Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Lt. Schneider

Cpl. Brian Downard
Cpl. Brian Downard
U.S. Marines

Brian Downard was 23 years old, a father, a country music fan, and a corporal of Marines. He joined the Marine Corps in July of 2005, and would do two deployments to two different scenic locales. The first was to Iraq, where he served from November of ’06 to April of the following year. While in Iraq, Brian suffered a concussion from an IED strike while patrolling. Undeterred, Brian stayed in the Marines and deployed to Burma in 2008 when Marines and sailors with the Essex Amphibious Readiness Group provided humanitarian assistance operations to aid the cyclone-stricken country. He would eventually leave the service just last July, after four honorable years of service.

One month after separation, he discovered that he had testicular cancer, and a very aggressive strain at that. The cancer spread quickly to his muscles and fatty tissues, and Brian suffered so greatly with the pain that they put him on morphine. He was released from the VA to enjoy his last days with the love from his mom and his 7-year-old son Jesse.

You can read the rest of Cpl. Downard'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.
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Coming Oct. 16.....Wreaths Across America joins Macy's Shop For A Cause

From Wreaths Across America

posted on their blog

Wreaths Across America Joins Macy's Shop For A Cause

On Saturday October 16th, shoppers will be able to get a great deals at Macy's Stores when they Shop For A Cause with Wreaths Across America. Cause Coupons are available from Wreaths Across America for $5 with savings of 10%, 20%, and up to 25% off your Macy's purchase (see coupon for details).

For each coupon purchased, the $5 will go to Wreaths Across America and its mission to place wreaths on veterans headstones at one of over 500+ participating locations nationwide.


Monday, September 27, 2010

AmericInn Hotels launches Oct "Troop GiveBack Program"

 In an effort to give something back to the men and women serving in Afghanistan,   AmericInn Hotels  is kicking off its  Troop Giveback program  on Oct. 1 to support those troops by sending several large care packages to their bases.

Each time a member of AmericInn’s  Easy Rewards loyalty program  stays with the hotel chain in October, that guest contributes to the delivery of another care package. AmericInn, a national hotel chain with more than 215 locations nationwide, developed the Troop Giveback program with the help of an employee who served in Iraq for a year. His stories about the heart-warming impact of receiving mail and care packages – from family and strangers alike – helped AmericInn arrive at the idea for the Troop Giveback program.

“Our colleague told us how much the troops appreciated something as simple as a care package, and his stories really touched us,” said Mike Strong, director of marketing at AmericInn. “For people to take the time to let the troops know they’re thinking of them, to send a letter or a care package, really helps keep troops’ morale up and gives them something to look forward to at mail call. It’s a small gesture for us, but it can mean so much to them.”

The care packages include things like food and items for personal care, communication and recreation. Each large care package contains enough items for 20 to 24 troops. Learn more about the AmericInn Troop Giveback program at

“We’re partnering with our properties and our most loyal guests to honor our troops for their service to the country. The men and women who own, manage, work at and stay with AmericInn hotels are proud, patriotic people, and they appreciate the sacrifices our soldiers make every day,” Strong said. “We can never do enough to thank our troops for all they’ve done and continue to do, so we wanted to do something positive to show our gratitude and help make a difference for them when they are overseas.”

About AmericInn

AmericInn is a mid-scale lodging chain with 250 locations currently open or under development in 24 states. The chain is dedicated to the concept of providing the best lodging value for its guests by offering great rates and amenities such as complimentary AmericInn Perk hot breakfast, high-speed Internet, swimming pools and comfortable, quieter rooms.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sunday is Gold Star Mother's Day

Sept. 26, 2010 is Gold Star Mother's Day. Every year, the fourth Sunday of September, is for honoring mothers whose sons or daughters died in the line of duty. The name references the single gold star on service flags displayed in the windows of homes that have lost a child to war

U.S. Army Gold Star Mothers website

American Gold Star Mothers website

On Sunday  ,the mothers will be laying wreaths at the Vietnam Wall and Arlington's Tomb of the Unknown.

