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I commit to pray daily for the individual U.S. military person whose name appears below and his or her family, thereby supporting the President and our great nation, The United States of America.
Faithfully Serving Our Country
Commitment made on
Monday, January 19, 2009
"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord" Psalm 33:12a

Women in the military are silently struggling. In 2007, there were 2,688 reported sexual assaults in the military, with nearly half being rape.
Shockingly, most are forced to pay for their own rape kit, which are victims' files containing DNA samples, interviews, photographs of injuries and other evidence. Military women deserve justice - please speak out now. >>
Women in the military are twice as likely to be raped as their civilian counterparts, and are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. Justice is long overdue.
Urge the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in the upcoming administration to reform military health care so that rape kits are covered. >>

This page represents some of the NEEDS/WANTS/REQUESTS that some of our Troops overseas deployed would like to have sent to them. Let's face it, when deployment time comes, they are quite limited on what to take, ESSENTIALS, but as time 'in country' carries forward and the wear and tear of the extended stays over 'there' continue to drag on for them, they need and want other things. Especially those who are wounded, laying in hospitals and recovering. I never encourage people merely to send monetary donations as there are just TOO MANY scams and frauds these days all in the name of our troops, veterans, wounded, patriotism, etc. But, that isn't the same when I ask you for contributions such as sending items yourself, or purchasing items where you receive a genuine product for your money that, in that sale and in your receiving of a specialized item, also benefits a servicemember. Thank You for your consideration in SUPPORTING OUR TROOPS AND VETERANS, PATRIOTS, AND HEROES!



Mother's gift to Iraq troops: A lifesaving toy
BY: Rebecca Santana, Associated Press

Even in an age of multimillion-dollar high-tech weapons systems, sometimes the simplest ideas can save lives. Which is why a Camden County mother is organizing a drive to send cans of Silly String to Iraq.

American troops use the stuff to detect trip wires around bombs, as Marcelle Shriver learned from her son, a soldier in Iraq.

Before entering a building, troops squirt 10- to 12-foot strands of the plastic goo across a room. If the Silly String falls to the ground, no trip wires. If it hangs in the air, they know they have a problem. The wires are otherwise nearly invisible.

A thousand cans are packed into Shriver's one-car garage in Stratford, ready to be shipped to the Middle East, thanks to two churches and a pilot who heard about the drive.

"If I turn on the TV and see a soldier with a can of this on his vest, that would make this all worth it," said Shriver, 57, an office manager.

Manufacturer Just for Kicks Inc. of Watertown, N.Y., has contacted the family about donating Silly String. Other companies make versions called "party string" or "crazy string."

"Everyone in the entire corporation is very pleased that we can be involved in something like this," said Rob Oram, Just for Kicks product marketing manager. He called the troops' use innovative.

The military, concerned about tipping off insurgents, is reluctant to talk about specific tactics. But Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a military spokesman in Baghdad, said Army soldiers and Marines were not forbidden to come up with new ways to do their jobs, especially in Iraq's ever-evolving battlefield. And commanders are given money to buy nonstandard supplies as needed, he said.

Soldiers in Iraq have bolted scrap metal to Humvees in what has become known as "Hillbilly Armor." Medics plug bullet holes with tampons until the wounds can be patched up. Soldiers put condoms and rubber bands around rifle muzzles to keep out sand. And troops have welded old bulletproof windshields to the top of Humvees to give gunners extra protection, calling it "Pope's glass," a reference to the barrier on the pontiff's "Popemobile."

In an October call to his mother, Army Spec. Todd Shriver explained how his unit in the insurgent hotbed of Ramadi had learned from Marines to use Silly String to detect booby traps.

After sending some cans to her 28-year-old son, Shriver enlisted the help of two priests and posted notices in her church and its newsletter. Money and Silly String are flowing in.

"There's so much that they can't do, and they're frustrated, but this is something they can do," said the Rev. Joseph Capella of St. Luke's Church in Stratford.

Shriver and her husband said they would not mind seeing the string become standard-issue equipment, but they don't blame the military for not supplying it.

"I don't think that they can think of everything," said Ronald Shriver, 59, a retired salesman. "They're taught to improvise, and this is something that they've thought of."

Because the string comes in an aerosol can, Marcelle Shriver said, the Postal Service will not ship it by air. But a private pilot who heard about her campaign has agreed to fly the cans to Kuwait, most likely in January, and they will then be taken to Iraq.

Shriver said she would continue her campaign as long as her son was overseas and she had Silly String to send.
"I know that he's going come through this. I hope they all do," she said.
How to Help
A Stratford mother is collecting Silly String to send to her son and other troops in Iraq. They sometimes use the substance, which squirts out in a stream about 10 to 12 feet long, to detect wires connected to booby traps.

