Saturday, September 30, 2006

A belated Congratulations:) and This and That

I'm late on this (as usual!) but fellow Soldiers Angel, and blogger extrordinaire,Holly Aho...finally welcomed her daughter to the world on Sept.27(after 4 sons!:) 
A belated Congratulations,Holly!!to you and your family.
And in other Soldiers Angels news...S-A International Goodwill Ambassador blog has now become Soldiers Angels Europe  (and I've changed that acoordingly in my blogroll)
I'm probably also late in announcing this,
but its time to start thinking about Christmas!
On a personal note, my son's fiancee decided to join Soldiers Angels and Adopt a soldier,YAY! (and wants me to co-adopt the soldier with her:)
While changing the blogroll, I also decided it was time to update it a little. The 2,996 Project has a new blog site  Click here: Project 2,996
and since that is now going to be an annual event, I wanted to put the new link up.
Then, military bloggers come and go, but someone who has stuck around after being redeployed, and who I first started reading a year ago, I think deserves a listing   Click here: Blog Machine City
I mentioned Vets for Freedom yesterday, and then thought 'Why aren't they on my blogroll?"  Click here: Vets For Freedom
I felt like I just HAD to add them,lol, particularly as their executive director,WadeZirkle, is from my very own state!!
and while their blog site is listed in my blogroll, their main site is here
Other additions are the blogger on the Washington Post site 
Two combat medics
(and that reminds me...yes, I did watch Baghdad ER last night. It was heart-rending and heart-warming at the same time. And while I got a little misty-eyed at various parts....I broke down completely at the end. If you haven't seen it,please consider it.Yes, you're probably going to cry,but you'll come away with awe for the job both the medical folks AND the soldiers on the frontlines are doing.)
Lastly, don't know why I haven't listed this before? Here's the main site for the Multi-National Force in Iraq 
And that's all for today. God bless our troops!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Saturday Web Surfing

The above is a pic from our 2004 trip to MN, it was taken at Gooseberry Falls.

I haven't had a chance to surf the web for a few days, between work and helping with the new grandson ,as his mom was not feeling well. (not a hardship, I enjoyed it!:)

So today I found out that American Soldier is taking blogging in yet another direction...first from his post saying It's Coming and then It's Here  Looking forward to more video blogs from him! Consider subscribing yourself.

Haven't mentioned JP at lately, he says he has site changes coming 

and when I went by Blackfive, this was a nice surprise 

and here is the official website about SFC Paul R. Smith, who I have long thought is someone EVERYONE should know.
Continuing with the 'Heroes" theme....Vets for Freedom has a great list of more heroes you should know   Click here: Vets For Freedom
For more on another kind of hero? There is a great post about the upcoming Patriot Guard Riders anniversary in Nov. 
And on SpouseBuzz
the list included quite a few movies that I can't watch,either. Only because I watched them once, and did not feel I ever could again.  My son's fiancee and I watched "United 93" last weekend, and it was very well done and moving...but I don't think I could watch it again. I have never been able to watch 'Black Hawk Down" since the first time I saw it several years ago,and don't think I ever could.  However, I Have seen "We Were Soldiers" more than once, so go figure. And we have the entire Band of Brothers set, and rewatch that again and again.
My son and his fiancee gave me a Netflix subscription as a gift:) (I love those 'kids':) and Baghdad ER arrived today before I left for work...I plan on watching that this evening.  
I bought 'Gunner Palace" back when it came out, and it was OK, perhaps I was expecting more from it? But 'Occupation Dreamland" had been hyped shortly afterwards, so I got that last too, seemed not exactly what I thought it was going to be. (maybe I'm just not a documentary kind of gal,lol?) But the  documentary "Paper Clips" was fantastic.
What I'd REALLY like to see is "The War Tapes"...but I will have to wait till that comes out on DVD. (I hope)
And a friend recommended "American Soldiers". In fact, I picked so many documentaries to watch on my Netflix list, that my middle son asked me in exasperation if I had any 'real' movies on my list,lol.
Well, that's all for today. Hope everyone has a good weekend, and God bless our troops!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Hero Was Suggested By Toni At Bear Creek Ledger

If you tell Army Staff Sgt. Paul Brondhaver he's a hero, he'll just laugh and shake his head. He's heard it before, but he doesn't think he's any more of a hero than the millions of men and women who served before him or alongside him.                                               

Brondhaver, an Ohio National Guardsman, was severely wounded in a rocket-propelled-grenade and small-arms ambush in July 2004 in Samarra, Iraq, where his Guard unit was serving with the 1st Infantry Division. More than 300 pieces of shrapnel tore through his body, and a rocket-propelled-grenade that killed Pfc. Sam Bowen continued its mindless path and struck Brondhaver, causing his own weapon to explode and further ravage his body.

On hand for yesterday's Freedom Walk here commemorating the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States and honoring the nation's past and present servicemembers, Brondhaver made no effort to hide his tears as he showed the bracelet he wears in Bowen's honor.

"If we can stay together as a bunch of good guys in America, it's going to be easier for us to keep our resolve and remind each other of the importance of honoring those (fallen troops) so that their lives weren't given in vain," he said.

With a new lease on life as he steadily recovers from injuries that brought him to the precipice of death, the 20-year Guardsman said he has a responsibility to speak for those who now can't speak for themselves. During his recovery, he has spoken in several states to spread his message.

Walking with a cane, Brondhaver helped lead several hundred Freedom Walk participants on the mile-and-a-half trek from the future site of the Colorado Freedom Memorial to the Aurora Municipal Center. At his side was Fairfax County (Va.) Fire Department Battalion Chief John Everett, who was one of the first responders to the attack on the Pentagon.

"All of our hearts were touched and damaged" by 9/11 and with the losses incurred in its aftermath, Brondhaver said. "We need to build our hearts back up to be full and strong," he said. "And events like this can do that. Events like this hopefully can inspire and motivate others to tell their neighbors how important it is to stay strong. It will be a stronger America in the end."

