Sunday, July 27, 2008

Remember. . .

"Spending time with America's soldiers is always inspiring." ~ John Boehner

Nick Dewhirst, 25, WI
Danny Dupre, 28, LA
Jackie Larson, 37, WA
Willington Rhoads, 23, NV
Ivan Wilson, 22, CA

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Remember. . .

I am a soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight.
~ General George S. Patton

(list includes the 9 soldiers killed in the Afghanistan base attack)

Sergio Abad, 21, KY
Jonathan Ayers, 24, GA
Jason Bogar, 25, WA
Jonathan Brostrom, 24, HI
Douglas Bull, 29, PA
Steven Chevalier, 35, MI
Joseph Dwyer, 31, NC
Daniel Farkas, 42, NY
Bryan Fouty, 19, MI
Israel Garcia, 24, CA
Brian Guerrero, 34, Guam
Jason Hovater, 24, TN
Alex Jimenez, 25, MA
Jason Mann, 29, NJ
William McMillan, III, 22, KY
Thomas Michael, Jr., 21, NY
Samson Mora, 28, Guam
Matthew Phillips, 27, GA
Pruitt Rainey, 22, NC
Jeffrey Stevenson, 20, NJ
David Textor, 27, VA
Megan Touma, 23, NC
Daniel Verbeke, 25, PA
Jeremy Vrooman, 28, SD
Mitchell Young, 39, GA
Gunnar Zwilling, 20, MO

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Remember. . .

"The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth." ~ Thomas J. Jackson

Gregory Dalessio, 30, NJ
Matthew Hilton, 37, MI
Joseph McKay, 51, NY
Mark Palmateer, 38, NY
Joshua Plocica, 20, TN
Estell Turner, 43, SD
Anthony Woodham, 37, AR

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Neat Story

My friend sent me the following story. Although I don't know if it is true, the message still is comforting.

During WWII, a U.S. marine was separated from his unit on a Pacific Island. The fighting had been intense, and in the smoke and the crossfire he had lost touch with his comrades. Alone in the jungle, he could hear enemy soldiers coming in his direction. Scrambling for cover, he found his way up a high ridge to several small caves in the rock and quickly crawled inside of one.
As he waited, he prayed, "Lord, if it be your will, please protect me. Whatever your will, I love and trust you. Amen.
After praying, he lay quietly, listening to the enemy draw close. He thought, "Well, I guess the Lord isn't going to help me out of this one." Then he saw a spider begin to build a web over the front of the cave. As he watched, listening to the enemy searching for him all while, the spider layered strand after strand of web across the opening in the cave. He thought, "What I need is a brick wall and what the Lord has sent me is a spider web. God does have a sense of humor." As the enemy drew closer he watched from the darkness of his hideout and could see them searching one cave after another. As they came to his, he was ready to make a last stand. To his amazement, after glancing in the direction of his cave, they moved on. Suddenly, he realized that with the spider web over the entrance, his cave looked as though no one had entered for quite a while.
"Lord, forgive me," prayed the young man. "I had forgotten that in you a spider's web is stronger than a man's brick wall."

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Remember. . .

"A boistrous sea of liberty is never without a wave." ~ Thomas Jefferson

John Aragon, 22, CA
Dustin Burnett, 19, AZ
Ryan Connolly, 24, CA
Jason Cox, 21, OH
Layton Crass, 22, IN
Alejandro Dominguez, 24, CA
Philip Dykeman, 38, NY
Max Galeai, 42, America Samoa
Michael Garren, 20, TX
Du Hai Tran, 30, CA
Robert Hammett, 39, AZ
Edgar Heredia, 28, TX
Travis Hunsberger, 24, ID
Eugene Kanakaole, 19, HI
Dwayne Kelley, 48, NJ
Anthony Mangano, 36, NY
Matthew Mendoza, 24, TX
Javier Perales, Jr., 19, TX
Tyler Pickett, 28, WY
David Pietrek, 24, IL
Marcus Preudhomme, 23, FL
Jeffrey Radamorales, 32, Puerto Rico
Gerrand Reed, 40, FL
Marc Retmier, 19, CA
Nelson Rodriguez, 22, MA
Andrew Seabrooks, 36, NY
Chris Strickland, 25, FL
Shawn Simmons, 39, MA
Joel Taylor, 20, NC
Eric Terhune, 34, KY
Bryan Thomas, 22, LA
Ross Toles, III, 37, MI
Michael Toussiant-Hyle Washington, 20, WA
James Treber, 24, CA
James Walton, 41, MD
Kelly Watters, 19, VA
Andrew Whitacre, 21, IN
James Yohn, 25, PA

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays for many reasons. However, the most prominent reason is simply because we celebrate our nation's birthday. Regardless of this country's faults, I am very to be an American and to be identified as one. For me, this country represents freedom: freedom to be one's self, freedom to dream and to pursue that dream, freedom to think and to challenge, freedom to live. If and when you see a Veteran or a soldier, thank him.

I wrote the following story after an experience I had while living in Russia:

The ride seemed to last an eternity. As I stared out the window watching the countryside whiz by, my thoughts blended with the rhythm of the music filling the car. Occasionally, the woman in the front seat turned to smile at me. Gesticulating, nodding our heads at each other, and laughing had been our communication for the past month. She turned to me one last time and, with twinkling blue eyes, whispered, “Da Da, Aimee.” Her excitement made my nervous stomach do one more flip flop. We were going some place extra special that had required her to prep me every night for the past four weeks. After all, she was taking me to meet her father, a once fierce soldier of the Red Army.
When we arrived at the hovel he called home, the figure of a tall, well built man stopped chopping wood nearby and walked towards where I was standing next to the car. The closer he came to me, the more noticeable his old age became: a web of telling wrinkles occupied his face whereas a few wisps of grey hair occupied his head. He wore a black, faded sweatshirt with the hammer and sickle positioned in the center, which emphasized his political ideology. I felt as though Karl Marx himself were walking towards me. Then, before I knew it, he was standing right in front of me, casually studying me face. Quite surprised, I noticed his eyes were misty and his chin shook. Not sure of what to do, I extended my hand, a hand that would someday practice the essence of democracy, into the gentle grasp of hands that once fought to keep communism alive. I smiled into his eyes; he smiled into mine, and softly letting go of my grasp, he placed his callused hands on either side of my face and spoke in a mere whisper, “Americanski, Americanski.” His lips then softly pressed on my eyes, on my nose, and on his tears that trickled down my face. Without hesitation, he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me into his tight embrace. The steady rhythm of his heart in my ear made me realize the beat belonged to a victim of political ideology. Still hugging each other, we knew Stalin, Khrushchev, and all the other deceased Russian leaders had not won. Two months after returning home, I received a letter from my host family, letting me know the tragic news. A few weeks after our meeting, the Soviet soldier had suffered a massive heart attack and died. However, they went on to explain that he had died happy and content. His life long dream had been fulfilled: he had met an American