Tag Archives: veterans

Memorial Day Remembrance

Wash DC 11-05 108

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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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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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.

IMG_2123

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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Veterans Day Thank You

by Kimberly A. Cook                 (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

To all who have served in the military, thank you. For all who continue to deal with the challenges of war and service, you are loved and not forgotten. To our future veterans serving today, we look forward to welcoming you when your tours of service end.

Happy Veterans Day to all who have earned it through service to our country. Including our military animals who served and therapy dogs who support our veterans after service.

 

 

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Happy Veterans Day U.S. Warriors

by Kimberly A Cook                (Twitter@   WarriorTales)

Tomorrow is Veterans Day and I wanted to say thank you to all my fellow veterans for their service. It’s nice to be remembered on a national holiday, but we are veterans every day. For veterans who return with medical and mental health issues, each day is another fight for them and their families and friends.

We don’t ask for parades and big ceremonies; we serve because we love our country and we took an oath to defend the United States against all enemies. Veterans have been hurt and injured during war, peace and in training. Saying thank you is enough, but for wounded and disabled warriors do what you can to help them throughout the year, especially supporting their family caregivers.

Serving changes us all. Even the four-legged vets. Thanks for remembering.

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Do One 9/11 Good Deed Today

by Kimberly A. Cook             (Twitter@   WarriorTales)

Today on the 14th Anniversary of the attacks on 9/11 we remember those we lost, thank those who put themselves in harm’s way to save others and pray for those who serve now to keep us safe. Then we stand up with hope and go forward like our citizens before us have since the birth of our nation.

The kid’s born on September 11, 2001, are the legacy and future of what the United States will become. The http://www.911day.org non-profit’s role is to encourage all of us to do one good deed today in remembrance. Seems the perfect way to honor all; we move ahead by giving back.

So sometime today, no matter where you are in the world, do a good deed for someone else. It makes a big difference, sometimes more than you will ever know. Give blood, open a door for someone, smile at a stranger, walk a dog at an animal shelter, hug a friend.

Have a great weekend and Happy Good Deed Quirky Friday.

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Happy Birthday America!

by Kimberly A. Cook            (Twitter@   WarriorTales)

The high temps keep rolling here in Oregon and it’s going to be a firecracker holiday weekend without any pyrotechnics! I’m going the route of watching the official fireworks shows and not lighting a thing with flames or sparks due to our tinder dry conditions. Let’s all help out our firefighters and neighbors by being safe this Fourth of July!

It’s also a time to consider vets and pets. With National Guard, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans back from deployments, firecrackers and loud booms can be unwelcome reminders and triggers of combat. Heck, my first Fourth of July visiting home after basic training a loud firecracker went off to start the fireworks and I was half way to the ground; reflex training.

Pets of all kinds, dogs and cats particularly, get upset by the noises too and can run off. So watch the sponsored shows and keep the noise out of our neighborhoods.

So, if we don’t fire up sparklers at home, what can we do? Eat! Check out the tiny hamster’s BBQ party! These patriotic pets have the perfect recipe for a fun-filled weekend – picnics!

Have a safe and sane Fourth of July and Happy Quirky Friday!

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