Brondhaver said he intends to spend the rest of his life spreading his message of "faith, family and friends," his belief in America and his appreciation for freedom one event at a time.

Though he has suffered a personal tragedy with his injuries, Brondhaver said, he hopes to show people that the effect any tragedy has depends on how they react to it.

"In the end, my cup is half full," he said. "I have nothing negative to say. Life is positive."                                                                                
Twice after he suffered his injuries, Brondhaver's heart stopped beating.

"I flatlined in Balad, Iraq, in surgery, and they revived me," he said. "I had lost a lot of blood. Then I'm 30,000 feet in the air on the way to Landstuhl, Germany, to a medical facility there, and I flatlined again and they revived me. Having near-death experiences has really brought home the important things in life. If you have faith, family and friends, you have a strong America. That's my message."

Needing and receiving his parents' permission, Brondhaver joined the Ohio Guard at 17 because, he said, he wanted to help people. Serving in the National Guard has taught him how to live his life to help others, Brondhaver said. He's been activated for prison riots, floods, tornadoes, snow emergencies and other missions that have allowed him to help his fellow citizens. He wears 21 medals, including the Bronze Star for valor, the Purple Heart, and Army Commendation medals. But he prizes his Humanitarian Service Medal the most, he said.

"They're all important; they're all accepted with honor," he said. "But a soldier doesn't go to war saying, "Man, I hope I get the Purple Heart." But it's OK to say, "It would be nice if I can get the Humanitarian Medal, because that means I can help others."

Helping others is a habit for Brondhaver. When he deployed to Iraq, he noticed that many children had nothing on their feet. This led to "Socks for Paul," a joint effort with his wife, Lisa — they were high school sweethearts — that collected more than 6,000 pairs of shoes and socks for Iraqi children.

"We put them in a Humvee and went from school to school," he said, his eyes dancing as if he were Santa Claus describing his favorite Christmas. "We delivered shoes and socks to those children, along with school supplies and Spaghetti-O's and Girl Scout cookies."

Even as he faces various surgeries for the rest of his life, Brondhaver said that if he were 17 again and knew what lay ahead for him, he still would have signed on the dotted line. "I'd do it again in a heartbeat," he said. "I wouldn't even have to think about it. I never look back."

He pointed to the American flag on the right shoulder of his uniform and said people wonder why the field of stars is on the right side of the emblem. "The blue part always goes forward. America always goes forward. We don't retreat. We don't look back. We stay steady. We stay strong."

These brave men and women risk their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

 We Have Every Right To Dream Heroic Dreams. Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by clicking here.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tuesday Surfing

Ok, I'm finally out of Hawaii pictures,lol, I never anticipated when I started my 'surfing' posts that I'd eventually use all of them. while I suppose I could recycle them, I decided today I wanted to put up a picture of my favorite of the Great Lakes...Lake Superior

I grew up in Michigan...nowhere near Lake Superior,actually, we lived about an hour away from Lake Michigan (which I also liked a lot!:) But Superior has just always had a special place in my heart because of several Girl Scout trips to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan while growing up. And now I have family in MN, and so I've been to Superior on the Other side,like the picture above taken near Two Harbors,MN.

I'm  also a  lighthouse collector, I just love lighthouses, and when we visited with my family in 2004 (when the above picture was taken) we visited Split Rock Lighthouse  The best pic I have of that was taken by my non-blogging sister(see 2nd picture) They had lots of information there on the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (which yes, I am old enough to recall when the wreck happened.)

To get on to 'places I have surfed recently' first off ,Soldiers Angels Network had a post about quilters 

and the other day when I was doing the blog search, I came across this article about a Soldiers Angel member   
CPL M over at a Soldiers Perspective is going to be leaving 
and in the 'it's a small world' category, in the news that was announced yesterday about the soldiers being extended 
my son's fiancee went to school with a soldier in that unit.(and I also know an 'angel' who has a soldier in the unit.) Since I also know someone whose husband is in the Alaskan unit that was extended? I wanted to ask for you to keep BOTH units of these soldiers who have had their tours extended in your prayers, and their families.
And if soldiers aren't extended,there are some who are on second deployments or possibly going on  third deployments.  Pete at Just Another Thunderhorse Roughneck had a post about the possibility of that for himself 
Elijah at Contact Right posted about a friend who's on a second deployment.  Click here: Contact Right...Taking Fire   (And I am awed by the fact that Elijah is still recovering at Walter Reed, and yet taking time to arrange care packages for his friend and the soldiers with him.)
For the end of the web surf? A Storm in Afghanistan had a must-see post  
Believe me, it's worth the download, to read the article he's talking about.
That's it for today,but tomorrow is the first post for the
 Wednesday Hero Blogroll, so please check back tomorrow.
God Bless Our Troops!
Tag Tag

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Bloggers who are Angels, and Angels who are Bloggers

What started this post was that I came across another Soldiers Angel member who has just started a blog  

Click here: A Soldiers Angel 

Having "no life", as my sons describe it,lol  (and I'm still trying to figure out exactly when they missed the 'kindness and tactfulness' lessons during child rearing) that just started me wondering what I would find if I did a Google blog search ?  (and no, Google doesn't pay me for all the gratuitous plugs I give them, I am just addicted to Google...I Google anything and everything at the drop of a hat....which reminds me, I need to check if the 12 step group for Google addiction has formed yet? Can you Google that,lol, or would that defeat the purpose of the group?) get back on track....I did the blog search, and found some interesting stuff that I want to pass on, in case someone else might find it interesting.

There are  bloggers who also happen to be members of Soldiers Angels,and blog sometimes about being a Soldiers Angel. And some of them might surprise you. I came across several folks who are very clearly against the war....but who also feel that they need to support the troops.

