Monday, November 11, 2013

Help Kally Salute Veterans--Your Comment Equals a $5 Donation to the Wounded Warrior Project




Here in the United States, today is a day to honor and remember those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces. On this Veterans Day, I'd like to ask everyone reading this to share a story about a veteran in their life or one they read/heard about who touched their hearts in some way by posting that veteran's story in the comments below. Include as much information as you're comfortable sharing. Each comment will equal a $5 donation to the Wounded Warrior Project! 


As my readers know, the Wounded Warrior Project is one of the charities I have chosen to give back some of the royalties I make on my series. Other than my monthly Advanced Guard donations, I haven't done a big donation to this organization in honor or memory of anyone specific this year, so I'm going to ask readers to help me choose who those veterans will be. (FYI--The $5,200 donation in gift cards from me and my readers in May went to the US Marine Corps' Wounded Warrior Battalion, Balboa Naval Hospital, and other Western US bases/facilities. This donation goes to a non-profit that also does great things for our wounded warriors, including those suffering from PTSD.) 

Last year, my WWP donations were made in memory of Dane Christopher Sattler, a young Army soldier who lost his battle with PTSD in January 2011 and who is commemorated on the Dedication page of Nobody's Perfect. I also made an equal donation in honor of "Top Griz," a retired Marine who served proudly for 22 years and reminded me very much of Master Adam. (However, I kept that a secret from him, because he would have said he's nobody's hero and told me to honor someone else. He's so Adam! But the special lady in his life, Kennedy Layne, who will be joining in my blog hop this week, would agree with me, that he's very much an American hero.)

This year, I'm going to honor three more veterans with donations to the WWP. So, I will donate $5 for each "veteran story" posted in the comments section of today's blog (up to $1,500 total--divided equally). You have until Friday, Nov. 15, to post! Share this with your friends! (If you try to share my blog address on Facebook, though, you will get an error. Steer them to my author page or timeline for a link to share that will work. 

Please provide as much information as you wish but it might be best to use FIRST NAMES ONLY or just give their relationship to you (father/mother, brother/sister, husband/wife, son/daughter, neighbor, cousin, niece/nephew, friend, etc.) for privacy purposes. DO INCLUDE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS! (Just put a space before or after the @ sign to avoid getting added to spam lists somewhere.) When we choose whom to honor or remember with one of the three donations, Leagh will contact the three who posted those names and ask for a full name and an address to where a letter acknowledging the gift can be mailed from the Wounded Warrior Project organization. If we can't contact the person or don't receive a response in a timely manner, we will go back and draw another name. The personal information provided by e-mail will NOT be shared publicly--only with Kally, her two assistants, and the Wounded Warrior Project.

Given that Leagh of Romance Novel Promotions has asked us authors to use the colors RED, WHITE, and BLUE in our giveaways this week (see mine below in the Rafflecopter section), I am going to use these colors as well. Some veterans will qualify in multiple categories; and all will quality for White. So please provide as much information in your story as you can so that we can count them correctly.

RED--A Veteran who was killed/wounded while serving in the US Armed Forces
WHITE--All veterans of the US Armed Forces
BLUE--Any veteran suffering from PTSD from service in the US Armed Forces

International Veterans: I know our friends in the UK and Australia arecelebrating Remembrance Day to honor and remember their veterans and am sure all nations have similar days set aside. While the veterans chosen for the three categories will all be members of the US Armed Forces, my international readers are welcome to share the name of a special veteran in their country, as well. Just be sure to mention for which branch/nation they served. 

I also encourage all who are reading this blog to give to an organization serving veterans. 


Veterans and family members, here's a link to lots of free offers from business and others wanting to show their appreciation to you on Veterans Day. I hope you are able to take advantage of something on the list. Thank you for your service! 

Line-up of Authors for this 
Salute to Veterans (through Nov. 15):
Why I write Military Romance

For me, I'll just say because of my Dad. He served in the Navy in World War II and in the Army's Signal Corps in Korea in 1950-51, during some of the worst fighting there. He suffered from PTSD as a result, but treatment wasn't available back then, so he never was able to process the pain and horror of what he'd been through. In the 1970s, though, he served his fellow veterans as a state service director for the Disabled American Veterans. He took us with him to meetings with veterans around the state, and to the VA Hospital where we met a number of veterans wounded in Vietnam. 

Those experiences taught me a lot about how to recognize and remember my nation's military heroes. I don't think Dad would have ever guessed how I would one day show my appreciation for the military, in the stories I write <g>, but I hear from readers daily who are either in the military, were in the military, or have family members serving or who served in the past, and I know by addressing issues like PTSD, combat injuries, loss of limb or life, and the many horrors resulting from sending our young men and women off to war, I am helping open a dialogue with their loved ones that I hope has improved the lives and relationships of many. 

God bless all of the family members, too, who don't have a holiday set aside for all of their sacrifices, because they serve alongside their loved ones, in my book!

Be sure to come back all week long to my blog (TWICE A DAY) for new blogs posted by some of the great voices in military romance. All have been asked to answer the question I answered above. I know many will be sharing personal stories about why they choose to write about military heroes. 

Here's the schedule:

Monday: Kallypso Masters
Tuesday: Angel Payne and Teresa Reasor
Wednesday: Cat Johnson, Delilah Devlin, JM Madden, Sharon Hamilton
Thursday: Kennedy Layne and Desiree Holt
Friday: Ann Mayburn  and Jayne Rylon


Kally's Red Giveaway

Per Leagh's instructions, and bcause I've been on deadline writing and unable to shop, I'm going to make my Rafflecopter giveaway for today RED. I'd like to give away a red t-shirt or apron that mentions the Navy Corpsman in my series, Marc. The winner (open internationally!) will also receive a packet of swag (lots more red), and a $25 Gift Certificate to an online bookstore of the reader's choice. (If we can't access the bookstore in the winner's country, we'll send the gift via PayPal.)

For chances to win this prize, follow the instructions in the rafflecopter below.

And please also help us honor or remember a special veteran in your life by posting a comment/story below. 



115 comments:

  1. Even though I'm from Denmark, I'll share my story anyway.
    My dad was in the Danish army, though he's never been deployed he made a big difference in teaching all the young men and women how to maneuver all the army's vehicles to be able to get around in the war zones.

    One of my best girlfriends has been deployed to Afghanistan. She was in logistics and made sure to supply the soldiers with weapons and ammo and everything else they needed to go into combat. She got home in 2009 without injuries. But still to this day ducks if there is a sudden loud noise. Their camp was bombed several times a week.

    I went to high school with a guy who fought in Afghanistan against the Taleban. He was a large part of making sure that girls would be able to go to school. He's been part of building girls only schools and making sure that the country actually moves forward.
    He was killed in 2009 in an ambush.

