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.”


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.

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You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!


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God has Performed a Miracle

Free Books Given Away at Workshop

I wanted to update you on the progress of my book getting published. It looks like it may come out sooner than thought. I will try to give you a publishing date as soon as I know it.

I will be doing a workshop in Asheville, NC on April 21st. If you are going to the NEA-R Eastern Regional Teacher’s Conference there, I hope you will take the workshop. I have lots of goodies to give away.

I have to tell you that God worked all this trip out for me. I am just a local farm boy/retired teacher from Salem, Oregon who happens to have a book coming out on how to survive in the not so friendly world.

The title: “Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World, is very timely. The word “hope” is a buzz word right now. People are seeking hope.

The fact that I was chosen from Oregon to do a workshop clear across the nation in North Carolina, is nothing short of a miracle.

NEA In Washington D.C. found out from my local Uniserv consultant, that I had written a book. That happened to be exactly what they were looking for.

They contacted me and invited me to do the workshop. They are paying the air, room, and food. (I could get used to this!)

My publisher is providing five books to give away during the workshop. There will even be a pre order form for the attendees to order the book before it even comes out. (YAHOO!)

The contact person told me that there was a limit of 50 people allowed to sign up for the workshop, and it is already full. They are allowing some standing room only people to come to the workshop.

So, this little ole retired teacher/author will have an open gate to plug my book and sell some books in an all expense paid trip to Asheville, NC. Can’t beat that.

The cover design is finished and I am very pleased. It has a picture of a man at the ocean holding out his hands to the skies and looking for hope.

The back cover is waiting for the publicity designer to OK. It is a very precise and explosive message to those who are hurting.

I will have business cards and post cards done before my trip to North Carolina, so I will have those to hand out as well.

My publisher will also provide handouts for the workshop to make it a very good experience for all of the attendees.

Keep checking here for more updates. It will a fun ride from now on. Things are rolling very fast!!