Blog-a-thon 2008

Blog-a-thon ’08: Dog Tags for Kids

Want to know what’s going on? Visit this page.

The Dog Tags for Kids Project is dedicated to helping United States Service men and women in most harms way connect with their children at home. Specially engraved Dog Tags in the appropriate service color are provided FREE to the service members for their children. Dog tags are engraved “With Love From Dad, U.S. Army, Iraq 2008.”

The dog tags must come from the parents so all dog tags are sent to Iraq, Kuwait, or Afghanistan at the request of the service members to send to their children; from their hearts to their children’s hearts. We are a grass roots project depending entirely on volunteers and donations to continue this mission. All donations go through the Kids Charities of the Antelope Valley, a 501(c)3 charity. Our goal is to see the every parent soldier in most harms way who wants a dog tag for his/her children receives one at no charge to the service member or their families.

You can also request these tags with the name and picture of his/her military parent.

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LAST CHANCE chance to win this journal!

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If you would like to win this journal, just leave a comment on any of the posts between NOW and 11:00 p.m. U.S. central time! A winner will be announced in the 11:30 p.m. U.S. central time entry!

Blog-a-thon 2008

Blog-a-thon ’08: Welcome Home [10]

Want to know what’s going on? Visit this page.

This an ongoing story that I’m posting over the next few hours. I’m not sure how I’m going to end this, any suggestions? I’m writing this on the fly, so this story is rough, really rough, but I thrive on this impromptu stuff so … there you go. 🙂 Just two more installments to go! Thanks for reading!

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Welcome Home

All three women fell silent. The sounds of the airport surrounded them and wrapped them in a tight glove of introspection.

Finally, Margie glanced at the man standing next to Jessie. “He’s not staying.”

This wasn’t a question.

“Now Margie,” Jessie began.

“I will NOT allow you to ruin this homecoming, Jessie. You’re more than welcome to stay, but he HAS to go.”

“Yeah, who’s gonna stop me grandma? You?” The man snickered in Margie’s face.

Jessie placed a gentle hand on Margie’s arm. “I’m sorry. I’m truly sorry.”

Alecia watched the three of them in disbelief. Was this happening? Had she fallen asleep? It was like watching a bad play with no direction. What now?

Margie sniffed, turned on her heel and walked over to sit next to Alecia. Though her mother-in-law was tough and could stand her own ground, it was all Alecia could do to hold back her tears when she noticed Margie’s hands shaking. Without saying a word, she placed a hand over Margie’s and offered a tender smile of encouragement.

“I don’t know what I’ll do if that girl spoils this for Pierce,” Margie said with a teary voice. “He’s worked so hard. He’s been through so much …”

“Jessie’s not all bad, Margie,” Alecia said quietly, her eyes remaining on the couple now openly fighting in the middle of the airport. “She’s just been so hurt. And there hasn’t been anyone around to help her get through it. She misses Pierce, more than she allows herself to admit.”

Margie nodded and took an unsteady breath. “I see Lisa finally conked out.”

Alecia smiled down at the sleeping infant. She slowly lifted a hand and very carefully swept a tendril of hair off to one side of her forehead. “I honestly don’t know what I would have done without her, Margie. It was so, so …” her voice broke and she forced herself to take a moment or two to gain her composure. “It was so hard when Carter left. I have never prayed so hard … in my entire … life. I’ve never been more terrified, yet more proud, of another human being as much as I am for Carter. He’s my everything.”

Her mother-in-law nodded sympathetically and placed an arm around her for a quick hug.

“Lisa was a God-send,” she said. “I probably would have ended up like Jessie – bitter, scared and alone. At least this little girl has kept me busy for the past few months. Jessie didn’t even have that.”

Margie glanced at her other daughter-in-law and sighed. “I should have been there for her.”

Alecia stared down at her daughter. “I’ve never thanked you for being there for me.”

Margie watched Jessie and the man leave the airport before turning to Alecia. “Have you heard from your mother?”

“No. And I don’t expect to.”

Margie sighed. “Don’t take it personally, Alecia. She’s sick. It’s not your fault.”

She shrugged. “I’ve stopped caring, quite frankly. I’ve accepted her illness for years now, even if she hasn’t.”

“Has she been to any more AA meetings?”

“The last time I talked to her, which was just after Lisa was born, she swore to me that she had been going every week. But who knows. I haven’t been able to trust anything my mom has said for years.”

“I don’t suppose your father …”

“Still MIA.” She gently shifted her baby daughter from one arm to the next.

