When I consider his treachery, the first thought that comes to mind is the dedicated nurses at the Air Force Theater Hospital who would toil for hours administering their gentle healing art to injured insurgents, some of whom would spit and curse at them.
27 December 2008
When I consider his treachery, the first thought that comes to mind is the dedicated nurses at the Air Force Theater Hospital who would toil for hours administering their gentle healing art to injured insurgents, some of whom would spit and curse at them.
23 December 2008
M. is 7 year-old-girl, and she has suffered the effects of sickle cell disease for her entire life. Six weeks ago, she underwent transplant of bone marrow donated by her younger brother. She has made an excellent recovery and the transplant has cured her sickle cell disease. You can read more about it here:
Her mother is a Ugandan-American who works tirelessly to care for seriously ill children in the PICU. We have taken care of many children together. I am very impressed by her dedication to make children's lives better. In addition to the good work she does in the hospital, she has also founded an organization to help the many children with sickle cell disease in Uganda.
I've posted the organization's website before on the blog, but here it is again:
15 December 2008
CPT Rob Yllescas
Back in Nebraska
Posted: 13 Dec 2008 10:22 PM CST
Sorry it's been a couple of days since I last wrote. I've been EXTREMELY busy and also extremely tired!!! The Memorial Service was really nice. I have to say that the roll call they do is the absolute worst. For those of you who don't know what this is, they call out Rob's name 3 times. Of course, each time he doesn't answer. I'm not sure what the reasoning behind this is, but all the memorial services I've been to do this. It just makes it that much more real that he's gone. These past couple of days have been emotionally exhausting. The house, the service, and yesterday I got the Army Times and Rob's picture was under the section "Human Toll". Every week I got the paper, I'd always look at this to see how many soldiers were killed that week in Iraq and Afghanistan. To see Rob there, killed me. Then yesteray I spent all day with my Casualty Assistant Officer on Ft Hood going to different offices for benefit information. I was gone from 8am to 3:30pm. When I got back to the house, my friend who's a real estate agent was there and we got our house put on the market. I then had a couple of more friends stop by. Later I still had to pack up a few more things to take back with me to Nebraska. I took a bunch of Rob's t-shirts, jeans, dress shirts, and acu's. One of Rob's aunts said she would make a quilt from Rob's t-shirts and another friend said she knows someone who will make teddy bears out of his jeans, shirts, and acu's. I figure this would be great so we can still have his things near us without having to put them all in boxes or get rid of them. That's the hardest for me. Right now I can leave our house and come back to Nebraska. But when the house gets sold and I move into a new one, I have to figure out what to do with his things. I can't bear to get rid of them because it's part of HIM and there are so many memories. But I can't bear to look at them all the time either because the scab constantly gets torn off. Now that I'm back in Nebraska knowing that this will be my new reality, things are starting to set in. I MISS HIM SO MUCH. My world as I know it has turned upside down. My whole adult life I've only known the military. I've been married for 8 1/2 years with 2 small children. Rob was an amazing father and husband. He helped me so much. My family will be wonderful and will help me out with ANYTHING I need, but my best friend, husband, and father to my children is gone. And I have so many emotions running through me: sad, scared, angry, uncertain.... I just have to hold on strong to the fact that God will get us through this. I pray every night for Him to help me be the mother our girls need me to be to raise them solely on my own so they can grow up to be happy, confident, christian women. And what helps me so much is knowing how many family, friends, and perfect strangers are supporting the girls and I and giving me those words of encouragment. I know that we will never truly be alone. I thank God every night for all of you who are wrapping your arms around us. More than ever, I can't thank you enough.
