Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day, 2010

We must never forget our fallen.

We must never forget our POW's.

We must never forget our MIA's.

We must never forget.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Son is Home from Afghanistan!!!!

I received a text in the middle of the night from B, saying he is home!!!

My heart is full of praise to Almighty God, for bringing B onto American soil.

God is Great!!!!

I thank each and every one of you, for your prayers and encouraging words during my son's deployment. Each hug was felt and every kind word is so deeply appreciated.
As I've mentioned several times, this blog was created as a form of 'therapy'. I wanted to keep a journal of this chapter of my life, while both my sons serve in the United States Air Force. In my wildest dreams, I could never imagine I'd happen upon so many compassionate people who would read my words. You are a gift in my life, and I am ever so grateful for you.

My prayers continue for each and every Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine as they serve our nation.
May Almighty God watch over my son as he transitions back into 'our world'.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Smile....

B should be returning this weekend from Afghanistan! Over the past few days, I've had a couple e-mails from him and he sounds good! Truly answered prayer!

Thursday is my day off, also known as "Nana Day" to Precious and Bright-Eyed Beauty! My daughter and the girls came over for playtime and lunch. We walked around the yard to look at the rose bushes, then off to the vegetable garden, and finally to the perennial garden... Once inside the house, it was time to play Candyland, which was abruptly ended when they asked if they could ride the horse. Nana does not own a live horse, but I still have the bouncing horse which my children rode as toddlers. I don't even know if these 'horse on springs' are even manufactured any longer, I'm certain they are considered far too dangerous. (oh my!) Both of the big girls took turns riding, I quickly found that time machine which has me travel to when my own were 3 and 4 years old. Later, my daughter called to tell me that Precious said she was going to sleep happy, thinking of Nana.... How blessed I am.

The song, "Smile" by Uncle Kracker came to mind, as I thought of all the good stuff in my life:

You make me smile like the sun
Fall out of bed
Sing like a bird
Dizzy in my head
Spin like a record
Crazy on a Sunday night
You make me dance like a fool
Forget how to breathe
Shine like gold
Buzz like a bee
Just the thought of you can drive me wild
Ohh you make me smile

(Please pause my Playlist on the right sidebar)

Thursday, May 27, 2010


This story is totally unbelievable!
Our home has an American Flag waving in the front yard. From the day B deployed, my flag has a yellow ribbon hanging from the pole. Showing our colors is a freedom, and I for one will exercise this freedom for as long as I live. We have soldiers who have fought and soldiers who have died for these colors.

Wisconsin Veteran Must Remove Flag After Memorial Day, Wife Says
By Joshua Rhett Miller

Published May 26, 2010

An Army veteran in Wisconsin will be allowed to display an American flag until Memorial Day, but the symbol honoring his service in Iraq and Kosovo must come down next Tuesday, his wife told

Dawn Price, 27, of Oshkosh, Wis., said she received a call from officials at Midwest Realty Management early Wednesday indicating that she and her husband, Charlie, would be allowed to continue flying the American flag they've had in their window for months through the holiday weekend. The couple had previously been told they had to remove the flag by Saturday or face eviction due to a company policy that bans the display of flags, banners and political or religious materials.

"It's basically an extension so we can fly the flag on Memorial Day," Price told "It does need to come down after that."

Charlie Price, 28, served tours of duty as a combat engineer in Iraq and Kosovo, his wife said. To honor his eight years of service, she began decorating their apartment during Veterans Day in November. An American flag topped off the display, she said.

"I knew it made Charlie really proud to see that," she said. "And this isn't something new. This has been up for quite some time now."

Veterans' groups were furious at the realtors' refusal to allow the flag to fly.

"As a veteran, it sickens me that the Dawn and Charlie Price's building management company would imply that the American flag could be construed as offensive by their residents," said Ryan Gallucci, a spokesman for AmVets.

"We're talking about our most revered national symbol. This is insulting to anyone who has defended our flag honorably, like Charlie Price."

Dawn Price said she now works to amend the federal Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005, which states no "condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association" may stop someone from flying the American flag. The law, however, does not apply to renters.

"This has been eating at us since Friday," she said. 'The best way to fight this isn't getting an eviction and going after these people in court. That's just going to cost us a lot of time, energy and money."

