Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Visit to The Wall, and Other Memorials

Last weekend, the boyfriend and I went to DC to visit the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall and the other Memorials. He had never been to the Wall, and as we are planning to go to the  Gathering of Eagles  on March 17, we decided to see the Wall while there are not ralliers and protesters around.

The Wall visit was sobering and somber, as it always is for me, and he was also touched by it. We took some pictures, posted above. We also visited the Korean War Memorial, and the World War II memorial.

While walking from the Korean War memorial to the World War II Memorial, we passed a small memorial that you could barely see from the walkway. When we decided to check it out, we walked on a dilapidated pathway towards a white structure that was covered with black,sooty dirt.

I had tears in my eyes before we even got to the structure, because I could read across the top something about "World War"...with no number after it....and I said "This is so sad, they built this Memorial thinking there would be no more wars like that one, this Must be a World War I memorial."

We found out that is indeed a World War I memorial, built to honor the fallen from the District of Columbia in that war.

By this time, I was also openly crying, saying "This is so Wrong, this memorial should not be this dilapidated!" and also, "I never knew this was here before, how could I have visited here so many times and missed this?"  While I wept, I told Tony that I had memories of reading a letter written by I believe one of my grandfather's older brothers or cousins? who had flown the open cockpit biplanes in WW I.  That letter has been lost to the mists of time, and anyone I could ask about it is now gone, but I just remember him writing about the beauty of the skies when they flew, and how much he loved flying.

I dried my eyes as we prepared to leave and made a promise to myself to look up whatever I could find about this memorial when I got home. What still upsets me enormously is, if we allow the memorials to those who have fallen in a war to become dilapidated and in need of repairs, are we not dishonoring the memory of those who served and gave their all?

In my research, I found out more about this memorial, and I share those links here  Click here: World War I Memorial - Washington D.C. Attractions

I found out I was not the first person to be concerned about it's dilapidated state.   Click here: DCPL: Most Endangered Places - DC World War I Memorial
and I found an NPR show done about it.  Click here: NPR : Washington's World War I Memorial
We walked on towards the World War II memorial Click here: National WWII Memorial  and just happened to enter on the side commerorating the Pacific part of the conflict, which seemed appropriate, considering my Grandfather's service in WW II .
We were privileged to walk up upon a conversation between a National Park Service employee who was just getting ready to give a lecture about the battle for Iwo Jima, and a gentleman who had served in the War flying B52 bombers, and seen action at Iwo.That gentleman remained while the lecture was given, and the Park Service employee several times asked him for input or clarification.
Afterwards, Tony approached him and shook his hand, and told him what an honor it had been for him to be present there with us, and also thanked him for his service.
The only other things I wanted to mention about our trip was that we of course took another picture of the memorial for the Nurses who served in Vietnam, which holds a special place in my heart because of my aunt's service
and that we asked a Park Service employee several questions about what to expect on March 17, and based on her replies, she still had No knowledge of the Gathering of Eagles but all her answers referred to the antiwar rally being held that day.
So please, Help Get The Word Out! 
What: Gathering of Eagles

When: March 17th, 2007
0700-1600 (7 AM to 4 PM)

Where: The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall, Washington D.C.

Why: To stand silent guard over our nation's memorials, in honor of our fallen, and in solidarity with our armed forces in harm's way today. Read our mission statement.


(The post below is part of the Wednesday Hero blogroll. There is more on the blogroll at the end of the post.)

This Weeks Soldier Was Requested By Echo9er


Sgt. Maj. Brent Jurgersen
Sgt. Maj. Brent "The Rock" Jurgersen Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 4th
U.S. Cavalry, 1st Infantry Division
 Active Duty
Not even two near-death encounters deterred Sgt. Maj. Brent Jurgerson's passion and eagerness to serve his country and lead his troops back home. Jurgersen celebrated his second "alive day" anniversary January 26, 2007.
It was a day of mixed emotions for him because on that same day two years ago he was given a second chance to live. It was a day that changed his life forever.
While on patrol in Ad Dyuliah, Iraq, two rocket-propelled grenades struck his Humvee. The explosion killed his gunner and left Jurgersen fighting for his life, flat-lining twice on the operating table in Balad.
 Afterwards, during a promotion ceremony in August of 2006, Jurgersen was selected for a command sergeant major appointment. Becoming the first full limb amputee student to attend the academy. You can read the rest of Sgt. Maj. Jurgersen's story here.

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

 We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived


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


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Godspeed,Army Spc. Ethan Biggers

For an update on the soldier previously mentioned  here  , I went by the CaringBridge site today and learned that Army Spc. Ethan Biggers passed away yesterday.

The CaringBridge link is here  

and for the news story that is mentioned, I found links (free registration may be required)
and a link to a photo gallery 
A guestbook for condolences is here 
Please keep the family and friends in your prayers.

Friday, February 23, 2007

PGR Mission for Lance Cpl. Daniel T. Morris~Mission Complete

Yesterday, Thursday Feb.22,2007, Tony and I had the privilege of standing with the Patriot Guard Riders to honor an area fallen Marine, Lance Cpl. Daniel T. Morris.

