color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: August 2008

Sunday, August 31, 2008

America United: In Support of Our Troops

I haven't seen this advertised (on the other hand, I don't watch much on the regular networks...) but look forward to this...

America United: In Support of Our Troops
Sunday September 7th 9/8c

For generations, top entertainers have performed both in the U.S. and overseas for our troops in times of war and peace. Now the tradition continues for a new generation of talent and viewers with the two-hour special, "America United: In Support of Our Troops," airing SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

The star-studded lineup of performers and celebrities appearing includes Janet Jackson, Snoop Dogg, Pam Anderson, Toby Keith, Jessica Simpson, D.L. Hughley, ZZ Top, Clint Black, Kathy Griffin, Ne-Yo, Girls Next Door, Toby Keith, Ali Landry, comedian Carlos Mencia, NFL star Sean Merriman, country star Joe Nichols, Jordin Sparks, Sam Moore (Sam and Dave) and more, as they all take the stage around the country and at military bases worldwide.

Featuring popular music, celebrity cameos, tributes to troops and heart-warming human interest stories, "America United: In Support of Our Troops" is an opportunity for the nation to show its appreciation for the troops and military families. The special was produced and directed by an all-star team. Executive producer is Greg Sills ("Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards"); executive producer and music director is Rickey Minor ("American Idol," "The Grammy Awards"); Bryan Edelstein is executive producer; Michael Dempsey ("MTV Video Music Awards") is executive producer and director; Tisha Fein ("American Idol") and Laurie Chapman are producers, and Chantal Sausedo is co-producer and executive in charge of talent.
More information HERE

And, Stacey (and house guests from Louisiana)... we are thinking of you all and keeping you in our prayers and hope that Gustav leaves you all unscathed!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I will never forget... I remember... so I'm inviting you to come...

Walk with us... Celebrate Freedom... and Remember... Together.

The America Supports You Freedom Walk is a national tradition that calls on people to reflect on the lives lost on September 11, 2001, remember those who responded, honor our veterans past and present, and renew our commitment to freedom and the values of our country. Each year the number of walks held throughout the nation grows, as more people are moved to participate.

The tradition was born when Pentagon employees, seeking a way to honor the victims of the attack on the Pentagon and their families, and pay tribute to those who responded to that attack as well as those who serve, organized a walk from the Pentagon to the National Mall. Nearly 15,000 people took part. Now, America Supports You Freedom Walks are taking place in communities across the nation. Last year 255 communities participated, and every state was represented, along with eight nations overseas.

The National Freedom Walk

The tradition began with a walk in Washington DC, and the National ASY Freedom Walk continues. Now in its fourth year, the National ASY Freedom Walk draws people not only from the Washington metropolitan region, but from throughout the nation. Each person who walks has his own special reason and his own interesting story to tell. If you have a story you'd like to share, please let us know!

This year, on Sunday, September 7, the fourth-annual America Supports You National Freedom Walk will take place in Washington, DC. The National ASY Freedom Walk is free of charge and open to the public. You must register in advance to participate. Registration is easy and can be done online. But walking is not the only way you can support the cause. We're looking for volunteers to check registration, hand out t-shirts, support our walkers, and lend assistance to those in need. Find out more about what YOU can do to be a part of the America Supports You Freedom Walk.


America Supports You Freedom Walks come in many different shapes and sizes. Some feature governors and mayors, others have veterans and their families,and still others are organized and run by students and teachers. What they all have in common is people who care. If you are interested in participating in or establishing a walk in your community, this is the place for you.

The goal for 2008 is to have several America Supports You Freedom Walks in every state. The Freedom Walks will not be a platform to discuss the policy of the war, but will be a platform to reflect on the sacrifices of September 11, renew our commitment to freedom and to express our appreciation for the men and women who volunteer to serve in the military. This tradition ensures that America will never forget September 11th.

Come walk with us... Let us Remember... and Let Us Celebrate FREEDOM!

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

All in all... Life is Good

Just been a weird summer... with Noah and Thomas living here our unstructured "whatever" lifestyle has changed... Fortunately, I do not have to rise in the middle of the night if he wakes (his Dad does that) and we only give baths, change diapers, and play with him when we want (so, OK... that's virtually all the time he is awake -- but who's counting?) Thomas is such a delight -- a bubbly and happy personality (with a streak of temper thrown in). Started crawling last week and is already testing his "let's see how long I can stand up here balancing without falling down" legs. He definitely has a "need for speed" streak in him as well!

