Friday, November 26, 2010

Wreaths Across America~Help Sponsor a Wreath for Section 60 at Arlington

For the past several years my husband and I have participated both locally and at Arlington
in Wreaths Across America

(2007 Staunton National Cemetery)

(2008 Arlington National Cemetery)

(2009 Staunton National Cemetery)

On December 11th at noon this year, volunteers all over our country will once again be laying wreaths on the graves of our fallen heroes. (we will be unable this year to participate, we'll be attending my stepson's wedding)
To find a location near you  where you can volunteer to participate, you can click on this link at the
Wreaths Across America website.

and also check out the tenative schedule for the 2010 Escort to Arlington   The Patriot Guard Riders will be joining in the escort.

But the main reason I'm posting is that on this Update on Section 60  the total number of wreaths sponsored for section 60 is 4800...of the 9,000 needed. Section 60 is the section of Arlington where many of our fallen from Iraq and Afghanistan lie, and this year Wreaths Across America had hoped to have wreaths sponsored for Section 60  WishUponAHero

The cut-off for sponsoring a wreath has been extended to Nov. 29, you can see the sponsorship options here

Spread the word, will you?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

‎"So once in every year we throng

Upon a day apart,

To praise the Lord with feast and song

In thankfulness of heart.”

Arthur Guiterman
I'm Thankful for all those who take the time to stop by here,
and wishing each of you a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Beth

PFC Chance Phelps
PFC Chance Phelps
19 years old from Dubois, Wyoming
3 Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force
April 9, 2004
U.S. Marines

"I don't think anything can prepare you for two young men standing in the living room telling you your son’s been killed," said Gretchen Mack, mother of PFC Chance Phelps. "It's just surreal. They were crying." The last time she had talked her to son was a few days before his death. "He said, 'Mom, I'm fine.' He sounded great. It was really good to be able to talk to him. It made us feel better."

PFC Phelps was KIA while battling insurgents just outside of Baghdad, Iraq.

Friends recall Phelps as a fun-loving, hard-nosed kid. "He was big but didn't throw his size around to intimidate people", said Jarod Estey. "He was probably the toughest kid I knew growing up in grade school. He was probably the biggest kid, too — well-built and strong. But he was real easy going. He always had a smile on his face."

"He was very in tune politically," said his mother. "He knew what he wanted for this country. ... He told me after 9/11, 'I absolutely have to go. I've got to do something.'" But joining the military isn't anything new for the family. His father, John Phelps, is a Vietnam veteran. And his sister, Kelley, works at the Pentagon and is engaged to an Army sergeant.

"He had an unusual amount of zest," said his mother. "He just possessed this quality that he had to be in the thick of things all the time. He was very, very positive, very funny. ... His main thing in life was making people laugh."

You can read more 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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Fallen Hero Memorial Arrives....With Several Errors

Back in October, I posted Sadly, Controversy Surrounds a Memorial for a Local Fallen Hero

The questions being asked at the time of Clayton Murwin, "where is the memorial? or where is the money that was donated for the memorial?" have now been answered.

The memorial is here.....
It just, sadly, has several errors (from  the WHSV TV story)
Long-Awaited Memorial Arrives with Multiple Errors

The word 'commemorated' is misspelled on the front of the memorial,and  the Turner Ashby high school name is transposed into "Ashby Turner High School" in the list of donors on the back.

Now, Clayton Murwin is NOT responsible for the spelling errors on the memorial,

 but he Is responsible for Commissioning a memorial, that was Paid for by donors from the Broadway and surrounding communities.

Via the Daily News-Record (behind a subscription wall) is this story
Memorial Arrives-Misspelled

Mr. Murwin's attorney in the above newspaper article, says that" a bronze plaque will be placed over the engraved text to cover up the spelling mistake on the front", but apparently nothing can be done to rectify the mistake on the donor list.

After my original post about this issue, I chose to say nothing further until  our community saw If and When the memorial arrived. The entire issue of this memorial seemed to have degenerated into some of the nastiest commenting back and forth that I have ever seen on the Internet, and  it seemed pointless to get involved in all that ugliness when time would tell whether a memorial had ever actually been ordered.

Time has indeed proved the friends of Mr. Muwin correct, that the memorial would arrive.

