31 October 2006

Wanna Fight?

Then join the Marine Valour-IT blogging team.

We're blogging to raise money for Project Valour-IT which provides laptop computers to our Wounded Warriors recovering in military hospitals.

If you don't blog, please pass the word to your friends, community groups, colleagues, and your company. Soldiers' Angels is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so donations to the project may be tax deductible and eligible for employer matching funds.

You can donate via the PayPal button at the right or by sending a check to:

Soldiers Angels
Valour-IT Marine Fund
1792 E. Washington Blvd
Pasadena, Ca 91104

Thank you and Semper Fi!

The is a (more or less) friendly competition amongst the service branches to raise funds, but laptops are of course awarded to all wounded service members who qualify regardless of branch.

Your Marine Cpl Christopher Trevino

"When I saw those kids I'd see my kids. And it made me want to help more."

Chris' mom Rose sent me the link to this story the other day.

"It came from nowhere," he said. "I remember reaching over to grab the water, maybe not even a foot onto the bridge and hearing a loud bang, almost like an amplified shotgun blast... "

The blast flipped the vehicle upside down, pinning Trevino and filling the cabin with white smoke from an electrical fire. It could have been a lot worse if the group's corpsman hadn't "done his Incredible Hulk thing," Trevino said. The corpsman kicked open a door, giving room for him and the radioman to scramble to their feet and pull Trevino and his lieutenant out.

Trevino called his wife, Crystal, a couple of days later to say he was OK, but X-rays soon found the C-7 vertebrae is his neck was fractured and pressing dangerously on an artery. He was flown to a hospital in Germany, and finally returned home last week.
( ... )
To him, Iraq is a country of good and bad, of innocent children and terrorist insurgents, of people who welcome Americans and those who don't.

Iraqi children "are there in 120-degree-plus weather - no shoes, little clothing. My kids are back here. They have shoes, socks, the whole outfit. They have heat and A/C. They can go get a cold drink if they want to.

"If we can help (Iraqis) so those kids can have a better life, then I'm all for it."

Chris and his mom, Rose.

I wanted to relate a huge thank you to the staff and personnel at Landstuhl as hearing my son say, "Mom don't worry - I'm getting great medical care" gave me a smile at a time I was panicked. I don't know if you can in any way relate this message to the hospital but if you can would you please for me. You can't imagine the relief I felt in knowing my son was in good hands.
Forever grateful to you,

Rose Trevino

Turns out Rose dressed Chris as a Marine for Halloween one year when he was a kid and her husband "blames" her to this day for his choice of career ;-)

Chris is back home and doing well. The doctors expect him to fully recover within six to nine months.

Semper Gratus Chris and Family!

30 October 2006

This is for...

John, Matt & Jim, and Curt.

* * *


"I, (State your name), swear to sign away 4 years of my life to the UNITED STATES AIR FORCE because I know I couldn't hack it in the Army, because the Marines frighten me, and because I am afraid of water over waist-deep. I swear to sit behind a desk. I also swear not to do any form of real exercise, but promise to defend our bike riding test as a valid form of exercise. I promise to walk around calling everyone by their first name because I find it amusing to annoy the other services.

I will have a better quality of life than those around me and will, at all times, be sure to make them aware of that fact. After completion of "Basic Training", I will be a lean, mean, donut-eating, Lazy-Boy sitting, civilian-wearing-blue-clothes, Chair-borne Ranger. I will believe I am superior to all others and will make an effort to clean the knife before stabbing the next person in the back. I will annoy those around me, and will go home early every day. So Help Me God!"

______________________ Signature ______________________ Date

* * *


"I, Rambo, swear to sign away 4 years of my mediocre life to the UNITED STATES ARMY because I couldn't score high enough on the ASVAB to get into the Air Force, I'm not tough enough for the Marines, and the Navy won't take me because I can't swim. I will wear camouflage every day and tuck my trousers into my boots because I can't figure out how to use blousing straps. I promise to wear my uniform 24 hours a day even when I have a date.

I will continue to tell myself that I am a fierce killing machine because my Drill Sergeant told me I am, despite the fact that the only action I will see is a court-martial for sexual harassment. I acknowledge the fact that I will make E-8 in my first year of service, and vow to maintain that it is because I scored perfect on my PT test. After completion of my "Basic Training" I will attend a different Army school every other month and return knowing less than I did when I left. On my first trip home after Boot Camp, I will walk around like I am cool and propose to my 9th grade sweetheart. I will make my wife stay home because if I let her out she might leave me for a better-looking Air Force guy.

While at work I will maintain a look of knowledge while getting absolutely nothing accomplished. I will arrive to work every day at 1000 hrs because of morning PT and leave everyday at 1300 to report back to "COMPANY." So Help Me God!"

______________________ Signature ______________________ Date

* * *


"I, Top Gun, in lieu of going to prison, swear to sign away 4 years of my life to the UNITED STATES NAVY, because I want to hang out with Marines without actually having to BE one of them, because I thought the Air Force was too "corporate," because I didn't want to actually live in dirt like the Army, and because I thought, "Hey, I like to swim... why not?" I promise to wear clothes that went out of style in 1976 and to have my name stenciled on the butt of every pair of pants I own. I understand that I will be mistaken for the Good Humor Man during summer, and for Nazi Waffen SS during the winter. I will strive to use a different language than the rest of the English-speaking world, using words like "deck, bulkhead, cover, geedunk, scuttlebutt, scuttle and head," when I really mean "floor, wall, hat, candy, water fountain, hole in wall and toilet."

"I will take great pride in the fact that all Navy acronyms, rank, and insignia, and everything else for that matter, are completely different from the other services and make absolutely no sense whatsoever. I will muster, whatever that is, at 0700 every morning unless I am buddy-buddy with the Chief, in which case I will show up around 0930. I vow to hone my coffee cup-handling skills to the point that I can stand up in a kayak being tossed around in a typhoon, and still not spill a drop. I consent to being promoted and subsequently busted at least twice per fiscal year. I realize that, once selected for Chief, I am required to submit myself to the sick, and quite possibly illegal, whims of my newfound "colleagues." So Help Me Neptune!"

______________________ Signature ______________________ Date

* * *


"I, (pick a name the police won't recognize), swear.. uhhhh.... high- and-tight.... grunt... cammies.... kill.... fix bayonets.... charge.... slash.... dig.... burn.... blowup.... ugh... Air Force women.... beer..... sailors wives..... air strikes.... yes, SIR!.... whiskey.... liberty call.... salute.... Ooorah Gunny.... grenades... women.... OORAH! So Help Me Chesty PULLER!"

X____________________ Thumb Print

XX __________________ Teeth Marks

_____________________ Date

With best regards from Project Valour-IT Marine blogging team:

Villainous Company *Team Leader*
Fuzzilicious Thinking
Something... and Half of Something
CatHouse Chat
A Swift Kick & A Band-Aid
A Blog For All
When the Smoke Clears
Soldiers' Angels Germany
PC Free Zone
Flopping Aces
Straight White Guy
The Gun Line
Grim's Hall
Firm Ground
MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
Drunken Wisdom
Lightning From The Sky
Cao's blog
Semper Gratus!
Iraq War Today
Soldiers Angel - Holly Aho
Galactically Stupid

Second Valour-IT Blogging Fundraiser Competition Begins!

Today marks the start of the second Valour-IT Blogging Fundraiser Competition, which will continue until Veteran's Day. The "competition" is between blogging teams representing 4 service branches, Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines to raise a total of $180,000 for Valour-IT.

All donations go into one fund and will of course be used for members of all service branches.

Readers of this blog are familiar with Soldiers' Angels Project Valour-IT.

The goal is to provide voice-controlled software and laptop computers to wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand and arm injuries or amputations at major military medical centers in the United States and Germany.

Soldiers' Angels Germany is again a member Marine Valour-IT blogging team, this year headed up by Cassandra of Villainnous Company (thanks, Cassandra!)

You can donate via the PayPal button on the right, or by sending a check to:

Soldiers Angels
Valour-IT Marine Fund
1792 E. Washington Blvd
Pasadena, Ca 91104

Please note "Marine Valour-IT Team" on your check so we get credit for your donation, because we want to WIN this thing!

Thank you and Semper Fi!

German-Based 54th Engineer Battalion Returns Home from Ramadi

The 54th Engineer Battalion has come home.

While most units spend their time in Iraq staying as far as possible from roadside bombs, the 54th spent a year actively seeking them out.

And they found them. More than 1,000 of them, said Command Sgt. Maj. Terry L. Defenbaugh, the battalion’s sergeant major.

Rolling up and down the streets of Ramadi and the volatile Anbar province, performing most of their missions at night, the 54th “provided freedom of maneuver for I Marine Expeditionary Force” and other elements in Multi-National Force-West, Defenbaugh said.