Please take a moment on Sunday to remember our fallen, and their mothers and families, in your thoughts and prayers.
This past week alone, there were 12 more mothers who lost their children who were fighting for our country.
DOD News Releases

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Mike Golch

Lt. Ronald Markiewicz

Lt. Ronald Markiewicz
U.S. Army

The year is 1971. A Lieutenant in the United States Army by the name of Ronald Markiewicz is serving near the Laotian border. He is a helicopter pilot. In March of that year he is sent out to fly two missions. The first one was to resupply a group of Vietnamese Marines and pick up wounded service members. The second mission was to allow troops to recover the crew of a downed helicopter. One both occasions he faces anti-aircraft fire and is wounded each time.

Fast forward to 2010 and Lt. Ronald Markiewicz finally received the Silver Star and a Distinguished Flying Cross. The awards he earned 39 years ago.

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.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Soldiers Angels Web Surfing


A 'surf' of the web for news by, or about,
Soldiers Angels

First up, came across this moving post by an Angel and  new blogger
 at   life preservers,a blog
Thank You, U.S. Soldier

and then there were several posts having to do with blankets:)

from  Soldiers Angels Washington
 Crafty Creations for our Deployed, Wounded & Veterans

and from the Frederick in Frederick Co, MD
Wounded warriors holiday drive up, running by Megan Eckstein

and via Soldiers Angels of IL
Vermont Angels at Work

Nice post from  A German-American Friendship Bracelet
Commander of LRMC, Col. John M. Cho meet us at our BBQ at Landstuhl Fisher House

and lastly, I like this teacher's thinking at Stepping Forth
The "Write" Direction

That's the surf!
And remember, you can always find out more news about what's going on with
Soldiers Angels at the main website  HERE

1,111 Books for 11/11 :Donate Books for Soldiers

Came across this first on Facebook.......

1,111 Books for 11/11 from Canonbridge,LLC

Excerpt from the website:

From 9/20 through 10/31, Canonbridge LLC will drop direct pricing on their books to below wholesale exclusively for 1,111 Books for 11/11.

The purpose of this initiative is to give others the opportunity to send Canonbridge titles to soldiers overseas to honour our past veterans on Veterans Day, and to acknowledge those serving soldiers who will one day become the new generation of veterans.

Our goal is to send 1,111 Canonbridge titles to Soldiers' Angels for distribution to our troops both at home and overseas.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wednesday Hero

Pvt. Daren A. Smith
Pvt. Daren A. Smith
19 years old from Helena, Montana
3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry)
December 13, 2007
U.S. Army

Pvt. Daren A. Smith was born in Butte, Montana and lived there until he reached middle school, when he moved to Helena. He graduated from Helena High School in 2006 and completed a semester at the University of Montana-Helena College of Technology. He joined the United States Army in March of 2007 and was deployed to Iraq on November of that year.

Pvt. Daren A. Smith died on December 13, 2007 of non-combat related injuries. His funeral was held on a cold 20-degree Winter's day but that didn't stop hundreds of mourners from his hometown lining the streets to honor him.

"He was the kind of guy who would do anything for you," said a friend of Pvt. Smith. "He was just a great guy."

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.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

The USS Indianapolis

Hearing the story of, and listening to several of the survivors of, the sinking of the USS Indianapolis today
Courage Beyond Measure:The USS Indianapolis Story
was extraordinarily moving.

As I heard a woman sitting behind me comment before the program began, it was great to see such a wide range in the audience.....from WW II veterans ,all the way to young children attending with a parent or parents....with, of course, a large number of college age students present, since this was being hosted by a community college.

I heard two older gentleman several rows ahead of us speaking before the program began, with one of them asking "were you Navy?" knew they must be veterans.  At the presentation of the colors to start the program, I could see one of them straighten up as the flag passed by his row, and as he squared his shoulders and raised his hand in a salute ? you could almost see the years slip away, back to his days as a young man serving.

The program itself, first presenting the story of the USS Indianapolis, and then the latter part being a question and answer session for the survivors, was excellently done. There were moments that brought me to tears at various points, but there were also some light-hearted moments from the survivors themselves.......I will never be able to hear Revielle played again, without being reminded of a buglar now in his eighties who favored us today with his rendition of a 'swing' version of Revielle!  Thank you, Glenn Morgan.....and,sir, in my humble opinion? your 87 year old 'lip' is still pretty darn good when you're playing!