Donations of Silly String or similar products and money to defray costs are sought.
Checks made out to Marcelle Shriver can be sent to St. Luke's Church, 55 Warwick Rd., Stratford, N.J. 08084.

To the troops far away
For yet another Holiday
May I say I share your sorrow
For all of our tomorrows
For missed 'major' events
And everyday 'minor' comments.
When duty calls, you go
With Pride and Honor you do glow.
It gets more difficult each tour
Knowing what to expect, the horror.
The danger lurks behind every corner
And every building's dormer.
Along the roads, so long and open
The IED's await like mere tokens
To tear off limbs and maim and harm
No matter what they do, we won't dis-arm
Throughout the battles, terror and fears
Our troops hold on to Faith, Family, Friends and Tears.
As the Holiday Season 2006 approaches
They'll look to us as depression encroaches.
A sandstorm will turn into a beautiful snowfall so warm
While ALL pray this is the last Holiday Season so far from home.
Once again someone will don red and play Santa
They'll again use their imaginations to get through yet one more



‘Blue to Green’ Allows Sailors, Airmen to Transfer to Army

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2006 – As the Air Force and Navy continue to transform themselves, the two services are finding they do not need the number of people they once did.
 But thanks to a program called "Operation Blue to Green," sailors and airmen chosen for separation can transfer to the Army and remain on active duty. The two "blue" services are scrubbing their officer and enlisted ranks and eliminating jobs.  The Air Force, for example, will draw down by 40,000 jobs in the next few years.

“These are highly qualified and motivated people,” said Army Lt. Col. Deborah Stewart, the chief of officer accessions policy at the directorate of manpower and personnel management at the Pentagon.
 “The Blue to Green program allows them to continue to serve.”   The program allows qualified airmen and sailors to transfer to the Army.
 This year, there is a $10,000 bonus for those accepted into the program.

Enlisted personnel in grades E-1 to E-5 retain their ranks and time in grade when they transfer.
 Officers retain their rank and date of rank. All who transfer go through the
Army’s Warrior Transition Course – a four-week course to show the airmen and sailors
how the Army does things.

If those who wish to transfer have specialty codes that translate to Army jobs, then they do not need to retrain, Stewart said.
 “An MP is an MP, whether Army or Air Force,” she said.  Other career fields that transfer easily are military intelligence, administration, supply and transportation.  
“The majority of the jobs that are open are in combat support, combat service support specialties,” she said.

In fiscal 2006, 172 airmen and sailors transferred into the Army – 152 from the Air Force and 52 from the Navy, according to officials at the Army Human Resources Command.
The goal was 200.

Air Force officials said the program has a pretty good jump start for fiscal 2007.
 “To date, we’ve have 69 enlisted (members) apply -- 25 approved, 44 pending,” said Air Force  Lt. Col. Jimmy Standridge, chief of the separations branch at the Air Force Personnel Center, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.  “On the officer side, we have 84 applications
-- 63 approved and 21 still pending.”

The Army cannot say what the goal for fiscal 2007 is yet.
 That depends on Air Force “force-shaping” boards that will determine how many positions will be cut from the service’s rolls.  The officer board will be held in March, and while it’s not expected to be as large as previous boards, it will still identify a number of people for separation.  
Standridge said those people will be offered the Blue to Green option.

Related Sites:
Operation Blue to Green



Donations for Wounded Service Members

Wounded service members who arrive at the 10th Combat Support Hospital (10th CSH) in Baghdad, Iraq, are usually rushed inside with no clothes to wear during their recovery. SSgt Ryan A. Kohrig (former M&RA Marine), is currently Personal Security Detail (PSD) for Multi National Forces-Iraq (MNF-I), Chief of Staff (COS). SSgt Kohrig and his team visit and distribute items at the 10th CSH to support wounded/ injured Marines & other Service Members on a regular basis. He started a donation program at MNF-I and I am assisting him from the homefront. If you would like to contribute, donations may be dropped off in the designated boxes located in the break rooms on every floor, near the gym, or near the main doors of the Marsh Center. This list of requested items will be frequently updated to reflect current needs. The types of new items requested to donate are as follows:

Long Pajama bottoms (cotton-S/M/L/XL)
T-shirts(All sizes)
Underwear (Male All sizes & Women size 5-7)
Sports Bra (size 32-36)
Slippers (All Sizes – men and women)
Shower Shoes (All sizes- men and women)
Various Toiletry Items
Books & Crossword puzzles etc.

