It has been three years since I lost my hero, my mother Ruth Clemens. She was a women that was very strong, loving and made the greatest impact on those around her. She was that way until the very day she died. My mother was born in Kentucky and grew up in a hallow called Sand Hill. She lost her mother when she was very young and then her father when she was a young teen. Despite her lose she remained strong, caring, and set the best of example.
In 2004 they found my mother had Colon Cancer. That was a devastating blow. Her mother had died from Pancreatic Cancer which is very similar. Her mother died though in her late forties or early fifties. Mom had passed that, but I think in some ways she felt she would die near the same age. She would never tell use that though. After finding the cancer they removed something like 2 feet of her colon, removing with it the cancer. Then it was a year of Chemo therapy and the cancer was gone.
The next year saw her having a heart by-pass to help her out, but all was well. The cancer had not returned, but with in the second year they found the spots. Now the cancer was throughout her body. She kept telling us, "It is not on any organs so it is ok." And for the next two years that is how we say it. Just those nasty spots that made her need more Chemo therapy for. The problem was they never went away. They never got smaller. They just stayed the same.
At this time I am stationed in South Korea and my worst fear was she would die while I was there. Flying home from there takes almost two days, so there is no rushing home to be by her side. I feared I would not get a chance to say good by. It was my last few days in South Korea. I was being transferred to Fort Carson, Colorado. Much closer to my mom in California. I was due to leave on Monday, but on Friday I get the call - she is not doing well. I struggled to get my flight moved up fearing the worst. Fearing I would not get to say good by.
Good by was not needed just yet though. I got home and yes my mother was sick. Yes she was at her end, but she was alert enough to see me come through that door. I was able to see that smile one last time. It took her over a week to pass, but she went in her sleep. It was as peaceful as it could be. In her home, with her husband, and in her own way on her terms.
She was a fighter to the very end. She would not tell me in the beginning, but when they first found the cancer the doctors gave her less than two years to live. She would not listen to that though. She would carry on being who she was. The Bunko lady that through the Outhouse party! The crazy mom that would go shoot pool with her boys and have a couple beers. She was the neighborhood mom with several boys ending up staying at her house to get away from their crazy lives and pointed in a new direction to become successful men.
She had a strong heart and an angle that sat on her shoulder. No, maybe that is wrong. She did have the strong heart, but I think she was the angel. For two years she did her Chemo therapy. For two years she went there with a smile on her face and the attitude as if she was getting her hair done. She would walk around the hospital with her IV pole in one hand, a smile on her face and an easy way about her that would bring smiles to everyone. That included those that were ready to give up the fight. I was told one guy was ready to give the fight, but because of my mom he pushed on. He could not give up while she was around. That was my mom. You could not quit with her around.
Well that is my story about my hero. For the last three years I have missed her and there will only be many more years of missing her, but she is with me. She is in my heart. She is in everything I do. To this day every time I see an elephant I know she is with me. She collected elephants (figurines that is). So now when ever I see an elephant I know she is there. My mother will not be forgot by those that knew her.
Now that I have told you my story of my mother's struggle with cancer and her passing, tell us your story. Lets celibate this Cancer Awareness month by telling stories of those we lost and how we remember them. Use the comment box below to tell your story or your the contact form to email me your story and I will post it her.
During the Vietnam War, there was an elite force that was regularly called upon when all hope was lost, when the enemy had broken down your door and raided your house, when the only act left was surrender. This force was called Mike Force. Mike Force was the Special Forces of the Special Forces. When they climbed in to a helicopter they knew what was coming and that was hell, because all to often they were going against the worst of odds.
To learn more about the Mike Force please watch this video.
Where have I been? That is a question I have been asking myself for sometime now. I decided to retire from the Army last March and have been moving towards that each day. In my journey I found I have gone through many emotions that included depression and a lack of desire. In that the Your Patriotism site was left to sit for far to long. This site has such a small following it may not matter that I fell off the planet for a period, but I believe in this site. I believe in it enough that I am writing this article.
