The Wonderful Red, White, and Blue

October 11, 2010

Our country has been blessed with many beautiful things. The Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon, The Washington Monument, blue skies, green fields, and the most gorgeous of all, the flag of the United States of America.

You see, before Tyler’s passing, the flag was just there. It was a combination of red, white, and blue that flew to symbolize our country. I didn’t think much of it.

But after September 12, 2009, I saw the flag in a different light. It became one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen. I suddenly loved the combination of red, white, and blue more than I ever had before. I loved 13 stripes representing the 13 original colonies, and I loved how the 50 starts stood for the 50 states.

Another thing that makes the flag special is that it represents freedom and liberty, two very important things that very few countries have the luxury of. In America, we have freedoms like freedom of speech, the press, religion, and the freedom to assemble peacefully. In some countries, you are only allowed to believe certain things, and if you are caught practicing a religion that the government does not approve of, you are sent to jail. That is just one way to show how America is one of the greatest countries on Earth, and the flag helps represents that.

To me the flag also represents all of the people who have ever fought for our country. It represents Tyler. When I see it, I think of Tyler and of his homecoming and funeral. Believe it or not, but I have caught myself tearing up when looking at the beautiful flag a few times. When I see it, I can’t help but think about how beautiful it is. One of my favorite things to see is the flag swaying in the wind. Thanks to Tyler, the flag now holds a special place in my heart.

What does the flag of the United States of America mean to you? Before you answer that, I want you to think about some stuff. What do you think the flag means to the soldiers? Soldiers who put their lives on the line for what the flag stands for. What do you think the flag means to a gold star mother as she mourns the loss of her child due to war? What does the flag mean to a child who lost their firefighter parent on 9-11? For anyone who lost a loved one on 9-11, what do you think the flag means to them?

At my house, we fly our flag in memory of Tyler and for ALL that the flag represents: all the men and women who have put their lives on the line for our freedoms, including the freedom to fly our country’s flag. Show your patriotism by flying your flag.

Until my next blog,
Young Patriot

Number of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom casualties as confirmed by U.S. Central Command: 5718

Terry L. Gould

October 5, 2010

I would like to invite everyone to read…. “How can you mend this Purple Heart” written by Terry L. Gould. Terry is a “friend” on this site. This book has made me cry, laugh, angry, contemplative…just many emotions. It is a book on men who were injured and shared their Honest, gut wrenching experience of hospital healing.

I cannot tell you how much you will love this book!

Terry Gould was born in Akron, Ohio and spent his childhood in rural towns across Missouri before joining the Navy in 1968. Following a thirty-year career in business, Terry finally had the opportunity to write the story that haunted him for more than forty years. Through his story, How Can You Mend This Purple Heart, Terry hopes to inspire all Americans to recognize and honor the veterans of all wars; but especially the veterans of the Vietnam War. For they truly deserve recognition, an unconditional recognition so long overdue, for their love of country, their commitment to duty and their unselfish sacrifices at a time when it was shamefully unappreciated.

Sandra Miller Linhart

October 5, 2010

Do you have children who have parents, grandparents, friends that are currently deployed and they don’t quite know what to make of it or you don’t know what to say? I have had the opportunity to meet Sandra Miller Linhart and she has written these children’s books that are truly gifts to families, the words, the graphics. We encourage everyone to visit Sandra’s website at

CRSC - Combat Related Special Compensation

September 28, 2010

Hello Everyone,

Just wanted to put out a quick note for all. If you’re a 20 year or more combat retiree, or a chapter 61, medical board combat retired veteran with less than 20 years service you need to check into CRSC – Combat Related Special Compensation.

This program is set up to allow combat veterans who meet the criteria, to receive their military retirement pay AND their VA disability pay without offset. For some veterans, this means you get to draw BOTH your retirement pay AND your VA disability.

Combat Related Special Compensation eligibility includes disabilities inclurred as a direct result of:

1. Armed conflict (gunshot wounds, Purple Hearts)
2. Training that simulates war ( exercises, field training)
3. Hazardous Duty (flight, diving, parachute duty)
4. An instrumentality of War (combat vehicles, weapons, agent orange)

I highly recommend that you either Google thru the internet CRSC for additional information, or speak to your Service Officer for additional questions on this program.

Have a good one.


Absentee Voting Week

September 28, 2010

The Department of Defense (DoD) announced today Absentee Voting Week from Sept. 27 to Oct. 4.  The week will encourage all citizens voting under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act who have not received their absentee ballot to go to  to fill it out as soon as possible.

Commanders and voting assistance officers will use this week to emphasize the importance of filling out and returning the absentee ballot.  They will also educate eligible personnel on how to use the new online tools to fill out their absentee ballot, plus encourage the use of emailing and faxing as an alternative to sending the voted ballot to local election officials where allowed.

“We encourage all military personnel, their family members, and overseas citizens to exercise their right to vote,” said Clifford Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.  “We strongly recommend they complete and mail their absentee ballots immediately, so they are received by local election officials in time to be counted for the November general election.  Make your vote count.”

The Federal Assistance Voting Program is responsible for making the absentee voting process easier and more efficient.  One of their new initiatives is to provide military members, their families and overseas voters electronic alternatives to requesting, receiving or returning their ballots.  If someone has not received their state absentee ballot, it is not too late.

“This year, the states and FVAP launched new online products that make completing absentees ballots much easier.  In many cases voters can request their ballot, fill it out and mail or fax it back in 10 to 15 minutes,” said Stanley.  “When I was a junior officer, this process could take 30 to 40 days.  The new online tools have remarkably reduced the wait time.  Go to to fill out your state ballot or the federal write-in absentee ballot online and send it, today.”

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