Monday, October 12, 2009

I have moved

Due to the generosity and encouragement of Greta and Wendy I now have a domain and website to host my blogs.. I hope to see you all there

Sunday, October 4, 2009

10 Knocks

This morning 10 families received knocks on their doors and two men in Class A uniforms faced them. The phrase every military family dreads was spoken " We regret to inform you..." 10 hearts have stopped beating, 10 lives have ended far too soon. 10 families worlds have come to a halt, their hearts have shattered and the path to the "new normal" has begun.

I want to scream at the President that his lack of action and rules of engagement are killing our men. I want to shake the politician's who seem to think this is some kind of game and our military are the pawns. I want to shout "THESE ARE PEOPLE YOU ARE GETTING KILLED SO YOU CAN GET BETTER POLL NUMBERS"

The United States Military is the best there is.. they always get the job done if they are allowed to do the job. They do their job with honor also. They don't need senseless rules of engagement to hamper their efforts. They know right from wrong. The recent ROE were set to make the US more popular in world opinion... well they just make us look weak and they are getting our men killed!

This is war.. not politics! We need to listen to our generals on the ground not some bean counter who never had the balls to walk into a recruiting office let alone serve this country in uniform.

Mr. President.. you have blood on your hands.. the blood of 10 men today because you refuse to take the action necessary. Stop the dog and pony shows and start doing your job sir!

Ten American troops were killed at the weekend in two surprise attacks that caused alarm in Nato’s US-led coalition.

In one, hundreds of insurgents attacked a pair of isolated outposts in eastern Afghanistan, killing eight US soldiers and several Afghan policemen in the deadliest battle in 15 months. Scores more Afghan policemen were reportedly captured by the Taleban.

In the other an Afghan policeman opened fire on the American soldiers with whom he was working in central Wardak province, killing two and injuring three.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Take Luck

A lot of families have that special phrase or word that just says it all. It's almost like a code for I love you, be safe, I miss you, be careful all in one little word or phrase... for me and Pokey that phrase was "take luck".

We had been listening to a Brian Regan CD in the car on the way back to Ft. Campbell from my dad's house on the last visit we had with him before he deployed. "Take Luck " is one of his skits and we all thught it was hilarious. Somehow 'Take Luck' seemed fitting as my phrase to say to Pokey. He logged off before I could type it that last conversation...

Some of the others guys in his unit immediately knew it was from a comedy skit when I would sign my emails with it. They too had enjoyed it. But I never told them that it wasn't just a humorous reference to a comedy skit.. I never told them it was my special phrase and good luck charm to my son.

To this day when I talk to a soldier I tell them to 'take luck'. And I hope they do. Now though it's more than a phrase of many meanings that I would say to my son. It's my way of saying my son is watching over you now. He has your 6 soldier.. so take luck.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

"Soulless Muslim Bastards"

** WARNING** this blog entry may offend you. But I believe we don't have the right to not be offended, so if it does too bad.

During his time in Iraq, Micheal often referred to the enemy as "soulless muslim bastards" . At the time it bothered me. I had always felt that as humans we are basically good. It would be some months after he died before I truly comprehended what he was saying. It took conversations with people who had been in Iraq and the watching of videos of those in Palestine for me to "get it".

It comes down to the muslim culture is a culture of hate.. so much so that the hate has eaten the very souls of these people. When you see videos such as this you understand that from birth these people are taught nothing but pure hate.

Is there a way change the next generation? When the children as young as 3 years old have had their minds so poisoned? I'm a mother.. my life has been centered on raising my children. the thought of hurting a child sickens me. But I am at a loss as to how to change the mindset of these children who are so damaged by this type of hate... have they too lost their souls to hate at such a young age?

No amount of "talking" is going to change the perspective a culture that knows nothing but hate and murder. And anyone who does not standup against it is as guilt as the culture itself of the hate and violence. It's called passive violence and it is the most dangerous kind.

Before you all start sending the threatening emails... I know there are those in the culture who want to change it. My son's "terp" Vegas is an example. But unless they stand up and denounce the lies and hate and violence they are just as guilty as the ones who set IEDs, launch RPGs and walk into the presence of others and blow themselves up to be martyrs.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mr. Falvey

This morning I had to drive up to the high school and pick up my sick daughter. At the stop light I looked my rear view mirror and saw that the Vice Principal Mr. Falvey. We both parked and got out of our cars at the same time. He then said to me " Are you trying to make me cry?' You see on the back of my car are several stickers in memory of Micheal and Mr Falvey was close to my son.

