Slide background


Support Our Troops® Chapter Forms in Pinellas County,

FloridaChapterPinellasCoast Guard wife Ashley F.  has formed a Support Our Troops® Chapter in Pinellas County, Florida.  Ashley was thrilled to find an easy to access method to help the troops. According to Ashley, " I was looking for a way that I could give back and let the soldiers know that I stand behind them. I still can't believe how easy it was so start a chapter in my community, I was actually all set up and ready to go in less than 48 hours. I also have nothing but good things so say about the people in the national office, anytime I have any questions or need any help, they never hesitate to get me the information I need. If I ever have to move I will surely start a chapter in that area if there isn't already one. This is truly a great organization and I am very excited to be apart of it. They had their first meeting Friday the 12th and held a yard sale the next Sunday. They are getting started on planning a softball tournament.  The men are also jumping in and all involved will be mutually exploring the organization of an annual motorcycle Heroes Ride in the area. Another testament to what good Americans think of their troops!

Troop Support up 66% in 2009!

PopChart-3-2010-300pxMarch 17, 2010 -

Operation Popcorn Hits $10 Million!

The numbers are now in!    They did it again!   They just can't stop themselves!   Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and good people down most streets in America got together in Fall of 2009 and  put together over $10,000,000 worth of trail mix and Trails-End popcorn for SupportOurTroops.Org to send to the troops all over the world.
A testament to what Americans really think of their troops.Just look at the amazing history of this program.In 2007,  Operation Popcorn launched in the middle of a recession, good Americans sent $5,000,000 to the troops! Then in 2008 the economy imploded.   So what did the people do?  They bought an additional $1,000,000 dollars more stuff to send their troops, for a total of $6,000,000 in 2008! Next in 2009 the recession and unemployment worsened.  They're reaction?  Send $4 million more to the troops for  a total of $10,000,000 in just that one year!  A 66% increase over the previous year! Are there amazing people in this country or what?We could write a thousand words ourselves about the meaningfulness of this to the troops.  But you'll enjoy far more enjoy reading an anthology of a few of their notes and emails: "Thank you!  This morning someone brought me a tin of Trails End Caramel Corn and told me it was a gift from you for my service to our country. Tears came to my eyes! Your gift of recognition was so nice. Thank you!" ~~ SMSgt Paula --- "Hello, Just read the article regarding the Boy Scout popcorn fundraiser. My son is stationed at Camp Lejeune and it was quite a nice surprise in his day when his sgt gave it to him. I received a text within 5 min of him receiving it, telling me about it.  Thanks for remembering our troops and my son. You DO make a difference in their lives! With much appreciation" ~~ Deanna G. "Hi, I am a Soldier in Iraq. We Love Your Popcorn!!!!  We Need Your Popcorn!!!! Every now and then we get care packages with [your] Popcorn. We love the Sweet taste of the Kettle Popcorn. The problem is we only had a couple of pack and it is gone. Now we are all craving it. Can you help us out?"  ~~ SFC Benjamin ------, Iraq.  twoiraqsoldierswithpopcorn"Your [popcorn] service makes a world of difference and helps to boost the morale of the service men and women throughout the world." ~~ Robert ----, Admiral "Thank you for your thoughtfulness to the needs of our troops.  The kindness you have shown makes a difference in the day-to-day lives of our service members.  God Bless you, and please keep up with the things you are doing."  ~~ Lt. Ronald ----, USAF Wing Chaplain "It is always a great thing when we can show our support and loyalty to our men and women of service, and I thank you for your hard work and commitment to our troops."  ~~ a state Governor "My sailors and I appreciate your thoughtfulness and the hard work that went into making your donation possible.  Your patriotic support is a great encouragement to all."  ~~ Capt. David -----, USN "Boy Scouts, SupportOurTroops.Org, and Trails End Popcorn Company: A short note to pass on our sincerest gratitude to you all for donating thousands of cases of Trails End popcorn.  We received your shipment a couple of weeks ago and have been busy distributing it to the work centers, MWR centers, military Passenger terminals, etc. and have heard nothing but praise for you and the support you have for our US forces.  Many of us were Scouts and remember the great things we did as young men & women, it is fantastic to see the Scouting program continuing to support the troops. Again, our sincerest gratitude to you all for the support of our forces both deployed and at home.  Our Soldiers, Airman, Marines and Sailors thank you and say "Job Well Done!"  Respectfully, ~~  Commander, Baghdad "On behalf of the USO, I would tike to thank you for your generous donation of 15,720 packets of Trails-End Microwave Popcorn to Operation US0 Care Package. These items have been placed in care packages for distribution to our troops sending in the war against terrorism. We rely on contributions from companies such as yours to help us lift the morale and meet the many needs of our soldiers here and abroad."  ~~ Edward P----, President, US0 Worldwide Operations "On behalf of our troops at the 163d Reconnaissance Wing, CA Air National Guard, we want to say Thank You! Please pass on our sincere gratitude to the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of America for their hard work raising money to donate popcorn for our troops. What a wonderful program and way to thank our men and women and their families for their to our country by providing them with this treat! Your kindness is sincerely appreciated by our members, their families and countless American Troops serving our nation around the world." Sincerely,  ~~ Debbie H---- Wing Family Program Coordinator "For three consecutive years, SupportOurTroops.Org and its affiliates have collected and shipped millions of dollars of product to U.S. service members serving abroad, whether it is the "Warfighter" serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait, the war-wounded being treated in medical treatment facilities around the world, or Sailors and Marines serving on ships deployed worldwide. Your organization's can-do spirit and steadfast efforts have improved the quality of life of thousands of troops each year. Through your personal efforts and that of your affiliates, your work serves as a constant reminder to those serving so far from home that they are supported by communities and neighborhoods nationwide. On behalf of troops serving worldwide, please pass on to your staff and your affiliates a sincere 'Thank You' for the unyielding support that they continue to provide."  ~~  Bill W----, Navy MWR Command "Just wanted to pass along my genuine thanks and appreciation for the caramel corn! Very nice surprise to say the least!!!" ~~ Tara ---, USAF

