Sunday, April 30, 2006

Please help a fellow blogger with an email project:)

Am putting this post up to help a fellow blogger with a project,changed some of the details from the original post just in case the 'subject' might accidentally stop by,LOL. Please consider sending the emailImageto the adress listed, and if you sent it to the first one I posted, that's cool,they were received!
"Welcome Home, Hero" PROJECT - NEED YOUR HELP!

OK, y'all - I need your help! :) I can't believe I didn't think of this SOONER!!!!!:

As y'all may know, several of our family's adopted soldiers are in the process of returning. 

What I would like to do is collect a WHOLE BUNCH of "Welcome Home" emails, to include with our family's "Welcome Home" package. *mumbles to self: "why didn't I think of this sooner?!"* The idea is, when he gets home, instead of having "only" a stack of bills waiting for him (and how depressing would that be, haha!), to have a nice big fat envelope FULL of Welcome Home, Thank You, We're Proud of You type messages. How cool would that be?! And why didn't I think of that sooner?! argh!

 :) I would be ETERNALLY in y'all's debt forever and greatly appreciate it!!!!!

Please email all Welcome Home messages to me at as soon as you can. Just put "Welcome Home" or something similar in the subject line.

VERY IMPORTANT: I MUST HAVE ALL MESSAGES RECEIVED NO LATER THAN FRIDAY, MAY 5, 2006!!! I plan on mailing them out on Saturday, May 6.

Thanks, y'all!!!!

Friday, April 28, 2006

"Priceless"....and more places to 'Surf'

Price of Post Card of one of the area's places of beauty.....40 cents

Price of Post Card Stamp .........24 cents

Getting a Thank You card from a Soldier that says "Thanks for sending me a little bit of 'home'.................PRICELESS!

And,because I "have no life" as my sons so nicely phrase it,lol, here are some more places to go 'surfing' on the Internet.

First up, two calls for videos from soldiers. One of them was posted on Blackfive  Click here: BLACKFIVE: MilBlog TV      and the other was information from a fellow Soldiers Angel member:

Military Channel Project- Description

Are you currently in a war zone fighting for our country? Or do you have a loved one who is stationed overseas, on the front lines? We want to know what life in the military is like. MY WAR VIDEOS, a new program from the Military Channel, will share personal perspectives on day-to-day life in a war zone. We want to feature video messages, home movies, letters, and photos sent home by you, the soldiers.

This program is designed to tell soldier's stories in their own words up front and personal no spin, and no political agenda. If you'd like to participate in this program, or you know someone that would, we'd like to hear from you as soon as possible, please note our contact information, below:
MY WAR VIDEOS will premiere on the Military Channel on Memorial Day, 2006.
Send your ideas and questions to
NOTE: When sending email, video or pictures, we'd like to know your: Name, Rank, Military Affiliation, U.S. Base, Current Base, Email Address, and a family contact in the U.S.

(They got the info from P.J.DeGross, who is a stellar troop supporter in Nevada, and you can check out her site at   

And this is awesome....two soldiers are going to start a hike on the Appalachian Trail on July 16,2006, to raise money and awareness for disabled veterans. 
Then, I found another Troop Support site  index
And,because I always seem to be a day late and a dollar short:) I came late across this blog on the Washington Post site  
And,from going here  
I ended up here  
which is totally awesome, and if you check out the 'Motivation' video, that alone was worth the trip by there!
Came across another troop supporter, and am adding her to the blogroll  
One more place you might want to surf? JP has welcomed a new member to his family over at   if you want to stop by and congratulate him on the birth of their child:)
And, postcards like the above can be found at    
Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Thomas Burnett,Jr.,Update on Kevin Downs, and Another Prayer Request

With the opening of the Flight 93 movie, I thought I would repost this picture, taken in Bloomington,MN in 2004 at Jefferson High School when I was visiting my parents. My brother and one of my sisters both attended high school with Mr.Burnett (graduating in different years) and my brother knew him later in life.

