For yesterday, today, tomorrow and always, thank you.


A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America,” for an amount of “up to and including my life.” (Author unknown.)

May you always be overwhelmed by the Grace of God rather than by the cares of life.

Thanks Michelle =)

“I have a maker, He knows my name” – Tommy Walker

Thanks Faith for singing that to Grandma.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXsiWoyjw60

VERSE 1:
D Em7 Em E   G
I have a Maker
D  Dsus D D2 A  Asus
He formed my heart
D   Em7 Em  E    Esus  G
Before even time began
   D        A      D  Dsus
My life was in his hands

CHORUS:
G  D        A  Asus  A
He knows my name
G  D        A     D
He knows my every thought
G  D         A         D
He sees each tear that falls
    G     D   A        D
and He hears me when I call

VERSE 2:
D Em7 Em E   G
I have a Father
D  Dsu   D  D2  A  Asus
He calls me His own
D     Em7   Em  E G
He'll never leave me
   D      A       D  Dsus
No matter where I go
©1996 Doulos Publishing
Words and Music by Tommy Walker

http://www.higherpraise.com/lyrics1/HeKnowsMyNameIHaveAMaker.htm

“WE WEREN’T BORN TO FOLLOW”

This one goes out to the man who mines for miracles
This one goes out to the ones in need
This one goes out to the sinner and the cynical
This ain’t about no apology

This road was paved by the hopeless and the hungry
This road was paved by the winds of change
Walking beside the guilty and the innocent
How will you raise your hand when they call your name?

Yeah, yeah, yeah

We weren’t born to follow
Come on and get up off your knees
When life is a bitter pill to swallow
You gotta hold on to what you believe

Believe that the sun will shine tomorrow
And that your saints and sinners bleed
We weren’t born to follow
You gotta stand up for what you believe

Let me hear you say yeah, yeah, yeah, oh yeah

This one’s about anyone who does it differently
This one’s about the one who cusses and spits
This ain’t about our livin’ in a fantasy
This ain’t about givin’ up or givin’ in

Yeah, yeah, yeah

We weren’t born to follow
Come on and get up off your knees
When life is a bitter pill to swallow
You gotta hold on to what you believe

Believe that the sun will shine tomorrow
And that your saints and sinners bleed
We weren’t born to follow
You gotta stand up for what you believe

Let me hear you say yeah, yeah, yeah, oh yeah
Let me hear you say yeah, yeah, yeah, oh yeah

We weren’t born to follow
Come on and get up off your knees
When life is a bitter pill to swallow
You gotta hold on to what you believe

Believe that the sun will shine tomorrow
And that your saints and sinners bleed
We weren’t born to follow
You gotta stand up for what you believe

Let me hear you say yeah, yeah, yeah, oh yeah
Let me hear you say yeah, yeah, yeah, oh yeah

We weren’t born to follow, oh yeah
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, oh yeah)
We weren’t born to follow, oh yeah
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, oh yeah)

© AGGRESSIVE MUSIC; BON JOVI PUBLISHING; SONY/ATV TUNES LLC; UNIVERSAL-POLYGRAM INT’L PUB INC;

http://www.elyrics.net/read/b/bon-jovi-lyrics/we-weren_t-born-to-follow-lyrics.html

Posted in family support, Homeless, IAVA, Poems, Post Tramatic Stress, support the troops, Uncategorized, Video, wounded warrior. Comments Off on May you always be overwhelmed by the Grace of God rather than by the cares of life.

“Before They Go”

Here is a link to a short movie/tribute describing the mission of “BTG” – “Before they Go”.  It is from BTG Vietnam Veterans to American baseball attendees giving them an opportunity to publicly recognize and thank Vietnam Veterans for their dedication, service and sacrifice.  It can’t undo the past–but hopefully-effect positive change today and future-with recognition and reflection and action.

I had a couple of thoughts in my heart and mind while watching this–in that many Vietnam Veterans as well as some Korean Veteran’s like my brother in law Jim 🙂 -are alive and well-and many are actively involved today in supporting today’s armed services — and sadly–many have passed and are passing–like Bill (who recently passed on) who battled Parkinson’s for a decade with his faithful, dedicated family right at his side.  When I went to his wake–the room was packed (found out more than 600+ people came:).. room was filled with Vietnam Veterans…still at his and his family’s side–family—what a powerful testimony of commitment, loyalty, support, and love–near knocked my socks off–had that lump in my throat/tears in my eyes..as do now.  I just found out-that Bill’s family paid for his care annually– because Bill –a Vietnam Veteran-who had been exposed to Agent Orange had been denied services!!! Bill was blessed by his loyal and loving family-who never left his side and by fellow Vietnam Veterans-loyal throughout all the years….hard to put into words–profound.  Yet sadly, not all Vietnam Veteran’s have such love and support.  One can’t change the past–but rather effect change today, tomorrow and into the future.

