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.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A US Army Medic Wounded Warrior

Sgt. Brian Christopher Jergens, from Oklahoma is 22 years old and his wife is 18 years old. They were married a month before Sgt. Jergens left for Afghanistan. Sgt. Jergens, a medic was one of three riding in a Humvee when it was struck by and IED, unfortunately he was the most severely injured. He lost both of he legs below the knee, his ring finger on his left hand, a broken arm, a cracked vertebra, abdominal injuries to the extent doctors removed his spleen. Doctors also had to control the swelling of his brain.

It was only just recently, in the end of August that Sgt. Jergens opened his eyes for the first time at the hospital in San Antonio, Texas to the joy of his wife, Jennifer. He hasn't been able to talk yet, but he is able to track objects with his eyes, and his wife says he is very aware of his surroundings.

Sgt. Jergens followed in his fathers foot steps of enlisting in the Army to be a medic. His father, Sargent Major Brian Keith Jergens has been temporarily assigned to a post near his son who was recovering in Texas until today.  Sgt. Jergens was flown to California to continue his recovery at the Palo Alto VA today, September 19th. The Patriot Guard was on hand to support this wounded warrior and in welcoming him to California.

This warrior and his family has a long tough road to recovery in front of them. If you would like to read updates about his recovery his wife has set up a web page there is also a facebook group

I wish I could have personally been able to meet Sgt. Jergens to welcome him to California, it would have been an honor. In fact it is an honor to have him and his wife in California. I hope and pray he has a full recovery.

Thanking A Vietnam Veteran

Today while standing in a decent sized line at the Pharmacy there were two gentlemen sitting in chairs waiting for their names to be called. One man was lifting his sleeves and pant legs showing off his ink. He pointed to his arm saying, "This is from when I was in the service." Then proceeded to list off a division, and a unit I didn't quite catch. The other man asked, "Vietnam?" The man said yes, quickly moving on to the next tattoo.

Soon my name was called, I had my items, and as I walked past I stopped in front of the Vietnam Veteran and said, "Thank you for your service." He said, "What?" I smiled, "I over heard your conversation, Thank you for serving our country." The man's face turned hard, his gaze steely. I continued to smile, "I truly appreaciate all you've done for me and my family by serving in the military." The mans face softened a little, he gave me a slight head nod and a slit of a smile, "You're very welcome."

I thank people for their service all the time, this man is the first Veteran to look at me sternly, questioningly, defensively.  It makes me wonder if I'm the first person to sincerely thank him for his service and sacrifices.

The Veterans Awareness Coalition has a wonderful article titled What is a Vietnam Veteran. I encourage you all to read it.

Former Governor Schwarzenegger signed a State Assembly Bill 717 two years ago making March 30th Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day, but shouldn't everyday be thank a Vietnam Veteran Day?
Photo Courtesy Kristina Divine

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Constitution Week 2011

Photo courtesy Kristina Divine

About 224 years ago a group of traitorous rebels gathered, wrote, signed, and agreed to the Constitution of The United States of America. Or was it a crowd of oppressed farmers who fought for their freedom from an intolerable monarchy?

Regardless of your view point, the Constitution of the United States was ratified and has been held up as the supreme law of the land for more than 200 years. In President Obama's official proclamation announcing September 17th as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day as well as the week starting September 17th through September 23 National Constitution Week he states,
"Americans are defined not by bloodlines or allegiance to any one leader or faith, but by our shared ideals of liberty, equality, and justice under the law.
Americans should be vigilant in remembering what our forefathers risked and lost in order to fight for ideas of liberty, equality, and justice. Americans need to bear in mind the ideas our nation was founded on  are under constant attack and it is up to us, Americans to fight for liberty, equality, and justice. 

Today America is in a precarious place with economic decay, unemployment soaring, and ten years of war weighing us down, circumstances which bond us with our forefathers who signed the Constitution. If you haven't read The Constitution of the United States recently, I encourage you to do so.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

POW/MIA National Recognition Day- Never Forget

Copying of this poster is encouraged by the DPMO. Feel free to share.
According to the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) statistics, which where updated as of the writing of this post: 73,787 men are still missing from World War II, there are 7,985 service members unaccounted for from Korea, and 1,682 men are waiting to come home from Vietnam.  (Some remains have been recovered and are under going DNA testing for identification.) There were 49 service members listed as POW/MIA during Desert Storm, all 49 souls have been accounted for, the last man was laid to rest in 2009. The DPMO collaborates with several government agencies and countries in Asia to locate and confirm the remains of warriors spanning past conflicts and wars.

Every 3rd Friday of September is POW/MIA Recognition Day in the United States of America, how many citizens know this? How many children in school are taught to remember those who've yet to make it home? How many cities and towns hold POW/MIA ceremonies of some kind? Or even fly a POW/MIA flag? Why should Americans, who've been at War for ten years care about those past Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Airmen who have been missing and could dead after all this time?


Because the motto "Leave No Man Behind" is not a hallow phrase spoken flippantly. There are families and loved ones of 83,454 warriors who are waiting for closure and peace of mind.  That means there are thousands of Fathers, Mothers, Brothers, Sisters, Sons, Daughters, and Grandchildren who are waiting for word of their loved ones fate. They are plagued with questions....

What if they are still alive?
What happened to them?
If they are dead, how did they die?
Will they ever be found?
Will I ever be at peace?

