Veterans Day…make sure children never forget!

November 11, 2009

As adults, parents and grandparents, the things of importance lay upon our shoulders to pass to the next generation of Americans. Today is veterans Day. As we mow lawns, shovel snow, tend babies, work at our chosen occupations, there are people fighting for our right to do it. These people span all generations. They sacrifice life, limb,family time and personal goals, to make sure you sleep safely beneath your cozy blanket tonight. They sleep in sand, in heat, in cold. They miss their loved one, eat a lot of beef jerky, and miss nearly every holiday. They tirelessly fight in jungles, in snow, in desolation, for you.

Make sure that today, you tell your children that they live in the greatest country in the world. America provides more for the poor and suffering in this world than any other country. We have a heart for what is right and good and honest. Tell them about our veterans, tell them about heroism, and selflessness. It is their heritage to know.

Teach them that even now, today, there are children who wait for a beloved parent to return home. That children like them, are serving too, by lending their parents to the cause of freedom. If you can, find a veteran today and thank them, for all of us.

Veterans Day…Talk to Your Kids about our Heroes

November 12, 2008

Veterans Day, a day we remember all who have served and are serving now. Our prayers rise to God with special thanks for each of them, and for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice , families that live with the daily reminders of loss on the behalf of our nation. Yesterday I attended our local celebration of Veterans Day. In our town we have a veterans memorial. A few hundred gathered there for music, a flyover, speeches by veterans who served in WWII and Vietnam. A young man who had just returned from the sands of Iraq spoke to us about the men fighting this war now, he said we are in good hands.

My one disappointment was that there were not many kids there. I encourage you parents and teachers to think a bit ahead of Veterans Day to see what the community is doing. As I stood there listening to our military heroes recount their days of service, I was thinking that our little ones should be getting the benefit of knowing that freedom requires sacrifice. As I watch (in awe) the flyover thundering under the blue Colorado sky, I thought that little ones hearts would pound with the excitement of “really cool planes”,and a parent could talk about the power our country has for defending good in the world. As I viewed rows of flags and names etched in stone, I thought that our little ones need to see the symbols of our nation. As I listened to the music, I wondered if they know the songs of the United States of America.

Some days are ment to live, not study. I asked my first grade grandaughter today what her class did for Veterans Day. “I did a worksheet Gramma”.

Next year she will be by my side at the memorial that bears the name of her father as an active soldier deployed to Iraq. She and her brother will be there for the flags and the music and the speeches. No more worksheets for my little ones.

Here is a video of first graders at Ft. Sill. Nearly all of them have a deployed parent. The shirts are cute, the voices sweet…enjoy ! Ft.Sill kids on veterans day

Dear Mr. Obama…

November 2, 2008

Many of you have already seen this one, but I had to post it. I think everyone should see it. If you want to show a child what a hero is, this is a good place to start.

Honor at the Post Office and Beyond

August 16, 2008

Lately I have been thinking of veterans we have met on our journey of authoring a children’s deployment book. We have met Vietnam vets, Korean vets, and then some from the current theatre of battle. I must admit to my awe of such people. Those who stand between evil and the rest of us, so we can live in this great country of ours. I wrote this blog several months back, in a different venue, but want to share it again:

The other day I was standing in a long line at the local post office with an armful of books to send out as promotion. A young man about my oldest sons age and I struck up a conversation after he mentioned he was picking up a package he had sent to himself from Afghanistan. We talked about his previous tour in Iraq, at the same post my son served at. He mentioned he had survived an IED and had lost some hearing in one ear. I told him I was grateful the rest of him was home and safe!

The next thing he said will stay with me a long time, because I think it is the way our soldiers out there see things. He said, “well, that’s all that really happened”" like it was a skinned knee, or other inconsequential event.

Later the conversation turned to his wife and little girl, who he was obviously proud of. I told him I was mailing out a child’s deployment book and that I had hopes that it would be a comfort and help to military children and their parents. I waved him ahead of me in line, thanking him for his service after getting his name and address to deliver a free book. As he left, he kissed me on the cheek and said “thank you Maam. Wow, what an honor!

That was the story I originally wrote, and as time has passed we have been blessed to meet so many people who inspire and fuel our journey in getting books out to children of military families. We could never thank them all, there are too many, and if I named a few I would never be able to express what they have ment to us.

There are wonderful people out there, military families, civilians, groups and organizations who share a heart for the sacrifices made on our behalf by those who serve us. Parents, spouses, children who remain at home waiting for the return of a loved one gone many days. The service member who spends difficult times away from friends and family to do a job that is both difficult and at times thankless. So, that is really what this blog is about, thank you. Thank you to all of you. We can never express our gratitude for the way you serve this country. Honor comes at the post office line… and in selling books for children.

We are honored to know you.

An Honor after all these years.

June 7, 2008

One of my favorite places here in northern Colorado, is the Masters Gallery in Loveland. Run by our friend Linda King, there you can relax in the sculpture gardens,or stand in awe of art that speaks of the creative, and of The Creator. Linda is one of those people who knows you as a friend after the first ten minutes. Paula and I had brought our book, We Serve Too! A Child’s Deployment Book, for Linda to see for the first time.

As we browsed the rooms of art , Linda brought over three people that she had already shown the book to. Turns out, the two men, Cliff and Bill were veterans of the Korean War. At nineteen they had made the journey to a foreign land and met each other there. All these years later, these good friends were standing with us as the rain fell continually outside. We were treated to a place of honor by hearing their story. The third person in this little group was MayMarie, Bills wife of 50 years, to the very day!

Bill, a pastor, mentioned that he went to Korea at 195 pounds and left at 160 lbs due to the rations being frozen solid. They said they ate a lot of tootsie rolls, one thing they had from home you could still chew when frozen! Bill said they had been reserves, and considered only one step above the north Koreans by the active duty members! He also mentioned that it was hard being in the reserves because he did not feel prepared for war, he had a regular job until he was called up.

Cliff expressed that he was concerned for children now. Patriotism is no longer being taught and that children will not even know what they are losing. He was glad to see a book that could teach some of what is missing. When Bill, this strong man, told us the book made him cry, we had to send them each home with one. The hugs all around were a genuine expression of gratitude.There is always a sense of honor felt when we meet veterans who have served our country. These men are the defenders of a nation, and after all these years, it is still a big part of who they are.