Saturday, June 30, 2007

Lest We Forget...

After you have read Mr. Haugen's poem in the previous post, visit his website for information about his CD entitled "Lest We Forget". It won Patriotic Album of the Year in the Hawaii Music Awards. Here are some quotes about the CD from the site.

The new recording features some patriotic songs and some of the award-winning songs that have helped the community focus on events such as the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. The CD includes two stirring poems, patriotic hits, four songs related to the USS Arizona, one for those who are buried in our National Memorial Cemeteries-- from Punchbowl to Arlington -- plus other new and old songs, even a couple of memorable poems, all guaranteed to warm your heart and give you pause to reflect.

He's sending me the CD and I can't WAIT!! I know it will be wonderful. It will probably be one that I can't listen to in the car for fear of tears clouding up my vision. ;)

Here's what you’ll hear on the new CD:

1. Lest We Forget (a poem) read by Don

2. BB39 a Gordon Freitas song about a young sailor on the USS Arizona on
Dec. 6, 1941, recorded here for the first time, sung by Gordon

3. Peaceful Arizona, the award-winning Freitas song about that famous Hawai`i
landmark, sung by Gordon

4. We Still Care, the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Song sung by Keith
and the Sounds of Aloha Chorus. This was sung in the 50th anniversary events
at Pearl and was the theme song for the 1991 Aloha Bowl half-time show.

5. Yes, We Remember, narrated by US Senator Daniel K. Inouye, the only
member of the US Senate to win a Congressional Medal of Honor, with original
piano score by Bob Nelson.

6. In Flanders Fields (a 1918 poem by Dr. John McCrae) read by Don

7. Walking Through The Memories, a Requiem to the Fallen, also by
Haugen, was premiered in the 2001 Armed Forces Day Combined Military Band
Concert at the Hawai`i Theatre, and helped Keith win this year's Aloha Spirit
Award from the Chamber of Commerce of Hawai`i. This is a tribute in song to
all those buried in our National Memorial Cemeteries. Keith has the lead.

8. Whisper 'Semper Fi,' (The Ballad of the Leatherneck) by Haugen and
Freitas, is premiered on this recording. It is about an aging US Marine who
appears to have been forgotten by his family and country, sung by Gordon

9. Ballad of the Green Beret, the 60s hit by Sgt. Barry Sadler, sung here by
Keith, Don, and Gordon, just as they performed it in the 2000 Veterans Day
Concert in the Atherton Performing Arts Studio

10. Danny Boy, one of the most famous songs ever about a son going off to war,
sung by Don.

11. Cease Fire, A Christmas Song is one of the most unusual Christmas songs
ever written.Haugen wrote this during another Middle East war in the 1980s. It is sung by Keith.

12. Patriotic Medley includes This Land is Your Land,God Bless America, and
The Stars and Stripes Forever, sung by Keith, Don & Gordon

See what I mean about tears? I can just tell it's going to be great. In Flander's Fields is one of my favorite poems.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Whisper 'Semper Fi'

I found this poem today at I know you will all love it as much as I do. Mr. Haugen, the author, has kindly granted me permission to post it here.

He was sitting on a park bench, hunched and looking low
It was hard to imagine how he'd looked, so long ago.
His beard was long and shaggy now; his sparse hair white as snow
But his steel gray eyes were piercing, and I turned away to go.

He looked lonely and forgotten, and maybe homeless too
Like life had dealt him a bad hand, maybe quite a few
He was probably abandoned by those who didn't care
I wondered what had happened, what drove him to despair.

He said, "Son, I'm a Leatherneck, of wars before your time"
His eyes grew still more piercing as he looked deep into mine
"Your uniform says you're a Devil Dog, the man I've waited for
And there's something I want to tell you -- things I've never said before."

The tattoos on his weathered arm read "Mom" and "Semper Fi"
"Let's sing our hymn together, son, once more before I die."
As we sang of Montezuma's halls and the shores of Tripoli,
The old man stood straight and tall, and he looked down at me.

"Bury me at Arlington; put an EGA upon my chest.
Tell all the world I died for them, that I was one of the best.
I was with the Fifth on Iwo, and I fought in Korea too.
During that ugly war in Vietnam, I stood proud, and cheered for you.

"Get me a straight edge razor, lad, and give me a good, clean shave.
I want to look my very best as I go to my grave
Cut my hair; shine my boots; let me borrow your best blues.
You have them back after I'm gone, and all my medals too.

"I don't want no flowers, an American flag will do
My life was lived and given for the Red and White and Blue.
Whisper 'Semper Fi' my boy, so loud that all will hear
Fire them rifles in the air; they're music to my ear."

As he told me his last wishes, I saw him standing tall
I could see the ribbons on his chest, in the dim light of the Mall
And as he closed his steel gray eyes, I thought about the Corps
He'd lived the life of a real Marine, who could ask for anything more?

"Whisper 'Semper Fi,' my lad," his voice lingered in my mind
I thought about all my buddies, those I'd left behind
Today, I'd met a real Marine, a hero through and through
Forgotten by his country, but not by me and you.
By Cordell Keith Haugen
Copyright 2001

Famous Chef to Salute Military

America Supports You:
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2007 – Famous television Chef Emeril Lagasse will salute the military with two programs showcasing recipes created by the men and women who keep the troops fed and happy.
Emeril's Army-Navy Contest will air on the Food Network tomorrow at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. Emeril's Military Contest will air the following evening at the same time. The six winners, representing each of the five branches of the military, were selected from entries in Emeril's Military Recipe Contest.

These folks are the real heroes,Lagasse said of the servicemembers. You just can't understate the importance of what they do day in and day out in terms of morale. As (you'll) see from the winning recipes, the food they're turning out is pretty extraordinary.

What better way to head into the July 4th holiday than to take these opportunities to pay tribute to our (servicemembers) for all that they, and their families, are doing for us? he added.

From their seats of honor at the chef's table, the winners will get to chat with Lagasse while he cooks their dishes, which of course, he'll kick up a notch. He also takes the opportunity to share some of their culinary inspirations and personal stories with viewers at home.

We had envisioned one special, but there were so many great recipes and stories that we expanded it so we could give them their due, said Karen Katz, executive producer of Emeril Live.

Emeril and the show have long had a special relationship with the military but even so, we were surprised at the response to the military recipe contest and delighted with the depth of talent we discovered.

Emeril's Army-Navy Cook-off features Lagasse cooking the winning recipes from both Army and Navy food specialists, and the U.S. Army Field Band Brass Quintet performs in the studio.

Featured in this episode with their winning recipes are:

-- Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Travis Smith, Headquarters 19th Expeditionary Sustained Command, South Korea, with his Fire Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Cilantro Cream and Grilled Cajun Catfish;

-- Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Joseph Chiarelli, a culinary specialist aboard the USS Tarawa stationed in San Diego with his Cedar Plank Salmon Parmesan with Asian Reduction Sauce over Julienned Vegetables; and

-- Army National Guard Spc. Andrew Ruga, 222nd Transportation Company, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, and his winning recipe for Pecan Crusted Chicken over Field Greens with Caramel Citrus Vinaigrette.

