Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sir Rowland

Create Your Own PaloozaHead - Visit

Pink Ninja makes me smile

While at The National Infantry Museum, we entered a room that had 5 foot display of the famous 1st Cav patch.

Pink Ninja age 3 says: "Look Daddy, no horses allowed!"

A Day at The Museum...

I was lucky enough to spend this past Memorial Day with my family. We spent a couple of days at Fort Benning, as DH is still in school.

He had been telling me about how absolutely brilliant, driven, and focused his classmates are. I am proud to hear he is in such good company. Although as a military spouse, this does not surprise me. I know how amazing these men are. I married one.

We spent part of the weekend at The Infantry Museum, which I have been to many times. Every visit, I learn something new, or see something I missed the last visit.

So for Memorial Day, my DH and I tried to explain the significance of the day, I walked the Collective through the memorials that line the park across from The Infantry Museum. I read the Memorials, Sir Rowland reading with me. Looking through names of those who have died. I am not sure how much they understood....

We took the children inside of The Infantry Museum, and signed the guest book, and entered. As with all quiet museums, we tried to keep the children quiet, but interested. They liked sitting in the Bradley with Daddy, as he explained which buttons did what. Pink Ninja liked looking at the various knife and sword displays.

The Museum was very busy on this day, many in attendence. Older men in wheelchairs, young fresh faced Privates in uniform. Some Veterans were touring alone, others with spouses, and some in groups. All taking the time to stop and examine what they could.

We as a family spent a little over 2 hours in the Museum, which was not enough. And on the way out, we stopped at the obligatory gift shop. Just outside of the gift shop, I see a large photo of Rick Rescorala. I stopped immediately, this was new, they had a knife that belonged to him, his medals. A brief piece about him at the side. And I read it, and stood amazed at this mans spirit.

This is not the only hero at The Museum, there are others, and I tried to stop at each. Some, I recognized the story or the name.

During combat in Vietnam, Lt. Rick Rescorla would sing to his troops to keep their spirits high while under fire. As head of security for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in New York, Rescorla used the same tactics to calm co-workers as he led them from their offices during the attacks on the World Trade Center.

Rescorla survived battlefields in Southwest Asia, but he apparently was not so fortunate Sept. 11. Currently on the missing list, Rescorla was last seen in a 10th-floor staircase. He is credited with saving 3,800 colleagues, while sacrificing himself.

Rescorla is a featured character in "We Were Soldiers Once … And Young," a factual account of combat in Vietnam’s Ia Drang Valley. Written by Army Gen. Hal Moore and reporter Joe Galloway, the book is considered required reading among Army officers. Since the book was first published in 1996, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service has sold 47,000 copies, with more than 3,200 sold in the last year alone. The book was made into a Mel Gibson movie that is due out next spring.

"He was on the cover of the book," Galloway said, recalling the photo of Rescorla as a battle-weary lieutenant preparing for a bayonet charge with his M-16 rifle. Rescorla, 62, took charge during the terrorist attack on his building, just as if he was again in combat, Galloway said during a telephone interview from his home in Washington, D.C. "No one would have expected anything less of him," Galloway said. Rescorla was in his office on the 44th floor at 8:48 a.m., when the first plane struck the neighboring tower. At 9:10 a.m., a plane hit the second building where Morgan Stanley, an international financial services firm, had offices between the 43rd and 66th floors. Survivors said Rescorla grabbed a bullhorn and cleared out 3,800 workers from 20 floors. When newspapers published accounts of Rescorla’s calming office workers with his songs, Galloway remembered Rescorla singing Welsh mining songs during combat in Vietnam. Comrades who served with Rescorla said he would sing and tell jokes to motivate troops. "He was doing what he always did, singing to them," Galloway said. "Just as he did in battle."

In 1993, when terrorists bombed the World Trade Center, Rescorla also headed the evacuation. To get the crowd’s attention during that attack, he mooned them, Galloway said. "He was a genuine hero then," Galloway said. According to a press account, Morgan Stanley employee Bob Sloss last saw Rescorla in a 10th floor stairwell, calming the fleeing mob of office workers. "Rick was down toward the base trying to make sure people got down and out," Sloss was quoted in the report. "He was definitely there well after it had been established that the building was in trouble."

Born in Hayle, England, in 1939, Rescorla joined the U.S. Army in the 1960s and went to Vietnam as a platoon leader with the B Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry. In November 1965, his unit plunged into a battle at Landing Zone X-Ray, at the base of the Chu Pong, a 2,400-foot mountain in the Ia Drang Valley. He later survived a North Vietnamese ambush at nearby Landing Zone Albany that claimed the lives of 151 men in his unit. In the book, Rescorla played a significant part in repelling the enemy when they outnumbered his unit. Moore, the officer who led the battle at Landing Zone X-Ray, and Galloway, a UPI reporter who covered it, painted Rescorla as a likeable character, who was a skilled leader under fire. "Gen. Moore said he was the finest platoon leader in the Army," Galloway recalled.

