Great-Great Grandfather of six children, including yours truly
Pvt. John James Rooks, Wagoneer

Company B; 15th Cavalry, Marianna Dragoons, Chipley, Florida CSA 1861-1865
Born 25 August 1838 New Hanover County, North Carolina
Died 1894 Chipley, Florida
Behave yourself.  My Poppy didn’t live and die for you to act a fool.

Please don’t mess with Veterans, especially my ancestors. Don’t. Mess. With. Veterans. You may think you’re carrying on the noble legacy of men who lived centuries ago, but what you’re really doing is carrying on stupidity that harms Veterans today.  Neither the words woke nor awake describe how we should behave every day.  How about with grace and compassion?

The life of Veteran Michael Fanone is one example of the evil stupidity that happened 6 January 2021. Here is a Veteran who was greatly harmed by people who call themselves patriots. It still makes my blood boil, as my elder Poppy’s blood boils within me at a slow simmer.

Any cause seems worthy when you’re young and high on digital content. We need the passion and indomitable spirit of youth. What we don’t need is anarchy. The online appeal of revolution seems alluring when you’re young, but when you are elder and have friends who died in prison, the white supremacist/nationalist gang mentality looks as tragically stupid as it always was. Please don’t wait until you get to prison to learn that there are Black  leaders who value your life more than you have valued your own freedom. Please.  Please show pride in your ancestry through noble behavior and know that we are all saved by grace.  This is the best way to honor Veterans, not by joining a group or a gang.

No other Veterans relief society in America sparks more controversy than the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and with good reason. In warfare, there is no glorified Second Place winner display except in Richmond, Virginia. No one would like to be demonized for their heritage, but we must stop earning the ire and insults of the world by fulfilling their worst stereotypes of white people. That’s what I saw happen on the Capitol grounds 6 January 2021. It’s what I still see today all across America.  That’s what I won’t tolerate. Never shoplift my heritage to justify your terrorism. White people gone wrong have done more to harm our heritage than any left wing organization on Earth.  Don’t. Mess. With. Veterans.

To answer your questions, I joined the Seattle UDC #885 in 2004 to do what was expected of me at the time. No other woman in my entire family had ever joined the organization. I was interested in the application of Mrs. Essie Mae Washington-Williams, whose daughter, Monica Williams Hudgens, was an associate member of the Seattle UDC #885. She was denied full member status, as Mrs. Washington-Williams’ application was completely denied. While they were not the only BIPOC applicants or members to the UDC, they were the only ones with proven lineage from South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond.

The UDC became bitter and angry when I demanded that they be admitted. The UDC continues to act against its own by-laws for admission. Mrs. Williams was given the cold shoulder Southern style replete with “bless your heart” for honoring her Ancestor, George Washington Thurmond, who was present when General Robert E. Lee surrendered at the Appomattox Courthouse 9 April 1865.

The above picture tells the story of my maternal great-great grandfather, Pvt. John James Rooks. Born of humble means 25 August 1838 in New Hanover County, North Carolina (present day Wilmington), he sojourned to Chipley, Florida where he served from 1861–1865 during the American Civil War. The details of his service are well documented as a Wagoneer, the modern Military rank equivalent of which would be a tank operator. Spare me your insults, keep your rebel flags, but please don’t mess with my elder Poppy. Elder Poppy was a Veteran. Please. Don’t mess with Veterans. Imagine being born a sharecropper, a laborer, a man of humble means, of unknown origins, and that you owned no land. This was my Poppy’s reality.

The worst insult to his memory happened on 6 January 2021. It is quite trendy to idolize southern nationalism, and it’s a dangerous trend indeed. The only valid reason for studying war is to prevent war. I doubt most who were present on Capitol grounds knew the first true thing about the American Civil War. I know they didn’t have the fortitude to survive what my elder Poppy did during the American Civil War.

Founded near Nashville, Tennessee in 1894, the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s objectives are historical, educational, benevolent, memorial, and patriotic. My focus was on the benevolent and patriotic portions of that mission during my eight-year tenure in the Seattle UDC Chapter #885. Like many UDC members, I volunteered through VAVS.

While wealthy landowning members of the UDC focused more on promoting its “Lost Cause” narrative in the 20th Century, most of its members in the 19th Century focused on providing direct care for millions of men damaged and devastated by this horrible conflict. These good deeds were continued in the 20th Century, yet this taxpayer funded organization has little relevance to the global community today as we journey through the 21st Century.

The American Civil War killed over 600,000 men. Its effects on women and children are incalculable. The men who survived had no Veterans Administration, few hospitals, and no comfort except for the generosity and esprit de corps of unpaid Caregivers (another euphemism for slavery, as is Selective Service for men).

The vision my elder Poppy gives me is very simple and plain: the American Civil War never ended slavery. It globalized the plantation. Will we be enslaved to gang mentalities, violence, and endless warfare? If so, we are still on the plantation.

Will we choose to be equally yoked? These questions can only be answered by tending our own gardens. Actions speak louder than words. Let’s globalize the garden and leave the plantation in the dust bin of history like so many lost wars.

Please. Don’t mess with Veterans. You can keep the monuments, flags, and idolatry of war. Thanks for visiting me.

#VetSafe #TeamUSA #supercozy