HEROES

February 21, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Posted in General Troop Support | Leave a comment
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Saw this military motivator on  Blackfive and thought I’d Share….

 

HEROES

HEROES

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POTLUCK & TAKING CHANCE MOVIE SCREENING >You’re Invited!

February 20, 2009 at 3:57 pm | Posted in General Troop Support | Leave a comment
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Thanks Sherry Crenshaw Oregon CTL for this Invite! 

All PGR Members and Soldiers Angles are invited to join the American Legion Riders and other Veterans Saturday night at Smith-Renolds American Legion Post 14 for a Pot Luck Dinner and a Movie…. ( TAKING CHANCE ) The address is 4607 NE St James Rd. Van, Wa 98663 Pot Luck: 5:30 – 7:30 PM Movie: Starts at 8:00 PM Sorry this is such a short notice, but we had to slap some big wheels around to put this together.. LOL
 
The movie is about a officer that volunteers to escort a KIA marine home, for the funeral .   See article below for more information on Taking Chance 
 
Taking Chance

Taking Chance

 

TAKING CHANCE >MARK YOUR CALENDARS FEB 21 HBO

February 19, 2009 at 4:11 pm | Posted in General Troop Support | Leave a comment

TAKING CHANCE

U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Michael Strobl          

U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, outside the gates of the Marine base at Quantico, Va., wrote of his journey accompanying home the body of a soldier who had been killed in Iraq. (Tribune photo by Pete Souza)

Chance Phelps was wearing his Saint Christopher medal when he was killed on Good Friday. Eight days later, I handed the medallion to his mother. I didn’t know Chance before he died. Today, I miss him.

Over a year ago, I volunteered to escort the remains of Marines killed in Iraq should the need arise. The military provides a uniformed escort for all casualties to ensure they are delivered safely to the next of kin and are treated with dignity and respect along the way.

Thankfully, I hadn’t been called on to be an escort since Operation Iraqi Freedom began. The first few weeks of April, however, had been a tough month for the Marines. On the Monday after Easter I was reviewing Department of Defense press releases when I saw that a Private First Class Chance Phelps was killed in action outside of Baghdad. The press release listed his hometown–the same town I’m from. I notified our Battalion adjutant and told him that, should the duty to escort PFC Phelps fall to our Battalion, I would take him.

I didn’t hear back the rest of Monday and all day Tuesday until 1800. The Battalion duty NCO called my cell phone and said I needed to be ready to leave for Dover Air Force Base at 1900 in order to escort the remains of PFC Phelps.

Before leaving for Dover I called the major who had the task of informing Phelps’s parents of his death. The major said the funeral was going to be in Dubois, Wyoming. (It turned out that PFC Phelps only lived in my hometown for his senior year of high school.) I had never been to Wyoming and had never heard of Dubois.

With two other escorts from Quantico, I got to Dover AFB at 2330 on Tuesday night. First thing on Wednesday we reported to the mortuary at the base. In the escort lounge there were about half a dozen Army soldiers and about an equal number of Marines waiting to meet up with “their” remains for departure. PFC Phelps was not ready, however, and I was told to come back on Thursday. Now, at Dover with nothing to do and a solemn mission ahead, I began to get depressed.

I was wondering about Chance Phelps. I didn’t know anything about him; not even what he looked like. I wondered about his family and what it would be like to meet them. I did pushups in my room until I couldn’t do any more. On Thursday morning I reported back to the mortuary. This time there was a new group of Army escorts and a couple of the Marines who had been there Wednesday. There was also an Air Force captain there to escort his brother home to San Diego.

We received a brief covering our duties, the proper handling of the remains, the procedures for draping a flag over a casket, and of course, the paperwork attendant to our task. We were shown pictures of the shipping container and told that each one contained, in addition to the casket, a flag. I was given an extra flag since Phelps’s parents were divorced. This way they would each get one. I didn’t like the idea of stuffing the flag into my luggage but I couldn’t see carrying a large flag, folded for presentation to the next of kin, through an airport while in my Alpha uniform. It barely fit into my suitcase.

It turned out that I was the last escort to leave on Thursday. This meant that I repeatedly got to participate in the small ceremonies that mark all departures from the Dover AFB mortuary.

Most of the remains are taken from Dover AFB by hearse to the airport in Philadelphia for air transport to their final destination. When the remains of a service member are loaded onto a hearse and ready to leave the Dover mortuary, there is an announcement made over the building’s intercom system. With the announcement, all service members working at the mortuary, regardless of service branch, stop work and form up along the driveway to render a slow ceremonial salute as the hearse departs.

