Soldiers’ Angels Operation Hug-A-Hero – “Honoring Our Veterans One Stitch At A Time

I got this email from the support group: “Soldier’s Angels” – they are located in the blog roll to your left. Here is the email in it’s entirety.

We have some exciting news!! We have a new project that we would like all of you to consider helping with. It will benefit so many honorable and deserving veterans and we need your help to accomplish this goal! If you are interested please pass this information along to friends & families – church groups – sewing circles – Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts etc….

Introducing Soldiers’ Angels Operation Hug-A-Hero – “Honoring Our Veterans One Stitch At A Time”

Patti has asked our crochet team to help provide holiday cheer to TWENTY THOUSAND Veterans nationwide this holiday season. These blankets can be crocheted – knitted – quilted or fleece tie blankets. Once you have your blanket completed please wrap them individually in Christmas wrapping and place a tag or card with them letting our Heroes know who made the item and that you are a member of Soldiers’ Angels Organization. We ask that you please hold your blankets and mail them out on or near December 1st. Once you get a package ready please email Terri Hansen at: shansenfamily@embarqmail.com and she will provide you with the address of the nearest VA facility. In the email please include the number of blankets and the sizing. If you have a creation for a female please indicate on the outside of the package that it is intended for a female recipient.

The sizes requested are – 36 x 45 for lap afghans and 45 x 60 for blankets. Please remember that when crocheting/knitting and looming sometimes the measurements are not exact…that is fine!! Our Heroes will love them even if they are not the exact size requested!!

We thank you so much for considering this project! We feel like this is a wonderful way to wrap our veterans with love and show them how much we appreciate the sacrifices they have made on our and our country’s behalf!

On behalf of the VA Team we want to thank each of you for your continuing support of our honorable veterans!

Lori Tucker
Soldiers’ Angels
Eastern US VA Regional Leader
http://www.soldiersangels.org

Posted in support the troops, Veterans, wounded warrior. Comments Off on Soldiers’ Angels Operation Hug-A-Hero – “Honoring Our Veterans One Stitch At A Time

“NOW” on PBS Topic: PTSD

http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/339/index.html

About the Show

Veterans of PTSD

Video icon Video: Veterans of PTSD

Bouts of fierce anger, depression, and anxiety that previous generations of soldiers described as “shell shock” or “combat/battle fatigue” now earn a clinical diagnosis: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. But the relatively new medical label doesn’t guarantee soldiers will get the care they need. NOW looks at how America’s newest crop of returning soldiers is coping with the emotional scars of war, and some new and innovative treatments for them.

In the show, we spent time with Iraq War veteran Michael Zacchea, a Marine lieutenant colonel who trained Iraqi troops and fought in the battle of Fallujah. Haunted by the violence he saw there, Zacchea and other soldiers diagnosed with PTSD now face what could be a lifelong struggle to leave the horrors of war behind and reclaim their once-peaceful lives.

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NOW: Military Sexual Trauma

NOW: Maria Hinojosa Interview With Paul Rieckhoff

NOW: David Brancaccio Interview With Jeremy Lewis

Topic Search: Iraq War, Medicine & Health Care, Both


This Week: About the Show | PTSD Facts and Figures | Coping With PTSD | Viewer Comments <!– | Transcript –>

Please pray for Curtis and all our wounded

A prayer request from a Navy mom:

Curtis, who was stationed in Iraq in the Army a year or so ago. Re-enlisted in May and was immediately sent back to Iraq. I received word this morning that he had been injured in a car bomb incident and received “head trauma”. I don’t know the extent of his injuries, only that he was flown to a hospital in Germany and then to a hospital at Fort Bliss, Texas. It is serious enough that the government is flying both his parents in to be there for him.

Your prayers for his recovery and for strength and comfort for his parents (and grandparents) would be most appreciated.