This is the full quote from a speech that Thomas Burnett,Jr. gave before Sept. 11, 2001, which a portion of the quote  has been placed on his memorial at Thomas Jefferson High School in Bloomington,MN.   "What we accomplish in life—our pursuits, our passions—echo in posterity to our children, our neighbors, and ultimately our souls. The struggle to preserve life enriches all of us, and our humanity is fortified in the process. To deem life important and to act, affects all of those who bear witness."
Truly, those on Flight 93 on that dreadful day "deemed life important" and they acted. And I think it has affected all of us who bore witness. Hopefully, I will make it to the movie this weekend, but if I don't (we have a track meet and also a former patient of mine died and I need to pay my respects to her family), I DO intend to eventually see the movie, to honor and remember them.
Don't know if you have seen the Sept. 11 Digital Archive?   Click here: The September 11 Digital Archive    but my sister told me about it.   Her contribution is here    
mine is here  
and if you want to add yours?   
Update on Kevin Downs:   The South Cheathem Advocate has done a wonderful j0b of updating, and there is one posted under 4/22/06   (with pictures) 
and I think you will be happy to know that Brooke Army Medical Center is so inundated with mail for Kevin, that there is a new address posted on the site!
                                                                   Sgt. Kevin Downs
                                                                   P. O. Box 118
                                                   Kingston Springs, TN 37082
Lastly, a distant relative of mine was hit head on in a car accident last night, and could use some prayers. This is an absolutely wonderful gentleman who is '84 years young', and he has a long road of healing ahead. Thank you all!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Prayers needed

Just wanted to ask for prayers for two who was just injured within the past few days, and is related to a friend.....and one whose parents have asked for prayers for him during a long and difficult recovery.    I can't really give out more information than that, but thank you for remembering them!

If you know of someone who has an injured relative, or you know an injured soldier? CaringBridge has free sites to set up to keep friends and family informed. 

and they can be set up to be either 'public' or 'private'.  There is one of the 'public' ones listed in my list to the left for 'Noah', and there is also another one I came across for another injured soldier  
I actually first came across CaringBridge sites back in 2002, when an extraordinary minister and man of God, who was a friend of one of my sisters, journaled his battle with cancer. Sadly, he lost the battle  in 2003, but his site still exists
His story became a book, and I see where his widow recently updated on the site.
Thank you again, for holding all of our troops, and especially the wounded, in your prayers!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Surfing the Net

Just gonna list some places I've been 'surfing' todayImage

First, any of you who remember the MTV show about Joey Bozik? His wife put up the final post on his site this month    Click here: Joey

Continuing with the wounded soldiers? Don't think I've mentioned this young lady before....she was injured in an accident while serving with the Indiana National Guard in 2005, and subsequently paralyzed. Her mother had not updated in several months, I just happened to check in today and it had been updated      Click here: Aubrey Shea Youngs

Then I went to check on Capt.Jason  Click here: Captain Jason    but I got knocked off the Internet briefly in the middle of that Image and when I got back on, I came across this site while doing a 'search'    Click here: Airline Pilots Security Alliance - IN MEMORIAM: CAPTAIN JASON DAHL   Read all the articles underneath, tissue alert.

Speaking of Memorials, have I mentioned before that has a site listing all those who have died in the war?     Click here: In Remembrance

Continuing with the 'war' theme, I came across a cool site with a documentary in progress from a unit out of Lebanon,Oregon in 2004. There are video clips and pictures on there. 

Click here: About the Film

I stopped by a blogger not listed in my blogroll(imagine thatImage)  

 Click here: Murphy Around The World

And two Soldiers Angels members have a fairly new blog    Click here: The Angel Sistas

I DO go other places besides 'milblogs', sis and her husband are currently waiting to complete an adoption in China, and they are sharing the journey   Click here: A Red Thread to China     and then I always like to stop by Terry's place.....she always has beautiful pictures, and I always feel refreshed Image  Click here: Terry's Timeout

Lastly, from my about Monopoly  

Happy Surfing! 