After the war, Rescorla went to Oklahoma University on the G.I. bill, and later earned a master’s degree and a law degree. In 1989, he retired as a colonel in the Army Reserve. For the past 18 years, he had worked in security management for Morgan Stanley. During a televised celebrity fund-raiser following the attacks, Robin Williams told the nation of Rescorla’s heroism, Galloway said. Galloway said he will no doubt have Rescorla on his mind Nov. 16, as he speaks to members of the 1st Squadron, 4th U.S. Cavalry during the unit’s annual ball in Schweinfurt, Germany. "If you can go to the grave knowing you helped save people, it seems to be a life well-lived," Galloway said. "He died as he lived, a great soldier."

Rick Scavetta
Stars and Stripes

I stood there for a moment, and I felt so lucky to be spending the day with my family on a military base. Where Memorial Day is spent solemnly and I was proud to be married to my Husband, and proud to be Mother of children who serve and do not realize it.......

And within an instant my pride got pushed aside by anger....because of the following.

A Husband and Wife mid-40's are standing at the area honoring Mr. Rescerola. They are with their young son in uniform, and another young man in uniform. The Wife stops at the display, and begs her Husband to read the incredible but brief account they have for Mr. Recorala.

The husband says..."Do you know this guy? What is the big deal, there are a lot of dead people to read about in here, we will be here all day."

And I stood horrified. I really did.

My immediate thought being, what if Mr. Recsorala's family was here on this day, and heard this being said.....I am not kin, and it hurt my heart to hear those words.

"What is the big deal?"

I thought about my children having to hear that about their Father.....

And I decided to talk to this man. I couldn't help it. It took everything I had to be kind and nice about it. But I wanted him to know, he was in OUR house, and it is Memorial Day. Let us mourn those we have lost, and respect those we have lost...I also tried to educate him about Mr. Rescorla, with what I knew about him, which was not enough. I was as nice as I could muster...

The man left The Museum, and sat in his car.....I asked DH if I was out of line, I was not.

I had the luck of seeing the man the next morning at our hotel, he was sipping hot coffee, and chewing on a sour cream laden bagel. Our eyes met, and he retreated to the elevators...

To Be Continued...

I was hoping for Emma Peel or another was to get out of dusting!

OK, I have been gone for a month, and I avoid all of the mounting housework etc, with THIS...


Taken from Technicalities, and RSM

Your Score: Myrna Loy

You scored 21% grit, 33% wit, 28% flair, and 30% class!

You are class itself, the calm, confident "perfect woman." Men turn and look at you admiringly as you walk down the street, and even your rivals have a grudging respect for you. You always know the right thing to say, do and, of course, wear. You can take charge of a situation when things get out of hand, and you're a great help to your partner even if they don't immediately see or know it. You are one classy dame. Your screen partners include William Powell and Cary Grant, you little simmerpot, you.

Find out what kind of classic leading man you'd make by taking the
Classic Leading Man Test.

Link: The Classic Dames Test written by gidgetgoes on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

*Now back to the suck

unloading a months worth of shit from my truck




removing cob webs

paying pesky bills

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Thanks to several strangers, and his Mother,

Sir Rowland knows the word jackass, and can use it in proper context.

More on this developement later...


You know you have been gone too long, when upon entering your humble abode, you get welcomed by getting tangled in a cobweb.

Seriously, a cobweb.

I also noted the last time I was here I had pnuemonia, and was ill. Yes, it was THAT long ago.

Yes, we arrived home, after a short trip to the grocery, and a quick walk around the house in which Pink Ninja and I picked up a couple of fallen branches. the roof had not caved in, the trees I had removed, still gone! Weeds in the front flower bed are taking over, I am hoping for a bit of rain, to make them more pullable.

Things I have learned from logging a ton of miles.

1.) Dramamine works

2.) You can never pack enough antibacterial wipes.

3.) When you have a months worth of "schtuff" a hotel will not have a wheely valet thingy.

4.) Gas will be the most expensive ever when you decide to drive The Collective across the country.

5.) There are a lot of hookers on hwy 78 in South Memphis.

Exit, stage right...

The Collective are just waking this morning. They have turned into night owls this trip only advantage is that they are not up at 5am. They are not getting enough sleep though, and get grouchy early in the day.

They were not thrilled at all to find Daddy gone this morning, he was up at 4am, and headed out to combatives class. The Collective were also less than pleased to hear we had a LONG drive ahead of us this morning. Lots of tears.

We have been VERY busy for the last few days, lots of pictures and stories to share.

Please pray for safe travel.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Like a band of drifters, we go down the highway!

I am taking this "show" on the road AGAIN! If you can believe it. I have spent the last 24 or so hours trying to locate a months worth of things. Grammy had to buy The Collective more things you know.

So we are headed to Fort Benning for a couple of days, and then it is off to Atlanta for a couple of days.

I have dramamine in purse, goldfish, and a baseball cap to save on hair time!

I am hoping for an unbloggable adventure!

Thursday, May 24, 2007


The body of the US service man has been identified, after much speculation yesterday. I have been unplugged from MSM for weeks now. And when I went to the only place in town for wireless service, I was not surprised to see CNN on the flat screen. About every 6 minutes, I heard the talking heads speculating on "this body", and speaking of the condition in which it was found.

