Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Good Weekend!


Black Friday Shopping! Woo-Hoo! After sitting in traffic for 50 minutes, we finally arrive at the Outlets ready to shop at 2AM!


Oh My, Oh My... We played the Diaper Game at the Baby Shower. Each Diaper was filled with Snickers, Prunes, Pears...you've got the idea!


It was so nice to have time with John. Here he is with his oldest sister!


John with his pregnant sister. Next time John is home, he will meet his newest niece!



All in all, it was a fantastic three days. Thursday, we were blessed to share a delicious Thanksgiving meal with family. Friday (early, early) morning, my daughters and I enjoyed our Black Friday tradition. Friday night we went to see the Winter Lights at the park, a tradition for the past 13 years! Saturday was the Baby Shower which was so nice to share with very special friends and family! Saturday night was a yummy pizza dinner at J&K's. John is on the road as I type, heading back to Wright-Patterson.

God is Good!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I'm Thankful for You


U.S. soldiers serve food to fellow soldiers as they celebrate Thanksgiving Day at a U.S. military camp in Baghdad, Thursday Nov. 23, 2006. (AP Photo/Mohammed Ameen, Pool)



I’m Thankful for You

Thanksgiving is the appointed time
for focusing on the good in our lives.
In each of our days,
we can find small blessings,
but too often we overlook them,
choosing instead to spend our time
paying attention to problems.
We give our energy
to those who cause us trouble
instead of those who bring peace.
Starting now,
let’s be on the lookout
for the bits of pleasure in each hour,
and appreciate the people who
bring love and light to everyone
who is blessed to know them.
You are one of those people.
On Thanksgiving,
I’m thankful for you.
Happy Thanksgiving!


By Joanna Fuchs

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We Gather Together

We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing;
He chastens and hastens his will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing,
Sing praises to his name: He forgets not his own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining his kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, wast at our side, All glory be thine!

We all do extol thee, thou leader triumphant,
And pray that thou still our defender wilt be.
Let thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!
Amen

--Traditional Thanksgiving Hymn
(A translation by Theodore Baker: 1851-1934)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
From the bottom of my heart, I wish you and your families warm Thanksgiving wishes.
To each and every Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine; My gratitude for your service and sacrifice is as deep as the ocean, as strong as a mountain range and as genuine as a human's heart can hold.
May Almighty God Bless us all.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Warm Welcome!

I'd like to welcomeAmanda who lives in Scotland as a new reader of my blog. She wrote extremely kind words in a comment, speaking of her 9 year old son who wishes to join the RAF one day. This young man looked at John's picture as his mom read the Airman's Creed.

Amanda's words took me to a place long ago.

This special place has a wide eyed little boy hoping to be an Airman one day...
His name is John.

Amanda, thank you for taking the time to read my blog.
Thank you for sharing these words with your son.
Thank you for taking me back to a safe place, when being an Airman was but a dream of my son.....

Wednesday Hero 11/26/2008

L/Cpl. Samuel Joyce

U.S. Marine Corps.

Lance Cpl. Samuel Joyce, from Boston, accepts a bagfull of toys during the Toys For Tots 5k Run at Fleet Activities Yokosuka. Runners donated new toys to the local Marine's Toys for Tots program.



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 Have Every Right To Dream Heroic Dreams. Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

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, November 25, 2008

Sears Supporting our Military

Sears is supporting our military in several manners. If you will be out and about on Black Friday, please make certain to patronize those who do help take care of our Airman, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines.

Here are some examples:

Sears Heroes at Home Wish Registry donate online, send a Thank You message, and/or see what families are wishing for this holiday season.


Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs for all called up reservist employees for up to two years. By law, they are required to hold their jobs open and available, but nothing more.

According to a spokesman for Sears, the company has extended the period in which it will make up the difference between active duty pay and normal salary for 60 months.

Medical, dental, and life insurance are extended as well.

The employee pays part and the company pays part.

Sears is also offering a make-up plan on 401K plans so a reservist will not lose retirement benefits.

Sears records show that the company has provided support to employees serving in the military since 1916.



May Almighty God Bless each and every Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine!
May God Bless those who pray for our heroes!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Sky's The Limit


The sun sets over the flightline Nov. 3 at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Ramstein AB officials handle more than 85 aircraft operations daily.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Kenny Holston)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday Stuff....