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Army Suicides Hit Highest Level since 1993

This article I saw yesterday disturbed me greatly.    
When you think of the despair and despondency that people have to be feeling, to decide that ending their own lives is the best option? For me, it just broke my heart.
I thought of using this article as a segue into another urging to join Soldiers Angels, or any of the other organizations like America Supports You, etc. listed on the left? To encourage people to actively DO something to let those serving know that they are cared about?
And then I decided to check out the Message Boards that AOL always attaches to these articles, where people can post their thoughts about the article. And what I found THERE upset me even MORE.  
I invite you to check it out for yourself, but I warn you......there seems,IMHO, a great deal of hatred and anger there.
While I have the feeling I may be spitting into the wind? I decided to place my own post on the message board, which I'll include below.  Honestly?I felt kind of scared to do that, because I think I'll be leaving myself open to verbal attacks from the same people who wrote so many of these venomous, angry posts.    I realize I will make no impression whatsoever on any of those people.....their minds are already made up. But, I am a strong believer in the Edmund Burke quote   All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.
If I had written nothing at all? there would be nothing out there BUT those venomous, angry, hate-filled posts.
So, without further's my response on the message board....and then there's a link to my post on the board below.
   I guess I am naive. I thought that a story about rising suicides among soldiers would generate concern? Compassion for those who were so despondent that they took their own lives?for the families left behind?Possibly even suggestions for ways to support the troops ?
   Instead, I scrolled through 3 pages of comments that seemed to be mainly spewing anger,venom, and hatred.....and had to stop because all the anger and hatred was starting to make me feel sick.
     I'm a member of an organization called "Soldiers Angels" and I write letters to the troops to let them know that folks back here are keeping them in their thoughts and prayers,or send cards to wounded soldiers to let them know they are being remembered...all total strangers who are ,many of them, the same age as some of my own children. These are young men and women who have chosen to serve our country, and are doing the job they have been sent to do.  Or, there is another organization called Anysoldier  where you can get addresses to mail packages or letters of support.
    All of you who say you want "peace"?(in what seems very angry and hate-filled ways to me).....could you not direct some of the energy you put into this anger and hatred into writing a letter to A FELLOW HUMAN BEING to say "Thank you for being willing to do this job from a fellow American."?(or "fellow human being", if you dislike being identified as an American)    Or, if you feel even doing THAT might be construed as "supporting the WAR" or "supporting BUSH"?   Could you just send a postcard saying "Thinking of you back here"?
     Judging from so much of what I've read here......probably not. And I think that's kind of sad. A story about people being in despair and despondency who decide to end their lives, instead of generating the thought "How can I reach out to touch even ONE fellowhuman being who might be feeling this way?"just generates more hatred and anger and venom?
So, that's my post for today.
Update   If you click on the link to my posting on the message boards, I've gotten some interesting responses.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Dogs, and Odds and Ends

Don't know if I have ever mentioned, but there are two groups in Soldiers Angels supporting our military dogs, and the pets left behind when soldiers are deployed. The Guardian Angels for Soldiers Pets are those who 'foster' the dogs (or pets) of those deployed, that is a 'public' link on the Soldiers Angels forums   
The other group are the 'K9 Angels', you have to be a member of Soldiers Angels to join that group, but they 'adopt' the military dogs....the above picture is of one of the dogs saying 'thank you':)  Here is a description of one of the dogs:
"Her job is to find IED's and
stand by them until they can be disarmed. The reason she is so special is
she trained off lead to go up to a mile ahead. She carries 2 radios one is
stuck in transmit the other in receive (she can't hit the little button yet)
her boss  communicates with her via the radios and
arm signals. She understands about 10 directional commands, forward,
right, left, back etc.. She also has some head gear with goggles she wears.