Instead, Dawn Price said she either intends to place a curtain between the flag and the apartment window to block it from onlookers or will move it to a rear balcony come next week.

"We don't want to fight the eviction," she said. "We know we'd lose."

Officials at Midwest Realty Management, which manages Brookside Apartments, where the Prices live, did not return several messages seeking comment. In a statement to the Oshkosh Northwestern, company officials said the policy was established to provide a consistent living environment for all residents.

"This policy was developed to insure that we are fair to everyone as we have many residents from diverse backgrounds," the statement read. "By having a blanket policy of neutrality we have found that we are less likely to offend anyone and the aesthetic qualities of our apartment communities are maintained."

Despite the brief reprieve, Dawn Price said her husband is disappointed by the flag flap.

"He actually sees it as a slap in the face to his service," she said. "He's pretty upset about it, especially right around Memorial Day."

A Facebook group created by Dawn Price, "Freedom to Display the American Flag," had roughly 2,000 members as of Wednesday.

"As a father of a son [who] is currently serving in Iraq this blackens my heart!!!!" read one comment. "These men and women sign a blank check up to and including their life!"

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday Hero 05/26/2010

This Weeks Post Was Suggested And Written By Beth

Capt. Kyle Comfort
Capt. Kyle Comfort
27 years old from Jacksonville, Alabama
Fire Support Officer Company D, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
May 8, 2010
U.S. Army

Kyle Comfort had just recently been promoted to Captain and been assigned to a Ranger Regiment in the Army. His accomplishments as a Soldier, in such a short time, were a testament to the fact that he was an excellent Soldier. Unfortunately, in this war, it doesn’t make a lot of difference how good you are at your job. The difference seems to be left to chance. Where you are sitting in your vehicle or which vehicle you are sitting in when you hit an IED or where you are standing on your FOB when the mortars come in. All chance and circumstance.

It has to be that way. The enemy that is fighting us now could never win a legitimate war with our Soldiers. So they fight as insurgents and use tactics that they know make our Soldiers vulnerable.

That is how they got CAPT Kyle Comfort. With an IED just a month into his tour of duty in Afghanistan. If they had fought him face-to-face, they never would have gotten him.

You Can Read The Rest 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

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Thanks to Christopher Lee for Wednesday Hero!
May Almighty God bless each and every Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine.
May God protect my son as he travels home.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Talking Tuesday

In the Sunday edition of the Washington Post, I saw a photo of a Cadet graduating from the U.S. Military Academy. This Cadet was saluting President Obama. I am fully aware that the President of the United States is the Commander in Chief of our military. But I questioned whether or not he deserves this salute. Please hear me out...this is NOT a political stance. My point is this: should some sort of military experience, be mandatory in order to become the Commander in Chief? Should our President, know the military lifestyle in some capacity? Is not the best of leaders, one who command respect because once upon a time he was Recruit, a Plebe or a Private? President Clinton and President Obama are the only two Presidents who have no military service, since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

I go back to last summer, when Hubster and I were enjoying our 'Bucket List Vacay'. We were in Pittsburgh, waiting for the Pirates to take on the Nationals. Prior to the game starting, several young men and women entered the field wearing familiar navy blue tee shirts with an Air Force logo. These young people were days from taking off to Lackland AFB for BMT. The audience had the honor of watching them as they took their enlistment oath. There were some guys standing in front of me, taking the oath along...making a mockery of it. (I do NOT solemnly swear, etc.) As soon as the oath was finished, I sprang to my feet, clapping and hollering a "Thank You" from the top of my lungs. One of the guys turned to me and asked if one of the kids on the field was mine...I told him these young warriors belong to all of us, and yes I do have two sons serving in the Air Force. He bought another beer from the vendor and settled in to watch the game. Later on, this same guy walked by me and saluted and then he thanked me for my son's service. At the time, I know I blushed and truly did not feel I deserved that salute. Under no circumstances will I ever deserve a salute...but perhaps my commitment to the military life is a bit more than our President.

I ask this discussion not become ugly... It is not meant to be a political discussion, it is truly my curiosity of should a non-service member serve as our Commander In Chief.

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

Monday, May 24, 2010

Shay is Home!!!

God is great!!!!

Shay is home from Iraq!!!! Please join me in prayer of gratefulness and pray for her transition into 'our world'. Her mom has a blog, ShaysMa. Michelle is in DC this week, if it all works out...we are hoping to meet.