It's just a memorial ,paid for with $6800.00 of donated money, that has mistakes engraved on granite which will be partially fixed by covering up the text on the front with a bronze plaque, and not fixed at all in the donor list.

And Rockingham County schools say it cannot be placed on Broadway High School grounds until the errors are fixed.

This whole situation would seem to have verged into farce....if it were not just so unutterably sad.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Minnesotans remembering their Fallen Heroes.....

....and money raised will go toward a $2 million pledge for the construction of the
Fisher House at the Minneapolis Veterans Medical Center

My Mom sent this article from the Minneapolis-St.Paul Star Tribune
State's fallen get tribute in calendar by Mark Brunswick

which led me to this website (the link in the article seemed to be incorrect?)
Bryan McDonough Military Heroes Foundation

and there's more about the calendar project on the Minnesota National Guard website Here

This is a Beautiful Idea!

Just came across this
Virginia Memorial Quilt Project

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Soldiers Angels Web Surfing


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

and there's lots of holiday news, with the USPS Military shipping deadlines
fast approaching the cut-off dates to get packages to our troops before Christmas.

First up, from the Ft.Campbell Courier
Soldiers’ Angels’ sends packages on wings of love

Then, from the University of North Alabama
UPC to Hold Veterans Ball to Benefit Deployed Soldiers

Via the Pasadena,CA Star-News
Montebello YMCA care packages on their way to overseas troops

This Australian 'Angel' is sending cool gifts:) from Marion's Meepings
Pax'ing Presents

From TCPalm in Florida
Soldiers phone home for the holidays

and lastly, from the in Maine,
Former first lady Laura Bush to headline 'sweet' event

That's the 'surf'! Glad to see so many folks sending 'Happy Holidays' to our troops:)

When you stop by the Soldiers Angels website, check out the
12 Days of Christmas in November  for easy ways to support our troops!

Wounded EOD Tech is an inspiration,IMHO

This story  Wounded EOD Technician Shares Experience, Choice   from
is about a relative by marriage, of a relative of mine (are you following all that?)

I think that John is truly an inspiration, and am awed by his courage and his attitude.......and then, in reading the comments on the story? sort of torqued off that more people seemed concerned about correcting the facts and grammer they felt were wrong in the story, than in commenting about  a truly heroic young man. 

Who among us, if we had lost both our legs while doing our job, would say 'I want to go Back?"......I'm not sure I could....but whether I could or not, it doesn't seem to me that the appropriate place to have a hissy fit over grammer is in the comment section of a story about someone who Did.

so please, consider taking the time to leave a comment on the story saluting the courage, bravery,aand attitude of John Kremer.

and, after that, perhaps you might want to check out the  Wounded EOD Warrior Foundation website.

God Bless Our Troops, and God Bless John and his family.

Came across two great blogs this past week

The first one, via  The Sandbox  is called  The Sand Docs

The second, via a post on Michael Yon's Facebook page is called  One Life to Give

Well worth checking out!

Friday, November 19, 2010

CwtT 2011 Calendar Cooking with the Troops

United Conservatives of Virginia: CwtT 2011 Calendar Cooking with the Troops

(ConcreteBob beat me to this,it was on my list of 'things to blog this evening'.....spread the word about this calendar, looks like it would make a great gift!:)

and after you check out the calendar? check out the rest of the
Cooking with the Troops store

Do you know the Medal of Honor recipients from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Guinta is the most recent recipient, of course.....but, how many ordinary citizens know the names of  the 7 other men who have been recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor
since Army SFC Paul R. Smith was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 2005, for actions in Iraq in 2003?
Did you know that two years later in 2007, Marine Cpl. Jason L. Dunham was  also posthumously awarded the Medal?
When you hear the names of  Navy Lt. Michael P. Murphy  , 
Navy PO2 Michael A. Monsoor ,
Army  PFC Ross A. McGinnis ,
Army SFC Jared C. Monti ,
and Army Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller you instantly know "oh,yes, Medal of Honor"?