This was the first funeral mission we have been able to attend, and it touched particularly close to home for both of us as Tony's son, who is now at Army Basic Training, is the same age as the fallen Marine that we were honoring. Our hearts ached for the family and friends, and it was wrenching for us after we arrived at the church, to see so very,very many bright and fresh-faced young people coming to show their respect for their friend who is gone now at such an early age.

We had to leave right after the funeral, as I had to work yesterday afternoon, and when I came home from work last night, I felt I was too tired to compose my thoughts coherently to post anything about this.

This morning, as I gather my thoughts to post about this very touching and moving experience, I am continuing to send up prayers for the family and friends of this fallen hero, and hope many others are doing the same.

Standing yesterday in the blustering wind and holding the flag of our country in honor of a young man who gave his life in service to our country, a young man I never had the privilege to meet in life but who is remembered with such love and affection and respect by those who knew him: I think I gained a deeper understanding of what respect and honor and love for our country mean. And for that, I humbly thank the family of Lance Cpl. Daniel Morris, who invited the Patriot Guard Riders to attend.

The memories of yesterday are......the solemnity of the first military funeral I have ever attended, the salutes of the veterans for their fallen comrade, the haunting bagpipe notes of The Marines Hymn and Amazing Grace, the stark sound of the 21 gun salute,

and the sound of Taps from the bugler, echoing across the rolling hills around an old brick church on a back road in the heart of small town America.

While I knew there would be moments that would bring tears to my eyes yesterday, what caught me completely unguarded were the people who stopped to thank those of us from the PGR for attending. I never expected or anticipated any thanks, and it was extraordinarily humbling to have several people in the midst of grieving take a moment to say 'Thank You' to us as they passed by.

As we stood holding our flags next to the walkway, the headstone across from us caught mine and Tony's eyes at the same time......the headstone of another soldier buried in this small cemetary, with the words 

 "2D Lieutenant, 317 Artillery, World War I ".

My heart sighed for a moment, thinking to myself "How long we have been burying those who served our country over the years"...and then it came to me that it was somehow fitting, that his family was laying this young hero to rest in the company of other heroes from other wars, on a hillside close to the home and family that he loved and wanted to protect by serving.

So,rest in peace, Lance Cpl. Daniel T. Morris, you served faithfully and well. My heartfelt thanks that you chose to serve.

Praying today that your family and friends will continue to be surrounded with comfort, strength, and peace in the days ahead.


The many links that I found today from area news organizations and bloggers:

 A Gallery of Pictures from the Funeral from the Staunton News-Leader

Marines Memory Shines Bright As Family Mourns

Semper Fidelis

Funeral for Fallen Marine

Click here: SWAC Girl: Lance Cpl Daniel Morris ... A community honors a local fallen hero

Click here: SWAC Girl: Lance Cpl Daniel Morris ... A community wraps its arms around a fallen hero's family

Click here: Hillary Haaawww!!!! Hillary Haaawww!!!! - Spank Zone - God, Country, Corps

Click here: The Journal of Civilized Man: The Fallen Hero: LnCpl. Daniel T. Morris

God rest the soul of this fallen Hero, and all our Fallen.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Gathering of Eagles Press Conference Today

When: 9:30 a.m.
Thursday, February 22, 2007

Where: The National Press Club
First Amendment Lounge
529 14th St., NW, 13th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20045

Who: Larry Bailey, Co-Chairman, Gathering of Eagles
Ted Shpak, National Legislative Director, Rolling Thunder
Jeff Roy, National Junior Vice Commander, Military Order of the Purple Heart

Spokesmen for three veterans organizations which are urging their members to rally in Washington, D.C. on March 17, 2007, to protect the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) from antiwar protesters will be holding a press conference at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, February 22, 2007, at the National Press Club to announce their plans to protect The Wall and rally for America’s servicemen and women serving in Iraq.

Word has been spreading like wildfire across the country in the veterans’ community about the plans of an anti-American group to hold an antiwar rally on Saturday, March 17, 2007 at, according to their announcement, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Constitution Gardens.)

The Gathering of Eagles was formed by Vietnam veterans to protect the Vietnam Veterans Memorial from being desecrated as the Capitol was at an antiwar march last month. While there is no way to accurately gauge attendance, it is expected that thousands of veterans, their families and other patriotic Americans will gather that day to protect The Wall and other war memorials. In addition to Rolling Thunder and the Military Order of the Purple Heart, participants in the Gathering of Eagles rally include Move America Forward, which is organizing a cross-country caravan that will bring Gold and Blue Star parents and veterans to the Gathering of Eagles, and

Sources: Click here: Gathering of Eagles » Press Conference Tomorrow

Here is the Mission Statement for Gathering of Eagles:
Our Mission Statement

1. Gathering of Eagles is non-partisan. While each member has his or her own political beliefs, our common love and respect for America and her heroes is what brings us together.

2. We are a non-violent, non-confrontational group. We look to defend, not attack. Our focus is guarding our memorials and their grounds.

3. We believe that the war memorials are sacred ground; as such, we will not allow them to be desecrated, used as props for political statements, or treated with anything less than the solemn and heartfelt respect they–and the heroes they honor–deserve.

4. We are wholly and forever committed to our brothers and sisters in uniform. As veterans, we understand their incredible and noble sacrifices, made of their own accord for a nation they love more than life itself. As family members, we stand by them, and as Americans, we thank God for them.