Today is the 22nd day of November! Do you remember this day in 1963, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated? Even if you are too young or were not alive when this tragedy occurred, most people have seen the images countless times. Granted, I was a child…so I am not certain what I remember is actual memory versus what I have read or watched on TV. It was a terribly sad time for our country.

Now fast forward to 2008… Today is an absolutely gorgeous autumn day in Maryland! The air is crisp, most of the trees are bare and the sun is shining! I’m “grand-dog” sitting this weekend. My 30-week pregnant daughter and my son-in-law took off for New York City, a final fling before settling down into parenthood. My day will be filled making certain two puppies (both a year and a half old) wear each other out and not destroy the house while doing so! Yesterday, I spent helping the new momma hang curtains and well… honestly, that was about it. Lots of chatting, a little preparation for the Baby Shower next Saturday…just good mom/daughter time. She is radiant. When she speaks of her daughter, the love in her eyes speaks more loudly than the words themselves.

Wow...Thursday is Thanksgiving already! Where did this year go? John is coming home to spend Thanksgiving with the family! So many Blessings! Sadly, B will not be home, but my hubster and I will go to Salt Lake next month to attend his commencement at Weber State! B will most likely make a trip home soon after the new grandgirl arrives! My prayer is to soon see the day with four pieces of my heart together in one room!

Friday is BLACK FRIDAY! Woo-Hoo! My daughters and I will be members of the masses hopefully helping our economy (yeah, that’s why we do it, for the good of the land!) Black Friday has been a tradition since my daughters were teenagers. Our stories are classic and each year we know holds a new adventure in the making! We normally wrap the day up with a hearty breakfast at IHOP, except for last year. IHOP had a crazy line, so we opted to try Ryan’s Buffet instead. (Keep in mind; we began our shopping at 2am) Perhaps, we hit Ryan’s on a bad day, we have two words… NEVER AGAIN! As some of you are nestled in your beds, for a nice winters nap… know that my daughters and I will be hitting the Outlets at midnight and you will NOT find us at Ryan’s for breakfast! Perhaps Panera?

We all know these next few weeks will fly by. There is so much to do…baking, decorating, wrapping gifts and sending cards. As you sit down to write your Christmas cards to friends and family, please consider addressing one or two extra and mail them to our service members. I have Zachary and MudPuppy’s addresses. I have also received the addresses of two Airman who would appreciate receiving holiday greetings as well. Please e-mail me for their addresses, if you so desire. American Red Cross is working with Pitney Bowes on an excellent campaign called “Holiday Mail for Heroes.” American Red Cross will make certain these greeting are distributed world-wide to our military, their families and veterans. This site offers excellent suggestions of other items such as phone cards to send as well. Please do not send cards to 'A Recovering American Soldier' or ‘Any Soldier” at Walter Reed, these cards will not be delivered.
Let us all remember this is the season for giving. Our Airman, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines give to us every day of the year!

America

A M E R I C A
A
is for the Attitudes
that conquer any quest
M
is for the Multitudes
who know just why they're blessed
E
pluribus unum
from sea to shining sea
R
for all the Riches found
where everyone is free
I
for Individuals
who sacrifice their all
C
because our Christian faith
will answer every call, so one more
A
for Attitudes
That live inside of us
God has blessed America
Cause God is who we trust

G O D B L E S S A M E R I C A !

© 2001 William Heffner

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fearlessness


Members of 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command Operators are lifted from the ground by a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter during Special Purpose Insertion/Extraction rigging at Camp Margarita, aboard Camp Pendleton, Nov. 4. The operators took part in the first ever MARSOC Helicopter Rope Suspension Training Masters course, which ran from Oct. 27, to Nov. 7.
(Official U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Richard Blumenstein)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Birthday Wish For My Firstborn Son


Forever, my son.
I cherish this child of mine.
Happy Birthday, B!



