Monday, March 30, 2009

Soldiers Angels Web Surfing


'Surfing' the web for news by, and about,
Soldiers Angels

Soldiers Angels Washington reports Phoenix Chili Cook Off a Great Success!
(great pics)

and there's another Cook Off coming up, Dick's Chili World reports the
1st Soldiers Angels District Cook Off coming up May 9 in Webster,MA (scroll down in the post to find the info about it)

Soldiers Angels Washington Also posts April is the Month of the Military Child

Soldiers Angels of IL is looking ahead to July, and the Save a Pet Poker Run

Soldiers Angels New York shows us some Every Day Heroes

Soldiers Angels Network posts about A very 'sweet' Angel in the news

On the California Repertory blog Cal Rep was this post Up Next: "And the War Came"
which says "Cal Rep at The Armory has partnered with Soldiers' Angels to bring donated items to the families of our troops.
Help us make a difference in their lives.
Bring a donated item to the show and enter for a chance to win a dinner for two at The Starling Diner!"

The Show runs April 24th - May 9th, 2009 and I found this, about the play
According to Lauren Morris, director of marketing for Cal Rep, the production is based on interviews with men and women serving in the Iraq war. CSULB students with Master of Fine Arts degrees and in the theatre and dramatic writing program wrote the script.
"The focus of the stories in the play is not on the Iraq war itself, but on the effects of the war on family members here at home," Morris said.
Joanne Gordon, chair of the theater department, is the play's creator and director. She was inspired to make this production due to Cal Rep's connection with the National Guard at the Armory, she said.

I'm sure you've seen that Soldiers’ Angels is partnering with the acclaimed new documentary
Brothers at War

Miss Ladybug has a very good review of it HERE

and in this story from the California Chronicle Rademacher Gets Hero's Welcome From Native Decatur for Film 'Brothers at War' Angel Gloria Spinner gets a mention:)

That's the 'surf'!
and, if you want More Soldiers Angels news anytime?
check out Soldiers Angels Blogwire at BlogNetNews!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Read a difficult, gut-wrenching, inspiring book on my day off

When Johnny Doesn't Come Marching Home
A Mother’s Story of the Price for Freedom

by Rhonda Winfield

The wife of a Marine told me about this book, and told me she could never read it...she was never able to get past the first few pages.

Rhonda Winfield is the mother of Lance Cpl. Jason C. Redifer, 19, of Stuarts Draft, Va., who was killed Jan. 31,2005, as a result of hostile action in Babil Province, Iraq. The book is his mother's account of the lives of she and her family after Jason's death, and also his life growing up right here in the Shenandoah Valley, not too far from where I live.

It's a short book, 188 pages......but it took me the entire day into the evening to read it. I could only read about a chapter at a time, and then I'd have to put the book down because I couldn't read through my tears any longer......go do some housework, or take a break, and then come back to it.

It was a book that I could NEVER have read while my stepson was deployed. I actually heard about it before Dustin came home, but couldn't bring myself to even look for the book until after he had made it home safely.

Even knowing 'our soldier' was home safe and sound, it was a tough, tough book for me to read. This woman chronicled her family actually Living the nightmare that is always in the back of your mind when you have a loved one deployed.....the thing you never let yourself think about,but it lurks just over your shoulder.

(there were also those who told me it was a book I Shouldn't read, given the fact that Dustin is still serving and could possibly be deployed again during his career......but, if this Mother had the strength and courage to lay bare she and her family's journey of pain and grief? I could at least have the courage to read her words, couldn't I?)

I read it, and it was an amazing book. yes, there's pain, and grief....but there's also hope and inspiration in it. You can't read Jason's story, and not be touched by the depth of the life he lived in only 19 years. You can't read his family's story, and not walk away with awe, at the family's strength and faith and love.

