IF NOT ME THAN WHO

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“IF NOT ME THAN WHO?” are the words on the grave stone of Travis L. Manion, a Marine. Brendan Looney, a Navy Seal, was Travis’ best friend. Both died defending their country. They now rest side by side in Arlington Cemetery.

On Memorial Day, we honor the brave men and women, who gave their lives for us serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Mary Jane Kashkoush is our own Gold Star mother.  Her story “Perchance to Dream” is in Love You More Than You KnowHer beloved son, Sergeant Michael Kashkoush lost his life in Iraq. Michael was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart. My daughter, Meme went to school with Michael.

We remember their sacrifices and pray for Gold Star families on this Memorial Day.

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Honoring Our Fallen Heroes and Gold Star Families

Mike flag CFHSToday, we honor the brave men and women, who gave their lives for us serving in the United States Armed Forces. At Chagrin Falls High School, a small memorial honors graduates who died in service to their country.

Mary Jane Kashkoush is our own Gold Star mother.  Her story “Perchance to Dream” is in Love You More Than You Know. Her beloved son, Sergeant Michael Kashkoush lost his life in Iraq. Michael was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart. My daughter, Meme went to school with Michael.

On May 7, 2008, President Bush signed Public Law no-224, naming the Chagrin Falls Post Office in honor of Sergeant Michael Kashkoush.

Mary Jane said, “This process of grieving and reconnecting to life is like trying to tune into a station on a car radio, the dial-in-knob kind, with static coming over the airways. . . My heart aches. . . Home is where the heart is, and my Mike is always with me.”

We remember their sacrifices and pray for Gold Star families on this Memorial Day.

Four Fallen Soldiers from Northeast Ohio

Whenever you have a loved one deployed to war, you worry about the unexpected phone call or a military car in the driveway bringing bad news about your soldier.

In one week, four local families from Northeast Ohio wait with broken hearts for the remains of their loved ones deployed to Afghanistan: Chris Thibodeau of Chesterland, John Runkle of West Salem, Adam Hamilton of Kent and Peter Clore of New Philadelphia.

Bill Sheil, from Fox 8 news has stories of these fallen servicemen. Please pray for the families of these brave heroes.

Message from John “KIKS” Kikol Organizer of the Rally for Troops

2010 Rally

9th Annual Rally for Troops

Sunday May 1, 2011 in Cleveland ’s Public Square

at 11 AM

This Sunday is the 9th Annual Rally for Troops in downtown Cleveland ’s Public Square at 11 AM.  As we all know the spring rains and the Royal Wedding appear to dominate the news this week. Unfortunately, Ohio has added three young men to our list of Fallen Heroes this week, which will impact their families lives forever and the public support is so very important.

The Rally conflicts with other local events and perhaps a rainy forecast, but your support is as important this year as it has been in past years. We will have two gold star families speaking and one speaker will be driving up from Kentucky to honor his son. My dear friend Tommie Farkas, a World War II survivor of the beaches of Iwo Jima will again say a few words. When we read the names of the 240 Fallen Heroes from Ohio , many of the readers will be Gold Star family members. Additionally many other local leaders will be speaking that support our military both with active duty and assisting returning veterans that many times struggle with life long medical and mental issues that haunt them the remainder of their lives.

I was in Florida this past January and on the news, I saw a young returning solider who survived at IED, but he lost both legs below his knees and the fingers on his right hand. He spoke about how important it was for him to recover, be fitted with prosthesis, so he could stand in the welcoming line to greet his fellow soldiers when they returned home. That is the reason we will be in Public Square this Sunday to express our gratitude to all those men and women who have sacrificed so much for future generations.

I thank you for your past support and I would encourage you to invite your friends and family to join you for the Rally. As in past years it will only be one hour in length but the presence of those who attend will be heartwarming to our active military, veterans and especially the families of Ohio ’s Fallen Heroes.

Thanks and may God Bless our Military, our Veterans and all the families who have lost a son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, wife, father, mother, grandson or granddaughter in the service of our country. Freedom certainly comes with a large price for many families and we and future generations need to never forget that “FREEDOM ISN’T FREE” it comes with a heavy heart.

John “KIKS” Kikol
Organizer of the Rally for Troops

Please support the families of our troops.