To all who serve and have served:  Thank you.

Sincerely,
Missy

Please watch to the end … a wonderful tribute to our Vietnam veterans.
Let’s all take a veteran to the special ball game in our favorite stadium!
And to you who served in Vietnam, Thank You and Welcome Home.
Lois


YouTube – Before They Go



Information/resources/links for Veterans

ALL VETS SHOULD COPY THIS

Comment: Someone has gone to a lot of trouble.  If this helps one person, then it was worthwhile.  Please pass this on to all Veterans on you e-mail list.
Below are web-sites that provide information on Veterans benefits and how to file/ask for them.

Accordingly, there are many sites that explain how to obtain books, military/medical records, information and how to appeal a denied claim with the VA.

Please pass this information on to every Veteran you know.  Nearly 100% of this information is free and available for all veterans, the only catch is: you have to ask for it, because they won’t tell you about a specific benefit unless you ask for it.

You need to know what questions to ask so the right doors open for you and then be ready to have an advocate who is willing to work with and for you, stay in the process, and press for your rights and your best interests.

Appeals http://www.warms.vba.va.gov/admin21/m21_1/mr/part1/ch05.doc
Board of Veteran’s Appeals http://www.va.gov/vbs/bva/
CARES Commission http://www.va.gov/vbs/bva/
CARES Draft National Plan http://www1.va.gov/cares/page.cfm?pg=105
Center for Minority Veterans http://www1.va.gov/centerforminorityveterans/
Center for Veterans Enterprise http://www.vetbiz.gov/default2.htm
Center for Women Veterans http://www1.va.gov/womenvet/
Clarification on the changes in VA healthcare for Gulf War Veterans http://www.gulfwarvets.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000016.html
Classified Records – American Gulf War Veterans Assoc http://www.gulfwarvets.com/ubb/Forum18/HTML/000011.html
Compensation for Disabilities Associated with the Gulf War Service http://www.warms.vba.va.gov/admin21/m21_1/part6%20/ch07.doc
Compensation Rate Tables, 12-1-03 http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/Rates/comp01.htm
Department of Veterans Affairs Home Page http://www.va.gov/
Directory of Veterans Service Organizations http://www1.va.gov/vso/index.cfm?template=view
Disability Examination Worksheets Index, Comp http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/Benefits/exams/index.htm
Due Process http://www.warms.vba.va.gov/admin21/m21_1/mr/part1/ch02.doc
Duty to Assist http://www.warms.vba.va.gov/admin21/m21_1/mr/part1/ch01.doc
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations http://www.gpoaccess.gov/ecfr/
Emergency, Non-emergency, and Fee Basis Care http://www1.va.gov/opa/vadocs/fedben.pdf
Environmental Agents http://www1.va.gov/environagents/
Environmental Agents M10 http://www1.va.gov/vhapublications/ViewPublication.asp?pub_ID=1002
Establishing Combat Veteran Eligibility http://www1.va.gov/vhapublications/ViewPublication.asp?pub_ID=315
EVALUATION PROTOCOL FOR GULF WAR AND IRAQI FREEDOM VETERANS WITH POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO DEPLETED URANIUM (DU) http://www1.va.gov/gulfwar/docs/DUHandbook1303122304.DOC and http://www1.va.gov/vhapublications/ViewPublication.asp?pub_ID=1158
See also, Depleted Uranium Fact Sheet http://www1.va.gov/gulfwar/docs/DepletedUraniumFAQSheet.doc
EVALUATION PROTOCOL FOR NON-GULF WAR VETERANS WITH POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO DEPLETED URANIUM (DU) http://www1.va.gov/gulfwar/docs/DUHANDBOOKNONGW130340304.DOC
Fee Basis, PRIORITY FOR OUTPATIENT MEDICAL SERVICES AND INPATIENT HOSPITAL CARE http://www1.va..gov/vhapublications/ViewPublication.asp?pub_ID=206 Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependants 2005 http://www1.va.gov/opa/vadocs/fedben.pdf OR, http://www1.va..gov/opa/vadocs/current_benefits.htm
Forms and Records Request http://www.va.gov/vaforms/
General Compensation Provisions http://www.access.gpo.gov/uscode/title38/partii_chapter11_subchaptervi_.html
Geriatrics and Extended Care http://www1.va.gov/geriatricsshg/
Guideline for Chronic Pain and Fatigue MUS-CPG http://www.oqp.med.va.gov/cpg/cpgn/mus/mus_base.htm
Guide to Gulf War Veteran’s Health http://www1.va.gov/gulfwar/docs/VHIgulfwar.pdf
Gulf War Subject Index http://www1.va.gov/GulfWar/page.cfm?pg=7&template=main&letter=A
Gulf War Veteran’s Illnesses Q&As http://www1.va.gov/gulfwar/docs/GWIllnessesQandAsIB1041.pdf