“Do you think she would sleep if you put her in her stroller?”

“Maybe,” but Alecia didn’t make a move to put her there. Her thoughts were still focused on her parents. “Margie, can I tell you something?”

“Of course, dear.”

“I wish … I wish I had had a mom like you. Carter is always telling me what a great childhood he had, what a happy kid he was –”

“Really?” she interrupted. “He said that?”

Alecia nodded. “Yes. He’s always telling me stories about when you guys traveled to Florida every summer, or the fishing trips him, his dad and Pierce went on …”

Margie smiled. “That is really good to hear, Alecia. I never knew the boys looked back on their childhood like that before. It’s … satisfying to hear we did a good job.”

Alecia returned her smile and then laughed.

“What’s so funny?”

“You. Us. If my girlfriends could see how well we get along, they’d be horrified. You know, being the monster-in-law and everything.”

Margie laughed. “Well, that’s good to hear, too. I think.”

They were both still laughing when Jessie reappeared.

“Well, he’s gone,” she said as she sat down next to the other women.

“For good? Or just for now?” Margie asked.

Jessie sighed and tucked her blonde hair behind an ear. “For good.”

“Oh? What happened?” Alecia asked.

Jessie leaned back against her seat, defeated. “I can’t do this anymore,” she sobbed quietly.

“Do what, Jessie?” Margie asked quietly.

“I can’t stay angry anymore. I’m so TIRED of being angry. I just want my life back. I want my baby back. I want …” she hiccupped and sniffed, “I want Pierce back.”

Margie reached into her bag and retrieved two tissues, one for Jessie, and one for herself. “You never really lost him, honey.”

Alecia jumped as her cell phone went off. She hurriedly reached into her pocket and pulled it out. Her movements caused Lisa to stir in her arms.

“Oh my God,” she said quietly, both Jessie and Margie looked at her. “It’s Carter.” She flipped the phone open with one hand. “Hello?” She listened for a few seconds and looking at the women, smiled. “They’re here.”

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It’s time for a chance to win this journal!

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If you would like to win this journal, just leave a comment on any of the posts between NOW and 11:00 p.m. U.S. central time! A winner will be announced in the 11:30 p.m. U.S. central time entry!

Blog-a-thon 2008

Blog-a-thon ’08: Welcome Home [9]

Want to know what’s going on? Visit this page.

This an ongoing story that I’m posting over the next few hours. I’m not sure how I’m going to end this, any suggestions? I’m writing this on the fly, so this story will be rough, really rough, but I thrive on this impromptu stuff so … there you go. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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Welcome Home

Jessie stiffened at the sound of her mother-in-law’s voice. Every last trace of vulnerability left her face and she became cold and hard.

Alecia sighed and braced herself.

“This doesn’t concern you, Margie,” Jessie said.

“It certainly DOES concern me when it has to do with either of my sons.” She addressed this last to both women.

Lisa started squirming in Margie’s arms. She reluctantly handed her back to Alecia. “I think she’s getting tired,” she said softly while giving the child a quick kiss on her head.

“Yes, I’m going to see if I can’t get her to sleep a bit before Carter gets …” she glanced at Jessie. “Before the guys get here.”

Alecia walked away. Both Jessie and Margie watched her for long moments before facing each other once again. Both were wary and watchful.

Finally, Margie said, “What are you doing here, Jessie? I’m not sure you’re the first person Pierce wants to see when he gets off that plane.”

Jessie sputtered a bitter laugh. “And you are? I don’t recall you two exactly being chummy these past months.”

Margie winced and ran a hand over her eyes. “We’ve made our peace, Jessie. It wasn’t easy, believe me.” She gave the woman a pointed look. “But we got past it.”

“So … you two DID fight over me, then.” Jessie said, her words accusing, but her tone of voice sad and a bit melancholy.

“I’ll be honest with you,” Margie began.

Jessie’s laughter rang out so loud that it caused Lisa to jerk in Alecia’s arms. “That’s one thing I can say for you, Margie, you have always been honest with me.”

Margie simply gave her a wan smile before continuing. “I don’t like you. I’ve never liked you and I’ve never thought you were good for Pierce,” she took a breath before Jessie could cut in, “But,” she lifted a finger, “when I saw how miserable Pierce was without you, especially after the miscarriage … it just ripped my heart to shreds.”

Jessie stepped back in surprise.

“He loves you, Jessie,” Margie said quietly. “God knows why, but he does.”