They work much harder and in much worse conditions than most of us over

Just thought I'd remind everyone there are more than good people working to
save lives everyday, She does what she does for pepperoni type treats and
squeaky toys. If all of us could just be so unselfish. "
Just another of the cool things you can do as a member of Soldiers Angels:) I first heard about the dog handlers and their dogs with the death of a soldier in January, you can click here for the Stars & Strips article about him. 
If you'd like to learn more about this young man in his own words? He was also listed on, and if you go to the Anysoldier site and click on "Where to Send", scroll down on that page to the black ribbon that says "Lost contacts" and he is the first soldier listed there...if you click on his name,it will take you to the postings he had on before his death (can't provide a direct link,but here's the link )  
In the ODDS AND ENDS department? I got TWO pieces of "Free Mail" yesterday:) Always excited to get mail back from soldiers,I say "free mail" because those deployed can send their mail without postage.They were both 'Thank you's", which I do this without ever expecting or WANTING a 'thank you', so that's why it's always so unexpected and exciting to get one!One of them said "When I get letters from home it's great. Just to know that there are people thinking of you."And the other one said,"I appreciate you taking the time to send a few nice and comforting words to me. We all appreciate the support from home."
Letters like these renew my spirit,and committment to continuing to write.....they always seem to arrive when I am thinking "am I really making a difference?"I say this because last night I was organizing my names from Soldiers Angels,, and Adopt A Platoon(organization NOT being one of my strengths,lol) and I realized that between letters, and cards sent to recovering wounded soldiers, and birthday and other cards sent?I have sent roughly 230 pieces of mail since July.
I say that NOT to toot my own horn, but because I was astonished it was so many! They don't seem like that many when you are sending them one at a time,LOL!
The last 'Odds and End' is about the Flight 93 movie. I was torn about whether to see it, even though I had already watched the A & E reenactment movie about it. I posted on my 'family only' blog about it, and my sister gave me some information that helped me make up my mind....part of the first weekend's gross will go to a memorial. You can read about it here  
So I think I'm going to see honor and remember those heroes, and to help contribute to the memorial.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

April 20,2006

Wanted to remind everyone that the Milblogging conference is this weekend

Click here: MilBlog Conference 2006

Wish I could have attended, since it's so close...but I will just have to follow the online updates:)  Speaking of milblogs, the Djibouti blog("totum Depeandent") has disappeared...either shut down by higher ups in the chain of command of the soldier, I suppose, or changed to a private blog? Being able to read the thoughts and activities of soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan has been an eye opener for me, and that's one of the reasons I think the Milblog conference is a wonderful thing.

SIGN OF THE TIMES? Going through the check out line at the dollar store yesterday, I saw where they have new magnetic ribbons now....instead of red,white, and blue ones saying "Support Our Troops"....they are all blue, and simply say "Bring our troops home safely." Anyone(all two of my readers,lol) have thoughts on this? Please feel free to leave a comment....I think there might be a workaround to having to have an AOL screen name to be able to leave a comment? (If there is, can someone let me know?)I think it might be possible to also leave a comment with an AIM screen name? Wish I was more technical:)   

I realize it might be constraining to have this on AOL precisely because of the above?(needing to have a screen name) but my whole purpose for starting this blog on AOL was to promote Soldiers Angels and supporting the troops using the AOL journal format. So I will continue to try and work within the constraints of that forum.

Monday, April 17, 2006


From the "America Supports You" website  
April is the month of the Military Child. See article copied from the website below:
Defense Dept. Honors Military Child Month By Steven Donald Smith / American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON, April 3, 2006 -The Defense Department has long understood the value of caring for and celebrating children of servicemembers.

April is designated as the Month of the Military Child, underscoring the important role military children play in the armed forces community. The Month of the Military Child is a time to applaud military families and their children for the daily sacrifices they make and challenges they overcome.

Military children face many obstacles unique to their situation, such as having a parent deployed for extended periods of time and frequently being uprooted from school.

"Military children endure a great deal of change as a result of a parents military career," Douglas Ide, a public affairs officer with the Army's Community and Family Support Center, said. "The military family averages nine moves through a 20-year career. And in doing so, their children must say goodbye to friends, change schools, and start all over again."