It nauseated me to my core. The idea of someones, Husband, Son, Brother, Friend being talked about in such a callous way. For the media to think it is ok to talk about the condition of "a body" on National Television, is decadent.

Recently at SpouseBuzz in San Diego, I had the honor of meeting Shelly Hall a T.A.P.S. mentor. Her Husband died in a training accident in 1998, leaving her and her 5 children in mourning. When I was listening to the news yesterday, I recalled her speaking about receiving her Husbands autopsy and reading it. She said it was far worse than learning of his death. You can hear her speaking in her own words HERE, in video....) A must listen and see for all of those that benefit from her families loss.

These are not bodies...these are children, lovers, friends...people we may have touched, hands that have held children, feet that have walked miles.

Can we please honor these brave men and women, by honoring them, and their families. This is not information that needs to be shared unless the family wants to do so...

And as I was watching the news, I sat nauseated. I was reminded of Somalia, and recall the video of one of our own brave men being drug behind a vehicle being shown, the phone ringing and my Mother in Law and I crying and sickened...

Prayers to all of those this touches.....

May we learn a lesson in grace, and I am sure this young man was Someone We Should Know.

I'm out of touch, I'm out of time...

Ok, so postage went up AGAIN. This after I sent the President a thank you note.

Oh and Johnny Carsen died like 12 years ago...I learned this little ditty at the mil-blogging conference.

Who knew?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Oak Island, North Carolina

*also lesson learned this week..

never have photo of you in a swimsuit taken alongside your 30 pound daughter in a swimsuit, you will look Amazonian....and you will never enjoy the taste of chocolate again. You will drink a lot though!

That was then, this is now

When DH and I lived at Fort Bragg, we drove to the beach any time we had more than 6 hours to spend there. Not kidding. We spent almost every weekend after March at Cure Beach. It has been a long time since I have had my feet in the sand. The last time I visited the Ocean, I was 21, or 22, and bikini clad, and sleeping on a towel , golden brown, the only worry being that of maintaining an even tan and turning over every couple of hours.

We managed to get to Oak Island, North Carolina on Thursday, ( I think it was Thursday , do not ask me what day it is, or the time it is currently) we were greeted by dolphins, that I had mistaken for sharks. They must have been 30 feet from the shore. At least 8 of them, behind a trail of Pelicans.

So we went indoors, and Sir Rowland, and Pink Ninja had their swimsuits on, in 5 seconds. So with white fine sand under our feet, and a cool breeze we headed to the water. The Collective, took off like a shot towards the surf, like they were invincible, like we live at the beach. This absolutely freaked me. I just knew they would aspirate on sea water, or be taken out to sea only to be eaten by a shark.

So I stood in the freezing surf, begging my smiling and giggling children to "stop right there, no further." Anxiety rising, and welling. And all of a sudden I was dreading bringing my children to the beach. For selfish reasons mostly. Frankly, I was in no mood to scream at children, and keep them from drowning for 4 days. Not fun. I wanted to sit in my skirted Mom haltini, sip on an ice cold coke. No screaming, no saving any one's life. Just sit, attempt some semblance of a tan. Maybe read a book, thumb through a better Homes and Gardens. Nothing. Just sit, and catalog the sounds, and smells for a day when I need them. But no screaming and life saving.

The Evil Knievel, dare devil like behavior only lasted for one dose of seawater in the face and up the nose....and it was over.

Pink Ninja spent the rest of the time creating tidal pools, making Sand cookies, and collecting every shell within reach. Sir Rowland created vast forts, cities, roadways, and sand creations...

and guess what, I sat in the sand and helped craft sand castles decorating them with shells, making bridges out of reeds, and cataloguing memories for a day when i need them.

No life saving....and I watched the Mother of the 12 month old running all over the beach after the little fat feet for hours, while her Husband sat in his lounger and I thought....

what a complete Bastard.

Upon our arrival to Oal Island, we were greeted by dolphins...but I do not think you can see them in this photo. I tried. I originally thought they were sharks. Dork.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

There is no place like home...

We have been having a blast however, it seems as though Sir Roland is ready to head home...

Sir Rowland: "I wanna go to OUR home"

AWTM: "We will be there before you know it."

Sir Rowland: "Not soon enough"

Granny: "Oh, little man is homesick."

Sir Rowland: "I am sick of this home."

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Good Morning from lovely New Bern, North Carolina

I can see the Atlantic ocean from my hotel room...

Seems odd I was staring at the Pacific only a few days ago.

This is vacation right?

I was just awakened by a phonecall, and my nieces who are freaking VERY EXCITED to get going today! Coffee was even brought to by hotel room door!

(The Collective are still sleeping, so I passed on waking everyone up for a continental breakfast.)

We managed to leave an entire day earlier than we had thought we would, just because everyone was soooo darn excited, we could not keep them at the house.

So we will be starting our trip here in delightful New Bern...

Founded in 1710, New Bern was settled by Swiss and German adventurers led by Baron Christopher de Graffenried from Bern, Switzerland. Royal Governor William Tryon made this seaport the colonial capitol. His restored 18th-century capitol and residence, Tryon Palace, dominates a thirteen-acre garden complex that includes several historical landmarks in the heart of the city.

