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Friday, November 28, 2008

CHRISTMAS POEM


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."






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

Thursday, November 27, 2008

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for the fact that my son is safe in Texas, my husband is healthy, he still has a job, we have our home to live in, we have the most wonderful friends one can ever wish for, and we have the Greatest Men & Women in the world who serve our country & keep us all free.

We will be spending our day with our friends who's son just returned from Afghanistan last weekend and we are very thankful for his safe return. Two of his friends will be there also...one who is on R&R from Iraq & the other who returned from Iraq a few months ago. Will try to get pix of the 3 of them together.

Looking at the world today we have much to be thankful for, and this is an especially important time of year to thank our men and women serving our great country so we can have the great lives we do - it's not always easy, but things could be a lot worse. So I make a toast today to our sons and daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands and wives, congrats to those who have recently come home, good luck to those heading out, and stay safe and come home soon to those deployed, and THANK YOU TO ALL OF THEM. God Bless You All!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

SPC MARCUS LAND HOMECOMING

video

I did not attend this Homecoming because of the time of day it was we could not get there but I wanted to share it anyway. Please note that the riders drove 35 miles + to get to the airport & then it was 29 for escort to take this young Soldier home...in the rain. The Patriot Guard Riders are an awesome group & I fell very blessed to have them in my life....they truly support our troops. Check out their site & maybe you might be interested in joining.

BENEFIT FOR WOUNDED WARRIORS



Hope you can come

Monday, November 24, 2008

Photo's from Cory's Homecoming

Here are some photo's...hope you enjoy

WELCOME HOME SPC CORY LOOB!

Saturday nite the son of one of my BFF's returned after serving 10 months in Afghanistan. He is an MP in the US Army Reserve. It was very short notice but the Patriot Guard Riders came thru once again...some came directly from another homecoming in Pleasanton to San Jose Airport which is where Cory came in. We then did an escort down the freeway 18 miles to the family home. Absolutely awesome...here is video from the airport.....I will do a slideshow of photo's later. Hope you enjoy. Leave him a thanks & welcome home in my comments & I will print out for his scrapbook!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Iraqi Soldiers Send Aid to California Fire Victims



BESMAYA RANGE COMPLEX, Iraq, Nov. 20, 2008 – A group of Iraqi soldiers stepped up to help California residents victimized by recent wildfires raging throughout the state.
Iraqi army Col. Abbas Fadhil, Besmaya Range Complex commander, and his team of “Abbas’ Eagles” raised $500 for wildfire relief.

“We want to send a message to the American president and the American people,” Abbas said.

“We feel that we are a family — one body. When one part of the body suffers, the other parts suffer, too.”

This is the fourth donation the soldiers of Besmaya have sent to the American people recently. In September, they raised $1,500 for victims of hurricanes Gustav and Ike. The Eagles also donated $500 to the National Sept. 11 Memorial.

Chairman Notes Military Family Appreciation Week






American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2008 – Military Family Appreciation Week begins tomorrow, and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, issued a message today noting the observance.

Here is the text of the chairman’s message:
“This month, as we celebrate our blessings, and give thanks for our freedom to enjoy them, we take great pride in honoring November 21-28, 2008 as Military Family Appreciation Week.
“Families serve just as their uniformed service members do. And the military family has rarely faced as many challenges as our families do today. After seven years of war, hundreds of thousands of families have served through multiple deployments in support of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, as well as many other locations throughout the globe.
“But the love and support of our military families do more than allow us to serve abroad. Our families serve at the very center of American society. They are the bedrock of a free republic which provides for a common defense – and their commitment to the values of hard work, self-sacrifice, and moral virtue is a source of great pride and inspiration for us all.
“And, in this service, some families have suffered great loss – the kind of heart-wrenching loss that echoes for generations. We as a Nation owe the families of the wounded, and the fallen, a lifetime of gratitude and respect for a debt which we can never fully repay.
“On behalf of my family and those of the Joint Chiefs, to all our military families, past and present, we thank you for your service, your sacrifice, and your love. You truly are a wellspring of our Nation’s honor, courage, and strength. With you by our side, we accomplish far more than we ever could alone.”
Respectfully,
M.G. MULLEN
Admiral, U.S. Navy

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Great Video

This was sent to me today & I had to share it...makes me Proud to be an American for sure...

video

Monday, November 17, 2008

Christmas Cards to Walter Reed....eRumor Alert!

eRumor Alert-It's that time of year again!