Escorts also participated in each formation until it was their time to leave. On this day there were some civilian workers doing construction on the mortuary grounds. As each hearse passed, they would stop working and place their hard hats over their hearts. This was my first sign that my mission with PFC Phelps was larger than the Marine Corps and that his family and friends were not grieving alone.

Eventually I was the last escort remaining in the lounge. The Marine Master Gunnery Sergeant in charge of the Marine liaison there came to see me. He had Chance Phelps’s personal effects. He removed each item; a large watch, a wooden cross with a lanyard, two loose dog tags, two dog tags on a chain, and a Saint Christopher medal on a silver chain. Although we had been briefed that we might be carrying some personal effects of the deceased, this set me aback. Holding his personal effects, I was starting to get to know Chance Phelps.

Finally we were ready. I grabbed my bags and went outside. I was somewhat startled when I saw the shipping container, loaded three-quarters of the way in to the back of a black Chevy Suburban that had been modified to carry such cargo. This was the first time I saw my “cargo” and I was surprised at how large the shipping container was. The Master Gunnery Sergeant and I verified that the name on the container was Phelps’s then they pushed him the rest of the way in and we left. Now it was PFC Chance Phelps’s turn to receive the military–and construction workers’–honors. He was finally moving towards home.

As I chatted with the driver on the hour-long trip to Philadelphia, it became clear that he considered it an honor to be able to contribute in getting Chance home. He offered his sympathy to the family. I was glad to finally be moving yet apprehensive about what things would be like at the airport. I didn’t want this package to be treated like ordinary cargo, but I knew that the simple logistics of moving around a box this large would have to overrule my preferences.

When we got to the Northwest Airlines cargo terminal at the Philadelphia airport, the cargo handler and hearse driver pulled the shipping container onto a loading bay while I stood to the side and executed a slow salute.

Once Chance was safely in the cargo area, and I was satisfied that he would be treated with due care and respect, the hearse driver drove me over to the passenger terminal and dropped me off.

As I walked up to the ticketing counter in my uniform, a Northwest employee started to ask me if I knew how to use the automated boarding pass dispenser. Before she could finish another ticketing agent interrupted her.

He told me to go straight to the counter then explained to the woman that I was a military escort. She seemed embarrassed. The woman behind the counter already had tears in her eyes as I was pulling out my government travel voucher. She struggled to find words but managed to express her sympathy for the family and thank me for my service. She upgraded my ticket to first class.

After clearing security, I was met by another Northwest Airline employee at the gate. She told me a representative from cargo would be up to take me down to the tarmac to observe the movement and loading of PFC Phelps. I hadn’t really told any of them what my mission was but they all knew. When the man from the cargo crew met me, he, too, struggled for words.

On the tarmac, he told me stories of his childhood as a military brat and repeatedly told me that he was sorry for my loss. I was starting to understand that, even here in Philadelphia, far away from Chance’s hometown, people were mourning with his family…..

Follow the links for the rest of the story……..

PAGE TWO 

PAGE THREE

OPERATION VALENTINE ACCOMPLISHED

February 16, 2009 at 1:51 am | Posted in General Troop Support | 2 Comments
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Operation Valentine is now complete thanks to many Soldiers’ Angels and their communities, working together to honor our Veterans during National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans Week.    Thank you to all the Angels, Schools, and Communities for your help in bringing  Valentines of Gratitude to our Veterans! 

   

A beautiful trip down to Ft. Lewis for A Special Delivery

A beautiful trip down to Ft. Lewis for A Special Delivery

Three Wonderful Angels At the Warrior Transition Brigade...Sammi, Wanda & Susan

Three Wonderful Angels At the Warrior Transition Brigade...Sammi, Wanda & Susan..standing by just some of the Creations from Washington communities, schools. scouts, and Angels across the State!

A wonderful creation from a student from West Seattle's Madison Middle School

"I want you to know that I appreciate your service."

A Madison Middle School Student's gift of gratitude....

You are my Hero...

A thoughtful gift of gratitude from a student at Madison Middle School

A thoughtful gift of gratitude

A gift of gratitude from a Student at Madison Middle School

"I just want you to know my family honors you and all that you have sacrificed for us."

Shine Bright with All Your Might....words of encouragement and wisdom

Shine Bright with All Your Might....words of encouragement and wisdom

Happy Valentines Day from Cody at Ferndale Mt. View School

Happy Valentines Day!