I am actually very excited to see the gardens, in fact more excited to see them than the actual palace.

Should be a good day.

We are also heading South, and driving slowly down the coast, stopping whenever anyone would like, to eat, shop, snoop, and of course note the various lighthouses etc...

The Collective still have not seen the ocean, or beach as we got in rather late last night. I am letting them sleep until they awaken...there are not many mornings I can honestly say, I could sit and blog, and enjoy a cup of coffee while they slept...

DH, wishes he was here, he is still attending school in Georgia. I think he might be at the half point.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I see your poopy flight, and raise you a pyschopathic stalker!

Air ForceWife, has to be my favorite mil-spouse to play mil-spouse poker with. Oh and it is not because either of us has had anything soooo horrid happen. I honestly think it is AFW's and my own flair for drama.

The first night in San Diego, she arrived with this story in hand....

As soon as we reached cruising altitude, the "gentleman" right in front of me (who was apparently traveling with the snorer in pink), reclined his chair back fully. The nosebleed seats don't recline. I was practically looking up the man's nose as he worked on deals offline on his laptop. It was such a tight squeeze that I could not hold my book up to read and I had to find various contortions to keep my mind off the horrendous coffee breath wafting my way from the inconsiderate lout in front of me.

But it got worse.

The bathroom on board was having "issues". I can't tell you what the issues were - they didn't require that the whole thing be shut down. However, they did send forth a gagging odor of rotting eggs left in the sunlight and then doused with the blue flush stuff. The smell would not go away, and kept getting worse and worse.

you really must go read it in its entirity....
A stinky trip on an airplane. AFW, I too have had stinky airplane trips. Including stinky trips, where the stink in question was produced by 2 children, both in diapers. Have any of you ever tried to change diapers in an airplane "loo"? It is nearly impossible, and if you come out clean, they should give you a free flight to any sandy destination. (drinks included)

I will add here, while sitting in the Dulles airport leaving the milbloggers conference , I sat patiently, waiting for my plane to take off. The vetry boring book Mayflower in tow, no children to play musical chairs with. I was seriously not minding the airport experience.....until I noted some 65-75 year old woman laughing maniacally as she kept snapping shots of me with her camera phone. After about photo 5, I told the guy sitting next to me that this woman was snapping photos of not only me, but him as well. He looked at me for a moment, like i was paranoid, and then raised his head just in time to see her clicking and laughing, and the little light on her camera flashing. I am glad he noticed, as did not like it either.

Odd duck, this woman.

So I mouthed the words..."do not take one more picture!"...and she does it anyway. Her Husband at this point is threatening to take her phone away. She is denying taking any photos.

She takes more photos. At least 5 more. I call my DH and he makes the following suggestions. "Just take her picture, flip her off..."

I did neither, but seriously was amazed that I always seem to run into this type of nutcase.

I am also beginning to wonder if this lady might have a blog don'ts, or how too piss off traveling Mom's sans children at the airport?

She just may.

Return to the foothills of North Carolina...

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "what?! You too? Thought I was the only one."

~C.S. Lewis

I have returned to North Carolina, to find The Collective taller, dressed n new clothing, secreting syrup...

Yes they loved spending the weekend with Grandma and Auntie.

I of course am in the foothills, and continue to struggle with all sorts of tech. issues. No wireless, no cell service.

I will say, SpouseBuzz Live 2 went well. As always, it is unrehearsed, and a sort of open chat between panelists, and attendees. Unrehearsed, and unedited...well that can really make me nervous. I am sure it also makes some of the other spouses nervous. But for some reason after opening ones mouth for about a minute. The "fear, real or pretend fades."

Military wives, are learning, there is no such thing as ideal or perfect. In the end it is doing the best for you and your family that matters. Learning that lesson, comes with bumps and bruises, like everything else in life. And having to pick yourself up, without the help of your spouse, well it can be empowering. It is good to share these sorts of lessons with one another. A sense of community, online and otherwise is important., really was great at supporting and organizing the event, and understanding why this is important. This military wife thanks you.

I am unsure how connected I will be for the rest of this week.

We are headed to the ocean for a few days, kites, buckets, shovels, swimsuits, towels in tow. I have not been to the beach in ages. It will be nice to be with all of the family....but my heart is a little sad as DH remains in school, and will miss his children's delight in seeing the ocean for the first time. I will miss him too. And he will miss seeing his wife in her new red swimsuit, unplugged and at the beach....RELAXED. Darn....

Do not worry baby I will take lots of photos. Pink Ninja picked out a swimsuit that has a sparkly turtle on it, it is purple with white polka dots!! HA! Adorable!

I am still not finished talking about the milblogging conference, or San Diego! So stay tuned!

If any of you attended SpouseBuzz, leave a note at SpouseBuzz, we want to hear what you thought of the event!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Enjoying the day

I am unsure of the time...

the computer says 6pm...

It must be 3pm central time.

The SpouseBuzz live event has been awesome.

USAA,, really did an amazing ob.

The luncheon was interuppted by Billy Blanks, the Tai Bo guy..who came in said hi and Thank You. It was very nice.

Already one VERY wonderful experience to come out of the event. I will probably post it over at SpouseBuzz...very moving.