Throughout the month, numerous military commands will plan special events to honor military children. These events will stress the importance of providing children with quality services and support to help them succeed in the mobile military lifestyle, defense personnel and readiness officials said.

"Installations are honoring military children by providing the month packed with special activities that include arts and crafts shows, picnics, carnivals, fairs, parades, block parties and other special activities, focusing on military children that highlight the unique contributions they make," according to a Defense Department fact sheet.

The Defense Department will also launch a new toolkit series called "Military Students on the Move." The toolkit includes material designed to promote more efficient and effective methods of moving military children from school to school. The toolkit includes material for parents, children, installation commanders and school officials, Defense Department officials said.

In addition, the U.S. Air Force recently launched its "Stay Connected" deployment program kits in conjunction with the Month of the Military Child. The kits include items like teddy bears, writing pens and disposable cameras.

"The purpose of the Stay Connected kit is to provide young people and parents an avenue to keep a connection during the deployed members' time away from home," Eliza Nesmith, an Air Force family member programs specialist said. "The items in the kit come in pairs, so that the young person and parent can have an item that will help them remember each other."

Air Force bases will choose the best distribution method to correspond with an existing event or develop a new event to best serve their families. For example, Andrews Air Force Base, Md., will give out Stay Connected kits to deploying servicemembers during its basewide Month of the Military Child celebration, planned for April 8, Nesmith said.

Throughout the month of April, the U.S. Navy child and youth programs will also be hosting special programs and events to salute military children. These events will include, carnivals, health screening for children, youth talent shows, and more, Navy officials said.

"Events that celebrate the Month of the Military Child stress the importance of providing children with quality services and support to help them succeed in the mobile military lifestyle," Larrie Jarvis, a Navy child and youth programs analyst said.

Army bases will plan their own events such as fun runs, bicycle safety courses, carnivals, fishing derbies, community service projects, and other events geared specifically toward children and youth, Army officials said.

The Month of the Military Child is part of the legacy left by former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who died March 28. He established the Defense Department commemoration in 1986.

Related Sites:
DoD Personel and Readiness Office
Fort Campbell Month of the Military Child Web Page
Military Homefront
U.S. Air Force Services
U.S. Army Child and Youth Services

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Happy Easter!

Have to share a cute daughter saw the Easter basket we had made to send to the Fisher House So she immediately asked "is that MINE?" and when we told her 'no, that's for a family of a wounded soldier " she was saying, "Hey! I'm your DAUGHTER! where's mine??????"LOL....of course we have one for her also, but her dad told her "well, you're a TEENAGER now, aren't you a little old to be getting an Easter basket?"So she's not sure if she's getting a basket!

And wanted to give you all an update on the wounded soldier I had earlier posted about needing cards and prayers? 

God bless all of you for doing such a great job!What an awesome response,so many cards that they are overwhelmed!(check out the April 15 update)
Yesterday at my boyfriend's son's track meet, we got to experience the full gamut of weather....I started out shivering in an icy cold rain, with the wind blowing, and ended up getting slightly sunburned in the afternoon. The weather was calling for sunny and 81 degrees, so I put on shorts in the morning and asked my boyfriend, "Do I look like 'Chunky McGunky' in these shorts?" He said "where the heck do you come up with these phrases?" and I said"I think it's from reading too much Dr. Suess!"Image
Wishing everyone a Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

More of Easter's Dark side....and other things

As Rose commented in the previous entry, there are a lot of cute emails floating around about Easter...just had to post the pic.

And she asked how my middle son was doing? He is LOVING the new job he got at the jail.I am so proud of him, he worked really hard to get that job, and long term hopes to become a police officer.

In the 'this and that' dept......just finished sending an Easter basket to a 'Fisher House' at Walter Reed Army Medical center yesterday. That was a project by Soldiers Angels, if you want to know more about the Fisher Houses,   

Thanks to my oldest son and his fiancee for helping me to get and send the basket!  I'm still slogging away at the job hunt.

