Tag Archives: GoodPeople

Marine Was Dedicated

.jpg photo of Decorated Marine
Leroy Calvin Alex Jr.

Alex was dedicated to the Marine Corps
and his Country

San Antonio, TX  –  An adventurous young man who joined the Marine Corps before graduating from high school, Leroy Calvin Alex Jr. never lost the patriotism that propelled him to serve in the military.

Losing a leg and two fingers in combat in Vietnam in the late 1960s, Alex wanted to be allowed to continue serving his country.

“They were going to release him from the Marine Corps, but he fought it,” his sister Valerie Arreguin said.  “He loved the Marines, loved everything about it.”

Alex, who received two Purple Heart medals and a Bronze Star Medal for Valor, among other awards and citations, died Nov. 21 at 68.

The oldest of seven children raised in the Southeast Side of San Antonio, Alex showed early promise as a salesman.

“He worked for Watkins (Products) selling door-to-door, was good at what he did,” Arreguin said.  “He could sell to anybody.”

Even so, he was restless.

“At 16 he ran away from home, hitchhiked to New York,” his sister Sherry Sublousky said.  “He was gone for a week.”

Another time, Alex hitchhiked to California.

He was attending Brackenridge High School when he decided to join the Marine Corps.

“My mother kept telling him he didn’t want to do that,” Arreguin said. But “Junior was always one of those who wanted to do his own thing.”

Sublousky, still a young girl at the time, and never forgot the day the family was notified of her brother’s injuries.

“Two Marines fully dressed in dress blues … rang the doorbell,” she recalled.  “We thought that we’d lost him.”

Sent to Brooke Army Medical Center to recover, Alex received a visit from Bob Hope and a letter from then-president Richard Nixon, who informed him that he had personally asked the Navy Department “be as understanding as circumstances permit in its review” of Alex’s request to remain on active duty.

No less a patriot after leaving the Marine Corps, Alex traveled to the Texas coast on July 4, 1972, raising a flag on the beach and laying beside it.

The scene caught the attention of a news photographer who took a picture that many newspapers ran the next day.

Alex also wrote to the San Antonio Light in the early 1970s, suggesting that the city establish a memorial for Vietnam Veterans, an idea that gained momentum in the 1980s.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Veterans Memorial Plaza was unveiled in 1986.

Leroy Calvin Alex Jr.
Born:  May 18, 1948, San Antonio
Died:  Nov. 21, 2016, San Antonio
Preceded by:  Mother Eleanor Alex.
Survived by:  Daughters Jennifer Alex, and Summer Alex; son Aaron Alex;  father Leroy Alex Sr.;  three brothers;  three sisters;  16 grandchildren.
Services:  Funeral at 9:45 a.m. November 29, 2016 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 16075 N. Evans Road, Selma, Texas

Bikers Against Child Abuse empowers young victims

Bikers against Child Abuse Bikers against Child AbuseThe group of about 25 waiting in the lobby of the Abbotsford courthouse on Tuesday morning is in stark contrast to the lawyers and sheriffs usually walking the hall.

These men and women sport denim, chaps, and black leather vests with patches bearing their “road names,” including Rebel, Animal, Wheel Man, Silver Bullet and Mama Bear.

A patch on the back of their vests reads, “No child deserves to live in fear.”

They mill about, chatting quietly, until a small group appears from one of the courtrooms and moves in their direction. The large group parts, allowing the family to sit, and then surrounds them protectively. They remain there until it is confirmed that the criminal case has been postponed for the day.

The bikers escort the distraught family out of the building and to their vehicle. The bikers mount their motorcycles and take their positions in front of and behind the family’s car, and then they all depart.

This scene marked the first time that the newly formed Fraser Valley chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) supported a family in court.

President James “Maddog” Bergin said BACA’s purpose is to “empower” kids who are the victims of physical and sexual abuse. The organization becomes involved when a parent or caregiver contacts them. They start with an “adoption ride” in which the entire membership meets up with the family and presents the child with a teddy bear and a vest sporting their own “road name.”