There is a widely circulated email right now suggesting that you send a card, letter, or package to wounded veteran at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington , D.C.This is a false eRumor.It suggests sending mail addressed to "A Recovering American Soldier" or addressing it to "Any Wounded Soldier."The U.S. Postal Service will not process any mail addressed that way and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center will not deliver it.Since 2001 the Armed Forces have prohibited receiving mail that is not addressed to a particular soldier by name.It's a security issue.They do not want letters, cards, or packages being sent into military facilities unless they know who they are from and to whom they are addressed.So don't forward that email and if someone sends it to you, refer them to TruthOrFiction. com or snopes.com where they can use the SEARCH function at the top of any page to find the story by using some of the key words such as WALTER REED SOLDIER.

Please let every one you know who may believe that email.

If you are interested in doing a legitimate program to send a card to the wounded for the holidays you can do HOLIDAY MAIL FOR HEROES. For those who did not have time to make cards for the troops this time around can do this...it even has a way to print out an card to send. Share this with teachers or church groups too...good way for children to get involved.

I see there are alot of searches from people looking for info on sending cards right now. Please remember that our troops can use cards & letters ALL YEAR LONG! There are men & women serving our country who don't get mail at all. You can send mail to me any time of the year to be sent to our HEROES.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Twas The Night Before...

Got this & had to share....hope you like it

New Christmas Poem

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF
PLASTER AND STONE.

I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY
WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
AND TO SEE JUST WHO
IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.

I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,
A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
NOT EVEN A TREE.

NO STOCK ING BY MANTLE,
JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES
OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.

WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,
AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
A SOBER THOUGHT
CAME THROUGH MY MIND.

FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,
IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.

THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,
SILENT, ALONE,
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR
IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.

THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,
NOT HOW I PICTURED
A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.

WAS THIS THE HERO
OF WHOM I'D JUST READ?
CURLED UP ON A PONCHO,
THE FLOOR FOR A BED?

I REALIZED THE FAMILIES
THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS
WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.

SOON ROUND THE WORLD,
THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE
A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.

THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM
EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,
LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.

I COULDN'T HELP WONDER
HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE
IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.

THE VERY THOUGHT
BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES
AND STARTED TO CRY.

THE SOLDIER AWAKENED
AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
'SANTA DON'T CRY,
THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;

I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,
I DON'T ASK FOR MORE,
MY LIFE IS MY GOD,
MY! COUNTRY, MY CORPS.'

THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER
AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
I COULDN'T CONTROL IT,
I CONTINUED TO WEEP.

I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,
SO SILENT AND STILL
AND WE BOTH SHIVERED
FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL.

I DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE
ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,
THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR
SO WILLING TO FIGHT.

THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
WHISPERED, 'CARRY ON SANTA,
IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE.'

ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH,
AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
'MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,!
AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.'

This poem was written by a Marine.

The following is his request. I think it is reasonable.....

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

PICTURES FROM 4TH FORCE RECON CO HOMECOMING

I've collected photo's from a few of my friends & put together a slideshow of this escort from Camp Pendleton to Alameda. Hope you all enjoy it & if you ever get a chance to be a part of a Welcome Home no matter how many of our Hero's are coming home you must participate...you will never forget it. If you have a loved one coming home no matter if it is from Basic Training, Training, Christmas, R&R, Deployment, etc get ahold of the Patriot Guard Riders to be a part of it. They also do escorts when they leave. It will be something you & your Hero will never forget.



Pictures taken by Barbara, Don, Spike, Rich, Tess, Mark, Sherry, Diane & I.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A True Veterans Day

I just found this video that is a "MUST SEE"! It will touch you I know. It's about what Vegas Billionaire, Sheldon Adelson, is doing for our Troops.

Virginia disrespecting Military again

This state didn't want to count their ballets & now won't put this Marine's name on their War Memorial. Please read this...

