send a personalized postcard to say thank you!
Here is a link that might be useful: letssaythanks.com
From some great individuals, the Iraqi Kurdistan people! :)
To the people of the United States of America:
Saddam Hussein's goal was to bury every living Kurd.
Today, thanks to the assistance of the United States and her allies, the people of Iraqi Kurdistan are able to live in a free and democratic region with free markets and prospects for a bright and promising future.
We wanted to say THANK YOU to each and every one of you.
Please take a moment to view our television commercial "Thank You, America" at our website by clicking the link below:
View the "Thank You America" TV Ad - CLICK HERE
*We welcome your feedback on our new advertising campaign - write to us here.
You can also learn more about Iraqi Kurdistan and our people by logging on to our website: http://www.TheOtherIraq.com
i just found out my nephew is back at his assigned base in new york!
now to work on those other packages i need to send out!
Here is a link that might be useful: click mouse in window
If you have the time and are interested in supporting the American soldiers please look at the link and perhaps "adopt" a soldier.
If sending packages, please keep in mind that depending on the time of year the daytime temperatures in Iraq or Afghanistan may be high so watch that you do not send something that will potentially melt in the heat like chocolate (unless you get the melt proof chocolate made by Hershey's).
Requests include the following:
any reading material (pornography is prohibited)
Rice Krispie Treats (not the breakfast bars)
walkie-talkie...(PLEASE include the batteries needed but do not install them in the devices)
any kind of munchies / snack food
tuna fish / salmon (with mayo on the side)
DVDs...(something funny.....no war movies)
Kool Aid / Lemonade Mix / Ice Tea Mix (the kind with the sugar already included)
a kind note of support
If contacting a soldier, you could of course ask him or her what they might like to have to make their life more tolerable while on duty.
Placing items within zip-loc bags will also greatly reduce the dusty sand that permeates everything there also.
Adopt a Soldier
For a list of comprehensive legitimate organizations:
Department of Defense
To send a letter of support for anyone in the military:
Help set a world record.
Toys for Tots
To help upgrade safety for our militaryOperation Helmet
To contact a person in the US military and send a letter of support please visit this site Operation Dear Abby
For the birdwatchers, welcome to Birdwatching in Iraq
A Soldier's Poem
To help the pets of military personnel contact the following:
I believe this was sent as an e mail: RED FRIDAY
Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the "silent majority." We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers. We are not organized, boisterous or overbearing. We get no liberal media coverage on TV, to reflect our message or our opinions.
Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops. Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday - and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that.. Every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar
will wear something red
By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers. If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, coworkers, friends, and family, it will not be long before the USA is covered in RED. And it will let our troops know the once "silent" majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on.
The first thing a soldier says when asked "What can we do to make things better for you?" is...We need your support and your prayers. Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example; and wear something red every Friday.
IF YOU AGREE -- THEN SEND THIS ON
If you don't agree DO NOT attempt to belittle someone who does and say it is an empty gesture!
-If our actions can make a difference then they are not empty gestures.
-If our actions bring comfort to someone then they are not empty gestures.
-If our actions console someone then they are not empty gestures.
-If our actions prompt someone to do something POSITIVE then they are not empty gestures.
An empty gesture is one that is made without thought or meaning behind it. An empty gesture is not seen. Not noticed.
Happily I think the Support thread has helped countless people involved in the military and their families. There are so many links to help people get started or to give them new ideas. Far more people look in and don't post than do post.
All praise and respect for those who served in the past,serve in the present and will serve in the future!
The Soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.
"Step forward now, Soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"
The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand.
There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the Soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
"Step forward now, you Soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."
~Author Unknown~ There is still a lot of good in this country and here is a very nice remembrance for those who served and are no longer with us. God bless the USA and for what it stands. Arlington National Cemetery at Christmas Rest easy, sleep well my brothers.
Know the line has held, your job is done.
Rest easy, sleep well.
Others have taken up where you fell, the line has held.
Peace, peace, and farewell.
what would we do without you?
THE ONLY FLAG THAT DOESN'T FLY
Between the fields where the flag is planted, there are 9+ miles of flower fields that go all the way to the ocean. The flowers are grown by seed companies. It's
a beautiful place, close to Vandenberg AFB. Check out the dimensions of the flag. The 2002 Floral Flag is 740 feet long and 390 feet wide and maintains the proper Flag dimensions, as described in Executive Order #10834. This Flag is 6.65 acres and is the first Floral Flag to be planted with 5 pointed Stars, comprised of White Larkspur. Each Star is 24 feet in diameter; each Stripe is 30 feet wide. This Flag is estimated to contain more than 400,000 Larkspur plants, with 4-5 flower stems each, for a total of more than 2 million flowers. You can drive by this flag on V Street south of Ocean Ave. in Lompoc, CA.
Aerial photo courtesy of Bill Morson Soldiers' Prayer
For our soldiers
Wow!! That's MY kind of garden! Thanks so much for sharing, FTM!
Would be nice if it could be a little bigger, but it's better than nothing, I guess!
Here is a link that might be useful: Wounded troops get new barracks
very moving semper! thanks for the link.
