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Sunday, September 23, 2007

20,000 Mugs and 2 Angels

At least in the picture.

Dianne and husband Steve, and a crowd of other Angels took the first step in assembling holiday care packages for those 20,000 Georgia-based soldiers.

They took the 20,000 mugs that are in the boxes in the picture above and filled them with candy. As Diane puts it, those helping "got their first real taste at just how big of a number 20,000 really is".

Whoa. My holiday project last year was only for a ship full of 270 sailors.

There's still time to send in a holiday message to be added to one of the goody bags for a soldier.

Mailing address:
Det-1 HHC 1-108th,
6784 W. Church Street, Douglasville, GA 30134

Or email it to me and I'll format it into a card and send it along with others I've collected:

But don't dawdle! All package contents need to be in Georgia ASAP!

Angel Gifts for a Soldier's little Angels

Angel Michelle from Iowa is at it again...

Two wonderful quilts in-process for the children of national guardsman recently returned from theater.

For a horse-mad little girl:

For a Spidey fan:

Pretty special, huh?

Yay, Michelle!

[Michelle's first Angel quilt was the subject of my first few posts:


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Thank you, Mr. President

I can’t imagine living through the current Global War on Terror without milbloggers. Without them, I frankly don’t think I’d know what was going on in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, the Philippines, or elsewhere. Especially not at the level of detail that milbloggers provide. They provide a “pulse” that civilians like me can check to see how things are going, especially when the incessant political rhetoric starts to obstruct our view of the facts and the viewpoints of those actually in the midst of all the action.

I’ve said thank you to them before and I support their efforts with donations, but it feels rather feeble at times considering the time they must spend blogging.

So! I was particularly delighted to read THIS POST by Mrs G last Friday night after work. In fact, I thought it was so terrific that this morning I dropped a "thank you" note in the mailbox. I’m posting my note here, too, because it’s a fun way to bring Friday’s event to your attention and to remind you to check out the most recent posts from Mrs. G, Bill Roggio, Blackfive, and, of course, Greyhawk (also here).

September 17, 2007

Dear Mr. President,

It was not your intent, but you did me a huge favor last Friday morning.

You see, I am a regular reader of several of the bloggers that you invited to the White House for a chat. While some of them may manage to cover the costs of their blogging with donations from readers, overall they give much more than they will ever get in return.

What do they give? The best coverage I can find about what is going on in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the rest of the Global War on Terror. Whether it is the daily news reports at Bill Roggio’s site www.LongWarJournal.org, the voices of assorted milbloggers via Mrs. G’s “Dawn Patrol” at www.MudvilleGazette.com, or profiles of our military heroes in Blackfive.net's “Someone You Should Know” series, I get informed reports with valuable context and commentary. Frankly, I can not imagine how many unpaid hours they spend in providing these reports, and my thanks and donations only go so far.

However, the priceless gift of your time and recognition helped balance the scales quite a bit.

With much gratitude,


P.S. My only disappointment is that you did not get to meet Mrs. G’s husband and my favorite milblogger, Greyhawk. He is busy with his second tour in Iraq. Maybe another time? :-)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11 and the National Freedom Walk

Before leaving for work today, I dug out my American flag to hang in my window. When I put it up, I tuck the flag between the vertical blinds and the glass as I have no balcony. It works pretty well – you can see it from the sidewalk even though it’s on the 8th floor.

I didn’t move to the DC area until 2005, so all I can do is imagine what it was like that day 6 years ago at the Pentagon. To honor the memory of those we lost that day and to remember why we have boots on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq, I volunteered to coordinate a Soldiers’ Angels booth at the end of the National Freedom Walk on Sunday morning. They’ve had the walks in honor of 9/11 victims and our men and women fighting in the Global War on Terror since 2005. SA and 20 other home-front support organizations were invited to have booths after the walk in the Pentagon’s South Parking lot. The walk in DC went from the Lincoln Memorial to the Pentagon. I had to skip the walk so that the table would be set up and ready for when the first people arrived. About 10,000 people participated in the DC walk, although only a portion of the walkers stayed for the festivities at the end. American Supports You sponsors the event and had invited members of the Harlem Gospel Choir as the main performers as well as a country singer, John Luskey, and the Army Jazz Ambassadors. A really good show - the Harlem Gospel Choir opened with “Amazing Grace” (which I love) with a bagpipe intro and accompaniment which was awe inspiring. There is just something about bagpipe music that sneaks in and grabs a hold of my heart each time I hear it.

I got interviewed three times while waiting for the walkers to arrive, and the Pentagon Channel/America Supports You website did an article and a photo essay that each feature a picture of our booth! How cool! Check them out as the quality of their pictures is terrific:

Photo Essay

Article on home front groups

I met all kinds of people that morning; one guy had recently returned home from 18 months in Afghanistan and was looking for an address to send a thank you note to Soldiers’ Angels for the support he and his guys received while deployed! I met those with sons and daughters about to deploy, people interested in being Angels, and a Marine carrying two American flags – one flag had all the names of the fallen emergency services personnel who died on 9/11 and the other had the names of all the others who died in the twin towers, the Pentagon, and airplanes on 9/11. Really classy looking flags. And he told me that he’d just met the parents of a man who died in the Pentagon, who’d taken the time to find their son’s name on the flag. Pretty special for them and that Marine.

I had decided to take a bunch of holiday cards to have at the booth so that we could invite folks to write a note for the holiday care packages for the 3ID. We got about 75 cards, and I was touched by those who spent several minutes writing a long note. This card was particularly popular with the younger boys (ha!) – gotta love Hallmark’s Shoebox greeting cards.

Our booth neighbors, the ladies representing the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, were very gracious when people started using their table to write holiday notes! The ladies manning that booth are in the picture below. Operation Helmet was directly behind us. Nice neighbors!

It was a good event all around, and I had a fellow Angel, Camille, join me in staffing the booth after she did the walk. Two other Angels stopped by, one of whom took the photo of Camille and me below. The booth turned out pretty well, even though I was kind of winging it. I used Angel shirts as “signs/banners”, and I made up a flyer and took it to a local print shop on Saturday morning (last minute!). The owner was working, and he was awesome. He gave me a discount “because it was for a good cause” and stopped work on another job to get all mine done. Nice, huh?

Like those Angel shirts? If you’d like one of your own, go to http://www.angelsstore.org/. All proceeds are donations to support Angel operations!

A fitting end to this post, taps has just finished playing across the highway at Ft Myer/Arlington Cemetery. It’s days like to today when I tear up just a little during this daily ritual. God Bless America.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Could you spare $5 or $10? or a few more for Soldiers' Angels?

It's that time of year when donations are lowest for all non-profit organizations.

If you have $5 or $10 or more to spare, you might...

Send a check to: Soldiers' Angels, 1792 E. Washington Blvd, Pasadena, Ca 91104


Donate via PayPal or Credit Card by clicking the "DONATE" button on THIS PAGE.

What does your tax deductible donation get used for? Here are a few details from Soldiers' Angels Hero Flights program:

"Just as an example of what SA has provided THIS month alone for our Hero Flights....

Flights for wounded Heroes [either themselves or getting family members to them]: 77

Flights for family members of our Fallen Heroes: 24

Deployed heroes with an emergency: 11

We HAVE to be there for these Heroes and their families after they have sacrificed so much for US!!!! Each of these flights average around $500 or so, because we certainly don't have that 'advanced notice' needed for the cheaper fares.

We helped a very seriously injured Marine a couple weeks ago, who was medevac'd into Bethesda, completely unconcious...we got his fiance there as soon as they landed...two days ago this hero, Chris, actually called me with assistance from his family to say "thank you"...he said Soldiers' Angels 'SAVED HIS LIFE'...if we had not gotten his family to him, he doesn't think he would have had the strength to pull out of this....getting these family members to their wounded warriors is amazing therapy and better than most modern medicine and it helps the Heroes and the families, which is what Soldiers' Angels is all about!"

THIS PAGE also has links to set up recurring PayPal donations ($5, $25, $50, and $100 options are just a click away...).

Note! if using a credit card, click on the DONATE button, enter your dollar amount, but then IGNORE all instructions to log in; scroll down to find the "continue" link for credit cards.

Please donate as generously as you are able.

Thanks in advance!

P.S. Still accepting those holiday letters for the soldiers in the 3ID!!!