Send a $25 Popcorn Pack to the Troops Right Now!


Just click the pic.    It's that easy.  Absolutely amazing.   So where does all this popcorn come from?  From the American People!   Each Fall the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts go door to door down streets all across America and ask people if they would like to donate $25 of popcorn treats to the troops.  And at $25 a pop this many people step up each year. Who does this?  SupportOurTroops.Org, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Trail's-End® Popcorn Company team up to pull this off yearly. Support Our Troops Chairman orderpopcornscoutpictureMartin C. Boire say "kids, if you want to know how to pull off something this huge get into Scouting.    If you get into Scouting, you'll get to organize hundreds of things and be ready to do stuff like this your whole life too.  That's where I learned to do all this" Who manufactures it?  Nothing but the best for our troops!  Trail's-End® popcorn is known as America's Best Popcorn. It is produced by Weaver Popcorn Company, one of the largest producers and manufacturers of popcorn products in the world. An 80-year-old, family-owned company located in Indiana, Weaver Popcorn distributes its products in more than 90 countries. Visit the Operation Popcorn Photo Gallery. About SupportOurTroops.Org.  SupportOurTroops.Org is a nationwide platform for individuals, organizations, businesses and non-prof­its to bolster America's troops and their families in a multitude of ways.   Built and operated by civilians, SupportOurTroops.Org is a moral covenant with those who serve to protect us and our families.   SupportOurTroops.Org is a resource that was not available to previous generations of troops, and now stands as a permanent living testament to the affection and loyalty good Americans hold for those who do such for all of us. The free online troop-supporter Community at SupportOurTroops.Org offers simple ways for all of us to thank and show support to American troops (our deployed neighbors) serving all over the world.  It is a non-partisan, non-political civilian organization, welcoming civilians, active-duty families, and veterans as members.   Donations at SupportOurTroops.Org help us do wonderful  things like this for the troops and their families. What else are we doing?  Chairman Martin C. Boire, said, "we're the license plate people.  We have completed state-issuance of  Support Our Troops! plates in some 26 states to date, and have more underway.  Those plates help us do good things like this for our deployed neighbors.  Sign up for your plate today. You  can find out the status of the project in your state at" What is Support Our Troops®?  Support Our Troops® is a patriotic family organization aimed at bolstering the well-being of the troops and their families.  They Support Us Let's Support Them!  Civilian-led, SOT enthusiastically welcomes civilians, active-duty families, veterans, and folks from all political parties.  We offer simple, easy, everyday methods through which folks can stick up for those who stick up for all of us.  Support Our Troops is a nation-wide 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with chapters in 37 states to date. How does get all of this done? Through our free  online community forum at SupportOurTroops.Org, and a lot of hard work by a lot of good kids and adults across America.
CFC (Combined Federal Campaign) Member #31529.  Support Our Troops®Â  is an authorized private civilian national and international nonprofit in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC).  It is the largest and most successful workplace charity campaign in the world.  Federal employees can help Support Our Troops® by designating to code 31529. Martin C. Boire Chairman, Support Our Troops® Nationwide News Release, not PSA:  Permission is granted to reprint and further ditribute this article and graphic in manner favorable to the troops.

