Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday Hero

Rear Adm. Ned Deets
Rear Adm. Ned Deets
U.S. Navy

Rear Adm. Ned Deets speaks with Frank Chebatar, president of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, at the conclusion of the base consolidation ceremony. The two bases consolidated to form Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Fort Story.

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 24, 2009

The Sack Lunches

Some of you may have seen this, I have, but it is worth reading again.

I put my carry-on in the luggage
compartment and sat down in my
assigned seat. It was going to be a
long flight. 'I'm glad I have a
good book to read Perhaps I will get
a short nap,' I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of
soldiers came down the aisle and
filled all the vacant seats, totally
surrounding me. I decided to
start a conversation.
'Where are you headed?' I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.

'Petawawa. We'll be there for two
weeks for special training, and then
we're being deployed to Afghanistan

After flying for about an hour, an
announcement was made that sack
lunches were available for five
dollars. It would be several hours
before we reached the east, and I
quickly decided a lunch would help
pass the time..

As I reached for my wallet, I
overheard soldier ask his buddy if he
planned to buy lunch.
'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch.

Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to base '

His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other
soldiers. None were buying lunch. I
walked to the back of the plane and
handed the flight attendant a
fifty dollar bill.
'Take a lunch to all those soldiers..' She grabbed my arms and squeezed
tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. 'My son was a
soldier in Iraq ; it's almost like you are doing it for him.'

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up
the aisle to where the soldiers
were seated. She stopped at my seat
and asked, 'Which do you like
best - beef or chicken?'

'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why
she asked. She turned and went to
the front of plane, returning a
minute later with a dinner plate from
first class. 'This is your thanks..'

After we finished eating, I went
again to the back of the plane,
heading for the rest room.
A man stopped me. 'I saw what you did. I want to be part of it.
Here, take this.' He handed me twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I
saw the Flight Captain coming down
the aisle, looking at the aisle
numbers as he walked, I hoped he was
not looking for me, but noticed he
was looking at the numbers only on
my side of the plane.
When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand, an said,
'I want to shake your hand.'

Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I
stood and took the Captain's hand..
With a booming voice he said, 'I was
a soldier and I was a military pilot..
Once, someone bought me a lunch.
It was an act of kindness I
never forgot.' I was embarrassed
when applause was heard from all of
the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the
plane so I could stretch my legs.
A man who was seated about six rows
in front of me reached out his
hand, wanting to shake mine. He left
another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed I gathered my
belongings and started to deplane.
Waiting just inside the airplane door
was a man who stopped me, put
something in my shirt pocket, turned,
and walked away without saying a
word. Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the
soldiers gathering for their trip to the base. I walked over to them
and handed them seventy-five dollars. 'It will take you some time to
reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich.
God Bless You.'

Ten young men left that flight
feeling the love and respect of their
fellow travelers. As I walked
briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return.
These soldiers were giving their all for our country.. I could only
give them a couple of meals.

It seemed so little....

A veteran is someone who, at one
point in his life, wrote a blank check
made payable to 'The United States of
America ' for an amount of 'up to and including My life.'

That is Honor, and there are way too
many people in this country who
no longer understand it.'

May God give you the strength and
courage to pass this along to
everyone on your email buddy list....


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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wednesday Hero

Staff Sgt. Dennisur Thompson
Staff Sgt. Dennisur Thompson
U.S. Army

Staff Sgt. Dennisur Thompson, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, overcompensates a left turn while on a driving simulator as a part of the Save a Life Tour in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army

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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Long-lost friend to give Conroe man a kidney, second chance at life

Another feel good story. I like good news a lot more than what we are getting most of the time. This is a true friend.

by Rosa Flores / 11 News

Posted on November 16, 2009 at 5:11 PM

CONROE, Texas—A middle school reunion gave a Conroe man a second chance at life.

Travis McGuillian had open heart surgery, diabetes and kidney failure, so he thought his days were numbered. But after reuniting with some old middle school friends, he found more than just support—he found a friend willing to give up a kidney to save his life.

"It was a conviction. I felt a very strong need to find out if I could help," said his donor, Daun Wade.

McGuillian and Wade were best friends during their middle school years. He played football, and she cheered for the team.

Back in 1974, they made a promise to each other that they never forgot.

"We made the agreement that if we had not found anyone to marry that we would marry each other," said Wade.

"I always thought about her. I wondered if she was married or not," said McGuillian.

Then life happened, and they lost touch.

Wade married someone else, and so did McGuillian.

About five months ago, they reunited, but McGuillian had some bad news for Wade.

"I found out about the open heart surgery, the dialysis, the diabetes," said Wade.

She also learned about the kidney McGuillian needed to keep living. Wade said she felt a calling to give him her kidney. After months of tests, the two friends found out they were a perfect match.

"So I told him that as soon as he gets my kidney he’s going to have a female part so he’s going to start laughing at commercials," said Wade.

The transplant is set for Tuesday, and their Facebook page is lighting up with messages. It’s also reminding them of a promise made long ago.

"This is what I had written in his annual back in 8th grade. Love ya forever... now you’re going to have a piece of me forever," Wade said.

