May 16, 2009 - Today is Armed Forces Day, and I have a question for you.
A friend or neighbor leaves his family to go off and protect your family. Morally what you should do for him, for her?
Over 90% of us have never served in the military. I am one of them, representative of the rest. And on behalf of all of those our troops protect, I am here to thank the troops for all they do.
The load which the troops and their families carry is our load. Your load. This writer's load. Our kids. They carry it for us. For you. For me. For them.
The time is right to stand for those who stand for all of us. To carry the load together with them.
To publicly stand up for them. To thank them.
So who are you? What are you made of? What do others think?
Well, our time has come. Our time is now. Your time is now. The time is incumbent to form a new relationship with our fellows who serve in the military to protect us and our families. Your family. My family. All our families.
These folks go half way around the world to many different places to look out for our liberties, livelihoods, and businesses, -- and have families at home while they do. And in return we citizens and our great American companies need to look out for them and theirs. Time is precious to the troops and their families, and every day an eternity. Tomorrow is not always soon enough, and time is always of the essence in doing all we can for them.
The time is now to do for them that do for us, those who preserve our liberties, livelihoods, and businesses.
Make a donation so we can do good things for them.
Go to the SupportOurTroops.Org cart and buy something to publicly show your patriotism and support. Spend with this nonprofit, where you know your purchase will benefit the troops.
Our message: They Support Us Let's Support Them!
May God Bless and keep safe all of our amazing troops and their wonderful families.
And may you, me, we all, get out there and visibly back them up.
Martin C. Boire
May 16, 2009
April 29, 2009 -
What a tremendous gesture of good will from Americans to their deployed neighbors!
SupportOurTroops.Org, CFC#31529, has just shipped over 945,000 free servings of Trails-End popcorn good-will gifts to the men, women and families of the United States Air Force stationed and serving around the continental united states. Each case comes labeled with colorful thank-you signage.
That's 253 pallets. Over 8 tractor-trailers! Over 11,000 cases!
By Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Valverde
USS Bonhomme Richard Public Affairs Office
KABUL, Afghanistan, Jan. 19, 2006 - Petty Officer 2nd Class Luis Joseph Lopez, stationed aboard USS Bonhomme Richard, last year volunteered for orders to Kabul, Afghanistan, to help reform the Afghan National Police just months after returning from a six-month deployment in support of the global war on terrorism.
Lopez is the plans operator at the Office of Security Cooperation, Afghanistan's Police Reform Directorate at Camp Eggers in Kabul. He is one of a few sailors deployed to the OSC to assist the Afghan Ministry of the Interior and its coalition partners in developing a self-sustaining national police force.
The 23-year-old native of Las Vegas agreed to take the orders after getting his mother's blessings.
"I had to talk to my mother," explained Lopez, "so I called her and she didn't like the fact (that I was deploying) but her comment was, €˜I'll support you in every decision you make.'"
In late October of 2005, Lopez reported to Fort Benning, Ga., where he received training to prepare him for life in Afghanistan.
"I received a weapon, uniforms and gear that I would need to make my mission successful," he said. "I went through obstacle courses, watched Power Point presentations of the heritage and living style of the Afghans and went through a safety survival course."
After three days of traveling by air and through convoys, Lopez arrived in Kabul.
Lopez said his job in Afghanistan differs from his job aboard the San Diego-based BHR. He still performs the duties of a Navy yeomen but works with servicemembers from every branch of the U.S. military.
"I have to consider the other branches of service polices and procedures," Lopez said.
There is also a greater element of danger while working in Afghanistan.
"You have to keep your guard up wherever you go. Even just taking the shuttle home," said Lopez. "I handle it like everyone else here €“ we live our lives to the fullest but always keep our guard up."
Lopez said it has been a memorable experience so far and he would volunteer to do it again.
"Everything from exploring Afghanistan's heritage and history to meeting the Afghan governors and generals from all the regions and viewing the police training and overall assisting in the creation of the Afghanistan National Police," Lopez said.
By Staff Sgt. Tammie Moore
332nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq, Jan. 20, 2006 - Air Force families find ways to stay connected when separated -- phone calls, emails, and internet chats stretching over 10 time zones are commonplace.
But nothing beats seeing a spouse face-to-face.
Deployed to Balad Air Base, Iraq, Staff Sgt. Millie Nordman knows how it feels to be separated from her husband. She and her husband have endured deployment separation twice. But today, rather than speaking into a phone receiver to talk to her husband, she just meets him for a game of putt-putt golf.