Meet Your Military: Drill Instructor Enjoys Fly-fishing

[caption id="attachment_3603" align="alignleft" width="250"]DrillInstructorEnjoys Marine Corps Staff Sgt. David R. Brewer, a drill instructor at the recruit training center in San Diego, acquired a passion for fly-fishing from his grandfather while growing up in Colorado. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Rebecca A. Lamont[/caption] MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO – He started learning the ins and outs of fly-fishing from his grandfather at age 7. Years later, he’d spend every day on the Gunnison River in Colorado.
“My grandfather taught me everything I know about fly-fishing,â€Â said Marine Corps Staff Sgt. David R. Brewer, a drill instructor with Platoon 3263, Company M.Fly-fishing differs from other forms of fishing because the individual stands in a river with waders and uses an artificial bug as bait, using an ancient angling method.“It gives me an adrenaline rush,â€Â Brewer said. “You don’t know when the fish will jump out, and then it becomes a fight.â€Â The Gunnison River is Brewer’s favorite place to fish because it’s in a canyon; the water is incredibly clear. It’s a very peaceful place and few people know about it. “I’d fish with my grandfather and usually my two younger brothers as well,â€Â Brewer said. “We are all best friends.â€Â Brewer’s grandfather once showed his grandsons how to catch trout using a cookie. “One day my brothers and I were making fun of my grandfather, telling him he wasn’t going to catch anything that day,â€Â Brewer recalled. “Well, then he put [a cookie] in his mouth and casted his fly 15 feet ahead.â€Â Within a minute, his grandfather reeled in an 11-pound brown trout -- a large-sized fish to catch in a river -- and his grandfather had the last laugh, Brewer said. More recently, Brewer’s grandfather celebrated his birthday with his son and Brewer on a deep-sea fishing charter boat in San Diego. Although he didn’t keep his catch, Brewer’s grandfather caught a 350-pound hammerhead shark. “He put him back. It’s all about the thrill,â€Â Brewer said. “Besides, what is someone going to do with 350 pounds of meat?â€Â Brewer had a fish story worthy of telling for years when he caught a 14-pound rainbow trout on the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs, Colo. “My brother and I were fishing one day and I was standing on a rock in the center of the river,â€Â he said. A fish grabbed his fly and unraveled all the line off his reel. “I had to get off my rock and follow him,â€Â Brewer said. “He dragged me into a strong current, and the water was up to my neck, so I had to hop on another rock.â€Â But then he slipped. “All my gear went down river, and I had to swim at this point,â€Â he said. “But I never let go of that fishing pole.â€Â Two hours later, Brewer finally won the fight, but with a price. Although he lost all of his fishing gear, it was well worth catching that rainbow trout, he said. “I don’t eat fish; I just snap a picture and let it go,â€Â he said. “It’s just for the experience and the competition between my brothers on who can catch the biggest fish, that’s all.â€Â It’s also a good time on the river and nice bonding with family, he said. Brewer will be home on leave soon, fishing with his brothers. He and his grandfather plan to go fly-fishing in Alaska someday, he said, because they look forward to the challenging fight the 50-pound salmon there would bring. “I’m going to be catching big fish for the rest of my life. I guarantee it,â€Â Brewer said. March 16, 2010: By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rebecca A. Lamont-Special to American Forces Press Service (Lance Cpl. Rebecca A. Lamont serves at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.) ***SOT***