I don't know how y'all feel about that? But it was encouraging and refreshing,to see that people who are politically opposed to the war itself can recognize that the soldiers who are fighting that war deserve support..and then follow through on actually doing something about providing support,no matter what their politics.
Because I came across another blog in my search (and I won't post the link, I don't want to give her the traffic.....snarky of me, but it's my blog,lol, and I can do what I want...and I was distressed by her slamming of an organization that I have only had good experiences with.) where the blog author wrote a post saying she 'couldn't support an organization like Soldiers Angels" because when they sent her a letter asking for donations, she felt the wording was offensive because she felt it  presumed that she was 'for' the war.
Mostly, it was an excuse for her to go on a rant about her liberal views,and also for her to pat herself on the back for being an anti war liberal and trying to find a way to support the troops anyway.Since her 'support' seemed to have consisted of simply sending a check, and then being offended by the wording of a letter?  I wasn't too impressed with her.  But at least it led to me being even more impressed by finding a few others who  share her political views, but are actually doing something besides ranting and discouraging others.
I then came across an editor who touted Soldiers Angels as something postive for Writers to get involved in, if they want their writing to make a difference...just kind of an unusual twist... 
I came across an Angel blogger I've mentioned before, time to mention her again  
a blogging stay-at-home mom who also happens to be an angel 
and someone else who, like me, blogs primarily Because she's an Angel
Well, those are the results of my Google Blog search, for either Angels who blog, or Bloggers who also happen to be Angels.
Lastly, someone who has always been, IMHO, both an Angel (even before she joined Soldiers Angels) AND a Blogger.....Kat at Yikes! is starting her annual Christmas Card drive   OPERATION: LOVE FROM HOME
and you can find out all about that here 
Happy Monday:) and hope everyone has a good week!  God bless our troops!

Some Other J-Lander's News

April is asking for bithday email wishes for her husband.  Please send her Marine some good wishes!  
Christy is getting ready for her husband to come home 
Emily's husband should BE home by now!! Hurray!!
And Bruce, of Bruce's deployment to Afghanistan, has his weekly post up with his usual great pictures....and is also asking for toothpaste,toothbrushes, and children's vitamins for them to take on their weekly runs to provide medical care in local villages. 
Just things I noticed while surfing some other AOL journals:)

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Wednesday Hero Blogroll

When I was over by the Bear Creek Ledger yesterday, I came across this post  
which sent me here  
(and check out the rest of the blog,how have I missed this thus far?:)
So of course I sent an email right away, this is something I wanted to participate in. And now I'm a part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll !:)Yay!

Talking with Heroes

If you've never checked out 'Talking with Heroes', Sunday,Oct. 8 would be a great time to do so! Both the founder of Soldiers Angels and the International Goodwill Ambassador are going to be guests:)


Talking With Heroes -Talk Show Schedule

October 8, 2006

Sunday - 5pm (PST) 6pm (MST) 7pm (CST) 8pm (EST)


Bob Calvert, Founder of YoungHeroes.US

Editor of Walking with Heroes Book One


Patti Bader, Founder


Wilhelmine (Willie) Aufmkolk
Soldier's Angels Foundation
Soldiers` Angels Europe

Helping the sick and the injured
Soldiers' Angels bring necessities, cheer to recovering war wounded


MSgt Craig A. Colton
Career Assistance Advisor for Dyess AFB
National Salute Heroes Organization
Texas Salute Heroes Website

Supporting Our Wounded and Disabled Troops
Craig A. Colton



First Sergeant Daryl J. Eddings, Sr.

First Sergeant Daryl J. Eddings, Sr. entered basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia on 27, November 1979. After completing basic training, he proceeded to Infantry School the Queen of Battle at Fort Benning, Georgia. He then went on to complete Airborne School.




While work is going to prevent me from attending, I apologize for not posting sooner that Sept.23-26 is SUPPORT THE TROOPS AND THEIR MISSION WEEKEND

There's lots of great stuff going on! (Darn it, I always miss everything! )
And while these are British Troops? Wanted to pass on that Blackfive had a post the other day on how to send messages of support to them 
As for my own 'angels work' ? I spent the other evening writing my weekly letter for the name I get from the Soldiers Angels Letter Writing Team  and then writing cards for the Soldiers Angels Cards Plus Team   I was somewhat intimidated writing one of the cards,lol, as it was going to a Major....yes, I know that Majors need to know that they are appreciated,too....but I am more accustomed to writing to young soldiers about the age of my two sons. I don't mind writing them about all the goofy things that go on in our lives, but I guess when I saw 'Major', I felt like I had to try and sound halfway intelligent? (Not sure how well I did with THAT? but the card was written and sent off.)
And then I wrote cards for the two weekly names I get from the Soldiers Angels Wounded TLC team. I discovered to my dismay after I had written the first card that the only cards I had left that would be appropriate to send were...PINK and FLOWERY. (The kind of cards that my sons say with horror "Oh,my gosh, aren't going to send THAT card to a soldier??")  It was too late in the evening and too near time for me to leave for work for me to consider getting any other cards. So, I clung to the hope that 'it's the thought that counts' and completed my flowery missive. (Trying not to imagine the scene that would ensue if one of my sons received such a card and the other one spied it,lol, and the good natured razzing that would take place "oh, that is SUCH a LOVELY card"...and hoping that the soldier who receives it is ALONE when he opens the card, and none of his buddies see it!)
And then I hopped on the Internet afterwards, and received the same sad news that Kat at Yikes! says she received here  
My heart goes out to this family, and particularly to the young widow facing motherhood soon. Please read the article Kat has posted, and if you feel led and are able, there is a link for something you can do to help the young woman at this time.  When I consider the joy we just experienced with the arrival of my grandson, and try to imagine what this family must be going through?....words fail me.
And so I am humbly grateful for the 'privilege of prayer', and the ability to turn this over to the One who can surround the family with His Grace, Strength, and 'peace that passes all understanding."

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Just Checking in....

Taking a quick moment to pass on the word about a new blog for military spouses.......Click here: SpouseBUZZ   

 (that I was alerted to via ,your one-stop-shop for all things to do with milblogs.)

And Soldiers Angels Network has several essays posted about what it's like to support our troops, from a contest they recently had.