May Almighty God bless each and every Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine.
May Almighty God watch over Shay as she returns to Washington state.
May Almighty God protect my son as he returns to the United States.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

B Is On His Way Home!!!!!

Mom tears rolled as I read B's e-mail this morning...

"I'm safely out of Afghanistan..."

God is good!

Saturday, May 22, 2010


A military working dog wears Doggles to protect his eyes as a Chinook helicopter takes off, kicking up dust and debris, during an air assault operation by U.S. soldiers assigned to Alpha Troop, 1st Squadron, 172nd Cavalry Regiment, 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Parwan province, Afghanistan, May 11, 2010.
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jason Brace)

Friday, May 21, 2010


This has been one of 'those' weeks. Between the plane crash in Afghanistan on Monday and the attack on Bagram on Wednesday...I'm just ready to file this one in the history books. It's all good...I'm just ready to say 'so-long'.

Each morning as I drive to work, I listen to the same song over and over. It's been my song to listen to while B is deployed. The group is called Lifehouse and the song is titled, 'Everything'.
These are the lyrics which move me most:

You are the strength, that keeps me walking.
You are the hope, that keeps me trusting.
You are the light to my soul.
You are my're everything.

Please pause my playlist on the right...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bagram Airfield Attacked....

My son is at Bagram. I am so grateful B is safe.

It's so hard to find the words, which describe waiting to hear that B was safe. My eyes filled with tears and my heart hurt... a lot.

My prayers are lifted for the nine soldiers who were injured in this attack. My prayers are lifted for their families.

I am ready for my son to come home now.

May Almighty God bring my son home whole in body and mind!

Bagram Airfield attacked; 9 troops hurt
By Heidi Vogt and Rahim Faiez - The Associated Press
Posted : Wednesday May 19, 2010 9:46:15 EDT

KABUL, Afghanistan — Insurgents launched a brazen pre-dawn assault Wednesday against the giant U.S.-run Bagram Airfield, killing an American contractor and wounding nine service members in the second Taliban strike at NATO forces in and around the capital in as many days.

At least 10 insurgents were killed as Taliban suicide bombers attempted to breach the defenses of the base north of Kabul, while others fired rockets and grenades inside, according to a statement issued by U.S. forces.

The attack started around 3 a.m. Blasts and gunfire only subsided around midday, said Master Sgt. Tom Clementson, a spokesman for U.S. forces. No insurgents managed to get into the base and none were able to detonate their suicide vests, the statement said.

The Bagram attack came a day after a suicide bomber struck a U.S. convoy in Kabul, killing 18 people. The dead included five American troops and a Canadian, making it the deadliest attack on NATO in the Afghan capital in eight months.

The back-to-back attacks show the militants intent to strike at the heart of the U.S.-led mission, apparently part of an offensive announced by the Taliban earlier this month — even as NATO prepares for a major operation to restore order in the turbulent south.

In the latest violence in the south, a NATO service member died in a bomb attack Wednesday, the military alliance said in a statement. It did not provide further details.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for both the Kabul bombing and the attack at Bagram, 30 miles north of Kabul. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said 20 suicide attackers were involved.

An Afghan provincial police commander, Gen. Abdul Rahman Sayedkhail, said the attack began when U.S. guards spotted would-be attackers in a car just outside the Bagram base. The Americans opened fire, triggering a gunbattle in which at least one militant triggered his suicide vest. Running gunbattles broke out as U.S. troops hunted down the other attackers.

Four of the killed insurgents were intended suicide bombers, the U.S. statement said. The base was undamaged except for "minor" damage to one building, it added. Spokesmen had previously said the building was not strategically important.

In February 2007, a suicide bombing killed more than 20 people at a Bagram security gate while Vice President Dick Cheney was inside the base. Cheney was unhurt but the Taliban said he was the target.

Tuesday was the deadliest day of the year for U.S. forces in Afghanistan with seven Americans dead — including two who died in separate attacks in the south. Twelve Afghan civilians also died in Tuesday's blast — many of them on a public bus in rush-hour traffic along a major thoroughfare that runs by the ruins of a one-time royal palace and government ministries.

The attacks follow a Taliban announcement earlier this month of a spring offensive — "Operation Al-Fatah" or "Victory" — which would target NATO forces, foreign diplomats, contractors and Afghan government officials.

