Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday at the Pentagon

McClatchy Washington Bureau 06/20/2007 : "Here's Lt. Col. Bateman's account of a little-known ceremony that fills the halls of the Army corridor of the Pentagon with cheers, applause and many tears every Friday morning. It first appeared on May 17 on the Web-log of media critic and pundit Eric Alterman at the Media Matters for America Web site."

...These are our men, broken in body they may be, but they are our brothers, and we welcome them home. This parade has gone on, every single Friday, all year long, for more than four years."

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Blue Star Moms with Leslie Family
Grand Valley Blue Star Mothers of Grand Valley waited with the Leslie family and friends and the PGR for Spc Marcus Leslie to arrive.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Photos : Abu Nuwas grand reopening celebration

Photos : Abu Nuwas grand reopening celebration:
"Photos : Abu Nuwas grand reopening celebration By Spc. Courtney E. Marulli, 2nd IBCT, 2nd Inf. Div. Public Affairs Nov 27, 2007 - 1:23:58 PM

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Soldier Welcomed Home -

"Posted on November 27, 2007

by:Keira Bresnahan

It's home sweet home for a Palisade High School graduate whose been fighting on the front lines in Iraq. Emotions were running high as U.S. Army Spc., Marcus Leslie walked off the plane at Grand Junction Regional Airport tonight. He was met with great fan fare from friends and family. Leslie returns home after a 15-month deployment in one of the most dangerous areas of Baghdad. It was a deadly tour, nine troops from his unit died during their stay in Iraq. Leslie graduated from Palisade High in 2004 and immediately enlisted in the army. He will be on leave through the first week of January. "

Spc. Marcus Leslie walks with his comrades after landing Sunday at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Photo Ben Bloker / S&S.

Hewlitt Packard Employees to Help Colorado Families

"America Supports You: Hewlitt Packard Employees to Help Colorado Families American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON, Nov. 27, 2007 – Military families in Colorado whose major breadwinners are deployed to the Middle East are getting help with seasonal yard tasks from an unexpected source.
From raking leaves to hanging Christmas lights, Hewlett Packard Co. employees will pitch and help three military families Nov. 29 through a partnership with the Minnesota-based Project EverGreen Foundation. "The HP employees are going above and beyond," said Den Gardner, executive director of the foundation, which matches volunteers and lawn or landscaping firms with military families in need of outdoor help. "In addition to helping the families clean up their yards, they are helping hang up Christmas lights and even helping one military family paint the walls inside their house." The foundation is a supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and corporations with military personnel and their families serving at home and abroad. "

More...DefenseLink News Article: America Supports You: Hewlitt Packard Employees to Help Colorado Families:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Traditional Holiday Meal Will Replace Field Rations for Many Troops

DefenseLink News Article: Traditional Holiday Meal Will Replace Field Rations for Many Troops: "Traditional Holiday Meal Will Replace Field Rations for Many Troops By Samantha L. Quigley American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2007 – When troops stationed in the Middle East sit down to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, the turkey won’t come in a brown field rations pouch.
Thanks to the efforts of the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia’s efforts, troops stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Dubai and Djibouti will enjoy a traditional holiday meal. “Historically, Thanksgiving dinner is one of the most family-oriented meals that there is,” said Ray Miller, director of subsistence for DSCP, the agency that supplies meals to the military worldwide. “When you are deployed and you’re not with (family), … it’s a taste of home wherever you are.” Hundreds of thousands of troops will dine on turkey, ham, cranberry sauce, assorted pies and more. While this all sounds very “Norman Rockwell” normal, there’s nothing normal about the amount of food needed to feed that many troops. The employees sent 342,382 pounds of turkey alone. More than 15,000 containers of stuffing mix and about 13,000 containers of white potatoes will join nearly 120,000 pounds of shrimp and a combined total of 249,357 pounds of ham and beef, as well. “It would be like 100 tractor-trailers pulling up outside your house to deliver Thanksgiving Dinnerdinner,” Miller said, describing just how much food was sent to the Middle East for the dinner. And at the back of the very last tractor-trailer would be the one thing needed to finish the meal in fine holiday tradition: nearly 163,500 pies. "