Hearings
http://www.warms.vba.va.gov/admin21/m21_1/mr/part1/ch04.doc
Homeless Veterans http://www1.va.gov/homeless/
HSR&D Home http://www.hsrd.research.va.gov/
Index to Disability Examination Worksheets C&P exams http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/benefits/exams/index.htm
Ionizing Radiation http://www1.va.gov/irad/
Iraqi Freedom/Enduring Freedom Veterans VBA http://www.vba.va.gov/EFIF/
M 10 for spouses and children < http://www1..va.gov/vhapublications/ViewPublication.asp?pub_ID=1007
M10 Part III Change 1 http://www1.va.gov/vhapublications/ViewPublication.asp?pub_ID=1008
M21-1 Table of Contents http://www.warms.vba.va.gov/M21_1.html
Mental Disorders, Schedule of Ratings http://www.warms.vba.va.gov/regs/38CFR/BOOKC/PART4/S4_130.DOC
Mental Health Program Guidelines http://www1.va.gov/vhapublications/ViewPublication.asp?pub_ID=1094
Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Centers http://www.mirecc.med.va.gov/
MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Centers of Excellence http://www.va.gov/ms/about.asp
My Health e Vet http://www.myhealth.va.gov/
NASDVA.COM http://nasdva.com/
National Association of State Directors http://www.nasdva.com/
National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention http://www.nchpdp.med.va.gov/postdeploymentlinks.asp
Neurological Conditions and Convulsive Disorders, Schedule of Ratings http://www.warms.vba.va.gov/regs/38cfr/bookc/part4/s4%5F124a.doc
OMI (Office of Medical Inspector) http://www.omi.cio.med.va.gov/
Online VA Form 10-10EZ https://www.1010ez..med.va.gov/sec/vha/1010ez/
Parkinson’s Disease and Related Neurodegenerative Disorders http://www1.va.gov/resdev/funding/solicitations/docs/parkinsons.pdf
and, http://www1.va.gov/padrecc/
Peacetime Disability Compensation http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=browse_usc&docid=Cite:+38USC1131
Pension for Non-Service-Connected Disability or Death http://www.access.gpo.gov/uscode/title38/partii_chapter15_subchapteri_.html and, http://www.access.gpo.gov/uscode/title38/partii_chapter15_subchapterii_.html
and, http://www.access.gpo.gov/uscode/title38/partii_chapter15_subchapteriii_.html
Persian Gulf Registry http://www1.va.gov/vhapublications/ViewPublication.asp?pub_ID=1003
This program is now referred to as Gulf War Registry Program (to include Operation Iraqi Freedom) as of March 7, 2005: http://www1..va.gov/vhapublications/ViewPublication.asp?pub_ID=1232
Persian Gulf Registry Referral Centers http://www1.va.gov/vhapublications/ViewPublication.asp?pub_ID=1006
Persian Gulf Veterans’ Illnesses Research 1999, Annual Report To Congress http://www1.va.gov/resdev/1999_Gulf_War_Veterans’_Illnesses_Appendices.doc Persian Gulf Veterans’ Illnesses Research 2002, Annual Report To Congress http://www1.va.gov/resdev/prt/gulf_war_2002/GulfWarRpt02.pdf
Phase I PGR http://www1.va.gov/vhapublications/ViewPublication.asp?pub_ID=1004
Phase II PGR http://www1.va.gov/vhapublications/ViewPublication.asp?pub_ID=1005
Policy Manual Index http://www.va.gov/publ/direc/eds/edsmps.htm
Power of Attorney http://www.warms.vba..va.gov/admin21/m21_1/mr/part1/ch03.doc Project 112 (Including Project SHAD) http://www1.va.gov/shad/
Prosthetics Eligibility http://www1.va.gov/vhapublications/ViewPublication.asp?pub_ID=337
Public Health and Environmental Hazards Home Page http://www.vethealth.cio.med.va.gov/
Public Health/SARS http://www..publichealth.va.gov/SARS/
Publications Manuals http://www1.va.gov/vhapublications/publications.cfm?Pub=4
Publications and Reports http://www1.va.gov/resdev/prt/pubs_individual.cfm?webpage=gulf_war.htm
Records Center and Vault Homepage http://www.aac.va.gov/vault/default.html
Records Center and Vault Site Map http://www.aac.va.gov/vault/sitemap.html
REQUEST FOR AND CONSENT TO RELEASE OF INFORMATION FROM CLAIMANT’S RECORDS http://www.forms.va.gov/va/Internet/VARF/getformharness.asp?formName=3288-form.xft
Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans Illnesses April 11, 2002 http://www1.va.gov/rac-gwvi/docs/Minutes_April112002.doc
Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans Illnesses
http://www1.va.gov/rac-gwvi/docs/ReportandRecommendations_2004.pdf
Research and Development http://www.appc1.va.gov/resdev/programs/all_programs.cfm
Survivor’s and Dependents’ Educational Assistance http://www.access.gpo.gov/uscode/title38/partiii_chapter35_.html
Title 38 Index Parts 0-17

