Saturday, July 30, 2011

Operation Welcome Home!

Many times, I have shared the totally amazing feeling it is to welcome home our Troops!We have no idea how long these Soldiers have been away...and honestly it doesn't matter if it was a couple months or a year. We welcome each of them back to the soil of the United States... simply because we appreciate every single one of them!

I happened upon this Operation Welcome Home-Maryland video. Many of you do not live close enough to an International Airport which our Troops return. This video gives a glance of what we do. ...and if you are ever in the DC/Maryland area...give me a shout out and we can try to attend an event. Honestly, it will place a brand new respect for our Troops in your heart. Please pause my playlist on the right sidebar.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Somebody's Son

U.S. Marine Sgt. Ron Jojola, 29, of Fontana, Calif. , with the HMH-461 squadron out of the Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C. , hangs a new American flag inside a CH-53E helicopter before taking off from Bastion Air Field Wednesday, July 27, 2011 in Helmand province, Afghanistan

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Friday posts are random photos of our Soldiers.
We must remember each and every Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine have a face.
Our brave Heroes have familiy and friends who love them so.
Let us not forget....

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mom Creed

"I am the mother of an American Airman" I give my complete and unwavering support to my Airman. As my son serves the people of the United States, so I humbly offer up my prayers for his safety and the safety and health of those he serves beside. I respect his choice to adhere to a strict moral code and system of values that has preserved our great country for over two centuries. I accept that my Airman's first duty is to his country and I understand that this sacrifice he willingly makes is what keeps our nation great. I will never expect anything but the best from my Airman for I know he is capable. I know that an Airman's heart is true and strong, and that my Airman will endure. I will never abandon my Airman, my son, and my love. I will love him unconditionally. He will know I am there for him, even when he is alone. I am disciplined, emotionally and mentally tough, learning to wait for phone calls and letters or emails home. I, like my Airman, am an expert. I stand ready to do what ever I can do to let my son, my Airman, know that we are here for him, beside him, we love him and I will pray for swift destruction of the enemies of our country. I am the person who stood guardian of this man who has become my Airman, now our guardian of freedom and the American way of life. "I AM THE MOTHER OF AN AMERICAN AIRMAN."
-author unknown


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday Hero 07/27/2011

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael McEvers & Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matthew McEvers
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael McEvers & Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matthew McEvers
U.S. Army

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael McEvers, left, of Troop F, 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment and his twin brother, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matthew McEvers of Troop D, 1st Sqdn., 17th Cav. Regt. Task Force Saber, pre-celebrated their 40th birthday by flying together in the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior, the helicopter the brothers have been flying for 10 years together.

Photo Courtesy U.S. Army Taken By Abbie Bennett

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.
Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Talking Tuesday

Life in Prison, without parole....

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A man who killed one Arkansas Soldier and wounded another - an act he called retribution for the deaths of Muslims abroad - took an unexpected plea deal Monday that abruptly ended his murder trial and spared him the death penalty.

Abdulhakim Muhammad had repeatedly proclaimed that he drove up to a Little Rock, Ark., recruiting station, drew an assault rifle and fired on the two Soldiers. On Monday, Muhammad stood before Pulaski County Judge Herbert Wright and once more admitted to committing the crime.

Wright then sentenced Muhammad to life in prison without parole for capital murder, with 11 more life sentences on the remaining charges and an additional 180 years in prison.
Read the rest of the article HERE

Life in prison....

Is this a fair sentence?

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

Monday, July 25, 2011

Coming Home...

It was so good to have John and Di home since last Tuesday!

We shared laughter and good food around the kitchen table.

We sat on the deck talking.

We picked veggies from the garden.

We went bowling.

We shopped at Buy-Buy-Baby.

We were surrounded by loving family and friends for the Baby Shower/Deployment Party.

Honestly, we could not ask for more.

So now the waiting begins...

The waiting for the arrival of the little guy....

The waiting for John's departure just a couple weeks after his son enters the world.

God has a plan, we may not always understand...

...but it is His plan, so it's all good.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday Hero 07/20/2010

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Kathi

Maj. Gen. John R. Alison
Maj. Gen. John R. Alison
98 years old from Washington, D.C.
75th Fighter Squadron, 1st Air Commando Group
November 21, 1912 – June 6, 2011
U.S. Army Air Corps

"John Alison had the greatest pure flying skill of any pilot in the theater — a touch on the controls that knew no equal. His talents were matched only by his eagerness for combat" - Maj. David Lee "Tex" Hill

John R. Alison, a retired Air Force major general and World War II fighter ace who helped lead a nighttime invasion by glider into enemy-held Burma — a logistical feat that included the transport of troops, heavy machinery and even mules, died June 6 at his home in Washington.

