Good News Friday 08/28/07

September 28, 2007

The good news is IT IS FRIDAY! For those of us who are blessed with a Monday-Friday work schedule, Friday (especially afternoon) is happy time.

I can be dragging around the office all week, but for some reason I have a new surge of energy that hits about 16:40 every Friday!

Due to my crazy work schedule and over-load of assignments, I have had very little time to write a decent blog. My research is minimal and I am left cutting and pasting like a mad-woman.

I am going to take the easy-out once more and send you to  Doc’s Place  for today’s Good News Clip.

On my way out the door I wanted to say… We love you son and miss you WAY MUCH! We hope you are still bored, that nothing too exciting is happening in your corner of the war.

I am going to try and get you a decent copy of this weeks game (Go Lions) but, the new DVD player has me baffled.

No, I have not given up on the Chargers, but will trade you a Q. Jammer for a K. Kennedy.

Thankfully I still have college ball to rely on.

Hook ‘Em Horns, Geaux Tigers, Haka on Warriors! (that last part probably makes no sense, unless you have watched the Warriors pregame haka!)

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Siave Seti and the Warriors did the haka before their first home game this season.


7 year old sings National Anthem!

September 28, 2007

Thank you to Sherri for sending me this Awesome video!


Parents Coping with War

September 27, 2007

I am writing this for the many parents who are facing their child’s first deployment. Parents have been sending emails and asking “How do you stay sane while your son is deployed?”

First and foremost ~ I am not sure that I was sane before he left. -D Therefore, I am simply at a different state of La-La land living. (That sentence would make perfect sense if you could climb in my head) 

Coping with my L’il Trooper at war is a daily challenge. I have learned from his past deployments to avoid most media outlets. No more do I sit in front of the TV 24/7, afraid of turning away and missing something important. 

In the past, when I heard of a Soldier being killed, I would hyperventilate while searching the Internet for details. A knock on the door (by anyone) while I was trying to make certain that my son was ok, would have caused a complete breakdown.
 
To be perfectly honest, the panic attacks still happened while he is away  as do the burst of anger, the tears for no known reason… 

…And I did not get over the sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach (the feeling that I had lost him forever) until he came home on his first mid deployment leave.

That is when I was finally able to rationalize: They leave, they come home, they leave, they come home… But always… THEY COME HOME!

I had to focus on the reunions and avoid letting the fears overwhelm me.

It is not easy, I have had many nights when I was awakened with horrible nightmares.

Times when I was sure he was calling out to me.

… I know it sounds bad, but honestly, we tend to make it much worse than it really is. 

Parents who are facing this for the first time have asked if it gets any easier. Yes, it has for me.

I still miss him like nobodies business… But, I seldom have melt-downs anymore.

I have learned to make myself incredibly busy, so that my mind does not have time to wander, time to imagine the worst.

And when I am really low, I find another parent and we talk it out.

Lean on us, we are here for you!

Laughter ~ Seriously is the best medicine! Find things to help you laugh and don’t feel guilty that you are enjoying life while your child is at war.

My son would be really upset if he thought I put my life on hold and am sitting here crying and worrying day in and day out.

I am not suggesting that you stop thinking about your child (that would be an impossible task). I am suggesting that you think about the funny times you had together. Plan for your child’s Christmas package, your child’s Halloween goody bag, your child’s return party…

Drop in at the local elementary schools and ask if they would like to draw pictures or write letters for your child’s unit.

Stop in where you bank and ask one of the bank officers if you could leave a large poster board at the bank for customers and bank employees to write well wishes to your child’s unit.

Use your imagination… Every little thing you do to get the community involved makes you feel better, makes those who participate feel good, and brings a smile to your child.

A few months ago I sent out a request for email messages of support for my son. I posted the request on message boards, at church, and to those on my email addy book.

I was able to print out over 100 emails, some with pictures. I put them in a scrap book that I decorated with stickers and fun notes and sent it to my son.

He was amazed! The email from Ted Nugent and his crew was an added bonus.

What I am trying to say, is take your mind off of the uglies by doing something positive.

Also, be sure to send your child happy goofy mail. Things that will make them laugh.

I love sending cartoon movie packages with popcorn, movie candy, and drink mixes. When I sent the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie I added a Ninja Turtle action figure.

When I send toiletries I throw in a Scooby-doo tooth brush and a little ducky wash cloth.

They like to laugh about which parent sends the oddest things. I think I am winning!

(his next box will have a giant size Sombrero from our trip to San Antonio. ) Big Grin It will look so nice with his Sponge Bob boxer shorts!

If our kids can find ways to laugh in the war zone, then certainly we can muster a grin here at home.

 


My Heisman Pick

September 27, 2007

I have been following Colt Brennan for 3 years. It is impossible to ignore his numbers any longer.

So for my Birthday we will be flying to one of Hawaii’s state-side games.  

Seriously, I am more excited about this game than going to watch the Chargers beat the Broncos. (maybe in part because the Charger’s defense has me cringing.)