The Warriors who have yet to make it home deserve Honor, Respect, and Remembrance of a nation they fought and served. The remains of 29 men have been identified and laid to rest in 2011 according to the DPMO. If you would like to read the names and in some cases learn a little about the men please click here. 
Copying of this image is encouraged and welcomed.
How can you honor those still missing? You can fly a POW/MIA flag tomorrow, Friday September 16th. If you discover a government building not flying the flag, you can kindly remind them flying the POW/MIA flag has been written into law. You can download this free 2011 POW/MIA Remembrance Day poster, post it as your profile picture on your social media accounts like facebook and twitter. You can have copies of the poster (per the DPMO website that offers the posters, for free) and display them in your home, office, or apartment building as a reminder to all Americans. You can wear a black arm band, explaining when asked that you are doing your part in making sure the POW/MIA's sacrifices will Never Be Forgotten. You can ask those around you at work, or school to take a moment of silence at 10 am on Friday, September 16th in honor of those Warriors and their families awaiting their arrival home.

Remember.... Their Sacrifice. Our Freedom.

Words For Warriors is hosting a Moment of Silence of Facebook, you can join the event at

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The 10th Anniversary Of The 9/11 Attacks

I realized today that my children, who are about to turn 6 and 8 years old have never lived in peace time America. This broke my heart just a little. What else brakes my heart? Every time I'm introduced to a Gold Star family member. If anyone knows adequate words to say to someone who's lost a child, a spouse, a sibling, or a parent please let me know. Saying I'm sorry for your loss seems completely deficient.

But I digress....

Ten years have passed. Ten years of War. We've had two presidents. Gas prices have gone from approximately $1.50 per gallon to $3.89 per gallon where I live. The government developed new agencies like Homeland Security, and the TSA to supposably keep us safe from future terrorist attacks. There are fewer and fewer signs of patriotism in everyday life as civilians without military connections grow weary. I fear such apathy will develop into only vowing to never forget once a year, instead of being diligent about remembering the lives lost on that September day, and every day since. When I say remember and never forget I don't just mean American lives, American's were not the only passengers on those planes or in the WTC. See a previous post Never Forget. Thousands of Coalition lives have been lost in the last ten years as well.

I asked one of my friends who has been on multiple deployments and lost friends what September 11th meant to him. He said, "It shows the myth is busted. America is not invulnerable. We need to always be vigilant."

Here are some other blog postings and articles I think are valuable. I encourage you to read them, as they each have a different perspective on September 11th.

An Unlikely Hero  by Rebecca Liss, Slate Magazine. 
I personally believe this is an unfit title, but the story brought a tear to my eye.
Semper Fi

Sorrow and Resolve  by Maryann of Soldiers' Angels Germany.
I've had the privilege of meeting Maryann. She speaks as poignantly as she writes.

A family remembers: Hero of 9/11 gave life to save thousands by Jess Wisloski, NYC editor Yahoo News.   
This title says it all. It is a family friendly version of Rick Rescorla's actions on 9/11.

Rick Rescorla - BadAss Of The Week
I have to post a warning for profanity, but this blog goes into Rick Rescorla's couragous military history from England to America to 9/11. The word Hero doesn't quite encompass what Rick Rescorla was.

Talismans, 9-11 and #PTSD by Mikey Piro, ptsdsurvivordaily.
An officer who lost family in the towers remembers.

Ten Years Gone  by Tom Sileo The Unknown Soldiers.
An interesting juxaposition between 9/11 and the recent helicopter tragedy that killed 30 in Afghanistan.

9/11: On Kindness  by Kanani. The Kitchen Dispatch
A unique look at compassion sparked by 9/11.

Patriot Day 10 Years Later The American Legion

9/11 + 10 Years: Fears Realized  by WOTN Editor, War On Terror News

Honoring Sgt Chad Frokjer

Image Credit to Sandra Oshiro
Sgt Chad Frokjer a Minnesota resident was killed in action by an explosive devise on June 30th 2011 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He was an experienced Marine on this third deployment. He served with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Pendleton. Governor Jerry Brown of California and Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota ordered all State Flags and American Flags flown at half mast in Sgt. Frokjer's honor on July 9, 2011.

Like so many Marines, Sgt Froker found out he and his wife were expecting a son, Eli their first child while he was deployed. Eli will now learn about his father from his fathers Marine brothers, sisters, and family as they will not meet in this life. Eli is expected to arrive sometime this month.

My fellow blogger Glory, Guts, and Glitter attended High School with Sgt. Frokjer. It is very difficult for her to write about Chad, but she has made two attempts. In her post Update Shmupdate
she mentions the loss of Sgt Frokjer and her personal way of honoring his memory and family.  On August 11th she honors Sgt Frokjer on his 28th birthday. Here is an excerpt.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I began making bracelets to help raise money for his wife Leslie (whom I've never met) and their unborn son Eli.  But I see this as more than a fundraiser.  I remember a Sesame Street book my mother read to me as a child.  Bert was having a hard time remembering to do something, so he tied a string around his finger to help him not forget.  To me, these bracelets are that string around Bert's finger.  I'll never forget the last message I received from Chad on Facebook, jokingly telling me I was stupid for trying to get back into the Marine Corps.  (Many Marines tend to have a love/hate relationship with the Corps.  It's a tough job with a lot of bullshit at times, but I don't know any Marine who would trade in their years of service for something else.  Chad loved what he did.)  Not only are these bracelets a reminder of the sacrifice Sgt Frokjer made for us, but a reminder of all who gave their lives for our country.
For those faithful readers of my blog, you know I honor the fallen every chance I get. I have given a donation to the family and have received a large number of bracelets. My plan is to hand them out as thank you for donations of postage, supplies, and for the children who draw pictures, and write letters for me to send off. I have also promised I will share with every recipient of a bracelet Sgt Chad Frokjer's story. His memory will always live on.

Semper Fi!

This flag flew in Afghanistan by My Master Jedi Marine in 2010. You can read that post here. It seemed appropriate to use a flag that a fellow Marine gave me to honor Sgt Frokjer.