“We were extremely successful. I don’t really know how to put it, except to say that it was a privilege to serve with this group of heroes,” he said, praising the soldiers and platoon leaders.

“All the credit goes to the soldiers of the battalion and task force who rolled every night knowing what was waiting for them. And they did it night after night after night.”

Well Done and Welcome Home!!

29 October 2006

Save Your Breath, Lynne

Here's Lynne Cheney trying to explain the difference between "news" and "terrorist propaganda" to Wolf Blitzer of CNN.

This is, of course, regarding CNN's broadcast of terrorist-made videos showing American troops being shot by terrorist snipers.

As we all know, CNN was perfectly aware that the videos were terrorist propaganda because they said so themselves (follow the links in Greyhawk's post for complete background on this story).

I hadn't posted on the sniper video story for a couple of reasons.

First, because Greyhawk and others have done a much better job of it than I can.

And second, because the day after the video was first broadcast I happened to visit a Soldier at Landstuhl hospital who had been medevaced to Germany after being shot by a sniper in Iraq.

"I don't want to wind you guys up", I said to the Soldier and his two roommates, "but have you heard about.... "

"The video? Yupp. We've seen it", said all three in unison.

So these three troops - who had spent the previous couple of days getting shot/blown up, having sugeries, been medevaced to Germany, and then undergone more surgeries - had already seen the video on CNN.


Now ask yourself... and take a moment to really think about this... How would you have felt standing there in that hospital room?

Well, I'll tell you how I felt. Ashamed. More ashamed than I've ever felt in my life. Ashamed that we let this happen, ashamed that we have let them down. While they were out there putting it all on the line for us.

"Funny," said the Marine in the bed next to the Soldier who had taken a .762 round to the gut, "to think I'm lying here in this bed because I was defending their right to broadcast that stuff."

Well you know what, CNN?

I don't think it's funny at all.

Faces of Courage: SGT William Thomas Payne

The latest in MSNBC's series honoring our military Heroes.

H/T John at OPFOR.

27 October 2006

Soldiers' Angels Mourns CPL David M. Unger

From Renee of the Soldiers' Angels Living Legends Team:

We have a fallen hero from Soldiers' Angels, CPL David M. Unger.

David, 21, and four other Soldiers died Oct. 18 in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle.

The soldiers were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

David is survived by his wife, Laura, a son and daughter, and his mother, Diana Pitts, all of Leavenworth, Kansas.


Our thoughts and prayers are with the Fort Hood Soldiers and their families.

"The only way I can remember my son is he made everybody laugh," Diana Pitts said. "For almost 22 years, he was the rock of our family."

The family is cherishing a video he made spoofing "MTV Cribs," which gives viewers an inside look at the plush homes of television and film stars.

In Unger's version, viewers got an inside look of a shabby-looking grassy patch in Iraq. Unger called the ground "the future bowling alley, golf course, horseshoe arena. It's all gonna go down right here."

"He was just always just trying to make everybody happy and laugh. That was my child. I just don't know what any of us are going to do without him," said Pitts, who works in the chaplain's office at Fort Leavenworth.

The Patriot Guard Riders rode on 25, 26 October and will ride again today for CPL Unger.

Please take a moment to read the Army Cpl. David M. Unger tribute at the Soldiers' Angels Fallen Heroes blog.

Remember our Heroes.

Soldiers' Angels Mourns SPC Nathan J. Frigo

From Renee of the Soldiers' Angels Living Legends Team:

We have a fallen hero from Soldiers' Angels, SPC Nathan J. Frigo.

Nathan, 23, and two other Soldiers died Oct. 17 in Baqubah, Iraq, of injuries suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle.

The Soldiers were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.

Nathan is survived by his parents Maureen Frigo, of Kokomo, and Fred Frigo, of Indianapolis, and his sisters Sarah and Beth.


Our thoughts and prayers are with the Fort Carson Soldiers and their families.

Frigo reported for active duty April 2005, and completed his training at Fort Benning, Ga. At that time, he chose the position of infantryman as his military occupation. He had volunteered to serve a four-year tour of duty.

“He went into the infantry because he wanted to fill the area of greatest need. Army infantry is a very small area of our military”, sais his sister Sarah.

While many disagree with America being involved militarily in Iraq, Sarah said her brother believed U.S. involvement was not only right, but necessary.

