Saturday, May 25, 2013

Memorial Day... Not just for Parades, Grilling, And Beach Parties....

Every year at this time I start to reflect. I think about the men and women who have given the last best gift to us as a Nation. Their gift is one of Sacrifice and True Patriotism. One of blood and their last breath. 

I am fortunate to be able to support our Troops through a wonderful Troop Support group.  Over the past 10 years I have had an opportunity to adopt 62 + Service members off our group list. I've packed their boxes and written letters to Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, and Sailors. What a wonderful Blessing. 

One of the boxes I packed for one of my "Special" Soldiers... 

I have also attended the heartwarming Homecomings for several of our Troops. 

A big escort and welcome home for Nathan from the Patriot Guard Riders of Michigan

Homecoming for Cpl. Andrew. Andrew was injured.
 He returned and walked off the plane. 
The greatest most wonderful Homecoming I've had the honor of attending.. 

I've also attended  the funerals for a few of our Troops who made that last and greatest Sacrifice. 
Over 100 flags lined the street and the entrance to the Funeral of 
Marine - L/CPL Brandon J. Webb June 20, 2006

I, like many, look forward to Memorial Day.. The official beginning of summer, family vacations, boating, fishing, beach parties, warm weather, Sun, and a myriad of things we all love about those few precious months of summer. 

I made a promise to myself when my cousin Tommy, Lance Cpl. Thomas Robert Tormanen, died during Operation Dessert Storm in Kuwait in March of 1991. That Promise was to never forget. To say his name and remember the Sacrifice he made not only for me, but for millions of Americans. I will continue to keep that promise to speak their names.. To remember those whose names I know and those I never knew. The sacrifice was the same. 

Lance Cpl. Thomas "Tommy" Tormanen 

I choose on this Memorial Day weekend..
 to do what this holiday was intended for. 
To pause, to remember, to honor. 
 Please take a moment and honor some Heroes 
that have given all for Freedom... 
Say their names and remember.... 

Forever in our Hearts. Never to be Forgotten

Lance Cpl. Thomas Robert Tormanen Gulf war... Love you Tommy, miss you. 
Aaron Ullumm "Doc" 2011 Afghanistan
Benjamin P. Castigilone "Doc Stiggy"  2009 Afghanistan
Joseph M. Lilly 2012 Afghanistan
1st Sgt. Trenton Rhea May 2013 Afghanistan

In Memory of Our Heroes From Genesee County, Michigan.
Who gave their last full measure of love for America in Iraq and Afghanistan .

Army - Sgt Michael F. Pedersen

April 2, 2003

Army - PFC Jason M. Meyer

April 8, 2003

Air Force - Ssgt Scott D. Sather
April 8, 2003

Army - Ssgt Brett J. Petriken
May 26, 2003

Army - SPC Artimus D. Brassfield
October 24, 2003

Army - SPC Richard Kennedy Trevithick
April 14, 2004

Army - SPC Randy Stevens
April 16, 2005

Army - Capt. Lowell Thomas Miller 11
August 31, 2005

Army - MSG Anthony Yost
November 19, 2005

Army - PFC Allan A. Morr
February 22, 2006

Army - Sgt Joshua Youmans
March 1, 2006

Marine - L/CPL Brandon J. Webb
June 20, 2006

Marine - SSgt Raymond Plouhar
June 26, 2006
From Lake Orion Michigan
Genesee County Recruiter for 3 years

Army - Sgt Robert Paul Kassin
July 19, 2006
Flint Native Son

Army – SGT Jeremy DePottey
September 11, 2006
Flint Native Son

Army - Sgt Thomas G. Wright
May 14, 2007

Navy - PO1 Ross L. Toles III
June 18, 2008

Navy - SCPO John W. Marcum
September 12, 2008

Navy - HM3 Ben Castiglione ("Doc Stiggy")
September 3, 2009

Army - Spc Joseph D. Johnson
June 16, 2010

Marine - SSgt Nicholas A. Sprovtsoff
October 28, 2011

Friday, May 17, 2013

Our Country Is In Mourning; A Soldier Died Today.....

Sgt 1st Class Trenton L. Rhea 

I saw a quick RIP post written by one of my "Special" Soldiers today. I immediately posted my prayers for him, those there serving with them and for the family. This was R.'s Squad leader. His first Sargent. The Daddy to group if you ask around. The one who saw that all his "Boys" were taken care of. The one who got down in the dirt and worked right along side. That's how hubby described his first Sgt. or his "First Shirt"..  He would follow him to the end, because he cared about his men. 

Ken told me of a time when the Capt. called a retreat from a position that was being overrun by Vietcong. He was up front and realized he was there by himself. If it hadn't been for his 1st. Sgt. coming back to get him, he would have been over run, and well who knows. 