In the funny story dept....this past Sat. my daughter went to a party for the handbell choir. When her dad and I picked her up,she was of course telling us about the party and then I heard her say that a boy had 'cut his lip in a treadmill accident'.

I started laughing while her dad asked 'how in the heck do you cut your LIP in a treadmill accident?!did he forget to walk, or what?" and she replied "he wouldn't really give us the specifics of the accident!" By this time, I am leaning my head against the window and laughing so hard I have tears in my eyes...becase,A. of all the pictures in my head of how this accident COULD have happened and B. because if you had asked me to guess for a million years about "things she will tell us after the party"...I never would've guessed THAT!

Then, yesterday at my boyfriend's son's track boyfriend says "oh, your sister sent my son a mammogram for graduation."   I'm going "she sent a WHAT?!": (thinking to myself, why would she send THAT?) and he said 'a mammogram..." I said "um...honey...a mammogram is a test for's breasts."  and he say "Oh! I meant that she sent a MONEYGRAM!'  ROFL. My life is always so interesting.:)

Well, I hope everyone has a happy Easter weekend. Please remember all of our troops in your prayers, and God bless!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The dark side of Easter

Sorry, just could not resist!   And there's more...when hopscotch goes wrong....

   Click here:

Monday, April 10, 2006

This and That,Here and There

Just surfing the 'blogosphere' this morning (think of that,computer geeks,we have our own 'sphere'Image) and I think I'm going to point out a few places I found to be interesting places to go. (the lazy woman's way to write a blog post,lol)

First up, I am a huge fan of 

because JP has put together a site that lists over a thousand military blogs (which includes soldiers blogging, families of soldiers blogging, etc.etc.)Today, he wrote a post asking for the rest of us to list our favorite milblogs in the comments....why not slide over and check him out, and then tell us all who your faves are?
Next, I love reading White Rose's blog as a military contractor  
while so many folks who stop by here are supporting the troops in various ways,Cindy brings to light a group of people that you might not have thought about...U.S. military contractors. And she does it in a very interesting and informative way.   Today,she posted about a new group that she found for supporting the troops  
but I also wanted to point out that via her blog, I found a site to support the contractors.   These folks are as much in harm's way as our troops, and if you wanted to give them a shout out? I'm sure they'd like to know they are being thought of,also.
Moving on in the blogosphere, there is a post up on My OIF Deployment by a young mother that brings home the sacrifices that our soldiers and their families make 
And,lest you think that I only surf military blogs,lol....Motormouth has a post up about something I never thought the current immigration rallies can affect something as simple as test taking at school  
So, I hope I've given you a few places to check out while surfing the 'net. Enjoy your surfing, and have a good week!

Saturday, April 8, 2006

Thoughts about Fred Phelps

I started this blog mainly as another way to 'get the word out' about supporting the troops. So I decided in the beginning that I did not want to get into anything controversial on here, as I felt that would detract from the message.

However, I feel I do have to say something about this particular subject...because it's the opposite of 'supporting the troops'.I don't know how many of you have heard of Fred Phelps? I refuse to call his organization a 'church', because I don't think it's representative of anything to do with churchgoing, or for that matter Christianity, as I know it.

You may have seen news reports that Phelps and his organization have been picketing the funerals of soldiers killed by IED's (Improvised Explosive Devices).This has led to legislators trying to enact laws to restrict picketing at funerals 

