Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day~~~Giveaway

 Well, I promised another giveaway, something of the patriotic sort, and decided that Memorial Day would be the date! Now for the giveaway part: it will be a SURPRISE!!!  :D

To start things off, I want to pay tribute to the veterans and currently serving members of our Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force (formerly Army Air Corps), Marines, and Coast Guard. Yes, the Coast Guard is part of our defense system and even served during WWII in an active capacity. I visited one such ship in Key West last summer.


What is a Vet?
Some Veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye. Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg - or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity. Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. You can't tell a Vet just by looking.

What is a Vet?
He is the cop on the beat who spent 6 months in Iraq sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than 5 wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She - or - he - is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another - or didn't come back at all.

He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat - but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines and teaching them to watch each other's backs.

He is the parade-riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the medals and ribbons pass by him.

He is the three anonymous heroes in the Tomb of the Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket - palsied now and aggravatingly slow - who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You. That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded. Two little words that mean a lot: "THANK YOU." Remember that November 11th is Veteran's Day. (and May 31st is Memorial Day)

"It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag."

Father Denis Edward O'Brien

I have a couple of things already set aside as part of the prize package. The rest will be stitched during my upcoming vacation in Michigan. Something small and patriotic is my vision. So, do you want to know the rules for this giveaway?! Of course you do! Here goes:

(1) post a comment to this post only, tell me which branch of service you wish to honor in the piece I stitch for you (all branches are alright as well), and include your email so that I may contact you if you are the winner
(2) for a second entry, post a link to this post on your blog
(3) for a third entry, tell me why Memorial Day holds something special in your heart. Did you have a relative serve during the Wars, Korea, Viet Nam, the Gulf? Do you have someone serving now? How about your ancestors? Did any of them serve in any of the early wars in America (the Revolution, War of 1812, Civil War, etc)? I would love to hear your story! 

Now for my story…

I have had several ancestors fight in the Civil War for both sides. They have fought in the Seminole Indian Wars here in Florida. A few even fought during the War of 1812! In more recent decades, my maternal grandfather
served during WWII in France as part of the Army Air Corps and a great-uncle served in the South Pacific in the Navy. 

I had an uncle 

serve in Viet Nam in the Army. My paternal grandfather was a bit too young for WWI and a bit too old for WWII, but he served in the Army 
for a few years between the wars. I’ve had cousins in the Army serve in Germany and Iraq. And I have a cousin in the Navy, who is currently deployed but due home in June sometime. I have a second cousin who was serving in Iraq with a Marine detachment when his mother suddenly passed away 2 years ago. 

I am a Navy veteran.
I am very proud of my military heritage and proud to be a Veteran. I was the first female in my family to serve in any branch of service and I know that my parents and my grandmothers were proud (sis and bro too). I started out in the aviation side of the Navy and worked around, the now retired, S-3B Vikings – Air Anti-Submarine Warfare. I was brake-rider qualified on those birds, but never flew them. About two years into my “hitch”, I transferred to the Surface fleet where I became a diesel mechanic. I was one of the first 40 women to serve aboard the USS Comstock, LSD-45, in 1995 but never made deployment that year. God had other plans for me. While I never saw any real action, I was injured to the extent that I am a Disabled Veteran and receive benefits from the VA. I believe that is also a first for my family. 

And in case you were wondering, the date of the drawing is May 31st, which is Memorial Day this year! 

I will close by simply saying


Parsley said...

I'd love to be entered. I'd love to honor the Navy especially but ALL.

Parsley said...

My Grandpa served in the Navy. He never spoke of it. I suppose it was hard for him. He is gone or I'd ask him about his service and tell him how thankful I am to him and his servicemen.

Erna said...

What an interesting story Julie, it's good to know a little more about your history.I'm ashamed to say I know very little....
I'd love to join your give away.The 31st of May is a wonderful date...It's Ron's (my husband ) birthday :))

Charlene ♥ SC said...

Thanks for stopping by my place today, and for the great honor to our Vets and Service people!

Lisa Clarke said...

Hi! What a great giveaway!! I would honor all of the branches of the service, for sure. My eighth great-grandfather served in the Revolutionary War and crossed the Deleware with Gen. Washington. He was hurt in battle but returned to serve his country. My uncle served in the Marines 3 tours in Vietnam and won a Purple Heart, my daughter's boyfriend served in the Marines and my Stepfather served in the army. I have cousins who have served, as well. Please enter me in the giveaway! Thanks - I will put a link to your giveaway on my blog tomorrow!! Take care -

Olenka's Stitches said...

What a passionate post Julie! And what a wonderful woman you are! Thank you for sharing your story with us. Now our huge stitching family is proud of you too.
We have two friends who served one in Navy , the other in National Guard, went through wars and now need some friendly help to adapt to peaceful life.
I do not know if I can participate in your giveaway. I think it is more correct for us to give you presents on that day.

Lili said...

I don't wish to enter -being French and all- but I just wanted to say how touching your post is.

Lili said...

Happy Birthday, Jules!

Dani - tkdchick said...

What a great family military history. I'm sad to say my family were never ones to fight. But I did have a grandfather who fought the fires in London during the Blitzing and a grandmother who was a nurse. I know that counts too.

Siobhan said...

I won't enter in the giveaway, but thanks for the opportunity, but most especially your service for our country. My father served in the US Army and died while working at the Naval Base in Philly. My uncles, grandfathers, brother, etc., were all in different branches of the military, too. I am very proud of that!

Linda said...

My husband is a Viet Nam Vet and I respect you for honoring the military. I remeber when my husband came home from his brother's funeral (he was an Air Force pilot killed in Viet Nam) people called him names and someone actually spat on him! I am so glad that although people are against a war they actually honor our soldiers now! They deserve it! Thanks for sharing!

Sylvia said...

I loved you post - each and every person that served our country deserves to be honored.

My husband is currently in the Army right now and we are stationed over in Germany. I am so proud of him and all the people, especially those serving in areas of war - they need our continuous prayers and support.

lenna said...

I would love to be entered in your giveaway.
Army Air Core will do it for me.
God Bless ~

lenna said...

My Father-in-law was in the Army Air Core during WWII. He was a bottom gunner on a B-17.
He could do most everything there was to do on the aircraft.
Most of his crew was cross trained. He would tell me his stories, the good ones that is, when I would ask him.
My own Dad tired 4 times to get into the service but they always stopped him before he got too far. You see, he worked on the project during college and he baby sat the Atom bomb while it was being developed. They never told him what it was but he figured it out. He was a very smart man and he could keep a secret when he needed to and he did.
So my FIL told me the stories my Dad couldn't cause he never got over there.
If someone wanted some time off he would volunteer to "baby sit" the experiments.
My oldest brother was in the Air Force for about 6 years and then joined NSA as a spy. So my family has been involved in keeping America safe for 2 generations and I am very proud of them.
God Bless ~

lenna said...

Your post touched my heart. It had so much great information and I would love to go visit that ship.
What you did was most remarkable. You should be so proud of what you accomplished.
Great stitching btw.
God Bless and Happy Birthday!

lenna said...

Julie ~ I forgot my email addy it is I am also interested in finding those scissors the Up Town Girls. I have looked at about three places, no luck. Should I try the hospital gift shop? I love the one with red hair as I used to have red hair myself. Now it's grey I let it grow out.
Thanks for your service and your time.
God Bless ~

Vicki said...

Thanks for your visit today...I had no idea you were in the Navy, and what an accomplishment! Be very proud of it...