Your alarm goes off, you hit the snooze and
sleep for another 10 minutes.
He stays up for days on end.
You take a warm shower to help you wake up.
He goes days or weeks without running water.
You complain of a "headache", and call in sick.
He gets shot at as others are hit, and keeps
You put on your anti war t-shirt
and go meet up with your friends.
He still fights for your right to wear that
You make sure you're cell phone is in your
He clutches the cross hanging on his chain next to
his dog tags.
You talk trash about your buddies.
He knows he may not see some of his buddies
You walk down the beach, staring at all the
He walks the streets, searching for insurgents
You complain about how hot it is.
He wears his heavy gear, not daring to take off
his helmet to wipe his brow.
You go out to lunch, and complain because the
restaurant got your order wrong.
He doesn't get to eat today.
Your maid makes your bed and washes your
He wears the same things for weeks, but makes
sure his weapons are clean.
You go to the mall and get your hair redone.
He doesn't have time to brush his teeth today.
You're angry because your class ran 5 minutes
He's told he will be held over an extra 2
You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight.
He waits for the mail to see if there is a
letter from home.
You hug and kiss your girlfriend, like you do everyday.
He holds his letter close and smells his love's
You roll your eyes as a baby cries.
He gets a letter with pictures of his new child,
and wonders if they'll ever meet.
You say that war never solves anything.
He sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own
people and remembers why he is fighting.
You hear the jokes about the war.
He hears the gunfire, bombs and screams of the
You are asked to go to the store by your parents. You don't.
He does exactly what he is told.
You stay at home and watch TV.
He takes whatever time he is given to call, write
home, sleep, and eat.
You crawl into your soft bed, with down pillows,
and get comfortable.
He crawls under a tank for shade and a 5 minute
nap, only to be woken by gunfire.
If only there were more men like him!
If you support your troops, resend this to
everyone you know, if it gets to another veteran who
hasn't received it yet, it will bring back memories...
repost from other thread...
Here is a link that might be useful: alighthouse.com
Stockton Family Adjusts to Having Both Parents Serve in Iraq
With both parents serving in the war in Iraq, a Stockton teenager has had to take on some adult responsibilities in caring for younger siblings.
The biggest change for 17-year-old Jessica Lownes was moving into her father and step-mother's home for the summer to take care of 11-year-old step-sister Jasmine and younger brother David sometimes. From spending time with her little step-sister to fixing meals to housekeeping, Jennifer has found she's more than a big step-sister, more like a "mini-mom." "At first, I was kind of nervous," she says. "But now that I've done it, it's a big responsibility, and I've learned a lot from it. It's a good experience."
Jennifer admitted to struggling with the expectations in the first weeks. "It was just hard for me. My grades were bad, and life was hard."
Now though, the teenager said it's almost easier for her knowing her parents are assigned together in Iraq so they can look after each other.
Robert and Heather Lownes are members of the 49th Military Police Brigade in Baghdad. They've been deployed there for 11 months. It is Master Sgt. Robert Lownes's second tour. He said he's been away from home for nearly three years. "I know it's been hard on my children. It's definitely been hard on me. But I'm looking forward to getting back home."
The Lownes parent via e-mail and telephone calls when they can. "There's an issue every day, minor or major, and we've got each other to try and work through every issue," said Sgt. 1st Class Heather Lownes. "(We) put our heads together on how to fix it from here."
The family also relies on relatives and friends in town to help. But there's no substitution for not being there. The parents have yet to see another child's new baby girl. They say they even miss their kids' squabbles.
The Lownes' tour ends next month and they'll return to Stockton. The separation has been difficult but they said they have had another obligation to fulfill this past year.
"I know that this is what we're supposed to do," Heather Lownes said. "We are proud parents, we're proud patriots, we are here to protect everyone's freedom back home."
"I'm very proud of them, and I appreciate everything they do for me, and I love them very much," Jennifer said. "Just be safe. I couldn't ask for better people in my life."
I think I had posted this in the original thread but it's worth a rerun:
The bad attitude of soldiers in Iraq as constantly reported by the media
LMAO! I just finished watching the above video and at the end Youtube makes suggestions about other videos and found this funny short video. Of course, we NEVER ever goofed off like that! ;-)
LOL!!! Hey, I still have that first one saved on my computer! One of my all-time favorite pick-me-ups. :D
Meanwhile, the guy in the background on the right is NOT amused during the PB & J dance. LOL
"Meanwhile, the guy in the background on the right is NOT amused during the PB & J dance."
Different people handle stress VERY differently. Some laugh it off, some sleep it off, others choose to go off on their own and supress it.
Either that or he's the platoon leader and is thinking to himself: "Here we go again... those stooges are at it again!" :-)
We have a yellow ribbon, now faded and frayed. We fly our flag and lower it to half mast on September 11th. We have gone to New York City and the site of the Twin Towers. We have gone to Shanksville, Pennsylvania where a truly heroic United Airlines flight 93 went down.
We have shed many tears as the result of the events of September 11, 2001.