You can read more about Maj. Gen. John Alison here and here and view an interview with him here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.
Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Talking Tuesday

I suppose it is really on one thought...

I am blessed.

John and Di are going to arrive on Tuesday night. We haven't seen each other since their wedding in May. They'll be home until Sunday. I am so very excited to see them. It will be a hectic few days...I know there are many people they want to visit...but they'll be here and that is all that matters. The party plans are full speed should be a good time. Unfortunately, Maryland's famous "Hazy, Hot and Humid" weather will return during the week... believe it or not, Hubster and I ate dinner on the deck this past Saturday. A very rare occurrence in July!

On Sunday, I spoke with B and was able to wish V a Happy Birthday! When I stop to think of how deeply happy my son is with her in his life... my heart is filled with joy! Their wedding will be a memorable and an awesome celebration of their new life together!

I spent last Friday with Marie and Sweet Girl...doing a bit of shopping for the shower/deployment party and then a nice long lunch at Chuck E Cheese. My time with Marie is all about quality, not I drink up each moment with her and her sweet little one.

K and her three little ladies fill me with so many smiles! How can it be that Precious is entering Kindergarten this Fall? Wasn't it just yesterday I was walking my little 5 year old to her first day of school? The baby is the cutest little imitator in all the world. She is so determined to keep up with her two big sisters...and honestly she holds her own! ...and then there is the Bright Eyed Beauty...never in my life have I met a child with a more tender heart at the age of four.

I have not forgotten my children-in-law. As a parent all I want for my children is true happiness. How blessed I am to see my own children grown, with families of their own...sharing their worlds with the one they love.

God is good. He has richly blessed me with a beautiful family. I live in a nice home, drive a Wrangler and really enjoy my job. My Hubster is my best friend in the world.

I try not to take any of my gifts for granted. My life is simple, but filled with so much good stuff. Every once in a while...I am overwhelmed with all the goodness I know. Today was one of those days.

Our news today, paints a very ugly image of our world. We'll all agree... unemployment stats, budget cuts, devastation in our heartland resulting from flooding, moms accused of killing their babies...very ugly. It's my belief in these difficult times, there is always good to be found. If we focus on the good, it keeps our hearts and minds more pure...we won't get caught up in the ugliness.

An old Cherokee told his grandson, “My son, there's a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It's anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, and ego. The other is Good. It's joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, and truth. The grandson thought about it and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Go ahead....fill up my comment section with good stuff. How are you richly blessed?

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

Monday, July 18, 2011

June-A Pretty Good Month!

The Army released suicide data today for the month of June. Among active-duty soldiers, there were nine potential suicides: none have been confirmed as suicide, and nine remain under investigation. For May 2011, the Army reported 21 potential suicides among active-duty soldiers. Since the release of that report, one case has been removed because the manner of death was ruled accidental, two cases have been confirmed as suicide, and 18 cases remain under investigation.

During June, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were five potential suicides: one has been confirmed as suicide, and four remain under investigation. For May 2011, the Army reported six potential suicides among not-on-active-duty soldiers. Since the release of that report, one case has been added for a total of seven cases. Two cases have been confirmed as suicide, and five cases remain under investigation.

"Early recognition of high risk behavior associated with administrative, legal and other disciplinary actions presents intervention opportunities for leaders, law enforcement personnel and service providers to mitigate negative outcomes, specifically suicidal behavior," said Brig. Gen. Colleen McGuire, director of the Army Health Promotion and Risk Reduction Task Force.

In response to this, the U.S. Army Military Police School has incorporated training into all professional military education courses to alert military police to the effects of stress caused by investigations or other disciplinary actions that can lead to acts of self harm.

McGuire, who is also the provost marshal general of the Army, recently implemented a new “Risk Notification Memorandum” to field commanders to highlight the potential risk to soldiers who are subject to a serious felony investigation. This notification is provided by Criminal Investigation Command to commanders upon the initiation of an investigation on one of their soldiers.

The Army's comprehensive list of Suicide Prevention Program information is located HERE.

source: 07/15/2011

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Granted the best numbers for these a nice round zero! There is information out there... for our Soldiers, their families, friends and comrades.
Please if you hurt...and we all do.
Make a phone call.
Suicide Hotline can help.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, V!!!!

Happy Birthday, V!

In just a few short months you will officially be a member of our family! We can't wait!

In this photo, it appears Marie tried to scare you off....but you have chosen to join our fam anyway! I am thrilled!

