Monday, April 30, 2007

Charlie Daniels Band

I guess I'm on a music kick with my postings lately.

The Charlie Daniels Band has entertained the troops in Iraq and on May 16th, they are scheduled to perform a free concert at MCAS New River to honor the Marines and sailors of the Wounded Warrior Battalion-East. The concert, organized by the Spirit of America Tour, is open to active duty, reservists, retirees, DoD employees, their families, and guests. My second son is stationed there and is planning to attend. I know he will enjoy it.

Charlie Daniels has a great website (where I got the picture)and even a
Soap Box. Here is his latest Soap Box posting:

Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2007 02:41 pm

Semantics, Misnomers, Political Correctness and Plain Old
Barnyard Sweepings

I think it was Shakespeare who said that a rose by any other name would
smell as sweet. Well political correctness and the stuff we shovel out of
the barnyard after the bulls have spent the night have a similar odor.

For instance, tell me what is the difference between an Islamic terrorist
who gets on a bus in Jerusalem with a suicide vest and blows up a load of
innocent women and children and an Islamic terrorist who sets a bomb on a
train in London or Madrid? What differentiates between an Islamic
terrorist who runs a plane loaded with passengers into a skyscraper loaded with people and an Islamic terrorist who hacks the head off a journalist?

Where lies the difference between an Islamic terrorist who blows up an
embassy full of people, an Islamic terrorist who brings down a
barracks full of Marines and one who comes into Iraq through Syria and sets roadside bombs to kill American troops?

It is no longer politically correct to call the War in Iraq the War on
Terror and the reason for that is purely political and inspired by people
who for the most part don't want America to win the war in Iraq. And
in my book they are so low they could jump off a brickbat and commit suicide and just about as dumb as a box of sand gnats.

I know that we are being led to believe that if we'll just leave Iraq the
war will be over and all will be lovely and sweet and we'll leave all the
Islamic terrorists in Southwest Asia.

Well let me just remind you all of something and you can believe it
now or you can believe it later but one day you will believe it.

These Islamic terrorists are not just committed to winning the war in
Iraq, they are committed to wiping America and Israel off the face of the earth and they sure can't do it by running us out of Iraq.

Were we in Iraq when 9-11 took place? Were we in Iraq when our embassies were blown up and our Marines murdered by Islamic terrorists?

Well folks let me tell you something. I¹m afraid that we're going to find
out who is right about this situation because I think a combination of
self serving politicians allied with an irresponsible and anemic media is
going to force us to bring our troops home before we get the job done in Iraq.

And the problem is that once we do that and find out that we were wrong.
When the oil in the Middle East is controlled by radical islamics,
when the flower children politicians weaken homeland security, when Iran
blackmails the world with a nuclear weapon it will be too late.

Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Teddy Kennedy, Joe Biden, Barrack Obama, John
Edwards, Dennis Kucinich. Remember these names and when it all goes to hell you can send them and their ilk a thank you

Serious business needs serious people not dingaling politicians with
their heads in the clouds.

Pray for our troops.

What do you think?

God Bless America

Charlie Daniels

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Bagpipes Cryin'

Some of the Marine moms on the message board have been talking about the songs that make us appreciate what our sons and daughters are doing and are particularly meaningful to us right now. Here's what some of the moms said:

God Bless The USA-Lee Greenwood
American Soldier-Toby Keith
My Wish-Rascal Flatts

My son and I danced to Mark Shultz' (Christian/Contemporary) Letter's from War for our Mother/Son Dance when he got married.

Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" Every time I hear it, I'm back at boot camp at the ceremony on family day. Tears streaming, heart bursting with pride and wanting so badly to get a hold of my son that I didn't know what do too.

Bumper of my SUV is always good!

The Eighth of November by Big & Rich is the song that my son came home and made me listen to. He told me that this was the song that made him decide to go ahead and join the Marines. The first time that I listened to it I cried, go figure.

Some Gave All - Billy Ray Cyrus

I remember the first time I heard 8th of November, I went to pieces! I literally would have to turn off the radio or tv or change the station for a long time. If I'm not mistaken it was while he was in Boot Camp and I was already an emotional train wreck (anybody else remember those days?) Looking back, Boot Camp seems like a walk in the park, but we're still hanging in here.

The song by John Michael Montgomery, "Letters from Home", was popular when my son was in boot camp. It would make me tear up with pride everytime I heard it. Same thing happens now every time I here a patriotic song.

I ALWAYS cry during the National Anthem - it IS the greatest American song! Living overseas has made me all the more grateful and proud to be American!

I really love "bagpipes cryin" by Rushlow Harris. Really great song, makes me cry everytime I hear it.

Here is the video for 8th of November by Big and Rich.

I had never heard of "Bagpipes Cryin'", so I did a search for it and found this video with the song.
Here are the lyrics:
Artist/Song name- Rushlow Harris- Bagpipes cryin' lyrics

Stumbled across an old green box
in my granddaddy's house
Inside was a cross
some old dog tags
and a picture of when he was shipping out.
So I showed it to him
said "tell me about those days"
When he looked inside
he closed his eyes all he could say was:

"I hear bagpipes cryin' Amazing Grace
Omaha Beach and her crashing waves.
Old Glory draped like Heaven's mercy
over the fallen sons.
I see all the heroes
who were willing to fight in the name of freedom
layin' down their lives.
And prayin' God's grace
would keep us safe from harm
until they brought us boys back home."

Those words to a boy that became a man
now I'm ankle deep in this Persian sand.
And every day I'm giving all I can
because I'm damn proud to be American
Yeah, I made some friends
and I've lost some too
When I think about what they gave for me and you

I hear bagpipes cryin' Amazing Grace
tears rolling down a mother's face.
Old Glory draped like Heaven's mercy
over the fallen sons.
I see all the heroes who are willing to fight
in the name of freedom layin' down their lives.
And prayin' God's grace
would keep us safe from harm
until they bring us boys back home

I hear bagpipes cryin' Amazing Grace,
tears rolling down a mother's face.
Old Glory draped like Heaven's mercy
over the fallen sons.
I see all the heroes
who are willing to fight in the name of freedom
layin' down their lives.
And prayin' God's grace would keep you safe from harm,
until they bring you boys back home
'till they bring you boys back home
till they bring you boys back home.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Mothers of War

I saw the entire trailer for this movie on a Myspace video, but I don't know how to embed it here. This is a short clip, but it still carries a Kleenex warning!

Adorable Mascot

My oldest son met Cpl Jiggs when he was at camp Fuji awhile back. He loved that they have a mascot there. Cpl Jiggs is apparently a pretty popular fellow.

‘Adorable’ mascot keeps Marines on Camp Fuji in line

April 20, 2007; Submitted on: 04/19/2007 06:59:54 PM ; Story ID#: 2007419185954

By Cpl. Warren Peace, MCB Camp Butler

CAMP FUJI, Japan (April 20, 2007) -- Cpl. Dan Daly Jiggs may be the only Marine to relieve himself on the floor of his commander’s office and not receive a court martial.

At minimum, Jiggs fled the scene of an accident, violating Article 134 of the Uniform Code of
Military Justice about a year ago when he committed the heinous act, which is punishable with a bad-conduct discharge and six months of brig time.

But Jiggs managed to get off light, receiving a non-judicial punishment and being denied an upcoming promotion.

With the smelly incident behind him, these days the base mascot struts around Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji, Japan, demanding a certain level of attention usually reserved for commanding generals. No one seems to care he has less discipline than any other Marine on base.

This twelve-inch tall, 5-year-old bulldog’s devious exploits have earned him a reputation for having a total disregard for authority since he graduated boot camp June 6, 2005.

Years ago, Stars and Stripes reported that he ignored former Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James L. Jones when Jones entered the room. Jiggs, with his typical nonchalant manner, lay on the floor chewing on another Marine’s uniform cover.

Also, while he was attending “Doggy” Boot Camp on Yokota Air Base, Jiggs failed to report for duty and received his first non-judicial punishment for unauthorized absence. He was demoted from private first class to private for the infraction.

