Happy Independence Day! The Day America Became Exceptional

I have reached the age when the names of high school classmates who have passed away are brought to my attention more often. It all seems a little surreal to me. Since my graduation year, 1958, the world has become a significantly different place. America has largely exchanged its traditional moral base for materialistic satisfaction. Our Founding Fathers would not recognize us today. Most of the high Christian principles they fought to the death to establish seem to have become an embarrassment to the American establishment. Liberal Progressives sitting on our Supreme Court today reject anything resembling a strict construction of our Constitution; it's a living document they claim, constantly in need of expansion and reinterpretation.
Except for formal amendment, that's not what our Founders intended, and they very carefully crafted the wording. Thank God for Americans who still set strong examples for our youth.

The memory of one particular 1958 classmate has just been refreshed, that of Alberto Antonio Sanchez, whose friends knew him as "Beto". I played football with Beto for 4 years. I remember him as a friendly, well-mannered student, serious, with a good sense of humor. We received our diplomas on the same day; I was hugely relieved that mine was actually signed.

We both entered the military that year but, as with most of my classmates, we lost touch after that. Nothing was heard of Beto over the years. Even our alumni association could not find him. Rumors spread during reunions that perhaps he was killed in Vietnam; but no one was certain. An email from our alumni association recently informed me that "Sadly, he died in September, 2015."

As I read the obituary, a flood of memories rushed back. I am in awe of Beto's accomplishments. He had become a true American hero, someone whose life should be celebrated on this Fourth of July. I only wish I had had the opportunity to meet with him before he passed. In every respect Alberto Sanchez worked through a life of heroic accomplishments. I could not find a photo of Beto to publish with this memorial, but in reading his obituary his image stands out clear and bright. What better day to celebrate his life than the Fourth of July, America's birthday!

Rest in peace Beto. Thank you for leading such an exemplary life.

Obituary for Alberto Antonio Sanchez
Albert A. Sanchez, 75 of Carthage passed away at his home on Wednesday, September 30th. A service of military honors will be performed upon the Sandhills Horticulture Gardens on Airport Road in Pinehurst on Saturday, October 10th at 1pm. He was born in Oxnard, California on January 8th, 1940 to parents Albert S. Sanchez and Ramona Sanchez. Master Sergeant Sanchez was raised in Southern California and graduated from Santa Clara High School in Oxnard. After graduating, Albert joined the United States Marine Corps where he began his 20 year career in the military. He soon transferred to the US Army where he became part of the 82nd Airborne, 5th Group Special Forces. During his lengthy career he completed 5 tours in Vietnam, earning accommodations including the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star, as well as being stationed in Germany and Panama. While stationed at Fort Bragg, NC he met and married Alice P. McCaskill in 1972 and retired from the Army at the rank of Master Sergeant in January, 1980. He then went on to pursue degrees at NC State, UNC Pembroke and received a Masters in Public Administration from Webster University at Fort Bragg. Albert then continued his service to his country through civil service at Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) where he was based in Fort Bragg, and the Central Intelligence Agency where he was based in Washington, DC. During his marriage to Alice he lived in Carthage and was a member of St Anthony's Church in Southern Pines as well as a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. Master Sergeant Sanchez is survived by his wife of 43 years, Alice Sanchez; his daughter, Angela Sanchez and her husband, Chris Abbey; his stepson, John Frye and wife Tamera, and his three grandchildren Curtis, Colby and Danielle Frye.