State denies Marine recognition because of how he died

Marine Lance Cpl. Darrell Schumann, a 25-year-old
from Hampton, fought bloody door-to-door battles for three months in Fallujah in late 2004. A few weeks later, he boarded a helicopter for the first leg of his trip home.

The helicopter, carrying Schumann and 30 comrades, flew into
a sandstorm and crashed in the Iraqi desert, killing everyone on board. It remains the greatest single loss of U.S. troops in the Iraq war.

President Bush praised Schumann by name for his valor. But his name will not be found on the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond.

State officials have deemed that only the names of service members killed in hostile combat in the Middle East will be added to the stone-and-glass walls, which bear the names
of 11,600 Virginians killed since World War II.

Recent veterans who died under other circumstances, such as aircraft accidents, are excluded.

The policy has changed since the memorial was erected, and the names of many service members who were killed in accidents are found on the wall.

Rick Schumann, Darrell's father, wants the policy changed again.

The memorial will soon undergo an $8 million expansion, funded mostly by taxpayers.

"We want them to do it right," Schumann said.

The state relies on the Defense Department's classification of deaths: killed in action, hostile casualty or nonhostile casualty. To be included on the Virginia memorial, a service member must fall into one of the first two categories.

According to a Virginian-Pilot review of Department of Defense records, at least two dozen service members with Virginia roots died in accidents (Read more...)

Monday, November 10, 2008

4th Force Recon CO Homecoming

I'm still working on photo's I took last nite but I thought I would share some of the excitement! Here is a clip from one of the news stations report & below is newpaper coverage. IT WAS ABSOLUTELY THE BEST!!



Marines return to Alameda safe, sound, welcomed

United States Marine Corps-Happy 233rd Birthday!

The U.S. Marine Corps begins preparations for its "birthday party" every summer. Activities become more feverish as the fall hues arrive. By early November, every Marine is either rehearsing their role in the "party" or pressing, polishing, and spit-shining in order to appear at his best for the birthday ball. This has not always been the case, however. In fact, Marines have not always celebrated their founding on Nov. 10.

Formal commemoration of the birthday of the Marine Corps began Nov. 10, 1921. That particular date was chosen because on that day the Second Continental Congress resolved in 1775 to raise two battalions of Continental Marines.

Until 1921, the birthday of the Corps had been celebrated on another date. An unidentified newspaper clipping from 1918 refers to the celebration of the 120th birthday of the Marine Corps on July 11 "as usual with no fuss." It is doubtful that there was any real celebration at all. Further inspection of documents and publications prior to 1921 shows no evidence of ceremonies, pageants, or parties. The July date was commemorated between 1798 and 1921, as the birthday of the Corps. During the Revolution, Marines had fought on land and sea, but at the close of that conflict, the Corps and the Navy were all but disbanded. On July 11, 1798, President John Adams approved a bill that recreated the Corps, thereby providing the rationale for this day being commemorated as the birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps.

On Oct. 21, 1921, Maj. Edwin McClellan of the Corps' historical branch, sent a memorandum to then Commandant Maj. Gen. John A. Lejeune, suggesting that the original birthday on November 10, 1775, be declared a Marine Corps holiday to be celebrated throughout the Corps. McClellan further suggested that a dinner be held in Washington to commemorate the event. Guests would include prominent men from the Marine Corps, Army, and Navy, and descendants of the Revolution.

Accordingly, on Nov. 1, 1921, Lejeune issued Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921. The order summarized the history, mission, and tradition of the Corps, and directed that it be read to every command on Nov. 10 each subsequent year in honor of the birthday of the Marine Corps. This order has been duly carried out.

Some commands expanded the celebration during the next few years. In 1923 at Fort Mifflin, Pa., the celebration of the Marine Corps' 148th birthday took the form of a dance in the barracks that evening. Marines at the Navy Yard, Norfolk, Va., staged a mock battle on the parade ground in commemoration of the birthday. It lasted about twenty minutes and was witnessed by Portsmouth and Norfolk citizens.

At Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the birthday was celebrated on the 12th, since a special liberty to Santiago had been arranged on the 10th. The morning activities included field and water sports, and a shooting match. In the afternoon the Marines won a baseball game, 9-8, over a Cuban team. In the evening, members of the command put on a variety show followed by four boxing bouts.

The first so-called "Birthday Ball," such as suggested by McClellan, was probably held in 1925 in Philadelphia. No records have been located of one prior to 1925. Guests included Lejeune, the secretaries of War and Navy, and famous statesmen, soldiers, and sailors. The principle event was the unveiling of a tablet on the site of Tun Tavern. The tablet was a gift from the American Legion Post named after Thomas Roberts Reath, whose membership was composed exclusively of Marines. The celebration was held in conjunction with the annual convention of the Marine Corps League. A parade included Marines, regular Army, and Navy detachments, National Guard, and other military organizations. The evening banquet was held at the Benjamin Franklin Hotel and a ball followed at the Bellevue-Stratford.

It is not possible to determine precisely when the first cake ceremony was held, but the first on record was held at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., in 1937. Presiding Commandant Maj. Gen. Thomas Holcomb hosted an open house for Marine Corps officers. Ceremonies included the cutting of a huge cake designed after the famous Tun Tavern in Philadelphia.

From 1937, observances of the Marine Corps Birthday appeared to develop spontaneously throughout the Corps as if they had a life of their own. The celebrations were publicized through every media. Newsreels, motion pictures, and displays were prepared to summarize the history of the Corps. In 1943, standard blank Marine Corps scrapbooks were forwarded to all districts to be filled with 168th anniversary clippings, scripts, pictures, programs, and other memorabilia, and returned to Headquarters. Unfortunately, none of these scrapbooks remain in official files.

In 1951, a formal birthday ball pageant was held at Headquarters Marine Corps. Similar to the pageant today, the script described the Marines' period uniforms and the cake ceremony. Although this is the first substantive record of a pageant, Leatherneck magazine of November 10, 1925 pictures Marines at a pageant in Salt Lake City, Utah, which had taken place "several years ago."

On Oct. 28, 1952, then Commandant, Gen. Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., directed that the celebration of the Marine Corps Birthday be formalized throughout the Corps, and provided an outline for the cake ceremony, as well as other formal observances. This outline was included in the Marine Corps Drill Manual, approved Jan. 26, 1956.

Traditionally, the first piece of birthday cake is presented to the oldest Marine present and the second piece to the youngest Marine present. When and where this tradition began remains unknown. Some records indicate this practice, and others vary it depending on the dignitaries present at the ball. First pieces of cake have been presented to newlyweds, the Secretary of the Navy, governors, and others, but generally speaking, the first pieces of cake go to the oldest and youngest Marines at the ball.

Presently, the Corps' birthday celebrations differ at posts and stations throughout the Corps. All commemorations include the reading of Marine Corps Order No. 47, and the Commandant's message to those assembled. Most commands hold a birthday ball of some sort, complete with pageant and cake ceremony as prescribed in the Marine Corps Manual.

For information regarding a particular unit's celebration or ball schedule, contact your local representative. Facts in this article were gleaned from http://www.usmc.mil/

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Welcome Home 4th Force Recon Co.

Getting ready to head out to to a big homecoming for 110 Marines returning home from Iraq. Some members of the Patriot Guard Riders headed down to Camp Pendleton yesterday morning & will be escorting the buses all the way back to the Bay Area with bikers & other vehicles joining along the way. They are estimating that about 500 bikes will be involved in this escort tho maybe not all at the same time. We have been trying to get people on overpasses along the route with signs & flags too. I am so excited to be a part of this. We welcomed the advance group 2 weeks ago when they go in at 3:00 am. Will let you know all about it when we get home!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

President Proclaims Nov. 11 Veterans Day

American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 6, 2008 - President Bush issued a proclamation to honor all who are serving or have served in the U.S. armed forces.
Bush issued his Veterans Day proclamation Oct. 31.

The proclamation reads:

"On Veterans Day, we pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of the men and women who in defense of our freedom have bravely worn the uniform of the United States.