I was also surfing through some of the blogs listed on my sidebar,just 'checking in' to see how things were going,and found a humorous comparison of life over 'there' and back 'here' on  Chris's Blog  
I'm sure there's all kinds of things going on in the 'blogosphere' that I've missed,but I was just making a quick stop to say 'hello' (to all 5 ? of my readers,lol, Hi,Mom!) as I had Monday off and am now starting back to a busy week.
Hope everyone's week goes well !   God bless our troops.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sunday Web Surfing

Here's a link to a video I wanted to share, about a totally awesome member of Soldiers Angels

And there are some situations almost too heartbreaking to describe. I've mentioned A Storm in Afghanistan before, and today via ArmyWifeToddlerMom  was alerted to stop by there again. There's a fundraiser being started to help this young mother be with her family, and word is slowly starting to spread on the Internet. Please pause to remember this family in your prayers, give if you can, and please spread the word. (and there is an address to send cards and words of encouragement,if you'd like to do that,also.)
Reading that led me to check in on some of the recovering soldier's sites that I've listed here before, and I discovered there is  a card shower being planned for  Eric Edmundsen  
There's an encouraging update on Kevin Downs here 
And another family that could use encouraging words and prayers is the family of  Ben Hardgrove
We here at my place have already been in 'prayer battle mode' this weekend, as the new grandson spent Friday night in the hospital with an ear infection/respiratory infection. He came home yesterday,and seems to be on the mend, but it sure shook the new parents up,as you can imagine.(Ok, and 'Grandma' was a little nervous,too, the little guy is only 3 weeks old.)
The above pic is from a 2004 visit to family in MN, we went to a beautiful place called Gooseberry Falls.(Yep, I think I've finally run out of Hawaii pics,lol.) It just seemed like a nice,quiet place to sit and reflect on this Sunday, so I wanted to share it.



Thursday, September 14, 2006

ANGELS needed! and other news

Having a sinus infection, and being wrapped up in finishing up my part of the 2,996 project, has made me late in passing any of this on.

The call went out earlier in September, that angels were needed for over 600 Marines,and 200 soldiers, to be 'adopted.' (and if you can't adopt, always remember we have many other teams,you can write letters or send cards....possibilities are endless!) So,please,check out Soldiers Angels and consider getting involved.

And Laurie at Soldiers Angels New York is 'moving'...her blog,that is, you can find the new site here

(and I'll change it in the sidebar.)While I'm mentioning her, she had an update on a fundraiser done by the Patriot Guard Riders of western New York

there are some great pics! and they had a guest speaker I'd have LOVED to have gone to hear,Cpt. Ziegenfuss of From My Position...On the Way! who was also the catalyst for the Valour IT program being started, I had posted about that back in June 
and there's also a link to a nice video about Soldiers Angels projects from her post,the video is here
Click here: Soldiers' Angels New York on Squidoo  (and watching's short!:) generates money for Soldiers Angels...please watch?)
Lastly, one of the 'shining stars' in the troop support community,Kat at Yikes! had a post up to help a friend of hers who's been inspired to do a Halloween card drive  
As always, the thing I like about this card drive is if you don't have time to run out and get some cards,a support note, or whatever, to the email address listed, and it will be printed out and sent. How easy is that!
.Well, need to start my day...thanks for stopping by, and God bless our troops!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

2,996 Tribute Project, Final Thoughts

Well, the 2,996 tribute project is over, and I personally think it was a success...I read many,many tributes over the course of several days, and I think most of them accomplished the original "celebrate the lives of those lost."

And people being so different,I found some very unique lady had written a beautiful poem,incorporating all the information she'd learned about the name she was given to honor. Another tribute used a song. I don't think the 'how' mattered, as much as the 'why'....these were people we would never have known about, had Sept 11 not happened,but we wanted to honor them and let their families and friends know that we HAVEN'T forgotten their losses.

For myself, I immersed myself in research on Jonathan Cappello for weeks, and put together several different rough drafts,but something made me hold off on writing that final draft. I saw this question mulled over on a lot of tributes...should we try to contact the families or friends? Some chose not to,some did. I decided to attempt to contact email addresses I came across on tribute sites, largely because I wanted to always offer the option for the family to say, "We'd prefer that you not do this tribute."And also because I thought that someone who knew 'Jono' should have the opportunity TO post something remembering him...this wasn't about 'me',but about him.

The result of that was that I received a beautiful,heart-wrenching,heart-warming email from his girlfriend to post.And that led me to finally decide what my rough draft would be ...I would just use the words of his family and friends as much as possible. That's the way I came to 'know' him, was through their eyes.

I didn't need to post that all throughout my research,the thought kept wrenching my heart that when he died,'Jono' was only a year older than my oldest son. While I can't begin (and don't want to) imagine losing ANY of my children...since my oldest was so close to his age, I kept thinking of all the promise and possibilities there are in a 23 year old.And how devastating it must be for them that he's gone.

And I didn't need to say that the day I came across the post on a tribute site  saying 'Your new nephew was born."and a picture? I had tears in my eyes, imagining what a bittersweetly joyous moment that must have been for the family.

So,why am I posting that now? Mostly because I want to give an explanation for why two OTHER tributes appeared later on my blog.

As with any large undertaking, and this being the first of it's kind...there were 'glitches'.Blogs come and go, and since people had started signing up back in July, I think it was? by the time Sept.11 came, some blogs had disappeared,or some bloggers had stopped blogging. I know on one blog,the last post I saw was the beginning of Sept.,when the blogger's child was in an accident. So you know it wasn't going to be a priority thought in their head...'hey, I need to get that tribute post up'..when they are in a family crisis of their own.

Late on the night of the 11th, I was only one of many who responded to a call to write some tributes that could not seem to be found,either because of broken links or missing blogs, or some other reason.(Because I did actually come across someone who posted "well, I just decided not to do it after all.")At the time, the main organizers of 2,996 were getting some much needed rest...I think in the beginning of this project, NO ONE had any idea how large it would become,especially when the sign-ups snowballed into an avalanche near the end.