10 December 2008
Yesterday was Rob's funeral. It was beautiful. Again, the Patriot Guard showed up holding flags outside the auditorium and a bell was being rung. During the service they had a 16x20 photograph of Rob in uniform in front of a flag. I looked at it most of the service. That picture made it feel like he was right there. They played a slide show before and after the service. My friend Nancy is going to put it on here when she gets the chance so everyone can see it. She did an amazing job. Thanks, Nancy. After the service we went to the cemetary. The police were in front with the Patriot Guards on their bikes, then Rob, and then more Patriot Guards leading us to the site. It was so surreal that the 21 gun salute and presentation of the flag was for MY husband. I still can't believe he's gone. Even though I was there when he passed away, to me it feels like he's still deployed. So many people were there. It's just unbelievable the amount of support. I know that the girls and I are going to be ok because there are so many people that care. Afterwards we had a dinner and I was able to talk to some people who I hadn't seen in years who had traveled so far to say their final goodbyes to Rob. When I left the dinner, I was by myself. I drove up to his grave site. He had been buried and a flag was placed on top. Everything is so final. As much as I wish I could go back and undo the past, I can't. It's the most helpless feeling. But I know he's looking down on us and that gives me comfort. My brother called me and said that before they left town, he and his wife drove past to see Rob with their almost 4 year old daughter. She said "daddy, I see Rob flying away." Aaron said "What did you say, Megan?" "I see Uncle Rob flying away in the sky. He's with Jesus." Amazing. Later that evening, some friends of mine from Ft Hood came over to my parents. Their husbands are in Rob's unit. I swear, only fellow military wives can lift eachother up after the day we had. It ended up snowing. Well, before long one of the wives was making a snow angel and then we ended up in a full fledge snowball fight. When we were done, we sat in my parents hot tub and talked for a couple of hours. It was some much needed stress relief and I thank you for providing me that ladies. Tomorrow I leave for Ft Hood. They are doing a memorial service for Rob on Thursday and presenting the girls with a scholarship. I'm not taking the girls with me because they've been gone too much and Julia needs to get back to school. I'll be back on Saturday. It'll give me a chance to bring some more things from the house back to Nebraska.
There were several news stations that covered Rob's funeral. Here are a few links:
(I think those are right...I was doing them off the top of my head!)
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29 November 2008
19 November 2008
For those who have been exposed to the burn pits, or are concerned, here is recent information available at Military Times:
Article on particulate matter at FOB Hammer:
Video featuring the experience of one troop from Balad:
Written troop accounts.
If you are a veteran experiencing unexplained pulmonary symptoms, sleep disturbance, or headaches, I urge you to get yourself checked out.
13 November 2008
Sure that's just a brother talking, but here's my proof: He was just chosen as a finalist in National Geographic contest. here is his photograph:
(If you can't see it on the feed, here is the link:
I asked Adam to tell me about the shot, and here is what he told me:
This was taken on the Parker Ridge Trail at the North Western Tip of Banff National Park in Canada. The picture is the view North to Jasper National Park; The Glacier in the background is Saskatchewan Glacier flowing out of the Columbia Icefield. This glacier is about 8 miles long but it is receding at a rate of about 1 mile every 100 years. The Columbia Icefield is HUUUUGE! It's rivers feed the Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Atlantic. C. and I were hiking and camping out at the foot of the Icefield the day before... It was amazing.
you can see more of Adam's pictures at:
11 November 2008
Many thanks to you for your dedication and sacrifices. I know that my family enjoys the peace and prosperity of our life in the USA directly as a result of your service. My little stints in Iraq seem very very small and painless compared to the heavy burden that was shouldered by so many before me, and continues to be carried on.
I'm flying my flag proudly in their honor today. (With a close eye out the window as the clouds threaten to rain on us in central Texas again today!) This Veterans Day was much better than the last one because I'm home. Today I sent my boys off to school at the bus stop, and got to say hi to one of the many other troops who live in my neighborhood. I'm covering a few hours more for my partner C. until she gets back from a medical mission she ran to transport an ill sailor in the Pacific. If I'm lucky and the call day is light, I might even get to hear my son's concert today. (I will be glad to help M. rein in the two younger two boys through the concert this year!)
It is with great admiration and gratitude that I especially salute the service of CTP Rob Yllescas, who is recovering from injuries suffered in Operation Enduring Freedom. Read here about the Purple Heart he was rewarded yesterday:
Please keep him and his family in your thoughts.
06 November 2008
I suppose I can't get away with sharing a daytime drama story without a little background. We all do crazy things in college. It's our time to experiment. One of the many joys of meeting my life's love in school was to discover "All My Children" through her. We had a laugh together at the trials and tribulations of Billy Clyde Tuggle, his HonEstelle, and sweet Emily Ann. And back then, Susan Lucci still hadn't won an Emmy! Well for M. it was just a little diversion, but I dived in as I always do and soon I was skipping classes to watch with JAD who had the corner room down the hall in our fraternity.
I may have kicked the habit, but I still got a charge out of this story. "All My Children" is featuring veteran and war hero JR Martinez as "Brot". He plays the love interest of one of the regular characters who is a veteran "on TV". What is notable is that Mr. Martinez was injured in Iraq in 2003, and spent 34 months in the hospital undergoing many operations to treat his extensive burns. It is great to see veterans in all walks of our society, and of course it is great to celebrate his victory over hardship.
Apparently the show is going to have an unscripted episode featuring other real Iraq War veterans, so I might just have to get back on the horse.
Here is more on the story:
I know there is no way I can recover from posting about this, but sometimes you've just got to let your freak flag fly.
04 November 2008
03 November 2008
The event was held to raise money for an event in May where the club will host wounded warriors and their families to give them a weekend outside enjoying trail rides. Jason of Wheelers for the Wounded is trying to organize a ride in every state over the course of 2009. The boys and I might just get the chance to hit a couple of states.
Bumblebee did pretty well; we lost one tire in a river bed, front and back license plates popped off, and I knocked the gasoline evaporation canister off the bottom climbing a hill. Nothing that kept me from making it home, and when we ripped the tire, I couldn’t believe how the Midnight 4Wheelers all pitched in to get it changed quickly and safely.
There were so many organizations and people that gave their time and sponsorship to the event that I want to list as many as I can remember. These are regular folks who want to do anything they can for troops who have sacrificed their bodies to defend us all. If you are in the area, do patronize their businesses if you have a chance. (I'm sure there are others I've forgotten!)
Wheelers for the Wounded
Boulder Creek Park
Take a Soldier Fishing
General Brake and Alignment
If you want to see any more pictures of the event, here is my flickr album on the event:
02 November 2008
01 November 2008
The picture above is from one year ago, but it is appropriate because if you ask, "Is hiring veterans good for the company?" the answer is, "YES!"
8) Integrity.Veterans know what it means to do "an honest day's work." Prospective employers can take advantage of a track record of integrity, often including security clearances. This integrity translates into qualities of sincerity and trustworthiness.
30 October 2008
I recently had the chance to be included in a video for the online health site Wellsphere: It is a great introduction to the variety of regular everyday people who are providing their own personal stories to people seeking knowledge about living healthy, even through disease.
My little bit that describes the Air Force Theater Hospital comes at 2:20, but it is much more interesting to hear from others.
If you want to check out the Wellsphere site, you can find it here:
29 October 2008
26 October 2008
17 October 2008
Today I am very psyched that I completed my absentee ballot as a military member. It is on its way to the Town Clerk. It is odd to consider the true effect of my individual because of our electoral college. In my home state of record, newspapers are predicting the result with a high degree of confidence. So does my vote really matter? It certainly does to me. All I have to do is think of the injured Iraqis I saw on Election Day, proudly displaying their purple fingers as proof that they had voted. When people in the world have the bravery to risk suicide bombers to vote, how dare we not exercise our right to vote? So even if my state's decision was unanimous, my individual vote counts greatly.
I feel like it is so important that we come together to face the challenging problems that have been troubling our nation. The candidate I chose has energized me about my country in a way I haven't felt in a long time. I wasn't alive when JFK was president, but I wonder if that is how people felt back then. It reminds me of the how I felt during the Reagan years when I was inspired me to give something back through military service.
So, I am very proud to have done my civic duty and have exercised my precious privilege to vote for our leaders. Your turn is coming up soon!
Have fun and be mello,
B. and I were talking about some of his assignments at school. He has been watching the presidential debates as a homework assignment and has some very insightful perspectives. Tonight we discussed if it is necessary to prove your innocence when a bully makes a false accusation against you. If someone accuses you of being something that you are not, are you innocent until proven guilty, or is the onus upon you to disprove the aspersion?
Anyway, I asked him what he thought we could do to help the USA. He replied that it was good that we were providing government money to help people who were in need and he thought we should be drilling for our own oil. I told him what I meant was I wanted to know what he thought he could do himself. He came up with some great ideas:
-Tell a teacher they were doing a great job
-Try to use less electricity by turning off lights
-Help people to get along at school
-Paying off his debts and not buying something until he had saved up for it
-Speak up if someone was being treated unfairly
-Don't break the law
Since he is still in school, there are some things he can't do yet, but it only took us a few minutes thinking together to add these ideas to the list
-Do volunteer work
-Stay in school and be part of an educated workforce
-Be sure to have health insurance
-Stay out of debt and save money
-Help troops, their families, and veterans
-Consider a job in community service, public service, or military service
-Get to know the neighbors and watch out for their safety
-Utilize public schools, participate in school meetings, and keep schools strong
-Be tolerant of others regardless of ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or political belief
Once you start thinking about how you can help, it becomes a fun challenge to try to think of something new!
For more ideas, (including the great suggestion to fly the flag), I found this site from our government: http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Usgresponse/Help.shtml
We all can do something!
14 October 2008
"Thursday was a very busy day in the OR. Five of the six operations scheduled in the 3 operating rooms made for much activity. At 8:00 am, in Room 1, little Sabir Bentlassen, age 7, had a delicate brain operation by Dr. W. James Gardner and his Tunisian counterpart, Dr. Bettaieb. . . . The operation was to correct insensitivity in the left side of his body. At the same time in Room 2, a young woman underwent plastic surgery. Though only 34, she seemed twice that age due to past extensive burns."
11 October 2008
(Honest, we designed our living room around a benefit painting for 9/11 relief. It's one of the rooms the realtor suggested we paint over before we try to sell the house.)
Anyway, Mr. Rodrigue has also done some amazing paintings to help provide relief for New Orleans after hurricaine Katrina, such as:
So I asked him something that I had been dying ask anyone from New Orleans since the banking crash: Was he surprised at the speed at which the government responded with a bailout? I also asked him if he planned on painting any benefit artwork for Wall Street. (At the moment, he is not.)
The book signing was wonderful, and Mr. Rodrigue was kind enough to sign our copy of the Lafayette, LA Junior League's cookbook "Talk about good, II" which features his early Cajun art.
The best part was when he brought up local schoolchildren who had colored their own versions of the Blue Dog and told them "If you can paint a Blue Dog, you can paint anything."
I just hope I can paint myself up a mortgage when the time comes to move. I don't have to worry about the down payment: I'm sure our dog can get it as a cash advance on one of his credit cards.
09 October 2008
(CNN article: eavesdropping on troops calls home)
This had me wondering, "Hmm... what did I say on those late night calls home to M?" I wonder if there was some bleary-eyed worker on the line with us, silently taking in the contents of the conversation. What did they think? Maybe they were touched by how much we missed each other, or how much I wanted to be home. Or they might have just thought I was whining. Perhaps it was just boring mind-numbing static, after having listened to so many troops that just said minor variations on the same themes.
I would like to listen to a recording of myself from my time on deployment. I wonder if I would recognize the tired lonely airman on the line. That time seems centuries away as I sit here in the comfort of my home, basking in the love of my family. Still, little things like a funny smell, a few words of Arabic in the supermarket, or a column of smoke in the sky can bring it rushing it back. I'll bet hearing that deployment me on the line would bring back every nuance of the memory.
Well, not much use in dwelling on things past. More important to focus on the 144,000 troops still over there. Let's make sure the whole nation is listening for anyway we can help them and their families back home.
02 October 2008
01 October 2008
Since it is OCT, we actually have some mornings that are less than 90 degrees! I wanted to write today because A. sent me a wonderful video called "Don't vote" I think it is aimed at young people, but the message is even good for me, someone who might think twice about voting just because the line is long.
I have been given the great privilege of being able to serve my country. A long time ago, I came to the conclusion that we are so fortunate in the US that we don't even realize how much better we have it that most of the human beings in this world. I felt that it was my duty to try and give a little something back for these riches. I may have ended up experiencing a bit more than I expected, but I feel very lucky that I got to do my duty.
