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SUPPORT OUR TROOPS

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American Flag made in a steel mill

 

We are dedicating this page to our military men and women who are currently serving our country in the armed forces, and to those who have served in the past.

Due to other email requests we have received, however, we find it necessary to specify that this page is to honor our troops & veterans.  We will not post anti-war, political beliefs, religious aspects, graphic photos or other personal agendas on this page.

 

We started these pages to support the troops and their families in the hopes that in doing so, we would be able to shed some light on the real happenings that the news media never accurately reports.  In doing so, it was our intention to bring to light the many good deeds that these young soldiers are doing OUTSIDE of their normal military duties.  Many have taken on personal projects within the community that they are stationed, to help rebuild this war-torn country.

For those of you reading this, if you have a friend or family member in the armed services, we'd be proud to post a photo and short biography about him or her on this page, as well as anything you feel comfortable saying about his/her situation and where he/she is stationed or a little background about his group, without revealing anything of a sensitive nature.  We will also screen the information we receive to be sure of this.

 

This Support Our Troops page has drawn a lot of people out of their shells that have shared a lot of wonderful stories. It has also given a lot of them a place where they can express their fears and worries about what is going on. It has been a great healer for some. Myself included. (Glenn)

Please email us at: whatnext1020@gmail.com  with your photos and information!

 

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5/28/14  Thank you, Senator Sanders, for this painful truth.  

Wake up, America!

 

MEMORIAL DAY 2014 STOP THE CELEBRATIONS NOW !
You heard it right and you heard it first here on the WHERE ON EARTH website. 

Let's stop all this foolishness of honoring, celebrating, supporting, caring for, and thanking our loyal VETERANS for serving their country as they have for the past several hundred years.  

No more parading them down our main streets  once or twice a year.  Let's stop all this phony back slapping, glad-handing, medal-awarding ceremonies that take several years or decades to present to the VETERANS.  

Stop the fake teary eyed public exchanges of contrived appreciations that are demonstrated on occasions when  a veteran can be used  to make a point of interest for a particular cause that will benefit not the VETERAN, but the POLITICAL AMBITIONS of those using these VETERANS to promote their own agendas in the POLITICAL ARENA!

Stop all these eye candy approaches of gratitude on the  parts of the population that really COULD make a difference in their lives, but fail to do so.  

Yes, we all know who I am talking about, it’s those miserable excuses of humanity called POLITICIANS  that we elect to represent us in the halls of the WASHINGTON POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT.  These very same people that don’t hesitate to make laws requiring these veterans to register for the now DEFUNCT draft system when they turn 18 years old.  Once our returning veterans come home, now that they have completed their assignment defending the principles of our NATION, these very same politicians are now standing in the way of providing any comprehensive continued services to meet their needs.

The freedoms that we all cherish so much, and many have died for in the past, are now being threatened by an attitude in Washington that these veterans were just another example of an expendable  commodity to be used and then forgotten after they are no longer needed.  Many of these veterans themselves are now serving in elected positions in the WASHINGTON POLITICAL COMMUNITY, yet they are also guilty of not supporting our veteran community as they should.

Now it has come to our attention that the MEDICAL MANAGEMENT COMMUNITY of the VETERANS AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT has conspired with top management to cook the books on our VETERANS health care for the sake of MONETARY gains in the form of bonuses for "meeting their goals" of offering top quality services to the VETERAN community of the WOUNDED.  We also understand that many more than 40 VETERANS have died because of a lack of needed medical attention.

Now these very same politicos are attempting to set up a voucher system whereby the VETERANS can get their health care needs met by going to the open market, like we civilians do now.
 

These very same politicians are also  restricting additional benefits that are needed to meet a new type of war injury, minimum pay increases on a national level, food programs for their children that qualify for assistance because they are living below the poverty level, housing for the homeless VETERANS, jobs, and these are just the areas that we know about because of the media attention. What else are they doing in the dark of night, so to speak, to ROB our VETERANS of benefits that they have earned, and are very much in need of.

These benefits were “PURCHASED BY THE DEATHS" of hundreds of thousands of VETERANS. !!!!!!

When are we as a nation going to stand up for what is right for our VETERANS.  We don’t for a minute hesitate to help other countries when they have a crisis that needs MILLIONS if not BILLIONS of dollars donated to them, and right now, not some years down the road. Yet, why is it when we need to take care of our own citizens, not only the military, but the civilians as well, do we not only hesitate, but DENY them the help that they need?

So as you are all out there this MEMORIAL DAY WEEK END grilling those burgers, hotdogs, brats, and drinking everything that you can get your hands on, and acting silly, how about taking time out to sit down with your friends and neighbors and have a serious conversation about what can we collectively do as a nation to improve the status of our well deserving VETERANS - many of whom are your parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, neighbors, friends, and so on.  I think you get my drift here. It’s long overdue that we really take a serious look and have some intelligent conversations about what is the correct direction that we need to take this great nation of ours in that will address the needs of all its citizens and VETERANS in particular.

Have a HAPPY and SAFE MEMORIAL DAY CELEBRATION, and a deep felt THANK YOU to all our VETERANS, past and present, for your wonderful and courageous service to our country and for what we stand for.
 
I, for one, apologize for the terrible conditions that you are having to endure because of our elected officials, but hear me now and hear me loud and clear. Starting today I will do whatever is within my power to make contacts with friends, family, neighbors and most of all, my state and national elected officials to encourage them to start treating you all more fairly, and to clear up this medical backlog and gridlock with your benefits that you all are experiencing.

Glenn Reed

Viet Nam Era Veteran 1965-1969 USAF 

(Just one of the many forgotten returnees )

 

2/23/14

"THE GREATEST CAUSALITY OF ANY 

WAR/CONFLICT IS BEING FORGOTTEN"

...a feeling veterans know all too well.

Why is it that we, as a country, have not a second thought about asking our young people to go off to war in other lands, knowing full well that many will never return, and many more will return home with life-altering wounds that need to be tended to, but NEVER get the best treatment possible that they need to make a recovery of sorts, as their lives will never be the same again.  

Why is it that the political machine that sent these young people on the quest for freedom, now stands in their way for the medical needs that they require?  Now all we hear about is the high cost associated with the war movements, and how best to reduce the costs, but at what price as a nation do we allow these cuts to take place?  When are we as a nation going to stand up to the political machinery of this country that is blocking the way for our returning HEROES to get their lives back?  

Over the past ten years, we as a business, here and abroad, and now with the winding down of the war efforts worldwide, we will now focus our attention here at home in helping these brave young people get the help they need.

We, WHERE ON EARTH, strongly support the efforts of the WOUNDED WARRIORS PROJECT.  You too can join in that effort by clicking onto the following link and become an active participant:

WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT

If you have a family member/loved one or know of a wounded warrior about whom you would like to share their story with, be it good or bad, we would be honored to publish the story on this page.  Let's join forces to help this most worthy cause, and to help these GREAT AMERICANS!

Thank you all,

Signed, One of the many forgotten Viet Nam Era veterans

Glenn Reed, USAF 1965-1969

 

VETERAN'S DAY

November 11, 2013

"VETS THANKS"  - Sign found against a boat, in the front yard of a home on Highway 20 East, near Jackson NE

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Thank you veterans one and all for your service to this country.
 
Thanks to those that are still standing and to the countless many that have fallen, in the pursuit of freedom for us all.
 
None of you will be forgotten, and you are all "HEROES"
 
Our country owes you all a  debt that cannot ever be repaid.
 
Let's just hope that they will honor their part of the deal, and support us as we return home, whether we be healthy or wounded.
 
We were taught to not leave our buddies behind no matter what, now let's hope that our country will not forget us like they have these past 10 plus years.
 
The returning BLACK military men from WWII were and have been ignored for the past 60 plus years, we did the same to the Native American military men, and now were are doing the same to the returning multi-cultural military men and women.
 
When are we ever going to really take care of our returning HEROES ???? Many are homeless, scarred for life, no jobs and very little hope of ever joining mainstream AMERICA.
 
Celebrating their ONE day of the year ( VETERANS DAY ) really isn't enough. They need to be honored and taken care of every day of the year, not just when we have a parade for them, and free food to make ourselves feel better.
 
Let's really HONOR them as the HEROES that they are.  Step up and make a difference in the lives of these brave  veterans.  We are losing these great Heroes every day, and many have wondered "what did they do so wrong to be so ill treated?", for what they did was to make this the greatest country in the world.
 
Glenn Reed
Viet Nam Era Veteran
 
1965-1969

 

PONCA, NE

"PROUD TO BE AMERICAN" Mural on side of building

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Great Statue of Liberty 

and American flag at the turnoff for Maskell NE

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MEMORIAL DAY

2013

 

THANK YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN ENOUGH  !!!!!
 
 
We never expected a welcome home parade,flags flying in the streets, girl friends or  wives waiting with open heart and arms, or any other type of celebrations that NORMALLY welcome the troops home from wars over the years .
 
 
THANK YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN ENOUGH  !!!!!
 
We never expected to be treated any differently than those that choose not to serve our country in it's time of need.We served because it was the right thing to do, and many others had done the same in the past. We did it out of LOVE for our country and what it has provided us with so many FREEDOMS, that those in the past served and died for. We were just paying  it forward, with no expectations of anything except the continuation of the freedoms that we all share.
 
THANK YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN ENOUGH  !!!!!
 
 
We veterans, especially those of us from the Viet Nam era, would have hoped that the country would have learned something about the bad treatment that we were subjected to when we came home, that they would have never let this happen again to any other returning veterans/active duty personnel.
 
Somewhat to their credit they have been very supportive to our troops.Yet, we now have a political situation where the numbers of returning wounded soldiers are being ignored for various reasons, mostly paper work delays in their claims for medical help. It is a NATIONAL DISGRACE how they have been neglected, not only from a lack of medical treatment, but they lost their jobs, their homes, and are now being denied the  basic services to help them survive. Once again , OUR COUNTRY has failed to live up to their end of the bargain when it comes to caring for our veterans, especially the wounded.  
 
 
THANK YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN ENOUGH , BUT NO LONGER IS THANKS JUST ENOUGH !!!!!
 
We, as a country need to get behind out servicemen and woman and give them the benefits that they have earned as HEROES, because that is what everyone of them are, no matter whether they came home with medals or not, they fought for US and OUR country and they are entitled to have the best that this country has to offer.
 
So on this MEMORIAL DAY, let's start talking to all  that we know and make an effort to bring this NATIONAL DISGRACE to  the attention to our politicians that represent us in WASHINGTON, and tell them to start representing all AMERICANS. 
 
THANK YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN ENOUGH , BUT NO LONGER IS THANKS JUST ENOUGH !!!!!
*******************************************************

Glenn Reed

Viet Nam era veteran
1965-1969

 

THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN
 

I don't often make a point to support any particular view on our web site concerning any one group, but this group has been attracting my attention in a very personal way over the past several years. This site is dedicated to the pursuit of matching the children of those servicemen that had served in Southeast Asia with their biological fathers. Listed below is all the information about this group that will enable one to follow his heart in doing the right thing here in giving these children (now adults) the answers that they deserve.

We as servicemen vowed to never allow any of our fellow GI'S to be left behind, yet we never took that same pledge for OUR CHILDREN.
Glenn Reed, proud father to Davis, born Sept. 26th, 1967 Udorn, Thailand. Mother Thiew Sanyoo, location and whereabouts unknown.

 


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GSP American-Thai Group

Last updated on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 8:34:57 AM

                                                                                      

 

 

United States Military & Civilian Forces Stationed in Thailand
During the Vietnam War

 

 

As Vietnam Veterans, this is the most critical time of our lives. I am asking all of my fellow military friends to contact me ASAP. Our "waiting for American fathers" files have grown beyond what we expected. Please contact me ASAP by secure e-mail here


During the Vietnam War many American military & civilian personnel were stationed at Bases/Camps/Sites throughout Thailand and also in the neighboring countries such as Laos and Cambodia. After much research, I found that American-Thai orphans were one of the Amerasian groups that we did not hear much of around the world and also did not receive the same exposure and recognition as Vietnam orphans received. Families all around the world adopted American-Thai orphans, but the majority of the American-Thai orphans remained in Thailand.

This site also welcomes all individuals such as the mother's of American-Thai orphans, American fathers & adopted parents or just anyone wishing to locate military personnel that were stationed in Thailand during the Vietnam War.

Our information databases will concentrate on Air Force, Army, USCG, USMC military personnel and some civilian agencies. We are currently studying the possibilities of expanding our databases to include other U.S. government agencies such as Peace Corps/USAID/UNESCO etc. that were based in Thailand during the Viet Nam war. We are also discussing the possibilities of including other Amerasian searches in Laos.

We currently have approximately 2,300 pieces of information which includes old letters, photos, birth certificates, marriage certificates, passport documents pertaining to American fathers and American-Thai children. We can cross reference against any document(s) the American father might have. All this information is strictly private and never revealed to either party until we are certain that we have a possible match.

 

American-Thai children have a basic moral right too, if nothing else, to at least be given direction on their continued search for their biological fathers. To this day, many American-Thai orphans are still wishing on a miracle and hoping to find their biological fathers. These children (now adults), know that time is on their side and that the majority of those biological fathers have now reached the age of 60+. 

 

Help us find their biological fathers!  

 
For Paypal donations at: www.paypal.com 
 
1.  Log into your account
2.  Click on the "Send Money"
3.  Enter email address of: gensup@yahoo.com
4.  Enter amount of donation
5.  Click the "Personal" button
6.  Select "Gift"
7.  Click "continue"
8.  Go to message.  Type in the following message with this opening statement:
"Gene, I hope my donation will help in your quest of locating "THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN".  (Add whatever else you would like to share with him in regards to your donation).
9.  Click "Send/Pay".  

10. For donations using credit cards, contact Gene Ponce direct at: gensup@yahoo.com 

Please click on the "Vets" logo above to visit our "Searching For" website. Contact GSP if you recognize any of these GI's.

 

VETERAN'S DAY

NOVEMBER 11, 2012

TO THE COURAGEOUS MEN AND WOMEN THAT HAVE SERVED AND STILL ARE SERVING THIS GREAT NATION, WE CELEBRATE YOU ALL ON THIS VETERANS DAY, AND WISH YOU WELL.

We celebrate all those brave men and women that have served, are serving, and who soon will serve this great nation of ours called AMERICA.
After all the celebrating is done and we return to our normal daily lives, we need to start thinking about just what this service has meant to our way of life. It's time to reflect on how those that have sacrificed so much, many with their lives, and many more with very serious military wounds.  Be it mental or physical, they are all one and the same.
We just elected President Obama to his second term this week. Whether or not you agree with the outcome, it is what it is, and we all need to act accordingly to the wishes of the controlling voters' desires. This is one on the most cherished principles that our country was based on, and the freedom of choice is what we veterans fight for. Liberty for ALL,  not just the controlling political party.
In the coming weeks we will see both Political parties trying to push their agendas for reform, to cut the deficit, to trim the size of Government, to satisfy the special interests that helped them get elected.
This will all be about compromise, not like what we have seen these past 4 years, where one party chooses to act as obstructionist, and were fearful of a minority wing of their party.  America has spoken and let's hope that all of the Washington establishment is going to listen.
In the following weeks we are going to hear all about what needs to be cut, trimmed down, eliminated, restructured, or made to operate more efficiently.  This is fine, but there needs to be an understanding among all parties that there is one area that is never to be put into play in order to meet the defined terms of a better run system.
That being the VETERAN'S BENEFITS PROGRAMS. Our military has paid a dear price for their service to our country and they are the last that need to have any benefits cut, curtailed, eliminated, touched, or even talked about in regards to shrinking the cost to the overall budget problems we are having.  If nothing else, we need to strengthen their benefits to make sure that they are not to be forgotten for the service to our way of life.
Our current military have suffered a host of new and life-changing wounds that we are yet to fully understand.  We need to spend whatever the sum is to meet these new needs, and see to it that their families are protected and will continue to have A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE, no matter what the cost is.
So on this day of celebrating our HEROES, then let us also remember to treat them like HEROES, not like second class citizens like as we did after WWII when the TUSKEGEE AIRMEN, returned home and were so disrespected because of their color, nor the VIET NAM veterans that were spit on and called baby killers, AND HAVE YET TO BE TREATED AS HEROES that they are.
Remember it was and is the service of these HEROES, that have allowed all AMERICANS to enjoy the greatest freedoms of any country on this planet, not just the select few that have never made any sacrifice for their country for what they have.
Treat our HEROES as HEROES not just today but everyday of your life, so long as you live, as without them and their service we would not have the quality of life that we do.
So, when the talks start about cutting programs in the government, and we know they are coming, do your part for the HEROES in your community, and let your elected officials, regardless of all the rhetoric you will be exposed to, that the military issue is off the table of discussion, that is unless you are going to increase their benefits, that there will be NO CUTS for our military benefits for our HEROES!!!!!!.
Glenn Reed
Viet Nam era veteran
1965-1969

 

MEMORIAL DAY

2012

 

It is the
VETERAN,
not the preacher,

who has given us freedom of religion.

It is
the VETERAN,
not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.


It is
the
VETERAN, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is
the VETERAN,
not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.