The Truck from BD&A arrives with all the games! THANK YOU!!

The Truck from BD&A arrives with all the games! THANK YOU!!

Chaplains Assistant Dinkins, John & Tom from BD&A

Chaplain's Assistant Dinkins, John & Tom from BD&A

Chaplains at Work!

Chaplains at Work!

Sue the Energizer Angel hard at Work!

Sue the 'Energizer Angel' hard at Work!

Hard at Work

Hard at Work

 

Soldiers Angels Wanda pitchin in to get the job done.

Soldiers' Angels Wanda pitchin in to get the job done

 

 

Danita from the WTB & John from BD&A gettin it done!

 

Danita from the WTB & John from BD&A gettin it done!
Sammi stacking them up high

Sammi stacking them up high

Danita and some Happy Warriors!

Danita and some Happy Warriors with the donated Games!

 

Getting there...

Getting there..

Games, games and more games !

Games, games and more games !

Happy OT office group with their games

Happy OT office group with their games

He loves his Doctors!

He loves his Doctors!

 

Wanda and another Happy Game Recipient

Wanda and another Happy Game Recipient

Thank You Warriors

 

Thank You to our Warriors

 

The Chaplain presents our Soldiers Angels with special coins from TF Phoenix

The Chaplain presents our Soldiers' Angels with special coins from TF Phoenix

 

Thank you to BD&A Games, John and Tom from the Warehouse, Soldiers’ Angels Susan, Wanda & Sammi, Washington Valentine makers, Danita, Chaplains and Warriors of the WTB for making it a great day! We are so thankful Warriors for your service!

 

 

Valentine Poem for Veterans…… thank you Elda.

February 11, 2009 at 12:39 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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veteransalute

I will not forget…. 

You spilled your blood on distant sands,

Endured enemies on hostile lands,

You held our freedom in your hands,

Yet so many still don’t understand! 

The sacrifice that you have made,

Wounds that never seem to fade,

Painful memories with you stay.

The costly price you had to pay! 

Too many have been laid to rest,

They are among our very best,

Brave soldiers passed the test,

For you, we are so blessed! 

Past and present, young and old,

So many stories left untold,

Your lives, worth more than gold,

May our freedom not be sold! 

Forgotten you will never be,

For this American can see,

The high cost of liberty,

The price you paid for me! 

For in my heart it’s set,

I am in your debt,

Even though we have never met,

I will not forget! 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To all Veterans, written by

Elda Clevenger

Dexter, Oregon

February 10, 2009 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

Wishing you a nice Valentine’s Day 

 

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Valour-IT grant awarded to Soldiers’ Angels

February 10, 2009 at 4:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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For the second time in three yearsSoldiers’ Angels Project Valour-IT</a> has received a grant from the San Antonio Area Foundation (SAAF) through SAAF’s Texas Resources for Iraq-Afghanistan Deployment (TRIAD).

The grant of $210,000 is expected to purchase at least 300 laptops, which will be distributed to wounded veterans at San Antonio’s Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) or living in the surrounding area. The computers will be used for communication, post-military employment preparation and physical and occupational therapy, and will be fitted with adaptive technology from the Department of Defense for severely injured users, including voice-control. As one of the largest treatment facilities for wounded veterans in America, BAMC is a major hub for Project Valour-IT and Soldiers’ Angels works closely with caseworkers there to identify recovering service members in need of a laptop.

Wounded veteran and Valour-IT co-creator Chuck Ziegenfuss knows firsthand the power of Valour-IT. He reported that using a voice-controlled laptop while he recovered was “the first time I felt whole since I’d woken up wounded.”

This is the third SAAF/TRIAD grant for Soldiers’ Angels, forming a growing bond and furthering the reach of Project Valour-IT, which has already distributed 3,000 laptops nationwide. “With the money from this grant we will be able to touch many more heroes who need Valour-IT Laptops,” said Veterans Support team leader, Twyla Choate. “Soldiers’ Angels is thrilled to once again be given the opportunity to help those who have done so much for us.”

In 2007, Valour-IT received a $150,000 grant from TRIAD.  Soldiers’ Angels proudly salutes the work of official volunteer grant writer Cheryl Walker, who wrote both of the TRIAD grant applications for Valour-IT.