I believe the thinking then was that the 40 or so that were missing was all there was,and there were enough people who had volunteered to write an extra tribute to handle getting those few tributes written in time to be posted for Sept.11? So, I was given two extra names to research, and put a post up for those names.

I'm now not sure if I should have volunteered,only because I felt my research was so much more rushed and hasty, after the way I had done my research on Jonathan Cappello's name.

Yes, learning more about these two other men who were lost on Sept.11 did touch my heart, and I volunteered at the time with I think the same thought that everyone else had..we wanted to make sure that everyone WAS honored.

But I later felt that it was perhaps a disservice to their names,to do it so quickly in one night? And also that it detracted from Jonathan's tribute, and that was never my intent. Misguided or not, my intent was to assisst those whose main concern was that we DID honor the commitment to see that each person was remembered and honored.

Well, you learn as you go. Overall, I was awed and humbled to be part of such a massive,international effort.  And they are talking about making it an annual event. Since 'Never Forget' is one of my personal beliefs, and not just a slogan to me.....Sept.11 changed me just as it did so many others worldwide....I think  I might like to be part of this again.

Even if my research on Gerard Moran and John Salamone was rushed at the time, I did come to know more about two other people that the world lost on that day.And regret and mourn their passing, and pause to hold their family and friends in my prayers.

I have decided that I will leave their names in the sidebar,with the name linking back to each of their tributes.(and I will most likely do more research on each of their names in the days ahead, and add to their tributes.)

Thank you, to Dale for thinking of this idea and thank you, to you and all the others who helped make it happen,so that we could each in our own way "celebrate their lives."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

2,996.I remember...Gerard(Jerry) P. Moran

Petty Officer Second Class Gerard (Jerry) P. Moran,Service dates 1979-1984
Born 1962,Baltimore,MD Died Sept.11,2001 Pentagon

(update 2011: in searching for a lost link in the original post , I was saddened to learn that in March 2011, Jerry Moran's wife Joyce 'Joey' Moran passed away. there is a tribute page posted for both of them here  and a moving tribute from a friend written here . My deepest sympathy to their families and friends, and especially their children ,Shannon and Dane )

From an article in the the day after the attack on the Pentagon.
Gerard MoranGerard Moran, a Navy contractor, was on the job in the newly renovated section of the Pentagon Tuesday. He is among those unaccounted for in the aftermath.

Moran, 39, of Upper Marlboro, is a video-teleconferencing engineer at the Pentagon, said Joyce Moran, his wife of 17 years. He also is an assistant coach for the St. Mary's-Ryken junior varsity softball team and had worked as a lighting technician for such Hollywood films as Enemy of the State, Random Hearts and Contact. He had served in the Navy for five years, where he was a combat photographer.

Joyce Moran said she learned about the attack on the Pentagon while she was checking her e-mail at the Office of Naval Intelligence in Suitland.

"My son called," she said. "I just told him to be patient. No news is good news."

The Morans, who moved to Maryland six years ago, have a daughter, 16, and a son, 14.

Besides coaching at St. Mary's-Ryken, a Catholic private school in Leonardtown, Moran also has coached its power-lifting team.

Gary Padgett, head coach of the softball team, said he had called Moran last week to promote him to assistant coach on the varsity squad. "I'm just praying that they find him," he said. "I didn't find out until this morning, and he's all I've been thinking about all day."

Joyce Moran said her husband is a gourmet cook who enjoys camping and fishing.

"My husband was always a survivor in everything he did," she said. "If there's a way, he will survive."

-- Edward Lee
There's more on the Arlington National cemetary website
Their two children -- Shannon, 16, and Dane, 14 -- are accomplished athletes whose teams their father has coached.
Family and friends describe Moran as a humorist and a humanitarian. When he was not coaching fast-pitch softball, baseball or power lifting, Moran's wife said, he could be found in the kitchen whipping up gourmet meals and experimenting with recipes from his many cookbooks. Some of his favorite ones are for coconut pork, chicken cordon bleu and prime rib.
He also enjoys relaxing at home with his family and trout fishing with brother Kevin.
Kevin Moran's daughter was in one of the World Trade Center towers when it was hit on Tuesday. She escaped before it collapsed.
-- Tracey A. Reeves
I found tributes that said such things as.....
and I also discovered he was nicknamed "Elvis".
"I met Gerry on my first day working at the Pentagon and he greeted me with his huge smile, hearty laugh and typical "newbie" speech..."don't touch my stuff". Gerry was a great person who loved his family so much. Elvis, we miss you and always will. "
And this comment was left on another memorial website for Mr. Moran on Sept.10,2006.
"It was truly a pleasure to have met you long ago. A good father and husband, you were admired by many. "
What a wonderful way for him to be remembered after all these years!
Mr.Moran, I continue to hold your family and friends in my prayers. Learning a little about your life through the 2,996 Project
has made me decide that when the Pentagon Memorial is completed? I would like to one day visit, and find the part of the memorial dedicated to you.
Update: December 2008
Yesterday, I was able to visit your bench at the Pentagon Memorial.

I said a prayer for you and your family there, and was thankful that I had a quiet and peaceful place to stop and remember you.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

2,996. I remember...Jonathan Neff Cappello

(From the CNN Sept 11 Memorial page)
Name: Jonathan N. Cappello
Age: 23
Residence: Garden City, NY, United States
Occupation: Cantor Fitzgerald
Location: World Trade Center, Tower 1, 105th floor
Who was Jonathan Cappello? I was privileged to receive this remembrance of him from his girlfriend,Dana.

What can I say about Jono that hasn’t been said…. I feel in love with him from the moment I met him.  I know we were young, but his first words to me were “My father told my mother and now I’m telling you, I’m going to marry you”


That was Jono, he knew what he wanted and he went after it.  I feel like the moment I accepted he was gone, my world collapsed.  It’s so funny how 24 hours can change your life forever.  11PM on September 10th I was saying goodnight and I love you to my future.  I never spoke to him again. 


