Friday, December 29, 2006

Resources for Marine parents

I was thinking today about how I felt when my oldest son told me he wanted to be a Marine. The first thing I did was start combing the internet for information. I knew very little about the Marines other than the "big and bad" reputation and I wanted to be informed. From the Google searches that are leading people to our blog, I'm guessing there are others out there in the same situation. Luckily for us, there are LOTS of resources for Marine parents on the internet. I would start with the official USMC parents website. Then go to the website. There are message boards for both parents of recruits and poolees as well as Marines. I found parents from both of my sons' recruit training companies and met many of them in San Diego at the graduations. The recruit message board is mostly San Diego parents, but there are some with Parris Island recruits as well. There are separate threads for each graduation date. On the Marine side of the message board the threads are organized according to duty station or unit. You may be able to find other parents with Marines in your son or daughter's unit. I found a mom there whose daughter is stationed with my oldest son and they are in the same unit. She met my son when she went to Japan to visit her daughter and I met her daughter when I went to visit my son. Another message board that I only found recently is the USMC EZ Board. There are more Parris Island parents here. I found the mom of my #2 son's room mate on the EZ Board. Those poor guys don't stand a chance with their moms talking to each other, do they? ;)

If your son will be going to MCRD San Diego for bootcamp (men west of the Mississippi)click here to see the official USMC training matrix. If your son or daughter will be going to bootcamp at Parris Island (men east of the Mississippi and all women) click here for more information. For unofficial (but highly recommended) graduation advice for San Diego visit Max's San Diego Graduation site, and a similar unofficial (but again highly recommended) site for Parris Island grads here.

Now, as far as I know, there are no similar websites for parents of other branches of the military. I do believe there are some official websites for parents, but no message boards or unofficial websites that I know of. If anyone knows of any, please pass them along.

The above picture was taken at MCRD San Diego before my second son's Family Day, which is the day before the actual graduation. It was the first time in 13 weeks for us to catch a glimpse of him. Aside from the days of their births, their graduations from bootcamp were the proudest (and most emotional) days of my life.

Lubbock Soldier to be portrayed on History Channel

Roy Velez, is honored and excited to see the History Channel special about his son Friday. The Velez family lost their son Freddy in 2004 when he was killed by enemy fire in Fallujah. Read the rest here. The special will be on today at noon and at 6:00pm tonight.

Blondiebee and I had the privilege to meet this precious family when they lost their second son Andrew. They are an inspiration to us. Their faith is still so strong even after losing two of their sons. We went to take food and just hoped we might be of some comfort to them. We were so blessed by that meeting and I think received more from the family than we were able to give. Roy, the father, has been nominated for Texan of the year. They will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

It was quiet that day, the guns and the mortars, and land mines for some reason hadn't been heard.

The young soldier knew it was Sunday, the holiest day of the week.

As he was sitting there, he got out an old deck of cards and laid them out across his bunk.

Just then a sergeant came in and said, "Why aren't you with the rest of the platoon?"

The soldier replied, "I thought I would stay behind and spend some time with the Lord."

The sergeant said, "Looks to me like you're going to play cards."

The soldier said, "No, sir. You see, since we are not allowed to have Bibles or other spiritual books in this country, I've decided to talk to the Lord by studying this deck of cards."

The sergeant asked in disbelief, "How will you do that?"

“You see the Ace, Sergeant? It reminds me that there is only one God.

~ The Two represents the two parts of the Bible, Old and New Testaments.

~ The Three represents the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost.

~ The Four stands for the Four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

~ The Five is for the five virgins. There were ten, but only five of them were glorified.

~ The Six is for the six days it took God to create the Heavens and Earth.

~ The Seven is for the day God rested after making His Creation.

~ The Eight is for the family of Noah and his wife, their three sons and their wives -- the eight people God spared from the flood that destroyed the Earth.

~ The Nine is for the lepers that Jesus cleansed of leprosy. He cleansed ten, but nine never thanked Him.

~ The Ten represents the Ten Commandments that God handed down to Moses on tablets made of stone.

~ The Jack is a reminder of Satan, one of God's first angels, but he got kicked out of heaven for his sly and wicked ways and is now the joker of eternal hell.

~ The Queen stands for the Virgin Mary.

~ The King stands for Jesus, for he is the King of all kings."

"When I count the dots on all the cards, I come up with 365 total, one for every day of the year."

"There are a total of 52 cards in a deck; each is a week - 52 weeks in a year."

"The four suits represent the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter."

"Each suit has thirteen cards -- there are exactly thirteen weeks in a quarter."

"So when I want to talk to God and thank Him, I just pull out this old deck of cards and they remind me of all that I have to be thankful for."

The sergeant just stood there. After a minute, with tears in his eyes and pain in his heart, he said, "Soldier, can I borrow that deck of cards?"

**Please let this be a reminder and take time to pray each day for all of our soldiers who are being sent away, putting their lives on the line fighting. When you read this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our servicemen and women all around the world.

Of all the gifts you could give a Soldier, prayer is the very best one.

