December 26, 2007

My favorite Marine sent me the following link:

watch the movie
click here>>>>>   Gratitude Campaign
This is an excellent idea for those of you who feel uncomfortable, running up and hugging our Warriors!

Mr. J seems to think I make our guys a bit uneasy……… when I steal hugs from them.

 Very soon, our 4-9 Cav will be home and we can all say “Thank You” in person!


Hope Comes to Prosperity

December 21, 2007

By Sgt. Robert Yde  
2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs            FORWARD OPERATING BASE PROSPERITY, Iraq – After being severely burned by a phosphorous hand grenade while serving as a river boat gunner in the Navy’s Brown Water Black Berets during the Vietnam War, Dave Roever thought that his life, as he knew it, was over.
            His biggest fear was that when his young wife saw the damage to his body, she would leave him, and this fear drove him to attempt suicide while in the hospital recovering from his injuries.
            His suicide attempt was unsuccessful, and soon after he was reunited with his wife, who walked up to his hospital bed at Brooke Army Medical Center and greeted him with a kiss and leaned down and said to him, “I just want you to know that I love you. Welcome home, Davie.” 
            At that moment, Roever knew his life was still worth living and after undergoing numerous major surgeries over the next 14 months, he defied his doctors’ prognosis that he would not survive his injuries and walked out of BAMC with the intention of sharing his faith and inspirational story to the world.
            For nearly 40 years, Roever has traveled through the United States and the world delivering his message of hope.  His most recent travels have brought him to Iraq, addressing service members deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
            Roever spoke to the Soldiers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division during a prayer luncheon held here, Nov. 27.
“It’s just amazing to hear his survivor’s story and to hear his sincerity and how he’s able to joke around,” said Spc. Charles Mazzarella, a mental health specialist with the brigade. “He’s got a true message for us not to give up on ourselves and not consider negative views – to just persevere. I think he’s an example of perseverance and he wants to enlighten us.  He’s a true, genuine person and it’s nice to meet people like that.”
            Mazzarella, a native of Wyoming, Pa., added that he has been a fan of Roever for many years, having watched him speak on the Trinity Broadcasting Network
“I was impressed with his sincerity then, and that’s what drew me in,” he said.  “When I saw his picture on the flyers, I just wanted to be here.”
            Roever’s speech was mixed with humor, much of it self-depreciating, as he shared several experiences in his life and repeatedly expressed his appreciation to all those who are serving in the military.
            “You’re the best answer to terrorism on the face of this earth,” Roever said. “You’re a gift to freedom that we all cherish deeply.”
            Joining Roever on his tour of Iraq was Betsy Brown, the founder of Heartsong Ministries, Inc., a Texas-based non-profit organization.
            Brown spoke briefly to the Soldiers before singing her song “Thank You For Being Faithful,” which she wrote for servicemembers who are deployed and then led the crowd in a rendition of “God Bless America.”
            “I’ve got friends who are so jealous that I get to be over here and be a voice for America and say, ‘You’re not forgotten. That people love you and pray for you,’” she told the Soldiers before yielding the podium to Roever.
            Roever encouraged the Soldiers not to discount their own individual roles in the fight against terrorism, and praised them for their willingness to stand for something.
            “I really enjoyed his message,” said Sgt. Jerry Smalls, a lab technician with the 15th Brigade Support Battalion from Camden, S.C. “He’s gone through so much and it just has a lot of impact.”
            Anyone who doubts the amount of hardships Roever has faced during his life need only look at the scars that cover his face, but according to him, it’s these scars that sum up his message of hope and never giving up so perfectly.
            “My scars tell you I got hurt,” Roever said, “but my scars also tell you I got over it.  If I didn’t have a scar, I’d have a wound, but I don’t – I’m healed.”

Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division join Betsy Brown, the founder of Heartsong Ministries, a non-profit organization in Texas, for a rendition of “God Bless America” during a prayer luncheon at Forward Operating Base Prosperity’s Black Jack Bistro in central Baghdad Nov. 27. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert Yde, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division  listen to  Dave Roever, a Vietnam veteran and internationally renowned motivational and inspirational speaker during a prayer luncheon at Forward Operating Base Prosperity’s Black Jack Bistro in central Baghdad Nov. 27. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert Yde, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

Dave Roever shares his message of hope based upon his own experiences, including a disfiguring injury suffered during the Vietnam War, with Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Forward Operating Base Prosperity’s Black Jack Bistro in central Baghdad during a prayer luncheon Nov. 27. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert Yde, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

A special ‘Thank You’ to Sgt Yde and the Soldiers who have worked so hard to get the news out to us!