Thanksgiving Blessings to all of our troops. God Bless You -- and
Thank You

Wounded Fairfield soldier 'good to go'

"FAIRFIELD -- An Army soldier from Fairfield told his parents Tuesday via the Internet that he will be 'good to go' soon after being wounded in a mortar attack Sunday in Baghdad. Spc. Brock Denis, 23, a 2003 graduate of Lawrence High School, suffered shrapnel wounds to his leg, ankle, chest and head during an attack on his mess hall in the heart of the Iraqi city, his father, Paul Denis, said. 'He's got some of the shrapnel still in him in his chest, his head -- his left forehead, two inches from his eye,' Paul Denis said Tuesday by telephone from the family's home in Fairfield Center. 'He was in the mess hall and three mortars came in; the third one came through the wall and he was standing there. 'He was standing in line waiting for some eggs.' Paul Denis and his wife Kim said they got a telephone call from their son at 5 a.m. Monday. 'Luckily it was him himself who called us,' Paul Denis said. 'The telephone ID said U.S. government -- they don't call you if it's something good. They call you if it's something bad.' Another soldier from a different battalion was also injured in the attack, but Denis' injuries were the most severe, his mother said."

More...Wounded Fairfield soldier 'good to go':

Military Says Bill Sent To Wounded Veteran Was A 'Mistake'

"Military Says Bonus Letter Was A 'Mistake'
Reporting Marty Griffin
MT. LEBANON (KDKA) ― A KDKA investigation is getting national attention and results for a wounded soldier from Mt. Lebanon and perhaps thousands of others. The Army ordered Jordan Fox to return thousands of dollars in bonus money because his injuries prevented him from completing his tour. When in Iraq, Fox survived machine gun battles and a roadside bomb that knocked him unconscious and blinded him in his right eye. The injury forced the military to send him home. A few weeks later, he received a bill from the Department of Defense. He owes the military nearly $3,000 from his original enlistment bonus because he couldn't fulfill his tour." - Military Says Bill Sent To Wounded Veteran Was A 'Mistake':

Monday, November 19, 2007


Click on the link for a Thanksgiving presentation -- and give thanks. Thanksgiving

Friday, November 16, 2007

Artists Create CD to Thank Troops

"By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2007 – Just in time for the holidays, 13 major recording artists have created a musical “Thank You” for the troops. "
“CD for the Troops” will be available for anyone with a valid military identification card to download at no cost from the Army and Air Force Exchange Service Web site,, beginning tomorrow. “We’re thankful to all the artists who have agreed to lend their name and talent to this special CD,” said Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense for internal communications and community liaison. “To have ‘CD for the Troops’ produced and dedicated in special honor to our active-duty military members and veterans is just another demonstration of the support so many people in our nation have for our troops.”

More...DefenseLink News Article: America Supports You: Artists Create CD to Thank Troops:

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Soldiers fighting for U.S. become citizens

"Posted: November 13, 2007 1:00 a.m. Eastern
Matt Sanchez
Editor's note: Reporter Matt Sanchez, currently embedding with military units throughout both Iraq and Afghanistan, has been providing WND readers with a glimpse into the Iraq war most Americans have never seen.
By Matt Sanchez © 2007
Photo : Matt Sanchez
At Airbase Anaconda in Iraq, Brig. Gen. Gregory Couch pondered the irony, 'We're swearing in new American citizens in one of Saddam Hussein's theaters, a place that was accustomed to a different type of spectacle.' For Veteran's Day 2007, 178 U.S. military men and women serving in Iraq became citizens of the country for which they are fighting, the United States. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff made the trip to Iraq's largest airbase to preside over the legalization ceremony of servicemen and women who traced their birthplaces to more than 53 nations scattered around the globe. ...

