Geroge Orwell

We sleep safe in our beds at because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dozing on a Sunday Afternoon

The first thought might be, so,  I do that too.  Sounds like a good idea.  No NASCAR race, by the way, Kyle Busch won Saturday night for the first ever Tri-fecta in NASCAR history.  You know how you are dozing and you hear something but can't quite make it out or wake up.  That's what happened to me yesterday.  I heard something and couldn't make it out and couldn't seem to wake up.  I continued to struggle, hmmm a vehicle, ....a motorcycle......no a truck.  Open eyes, barely......shadow walking by window. More awake.  Shadow stops and appears to be looking in to the house.  Weapon,  burglary on a Sunday afternoon.  Shadow approaches the door and stops.  Damn, no weapon,  Shadow trys the door knob, thank heavens I locked the door.  I peak out.....hmmm, M/W, slender build, black T-shirt turning around as if looking to see if someone is watching.  Blood pressure and heart rate rapid and still know weapon.  OFFENSE IS THE BEST DEFENSE!  I grab the door knob, jerk open the door and.......................................................



JACOB IS STANDING THERE.  


Excuse my use of the military phrase, WTF!  are you doing home! Was my first words to him. 


Well hi dad, as he steps into the freshly decorated and painted living room,  I really like it!  Those are his first words.  My warrior is home!  Home on leave until he goes back to Fort Bragg on Sept. 23, to complete processing and be discharged.  Life is good.


Another more informative post to follow after I get over the shock.  I guess I should explain, he missed his home Friday because of  de-briefings and our best guess work was for maybe Wednesday.  Thanks to his 1st Sargent, who sign papers for him on  a Sunday morning.  


Pops

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Words of Wisdom

Stolen from my good friend and fellow blogger Mighty Mom over at Texas Siren.blogspot.com.

'If the enemy is in range, so are you.'
- Infantry Journal-  





All is well with my young warrior and a homecoming is planned for him sometime in August.  Although his ETS is in August he will be burning some save leave time.  To say the least Pops is very very happy.


God Bless all and pray for our brave warriors in far away places.


Pops

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

I was watching FOX news this morning.  They had a Historian on, I don't remember his name.  He said a couple things that I felt are worth repeating.

1.  Gettysburg was the 1st National Cemetery and it was made that way by President Lincoln.

2.  Read the Gettysburg address, clik here. It took President Lincoln 2 minutes to read it. Clik on the link, it's worth the 2 minutes and more. It was on point then, it's on point for today.

3.  It's not about family barbecues, It's about the fallen Warriors who for the past 200+ years have given their lives for us.

Thank you 
Corporal Guy Ross Courtright, US ARMY,  World War I, The Argonne Forest, Germany
Sgt, Guy Ross Courtright Jr.  US ARMY,  World War II, Burma 
Specialist, Jacob Ross Courtright, US ARMY Baghdad. Iraq, 

This is my special list, what's yours?

It's not about barbecues.


Pops

Thursday, May 13, 2010

We Must Never Forget

We must never forget.  How many times have we said that or heard those words.  How many times have we heard those words and really listened and believed in those words.  We, that's you and me folks, moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles, sisters and brothers.  We that's us.  Never,  pretty self explanatory, a long, long, long time. Forget, it will always, always be there!  It must always be there, for if it is not, everything thousands and thousands of our brave young warriors, men and women of all our wars will have died in vain.
We must never forget.

Pictured here is my second grandson, Luke, son of our daughter Sarah and nephew of our son Jacob.  Luke is pointing to the 82nd Airborne Division patch that we donated to the Blue Star Mothers of Fairfield County. This hand made quilt was made with donations of all the veterans that have served from Fairfield County since World War I. It was nearly a year in the making. A patch of the unit of each one of these brave veterans was stitched  to this quilt by some loving caring woman.  It was donated to the Mayor of Lancaster, Ohio, our county seat Tuesday evening. It will hang in our county courthouse as a memorial to all those who have served in our Armed Forces.

Luke went with me to observe the presentation complete with the singing of the National Anthem, prayers, the reading of the Roll of Honor of those veterans, the playing of Amazing Grace by a lone bagpiper, a 21 gun salute and taps.  There wasn't a dry eye in the church, including mine. Luke is so proud of his uncle Jacob.  Although he is only seven he has been forced to learn about people who go away and never come back.  When Uncle Jacob's name was read as an Iraqi War Veteran Luke gave the thumbs up sign and just smiled. 

