Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New year



New Years Eve 2006, 6 and a half hours we will enter 2007 whether we want to or not. For many it’s been a wonderful year and for others a year they would soon forget. We here at our house are kind of in the middle, we have been to a place we hope to one day call home and loved every single minute of it, but we have lost much this year and have had a pretty rough time of it too. So I’d like to bring family, friends, and the casual observers of my blog a year in review.

January brought a new year and new things. We spent our usual quiet new years eve at home by ourselves and we prepared for our trip of a lifetime to the islands. Meanwhile my job kept me busy w/ preparations for two inspections.

February 11th found us anxiously watching TV as a snow storm headed toward us threatening to mess up weekend travel plans, what had only days before been rain or a whole lot of nothing was now threatening our leaving this frozen burg for warmer climates. The 12th found us with a major snow storm on our hands and a flight to catch in Philly. Checks of the airport’s website and USAIR’s web site showed the flight was still a go so we braved the roads and headed to the airport. We arrived and were told that the flight was delayed and probably would be cancelled. They asked if we wanted to reschedule and my only question was can we reschedule to return flight so as not to miss any island time. So we rescheduled for the following day and sat down to let the roads improve and to call our Capt with our change of plans. Fortunately he was stranded in Baltimore so he wasn’t waiting for us on the boat. Sunday came and we headed off to Fun & Sun. Check out our Caribbean Adventure Blog for more details on our trip.
March found us mourning the death of our beloved cat Little Bit and me working hard to prepare for inspection number 1 in May. April was pretty much the same and then in May our beloved German Shepherd Lady passed away at 11 years old. We still miss her even though we adopted big Zioux shortly after she passed away, it wasn’t planned but he filled some of the void of not having a dog around the house. The inspection went well and there was a little bit of quiet time at work for the rest of May then it was onward to the next one which was focusing strictly on my work not on the unit as a whole. That inspection in Mid July went well and I was off to Portsmouth NH for a week of training which was a nice break. We also went to the wedding of our good friend’s son and had a great time.
August found us working on things around the house and talking with Dr Park @ the Graduate pain center in Philly for a solution for Vicki’s back. His solution was a spinal stimulator which would block the pain impulses to the brain and allow Vicki to walk again. So after seeing a shrink and a few other things Vicki had the trial one implanted in September for one week. This went very well and gave her back her mobility to the point that she didn’t want to give it back. Once it was out we had to wait one month before we could decide to have the permanent one put it. Needless to say she opted for the permanent one and had surgery on Nov 3rd. So far things are going well with it and she hopes to have much more mobility and less pain in the new year.
December came once again but this year it was much warmer than usual and once again Chuck was busy at work and Vicki was busy with the Christmas details. We managed to get a card out to family and friends, make lots of sweets, get the decorating done and even get a few presents. So once again we are back at the end of one year and the start of a new one. We wish you and your family a happy, healthy, prosperous and blessed new year.

Please remember our troops who are far from those they love as they start this new year.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

More Zioux!

Here's more of our crazy dog. He loves fire sirens, especially the old school federal que sirens. He will actually stand at my laptop and grumble until I open up Youtube and play one for him! I set him up with this one and waited til he was napping so I could get him as he came running for it.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Three Kings

Check out Major Z @ From My Position On the Way has This great post about three wounded heros at Walter Reed.

Lt Stadklev is an officer I would follow thru the gates of hell, when he and his men found a body dressed like a subject they were searching for they checked it from a distance for booby traps then Lt Stadklev led from the front like a true warrior and approached the body by himself while his men stayed at a safe distance. As he neared the body his whole world exploded. His actions saved his men from serious injury but resulted in him being seriously wounded and shipped to WRAMC in DC. Like a true warrior leader his concern is getting back to his men.

PFC Stephen Hopkins is a medic in the MD National Guard, while deployed in Iraq PFC Hopkins has his hand crushed by a vehicle. He however is more concerned about others getting help they need then himself. A true warrior and a true caregiver

SPC Bruce Dunlap was working a route clearing mission in Iraq when he was hit by a large IED. This seriously wounded warrior's comment to Major Z was “I hope the enemy does read your blog. They’ll see me and it’ll be a great big “up yours! You missed, you failed, I’m still here!” That's the warrior spirit that makes our military great. I am proud to call these men brothers, although my service is a lot more tame and a lot safer than theirs. They truly are 3 kings and are just a small part of the group of warriors who are protecting our freedoms everyday.

So, please take a few moments to check out Major Z's blog and send these heros a short note.

Brian James Ivory American Hero

Brian showed that Marines are brave in battle and at home. Good job Marine, I am proud of you.

Marine Saves Fiery Crash Victim
Christine Armario
Newsday (Melville, New York)
Dec. 18--It wasn't Iraq, but a trip home from work unexpectedly turned into a heroic rescue operation for one recently discharged Marine.
Brian James Ivory, 25, of Islandia, was heading home from his bartending work in Stony Brook around 3:30 a.m. yesterday when the vehicle in front of him on Old Nichols Road in Hauppauge crashed into a utility pole.
William Decoteau's blue 2004 Ford Mustang erupted into flames, Ivory and Suffolk police said. Ivory called 911 and then approached Decoteau's car. The 24-year-old Brentwood man was trapped inside and screaming.
"He was screaming like I've never heard anyone scream in my life," said Ivory, who served five years in the Marines, including several months in Iraq.
As nearby residents gathered and warned that the car was probably going to explode, Ivory decided to take a chance and help the man out. He opened the driver's side door. Decoteau's hair and clothing were on fire.
Ivory reached for the seat belt, but it wouldn't release.
"The seats were on fire, everything was on fire," Ivory said. "I couldn't breathe." But Ivory kept on, he said, in the belief that if he didn't get Decoteau out of the car, he would likely die there.
"I just knew it had to be done," Ivory said yesterday afternoon. "You don't think about yourself. You just try to help others."
After what seemed like "forever," Ivory managed to unlatch the seat belt and drag Decoteau out of the car. Ivory said he helped douse the driver's shirt and hair, himself having suffered burns to his face and smoke inhalation.
Both Ivory and Decoteau were taken to Stony Brook University Medical Center and treated for their injuries, police said.
The Hauppauge Fire Department extinguished the vehicle's fire.
Suffolk police said Ivory saved Decoteau's life. Decoteau was issued a speeding ticket, police said. Ivory said Decoteau appeared to be going about 60 mph when he struck the utility pole.
Neither Decoteau nor his family could be reached for comment, but Ivory said they thanked him at the hospital for his risky rescue.
Decoteau's mother "was in tears," Ivory said. "She didn't even know what she could do. She said she'd like to do something for me."
The driver was still at the hospital yesterday. Ivory said he suffered severe burns to his face. "He was lucky," Ivory said. "If I didn't go in at that point, he probably would have a lot worse burns."
Ivory said he had been on leave from the Marines since October, and was officially honorably discharged on Saturday, hours before the accident. During his five months in Iraq, he worked as an airplane technician and crew member.
He also had been stationed for a period in North Carolina, during which time he helped with search and rescue missions.
He has been working as a bartender and manager in a restaurant, and in January plans to attend Stony Brook University to study biochemistry.
Ivory said he had no doubts that his work with the Marines prepared him to make the rescue. "You don't leave people behind," Ivory said. "That's one of our mottos. If he was left there, he was going to die."
Copyright (c) 2006, Newsday, Melville, N.Y. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News. For reprints, email , call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas





Last nite we had Christmas Eve w/ friends who are like family to us. Their whole crew was there and it was a great time w/ great food. Then helped "Santa" wrap some gifts for the kids.

We wish you and your family a wonderful and joyous Christmas and a blessed and prosperous New Year.

Chuck & Vicki

RIP James Brown



The Godfather of Soul passed away early this AM. Rest in Peace James, your music inspired many people.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve 2006



Today we are putting the finishing touches on our holiday. The turkey is cooking, the sweet potato cassarole is cooked, and the watergate salad will soon be made. We are off to have dinner w/ friends tonite and will take those items with us along with gifts for them and their grandkids. I have wrapped Vicki's presents and even Zioux is getting a couple gifts this year. Then it will all be over and it's back to work for a couple days. The image above is out dream christmas in a couple of years.

