Bring your community together through your Church or Service or Business organization to show your love and respect for those who went to War and who paid the price! We must Honor the heroics of our soldiers, and reach out and attend to the needs of their families who stand alone in their grief. Billions of dollars flow into Iraq each year. let us make sure our veterans and their families are not at the back of the line put our American soldiers and their families first. Carmel Ca. provided an excellent example of How one city helped a National Guardsman John Hanson and his family by making up the difference in his salary as a maintenance worker for the city and his military pay. He thanked the city and his friends for supporting his family emotionally and financially while he was overseas. Unfortunately there are many Reservist and National Guardsmen and their families who never received that support and there were times that were documented, even their military pay was delayed creating more financial problems for their families at home.
Golf pro Phil Mickelson has contributed Hundreds of Thousands of dollars for Homes for disabled Veterans by giving money for each birdie, eagle etc. Some people talk the Support talk , Phil is walking the walk with our Disabled Veterans. Other Sport heroes could do the same in their own area of endeavors. Others Sport’s Heroes could also be a real American heroes. It would serve America if Star players, Teams and Cities came together and started Hero Scholarship funds. They may salute troops and give survivors some free tickets. That talking the talk, not walking the walk that dependents and children of our fallen heroes walk alone. Do you think the National Football League should start a Pat Tillman Memorial Educational Fund for the children of our real heroes? Start an E-mail Campaign to encourage them to do it. Sport heroes, Entertainers are weighed down with gold chains. Soldiers families are weighed down with pain and Purple Hearts.
University alumni could establish Memorial Scholarships at their former Universities. A certain number could be reserved for heroes dependents. A great number of young Americans went straight from High School into the military lured by the promise of an education & more opportunities after they full filled their military obligations. Memorial scholarships could help their brothers and sisters realize the American Dream that escaped our fallen heroes.
Post Traumatic Stress is a word to some but not to the wife and children of the South Carolina State Trooper Sloss, who returned from Iraq troubled and committed suicide while she tried to stop him in vain. A recent study showed one in four returning vets had war related mental problems . With some it led to violence to self or loved ones . It is not easy to kill some one even an enemy. The emotional pain is more complex when you witness the horror of seeing a soldier having his limbs blown off. It happen too often leaving them and their families in need of support. You may come to the aid of a dying soldier and you do all you can to keep him alive but can’t. Deep down you thank God that it was not your time to go. There is a psychological price to pay for the constant danger of those who patrol the streets or driving down a road where so many have been killed by roadside bombs.
Go to the home page of Brian Kolfage, www.briankolfage.org Brian is one of 3 triple amputees injured in Iraq. You can help his new wife Nikki Grounds acquire a home in Arizona to restart their lives and dreams. Let us do more than Flag wave and stick support troop decals on our cars! They gave their limbs and lives! We can do more! We can Support the Disabled Veteran Home Building Organization that Phil Michelson of the PGA supports. We can and should reach out to People Like Brian and Nikki Kolfage and other disabled Vets.
Congress was in the process of changing Death Benefits from $6000 to $100,000 and providing insurance fir those in combat situations to provide even more. It has been long overdue. When my Dad was missing in Action, in World War two in the North Atlantic in 1942, we received $5000. To find out it has only gone up $1000 in 62 years is a disgrace! We lose many outside of war zones in training and vigilant protection of our borders.
During the 1991 Gulf War I passed out Material encouraging cities to adopt the Educational Responsibilities of Dependents of Armed Forces who were lost in that war. A number of cities did. I contributed over $1300 to the Marine Scholarship Foundation in that behalf. (It is not a lot of money to some, but it was to our family at the time) They have a wonderful organization that has been active for years raising funds for Marine dependents through Golf Tournaments and other fund Raisers. They are an excellent role model!
The actor Denzel Washington while entertaining troops visited a center that was set up for the families of injured troops to stay while they visited their loved ones. He was informed that they needed more centers. He asked what did a place like this cost. He wrote a check for the full amount of one!
We can’t do what he did but we should do what we can!
It is easier to be a hero in an instant, then face death and danger, every day of your working life. Put America and American Vets first and Foremost.
A Concept to take back from Carmel to you City and Home State. If you do anything to support troops, Veterans, and their Families I will contribute art in that behalf.George J Bleich
Salute them with sincerity. It’s your tour of duty now. It is your turn for sacrifice. Don’t let them stand alone. This is not political. When it comes to honoring our heroes we are not the red or blue states. We are the United States. It is our time to do more than wave flags. God Bless America!
Did some one from your area make the Supreme Sacrifice in the Mid-East or Iraq war? Were there others who were disabled? May you be able to reach out with love and support to their children and dependents like other cities did during the 1991 Gulf war? They adopted the educational responsibility of children whose parents were killed or disabled. The scholarships could also extend to disabled veterans and their immediate family.
I would like you to evaluate with a caring heart a unique way to honor those who were so young they never had the chance to marry and start a family. The education that was promised to them went unclaimed. The only education they learned is that war stops lives and dreams.
There were many young men and women who joined the services for the education they would receive. Some of our young fallen and disabled heroes were right out of High School. More of our soldiers come from families of modest means who would have difficulty in affording a top notch education at a major college.
In the case of those who were taken from this life at so young an age those they did not have the opportunity to start a family, a posthumous scholarship would be awarded to sisters or brothers? If they were an only child the grieving parents could select the person who would receive the scholarship which would bear the name of the hero.
The siblings of our deceased heros will not have to put their lives at risk for the purpose of bettering their lives by increasing their potential for a fuller life by improving their education. The American Dream can be elusive to those at the lower end of the financial spectrum.