"From the fields and forests of war-torn Europe to the jungles of Southeast Asia, from the deserts of Iraq to the mountains of Afghanistan, brave patriots have protected our nation's ideals, rescued millions from tyranny and helped spread freedom around the globe. America's veterans answered the call when asked to protect our nation from some of the most brutal and ruthless tyrants, terrorists and militaries the world has ever known. They stood tall in the face of grave danger and enabled our nation to become the greatest force for freedom in human history. Members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard have answered a high calling to serve and have helped secure America at every turn.

"Our country is forever indebted to our veterans for their quiet courage and exemplary service. We also remember and honor those who laid down their lives in freedom's defense. These brave men and women made the ultimate sacrifice for our benefit. On Veterans Day, we remember these heroes for their valor, their loyalty and their dedication. Their selfless sacrifices continue to inspire us today as we work to advance peace and extend freedom around the world.

"With respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service members have made to the cause of peace and freedom around the world, the Congress has provided that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor America's veterans.

"Now, therefore, I, George W. Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 11, 2008, as Veterans Day and urge all Americans to observe November 9 through November 15, 2008, as National Veterans Awareness Week. I encourage all Americans to recognize the bravery and sacrifice of our veterans through ceremonies and prayers. I call upon federal, state, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to support and participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I invite civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, businesses, unions and the media to support this national observance with commemorative expressions and programs."

San Francisco Votes to Save JROTC

San Francisco, a city largely known for its anti-military reputation and liberal leanings, voted on Nov. 4 to save the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program that is slated to be phased out of the city's public schools.

Proposition V - the measure in support of keeping the JROTC training program in high schools - passed by 53 percent. However, the ballot measure is not binding and the elective could still be removed from high schools.

Since 2006, JROTC opponents have worked to eliminate this military-backed program arguing it encourages members to discriminate against homosexuals who are banned from openly serving in the military. So the San Francisco Unified School District took action against the program.

"The [San Francisco] School Board decided to phase out JROTC because San Franciscans do not want military recruiters in our schools and do not support a program that discriminates against the [gay] community with its 'don't ask, don't tell' policies," according to the "Vote No on V" website.

But, JROTC supporters couldn't disagree more. School administrators, teachers and students tout the program as a great local civics program that teaches leadership, discipline and the importance of responsibility to the 1,600 cadets now in San Francisco schools, according to the San Francisco voters' handbook.

In and effort to stop the School Board's plans to phase JROTC out, proponents of Proposition V gathered enough signatures to put the measure on the Nov. 4 ballot.

"We should be supporting the JROTC, getting people in programs that build self-esteem, build discipline and give people a sense of purpose," San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom told KCBS television.

If the School Board continues with its plans to eliminate the elective by June 2009, schools will offer an alternative called the "Student Emergency Response Volunteers."

Through SERV, students may be able to learn first aid, fire safety, search and rescue and leadership skills, but proponents of Prop V are doubtful that it will fill the void left by eliminating JROTC.

"San Francisco voters are too smart," Michael Bernick a supporter of the military program told the San Francisco Chronicle. "The neighborhood response program may be a fine educational program for youth, but it is no alternative to JROTC."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Quote for Today

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Sir Winston Churchill

Now I need to find my enthusiasm!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Will overseas votes get counted?

By Geoff Ziezulewicz, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Wednesday, November 5, 2008

While Election Day passed for those back home Tuesday, many overseas military ballots will continue to arrive at local election offices in the next week, where different laws govern whether an overseas vote can be counted after Nov. 4.

To ensure that such ballots aren’t unfairly disqualified, a nonprofit military voter advocacy group established the Military Ballot Protection Program last week in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida. Representatives say it will help cut down on the legal uncertainties surrounding these votes.

Aided pro bono by the law firm Bingham McCutchen, the National Defense Committee launched the program to help election officials better understand absentee ballot regulations as well, committee member Bob Carey said.

While it’s not yet clear how many overseas troops and military family members attempted to vote this year, numbers from previous elections are generally considered incomplete when it comes to overseas ballots.

But according to the best estimates by the national Election Assistance Commission, about 119,000 overseas military voters tried to vote in 2006, but fewer than half the ballots were actually counted. Anything from a wrong address to a missing signature can disqualify a ballot.

Private studies have placed the number of military members attempting to vote in 2006 as high as 660,000.