http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?sid=1b0c269b510d3157fbf8f8801bc9b3dc&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title38/38cfrv1_02.tpl
Part 18
http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?sid=1b0c269b510d3157fbf8f8801bc9b3dc&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title38/38cfrv2_02.tpl
Title 38 Part 3 Adjudication Subpart A “Pension, Compensation, and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=1b0c269b510d3157fbf8f8801bc9b3dc&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title38/38cfr3_main_02.tpl
Title 38 Pensions, Bonuses & Veterans Relief (also § 3.317 Compensation for certain disabilities due to undiagnosed illnesses found here) http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=1b0c269b510d3157fbf8f8801bc9b3dc&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title38/38cfr3_main_02.tpl Title 38 PART 4–SCHEDULE FOR RATING DISABILITIES Subpart B–DISABILITY RATINGS
http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=ab7641afd195c84a49a2067dbbcf95c0&rgn=div6&view=text&node=38:1.0.1.1.5.2&idno=38
Title 38§ 4.16 Total disability ratings for compensation based on unemployability of the individual. PART A “SCHEDULE FOR RATING DISABILITIES Subpart à “General Policy in Rating http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=1b0c269b510d3157fbf8f8801bc9b3dc&rgn=div8&view=text&node=38:1.0.1.1.5.1..96.11&idno=38
U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims http://www.vetapp.gov/
VA Best Practice Manual for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) http://www.avapl.org/pub/PTSD%20Manual%20final%206.pdf
VA Fact Sheet http://www1.va.gov/opa/fact/gwfs.html
VA Health Care Eligibility http://www.va.gov/healtheligibility/home/hecmain.asp
VA INSTITUTING GLOBAL ASSESSMENT OF FUNCTION (GAF) http://www.avapl.org/gaf/gaf.html
VA Life Insurance Handbook ¬” Chapter 3 http://www.insurance.va.gov/inForceGliSite/GLIhandbook/glibookletch3.htm#310
VA Loan Lending Limits and Jumbo Loans http://valoans.com/va_facts_limits.cfm
VA MS Research http://www.va.gov/ms/about.asp
VA National Hepatitis C Program http://www.hepatitis.va.gov/
VA Office of Research and Development http://www1.va.gov/resdev/
VA Trainee Pocket Card on Gulf War http://www.va.gov/OAA/pocketcard/gulfwar.asp
VA WMD EMSHG http://www1.va.gov/emshg/
VA WRIISC-DC http://www.va.gov/WRIISC-DC/
VAOIG Hotline Telephone Number and Address http://www.va.gov/oig/hotline/hotline3.htm
Vet Center Eligibility – Readjustment Counseling Service http://www.va.gov/rcs/Eligibility.htm
Veterans Benefits Administration Main Web Page http://www.vba.va.gov/
Veterans Legal and Benefits Information http://valaw.org/
VHA Forms, Publications, Manuals http://www1.va.gov/vhapublications/
VHA Programs – Clinical Programs & Initiatives http://www1.va.gov/health_benefits/page.cfm?pg=13 http://webmaila.juno.com/webmail/new/UrlBlockedError.aspx>
VHA Public Health Strategic Health Care Group Home Page http: // www.publichealth.va.gov/
VHI Guide to Gulf War Veterans ¬(tm) Health http://www1.va.gov/vhi_ind_study/gulfwar/istudy/index.asp
Vocational Rehabilitation http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre/
Vocational Rehabilitation Subsistence http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre/InterSubsistencefy04.doc
VONAPP online http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/main.asp
WARMS – 38 CFR Book C http://www.warms.vba.va.gov/bookc.html
Wartime Disability Compensation http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=browse_usc&docid=Cite:+38USC1110
War-Related Illness and Injury Study Center – New Jersey http://www.wri.med.va.gov/
Welcome to the GI Bill Web Site http://www.gibill.va.gov/
What VA Social Workers Do http://www1.va.gov/socialwork/page.cfm?pg=3
WRIISC Patient Eligibility http://www.illegion.org/va1.html

Print this out and save it in your  VA files. There may be a time for use in the future.