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  2. My grandfather lost his battle with depression more than 16 years before I was born. He served in the Army during WWII and from what little my mother has shared, probably suffered from PTSD. He committed suicide in 1960, way before the military or anyone else recognized the need for returning soldiers to receive psychological services.

    God bless those who serve.

    sodaksusan @ yahoo . com

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  3. My father served in the Army as a young man, and I'm thankful he returned safely. I'm so grate to all those who have or are serving us now, keeping us safe and free. Thank you for supporting them, Kally!

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  4. My Veteran is my husband, Lucas. He was in the Army for 11 years, and served three tours in Iraq before deciding to get out. When we met in the spring of 2008, he had already deployed twice. I fell head over heels, and we were married by the spring of 2009 :) Sadly, he left for his 3rd deployment just 2 1/2 months after we got married. We talked almost every day, but I could tell it was taking a toll on him. When he got home, he seemed like his normal self...for the most part. Understandably, he didn't want to talk about anything he had seen in any of his deployments. Six months after getting back from that deployment, he decided not to re-enlist. After 3 tours, he had multiple medical issues due to explosions (no lost limbs, but hearing/comprehension loss on one side, and a degenerative back injury), developed sleep apnea, and risked being deployed at least another 3 times. He decided he would use his G.I. Bill and go to culinary school (cue inner fat kid doing a happy dance!!). Working part time and going to school really put stress on him, and his PTSD was becoming more noticeable. He would become agitated easily, get defensive when there was no reason to....he always felt attacked. He finally started PTSD therapy this year, and it's amazing what it has done for him....and us! PTSD is NOTHING to be ashamed of. It's completely normal for anybody who has seen what our men & women in uniform see, to be affected by it. I'd actually be concerned if they weren't! On behalf of MY Veteran and I, Happy Veterans Day!

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    1. Dennise! Your entry came up for the "blue" donation of $500 to Hope for the Warriors project. I'll be sending you an e-mail, too, but wanted to post it here so others can see. So, check your e-mail! Thanks so much for the service and sacrifice of Lucas and your sacrifices as well. I am SO happy he found you!

      Kally

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  5. My grandfather fought with the New Zealand Army and was a part of the ANZAC force at Gallipoli in 1915. He never talked about his experiences and I can only guess at the psychological problems he must have carried because of what he saw there. I went to Gallipoli to honour him and all the ANZACs in 2010 on April 25th. It was a very emotional time at the dawn service and later at Lone Pine. The Turkish forces were children, many of them, pulled out of school, given a gun and told to fight. 6000 men died in a couple of days in an area the size of 2 tennis courts. Average age about 19 years.

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  6. A friend of mine was torchered in Bosnia, along side one of his mates, his mate didn't make it back. My friend only just made it out alive, but still suffers from flash backs and nightmares, we should never forget, yet we can never begin to imagine what our soldiers and other armed forces really go through. Thank you to you all xxxx

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  7. Both of my son's are young Vets. They served in the Marines. When they left home, they were still wild kids. Now they are young men who have seen to much and gone through hell, but thank God they are home. I can not tell you what they have been through because they would not tell me. But my son's have changed. I pray everyday that they will find some peace. Both of them served from 2007 to 2012.

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  8. My father was Navy. Once when we were little he had a flash back. Me and my brother were to little to understand. A guy was riding by more then once on a motorcycle speeding. We were waiting on my mom to get out of a PTA meeting. My father got out and swung a chain and injured the man. The whole situation was costly and my parents would never discuss it. I would sneak and listen but never understood. Some things change people and i hope others get help they need. Thank you

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  9. For the first ten years of my husband's career (we're at 13 1/2 years right now), he missed out on most of his children's lives. Not only is that a sacrifice for him, but for our children as well. While it breaks my heart that he will never be able to have those memories of their childhoods, I'm proud he has chosen to serve his country. He'll be the first to tell you he's no hero, he's just doing his job.

    Subwife683 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  10. I have 3 cousins who are active military today. I am proud to say this very young warriors are my family. Their father who is my first cousin is a veteran and continues to serve as a consultant for the military. His wife is also an army veteran. I pray for this family every day that God protects them and keeps them safe. Thank you Kally for donating to such worthy causes. Be blessed.

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  11. My husband served in the Marines, but thankfully was not injured. Kally, you already know my high school buddy Jack. :) He would probably hate me writing about him, but even before he began serving in the Marines he was ALWAYS there for me

    modularmates(at)comcast(dot)net

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  12. My parents met while both of them were in the Army (regular Army for my father and WAC Women's Army Corp for my mother) while stationed in Texas in '65 during Vietnam. They were married in '66 and I was born a year later.

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  13. Marine Master Sgt. Jerome D. Hatfield
    Died July 11, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

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    1. Lovin Grey, your entry was chosen as my "red" donation of $500 and I'll be donating it to the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Battalion East, but if you can send me via e-mail a name of a next of kin who might want to receive a copy of the acknowledgement, if any, I'll be happy to send it along. Thanks so much for sharing his name and memorializing him in this way. I did a new blog (http://kallypsomasters.blogspot.com/2013/11/thank-you-to-everyone-who-visited-here.html) announcing three different organizations I would be donating $500 each to.

      Thanks again!

      Kally

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  14. My brother Craig who served with the Army as a Cavalry Scout from 1988 to 1992 and was deployed to Iraq during his tour. He and I fought like cats and dogs growing up and by the time he was 18 and packing to leave we both needed the break from each other. It wasn't until he was gone and then sent to Iraq that we realized how we depended on each other to be there. He won't talk about his time in Iraq other than to mention a dog his unit found and adopted who later was killed days before Craig left to return to the states. He doesn't talk about the things he was asked to do but I know it bothered him and as a family we did what we could to support him. He says he isn't a hero but he will always be a hero to me… lmsk(at)me(dot)com.

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  15. This year my dad "Hank" died at 91 years old after a full life. He had three wives ..no not at the same time. He survived the death of his first two wives and went on to marry his third wife at 78 yrs old. He was not the type man to remain alone. He had five daughters from his first wife and loved each of us very much. He was always "our Daddy"
    We knew he served in the Navy during WWII but we didn't know any details.After his death we found out the whole story. He dropped out of high school and lied about his age and joined the Navy. He was stationed at Pearl Harbor. He was off his ship on supply duty when the attack started. He and his fellow workers went to the armory and got guns and fought their way back to their ship. It was too late..their ship was gone along with his fellow sailors. He was reassigned to another ship and went on to fight in several of the large battles for the Pacific. After the war he went on to serve as a Naval fire chief in San Diego. After seperating from the Navy after three enlistment he served another 15 years in the reserves.
    He never told us.Why? We will never know. But I honor his service now with great respect . Thank you Daddy..we miss you.
    Kathy
    Kcommh@sbcglobal. Net

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  16. My father was a Army/Air Corp veteran, serving in the Occupational Forces in Japan after the end of WWII. My cousin and brother both served in the Army . My uncle was an Air Force nurse serving in Viet Nam during the war and his girlfriend, now wife was serving stateside during that time. My sister, her ex-husband and second cousin are all Navy veterans all serving during the Gulf War. My niece is bringing the first Marine into the family with her new fiance. My comadre, godmother to my daughter is the niece of Medal of Honor recipient Roy Benavidez.Today we salute and remember our Veterans.Remember their families because they are serving too.