Posted in family support, support the troops, wounded warrior. Comments Off on Please pray for Curtis and all our wounded

OPERATION SHOEBOX-Stockings for all deployed service members

Kathy’s 100 stockingsFrom Operation Shoebox ( www.operationshoebox.com ):

Each Christmas our volunteers sew Christmas stockings for the troops to try and brighten their holidays. We also send any kind of Christmas decorations that we get to try and help them lift their spirits. This year we are asking for people to help sew stockings made from materials of your choice as long as its a Christmas type fabric. We encourage you to include your name and address and a card if you want to so that the troops know who made their stockings. Once you are done and it can be any amount you want to do, we are appreciative of anything we can get, then you can send them to us here at Operation Shoebox and we will stuff them with goodies and send them over. The troops will know that you made that stocking just for them and it really makes them happy.

Our volunteers purchase material at Walmart because they are the cheapest we have been able to find. They have Fabric at $2 a yard and we have a pattern that will yield 6 stockings per yard. We can mail you a pattern if you would like. You can send your address to us at this email address – HOMEOSB@aol.com -and we will get the pattern in the mail to you.

We ask that you try and have all the stockings to us by the end of October beginning of November.

Since we have to have them stuffed and out by the first week of December. If you decide to make stockings for us, you can mail them to us at:

Operation Shoebox
PO Box 1465
Belleview, FL 34421-1465

You can also write letters, and we will send them over as well. If you have any questions, please let us know and we thank you so much for your interest in supporting our troops! This is a hard time of year for them to be away from their families and we can make a difference for them!

Thank you!

Mary
Operation Shoebox

(From a Navy mom/sister:)–Operation Shoebox wants to send a stuffed stocking to every deployed service member in Iraq and Afghanistan.)

(Big thanks to all those who are sewing and sending:)

“Hope rides alone”

http://www.newmediajournal.us/guest/e_jeffers/print/02012007.htm

USA Sgt. Eddie Jeffers, USA (Iraq)
February 1, 2007 URL: http://www.newmediajournal.us/guest/e_jeffers/02012007.htm

Sgt. Eddie Jeffers was killed in Iraq on September 19, 2007. He was 23.

I stare out into the darkness from my post, and I watch the city burn to the ground. I smell the familiar smells, I walk through the familiar rubble, and I look at the frightened faces that watch me pass down the streets of their neighborhoods. My nerves hardly rest; my hands are steady on a device that has been given to me from my government for the purpose of taking the lives of others.

I sweat, and I am tired. My back aches from the loads I carry. Young American boys look to me to direct them in a manner that will someday allow them to see their families again…and yet, I too, am just a boy….my age not but a few years more than that of the ones I lead. I am stressed, I am scared, and I am paranoid…because death is everywhere. It waits for me, it calls to me from around street corners and windows, and it is always there.

There are the demons that follow me, and tempt me into thoughts and actions that are not my own…but that are necessary for survival. I’ve made compromises with my humanity. And I am not alone in this. Miles from me are my brethren in this world, who walk in the same streets…who feel the same things, whether they admit to it or not.

And to think, I volunteered for this…

And I am ignorant to the rest of the world…or so I thought.

But even thousands of miles away, in Ramadi, Iraq, the cries and screams and complaints of the ungrateful reach me. In a year, I will be thrust back into society from a life and mentality that doesn’t fit your average man. And then, I will be alone. And then, I will walk down the streets of America, and see the yellow ribbon stickers on the cars of the same people who compare our President to Hitler.

I will watch the television and watch the Cindy Sheehans, and the Al Frankens, and the rest of the ignorant sheep of America spout off their mouths about a subject they know nothing about. It is their right, however, and it is a right that is defended by hundreds of thousands of boys and girls scattered across the world, far from home. I use the word boys and girls, because that’s what they are. In the Army, the average age of the infantryman is nineteen years old. The average rank of soldiers killed in action is Private First Class.