Two members are assigned to become the child’s “primaries” and main contacts whom the child can call at any time. “If they’re scared at night, we’ll park two or three members outside of the home so they feel safe,” Bergin said.

BACA members also attend court, accompanying the family to and from the courthouse and sitting in the courtroom when and if the child has to testify. Bergin said this provides the child with the physical and emotional support to get through the court case and, hopefully, lead to the conviction of the perpetrator. This helps the child to feel as if he/she has “a whole army” behind him/her, Bergin said.

All BACA members must pass through a series of steps, including an extensive background check and 12 to 14 hours of webinar training. Monthly meetings and ongoing courses are also included. They are given “road names,” and Bergin jokes that some of them don’t even know each others’ real names.

Bergin said current members come from all walks of life and include business people, tattoo artists, truck drivers and mechanics. Many of them took the day off work to appear at the Abbotsford courthouse on Tuesday.

Some, like “Loki,” have their own history of childhood abuse. “Some of my past wasn’t the greatest. I’ve been abused too, so I want to give back – to make sure (the abuse) stops,” he said in explaining why he is involved with BACA.

Wheel Man said he finds his involvement rewarding. “We’re helping kids who are vulnerable and doing something that the cops can’t do,” he said.

Bergin said although bikers have a stigma of being rough, he hopes people can look beyond that image. “For the most part, we are big and scary people when it’s applicable, but we are also some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.” Bergin said Fraser Valley BACA, which formed about a year ago and is based in Abbotsford, plans to continue supporting the family who was in court on Tuesday, as well as link up with other families and agencies.

For more information or for membership inquiries, email info.fraservalleybaca@yahoo.com.

Information about BACA is also available on the website bacaworld.org. The organization has chapters throughout the world, including the U.S., Australia, Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 32 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

I care, but…

Where would we be without you?

Look around you, what do you see?  Do you see a perfect world that you enjoy being a part of?  Do you see a world that is less than perfect, but you are content, so it’s not so bad?  Or do you see a world with misplaced priorities;  a world where Athletes are the Heroes, the Good Guys, even if they do sucker-punch their 100 pound Wife and knock her out in an elevator occasionally.  A world where the media hangs on every word of a Team Owner; a man your Children just possibly have noticed on the evening news, with his hands where they shouldn’t be on a woman who isn’t his wife.

So you DO CARE, you don’t like the inequalities that exist in the world as it is now;  but you have nothing to offer in the way of talent, you are uncomfortable and shy when it comes to speaking when more than one stranger is present.

Join the club, I just described me.  I was and still am, a bookworm, Ms Librarian, OK a nerd, I said it.  A short time ago, I was offered(?) a job as Editor of a G+ page for a group of people(strangers).  I was petrified, the first week it would seem to take half a day to type a very short post(OK, so I didn’t have to look these strangers in the eye, it seemed as if I was standing right in front of them), I would type 1 letter and then check to see if I had misspelled “a”, I was a nervous wreck by dinner every single night, and on the 3rd night was threatened with force feeding or a feeding tube by a certain tyrant.  But an unbelievable thing happened, these strangers were more than understanding, many were and still are there, day or night for me.(especially Bunny)

Then one day “she” joined Our Circle(“she” is actually 2 very different women, 1 is a brain, I just had to mention you Caroline), she was everything I ever daydreamed or imagined me being.  April was beautiful, talented, a very good parent, and even cared for others.(my 3 are actually at least 5, since I inherited 2 from my alter-ego and The Tyrant)

Please don’t mistake who I am intending this for, if you read each word, everyone mentioned and implied is who I am writing this for, but read on so you will know YOU TOO are desperately needed, to effect the change this world so badly needs.

I hesitate to think where we would be at this point in time without you.  A caring heart big enough, and with so much love, for everyone and every living thing in Our World, and you in  your GOD given caring way, already have all the above mapped and cataloged in your heart, which included this nerd.  You mean so much to me, and it is only right that I share at least a part of what Our Circle has been Blessed with. This is Our Circle’s April: