Tag Archives: Support our Troops

Long May She Wave

4 Jul


Flying in front of our house this morning is a very special flag.  Some years ago it flew over the nation’s Capitol in honor of my father-in-law’s birthday.  He flew it proudly from his home until he passed away in 2002.

He grew up on a farm in rural Southwest virginia.  But when his nation called in World War II, he answered.  He served in the Pacific theater as a communications lineman, running the wires in advance of the troops in the Phillipines and Japan.

His service, and that of thousands of other young men and women, is the reason we can freely fly that flag today.

Let’s not take that for granted.


National D-Day Memorial in Financial Trouble

2 Jun

National D-Day Memorial on brink of financial ruin
Associated Press

BEDFORD, Va. (AP) — On the eve of the 65th anniversary of D-Day, the foundation that runs the National D-Day Memorial is on the brink of financial ruin. Donations are down in the poor economy. The primary base of support — World War II veterans — is dying off. And the privately funded memorial is struggling to draw visitors because it’s hundreds of miles from a major city.
Read more.

Film gives account of Va. community’s D-Day role

Sen. Mark Warner was hosting the Tuesday evening showing of “Bedford: The Town They Left Behind.” Bedford suffered among the highest per-capita losses in the Normandy landing.
Read more.

Warner tries to find way to save DDay Memorial

Warner is also fighting hard to prevent the memorial from closing due to its financial problems. He said he is working with Congressman Tom Perriello to have the Park Service take over the memorial.
Read more.

My family and I visited the Memorial last October. Pictures and the report of our visit are here.

On Memorial Day

25 May

It’s a quiet morning and I’m up earlier than the rest of the household.  I’m looking over my list of things that I want to get accomplished today, wondering if the rain will hold off to allow for the pool and the hard work.

But I want to take a moment to say thank you.  Thank you to the men and women who fought and gave the ultimate sacrifice for my freedom to be here doing just this today.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, some 1.2 million Americans have given their lives in service to their country during war time.  Millions more have stood ready to do the same.

While many in my family served in the military, none made the ultimate sacrifice.  My grandfather, Reese Melvin Russell went into WWI at age 29.  His diary his now recorded at the Library of Congress.  My Dad joined the Army at the end of WWII and served in Germany and later in Korea.  My uncles, mystep dad, my father-in-law all served.

I never did.  As a product of the 1970s, I graduated from high school just a couple of years after the end of Vietnam, so military service wasn’t something I considered.  After college I gave it some passing thought, but didn’t pursue it.  It’s something I’ll always regret.

So, it is with deep gratitude that today I honor those who did follow that call.  I am grateful for their service, for their commitment.

And I honor their memory.

What this Weekend is Really All About

23 May

Thank you Veterans

11 Nov

Air Force Art

Go Murtha Go!

24 Oct

I mean really, go home.

Could those bitter, gun and religion clinging, redneck racists be getting ready to boot John Murtha out of office?  They just might.

Michelle Malkin:  Breaking: New poll shows Russell over Murtha, 48-35
A Pennsylvania source has just leaked me brand spanking new poll data showing GOP upstart Bill Russell leading John Murtha among over 800 probable voters by 48-35.

FOX News:  Murtha Race Tightens After ‘Racist,’ ‘Redneck’ Remarks
Rep. John Murtha finds himself in a statistical tie in his re-election bid as Western Pennsylvanians take issue with being called “racist” by their congressman.

The Hill: Murtha in trouble after calling constituents racist
Murtha has found himself in hot water after telling the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that there is “no question” western Pennsylvania is racist. Murtha subsequently apologized, only to make another controversial statement about his constituents earlier this week.,,“This whole area, years ago, was really redneck,” Murtha told a Pittsburgh television news affiliate earlier this week.

RedState: Poll Confirms: Murtha in Trouble, And What Democrat Has Done More to Merit Defeat?
Democratic Rep. John Murtha leads retired Army Lt. Col. William Russell by a little more than 4 percentage points, within the Susquehanna Poll’s 4.9-point margin of error. The poll of 400 likely voters was conducted for the Tribune-Review on Tuesday, amid uproar over Murtha’s statement that some of his constituents are racist…

Pittsburg Tribune-Review: Murtha’s hold on House seat slips
Russell repeatedly has criticized Murtha for not apologizing for the remark after seven of the eight Marines charged in the killings were cleared of wrongdoing.