The other day I am sitting out on our lovely shaded deck (reading, of course) and suddenly there is a "whump!! whump!! whump!! noise from below. Looking over the rail of the deck (which is ground level in the front but 2+ stories in the rear), I note that the compressor unit for the new AC has stopped. I quickly run in the house turn the power switch off. Noah emerges and looks down into the unit and says, "I think that looks like blood on the fan blade... Maybe an animal got in there?" I point out that the vents into the unit are very narrow and can't imagine an animal could get in there. The DH and son putter on down to stare in through the top vents -- and sure enough THERE IS A SNAKE (or what's left of it) impaled on the blades and strewn about. The AC company will be out tomorrow. We have lived in our house a few years now and while we have had one encounter with a rattlesnake (the first year), this is the first year we have seen these very long and thin garter snakes (probably black-necked garter snakes) -- but we have lost two on the roadway in front of our home and now this third to the AC. UPDATE: No damage to the AC... snake crawled in through a vent at the bottom of the unit... which we have now screened...

Evenings are so cool and lovely here that we open most of the windows in the house each evening when the sun dips behind the mountains. While opening the blinds in one of the bedrooms last night, we discover a very large pile of what appears to be spun cotton... after a bit of investigation, we discover THERE ARE TERMITES (or some kind of tiny ant) crawling in and out of the window frame! Exterminator will be here in the morning. I really want to vacuum the debris and the insects from the seam of the window, but the exterminator implores me to leave it all there as he can get a tremendous amount of info from the construct and debris. Yuk. UPDATE: Not termites. Carpenter ants. Really, really tiny carpenter ants. Probab;y thousands in the wall. Same result -- drilling holes all over the wall, inserting foam insecticide, close holes; hope we get them all. The wall will have to be spackled and painted (sigh). Chance to change the color of the wall anyway. Oh, and $500 just for the treatment. Ahhh, the joys of home ownership!

I am not particularly skittish with insects, but last week we had a mid-sized scorpion in the garage (they principally hide under large rocks outside and stay there (never work outside w/o gloves); the yellowjackets have arrived earlier this year and we've had to put up traps adjacent to the decks to keep them at bay... the javelinas were grunting and snorting at 1:00AM out behind our property which always sets our large dogs to barking and whining to go outdoors... next, the coyotes were out until well after sunrise this morning and around 8:00 across the roadway from us -- but the howling and yipping they do not only terrorizes their prey, it makes my hair stand on end as well. On the up side, we have a much larger than average influx of hummingbirds and migrating birds this year; the red tail hawk pair has an offspring hunting our land... and a small falcon arrived yesterday but I have only seen it from a distance and at a speed that has prevented me from identifying it (yet).

In the last few weeks I have tried to catch up on my reading stack and have read House to House, Lone Survivor, Final Salute, Odd Hours, Touching History (a must read for anyone interested in what transpired in the skies on 9/11/01)... as well as a few junk paperbacks -- because sometimes I need a break from the other books I read. I am about to start a politically-orientated book... and thinking about taking on a volunteer position with a Presidential campaign...

We have the daughter's 2009 graduation date from medical school... Navy son's ship is in dry dock so no new deployments (surge or scheduled) over the holidays this year (yeah!!) Weather is great... family member's healths are good (except for middle son with the flu of all things)... McCain's currently ahead in the latest polls (for what polls are worth)... All in all... Life is Good.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Many of you will remember the horrible story late last year about the Brit's Military Rehabilitation pool having been closed due to lack of funding and support from the British government...and wounded British soldiers who were rehabbing at a pool being asked to leave
because there were some at the pool who found the sight of the wounded veterans too upsetting (although the story indicates that it was also because the soldiers hadn't "paid" to use the pool.. yah.)