With his less than admirable service record, why is he still liked by the Marines and sailors of Camp Fuji?

“Jiggs keeps me company,” said Cpl. Robert C. Phalen, Jiggs’ handler and roommate. “He is kind hearted, but he has a very unique personality.”

Jiggs’ duties as mascot include visiting orphanages near the base, greeting base visitors and promoting good morale throughout the installation.

However, Jiggs seems to think his duties are eating rocks, attacking anything that makes noise – especially paper shredders and vacuums – and attacking formations of Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets.

“When a cadet is out of step during a (marching drill), Jiggs bites at his boots to correct him,” Phalen said. “I think he is just biting the one that looks different from the rest, but it lets (the cadet) know he is out of step.”

When he is not acting as a drill instructor, he reverts back to his mischievous ways, committing acts such as marking his territory on the vehicle tires of Camp Fuji officials. Not only is he man’s best friend, but he is quite the ladies’ man.

“He was so adorable … We just fell in love!” the Raiders’ cheerleaders wrote on their Web site after a visit to the base last year.

His charisma goes farther than just turning the heads of cheerleaders.

“I love that dog,” said Cpl. Paul G. Johnston, the watch commander with the Camp Fuji Provost Marshall’s Office. “It puts a smile on my face just watching him grow up. He has grown into a fine Marine.”Source

Friday, April 27, 2007

Texas Eagles

Yours truly is now the coordinator for the Lubbock area Gathering of Eagles. I am so proud to be a part of this great organization. If you are interested in being an Eagle please let me know. Read the mission statement here. Texas Eagles also have their own site here. I've also put the links in the sidebar, so you can find them at any time.

You know you're a Marine Mom when...

*I brought this back up to the top. It's one of my favorites and I'm in too big of a hurry to post anything else this morning! ;)

This list has been added to from Marine moms all over the place and posted on several message boards. We think it's hilarious and oh so true! Feel free to add some of your own.

You know you're a Marine Mom when...
1. Your last good night's sleep was 6 months before he left for bootcamp.
2. You have finally resigned yourself to the fact that Marine mail is delivered seasonally rather than daily.
3. Your Marine gives you ironing tips.
4. Your Marine's version of pneumonia is "It's just a cold, I'm fine."
5. You realize the Marine Corps cure-all is Motrin.
6. The mere word "deployment" has you on the phone refilling your Xanax.
7. You can't quite figure out what non-Marine mothers worry about.
8. You finally realize that Drill Instructors are not the anti-Christ and are more like heroes.
9. You've mailed at least a few packages that have been on around-the-world tours.
10. You forgot there were TV stations other than Fox News.
11. You find yourself bragging to friends about your Marine's accuracy with an M-16.
12. You will get in a high speed chase just to catch up with someone's Marine Corps bumper sticker.
13. When everything in your closet has Marine Mom on it and if it doesn't, you put pins and yellow ribbons on it.
14. When you recognize the haircut and ask if you can have a hug because your son is deployed.
15. Someone says to you "My son has a high ASVAB and a great GP so after he leaves PI for CL and finishes his MOS at the SOI he is going to try for MSG." and it makes sense to you.
16. When you don't mind watching military movies even though you hated them growing up.
17. You tell your nephews they need a "high and tight".
18. You and your husband buy a "good" flagpole for the front yard for Christmas and fly the American flag and the USMC flag 24/7, lighted, and money is no object.
19. You buy cadence CDs and listen to them when you power walk.
20. Your friends and family always start conversations with "How are the boys?"
21. You make sure to get up early to watch the Rose Bowl Parade so you can see the Marine Band.
22. You tear up every time you see someone in uniform.
23. When you have no small children, but you search toy stores for Marine G.I. Joes and buy them.
24. When the post office personnel know you by your first name.
25. When your son is in Iraq and you dial his cell phone so you can hear his voice on his outgoing message.
26. When you always know what time it is in Iraq or Okinawa or San Diego.
27. Your son has the ability to iron his own shirt...while he is wearing it!
28. You don't mind the long lines at the post office because you are NOT leaving until you get that care package mailed to your Marine.
29. You BEG his life-long best friend to do a "David impression" and then everyone eats David's favorite foods.
30. When the phone rings you don't answer it unless the caller ID shows it is your Marine and then you run over husband, cats, dogs, small children and little old ladies to answer the phone, no matter what injuries any of them might sustain in the process.
31. You purchase Marine shirts for grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
32. You have a bad day at work and your co-workers serenade you with the Marine Hymn and give you a red rose and the whole office is crying.
33. Your son, who had such a messy room growing up that is was a health hazard, informs you on a visit home that you flunked inspection because of a little dust.
34. When your Marine calls YOU for information because he knows you'll get it from the other moms online.
35. When watching the West Wing you care nothing about the plot, you are just peering closely to see the Marines in dress blues at the White House.
36. You are mopping the kitchen floor and your son walks in and says "You call that cleaning?"
37. You have a blue star banner proudly displayed in your picture window.
38. You search military websites for any news of where your son or daughter might be/has been.
39. Your email has the Iwo Jima background, an animated American flag, a "We Support Our Troops" yellow ribbon icon and plays the Marine Hymn in a continuous loop.
40. When you try to read aloud to others the "You know you are a Marine mom when..." list you can't because of the lump in your throat and the tears in your eyes.
41. You taped the Marine's Toys for Tots commercial where the little boy tells the Marine "you really are Santa Claus" and you cry every time you see it.

You know You're a Marine Mom When...Part II

Due to the popularity of "You Know You're a Marine Mom When..." we are adding a few more. Most of these apply to all military moms of course, but since we are Marine moms and these were written by Marine moms, we'll leave it at that.

You Know You're a Marine Mom When...

42. Your weather check page includes Doha, Kuwait, Baghdad, Okinawa and San Diego.
43. You stalk a man at the grocery store in a Marine cap so you can tell him about your Marine.
44. You find a way to work into every conversation that your son/daughter is a Marine. "Would you like to supersize that ma'am?" "No, but speaking of super, did you know that my son is a Marine?"
45. You have to move a pile of priority mail boxes, bubble wrap, and "special: to be shipped" items to sit down in the living room.
46. You leave a special message to your Marine in your outgoing voicemail/answering machine. "If this is John I miss you and I love you!"
47. You stand in the checkout line with a cart full of Easy Mac, protein bars, and snuff and people stare at you and wonder what kind of strange diet you are on.
48. You sleep with your phone in your hand.
49. The new sacker at the grocery store puts your bread in the bottom of the bag and you ask to see his Sergeant.
50. Your boss asks if your are finished with your project and you say "good to go ma'am!"
51. You go out to your mail box with your reading glasses and a letter opener.
52. You wait for what seems like years for that first phone call from Iraq and then when you miss it by going out for the newspaper you lay on the floor and sob uncontrollably.
53. You don't really "sweat the small stuff". Just that fact that your Marine is in the same hemisphere is enough to make you do the happy dance.
54. You insist that your Marine wear his uniform to have a family portrait taken at Sears Photography Studio. ...I got there before my son and daughter did and when I saw them walking through the sales floor - in full uniform - I proudly and loudly announced, to the entire store, that 'that Marine and Sailor are MY BABIES'
55. Your idea of a dream date is R. Lee Ermey.
56. The proudest moment in your life is when your son calls and tells you he is the most hated DI in the platoon.
57. You tell your family that "chow" is on the table.

Here's a few from some Marine dads. You Know You're a Marine Dad when...

58. When other men talk of their son's accomplishments and you quietly know in your heart, my son is a man of honor, a warrior that is no longer a "boy", but a man capable of defending and protecting lesser men's sons.
59. When you pass un-kempt, slovenly, ragged boy/children on the street and know deep in your heart that a little Marine training and they too could be a man instead of a life long child.
60. When you pass a group of anti-American, cowardly, pierced, atheistic pagan, haters of western civilization spewing nonsense and venom and you know only because my son and others like him stand for freedom can you fools continue your lunacy.
61. The Commandant's Own comes to your town and you go to every single performance and shout OOOHRAAAH at all the appropriate times. You ask them to play "Semper Fi" at least twice. You wear out all their CDs playing them in your truck.
62. Your dog is named "Ammo" and your Marine put a M-16 A2 shell on his collar. You don't care that your neighbors are horrified.
63. You seek out and thank every veteran you can.
64. The repair man says "Thank your son for his service" and you wonder what tipped him off (could it be the yellow banner now tacked above your garage door that once flew downtown that has his name and
service on it, or maybe the blue star flag, yellow ribbons and Another Family Supporting Our Troops signs in the windows?)
65. When you drive 40 miles in a snowstorm to the next town to go to a Veteran's Day ceremony because there's a Marine Colonel speaking.
66. You get out of a speeding ticket when the officer sees your Marine stickers and asks "Whose the Marine?" Then hands you just a warning with the statement "Courtesy of your son."
67. Someone complains and you hand them a package of straws while saying "suck it up".

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Where did he go?

This is what happens when a Soldier's wife brings out the "Honey Do" list. ;)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Former Dallas Cowboy Visits Wounded Warriors

Just part of the reason I'm a Cowboys fan. ;)

Former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Chad Hennings talks with Marine Sgt. Shermander Jackson of Brundidge, Ala., while his mother tries on one of Hennings' Super Bowl rings during a barbecue lunch for the injured service members at the Center for the Intrepid at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio April 12.

Former Dallas Cowboy visits Wounded Warriors
April 12, 2007; Submitted on: 04/25/2007 03:28:19 PM ; Story ID#: 2007425152819

By Gunnery Sgt. Rusty Baker, Marine Aircraft Group 41

FORT WORTH, Texas — (April 12, 2007) -- The busy hallway of the Texas hospital began to buzz with excitement. “Is that him? – Wow, he’s a giant!” The sound of cowboy boots clicking down the hallway gave him away even before rounding the corner where wounded Marines waited in starry-eyed ambush. When his eyes met theirs, smiles broke loose from young faces for the first time in too many days to count.

“Would you like to wear my rings?” said former Dallas Cowboy’s defensive tackle Chad Hennings as he placed three gigantic Super Bowl rings in the hand of a young sergeant. Eyes and smiles widened even further as he made his way through the crowd, taking the time to talk to every “wounded warrior” present.

Hennings partnered with Fort Worth-based Marines and sailors of Marine Aircraft Group 41 and members of the Fort Worth Air Power Council April 12 by traveling to San Antonio’s Brooke Army Medical Center as part of an ongoing collaboration to provide support and comfort to seriously injured service members and their families.

“I was impressed with the facility and the quality of care that I saw,” said Hennings. “There was real compassion among the nurses, physicians and physical trainers, all with the number one goal of getting the soldiers and Marines well.”

A former Air Force Academy graduate and pilot of the A-10 Thunderbolt, Hennings was instantly greeted as a fellow combat veteran and began an active dialogue with many of the wounded as he toured the state-of-the-art facility.

“What impressed me the most was seeing the life in the eyes of the injured men and women and the number of family members that were on hand,” Hennings said. “It was encouraging to me to see them facing the trauma and confronting their challenges, yet ready for the next stage in their lives.”

Hennings took time to meet with every service member and gave each an autographed copy of his motivational book, “It Takes Commitment.” The book chronicles his life from growing up on a farm, to flying missions over Iraq, to an impressive career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Spending time with the wounded warriors at BAMC reinforced the lessons he’d learned throughout his life about the sacrifices necessary to keep America great, he said. Upon visiting with the troops and hearing their stories, Hennings was amazed that most of them only wanted to get back to their units on the front lines.

“Their upbeat attitude reaffirmed my faith in America,” said Hennings.

“The level of courage and fortitude displayed by our wounded warrior and their families is astounding,” said Col. Juergen ‘Baron’ Lukas, MAG-41’s commanding officer. “While the personal tragedies and suffering is, frankly, beyond comprehension, their spirit, pride and positive outlook are an inspiration.

“I think part of this positive outlook comes from the superb care and compassion the wounded and their families are given by the wonderful staff at BAMC and by the many supportive organizations that have became part of the overall effort,” Lukas said. “The Semper Fi Fund, the Fisher House Foundation, and our very own Fort Worth Air Power Council, among others, have made the difference between just coming back to a hospital and coming back to regain their life.”

Earlier this year, the privately funded $40 million Center for the Intrepid opened to work in tandem with Brooke’s level-one trauma center, providing medical services to amputees, burn patients and service members undergoing limb salvage efforts. According to BAMC officials, the new 65,000-square-foot center provides amputees and those with severe extremity injuries the best opportunity to regain their ability to live and work productively.

This was the third visit for Lukas. “Everyone that leads warriors must spend some time with the returning wounded and their families. Every time I come here, I regain my perspective as a commander.”

On his last visit, Lukas was accompanied by his 23-year-old son, Marine 2nd Lt. Erik Lukas.

“After my son graduated from the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School, I brought him along on my first visit to BAMC,” Lukas said. “His visit to BAMC, his contact with the wounded and their families, has given him a much greater sense of his responsibilities as a leader of Marines, and it has also strengthened his sense of the greater Marine Corps Family.”

It did not take long for the colonel to discover an important member of that family –Sgt. Shermander Jackson. Jackson, a 24-year-old Brundidge, Ala., resident was serving as a tank commander with 2nd Tank Battalion and was wounded in Fallujah, Iraq, Feb. 7. Jackson’s face, hands and arms were severely burned when a RKG-3 anti-tank grenade hit both of his tank’s 120mm ammunition magazines causing 34 rounds to ignite from the intense heat. The hooded balaclava he wore protected most of his head, leaving a perfect circle of second and third degree burns on his face.

An indescribable charisma drew people to Jackson. For a person to have recently endured so much, he somehow seemed able to shrug it off and focus on the future. One source of strength for Jackson is his mother and 14-year-old brother who recently moved to San Antonio to help him with the long mental and physical healing process.

“Marines and peers being available for the wounded warriors as well as devoted family members will play an essential role in the Marines maintaining their mental health,” said Lt. Col. Keith Pankhurst, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing combat operational stress control coordinator, who was also on hand to support the event.

“It has been documented that warriors who have been severely injured are at a higher risk for suffering from post traumatic stress disorder or other mental health challenges than their fellow warriors,” said Pankhurst, who years earlier commanded a tank platoon in Jackson’s unit. “This is why it is so important that we…develop an effective combat/operational stress control program specifically designed for wounded warriors.”

For lunch, all were treated to a Texas-sized barbecue buffet thanks to members and friends of the Air Power Council. In addition, each service member received an MP3 BlueTooth wristwatch that transmits music via Bluetooth to a compatible headset. In all, the manufacturer donated 200 watches weeks before the products are even available in stores.

After a crowd began to form, NAS-JRB Fort Worth’s base chaplain, Cmdr. Michael Hogg, passed out Dallas Cowboys jerseys, jump suits and other athletic apparel donated from the Dallas Cowboys Merchandise Distribution Center.

The wounded service members came from all corners of the country, each with a personal favorite football team, but by the end of the day, each could be counted as a Cowboys fan. Those still receiving treatment over the coming months should keep their new Dallas Cowboys gear nearby; Chad Hennings’ next project is to give the wounded warriors at BAMC a sneak peek into Dallas Cowboys’ Pre-Season Training Camp at San Antonio this summer.
Click here for more pictures.

Operation Recruiter Appreciation Update

Please read the GOE's update on Operation Recruiter Appreciation. Be sure to click on the links they provide as well.

Here's a snippet from the update:

And this response from a member of a very active grassroots “Support the Troops” organization:


I … am very patriotic and support our troops but am royally against Bush and this false, unperpetuated war in Iraq. Since I am a [member of troop supporting group] was forwarded the message about National Recruiter’s Day…which is the last thing I would be celebrating!

From all that I hear and read which is A LOT, these recruiters are not nice, good people to be commended. Many of them lie and lie some more to innocent, white-collar, young people throughout the country to get them to enlist. They paint a picture full of deception and lies.

WHY would you be celebrating them??
T. Kurland

All that garbage listed above (which is just a sample) is piled onto an already difficult job. I’d like to thank T. Kurland for reinforcing exactly why I will be honoring recruiters on or near May 19th.

Thank you all for caring! Please consider getting involved, and don’t let a limited budget stop you. Even a handshake and a smile can go a long way to brightening a recruiter’s day.

Silent no more.


Lubbock Marine Parents is in the midst of organizing our local participation in ORA. Please let us know if you would like to help. Recruiters have a thankless job and work LONG hours. The recruiter who worked with my sons (whose mother-in-law is part of our group) NEVER lied to my boys or promised them anything that he didn't deliver on. We want to be sure these hardworking men and women are thanked and honored on May 19th.

Tribute to the Marine Corps

I love and support ALL branches of our military, but having two Marine sons I must admit I am a little partial to the Marine Corps.

Tribute to the Marines
A tribute to the United States Marine Corps and the reasons why they are superior to the many organizations of the world . . .

* United States Marine Corps Birthday: 10 NOVEMBER 1775 *

1) Best haircut. Hands down. You can't have a bad hair day with a high and tight. And you spend less on shampoo.

2) Dress blues. They're the coolest uniforms in any military worldwide.

3) Bloused trousers. Another distinctive Marine look that sets the proudest service members apart.

4) The rest of the Marine sea bag. From the Alphas to the camouflage utilities, uniforms just look better on a Marine than any other service member.

5) Marines don't wear dungarees.

6) Most respect 1. When the Marines pulled out of Haiti and Somalia, the media reported the U.S. military was pulling out -- as if tens of thousands of Army troops weren't still in the country. Now that's respect.

7) Most respect 2. When the Corps came back to Haiti after 60 years, an old man on the Cap-Haitien beach said ``Welcome back!''

8) Toughest mascot. The Marine Corps' is a bulldog. The Navy's: a goat.

9) Esprit de Corps. Even if you can't spell it or pronounce it, the Marine Corps has it in spades. One example: When sailors get tattoos, they do it to express their individuality, and their choices range from Betty Boop and Mickey Mouse to raging sea serpents. When Marines get tattoos, they do it to express their solidarity, and choose bull dogs, ``death before dishonor,'' and ``USMC.''

10) Best war monument: Iwo Jima

11) The Marines invade, then go home. The Army has to do the occupying.

12) The silent drill team. Just watching them ply their trade makes you want to wear dress blues.

13) Status. Sailors live and work on ships. Marines go for cruises -- then hit the shore.

14) Best fast attack vehicles: LAVs.

15) Best fighting knife: Ka-Bar.

16) Best duty assignments: Okinawa, Kaneohe Bay, Camp Pendleton, Diego Garcia, Moscow, North Carolina. Plus any ship at sea.

17) Worst duty assignments: Okinawa, Kaneohe Bay, Camp Pendleton, Diego Garcia, Moscow, North Carolina. Plus any ship at sea.

18) Most exotic duty assignments: Kuala Lumpur, The White House.

19) Best phone number. Call 1-800-MARINES and you've got the Corps. And if you're a civilian with the character to be a Marine, a recruiter there will be happy to sign you up.

20) Toughest DIs. (DRILL INSTRUCTORS). They're so tough that when the Navy wants to train its officers, who do they call? 1-800-MARINES.

21) Toughest boot camp. When San Diego was still training Navy recruits, legend has it that recruits occasionally would jump the fence and accidentally land in Marine boot camp. The Marines would keep them a couple of days, and when the recruits were sent back, they were ready to be sailors!

22) Best motivational cries: Ooh-rah! - Attack! - Kill!

23) Best emblem: Eagle, Globe and Anchor. (Air, Land and Sea)

24) Best campaign covers: The Smokey Bear hat.

25) The only official, congressionally sanctioned hymn for any of the services: ``The Marines' Hymn.''

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Special Olympics

Cpl. Tyrone Williams, an assault amphibious vehicle mechanic with 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, passes a softball to athlete Charlie Royal, who competed during the annual Wayne County Special Olympics, which was held at the Dillard Middle School track April 19. The Special Olympics offer year-round sports training and competition for more than 1 million children and adults with mental and physical disabilities around the nation. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Bryce C.K. Muhlenberg (RELEASED)

2nd AABn helps at Wayne County Special Olympics
April 19, 2007; Submitted on: 04/23/2007 10:50:47 AM ; Story ID#: 2007423105047

By Lance Cpl. Bryce C.K. Muhlenberg,

GOLDSBORO, N.C. (April 19, 2007) -- Approximately 105 athletes and about 130 Marine and civilian volunteers participated in the annual Special Olympics of Wayne County, N.C., at the Dillard Middle School track April 19.

The Special Olympics offer year-round sports training and competition for more than 1 million children and adults with mental and physical disabilities around the nation.

Marine volunteers with 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, came to lend their support during the day’s activities.

Athletes participating in events came from more than eight different Wayne County schools, according to Rick R. Walderman, Wayne County Special Olympics coordinator.

“Events like the Special Olympics let athletes with mental and physical disabilities have a good time competing and get the community involved,” said Walderman, who has been helping with the program for more than four years.

“It also gets rid of the negative stigma that people with special needs are outcasts, and we appreciate that the Marines have come out to support us.”

Walderman was impressed by the help the Marines provided and by how quickly they responded to his request for support.

“You can never have enough volunteers,” said Walderman. “We hope the Marines have a good time helping out.”

The Marines did have a good time with the athletes, said Cpl. Keegan A. Donehoo, an assault amphibious vehicle crewman.

“This is my first time participating in something like this,” said Donehoo, a Houston native. “And I’m really having a lot of fun. I would like to do something like this in the future.”

The athletes participated in track and field events, such as the long jump, softball throw, wheelchair race, and walk and run event.

Marines like Donehoo assisted the individual athletes and coordinated the games by running along side in races, helping throw softballs and cheering them on as they competed in the day’s events.

“It’s good for the community to see the Marine Corps is a professional institution that works for the community,” said Staff Sgt. Timothy L. Hill, operations chief for the motor transportation section of the battalion. “And it is good for the Marines to see that the community appreciates them.”

Carmen L. Hurdle, the mother of Carlaina Hurdle, the Wayne County Special Olympics 2006 to 2007 athlete of the year, thought it was encouraging to see the Marines working at the event.

“It’s a wonderful thing to see they care for this population,” said Hurdle. “It means a lot to all of us to see men of such high stature taking time out of their day to help out.”

For more information on Wayne County Special Olympics, please call (919) 743-7023 or visit


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Friday, April 20, 2007

Music Video

This is a great music video. I finally found it on YouTube so I could post it! Here are the lyrics to the song:

"Fight For Me"

You stand to fight and we agree
Until we see your brothers bleed
You give your life to hold the line
And then we change our minds

Afraid to say that you'd
Come home this way

I stand to give you my applause
How could you fight for a better cause
Opposed by those that you set free
Still you fight for me

We hold our signs of war and peace
They seem to change so easily
While passing judgment from our homes
In foreign lands you roam

Afraid to say what you'd
You'd die to save

I stand to give you my applause
How could you fight for a better cause
Opposed by those that you set free
Still you fight for me
To all the soldiers don't you know
You'll always be the world's hero
As long as we have enemies
Still you fight for me


©2007 Citizen Reign, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Vietnam Vet Facts

As you know, we have some Vietnam vets in our Marine "family". One of them pointed out these facts. I thought they were very interesting and informative.

Statistics about the Vietnam War

"No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now. Rarely have so many people been so wrong about so much. Never have the consequences of their misunderstanding been so tragic."[Nixon]
The Vietnam War has been the subject of thousands of newspaper and magazine articles, hundreds of books, and scores of movies and television documentaries. The great majority of these efforts have erroneously portrayed many myths about the Vietnam War as being facts. (Nixon Library)

Myth: Most American soldiers were addicted to drugs, guilt-ridden about their role in the war, and deliberately used cruel and inhumane tactics.
The facts are:

91% of Vietnam Veterans say they are glad they served (Westmoreland papers)
74% said they would serve again even knowing the outcome (Westmoreland papers)
There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and non veterans of the same age group (from a Veterans Administration study) (Westmoreland papers)
Isolated atrocities committed by American soldiers produced torrents of outrage from antiwar critics and the news media while Communist atrocities were so common that they received hardly any attention at all. The United States sought to minimize and prevent attacks on civilians while North Vietnam made attacks on civilians a centerpiece of its strategy. Americans who deliberately killed civilians received prison sentences while Communists who did so received commendations. From 1957 to 1973, the National Liberation Front assassinated 36,725 South Vietnamese and abducted another 58,499. The death squads focused on leaders at the village level and on anyone who improved the lives of the peasants such as medical personnel, social workers, and schoolteachers. (Nixon Library) Atrocities - every war has atrocities. War is brutal and not fair. Innocent people get killed.
Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison - only 1/2 of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes. (Westmoreland papers)
97% were discharged under honorable conditions; the same percentage of honorable discharges as ten years prior to Vietnam (Westmoreland papers)
85% of Vietnam Veterans made a successful transition to civilian life.(McCaffrey Papers)
Vietnam veterans' personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent. (McCaffrey Papers)
Vietnam veterans have a lower unemployment rate than our non-vet age group. (McCaffrey Papers)
87% of the American people hold Vietnam Vets in high esteem.(McCaffrey Papers)

Myth: Most Vietnam veterans were drafted.
2/3 of the men who served in Vietnam were volunteers. 2/3 of the men who served in World War II were drafted. (Westmoreland papers) Approximately 70% of those killed were volunteers.(McCaffrey Papers)

Myth: The media have reported that suicides among Vietnam veterans range from 50,000 to 100,000 - 6 to 11 times the non-Vietnam veteran population.
Mortality studies show that 9,000 is a better estimate. "The CDC Vietnam Experience Study Mortality Assessment showed that during the first 5 years after discharge, deaths from suicide were 1.7 times more likely among Vietnam veterans than non-Vietnam veterans. After that initial post-service period, Vietnam veterans were no more likely to die from suicide than non-Vietnam veterans. In fact, after the 5-year post-service period, the rate of suicides is less in the Vietnam veterans' group."[Houk]

Myth: A disproportionate number of blacks were killed in the Vietnam War.
86% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasians, 12.5% were black, 1.2% were other races. (CACF and (Westmoreland papers)

Sociologists Charles C. Moskos and John Sibley Butler, in their recently published book "All That We Can Be," said they analyzed the claim that blacks were used like cannon fodder during Vietnam "and can report definitely that this charge is untrue. Black fatalities amounted to 12 percent of all Americans killed in Southeast Asia - a figure proportional to the number of blacks in the U.S. population at the time and slightly lower than the proportion of blacks in the Army at the close of the war." [All That We Can Be]

Myth: The war was fought largely by the poor and uneducated.
Servicemen who went to Vietnam from well-to-do areas had a slightly elevated risk of dying because they were more likely to be pilots or infantry officers.

Vietnam Veterans were the best educated forces our nation had ever sent into combat. 79% had a high school education or better. (McCaffrey Papers)

Here are statistics from the Combat Area Casualty File (CACF) as of November 1993. The CACF is the basis for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall):

Average age of 58,148 killed in Vietnam was 23.11 years. (Although 58,169 names are in the Nov. 93 database, only 58,148 have both event date and birth date. Event date is used instead of declared dead date for some of those who were listed as missing in action)(CACF)

Category Deaths Average Age
Total 58,148 23.11 years
Enlisted 50,274 22.37 years
Officers 6,598 28.43 years
Warrants 1,276 24.73 years
E1 525 20.34 years
11B MOS 18,465 22.55 years

Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old.[CACF]

The oldest man killed was 62 years old.[CACF]

11,465 KIAs were less than 20 years old.[CACF]

Myth: The average age of an infantryman fighting in Vietnam was 19.
Assuming KIAs accurately represented age groups serving in Vietnam, the average age of an infantryman (MOS 11B) serving in Vietnam to be 19 years old is a myth, it is actually 22. None of the enlisted grades have an average age of less than 20. [CACF] The average man who fought in World War II was 26 years of age. (Westmoreland papers)

Myth: The domino theory was proved false.
The domino theory was accurate. The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand stayed free of Communism because of the U.S. commitment to Vietnam. The Indonesians threw the Soviets out in 1966 because of America's commitment in Vietnam. Without that commitment, Communism would have swept all the way to the Malacca Straits that is south of Singapore and of great strategic importance to the free world. If you ask people who live in these countries that won the war in Vietnam, they have a different opinion from the American news media. The Vietnam War was the turning point for Communism.(Westmoreland papers)

Democracy Catching On - In the wake of the Cold War, democracies are flourishing, with 179 of the world's 192 sovereign states (93%) now electing their legislators, according to the Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union. In the last decade, 69 nations have held multiparty elections for the first time in their histories. Three of the five newest democracies are former Soviet republics: Belarus (where elections were first held in November 1995), Armenia (July 1995) and Kyrgyzstan (February 1995). And two are in Africa: Tanzania (October 1995) and Guinea (June 1995). [Parade Magazine]

Myth: The fighting in Vietnam was not as intense as in World War II.
The average infantryman in the South Pacific during World War II saw about 40 days of combat in four years. The average infantryman in Vietnam saw about 240 days of combat in one year thanks to the mobility of the helicopter.

One out of every 10 Americans who served in Vietnam was a casualty. 58,169 were killed and 304,000 wounded out of 2.59 million who served. Although the percentage who died is similar to other wars, amputations or crippling wounds were 300 percent higher than in World War II. 75,000 Vietnam veterans are severely disabled. (McCaffrey Papers)

MEDEVAC helicopters flew nearly 500,000 missions. Over 900,000 patients were airlifted (nearly half were American). The average time lapse between wounding to hospitalization was less than one hour. As a result, less than one percent of all Americans wounded who survived the first 24 hours died. (VHPA Databases)

The helicopter provided unprecedented mobility. Without the helicopter it would have taken three times as many troops to secure the 800 mile border with Cambodia and Laos (the politicians thought the Geneva Conventions of 1954 and the Geneva Accords or 1962 would secure the border) (Westmoreland papers)

More helicopter facts:

Approximately 12,000 helicopters saw action in Vietnam (all services). (VHPA Databases)

Army UH-1's totaled 7,531,955 flight hours in Vietnam between October 1966 and the end of 1975. (VHPA Databases)

Army AH-1G's totaled 1,038,969 flight hours in Vietnam. (VHPA Databases)

[All That We Can Be] All That We Can Be by Charles C. Moskos and John Sibley Butler
[CACF] (Combat Area Casualty File) November 1993. (The CACF is the basis for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, i.e. The Wall), Center for Electronic Records, National Archives, Washington, DC
[Houk] Testimony by Dr. Houk, Oversight on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, 14 July 1988 page 17, Hearing before the Committee on Veterans' Affairs United States Senate one-hundredth Congress second session. Also "Estimating the Number of Suicides Among Vietnam Veterans" (Am J Psychiatry 147, 6 June 1990 pages 772-776)
[McCaffrey] Speech by Lt. Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, (reproduced in the Pentagram, June 4, 1993) assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Vietnam veterans and visitors gathered at "The Wall", Memorial Day 1993
[Parade Magazine] August 18, 1996 page 10.
[VHPA Databases] Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association Databases.
[Westmoreland] Speech by General William C. Westmoreland before the Third Annual Reunion of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA) at the Washington, DC Hilton Hotel on July 5th, 1986 (reproduced in a Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association Historical Reference Directory Volume 2A)

Note: This was submitted by Joseph H. Luginsland (ET1(SS) 1980-1983)


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

USMC Commercial

For Our 13th MEU Moms

Irma and Marlise, this is for you.

Lance Cpl. Cornel Conley-Thomas sorts through MotoMail that has been sent to Marines on the ship since their April 10 departure. While Marines are out at sea, there are still many ways to stay connected with families back home.

Marines and Sailors stay connected at sea

April 18, 2007; Submitted on: 04/18/2007 03:53:41 AM ; Story ID#: 200741835341

By Lance Cpl. Timothy M. Stewman, 13th MEU

ABOARD THE USS BONHOMME RICHARD (April 18, 2007) -- As Marines and Sailors of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit begin their six-month deployment, being away from loved ones will prove to be one of the most difficult things they will face.

On USS Bonhomme Richard, Marines and Sailors may find themselves becoming homesick, but there are many ways to stay in touch with people back home.

“Being underway, of course, makes it hard to communicate with families and friends,” said Cpl. Collin Peterson, motor transportation mechanic with Battalion Landing Team 3/1.

While Marines are able to use the internet and make phone calls underway, phone and computer quantities are limited. The phone cards needed to make calls can run rather expensive, and some Marines don’t even have e-mail.

“Communication outlets are available for Marines, but at times the internet or phones are down when not getting a signal,” said Peterson.

A quick and convenient way for family members to communicate with their service member is through MotoMail. MotoMail is a website that enables family members to write letters that are sent to a server, downloaded, printed and delivered to the military member, usually within 24 hours. MotoMail is private and can be sent anywhere Marines are deployed.

“The good thing about MotoMail is that it eliminates [unauthorized materials] and contamination issues,” said Lance Cpl. Cornel Conley-Thomas, 13th MEU postal clerk.

According to postal clerks on ship, over five-hundred MotoMail letters have been sent to the ship since the deployment began.

Another way that Marines can stay connected with their families is by good old-fashioned mail.
Conley-Thomas said that depending on how far away the ship is from shore, mail sent from the United States is brought over by helicopter or another ship. Usually the mail clerks are able to get letters and packages to the Marines that same day.

“Everyone who works in the postal room puts in a lot of effort to make sure the Marines get their mail as soon as possible because we know that it is a very crucial morale booster,” said Conley-Thomas.

Postal clerks on ship offer some tips to help families when sending packages during the deployment:

-Use mailing tape when sending packages.
-Place liquid items in separate zip lock bags.
-Use durable boxes in the smallest size needed.
-Wrap items in bubble wrap and pack tightly to avoid items from shifting or breaking.

There are also limitations when sending mail to loved ones on ship. Obscene materials such as pornographic pictures, books and magazine should not be sent to Marines or Sailors. While in Islamic states, pork, pork by-products and any other products and or materials that are offensive to Islamic culture are also prohibited.
There is a link to motomail in our sidebar under "Links".

New Addition to our Family

Congratulations go out to my Marine and his family on the birth of Tristan Micah Wilson. Tristan was born on April 9, 2007. Weighing in at 5.5lbs, 15.5 inches. Such a blessing to his nana already! Can't wait to get my hands on this precious baby. My Marine has been such a blessing to me in so many ways, the most precious is giving us grandchildren.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Our Thoughts and Prayers

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by the tragedy at Virginia Tech.

Texas Tech Students React to VA Tech Shooting

Salute The Troops

This past Sunday was the West Texas Salute to the Troops. 6th mtbn, the local reserve unit, held their family day in conjunction with this event. The Patriot Guard came out and held a ride and there was a silent auction, a raffle for a Ka-Bar knife with a plaque (I bought tickets, but didn't win it), face painting and a cupcake eating contest.

The pictures show the Patriot Guard beginning their ride, the awards ceremony (the PGR got certificates of appreciation and 6th mtbn challenge coins), and the cookout and cupcake eating contest. Looks like the Marines were having a little too much fun with the cupcakes, huh?

Scrapbook Party/ Meeting Reminder

We had our scrapbook party Saturday and we had so much fun. Marlise has all sorts of cool gadgets and toys that we got to play with! ;) Now the rest of us know what we should ask for for Mother's Day! We're even thinking we need to have a Marine Mom weekend retreat/scrapbook party. Anybody have a cabin in Ruidoso we can use?

Our April meeting is this Thursday, the 19th at 8:00p.m. at Daybreak Coffee on 19th and Quaker. See you there!

Monday, April 16, 2007

New Links

If you will notice in our sidebar under "Links", I have included links to some of the units that our Marines are with, including the local reserve unit. We have Marines in other units besides the ones I have listed so far. I will get the rest up soon.

The Best Essays

These links were sent to me by another Marine mom. My only comment is that they are must reads!

Seeing the Unseen Part 1

Part 2

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Franklin Graham's son injured in Iraq

A friend called me yesterday to tell me that Franklin Graham's son Edward, was injured in Iraq. She knew that we always send shoe boxes at Christmas with Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse ministry and thought we would want to know. She said the article was in the Houston Chronicle, but I couldn't find it on I did find it in the Asheville Citizen Times online edition. We'll be praying for him and his men.
Graham’s son wounded in Iraq

By John Boyle
March 14, 2007 12:15 am
Capt. Edward Graham, an Army Ranger and the youngest son of the Rev. Franklin Graham, has sustained shrapnel wounds to his arms, legs and back in Iraq.

The elder Graham announced Saturday in Toronto that his son, a 27-year-old West Point graduate, had been injured.

“We know that he is fine and has asked for prayers for his men,” said Franklin Graham’s spokesman, Jeremy Blume, adding that he had no more details on the incident. “Rangers aren’t allowed to disclose much information — even where he is.”

Franklin Graham heads the Samaritan’s Purse international relief organization in Boone, as well as his father’s Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Charlotte.

Asheville resident Glenn Wilcox, a close friend of the Graham family, said Edward Graham is serving his second tour in Iraq and that Franklin Graham is extremely proud of him.

“He’s a very fine, outstanding young man, but very tough and very sure of himself,” Wilcox said. “I’ve never met anyone I was more impressed with than Edward. And he loves it — he’s really committed to the United States, to West Point and to doing his job the very best he can.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

West Texas Salute to the Troops

Amphitheater to be site of area troop salute day.

This Sunday is the third annual West Texas Troop Salute Day.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. at the Lone Star Amphitheater off the East Loop and 19th Street.

Awards are from 10:30 a.m. to 11:10 a.m.

I don't know much else about this, but it is also the family day for the 6th MTBN. Come on out if you can. The PGR will also be there.

GOE's Operation Recruiter Appreciation

Gathering of Eagles is working on their first nationwide project, Operation Recruiter Appreciation. They are looking for participation from all 50 states and DC. ORA will be May 19th, Armed Forces Day.

From the GOE website:

Suggestions for ORA

-Deliver a pizza and some sodas to the recruiter’s office around lunchtime.

-Drop off some VIP movie passes you picked up from a nearby theater.

-Set up a table outside the office (after receiving permission) with some signs/banners advertising GOE and, more importantly, your efforts to honor the recruiters’ service and sacrifice. Perhaps have some goodies and a card for passersby to sign, contributing their appreciation.

-Have your kids help you whip up some homemade cookies and/or brownies, and have the kids deliver them. Once the ice is broken, the kids and recruiters will definitely enjoy the visit. Trust me!

-Invite one or more of the recruiters to your home for dinner later in the week.

-Please don’t let a limited budget prevent you from participating. A simple hand-made card from a child, or even a smile and a warm handshake won’t cost anything but will lift some spirits and let our troops know you care.

-During your visit, get some of the recruiters to pose with you for a few photos, so that we can share in your visit here on the forum. (Please remember to get permission to use their images/names)

-Take a homemade sign saying “Thank you!” or “God bless our military” along with a few friends and stand outside a local recruiter’s office

You get the idea. We’ll leave times flexible, but I would recommend around lunchtime in your areas. Not only is it easy to tie in with food and beverages, but hopefully the recruiters won’t have to work too late on a Saturday. (I said “hopefully”.)

We do ask that all participants try to connect their shows of support with Gathering of Eagles. It’s a nice way for your particular recruiters to find out about our mission, and it will be the perfect excuse for you to share with them that others across our nation are conducting similar shows of support and appreciation. If you can’t afford to purchase a large GOE banner, consider buying and/or wearing a GOE armband instead. Or simply have a homemade sign and/or business cards with our name and website.

H/T Gunz Up

Friday, April 13, 2007

Cookbook Reminder

One last reminder that April 15th (Sunday) is the last day to contribute recipes for the cookbook. Thanks SO much to all those who have contributed so far! It is looking great.

If you haven't contributed already and you would like to, here's how:
Click here, then click on "login". The login is lubbockmarines and the password is hcx8w. Click "add a recipe" and start typing! It's that simple.

Parris Island Marine Band

Lots of videos lately I know. This is an excellent one of the Parris Island Marine Band. I loved seeing the MCRD San Diego band play at my sons' graduations. Yes, I was in band and LOVED it. ;) Nothing quite like marching at halftime on a Friday night.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Ordnance Marines

This is one of those stories that probably doesn't interest anybody but me, but I'm posting it anyway. ;) My younger Marine son is an ordnance Marine. He is "O" strand and deals directly with the aircraft. I think it's very intersting that they are the only occupational field to celebrate their birthday. Click on the "source" link at the bottom of the post for more pictures.

Aviation ordnance Marines of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron-264 (Reinforced) load a Guided Bomb Unit-12 onto the wing of an AV-8B Harrier II, April 7, aboard USS Bataan. The 26th MEU and the Bataan Strike Group are currently in conducting maritime security operations in the Central Arabian Gulf.

ACE ordnance Marines wield airborne weapons
April 7, 2007; Submitted on: 04/12/2007 03:55:01 AM ; Story ID#: 20074123551

By Cpl. Aaron J. Rock, 26th MEU

ABOARD USS BATAAN (April 7, 2007) -- The aviation ordnance Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit's Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron-264 (Reinforced), are rarely seen or heard around Bataan, but they wield some of the unit's most decisive combat tools.

The bombs, bullets, missiles, rockets, flares, and anything else that shoots or drops from all the aircraft in the Marine Corps inventory are the domain of the military occupational specialties (MOS) 6531 and 6541, who are responsible for the ordnance loaded on all of the squadron's aircraft, according to Staff Sgt. Mike A. Hunt, a member of HMM-264 (Rein)'s helicopter unit.

"We are the backbone of any squadron," said Hunt. "When the time comes to raise some hell, we are the golden children of the squadron."

The 26th MEU contains two separate, distinct types of aviation ordnance Marines, organizational and intermediate.

The 24 organizational Marines deal directly with the aircraft and do most of their work on the flight deck or hangar deck of the ship. This work includes loading ordnance aboard the airframes, and maintaining the weapons systems inside and outside of the aircraft.

The six intermediate Marines reside deep in the bowels of the ship, and are responsible for working on the support equipment for the armament systems, as well as doing special inspections on weapons systems, which includes racks and guns. When the Marines are not aboard ship, they are also responsible for assembly, issue, and storage of the ordnance.

Aviation ordnance Marines are fiercely proud of their specialties, and are the only occupational field that celebrates the birthday of its founding, April 25, 1922, according to Hunt.

The field is unique in that aviation ordnance Marines can work on any aircraft in the Marine Corps, regardless of whether it is fixed-wing or rotary-wing.

By comparison, a CH-46E Sea Knight flight crew could transition to working in a UH-1N Huey squadron without extensive training.

The ordnance Marines are constantly busy aboard ship doing tasks ranging from routine maintenance to loading ordnance when the aircraft go on alert status, Hunt said.

Working aboard ship can be more difficult for the Marines than working ashore at their home air station, said Sgt. Mark C. Penns, Ordnance Quality Assurance representative for HMM-264 (Rein). This is largely due to limitations on the specialized equipment that can be brought aboard ship because of space constraints, he said.

"It takes about 15 to 20 minutes from start to finish to load a bomb aboard ship," he said. "On a base, it takes five to ten minutes."

The ordnance Marines continue to support the operations of the 26th MEU while it takes part in Exercise Eastern Maverick 2007, a bilateral training exercise with the armed forces of Qatar.

In addition, the Marines and Sailors of the 26th MEU, which consists of the Aviation Combat Element, HMM-264 (Rein.), the Ground Combat Element, Battalion Landing Team 2/2, and the Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 26, will continue to conduct maritime security operations in the central Arabian Gulf.

Coalition forces conduct maritime security operations under international maritime conventions to ensure security and safety in international waters so that all commercial shipping can operate freely while transiting the region.

For more on the 26th MEU, including news, videos and contact information, please visit

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Recruiting and Retention

I don't think these tables are going to come out right, but you get the idea. Recruiting and retention is going well. The Marine Corps has especially high numbers. Also be sure and click on the link to see the fact sheet about who is volunteering for today's military. Very interesting reading! Not at all what we are hearing in the media.

April 10, 2007


DoD Announces Recruiting and Retention Numbers for March

The Department of Defense announced today its recruiting and retention statistics for the active and reserve components for the month of March.

Active duty recruiting. All services met or exceeded their recruiting goals in March.

Accessions Goal Percent
Army 5,545 5,500 101
Navy 2,749 2,749 100
Marine Corps 1,936 1,787 108
Air Force 2,172 2,172 100

Active duty retention. Retention in the services remains solid. The Army, Marine Corps and Air Force are meeting or exceeding overall retention missions. The Navy missed its first-term target, but achieved 99 percent overall.

Reserve forces recruiting. Three of the six reserve components met or exceeded their accession goals for March 2007.

Accessions Goal Percent
Army National Guard 6,953 6,645 105
Army Reserve 2,055 2,567 80
Navy Reserve 851 856 99
Marine Corps Reserve 430 371 116
Air National Guard 844 933 90
Air Force Reserve 741 622 119

· Reserve forces retention. For March, Army National Guard retention was 94 percent of the goal of 3,593, and Air National Guard retention was 111 percent of its goal of 829. The Army National Guard is currently at 100 percent of its end strength, while the Air National Guard is at 99 percent. Losses in all reserve components for February are well within acceptable limits. Indications are that trend will continue into March.

To view a fact sheet on who is volunteering for the military, click HERE.

Detailed information on specific recruiting data can be obtained by contacting the individual military recruiting commands at (502) 626-0164 for Army, (210) 565-4678 for Air Force, (703) 784-9455 for Marine Corps and (901) 874-9048 for Navy. The reserve components can be reached at the following numbers: National Guard Bureau (703) 607-2586; Army Reserve (404) 464-8490; Air Force Reserve (703) 697-1761; Navy Reserve (504) 678-1240; and Marine Corps Reserve (504) 678-6535.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Marine Heroes

We know Marines are heroes on the far away battlefield, but they are also heroes right here at home. These two young men exemplify what honor, courage and commitment are all about. I'm so proud of them!

Lance Cpl.s Jared Bolhuis and David Trester stand in the Chinatown Subway stop, where the helped an injured man, March 16.

March 28, 2007; Submitted on: 04/10/2007 07:58:31 AM ; Story ID#: 200741075831

By Cpl. Earnest J. Barnes, Marine Barracks 8th & I

MARINE BARRACKS WASHINGTON (March 28, 2007) -- What if you were given the opportunity to help a complete stranger who had been seriously injured? Would you just walk away or would you take immediate action to help save the person?

Two infantrymen from Alpha Company were faced with situation when they saw a male in his mid-twenties who was about to be assaulted in the late evening of Feb. 24.

Lance Corporals Jared Bolhuis and David Trester were on their way to watch a movie in Washington, D.C.'s Chinatown. They had just departed the subway when they heard a disturbance at the top of the escalator. As the two Marines reached street level, they found the man surrounded by a group of 15 young skateboarders.

