Archive for the Remembrance Category

Adventures in Arkansas

I really should have sat down and written last night when I had things to say. Or at least made a note of what I wanted to write about like I suggested to Petra. Haha! But in my defense, I was sick as a dog from the flight back from Arkansas. But Enterprise hooked me up with a sweet rental car:

I almost didn’t make that trip. I really didn’t want to. I didn’t want to face my mom’s health issues because avoidance is my default action (or inaction as it were) when I can’t practice full on denial. But I plucked up the courage to do it anyway. Oh my word. Her short term memory is completely gone. She had a stroke while she was in the hospital recovering from pneumonia (and she has COPD), and while the memory issues could be attributed to Alzheimer’s, her inability to say the right words is not something she had prior. It was hard. Hard to listen to and watch her struggle to get out what she wanted to say, and hard to figure out what she meant. But she gets around fine, and I wore her out! Because that’s how I roll. ;) She’s in the nursing home for rehabilitation, and they let me check her out and run her around.

I took her to the Veteran’s Walk of Flags by the hospital first. We did not walk the whole thing.

But my cousin Sharon was interviewed later that day while she was there:

Flags Flying for Veterans In Morrilton Today

It is such a beautiful and humbling display, and I feel honored that I now have a flag among so many others. I am so very grateful to Sharon for making sure all the Eoff family veterans got flags.

Then we went out to the Bishop family reunion and I didn’t take a single picture of any of my family. :( I did take one down at the creek:

Because the reunion isn’t just complete without a walk down to the creek. It was the thing to do when I was a kid, and it still is at 44. Not that I got off the bridge because the possibility of falling and getting wet doesn’t appeal to me anymore. Mainly because I didn’t want my phone ruined. haha! But I had a great time, and didn’t get glutened. Mom seemed to know everybody and that was great! I had a good talk with my sister-in-law even if it was short and kept semi on the down low given what I shared with her. And throughout the weekend I got to have really good visits with family and a couple old friends and my mom’s neighbor. And then after I dropped Mom off Saturday night and left the nursing home, I drove around town and bawled.

Now, I don’t like to fly, and have been terrified of flying since 1999. So as I drove up to RDU to leave, I thought I would try a little something different than I normally do. See, normally the DragonLady doesn’t get on a plane sober. Granted, last summer I flew sober, but I was a wreck the whole time. This time, drinking wasn’t an option I was willing to entertain so I prayed and asked God to remove my fear of flying. You know, it worked. I was not at all scared coming or going. Even with the turbulence and thunderstorms around Charlotte. And no, I didn’t ask God to give me a good rental car. That was pure bonus. hahaha!

Maniacal Monday #23

I had one of the best and most exhausting weekends in a while. Seriously, 7pm last night, I crashed. It was great. Ok, it was mostly great. There was a lot of yelling when I got home Friday. I even fired James. “I know now I was suffering from pre-menstrual syndrome.” – Truvy Jones. And on that note, I put on my black yoga pants Saturday afternoon, and those things are always covered with lint, fuzz, and hair. My hair, dog hair, and cat hair. Because we all shed. I immediately thought of that scene in Steel Magnolias when Truvy hires Annelle and Annelle tells Truvy she has “tiny little hairs and fuzzies” all over her. Truvy’s response was “There’s so much static electricity in this room, I pick up everything but boys and money.” I tweeted that, because it’s how I roll, and then I went to the store with hair and fuzz all over my black yoga pants. Because that’s also how I roll. My tweets also publish to my Facebook, and thus began the quote-fest. Petra dropped a quote, and we went back and forth for hours while she did photo editing and I graded. I’ve seen that movie way too many times. I’m sure I saw it every day for my last 6 weeks in Kuwait back in ’97. I know that when Lisa and I sat in the chow hall one day with the major, and Steel Magnolias was playing, we were quoting line by line with the movie. And the major looked at us and said, “You guys have been here too long.” Fun times. :)

I got up Saturday morning and went to Raleigh to run the 2nd annual Run to Reclaim 5k. It was 30F when the hubs and I left the house. I kept reminding myself that the Anderson Creek 10k earlier this year was a lot colder. Anyway, I caught a fantastic shot of the sunrise over Jordan Lake on the way.

It had been at least 6 weeks since I last ran, so I was totally amazed to finish in under 37 min. My official chip time was 36:42. I combined runs, and so this was also my Dynamic Duel Canada vs USA Virtual 5k run. And if you haven’t, go sign up and do it!! Especially if you are from the states. Because I think I saw an update on FB where Canada had come from behind and was winning. Not that there are any losers in this one as it supports the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. :) Here’s my “finish” photo with the awesome shirt I got from the Run to Reclaim 5k. Because I just love the florescent yellow. ;)

photo(2)

And then I got on my bike and rode 9.69 miles. Which is just crazy. But I only had to stop twice going up the hill-to-be-conquered this time. And one of those I was all bent over my bike trying to catch my breath and not puke in someone’s driveway…while there was someone in the yard.

Grading. That was the other low point of the weekend. Chad bombed 2 of the 3 tests he took last week, and didn’t finish all of his work that he said he finished. :headbang:

I spent nearly all day at church yesterday because I was on schedule to play with the worship team. I’m pretty sure I screwed up the chords on every single song, but especially the last one. I even had the chords written and taped to my guitar and couldn’t get them right. But it was still fun. And I have a cool story. So there we were during the second service after the sermon. Pastor Nate was leading us in prayer before we watched a special video from Pastor Benji. My head is bowed; my eyes are closed. I heard this noise start up, and I wondered what it was. I kept mentally going through everything on stage that could be making it and finally thought maybe Shawn turned on the fan. Then it seemed to be just a bit louder and it started to dawn on me what that noise was and as I opened my eyes and started to raise my head back up, I heard a step from across the stage which was Rodney about to come warn me of the projector screen that I could now see was about to come down on my head. Hilarity then ensued as I quickly tucked and rolled. Ok, I just ducked and moved back. It was funny. Heidi was in the same boat, but she was by Rodney, and not as tall as me, so she had a tad bit more warning. Again I want to say how much I enjoy being part of the C.O.R.E. Worship Team!

Now let me tell you about lunch. The hubs fixed me a gluten free hamburger helperish thing for lunch yesterday, and when we got done with it there really wasn’t enough for my lunch today. So he said he would fix me sweet potato home fries which are awesome! Anyway, when I packed up my lunch this morning, in addition to the sweet potatoes, there was a small container of deviled eggs. Score! And, there was ham underneath the sweet potatoes. Like Christmas in November.

I was singing this the other day grading Jamie’s work:

And I will wrap this us with a huge THANK YOU to all of our veterans today and for those still serving. There are too many friends, family, and co-workers for me to name, but I am partial first to my husband, my extended family and my husband’s family, and then to those I served with in the 3rd Combat Communication Group, Al Jaber Air Base, Kuwait, and the JAC & 423rd ABS in the UK.

All gave some. Some gave all.

Remembering

I’m not going to write out a big long post about 9/11. While I still remember the events as if it happened yesterday, I’m not going to rehash it. 5 years ago I reposted a post I had written 2 or 3 years before. 9/11-Repost But I don’t really feel the same anymore. I’m not so angry anymore. Maybe I should be, but I’m just tired of being angry. I still grieve for the innocent lives lost. And I grieve for the men who took those lives believing a lie that they would go to paradise.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

:usflag:

All the Earth

Remembering

This is a repost from last year, which was pretty much a repost from the year before. I haven’t received anything via email this year that tops this. I will add this though, the below cemeteries are identified as being just in Europe, but there are more than just the European cemeteries. Additionally, these are just U.S. troops, and (I think) just from WWII. But even if they span both World Wars, it wasn’t just U.S. troops who gave their lives. We had many allies who fought for freedom too. Those we fought paid the ultimate price also, and even if they were on the wrong side, they weren’t all volunteers (any more than all of ours were back then), and many of them also left behind families and friends. I have heard many times that Memorial Day began because of Confederate women who not only decorated Confederate graves, but Union also. One side in war wins, but both sides lose.

In alphabetical order, just Europe …..

1. The American Cemetery at Aisne-Marne, France. A total of 2289 of our military dead.

aisne-marne

2. The American Cemetery at Ardennes, Belgium. A total of 5329 of our dead.

We are arrogant.

ardennes

3. The American Cemetery at Brittany, France. A total of 4410 of our military dead.

Excuse us.