The point of contact for this donation project is:

Corporal Beasley, Crystal L
Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps
Manpower and Reserve Affairs (M&RA)
Reserve Affairs Planning (RAP)
3280 Russell Road
Quantico, VA 22134-5043
(703) 784-9135


Saturday, September 23, 2006
Some Heroes need our help!
In everyone's life there comes a day when you feel deep in your soul you need to help another human being. Whether it's to run an errand, or help a friend move, we can always step up to the plate and take a swing at the problem for those we care about. Today, I am stepping up to the plate and I hope you will join with me by standing with me while I pick up my bat and begin the long swing to hit this ball over the fence for a sweet HOMERUN for some very special heroes! How can you help me, by reading the following story and then sharing it with everyone you know who has ever put on the uniform of the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

I first learned about this group a few years ago, as I was researching my first book about World War II. I had a few connections to this group because my niece joined this legacy when she graduated West Point and subsequently her brother Jack followed in her footsteps a few years later as he joined them in Italy, Afghanistan and Iraq. Then last year I decided to add another book to the series I am currently working on, one about Vietnam. While attending a military reunion last summer, I learned more about them from men I came to admire greatly over the course of a long weekend in Tampa Florida. Over the last year, I have delved into many archival stacks at the National Archives and more recently at the Army's wonderful research facility, Ridgeway Hall at the Army Historical and Educational Center located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. There I learned even more about this special group who has served our country proudly and mostly distinctively. I was fascinated by this group for a very special reason, because of a very special man who was once part of this unit in Vietnam, a hero who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

While conducting my research for my upcoming book, I have covered every aspect of that timeframe, but for personal reasons I have searched long and hard on two very special units, but today I want to only talk about one of them, the 173rd Airborne Brigade, specifically A Company, 1st Battalion 503rd Infantry. This was the unit one of my favorite heroes served with during his time in Vietnam. His name was Sgt. Raymond S. Inslee. My beloved Ray was killed in action in March of 1970 while on patrol with his unit. Because of the closeness of our families and because I knew him personally growing up, I took this loss very hard. It was as if I had lost a brother, because that's how I thought of Ray, as my other older brother. I have never forgotten my darling Ray and wanted to honor him by learning as much as I could about his unit for my upcoming book. Maybe in some way I could connect with him in a very special way and I have and so can you.

During a recent conversation with his brother Bobby, I learned that he had found someone who knew Ray while in Vietnam, my prayers had been answered. I was so excited I almost jumped out of my skin. His name is Larry Hampton. I was excited and without hesitation I contacted him. Emails were exchanged and he invited me to join him and the rest of the 173rd Airborne Brigade for a very special event in Atlanta Georgia on October 7th of this year. This is where you all can help me honor the memory of my hero... Help me spread the word about this very special event.

If you know of a soldier who has worn the uniform of the 173rd AIRBORNE, or any uniform of the United States Army, encourage them to join the 173rd Airborne Brigade in their efforts to raise $500,000 to build a monument in memory of their fallen at Ft. Benning, Georgia. The day's events begin with a special ride from the Convention Center in downtown Atlanta to the HiFi Amphitheatre for a benefit concert with music of Big and Rich, Lynard Skynard and many more as they salute those in uniform of the 173rd past and present. There is also a motorcycle ride to Atlanta from Charlotte North Carolina that Larry Hampton is leading in memory of his brothers who never made it home from the battlefields of Vietnam. For more information on this wonderful day of celebration to honor all those in the 173rd Airborne Brigade, please go to and scroll down to "DAY OF HONOR". If you are like me and love to ride on the back of a motorcycle and live in the MD, VA, WVA, NC, SC or GA area, here is your excuse to ride one more time before the cold weather sets in, join this special ride to honor those who sacrificed their lives for all of us, contact Larry Hampton at, register and pay your $50 bucks a rider and help
them reach their goal on October 7th. If you can't make it to the event
and sill want to help them, go to and donate something to the effort. Remember every little bit helps because the faster they raise this money, the faster this monument can be built... "it's time we did something to honor these fallen heroes! I will be there, will you?
Help me keep my hero's memory alive for not only my family, his family, but for his brothers in uniform and for future generations of the 173rd Airborne Brigade so that they will never forget my hero and the legacy they are entering into as they train to protect America!

God Bless the Sky Soldiers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, may they fly with God's wind and gentle hand beneath their silken canopy to safe landings to fight for freedom for all the world!

Distributed with permission from Betty Kilbride read her Blog at


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Please spread the word of our Prisoners of War and our Missing in Action. There are STILL Americans who don't know anything about them! There are Americans who don't know the true meaning of POW/MIA! TEACH THEM. NEVER FORGOTTEN!!




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