To encourage and fortify relationships between military service members, veterans, their families, their friends, and their Country; to nurture the path of communication for everyone, ensuring that no one is alone or left behind; and proving that we have not, are not, and will never forget the nobility of their sacrifices.

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Wishes

Alex M. Pizza sits in a C17 in Turkmenistan

As 2010 comes to an end, I've thought about the past year. The ups, the downs, and the in betweens. The new friendships I've gained, and the memories of loved ones passed.

 I have high expectations for 2011 on a personal and a professional scale. I hope to be touching more lives, and helping more people, making sure that no one feels forgotten about. As a country we should embrace those who are willing to sacrifice not only their time with their families, but their lives, for us.

In the year that Words For Warriors has been supporting our Deployed servicemen and women we have not had a single casualty. Most of all I hope and pray I can say the same this time next year.

To Hope. To Honor. To Sacrifice. To Family. To Homecomings.
Happy New Year.

Welcoming Nick Moody Home At Reno International Airport

Words For Warriors was honored to attended Nick's Welcome home Thursday night December 30th at Reno Airport. I regret not getting any photos, but the above news coverage is comprehensive. Nick was all smiles when I introduced myself. He even made a hearty laugh when I gave him a welcome home note from a friend he served with over 3 years ago.

Lorina, Nick's mother held a constant smile thanking everyone for all their support in bringing her son home. Lornia acknowledged it was the individual people of this nation who helped give her son back to her, not the bureaucracy whom runs this country.

Nick seemed a little shy and shell shocked at the out pouring of support.  His friend confided that Nick wasn't the kind of person who liked a lot of attention. I know Nick is grateful for all of his supporters, and a little in awe of the strangers who came to help him in his hour of need. Because of everyone who worked so hard, Nick can continue with his life, life as a normal college student. Good luck Nick.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Patriotic Tribute-Thank You

I found this video and had to share it. It's says it all.

The Best Christmas Present This Year...

The best Christmas present this year was a phone call from Afghanistan on Christmas Day from a Marine. This Marine told me how the artificial tree I'd sent brought Christmas to Afghanistan. The wrapped presents under the tree were a bonus. This particular Marine received 3 wrapped Nerf guns, among other random items. He told me how he gave the Nerf guns to his friends. After one friend unwrapped it he was so excited shouting, "I ALWAYS WANTED A NERF GUN WHEN I WAS A KID. THIS IS THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVAH!" The Marine shared other stories with me involving the Nerf guns and his friends, promising me pictures when he gets back to the States.

This morning I got an email from the Marine. In true Marine style it was short, only containing one sentence. It said, "Thanks again for everything you sent it definitely helped make Christmas and I really appreciate it!"

You and your friends are most welcome Marine. Thank you for all the sacrifices you make for US.


A Contest That Benefits Our Troops

Pentel and Operation Gratitude are teaming up for National Handwriting Day (January 23) to sponsor Heros Worth Writing For (click for more information.) 
The Official Rules are, "Handwrite a letter to one of our United States Military members expressing your thanks for their courage and sacrifice. Letters must be handwritten and fit on one side of an 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper."

 All letters must be postmarked on or before January 31st to the following address. You also need to include your name, address, and email address on a separate sheet of paper so they have a way to contact you if you are the Grand Prize winner or one of the 4 Runner-ups. Please note that this contest is open to those under 18, however a parent permission slip must accompany the letter. 
    Pentel of America, Ltd. - Marketing Department
    C/O Heroes Worth Writing For
    4000 E. Airport Drive, Suite C
    Ontario, CA 91761
I encourage everyone to take 5 minutes out of their day to write a letter and submit it. It is the least we can do to show our support for those who give up years of their lives sacrificing so much for us. Remember... Their Sacrifice. Our Freedom. 

Nick Moody Should Be On US Soil December 29th

Lorina Moody is proudly announcing that her son, Nick Moody not only has his passport, and a valid Visa, but also two plane tickets. One ticket takes him to JFK airport on December 29th, the other ticket takes him to Reno Nevada on December 30th. His plane is due to arrive in Reno at 5pm.

