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As a US Air Force Veteran I was moved by many Veterans events this past Veterans day. The price for our freedom was high--and the responsibility to maintain it is also. I am honored to join with fellow Americans in honoring our freedoms and what we all hold dear. This country is the BEST Darn Nation on the face of this planet! We have freedoms here that so many just dream about. Sadly, there are many in this country who seem not to realise how precious these freedoms are----I am NOT one of them. We as free Americans must honor and uphold the Constitution and all of our God given freedoms! Not just for us but for generations to follow. Veterans day is just one opportunity to do just that. Again, I am honored to write and uphold this great nation as the becon of Liberty she still is. My blog name is --Pen Captain.
World War I – known at the time as "The Great War" - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of "the war to end all wars."
In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations..."
The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.
The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:
Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and
Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and
Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.
An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation's history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first "Veterans Day Proclamation" which stated: "In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible."
On that same day, President Eisenhower sent a letter to the Honorable Harvey V. Higley, Administrator of Veterans' Affairs (VA), designating him as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee.
In 1958, the White House advised VA's General Counsel that the 1954 designation of the VA Administrator as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee applied to all subsequent VA Administrators. Since March 1989 when VA was elevated to a cabinet level department, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has served as the committee's chairman.
The Uniform Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates.
The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.
Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
On Memorial Day as I walked the grounds of Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver I thought a lot about patriotism. I looked at the graves before me and then thought that there were 98,000 souls who have gone on before me in this very cemetery I was visiting to pay my respects to fallen soldiers and veterans. Some had fallen in combat and many had served and died as old men who were proud to be veterans and to have served the United States of America in her Armed Forces. The immensity of gratitude I felt towards them was profound and intense. Because of them, I and millions of Americans have freedom and are blessed to live in the best nation in the world. I write to this to honor those brave military men and women who have served and who serve the United States of America.
My first thought as I surveyed the grave sites around me was that America, through her military actions has set people free and given them freedoms like the ones we enjoy. America fights only 'good wars.' World War Two was the last war to be called a 'good war' but Korea, Vietnam and now The War Against Terror being fought in Iraq and Afghanistan have all been good wars in spite of what some people may say or think. Those who do not agree have that right to disagree given to them by the same men who fight and die to protect our Bill of Rights and Constitution. One can write an article online as I am doing, send a letter to the editor or participate in a peaceful demonstration. Our First Amendment in the Bill of Rights gives us that freedom. We have set the world free from Nazism, Communism and are working to set the world free from radical Islamic terrorism. We have succeeded in Iraq and that country is no longer ruled by Saddam Hussein, a monstrous dictator.
The Holocaust and Nazi tyranny in Europe were stopped during World War Two due to the fact that many men fought, served and fell to free Europe. 11.000.000 innocent victims, including 6,000,000 Jews lost their lives during the Holocaust. If it had not been for the United States and her allies many more would have died. It was a war that had to be fought to free people and bring justice to the enemy. Imperial Japan was stopped with two atomic bombs which saved millions of American soldiers and marines if an invasion of Japan had occurred instead. War is not pleasant but it ensures the life and freedom of America, her allies and those who are harmed by world tyrants.
Communism fell as it could not compete economically with us due to the Communist plan of government. They could not provide all the necessities to their citizens that Americans take for granted. They had to compete with the USA in an arms race and this bankrupted their economy and let capitalist and democratic government take the place of Communism. The Warsaw Pact disintegrated and the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. The Eastern half of Europe was free from the yoke of Communism. Most of Europe now has a thriving economy and the former Warsaw Pact nations are loving their freedom and new found way of life.
The same is happening in Iraq and wherever the USA fights radical Islamic terrorism. We have bankrupted Al Queda and assassinated Osama Bin Laden, their evil leader, who plotted the 9-11 terror attack on America. One of the ironies of History is that his death was proclaimed on 05/01/2011 just as Adolf Hitler's suicide was announced on 05/01/1945. Given enough time and effort we will forever destroy terrorism just as we have destroyed Nazism and Communism. I remember the first free election in Iraq after Saddam Hussein was out of power. The Iraqis were ecstatic and pointed their blue inked fingers proudly proclaiming they finally were able to vote for whomever they wished to vote for. That was a marvelous day in the USA too knowing that our actions freed them of tyranny.