Meet Your Military: Corpsman Helps Marja's Elderly

[caption id="attachment_3597" align="alignleft" width="250"]CorpsmanHelpsMarjas Navy Seaman Vince Edward Chu Lo, a corpsman with 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, gives medical treatment to a resident of Marja, Afghanistan, March 7, 2010. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Walter Marino[/caption] WASHINGTON– After an eight-hour post, Navy Seaman Vince Edward Chu Lo, a corpsman for 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, finally reached his long-awaited sleeping bag.
But moments after he sat down, someone shouted, “Doc Lo!â€Â and the corpsman knew it was back to business.When he answered the call, Lo was relieved to find that no Marines were injured. Two elderly residents of Marja, Afghanistan, had minor injuries and needed his help, which the corpsman was happy to provide.Lo said watching his mother, a nurse, give medical treatment to underprivileged people while he was growing up in Lawang City, Philippines, provided inspiration for his current job. "You always grow up wanting to be like your mom or dad. I’m a momma’s boy," Lo said. Through a translator, Lo discovered that the two Afghans were Abdoul Kayoom, 60, and Aji Mohamad Sharij, 58. Kayoom had knee injuries, and Sharij experienced complications with his vision. Lo inspected their injuries and concluded they would need inpatient treatment at a hospital. Meanwhile, he chose to help them with the limited tools he had. "As a combat corpsman, we don’t have the equipment for those problems,â€Â he explained. “But I just tried to help them with what I had. I grew up in a Third World country. For me, helping another person is a good thing." Grabbing a bandage from his medical bag, Lo began wrapping Kayoom’s knees, making a makeshift knee brace on both legs to reduce the pressure on the joints. For Sharij, Lo gave medicated drops to relieve his eye pain, and foot cream for what he suspected to be a case of athlete’s foot. After Lo’s work was done, the translator was not needed. The smiles and handshakes by Sharij and Kayoom said it all. "We are very thankful for what our new friend did for us," Sharij said. For Lo, just knowing he had helped others made his day. "When I helped them, it reminded me of what my mom used to do, and [it] made me happy, even if it was a simple thing,â€Â he said, adding that he plans to continue to learn all he can to be a better corpsman. Senior corpsmen in his battalion recognize his efforts. "He’s proficient in what he does, because he takes this seriously and tries to improve,â€Â said Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Guerwin E. Weeks. “He’s willing to ask for advice and take advice to be a better corpsman. On my other two deployments, I would have loved to have him." March 15, 2010: By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Walter Marino- Special to American Forces Press Service (Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Walter Marino serves with the 1st Marine Division’s Regimental Combat Team 7 public affairs office.) ***SOT***


Meet Your Military: Marine Shapes Silent Drill Platoon

[caption id="attachment_3080" align="alignleft" width="166"]MarineShapesSilent As drill master for the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, Cpl. Robert Dominguez is tasked with memorizing, teaching and passing down the platoon’s unique drill manual, creating a new drill sequence for the platoon to perform each year, and selecting new members and the 24 Marines who will drill during performances. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Austin Hazard[/caption] MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz.,– The Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon performs around the world, demonstrating discipline, precision and dedication to tradition. But who chooses these men? Who teaches them the time-honored tradition of representing the Marine Corps with their silent performances? Marine Corps Cpl. Robert Dominguez, a 26-year-old native of Selma, Calif., serves as the platoon’s drill master. He is tasked with memorizing, teaching and handing down the platoon’s unique drill style, called “slide drill.â€Â “It’s a great honor to be the 62nd drill master of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, teaching the manual to Marines and passing it on,â€Â said Dominguez, who became the drill master Nov. 4. “I am the keeper of the Silent Drill Platoon’s traditions.â€Â The drill master keeps the manual for slide drill and passes it to the next drill master, a rite of succession that has remained unchanged since its creation. “Back in 1948, all the drill was choreographed and slide drill was created,â€Â said Dominguez, who is in his third year with the platoon. “What I do as the drill master is use that manual and come up with a new sequence for the year. I think up some cool ideas and go back through old drill sequences and try to make a new, fresh sequence with some more flavor.â€Â Marines may remember drill from their boot camp landing-party manual, but slide drill is different. It uses no verbal commands and modifies common drill maneuvers, such as port arms, to best fit the platoon’s style and varying formations. “It’s very difficult to learn,â€Â Dominguez said. “You’ve got to have a lot of bearing, coordination and discipline to be able to learn slide drill.â€Â However, teaching drill is not the drill master’s only responsibility. “To represent the Marine Corps, the Marine Corps wants the best, and it’s my job to select them,â€Â Dominguez said. Dominguez trains and chooses the platoon members during their initial training, determining who makes the cut and who gets cut. After that, he decides which members make up the “marching 24,â€Â the two dozen Marines who actually perform. If Dominguez believes the platoon’s proficiency declines, he can declare a challenge day, during which members audition for spots among the marching 24. The drill master is a coveted and respected position among the platoon, and Dominguez is equally respected by his platoon. “As a drill master, he does demand the perfection needed of this platoon,â€Â said Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Perry Bell, who is in his first year with the platoon. The downside to being the drill master is watching from the sidelines and not being able to perform with the platoon, Dominguez said. “Performing is an adrenaline rush,â€Â he explained. “You can’t get that feeling anywhere else. It’s unfortunate that I’m not in the fight with them, not performing, but I get to critique them and make them better.â€Â For decades, the Silent Drill Platoon has been an American icon, personifying the discipline and precision of the Marine Corps through public demonstrations, recruiting posters and commercials. Now that responsibility lies primarily in Dominguez’s hands as the drill master of the nation’s most famous drill team. “Nothing that we do is about us,â€Â Dominguez said. “The picture is bigger than us. To the public, we represent the Marine Corps.â€Â March 12, 2010: By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Austin Hazard- Special to American Forces Press Service (Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Austin Hazard serves at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz.) ***SOT***    

