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Welcome to the Soldiers' Stories Page!
By: Webmaster
Posted: 2009-07-08
This page is currently under construction but will shortly contain all of the previously submitted stories from our old site and hopefully a bunch of new ones!

If you have a story you'd like to share be sure to click on the Submit A Story link here in this thread or at the bottom of the page.

Thank you for your support!

The Webmaster

Half man half boy
By: Admin
Posted: 2009-07-13
The average age of the military man is 19 years. He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's, but he has never collected unemployment either.

He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and a 155mm howitzer.

He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk. He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.

He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional.

He can march until he is told to stop, or stop until he is told to march.

He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient.

He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry.

He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts.

If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.

He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands.

He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job.

He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, and still find ironic humor in it all.

He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime. He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed.

He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away ' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking.

In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.

Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding. Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.

And now we even have women over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so.

As you go to bed tonight, remember this shot. . .

A short lull, a little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets. Prayer wheel for our military... please don't break it Please send this on after a short prayer.

Prayer Wheel 'Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen.'

When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our ground troops in Afghanistan , sailors on ships, and airmen in the air, and for those in Iraq, Afghanistan and all foreign countries.

There is nothing attached... This can be very powerful...

Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier, Sailor, Coastguardsman, Marine, or Airman, prayer is the very best one.