September marked Your Patriotism's 3rd year of existence and I failed to mark it or even celebrate it. Now I want to change that. I have two major events in the works for this site. One I can tell you about and one I wish to hold to myself until I determine it is feasible. The first is the addition of a memorial site on Your Patriotism. Yes, I know there are many out there, but I wish to honor all that have sacrificed from the recent wars and as far back as possible. I also want to incorporate those men and women who have died in the line of duty as Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Emergency Works, and those that have displayed their patriotism prominently.
I want to allow family and friends to write about each individual, post images, and more. Each person will be represented on a wall as a colored star. They will be in random order with no categorization. Their will be a search option though to make it easier to find your loved one or friend. I want it that way so you might read about someone you did not know. Learn about others that we have lost.
Other things I am looking at (other than the one event I am not willing to talk about yet), is to contact other sites like this and try to partner with them. There are others out there with the same ideas as I and we should be supporting each other and not competing.
So, that is what I have planned for the future. I hope my absence has not made you forget about this site. I hope that you will tell your friends and family about it and share it with others. I want to do more; I want more people to participate; and I want this site to become something that people are talking about. I can only do that with your help.
From the History Channel:
Although the term D-Day is used routinely as military lingo for the day an operation or event will take place, for many it is also synonymous with June 6, 1944, the day the Allied powers crossed the English Channel and landed on the beaches of Normandy, France, beginning the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi control during World War II. Within three months, the northern part of France would be freed and the invasion force would be preparing to enter Germany, where they would meet up with Soviet forces moving in from the east.
With Hitler's armies in control of most of mainland Europe, the Allies knew that a successful invasion of the continent was central to winning the war. Hitler knew this too, and was expecting an assault on northwestern Europe in the spring of 1944. He hoped to repel the Allies from the coast with a strong counterattack that would delay future invasion attempts, giving him time to throw the majority of his forces into defeating the Soviet Union in the east. Once that was accomplished, he believed an all-out victory would soon be his.
On the morning of June 5, 1944, U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe gave the go-ahead for Operation Overlord, the largest amphibious military operation in history. On his orders, 6,000 landing craft, ships and other vessels carrying 176,000 troops began to leave England for the trip to France. That night, 822 aircraft filled with parachutists headed for drop zones in Normandy. An additional 13,000 aircraft were mobilized to provide air cover and support for the invasion.
For 25 years bikers have descended upon Washington DC to show their support for the troops and to remind the world that our fallen will not be forgotten. The ride culminates at the Vietnam Memorial Wall and has grown each year.
Rolling Thunder is an annual motorcycle rally that is held in Washington, DC during the Memorial Day weekend to call for the government's recognition and protection of Prisoners of War (POWs) and those Missing in Action (MIAs). The tribute to American war heroes started out in 1988 with 2,500 participants. Now approximately 900,000 participants and spectators are involved with this annual demonstration in Washington, DC. Rolling Thunder celebrates its 25th anniversary this year with expanded programming. By Rachel Cooper, About.com Guide
There is one particular hero that has committed himself to showing his respect and honor for those that have served and those that have participated in Rolling Thunder. For the last ten years former Marine SSgt Tim Chambers has stood in full Marine dress saluting every bike that passes as they enter Washington DC. He has held his salute until the very end. Oh, his arm may dip, but never does he drop his salute. He is a hero for those that see him.
Watch these videos of SSgt Chambers and you will see how strong and determined he is. Semper Fi SSgt Chambers
Videos produced by USAA
What did you do this Memorial day to thank a veteran for serving his country? Did you shake the hand of a vet? Did you fly the colors over your house? Did you have a BBQ, go on a trip, or just stay at home? Well I can tell you one little boy did much more than that. Cody Jackson, the One Boy USO, visited the Georgia National Cemetery to pay his respects to those who served and died. This little boy who I respect so much has done so very much to show his support for those that serve.
