Gold Star Families From the Military Deserve Our Love and Comfort

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Gold Star Mom…

Pamela Hall Cropper of Nampa, Idaho, shared that her Rally Around the Flag moment is that of the military funeral service for her son, Curtis, who was killed in Iraq.

“I’m the product of a loving American family. Mom and Dad always taught us to be good citizens and show respect for the flag. One could say I was patriotic – proud of my country and the freedom it represents to the world. However, after my youngest son was killed in Iraq, these feelings intensified.

“On my birthday in 2007, he called from Kirkuk, Iraq. His call is now a treasured memory. The very next day two men in Navy dress blue uniforms came to my home with the news that EOD 2 (Explosive Ordnance Disposal Second Class) Curtis Ralph Hall had been killed in action. A few days later the casket arrived in Twin Falls, Idaho, and my son’s body was escorted by police, a motorcycle service group, and others to a mortuary near our home in Burley. Many came to watch the procession along this 38-mile route. Farmers left their tractors, stood and saluted from their fields as Curtis’ flag-draped coffin passed by. School buses stopped and the children descended to wave goodbye.

“It was Curtis’ sailor friends who, at the cemetery following taps, took the flag from his coffin, folded it into a perfect blue star-covered triangle and presented it to Curtis’ commanding officer. Salutes were exchanged in the most solemn manner as the flag was passed to him. CDR Beck turned, approached, and knelt before me. As he handed me the flag, he emotionally spoke these words, ‘This flag is presented by a grateful nation. It is an expression of appreciation for the honorable and faithful service rendered by your loved one. Please accept my sincere condolences.’

“That flag is now on prominent and permanent display in my home. Since then, whenever I see our flag being publicly displayed, tears come easily and softly to the surface. I cannot help but think of my Curtis and of his sacrifice. In my heart I say, God bless America. May he and others like him never be forgotten.”

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I am sharing this wonderful story to let you know that I am interviewing a Gold Star mom for my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life. We just connected today. I will keep you posted as to how it went.

To keep on on the progress of the book, you can subscribe to this site by clicking on the subscribe button at the top of this page. When you do that, all future posts will come directly to your inbox.

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How are you doing? Has to wind been getting too strong for you? Do you feel the force of the wind is pulling you down?

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There are over 12,100 fellow veterans subscribe to this site, who have your back.

BUT!

If the wind is just too strong for you, GET HELP!

There is a toll free number to call, 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you. They will not hang up until they know you are OK.

Never face the storm alone!

1-800-273-8255 Option # 1….. for texting 838255

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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Memorial Day can be Very Special, but it Can also cause Bad Memories

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Today is Memorial Day. I want to honor all of our fallen brothers and sisters.

I watched the annual tribute to the fallen military on public Broadcasting last night.

One of the hosts was Gary Sinise. He is one of the huge heroes to all military. He spends hours and hours doing things to help them.

The program had me crying a lot. I usually don’t shed tears, but this was special. They covered all the wars. Many heroes, who spoke. Actors portrayed some of those who had passed on, but had a story to share.

There was one segment that honored nurses in the military. That really broke me up. My brother-in-law’s mother was a nurse in WWII. She was like a second mom to me.

She told me stories on how she held hands of those who were dying. A soldier asked her not to leave, because he didn’t want to die alone. She stayed with him until his last breath. She broke down crying when he passed.

During the Public Broadcast they played taps. That tore me up the most. I get emotional every time I hear it.

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There is a wonderful tribute for the military on YouTube. You search for “Tribute to Veterans.”

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Some articles for Memorial Day

Celebrating Memorial Day over a grill or a pool is one thing, but what about when you’re in the middle of a war? That’s what retired Army Col. Steve Miska experienced when he commanded Task Force Justice in Baghdad in 2007, at the height of sectarian violence during the Iraq War. Not only were Miska and his colleagues mourning the recent loss of their fellow American soldiers, but also the Iraqi interpreters and supporters who helped keep them all alive in a dangerous city. When you’re in the middle of it, remembering those who passed strengthens your resolve to keep fighting, Miska writes.

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“The day will have a few rough spots … we will all get emotional at some point,” an Army veteran told Haley Britzky in this excellent story about what Memorial Day really means to those who’ve served. Believe it or not, the holiday often involves plenty of laughter as well as tears. It will start with a fellow vet leaning over from their lawn chair and telling an old story that starts with ‘Remember that time in Ramadi/COP Najil/Anaconda/Dirty Tampa/Long Bihn…’ and we will laugh our asses off,” the former soldier said.

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How are you feeling on this Memorial Day? Have your memories been good, or do they haunt you?

FEAR NOT!

There are over 12,050 fellow veterans who have subscribed to this site, and they all have your back.

If the memories are getting the best of you. GET HELP!