The announcement was made on the eve of a visit by President Hamid Karzai to Washington and comes as U.S., NATO and Afghan forces are gearing up for a major operation to secure Kandahar, the biggest city in the south and the former Taliban headquarters before they were ousted from power in the 2001 U.S.-led invasion. U.S. officials think control of Kandahar is the key to stabilizing the Taliban' southern heartland.

NATO's senior civilian representative in Afghanistan said that Taliban attacks like those in Kabul and in the south have not delayed the Kandahar operation or any of NATO's key goals over the next few months.

"The overall campaign is on track," Mark Sedwill told reporters. He stressed that the Kandahar operation will not be a quick-strike offensive like this past winter's push into the town of Marjah in neighboring Helmand province.

Since the Taliban is not in complete control of Kandahar city and its surrounding villages, the first stage of the mission is meetings with local leaders. Then NATO forces expect to launch a series of operations over weeks or months to establish security, he said.

"Although we will have more difficult days like yesterday, I believe that by the end of this year we will be able to demonstrate that we have the initiative and the momentum is with us," Sedwill said.

Also Wednesday, Afghan and NATO aircraft continued the search for an Afghan commercial airliner which disappeared Monday on a flight from Kunduz to Kabul with 44 people on board, including three British citizens and an American. Air traffic controllers lost track of the Antonov-24, operated by Pamir Airways, when it was about 55 miles north of Kabul.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

'What To Post?' Wednesday

It's Wednesday, May 19th.

There's a tug-of-war going on...what to post today?

Christopher Lee always pulls together thoughtful Wednesday Hero posts...

But something else is going on today. If you look back to AirmanMom's post this Monday, I shared a 'His Star Has Turned From Blue to Gold'. A young Marine from Frederick, Maryland was killed in Afghanistan. Frederick is about a 30 minute drive from my house (but I live in a small rural village, where it takes a while to drive to any sort of 'civilization') Cpl. Kurt Shea will be buried today in Frederick. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church have targeted this funeral for one of their ugly protests. I am nauseated. It is not my intention to bring attention to this group, they infuriate me. Let's not allow the ugly; to turn us ugly and vile. I'm asking all who read my blog today, to lift a prayer of thanks to this young Marine...he payed the ultimate price. Please pray that his family find strength to make it through this horrible day, as they lay to rest one they love so very much.

I now move on to our Wednesday Hero:

L/Cpl. Joshua M. Davis
L/Cpl. Joshua M. Davis
19 years old from Perry, Iowa
1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force
May 7, 2010
U.S. Marines

Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Davis of Perry, Iowa, was a 2009 Perry High School graduate. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in March 2009. Assigned to the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, from Camp Lejeune, N.C., he deployed to Afghanistan in March 2010 and was promoted to Lance Cpl. on May 1, 2010. He was killed in action on May 7, 2010 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Afghanistan Campaign Medal. Also killed alongside L/Cpl. Davis were Cpl. Kurt S. Shea, 21, of Frederick, Maryland and Lance Cpl. Christopher Rangel, 22, of San Antonio, Texas.

All Information Was Found On And Copied From Here and 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

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May Almighty God bless each and every Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine.
May God comfort the families of our fallen soldiers.
May God protect my son and bring him home whole in body and mind.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Talking Tuesday

"And that's the way it is"

Oh, how I long for the days of Walter Cronkite! I remember as a kid, watching the CBS Evening News. For half an hour each evening, we would learn of the world's events. We cried when President Kennedy was shot, we were in awe during the Apollo 13 adventure, and of course there were the daily Vietnam updates.

Let's fast forward to Twenty-Ten. Cable news goes on and on 24 hours a day. The World Wide Web allows us to never miss a beat. Whoever breaks the story first, earns the best ratings. Sensationalism first, facts second. Welcome to the world we have created.

What is all of this overflow of information doing to our minds and our hearts?

I turned the local news on this morning, to check on the weather. (as you may recall, I work at a garden center) As I was pouring a cup of coffee, I caught the words "A plane went down in Afghanistan". That's it? Nothing more? Go to a commercial break? Does anyone think of the mom in her kitchen pouring a cup of coffee, knowing her son is over there? I run upstairs, take a quick shower (because I don't know if there will be a knock on my door). Hubster could hear the concern in my voice, when I asked him to look online for the plane crash in Afghanistan. He assured me it was an Afghan domestic flight and there was absolutely no way B would be on that plane. He asked if I was OK, I said 'no'. We hung up, I finished getting ready for work.

