Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bucket List Vacay Twenty Ten-Part II

...and we're off!

Hubster and I had a blast during Part I!!! We drove twelve hours from Maryland to Atlanta, arrived in a hotel room with no A/C, switched rooms and then it was off to watch the Nationals take on the Braves! By far, Turner Field (The Ted) was THE most fun of all stadiums we have visited! Between the Tomahawk Chop, the gigantic Tom-Tom which sounds like thunder and the lights going out when their relief pitcher, Wagner took the mound... Oh. My. Goodness. We met Mr. Coffeypot and his ultra-cute wife for breakfast on Thursday morning. Loved them! It was then off to Charleston, SC for Hubster's Boat Reunion. So many stories, so little time right now. Some highlights: after returning from dinner one night, we pull into the parking lot to find 6 FireTrucks with lights on...drove around back to the parking lot and there were a couple more (did I mention we had our beast, Luke on the trip with us?) AirmanMom's heart was thumping, until I laid eyes on my beast and saw he was OK. It was a false alarm, however the entire hotel was evacuated! Hubster was totally in his element among his "Crunch Crew" shipmates. The Crunch Crew is the bunch of guys who were on the USS RAY when it hit a mountain. Yep, they were ten days out...oh, I failed to mention these were the first ten days ever that Hubster was on a boat! Yep, fresh out of Boot Camp and Nuke School, then flown to Sardinia to join the boat which was underway... he got on the boat and then they crashed. By the grace of God, no fatalities...but the boat had to surface and go to port for repairs. We have lots of great photos, great stories...but for now we have a plane to catch for Chicago! Tonight, I will give MudPuppy a hug and watch the Orioles vs. White Sox game with him. Good times! Sunday, we are picking up my high school classmate, P (we walked in honor of her son in July) and heading to Milwaukee for a Brewers game, then Monday night is Wrigley Field to see the Cubs. It looks as though I have a month's worth of posting (with photos) ahead!

Until we meet again...I ask that you continue to keep our Soldiers in your prayers, and if you happen upon a Soldier please pause to thank them for their service.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Talking Tuesday

Vet who died in prison gets national cemetery plot

Associated Press Writer

DENVER (AP) -- Some military veterans are angry that a World War II soldier who died in prison after pleading guilty to killing his wife is scheduled to be buried Tuesday in Denver's Fort Logan National Cemetery.

Raymond R. Sawyer, a former Marine from Colorado, died Aug. 11 in a Tucson, Ariz., state prison while serving 13 years for second-degree murder.

His wife, Frances A. Sawyer, was found strangled in August 1981 in Glendale, Ariz., where the couple lived. The case remained unsolved for 26 years.

Read the rest of the article HERE

Is it only a family matter where a loved one is buried?
Who should make the decision, who is to buried in our National Cemeteries?
If a soldier serves honorably, is this the only qualification or does how he lives the rest of his life factor into the equation?

Your turn................................

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(I've chosen to moderate comments, since I have been receiving some Asian commments w/links. If anyone knows how to block commentors, please let me know. I do apologize for the incovenience. If needed, I will take AirmanMom private)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

American Hero's Prayer

(Please pause my Playlist on the right sidebar)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday Hero 08/18/2010

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Mike Golch

Sgt. David C. Dolby
Sgt. David "Mad Dog" Dolby
May 14, 1946 – August 6, 2010
U.S. Army

Mike has posted a piece on his blog about the Medal Of Honor awarded Sgt. Dolby which is a big help to me.

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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Special thanks to my friend, Mike Golch who has has a great blog and a huge heart!
As always, warmest thanks to Christopher Lee for remaining so dedicated to our Warriors!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

His Star Has Turned From Blue to Gold

Indy soldier's body back on US soil

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - An Indiana soldier’s body was brought home Friday to American soil in Dover, Delaware. 23 year old Sgt. Chris Karch of Indianapolis was killed in Afghanistan Tuesday.

24-Hour New 8 anchor Karen Hensel spoke with the only family member to be in Dover Delaware to bring him home: his father, also a veteran.