We all should, you know.....we should know the names, and the stories, of those who have been considered worthy of the highest honor our nation can bestow on those serving our country, particularly in these days of war.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Cindy

SSgt. Salvatore Giunta
SSgt. Salvatore Giunta
25 years old from Ceder Rapid, Iowa
173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team
U.S. Army

Yesterday, SSgt. Salvatore Giunta became the first living recipient of the Medal Of Honor since the Vietnam War.

From the official citation:

Then-Specialist Salvatore A. Giunta distinguished himself by acts of gallantry at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rifle team leader with Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment during combat operations against an armed enemy in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan on October 25, 2007. When an insurgent force ambush split Specialist Giunta’s squad into two groups, he exposed himself to enemy fire to pull a comrade back to cover. Later, while engaging the enemy and attempting to link up with the rest of his squad, Specialist Giunta noticed two insurgents carrying away a fellow soldier. He immediately engaged the enemy, killing one and wounding the other, and provided medical aid to his wounded comrade while the rest of his squad caught up and provided security. His courage and leadership while under extreme enemy fire were integral to his platoon’s ability to defeat an enemy ambush and recover a fellow American paratrooper from enemy hands.”

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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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Spread the Word about Mission:ABLE

From the Paralyzed Veterans of America 

"Did you know that?

More than 44,000 American veterans live with paralysis.

Spinal cord injuries cost up to $3 million per person in healthcare expenses, yet veterans' benefits aren’t always guaranteed.

An estimated $25 billion in veterans’ benefits dollars goes unclaimed every year"
This is an introduction to   Mission:ABLE
Paralyzed Veterans is leading the mission to make sure our veterans are:

Able to receive the benefits they've earned

Able to access the quality of care they need to live a full life

Able to get job training and opportunities for new careers

Able to enjoy competition and camaraderie though sports
See this video from the Band OAR in support of Mission: Able

and then check out this worthy cause for yourself!

Thank You.

Update on the AmericInn Troop Giveback

The AmericInn™ Troop Giveback Concludes Reaching its Goal of 15 Care Packages.

AmericInn Troop Giveback reaches hundreds of soldiers serving in Afghanistan with supplies and recreational items

The program was met with an outpouring of support from hotel owners, guests and soldiers’ families

CHANHASSEN, Minn. – Nov. 11, 2010 – When AmericInn Hotels kicked off its Troop Giveback in October, the company knew the campaign to send care packages to troops serving in Afghanistan would be well-received by its supportive and patriotic guests and hotel owners. But the hotel chain did not expect such an outpouring of support and success that greeted the introduction of the month-long effort.

Each time a member of AmericInn’s Easy Rewards loyalty program stayed with the hotel chain during the month of October, that guest contributed to the delivery of another care package. When the AmericInn Troop Giveback program was introduced, the company was flooded with words of appreciation from hotel owners who have been running their own care-package programs for troops, thanks from employees with relatives who received some of the care packages, and guests who offered supplies to include in the care packages. AmericInn even received a letter of thanks from American Red Cross staff working at an airfield in Afghanistan.

“I can barely begin to express how much I appreciate the AmericInn Troop Giveback program,” said Jodi McClellan, owner and manager of the AmericInn Lodge and Suites of Borger, Texas. “As someone who regularly sends out care packages with help from friends and groups in our community, it means the world to me that AmericInn is supporting our troops.”

In all, AmericInn guests and hotel owners helped the chain meet its goal of delivering 15 large care packages – each including enough food, personal care, communication and recreation items for about two dozen troops – to bases across Afghanistan. Those care packages provided supplies for about 350 troops.

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.

“The care packages we sent will reach hundreds of troops with supplies that might help make their day a little easier and a little brighter. It’s a token of our appreciation for the sacrifices they make in service to our country,” said Mike Strong, director of marketing at AmericInn. “With thousands of guests taking part in the program, I hope we’ve made people take a second to appreciate everything our soldiers do for us.”

Also, don't forget Carol For A Cause contest......

The deadline to submit your videos is fast approaching, don't for the contest!
Carol For A Cause

Mark Your Calenders....Nov.29,9 pm, NatGeo channel...


North Platte Canteen

Got the video link in an email, and was blown away by the story, which I hadn't heard before. Found the website
North Platte Canteen

and found out there was a book written about it,also:

Royal College of Nursing Pays Tribute to Bravery of Defence Nurses

As both a nurse, and a supporter of our troops, this story touched my heart.