After the new year I have plenty to keep me busy at work and some possible travel to FLA in Feb for a week. Then the big push will be heading over to the war for a bit in April.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and to remind everyone to remember our troops who are far from family and loved ones this year. Here's a poem for everyone.

"My Lonely Christmas"

As I lay down to sleep, this eve of Christmas morn,'
I slide between the cotton sheets so comfortable and warm.

A tinge of guilt comes over me followed by a saddened tear.
I say another lonely prayer that only God can hear.

I turn the bedside light off and quickly settle in,
but it will be a few more hours before my night comes to an end.

I lie here all but motionless, eyes wider than the sky.
I try to think of happy thoughts, but I still break down and cry.

I punch my flattened pillow and lie flat on my back.
I'm thinking of my soldier who's bravely serving in Iraq.

I finally stop my crying and a calm sets in my heart.
For, I know this year will quickly pass, then we'll no longer be apart.

My eyes are feeling heavy now, so I send God one last prayer.
"God, please protect my soldier while fighting over there!"

© 2005 Bradley A Peraino
Used with permission

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Reading Terminal Market

On Monday Vicki & I treked into the big city to see her back Doc. While we were there we visited the Reading Terminal Market. We got some great deals on produce and other things and had some great food too. Also we treked to the headhouse building to see the Christmas train layout they have set up. Here's some video of it.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Cooking with Zioux!


Even Zioux got in on the cookie making this year! He got nosy so I floured his nose!

Time Person of the Year

Wow! I am now a 2 time winner of the Time Person of the year award. In 2003 it was the American Soldier which according to Time covered all military personnel. This year it is You so I can now put on my resume 2 time winner of the Time Person of the year!

Messed Up!

This is messed up. An airman from McGuire AFB went to Philly w/ his pregnant wife last nite, I guess to have a nice time with her before he shipped out to Iraq in the near future. Apparently there was an altercation in the club which spilled out into the street where he was stabbed to death in the parking lot!

The worst part is nobody in the club saw anything! Step up and be a real man and tell the cops what you saw, you cowards!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Birthday Love Life

Your Birthdate: December 1

You don't just believe in love at first site - you've experienced it.
You develop crushes pretty easily, but keeping your interest is another matter!
You are very prone to love - hate relationships.

Number of True Loves You'll Have: 2

Number of Times You'll Have Your Heart Broken: 4

You are most compatible with people born on the 1st, 10th, 19th, and 28th of the month.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Rude People

So we head out to a matinee of Deck the Halls today, and the place is pretty much empty, in fact up til 10 minutes before it started we were thinking it was a private screening.

Well after a bit a lady and a few kids show up and sit a few rows behind us. We were sitting about 6 rows from the front or so in the middle of the row. Well then this older lady comes in and walks to the row in front of us and sits dead smack infront of me! There were another 60 seats in the theater and she sits right infront of me! So we moved a seat to the right so we could both see the screen!

I mean WTF is up with this lady!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Shield

From what I am reading on the various forums it looks like I will have to wait til April for the greatest cop show since NYPD Blue to debut for this season. Check out the trailer from Youtube. Also, if you are a Shield fan then fess up to it in the comments or I'll send Vic after you! LOL!

God Speed Sgt Keith Fiscus

I got this from my local paper. A true hero, Sgt Fiscus volunteered for a second tour of duty in Iraq. He was a true american hero. Rest Easy Brother, I will see you on Fiddler's Green.

Delaware Soldier Killed by Roadside Bomb in Iraq by Andrew Tangel - The News Journal

A Townsend-area man killed when a roadside bomb blew up last week became the 14th soldier from Delaware to die in Iraq.

The bomb detonated near a vehicle carrying Army Sgt. Keith E. Fiscus, 26, in Baghdad on Saturday, the Pentagon announced Wednesday.

His death was announced the same day Americans heard for the first time suggestions from the Iraq Study Group on how to better manage the conflict, which began with a U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

In Delaware and Hawaii, where his unit is based, and on personal Internet pages, friends and relatives were mourning Fiscus on Wednesday and planning to honor him.

Fiscus had phoned home the day before he died and "was doing fine," said Dena Archer, his older sister.

"It was an extreme shock. Nobody wanted it to come," she said. "My parents just talked to him the day before, so it still just doesn't seem real."

Fiscus played with GI Joe action figures as a boy, Archer said, though she didn't recall that it was her brother's dream to join the Army.

After graduating Glasgow High School in 1998, Fiscus, the second oldest of four children, worked in the produce department of a supermarket and later as a customer service representative for Discover Card, said Archer, 28.

Fiscus then enlisted in the Army, following his grandfathers' example of serving in the armed forces, she said. He finished boot camp in 2002 and served his first tour in Iraq.

Fiscus was killed in the middle of his second tour, which began in August. He had been assigned to the 25th Infantry Division based at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

Fiscus and a fellow soldier were apparently going to clear a roadside bomb -- or improvised explosive device -- when their Hummer triggered another bomb, said Alicia Dove of Honolulu. Dove said she knew Fiscus through her husband, Fiscus' Army buddy.

Archer said her brother was to have come home in February.

As family members in Delaware arranged services for Fiscus, his friends planned a memorial service Tuesday in Hawaii, said Dove, who created a tribute for Fiscus on the social-networking Web site MySpace.com.

"He really liked being in Iraq because he didn't have to deal with the day-to-day" issues of life in the United States, Dove, 21, said.

And, she added, he enjoyed having the close camaraderie found in combat. "He liked being around people who always had his back," she said.

She and her husband, Devin Dove, described Fiscus as loyal, trustworthy, intelligent, witty, and a good soldier.

And despite his rough exterior -- tattoos that he joked would scare children and an affinity for hard rock music -- Fiscus was also the "most caring, most sensitive, most hopeless romantic," Alicia Dove said.

While his friends reminisced about Fiscus, they also take comfort in knowing the man who seemed to always try to better himself died honorably.

"If I had to die," Devin Dove quoted his friend as saying, "I would like for it to be in war."

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas in Iraq

I found this online and couldn't wait til Christmas to share it.

Christmas in Iraq
by Kathryn E. Darden for Christian Activities
2/21/2006

Nashville, TN - 'Twas the night before Christmas in an Iraqi town;
And our brave U.S. forces had all just hunkered down.
Not a Humvee was moving, not a Jeep stirred the sand
As troops dreamed of their homes, each and every man.
Some longed for their sweethearts, other men missed their moms,
Others missed sons and daughters not seen for so long.
Sugarplums would be nice, but much nicer to be
At home with their loved ones 'neath their own Christmas tree.

When what to their wondering ears should be heard,
But the faint sounds of carols, music and joyful words.
At first heard so faintly, then the sound grew and grew --
The sound of your loved ones singing carols for you.
For you are not forgotten, you are not alone;
You are missed by the people you keep safe at home,
And we remember you as the Christmas bells ring,
As you're watched by the Christ Child whose carols we sing.

For no matter how far from your home you may be,
There once was a Babe born for you and for me.
So hark to the carols as their music draws nigh,
And look to the stars in the Iraqi sky.
Remember the star which on Bethlehem shone,
The star that still guides those who yearn to be Home.
So as Christmas Day dawns over here, over there --
Merry Christmas to you, with our love, thanks, and prayers.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Tough Read!

This is a tough read. But I highly recommend reading it.

 

H/T AWTM.

 



Sorry forgot the link

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Me & L Ron Hubbard!



I look like L Ron Hubbard, does that make me a Scientologist? Wonder why I didn't get an invite to Tom & Katies wedding then?

Meritorious Service


I guess my boss thinks my service to our great country and to our unit has great merit. Today I was awarded the AF Meritorious Service Medal. Of course I wasn't the only one there were a bunch of us and it was a team effort that got the job done. I am happy to get it though.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Christmas Decoration



Yep, CHRISTMAS decorations, not holiday decorations, not Xmas (I hate that word!), but Christmas. We put them up this week and today we finished a tree outside in rememberance of Vicki's brother Dave, our sweet Miss Lady & sweet Little Bit the kitty.
Need to add some lights on the right side of the porch and might add another yard decoration if we can find something inexpensive. Also need to put a small spiral tree out but w/ the winds forcast tommorrow that will wait so it doesn't end up a couple towns away!
So what do you put out for Christmas?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sick & Tired!