We personally knew no one who died on that tragic day yet somehow that does not matter.
We personally know no one in the active military now yet somehow that does not matter either.
We support the brave individuals who put themselves in harms way. We support their families for having an unfathomable inner strength while their loved ones are away.
We mourn the loss of the Marines from Brookpark, a nearby community. We rejoiced when the remainder of the Brookpark Marines came home.
We sent packages to complete strangers in the distant land of Iraq. We pleaded with them to give us a hint of what we may send to make their lives more tolerable while they served their country. We stood in silence and horror when someone from Iraq phoned a friend at work after a roadside bomb went off near their truck.
We exchanged e mails with these brave souls who could not thank US enough for sending them an Old Yeller Disney DVD! We cannot comprehend THEIR selflessness and bravery!
We were saddened to hear that one of OUR soldiers was wounded and taken to Germany. We are saddened that ANY ONE is wounded or killed.
We are humbled when we meet someone who does have a family member in the military. We are humbled when they thank US for caring about THEIR Son or Daughter !
I don't know anyone in the conflict. No one there knows me either but they are in the conflict for me. They are there for you too.
America is a country where one is free to make choices. I choose to support the United States of America Military. Someone else may not choose to support the military for their own reasons. That is their right and no one should try to force them to do otherwise.
By the same token it is my right TO SUPPORT my military in what ever way I can. It may not be the exact same way that the neighbour two doors down supports the military but support IS support. We are NOT a perfect people with all the answers ... although sometimes it may seem we think we are.
There is great conflict here within the USA concerning the support of the military actions. I think that may be true for the UK as well?
There likely is no "right answer" to any of this ... just the ramblings of an American on the eve of September 11th, 2006. Thanks for letting me ramble. :'(
That was beautiful, C3D. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.
Although I've never visited N.Y. in my life, and I've never been to the Pentagon or the site in PA, I was able to view a memorial to Ground Zero a few years back at the state fair here in Califonia.
I don't think I've ever felt such sadness as when I touched a piece of steel from the WTC or read the names on the wall. When a large bell nearby started ringing for all those lost that day, I thought I would never be able to stop crying. It truly felt like my heart was breaking.
And when my tears finally dried, there was a solid feeling, like a rock in my chest, and I realized that it was something that might be considered wrong to many - a determined anger, a wish for retribution, paybacks, whatever.
I know it's not politically correct, but I don't care. I hope those wonderful troops of ours exact a revenge unlike any other.
Because I will never forget. And I will never forgive.
thank you, chicka.
Yuba City Soldier Killed Just One Month Before End of Tour in Iraq
Little Girl Has Special Greeting for Father's Homecoming (I couldn't view the video! Hope it's a good one!)
Foresthill Soldier Facing New Enemy; Cancer
In a modest hillside home in Foresthill, the smell of freshly-baked cookies overpowers the smell of smoke from a nearby fire. Laura Bumpus is busy baking chocolate chip cookies, lemon bars, cup cakes, snickerdoodles ... the list goes on. She admits it is all part of a delicious bribe to get people to attend a blood and bone marrow drive for her stepson Matt.
Last month, 29-year-old Matt Bumpus collapsed in his home. His wife rushed him to the hospital where they learned Matts appendix had ruptured. A few hours later, the doctors delivered even worse news. Matt had leukemia, an especially aggressive form called Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, or AML. "It was just total shock," said Matt.
Sitting next to his pregnant wife Lisa, Matt Bumpus speaks very calmly about his sudden and overwhelming change of health. He credits his composure to his faith. "IÂm planning on being healed. Whether itÂs by medicine, or whether itÂs by God, I'll take either one."
The Bumpuses have a 9 year old son named Nate. The baby theyÂre expecting in November will be named Aaron. "More than anything, weÂd love to see him have a chance to be around for his family and his new baby," said Laura Bumpus.
Matt Bumpus spent nearly nine years in the Army. He spent a year on the front lines in Iraq. "I thought I was in a place where I had finished dealing with the hardest thing IÂd have to deal with, and you know we take health for granted a lot of the times, and you never know whatÂs around the corner," he said. Bumpus's doctors have told him AML may be linked to radiation exposure.
HeÂs already undergone one round of painful chemotherapy and is scheduled to return for treatment next month. But what the solider really needs is a bone marrow transplant. On Thursday, family and friends are holding a bone marrow and blood drive at the Auburn Veterans Hall at 100 East St. The drive will take place between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. There will be plenty of baked goods to go around.
"IÂm hoping that people come, and they come because they want to help somebody. It doesnÂt have to be me. So many lives can be saved when people donate blood and offer to donate marrow," said Bumpus.
For more information about the blood and bone marrow drive, contact Liz Ustick at (800) 995-4420, extension 10797.
Kids, don't try this at home:
Photo was taken by a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan of a helo mission. A incredibly skilled CH-47 Chinook pilot is touching down to receive Taliban prisoners captured by members of the U.S. 10th Mountain Division.
That is absolutely amazing! I'm so glad a soldier got it on camera! That pilot needs a raise.
Here are two of the so-called Pendleton 8. Their families are looking for support for their young men in whatever manner they can.