RCN pays tribute to bravery of defence nurses

and be sure to check out the Home page of the Royal College of Nursing , to see the video interview with Ethel Lote, a nurse who served in WW II.

God bless Dr. Yvonne McEwen , an "historian and former nurse" for spending over 10 years completing the lists........
and God Bless my fellow nurses who've served in wartime over the years.


National Resource Directory State Widget Available

Show Your Support of Service Members and Veterans with the New
National Resource Directory State Widget

The National Resource Directory (NRD) , an online resource for Wounded Warriors, Service Members, Veterans and those who support them, now has a state widget. The NRD state widget allows individuals and organizations to display resources tailored by state and subject area on their own websites, blogs or Facebook fan pages. The NRD state widget can be personalized by color scheme and size, and can display resources by either popularity or by newest additions to the site. Creating an NRD state widget is easy and maintenance free as it automatically updates when new information is added to the NRD.

A collaborative effort between the U.S. Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs, the NRD provides Wounded Warriors, Service Members, Veterans and their families with access to thousands of resources to support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration.

To learn how to create an NRD state widget, visit

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day:Honoring All Who Served

Thank You, to all the Veterans!

Thank You, for Making the Valour IT Fundraiser such a Success!

As we enter the last day of the Soldiers Angels Valour IT fundraiser, a heartfelt Thank You, to all those who donated to make this fundraiser such a success!

(and from the Soldiers Angels website, there will be 100 laptops given today, thanks to a special grant)

100 Laptops for 100 Warriors

On Veterans Day (November 11), Soldiers' Angels is honored to host a celebration of thanks for America’s veterans at the Soldiers’ Angels Support Center, our warehouse and support complex in San Antonio across from Brooke Army Medical Center.

In recognition of America’s wounded heroes and to give them a “hand up” as they adjust to life as a wounded veteran, Soldiers’ Angels will hand out 100 new laptops to severely-wounded military personnel at the event. The laptop distribution is funded by the third TRIAD grant Soldiers’ Angels has received for Project Valour-IT, which provides technology to support the recovery and reintegration of wounded veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, including nearly 6,000 adaptive laptops in the last five and a half years.

Local members of the public are invited to the event, where they will be encouraged to pack care packages for deployed troops, fold small American flags, and write personal notes of gratitude that will be distributed to veterans and active duty personnel.

The sponsor for this event is Bank of America. Organizations partnering with Soldiers’ Angels for this event are Operation Homefront, Mission Serve, Grainger, Best Buy, Herr Foods, eFusjon Energy Club, members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Miss San Antonio 2011 Dominique Ramirez, and local military and political leaders. Food will be served and attendees will have the opportunity to peruse the mementos and thank yous from the heroes Soldiers’ Angels has supported.

Soldiers’ Angels invites all San Antonio residents to this celebration of true American heroes, honoring those who have served and sacrificed in the defense of all Americans! For more information about this event, Soldiers’ Angels, or how to donate to help our troops, contact Soldiers’ Angels at

About Operation Homefront: Operation Homefront provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of our service members and wounded warriors. A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront leads more than 4,500 volunteers across 23 chapters and has met more than 267,000 needs since 2002. A four-star rated charity by watchdog Charity Navigator, nationally, $.95 of total revenue donated to Operation Homefront goes to programs. For more information about Operation Homefront, please visit

About TRIAD: Funding for the Soldiers’ Angels Project Valor-IT project was provided in part by the Texas Resources for Iraq-Afghanistan Deployment (TRIAD) Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation. For more than 40 years, the San Antonio Area Foundation, a publicly supported philanthropic institution, has been administering donors’ funds and granting gifts from those funds to worthy charitable causes that significantly enhance the quality of life in the communities they serve.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Kathi

Capt. George Vujnovich
Capt. George Vujnovich
95 years old from Queens, New York
U.S. Army

66 years after he was instrumental in the rescue of almost 500 bomber pilots who had been shot down over Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia, Capt. George Vujnovich was finally awarded the Bronze Star in October.

