Tag Archives: military

Memorial Day Remembrance

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Korean War Memorial, Washington, D.C., November 2005

by Kimberly A. Cook

Freedom isn’t free. Those words are powerful if we take the time to really think about the cost in lives. This three-day weekend is in honor of those who have died during military service, whether during war or peace. Men, women, and military animals have given their lives to protect us all.

On this coming Monday, please take a few moments to thank and honor the sacrifice of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to keep us free. Remember the cost to their fellow veterans, families and friends and their untimely deaths.

Because we don’t see the numbers, I wanted to list all the military lives lost to defend our country. I also want to honor the military members who stand guard today around the world.

America’s Wars from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

American Revolution
4,435 Battle Deaths

War of 1812
2,260 Battle Deaths

Indian Wars 
1,000  Battle Deaths (VA estimate)

Mexican War
1,733 Battle Deaths
11,550 Other Deaths (In Theater)

Civil War 
140,414 Union Battle Deaths
224,097 Union Deaths (In Theater)
74,524 Confederate Battle Deaths (Incomplete returns)
59,297 Confederate Deaths (In Theater) (Not including 26,000 to 31,000 who died in Union prisons.)

Spanish-America War
385 Battle Deaths
2,061 Other Deaths in Service

World War I
53,402 Battle Deaths
63,114 Other Deaths in Service

World War II
291,557 Battle Deaths
113,842 Other Deaths in Service

Korean War
33,739 Battle Deaths
2,835 Other Deaths (In Theater)
17,672 Other Deaths in Service

Vietnam War
47,434 Battle Deaths
10,786 Other Deaths (In Theater)
32,000 Other Deaths in Service

Desert Shield/Desert Storm
148 Battle Deaths
235 Other Deaths (In Theater)
1,565 Other Deaths in Service

Global War On Terror (Oct. 2001 – Present)
4,541 Battle Deaths Iraq per http://www.icasualties.org
2,411 Battle Deaths Afghanistan per http://www.icasualties.org

These numbers don’t account for the heavy toll of suicide on our troops since this nation was born. Reach out if you know a veteran who needs help.

Veterans Crisis Line 1.800.273.8255
http://www.VeteransCrisisLine.net
Veterans Crisis Line Text 838255

Freedom isn’t free.

Have a great, safe, Memorial Day weekend.

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Happy Holidays Everyone

by Kimberly A. Cook

With the holiday weekend getting into full swing now, it’s time to hunker down with friends, family, pets and relax. For a few hours this world slows down a bit, doesn’t stop, but takes a little break. Let’s celebrate our blessings, each other and fabulous goodies.

In our family the odd years have always been a challenge and this has been an ODD year. So here’s to eggnog toasts, holiday treats, and an even numbered year coming fast.

One reason we can all take a break is because we have military, law enforcement, fire, medical and transportation elves standing by to help if needed. A huge thank you to all our military, city, county, state and federal workers who watch our backs so we can party.

Have a very merry Holiday season everybody. Safe sleigh driving!

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Totally Tinsel Time!

by Kimberly A. Cook

Holiday traditions make me happy. Watching “Disney’s Prep & Landing” is one of my favorites. Even though I own it on DVD, watching it on tv is fun. So Thursday night, Dec. 14, at 8:30 p.m. on ABC, you can enjoy it too. Or see it on YouTube also.

There is no doubt in my mind Santa has former special operators and military personnel running his operations. NORAD tracks him around the world for Pete’s sake. If you want to know more about when NORAD began tracking Santa, check here:

http://www.norad.mil/About-NORAD/NORAD-Tracks-Santa

To track Santa go to http://www.NoradSanta.org

It takes a logistics village to get the jolly guy launched and back from his mission.

Have a safe shopping weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

 

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Got A Turkey Launch List?

by Kimberly A. Cook

With everything going on right now, I think the best thing to do is to prepare for Thanksgiving. Focus on food. With less light, more rain and cold temperatures, it’s the perfect time to plot the menu for next week. Once again we must answer the age-old question – jellied or whole cranberries?

Pumpkin pies and/or cake? Both. Whip cream? Always. Turkey. Yes or homemade ravioli as one former co-worker’s family. Whatever food will grace your table, it’s time to prep.

I spent two Thanksgivings in mess halls and our Army cooks put on quite a feast. And it didn’t really count if that crab leg got away from me and flew across the dining hall. I acted cool. It might still be there.

So seafood or Italian or turkey or whatever you wish for your celebration, let’s be thankful for what we have. Let us also remember our military troops serving around the world who will be eating in mess halls and aboard ships.

For those of us who might need some help in the kitchen skills arena, Snoopy is happy to show off his sous chef skills.

Happy Quirky Friday and make your Thanksgiving launch list!