Innocent until proven guilty.
PFC John J. Jodka :: An Innocent Marine
Hmmmmmmmm.......I wonder how long before another disingenuous JancAss decides to reply to the above links with their inappropriate and unwelcome remarks???
Me, I just hope that they can get a fair trial and then NOT become just another way for some politicians to win votes in an election year. I don't know if they are guilty or not and will not pass judgement. However, just reading the letter he had sent home on his departure doesn't sound like those are words of a premeditated killer. But that's just me.
Veteran of Iraq & Afghanistan
My fellow Americans:
The past few years have been a challenging time for our armed forces with ongoing deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq) & Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan).
Every year the United States Marine Corps celebrates the birth of the Marine Corps on November 10th, 1775, and on or around that date, each Marine Corps unit holds its time-honored tradition of holding a birthday ball celebration.
American Relief International would like to help out a few Marines who are deployed and will be coming back in time to celebrate the birthday of the Marine Corps with the Annual Marine Corps Birthday Ball celebration.
We can do this with your help by sending a small donation to make this a memorable event for these brave warriors - contributions can be sent in care of American Relief International, the non-profit, pro-troop entity that is collecting funds for this important event.
Every little bit of help will go a long away to show these brave men and women how much we appreciate their service.
As a "THANK YOU" for your support, we will send to any person who makes a donation of any amount (whether $1, $10, $100 or more) a copy of a DVD showcasing the many positive photos of our men and women in uniform in Iraq. You will be able to see first-hand the numerous accomplishments of our armed forces that are serving the cause of freedom.
I love this DVD. It chronicles the day-to-day activities of my brothers and sisters of the United States military in their service to this country. Having served with them in Iraq and Afghanistan, it's an honor for me to see them properly portrayed and not denigrated, as sometimes happens in some of the news media coverage.
Please make your check/money order payable to:
American Relief International-Ball fund
And mail it to:
American Relief International
PO Box 2943
Sacramento, CA 95609
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
National Guard Armory Renamed In Honor Of Fallen Soldier
The National Guard Armory in Fairfield has been renamed in honor of an Elk Grove soldier who died in Iraq. During a homecoming celebration for the California National Guard's 49th Military Police Brigade, the announcement was made renaming the armory after Sergeant First Class Isaac Shawn Lawson. Sgt. Lawson died June 5 in Iraq when a roadside bomb went off near his Humvee.
Nearly 100 soldiers from the 49th Military Police Brigade served in Iraq for a year to train Iraqi police officers. Sgt. Lawson was the only soldier in the unit to die during combat.
Fellow soldiers recounted fond memories of Sgt. Lawson. "Coming home without him, our one soldier, that makes it a little bit harder," said Sgt. Anjanette Mull of Sacramento.
Sgt. Lawson's family was present during the ceremony to rename the armory after him. Family friend Ebony Strain said, "The family is overwhelmed, and they're very grateful for the tribute."
Sgt. Lawson left behind a wife and three children.
The armory in Fairfield will officially be called the Sergeant First Class Isaac Shawn Lawson Memorial Armory.
Not re: our current troops, but wonderful story, nonetheless. :)
Priceless Letters From Vietnam Soldiers Discovered
It was 1967, the war in Vietnam was raging, and an elderly woman who lived in El Sobrante thought she would write letters to some of the soldiers sent there from Northern California. Her name was Marjorie "Peg" Ford, and the 100 plus young men she wrote to were affectionately called "Peg's boys." Nearly all of Peg's boys wrote back to this woman they had never met, sometimes with graphic details of the trials of war. Ford kept every letter.
In the 1970s, Ford died. Earlier this year, her son and daughter-in-law, while cleaning out a closet, discovered a huge box containing the letters from four decades ago.
The find surprised her son, Howard Bleuel. He told News 10, "They were from my mother, and I hadn't known she had done all this."
Bleuel's wife, Doris, said immediately she thought they might have some historical value. "I talked to my son and I told him, 'You know, I found all those letters and hate to throw them out.' He recommended I call the historical society and see if they're interested, and I was surprised they really were."
Historians at the Contra Costa County History Center in Martinez consider the 100 plus letters priceless documents. Archivist Kathleen Mero said they are also emotionally wrenching. She told News 10, "When we read these letters, I continually lost volunteers, because as they read letters that were too sad or too touching, they would say, 'Ah, I can't do this anymore.'"
One letter sent by Ford in 1969 to Corp. Chris Martinez was particularly difficult for the staff. It never reached Martinez, the envelope returned to Ford with the words "Killed in Action" written on the front.
Now, the history center would like to track down some of "Peg's boys," those who remember receiving letters from her and those who responded.
One has already come forward. Al Acuna, who is retired and lives in Clayton in Eastern Contra Costa County, was astounded when he arrived at the history center and saw the letter he had written to Ford nearly 40 years ago. "Wow," he exclaimed. "I can't believe it. Look at this handwriting." He slowly reads the letter in which he explained to Ford the death of one of his friends. "I lost one of my buddies in a helicopter crash," he wrote. "Boy, did that news affect me."
