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.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ssgt Robert B. Cowdrey- Flight Medic and Angel

Picture from the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade facebook page for Ssgt Cowdrey's Memorial Ceremony

Ssgt Robert B. Cowdrey was serving his fourth deployment. He served as a Combat Medic with C Company "Dust Off" 3rd Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade. Task Force Poseidon.  He died in combat operations on October 13 in Afghanistan.

I can't find any words for this Soldier or his family. Only that he has been described as an angel who came from up above to help the wounded. I believe he is still an angel, up above, looking down on all those he loves, especially his wife Jill of 17 years and his three sons.

Here are some links about Brian's life, his work, and those who love him.

This link shows pictures of Brian at work in February 2010 in Marjah, Afghanistan when he was apart of the U.S. Army Task Force Pegasus team. All Eyes Photo Blog at

Quentin, Brian's little brother believes Brian died doing what he loved.

Read what U.S. Army Maj. Grahm Bundy of Sussex, Wis., and Task Force Talon Dust Off Commander had to say about Brian.  At the bottom is a list of his awards, which illustrates his loyalty and valor. DVIDS-NEWS 

Here are the pictures posted through the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade facebook page of Brian's memorial service. *Tissue Alert*

My friend at War On Terror News posted the last interview Brian gave Fighting For A Life and a statement from the Cowdrey family. Honor Brian's family and his memory by reading it. RIP SSG Robert B. Cowdrey

My friend, Laughing Wolf at BlackFive has a fantastic memorial post about Brian. The post includes a video made my Brian's youngest son after Brian's death. Go see it. GOD SPEED SSG ROBERT B. "BRIAN" COWDREY 

The blogger who goes by Assoluta Tranquillita is a close friend of Brian's. You can see her words, and those of others who love Brian. SSG Brian Cowdrey Who Shall I Send?

You will note I have a Warrior Remembrance Wall on the upper left corner. These are Soldiers and Marines that have had some personal impact on my life who I want to honor and remember. Brian is one of them. May God bring peace to his family and friends.

Chief Warrant Officer II U.S. Army, Richard "Dick" Muirhead

Photo courtesy Kristina Divine

Perhaps some of you remember the post back in January called Mom You're Crazy. This is where I bought groceries for a talkative Vietnam Veteran who's name I never got. The mans name is Richard "Dick" Muirhead. He was born February 19th, 1947 in Albany N.Y. On September 14, 2011 he lost his battle with cancer.

When I met him that day in Safeway, he was all smiles telling my boys about flying Huey's. Turns out he's a decorated Vietnam Veteran who served a second tour in Vietnam because "his brothers were there."  My children looked at Chief Warrant Officer II Dick Muirhead as if he wore a cape defending the less fortunate, and they were right to do so.

My boys and I attended Dick's funeral on Saturday, September 24th, 2011 as a member of the Patriot Guard Riders. Even though I joined the PGR over a year ago, I hadn't been able to attend a Memorial Service since becoming a member. Dick Myrhead's funeral was my first mission with my boys at my side.  It was an experience I will never forget, as I will never forget Dick Muirhead.

May your family find peace as you've been reassigned to duty in heaven.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Meet A Veteran Day

Veterans Day is a little less than a month away, Words For Warriors is doing their part by holding Meet A Veteran Day at Janesville Union School on November 10th from 1:30 to 2:30 pm.  This will be an event where select students will get to ask questions of Veterans from the various Wars.  Words For Warriors is also supplying school curriculum for any teacher who would like it. The curriculum is from The History Channel event Take A Veteran To School Day.

The goal is to help educate students on who Veterans are, why they are important, and how to thank a Veteran. If anyone would like more information, please feel free to contact me. I am very excited about this major school event and will keep you all posted!

Note: The above poster is available for free download and printing at

Friday, October 7, 2011

Captain Jack Randal's Rules For Raiding

While writing book reviews for the first two books in Phil Ward's Raiding Forces Series, which you can read here and here, Captain Jack Randal's Rules For Raiding have not only stuck with me, but I've been guilty of quoting them a time or two, so I thought I would share these rules with those who have not read Those Who Dare or Dead Eagles.  

