Wednesday Hero

March 12, 2008
Sgt. Steve Morin Jr.

Sgt. Steve Morin Jr.
34 years old from Arlington, Texas
111th Engineer Battalion, 36th Infantry Division, Texas Army National Guard
September 28, 2005


From the time he finished high school, Sgt. Steve Morin Jr. made serving in the military his career.“He always stood up for what he thought was right,” Gwendolyn Michelle Morin, his wife, said. “He was a fighter. He would never give up.”

“He had called me to let me know what he was going to do that day,” she said. He expected to be able to call her more often because of the missions he was being assigned. Sometimes they would go 11 or 12 days between calls.

Morin enlisted in the Navy after graduating high school in his hometown of Brownfield, Texas at 17. By 34, Morin had devoted 14 years to the Navy, served in the National Guard for two and planned to attend Officers Candidate School.

Morin was still in the Navy when he met his wife. At the time, the two were working for a photo company; he was Santa Claus and she was an elf, she said. Both were attending Texas Tech University. “It was funny because we always kept running into each other. He would hang outside my classes and wait for me with a Diet Coke,” recalled Gwendolyn. “He knew how to make me really happy.”

Sgt. Morin died when an IED went off, overturning the vehicle he was riding in near Umm Qasr, Iraq.

“He’s very strong willed, very determined. Humorous, a clown, but he was also very disciplined and very passionate about what he believed in,” Gwendolyn Morin said. “He always wanted to serve his country.”

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.


Supporting the Troops

March 1, 2008

I have been AWOL… (is there such a thing as Official Leave for Civilians?) Perhaps a better term would be AWOB… Absent With Out Blogging. Rather than go into a boring list of reasons, I will attempt to jump back into this.

Today I am sharing a fantastic email from my Favorite Marine: 

Have you ever walk into a room and immediately felt an enormous energy field?  It happened to me about 2 weeks ago. 

I walked into the fitness center in my building and there were 2 people in there; one of the condo owners and the other a petite blond I had never seen before.

The gentleman said, “Speaking of Marines,” as he nodded toward me.  The conversation started going 100 mph from that point on.  One of the first things said was that Dianne was from Berkley, CA – that’s what I thought I heard and we all rolled our eyes because of the protests going on at the campus concerning Marines. 

In reality, she’s from Tampa.  With me asking a few questions I found out a truly amazing thing about Dianne.

The Berkley connection was that she was so outraged over the protests that she got on a plane, by herself, and flew there for the sole purpose to take these people on single-handedly and to tell them to leave “her” Marines alone! 

She even got 2 of them arrested when they spray painted her (followed by her macing them)!! 

What I misunderstood about her living there was that she had just returned from that trip. 

I had an immediate respect and awe for Dianne.  I don’t know of anyone who would do something like this.  I asked her why she had this passion – what was her Marine connection. 

She kept alluding to “her” Marines – the tens of thousands of them in Iraq and Afghanistan; that she doesn’t want anyone “slamming” them, etc. 

Like many of my friends, Dianne started collecting goodies and mailing them to Marines a few years ago when the war started.  One thing led to another and soon all her waking hours were consumed with collecting and mailing packages and she was soon spending well over $2,000 of her own money, per month, to do this.  She didn’t care. 

Oh, and Dianne is a personal fitness trainer who started her own successful business and employs 10 trainers.  Her friends and the local businesses finally convinced her to start a non-profit organization to help her with the financial strain. 

Support our Marines was born on November 10, 2007 – picked because of the birthday of the Marine Corps

What many of you may not know is that more and more Marines are living further away from the main bases so they have less access to buy even the basics than they did 2 years ago.  We have learned that to be successful in this war, we need to get closer to the local population. 

Marines do not complain and we do what is necessary.  We always adapt.  Because of the greater sacrifices expected of the units, packages from home mean all that much more, now. 