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

MudPuppy Update

As many of you know, I have befriended a soldier by the name of MudPuppy. He has recently been deployed to Afghanistan, and his blog, Embracing The Suck tracks his "random musings". I have encouraged my readers to visit this site, on a couple of occasions. MudPuppy is one who "shoots from the hip", so be prepared! However, MudPuppy's writing skills are that of an artist painting his masterpiece! So much so, his blog has been nominated for Best Military Award at the 2008 weblog awards. Sweet! I am certain if you have not yet visited ETS, once you do so...you will fully understand the nomination! For those of you who are "BlogLurkers" (I don't mind one iota!) PLEASE leave a word of support to MudPuppy and his fellow Soldiers!

As long as I am speaking of support...for those of you who would like to send either a card or package to MudPuppy, please drop me an e-mail. I will send along his address.

There are so many outstanding organizations which make it simple to show our appreciation for our military. Truly, too many to list, but here are a few:

Soldiers Angels
AdoptAPlatoon
AnySoldier
OperationMilitaryPride
USO
USPS APO/FPO Guidelines
OperationWelcomeHomeMaryland

This afternoon I will stand among many thankful Americans, as we welcome home Troops at BWI (Baltimore Airport). Please keep these heroes in your thoughts and prayers as you move along your daily activities.

Please lift a silent prayer for those who will not be coming home.

May Almighty God Bless each and every Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine!

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Marine Deploys to Afghanistan



Please allow me to introduce a young Marine, by the name of Zach.

This courageous young man deployed to Afghanistan about two weeks ago. His tour should last for nine months. I've been in touch with his mom, offering support to her and the family. She has not heard from her son yet.

Zach graduated from High School with my son, John. Once upon a time, these two guys were Boy Scouts together... It seems like only yesterday.

Please pray for Zach to remain safe and strong.

Please pray for his Unit, that they will be reunited with their families one day soon.

Please pray for Zach's parents and his brother, along with all the families going through difficult days, weeks and months ahead.

If you wish to write Zach a letter or send him a package, drop me an e-mail and I will provide you with his address.


May Almighty God Bless all of our Airman, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines.

DID


Did is a word of achievement,
Won't is a word of retreat,
Might is a word of bereavement,
Can't is a word of defeat,
Ought is a word of duty,
Try is a word each hour,
Will is a word of beauty,
Can is a word of power.
~Unknown

Sunday, November 16, 2008

No Word

This morning we celebrated Thanksgiving for our Veterans during Service.
It began with our Bell Choir's rendition of "I Love You, Lord". Beautiful.
Our Pastor then moved pew by pew inviting each person to name the veterans in their life, so that we could pray together for all of these remarkable servicemen and women.

I've copied a poem below, which was read by a Gold Star Mom. Truly, the morning was filled with tears of sadness, tears of pride and tears of Thanksgiving for all who have ever served our country, along with those who serve today.

This past week has been filled with oodles of articles regarding our Veterans, countless Blog Dedications, numerous parades and other forms of paying tribute. Truly, it has been a week to fill one's heart with Patriotism.

Now we begin a new week... Families of enlisted men and women will remember their loved ones, for our lives have a constant ache. If our son or daughter, husband or wife are currently serving overseas or stateside..we miss them. Will they be home for the holidays, when will we be able to give them a hug, hear their voice or share a bit of "skin-time" (Thanks, ShaysMom).

We are the lucky ones. We, who have our loved ones, though they may be far away...we have still have them. We still hold on to hope to share time with them once again....

Then there are those, who have suffered the intense pain of losing a loved one.
Of everything I have read this week, and trust me...I have read several beautiful tributes, the one which stung me was this: When a child loses a parent, they become an orphan; when a wife loses her husband, she becomes a widow...ever notice there is no word for a mother who loses her child?

There is no word.



I thought of this, while listening to the sweet mom who choked her way through reading this poem:

FREEDOM IS NOT FREE

I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze;
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform,
So young, so tall, so proud;
With hair cut square and eyes alert,
He'd stand out in any crowd.

I thought... how many men like him
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?

How many pilots' planes shot down
How many died at sea
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves
No, Freedom is not Free.

I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still;
I listened to the bugler play,
And felt a sudden chill;

I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant "Amen"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend;

I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands.
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea,
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No. Freedom is not Free!

©Copyright 1981 by Kelly Strong



I Love You Lord

Saturday, November 15, 2008

"To get nations back on their feet, we must first get down on our knees."~ Billy Graham


Airmen come together for a prayer near Baghdad, Iraq. These Airmen traditionally pray before heading out on their mission. (U.S. Navy photo)

Friday, November 14, 2008

What is Freedom?