I remember the first time I met Mr. Flavey. It was parent teacher conferences Micheal's Junior year and David's Freshman year. Both the boys had him for English. The conferences here are not scheduled you just go during the hours they set up and meet with teachers as they are available so he had no idea who I was. " You belong to Tiffany ******" was his greeting to me. " No.. I'm Micheal and David Phillips Mom" He became very serious and said "I'm so sorry" then laughed. We then went over the boys work and he stated how bright they were. Of course they had their problems. David was sarcastic and Micheal was unfocused. Nothing I didn't know.

Micheal's senior year Mr Falvey become the vice principal and they some how grew a mutual respect and somewhat close relationship. I got a call from Mr Falvey a few weeks into Micheal's senior year from Mr. Falvey telling me he was so proud of Micheal. Micheal had gotten jumped at lunch by a kid and just stood there with his hands raised laughing asking the kid if that was all he had. Micheal loved to fight so for him to not fight back took a great deal of self control.

While Micheal was in bootcamp he wrote Mr Falvey. And every time Micheal came home on leave he would head to the high school to visit Mr Falvey and another teacher he was close to. I'm not sure Mr Falvey realize what a great influence he was on Pokey. And to this day Micheal's letters and one of his dogtags are hanging on the wall in Mr Falvey's office.

The day after Micheal died the first person to knock on our door was Mr. Falvey, in tears. He told us that he had already had the flag lowered at the school and in his hand were the letters Micheal wrote him. Throughout the next few days Mr Falvey stood between us and the media who tried so hard to find us thru the school. He gave interviews , with our permission and blessings, about Micheal. He kept the media and others from intruding on our grief at that time. He also made the arrangements for our other children to be out of school for an extended time without it hurting their grades. He took care of us.

So today he asked me if I was trying to make him cry and he meant it. Then we spoke for a couple of minutes. He told me another student who had join the military had written him but he couldn't open the letter. I told him he should. He said he wanted this one to come home. He said he will write him back but not open the letter. I suppose we all have our superstitions.

19 months later and this man still grieves for my son and has not forgotten. I don't know how to comfort this man or thank him for all he has done and still does for us.

If there are angels on earth this man is one.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pokey's Poker Run

Bright and early Saturday morning we went to the local VFW where the local National Guard dawgs were holding sign ups and starting the poker run being held in the memory of our son. After a week of rain we were glad to see the sun shining. I took the 3 large pictures of Micheal we have so that those riding would be able to see his beautiful smile and remember we are doing this for his brothers. The run was to raise money for Wounded Warriors Project.

These are a great group of men and women. There was another Gold Star father who rode with us also. Lots of hugs were given. The local police gave us an escort to the first stop of the run. It was eerie... I followed the bikes in my car to the first stop and the police were behind me. For a moment it took me back to March 2008 and the day Pokey came home. It was hard to fight the tears.

The first stop was the Veterans Home here in town. A lot of the men came out to see the bikes and just hang with the riders. All of the riders took the time to thank each of the veterans for their service and answer thier questions about the bikes.

My husband and the rest of the riders then headed out the next stop. I went tot he last stop which is another Veterans Home in a town about 30 miles away. I spent most of the day there greeting riders and talking with the Veterans there.

One gentleman in particular grabbed my ear and we sat and talk for quite a long time. Mr Cooper collects hats and pins and I offered to contact a few organizations and have them send some things to him so he gave me his address. then he asked me if I would write him letters. I told him I would be honored to. And I gave him my address so he could write me also. As we talked he asked about my son.. he didn't realize that the Poker Run was being held in memory of my son. He then shared a great deal of his life story with me. I got the feeling it was something he doesn't do often and I was glad to be able to give him an ear to listen as he purged some of his demons.

After the last group of riders got to the stop I headed back to town to attend the BBQ being held for the riders. It was great to be able to sit and talk with the group. The gentleman who won the pot broke the tradition of donating the winnings back to the charity the ride was being held for and called my youngest son to the front and gave him the money. I then asked my son if he wanted to keep the money or give it to Wounded warriors Project. He gave it back. I was very proud of him for that. Not many 11 yr olds would have done that. I will be giving him the same amount to spend out of my own packet.

Next year we will be doing it all again. There was some discussion of holding it for another charity and I along with a few others will be looking for one we find worthy. Not that Wounded Warriors isn't. But we kind of want to spread the generosity of these riders.

I was very proud to have my son's name on this ride. It was for me a way to continue to carry on his fight by continuing to take care of his brothers in arms the best we can.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New Look

One of my readers mentioned they have trouble reading the pink/red tints so I changed it.

Full write up on the Poker Run tomorrow.. tonight I am exhausted.