Wednesday, September 27, 2006------------------------------------------------------------------------
I am sure all of our servicemembers have been informed of this reimbursement. But, we all know they don't always act when they need to. Thought I would pass this along to the parents to "remind" their Marine or soldier.______________________________________________________
Soldiers have until Oct. 3 to file claims for reimbursement of certain private purchases of protective, health and safety equipment such as body armor. Purchases qualify if they were made between Sept. 11, 2001 and April 1, 2006 and if they were made in anticipation of or during the servicemember's deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. Claims should be filed with the Soldier's current unit. Former Soldiers should mail their claims to the U.S. Army Claims Service at Fort Meade, Md. More information on the reimbursement program is available at www.jagcnet.army.mil. Follow the link to the "Protective Gear Reimbursement Program."
And now for a little entertainment, being the coffee lover that I am I had to pass this one on .... and Ben, my friend (another coffee lover!), this one is just for you!
A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor.
Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.
Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups--porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal; some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite--telling them to help themselves to the coffee.
When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said:
"If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.
"What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups and were eyeing each other's cups.
"Now consider this: Life is the coffee, and the jobs, money and position in society are the cups.
"They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and do not change the quality of Life. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided.
"So, don't let the cups drive you .... enjoy the coffee instead."
Written by Dorothy Holland
Semper Fi and God bless you all.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006------------------------------------------------------------------------
Steve Irwin quotes:______________________________________________________
"Every cent we earn from Crocodile Hunter goes straight back into conservation. Every single cent."
"Herein lies our problem. If we level that much land to grow rice and whatever, then no other animal could live there except for some insect pest species. Which is very unfortunate."
"See, I've always seen Jacques Cousteau as a hero, mate. He's a legend - like my dad, just a legend. And so what he did for conservation in the '60s through the '70s was just phenomenal."
"So, my tactic with conservation of apex predators is to get people excited and take them to where they live."
"Crikey, mate. You're far safer dealing with crocodiles and western diamondback rattlesnakes than the executives and the producers and all those sharks in the big MGM building." (my favorite)
I didn't talk much about the loss of Steve Irwin because he is near and dear to my heart. I cried when I heard of his death too. I remember sitting with my kids and watching him on TV when they were growing up. Eric does such an awesome imitation of Steve. He used to crack me up whenever we were taking trips in the car doing them. I'll have to get him to do that again next time he visits.
Like I told you before (I think?), Eric has spent the last month in the mountains with the 3/7 learning to fight in that terrain. 'Playing in the snow' as many in the 3/7 family calls it. Eric will be home (in 29 Palms) this week and I know his girlfriend Patty is anxiously awating his arrival. I know I am eager to talk to him. Been a long month.
In light of Steve Irwin's memorial service today in Australia, I ran across the most distressing (in my eyes, INCORRECT) information on the PETA website today. As an animal lover and a believer in the fact that we should treat them humanely, it was shocking to see what PETA had to say about Steve. First, for those of us that didn't have the luxury of being able to watch the memorial service, click below to see Bindi Irwin's tribute and farewell to her famous father. Then you can click on the back button to return here and hear the ... rest of the story.
Bindi Irwin's Tribute to her Father, Steve
PETA ... oh PETA ... what can I say. It started out orginally as a good honest organization created by people that truly cared for not only animals ... but other people as well. I am afraid to say that I am now totally convinced that this is no longer true. They have lost any remaining support I may have had for them (I was already dismayed by some of the actions of PETA the last few years, although they do actually help in some cases), not only because of the scathing article that blasts Steve Irwin (as well as other famous naturalists), but because of other things as well such as the extremist attitudes they have engendered and embraced. But you can click the link below to read for yourself what PETA has to say. Needless to say I wrote them an email letting them know how disappointed I was in this. . If you want to comment to them on this .. use this email address firstname.lastname@example.org .
In refuting what PETA has to say I don't think in any way that Steve ever sought to become the star he was. His goal was simple, to educate us and help animals however he could. He couldn't help that it made him famous doing it. That is just who he was. They [PETA] intimate that when he would wrestle with a croc and restrain it to move it safely he was just doing it to get it on tape. That NEVER happened. They never moved animals like unless they had to in order to protect them or save their lives, then they would tape it while it was done. In no way did I ever see the Irwins mistreat or show cruelty to animals. They handled them humanely and as little as possible. The animals they brought to shows were raised in captivity and probably had a better life than those in the wild. And to equate human emotions to animals like PETA does is, in my eyes at least, a sin. I am seeing clearly now that in PETA's opinions, keeping your dog locked in the house or on a chain is cruelty. No matter that if I let my beloved Luke run loose he would become road-gel almost immediately. I can tell you for certain, my dog is living a GOOD life that will be a lot longer because of my cruelty of keeping him from living in the wild. And HE is happy about it too. And God forbid if you have a parrot, or a hamster, or a horse ... better box it up and ship it back to Africa or the Amazon or whereever it came from orginally because it isn't happy where it is! I knew PETA had gotten a little extreme lately .. but to use the death of Steve Irwin to forward their cause is obscene.