According to “merriam-webster.com”:
Main Entry: free•dom
1: the quality or state of being free: as a: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b: liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another: INDEPENDENCE



We hear so much about Freedom, but do we truly understand what it means?

So exactly what does Freedom mean to you?

Is it simply a state of mind?

Is it the ability to think, speak and act without restraint?

When one is Free, are they without responsibility?

At what point does morality and social constraints enter into Freedom?

What about our Blogging-Buddy, MudPuppy who is currently stationed in Afghanistan...how would he define Freedom today?

Would our Forefathers approve of what we have become as a Nation?

Is Freedom solely about our Constitution which allows us to vote, to attend Sunday Service, and to speak our mind?





Are we Free to take Freedom for granted?

Just Beyond The Sunset


(U.S. Navy photo)


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

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday Thought-We Salute You!



U.S. Army Capt. Mark D. Nettles salutes during retreat of the national colors at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, Oct. 31, 2008. Nettles is the detachment commander for Foxtrot Detachment, 2nd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade. The detachment is on a 15-month deployment to provide maintenance/supply support to the PATRIOT missile system.
U.S. Army photo by Eric A. Fernandez


National Veterans Awareness Week is quickly coming to an end. As we enter the Holiday Season, it should only be the beginning of our thoughts, prayers and deeds for our Airman, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines. I challenge every reader to visitSoldiers'Angels and AdoptaPlatoon. Please reach into your heart, reach into your pocket and remember those who are sacrificing their everyday lives. The everyday lives of their children,spouses, parents, grandparents, cousins are upside-down, while these brave heroes serve our country in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our country is filled with injured soldiers laying in Medical Hospitals. Their families deserve a Holiday Season filled with joy and laughter. Is there anything you can do?

We need to remember the true reason of this season.

It is the season of Thanksgiving, it is the season of Giving, it is the season of LOVE!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

To Any Service Member




During the Persian Gulf War, I was stationed aboard the naval amphibious ship USS Nassau. As a senior Marine intelligence analyst, my workdays were routinely twelve to sixteen hours long. Like all the veterans, we looked forward to receiving mail from home.
Unlike the Vietnam War, the Gulf War found support among most Americans. As a result, we soldiers received an enormous amount of 'To any service member' mail from the States. I never took any of those letters, since I wrote to my wife and two children on a daily basis, as well as, occasionally writing notes to my daughter's classroom, and I didn't feel I had time to write to anyone else.

After five or six months of hearing the mail orderly announcing the availability of 'To any service member” mail, I decided to take a few of the letters. I planned, as time permitted, to drop them a line telling them 'thanks' for their support.
I picked up three letters, and placed them in my cargo pocket and proceeded back to work. Over the next week or so, I started responding to the letters. When it came time to answer the third letter, I noticed it had no return address, but a Colorado postmark, which made me think of home. I had missed spending Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's with my family, and I was really lonesome for them.

I opened the card and started to read the letter enclosed. About the third or fourth sentence down, it read, “My daddy is a Marine over there. If you see him, tell him hi and I love and miss him.' This statement really touched me and made me miss my family even more. I looked down to the signature and sat in stunned silence as tears filled my eyes.
My own daughter, Chris, had signed the letter.

--Nick Hill


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Thanks to BlueStar Families for sharing this beautiful post!

Wednesday Hero 11/12/2008

Spc. Kenneth W. Haines
Spc. Kenneth W. Haines
25 years old from Fulton, New York
2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division
December 3, 2006
U.S. Army

Spc. Kenneth Haines joined the United States Army in September 2000 as a fire support specialist and had been assigned to his unit for just over three years. He deployed to Iraq in October of 2006.

During his time in service, he received several military awards and decorations, including the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and National Defense Service Medal.

Spc. Haines was killed by an IED that was detonated near his vehicle while on patrol in Abu Hishma, Iraq.