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  17. My father, who passed away in 2006, was already serving in the US Army when he was stationed at Hickham Army Airfield outside of Pearl Harbor. He and his squad came off duty from an anti-aircraft gun position, on Dec. 7, 1941, just as the first zeroes appeared in the sky. They jumped directly into action and began live fire, alternating with the day crew which arrived moments after they opened fire. After the shooting was over (Dad refused to ever discuss it in more detail) every able-bodied person at Hickham was loaded onto undamaged deuce-and-a halves and had a hair-raising ride down the mountain to Pearl, where they spent the next three days in rescue operations for the US Navy.
    My uncle served with Patton's Army in the European theatre, on the same ground where my Great-uncles were gassed in WWI. My cousin joined the Navy at 17, and served as a code-breaker off Cuba during the missile crisis and later, North Vietnam. Another cousin lost his singing voice to a Viet Cong bullet and still carries another lodged in his spine to this day. I am so proud to come from a line of people who stepped up to do what was necessary in trying times to ensure my generation has the freedom we prize today.

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  18. Both of my grandfathers as well as the love of my life served in our military. I am grateful for their service and for their sacrifices.
    E. Houlihan, U.S. Army, WWII.
    R. Kobeszka, U.S. Army, Korea.
    L. Johnson, U.S. Army, Vietnam, recipient of a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.
    Thank you to them and to all of our military in all branches, past and present for your service and your sacrifices. You are not forgotten and your sacrifices were not in vain.
    Thank you also to the families that support our service members as they sacrifice as well.

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    1. Also my grandmother
      G. Houlihan served in the U.S. Army, WWII.

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  19. My friends husband is in the Army Reserves and has been deployed 3 times and is currently. I often ask her how she does it to be alone with out her husband so much. She tells me that he loves what he is doing and loves his country, and she loves him and her country and that makes it worth it.

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  20. My father, and two uncles all served during the Vietnam War. I am glad to say all returned. My father was never on the front lines, as he was busy fixing guns, and vehicles. But I am very proud of all he did. He did return injured (some hearing loss) and continues to struggle with it as he gets older (for YEARS I had no idea). I am so proud of him, and am thankful to him for all he did for his country.

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  21. My hubby is currently active duty army. He has had 3 tours to Afghanistan. In 2 of those tours we lost a friend, the last being less than 2 months ago. Thank you very much for doing this Kally it means more than words can express

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  22. My husband is an army veteran. He served ten years, did four tours in Iraq, and lost a good friend. We noticed symptoms of PTSD between deployments, but he refused care because he didn't want to abandon his brothers in arms while they went into a war zone. I didn't say anything about it then, because I knew how he was. But when he came home from the last deployment with anger issues, I made him get help. It was a wake up call for him, and one he needed. Thank you for supporting this fantastic charity!

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  23. I don't have any family who has been in the military but I am thankful for all that they do for us. Without the military we wouldn't have all the freedoms we have today so Thank you

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  24. My grandfather served in the Army during WWII. He was stationed in Guatacanal. He NEVER talked about his service. We are going through my gramma's house and we are finding pictures and letters. I'm in the process of searching for more information during his time of service.
    My cousins all served in the Army. One is still in.
    I have a lot... a lot of friends who joined the military after 9/11. Some didn't come home. Some have been discharged. Many are still serving.
    My heart is so full of pride when I think of these women and men that I love, and those that I don't know, who sacrifice for us! Thank you!!!

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  25. I would.like to say thankyou to all the soldier's and families that have risked thier lives and the lives of loved ones. Almost everyone in my family has been in the military and i wanted to join my self but i was blessed with an amazing little boy, my cousin is currently serving in Iraq and i have and ubclr who lost a limb while in Iraq. I just want remaining soldier's to come home andbe safe

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  26. No one in my immediate family has served, but I have a nephew who is in the Air Force stationed in Germany. He has been in Kuwait, Quatr, and in the US. I'm so grateful to all who serve and have sacrificed to keep our country safe, and I applaud you, Kali, for all you do for the Wounded Warrior Project. Thank you!!!

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  27. Several members of my family have served in the military, mostly the Navy. Today we remember my Uncle Ernest, who was my Mom's only brother. He died on the USS Johnston in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The men serving on that ship were truly amazing (as are all of our servicemen and women) in that they continued to fire upon the enemy knowing they were doomed and their ship was disabled. I have a cousin who served as a Green Beret in Vietnam. And many others who were lucky enough to serve during times of relative peace and did not have to see combat. I thank the Lord for them, their health and their service daily.
    lisaguertin at yahoo.com

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  28. I like to honor and remember all Veterans and active military on Veteran's Day. I have several family members who have served and remember them especially on this day. Lately my friend, Scott has been on my mind. He was in an aircraft that crashed in Afghanistan and woke up to the news that he was paralyzed from the waist down. My friend didn't accept that diagnosis and after 3 years of PT walks normally now. God bless all veterans.

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  29. What a wonderful and generous idea Kally. My grandfather was in WWII and served in the Canadian Navy. I never knew him because he died in a car accident when my father was 13. I thank him and every service member every day.

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  30. My father was active duty Army when he passed away in 1984. I was 12 & my brother was 10. He knew he always wanted to join the Army but started initially in the National Guard. After 6 years of service he finally joined the Army. As he sat in the airport being sent to his first command, the 101st, he called me. The airports were being shut down & there was something happening that was keeping the planes grounded. It was 9/11, he was on his way to his first command to an infantry position and paratrooper. He was one of the first groups to enter Iraq. We went months without a word from him but relying on updates from his command. Watching for them on television was the standard, no sleep, constant praying and still, to this very day, tears just thinking about those days. The stories he told when he made it back after a year were incredible. He had changed. From the moment he got off the plane from Iraq, he was different. Sleeping was a problem, loud noses, etc. Another tour to Iraq and two more to Afghanistan has secured his issues w/ PTSD. He is now married, active duty stationed in Alaska, his wife & children have to go to counseling to deal with his mood swings and fears. Night sweats, screaming, yelling fear of sudden noises are just a few of the things families like his deal with on a daily basis. He was honored with Bronze Star, because he held down a group of insurgents who killed his SGT as well as two others in his group. My brother refused to leave the bodies bc they would have been taken. He couldn't leave them behind for the families to not have a chance to mourn. Finally when back up came they were able to get him & the men out. He lost several friends & military brother. He fishes, hunts, plays with his kids and goes hiking often with his wife. His valor is something I could never explain or be more proud.
    jessparra2013 at gmail dot com

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  31. My bro-in-law did tours in Vietnam, some in SOG. Was injured several times, has many awards, doesn't talk about his time in military. I wish there was a WWP to helped those soldiers back then. So thoughtful of you Kally to help Wounded Warriors.

