austin between the Governor and his Lieutenant Governor and the Republican leadership. I think when the dust settles, the Governor will come out on top.

I understand the dilemma the Governor had with himself about wearing the uniform. The press turns things around to fit their agenda and make what was something good into something negative. That is true and I hate seeing it happen. I have gotten to the point that I don't even watch the news anymore because it doesn't matter which channel you watch the news on, they have their own agenda they are promoting. What happened to the good old days when the news was just people reporting just the facts?

Right now we are still entangled in the second Iraqi war. It's been almost a decade since 9/11 and I think people of this country have settled back into the way they were before 9/11. They have forgotten the day our country was attacked. No matter if you agree with this war or not, we are there and we need to complete. No matter we were lied to in order to get into this war, we are there and we need to complete this war right. That way no soldier of this country or our allies would have died on that battlefield in vain. So I am asking you to not forget that ugly day in September of two thousand and one. Honor our troops that are coming back and that are over there right now fighting for our freedoms that were threatened that day.

Take the last scene of this chapter to heart because there are thousands of families here in United States that got their loved one returned in a wooden box. I know the more than likely soldiers don't read this story, but I do think them for fighting for me to write the stories and have the freedoms that I have.

I could stay here all day long, with all the open plots already in this story, but I won't. I warn you though! Don't skip a chapter, or you will be lost. There is a so much to answer in the chapters to come. Keep reading the future chapters, and enjoy! Please email me and let me know how I am doing at jacob@jacobmillertex.com, Thanks!}


Before I get to the meat of my comments, I want to say that I wasn't sure that I was going to be able to support JPG's plot of the dramas in the state government when the Governor was away. It seemed, even for fiction, to be over the line in credulity.

I was discussing the plot line with a friend. This person is not a reader nor is he involved with the production of the stories. What was bothering me was the blatant disregard of the law that the Lieutenant Governor and the Republican leaders displayed. I was feeling that this was beyond any believability even for a fictional story.

My friend pointed up to me that it is NOT that far from current day realities with our leaders in Washington, D.C. There are examples of glaring disregard for basic laws going on without any serious checks or challenges happening.

Daring to go out on a limb and possibly incurring some wrath, I will cite our military involvement in Libya. The deadline for the President's authority under the War Powers Act has passed without his going to Congress to continue the actions as is required. Where are the checks and balances? Who is asleep and not holding him accountable?

With that said, what went on during the Governor's absence can be seen as potentially possible.

Once again, JPG did a solid summary of the chapter covering every single point I would have taken to make note of and analyzed. With that said, I'm going to get out my soap box and speak from the heart.

I had to finish the story and then take a break. JPG's writing really got to me. I experienced a combination of strong emotions. My family has never lost a member to war. I have, however, seen the devastation in families I have known.

I grew up through the Viet Nam era. I saw the protestors. I witnessed the shunning and disrespect that was inflicted upon our returning troops in that era. Even though this was some forty years ago, those images are still fresh in my mind. Even the media didn't champion our military.

As a nation, this was shameful behavior. We were so ignorant that we, as a nation, didn't distinguish between the military and the politicians. Whether or not one agrees with the political agenda and foreign policy of the Government, those in the military are sworn to do their duty as the Government orders.

At least, today, we have matured and gained some wisdom as a people. We have learned to distinguish the disparate roles of government and military. We now honor our troops, their service and, all too often, their sacrifice even though they may be serving in a war that the people don't agree with.

There is still another and ongoing national shame. The treatment and support that our injured troops receive is all too often inadequate and saying it that way is being gentile. I hope that as this particular story goes on that JPG will champion that issue and shed light on a national disgrace that is ongoing today.

I want to focus on one last point. JPG's stories are fiction. He justly takes license with facts, history and timelines. This is perfectly acceptable. This story having a political theme leaves JPG open to potential criticisms. Again, please, suspend your disbeliefs as you read this story. The story itself and, in many cases, the message are what is important. I hope that there will be no criticism levied his direction for of his use of license as an author of fiction.

Thank you for listening. Next time I will try and lighten up in my remarks.

Until next time,

"Daddy" Rick