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Someone emailed me this around the 4th of July and the story really touched my heart.  Please read it and remember the sacrifices the members of our military make for us every day.

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat.  It was going to be a long flight.  I’m glad I have a good book to read.  Perhaps I will get a short nap, I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me.  I decided to start a conversation.

“Where are you headed?” I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.
“Petawawa. We’ll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we’re being deployed to Afghanistan.”

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time…

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard a soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch.  “No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn’t be worth five bucks.  I’ll wait till we get to base.”

His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch.  I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty  dollar bill.   “Take a lunch to all those soldiers.”  She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly.  Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me.  “My son was a soldier in  Iraq; it’s almost like you are doing it for him.”

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated.  She stopped at my seat and asked, “Which do you like best – beef or chicken?”
“Chicken,” I replied, wondering why she asked.  She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class.

“This is your thanks…”

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room.
A man stopped me.  “I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.”  He handed me twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand and said, “I want to shake your hand.”  Quickly unfastening my seat belt I stood and took the Captain’s hand.  With a booming voice he said, “I was a soldier and I was a military pilot.  Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.”   I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs.  A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine.  He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane.  Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word.  Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base.
I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars  “It will take you some time to reach the base…. It will be about time for a sandwich.
God Bless You.”

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers.

As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return.  These soldiers were giving their all for our country….   I could only give them a couple of meals.    It seemed so little….

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America ‘ for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’

That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.

Prayer:

Lord, hold the troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need.   Amen.

Photo by Michael T. Henry Photography

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Today we celebrate our independence.

Hug a soldier and say Thank You.

Spend time with your family and loved ones, and remember, many soldiers can’t be with their families today.

Do you have a special way to celebrate independence day?

Please comment and subscribe.

Photo courtesy of Michael T. Henry.

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The Weekly Re-cap: We talked about NY’s hideous yellow license plates and a woman who dresses in the dark and must not have any friends.  I shared a hilarious commercial with you and told you about a guy who’s famous for inventing nothing.  We talked about a recurring dream I have and a major typo made by a large company.

The Weekly Read: I read The Unemployment Survival Guide, and I’m working on reading The Twitter Job Search Guide and Shift Your Habit.

Peter Facinelli as Carlisle Cullen from the Twilight Series. He's my favorite character!

The Weekly Movie: Eclipse – I was worried I’d be disappointed or let down and it was awesome!!  David Slade did a great job as the director.  I loved the way the fight scenes were filmed!  Peter Facinelli was gorgeous as usual!!  (He was voted the wealthiest fictional character by Forbes this year. We also watched It’s Complicated.  Funny movie with Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin.

The Weekly TV: Hot in Cleveland.  You guys know I love Betty White from my blogs here and here.  She’s hilarious along with Valerie Bertinelli (I loved her as Barbara on One Day At A Time), Jane Leeves (Who was awesome as Daphne on Frasier) and Wendie Malick (Who’s been in tons of things I love, but she is well-known as Nina Van Horn on Just Shoot Me).  A cool thing about this show that you don’t hear of too often anymore is that it’s filmed in front of a live studio audience.

The Weekly Downer: People who don’t return phone-calls.

The Weekly Food: This week we had Italian Mix Sandwiches, Egg Sandwiches, and kabobs 🙂

The Weekly Interesting Fact: The first toilet to flush in a motion picture was in the movie Psycho in 1960.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

The Weekly Birthdays: Jane Majovski, Fred Quenzer, Dan Boice,Carly Hillman Staubach, Jessica Traver, Jenna Ferguson, Glen Shefkowitz, and Stacey Cochrane Gregory LandLeave a comment and tell me what you did for your birthday.

The Weekly Activity: The Job Search is in high gear!!

The Weekly new people I’ve found on Twitter: Tons – it’s just easier for you to check out my Twitter page.

The Weekly Charity I’m Pimping: I don’t have a new charity this week, so keep sending your donations to LaDorka’s National MS Walk.

Weekly Count Down: 16 Days until Michael & Angela’s Photo Reception at Barista’s in Kingston on July 18th 1-4PM.  You can RSVP here.

The Weekly Holiday: Independence Day.  Hug a soldier and thank them for their service.

What are you doing this holiday weekend?

Please comment and subscribe.