It is the
VETERAN who
salutes the Flag

It is
the
VETERAN
who serves
under the Flag

 

Veteran's Day

November 11, 2011

Where on Earth salutes Major Ed Freeman (November 20, 1927 - August 20, 2008), who flew his unarmed Huey into to the battle zone during the Viet Nam War multiple times to supply troops and evacuate wounded personnel after the MediVac helicopters were ordered to stop evacuations. This act of courage earned Major Freeman the Flying Cross and decades later, the Congressional Medal of Honor.  Glenn was in the service at the time, and remembers how many service men signed up for helicopter duty because of his example.  He passed away in August of 2008 but will always be remembered...

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/e/ed-freeman.htm

 

 

HAPPY 4th OF JULY 2011
 

Congratulations to our troop world wide this 4th of July. You have done your jobs with honor, dedication, and distinction, to the point that President Obama has now given the order for your return home in the coming months. An order long overdue, and one well deserved.  This is wonderful news for us all.

 

We look forward to you all coming home, and returning to your families, jobs, and communities that you all live in. Your triumphant returns will be honored with the highest level of appreciation that we can give you. Yours is a job well done, and we the American people salute and thank each and everyone of you for the sacrifices that you have made.

 

It's service like yours and all of those that have served before you that has made this the greatest country on the face of the earth.  It's this dedication to a cause of freedom and liberty for all, no matter where you live in this world that has the rest of the world looking to us in their time of need. We as a nation have never failed to answer the call for help, no matter what those that are against us say. In the end freedom is worth all the pain, suffering, and personal sacrifices we have all made in this pursuit of freedom. This is what America is all about, and why we as veterans have served to keep us all free, and done so without question.

 

It is with great honor that I salute you all, past and present fellow veterans of this great nation, on this most wonderful day, 

THE 4th OF JULY

 

IN HONOR OF

MEMORIAL DAY, May 30, 2011

 
It's that time of year once again when we set aside a little time to think and thank our fellow veterans and active duty military heroes. It's that time of year when we celebrate what a great country we have because of these past and present warriors that are serving and dying for the freedom that we all enjoy.
 
What I don't understand is why does it take Veterans day to get the general population to take a pause from their busy schedules to recognize what our military really affords us by their serving this great nation of ours. Why are there not yellow ribbons in every yard proclaiming the anticipated return of our troops? Why is the AMERICAN flag not flying in every yard in this country ? Why do so many wait for Veterans Day and the 4th of July to show their patriotism?
 
If we would show the world just how great we are every day of the year, how united we are, how strong our convictions are towards a democratic society , then, maybe, just maybe these fanatics that are so driven to remove us from this earth would realize that they are fighting a lost cause. Maybe they would see it's better to be our neighbor and share in what we have to offer, rather than to attempt to destroy what we are all about.
 
This world is getting smaller every day and we'd better start thinking a little more seriously about trying to get along much better with our neighbors. Whether they be right next door like Canada is to the north, Australia to the south, China to the west, India to the east, and all parts in between. We need to understand each other's cultures, religions, desires for a better life, and most importantly each others basic right to a peaceful co-existence on this earth. Then and only then will we truly be neighbors in this worldly community.
 
Stand up and be counted, let the whole world know what a great country we are and that there is a united front here and we will not let anyone take our freedoms from us.  This also goes for our own political powers that think this is their country to do with as they wish, without regards for the general population.
 
Thank you veterans, and all  you current military personnel that are serving world wide for your continued contributions in preserving our freedom. Without this commitment on your part, I fear for what would happen to this great nation of ours. 
 
Glenn Reed
Viet Nam Era Veteran 1965-1969

 

WE SUPPORT ALL CURRENT & PAST VETERANS

THIS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

May 31, 2010

Thank you for your continued service in our struggle to maintain our peace and freedoms

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(Decorated bear statue in Cherokee, NC, honoring the Military Services and P.O.W's)

THIS MEMORIAL WEEKEND, WE PAY TRIBUTE TO THE OLDEST MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT, and also the ONLY LIVING PEARL HARBOR DAY MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT, who passed away on 5/27/10 at AGE 100

All those on this page are heroes.  Then there are superheroes.  The following story tells Daniel's experience of meeting these two military heroes, two of the most renowned veterans in existence.

Mr. John Finn and Daniel

MrFinnandI-1.jpg (56083 bytes)

More information below!

 

Here is a July 1918 photo (taken by Arthur Mole & John Thomas, on a specially constructed tower) of a

HUMAN STATUE OF LIBERTY

made of 18,000 officers & men standing tall

As reported on the Iowa National Guard site, the photo was taken on the parade drill grounds at Camp Dodge, Des Moines IA.  Many men fainted in their woolen uniforms as the heat topped 105 degrees F.

The photo was taken as a promotional effort to sell WWI war bonds, though the photo was never used.

statue-liberty.jpg (149936 bytes)

Want to know more?  Read the rest on the Snopes site that fact checked the story, it is fascinating:

http://www.snopes.com/photos/patriotic/liberty.asp

 

 

MAY 25, 2009

MEMORIAL DAY

NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN

In honor of our Fallen Military Heroes, we are featuring Google Earth, Map of the Fallen where you can view details of them in your state or country.

First, click on the link below, next download Google Earth 5.0 from the link on right on that page (if you don't already have it), then download the link on that page for the Map of the Fallen on the "Click here to download map" above it.
 

Then you can type in the Search box on the left your state or country of interest and it will zoom in on that, making it easier to left-click on the icons to view the details of each Fallen Soldier.

We salute each and every one on this solemn day of remembrance.

 

7/24/08  HAPPY 99th BIRTHDAY, JOHN!

04/06/08  All those on this page are heroes.  Then there are superheroes.  The following story tells Daniel's experience of meeting these two military heroes, two of the most renowned veterans in existence.

Mr. John Finn and Daniel

  MrFinnandI-1.jpg (56083 bytes)

Lieutenant John William Finn (born July 23, 1909) is a retired Naval officer who received the Medal of Honor in recognition of heroism and distinguished service during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 12/7/41.  

He is the OLDEST LIVING MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT, and also the ONLY LIVING PEARL HARBOR DAY MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT.

Daniel writes: Mr. Finn only lives about 70 miles from me here in San Diego, so I thought it would be nice to see him. He was a Navy Chief stationed at Pearl Harbor when the attack happened. He is now 98 and pushing 99. He’s in great shape and a wonderful person to visit and listen too, quite an honor (like putting his medal on him for the photos!)

Update 5/27/10  We were sorry to hear the formal announcement of the passing away of Ltnt. John William Finn, age 100.  A long life of service to our country.  We salute him.

 


Mr. Frank Buckles and Daniel 

FrankBucklesandI-1.jpg (106342 bytes)

Frank Buckles is the 

LAST LIVING U.S.  World War One veteran

Born February 1, 1901.  He was awarded the French Legion of Honor.

========================

The significance of Mr. Finn's Medal of Honor and his bravery, and Mr. Buckles' meritorious long service is to be admired by anyone that would read of his exploits.  We ex-military and current military are in awe of people who have gone the extra mile for our country AND fellow soldiers. 

Glenn

===============


“Dear Glenn and Heidi,

I am so happy that we can share our thoughts on fellow and current military personnel who are both inspirational and role models for all Americans. I was very fortunate to meet two people I feel are true heroes and both Mr. John Finn (age 98) and Mr. Frank Buckles (age 107) are two of them. 

I joined the Navy at age 17 in 1992 and have been in nearly 16 years now. I started off as a Navy Corpsman and spent time overseas in Japan working at the hospital there and then back home at Camp Pendleton being a medic for the Marines—an honor that I’ve always been proud of (trivia: one of the men on the Iwo Jima flag-raising monument, John Bradley, was a Navy Corpsman too—the others were all Marines of course.)  I spent four and a half years as a Corpsman and then went to OCS and became an officer. I’m now a Lieutenant Commander and will hopefully make Commander before I retire at 20 years at age 37.

Now, on to the IMPORTANT guys :) I first met John Finn about a year and a half ago. It was so fun to go up there and visit him in Pine Valley. He has a person that helps him out, but in general he stays out tinkering with his refrigerators and all sorts of other contraptions that keep him busy all day—and FULL days at that. How he keeps going is beyond me as he approaches his first century mark, but he does. He is a wealth of knowledge and loves to talk about the heroes HE KNEW that fought in WWII. He has a piece of Japanese silverware (a large bowl) that he obtained and other interesting artifacts, such as a piece of the actual USS Constitution (the oldest commissioned Naval warship—still in commission) that the workers gave him in the 40s when it was being refurbished and preserved.

Of course the most interesting artifact he has is his Medal of Honor. This is our nations eldest living recipient—not an “award”, but something you receive for bravery of the highest magnitude—of the medal and the last one from Pearl Harbor on the day of infamy to be with us. He will gladly tell you his account of what happened that day and to hear it in person is very poignant and moving. He is such a great man and entertains servicemen visitors daily—to them making the short 150 mile round trip is nothing, compared to being buoyed up by this gentleman who thanks THEM for their service, LOL.

The second hero I loved seeing and is still with us today is Frank Buckles. Now, he has the honor of being OUR ABSOLUTE LAST LIVING World War ONE (yes I, not II!) veteran. He is 107 years old, but just as sharp as can be. Just a few weeks ago he visited the Oval Office to meet President Bush, who thanked him for his service. Mr. Buckles delighted the press corps with his charm and sharp wits. He joined the Army at age 16—just a boy—and ended up driving an ambulance overseas in France. He served on the battlefield doing this and though thankfully was not handed a rifle and told to hit the trenches as the kid that he was, he did a dangerous job and we are lucky he made it out of there.

He will tell you of meeting famed WWI general John “Blackjack” Pershing in the 20s and how interested the general was in how close the two lived to each other in their respective home towns. Mr. Buckles is proud to represent all of the fallen and departed WWI veterans and when he is gone—that is it, no more WWI veterans—a true end of an era. Will it go unnoticed? Will we have a state funeral for him to commemorate ALL of the WWI veterans? I hope so—the past is just as important as the present.

I would encourage any young kid—or adult young at heart and patriotic—to try and see one of these two gentleman (one on each coast :) if you can. Reading about history is not bad, but having people with near (or greater than) century memories tell you about it personally is much more impacting and lasting. Either way they are two heroes of mine and am so proud to have met them both...

Best,


Daniel Kinske, LCDR, USN
San Diego, CA

 

JULY 4, 2008 

INDEPENDENCE DAY

Enjoy the time with your families, yet please keep in mind the countless others that will be fighting to protect our freedoms and way of life here in America. Take the time in your celebrations this 4th of July to remember those that gave their lives so valiantly, and those that will continue to do so in this pursuit of freedom we hold so dear about this great nation of ours.

Keep in mind the lofty ideals that we have as a nation, and how countries around the world look up to us for our freedom.

 

UPDATE June 1, 2008

This is Nathan and his dad Dann on the flight deck, a special arrangement for families to share the experience of Navy life with their children in the military:

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6/4/08  Note from father Dann:  Nathan is back at Miramar, and doing well. The ground keeps moving on me. Nathan's terminal leave starts on the 27th. He will be coming home, and his last day is on the 10th of August. Here is another picture of Nath and I on the deck of the Tarawa, and a sunset. 

Marine Nathan's birthday photo from November 2007.  Stay safe, Nathan.

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  nathanflag1.jpg (59602 bytes)  nathanflag3.JPG (85315 bytes)  nathanflag2.jpg (67104 bytes)

 

MAY 26, 2008 - MEMORIAL DAY

FREEDOM

Wishing all those who are not with their families 

a SAFE AND SPEEDY RETURN

Glenn Reed

Viet Nam era Veteran, 1965-1969

 

3/19/08   CHAD & ASHLEY

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Glenn - Both of my grandfathers were in Vietnam. I've heard the stories of how the soldiers were treated when they returned home, and I think it's horrible. 

Sadly there is something similar happening in Berkeley, CA.  I'm sure you probably have seen something of it on the news. They are banning soldiers and their families from their city. It makes me sick to my stomach and also very angry that we {and you guys} have sacrificed so much and yet these people are ungrateful.  A friend said there was a small newscast on it saying they are going to cut government funding from their city. So. And in my opinion it serves them right. Crazy crazy mess. Of course a lot of things seem to be going crazy these days. 

There are no words to describe the pride and love we all feel though, that's for sure. :) 

And we both want to thank you first and foremost {along with everyone else who has served with you and before you} for your service, dedication, and courage. :) {And Chad says that it is his pleasure, he feels honored to be a part of a brotherhood of some of the most courageous men and women, past and present.}

We are going to be trying to start a family when Chad returns from this deployment and honestly it is scary imagining what our children's future could be like. But then again, it could all turn out better than we all think. We like to have 'the glass is half full'  type of attitude about everything. Life is too short to not enjoy it, you know? :)

Chad is from a small town in southern Louisiana, called Jennings. He is 32 years old and very happily married. He is a proud member of the US Army and he is currently serving in Iraq. Currently he is a Bradley Mechanic, but he has recently re-enlisted to go into Aviation. Of which he is very excited about and also happens to be a dream of his. He has been in the military for eight years to date, and is considering becoming a "lifer". He enjoys protecting our country and he loves his family very much. He loves spending time with his wife, art, music, watching movies, motorcycles, fixing up cars/trucks, drawing, traveling, and many many other things. He's a wonderful man and a true hero.

Truly,

Ashley & Chad

Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."

 

3/18/08    Glenn & Heidi,

I just got off the phone, as I ordered a necklace for my son’s birthday.  I then went back to the website and clicked upon the “Support our Troops” button….whew….. a few past recollections as well as a couple of shed tears for some of the times past gone and I am back to reality.  I certainly appreciate what you are doing as…Americans….showing that you do care and that no matter what happens…we all should support those that are doing what they all believe in.   

I served 21 years in the Navy, and I’d do it again if given the opportunity.  After 21 yrs….32 Countries and 36 States….  I’m still continuing to appreciate how Blessed I am…..to be an American.

I was born in Seoul , South Korea and spent several years in an orphanage.  Was adopted at the age of 4.  Naturalized at the age of 7. Joined the Navy at 17.  Worked hard…. Got my clearances….Secret/Top Secret… Worked towards my goals and aspirations.  Slowly climbed the ranks until I achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer.  Retired after the last 4 yrs of being a Navy Recruiter in 2004.

When I first retired I thought about the Navy probably 20-30 times a day.  Each year it slowly dwindles down……. Now…… I suppose I’m down to about ……..  5-6 times a day. J   I loved the teaching aspect of it.  (Of course I HAD to be the one teaching..LOL) 

 Again,… thank you!

Chris, Marco Island, Florida

Chris - Our thanks for taking the time to share your kind words and your interesting history.  You are welcome to add more any time you see fit.  Keep writing!

 

1/7/08   Comments from another Veteran:

GLENN:

I HAVE BEEN LOOKING AT YOUR SITE AND IT IS REALLY NICE.  IT WOULD TAKE A
WEEK TO LOOK AT EVERYTHING THAT YOU HAVE.

BUT, WHAT I AM REALLY REALLY PLEASED TO SEE IS YOUR "SUPPORT OUR TROOPS".

THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT ARE 100 PERCENT BEHIND OUR MILITARY AND I
AM PROUD TO SAY THAT I AM ONE OF THEM.  FROM WHAT I READ YOU ARE THERE IN
THAT 100 PERCENT PLUS ALSO.

I WAS IN THE USAF FROM 1 NOV. 1955 TO 31 OCT. 1959.   I WILL BE 74 YEARS OLD ON 14 JAN. 2008, WHICH IS NEXT WEEK.   I WAS READY TO DO ANYTHING IT
TOOK TO DO MY JOB THEN AND HAVE REMAINED THAT WAY ALL MY LIFE SINCE, AND STILL READY RIGHT NOW.

THE VIET CONFLICT, "WAR TO ME", WAS A REAL MESS.  OF COURSE YOU KNOW ALL ABOUT THAT.  I GOT SO TIRED OF PEOPLE TALKING AGAINST YOU BOYS THAT WERE
OVER THERE PUTTING UP WITH THE NIGHTMARE OF JUST BEING OVER THERE.  I TRIED REALLY HARD NOT TO USE ANY BAD WORDS IN THOSE TIMES, BUT BASICALLY I
JUST TOLD THEM TO SHUT UP AND GET OUT OF MY FACE, AND THAT I DID NOT WANT
TO HEAR IT.

DURING THE TIME IN THE SIXTIES WHEN ALL OF THIS WAS GOING ON I WAS WORKING FOR THE USAF TRYING TO GET A MAN ON THE MOON.  BUT EVEN THEN, WE
WOULD HAVE SOMEBODY RUNNING YOU GUYS DOWN.

I COULD GO ON AND ON, BUT I GUESS I WILL QUIT WHILE I AM AHEAD.

BY THE WAY, NOW DAYS I DO SOME WORK IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM DOING SCIENCE TALKS ON DIFFERENT THINGS.  IT GIVES ME A CHANGE OF PACE AND THE
YOUNG PEOPLE ALWAYS THANK  ME FOR COMING.