Jono was the most amazing person I knew.  I know people say that when someone dies they become immortal, they never did any wrong and they were ‘angelic’ all the time.  Jono was no saint, but he was my savior.  He has the most wonderful family, which made everyone feel as if they were part of it.    Jono, truly had this presence about him which made him stand out from the crowd.  If you were sad, he lifted your spirits; if you were angry he instantly put you in a better mood.  He never wanted anyone he loved even people he didn’t even know want to feel one ounce of pain.  For many months after 9/11 I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t feel.  I was numb.  He carried me out of those times, he put a smile back on my face and made me realize that life is short.  The only thing that matters is what you do here and now, not 10 years down the road. No one is going to care about or remember the list of financial accomplishments you have under your belt.  It’s how you treat people now; the good, the bad, the rich, the poor, the handicapped, the deformed.

I know that Jono is also shining down on our troops and doing everything in his power to help protect them.  He always said that he would without question fight for our country and he always thought New York City was the greatest place in the world.


I love him now as much as the day I met him.  He owns a part of my heart and will continue to watch out for his family, my family and myself.   

 He will remain forever young.


If you're wondering why he was called 'Jono"? From, in this account of his memorial service, his personality seems to shine through in his family's words.


Jonathan Neff Cappello
On His Birthday, Family Says Goodbye

September 27, 2001

For the Cappello family, Sept. 29 always has been a day of celebration, the day its youngest member, Jonathan Neff Cappello, was born.

This year, it is also the day his family will bid him a final goodbye, but there is no remorse, said his mother, Claudia.

"I truly believe he is telling me, 'I began my life, and I'm ending this part of life ,'" said Claudia Cappello. "I feel wonderful and blessed. It was a privilege to have been his parent."

While some continue to hold out hope, Claudia and Robert Cappello decided last week to hold a memorial service for their son who was lost in the World Trade Center attack.

Jonathan Cappello, 23, had just started training on the international bond desk at Cantor Fitzgerald after traveling the country in a Winne- bago and doing carpentry work.

Cappello, a graduate of Fairfield University in Connecticut, was a paradox, said his father, Robert Cappello. "Jon was as tough as they come, but as gentle and caring as they come," he said, describing his son as Frank Sinatra in a world of Vic Damones.

Earning the nickname "Jono" as a child - from his parents constantly screaming "Jon, no!" in response to his childhood mischief - Jon, said the Cappellos, was certainly no angel.

But the child who once lacquered the bathroom with red nail polish in anger, was the same child who always chose his handicapped neighbor first for the team in ball games and made sure a blind student sitting next to him in school always knew what was written on the blackboard.

He grew into a man who once gave a shoeless vagabond his brand new gym shoes and regularly took food from his mother's cabinet to give to the homeless.

"Jon found worth in everybody," said Claudia Cappello. The youngest of her three sons, Jon, she said, "had wisdom beyond his years."

From an early age, Jon had a remarkable understanding of life and spirituality. He carried a poem about God's love in his wallet since he was 12, told his mother long ago that he was not afraid to die, because when it's time to go, it's time to go, and kept every note she ever wrote to him wedged between the pages of his first Communion Bible.

"He didn't just drink at life, he gulped it down," said his close friend, Catherine Kelleher, in a letter to the Cappello family.

Jon Cappello sang off-key at the top of his lungs, loved all sports (but hated the Yankees) and found joy in music ranging from rock, to blues, to his favorite, Frank Sinatra.

He was "a Peter Pan who refused to grow up, yet would surprise you with his maturity," Kelleher wrote.

Jon charmed adults and children alike, leaving an impression on everyone he met. In the days since the tragedy, his parents have hosted a cornucopia of friends, co-workers and complete strangers who all want to share how Jon touched their lives.

"When Jon said, 'I love you,' he screamed it," Claudia Cappello said. "He wanted so much out of life, I don't know why. Maybe he just knew."

The Cappello Family has established the Jonathan Neff Cappello Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 7659, Garden City, N.Y. 11530, to provide financial assistance to a Garden City resident planning to attend Fairfield University.--Nedra Rhone(Newsday)


I found tributes on the web to him from someone who had known him long ago and had lost touch with him

Thursday, September 13, 2001
Jonathan Cappello was actually a friend of mine for years. We started out at St. Joes together, and both moved to Stratford Elementary at the same time...I vividly remember playing with He-man, GI Joe, and WWF Figures in his house and Back Yard. He was Usually "Rowdy Rowdy Piper" and I was "Andre the Giant." He and his Family took me out to dinner when we moved to London because he was going to miss me a whole lot. I ate Spaghetti and he told me the Joke about the polish guy and the kid with no ear lobes that evening. He was a really nice guy to me when I moved back. We were never good friends again but we had some classes together and I remember lots of laughs. He was in My 12th grade Calc Class. I saw him Christmas 99 at a Bar In GC...He And I talked about how we had nothing to do after graduation and eventually wished each other luck. I intended the Luck to be of the good Variety. This news is very sad to me and makes this hellish event all the more real. Jon has been missing since the Attack on the WTC and is presumed dead.
Wednesday, September 11, 2002
I would like to take a moment to remember my old friend Jonathan Cappello who died on this day last year. He was not my brother, or my son, he was my best friend in 4th grade and I had almost completely lost touch with him. I was so relieved to hear that everyone in my family was alive that day...that, was difficult information to obtain from way down here in NC, but when Jono's name was casually mentioned amongst some others in a foward from my sister I was shocked. I guess I justed wanted to say that I still think about him and to let his family and close friends that I still hold on to my childhood memories.
And a tribute from someone who had never met him
Good news is though, I have found something really worthwhile to post. Its somber if you miss the real meaning, which is to have a great time - JONO Style. Now, while many of you don't know who Johnathan was, your in luck - he was unknown to me till I met his family and close friends.