Patriotism is also the simple act of helping other countries and other Americans in need. As I see the people in communities like Joplin, MO and Tuscaloosa, AL come together and rebuild their cities after two devastating tornadoes I see this as an act of patriotism too. America is the first to help any nation who experiences a natural disaster. After the recent tsunami in Japan America was the first nation there to help. After the devastating Pacific tsunami in 2004 we were the first there too. This can be said for thousands of other disasters as well. Gordon Sinclair, the Canadian journalist, put it so aptly in his speech, The Americans. He declared I can name to you 5,000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble.
Tomorrow we celebrate Flag Day. Please remember the brave men who fought and died for you and what the USA means and is. Patriotism is loving your country, even to the point of dying for it. Fortunately most of us don't have to go that far. Display your flag and say a prayer for America, her leaders and especially the soldiers and veterans who fight to die to protect it and preserve our most sacred freedoms. God bless the USA forever and forever....
Perhaps we have, as Americans, forgotten about our long lost friend that we so fondly call ‘freedom.’ Freedom is more than a guarantee, it is a state of mind, an emotion, and it is a rare commodity. It gives us the independence to be self regulating and allows us to decide what the best is for ourselves, our family, and our future. There is nowhere else in the world where you can experience freedom as boundlessly as you can here, in The United States of America. In the famous words of Ronald Reagan, ‘If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth.’ Our freedom needs to be protected and watched over.
So why is it that so many Americans have lost sight of Freedom, in the name of being comfortable, having rights, and being ignorant to the perversion of our government? Ah, yes, our government, the very structure put into place to ensure that our freedoms never get taken away, diminished or re-interpreted. They promise not protection of our freedoms, but protection from ourselves, from our decisions and of our rights (which, by the way, they designate to us).
Isn’t that clear? They said, ‘you don’t have the ability to save money for your retirement’, so they tax us for social security and spend our hard earned money until we get to the age that they say we can retire at and slowly and systematically dispense our own money back to us. That is, if you qualify to get your money back. Social Security along with other government entitlement programs like welfare, unemployment and ‘Obama Care’ are the basically the governments way of saying, “you’re too stupid to know what to do with your money, and we know better than you, so let us PROTECT you from yourself by providing you with these ‘free’ services.” In the infamous words of Thomas Jefferson, “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.”
America, it is time to wake up. Wise up. And rise up. Educate yourself about what the government is serving up to us. Ask yourself how this is going to affect your freedom, and where it’s going to stop. Does is stop with another revolution? Or does it stop with enlightenment? We have a duty, as American citizens, to protect our freedoms and the things we believe in. What do you believe in?
World War 11 Letters and history from an American Soldier, PFC Benjamin M. Kaplow
In our 53 year marriage, my husband, Ben Kaplow, never spoke about World War 11 with me. However when he died in March, 2007, a box of his over 170 letters revealed the story. Honoring Ben by creating a web site of his letters became my goal. I bought my Apple Computer. Mac Genius, Mike Otto, designed the site but he said he would teach me how to do the "heavy lifting." Along with building the site, I've added historical links, photos, and mp3s to help today's folks learn what it was like 66 years ago.
Mike said WW 11 letters were a part of history, and coincidentally his daughter was on the staff of the Gallagher Design Company in Bethesda, Md. that is designing the new National Museum of American Jewish History, in Philadelphia, PA. opening late 2010. Brought up in a Jewish home, it seemed most appropriate to donate Ben's letters and collections to the Museum.
Drafted in Rochester, NY, 1943, Ben's travels took him through Camp Upton, NY, Camp Croft, S.C., Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) at the University of Connecticut, Camp Campbell, KY, then intense training in the Tennessee Maneuvers, Fort Jackson, and finally a troop ship to Cherbourg, France on Sept. 7, 1944 with the 3rd Army, 26th Division, 104th Infantry Division, 2nd Battalion. The 104th fought through France, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Germany during the Battle of the Bulge. Ben was awarded a Bronze Star. In 2007, his funeral was at Arlington Cemetery.