Once Nick arrives in Reno there will be a gathering at the Grand Sierra Lobby for all of his friends, family, and supporters. The family also hopes to have a Homecoming in Susanville for those who can not make it to the airport to welcome Nick home. These details are not available at this time, but I will update when they become available.

Until then...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Spirit

In all honesty I haven't really been in the Christmas spirit this year. Shopping makes me claustrophobic this time of year. Don't get me wrong, I have bought presents, although the majority of what I bought was sent downrange to Afghanistan to those I know will truly appreciate them.

This evening while driving on Main Street in Red Bluff California I saw a man standing tall on the street corner holding two signs, SUPPORT OUR TROOPS, and MERRY CHRISTMAS. He stood alone waving at those who honked in support.  He asked for no money, or donations.

I pulled over deciding I needed to know more about this man.  The man's name was John. John has lived in Red Bluff his entire life, except when he was in the Army. John told me with a smile, "I was in the 101st Airborne back when they jumped out of planes." John served in Korea, he was stationed at the DLZ. I thanked John for his service, and for standing out in the cold as a reminder to be grateful for those who stand for us. I asked John if he'd been out every weekend this month. "Well," John said looking down at the ground, "I've been out everyday this month for a couple hours, except one day I wasn't out because it was raining and my signs weren't laminated yet."

John and I continued to talk, he told me he had friends and family at home, he left them to come stand on this corner with his signs. "I only live 30 minutes away," John motioned with his hand, "Where I have food, warmth, and family. Even this cold street corner is better than Korea, Iraq, or Afghanistan any day." John tells of the support he's received from Red Bluff, about how a couple of "kids" who were leaving to fight in Afghanistan, and be stationed in Korea stopped to talk with him.

I left John with a renewed sense of the meaning of Christmas. John was a man, a Veteran who was committed to stand a vigil of support through the month of December no matter what the weather, reminding a town to remember those who sacrifice so much for our freedom.

In a time when I hear from the deployed America is at the mall, while we are at War I would like to Thank John for his vigil, for his reminder to remember what is important this Christmas. It's not what's under the tree, it's those who protect us.  MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Could Nick Moody Be Arrested Again And Sent Back To Prison?

Nick's Mother Lorina Moody who has now set her sights on Nick's safe return home for the New Year, as he will not make it home for Christmas has big concerns. Nick's 30 Day Visa expired while he was in prison in the UAE on a charge of carrying weapons related paraphernalia. Nick was arrested on September 29th and released on December 1st. It should be noted once his case was settled, it took the government 22 days to release Nick's passport, after much work from his lawyers.

Immigration states it is illegal to be in the Country without a valid Visa. Therefore a 16,000 AED ($4355) fine is being enforced. Nick's lawyer is working hard to get the fine waived since Nick was detained and held in prison with no way to extend his Visa. Nick's lawyer is meeting with Immigration Officials on Sunday. If Immigration decides Nick is at fault for his lapsed Visa he will be arrested and returned to prison to await another trial for being in the Country with an expired Visa.

The Moody family continues to ask for support in keep Nick's case in the forefront of the news and politicians minds as well as our hearts and prayers. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

National Museum Of The Marine Corps Virtual Experience

Because of my remote location and tough economic times traveling to see Museums has been cut from the budget. I can't begin to tell you all how thrilled I was to find the National Museum Of The Marine Corps Virtual Experience  through @Warrior_Patriot whom I follow on Twitter.

This is a MUST SEE experience that is truly spectacular. The site allows you to walk through the museum, every floor with 360 degree detail as if you were really there. A tour detail, narrative text, and related media tabs accompany each section of the museum.


Semper Fi!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Nick Moody Is Coming Home!