Randal's Rules For Raiding
Rule 1. The first rule is there ain't no rules.
Rule 2. Keep it short and simple.
Rule 3. It never hurts to cheat.
Rule 4. Right man, right job.
Rule 5.Plan missions backwards (know how to get home.)
Rule 6. It's good to have a Plan B.
Rule 7. Expect the unexpected.

Major Jack Randal Rules is displayed on the first page of Dead Eagles for those who need refreshing. It occurred to me while reading Dead Eagles, Major Randal's Rules apply to everyday life. Take Rule 1 I've found even when I played by the rules, not everyone else does. Whether it's trying to control a pack of sugar crazed children while substitute teaching on Halloween, or talking to your husband it's always better to keep it short and simple, hence Rule 2.  Rule 3 Cheating in the books is more about taking whatever tool/weapon/person to tip the scales of advantage. In life I'd interpret it to mean use what tools you have to your advantage. Nepotism isn't always a bad thing. Discounts at a restaurant because you're good friends with the owner is nice too. Just remember to pay those favors back when you're able.  Rule 4 Right man, right job. This is a rule I think every person in an authoritative position should have tattooed on their brain. If one is truly utilizing the right man (or woman), right job theory without thought about involving ego, well just imagine the possibilities... 
Rule 5 Plan missions backwards (know how to get home) doesn't literally apply to the majority of the population of earth.  However, if you take it on a theoretical basis Rule 5 could be interpreted as, never forget where you came from, how you got where you are, and why you're going in the direction you're heading.  I found in life Rule 6 It's good to have a Plan B is an absolute must. In fact, if you add children into the factor I wouldn't stop at Plan B. More than once I've made it to Plan K. If you've spent much time around children this needs no explanation. Rule 7 Expect the unexpected ties into Rule 6 and also valuable in life. I have been waylaid by the unexpected in pretty much every aspect of my life at some point. Sometimes the unexpected is pleasant, other times it's not.

What do you think of Captain Randal's Rules?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Gold Star Mother's Day

Gold Star Mother's Day is the last Sunday in September every year.  I've been thinking about what to write for Gold Star Mother's Day for over a month. Why is this post late? Because of an unexpected three dog emergency that occurred early Sunday morning after my oldest sons 8th birthday camp out party. The true nature of an emergency means leaving with only what you have on your persons. Sadly my lap top was not on me at the time of the emergency for the three unexpected days I had to spend in Reno, which is in the next state and an hour and a half drive, hence a belated posting.

I have met a few Gold Star Mothers, and I still have no idea what to say to them. The thought of losing a child is so devastating that I can't bear to even think about it. So what does one say to a Mother who's lost a child? "Thank you for your sacrifice" not only seems inadequate, but also unsuitable.  I personally don't know what my reaction would be if someone thanked me for the sacrifice of one of my children but I'm not sure it would be positive.

I was debating on the proper words to say to a Gold Star Mother  beginning my long drive home with three alive, but still sick doggies when I saw this truck driving in front of me.

This Nevada registered truck also had a Gold Star Family license plate. If this truck would have pulled into a shopping center, I would have followed. I would have approached. I would have admitted I have no idea what to say to a Gold Star Family member, but that I wanted to express my heartfelt sympathy for the loss their son.

If you come across a Gold Star Family member I encourage you to say something. I've been told from one Gold Star Mother, if you speak from the heart you can't go wrong.

You can read about the life of PFC Nicholas R. Wilde here

If you knew PFC Nicholas R. Wilde and have any pictures of him, I'm sure his family would appreciate you adding them to his Memorial album

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dead Eagles- The 2nd Book In The Raiding Forces Series By Phil Ward

Dead Eagles is the second book by Phil Ward which will be released this November 2011. Major John Randal and his diverse team of covert operatives are back with more missions, more fire power, and more seemingly impossible assignments.

Dead Eagles is an exciting historical fiction page turner.  It has the perfect balance of military humor, military strategy, and social economics facing the British in World War II.  It is clear Phil Ward has brought his life experiences as a decorated Commissioned Combat Veteran and a former Army Ranger School Instructor through the many colorful characters placed in complicated, problematic, and unfavorable situations.

Dead Eagles is a delightful read and my favorite so far in the series.  I'm looking forward to Phil Ward's next book in the series. You can read my review of the first in the series Those Who Dare here.

Visit Phil Ward's official site at