“Nate would want people to support the troops there and their families. He believed in what he did over there and that we needed to be there,” she explained, “otherwise it would be on our own shores."

The Patriot Guard Riders will be riding for SPC Frigo today.

Please take a moment to read the Army Specialist Nathan J. Frigo tribute at the Soldiers' Angels Fallen Heroes blog.

Remember our Heroes.

Soldiers' Angels Mourns SSG Ryan E. Haupt

From Renee of the Soldiers' Angels Living Legends Team:

We have a fallen hero from Soldiers' Angels, SSG Ryan E. Haupt.

Ryan, 24, and two other Soldiers died Oct. 17 in Baqubah, Iraq, of injuries suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle.

The Soldiers were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.

Ryan is survived by his wife, Nannette Byrne-Haupt, and his parents Lynn (Perrie Jay) Forhand and Lance Haupt.


Our thoughts and prayers are with the Fort Carson Soldiers and their families.

Haupt arrived at Fort Carson in April 2004 after serving in Korea. He was deployed to Iraq in December for his first tour, which was scheduled to end next month.

He was a member of the Army's elite sniper section and was posthumously awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

The Patriot Guard Riders rode for SSG Haupt on 25 October.

Please take a moment to read the Army Staff Sgt. Ryan E. Haupt tribute at the Soldiers' Angels Fallen Heroes blog.

Remember our Heroes.

Soldiers' Angels Mourns SGT Norman R. Taylor, III

From Renee of the Soldiers' Angels Living Legends Team:

We have a fallen hero from Soldiers' Angels, SGT Norman R. Taylor, III.

Norman, 21, and two other Soldiers died Oct. 17 in Baqubah, Iraq, of injuries suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle.

The Soldiers were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.

Nathan is survived by his parents, Norman & Lynda.


Our thoughts and prayers are with the Fort Carson Soldiers and their families.

The Patriot Guard Riders rode for SGT Taylor on 25 October.

I will post the link to the tribute to SGT Norman R. Taylor, III at the Soldiers' Angels Fallen Heroes blog as soon as it becomes available.

Remember our Heroes.

26 October 2006

Angels' Tears


Soldiers' Angels has been notified today of the loss of four of "our" Soldiers.

Posts on these Fallen Heroes to follow.

What if Soldiers' Angels earned a penny every time you searched the Internet?

click here

Well, now we can!

GoodSearch.com is a new search engine that donates half its revenue to the charities its users designate. You use it just as you would any search engine, and it's powered by Yahoo! so you get great results.

Just go to GoodSearch.com and be sure to enter Soldiers' Angels as the charity you want to support.

Just 500 users searching four times a day will raise about $7300 in a year without anyone spending a dime! And, be sure to check out GoodSearch on October 28, 2006 as Soldiers' Angels is going to be featured as the Charity of the Day.

25 October 2006

Salute Our Heroes Veterans Job Fair and Career Expo in NYC November 6

From Frank Manley of Salute Our Heroes:

The New York Times will be bringing "Salute Our Heroes" - our Veterans Job Fair and Career Expo to New York City on November 6th. This career expo is in partnership with HireVetsFirst, USO, American Legion, ESGR, and Coalition to Salute America's Heroes.

We held our inaugural event last year in November, with over 80 companies participating and 3000+ veterans in attendance. This year, we have already had an incredible run with our "Salute" program this year. Events in Chicago, Boston, and Tampa were a big success - providing hundreds of jobs for Veterans and their spouses, as well as valuable skill building, benefit and job seeking information.

Now, we are looking forward to ending the year with our biggest event in our home market - NYC on November 6 at the Javits Center.

If you are a Veteran looking for a job, or if your company is looking to add a Veteran to its team, click here for more information.

German-based 1st AD Soldiers Return Home from Ramadi

Baumholder Soldiers start coming home:

About 100 soldiers arrived home to Baumholder on Monday evening, making it the first group of some 3,400 soldiers deployed with the 1st Armored Division’s 2nd Brigade to return from Iraq.

More soldiers are set to return to Baumholder in the coming weeks, capping off the brigade’s second deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

For a community that has coped with the loss of about two dozen soldiers during the past 12 months, Baumholder basked in a flood of positive emotions Monday night.

As the soldiers from Company B, 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 35th Armor Regiment, marched into the Baumholder gym, tears of relief and joy streamed down faces in the stands. The soldiers returning Monday were part of Task Force 1-35 that served in the particularly dangerous western Iraq outpost of Ramadi.