Emeril's Military Contest, which premieres June 30, features Lagasse cooking the best recipes submitted by airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines. They are joined in the studio by the U.S. Army Blues Ensemble Swamp Romp for the hour-long special featuring the winning recipes of:

-- Air Force Tech. Sgt. Wesley Williams, dining facility manager at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., who won for his Rainbow Fruit Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Fried Cheddar Grits and a Blueberry Coulis;

-- Marine Col. Stewart Navarre, Marine Corps Installations West, Camp Pendleton, Calif., who won with his recipe for Combat Steak; and

-- Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Stacey Russell, stationed at Sector Long Island Sound, New Haven, Conn., who served up her recipe for pumpkin pie.

(From a Food Network news release.)

Photo Essay: Emeril cooks combat cuisine

Thursday, June 28, 2007

10 Things to never say to someone with a deployed soldier

This came to us on our MySpace from an Army wife.

1. I don't know how you do it.

Well, guess what? In all honesty, I don't know how I do it either. I just do. Because really, what other choice do I have?

2. I could never deal with it if my husband was gone for that long. does hearing how someone else can't deal with it help me to deal with it?

3. Are you scared that something may happen to him while he's there?

This one has always really perplexed me. Of course, I'm scared. I wouldn't be human if I wasn't. But being reminded of the fact that something may happen to him doesn't help me out.

4. Do you miss him?

Every time I was asked this, I just wanted to respond "Oh, no, definitely not. I like it when he's gone. It gives me the chance to be all by myself 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Who wouldn't want that?" Of course, I miss him. Wouldn't you miss your husband?

5. I know just how you feel. My husband was on a business trip last month for three days and I just thought I would die.

Are you kidding me? First, I barely notice now if my husband is only gone for three days. Second, unless his business trip was to a place where everyone is openly carrying a gun in the street trying to kill him and suicide bombers and roadside bombs are prevalent, its not remotely close to being the same. The only thing I may give you on this one is that you know what it's like to sleep in an empty bed.

6. Do you worry about him cheating on you? Or along the same lines...How can you go without sex for so long?

Well, people, it is a little thing called self control. That and a love for my husband and respect for my marriage. Do some people cheat? Sure they do - both here in the states and overseas. But people cheat in civilian marriages too. Being in the military has no bearing on that.

7. How can you sleep at night knowing your husband is a murderer? Won't you be afraid when he comes home?

This one sets me off more than any other. No soldier is a murderer. Have they had to kill someone? Quite possibly. But there are a great many soldiers who never have. It's not something they talk about in daily conversation. Regardless of what they do overseas, it does not make them a murderer. They are in a war zone and following orders. I have never once even had an inkling that I should be afraid of my husband because he is a soldier.

8. I'm so sorry your husband had to be deployed. Don't you just hate President Bush?

My husband joined the military of his own free will knowing full well that he would probably be deployed. The President may be the one running the show, but both my husband and I knew what we were getting into when he joined. I'm proud of him and his accomplishments. And I don't discuss politics or religion with anyone. :-)

9. If you truly supported your husband, you would be protesting so..he wouldn't have to deploy again/could be brought home/the war would end.

Really? My definition of support must be much different than the definition of support by these people. Supporting my husband means supporting him in what he does and what he believes in. It does not mean disrespecting the men and women who volunteered to defend our country and our rights. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't have the right to protest in the first place. I'm certainly not putting myself in a position where it could be construed as anything other than 100% support for our troops and their families.

10. I can't believe your husband did this to you. Aren't you mad at him?

Um, what?! My husband didn't do anything to me. He honors his agreements and he follows the orders of his superiors. There's certainly nothing sad or maddening about having a husband who fulfills his commitments. Don't feel sorry for me. I'm proud of my husband and I completely support him.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

American Music Legend Praises U.S. Servicemembers

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 26, 2007 – Standing in the Pentagon briefing room here, preparing to record a video message to troops deployed abroad, 70-year-old Charlie Daniels’ jaws, covered in tufts of white whiskers, work away at a wad of gum. As the camera starts rolling, he halts production.

“Oh, wait, I almost forgot!” he says in a country drawl, spitting his gum into a tissue. “My wife keeps yelling at me for going on TV with gum in my mouth.”

Daniels appeared here to accept the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service. The musician, perhaps best known for his chart-topping single, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” describes himself a blue-collar kind of guy. Instead of his signature “bull rider” Stetson hat, Daniels’ silvery-gray hair was covered by a baseball cap that featured a bald eagle poised before the American flag.

For more than 35 years, Daniels has entertained servicemembers with his unique blend of country, blues and rock music. The reason for his enduring support: Because men and women in uniform allow his family to sleep well at night.

“The people in our military are the best America has,” he said. “Without them, we would have no country.”

The Charlie Daniels Band has performed for troops at bases in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Korea and elsewhere. Daniels begins every show the same way, he says, telling the audience, “I bring you greetings from the United States of America!” and ends each show by signing autographs and posing for photos.

An encounter with one enlisted man had an especially profound impact on Daniels, providing inspiration for a song he titled “When I Get Back from Iraq.” The first verse of the bluesy ballad, Daniels recalled, centers on the moment an Iraqi veteran returns home from duty.

“One of the toughest guys I ever saw walked into a (backstage) tent, and he looked like he could bite a railroad spike in two. I mean, he had the shaved head and the muscles – he looked like Rambo on steroids,” Daniels remembered. “I didn’t know what he wanted, but he just came back and started crying.

“This was one of the toughest guys I ever saw, and it was like (he said), ‘You remind me of home, and there’s something at home I miss,’” Daniels said. “It was special that this man felt enough at home with me that he would break down and cry, because he did not look the type.”

In a voice husky with emotion, Daniels recalled the song’s lyrics.

“When I get back from Iraq, I’m gonna go stormin’ through my front door,” he said. “I’m gonna grab a hold of my baby and love her like she ain’t been loved before.”

After decades of touring, the septuagenarian still has a hard time staying in any one place for very long. Daniels and the band regularly tour America, honoring troops as they go.

“Every night I pay homage to the military in our show, and I can tell by the reactions in the crowd that support for our military in United States of America is strong; I mean, very, very strong,” he said. “I can’t tell you what’s going on in the halls of power, and the penthouses and the corporate offices of America, because I don’t live in that world.

“I’m very much a blue-collar person; I come from a blue-collar background. And we play for a lot of people in a year’s time, and I’m here to tell you, they support the military,” he said.

Daniels said his lifelong sense of patriotism and support for U.S. troops was born during World War II. He remembers sitting around the radio and listening to reports that Japan had bombed the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

“We never ever thought we would lose,” he recalled about the war. “We always had that feeling -- everybody, grown folks, kids, everybody -- knew we were going to win the Second World War. My brand of patriotism came during that time.”

The musician said his perception of American culture isn’t formed by today’s mainstream media.

“We travel this country coast to coast and border to border every year,” he said, “and I know that a lot of people get their impressions by watching commercial television or reading the newspaper, and I find that support for the military in this country is so much more solid and so much more loyal and widespread than you would ever get from watching TV or reading the newspaper.

“America supports the military, and it’s important for me to know that the military knows that,” he said.

The Charlie Daniels Band documented their last two visits to bases around Iraq and recorded a CD/DVD multimedia offering titled “Live From Iraq,” which was released today.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

June Meeting

Come join us for coffee and a meeting. We are meeting Thursday June 28th at 8:00pm at Daybreak Coffee on 19th and Quaker. We'll be discussing our 4th on Broadway plans.

