Tuesday, June 30, 2009

As American Troops Withdraw from Iraqi Cities...

Dear Friends,

Today is an important day for America's brave men and women in uniform and their families. Due to the exemplary service of our military over the last six years and the success of the surge, American combat troops are pulling back from Baghdad and other cities. This move provides the Iraqi Government the opportunity to take over more security responsibilities and further implement policies that will allow democracy to flourish in Iraq.

I lost my son Justin in Iraq and know the sacrifice that our troops and their families have endured to see this day come. But the mission is not over. We cannot overstate the importance of basing all future decisions about troop deployments on conditions on the ground and the recommendations of our military commanders. We cannot diminish the tremendous progress that has been made by allowing increases in violence to go ignored and unanswered.

My son Justin believed our mission in Iraq has been critical in fighting the war on terror. Thousands of our courageous men and women have paid the ultimate price fighting for a free and democratic Iraq. They have made America safer and freed millions from the bonds of oppression. We must now honor the sacrifice of our troops and all military families by allowing our military to complete their mission in Iraq. Our country and military families around the world expect a commitment to nothing less than victory in Iraq, which will result in a stable, free nation that can defend itself and provide a better life for its people.


John M. Ellsworth
Proud Father of LCPL Justin M. Ellsworth, USMC, KIA 11/13/04
President of Military Families United
Thank you, Mr. Ellsworth, for speaking for so many who have served in Iraq.
Thank you to all of the troops who have, are and will serve in Iraq.

Elbridge Gerry ~ Founder and Patriot

Elbridge Gerry


Representing Massachusetts at the Continental Congress

Elbridge Gerry was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, on July 17, 1744. He studied at Harvard to be a merchant, graduating in 1762. He was elected to the Massachusetts Legislature in 1773 and was selected to attend the Provincial Congress in 1774. He was then appointed to the Continental Congress, where he was engaged in committee work on commercial and naval concerns. He attended the Constitutional Convention in 1798 but was opposed to the new Federal Constitution, refusing to sign it.

He was elected to the first two Congresses from Massachusetts and, in 1797, was one of several envoys sent to France. He was elected governor of Massachusetts in 1810 and 1811. In 1812 the word Gerrymandering was coined when the Massachusetts legislature redrew the boundaries of state legislative districts in order to favor Governor Gerry's party. The Governor's strategy was to encompass most of the state's Federalists, allowing them to win in that district while his party, the Democratic-Republicans, took control of all the other districts in the state. The term eventually became part of world political vocabulary, and the practice is still in use today. He was much criticized for redistricting the state to the advantage of his own party (Democratic-Republican).

In 1812 he was elected Vice President of the United States under President Madison. He died in office, on November 23, 1814, at the age of 70. He is buried in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC - the only signer of the Declaration of Independence buried in Washington, DC.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Matthew Thornton ~ Founder and Patriot

Matthew Thornton


Representing New Hampshire at the Continental Congress

Matthew Thornton was born in Ireland in 1714. His parents emigrated to America when he was three. They first settled at Wiscasset, in Maine, but soon went to Worcester, Massachusetts, where Mathew received an academic education. He became a physician, and in 1745 was appointed surgeon to the New Hampshire troops in the expedition against Louisburg. He later held royal commissions as justice of the peace and colonel of militia. His medical practice was very successful and he acquired much land, becoming a leading member of the community in Londonderry. There he held many local offices while also representing Londonderry at the Provincial Assembly. Thornton eventually became President of that assembly. As a member of a local committee of Safety in 1775, he was asked to draft a plan of government for New Hampshire after dissolution of the royal government. His plan was adopted immediately and became the first constitution for that state (and was in fact the first new state constitution after the start of hostilities with Britain).

Thornton was then selected as the first President of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, and as a justice to the Superior Court, under the new constitution. He was also sent to the Continental Congress-too late to participate in the debates over Independence, but just in time to sign the Declaration on behalf of New Hampshire. This was true, also, of Benjamin Rush, George Clymer, James Wilson, George Ross and George Taylor. But all these gentlemen acceding to the Declaration, were permitted to affix their signatures to the engrossed copy of that instrument.