and it's also led to the formation of a group called the Patriot Guard Riders, a group of veterans and other folks who support the troops, who go in at the request of the families of those whose funerals are being targeted to shield and support the family during the funeral. 
Well, this past Thursday, Phelps and his organization decided to expand their operations, and picket at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. This link to the Free Republic shows graphic pictures of Phelps' followers carrying their signs and stomping on American flags, among other things. Click here: AAR: Phelps' Traveling Freak Show Greeted by DC Chapter at Walter Reed 4/6/06 (Graphics Intensive)  
I decided to write a post after I saw that wounded servicemembers at WRAMC had showed up to counter protest. Although I do not want to give Phelps any more publicity than he already has, I do think I need to speak up in counter protest myself. Part of what I do as a member of Soldiers Angels is send cards to wounded soldiers who are recovering at military hospitals across the country. I do this because I think when someone is in the hospital recovering from their injuries and attempting to rebuild their lives, they need to know that some of their fellow Americans are thinking of them and praying for them. I just personally think that the LAST thing they need is a 'hate' group to show up carrying signs that say 'Thank God for Maimed Soldiers' and spitting or stomping on the American flag. I'm wondering why Phelps and company did not just spit directly on the wounded servicepeople, since that seems to be in essence what they were attempting to do?
If you look at my links on the left, you'll see that I have links to blogs by or about recovering soldiers ("For Noah", "Captain Jason","Contact Right..Under Fire")When you read their stories, I hope you'll think of them going through their daily struggles in recovery.....and then think of them looking out the windows at Walter Reed and seeing Phelps and company carrying those signs.
I am thankful that some of the recovering soldiers, and some members of Rolling Thunder and the Patriot Guard, and members of Free Republic showed up to counter protest this particular demonstration.
But if you were disturbed or sickened by the pictures of this protest....I urge you to DO something positive in reaction to this. Please get INVOLVED in some way...whether it's Soldiers Angels, or any of the other organizations that I have listed on the left,please consider doing something to let the young men and women who are recovering from injuries know that these people are NOT representative of how this country's citizens feel about our wounded troops. Please let them know that there are some people who are NOT 'thanking God' that their lives have been forever changed by injuries they received in the service of our country.
That, I think, would be one of the best ways to 'counter protest' this hate-mongering organization.

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Field trip yesterday

Went on a field trip with my daughter's class to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum yesterday. It turned out to be a much COLDER day than any of us expected!

I had long wanted to see the Holocaust museum,and was looking forward to sharing the experience with my daughter. Instead, I shared it with two boys who kept trying to ditch the rest of the group. The museum likes to have a 1:7 ratio of adults to kids...we had so many chaperones that the group I was in had a 3:7 ratio. And there were two boys who had obviously gotten attached to our group just to round the numbers they did the museum tour in under an hour.

Since our guide said that over 10,000 people would be visiting the museum yesterday, I felt one of us chaperones needed to keep tabs on the boys.....way to easy for them to be lost. And I've got that old 'responsibility' thing engrained in my makeup, so I felt like since I had volunteered as a chaperone, I needed to chaperone. It was pretty frustrating though....these boys obviously cared nothing for the whole idea, and were just intent on getting done as soon as possible.And the selfish part of me was a little irked that on what was probably the last field trip with my daughter, I was spending it chasing two complete strangers through a museum I'd always wanted to see , at a pace that meant I was seeing pretty much nothing but a blur.