Monday, June 25, 2007

LMP T-Shirts

I know you all are eager to oder a Lubbock Marine Parents t-shirt, right? Or how about a clock or apron to go with your cookbook? Go here to see the selection.

Thank You Gunz Up!

I don't know why I didn't post this earlier so you all could participate. I won't call it a senior moment because I am NOT a senior (no matter what my kids might think). Let's just call it mommy brain. Anyway, De'on over at Gunz Up had a little fundraiser for us. She posted a test (a very hard test too), with the prize for the highest scorer being a copy of our cookbook, and each test earning money to be contributed to Lubbock Marine Parents.
Here’s the cash:
Karen $ 13.61
SFM 13.04
Deborah 11.83
$ 38.48 from our test takers
$ 61.52 from our “Rather pay than play” ers

Grand Total contributed through Lubbock Marine Parents to our troops through your sacrifice. $100.

I woke up this morning to a $100 Paypal donation to LMP. Thank you De'on for your hard work on putting together the test and putting up the prize and money and thank you Karen and Deborah for taking that tough test. You are the BEST! This will mail a lot of flat rate boxes!

Marine Corps Answering Machine

This is too funny! Give it a listen.

What's Your Blog Rated?

This is fun. You can find out what your blog or MySpace profile would be rated as a film. I'm glad we got a G rating. I do try to keep things family friendly around here!

Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

H/T Texas Fred

Speaking of film ratings...I can't believe what passes for PG-13 these days! How do they determine what gets PG-13 and what gets R ratings? We rented some movies recently that I could not believe were not R rated.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Cookbook Update

I have the actual printed proof of the cookbook in my hands! I'm so excited! I am giving it one last look to make sure there aren't any glaring mistakes and then it will be back to the publisher for the final printing. It's so fun to actually see how the pages are going to look. There are lots of GREAT recipes in it. I will of course let everyone know when the cookbooks are here and ready to be shipped out. Remember that they will be $12 ($6 for shipping for those of you out of town).

Rock star recruit drops instruments to pick up a rifle.

Pfc. Seth C. Allen, Platoon 1069, Company D, used his teaching skills to help several recruits within his platoon study for the practical examination test. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Carrie Booze

By Pfc. Carrie Booze
Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, June 20, 2007 — After years of touring with a rock band, one Company D recruit pursued his lifelong dream of joining America’s most elite fighting force.
Pfc. Seth C. Allen, Platoon 1069, graduated June 15 after following in his father’s footsteps to become one of the few and the proud.

At 28-years-old, Allen’s life was set. He had already earned his master’s degree in music composition from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and was living his dream playing the cello and electric bass in a rock group called The Josh Grider Band.

When Allen’s band was not touring across the South and performing with numerous well-known artists, he was teaching music theory at Waco Independent School District.

He seemed to have it all, yet he felt unfulfilled. He felt that he had something more to offer, and being a musician did not allow him to fully give back the freedoms he was given.

Allen “is extremely passionate about his music and is one of the most talented musicians I know,” said his father, Robert. “But I take pride in him wanting to follow in my footsteps, and I am very supportive of his decision in becoming a Marine.”

Aside from music, Allen was always interested in world affairs, his father added. He said the current war has affected Allen immensely and his son wanted to do his part in fighting for America.

“I love playing music, but I also love my freedom to play music,” said Allen. “Music can impact people, but if they don’t have the freedom to listen to it, then what I did as a musician was meaningless.”

Wanting to defend his country and emulate his father, Allen went to the Waco recruiting station and signed his enlistment contract without hesitation.

The following spring, Allen was on the yellow footprints, eager to begin his transformation. He endured three months of strenuous training and had to be treated for a reopened surgical wound on his tailbone from a previous injury, limiting his physical activity.

“Even though he was injured he never wanted to go to medical and be held back from training,” said Gunnery Sgt. Brian R. Papakie, senior drill instructor for Platoon 1069. “He was generally concerned with staying up to speed with the younger recruits, so he put in full effort and did well.”

With his physical abilities restricted, Allen turned to his mental strength to help motivate his fellow recruits.

During the first phase Allen was reserved, but in the second phase he came out of his shell and took on the responsibility of knowledge recruit — a recruit who assists drill instructors prepare other recruits for the final examination at the end of boot camp, said Papakie.

Allen was able to spout off questions and answers for the practical examination during the hikes to familiarize the recruits with the material they would see on the test.

“Allen was a very intelligent recruit,” said Papakie. “He used his experiences as a teacher and tried to go above and beyond to help the other recruits by conducting study sessions.”

Allen’s father said Allen has always been a studious individual, and is constantly striving to better himself.

The young Marine has future aspirations of attending Officer Candidate School to become an intelligence officer for an aviation squadron and lead Marines in the fight. Having already conquered the music industry, Allen plans to put music on the back burner while he pursues his military career.

After ten days of leave, Allen will return to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., to attend Marine Combat Training at the School of Infantry. After that, he will train to become a supply accountant.

Allen said he is excited to have earned the eagle, globe and anchor and he cannot wait to be a part of something bigger than himself. He looks forward to joining the ranks of thousands of warriors who have also earned the title Marine.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

24th Marines in Chile

This is a very interesting article about the 24th Marines training in Chile. I would love to visit there some day. Several years ago, when my oldest son was in high school, we had an exchange student from Chile. He was so much fun and we learned a lot from him. He was the most laid back kid I had ever met and NEVER got in a hurry. That didn't help him much on the track team. ;) His favorite American food was peanut butter and I would sometimes catch him eating it out of the jar with a spoon. We kept in touch by email for awhile, but he moved to a place where he didn't have an internet connection and we lost touch. Maybe we'll hear from him again someday.

24th Marines train in heart of Chilean Marine history
June 20, 2007; Submitted on: 06/20/2007 11:00:11 AM ; Story ID#: 200762011011

By Maj. Dan Huvane, Headquarters Marine Corps
IQUIQUE, Chile – (June 4, 2007) Lance Cpl. James J. Hughes of F Company, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines out of Milwaukee, Wis., checks out a Chilean Marine’s rifle during a day of displays and demonstrations among the two marine corps. The Marines of Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force 24 are currently in Chile supporting Partnership of the Americas 2007, an annual exercise that enhances regional cooperation and security among nations of the Western Hemisphere.

IQUIQUE, Chile (June 20, 2007) -- Training and interacting constantly in both official and unofficial settings, the Marines of Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force 24 have proven adept at making ‘amigos’ among their Chilean counterparts.

The Marines bid farewell last week to their most recent hosts in Partnership of the Americas 2007, Destacamento (DIM) Lynch of Chile’s Infanteria de Marina, or Marine Corps. Hosted on their base and largely in their rooms, the Marines enjoyed a week of hospitality in Punto Gruesa, near the northern port city of Iquique. From a combined live-fire exercise to social events to displays and demonstrations of weapons and systems, the Marines of each nation reached out to the other and took great pride in the bond of brotherhood that unites all ‘Soldiers of the Sea.’

“They were really great hosts, not only in a professional manner, but on a personal level. Particularly at chow, their guys would intentionally mix in with us and start conversations with our Marines, and even though most of our guys couldn’t speak the language, they’d try their best to communicate,” said Sgt. Franklin M. Rivas of Queens, N.Y., personnel chief for SPMAGTF 24. “Pretty much every conversation we had ended up with jokes and laughter,” he added.