5. We believe in and would give our lives for the precious freedoms found in our Constitution. We believe that our freedom of speech is one of the greatest things our country espouses, and we absolutely hold that any American citizen has the right to express his or her approval or disapproval with any policy, law, or action of our nation and her government in a peaceful manner as afforded by the laws of our land.

6. However, we are adamantly opposed to the use of violence, vandalism, physical or verbal assaults on our veterans, and the destruction or desecration of our memorials. By defending and honoring these sacred places, we defend and honor those whose blood gave all of us the right to speak as freely as our minds think.

7. We vehemently oppose the notion that it is possible to “support the troops but not the war.” We are opposed to those groups who would claim support for the troops yet engage in behavior that is demeaning and abusive to the men and women who wear our nation’s uniform.

8. We believe in freedom at all costs, including our own lives. We served to protect the freedoms Americans enjoy, and we agree with Thomas Jefferson’s assertion that “From time to time, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

9. We will accept nothing less than total, unqualified victory in the current conflict. Surrender is not an option, nor is defeat.

10. We stand to challenge any group that seeks the destruction of our nation, its founding precepts of liberty and freedom, or those who have given of themselves to secure those things for another generation. We will be silent no more.

And if you go to Gathering of Eagles Homepage
the Event Information is listed on the Sidebar.
Event Information What: Gathering of Eagles

When: March 17th, 2007
Assemble from 0700 and 1000.

Where: The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall, Washington D.C.

Why: To stand silent guard over our nation's memorials, in honor of our fallen, and in solidarity with our armed forces in harm's way today.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A PGR Mission Tomorrow for a Fallen Marine

The boyfriend and I will be attending a Patriot Guard Riders mission tomorrow for a fallen Marine from our area, Lance Cpl. Daniel T. Morris.

February 15, 2006.
The Department of Defense announces the death of:
Lance Cpl. Daniel T. Morris, 19, of Crimora, Va., died Feb. 14 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. Morris was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

There is a story on him in our local paper, the Daily News- Record, here

Area Marine Killed In Iraq by David Reynolds

and I found this listing of his obituary from a local blogger 

This death hits close to home. A coworker of mine had grandchildren who attended school with this Marine.
Rest in peace, Lance Cpl. Daniel T. Morris. Prayers are going up for your family and friends, and we will stand with many others to honor you tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


(This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. There is more about the blogroll at the end of the post.)


Staff Sgt. Kara Opperman
Staff Sgt. Kara Opperman 332nd Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron
Staff Sgt. Kara Opperman performs a quality control check Feb. 13 on fuel coming out of a fill stand at Balad Air Base, Iraq. Sergeant Opperman ensures the fuel is safe and meets Air Force specifications before it is used for aircraft and equipment.

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

 We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

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



Monday, February 19, 2007

Milbloggies,Gathering of Eagles, and More....

Well, there's nothing like waiting till the last minute to post about stuff, but I have had very limited time on the computer since last Thursday....just 'real life' ,lol, getting in the way of 'cyber time'.

The high school production of Oliver! that my daughter was in from Thursday through Sunday was Very well done! :)

And now that I finally have some time to post, I think I'd first better mention the 2007 Milbloggies, over at, for any of you who haven't seen that yet.

Nominations are now Open for the 2006 Milbloggies

This is VERY late, as you'll notice it says....." All nominations must be submitted online through by 5:00 pm EST on February 21, 2007. "

but then on Feb. 22 it will move into the Voting phase

" The top five nominees in each branch and country category will be announced on February 22nd and those nominees will move into the Voting Phase beginning February 22, 2007.  The Voting Phase will close on February February 26, 2007.  Instructions on voting will appear on the website on February 22, 2007. "

So get your nominations in quickly, if you haven't already, and then please be sure to stop by and vote between Feb. 22 and Feb. 26 !

Something else to pass on, (which everyone readingthis has most likely already seen,lol )is about the Gathering of Eagles on March 17.

You can read more about it here 

and then it seems that the official website has moved here 
(although you can still access the message board posted in the first article about it.)
This is something that the boyfriend and I (he's an Army vet) want to attend, although I will have to do some horse-trading with my coworkers to be able to accomplish it.
I do want to pass on that in searching both sites for more specific information about a Time to meet, etc? It seems that the only information posted so far is the date, and more will be posted later.
And although this is Not a Patriot Guard Riders event, there was something posted on the website by the PGR Board of Directors about it. 
I'll keep everyone updated about that as I find out more.
Other things I have been meaning to pass on are that there were several new blogs added to the Wednesday Hero Blogroll  and although I have stopped by and checked out, and like All of them :) I wanted to specifically mention this one 
a fellow member of Soldiers Angels who has a wonderful blog,and some new-to-me  Angels blogs listed in her blogroll that you might want to check out! (and she linked Me,Thank You!:)
Some other Soldiers Angels news  
We at Soldiers Angels are excited to announce many new products.
The New Logo Fleece blanket which is just stunning and the Soldiers Angels Tote Bag is useful as well as good looking. Please come by our Angels Store
I also recently heard from Billy at   HUNTS FOR HEROES  and he sent this great link to a video  
I hope Billy doesn't mind me quoting him, but he ended his email with :
"I surround myself with heroes, and I am proud to stand in their shadows" Billy
and I think the video and his quote says it all.
Along the same lines, Laurie at Soldiers Angels New York  had a post about this
There's a new Pentagon Channel web site
And, lastly, if you check out the
 CaringBridge page for Sgt. Eric Edmundson  (also listed in my sidebar)
his sister posted this on Monday 
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2007 05:52 PM, CST

Dear all,

As I shared in the previous entry, this year has been filled with many experiences. One of the experiences thatwe cherish is the connection we have made with so many brave Service Members and the families supporting them.