Thanks Lois for passing/sharing this:)

“Christmas in the Trenches”

“Christmas in the Trenches” – song by John McCutcheon  http://www.worldwar1.com/sfcitt.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJi41RWaTCs&feature=PlayList&p=58152508C84AFB73&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=34

"My name is Francis Tolliver, in Liverpool I dwell
Each Christmas come since World War I, I've learned its lessons well
That the ones who call the shots won't be among the dead and lame
And on each end of the rifle we're the same"

—-SUPPORT—

//

tr.v. sup·port·ed, sup·port·ing, sup·ports

1. To bear the weight of, especially from below.
2. To hold in position so as to keep from falling, sinking, or slipping.
3. To be capable of bearing; withstand: “His flaw’d heart . . . too weak the conflict to support” (Shakespeare).
4. To keep from weakening or failing; strengthen: The letter supported him in his grief.
5. To provide for or maintain, by supplying with money or necessities.
6. To furnish corroborating evidence for: New facts supported her story.
7.
a. To aid the cause, policy, or interests of: supported her in her election campaign.
b. To argue in favor of; advocate: supported lower taxes.
8. To endure; tolerate: “At supper there was such a conflux of company that I could scarcely support the tumult” (Samuel Johnson).
9. To act in a secondary or subordinate role to (a leading performer).http://www.thefreedictionary.com/support
“GIVE THIS CHRISTMAS AWAY”

 
 

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear..
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

“What are you doing?” I asked without fear,
“Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
Then he sighed and he said “Its really all right,
I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.”
“It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ‘ Pearl on a day in December,”
Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.”
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘ Nam ‘,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue… an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall..”

”  So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”
“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
“Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.”

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
“Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”
LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq

 

PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many
people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our
U.S service men and women for our being able to celebrate these
festivities. Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people
stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

   

 

“A Cold Christmas Day”

for thoughts unforgotten
on this cold chilly night
my thoughts overseas
my brothers who fight,

so sad and unsure of how this might feel
soon i’ll be over there carrying my steel
their boots filled with sand
their head in a spin
why fight a war where no one wins?

they cry in their sleep on this cold winter night
missing their families to put up a fight
a soldier’s in pain because of this war
it only makes us stronger, more and more

a friend is away in a distant land
fighting for freedom in nothing but sand
knowing we might die is always a thought
but the people we love cannot be bought

so i say to my brothers away and far
please come back safely and end this war
we’ll drink for our battles but never for fame
this life as we know it is only a game

i sit here with tear not to be moved
war is a game you dont want to play
my prayers be with you on this cold christmas day

Justin B

4-73rd CAV, 82nd Airborne US Army

The Sands of Christmas

I had no Christmas spirit when I breathed a weary sigh,
and looked across the table where the bills were piled too high.
The laundry wasn’t finished and the car I had to fix,
My stocks were down another point, the Chargers lost by six.

And so with only minutes till my son got home from school
I gave up on the drudgery and grabbed a wooden stool.
The burdens that I carried were about all I could take,
and so I flipped the TV on to catch a little break.

I came upon a desert scene in shades of tan and rust,
No snowflakes hung upon the wind, just clouds of swirling dust.
And where the reindeer should have stood before a laden sleigh,
eight Humvees ran a column right behind an M1A.

A group of boys walked past the tank, not one was past his teens,
Their eyes were hard as polished flint, their faces drawn and lean.
They walked the street in armor with their rifles shouldered tight,
their dearest wish for Christmas, just to have a silent night.

Other soldiers gathered, hunkered down against the wind,
To share a scrap of mail and dreams of going home again.
There wasn’t much at all to put their lonely hearts at ease,
They had no Christmas turkey, just a pack of MREs.

They didn’t have a garland or a stocking I could see,
They didn’t need an ornament–they lacked a Christmas tree.
They didn’t have a present even though it was tradition,
the only boxes I could see were labeled “ammunition.”

I felt a little tug and found my son now by my side,
He asked me what it was I feared, and why it was I cried.
I swept him up into my arms and held him oh so near
and kissed him on the forehead as I whispered in his ear.

There’s nothing wrong my little son, for safe we sleep tonight,
our heroes stand on foreign land to give us all the right,
to worry on the things in life that mean nothing at all,
instead of wondering if we will be the very next to fall.

He looked at me as children do and said it’s always right,
to thank the ones who help us and perhaps that we should write.
And so we pushed aside the bills and sat to draft a note,
to thank the many far from home, and this is what we wrote:

God bless you all and keep you safe, and speed your way
back home.
Remember that we love you so, and that you’re not alone.
The gift you give you share with all, a present every day,
You give the gift of liberty and that we can’t repay.