"TheWall That Heals" coming to my town

The Wall That Heals is coming to my city from April 2-5

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

March 25th: National Medal of Honor Day

My thanks to One Marine's View for reminding me that today is the
National Medal of Honor Day


Stars & Stripes has a Guest Column:
National Medal of Honor Day 2009 By Col. Robert Howard (U.S. Army, Retired)

Robert Howard is a Medal of Honor recipient, and you can see more about him on the Congressional Medal of Honor Society website HERE

The main page for the website is

Do you know who the recent Medal of Honor recipients are for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars? If you don't, you can read a bit more about each of them on the CMOHS website:

SFC Paul R. Smith

CPL Jason L. Dunham

Lt. Michael P. Murphy

Master-at-Arms Michael A. Monsoor

PFC Ross A. McGinnis

When we went to the Pearl Harbor Memorial while we were in Hawaii in January, the ticket that I was handed for the tour had the name and picture of a Medal of Honor recipient
Frank C. Flaherty
and I found the post on the CMOHS website about him HERE

While researching a bit more about Ensign Flaherty, I discovered on the Find A Grave Memorial website that "Ensign Flaherty was among the 429 members who were entombed inside the hull(of the USS Oklahoma) until the ship was raised for salvage in 1943. The remains were recovered and buried in mass graves marked "Unknowns" at the National Memorial Center of the Pacific in Honolulu. His name is inscribed in the Courts of the Missing in that cemetery" and "a memorial headstone was placed at the Maple Hill Cemetery in his hometown of Charlotte, Michigan."

When reading about Maple Hill Cemetery while looking for the memorial headstone for Ensign Flaherty? I found yet Another Medal of Honor recipient from that very same cemetery, a Civil War Marine SGT Michael Hudson

Lastly, here's two videos I found over at Great Americans (which is another website you might find worth checking out)

Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients Part 1

Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients Part 2

There have been 3,448 Medal of Honor Recipients. Please remember and honor them, not only today, but every day.

"Freedom is not free."

Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Elena

Chief Master Sergeant Paul Wesley Airey
Chief Master Sergeant Paul Wesley Airey
U.S. Air Force

"Chief Airey was an Airman’s Airman and one of the true pioneers for our service," said Gen. Norton Schwartz, Air Force Chief of Staff. "He was a warrior, an innovator… and a leader with vision well ahead of his time. His legacy lives today in the truly professional enlisted force we have serving our nation… and for that we owe him a debt of gratitude."

Chief Airey was born in Quincy, Mass., on December 13, 1923. At age eighteen, shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December, 7, 1941, Airey quit high school to enlist in the Army Air Forces on November 16, 1942. He later earned his high school equivalency certificate through off-duty study. During World War II he flew as a B-24 radio operator and additional duty aerial gunner. On his 28th mission, then-Technical Sergeant Airey and his fellow crewmen were shot down over Vienna, Austria, captured, and held prisoner by the German air force from July 1944 to May 1945. During his time as a prisoner of war he worked tirelessly to meet the basic needs of fellow prisoners, even through a 90-day forced march.

Chief Airey held the top enlisted from April 3, 1967 to July 31, 1969. During his tenure he worked to change loan establishments charging exorbitant rates outside the air base gates and to improve low retention during the Vietnam Conflict. Chief Airey also led a team that laid the foundation for the Weighted Airman Promotion System, a system that has stood the test of time and which is still in use today. He also advocated for an Air Force-level Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy. His vision became reality when the academy opened in 1973, becoming the capstone in the development of Air Force Senior NCOs. Chief Airey retired August 1, 1970. He continued advocating for Airmen’s rights by serving on the boards of numerous Air Force and enlisted professional military organizations throughout the years. He was a member of the Board of Trustees for the Airmen Memorial Museum, a member of the Air Force Memorial Foundation and the Air University Foundation.

On the north wall of the Air Force Memorial in Washington D.C., Chief Airey’s thoughts on Airmen are immortalized, "When I think of the enlisted force, I see dedication, determination, loyalty and valor." The Air Force Association honored Airey with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

Chief Airey passed away on March 11, 2009 at his home in Panama City, Florida

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. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Wednesday Hero Logo

Monday, March 23, 2009

Godspeed, Sgt. Christopher Abeyta

JP has the story here, on

Honoring a Fallen Soldier, Avid Writer and Military Blogger, Sgt. Christopher P. Abeyta

Please go read.

