Sunday, February 19, 2012

No Greater Love (One)

All of us who has a loved one who dons the umiform, knowing the price of loving our service man or woman. The missing milestones in life. Sending off Carepackages. Praying for their safely.
And praying that when answering the knock at the door, there are not two officers with sad faces, preparing to utter those words none of us wish to here.
But some families have paid that high price. They have opened the door. They have made funeral arrangements. They have recieved that folded flag from a grateful nation.
There are some many of these stories. I have written so many cards and to a grieving wife, mother, sister. I have cried over the phone with a grieving father.
And I remember some many of the pictures.
After the flowers die and the years pass, I still remember the faces, the stories of those who gave their own for my freedom.
Knowing, there but by the grace of G-d it could me, pressing that flag that once draped the coffin of my son. Or my husband.

One such story was caught by the cameria of John Moore.
Mr. Moore recorded the heartbreaking  image of Mary McHugh at the grave of her fiance Sgt. James John Regan at Arlington National Cemetery. Sgt. Regan was killed by an IED in Iraq, Feburay 2007. The picture was taken May 27, 2007.
I was reading online about Mary's tribute to her beloved. I am sure there wasn't a dry eye as she shared her heart.
“Jimmy was a hero to many, but he was always very humble,” she said of her beloved. “He always sought team success and not personal glory.”
Sgt. Regan McHugh, had planned to return as a medical student at Emory University, when his Army service ended. 
But he was killed in February 2007 by a roadside bomb in Iraq.
Sgt. Regan was an All-American larcross player. He was also a All-State football scholar at Chaminade High School in Mineola. He had graducated from Duke University five years ago.
Like many americans, Sgt Regan was deeply affected the Terror Attack of 9/11. The Attack claimed many lives in Manhasset. He even turned down a position at financial services firm UBS and deferred a scholarship to Southern Methodist University Law School to join the Army in 2004.
He had earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
“Jimmy and I were so excited to stand up in front of God, our family and friends and declare our love for each other,” Mary said. ”Only God knows why we were deprived of that opportunity, but it doesn’t change the sentiments I have.”
After reading a love letter he had written to her, Mary said in a passionate whisper, “Jimmy, we never got to wake up next to each other every morning. Jimmy, I will wake up every morning and thank God for the opportunity to love and be loved by you.”
Mary remembered her beloved as someone who always wore a smile and “simply wanted to be happy and make others around him happy.”
Sgt.Regan’s father, also named James, said his son did just that.
“Last week in Iraq the bell tolled for Jimbo and he gave the ultimate sacrifice,” the grieving father said. “You have done your duty, son, as you saw it. You are a wonderful son.”
Thank you Sgt. James John Regan for giving your all. May you rest in peace.
May G-d continine to comfort you, Miss Mary

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Laugh For the Day

When I saw this picture today, I remember right after we announced our engagement, Mark hugged me like this and same those famous lines above. And i have to admit, I do the same thing to.
Isn't it nice to be loved so much?

We Made Our Huppah: It Rained That Too#links

We Made Our Huppah: It Rained That Too#links

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Reel Dog.

Montague has been part of our family for almost two months now.
And think he is fitting in very nicely:
His first night home....
"Red beans and rice...your going to share, right?"
"Since your not using your office chair, you don't mind if I take my nap here, right?

"My Beatle Look."
"Well, we are a Army family...."
"Ain't I cute?"

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

There Were Those Who Served

It is once again Black History Month.
I remember one of the first facts I learned in school that the celebration of Black achievements, in our nation and in our world.
Amoung them are men and women, who despite the odds, when their nation called, they answered. Yes,
I refer the black men and women who joined and served in the Armed Services. And like many others, their blood was shed for the very freedoms we hold dear.

The very first was Crispus Attucks. In 1770, Crispus Attucks was the first casualty of the Amercian Revolution.
This statue of Crispus Attucks is in the heart of the Boston Commons.
The Boston Commons was my son Aries's playground; we lived only a few blocks away from the Commons. And I would make a point to tell Aries the story of  Mr. Attucks.
There were many others who would die in wars since then.
And blacks never failed to answer the call.
Whether it was the War of 1812, the Civil Was, two World Wars to the present, blacks picked up and bear arms for a country that often question their loyalty African-American soldiers and civilians fought a two-front battle during World War II. There was the enemy overseas, and also the battle against prejudice at home.
"Soldiers were fighting the world's worst racist, Adolph Hitler, in the world's most segregated army," says historian and National Geographic explorer in residence Stephen Ambrose. "The irony did not go unnoticed."
Good enough to fight, good enough to shed their blood. But when they returned home, the black serviceman still had to ride in the back of the bus and could drink from the same water fountain.
Many of my own family members were and are amoung those who donned the uniform of service to this nation. About three years ago, I found a copy of my grandfather Joe Prude's (my mother's father's) draft card. My uncles served in the service, as well as many of my cousins. I have at least two members of my family deployed, as well as my son, Aries. He followed in the steps of my late Uncle Joe Jr. and went into the Navy. My step-father and father-in-law have served and my husband is still in the Army Reserves.

We as a nation have indeed come a long way. Now men as well as women of all colours and religions are welcome to join the branch of their choice. No, it isn't perfect. But it is better than it was.
Is there still racism in the service? Sadly, yes. But now it isn't permitted or winked at.
A nation is as Strong and as good as her people.
And we are a good people.