brittany

4. Brookwood, England American Cemetery. A total of 468 of our dead.

brookwood

5. Cambridge, England. 3812 of our military dead.

cambridge

6. Epinal , France American Cemetery. A total of 5525 of our Military dead.

epinal

7. Flanders Field, Belgium. A total of 368 of our military.

flandersfield

8. Florence, Italy. A total of 4402 of our military dead.

florence

9. Henri-Chapelle, Belgium. A total of 7992 of our military dead.

henri-chapelle

10. Lorraine, France. A total of 10,489 of our military dead.

lorraine

11. Luxembourg, Luxembourg. A total of 5076 of our military dead.

luxembourg

12. Meuse-Argonne. A total of 14246 of our military dead.

meuse-argonne

13. Netherlands, Netherlands. A total of 8301 of our military dead.

netherlands

14. Normandy, France. A total of 9387 of our military dead.

normandy

15. Oise-Aisne, France. A total of 6012 of our military dead.

oise-aisne

16. Rhone, France. A total of 861 of our military dead.

rhone

17. Sicily, Italy. A total of 7861 of our military dead.

sicily

18. Somme, France. A total of 1844 of our military dead.

somme

19. St. Mihiel, France. A total of 4153 of our military dead.

stmhiel

20. Suresnes, France. a total of 1541 of our military dead.

suresnes

IF I ADDED CORRECTLY THE COUNT IS 104,366

Remind those of our sacrifice and don’t confuse arrogance with leadership

The unit to which I was assigned during my time in England held Memorial Day services annually at Madingly American Cemetery near Cambridge. That’s #5 on this list. I only attended one during my last year active duty, and it was a humbling experience.

John 15:13 (King James Version)

13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Never forget.

All photos from American Battle Monuments Commission.

Oh, Happy Day!

Tim Hughes – Happy Day from Ro marin on Vimeo.

Happy Easter!

Memorial Day

This is pretty much a repost from last year. I haven’t received anything via email this year that tops this. I will add this though, the below cemeteries are identified as being just in Europe, but there are more than just the European cemeteries. Additionally, these are just U.S. troops, and (I think) just from WWII. But even if they span both World Wars, it wasn’t just U.S. troops who gave their lives. We had many allies who fought for freedom too. Those we fought paid the ultimate price also, and even if they were on the wrong side, they weren’t all volunteers (any more than all of ours were back then), and many of them also left behind families and friends. I have heard many times that Memorial Day began because of Confederate women who not only decorated Confederate graves, but Union also. One side in war wins, but both sides lose.

In alphabetical order, just Europe …..

1. The American Cemetery at Aisne-Marne, France. A total of 2289 of our military dead.

aisne-marne

2. The American Cemetery at Ardennes, Belgium. A total of 5329 of our dead.

We are arrogant.

ardennes

3. The American Cemetery at Brittany, France. A total of 4410 of our military dead.

Excuse us.

brittany

4. Brookwood, England American Cemetery. A total of 468 of our dead.

brookwood

5. Cambridge, England. 3812 of our military dead.

cambridge

6. Epinal , France American Cemetery. A total of 5525 of our Military dead.

epinal

7. Flanders Field, Belgium. A total of 368 of our military.

flandersfield

8. Florence, Italy. A total of 4402 of our military dead.

florence

9. Henri-Chapelle, Belgium. A total of 7992 of our military dead.

henri-chapelle

10. Lorraine, France. A total of 10,489 of our military dead.

lorraine

11. Luxembourg, Luxembourg. A total of 5076 of our military dead.

luxembourg

12. Meuse-Argonne. A total of 14246 of our military dead.

meuse-argonne

13. Netherlands, Netherlands. A total of 8301 of our military dead.

netherlands

14. Normandy, France. A total of 9387 of our military dead.

normandy

15. Oise-Aisne, France. A total of 6012 of our military dead.

oise-aisne

16. Rhone, France. A total of 861 of our military dead.

rhone

17. Sicily, Italy. A total of 7861 of our military dead.

sicily

18. Somme, France. A total of 1844 of our military dead.

somme

19. St. Mihiel, France. A total of 4153 of our military dead.

stmhiel

20. Suresnes, France. a total of 1541 of our military dead.

suresnes

IF I ADDED CORRECTLY THE COUNT IS 104,366

Remind those of our sacrifice and don’t confuse arrogance with leadership

The unit to which I was assigned during my time in England held Memorial Day services annually at Madingly American Cemetery near Cambridge. That’s #5 on this list. I only attended one during my last year active duty, and it was a humbling experience.

John 15:13 (King James Version)

13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Never forget.

All photos from American Battle Monuments Commission.

