Sand Blizzard

This picture was taken by SSG Kris in Kuwait.  Makes a few springtime snowflakes and cold temperatures laughable compared to this ominous storm cloud.

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A Chance to Get Involved

Here is a military pen pal site dedicated to help service members get connected with civilians who want to be military pen pals. We know about the difficult task our military men and women face in overseas deployments – they are separated from family and friends for long periods of time. MilPals.com brings people here at home in touch with military friends around the world. We have identified web sites that support military penpals; scroll down for a list of military pen pals web sites. Visit these sites and find out how you can become a military pen pal and show your support for our troops. Most sites welcome both civilian and military pen pals.

In the Spirit of Honor

I received a letter from Beatrice Mitchell, an 81 year old mother of a Vietnam veteran.  She sent me some articles and documents saying,”I offer this in the spirit of honor due our military men and women and their families whose sacrifices will always remain unmeasurable.”  This poem is written by Beatrice. Please hold our servicemen and women and our veterans in prayer, especially those who are not able to be home for the holidays.

Vietnam’s Pieta

She carried him gently, without haste

In her arms to his resting place.

Things that could hurt him

And things he could break

She kept out of reach when her babe

Was awake

“Don’t talk to strangers nor accept a treat

Look both ways before you cross the street

And stay out of puddles on your way to school

Remember to follow the Golden Rule.”

A young man now, on his way to the prom.

A boy only yesterday, where had the years gone?

“Look out for that curve on old Mill Road.

Drive carefully son and don’t overload.”

Her prayers for him that also blessed us,

She whispered for him as he left on the bus.

The unshed tears that shown in her eyes

Were bravely withheld through her smiles and goodbyes.

Like great birds that hover when life’s returning to dust

The Black Hawks of mercy did not for flesh lust

When after the battle they plucked from the ground

The dead and the wounded from Vietnam.

No cautions for him on Mill Road today.

His car moved slowly as he passed that way

In a heavy box, draped in triad hue

They carefully folded the red, white, and blue

And placed it in her arms, now with tears on her face

She carried it gently as a babe to his resting place.

More Prayer Requests

Celeste Hicks, author of  “Army Strong … A Family Affair” in Love You More Than You Know, had five of her children in the military. Sons and daughters included. Her children married spouses in the military as well. Currently,  Phillip, Celeste’s son, is serving in Afghanistan, and her son-in-law, Zach, is serving in Iraq. Both left 6 week old babies to go. I am asking for prayers for these families too! Congratulations Celeste on your new grand babies!

Like Mother Like Son

Annie Fawley & Captain Darrell Fawley

I recently received a letter from Captain Darrell Fawley. His mom, Annie is the author of the story “Team Fawley” in Love You More Than You Know.  His words are poignant as he describes having a hard time making it through reading his Mom’s essay.

Captain Darell also thinks a volume of stories from soldiers going to war telling what it is like to leave their families behind would be important.  He writes, “Regardless, I want to thank you for recognizing the struggle that mothers go through. The message should be that they sacrifice so much and live in such uncertainty for something they never signed on for and yet they are steadfast because the bond between mother and child is so great.”Captain Darell says he knows his parents are proud of him and what he does. “I never lose sight of what they’ve done for me or would do for me.”

Besides running marathons like his mom, Captain Fawley also is a writer like his mom. This poem was written in the Spring of 2007 in Iraq.

The Families in the Dark

“Our families have it worse than us,”

a bright young soldier once said.

“They never know where we are,

If we’re alive or if we’re dead.

They cling to phone calls and letters,

That are all too often rare.

Our lives may be laden with danger,

But at least we know we’re still there.

And as the pitch invades the evening sky,

Uncertainty plays devilish tricks on their minds

And they worry a flowing well

Wishing they could fast forward time.

But when we hear the dawn’s prayer,

We know we made it through the night.

And no matter how many grains have fallen,

In the moment we know we’re all right.

We don’t know what it’s like,

To fear what the news will say.

We don’t stare at empty seats

During every meal of every day.

And when the Reaper is calling on us,

We’re trained in the way to the light.

But no one prepares the family

To deal with the dark nights.

So we may have to lug around the Beast

But knowledge is a powerful arm

Without it my kin cries at night

Because they don’t know I’m free from harm.”

Captain Darrell Fawley, we are proud of you and thank you for your service and your words. If any troops out there would like to write about their experience of leaving for war and leaving their families behind, drop me a note.  God bless you all for protecting us and serving our country.

Recon: Home Front

Check out the video from the Pentagon channel about Love You More Than You Know plus the story of two teenage girls on coping with deployments.
(30 minutes)

Recon: Home Front.

Valentine’s Day-Operation Homefront Ohio

Arbonne International & Operation Homefront Ohio♥

have teamed up to provide a special day for  spouses, girlfriends, and moms of  Ohio service members.

Please call to register

Contact: Pamela Potts (440) 228-4040

When: Saturday February 20th

Where: Hilton Garden Inn

8971 Wilcox Drive

Twinsburg, Oh 44087

What: Cosmetic bags you can stuff with Arbonne Swiss formulated product, includes a robe (a $160 value), free chair massage by Healing Hands by Sherrie, Chocolates and snacks with coffee , tea, etc.

Book signing with Janie Reinart for Love You More Than You Know

OPW-Ohio Professional Writers

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Members mingling

What a  wonderful meeting listening to three speakers (I was one for Love You More Than You Know), sharing ideas, tips, talking about writing, and eating lunch.

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Vivian Goodman, President of OPW

Midwest Book Review-Sept.2009

“It’s hard to send one’s child off to a dangerous situation. “Love You More Than You Know: 45 Powerful, Personal Tales of Love, Faith, and Courage” is a collection of stories from mothers who have faced the nerve-wracking event of sending their children off to war, with no certainty of their safe return. From the dread of enlisting, to the realization of deployment, there are many stories of parents coping with their worry and coping with a mix of pride and fear. “Love You More Than You Know” is a treasure any military parent will cherish.”