WITH BEST REGARDS,

HENRY BEVIS
HILLSBORO, TENNESSEE

P.S. I AM SENDING YOUR SITE INFO. TO A NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT WERE IN MY OLD AIR FORCE UNIT.

4/4/08 Update: 

P.S. NUMBER TWO..    I HAVE HEARD BACK FROM SEVERAL PEOPLE THAT REALLY LIKED YOUR SITE AND WHAT YOU ARE DOING.

===================

THANKS, HENRY!!

 

KIM GOODWIN with children Alyssa and Oury:

goodwinfamily.JPG (84969 bytes)

Kim with Anthony, and on his favorite toy:

anthony1.jpg (66519 bytes)  anthony2.jpg (71038 bytes)  

GOODWIN, ANTHONY L
SSGT   US MARINE CORPS
PERSIAN GULF
DATE OF BIRTH: 05/28/1971
DATE OF DEATH: 05/08/2005
BURIED AT: SECTION 60  SITE 8182
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

anthony3.jpg (117200 bytes)

 

Bronze star medal with valor, and

Purple heart medal

Click on this link to read more about his military experience:

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/algoodwin.htm

Kim contacted us at Where on Earth to order Maori fish hook necklaces for herself and her two children, also mentioning the death of her husband in Iraq two years ago.  This sparked an exchange of emails and a lasting impression of who her husband  Anthony Goodwin was, and what he and his family have sacrificed and will continue to do for the rest of their lives.

=====================

September 20, 2007

Glenn and Heidi,

 
    I want to thank you both for realizing the depth that military families are faced with on a daily basis. If it wasn't for men like yourself who have served our country, and previous conflicts, we wouldn't be here today living in this great nation. The United States of America. My husbands name was SSgt. Anthony L. Goodwin.
 
USMC
KIA 05/08/05 Al Quam, Iraq
(died Mothers Day)
 
                            We will enjoy your necklaces forever
                                    Semper Fidelis,                                                     The Goodwin Family

Terry,

 
I was sitting here at my computer when your email came in. The picture of you all and your short bit of info really got to me. It has taken several minutes for me to clear my head in order to write you back.
 
It was our pleasure in sending you these necklace mementos makes what we do more than just selling "stuff" and our website one with a heart.  By no means do they convey all that we have spoken about, but I would hope they will always be a reminder in a small way that there are people out there that really and truly appreciate what you and your family have lost. The sacrifices that you families of FALLEN HEROES have and will continue to make for the remainder of your lives cannot be taken lightly.
 
I never had a mother that I could celebrate "MOTHER'S DAY" for, but for the remainder of my life I will pause on this special day and remember your husband and his family, as this being his K-Day. I thank you for sharing this part of your family story with us.
 
Your husband, and the children's father has paid the ultimate price for our freedom and way of life that we all enjoy here in America. It's because of people like Anthony, who believed in his convictions and followed them to the end of his life that we are a free nation.  Without these brave men and women, I fear for where we would be today.
 
We will post this on our "Support The Troops" page on our web site as I mentioned to you in our telephone conversation earlier in the week. Thank you for allowing us to share your family's story with the rest of the FREE WORLD.
 
Kindest Regards,
 
Glenn Reed

Glenn,

 
After reading your email, and a box of tissue. I would like to add a little bit more information. SSgt. Anthony Goodwin was 33 years old. Born on Memorial Day.  He served 14+yrs in the Corps and died doing what he loved best. He was a GRUNT. He was on his third tour in Iraq. Serving in Desert Storm, OIF 2003 and 2005. I wish people could only have a glimpse into Military life and see that death isn't the only sacrifice that we make. It's just the end or final result. We have Wounded, PDS, Agent Orange and I'm sure the list goes on. Me and my family get by with the word of God. Even in the darkest of time his light shines bright. May God continue his work through you and Heidi and may your company continue to bless many. I printed out your letter and added it to the stack of card and emails and letter from true Americans that care. When that day comes, the day my son wants to know about his father and what he stood for. He will be able to read all about it. Thank you...
 
Sincerely,
Kim Goodwin
Proud Wife of SSgt. Anthony L Goodwin

Kim,

 
Thank you for your very kind words. I am sure we will be speaking more as time goes on. This has been a very emotional day for us all. I am sure it took a lot  strength on your part to tell us your story. Our hearts go out to you all.
 
Yes, when the day comes for your son to know who his father really was, will be a day that you have lived for. You will have so many wonderful things to tell him and share that you have treasured all these years. We are honored to be part of that history for you and your family.
 
Warm Regards,
 
Glenn & Heidi Reed

 

Long-time friend Kristen has sent us this picture of her with her Paul on his departure to Iraq January 14, 2007:

kristen-paul.JPG (175000 bytes)

LCpl Paul Shively
United States Marine Corps
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
 

Currently deployed to Iraq (Until August 2007)

Stay safe, Paul.

 

Wendy, stationed in Iraq, works at constructing structures.  Her son is back home in New Hampshire, looking forward to a good Christmas with his dad & grandparents except that his mom won't be there this year.  We hope a few extras in the package Wendy ordered from us will make this a special Christmas for him anyway:

   

12/22/06 - From Glenn to: Wendy:
 
Happy Holidays to you and the entire family. Now there is such a clear understanding behind your picture. It sounds like you have a lot of interesting aspects to your daily life in the military.
 
Thank you very much for the info. It's our hope that we can paint a true picture of just what this war really is costing the American people. It's just not in terms of "DOLLARS", but the biggest cost is what it's doing to the families that are serving in the different branches of the military. I hate this syndrome of the general public "OUT OF SIGHT OUT OF MIND".
 
We have been contacting so many corporate people attempting to get donated items for you troops that should have been supplied before your deployments. Most attitudes are that they will only give a 5-10% discount for any orders that we would like to place. They are all making big bucks off this war, but can't seem to make a direct donation of their products that would benefit you folks directly.
 
I guess what I need to do next is to start a posting of contacted companies and start a boycott of sorts.
 
We support you all and we want to you return safe to your families. We want you all to know that you are making a difference in the service to your/our country. Yet, what we want you all to understand more than anything else is that you don't have to blindly follow orders that you know in your hearts that are wrong. We need more of you front line people speaking out. Telling your side of the story.
  
Heidi and I want you and your family to know that we hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and that as a family you will all be together real soon.
 
One last question, how much longer is your tour of duty?
 
Maybe we can get a picture of your son and husband at Christmas that we can post along with your current info. This will really put a very personal touch to your wonderful story. Thanks.
 
Season Greetings,
 
Glenn & Heidi

===============

12/22 from Wendy to Glenn:

Hi Glenn, Heidi,
 
Thanks for all the questions. It's another good mark on your part that you are trying to help people see the personal side of this conflict.
 
I have made the military my career choice, and I've been in 12 years, so I'm a fairly young tsgt-below the average anyways. I personally am in the structures career field, so I do carpentry, welding, sheet metal and masonry. Right now at our location in Balad AB, Iraq, my shop is erecting a shelter for one of the Army's assets; it's the biggest fabric shelter erected by any shop in the USAF. Normally these kinds of projects are contracted out to civilian companies. So, we do support type of things for the war. We maintain the base assets as far as the facilities and any improvements or requirements. I'm not a single parent, I am married to another military member and he is part of the Explosive Ordinance Disposal career field, and he is also a career airman with the rank of TSgt. :)
 
My son is a little soldier at heart, but he is having a tough time with me being in Iraq-as he gets older he understands more, so its a little scarier for him. He arrived at my parents house yesterday and is excited for the holidays. We're pretty disappointed that it doesn't look like I'm getting home for the holidays, but my husband is making his way to my parents also. He just graduated from the Non Commissioned Officer Academy, which is a professional school. I should be heading there shortly after i get back myself.
 
Happy Holidays!
 
Wendy

=============

12/13/06  from Glenn to: Wendy,
 
We are both so glad that we were in a position to make a little boy's Christmas so special this year. Thanks for allowing us to do this on your behalf.
 
We are trying to show  the general public that there is a very personal face to this war and that there are people right in their own back yards that are paying a very dear price for this fight for democracy. Which, by the way, they are all enjoying. In doing so we hope to raise the awareness of this conflict to a point that there is more support to resolve this situation and get you all back home with your families.
 
So when  we do another posting of a "SUPPORT THE TROOPS" it is our very strong belief that we are making a difference in people's lives, and in turn a difference for the entire world.
 
If at all possible is there more information of a general nature that you are at liberty to share with us about your particular support mission that you and your outfit are involved with. Keeping in mind that your exact location not be mentioned, nor anything of a critical nature that would put any of you in harms way. We need to add a story to you and your son's beautiful pictures that you sent us. Are you by the way a single parent by any chance ? Are you going top make the military a career choice ? I see where you are holding the rank of tech. sergeant (BY USAF RANKING)  How long have you been in the service ?
 
Kindest Regards,
 
Glenn
 
PS: Have a wonderful holiday, knowing in your heart that THE PERSONAL SACRIFICE THAT YOU MAKING IS APPRECIATED.
 
 -----------------------
12/13/06 from Wendy to Heidi!
 
Here are a couple pictures (above). I hope they are what you were looking for, but if not, you can see who you've helped out. :) I can't tell you how much I appreciate what you have done for our holiday. Thank you so much. 
 
The first one is myself and my son, and the other two are of me working here.
 
Happy Holidays!

Wendy

 

THANKSGIVING DAY REMEMBRANCE

This message is for Lt. Mack and all her fellow troops, and to ALL THOSE THAT ARE SERVING that cannot be with their families this year.  Our heartfelt thanks go out to your for your contribution and sacrifice.  Link below:

http://www.cpmsglife.org/tg/2006tdm1.html

 

 

IN HONOR OF

VETERANS DAY, November 11, 2006

 
It's that time of year once again when we set aside a little time to think and thank our fellow veterans and active duty military heroes. It's that time of year when we celebrate what a great country we have because of these past and present warriors that are serving and dying for the freedom that we all enjoy.
 
What I don't understand is why does it take Veterans day to get the general population to take a pause from their busy schedules to recognize what our military really affords us by their serving this great nation of ours. Why are there not yellow ribbons in every yard proclaiming the anticipated return of our troops? Why is the AMERICAN flag not flying in every yard in this country ? Why do so many wait for Veterans Day and the 4th of July to show their patriotism?
 
If we would show the world just how great we are every day of the year, how united we are, how strong our convictions are towards a democratic society , then, maybe, just maybe these fanatics that are so driven to remove us from this earth would realize that they are fighting a lost cause. Maybe they would see it's better to be our neighbor and share in what we have to offer, rather than to attempt to destroy what we are all about.
 
This world is getting smaller every day and we'd better start thinking a little more seriously about trying to get along much better with our neighbors. Whether they be right next door like Canada is to the north, Australia to the south, China to the west, India to the east, and all parts in between. We need to understand each other's cultures, religions, desires for a better life, and most importantly each others basic right to a peaceful co-existence on this earth. Then and only then will we truly be neighbors in this worldly community.
 
November the 7th is just around the corner, and we all know that this in the mid term elections time and that we all need to do our part. That part being, that we must go to the voting polls and do our civic duty and VOTE ! This is one of our most treasured rights that we have, and we only have this right because free men and women stepped forward over the years and fought  and died fighting our enemies that wanted to take our freedoms away from us.
 
It makes no difference whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Independent, Liberal, Right Winger, Left Winger, Hawk, Dove, or of any other political persuasion. What matters is that you VOTE. The reason being, if for no other reason, the fact that so many veterans have given their lives and will continue to do so for your right to VOTE.  You must VOTE out of respect for these brave, loyal young and old HEROES that are doing battle for us all.
 
Stand up and be counted, let the whole world know what a great country we are and that there is a united front here and we will not let anyone take our freedoms from us.This also goes for our own political powers that think this is their country to do with as they wish, without regards for the general population.
 
Thank you veterans, and all  you current military personnel that are serving world wide for your continued contributions in preserving our freedom. Without this commitment on your part, I fear for what would happen to this great nation of ours. I for one will be at the voting polls first thing on the 7th, exercising my hard fought right to VOTE !!!!
 
Glenn Reed
Viet Nam Era Veteran 1965-1969

 

10/21/06

RESPECT for the FALLEN

It's with a heavy heart that I share with you the following personal experience that I just had on a return flight from my recent trip to Barrow, Alaska on the night of October 21, 2006.

While waiting to board our return flight to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina from Anchorage, Alaska, I was startled to observe the follow chain of events that made me want to cry.
 
The attendant had just announced that we would be boarding all handicapped people first and anyone with small children that needed special attention. The only person that went to the flight attendant for help was a young mother with three small children, all of whom appeared to be under the age of 10. She  was very distraught in her manner of asking for help. It seemed like she really wasn't aware of where she was of where it was she was supposed to go. She had a dazed look about her that I have seen too many times in the past.  It became very apparent to me upon noticing the item she was clutching so  dearly in her arms, as to what was troubling this young mother so much.
 
I heard a couple behind me mention that it's people like her and her flock of kids that make it so hard on the rest of us  when it's time to board the plane . They continued to make other derogatory remarks to the point that I couldn't control myself any further.
 
It was with great difficulty that I managed to maintain an air of civility toward these two unsuspecting people as I approached them.  In a low voice I asked if either of them knew what this young woman was clutching to her breast as if her life depended on it, so dear to her that she allowed the attendant to carry her little baby rather than put it down or let someone else carry it?  They said they had no idea, but found it interesting that all she could do was stand there and cry so much rather than get her little brats on the plane so we all could board.
 
When I told them, the looks on their faces and their inability to speak were very profound.  It was as if I had told them that there lives were about to end that very moment.
 
I stepped away from them and proceeded to board the plane with Heidi, who had noticed and knew what had occurred.
 
Now on the plane, as we were about to pass by the young mother's seat, I knelt down, so as to be eye level with her, and spoke quietly for a brief moment to her.
 
I gently laid my hand on her shoulder, and she turned and looked me straight in the eyes and gave a small smile as if she knew me. I expressed my condolences for her recent loss and assured her that I and all my fellow Americans deeply appreciated the sacrifice that her young husband had made for us all.
 
She thanked me with tears streaming down her face, and in a gentle child-like voice said ''I wish other people on this plane felt the same way".  I apologized for the rude couple that  she must have overheard, and continued on to my seat. 
 
When I sat down, my wife Heidi saw that I was very emotional at that moment.  I told her what I had said, and we both sat there for awhile holding hands and appreciating each other and everything we have.
 
You see, the young mother was holding a triangular wooden box with a brass nameplate, a flag box. This box contained the American flag that had previously been placed upon her dead husband's casket at his military funeral ceremony that took place at the military installation in Alaska three days before.
 
This was another of our young,  brave AMERICAN SOLDIERS that left his young family to go off and fight for his country, our country, and came home in a pine box.
 
Her life and her childrens' lives will never be the same again.  The rude couple at the airport, Heidi and I will never look at life quite the same again.
 
It is my hope in telling you this story, that you all will think before reacting to a situation that just might not be what it appears to be.  Don't be so quick to draw conclusions. 
 
God bless America for what she stands for, and all those that have served and will continue to serve her.

 

WHAT IS A SOLDIER?

After the security of childhood and before the insecurity of a second childhood, we find a soldier.  Soldiers are found everywhere - in jeeps, in bars, in trouble, on leave, in love and, of course, in debt.

Soldiers come in assorted sizes, weights, states of sobriety, misery and confusion.  Girls love them, mothers tolerate them, the United States supports them, and somehow they manage to get along with each other.

A soldier is laziness with a deck of cards, a millionaire without a cent, bravery with a grin, and the protector of America who doesn't yet shave.

A soldier is as sly as a fox, has the energy of a turtle, the stories of a sea captain, the aspirations of Casanova, the sincerity of a liar, the appetite of a giant, and when he wants something, it is usually a pass or a stand-by, but most of all, he wants out.

A soldier is a magical creature - you can lock him out of your house, but not out of your heart.  You can take him off your mailing list, but not off your mind.

You might as well give in, he's your long-distance lover, your bright-eyed good-for-nothing bundle of worry.  Even so, all your shattered dreams seem insignificant when he comes to you and greets you with those innocent spoken words - "Hi Honey".

Dateline:  1968 

Place:  Bitburg, Germany  

Author:  unknown

 

MAY 29, 2006 - MEMORIAL DAY

WELCOME HOME YOUNG HEROES
 
 Welcome home ! We shout it from the roof tops ! Yet, not everyone is hearing what they really thought they would when they returned home from duty in another very unpopular war. We are once again a divided nation as to our beliefs on whether we are doing the right thing by fighting our neighbor's fight. We are divided again as to who should or should not be fighting this war. The general feeling is that our president has failed us and is now leading us down a road that there is no end in sight. We are once again in a position that is causing our freedom fighters to question just what it is that they are doing.  Is the price too great that we are paying ?
 
Many  of you are going to spend months, if not years, in rehabilitation centers around the country, trying to put your young lives together again. There will be times when the hours of hard work and the pain will get to you.  It's at these times that you will allow your mind to wander and ask the same question over and over again. Constantly seeking an answer, when all the time you know there will never be one forthcoming. That question being, was this effort worth the price I am paying now? The reason the answer will not come to you is because you already know it. There never was a doubt in your mind when you stepped forward to serve this great country of ours. You have served in a very honorable manner, and are all truly ''AMERICAN HEROES".