Update: A blogger from the Nangarhar Provincial Reconstruction Team posts about the loss of Sgt. Christopher Abeyta, and also SSgt Timothy Bowles, , SPC Robert Weinger and SPC Norman Cain. A Year in the Sandbox: IED

and Blackfive posts also, with the address for sending donations in Sgt. Abeyta's memory, for the son and step-daughter of Spc. Cain. Milblogger Down

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Soldiers Angels Web Surfing


My "let's face it, there's no rhyme or reason anymore to when I post this":)
surf of the web for news by, and about
Soldiers Angels

Short 'surf' this week,
remember you can get all the latest Soldiers Angels blog news Anytime at

A couple of blog posts I especially wanted to highlight:

Brat poured her heart into this one, in honor of a Fallen Hero, over at Soldiers Angels New York

Sean Diamond-One of the Chosen Ones

On View from the 8th Floor, there's a post about the film Brothers at War
"Brothers at War"--A 'must-see' documentary

which garnered a comment from one of the film's directors of photography, so she posted a follow-up
More on "Brothers at War"-updated

Angel Tawnya has good news at Insanity isn't the disease, it's the symptom
Some really cool stuff....


Two posts in the news about Soldiers Angels:

From in FL
Returning Soldiers Treated to Cookout & Celebration

and lastly, while Soldiers Angels is NOT a 'dating service'....sometimes, connections just happen,
and this was a nice story to read from The Grand Rapids News via

Class writes soldiers, teacher gets pen pal of her dreams: Air Force sergeant from Grand Rapids

(Editor's note: while we certainly need folks to become 'Angels' to 'adopt' servicemembers? If you are joining with hopes of 'meeting someone', the above story is the Exception, not the norm.)

Well, that's the 'surf'!

(cross-posted, as usual, over at Hooah Wife and Friends .....a way cooler blog than mine,where they graciously let me post the Soldiers Angels Web Surfing:)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Kathi

Kevin Baker
Kevin Baker
U.S. Navy

Kevin George Baker, a disabled Navy veteran, had been riding his hand-propelled bicycle from his hometown through Washington, D.C. and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to Marseilles, Illinois to support a new flag designed to honor fallen members of the military. His trip began at his home on Saturday, March 7 and sadly ended on March 13 when he passed away in his sleep. Baker, who is unable to use his legs due to a neurological impairment, was flying the Honor and Remember Flag from his bike and encouraged people along the way to sign a petition urging Congress to adopt the flag as a new national symbol by passing HR Bill 1034.

You can read the rest of Baker'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. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Wednesday Hero Logo

Friday, March 13, 2009

Godspeed,Kevin Baker

Only yesterday, I posted about the Ride Across America/Ride of Pride

Sadly,today the news is on the Honor and Remember website that Kevin Baker has passed away.

Sadly this morning it was announced that Kevin Baker's journey has ended. He passed away peacefully in his sleep last night as God had other plans for this incredible man. He passionately took hold of things he believed in and pursued life with a courage and strength many of us only dream about. I only wish we could have shaken his hand in his triumph.

Rest in peace,Kevin. My prayers are with your family and friends.

Soldiers Angels Web Surfing


Another 'surf' of the web for news by, and about
Soldiers Angels

Gotta love Bikers:)
Biker Fusion Party Aids Soldiers' Angels

and, for a way to help the Other kind of 'bikers'?(Bicycle Riders)
Soldiers Angels Louisiana says
Make a Banner to Support the Troops

SALA also has a great story and pics here
Soldiers Angels gives Thanks

From the GazetteXtra in Janesville,WI
Heaven Sent:Family packages care through Soldiers Angels

Soldiers Angels Germany posts
The Run4Chance: "Team Semper Fi" runs charity race to support a fallen brother

TheKeyto SuccessResumes blog has
Soldiers’ Angels Helps Set Veterans on New Careers

Lastly,Soldiers Angels Texas posts
Texas Angels Make A Difference For Fallen Soldiers' Family

(and the Fallen Soldier they are referring to was SGT Joshua Ward )

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bye,Dustin,your visit was Too short!

Well, there's nothing like realizing the night before someone who has been here for 20+ days is leaving, that you Haven't Taken Any Pictures!LOL

so, here's the few pictures we fit in just before Dustin left this was great having him home:)

Two More Books to add to my list of 'Books I want to Read"

We watched the HBO Film Taking Chance when it first aired, and it was a very moving film. On the Run4Chance website, I noticed the book

Faces of Freedom Profiles of America's Fallen Heroes: Iraq and Afghanistan edited by Rebecca Pepin

The second book came to my attention the other night while watching The Daily Show (yep,we're Daily Show fans:)

The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier's Education by Craig Mullaney

Speaking of Bike Rides....(and the 2009 Milblog Conference)

Posting about Kevin Baker's ride reminded me of my current dilemma....what to do the weekend of April 25th and 26th? (presuming I can even find someone to work for me,lol, so I can have that weekend off.....)