I am sick and tired of these idiots who think our men and women in uniform are stupid uneducated morons w/ no options in life who join the military for a way out.

I saw a story on my local news that a church was collecting "Silly String" for marines in Iraq. No they weren't planning a big blow out party, they spray silly string into doorways and into rooms to check for trip wires. Pretty amazing that uneducated morons thought that up huh.

Check out Sgt Hook's post about the people he bets his life on.

Let me tell you from experience there are some damn fine young men and women in the military today who could triple their salary if they got out. However, they do it for the honor that comes with serving this great nation. A very close friend of mine's son is in the Navy, he could be working in a swanky hotel right now as a manager or assistant manager on his way to the top but instead he is protecting our great country and the way of life we all enjoy.

So John Kerry & Charles Rangel and anyone else who would like to make comments like that, how bout you have a big helping of Shut the F$*# Up!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Bus Fire!




Well once in a while I still run calls, when the stars line up with the planets and the moon and magically I am actually available when a call comes in.




Well, here's a photo and the article I wrote up for it. More Photos will be available at http://www.avondalefirecompany.org in the near future.




Bus Fire 11/28/06 London Grove Twp PA

At 1753 hours on Tues Nov 28th the Avondale Fire Company was dispatched to a reported bus fire @ Rt 41 & Baltimore Pike in London Grove Twp PA. 1st arriving deputy 23 reported a bus well involved and instructed Engine 23-2 to use caution due to high tension lines above the bus. The crew from Engine 23-2 under the command of Lt Decker pulled a 1 ¾” hoseline and attacked the fire in the bus. Tanker 23-2 under the command of past chief Decker arrived immediately behind Engine 2 and established a water supply. Engine 23-1 under the command of Firefighter Mankin arrived and assisted the crew from Engine 23-2 with fire suppression efforts. The fire was placed under control within 15 minutes and units cleared with in an hour after the bus was removed from the scene. There were no injuries to anyone on the bus or any responding members.

Responding Units:
Eng 23-2
Tanker 23
Eng 23-2
Amb 23
Squad 23


Monday, November 27, 2006

Rep Charles Rangel is also an A$$!

Here is my letter I am sending to Rep Charles Rangel from NY. It seems he has upset a lot of military people with his idiotic comment. Check out this from Matt @ Blackfive, this from Froggy @ Blackfive, and lastly this from Uncle Jimbo also at Blackfive

Here's my letter;

Hon Charles Rangel
163 West 125th Street, Suite #737
New York, NY 10027

Dear Sir,
While I am not one of your constituents I am a citizen of this great country and feel it is only right that I contact you about your recent statement concerning my brothers and sisters in the U.S Military. It appears that your opinion is a bit flawed and your statement is very disheartening to me and to many others in today’s military. Sir, to refresh your memory I will quote part of your statement, you said;

“ No young, bright individual wants to fight just because of a bonus and just because of educational benefits. And most all of them come from communities of very, very high unemployment. If a young fella has the option of having a decent career or joining the army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq”.

How can you be so sure of this? Have you spoken to many of today’s soldiers? Have you checked the internet and read some of the blogs that these brave and talented men and women have created? Have you even taken the time to learn the names of those in your district who are serving and asked their families about them, not about what they are doing in Iraq, but about who they are and what their motivation was for joining the military. Today’s military is an all volunteer force of talented, motivated and intelligent individuals who serve in dangerous times despite being well educated on the dangers. In past war’s those who volunteered or were drafted only had the bits and pieces of information from the newspaper or the TV or Radio news, their only first hand knowledge may have come from an uncle or cousin who was serving in the military at the time. Today’s communications mediums make it so we can see nearly live video of fire fights in Iraq or Afghanistan, we can read first hand accounts from the soldiers who lived through these firefights and read their tributes to their friends and brother who didn’t make it through. Yet, today large numbers of young men and women are enlisting in the Army and many are also re-enlisting each day. Why? Well everyone’s reasons are different, yes maybe some are, as you say, taking the only way out of a nowhere town in hopes of a better life, yet you cannot paint them all with the same brush. Many have enlisted because they felt a calling to do it much like a priest or minister, many have done it because their fathers did it or their mother did it, some felt it was something they needed to do, and many more did it out of a sense of patriotic duty.

I ask you Sir, how can you paint everyone with such a wide brush? How can an African American paint any group in our society with a wide brush? Would you take offense if a Congressman or Senator from Texas made a statement that all of the African American’s from Harlem are just out to get on the welfare rolls because they have no ambition in life? I am sure you would be right there beside many others who would protest that comment and most likely demand that man or woman’s immediate resignation. To me your comment is no less insensitive or wrong and today’s Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen deserve the same respect as any other citizen of this great country of ours.
In closing sir, I would like to say that while I may not agree with what you have said, I will fight to the death to protect your ability to say it and my ability to respond to it.


Respectfully,

Bloomberg is an A$$

It's real nice when your own Mayor sells you out to the press before the investigation is done, hell before all the witnesses are even interviewed. This man is the worst thing that ever happened to NYC. Rudy in 08!

NEW YORK - November 27, 2006 - Mayor Michael Bloomberg emerged from a meeting with the police commissioner and community leaders Monday and said that it seemed like "excessive force was used" when a groom was killed on his wedding day by a flurry of police gunfire outside a strip club.

"I can tell you that it is to me unacceptable or inexplicable how you can have 50-odd shots fired, but that's up to the investigation to find out what really happened," Bloomberg said at a news conference after the meeting.

The groom, Sean Bell, 23, was killed and two of his friends were wounded Saturday at 4 a.m. after a bachelor party at the strip club. Suspecting that one of the men had a gun, police fired 50 rounds into the vehicle. The men were unarmed.

Bloomberg was joined by Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Rep. Charles Rangel, and several other officials and community leaders at the meeting.

Sharpton called it a "very candid, a very blunt meeting." He said the message to Bloomberg was: "This city must show moral outrage that 50 shots were fired on three unarmed men."

Bloomberg was steadfast in his support for Kelly, who has been denounced by some community leaders over the shooting.

"I think he's the best police commissioner the city has ever had," Bloomberg said. "Nobody takes this more seriously than Commissioner Kelly and I do."

The shooting stemmed from an undercover operation inside the Kalua Cabaret, where seven officers in plain clothes were investigating alleged prostitution and drug use.

Kelly has said the groom was involved in an argument outside the club after 4 a.m., and one of his friends made a reference to a gun. He has said that police shot at the car after it struck an undercover officer and an unmarked NYPD minivan. The information was based on interviews with witnesses and with two officers who did not fire their weapons, he said.

An undercover officer walked closely behind Bell and his friends as they headed for their car. As he walked toward the front of the vehicle, they drove forward - striking him and an undercover police vehicle, Kelly said.

The officer who had followed the group on foot was apparently the first to open fire, Kelly said. One 12-year veteran fired his weapon 31 times, emptying two full magazines, Kelly said.

Of the victims, Bloomberg said Monday: "There is no evidence that they were doing anything wrong."

The shooting has brought back memories of the 1999 killing of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed West African immigrant who was shot 19 times in the Bronx by police.

Rangel said this weekend's shooting "reminds me of a tragedy that took place with Mr. Diallo. And we can't have that. We can't have that."

A crowd of at least a few hundred gathered Sunday at a vigil and rally to demand resolution.

The rally, led by Sharpton, shouted "No justice, no peace," and at least one city councilman called for the ouster of the city Kelly, yelling "Kelly must go."

Bell's fiancee, Nicole Paultre, made a quiet visit to the shooting site before dawn Monday, lighting candles clustered around a photograph of the smiling couple with one of their daughters.

The survivors were Joseph Guzman, 31, who was shot at least 11 times, and Trent Benefield, 23, who was hit three times. Guzman remained in critical condition and Benefield in stable condition on Monday morning.

Relatives of the men attended Sunday's vigil and rally but none spoke publicly.

The five officers who fired were placed on paid administrative leave and had their guns removed, a procedure that is administrative but not disciplinary, while the investigation goes on.

The police department's policy on shooting at moving vehicles states: "Police officers shall not discharge their firearms at or from a moving vehicle unless deadly force is being used against the police officers or another person present, by means other than a moving vehicle."

