Blog-a-thon 2008

Blog-a-thon ’08: Sending Music to Our Troops

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

About Music for Troops

Music For Troops (MFT) is a 501 (c) (3) non profit that sends the gift of music to our Troops at home and away from home.

Music donated to MFT qualifies for a federal tax deduction. MFT has sent over 250,000 songs to our Troops.

Donated songs are uploaded on our site by MFT and only those in our military who register with MFT can download the music in a safe and legal environment.

MFT keeps track of the number of downloads for each artist and sends a detailed account and receipt to each artist at year end for tax purposes.

All ownership rights, copyrights, etc. remain with the artist or rightful owner(s). MFT acts only as a conduit to send the music to our Troops.

Those uploading songs to the site are agreeing that they are the rightful owners to the music or have the direct permission from the owners to do so.

I can personally relate to this one because I KNOW how powerful music can be. It can be a mood setter, an inspiration and a fountain of strength. Especially to those that need that strength.

Blog-a-thon 2008

Blog-a-thon ’08: Welcome Home [12]

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!

___________________________

Welcome Home

The crowd surged forward, then abruptly fell back to make room for the exiting passengers. Squeals and cries echoed off the airport walls as loved ones were reunited. Excited chatter soon built in volume and it was hard to think straight let alone hold a conversation.

The three women politely stood out of the way, but they kept craning their necks, their eyes constantly searching for Carter and Pierce.

As the wave of departing passengers began to ebb, the women’s hopeful expression began to fade.

“Where are they?” Alecia asked, desperately trying to keep the panic from her voice.

“I’m sure they were on that flight,” murmured Margie as she dug into her handbag to pull out her boys’ itineraries. “Excuse me, sir?” She asked a large security guard with a protruding belly. “Do you know if that was flight 207 from Washington D.C. that just came through here?”

The man grunted once before picking up a clipboard and checking the timeline. “Yep, that was 207.”

“Do you know if all of the passengers have exited the plane?” She asked.

“That, I don’t know. Sorry.” He turned his attention back to the passengers in line who were currently taking off their shoes.

“Okay, I’m confused,” Jessie said. “This is the flight. And Carver called you from the plane, they should be here by now. What do you think …”
Jessie’s words trailed off as she spotted Carver and Pierce.

A tall man with large arms and a head full of buzzed black hair was pushing another man in a wheelchair out of the security checkpoint. Both men were wearing fatigues.

“Oh my God,” Margie mumbled at the same time that Alecia shrieked in utter delight.

“Carver!!”

She sidestepped an elderly man and ran up to her husband. She stopped a foot in front of him and suddenly offered a shy smile. “Hi,” she said, her voice silky smooth and heavy with emotion.

“Hi,” he responded, his eyes drinking in every part of her face. His smile was wide, boyish and completely besotted.

“Welcome home, my love,” she whispered and she closed the remaining distance with a last lunge forward. They wrapped their arms tightly around each other and would have remained that way for quite some time if Lisa hadn’t squawked in protest to make her presence known.

Alecia and Carter laughed together as they reluctantly separated.

“And who do we have here?” Carter asked, his eyes sparkling with moisture. He smiled at the baby and gently took one of her tiny hands in between his thick fingers. “Hello pretty girl,” he said gently, his voice incredibly deep and rich with unspoken emotion.

Lisa studied him for long, serious moments. Then she blinked and began smiling, the dimple in her cheek deepening noticeably.

“Oh Alecia,” Carter breathed in, “she’s absolutely gorgeous. Look at those beautiful eyes and look,” he grinned, “she has my dimple.”

Alecia sniffed and ignored the tears running down her face. She laughed and nodded. “She definitely has your dimple.” The couple leaned in close and finally, after ten long, grueling, emotional months apart, kissed and re-sealed their devotion to each other.

When they stepped away from each other, they continued to gaze into each other’s eyes for long moments until Margie cleared her throat to get their attention.

“Hello! There are more people around you.”

Carter laughed, the sound full, rich and overflowing with happiness as he scooped his daughter into his arms and kissed his mother on the cheek. “Hiya mom. What’s shakin’?”

Margie laughed and walked into his one free arm for a hug. “You probably don’t want to know, son.”

Alecia stepped back and fished a tissue from her pocket (she had been prepared for the tears) and moved toward Pierce and Jessie, who were talking intensely.

“Hey you two, I hate to break up the little party,” Alecia interrupted, “but I haven’t had a chance to say hello to my brother-in-law yet.” She smiled down at Pierce and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. “What sort of mischief have you been up to now?” She purposefully kept her tone of voice light, but braced herself for whatever he was about to tell her.

