color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: Honoring Chance: A Mother's Journey

Monday, March 12, 2007

Honoring Chance: A Mother's Journey

As I note in my side bar, I have contributed to two books that were published last year: The Blog of War and Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan & the Home Front.

While it is difficult to pick any one of the fine writings that appear in these two books as a favorite, if asked, I would tell you that the one that moved me more than any other is the personal narrative of Lt. Colonel Michael R. Strobl and it appears in both of these collections. It is entitled, “
Taking Chance” and relates the highly emotional experience of accompanying the body of Chance Phelps, a young Marine killed in Iraq, from Dover, Delaware to his final resting place in Wyoming. I first read this narrative at Blackfive in April 2004, and more than a year and a half later I sent a copy of it to my son while he waited to accompany the body of his friend Tommy to his home in Tucson.

Today, on the front page of my local paper, The Courier, I was enthralled by
this story of Chance’s mother, Gretchen Mack, and her daughter who are walking the more than 1,500 miles from Twentynine Palms Marine Base -- where her son Chance trained -- to his final resting place in his home town in Wyoming. To Remember Chance. To Honor him… and all his brothers.

She and Orndoff make it a point that they are not marching to protest the war, but to support the troops.

Mack expressed her disapproval of people who protest the war by demonstrating against soldiers and their families. She derided them as "cowards."

"The troops watch the news in Iraq, and see that sort of thing happening," she said. "How do you think that makes them feel?"

On her Web site [for the Chance Phelps Foundation],, the introductory message states, "The Chance Phelps Foundation, and its sponsored events, do not support any anti-war effort."

Mack said she supports the troops and the commander-in-chief.

You can sponsor this team by the mile (one cent/mile is just $15.74) or you can make a donation of any amount. All money they raise is donated to Fisher House and to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. Go to the Chance Phelps Foundation page and read their blog and to read more about this remarkable young man and the remarkable effort by his mom and sister(s).

Since they are walking through my neck of the woods, I’m hoping to track down their route and buy the ladies lunch or dinner (and bring dog treats for their dogs!)

All I can say, Gretchen, is OORAH. Chance is looking down and he sure is one proud Marine.

And to Cindy and the cronies of Code Pink -- THIS is how we honor the fallen.

Copyright Some Soldier's Mom 2007. All rights reserved.


At 3/13/2007 9:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the link about Chance's journey home.

At 3/13/2007 11:34 AM , Blogger Kat said...

I've been trying to get the word out. We did "ambush video" and asked people to send a message to our troops at a local parade (150,000 people attended).

we have appx 10 minutes of it here:

At 3/13/2007 12:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I am also raising funds for Fisher House. I am attempting my first Ironman this August in Louisville, KY and using the race as a way to bring attention to the good work of Fisher House.

I welcome any help that I can get. Please help me spread the word! You can visit my web site at for more info about me, Fisher House and my Ironman race.

Bill Rollins

At 3/13/2007 3:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I plan on reading your entire Blog. It is weird, it seems like just yesterday I was sitting at friends house and we were saying how lucky we are because our sons are too young to go to war and our Men are too old. That was Sept. 12th 2001. I miss those days. Time flies and my son will be joining the Army right after High School this year, and wants to go infantry. I see how much you have been through with Noah and want to thank-you for writing all about it, your blog will be a great source of strength to me.

At 3/16/2007 1:40 AM , Blogger Wayne Dillard said...

Thanks for all you are doing to support our troops.

My wife and I are missionaries to S. Asia, but with the recent military push for Baghdad we felt it was important to undergird the troops and the effort there with a fresh push in prayer, so we have initiated The Baghdad Prayer Patrol.

Could you help us promote this prayer effort for the troops?
Please join us in prayer at:


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