“It’s just a blessing,” said Emma Donaldson, wife of Sgt. 1st Class Gerald Donaldson.

“They’ve been through so much. To see them return in one piece, it’s such a blessing.”

Well Done and Welcome Home!!

24 October 2006

Ricky Forever In Our Hearts

Ricky, 2/2/85 - 10/24/04

This is Kay’s favorite picture of Ricky, taken the last time they saw each other before he deployed to Iraq with the 1/3 Marines out of Hawaii.

Tonight my friend and fellow Soldiers' Angel Robin will be attending the memorial candlelight vigil for Ricky who was killed two years ago today. Her dear friend is Ricky's mom, Kay.

The theme of tonight's vigil is a Celebration of Ricky's Life. Kay and Robin will be handing out flyers requesting donations of care package items which will be sent to deployed troops in Ricky's honor.

Marine LCpl Ricky Slocum

Ricky was just 19 when he was killed. And although he had only been in Iraq a few months he had already proven to be a hero and a leader.

My thoughts and prayers are with Kay and all of Ricky’s family and friends today. I promise to remember him always.

Ricky will be forever in my heart.

They Came in Peace

Beirut, 23 October 1983

"Through these fields of destruction
Baptisms of fire
I’ve watched all your suffering
As the battles raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers-in-arms"

From Brothers-in-arms: 'They came in peace' by Lance Cpl. Jeffrey A. Cosola. Read the rest here.

Originally posted 23 October, 2005.

23 October 2006

The Reason

And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know...

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
And the reason is you.

I'm sorry that I hurt you
It's something I must live with everyday
And all the pain I put you through
I wish that I could take it all away
And be the one who catches all your tears
That's why I need you to hear...

I've found a reason to show
A side of me you didn't know
A reason for all that I do
And the reason is you.

- Hoobastank, The Reason

For the guys I saw at the hospital yesterday who put it all on the line for us.

For the American Soldier.

18 October 2006

There are no words.

16 October 2006

Patti Patton-Bader
Founder, Soldiers Angels


My name is [redacted]. My son was a computer wizard and communication specialist with [redacted] and most recently at Camp Ramadi, Iraq.

I wanted you to know that you and your many Angels are doing a great job. I would mail my son magazines and cookies every Saturday. He has told me several times how much he appreciated the mail I sent him and when he was home on leave in June he told me of the letters your Angels were sending to him.

Patti, I have found your letter to my son tonight as I was going through all of his mail that he had saved and some of the mail that I had sent to him that he never received.

My son died of non-combat related medical complications at [redacted]. My son was buried with full Military Honors and among many Medals he received the Bronze Star. Services were held at Arlington National Cemetery on York Street near a nice Maple tree.

Please spread the word to your Angels how much your letters of basic humble trivia are appreciated. My son never answered letters or emails but had a few emails on his email account from your Angels and as I have said previously he has several letters that have been read and I know appreciated very much.

I am not able to convey my appreciation for your support of our Troops and of our son.

With utmost Sincerity,

[name redacted]

"My quilts are very simple... "

Hi Friends,

As some of you know, I have been making quilts to send to the military hospital in Landstuhl Germany to be included as part of a package given to all incoming injured military by the group Soldier's Angels. During the summer I sent them 24 home made quilts, blankets or lap robes. I'll be sending another package within the next week with more quilts.

As requested, I include my name, address and e-mail address on each one. Today I received a lovely note in the mail from a wife. I won't use the name since I haven't talked to her, but this is what she wrote:

Mrs. Stemniski,

Thank you so much for the lovely quilt. My husband, LTC [name redacted] found it very comforting during his stay at Landstuhl Army Hospital.

Since he did not need a quilt upon his return to Baghdad, he sent it on to me.

We decided to continue on your kindness and gave it to a struggling family with 5 children. The mom was so grateful and I told her the story behind the quilt.

I thank you for your service to our injured soldiers. What a wonderful tribute to the service of your son and daughter-in-law.


[name redacted]

I was so pleased to get this note, and am so happy that the family passed on the quilt to someone else in need! My quilts are very simple, generally just a few colored squares sewn together, a layer of fiber in between and a solid piece of fabric on the back, all layers knotted together with yarn. Each quilt is different and I really enjoy making them.

And MY thanks goes to Soldier's Angels for what they do for the troops!!!!


Thanks for all you do, Dorothy.