Friends, family and students at Brighton High School and the University of Rochester, close to Ben's age, at that time 19, created mp3s so viewers could read and/or listen to the letters. The letters are an important look back at the 65th Anniversary of Battle of the Bulge.
Married 53 yrs. to Benjamin M. Kaplow, Rochester, NY Retired: Ben & Florence: Co-Directors of the Kaplan Educational Centers in Rochester and Buffalo, NY and Erie, PA. Son: Dave & Tiralisa (Kennedy) Kaplow: San Jose, CA Grandson, Greg Kaplow: Class of 2011, Santa Clara University Daughter: Dr. Joan Kaplow & Dr. Michael Obrecht. Rochester, NY Grandson: Spencer Obrecht: Class of 2011, University of Pittsburgh Granddaughter: Serena Obrecht Brighton, NY
When Missourian Robert Landes and family prepared for his first overseas military tour in 1999, they didn't realize what they were getting into. Landes, an Army reservist who had recently reenlisted for active duty, expected a normal, three-year stint in Germany. Instead, their time overseas ended up being over twice that amount.
Then an Army Specialist (SPC), Landes headed out for Stuttgart, Germany in late December 1999; his wife, Vicki and their nine-month-old son Brady would follow in February 2000. SPC Landes was to become one of a handful of military police officers in overall U.S. Army Europe to specialize in customs - U.S. Department of Agriculture policies and procedures for overseas personnel and for items and equipment returning to the United States.
Their tour would have ended in December 2002 but by that time, the Landes family had become accustomed to living in Germany and wanted a bit more time overseas. Robert had been promoted once and was already an expert at the customs system. Vicki was employed at the European Command in Stuttgart and quickly moving up the ranks as a Department of Army Civilian while Brady was happily learning new things at the post Child Development Center. The family traveled quite a bit on the weekends while getting to know Germany and the surrounding countries. The U.S. had just suffered a crippling blow by terrorists on September 11th and Landes knew he was needed right where he was. He chose to extend his stay in the Army and serve his country for another tour.
By 2006, Robert had been promoted again and given another specialized job within customs that even fewer soldiers receive. He was working hand-in-hand with international agencies, customs offices, and militaries while ensuring U.S. laws were upheld through focused investigations. Vicki had been awarded the European Command's esteemed 'Civilian of the Year' award for her humanitarian work in over 60 countries throughout Europe and Africa. The family had traveled so much that Vicki was able to publish her first book, "Europe for the Senses - A Photographic Journal" - a mixture of stunning photography and creative writing covering 15 countries. See www.EuropeForTheSenses.com for more information on her book.
In November 2006, now newly-reenlisted Staff Sergeant (SSG) Robert Landes received official U.S. Army orders to return to the states for his next military tour assignment. The family packed up and flew to Ft. Jackson a week before Christmas - a mere eleven days shy of Landes' arrival anniversary in Germany seven years ago. Despite being outside of the United States border and away from family and friends, the Landes' consider this extra long tour of duty to be the best experience they've ever had.
SSG Landes will continue to serve his country at Columbia, South Carolina. He's looking forward to delving into his favorite pastime - history - by exploring the many Revolutionary War and Civil War battlefields, museums, and monuments that the area has to offer. Vicki plans to publish a second book - one that will encompass all 45 countries she's explored. Another overseas tour for the family is not out of the question...
Initially a skeptic, Vicki Landes was not thrilled when her military husband moved her and their new baby to Stuttgart, Germany - in fact, she went kicking and screaming. She quickly took to Europe and ended up living in Germany for a full seven years. During that time, Landes became an avid world traveler and published author. "Europe for the Senses - A Photographic Journal" is her first book.
Being in the military presents its own set of social problems - but only if you are concerned with maintaining your individuality and your civil rights.
Basically you relinquish both when you join and those of us who were willing to do so in order to serve our country deserve more consideration than we have received in the past.
Things are a little better for todays sailors and soldiers - but not by much.
