Mike's Newspaper Column

Mike's Newspaper Column
Read Mike's column weekly in the Times Community Newspaper Family, including the legendary Kettering-Oakwood Times, and posted here the following week.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Celebrating Graduates

Celebrating Graduates
By Mike Scinto
            Where has the time gone? It seems like yesterday that Zak came home with us and we were able to carry him in the palms of our hands. The first few nights when he fell asleep with us in bed (I know, that wasn’t the wisest thing to do) we were afraid we’d roll over on him during the night. But of course that sixth sense kicked in and that never happened. And now, reality has set in that he’s an adult and it has hit like a ton of bricks.

            I tend to be the overly emotional member of the family and Kathy will attest to that. I am sentimental to the max and cling to memories of our past. She says you don’t need “things” or even photos to remember, but that’s how my mind works I suppose. I can hear something, see something or touch something and it’s as if it just happened, and in detail.

            In the past few months Zak has started driving on his own (he was a late bloomer in that department, as were many of his peers). I couldn’t wait until I turned 15 ½ to get my “temps”. He turned 18 and became “legal” in March. And we just watched as he marched down the aisle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WENU22kIN6Y and received his high school diploma. For a guy who has probably been a bit too “hands on” as our son traversed the halls of his various school buildings, those events were quite a shock!

            Look, he and I are going at it tooth and nail as many teens testing their wings do with their parents. I feel frustration, anger and fear. But, far outweighing that is the pride that I feel and unconditional love I, no WE, have for him.

            I have shared in this column on a couple of occasions my belief that families should live near each other to experience and share in each others’ lives. I know in this day and age, we spread out across this continent and the globe. But what a loss! Think about those families you know, or even your own family. You may see Mom and Dad, brother or sister, nieces or nephews or even sons, daughters and grandchildren a few times a year at holidays. No job, career or lifestyle (in my humble opinion) is worth that. The family, and unique family support capability, is irreplaceable. I know there are families that bicker like cats and dogs, but beneath it all, they are still family. What a bond!

            Today many jobs can be done in a remote location far away from the brick and mortar office building. Kathy has a coworker she has worked with on her team for 30 plus years who lives in a remote part of Canada. So “here” is only is where you can accomplish your tasks.

            Zak may or may not share those views. Frankly, until I was in my late 20’s, I didn’t get it. But I hope, as he enters this phase of his education and life, he considers that we need and love him, want his success and happiness above all else and I, and I am sure Kathy, would love to see those things achieved where we  could enjoy hobbies, sports and family dinners together on a regular basis. I think it’s the way it should be because no matter how close a friendship, it can never replace family.

            Congratulations Zak and all your graduates. May they find what they seek in life and enjoy great success in those pursuits. And may they always cherish their family!

Mike Scinto has served as a radio talk show host for three decades. He can be heard on the syndicated “The Mike Gallagher Show” and seen as a contributor on the Fox News Channel. You can reach Mike by phone at 937-506-4288, via his blog at http://mikescinto.blogspot.com/ or by email at mikescintocolumn@gmail.com. Become Mike’s friend on Facebook and learn about upcoming events and appearances.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Every Day Should Be Memorial Day

Every Day Should Be Memorial Day
By Mike Scinto
            By the time you read this column the “official” day of commemoration for our fallen heroes who risked life and limb to defend our country will have passed by a few days. But I think every day should be treated as “Memorial Day” when it comes to the kinds of sacrifices our soldiers have given, and continue to give.

            As we travel through our busy schedules; projects at work, the kids in school, sports, economic issues and numerous other things that occupy our minds, men and women are in unbelievably scary, dangerous and deadly situations so our way of life can continue.

            I am proud to say that I am a disabled United States Air Force Veteran of the Vietnam era. My late father, who we lost in 2003, was a Pearl Harbor and Guadalcanal Campaign survivor. My father-in-law served several tours as a fighter pilot in Vietnam before retiring from the United States Air Force. I am so proud of both of them and of all the other veterans, living and deceased, who populate our family tree.

            As of this writing I have to offer this observation. It was announced that rather than the American Presidential tradition, Barrack Obama had decided to pass on the breakfast with family members of fallen heroes and the laying of the wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown at Arlington National Cemetery. He had decided instead to go hang with his buddies back home in Chicago. I am aware that other Presidents have opted to hand that duty over to their VPs. But none of those Commanders-In Chief have in so many other ways shown a complete lack of respect for our country, way of life or traditions.

            As I said, when you read this, the actual commemorative day is past. But you can still visit your friends’ or relatives’ graves. Call a family member of a fallen veteran who is still living. Or just go visit one of the most impressive, awe-inspiring and respectful sites in America; the National Cemetery on the grounds of the Dayton VA. It’s a visit you will truly feel and will want to make again; whether it’s Memorial Day or not.

            God Bless our American Veterans; living and dead, past present and future!