In the Diallo case, the four officers were acquitted of criminal charges. And in 2003, Ousmane Zongo was shot to death during a police raid. In another similar case, the 43-year-old native of Burkina Faso, another West African nation, was hit four times, twice in the back. In that case, one officer was convicted of criminally negligent homicide, but acquitted of the more serious charge of second-degree manslaughter.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Video

Just a short photo story of what I am thankful for this year. It's been a very tough year w/ some tough times ahead but we are still basically healthy & happy.

Thanksgiving Day

No parade photos this year, too wet and rainy to go :-( .

You can check out the details and watch some video Here though.

Happy Turkey Day.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Eve

Tonite we have Tom Turkey in the roaster, the sweet potato casserole made and the watergate salad made. I actually handled a good bit of the dinner this year because of Vicki's back. Watergate is easy;

1 Package of Instant Pistachio Pudding
1 16oz can of crushed pinapple
1 8oz container of whipped topping
1/2 a bag of mini-marshamallows

Combine them in order in a bowl and and stir well. Chill and serve.

I am wishing everyone (all 2 of you) a Happy Thanksgiving. Please take a moment and remember all of those who are serving away from their families on this holiday. We owe them all a debt of gratitude for our freedom.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Busy Busy Busy

Gonna be a busy week. Worked today then did a few things around the house. Tommorrow is a follow up w/ the Doc for the stimulator, then back to work Wed then Thanksgiving we are heading to the city for the parade (look here for pics!), then dinner w/ friends. In between I need to prepare a sweet potato casserole, the turkey, and watergate salad to take w/ us. Should be interesting!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

God Speed FF Mike Browne

Got this from The Secret List

During severe weather, and what turned out to be a tornado, Delco-Riegelwood (N.C.) Firefighter Browne received and was responding to an EMS run. As he was departing from his residence, the area was hit by the tornado and FF Browne was killed while enroute. Mike’s three-year-old daughter suffered severe injuries but survived. His father and stepmother were killed. His chief says Mike was ready for the call to duty. He just couldn't get out in time. "He was getting his clothes on and headed that way," the Chief said. "He was getting his family out and he was enroute to the station. All of them were dressed like they were getting ready to leave." His Brother firefighters say Mike was a dedicated firefighter and a devoted father. His little girl was found in a ditch, but was alive.
Our deepest sympathies to all affected.
Take Care-BE CAREFUL.
BillyG
The Secret List 11-17-06 2255 Hours
www.FireFighterCloseCalls.comTo visit Firefighter Close Calls home page, click here: http://www.firefighterclosecalls.com


Rest Easy Brother, your brothers and sisters in the fire service will care for your little girl.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Happy Monday

Today we worked at some Ebay stuff then I headed off to pickup a Kerosene heater that was listed on Freecycle from a guy in a neighboring town. Thanks Ron!

Now I am checking out the various blogs and found a few interesting things.

From Sgt Hook I found a link to this story about 15yo Nichelle Cushing from AK. She is an amazing young girl and the daughter of a fine military family.

Also I found this poem which speaks volumes about the level of professionalism in our military today.

REPORTING FROM THE FRONT

The sun beat like a hammer, not a cloud was in the sky.
The mid-day air ran thick with dust; my throat was parched and dry.
With microphone clutched tight in hand and cameraman in tow,
I ducked beneath a fallen roof, surprised to hear “stay low.”

My eyes blinked several times before in shadow I could see,
the figure stretched across the rubble, steps away from me.
He wore a cloak of burlap strips, all shades of grey and brown,
that hung in tatters till he seemed to melt into the ground.

He never turned his head or took his eye from off the scope,
but pointed through the broken wall and down the rocky slope.
“About eight hundred yards,” he said, his whispered words concise,
“beneath the baggy jacket he is wearing a device.”

A chill ran up my spine despite the swelter of the heat,
“You think he’s gonna set it off along the crowded street?”
The sniper gave a weary sigh and said “I wouldn’t doubt it,”
“unless there’s something this old gun and I can do about it.”

A thunderclap, a tongue of flame, the still abruptly shattered;
while citizens that walked the street were just as quickly scattered.
Till only one remained, a body crumpled on the ground,
The threat to oh so many ended by a single round.

And yet the sniper had no cheer, no hint of any gloat,
instead he pulled a logbook out and quietly he wrote.
“Hey, I could put you on TV; that shot was quite a story!”
But he surprised me once again — “I got no wish for glory.”

“Are you for real?” I asked in awe, “You don’t want fame or credit?”
He looked at me with saddened eyes and said “you just don’t get it.”
“You see that shot-up length of wall, the one without a door?
before a mortar hit, it used to be a grocery store.”

“But don’t go thinking that to bomb a store is all that cruel,
the rubble just across the street — it used to be a school.
The little kids played soccer in the field out by the road,”
His head hung low, “They never thought a car would just explode.”

“As bad as all this is though, it could be a whole lot worse,”
He swallowed hard; the words came from his mouth just like a curse.
“Today the fight’s on foreign land, on streets that aren’t my own,”
“I’m here today ’cause if I fail, the next fight’s back at home.”

“And I won’t let my Safeway burn, my neighbors dead inside,
don’t wanna get a call from school that says my daughter died;
I pray that not a one of them will know the things I see,
nor have the work of terrorists etched in their memory.”

“So you can keep your trophies and your fleeting bit of fame,
I don’t care if I make the news, or if they speak my name.”
He glanced toward the camera and his brow began to knot,
“If you’re looking for a story, why not give this one a shot.”

“Just tell the truth of what you see, without the slant or spin;
that most of us are OK and we’re coming home again.
And why not tell our folks back home about the good we’ve done,
how when they see Americans, the kids come at a run.”

You tell ‘em what it means to folks here just to speak their mind,
without the fear that tyranny is just a step behind;
Describe the desert miles they walk in their first chance to vote,
or ask a soldier if he’s proud, I’m sure you’ll get a quote.”

He turned and slid the rifle in a drag bag thickly padded,
then looked again with eyes of steel as quietly he added;
“And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
that we are all that stands between the monsters and the weak.”

© Copyright January 25, 2006 by Michael Marks

Thanks Sgt Major Hook. Hooah!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Veteran's Day 2006



Veteran’s Day, formerly Armistice Day was created in 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson to commemorate the 1 year Anniversary of the Armistice Agreement signed by the Allies & the German’s which ended World War I.

In Emporia, Kansas, on November 11, 1953, instead of an Armistice Day program, there was a Veterans' Day observance. Ed Rees, of Emporia, was so impressed that he introduced a bill into the House to change the name to Veterans' Day. After this passed, Mr. Rees wrote to all state governors and asked for their approval and cooperation in observing the changed holiday. The name was changed to Veterans' Day by Act of Congress on May 24, 1954. In October of that year, President Eisenhower called on all citizens to observe the day by remembering the sacrifices of all those who fought so gallantly, and through rededication to the task of promoting an enduring peace. The President referred to the change of name to Veterans' Day in honor of the servicemen of all America's wars.

Today most people treat Nov 11th as another day, those who work for various Government agencies etc have a day off for it but unfortunately many have no real idea what this day means and most have no real idea of who the veterans are in their community. Hopefully the new group of Vets from the GWOT can help change this over the next few years.

This Veterans day I must work but I will still keep my fellow vets in my thoughts. Please take a moment today to remember a vet and say Thank You. To my fellow Veterans I would like to offer a humble Thank You.

Bad Day

Well yesterday wasn't a good one. The weather was nice and as I headed home from work my truck started acting up. It was running so I mistakenly tried to nurse it home to save a tow as we only had one left for the year w/ AAA.

Well as I was nursing it home it went south quick. The driveshaft dropped and the rear locked up. This caused the truck to slide sideways and stop in the middle of the road. Thankfully nobody was next to me or close behind me so nobody wacked me. But this left me sitting blocking the roadway in a bad spot. I quickly put out a flare to warn traffic and stayed away from the vehicle while calling Vicki & AAA. Then 2 guys from DELDOT arrived in a big orange dump truck. They blocked traffic and kept me safe for the 45 minutes it took for the tow truck to arrive. So now the truck has to be repaired again but we don't have the $$ to fix it. So we'll see what we can work out for it.

