Friday, August 29, 2008

Blue Star Mom as Vice President?!?!

Today, one of us, became the Vice-Presidential Candidate for the United States! Yep, A Blue Star Mom is on the Republican ticket. This is an awesome moment. Her oldest son, Track enlisted in the Army on September 11, 2007 and will deploy on September 11, 2008 for Iraq. She is one of us.
Ok, Ok...I have no intention of taking this blog in a political direction...I'm not out to offend anyone. Truly, it matters not party affiliation. What does matter is to see a fellow Blue Star Mom out there to make such a difference in our world. It is a moment of pride, excitement and just a moment to say, "Wow"!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Angel

Yesterday, my youngest daughter who is 18 weeks along in her pregnancy, learned (with 90% certainty) this sweet miracle is my brand new grandgirl! It is amazing to watch your daughter become a mother. My daughter already has grown to love this tiny angel with every fiber of her own being... and it is only the beginning! A mother's love ~ so intense. Not knowing it was even possible, I love my daughter so much more. She has stepped over the threshold into Momdom, a beautiful place. To my daughter, Marie...thank you for the gift of one new piece of my heart. One more baby to love, to pray for, to watch grow into a pulchritudinous girl. Like her mother, this angel will be exquisite inside and out!

On a different note...thank you to David McMahon! He was kind enough to acknowledge me as joint-winner of his "Post of the Day" on 08/26/2008. (Please click on the right sidebar "authorblog") I was pleasantly shocked! It never occured to me that my blog (aka: self-therapy) would be read and appreciated by others! David's blog is a great read and I do encourage all to stop by and visit.

I'll close this post dedicating the words of a Colbie Caillat song titled, Capri to my new angel:

She’s got a baby inside
And holds her belly tight
All through the night
Just so she knows
She’s sleeping so
Safely to keep
Her growing
And oh when she'll open her eyes
There'll be no surprise
That she'll grow to be
So beautifully
Just like her mother
That’s carrying
Oh Capri
She’s beauty
Baby inside she’s loving
Oh Capri
She’s beauty
There is and angel growin’ peacefully
Oh Capri
Sweet baby
And things will be hard at times
But I've learned to try
Just listening
Patiently, oh Capri
Sweet baby
Oh Capri
She’s beauty
Baby inside she’s loving
Oh Capri
Your beauty
Just like your mother
That’s carrying...Oh *Marie*

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wednesday Hero 08/27/2008

Lt. Col. Nathan Blood
Lt. Col. Nathan Blood
U.S. Army

Lt. Col. Nathan Blood, brigade effects coordinator for 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light), Multi-National Division - Baghdad, says "Hello" to his 16-month-old daughter, Mackenzie, during a web camera communication.

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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Monday, August 25, 2008


U.S. Army Sgt. William Reese watches flames rise into the night sky after setting canal vegetation ablaze in Tahwilla, Iraq, July 30, 2008. Extremists have been using the canal's thick vegetation to plant bombs under the cover of darkness. The soldiers are assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment. U.S. Army photo by Spc. David J. Marshall.

I will hold this vision near my heart today and thank God for each and every Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine. These brave men and women see, feel, smell and live what most of us will never even sample.

God Bless!

Friday, August 22, 2008

His World

Finally, a chance to post the events of the past week!

We left Saturday morning, to attend the Surprise 80th Birthday Party of my mom's youngest brother. Such a blast to see cousins, aunts and uncles...and yes the surprise was pulled off beautifully! My cousins certainly did an outstanding job honoring their dad. Happy tears flowed in abundance! Fun memories were made.

