Army veteran Alejandro Villanueva was the only player on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ team to come out of the locker room and stand for the anthem.
Too many Americans worship athletes as heroes. On that sideline, the real hero was easy to spot. He was the only one standing.
Athletes, you want to kneel? Great! Please go kneel at the graves of the kids killed by gang bangers, thugs, illegal immigrants, sexual predators and malnourished children that suffer at the hands of an apathetic corrupt Government.
Villanueva was a Captain in the United States Army, in which he served as an Army Ranger and was decorated with a Bronze Star for valor. He played college football for the Army Black Knights, being recruited at one position and playing three others during the course of his career. After serving three tours of duty in Afghanistan, he signed a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on May 5, 2014, after working out in a regional showcase.
During last year’s season, Villanueva said in response to then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick protests:
“I agree that America is not perfect, I agree there are lot of issues with minorities in this country, I agree we should do something about it.
But I don’t know if the most effective way is to sit down when the national anthem of the country that is providing you freedom and providing you $60 million a year is the best way to do it when there are black minorities that are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan and protecting our freedom for less than $20,000 a year.
I just know I’m very thankful to be an American. I will stand very proudly and sing every single line of the national anthem every single time I hear it. I will stop whatever I’m doing because I recognize I have to be very thankful to be in this country.
I tell my teammates all the time, especially when they talk about contracts, I’m one of the cheapest left tackles in the NFL [but] just by being an American I’ve won three lotteries. And if you have a little money on top of me, that means I have 3½ lotteries.
I’ve been very fortunate to travel a lot and see what it’s like in different countries. I’ve experienced true racism that happens in Europe with a lot of minorities. It’s very difficult for me to be here in America, as grateful as I am, in the best country in the world, and have people not be pleased about it.
I think he’s obviously upset and I think we all agree, the majority of America would agree, there’s an issue with minorities in our country, the way some groups in our population are being treated.
I just think not standing up for America is a little bit unfair on his part because he’s not taking into consideration the minorities that are fighting for the flag, like myself, the thousands of people who lay their lives so he can express himself.”
In an interview with ESPN, he also said:
“Whenever you include an entire country in one of those protests, I think you might mislead some people who truly wake up every single morning trying to give everything, including their lives, to protect this country. It’s a little bit unfair to group everybody under that category.”
At birth we boarded the train and met our parents, and we believe they will always travel by our side. As time goes by, other people will board the train; and they will be significant i.e. our siblings, friends, children, and even the love of your life. However, at some station our parents will step down from the train, leaving us on this journey alone. Others will step down over time and leave a permanent vacuum. Some, however, will go so unnoticed that we don’t realize they vacated their seats. This train ride will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hellos, goodbyes, and farewells. Success consists of having a good relationship with all passengers requiring that we give the best of ourselves.
The mystery to everyone is: We do not know at which station we ourselves will step down. So, we must live in the best way, love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are. It is important to do this because when the time comes for us to step down and leave our seat empty we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel on the train of life.
I wish you all a joyful journey.
Attaining centenarian status might be a grandiose accomplishment for many, but 99-year-old Annie is determined to do more than that in her long life. In fact, she’s outlined an entire bucket list of everything she’d like to do before she passes, and one of the goals was to get arrested.
Fortunately, she didn’t need to commit a serious crime to make this a reality. Instead, she contacted the Nijmegen-Zuid police station and authorities were more than willing to help her dream come true.
Like a hardened criminal, Annie was handcuffed and “briefly allowed” to sit in a cell with fastened handcuffs. This occurred after officers picked her up from her home. A rare exception was made for the 99-year-old, as citizens who haven’t committed a crime aren’t ordinarily allowed to be in the cells.
The photos below perfectly encapsulate how pleased Annie was to be able to check “go to jail” off her bucket list. She clearly loves to live on the wild side and because she’s an advocate for living life to the fullest, her story has been shared on True Activist.
When her beloved husband and father of her children passed away suddenly in February 2016 at the age of 51 from a ruptured artery, his wife was devastated. For years, he had been her rock and without him, she didn’t know how she could go on.