The arrival of Chris Karch as told through the eyes of his father Pat Karch of Indianapolis:

“At the airport everything seemed to stop and this was the big priority. They lowered him down and put him into a vehicle. The soldiers were saluting. They were very professional walking up to the casket. They escorted me to the landing strip so I could watch it. There was a roped off place. It was very private and very personal. Chris was the only one on the plane so there was no other family there. It was a flag draped casket and there was a light drizzle today, so it had clear plastic over it. I watched them very professionally take him off the airplane to take him to do what they have to do to him before they can send him home.”

Military members stood with him, so he didn’t stand alone. Pat Karch, the father, says “There were several people there. There was the chaplain there. I had 3 other military escort guys who were sergeants in case I needed anything. They have assured me several times he will never be left alone until he is in Indianapolis. He will never be left alone on his trip to Indianapolis. Since I raised him, I had to be here.”

He watched his son come home not only as a father, but a veteran himself. Karch says, “Mostly his father was there to bring him home. To make sure he came home.”

Both Chris and his dad were in the 82nd Airborne. Chris even stayed in the same barracks as his father had. He'd been deployed twice, had extended his stay to be with unit and had only 20 days left before he was to be home. He was killed in a firefight with insurgents when, as squad leader, he ran across the rooftop to help one of his men and was shot. He'll come home from Dover Air Force Base next Wednesday. Chris Karch was a 2005 graduate of Lawrence Central High School.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

By: Karen Hensel

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May Almighty God Bless this brave Soldier and may God bring comfort to the family who loves him so.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Some Sunday Thoughts.....

As summertime winds down, all I can say is "YAY"!
The weather has been brutal!!! We're breaking records all over the place. For the first time since Memorial Day, we have finally had 4 days in a row below 90 degrees! And in this area, when you have heat you have humidity! Heat factors have been well over 100 degrees too many days! Ugh! I work outside and trust has been miserable! Saying Goodbye, Summer is happiness! (Thanks for allowing me to rant a bit)

Allow me to ask my Prayer Warriors to lift prayers for my Bright-Eyed Beauty. She is going in for an MRI on Monday morning...the sweet thing has been experiencing tremendous headaches. The neurologist has been able to scratch seizures off the list, which is good news. There is a possibility she is suffering from migraines or it could be her cyst on her brain is growing. Please keep my daughter and son-in-law in your prayers...truly it is heartbreaking to see a 3 year-old in such pain and now to be placed under in anesthesia.

This week begins our Bucket List Vacay Twenty-Ten Part I... Wednesday morning we are heading out before dawn for an eleven hour drive to Atlanta! We'll catch the Nationals-Braves game at Turner Field on Wednesday night! Hubster is looking forward to it, since he is a Nats fan...actually he is from Philly so he is a National League fan. Needless to say, this American League girl shows much tolerance towards her Hubster's major flaw! (kidding...kinda)

Thursday morning, we are going to have the honor of meeting a fellow Blogger,CoffeyPot! I am so looking forward to meeting this colorful character, and Hubster is looking forward to it as well! Please keep our friend CoffeyPot in your prayers this coming week, his family is facing difficult choices of a loved one. Love Ya, CoffeyPot!

Following breakfast with CoffeyPot, we are heading to Charleston, South Carolina for Hubster's Boat Reunion. He has not seen many of these guys since he departed from the Navy in 1981! We are touring the USS Hunley, which should be a blast! Good times! We'll drive home on Sunday and then it is back to work, for a very abbreviated work-week!

Bucket List Vacay Twenty-Ten Part II will begin the following Thursday, as we catch a flight to Chicago! Chicago is most definitely one of those cities I have been looking forward to visiting! The absolute Chocolate-Double-Fudge icing on the cake will be meeting my beloved SoldierSon, MudPuppy!!!!! I am so frikkin' excited! I know just seeing him, will cause the MomTears to roll. Oh, how hard I have prayed for this he prepared for his deployment, during his one year deployment in Afghanistan and since he has returned home. Taking in a White Sox-Orioles game will be an amazing experience! I can't wait!!! While in Chicago, we will also take in a Cubs game at Wrigley Field! One day, we'll rent a car and drive a couple hours to Milwaukee to see the Brewers! It is my hope that we can meet up with my high school friend, Patty...we saw each other for the first time since the 70's on the 4th of July... I had the honor of walking with her in honor of her son who passed away in April- Compassionate Friends Walk. We'll fly home and it will be September!!! Yay!