The Sack Lunch
By: Admin
Posted: 2009-07-13
The Sack Lunch I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. 'I'm glad I have a good book to read. Perhaps I will get a short nap,' I thought. Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation 'Where are you headed?' I asked the soldier seated nearest to me. 'Chicago - to Great Lakes Base. We'll be there for two weeks for special training and then we're being deployed to Iraq'. After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours befor e we reached Chicago and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time. As I reached for my wallet, I overheard a soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. 'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to Chicago. His friend agreed. I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill. 'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.' She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. 'My son was a soldier in Iraq; it's almost like you are doing it for him.' Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, 'Which do you like best - beef or chicken? 'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class. 'This is your thanks.' After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room. A man stopped me. 'I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.' He handed me twenty-five dollars. Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand, an said, 'I want to shake your hand.' Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain's hand. With a booming voice he said, 'I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.' I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers. Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine; He left another twenty-five dollars in my; palm. When we landed in Chicago, I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars! Soon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. 'It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich. God Bless You. Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers. As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals. It seemed so little...
Travis Layfield/Gold Star Mother
By: Admin
Posted: 2009-07-13
Scroll Down to Read the Presidential Address to the Gold Star Parents. Story was sent to us by Diane Layfield. FROM DIANE LAYFIELD: I am a Gold Star Mother, not by choice, but by God's will. Travis joined the Marine Corps 10 days after High School Graduation, in 2003. Nothing or no one could’ve stopped him and definitely no one forced him to sign on the dotted line. Travis wanted to serve his Country, and hopefully make a difference, in anyway he could to our great Nation. Travis was born to serve. Unfortunately, devastatingly enough, My Precious Travis was KIA in Ramadi ,Iraq on April 6, 2004 in a hostile ambush with 9 other Marine Brothers and 1 Navy Coreman. Travis was just 19 years old and had only had been in Iraq 3 short weeks. Travis, at his young age, lived and loved life to it‘s fullest. A young man who was very comfortable in his own skin. He did more in his short life than most do in a lifetime. Travis loved History. He watched it on TV every chance he could. Travis was born on Memorial Day weekend in Red, White, and Blue and 19 yrs. later was brought home to me, draped in Red, White, and Blue again. He is now also a part of History. I'm so very Proud of his Courage, Honor, Commitment and Ultimate Sacrifice for family, friends, strangers, you and me. The day I received the news from 3 Marines in my carport, as I stood limp, I vowed to my Son, “There’s a reason God took you from me and it's a calling for me to help other Gold Star Parents, as from my knowledge, and to never let you, My Son, be Forgotten”. Never in my wildest imagination could I have anticipated the Journey I was to embark on. Unfortunately, I have met way too many Gold Star Parents and Families as I never wanted any more to walk in my shoes. I have been to as many Fallen Services as I possibly could attend to extend my Love and Support and to share my personal information so to provide an ear to listen ,or a shoulder to cry on, anytime they may want to reach out. I'll be there. Through this journey Travis has placed me on almost everyday there’s something unreal, or amazing he has brought to me. I tell him he sure comes up with some doozies which is fact. I have been to many places I never thought I'd fly to (I hate flying) and met so many incredible people, throughout this great Country. All in my Sons Honor. Travis knew in my heart, my Mission in his Honor was not going to be complete, till I had the Honor of meeting Our President George W. Bush. Travis, I tell him “Son, you just keep working miracles everyday“. In June 2008 I wrote a letter to President Bush telling him my daughter, grandson and I where going to be in Washington, D.C. for an event put on by the White House Commissions affairs in September, “A Time of Remembrance” and would love to be able to meet with him, as I am a Gold Star Mother. I got a regretful reply that he would not be there in town at that time, his apologizes. Well I figured that was my last chance as I knew I would not be going to D.C. ,till at least May of 2009 for Memorial Weekend. And President Bush would be leaving Office in Jan. 2009. Travis once again was taking care of his Mother. I received a phone call on Jan. 3, 2009 from a White House representative addressing the letter I had written the President in June . He was inviting me and my family to a Gold Star Family Reception at the White House on Wed., Jan. 14th with President Bush. I was speechless to say the least. The next day by email I had received a personal invitation to a Reception at the White House with President Bush. We only had a weeks notice but it was emmensely worth it all. I am Blessed to have a personal Friend/Escort to take me to Wash. D.C., for this amazing event. Doug, is A USMC Sgt. Maj. retired. and an outstanding Patriot Guard Riders, Ride Captain, in Calif. I'm in the Best hands possible, as we head out on Fri. nite Jan. 9th, driving across this great Country. We took the Southern route, as hopeing for warmer weather. Which we were in deed extremely Lucky. roads clear, and all went well. Coldest got was in New Mexico, 11 degrees, damn cold.....snow all on the sides, lil bit of snow flurrys, that was it. By Sat. nite we had