Category Archives: Tributes

Happy Birthday, United State Marine Corps! 243 Years!

Perhaps one of the things a Marine Mom will never forget was when their son or daughter told them they joined the Marines.

Oh my.

And so the new journey began…

And if I knew then what I know now, I would still say, “You have to do what is right for you.” I think there is a “Warrior Spirit” inside of a Marine that was there at birth.  It isn’t for everyone, is it?

Today is the 243rd Birthday of the United States Marine Corps.

So celebrate, Marines!

“Some people wonder all their lives if they’ve made a difference. The Marines don’t have that problem.”

– President Ronald Reagan

And we agree.

Thank you for being a part of something greater than yourselves. Thank you for serving this great Nation.

And Families, thank you for supporting your Marine. It means so much to them.

With Respect,



Each year the Commandant of the Marine Corps shares a Birthday Message with his Marines.

The 2018 CMC Birthday Message

A Message From the Commandant of the Marine Corps

Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day 2017

Gold Star Mothers and familys Day 2017 with pi and bannerWe have friends whose sons came home with the American flag draped over their coffins. They are “Gold Star Mothers”. That’s what the Gold Star in the banner above represents – a son or daughter lost during war time. You might see it hanging in a window at their home or as a sticker on their car.

Gold Star Mothers sometimes wear the pin you see in the picture.  It’s actually called a “lapel button”, not a pin. It’s small, maybe you have to look twice to notice it. Sometimes the Mom will turn it into a necklace.

A SMALL reminder of the HUGE sacrifice paid by their child while in service to our country – your country and my country.

We hope you will take a moment to stop, pause, reflect on, and honor the sacrifices paid by those who have made this country great, and remember the loved ones they’ve left behind.

Their pain is deep, their courage is strong.  Our hearts are with you this day and every day.

Reflections on Memorial Day 2017

Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are always with the men and women, and their families,  who have sacrificed so much for our country. NOT a day goes by that we don’t remember them.

In Memory of our Heroes

Memorial Day is to give remembrance to, and honor our Nation’s war dead.

The first “Decoration Day”, 30  May 1868, was designated by  General John A. Logan

“for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.”

In 1967 the day was officially named “Memorial Day”.

On June 28, 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved Memorial Day from its traditional date to the last Monday in May in order to create a convenient three-day weekend.

Several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19th in Texas; April 26th in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10th in South Carolina; and June 3rd (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Have things really changed that much since May 30, 1868? Continue reading Reflections on Memorial Day 2017

Memorial Day 2016

Never forget their names.

USS Arizona Memorial 50th anniversary commemoration ceremony
Memorial Moment
Retired Army Command Sgt. Maj. Sterling R. Cale, a 90-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor, takes a moment in the shrine room of the USS Arizona Memorial at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, May 27, 2012, during a ceremony to honor the 1,177 service members who lost their lives during the attack on the USS Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Holzworth

Never forget the sacrifice.

Chad Warner – “If You’re Reading This”

Never forget the families.

Carter Welcomes TAPS to Pentagon
Equine Interaction
Children pet a horse belonging to the Army during an event for members of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, or TAPS, at the Pentagon, May 27, 2016. TAPS supports people who have lost a family member serving in the military. DoD photo by EJ Hersom

Many Thanks to Vince, Third Battalion, First Marine Regiment dad and now an Army dad, “Keeper of the List” of our sons’ Brothers, our “sons by another mother”, who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the three deployments our 3/1 sons were active duty.

Never Forgotten
May God rest their souls and comfort their families. Some gave all…thank God for our Veterans.   ~Vince