Last nite I was sore as all get out but today I am a bit better.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election Fallout

Well it's official Rummy is out which might not be a bad thing. In local elections Curt Weldon is out which is a very bad thing for PA & for the nation. Curt has been a great supporter of the military and of the fire service who are the nation's first line of homeland security. Santorum is out which has me on the fence. Rick has been good to the military over his term but the last couple of times he replied to my letters, I was disappointed on the lack of focus and at one time total lack of meaning in the letter.

Anyways, it's a rainy day here and we are both feeling a little grumpy. Vicki's pain is decreasing for the most part but she still has trouble getting comfortable and her legs are swelling a lot. Hopefully she will feel better as Fri will make a week into the healing process w/ only 5 weeks to go.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Voted, Did You?



I just got back from Voting, I hope everyone else exercises their right to vote today. If you don't vote then you have no right to complain about the state of our country, your state, or even your neighborhood. If you aren't out there voting for those who support your views then you really have no room to complain when your view is not addressed or things aren't running the way you would like them. So if you haven't voted yet, what are you waiting for?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Crazy Dog!

Here's our crazy dog listening to his favorite song, Who Let the Dogs out!.

Lurkers Delurk


Well I got this idea from AWTM so here goes.

I know that 4 or 5 people a day read my blog and yet there are rarely any comments. I guess that means that I'm either not interesting enough or am not posting things to get a reaction from people. So I am asking that you delurk and let me know what you think and what I can improve here.

Post Surgery Day 3

Day 3 after the surgery and things are going fairly well. Vicki is still in pain and has trouble getting comfortable but the pain will be worth it in the long run. So sleeping is in short bits 4 to 6 hours at a time, then a short nap for a few hours then up for a little more time.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Election Day 2006


This Tuesday we cast our votes for those who will represent us in the halls of the State and US legislative branches. Tuesday we must take into consideration the advertisements, the letters, the hand outs, the articles, and all of the other factors to decide who will best represent our ideas, our beliefs, and our very way of life. It’s not about which party the person belongs to, it’s not about how they look in a suit, it’s not about if they are pro-this or anti-that. Tuesday is about making an educated decision about the people you feel will be the best to represent you, your family and your community for the next four years or longer. Below are a few resources to help you better make your decision about the candidates in your particular political races.

League of Women Voters

The Center for Voting and Democracy

Project Vote Smart

Stateline

If you are sitting there on Election day thinking "It's too much trouble" or "My Vote Doesn't Count", or any other sorry assed excuse for not voting, I have one small statement for you, "Get off your lazy ass and get out and vote!" Voting is not something to take for granted, there are thousands in our country who can no longer vote, there are millions around the world who would give their life to be able to vote, so don't be a typical American slacker, GET OUT AND VOTE!


The surgery went well and as usual the Doc and the staff @ Graduate were top notch. To beat traffic we arrived around 0830 for our 9:15 appointment. The staff got us registered and we went up stairs to pre-op after a little while. This time the IV went much better, and things were looking up. Tracy the nurse was great and is from our part of PA and we had a great time talking with her. This time things took a little longer to do since it involved cutting a pocket for the stim battery and cutting again to place the leads. They had to wake Vicki up to make sure the leads were right and that caused a bit of pain but nurse Bob was there to take care of her and then they gave her a little more happy juice and she was back to dreamland.

Today Vicki is sore but moving around a bit within the restrictions, no lifting, bending, reaching above the head, or twisting. It will take 6 weeks for her to completely heal.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

God Speed Sgt Nathaniel B. Lindsey

Sgt Hook has a great piece about a good and patriotic american who gave his life in the War on Terror.

Sgt Lindsey was a member of the 41st Brigade Combat Team of the Oregon National Guard. Sgt Lindsey recently moved from a relatively safe desk job in Kandahar to join other members of his unit who were working to train Afghan Soldiers.

Sgt Lindsey is a fine example of the Citizen Soldier serving his community and his country.

God Speed Brother. We will meet again on Fiddler's Green.

Farewell to the Folks

Had my parents over for dinner last nite, they are once again on the road again in their motor home. The weather is getting below 70 so it's time for them to head for a warmer climate. Usually they spend winter in TX but this year will be in FL for the winter. Then they will return here in the spring, just like the rest of the snow birds. Dinner was nice and it was nice to visit and spend time with them. Maybe I can talk my Dad into blogging to tell about the lifestyle of the full-time RVer.

 

In other news tomorrow (Fri) is the big day for the implanting the permanent spinal stimulator so we are waiting for a call to see how early we need to get up to be there on time.

 

 

 

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!


Today is the day we can all legally dress up as someone else and have a little fun. Vicki & I love Halloween and going out to Haunted Houses and stuff. Fri nite we went to one put on by a local church w/ a Christian theme. This was fun and included a trip into the likes of hell. Last nite we went to a large haunted house over in Gradyville. The Bates brothers are farmers over there and have been adding to the farm income the last few years by running a haunted house and hayride. They call it The Bates Motel and they have 3 attractions set up, the Corn Maze, the Hotel, and the Hayride. They are great and provide great service at affordable prices and even offer a military discount!

 

The corn maze is fun and even allows for mostly wheelchair access. The hotel was even better and w/ the exception of a step to get in the whole thing is wheel chair friendly. Then the big event was the hayride, because of the wheel chair we were sent up another path and got right on to the wagon. We left the chair and it was waiting for us at the offload point! They really took great care of us!

 

Monday, October 30, 2006

God Speed Tony DiAlessrando

Today I am mourning the death of a fellow guardsman. TSgt DiAlessrando served his country as a guardsman, and served his state and community as a guardsman and as a DE State Trooper. Tony fought a long and hard fight with complications from his treatment for Hotchkins Disease several years ago.

 

Rest Easy Brother.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Need a Vacation?


Our good friend Capt Mark at Blue Crab Charters has some awesome ideas for vacations here and in the caribbean. Check him out and make sure you tell him Chuck & Vicki sent you.

In other news things are settling back down but Fri is the big day for the perm spinal stimulator. Once that is in place she will be down for 6 weeks or so. No lifting, bending, reaching above her head, or twisting. That pretty much means lay in bed or sit in a chair. Fortunatly I am able to take the time off so I will be working 1/2 days during most of the time. The longer into the recovery it is the better she will be, they want the scar tissue to form around the stimulator so it will stay in place. Hopefully the perm one will provide as much or more relief as the temp one did a couple months back.

I still try and keep up w/ various blogs so I'll run down a few that I have been reading lately.

1. Armywife Toddler Mom is a daily read for me.

2. Blackfive is also a daily read. Lots going on over there

3. Sgt Allen @ Contact Right is still on his road to recovery at Walter Reed

4. Doc in the box is back home which is great!

5. I read Reid's blog everyday as well. Praying for him & Ellicia everyday too.

That's all for today. Enjoy the blogs.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Idoicy of Law!

This is incredible. These two kids were tresspassing on private property when this unfortunate accident happened! They shouldn't be made rich from it, they should have been fined!

Jury awards $24 million to Pa. men burnt after climbing rail car
Associated Press

Posted Friday, October 27, 2006 at 10:49 am

PHILADELPHIA - A federal jury awarded $24.2 million to two men who were severely burned by electrical wires when they trespassed onto railroad property and climbed atop a rail car.

Jeffrey Klein and Brett Birdwell, who were 17 at the time of the accident, sued Amtrak and Norfolk Southern Corp. after being burned by a 12,500-volt electrical wire in Lancaster in August 2002. In their lawsuit, they argued that the companies should have placed warning signs alerting people to the wires, which power locomotives.
After an 11-day trial before U.S. District Judge Lawrence Stengel, the jury handed up its verdict Tuesday, finding the companies negligent.

Klein, who was burnt over 75 percent of his body, was awarded more than $11 million in compensatory damages; Birdwell, who was burned over 18 percent of his body, was awarded more than $588,000. The jury also awarded a total of $12.5 million in punitive damages, $8.75 million against Amtrak and $3.75 million against Norfolk Southern.

A defense attorney, Paul F.X. Gallagher, had urged the jury to exonerate the companies, saying that the teens were old enough to recognize the danger of the wires. The companies can appeal the jury verdict and the awards.

An attorney for the plaintiffs said the companies had to bear some responsibility.