Acuna said just seeing the letters he wrote brought back memories of the war and the fondness he developed for the grandmotherly-like stranger who had befriended him and so many other soldiers. "It kept your morale up a little bit, because it was awfully lonely over there," he said.
The letters are available for viewing at the Contra Costa County History Center at 610 Main Street in Martinez. The center is open Tuesday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The history center would also like to hear from any Vietnam veterans who may have corresponded with Ford. They are asked to contact the center at (925) 229-1042 or via email at Contra Costa History Center.
Lots of info and links on this page. Captain Argel's parents are part of the Gold Star families.
Bless Lima Company!
Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.
Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom - 2,563
Fallen Heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom - 318
A couple more stories -
Older vets reach out to younger troops
Army monitors soldiers' blogs, Web sites
At the risk of having to start a fourth thread, I have to say that in the days, months, years to come I hope folks will remember who supports our troops and who doesn't.
BTW, I have no agenda here. Just fed up with the rhetoric from both sides and especially those who belittle "my" men.
LOL! Just found this....
That's why I love these guys!!!
LOL!!! Oh, man, that's a nicely delivered kick.
We've got a desperate candidate for governor here in Cali who says some pretty dumb stuff, too. You can always tell when they're hanging by the tips of their nails - they get that wild-eyed look and start spewing some really insane stuff. :)
You've probably are getting sick of me posting this one every year on Nov. 10th... but hey, what can I say? I'm a sucker for non-fictional stories...
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God. In the Beginning was God - and all else was darkness, and void, and without form. So God created the heavens and the earth. He created the sun, and the moon, and the stars, so that light might pierce the darkness. And the earth God divided between the land and the sea, and these He filled with many assorted creatures. And the dark, salty, slimy creatures that inhabited the murky depths of the oceans, God called sailors, and He dressed them accordingly.
And the flighty creatures of the air He called airmen. And these He clothed in uniforms which were ruffled and fowl.
And the lower creatures of the land, God called soldiers. And with a twinkle in His eye, and a sense of humor that only He could have, God gave them trousers too short, and covers too large, and pockets to warm their hands. And to adorn their uniforms, God gave them badges. And He gave them cords. And He gave them ribbons... and patches... and stars... and bells. He gave them emblems... and crests... and all sorts of shiny things that glittered... and devices that dangled. When you're God, you tend to get carried away in a big way.
And on the 7th day, as you know, God rested. And on the 8th day at 0730, God looked down upon the earth and was not happy.
GOD WAS NOT HAPPY!
So He thought about His labors, and in His infinite wisdom, God created a divine creature and this He called a Marine. And these Marines whom God created in His own image, were to be of the air, the land, and the sea. And these He gave many wonderful uniforms.
He gave them practical, fighting uniforms, so that they could wage war against the forces of Satan and evil.
He gave them service uniforms for their daily work and training, that they might be sharp and ready.
And He gave them evening and dress uniforms. Sharp, stylish, handsome things, so they might score with the ladies on Saturday night, and impress the hell outta everybody!
And at the end of the 8th day, God looked down upon the earth, and saw that it was good. But was God happy? No!
GOD WAS STILL NOT HAPPY!
Because in the course of His labors, He had forgotten one thing... He did not have a Marine uniform! But He thought about it, and thought about it, and finally satisfied Himself in knowing that, well, not everybody can be a Marine!
Happy 231 to all leathernecks. Happy veterans day to ALL.
Thanks for that great (re)post, Fi guy! I always get a little depressed on Veterans Day, and today, it's raining (yay, though!), so that sort of adds to the mood.
Wish I could hug every U.S. veteran (current and future) today and simply say, "Thank you."
I'll be happy to re-read that story every year, Semper, and remember all the people in my life who have served. There have been so many. I'll pause to think about all the others who have made it possible for me to live my life in freedom and wish those on duty everywhere a safe tour and welcome home. Sandy
In an e mail from
LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq .... he asks a special request and sends
A Different Christmas Poem
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile."
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."
PLEASE, Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.
Thank you C3D and Sir Nappy! :-)
And thank you LCDR Giles, et al.
For those sending packages PLEASE include cans of the innocuous SILLY STRING. It can be used to safely detect trip wires.
Serious use for Silly String ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To help the Navy Marine Corps Society, see what you can do.
Just checking in...thank you all...
One of the pictures above shows hundreds of Xmas wreaths adorning the graves at Arlington National Cemetary. Here's a video story about how this got started. Semper Fi to those folks who dedicate their valuble time and hard earned money to make it happen.
Twas the Night Before Surrender
by Catherine Moy
** Dedicated to our Troops **
T'was the night before Christmas, when all through the land
We argued about our troops in the faraway Sand.
Our politicians grabbed pork with so little care,
While our soldiers risked life, limb and soul over there.
Congress was nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of another win danced in their heads.
Our soldiers dodged bombs, bullets and suicide freaks
While protesters hung their effigies on our streets.
Inside the Beltway there arose such a clatter,
Another Kennedy crashed a car, its window in shatters.