It made me feel good my young grandson went with me for this occasion. It will make me feel better if he, nor his young brother or sisters or cousins have to do what his uncle has done. It will also give me great pride should he serve his country in as  honorable manner as grandfather did, as his great grandfather did, as his great great grandfather did and yes, as his uncle Jacob did.

Memorial Day is not far off and to me it is imperative "We must never forget"

Honor Duty Faith

Pops

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Words of Wisdom?

Received this text from my Paratrooper yesterday morning.

The US ARMY  and going to college are a lot alike.  Both places make you sit through 3 hours of bullsh__ for 15 minutes of useful information!

This may explain why he dropped out of college after a year! 

Pops

Friday, March 19, 2010

He's Baaacccckkkkk!

Received text at 0428 hours:   "I'm back"

Thank you Lord!

God Bless all our soldiers!

Pops

Thursday, March 18, 2010

WOW! Has it Been That Long

I can't believe it's been that long since I posted.  There has been so much going on at my house.  Jacob's sister is pregnant.  This is number  five and will complete our basketball team.  WalMart has kept me busy working crazy schedules and I have been baby sitting the boys while mom takes the girls to ballet. But, enough about me and a little about my Paratrooper.

I got a text message on Saturday saying he would be coming home from Haiti on Tuesday.  A day I had to work of course so I couldn't go down.  No message until late Tuesday night saying maybe within 24 hours.  All day Wednesday until late last night with a be at Pope around 2300 hours Thursday night.  Now if you remember we went through this getting him and his unit out of the country and to Haiti.  I think it took about 10 days.  My reply to his latest text was.  Text me when the wheels are up on the plane, then I'll believe it!  REPLY: Copy.  A soldier of few words.

Of course I went down a couple weeks ago in anticipation of his eventual return and stocked the refrigerator with Monster drinks and the freezer with Hungry Man meals and a large box of Cinnamon Crunch.  Had to put something in there to sweeten his disposition.  Did his laundry and cleaned up the bath.  I figured he would enjoy a decent shower when he got home.  That's about the extent of my housekeeping chores for him.  I got enough of my own.

I would like to introduce you all to a newly discovered blog reported by fellow blogger Mighty Mom over at My Wonderful Life.  The new site is run by the mother of a Marine and can be read at Are We There Yet?  May I suggest you go over there and read he latest post.  If you are a military parent I am sure you have walked this path. 

God Bless Our Troops

Pops

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I Met A Hero Today

I met a Hero today, more to come.  'Nuff said,


Edited Thursday, February 25,2010
Edited Thursday, May 13, 2010

Until this post is completed, which it taking longer than I thought got to this web site for some awesome photos of what our troops are doing in Haiti.  Clik Here

Pops

Monday, February 22, 2010

500 Miles for 30 Degrees

The nice thing about being semi-retired is you can come and go pretty much as you please.  At least as the schedule you are working or not working dictates.  This week my schedule was to work Saturday. Tuesday (4 hours) and Friday.  One of the good things the world's largest retailer does is give part-time employees vacation time.  Prorated of course.  Well ol' Pops has some left over from last year and with 10+ inches of snow on the ground and free room and board AND  30 degrees difference in temperature I headed south.  This post is coming from Fayville!  My home away from home.  Yes, I know my Warrior is not here but. I did not come to see him.  I came to UN-THAW!  I know it gets colder and  snow gets deeper where some of my blogging friends are  but, folks I was so sick of snow and single digit temperatures it was come south or do drugs.  I choose the later first but the local sheriff  said NO!  So here I am.

Having explained why I am  here I have something else to report on.  Usually I hate to use the word hate.  It just seems obscene to me.  There's a lot of things I strongly dislike but only a couple I really hate to say I hate.
These two things are:

Ohio in the winter time and driving the West Virginia Turnpike.  I really love to hate those two things.  I have had a life changing experience though so to speak.  I no longer hate the West Virginia Turnpike as much as I did.  The WVT  is about 90 miles of up and down and up and down and round and round that you would ever want to drive. IMHO.  Airborne Momma  and I would count the minutes we were on that road and tried several ways to avoid it.  Most turned out to be so much longer  finally we just gave up and sucked it up. We drove it on our honeymoon to Myrtle Beach and drove it to Fayville and beyond every time we went south.