I know, I son is fine. I'm ever so grateful. It's sad to hear of the plane crash and possible loss of life. Are we really better off, with all this technology and knowledge? What is happening to our hearts and minds?????

Your turn....

Monday, May 17, 2010

His Star Has Turned From Blue to Gold

Marine Cpl. Kurt Shea of Frederick, Md., killed in Afghanistan

By Tara Bahrampour
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The family of Cpl. Kurt S. Shea, a 21-year-old Marine from Frederick, had been planning a party for July 4 to celebrate the end of his tour in Afghanistan. Instead, on Tuesday, relatives were preparing to go to Dover Air Force Base to retrieve the body of Shea, who was killed Monday in Afghanistan's Helmand Province.

He died doing what he had always longed to do, said his mother, Linda Shea. "When he was 3, he wanted to be an Army man," she said, adding that she probably still has her son's crayon drawings of military men from that time.

The Department of Defense said that Shea, a radio operator assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division Forward, died while supporting combat operations. His mother said preliminary reports say he was killed by a gunshot to the head.

After investigating all the branches of the military during high school, Shea chose the Marines and signed up before beginning his senior year, his mother said.

He was attracted to the discipline and physical rigor. "Kurt did not ever sidestep a challenge," she said, adding that his three years of service had helped him develop. "He was always respectful, he became more respectful; he was always mature, he became more mature."

Shea's friends were reeling from the news, with messages about his death appearing on Facebook and pouring in to the Web site of Maryland DeMolay, a youth fraternity Shea had been a member of since his early teens.

Jonathan Adler, one of his fraternity brothers, said Shea had wanted to study kung fu. "We were going to look into schools in the area so that we could train together," he said. "He demonstrated many qualities that would have made him a great martial artist."

Courtney Duvall, a classmate at Frederick High School, recalled a gesture Shea made when she was a new student at Frederick High. "He was kind enough to invite me to his table with his friends at lunch when I first started," she said.

Shea was to serve one more year in the Marines, after which, his mother said, he was trying to decide whether to continue or pursue a career in law enforcement or criminal justice. "He wanted to protect," she said. "He's a big brother."

His sister Olivia, who is in high school, felt that protection, his mother said. "With the guys that are paying attention to her, Kurt reminded her to remind them that her brother's a Marine."

Shea, who was promoted to corporal in April 2009, was still getting used to overseeing people, his mother said. "He would ask for advice: How do you supervise people?" He would also ask for Girl Scout peanut butter cookies and Hostess banana cupcakes, which his family would send in the mail.

Shea will be buried in Frederick, his mother said.

Staff researcher Madonna Lebling contributed to this report.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Meatloaf Got It All Wrong...

Meatloaf sings a song titled, "Two Out of Three, Ain't Bad"...

As I was driving to work on Saturday morning, this song became stuck in my head. I was thinking back to earlier this year, when three blogging moms were supporting each other, as our Airmen were getting ready to deploy. Hallie's son, CJ was leaving for Afghanistan, Michelle's daughter, Shay was on her way to Iraq and my son B deploying to Afghanistan...all three were leaving within a several week span of each other. Three proud moms. Of course there was concern, it's not easy to have your child in the military. We prayed for our children, we prayed for each other. Shay and B are wrapping up their deployments and heading home soon. CJ came home within a couple weeks, because of an injury. CJ committed suicide last month.

Yep, Meatloaf got it all wrong...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Armed Forces Day is Coming!

Tomorrow is Armed Forces Day.

Please take a few moments to pray for our men and women serving in our military.

Somehow, someway show your appreciation for those who sacrifice a 'normal' family life, to protect and serve our nation.

Last week a member of the Coast Guard was at the garden shop. He asked if we offer military reply, "We don't, but I do". We talked trees for a while, he was getting ready to deploy and wanted to get a couple trees planted before he left. As the guys loaded the trees in the truck, his wife and I chatted a bit. She told me how happy she is that her husband's job has him saving people. You could see the love and pride in her eyes. She assured me she would pray for my sons. When I look in the eyes of a family member of one who serves our nation, there is always something there. I can't explain it, there is just something.