"The boys were trespassing, but the law doesn't give blanket immunity to the landowner," attorney Joseph Roda said. "Both Amtrak and Norfolk Southern knew a lethal danger existed but failed to post any warning signs."

Klein and Birdwell, each now 22, lived in Stroudsburg at the time of the accident, but had been visiting Klein's mother in Lancaster. They were skateboarding when they decided they wanted to see the view from the top of the boxcar, according to their lawsuit.

Klein was shocked by the catenary wire, which hung 6 feet above the car, even though he did not touch it; Birdwell was burned while he tried to help his friend.

Klein suffered second- and third-degree burns across much of his body, including his left ear, neck, shoulders, arms, hand, back and groin. He spent several months recovering at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia and now has limited use of his left hand.

Birdwell, who is now serving with the Army in Afghanistan, spent a year recovering from his burns.

Friday, October 27, 2006

It's a Small World

The internet makes the world so much smaller than ever before in our lives. We are so connected that everyone knows about things nearly as they happen, people have e-mail delivered to a phone in their hip pocket as they drive along and can respond while driving at 65mph along the interstate. Well at least they can try and drive and respond but that’s another story for a different day.
These last few days I have found the small world of the internet amazing. I am a daily reader of AWTM’s blog and through her blog I started reading about Reid & Ellicia Stanley’s ordeal on Reid’s blog. Of course I then started reading some of his old posts and found that he had spent some time over in a place where myself and several of my co-workers will be heading next year. Well after sending an e-mail to him he graciously gave us the real details on the place. Not the CNN version or the military’s version but the boots on the ground version, the foods good, there living conditions are pretty good, etc. The things that we want to know so we can plan a head when we prepare for the trip. In addition it seems I have made another military and blogger friend in the process. So please check out both of the blogs and please keep Reid & Ellicia in your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Another Day!

Just a short post to apologize for not posting lately and to say I won't be posting much for a bit. We are struggling through a few things here so I am busy w/ other things.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Updates

I apologize to my 2 readers, I have neglected my blog lately. Things have been hectic and crazy but I will try and post more. I guess I should finish out the info that I first posted about the trial spinal stimulator. The trial went well and it really helped Vicki’s mobility. We went last week and spoke w/ the doc and he is looking to put the perm one on Nov 3rd. Then she will be laid up for about 6 weeks while she heels. After that though she should be able to move around more, she won’t be moving furniture or anything but she will at least get some of her life back.


In other news, My part time gig is going fairly well and I am meeting fun and interesting people! LOL!


It looks like Feb will be my turn over in the Sandbox, I won’t say where and don’t know exactly when but it should be a fun time.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Busy Week

Been a busy time lately, working a 2nd job on weekends and working on stuff around the house has kept me busy.

IN the news here's some stories I found.

Please keep Lance Cpl John McClellan in your prayers. He was shot in the head in Iraq this week. The bullet pierced his balistic helmet and exited in the back of his neck. Complete details are Here

MSNBC is running a great series of videos about some of the hero's of the war. Blackfive has some good stuff here.

One Marine's View has a great piece about The Pledge of Allegiance

Uncle Jimbo posted an intersting piece about his brother in law.

Army Wife Toddler Mom is up to her usual stuff and has some great posts there too.

Sorry I couldn't post more this week. Maybe things will settle down soon and I can post more stuff.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Arrrghhh.

Thanks AW for letting me know that it's talk like a pirate day. Too bad I didn't know it earlier.

I did get my pirate name though



My pirate name is:


Bloody Morty Flint



Every pirate lives for something different. For some, it's the open sea. For others (the masochists), it's the food. For you, it's definitely the fighting. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Spinal Stimulator Trial Day 3

Sorry for skipping day 2. It was mainly a day of rest w/ some walking up and down the driveway. So today we gave it a work out.

Well today we put the stimulator to the test. We headed out this morning for a few errands but not before a great breakfast at the firehouse in the next town. $8 for all you can eat, plus they have sweet potato pancakes which the wife loves. She walked into the firehouse and most of the way to the pay table w/out stopping thanks to the stimulator. After a short rest she walked all the way to the table and took a short rest while I got my plate. Then I went up with her to make sure I was there if she lost her balance. She did great though and got her own plate.

After a great meal we headed out shopping, first the the pet store, then the dollar store next door, then to drug store next to that. She walked them all but used the cart mainly for balance in the dollar store and drug store. After that we headed home to get Zioux because we saw at the pet store that another store in the chain was having a wellness clinic w/ $10 rabies shots. Since we are not sure if he ever even had one we took him up there. He was a good boy and loves to ride in the car. Because it was a bit warm and he wasn't the most cooperative puppy the suggested that the doc would give him a shot in the truck. So while I held him and kept the front occupied on one side, the doc and his assistant opened the other door and popped the shot right in his butt. He never even flinched and I am not even sure he knows they were even there. So now he's safe from rabies.

More on the trial tommorrow.

Sunday Stuff

Your Life Is Worth...

$806,000


Well I guess that's what I will make over the rest of my life. Of course that doesn't take into consideration that I might hit the powerball, some old millionaire might leave me a huge amount of money, or I might luck into sleeping with some old rich lady. LOL!

Looks like the best show on TV is back on again and my Sunday evenings will be spent watching it again. I love Extreme Home Make Over and the happiness they bring to people. Pauly is my favorite and grew up not far from me, I probably went to school w/ one of his cousins or nieces.

In addition to that I have become hooked on the HBO series "The Wire" it might even be enough for me to keep HBO after my free 3 months are done. I love The Shield so the wire is as good or better. The cool part is it's set not far from me in Baltimore and could almost be a reality show from what I have heard.

In other blog news I have a few must reads for this week,

Check out Storm In Afghanistan, and please keep him and his wife in your prayers. Also if you can help out his fundraising effort please do, at least you know every dime will go to a good cause and not to "Administrative Overhead" like so many charities. Thanks to Army Wife for pointing me to this site and for giving space on her blog for them.

Blackfive has his usual great stuff

Speaking of fund raising, check out our Ebay Store we are cleaning out the house and hoping to move to the islands one day, plus we are raising some much needed $$ to help out w/ a few things around here.

From My Position, On the Way has a great piece about remembering 9/11/01.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Spinal Stimulator Day 1

The trial spinal stimulator insertion went well. We had to be there @ 0615 though. That doesn't sound bad until you factor in the fact that it's about an hour +/- drive into the big city for us. I set the alarm for 3:45pm though! Fortunatly Vicki awoke about 0430 and we were up and running. Quick shower and dressed and out the door before 0500!

The staff @ the hospital were great and they have a great policy that the patient must see the treating doc in the OR before he/she can be put out. The rep from the stimulator company was great and we found she is related by marriage to a very famous family from the town where I grew up.

So far the stimulator seems to be working well and Vicki is in minimal pain for the most part. The area where the leads were placed is tender and will be for a few days.

We'll keep everyone posted on the progress and hopefully it will work for her.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Major Pat Houtman - Someone You Should Know


Major Pat Houtman is a traditional member of the DE Air National Guard, meaning he serves one weekend a month and two weeks of training during the year unless he is called upon to do more. Well during the 2 years that members of the DE Air National Guard's 142 Airlift Squadron were activated Pat and others from the DE ANG flew critical wartime missions in support of both Iraqi Freedom & Enduring Freedom. It was during one of these low flying missions in the units C-130 aircraft that Pat's training and experience were put to the test. As the plane loaded with supplies and 10 passengers flew low Pat spotted enemy fire coming toward the aircraft. Pat immedetely began evasive actions while at the same time informing the crew so they could begin their actions too. Major Houtman's actions were directly responsible for safely avoiding the enemy fire and bringing the crew and passengers back safely. For his actions on that day Major Houtman recieved the Distinguished Flying Cross in a ceremony this past Sunday. Read more Here

I am proud to have served with Major Houtman and very proud of his accomplishment.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

9-11-06

September 11th 2006. Five Years ago 343 of my Brothers from FDNY and 125 of my military brothers and sisters at the Pentagon were killed. In addition to those there were over 2500 others were killed. Below is my tribute video to everyone who was murdered on 9/11/01 but in particular my Brothers & Sisters.