The Capitol police flew like a flash,
But the Kennedys just gave them some cold, hard green cash.
Thousands of miles away, how could our soldiers know,
That our support was more than just pomp, smiles and show?
When, what to their wondering eyes should appear,
But a half-baked report that made surrender clear.
What of Justin and Casey, once lively and strong,
They'd given their lives, how could it be wrong?
Patriots fought back, called the cowards by name,
"Come from under your beds, have you no shame?"
"Now Murtha! Now Al Gore! Now Obama! Now Kerry!
And your first woman speaker, oh, this could get hairy!
Our soldiers stand strong as you cut off their funds,
They leave behind their blood, as you cut, turn and run.
Stop where you are, Kennedy, get out of the booze,
Our colors don't run, we can't and won't lose.
Remember Sept. 11, and the radicals who pray,
That they cut our throats and kill Santa's great sleigh.
And now, as we look to the north for the miracle star,
We get on our knees, and pray for peace here and far.
We will not falter, if we stand all together,
In cold desert nights, whatever the weather.
We love our men and women, so far from their home.
This Christmas we pray for them, so they don't feel alone.
We will stand by them, as they drive the enemy from sight,
Then Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
...and God bless everyone!
has this been posted?
The USO of Northern Ohio is in need of items to be shipped to local service men and women serving overseas, especially the Middle East. The USO needs the following items for the military personnel by request:
-fruit snack cups
-fruit snack and raisins
-canned soup and stew
If you are not in the Northern Ohio area, PLEASE do contact your local USO and make your donations there.
If you are able to make a donation to the Northern Ohio USO PLEASE do call 440-454-2537 or visit the USO web site.
All praise and respect for those who served in the past, serve in the present and will serve in the future! RAH!
From the December 2006 issue of National Geographic -
When They Come Home
For many injured service members returning from war - and for their families - a new battle has begun. Issues of physical recovery, post-military training and employment, and the stresses of everyday life present huge challenges. Hundreds of nonprofit and other organizations, many run on shoestring budgets, have sprung up to help veterans navigate their futures. These are just a few:
Fisher House Foundation has provided lodging for more than 100,000 service members and their families at major U.S. military and VA medical centers since 1991. Now 35 of their custom-built homes accommodate families free of charge.
Operation Comfort helps families of patients at Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas by funding travel and other services. The group also offers fun activities - from dinners out to ski trips - for otherwise hospital-bound vets.
Wounded Warrior Project works to smooth the transition of severely injured service members and vets back to civilian life, offering personal counseling, financial and job advice, advocacy, and sports and recreational programs for them and their families.
Yellow Ribbon Fund arranges temporary housing, transportation, and more for families and patients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Tracy Woman Plans $25 Million Veterans Retreat
Nadia McCaffrey said she's finally found her true calling and won't stop until it's built.
McCaffrey's foundation, named after her son Patrick, who was killed in Iraq in 2004, is hoping to build a $25 million retreat center designed to soothe veteran's soldiers' souls.
"So many soldiers are returning from Iraq with deep emotional scars that the VA (hospitals) can't always assist with," McCaffrey said from her home in Tracy.
McCaffrey proposes to build the 200-acre Veterans' Village retreat center in Asheville, N.C., which would offer temporary housing to about 195 veterans. The center would help vets settle back into their lives through counseling and activities.
McCaffrey plans to ask military contractors such as Halliburton and Bechtel for financial help.
"I believe they will help us with donations to see the center built," McCaffrey said.
It's too bad that all parents of lost soldiers who wished to couldn't make the journey.
You'll recall Senator John Kerry insulted our troops by saying that they didn't get a good enough education to avoid being "stuck in Iraq."
"STUCK" AND ALONE IN IRAQ
A friend of mine serving in Iraq sent me this photo and note. I received it before Christmas but was out of the office. Priceless story it tells...."This is a true story.....Check out this photo from our mess hall at the US Embassy yesterday morning. Sen. Kerry found himself all alone while he was over here. He cancelled his press conference because no one came, he worked out alone in the gym w/o any soldiers even going up to say hi or ask for an autograph (I was one of those who was in the gym at the same time), and he found himself eating breakfast with only a couple of folks who are obviously not troops."
Courtesy of: Ronnie D. Foster ("Not as lean, not as mean, but still a MARINE.")
LOL! Gotta love politicians.... here's their spin on this:
"Kerry staffer Frank Lowenstein (who said he was present when the photo was snapped) reported that the picture wasn't taken during an "eat with the troops" event, but rather during an off-the-record breakfast discussion with newspaper reporters for which the small group deliberately sought out an empty table so they could converse in private.
TRANSLATION: Yeah, yeah! That's the ticket.... He wanted time alone with his wife... MORGAN FAIRCHILD!
Ooorah to Mr. Foster. I've got a T-Shirt that has that quote on the back.
LOL! Great find on the quote, Fi guy! The world could be ending before our eyes, and they'd say something like, "No, no, it's a minor disturbance off the coast of California. Nothing to worry about." :D
Funny how Hillarious shows up for things like this (see below) while she's campaigning...