They are better because of the increased awareness of the rest of society to our plight. The civilian population of today 'Supports Its Troops'. And I am still trying to figure out what that means.
It seems vacuous and empty. But let me explain.
I support Bill Hines, (I don't know if there is a soldier or sailor by that name) but I support him. So now that I've proclaimed that, what does it do for Soldier Bill? What does it do for me? What good does it do for the country? What impact does it have on our being involved in, yet another, civil war in another country?
Soldier Bill is 6000 miles away from home, while I am safe and secure in my bed every night. But I support him.
Soldier Bill is away from his wife, children, mother, father, sisters and brothers; while I have my family with me every day. But I support him.
Soldier Bill knows he may not wake up tomorrow morning or live out the day even if he does - while I am busy complaining about the day-old lettuce at the grocery store. But I support him.
Do you honestly think that Soldier Bill gives a cats-crap if I say that I support him or not? No, I don't either.
My point is that unless I actually DO something to help Soldier Bill, I, in fact, don't support him. I only say that I do because I have heard it said so many times by the news media and it just seems to be the patriotic thing to say.
And the problem with patriotic slogans is that they are usually empty and totally devoid of all meaning. They are just empty thoughts we are conditioned to spout and set the mood around us for others to rally and feel good about all the babies we are responsible for bombing to pieces in any war.
So, I'm sorry, Soldier Bill, but I can't support you and I can't support the war you are waging simply because you have been ordered to do so.
But there is one thing I can do.
I can tell your mother what they are doing to you over there.
I can tell your mother that you are being injected with experimental drugs and generally being used as a guinea pig for covert government experiments which can leave you scarred or disabled for life.
I can tell your mother that our government also plans to subject you to intensive negative-reinforcement psychological treatments after you return home. Treatments designed to convince you that you have a disability which requires more experimental drugs.
I can do that for you, Soldier Bill.
Because even though I do not agree with what you are doing, I understand why you have to do it.
I just pray that you can live with it after the dirty deed is done.
The Foster-A-Soldier™ Program makes it easy to support our troops without personally knowing anyone in the service.
How It Works Thousands of men and women from every branch of the service are registered with Treats for Troops. If you want to send a care package to show your support, we'll match you with a soldier who'd love to hear from you. You can choose your soldier by branch of service, home state, gender, general location, birthday, or you can let the program automatically select the soldier who's been waiting the longest to receive a package. Shopping
Is Simple Once your soldier is selected, you'll have their first name, branch of service and home state, plus any personal information like interests and favorite foods the soldier would like to share. Then just pick a gift from the Treats for Troops Gift Shops, and add a message from our free Message Center. That's all there is to it; your gift will be carefully packed and sent from our secure fulfillment center in two business days. There's No Obligation Sponsoring a soldier once doesn't obligate you to keep sending your soldier gifts, although so many people have asked if they can continue sending packages to the same soldier, we now offer that option. TFT Is Safe And Secure When you send a package through Treats for Troops, you don't have to worry about security. Sponsors are given only the name, branch of service and home state. Our secure fulfillment center in Denver, Colorado handles all the packing, addressing and shipping through the USPS. The privacy and personal contact information of both soldiers and sponsors is always protected. Thanks from Your Soldier We include a thank you note in every order, and also offer soldiers a way to e-mail their thanks. For security reasons, thank yous come back to Treats for Troops; once they're received, we promptly forward them to the sponsor. Soldiers are encouraged to thank their sponsor, but sometimes they're in circumstances where it's just not possible. If you don't hear from your soldier, it doesn't mean your package wasn't received, or appreciated. It might mean your soldier is out in the field, and the base post office is a long way away. We regularly post notes we receive in the Thank You Center so you can see how much it means to a soldier to receive a package.
Thanks for your interest in helping us spread the word about Treats for Troops.
Linda Masterson Director of Marketing and Communications Treats for Troops, Inc.
I was given permission whereas I could share the above.
People love to be recognized for their achievements and hard work. Soldiers are no different. As a company commander, you must ensure that your soldiers feel appreciated.
You want them to feel like they are appreciated and needed. Because they are needed.