Set aside the right or wrong of the Bush Administration, set aside the incomplete media portrayal of the war, set aside the hostility of those Iraqi & Afghani people who see Americans as occupiers.  Remember the grateful faces of the these people who now embrace freedoms they never knew before, when the "light" goes on and they finally understand what we're about.  And that you were part of the reason for that look on their faces.  Even one face.  Never forget that.  No one can take that away from you.

 
I, for the past 38 years have had many a nightmare about my service in the Viet Nam situation, and wonder why the American people treated us so poorly when we came home, and have for countless years since then. Yet, you reach a point in your life when you say to yourself, no matter what they think of me and my military service, I did do the right thing, and I can live with myself for doing so. Then life will have a different meaning to you and you will tend to heal all those old wounds and become a better person for all what you have gone through. I am not saying it's going to be an easy task, you will battle with this loss everyday, but in the end, you will always know in your heart that your decision to serve our country was the correct one, no matter what the personal price that you paid, due to this decision.
 
This is what makes our nation what it is and why we have such a strong commitment to see that we are a free people, and that our neighbors will have those same freedoms. As long as there are people being held against their will, and ruled in the fashion as we see it today in many parts of the world , we will never truly be free. So, it's because of  the dedication of every AMERICAN that has ever served in the military that we will prevail and continue to rid the world of tyrants, terrorists, and other peoples that will stand in freedom's way for us all.
 
 Hold your head up proudly, walk tall, and let the world know that no matter what they think, you are an "AMERICAN HERO" and they can't take that away from you no matter what they say or think. It's the freedom that you have fought for that gives them the right to speak freely. Some day they will come to realize this simple fact, and then  and only then will they realize just what price you have paid for their freedom. That will be the day that we will all hug our neighbors, and lay down our arms and live as a peaceful community the world over.
 
So the answer that you are seeking is a simple as this, Yes! the price you paid and countless others paid these past 200+ years, since we fought the English for our freedom, has indeed been worth every drop of blood spilled on the many battlefields here and abroad.
 
I thank each and everyone of you for your sacrifices, and wish you well for the remainder of your life. You have all made a difference, and I for one, stand and salute you, as  AMERICAN HEROES.

Glenn

 

 

deanparent.jpg (17399 bytes)

9/13/05  

After a 3 year tour in Kosovo, Iraq and Iran, I ran across your website. Awesome to say the least. A couple of questions if I may.
I'm interested in a shark tooth necklace. I planned to take a trip down, but unfortunately I'm in rehab learning to walk........but be assured when I am up, I will be there to thank you in person (if the job is feasible).
 
Sincerely,
 
Ssg. Dean Parent United States Army.
9/16/05  from Glenn to Dean:

Welcome home young man !!!! Thank you for your sacrifice and duty to "OUR" country. I am sure at this time you are wondering if the price you have paid is too much for the sake of freedom. Rest assured, you are not alone in this feeling. We who have served, all at one time or another have had these same feelings. This is just a natural reaction due to the results of your serving. Don't think for a moment that your  life is any less valuable now because of your service to this wonderful country of ours. You are a "HERO", and nothing less will ever describe you better for the rest of your life. It's with pride that I salute you today and for the rest of your life. Thank you for doing your part for keeping this a free nation.

I, for the past 38 years, have had many a nightmare about my service in the Viet Nam conflict, and wonder why the American people treated us so poorly when we came home, and have for countless years since then. Yet, you reach a point in your life when you say to yourself, no matter what they think of me and my military service, I did do the right thing, and I can live with myself for doing so. Then life will have a different meaning to you, and you will tend to heal all those old wounds and become a better person for all that you have gone through. I am not saying it's going to be an easy task, you will battle with this loss everyday, but in the end, you will always know in your heart that your decision to serve our country was the correct one, no matter what the personal price that you paid, due to this decision.

I wish you well in you rehab, and just know that there are a lot of people out here supporting you in ways that you can't even imagine. We are paying taxes to support the facilities that you are in, and the salaries of the staff taking care of you.  So even those that are against the war efforts are still supporting it one way or the other.

 
 Hold your head up proudly, walk tall, and let the world know, that no matter what they think, you are an AMERICAN HERO and they can't take that away from you no matter what they say or think.

I would like to post a picture of you and your bio on "SUPPORT THE TROOPS PAGES" on our web site, much like we have done for countless others that have served.  This is not only a tribute to you and your sacrifice, but it also put a face on the war that others need to know about. If we don't tell our stories they will never know, the real story of what's going on.

Glenn

9/21/05  Glenn and Heidi - I wish I were in better health, I'd love to come to visit the "showplace" as I'm sure it's quite a place.  But You also remember that anytime you are up in the area, that there's a warm bed and board here for you - as I tell all of my military brothers, this is your home as much as it is mine.
My chest is healing, but I'll be going in for surgery again in November.....seems like the itching will just be stopping before they want to go in again.  I can't thank you enough, you make the term "American" what it's supposed to be. There aren't enough of us out there right now it seems. But I saluted every civilian that clapped and honored us home...The first tears I cried were brought on by their cheers of thanks. Well, I've yapped on enough, and I'll be sure to send you a picture of me wearing the shark tooth necklace when it arrives. Until then here's a photo of me from prior to my second Tour.
With Sincere Regards,

Dean

 

TRIBUTE TO THE TROOPS

Fourth of July 2005

 
It was 36 years ago on the 4th of July 1969, that I was discharged from the Air Force after serving my 4 year enlistment. I have toured  the world, compliments of Uncle Sam, and saw some 44+ countries in doing so. Some, that I might say, I have never been back to, nor care to for that matter.  Yet my being in the military was a real learning experience.  Many of those experiences have led me to be the person that I am today.  Good or bad, the military did give me a well-rounded education.  I am sure each and every one of you know the true meaning of this statement, as those that have never served this country will never know.  I salute each and every one of you on this special day.
 
I send you all my greetings on this day of celebration of our Independence with a heavy heart, as you are not as free as I am to truly celebrate with your loved ones here at home. Yet, my heart is filled with the joy of knowing that you too have stepped up to the challenge of serving this great nation. We know it is not always an easy task in doing so, but it is one that needs to be done if we are to live in a free society, one with the knowledge, that we have every right to express our feelings without the fear of a loud explosion in our ears from being shot for doing so. We are a very privileged society here in America, and too many times we tend to forget the sacrifices of those before us that have  given us this Great Nation to call our home.
 
So my fellow comrades in arms, be safe, take care, and come home soon. Those that are not fortunate in doing so, that have paid the supreme price for our freedom, you will always have a special place in our hearts, and will be honored throughout time as fallen heroes.
 
God Bless you all, and I pray for your safety.
 
Glenn

 

 
5/26/05 from Glenn to Wizard,
 
Thank you, for the " WELCOME HOME BROTHER " just doesn't sound like enough, but it's one of those words that hold a whole host of meanings. I thank you for taking the time to make one of many forgotten veterans of that terrible mistake of a war, feel like maybe we did do some good after all. It's never too late to thank someone for doing their part, whether it was a right or wrong war. This will always be a subjective view by both sides of the debate, and I am sure this one will never be decided in our lifetime.
 
 I have for years wondered where these hateful "AMERICANS" ever ended up. The ones that spat on us, that disrespected us, and those that were in positions to make it very difficult  for us to re-enter main stream America and enjoy the good life .  The good life made possible BY WHAT WE IN THE MILITARY DID.  Then one day it dawned on me, WHO CARES!!! They were and are just another example of what this great country is all about. No matter what your views are about anything, we have the freedom to express that without the fear of being shot for doing so. This being the case , makes me even prouder of the fact that I did step forward and "JOINED" (not drafted), the military to fight for all the principles our founding fathers stood for.
 
Yes, we will post your links and by all means feel free to post our link to your two web sites.
 
Have a wonderful Memorial Day week end. It's always a hard day, but one that needs to never be forgotten. I visited the " WALL" last month while I was in Washington, and was still amazed by the numbers that visit on a daily basis. The new memorials for the WWII , Korean , and women vets are just wonderful examples of what good people are all about.
 
Thanks again for the "WELCOME HOME ".
 
Kindest Regards, Glenn
 
U.S.A.F. 1965-1969
-----------------------------------------------
5/11/05 from Wizard:

Comrade Glenn,
I'd like to give you a long, long overdue WELCOME HOME BROTHER!
Like many of the posted contributors on your Support the Troops page of your website, I also stumbled upon your home page by accident.  I was sitting here at work in my office on the West Coast when a fellow employee asked me about shark bites.  Because I was born and raised in California, I spent most of my healthy years surfing and proceeded to share some stories which led to me typing the words "Shark Bite Photos" into my search engine.  Well of course one link always leads to another which led me down the lucky path to you.  As soon as I read the words "Support Our Troops" all work in my office stopped while I read each and every e-mail you had posted. As you will see from my "sign off" at the end of this mail, I hold a couple of offices for different parts of the largest Veteran Organization in the United States...The American Legion.  While reading, I gathered that you are a Veteran who served during Viet Nam.  I am too, so that is what prompted the belated Welcome Home.  On behalf of myself, Post 161 and my Chapter of the American Legion Riders...we thank you, not only for your service to our country back in the day, but also for the support you have given our Troops now, in the hopes that they will never have to return to be "greeted" in the manner that the Heroes of our generation did. 
While I'm short on time at the moment, I did want to get this letter off to you before I left this evening.  I also invite you to click on the two links provided so you can enjoy and appreciate some of the GOOD STUFF the media conveniently neglects, that Americans like you and I do to keep the Dream of Freedom alive.  I'd like to ask your permission to post your link on our web site and if you'd like you can do the same with mine.  I own and maintain both of them.  I'll be looking forward to hearing from you and maybe we can get something going more in support of our men and women who are proving FREEDOM ISN'T FREE!!!

Bob "Wizard" Scudero
Commander Post 161
President ALR-CA Post 161 District 9

www.rolling9s.com
www.wizrd.com

 

5/26 from Glenn to Nell,
 
Thank you for your contact and we would be very proud to add your son to our long list of young men and women serving our country at this very difficult time.
 
As far as any support groups in your area, we are not aware of any. It really upsets us when we find such poor support for our troops. Even the military themselves have failed the families in the support area. There should be a group on every military base, and yet we hear from families all the time that there isn't.
 
Our hearts go out to you and all parents, and we hope that what we are doing does make a difference. Feel free to contact us any time and share your thoughts and experiences as you serve along with your sons tour of duty, as you are just as involved as he is.
 
Good luck , and keep up your spirits, there are a lot of people out there behind your son, and we all are praying for his safe return.
 
Kindest Regards, Glenn

-----------------------------

5/26 to Glenn from Nell:

My son is a Marine stationed in Fallujah.  His reserve unit is from San Antonio, TX, but I live in Laurens, SC and know of no support groups here.  If you have any contacts in the Greenville/Greer/ Laurens area please let me know how they are.  I would like to be involved in supporting our troops.

 
Thank you,
Nell Smith

 

Above is a photo of Chris and the fellas out at camp.  Chris is in the middle.

3/31/05  Chris Simon is away in the Middle East with his unit in the military.  He ordered a custom necklace from us with 10 shark teeth on it (see photo below) which we just mailed to him.

Chris shark necklace.JPG (39435 bytes)

We also wrote him the following:

We would be very honored to set up a page on you as we have done with the others that are listed there. A picture and bio info about you would be very interesting . A short bit about how you came across our web site, and why you liked that necklace we designed for you, and any other information that will tell the folks back home a little about you and what you are doing in the Middle East. Remember to be careful in describing your exact location, or other critical information about your companies movements, and duties. Just the safe stuff.  There is a lot of support back here for you folks, so don't let the news media fill your heads with crap about what is happening here at home. There will always be people against any war, but the general population is behind you 100 %. Don't ever forget that.

Signed, Glenn

--------------------------

04/06/05  From Chris:

Glenn,

I just saw the necklace you made for me…it’s prefect! Exactly what I was looking for. Thank you for specially making it for me, I know it must have been difficult for you. I plan to gets some pics together soon and write you with my stuff before I leave here. Once again great job on the necklace and I cant wait to get it, I appreciate everything you have done for me Sir.

Take Care,

Chris Simon

-------------------------------------

4/6/05 From Glenn:

Chris,

It was just my small way of saying thank you for being a stand up type guy and doing the right thing by serving your country. Many before you have done the same, and a lot have paid the supreme price of doing so by the loss of their lives. Its young men like yourself, that by serving in the military, are telling the rest of those that don't, that you have paid tribute to those that have before you.  Its an honor for me to have done this necklace for you. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, you are a true American !!!!!!

 

Go in peace and be safe,

Kindest Regards, Glenn

--------------------------------------

4/6/05 from Chris -

Glenn,

Thank you sir for the kind words, it makes the time out here seem a lot more worth it when people acknowledge what everyone is doing. I just wanted to find a way to pay respects to people like my Uncle and Grandfather who served during Vietnam and WWII. I think they if they had time to stop their lives and do this, then I can do it for them while they are retired. Once again though,  sir,  I appreciate the time you took to make me that necklace, its well worth the cost. I’ll definitely be looking on the site frequently now and will most likely have a new idea for you soon enough.  Until then Mr. Reed, take care of yourself,  and I'll speak with you soon enough.

Chris Simon

 

Cpt. Terry Hilt 

phoned us recently from Iraq, after typing "Diet Mountain Dew" into a Google search and coming up with our website.  He was puzzled at coming up with our site, but said he was looking for a source to ship a case of this to his One-Star General over their unit.  They are well supplied there, but this is one item the General likes and cannot get there.  Of course we were pleased to do so (whenever he requests it, for that matter), and Terry and I had a great discussion.  He's promised pictures so we can help fill out the story for you.

Folks, feel free to send CD's, DVD's, and games to this unit at this address:

C.P.T. Hilt

MNC-I (G1-XVIII)

Airborne Corps Arty

APO AE 09342-1400

-------------------------------------------

4/22 Glenn to Terry

Terry,
 
The math adds up and you are on the right path. Being 42 with a pension is a great way to go. Sure its hard on the family, but it comes with being a military family.
 
Be safe and we will talk more as time goes on. Looking forward to meeting you and the family one day soon.
 
Regards, Glenn

------------------------------------------------

4/22 Terry to Glenn

Many a days I feel like taking the extended vacation, but haven’t gotten to that point yet!  Sounds like you made the right decision.  I’m probably going to stay in for 20, but still a little unsure.  I got 6 years in and it’ll be 7 before I can get back.  I told myself I’d decide after my battery command time, but the way that looks, I’ll have 11 years in.  With that in mind what’s 9 more years for a good retirement!  Sucks for the family, and they will come first, but I’ll retire at 42.  Not a bad age for my generation. 

We’ll defiantly have to link up when I get back! 

Terry

------------------------------------------

4/21 from Glenn

Terry,
 
We were only to glad to have been able to send such a small smile maker as the Dew was. I would have loved seen the look on his face.
 
We are still waiting for some pictures of you and your buddies, and maybe one of the old man himself. This is what inspires people to do what we do. It puts a touch of reality to what we are doing. Think about it, and see what you can come up with.
 
As far as my business goes, it started out as a side business while I was traveling the world as a business   telephone communication/computer consultant. I was into all these cool things and I just started buying and selling. Then one day my real job was interfering with my hobbies, and I quit. I have not worked for anyone since 1981.
 
When I came home from South East Asia, I too was not allowed to take leave. I went right on to Germany for another 3 years. That's the military for you. So when I took enough in 1968 I took a 30 day leave and toured all of Europe. Things wouldn't have been to bad for me when I got back to the base  from my little AWOL, had it not been for the fact that Russia had just invaded the Czechoslovakian Republic, and I was right on the boarder of Austria when it happened. So we were on high alert and I was in deep stuff then. It all worked out, and it only cost me 30 days in the guard house. I served from Sept. 1965 until July 1969. I will leave the rest where I did many years ago. I just don't talk about it. I think you can appreciate that.
 
So how long have you been in the service and what are your long range plans for the future? Are you a lifer ? Maybe when you return we can come up for a visit as we go your way on our fossil trips several times a year.
 
Keep safe and remember, we support you guys all the way.
 
Kindest Regards, Glenn

-------------------------------------

From Terry to Glenn

  First, I just wanted to personally thank you for what you’re doing!  How’s life in SC?    I see you run a business down there!  How did you manage to get into that?  I’m from Fort Bragg , but only been to the ocean 2-3 times, sucks but not much time being given to us these days.  It seems like you have to fight to get your leave approved anymore and it’s not worth the hassle.  Your wife said you were in the military before.  When and what did you do?  My father was in Vietnam (Navy) and the Gulf War (Army).  I guess it runs in the family. 

  I accidentally found your web site trying to find companies that would ship Diet Mountain Dew to APO addresses!  I talked with your wife for a good bit, and insisted on sending some.  It was great to see the look on his face when he opened it up.  Thanks again for that. 

  Well, I’m also married with two kids 4 & 8 years old.  We’ve live in NC for 5 years now.  It’s a great life but were always on the run!  I look forward to hearing from yeah!  Talk to you soon.