Honestly worth the day.

Once again, I must say I am impressed with this generation of mil-spouse. They really have a lot of responsibilty, and are handling it graciously.

I am wilting as the day goes.

My panel was a difficult one to participate on.

I was up with 2 very amazing women. Shelly from T.A.P. Tradgedy Assistance Program, she became a widow in 1998, she also is the Mother of 5 children. It was also amazing to up with Chuck Z's wife. She spoke about her experience as a wife of a wounded warrior.

The live panel is UP over at SpouseBuzz...

LIVE From San Diego

There will be a LIVESTREAM of SPOUSEBUZZ LIVE IN SAN DIEGO this morning!


Having a lovely time in San Diego. My face always hurts, after 5 hours with these ladies...

I laughed all through dinner in Little Italy tonight, despite being tired.

I was VERY surprised at hw chilly it gets in the evening here...I should have brought a jacket, although scarves seem to be a chic' option.

The brisk air felt good, I miss brisk evenings. Not too many of those to be had in Arkansas.

I did manage to forget my hairspray of all things.

Although one of the items in the goodie bags is 'hairspray"...of all things. LUCK.

There was a health and beauty aid convention at the San Diego Convention Center today. I did manage to drop in for about 10 minutes, with Submarine Wife. She managed to get a picture of the guy that does the Tai-Bo, Billy Blanks or something.... I also guess some Dancing With The Stars hostess was there, but I never watch it, so I had no idea who she was. I did walk away with a couple of free samples. She did have great hair.

In other interesting news, a couple of the "Hubbies" are here with wives. Very interesting to finally meet the other half of the couple you have heard so much about...and nice to see couples walking ahead holding hands. Particularly after soooo many deployments.

I am supposed to head to bed per my own Dh's advice, but need to drink a lot of water before bed, so i do not look puffy and swollen in the morning.

I am very anxious about my panel in the morning. It will be live streamed as well!!

Friday, May 11, 2007


Woke at 3:30, and got a face on and headed to the Raleigh airport.

Arrived in San Diego at about 12'ish....

Had the pleasure of traveling with Trying to Grok from Raliegh to Phoenix. We had a nice talk about how inspiring the Milblogging Conference was, and what we hope to accomplish this weekend at SpouseBuzz Live 2.

The good news, I have a sleep number bed. Interesting to be sure. I honestly thought I liked a soft bed...

not so for the record.

It is a joy to be around the other SpouseBuzz Contributors, and catch up with the staff again.

USAA,, have put together a wonderful conference.

I will post pictures soon!

Frankly I am exhausted and have no idea how Andi has managed to organize both events.

Holy Crap

*The following is a transcript of a telephone call with DH who is at Fort Benning, from May 10th*

DH: "I finally got on, and looked at the photos from the conference."

AWTM: "yeah, I should not wear white, I think the shirt looked poofy, I looked huge...."

DH: "you looked great, but you should wear bright colors."

AWTM: "I cannot get over, how much i am starting to look like my Mother."


DH: "do you want me to explain how that works?"

AWTM: "you are a smartass, no I mean really, I am REALLY starting to look like my Mom, I stand like her, walk like her..."

AWTM: "Holy Crap!"

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Shout out, to my ladies...

So I was lucky enough to meet Stacy, of Keep My Soldier Safe (NOW GRITS), again!! I love Stacy. She is seriously, one of the most honest, and warm ladies I have ever met. I also have a tremendous respect for Stacy after meeting her parents(who are very hospitable), who upon traveling halfway across the country, stopped into my neck of the woods to meet with us. Her folks, brought enough home canned goods, like jelly, and pear honey, pepper jelly to make me feel like part of the family. (They also tolerated The Collective) who were on bad behavior to prove my lacking parenting skills)....She brought gifts in HAND AGAIN for my children. Including a junior Road Atlas for Sir Rowland!! He LOVES it Stacy. However, I am sure he is going to enjoy his back seat driving experience even better now.

There was also Some Soldier's Mom....who I adore! Also with gifts in tow! WOW! The kids loved their gifts, and I took photos! I had the honor of sitting next to SSM, on The In The Family panel...and I am always amazed at her candor, and grace. She has the ability to speak about the hardest of topics without throwing anyone under the bus...(something I need to learn to do) She also sensed my nervousness, and grabbed my hand in support after my introduction....


Stacy, also had the forethought of bring a box of tissue up to the panel, in case I broke down into tears....something I NEVER used to do, but now do at the drop of a hat at highly emotional events

Well guess what, those tissue came in handy after Mr. Robert Stokley spoke.

I am so proud to call both of you ladies friends...

You amaze me with your families continued service, and your strength!!

All of Gods Blessings..

Milblogging Conference photos.... more to come

*AWTM, Andrea Shea King (lovliest EVER!!), Marc Danzinger, and Aaron from Lifelike pundits

*My fellow SpouseBuzzer Homefront Six, flew in from the island!!

*RSM, of When The Smoke Clears (co sherpa)

*AWTM, Robert Stokley, Gold Star Father, and Mary Ann Soldiers Angels Germany

*Ward Carroll, from

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*AWTM, and Andi's World


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*From my Position, Chuck , giving a brilliant speech during the luncheon about Valour IT, and other support organizations.

