Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Military Week::Wednesday - Ready, Aim, FIRE!


But first, a brief story to introduce you...

Last week I was in Atlanta , Georgia attending a conference. While I was in the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer. I immediately turned around and witnessed one of the greatest acts of patriotism I have ever seen.

Moving through the terminal was a group of soldiers in their camo uniforms. As they began heading to their gate, everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly to their feet with their hands waving and cheering.

When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and cheered for, it hit me. I'm not alone. I'm not the only red-blooded American who still loves this country and supports our troops and their families.

Of course I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work and home without fear or reprisal.

Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our Service men and women, a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old ran up to one of the male soldiers. He knelt down and said 'hi...'

The little girl then asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her...

The young soldier, who didn't look any older than maybe 22 himself, said he would try and what did she want to give to her daddy. Then suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek.

The mother of the little girl, who said her daughter's name was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a Marine and had been in Iraq for 11 months now. As the mom was explaining how much her daughter Courtney missed her father, the young soldier began to tear up.

When this temporarily single mom was done explaining her situation, all of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second...
Then one of the other servicemen pulled out a military-looking walkie-talkie. They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it..

After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, 'I spoke to your daddy and he told me to give this to you.'  He then hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He finished by saying 'your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home very soon.'

The mom at this point was crying almost uncontrollably and as the young soldier stood to his feet, he saluted Courtney and her mom. I was standing no more than 6 feet away from this entire event.

As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate, people resumed their applause. As I stood there applauding and looked around, there were very few dry eyes, including my own. That young soldier in one last act of selflessness turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with a tear rolling down his cheek.

We need to remember everyday all of our soldiers and their families and thank God for them and their sacrifices. At the end of the day, it's good to be an American.


Have you heard of Red Fridays, or maybe Red Shirt Fridays?  Let me give you a little background on Red Fridays - the premise is pretty simple...

Americans who support our troops used to be called the 'silent majority'. We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers.
Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday - and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar will wear something red.
The color RED signifies the color of blood for all the soldiers whose lives have been lost as a result of war. 
By word of mouth, press, TV, online venues just like this one -- let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers.
If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family. It will not be long before the USA is covered in RED.

We need to let our servicemen and women know we support their sacrifice and we will not forget them and we will do this by wearing red on every Friday.

Wild Apple Design, in conjunction with the fabulous artistic talents of  Wild Blueberry Ink, have joined forces to offer several items for those individuals who want to support their country and soldiers by wearing red on RED FRIDAYS.  We recognize that many of you have dress codes or uniforms at your workplace and may be unable to wear RED clothing, so we have attempted to fulfill that market here. 

RED FRIDAY items are now available in the Wild Apple Design Etsy shop.  These items include:

Red Friday Bottle Cap Necklace: $14
 Red Friday Bottle Cap Necklace: $14
Red Friday Bottle Cap Magnet Set: $7
Red Friday Bottle Cap Swivel Clip: $6
Red Friday Bottle Cap Pins: $2 for 5

Red Friday Bottle Cap Key Chains - COMING SOON!!

10% of the sales from all RED FRIDAY products sold will be donated to Soldier’s Angels, an organization of volunteers who provides countless methods of assistance to all branches of the U.S. Military, veterans and their families. To learn more about Soldier’s Angels, please check out their website:

When Keith was in Iraq, I awoke on Christmas Day to find our furnace had completely quit working and our house was 55 degrees.  The outside temperature was 32 degrees with snowfall and winds of 18 miles an hour.  The temperature was dropping fast.  It was Soldier's Angels who assisted our family with help acquiring a new furnace, and our family is extremely grateful for their assistance.

I can't thank Shirley at Wild Blueberry Ink enough for all of her hard work on the graphics for the RED FRIDAY project.  Please visit her Etsy Shop right HERE.  You can also find Shirley and Wild Blueberry Ink here:


What you win:  1st prize winner  - RED FRIDAY Bottle Cap Necklace (Value $14 USD)
                                2nd prize winner - RED FRIDAY Bottle Cap Magnet Set (Value $7 USD)
                                3rd prize winner  - RED FRIDAY Bottle Cap Swivel Clip (Value $6 USD)

How you win
  • Leave a comment on this blog telling me what you do (or plan to do) to support a soldier - One entry.
  • Leave a comment on your Facebook page, with a link to this blog - One entry. (Don't forget to come back here and leave a separate comment that you did this, otherwise I won't know you did it!)
  • Leave a comment on your Twitter page, with a link to this blog - One entry.  (Again, don't forget to come back here and leave a comment that you did this...)
  • Write a blog post about the RED FRIDAY concept, with a link to this blog - Two entries. (Return and leave a separate comment here please.)
All winners will be chosen by random number generator on Monday, Feb. 21.

Today's Tips and Terms:

Definition of Deployment:  To position (troops) in readiness for combat, as along a front or line.  During this phase, units or individuals deploy from their respective installations into their designated assignment.

Deployment CycleThe four phases of a soldier's deployment, as described below:
·       Pre-Deployment: Timeframe - From first notification of deployment until deployment occurs.
·       During Deployment: Timeframe - From departure until demobilization.
·       Demobilization: Timeframe - From the unit’s arrival at the demobilization station to departure for its home station.
·       Post-Deployment/Reconstitution: Timeframe - From arrival at home station to 180 days after arrival.

Please join me tomorrow for a little insight into the world of The Real Army Wives of the 34th ID, complete with VIDEO!!  Our motto:  Whatever gets you through.... [Hint: With us, it was mostly CHOCOLATE!]

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