For the rest of his life, Thornton attended to State duties, practiced medicine and was involved in the agricultural practices of his land holdings. He also wrote political essays for the newspapers. He died at the age of 89, while on a visit to his daughter in Newburyport, Massachusetts, in 1803.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Farewell Marine Corps Col Kenneth Reusser

Retired Marine Corps Col. Kenneth L. Reusser
January 20, 1927 - June 20, 2009

Veteran of WWII, Korea, Vietnam
Considered the most decorated Marine Aviator in history

Retired Marine Corps Col. Kenneth L. Reusser has passed away and been laid to rest in the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon. The Patriot Guard Riders were there to honor him -

Reusser was called the most decorated Marine aviator in history and was shot down in three wars in the Pacific theater - World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Colonel Ken Reusser's distinguished combat record:
-flew 253 combat missions in World War II, Korea and Vietnam and was shot down in all three, five times in all.
-59 medals included two Navy Crosses, five Purple Hearts and two Legions of Merit.

Ken Reusser enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve as a seaman recruit on August 23, 1941, and entered flight training. In April 1942, he completed flight training, was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant, and in May 1942 left for the Southwest Pacific. Upon arrival at Guadalcanal, was assigned to VMF-122, flying the F4F-3. On his first combat mission, he was credited with a probable kill of a Mitsubishi "Betty." In October of that year, he was injured during a ditching and spent 6 months in a hospital.

Ken returned to the Pacific in 1944 flying F4U's from USS Hollandia, (CVE 97) off Okinawa. He led a flight of Corsairs intending to shoot down a Japanese KI-45 "Nick" high-altitude photo reconnaissance airplane gathering information for the day's Kamikaze flights. With altitude frozen guns, the only weapon left was the Corsair itself. Ken and his wingman severely damaged the tail of the KI-45 with their propellers. It entered a graveyard spiral, breaking up before hitting the water. Ken and his wingman shared the kill. Each was awarded the Navy Cross.

In 1950, Ken found himself again in combat, flying F4U's from USS Sicily, (CVE 118). He was awarded a second Navy Cross for making two very low-level passes down a street to identify, through a building's windows, what was hidden inside. He then led a flight back, destroying the target. Exiting the area, with only 20mm guns remaining, he made a firing pass on a ship moored to a camouflaged pier. Loaded with fuel, the ship exploded, flipping the Corsair inverted. After righting the airplane, Ken returned to USS Sicily where the severely crippled F4U was pushed over the side for being too damaged to repair.

During the Vietnam War, Reusser flew helicopters. He was leading a Marine Air Group in a rescue mission, when his own "Huey" was shot down. He needed skin grafts over 35 percent of his badly burned body. He retired from the Marine Corps in July 1968 due to his combat wounds.

Reusser raced motorcycles to help pay for college and earning a pilots license before World War II. After retiring from the Marine Corps, he worked for Lockheed Aircraft and the Piasecki Helicopter Corp. He remained active in veterans groups.

Reusser is survived by his wife, Trudy; and sons, Richard C. and Kenneth L. Jr.

To view the photos of his service at Willamette Cemetery go here:
Thank you, Q.

To read Q's story of how we don't remember our heroes and the service for this hero:

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Farewell Jerri Nielsen FitzGerald

Jerri Nielsen FitzGerald

Most of us heard about Jerri Nielsen FitzGerald during the long and dark days of 1999's Antarctic Winter, when she was battling breast cancer, which she diagnosed and treated acting as her own doctor, unable to leave or to get help. She wrote about her experiences in the book Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole.

Unable to get outside help, Jerri performed a biopsy on herself. A machinist helped her with her IV and test slides, a welder helped with her chemotherapy. Chemo drugs were supplied by a daring airdrop by the US Air Force in freezing and blackout conditions. Eventually she was lifted off of the ice by the Air National Guard when the weather reached a balmy 58 degrees BELOW zero in one of the earliest flights ever.

Unbelievably, she returned to Antarctica several times after that. She never let an adventure go by without participating.

"I would rather not have it. But the cancer is part of me. It's given my life color and texture. Everyone has to get something. Some people are ugly, some people are stupid. I get cancer," she said.

At 57, I think Jerri Nielsen FitzGerald taught us all a lot about surviving and about living. Thank you, Jerri, your spirit touched many and we are all richer for it.

If you haven't read her book, it's a great read!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Farewell Ed McMahon

Edward Peter Leo McMahon, Jr.
March 6, 1923 – June 23, 2009

Farewell to Ed McMahon - long known as Johnny Carson's sidekick and host of Star Search. But, more interesting that his illustrious show business career was his career in the Marine Corps.

