Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday Hero 03/31/2010

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Toni

LTC Tim Karcher
LTC Tim Karcher
U.S. Army

Lieutenant Colonel Tim Karcher was shot in the shoulder in Iraq back in 2006. After just 5 months of healing at home that included 7 surgeries, he chose to go back to war.

"My unit was over there, they were taking casualties. It felt terrible to be here, it felt wrong," he said.

Reunited with his troops, Karcher was in Baghdad last summer for the historic transfer of power from the U.S. to the Iraqis.

But 10 days after that historic day, Karcher's vehicle was bombed and he lost both of his legs in the explosion.

"I'm very proud of him, he's fought for his life, he fought the whole summer to stay alive and he's taking it and running with it, he's so positive," said Alesia Karcher, Tim's wife.

Karcher says the tragedy of losing his legs made him realize what he still had including a wife and three children who need him.

"I could sit around and have a pity party everyday, but it's not going to grow my legs back," he said. "Life kicks you in the teeth every now and again, you get to decide how you react to it."

You can read more about LTC Karcher here and here.

All Information Was Found On And Copied From 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.
Wednesday Hero Logo

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

Special thanks to Christopher Lee for taking the time to share these posts.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Definition of Being One Bummed Momma

Question: What is the definition of being One Bummed Momma???

Answer: Missing the call from your son while he is deployed to Afghanistan.

B sounds good. He received the boxes sent to him earlier this week. I'm glad he received them so quickly and can use/share the stuff. It was so good to hear his voice on the answering machine...and yes, it is saved and will not be deleted!

B's been there for over two I feel a lot of relief. He is now in the 'deployment mode', so I know he is with the program. B is doing his job, eating well and so far having some fun (Momma is pleased!)

Thy Will Be Done.

B, I love you so!

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Very Good Weekend Ahead!

Yay! John arrived home yesterday! He hasn't been home since before Thanksgiving, but it feels so much longer. John's week of leave found him travelling to Nashville and Bristol. He drove 1400 miles in just a few days... a memorable road trip! Now he is home! At this early morning hour, he's sleeping. He'll spend this afternoon visiting Precious, Bright-Eyed Beauty and Belle, if I can leave work early I'll head over to J & K's house as well. A visit to see my mom, some teachers at the High School, hanging out with a fellow Airman, and meeting up with some other friends will fill his Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, Marie, C and Sweet Girl will join us for a long afternoon and dinner. Good stuff!

It's so good to have John home. To listen to him talk, to watch him walk and hear him laugh. I have missed him so.

Happy Weekend!

God is Good!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

National Medal of Honor Day-March 25th

The United States Congress has designated March 25th of each year as NATIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR DAY, a day dedicated to Medal of Honor recipients. (Public Law 101-564) was conceived in the State of Washington. The date was chosen to highlight this special day because it was on March 25, 1863 that the first Medals of Honor were six members of Andrews' Raiders.

The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States Government. It is bestowed on members of the United States armed forces who distinguish themselves "conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States." As the award citation includes the phrase "in the name of Congress", it is sometimes erroneously called the Congressional Medal of Honor, however the official title is the Medal of Honor.

On this day, please display our Flag and thank our men and women in uniform. Join me in prayer of thanks for all who are brave enough to protect our nation.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

May Our Sons Never Meet

Today I met another Blue Star Mom. She came to our shop, we began to chat. She told me her son was a Navy Seal and now he is a surgeon in Afghanistan. Her eyes quickly took on the glassy-look, I know all too well. She shared with me that she is more scared for her son now, than she ever has been during his missions as a Navy Seal. This mom told me how much her heart hurts, how deeply she fears for her son's safety. We exchanged a hug. She told me, "I hope my son never meets your son."

Oh dear God in Heaven, please never allow our sons to meet.

Wednesday Hero 03/24/2010

Sgt. William Robert Cain
Sgt. William Robert Cain
August 1, 1922 - July 4, 1944
U.S. Army

William Robert Cain (August 1, 1922 - July 4, 1944) was a husband to Genevieve (Anderson) and the only son of Cleveland and Margaret Cain. He was the baby brother to three sisters, Lena Mae, Anna Phyllis (who died in 1932) and Lora Genevieve.