17 October 2006

Soldiers' Angels Mourns Pfc. Shelby J. Feniello

From Cathy of the Soldiers' Angels Living Legends Team:

We have a fallen hero from Soldiers' Angels, Pfc. Shelby J. Feniello.

Shelby, 25, of Connellsville, Pa., died Oct. 9 while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Al Anbar province, Iraq.

He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Shelby is survived by his parents, Richard Feniello and Kimberly McCune, also of Connellsville, Pa.


Pfc Feniello was killed alongside his Marine brothers Sgt. Julian M. Arechaga, 23, of Oceanside, N.Y. and Lance Cpl. Jon E. Bowman, 21, of Dubach, La.

Feniello's family said the men were rushing to the aid of Marines involved in a gun battle with insurgents near Ramadi when the vehicle was hit.

Feniello joined the Marines shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He started this, his second tour of duty in Iraq, a month ago after an 11-month leave.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Camp Lejeune Marines and their families.

Please take a moment to read the Marine Pfc Shelby J. Feniello tribute at the Soldiers' Angels Fallen Heroes blog.

The Patriot Guard Riders will be riding for Pfc Feniello.

Remember our Heroes.

16 October 2006

At first I felt guilty....

... about asking a couple of outpatients to help me assemble the new shelves for the SAG freight room. But after they told me it was "the most constructive thing they'd done since being in Germany", I didn't feel so bad ;-)

Arthur and Chris being "constructive".

These are those cheapo shelves where the holes for the bolts never line up right and you work up a sweat trying to force them together (I believe the instructions used the word "press", which is a freakin' joke).

Within 5 minutes I'm ready to take a sledgehammer to the thing and so when Arthur said, "now don't get frustrated... " I'm ready to take a sledgehammer to him. But when he was cursing and sweating 15 minutes later it was time to make him eat his words.

I promised to do the buying that evening but of course they wouldn't let me. So now I owe them for the beer, for putting together the shelves, and for protecting our sorry civilian a$$es.

You just can't get ahead with these guys.

The finished product.

Now this may look like chaos to you, but believe me, this is much better. This place is like a freight terminal - thanks to your support, we have our hands full keeping up with unpacking, sorting, and distributing as fast as you send stuff.

Clothing, blankets, and hygiene items.

Snacks and microwave meals for outpatients who get in from downrange after meal hours.

Liaison Officer giving inpatient an SA backpack with teddy bear.

Now they may be those of you who are thinking, "why doesn't the Army... ???"

3 things:
- The Army (DoD, government, etc.) does.
- Why shouldn't you?
- And most importantly, don't you think it means more to our troops to get things from people like you?

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Time to step up, people. We're at war.

15 October 2006

Soldiers' Angels Mourns Cpl Bradford H. Payne

From Cathy of the Soldiers' Angels Living Legends Team:

We have a fallen hero from Soldiers' Angels, Cpl. Bradford H. Payne.

Brad, 24, of Montgomery, Ala., died Oct. 6 while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Al Anbar province, Iraq.

He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Brad is survived by his parents, Howard & Carol, and his wife, Erin, along with 2 children. We are going to support both his parents and his wife & family.


Cpl Payne was killed together with his Marine brother Lance Cpl. John E. Hale, 20, of Shreveport, LA.

Payne's parents said the only solace in their son's death is knowing he was killed while living his dream.

"He pretty much shot for (the Marines) in the sixth grade," Howard Payne said. "That's what he wanted to do."

Hale's military career was inspired by the 2001 terrorist attacks. He graduated from high school in 2005.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Camp Lejeune Marines and their families.

Please take a moment to read the Marine Cpl. Bradford H. Payne tribute at the Soldiers' Angels Fallen Heroes blog.

Remember our Heroes.

13 October 2006

"And then there was Valour-IT"

" ...how many of you remember me lying in a hospital bed, unable to get up, unable to see, and unable to say what was on my mind? ( ... )
And then there was Valour-IT."

From Sgt Allen at Contact Right.

I remember how I felt when I first received my Valour-IT computer. I was eager to get back online with my teammates that were still in country, to feel as though I still had something to contribute. And ever since I have been extremely grateful to Soldiers' Angels and to CPT Chuck Ziegenfuss for their work and contributions to the Valour-IT program.

Read the rest here.

And while you're over there, please look closely at the photo and meet some of my colleagues, SA Wounded Director Lynette and 2 Angels from the SA DC Wounded Team, Jill & Monica.