September 11th 2005 - We Remember Melissa Doi



As part of the 2,996 on 9/11 Blog effort I have posted the following to honor Melissa C Doi of New York NY. I hope you will take the time to read this and also to read some of the other blogs linked from 2,996

This is not a post to focus on the tragedy of 9/11 it is a post celebrate Melissa Doi and her love of life. When I signed on to be a part of this project I wondered what I would do and how I would find the information, I had no control over who I would honor but fortunately I was assigned Melissa’s name. I did a quick Google search and found her to be a wonderful person who was full of life and loved her family very much. She loved her mother so much that she bought a condo in the Bronx large enough for both of them to live in together. She and her mother were leaving for a trip to Italy on that Friday, the 14th, tragically they never got that chance. I am sure that she was thinking about that trip the day this tragedy happened. . From what I have read Melissa was a strong person and an original thinker who was not one to just go with the status quo, that strength enabled her to be strong for her coworkers that day and surely eased their pain in the fateful time before the south tower tragically collapsed.

Melissa was a dancer and I searched the web quite a bit looking for a poem about dancing that I thought fit the bill. I found several but this one seems to stand out.

Dance Unto The Light by Katrina Lucas

Dance unto the light,
Sway to the sounds of time,
Watch the angels bright,
As they dance within your mind.
Dance my friends and sway,
To beauty, to laughter, to love,
For this is the most perfect day,
A perfect gift from above!
Dance unto the light,
Catch the stars bright,
For perfect are the angels love,
From the One Most High above!
Dance, dance, dance
As the music plays on,
Dance, Dance, Dance,
As we listen to their song.
Dance unto the light,
Star light, star bright,
Watch as the baby is born,
On a most glorious morn?
Dance unto the light,
Catch the stars so bright,
Yes He died on a tree,
But He died for Victory!
dance unto the light,
We dance unto the night,
The song has been sung,
For He has finally won!


Surely Melissa is up there watching down on everyone on earth and keeping a watch over family and friends, comforting them during these difficult times. She is dancing each day with the angels.

I hope that you will take time on this day to remember Melissa & all those who gave their lives on this day 5 years ago. Don’t think of the bad things, just remember the great lives that those people led and the great deeds that so many did for absolute strangers that day.

Monday, September 04, 2006

1 Week til 9/11



With only 1 week to go I am working on my post for the 2996 project, I was fortunate enough to be able to honor Melissa Doi. Fortunately there is some info on Melissa on the web. She was able to call 911 from her cell phone and her conversations are on the web. I won't link them here but if you want to hear them then google it.

I am working hard to make this a meaningful post. Also I have a nice video I created honoring my fallen brothers from that day. So keep checking back here for updates and Never Forget 9/11/01.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Twister Time!


Aunty Em, Aunty Em, it’s a twister!

Yep, that’s right we had a small tornado in my neck of the woods yesterday. It wasn’t far at all from my house but we weren’t home anyways. We were in the big city for the afternoon at a class for the upcoming spinal stimulator surgery. Hopefully I understood what they were saying but I guess the big test will be on the 15th when I put the trial one into Vicki.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
OK, now lets see who was paying attention. Of course I won’t be the one who is doing the surgery. The “class” was more of an orientation and question and answer session with a nurse/sales rep from the stimulator company and the doctor. We got a lot of questions answered and are excited about the 15th when the trial stimulator goes in until the 21st. If it works then we’ll schedule the full surgical install after that. The trail ones is just the wire part that goes into the back and the actual unit is on the outside of the body. The real deal is a small battery and the wires which go completely under the skin, then get charged up and controlled by an “antenna” which is laid on or taped to the skin near the spot where the battery is.

Back to the weather, nobody was hurt in the tornado but several mushroom houses were damaged pretty bad. I felt sorry for poor Zioux who was home all alone and was probably scared to death with such weather nearby. He didn’t seem any worse for wear when we got home but he was very happy to see us. We didn’t get any damage at all so that’s a good thing.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Another Sailing Cruise



Yesterday we headed to Rock Hall MD for a nice day away. We had dinner @ Waterman's Crab House then set sail on our sunset cruise. The weather didn't cooperate for a sunset but the wind was fantastic for a wonderful sail. Capt Mark & 1st & Only Mate Suzanne did a wonderful job. We were on the boat w/ 2 other couples and we all had a great time relaxing with the wind in the sails and very light waves. Then afterwards we headed back to Waterman's to enjoy some live music and great company. If you are looking for something fun to do on Maryland's Eastern Shore make sure you look up Capt Mark & crew from Blue Crab Chesapeake Charters. They do a wonderful job for day sails, sunset cruises and other charters from Rock Hall MD.

Capt Mark was our guide and captain for our wonderful Virgin Islands trip in Feb. You can read about that trip Here

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Never be Ashamed to Be an American!

If you haven't seen LTC Randolph White's speech to the graduating infantry class @ Ft Benning, you have to watch it.

The text of it is available @ Blackfive.

This will make you proud to be an American and very proud of the men and women who are boots on the ground in some of the worlds hotspots right now.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Get A Life!

Looks like the dean at the school this child goes to needs a life. Check out Jenns Blog and see the horrible haircut that has her poor son in Lunch Jail at school! Shouldn't the dean worry a bit more about more important issues, like maybe drugs or violence then an honor students hair?

HT Army Wife for the link from her blog on this one!

Changes in Attitudes Changes in Lattitudes



create your own visited states map

"Reading departure signs in some big airport reminds me of the places I've been. Visions of good times that brought so much pleasure makes me want to go back again"

As Jimmy Buffett says in "Changes in Attitudes Changes in Lattiudes" I have traveled a bit and hope to travel more and maybe even see all 50 states. If I counted lay overs I'd add a few more states but I count states which I have spent time in or have at least spent an hour or so on the highways driving through.



create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

In addition to the 27 states displayed above I have been to 15 countries. A couple of them were lay overs on a trip but since they were long enough to get a cold one I'll count them. I hope to add a couple more to the list soon.

So, where have you been that I have been? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The War Tapes Part II

As promised although a little later than promised here's my take on The War Tapes. All in all I thought it was excellent and showed the guard in a very positive light. Yes these guys are not PC and they don't show the highest respect for the enemy but War is like that. It's hard to say nice things and not give rude names to people who are trying to kill you. The war tapes shows a very small slice of what these folks live through every single day over there and gives us a small and highly controlled glimpse into their world.
The movie show them doing convoy operations, town patrol, and escorting TCN's (Third Country Nationals) who do a lot of the work on the bases over there. It shows them getting hit w/ gun fire, having IED's blow up around them and at the gate of the base and shows mortar rounds impacting the base. From folks I have talked to who were over in the sandbox this is everyday life and the pucker factor is high. Imagine living for a year in close quarters w/ a bunch of other guys in a state of constant threat. The threat level ebbs and flows w/ the job at hand and certainly being outside of the walls of the base it's a whole lot higher but there is still the constant threat onbase of mortars etc. It certainly makes for a long year I am sure.
The other part I liked was it showed the home coming and the getting back to the life they left. The homecoming was great, the ladders trucks making an arch, the police escort, and the cops standing on the side of the road saluting the bus was great. It's nice to see them welcomed home w/ such a display. When Mike goes back to work there is a huge sign on the gate of the airport where he works which was really cool.

I would highly recommend this movie for everyone.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The War Tapes



The Mrs & I went to see The War Tapes tonite @ Theater N in Wilmington. We both seriously enjoyed the film and found that the theater is lovely.

I am tired and have to drill tommorrow so I will post more tommorrow nite on this outstanding film. If you are local to me, there will be 2 more showings tommorrow @ 1400 & 1700. All I can say it I highly recommend this film and will post more about it later.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

@sshole of the Week!

Here's my @sshole of the week. Sen Conrad Burns (R Montana). Sen Burns recently verbally attacked wildland firefighters from VA as they awaited their plane at the Billings Airport. He advised them that their service to his state in controlling a recent wildfire near Billings was "Piss Poor". Nice guy huh? This isn't his first brush with infamy though, he's know to shoot off his mouth
In 1999 he refered to Arabs as Rag Heads
In 1994, he repeated a story which refred to African American's by a word which begins w/ N that I will not post here. Then made comments about living w/ the blacks in DC must be "A hell of a challenge".
He once told a flight attendent who was concerned for her job that she should "go home and be a mother".