He was born in the town named after his ancestors called Cainsville, Missouri. He grew up, went to school and played baseball there until he decided to join the U.S. Army. He made the decision to join the Army after graduating high school earlier in the year of 1940 but he would not be turning eighteen until August so he waited and enlisted right after his 18th birthday.

The letter his parents received was dated August 27, 1940 asking them to fill out before a Notary Public, Postmaster or Justice of Peace an Age Verification and Consent Papers and sign BOTH PAPERS in PEN or INK. They were asked to kindly give this their immediate attention as this young man cannot be enlisted till the papers were returned.

Sgt. Robert Cain, (lovingly called Billy Bob by his family and Doc by the Army men), enlisted in August, 1940 and ranked as Sergeant in the medical corps. in charge of hospital on shipboard. His last duty was at Letterman Hospital, Presidio, California. In all he had been assigned to four different ships and made 34 trips over the ocean, the last one a supply ship called SS Jean Nicolet. Sgt. Cain was serving aboard the SS Jean Nicolet when it was attacked by the Japanese on July 2, 1944. The Jean Nicolet was sunk and Sgt. Cain was one of many men taken hostage. He was also one of many men who were tortured for two days before he was killed or died in the Indian Ocean.

From Debbie: I have heard family stories about him, one of which of course is how he died in WWII and that he received the Purple Heart of which I am very proud of. More stories where about how he loved his family. I personally, as his Great Niece, have the love of medicine and caring for others as he did. I am a nurse. This is why it means so much to me that he is remembered as well as the others who were on the Liberty Ship Jean Nicolet that fatal day!

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

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

Special thanks to Christopher Lee, who does an outstanding job on 'Wednesday Hero'. I was asked last week where the quote (in red) came from. I sent Chris an e-mail and here is his reply: "It's taken from a quote by Gen. Patton in which he said "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived." I changed it a little because I'd gotten a couple of complaints from people who'd lost loved ones and they weren't too thrilled with the foolish and wrong part."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Talking Tuesday

Health care overhaul won't affect coverage for troops, veterans

WASHINGTON — Military and Veterans Affairs officials spent the weekend refuting allegations that the health care reform legislation approved by Congress will harm Tricare programs or Veterans Affairs health benefits, instead promising that servicemembers and veterans will see no change in their coverage.

Before Sunday’s vote approving the massive health care overhaul, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki released a statement saying that none of the proposals would force veterans to purchase new health care or change the way current benefits are delivered.

“Fears that veterans’ health care and Tricare will be undermined by the health reform legislation are unfounded,” he said. “We pledge to continue to provide the men and women in uniform and our veterans the high quality health care they have earned.”

Defense Secretary Robert Gates echoed those comments after Sunday’s vote, saying the changes “will not negatively impact the Tricare medical insurance program.”

The new health care provisions require all citizens to obtain health insurance or face a fine. On Saturday, the House passed legislation specifying that Tricare and non-appropriated fund health plans meet all of the requirements for proof of insurance, in response to Republican concerns that military families might face the fine.

White House officials have insisted since last summer that any health reform would not impact veterans or military programs.

Since then, Defense Department and Veterans Affairs officials have spoken out numerous times promising no effect on those programs, but still faced rumors that the final bill would force changes and higher costs for both groups.

In his statement, Gates promised that “the president and I are committed to seeing that our troops, retirees and their families will continue to receive the best quality health care.”

By Leo Shane III, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Tuesday, March 23, 2010

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

This post is not an invitation for a political debate. It is my desire to keep our focus on our Warriors, not our politicians. My concern is to see our Soldiers and our Veterans receive all benefits they justly deserve. I welcome discussion how to make the system better.

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

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Somehow Different

I've been packing boxes full of Body Wash, Toothbrushes, Decks of Cards, Yahtzee Games, Books, Oreos, Hawaiian Punch Packets and shipping them off to Iraq and Afghanistan for a couple years now. Each box has been filled to the point where there is no room for one more Jolly Rancher. Each box has had a hand written note enclosed (unless I suffered a senior moment and found the note on the outside of the box after it had been taped shut). Truly each box not only enclosed a bunch of stuff, but I sent my warmest wishes along as well. The Warriors who received these boxes have all had a special place in my heart....from my Beloved MudPuppy, to Chief, to Scout, to Shay, and to my numerous Soldiers who I have been an angel to.