Welcome receptions, presentations of history and capabilities, static displays of weapons and systems, sports competition and professional military education all took place within the first few days of the visit. The Marines were particularly impressed with how Chilean Marines prized their history and origins with a reverence very similar to the one they express about their own Corps, and found an immediate connection there. It wasn’t hard to find other connections as the troops got to know each other, and mutual respect across the ranks was as evident within DIM Lynch as it is within the ranks of the 24th Marine Regiment.

When it came to weapons displays, the camaraderie easily flowed as Marines were each anxious to check out the tools of war their counterparts employ. The hosts set up components of their coastal defense battery, including a 155mm Howitzer cannon, and a missile battery. Although some Chileans spoke English fairly easily, others looked to Marines fluent in Spanish, such as Maj. Luis M. Gomez of Murrieta, Calif., to help with translation despite a strong grasp of the language.

“I would often tell them to slow down, since their slang and their speed made it hard to understand,” said Gomez, a CH-46 pilot for Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 764 at Edwards Air Base, Calif. “But they definitely felt more relaxed, especially the junior officers, and they found they could better get their point across because I could understand them in Spanish.”

Prior to the start of static displays, the first order of business for SPMAGTF 24 was erecting its Unit Operations Center in order to both serve as a command post and give demonstrations to the Chilean Marines, who displayed a strong level of interest in the system. The UOC provides voice and data communication, and is unique in that it encapsulates all equipment that is necessary for functioning at the regimental level, according to Gunnery Sgt. Jeffrey A. Welch, communications maintenance chief for 24th Marine Regiment. Welch added that the system forges a common capability set that can be used across all levels of command throughout the battlefield.

The UOC was set up and fully operational on base at Punta Gruesa in just two and a half hours, easily besting the command’s targeted time of four hours. When asked how communications were established within such a short window of time, Marines were quick to praise the hard work of others around them who made it possible.

“It was through the hard work and initiative of junior Marines, such as Lance Cpl. (David R.) Stanton, Lance Cpl. (Chris N.) Buckles Haley and Cpl. (Truen K.) Taylor. They took charge, and every one knew his job,” said Cpl. Zach D. Zapotoski of Lowville, N.Y., data chief for SPMAGTF 24, from Marine Forces Reserve. “Credit can be given to their leadership, and to the experience that was forged in Fuerte Aguayo and Cifuncho, Chile.”

Once again, the UOC drew distinguished visitors, as Brig. Gen. John M. Croley, commander, Marine Corps Forces South, attended a demonstration of its capabilities. In addition, Chilean Capitan de Navio (Col.) Christian Del Real, Chief of Staff of the Chilean Marine Corps, followed in the footsteps of the highest ranks of Chilean Navy and Marine Corps leadership who had visited SPMAGTF 24 in its previous sites during this exercise.

Professional military exchanges and official receptions continued throughout the week, as well as a three-day, three-sport tournament and an ‘asado’ barbeque that culminated the week of exchanges. Chilean Capitan de Navio (Col.) Humberto Mella, Comandante of DIM Lynch, presented the championship trophy to Col. Brent Dunahoe, commanding officer of 24th Marine Regiment, in a gesture of friendship and solidarity.

As unit gifts were exchanged, both Mella and Dunahoe emphasized to all the Marines present that they truly have gained lifelong friends in the other corps. The kinship expressed throughout the warehouse where it was held, as U.S. and Chilean Marines joked with each other, exchanged insignia and posed for endless photos, made that clear.

When God Created the US Marine

When God created a United States Marine, it was into the sixth day of overtime. An angel appeared and said, "You're having a lot of trouble with this one. What's wrong with the standard model?" And the Lord replied, "Have you seen the specs on this order?"

"It has to be able to think independently, yet be able to take orders; have the qualities of both a military mind and a compassionate heart; be a leader of junior Marines and learn from seniors; run on black coffee; handle critical ops without a Military Procedure Manual; be able to manage a difficult subordinate, an irate supervisor and a demanding OIC; have the patience of a saint and six pairs of hands, not to mention the strength of three its size."

The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands - no way!" And the Lord answered, "Don't worry, we'll make other Marines to help. Besides, it's not the hands which are causing the problem. It's the heart. It must swell with pride when other Marines do well, sustain the incredible hardship of combat, beat on soundly when it's too tired to do so, and be strong enough to continue to carry on when he's given all he's had."

"Lord," said the angel touching the Lord's sleeve gently, "Come to bed!" "I can't," said the Lord. "I'm so close to creating something unique. Already I have one who can complete a 26-mile forced march with full pack, handle a 9mm and an M16 with astounding accuracy, conduct land navigation in the dark, and operate field communications."

The angel circled the model of the Marine very slowly. "It's too serious," she sighed. "But tough," said the Lord excitedly, "You cannot imagine what this Marine can do or endure." "Can it feel?" asked the angel. "Can it feel!" replied the Lord. "It loves the Corps and country like no other!"

Finally the angel bent over and ran her finger across the Marine's cheek. "There's a leak," she pronounced. "I told you you're trying to put too much into this model." "That's not a leak," said the Lord. "That's a tear." "What's it for?" asked the angel. "It's for joy, sadness, disappointment, frustration, pain, loneliness and pride." "You're a genius!" exclaimed the angel. The Lord looked at her somberly and replied, "I didn't put it there."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Troops rescue starving orphans in Iraq

Watch the video here. You will definitely need your tissues, but you will be SO proud of our troops as always.

(CBS) It was a scene that shocked battle-hardened soldiers, captured in photographs obtained exclusively by CBS News.

On a daytime patrol in central Baghdad just over than a week ago, a U.S. military advisory team and Iraqi soldiers happened to look over a wall and found something horrific.

"They saw multiple bodies laying on the floor of the facility," Staff Sgt. Mitchell Gibson of the 82nd Airborne Division told CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan. "They thought they were all dead, so they threw a basketball (to) try and get some attention, and actually one of the kids lifted up their head, tilted it over and just looked and then went back down. And they said, 'oh, they're alive' and so they went into the building."

Inside the building, a government-run orphanage for special needs children, the soldiers found more emaciated little bodies tied to the cribs. They had been kept this way for more than a month, according to the soldiers called in to rescue the 24 boys.

"I saw children that you could see literally every bone in their body that were so skinny, they had no energy to move whatsoever, no expression on their face," Staff Sgt. Michael Beale said.

"The kids were tied up, naked, covered in their own waste — feces — and there were three people that were cooking themselves food, but nothing for the kids," Lt. Stephen Duperre said.

Logan asked: So there were three people cooking their own food?

"They were in the kitchen, yes ma'am," Duperre said.

With all these kids starving around them?

"Yes ma'am," Duperre said.

It didn't stop there. The soldiers found kitchen shelves packed with food and in the stockroom, rows of brand-new clothing still in their plastic wrapping.

Instead of giving it to the boys, the soldiers believe it was being sold to local markets.

The man in charge, the orphanage caretaker, had a well-kept office — a stark contrast to the terrible conditions just outside that room.

"I got extremely angry with the caretaker when I got there," Capt. Benjamin Morales said. "It took every muscle in my body to restrain myself from not going after that guy."

Read the rest here.

Monday, June 18, 2007

V-22 Osprey

The V-22 Osprey is my second son's aircraft.