The war in the Mid-East has been a war where true sacrifice and loss for the majority was limited. The majority of loss was shouldered by minorities and families of modest means. Too many times men and women pulled their tours of duty and made it home safely, only to be called up again. Some of these never returned home alive. America was built on sacrifice and courage. It is our time to step up and do our part.
The Marine Scholarship Foundation is an excellent example to emulate.
Form a committee in your church to work with other faiths and service groups in your community to develop the noble agenda of creating an educational fund or foundation. If this is to be a truly American effort, it must involve us all in making a small sacrifice. If only everyone in a city would give a little. We would rise up in the spirit of loving our Country, out of the many one. E PLURIBUS UNUM.
It could bring together the community with a common compassionate cause unifying and strengthening America. It is time to put the Red or Blue States behinds us and acknowledge who and what we are. We are the Red White and Blue United States. We are in need of national healing, putting political divisions aside. Our hero’s dependents and disabled veterans are in need of our healing help! Too many veterans end up on the streets. Salute them with sincerity. It’s your tour of duty now your turn for sacrifice. Don’t let them stand alone… God Bless America!
On the web site http://icasualties.org/oif/ there is a map of the US showing which states have suffered Causalities. There are also stories on our heroes on site. If your area did not suffer losses that does not mean you do not have a responsibility to do your part. This effort should be by all true Americans. They should be led and encouraged by those in Government, some who were heroes in past wars.
Carmel’s Memorial Garden salutes our Veterans of past wars and our Troops in harms way today.
The Carmel Memorial Prayer Garden that once abounded with Poppies and an array of flowers is now transcending in spirit and soul. The souls of our soldiers rise like smoke from the battle field leaving their families behind.
The Prayer stone was removed by the City. Here today gone tomorrow, like too many of our brave soldiers. The day before it was 1144. 1146 were reported by 2 in the morning. That number will climb with the rising sun. Veteran Day is Memorial Day to those who lose love ones. By 10 AM the numbers climbed, painfully reaching 1149. By 10 in the evening it was 1155 that died. Veterans Day is Memorial Day for dads and moms and children, for widows left behind. Nov.11th 2004, the day Veteran day became Memorial Day, 11 American Soldiers died in Iraq.
I replaced the Prayer Stone with an American flag and prayer board that requested we pray for our Soldiers in the Mid-East who made the Supreme sacrifice. That we support our Veterans and Families of Disabled Veterans.
Having lost my own father, MIA in World War Two I know and feel deeply their families pain.It is like Chinese water torture except it is not water but the blood of young and old soldiers, One drop of life at a time.
The tree that once supported Nasturtiums climbing to new heights is now just a stump. It was cut down by the city as time and war with the elements have taken their toll. It is like a missing friend, a reminder of Soldiers who lost their lives and other veterans who lost their limbs in battle.
The remaining tree is ill as pine beetles ravage it. You can see the sign on its bleeding bark. It too is dying. It is not unlike our Veterans who bear the cursed effects of Agent Orange and Gulf War syndrome. There are problems arising for our Veterans who served in Iraq in the past and some soldiers on duty there now. They are alive but their dreams and health are withering. The dreams of returning to America and starting a family seem dangerous for some. Goodbye to the dreams of healthy Children. So many of their newborns have had birth defects as a result of exposure to the elements of war, Chemicals, Depleted uranium shells and other unknown toxins that will forever affect their future. The rising tide of violence committed by soldiers against their own families has raised questions of concern of why…
Salute our heroes, our men and women in the Armed Forces. We must do more than wave flags or place wreaths on graves. Support them and the offspring of those who gave their lives and others who have become disabled by war. Support them financially and in any real way you can. There were cities in America that started hero scholarship funds for the children of Our American Heroes who gave their lives and limbs and health serving our Nation, during the 1991 war. Why not provide the leadership to start a fund or foundation for that purpose in your own home town or city! Look up Veterans on internet and be supportive of our Veteran’s well-being. Don’t let them or their dependents stand alone they have made sacrifices. It is time that we do too!
Pray for them please. I pray for those in pain who have experienced loss by painting new tears flowing down the face of Christ. Christ being all knowing shares their pain. Some day in the future we must all know we are all God’s Children. I started this never ending painting while writing the song "Man in Black". It was a Peace song dealing with Israel and Palestine, when Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem was under siege around Christmas time. My resolution for the New Years was to be a creative voice for Peace. I focused on the strife between Israel and Palestine. This was before the Iraq war was started. I wrote 2 other songs, Children of Abraham and Curse of Cain. It is far better to pray and work for peace than to rush to war. Blessed are the Peacemakers. Thou shall not Kill.
There is an out of Season Poppy in the garden waiting in cool tears of rain to bloom. I was caring for it and watching it grow, wondering when it would bloom. If you pass by the garden and find the poppy has defied the cold and opened for you, search for the poem "In Flanders Field" by Lt. Col, John McCrae…
“We are the Dead. Short days ago we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved, and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields. “
"Poppy has bloomed, we are now at 1232 casualties"
On Nov. 11th, 2004, Veteran day became Memorial Day when 11 American Soldiers gave their lives in Iraq. We lost 50 soldiers in the last 5 days. Start a legacy of Honor scholarship fund for the children of deceased soldiers and those handicapped and unable to fulfill the dreams of their children‘s education. Insure first class scholarships for our disable veterans, if everyone in a city gave a little it could be done. They gave so much! A fraction of what was spent slinging mud during the last political campaign would have been far better spent fulfilling a hero’s dream.
Salute them with sincerity. It’s your tour of duty now your turn for sacrifice. Don’t let them stand alone… God Bless America!
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A Memorial song for our Veterans “ America goes marching On.”