In the months that followed his loss, his wife got involved in metal engraving to help subdue her grief. It worked for a time. Eventually, she needed a space to expand her work and moved to the workbench her husband had built for her, being a skilled carpenter.
During that same time, their grieving son realized that the work bench was wobbly. So, he went to reinforce the leg and secure them with bolts. He learned that technique from his departed father.
That’s when he realized something was hidden on the bench…
The son flipped over the workbench and saw something startling. His father had scribbled a note on the underside of the workbench. He had written paragraphs of lovely words in his trademark red marker.
If the grieving son had not been proactive to fix the workbench’s wobbly legs, they never would have discovered the beloved father’s final words. And he just had to share his miraculous find with the internet.
“My dad passed away on February 26th at the age of 51 from a ruptured artery,” his son wrote on Imgur. “He made this workbench for my mom, Becca, when she got into metal engraving.”
The son continued: “He was technically my step dad, but being as how I’ve never met my biological father, he was the only and best father I had.”
Mason, the man who passed, taught his son everything he knew about carpentry. Without his father passing on his skill, the young man never would have discovered the secret message.
The inscription read:
“I love you Becca.
“Whatever day this is, I hope it’s a good one. God truly answered my prayers the day he gave me you. I know that these days are the best I’ll ever have, and I’m glad you’re in them.
“I’m not sure if you’ll ever see this, but if you do, just know that I love you very much. If there is one thing want in life, it is to be as good to you as you are to me. If I can do that, I’ll be the happiest man alive.
“I love you beautiful wife. — Mason”
When the boy showed his father’s inscription to his mom, she was touched to tears. The discovery of the love note was both emotional and bittersweet.
Mason’s son and wife wanted the inscription preserved. The young man removed the two planks from the workbench and then installed them in a frame.
Now this man’s love note is going viral. And it is inspiring men all over the country to do the same kind of thing for their wives and loved ones.
Their son says, “I have never seen two people so much in love.”
|The world is filled with people who, no matter what you do, no matter what you try, will simply not like you. But the world is also filled with those who will love you fiercely. The ones who love you: they are your people.
Don’t waste your finite time and heart trying to convince people who aren’t your people that you have value. They will miss it completely. They won’t buy what you are selling. Don’t try to convince them to walk your path with you because you will only waste your time and your emotional good health. You are not for them and they are not for you. You are not their cup of tea and they are not yours.
Politely wave them along and you move away as well. Seek to share your path with those who recognize and appreciate your gifts, who you are.
Be who you are. You are not everyone’s cup of tea and that is OK.
This video of an adorable little boy dressed as a Queen’s Guardsman will melt your heart!
The video, taken at Windsor Castle in England and posted on the Instagram account of a tourist joanna___feng, shows four-year-old Marshall Scott saluting members of the Queen’s Guard as they march past him.
The boy was celebrating his birthday at the castle with his mom, Imogen Scott.
#niceness #gratefulforlife #windsorcastle🇬🇧 It’s unbelievable, that the video is spread to the wide world. I was really lucky to meet Marshall at his 4th birthday. That was also one of the best moments in my life. Very grateful for the kindness and niceness of the world. Hope all the beautiful moments could be recorded.❤️ Best wishes to cute Marshall’s beautiful childhood all the way！❤️
Though Queen’s Guardsmen typically do not interact with guests, Lance Corporal Paul Edden posed for a photo with the boy.
“I just remember when I was younger when I wanted a picture with a soldier, and seeing Marshall in a Coldstream guard’s uniform just made me proud of what I do. And I just thought I would give him a chance to have a picture for himself for his own memories,” Edden told Forces.TV.
Imogen said Edden has even offered Marshall a private tour of the castle.
Full Video Below:
For years, photographer Tanja Brandt has made it her mission to capture magnificent photos of animals and wildlife. Recently, the German artist found a new challenge when she photographed the unique bond between two unlikely friends: Ingo, a Belgian shepherd, and Poldi (Napoleon), a one-year-old owlet.
WhiteWolfPack relays that the owlet and canine have a special “protector-protected” relationship and that their affection towards each other couldn’t be any more evident. Ingo lovingly guards Poldi, who apparently “doesn’t know how to live free.”
