Friday, October 31, 2008

Fluky Friday

Reflect for a moment on the courage, the blood and the sacrifice of men and women in generations past who gave so much so that we all have the freedom to vote. Please exercise this freedom next Tuesday! It is one of our responsibilities; it is a privilege we as Americans have! Service members stationed overseas should carry out their right to vote, as well. The news of what was going on in Virginia was nauseating… there was no flipping line available for the address of a witness! ARGH! OK, this situation is now resolved, our Servicemen’s votes have been counted (I’ll calm down on this issue for now.) PLEASE VOTE!

John News: Lots has been going on in his world at Wright-Patt. John purchased a 2008 Ford Fusion! Hooray! Nice looking car-dependable and affordable! The car is perfect for a nineteen year old Airman. Ahhh… but when you have sunshine, expect some rain to fall. As John was driving himself to the ER (details to follow) he jumped a curb and kinda sorta messed up a tire. OUCH! Nobody was hurt during this fiasco, but John’s wallet will feel a pinch. Needless to say, my son was not pleased. The purpose of the trip to the ER is John broke his foot on Tuesday, while running a 15K (9.44 miles) in 1hour 22minutes 49seconds. He suffers a stress fracture, which is quite painful. This broken foot has him on crutches for the first time in his life, fortunately no cast-simply a boot. Both of my sons were Cross Country runners in High School. My oldest Airman did extremely well, actually ran in the State Championship a couple of years! B suffered a popped abdominal muscle during one State race-I knew right away he was injured as he passed by, but he went on to somehow finished the race! That is my son-AWESOME! John knew quite a few injuries during his Cross Country days. He always gave it his all; I’ve attached one of his pictures. I see pain all over my son's face!

Today is Halloween. As an empty-nester it’s not quite the same. I do miss the days of watching my kids in the parade on the Elementary School blacktop! The classes would all line up and march; showing off their creative, cute and silly costumes. The teachers would dress up as well…you could always rely on Mr. Harris the music teacher to amaze the crowds with some outlandish costume! Good memories. We’ll dole out some candy tonight…ooohing and ahhhing over our miniature visitors. Fortunately for Luke (our Mutt) I am not one to dress up dogs, even on Halloween (when I could get away with it!) P.S. I know this picture of my kids was taken at Christmas, but it is so darn cute of the four of them in *costume*.

This weekend is expected to be absolutely gorgeous! There is a half-cord of firewood in our driveway, which will be stacked on Saturday by me and Hubster. Hopefully, we can finish up early enough to take a walk on the C & O Canal. I’ve been craving Carrot Cake, so most likely one will be baked on Sunday. It will be a good thing when my grandgirl is born in January; these cravings have got to stop! I’ll most likely visit Lewis Markets for some apples, they are so yummy! As busy as the weekend will be, our brave Airman, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines will not be far from my thoughts. Truly, it is because of them I am free to vote, free to go about my daily routine.

May Almighty God Bless us all!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Semper Fidelis~Always Faithful

Corporal Garrett S. Jones, an amputee who was injured in 2007 by an insurgent’s bomb during his unit’s deployment to Iraq, is proud to be back serving with the Marines of 2d Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, which are currently serving in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Jones is the first Marine with an above-the-knee amputation to deploy to Afghanistan.
(Official U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Ray Lewis)

Wednesday Hero 10/29/2008

Wednesday Hero was started to put a spotlight on the men and women of the United States military and the bravery their show day in and day out. But on a few occasions a service members of an allied nation has been profiled. Such is the case this week.

Despite being shot twice during an ambush in Afghanistan, an SAS (Special Air Service) soldier from Australia lashed himself to the front of his patrol vehicle so he wouldn't be left behind if he passed out from loss of blood and kept on fighting.

The Digger is expected to be recommended for a high level bravery award.

Suffering from serious upper body wounds, the soldier struggled on to the front of his SAS long range patrol vehicle (LRPV) and, under heavy fire, used a rope to attach himself firmly between the vehicle's bull bar and radiator.

Once he was secured, and there was no chance that he would fall off if he fainted, he picked up his rifle and resumed firing at the enemy during a two-hour fighting withdrawal.