All Information Was Found On And Copied From MilitaryCity.com

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, November 10, 2008

We Honor You


No one desires peace as much as those who have had to engage in war. As we honor those who serve our nation in the armed forces, and mourn the passing of those who have died in its service, we also pray for the coming of the day when armed conflicts will give way to a world in which we are all able to live together in peace.
A crisply folded flag stands for Valor and for Honor.
Its stripes are not decorations, they represent courage under fire.
Its stripes mark the passing of a son, of a daughter.
They symbolize the sacrifice of a mother and a father.


Today, November 11, 2008 is Veterans Day. It is a day to honor our military. It is a day of reflection; remembering those who have fought for this nation for generations. It is a day to thank all who serve in our armed services. Today is a holiday for many, but please keep in mind it is just another day for those fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. While most of us are people of simple means, it is important for each of us to proudly hang our Flag, to thank a soldier we meet in passing, and pray to Almighty God that He will continue to bless this nation we call home!

The following companies are showing their respect for our military with promotional giveaways; most deserved!

Applebee's is thanking our troops with a free meal at 164 of their locations.

Lowe's Companies, Inc. will offer all active, reserve, honorably discharged, retired military personnel and their immediate family members a 10 percent discount on in-store U.S. purchases made during the Veterans Day holiday. The discount is available Nov. 6 - Nov. 11. The discount is available on in-stock and special order purchases up to $5,000. To qualify, individuals must present a valid military ID or other proof of service. Excluded from the discount are sales via Lowes.com, previous sales, and purchases of services or gift cards.

The Home Depot(R) is offering all active duty personnel, reservists, retired military, veterans and their families a 10 percent discount off their purchases in honor of Veteran's Day. The offer is valid on purchases of up to $2,000 for a maximum of $200 between November 6 and November 12, 2008, at The Home Depot stores, The Home Depot Design Center locations, Yardbirds and EXPO Design Center(R) locations.

Active-duty, retired, guard or reserve military personnel and their families who visit Colonial Williamsburg's Historic Area or museums on Veterans Day (November 11) will receive complimentary two-day admission tickets to the restored colonial capital of Virginia.

All U.S. veterans and active members of the U.S. Armed Forces can camp for free in parts of the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia on Tuesday.

On Veteran's Day, Crimson Cup Coffeehouse in Columbus, Ohio will offer veteran and active military personnel a free drink of their choice. The special will run all day and apply to all drinks on the menu.


Volle'sBridal & Boutique on Rand Road joins bridal shops in 18 other states in a national effort launched by Brides Across America, and will give away more than 100 designer gowns to military brides-to-be Tuesday.

Golden Corral: The 2008 Military Appreciation Monday dinner will be held on Monday, November 17, 2008 from 5 pm to 9 pm in all Golden Corral Restaurants. The free "thank you" dinner is available to any person who has ever served in the United States Military. If you are a veteran, retired, currently serving, in the National Guard or Reserves, you are invited to participate in Golden Corral's Military Appreciation Monday dinner.

CELEBRATE!

Today, the 10th of November is my 100th POST! Woo-Hoo!
I remember opening Blogger back in February, and decided to jot a couple of my thoughts and feelings regarding my youngest son beginning his USAF adventure. Having been through this with my oldest son, nine years earlier, I was somewhat prepared for the huge transformation which was about to occur. My feelings were the same...a vegetable soup of emotions; pride, concern, reflection, hope and faith. Being new to the blogging world, I let life take over and kind of pushed the blog aside. Not anymore! I find our blogosphere is filled with thoughtful, creative and brilliant people...all willing to put their thoughts and feelings right out there! It has been awesome *meeting* so many of you. I look forward to reading your posts and I enjoy reading your comments when I post!
So...like so many others who *celebrate* a blogging milestone, I would like to have a little hullabaloo of my own. It won't be a big deal; I'm a simple, non-flashy mom-type. This is what I would like to do.... I have five "Psalm91" bandanas which I would like to mail to members of the finest military in all the world. Send me your requests. Of course it is understood, there is no *top* Airman, Soldier, Sailor or Marine...they all hold equal importance and deserve equal honor. So, let's simply say the first five requests, will each receive a bandana!

Happy 233rd Birthday USMC ! ! !

MARINES' HYMN
From the halls of Montezuma,
to the shores of Tripoli,
We fight our country's battles in the air,
on land and sea.
First to fight for right and freedom,
and to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title of United States Marine.