Terry

-------------------------------------------

4/21 from Terry to Heidi

I wanted to thank you again!  We just got the package and he was thrilled!  It’s a good thing to have your boss happy for a few days.  He was grinning from ear to ear.  I wish I could have taken a picture, but it’s not allowed where we work.  I’m still working on the picture.  Believe it or not it has been hard to find a picture here, but we have one on the way from the rear. 

I really thank you for your support!  I think we all realize more people support the troops than what is shown or portrayed.  It’s just great to meet people that understand.  

If anyone wants to send stuff please tell them to feel free.  I’ll pass it out to some of the single soldiers out there.  Really anything is good (movies, CDs, games, whatever else) it’ll all get used.  No one is picky here, just happy to be standing tall & free! 

Moral is still very high, but the heat is getting ready to come very soon!  I think it has been getting in the 90’s the past week.  That will make it rough for a while, but hey we got it better than we thought we would have.  Sorry it took so long, but our computer have been up and down.  Again thanks for you’re doing!  When I get back next year we’ll have to link up and get some real chow!!!!!!!!

God Bless!

Terry

-----------------------------------------

3/30/05 from Heidi:

Hi, Terry -
 
We understand your comments on the media, we have had enough emails from you soldiers over there and news from other sources to fill in the WHOLE picture - unfortunately, good deeds do not equal media hype, violence does.  You also need to know that there are a LOT more of us that support you than you may know (again because of the media).  When you phoned us personally it allowed us a direct means to show that support.  We don't trust second-hand giving to reach those in need. 
 
Sure there are some that believe the hype (just remember, there will ALWAYS be a certain % who do).  But our government has asked you to pass through the gates of hell, and that's enough for us to give you 100% of our support - while you're there and when you return.  We perceive all the good that is being done by you to make it a better place.
 
Tell us more specifically what would be most useful to give to the kids there, the same as we sent to the other unit, or what?  (I see that school supplies, plush animals and candy appear to be on your "wish list" so far).  It sure helps to have details and quantities, don't be shy, and ask around your unit and put together a list, and continue to do so in the months ahead, this is an ongoing thing we are offering.  We have plenty of contacts and availability of quantities of what you are asking for.  As we said, it's little enough we can do, we'd like to be part of many smiles too.  We will spread the list around here too, to those we know and the 3000+ on our monthly e-newsletter list (the newsletter is going out around April 2), to make sure it gets more than filled.
 
Waiting for more details.  Also, don't forget about photos of you and your unit, the people you are assisting, whatever you feel you can send us.  
 
Stay safe, our hearts to yours,
 
Heidi Reed
Where on Earth?

-----------------------------------------------

3/30/05 From Terry:

Thanks you guys so much!  Your support of the troops truly show who you are.  It’s getting harder and harder to find people willing to support the military.  What most people see is only what’s on TV.  The facts are that yeah some people won’t make it home, which is a horrible thing.  Yet most of the people I know volunteered to come back for their second and third time.  Only if everyone could see what we’re really doing over here.  Like when I gave a 3 year old boy my M&Ms from my MRE that to us would have been nothing, but it was like Christmas to him.  I was reading your website and you had another one with plush animals, and school supplies!  Well, enough of that!  I’ll try and get our unit picture e-mailed to me and send it to you soon.  Again thanks for your support, and please keep in touch.

CPT TERRY HILT

------------------------------------------------

3/29/05 from Heidi

Terry - 

This email will confirm our shipment of a case of Diet Mountain Dew to you today (Monday March 28) via U.S. postal service airmail, using the following shipping address:

C.P.T. Hilt

MNC-I (G1-XVIII)

Airborne Corps Arty

APO AE 09342-1400

Do let us know when it arrives and that it is aok?  We assume it will take several weeks to arrive, but based on Glenn's superior packing talents, we trust it will arrive intact.

We would certainly post any picture(s) you would choose to send via email of yourself, your one-star General, or your unit, with a paragraph of information you would like to share about yourself and/or your unit, on our Support our Troops page.  That offer is always open.

I am copying my husband Glenn on this email, he will be writing you himself.

Thanks again for the opportunity to show our support for what you soldiers are doing, it is little enough we can do.   We look forward to further emails from you.

I'm glad we had a chance to talk by phone , Stay safe, we're thinking of you.

Our hearts to yours,

Heidi Reed , Where on Earth?

 

2/6/05

Kids are happy to see us...

Iraq kids happy to see us.jpg (75740 bytes)

My name is SPC. Brian Williams

I'm an MP attached to HHT 2/ 278 ACR in Iraq. I was here in 2003 for OIF 1 and Now I'm back here for OIF 3. I'm stationed just north of Baghdad next to Kirkuk. 

We need toys and stuffed animals, as well as school supplies for the kids in the area. There are alot of Kurdish orphans in this area caused by the Saddam Regime and Ba'ath party. 

I have a soft heart for the children because they are the future of Iraq, and I'm a father myself. If you can help, it will be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank You For all of the support your organization gives to the soldiers,

Here is my name and address to use if you wish to donate:

 

SPC. Williams, Brian
HHT 2/278th RCT
FOB Bernstein
APO AE 09374
 
P.S.  Here are some other pics from area of operations.

Iraq 2 kids on wall.jpg (87689 bytes)  Iraq 2 kids.jpg (108313 bytes) 

Future generation of Iraq...

Iraq future generation.jpg (72201 bytes)

 Iraq kids election time.jpg (104532 bytes)  

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3/30/05 from Glenn:

Great news !!! Have a wonderful time with the package, and let us know what else we can send now that you have had time to look over the situation. Please remember to get us some photo's, as this will help us generate more good for you and the kids.
 
Glad too hear that your well, and doing OK.
 
BE SAFE,
 
Glenn

------------------------------

3/30/05 from Brian:

Hey Glenn I got your package today. I'm working with my Civil Affair guys to get me out to the schools to give these to the children. I really do thank you for the package, it will mean a lot to the children. I don't have a lot of time right now, ,but I will keep you updated.
 
SPC Brian Williams

--------------------------------

Here's a photo of the package of stuffed animals and school supplies we sent to Brian on 2/22/05.  We'll have pictures of the kids with these items once Brian receives the package.

Package to Iraq.JPG (37109 bytes)

From Glenn (2/18/05)

Sounds good to me. We are very glad to hear that you are doing well. Ten months can be a lifetime, yet at the same time it will be over before you know it.
 
Just take care of yourself, and be safe.
 
Regards, Glenn

-------------------------------------------

From Brian (2/18/05)
Glenn,
I'm very sorry, I've been real busy here. My unit will be here until next Christmas (2005), Thats if we don't get extended. I'm really thankful for your help. You actually caught me at the right time as I just got  back in off a  mission to check my e-mails real quick. I have to go back out on a 2 day mission to Urbil, so I will be out for the next 3 days. Thanks again ,and I will get a name for you to replace me when I leave.
 
Thanks,
Brian

--------------------------------------

From Glenn (2/17/05)

 

Brian,
 
I don't know if you are getting your emails or not . We have sent several and gotten no response. We are hoping that all is well with you. If this does get through we need to know how long you are going to be at this address, and when you rotate out do you have anyone else in mind to carry on what you are doing ?
 
We have a 25 pound box of school supplies and stuffed toys going to you tomorrow and more coming in as we speak. There is a lot of interest here to help you in your cause. Its a good thing that you are doing.
 
Please let us know how you are doing.
 
Kindest Regards, Glenn,                                            

BE SAFE !!!!!

---------------------------------------

2/6/05  Response from Glenn:

Brian,

Thank you for your contact. Please tell us how it was that you found our web site in the first place?

Now I will tell you a little story about my experience in the Air Force back in 1966-1967 in Thailand., which will then shed a little more light on the reason why we will be more than happy to support you and your most worthy cause.

I was stationed in Udorn, Thailand. I was attached to a supply outfit that furnished fuels to the aircraft wings that were flying bombing runs into North Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. I was 20 years old and a farm boy from Michigan. This was the first time in my life that I had been out of the state, let alone 15,000 miles around the other side of the world fighting for what turned out to be a lost cause as history has shown us. That's another story, for another time.

It was during a visit one day to the local produce and fruit market (I operated a fruit farm for my family in Michigan) to check out what they had, that I ran into a group of kids being chaperoned by two Catholic nuns. It was very strange  to see these kids acting like they were hungry for the food items they were seeing and yet the nuns were being very strict with them and not making any purchases of fruits, nuts, candy for the kids. I watched for several minutes as the nuns were making their selections and when they were done, they still had not purchased any of the fun things to eat. Just the basics veggies, rice, and other root items.

I approached the nuns and was very surprised the find that they spoke very good English, as they were there from an European order, that had been there for some 30 years dating back to when Australia and France were there fighting before we Americans got involved in the early 1950's.

When I inquired as to the reason why they had not purchased any fruits or nuts, I was told these things were not the necessities of their daily diet, and besides they were too expensive and there just wasn't enough funds to feed 90 plus kids. This didn't sound like a very well balanced diet to me and I said so. They then started telling me all about what it was that they were doing just to put food on the table for these kids  on a  regular basis. Their stories just wanted to make me cry, as we ( US Military) was playing a large part in the increased population of this very orphanage.

Let me further explain that last statement. Many of these children were what was to become called AMERASIANS. These are children fathered by the military forces , both black and white and were left behind as the men were returned to the states. Now these children were not accepted by the Thai people, nor their American fathers. This was the start of a throw-away society that was being brought about by the deployment of our troops into a foreign country. Be it right or wrong, it was happening everyday, and no one was addressing the situation.

So, I asked if I might purchase some fruit for the children , and was promptly told NO! I was startled by this response and asked why. I was told that these particular children were selected to leave the orphanage  on this outing to the market as a reward for being good. They could not take them all as this would cause too much of a show of the NON- CHILDREN and would and could cause harm to come to them, as these are the children from unwed mothers.

WOW!! What a sight that brought to mind for me. So I asked what if I purchased enough for all the kids and had the food stuffs delivered to the orphanage itself. Well, this was a much different situation and they would be very happy to accept my generous offer. Little did they know what this was going to turn into for them in the very near future.

Later that day, after cruising all the local bars and finding my buddies and any other GI that was out messing with the local girls, I was able to get my hands on about $65.00 if my memory serves me well. I won't go into the details of how I separated my buddies from their drinking money, but they were very willing to have me go away as fast as possible. They also were a constant renewable source of future monies when I needed funding for my new-found humanitarian cause. Especially the married guys with families back home. Pictures do speak for themselves.

Now I returned to the market with 6 peddle cart operators and purchased enough fruit and nuts to fill the carts and off we went to the orphanage on the outskirts of town. We were a welcome sight by the children as the nuns had told them about what I was going to do.

Over the next several months, I was able to supply the orphanage with  regular deliveries of assorted food stuffs, including wonderful American grown rice which was much better than what they were buying on the local market. Through the base supply facilities, as you can imagine, I was able to liberate many other things.  Such as, window screening, building supplies, bed sheets( which were cut up to make  baby diapers), and a couple of TV sets just to give you an idea of what I had at my disposal.

So, there is my war story and contribution to helping right a wrong that was and is still done to the children of wars. It's a dirty business, but in the end we all hope to make a change. It's people like yourself and me that step up and do what little it is that we can do. I have been helping kids to get better breaks in life since I returned from my last tour of duty in Germany in 1969. Kids are special and need to be looked after, no  matter what your religious, political, or military views are.

So, to your question, "can you help " the answer is YES !!!! Most definitely, and your first package will be going out in the next few days. We also publish a monthly newsletter that will have your letter and my response mentioned in it so that others can make direct contributions themselves. Your pictures are now posted on the web.

If you would be more specific as to just what we can deliver that will be the most effective form of help. How many children are involved in what you're trying to do?  Also  let me know how long your tour is for, and if you have a plan in motion as to how this will progress after you leave. Is there a local person and/or other military personnel with whom you are working that we might use as a future contact person ?

Kindest Regards to you, be safe and return home safely.

Glenn

 

1/29/05

Hello Heidi & Glenn,

 
I 'stumbled' across your web site, while doing a web search
on the dog and fawn pictures you have listed.
 
OF course I then checked out the Military Support area.
I'm an Air Force Mom from Ohio and my son, Vince
has been to Iraq and back.   :)
He's back to his regular duty station in Nebraska.
 
IT MEANS SO MUCH to military families to see areas of
support like you have on the site.  I can't say THANK YOU enough. !!!!

 

If you would care to add the following to your web site,
I would be MOST honored. 
 
My son had previously given me permission to post this on our cities
Military Support web site.   
 
THANK YOU AGAIN for supporting OUR military,
Debra Estep
Twinsburg, Ohio
Proud Air Force Mom
-----------------------------------------------------

Email Vince sent home January of 2004 - Balad Air Base Iraq

A1C Vince Aleandri left for Iraq on 11-24-03
He was stationed at an Air Base just North of the capital.   He volunteered for this tour and most of the time he was there he guarded Iraqis as they filled sand bags.   A most important item, sand bags, as they surround all the living tents and base buildings.   They are also used inside of Humvee's for added protection.  Later on in his time there he escorted Iraqis on and off of the base.  The Iraqis who come on base are paid for their work.   He became friends with all that worked with him.  
Vince arrived back in the USA on 3-23-04.   Vince was 19 at the time, we are proud of him as we all of all of our troops who are defending our freedoms.

"Work has been going good lately.  I have started doing something different then just watching the Iraqis fill sandbags.  There is a group of  5 people that I'm with and we ride around all day and go to one of the gates on base and escort Iraqis that have contracts to do work where ever they need to go on base.  I like doing it a lot better then just sitting there all day watching them fill sandbags."  

I get to interact with a lot more people too (see photo below).  I enjoy talking with the Iraqis for the most part because all the ones that come on base are there to help us and they like the fact that we are here.  there are always gonna be some people that don't like us, but from what all of the locals have told me over time mostly everyone is very happy that we are here.  I wish I could describe the feeling I get everyday that i put on my uniform and go to work.  to know that you are away from your family and friends and all the people you love for 4 months is a small price to pay for what we are giving the people of this country.  we are giving them FREEDOM.... that will last as long as our nation stands.  I can see it in their eyes every time I look at them!!!!!  if you could only see their faces when I see locals that I know and talk to a lot.  there is one in particular that every time he sees me he gets so excited.   he says "Vinny, Vinny...  how are you?  I am friend... and he tells all the others that he knows that we are friends and he is so happy, and I consider him a friend as well.

Vince

Vince picture of Iraqi.jpg (40377 bytes)

 

1/18/05  Just browsing online and found your site. Thanks so much for honoring our brave men and women in combat. My husband just left last week for a duty station in Iraq and we’re all keeping an eye on him. We are a military family through and through and just wanted to say hello and thank you.

Samantha , wife to

SSGT MO , currently serving in Iraq , mommy to

Tyler, Jordan, and Libby

BRING THEM HOME SAFE!

 

October 12, 2004

Dear Where on Earth:

I served in Saudi Arabia during the war and I wanted to say thank you for your support. I saw your page and it meant a lot.  I still have many friends in Iraq and various areas in the Middle East.

Charles

---------------------------

Our response:

It pleases us to know that you have returned home safely from your tour of duty. Thank you for doing your part. It's young men like yourself that have made this a great country, and we salute you. Welcome home.
 
Kindest regards, 

Glenn & Heidi Reed

 

A comment from a customer, September 24, 2004:

I looked over your website and was proud to see the page honoring our service men and women.  As an America-loving, Texan I was glad to see it.  I have several friends in Iraq as we speak.  God Bless them!

Thanks Again,

Gary

 

  LcPL.  MICHAEL NYGAARD, USMC

 Iraq 2.jpg (454574 bytes)

Michael graduated from Mariner High School in Cape Coral (FL) in May of 2003 and within a week he was in Parris Island, NC. He was one of the top in his class graduating as a squad leader for Platoon 3065, 3rd Battalion, K Company and was awarded Company High Shooter with “expert” marksman qualification. After “Boot Camp” he completed advanced combat training at Camp Geiger in Jacksonville (NC) before completing Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) training in San Diego (CA). He was assigned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (Camp LeJeune, NC) and trained on light and medium weapons. In preparation for deployment, his platoon completed Urban Combat School then practiced their skills.

In June of 2004, “B” Company was sent to Iraq where he currently is fighting in Fallujah and the surrounding areas. He has already been slightly wounded by a mortar round but returned to duty after a concussion and cuts.

Following his four year tour of duty, LCPL. Nygaard wants to pursue a career in federal law enforcement. “Semper Fi.”

Overseas Address:

LCpl. Michael J. Nygaard – USMC

BLT ˝ “B” CO Section AAV

Unit 73035

FPO AE 09509-3035

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(Posted from the earliest correspondence to the most current)

2/15/05 from Jim (Michael's dad)

Glenn,

            I can’t thank you enough for your support for my son and the other sons and daughter in harm's way.  Perhaps from your life experience, you understand the trials of war.  Nothing is more important that the support from home, something that many Vets did not get such as yourself.  I’m sorry for that and perhaps so are other Americans, which is why so many support our boys now no matter your views on the war.