~ Prayer for the Military ~

Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands.
Protect them.
Bless them and their families.
I ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Soldier From Lubbock Interviewed in Iraq

A Soldier from Lubbock is Interviewed in Iraq

GIs Continue Missions on Christmas

Associated Press December 25, 2006

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Pfc. John Alonzo knew Christmas would be his toughest time in Iraq. "Ever since I volunteered, I haven't been looking forward to it," said the 27-year-old, from Lubbock, Texas. "My son wants to know why I can't be home for the holidays. He doesn't understand that I can't just quit."

Read the rest of the post from De'on at Gunz Up here

Thursday, December 21, 2006

True American

This from our Lubbock Marine Parents Treasurer, Tanya. Very good I thought!

You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: It never occurred to you to be offended by the phrase, "One nation, under God."

You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You've never protested about seeing the 10 Commandments posted in public places.

You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You still say "Christmas" instead of "Winter Festival."

You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You bow your head when someone prays.

You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You stand and place your hand over your heart when they play the National Anthem.

You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You treat VietNam vets with great respect, and always have.

You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You've never burned an American flag.

You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You know what you believe and you aren't afraid to say so, no matter who is listening.

You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You respect your elders and expect your kids to do the same.

You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You'd give your last dollar to a friend.

God Bless the USA! Git'er done!!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

About those care packs...

You all may remember that a few weeks back our group mailed out 251 care packages to Iraq. We got a thank you note in the mail that I want to share. It's from one of our wonderful women Marines. Her letter brought tears to my eyes.

"Dear Lubbock Marine Parents,

Greetings from Camp TQ, Iraq! Lance Corporal S. here, my parents are Lee and Ann S. It sure was a nice surprise to receive a care package from you guys (perfect timing, I needed some new socks!), today. You all have done a lot to support us over here and we all appreciate everything you do. Just one more reason I feel so blessed to be out here with the group, and to be from Texas!

Everyone is doing well. Our morale is high and although the holidays are usually times when Marines get depressed and more homesick than usual, we have really solidified as a unit and are making the best of it. On the phone with my parents a few days ago my mother said, "It doesn't feel fair for you to have to miss Thanksgiving and Christmas with your family again due to deployment". I thought for a second and told her, "Well, Mom, I WILL be with my family for Thanksgiving and Christmas." In knowing that, and in having the support we do back home, I know Lubbock will contine to shine and do amazing things until it is time for us to leave here and come home. Thanks again for thinking of us, I hope everyone's holidays will be as good and as joyful as ours!

With God's Love and mine,

Morgan S., Lance Corporal, USMC"

Monday, December 18, 2006

Marine Jokes

I came across a bunch of Marine jokes today that I had printed out and sent to my oldest son while he was at bootcamp. I thought we could all use a laugh. I'll start with one of the funniest. Now, remember that these are all in fun! ;)

Rules For Dating a Marine's Daughter

Rule one:
If you pull into my driveway and honk you'd better be delivering a package, because you're sure not picking anything up.

Rule two:
You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter's body, I will remove them.

Rule three:
I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don't take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, in order to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place to your waist.

Rule four:
I'm sure you've been told that in today's world, sex without utilizing a "barrier method" of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate, when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.

Rule five:
It is usually understood that in order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is "early".

Rule six:
I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. this is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.

Rule seven:
As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process that can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don't you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?

Rule eight:
The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there are no parents, policemen, or nuns within eyesight. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff t-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka - zipped up to her throat. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies which feature chain saws are okay. Hockey games are okay. Old folks homes are better.

Rule nine:
Do not lie to me. On issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres behind the house. Do not trifle with me.

Rule ten:
Be afraid. Be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a tank coming in through the desert in Iraq. The voices in my head frequently tell me to clean the guns as I wait for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull into the driveway you should exit your car with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early, then return to your car - there is no need for you to come inside. The camouflaged face at the window is mine.

Army Ranger, Marines and crocodile shoes....

An Army Ranger was on vacation in the depths of Louisiana and he wanted a pair of genuine alligator shoes in the worst way, but was very reluctant to pay the high prices the local vendors were asking.
After becoming very frustrated with the "no haggle" attitude of one of the shopkeepers, the Ranger shouted, "maybe I'll just go out and get my own alligator so I can get a pair of shoes made at a reasonable price!"

The vendor said, "By all means, be my guest. Maybe you will run into a couple of Marines who were in here earlier saying the same thing."

So the Ranger headed into the bayou that same day and a few hours later came upon two men standing waist deep in the water. He thought, "those must be the two Marines the guy in town was talking about." Just then, the Ranger saw a tremendously long gator swimming rapidly underwater towards one of the Marines.

Just as the gator was about to attack, the Marine grabbed its neck with both hands and strangled it to death with very little effort. Then both Marines dragged it on shore and flipped it on its back. Laying nearby were several more of the creatures.

One of the Marines then exclaimed, "Damn, this one doesn't have any shoes either!"

New Basic Training Rules
In an effort to ensure proper training and readiness among the military services, Congress has approved the following changes to basic principles of recruit training:


Marines: Heads will be shaved.
Army: Stylish flat-top's for all recruits.
Navy: No haircut standard.
Air Force: Complete makeovers as seen on the Jenny Jones show.