... One applicant, Army Staff Sgt. Daniel Brownie with 82nd Airborne, 2nd Brigade out of Fort Bragg, N. C., was born in Alberta, Canada. After middle school, high school and now the Army, Daniel has lived in the United States for most of his life.
But how did this Canadian national feel about being in Iraq and serving a country where he did not have the right to vote?
"I support our mission, I signed up for this," said Brownie. "I wanted to be a part of something greater than myself."
It's a little publicized fact many Canadians crossed the border to enlist in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War.
Of course, joining the American military meant the possibility of serving in a combat zone. Why not stay in Canada and join that service?
"I couldn't stand up tall and tell people 'I'm in the Canadian Army,'" he said. "I didn't even know they had an army."
Canadian military action is poorly viewed by a French and English-speaking public that gets nosebleeds just reading about the American military. So, how did Brownie come to have a different opinion about the American military machine?
"I love to be able to say I'm a part of the strongest military in the world."
The staff sergeant actually re-enlisted on the 4th of July this year.
When asked his opinion on the current illegal immigration debate, he was straight-forward. "I work in the Army and I have to go through the system, everyone else should go through the system too."
The general opinion of the men and women who finally arrived at their destination after a long journey is that citizenship is something to be earned.
During the initial press conference before the naturalization ceremony, a reporter from Newsweek asked, "Has there been any evidence of people joining the military just to get citizenship?"
Chertoff and most of the members of the military in the room openly laughed.
"There are far easier ways of doing it," Brig. Gen. Couch said.
He's right. Those who serve and risk their lives for a country not entirely their own have taken a harder test to naturalization than anyone else. Many servicemen killed in action have been posthumously granted citizenship.
"It's a privilege to become an American," said Brownie."

More... WorldNetDaily: Soldiers fighting for U.S. become citizens:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Zak/Xak/Zack's Journal

Zak/Xak/Zack's Journal: "Monday, November 12th, 2007 12:24 pm

C Co. 1/504 PIR

This is to the men who can't shed the sand. This is to the men who know what falling out of a rack at 0330 feels like. This is to the men who remember what it is to fear, and have the strength to put it past themselves. This is to the men who will stand and fight, giving what they can so that American remains Free and Proud. This is for the Specialist from Oklahoma. This is for the Private from New York. This is for the Sergeant from the 173rd who taught me be brave.

God Bless, Soldiers.

Drive On, Devils."

A Pittance of Time - Video

A Pittance of Time - Video

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I am that Woman


I'm the woman standing behind you in line at the grocery store, eyeing the newest Support Our Troops magnet. The look on my face is unworried but my thoughts are miles away on some military base I've never seen.

I'm the woman in the next car with the windows rolled up. The radio is playing "My Wish". But you can't hear it because you're talking to a family member or friend on your cell phone. You see the U.S. Armed Forces sticker on the back window of my car but you don't know that by the end of that song I am fighting back tears and missing my baby boy.

I'm the woman who visits the Air Military One Source web site at odd hours of the day and night to find some kind of comfort for that lost feeling that has been a part of my life everyday since my son left for basic training.

I'm the woman who has fought an inner battle, trying to accept the path that the son I love has chosen.

I am the woman who said a tearful "good-bye" to a boy on his way to join the Army.

I am the woman who knows that her boy is now a man.

I am the woman who spends hours on the Internet learning everything she can about the Military and the life that her son has chosen.

I am the woman who finds herself crying and not really knowing why.

I am the woman who looks at the calendar to see how many days must pass before her son comes home on leave.

I'm the woman who swells with pride every time she sees her son standing tall and proud in his uniform.

I am the woman who cried real tears of pride and joy on the day her son graduated.
I'm the one who spots a US Military sticker, license plate, or flag and feels some sort of connection with its owner, knowing that I'm not alone in this bittersweet situation.

I am the woman who carries her cell phone with her everywhere she goes.

I am the woman who is proud every time that cell phone rings and it is her son taking time out of his new life to say "I love you Mom."

I am the woman who tries her hardest to go about her everyday life.

I am the woman secure in the knowledge that she has raised an awesome son.

I am the woman who has found a new relationship with God.

I am the woman who hates going to bed at night while her son is not in his room but rather in a JSS many miles from home.

I am the woman who tries not to miss her son, the woman who tries not to cry whenever she hears his name or even the mention of a soldier.