Recognizing soldiers is very easy and fun to do. There are many different things you can do to improve soldier recognition. Listed below are some things that worked for me.
1. Take your soldier to lunch: One way to recognize soldiers is to take your soldier to lunch. If they do something great, you and your First Sergeant could take the soldier to a local restaurant or even order delivery. Take 30-45 minutes and spend some quality time getting to know your soldier better.
2. Certificate of Achievement: Also known as COAs, Certificate's of Achievement can be a great way to recognize soldiers. You can use a company COA or use the battalion COA. If you can get your battalion commander to sign the COA, it could be worth promotion points to the soldier.
3. Army Achievement Medal: Also known as AAMs, Army Achievement Medals are a great way to recognize soldiers. If a soldier does something noteworthy, submit them for a AAM. Everyone loves a "medal." In 15 years of service, I've never seen a soldier refuse a medal.
4. Unit Coin: Unit coins are a great way to show your soldiers you are proud of their achievements. When you give them a coin, tell them why you are giving them the coin. And, tell them you are proud of them.
5. "Pat on the Back": This might sound corny, but even a simple "job well done" will go a long ways. Especially, when it comes from the company commander.
In summary, please know that most people are starving for appreciation. When you see one of your soldiers do something well, take a few minutes to let them know you appreciate their efforts. They will feel better about themselves and respect you more as the company commander.
To learn more about how to be a better company commander, visit http://www.part-time-commander.com. Charles Holmes is a former company commander and the author of "Part-Time Command, Full-Time Responsibility: How to Effectively Lead a Company in the Army National Guard."
I WANT YOU YES, I MEAN YOU I want you to give back to me the America I Love. I want you to embrace the Constitution of the United States of America. I want you to go back and read what the Founding Fathers intended. I want you to realize how precious your vote is, a vote not to be wasted on a politician: whom you know little about his or her thoughts and, actions. I want you to think about all those who fought and, those who made the ultimate sacrifice. I want you to stand up and protect that, which so many fought to preserve. I want you to understand, it is now your turn to ensure their efforts were not in vain. I want you to speak about this Nation in positive terms and praise, remembering, politicians come and go, Our America is to remain a beacon of light forever. I want you to take on the responsibility of teaching, America’s Greatness to our children. Do not leave it to others, for they will not care, as much, as you do. I want you refresh your own memory, with the history that I created for you. I want you to thank every Military Veteran and, Active Military person that you meet. I want you to thank your Creator for this incredible Land, that we are richly blessed to call home. Happy 4th of July. Enjoy our celebration, and with your love and patrotism we will enjoy many,many, more bithdays Lovingly, Uncle Sam. P.S Please remember to pray for our Military,they have done a magnificent job since we became a Nation. Uncle Sam
To the many prideful Americans out there, I want to say, Thank You.
Over the many years as a Jewelry Designer, I have never been this joyfully overwhelmed, and proud, to see fellow Americans express their pride and support by wearing patriotic jewelry. I don’t want to sound like someone who toots their own horn; however, I have great pride in what I do and want to share it with other prideful Americans who share the same honor as I do. Let us all unite and represent what we stand for by wearing symbolic jewelry that signifies American Patriotism. And, to show gratitude and respect for our soldiers and veterans alike, I will be donating to a charitable organization to support our veterans. They’ve weathered war and devastation – the least we can do is help them, one way or another, to get back on their feet. For more information, go to: www.AmericanPatrioticJewelry.com
A couple of years ago, I began making HeartWings, a pillow I designed that provides excellent lumbar and neck support. The interesting thing about the pillow is that people who have a HeartWings say it feels like it is hugging them back when they hold it against their chest. Because of this, I began to think about various ways to market HeartWings so that others could experience what my customers have described as a "healing experience".
This line of thought took me to different causes that the pillow might "support". The first thought I had was the United States. Everyone in this country could use a healing experience. We need to come together and stop the separation that cuts like a deep wound through the heart of our great country. The patriotic HeartWings pillow I designed expresses this perfectly. There is a small pocket on the back of each pillow so that it can be personalized with a photo, memento, note or any item that has meaning. I would so love to see these pillows become a symbol for healing this country that I love.
The second pillow that I designed is a military pillow symbolizing support for our troops who so bravely serve and protect our country. I was so excited, recently, to have the honor of shipping our first HeartWings pillow to a troop serving in Iraq. His response was so wonderful. He is showing off his pillow everywhere he goes. The wings on the pillow fold and it can fit neatly into his bag. It also fits perfectly into the USPS flate rate mailing box that ships anywhere in the world for $10.95. What a great way to show our support for our troops. I wish I knew how to start "Operation HeartWings" so that each returning troop would receive a pillow as they return home from duty. Any ideas????
Please visit our website, www.heartwingslove.com and take a look at what we offer. HeartWings is the perfect gift to send when you can't be there with your loved one as they face life's challenges. You will see the other styles we offer as well that show support for breast cancer, autism, children's cancer/serious illness and love in general. We have been endorsed by Generation Rescue, Jenny McCarthy's autism awareness group as well as "Soldier's Angel's". We generously donate a portion of the sale of each pillow made through these sites as well.
I can truthfully say that my heart is in each pillow as it is made. I was so lucky to find a wonderful manufacturer, Rehabilitation Industries of Northeast Georgia. Each pillow is handmade by people undergoing rehabilitation for various disabilities. To me, this forms a complete circle of healing, which is what HeartWings is all about!
I know my dream of HeartWings serving as a symbol for healing our country and the world will come true.....one pillow at a time!
This article is not pro-war or anti-war, it is not political, I am not pro-military or anti-military. Even though a movie is talked about in the article, this article is not about the movie. This article is about gratitude.
I'm not sure what has happened here in the United States. Maybe it's just me. It seems like we have forgotten about the Americans who are fighting for freedom in the middle east. There does not seem to be any new news stories about what's going on there anymore.
There is a movie, “Taking Chance”. There are no politics in this movie, just the decency of the American people. Every American should see this movie, especially on Memorial Day. Rent this movie or get it from a friend or your public library. I believe our Men and Women in the middle east have been forgotten. This movie will remind you of their sacrifice.
Link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4KEVZiJ3Ds Kevin Bacon, “This is one HBO movie that should be watched by all!!! Based on real-life events, Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, a volunteer military escort officer, accompanies the body of 19-year-old Marine Chance Phelps back to his hometown of Dubois, Wyoming.”
I asked my pastor Captain John Bennett of the Salvation Army's New Heights Church in Centennial, CO about showing this clip (trailer) after church functions were concluded. During our potluck meal May 23, 2010 and then show the movie the following Sunday after church functions, the day before Memorial Day, May 30, 2010.
My suggestion was immediately dismissed. It always amazes me when Christians so easily dismiss the very people who fight and die for their right to say and believe in anything they want. I think I may have to find a new church, being a good American is just as important a being a good Christian and my pastor just does not get that.
I will probably be banned from my church for writing this, however, when you see something that is so plainly wrong you must stand up and say so. A church is exactly the right place to pray for the families who have given their Fathers and Mothers, Sisters and Brothers, Sons and Daughters, in the fight for world wide freedom.
All I ever wanted was for my church to do is to show a small symbol of gratitude to the people who keep this country free. The men and women of the United States Air Force, United States Army, United States Coast Guard, United States Marine Corps, United States Navy who make it possible for all Americans to build their church's and worship any God they wish.
These people deserve, at the very least, a day of gratitude. Apparently, at least in my church, this is to much to ask for.
Disheartened American Christian, Vern Southern Denver, Colorado (303) 351-9743
Honor, Courage and Commitment: The Legacy of American Military Flags
Military flags define and inspire American Armed Forces.
When Britain changed their military tactics, they paved the way for America to become a world superpower, elevated by lofty ideals and grounded by a strong, organized and efficient military. Before Britain’s global extension in the 1800s, war was a disorganized business. Men would charge, on horses or foot, their ragged lines slamming into the opposition in a chaotic mess. Hand to hand combat reigned, and it was difficult to reform, reorganize, or recall men. Once they were out, that was largely the most that could be done. Britain militarized their regime, emphasizing the importance of command and organization. They developed rank and redefined the soldier as a man with a specific and finite function, part of a larger whole. America took this idea and ran with it, using organized military to support and protect national freedom. Nowhere is this theory more obvious than in the plethora and inspiration of the American military flags.
Flags in the American military serve as a designation (of position, branch of the military, or role, and sometimes all three), as inspiration, and of a source of pride. In this they represent the very heart of America’s military success: give a person a specific role, a specific duty, and then train them to do it with exceptional skill, and the natural result is pride and success. Each military position is celebrated with specific codes. There is a rank to the precedence of flags at any function or public appearance; the National Colors will always go first, and behind that the United States Army, then Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The reasoning behind this designation of order is multifold; the Army is first due to its creation before any other branch of government, but by that rule the next would be the Navy, which was created a month prior to the Marine Corps. The Marines, however, were designated by the Secretary of the Navy as second in line in the late 1800s. The Air Force comes next, despite the establishment of the Coast Guard some 150 years prior; this is widely thought to be because the Air Force is one of the “big four” branches of military power, while the Coast Guard is not.
Military flags are also a source of tremendous pride for the communities they represent. Because a soldier surrenders himself fully to the service of nation, military and unit, the flag of a soldier’s unit or branch of the military becomes as much a representation of themselves as it does of their service and role. It becomes especially poignant when a soldier dies and the flag is carefully folded according to United States law and presented to the soldier’s family, honoring the great gift that all service people offer their nation. State capitals often keep the flags from every regiment they’ve sent into war as a commemoration of the valiant efforts of the brave soldiers from their state.
Iconography plays an important role in the creation of these flags. A flag says so much with so very little space. It represents the United States, the branch of the military, the power, the difficulty, the service and the honor that are encompassed in the company it represents, and it serves as a wordless, international image of defense and protection. One of the most famous military flags is that of the Commander in Chief, the President of the United States, which features an eagle clutching both arrows and an olive branch. During times of peace, the eagle looks toward the olive branch, a symbol of peace, but no person can look on the military flag of the president and forget the threat of the arrows in its talons, ever present but unfavored.
While the eagle looks to the olive branch, so too can the American people cease to scrutinize their military insignia, but like the arrows, they will always be there, waiting to inspire and lead a new generation to protect democracy, freedom, and the American people.
All country has engaged in the Global War on Terrorism, an increase in the operational tempo for active and reserve servicewomen and servicemen. The increase in activity results in a greater number of deployments in which military family members are geographically separated over certain periods of time. This highly stressful separation experience is one of the most challenging aspects of present-day military life and may contribute to significant family disruption and distress. Although family and deployments separations are inevitable, there are specific ways for psychologists to assist family members to more effectively cope with the stress that occurs during the deployment cycle.
Most families will also experience difficulties handling stress at times, and some families will have particularly trying times. The following are some ideas compiled by experts who themselves are part of the military family and who have learned from the experience of others.
Encourage family members to stay connected with loved ones, coworkers, and friends. This will provide opportunities to discuss feelings and enhance communication. Being resilient is an active and interpersonal process (regular walking), eating healthy and nutritious meals, and taking part in outdoor activities such as gardening, going to the park or beach with others.
Military chaplains can play a vital role in post deployment or operational adjustment. Deep breathing exercises and Meditation can also feel relaxing. To avoid the stress of separation share their feelings and concerns with other member and close friends.
Servicemen and servicewomen and family members may be concerned with medical and behavioral issues, during and after deployment. It is more important that family members discuss these concerns with each other and stay actively involved in seeking out the proper care.
Reintegrating into family life after a military deployment can be a complex and long process. Family members should be encouraged to seek out new ways of healthy coping that work best for them. In order to stay relaxed and to minimize their stress the family members should continue to use these coping tools throughout the deployment cycle.
Local military hospital provides many services, resources, and professionals that can help the family. Being healthy and resilient requires everyday attention. Help the family to stay active and involved in the every day process.
U.S. Army Community and Family Support Center provide a toll-free telephone number for information and referral services for soldiers, marines, and their families. Some groups can serve as an especially secure social network and safe environment to address the specific needs of military family members. It helps them to communicate with their lovable one from their place. Some Social Networks provide free services with video, audio and text messages by which they share their feelings.
About the Author
MyMilitaryYears.com is a brand new service dedicated to providing our military men and women with the most effective means of communication with friends and family available today.
Ashley was deployed for the third time to Afghanistan. She is a military doctor and must give service to the country when she is called. Each time, she has had to leave behind two small children and her husband. She has asked her mother to come and work with the children because her husband is often lost without her.
Ashley, like other military families has relied on cell phones and email to contact loved ones. The challenge is that the children do not understand why mom has to be away all the time. They give grandma a hard time because after she is not mom and they often cry and are upset because they cannot talk to mom right away.
This scenario is common among military communities and it is very difficult when you have small children. When you leave they are one age and it could be a couple of birthdays before you come back. Everything has changed and it is sometimes difficult for everyone to get back into the swing of things.
Thanks to My Military Years you will not have the problem of waiting for email messages or hoping that cell phones will work. Instead, you will be able to use a message board or the military forum to get daily information to your military family.
MyMilitaryYears.com is a new website that is contacting service members to provide them with their own secure and private website to communicate more regularly with family members. This site has more to offer than others because it understands the need for military support.
They are building a community for service people that includes each branch of the armed services including the National Guard and Coast Guard. The websites are geared towards both audio and text messages that can be stored on a DVD and sent to each family.
This type of military diary can be a wonderful gift for grandparents or others who love you and who want to keep track of what is going on. Your service to the military is also creating a historic even that will be good for your children to learn.
Instead of just doing a Christmas wish to your family, you can be with them via a webcam and browser; what's more you can do this all year long. You can take part in special events and communicate with your family regularly. You can watch your children grow up and view their soccer games and other events without worry.
About the Author
MyMilitaryYears.com is a brand new service dedicated to providing our military men and women with the most effective means of communication with friends and family available today.
Every military family has a high level of stress when they are away from each other. The two wars that we are currently fighting have also created challenges with families staying together in meaningful ways.
In order to change this, a new website has created an opportunity to support military families through helping them stay in touch. One of the ways to do this is through creating an audio or video diary of your military service.
My Military Years has created a very positive way for military families to keep in touch with each other. You can create a permanent record of your experiences and then have it burned onto a DVD for your family to keep. This can be one way to give your family a memento of those military years when you cannot be by their side.
Parents and grandparents are often left out of the opportunity to see how their sons and daughters are doing. When this is a problem, a DVD copy of video and audio messages can be a great gift for grandparents. They will love learning to send their own videos and text messages through the website.
If the grandparents are not savvy with the Internet it will not matter because there is no special software they will need. Anyone can help them create their own video to upload with just a webcam and their favorite browser.
Two very important features for this website have to do with a message center and a forum. Both of these areas can help military families keep in touch and talk with other families who have people who are in military service. This can be a great support system and you can meet new people.
The website will give you an area that is your own space. It is private and secure so that you will not be sharing your information with anyone other than those people who you want to see it. You will not have to broadcast on YouTube or other non-secure spaces so you can insure safety for your family and friends.
My Military Years will take the guesswork out of trying to find the best way to connect with everyone. You will create a permanent record of your experiences and it will be something that your family will understand.
About the Author
MyMilitaryYears.com is a brand new service dedicated to providing our military men and women with the most effective means of communication with friends and family available today.
After squandering billion$ on vacations, champagne and the high life that is available to only political insiders, and then demanding more, more, more, the other slimy squid that infest the polluted waters of high finance are themselves demanding their fair (?) share of the spoils! So I ask you – "What is the difference between the "Pirates of Somalia" and those who infest the lakes of "Wall Street", the "Insurance Racket" and the connected "Subservient Within Politics?"
4-5-2009 "I WILL MAKE NO MORE DEMANDS?" "It is the late 1930s (Europe) all over again, and you are there!!" With the launching (yesterday) of a missile that may (?) be capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, North Korea stepped into the vacant shoes of none other than Adolph Hitler and his "I Will Make No Further Demands" speech of the late 1930s!