*Trying to Grok, and Tammi's World

You will have to excuse the amount of photos I am in here...but well it was my camera, and I am a diarist.

Oh and remember the fact that I am a military wife, which means ALMOST ALL photos are taken by me, at arms length.

So enjoy....

I do not have time to link all of theose in the photos...
I apologize for the time crunch factor.

I leave for Raleigh in the am. I need to be there by 5:45am!! UGHHH...

Enjoy the photos!!

*if any of you object to having a photo/name/etc up let me know and I will remove it!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

SpouseBuzz Live 2 San Diego!!

I am really getting anxious for the SpouseBuzz LIVE 2 Event in San Diego. I am seriously fired up, after attending the Milblogging Conference, and I am ready to do it again.

I think you will be amazed at what a powerful experience it can be to share with one another in a group where we all have some common ground. I think you will walk away amazed, and inspired and empowered!

I have had a couple of e-mails asking questions about the event.....

You can read the rest over at SpouseBuzz

The days itinerary is HERE! (WOW)

I would also like to ask those of you in the San Diego area, that know a milspouse to please pass this information forward!!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Building bridges and getting your hands dirty....

The 2007 Mil-Blogging Conference was fantastic. I walked away very inspired by each person I met.

It served as a great reminder to me.

We each bring something unique to the table. I think it is a great time to re-evaluate oursleves, and our own talents, and abilities. I have been reading several posts about how the weekend was so inspiring to each of us.

I think one of the best things I personally took away from this years conference was that of building bridges, to the general public. After all we can scream all day in our own blogs about our frustration, but after a while, we really are preaching to the choir. Particularly, those of us whose readership does not span far. *cough*

I think there are a lot of bloggers that will be able to build Big bridges with those in the media, because that is a war that needs to be fought. The information war is a real one.

I think there are those of us, that can remind people that war has a face. The spouses, Mothers, and Fathers can offer a unique voice to our fight. Because I think it was SSM, that reminded me that less than 1% of the United States population serves in the military.

It is up to us, to educate, inspire, and inform the public.

It is time to take it out of the blogospere. Myself included.

We all have an interest to protect. It may be your friend, or a military child, a parent, a soldier. We really need to support and advocate for those who may not have a voice.

Building bridges, will take time, if we do it right.....

I know your talents, I know some of you are great letter writers, cooks, public speakers, seamstresses.

You are important. And you are needed.

I think Andi gave me a unique opportunity when she invited me to write at SpouseBuzz. SpouseBuzz being sponsered by gives us a big audience, and the ability to offer experential understanding to one another. To know you are not alone, is a gift. And the authors at SpouseBuzz are an amazing group to be affiliated with.

So I have decided to really get moving on a couple of projects that I have been working on at a snails pace. It is frightening to begin a new project, and to start something new. However, there is something even more frightening, and that is regret. I do not want to sqaunder any opportunity, only to find myself standing on the sidelines.

Some of you send e-mail and comments asking what you can do to help the troops.

I think one of the easiest things you can do, is write a note of letter and support. It takes a few moments....

I would also like to ask you to start helping build the bridge. Take the inforamtion to your workplace, church, families, childs school, or daycare...etc.

I have met Mary Ann from Soldier's Angels twice now, and I am impressed with her heart and efforts in Germany. She is a hard working, and I know would love to recieve support!

Write Patients in Germany
The Soldiers' Angels have adopted the Combat Support Hospitals in Iraq and all the Military hospitals worldwide. Soldiers’ Angels Germany supports the patients at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. See About Medical Evacuations to Germany.

You can write letters and cards of support and encouragement to the wounded and ill troops who are being treated in and transitioned through medical facilities in Germany.

Your cards and letters will be included in Transitional Backpacks or separately as needs dictate, but in both cases distributed directly through Soldiers’ Angels Germany. You may want to include your name, address and email address in your letters.

Suggested salutations: "Dear Soldier", "Dear Hero", "American Hero", etc. are all fine!

Please place unsealed cards and letters with "Dear Hero", etc. written on the outside in a single larger envelope and send to:

21st TSC, Medical Transient Detachment
ATTN: Soldiers’ Angels, MaryAnn Phillips
UNIT 23203
APO AE 09263

- Please notify us when items are shipped.
- Include a note with your name, Email address, and short description of items sent in your packages. Without this information, we regret will not be able to confirm their receipt.
- Receipt confirmation may take up to 5 weeks. Thanks for your patience.

Thank you for your support.

Let me know how many letters you write and send!!

Amazing Grace.....

Those of you who read me at all know how I feel about our military Widows, and Goldstar Parents.

I never know what to say, I never know how to express my gratitude, or my sense of empathy, or heartache.

A simple Thank you never seems to mean enough...or say what my heart really needs to say.

I wrote about it in one of my very first posts...

The tears come....and you try and stop them. All of the worry, gratefulness, sorrow, and love. You cry for him, and his lost brothers, and for the widows that must cry in the shower, so their children can't hear them.

And when I met A fellow blogger, who is now a widow...I was left speechless, amazed by her spirit and strength after loosing someone far too soon....