SGT Allen took this photo of some of the Wounded Warriors who received laptops that day together with members of the Howard County Police Department who presented signed shirts of appreciation during a recent get together at Malogne House.

12 October 2006

When a Letter is Enough

"When I read in your letter that you and the kids put peanut butter on pine cones with birdseed, it brought back a lot of memories because my sister and I used to do that when we were kids... mostly in the wintertime when there was snow on the ground. I had forgotten about that... "

- From a Soldier in Iraq

Great article about Soldiers' Angels in yesterday's Hood River News:

Terri Hansen of Hood River once cried at the thought that soldiers serving their country often had no encouragement from home — then she dried her eyes and got to work.

“Some of these men and women have been in combat for months and never received a card or letter telling them that they are appreciated,” said Hansen. “I think, whether people support the war or not, we all need to support our heroes.”
( ... )
In fact, she and the children in her day care — who have colored more than 300 pictures for the troops — regularly get return letters. And they receive first-hand accounts about the hardship brought by weather that often tops 120 degrees and hard-hitting hail that forces everyone to run for cover.

Hansen said her most touching story was the follow-up to a request from a platoon leader who wanted dozens of colorings from the children.

He told her that the bright pictures had been hung on the dark walls of an old and dank prison that his men had secured and were bunking in.

“He said that we gave them hope and determination to get the job done and come home safe,” said Hansen.

“You asked in your letter if I needed anything. Not really. Your letters are enough.... "

Terri is also a supporter of our mission here at Soldiers' Angels Germany. Thanks for all you do, Terri.

Won't you step up and become a Soldiers' Angel?

11 October 2006

Thanks, but No Thanks

Alaska villages reject Venezuela oil

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - In Alaska's native villages, the punishing winter cold is already coming through the walls of the lightly insulated plywood homes, many of the villagers are desperately poor, and heating-oil prices are among the highest in the nation.

And yet a few villages are refusing free heating oil from Venezuela, on the patriotic principle that no foreigner has the right to call their president "the devil."
( ... )
"As a citizen of this country, you can have your own opinion of our president and our country. But I don't want a foreigner coming in here and bashing us," said Justine Gunderson, administrator for the tribal council in the Aleut village of Nelson Lagoon. "Even though we're in economically dire straits, it was the right choice to make."

And then there are those who make the wrong choices.

Soldiers' Angels Presented with Army National Guard Coins

Chief of the National Guard Bureau, Lt Gen Steven Blum

Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chief, CSM David Hudson

I recently had the privilege of accepting these coins at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center on behalf of our 80,000 members and our Founder, Patti Patton-Bader. Soldiers' Angels is honored to support the Citizen Soldiers of the US Army National Guard.

09 October 2006

Making a Difference, One Soldier at a Time - Part 2

Received by Soldiers' Angel and Blankets of Hope sewer Casey:

My name is [redacted] and my husband developed a serious infection and went into kidney failure while in Afghanistan.

He was flown into Germany in August and had some surgery.

While in Germany my husband was given a backpack from Soldiers Angels. In there was the beautiful quilt you made and donated. You don't know how much it meant to him to receive the quilt. He was so far away from home, away from family and friends, and was in terrible physical shape. That was one of the first things he told me about when he called me from Landstuhl.

When I arrived here he pulled the quilt out and I read your note. We both cried. I told him there are good people in this world and there are people who appreciate the sacrificies that the soldiers and their families make.

God has given you a wonderful gift, not just of quilt making but the gift of kindness. My husband has that gift too - that's why he volunteered to serve in Afghanistan - he wanted to help not only the people that could not help themselves, but to help Americans stay safe in their own country. I am very proud of what he has done.

Thank you for your kindness and generosity. I know you have touched many lives just as you have touched ours.

We will cherish that quilt forever. We are expecting our first grandchild on Christmas Day. Thje quilt will make a wonderful addition to our "nursery"- you know, grandparents always have to have their own nurseries too!!

Please take care. When my husband has completely recovered and our lives calm down again I plan on helping Soldiers' Angels in some way. I can't make quilts - I can't even sew on a button.

Thank you again. You gave my husband comfort and kind words when no one else was able to.

[name redacted]

Making a Difference, One Soldier at a Time

Ms. Patti Bader,

I received a backpack with some needed personal products, some clothes, a cd and a blanket. Words can't describe the appreciation I felt.

I am not sure how many responses you have received, but for those who may have forgotten or did not take the time I thank you now and may God Bless you all.