You can read the rest of Capt. George Vujnovich'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, November 09, 2010

Went to a Veteran's Luncheon yesterday, with my Aunt

Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending a Veteran's  Appreciation Luncheon
 hosted by Sen Mark Warner

with my aunt, who is  a Vietnam veteran who served in the Army Nurse Corps

The luncheon was held, appropriately enough, at the New Market Battlefield Museum

At  the beginning of the luncheon there was a moment that was profoundly moving to me, some young cadets from Massanutten Military Academy were posting the colors, and of course, all of us in the room were standing.
A recorded version of the Music to the Star Spangled Banner began playing, and almost immediately, a few of the veterans in the room began singing along with the music.......more and more, until they all were singing. I had tears in my eyes, listening to this.....and also, my heart swelled with gratitude, for my aunt and all the others like her who were there, from WW II and the Korean and Vietnam wars, down to the present wars in Iraq and Afghanistan......the room was filled with an unbroken line of honorable service.

And we can never say 'Thank You' enough, can we?

(when I told my husband and son the above story, they asked 'why didn't you take the camera out and get some video?".......and I replied "you know what? there's some things you don't spoil, by hunting for the camera or cell phone to take a pic or record it......there are some moments you should just live right then while they're happening, and treasure them forever afterwards in your memory"

that sounds really good, huh? but actually, I'd completely Forgotten I had the camera in my purse:)

Monday, November 08, 2010

The Current Valour IT team totals in the fundraiser

The current totals as of yesterday were:

TEAM ARMY$18,883




No Branch Specified$6,671


Thursday, November 04, 2010

Team Army Reaches their Goal! now the bar is set higher:)

Woot!  as Blackfive says  Team Army-First to Take the Objective

....."Thank you to everyone who has donated their valuable time and hard-earned money to our cause!"

the next objective, $25k.........

(and to help reach the new objective)......20% of all sales this weekend at Ranger Up will go to the Soldiers Angels Team Army fund to help wounded warriors heal and reconnect with the rest of the world.  The incentive starts Saturday, November 6th (0:01AM EST) and continues through Sunday the 7th (11:59PM EST).  On Tuesday, Ranger Up will donate the 20% of all items sold this weekend to Valour-IT!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Post Was Suggested And Written By Michael

Lt. Wilson W. Brown
Lt. Wilson W. Brown
Company F, 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Dec. 25, 1839 - Dec. 26, 1916

Private Wilson W. Brown was part of "The Great Locomotive Chase" or Andrews' Raid. It was a military raid that occurred April 12, 1862, in northern Georgia during the American Civil War. Volunteers from the Union Army commandeered a train and took it northwards toward Chattanooga, Tennessee, doing as much damage as possible to the vital Western & Atlantic Railroad (W&A) from Atlanta, Georgia to Chattanooga as they went, pursued by other locomotives. Because they had cut the telegraph wires, no warning could be sent to Confederate forces along their route. The raiders were eventually captured and some were executed as spies. Some of Andrews' Raiders became the first recipients of the Medal of Honor, including Pvt. Wilson Brown who was able to escape and later promoted to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. His citation read:

"One of the 19 of 22 men (including 2 civilians) who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., in an attempt to destroy the bridges and track between Chattanooga and Atlanta".

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, November 02, 2010

Cool ways to give to Valour IT (and get something in return,too:)

From over at the YouServed blog:

Another option to help is to purchase something from the Bouhammer Gear Store from October 28th until November 11th and I will donate 100% of the proceeds to Valour-IT. You will get a great looking decal, T-shirt, hat or polo style shirt and they will get some more money to help fund the Valour-IT initiative.

One last way to give and really get something cool is to keep an eye on the
 You Served Blog and Radio show ebay store
 starting the 28th of October until the 11th of November. Many in the milblogging community have been working tirelessly to get items donated that can sell there of which 100% of the proceeds will go towards Valour-IT. If the listing does not specify it is going to a specific team (Army, Air Force, Marines, or Navy) then the winner of the item must specify it after they win the auction. There will be new items going up all the time from Oct. 28th until Nov 4th. The items will each be listed for a maximum of seven days.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Military Monday~Support Wounded Warriors

For Military Monday this week, please consider giving to the Soldiers Angels Valour IT fundraiser
which helps provide voice-controlled/adaptive laptop computers and other technology to support Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand wounds and other severe injuries.