I write you today asking you to extend your positive thoughts, prayers, and love to a brave Soldier and his family.

I respectfully ask that no judgment or questions be extended on the family's decisions, but to just let them know that many positive thoughts and prayers for Ethan will be said.

Ethan was seriously wounded on March 5, 2006, and has had his family by his side ever since.

Ethan's story can be viewed at:

Saying a prayer for Ethan,



I'm adding Ethan and his family to my prayers, and ask that you will consider doing the same.

That's all I have to post for now.

God bless our Troops, and their families.



Thursday, February 15, 2007

Happy 21 !to my son :)

Happy 21rst Birthday! to my son, Kyle.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


(Posting this early, as due to severe weather, I may not make it home from work for a few days)
This post is part of the Wednesday Hero blogroll. More on the blogroll at the end of the post below.
Capt. Lyle L. Gordon
Ellicia Stanley & her husband SPC Reid Stanley

I received an email from Wednesday Hero Blogroll member Mary Ann in which she suggested that I profile the spouse of a soldier. Seeing as I'd profiled one such spouse in the past, I though this was the perfect opportunity to do it again. I hadn't read the entire letter before I said yes, but after reading it I'm glad she sent it to me.


I think military families, especially the spouses, while they sign no contract, serve our country just as much as the service member. They give up familiar home ties and relocate all over the country, all over the world. They give up their civilian lives for something bigger than themselves.
Ellicia was a military wife for only two and a half years. Before they married, but after 9/11, Reid came to her and told her of his desire to enlist. He wanted to do his part. He tells part of the story in his blog post She encouraged him, pushing him so he could meet his goal of serving his country. He did and took his oath in October 2002.
 By the time they were married in July 2004, Reid was already stationed in Germany. It was 3 months before she could join him there. In a move that, for someone who'd seldom left her hometown in South Carolina, must have come as quite an adjustment. But she did it, as do so many other military wives. Then came deployment to Afghanistan in May 2005. They spent their first anniversary apart. Reid writes about that anniversary in this post
 It was in the sixth month of deployment when Ellicia received the news — she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Devastating. However, in an email to me on the day she received her diagnosis, the phrase she used was, "not stellar news". Understated, calm, steady, no hysteria, it was another challenge to face. I came to admire her because, I too, had been away from home, (not to a foreign country), with a one small child (not three), and my husband traveling (not in a war zone). Knowing what my experience had been like, I was amazed at how she took it all in stride.
Even when faced with a terminal diagnosis, she faced it all with grace, dignity and humor. All the while supporting her husband, the mission and the country. Reid was given compassionate leave back to Germany in November 2005. For the next thirteen months they fought their own personal war with cancer…breast, lung…and finally eleven tumors in her brain.
 In November 2006 the Stanley's took compassionate reassignment back to the U.S. to Ft. Eustis, Virginia. On 31 December 2006, Ellicia lost her battle. But her spirit lives on in her husband, her children, and the many people she inspired with her courage.

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

 We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. 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.




Happy Valentine's Day!

Since it looks like I may be stuck at work for the next few days, due to our weather, figured I'd better post this before I left today.

Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine's Day!!


Monday, February 12, 2007

More Dorky Adventures..

One of the reasons I was so happy to come across  Dorkbloggers  was that I continually have what can only be referred to as 'dorky' experiences:)

In searching for definitions of a dork, the  Online Dictionary  says :

dork \dork\ (d[^o]rk), n.
     1. a person who is stupid, socially inept, or ridiculous;

(I think 'dork' as it applies to me most often falls in the category of 'ridiculous',LOL, although I'm not denying there's perhaps some 'stupidity' in there...and lets not even talk about 'socially inept':)

My two most recent dork experiences are....the boyfriend stopped by the other day  while I was finishing getting ready for work, and because it was about NINE degrees outside that day, he said when he left "I'll start your car so it will warm up."  By the time I finished getting guessed it...I had totally FORGOTTEN that he had done that! So, I spent a good five minutes running around the house, searching frantically for my car keys,before I remembered.

And then came Sunday,lol.

I was home alone, and had decided to go out to our storage shed to get some boxes. While I was IN the storage shed, the door swung shut behind me. This was the Wrong time to find out that the door latches on the outside when it closes, so I couldn't just push the door back open.

I'm in the dark, in the cold ( I did have a light jacket on) with no idea exactly what time my daughter is going to be home. And because it was so cold out, I can't hear Any of my neighbors outside.

So I tell myself 'don't panic' (although panic Does help tend to keep you Warm,at least:)and I search around for something I can possibly use to stick through the door and try and flip the latch.