The V-22 is being developed to perform United States Marine Corps (USMC), United States Navy(USN), and United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) combat missions. The V-22 design, incorporating advanced but mature technology proven in the XV-15 tiltrotor demonstrators, V-22 Full Scale Development (FSD) models, and V-22 Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) models, takes advantage of proven technology in composite materials, digital fly-by-wire flight controls, and advanced survivability and crashworthiness. A tiltrotor combines the speed, range and fuel efficiency normally associated with turboprop aircraft with the vertical take-off/landing and hover capabilities of helicopters. The tiltrotor aircraft represents a major technological breakthrough in aviation that meets long standing military needs.

Read more here.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection."
-- Sigmund Freud

"If the new American father feels bewildered and even defeated, let him take comfort from the fact that whatever he does in any fathering situation has a fifty percent chance of being right."
-- Bill Cosby

"A new father quickly learns that his child invariably comes to the bathroom at precisely the times when he's in there, as if he needed company. The only way for this father to be certain of bathroom privacy is to shave at the gas station."
-- Bill Cosby

"Be kind to thy father, for when thou wert young, Who loved thee so fondly as he? He caught the first accents that fell from thy tongue, And joined in thy innocent glee."
-- Margaret Courtney

"I talk and talk and talk, and I haven't taught people in 50 years what my father taught by example in one week."
-- Mario Cuomo

"I watched a small man with thick calluses on both hands work fifteen and sixteen hours a day. I saw him once literally bleed from the bottoms of his feet, a man who came here uneducated, alone, unable to speak the language, who taught me all I needed to know about faith and hard work by the simple eloquence of his example."
-- Mario Cuomo

"A father is a guy who has snapshots in his wallet where his money used to be."
-- Unknown

"A king, realizing his incompetence, can either delegate or abdicate his duties. A father can do neither. If only sons could see the paradox, they would understand the dilemma."
-- Marlene Dietrich

"Fifth Commandment: Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee."
-- Exodus 20:12

"My father always told me, 'Find a job you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life.' "
-- Jim Fox

"The father is always a Republican toward his son, and his mother's always a Democrat."
-- Robert Frost

"You don't have to deserve your mother's love. You have to deserve your father's. He's more particular."
-- Robert Frost

"A father is a banker provided by nature."
-- French Proverb

"Any man can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a dad."
-- Anne Geddes

"My father died many years ago, and yet when something special happens to me, I talk to him secretly not really knowing whether he hears, but it makes me feel better to half believe it."
--Natasha Josefowitz

"The father of a daughter is nothing but a high-class hostage. A father turns a stony face to his sons, berates them, shakes his antlers, paws the ground, snorts, runs them off into the underbrush, but when his daughter puts her arm over his shoulder and says, 'Daddy, I need to ask you something,' he is a pat of butter in a hot frying pan."
-- Garrison Keillor

"When I was a kid, I said to my father one afternoon, 'Daddy, will you take me to the zoo?' He answered, 'If the zoo wants you, let them come and get you.'""
-- Jerry Lewis

"Small boy's definition of Father's Day: It's just like Mother's Day only you don't spend so much."
-- Unknown

Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!
~Lydia M. Child, Philothea: A Romance, 1836

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.
~Mark Twain, "Old Times on the Mississippi" Atlantic Monthly, 1874

Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes.
~Gloria Naylor

Thanks for all you do Dads! Hope your Father's Day is very special.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Articles of the Code of Conduct

I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.

I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.

If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and to aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.

If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information nor take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them in every way.

When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country or its allies or harmful to their cause.

I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

Friday, June 15, 2007

MotoMail Adds Photos

Just when you thought electronically printed communications couldn't get any better, the MotoMail team brings on an exciting enhancement to the MotoMail system--PHOTOS. Yes, that's right you can now send your family and friends photos along with your letter. It's simple, quick and allows you to add an additional personal touch to your MotoMail. They call the service PhotoMail and we hope that you, your family and your friends will enjoy it and use it often. After you sign in to MotoMail as usual, go to the PhotoMail tab to learn more and enable your account to start using this new service.

MotoMail is a service that is brought to you and endorsed by the Marine Corps which allows electronically transmitted letters to be printed in Iraq and delivered to the recipient often in as little as 48 hours. Transit time via US Mail is eliminated, allowing a much quicker delivery to our Marines in Iraq.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

I love Texas!

I love being a Texan! If you ask me, there is not a better place on the planet. I don't think I could stand to move away from my favorite Tex-Mex cuisine. My sons in North Carolina say that's what they miss the most. My #2 son is coming home for July the 4th and he has a list as long as my arm of all the Mexican food he wants to eat. He and one of his Marine friends from up North somewhere went to a Mexican food place there in NC and he said the menu actually had explanations of what each item was next to it's listing. His friend had never heard of any of it. The poor deprived thing... What kind of a childhood must it have been not to know what enchiladas, tamales and chili rellenos are. I feel so sorry for him. Oh, and by the way, my son said the food was awful and not in the least spicy. They seem to think a little sprinkle of chili powder on something makes it spicy. He said they don't know how to do BBQ in NC either. I'm going to have to make him some brisket while he's home.

I also love the way we talk in Texas. The older folks especially have some of the best sayings. I was standing in line to check out at the grocery store one day and there was a man around 70 in line in front of me. The checker asked him how he was doing and he said "If I was any better I'd be twins." I've found some more good sayings for you. Yes, we really do talk this way!

The engine's runnin' but ain't nobody driving
Not overly-intelligent

As welcome as a skunk at a lawn party

Tighter than bark on a tree
Not very generous

Big hat, no cattle
All talk and no action

We've howdied but we ain't shook yet
We've made a brief acquaintance, but not been formally introduced

He thinks the sun come up just to hear him crow
He has a pretty high opinion of himself

She's got tongue enough for 10 rows of teeth
That woman can talk

It's so dry the trees are bribin' the dogs
We really could use a little rain around here

Just because a chicken has wings doesn't mean it can fly
Appearances can be deceptive.

This ain't my first rodeo
I've been around awhile

He looks like the dog's been keepin' him under the porch
Not the most handsome of men

They ate supper before they said grace
Living in sin

Time to paint your butt white and run with the antelope
Stop arguing and do as you're told

As full of wind as a corn-eating horse
Rather prone to boasting

You can put your boots in the oven, but that don't make em biscuits
You can say whatever you want about something, but that doesn't change what it is

That's a fur piece.
It'll take you awhile to get there

Don't worry 'bout the mule son, just load the wagon
just do your part and I'll do mine

Don't call him a cowboy, till you've seen him ride
Don't judge a book by its cover

She's been rode hard and put away wet
refers to an unattractive, hard-looking woman

toad choker
a heavy rain

frog strangler
also a heavy rain

finer than frog hair
use anywhere you might use the word "fine"

rarer than hen's teeth
pretty darn rare

to spill, as in "I jes' tumped over mah beer"

Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Sprite, Mountain Dew, Big Red, etc.


"Well, knock me down and steal muh teeth!"
"Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit."


"I'll slap you so hard, your clothes will be
outta style when you stop rollin'."(love this one!!)

"This'll jar your preserves."
"Don't you be makin' me open a can o' whoop-ass on ya!"

Good Things/Compliments...