It is now safe to announce the great opportunity for my youngest daughter, who has been offered and accepted a new position at another hospital in the NICU! I am so very proud of her! Change is not something Marie embraces easily, but she knows this hospital will open doors for her to become a better nurse! Oh, the places she'll go! I'd like to also wish Marie and her husband a Happy Anniversary!!!

My guys are doing well! B is doing well in his 'Nonner' position and John is doing well at Wright-Patterson! My heart is constantly bursting with pride when I stop and think of these two brilliant and brave sons of mine!

So there you have it...the rambling thoughts of AirmanMom. Please keep our Soldiers in your constant prayers. If you happen upon one of our Warriors, take a moment to say "Thank you". I guarantee you will bring a smile to their face and your heart will swell a bit!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Baseball at Ramstein

Ramstein team takes on Little League World Series again

8/13/2010 - RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AFNS) -- The 11- and 12-year-old Kaiserslautern Military Community All-Star team will make its second consecutive trip to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., after winning the Europe Region Tournament Aug. 3.

This is the sixth time a team from Ramstein Air Base has earned a spot in the tournament and is the 15th time Germany made the LLWS.

"Getting to the Little League World Series is something I always wanted to achieve myself since I was growing up in Oklahoma and watching the tournament," said Gary Harrington, the KMC All-Stars head coach. "By far this is the hardest division and regionals I ever had to go through."

It takes a unique group of athletes to advance to the LLWS in a difficult division.

"This was a special group," the coach said. "By far, this was the team that had more fun together and played as a team more than any other team I had coached."

Having fun is a crucial factor in competing at such a high level.

"You have no idea how it feels; it's such a rush," said Stanford Hurley, a KMC All-Stars center fielder. "I've wanted to do this a long time ago, and now, we have the chance. It's amazing because we're all best friends. Everybody has a good laugh, and we always have fun together."

Although baseball is fun, a unified unit will turn on their game mode when the time comes.

"Even when we get on the field, it's a serious type of fun," the center fielder said. "We are like a big happy family. When you are playing with people you like, you play better; that's what makes us a team. Having friends and buddies on the team brings it all together."

While teammates are close with one another on and off field, it helps to build rapport and motivation for big games. Stanford said he has an added incentive.

"My Dad is deployed to Southwest Asia and won't be able to see us play," he said. "He calls a lot, but it has to be quick because he is deployed. When I told him we were going to the World Series, he was like 'Yes! I'm so proud of you.'"

Being proud and supportive of his son, regardless if he is sitting behind the dugout or almost 7,000 miles away, will always be the father and son bond.

"I'm thrilled for Stan and his teammates," said Maj. Stephen Hurley, the Combined Force Air Component Commander watch officer. "It's certainly memories that he and the team will relish for a lifetime. It's been difficult, though, to not be able to share the experience this summer with them."

Coach Harrington said he thinks Stan's father being deployed affects him, but not necessarily in a bad way.

"In any way, him being deployed makes me want to play harder, so when he gets the news, he knows that I produced," Stanford said. "I want him to know that I played good and I tried my best."

Although catching the news may be a little more difficult while being deployed, the Stanford's father will adjust to see his son in the big show.

"If the games are fed to AFN Europe, I will not let something as trivial as sleep keep me from watching them," Major Hurley said. "It appears that I can flex my work schedule, if necessary. Now, I just have to hope they are televised."

With a connection spreading across the world for a team that's trying to become the best, the coach said he wants his players to know one thing.

"In the end, yes we made it to the world series, but I think these kids will take the experience, look back at it and know they had fun," Coach Harrington said. "There's a lot of pressure when the games come, but I believe they have succeeded because they knew how to have fun. Yes, we are going to try and win. Are we expected to win? No, but that gives us an edge against some teams, because we have the spirit."