Today was somehow different. Today as I shopped for an Airman who is serving in Afghanistan, MomTears rolled. How goofy to be walking through aisle after aisle, filling a shopping cart...with glassy eyes. Each item was chosen carefully, while a vision of my little boy as a toddler consumed every step down each aisle. It felt so different to know the toothbrush would be used by my son, brushing the same teeth I helped him brush so many yesterdays ago. I know, I know...this is super sappy, silly mom thoughts... but that is who I am. Today, I'm a mom missing her son terribly. Praying he is safe and praying his heart knows how deeply he is loved.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

It's What They Do...

Firefighters from the 125th Fighter Wing at Jacksonville, Fla., and 71st Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base, Va, extinguish a fire in a burn pit at the Combat Readiness Training Center in Savannah, Ga., March 13, 2010. The burn pit is a live fire training simulator and re-creates most scenarios of a real aircraft fire.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Shelley Gill)

How grateful I am for each and every brave Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine.

Friday, March 19, 2010

His Star Has Turned From Blue to Gold

Cpl. Jonathan Daniel Porto, a proud Marine paid the ultimate price on March 14, 2010 in Afghanistan. His wife of one year, Mrs. P is a blogger. She is only 23 years old and they have an infant baby girl who was born in January. Cpl. Porto never held his daughter. Please take a moment and read Mrs. P's words in her blog A Little Pink in a World of Camo.

May Almighty God Bless this brave Marine. May God bring comfort to his young bride and may He watch over this sweet baby who will never meet her daddy on this earth. May the entire family who loves this warrior, know we are a grateful nation.
May Almighty God watch over and protect each and every Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

B Update

B is safe and sound in Afghanistan. Food is good and the days are getting warmer.

If you would like to mail a letter or package, please e-mail me for his address. Letters need only a first class stamp. B has mentioned cookies and candy would be great to share with the guys.

Thanks for the continued prayer support!

I Miss You

I miss you in the morning,
I miss you late at night,
But I know what you are doing
Is good and just and right.

You’re always in my thoughts;
I hope that you can see
I’m proud of you for serving
Our country, God, and me.

And when you’re home again
I won’t miss you anymore,
But I’ll always admire your courage
For fighting in this war.

By Joanna Fuchs

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wednesday Hero 03/17/2010

Cpl. Charles Aldieri(Ret.) & 1st Lt. Jack Jewell(Ret.)
Cpl. Charles Aldieri(Ret.) & 1st Lt. Jack Jewell(Ret.)
U.S. Army

Lt. Col. David Hurley, commander of Schweinfurt, Germany's 15th Engineer Battalion, presents unit coins to two 9th Infantry Division World War II veterans -- Charles Aldieri, a former corporal with the 746th Tank Battalion (shaking hands) and Jack Jewell, a former first lieutenant with Company B, 39th Infantry -- during a March 8 ceremony honoring the division's efforts in capturing the famed Remagen Bridge in the closing days of World War II. The commemoration took place in the Remagen Bridge and Peace Museum now housed in the remains of the span, which collapsed 10 days after its capture on March 7, 1945.

Photo Courtesy United States Army

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, March 16, 2010

Wings of Desire

March 16, 2010: Last year, the U.S. Air Force began issuing special "wings" for operators of UAVs. While the air force now trains non-pilots to operate UAVs, this is not the first time that the air force issued "wings" badges to non-pilots. Navigators (recently phased out), Air Battle Managers (working aboard AWACS), Observer (now only used by some astronauts), Flight Surgeon (air force doctors) and Combat Systems Officer (the back seater in some fighter bombers) all receive "wings" to wear on their uniforms. Unless you look close, you can't tell which of the wings indicate an actual pilot. Naturally, pilots consider the pilot wings to be the only ones that really count. All wings are similar, except for the symbology on the badge that the two wings extend from.
It was only last year that, for the first time, the U.S. Air Force graduated a class of UAV operators who were not already military pilots. Actually, these officers were given flight training, but only of the most basic kind, and needed only 18 hours at the controls of an aircraft, before they went on to UAV operator school. Now, the air force has increased that to 35 hours, because it is believed that a UAV operator needs a pilots sense of what is going on, even while operating an aircraft remotely from the ground. However, most UAV operator training is done using simulators, which is easier to do with UAVs (because the operators normally operate their aircraft via two or more flat screen computer displays.) These simulators are getting better and better, and don't require the expensive dome displays and mechanical actuators (to simulate the movement of the cockpit and physical orientation of the pilot).