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  32. I have so many stories... But the one that touches my heart the most is the story of my Grandma Mary. At 20 years old she joined the Women's Army Corps during WWII. She shared over the years many stories of her time in the military. She was a photographer, and as was with most women she never left the states. But she was sent to photograph accidents involving military vehicles (planes, trucks etc). As an adult she finally opened up about some of the gruesome details with me. I spent her last days asking her to share her stories with me again.
    However, that is not where her story ended. She was an active member of the AMVETS, and even a Post Commander of the local AMVETS, actively involved in veteran’s affairs. She began volunteering at our local VA Hospital in the early 80's after she had retired from her jobs, and spent time in the VA Hospital for a broken ankle. She was horrified that there were no pajamas for women... No services for women. She found her goal. Over the following years she got our local VA Hospital on board and women's pajamas were purchased. But that wasn't enough... she then crusaded for better services for women veterans. Today there is a VA Women's Medical Clinic in our local hospital focused solely on serving women veterans. She used those services herself having suffered three major strokes in her life and multiple hospitalizations at the VA Hospital over the years.
    But again, she didn't stop there. She moved on to seeking a nursing home for our local veteran’s. She succeeded… there is now a nursing home on the campus of our local VA Hospital. It is where she lived her final days. From there she moved on again! She had plans! She pushed and crusaded for a Veteran’s Cemetery for our region. And don’t be surprised when I tell you that she succeeded there too! Her ashes now rest eternally in the Veteran’s Cemetery for the western region of our state. She championed our veteran’s rights, our honor of them.
    She made sure that I always knew Veteran’s were to be honored and thanked. I have carried on the traditions with my own children. We attend various Veteran’s functions and ceremonies, visiting Vets who reside in the nursing home where she passed. She made a difference for Veteran’s. She made a difference for disabled Veteran’s.
    At her funeral, we had a memorial book where we asked those in attendance to write memories and stories to share with her grandsons (my children). These stories are filled with words to describe my grandmother: feisty, a champion for veterans, not letting limitations stop you, a go getter, helpful, energetic and gave from the heart to help others, strength, honor, character, courage, persuasive, kindness, and appreciation for life and the things that mattered. One of the best quotes that sums up my grandmother was this: “When Mary told you to do something, that was just what you did, no ifs, ands or buts.”
    I hope I become half the woman she was! I would be honored if a donation was made in her name!

    jjmtngal AT gmail DOT com

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  33. My Husband, Chris is a Gulf War Era U.S. Army Veteran with PTSD. For many years, after returning home he was lost and tried to forget by self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. In fact, when we met he was starting recovery and was finally diagnosed with PTSD. Because he spent a large portion of his service in West Berlin, he was well-acquainted with terrorism and anti-terrorist tactics. Those instincts were deeply ingrained, and several incidents have triggered a response from him that took him back to Berlin - 9/11 and the London and Boston bombings. His demeanor changes, and I know to check with him several times a day, because he goes on high alert. Sadly, his sleep patterns are disturbed and he relives a past, that only he knows about.

    He has learned that working with dogs is his everyday "therapy," and has managed a successful dog day care for a couple of years. He is naturally intuitive and the dogs respond to him, instinctively. I call him the Polish-Italian Cesar Millan and hope to one day send Chris to Cesar's training program (once we've saved enough money to do it).

    What people don't realize when they see Chris, is the depth of emotion and passion he has to ensure our newest Veterans receive the medical and psychiatric needs they have earned. He is the "dad" or "older brother/cousin" who understands and is in their corner and he has helped so many men and women coming home.

    He is a blessing in my life and I am honored he chose me as his wife.
    ~Michelle

    mmmazuros at yahoo dot com



    He is my hero

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  34. My husband is still serving in the British Army for the past 30 years, after countless moves and tours away from me and the children we have 2 years to go before he retires, extremely proud of him. However on this day I remember lost friends who gave their lives in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan, most recently Andy a brave young man you passed away in September aged 24.

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  35. My grandfather - who died when my mom was 3 - fought in WWI. My grandmother raised 4 children by herself. When WWII broke out my 2 uncles joined the Navy and served in the Pacific. MC was a SeaBee and Marion served on a ship. My aunt was a WAVE. My mom was too young to serve and stayed home with her Mom.

    My Dad's brothers served in the military as well. TJoe served on a battleship and earned two gold stars for shooting down enemy planes.

    My uncle would sit and tell us stories about Tinian and Kuai and the roads they built so planes could land. He also told us about finding being in Hawaii and finding out that his brother was in port as well. He had already sent Navy Whites home so he had to borrow clothes from his friends so he could leave the ship and go find him.

    My uncles were lucky, they came home and lived long and happy lives. And I miss them all every day.

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  36. I have 3 to shout out to.
    1. My husband's grandpa Louis served in the marines and is a Vietnam vet. I won't say much about him because I know he doesn't like to be recognized in any big way. But thank you so much Grandpa Louis for serving our country.
    2. My husband and my best friend Christopher. He served 3.5 years Active Duty in the US Army and served one tour of duty in Afghanistan. I am honored to be your wife and I know our unborn son will be in awe of his daddy. As much as you and your grandfather hate to be called heroes you are.
    3. Joshua. Family Friend. Veteran. Served in the US Army at least one tour of duty in Afghanistan. He is a true hero in my eyes. Even though it was at the cost of his life. He has helped so many veterans that knew him get help for depression, PTSD, & other anger/mental health issues. A bit of a back story: His command denied him access to behavioral health(which he was seeking for his depression and PTSD), and he took his life the night his appointment was supposed to be. We will never know if it would have helped him. But he was the kindest, most loyal person I've known in a long time. He would be there for anyone who knew him. He left behind a widow, and hoards of friends who still mourn his loss. I know of at least 2 little boys who are being named after this American Hero. He had the courage to try to seek help for his behavior health issues, and has given many soldiers including my husband the courage and strength to seek help for any behavioral health issues they maybe facing.



    tleigh92 @hotmail.com

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  37. My twin cousins, Jeremy and Josh, served in the army faithfully for years, doing their parts in the middle-east. My Grandpa and Great-Grandad both served in WWII. My Grandpa was honorably discharged after wounding his back. And finally, my Dad served in the Navy for four years.