We never know who we will happen upon, as we travel this road called Life. Be gentle with everyone. Offer kindness to all. And above all, show thanks and pray for each and every member of the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Please... Take a Spoonful!

I'm dishing out humongous spoonfuls of my Vegetable Soup of Emotion!

I spoke with my son, B in Afghanistan! I am so blessed, it was the third time in a week! Pure Awesomeness!

He will start the prep process to come home this Friday! Yay!

All he is thinking about is finally getting home! This is where the fear enters.

In about two weeks, he will begin his voyage home!

As much as I am so super excited about him coming home...I still pray that he will return whole in body and mind. Perhaps I read too many military e-mags. I know our soldiers are coming home messed up and it pisses me off. Ok, ok... we have lost oodles of young, brave men for generations in war. From the stats I read, our soldiers are more prone to harm in the first two weeks and the last two weeks of deployment.

Almighty God in Heaven...I pray you protect my son and bring him home whole in body and mind.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday Hero 05/12/2010

Sgt. Kristopher J. Battles
Sgt. Kristopher J. Battles

Sgt. Kristopher J. Battles, the combat artist with the National Museum of the Marine Corps, stands in front of his paintings, May 5, 2010, at the John F. Kennedy School of Government for Harvard University. Battles showed several paintings, sketches and portraits for residents and tourists to see the artwork of a combat artist, in Cambridge, Mass., to help tell the Marine Corps story during Marine Week.

Photo Courtesy United States Marine Corps.

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

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Thanks to Christopher Lee for these Wednesday Hero post and thanks to all who share these posts as well.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Because Giving is What They Do...

Airmen help save lives by donating platelets

by Tech. Sgt. Renni Thornton
451st Air Expeditionary Wing

5/10/2010 - KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- Military members on Kandahar Airfield have a chance to help fellow service members during one of the most critical moments. By donating blood platelets, members can help save lives.

The Aphersis Clinic at the Role 3 hospital uses a unique process to extract blood platelets from donors, one of three basic components of human blood.

"Our mission is to collect blood platelets to be used for injured service members who may come to the hospital for treatment. The platelets are essential for patients with serious injuries," said Staff Sgt. Vincent Gella, noncommissioned officer in charge of the Apheresis clinic.

Thrombocytes, or platelets, are tiny oval-shaped cells made in the bone marrow. They are used to improve blood- clotting functions in a wide variety of patients, including those with cancer, peri-operative bleeding and traumatic injuries.

On KAF, the medical staff is more apt to see traumatic injury patients, said Sergeant Gella.

"Let's suppose a patient comes in with a severe injury, maybe experiencing some heavy bleeding. Blood platelets are administered to the patient to help stop the bleeding," said Sergeant Gella.

When large blood vessels are severed or cut, the body may not be able to repair itself through clotting alone. In these cases, dressings or stitches are used to control bleeding.

Unlike whole blood, platelets have a shelf life of no more than seven days, while whole blood can be kept for 30 days, Sergeant Gella said.

Currently, close to 200 military members have signed up to donate blood platelets on KAF, but only 30-40 donors consistently return to the clinic.

"Ideally, we would like more donors," said Maj. Israel Bennett, officer in charge of the Apheresis clinic at the Role 3.

"Not only do we support the trauma doctors here, we help out other hospitals in the region."

Hospitals at forward operating bases may request blood supplies to treat patients there and routinely seek assistance from the apheresis clinic at the Role 3.

The process for donating blood platelets is different than whole-blood donations.
Because blood can only be drawn at a specific rate, the donation takes between one to two hours instead of 45 minutes for a whole-blood donation.

"Since the process does take a bit longer, we offer our donors snacks, cool drinks and they can even watch a DVD or they can bring their own. We try to make them as comfortable as possible," said Major Bennett.

The apheresis machine extracts only the platelets from the person's blood and returns the remaining blood components to the donor.

"The process is conducted entirely with sterile, single-use disposable tubing, cell bags, and separation units so there is no risk of blood-transmitted diseases," explained Major Bennett.

And because the human body replenishes platelets in about two days, donors can give weekly instead of waiting up to eight weeks to donate again when giving whole blood, said Major Bennett.

Major Bennett encourages all military members to donate.