Jessie looked back to Alecia.

Alecia lifted a brow and silently challenged her to tell their mother-in-law why she was there. She looked back down at her daughter’s drooping eyelids and silently thanked God that her relationship with Carter was never as tumultuous as Jessie and Pierce’s was, though if she were perfectly honest with herself, she would have to admit that they were suited for one another. They most definitely had passion for one another.

She gently rocked her daughter back and forth and watched her face relax and her tiny chest rise and fall with each breath. Though she and Carter had passion, their relationship was downright boring when compared to Jessie and Pierce.

And she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Alecia noticed that Jessie sighed when she realized she wasn’t going to come to her rescue. Her sister-in-law glanced down at her expensive shoes and appeared to be battling with herself. Alecia knew that Jessie loved her husband. She knew that she was just hurt, lonely and confused because first she lost her baby for reasons unknown and then lost her husband to his civic responsibility.

Why couldn’t Margie and Pierce see this?

“Is Pierce on the same plane as Carter?” Jessie asked after long moments had passed by.

“As far as I know,” Margie answered, “but we haven’t exactly been keeping in touch lately so I can’t know that for sure.” She shot Jessie another pointed look.

Jessie ignored her. Both women then turned to look at Alecia.

She straightened from her slouching position and opened her eyes innocently. “Carter didn’t say anything about Pierce being with him when I talked to him and quite honestly, I forgot to ask him. I was just so happy to hear his voice …”

Jessie nodded sadly. “No problem. I’ll just …”

“Hey babe, what’s the hold up?” A man had silently sidled up next to Jessie without anyone noticing him.

Jessie’s back went ramrod straight, as if someone had fired a gun in her ear. Margie nearly growled when she noticed the young man and Alecia cringed.

“Geez, not now, you moron.” Jessie snapped. “I told you to stay in the car.”

“You’ve been in here a long time,” he whined, “and it was getting hot out there. What’s going on?” the man asked while looking innocently at all three women.

“Is this,” Margie sniffed and arrogantly looked the young man up and down, “HIM?”

“Yeah, I’m her boyfriend, you old bag,” the man sneered. He had a slight accent and Alecia couldn’t decide if it sounded more Irish or English.

“Oh Lord,” Alecia muttered under her breath. Lisa twitched in her sleep.

Excuse me?” Margie snapped, her head held high, her thin nostrils flaring.

Jessie flinched and pushed the young man away from her. “I’m sorry, Margie. He truly is an idiot … I can’t believe …”

“I can not believe,” Margie repeated, every word clipped and enunciated, “that you would CHOOSE to spend time with this heathen as opposed to working on your marriage.” She gave both of them a scathing look before continuing, her eyes now fully trained on Jessie’s face. “I quite feel sorry for you, young lady.”

Before Jessie could open her mouth, her phone began to vibrate loudly. Distracted, she removed the slider phone from her small bag and glanced at the screen. She gasped.

“What gives, luv?” the man asked her while looking over her shoulder.

“Pierce just text me,” she said quietly. “He’s on the plane and coming home.”

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It’s time for a chance to win this journal!

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If you would like to win this journal, just leave a comment on any of the posts between NOW and 11:00 p.m. U.S. central time! A winner will be announced in the 11:30 p.m. U.S. central time entry!

Blog-a-thon 2008

Blog-a-thon ’08: Heros

Want to know what’s going on? Visit this page

Many thanks to Right-Wing Right-Minded for posting about our heros.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Chris Davila
From Sierra Vista, Arizona

On the sixth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the United States, Petty Officer 2nd Class Chris Davila raised an American flag over Camp Korean Village, Iraq, he brought with him from Arizona.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008, Sierra Vista firefighter and emergency medical technician Chris Davila presented that flag to Fire Chief Randy Redmond as fellow firefighters looked on. Monday, May 5, 2008, was Davila’s first day back on the job with the department after being gone for nearly nine months, with seven of those months deployed as a Navy Reserve corpsman serving with a Marine unit near the Jordanian and Syrian border area in Iraq.

And, as luck would have it, on his first shift saw him responding to a blaze in Sierra Vista. “Right back to work,” he said with a laugh.

You can read the rest of PO 2nd Class Davila’s story here.

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It’s time for a chance to win this journal!

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If you would like to win this journal, just leave a comment on any of the posts between NOW and 11:00 p.m. U.S. central time! A winner will be announced in the 11:30 p.m. U.S. central time entry!