Why the sudden change you ask.  Mountains, cold weather and melting snow.  Put this together and you have icicles.  Not just icicles but huge ice falls. Yes, this old guy has a little soft spot in his heart for the beauty created by Mother Nature, aka God.  I left Ohio early Sunday morning to avoid traffic and reached the WVT  a little past daybreak.  Folks let me tell you for most of that 90+ miles of driving up and down and around and around the pageantry put on by the combination of the cold weather, mountains and melting snow was honestly indescribable. Miles and miles of crystallized melting snow with the sun shining on it provided an array of color and brilliance known to only a few travelers this past Sunday morning.

As I was driving on this nearly deserted  highway and taking in this awe of power in these mighty mountains my mind wander.  What force pushed these un-measurable tons of rock up at 45 degree angles.  The layers of different soils so easily discernible  as I drove.  This indicated at some time in the life cycle of these mountains they were most likely covered by water.  Now they pushed skyward nearly 4000 feet above the current ocean level.  What force caused these stones to crack and let the melting snow trickle down and slowly again become frozen.  Frozen to create this spectacle that I was now privileged to see.  As the brilliant glow of the sun reflected on this show  I drove and took this in. I was moved to stop and take some pictures.  I had time and  traffic was light.  Then two thoughts went through my mind.  Which ones would I take and which ones of these beautiful sites would I leave out.  How could I a lowly man choose which was to be preserved in a photo and which was left to melt slowly away unrecorded.  I would have to photo nearly 90 miles of mountains and it would take longer than this wonderful marvel would last. 

No photos I or anyone could take, nor no camera could copy the majesty of what only the Big Guy created.  I was privileged to see it and it will remain a beauty in my memories forever.

Yes, I know this is a military blog but we have a soft side too.  Besides this blog is  Mark 1:11.

God Bless our military at home and abroad.

Pops

Friday, February 19, 2010

Update

As you may or may not have noticed I haven't posted the picture of my Warrior in Haiti through no fault of his.  Rather through the ineptness of his computer ignorant father.  It was, and still is a cool pik.  He is being the good soldier standing in front of a barber shop with his cool shades.  He is dressed in full battle rattle (I think).  It's hard to tell when you strap on 100+ pounds of gear on a 150+ pound frame.  He is dressed in the ARMY'S finest camo ACU's, BDU's, or what ever they are called today.   But enough about him, how about me? 

I am the  parent of this rough and rugged Warrior and damn proud of him and his unit.  The short story on my previous post doesn't do justice to the good these brave young men and women do.  In war times or in times of natural disaster they are truly the best at what they do.  Giving, caring, protecting and saving the citizens of the greatest country in the world or some other deserving country.

I just received a text from my Warrior who said they had just made a little PT jog through the streets in the neighborhood. Since my weather bug shows a current temp of 70 degrees and rain in San Juan he seemed in good spirits.  San Juan, of the Dominican Republic, is the closest weather station I can locate.  Perhaps it is not raining where he is at.  Then again, maybe it is and he likes running in the rain.  At 70 degrees it can't be that bad.  He actually is lucky.  I spent my afternoon shoveling  snow, (more piks I can't seem to get downloaded).  Last call was 10 to 12 inches.  Geesh, I wish he was home!!

Other than that not much going on from what I hear.  Just another fun day in an exotic location sponsored by the US ARMY, courtesy of the American taxpayer, you and me.  Boy I hope he takes some pictures.  I would like to have something for my money!   LOL

Pops

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saving a Baby, An Airborne Story

Many may wonder what our Warriors of the 82nd AIRBORNE are doing in Haiti.  Here is one of many stories of the kind of metal and compassion our Warriors are made of. 

Saving A Baby

Our next destination is a large warehouse building that the team of soldiers believe to be a camp for people left homeless by the earthquake. As we approach the building, we make our way through the front gate and around the side of the warehouse. You can see an abandoned car off in the distance and plenty of dust floating around in this secluded courtyard. Sergeant White enters the warehouse with a few men to see how many people are there, while other soldiers wait outside.