"The first step is get the pre-screening done which takes about two weeks. After that, people can donate as much as they want," he said.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Chillin'

U.S. Army Sgt. Sean Henry, of Brier, Wash. , right, plays with Ranger, an Afghan puppy that lives at the oupost, while taking a rest with Spc. Jason Purdy, left, of Gig Harbor, Wash. , and Spc. Jeffrey Ortiz, of Charleston, Ill, after a foot patrol with 1st Platoon, Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, of the 5th Styker Brigade, Saturday, May 8, 2010, in Afghanistan's Kandahar province.

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It does my heart good to see our soldiers as they chill....

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

May God protect my son and bring him home safely.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother.
~Lin Yutang

My warmest wishes and heartfelt thanks to all Blue Star and Gold Star Moms!

May every woman who has a child, feel blessed for this honor we call motherhood.

Almighty God Bless all the moms in this world!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

They Are Just Too Young....

As I was reading the DOD Casualties list tonight...all I could think is that these guys are just too young to die.

I know, I many young men died young during the Vietnam Conflict and all the wars for generations before....

But as I read the articles, these young men are the age of my son, John. They graduated from High School on or around 2007, and have chosen to serve our nation.

So many mom's with broken hearts. So many babies who will never know their parent. So many brothers and sisters, who have lost a best friend. So many......

Yes....for generations this is just the way it has been. Oh how different it is, when it hits so close to home.

May Almighty God bless and protect every Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine.
Dear God in Heaven, please bring my son home whole in body and mind.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Supplies vs. Sand Storm?

A sand storm kicks up as dark clouds start to roll in over the top of U.S. Army members with 782nd Alpha and Bravo Company, who’s convoy is short halted in the middle of Southern Afghanistan while they work together to get a tactical trailer hooked up to a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle after re-securing it’s load, April 29, 2010 Southern Afghanistan. 782nd members conducted a two day convoy to deliver combat supplies to U.S. and Coalition forces and recover tactical combat vehicles three different forward operating bases. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kenny Holston)(Released)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

National Day of Prayer-May 6, 2010

Let's join together on this National Day of Prayer to talk to God.

Especially in days like this, we depend on God. He is our source of comfort and strength.

It matters not if you voice 'Traditional' prayers or simply talk one-on-one to God. What matters most is the time dedicated to prayer.

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

-Philippians 4:5-7

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Sad Mom...

I missed a call from Afghanistan yesterday afternoon.

I've needed to hear my son's voice lately...

I woke screaming in the middle of the night, a couple days ago.

My prayers are constant, that B remains focused and strong as he wraps up his deployment. He'll be home soon!

B, I do love you so!

Wednesday Hero 05/05/2010

U.S. Army

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Sergeant Keith Dewayne Andrews, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action during the ground assault of Operation DESERT STORM. Sergeant Andrews showed extraordinary courage once he observed that air support had by-passed two Iraqi machine gun positions, leaving a Humvee with five soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division pinned down by enemy cross fire. Sergeant Andrews negotiated a minefield while fighting his way to the top of the enemy bunker, destroying it with a fragmentation hand grenade. Being out of ammo, Sergeant Andrews resourcefully obtained the enemy machine gun using it to fight his way up the second Iraqi fighting position. Over all, Sergeant Andrews single-handedly killed some twenty-five enemy combatants to secure two enemy bunkers. This allowed for the quick evacuation of the five wounded soldiers thus saving their lives. These brave and selfless actions of Sergeant Andrews bring great credit to himself, his unit and the 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.
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Christopher Lee does such an outstanding job week after week, presenting out heroes!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Talking Tuesday

So, they arrested the guy who may be responsible for the vehicle left at Times Square....

Now what?

How do we protect our soil?

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

Monday, May 3, 2010

He's Not Just Anyone...

He's my son......

I'm down on my knees again tonight
I'm hoping this prayer will turn out right
See there is a boy that needs Your help
I've done all that I can do myself

Can You hear me?
Am I getting through tonight?
Can You see him?
Can You make him feel all right?
If You can hear me
Let me take his place somehow
See, he's not just anyone
He's my son
~Mark Schultz~

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Way To Go!!!