Because that is the weekend that World T.E.A.M. Sports will be having the
2009 Face of America Bike Ride from Bethesda to Gettysburg

and it's also the weekend of the 2009 Milblogging Conference

In both 2007 and 2008 my daughter and I volunteered through Soldiers Angels at the Face of America bike rides, and we were really looking forward to doing that again this year. I can't say enough about what a great experience volunteering for it has been, the past 2 years.

The only Milblog Conference I've made it to was back in 2007 ,when it was just up the road from me:) and I was really excited when they decided to move the conference back there.

I'm still trying to figure out a way to do two things at once,lol........we'll see what happens, but in the meantime I wanted to mention both of these events again.

Ride Across America Ride of Pride

Hey, have you been following Kevin Baker's journey?
(I'm late on this, sorry!!)

Follow Disabled Gulf Veteran Kevin Baker's 2000 mile
carrying the Honor and Remember Flag
Beginning March 7, 2009

The link is HERE

and here's the main link to the Honor and Remember website

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wednesday Hero

Spc. Brian K. Baker
Spc. Brian K. Baker
27 years old from West Seneca, New York
2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry)
November 07, 2004
U.S. Army

Near his hometown, the flag flew at half-staff outside the East Concord Volunteer Fire Department where Baker had been a junior firefighter. He joined the Army shortly after graduating from Springville-Griffith Institute in 1996 with the goal of making it his career, friends said.

"You might say it was his calling," said Lori Ploetz, a longtime family friend. "He was great at what he did. He was respected by his peers."

Spc. Brian Baker was killed when a vehicle-borne IED detonated near his security patrol in Baghdad. He leaves behind his parents, his wife, Amy, and two daughters who were born after his death.

All Information Was Found On And Copied From

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. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Wednesday Hero Logo

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Wednesday Hero

Sgt. Stephen Howell
Sgt. Stephen Howell

Sgt. Stephen Howell, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band percussionist, races a student at Palisades Elementary School in Pearl City, Hawaii during an 11-event circuit course Feb. 20. More than 20 Marines assisted local park volunteers with manning the different events.

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. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Wednesday Hero Logo

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Soldiers Angels Web Surfing


My "this used to be a weekly feature, but now you just never know when you'll see me post this"(LOL)
"surf" of the web for posts and news by, and about
Soldiers Angels

First up, I guess I've been 'out of the loop' again, as I don't recall passing on these 2 websites....check out soldiers angels oregon good stuff over there, like
Today was that day...

and then, via Bag Blog:SA paintings I was asking myself the question "card contest?" which led me to THIS (a card contest that, of course, never showed up previously in my Google alerts,sigh, and is already ended....) However, now we know that there's a website for
Soldiers Angels Colorado Region Yay:)

For other cool stuff that's out there on the web........

From Soldiers Angels Texas DFW Angels Welcome Troops Home

Via Soldiers Angels Washington Phoenix Chili Cookoff & Music Festival

The Beasley & Wright Family Blog gives us their Soldiers Angels Update

Sarah Way Down South says in part of This Post
Soldiers Angels-Adopt A Soldier "Again, I just want to encourage everyone I know to do this if you can and if you can't, there are some other ways to contribute. I adopted my soldier, last week, and got his package in the mail, today! It's not terribly expensive and it would be a great project if you're a teacher, Sunday School teacher, or even a mom or dad and want to get your kids involved! We owe these guys and girls so much, it's the least we can do, right?"
Bless you, Sarah!! and Welcome to Soldiers Angels!

and another new Angel at Balance My Chaos has a Great first letter to her newly-adopted soldier Letter to a soldier
Welcome! also, to Kim, and "Happy Angeling" :)

Lastly, from AFGHANISTANSHRUGGED.COM get a cool shirt and also help support Soldiers Angels Vampire ETT wants YOU!

And remember, you can always look for Soldiers Angels news at
Soldiers Angels Blogwire on

That's the 'surf'!