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  38. My dad and Grandfathers and uncles were all veterans. We appreciate your sacrifice so much. Thank you :)

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  39. I have a proud family history of service in the military and so does my husband. We both also served. We have friends who've lost limbs, suffered traumatic brain injuries, etc. I know several sufferers of PTSD, including my husband, father and brother. One of my grandfathers had shrapnel in the bone of his leg until the day he died from the Korean War. I have no one amazing story I have several, and couldn't choose just one to tell. I think I'll try to get my friend over here to tell her husband's story, because it's really her story to tell and he is definitely worth honoring. He is Red, White and Blue. :) Thank God for those who serve this country!

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  40. My grandfathers served during WWII as an Army pilot (over Normandy) and a Navy midshipman on a carrier. My father and FIL both served during Vietnam in the Air Force. My brother Mark is a Navy reservist.

    My brother Paul is a Navy helicopter pilot. He's one of the two that would have been on the helicopter pad at the Pentagon on Sept 11th if they hadn't been late, then grounded. Paul has wanted to fly as long as I can remember. He worked hard to get in to the Merchant Marine Academy just so he could have a chance of becoming a military pilot (the Merchant Marine Academy turns out a LOT of pilots in every branch of the military). He has had the opportunity to visit countries that I can only dream about, and some places he's been haven't been under the best of circumstances.

    He's flown Navy 2. Paul was the CEO of HT-8 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HT-8) until April of this year. After being sent to Bahrain for a few months, he's now on the Theodor Roosevelt. He and his wife also have 5 kids they are raising, ranging in age from 3 - 16.

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  41. My Veteran is my dad David, who served in WWII. Sadly he came home from the war suffering from what we now know as PTSD. Back in those days they really had no idea about PTSD and said he wasn't quite right at times. We kids had to be quiet around him pretty much all of the time. In spite of whatever trauma he suffered, he married and had 4 children, of which I am the oldest. At age 90 he finally left this world for an eternal restful peace, one he very much deserved, I still remember a look of shadows that would occasionally pass over his face & eyes, as though remembering something best left forgotten and couldn't talk about.

    cam231948 @ gmail.com

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  42. My dad served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War ... but he got lucky and served most of his time in Hawaii. He says the most fighting he had to do was fighting off all the girls that wanted him! *snort* He took us to Hawaii one year and showed us around all the places he used to hang out and we toured Pearl Harbor and saw the memorial. It's a beautiful place and he knows how lucky he was to land in Hawaii instead of the rice paddies of Vietnam.

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  43. I don't have one particular hero, I have many. My grandfather was a WWII veteran who worked on the airplanes. I also have an Uncle who was in the Airforce, and later the Reserves, and 2 Uncles that made the military their career. My family is full of military veterans who are proud to say they've worked hard for our freedom. I love and honor them all!

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  44. My Daddy Dennis Olwin was a staff Sargent in the Army and was in the Vietnam war.... though I was barely a year old during that time.... but I can remember times as I grew older going on base with him sitting in a Shanook(no clue on that spelling) but He was definitely my Hero....Big Daddy's Girl here!!!!

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  45. I was born and raised in Hawaii. I lived by Pearl Harbor and my father was a Navy man. I grew up with all us Military brats hanging out together. My father was in the Korean war and Vietnam. He was injured right after I was born in 69. Since my Mom was a native Hawaiian we stayed there. I never knew until much later that he had PTSD. He would have nightmares and when the military helicopters went over our house he would have a reaction. I was never told what but I can say that his mind was never the same. I fell in Love with Marc D'Alessio from the start! I didn't know there was a prior book Masters at Arms until After I read Nobody's Angel. I want all our Veterans to know how THANKFUL I am for all they have done for the USA and wish them many blessings for what they went through. Mahalo and Aloha~

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  46. My father served on an LST during WWII. My late-husband was in the Navy when I met him. My son is in the Navy, was attached to the 3rd Marine Air Wing out of MCAS Miramar. Prior to that he deployed twice to the Persian Gulf on a destroyer and was a member of a VBSS (Visit, Board, Search, Seizure) team. When he became a corpsman he trained with a Marine unit and was then deployed to Iraq where he flew combat air crew missions to bring back the wounded and then finished that tour at Kandahar in Afghanistan. His fourth deployment was at Kandahar, again, where the base took on a lot more rocket fire than the previous deployment. Being in a deployed status for nearly 8 years earned him shore duty (phew) and he is now finishing his degree in engineering. A bit thank you for all those who served, have served, and their families.

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  47. Happy birthday yesterday to the marines..hoo-rah and though I mentioned it in the other post..Shanna culotta my niece us army

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    1. debsdignity @ yahoo.com. above comment niece Shanna is mine. I wrote before on post...not blog..duh

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  48. My Dad served in the Navy during the Korean War. He was just 17 when he enlisted, my grandmother had to many kids at home to take care of so as the sons graduated they joined the military so they could send money home to her and no longer be a financial burden to her. (She only gave birth to 18, lol)

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  49. My uncle Wade is a Marine that sever in Vietnam. He was so lucky to have lived. He was in a convoy with other Marines when the truck he was in hit what we now call an IED. Wade was thrown from the truck, he sustained a lot of injuries. When I was little I remember the scars from the multiple skin graphs and he lost most of the muscle and tissue in his right arm, but they were able to save it. After all he suffered from the injuries he continued to serve the rest of his time at Camp Lejeune, NC (most of us know about the contaminated wells there). In February of this year he lost a kidney to cancer. In my opinion if anyone has a right to have ill feelings toward the military it would be him, but it's not. He is still 100% Marine at age 66 as he was when he left Parris Island. He is and will always be a hero. The one that made his mother a proud lady. Wade still suffers with bouts of PTSD and depression 40+ years after service. He's a great man, husband, father, grandfather, uncle and most importantly he's a United States Marine.

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  50. My Grandfather was in the Army and went overseas in WWII. He saw 5 major battles. I don't know alot cause he wouldn't talk about it to anyone. I do know one of the battles he was in was D Day. Thank you for doing this.

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  51. My father who is deceased and my son in law both served. Thanks to everyone who has served.

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  52. You are all my super heroes. Thank you for your service and protection, your sacrifices are not in vain nor unnoticed.

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  53. I don't have much of a story to relate, but my dad is a veteran of the US Navy who served during the Korean War.

    Jennifer Z.

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  54. I'm blessed to know many veterans. Both of my parents are veterans, as is my father-in-law. All three served in Operation Desert Storm. My eldest brother was a veteran before he passed away last year due to unrelated circumstances. My best friend from high school is also a veteran. She served in the Air Force as an MP and deployed.

    My veteran story will be this. I remember when my Mom came home from Desert Storm. Her company had a "ceremony" and I stood on metal bleachers packed with many other families while we all watched on as the group was "dismissed". I was in elementary school at the time, but I remember finally spotting my mom as she stood in formation, her hair cut off in a pixie style and looking much skinnier than how she looked when she left me behind. And when they finally "dismissed" the soldiers to go to their families my Mom and I ran straight for each other. Hugging her that day is one of the best memories I have.

