Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Honor Back

Today is the last day of the Project Valour-IT fundraiser. Please contribute what you can. This is truly an amazing project that has done so much good for so many who have made incredible sacrifices for the rest of us.

Don't forget, though, that no matter the time of year, Soldiers' Angels can always use your help.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy 235th Birthday, Marine Corps!

In addition to this being the Marine Corps' birthday, it is also what would have been Marine Corporal Jason Dunham's 29th birthday. Corporal Dunham's actions - covering a grenade thrown by an insurgent with his body and his helmet - earned him the Medal of Honor, and a new Arleigh Burke Class, Aegis Guided Missile Destroyer, named in his honor, is being formally commissioned this Saturday, November 13th. When I was student teaching, one of my third graders drew a memorial for Corporal Dunham, which I was able to share with everyone here.

Happy Birthday, Marines! Gifts can be given here.

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's not over

While we may have reach our initial goal of $15,000, and even surpassed the $30,000 mark so far, to say nothing of what has been raised by the other teams so far, the competition is not over. Collectively, we have exceeded the original goal of $60,000 for the current campaign. However, this friendly competition continues through Veterans' Day. Every single dime raised here goes solely to fund the important work of Project Valour-IT. The more we raise, the more Marines - and soldiers, sailors, airmen and seaman - we can help. Please do what you can.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

In Loving Memory of Abby

September 9, 1996 - November 7, 2010

You were my dog your entire life. I saw you be born. I always loved how your one ear never really stood up all the way. But it was time to let you go. I miss you already. I love you.

Valour-IT Auction begin to finish up tomorrow!

Act fast to win one of these great items in the Valour-IT auctions - these items close tomorrow (end time noted is Pacific time). Proceeds go to Valour-IT, bid now - don't miss out!

RESTREPO mini poster signed by the filmmakers 05:45:33

"Restrepo plunges viewers into the experiences of soldiers on the front lines of the Afghan War" - a feature-length documentary that chronicles the deployment of a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley. The movie focuses on a remote 15-man outpost, "Restrepo," named after a platoon medic who was killed in action. It was considered one of the most dangerous postings in the U.S. military. This is an entirely experiential film: the cameras never leave the valley; there are no interviews with generals or diplomats. The only goal is to make viewers feel as if they have just been through a 90-minute deployment. This is war, full stop. The conclusions are up to you.

"RESTREPO mini poster signed by filmmakers Tim Hetherington (recipient of four World Press Photo awards, including the World Press Photo to the Year (2008), and an Alfred I. duPont Broadcast award for his work in Afghanistan for ABC's 'Nightline') and Sebastian Junger (bestselling author of "The Perfect Storm" and "War.")

Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran Medallion 07:08:49

This coin from Eagle Crest commemorates the Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and features intricate, multi-colored designs on both sides and the words, "Democracy, Bravery, Honor, Sacrifice & Freedom"

U.S. Army Combat Infantryman Medallion 07:14:14

This coin from Eagle Crest commemorates the U.S. Army Combat Infantryman. Its green and gold face displays four Infantryman on foot. The blue and gold flip has 5 stars and a long rifle.

Personalizable US Coast Guard cross-stitch 07:42:34

Counted cross-stitch of the U.S. Coast Guard emblem suitable for personalization with name/rank and additional information (years of service, unit, etc.)(see example photo). Finished piece is designed for a 3.5" x 5" opening (mat or frame). Can be mounted with a custom-cut mat (NOT part of auction item) for dual openings in an 6x10 frame (see example photo). Auction winner will need to provide contact information in order to arrange personalization before item can be shipped.

Leadership in Action signed by author ADM Greg Slavonic 08:16:59

This auction is a copy of ADM Slavonic's upcoming book Leadership In Action. It will be released to the general public on in MID-NOVEMBER. This is an ADVANCED copy. ADM Slavonic will sign and ship. SPECIAL TO VALOUR-IT! Greg Slavonic has brought together several contributors for this book that would rightly be on a "Who's Who" list of our nation's most highly honored and decorated military leaders; two-, three- and four-star Generals, Admirals, Captains and Colonels, war heroes and two Medal of Honor recipients--they know what it takes to lead and to succeed. In the pages of this book, you will find something that is critical to success in life--a philosophy of leadership that you can take for your own. By reading each chapter, giving thought to what you've read and applying what you've learned in action; a discerning reader will gain a thorough understanding of what real leaders are made of--and in the learning can become one too.

Day by Day comic strip book. Signed and Numbered. 09:18:49

The first DayByDay Cartoon book collecting all of the strips from 2002-2003. This miniature coffee table book measures 7"x7", features a high gloss softcover, is 132 pages with 363 toons and is signed and numbered by creator Chris Muir.

Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes (2010, Hardcover) 12:38:18

A visceral, gripping, epic novel of the Vietnam War written by a highly decorated war veteran, MATTERHORN throbs with compelling authenticity on each of its many hundred pages. Though its topics are embedded in our cultural consciousness--napalm, Agent Orange, tortured soldier's souls, the chaos of guerrilla warfare, the impossible ethics of violence, the beauty and horrors of the jungle, loyalty, insanity, friendship, and death--MATTERHORN renders the Vietnam experience anew, boring relentlessly down on the specific kinetic reality of the time and place. Karl Marlantes writes with an intense immediacy reminiscent of Mailer's THE NAKED AND THE DEAD or James Jones's THE THIN RED LINE. MATTERHORN deserves to take its place on the short list of great works about America's engagement in Vietnam and the powerful reality of armed combat.

'This We'll Defend' Army Medallion 13:08:45

This coin from the Northwest Territorial Mint commemorates the U.S. Army. It has an Army themed front side with the words, "This We'll Defend." The flip side has the Department of the Army seal.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Demotivator Contest

Cassandra over at Villainous Company is holding a Demotivator contest over at her place as part of the current Project Valour-IT fundraising effort. As of this moment, Team Marine has raised $18,500, less than $1000 ahead of early leader Team Army. We still have six days left. Help keep Team Marine in the lead!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

“It was only natural I became a Marine, and thank God I did”

Veterans’ Reflections: Following in Her Father’s Footsteps

Marie Peckham is a small woman. While it wouldn’t be technically inaccurate to assume she wears military-themed pins and jewelry because her husband served in the military -- he did -- it would be an underestimation of Peckham’s strength.

Even though she stands only somewhere between four and five feet tall, she was a Marine Corps staff sergeant, following in her father and brothers’ footsteps.

“It was only natural I became a Marine, and thank God I did,” she said
Marie served during World War II, enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1943. She learned something while in the Corps:

“My service taught me camaraderie, it taught me to not be prejudiced, and it taught me to appreciate all of the blessings of this country,” she said.

That appreciation, she said, is something that isn’t as prevalent today because a gap between civilians and servicemembers needs to be remedied.

“I’m a bit prejudiced,” Peckham said of the nation’s current conflicts when asked if she has any advice for today’s servicemembers. “We want all of it to be over as soon as possible, but while it’s going on, do your part.”

Civilians don’t need to feel pressured to serve in uniform, she said, but they need to do everything they can to support those who do don the uniform. Members of the all-volunteer force are putting themselves at great risk, she added, and the least people can do at home is to create an environment of support and caring.

“Read more about veterans issues – read about their problems, what they need, and what they deserve,” she said. “And always, always support them – always.
You can support them by supporting programs like Project Valour-IT. Please donate what you can, or take a look at the items up for auction - remember all proceeds go to Soldiers' Angels' Project Valour-IT. Those who have served - and sacrificed - deserve our support.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Project Valour-IT auctions

One part of the Valour-IT fundraiser is the various items donated for auction, with all proceeds going to Project Valour-IT. This year, the guys at YouServed are hosting and managing the auction items on eBay.

I want to call special attention to three items. They are ones I donated to last year's fundraiser, with the winner donating them back to Soldiers' Angels. Yes, I know, there isn't a Marine piece - that one was customized for someone last year, along with the Army one, but the proceeds from these three items are to go to Team Marine. So, without further ado:

To bid on this U.S. Navy cross-stitch piece you can have personalized with name, rank and additional information, click here.

To bid on this U.S. Air Force cross-stitch piece you can have personalized with name, rank and additional information, click here.

To bid on this U.S. Coast Guard cross-stitch piece you can have personalized with name, rank and additional information, click here.

Here's what these can be turned into, with appropriate framing (after I finish customizing to the winner's specification):

That's my Grandpa, who was a naval aviator in the Pacific during World War II.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Take a moment... think about why you had the freedom to go to the polls today and cast your vote. The men and women of our Armed Forces help to keep us free so we can make our own decisions about whether or not to perform our civic duty, and choose for whom we will cast our vote. Regardless of your political leanings, you should appreciate those who protect our ability to participate in our Republic. Some of those who stand between us and those who would take our freedoms away literally shed their blood doing their duty. The least we can do is help them in return in their time of need. Please donate whatever you can, even if it is only a dollar or two. Click the donate link on the sidebar to support Soldiers' Angels Project Valour-IT.

What your donation helps buy:

$800 for a laptop
$400 for an iPad
$200 for a Wii system used for physical rehabilitation
$200 for a personal GPS to give a measure of independence to those dealing with the effects of TBI & PTSD

To date, Soldiers' Angels Project Valour-IT had distributed nearly 6000 laptops. But, Soldiers' Angels cannot continue this invaluable program without your help. Every little bit helps.