Tuesday, November 27, 2007
And the packages are arriving in Baghdad as well....WOW - they made it here quickly. Thanks so much for the Christmas box and the contents! I'm overwhelmed - serious. I really appreciate you and your organization - y'all are doing tremendous work.
I'm heading back to Fort xxxxx during the second week of FEB 08. By then, I'll be about two weeks shy of 15 months over here. They've told us to stop all incoming mail by JAN.
When I return, I'd like to assist y'all. My family and I are moving in June, but when we get settled, we'd like to hop into the card production line.
Again, thanks so much for all you have sent to me. I really am overwhelmed by your generosity.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Thank you very much for the cards that you sent. I appreciate the efforts of you and all that assist in making the cards - they are fantastic and my wife and daughter will really enjoy them.
I've attached a couple of pictures of me w/ the cards - please feel free to share them. Again, thanks for the cards. Its great to know that there are so many who remember us over here.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECONTACT: Kristen SchrempCell: 703.928.5527Email: Kristen@kaspublicity.com, media@MoveAmericaForward.org
“Honoring Heroes for the Holidays” 40-City Tour Pledges to Raise Morale and 100,000 Holiday Cards for Troops in Iraq, Afghanistan
“After spending 15 holidays away from family while serving, I know firsthand that that it can be lonely. When the holidays come, the distance between our soldiers and the nation becomes much more profound and difficult.” -Lt. Col. Buzz PattersonNational Pro-Troop Holiday Tour to Begin November 25
(SACRAMENTO) – As the nation prepares for the holiday season, soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan will sit thousands of miles away as their children open Christmas presents around the tree or get excited as the menorah continues to burn in their homes. During the holidays it is increasingly important that soldiers know their sacrifices away from family and friends have not gone unnoticed. This holiday season, Move America Forward (MAF) is determined to raise troop morale by showing the nation’s support and appreciation for their service.
Beginning November 26, Move America Forward, the nation’s largest pro-troop organization, will launch its most extensive cross-country effort to date. In the span of less of than three weeks, MAF will be holding rallies in 40 cities across the nation, sending more than 100,000 holiday cards to troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and holding a holiday concert in our nation’s capitol to honor wounded warriors and support U.S. troops fighting overseas.
Debbie Lee, mother of the first Navy Seal killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom, is traveling with the MAF caravan and knows all too well the sacrifices made by our men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. She says, “As a way of honoring my son’s service, I am pledging to let soldiers serving overseas know that we support them and recognize their sacrifices. I hope Americans will put aside their political differences and stand united in their support.”
MAF invites members of the public to bring holiday cards for the troops to the rallies (city dates and times can be found on the website – www.MoveAmericaForward.org) which will be sent from local post offices along the tour route to help MAF reach its goal of sending more than 100,000 holiday cards to Iraq and Afghanistan. Over 10,000 holiday cards have already flooded into MAF’s headquarters! The rallies will also have card-making stations, live music, speeches, and much more.
The tour delegation will include singer/songwriter Diana Nagy, who will perform her patriotic smash “Where Freedom Flies” at the events along with a collection of patriotic and holiday songs; Gold Star Mom Debbie Lee – mother of first Navy Seal killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Blue Star Mom Deborah Johns – mother of a U.S. Marine who has served 3 tours of duty in Iraq, will talk about the importance of supporting our troops; and Lt. Colonel Buzz Patterson (USAF) will speak about his 20 years service in the U.S. Air Force.
Nearing the conclusion of the tour, MAF will hold “A Song for Their Service” pro-troop holiday concert at 8:00 pm on December 14th at the Lincoln Theatre in DC. Performers include chart-topping country music star Mark Wills, American Idol Finalist Jessica Sierra, Christian singer Russ Lee, singer/songwriter Melanie Dekker, singer/songwriter Christy Ann, inspirational vocalist Lloyd Marcus and singer Diana Nagy. Special guests will include America’s wounded warriors from Walter Reed Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital.
Once the tour concludes in New York City on December 16th, a delegation from MAF will travel to Iraq to personally deliver the remaining cards to our troops. This will mark the 3rd trip to Iraq that MAF has made.
To schedule an interview with MAF Vice-Chairman Buzz Patterson, MAF Chairman Melanie Morgan, Gold Star Mom Debbie Lee, Blue Star Mom Deborah Johns or Singer/songwriter Diana Nagy, please contact Kristen Schremp at Kristen@kaspublicity.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 703.928.5527
Friday, November 23, 2007
Here is the site: http://www.operationchristmastree.com/
Yes you can donate for a specific soldier. When you donate just put the soldier's name & APO/FPO address in the message section of Paypal and the tree will get sent to him or her.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Friday, November 09, 2007
"The day nobody was killed in Iraq" read the headline from the Australian newspaper, and it was an understatement to say the least.
The news coming out of Iraq is shockingly upbeat as Gen. David Petraeus' surge strategy is showing fantastic signs of success.
The report from the Australian newspaper documented an array of success stories that Iraq war skeptics had not long ago insisted could never occur:
"… U.S. troop deaths declined for the fifth successive month to 39, the lowest such total this year and the seventh lowest in 56 months of war."
"… [C]ivilian casualties in the city [Baghdad] have declined significantly recently. … That represents a drop of more than 50 percent from August. …"
"Since the surge in operations started in June of this year, the number of car bombs has fallen by 65 percent, and casualties from roadside bombs by 80 percent."
Iraq war blogger Michael Yon had even more eye-popping news when he relayed the declaration by the Iraq Islamic Party that "al-Qaida in Iraq is defeated."