Friday night at the Milblogging Conference I was mingling about, with my vodka tonic in hand, trying to meet those who I have been reading for so long, and those I have met before, when I see a man standing by me with a dog tag around his neck.....

AWTM: "your Son is in the service?"

Man: "yes, my Son Mike Stokley was."

I stood there, realizing I was standing in front of Robert Stokley, a man I have read several times over at Andi's World. Including this piece which can be found at Andi's World. Along with several other pieces, where Robert has written fondly about his Son Mike.

It was very early on April 19, 1982 and the wife awoke in pain and hemorrhaging. It only got worse and a call to the doctor led to the husband taking her as quickly as possible to Dekalb General Hospital some 8 miles away. Once the doctor got there and an ultrasound was done, the exigency of the situation intensified - the placenta had separated and the wife was bleeding to death and the seven month term baby was in distress and could die. As the doctor told the husband and dad to be this news, saying, no more time, we have to do a C-section and fast, for that is the only way to save the baby and her, the doctor scampered into the operating room.

He was a first time dad, no experience at this, and alone at the hospital, for there had been no time to call family, friends, or even work to tell them he wouldn't be in. This husband and now a dad premature to be, dared not leave the door to the operating room and stood frozen in time. He was scared and simply did not know what the next move should be. What seemed like an eternity was no more than 30 - 45 minutes when the sound of a cart knocking a door open sounded to his left and he whirled, startled to see a baby cart coming out with two nurses pushing it frantically. But they stopped momentarily and said "this is your boy". The dad nearly choked with tears of love and joy - and fear, for there on that cart lay a very frail child, small and struggling for life. The nurses said we can't stay here, we have to rush him to Neo-natal intensive care, as the dad reached down, and with his right index finger, gently placed it in the palm of that premature son's hand, even though the tip of his finger was bigger than the hand itself. It was 10:32 a.m.

He jogged a short ways with them and asked if his son was going to be all right, to which they said it doesn't look good - his left lung is collapsed and his organs may not be fully developed enough for him to live, and if the right lung goes down, there is nothing we can do. We'll do all we can as they went through doors to a waiting Neo-natal intensive care staff and the dad had to let go of his boy. The dad stopped and bowed his head and prayed "God, please don't let my boy die, please let me have him, if only for a little while" as he sobbed tears of love and anguish, and for the first time ever, feeling the pain of a father hurting for his child. Several hours later, the wife was out of danger and now in recovery. His son, still no word.

August 16, 2005, the phone rings at 7:00 a.m. and the dad answers it: "Mr. Stokely, this is Major Hulsey and I am here with Chaplin Dicoppo and we need to speak with you urgently but your dog will not let us to the door". The dad runs to the driveway to meet them and before they can speak, he says "is my boy dead". The Major and Chaplin were pained as the words came out "we regret to inform you that your son, SPC MICHAEL JAMES STOKELY died from wounds while on foot patrol near Yusufiyah at approximately 2:20 a.m. local time Baghdad".

In the days, weeks and 20 plus months since, the dad has often thought about his boy and the life they shared. Close trusted friends they were to each other, even though a divorce had taken place while he was yet a toddler. While time and space might separate them periodically, nothing could break the bond of love they had.

Some ask the dad, even this day, how do you cope, how can you not feel anger or bitterness? How do you still have faith in God, or even trust God at this point? The dad's reply is simple and fact based as he tells the story about the son's birth and his prayer of April 19, 1982, and that maybe God's idea of answering that prayer and letting the dad have his boy a "little while" was 23 years 3 months and 27 days. The dad also shares that if Mike Stokely had died when he was born premature and in distress, who, but for a few people, would have known, much less cared; but, look at what God allowed Mike accomplish and the impact he made in his 23 years. God has blessed Mike Stokely and his dad - the entire family as well - in a great and abundant manner.

This day, the day of Mike Stokely's 25th birthday, is not a day to be sad, but a day to remember and rejoice, for the fact he lived at all. If those who took his life had in mind to hurt us, they succeeded. If they had in mind to break us, they failed. We are a family - Mike's family, and we will do what he would have us do. We will go on and live life as fully and happily as possible. But we also will remember him and we will do so in a way he lived his life - helping others. Tonight, from 5 - 8 p.m., we are going to host a "birthday party" to raise money for scholarships given through the Mike Stokely Foundation. In weeks to come, the Foundation will give over $2500 in scholarships to graduating high school seniors. As well, the Foundation will give money to libraries and underprivileged kids to buy books. Mike was passionate about reading and the Foundation will further that passion through others, and do what can be done to make their lives better.

Thank you God for answering my prayer 25 years ago and letting me have my boy, even if only for a little while.

Robert Stokely
proud dad SGT Mike Stokely
KIA 16 Aug 05 near Yusufiyah south of Baghdad
US Army E Troop 108 CAV 48th Brigade GAARNG

I stood there for a moment, and recollected all of the words I have read, written Robert Stokley. and how on many occassion I have just been unable to read them, and have cried onto my keyboard, unable to see the screen.

So I hugged Mr. Stokely...

and felt inadequate again. There was nothing I could say...

