color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: December 2007

Monday, December 31, 2007


and may all your dreams come true!
Special hugs and love to Fred, Karen, Mark, Ben, Ashley, Will, Landon, Lin, Bob, Michelle, Heather, Tad, Paula, Meg, Justin, Maddy, Mac, Kelly, Tyler, Mary, Dan, Chris, Tim, Tom, Laura, Richard, Michele, Amanda, Todd, Harper, Stephanie, Steve, Brett, Heather, Craig, Jas, Gladys, Ashley, Avery, Hil, John, Zac, Ev, Noah, Mel, Thomas, Robert, Vinny, Shane, Michele, Rocco, Nick... and especially to the finest man in the world, my Dear Husband.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


We've all read the recent press stories on the number of suicides among veterans escalating -- especially, they tell us, among the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. The Veterans Health Administration estimates there are about 1,000 suicides per year among veterans receiving care through VHA, and as many as 5,000 suicides per year among all living veterans. There are those that will tell you the numbers are being warped and twisted and others saying that the numbers prove that soldiers have been victimized by the war... and Congresscritters holding hearings to paint the horror and pain of suicide as the fault of the VA or the "Administration" or Bush.Cheney.Haliburton.Hitler.Whatever.

It matters little whether the numbers are right or wrong or twisted or spun, because we all know someone... or all have heard of someone... a veteran... with problems that may or may not have anything to do with their war experiences... young men and old men with depression... a relationship that has failed... debt and other financial problems... unemployment... isolation... health problems... a combination of all of these... perhaps you witness the warning signs... or you've seen excessive drinking and other forms of self-medicating trying to ease the distress but which solved nothing... there are those veterans who live on the edge of the abyss of a permanent solution to a temporary situation -- no longer able to see the larger picture.

We have come a long way in being able to discuss the dark side of our minds: stress (post-traumatic or otherwise), biploar disorders, insomnia, depression, anxiety... the list is lengthy. And while suicide is a topic that has only been whispered about in hushed and shameful tones, the biggest myth has always been that we should not talk about it... a taboo... forbidden.

The VA -- recognizing that Veterans are a special risk group and seeking to reverse the trend of rising rates -- earlier this year launched enhanced suicide prevention measures as part of a joint venture between the VA and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention hotline and it now has an immediate prompt that says, "if you are a U.S. military veteran, please press 1 now." The call is then routed to New York where a staff of specially trained counselors are available to immediately help veterans through the crisis... who have special knowledge of what a veteran goes through. 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

And it's not just talking to the veteran until he or she no longer feels suicidal that day: the veteran is immediately entered into the VA Medical system (if they weren't there already) and cross references their location to find them the closest facility to get them immediate help.

At the VA medical center nearest our home, the Suicide Prevention Coordinator relates a story of receiving a call from a young Veteran in a neighboring state who returned from Iraq and was beset by a series of personal problems and losses. Through the new information system, they arranged for the young man to receive emergency care through his local community hospital and later was transferred to the VA Hospital in Phoenix. When the Coordinator visited the veteran, he told her that he honestly had every intention of killing himself that night; she knew that he'd be dead if not for the intervention and care he received with one phone call.

It is estimated that this program has already saved nearly 100 Veterans. It would be worthwhile if it saved only ONE.

More people die every year by suicide than HIV or murder. People need to take notice. It's the only way we can make this change. So let us now talk openly and candidly about suicide... and its prevention.

Let's spread the word. I have added this button to my side bar... and I ask bloggers to add a button or banner to their blogs. I have added the "Veterans Press 1" tag near the button.

Veterans Press "1"

Spread the word!
HERE are buttons & banners and the codes for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

The Suicide Prevention Lifeline also is on
MySpace and at

Help Save a Life. Help Save a Veteran's Life.
Maybe more than one.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Pray for Peace People Everywhere

Said the king to the people everywhere
Listen to what I say
Pray for Peace people everywhere


Please remember our military men and women everywhere in the world this Christmas Season.