[caption id="attachment_3173" align="alignleft" width="304"] U.S. Air Force Staff Sgts. Craig and Millie Nordman enjoy a game of cards during their off-duty time at the recreation tent at Balad Air Base, Iraq. The sergeants have been married for four and a half years and are deployed with the 332nd Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron for Air and Space Expeditionary Force 7/8. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tammie Moore[/caption]
Staff Sgt. Craig Nordman is also deployed to Balad Air Base. Both airmen are wrapping up a four-month deployment with the 332nd Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron. He is deployed as a heavy equipment operator and she is here an engineer journeyman.
The joint deployment came as a surprise to the couple who have been married for four and a half years. They are stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., with the 355th Civil Engineer Squadron.Staff Sgt. Craig Nordman is also deployed to Balad Air Base. Both airmen are wrapping up a four-month deployment with the 332nd Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron. He is deployed as a heavy equipment operator and she is here an engineer journeyman.
"I never thought we would deploy to the same base together," she said. "I was told it would never happen. When I found out I was going to Balad in June, I told my supervisor my husband was already going there. They said it was OK and I would be going as well."
"I liked the idea; I thought it was cool," said Craig. "I was interested in seeing what she does while she is deployed."
Millie arrived here a few weeks before her husband.
"Getting here first, I was able to tell him what the squadron and base were like," she said. "I told him what to bring and what not to bring."
Being deployed together has its ups and downs, according to the Nordmans.
"It is better being deployed together for many reasons," she said. "I don't worry as much here. When he deployed the first time, he was not able to call me often; I would hear things on the news and not really know what was going on. This time, I know where he is during alarm reds and if he is safe."
Although the couple is assigned to the same unit, they work in different duty sections, so they don't see one another at work much. But, they make a point to spend their off-duty time together.
"We have only worked on one project together here," he said. "However, we have the same day off and we are always together after work."
"We just hang out and talk about how our days went," she said. "We spend time hanging out in the recreation tent playing cards, video games and putt-putt golf."
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgts. Craig and Millie Nordman enjoy a game of cards during their off-duty time at the recreation tent at Balad Air Base, Iraq. The sergeants have been married for four and a half years and are deployed with the 332nd Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron for Air and Space Expeditionary Force 7/8. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tammie Moore
By Tech. Sgt. Matt Gilreath
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., Jan. 18, 2006 - A 21st Security Forces Squadron airman is the first military working dog handler allowed to adopt her K-9 partner from active duty.
Tech. Sgt. Jamie Dana, a military working dog handler, has been waiting since August for the official word after she requested to adopt her K-9, Rex. The two were injured in an improvised explosive attack on their Humvee June 25 in Iraq.
[caption id="attachment_3166" align="alignleft" width="304"] U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jamie Dana sits with her military working dog, Rex during a Dec. 1interview with NBC news. Dana is the first military working dog handler to adopt her working dog from active-duty service thanks to a new defense appropriations bill. She is a military working dog handler with the 21st Security Forces Squadron at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. U.S. Air Force photo U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jamie Dana[/caption]
President George W. Bush signed the Defense Appropriations Bill Dec. 30 allowing military working dogs to retire early and be adopted by their handlers following traumatic events.
The sergeant received a certificate signed by Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne approving the adoption from squadron commander Maj. Paul Cairney.President George W. Bush signed the Defense Appropriations Bill Dec. 30 allowing military working dogs to retire early and be adopted by their handlers following traumatic events.
Dana is still recuperating from her wounds.
"The past couple weeks have been hard to deal with," she said. "So I tried to keep myself as busy as possible so I didn't have to think about it. Normally keeping myself busy meant being in a lot of pain in the evenings because I have a habit of pushing myself too hard."
Dana said she really didn't know how to feel after she heard the news because of the different opinions people have about her request to adopt Rex.
"I had mixed emotions when I found out the bill had passed. I was so happy - on one hand - that Rex and I could stay together. But on the other hand I've heard very hurtful things from several people," she said.
There are several Web sites that have posted both positive and negative feedback concerning her adoption of Rex. But the Air Force has backed her 100 percent.
"They were injured together and they should heal together," said Brig. Gen. Robert Holmes, the Air Force director of Security Forces and Force Protection.
Dana had support from Congress and the Senate.
"They told me they wouldn't support my request if they thought letting me adopt Rex would cost one soldier their life," Dana said. "I wouldn't want to put anyone at risk either."
Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. T. Michael Moseley said the adoption was a positive event.
"This has been a team effort between both houses of Congress and I'm just glad to see that there's a happy ending," he said.
The president's signature was one of many needed to complete the retirement and adoption process. Dana's signature was one of the last on the document to complete the adoption.
"The certificate arrived today and now that the ceremony is over I feel both extremely happy and very relieved," Dana said.
Dana said she plans to separate from the Air Force.
"Rex will accompany me wherever I may end up (in veterinary school somewhere)," she added. "And hopefully we will be able to do some search and rescue work after I am strong enough to handle it."