Sunday morning was an early wake-up to be on the road and travel four hours to Wright-Patterson. Woo-Hoo! We met up with John by noon and went to lunch. John then drove us around the base, showing us the gorgeous golf courses, his office building, the lake and the ponds he wants to fish. Baffling bit of information: the total area of Wright-Patt is 11.8 sq. miles ~ the total area of John's hometown is 3.9 sq. miles! Wright-Patt is so rich in history and is the home of the largest and oldest military aviation museum. We walked the entire Air Force Museum which consists of three hangars. Unfortunately, we did not have too much time to spend. I suppose it means we must go back! John's dorm was extremely nice! My husband was in awe, even driving home on Monday he kept repeating how he could not get over the dorm. You see, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1975...military life was a wee bit different back in "those days". Back to 2008, John has his own bedroom with a private bathroom (yes it does have a bathtub, therefore it is not a latrine). There are four bedrooms off the common area. The common area consists of a full kitchen with a full size refrigerator, a microwave and a dishwasher (yep, you read that word correctly). They have a sofa along with a kitchen table and chairs. Very nice!
Dinner was an all you can eat Chinese Buffet, John's choice of course! Just the little things of talking with him, watching him interact with his dorm-mates, sharing a meal... one mom called it "skin time". Such a great way to describe time spent that is not a phone call or e-mail.

And then it was time to say "see ya later". Oh my gosh, the worst moments as a mom. The truth is, these moments just don't get any easier with time. My oldest son enlisted in the USAF when he was 17 in 1999. As though it was yesterday, I remember leaving him at the hotel, the night before he departed for Lackland AFB for Basic. My youngest daughter was with me, and we had to pull off of 495 (the beltway for the non-DCers) at least twice...I could not stop crying! As I have mentioned before...they are my vegetable soup emotions: pride, sadness of a closed chapter, anxiety, happiness, you name it. Here it is nine years later, I have to give my son a see-ya hug and the tears roll. He asked me at the airport one recent trip, if I'll ever not answer "do you really want me to?" It's a mom thing! "A mother's love is instinctual, unconditional, and forever." Truly, it is that simple! I miss my sons. Saying that I need to add, I would not want either of them on any other road, except the road which lead to their happiness and success. So the mom tears will roll as needed!

Monday morning it was homeward bound! Fortunately, we had incredible driving weather! Eight hours later, back in our world. Tuesday, my youngest daughter (the mother-to-be of my third grandchild) and my son-in-law came over to spend the night. I am grand-puppy sitting while they spend almost a week in Salt Lake City visiting my oldest son. It was an early wake up to get them to the airport on Wednesday morning. They are having a good time! Thursday was spent with my two grandgirls, while my oldest daughter had three wisdom teeth extracted! Ugh! My girl is hurting, but her husband is such a good guy and he treats her extremely well! It is always an amazing experience to spend time with my daughters' daughters. They take me back thirty years to when she was little, as though it was last week! How fast time flies. Don't blink, time goes by faster than you think.

So there it is... my son's world. I was blessed to be able to share it for a few hours.

John, I do love you so!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wednesday Hero 8/20/2008

Pvt. Nathan Z. Thacker
Pvt. Nathan Z. Thacker
18 years old from Greenbrier, Arkansas
2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division
October 12, 2007
U.S. Army

Pvt. Nathan Z. Thacker had only been in the country for two weeks before his death, according to the soldier's father, Stephen Thacker.

Thacker's father said his son felt a duty to enlist. "He said it was his job. Even after he got his orders that he was going over there, he said it's his job."

Thacker had attended Guy-Perkins High School in Guy, Arkansas. He earned his GED in 2006, his father said. Thacker enlisted in the Army in April 2007 and completed his training at Fort Benning, Ga. He arrived at Fort Drum in August 2007. His honors include the Purple Heart.

"Nathan was an excellent man," sister Sabrina Black said. "He loved me, I loved him, and I’d give anything to have him back."

Pvt. Thacker was killed when an IED was detonated near his vehicle near Kirkuk. Three other soldiers were injured in the attack.

Pvt. Thacker is survived by his parents, siblings and his grandfather.