            I talked to Mike tonight in Camp LeJeune .  He said that his unit has been split up and are preparing for home in a week or two.  However he purchased a new cellular phone and asked that I give you his number.  He reports back to work on Thursday at 4am and a busy schedule.  If he doesn’t answer, I’m sure you can leave a message.

God Speed!

Jim

-------------------------------------------

 2/15/05 from Glenn to Michael's father Jim:

WOW !!! What a wonderful bit of news that you just shared with us. This is truly a happy ending for us all. Who says there is no GOD listening to our very prayers.

Yes, one person very well CAN make a difference. We have had a lot of inquiries about the men on our " SUPPORT THE TROOPS" pages, and they have all been very supportive. The news media on the other hand leave a lot to be desired. These people need to be taught a few good manners about supporting the very people that are making it possible for them to have a job reporting on the war. What a shallow group of people, but we all know that.

Jim, Heidi and I want you and your family to know there will always be a place at our table if you are ever in the area. As for Michael, we are in his area looking for fossils every few months and we would love to stop and visit with him, Gunny,  and his outfit. It sure would tie a face to a letter that would complete the circle. It would also show all our supporters out there that indeed one person can make a real difference.

We still have a lot of young men over there that need to be supported. Your son is just one of many that we are behind, and we need to get more support for our guys.

Now that Michael is home, and once he settles down, we would hope that we could get him involved with a little photo op here to pass on the word that there really are things that people can do to make a difference. He is a first-hand case experience of what dis-information the newspeople feed him, and how we were able to open his eyes to the truth. This story needs to be told, and we can do it. Let's all pull together here for this most worthy cause. The ordinary person on the street really doesn't believe that his words or actions are ever given any attention. Now is the time to speak out, stand up and be heard. WE CAN DO THIS MY FRIEND !!!!!!

Best Wishes to you all, and we will await your and Michael's thoughts on this.

Kindest Regards,

Glenn & Heidi Reed.

PS: Jim, to think, this all came about because of your request for a handful of gator teeth for the Gunny and his men. Who would have ever thought ???

-----------------------------------

2/15/05 from Michael's Dad Jim:

Subject: Lcpl Michael Nygaard, USMC

Please allow me to update you on the progress of my son in Iraq

Earlier in the month of January, Mike has called and said that the operational tempo was increasing and raids were being carried out looking for insurgents near Iskandariyah, Hasawa and Fallujah ( Iraq ).   Fights continued preparing for the elections that were ultimately held the end of January.  Mike explained that most of the Insurgents either killed or captured were foreign, meaning Syrian or Iranian.  He was proud of his fellow Marines and learned that his forward base was nicknamed “Camp Incoming!” due to the amount of mortar round received. 

            By the second week of January, Mike explained that no further packages could be mailed since mail is three to four weeks behind.  Lord willing after the elections, his unit would be replaced by Army Units and he would begin the process home.  However, with the elections coming, many things could happen before he returned home.  Fellow Marines were being injured more frequently and the violence increased.  Mike noticed an increasing amount of the 2nd Cav (US Army) arriving within the Marine Forward Base.  They were back-up for operations preparing for the elections, and replacements when they rotate back to the States.  Mike said that he was glad to see them, because he was nearing the end.  Just before the elections, Mike called and said that both Army and Marines were going to saturate the streets and the Iraqi Police would protect the polling places.  He was optimistic that the Iraqi people would vote.  As we now know, 60% of the country voted an overwhelming victory for the Iraqi people, Iraqi forces, US and Coalition Forces.  After the elections, Anti Liberation skeptics at one point applauded the efforts and the Iraqi votes.  Although operations continued, Mike prepared to come home. 

            Mike stated that around 2/20/05, his unit should be heading for Kuwait , cleaning up their tracks and equipment, then heading for ships to head home.  Although everything could change, that was the word from the “Gunny”.  By Wednesday (2/2/05), Mike called and stated the Marines in Iskandariyah had halted combat operations and were relieved by the 2nd Cav.  The Marines were preparing to leave for Kuwait .  Mike said they would load two tracks on a Semi-truck and trailer and pull them back to Kuwait .  This was cheaper but a slower, a three day process.  They were warned that after the elections, roads were opened and non-military vehicles could pull next to them making them vulnerable. 

            By the First week of February (05) we had not heard from Mike but felt that “No news is good news.”  Suddenly we received a call from Mike on 2/7/05 stating that they were in Kuwait ahead of schedule and the PX was as big as a K-Mart.  His Unit was sleeping in a warehouse and it had heat!  The Mess Hall cooked to order and he had his first hamburger in 6 months.  The greasy burger was GREAT but his system couldn’t handle the effects which grounded him to a latrine for a while.  He said the life in Kuwait was great and the people were very friendly.  He wasn’t sure when he would be leaving but they had to clean the tracks and load them on ships.  The Gunny had made the task a priority for the unit, and I later found out they had worked 36 + hours straight.  Once the tracks were done they loaded their equipment on ships, and the Marines had anticipated “downtime” awaiting the trip home.  His mother and I were relieved that at least he was out of combat operations.

            The next call we received was from an excited Marine (Mike) on Friday night (2/11/05).  “Mom, guess where I am?” Mike asked his mother?  I’m in Germany en route home!  They decided to fly my unit home, Mike explained.  “Gunny went to find some German Beer for his boys and we’re on the ramp.  I’m not sure if were spending the night or what, but I’ll call when I can … Love you!

            On Saturday, (2/12/05) around noon, Mike called again screaming “Mom, Dad, get on speaker phone!”  I’m in Camp Le Jeune (NC) after being bussed from Cherry Point (NC).  When we arrived the Marines had tubs of beer for combat veterans with Iraqi and Kuwait sand still in their clothes.  “Mom I’m home!” Mike yelled!  “I first have to find some clothes!” Mike said.  What did he mean?  Mike explained that in the Battle of Najaf his personal bag which also contained some personal clothes was hit with an RPG.  Arriving in (NC), all he had was issued clothes.  Mike should be home in home in Fort Myers (FL) in about two weeks for 30 day combat leave. 

            I want to personally thank all of your for your thought and prayers for my son while in Iraq .  I believed they worked wonders and while he is receiving many medals or ribbons including a promotion, none of that is worth your child.  I can’t tell you the importance of your support for Stephanie, myself and the words of encouragement to Mike.  He said that when he would feel low or exhausted he would go to the computer for communication and encouragement.  Embedded media would tell Marines the US did not support them in their role.  While composing a letter, an e-mail from a supporter would arrive and cheer him up.  After this occurred several times, he realized that the MEDIA was not supportive of the mission, not the American people or the Iraqi people. 

MY SON IS HOME, THANKS AGAIN!!!!!!!!

Jim

-----------------------------------------------------------

12/28/04

Michael,
 
Your dad just forwarded your email to me, and I am glad to hear that things are going as well as possible for you.
 
Heidi and I hope that this tour of duty will soon come to an end for you and that you will return safe and healthy.
 
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the rest of your platoon. We are very proud of the job you fellows are doing. Don't for a moment think that you have no support back here at home for what you are doing.
 
Take care and be safe.
 
Kindest Regards, Glenn & Heidi Reed

---------------------------------------------------------------

12/23/04

DAD, PLEASE SEND THIS TO MR. AND MRS, REED:
 
 
THE PLATOON AND I WERE VERY EXCITED TO RECEIVE THE GATOR TEETH.  THE ALLIGATOR IS OUR MASCOT, SINCE WE CAN BE AMPHIBIOUS.  I ALSO RECEIVED A CHRISTMAS CARD FROM YOU GUYS, IT WAS VERY THOUGHTFUL, AND I REALLY APPRECIATE IT.  THE FIGHTING HAS CALMED A LITTLE, FOR NOW!  I AM BACK HOME IN ISCANDORIYAH, WHAT CNN CALLS THE "TRIANGLE OF DEATH".  WE ARE EXPECTING A BUSY CHRISTMAS.  ONCE AGAIN WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR GIFTS.
                                                                                       
                                                                                        MICHAEL NYGAARD
                                                                                        LCPL/USMC

-----------------------------------------------------------

12/15/04

Jim,
 
We are so very pleased to hear that the guys got their teeth and that it was a big moral booster for them. It sounds like such a small thing in comparison to what they are doing, but what ever it takes to support them this was a very small price. It was our pleasure to do this . Thanks for sharing the response with us. This will be posted on Mikes page for all to share.
 
It is our thought to do these posting to encourage others to step up and do whatever for anyone that they know is involved with this war situation. Every little action  helps to show the guys that we are behind them.
 
Heidi and I hope,  you and the family have a wonderful holiday season considering the current situation with Michael not being home and all. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
 
Kindest Regards, Glenn & Heidi

-------------------------------------------------------

12/14/04

Glenn,
 
    This past weekend I received a call from Mike (Lcpl. Michael Nygaard) who was in ASCONDARIA, south of Fallujah, Iraq.  Mike couldn't talk long but he stated he received your alligator teeth and gave them to his "Gunny" and explained how the teeth made it to Iraq.  The Gunny smiled and called for the platoon before their next mission.  As they Gunny passed out the alligator teeth to the boys, he gave a "pep" talk explaining the "Gator" Platoon kicked ass etc...  As each Marine held a tooth in his hand, the Gunny said "Now Dundee UP!"  Each Marine placed a Alligator tooth is their helmet band and retuned to the war. 
 
 
Thanks again!
 
Jim Nygaard

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

12/3/04

Mike also called Thursday after finishing an operation that could not be discussed.  He stated if all goes well, should be on a boat home around the first quarter of 2005.  Although there are many variables, we are optimistic.  I also aked if he received the alligator teeth yet?  He had not and due to ongoing operations, he doesn't know when mail will arrive.
 
JIM

----------------------------------------------------------

11/18/04

HEY DAD, IT IS GOOD TO HEAR FROM YOU FINALY.  THE INTERNET CENTER HAS BEEN DOWN FOR QUITE SOME TIME.  IT GOT BLOWN TO PIECES DURING A SUSTAINED MORTAR ATTACK.  IT GOT BACK UP YESTERDAY. 

   WE ARE NOT IN FALLUJA.  WE HAVE A LOT OF BUSINESS TO TAKE CARE OF.  ALL THE INSURGENTS THAT FLED, CAME SOUTH TO MY AREA OF OPERATION.  MOST OF THE ENGAGEMENTS THAT I HAVE BEEN IN WERE IN HASAWAH.  THERE WAS A DAY THAT A SNIPER WAS ON THE LOOSE.  WELL I WILL TRY TO CALL YOU.  LOVE YOU, MIKE  

 Above is the latest e-mail received from Mike.  He did call on Thanksgiving via satellite phone.   He is still in the southern part of Fallujah or Hasawa.  His base is suffering from mortar attacks daily.  Recently they noticed orange tracer rounds coming from the insurgent positions which angered the Marines.  You see, Iraqi forces have been receiving US supplies such as guns and ammo.  Only US ammo has orange tracer rounds.  Apparently, US ammo is being used by insurgents now.

Jim

 ------------------------------------------------

11/10/04  To whom it may concern,
 
    My son is a US Marine fighting in Fallujah, Iraq.  He is a member of an Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) platoon supporting an infantry company of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Strike Force.  His "Gunny" Sergeant I'm told is a tough SOB who cares for his boys and fights and plays hard.  He recently approached my son and since we are from Florida, asked if he could get some alligator teeth for the "Gators", the name of their platoon.  I currently don't have communication with my son at least until the battle in Fallujah is over. 
    Anyway, I would like to get 25 alligator teeth.  They do not have to be jewlery quality, just for the boys.   Please communicate the price and how I can purchase them.  I am also looking at a guys I know who travels to the Everglades monthly, but I'd like to get these in time to send for Christmas.
 
 Thanks in advance,
 
Jim Nygaard

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

11/10/04   From Glenn -

Jim,

 
It was very nice speaking with you this evening and we are very happy to be able to send you the 25 teeth for Michael and his buddies.
 
As I mentioned to you we are doing a support page on our web site and we would be very honored to post Michael's picture and any information that you would like to share with us on his page.
 
We get a lot of requests from our customers as to helping out with sending stuff to the guys. To date we have sent 125 pounds of candy and soda pop to the troops. There are a lot of good meaning people out there that don't know how to help, so we are giving them a way to express their thanks. It's a small part we can help in, and it sure makes the guys feel a whole lot better. Read some of the comments that they have sent us and you will agree, its the little things that go a long way.
 
Looking forward to posting your son's page. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
 
Kindest Regards, Glenn

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

11/11/04 from Jim

Glenn,
 
Attached (above) is the information you requested on my son Mike.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate the kind gift for the Marines in my in "B" Company.  The Gator Teeth will be a welcome sight and should make a great early Christmas gift.
 
God Bless all that you do!

Jim

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

11/11/04 from Jim -

Glenn - Thanks again for the call tonight regarding my son LCpl. Michael J. Nygaard.  I was impressed with your devotion to the men & women serving our country in uniform. I especially appreciate the gift of 25 alligator teeth that will be traveling to Iraq upon receipt.  Are you sure there is no cost??  If there is anything I can ever do, don't hesitate to contact me.

 

Jim

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

11/11/04 from Glenn

James,
 
It was our pleasure making this small gift for such a great cause. Heidi  will have the bio and pictures posted in the morning.
 
When their email is up and running please pass that info on to us and that will also be posted to his page.  Keep us posted of any changes in his situation.
 
Kindest Regards, Glenn

------------------------------------------------------------------------

11/17/04  From Jim:

Heidi,
 
    I was at work today and viewed your site.  It's a little weird seeing your son on a web site ... humbling.  I send the link to the page to as many people as I could think of.  Many viewed the site.  I appreciate all that you and your husband have done and are continuing to do for our sons and daughters overseas. 
 
    We still have not heard from Mike yet but no news is good news.  I did however, write my son a letter and mailed the alligator teeth off.  I hope to get a reply soon and also asked that he write you and Glenn.
 
God Bless,
 
Jim Nygaard

------------------------------------------------------------

11/15/04

Hey Glenn,
 
    No ... no news from Mike although we thought we saw him on the news Saturday night.  NBC Nightly News covered fighting in Fallujah and several Marines were on a roof top firing at what I can assume were insurgent positions.  As the camera panned, one Marine stood long enough  to throw a hand grenade then fall down to the cover position.  I'm not certain, but I believe that Marine was Mike.  NO news is also good news. 
 
    I received your gift today and the teeth are being packed in a larger box with other items for him.
 
Jim

----------------------------------------------------------------

11/17/04

    The last time I spoke to Mike, he stated that their new orders were to take off the gloves.  They were not to play Policemen but soldiers and Marines.  The problem as I see it, when you stomp on the ant pile, the majority of the ants are killed while the others scatter.  You find your self stomping your foot vigorously in hopes of getting them all.  Can it be done?   Well, have we stopped or won the war on drugs?  I suggest it is a similar problem but due to their weaponry, the armed services are the only option.  One point that may help, is to ban or block the Arabic TV station that gives voice to the terrorists.   If your quell their message, are you giving them less credibility?
 
Jim Nygaard

-----------------------------------------------------------------

11/19/04 from Jim:

If they use a military TV journalist, they need to  portray a positive outcome.  If you want negative, watch the Arabic TV station or NBC News.  I'm sure you being a combat veteran would know more that I that when arriving troops come home as appreciated heroes, they can deal with the acts of war.  However when they are spit on and they people who called then "Baby killers and more...", getting over the war thoughts are more difficult. 
 
Being in law enforcement I was involved in a police shooting in 1986.  I have told Mike that although there is no real comparison, when the demons come in the night, they will never go away.  But you learn to make friends with them.
 
JIm

-------------------------------------------------------------

11/19/04

Hey,
 
    Yesterday (11/18/04) I received a satellite call from Mike.  He's fine and has survived the Fallujah battle without a scratch (Thank God).  He said that as the Marines were containing the insurgents in Fallujah, his AAV Unit was pulled out to reinforce units south of Fallujah who were battling fleeing insurgents.  Other units were doing the same all around the Fallujah province.  Although he only had a couple on minutes to talk, I told him about the arriving alligator teeth.  He seemed excited and said "The Gunny's gonna love this."
 
I'll keep you informed!
 
Jim

-----------------------------------------------------------------

11/28/04 from Mike in Iraq:

HEY DAD, IT IS GOOD TO HEAR FROM YOU FINALLY.  THE INTERNET CENTER HAS BEEN DOWN FOR QUITE SOME TIME.  IT GOT BLOWN TO PIECES DURING A SUSTAINED MORTAR ATTACK.  IT GOT BACK UP YESTERDAY.   I REALLY HOPE MOM IS DOING FINE.

   WE ARE NOT IN FALLUJA.  WE HAVE A LOT OF BUSINESS TO TAKE CARE OF.  ALL THE INSURGENTS THAT FLED, CAME SOUTH TO MY AREA OF OPERATION.  MOST OF THE  ENGAGEMENTS THAT I HAVE BEEN IN WERE IN HASAWAH.  THERE WAS A DAY THAT A SNIPER WAS ON THE LOOSE.  WELL I WILL TRY TO CALL YOU.  LOVE YOU, MIKE  

------------------------------------------------------------------

11/28/04 from Jim:

Glenn,

 Above is the latest e-mail received from Mike.  He did call on Thanksgiving via satellite phone.  Recently they noticed orange tracer rounds coming from the insurgent positions which angered the Marines.  You see, Iraqi forces have been receiving US supplies such as guns and ammo.  Only US ammo has orange tracer rounds.  Apparently, US ammo is being used by insurgents now.