"Cute as a sack full of puppies."
"If things get any better, I may have
to hire someone to help me enjoy it." "Gooder than grits."

The Weather...

"It's so dry, the trees are bribing the dogs."
"It's been hotter'n a goat's butt in a pepper patch."
Wintry roads are said to be "slicker than otter snot "


A bothersome person is "like a booger that
you can't thump off."

When something is bad then you say, "that ain't no count."
If something is hard to do, it's "like trying to herd cats."
He ran "like his feet was on fire and his ass was a-catchin"
A hectic schedule keeps you "Busier than a cat
covering crap on a marble floor."

"She's uglier than homemade soap."

"He fell out of the ugly tree and hit
every branch on the way down." "Uglier than a lard bucket full of armpits."

(any insulting statement is always followed by
"bless his/her heart)

Just some sayings:

"He's slower then the 7 year itch!"

"Hotter than a two dollar pistol"

"Ain't no two ways 'bout it!"

"Madder than a ole wet hen"

"Don't be a puttin all yer eggs in one baskit!"

"Ain't seen that in a coons' age!"

"I ain't uh gonna do it!"

"You don't won't me to hawg tie ya do ya?"

"Plum wore out!"

"Be all over you like stink on a skunk!"

"I reckon"

"I'm fixin to go!"

"you on't to?" (meaning you want to?)

"Well if that don't beat all I ever seen
in all my born days, I don't know what would!"

"Oh my word!" "Oh my stars!"

"Colder than my mother-in-laws heart"

"My mother-in-laws' so ugly,
she'd make a freight train jump track"

More on the 13th MEU

As I've mentioned before, two of our Lubbock Marine moms have sons in this unit.

Marines of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit brave sandstorms in the unforgiving desert of Kuwait while preparing for combat operations in Iraq, June 5.

Marines battle harsh environment in Kuwait
June 8, 2007; Submitted on: 06/14/2007 08:21:29 AM ; Story ID#: 200761482129

By Sgt. Andy Hurt, 13th MEU

UDARI RANGE, Kuwait (June 8, 2007) -- While “ship life” has its downsides, it is the unforgiving desert of Kuwait that makes Marines really miss home. Day after day, Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit are subjecting themselves to dust, arid winds and, of course, triple-digit heat.

Training must continue, however, and the “Fighting 13th” is continuously preparing itself for combat operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Though the desert provides a brutal environment in which to work, Marines here are proving they are capable of adapting and overcoming natural adversity, and in turn, hardening their bodies and minds.

“Obviously you have the heat, and then fatigue sets in,” said Sgt. Nicholas Person, a native of the comparatively mild Boston, Mass. “Tempers get shorter … by the end of the day everyone is thinking ‘When is this (stuff) gonna end?”

Person, a squad leader from Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, said that his Marines are successfully facing environmental challenges head on, although it takes extra steps to reduce casualty risks among the ranks.

“While we were on a convoy range the other day, one of my guys jumped out of a (vehicle) and immediately his legs started cramping,” said Person. “We reported it to the corpsmen and kept him off that movement, and by the next checkpoint he was good to go … if we hadn’t recognized the potential for a heat casualty, he could have been a lot worse off.”

Heat is not the only danger. Dust storms kicked up across the Middle East find an apex in Kuwait and can seriously limit visibility. Marines here are often unrecognizable by sight alone due to face wraps, goggles, gloves and headgear worn to protect them from the elements. Giving the appearance of ninjas roaming the lands with rifles, it’s full coverage that Person says keeps the danger of exposure at bay.

“It sucks to have to wear a cammie blouse all day, but everyone realizes it’s protecting them from the sun. We have to stay covered at all times,” he said, “and if we’re not moving, we gotta find shade and stay there.”

As Marines will tell you, “We’re not training to kill. We’re training to survive.” The protective measures taken in a training environment, albeit blazing hot, dusty and outright savage, are a facet of force preservation paramount to preparing a fighting force for success.
And yes, it rains here, too.

For more information about the warriors of the Fighting 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, visit the unit’s Web site at

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cool Ties

I think I'm going to try my hand at some of these this Summer. If they work out OK, I'll make some to put in our care packs. It's hot over there and I want to help in way that I can. Our Texas Marines probably have a leg up on dealing with the heat. It was about this hot last Summer here(much cooler this Summer though). Here's the 5 day forecast for Iraq:

105°F (41°C) | 81°F (27°C)

110°F (43°C) | 84°F (29°C)

112°F (44°C) | 86°F (30°C)

111°F (44°C) | 87°F (31°C)

112°F (44°C) | 87°F (31°C

How to Make a Cool Ties or Bandanas:

There are several ways to make Cool Ties. Cotton fabric will work best, as it has superior wicking properties. Let your imagination be your guide. One method is to take an ordinary bandana and make a Cool Tie by simply folding over the wide edge about an inch or an inch and a half and stitching the "hem" down to create a tube. Complete the bandanas as with the following instructions for the ties:

Materials Needed:
Tape measure
Serger/sewing machine
4" strip of fabric 45" long (actual length will depend on personal preference)
Two teaspoons of medium Rainsavers Aqua Crystals

Directions to make this project:

1. Cut one strip of fabric 4" wide from a fabric that is at least 45" wide. If you want to have a bow to tie use a 60" wide fabric.

Fold the fabric strip in half lengthwise (the piece should be 4" by 22 1/2"). Mark the fold. This is the center back of the neck band. Open up the fabric and measure and mark 7" on each side of the center back.

2. Fold the fabric right sides together the width of the strip (the piece should now be 2" by 45".) Using a 5/8" seam, stitch between the marks. (There should be 14" stitched--7" on either side of center back.)

3. The tail ends may be rounded or slanted to give a more finished look. Finish the
edges and ends of the rest of the band by serging or turning and stitching. Press.

4.Turn tube right side out and press. At one end of the tube, stitch to close, then double stitch for strength. At this point you should have one end of the tube open.

5. Carefully pour the polymer granules into the tube (about two teaspoons). Stitch
the tube closed. Reinforce with another row of stitching.

To use the cool neck band, soak in water for a 15-20 minutes (hot water speeds the hydration process). As the polymer granules soak up the water "mush" them around so the polymer spreads out equally along the tube. Tie around your neck for a "Cool Band."


The polymer granules are used in gardening soil for water retention. (Use Rainsavers Medium, 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon)

The cool band can be refrigerated so it is more refreshing on a hot day.

It can be soaked in cold water and used over and over.

If too many polymer granules are used in the tube, the polymer will ooze through the fabric tube. Two teaspoons is all that is needed.

Store in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator, or hang dry. The polymer will rehydrate again using instructions in step 6.


Ready To Wear Service

This is an especially needed service for Marines and Sailors who are forward deployed. I'm so glad this will soon be available.

NEXCOM Offers New ‘Ready-to-Wear’ Service
Story Number: NNS070612-15
Release Date: 6/12/2007 3:03:00 PM

By Kristine M. Sturkie, Navy Exchange Service Command Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Beginning June 11, Navy and Marine uniforms that require embroidered items can be purchased with those items already sewn on through the Navy Exchange’s Uniform Support Center.

The initiative provides Sailors and Marines with the option to order uniforms ready–to-wear with nametapes, warfare, collar devices and rating badges already sewn on. The Navy Exchange’s everyday low price applies to all embroidery items purchased.