Found out that the fishing pole my son had left in the shed didn't work (and almost got the hook stuck in my finger.) The golf clubs he had left were too thick to fit through the latch. Just throwing myself against the door hadn't worked.  I finally came up with the idea of sticking the shovel in the bottom part of the door and pushing against it, so I could fit the golf club through the gap and try and hit the latch with the end of it. (I'm not a golfer....possibly I was using a 'driver'? lol)

Hit a glitch for a minute with this idea, when the plastic handle of the shovel decided to break off in the middle of this attempt, but then finally managed to get the golf club through the gap and was waving it around back towards the latch.

And this is the scene my daughter walked up on. A golf club sticking out of the door handle of the shed, waving around in the air. Her comment? "Wow, the storage shed is magical!"

And that's when I yelled "Help! I'm trapped!"

My daughter, while then opening the door, is starting to dissolve into gales of laughter,so hard she can barely talk...although she does keep gasping "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, it's just so funny!" I'm not really appreciating the humorous aspect of this at the time, I'm just Very glad to be out of the shed.  We go into the house, and I call my aunt who had just dropped my daughter off,to say 'good thing you brought April home when you did!" and She starts laughing.

I call the boyfriend, and He starts laughing, and is also saying "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I know it probably doesn't seem that funny to You.....but the mental picture!" My daughter has also begun a second round of laughter while hearing me retell the story. I am surrounded by laughing hyenas. I said to them "This will probably seem funny to me LATER."

I later called my mother who, bless her, managed to keep from laughing for several minutes...but  then she,too, started to chuckle and then to laugh out loud.

I am passing this story on because I have finally come to appreciate some of the humor in it:)

And you know you are addicted to both letter writing to the troops, and blogging, when you first two thoughts after all is said and done are....I can put this story in a letter to a soldier! and then,this will be a great blog post! LOL.

Well, that was My weekend. Hope my Week is better, and hope everyone else has a good week!


Saturday, February 10, 2007

An Angel Has Gone Home: Soldiers Angels says Farewell to 'Aunt Mary'

"It is with great sadness that Soldiers' Angels announces the passing of its dearest and oldest member, Aunt Mary. Mary Irvin Roun was born on April 13, 1905 in Turnersville, NJ and died peacefully in her sleep on February 8,2007."

Aunt Mary was almost 102 years old. Here are some of the tributes to her from other Angels

Please stop by these remembrances, and click on the links to some wonderful pictures and videos in remembrance of Aunt Mary, and please also leave a message for her family and friends.
Our prayers are with them, and God rest the soul of a very special Angel, who is now 'Home'.

Friday, February 9, 2007

SHINEDOWN Plays Iraq, and an Update on Kat's New Home

From Toni at Bear Creek Ledger (who got it from The Jawa Report ) here's a SHINEDOWN  video from their trip to Iraq. Very cool:)



Here's the band's homepage Click here: Shinedown Homepage

It was great to see this band supporting our troops!!

 and anyone who knows me knows my musical tastes range from 'old school' to ...just about anything,LOL, from 'bubble gum rock' (thanks to the 15 year old) to rap to metal to country to bluegrass....everything but opera! So,here's a link to one of My favorite Shinedown songs  Click here: Shinedown:Us and Them: 'Save Me'


IN OTHER NEWS, I promised a link when Kat at Yikes! posted more about their new home. Here's the link

And it still just warms my heart to hear about this, it couldn't have happened to nicer folks!!



UPDATE: East Windsor,CT Woman CAN Fly Flag

Per a tip from someone living near that area, here is a link to the latest news story on Teresa Richard and her flag battle with her Condo Association.

And this story has a little more about the support that Teresa Richard has had (and some interesting twists to the story) 

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Tagged Again,LOL. 6 Weird Things/Habits about Myself

I just found out I got 'tagged' in one of the current memes going around, by Indian Chris


The rules are as follows. You blog about six weird things or habits of your own, then tag six friends and make sure you inform them that they have been tagged.

1. I don't like peanut butter

2. I don't like strawberries

3. When I'm by myself in the car, if a song comes on that I like? I play it so loud to sing along that I often miss cell phone calls

4. (related to #3) I cannot carry a tune!

5. I'm addicted to blogging

6. I'm a dork, which leads to episodes in my life like getting the chips display caught on my jeans while walking thru Subways

 hitting the Children's Miracle Network metal donation container while pulling up at a drive thru window,  and

falling down while waving.(have to scroll down for that lovely story)

I have no hopes that anyone I tag will participate,LOL, based on the fact that no one did Last Time I got tagged...but here's my picks anyway

(I had already gotten 'tagged' like this on Yahoo 360, should've known someone would get me on this blog:)

My 6 friends I'm tagging are:

1. Leslie (Yay! She played along! Plus, put up a nice post her deployed cousin sent. Thanks,Leslie:) please click her link.

2. My Sis

3.  Dorkbloggers (LOL, like THAT will be difficult, for a 'dork' to come up with 6 weird things?:)

4.  Maria

5.  Emily

6.  The Wandering Author  (Very nice author I first met through the 2,996 project. And he recently listed me in his blogroll, for which I wanted to say a big Thank You!)UPDATE Yay,he played along,also. Ya never know, with memes,lol. Please click on his link:)

Well, that's all for today.