Author: Michael Marks
Copyright © 2003

He won’t be home for Christmas

He won’t be home for Christmas,
‘Cause he’s far across the sea.
He won’t be home for Christmas,
For he’s there to keep us free.

He didn’t ask to fight this war,
His country made the call.
He answered and not questioned why
For he saw the Towers fall.

He won’t be home for New Years,
‘Cause he has a job to do.
He won’t be home for New Years,
‘Cause he gives his all for you.

He proudly wears the uniform,
Like his father had before.
And he heard of how his grandpa,
Went marching off to war.

He may not be here for Easter,
Who knows how long he’ll be.
This battle will go on and on,
We’ll have to wait and see.

You can’t put a price on freedom,
The cost you pay is high.
Some men pay with only scars,
While others have to die.

But those who fight to keep us free,
Are heroes, one and all.
They’ll proudly serve and not complain,
Till all the terrorists fall.

When you see that uniform,
Worn by men and women too.
Step up and show how proud you are,
For what they’ve done for you.
They won’t be home for Christmas,
And we’ll miss them ’round the hearth.
Pray that they return, home soon.
And PEACE returns to earth.

Dear GOD I never ask for much,
But now I come to YOU.
Please bless all those who love their flag,
Blood RED, Pure WHITE, True BLUE!

Copyright © Joe Pielmeier Sr. 12 / 12 /01
Joe Went To Heaven On 12/05/02

A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,

I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.

My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,

My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,

Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,

Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,

Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.

In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,

So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,

But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.

Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know, Then the

sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,

And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,

A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,

Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.

Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,

Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

“What are you doing?” I asked without fear,

“Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!

Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,

You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,

Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light

Then he sighed and he said “Its really all right,

I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.”

“It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,

That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,

I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at ‘Pearl on a day in December,”

Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.”

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘Nam’,

And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,

But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,

The red, white, and blue… an American flag.

I can live through the cold and the being alone,

Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and

the sleet,I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.

I can carry the weight of killing another,

Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..

Who stand at the front against any and all,

To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.”

“So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright,

Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”

“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,

“Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?

It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,

For being away from your wife and your son.”

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,

“Just tell us you love us, and never forget.

To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,

To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,

To know you remember we fought and we bled.

Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,

That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”

The Sailor’s Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, the ship was out steaming,
Sailors stood watch while others were dreaming.

They lived in a crowd with racks tight and small,
In a 80-man berthing, cramped one and all.

I had come down the stack with presents to give,
And to see inside just who might perhaps live.

I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stockings were hung, shined boots close at hand,
On the bulkhead hung pictures of a far distant land.

They had medals and badges and awards of all kind,
And a sober thought came into my mind.

For this place was different, so dark and so dreary,
I had found the house of a Sailor, at once I saw clearly.

A Sailor lay sleeping, silent and alone,
Curled up in a rack and dreaming of home.

The face was so gentle, the room squared away,
This was the United States Sailor today.

This was the hero I saw on TV,
Defending our country so we could be free.

I realized the families that I would visit this night,
Owed their lives to these Sailors lay willing to fight.

Soon round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate on Christmas Day.

They all enjoyed freedom each day of the year,
Because of the Sailor, like the one lying here.

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve on a sea, far from home.

The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

The Sailor awakened and I heard a calm voice,
“Santa, don’t cry, this life is my choice.”

“Defending the seas all days of the year,
So others may live and be free with no fear.”

I thought for a moment, what a difficult road,
To live a life guided by honor and code.

After all it’s Christmas Eve and the ship’s underway!
But freedom isn’t free and it’s sailors who pay.

The Sailor say’s to our country “be free and sleep tight,
No harm will come, not on my watch and not on this night.

The Sailor rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.

I kept watch for hours, so silent, so still,
I watched as the Sailor shivered from the night’s cold chill.

I didn’t want to leave on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.

The Sailor rolled over and with a voice strong and sure,
Commanded, “Carry on Santa, It’s Christmas, and All is Secure!”

HONOR, COURAGE AND COMMITMENT

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.

 

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.

 

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, if profits me nothing.

 

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties, and sing the choir’s cantata, but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

 

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

 

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

 

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

 

Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

 

Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.

 

Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

 

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 

Love never fails.

 

Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust.

 

But giving the gift of love will endure.

 

Based on 1 Corinthians 13

Author unknown

Thank you on Veterans Day and everyday.

images

http://iwvpa.net/provincecm/

IT IS THE SOLDIER273514267_ba203caa24_m

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.Homeless Veterans

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

©Copyright 1970, 2005 by Charles M. Province

http://www.veteranshield.org/Our_Mission.html

“THE WARRIOR SONG”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTs6a0ORdQU

ARMED FORCES RELIEF TRUST http://www.afrtrust.org/

 

This link will connect you to 10 Lessons learned from a janitor.

http://forum.treasurenet.com/index.php?topic=258367.0

Some veterans/heroes bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain haunted look in the eye. Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg – – – or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul’s alloy forged in the refinery of adversity .Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem.