The owlet hatched two days after his six brothers and sisters, therefore, has always been very vulnerable due to his small size. Comparatively, Ingo was raised to by a family of strong, and oftentimes ruthless, police dogs.
“They respect each other and they can read each other,” says the photographer.
When unique relationships form between animals of different species, it’s almost natural to celebrate their friendship. If animals can overcome prejudices to befriend and love other creatures, what’s stopping mankind from following suit?
What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!
All images credit Tanja Brandt
Kleenex alert! Santa Claus gives a dying boy his final Christmas wish. This is a heartbreaking and heartwarming story all wrapped together.
Sometimes… it’s not easy being Santa Claus.
It’s a Christmas story from East Tennessee that has gained worldwide attention.
Eric Schmitt-Matzen spreads Christmas cheer year-round and grants wishes as Santa Claus. His long white beard and curled mustache makes him perfect for the part.
He and his wife, who joins him as Mrs. Claus, even went to Santa school six years ago.
But a month and a half ago, he answered the call to grant what would end up being one child’s final Christmas wish.
“He was more concerned about missing Christmas, than dying,” Schmitt-Matzen recalled to WBIR 10News.
He said he had just gotten home from work when a nurse at a local hospital called and said there was a very sick 5-year-old boy who wanted to see Santa Claus.
He was at the hospital in about 15 minutes and met the boy’s mother and other family members. She handed Schmitt-Matzen a toy to give to her child.
“When I got there, it was my job to make sure he got Christmas,” Schmitt-Matzen said.
With this tough task ahead of him, he asked everyone else to leave the room so that he wouldn’t break down in tears.
This is how he described what happened next, to a Knoxville News Sentinel columnist:
“When I walked in, he was laying there, so weak it looked like he was ready to fall asleep. I sat down on his bed and asked, ‘Say, what’s this I hear about you’re gonna miss Christmas? There’s no way you can miss Christmas! Why, you’re my Number One elf!
“He looked up and said, ‘I am?’
“I said, ‘Sure!’
“I gave him the present. He was so weak he could barely open the wrapping paper. When he saw what was inside, he flashed a big smile and laid his head back down.
‘“They say I’m gonna die,’ he told me. ‘How can I tell when I get to where I’m going?’
“I said, ‘Can you do me a big favor?’
“He said, ‘Sure!’
“When you get there, you tell ’em you’re Santa’s Number One elf, and I know they’ll let you in.
“He said, ‘They will?’
“I said, ‘Sure!’
“He kinda sat up and gave me a big hug and asked one more question: ‘Santa, can you help me?’
“I wrapped my arms around him. Before I could say anything, he died right there. I let him stay, just kept hugging and holding on to him.
“Everyone outside the room realized what happened. His mother ran in. She was screaming, ‘No, no, not yet!’ I handed her son back and left as fast as I could.”
In the days that followed, Schmitt-Matzen was left with uncertainty about whether to continue being Santa.
Looking for reassurance, he shared what he experienced with other Santas.
“They told a story who told the story to somebody who told the story to somebody,” he said.
They continued to share the story and that’s how it ended up getting to Knoxville News Sentinel Columnist Sam Venable. His powerful column on this child’s final wish was shared thousands of times in a matter of hours.
A group of students were asked to list what they thought were the present “Seven Wonders of the World.” Though there were some disagreements, the following received the most votes:
1. Egypt’s Great Pyramids
2. Taj Mahal
3. Grand Canyon
4. Panama Canal
5. Empire State Building
6. St. Peter’s Basilica
7. China’s Great Wall
While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one quiet student hadn’t turned in her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list.
The girl replied, “Yes, a little. I couldn’t quite make up my mind because there were so many.”
The teacher said, “Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help.”
The girl hesitated, then read, “I think the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’ are:
1. to see
2. to hear
3. to touch
4. to taste
5. to feel
6. to laugh
7. and to love.”
The room was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.
Just a gentle reminder – that the most precious things in life cannot be built by hand or bought by man.
“Each day comes bearing its own gifts — learn to untie the ribbons.”