Take a Vet to Dinner >2 Hosts Needed

February 8, 2009 at 7:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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         TAKE A VET TO DINNER 

                           

                      Date and time: Saturday February 28th 4pm to 8pm

                               Location:              Masonic Temple

                                       419 Columbia Avenue

                                   Marysville, Washington

 If you are near the Marysville area and can help at this event, we need you!  Soldiers’ Angels has graciously paid for everything..all you need to do is show up, decorate & Host the table.  This would be a lovely opportunity to share a special evening with our Veterans.

Here are the particulars:. The host will provide dinner and dessert plates, utensils, glasses, coffee cups and napkins. Salad plates will not be necessary. Please do not use disposable items. Although the attire is casual the table settings are not. The tables are rectangular and tablecloths will be provided in red, white and blue. The host will also be responsible for removing the table service after the dinner. They may decorate the table, in good taste, as they please to include advertisements for their organization or business. Decorations or advertisements must not restrict cross table conversation.    Bring your spouse or a friend and enjoy!   

If you can help us out with this, please email Julie at soldiersangelswashington@gmail.com asap!



Valentines for Veterans..The First Photos of Community Involvement rolling in! Thanks to all who Participated!

February 7, 2009 at 10:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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               VALENTINES FOR VETERANS

Soldiers Angel Cindi & students made some wonderful Valentines for the Veterans at the Spokane VA. Once the Creations were made she made a connection with Soldiers Angel Jean who will be attending the Ice Cream Social and distributing! Thanks Cindi, Jean & Students for making sure Spokane VA Vets were showered with Love & Appreciation!

Soldiers Angel Cindi & students made some wonderful Valentines for the Veterans at the Spokane VA. Once the Creations were made she connected with Soldiers Angel Jean who will be attending the Ice Cream Social and distributing!Angel Networking at it's best! Thanks Cindi, Jean & Students for making sure Spokane VA Vets were showered with Love & Appreciation!

More  Beautiful Creations!

More Beautiful Creations!

The AMAZING CREATIONS CONTINUE..........

The AMAZING CREATIONS CONTINUE..........

 

 

Makes your Heart Sing doesn't it? Thank you Students!!

Makes your Heart Sing doesn't it? Thank you Students!!

 

 

valentinesforvets4

 

 

 

2 of 50 from West Seattle's Mindy!     

West Seattle Mindy's Home Made Cards

West Seattle Mindy's Home Made Cards

West Seattle Mindy’s Home Made Cards Home Made Valentines from Mindy (West Seattle)

             ANGELS VISIT VETERANS AT AMERICAN LAKE 

 

Beautiful cards made by the Angels for American Lake Veterans

Beautiful cards made by the Angels for American Lake Veterans

 

All decorated for Lunch

All decorated for Lunch

 

 

The Star of the Day :)

The Star of the Day 🙂

 

The Very Positive, Caring and Welcoming Director James Melton

The Very Positive, Caring and Welcoming Director James Melton

 

More beautiful Creations

More beautiful Creations

Free Flower Giveaway for Military

February 2, 2009 at 12:37 am | Posted in General Troop Support | 2 Comments
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CJ over of A Soldiers’ Perspective  posted about a special flower giveaway on the  You Served Blog ..go have a look and enter a Soldier or Spouse you feel would enjoy this gift! 

 


ProFlowers.com and eMailOurMilitary.com have teamed up with me for an awesome offer. They want to thank our troops for the tremendous work they do on a daily basis and have come to me and a select few other milbloggers for help getting this out. They don’t want big productions, just to say thanks.

To say thanks, Proflowers.com has given me FIVE free $70 gift certificates to give away as I see fit. So, here’s how I’m going to work it. If you know a Soldier or Spouse that deserves free flowers, send me an essay on why you think that person deserves to win one of these e-gift certificates. Now, I know ALL military family members deserve free flowers, but I can’t give them to everyone. The essay should no more than 250 words. From all the essays I receive, I will post the top ten (without names) for voting. In addition to this offer, I will have a special gift for EVERY entry I receive. Send all entries to cj@soldiersperspective.us

Remember, that Proflowers.com is more than just flowers. The winning troops can use the e-gift certificates to purchase flowers, fruit baskets, spa treatments and the many other items that the website offers. So, this is a great gift for both males and females. I will send the winners a gift code that can be applied immediately and in time for a Valentine’s Day delivery.

Feel free to send this to as many people as you feel like and post on your blogs as well. The cut-off for submissions is 6 Feb, with winners being announced on 9 Feb – in time for Valentine’s Day.

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