 

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Happy Veterans Day

by Kimberly A. Cook

On Veterans Day eve I want to send out Veterans Day wishes to all our military vets, two and four-legged. Thank you for your service and your dedication to our country.

Since those of us who have served in the military are a smaller and smaller percentage of the United States population, veteran stories may not reach all our citizens.

For veterans struggling with the return from war, deployments and even sexual assault, know you are loved and hugged by your fellow veterans. Reach out and get help. We’re all still in the buddy system.

Whether you prefer Veterans Day ceremonies or choose to spend the day in reflection and quiet, know you have served our country with true citizenship in action.

Thank you. Enjoy your day.

 

 

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Run For The Candy!

by Kimberly A. Cook

It’s candy day! Forget the kids, this holiday is for us grown-ups who really need an excuse to sugar-load. There are no calories on Halloween. Trust me. They roll over to November first. So enjoy yourselves.

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How cute is this garden center ghost?

 

Today is our last day of bright sunshine for awhile. The rains are coming and cold temperatures. Today I am protecting faucets,  putting the fuchsias in the garage and stowing away my beloved lawn swing. I was only able to use it for six days this summer. better than none.

Right on schedule my Emergency Preparedness 5-day supply backpack arrived to put in the car. Given the horrendous weather we’ve had this year, maybe I should have bought two and one small cat one for Spec Ops Cat. (They need to make kitty and doggie emergency backpacks too.)

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Candy days! But not my favorites.

 

Learned logistics from my military days; if you don’t have supplies, you don’t have them when you need them. Another reason why I hoard purple ink pens and Post it Notes. And copy paper. And printer ink. And three-ring binders. You get the picture.

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Peanut M&Ms! My favorite. Along with Dove Dark Chocolate. Did you know M&Ms were developed in 1941 for World War II troops C-rations? Plus Tootsie Rolls helped save the lives of Marines at the Chosin Reservoir battle during the Korean War? Patriotic candy! 

So your one big decision today is what treat are you going to have? I let myself have one. It can be a piece of pie, or candy or a cinnamon roll. For some reason, cinnamon rolls have been prominent picks lately.

Enjoy Halloween.  Indulge but don’t overdo. And remember; running for the candy burns calories. Sweet!

 

 

Candy links:

M&Ms History – http://www.mars.com/global/about-us/history

Marine Corps and Tootsie Rolls – http://www.usmc-mccs.org/articles/how-tootsie-rolls-accidentally-saved-marines-during-war/

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Ready For Summer?

by Kimberly A. Cook                       (Twitter@   WarriorTales)

I am in complete denial. Yesterday I noticed the leaves are turning colors. Fall shades to be exact. Earth tones. Like pumpkins. While I may be able to ignore the calendar and the shortening of the light, the turning leaves are a beacon of the seasons.

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Official first swing of the summer – 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, September 26th. All is right with the world.  

 

Who stole my summer? It went from a record breaking rain year with moss growing on everything, including me, to a heat wave extravaganza since the end of June. Then forest fires with smoke, plus more smoke shared from Canada. So because of all those events and roofers who have been on my house for two months, don’t even ask, it has not been an average summer.

Between the cascading weatherproof membrane pieces, flying white waterproof sheeting, sliding pieces of block and tackle and packets of shingles this summer, I did manage to get the lawn swing spray painted so it looks brand new.

In the process I got so carried away I didn’t realize I had spray painted my toes silver. Should have taken a picture before I stuffed each foot in the sink and scrubbed. Amazed my pedicure of red sparkles still came back after the episode. Not letting it dry too long must have been the key.

Words to the unwise: Do not wear flip flops when you spray paint near your feet. Overspray happens. Just saying.

Which is why yesterday was the big day. I put the lawn swing out! For two days. Before it rains again. The roofers have finally quit throwing projectiles from above, so it was safe to assemble my haven of heaven.

But in the grand scheme of life, times are grand. I’m happy to have a roof, power and running potable water, unlike our fellow citizens in the U.S. Virgin islands and Puerto Rico.

Hurricane Maria flattened our islands. But the Navy is moving the hospital ship USNS Comfort into place. The Marines landed days ago. Other support is finally getting to the island with the hard work of military personnel, the Coast Guard and FEMA workers getting the airport fixed and the harbors cleared.

Pilots of both planes and ships get cranky if you give them runways with gaping holes and harbors full of hull piercing metal. Great job getting the debris and junk cleared out to start the relief efforts.

In the Army I served with several Puerto Rican soldiers. They worked hard, taught me cuss words in Spanish, loved to play jokes and had the best laughs. Wishing hugs, hope and support to all in our islands.

Donate what you can, be grateful for the life we enjoy and prepare for Fall and Winter. The best thing about winter this year? It will finally end the hurricane and fire seasons!

That is worth celebrating.

For me, I’m enjoying my new nickname: Silver Toes.

Lawn swing ho!

 

 

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