So you probably thinking just getting to the point Krackhead. Well, the point is John died three years ago in NYC along with many other people. Fortunately, Jono's family keeps his spirit alive and circulating by staying true to the kid. They gave out baseball hats - an article of clothing that John (Or me for that matter) always wore at a previous fundraiser. They talk about him and it makes me wish I knew him only to see if I was cool enough to hang out with him.
And his family and friends return year after year to post on his tribute site on
I came away from all my research wishing that I,too,could have known him. I am extremely grateful that I received his name to honor for the  2,996 tribute . I now will especially hold in my heart on Sept.11 someone I would otherwise have never known about or met, but whose joy for life and love for others still resounds down the years as his legacy.
This was part of the 2,996 tribute project, if you would like to see other tributes, you can click on the link here
UPDATE  September 11, 2007
Jono, I can't think of this day now, without thinking of you. Researching and learning about the life of someone I never met has continued to touch my heart. I spent the past year receiving notifications whenever someone signed your guestbook
and it both saddens me, and yet warms my heart for you, to see the very many people who still love,miss, and remember you . Dana said you touched so many lives, and that continues to be true,even of people who never met you.
I finally found a picture of the plaque that has your name, at the
 Garden City High School Arboretum  (number 23 on the map)

and I like to think that seeing that plaque by the Kashmiri Cypress

will lead future students to ask "Who was Jono?" in the years to come, and hear your story.

I continue to hold your family and friends, and especially Dana,who loved and continues to love you so much, in my prayers.


Tag  Tag  Tag Tag

Friday, September 8, 2006

2,996. I remember....John Patrick Salamone

 John P. Salamone,37,from North Caldwell,NJ who,sadly,was yet another of the many Cantor Fitzgerald employees lost at the World Trade Center,was a great family man and athlete.

From his site, come these remembrances
John Patrick Salamone
World Trade Center

Scoring One for Dad
The death of John P. Salamone is hard for his wife and worse for his children. He had three: Alex, 6, Aidan, 4, and Anna 3. "They have their good days and bad days," said his wife, Mary Ellen. "Halloween was awful. John did the trick-or- treating. They missed him. Alex told his teacher that mom tried to make it a happy day for him but he couldn't help but be sad. He missed his dad."

So their mother took them to the hockey game like their father used to do -- she thought that would be nice. Then the boys had to go to the bathroom. They just looked at her. "It was like, 'What do we do now?' "

Mr. Salamone, 37, brokered preferred stocks for Cantor Fitzgerald. "He actually loved his job, loved the guys he worked with. But he didn't love anything more than his kids," she said.

He coached the boys soccer team in West Essex, N.J., as well. And it was hard for the boys to look on the sideline and not see their father there. The league shut down for two weeks in honor of his memory. When play resumed, Alex scored the first goal.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 5, 2001.

John Salamone, 37, a song and a danceEach day when he walked in the front door of his North Caldwell home, John Salamone would call out to his 3-year-old daughter, Anna. "Prince Charming is home!"

Anna, the youngest of three, loves playing the role of Cinderella, and her father liked to indulge her fantasies. A playful Mr. Salamone would sing and dance with her around the room.

"He could make my kids smile and laugh like nobody else," said his wife of 10 years, Mary Ellen Salamone. "They just waited for him to come home and play with them. He left business at work."

Mr. Salamone, 37, a preferred stock broker with Cantor Fitzgerald, is among the missing since Sept. 11, when a hijacked aircraft crashed into the World Trade Center. He worked on the 104th floor of Tower One.

Mary Ellen Salamone was not able to speak to her husband the day of the terrorist attacks, but knew that he had tried to call home after reviewing her cell phone bill. The call never went through.

More than 1,000 people came to pay their respects to Mr. Salamone at a Memorial Mass at St. Aloysius Church in Caldwell. The large turnout was a testament to his character, Mary Ellen Salamone said.

"What everybody says about him is that he had an amazing sense of humor. In any situation, he would find the lighter side of it and make you laugh about it," she said.

Sports was a big part of Mr. Salamone's life. He would take his sons -- Alexander, 6, and Aidan, 4 -- to play golf on Sundays at the Essex Fells Country Club, where he was a member. He played soccer in high school and college and, most recently, in town. Mr. Salamone coached his son's Little League team.

He grew up in Fairfield, graduating from West Essex Regional High School. He earned a business administration degree from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, then later graduated with a master's in business administration from Fordham University.

He previously worked at Quick & Reilly in New York, joining Cantor Fitzgerald in 1998.

Mr. Salamone enjoyed nothing so much as spending time with his children, his wife said.

"He would chase after them, catch and tickle them," she said. "He did everything with them -- take them to the park all the time, taught them how to ride their bikes."

In addition to his wife and children, Mr. Salamone is survived by his mother, Madeline Reed of Lewiston, N.Y.; his father, Benedict Salamone of Whippany; a grandmother, Rose Catalano of Niagara Falls, N.Y.; two brothers, Michael Salamone of North Carolina and Thomas Salamone of Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.; two sisters, Catherine Sauer of Denville and Michelle Cataline of North Carolina; and eight nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions can be made to an educational account set up for Mr. Salamone's children. Donations may be mailed to Credit Suisse/First Boston, Ref: John Salamone Children Accounts, 80 Sherwood Road, Ridgewood, N.J. 07450.
There is much more on him here at the Cantor Fitzgerald Memorial site
And,fittingly for someone who loved sports so much,I found articles about both a soccer tournament at his former university
And a golf event 
And there is a memorial foundation established by his family and friends
that awards scholarships and grants in his memory.
Mr. Salamone, I was pleased to see that your family and friends continue the Memorial Soccer Game in your honor
and that a scholarship continues in your name.
I continue to hold your family and friends in my prayers, and to think of your name on this day, because of the  2,996 Project   enabling me to learn a little more about your life.
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Congratulations,JP! and Tributes