High-tech Army rehab center opening
SAN ANTONIO - Of the roughly 20,000 soldiers injured since the start of the Iraq war, more than 500 have lost a limb many of them in roadside bombings.
On Monday, a $50 million high-tech rehabilitation center opens that is designed to serve the growing number of soldiers who return from war as amputees or with severe burns.
The 60,000-square-foot Center for the Intrepid will allow the Army to move its rehabilitation program out of the Brooke Army Medical Center and into a separate facility.
"The Center for the Intrepid is going to let us keep advancing what we've been doing," said Maj. Stewart Campbell, the officer-in-charge of rehabilitation at Brooke.
The facility tells soldiers "we're going to take care of you for as long as you need us, to get you back to where you want to be," he said.
At Brooke, amputees were being treated in offices and facilities carved out of the larger hospital. The new facility includes a rock-climbing wall, wave pool and a 360-degree virtual reality sphere to help soldiers recover their balance and other basic skills.
The center will be officially dedicated at a ceremony Monday. Sens. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., and Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., both 2008 presidential hopefuls, are scheduled to attend.
Brooke's amputee program started two years ago and has about 50 patients, but the new center will allow it to expand and offer more advanced rehabilitation, Campbell said.
Prior to the Iraq war, amputees were generally given acute care by the military and then turned over the Department of Veterans Affairs, said retired Col. Rebecca Hooper, program manager for the Center for the Intrepid. But since 2003, the military has kept those patients and made rehabilitation part of its mission.
Amputee rehab programs are now being run at Brooke, Walter Reed Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Medical Center.
Because the new Center for the Intrepid offers high-tech equipment and better facilities for severely injured soldiers, Hooper expects it to become a magnet for advanced amputee rehabilitation.
The center was funded by private donations to the Intrepid Foundation, a charity that has built dozens of houses to shelter families of wounded soldiers while they undergo treatment.
As part of the construction at Fort Sam Houston, two new houses have been added to two already there so that additional families could be housed near the center.
Staff Sgt. Jon Arnold-Garcia, who lost part of a leg in a grenade attack, got his first look at the rehab center on Sunday.
"This place is amazing, that the American people donated the money for this," said the 28-year-old from Sacramento, Calif.
Arnold-Garcia has been in rehabilitation at Brooke since May, but he was anxious to get to work at the Center for the Intrepid, a four-story glass building decorated with art and modern decor.
Arnold-Garcia and other amputees have been eyeing the rock climbing wall, visible through the glass. They have also heard about the wave pool, in which they can use wake boards to strengthen their back and stomach muscles.
"It doesn't look like a hospital," Arnold-Garcia said, sitting in the center's cafe. "It's a place I can see myself getting up and being motivated instead of walking hospital hallways with doctors."
Listening to this audio story (Click the "listen" link at the top of the article) about a platoon of National Guardsmen from Arkansas *MIGHT* make one realize that an overwhelming majority of these boyz may not be the cold-blooded "Nazis" that some (here and elsewhere) have portrayed them to be. Who would've thunked it?!
I think I just became a San Diego Padres fan! RAH!
The soldier above all others prays for peace,
for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.
Here's a link provided by our local USO. RAH!
I haven't heard this show yet, but it sounds great!
Girl Scout Troop No. 91 in Vacaville supports our troops! Thank you, girls!
Girl Scout Goodies Headed for Iraq
Some sweet treats are on their way to soldiers in Iraq, thanks to Girl Scout Troop No. 91 in Vacaville.
During their recent Girl Scout cookie sale, the 28 members of the Vacaville troop also collected money to purchase cookies for soldiers serving overseas. The girls pitched in some of their own money and raised $1,554, enough to purchase 37 cases of their Girl Scout cookies.
On Thursday, the girls included personal messages along with 444 boxes of Tagalongs, Thin Mints, and Samoas. The cases were then boxed up and handed over to Travis Air Force Base personnel, who will take them to Baghdad next week on a scheduled supply flight.
"I'm sure they'll really appreciate them," said Hannah Larson, 8.
Scout member Alyssa Harrison, 9, agreed. "They'll say, 'Wow, how nice of them to give us cookies,'" Hannah said.
Those 37 cases translate out to 5,328 cookies total. The girls said that will make a sweet day for a lot of soldiers.
Here is the story of Staff Sgt. Eddie Lopez. (He ROCKS!)
Born in Guatemala, 24-year-old Lopez and his family came to the United States in 1989 when he was just seven. "The only thing I actually remember is flying in here to the airport, and my mother telling me we're in America," said Lopez.
Lopez admits that at seven, he didn't really understand the significance of his mother's words. It was only after he'd graduated from high school and decided to join the military that he realized what that phrase his mother uttered so many years ago really meant. "I understood that it's basically freedom, and it's something completely different from any other country out there," he said.
Two months before the attacks on September 11, 2001, Lopez joined the military. "I find it a duty for every citizen and non-citizen of the United States to actually do it. If you're living in the United States, if you're enjoying the freedoms of this country, it's your duty, you should do it," he said.
