Sunday, July 27, 2008

Their Stars Have Turned to Gold




As a member of Blue Star Mothers of America, I receive several e-mails each week which begin with the words, "Their Stars have turned to Gold". These e-mails, (sometimes two or three of them in a day) share a brief synopsis of who these men and women are and how they spent their final moments. These postings are difficult to read, to say the least.... imagine the families who must live these words.
So why this post? It's a sunny, summer Sunday afternoon. I feel blessed for all the freedoms I am able to enjoy. I know these freedoms are not free. I know for generations, we have had a strong military to protect our freedoms. This cannot be forgotten.
My prayer each day is for our military to remain strong. My prayer is for our airmen, soldiers, sailors and marines to continue to protect our country and our flag. My prayer is for their families, to remain loyal and have faith. My prayer is that each of us say Thank You every day of our lives.
My prayer is for stars that have turned gold.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

FTAC

Gotta love "usmilitary.about.com"! This website is a wealth of information for those of us who are not actively serving in the military. Hmmm... I'll ponder that statement a little later this afternoon, while cleaning the latrines....... um...er.... bathrooms!
Now on to John's latest adventure. He is in the process of FTAC, which is the acronym for First Term Airman Center. According to about.com: "The concept is simple. Take first term airmen, as soon as they arrive at their first duty station, and combine all the necessary appointments and required details into a single two-week period. FTAC is designed to aid all first-duty-stationed airmen with their transition from a systematic and regimented environment into a hands-on employment of the airmen's skills, knowledge and training gained from technical school."
What a relief this must be for John! He had stated several times during Tech School, the frustration of trying to attend classes, do well on Block Tests, along with all the necessary briefings needed to get to his PCS (Permanent Change of Station).
One other interesting tidbit...John had to see a dentist regarding extraction of his wisdom teeth. According to John, he is not to be deployed without having these teeth removed...since there is a risk they could cause a bit of hassle in the Sandbox. Not good. Oh boy, I remember having my impacted wisdom teeth removed! I was able to recover comfortably (all things are relevant) in the luxury of my own home, and it was still a miserable experience. The other day, Erin and I were recalling the removal of her wisdom teeth saga... As though it was yesterday, I can see clearly Erin and John (who had strep throat) puking into separate barf buckets on the sofa together. Have I said lately, I miss my kids!
Uncle Sam, I know you are an excellent oral surgeon...please take good care of my son! On a music note, this where the song "He's My Son" by Mark Shultz (on the playlist) will be listened to over and over and over and over and over......................

John, I do love you so!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Today is the birthday of "America the Beautiful"


The original poem for the song "America the Beautiful" was written by Katherine Lee Bates on July 22, 1893. She was inspired to write the poem after seeing the beauty of the mountains in Colorado. The song was published two years later on July 4,1895. It is the American national hymn.


At various times in the more than 100 years that have elapsed since the song as we know it was born, particularly during the John F. Kennedy administration, there have been efforts to give "America the Beautiful" legal status either as a national hymn, or as a national anthem equal to, or in place of, "The Star Spangled Banner", but so far this has not succeeded. Proponents prefer "America the Beautiful" for various reasons, saying it is easier to sing, more melodic, and more adaptable to new orchestrations while still remaining as easily recognizable as "The Star-Spangled Banner." Some prefer "America the Beautiful" over "The Star-Spangled Banner" due to the latter's war-oriented imagery.

My favorite version has always been that of Ray Charles singing this hymn. It is on the songlist of this blog, so please take a moment and listen. While at Lackland for John's BMT graduation, this version was played just prior to the Coin Ceremony...it was impossible to hold back Mom tears. While on topic of music, each song on the playlist has special meaning.

Hmmmm... another post in the near future!

John, I do love you so!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Prayers for this sweet baby!


CAYLEE MARIE ANDERSON
This is from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. If you’re a blogger, please consider posting it yourself. The more exposure this gets, the better chance there is of bringing Caylee home safely.
If you have any information or have seen Caylee Marie Anthony, please call
1-800-423-TIPS

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Roots and Wings

Fear not...there is no recipe for Sunday Dinner!
Speaking of recipes...Finding the formula to be a commendable parent of an adult child, is my ultimate quest. Ahhh...then take it to a different level... that of being the parent of a child in the military. What to ask about, what you learn and simply reply with a gulp! How to encourage and motivate without sounding as though you have stepped into a time machine, going back fifteen years! YIKES!
Knowing my son is settling well into his new world, feels good. John seems to like Wright-Patt, he is making friends, he has a good sponsor, gets along with his dorm-mates...it's all good! John's core consists of kindness and thoughtfulness, yet he is tough and determined. He has grown to become a man of velvet and steel.
I do believe John has the roots needed in order to fly.
John, I do love you so.

MOTHER AND SON
My son
I am here
I cannot protect you
From the world.
My son
I am here
I can only love you
No matter what
My son
I am here
My love unconditional
On this you can rely
My son
I am here
To guide and to teach you
And now you must fly
My son
I am here
Life can be difficult
I hear your cry
My son
I am here
Changes are painful
Never forget who you are
My son
I am here
Maintain the faith
In yourself and in God
My son
I am here
Self acceptance is yours
Do not fear
My son
I am here
~Rose Falcone

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Was it a dream?

Could sixteen days pass so quickly?
How can one heart hurt so deeply and yet be full of so much pride all in the same beat?
John, I do love you so!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday, America!


Our National Banner

O'er the high and o'er the lowly,
Floats that banner bright and holy
In the rays of Freedom's sun,
In the nation's heart embedded,
O'er our Union newly wedded,
One in all, and all in one.
Let that banner wave forever,
May its lustrous stars fade never,
Till the stars shall pale on high;
While there's right the wrong defeating,
While there's hope in true hearts beating,
Truth and freedom shall not die.
As it floated long before us,
Be it ever floating o'er us,
O'er our land from shore to shore;
There are freemen yet to wave it,
Millions who would die to save it,
Wave it, save it, evermore.
by Dexter Smith-July 4, 1876

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Good to be home!

Truly, it is the little things in life which meant the most. Being together for birthday celebrations and lunch with my mom...with John around is sweet! It's been a good break for him, hanging out with friends, vegging in front of the tv, downloading music on his MP3... simply being a guy at home. It means so much to share normal life with him. Little things...



Girl Time!









Uncle Carl opening gifts with a helper!









John and Erin sharing time with Pop-Pop!