3/1 Fallen 2004-2007

Fallujah Apr 04- Jan 05

L/Cpl.Joshua S. Dickinson 12/12/04
L/Cpl. Joseph T. Welke 11/20/04
L/Cpl. Phillip West 11/19/04
Cpl. Bradley T. Arms 11/19/04
L/Cpl. Luis Figueroa 11/18/04
L/Cpl. Michael W. Hanks 11/17/04
Sgt. Christopher T. Heflin 11/16/04
L/Cpl Louis W. Qualls 11/16/04
L/Cpl Jeramy A. Ailes 11/15/04
L/Cpl. James E. Swain 11/15/04
Cpl. Dale A. Burger 11/14/04
Cpl. Andres H. Perez 11/14/04
L/Cpl Benjamin S. Bryan 11/14/04
L/Cpl Justin D. McLeese 11/13/04
Sgt. Byron W. Norwood 11/13/04
Sgt. Morgan W. Strader 11/12/04
Cpl. Theodore A Bowling 11/11/04
L/Cpl. Nicholas D. Larson 11/09/04
L/Cpl. Juan E. Segura 11/09/04
L/Cpl. Abraham Simpson 11/09/04
L/Cpl. Nathan R. Wood 11/09/04
S/Sgt. Russell L. Slay 11/09/04
Cpl. William C. James 11/09/04
Cpl. Brian Oliveira 10/25/04
Cpl. Steven A. Rintamaki 09/16/04
Cpl. Nicanor Alvarez08/21/04
Pfc. Fernando B. Hannon 08/15/04
Pfc. Geofery Perez 08/15/04
Sgt. Juan Calderon Jr. 08’02/04
Cpl.Terry Holmes 07/10/04
Sgt. Krisna Nachampassak 07/10/04
Pfc. Christopher J. Reed 07/10/04
S/Sgt. Trevor Spink 07/10/04

Haditha Sep.05- Apr.06

Sgt. Jeremy E. Murray 10/16/05
L/Cpl. Miguel Terrazas 10/29/05
Cpl. Justin Watts 01/14/06
L/Cpl Brandon Dewey 01/20/06
Cpl. Carlos Arrelanopandura 01/20/06

AO ANEHIEM TQ Apr. 07- Nov. 07

L/Cpl. Steven A. Stacy 07/05/07
L/Cpl. Shawn V. Starkovich 07/16/07
Cpl. Sean A,Stokes 07/30/07
Cpl. Travis M. Woods 09/12/07

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:13

Never Forgotten.

Gold Star Mothers Day 2014: “Do I tell them?”

Gold Star Pin
“Gold Star Pin”

Honoring and remembering the sacrifices of Mothers who have lost a son or daughter to war.

This is an email a Gold Star Mother, whom I’ll call “A.”, sent to me in 2006 after I asked her for a note for the condolence book I was putting together for a Mother whose son was coming home by way of Dover Air Force Base… in a flag-draped casket.


Subject: Do I tell them?

Date: 1/25/2006 2:18:05 PM

Dear Jane,

Please help me!

What do I say to her on the loss of their son? Do I lie to them to try to make them feel better? Or do I tell them the truth and what lies ahead?

Do I tell them that their life as they once knew it, is over, that they will never be the same again? Do I warn them that each passing day their hearts will break all over again? Do I tell them that the many stages of their lives are now only in two stages… before he died and after he died?

Do I tell them that they will never be happy again, that there will be days that they’ll laugh, but happiness will elude them? Do I tell them about the days that all they’ll want to do is scream? Do I tell them that the other days all they’ll do is cry?

Do I tell them about the nights they’ll listen for his footsteps on the porch and wait for the door to open? Do I tell them when they go to bed at night, they’ll pray that when they awaken in the morning they’ll find it was all just a horrible dream, or pray that they don’t wake up at all?

Please tell me, what do I say to them? My heart breaks for them, and all I can say is, I know what you feel, I understand and I know the depth of your pain.”

Love as always,


As my heart broke and the tears flowed for both of my friends, whose sons’ had died under similar circumstances in Iraq, I didn’t know what to say to her…

“A.” had lost her son, a Marine, in 2005 near Karmah, Iraq. Almost a year later the grief was still there as if it was just yesterday when the car pulled up in front of her home with the Casualty Officers bearing the devastating news about her son’s death.

Since 2001, at least 6,820 active duty Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen have lost their lives while serving our Nation. Some during combat – hostile and non-hostile, and some during their recovery from war injuries. This number doesn’t include DoD civilian employees who were in the combat zones, nor does it include Veterans who died after completing their military contracts who served during this time period. I don’t know if it includes active duty stateside deaths during training or after duty hours.

4,478 United States service members from 2003 thru 2012 died in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation New Dawn (OND), combined, according to the website (

In Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), according to the above site, from 2001 thru September 25, 2014, and including Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay (Cuba), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Philippines, Seychelles, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, and Yemen, there have been 2,342 US military deaths.

All I know to say is, “I’m so sorry…”

But that doesn’t bring the sons and daughters we loved before they were born, back to us.  Does it?

Gold Star Banner
Gold Star Banner


The following organizations are just a few supporting our Gold Star Families. 

American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.

Gold Star Dads of America

Gold Star Wives of America, Inc.

Love and Hugs,