Today I'm praying for R and the men that were under Sgt. Rhea's leadership. I'm praying for his family and friends who are dealing with the most devastating news that one can hear. I'm praying that God will Strengthen and Comfort Them in the way that Only He can. 

Rest in Peace Sgt. Rhea.  Thank you for your sacrifice.. We will never forget. 

Sgt. 1st Class Trenton L. Rhea, 33, of Oakley, Kan., died May 15, in Kandahar, Afghanistan, after drowning while attempting to cross a body of water during combat operations. He was assigned to the 603rd Military Police Company, 530th Military Police Battalion, 300th Military Police Brigade, 200th Military Police Command, Belton, Mo. 

Source: DoD

'Like' the tribute to honor this hero
'Share' the tribute, that all may know the sacrifice.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day....

As I sit here this morning I am reminded of the special blessing that comes from being a mother. I have been a Mom for almost 30 years. Come to think of it, I really think I was born to be a Mom. I know, an odd thought, but I really think I was.  

I'm not a Mom in the regular sense of the word. I have never birthed any children, but I'm a Mom. I was a Mom to my baby brother. I loved to take care of him. Some of the very first photos taken of us after our adoption were of me holding my brother or feeding him. That nurturing Mom feeling never did go away. 

I was like a Mom to some of the kids in our neighborhood. I loved to play house and I was always the Mom. I didn't want to be anything but the Mom. As a teenager I dreamed of the day I would get married and become a Mom. I got Mommy practice as I began babysitting. I saw Mom's in action as I watched my cousins become Moms. 

I learned that a Dad could be a Mom. My papa took over that roll when my parents divorced. I saw that a Mom's devotion to her children wasn't just in a Mom's heart. 

During High School I got to learn how to be multitasking Mom at a Daycare where I volunteered for 2hrs. every morning before school. During College I used those skills at the College Daycare where I worked in  exchange for a student loan. I believe my Mother's heart was created and grown during those years. 

I met and married my husband realizing that my dream of being a Mom would happen with his 2 young daughters. Wow.. talk about Mom practice, whew I learned quickly as they became teenagers how difficult being a Mom could sometimes be. 

God knew that I would need to be around children that I could love and care for as a Mom. He knew I would never give birth to any of my own. But wow, have I had an incredible life loving and caring for more children then I could have ever had on my own. I get to Love children and show them God's love every week at Church. I get to be Mom to several Soldiers every year as I pack boxes for our Deployed Troops. I get to be Grandmother to 5 Amazing kids, one now with kids of his own..  I get to be Mom to all our Fur kids and even some that are not mine. 

Mothers Day is so very special. It's a day I can remember all the wonderful women who taught me what being a Mom was all about. It's a day to Celebrate God's wonderful creation of Mom. 

I wrote in 2009 a little thank you to my Mom's..Here..

Happy Mother's Day to all the awesome women that touch the lives of children every day. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

We've Been Looking....

Today I'm excited. You may wonder why so I'll tell ya. We've been Looking. For what you may ask, for a Pastor would be my response. Our Church has been without a Pastor for almost 2 years. You may think that odd. I would have years ago. Most of the Churches I attended as a young child would just take the pastor the governing body of the denomination would send. It didn't matter who he was or what he was like. He was yours and you kept him till he retired or died. Then you'd get another one. 

The Denomination I belong to now doesn't do things that way. There is no governing board that "sends someone".  Each Church is autonomous and chooses their own Pastor. It's a process, and I think a very good one.  

A Pastor Search committee was formed, and has been working for months going through "the process". 
We were told 2 Sundays ago that  a man will be coming in June in "in view of a call" to come and be our Pastor. A quick translation of that is He comes, He preaches, we eat, We ask questions, We pray about it for a week and then We vote. 

We have been told of our prospective Pastor. His personal info., family info. (I love that he has a family), his educational background etc. I'm thrilled. I'll jump the gun a little here and say I'm a fan already. I love that he is a social media type. He tweets, facebooks, blogs,, and his sermons are even online. I've listened to one and it was was wonderful. He even loves coffee.  ( I'm whooping here) The only drawback I see so far is that he seems to be a "die hard" St. Louis Cardinals fan. Well I guess he can't be perfect.

It seems like I know him already. I've prayed for him and his family for so long. I didn't know it then, but it was him. I'm so excited. So thrilled, and so ready to see where God will direct us. We have been blessed to have an awesome interim Pastor. Bro. Gary has been wonderful and has kept us focused on what God has for us. I think sometimes we can get so hung up on not having a Pastor that we forget who is really Leading us. 

I'm praying that this is God's man for us at this time. I'm praying that We, as the Church, Will continue to pray for God's will and direction. I feel like we've come together in a special way these last few months. We've seen God move in some awesome ways. He's not done with us yet. (a big woot woot here) 

Today I'm filled with expectation, anticipation, and exhilaration.  I'm full of Joy and Hope . I'm looking forward to what God is doing in our midst..