“With the expansion of the e-commerce business initiative, we are able to improve the level of convenience and service to our Sailors,” said Cmdr. Mark Friermood, director of the Navy Uniform Program. “Giving our customers the option of ordering uniforms that are ready-to-wear when they are received provides a much needed service, especially for those who are forward-deployed.”

According to Navy Exchange officials, uniform items requiring embroidery will be processed and shipped within 48 hours of being ordered. Regular shipping is free, with delivery taking 10–14 days in the United States. Express shipping is also available for an additional fee.

For more information, log on to the Web site or call the Uniform Support Center toll free at:

Continental United States 1-800-368-4088
Canada 1-800-231-6289
Guam, Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Puerto Rico 1-800-368-4088
Alaska 1-800-368-4089
Autovon/DSN 253-1235 / 253-1237
Bahrain 800-00011
Germany 0800-1013795
Italy 8008-72441
Japan 00531-11-4026
Korea 00798-14-800-5652
Singapore 800-1100-198
Spain 900-99-1479
United Kingdom 0800-89-4372

For more news from Navy Exchange Service Command, visit

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The ant and the grasshopper

This was sent to me by one of my Marine mom friends. I thought it was good.

OLD VERSION: The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.

The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, "It's Not Easy Being Green."
Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, "We shall overcome."
Jesse then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.

Nancy Pelosi & John Kerry exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity and Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel
of federal judges that Bill Clinton appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients.

The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow. The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote.

Monday, June 11, 2007

My Point Radio

I meant to post this earlier to give you a heads up, but it's been one of those days...
Dave at MyPoint Radio is having David J. Danelo, Marine Captain and now author of Blood Stripes: The Grunt's View of The War in Iraq on his show as I type. Head on over and listen. It's great so far!

**Update: One of our favorite commentors, Deborah In Toronto, called in. Go Deborah! It's good to hear your voice!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

You Know You Drink Too Much Coffee When...

Juan Valdez named his donkey after you.

You ski uphill.

You get a speeding ticket even when you're parked.

You speed walk in your sleep.

You have a bumper sticker that says: "Coffee drinkers are good in the sack."

You answer the door before people knock.

You haven't blinked since the last lunar eclipse.

You just completed another sweater and you don't know how to knit.

You grind your coffee beans in your mouth.

You sleep with your eyes open.

You have to watch videos in fast-forward.

The only time you're standing still is during an earthquake.

You can take a picture of yourself from ten feet away without using the timer.

You lick your coffeepot clean.

You spend every vacation visiting "Maxwell House."

You're the employee of the month at the local coffeehouse and you don't even work there.

You've worn out your third pair of tennis shoes this week.

Your eyes stay open when you sneeze.

You chew on other people's fingernails.

The nurse needs a scientific calculator to take your pulse.

Your T-shirt says, "Decaffeinated coffee is the devil's coffee."

Your so jittery that people use your hands to blend their margaritas.

You can type sixty words per minute with your feet.

You can jump-start your car without cables.

All your kids are named "Joe."

You don't need a hammer to pound in nails.

Your only source of nutrition comes from "Sweet & Low."

You don't sweat, you percolate.

You buy milk by the barrel.

You've worn out the handle on your favorite mug.

You go to AA meetings just for the free coffee.

You walk twenty miles on your treadmill before you realize it's not plugged in.

You forget to unwrap candy bars before eating them.

Charles Manson thinks you need to calm down.

You've built a miniature city out of little plastic stirrers.

People get dizzy just watching you.

When you find a penny, you say, "Find a penny, pick it up. Sixty-three more, I'll have a cup."

You've worn the finish off your coffee table.

The Taster's Choice couple wants to adopt you.

Starbucks owns the mortgage on your house.

Your taste buds are so numb you could drink your lava lamp.

You're so wired, you pick up AM radio.

People can test their batteries in your ears.

Your life's goal is to amount to a hill of beans.

Instant coffee takes too long.

You channel surf faster without a remote.

When someone says. "How are you?", you say, "Good to the last drop."

You want to be cremated just so you can spend the rest of eternity in a coffee can

You want to come back as a coffee mug in your next life.

Your birthday is a national holiday in Brazil

You'd be willing to spend time in a Turkish prison.

You go to sleep just so you can wake up and smell the coffee.

You're offended when people use the word "brew" to mean beer.

You name your cats "Cream" and "Sugar."

You get drunk just so you can sober up.

You speak perfect Arabic without ever taking a lesson.

Your Thermos is on wheels.

Your lips are permanently stuck in the sipping position.

You have a picture of your coffee mug on your coffee mug.

You can outlast the Energizer bunny.

You short out motion detectors.

You have a conniption over spilled milk.

You don't even wait for the water to boil anymore.

Your nervous twitch registers on the Richter scale.

You think being called a "drip" is a compliment.

You don't tan, you roast.

You don't get mad, you get steamed.

Your three favorite things in life before and coffee after.

You can't even remember your second cup.

You help your dog chase its tail.

You soak your dentures in coffee overnight.

Your coffee mug is insured by Lloyds of London.

You introduce your spouse as your coffeemate.

You think CPR stands for "Coffee Provides Resuscitation."

Your first-aid kit contains two pints of coffee with an I.V. hookup.

My Blue Star Banner

This is the blue star banner that hangs in my front window.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Blue Angels

I saw today on Michelle Malkin's blog that San Fransisco is trying to stop the Blue Angels from flying over during Fleet Week.
SAN FRANCISCO - The annual aerial show by the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels — a San Francisco tradition dating back to 1981 that pumps millions into the local economy — is running into opposition from three local peace advocacy groups that are calling for a permanent halt to the popular Fleet Week flyover.

Read the rest of the article here.

I can't imagine anyone not liking the Blue Angels or having a problem with them! Here is a video showing what it's like to fly with the Blue Angels. Looks like fun, huh?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Shift news to successes in Iraq, soldier urges

This is an awesome column from John Carlson of the DesMoines Register. Thanks to Larry at Gathering Of Eagles, Texas for pointing it out.


May 23, 2007

A tired and disgusted Iowa soldier fired off an e-mail a few days ago, telling family and friends how things are going in Iraq.

A Blackhawk helicopter pilot, Chief Warrant Officer Jim Funk has flown more than 80 combat missions since he arrived there in October.

He described his Boone-based unit's successes after 5,000 hours of flying out of LSA Anaconda, a huge American base north of Baghdad. He talked about the tragedies he and his fellow Iowans have witnessed and his worries of becoming complacent as he goes on mission after mission.


"We're treading water," the Ames man told the people closest to him. "We continue to kick butt on missions and take care of each other, even though we know the American public and government DOES NOT stand behind us.

Ohhhh, they all say they support us, but how can you support me (the soldier) if you don't support my mission or my objectives. We watch the news over here. Every time we turn it on we see the American public and Hollywood conducting protests and rallies against our 'illegal occupation' of Iraq."

His greatest frustration? The performance of the people who deliver the news to the American people.

I'll let him say it, in his own words, in the letter, which found its way to me:

"Hello media, do you know you indirectly kill American soldiers every day? You inspire and report the enemy's objective every day. You are the enemy's greatest weapon. The enemy cannot beat us on the battlefield so all he does is try to wreak enough havoc and have you report it every day. With you and the enemy using each other, you continually break the will of the American public and American government.