V, you are adorable! We love your smile, your heart and most of all we love how you love our B! We love you and we wish you a very Happy Birthday!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Somebody's Son

After delivering U.S. Soldiers and Iraq dignitaries to their final destinations, Crew Chief Sgt. Fred Oser, A. Company 2-25, Combat Aviation Brigade, attached to 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, dismounts the 240 Bravo Machine Guns from the UH-60 Black Hawk used during the morning’s mission to several Combined Security Checkpoints in the Ninewa province, Iraq, July 2.
Photo by: Gregory Gieske

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Friday posts are random photos of our Soldiers.
Each and every Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine has a face, they have families who love them and they are some of our finest heroes!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Nose Art

Oh my goodness...
never before had I any idea how captivating Nose Art could be! be honest, I had no idea the designs on planes actually had a name...much less that it is known as Nose Art. It makes perfect sense, since the nose of many military planes in WWII were 'decorated'. Some of it was good art, often it was naughty, it certainly expressed individuality (wait a sec...individuality in the military? Things that make you go "hmmmm") Nose Art is often considered sophisticated graffiti...graffiti + military = more confusion for AirmanMom!

I've found a couple of interesting websites, so I figured I'd share them:

GULF OF ADEN (July 6, 2011) Airmen remove chocks and tie-down chains from a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter assigned to the Evil Eyes of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 163 during flight operations aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20). Green Bay and the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (13th MEU) are underway supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Stephen M. Votaw/Released)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday Hero 07/13/2011

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Cindy

Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry
Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry
31 years old from Santa Fe, New Mexico
2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
U.S. Army

Yesterday, July 12, Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry became the second living recipient of the Medal Of Honor from the War On Terror.

On May 26, 2008 Sgt 1st Class Petry lost his right hand when the enemy grenade he threw back, saving the lives of two of his fellow Soldiers, detonated. Despite the injury Sgt 1st Class Petry managed to tie a tourniquet around his arm and continued to fight.

You Can Read More About Sgt. 1st Class Petry Here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.
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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Thanks to Christopher Lee for his dedication and respect of our Troops!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Talking Tuesday

Today's Military....

To my readers who are Veterans... if you were a young man/woman today, would you enlist?

To my readers who are of the 'younger' generation, would you enlist?

To my readers who are parents of our 'younger' generation...would you encourage your child to enlist?

To all who choose to reply to this question....why or why not?

Monday, July 11, 2011

John is Deploying! read these words correctly!

A little while back I received the call from John and his bride, on their one week wedding anniversary. He is due to depart two weeks after his son enters the world. John will be overseas for six months.

This sucks.

I mean...this really sucks!

This young couple, both of them only 22 years old, married for only a few months and a baby boy on its way. John told me his Colonel asked how he was doing with the news of his deployment... John's answer was simple, "It's why I put my boots on, Sir."

Oh dear God, I love my son. I am so proud of him. It looks like it is time for a healthy spoonful of my famous Vegetable Soup of Emotions!

My daughters and I have decided to throw a BabyShower/Deployment party for this young couple when they come home later this month! It is our way to show how much we love this new little family, that our intention is to be prayer warriors and remain their support system.

I ask each of you to keep John, Di and my grandson in your prayers.

May Almighty God watch over my son and bring him home whole in body and mind.
May Almighty God watch over this sweet new mom and their sweet little boy.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Nice Job, Josh Groban

Josh Groban wrote this song about the wounded soldiers he has visited at Walter Reed.
Please pause Playlist on right sidebar.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Somebody's Daughter

SOUTH CHINA SEA (June 30, 2011) Damage Controlman 3rd Class Courtney Fuller, from Anchorage, Alaska, scans a smoke-filled room for hot spots and the source of a simulated fire with a naval firefighters thermal imager (NFTI) during a flying squad drill aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) . George Washington is on patrol in the U.S. 7th fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Justin E. Yarborough/Released)

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Friday posts are random photos of Somebody's Son or Daughter.
Each of our Warriors have a family who love them so.
Every one of our Airman, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines have a face.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

B's Getting Married!


B & V called a couple weeks ago to share their fabulous news...and ever since I have been saying, "YAY!" Truly, it will be an honor and a blessing to welcome V into our family! I knew last year when B first began to mention this young lady, she was extra special. When my girls and I got the news that B was bringing V to John's wedding...the girlie chitter-chatter began. We knew this was the real deal.

Once we met her, we knew for certain...she is THE one for our B!!! Love her! But more than anything...I love seeing my son so happy! As a parent, all I have wished for my children is happiness. To know love and to be loved. He loves her deeply, it shows in every word and every action. Oh...and she loves him. They are one of those couples, you just like to be around!