SAS troops and their special forces comrades from the Commando Regiment are well aware of the slow and painful death that awaits them if they are captured by the Taliban.

The Digger, who cannot be identified, faded in and out of consciousness, emptying several magazines as volleys of enemy rounds and rocket propelled grenades, rained down around him.

He was finally evacuated from the battle field at high speed still lashed to the front of the LRPV.

A source told The Courier-Mail the Digger was now "up and about" and would recover fully from his serious gunshot wounds. His heroic deeds will be recognised when he is recommended for a high level bravery award.

Several others engaged in the do-or-die battle on September 2 are also in line for top honours.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Prayer for our Troops

Dear Lord,

There's a young man far from home,

called to serve his nation in time of war;

sent to defend our freedom

on some distant foreign shore.

We pray You keep him safe,

we pray You keep him strong,

we pray You send him safely home ...

for he's been away so long.

There's a young woman far from home,

serving her nation with pride.

Her step is strong, her step is sure,

there is courage in every stride.

We pray You keep her safe,

we pray You keep her strong,

we pray You send her safely home ...

for she's been away too long.

Bless those who await their safe return.

Bless those who mourn the lost.

Bless those who serve this country well,

no matter what the cost.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Birthday, Lee

Lee Greenwood was born on this day in 1942. Many of us know his most famous song titled, "God Bless the U.S.A." although he has released at least 20 major-label albums. “God Bless the USA” has been voted the most recognizable patriotic song in America, taking the top honor over “God Bless America” and the “National Anthem.” Greenwood admits when he first wrote the song, he had no idea how much it would impact people. “One of the reasons I wrote the lyric ‘I’m proud to be an American,’ is I really wanted to instill the pride back in America. The song represents my family, my community and all the Americans who are proud of who they are.”

God Bless The U.S.A.
by Lee Greenwood

If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I’d worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.

I’d thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

From the lakes of Minnesota,
to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,
From sea to shining sea.

From Detroit down to Houston,
and New York to L.A.
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.

That I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

And I’m proud to be and American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Magic Blue Blanket

Is there a “thing” in your life, which has brought comfort, possesses healing powers, and simply warm memories? For me and my kids, this “thing” is our Magic Blue Blanket.

It all began in the early 1980’s; I was a young mom with three babies all under the age of 5. My mom thought a nice Christmas gift for me would be an electric blanket. Nay, nay….they frighten me. My second worst nightmare was having this blanket catch fire, as a result my babies and I would perish. My Mom of course would be charged with arson (it’s my dream) no happy ending here, folks. BTW, my number one nightmare as a young mom…my car stalling on the railroad tracks with the babies strapped in car seats in the back. Nay, nay…I avoid all routes which involve crossing a RR track. Speaking of tracks, back to the Blue Blanket…. By the 26th of December, I had removed all of the wiring which was easy to grab and pull. Hence, I wound up with a blanket destined to unravel sooner than later.

Sorry, Mom.

So here it is…wintertime with three babies catching colds, stomach ailments and general “being baby” actions which involve body fluids exiting their little bodies. The Blue Blanket became the recipient of all discharges. What the heck, throw it in the wash and it is ready and waiting for the next sick child. With time, it became learned behavior…if one is to feel sick, grab the Blue Blanket. This being said, being the mom of impressionable young minds, with an outlandish imagination… I told my children that if we snuggle in the Blue Blanket its magic powers would make them feel better. Of course, they were amazed. It never failed! Every time they felt sick…all they had to do was release some bile and Cheerios into the Blue Blanket and *Presto* they felt better.

OK… one might think as these babies grew into tikes and teens, the Magic Blue Blanket would fall by the wayside. Nay, nay. When John was 9 years old, he had his tonsils removed. Seven days later, some of the scabs made an untimely exit with the help of a sneeze. John began to vomit blood into the Blue Blanket, of course. He was rushed by ambulance to the ER; his blood pressure had dropped to a dangerous level. He was terrified. I was beside myself with fear. Obviously, he survived and so did his mom. He gave credit to the Magic Blue Blanket and who was I to deny it.