East Windsor(CT) Woman ordered to Remove U.S. Flag

I got this forwarded from a fellow troop supporter this morning 
Which begins
 "EAST WINDSOR, Conn. -- The American flag flying outside Teresa Richard's condominium is more than a patriotic gesture, it's a link to her son serving in Afghanistan.

So when her condo association told her she'd have to take it down after Labor Day or face a fine, Richard was resolute - the flag was staying up. She's written letters to everyone from the local veterans' group to President Bush......."
I learned something I wasn't aware of

One Hundred Ninth Congress

of the

United States of America


Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday,

the third day of January, two thousand and six

An Act

To ensure that the right of an individual to display the flag of the United States on residential property not be abridged.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the `Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005'.


    For purposes of this Act--

      (1) the term `flag of the United States' has the meaning given the term `flag, standard, colors, or ensign' under section 3 of title 4, UnitedStates Code;

      (2) the terms `condominium association' and `cooperative association' have the meanings given such terms under section 604 of Public Law 96-399 (15 U.S.C. 3603);

      (3) the term `residential real estate management association' has the meaning given such term under section 528 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 528); and

      (4) the term `member'--

        (A) as used with respect to a condominium association, means an owner of a condominium unit (as defined under section 604 of Public Law 96-399 (15 U.S.C. 3603)) within such association;

        (B) as used with respect to a cooperative association, means a cooperative unit owner (as defined under section 604 of Public Law 96-399 (15 U.S.C. 3603)) within such association; and

        (C) as used with respect to a residential real estate management association, means an owner of a residential property within a subdivision, development, or similar area subject to any policy or restriction adopted by such association.


    A condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association may not adopt or enforce any policy, or enter into any agreement, that would restrict or prevent a member of the association from displaying the flag of the United States on residential property within the association with respect to which such member has a separate ownership interest or a right to exclusive possession or use.


    Nothing in this Act shall be considered to permit any display or use that is inconsistent with--

      (1) any provision of chapter 1 of title 4, United States Code, or any rule or custom pertaining to the proper display or use of the flag of the United States (as established pursuant to such chapter or any otherwise applicable provision of law); or

      (2) any reasonable restriction pertaining to the time, place, or manner of displaying the flag of the United States necessary to protect a substantial interest of the condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association.

Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Vice President of the United States and

President of the Senate.

In researching the news story further on the web, I came across Numerous articles and news reports, just a few of which I will post links to here  

And I then found this post over at A Soldiers Perspective 
If you check the comments on White Rose's post there, you'll find that no one seems to be able to find any contact address or email for the Stoughton Ridge Condominium Association in East Windsor, Conn. I did find several listings for a "Mark Kubera",who is listed in the news stories as the complex's property manager, but will not post that info until I am certain it's the correct person. I also found two listings for a "Kevin Carson",president of the Associations Board of Directors, but will not post those,either,until that can be verified.
Teresa Richard has also contacted  the offices of U.S. Rep. John Larson, D-1st District, U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and state Rep. Ted Graziani, D-Ellington.  If you would also like to contact these gentlemen on her behalf? I found these listings 
 John B. Larson

Connecticut-1st, Democrat
1005 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515-0701
Phone: (202) 225-2265

Dodd, Christopher J.- (D - CT) Class III
(202) 224-2823


State Representative
Ted Graziani

Serving the 57th Assembly District
East Windsor & Ellington

At the Capitol:
Legislative Office Building, Room 4041
Hartford, CT 06106-1591
(860) 240-8585

In the District:
14 Punkin Drive
Ellington, CT 06029
(860) 871-6323

Lastly, Warren Wenz of the East Windsor Veterans Commissionis the only one who seems to have stepped up to the plate thus far to support Teresa Richards, by writing a letter on her behalf to the HOA. (See the  Fox News story ) I think Mr. Wenz and that Veterans Commission deserves a big THANK YOU, and their website is here 

My admittedly brief take on this all is that it appears in 2004 the Stoughton Ridge Condo Association adopted rules that seem to be overridden by the 2005 Freedom to Display the American Flag Act? And since they backed down when a previous resident told to remove a flag display told them he was hiring a lawyer, I have a feeling that, particularly with all this adverse publicity, they will back down again?
I will post updates to this when I find out more info/am able to with my work schedule:) but in the meantime, if you wish to post a message of support for Teresa Richard?the best place to do so appears to be in the comments section of this news article 
God bless our troops and their families....particularly this mother who is fighting for the right to display an American flag in support of her son. Please consider joining your voice to her fight.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


(This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. More about the blogroll at the end of the post.)