I have to agree with D.J.:  Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy

The price of freedom

21 Oct

For years I’ve driven home to see family and have wanted to stop at the D-Day Memorial in Bedford. This weekend, on the way home from a family reunion, my wife, our 8-year-old and I stopped for the tour. The National D-Day Memorial is located in Bedford because Bedford lost 21 men at D-Day, the largest percentage of any community in the country.

The Arch symbolizes victory and you can see this from the highway driving by. It’s art deco and in black and white which were the colors of “Operation Overlord.”





The memorial is divided into three sections representing “Preparation, Battle and Victory.” “Preparation” is represented by an English Garden, design in the shape of the patch designed for this operation. The flowers in the middle are in the shape of a flaming sword.


The statue of General Eisenhower stands in the rotunda. Along the sides of the garden are the busts of his advisors in the patten in which they would have been seated around his table.

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have
striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The
hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.
In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on
other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war
machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of
Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well
equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of
1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats,
in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their
strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home
Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions
of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men.
The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to

I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in
battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great
and noble undertaking.

SIGNED: Dwight D. Eisenhower


This statue represents the approach onto the beach. Behind this there is a plaza where the wall looks back over the garden.






The wall bears the names of all the men killed on D-Day. In the middle before the water is a granite representation of an LST. The real LSTs were made from quarter inch plywood. In the water fountain bursts are set off randomly to represent the attack of the enemy.



This is one of the most moving representations. Obviously it represents the fallen soldier. But you’ll see by his head a book. That represents a bible. One of the “Bedford Boys” Raymond Boggess died that day. His body was never found, but his Bible was discovered on the beach, wrapped in plastic. His brother Bedford also died that day.

This sculpture represents the climb to the top of the cliffs.












Reaching the top.

It was a moving experience. I’m glad we stopped. We were on the tour with a WWII Navy vet. He joined after D-Day, but it was an honor to meet him and share this experience.

This post hardly does justice to the actual experience. The pictures tell so much more of the story than my words ever could. If you have the chance to visit, by all means do so.

Military Times Poll: McCain 68%, Obama 23%

5 Oct

Military Times poll: Troops backing McCain
Airforce Times

Sen. John McCain enjoys overwhelming support from the military’s professional core, though race appears to be a decisive factor for career-oriented black service members, a Military Times survey of nearly 4,300 readers indicates.

McCain, R-Ariz., handily defeated Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., 68 percent to 23 percent in a voluntary survey of 4,293 active-duty, National Guard and reserve subscribers and former subscribers to Army Times, Navy Times, Marine Corps Times and Air Force Times.

Family to Obama: Please don't wear the bracelet [updated]

28 Sep

So, as if it wasn’t embarrassing enough that Barack Obama couldn’t remember the name on the bracelet he wears.  Now we find that the family has asked him not to wear it.  Specifically, Tracy Jopek, Sgt. Ryan Jopek’s mother who gave the bracelet to Obama, asked him not to wear it.  Mrs. Jopek has declined interviews, and is an Obama supporter. But Sgt. Jopek’s father relayed this to the host of a Wisconsin Public Radio Station.  Follow the links in the stories to hear the interview.

Family Told Obama NOT To Wear Soldier Son’s Bracelet… Where is Media?

Shockingly, however, Madison resident Brian Jopek, the father of Ryan Jopek, the young soldier who tragically lost his life to a roadside bomb in 2006, recently said on a Wisconsin Public Radio show that his family had asked Barack Obama to stop wearing the bracelet with his son’s name on it. Yet Obama continues to do so despite the wishes of the family.

Barack Obama’s Bracelet

Barack Obama’s bracelet is apparently not being worn with permission from the parents, and what he’s saying about it seems not to be true.


The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Mrs. Jopek acknowledged writing the Obama campaign and asking him not to mention the bracelet.   However she said she believed Senator Obama’s mention of the bracelet in the campaign was “appropriate.”

Apparently no comment on what she thought about Obama forgetting her son’s name.

New McCain Ad: "Troops"

26 Jul

John McCain has launched a new ad “Troops” in response to Obama’s cancelling a troop visit because he couldn’t bring a camera. At the McCain site, there’s a list of supporting facts that pretty much clear up the spin that the Obamanites and the lefty bloggers are trying to put on this.