Face of Defense: Magazine Recognizes Airman in Top 100
By Air Force Maj. David Small
Air Force National Media Outreach Office

NEW YORK, April 30, 2010 - Time magazine editors have named Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Antonio D. Travis to the 2010 Time 100, the magazine's annual list of the 100 most-influential people in the world, for his efforts after the Haiti earthquake.

Travis was one of the first U.S. military members on the ground at the Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, only 30 hours after the Jan. 12 earthquake and less than 12 hours after the nation's president requested U.S. assistance. The chief led a team of special tactics airmen from the 23rd, 21st and 123rd special tactics squadrons.

With his team of combat veterans, Travis led the largest single-runway operation in history, using hand-held radios to control thousands of aircraft. Their air traffic control tower was a card table set up next to the airport's runway.

"Twenty-eight minutes after touchdown, we controlled the first air landing followed immediately by a departure, and we did not slow down for the next 12 days," said Travis, who hails from Nelson County, Ky.

After establishing control of the airfield there, his team orchestrated an orderly flow for incoming aircraft and dealt with the constraints of the inadequate airfield, which potentially could have limited relief operations.

Facing 42 aircraft jammed into a parking ramp designed to accommodate 10 large planes and untangling the gridlock was the first of many seemingly insurmountable challenges necessary to facilitate the flood of inbound relief flights.

In the dawn of the U.S. response to the Haitian crisis, Travis coordinated with Miami-based Federal Aviation Administration officials via text messaging on his BlackBerry. His ingenuity paid massive dividends as priority aircraft transited the small airport, delivering lifesaving water, food and medical supplies in support of the U.S. Agency for International Development-led international humanitarian effort.

From chaos, Travis established order as his combat controllers reduced a four-hour hold time in the air on Day 1 to less than two hours on Day 2 and less than 15 minutes by Day 3.

For 12 days, 24-hours-a-day, the airfield team ran the international airport in Port-au-Prince. Together with more than 200 other airmen from Hurlburt Field, Fla., they tirelessly ensured the safe and effective control of more than 4,000 takeoffs and landings, an average of one aircraft operation every five minutes, and enabled the delivery of 4 million pounds of humanitarian relief to the people of Haiti.

Without computers or electricity, Travis and his team controlled as many as 250 aircraft daily, exceeding the normal capacity of the airfield by 1,400 percent without a single incident. By Jan. 25, his team was able to hand operations over to Air Force air traffic controllers with a portable control tower.

While directing the airfield operations, Travis also supervised a group of pararescuemen, known as PJs, and medical technicians who augmented a search-and-rescue team from Virginia. These teams were credited with 13 technical rescues and 17 additional saves. Additionally, the special tactics airmen he led surveyed nearly 100 sites for use as potential humanitarian relief supply delivery sites.

His teams' technical expertise and unflagging commitment ultimately led to successful air deliveries by C-17 Globemaster IIIs of humanitarian aid that included more than 150,000 bottles of water and 75,000 packaged meals that subsequently were delivered to earthquake victims by helicopter.

Travis is the chief enlisted manager of the Air Force Special Operations Training Center at Hurlburt Field. He served seven-and-a-half years in the Marine Corps before transferring into the Air Force as a combat controller in 1993.

As a senior combat controller, he has supported combat, combat support, humanitarian, and search-and-rescue operations throughout the United States, the Pacific and European theaters, and at many austere locations across the globe.

Travis is married to the former Andrea Lawrence of Bardstown, Ky. Their children are Brittany, 21; Amanda, 19; and Emily, 15.

Like Army Rangers and Navy SEALS, Air Force special tactics airmen are an elite force of special operators. They are combat controllers, who conduct tactical airfield operations and close air support; PJs, who conduct combat search and rescue; special operations weathermen, who provide tactical weather forecasting and environmental reconnaissance; and tactical air controllers, who integrate close air support into special operations missions.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Most Wonderful Month of the Year!

Today, May 1st is the beginning of the 12th National Military Appreciation Month. HERE is a link to the official website.

Please join me and make the extra effort to show appreciation towards our Service members.

Is Old Glory proudly waving in your front yard?

Shake the hand of a soldier and say, "Thank You".

Mail a letter or box to a warrior.

Let's patronize the businesses which offer military discounts.

Write a check to the U.S.O.

Visit a Veteran's Hospital.

Attend an event in your area, which recognize those who protect our freedoms

Each and every day we can lift our soldiers up in prayer... please join me.