So it goes….. If there was illness, the Magic Blue Blanket was summoned for healing. My dad received a lung transplant... while he recovered; I sat with him, holding his hand with a piece of the Blue Blanket in our folded hands. He survived for five years with his new lung, until as my dad put it “Those damn shingles” ended his battle. I suppose even the Magic Blue Blanket has its limits.

Down the road… a girlfriend knocks on my front door one afternoon. As I open the door, I see pain in her eyes. Standing in the doorway, she told me she needed three things from me; a hug, a cup of tea and a piece of the Magic Blue Blanket. Not knowing what was going on, I did as she asked… she took the piece of Blue Blanket and placed it under her shirt. She told me has Breast Cancer. We cried, hugged and sipped tea. The piece of Blue blanket was sewn into a quilt she took to the hospital. For seven years, she has remained cancer-free. Until this summer. Immediately upon hearing this horrible news, I mailed a card which included a piece of the Blue Blanket. She sewed this small piece of fabric into a new healing quilt. The surgeons feel as though they removed all of the cancer...

There you have it… a small glimpse of a big “thing”. So many times the Magic Blue Blanket has served us well. It is tattered and torn. It has oodles of little squares cut from its edges. It has been given to many friends in times of need. I carry a piece of Magic Blue Blanket in my back-pack on every trip. By no means does the Magic Blue Blanket replace the power of God, the power of prayer or the power of friendship… it is only a “thing”. But it is our “thing”…our Magic Blue Blanket.

What is your Magic Blue Blanket?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Military Friends v Civilian Friends

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Get upset if you're too busy to talk to them for a week.

MILITARY FRIENDS: Are glad to see you after years, and will happily carry on the same conversation you were having last time you met.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Never ask for food.

MILITARY FRIENDS: Are the reason you have no food.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Call your parents Mr. And Mrs.

MILITARY FRIENDS: Call your parents mom and dad.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Bail you out of jail and tell you what you did was wrong.

MILITARY FRIENDS: Would be sitting next to you saying, "Damn...we screwed up...but man that was fun!"

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Have never seen you cry.


CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Borrow your stuff for a few days then give it back.

MILITARY FRIENDS: Keep your stuff so long they forget it's yours.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Know a few things about you.

MILITARY FRIENDS: Could write a book with direct quotes from you.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will leave you behind if that's what the crowd is doing.

MILITARY FRIENDS: Will kick the whole crowds' ass that left you behind.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Would knock on your door.

MILITARY FRIENDS: Walk right in and say, "I'm home!"

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Have shared a few experiences...

MILITARY FRIENDS: Have shared a lifetime of experiences no Civilian could ever dream of...

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will take your drink away when they think you've had enough.

MILITARY FRIENDS: Will look at you stumbling all over the place and say, "You better drink the rest of that, you know we don't waste...that's alcohol abuse!!" Then carry you home safely and put you to bed...

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will talk crap to the person who talks crap about you.

MILITARY FRIENDS: Will knock them the hell out for using your name in vain.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Are for a while.


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Thanks to for the inspiration of this Thoughtful Thursday post.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Freedom is a breath of air,
Pine-scented, or salty like the sea;
Freedom is a field new-plowed...
Furrows of democracy!

Freedom is a forest,
Trees tall and straight as men.
Freedom is a printing press...
The power of the pen!

Freedom is a country church,
A cathedral's stately spire;
Freedom is a spirit
That can set the soul on fire!

Freedom is man's birthright,
A sacred, living rampart;
The pulsebeat of humanity...
The throb of a nation's heart!

...Clara Smith Reber

Wednesday Hero 10/22/2008

Sgt. Carlton A. Clark
Sgt. Carlton A. Clark
22 years old from South Royalton, Vermont
2nd Brigade Troop Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)
August 06, 2006
U.S. Army

Sgt. Carlton Clark graduated from South Royalton High School in 2002. While in high school, he was co-captain of his soccer team and a member of the track and field and basketball teams. He graduated from basic combat training and advanced individual training in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. in 2002 and was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. as a combat engineer. He was air assault qualified and deployed during the initial wave of Operation Iraqi Freedom for one year. He was subsequently assigned to West Point to train cadets. He re-enlisted and was deployed for a second tour of duty in Iraq. He earned a Purple Heart, an Army Commendation Medal with Valor, a Bronze Star Medal and was posthumously awarded a second Purple Heart.