The woman who sang the Star Spangled Banner and  the Navy Hymn,Sandi Belcher, did an excellent job.  Kim Nielsen gave the multi-media presentation, which was beautifully done.   I was heartened to see many young people and children asking the questions during the question and answer portion...... as Jim Belcher,Jr., the son of a local survivor (James Belcher-who passed away several years ago), said, part of the reason the survivors and these other folks put on the presentation is so that the "Indy story" will not be forgotten.  Judging by the interest the younger generation showed? I don't think it will be.

If you want to know more about the story of the USS Indianapolis? this link  , and  also, this link at the Discovery Channel, are both excellent resources.

Thank you, to  Blue Ridge Community College for hosting this program, and making it available to the general public.

and Thank You, to:
 L.D. Cox
Edgar Harrell
Glenn Morgan
Felton Outland

for the insights and inspiration you shared today, and for your service to our country.

Thank you to:
Earl Henry,Jr.(son of Lost-At-Sea Lt. Cmdr. Earl O. Henry)
Jim Belcher,Jr.
for sharing your stories as children of those who served on the USS Indianapolis.

(and also Thank you to Jim Belcher's mother, who offered a unique brief view of Japanese life during WW II)

I'm sorry that L.Peter Wren, one of the rescuers, was unable to be present, (and send wishes for his speedy recovery.)

If you get a chance to attend one of these programs near you? I'd highly recommend it, an unforgettable experience.

(next book I want, below)
(Update:Tuesday night....."best husband in the world" surprised me tonight with a signed copy of the book!:)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Going to hear.........

Going with the husband to hear these speakers
Courage Beyond Measure: The USS Indianapolis Story

they are survivors and rescuers from the greatest Naval loss of life at sea......
the sinking of the USS Indianapolis

Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta

I'm sure you've heard by now that
Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta will be the first living Medal of Honor recipient since the Vietnam  war

Found this on Stars and Stripes, about the actions that earned him the Medal of Honor.....

'War' excerpt about Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta’s actions

Friday, September 10, 2010

2,996....I Remember....Hemanth Kumar Puttur

                 "His memory is our inspiration.His ideals are our concern."

Puttur,Hemanth Kumar   Died in the World Trade Center on September 11,2001  (His age at his death has been listed as either 26 or 28 years old)

From this  Memorial Page comes this Family Tribute:

Mr. P. Hemanth Kumar, the loving son of Shri. P. Ananda and Smt. P. Kusuma from India, was a rare breed of intelligence and commitment. With his simplicity, integrity, honesty, humility, transparency and Godfearing nature, Hemanth rose to become the most dependable and popular ambassador for WIPRO-BANGALORE within a brief span of four years after its takeover. Being "Puritan to the core", Hemanth carved out a niche for himself not only in the family circle but also in the society in general. He served at his best in Wipro and his contract tenure with Marsh Inc., through Wipro, was an era of progress and a saga of success.

(there are several different ways that Hemanth's name is listed online,his surname "Puttur"  is the name of his village in India)

On this   website  is a beautiful tribute written in 2006.......excerpts from the website:

"Hemanth Kumar was the proud son of Shri. P. Ananda and Smt. P. Kusuma of Puttur, a town 30 miles away from Mangalore. ... Hemanth's father says - a few days before the tragedy, Hemanth called home and wanted to take him and his wife to US on holidays. Hemanth's wish was fulfilled, not to join him for a holiday but to pay homage to him."

Hemanth's father Anand, a simple yet humble man is a tailor by profession and owned a small tailoring shop, through which they made their living. His desire was to give all his three children good education. Hemanth was the youngest among sibship of three. He has one sister Seema P and a brother Prashanth Kumar."

"Hemanth did his pre-university education at St. Philomena College after attending Mai de dues, a local school in Puttur. Hemanth knew there was no way his father, who had already incurred debt just to put his two elder children into college, could afford the 'donations' to secure admission to his younger sibling. Hence, it was a vital need and worked extra hard at the pre-university level to ensure he got a merit seat in college. Due to his hard work and determination Hemanth secured first class with distinction and found a seat in the Kauruji Venkatramana Gowda Engineering College in Sullia, about 20 miles away from Puttur.