"There was a young guy, nicely dressed like he was going out. He was squared off with a skateboarder that looked like he was about 18 years-old. The skateboarder's friends surrounded the two of them and everyone on the streets was watching this build up," said Bolhuis, a Zeeland, Mich. Native. "Before I knew it, one of the older skateboarders came from behind and blindsided this guy with a punch right in the temple, knocking him out cold."

As soon as the victim was hit, the leathernecks rushed to his aid. As the Marines with their high and tight hair cuts approached the victim, the gang of skateboarders quickly dispersed into the crowd.

"Right away, I applied my terrorism awareness training and tried to gain proper identification on as many of those who were involved," Bolhuis added.

As the suspects were fleeing the scene, Bolhuis called for the police. Pedestrian after pedestrian passed by the victim, while some even trying to step over him. Resilient in their efforts to help the man, Bolhuis and Trester kept the crowd away from the victim to allow breathing room and to assess the extent of his injuries.

The man was laying stomach down, bleeding from the mouth. The Marines saw broken teeth on the ground and it appeared the victim may have suffered trauma to the neck after the fall.

"I tended mostly to the victim, while Bolhuis continued to do crowd control," stated Trester, a Chicago, Ill. native.

Within a few minutes the police were on the scene. Right away Bolhuis informed them of the situation and current condition of the victim. At this time a person emerged from the crowd, who claimed to be trained in emergency services. The first thing this individual tried to do was roll the victim over on his back.

"I stopped him right there," said Trester. "From all the training I received in the Marine Corps, I knew that last thing you want to do with an unconscious casualty with potential neck injuries is move them without proper stabilization."

Shortly after, emergency services showed up on the scene. Trester directed the emergency medical technicians on what the apparent injuries were, so they would know where to begin treatment on the victim.

Meanwhile, Bolhuis jumped in the car with the police and told them the direction the suspects had headed. Just three blocks to the east of where the incident took place, the police were able to locate three men with the help of this leatherneck.

"I was nervous when I pointed them out," Bolhuis said. "What if I was wrong? The wrong guys could go to jail, but when we got closer, I knew it was them."

When Bolhuis returned to the scene of the incident, the victim was gone and Trester was standing off to the side waiting for him. After the police took the Marines' witness statements and contact information they sent them on their way.

Bolhuis and Trester never learned the name of the man they helped. When they called the police station to see how he was doing, the police told them because of their fast actions and knowledge of first aid, the victim's neck could have been much worse. They may have possibly saved his life.

As for the suspects, two of the three men who were arrested are in jail awaiting trail.

"It feels good to know the bad guys are in jail and the good guy is back on his feet," Bolhuis said. "As an infantryman in D.C., we don't get the experiences you might in Iraq, so wherever possible, we have to be ready to employ our training and look out for one another."

Bolhuis and Trester do not consider themselves heroes because they said they were only applying what they were trained to do. By using their Marine Corps knowledge and acting on instinct, these modern day men of valor ensured a complete stranger lived to see another day.

Scrapbook Party and Cookbook

Remember that we will be having our scrapbook party this Saturday, the 14th at 1:00. Even if you don't scrap, come anyway. It will be lots of fun!

Also we have less than a week to collect recipes for our cookbook. It is a fundraiser for our carepacks and other support for our troops. Click here to contribute a recipe. The login is lubbockmarines and the contributor password is hcx8w. We hope to have them here and ready to buy on or before the 4th of July. We'll probably start taking pre-orders in late May.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Tribute to the PGR

The Patriot Guard Riders are wonderful! We thank them for all they do.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Semper Fi Run

Maj. Steve Pritchard, left, and Sgt. Randall Stone, a freshman at The Citadel, right, run across the Cooper River Bridge in Charleston. Twenty-five of the Marines and cadets from The Citadel’s Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps detachment ran this year’s Cooper River Bridge run in “boots and utes” with packs on to raise awareness of the financial needs of Marines wounded while serving in Iraq.

Little run, just for fun: Citadel Marines raise $83,000 for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund
April 6, 2007; Submitted on: 04/05/2007 01:54:03 PM ; Story ID#: 20074513543

By Lance Cpl. Jason D. Mills, MCAS Beaufort

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. (April 6, 2007) -- The ground trembled. The sound of nearly 80 thousand feet pounding the pavement echoed through the air like a booming storm cloud.

Their proud determination was almost palpable as nearly 40,000 people ran the 10-kilometer Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, March 31. The annual run is held to promote continuous physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.

However, for the 25 runners in “boots and utes” it was about something much more.

Twenty-five of the Marines and cadets from The Citadel’s Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps detachment ran this year’s Cooper River Bridge run in Charleston to raise awareness of the financial needs of Marines wounded while serving in Iraq.

"The whole idea is to set ourselves apart and raise more awareness in the local community about the needs of injured Marines and the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund," said Capt. Matthew Kutilek, a Marine Officer Instructor at The Citadel.

As if running the six miles in heavy combat boots and green utility trousers wasn’t enough, the Marines who participated also decided to wear a 55-pound pack.

"Once you put on the Marine Corps uniform, it’s not about you anymore; it’s about the Marines you serve,” said Maj. Steve Pritchard, an MOI at The Citadel. “In our capacity we are looking to educate our students on selfless service to their local community and their nation.”

Money raised by The Citadel went to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, which provides financial assistance to Marines injured in combat or while in training, to other service members injured while in direct support of Marine units and their families.

The fund also helps defray the expenses incurred during hospitalization, rehabilitation and recovery. The overall goal of the IMSFF is to alleviate the financial burden placed on the family so that their focus can be on their loved one’s recovery, according to the group’s Web site,

"Marines take care of Marines - our fellow brothers," said Kutilek. "This is the least we can do in Charleston, South Carolina to help out our wounded Marines."

Since their inception in May 2004 the IMSFF has provided more than $9 million in assistance to those in need.

"The goal (for the Semper Fi Run) is (to raise) at least 100 dollars per person times (25) people, times family members (and) times people we know," said cadet Ross Nufsbaum.

Even though their original goal was to raise $2,500, following Saturday's bridge run The Citadel Marines raised nearly $83,000 for injured Marines such as Lance Cpl. Juan Valdez and his family.

"The bullet went inside my arm, my chest and out my back," said Valdez. "It fractured my T9 in my back, fractured my rib (and) collapsed both lungs."

Valdez's mother couldn't afford the plane ticket to be with her son, nor could she afford to miss work. The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund paid for it all.

To see future Marines run on his behalf is encouraging, Valdez said.

"We appreciate it a lot," Valdez said, who attended the race on March 31. "It's incredible the support this town has given to us."

Even so, Nufsbaum says with 55-pound pack and all, it doesn't compare to those sacrificing it all.

"Even if I was running with a 100-pound pack it still wouldn't be as tough as what these Marines have had to go through," said Nufsbaum.

To donate

If you would like to support The Citadel Marines’ efforts to raise money for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, please make a check payable to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. Checks should be mailed to:

825 College Blvd

Suite 102, PMB 609 Oceanside

CA 92057

You can also visit their website at and click on their “How You Can Help” link.

For questions, email Kutilek at or Staff Sgt. Mike Harris at


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

April Meeting

Please join us for our April meeting on Thursday, April 19th. We will meet at 8:00 p.m. at Daybreak Coffee on 19th and Quaker Ave.

We will also be having a scrapbooking party Saturday, April 14th at 1:00 p.m. at my house. Just let me know if you would like to come and I will give you the address and directions. We'll be working on our group scrapbook and our individual scrapbooks. Even if you've never tried scrapbooking please come. Maybe we'll get you hooked! :) It will be lots of fun!

I want to remind everyone that our deadline for submitting recipes for the cookbook is quickly approaching. Click here for information on how to submit a recipe. Remember that we will be funding many of our upcoming carepack and other support projects with the proceeds from the cookbook.