Their wedding is going to be ultra-cool! I mean over-the-top awesome! Allow me to backtrack for a moment...back to K's wedding day. A breathtaking beautiful wedding...Christmas time, gorgeous red gowns, red roses, a mansion...exactly her style. But as the mom of the was a bit of a stressful day. My son, B and I made a small pact that he would have a stress-free wedding...............
then fast forward a couple years later to Marie's wedding. Lovely summer evening outdoor wedding. Simple elegance...perfect for my Marie! Ahhhh...but once again, I must admit after two years of planning-lots of stress on the mom of the once again, B and I made the pact he would have a stress free wedding. Which brings us to this past we attended John's fun camping wedding. Yep, we had a blast...but I won't deny there was lots to do to throw even a laid back in a park exchange of once again...B and I shared our pact. Yep, our pact was simple...Vegas, Baby!

A Vegas wedding on 11/11/11. Love this! Love the fact V loves this idea! Also love the idea her family is rolling with this! Everyone booked their airline tickets, hotel rooms are reserved and the venue is set. YAY!!!!

K mentioned to me the other day, how awesome it is that all four of my kids...are being married in styles which suit them perfectly...and all four weddings are so different. In my eyes...this is pure awesomeness! I have got to be THE most richly blessed mom in the world. (P.S. props to K for taking the amazing photo of B & V at John's wedding)

Thank you, God for my four children...the finest gifts ever!
Thank you, God for giving my children the gift of love in their lives.
Please Dear over and protect these beautiful couples.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wednesday Hero 07/06/2011

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Michael

2nd Lt. William Edward Metzger, Jr.
2nd Lt. William Edward Metzger, Jr.
22 years old from Lima, Ohio
729th Bombardment Squadron, 452nd Bomb Group (Heavy)
November 9, 1944
U.S. Army Air Forces

On May 16, 1945 2nd Lt. William E. Metzger was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions six months earlier. His citation reads:

"On a bombing run upon the marshaling yards at Saarbr├╝cken, Germany, on 9 November 1944, a B17 aircraft on which 2d Lt. Metzger was serving as copilot was seriously damaged by antiaircraft fire. Three of the aircraft's engines were damaged beyond control and on fire; dangerous flames from the No. 4 engine were leaping back as far as the tail assembly. Flares in the cockpit were ignited and a fire roared therein which was further increased by free-flowing fluid from damaged hydraulic lines. The interphone system was rendered useless. In addition to these serious mechanical difficulties the engineer was wounded in the leg and the radio operator's arm was severed below the elbow. Suffering from intense pain, despite the application of a tourniquet, the radio operator fell unconscious. Faced with the imminent explosion of his aircraft and death to his entire crew, mere seconds before bombs away on the target, 2d Lt. Metzger and his pilot conferred. Something had to be done immediately to save the life of the wounded radio operator. The lack of a static line and the thought that his unconscious body striking the ground in unknown territory would not bring immediate medical attention forced a quick decision. 2d Lt. Metzger and his pilot decided to fly the flaming aircraft to friendly territory and then attempt to crash land. Bombs were released on the target and the crippled aircraft proceeded along to Allied-controlled territory. When that had been reached 2d Lt. Metzger personally informed all crewmembers to bail out upon the suggestion of the pilot. 2d Lt. Metzger chose to remain with the pilot for the crash landing in order to assist him in this emergency. With only 1 normally functioning engine and with the danger of explosion much greater, the aircraft banked into an open field, and when it was at an altitude of 100 feet it exploded, crashed, exploded again, and then disintegrated. All 3 crewmembers were instantly killed. 2d Lt. Metzger's loyalty to his crew, his determination to accomplish the task set forth to him, and his deed of knowingly performing what may have been his last service to his country was an example of valor at its highest."

2nd Lt. Metzger's pilot, 1st Lt. Donald J. Gott, was also awarded the Medal Of Honor for his actions that day. A video tribute to the three men lost.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.
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.
Wednesday Hero Logo

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I'm so grateful for Christopher Lee's continuous efforts to keep our Heroes in the hearts and minds of all who read his posts!
Special thanks to Mike a Veteran, who served well in the past and continues to serve today!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Talking Tuesday


I heard of another young person taking their own life last week.


Why? got me thinking of the pain our Soldiers endure, when returning home from war. And then I came across this article, and it just made my heart hurt...

Army suicides at highest level in a year
May was the worst month in a year for suicides and potential suicides in the active-duty Army, the Pentagon announced.
If you are a stateside reporter, here are the references, links to get this story out.

Previous reports indicate the military is unable to hire health-care workers because they aren’t enough of them.