The air force had long insisted that all UAV operators already be manned aircraft pilots, and allowed most of them to spend only three years operating UAVs before returning to manned aircraft. This has limited the number of UAV operators available, and forced the air force to create a larger UAV operator training program than they would have needed if all UAV pilots were career UAV operators. Some UAV operators, who were already military pilots, have now committed to stick with it for their entire careers, and the air force is moving towards making it that way for all UAV operators.

Then there's another factor at play; UAVs have become where the action is. There are more UAVs in action over Iraq and Afghanistan, than all other air force combat aircraft. So, if you want to see some action, you want to be a UAV driver. This has not been enough to lure many fighter pilots away from their "fast movers." But the fighter pilots forced to do a three year tour with UAVs don't regret it. While the duty is often tedious (UAV operators do eight hour shifts), at least you are focused on the ground, where the enemy, and the action, is. Instead of a cockpit, UAV operators sit in front of multiple flat panel displays (showing system status, maps, chat room discussions with troops and other operators, and video from the cameras), and interact via a joystick, rudder control and a keyboard. While UAV operators sometimes (in about three percent of missions) fire Hellfire missiles, most of their work is more like a detectives' stakeout, watching for suspicious activity, and passing on video, and observations, to the ground troops. Some air force pilots are attracted to UAV duty because they see this as the future.

Meanwhile, the army already uses NCOs trained specifically for UAV operation. The army has no operator shortage. The air force is under pressure (both from within, and outside, the air force) to allow NCOs to be career UAV operators. But it will probably stay with officers or, as the army does with helicopter pilots, use warrant officers (officers who concentrate on their technical specialty, and not command duties).

Monday, March 15, 2010

Exercise Cold Response 2010

ARCTIC CIRCLE, Norway — U.S. Navy SEALs and German Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK) make entry into a building here during Exercise Cold Response 2010 (CR10). CR10 is a Norwegian sponsored, scheduled and conducted multinational invitational exercise, with more than 9,000 military personnel from 14 countries, focused on cold weather maritime/amphibious operations, interoperability of expeditionary forces, special and ground operations.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Matt Daniels)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Warrior of the Week

Staff Sgt. Michael Greer, 34th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, is the Warrior of the Week. He is an aircraft armament systems specialist deployed from Hill Air Force Base, Utah and from Moss Point Miss. His primary duty is to load and unload munitions and troubleshoot and repair weapons systems on the F-16 Fighting Falcon. When asked his thought on being named Warrior of the Week Sergeant Greer replied, “It gives other people a chance to see what we do on the flightline everyday and it highlights my careerfield.” Sergeant Greer explains the importance of his job by saying, “It keeps servicemembers on the ground safe and allows them to focus on their mission.” His supervision stated, Sergeant Greer has a “Take the Bull by the Horns” job and leadership attitude. He continually steps up no matter what he is tasked with to get the mission accomplished. Sergeant Greer stepped up as the weapons section PTL, as a certified cross fit trainer he took the weapons section from a 68 percent pass rate to 94 percent pass rate of the 455 AEW fitness assessment in just a matter of weeks greatly improving the overall health and well being of the entire section. He has volunteered numerous hours at the USO stocking the refrigerator and has volunteered time and donated equipment at the “Rock” gym for a circuit class. Sergeant Greer continually sets the standard for the 34 EAMU weapons section. He is definitely an example others follow.
(U.S. Air Force photo by/ Tech. Sgt. Jeromy K. Cross)

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

I've tried so hard to stay away from, Stars and Stripes and, etc.

