Monday, December 15, 2014

Wreaths Across America 2014

On Saturday, Dec.13, my husband and I were privileged to volunteer to help lay wreaths at
 Arlington National Cemetery as part of Wreaths Across America


It was an uplifting, awe-inspiring, and humbling experience. They had estimated 25,000 volunteers, but I think the number of people who showed up exceeded that! Their goal this year was to cover every headstone in the cemetery, and they achieved that goal. It was breathtaking to see the endless rows of the graves of our fallen heroes with the wreaths on them.

The link to my Flickr album of the pictures we took is  HERE  

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Wednesday Hero (On Hiatus)


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Per Chris , the founder of the Wednesday Hero Posts ,
the Wednesday Hero posts will be on hiatus for awhile.

I thank Chris for the many years of Wednesday Hero posts, and look forward to their return!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday Hero


Cpt. Nathan J. Nylander
Cpt. Nathan J. Nylander
 35 years old fromHockley, Texas
 438th Expeditionary Wing 
 Jan. 23, 1976 - Apr. 27, 2011 
  U.S. Air Force

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Army Award) (Posthumously) to Captain Nathan J. Nylander, United States Air Force, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in connection with ground combat operations as an Advisor, NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan/438th Air Expeditionary Wing, NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan and Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM on 27 April 2011.

 On the morning of 27 April, an assailant opened fire upon United States personnel shooting seven U.S. Air Force Airmen and one American civilian contractor. Despite an extremely uncertain tactical situation, and with disregard for his own safety, Captain Nylander went to the Air Command and Control Center (ACCC), Afghan Air Force (AAF) Headquarters in response to the shooting. He responded when the gunman began shooting as he was with four other Airmen and eight Afghan personnel in a conference room adjoining the ACCC. Captain Nylander could have exited the building to safety, but chose instead to return and assist his fellow Airmen. Captain Nylander then engaged the gunman, wounding the assailant and when he remained on the floor motionless, Captain Nylander approached the other rooms. The gunman arose and went into a room across the hall from the conference room. When the gunman re-emerged into the hallway, Captain Nylander engaged the assailant again and during this exchange of gunfire, Captain Nylander sustained wounds to his left and right thighs. Although seriously wounded and bleeding heavily, he continued to engage the gunman until his weapon jammed. When he attempted to exit the rear entrance of the AAF Headquarters, he was killed by the gunman. Captain Nylander's brave actions degraded the gunman's capability and likely prevented further loss of life, including that of other U.S. personnel who remained in the AAF Headquarters. By his bold initiative, undaunted courage, and complete dedication to duty, Captain Nylander gallantly gave his life for his country and reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan and Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, and the United States Air Force. NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: Captain Nathan J. Nylander, United States Air Force, distinguished himself by gallantry performed with marked distinction as an Advisor and member of the NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan/438th Air Expeditionary Wing, NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan and Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan during OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. On the morning of 27 April 2011, a renegade Afghan Air Force officer entered the Air Command and Control Center (ACCC), Afghan Air Force (AAF) Headquarters and opened fire with a 9-mm. pistol, shooting seven U.S. Air Force Airmen and one American civilian contractor. When the gunman began shooting, Captain Nylander was with four other Airmen and eight Afghan personnel in a conference room adjoining the ACCC. At the sound of the gunshots, he moved toward the door between the AAAC and the conference room. With Captain Bradley and Captain Cheslak providing cover, Captain Nylander evacuated the conference room. After exiting the conference room, he could have continued to safety, but chose instead to return and assist his fellow Airmen. He took up a firing position next to Captain Bradley in the hallway when the gunman emerged from the ACCC. Captain Bradley and Captain Nylander engaged the gunman with their 9-mm. pistols, wounding him at least once and possibly twice. When the gunman remained on the floor and did not move, Captain Bradley made eye contact with Captain Nylander, gave him a signal to withdraw, and then exited the building. Although the tactical situation was extremely uncertain, Captain Nylander chose to remain in the building and did not withdraw. While Captain Nylander was likely in the conference room or ACCC, the gunman got up and went into a room across the hall from the conference room. When the gunman re-emerged into the hallway, Captain Nylander engaged the gunman again with his 9-mm.. During this exchange, Captain Nylander was shot in the left thigh and sustained a grazing wound to his right thigh. Bleeding from his wounds, Captain Nylander began to move toward the rear entrance of the AAF Headquarters. Although seriously wounded and bleeding heavily, Captain Nylander continued to engage the gunman until his 9-mm. jammed. He cleared two rounds from his weapon and the final round was found jammed in the chamber. When Captain Nylander attempted to exit the rear entrance of the AAF Headquarters, he was killed by the gunman. Of his own volition, Captain Nylander chose to return to an extremely dangerous and unknown tactical situation and engage an attacker who had taken the lives of eight fellow Americans. After an initial exchange of gunfire, Captain Nylander again chose to stay, with the likely intent of aiding the fallen. Captain Nylander's brave actions degraded the gunman's capability and likely prevented further loss of life, including that of other U.S. personnel who remained in the AAF Headquarters. His distinct gallantry while engaged with a hostile attacker, exemplifies loyalty, selfless service, and personal courage. By his bold initiative, undaunted courage, and complete dedication to duty, Captain Nylander gallantly gave his life for his country and reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan and Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, and the United States Air Force.
You can read more  here


 These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so that we may get to enjoy our freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

 Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

 Wounded Warrior Project - Because So Many Have Come Back With Injuries, Seen And Unseen

 This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go  here.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday Hero


This post was suggested by Michael

Col. Frank Kurtz

Col. Frank Kurtz 
 85 years old from Los Angeles, California
 September 9, 1911 - October 31, 1996

  U.S. Air Force 

 Frank Kurtz became interested in flying at age 16, and in 1935 flew an open cockpit plane, setting a speed record flight from Los Angeles to Mexico City to Washington, D.C. and back to Los Angeles. He was Commander of the 463d Bombardment Group (Heavy), 15th Air Force, Celone Airfield, Foggia, Italy and a survivor of the air attack at Clark Field in the Philippines, two days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. In Australia, he salvaged and helped to rebuild a B-17D Flying Fortress bomber using a combination of parts from other wrecked B-17s. During his time in the Air Force was awarded the Croix de Guerre, 3 Silver Stars, 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 3 Air Medals, and 5 Presidential Citations.