AWTM: "I am so sorry for the loss of your Son."

And I stood in front of Mr. Stokley with tears in my eyes. And much to my amazement, he grabs my hand.

Robert Stokely: "I need to thank all of you bloggers for giving me my life back, I have to be strong for my family, I need to be the rock, and you folks have given me a place where I can talk about Mike, and I do not have to be that rock...."

And I stood there in tears in front of Mr. Stokely absolutely at a loss, and feeling ashamed of them.

AWTM: "I need to thank you, because Mike gave all, and your family has really sacrificed more than most of us will ever feel."

Robert Stokely, then wrapped his arms around me and gave me a huge hug.

Mr. Stokely, you are a rock, and you are amazing.

Thank You from my family, to yours.....

You can watch Mr. Robert Stokely speaking about his Son Sgt. Mike Stokely HERE.

Circles of gratitude

I am still in the foothills of North Carolina, sans cell service, wireless etc.

I am finding my experience at The MilBlogging Convention very overwhelming in so many different aspects.

I am from a very Midwestern cynical, working class background, where I sort of grew up in an environment where I was sort of taught that "one person" cannot really make much of a difference.

The military community, support community, and the blogosphere have shown me what heart, and thought, and drive can really do. And for no other reason than "doing it for others". Those military members serving for a community of people that are at times unaware of the sacrifices made. The volunteers and support community like Soldiers Angels, Valour IT, Sew Much Comfort, trying to give back to those who serve us. It is an amazing circle of service, and gratitude, that is an incredible wheel to watch turning.

Since I have started reading blogs in 2003, and blogging on my own in 2005, my cynical attitude has changed. I really have seen individual people DO AMAZING things for others.

On a personal note, I honestly must say this about our members that serve our Country continue to amaze me with such selfless efforts, I am really in awe of you all.

To those that support the men and women that serve and their mission, once again I need to thank you for always having our backs. Because when I sent my spouse to war I could not help but think "what if".

"What if?"...

And I will honestly say, that most of the time those "what if" thoughts would be squashed with the idea of knowing there were organizations I knew of that really did have my back, so I could continue my role as a wife and Mother.

That is an awesome gift to give someone. It eliminates a lot of anxiety, fear, and allows Mothers, Wives, Husbands and Fathers to focus on making things at home as smooth as possible.

So from my heart I wear on my sleeve, and I do wear it on my sleeve...

I thank each of you, service members, support community for making my life better and easier...

Because you have made it easier. Know because of all you do there have been fewer tears, and more hope.

Those are amazing gifts.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

This is footage from last years conference....

But guess what Mr. Blackfive was right when he warned us against censorship....

and coined the phrase

"pissed off dissident bloggers".

There is footage from last years conference HERE

Saturday, May 05, 2007

live continued

Blackfive as always clever indeed...

Introducing Sean "Doc in The Box", wife is here as well. His blog is blogrolled on the right hand side, please go check.

Hook introduced, and discussing Operation Shoefly. An amazing effort.

Bill Roggio being introduced by Blackfive as smartest guy on the planet. Bill, always very soft spoken. He blogs at the Fourth Rail. Former military, and currently is an independent journalist embed.

Discussing technological evolution in battlefield, since 2005, the amazing difference.

Blackfive, introducing topic of new blog regulations.

"Army" regs Doc in The Box points out.. very funny.

The new Army regs in essence mean all blog posts written must be proofed by the commander before being posted. Blackfive points out that even the "mundane" will need to be proofed.

Most "guys in the field" are not going to BOTHER a Commander, who is busy with a blog post. Hence the Army's way of trying to put Kabosh on blogging.

please join us in chat.


From The Front Panel One


introducing panel

Should be especially interesting due to new regs re: new milblogging regs that were introduced this week....

live continued.......

Oddly enough CNN backed out.

Imagine that....

Ward Carroll editor at is currently introducing panel 1 moderated by Blackfive.

panelists include:


Doc in the Box

Bill Roggio

Bill Ardolino

Would insert links as well but frankly I cannot post that quickly.

I would encourage those of you interested to go to the link below to the live chat.

MilBlogging Conference 2007

In Washington at Westin, arrived late with Buckethead, RSM, Princess Cat.

Last night, Carpool.

Too many people, too many drinks to account for the night entirely.

Did attend the cocktail reception at the Westin, and was lucky to meet more amazing people.

Stories to follow.

Currently am listening to an update from Rear Admiral Fox, re: the Multi-National Force in Iraq.

More later.

On personal note: Grammy is currently caring for Sir Rowland in North Carolina-he is ill.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

photos to come....

Blogging will be light as I am on dial up right now. I am out in the foothills of North carolina, with no wireless. I do promise, pictures are coming!!

Sir Rowland is making HUGE attempts at socializing.

While at Fort Benning, I overheard him on the playground at the campsite...

Sir Rowland: "Hi I am Sir Rowland, I like complicated games, golf in particular. I am 5, and I am an excellent reader and navigator."

peer group: stood looking confused.

I am soooo proud of him for attempting to make friends and initializing socialization with his peers.

It did make me laugh though. I was waiting for him to throw in his zodiac sign!