Merry Christmas wishes to all of our men and women serving this great nation. And a hug to the families who are anxiously waiting for the return of our heroes.

Ya’ll Rock !

Wednesday Hero

December 19, 2007

This Weeks Hero Was Suggested By Leo

SSgt. Mike Mills

SSgt. Mike Mills

On June 14, 2005 SSgt. Mike Mills’s life was forever changed. The HETT(Heavy Equipment Transport System) he was riding in was hit by an IED. The attack resulted a cracked clavicle and scapula bones, dislocate shoulder, broken left hip, 4 out of 5 bones broken in his foot and being set on fire. The driver in the truck behind him ran with a cooler of melted ice which he threw on Sgt. Mills to put him out. He spent three months in the Brooks Army Medical Center at Ft. Sam Houston, TX with the injuries listed above plus 2nd, 3rd and deep tissue burns to 31% of the left side of his body. The first thing he remembers thinking after the attack was that his soldiers needed him and he needed to get back to them.

“Then the guilt set in about what I did to my family. I’ve totally screwed that up. Look at me, no don’t. I look hideous. How can I face my kids looking like this. They’ll be embarrassed to be seen with me. What if they won’t love me anymore? Speaking of love, my wife, oh my god. How can I expect her to stay with me. I’m not a man anymore. She’s not going to want be intimate with a freak. What if I can’t work, how do I support myself, my family.

I had the nightmares and couldn’t sleep. I wasn’t eating and was loosing weight. I didn’t really care. If I didn’t start eating, they where going to put the feeding tube back in. Who cares, I’ve totally screwed up my life anyways.”

But he found out just how much is wife loved him, when she stood by his side throughout the entire ordeal. She was there for every wound dressing and even learned how to change the dressings herself.

SSgt. Mike Mills now runs the site For The Veteran… By A Veteran in which he helps veterans, soldiers and their families find information they may not have been given after their medical discharge or retirement.

Some may say that Mike gave his country more than enough when he was severely maimed by an IED on that fateful day of June 14, 2005, but Mike continues to give to his fellow servicemen, as well as to his nation!

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.

The Light at the end of the Tunnel

December 18, 2007

It is getting closer… The families of the 4-9 Cav are all holding their breath collectively. Only a few more weeks and our families will be hugging their Soldiers. (yes, y’all it is an incredible experience!)

As the days draw near, please remember to keep the safety of our guys as your top priority. As much as I know that you want to shout the news from the roof tops, I am asking that you keep a fairly tight lip.

Our guys have worked hard and we are very proud of them… Let’s not ruin the reunions by placing them in danger.

Last night I visited a website for troop support and was surprised to see that a parent had post the actual date that her son was flying out of Iraq.

I completely understand her excitement and enthusiasm. But, that is so very scary!

In this cold twisted world there are ugly people with nasty agendas who are searching for information to do harm.

PLEASE be selective of who and where you are sharing information.  

HUGS to all… It won’t be long now!

Preparing for Christmas

December 17, 2007

Prosperity Christmas Tree Lighting

As we prepare for Christmas here in Texas, our hearts and prayers are with our Troops who are serving so far from home. We do not take for granted the comforts of our homes, nor the safety of our families. We are forever grateful for sacrifices that our Warriors make so that we can continue to live in peace.

2nd “Black Jack” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division commander, Col. Bryan Roberts, addresses Soldiers at the Black Jack Bistro before the lighting of the Forward Operating Base Prosperity’s Christmas tree in central Baghdad, Dec. 1. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert Yde, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public

2nd “Black Jack” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Soldiers kicked off the Christmas season at Forward Operating Base Prosperity in central Baghdad with the lighting of the Christmas tree inside the Black Jack Bistro, Dec. 1. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert Yde, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

Every year I read the following poem. Every year it warms my heart in much the same manner.

A Different Christmas Poem
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

‘What are you doing?’ I asked without fear,
‘Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!’

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
Then he sighed and he said ‘Its really all right, I’m out here by
choice. I’m here every night.’

‘It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ‘Pearl on a day in December,’
Then he sighed, ‘That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.’

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘Nam ‘,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue… an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..

Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.’
‘So go back inside,’ he said, ‘harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.’

‘But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
‘Give you money,’ I asked, ‘or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.’

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
‘Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.’

Down with a bug…

December 3, 2007

Hugs out to our Troops and their families.

I have been knocked out of commission by a lovely virus of sorts.

I am only here in spirit because I don’t want to share my bug with others.

Just a reminder to check out the Move America Forward web site and be sure to drop off your Christmas wishes for the Troops!