"The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." - Calvin Coolidge
Cody visited the cemetery to place flags upon the headstones of heroes. He stood before them and saluted. One boy and so many soldiers laid before him. Heroes both living and dead and between them both the colors of our nation marking each and every stone. If not for those like Cody would our country forget those that were lost to battle?
A soldiers does not fear for his life in battle, he fears for the life of his brother. He fears for the sorrow that his mother will feel or the pain his wife will endure. He worries for the child he leaves behind, but he does not worry about being forgotten. He knows there will be a patriot such as Cody that will place a flag before his stone so that the soldier can stand out among those that have not served. He knows his country will forever be in his debt whether they have forgotten him or not. No a soldier does not fear being forgotten because in the end the nation does remember, the flags fly high, and those that care will mourn their deaths. The world will continue to turn and life will go on, but at the center of it all is the soldier that helped to ensure we all had the freedom to move on with out fear.
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." -John Fitzgerald Kennedy
I hope you have thanked a vet, shook a hand, participated in a memorial ceremony or just thought of those that have sacrificed their lives in your honor this Memorial Day.
On a weekend to remember those that have sacrificed their lives for our country we must not forget who they are. One town in Idaho is doing just that. They are ensuring our fallen will not be forgotten. A Vietnam war veteran who did not receive a warm welcome back from war vowed that those fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan would be seen and remembered differently. He created a field of Heroes on a High school soccer field. Once a year since 2003 this field of Heroes has been created with the help of the whole town. A patch of hallowed ground to honor those that served and died for their country.
Watch the NBC story HERE
Story found on NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams
Greetings from Colorado VFW Post 3917,
Have a great weekend!
What are you doing to get ready for Memorial Day? Packing the camper? Cleaning out the grill? How about preparing over 150 flags for placing at deceased VFW member graves? Cheyenne Mountain VFW Post 3917 has over 430 deceased members of which 150 are buried in local cemeteries and mausoleums and each will receive a flag on Memorial Day weekend.
When the flags are shipped they are bundled in groups of twelve with rubber bands and often have been folded so they need some attention before they can be used. Each flag is ironed and have a black “VFW Post 3917” ribbon attached.
Next, cemetery maps are printed along with a location card for each grave site. The maps and cards will be used by Boy Scouts to locate the graves so a flag can be placed beside the marker.
So fire up that grill and enjoy your weekend, just take a some time to remember what it is about. And if you are in town on Memorial Day, stop by the post home for the 8:AM memorial and enjoy the GI breakfast.
May 21, 2012 on www.army.mil
FORT LEE, Va. -- A Medal of Honor recipient was honored May 17 as part of the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps' 200th anniversary celebration.
A large crowd turned out to view the U.S. Army Ordnance School's parade field dedication ceremony here in honor of Maj. Hulon B. Whittington, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions that occurred on July 29, 1944, while attached to the 41st Armored Infantry, 2nd Armored Division, near Grimesnil, France.
This field will serve as a lasting tribute to this ordnance officer, said Col. Greg A. Mason, U.S. Army Ordnance School commandant. "Every Soldier who stands on this field will be reminded of his example of selfless service and dedication to duty."
The Ordnance School, which is part of the Combined Arms Support Command, instructs almost 30,000 students a year in 288 courses, which support training for 34 enlisted military occupational specialties, nine warrant officer and two officer areas of concentration.
During the keynote address, Dr. William F. Atwater, who served as the U.S. Army Ordnance Museum director for 18 years, described Whittington as a real American hero.
"I never had the honor to meet him, but I wish I had," he said. "That way, I could have said I met a man who embodied all of the Army values…. If he were here, I would say thank you for your service, deeds and the example you have set.
"What should we take away? I suggest we all should take away his example of values," Atwater said as he spoke about how Whittington's values helped him make decisions and defined who he was as a person and Soldier.
Atwater went on to explain the criteria for being awarded the Medal of Honor and how Whittington's actions were great examples of the high standards required for that award. He said that the ordnance Soldier was more than the embodiment of the Army's core values; he was a hero.
Read more at Army.mil