The good senator seems to not care who he offends.

Here's a link
Firehouse.com

Sunday, July 30, 2006

2996 on 9/11


I have signed up for the 9/11 tribute being done by
D C Roe

I have been asked to pay tribute to Melissa C Doi, who worked for a financial software company in the WTC. Make sure you check my site on 9/11 for this tribute. If you are a blogger and would like to participate please check out D.C's like above or the link to the right of my blog.

Sunday's stuff

It's a quiet sunday and it's way too hot out so I am relaxing and surfing the web a bit. I have checked the blogs I usually read and found a few things to share w/ the 3 or 4 of you who actually read my blog.

From From My Position, On the way comes a link to a site about Islam called, The Religion of Peace which details the many attacks by Islamic Extremeists.

Blackfive has some interesting stuff from the Isreal Situation

Words from an Isreali Army Captain

Uncle Jimbo posts that Kofi Annan is the worst UN official ever.

Check out the many posts from Elijah Allen @ Contact Right Taking Fire he has some interesting stuff this week.

The Mudville Gazette Milblogs has a sad story this week of !Navy Astronaut Charles Bradey

That's all for now, hope everyone has a great day and stays cool

Cynical? Me?

You Are 56% Cynical

Yes, you are cynical, but more than anything, you're a realist.
You see what's screwed up in the world, but you also take time to remember what's right.


WOW! I even have Ala @ Blonde Sagacity beat, she's only 48%. How cynical are you?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Being TDY is fun but after a couple of days you are usually ready for home. This time was no different. The class was great but it was a lot of class crammed into a week. The 2 classes should have been 3 days and 5 days but we got it all in 5 days. We started @ 0730 and went til 1700 w/ an hour lunch most days. By the end of the day my head was spinning and I was whooped. So by the end of the 5 days it was time to come home.
Then of course everything seemed to conspire to keep up from getting home. When I drove into Manchester the sky was getting dark to the west so I knew that the storms were moving in. I hoped that we would get out in time, but when I saw my classmate who left earlier than I did standing at the curb w/ his bags I knew there was trouble. He was bumped til a Sun flight so the airline was sending him to the Holiday Inn. I was told by the airline that my flight was cancelled but they would move me to the 8:30 flight, fortunatly the other agent was on the ball and had me booked onto the 3:15 flight that at 4:20 was still at the gate. So I headed up there and was told it would be around 6:00 before we left. Not a big deal I was scheduled to leave at 5:50 anyways. Well it was almost 8:00 before we finally left. Then when we got to Philly it took over and hour to get the bags to us. I finally got home after 11:00pm! It did feel good to get in the car and once again be back in control of where I was heading and when.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Stranded by the Storm!




I love a good thunderstorm but when it delays my flight home, I am not too happy with it. I am delayed in Manchester but my plane just arrived so hopefully we'll be on out way soon. I did see some wild lightening and it rained so hard that you couldn't see 10 feet past the windows. Hopefully I'll me on my way outta here soon.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

TDY Day 3


Today is the 3rd day of class and it's been intense w/ lots to learn. Mon nite I was out looking for something to eat and saw the Newington FD engine turning into a local shopping center, so being the wacker I am I followed them in (from a safe distance) and took the above photo of a crash. So far though they have had a 2 alarm fire, a working house fire and a crash nearby, all while I was in class during the day! LOL!

Other than that tonite I had dinner with a friend from Dover AFB who is stationed up here now. It was good to catch up with him. He works at the place where I am taking the class, but we don't see each other during the day.

Other than that it's been a good TDY but I will be ready to go home on Fri.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

On The Road!




I will be on the road to NH for a class this week. I am promised internet access @ the hotel so I will try and keep up my blog.

Don't Rob a Marine Part 2

Here's another great story of criminal stupidity!

If door has 'USMC,' move on ... but not to a side window

BY NOAH HAGLUND
The Post and Courier

A man accused of trying to break into a Congress Street home might have missed a crucial visual cue.

The bright, red front door emblazoned with the letters "USMC" wouldn't seem to make the house an inviting target for most burglars.

Unfortunately for Anthony Deloach, police say he tried to gain entry by pulling out an air-conditioning unit on the side of the home.

True to its outward appearance, the house has been an outpost for U.S. Marines at the nearby Citadel for about a generation. Locally, it is known as "The Boneyard."

"It's a good thing that he broke into our house and not an elderly person's house or some other house in the neighborhood," said Sgt. Matthew Smith, 27, one of the three Marines credited with detaining a would-be burglar around 1:15 p.m. June 27.

Staff Sgt. Robert Clements, 30, had confronted a man at the rear of the home, then chased him a short distance with Smith and a third Marine, Sgt. Brad Parr, 23, police said.

When the trio caught up with him, the man did not put Marine battle skills to the test.

"As a matter of fact, he was very courteous," Clements said. "He was very nice and just wanted us to let him go."

Instead, they turned him over to police.

Deloach, 37, was held at the Charleston County Detention Center on Tuesday evening without bail. In addition to an attempted burglary charge, he was being held on three first-degree burglary charges from Charleston police, according to court documents.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Wayne Newton Rocks!


This morning I started browsing my usual blogs and on my usual first stop @ Army Wife Toddler Mom I read the best story of the week. It was a link to another Chuck's website. He details the wonderful thing that Wayne Newton did for him and his wife while they were visiting vegas recently.

In other blog news...

LTC Dan Holland someone you should know.

For the guys, Michelle Malkin has some interesting video for World Jump Day

Sgt Hook has info on bloggers honoring the victims of 9/11. Count me in on this one as I am working on something special for that day already.

Elijah Allen has his usual comments on life that will make you laugh and make you say Hmmm.

Lastly, Blonde Sagacity has an interesting post about a family who went on vacation to Lebanon and is upset w/ the US for not evacuating them immediately when things went bad! Well, if you "vacation" in a hot spot of the world like that then you are taking certain risks. Does anyone take responsibility for their actions anymore?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Last Inspection

The last one is over and we did very well. Now it's time to relax a bit and handle some of the things put on the backburner while going thru all of this.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Why we are in Iraq

While the MSM keeps feeding us a huge does of reasons why we should cut and run from Iraq and just let things go the way they are here is some better news. Yes the detractors of the war will say it's propaganda because it comes from the Dept of Defense here it is

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Jul2006/20060710_5619.html

Here's a quote from Iraq's Deputy Rep to the UN to a gathering of Goldstar Mothers @ the NJ Vietnam Vet memorial.

"We were a country without hope," Istrabadi said. "The intervention of the United States in my country has been a lifeline for us. It has restored hope for us that our future will be very different from our past."

Hearing laughter in Iraq's streets again and no longer feeling the need to cringe when admitting their heritage is part of what America's intervention has given back to his country, he said.

"These are not small things. These are things for which this country, and you as individuals and your children, have earned our tremendous gratitude," Istrabadi said. "Words of thanks truly seem to me to be insufficient to convey to you the thanks of a country, a grateful nation, which has lingered too long under tyranny."

Iraq's gratitude to the United States and the families who have sacrificed personally "will be eternal," he said.



If you are not familiar w/ the term Gold Star mother, they are the mothers of servicemen & women who have been killed in combat. These women have truly sacrificed for the freedom of our nation and those who's aid we have come to over the years.

News, Fires, A Mistreated Vet & More!

I haven't blogged much lately as I've been busy as heck at work. I got a few minutes of downtime here and wanted to share a few things with the 4 others who read my blog.

First off, Matt @ Blackfive brings us the story of a teacher in TN who is a two time Operation Enduring Freedom vet who lost his job after returning from Afganistan the secnd time. He wasn't fire, he was "let go" because not enough students had signed up for the classes he was teaching!

Check it out Here!

In other news from the local area, the fire company where I started as a junior fireifighter more years ago then I care to admit had a big 4 alarm fire on Monday morning. The fire destroyed a strip mall on Rt 3 near 476. Check out the great photos from Brian Feeney @ Here

A belated Happy 36th Birthday to Army Wife, Toddler Mom

MSNBC has a great Article about the brothers and sisters from New Orleans FD doing the job they love despite low pay, horrible conditions, and more fires each day than they used to see in a week or more before Katrina!