Friday, September 14, 2007

Odds and Ends

I know that, other than some recurring features (Soldiers Angels Web Surfing, Wednesday Hero) I haven't been doing a whole lot of just basic 'blogging' here lately.

Part of that has been because I've been involved in doing research for the

Soldiers Angels Living Legends Team

I helped out on research for about 21  Fallen Heroes in the past several weeks, and it's definitely true that,as they say  "this is an emotionally strenuous team to be on."  I have at times just felt immersed in sadness, when you read the stories of so many fallen soldiers at once.

Fortunately, there are some awesome team leaders on that team, who never fail to send an encouraging word ,it seems, right when you need it most.  And, even though I made several mistakes along the way as I got started in helping out with this team, I've received nothing but encouragement from other team Members,too. 

While I'm biased,lol, and think that All Angels most definitely 'rock'?  There are some extremely special ladies on the LL Team, for sure.

Anyway, that's what I've been wrapped up in lately.

Plus, I've also had some doctor's appointments, and will be having some minor outpatient surgery in the first part of October.  Nothing serious, but just another thing to add to the calendar of our busy lives.

Which Are going to be busy. Daughter April has been in practices for a musical show that we'll go to see this weekend. We've been going to meetings at the school for her Hawaii trip next spring. I've started going to a Bible study group once a week.

We've heard from our MP that he'll be deploying sometime in November, and Hurray! he will get some leave time to come home before he goes:)

And I guess that's enough 'family stuff' :)  In addition to everything else that's going on, I found time to watch the HBO show  "Alive Day"

Click here: HBO: Alive Day: The Film

and I highly recommend that you take the time to see it.  The wounded veterans that they interviewed for this film are amazing people, and their stories are incredibly sad,yet also inspiring. 

Some of the names of the veterans seemed familiar (which means I may have sent cards to them at some point as part of the Soldiers Angels Wounded TLC team )but one person I didn't realize was going to be part of the show was someone who had sent us a note of thanks for cards we had sent to he and his family.

You may remember back when I posted that I had received a handwritten thank you note from a wounded veteran? 

well, to see him on that HBO show, talking (and joking:)..... let's just say that first of all I made  the rest of the family come in and see that this was the man who had sent that very special note, and second of all, I viewed a lot of his interview through tears of joy mixed with sadness. Joy that he had come so far, and sadness for all he had lost. But mostly joy....that someone who wasn't even supposed to be sitting there at All, had come so Very far.


In other news? our area made the National news again, but not for something I think is very commendable.

U.S. Army charges soldier with desertion


If you haven't checked out the  Talking with Heroes blog? Bob Calvert, the host, just got back from a trip to go by and see what they're talking about over there.

(and sadly,Bob's father passed away shortly after he got back, so my condolences to him for his loss.)
Next, I have TWO great updates on the veteran I recently posted about a card shower for  
Josh made it home last Friday, to finish recuperating from his pneumonia there, and his recovery is continuing well!!
and, the Big News looks like he's going to get his iBot!! Hurray!
it's generous people like all of you who made that possible!! So, a big Thank You! to all those who contributed to Josh's fund, and also to World T.E.A.M. Sports
(who,you may remember, sponsored the Face of America Bike Ride.)
The reverberations from that one event (the Face of America Bike Ride) continue. I received an email from Steve Danyluk that it's possible that a Book may come out of his participation in that bike ride.

A Marine, a Reporter and an Unlikely Story Told Together

It was war. For Marine Lt. Col. Steve “Luker” Danyluk and Washington Post reporter Jackie Spinner. The two were in Iraq together in 2004, but their paths never crossed until they got home and rode a bike ride in 2007 with veteran-amputees from Iraq and Afghanistan and their able-bodied supporters. Jackie crashed. Steve left the ride to make sure the comatose reporter, broken but intact, made it to the hospital. Their friendship was solidified. Jackie had already been saved once by the Marines when they rescued her from a kidnapping attempt outside of Abu Ghraib prison in June 2004. The daughter of a Vietnam veteran, she had a special affinity for those who served—without offering a political viewpoint of the war itself--and became known for her “soldier stories” told from the battlefield.

The two have now collaborated on a unique project, showing the photographs taken by Purple Heart recipients themselves when they were deployed in the war zone and their stories. Steve, whose own photographs are on display at the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago, plans to photograph the recipients. Jackie will write a short narrative of each. Together, they will collect the photographs of those who served, putting together a special book whose proceeds will be entirely donated to wounded veteran projects.

A Marine and a reporter.

That is what makes this book unique, unlikely, a friendship between a Devil Dog and a reporter from The Washington Post who spent 13 months in Iraq, embedded sometimes, living with Iraqis for much of the other. Their viewpoints are completely different. One was in uniform on two separate ground combat tours and the other disguised as an Iraqi woman, slipping anonymously through society and yet grateful to be with American soldiers on assignment, a fellow American, an infidel, a target to insurgents because of the passport they shared. Her Iraqi staff called the troops “brothers,” and she felt it, deeply, regardless of any political opinion, able to remain objective and report on the war, wherever it took her.

.........Both of them were deeply affected by their experience in Iraq. Each, in their own way, has spent numerous hours trying to make personal sense of that experience.  Jackie writes. Steve discovered a latent talent for photography. He took more than  2000 photographs while in Iraq. Currently, he has a batch of photos on exhibit at the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago,(  and you can view some others at if interested. 

......Their vision is a coffee table book, "Iraq/Afghanistan through the Eyes of the Wounded". Steve will take a current  black and white head shot or full-body photograph of the veterant; Jackie will write a 300- to 500- word narrative on the troop’s experience in-theater, post theater, homecoming--whatever it is that the veteran most wants to convey. That will be accompanied by four to six pictures that the veteran took himself or herself while deployed. The book would encompass the works of 18 to 24 veterans.

(The authors plan to donate 100 percent of any proceeds they earn from the book to wounded veteran projects).


I am hopeful that this book will come into being. Be sure and click on the links in the article above, to find out more.

And the photo exhibit referred to also has pictures taken by Eric Edmundson , another wounded veteran frequently mentioned in this blog, who has upcoming good news of his own....a "Key Presentation" ceremony on the home being built for he and his family by Homes for Our Troops , on Oct.6. Congratulations! to Eric and family.


For other Independence Fund 'good news' ? Eric Jordan is Aso going to get His iBot!


and John Barnes is just finishing up his CI therapy at UAB, as you can see on his CaringBridge website  here


Well, I obviously need to get over to the Independence Fund Blog and post these updates there, as well!

And I also need to pull together the weekly "Soldiers Angels Web Surfing' feature, I've been monitoring the updates I receive from Google,etc. for that, and there's lots of good stuff going on by and about  Soldiers Angels  that's worth passing on!

so, it either seems to be 'famine or feast' on this blog,lol, as far as my posting.

But, just stopping in to try and catch things up, and to say Thanks! to all those who continue to stop by here and read!






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