After graduation in 1995, he worked for a software firm in the Information Technology Center of Bangalore. He joined Wipro in 1997. His job at Wipro, ended up traveling around the world, handling the robust company's clients in Britain and the US.

Hemanth arrived in New York in July 2001, and was appointed as a Database Manager at Marsh and McLennan. As a highly conscientious and hardworking man, he was in the habit of getting to work well before 8 a.m. - hence, he was at his desk, when American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the North Tower at 8:46 a.m

Anand says that Hemanth's loss has left a gaping void in his family's life, which, otherwise, remains unchanged even despite the compensation that they have received ........ He was on his way to a great success and many dreams yet to be fulfilled which remains unfulfilled… Anand's voice breaks off, and his eyes glaze over in grief.

Hemanth carved out a niche for himself not only in the family circle but also in the society in general. He had a rare quality of intelligence and commitment, with his simplicity, integrity, honesty, humility, transparency and God-fearing nature.

(There is much more on  the website tribute ,including photos of some beautiful memorial's that Hemanth's family has used their compensation money to erect in his honor )


This tribute to one life lost on September 11th is part of the  2,996  blog initiative.

Previous tributes posted on this blog (or the original version of this blog) were in remembrance of:

Jonathan Neff Cappello

John Patrick Salamone

Gerard (Jerry) P. Moran

Yuguang Zheng and Shuyin Yang

Catherine Carmen Gorayeb

Robert Fazio,Jr.

We Will Never Forget.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

As September 11th approaches.....

I remembered that back in 2004 I had contributed my recollection of that day to the
September 11th Digital Archive

Please consider taking some time to check out the Archive website, or perhaps to add your own recollection to this remembrance of the darkest day in our country's history.

Support Soldiers Angels "Day of the Deployed"

Read more about it  HERE

A Must Read Post......

over at Soldiers Angels Germany, from Robert can find it  HERE

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Mike

Pvt. Barney F. Hajiro
Pvt. Barney F. Hajiro
93 years old from Waipahu, Hawaii
442nd Regimental Combat Team
U.S. Army

On September 16 Mr. Hajiro will turn 94 years old. His family immigrated from Japan during WWI and he had to drop out of school and work to help support his family. After Pearl Harbor was attacked he was drafted in the United States Army. In March 1943, he volunteered to join the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, composed of Nisei (second-generation Japanese Americans) like himself. He was shipped to Europe in 1944 first to Italy then to France where, over ten days in October, Pvt. Hajiro repeatedly distinguished himself in battle by exposing himself to enemy fire while assisting an allied attack. On October 29, 1944 Pvt. Hajiro single-handedly destroyed two German machine gun emplacements before being shot in the shoulder and wrist partially paralyzing his left arm. For his actions he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. In 1948 he was awarded the Military Medal by the British government, in 2000 was was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Bill Clinton and in 2004 he was awarded the L├ęgion d'honneur by France. Barney F. Hajiro is the oldest living Medal Of Honor recipient.

From his Medal Of Honor Citation:

For The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Private Barney F. Hajiro, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company I, 3d Battalion, 442d Regimental Combat Team, attached to the 36th Infantry Division, in action against the enemy on 19, 22, and 29 October 1944, in the vicinity of Bruyeres and Biffontaine, eastern France. Private Hajiro, while acting as a sentry on top of an embankment on 19 October 1944, in the vicinity of Bruyeres, France, rendered assistance to allied troops attacking a house 200 yards away by exposing himself to enemy fire and directing fire at an enemy strong point. He assisted the unit on his right by firing his automatic rifle and killing or wounding two enemy snipers. On 22 October 1944, he and one comrade took up an outpost security position about 50 yards to the right front of their platoon, concealed themselves, and ambushed an 18-man, heavily armed, enemy patrol, killing two, wounding one, and taking the remainder as prisoners. On 29 October 1944, in a wooded area in the vicinity of Biffontaine, France, Private Hajiro initiated an attack up the slope of a hill referred to as "Suicide Hill" by running forward approximately 100 yards under fire. He then advanced ahead of his comrades about ten yards, drawing fire and spotting camouflaged machine gun nests. He fearlessly met fire with fire and single-handedly destroyed two machine gun nests and killed two enemy snipers. As a result of Private Hajiro's heroic actions, the attack was successful. Private Hajiro's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon him, his unit, and the United States Army.