Stop and think about that: In Iraq, a group called the Islamic Party is declaring victory over al-Qaida, who it identifies as the enemy of the Iraqi people.
I kept searching the dead-tree news services for that headline last week, and all I got was a lousy ink stain on my fingers.
The mission of U.S. troops isn't over, not by a long shot, but certainly an above-the-fold story would be merited by the same news organizations who were boldly declaring defeat in Iraq not more than a few months ago.
Even across the pond, the Times of London found it worthy enough to report in an editorial last week: "Serious success in Iraq is not being recognized as it should be."
Is no news good news or bad news? In Iraq, it seems good news is deemed no news. There has been striking success in the past few months in the attempt to improve security, defeat al-Qaida sympathizers and create the political conditions in which a settlement between the Shia and the Sunni communities can be reached. This has not been an accident but the consequence of a strategy overseen by Gen. David Petraeus in the past several months.
To the news media, reports concerning accomplishments of our troops in Iraq are about as welcome as a visit by Bill Clinton to a shelter for abused women.
Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seems allergic to any reports of progress from Iraq. The Baltimore Sun reported that Pelosi's response to the success of the surge has been to call for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq (Baltimore Sun, Nov. 8, 2007, "Pelosi: Ready for another vote to bring troops home").
Funny, that was the exact same response Pelosi had when the media was filled with negative reports on Iraq. This kind of behavior is what should be expected when you let armchair generals in Congress like Nancy Pelosi attempt to micromanage a war they despise.
The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. David Obey, said that U.S. troops do not deserve credit for the progress being made in Iraq. He explained that the drop in casualties among U.S. troops and Iraqis was because there wasn't anything left to shoot at in Iraq: "They've killed so many in so many areas, that there are fewer opportunity targets, if you want to put it that way, for each side."
Do I even need to tell you that Obey is a Democrat?
It's not just the left-wing anti-war activists who are rooting for failure, either. It's been rather apparent to anyone with an IQ above room temperature (which excludes half the people on stage at the Democratic presidential debates) that most of the people who work in the news media are hoping for the U.S. to fail in Iraq.
Somehow, vindication of their "George Bush is evil and this war is a disaster" viewpoint is more important to these journalists than seeing America's military men and women achieve victory on the battlefields of the war on terror.
One can contemplate the possibility of a nuclear winter if Pakistan succumbs to the rising movement of Islamic jihadists, demonstrating just how serious the war on terror is and why success in the war effort is so vital to American security.
We must defeat the threat of Islamic jihadists, and for the past few years those jihadists have made Iraq the frontlines of their effort to kill Americans and bring harm to our nation.
Our troops are clearly winning the war against the jihadists in Iraq, but it appears too much to ask for the TV networks and newspapers to tell this story of success to the American people – and equally impossible for Democrat congressional leaders to celebrate this success as Americans and put their political agendas aside even for a moment.
With Thanksgiving just two weeks away, and 200,000 men and women serving in uniform half a world away, it's time for all of us to come together as Americans and salute the success of our troops.
It's time to say "thank you" and "good job" to those who risk so much, so that we may all be safe and free.
As they glance up at the giant screens that fill the mess halls of forward operating bases across Iraq, it would be a great gift to our troops from Katie, Brian and Charlie to feature a news scroll creeping across the nightly news TV screens that reads: "Surge is a Success … Details in a Moment."
Thursday, November 08, 2007
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 this email and if someone sends it to you, refer them to TruthOrFiction. 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.
Thursday , November 08, 2007
OKLAHOMA CITY —
U.S. Marine Sgt. Chad Mortenson of Yukon is currently stationed in Iraq, but that didn't stop him from witnessing the birth of his daughter in Oklahoma City on Wednesday.
Through a video conference link set up by a New Jersey-based charity, Freedom Calls Foundation, the 25-year-old watched his wife, Denae Mortenson, deliver the couple's first child at Integris Southwest Medical Center .
"It was wonderful. The whole time he was talking to me," said Denae Mortenson, 20. "He could see me and I could hear him. It was like he was there, but he was just on a screen."
Jayden Faith Mortenson weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces and was delivered via cesarean section at 8:11 a.m.
"She's doing great -- 100 percent healthy," Denae Mortenson said.
In the last few days, the Freedom Calls Foundation has linked three Oklahoma soldiers with loved ones at home in Oklahoma , said the charity's founder and executive director, John Harlow.
Soldiers from Shawnee and Lawton also were able to see their newborn babies for the first time through satellite video links provided at local hospitals and the foundation.
An attorney and venture capitalist, Harlow said he initially founded the charity to provide phone calls for soldiers after learning of a soldier who rang up a $7,000 cell phone bill talking to his family from Iraq .
"I just didn't think it was right to have these families commercially exploited when they're making sacrifices on behalf of this country," Harlow said.
With limited funding, mostly through donations, the group is able to conduct about 2,000 video conferences a month, allowing soldiers to visit with dying relatives, watch their children graduate from high school and even "attend" funerals and memorial services.
"I had a first birthday where the guy came up on the screen and sang happy birthday to his daughter over the computer," Harlow said. "After he sang the song, she ran across the room saying, 'dada,' and kissed the screen. It was very touching."
Harlow said he's hoping to get additional funding and possibly corporate sponsorships so the program can be expanded.
"We're only serving 25 percent of the soldiers over there," Harlow said. "For every woman who calls me and asks me for help, and I tell them I can do it and she cries for joy, there are three others that are crying tears of disappointment because we just don't have the resources to do it."