I am the woman with a new found love for her country and its flag.

I am the woman who now cries when she hears the National Anthem.

I am the woman that is embarrassed that she didn't "get it" until her son took his oath to serve our country.

I am the woman who wears her Blue Star Mother pin with pride…everyday… because her son is in the United States Armed Forces …everyday.

I am the woman with a small red and white banner with a blue star in the middle of her front window.

I am the woman who never wants to cover the blue star with a gold one.

I am the woman who was terrified when her son was sent off to war.

I am many things.

A mother, A wife, A daughter, A sister, A friend

But now, I am also the proud mother of a United States Soldier.

I did not compose this, nor do I know who did. It arrived as an email forward and had several edits and crossovers. I have cleaned up some of the typos and present it here -- because I am that woman.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

keeping in touch

I was lucky enough this morning to get online with my soldier son. He was using the satellite so the web cam worked a lot better than from his laptop connection. Shortly after talking to him I had to head downtown for the Veterans Day parade. Our newly formed chapter of Blue Star Mothers was in it -- two of us ;) but we had extra help holding the banner and passing out brochures.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Army Achievement Medal

"The Army Achievement Medal (AAM) was established by the Secretary of the Army on 10 April 1981. The AAM is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States, or to any member of the Armed Forces of a friendly foreign nation, who while serving in any capacity with the Army in a noncombat area on or after 1 August 1981, distinguished himself or herself by meritorious service or achievement of a lesser degree than required for award of the Army Commendation Medal.
The AAM will not be awarded to general officers. T
he approval authority for the AAM is LTC and above. Subsequent awards are denoted by bronze and silver oak leaf clusters.
Description: A bronze octagonal medal, 1 1/2 inches in diameter, with one angle at the top centered. On the obverse is a design consisting of the elements of the Department of the Army (DA) plaque and the date '1775' at the bottom. On the reverse, in three lines, are the words 'FOR MILITARY ACHIEVEMENT' above a space for inscription and below there are two slips of laurel.

Decoration, set: NSN 8455-01-127-7338 Decoration, regular: NSN 8455-01-128-2438 Decoration, miniature: NSN 8455-01-128-2439 Ribbon: NSN 8455-01-128-2440 Lapel Button: NSN 8455-01-128-1849"

Our congratulations to SSG Cage and PFC Lundy on earning this

Congratulations also go to all the soldiers recently honored at the
battalion award ceremony and to the 2 new E5s, SGT Packer and SGT McCafferty.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Families prepare for deployment

"11/3/2007 7:33 PM
By: Web Staff
ALBANY, N.Y. -- The New York Army National Guard is preparing to mobilize 1,700 soldiers to Afghanistan, and their families are also preparing. Volunteers and military family support programs held a gathering in Albany to give information, advice, and most of all, support to those whose loved ones who serve in the National Guard.
Family Readiness Groups include the Blue Star Mothers of America, which is made up of parents whose children are either deployed or have served. There are also groups for kids, as they try to deal with their parents being gone. Organizers say the information fair helps bring everyone together.
'A lot of people don't understand what its like to be in a military family. It's a completely different experience,” said Katy Moody, President of Capital Region Chapter 2 NYS Blue Star Mothers of "

More... Capital News 9 24 Hour Local News HEADLINES Families prepare for deployment Families prepare for deployment:

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Paratroopers return home

" By Kevin Maurer Staff writer

About 200 Paratroopers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team returned today from Iraq. The white Continental charter plane landed at Pope Air Force Base about 8:30 a.m. The paratroopers were greeted by cheers from more than 100 family members. The 3rd Brigade left in August 2006 to the Salah ad Din province north of Baghdad.
All four combat brigades in the 82nd Airborne Division have been deployed. The 3rd Brigade troops are the first to start coming home. “This is a surreal feeling,” said Col. Bryan Owens, the brigade’s commander. “Words can’t describe how I feel.”
Owens was joined by brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Bryant Lambert, Lt. Col. Scott Harris, commander, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment and Lt. Col. Viet Luong, commander, 2nd Battalion, 505th."
More... - Current Article Page: