Sunday, August 28, 2005

I Can Now Google Rodney W. Norman and Get a Hit

Sunny Hi 115 Lo 86 for Baghdad, Iraq
Sunny Hi 90 Lo 67 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week: Don't Cry, Seal

Folks, this past week has been such a weird one for me... I have several things that I want to write about, I'm going to do my best to touch on all of them. Hopefully my usual ramble won't be too much of a ramble, if you know what I mean... so far, I'm off to a bad start...

I don't write about work at all... until now... Number one, its simply bad form... I like my job for the most part (military sales), but a lot of what occurred this week revolves around work... (see too much rambling again...)

Two of my favorite people in the whole world were in town this week. Both are sales guys... one calls New York home--a diehard Yankees fan that drinks Ketel One on the rocks w/ 3 olives on the side and is most likely related to Nickie Goomba. The other calls the bayous of Baton Rouge home. He is a crawfish eatin', Crown Royal drinkin' boy who can't get enough of LSU football. We were all forced-- I mean requested to attend a company function on Tuesday night... rah rah... It was great... I missed something that night that I really wanted to participate in, but we all do what we have to do...

Wednesday night, Michael and I took the boys out to dinner... these two fellows couldn't be more different and yet they are so much fun to be with. If you were at Bonefish Grill on Wednesday night, I would like to apologize for any loud or vulgar conversation you may have been forced to endure.

Thursday, 2 VP's from my company (don't get excited, we have as many VP's as I have shoes... ) came by to inform me and my cubicle partner that Congressman Davis was visiting us on Friday and they wanted to bring him round to meet us... How cool is that? Long story, short... I was able to discuss with Congressman Davis some things very close to my heart, namely our shrinking fleet (not withstanding the DDX or Littoral programs), our military, and homeland security. He gave both of us his business card, he told us that if we ever wanted to go to Washington, he would see to it that we would get a tour. He spoke to everyone at our company and did not back off any issues. He made it quite clear where he stood on them as well. I've already sent him a note thanking him for his time. (yeah... I'm a suck up).

Friday was my boss' last day being my boss... She is relocating to be with family. She has been a great mentor, a superior boss, and a dear friend. I shall miss her.

Now, I suppose you are thinking... "What is so weird about this week, Cath?" Well, I'm getting to that... Monday morning, as we stumbled in to work, bleary eyed and wishing it were still Sunday, one of the guys from my product team came over and told me that the husband of one of our co-workers had committed suicide over the weekend. That'll put a huge cloud over a place... So, admidst all the activity of the week, we were all deeply saddened by this news.. a memorial service and funeral... of a hanging victim... victim... who is the victim? And that brings me to what I really want to write about... (sorry, Michael-- I need to get this out of my system..)

A very close friend of mine committed suicide on August 8, 1996. He was an amazingly talented artist. He was funny, handsome, and bright and curious about everything. He had a very promising future. In preparing for this blog, I Googled his name and got over 800,000 hits. I quite literally went through the first 100 pages searching. The closest I came was finding his mom's address. There is no sign of him, not even an obituary... nothing... It's as if he never existed... But of course he did exist and he continues to exist in the hearts and minds of those that loved him and continue to ask themselves to this day, why?

One of my fondest memories of Rodney was a New Year's Eve when Michael and I had first started dating. I don't want to rehash the good times though. After 9 years I'm still pissed off at him. What a waste...All the guilt that people are still carrying around...All the unanswered questions...All the what ifs...

The circumstances surrounding his suicide were bizarre, although after a lot of reading, not uncommon. I don't know if anything ever came of some of the theories... I don't care and it doesn't matter at this point. He was found with a noose around his neck hanging. That doesn't happen accidentally. He left so many people that loved him. Rodney was a friend. He probably took more than he gave, but he needed more than the rest of us and we were all happy to oblige. I don't know what caused him to go through with it. It wasn't the first time. I just read through this and it still doesn't cover the emotions you feel when someone leaves you in this manner. Anger, sorrow, regret, betrayal, remorse, heartache, heartbreak, disgust, deception... when happy memories surface, you second guess yourself... What did I miss? What could I have done? The answer is nothing. I did everything I could. I was always available to him emotionally, financially, whatever he needed... I was there to help. He knew that. He called me from a pay phone as he was bleeding from his 2nd attempt. We tried to get him help.
So, again, after nine years I think about all the things he would have loved-- what a pity... He isn't here to enjoy them. He would have turned 40 this past February. Chances are we would have lost touch and grown apart in time as childhood friends do... His political views were already very different from mine and that always makes for difficult relations when you have 2 passionate people on opposing ends of the spectrum... However, I could have lived with that. He would have been safely stashed in my memory banks, but instead I'm given this awful nightmare of him hanging himself... snapping his neck and suffocating...

Here is some perspective for you. Rodney, this is what you have missed. I picked these because you would have loved talking about this stuff...sharing your opinion and reading like a fiend to get all the geeky details on some of this.
After you killed yourself in 1996-

Everybody Loves Raymond, Spin City & Dexter's Laboratory all debuted, Independence Day, Jerry Maguire both were in the theaters, Jon Benet Ramsey was found murdered, Princess Diana and Prince Charles divorced.
nearly 2000 pieces of art in French museums were discovered to be stolen by the Nazis, Heavens Gate Suicides took place, Tony Blair became Prime Minister, Princess Diana died, Aerosmith Nine Lives is released, King of the Hill, Johnny Bravo, Teletubbies and Southpark debuted, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was published.
We heard the words "vast right wing conspiracy" for the first time, Monica Lewinsky, blue dress, Google was founded, John Glenn went back into space on Space Shuttle Discovery making him the oldest guy in space, Saving Private Ryan, There's Something About Mary, Life is Beautiful, Rushmore, and Gods and Monsters were in theaters, That 70's Show and The Powerpuff Girls debuted, I'm an aunt for a second time.
Y2K preparation, The Euro was introduced, Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic joined NATO (you would have loved that), Star Wars Episode 1, 6th Sense, Blairwitch Project, American Beauty were movies you would have loved, Woodstock '99 (you would have trashed that), Leonardo de Vinci's Last Supper was put back on display after 20+ years of restortation, Spongebob Squarepants and The Sopranos debuted, Lance Armstrong won his first Tour de France.
internet explosion in technology, blogs..., digital cameras, LCD, hybrid cars, wireless everything, TiVo, SPACESHIP ONE, MARS EXPLORATION ROVER, reality tv, Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003, GW elected 2x's, Bob Hope died, Pope John Paul II died, President Reagan died, our 20th high school class reunion, THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY, I'm an aunt for a 3rd(1/1/00), 4th and soon to be 5th time, turning 40, and of course... 9/11...

So, my point... I always have to have a point. I cry for my co-worker and her family and his family and all the friends and everyone that knew him. He has caused more grief than can be realized. What a selfish act. I pray for all of them. I pray that God took pity on him. I wish he would have given life another day, things are never that bad.

You know, I don't want to hear about him anyway... He was only thinking of himself. If he were thinking of others he would never have done this...

And Rodney, I still miss you and I still ask why? I still ask what could I have done to help and I'm so sorry I let this happen to you...

Alright... time to lighten up, Go to Front Doors. I think you'll enjoy this blog.

A close and dear friend has started a blog. I think you will enjoy his perspective on life. Check it out. Major Star Wars geek. (geek = term of endearment)

Something Michael does for me just about every morning is send me an email that has a warm fuzzy to make sure I start my day off right... its usually some baby animal... and since my blog is so depressing this week, I thought I'd end with this... courtesy of Michael.

Military Mascots- a good cause too.

Have a great week everyone.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Keepin' It Light

Sunny Hi 112 Lo 83 for Baghdad, Iraq
Hazy Hi 87 Lo 61 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week: Afternoon Delight as interpreted by Will Ferrell

This week I am keeping it light. I have for my own sanity kept the news to a minimum this past week. Visions of people being forced out of their homes in Gaza, the governor of my former home state "blah blah blahing" about having a higher standard of ethics, the $253,000,000.00 decision made against Merck & Co., Cindy Sheehan hype amidst all the memorial services and funerals that took place locally, etc, etc, etc is just more than I can handle. So, this week, I will just provide you with blips and blinks of things that have amused me over the past several days.

OK, this photo was taken when the decision was made in the Merck & Co. Vioxx decision. Are these lawyers emotional because they won a decision that "rights the world" or are they mentally computing 30% of $253,000,000.00? You decide.

OK... the weirdness has already started. Thanks to Angry in the Great White North I have found out that Christopher Walken is running for President in 2008... Is this a joke? You decide...

09 August, 2005
Actor Christopher Walken to run as Candidate in 2008 Presidential Race
For Immediate Release
New York - Early today, actor Christopher Walken, 62, held a private conference at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York in which he announced his intentions to run for the Presidency of the United States in the 2008 Election.

My caped crusader friend, Wonder Woman at A North American Patriot found this web site Grouchy Media. WW is an intelligent broad with a lot of spunk. She is well written and approaches topics thoughtfully. Spend some time with her, eh? Grouchy Media has some fantastic videos.... turn up the volume to listen to some thrash and take in the images. Powerful and uplifting. See the good works that our men and women in uniform are doing.

I find myself visiting Japan Window more and more. I am instantly drawn into the photographs. This is definitely a place I go to take in the sights of Japan as seen the the lens of this photographer.

By now, I'm guessing you are cursing me for choosing "Afternoon Delight" as the song of the week. Well, I figure this is one way you will be reminded to visit often (or not)...If I get enough comments, I may change the song... I must admit, this by far is one of the worst songs ever written and what is even worse is that it is so darned catchy.... By the way, whatever happened to Starland Vocal Band?

I really love movies. One of my favorite pastimes (which sadly, is happening less and less) is firing up the DVD and watching an old classic. Nothing beats seeing Jimmy Stewart in It's A Wonderful Life or Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffanys or Roman Holiday or Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? or Gary Cooper in High Noon. But then there are the more "recent" classics like The Princess Bride, Field of Dreams, Jaws, or the Lord of the Rings Movies. I just love movies! If it is a good enough movie I can enter and live in that world created by the director. Does that make sense? Something I have decided to do from time to time on this blog is list movies that I find appealing. I have already mentally come up with some categories: "Tear Jerker Chick Flicks", "Teenage Angst", "Feel Good Sports", "I'm Really Not a 15 Year Old Boy", "Fun with Holidays", "Musical Mania", "John Wayne Personified", etc...

The song "Afternoon Delight" was featured in the movie Anchorman, The Legend of Ron Burgundy. This by far is one of the dumbest movies ever made and falls into the Category of "I'm Really Not a 15 Year Old Boy". When I am at work or with friends and the guys start talking about movies, I am able to pipe in and recite my favorite lines from such movies. I think most women find this disturbing. I find these movies hysterical. Yes, childish, yes cornball, yes dirty, but good grief they are funny! So in no particular order here is my top ten list of movies, category: I'm Really Not a 15 Year Old Boy

1 Monty Python and the Holy Grail-- I'm French. Why do think I have this outrageous accent, you silly king.

2 There's Something About Mary-- Those goofy bastards are just about the best thing I've got going in this... crazy world.
3 Airplane! --I am serious, and don't call me Shirley4 Stripes--We're soldiers, but we're American soldiers! We've been kicking ass for 200 years! 5 Blazing Saddles--I want rustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con-men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglars, horse thieves, bull-dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, sh**-kickers, and Methodists!6 Raising Arizona-- The doctor explained that her insides were a rocky place, where my seed could find no perch
7 Office Space -- I love kung fu movies
8 Pee Wee's Big Adventure--tequila! "Paging PeeWee Herman"
9 Honeymoon in Vegas-- We're the Flying Elvises, Utah Chapter!
10 Anchorman, The Legend of Ron Burgundy-- I killed a guy with a trident

That's it. As I pulled the pics for these movies I thought of even more... History of the World Part I, The Rutles (All You Need is Cash), The Jerk!! (I can't believe I forgot that one), Night Shift (Michael Keaton, Henry Winkler, Shelley Long), Clerks, This is Spinal Tap (..but this one goes to eleven) Ah well...

Courtesy of JoAnna, a bit of a diversion for you to peruse. This is too cute... a little demented... go check out 30 Second Bunny Theatre at Angry Alien Productions. There you will find soon to be classics like, Jaws in 30 seconds (and re-enacted by bunnies)

Now, I must note, as a conservative, it can be extremely painful to go to the movies, listen to music, or watch television, read a book... etc... Inevitably, I end up "boycotting" someone for a period of time because he/she just had to open his/her mouth and say something ridiculous. With age (so some say) I have learned to take on Laura Ingraham's attitude of Shut Up and Sing. There are some that will forever be on my list of "not a dime will I spend".... but, for the rest...I have found Libertas A Forum for Conservative Thought on Film to be helpful.

Oh... and to Mr. Myripple, I haven't forgotten your blog, I'm simply ignoring you. I suggest you read my blog in its entirety and maybe you will understand that anger isn't the "American Epitaph as you claim. I'm still considering responding to your blog, but I think it is you that is angry without hope. Come to the other side... the right side and you will see that it is ok to be angry now and again... You'll also come to see that there are a lot of reasons to be hopeful and happy. In America, anything is possible with perserverance and a positive attitude.

Try this out...create your own conspiracy here.

Welcome back Otimaster! I hope you had a wonderful holiday!! I'm still waiting to get a translation on what Otimaster means...

I have added to the sidebar under "with humble appreciation" a direct link to Tribute, which originally was posted 7/3. There I have maintained a growing list of men and women that I owe thanks. I have added Casey Sheehan to this list.

I can't let this go without sharing my memory of this song... Afternoon Delight came out the summer of our Bicentennial. I was 11...My grandparents, mom, and brother piled into the car to go visit my Uncle Steve and cousin Chuck (Benjy back then) in Cherry Point, North Carolina where Uncle Steve was stationed (remember, he's a Marine). Anyway, between spats and who was on the wrong side of the seat..."stop touching me"... "Mom, tell Terry to knock it off"... this song came on every other song on every single station.... we would all stop talking and start singing... I'm not exaggerating... I swear... at least that's how I remember it... We DIDN'T KNOW what this song was about!!! Good grief....

Afternoon Delight

The Starland Vocal Band

Gonna find my baby, gonna hold her tight
gonna grab some afternoon delight.
My motto's always been; when it's right, it's right.
Why wait until the middle of a cold dark night.
When everything's a little clearer in the light of day.
And you know the night is always gonna be there any way.
Thinkin' of you's workin' up my appetite
looking forward to a little afternoon delight.
Rubbin' sticks and stones together makes the sparks ingite
and the thought of lovin'' you is getting so exciting.
Sky rockets in flight. Afternoon delight. Afternoon delight.
Started out this morning feeling so polite
I always thought a fish could not be caught who wouldn't bite
But you've got some bait a waitin' and I think I might
try nibblin' a little afternoon delight.
Sky rockets in flight. Afternoon delight. Afternoon delight.
Please be waiting for me baby when I come around.
We could make a lot of lovin' 'for the sun goes down.
Sky rockets in flight. Afternoon delight. Afternoon delight...

And now a few pictures from last weekend...

This is my nephew Cory. He was stung for the first time just moments after this picture was taken. He is a cutie and he is all boy.

This is my nephew Caleb. He is by far one of the gentlest souls I have ever known. He is always very serious and whenever I have asked him for permission to take his picture, he is always serious. My grandfather and he look so much alike...

This is my niece Kamae. She is 7 and ready for adventure. She looks so much like me when I was her age...
This is mother and daughter watching tadpoles in the Maumee River. Mom is my other sister-in-law, Maria. She will be giving birth to niece #3 (for me) her 4th on September 2nd. I'm so lucky to have her as a sis in law. I couldn't ask for more. I have lucked out on the in laws.... I love them all and Maria is at the top of the list...

Have a great week everyone. Keep the faith, afterall this is America. We have the best of the best keeping watch over us...

Local Purple Heart Marine Returns From Iraq

LCpl Stephen R. Thompson will be returning home Tuesday, Aug 23rd, following a 7 month tour of duty in Iraq. Thompson is attached to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, India Company, II Marine Division. He is scheduled for redeployment to Iraq in Feb. 2006.

On Feb 20, 2005, while on patrol in Kharma, Stephen sustained multiple injuries from an IED that was detonated within 5 feet of the vehicle in which he was traveling. While the explosion completely destroyed the vehicle (Humvee), his immediate action taken during the blast to cover the driver with his own body helped shield a fellow Marine from greater injury. Thompson was returned to his platoon following 4 days of medical treatment in Camp Fallujah.

LCpl Thompson was awarded the Purple Heart for the injuries he sustained in this attack.

Thompson completed boot camp at Parris Island, SC, May 14, 2004. He distinguished himself in the eyes of his instructors as the top recruit of 280 graduates, and was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal. He was awarded the coveted position of ‘Company Honor Man’ at the graduation ceremony, in addition to receiving awards for physical fitness and sharpshooting.

Subsequent Infantry training was completed at Camp LeJeuene, NC, in the fall of 2004. He was again awarded Company Honor Man and further recognized with a meritorious award for outstanding leadership.

Prior to joining the Marines, Thompson earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from The College of Mount St. Joseph, where he was also a member of the football and track teams. He is a 1999 graduate of Clermont Northeastern High School, and participated as a student athlete in both football and baseball.

Stephen is the son of Russ Thompson, of Williamsburg, and Marianne Seitz-Thompson, of Milford.

For those who would like to join the family in welcoming him home, he will be arriving at CVG airport, via US Airways, at 6:30 P.M. He will be making his first scheduled stop (his request) at Gold Star Chili at River’s Edge in Milford. Estimated time of arrival is 8 P.M. August 23.

The family wishes to express their gratitude to Kyle Smithson of Smyth Automotive, River’s Edge Gold Star Chili, the Milford Fire Department, and American Legion Victor Stier Post 450 of Milford, for their coordinated efforts in welcoming home LCpl Thompson.

If you are in the Cincinnati area, come out and welcome this young man home!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Words to Remember Everyday

No weather report this week... but I'm going to make a safe assumption that it was hot in Baghdad....

Song of the week: Everyday, Dave Matthews Band

The following letter came to me via email. It is a letter written by the father of one of the slain Marines. I did not receive permission to print this, so I have removed the name of the father and son as well as any other names mentioned. In the event that I do get permission, I will add the names.

This described a request I have for those who "would like to do something" and don't know what.... Well, here is something you can do for "___". Just one thing. You can do it twice if you want.

I wanted to thank everyone, on behalf of our family, the many outpourings of solace and support. This has been very comforting to us in these difficult days. Earlier this morning, I went through an indescribable breakdown sitting on my patio. It came to me that I was feeling sorry for myself, how badly I was missing my son, and will miss him forever. There are no words or imaginings to describe this.

As I type this, I have come to a Peace that is a blessing, at least for this moment. I know more tears are just around the corner. I know for many of you the condolences seem hollow and inadequate and you want to do more. This came to me this morning. As we confront the forces of hate, we must remember that the power of Love will triumph.

I'd like to leave you with this remembering and one simple request. The last words I spoke to "___" were,

"I love you, son."

Our loved ones can be taken from us for any reason at any time. I am fortunate indeed to have those as my last words. Please hug your kids and loved ones today for me and be patient with them.

I have been in touch with "______" whose son "____" was in Lima Company and was taken from us in May. "___" has been a great aid to me. We jointly have a vision forming about how we can live up to the standards set by our sons, or at least strive to, as I doubt I can match my son in that respect. My family, friends, and neighbors have come together as we seldom do in times of "normalcy". Please change that, if only a little. Hug someone, help someone, give someone something, any act of kindness to a stranger. You may not have another chance. Let your last words be "I love you." and mean it.

I thank you all again for you condolences, which I know feel inadequate, but if you take some part of my words above to heart, that will carry the memory of my son, and the other Marines, into good works, something good that would not have happened except for this tragedy. Do one thing for him, and them, that you would not have done, and be blessed for it.

God bless you all, God bless the Marine Corp, and God bless the United States of America.


Have a great week everyone. Pray for our Marines and soldiers. Pray for their families. God bless America.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Sunday will be a little late

I will be unavailable Sunday morning to post my weekly entry as I am off to visit family. I will be home later in the day and will be sure to get SMC updated as soon as possible.

In the meantime, a few blogs to read:

Democracy In Iraq an excerpt- "Now I answer you, I answer you on behalf of myself, and my countrymen. I don't care what your news tells you, what your television and newspapers say, this is how we feel. Despite all that has happened. Despite all the hurt, the pain, blood, sweat and tears. These two years have given us hope we never had."

Iraqi Expat an excerpt-"Mr Galloway claimed the insurgents were ordinary Iraqis defending their country against "foreign invaders" ' ...It can be said, truly said, that your words are full of hate. Your contribution to Arab backwardness has been noted."

A Free Iraqi an excerpt-"Another thing that this message and previous ones show is what other bloggers have already noted in that the Jihadis are following the western media and using the arguments of the far left to feed the fears of westerns and Americans, like the note about Vietnam and the use of the "no blood for oil". That's why I think that people like George Galloway and Michael Moor are doing a great service to the terrorists."

Sam, I hope you had a wonderful 50th birthday--- You don't look a day over 39...

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Anger and Hope

Sunny Hi 112 Lo 87 for Baghdad, Iraq
Partly Sunny, Isolated thunderstorms Hi 87 Lo 69 for NKY, USA

Song of the week: American Soldier, Toby Keith

I was hoping to do a lighthearted blog this week , but I have to share my thoughts about those Marines that were slain by those cowardly slimeballs.

***Some of the links on this Sunday's blog are not appropriate for children and some adults.

I am angry.
Those Marines were battling men that hide behind masks, that do cruel things that are too vile to discuss in a polite society. Torture? Please, go ahead and drive me crazy about talk of Abu Ghraib (Yes, I have seen all the photos, including the ones they don't show on the news...) and Guantanamo... No heads were viciously cut off in front of cameras...DO you remember hearing the blood curdling screams of those poor souls? Yes, there are a few idiots in our midst... I am ashamed that they are Americans--Lynndie England and Charles Graner (the most photographed) and the others, but we find them, remove them, and punish them accordingly. I'm disgusted by Janis Karpinski AND with the military that did not send her to be court-martialed... She allowed Abu Ghraib to happen on her watch... I'm sure she wasn't court-martialed because the military has blame in this too. She was placed in a job that she had no business in. I bet she was promoted through the ranks because she is a woman. (How many of us know people at work that have been promoted that should have been fired? Show of hands?) She is incompetent... You know it, I know it... and I can write it because I'm of the same gender...(you know what I mean... that whole politically correct thing... another topic for another time) Now I hear she is on the speaker circuit, trying to make a buck. I guess she is professing how hard it is to be a Brigadier General (was demoted to Colonel) in the Army in Iraq... boo hoo hoo...

Look... We don't torture and murder innocent civilians like Leon Klinghoffer, or Italian hero Fabrizio Quatrocchi, or the crew and passengers of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie Scotland, or Daniel Pearl ****LINK NOT APPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN AND SOME ADULTS****. We don't kill our athletes when they don't perform. We don't treat women like cattle... worse than cattle... We don't rape women and young girls and then murder them because they are no longer pure... We don't send a car filled with explosives into Embassies (Tehran, Beirut, Kuwait) to maim and kill civilians... We don't boobeytrap our own CHILDREN with explosives to kill soldiers!! We don't fill a back pack with explosives, board trains and buses and blow people to bits... Oh, and we don't fly jetliners into skyscrapers and kill thousands either!!!

We are fighting evil and it is real. It is tangible...You can touch the face of a terrorist- he isn't the bogeyman... You know as well as I do who the bad guys are....I must remind those that will listen to the Michael Moores and Al Frankens and all the politicians that would prefer to sell our collective souls to the devil that we need to to remember who the enemy is.... The Jawa Report **** NOT APPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN AND SOME ADULTS*** does an excellent job of reminding everyone in his blog entry, Avenging Cpl. Jeffrey A. Boskovich.

Everytime we start to forget the reason why we are fighting these extremest cowards... we should reflect on those awful images and sounds of horror as a reminder....

I am hopeful.
On Saturday morning I was having my cargo organizer installed at Mall Chrysler Jeep and as I looked around the waiting room I took note of the folks sitting around-- a woman with a t-shirt with an American flag on it, a father and young daughter-the father had on a red t-shirt with an American flag on it, the daughter had on a camouflage t-shirt, another guy in the "quiet" waiting room had on a ball cap with an American flag on it... (I was wearing a t-shirt that was emblazoned with the Grim Reapers, F-14 Tomcat- yeah baby!) I was in the right place. I was surrounded by silent patriots... By happenstance, the woman with the American flag t-shirt, Elizabeth struck a conversation with me. Those that know me--- know that my shyness (aka anti-social tendencies) would never allow me to initiate a conversation with anyone I don't know, even someone with a friendly face. In any event, we both had left the waiting room... the young girl in camouflage was getting a little too zealous with the Legos... We both chuckled about it and somehow that transitioned to her talking about the HUGE beautiful American flag that stands in front of the dealership. She said that one day she was driving by and the wind was blowing ever so gently and the flag was billowing perfectly. She said she started to cry (I thought I was the only one). From there we talked about the flags in Ohio being at half staff and Monday being a day of mourning for the loss of our Marines. She mentioned that her son was a Marine. I stopped her and thanked her for her son's service. We can never thank these men, their mothers and their fathers and their wives enough. She told me that her son fought in Iraq in the first wave of Iraqi Freedom that began March 2003. Later, through an awards ceremony she learned that her son was one of the men that rescued Jessica Lynch. Not only are these men heroes, but they are humble and quiet about the good works they perform...

Michael McVey is currently at home with his wife and child. I want to thank you, Michael, for your devoted service to our nation. Your selfless sacrifice is more than most of us can begin to comprehend.

Michael McVey was/is a Tank Commander and it is my understanding that he may be going back but he hasn't yet decided. If that is the case, God Speed. I am honored to have met his mother. It was quite apparent that she is proud of her son and the man that he has become.

Do you remember the Iraqi elections? As I recall this was quickly spinned into something that didn't matter... Tell that to the 8,500,000 (about 60%) folks that risked their lives to get to the polls. We Americans have a hard time going to the polls if its raining outside. The purple fingers represented hope for a future of freedom and liberty.

Michael and I took a drive late Saturday. We drove down to Danville, KY. On our drive home we decided to take SR127. This is the weekend of the annual 3 state yard sale. Why is this relevant to my rant? It is relevant, because we go about our lives, virtually unaffected (and if we choose, unaware) by what is going on in Iraq, Afghanistan. We are relatively safe.

Monday will be a day of mourning in Ohio to Honor the Fallen. The only thing that I can offer as comfort to the family and friends is that you must realize your sons did not die in vain. "Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire." -Schindler's List, 1993.

We will be watching the skies tomorrow morning, Discovery will be landing.

Here is an international website... Since the London Attacks, people have been submitting photos to show solidarity and that We Are Not Afraid. Thanks Sus for sending this one.

So, there are things to be hopeful about in regard to this war on terrorism. I'll leave you with the words of Elizabeth McVey...

"If President Bush did the things that Saddam Hussein had done... would'nt you want someone to come and help you?"

Yes, Elizabeth... I would.

I'm just trying to be a father, raise a daughter and a son
Be a lover to their mother, everything to everyone
Up and at 'em bright and early, I'm all business in my suit
Yeah, I'm dressed for success from my head down to my boots.
I don't do it for money, there's still bills that I can't pay
I don't do it for the glory, I just do it anyway
Providing for our future's my responsibility
Yeah I'm real good under pressure, being all that I can be
And I can't call in sick on Mondays when the weekends been too strong
I just work straight through the holidays, and sometimes all night long
You can bet that I stand ready when the wolf growls at the door
Hey, I'm solid, hey I'm steady, hey I'm true down to the core
And I will always do my duty, no matter what the price
I've counted up the cost, I know the sacrifice,
Oh, and I don't want to die for you,
But if dyin's asked of me,I'll bear that cross with honor
'Cause freedom don't come free...
I'm an American soldier, an American...
Beside my brothers and my sisters I will proudly take a stand
When liberty's in jeopardy I will always do what's right
I'm out here on the front lines, sleep in peace tonight...
American soldier, I'm an American, an American, an American Soldier...

For those that serve, thank you

Timothy Bell

Michael Cifuentes

William Wightman

David Kreuter

Christopher Dyer

crosslinked @ The Beacon-Informed Patriotism

Friday, August 05, 2005

Ohio Weeps

I originally posted this Wednesday, but since then, there were three more Marines from the Cincinnati/Dayton, Ohio area that were added to this horrid list.

Thank you brave Marine for your selfless sacrifice for the freedom of others. I am deeply grateful and profoundly humbled by your courageous service to our great country. May God bless your family and bring them peace and comfort.

Lance Corporal Timothy Michael Bell Jr., 22, West Chester

Lance Corporal Michael Cifuentes, 24, Fairfield

Lance Corporal William Brett Wightman, 23, Sabina

Lance Corporal Christopher J. Dyer, 19, Evendale

Corporal David Kreuter, 26, Miami Township

For more.... read this...

An excerpt: "A Marine officer, said the attack occurred as troops were traveling in an armored amphibious vehicle to assault insurgent positions around a village near the Haditha dam, a longtime way station for foreign fighters infiltrating Iraq from Syria."

And to the woman in the article that "angrily tore up her coffee cup".... Put a sock in it!! These men had a greater calling, something I sincerely doubt you would understand.

If we don't take care of the terrorists... who will? You??? God help us. Go eat another donut.