Meet Your Military: Guard Members Skate in Roller Derby

[caption id="attachment_3943" align="alignleft" width="250"]GuardMemebersSkate Left to right, roller derby teammates Army Sgt. Karli Wahkahquah, Army 1st Lt. Kristin Sloan and Army 1st Lt. Jessica duMonceaux, all members of the Oklahoma Army National Guard, proudly show off their dainty, powder blue Thunderbirds -- symbolic of the parent 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team under which they serve. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Darren D. Heusel[/caption] OKLAHOMA CITY  Some soldiers will do almost anything to stay in shape.
Three soldiers from the Oklahoma Army National Guard are lacing up their roller skates, strapping on elbow and knee pads and taking to the rink as members of the Oklahoma City Red Dirt Rebellion Rollergirls.For those new to the sport, this isn’t the roller derby of the 1970s, when practically every move was choreographed as in professional wrestling.No, this is the real deal -- as evidenced by the bruised and battered bodies of 1st Lt. Jessica duMonceau, 1st Lt. Kristin Sloan and Sgt. Karli Wahkahquah.All are members of the military intelligence community and became interested in roller derby after attending an evening contest between the Oklahoma City Red Dirt Rebellion and a team from Amarillo. "We all went to our first bout together, and Kristin and I looked at Karli and said, 'We have to do this!'" said duMonceau, who attended high school in Foley, Minn., before moving to Oklahoma City six years ago. "We can be pretty persuasive like that sometimes." Wahkahquah said it has been at least 10 years since she donned a pair of roller skates, but she was up to the challenge. "I'm sure I must have looked like a baby giraffe on skates out there at first," said Wahkahquah, who also hails from Oklahoma City. "There were a lot of bumps and bruises initially, but it’s proven to be a lot of fun." Sloan, a native of Mustang, Okla., said one of the clinchers for her was when "Energizer Honey," a member of the Red Dirt Rebellion, was sent flying over the railing, landed on her feet and got right back into the action without ever batting an eyelash. "She jumped right up like she knew what she was doing," Sloan recalled. "The crowd went wild, and we knew right then this was the sport for us." Founded in July 2007 by a group of women with previous flat-track experience, the Red Dirt Rebellion Rollergirls are members of Oklahoma's only all-female banked-track roller derby league. While flat-track roller derby has taken the nation by storm in recent years, the Red Dirt Rebellion is one of only 11 elite banked-track roller derby teams in the country. In its heyday, roller derby was one of the most popular sports broadcast on TV. The late 1970s brought viewers professional wrestling-style derby with mixed teams, heated fist fights and dramatic moves. Then, as if overnight, roller derby disappeared from public view, only to re-emerge 20 years later with a totally revamped attitude. You won't often see men on the derby track any more, unless they're sporting a black-and-white striped jersey and a whistle. You also won't see any overly dramatic "scriptedâ€Â behavior on the rink. What you will see are short skirts, fishnet stockings, tattoos and smash-mouth roller derby action. All the hits, spills, falls and breaks are real, and they’re revered in the roller derby community. Named after the infamous "red dirt" of Oklahoma and their wild "rebellious" spirits, members of the Red Dirt Rebellion Rollergirls come from all different lifestyles and backgrounds, from graphic designers and nurses, to stay-at-home moms and soldiers. The ladies get together at least three nights a week, and for a few bone-crushing hours, they fly around the track hurling themselves at each other as they participate in their own version of ultimate fighting. They like to have fun, and they like to play rough, as their motto, "Skate Fast and Kick Butt," states. Once the ladies step onto the rink, they immediately transform into their "alter egos." Wahkahquah, or "Rolling Death," as she is known by her Red Dirt Rebellion sisters, bulldozes her way through a crowded pack of five girls as she makes her way for the "jammer." Sloan, or "Bruise Clues" as she is known in roller derby circles, finds