Dare I Say – God Bless the USA

I happen to be an American of Croatian descent. 

I’m not a Croatian-American, often referred to as a hyphenated-American.  Never will be.  Don’t want to be.  This may not seem like a big deal to some, but for me it’s pretty darn important.

Other examples of hyphenated-American titles include Japanese-American, Native-American, Mexican-American, Asian-American, African-American, Irish-American and Italian-American, to name but a few.

I find such titles unnecessary and potentially destructive to the fabric of our Nation.  And, I’m not alone in my feelings.

I’ve been to Croatia once while deployed with NATO forces.  Seemed like a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.  I feel no particular attachment, emotional or otherwise.  I don’t speak Croatian, am not intimately familiar with its culture and traditions, am not particularly up-to-date on its political, social and economic underpinnings and can go weeks, months and even years without giving Croatia much thought.

Why then would I wish to be called a Croatian-American?

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m proud of my Croatian roots.  But America always gets the place of honor with me.  

Darn it, I’m unabashedly proud, thankful and blessed to be a citizen of the greatest country in the world.  I will not, cannot, split my loyalty between two countries.  

There shall never be a question that my loyalty and allegiance belongs to America.  America is my home, where my heart is and my family resides.  It’s the country I love, the only country.  It’s the country I am willing to die for should it be necessary.  Surely, I cannot say the same about Croatia.

It’s time to chart a new course.

Let’s begin emphasizing our common interests and common American heritage rather than the things that make us different.  Respect for diversity is a good thing, but not if done at the expense of our Nation’s best interests.

Let’s always put America first.  Rather than Irish-American, let’s instead say American of Irish descent.  African-American changes to American of African descent.  Mexican-American becomes American of Mexican descent. And so on.

As President Roosevelt so wisely said, “Our allegiance must be purely to the United States.” 

America, land of the free and home of the brave.  There can be no other.  There is no other.  

Dare I Say, God bless the USA.

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Help Us Build the US Air Force Memorial in California

The USAF Memorial is the first of five service memorials to be built at the Northern California Veterans Cemetery to honor the sacrifice and dedication of all Air Force airmen.  It will also be the first Air Force memorial at the state-run Northern California Veterans Cemetery.

The memorial titled “Into the Wild Blue Yonder” will be a place of reflection for families and visitors to the cemetery. It has been fully approved by the California Department of Veterans Affairs and will be placed along a newly designated memorial walkway that will honor veterans of all eras and all branches of service.

What we need now is to kick-start donations to keep the memorial construction moving!  Remember, no donation is too small.  We are just grateful for the generosity of our donors near and far.

The stunning memorial structure constructed of aluminum will depict the globe with an aircraft and contrail circling the earth and flying high “into the wild blue yonder”. Its reflective surface will be reminiscent of the silver sheen of Air Force aircraft throughout history and will reflect the serenity and beauty of the cemetery grounds.

This memorial is dedicated to the men and women who have served and supported the rich history of the Air Force. We invite the community to honor their loved ones with a customizable paver brick that will be laid at the base of the memorial for generations to come.

To learn more about the project or purchase a customizable brick to honor someone today, visit the USAF Memorial website at www.usafmemorial.org and like us on Facebook for updates www.facebook.com/usafmemorial.

You can also make a donation by visiting http://www.gofundme.com/ynmbj4m .

Thank you for your support.

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Please Help Us Build the US Air Force Memorial

Dear Supporters of the USAF Memorial,

We are excited to announce that the California Department of Veterans Affairs has given their seal of approval to move forward with the USAF Memorial project at the Northern California Veterans Cemetery in Igo, CA.

With memorial construction underway, we seek to raise donations to help fund the project.

We hope you will consider making a donation today to honor Air Force Airmen of all eras and provide a place for families and friends to reflect and honor their Airman’s life and service.

Click the link below to donate today!


Thank you for your generosity.


The USAF Memorial Committee

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Dare I Say, It Only Makes Sense


As most would acknowledge, we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of one of the worst droughts in recent memory, with no end in sight.  Restrictions on water use, rising prices, reductions in water deliveries and loss of existing wells have become all too common place.

The last thing you’d expect to see these days is a large new orchard being planted.  While many existing orchards and crops are being abandoned due to lack of available water, that’s not the case along Gas Point Road.    

Take a Sunday drive approximately 11 miles due west and you can see for yourself.  Acre upon acre upon acre of newly planted trees, with evidence of more to come. 

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love orchards as much as the next guy.  For sure, they provide consumers with a bounty of fruits and nuts, add significantly to the area’s economic vitality and are just plain nice to look at. 

But, orchards demand lots of water.  Lots and lots of water.  And, sinking multiple Ag wells to satisfy this demand without first assessing their possible negative impact on the aquifer and existing area wells is just plain nuts.

 Turns out all you need are land that’s zoned for agriculture and the money to dig a well.  With that in hand, you’re free to pump as much water as you’d like.

The Director of the Shasta County Department of Resource Management, responding to a recent query that raised legitimate concerns about the impact of Ag wells dug to support the new orchard, provided this advice,  

Our permit applications do not delve into the specific use of the well other than to distinguish new wells from existing wells that need repairs, deepening, etc., and agricultural wells from domestic, industrial, or public water system wells.  We do not regulate pumping volumes or overall usage (at least not yet).”   

So, it appears the Ag world gets a pass when it comes to extracting water from the aquifer.  Dig the well and pump away.  I bet a lot of land developers would love to get that kind of treatment from the county when they propose new home sub-divisions.

The county needs to get off the stick and implement required impact reviews for all new Ag projects that can potentially pump large volumes of water for irrigation.  Delay is not an option. 

Dare I Say, it only makes sense.

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About Me

Pete Stiglich is a community and Veteran activist from Cottonwood, California. After 26 years of dedicated service, he retired as a Colonel from the United States Air Force in 2006.

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