Wade will miss work for about 6 weeks while she recuperates from the surgery. McGuillian set up a Web site and hopes to raise enough money to cover his donor’s lost wages. If you’d like to help, just go to

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Monday, November 16, 2009

City workers get Vietnam vet new home

This is a nice story that I thought I would share. There are still a lot VietNam era vets in need out there.

by By Leigh Jones / The Daily News

Posted on November 15, 2009 at 12:53 PM

Updated yesterday at 2:15 PM

* Galveston Daily News Web site

LEAGUE CITY — Vietnam veteran Jim Stepanski’s trailer on Willow Lane became unlivable after water damage from hurricanes Rita and Ike caused the walls to peel and wore holes in the floor.

Mold coated the interior. Rats and raccoons infested the structure.

Stepanski, 61, lived in the trailer until a local police officer and fellow Vietnam veteran decided to take action.

City employees officially gave Stepanski the keys to a new trailer Saturday afternoon. His new home sits on the site where his former trailer was.

League City police officer William Gates made a welfare check on Stepanski on June 1 after a family member could not reach the man on his birthday. Gates and Stepanski talked for a while about their war experiences, especially the disconnect from society they felt upon returning home. The two shared an instant bond.

“We’re from a forgotten era,” Gates said. “When I came home in 1970, I was screamed at and spit on. Police officers told me not to wear my uniform in public because it would cause an uproar.”

The new home is handicapped accessible. Stepanski received shrapnel injuries in Vietnam, making it difficult to walk. He also suffers from a chronic lung condition, which was caused by exposure to Agent Orange, Stepanski said. The disabilities keep him from working, he said.

His worst injury was invisible to the human eye. Stepanski withdrew from society and lived alone for years after returning from combat as a way to deal with the horrible memories of war that haunted him. Large crowds and constant loud noises still cause him to suffer panic attacks, he said.

“I now realize that what I had was post-traumatic stress disorder,” Stepanski said. “Back then my doctors just told me to put the war behind me and try to forget about it. There was no counseling for it back then.”

Gates felt a duty to help Stepanski, he said. He went to the city’s animal control and code enforcement departments to see if there was any assistance available.

Code Enforcement Officer Chris Torres stepped up.

When Torres first visited Stepanski’s home, it was hardly visible from the street because of overgrown brush and trash, she said. Torres appealed to other city employees to donate money, or help clean the site.

The Bay Area Builders Association Support Our Troops Inc. and Catholic Charities donated money for the trailer, which came with new furniture.

City employees from about seven different departments volunteered to remove Stepanski’s old trailer, cleaned the site and installed the new one. It was the first time the city has done a volunteer endeavor of that magnitude, she said.

Stepanski’s new home has given him a sense of hope and overwhelming gratitude for the city employees who made it possible, he said.

“I have no words right now,” Stepanski said. “I’m still taking it all in.”
This story was brought to you through our partnership with the Galveston Daily News.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

For Our Heros Past, Present and Future.

Tomorrow is Veterans Day and I wish all those who served a happy Veterans Day and Thank You For your service. This is a nice video I found to honor you.

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Happy Birthday, US Marine Corps

On Nov. 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress resolved to create two battalions of Continental Marines for the War of Independence from Britain. In 1798, President John Adams signed the Act establishing the United States Marine Corps. The 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, General John A. Lejeune, issued Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921, directing that on Nov. 10 every year, in honor of the Corps' birthday, the Order's summary of the history, mission and tradition of the Corps be read to every command.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

From a Recon Marine in Afghanistan

This a little long, but damn it will make your glad these men are on our side.