-Tie you story to local health-care programs in your community.
-Find out if they are aware of the need for professionals.
-Talk the local Veteran Affairs or veterans council people, Find out what are they doing to help in this area.

The Army released suicide data for the month of May. Among active-duty soldiers, there were 21 potential suicides: one has been confirmed as suicide, and 20 remain under investigation. For April 2011, the Army reported 16 potential suicides among active-duty soldiers. Since the release of that report, two cases have been confirmed as suicide, and 14 cases remain under investigation.

During May 2011, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were six potential suicides: none have been confirmed as suicides, and six remain under investigation. For April 2011, among that same group, there were 11 total suicides (two additional suicides for April were reported after the initial report). Of those, four were confirmed as suicide and seven are pending determination of the manner of death.

“When it comes to suicide and other high-risk behavior, we cannot afford to relearn past lessons. Incumbent commanders must continue to familiarize new leaders with the principles of leadership in garrison,” said Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff.

Soldiers and families in need of crisis assistance can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained consultants are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and can be contacted by dialing 800-273-TALK (8255) or by visiting their website at

Army leaders can access current health promotion guidance in newly revised Army Regulation 600-63 (Health Promotion) at: and Army Pamphlet 600-24 (Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention) at

The Army’s comprehensive list of Suicide Prevention Program information is located at

Suicide prevention training resources for Army families can be accessed at (requires Army Knowledge Online access to download materials).

Information about Military OneSource is located at or by dialing the toll-free number 1-800-342-9647 for those residing in the continental United States. Overseas personnel should refer to the Military OneSource website for dialing instructions for their specific location.

Information about the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program is located at

The Defense Center for Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Outreach Center can be contacted at 1-866-966-1020, via electronic mail at and at

The website for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is, and the Suicide Prevention Resource Council site is found at

The website for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors is, and they can be reached at 800-959-TAPS (8277).


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What can be done?
Your turn...........................

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day,Twenty-Eleven

Happy Fourth of July!
A weekend filled with picnics, fireworks, family and friends.

I recently stopped by to visit the blog, Common Cents and watched a video showing that many Americans do not understand the true meaning of Independence Day. I was chuckling at the was absurd. After a minute and a half...I found it sad. How many Americans truly cherish the privilege of being an American and the costs of us being the Nation we are today?

So...instead of posting Ray Charles' version of "America the Beautiful" (which you can listen to on my playlist) and instead of posting photos of our great Country...I chose to post the words of the Declaration of Independence. Words which belong to each of us.

May Almighty God Bless America.

Declaration of Independence

Here is the complete text of the Declaration of Independence.
The original spelling and capitalization have been retained.

(Adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776)

The Unanimous Declaration
of the Thirteen United States of America

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Source: The Pennsylvania Packet, July 8, 1776

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Courage, Determination and Grace!

A sweet friend, KB recently attended an exhibition game with Louisville Fireman and police officers at the Louisville Slugger Field. The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team was there. KB told me the stadium was very supportive...offering standing ovations and plenty of HUAH's! She shared how it was emotional to see them, and unbelievable. To see how well they can run and one had only one arm, caught a ball in his glove, threw the ball up in the air dropped his glove caught the ball with the one hand and threw it into his teammates, just amazing. In KB's e-mail she said, "all I can say is I think everyone in the stands were amazed, honored and humbled to have seen these soldiers."

KB is the sister of a dear friend of mine, KD. KD and I became fast friends eons ago when my son, B and her son, D were Cub Scouts. My son, John was incubating in my tummy back in those days. KD's husband used to joke it was the longest pregnancy known to mankind. (I could not agree with him more!) KD and KB are Air Force Brats. Then both these sisters married Military Men. This family are strong Patriots. I had the awesome experience of introducing Operation Welcome Home to the sisters. I warned them they would cry...they did.

I'm so glad KB shared these photos with me and allowed me to share them with you! KB said it best... "This is courage, determination and grace all rolled into this young man." as the caption of the photo of the pitcher. KB, thanks so much. I appreciate your dedication to our Troops, and I think you are a very neat if we could just get her to stop rooting for the Yankees! (love ya, girl!)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Somebody's Son

A U.S. Navy SEAL team member, with Special Operations Task Force – South, reviews a map of the objective area during the early morning hours of a village clearing operation in Shah Wali Kot District, June 25, 2011, Kandahar province, Afghanistan. Missions such as these are conducted in order to hinder Taliban influence and improve overall security throughout the province.

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Friday posts are random photos of Somebody's Son.
Each of our Warriors have a family who love them so.
Every one of our Airman, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines have a face.