Jim

 

From Nathan in Iraq.  We met Nathan while he was still in high school in Boulder City, Nevada and know his family well.  Goodie packages (he indicated he loves Cheetos and candy) can be sent to him at:

  Cpl DeBoer Nathan, USMC
HMH-361
310/Flight Line
UNIT 41086
FPO AP 96426-1086

nate 4.jpg (62934 bytes)

Nate 1.JPG (37093 bytes)  Nate 2.JPG (38184 bytes)

Nate 3.JPG (37698 bytes)  

Nathan's dad, Dann, recommended the following website (look 3/4 of the way down the page for the article: "Heavy Haulin' just another day in Iraq for HMH-361" - this is the unit Nathan is with):   http://www.miramar.usmc.mil/

Below are photos of choppers in his squadron:

Nathan 10 53's in Imperial Valley near El Centro.JPG (800820 bytes)  Nathan 361PhaseCrew- In Al-Asad.JPG (3557172 bytes)

Nathan refuel-01.JPG (672235 bytes)

April '05 pictures:

 

And more dated 5/20/05

 

(Starting with the latest correspondence to the earliest)

5/20/05  from Nathan's parents:

Hi Guys,
 Nathan is stationed back at Miramar. They have put him back on nights, he likes it there. More work gets done, less hassle. He said a senior Sgt. hand picked the night crew.  Here are recent pics too (see above).

Dann

---------------------------------------

4/17/05 from Nathan's parents:

Nathan is back. We drove down to Miramar on the 30th of March, his plane broke down and he was a day late. He arrived at about 9:30 pm on the 31st. It was very good to see him. His 96 was canceled for the weekend. so he stayed in Miramar for the week, spent his 96 the following weeked there, then drove up here for 14 days leave. He looks good and has a great attitude. I'm adding some pictures of him, there will be more to follow. We hope you are well.
                 Love Ya, Cyndi and Dann

--------------------------------------------

12/12/04

  Well, Nathan called on Thursday and is a little home sick, but ok. We received a CD slide show his unit put together. We shipped a copy to you two on Saturday.

11/21/04 from father Dann:

We heard from Nathan on Tuesday, the phone lines and internet were both down during the Falluja operation, either by sabotage or design. Nathan says he gets more info on what's up from CNN than from the squadron commander. He is sending us a CD with pictures and stuff on it, as soon as it comes we forward some to you. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.
                 Love Ya, Cyndi and Dann

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11/3/04 from Glenn:

Nathan,
 
Well its over, and now we can all get on with living our lives as if nothing has changed.  You are so very right, Clinton, wouldn't have gotten us into this mess, that's for sure. At least he would have had a plan on getting us out.
 
Glad to hear that the action is not in your area. Have fun playing with your chopper. It sounds like a big puzzle that you are working on.
 
Take care and be safe, Heidi sends her regards also.
 
Glenn

11/3/04 from Nate:

Glenn,
    Things are going pretty good so far, nothing's hit us yet, just a rain
storm and some wind, and a little bit of cold, other than that were all good
out here.  I hear the elections are underway and I've heard some numbers so far but honestly, even though it sounds ironic, we
should put Clinton back in office heheh...  I'm not too sure of how many
laundry days there are left, just been paying more attention to work lately
cause were putting a canni bird (cannibalized helicopter) back together so that should take us a
month or two which will be some fun.. Well guys my time is about up on this
thing you take care Glenn tell Heidi hi for me and ill get back to you
soon..
-Nathan

10/31/04

We're alright out here nothing interesting has happened just the same thing and honestly the same old same old just tomorrow is Halloween and that's about it.. My buddy's wife had sent him a little web cam and he's got a thumb drive so I'm gonna see about getting those pictures here in the next few days once he figgers out how to work the darn thing knowing how jarheads and computers go especially the ones like us who
are like "well if it don't work just get me the 15 inch" (15inch crescent
wrench) other names are beater, crescent hammer etc....) heheh yup that's us...
I've gotten another package and opened it at the shop this time and pretty much let the guys have at it and had more than enough for myself to take to the barracks, they all say thanks for the goodies and the support... thanks
again you guys take care..
-Nathan

10/31/04 from Glenn

It's pretty bad when we see the wounded in their hospital beds right after having surgery to remove an arm being told they have to give back their enlistment bonus because they can't finish their tour. We also have guys that their medical cost for recovery are not being covered by the military as they are being discharged as unfit for duty. How do they justify this?
 
I don't tell you this stuff to upset you or make you worry, I am telling you so that you don't swallow the military as being the final word.
 
You see this is what they tried to do to us in Viet Nam, and yet we heard the truth from the news being supplied to us from the other side. To being informed is to know the truth.

We will be looking forward to seeing those pictures real soon. It's either
that or I post some of these bare butt baby pictures that we got from
Cyndi. We will make a before and after photo of what a marine looks like
then and now. That should perk up the troops a little. HA HA HA
.

 
Take care and we are looking forward to seeing the pictures, and are glad your packages are getting through. If there is something else we can send please don't hesitate to mention it. We just sent several cases of Mountain Dew to some other guys over there.
 
So, take care, and be safe, we think about you guys everyday that you are there. How many wash days before you come home ?
 
Kindest Regards, Glenn

10/16/04

hey guys,
    I didn't know we had troops coming over with no armor and no armor for their equipment. There are trucks out here with armored panels on them mostly the convoys and other units.  I have a flack with the bullet proof
plates in it and all the attachments and my unit has armoring kits for what we do and some other things too.. that's some interesting news about Bush hiding out in the guard, I wanted to make some buttons with the button-maker
my dad got for my sisters and I that said "Haegee for pres" and I refer to General Haegee the commandant of the Marine corps just kind of a joke but all
the guys here were like "oh heck yeah, he'd get things done"... I was saying hell we should just put Clinton back in the White House....

  I got your package you guys sent me the other day. That skull is
awesome, thank you. and I have been sharing all that stuff with some of my roommates and some other guys too..thank you again..
-Nathan

-------------------------------------------

9/12/04  

hey guys,
      cool, thanks again I'm gonna see if I can borrow one of my buddy's digital cameras so I can get you some pictures of how things are around here. In case your wondering,  I'm the first mech for aircraft 66 for this deployment, I'm gonna get a different bird when I get back to California cause these ones will probably stay here...
-Nathan

9/11/04

Glenn & Heidi,

   Its nice to hear from you guys I'll see what I can do about getting you some pictures of me in front of my bird for your support your troops page..
I'm done with the bus driving gig and I'm back to turning wrenches some more, I'll talk to some of the guys and find out who is getting a lot of mail and who isn't so they can have some pen pals to help boost their morale.. I appreciate the email and I'll get back to you again soon.


Thanks,   Nathan

---------------------------------

From Glenn and Heidi (9/9/04)

Nathan -

We trust you are staying safe with your driving job on the base, still it's worrisome knowing you're there.

We'd like to have your picture and a bio to put on the Support our Troops page on the website, it would be a very appropriate way to let us know how you are and we can share with other folks what a great job you're doing.

We are PROUD of the fact that you and your fellow soldiers are serving under such difficult circumstances.

Your buddies are also free to send us emails about themselves that is not classified or breach of information about your location, etc., they can be sent through you or directly to us.  Stay safe!

 

We received emails from Coban initially inquiring about shrunken heads for his buddies as their "mascot".  Goodie packages (he indicated his outfit likes Mountain Dew Code Red, chips, popcorn, and candy) can be sent to:

Coban Fife HHC 1-211th

Task Force Pirate

APO-AE 09354

Below is Coban (left) and his friend Stanger who saw his baby girl for the first time

Coban and Stanger 1.jpg (59697 bytes)   Coban and Stanger - 2.jpg (58574 bytes)

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1/14/05 from Glenn:

Coban,
 
This is a start. I need your age, education background, year you graduated, grade point average, placement in your class ranking, hobbies, civic groups that you might have been involved with, time married, age of children, dates of your service, rank now, and any expected rank before discharge, are you regular or reserve, when you come home is this the end of your military obligation.
 
This will enable me to put a package together on you. I am more than happy to be of any help here.
 
Regards, Glenn       Keep safe my friend !!!

1/14/05 from Coban:

 
Hey Glenn:


Anything you could do to help.  would be greatly appreciated.   No, I didn't have a job when I left.  I had to  find odd jobs in order to bring home a paycheck.  I live in American Fork, Utah,  45 minutes south of Salt Lake City.  I've spent  3 years in fast food, and did a little sheet rocking.  Through the army
I went to school in electronics.  learning everything from cat 5 cable to radios to computers. both hardware and software.
Out here I've spent the last year and a half as the assistant IMO (Information management officer). which entails making cat 5 cable,  troubleshooting computers, radios and printers, and helping soldiers
out with their personal network user accounts. This is the field that I would like to work in, but anything would be good at this point.  I'm a hard worker and I work well with others.  I'm also an Eagle Scout.  Again anything you could to help, and I would be most
grateful.  If there is anything else you need let me know.  

your friend Coban  

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1/12/05  from Glenn:

Coban -

90 days can be a lifetime when you are in a war zone.  I hated it when I was getting short, as I felt if anything was going to go wrong it would be just before I rotated out.  About your job prospects when you return home - didn't you have a job before you went overseas?  There are all  kinds of services that communities are doing for you guys when you return home.  If you like, I could be of some help here for you.

If you furnish me with the simple facts of where you are from and your job history, a short resume of sorts, I would be more than happy to start making some calls on your behalf to see what we can find for you.  Think about it and let me know.  This is such a small thing that I could help with.

Keep safe,

Glenn

1/12/05 from Coban:

Hey Glenn

Well, we are supposed to go home about the middle of April '05.  Right now we are doing all of our inventory and getting things ready for the next task force.  I'm really looking forward to going home.  I just hope I'll be able to find a job when I get there.  As it is, I'm unemployed, which makes it real hard to feed both myself and my wife and daughter.  I've had a good income being out here, and I'll be going home not knowing what to do.  Well I need to get going, talk to you later.

Your friend Coban

--------------------------------------------------------------

1/9/05

Hey Glenn
Sorry it's been so long since I've written.  I spent
the holidays at one of our FOB's where I didn't have access to my e-mail.  I'm doing well though.  I hope you are as well.  Oh that Apache video you sent.  Yah it's legit.  I've seen that video many times.  Unfortunately,  the two pilots that flew that Apache were court-martialed for that.  The part when the guy was crawling away from the truck,  well he was wounded and they shot him anyway, and thereby breaking the rules of engagement.  Well I didn't know
if anyone answered your question yet.  But I need to get back to work.


your friend Coban  

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11/02/04  from Glenn

Coban,
 
We are so very glad that your packages finally arrived and that it made a difference with you and the guys. It's little things like the creature comforts of home that makes the days go by a little faster.
 
When do you rotate back to the states?
 
The pictures were great and Heidi will have them posted yet today for the whole world to see. More pictures would be appreciated of you and your buddies. There is a lot of support out there for you guys.
 
No , my friend you were not rambling, you were speaking you mind and that's what our great country is all about. Freedom to speak one's mind without fear of being killed for doing so !!!!!
 
Yes, we do make a difference wherever we send our troops to make this a better world to live in. Not every country enjoys the freedoms that we have and it's a tremendous job that we have taken upon ourselves to set the world straight on how to treat people right. Many times we are looked down on as just plain meddling into their affairs, but when you deprive your fellow countrymen of the simple basic tools to survive, and at the same time are  living the very good life at their expense, then is time to make this a level playing field.  That is what this war is all about. That's what the American way of life is about. We are all equal and therefore should have the same chance at the good life as the next guy.  So every person out there that is doing their part, whether it be a combat position, of that of cook, it all counts toward getting the job done.
 
 Even those that are protesting the war and the reasons why we went in the first place, have a very positive role that they are playing. That being, that they are showing the rest of the world what real freedom is all about. They can protest all they want and nothing will happen to them. There are no laws that they are breaking, and in fact its your very actions as a fighting man that is giving them the right to do their thing. 

What a wonderful country we have, so much freedom !!!!

 
So my friend, hang in there and be safe.
 
Glenn

11/1/04 from Coban

Hey Glenn
Yay we got all 5 boxes.  Thank you again.  Yes the deaths around both here and Iraq are weighing pretty heavily on our minds.  The only thing we can do is drive on and maybe make their deaths mean something. 
Then maybe we can make a little sense of this whole mess we call war.  If we break it all down, it makes it a little easier to see.  We all have a small part to play and  no one man nor woman could ever hope to make
the impact which we are trying to make.  There are wrong things that happen in this world,  and all one can do is step up, and try to right those wrongs.  When we band together we can become a force that
despite all odds could end injustice and tyrany.  We are a blessed people.  We have freedoms that people all  over the world don't even dare to dream of.  I believe it is our duty to bring and share this way of
life to those people.  Well I'm beginning to ramble, I hope you like the pictures there of me and my buddy Stanger.  One of which includes his little baby girl
that was born while we were out here.  When we went home on leave it was the first time he was able to see her. I'll try to get you some more pictures soon.

your friend Coban.    

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10/31/04 from Glenn:

Coban,
 
I am so very thankful that you are ok. This has been a long wait hearing from you. Not knowing where you are, and to hear about all the deaths lately sure did weigh heavily on our minds.
 
Did you get all 5 boxes yet. The first four were the goodies and the last is the movies. We have had several contacts asking for pictures of you and some of your buddies. Especially now that they have the goodies. Pictures put a face to the words and give people a real sense of belonging to the cause.
 
Surely someone has a camera that you can get your hands on. If not how about your wife contacting us and sending a photo of you in the states in your uniform.
 
Is she still your wife? My girlfriend of 8 years sent me a Dear John letter when I was in Viet Nam. I thought this was the nastiest thing anyone could do to any person who was in a war situation and it really messed me up for a while. I got my revenge against her some 3 years later. I married her and spent the next 30 years with her. During those years she developed MS (multiple sclerosis) and passed away 4 1/2 years ago. It was during this period of time I met Heidi and she helped take care of my wife while I ran a fossil diving business in the winter in Florida. A year after my wife died we got married in Las Vegas where we had a gift shop.
 
This past week I took Heidi back to Vegas for a week to celebrate her 50th birthday.
 
So, don't be too harsh on your wife , just remember she is under a lot of pressure because of where you are. You are both very young and have a whole life time to live. Don't make any rash decisions that will be long lasting . Give this relationship time to breathe. You are not the first GI to go through stuff like this. I had a dozen guys in my outfit that got a divorce while they were in a war zone.
 
I do care about you and your well being and wish you only the best. Try to keep your spirits up and be safe.
 
I am glad you and the guys are enjoying the all the goodies. Yes it does make one feel very good when you see the looks on their faces when you share. I only got one package in two years when I was in Asia, and it was so poorly wrapped that the candy inside was crushed and the end of the box broke out and almost all the candy was gone.
 
Be good and be safe.
 
Your Friend, Glenn

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10/31/04 from Coban:

Hey Glenn
yah it's been quite a while since I've been able to check my e-mail.  They have been sending me out on quite a lot of missions lately.  but When I got back boy was I in for a surprise when I found that I had quite a bit of mail  waiting for me.  And I got an
even bigger surprise when I opened your packages and found inside.  The troops that received your givings of kindness want to extend there gratitude.  You have
lifted a lot of spirits out here.  I did my best to
divvy out what I could and the looks I got made it seem like I was handing them the world.  I wish you could have seen the looks on there faces.  Another thing.
It made me feel a little better,  I had recently
received word that my wife was thinking of leaving me.  And to receive something from someone who I felt genuinely cared about me, was a real comfort.  Well I need to get back to work but thank you again for all
you do.

your friend Coban  

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10/17/04 from Glenn

Coban,
 
Just a short message to let you know that there is a box of 14 DVD's on their way in the morning. We hope you and the guys get a little time to enjoy what we sent. There is enough variety to please you all.
 
This has really been a deadly week for you guys. I sure hope you are managing to steer clear of harms way.

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10/9/04 from Coban:

Hey Glenn:

Sorry I haven't written in a while.  It's been real busy with trying to get the Afghani elections going.  We hope everything calms down after the elections are
over.  Well I'm still working on those pictures.  I finally got my digital camera out here so I should have them for you soon.  I am doing well,  though we did have several close calls.  The closer the elections get the more attacks we have.  It seems like
lately we've been under constant attack.  It looks like I need to get back to work.  Thanks for the packages I look forward to getting them.  Well I'll  talk to you later.


Your friend,  Coban Fife

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9/16/04 from Coban:

Hey Glenn:

It was good to here from you.  Things out here have been pretty active.  We have had several attacks and it's been a while since I've been able to check my e-mail.  One of our guys caught shrapnel in the leg,  he's ok though.  Luckily no one else was hurt.  We think it's because of the elections getting closer.  Well how are you doing.  I hope all is well back home.  Things here, well they're what you make of it. 