"We go out daily and bust and kill the enemy, uncover and destroy huge weapons caches and continue to establish infrastructure. So daily we put a whoopin on the enemy, but all the enemy has to do is turn on the TV and get re-inspired. He gets to see his daily roadside bomb, truck bomb, suicide bomber or mortar attack. He doesn't see any accomplishments of the U.S. military (FOX, you're not exempt, you suck also).

"Let's give you an example. A couple of days ago we conducted an air assault. We lifted troops into an area for an operation. The operation went well and our ground troops killed (insurgents) and took several prisoners, freed a few hostages and uncovered a weapons cache containing munitions and chemicals that were going to be used in improvised bombs.

"The next morning I woke up and turned on AFN (Armed Forces Network) and watched the nightly news (NBC). Nothing, none of that reported. But the daily car bomb report was reported, and the file footage was not even from the event. There was a car bomb in the Sadr City area and your news report showed old car bomb footage from another part of town from some other time.

"So we really set the enemy back that night but all the enemy had to do was turn on the news and be reassured that the enemy's agenda (objective) was still going to be fed to the American public.

"We, the soldiers, keep breaking the back of the enemy. You, the media, keep rejuvenating the enemy.

"How hard would it be to contact the PAO (public affairs officer) of the 1st CAV, 36th CAB, 25th ID or the Marines and ask what did you guys accomplish today - good and bad? How about some insurgent blooper videos? Now that would be something to show on the evening news.

"Media, we know you hate the George Bush administration, but report both sides, not just your one-sided agenda. You have got to realize how you are continually motivating every extremist, jihadist and terrorist to continue their resolve to kill American soldiers."

It's a punch in the nose to the news media from Funk, 39, a full-time employee of the Iowa National Guard.

Why did he write it?

"I am just tired of busting my butt over here and coming home every night and turning on the TV (Armed Forces Network) and hearing how we are failing miserably," he told me in an e-mail.

You may agree with what Funk has to say. You may not.

Many in my business certainly won't. But Funk is a soldier, fighting a war, who has earned the right to be heard.

Columnist John Carlson can be reached at (515) 284-8204 or


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Remember Me

I am posting this video on behalf of Lubbock Marine Parents member Debbie. It is a beautiful video done by a teenage girl.

Care Package Update

(From TXMarineMom1987)

Just a quick note to bring ya’ll up to date on our Care Packages. We sent out over 325 packages between December and February, most of which went to the local Marine Reserve Unit who returned in March. They stated how much they enjoyed receiving stuff from Lubbock. It really was a great boost knowing how much their community was behind them. Our local Marine Reserve Unit has three more Marines gone and 3 Moms from our lovely little group also have their children serving in Iraq at this time. Back a month or so ago, we sent these marvelous Marines some Care Packages loaded with goodies and personal fans. We have since received a little note of thanks from one of them that we would like to share with ya’ll. This is from Julia and you can see her picture above.

May 17, 2007

Dear Lubbock Marine Parents,

Thank you so much for the package! We will definitely use everything inside of there. It’s nice for you all to take the time and send us one. It definitely made our day, and thanks for the movie, the guys have been watching it. I haven’t had a chance to yet but I will. Well today has been a good day so far, it rained which is nice because that means less dust in the air. We’re really busy here so we usually just work and go to our can and either watch a movie, go work out, or sleep! It was weird at first not having days off but you get used to it. Right now I work a 12-on/12-off shift 7 days a week. I also work during the night so I never get to see other women and am forced to listen to men complain about women. HAHA! I’ve been keeping up with my Arabic though and I’m working with a translator. I did run into plenty of the Marine Reservists out here one day. That was pretty cool. Well, I have to go to duty now, Thanks again for all the support.

Cpl. Julia

Isn’t she so sweet!?! It’s amazing how much Thanks these Marine and soldiers give to us for sending such simple items when we do this to say Thanks to them. I don’t think I could ever thank any of them anywhere near enough for the jobs they do and sacrifices they make. We love and respect them all and, above all else, are so very, very proud of each and every one!!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Great Church Signs

White and Nerdy

I thought of this video when I mentioned white and nerdy in the last post. If you haven't already seen it, it's a Weird Al song.

For My Country

Pat Boone has a new CD and DVD coming out called For My Country. I get emails from Paralyzed Veterans of America (a great charity), and they sent me an email about it today. I'm going to order it. I have sort of eclectic tastes in music. I like everything from bluegrass to Christian contemporary to classical to swing, and I happen to like Pat Boone. I have a song of his on a CD that a friend made for me called Everybody's Gonna Have Religion in Glory and I love it. I like to turn it up real loud in the car and sing along. Does that make me white and nerdy? :) Pat Boone has done so much to support our troops and I really appreciate his efforts.

Pat Boone (featuring the singing group Valor) pays tribute to the United States National Guard and our troops in this moving music video. Also includes touching interviews with the families of brave soldiers overseas. A major portion of the proceeds will aid the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Also check out PVA's article about the first ever GI Film Festival.
On Memorial Day weekend 2007, the Paralyzed Veterans of America sponsored a GI Film Festival. This film festival was the first in the nation to celebrate the successes and sacrifices of America’s military. The festival presented films from new and established international and domestic filmmakers that honor the heroic stories of our military. Prizes were awarded to winners of three categories: feature, documentary, and film shorts.

Read it here.

Monday, June 04, 2007

To Be A Marine

This poem was written by Lubbock Marine Parents member, Pam, in honor of her son Eric (pictured below). It will be a year tomorrow since he left for bootcamp and she is so proud of him.


You have chosen to fight for your country,
Regardless of what others have said.
You fight for our freedoms and our way of life
So we can sleep soundly in bed.

You are doing what you feel is right
Without praise or reward to be seen.
For you feel the honor in your heart
When you're down praying on bended knee.

You are away from all those you love
Not sure what the future may hold
But you continue to stand at your post
Through the blistering heat or the freezing cold.

Marines have a Code of Conduct
For Honor is their creed
They stand tall and fast and with great pride
As only a Marine can be.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Extra Income

If your Marine or soldier needs to earn extra income, there is a website where members of the military can sign up to do civilian jobs by the day in their off time. You can locate their base on the website and see what jobs are available in that area. Sometimes they can do things like work security for sporting events or concerts. My own sons are single and if they run out of money it's no big deal, they just eat at the chow hall. For Marines who are married and are supporting children though, I thought this might be something they need.

On to the Publisher

Our cookbook, U.S. Marine Cuisine, is now out of my hands and on to the publisher!! The picture shows the cover that we chose. It will have almost 200 recipes and will be a padded 3-ring loose-leaf binder. They sent us a sample and it is very nice. It's comparable to any cookbook found in an upscale retail store. It will also come with a bookstand that stores inside the binder when not in use and will hold the cookbook open and upright for handsfree cooking. We have decided to charge $12 which we think is very reasonable. We want the cookbook to be affordable for gift-giving, so be sure and buy multiple copies! ;) They should be ready in about 30 days. I can't wait! We will have some advance sale coupons soon, so we can start preselling. For those of you out of town, we will charge $6 for shipping and handling. Remember that the proceeds from the cookbook will go toward shipping our care packs and other projects that support our troops.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Drill Instructor?

Wonder if this Marine was a drill instructor? He seems to be doing a pretty good job of keeping these "recruits" in line.