I can't. I need to know what is going on over there.

I need to know the good, I need to know the not-so-good. I need to know.

Hubster gave me one of 'those' looks, when I told him I am posting on my blog. But, this is a 'feel-good' story. There are so many of our soldiers who deserve to be recognized...and I will continue to do my part to share their story. heart hurts too much. I will then evaporate for as long as it takes for me to take a deep breath and pull it together.

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

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Mom's Prayer

Almighty God in Heaven,
I come to you with a humble heart.
My son is on his way to serve our country in a land so very far from home.

I carried this child under my heart
and held him in my arms.

I love him so.

I lift my son to You, asking You to guide him so that he does the best job possible while deployed.
Thy will be done.

I lift my son to You, asking You to protect him.
Thy will be done.

I lift my son to You, asking You bring him home - whole in body and mind.
Thy will be done.

I lift my son to You, Almighty Father.
Thy Will Be Done.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Prayer Warriors...

Psalm 91

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."

Psalm 91 (New International Version)

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

Psalm 91 is printed on bandanas which I mail in packages to Soldiers. MudPuppy has posted several photos of himself wearing his bandana, which truly warms my heart. I have a Psalm 91 Bandana to give to my son tomorrow. Yikes, did I just say tomorrow? On Sunday morning, our Pastor's sermon sent the message, "We Must Serve". Isn't it funny how some Sunday mornings you feel as though your Pastor is chatting to you alone, despite the fact an entire congregation is filling the pews around you? I know peace in my heart, that my son is doing what he is meant to be doing...right where he is meant to be doing it. My son is meant to serve. God's plan is the way.

For the next couple weeks, I'm not certain how much I will blog. I've noticed a trend of many soldiers being hurt the first couple weeks of deployment... Many friends (including Hubster) have suggested I not read the Military Newspapers daily.One friend suggested I dive into 'trashy', meaningless novels. (oh my)

I love my friend, Michael for this suggestion: he told me it helps to dedicate ten minutes an hour to worry. Once the ten minutes are up, I am not permitted to worry any longer that hour. I am not permitted to 'bank' the ten minutes...if an hour passes, I lose my ten minutes. Michael has promised me after dedicating the time to worry, hours will pass when I won't need those ten minutes! I believe him. I know worry solves nothing, it is a waste of time and good energy. But, I'm Mom. B is my son. I'll say no more.

For all who are Prayer Warriors for my son, my heart is filled with gratitude.

May Almighty God Bless each and every Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine.
May Almighty God watch over my son.
Dear God in Heaven, please bring him home whole in body and mind.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

SIX HOURS!!!!!!!

On Wednesday, March 10th, my son will be in Baltimore for six hours before deploying to Afghanistan!

Yep, a SIX HOUR layover!!!!!

This means I have SIX HOURS to spend with my son!

Pure awesomeness!

God is good!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Moment of Silence

U.S. Army soldiers hold a moment of silence for a fellow soldier killed in action on March 6, 2010 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The U.S. military is expected to launch a major offensive against Taliban insurgents in Kandahar in upcoming months, following its recent operation in Marja in neighboring Helmand province.

Friday, March 5, 2010

His Star Has Turned From Blue to Gold

A Fort Smith soldier has been killed while serving with Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Vincent L. C. Owens, 21, died Monday at Forward Operating Base Sharana.

He had been wounded earlier in the day when enemy forces attacked his vehicle using direct fire in Yosuf Khel.

Sgt. Owens was a motor transport operator assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky. He joined the Army in August 2007 and arrived at Fort Campbell in January 2008.

His mother spoke with our sister station KNWA Tuesday night.

"It's crossed my mind several times to get the phone call or have the officials knock on my door," said Sheila Owens.

She says her son arrived in Afghanistan only a few weeks ago.

At 21, Vincent's mom says he had many accomplishments. He was a daredevil bike rider, a proud soldier, already completing a tour in Iraq, and even a newlywed.

"Not many people his age want to work or accomplish or have something, but he did," said Owens.

And while Sheila still supports the Army, she does want answers.