the gap through the pack and darts in and out as she bursts her way through, dodging opposing "blockers" as they lunge at her. The jammers, duMonceau or "La Fleur de Mort" among them, claw their way through what seems like a school of piranhas, while the blockers seek to catch an opposing skater off guard and send her skidding across the floor. Belly flops, bruised jaws, bloody noses and twisted ankles come with the territory. But these ladies say, "Bring it on!" After an intense bout, the skaters may seek treatment for their wounds. But, you won't see a single unhappy skater in the bunch. They'll limp out with a grin on their face and glints of roller derby glory in their eyes, eager to live on and to fight another day. "There are definitely some dedicated people on our team," duMonceaux said. What makes the trio so successful on the banked track is the same tenacious attitude and "can-do" spirit that helps them thrive and survive in the Guard. "For me, the organization and the planning are huge," said Sloan. "There was no real structure when we first got started. We used troop-leading procedures to make it go a lot smoother." Wahkahquah said she noticed the team's method of notifying people about an upcoming practice or bout was broken when she first was involved. One person was contacting everyone on the team, and it was taking hours to get people notified. So she instituted a procedure similar to a military recall roster to help speed up the process. "Now, all is well," she said. "Roller derby has definitely taught me to be a better leader. When we first got here, it was like herding cats. Now, it's like herding sheep. It's a lot more organized." "I'm definitely developing my communication skills," duMonceau said. "I'm very direct these days and that helps transition over to the Guard." The women all claim to have been standout athletes in high school. All said roller derby has helped them elevate their physical fitness. "We're guaranteed at least three practices per week, even more than that, if we have a ‘bout’ coming up," Wahkahquah said. Sloan said their experience has helped with recruiting as well. Sporting a baby blue Thunderbird on their right shoulder that’s symbolic of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team with which they serve, Sloan said some of the other women will come up to them and ask about the National Guard. Choosing the perfect roller derby nickname is important, the women said, because it becomes registered and is theirs forever. "Someone can call and ask to create a version of your name, but they have to get your permission," Wahkahquah said. Wahkahquah's last name in Comanche means "riding death." So, in keeping with the Native American theme, she chose "Rolling Death" as her alter ego. In French, duMonceaux's name means "the mound." So, she "just went a little darker," as she put it, with "La Fleur de Mort," which means "the flower of death." Sloan said the nickname she arrived at, "Bruise Clues," is probably the least exciting of the three. "That's just the one I ended up liking," she shrugged. "It was an original." As for the reaction the Guardsmen get from people when they discover they are members of the Red Dirt Rebellion, they said most people at first don't realize Oklahoma has a team. Second, they said, people will ask, "Is that real?" "I tell them everything about it is definitely real," Wahkahquah said, pointing to the bruises on her left arm. Meanwhile, the Guard members are slated to deploy to Afghanistan next year. Yet, the women will have each other to lean on, just as duMonceaux and Wahkahquah did when they were deployed together to Afghanistan in 2002. "We're all pretty tight," said Wahkahquah. "We pretty much became mutual friends after that first deployment. We like to mountain bike, rock climb -- just about anything you might consider extreme." Some might consider roller derby extreme. But for Oklahoma's Guard trio, sustaining a few more bumps and bruises in the rugged, mountainous terrain of Afghanistan might just make them feel right at home. March 10, 2010: By Army Sgt. 1st Class Darren D. Heusel- Special to American Forces Press Service (Army Sgt. 1st Class Darren D. Heusel serves with the Oklahoma National Guard.) ***SOT***



* Service members, please provide a non .mil address. Thank you.