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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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Things in life

Tis True, I have posted on this Wednesday, and here I am again...
John's Latest - he completed his two weeks of FTAC, was to return to work last Monday...only to discover he had been assigned to what is affectionately known as "Bay Orderly". Being a Maryland native, one might think keeping our Bay (namely the Chesapeake) Orderly, must be a meaningful, cool thing to do in this lifetime. Hmmm... not Uncle Sam's definition. As I understand it, a Bay Orderly is not THE most sought-after postion in the military. As a mom, I feel I did an adequate job of supporting my son, while he cleaned dorms...telling him that at least he has learned what he does not want to do in the USAF. Simply giving him an "Oh Well...." what more is there to say? Somebody has to do these appears John's number came up in that crazy lottery wheel. The good news...this week he is back to his job.
I spoke with him on Saturday... he somehow avoided a speeding ticket (of course he tried to blame the *lead-foot* gene on me...I immediately blamed my dad!)
The super-great news is that I will visit my son this weekend!!!!! Yep, I am headed for Wright-Patt. My cousins are hosting a surprise birthday party for my just so happens to be in the state of Ohio! What is a mere four hour drive? An afternoon strolling through WPAFB, visiting the AF Museum and dinner with my son...looks like the recipe for a good weekend!
It's a wacky couple of weeks, but life is normally most fun when it is most off the wall... After returning home on Monday... Tuesday evening, my daughter (aka the mother-to-be of my third grand-baby) and my son-in-law(the father-to-be of my third grand-baby) will spend the night, so that they can catch an early morning flight to visit my first Airman in Salt Lake City! I wish I could go back to SLC...I miss my oldest son more than words can ever describe! While the mother and father-to-be of my new grandbaby-to-be (for the record, I'm guessing the baby is a she)are having a blast in Salt Lake City, I'll be Grand-Dog-Sitting for almost a week.
Oh my, It sounds as though I am a writer for a soap-opera called "As The AirmanMom Rolls". :0

Life is good!

John, I do love you so!!!

Wednesday Hero 08/13/2008

Spc. Matthew A. Koch
Spc. Matthew A. Koch
23 years old from West Henrietta, New York
Company C, 70th Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division
March 9, 2005
U.S. Army

Spc. Matthew A. Koch was on his second tour of duty when he was killed by an IED that was detonated near his vehicle in Taji. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He previously was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army Service Ribbon and medals for service in the fight against terrorism.

Koch enlisted in the Army in January 2002 after the attacks on September 11, 2001 and re-enlisted because he wanted to help the Iraqi people. "He was a brave soldier who made the greatest sacrifice anyone could make for everyone else's freedom," Diane Worman, Koch's mother, said through tears. "He realized that by being over there, he was going to make a difference in the lives of those people." She said her son once unsuccessfully sought green cards for an Iraqi family that had been threatened for helping Americans.

"He always looked out for the other guy, never thought of himself. He volunteered to go to C Co before our first deployment so that one of the guys from our Platoon didn't have to deploy early and would have a chance to marry his fiance. That's Koch for you, always looking out for his buddies." - David A. "Buch" Buchanan.

"He really loved the service and went back," said James Worman, Koch's stepfather. "He had no problem. He was dedicated to the fact that people over there needed help. He was always concerned about other people. He loved children. He was a nice, soft-hearted kid."

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 12, 2008


August 12, 1972 - The last American combat ground troops left Vietnam...

or did they?

We must never forget!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Purple Heart

"Being wounded or killed in any action against an enemy of the United States or as a result of an act of any such enemy or opposing armed forces"

Today is the birthday of the Purple Heart!
In 1782,George Washington established the Order of the Purple Heart at Newburgh, New York. The Purple Heart recognizes merit in enlisted soldiers who have been wounded or killed while serving with the U.S. military. It is the oldest symbol and award given to members of the U.S. Military.

My brother-in-law, Phil has received five Purple Hearts in the Vietnam War. Truly, he is the finest of heroes. We sat with him at the wedding of his grand-daughter two weekends ago... it is amazing to think of all this one man has been through and yet he holds one of the sweetest spirits I have ever met. Tomorrow is the shared birthday of Phil and my husband. Happy Birthday, Guys!