“I know until there is a full investigation I won't know things, like if he died instant, or if he didn't die instant, or if he was in pain, or if he died missing his Mom," said Owens.

Until a full report comes out, she will wait and replay a very different call. "I’ve got a message on my answering machine where I missed one of his phone calls. So I'm still listening to that. He just says, ‘Hi Mom, I’ve been real busy, I love you, and I love you twice.’ He said, ‘he would call me in a couple of days, and today would have been the couple of days,’” she said.

Owens' awards and decorations include: Army Commendation Medal (2 awards); Army Achievement Medal (2 awards); Valorous Unit Award; National Defense Service Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Ribbon; Combat Action Badge; Driver & Mechanic Badge with Driver - Wheeled Vehicles;
and Weapons Qualification: M4, expert. He was posthumously promoted from specialist to sergeant.

He is survived by his wife, Kaitlyn Owens, of Fort Smith; mother, Sheila, of Spiro, Okla.; and father, Keith Owens, of Missouri.

A memorial service was held in Afghanistan. Funeral arrangements in Arkansas are not complete. The family expects to have a burial this week or next. Owens' mother is looking for bikers to ride in the funeral, and one person to take the lead on Vincent’s bike.

Reported by: KARK 4 News

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

May Almighty God Bless this brave, young Warrior and may God comfort the hearts of those who love this Soldier so.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Let's Go Outback Tonight

Outback Steakhouse To Support U.S. Troops and Their Families With $1 Million Donation

TAMPA, Fla., Mar. 03 /CSRwire/ - /PR Newswire/ - Outback Steakhouse, a longtime supporter of U.S. military troops, today announced its commitment to donate $1 million to Operation Homefront, a non-profit organization that provides emergency and morale support for active troops, veterans and their families.

"The sacrifices that our troops and their families make so we can enjoy the freedoms we have in the United States is something Outback employees have recognized and appreciated since we opened our doors 22 years ago," said Liz Smith, CEO of OSI Restaurant Partners, parent company of Outback Steakhouse. "Our commitment to donate $1 million to Operation Homefront reflects our appreciation to those who give so much."

Also starting today, Outback is holding a month-long "Thanks for Giving" effort in participating restaurant locations in the U.S. and Hawaii. Restaurant-goers are invited to express their appreciation to our country's dedicated servicemen and women by visiting Outback restaurants this month and ordering from the "Red, White and Bloomin'" menu. Proceeds from menu sales during the month of March will help to meet the $1 million commitment to Operation Homefront. The menu will be available through March 31.

"As a retired member of the U.S. military and on behalf of our troops serving in locations far and wide, I'd like to thank Outback Steakhouse for its support over the years," said General Tommy Franks (Ret.). "This support, coupled with the current effort to help our active and retired servicemen, women and their families, is greatly appreciated."

To further raise awareness about this important cause, Outback has partnered with country music superstar Tim McGraw on his Southern Voice concert tour, scheduled to visit more than 60 U.S. cities this spring and summer. Proceeds from a Southern Voice commemorative t-shirt will also be donated to Operation Homefront.

"When I learned about Outback's commitment to the troops and history of helping our local communities, it really felt like the perfect fit to partner with them in their efforts," said McGraw. "Together with Outback, our shared goal is to help raise awareness and funds to help our selfless servicemen and women."

For more information about the program, please visit

About Outback Steakhouse
Outback Steakhouse has been an innovator in casual dining for 22 years. During that time, it has perfected the art of serving great-tasting steaks. In fact, Outback was recently voted #1 Best Steak in the 2009 Zagat Survey of National Full-Service Restaurant Chains. Outback is not only known for the "Best Steak" award, but also serves fresh, "made from scratch" appetizers, salads, entrees, sides and desserts that use only the highest-quality ingredients available. Outback's menu of new choices, classic favorites and "down under prices," offers something for everyone. Outback promises delicious, affordable food, spirited service, and an energetic atmosphere that will make casual nights out the most enjoyable available. Please visit for more information.