Our Flag's unfurled to every breeze
from dawn to setting sun.
We have fought in every clime and place,
where we could take a gun.
In the snow of far off northern lands
and in sunny tropic scenes,
You will find us always on the job,
the United States Marines.

Here's health to you and to our Corps,
which we are proud to serve.
In many a strife we've fought for life
and never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy ever look
on heaven's scenes,
they will find the streets are guarded by
United States Marines.


The Marines Prayer


Almighty Father, whose command is over all and whose love never fails,
make me aware of Thy presence and obedient to Thy will.
Keep me true to my best self, guarding me against dishonesty in purpose in deed and helping me to live so that I can face my fellow Marines, my loved ones and Thee without shame or fear.
Protect my family.
Give me the will to do the work of a Marine and to accept my share of responsibilities with vigor and enthusiasm.
Grant me the courage to be proficient in my daily performance.
Keep me loyal and faithful to my superiors and to the duties my country and the Marine Corps have entrusted to me.
Make me considerate of those committed to my leadership.
Help me to wear my uniform with dignity, and let it remind me daily of the traditions which I must uphold.
If I am inclined to doubt; steady my faith; if I am tempted, make me strong to resist; if I should miss the mark, give me courage to try again.
Guide me with the light of truth and grant me wisdom by which I may understand the answer to my prayer.
Amen.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Heart Whispers

Donor Sabbath was celebrated this morning during our Sunday Service. This day touches me deeply. My dad suffered from IPF (Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis) and was told that he had possibly 18 months to live. Dad was rarely ill…I’m talking I don’t remember him as much as having a cold! When he became ill with IPF, and to know the prognosis was so bleak, was surreal. We learned his only chance for survival was a lung transplant. Health-wise he was a great candidate, however he was 64 years old and the cutoff age was 65. On February 5, 2000 my dad received a new lung! He was going to turn 65 on the 25th of June, so this was truly answered prayer! Dad survived for five years with his new lung, despite struggling constantly with rejection. The donor was an angel to our family. I do encourage everyone to sign up to be a transplant/tissue donor. So many lives can be saved by your gift.

Dad, there are no words, simply a white rose.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yesterday, my daughter attended the funeral of a 6-week old baby girl. This sweet baby did not wake up from her nap; it is believed to be SIDS. My heart hurts for what these young parents must be going through. May Almighty God comfort this family.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As we begin Veterans Awareness Week, please keep all of our brave Airman, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines in your thoughts. We must not forget the servicemen and women, past and present who have served their country proudly. To my sons, I am deeply proud of you both! To my Uncle John who lost his life on a destroyer in the Pacific during World War II, I wish I had met you to give you a hug! To my Uncle Pat, who enlisted in the U.S. Army, thank you for your service! To my hubster who served 6 years in the U.S.Navy, heart-felt thanks. To my brother-in-law Phil , a Vietnam Vet receiving several Purple Hearts, your sacrifice will always be appreciated. To my childhood babysitter, Davis who lost his life in Vietnam at the age of 19, my thanks. To all Gold Star Moms, may you know peace.

This day is filled with heart whispers, all of which are worthy of silent moments in prayer.
May Almighty God Bless us all!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Peaceful Puppy




A puppy sleeps under a US soldier’s hat and rifles in Baquba, in Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad. November 6, 2008 (Reuters / Goran Tomasevic)

Still They Ride, The Strong Will Survive

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave. ~Elmer Davis

Please capture these images in your heart and hold them close throughout the day.
Thank You Veterans!


(pause the Playlist on the right)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What Does Veteran's Day Mean To You?



They Did Their Share


On Veteran’s Day we honor
Soldiers who protect our nation.
For their service as our warriors,
They deserve our admiration.


Some of them were drafted;
Some were volunteers;
For some it was just yesterday;
For some it’s been many years;


In the jungle or the desert,
On land or on the sea,
They did whatever was assigned
To produce a victory.


Some came back; some didn’t.
They defended us everywhere.
Some saw combat; some rode a desk;
All of them did their share.


No matter what the duty,
For low pay and little glory,
These soldiers gave up normal lives,
For duties mundane and gory.


Let every veteran be honored;
Don’t let politics get in the way.
Without them, freedom would have died;
What they did, we can’t repay.