You can read more about Col. Kurtz  here and  here


 These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so that we may get to enjoy our freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

 Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

 Wounded Warrior Project - Because So Many Have Come Back With Injuries, Seen And Unseen

 This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go  here.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday Hero


SSgt. Michael Pate

SSgt. Michael Pate
 31 years old from Austin, Texas 
 Civil Affairs Team 611

  U.S. Army

From SSgt. Pate's Silver Star citation:

 The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Staff Sergeant Michael P. Pate, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in connection with military operations against the enemy. Staff Sergeant Pate heroically distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous conduct in the face of the enemy of the United States as Medical Sergeant, Civil Affairs Team 611, Special Operations Task Force-Southeast, Village Stability Platform Shobar, Afghanistan, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. On the afternoon of November 1, 2012, while conducting a routine civil reconnaissance patrol, Sergeant Pates' patrol came under small-arms and automatic weapons fire in an ambush east of the village of Sardar Kala, Afghanistan. The entire patrol was heading east, stretched out over a 400 meter distance and was caught in a freshly plowed farmer's field that gently sloped upward. The only cover or concealment came in the form of ankle high irrigation berms. Sergeant Pate's element 4 was the western most squad and was 175 meters from 2 fortified heavy machine gun positions and at least 6 additional enemy shooters who used a dense orchard village which provided multiple egress routes, and also contained a large number of civilians in the area. The trail man in element 4 also carried the heavy weapon system and was critically wounded when a bullet from the initial burst struck him in the back. The enemy machine-gunners concentrated fire on the element 4 members. Sergeant Pate realized the necessity to immediately neutralize the enemy threat and render aid to his wounded teammate, so he risked his own life to run over 50 meters back toward the enemy fighting positions. While the other members of element four were pinned down and returning fire, Sergeant Pate and his team leader, Captain Jacob Allen, chose to run through heavy and effective fire to their teammates position, and dragged the wounded teammate over 25 meters to the only cover available in the form of a 6 inch retaining berm, while continuing to return fire on the enemy position. Sergeant Pate performed flawlessly under heavy enemy fire, performing surgical interventions without cover or concealment while simultaneously returning effective fire for more than 10 minutes. He remained exposed while hundreds of enemy bullets impacted all around them in order to coordinate with his Joint Terminal Attack Controller for close air support and MEDEVAC, and to update the ground force commander with enemy position information so the other elements could maneuver to, close with, and terminate two enemy fighters. His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself,Army. 

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so that we may get to enjoy our freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero

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

 Wounded Warrior Project - Because So Many Have Come Back With Injuries, Seen And Unseen

 This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go  here.


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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day 2014

Thank you, to all the veterans out there !



and a special Thank You to those veterans in my family

My Dad



                                             My  Aunt Lynn

                                           


and my husband



Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Wednesday Hero


1st. Lt. Loren Hagen

1st. Lt. Loren Hagen
 24 years old from Fargo, North Dakota
 U.S. Army Training Advisory Group
 February 25, 1946 - August 7, 1971

  U.S. Army

From 1st. Lt. Hagen's Medal Of Honor citation: T

he President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to First Lieutenant Loren Douglas Hagen, United States Army (Reserve), for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as the team leader of a small reconnaissance team with the U.S. Army Training Advisory Group, in action against enemy aggressor forces while operating deep within enemy-held territory in the Republic of Vietnam, on 7 August 1971. At approximately 0630 hours on the morning of 7 August 1971 the small team came under a fierce assault by a superior-sized enemy force using heavy small arms, automatic weapons, mortar, and rocket fire. First Lieutenant Hagen immediately began returning small-arms fire upon the attackers and successfully led this team in repelling the first enemy onslaught. He then quickly deployed his men into more strategic defense locations before the enemy struck again in an attempt to overrun and annihilate the beleaguered team's members. First Lieutenant Hagen repeatedly exposed himself to- the enemy fire directed at him as he constantly moved about the team's perimeter, directing fire, rallying the members, and resupplying the team with ammunition, while courageously returning small arms and hand grenade fire in a valorous attempt to repel the advancing enemy force. The courageous actions and expert leadership abilities of First Lieutenant Hagen were a great source of inspiration and instilled confidence in the team members. After observing an enemy rocket make a direct hit on and destroy one of the team's bunkers, First Lieutenant Hagen moved toward the wrecked bunker in search for team members despite the fact that the enemy force now controlled the bunker area. With total disregard for his own personal safety, he crawled through the enemy fire while returning small-arms fire upon the enemy force. Undaunted by the enemy rockets and grenades impacting all around him, First Lieutenant Hagen desperately advanced upon the destroyed bunker until he was fatally wounded by enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire. With complete disregard for his personal safety, First Lieutenant Hagen's courageous gallantry, extraordinary heroism, and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty, at the cost of his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon him and the United States Army.

You can read more about 1st. Lt. Hagen here 

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so that we may get to enjoy our freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

 Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

 Wounded Warrior Project - Because So Many Have Come Back With Injuries, Seen And Unseen

 This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go  here.

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