Sgt. Clark was killed in action when an IED detonated near his Humvee while conducting combat operations in Baghdad. Also killed in the attack were Staff Sgt. Stephen A. Seale and Cpl. Jose Zamora.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Monday, October 20, 2008

Psalm 91

A U.S. soldier covers his face with a scarf during a patrol in Baquba, in Diyala province some 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad October 17, 2008. The scarf has verses from Psalms 91 of the Bible printed on it. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic (IRAQ) REUTERS/© Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

Psalm 91 (New International Version)

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.

4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.

8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-

10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;

12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

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A special thank you to Joyce asking where to purchase the Psalm 91 Bandana, here is a website: Psalm91Bandana

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Godspeed, Mud Puppy!

Mud Puppy is the owner of a blog I frequent, titled EmbraceTheSuck . This young man is a soldier in the United States Army. He is to be deployed in the next few days. In his own words, Mud Puppy says he "loves this country more than my life itself and would gladly give it up to protect her..."

Mud Puppy's post dated October 17, 2008 left me with an enormous lump in my throat, a knot in my stomach, and tears which made it difficult to read to the end. He writes of his countdown at Fort Bragg, as he prepares for his "adventure". This post consists of his observation of "this little tiff we've got going on over there". He tells of fellow soldiers who don't know the support Mud Puppy values. Some soldiers have not received one piece of mail, while at Fort Bragg.

Mud Puppy questions the support Americans have for fighting our enemy and supporting our soldiers.

It is wrong for even one soldier to question if they have the support of Americans. Granted, this conflict may be questionable by many... how can there be a question of whether or not to support the brave men and women who choose to fight to protect our freedoms?

Imagine feeling forgotten, while in a far away land.

PLEASE take the time to read Mud Puppy's blog, at the very least the post I mentioned. May I add, he must have one proud momma! Mud Puppy closes each post with "Love you, Mom!" Mud Puppy is a soldier made of Velvet and Steel!

May Almighty God bless each and every one of our Airman, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines.

Godspeed, Mud Puppy!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Who? What? Where?

“It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
~Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Ahhh...feel the crispness in the air?

Have you noticed when you are in the mall or even Lowe's... Christmas decorations are everywhere? Me too!

Are you baking some pumpkin bread, or attending an apple festival or visiting a pumpkin patch this weekend? Me too!

Have you thought of the desert today? Have you thought of the brave men and women who are serving our nation, to protect our freedoms? Me too.

Have you wondered...what can I do to make this season brighter for one, two or a dozen Airman, Soldiers, Sailors or Marines? Me too.

One source of information is

Click on Where to Send and there is a list of Military men and women by Service Branch on the left side bar. Read the stories, hear the requests, remember the gratitude.

Click on What to Send if you want some additional ideas such as phone cards, Dunkin Donuts, Care packages. This page also consists of a great "What NOT to Send" list!

Click "How to Send" for information on e-mail, UPS, USPS, customs, etc.

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YIKES! has posted a terrific goal-sending over 50,000 holiday cards to our Heroes in harm's way! OperationLoveFromHome has a Mission to bring a smile to the faces of every troop stationed overseas. Please take a few moments to visit the website.

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Do you know of an organization which makes the Christmas Season more festive for our Airman, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines? PLEASE share your favorite organization, I would be more than happy to post on this blog!

“Each of us will one day be judged by our standard of life -- not by our standard of living; by our measure of giving -- not by our measure of wealth; by our simple goodness -- not by our seeming greatness.”
~William Arthur Ward

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
~Winston Churchill

"It may not seem like much to us, but it will mean the world to them!"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wear Red on Fridays

Red Shirt

If the red shirt thing is new to you, read below how it went for a man.

Last week, while traveling to Chicago on business, I noticed a Marine sergeant traveling with a folded flag, but did not put two and two together.

After we boarded our flight, I turned to the sergeant, who'd been invited to sit in First Class (across from me), and inquired if he was heading home.

No, he responded.

Heading out I asked?

No. I'm escorting a soldier home.

Going to pick him up?

No. He is with me right now. He was killed in Iraq , I'm taking him home to his family.