… And I found this funny 

Colt Brennan not starting

To my L’il Trooper: I see one of your guys is on the Heisman watch list…

Mike Hart, Michigan – One poll even has him at number one! (and he is down to #8 on another)


‘Black Jack Idol’

September 26, 2007

I would love to hear the version sung by Pfc. Jens…

Soulful rendition wins first ‘Black Jack Idol’ competition

By Sgt. Robert Yde  
2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
FORWARD OPERATING BASE PROSPERITY, Iraq – Although he was the second of three finalists to perform, once Pfc. Daniel Jens finished his performance of Edwin McCain’s, “I’ll Be,” the winner of the first Black Jack Idol had all but been officially named.
            Jens’ soulful rendition of the ‘90s rock ballad stole the show and capped off the nearly two-month long competition during which, performers, either assigned or attached to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, sang weekly at the Black Jack Bistro Dining Facility in a competition fashioned after “American Idol.”
            “The best man won — he really did,” second runner-up, Staff Sgt. Marcia Scott, a Demopolis, Ala. native with 15th Brigade Support Battalion, said. “He did a good job. He’s been great the whole competition.”
            One of the judges and the driving force behind the event, Maj. Michael Duck, the brigade’s chief of operations, said that despite the weekly change in genres, Jens, who is with 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, remained the most consistent through the weeks.
            “He selected the proper songs for his voice, and I think some of the other contestants had problems with that,” Duck, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said
            During the six weeks of competition, the 11 contestants who auditioned and were selected to participate, delivered karaoke-type performances on a stage set up in the middle of the DFAC during dinner hours. For the finals, however, which were held Sept. 20, the 1st Cav. Div. Jazz Band provided the music for the competition.
“It was awesome being able to play with the band,” Jens, who is originally from Milwaukee, said. “I think the worst part about the karaoke part is I’m used to having a band — playing with them. So you’re up on stage, and you got the band guys to help rile you up and get you excited and everything. And you’re up there by yourself, so it was awesome to have the band this time.”
            Fan favorite Scott, admitted that she had a little trouble adjusting to singing with live music.
“Well it’s a lot different,” she said. “The background vocals – you’re finding yourself having to sing the chorus and the song, and you’re trying to catch up and then do the adlibbing in between and that was kind of rough.”
            With Scott and runner-up, Sgt. Orlandus White’s very vocal fan bases on hand every week Jens said that although he thought he was performing well each time, he wasn’t expecting to win.
“Actually, the first time I did it, they called my name, and you could hear crickets,” he said. “So I was a little intimidated every time they called their names, and they had half the room cheering for them. But every week, when they’d call my name, it started getting louder and louder; so that made me feel good.”
            For winning the first Black Jack Idol competition, Jens received an MP3 alarm clock radio, a pair of sunglasses with a built-in MP3 player and a $50 AAFES gift certificate. White received a wireless headphone set and a $25 AAFES gift certificate, and Scott received a watch along with a $25 gift certificate.
            Duck said that in retrospect, he wasn’t sure what exactly to expect going into the competition, but that he was impressed with both the level of talent and the fan participation throughout the event.
I think everybody got a good taste of what the talent is around here so it was good,” he said. “I was looking for fan participation and people to come out, and I think that’s what we accomplished.”
            He also may have unwittingly set a trend as a Black Jack Runway competition is being planned for November.
“I don’t know if that’s the direction we want to go,” he said laughing, “but yeah, I think it’s started. It’s bringing out other people’s creativity and talents and I think it’s a morale booster.”
Milwaukee native Pfc. Daniel Jens, a member of 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, performs with the 1st Cav. Div. Jazz Band during the finals of Black Jack Idol, which was held at Forward Operating Base Prosperity in central Baghdad Sept. 20. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert Yde, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

Milwaukee native Pfc. Daniel Jens, a member of 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, performs with the 1st Cav. Div. Jazz Band during the finals of Black Jack Idol, which was held at Forward Operating Base Prosperity in central Baghdad Sept. 20. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert Yde, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

After accepting his trophy for winning the first-ever Black Jack Idol competition from the commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Col. Bryan Roberts (right), Milwaukee native Pfc. Daniel Jens waves to the crowd. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert Yde, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

After accepting his trophy for winning the first-ever Black Jack Idol competition from the commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Col. Bryan Roberts (right), Milwaukee native Pfc. Daniel Jens waves to the crowd. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert Yde, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)


Wednesday Heroes

September 26, 2007

Lance Cpl. Cory Jamieson

Lance Cpl. Cory Jamieson
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
Personal Security Detachment, Headquarters and Support Company, Task Force 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, attached to Regimental Combat Team 2

Hippocrates once said, “Art is long, life is short”.

Cpl. Jeremy David Allbaugh lived a short life. But, he was immortalized recently in acrylics by a Lance Cpl. Jamieson who painted a mural in his honor.

“I feel sad because it is for him, but it makes me happy because I can still do something for him,” said Lance Cpl. Jamieson. “I thought about it during the ceremony in the chapel. I looked up at the stained glass windows and I thought ‘I should do something like that'”.

Along with help from family, a fellow Marine and a Morale, Wefare and Recreation manager, Jamieson had the paint and tools needed.

“I would paint eight or nine hours in the gym and time would fly by,” Jamieson said.


Cpl. Jeremy David Allbaugh, 21 years old from Luther, Oklahoma, was killed by a roadside bomb on July 5, 2007 while conducting combat operations in Qaim, Iraq.

“He believed very strongly in what our country’s doing,” said his mother, Jenifer Allbaugh. “They were doing good things over there, and we don’t see that in the news or media. There’s a lot of progress being made. I wish more people would talk to our boys who are in it and not our politicians because they see it firsthand”.

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 blog, you can go here.


Do I make You Proud?

September 25, 2007


To my L’il Trooper and the men serving with him in the 4-9 Cav:

Yes, you make me proud!

When I sit here and think of what a fine man you have grown to be, I get all choked up. (with happy tears)

Yes, son, you make us all so very proud!