Steve and his wife, Terri also put most of the money he made back into what he loved ... animals.
Rest In Peace Steve ... we believed in what you were doing.
PETA's shameful article that talks about Steve Irwin: http://www.helpinganimals.com/f-wildlifewarriors.asp
Sad Sad day that someone that brought so much attention to endangered animals and did so much to promote the love and information about animals would be atttacked this way. I know that Steve and his wife and family did more to help animals than many of us could ever dream to. Shame on you PETA.
Semper Fi and God bless you all, even PETA
Thursday, September 14, 2006------------------------------------------------------------------------
I know I have very amiss at blogging the past few months. I hope it was just a phase I was going through. I need to write about my feelings to deal with them sometimes. Its hard to do that right now though because of various things going on in my life that I don't feel I can share. In any case ... I will try to be better about keeping you informed on my favorite Marine ... Eric.______________________________________________________
For now, even though it is late, I want to share this with you:
TWO THOUSAND ONE, NINE ELEVEN (2001-911)
Two thousand one, nine eleven
Three thousand plus arrive in heaven
As they pass through the gate,
Thousands more appear in wait
A bearded man with stovepipe hat
Steps forward saying, "Lets sit, lets chat"
They settle down in seats of clouds
A man named Martin shouts out proud
"I have a dream!" and once he did
The Newcomer said, "Your dream still lives."
Groups of soldiers in blue and gray
Others in khaki, and green then say
"We're from Bull Run, Yorktown, the Maine"
The Newcomer said, "You died not in vain."
From a man on sticks one could hear
"The only thing we have to fear.
The Newcomer said, "We know the rest,
Trust us sir, we've passed that test."
"Courage doesn't hide in caves
You can't bury freedom, in a grave,"
The Newcomers had heard this voice before
A distinct Yankees twang from Hyannisport shores
A silence fell within the mist
Somehow the Newcomer knew that this
Meant time had come for her to say
What was in the hearts of the five thousand plus that day
"Back on Earth, we wrote reports,
Watched our children play in sports
Worked our gardens, sang our songs
Went to church and clipped coupons
We smiled, we laughed, we cried, we fought
Unlike you, great we're not"
The tall man in the stovepipe hat
Stood and said, "Don't talk like that!
Look at your country, look and see
You died for freedom, just like me"
Then, before them all appeared a scene
Of rumbled streets and twisted beams
Death, destruction, smoke and dust
And people working just 'cause they must
Hauling ash, lifting stones,
Knee deep in hell, but not alone
"Look! Blackman, Whiteman, Brownman, Yellowman
Side by side helping their fellow man!"
So said Martin, as he watched the scene
"Even from nightmares, can be born a dream."
Down below three firemen raised
The colors high into ashen haze
The soldiers above had seen it before
On Iwo Jima back in '45
The man on sticks studied everything closely
Then shared his perceptions on what he saw mostly
"I see pain, I see tears,
I see sorrow -- but I don't see fear."
"You left behind husbands and wives
Daughters and sons and so many lives
Are suffering now because of this wrong
But look very closely. You're not really gone.
All of those people, even those who've never met you
All of their lives, they'll never forget you
Don't you see what has happened?
Don't you see what you've done?
You've brought them together, together as one.
With that the man in the stovepipe hat said
"Take my hand," and from there he led
Three thousand plus heroes , Newcomers to heaven
On this day, two thousand one, nine eleven
Author UNKNOWN (What a shame!)
Sunday, September 10, 2006------------------------------------------------------------------------
Its been what seems to be a too short summer for me. Eric is somewhere in the mountains in CA as we speak learning to deal with mountainous terrain as they have 'war games' with another company (or platoon, not sure, I just know they are trying to one-up each other out there). I know he was looking forward to this. He gets bored just sticking around base and training. He is more of the 'up and at 'em' type than I would like sometimes. I do know that he will be deployed again sometime in the spring. At least over the holidays this year we should have his sorely missed, joyful presence at home! Looking forward to seeing him again. Its been way too long.
Here's a cute little story I thought I would share:
Talking about 'Flat daddy' helps soldier's family cope
Awwww.... this is just too sad :( even though it does seem to be helping this family. I had to share this.
Semper Fi and God Bless.