People like Cindy Sheehan are ignorant. Not just to this war, but to the results of their idiotic ramblings, or at least I hope they are. They don’t realize its effects on this war. In this war, there are no Geneva Conventions, no cease fires. Medics and Chaplains are not spared from the enemy’s brutality because it’s against the rules. I can only imagine the horrors a military Chaplain would experience at the hands of the enemy. The enemy slinks in the shadows and fights a coward’s war against us. It is effective though, as many men and women have died since the start of this war. And the memory of their service to America is tainted by the inconsiderate remarks on our nation’s news outlets. And every day, the enemy changes…only now, the enemy is becoming something new. The enemy is transitioning from the Muslim extremists to Americans. The enemy is becoming the very people whom we defend with our lives. And they do not realize it. But in denouncing our actions, denouncing our leaders, denouncing the war we live and fight, they are isolating the military from society…and they are becoming our enemy.

Democrats and peace activists like to toss the word “quagmire” around and compare this war to Vietnam. In a way they are right, this war is becoming like Vietnam. Not the actual war, but in the isolation of country and military. America is not a nation at war; they are a nation with its military at war. Like it or not, we are here, some of us for our second, or third times; some even for their fourth and so on. Americans are so concerned now with politics, that it is interfering with our war.

Terrorists cut the heads off of American citizens on the internet…and there is no outrage, but an American soldier kills an Iraqi in the midst of battle, and there are investigations, and sometimes soldiers are even jailed…for doing their job.

It is absolutely sickening to me to think our country has come to this. Why are we so obsessed with the bad news? Why will people stop at nothing to be against this war, no matter how much evidence of the good we’ve done is thrown in their face? When is the last time CNN or MSNBC or CBS reported the opening of schools and hospitals in Iraq? Or the leaders of terror cells being detained or killed? It’s all happening, but people will not let up their hatred of President Bush. They will ignore the good news, because it just might show people that Bush was right.

America has lost its will to fight. It has lost its will to defend what is right and just in the world. The crazy thing of it all is that the American people have not even been asked to sacrifice a single thing. It’s not like World War II, where people rationed food and turned in cars to be made into metal for tanks. The American people have not been asked to sacrifice anything. Unless you are in the military or the family member of a servicemember, its life as usual…the war doesn’t affect you.

But it affects us. And when it is over and the troops come home and they try to piece together what’s left of them after their service…where will the detractors be then? Where will the Cindy Sheehans be to comfort and talk to soldiers and help them sort out the last couple years of their lives, most of which have been spent dodging death and wading through the deaths of their friends? They will be where they always are, somewhere far away, where the horrors of the world can’t touch them. Somewhere where they can complain about things they will never experience in their lifetime; things that the young men and women of America have willingly taken upon their shoulders.

We are the hope of the Iraqi people. They want what everyone else wants in life: safety, security, somewhere to call home. They want a country that is safe to raise their children in. Not a place where their children will be abducted, raped and murdered if they do not comply with the terrorists demands. They want to live on, rebuild and prosper. And America has given them the opportunity, but only if we stay true to the cause and see it to its end. But the country must unite in this endeavor…we cannot place the burden on our military alone. We must all stand up and fight, whether in uniform or not. And supporting us is more than sticking yellow ribbon stickers on your cars. It’s supporting our President, our troops and our cause.

Right now, the burden is all on the American soldiers. Right now, hope rides alone. But it can change, it must change. Because there is only failure and darkness ahead for us as a country, as a people, if it doesn’t.

Let’s stop all the political nonsense, let’s stop all the bickering, let’s stop all the bad news and let’s stand and fight!

Isn’t that what America is about anyway? Sergeant Eddie Jeffers was a US Army Infantryman serving in Ramadi, Iraq. Sgt. Eddie Jeffers was KIA on 9/19/07.

Posted in From the Troops, support the troops. Comments Off on “Hope rides alone”

September 21, 2007 – P.O.W. / M.I.A. Day

imagesPOW/MIA Tables of Honors

Opening Prayer:

ALMIGHTY GOD, FATHER OF ALL MANKIND AND JUDGE OVER NATIONS, WE PRAY THEE TO GUIDE OUR WORK IN THIS MEETING AND IN ALL OUR DAYS AHEAD.

