We Give Honor to Those Who Gave All

Mike flag CFHS

On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty naiton!

~Thomas W. Parsons

Today, 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.

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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.

Update: The Story Continues

Update: This is what the art installation looks like for Kathy’s quote at Sarasota National Veterans Cemetery in Florida at the Patriot Plaza funded by the Patterson Foundation.

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Brad, Kathy Sargent,Andy copy

Brad, Kathy, and Andy

Andrew, Timmy, Bradley

Please give a very warm welcome to my guest, Kathy Sargent. Kathy, author of the chapter “Army Mom, Serving in the Silent Ranks” in Love You More Than You Know is the proud mom of three military sons. A quote from Kathy’s chapter is being used in a public art instillation at Sarasota National Veterans Cemetery in Florida to inspire and honor our military families. Congratulations Kathy. You and your sons make this world a better place.

The story continues….Timothy’s wish to join the Army, has come true. He is a trained combat medic with an expert field medic badge. He has followed his brothers, and his dreams.

Bradley, is now married to a beautiful former soldier, Maria. They have been blessed, and have blessed me with a darling granddaughter, Isabella. Currently, Bradely and Maria are living in South Carolina, but I have been informed that they will be moving to Alaska in the near future.

Andrew is now married to a beautiful soldier as well. Her name is Jess. They are raising my two granddoggers, Lupa; a German Shepherd, and Odin; a Golden Retriever. Andrew and Jess are currently living in Georgia. Andrew was forced to retire from the Army due to medical issues. This was hard for him, as he really enjoyed what he was doing. With the support of family and friends, I believe Andrew will be just fine.

Things have changed a lot with me, but have also stayed the same. I still worry about my soldiers, especially Timothy since he will be going back for a second tour of Afghanistan.  I’m thankful that I have my older sons to explain things to me, especially the former combat medic. But it still bothers me that I can’t protect my son.

I continue to read labels at the grocery store, and I notice others who do the same, with tears streaming down their faces. I show them my service banner pin on my jacket, smile, give them a hug and thank them for their service, as well as the service of their family member. I share things that pack and travel well, and just try to be there for them. Once you go on the journey of having a child deployed, you understand.

Prayers please for Timothy and all of our deployed service men and women.

To Our Veterans: Thank You

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“The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.”
Jeff Miller

We are proud of those who serve our nation, past and present. We are proud of those sons and daughters that we know by name and those we know by heart.They are all our children. Words are never enough to explain the depth of gratitude we owe these brave men and women.

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I am proud to say that my son, Sgt. Joe Reinart is a veteran. My Dad, Joseph Christophe Vayo was a veteran. Thank you to all who have served and for your many sacrifices. We are so proud of your commitment to us. We love you more than you know.

We Remember and Honor -Forever in our Hearts

Marsh memorial

Marsh & McLennan Companies Memorial

The events of this day touch us all to our core. This is our family’s personal experience. The company my husband works for, Marsh had one of its offices in the twin towers of the World Trade Center. My husband lost 295 colleagues that day. 

home_footer_textThe attack also prompted my son to enlist in the Ohio National Guard. We hold all those involved in our hearts always.

September 11, 2001 By Janie Reinart

Wicked hands
Choke off
Reason
Icy-cold fingers of anguish
Freeze our hearts
Numb our brains
Fiery hate-fueled ideals
Melt steel
And hope
Leveling lives in an instant
Leaving only
Fear
Like falling white paper
To cover the ground

Trembling hands
Seek
Answers
Sobs collapse silence
Reflecting replayed news
A nation
Brought to our knees
Can’t pray hard enough
GOD BLESS AMERICA
Tears burn our eyes
Death stares back
Unblinking
Oh Lord hear our prayer

Holy hands
Dig
Amid the rubble
Holding sorrow
Too heavy to move
Finding the sacred
In the everyday
Flags unfurl
A call to arms
My son enlists
I can only pray

Weary hands
Clutch
Funeral roses
For our beloved
Blessing life’s fragileness
Leaving only
Memories
Like falling white petals
To cover the hole
In our hearts
Longing for peace
We pray
Always

Working with USO Part of Their Life

Ralph & Noel Burr (left side) Michele Chapdelaine, (back row right side) Kathy O'Donnell, Brian Walrath

Ralph & Noel Burr (left side) Michele Chapdelaine, (back row right side) Kathy O’Donnell, Brian Walrath

A special thank you to Noel and Ralph Burr for their work with the USO Northern Ohio. Noel Burr, volunteer coordinator for the Bainbridge USO, wrote a chapter, “What’s a Mother To Do?” in our book, Love You More Than You Know. Her husband, Ralph is a retired Army Colonel. Noel and Ralph started packing boxes at the Chagrin Falls Armory in 2003 when their daughter, Kathy was deployed to Kuwait.

The Burrs are a military family. Two daughters served in the Air Force and another daughter in the Army. Making their grandparents proud, two grandchildren now serve in the Air Force. All deployed family members commented on how important it is to receive packages.

In an article by Joan Demirjian in the Chagrin Valley Times, Mrs. Burr says, “We all work to keep a little bit of home going to the troops. We are in need of beef jerky, nuts, canned tuna or chicken, individual packages of soup and cereal, socks, Q-tips, shaving cream, and gel razors, travel-size bay wipes, hand sanitizer and sunscreen.” Noel said, “We like to include cards and letters in the packages as well.”

Donations can be dropped off at any time at a donation site inside the front door of Highway Garage at 8410 E. Washington Street or at the packaging office, 16706 Chillicothe Road on Wednesdays 1:30-3:30pm.

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.

Nominate Love You More Than You Know

book LYMTYK for webPlease consider nominating Love You More Than You Know by Janie Reinart (only can use 75 characters so rest of title doesn’t fit in nomination menu) for 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards. Deadline for nominations is Feb.11. Votes are limited to one vote per award category per user per day. Thanks for your help.

Love You More Than You Know Book Give Away

I am a guest blogger today.   Lois Winston crafts mysteries and her character Anastasia, in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries “writes” this blog. Stop by and comment to have a chance to win a copy of Love You More Than You Know.