15 years ago today

I was in AF Tech School with orders to Tinker AFB near (as in a suburb town away) Oklahoma City. The hubby was in Biloxi visiting me the week that the Murrah Building was bombed, and was the one who told me about it as he met me for lunch after my classes were over that day. Later, after we were at Tinker, he joined the Army Reserves and one of his senior NCO’s was in the Murrah Building the morning of April 15, 1995 when the truck bomb was detonated. She was injured, but though her physical injuries lingered to an extent, I suspect the emotional toll was much greater. She did not talk about it. There was a young lady in the 32nd CCS (my orders were for the 32nd, but that was changed to the 31st before I arrived) had gone to the Murrah Building that morning also. She had just gotten married, and went to the building to get her name changed on her Social Security card. She did not survive, and many of the friends I later made that knew her continue to mourn such a senseless death.

He’s Alive

9/11 – Repost

Originally posted 9/11/2005

It was a nice day, and even sunny. Several of us went to the annual Technology Expo at the gym, mainly to pick up neat toys for the office. As I did everyday back then, I went to the gym that afternoon to work out as there was no way I was going to buy new uniforms when I had less than a year before I could start terminal leave. I would get there about 1:45PM, so I would have just enough time to change clothes before Dave began cleaning the women’s locker room at 2, and then would be finished with my workout about the time he got finished. It was Tuesday, and that was elliptical day. As I came down the stairs, I saw a towel on the good elliptical machine. As I walked in the room, I saw the towel’s owner in front of the TV. He turned to me and said “A plane just hit the World Trade Center.” I said something like “Oh wow. Those poor people.” Got on the bad elliptical and started my workout. So now he gets on the good one and starts his workout. So there we are watching an interview with a witness when I notice a plane in the backgroud which seemed to disappear behind the towers. I thought “What the ___?” (I don’t remember exactly which 4 letter profanity it was.) Then it started to hit me that there was an explosion about the time the plane disappeared. Now the reporter notices and reports that a second plane just hit the other tower. As the sickening feeling started, the guys next to me said “It’s terrorists.” I started yelling at the TV (as if it would help) “Get the ____ planes out of the air!” Again I don’t remember what profanity spewed within that statement. This was followed by the big picture sinking in with the thought “Well that’s it. I’m gonna be stop-lossed.” I went ahead and completed my workout on the cross-trainer, but opted not to do the additional weights that I normally did. I changed and headed back to the office. Everyone was standing in front of the TV when I topped the stairs and I was informed that another plane had crashed into the Pentagon. At this point we all know the THREATCON level was about to go up significantly and that we might be at work for a while that night. I called home to tell James to pick up the kids from daycare as I didn’t know when we would get released. He had no idea what was going on. I said, “Turn on CNN.” I was on the phone with him when the first tower collapsed. At some point, the smokers headed outside, and I followed because I really wanted a cigarette bad. I didn’t smoke one thanks to Heidi. She wouldn’t give me one of hers and threatened serious bodily harm to anyone who would dare to give me one. I was pretty pissed at her for about a minute or two, but since then I have always been grateful that kept me from falling off the wagon that day. I don’t remember when we finally got released, but there was a line of us heading back to Alconbury together on the back road. Just past the poop farm and just before the woods, I started crying. I had composed myself by the time we got to Alconbury village, but was still a wreck when we got to RAF Alconbury. I noticed as I sat in line at the gate that I wasn’t the only one that cried on the way home as some still were. There would be little sleep that night. Every time I heard one of the fighter jets fly over, and that was all that was flying that night, I would go on personal alert wondering if it was really one of ours or if a big plane was going to obliterate base housing.

The next day, 2 or 3 of us walked to the shoppette at lunch. On this day, which again was sunny, I had been in the UK for right at 2 ½ years. At no point prior to that day had it ever been as quiet. It was like we were the only people in existence.

I wrote this originally a year ago, or maybe two. I forget exactly when. What I don’t forget, is 11 Sep 2001. I still remember the events of that day as if it were yesterday. I remember that night chatting on AIM with Brenda who was at work in Arkansas. She called my mom while we were chatting to let her know we were all ok.

When I headed home at the end of the day on the 12th, I noticed something different outside the gate. See, there is a fighter jet on display just outside the gate, though the airfield is closed. The local Brits had come by throughout the day leaving flowers by the plane for us. There were LOTS of flowers there. I can still see those flowers, though they are long since gone, and I still cry. I still see that second plane, and I still cry. I still see the towers fall, and I still cry.

But I’m still angry. I’m still angry at the bastards who hijacked the planes. I’m still angry at everyone in the Middle East who danced in the streets rejoicing that America was suffering. I’m angry at all the damn political correctness the bleeding hearts of this country still hang on to thinking it will save them from the boogeyman.

9-11-2009: I was going to add more, but I will let it stand as is for now.

But I will never forget. Ever.