The realization of what he had been asked to do hit me like a punch to the gut. It was an honor for him. He told me that, although he didn't know the soldier, he had delivered the news of his passing to the soldier's family and felt as if he knew them after many conversations in so few days.

I turned back to him, extended my hand, and said, Thank you. Thank you for doing what you do so my family and I can do what we do.

Upon landing in Chicago , the pilot stopped short of the gate and made the following announcement over the intercom.

'Ladies! and gentlemen, I would like to note that we have had the honor of having Sergeant Steeley of the United States Marine Corps join us on this flight. He is escorting a fallen comrade back home to his family. I ask that you please remain in your seats when we open the forward door to allow Sergeant Steeley to deplane and receive his fellow soldier. We will then turn off the seat belt sign.'

Without a sound, all went as requested. I noticed the sergeant saluting the casket as it was brought off the plane, and his action made me realize that I am proud to be an American.

So here's a public Thank You to our military Men and Women for what you do so we can live the way we do.

Red Fridays.

Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the 'silent majority.' We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers. We are not organized, boisterous or overbearing.

Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of American's supports our troops. Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday -- and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that .. every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar, will wear something red

By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming footbal l game in the bleachers. If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, coworkers, friends, and family, it will not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once 'silent' majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on.

The first thing a soldier says when asked 'What can we do to make things better for you?' is 'We need your support and your prayers.' Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example, and wear something red every Friday.

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Thanks to BSMA for another great post!

Thank you, Tonjia

Thanks to Tonjia at One Step Forward for the Perfect Blend of Friendship Award. Truly, it is an honor to receive such recognition. I graciously accept this award...however I was reluctant to post. My blog is dedicated to my two sons, along with each and every brave Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine. They are the reason for this blog. I am simply a supporter using the blogoshere to share the value of their deeds.

This being said... back to the the award which has some questions, needing some answers... so let's see how this works out:

1. Do you have the same friends since childhood? My "oldest" friend and I met when we were 17 years old... We have seen each other through the best and worst of times. Friendship=being there.

2. What do you value most about your friends?
Honesty and Support. Support works both ways-give and take!

3. Are your friends your sounding boards?
Always! It is equally important to be a sounding board as needed!

4. What is your favorite activity to share with your friends?
F-O-O-D! Nothing like sharing a good meal, a glass of wine, some giggles and tears. And of course...CHOCOLATE!

O.K. Folks...there you have it. A small glimpse of AirmanMom!
Thank you, Tonjia!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday Hero 10/15/2008

Sgt. Anton J. Hiett
Sgt. Anton J. Hiett
25 years old from Mount Airy, North Carolina
391st Engineer Battalion, Army Reserve
March 12, 2006
U.S. Army

Misty Hiett, the widow of Sgt. Anton Hiett, said in an interview that he, Sgt. Hiett, asked to transfer to the 391st Engineering Battalion when it looked like his reserve unit would not be deployed.

Sgt. Hiett was a truck driver who joined the military right out of high school because he "wanted to go help out" during the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. After his transfer to the 391st, he was deployed to Afghanistan on April 22, 2005.

On March 12, 2006, Sgt. Hiett, and three fellow soldiers from the 391st, Staff Sgt. Joe Ray; Spc. Joshua Hill and Sgt. Kevin Akins, were killed when an IED detonated near their Humvee during combat operations west of Asadabad, Afghanistan. He left behind his wife and their then 2(now 4)-year-old daughter Kyra.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Letters From War

Thanks to Jormengrund for his post today! He spoke of an outstanding video by the Christian Artist, Mark Shultz titled, "Letters From War". (Please pause Playlist on sidebar)

While at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas for John's BMT Graduation, we attended Service on Sunday morning. This video was shown. (John later told us this video was shown every Sunday morning during service). I remember looking around the congregation. The room was filled with Zero Week Recruits (those fresh off the bus, with hair, dressed in civvies and scared out of their wits!) right up to Airman (like my son). The music and words which filled the room will never be forgotten, along with the voices of the Airman joyously singing along and clapping...but it was the feeling of awe which I remember most. I was in awe with all the young people who filled this room. Our future military. They WANT to be in the United States Air Force! We are not living in the days of a Draft, we have a military filled with volunteers.