Training Hours:

Marines: Reveille at 0500, train until 2000.
Army: Reveille at 0600, train until 1900.
Navy: Get out of bed at 0900, train until 1100, lunch until 1300, train until 1600.
Air Force: Awaken at 1000, breakfast in bed, train from 1100 to 1200, lunch at 1200, train from 1300 to 1400, nap at 1400, awaken from nap at 1500, training ceases at 1500.


Marines: Meals, Ready-to-Eat 3 times a day.
Army: One hot meal, 2 MRE's.
Navy: 3 hot meals.
Air Force: Catered meals prepared by the Galloping Gourmet, Julia Child, and Wolfgang Puck and Emeril Lagasse. All you can eat.

Leave And Liberty:

Marines: None.
Army: 4 hours a week.
Navy: 2 days a week.
Air Force: For every four hours of training, recruits will receive eight hours of leave and liberty.


Marines: Will address all officers as "Sir," and refer to the rank of all enlisted members when speaking to them (i.e., Sgt. Jones).
Army: Will address all officers as "Sir," unless they are friends, and will call all enlisted personnel "Sarge."
Navy: Will address all officers as "Skipper," and all enlisted personnel as "Chief."
Air Force: All Air Force personnel shall be on a first name basis with each other.


Marines: Medals and badges are awarded for acts of gallantry and bravery only.
Army: Medals and badges are awarded for every bullet fired, hand grenade thrown, fitness test passed, and bed made.
Navy: Will have ships' engineers make medals for them as desired.
Air Force: Will be issued all medals and badges, as they will most likely be awarded them at some point early in their careers anyway.

Camouflage Uniforms:

Marines: Work uniform, to be worn only during training and in field situations.
Army: Will wear it anytime, anywhere.
Navy: Will not wear camouflage uniforms, they do not camouflage you on a ship. (Ship Captains will make every effort to attempt to explain this to sailors.)
Air Force: Will defeat the purpose of camouflage uniforms by putting blue and silver chevrons and colorful squadron patches all over them.

Career Fields:

Marines: All Marines shall be considered riflemen first and foremost.
Army: It doesn't matter, all career fields promote to E-8 in first enlistment anyway.
Navy: Nobody knows. The Navy is still trying figure out what sailors in the ABH, SMC, BNC and BSN rates do anyway.
Air Force: Every recruit will be trained in a manner that will allow them to leave the service early to go on to higher paying civilian jobs.

A sailor in a bar leans over to the guy next to him and says "Wanna hear a MARINE joke"? The guy next to him says "Well, before you tell that joke, you should know something. I'm 6 foot tall, 200 lbs, and I'm a MARINE. The guy sitting next to me is 6 foot 2inches tall, weighs 225, and he's a MARINE. The fella next to him is 6 foot 5 inches tall, weighs 250, and he's also a MARINE. Now, you still wanna tell that joke?"

The sailor says, "Nah, I don't want to have to explain it three times."

Friday, December 08, 2006

Psalm 91

Praying the Prayers of Psalm 91 over our military today.

TJ, my stepson has been on my mind all day today, as have many others who are leaving 3/7 this time of the year. TJ has reupped and transfered to Bridgeport, California. My thoughts are a little on the sad side as this transition in his life occurs, I feel like I am loosing 3/7 family. All of the young men of 3/7 have become very dear to my heart. They will soon be gone again in a few months. This Prayer straight from the scripture is for those who are currently serving and I feel it will pave the way for 3/7 in their future.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge—
then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Remember Pearl Harbor

65 years ago today our country was attacked at Pearl Harbor. It was "a day that will live in infamy". It is so important that we remember our history and honor those who served our country then and those who continue to do so today. My family is grateful for their service and sacrifice.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I Am A Blue Star Mother

I am a Blue Star Mother.
I am the Mother of a United States Marine.
He gave me my title
I will give him a heart full of wonder at this accomplishment
And a voice that praises his desire to serve
I will place my faith in his military training
And in God's protection.
I will give him the prayers that will follow him
Where I cannot.
I will be strong when I want to cry
And brave when I want to cower.
He will know I am behind him every step of the way.
Because I bear the title of
Mother of a United States Marine!

IED Hunter

Beth at Blue Star Chronicles has a funny video that I think all you Marine parents will love. Click here to watch it. Oh the things our Marines will do to entertain themselves...

A New Team Member

We now have a new contributor to our blog! Blondiebee (another Marine mom and Lubbock Marine Parents officer) has joined me and I know the blog will be twice as good now. I can't wait to see what she has to say! I'm thrilled because now if I post something stupid, it won't be blamed on the whole group! ;) Too much responsibility!

Oh, and I have an update. Steven (my oldest son) has his plane tickets! I can officially go into high gear excited mother mode! He'll be here in less than 2 weeks!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Semper Fi Fund

I want to make you aware of a wonderful organization called the Semper Fi Fund. They are an organization that provides assistance to injured Marines. Some families like to give to charity in lieu of gifts at Christmas, and this is an excellent one. If you get a chance to visit the website, be sure to read the Heroes' Stories.