The LLWS is scheduled to kick off Aug. 20 and will continue through Aug. 29. The KMC All-Stars will play the third game Aug. 20 against the Puerto Rican little league team at 5 p.m. EST, airing on ESPN 2.

by Senior Airman Scott Saldukas
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Friday, August 13, 2010

Just Because....

I pledge allegiance to the Flag
of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands:
one Nation under God, indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.

*Promise your loyalty to the Flag itself.
*Promise your loyalty to your own and the other 49 States.
*Promise your loyalty to the Government that unites us all,
*Recognizing that we are ONE Nation under God
*That we can not or should not be divided or alone,
*And understanding the right to Liberty and Justice belongs to ALL of us.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday Hero 08/11/2010

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Greta

This weeks post is a little different from the norm. It's honoring the 13 Men and Women who were awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal. People like George J. Weiss Jr. A World War II veteran who has made it his mission to provide military honors to deceased veterans at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis. And Susan Retik who, after she lost her husband on September 11, 2001, started an organization called Beyond the 11th to help women in Afghanistan. And the person Greta wanted to honor. MaryAnn Phillips of Soldiers' Angels Germany who has made it her mission to help wounded service Men and Woman medevaced to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. You can read about MaryAnn Phillips's nomination here.

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, August 10, 2010

Their Flag

Their Flag

She fluttered in the wind
That blew o'er the bloodied field
In Remembrance once again
Of those who did not yield.

She stands for what is right and good
In the hearts of blessed men
Who shed their life's blood
In battle for her time and again.

White is there for Purity,
Blue to remind us be True,
And Red of blood for Bravery,
Soldier, these represent you.

So when you hear the bugle sound
As it did in days of yore,
And you gather yourselves round
To prepare to go to war,

Stand tall and carry Her proudly
As those before you have done,
Firing your volleys loudly
Bear your arms and crew your guns,

For many have fought and died for Her
And the land She represents,
Their legacy is here,
In the Army of the present

And when the battles all are won
And peace reigns night and day,
We shall remember our fallen ones
Every time we see Their Flag!

-SPC Kenneth W. Hammes, Ft. Sill, 1995

Sunday, August 8, 2010

So Close To Home...

So often we read these tragic stories of fallen warriors. Every once in a while, these stories hit close to home. Major Michael Freyholtz grew up in the small town my friend Laraine now lives. Laraine attends Sunday Services with the family of this brave soldier. I ask that you join me in prayer for this fallen hero, his family and the entire community of Hines, Minnesota as they feel the loss of a son.

Major Michael H. Freyholtz
(Brother to Susan Rock)
Major Michael H. Freyholtz of the Alaska Air National Guard, 34, of Hines, MN, died July 28, 2010 in the crash of a C-17 aircraft at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 14, 2010 at the Blackduck High School.

Mike was born July 22, 1976 in Bemidji, MN to Harvey and Mary Freyholtz of Hines. He was a 1994 graduate of Blackduck High.School. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 1998. He joined the U.S. Air Force in May 1998 and received his officer commission as a 2nd Lieutenant through the ROTC. He attended pilot training at Vance Air Force Base where he received his Air Force pilot wings in May 2000.

He was selected to fly the C-17 Globemaster III out of pilot training and attended initial C-17 qualification training at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. While on active duty, he was stationed at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, and McChord Air Force Base, Washington, as a C-17 Aircraft Commander, Instructor Pilot and Flight Examiner.

He left active duty to move to Alaska and joined the Alaska Air National Guard in May of 2007. He was the first outside pilot hired for the new 249th Airlift Squadron and was highly instrumental in its stand up. He was a very highly regarded C-17 pilot and the unit’s first C-17 Flight Examiner Pilot and Air Show Demonstration pilot. Most recently, he accompanied the United States Air Force Thunderbirds throughout the Pacific and demonstrated the capabilities of the C-17 to thousands of air show spectators.