Alright, alright...I know many will say that economics are forcing more and more into the military, and this may be true to some extent. However...I read the blogs of the families of these proud warriors. It is my belief most WANT to serve our country!

I digress... Back to Lackland..hold on...let's step back in time even further. Let's go to my older son's BMT Graduation in September, 1999. A time our country was at peace. To be perfectly honest, the same thoughts, the same emotions filled me. Each of those young men and women WANT to serve our country! The song was different... R.Kelly sang, "I Believe I Can Fly". To this day, all these years later...I hear this song and immediately I am swept to the same Sanctuary, a different group of Airman...

Ahhhh...but the feelings are the same.


September, 1999 and February, 2008... Mom Tears flowed................

May Almighty God bless each and every Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


AFGHANISTAN (Oct. 9, 2008) An F/A-18C Hornet, assigned to the "Stingers" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 113, flies over Southern Afghanistan to return to the Nimitz-class Aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Ronald Reagan and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14 are providing support to coalition forces on the ground in Afghanistan. Ronald Reagan is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Commander Erik Etz/Released)

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May Almighty God watch over each Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine, please bring these brave men and women home safely.

Monday, October 13, 2008


An AH-64D Apache attack helicopter takes off at sunset from a forward arming and refueling point to take part in Iron Horse Rampage, a training exercise on Fort Hood, Texas, Sept. 16, 2008. The soldiers and Apache pilots are assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division's 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade. U.S. Army photo by Chief Warrant Officer 4th Class Dan McClinton

Just Beyond The Sunset

Just beyond the sunset
Someone waits for me
Just beyond the sunset
Lies my destiny
Where the purple mountains
Lie in deep tranquillity
There I’ll find the treasure
Of love eternally

Just beyond the sunset
Waits someone so fair
Just beyond the sunset
All alone they wait there
Their hair is golden
The colour of the sand
Their eyes sparkle in the night
Like diamonds in your hand

Just beyond the sunset
Lies a home for me
Where the world is peaceful
Like a paradise should be
Just beyond the sunset
Someday is where you’ll find me

David Harris

Thanks, Cristoforo Colombo!

In fourteen hundred and ninety-two,
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
He took three ships with him, too,
And called aboard his faithful crew.
Mighty, strong and brave was he
As he sailed across the open sea.
Some people still thought the world was flat!
Can you even imagine that?

On the evening of August 3, 1492, Columbus departed from Palos de la Frontera with three ships; one larger carrack, Santa Maria, and two smaller caravels, Pinta and Santa Clara, nicknamed Nina. Columbus first sailed to the Canary Islands, where he restocked the provisions and made repairs, and on September 6, he started what turned out to be a five-week voyage across the ocean. Land was sighted at 2 am on October 12, 1492 which Columbus called the island (in what is now The Bahamas) San Salvador.
Thanks, Chris!

The cornerstone of the White House was laid during a ceremony in the District of Columbia on October 13, 1792.

On this day in 1903, Boston defeated Pittsburgh in the first World Series.
Go Red Sox!

In 1974, TV host Ed Sullivan died at age 72. It was a really big shoe!
Good night, Ed...........

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Day is Done

Day is done,
gone the sun,
From the hills,
from the lake,
From the skies.
All is well,
safely rest,
God is nigh.

Go to sleep,
peaceful sleep.
May the soldier
or sailor,
God keep.
On the land
or the deep,
Safe in sleep.

Love, good night,
Must thou go,
When the day,
And the night
Need thee so?
All is well.
Speedeth all
To their rest.

Fades the light; And afar
Goeth day,
And the stars
Shineth bright,
Fare thee well;
Day has gone,
Night is on.

Thanks and praise,
For our days,
'Neath the sun,
Neath the stars,
'Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
God is nigh.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Rescue Me!