You can’t tell a vet/hero just by looking.He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn’t run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She – or he – is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in DaNang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another – or didn’t come back at all.

He is the Quantico drill instructor that has never seen combat – but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other’s backs.

He is the parade-riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean’s sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket – palsied now and aggravatingly slow – who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being a person who offered some of his life’s most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say “Thank You.” That’s all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.

Two little words that mean a lot,

“THANK YOU”.

A Thankful Thanksgiving

Korean War MemorialThe America we witness today has seen much sacrifice
This sacrifice for many, has meant a total giving of life for liberty
Do all truly realize what the human cost of freedom is
All citizens should understand what has kept us whole

Should it not be the duty of each American to know this
To become familiar with the reasons of why we exist today
The notion that “that’s the way things are” is ludicrous
When a firm explanation is so easily understood

We’ve survived because of faith, determination, and great sacrifice
The backbone of this country is the strength of its good citizens
Each true American is worth more than all the gold found in history
Selfishness does not rule their home, nor does it drive their thought

And don’t just look at our military as a magnificent force
Rather look at each member of our soldiered family with pride
“Ready, willing, and able” have been the finest of each generation
Whether in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, or any other place of danger

Whenever an American military presence moves into action
Behold the continuation of an outstanding tradition
Formed through freedom, it bravely faces all adversaries
And the flag under which it stands will always fly in freedom

We are and always will be one nation under God
He is the strength we have turned to time and time again
If we did not have Him, we would have perished long ago
God Bless America is more than a song, it is our national prayer

Finally, I wish each fine American a thankful Thanksgiving Day
May you truly realize what we are, and pray to Almighty God for continuation
Be ever thankful for our Armed Forces, and give them the total support they need
And please pray for all American families who have paid the price for freedom

©2002,2005Roger J. Robicheau

http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/thanksgiving/poems-rhymes/a-thankful-thanksgiving.html

Veteran’s Day Tribute

When America had an urgent need,
These brave ones raised a hand;
No hesitation held them back;
They were proud to take a stand. They left their friends and family;
They gave up normal life;
To serve their country and their God,
They plowed into the strife. They fought for freedom and for peace
On strange and foreign shores;
Some lost new friends; some lost their lives
In long and brutal wars. Other veterans answered a callWWII Pacific Memorial
To support the ones who fought;
Their country had requirements for
The essential skills they brought. We salute each and every one of them,
The noble and the brave,
The ones still with us here today,
And those who rest in a grave. So here’s to our country’s heroes;
They’re a cut above the rest;
Let’s give the honor that is due
To our country’s very best. By Joanna Fuchshttp://www.poemsource.com/patriotic-poems.html

Why Do We Honor “Veterans”?

When you see Old Glory waving in a breeze, When you hear the silence amongst the trees,
When you,to sleep, you lay your head ,
Your dreams can be happy, not filled with dread.

When you gaze upon a starlit night
And are not filled with constant fright
Because across the sky a star is streaking
And not a missile or mortar shell is shrieking.

When in your streets car horns are blowing
Instead of fires from bombs are glowing
When the sound of sirens means help is near
Instead “hide until all is clear!”

When a wreath is placed in Pearl Harbor
For those still entombed in the water.
When veterans cry remembering this
And all the friends, forever, they’ll miss.

When no one speaks while at “The Wall”Vietnam Memorial
Where tears come freely to the small and tall.
Know that group of veterans wouldn’t quit,
Even though Americans upon them did spit.

When young ones ask about the flags
Placed gracefully over cemetery tags.
You tell them that veterans answered the call,
To keep us safe, one and all.

When a lump in your throat rises as “Taps” is played,
And a loved one, to rest, is laid.
This veteran’s sacrifice did ensure,
That America’s freedom would endure.

We honor our veterans because for their own reasons, they chose to serve this country.
We honor them because without them, this country wouldn’t be what it is today.
It may not be perfect, but there isn’t a greater place on Earth to live.

Author:
Ezra W. Sides
MMC(SW), USN(Retired)
11/09/05

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eisoitxhvI “Still in Saigon”

Below which is a virtual wall of all those lost during the Viet Nam war with the names, bio’s and other information on our lost comrades.

First click on a state……then when it opens ………scroll down to the city, the names will appear …….
then click on their names ……….it might even show you a picture of the person or at least his bio and awards…………..

http://www.virtualwall.org/iStates.htm

(Thanks Pat for sending/sharing that link.)

