19 April 2008

Warriors...in their own words. Courtesy of ROFASIX

I warn you all now, make sure some Kleenex is in close proximity before you visit this link.
I wish I could claim to have found this on my own, but 100% of the credit belongs to a blogger friend of mine, NOTR, at ROFASIX. In addition to being an exceptional writer, he is one Hell of a pilot. If it's a rotary aircraft he's probably flown it and if he hasn't, it's because it's not in the US arsenal, (though he's probably flown a few of those "others" too.) If it flies at all, he's probably forgotten more about it than some pilots will ever learn.
But above all that, he is a Great man and a Great American which is why I'm making a point of sending you his way - you won't regret it.
His was the third blog that made my daily "must read" list long before I created my own, and if you haven't visited him before, please do. He's a thinking man's man, like many of you folks. (I'm using that as a genderless term, so take no offense Ladies, you'll like him too.)
Yesterday he posted this link: "WARRIORS." It will lead you to a site with an incredible video clip of a current film in production and the story behind it's origins. You will not soon forget what you see. In fact, if more people saw it and remembered, we would not be living as the divided Country we seem to be. That's my humble opinion anyway.
I could be nice and give you the direct link to the movie clip and the site itself, but as my guy, the 1SG, will be happy to tell you in a quote he stole from another movie, "Michael,"...

I'm not that kind of Angel. ;)

Remember what I said about that Kleenex and as NOTR suggests take a moment to explore the site. It may be small but it speaks volumes.

Angel Out


11 April 2008

A gift from my guy...

The subject line simply read:
"Brings a tear to my eye"
and the following photograph, (not of him,) was attached.

How can I not adore this man?

10 April 2008

I need a Dam break!

The road has been a rough one for many recently, so I thought a bit of humor might be in order. Don't know about you but I laughed my Dam ass off.

The Dam Notice

This is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries regarding a pond on his property. It was sent by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Quality, State of Pennsylvania.

SUBJECT: DEQ File No.97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20;
Lycoming County
Dear Mr. DeVries:
It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity: Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond.
A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the Department's files shows that no permits have been issued. Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.
The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted.
The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel. All restoration work shall be completed no later than January 31, 2008.
Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff. Failure to comply with this request or any further unauthorized activity on the site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action. We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter. Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions.
David L. Price
District Representative and Water Management Division.

Here is the actual response sent back by Mr. DeVries:

Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20;
Lycoming County
Dear Mr. Price,
Your certified letter dated 11/25/07 has been handed to me to respond to. I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget Lane , Trout Run, Pennsylvania ..
A couple of beavers are in the (State unauthorized) process of constructing and maintaining two wood 'debris' dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of natures building materials 'debris.'
I would like to challenge your department to attempt to emulate their dam project any time and/or any place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic.

These are the beavers/contractors you are seeking. As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity.
My first dam question to you is:
(1) Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers, or
(2) do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request?
If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through the Freedom of Information Act, I request completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued.
(Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.)
I have several concerns. My first concern is, aren't the beavers entitled to legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation -- so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer. The Department's dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event, causing flooding, is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect. In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling them dam names.
If you want the stream 'restored' to a dam free-flow condition please contact the beavers -- but if you are going to arrest them, they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter, they being unable to read English.
In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream. They have more dam rights than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond. If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources (Beavers) and the environment (Beavers' Dams).
So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until 1/31/2008? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice then and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them.
In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention to a real environmental quality, health, problem in the area. It is the bears! Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone. If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your step! The bears are not careful where they dump!
Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office.

07 April 2008

Someone to watch over me...

I am a Paratrooper's daughter and anyone else who is one will likely agree that you are going to have an interesting life and that sometimes unexplainable things happen or you choose to do them simply because you are cut from the same cloth.
I used to complain that I've been surrounded by AIRBORNE RANGERS or men of their caliber for my entire life and that I was convinced that upon my death, they would form a perimeter around my grave just so they could prove they never let me out of their sight. (And since I want to be cremated and have my ashes scattered on one last jump, I'm sure they'll just bring in the HALO guys.)
But here's the other thing.
I am a Paratrooper's daughter who whenever, wherever I've been at my most scared, lost moments, had someone enter my life I never expected to help me get back to who and how I used to be.
It happened when my father (THE Paratrooper) was killed in Viet Nam and I was adopted by a Korean War Veteran. (Dad) who didn't think he wanted kids, let alone a daughter.
It happened when I left for college and got "adopted" by my best friend, another Nam Vet and Active Paratrooper who was with the 173rd (Sky Soldiers) and is now a parachute rigger for the Texas National Guard.
It happened when I met my 1SG after refusing to date for almost 7 years when my divorce broke my heart; he helped me trust and love again.
And it happened again when my Dad had his stroke.
You know who you are.
I will never complain about being a Paratrooper's daughter again, because someone made me realize he's never really left - he's been watching out for me this whole time, even though he never even got to hold me before he was killed.
And he's made sure that his brothers, and men like them have always been there when I needed them.
When you're a Paratrooper's daughter, there is always someone to watch over you.

06 April 2008

Where do I start?