During WWII, Ed McMahon was a fighter pilot in the United States Marine Corps serving as a flight instructor and test pilot. He received six Air Medals and when discharged in 1946, he remained in the Reserves. He was recalled to active duty and sent to Korea in February 1953. He flew 85 tactical air control and artillery spotting missions in the OE-1 Bird Dog.

He remained in the Marine Reserves and retired in 1966 as a full colonel and was then commissioned as a Brigadier General in the California Air National Guard.

Ed McMahon did far more than entertain us... he also fought for us and protected us.

Thank you, Mr. McMahon!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Farewell Carl Edmund "Ed" Johnson

Carl Edmund "Ed" Johnson
Recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross
March 26, 1919 - May 4, 2009

This Friday, Carl Edmund "Ed" Johnson will be laid to rest with full military honors at Oregon's Willamette National Cemetery. Mr. Johnson was 90 years old and a veteran of World War II. Like most WWII Veterans, Mr. Johnson came home, set the war aside and went on as a productive member of his community.

Mr. Johnson was born in Seattle and raised in Portland, Oregon. He graduated from Grant High School and Oregon State College. While at OSC, he was president of Beta Theta Pi and the Society of Automotive Engineers and a representative to the Engineers Student Council. Mr. Johnson enlisted in the Army Air Corps during WWII and flew B-24 bombers in the Pacific theater. He flew 40 missions and was awarded several medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross for actions at Marcus Island, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart for actions at Iwo Jima. After the war, Mr. Johnson worked for Pacific Northwest Bell. He was an avid golfer and tennis player and was fiercely dedicated to the OSU Beavers.

1st Lt. Carl E. Johnson Jr., 7th Air Force, 0413830, took the controls of a B-24, and, on 22 February 1945, piloted a bombing mission over Marcus Island:

"Where" -- the Distinguished Flying Cross citation reads -- "intense opposition was encountered, damaging the plane's communication system. ... As no precision navigation or bombing instruments for use in adverse weather were installed in the plane, it was impossible to find the target from this high altitude.

"After an hour's search, and with the fuel running low, the target was sighted and attacked from a very low altitude. Despite the damage to the airplane by enemy anti-aircraft and automatic weapons fire, before bombs were away, this crew successfully bombed the enemy airfield, rending it inoperative.

"Leaving the target with a low fuel supply, and with no means of radio contact, the crew flew the seriously damaged airplane on the precarious 900-mile over-water flight to its home base, landing safely with no further damage to plane or injury to crew."

For all of this, all Mr. Johnson wanted was to be interred at the National Cemetery in Portland. His son, Eric, wanted more for this honorable man who did so much for our country. This Friday, the Air Force will provide an honor guard and a flyover of four F-15's. If you are near Portland at 2:15 pm, look skyward as the planes scream out his name.

Farewell, Mr Johnson, and Walk with God. Thank you for all you did for us.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Think Air Force

A U.S Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II conducts a combat mission over Afghanistan June 14. The aircraft is based out of Bagram Air Base.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jason Robertson)

I have a personal affinity for the Air Force as my favorite uncle was in the Air Corps in WWII - a bombadier who was shot down, became a POW and almost died on Hitler's Death March at the end of the war. My father was also in the Air Corps. While I value each branch of our military, and get great humor out of the rivalry, I also understand that each of them serve proudly and honorably.

I also have a great love of this airplane - the A-10 Thunderbolt II - lovingly known as the Warhog or Hog. It is built for close air support and has been used heavily in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, this is a great picture!

Recently, I read a smarmy article on a blog I used to read, debasing the Air Force and calling them "pretend warriors." As you, my faithful readers, can guess, I am still outraged.

I would like to remember and honor all of those who have served in the Air Force and the Air Corps in war and in peace time. They have flown uncountable missions. They have been the eyes and ears at outposts in some of the most hostile terrain in the world. They have been on the ready to protect us. They have been around the world defending us and keeping us safe. And, they have died in battle and in training. I will ever be grateful.

I would also like to remind people that the Air Force has paid a price in the Great War on Terror. 37 members of the Air Force and 8 members of the Air Force Reserve have been killed in Afghanistan. 48 members of the Air Force, 3 members of the Air Force Reserve, and 2 Air Force Employees have been killed in Iraq. They, too, have sacrificed all and have earned the respect of everyone in this nation.

For my friends who are in or have served (Buck and MD)
or are related to members of the Air Force, this one's for you!!!