Until Then
... (slide show)

Please pray for SPC. Michael D. Hauser who is seriously wounded. Our family personally knows the power of prayer, so please add this young father (and a son and brother) to your prayers this Christmas.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas and Thank You

Blackfive gave bloggers the opportunity to video wish the Troops Happy Holidays.

Bloggers appearing in addition to yours truly:

Uncle Jimbo

Michele Malkin

Mary Katherine Ham

Churchill’s Parrot

This Ain't Hell


Army Wife Toddler Mom

USO Girls

Chromed Curses

Friday, December 21, 2007


One of the bosses at my last job is one of the nicest people I have ever worked with or ever met. His nephew is missing and I'm asking for your help in finding Kyle. Please help spread the word... and if you're in the North Carolina area, can you please HELP FIND KYLE??

Kyle Fleischmann
Age: 24
Race: White
Gender: Male
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 180 lbs
Eyes: Green
Hair: Brown
Date Missing: 11/09/2007
Last Seen: Charlotte, NC

Kyle Fleischmann, a graduate of Elon University, disappeared on November 9th, 2007. He was last seen in Uptown Charlotte, NC early Friday morning (11/09/07) leaving the Buckhead Saloon around 2:20am.

Kyle was last seen wearing a black shirt, jeans, and black dress shoes. Kyle left his black pea coat at the bar along with his credit card. There has been no usage of his bank funds since.

Kyle's last contact was 2 phone calls made around 3:30am to his best friend and roommate. He did not leave any messages and his cell phone has been off since.

It is not known whether or not Kyle took a cab or tried to find a ride home.

Here's a video
his cousin has made... and the family's Help Find Kyle website.

Please help spread the word... and Please, help find Kyle.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dear "Dave"

Update: 12/20/07: Please go over and welcome "Dave" home...
Our friend "Dave" is on his way home from Iraq -- this most recent deployment done. As he says, he's one of the lucky ones that get to come home for Christmas. So I'd like to share this open letter from us to Dave and his family:

Dear Dave,

We are so delighted that you have come home safe to your wife and children. They have missed you every single minute you have been away!

We'd like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for serving this Great Country. Thank you for accepting that you would miss all those minutes and hours and days with those you cherish most in life. We are so sorry for the holidays and birthdays and anniversaries you have missed (once again), but we understand as we know you understand, "that some must go to fight..." Thank you for being willing (all these years) to leave the comforts of your home to work for noble ideas and causes... and not just because someone gave you orders. We have a new grandchild and there is great, great comfort in knowing that there are armies (and air forces and navies) of people like you that stand guard to protect him... and us.

Thank you for taking care of your troops and making every effort to see that everyone of them made it back to their wives and children... and their Mommas. Thank you for fighting the good fight. Thank you for doing your job so well!

Thank you for working with the Iraqis to improve their lives and for believing that it can be done... for not listening to those in our government who day in and day out told you that you could not win, would not win... and did -- and still do -- everything in their power to steal the successful Mission from you.

Thank you to your inspiring wife and your children... for even after all your years of service, they still find it a miserable experience when you are away. They carried on and I know, Dave, how proud you are of them all, but don't fool yourself thinking those frequent calls made up the distance. Their smiles this week... the frequent hugs... the renewed laughter... will tell you all you need to know.

So welcome home, Dave. You are their Hero... and ours, too!



My mother came home from the hospital with her 7th and last child on Christmas Eve and placed this blessed child in a cradle under our Christmas Tree. When she began to fuss and cry, her oldest sisters (one of whom would be me) thought she was a new doll and rushed over... to a hearty "Don't touch the baby!" call from the next room!

She is smart (degrees on full academic/athletic scholarship from Northwestern University), funny, fun... with an easy laugh and a wicked sense of humor... great Mom... terrific wife... WONDERFUL sister... caring, compassionate... a friend to all -- but trust me, you do not want to make her your enemy... no! no! no! 'cause of course, as we always used to tell people when we [7] were growing up: "F** with one, take on seven." (Yeah, we were a little army... )

She is a wonderful, kind, loving and fun person and I am so proud to call her sister... but most importantly, friend.