This Weeks Hero Was Suggested By LeAnn

On May 9th 2004, SFC Lloyd A. Heinrichs Jr was down at the Ocean front in Virginia Beach when a ‘Swimmer in Distress’ call came in to the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Dispatch office about noon.
Myself (Gary Couch, Dive 8), SFC Heinrichs and Petty Officer First Class Scott Weil of the U.S Navy, volunteered to respond the call. There were a total of 3 people in the water that were being pulled out to sea by the current. The temperature of the water was only around 65 degrees Fahrenheit with the air temperature at 78 degrees Fahrenheit. The undertow was very extreme that day with the beach already “Red Flagged” due to the strong currents and excessive waves.
Upon arrival to the scene, SFC Heinrichs and PO1 Weil identified the victims. Without hesitation and with total disregard for their own safety each grabbed a torpedo buoy and entered the water. SFC Heinrichs went for the first victim to the South of 36th Street while PO1 Weil went for the second and third victims, which were hanging on to each other to the North of 36th Street.
As I observed SFC Heinrichs and PO1 Weil, once they were waist deep, the current rapidly pulled them out. SFC Heinrichs made his way to the first victim and started fighting his way back to shore.
Once SFC Heinrichs reached his victim, he calmed her down, making the attempt to head back to shore. Several times SFC Heinrichs and his victim were rolled under by the enormous waves and undertow. His victim was completely exhausted from the ordeal.
Once he reached shallow water, he assisted his victim to shore. The victim was an older heavy-set lady, early forties. The Virginia Beach Fire Department Paramedics placed the victim on a stretcher and the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad took her to Virginia Beach General Hospital. SFC Heinrichs was extremely exhausted and fatigued from the rescue.
 He turned to check on PO1 Weil and notice that PO1 Weil had reached the other two victims, a male in his late twenties and a female in her early forties. PO1 Weil was struggling with his two victims giving a hand and arm signal for ‘Help’. The female was almost passive from near drowning, and the male who had initially swum out to help her was becoming a victim himself.
Without hesitation, SFC Heinrichs picked himself up and ran back into the water to assist PO1 Weil while PO1 Weil did what he could to keep them calm and afloat until help arrived. Once SFC Heinrichs reached PO1 Weil and the other two victims, they were all rolled by several consecutive waves, pinning SFC Heinrichs under the two victims. A few moments later, SFC Heinrichs emerged between the victims with both lanyards of the torpedo buoys wrapped around his neck, gasping for air.
As the situation went from bad to worse, PO1 Weil tried his best to help SFC Heinrichs with untangling the lanyards from his neck while trying to hold his passive victim’s head out of the water. SFC Heinrichs took a deep breath and submerged himself in the attempt to free his neck.
As each wave came over the top of PO1 Weil and the victims, we kept waiting for him to resurface in bated breath not knowing that the lanyards kept tightening around SFC Heinrichs’ neck. While continuous waves were tossing PO1 Weil and the victims, SFC Heinrichs reemerged on the side of the victims. He had been under for over thirty seconds trying to get loose. We began to worry weather or not he was going to come back up. You could hear the heavy sigh of relief from all the EMS personnel on the beach once he resurfaced. He grabbed a hold of the male victim and started for shore. The victims once, on shore, were taken away for medical attention. PO1 Weil and SFC Heinrichs were taken to an ambulance and checked for possible hypothermia and released.

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

 It Is Foolish And Wrong To Mourn The Men Who Died. Rather We Should Thank God That Such Men Lived

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.



Monday, February 5, 2007

A Thank You to Soldiers Angels, and a Request for Prayers

The other day, FBL at Fuzzilicious Thinking posted a Thank You letter to Soldiers Angels that says in part

"First, let me say thank you to all of you in Soldiers' Angels. Your Group are really wonderful and great.

My name is [Mrs.] D and my husband Chief D. We have 2 kids [ages 14 and 12]. My husband and I are both from the Philippines and migrated here in the states some 20 years ago.

My husband was station in USS Frank Cable in Guam just a couple of months when the unfortunate
accident happen in the ship. Him and other sailors (7) were involved in a steam burn due to one of the boiler exploded................................."

(You can read the rest of her post and the letter here)  Click here: Fuzzilicious Thinking: Update on a U.S.S. Frank Cable Sailor

but what I wanted to particularly pass on was at the end of the post, FBL writes:   "From other sources I have learned that Chief D is by far the most seriously injured of those who have survived to this point. The lung damage is "very, very bad." In her reply when I asked if I could publish her note, Mrs D included the following revealing sentence: "I know that at this point I can use all the prayers and support from all of you."

So I wanted to pass on that prayer request to all of you, in hopes that you will join your prayers to the battle,please.

And also at the end of her post, FBL says that if you wish to send an encouraging email to Mrs. D? you can forward it to her and she will pass it on. The link is on her blog  Click here: Fuzzilicious Thinking: Update on a U.S.S. Frank Cable Sailor

And there were others injured  in that accident who could also use your prayers. For the back story, if you haven't seen it, Bubblehead at The Stupid Shall be Punished first posted about the accident here on Dec.1,2006  Click here: The Stupid Shall Be Punished: Steam Leak On Sub Tender USS Frank Cable

and updated here Click here: The Stupid Shall Be Punished: Update On The USS Frank Cable Boiler Accident

and here Click here: The Stupid Shall Be Punished: Quick Updates On MSP And Frank Cable Accidents

What led to this post is that this evening I also came across a post by cdr salamander about the Thank You note Click here: CDR Salamander: One of Arkin's Mercs

in which he reminds everyone that "Remember, it isn't just in direct contact with the enemy that people give their all for their nation. Also remember, through the programs above, you can help - it is just a click away."

And the programs he is referring to are

Soldiers Angels

and Valour IT

So please consider "clicking", and certainly also consider praying...for both Capt D and his family, and the other recovering sailors.

Thank You. And all of the above is why it continues to be an honor and a privilege, to be a small part of Soldiers Angels , and to SUPPORT OUR TROOPS.