The National reported the Judge overseeing Nick Moody's case ruled Nick could go free with a suspended sentence of three months in jail and a fine of 15,000 Dirham (4,084.42 US Dollars). Nick was warned if he were to be arrested again he would serve jail time.

Nick is quoted as saying, "I'm glad I am free. It's over."

Nick's family has posted celebratory thanks on the Help Bring Nick Moody Back Home Facebook page. They are hoping to have Nick home for Christmas... no doubt the only item on his Mother's List to Santa.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Rucksack to Backpack: Brian and Me

War, Brotherhood, PTSD, Family, Divorce, and Suicide. Read this. It is emotional, informative, and extremely well written. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

As a school child I remember coming home and asking my Mother where she was on December 7, 1941. She wasn't born until 1944, so gave me one of her I-am-not-that-old looks before she told me of a family vacation. When she was 13 years old her father took her family on an ocean cruise to Hawaii.

As the teenagers gravitated towards one another she and her two sisters became friends with a boy. (I do not remember his name.)  My Mother's family accompanied the boy and his family to the Pearl Harbor Memorial. It was while they stood over the USS Arizona, the boy looked at my Mother in a way she would never forget and said, "My grandfather is still down there. I wish I could have met him."

In total there were 2,117 Sailors and Marines killed in action or who died of their wounds, while 779 were wounded.  A sum of 215 Soldiers were killed in action or died of their wounds, with 360 wounded. 

Ultimately 15 Medals of Honor, 51 Navy Crosses, 53 Silver Crosses, 4 Navy and Marine Corps Medals, 1 Distinguished Flying Cross, 4 Distinguished Service Crosses, 1 Distinguished Service Medal, and 3 Bronze Stars were awarded to American servicemen who fought at Pearl Harbor. It should be noted that not all of those who fought were trained to fight. An African-American cook by the name of Dorie Miller who served aboard the West Virginia took over an unattended anti-aircraft gun on which he held no training. His actions made him the first African-American to be awarded the Navy Cross. 

Hero's are survivors of circumstance. Each and every man and woman who resided at Pearl Harbor on this tragic day are Hero's. Some Hero's survive to tell their stories. Other Hero's remain only in our hearts and memories. Honor the sacrifices of the fallen and their loved ones by lowering your Flag to half-mast. Find an event near you Honoring those who fought at Pearl Harbor. Shake a survivor's hand. 

More Delay's For Nick Moody

Nick Moody was supposed to have his trial today, Monday December 6th after being arresting in Abu Dhabi Airport in the UAE for possessing accessories that accompany a firearm. (Nick was not carrying a firearm.) Nick is an inactive guardsman after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan to work for a Private Security Firm in Iraq.

His trial has been postponed until next Monday, December 13th.

Nick told CNN,"He's not sure how much more prison time he could face if convicted, but he's prepared for the outcome of a judge's decision."

Lorina Moody, Nick's mother told CNN, "Our son is the type of individual who would not have willingly broken the law." Lorina is continuing to ask for prayers and letters to State Officials until Nick's case is resolved. Nick and his family are hoping this issue will be resolved so they may spend Christmas together. 

I will continue to update as more information becomes available. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Nick Moody Out On Bail

Nick Moody was released today, December 1st with bail from Al Wathba prison in the UAE after being arrested in the Abu Dhabi airport on September 29th. Being released on bail in the UAE means the government keeps his passport until his verdict is handed down. Nick's trial is set for December 6th.

Lorina Moody, Nick's mother is asking for the populace continued contact of their State Representatives to keep Nick's case in the forefront assisting in his safe return home. Find your Representatives contact information here If you would like to look at a sample letter for ideas on what to write to your Representative look here. 

If you are new to Nick's story read previous post here, here, and here. I will keep you updated as I find out more information. If you are a facebook user, you can become a fan of Help Bring Nick Moody Home to see direct correspondence and reports from his family. The Reno Gazette-Journal wrote an update on Nick's here. 

Nick and his family are extremely thankful for all of the support. Hopefully Nick will be home to share Christmas with his family.