SEND THY PEACE TO OUR NATION AND TO ALL NATIONS. HASTEN THE FULFILLMENT OF THY PROMISE OF PEACE THAT SHALL HAVE NO END.

WE PRAY FOR THOSE WHO SERVE THE PEOPLE AND GUARD THE PUBLIC WELFARE THAT BY THY BLESSING THEY MAY BE ENABLED TO DISCHARGE THEIR DUTIES HONESTLY AND WELL.

WE PRAY FOR OUR COMRADS THAT BY THY HELP THEY MAY OBSERVE THE STRICTEST JUSTICE. KEEP ALIGHT THE FIRES OF FREEDOM, STRIVE EARNESTLY FOR THE SPIRIT OF DEMOCRACY AND PRESERVE UNTARNISHED OUR LOYALTY TO OUR COUNTRY AND TO THEE.

FINALLY, O GOD OF MERCY, WE ASK THY BLESSING AND COMFORT FOR THOSE COMRADES WHO ARE SUFFERING MENTAL AND PHYSICAL DISABILITIES. CHEER THEM AND BRING THEM THE BLESSINGS OF HEALTH AND HAPPINESS.

AMEN

You see before you an empty table, set for service but vacant. This table is symbolic of our fallen comrades-in-arms and those whose fate is still unknown.

It is set with eight chairs – one each for the members of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard, as well as for Fire Fighters, Police Officers and Civilians.

The table is round, symbolizing our everlasting concern for those still missing. REMEMBER.

The table cloth is white, symbolizing the purity of their intentions in responding to their country’s call to arms. REMEMBER.

The single rose displayed in a vase reminds us of the families and loved ones of our comrades-in-arms who keep the faith awaiting their return. REMEMBER.

The red ribbon tied so prominently on the vase is reminiscent of the red ribbon worn on the lapel and breasts of thousands, bearing witness to their unyielding demand for a proper accounting of our missing. REMEMBER.

A slice of lemon is on the bread plate, symbolic of their bitter fate. REMEMBER.

There is salt upon the bread plate, symbolic of the family’s tears as they wait. REMEMBER.

The glass is inverted, for they cannot toast with us this night. REMEMBER.

The chairs – the chairs are empty – they are not here. REMEMBER.

REMEMBER – all of you served with them and called them comrades, who depended upon their might and aid, and relied upon them, for surely, they have not forsaken you.

REMEMBER

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner_of_war

http://www.aiipowmia.com/histories/histmnu.html

POW/MIA Links: http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/links.htm

CURRENT STATS ON ALL WARS: http://www.aiipowmia.com/stats.html

http://www.173rdairborne.com/pow.htm

http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,140500,00.html?ESRC=eb.nl

“Some 88,000 U.S. service members are listed as missing from World War II, and JPAC conducts searches throughout the world to find them”

From the link below: “Library of Congress (This database contains 145,965 record on Vietnam-era POW/MIA) In December 1991, Congress enacted Public Law 102-190, commonly referred to as the McCain Bill. The statute requires the Secretary of Defense to make available to the public–in a “library like setting”–all information relating to the treatment, location, and/or condition (T-L-C) of United States personnel who are unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War. The facility chosen to receive this information was the Library of Congress (LoC). The Federal Research Division (FRD) created the POWMIA Database, the on-line index to those documents. The microfilmed documents themselves are available at the Library of Congress or borrowed through local libraries.” This bill became a law in 1994–the files of the prisoners of war or missing in action are to be reviewed every three years-whether or not any new information has been received/added.

“What do I want?–I want my country to love me as much as I love her.”

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pow/powhome.html

American War and Military Operations: http://www.history.navy.mil/library/online/american%20war%20casualty.htm

THE PRISONER OF WAR ISSUE

Every year, by proclamation, the President of the United States declares April 9th as “National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day.” This date honors those that CAME HOME. In the past decade, an average of TWELVE returnees have died EACH DAY.