He accumulated more than 3,500 military flying hours in the T-37, T-1 and C-17 aircraft. He flew 608 combat hours in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM, receiving the Air Medal.

He was the squadron’s foremost expert and pilot mentor in the C-17 and its mission. He leveraged his Boeing C-17 simulator training background to provide “beyond the book” training for pilots in both squadrons. Mike had an amazing mind. He used his degree in physics to solve theoretical flying related mathematical problems; conversely, he had an artistic side where he drew professional quality pencil pictures.
Mike was a beloved family man and father of two – a son, Trevor and daughter, Fiona. He enjoyed nothing more than family activities. He helped coach his son’s Little League baseball team and in the winter, he had taken up snow machining and recently participated in the Arctic Man races. He built a custom home theatre in his basement and regularly hosted movie nights and social events for his many friends from both squadrons. He was also an avid photographer and his images are displayed in various buildings on Elmendorf Air Force Base.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

His Star Has Turned From Blue to Gold

Soldier, Laconia native, killed in Afghanistan
Friday, Aug. 6, 2010

FORT BRAGG, N.C. – A Laconia native who graduated from Plymouth Regional High School in 1993 was killed in combat Wednesday in Afghanistan.

According to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Master Sgt. Jared N. Van Aalst, 34, was killed during a combat operation in the Konduz Province.

He becomes the second soldier with ties to New Hampshire to die in Afghanistan in the past two weeks. Staff Sgt. Kyle R. Warren of the U.S. Special Forces, who lived in Manchester, died Thursday, July 29 during an attack in Tsagay, Afghanistan.

Van Aalst was born in Laconia and attended Plymouth Regional. He enlisted in the U.S. Army as a signal support systems specialist in 1995.

Van Aalst was a sniper team leader serving his sixth tour of combat. He was deployed three times to Afghanistan and three times to Iraq.

Van Aalst was stationed out of Fort Bragg in North Carolina and lived with his wife Katie and two daughters, Kaylie and Ava, in Pinehurst, N.C. His parents, Neville and Nancy Van Aalst, live in Hawthorne, Fla.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

And So It Begins...

A US soldier of the 2nd BTC, 101st ABN Div. (Air Assault) puts in order the backpacks of his recently arrived comrades in Arghandab Base, province of Kandahar on August 4, 2010.

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

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wednesday Hero 08/04/2010

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Aaron

Lt. Dan Cnossen
Lt. Dan Cnossen
U.S. Navy

Standing on his own legs, Lt. Dan Cnossen used to be about 5 feet, 9 inches tall. Now on his two mechanical legs, he is roughly the same height.

Somehow, though, he seems to stand taller.

That isn't what the Topeka man would say. But while this is his story, it is often his mother's telling, and she can't believe how far he has come. His latest feat came late last month when he walked a six-mile race on his prosthetic legs.

You can read the rest of Lt. Cnossen's story here.

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, August 3, 2010

Talking Tuesday

So it appears the United States Air Force is once again looking for a motto.
You can read the entire article HERE. When you hear the words, "Semper Fi", you think Marines. It is the hope of the Air Force to find a motto as catchy and lasting.
I have been a fan of "Aim High" works. "Above All" leaves the question...above all what? Can the Air Force find a motto which will have the staying power as "Army Strong" and "Semper Fi"?
Any ideas???

Your turn..........................

Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday Stuff

John came home this weekend! Yay!
It was so good to see him! It was so good to talk with him! It was so good to just sit at the kitchen table and share a meal!!! It was fun to watch him play with his nieces and hang out with his sisters! He invited a friend (D) to come over for an afternoon as well, she's currently stationed at Andrews AFB. Good memories! I am so richly blessed!

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I came across a great organization Luke's Wings this weekend. Please take a few moments to visit their website. D's working with wounded Soldiers at Andrews. She is one of the first people the Soldiers meet, upon their return to the States. The Soldiers are then transferred to various hospitals across the country. I asked her how emotionally difficult the position was and she said as soon as she learned to treat our Soldiers like people first and wounded Warriors makes the job extremely rewarding. How thankful I am for our Military Service Men and Women who serve those who serve us!