Lopez said his plan was to serve one year for each of the five members of his family. "I felt I was the one responsible, I mean, I felt really grateful for being here."
After serving a tour in Afghanistan, Lopez was sent to Iraq. He's currently serving his second tour in Iraq. He's an infantryman in Charlie Company 116, the Bandidos, based at Fort Riley, Kansas.
Thursday morning, during a special ceremony on the second floor of the federal building on Capitol Mall in Sacramento, Lopez became a U.S. citizen.
A crowd of federal employees gathered to watch. Lopez's parents and his girlfriend were present.
Many shed tears as they watched the young man with a big smile fulfill his dream.
"I'm really excited right now, I'm really at a loss for words," said Lopez.
Susan Curda, the district director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, conducted the citizenship ceremony.
"I personally always thought it takes a special person to put on a uniform every day and to work in a profession where you lay down your life either for your country or your fellow citizens," said Curda. "I believe it's really an extraordinary person who does that every day for a country that is not yet his own."
On July 3, 2002, President Bush signed an executive order that allows immigrants serving in the U.S. military on active duty to become immediately eligible to apply for citizenship.
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services figures, more than 26,000 U.S. military personnel have taken advantage of the new rules.
In two weeks, Lopez will return to Iraq to complete his second tour of duty there. Now he'll be fighting as a U.S. citizen.
But Lopez said he doesn't believe it'll feel different. "In my heart, I've always been fighting like a citizen."
Heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the pilot of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornet that crashed during an air show yesterday.
I think this one sums it up pretty well.
May 1st is Silver Star Day honoring those wounded in combat. Here's an eye-opening Picture Story of three such cases.
(WARNING: Contains graphic images)
Major Eric Egland supports our troops (and he IS one!).
GREAT article! Heartbreaking, yet laced with humor, as well.
Marine's last request inspires charity
And the website inspired by Adam C. Conboy.
As you are munching on your BBQ ribs or buying a new Toyota during their Memorial Day Super Sale please remember those who helped to make it possible for you to enjoy your freedom.
This local lady had a very rough time (thoughts of suicide) after her son Jesse was killed in action outside of Baghdad, Iraq, on January 7th, 2004. Instead, she was able to pull herself out of her deep depression and continue sending packages to the troops.
Operation HomeFront - Supporting our troops and helping the families they leave behind
Local group Rebels With A Cause
Maybe a bit strange, but still a very special American.
This one was a tear-jerker! (The dance....*sob*)
I heard on the local radio station today our August '07 has been the hottest month since they've been keeping such records starting in 1890!
No doubt it's been HOT! But every time I catch myself b!tching abouth the weather lately (which has been quite often), I just stop and think about how good we've really got it here.
It reached 113 degrees in Baghdad today. 113!!! It will be even higher than that there next week. Imagine being outside in THAT hell hole with full armor having been away from your family and friends for many, many months while every pile of trash or stranded vehicle you pass COULD be a potential death trap.
100+ degrees where I can do what I want and ride when I want without such worries??? Bring it on!!
Amen, Fi guy. Actually, any time I start to complain about ANYthing, I (usually) catch myself and think about what they're going through over there. Nothing in my life can compare to that.
Imagine, if you can, being someone who would actually VOLUNTEER to go to Iraq! Not once. Not twice! But the brother of someone I work with has volunteered for a third tour of duty in Iraq to help train the Iraqi soldiers how to take care of their own country. He will be leaving next month.
May God keep him safe and his family strong!
Prayers galore for that fine American and his family, Chicka! What a wonderful human being!
The Senate Transporation Committee here in Cali is on my shatlist right now. "Supporting the war," my arse! And to top it off, when I tried to contact the senators from their STC website, most gave an error message stating that I'm not in their district, that I should contact my own senator. Oh, you bet your butts, I will!
Oh man, that is pathetic. Go kick some butt, Brenda!!
Still haven't heard anything new on the license plate issue.
But the soldier in the story below deserves a black and blue heart....for puttin' the smackdown on a woman beater. WTG, Private Nicholson! :D
I just don't see how provisions cannot be made for these wonderful people who gave all. It breaks my heart...
Couple of links today. :)
Hire a Hero
And a very nice letter from Captain Richard Lund, Marine and awesome dude, in response to a clearly misguided protest outside his office.
According to a news story I read this morning, these guys performed in Vacaville last night, not too far from here. I wish I would have known about it beforehand! It would have been a very worthy cause...
just something i came across today while looking for scholarships!
Please send something nice for our folks through the Honey Baked Ham Company.
WOW!!! There were alot of nice things said here! I got mauled a few days ago down in the Hot Topics forum. Lydia (Chickadeedeedee) recommended that I stop in here and take a look around. Its a much better environment here. : )
I also typically hangout in the Palms and Cycads forum as I have two Pindo (Jelly) Palms that I grow up here in north Mississippi. Just in case you were wondering!
This is how the thread began but perhaps time to take another look?
You can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq. You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to some member of the armed services.
How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!!!
It is FREE and it only takes a second.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these? Whether you are for or against the war, our guys and gals over there need to know we are behind them.