As I stand there watching the scene unfold, a woman holding a baby comes up to me and tugs on my jacket and points to her baby. I wasn�t sure what she needed until I shined the flashlight in her direction and could immediately what was wrong -- her baby�s foot was horribly infected. In my best high school French, I tell her to wait for the doctor, or in this case, the platoon medic, to come back out of the warehouse, along with our translator. Our translator (see separate article) actually grew up in Haiti and later joined the Airborne after he moved to the United States. We learn from the baby�s mother that a piece of concrete fell on the baby�s foot and it had become infected. With crowds of people standing around watching and with several flashlights lighting the way, the medic washes the baby�s foot and then puts on some antibiotic ointment and some bandages.

Then the translator explained to the woman how to change the bandages and the medic gave her some replacement gauze to put on the wound.  As the baby was in a great deal of pain, one of the soldiers next to me took out a surgical glove and turned it into a balloon to give the child.  As he handed the child the five fingered balloon that looked like a blue bird, the baby instantly enjoyed the new toy.  When the soldier explained that it was a �poulet� or chicken, then the entire crowd started laughing, along with the baby.

This story stolen without permission from the Releigh Telegram.  For this and many other AIRBORNE/Haiti stories clik here

God Bless our troops.
Pops.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hurrah!

I know you all are  waiting with baited breath so just to let you know I got a picture of my warrior today!  Now if I can just get the darn thing on this blog.  Wish me luck!  He is doing well he says.

Pops

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Latest Update

Has you may or may not know we have had a little snow here in the Midwest.  Via modern technology I sent a pik of the drift in front of the front door to our house.  A short unprintable epitaph was sent along with the pik.

Several hours later I received this text.

"Everything here OK,  Hot as Haiti.  LOL"

It's nice to know your kid has a sense of humor.  Even if it is at your expense.

That is all.  (Try to put a John Wayne draw on that)

Pops

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Patience is the KEY!

0614 hours  "I'm on the bird"

0948 hours "I'm here"

1347 hours "Already have my cot up...(son & pop talk) it's hot here"

These were the 3 texts I got from my warrior today.

What can I say, I am a proud and thankful father,

God Bless all our Brave Warriors regardless where ever they are.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Update # @#%$#@!

For those of you following the incredible non-Haiti deployment of my young warrior this update.  As of 5 minutes ago he was sitting home texting Pops.  It seems we both have the same sense or lack of sense.  We are both watching Mike Rowe on Dirty Jobs. He is currently washing windows on a 408 tall office building. I would never do it but the Paratrooper, well if the $$$ are right just about anything is possible.  After all he jumps out of perfectly good airplanes!  

Go to this web site for some photos of the Black Falcons.  The ones in Haiti.

http://www.dvidshub.net/index.php?script=images/images_gallery.php&action=viewimage&fid=245407

Will keep you posted.

Pops

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Still Waiting

The title says it all!


For those of you who are checking on the progress of my Warrior he, along with many others of his unit are still stuck in Fayville.  He reports he was close on Sunday actually beginning to be loaded on the plane then canceled. Something about too many airplanes and too small of an airport. Have I missed something about being AIRBORNE!  Don't they jump out of planes for a living?  For those of us who have been involved with the military throughout our life we know the way it works.  We don't understand it, we just know how it works (or doesn't).

God Bless America and ALL  our great Service members!!!


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ho Hum

For my friends and fellow bloggers who follow the comings and goings of this blogs top subject Specialist Jacob well,  Ho Hum.  I just received a msg. from him that approximately 50% of his unit is BOG.  Oops, sorry civilians, that's Boots on the Ground.  That means half of his unit is actually in Haiti and the other half is at Fort Bragg.  Now that makes a lot of sense.  Then again we are dealing with the government. You see it is actually the government who set this mess up, not the ARMY.  The question becomes, WHO?  Who made the decision not to send the 82nd into Haiti first.  Allow me this moment of copy and paste.

ITEM 1
The mission of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment is to deploy worldwide on short notice, execute a parachute assault, conduct combat operations, and accomplish the nation's objectives.


This little tidbit of information was copied directly from the 2nd Brigades website.  Doesn't is sound as if these guy and gals could drop into a cow pasture and set up house.  It does to me.  The questions I have are 1. WHY the hell weren't they and 2. what freaking moron in this administration did set this up?