About Operation Homefront
Operation Homefront's mission is to provide emergency and morale assistance for our troops, the families they leave behind, and for wounded warriors when they return home. A nonprofit 501(c)(3), Operation Homefront leads more than 4,500 volunteers in 30 chapters nationwide and has met more than 105,000 needs of military families. Operation Homefront also hosts the Web community, Operation Homefront Online, at

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click:
For more information, please contact:

Stephanie Amberg Outback Steakhouse
Phone: +1-813-282-1225Dustin Sveum MS&L
Phone: +1-212-468-3061

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wednesday Hero 03/03/2010

This Weeks Post Was Actually Written By Sgt. McGowen A Year Before He Passed Away. He Was Suggested By His Granddaughter, Leigh, To Honor Him.

Capt. Lyle L. Gordon
Sgt. Charlie McGowen
August 22, 1921 - December 5, 2009
U.S. Air Force

In 1942 he was drafted into the Army Air Corps. He was sent to England. His trip there took him through Warrior, Alabama, Ft. McClellan, Ft. McPherson, Gulf Port, Mississippi, Chanute, Salt Lake City, El Paso, Alamorgoro, and New York City. Then he took the Queen Mary to the Fifth of Clyde in Scotland. Upon arriving he was sent to the Wending base in England. In his military service he was part of the World War II: 32 Bomb Group 578 and 579 Bomb Squadron Second Air Division, 8th Air Force, ETON 117 Wending, Norfolk, England. While stationed in Wending, he went to Piccadilly Circus in London. While he was there he visited the American Red Cross Center with friends. The center was Rainbow Corner. While there he was introduced to a lovely English lady named Margaret (Peggy) Johnston. It was love at first sight. They were married on January 13, 1945. They moved back to Alabama after the war and raised six children. They have ten grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Sgt. Charlie & Peggy McGowen

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

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

Thanks to Christopher Lee for his dedication to 'Wednesday Hero'.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Talking Tuesday

As many of you are aware... my oldest son, B is deploying to Afghanistan next Wednesday. I received a phone call last night from my youngest son, John...chit-chatting about how to grocery shop for and prepare Chicken Caesar Wraps. Then comes the, "Oh, by the way...I'm deploying to Afghanistan this summer." I ask how he feels about it and replies that this is why he enlisted. (I knew this)

The mom heart never ceases to amaze me. How can so many deep emotions pump, at the same exact moment? The words, "I am so deeply proud of my sons" does not adequately define the pride. The words, "I fear for their safety" doesn't even come close to sharing the anxiety which flows which each breath. My sons are doing what they are meant to be doing, they are on a path which they are meant to follow. I want them on these journeys, for this is their life. I do love both my sons so and desire them to always follow their own hearts and minds.

So, here is my question for you... Most of my readers are Veterans, Soldiers, parents/family members of Soldiers, or friends of our Troops. How does the family and friends 'survive' deployments? Soldiers, what has helped most while so far from home?

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

Monday, March 1, 2010

Operation Homefront Offers the Military Motherhood Award

Voting Opens for the Military Child Award

SAN ANTONIO (March 1, 2010) – Nominations for the 2010 Lockheed Martin Military Motherhood Award are open through March 22. The winner of the award, which honors military women in uniform and military spouses, will be flown to Washington, D.C., for the $5,000 award and special recognition ceremony. Anyone can nominate a deserving military mom.

Additionally, a public voting period for the Military Child Award runs through midnight on March 11. Voting will narrow the top 20 nominees down to five. A panel of judges will make the final selection. The winner will be announced March 16.

Nominate a military mom or vote for a military child at .

“The price of peace is paid by the entire military family, and our military moms are often the driving force that keeps everything going,” said Jim Knotts, chief executive officer, Operation Homefront. “With this award, we honor their service and sacrifice.”

About Operation Homefront
Operation Homefront provides emergency assistance for our troops, the families they leave behind and for wounded warriors when they return home. A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront leads more than 4,500 volunteers in two dozen chapters nationwide, and has met more than 257,000 needs since 2002. Operation Homefront is a four-star rated charity by watchdog Charity Navigator. Nationally, $.92 of every dollar donated to Operation Homefront goes to programs. For more information about Operation Homefront, please visit
About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.

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

Warm thanks to Jim Knotts at Operation Homefront, for sharing the details of this opportunity to recognize some very special people!