From the Sand Pit It's freezing here. I'm sitting on hard, cold dirt between rocks and shrubs at the base of the Hindu Kush Mountains , along the Dar 'yoi Pomir River , watching a hole that leads to a tunnel that leads to a cave. Stake out, my friend, and no pizza delivery for thousands of miles.
I also glance at the area around my ass every ten to fifteen seconds to avoid another scorpion sting. I've actually given up battling the chiggers and sand fleas, but them scorpions give a jolt like a cattle prod. Hurts like a bastard. The antidote tastes like transmission fluid, but God bless the Marine Corps for the five vials of it in my pack.
The one truth the Taliban cannot escape is that, believe it or not, they are human beings, which means they have to eat food and drink water.. That requires couriers and that's where an old bounty hunter like me comes in handy. I track the couriers, locate the tunnel entrances and storage facilities, type the info into the handheld, shoot the coordinates up to the satellite link that tells the air commanders where to drop the hardware. We bash some heads for a while, then I track and record the new movement..
It's all about intelligence. We haven't even brought in the snipers yet. These scurrying rats have no idea what they're in for. We are but days away from cutting off supply lines and allowing the eradication to begin.
I dream of bin Laden waking up to find me standing over him with m y boot on his throat as I spit into his face and plunge my nickel-plated Bowie knife through his frontal lobe. But you know me, I'm a romantic. I've said it before and I'll say it again: This country blows, man. It's not even a country. There are no roads, there's no infrastructure, there's no government. This is an inhospitable, rock pit shit hole ruled by eleventh century warring tribes. There are no jobs here like we know jobs.
Afghanistan offers two ways for a man to support his family: join the opium trade or join the army. That's it. Those are your options. Oh, I forgot, you can also live in a refugee camp and eat plum-sweetened, crushed beetle paste and squirt mud like a goose with stomach flu, if that's your idea of a party. But the smell alone of those 'tent cities of the walking dead' is enough to hurl you into the poppy fields to cheerfully scrape bulbs for eighteen hours a day.
I've been living with these Tajiks and Uzbeks, and Turkmen and even a couple of Pushtuns, for over a month-and-a-half now, and this much I can say for sure: These guys, all of 'em, are Huns... Actual, living Huns.. They LIVE to fight. It's what they do. It's ALL they do.. They have no respect for anything, not for their families, nor for each other, nor for themselves. They claw at one another as a way of life. They play polo with dead calves and force their five-year-old sons into human cockfights to defend the family honor. Huns, roaming packs of savage, heartless beasts who feed on each other's barbarism. Cavemen with AK-47's. Then again, maybe I'm just cranky.
I'm freezing my ass off on this stupid hill because my lap warmer is running out of juice, and I can't recharge it until the sun comes up in a few hours. Oh yeah! You like to write letters, right? Do me a favor, Bizarre. Write a letter to CNN and tell Wolf and Anderson and that awful, sneering, pompous Aaron Brown to stop calling the Taliban 'smart..' They are not smart. I suggest CNN invest in a dictionary because the word they are looking for is 'cunning.' The Taliban are cunning, like jackals and hyenas and wolverines..They are sneaky and ruthless, and when confronted, cowardly. They are hateful, malevolent parasites who create nothing and destroy everything else. Smart.. Pfft. Yeah, they're real smart.
They've spent their entire lives reading only one book (and not a very good one, as books go) and consider hygiene and indoor plumbing to be products of the devil. They're still figuring out how to work a Bic lighter. Talking to a Taliban warrior about improving his quality of life is like trying to teach an ape how to hold a pen; eventually he just gets frustrated and sticks you in the eye with it.
OK, enough. Snuffle will be up soon, so I have to get back to my hole. Covering my tracks in the snow takes a lot of practice, but I'm good at it.
Please, I tell you and my fellow Americans to turn off the TV sets and move on with your lives. The story line you are getting from CNN and other news agencies is utter bullshit and designed not to deliver truth but rather to keep you glued to the screen through the commercials. We've got this one under control The worst thing you guys can do right now is sit around analyzing what we're doing over here, because you have no idea what we're doing, and really, you don't want to know. We are your military, and we are doing what you sent us here to do.
You wanna help? Buy Bonds America .
Saucy Jack
Recon Marine in Afghanistan
Semper Fi
"Freedom is not free...but the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your share

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday Hero

This Week's Post Was Written By Greta

Col. Henry J. Cook
Col. Henry J. Cook
U.S. Army

Past National Commander, Military Order of the Purple Heart, after serving over fifteen years with MOPH, gaining invaluable experience while in the positions of National Aide-de-Camp, Chapter Commander, Region Commander, National Junior Vice Commander and National Senior Vice Commander.

He was a career Special Forces (Green Beret) officer for thirty-three of the total forty-two years that he was on combined active and reserve duty. His combat tours began in 1967-68 when he operated behind enemy lines in for extended periods of time conducting operations with native guerrilla troops as the Executive Officer of the 4th Mobile Guerrilla. He saw additional combat in 1969-70 when he led a U.S. Special Forces Mobile Strike Force Battalion (MIKE FORCE), consisting of Green Beret officers and sergeants leading Cambodian mercenaries, again working behind enemy lines as well as reacting to attacks on friendly bases, often requiring that his unit be parachuted into hostile drop zones.

Later, he participated in Desert Shield (Saudi Arabia), Desert Storm (Kuwait) and Iraq, and Operation Provide Comfort (Support to Kurdish refugees in Northern Iraq.

For his valor and military skills, Colonel Cook was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with �V� device for Valor and two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with �V� Device and one Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart with One Oak Leaf Cluster, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Gold and Silver Stars, Joint Services Commendation Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Special Forces Combat Diver Badge, Special Forces Tab, and numerous other U.S. and foreign decorations.

Henry Cook is now twice retired, as a soldier and as a lawyer and resides in Diamondhead, Mississippi. He is a member of the Pro Bono Consortium representing veterans who appeal denial of claims and is a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans� Claims. He�s been a member of the Mississippi Bar Association since 1978 and also serves as a Municipal Judge Pro Tem in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Other significant contributions to veterans by Henry Cook include: a major role in the creation of the Mississippi Vietnam Veterans� Memorial in Ocean Springs and helping raise over $500,000 to help MOPH members in Louisiana and Mississippi who lost everything during Hurricane Katrina. In addition to MOPH, he also belongs to Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Special Forces Association (SFA), Special Operations Association (SOA), Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW).

You can read more about Col. Henry in this PDF file on pages 31 & 32.

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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