    Thanks for your generous donation to such an amazing charity Kallypso!
    Crystal Leo, aka Jessie Lane

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  55. I wanted to share that my brother served for 4 years, and deployed overseas twice for the War on Terror and Operation Iraqi Freedom.. Over that time he made us very proud and sent what he could when he could that he was well, videos of him reading Christmas stories for his son or videos montages of the units down time.
    Thank you to all our veterans and to people helping raise awareness for all veterans especially those who deal with PTSD.

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  56. Appreciate all the veterans out there for all that they do. My grandfather was a WWII veteran serving in the Normandy invasion. Right before leaving he married my grandmother. He manned the guns on one of the ships while tanks were being beached. His ship was in Fort Lauderdale being outfitted for the Pacific theater when the atomic bomb was dropped.

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  57. Thank you, Wounded Warrior project.

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  58. Several veterans in the family. My husband's grandfather Dave was a world war II veteran and served in many battles in Japan. My husband and my brother and I are all Desert Storm veterans. I remember getting off the plane in Saudi Arabia to a whole lot of desert and then getting on civilian buss riddled with bullet holes and traveling in the dark ( no moon) to our new base and seeing vehicles on fire in the desert. I was in a transportation unit and I remember one day as we hauling supplies it suddenly getting so dark in the middle of the day we needed headlights on to see. That was the day all the oil wells were set on fire. Both those events scared my 20 year old self. I belong to the local VFW and am the Public Relations officer for the TVO here and it's always interesting to listen to all the vets from eras talk about their time. I don't think many of them talk about it anywhere else. PTSD is a very real thing and i thank you Kallypso for going out there and helping our vets. Bless you!

    Lisa
    modokker at yahoo.com

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    1. Lisa, your entry was chosen as the "white" category and I will be making a $500 donation to the House in the Woods, which I believe the VFW also supports with funds. Thank you for your service and that of your family members--and for sharing Dave's story. Check your e-mail, too! Thanks!

      Kally

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  59. Both my father and my son are US Marines. We have had the joy of having our son home the last 13 days, watching him leave tomorrow will be the hardest goodbye so far. When he leaves theres never a guarantee of his return. He will be able to enjoy the holidays at home, but at the first of the year he leaves for 29 Palms...
    My heart is so full of pride for his accomplishments as a Marine, but heavy with sorrow. I have wept many tears today for his friends who recently have lost their lives in the sandbox fighting to preserve our freedom and the lives which we live. I weep for their Mothers who have recieved their Gold Star Flags.
    Make no mistake America, sleep well, my Marine has your back. SEMPER FIDELIS

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  60. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  61. What is a Veteran?
    A "Veteran" - whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve - is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

    My grandfather John R.Graves Jr. was in the US Army. He was a medic in WWII, Vietnam, and Korean War , and was an ambulance driver when he was stateside. He loved to serve his country. Although I never got to meet him, I learned about him from my grandmother. Who told me he always called her his better half. His oldest daughter (my aunt) went on to serve in the US Air Force as well.

    My brother now serves in the US Navy, and I'm proud of everything he's accomplished. I have other friends and family in the US Armed Forces as well and I appreciate everything they and all of the soldiers do for our country.

    Happy Veterans Day, and thank you for all that you do.

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  62. I think what you do is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  63. I have several veterans in my family, I think what they have all done is amazing! I'm especially proud of my (female) cousin Julie, she is a marine and currently deployed in Japan.

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  64. Thank you for doing this Kallypso! There are so many veterans in my family I could fill the page. But I'd like to honor my Husband Edwin R. Perkins USN ret. Ed spent 20 years serving his country as a aviation electrician. He achieved the rank of CPO and ran his shop with many commendation's from the Detachment's he served. When he passed away in 2011 we received many notes from men who had served under him. They all wanted us to know how much The Chief had enriched and in some cases changed their life. He continues to inspire all those who knew him. ajablyth@ yahoo.com

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  65. My dad was in the Navy during WW2 in the ALEUTIAN ISLANDS in Alaska. He was Commander of his VFW Post. He was always very proud of his veterans status. no longer physically with us, I have many pictures and stories. Thanks dad!

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  66. Ah, Kally ... you have such a large heart and so proud to call you a friend! My dad served in the Army and was actually on a ship watching the bomb drop on Hiroshima. He didn't talk much about his time in the service but I know it cut his baseball career short. The one thing he always said was that he never regretted a minute of it. I keep his picture, in uniform, proudly displayed in my curio cabinet. My brother served in the Air Force during Viet Nam. Luckily, he was stationed in Sevilla, Spain where he monitored the movements of the Viet Cong, yes he was intelligence. My cousin was sent home from Iraq when an IED hit the truck in front of him. I never saw a person more determined to get back on his feet to return to his battalion. I feel very blessed today for all the sacrifices made by our men and woman of the Armed Services. Thank you!
    Yankeemomjoe@verizon.net

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  67. Thank you Kally for all you do for the military. My husband served 15 years in the Air National Guard. I am proud of his service. I just want to thank him and all the other men and women who have served past, present and future. Without them we wouldn't have the freedom we so enjoy.

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  68. This is so amazing what you are doing. My father was in the Army way back when and unfortunately never shared his stories with me. I am sure whoever is picked will be very deserving and I appreciate what you are doing!
    Best wishes,
    Marlena

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  69. my grandfather, richard earl gastrock, was in the army, and fought in and came home from the korean war. often known as the forgotten war, and i have been obsessed with watching everything and anything that makes it on t.v. about that war. i am so proud of his service, and of every other man/woman's service to our country. my neighbor's son is currently in the navy as a medical corpsman (sp?), and he is the one single handedly keeping a roof over his mother's head. i may not support the people running our government, but i have nothing mut respect for those who have served and are serving in our military :) what a great thing you are doing with the donations for comments, bless you too!

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  70. I come from a very long line of military men and women. My grandfather Poppy who was a bomber pilot in WWII, my father who was in the USAF from 1965-2000, my ex-husband who was in the USAF from 1987-2007, my son who was in the US Army for just a short time before being medically discharged, my nephew who was in the USAF for 4yrs most of which was on funeral duty, my neice who is currently serving in the Navy, my brother in law who was in the USAF, my very good friend Alicia who is currently in the Navy and last but not least the love of my life who was in the Navy for 6yrs. Each one of them has made a great impact on my life. I am supremely thankful for each and every sacrifice they have made.

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  71. I would like to enter the son of a friend of mine. His name was SrA Bryce Powers. Bryce passed away this past April after suffering a traumatic brain injury while serving in the Air Force. Bryce remained in a coma for almost six months before finally passing away, he was only 21. His mother was by his side the entire time. Bryce always wanted to be in the Air Force. He joined the Air Force ROTC while in high school and upon graduation was the commanding officer of his ROTC class. On a family trip to Arlington, Bryce told his parents that is where he wanted to be buried when his time came. Bryce got his wish.