“Oh, it’s nothing. I just broke my leg, no biggie. I should be out of this cast in another six weeks or so.” He blushed.

“What happened?”

“Well, we were surrounded by the enemy see …”

“He fell off a stage,” Jessie said with mock disgust. “He was doing karaoke with the guys, drunk,” she smiled down at him, “and took a dive into the front row.”

“Hey! That was supposed to be our little secret!” Pierce assumed a mock-hurt look.

Alecia burst out laughing as Carter came up behind her and put an arm around her shoulders. She settled in close to his body.

“And I saw the whole damn thing, too.” Carter said with a laugh. “There’s no way you can sugar coat this one, bro.”

Pierce started to mutter a curse but caught himself in time when Jessie nudged him and pointed to the baby. “So you have a daughter, eh? Let me take a look at this little squirt.”

Carter placed Lisa on Pierce’s knee, but kept a firm hold on her. The baby again seriously examined Pierce’s face before she slapped him on the thigh.

“Hey now! You give daddy a big grin but you give me a slap? What gives?”

Carter sputtered a loud laugh and patted his daughter on the head. “That’s my girl.” He hauled Lisa back into his arms and stood back. “So … you two,” he gestured between Pierce and Jessie, “you okay or what?”

Pierce looked at Jessie, Jessie looked at Pierce and they both shrugged. “We’re working on it,” Pierce said and Jessie visibly relaxed and offered a smile.

“Cool,” Carter said and turned toward Margie. “Where’s dad?”

Alecia stiffened next to him and he noticed the movement. He looked from his mother to his wife and tilted his head. “What’s up?”

“He’s fine, Carter,” Margie said with a soft smile. “Let’s all talk and catch up at my house, shall we? I’m sure your father is dying to see you both.”

Alecia grabbed the stroller and pushed it as Carter looped an arm around her shoulders as they all exited the airport and started walking toward their cars in the parking lot. She didn’t know if Margie’s play on words was an accident or not, but suddenly, she didn’t care. They would deal with whatever happened because that’s what family did – together.

She kissed her husband’s stubbled cheek. “Welcome home, Carter.”

Blog-a-thon 2008

Blog-a-thon ’08: Welcome Home [11]

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!

___________________________

Welcome Home

All three women stood, bumped into each other and mumbled apologizes all at the same time. Now that the time had come to greet the men, they weren’t sure what to do with themselves.

“Does anyone else get the feeling we’re in a Three Stooges movie?” Margie asked and all of them stopped what they were doing and laughed. “What did Carter say, Alecia?”

“Only that they had just landed and were waiting for their gate to open so they could taxi in.”

“Ah, so it could be another half hour before we see them,” Jessie said. “I’m going to, uh, head to the ladies room. I’ll be right back.”

Alecia and Margie chuckled as she virtually sprinted down the hallway. “Do you think they’ll make it?” Alecia asked gesturing after Jessie.

“Boy, I don’t know. If that is what Pierce wants, that’s what I want, too.”

Alecia pulled out a baby brush and gently ran it through Lisa’s thick hair. The baby was now well rested and her eyes sparkled with mischief. “Well, aren’t you a pretty girl,” she crooned to her daughter. Lisa blew a spit bubble and gurgled quietly. “I should probably go change her. I don’t want my pretty little girl to smell bad when daddy meets her!” She ran her fingers up the child’s belly, prompting a squeal of delight.

“Would you like me to change her so that you can freshen up?” Margie asked.

“Oh, would you mind?”

“Are you kidding me? Any excuse to hold my granddaughter and I’m all over it.”

Alecia laughed. She handed Lisa to her grandmother and dumping the diaper bag into the seat of the stroller, they headed toward the restroom.

The airport was buzzing with activity. Long lines of people were wrapped around the ticket counters, nearly every seat in the lobby was occupied and there was a large crowd gathered near the security checkpoint.

“Wow. I wonder if all of those people are waiting for our plane?” Alecia asked as they entered the ladies’ room.

“I wouldn’t doubt it. I think Carter said something about his whole platoon being sent home the last time he emailed me,” Margie answered.

Alecia maneuvered the stroller around the other women in the restroom while Margie carried Lisa over to the changing platform. She had Lisa’s little skirt panties unsnapped and her diaper tabs loose by the time Alecia reached her.

“Wow, you’re fast.”

“Plenty of practice, my dear.”