I suppose a good place to begin would be to thank you all for your kind words and prayers. It's amazing what they can do...
Friends, and you are all in that category now, Dad is here, at home, with me.
He knows who I am.
He can walk, talk, eat and is almost like his normal (stubborn, grouchy, wouldn't-have-him-any-other-way,) self prior to his hospitalization. He has a few deficits, (lingering stoke symptoms,) but the important thing is that he's here. He's OK.
Now where to go?
Well, as I was writing this post the first time, I got word that my guy's FOB/AOE got seriously hit today with confirmed casualties along with the attacks in the green zone. (My guy is S.E. of the "Zone.")
I'm not telling you where he is exactly, but y'all are smart folks and you'll figure it out should you care to try. (If you can read headlines- you probably have already.)
So, I added to the initial post a new request for prayers...for the families of those who lost Fathers, Sons, Siblings, Husbands, Friends and Brothers In Arms with maybe an extra prayer that my 1SG was alright. I knew he would be too busy to email me since I wasn't even sure if this thing was over yet, plus, he had his men to look after.
I also knew he would be devastated if any of his men were so much as scratched, let alone seriously injured...or worse. (Not that he would show it until he was home for good and only in our most private face to face conversations, where we talk about such things.) And I'm sad to say that there were a lot of casualties and injuries between the two AOE's.
But you can imagine what I was most afraid of.
My guy does not fight from a desk.
He'd retire before he'd even consider it.
He is a Warrior in the truest sense of that word.
As I was about to post all of this, I couldn't stand it anymore and stopped to send him an email apologizing for asking questions that he would have already given me the answers to if it was something I needed to know.
(Personally, I think I need to know a lot more than he thinks I do, but that's what 24 years in the Army will do to a guy.) Then again, look what he did last week after a 4 day firefight? I told him I knew he was busy, tired and to please just email me with an "I'm OK" once he'd gotten some sleep. I got a near immediate reply that read:
"What the Hell are you talking about?"
For a gal who isn't big on tears or overt emotional displays, this week I have been one giant mess of both, but nothing compared to when I read that email.
When I sent him one of the many articles covering the attacks he wrote:
"Oh Hell, honey________ gets hit with 5 rocket or mortar attacks a week at least, we're fine. How's your Dad?"
You know that smiley face emoticon that rolls it's eyes? I think I sent him one of those with the statement
"Well, THAT makes me feel better!"
But the truth is, it did.
I still ask all of you to pray for the American Soldiers who lost their lives defending all that we hold dear today, and for their Iraqi brethren who were killed fighting by their side so that they might have the same for their children someday.
As for me, at this moment...all is right again in my little corner of the world.
My Dad is here with me, at home, sleeping peacefully in his own bed where he belongs.
My Soldier and his Soldiers are ALL alive and well
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some prayers to say and much gratitude to express.
And know that the first of those prayers will be those of gratitude for all of my new friends who took the time to offer comfort to a stranger.
As I said in one of my comments: Y'all are the real Angels, I'm just learning how to fly."
Good night and God Bless,
Angel Out

05 April 2008

Please God...

Dad Korea-1952

Folks, I try not to have too many poor pitiful me parties here, but I think I might just have one now.Tuesday, I told you about this wonderful woman I call Mom who I lost too soon to even grasp just HOW wonderful she was.Mom, with her (their) first car as a Surprise for Dad's Homecoming -1953.

Well I am heartbroken to say that I rushed my Dad by Ambulance to the hospital Friday night when he began to slur his speech, didn't know my name & swore it was 1948.
I thank God here and now that I personally know every Firefighter, Paramedic, Nurse and ER Physician who so much as looked at him, and many of them taught me when I was the FNG. He could not have been in finer hands.
They chased me out of the hospital a little while ago when they transferred him out of the ER to admit him to Neuro IMC, (a step down unit from ICU, but by no means a regular medical floor,) but before I left his nurse who I also know well, let me "accidentally" see the preliminary CT Scans...he knew I just had to.
Until a Neurologist AND a Radiologist confirm it, nothing is ever "official," but even I know a right lacunar infarction when I see one.
Sorry, forgive my med-speak. I tend to get almost coldly clinical when I have to deal with the really hard stuff...and treating anyone's kids or your own family is about as hard as it gets. What I meant to say is that he's had a stroke, and this will be his 4th one.
His 4th....
I will be there at 0730 in the morning to bring him clothes and other personal items, but I'm terrified someone is going to call me at 0200 and say that I need not make the trip.I know no one is ever really ready for this...but Dear God, if you're listening, I'm really, really not ready for this. I can't lose another parent.Not now, Not Yet.Please, don't take him yet.

03 April 2008

I'd vote for him!

This has been shamelessly stolen from Laughing Wolf over at Black Five, but I simply couldn't resist the idea of "President Leonidas." We could use a Spartan or two around here these days....

02 April 2008

Happy Birthday Mom...I Miss You

Today is my Mom's birthday. I was put up for adoption at about 6 months old and I lost my adoptive Mother (Mom,) to a pulmonary embolism when I was nearly 20.
I don't think anyone is every ready to lose their parents, but I sure wasn't grown up enough to not need her anymore.
I miss her every day.
I will visit her grave today and bring her favorite flowers...Yellow Roses.
What I wouldn't sacrifice to have given her a dozen of them every week for the 20 years I was blessed to have her.
She was a truly loving, beautiful Woman, Wife & Mother.


Shut Up & Jump!