We owe so much to them,
Who kept us safe from terror,
So when we see a uniform,
Let’s say "thank you" to every wearer.


By Joanna Fuchs

National Veterans Awareness Week-November 9 through November 15, 2008

President Proclaims Nov. 11 Veterans Day
American Forces Press Service


WASHINGTON, Nov. 6, 2008 – President Bush issued a proclamation to honor all who are serving or have served in the U.S. armed forces.
Bush issued his Veterans Day proclamation Oct. 31.

The proclamation reads:

“On Veterans Day, we pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of the men and women who in defense of our freedom have bravely worn the uniform of the United States.

“From the fields and forests of war-torn Europe to the jungles of Southeast Asia, from the deserts of Iraq to the mountains of Afghanistan, brave patriots have protected our nation's ideals, rescued millions from tyranny and helped spread freedom around the globe. America’s veterans answered the call when asked to protect our nation from some of the most brutal and ruthless tyrants, terrorists and militaries the world has ever known. They stood tall in the face of grave danger and enabled our nation to become the greatest force for freedom in human history. Members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard have answered a high calling to serve and have helped secure America at every turn.

“Our country is forever indebted to our veterans for their quiet courage and exemplary service. We also remember and honor those who laid down their lives in freedom's defense. These brave men and women made the ultimate sacrifice for our benefit. On Veterans Day, we remember these heroes for their valor, their loyalty and their dedication. Their selfless sacrifices continue to inspire us today as we work to advance peace and extend freedom around the world.

“With respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service members have made to the cause of peace and freedom around the world, the Congress has provided that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor America's veterans.

“Now, therefore, I, George W. Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 11, 2008, as Veterans Day and urge all Americans to observe November 9 through November 15, 2008, as National Veterans Awareness Week. I encourage all Americans to recognize the bravery and sacrifice of our veterans through ceremonies and prayers. I call upon federal, state, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to support and participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I invite civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, businesses, unions and the media to support this national observance with commemorative expressions and programs.”



A horse drawn caisson carries the casket of US army major Alan Greg Rogers to his burial service at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty images

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wednesday Hero 11/05/2008

Cpt. Gussie M. Jones
Cpt. Gussie M. Jones
41 years old from Raleigh, Arkansas
31st Combat Support Hospital
March 07, 2004
U.S. Army

Cpt. Gussie Jones was born in Arkansas and was one of eight children. She began her Army career by enlisting in 1988 as a personnel clerk and climbed to the rank of a sergeant.

In 1986, Jones earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Arkansas Central University. She was selected to attend the Army Enlisted Commissioning Program and earned her second bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University in 1998. It was in nursing.

Her career as a registered nurse and a commissioned officer began in September 1998 at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. In 2002, after completing a course in critical-care nursing, she was assigned to Beaumont Army Medical Center, where she became a mentor.

"She was a very dedicated person and was always smiling, said a co-worker and friend, Capt. Susan Gilbert. If anyone asked her to do something, she would do it. And she was very kind and gentle and patient with the patients."

Cpt. Jones died of a heart attack while on duty in Baghdad, Iraq. During her 15 years of military services, Jones received a Joint Service Commendation medal, four Army Commendation medals and three Army Achievement medals.

"She was so much a part of their team, and so her death must really affect their morale," Gilbert said. "I'm very worried about the other soldiers because they've lost their battle buddy."


All Information Was Found On And Copied From MilitaryCity.com

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, November 4, 2008

America Has Spoken

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free.
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer:
God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.
~Irving Berlin

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fort Bragg, NC to Afghanistan


U.S. airmen wait to document paratroopers when they conduct a night airdrop in Fort Bragg, N.C., Oct. 21, 2008, in support of a an Army-Air Force joint forcible entry exercise.
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Russell E. Cooley IV

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MudPuppy has safely reached his destination Somewhere in Afghanistan. Please keep him, his company and all of our brave Airman, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines in your daily thoughts and prayers. If you get a chance to check in on MudPuppy, please let him know you support him and our entire military!


May Almighty God Bless us all!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Blue Star Mom

For generations, Blue Star Mothers of America has been an organization supporting each other and our children while promoting patriotism. We are moms who now have, or have had, children proudly serving in the United States Military. My Two Blue Star Flag waves with faith, hope and love.