National POW/MIA Recognition Day is by law, the 3rd Friday in September every year. This date honors those men and women still held in enemy hands or buried on foreign soil.
On August 10, 1990, the Congress passed a bill recognizing the black and white, POW/MIA flag as “the symbol of our Nation’s concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fate of Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia…” In 1997, bills passed the House and Senate mandating the POW/MIA flag be flown on specific holidays. The 1998 Defense Authorization act noted that the flag MUST be flown on: Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day, Flag Day, Veterans Day, Independence Day, POW/MIA Recognition Day.In 1998, the Veterans Administration noted the flag will fly EVERY day at their facilities. http://www.pownetwork.org/statistics.htm

ALL POW-MIA STATISTICS ALL WARS: http://www.aiipowmia.com/lnx.html

Septemeber 19, 2007: http://nampows.org/fredhalyandersonville.htm

POW/MIA Advocates: http://www.vvvc.org/vvvc/powmia.htm

Prayer for Prisoners of War and Missing in Action:

Almighty Father Who suffers in the affliction of your children, we call upon You now from the depths of our anxiety and great concern for our countrymen and loved ones who have fallen into the hands of the Nations foes, in the face of the evils that these brave men endure and before the grim burdens they are forced to bear, give them courage and hope, and a never failing confidence in You.

But most of all, 0 God, we ask that the day will soon come when we can all celebrate their release and safe return to their homes and kindred.

Give to all of us who wait and hope in the face of every disappointment the will to persevere in the cause of peace and the wisdom to conquer hate with love and every doubt with a renewed faith in You. Amen.

http://www.gmasw.com/mia_pray.htm

Admiral James Stockdale:

Stockdale wound up in Hoa Lo Prison, the infamous “Hanoi Hilton,” where he spent the next seven years as the highest ranking naval officer and leader of American resistance against Vietnamese attempts to use prisoners for propaganda purposes. Despite being kept in solitary confinement for four years, in leg irons for two years, physically tortured more than 15 times, denied medical care and malnourished, Stockdale organized a system of communication and developed a cohesive set of rules governing prisoner behavior. Codified in the acronym BACK U.S. (Unity over Self), these rules gave prisoners a sense of hope and empowerment.  Many of the prisoners credited these rules as giving them the strength to endure their lengthy ordeal. Drawing largely from principles of stoic philosophy, notably Epictetus’ The Enchiridion, Stockdale’s courage and decisive leadership was an inspiration to POWs.

http://www.admiralstockdale.us/

http://www.usna.edu/ethics/stockdalelbio.htm

“A snow globe world”

Wife of fallen soldier speaks out

Mike Warner
12 News
Sept. 18, 2007 04:35 PM

video Major Troy Gilbert’s wife speaks out

http://www.azcentral.com/12news/news/articles/lukewifetalks09182007-CR.html

In November of 2006, Major Troy Gilbert was killed when the F-16 he was piloting crashed while supporting ground forces in Iraq. Gilbert was assigned to the 309th Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base. In the last week, an al Qaeda-led group released a video which they claim is the body of Gilbert, along with anti war propaganda.

In the video, terrorists rail against George Bush and American policies, and shows images of what appears to be a body in a U.S. soldier uniform, along with an ID card with Gilbert’s name and photo. The group claims to have shot down Gilbert’s aircraft, but the cause of the crash remains unknown.

After receiving numerous requests for comment, Ginger Gilbert, Major Gilbert’s wife, made a statement to the press regarding the video. Gilbert says that “when the media chooses to use video of Troy’s plane crash as a catalyst to generate anti-war sentiment, it only serves to degrade the moral integrity my husband possessed and degrades the morale of those serving in Iraq.”

Gilbert says she has not and will not watch the video and asks the media not to “feed into the hate inspired or politically driven motives of terrorists.” She also asks that the media “focus on positive steps and selfless sacrifices made in our great nation.”

To view Ginger Gilbert’s statement in it’s entirety, click on the above green link.
I saw/read this first from: http://www.blackfive.net/

Posted in family support, support the troops, Video. Comments Off on “A snow globe world”