If you'd like to see more about the museum, here's a link 

you may see more than I did yesterday!
I did manage to catch the boy's attention a few times and direct it to a few exhibits that they slowed down long enough to look at. One of the things that stands out was a defaced door from an actual synagogue, that was defaced on 'Kristillnacht'......why they went to look at it when I pointed it out, I don't know!lol....but they did at least stop.And since we got done 40 minutes before the rest of the group, I kept directing us into other they did both sit down on the interactive computer stations and seemed actually to be paying attention, while I watched a short film. They were also supposed to be filling out little booklets at the end of each floor, to turn in after the tour to their teachers. I asked them after two floors if they were filling anything out, and they said 'no' being a great believer in you need to accept responsibility for your actions, I just thought 'oh,well' and shrugged same as they did.:)
My daughter said that she got a little upset at the short films about the medical experiments...another exhibit I saw out of the corner of my eye as we did the 100 yard dash. I'll have to go back some day again....there was none of the feeling of reverence or thoughtfulness that I was expecting to feel while going thru the museum, probably due to our accelerated pace.
After lunch, we spent time at the FDR memorial....a large part of the questions in their booklets needed to be filled out there. Then we walked around to the Korean War memorial, past the Lincoln memorial, and over to the Vietnam memorial.
I spoke sharply to two other boys in the group there, who just would not quiet down. If you've ever been to the Vietnam memorial, you start down a slope past all the names on the Wall, and there is usually a corresponding 'hush' as you begin viewing the names. I realize these were middle school boys....but after twice nicely asking them to be quiet, I leaned over and said to them (in 'that voice' as my daughter puts it, which I believe is my 'you need to cut the crap out right now' voice,lol)"if you can not show any respect for this memorial to all these people who gave their lives, and to the other people who are trying to view need to turn around right NOW and walk back up and go AROUND the walkway on the OUTSIDE so that you are not disturbing others ."My daughter says that voice pretty much scares her and her friends  Imageand it shut those boys up after that. (in fact, the rest of the day whenever they saw me, I heard them saying 'oh,no, there's that lady again'!)One of the teachers later thanked me, they said some of the chaperones are afraid to speak up and I just laughed and said 'well, I have no problem insisting that they have some respect!"
The last place we went was the old U.S.Postal building, to eat dinner before leaving. We had Chinese, and then rode the glass indoor elevator up to view the tower, which was cool....but I also discovered I had never been on a glass elevator before and it's scary as heck! Here's a link about that.  
All in all, it was a gorgeous day, although chilly, and the sun was shining and the cherry trees looked beautiful. Although my tour at the Holocaust museum didn't go like I planned, I enjoyed the day overall and enjoyed the time spent with these kids and my daughter. I also have the highest respect for middle school teachers!Image

Sunday, April 2, 2006

Quote of the week:)

My boyfriend's son called last night and said"I just want to ask...does the clock go up or down?"

I told him 'up', and then when I hung up the phone was rolling on the floor laughing.Image

Saturday, April 1, 2006

The War Tapes

This film looks like it will be a 'must see'.  
and there's a blog

Just finished a good book

Contrary to what my family thinks,lol, I do actually spend time AWAY from the computer. Just finished reading a good book this morning, "While They're at War...The True Story of American Families on the Homefront" by Kristin Henderson.  A very good read.

Update:  As one of my friends pointed out, I'm not the best book reviewer,lol. I should have said that this was written by the wife of a military chaplain, and her own husband had also been deployed twice when she wrote this book. In response to my friend, it was "real stories about real people", and did NOT have a pro or anti war stance as far as I could tell. One of the things I liked best about it was that it gave me a greater understanding of what military families go through, and a greater respect for the sacrifices they make and what deployment is like for them. God bless our military families!

Prayers and Cards Needed for a Wounded Soldier

Saw this on

Dear Friends: 3/21/06

There is a young soldier (a 23 year old Tennessee National Guardsman) named Sgt. Kevin Downs.

He was blown out of his tank in Baghdad a year ago and left with no feet, mangled arms, and burns over 60% of his body. He is a Tennessee boy. Everyone else in the tank was killed. His condition is not good. A surgery to improve the use of fingers on one hand inadvertently caused previous skin grafts to break down, and the grafts on his legs are cracking as well and may require beginning over at square one.

Kevin is tired and low in spirits. He needs our prayers and support through cards. Would you please send him a note or card to let him know you are thinking about him? Remember him in your prayers as well.

Now I am going to ask a special favor from me. Would you please send this to as many people that you can in your e-mail addresses? Hit FORWARD and let my e-mail introduce Kevin to your e-mail buddies. I would love to see him get cards from everywhere and hopefully he will know that people all over the country appreciate him leaving the safety of his home and country and fighting for our freedoms. I personally have never met Kevin or his family but when my minister let us know that Kevin needed a lift, I couldn't keep quiet.

I love America and know that it could very well be one of my family members. Thank you for all that you will do.

His address is:

Sgt. Kevin Downs
Brooke Army Medical Center
3851 Roger Brooke Drive
Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234

Thanks again! Every little card and prayer will help!
The link to a site maintained about Kevin is here