“Most of our Marines operate out of very isolated combat outpost and under some of the harshest conditions. No hot water, we use things like WAG bags for our waste, we use plywood built outhouse and sleep in some of the worst buildings and conditions. But on the other hand (some) of our Marines live and operate in conditions that are better than some but worse than most. Overall though, we are determined and committed to accomplishing our missions out here. No matter what the conditions are we will do our jobs as Marines!” Quote from a sergeant with TF 3/2. 

Of course all of these Marines (in AFG and Iraq) are in the U.S. Marine Forces Central Command’s (MARCENT) area of responsibility, (so they are even more near and dear to my heart because I work at MARCENT). 

I wanted you to know about this wonderful woman and what she is doing. 

Please feel free to pass on this email and introduce Dianne to others, too!

Sharon 

Support Our Marines

Sending a wave and a hug to Dianne. We understand why you stands up and fights for “your Marines”… as many of us have also adopted those in the military past and present. The brave men and women, who fight for us, have all become members of our extended family.


Pass on the Message

February 21, 2008

I have a complete post (I promise)

But, right now it is banging around in my head. When I get a couple hours (I type very slowly) I will  air my complete thoughts on the assault of our Troops.


We Stand Behind You

February 20, 2008

Many have been following the events in Berkeley, CA.

I would like to add: We too stand proudly behind the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. We will not sit quietly by and allow the loud and misguided to slander their names.

Thanks to the power of the Internet we are able to see the truth. We are not led by the voices of those, such as the Berkeley City Council, who choose to spread ill will.

We are proud of those who fight for us and in turn, we will fight for you on the home front.

(and a special hug to my very own L’il Trooper… We love you son!) 


Incredible Story from Iraq

January 14, 2008

Debbie Lee and our Troops in Iraq

Iraq’s Progress, Safety and Blessing

Darkness surrounded her as the helicopter lifted, whipping the air around her with a reverberating thump, thump, thump. A tall blonde in a war-torn Middle Eastern land, Debbie Lee felt a familiar ache in her heart.

She stood in a Western Iraqi city where her son, Marc Alan Lee, gave his life. He was the first Navy SEAL to die while fighting terrorists in Iraq.

As she stepped onto the sand where her son was killed, Debbie Lee became the first mother to visit the city where her son died for America in the Iraq War. She walked through Camp Marc Lee and saw where her son slept and ate. “I feel very blessed,” Lee said. “It was a miracle to me to be where Marc was, to see what he saw and walk where he walked.”Please read the rest of the story here:  Human Events


Rally Behind the Troops

November 26, 2007

Move America Forward is once again asking us to rally behind the troops:

November 26 – December 16


Join Move America Forward for the “Honoring Heroes at the Holidays Tour” this November 26th – December 16th as we cross this nation holding pro-troop events in 40 cities across America to honor and salute the men and women of the U.S. military who will be thousands of miles away from their homes and families during this holiday season. (Help us pay for the cost of this effort by making a donation – HERE).


 

Along the tour we will be collecting more than 100,000 Christmas, Hanukkah and holiday greeting cards for our troops that we will deliver to them in Iraq and Afghanistan. Get your kids involved, and invite local schools to participate! On the outside envelope be sure to write either: “Christmas Card for Our Troops” or “Hanukkah Card for Our Troops” or “Holiday Card for Our Troops.”

Hear what legendary TV personality, Ed McMahon, has to say about the effort – CLICK HERE to LISTEN.

Bring the cards to one of our 40 pro-troop holiday events along the route of the “Honoring Our Heroes at the Holidays Tour” – you can find our tour route and itinerary here:


View the Tentative Route/Itinerary – HERE

 

That will put the rally in Texas December 1st – 4th! I am very excited as this is the first time they have travelled thru Houston. The Houston location is yet to be determined, but they will be in town at 3:00pm on the 4th! If you are not along the route and would like to donate cards for the Troops, please leave me a message.
 

Check www.moveamericaforward.org  Please help to get the word out and turn out a great crowd.