Alecia handed her a fresh diaper, some ointment and powder before reaching in for her own makeup bag and brush. She joined Jessie at the mirror.

“God Alecia, I’m so nervous I could throw up,” she said while carefully applying a fresh coat of lipstick.

Alecia reached up and ran the brush through her long black hair. “What are you going to do?”

Jessie didn’t pretend not to understand what she was talking about. She checked on Margie in the mirror and lowered her voice. “Nothing.”

“But I thought you said …”

“I did, and I still feel that way. But something that Margie said … well, it gives me hope.”

“What did she say?”

“That Pierce still has feelings for me, that even though she didn’t like me personally, her son still loved me and she wanted him to be happy.”

“I’ve been telling you that for months.” Alecia snorted. She reached in to remove her powder. Dabbing a bit on her nose and cheeks, she carefully rubbed it in.

“Yeah, but it somehow feels … more honest coming from her.”

“If you two get back together again, you have to make me a promise.”

Jessie shot her a dubious look before nodding once. “I can try.”

“Get along with her, Jessie. She’s really not as bad as you think she is. I don’t know what I would have done without her.”

“Alright, ladies. She’s changed, powdered and smells good enough to eat,” Margie said as she playfully nommed on the baby’s hand to prove her point. Lisa squealed and giggled in response.

Alecia finished her grooming and threw her items back into the bag. She took Lisa out of Margie’s hands so she could have a turn.

“I can’t believe this is happening,” Alecia sighed. “I’ve been dreaming of seeing Carter again for so long … this still feels like a dream.” She lifted Lisa up so they were face-to-face. “You be a good girl for mommy, okay? No spitting or screaming. We want daddy to like you.”

Margie chuckled as she replaced her own lipstick. “Don’t worry, Alecia. That little girl could throw a full-fledged temper tantrum and Carter wouldn’t care. He’s always been so good with children.”

“Well,” Jessie said with a sigh while she ran her hands nervously down her blouse to smooth out any wrinkles. “Shall we join that crowd of people out there?”

The women exited the restroom and slowly weaved their way toward the security checkpoint.

They heard snippets of excited conversation as they positioned themselves.

“Can you believe this?”

“Are you sure I look all right?”

“Oh sweet Jesus, I’m so excited I’m going to pee myself!”

The women all looked at each other after hearing this last bit and burst out laughing.

“I feel the same way!” Alecia answered back with a wide grin.

A gentleman, closer to the front of the crowd, pointed in excitement. “They’re coming!”

All three women stood up on tip-toe in an effort to get a better look. It was hard not to get caught up in the mood and their cheeks flushed with excitement. Suddenly, a sea of moving bodies, most of them wearing camouflage, could be seen in the distance.

Alecia, the tallest of the three women, gasped. “Oh God, I think I see them!”

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.

Cpl. Jordan M. Moehnle
21 years old from Los Angeles, California
Company L, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 6 (“Darkhorse” Battalion)

Cpl. Jordan M. Moehnle takes time out of leading his squad in a patrol through Fallujah’s Nazaal district to spend some time interacting with local children. Moehnle, who is on his second tour in Iraq, said the changes he has witnessed since he was last here in 2006 have been dramatic. “The city was like the Wild West, we’d put our heads and and drive down (the middle of Fallujah) and hope not to get shot,” he said. “Since we’ve been here (this year), we can stop and shoot the breeze.”

Blog-a-thon 2008

Blog-a-thon ’08: Operation Love Reunited

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Official Photographer, originally uploaded by CLGPics.

Everyone needs that shoulder sometimes… use ours.

**Please understand, Operation: Love ReUnited sessions are for deploying, depolyed and returning military families. Many of our photographers offer seperate pricing for military members if you are interested in family portraits. Thank you!**

If you have ever been through a military deployment, there are no words to explain how hard it is to send the father or mother of your children off to some foreign, dangerous land, leaving you all behind…. Alone. It’s indescribable to watch their faces light up as their mother or father comes up the stairs of the airport after months, possibly a year or more, of not hugging each other. Emotions fly through the main lobby, it’s so very good to have them home. Your base’s Family Support Squadron will help you with your deployment. But the last thing on your mind when your wife or husband arrives home after a 4 to 18 month tour, is capturing all this love– on film. Most people are so overwhelmed with emotions they forget to simply point and shoot the camera they are grasping of their child’s first hug, or that single tear of relief from a mother being able to hold her twenty year old son again. With the help of Operation: Love ReUnited and local photographers near your base, you can.

Locate a photographer.