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.

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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Project 2,996 in 2010

Every year since 2006 I have participated in  Project 2,996  , which is an annual online tribute to the victims of 9/11.

I just realized today that I had not gone by the 2,996 blog this year, and when I did, I discovered that DCRoe, the founder of the 'blogburst' on 9/11, is doing things a little differently this year

Project 2,996 in 2010

He's focusing this year on trying to get tributes posted to names that have either missing links from previous years, or don't seem to have a tribute online any longer.

The list so far of names without tributes is  Here

(although he had a few names listed that I had previously done tributes for over the years)

If you have done tributes in the past and see the name of the victim you remembered in the above list? contact DCRoe and give him the permalink to your tribute.(I didn't see an email for him on the 2,996 website, but sent a comment with my links to him)

I keep the permalinks to the tributes I have posted every year on my blog, can scroll down and look under "2,996"......and then I will also post them below.

I carry the memory of each of these people in my heart every September 11th, even though we never met.

If you have a blog, and would like to write a tribute and post it on September 11th this year? go choose a name off the list at the link above, and follow the directions there.

I remember:

Jonathan Neff Cappello

John Patrick Salamone

Gerard (Jerry) P. Moran

Yuguang Zheng and Shuyin Yang

Catherine Carmen Gorayeb

Robert Fazio,Jr.

We will never forget.

The Anniversary of the London Blitz....

Assoluta Tranquillita  has a very good post up, with many links
First night of the Blitz 1940: "The symphony of war"

"Overcoming the Stigma"....Profiles from Military Health System for Suicide Prevention Month

From the DOD website for the Military Health System,
please read this month's profile of  Maj. Gen. Mark Graham and his wife Carol,
..."two individuals who have survived the tragic suicide of one of their sons and the death of another in combat, and then channeled their grief into a campaign to prevent other service members from taking their own lives. "

You can find out more  HERE

and This Link on the same website lists many,many resources across the Armed Forces.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

September is Army Suicide Prevention Month

From   STAND-TO!   September is Army Suicide Prevention Month

from the link:   "The Army will demonstrate our ongoing commitment to enhancing Health Promotion / Risk Reduction / Suicide Prevention (HP/RR/SP) programs for Soldiers, Department of the Army (DA) civilians, and families by observing Army Suicide Prevention Month, Sept. 1 - 30, 2010, in conjunction with National Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 5 - 11, 2010. Suicide Prevention Month is an Army-wide opportunity to raise awareness, understanding, and use of Army HP/RR/SP programs among our key internal and external audiences."


1-800-273-TALK (8255) National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (crisis intervention)

1-800-342-9647 Military OneSource (Resource Information)

Check out the link.....Why?......"Over 160 Active-duty Soldiers committed suicide during 2009, continuing a five-year trend of increasing suicides in the Army.".....

The Battle of the Mind~Operational Stress and PTSD

Below is a song written and performed by a Canadian soldier/singer-songwriter Elton Adams
He's using this song  "Hard" to help raise awareness for soldiers with PTSD.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Chuck Ziegenfuss and Soldiers Angels Valour-IT in PEOPLE magazine! :)

Via  , Susan Katz Keating has a story  on military blogger Chuck Ziegenfuss
and Soldiers’ Angels’ Project Valour-IT in the latest issue of PEOPLE Magazine  !

Chuck Ziegenfuss & Soldiers Angels' Project Valour-IT in PEOPLE mag

Congratulations! to  Susan , and   Chuck ,  and Soldiers Angels Valour-IT   program !

Friday, September 03, 2010

Decorated a "patriotic theme" door for work :)

Volunteered to decorate a door at work for "My Good Deeds Week" and this is the result.....husband Tony helped me put it all together, we really enjoyed this.

(top part of door)


(bottom half of door)


(I couldn't stand far enough away to get the whole door in one photo,lol......just passing this on!)

Honor and Remember Across America Journey continues......

Have you been keeping up with the  Honor and Remember Across America blog  ?

George Lutz is in Hawaii today........the Honor and Remember Across America campaign continues!

If you'd like to know more about the Honor and Remember Flag? the main website is  Here