Well, there is a little duty that every American shares: Voting! It is just as important as the job of the troop who gets deployed.
So I couldn't think of any better way of telling you, my friends, how I feel about this than to pass along this video. (Warning, there is a little profanity, but the message is strong.)
03 September 2008
(Photo source: Overbuilt Customs)
27 August 2008
I received this message from Jimmy in the burn clinic at CSC Scania (described in my last post) via Laurel from Books for Soldiers:
Thank you so much for contacting me. As much as I hate to say it, the clinic is being shut down. There will be no need for donations by the end of this month.
Don't worry if you have already sent something: I'm sure at Scania, like at our base in Balad, there is a system in place by which the chaplain's office can find a needy home for donated items. If you are looking for an alternate place to help, there are many organizations you can find easily on the Internet (such as Fisher House.) Thank you so much for caring!
Not much to say tonight, got home from the hospital 'round 2300, but at least I'm home. Thinking of all the troops who aren't.
24 August 2008
I recently received from a friend, Deb, this great news about US troops at CSC Scania (that's Convoy Support Center) south of Baghdad who are volunteering their time to run a clinic for Iraqis in need of medical care. These aren't people who were sent to Iraq as medical providers. Their official duty is to refuel trucks and keep them running on the convoy line running north and south through Mesopotamia. They treat up to 80 patients a day, many of them burned children. They report that they are seeing the same burns I saw so commonly: scald and oil spil burns from uncovered cooking sources in the home. They rely on donated service hours and donated supplies. If ever anyone needed a reason to be proud of our military, look no further than these troops.
Here's a video on YouTube:
and from CBS:
Here is the information provided for those who want to help:
Items needed are:
Medihoney antibacterial cream
Xeroform petroleum dressings
Tylenol/paracetemol (Infant,Child and Adult)
Motrin/Ibuprofen (Infant,Child and Adult)
IV line sets
Benadryl (Child and Adult)
Additional items needed are:
Crayons and Coloring Books
PLEASE DO NOT SEND CASH OR CHECKS
Mail your donations to:
APO AE 09331
For more information, send your email to :
"Thank you to all the volunteers around the world who extend their hand to help another."
And, please spread the word on this one, would you?
06 August 2008
Mainer has left a new comment on your post "Remember Forgotten Soldiers":
OK, Chris, I have to tout/advertise an organization I belong to. It's Adopt A Platoon (adoptaplatoon.org). It's DoD approved. You can adopt an individual troop, or a unit or a platoon. You can become a penpal only if you prefer and/or have limited funds. Each adoption requires that you send a care package at least once a month and you write letters once a week- REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY RESPOND OR NOT. They also have campaigns throughout the year- Halloween, Christmas, July, all summer, etc.
So far I've adopted 10 individuals and 1 group of 14. It gives you a wonderful feeling to know that you are providing a touch of home to someone who is deployed. It's free to join but you do have to pass a screening because of the DoD seal of approval.
OK. That's my plug!
I am happy to get news of Adopt a Platoon out because it is good work that is greatly appreciated, and I know that citizens want to do something to help. People ask me all the time, "What can I do to help?" Discovering so many different organizations of citizens who have taken the initiative to do something for soldiers has shown me that the 97.5% of our country that is civilian is deeply committed to supporting the military. People have done great things for perfect strangers out of the goodness of their own hearts.
They are active in Florida (and elsewhere) and recently won an award for the important work they are doing. I emailed Lynelle who keeps the organization going. She told me that she would love to hear from citizens here at home who would like to help, and especially from soldiers who are deployed. Soldiers can register themselves, or someone else can register a soldier from home. Either way, they will receive a monthly care package while they are deployed. Soldiers can be signed up here: http://www.forgottensoldiers.org/soldier-register_1.shtml .
Keep up your wonderful caring work, and believe me, it is appreciated!