There is a tool free number to call 24/7.

There are highly qualified counselors there to help you. They will not hang up until they know you are OK.

Never live with bad memories!

1-800-273-8255 Option # 1

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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Drill Sergeants During Basic Training Can be Very Tough

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Military news…

Troops in Canada were going to fire artillery on July 21, 2018. But then they got high.

A Canadian soldier allegedly spiked cupcakes for a group of artillery students with weed, then handed them out before live-fire training. The training was cancelled, as the students “were allegedly unable to properly execute safe weapons and explosive handling drills,” according to court documents.

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A Coast Guardsman totally Hulked out when he helped flip over a burning car to save the people inside shortly after the car crashed in California last July, writes James Clark in this story about real-life superhero Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Gerrod Britton. Shortly after seeing a car lose control and crash on Highway 101, Britton quickly pulled over, worked with a bystander to flip the car off its roof and onto its side, then pull out the people inside “mere seconds before the car was fully engulfed in flames,” according to his award citation.

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“While we have many enemies of this country today who want to see us fall, there’s no greater enemy in my opinion than ourselves,” said America’s newest Medal of Honor recipient, retired Army Col. Ralph Puckett Jr., in a press call with reporters last week. As reported by yours truly in this story, Puckett called for unity in the face of tribalism and selfish Congressmen who put self-interest over their oaths, the Army Ranger said. Those are bold statements from a living Ranger legend whose Medal of Honor recognizes his efforts during a desperate battle against overwhelming enemy forces during the Korean War.

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26,000 troops and half a billion dollars later, the last National Guardsmen have finally left Washington D.C. The final curtain has ended on a mission that began five months ago in response to the Jan. 6 riots on the U.S. Capitol. Before the riot, only 340 unarmed National Guardsmen were deployed to D.C. to help local police with crowd and traffic control ahead of the inauguration of President Joe Biden. But that number grew to 26,000 by Jan. 20 after the riots and dwindled down to 1,600 by Monday, and zero by Wednesday.

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“90% boredom, 10% terror” is how one Air Force navigator describes the essential mission of hurricane hunting. We spoke with Lt. Col. Mark Withee about what it’s like to fly deep into a raging force of nature to collect data and help scientists better predict where a storm will make landfall. A lot of storms are like a long carwash, Withee said, but some make the airplane drop 200 feet in the blink of an eye and make newbies onboard start grabbing for the cargo net just to hang out.

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“It’s not going to change anything,” a soldier and sexual assault survivor Haley Britzky, talked about the Army’s latest efforts to investigate problems in its sexual assault and harassment prevention program. The problems result in mismanaged cases of assault, failure to follow Army regulations, and, in some instances, reports of retaliation again victims. But the leaders in charge of the units that fail to adhere to SHARP guidelines seem to receive only slaps on the wrist in terms of consequences.

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A Marine sergeant in the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion will go to court-martial this summer on charges he dumped several stolen grenades and more than 10,000 rounds of ammunition into a California ravine. The news of Sgt. Gunnar Naughton’s charges comes as at least five other recon Marines are being investigated for stealing explosives and ammunition from a base after one allegedly tried to sell ammo online.

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I had a drill sergeant in basic that was tough as nails. He expected obedience and perfection out of his troops.

I seemed to be one of his main targets. I never did anything wrong, but he got in my face many times in front of the other men. I just yelled, “Yes Sergeant!!”

This went on for most of the basic training. With a couple of weeks to go, he did one final “punishment” for me. He called me outside and had me dig a big hole. He handed me some already smoked cigarettes and said, “Bury them!” I buried them and then he said, “Dig them up again!” I did and he dismissed me.

That was the last thing he did to me. The first of the next week he had me come to his room in the barracks, and said, “I have been pouring on the screaming and yelling on you from day one, and you withstood it all. You obeyed everything I threw at you. Even the excessive KP appointments. You never wavered.”

I felt good about that and then he said, “I am putting your name in for soldier of the month. I also am inviting you to be an honor guard in the upcoming parade.”

I couldn’t help but ask him why he was doing this now. He said, “You turned out to be the most obedient soldier I have ever had. You deserved some pats on the back.”

+This story and many others are in my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the trenches of Life.

Keep checking back for more excerpts and how the book is coming along. Better yet, subscribe to this site by going up to the subscribe button and join more than 12,035 fellow veterans.

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How did your basic training go? Good memories, or not so good?

FEAR NOT!!

There are thousands of fellow veterans on this site who have your back.

But! If the going is just to rough for you right now, GET HELP!

Here is a toll free number to call 24/7.

There are highly qualified counselors there to help you. They will not hang up and until the know you are OK.

Never face the dark side alone!

I 800-273-8255 Option # 1

__________________________________

Remember:

You are never alone

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

___________________________________

+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know about it.