First of all, Congratulations! to JP over at, on reaching 1500 milblogs in the database  
And while D.Challlenger Roe of the 2,996 project has told folks to go ahead and start posting their tributes now (and I'm going to link to a few I came across)
First of all I came across a tribute today to a soldier who died  on November 19,2004 
and I also came across a post by an Australian who is remembering Sept.11 
and another AOL blogger who is getting ready to post her tribute for 2,996, but also has a very nice 'thank you' to our military.  A Friend to the Brokenhearted
There's one gentleman who is having a terrible time trying to find information on the name he received to honor for 2,996, she has been referred to as the 'unknown soldier' of 9/11  
and a fellow Soldiers Angels member who has a post up remembering Sept. 11 overall 
and two folks I came across who have already posted their tributes
I'm continuing work on my own post, I have had a shall we say challenging? week at the job,and I hope to have it up over the weekend.
For the list of the participants in 2,996   Click here: 2,996 » List of Participants  and you can begin reading the tributes that are already being posted.
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Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Random Tuesday Ramblings

While putting together what I wanted to post this evening, I received 6 DOD news releases of casulaties, you can find them listed here 
When I think about the families and friends and fellow soldiers serving with the fallen soldier listed,  it moves me to be in prayer for all of them. And it also greatly saddens me, having sons who are 20 and 22, when the ages of the fallen are so close in age to my own, it's like a knife in your think,for a split second, of what life would be like without one of your own, and dimly imagine what it must be like for the family.
So please, remember all the family and friends of those listed today in your prayers tonight, if you would.(and thank you.)
I've said before, that I never realized one of the side effects of joining Soldiers Angels  and being a 'troop supporter', or of reading milblogs, would be an increase in my prayer life. But it's something that's evolved deeper and deeper as this past year has gone on.
I also never realized, when I became a troop supporter, that I would be surfing by places like the   International War Veteran's Poetry Archives
but because I had the privilege of 'meeting' online a Marine and poet named  Billy Dial , I became aware of places like the poetry archive. And so, after reading of the casualties tonight, I remembered a poem that Billy had written which seems appropriate to share tonight 
It also seems like there has been an increase in the 'blogosphere' lately for prayers for soldiers or their families,so I wanted to pass them on in case you hadn't seen them.
From A Soldier's Perspective, comes a prayer request for one of the contributors to that blog 
And from Kat at Yikes! comes this sad update 
And the news on A Storm in Afghanistan made me weep. 
But,thankfully, it seems that prayers and solace are also available on the web. The Online Chaplain is back posting, after his leave home, and I always feel like visiting his site is like taking a cool drink of water......he always seem to have such comforting words. 
and once again, thanks, to Kat at Yikes! I became aware of a new chaplain who's begun blogging  Click here: Combat Faith
I was actually going to do a kind of lighthearted post tonight in the beginning. I know I stress that you seldom hear back from those you write to, but I have been privileged to receive three pieces of 'free mail' as we call it in Soldiers Angels (since those in the military don't have to use stamps)this past week! One of them was an awesome 'thank you' postcard,from a soldier I had simply sent a post card to.....I am always humbled by people who write a 'thank you' for a post card with a few encouraging words. One was a hilarious thank you from a young soldier who reminded me EXACTLY of one of my sons.
And one was from a soldier who is just finishing her deployment, and who has been a member of Soldiers Angels herself!! How awesome is THAT?!! She wanted to support a fellow soldier during HER deployment  So, "L" here's wishing you safe home soon, and God bless you!
And if you're wondering what kind of difference a letter or care package makes to a soldier? A friend of mine, who by the way started a blog precisely because she wanted to participate in the 2,996 tribute 
sent me a link to a article awhile back that tells you exactly what kind of difference it makes.
And there is Good News out there. Once again via A Soldiers Perspective 
comes this link with good news about the troops 
And Willie the S-A International Goodwill Ambassador  in Germany, gives us this link to a 9/11 flag memorial
Lastly, Renee at  Deployed Family Support   has a  Wonderful  Cards Store! 
As for me, I need to go now to do some letter writing myself!  Hope everyone has a good week, and God bless our troops.

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Sunday 'Surfing'

It 's been awhile since I've done a 'surfing' post, but a new grandson in our family and the daily grind of work, and a child still in school, will do that to you, I suppose.

Today's 'surf' picture was actually taken on our 2003 Hawaiian vacation by my sister and brother-in-law , not by me. I may finally be running out of pictures to post,lol.

While I have been surfing the web myself in the past few days, I've bookmarked posts that I wanted to feature here when I finally had a chance to do so. So there's no particular 'theme' to all this, other than 'places you might want to check out."

 I'll begin with Bruce's Deployment to Afghanistan ,because he has his weekly post up, and his pictures are always great! (And not too long ago, Bruce had a picture of Himself featured on  DefenseLINK News Photos ,very cool:)

Keeping it in the AOL/J-Land 'family', Christy has a post up about an opportunity

and Unhappily Ever After, another Aol journaler, has important updates 
And via Willie at S-A International Goodwill Ambassador comes a link to this article in Stars and Stripes, about the brother of a passenger on Flight 93.  Brother of Flight 93 Passenger Collects Flags,Thanks Troops
A fellow Soldiers Angels member has a powerful post up about prayers for the troops  "Standing Outside the Fire...a prayer request for the troops" which is long...but worth the read.
Kat at Yikes! who is now ALSO a fellow Soldiers Angels member has a request up for prayers,too. 
And Half A World Away, after his post about a retired wrestler who visited the troops, has a post about a loss their unit has suffered. You can check them both out here 
(and I'm sure the family, and friends, and fellow soldiers who served with the fallen soldier, would welcome prayers on their behalf,too.)
Half a World Away also directed me to this link, with several pictorials on LSA Anaconda 
I've written a lot of letters to soldiers serving at Anaconda! So this was really cool to see, for me :)  And by the way, has info about the bases in Iraq  Click here: Iraq Facilities
Bear Creek Ledger has an update on the Camp Pendleton 8, which links to a article about them that I was going to pass along. 
Click here: Bear Creek Ledger » Pendleton 8 - NCIS’s use of Psychological Torture  These 8 men and their families are being remembered in our prayers, also.
And lastly, Noble Duty Milblogger Coalition (which used to be just plain 'A Soldiers Perspective")  sent me to two Marine combat artist's pages 
OK, 'Surf's Up!'
God keep watch over, and bless, our troops.