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Public Corruption in Chester County, PA

I believe an unlikely mix of alleged drug trafficking related politicos and alleged white nationalist related politicos united to elect the infamous “Bloc of Four” in the abysmal voter turnout election of 2005. During their four year term the drug business was good again and white nationalists used Coatesville as an example on white supremacist websites like “Stormfront”. Strong community organization and support from law enforcement, in particular Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll has begun to turn our community around. The Chester County drug trafficking that I believe centers on Coatesville continues and I believe we still have public officials in place that profit from the drug sales. But the people here are amazing and continue to work against the odds to make Coatesville a good place to live.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


A friend gave me a copy of Tom Brokaw’s “The Greatest Generation” to read while I was in the hospital. It was hard to put down. It’s a very emotionally charged book for me. Many of the people in it are like the people I grew up with in Coatesville.

I grew up surrounded by heroes.

As a boy it seemed ordinary to live among so many adults that lived through World War II and the Depression. I knew my uncle Fred and Uncle Lou were solders in WWII. But I really didn’t appreciate what they did until sometime in the 1990s. I think it was because of the 50th anniversary of D-Day. Maybe it was Steven Ambrose’s book on D-Day.

I knew my Uncle Lou Pilotti was in Patton’s Army, he talked about the War a little. Things like hearing the Germans sing Christmas carols in the next hedgerow in France. He got lost for days during the Battle of the Bulge and ran to the sound of a tank. He said he was starving and cold and didn’t care if it was German or American. The tank commander asked who won the 1942 World Series. My Uncle said, “Hell, I don’t know, I’m an American." He said an officer told him and another man to take a young German prisoner of war into the woods and shoot him. I guess they had no way to hold prisoners. Uncle Lou said he couldn’t pull the trigger on his gun. Uncle Lou must have had a really difficult time. But he didn’t keep it all inside and he had a loving family. It was different with my Uncle Fred.  In a hushed tone my Uncle Lou said, “Freddy had it real bad”.

I started to ask about just what Uncle Fred did during the war. He would hardly say a word about it. I learned that he was a Combat Engineer. His duties would have been to clear paths for vehicles and troops through obstructions and minefields. He was in such constant combat that he was unable to take off his wet boots for 3 months. A painful fungus developed on one foot that is still with him to this day. The fungus wasn’t the only thing that stayed with Uncle Fred. He had to have what we now call PTST.
I believe it was at Christmas time 10 or 15 years ago, I was at the kitchen table with some of my aunts and uncles. My Uncle Lou and Uncle Fred were there. Out of the blue I said, "Thanks for what you did." My uncle Lou said, "What do you mean?” I said, "If you hadn't of did what you did during the war we might all be speaking German right now." Uncle Lou smiled a little in appreciation. It seemed to hit Uncle Fred hard, he left the room. On that evening at the kitchen table I had the privilege to sit with heroes. They have a special place in my heart.

Uncle Fred is now receiving nursing home care at the Coatesville VA Medical Center.

When my uncles came back from WWII everyone was aware of their service. Nearly every family in the USA had a family member in the service or served in some other capacity. The Veterans of World War II had the gratitude of the entire nation. Today the burden of war is carried by just a few families. The Iraq War is finally over and troops are coming home. And right now some people may not even know that we are waging a war in Afghanistan.
“New PTSD cases are coming in at a rate of more than 3,000 a month, even as the United States completed its withdrawal from Iraq over the weekend and continues the longest conflict in the nation's history in Afghanistan…‘Unable to cope, some service members end up taking their lives. ‘Eighteen veterans commit suicide every day," said Rene Campos, deputy director of government affairs of the Military Officers Association of America, the nation's largest officers association with 370,000 members from every military branch. 
‘That's one every 80 minutes,’ she told a congressional subcommittee this month. ‘Twenty-two percent of all suicides in the U.S. are former service members.’ 
More than 2,200 active-duty military members took their lives from 2001 through 2010, officials said. Last year, 293 killed themselves.” 
As troops come home, VA reaches out to those suffering stress of war

“The values that drive every soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine to serve America must also drive the way we treat our veterans. Hire them, welcome them home, and do what you can. 
In the end, service is about putting our country ahead of politics and following the example set by our commander-in-chief by honoring the service of all who sacrificed more than we'll ever know. We must all do our part.”  
Honor service of those who sacrificed 
By Patrick J. Murphy

Most Veterans have a family to support them but many do not. Some need medical monitoring. Many of the Veterans that you occasionally see here on the streets in Coatesville are getting assisted living in group homes in Coatesville with support from the VA Medical Center.

There are a variety of services available to Veterans at the:

If you’re interested there may be a volunteer opportunity for you at the VA Center:
Some Resources for Veterans:
Make the Connection” Shared experiences and support for Veterans.

If you have PTSD or just want to understand it see this book and a companion website.
My Back to the Wall

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