Now you said not to be bashful about asking,  but I kinda feel awkward asking for anything, but my buddies and I really miss Mountain Dew Code Red.  We also have cravings for munchies you know chips, popcorn, candy that kinda thing.  There is also a severe lack of entertainment out here.  A lot of people brought computers and portable dvd players but there aren't a whole lot of movies and almost no games out here.  There is of course the local base but half the movies don't work.  Other than that, that's about it.  I gotta get back to work.  Well it was good hearing from you.  You take care.  Oh and I should have a picture here soon for you.  Take care

your friend Coban 

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From Coban, 9/13/04

Hey Glenn -

Wow thank you for your e-mail it really meant a lot.  Man I could not imagine going through what you guys did when you got home from Nam.  Yah I didn't get a whole lot of support when I was home, but I think you had it a whole lot worse.  I have a lot of respect for those who served in Vietnam.  All you went through.  and the crap you came home to.  But you are right,  it is the soldiers like you and me that give people the right to love the flag.  the right to fly the flag, and the right to burn the flag.  although if someone really tried to burn the flag and I knew about it,  they would have to go through me first. I know what I'm doing is right.  I know my worth.  I love my country,  and I know what I am willing to give for that country.  I think maybe those that don't support what we are doing may think that we don't want to be here ourselves.  But I volunteered for this.  I hopped on the first unit going out.  And I have grown for doing so.  I have learned so many things.  And I have become a stronger person.  Well I really should be getting back to work.  I just want to say thank you both for your support and for the service you gave in Vietnam.  I want you to know that I love this country, and that I would die to keep it safe.

Your friend and fellow soldier,  Coban Fife  

------------------------------------------------

From Coban 9/13/04:


Hey Heidi
I want you to know that I really appreciate your e-mails.  And it's pretty cool that you posted my e-mail on your site.  Yah my time home was great.  But I am ready to get back and finish out my deployment.  Although it's been hard out here,  my wife has been really supportive, that's helped.  And so does you support.  The fact that I've never even met you,  and yet you still show me and my fellow soldiers so much love and support.  It really means a lot.  Well about those shrunken heads.  like I said before,  our mascot is the head hunters.  They will probably be displayed in our command post,  in work areas,  and probably on vehicles.  I know one guy that wants to wear it on his gear.  but I don't know if they will allow that.  Well I'll probably be placing an order soon there is one large one that I want but the rest will probably be the small ones.  Well I'm going to need to get back to work soon and I still need to e-mail your husband. 
so with all my love and gratitude
your friend and soldier,    Coban Fife  

---------------------------------------------------

 

From Coban (9/4/04):

Heidi and Glenn -

Sorry it took me so long to reply.  I was on R&R leave.  I was home for 15 days,  and the phone company turned off our phone.  that means no e-mail either.  it was sure nice to be home.  It went by too fast though.  I do appreciate the fact that you took the time to write me though.  It's people like you that make what I'm doing worthwhile,  while I was home I didn't get the warm reception I had expected.  Yah some people came and thanked me,  and wished me luck, but for the most part I was ignored.  If it weren't for my family,  it would have been a bum deal being home.  Thank you for all your support,  and all you do.

Your soldier, and friend,

SPC Coban Fife    

----------------------------------   

August 11, 2004
Dear Glenn and Heidi:
 
I was recently looking through your site, for some shrunken heads.  You see, I am a soldier in the US ARMY.  my company's mascot is the head hunters, and I have been tasked to find shrunken heads to decorate our camp.  The last thing I expected to find was a support our troops area.  It is good to know that people like you take the time to recognize and remember.  My name is SPC Fife,  I am currently serving in Afghanistan.  I am 23 and I love my country.  I am proud to be here in service to that country.  Both Cris' son and I are members of the greatest brotherhood there is.  one bound in service to the people of this great nation.  I don't have much more time for this e-mail but I will be in contact.  Also I'm interested in those shrunken heads.  You take care.
 
SPC Fife

RESPONSE FROM GLENN:

Coban,
 
Heidi just sent me your email and I am overwhelmed with what you are feeling, yet at the same time it doesn't surprise me one bit. Let me digress a little here and I will explain.
 
Don't think for a minute that what you are doing is wrong. It's the people that don't support our troops that are doing wrong. We all have the right to our opinions, and it's because of soldiers like you and me and countless  millions of others before us that fought for that right to speak  our minds so freely, that these fellow Americans can speak as freely as they do. We sometimes may not like what they say, but don't forget for a moment that it's that very same principle that we will continue to fight for.
 
Nevertheless, at times those very freedoms of speech come back to bite us in the butt. Yet, I would rather see it this way than to be fearful for your life and those of your family for speaking out against your country .
 
We have seen what other countries do to their people and this is why we step forward to put a stop to the terrible killing of innocent people. Look what has just happened to those several hundred school children in Russia. They did nothing wrong , yet 40 some rebels to further their cause  took it upon themselves to show the rest of the world how far they will go to make their point. Now those very same rebels are dead, and for what? Nothing!!
 
Yes, let this happen to our American people just once and see what would happen. You better believe they would call upon the military for help. They can't have it both ways.
 
I know all too well the feelings you are having right now about being home and getting less than favorable feedback from people. I was there some 37 years ago when I returned from my tour of duty in South East Asia. I find it hard to say Viet Nam, because every time those words cross my mind I just want to scream, remembering how we were treated, and are still to this day. There is very little respect out there for what we did, unless it suits someone's cause to say they know a Viet Nam veteran and that they supported us. There are so many phony people out there, that you just want to ignore them all and just live out your life keeping your secret that you did serve your country.
 
So, my young friend, hold your head up high, be proud of what you are doing and just remember this if nothing else. " In your heart you know you are doing the right thing and it matters not what others say. "
 
You will be a better person for this experience and you will grow because of this experience.  Rise above what others do or say, and follow what you know to be right. I am very proud of you and all your buddies for the part you are playing in keeping this great country of ours a free place to live. May God be with you.
 
Kindest Regards,

Glenn Reed

 

BIOGRAPHY for 

PV2 M. Ryan

Age: 20

Hometown: FL & MI

Branch of service: Army

Military job: Test Equipment Operator/Maintainer, 123rd Combat Support Battalion

Relatives: Mother: Cris, FL; Sister: Jessi, FL; Stepfather:  Keith, MI, Father: Kurt, MI, along with extended families and a multitude of friends in both Florida & Michigan

  About Ryan: Ryan’s hobbies are art, computer games, and hanging out with his friends.  He’s been drawing since he could hold a pencil, is an avid gamer.  His many very nice friends are an important part of his life, as is his family.  Ryan was an excellent student who required extra challenges in his educational experience.  He attended High School in Florida and earned his GED in Michigan. His basic training was at Fort Benning, Georgia where he was able to put his artistic ability to use by painting a mural in the barracks.  AIT School was at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama where he earned an award for excellent performance during Field Training Exercises.  Ryan’s current orders are to continue to Germany for more training before being deployed to Iraq and returning November of 2004.  It appears that Ryan may spend his 21st birthday, August 10, 2004 in Iraq.  He has a healthy fear of serving in Iraq but is anxious to assist his comrades. After his Army discharge in 2007, Ryan plans to continue his education, pursue a career in electronics, and enjoy his hobbies.  (His mom looks forward to him finding a nice girl and settling down in a house down the street.)

Mom Cris's email address is: csfield@bellsouth.net

  Prayer requests:  Any and all prayers for love, safety, protection, and peace are requested, accepted, and appreciated no matter your faith, denomination, or religious affiliation.  Please remember all of our young men and women who are serving us in the military.  When this is over, we want them all to return intact to those who love them.

Here’s Ryan’s address:  (He goes by his middle name but the Army mail service doesn’t know that!)

PFC McKenzie, Michael R

D Co 123rd MSB

CMR 406 Box 62

APO  AE  09110-0062

michael.r.mckenzie@us.army.mil

Ryan with mom Cris (left) and sister Jessi, taken just before Ryan joined the Army.

Ryan McKenzie age 2.JPG (604136 bytes)  Ryan McKenzie PV 2 M.JPG (219909 bytes)

Photos of Ryan as a two-year old, and his Army picture

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2/6/05

Ryan’s doing well and remains in Germany.  Here’s a recent email.  I know that he won’t mind me sharing this one:

“Sorry I haven't been e-mailing lately, I've been really busy and going through a lot, too. I've been really busy with B.O.S.S.” (Mom explains:  This is Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers, sort of a morale booster thing.)  “This is a bigger job than I thought it would be, but that’s okay. I like doing it and it’s good to be involved with things to keep me busy. It gives me an opportunity to see how much work I can really handle and how much I can balance at the same time. I'm doing okay. There's lots or rumors flying around about deployments and stuff. Some companies are going to the field for like 45 days and some are only going for a few. I'm not sure which category I fall into yet but I'll try to find out for you as soon as I can. The attitude around here seems to hint towards preparing for another deployment but I don't know yet. Just get your mind ready for the fact that I'll be going. It'll be easier for everyone to just prepare for the worst. I'm personally not that worried about it. I knew this would happen when I signed up, and I accepted the fact that I would go a long time ago. I'm lucky that I haven't had to go sooner. Well I've got a lot to do today and I've got a lot on my mind, I can't really concentrate on this letter. Love you, talk to you soon. –Ryan”

Ryan has since called and told me that some companies know that they will deploy in November.  Others may or may not go sometime around then.  He doesn’t know about his company yet.  He’s been busy taking all the extra classes that he can so that he’s as ready as he can possibly be.  He’s taken combat first aid, for example.  He doesn’t tell me a lot because I’m the mom who never allowed him toy guns or other weapons.  Go figure!  He was planning to come home for Christmas but by the time he got around to buying a ticket, they were outrageously expensive.  He was hoping to get leave in February.  I’ve not heard anymore about that either.

Peace on earth and in your heart,

Cris

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It’s been awhile since I’ve written you.  My son, Ryan, is settled comfortably into his assignment in Germany and has been promoted to PFC.  His superiors continue to ask him to paint things once they find out he’s an artist.  He’s finding out that he enjoys doing signs and lettering.  For his 21st birthday, he was able to go into town and celebrate with friends.  He was also looking forward to M-16 qualifying on his birthday.  Almost like home, only it would have been paint ball!  His unit came back from Iraq at the end of July.  They only lost one.  That’s one too many but they’ve done better than many units in that regard. 

I see there’s a letter from a soldier on the site (above).  I bet it was good for his whole unit to see that someone cares.  Thanks again!  I received an e-mail from a teenager in Texas who read Ryan’s biography on your website.  She wanted me to forward her thanks to my son.  I will.  She said that she never gets to read about who the soldiers are.  Thanks for letting me share my son’s humanity with at least this one young person.

Cris  

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11/23/04  from mom Cris:

Hi Glenn,

Thanks for preparing the package for Ryan.  I’m sure he’ll love whatever it is.  He’s not had much news for me lately.  His unit came back from Iraq at the end of July.  Since then, he and everyone else has been busy doing inventory, cleaning parts, and getting those parts all back in the right place.  They were gone for 15 months and lost one guy.  That’s one too many but it’s a better survival rate than other units.

I’ve seen  and read the additions to the Support Our Troops page.  You’re doing a great thing.  You know that.  J  Thank you.

Cris  

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May 17, 2004

Glenn & Heidi! 

Things changed again!  Now Ryan's unit is coming back from Iraq in August or September so he won't have to go until the next time.  If there's a next time, it probably won't be until next year.  Yay!  My sincerest thanks to you and everyone for prayers, best wishes, positive thoughts, positive energy, and everything else.  Now, for the sake of the entire world, let's focus on there NOT being a 'next time.'  :) 

Ryan’s looking forward to seeing Europe in his off time.  Now I’m jealous.  J  This is one happy momma!  Still praying for 135,000 other sons & daughters.  And his unit there still needing support.  

Cris

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4/24/04 from Cris:

Dear Glenn & Heidi:

I have my son (Ryan) home, sort of, for a bit.  He got a good night’s sleep; now he’s out and about with his friends.  He asked if I wanted him to hang around so we could do something.  I told him it was enough that he just come home at night; that I’m happy if he just breathes in my house every once in a while and he should go have a good time with his friends while it’s the weekend.  We had a good talk during the two hour drive when I picked him up.  Sadly, I also learned on the drive home that that Iraq is no longer just a distant specter.  He goes to Germany for a bit of training then on to Iraq and is due to leave Iraq in November 2004.  The military has turned my little boy into a man.  He’ll take good care of himself and others.

Ryan was very happy to hear my saga of the hearts, the Farmer's Market, and your Support Our Troops portion of your website, and honored to have a place on the site.  The hearts mean as much to him as they mean to me. He’ll carry his in his pocket at all times.  I don’t have the faith and belief that I can pray and expect peace in the entire Middle East but I do have the faith and belief that I can pray and expect peace, safety, and protection to surround my son so he’ll return whole in body, mind, and spirit.

Here I go again...thank you!

Peace & love,

Cris

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April 19, 2004

Glenn & Heidi,

Wow!  I am so excited that my little $12 order (Cris purchased two black onyx pocket hearts from our website, one for Ryan, and one to put on the shrine she has in their home) has been at least part of the inspiration for you to open a “support our troops” page on your site.  The photo/bio idea is great!  It turns ‘The Military’ back into human beings in the minds of all who will see it.  It also gives a point of focus for prayers.  Let me explain why by telling you what I did last weekend.  I’m an artist who exhibits locally.  I set up at the local Farmer’s Market last Saturday.  I brought only pieces relating to a peace/war theme.  I set up my son’s military portrait in a prominent position with a snapshot in the bottom corner when he was about 2 years old – a happy & innocent child  -- my baby.  It turned into a difficult but good day at the Farmer’s Market for me.  I think I helped at least a couple of people with awareness by letting people realize that these are our children, our cousins, our neighbors that we’re sending over there.  They’re someone’s loved ones – they could be yours the next time or in the next generation.  That toddler that you’re pushing around in the stroller with the messy adorable face could be the guy or girl who wears the uniform in a few years.  I helped people to care.  As a bonus, many people left me with promises of prayer for my son; I encouraged each to pray not only for my son but for the thousands of other sons and daughters who are over there.

I can’t describe the depth of appreciation that I feel for you both.  Thank you so much.

Cris

 

FREEDOM ROCK

in honor of our soldiers

This is a huge rock near a gravel pit on Hwy 25 in rural
Iowa outside of Des Moines. For generations, kids have painted slogans, names, and obscenities on
this rock, changing it's character many times.  It has been hand painted in honor of those who have served our country:
 http://www.ticz.com/homes/users/bob/On-A-Rock/On-A-Rock.htm


February 8, 2005.  A few months back, the rock received it's latest paint job, and once again, there has been no grafitti. It's quite an impressive sight, the photos show all angles.  This updated view is not yet showing on their website:

Rock front view.jpg (116480 bytes)  Rock with 2 children.jpg (82680 bytes)

Rock back view.jpg (113798 bytes)  Rock side view 1.jpg (112311 bytes)

Rock side view 2.jpg (107471 bytes)

Rock signature.jpg (104320 bytes)  Rock painter 1.jpg (78101 bytes)  Rock painter 2.jpg (153434 bytes)

 

 

On the same note, Iraqi Freedom Tahoe....

Tahoe1.jpg (76965 bytes)  Tahoe2.jpg (61960 bytes)  Tahoe3.jpg (83745 bytes)  Tahoe4.jpg (75825 bytes)

This "paint job" is a work of art and a labor of love, for obvious reasons.  I received it by email without further detail.  Fill in the blanks.  Great job, guys and gals!

ATT359255.jpg (63602 bytes)ATT359256.jpg (40055 bytes)ATT359257.jpg (68041 bytes)

 

View from Saddam's car.jpg (39623 bytes)  

View from Sadaam's car

 
VIETNAM WAR MEMORIAL

WASHINGTON D.C.

DC Price of Freedom sign.JPG (37596 bytes)  

Indeed, the price of freedom is high for those who stand in the front line.

The flag near the Vietnam War Memorial, April 15, 2005...

DC Vietnam Mem flag.JPG (40000 bytes)

Glenn is behind the Vietnam War Memorial plaque, which is surrounded by the beauty of the cherry blossoms

DC Vietnam plaque Glenn.JPG (40813 bytes)  DC cherry blossoms VM.JPG (40842 bytes)

The Vietnam War Memorial Statues in bronze...

DC Vietnam Mem statues.JPG (40321 bytes)  DC Vietnam Mem statues 2.JPG (39202 bytes)  DC Vietnam Mem statues 3.JPG (38763 bytes)

The Vietnam War Memorial walk...most talk ceased as we neared the wall and walked its length, the respect for the soldiers' ultimate sacrifice during this war was strongly felt here...

DC Vietnam wall 1.JPG (38386 bytes)  DC Vietnam wall 2.JPG (38228 bytes)  DC Vietnam Wall 3.JPG (40013 bytes)  DC Vietnam Wall 5.JPG (39504 bytes)

DC Vietnam Wall 4.JPG (38629 bytes)

The Vietnam War Nurses Memorial...

DC Vietnam nurse mem 1.JPG (38423 bytes)  DC Nurse mem 2.JPG (40426 bytes)

 DC Nurse mem 3.JPG (38898 bytes)