HT Dog from Afghanistan to appear on Fox News tonite - Can you Help her find a Home? Tillah is a yellow lab mix rescued from the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan when she was a puppy. She had been abused and sadly, once rescued the abuse did not stop. Tillah was abused by the men who cared for the compound where she lived. When she was spayed, she was tied to a tree with no pain medication afterwards. When her owner was going to be transferred she could not bring Tillah with her and thus, was going to euthanize her. She instead contacted Homeward Trails to ask for our help. Since her owner had been a previous HT volunteer, we agreed to take Tillah in. And so Tillah's "second life" began. After a very, very long flight she arrived in the DC area scared, nervous and weary of her new surroundings. Having not been walked much on a leash before, she had to learn. She also had to learn commands in English. She had to learn that people were not going to hit her, throw rocks at her or drag her around by her leash. Tillah has now been in foster for almost one year. Her progress has been nothing short of amazing. She is playful, great on a leash, housebroken and knows many commands. However, she can still be very leary of strangers and protective of her home. Tillah has been seen by a local veternarian behaviorist and has been on medication for anxiety, which has greatly improved her ability to live in this crazy world. Tillah's foster home is soon not available and thus, we need another foster or adoptive home for this girl - soon. The person who takes her in must be a dog- savy person with strong experience in handling dogs with issues. Tillah responds very well to a strong leader. She needs a home wtihout kids, other animals and one that is mostly quiet. She would love a yard to run in but that is not required..... See Tillah and her story TONITE ON FOX NEWS 5 AT 10 P.M. And please spread the word and help us find Tillah the home she needs. Her only other option is a sanctuary (we have contacted Best Friends but no word yet...). We think Tillah deserves a happy life. You can help us get that for her!!!!

Allow me to introduce my rescued mutt, Luke. Homeward Trails is the Animal Rescue group which my sister works with, thus arranged us to meet our Luke. She has taken over 60 dogs into her home, until these dogs found families of their own.
Rescued is my favorite breed!


Penguins, Award and Dwight


A Gigantic THANK YOU to megryansmom for my very first Blog Award! I could not be more thrilled! I encourage all to take a moment and stop by to give her a read!

Ahhhh...who'd a thunk it? The life of a penguin!

Penguins ride air force jet to South Atlantic! In this photo released Monday, Oct. 6, 2008 by International Fund for Animal Welfare, penguins are released at the Cassino Beach, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, Saturday, Oct. 4, 2008. More than 370 frigid water penguins that mysteriously stranded in the warm waters of northeastern Brazil have been released into the ocean, environmentalists said. (AP Photo)

There is nothing wrong with America that the faith, love of freedom, intelligence and energy of her citizens cannot cure.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy.
I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate.
It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.
~Leo Rosten

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wednesday Hero 10/08/2008

Cpl. Lance M. Thompson
Cpl. Lance M. Thompson
21 years old from Upland, Indiana
2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force
November 15, 2004
U.S. Marine Corps.

The father of Cpl. Lance Thompson said his son would be proud knowing he fought and died to help Iraqis vote in an election.

Cpl. Lance Thompson died in during fighting in Ramadi by a truck bomb. His father, Greg Thompson, said his son sent him a letter in September of '04 which said, "Freedom is not free. It requires sacrifice."

Greg Thompson said the millions turning out to vote in Iraq was "fantastic" and said it was a "momentous day in the Middle East."

"Are you asking me was it worth Lance losing his life?" he asked a reporter. "Being the gung-ho Marine that he was, he would say yes. So I'll say yes. That is a tough, bitter pill to swallow. It hurts. God, I didn't want to give up my son."

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
Wednesday Hero Logo

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mom Tears...

Last night, I had a nice, long conversation with my son. All is good with John's job, his room-mates, his life in general at Wright-Patt. However, he was bothered by a situation and needed to share it with Mom. I listened to my son.. He was quite upset at the onset of the conversation, but chuckling by the time we closed with our "I love you"'s.

I have written in earlier posts about "Mom Tears". I believe all moms have them, we don't understand why. Perhaps these few words say it best:

A Mothers Tear...
"Why are you crying?" he asked his Mom.
"Because I'm a mother" she told him.
"I don't understand," he said.
His mom just hugged him to her and said, "You never will."

Later the little boy asked his father why Mother seemed to cry for no reason.
"All mothers cry for no reason," was all his dad could say.