Passing on Some GOOD NEWS! :)

What a wonderful surprise this morning, to go over to A Soldier's Perspective, and find out this

CJ Kat's Surprise

February 5th, 2007 by CJ

Our good friend Kat in GA was treated to a surprise today by members of the Patriot Guard Riders, bloggers, Soldiers' Angels, and others who helped her realize a dream - owning a home. An organization called HomeTeam surprised her with a new home today.

(You can read the rest of it here) 

It was really nice, to start the day with such good news about some online friends:) Congratulations! Kat and Jeff!
and Kat hasn't had time to post much about it yet,here's her post  
I'll be sure to pass on her post when she gets it up. What a nice way to start a Monday!!
Hoping everyone has a good week!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

February 3-Four Chaplains Day

One of the many subscriptions I get is William J. Federer's American Minute in my daily inbox. Today's email informed me that today was Four Chaplains Day.

From Wikipedia

The Four Chaplains were four Army chaplains who gave their lives when the USAT Dorchester was hit by a torpedo and sank on February 3, 1943. They helped other soldiers board lifeboats and gave up their life jackets when the supply ran out. 230 men of the 902 aboard survived the attack.

(You can read the rest of the entry here ) 

and then I also found a website for a foundation
I think it's appropriate here to once again place the quote that has recently been on the Wednesday Hero blogroll posts
It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.  George S. Patton,Jr.

(and in checking out Technorati tags about this, I came across the website of a woman whose grandfather was the captain of the ship 

Friday, February 2, 2007

Happy Groundhog Day

Using a picture of the movie that apparently most portrays what it's like to be deployed to Iraq (based on 2 years of milblog reading and letters from the troops) to belatedly say Happy Groundhog Day to you all! ( I slept today,lol, was working night shift this past week.) I'm also Still trying to figure out why this movie was shown on Christmas Eve? is there a Christmas connection that I don't get? or did they just figure no one would be up at 3 am on Christmas Eve(except for the folks like me who were working?)and so there was no need to show a Christmas movie?

Putting questions like that which will never be answered aside, I just have a few odds and ends to post this evening. Things I want to put out there for all 10 to 20 of my readers:)  (and THANK YOU! for stopping by!! As always:)

Firstly, because I subscribe to all sorts of DOD newsletters (and you can do that yourself here )   and also subscribe to the America Supports You newsletter  (and you can subscribe to that at the bottom of the page here)

I wanted to pass on this story 

America Supports You: Top Enlisted Servicemember Gets Milestone Letter

and I also wanted to say that now I have found out that "mail call" works both ways,lol. With the boyfriend's son in Army Basic training now, we are eagerly awaiting the message with his unit's address,so we can start sending notes and cards (although he instructed me before he left 'don't send too many',lol, as he doesn't want to 'stand out') When we got the form letter saying he had arrived and was going through processing,I was as excited as if he had written himself! Mailboxes....they've become such an important part of my life as a Soldiers Angel , and now I have yet another reason to haunt my mailbox and eagerly await the mailperson!

Never Forget

The next thing of interest via the DOD newsletter subscriptions was this

Pentagon Memorial Bench Prototype Unveiled

and then I also received an update from the 

World Trade Center Memorial Foundation

Going back to the subject of 'mail', Kat at Yikes! posts on the success of her Operation: Valentine card drive (and she did this while suffering from pneumonia!) 

If you want to send some Valentine wishes yourself? again, Willie at Soldiers Angels Europe is posting messages to the troops

If you simply want to send encouraging words to a deployed soldier? (who has been extended) Sack over at Half A World Away is posting by email now, and  says here  "Also I can't respond to any comments by email either, but I do have it set up now so I get any new comments emailed to me.  So keep the comments coming!  It always puts a smile on my face to know that someone is reading what I write. " 
So why not go post a comment, and put a smile on his face? :)  
The Online Chaplain (also extended) had a great post the other day 
If you were wondering what happened after the VA Mortgage Blog contest? 
Two new entries on the Blogroll
Click here: The Thunder Run (David and company do a fantastic job,much better than I, of pointing out articles of interest...and he added me to his blogroll recently, which was totally unexpected and MUCH appreciated!! THANK YOU,DAVID!)
Click here: (I had this on the blogroll at one point and didn't realize it had gotten lost in the shuffle somewhere along the way. For excellent writing, you can never go wrong stopping by there.)
(and I have no idea why my fonts and sizes are going all wacky, one of the drawbacks of being 'half a geek', I guess:)
Lastly, yet another book that I want to get!!:)  Click here: Saving Babylon
Speaking of books, also wanted to pass this on,came across it via Cool Blue Blog , who sent me here  Click here: Whatever: A Special Edition of The Ghost Brigades  where it says
"If you're currently serving in Iraq or Afghanistan and would like to receive an electronic edition of The Ghost Brigades to read and (hopefully) enjoy, all you have to do is send an e-mail from your .mil account to and ask for it. As soon as I get your request, I'll send you an .rtf document (about 584kb in size), which you can format as you please for whatever you read things on."
(The posting was back in November, so don't know if this is still going on? But worth passing on, I thought, even this belatedly, in case it is still valid.)
That's all for Groundhog Day, and besides, my daughter is telling me that my 'computer time' is over now, and it's Her turn!! :)
God bless our Troops, and their families.