    Thank you so much for what you are doing to honor our veterans in this way. God bless you!

    My email address is katden27@ gmail.com.

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  72. I personally do not know him as he just recently came to my attention through Michael Stokes Photography, but his name is Christopher Van Etten and he is a double amputee and served in the Marine Corp. He and others of his group were injured last year in I believe Afghanistan and since then he has turned his disability into a budding career in modeling.
    I also have had several members of my family that have served at one point or another, as well as my husbands brother who was in the Marines (he passed in 98)
    I love what you are doing for our veterans, it just shows what a truly big hearted and loving person you are *hugs*
    My email is AsherRae3181@yahoo.com

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  73. First, my father, Ernest, Jr. USMC 1941-1945. 1sr Marines, fought at Guadalcanal, New Guinea and Tarawa. Passed away two years ago.

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  74. Next, my older brother, Ernest, 3rd. USN 1969-1989. Retired as a Boiler Technician Master Chief. Now works as a civilian doing the same job he was doing when he retired.

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  75. Then, my younger brother, Charlie. USN 1981-1986. Medically retired due to lymphoma, he beat it twice but finally succumbed about five years ago to the side effects of the treatment for the cancer he received during his first bout with cancer in 1985-1986, along with hepatitis C he contracted from a tainted blood transfusion.

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    1. I almost forgot. In between his Navy stint and his passing, charlie was a policeman and also a member of a 1450 man UN task force that helped rebuild the police force in Bosnia in the 90s. Out of that 1450, he was one of fourteen chosen to teach human rights to the police officers. He was there for a year and a half.

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  76. Finally, my brother-in-law Jerry. US Army, back in the late 60s and early 70s. He served in Korea and married my sister after he got out of the Army.

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  77. Happy Veterans Day to all Veterans and their families. My favorite Veteran is my Pappa, Albert Aramini, who served in WWII. He was in the Merchant Marines and his ship transported fuel to other vessels and tankers. He was so very proud of his service. He marched in every parade and was a huge advocate for Veterans rights. Pappa was hilarious and had a mouth on him like the sailor that he was. Sometime I’ll tell you the stories from when he taught me how to drive....my vocabulary increased enormously. My admiration and respect goes out to all the men and women who are and have served our country. You are a treasure and should be treated as such...not just on Veterans Day, but everyday. Thank you.

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  78. Thank you to all our Veterans, I'm very proud to be the daughter of a sailor and the wife of a Marine!

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  79. Well, my dad was in the Navy and returned home safe and sound. I remember him telling us stories of the different places he went and things he saw. He was on one of the ships that was around when they were testing nukes at sea. Also, my grandfather was in the Army and my Brother in Law was an AirForce Medic. He served during the Gulf War and came home safe and sound. I'm very proud of them all.

    Thanks Kally for all you do for the service men and women.

    Sheila P.
    demigoddess10 @ yahoo.com

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  80. My dad served in the US Air Force during the Korean War. He spent 18 months in Korea supporting the war effort. He and my uncles all served proudly. When my dad finished his four years, he came home and married the love of his life, my mother. They blissfully were married for 55 years. He was a bookkeeper, a photographer, a plumber, and a constant example of what it is to carry oneself with pride, integrity, humility, and love. We lost him a year and a half ago, and I still feel his presence every day. Today and every day I am grateful for having had the pleasure and honor of having been raised by the most amazing man I have ever known.

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  81. My Aunt was in the Army and she traveled all over. Her son went to a school in Germany where she was stationed. But everywhere she went she would always bring back something from that country to her mother (my grandmother). When my grandmother passed, my aunt gave me the Korean Doll that she had brought to my grandmother cause she knew I loved it so well. My aunt retired from the Army, but has since passed... God bless her soul!

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  82. Thank you to all the men & women who courageously and proudly wear the uniforms of the United States Military and especially to their families who go thru a unique kind of hell waiting and wondering if they'll ever see or hold them again in this life time.

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  83. His name was Steven - our entire male family line has always served in the US Army for 6 generations. He was the only son....he didn't wait for the draft after JFK's speech he enlisted. My grandmother and mom got the MIA telegram on 14 FEB 68 we buried him 1 Mar 68 and later found out he died saving his buddies on 9 FEB 68 when a Vietcong disguised himself as a "friendly" to get access to the firebase. We always take daisy to his grave on Valentine's Day, he always picked them for my grandmother when he was a little boy.

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  84. All you do amazes me. My cousin became an American and joined the marines. My uncles were in the navy. I was a cadet and wanted to follow in their footsteps, but couldn't pass the physical! lol! But we still do something good as authors when we use our voice. You've shown me that.

    So thank you!

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  85. One of my cousins (DJ) served in the Middle East. He was very young when he enlisted and unfortunately the things that he saw and lived through (thank God) left him with PTSD. For quite a while after he got out of the service, he could not be around small children or any noisy situations. Thankfully, he has gotten better and his wife and now having 2 young sons of their own have helped him so much :)
    I have had many other family members that were in the armed forces throughout their lives, including a step great grand father and a great uncle in World War II

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    1. oh, email: manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

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  86. Love seeing all the comments. My father in law was in the coast guard. He passed away three years ago. We miss him dearly. Thanks to all our veterans that served and to all our armed forces serving now. You do so much for our country.
    coach4kat at gmail dot com

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  87. I am a veteran myself and am proud that I join the Navy right after high school.

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  88. My grandfather was a Marine in WWII. He joined at 18 and went almost immediately to the Pacific Theater. He was the only surviving member of his landing party that was almost completely wiped out when they landed on a beach in Iwojima. He received two Purple Hearts, but could NEVER Talk about his service. It was too painful. Thank you to all that have served, in whatever capacity. Freedom isn't free.

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  89. My dad was a Navy Seabee in Vietnam. He left for his first tour the day after his 19th birthday. I know he served 2 tours there, and I know he was there during the TET Offensive in 1968. One of the stories I remember him telling me was that one of his best friends from home was killed days before he was supposed to go home. When the traveling wall was in our area a couple years ago, dad was too sick at the time to go see it, but my mom and I went and looked up his 2 friends and etched their names on paper for dad. Thank you to all who serve and have served and their families.

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  90. My story is of my fiancé who never became my husband. He left for Viet Nam after we got engaged, promising if he got back we would be married right away. He was in Viet Nam 2 weeks when he stepped on a land mine, 4 days before his 21st birthday. He was determined to serve his country and he did it well, even though he never got to fight, he gave All.