Well, two Brits (Bryn & Emma) with a group of their friends decided to raise money for a new pool and gym for the wounded:
Last October, Emma and I, together with a small team of friends, decided to do something practical to help the wounded coming back from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The original idea was to raise £500,000 by doing a bike ride. Our offer of help was welcomed by General Sir Richard Dannatt who directed us to Headley Court, the Rehabilitation Centre, where they urgently need a new swimming pool and gym complex.
well, here's what a small group can accomplish:
Our non political appeal for help was heard by thousands and a simple idea grew into a tidal wave of support. As a very small team we were unable to lay on many fund raising events ourselves so the ethos has been to ask everyone to ‘do their bit’, to lay on an event and send us the money. That simple approach and the very obvious need has caught the imagination of thousands of ordinary, decent people and I am delighted to say that with the help of Royalty, Celebrities, the Armed Forces and The Media, we have received over £8 million so far. The first £6 million is put aside for the pool complex, the plans are submitted and by next year, the wounded will have their own pool.

But they have a WONDERFUL (and gargantuan) fundraising opportunity... and they need some help in spreading the word -- for sponsors to help cover the costs (so there w/b more money for the wounded) AND for [free] publicity for the event itself. If you're into Rugger at all (um... Rugby for the uninitiated...), this will be an exciting day!!
The RFU has given us Twickenham Stadium on the 20th September this year. The Legends of rugby have agreed to play in a once in a life time match. We will see the great turn out in Help for Heroes shirts; Dallaglio, Johnson, Gibbs, Greenwood, Lomu, Phil de Glanville, Ieuan Evans and many more, as well as the stars from the three services and other top players. It will be a great day and, here is the point of this, if we can fill HQ, that is 82,000 seats, we can make £1Million for H4H and that will all go to the wounded.

There's more information about the organization at their Help For Heroes website... and you can find info on H4H RUGBY CHALLENGE HERE.

These soldiers have fought beside our American Heroes... let's see if we can help a bit from this side of the Pond.... with some publicity and perhaps some American sponsors who would like to extend our thanks!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

"I Love You, Dad." Remembering Sgt. Mike Stokely

Sgt. Michael Stokely was killed in action in Iraq just a week before my son Noah was wounded. I have always felt a kinship with Sgt. Mike as he and I share a birthday. I add a candle to my cake and wish Mike Happy Birthday every year; a birthday present in his name goes to a soldier-related charity. His life and his passing are worth remembering.

In a recent exchange with Mike's father, Robert, he said this:
It is three years in just a few days - August 16. This [Saturday], at 11:30 A.M. edt, it will be three years since I last talked to him and the last time I heard him say "I love you dad" - in a lot of ways, that is almost as tough a day for me as the day he died, the day I met his body by myself at the Airport and the day he was buried. So, I have four tear at my heart days coming up in the next three weeks - August is always a tough month for me and will be rest of my life.

But, we will carry on and we will Remember Mike with Honor by helping others have a better opportunity at education and life, whether they be local students or children in Yusufiyah Iraq.

Robert, has honored his son by establishing the Mike Stokely Foundation (read more here).

Stacy has a great video tribute to Mike up at her blog... take a look.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Stokely family today (as always).

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Monday, August 11, 2008

BlogGramma ?? and the Olympics

Well, I am a BlogMom to some... but do you think I'm the first BlogGramma? We had dinner the other night with Doc and his son... Wonderful meal and company -- great to see Sean again and to finally meet the amazing Collin (what a GREAT "kid"!!) And, yes, we have a lot of those sunsets here...

And other than that, I have become an Olympic potato -- AGAIN. Every time the Olympics are on (winter or summer), I swear I'm not watching... and then I do. All day sometimes... into the night... sometimes on two channels at once. Sad. And sometimes I cheer like I'm actually there. It's on my list of "I'd like to..." -- next time they are in a civilized country.

I think it comes from the fact that I just missed the age when girls and women were allowed to compete in sports... any sports... let alone encouraged to participate and compete. Most of my sisters and I were very good athletes -- softball... volleyball... swimming... one sister was awesome in track and field (I hated track and field)... but except for the youngest sister (a truly gifted athlete and scholar who was the first class to benefit from Title IX), we were not allowed to compete against other women except in "tournaments". In Illinois where I grew up in the early/mid-'60s, it was illegal for women's teams to compete -- and if you got caught competing in "illegal" (non-sanctioned) events, the boys' teams were deemed ineligible... tough in a town where the boys' teams usually took state titles in basketball and baseball every year. Yeah. A generation too soon... on the other hand, we had the best music those years...


Monday, August 04, 2008

[Military] Parents' Zone

Got a new post up over at Parents' Zone.... Hope you'll stop on by and take a read and leave a comment -- especially if you, too, are a milMom!