04 August 2008
When I leave Texas next year, one of the things I'm going to miss the most is the friendly, laid-back attitude of nearly everyone. Kendal is a perfect example of that. He ambled over, complimented my Jeep, and asked how I liked it. Well that's a topic that can really get me going for a while. Even our dogs got along. Mason is a small friendly town, and pretty soon I had met Kendal's wife, and we were sharing stories about our children.
Kendal is a writer, and his work has a definite Texas flair. He has been kind enough to share many of his columns with me. One he sent me this week really struck a cord with me, and he has graciously allowed me to include it here. You can find more of his work with a Google search of his name:
Hope to see you on the trail, Kendal. Without further ado, here are his words:
California or Bust (or both)
What happened was, my brother has to travel a lot for business and such, and he saves up his frequent flier miles. So he told his three boys that, about the time they get out of high school, he would take each of them on a father/son trip, anywhere they wanted to go. So far he’s done two of those trips, one to New York and one to Wimbledon.
Which is where I got the idea to tell my three boys the same thing. Except I don’t fly any more than I absolutely have to, on account of everyone who works in every airport I’ve ever been in hates me. Consequently I don’t have any flier miles, frequent or otherwise, saved up. So I told the boys their trips would have to be anywhere in the United States, and we would drive.
By the time you read this my oldest son, Courtland, and I will be gone on the first of those trips. He wants to see Yosemite ‘Big Dadgum Trees’ National Park, assuming it hasn’t burned all up by the time we get there. We’re driving out in the Jeep so we can do the Rubicon Trail on the way back, and swing by Grand Canyon and see the new Skywalk, and maybe drive a few of the Jeep trails in Colorado.
What I plan to do is sort of write travelogues to send back for my columns while we’re gone. Since we won’t be gone very long, it will probably only end up being one travelogue, but I guess I can finish up when we get back. Assuming we get back. You never know what will happen when you travel to a foreign country like California.
We’ve been planning this trip for some time, and saving up the money it will take. That amount keeps growing, what with the price of gas getting higher and higher every day, but I guess if it comes to it we can stop somewhere and get jobs. So there may end up being more than one travelogue after all.
As I was planning the trip, and thinking about this column, someone sent me an email that sort of made me think about how grateful I should be that I live in a country where I can just decide to make a trip like this and then do it. You can’t do that just anywhere, and the freedom we enjoy in America is really a very special thing, even though we often take it for granted.
The email contains a music video featuring a song called ‘If I Die Before You Wake,’ and it was written by Dustin Evans, Rick Tiger, and Dave Brainard, three American soldiers stationed in Iraq. It’s performed by Dustin, who sounds a lot like George Strait. The pictures in the video are of soldiers in Iraq, some of which you’ve probably already seen in other emails making the rounds.
Every American should see this video, and if you have a computer you can probably find it at either www.flashdemo.net/gallery/wake/index.htm or http://g.dwgsee.com/wake/index.htm or both.
For those without internet access here are the lyrics:
Back home now I know you’re probably sleepin’
Over here it’s the middle of the day
I finally found the time to write a letter
Sittin’ here a half a world away
I heard about all them folks protestin’
As if I really want this war
But that don’t stop me from believin’
There’s just some things worth fightin’ for
Tell everybody that I miss them
And I can’t wait to get back home
But until then I’ll serve my country
And be proud to wear this uniform
And if I die before you wake I pray the world will take
A good look at what God’s given us
That we could only understand everything is in His hands
All we need is a little faith and trust
I want you to know it ain’t too high a price to pay
If I die before you wake
While Courtland and I are enjoying the freedom to drive to California and see big trees and maybe learn to surf and gawk at the biggest hole in America, Dustin, Rick, and Dave will still be in Iraq, along with a whole bunch of other U.S. troops. It’s because of people like them that we can make this trip.
And then I realized that a lot of the money we’ve saved for the trip came from a part-time job I have. I work a few days a week for a retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant who spent 20 years serving our country, and then moved to Mason and started a construction business. Without that extra income it would have been really difficult, if not impossible, to save the cash for the California trip.
So I want to say thanks to our military for the freedom to go to the west coast, and to Gunny Chris Dyer for financing it. And Gunny, if I can get one in the Jeep, I’ll bring you back a Redwood tree . . .
Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist, believe it or not. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or email@example.com
03 August 2008
Higher resolution here:
Also see his outtakes (love the kids!)
And learn more at:
Thanks for sending this, A.
A couple of weeks ago, I discovered that yet another of my colleagues had a secret double life as a super hero. Nurse L. in the pediatric intensive care unit told me about her volunteer work helping Ugandan citizens suffering from sickle cell disease. She was inspired to help from the personal experience of a family member. The ravages of the disease in Uganda, and other African countries, goes largely unnoticed. It is a cause of many deaths, a large proportion of them children. Here too, in the United States, the disease receives less notice than some higher profile illnesses that affect fewer people.
I have known my friend L. for several years and had no idea of her good work. She has raised a significant amount of money here and abroad. Her family has donated land in Uganda for a specialized clinic. She has visited the site and inspired local personnel to staff the facility and carry out humanitarian work. I urge you to read more at their website: http://uganda-americansickle.org/ .
The heroes among us like her are this global society's salvation. She does all this while fulfilling her military duties and living the schedule of a PICU nurse, which is more demanding than mine. She inspires me to look for opportunities to reach out and help others.
Hope to see you soon!
01 August 2008
(And I quote:)
"Hello, Your blog at: http://madeadifference.blogspot.com/ has been identified as apotential spam blog. To correct this, please request a review by filling outthe form at http://www.blogger.com/unlock-blog Your blog will be deleted within 20 days if it isn't reviewed, and you'll beunable to publish posts during this time. After we receive your request, we'llreview your blog and unlock it within two business days. If this blog doesn'tbelong to you, you don't have to do anything, and any other blogs you may havewon't be affected. We find spam by using an automated classifier. Automatic spam detection isinherently fuzzy, and occasionally a blog like yours is flagged incorrectly. Wesincerely apologize for this error. By using this kind of system, however, wecan dedicate more storage, bandwidth, and engineering resources to bloggers likeyou instead of to spammers. For more information, please see Blogger Help:http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=42577 Thank you for your understanding and for your help with our spam-fighting efforts.
The Blogger Team"
Now I haven't been writing too much. But me, a spammer? Ugh, what an insult. As I've mentioned, my life is blissfully boring back here. Sure, I take a beating every once in a while with a couple late days in a row, but when those days are over, I go home to my family. And I am happy for that long night, and the warm wind from the dark highway blowing through the Jeep on the long 33 miles home. I am happy because I am going home. I think of so many who won't see their wives tonight.
15 July 2008
Doctors there met a child who had a tumor growing in her right eye. It just so happens that Ophthalmologist D. from our base in San Antonio is stationed in Balad Iraq. He made the trip to Afghanistan and operated to remover the tumor. This is is treatment that would not have been available without the help of the medical corps. It is good to see some benefits stacking up on the balance sheet.
Here are more details:
13 July 2008
Well my metal baby came back from the garage intact. They took really good care of us at the San Antonio 4 Wheel Parts on Broadway. A few weeks ago, when Meredith called them, H. took the time to give her good advice on exactly what was necessary to lift the Jeep's suspension. Meredith and the boys were going to surprise me for Fathers' Day (and my impending 40th birthday) with a new lift and wheels. It was just about the sweetest gift anyone could ever give me! At the last minute, she checked her plan with me (just to be sure she was jacking it up enough!) After I got over my shock, I told her I was all for it, but just as soon as the credit cards were paid off. Yesterday, we dropped off the Jeep, and our rig came home today. The good folks down at 4 Wheel Parts even sweetened it for us with a little military discount.
The view is great on top of that 4' lift and those big All Terrains. It accelerates a little slower with that heavy rubber rolling, but it feels steady and stable with the new 12.5" wide stance. The wood half doors came out well, and after a few coats of varnish, they even took on a yellow tone that wasn't too bad of a match. I took Meredith's advice and cut them at the same height as the rear tub which gave a great line for the whole back half of the vehicle.
I might not get to work quickly, or with any semblance of fuel efficiency, but there is very little out there that is going to keep me from making it there! One thing's for sure, when Meredith and the boys pick a surprise, they rock!