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  91. My husband and I have a friend that has served 3 tours in Iraq/Afghanistan, each time taking leave from his job as a Police Officer. He is suffering from PTSD, so bad at times he can't sleep because of his dreams. The dreams are horrible, as he says to the point where he tells his wife to leave the bed instead of waking him up. This is done as a precaution not to mistake his wife as the enemy. He has a hard time relating to his young daughters, who do not understand the change they see in their father but want him to play and/or talk with them. He is working on his Master's degree, but finds it very difficult because of his PTSD. He can not find a job even though veterans are to be hired first in certain jobs. His doctors, I'll leave that one alone. But what we admire more than anything else about our friend - when asked if he would do it all over again if he had to, YES, WITHOUT A DOUBT. I'd do it for my country, but mostly for my fellow soldiers. We salute all soldiers past, present and future!!!

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  92. The veteran I celebrate is my husband, Marcus. He served in the Army for ten years. He actually enlisted while still in high school. He began his service in the Army by doing a shortened boot camp then heading to Germany for deployment to Kuwait for Desert Storm in 1991. After going back to Kuwait, Bosnia, and several other countries multiple times, then being deployed after entering the reserves, he decided give it up so he could stay on U.S. soil. I am extremely proud of my husband and all that our military personnel do for this country. I salute you all.

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  93. My husband and I are both veterans of the Air Force..never having to serve in combat. My eternal gratitude to those who have suffered so much. Included within my eternal gratitude is also my monetary support to wounded warriors and operation welcome home. Its not much and can never be enough. I urge everyone to do the same. Just think....a 5.00 contribution once a year by everyone here could make such an amazing difference. My email is ktobias46@gmail.com.

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  94. Thank you so much for your support. My dad landed on the beach during WWII and marched through Germany. While he never really talked much about it, he was quite proud of his service and so are we. lisagk(at)yahoo

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  95. Both my parents wrote that blank check to the US when they enlisted, my dad in the Air Force, my mom in the Army, lucky for me, they met and fell in love, or I wouldn't be here! I'm extremely proud of them both and the luckiest daughter in the world to have such amazing parents.

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  96. My Dad was in Vietnam and although he doesn't tell me many stories as it was just too bad over there for him to share his stories with me. I am gonna share one of o both us when I was 20 and was leaving for Desert Storm I called home from JFK airport where we were waiting on our flight overseas. I called Mom first cause I knew she was gonna cry but she surprised me and didn't. So then I called my Dad expecting him to give me a huge pep talk before I left the country. Instead he cried it was one of the few times I had heard or seen my Dad ever cry and all he could say was I left for Nam from JFK, please watch your back and bring my baby girl home in one piece. We talked a few more mins and I walked back to my buddies in tears and had to explain to them what happened so we all had a good cry together. That was one of the times I have felt close to my Dad and he was the one who inspired me to join the military. I am so proud of him along with my brother, and nephew (who is currently serving) for their service. . Thanks Kally this means a lot to us Vets when we see people who really care about what we sacrificed

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  97. I really think it's a wonderful thing you are doing. My uncle Jack who was in the Army during the Vietnam war has long since passed away but I remember when he came home he had terrible PTSD and had been injured on his head. I was little so I don't know the whole story only that he had a partial steel plate on his skull where his skull had been smashed. He got better and didn't have a brain injury and I got to know him as I grew up.

    miztik_rose @ yahoo.com

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  98. I don't have any personal stories, but am very grateful to any and all people who unselfishly give of themselves to protect our freedoms. Special Souls indeed! Thank you one and all!!

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  99. My father fought WWII and his next younger brother also. His youngest brother fought in the Korean Police Action. They raised me on war stories, movies, and heroes. They taught me to be proud of my country, but especially to always support or troops no matter what.During Desert Storm I made decorations that were put on trees to go over to support the troops and sent care packages. I grew up on D-Day, the Battle of Leyte Gulf,and night trains in Korea and it taught me that our troops deserve the title of heroes even if they don't feel that way. What they have or will endure can never ever be understood, but it should always make our people reach out to aid,give comfort and support to them and their families. This is what I now teach to my children, that no matter how different our views may be, the needs and respect of our soldiers shall go above everything else.

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  100. I just wanted to say I am so happy for all you do for our Military and this weeks blogs have been amazing! Hope you raise lots of money for a great cause!!

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  101. My hero always has been and always will be my son Dane. My grandfather and two uncles were also in the Army because of the draft. I remember my grandmother telling me that because the tight boots that my grandfather had to wear, it rubbed the hair off his legs and he had smoother legs than a woman. :D Thank you Kally for all you do for our wounded warriors, I always say that there is a special place in Heaven for you, not only for our service people, but for the genuine love that you have for your readers.

    proudarmymom32(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  102. My Grandfather served in the Navy and was injured at Pearl Harbor. His 2 brothers were also there. Amazingly they all made it home.

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  103. I want to leave a comment to honor all of those that have served. I live in a military town and have many friends that either serve in the military or are married to military heroes.

    Also many of my family members have served. My grandfather served in WWII, my uncle and aunt met in the Army, my 2 cousins served in the Army, my uncle-in-law served in the Marines, my other uncle-in-law served in the Air Force, my grandfather-in-law served in the Navy, and there are many others way back in my family tree that have served our country in the Civil War, Revolutionary War, and the French/Indian War.

    Without our veterans, we would not live in a free country. If you see a solider, please take a second out of your time to thank them for their service. GOD BLESS OUR SOLDIERS!!!!

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  104. A very special gentleman, Bob was 16 when he enlisted and served during the Korean war. He was injured during duty and awarded the Purple Heart. Unfortunately his paperwork was lost and it was over 30 years before he was actually AWARDED his medal.

    I also have different family members that have either served or are serving now. My most heartfelt gratitude goes out to all those who serve. May God Bless You ALL!

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  105. My grandfather Herbert was a WWII veteran, may he rest in peace... Many stories of his service went untold unfortunately as my grandmother wasn't a fan. She didn't like being at home with him away... but I do remember a few... He attempted to join the Navy however he was TOO skinny. So he went home and ate his cereal with heavy cream instead of milk, drank lots of milk shakes, tried to pack on the weight. Went back... he was STILL too skinny, but discovered he wasn't too skinny for the US Coast Guard. So his active duty service was as a Coastie. Post WWII and post active duty he was allowed to join the US Navy Reserves because there were no USCG reserve units near his hometown. He remained in the reserves long enough for my father to be born, grow up and join the US Navy in 1964. At that time my grandfather was a Lieutenant Commander. So when my father was sworn in, my grandfather was the one who did the actual swearing in... A very special moment for both of them. Now my son who isn't old enough yet, is hoping to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and great grandfather and join the Navy as well.

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  106. I have 2 of my brothers friends, who are like my brothers too, that are currently active members in the US Military. Matty serves is in the Air Force and has served overseas and DJ is in the Army and currently posted in Germany.
    These guys are my hero's.

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