The main hope is that "precedents are not set" when it comes to disqualifying overseas military ballots, Carey said.

Absentee voting came to the forefront in Fairfax County, Va., last week, when a county official planned to discard 250 emergency federal write-in absentee ballots because they included a witness’ signature but not their address.

National Defense Committee representatives stepped in and asked the Virginia Board of Elections to review what it characterized as a misapplication of state law in Fairfax.

In the end, the state overruled Fairfax County’s interpretation of the law and those emergency ballots will be counted.

This week, Sen. John McCain’s campaign sued the state to allow for a deadline extension for the acceptance of military ballots, which is normally Nov. 4.

McCain’s camp contends that because some Virginia counties mailed absentee ballots out late this year, troops should get an extended deadline of about a week to get them back and counted.

Carey said the committee may take legal action against states with similar issues like Virginia.


DON'T FORGET TO VOTE TODAY!!

Graphics and Comments at Pimpoo.com

Troops in Iraq Become U.S. Citizens on Election Day

American Forces Press Service
BAGHDAD, Nov. 4, 2008 - On a day when Americans exercised their right to vote, 186 servicemembers deployed across Iraq became U.S. citizens today at Al Faw Palace on Camp Victory here.

Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, commander of Multinational Force Iraq, presided over the ceremony. He expressed his appreciation for each new citizen and expounded on the significance of the step they had taken.

"Diverse as your backgrounds may be, you all now have one thing in common: you are all Americans," Odierno said. "You represent the very best of all that our nation stands for: freedom, opportunity, equality and service."

The ceremony was the 12th of its kind to be held in Iraq, but for many troops, it took on special meaning, as it occurred on Election Day for U.S. citizens. The newly naturalized servicemembers - from 60 different countries - had earned the right to vote for their new leaders.

"I'm excited to be able to vote," said Army Spc. Ruth McKoy, a supply specialist with 62nd Quartermaster Company, 553 Sustainment Brigade. "If something good comes out of a future election, I can say I had something to do with that. It's like my voice is being heard now."

McKoy, born in Jamaica, joined the Army in December 2002 and has since aspired to become an American citizen. After one unsuccessful application in Germany, she said, she decided to apply for citizenship a second time from Fort Hood, Texas, and finally achieved her goal.

Spc. Rasha Hennessy, a linguist with 1st Higher Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 206th Field Artillery, 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, was born in Baghdad, just miles from where she took her oath of U.S. citizenship.

"Honestly, I can't even think of how blessed I am to have this privilege," Hennessy said. "It's a great thing." She said she is ecstatic to attain her citizenship on such an important day for the United States, and she compared the freedoms she will have as a U. S. citizen to those under Saddam Hussein's regime years ago in Iraq.

"It's a really good opportunity to be able to vote freely and not live in fear," Hennessy said.

Though the 186 servicemembers are new U.S. citizens, many said they've always felt the unity all Americans feel when serving in the military, and realize every servicemember is fighting for a common goal.

"We all play a big part in what's going on over here," McKoy said. "We're doing everything we can to help Iraq gain its democracy."

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sarah Palin Not Experienced Enough??

Question: What is America 's first line of missile
interceptor defense that protects the entire United States ?

Answer: 49th Missile Defense Battalion of Alaska National Guard.

Question: What is the ONLY National Guard unit on
permanent active duty?

Answer: 49th Missile Defense Battalion of Alaska National Guard



Question: Who is the Commander in Chief of the 49th Missile
Defense Battalion of Alaska National Guard?

Answer: Governor Sarah Palin, Alaska


Question: What U.S. governor is routinely briefed on
highly classified military issues, homeland security, and
counter terrorism?

Answer: Governor Sarah Palin, Alaska


Question: What U.S. governor has a higher classified
security rating than either candidate of the Democrat Party?
Answer: Governor Sarah Palin, Alaska


According to the Washington Post, she first met with McCain
in February, but nobody ever found out. This is a woman used
to keeping secrets. She can be entrusted with our national
security, because she already is.

Now you know too, please, pass it on!


Commander....

49th Missile Defense Battalion of Alaska National Guard


My Kind Of Lady!!!

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