Just so you know a little about me and the incident that led me to your gracious gift. On September 11 I was on a mission when we were attacked. Myself and 3 others received shrapnel from a RPG. That is about as much as I can really tell you about that.

I am a scout platoon sergeant, have been in the Army for 13 years. I am married for over 10 years and have two wonderful boys. One is 7 the youngest is 4.

Well, I just wanted to thank you and your team for the hard work, devotion and prayers for myself and all the other Soldiers.

May God Bless you.

[name redacted]

06 October 2006

Over 700 Heroes Waiting for Angels

Many of you know that one of the most far-reaching missions of Soldiers' Angels is to match deployed troops with Angels. The Angel's job is to make sure our soldiers in the desert get some extra mail and know they are loved and supported back home.

Due to troop rotations, we currently have over 700 Soldiers and Marines waiting for Angels. Commanders on second deployments with previous Soldiers' Angels experience are submitting their entire units.

Won't you step up and become a Soldiers' Angel?

Maybe you don't know any members of our military and are wondering who these Soldiers and Marines are.

Well, take a look at this 60 second piece from MSNBC honoring our military Heroes. It's about one of your fellow countrymen, Sgt Leigh Ann Hester, the first female Soldier to receive a Silver Star since WWII.

Faces of Courge: Leigh Ann Hester

If you are unable to adopt a Soldier or Marine, please pass the word about Soldiers' Angels to your church, company, Veteran's groups, etc.

You may also want to email MSNBC to let them know how much you appreciate these tributes and that you'd like to see more coverage like this.

With thanks to John at OPFOR for uploading the video to YouTube.

04 October 2006


"[British] Soldiers on operations say they would rather receive a more serious injury and go to the top American military hospital in Ramstein, Germany, than end up in a [UK] NHS hospital."


Muslim accosts injured Para in hospital

A paratrooper wounded in Afghanistan was threatened by a Muslim visitor to the British hospital where he is recovering.

Seriously wounded soldiers have complained that they are worried about their safety after being left on wards that are open to the public at Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham.

On one occasion a member of the Parachute Regiment, still dressed in his combat uniform after being evacuated from Afghanistan, was accosted by a Muslim over the British involvement in the country.

"You have been killing my Muslim brothers in Afghanistan," the man said during a tirade.

Because the soldier was badly injured and could not defend himself, he was very worried for his safety, sources told The Daily Telegraph.

A relative of the Para said the man had twice walked on to the ward where two other soldiers and four civilians were being treated without once being challenged by staff.

"It's not the best way to treat our returning men," he said. "They are nervous that these guys might attack them and, despite being paratroopers, they cannot defend themselves because of their injuries."
( ... )
" ...Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, called the treatment of wounded troops "an absolute disgrace".

"They should be in completely separate wings even if this means shutting down entire NHS wards. It is a betrayal of our troops having them treated in mixed and open wards. Those who have been injured on operations must be with those who understand their predicament in a secure environment."

If being politically correct towards Muslims is more important to the British than proper treatment of their wounded soldiers, then Britain is lost.

Send them to us. We would be honored to care for these brave heroes.

Apologies to my like-minded British friends, but this one got to me. Please express your outrage to your government - and pass this on.

If you live near Birmingham it is time to step up, mobilize some friends, and go to Selly Oak Hospital to protect those who have sacrificed to protect you.

h/t Jihad Watch via Andi's World.

03 October 2006

Why do emails like this make me cry?

Received by Wendy of Canadian Angels and forwarded to me:

Good Morning Wendy,

It is with great pleasure that I get to inform you that the Royal Canadian Legion, West Kootenay Zone Ladies Auxiliary has take on this wonderful project.

They had their meeting over the last weekend and will be starting to make and mail the blankets to you.

This is such a great project and we are honoured to be able to assist.

Zone Commander
West Kootenay Zone
BC /Yukon Command
The Royal Canadian Legion

We've been asking for Blankets of Hope with Canadian motifs for distribution to wounded Canadian Heroes at Landstuhl, and this is just one of the many wonderful responses we've received.

Backpacks for wounded Canadian Soldiers recovering at Landstuhl hospital.

Many thanks to the Canadian Forces and their Angels. We're proud to stand with you, Canada!

Proud to Stand with You, Canada
Proud to Stand With You, Canada - Part 2
Happy Birthday America - Land of the Free Because of the Brave
Mak's Back!