“Alone”     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDbqLul97Fg

“IT’S NOT ABOUT THE WAR-IT’S ABOUT THE WARRIOR”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQ6e4Og97eU

http://www.metrolyrics.com/til-the-last-shots-fired-lyrics-trace-adkins.html

I was there in the winter of ’64
When we camped in the ice
at Nashville’s doors
Three hundred miles our trail had led
We barely had time to bury our dead
When the Yankees charged and the colors fell
Overton hill was a living hell
When we called retreat it was almost dark
I died with a grapeshot in my heart

Say a prayer for peace
For every fallen son
Set my spirit free
Let me lay down my gun
Sweet mother Mary I’m so tired
But I can’t come home ’til
the last shot’s fired

In June of 1944
I waited in the blood of Omaha’s shores
Twenty-one and scared to death
My heart poundin’ in my chest
I almost made the first seawall
When my friends turned and saw me fall
I still smell the smoke, I can taste the mud
As I lay there dying from a loss of blood

Say a prayer for peace
For every fallen son
Set my spirit free
Let me lay down my gun
Sweet mother Mary I’m so tired
But I can’t come home ’til
the last shot’s fired

I’m in the fields of Vietnam,
The mountains of Afghanistan
And I’m still hopin’, waitin’, prayin’
I did not die in vain

Say a prayer for peace
For every fallen son
Set our spirits free
Let us lay down our guns
Sweet mother Mary we’re so tired
But we can’t come home ’til
the last shot’s fired
‘Til the last shot’s fired

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”Gen. Douglas MacArthur

http://thinkexist.com/quotation/the_soldier-above_all_other_people-prays_for/147488.html

National Day of Prayer 5/7/09

The verse for this year’s “National Day of Prayer”:  Psalm 33:22 http://bible.cc/psalms/33-22.htm

“Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.”

Here are some links for prayer/reflection:

National Day of Prayer Task Force: http://www.ndptf.org/military/index.cfm

E-Water: http://www.e-water.net/index.php

Dayspring E-cards: http://www.dayspring.com/ecards/allcat.asp?category=43

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2OB2rsD-CM&feature=related

http://www.azlyrics.com/19/3doors.html
“Citizen / Soldier”

Beyond the boundaries of your city’s lights,
Stand the heroes waiting for your cries.
So many times you did not bring this on yourself,
When that moment finally comes,
I’ll be there to help.

On that day when you need your brothers and sisters to care,
I’ll be right here.
Citizen soldiers holding the light for the ones that we guide from the dark of despair.
Standing on guard for the ones that we sheltered,
We’ll always be ready because we will always be there.

When there are people crying in the streets,
When they’re starving for a meal to eat,
When they simply need a place to make their beds,
Right here underneath my wing,
You can rest your head.

On that day when you need your brothers and sisters to care,
I’ll be right here!
Citizen soldiers holding the light for the ones that we guide from the dark of despair.
Standing on guard for the ones that we sheltered,
We’ll always be ready because we will always be there…

There… there… there…

Hope and pray that you’ll never need me,
But rest assured I will not let you down.
I’ll walk beside you but you may not see me,
The strongest among you may not wear a crown.

On that day when you need your brothers and sisters to care,
I’ll be right here!
On that day when you don’t have the strength for the burden you bear,
I’ll be right here!
Citizen soldiers holding the light for the ones that we guide from the dark of despair.
(Citizen soldiers)
Standing on guard for the ones that we sheltered,
We’ll always be ready because we will always be there.


Group:  3 Doors Down (2008)

In reading today, (Black Five, Long Island Girl) have a tribute/membrance/celebration/honor of  M.O.H. Lt. Michael Patrick Murphy’s birthday.  She has a link to a tribute book at Legacy.com for his family.

http://longislandgirl.vox.com/library/post/happy-birthday-murph-in-loving-memory.html#comments

Please continue to remember/lift his family and all the families of those men and women who have given all in service to our country up in prayer/support.

Pray for our returning men/women as they reconnect back home.  Pray for our Veterans.  Pray for our homeless men/women who have served (as well as all.)

Pray for all our men/women who serve  to protect/defend.   May they all feel the love, support, pride/respect/awe from us and may God continue to hold them, guide them, give them grace, strength, wisdom, discernment, stamina, health and protection in all they do, everywhere they go.

I saw this Vince Gill song a while back–connected me immediately to all the warriors who have died in the line of duty–“Go Rest High on that Mountain”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jXrmAKBBTU

Lyrics link: http://www.cowboylyrics.com/lyrics/gill-vince/go-rest-high-on-that-mountain-6191.html

Posted in 9-11, Civics, family support, Homeless, In Memory, Poems, Quote, support the troops, Veterans, Video, wounded warrior. Tags: . Comments Off on National Day of Prayer 5/7/09