To Phil and all of our nation's Purple Heart recipients... how do we ever thank you?
Simply.......... We must never forget!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wednesday Hero

Senior Airman Kimberly Bickford
Senior Airman Kimberly Bickford
332nd Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
U.S. Air Force

Senior Airman Kimberly Bickford performs a pre-load check July 28 on an F-16 Fighting Falcon at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, to ensure the cable that releases the bomb is operational.

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 5, 2008

Some Things are Best Left Alone

There is so much rich history to Dog Tags...
At the American Civil War battle of Cold Harbor in 1864, before Union troops made a frontal assault on Confederate trenches, they wrote their names on pieces of paper and pinned them to their uniforms.. They did not want to be forgotten.
During the Spanish American War, Chaplain Charles E Pierce believed the identity of war dead should be practiced on a more scientific basis. He suggested a central collection agency where mortuary records would be gathered, and the addition of an "Identity Disk" in every Soldier's combat field kit. This "Identity Disk," in 1899,is considered the first institutionalized identification tag.
U-S troops were issued identification tags en masse in 1908 and the tags have been a required part of the uniform ever since.
The nickname for the ID tag was first coined by William Randolph Hearst who printed unfavorable stories about the New Deal and President Roosevelt in 1936. Having heard the Social Security Administration was considering the use of a nameplate for personal identification, Hearst called it a "Dog Tag". Recently, the U.S. Army stopped using the term "Dog tags", replacing it with "I.D tags".
The dog tag is a daily reminder that in the professions of arms, to be forgotten is the cruelest fate. The dog tag is more than 100 years old, and this little piece of metal connects us to those slain defenders. To each it might mean something different, but to the millions of service members, past and present who were required to wear one, the Dog Tag is a symbol of service and personal sacrifice. Most importantly, it is a reminder of the possibility of the ultimate sacrifice.
These small pieces of metal hanging from the neck of every servicemember are intended to help identify remains of the fallen and have been a uniform requirement since World War I. Science has come a long way since then and future identification system just might render them obsolete, but the name, image, and personal connection many feel to their tags go beyond their simple, primary purpose.
Thanks to "Pray For Our Soldiers" bulletin for this rich history lesson.

In this ever-changing, high-tech world we live in... aren't some things best left alone?

We must never forget!

Monday, August 4, 2008

25 Million Hits!

A sixteen year old by the name of Lizzie Palmer put together a YouTube video to honor our troops. Her amazing story was on the news this morning. She receives e-mails from the troops thanking her for this video, her response is simply she wishes to honor them the way they deserved to be honored.
Please take 5 minutes to watch this video, it will be well worth it. If you scroll to the bottom of my blog and pause the playlist, you can hear the Remember Me music as well.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Good stuff!

Today, John will graduate from FTAC! He told me last night, it has been a tough couple of weeks.... so many briefings! Next week he goes back to work!
After graduation today, John will take off for a weekend of fishing! Fishing has always been one of John's favorite activities, since he was just a little guy! I remember when he was as young as four, taking him to a friend's pond and John would be perfectly content fishing for hours! While I was always a bit squeamish about touching the flopping fish, John would gently take it and remove the hook. He has always had the utmost respect for fish and wildlife, passions I hope he holds on to.
I wish him a fun and relaxing weekend! week, it is back to work for John! Along with his regular duties, he must also attend more briefings completing his TS Security Clearance. Finally! It has been a bumpy road to get to this point, a road that appeared to have an enormous STOP sign at some curves! I have said it so many times before and will say it once son is where he is meant to be, doing what he is meant to do! No doubt, this journey will see some disappointments, but I am thankful nothing has caused any U-Turns! Next week also holds another trip to the dentist for John. As I mentioned earlier, John must have his wisdom teeth extracted. GULP! This is where I need to make certain not to step into that time-machine! My need to think of him as a four year old will remain with happy memories of him fishing, taking stuff apart and trying to put it back together, above all simply being my adorable little boy.

John, I do love you so!