Monday Bacon: The Greatest

I heard (or rather read) a story the other day from a friend of mine making one of her weekly treks to JoAnn Fabrics last weekend. It seems they were giving veterans a 10% discount on purchases in honor of Veterans day. A man and his wife stepped up to the cashier, he wearing his Vietnam Veteran cap and hands the silly, 50 something year old woman some papers my friend couldn’t see. She then informed the man that he actually needed to provide his discharge papers in order to receive the discount.


Soooo, let me get my head around this. Some woman in her (at least late 40’s or) 50’s, who SHOULD be old enough to understand the time frame of the Vietnam war demanded DISCHARGE papers in order to avoid giving a dollar back to the couple for their purchases? A dollar? A dollar. Huh? Hey JoAnn Fabrics? Fok off.

While an employee in his 20’s ran up and saved the day and allowed the discount, clearly there was some sort of training issue where this woman believed she could harass a veteran in efforts to guard JoAnn Fabrics treasures in the form of a dollar. Fuktard.

And so it goes for our Greatest. Small, seemingly inconsequential digs like silly cashiers. And not so silly digs like the very Government our Greatest served taking the time and effort of putting up barriers and cheap police tape to keep them out of their own Memorial. Yes, this still pisses me off. No, I haven’t forgotten just because someone later was able to talk the white house into not doing this (duh.) It was nasty, and shitty, but most of all…you disrespected our Greatest. Of the 400 million Government offices that could have been closed down and actually stay closed, you shut out the good people who’ve served and are barely able to make it to Washington. Hey Washington? You suck.

There are many reasons these days why people sign up to serve in the military. Patriotism, career opportunities, family history, or just trying to stay off of a troubled path that the structure of the military can provide. We’re thankful for all of you. We hope you are on the receiving end of respect and gratitude from those around you. We are thankful for the loyal families who allow you to serve stress free as they keep your homes running like a finely tuned machine in your absence.

We wish you peace as you come home to deal with the experience of war. I’d advise staying away from Milwaukee JoAnn Fabric stores.  Just sayin’.

I think of many I know and love who have served or are serving in various areas of the military. Of course my pilots,  especially Howie in Afghanistan; Dobbs in Korea. Many veterans in the throwing and strength world, including PJ’s (who I’ve been told by certain female fighter pilots are the only acceptable badass kind of man for them;) But my Greatest? My uncle Dennis, a Vietnam Veteran who came home to an America that was pissed at HIM for serving and came out on the other side with strength, valor, and the adoration of his family. He’s my hero.

My Uncle and Auntie wrapped up a recent Scotland trip with a stop in France with friends and visited the Normandy Cemetery and Memorial. Over 9000 Greatest are laid to rest here and over 1500 missing are remembered.

That picture represents a small portion of veterans of our wars who have never made it home; whose remains are long gone and unaccounted for; whose family trees have stopped sprouting and are no longer around to remember…this is your day.

Thank you.

Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.

Mark Twain

Training Log

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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