I will be posting updates as they come across.


Giving Thanks…

November 21, 2007

This year as we prepare to give thanks, let us pause and thank the men and women in the Military who are separated from their loved ones. Let us take a moment to thank those who have served in the past. And let us remember those who died that we might be free.
 
I am so very thankful to have our Li’l Trooper sitting at the table with us this year!
I am so very thankful for our many friends and family.

And I am thankful to live in this country, where I am FREE!

The following email was sent to me this morning and I would like everyone to take a moment or two to read the words of Michelle Malkin. This article puts life in a proper perspective for me.

God Bless you and yours this Holiday season

Stop Before You Gripe

By Michelle Malkin

Before you blow your top about the holiday hassle at the airport, the long lines at the grocery store, all the hours you’ll spend cooking and cleaning, the uninvited guests who are crashing hubby’s football party, and the endless Christmas shopping list that awaits, just stop.Stop and think of the Johnson family. Army Spc. John Austin Johnson of El Paso, Texas, is recovering from massive head wounds sustained in an IED attack. Johnson is a member of Fort Bliss’ 4-1 Cavalry. He had survived five previous bombing incidents. That is not all.

Earlier this month, Johnson and his wife, Mona Lisa, buried their 9-year-old son, Tyler Anthony Johnson. The little boy had been on life support for several weeks after sustaining critical injuries in a horrible car accident. He was on his way with his family to see his dad in recuperation at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. He never made it. The family car rolled over several times after being hit by powerful blasts of wind. Tyler was laid to rest at Pinecrest Memorial Park in Benton, Ark. That is not all.

The Johnsons had two other children. Ashley Mishelle was 5 years old. Logan Wesley was 2. They were killed instantly in the same car crash that claimed their older brother’s life. During the funeral service, the Benton Courier reported, the program included Ashley Mishelle’s favorite song — Ashley Simpson’s ‘Pieces of Me’ — and Sarah McLachlan’s haunting ‘In the Arms of an Angel.’ White doves were donated by a retired military officer.

To lose one child is devastating enough. To lose three? While recovering from traumatic war injuries? And to bury three little angels just weeks before Thanksgiving? No parent can read of suffering like that of the Johnsons and indulge the petty, selfish complaints of holiday gripers and road-ragers. The complainers featured on the nightly news this week wallowing in self-pity over a few hours’ delay on the road or in the air need to get a grip, get over themselves and get some perspective.

C.S. Lewis wrote famously that ‘G-d whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.’ Thankfully, countless citizens were roused by the Johnsons’ plight — and demonstrated that the American giving spirit lasts 365 days a year.

More than 200 Patriot Guard Riders, the volunteer band of motorcycle enthusiasts who provide protection during military funerals, served as Tyler’s pallbearers. The Patriot Guards traveled from Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana to attend. Anonymous donors provided the gravesites and markers for the children’s plots. That is not all.

Soldiers’ Angels provided hotel stays as needed for the Johnsons’ extended family in Dallas, a Brooke Army Medical Center official told the American Forces Press Service. The group also provided funding for food and other basic needs. The Dallas Veteran Service Organization and the Veterans of Foreign Wars pitched in with meals. Operation Comfort covered gas for rental cars, which were provided by Hertz and National. That is not all.

The Fisher House Foundation’s Hero Miles program provided travel for Johnson to get to his injured wife. American Airlines picked up the tab for the Johnsons to travel to their children’s funerals. The Professional Golfers Association raised $95,000 for a new car and other expenses. Operation Homefront will use leftover funds to build a permanent memorial playground in the children’s honor at Fort Bliss.

Before Thanksgiving brings out the worst in you, stop before you gripe. Give thanks for noisy houses, healthy children and overflowing company. Give thanks for bounteous tables, rambunctious friends and neighbors, life and limb. And give thanks for those who give of themselves — in service to our nation, in civic duty and in answer to His call — all year ’round. That is all.