Miss Mary Christmas!!

Wishing you at least another 50 years to enjoy in good health and happiness!! Love you, "Kid"!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Buy Something at Sears

I do not and have not used this site to promote commercial establishments or products unless they in some way directly benefit or directly support members of the military.

So this last week before Christmas, I ask you to consider buying at least one gift at Sears.

I know I needed this reminder since Sears isn't always my first choice.

How does Sears treat its employees who are called up for military duty? By law, they are required to hold jobs open and available, but nothing more. Usually, people take a big pay cut and lose benefits as a result of being called up. Sears voluntarily pays the difference in salaries and maintains all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs for all called up reservist-employees for up to two years. I submit that Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution. I suggest we all shop at Sears, and be sure to find a manager to tell them why we are there so the company gets the positive reinforcement it well deserves. When you think of how long the war has lasted and they haven't withdrawn from their commitment. Could we each buy at least one thing at Sears this year?

This is a company with a strong sense of commitment to those who serve. In addition to the treatment of their employee Guard and Reserve members, Sears is fully supporting the HEROES at HOME program. Sears asks its card holders to Give thanks to those who serve. Give generously to Heroes at Home.

Make a purchase with your Sears card* or make a contribution of $1, $5 or $10 and make a difference in the lives of servicemen and women and their families. Heroes at Home assists families of military personnel and veterans by making critical repairs and modifications to their homes.

Heroes at Home is a program developed through the combined efforts of Sears Holdings Management Corporation and Rebuilding Together to help improve the lives of injured American Veterans and their families by making repairs, improvements or modifications to their homes. Heroes at Home is a service mark owned by Sears Brands, LLC. 100% of your donation will benefit Rebuilding Together, a 501(c)(3) organization. Your entire cash donation is eligible for tax deduction treatment for U.S. Federal tax purposes. For more information on Rebuilding Together, visit

* Between November 9 and December 28, for each purchase you make with your Sears card, Sears Holdings Management Corporation will make a donation to Rebuilding Together up to a total of $1,000,000.

There are other companies that have also been respectful of their employees. This information can be found at Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. While I won't tell anyone what to do, it would be nice if we could do business with the companies that treat their employees the way that we would all like to be treated ... especially in this holiday (gift giving) time of year.

It's not a fight with fire and gun

by Srgt. Wm. M. Golden, Jan. 6, 1945

Mom's battle is the toughest one,
Cause it's the kind that's never won.
It's not a fight with fire and gun;
It's all day wondering, "Where's my son"?

It's not a war. It's a fight within.
It's where I'm at, and where I've 'bin?
It's what I eat' am I getting thin?
Am I steering clear of "hell and sin"

Do I pray to God to see me through
My every day, like I used to do?
Am I still the carefree boy she knew?
It's been so long...a year, or two.

It's remembering, when I was small,
How 'round the house I used to crawl:
And the day that I began to walk,
And later when I learned to talk.

The things I said; the things I did
When I was nothing but a kid
It's all these things that haunt Mom's mind,
It's a battle of a different kind.

A day ne'er starts, a day ne'er ends,
Without a prayer that dear Mom sends
To our Heavenly Father up above,
That He'll watch o'er her fondest love.

She has no defense against attack,--
Just prays to God to send me back
She fights her battle for her son
With prayer her weapon...not a gun.

But I guess that's what a Mom is for,--
To guide the son she proudly bore,
Whether he's home or off to war
A guy can't ask his God for more!

h/t Darlene at Support 3ID site.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


5 lbs. 14 oz.
5 weeks early... 2 days of labor... but Mom M. and Dad Noah are doing well.
Thomas? Well, he's perfect.
God's affirmation that life must go on.
Dear Thomas, You are SO loved!

This sweet child bears the name of a fallen American Hero, Noah's friend, Tommy Byrd... and one of his grandfathers and a great grandfather who will see and hold his first great grandchild tomorrow.