The little boy grew up and became a man, still wondering why mothers cry.
One night, he had a dream.
In his dream, he called God on the telephone.
When God came to the phone the man asked, "God, why do mothers cry so easily?"
God answered him, "My son, you see, when I made mothers, I knew they had to be special.
I made their shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the world, yet gentle enough to give comfort.
I gave them an inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection that many times come from their children and mates.
I gave them a hardiness that allows them to keep going when everyone else gives up, and to take care of their families through sickness and fatigue without complaining.
I gave them the sensitivity to love their children under all circumstances, even when their child has hurt them very badly.
This same sensitivity helps them to make a child's boo-boo feel better and helps them share a teenager's anxieties and fears.
I gave them a tear to shed.
It's theirs, exclusively, to use whenever needed.
It's their only weakness.
It is a tear for mankind.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Heart Warming Story!

Day after day, we are blanketed by news of our failing economy, we are sickened by the political advertisements, and some days it seems as though the only news we hear is negative.
This story was posted on the "Blue Star Mothers" site.
Please enjoy these uplifting words.

The Sack Lunches

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. "I'm glad I have a good book to read. Perhaps I will get a short nap," I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation. "Where are you headed?" I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.

"Chicago - to Great Lakes Base. We'll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we're being deployed to Iraq ."

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached Chicago, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time.

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. "No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to Chicago ."

His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill. "Take a lunch to all those soldiers." She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. "My son was a soldier in Iraq; it's almost like you are doing it for him."

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, "Which do you like best - beef or chicken?"

"Chicken," I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class. "This is your thanks."

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room. A man stopped me. "I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this." He handed me twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand, an said, "I want to shake your hand."

Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain's hand. With a booming voice he said, "I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot." I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed in Chicago I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. "It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich. God Bless You."

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers. As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals.

It seemed so little...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Weekend in October!

Ahhhhh....the first weekend in October!

Briskness in the air.

Apple Orchards to visit.

Bumpy Hay Rides to laugh through.

Vibrant Mums to adorn our front yards.

Bright orange pumpkins to choose and carve.

Crockpots pulled from pantries and filled with fixings for Chili and stew.

The aroma of freshly baked pies, cookies and cobblers filling our kitchens.

Ahhhh....the first weekend in October!

Meanwhile, in a far away land... Airman, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines are protecting our freedoms. These everyday enjoyments are a memory to these brave men and women.
May Almighty God bring our heroes home safely, so they too can delight in these everyday blessings!

Marines with 2nd Platoon, Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, and their interpreter head to a small mock village named Kala to perform a census after leaving Sara Kowt, a mock Afghan town aboard the Combat Center’s training area, during a three-day-long final exercise Sept. 23 for a new Afghanistan-specific pre-deployment training evolution, known as Mojave Viper.
(Official U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Corey A. Blodgett)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fluky Friday

Fall is in the air!

So, I decided like the wind..I would swirl around to several non-related items and simply post them all!

Allow me to begin with a Thank-You to ShaysMom for spending time with John while visiting her daughter, Shay at Wright-Patterson a couple weeks ago. ShaysMom has posted some nice pictures of her visit and I do encourage all to stop by and give her a read! Shay is her mother's daughter... lovely and a fine blogger as well! Thanks for being you, Michelle!

Moving on to a sad story...The funeral of Debra Lue Vaughan will be held on Saturday, October 4, 2008. Debra is the Gold Star Mother who committed suicide at her son's grave on September 28th. Please pray for her husband, George. May Almighty God Bless this tortured soul and bring peace to her husband.

Tighten those seatbelts, we will soar to the skies and visit John's sister who is carrying my third grandgirl! Yep, UltraSound confirmed this week...she is a she! My Marie knew from the beginning she was carrying a daughter, always trust Mother's Intuition! Marie is by far one of THE most radiant mom's I have ever seen...well that is since my oldest was carrying her daughters! Rylee Marie is expected to make her grand entrance into our world on January 27, 2009! I love this angel so!

Chasing Rainbows: A glimpse of Seattle

I'll close with a Word4TheDay: HABOOB. Two Fighting Falcons wait out a haboob on Joint Base Balad, Iraq, Sept. 9, 2008. Haboobs are sandstorms that result from the collapse of thunderstorms and the resulting downdrafts. The dust carried by a haboob can rise several kilometers in the sky, and winds can travel upwards of 30 mph. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jason Epley

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?"

~William A. Ward