Thank you, all!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Military Sealift Command

The Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194) pulls alongside the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) during a replenishment at sea while underway in the Pacific Ocean on June 13, 2009.
DoD photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Charles Oki, U.S. Navy. (Released)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Face of Freedom ~ Capt Samuel Carlson & Family

Army Capt. Samuel Carlson, left, and Army Maj. Ryan O'Connor, then assigned to Combined Joint Task Force 101, pose at Bagram Airfield in 2005 during Carlson's first tour to Afghanistan. Courtesy photo

Samuel Carlson, now an Army captain, receives his commission to second lieutenant at Daley Barracks, Bad Kissingen, Germany, in front of the unit's Sherman Tank memorial. Carlson was 31 when he received his commission. Courtesy photo.

Face of Defense: Captain Continues Career 20 Years After Retirement

By Army Sgt. Amber Robinson
Special to American Forces Press Service

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SHANK, Afghanistan, June 15, 2009 - The average Army career, if a soldier chooses to make a life of the service, is a little more than 20 years. But for one jovial 62-year old Army captain, 20 years hardly seemed like enough.

Capt. Samuel Carlson, an intelligence officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Task Force Spartan, is on his second voluntary tour to Afghanistan. For a soldier to volunteer to come to a combat zone twice is one thing; but to voluntarily deploy after being retired for more than 20 years is quite another.

Carlson came into the Army on May 9, 1967 as an infantryman and later transitioned to intelligence operations. He served in various conflicts until he officially retired on Oct. 1, 1987.

"I was an infantryman that could type," he said. "I was sent to work for the personnel sergeant major of my unit, but made the mistake of pronouncing his name wrong when I went to report for my new job."

The sergeant major, apparently very sensitive about the pronunciation of his name, sent Carlson away to work for the intelligence officer, where he began to foster an interest in intelligence. His small mistake led to a long career in the intelligence field.

In 1991, Carlson volunteered to return and serve in Operation Desert Storm. Although his mission to Kuwait was canceled due to the short duration of the fight, he chose to stay on active status.

Carlson served with the Texas National Guard from 1992 to 1995, working as the executive officer of the 502nd Military Police Battalion out of Fort Worth, Texas. He commanded the unit after it reorganized until his second retirement. He volunteered to come into the service again after the attacks of 9/11.

"That [ticked] me off," Carlson said. "I took that personally. I had family that worked in the World Trade Center, so that made it personal."

Carlson served with the 308th Military Intelligence Battalion, 902nd Military Intelligence Group, on his first tour in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2006. He returned to the United States for a short period before serving with Task Force Spartan with the 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan's Logar province this time around.

Carlson's love of the service is based on simple principles, he said, but it keeps him going.

"I missed soldiers," Carlson said. "In the civilian world, it's hard to find the same camaraderie, teamwork and sense of brotherhood that you find in the Army."

Carlson's conventional military career spanned the globe. He served in El Salvador, Honduras, Germany, South Korea, and a short stint in Vietnam.

Carlson's call to duty was passed down through a legacy of soldiers, starting with his grandfather, a Norwegian immigrant who joined the American military in World War I. Too old to attain the position he desired, he lied and said he was younger, allowing him to receive his desired position.

"Grandad was not of military age when he came to America from Fredrikstad, Norway," Carlson said. "So to join, he indicated that he had been born in 1891, as opposed to his real birth date of 1889. He registered for the draft in 1917 and served in the Air Service, Signal Corps. He went to France for World War I in 1918, and was still on the front lines when the Armistice was signed on Nov. 11 [of that year]."

Carlson's father joined the Army in 1937, received his commission in 1942 and fought in Normandy in 1944 during the invasion of France.

"Dad was on the northern edge of the bulge during the Battle of the Bulge," Carlson said. "He was also involved in the crossing of the Rhine and Ruhr rivers, as well as the encirclement of the Ruhr industrial region."

Carlson's father left the Army as a first lieutenant in 1946, but, much like his son, missed the service and re-entered as a noncommissioned officer a few months after his initial departure. He was recommissioned shortly thereafter, and took off to serve in the Korean War. He retired in 1963. Still harboring the desire to serve, his father now is a volunteer deputy sheriff in his community.

Not only have Carlson's ancestors served faithfully, but his son and now his grandson have answered the call of their country.

"My son will soon come to Afghanistan to be the first sergeant for the Laghman provincial reconstruction team," Carlson said. "He is finishing up training at Camp Atterbury [in Indiana]."