reached Ark. That is where my oldest Son, and his family live. So we surprised them with a short hr. ish visit, as haven't seen them in 2 yrs. So that was very special, and wonderful. Altho not long enough. But we had lots of ground to cover yet. Sun. evening about 6:30ish, we got to So. Carolina. Thats where Doug's Daughter and her family live. We went to dinner with them. And got to spend 2 days there. Another wonderful visit. Tues. morning, got up early and headed to D.C., about a nother 7 hr. trip, as we were picking my Daughter, Tiffany and Grandson Trayvon, from the Airport, @ 4. We got into town appx. 2:30. all went as planned, so Blessed. Went to dinner, after regrouping at Hotel. Then early to bed, all were so exhausted. Wednesday, January 14, 2009, the Gold Star Families were invited into the White House at 2:00 PM . We had gone thru all the securitey measures. Once inside we were allowed to take as many pictures as we liked . Normally you’re not allowed cameras at all in the White House. So that was outstanding ,as it was. Then at 2:45 PM we were shown into a large room set up with chairs. At 3 PM President and Mrs. George W. Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, came into the room. Wow, my heart about stopped. It was beyond what words can capture, and way more than I expected. We never had a clue, we would be meeting all of them. President Bush addressed us all ,and with a very heartfelt and emotional short speech he welcomed us. We listened briefly. Then he said he would join and greet every family individually in the next room over. Throughout the afternoon we were catered too and treated like royalty with genuine support, honor and respect of our Lost Loved Ones. While the Families waited our turns, we were taken into a huge reception room ,where a gorgeous table was set elegantly with hors d'oeuvres, pastries and drinks. Gosh its something you see in the movies, not ever expecting to be apart of it. As we waited ,and wondered throughout the rooms, mingling, we met Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen, Former Secretary of the Navy ( When our guys were in ) Gordon England,Captains, Cpls, so so many. It was amazing. My daughter, grandson, Sgt. Major escort and myself waited patiently for our turn as we were not in a hurry. Finally they got us and escorted us to the room where President Bush graciously met us at the doorway, greeted us in. I was so nervous but he gently kissed me, put his arm around me and guided us into the center of the room. He then greeted my daughter, grandson, and Sgt. Major with the same respect. The nervousness disappeared and an amazing calmness fell over the room instantly. His humbleness and sincerity was something I will never forget. Our personal visit was about 15/20 minutes. A man of his stature, power looked into my eyes and never wavered. My eyes filled with tears as I spoke of my son, Travis,and his Brothers, so did his. He assured me Thier lives were not Sacrificed in vain, and they will never be forgotten. We laughed ,we joked, we were at ease. President Bush signed a few things I had brought with me. One was a picture of me with Him,and he was a wax figure, at a Wax museum, we'd went to the past Sept. visit. He wrote on it, Diane, heres from the real one. We got a lil laugh out of it. He then signed a picture of Travis' son, in Travis' uniform, I brought, as Dylan couldn't be there. Then to our real surprise ,he coined us all, with his Presidential coin. Wow! He had his arm around me and held my hand the whole visit. You could feel the Love he was generating for us in our heartache and pain. He again kissed me as we said our goodbyes. What a memorable day in our lives. Especially for my Grandson, can you imagine... President George W. Bush has my full admiration and respect for a very difficult job well done. Mission complete to the best of his ability, in the time allotted, for this great Nation. On Thurs, Morning early we took Tiffany, and Trayvon to catch thier flight home. That afternoon, the Sgt. Maj., had a surprise lined up for me. Doug had talked with a MSgt., and set up a personal visit with ,THE Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps, at the Pentagon. Sgt. Maj. met with us at 2:30 p.m. I'm just in aw. Sgt. Maj. Carlton Kent, greeted us with outstanding Hospitality. Just a wonderful man, and his Staff as well. We visited in his office, for a bit. Then he graciously signed his personal photos for us, also 1 for Dylan. Sgt. Maj. then coined me, and then asked me to give one also to Dylan. His are very unique, they are shaped like a Sgt. Maj. Chevron, really cool looking. He then had his Gunney Sgt. take us 2 on a personal tour of the Pentagon. It was outstanding. Its hard to capture, such a special time, event, into words, to discribe, to its, justice. But hope this gives you alil insight. Yet one more chapter ,I need to put, into a book I need to write. The Journey has been unreal. Yet, Travis and my journey shall continue, as needed. We Pray for World Peace Diane Layfield
Mike Monsoor/True Hero
By: Admin
Posted: 2009-07-13
PO2 (EOD2)(Explosive Ordnance Disposal) Mike Monsoor, a Navy EOD Technician, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for jumping on a grenade in Iraq , giving his life to save his fellowSeals. During Mike Monsoor's funeral in San Diego , as his coffin was being moved from the hearse to the grave site at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, SEAL's were lined up on both sides of the pallbearers route forming a column of two's, with the coffin moving up the center. As Mike's coffin passed, each SEAL, having removed his gold Trident from his uniform, slapped it down embedding the Trident in the wooden coffin. The slaps were audible from across the cemetery; by the time the coffin arrived grave side, it looked as though it had a gold inlay from all the Tridents pinned to it. This was a fitting send-off for a warrior hero. God Bless our Troops!!! Note From Sender: This should be front-page news instead of the crap we see every day. Since the media won't make this news, I choose to make it news by forwarding it . I am proud of our military. If you are proud too, please pass this on. If not then rest assured that these fine men and women of our military will continue to serve and protect.

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