ITEM 2
By Jim Michaels - USA Today
Posted : Monday Jan 18, 2010 12:57:41 EST

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — This is not war, this overwhelming humanitarian effort. But after eight years of dealing with counterinsurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, the lessons learned there — getting into the communities to understand the people’s needs — apply here to the job of distributing food and water and providing medical help.
Those skills are transferable,” said Army Col. Chris Gibson, commander of the brigade from the 82nd Airborne Division that is getting established here.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers and Marines have learned to seek out local leaders and learn gritty details about sewage, electricity and water. They’re doing the same thing here, but no one is shooting at them.

My heart goes out to the people of Haiti and I know yours does too.  I just feel if the politicians would let those trained do the job they were trained for, perhaps, just perhaps things would have and be running a little smoother.


Thank you for allowing my rant.  Oh yes, I will keep you posted if Jacob's status changes.


Pops



Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Humm! No news IS good news?

I always believed no news is good news.  Such is the life of a military parent.  As I write this I am beginning to believe my old standby saying is failing me.  I last got a text message from my Warrior about 2200 hours last night. It was short and sweet.  Something like, at Battery, sleeping in truck, will keep you posted.  I sent a short one back saying I would be up and text or call if things changed.  I have a feeling something happened in the middle of the night and he didn't want to wake the "old man" up.


The good news, at least for the people of Haiti is FOX News is reporting the 82nd AIRBORNE is dropping food and supplies into Haiti. Although I didn't see any of the 82nd famous Red Berets' in the film. I would go out on a limb here and PREsume Paratroopers are also being dropped in to distribute the items and protect the population.  Please note I said PREsume.  

What is really bad is I asked Jacob about this last week.  The mission of the 82nd is"rapid deployment"  Find a cow pasture, drop a perimeter force and drop the grub and supplies.  Gee Whiz, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out, I did.


As all military parents I sit and wait, ...and wait,.... and wait.  I've done it before in a much more hostile situation so I can do it again.  Damn it!  Why couldn't that kid have been a accountant!

Please don't forget our soldiers in the Global War on Terror and still fighting in volatile combat zones.


Pops





Sunday, January 17, 2010

And Waiting, and waiting, and........

As I sit here on Sunday night waiting to hear not if, but when my Warrior will leave for Haiti memories of a different departure come haunting back.  January 2007.  Deployment to a much more serious place with a different mission. Then we had just enough notice to leave home and get to Fort Bragg for about a 18 hour goodbye.  Now, I have plenty of time to get to Fort Bragg but no firm departure.  This deployment is serious however, thank G-d, hopefully more humanitarian and not as dangerous.  Having said that anytime an American Warrior hooks up so to speak he/she takes on the role of person in charge.  That in and of itself can and is often times dangerous.

While waiting, I scanned my email and received this from the President of Gretchen's Chapter of Blue Star Mothers.  Yes, they still keep me in the loop and for that I am grateful.  That being said I am posting this as with many, many of us we have sons and daughters leaving sometime for Haiti but we must never forget our American Warriors still in Iraq and Afghanistan.  This my friends is what it is all about.

 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.


God Bless Them All!

Pops

Friday, January 15, 2010

Wait and See

WOW!  I can't believe it was the 18th of December when I last posted.  With Jacob being home from about then until the 3rd of January.......well that pretty much sums it up.  He is/was safely back home at Fort Bragg until yesterday.  Actually he is still safe at home at Fort Bragg however, it appears he may be moving out shortly. His unit is part of the Global Response Force and he is expecting to be moving out sometime in the immediate future

You would have to be living under a rock not to know about the horrible earthquake in Haiti this week. It appears thousands may have been killed and homeless.  Too be continued: 01/14/10 @ 2220 hours.



Continuing, 01/15/10  0854hours



I waited up most of the night on a phone call that never came.  I am currently waiting on a text msg, phone call or confirmed report that my Black Falcon is heading to Haiti.  I have been searching all my web sites for confirmation that his unit is in the air, on the ground, in place or what ever.  My only clear source is that FOX news has just done a bit with Geraldo Rivera who is with a Col. Chris Gibson of the 82nd.  Col. Gibson states they are just waiting on the airport to clear in Haiti so he can get his soldiers on the way.  I guess if Geraldo Rivera says they are going that is the Gospel.  


Well as of this moment I wait.  And wait.  And wait.  It is the military way.  It was 40 years ago and still is today.  Some things never change.


Pops