Carlson's son will be in Afghanistan at the end of June, to serve in the same war at the same time as his father. Carlson said he is proud to be a part of the struggle in Afghanistan, as he hopes his son will be as well.

"I can understand this war," Carlson said. "It makes sense to me. It's well thought out as opposed [to] the other conflicts I have been a part of."

Carlson said he hopes he will be able to see him while both are in Afghanistan. "It may be a little difficult, but I'd like to make it happen if I can," he said.

To cap the long line of Carlsons serving in the military, the captain's grandson, Army Sgt. David Carlson, is stationed in South Korea.

The Carlson tapestry of military service is tightly woven. Throughout the ages, the men of Carlson's family have served in the armed forces.

"My Norwegian grandfather came overseas and joined the American Army, but my Swedish grandfather and forefathers also served in the Swedish military, which is mandatory there," Carlson said. "It was never anything planned, but for as long as we can trace back, the men of our family have served."

Carolson has been referred to as the "OCITA," or, "Oldest Captain in the Army." He smiles warmly at the jokes.

"I may be old, but the soldiers I work with help me to feel much younger than my age," he said.

Carlson plans to retire for the third and final time when Task Force Spartan completes its deployment at the end of the year. He said he hopes to settle down and take some time to catch up with his family and engage in some of his favorite pastimes, such as playing music in his rock band.

"It's been a long career, but I'd do it all again," he said.

(Army Sgt. Amber Robinson serves in the Task Force Spartan public affairs office.)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Flag Day ~ June 14

Flag Day ~ June 14

Established by the Second Continental Congress in 1777

“Resolved that the flag of the thirteen United States be
Thirteen stripes alternate red and white:
that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

Fly Your Flag Proudly!

National Flag Day Foundation

Saturday, June 13, 2009

234 years Army Strong!

June 14, 1775 - 2009

The US Army

Friday, June 12, 2009

Remembering DDay ~ 65 years later

U.S. Army Airborne Soldiers re-enact the June 6, 1944, D-Day paratrooper jump over Sainte Mere-Eglise, France. It is a long tradition to commemorate the events of D-Day.

Christian Verdeaux, a French national dressed in an authentic World War II U.S. Army Airborne uniform visited the graves of some members of the "Big Red One" to show his gratitude for the sacrifices they made 65 years ago on D-Day. He is at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, France, which overlooks Omaha Beach and the English Channel.

Hundreds of U.S. Soldiers pass by an American tank displayed at the Utah Beach museum while visiting Utah Beach, France during the 65th anniversary of D-Day. The tour allows the Soldiers a historic perspective on the sacrifices and accomplishments of their predecessors.

Retired Ranger Colonel Nightingale explains in detail the significant accomplishments and events of D-Day to reserve and active duty PSYOP and Civil Affair Soldiers at Neuville, France where Soldiers of World War II made significant sacrifices and amazing tactical accomplishments.

Staff Sgt. Carbonel shakes the hand of a European re-enactor who said that his family members were saved by U.S. Soldiers on D-Day 65 years ago. To commemorate those sacrifices, they dress up in authentic 1940s Airborne uniforms during the D-Day anniversary festivities annually.

A local from the town of Sainte Mere-Eglise talks to American Soldiers before bringing them to his home for a celebratory dinner. Residents from throughout the Normandy region took part in a long standing tradition in honor of the veterans that sacrificed their lives on D-Day.
Photo by Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Listening & Chatting in Iraq

LOCAL LISTENING - U.S. Army 1st Lt. Andrew Osborn, right, and Iraqi Army soldiers speak with residents during a combined foot patrol in the Nahia Wehda region on the outskirts of eastern Baghdad, Iraq, June 6, 2009. The combined forces partnered to hand out water purification systems to residents, address concerns they may have and assess security in the region. Osborn is a platoon leader assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division's Company B, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
U.S. Army photo by Spc Joshua W. Lowery

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wednesday Hero ~ Petty Officer 2nd Class Marc A Lee

Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class (SEAL) Marc A. Lee
Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class (SEAL) Marc A. Lee
28 years old from Hood River, Oregon
August 2, 2006
U.S. Navy

"Marc was amazing. He was my best friend, my love," his widow, Maya, said.

Petty Officer Marc A. Lee joined the Navy in 2001 and became an AO after completing Naval Air Technical Training. Later that year he attempted to complete the grueling BUD/S program but caught pneumonia and had to drop out. He tried again in 2004 and completed the course. He joined a SEAL team and deployed in 2005

On August 2, 2006, Marc A. Lee became the first SEAL to be killed in combat in Iraq when he was fatally wounded in a firefight in Ramadi, Iraq. The following is from the award citation for the Silver Star he received postumously:

"During the operation, one element member was wounded by enemy fire. The element completed the casualty evacuation, regrouped and returned onto the battlefield to continue the fight. Petty Officer Lee and his SEAL element maneuvered to assault an unidentified enemy position. He, his teammates, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and Abrams tanks engaged enemy positions with suppressive fire from an adjacent building to the north.

"To protect the lives of his teammates, he fearlessly exposed himself to direct enemy fire by engaging the enemy with his machine gun and was mortally wounded in the engagement. His brave actions in the line of fire saved the lives of many of his teammates"

"It was so like Marc to give up his life to save his friends," his mother, Debbie Lee, told the Hood River News. "I am so proud of him. He is my hero."

Petty Officer Lee was posthumously awarded a Silver Star and Bronze Star with combat "V" for his actions in Iraq during his team’s combat tour and the Purple Heart medal.

Source: MilitaryCity.com

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives
so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday.
For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Editors Note:
PO2 Marc A Lee was from my state of Oregon. His loss affected all of us very deeply. My previous pieces on Marc are here:

Farewell, Marc Lee - http://gazingattheflag.blogspot.com/2006/08/farewell-mark-lee.html

Memorial for Marc Lee - http://gazingattheflag.blogspot.com/2006/08/memorial-for-navy-seal-mark-lee.html

A piece on his service and the protesters who didn't get to spoil it is here and the video is very moving - http://www.salem-news.com/articles/august272006/hatemongers_82706.php

And, finally, his Mom, Debbie Lee, who has been a public face and constant advocate for our troops - http://gazingattheflag.blogspot.com/2008/02/gold-star-mom-standing-up-for-troops.html

Thursday, June 04, 2009

D-Day ~ 65 years later

Omaha Beach - June 4, 2009
Photo US Army Europe

The Twitters from the D-Day sites have begun:

bbc_hampshire #dday65 My best moment today is when a Belgian re-enacter asked for a New Forest veteran's 'autograph' & thanked him for his freedom

bbc_hampshire #dday65 Many people camping at Utah beach for D Day 65. First beach under allied control and fewest casualties at 197

dgjpao #dday65 From where I stand, I have an incredible view of the cliffs the American Rangers had to climb on D-Day. WoW!

enchantedtravel France Will Never Forget D-Day . Awesome Video- may make you cry. http://bit.ly/2Lmf0 #dday65

USArmyEurope "It was just like opening the gates of hell" says D-Day Vet in Associated Press http://tinyurl.com/APDday #dday65

Many people will be writing about the significance of D-Day, of the history of D-Day, of the celebrations of D-Day... sharing links you can check throughout the weekend.

Official D-Day site http://www.eucom.mil/dday65/Dday.asp

Army D-Day site http://www.army.mil/d-day/

Photos for the US Army European Command http://twitpic.com/photos/USArmyEurope

Website for the US Army European Command http://www.hqusareur.army.mil/

Twitter for the US Army European Command http://twitter.com/USArmyEurope

Twitter for the US European Command http://twitter.com/US_EUCOM

Twitter for a PAO at the D-Day events http://twitter.com/dgjpao

Twitter feed for D-Day events http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23dday65

You don't have to belong to twitter to follow the feeds and read the first hand reports. The D-Day twitter feed will be sure to link you to historical reports and information about the reenactments and the remembrance ceremonies.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Wednesday Hero ~ SGT Pablo A Calderon

Sgt. Pablo A. Calderon
Sgt. Pablo A. Calderon
26 years old from Brooklyn, New York
1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division
Died November 30, 2004
U.S. Army

"He wanted to fight for his country," said his heartbroken younger sister, Lilliana Calderone. "He always wanted to be there."

Pablo Calderon joined the Army in 1997, right out of High School. "He went straight to the army from high school," said his sister. "He wanted to improve himself. He was proud. He loved his country." He reenlisted several times.

Reading the memorial sites, his men had the greatest love and admiration for him as a leader and as a man. His loss has been felt by many.

Sgt. Calderon was killed when an IED was detonated near his vehicle in Fallujah, Iraq. Also killed in the attack was Sgt. Jose Guereca of Missouri City, Texas.

Source: MilitaryCity.com & NYDailyNews.com

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives
so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday.
For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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