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I was tagged by Cute~Ella is Bold here and Cassie here to do this blog.
I have to post 10 facts about myself and then tag 6 other bloggers.  So here we go.

6 Bloggers I tag

MichaelThe World Through My Lens
KimLaDorka – They’re Only Words
KatKatmasutra
ChrisRude Cactus
LisaMilwifeaviation
SaraConfessions of an Army Wife

10 Random Facts about me

1. I took Irish Step Dancing lessons as a child.  I was pretty good too! (and I’m not one drop Irish, I just fake it REALLY well)


2. I put mushrooms in 75% of the things I cook.

I've been to 10 countries - This map says 9 because it counts Vatican City as "Italy" but it has it's own government so....

3. I’ve been to 10 countries.  USA, Canada, Ireland, England, Spain, France, Italy, Vatican City, Germany, and Austria.
4. I have 4 nieces and 2 nephews.


5. I once wrote a 60 page paper about Levi Strauss for my Senior Seminar class in high school.

My FJR-1300AE and I in Montreal Canada

6. I own my own motorcycle.
7. My favorite meal is duck.
8. Peonies are one of my favorite flowers.

Me with STRAIGHT HAIR!!

9. I have NEVER dyed or permed my hair.  The biggest modification I’ve ever made was having it flat ironed ONCE and people didn’t recognize me!!
10. I LOVE heist movies!!!

Leave me comments!
Do you have any other questions for me?
Subscribe while you’re here 🙂

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The Weekly Blog Interviews: It was military week here at Dozenroses13’s Blog.  Did you meet Mandy Barcus Westervelt, Jeremy Westervelt, Lisa Bathrick Miller, and Sara Caraway Kowalski ??

The Weekly Read: The One-Page Proposal I wrote a business proposal for someone I’m hoping will hire me.  She’s got “old school” training like I do and I think we could be very successful as a team.

The Weekly Music: I really miss listening to music.  I haven’t turned on a radio or played a cd in weeks.  What’s happening to me?

The Weekly Party: Last night Michael & I went to the All Over Albany 2nd birthday party at the Midtown Tap & Tea RoomAll Over Albany is a local blog that has many local contributors that has taken off over the past 2 years and has been a great place to keep up on the happenings in the region.

The Weekly Downer: I feel like I’m wrong regardless of what I say or suggest.

The Weekly Worst Piece of Crap on TV: Can you believe I didn’t turn on my TV for a whole day this week???

The Weekly Food: Fettuccine Alfredo and a chuck roast in the crock pot


The Weekly Amazing Fact: Well it’s not really amazing but did you know: The elephant is the only mammal that can’t jump!

The Weekly Birthdays: Matt Zampi, Shannon Lewis, Steve Dousharm, Mike Wizzo, Jeremy Westervelt, Kim Bertram, Joan Marso, Melinda Powers, Patti Nealon, Sara Thompson, Jason Morrison, Mark Chiarieri, and Shannon Sayles Beckwith

Matt's "Other Woman" ~ Sorry Nicole!

The Weekly Birthday Gifts: Matt Zampi got a new Harley Davidson Nightster, and Kim Bertram got a Kindle.

The Weekly Score: The US woman’s ice hockey team was blowing the competition away!!

Did you do anything interesting this week?

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While brainstorming about what to write blogs about, I wanted to find a way for my readers to get to know some of the awesome people who I know.  The best way I could come up with was an interview series.

This week’s interviews all have a military connection.  Meet my friend SaraSara and I met on MySpace through our friend KimSara is an army wife.  She got to know my good friend Lisa who was featured in yesterday’s blog when she moved from Yakima, WA to Ft. Hood, TX.

Sara and her hubby Mark

Name: Sara Caraway Kowalski

Blog link: http://armywife1208.wordpress.com/

Age: 34…almost old enough to be offended by giving out my real age! lol

Location: Fort Hood, Texas

Sara & Mark ~ December 27, 2008

Relationship Status: Married since December 27, 2008

Occupation: Mother and Army Wife Extraordinaire

Caitlin, Celsie and Cyler

What is the most challenging part of your job?
Dealing with children who rarely listen and putting up with the frustrations that come along with the Army life. I’m a married single mom, that is the easiest way to put it!

Last picture saying goodbye to Mark


You’re new to the Army Wife world. What are the biggest difference between being a civilian wife and an Army Wife?

Well first and foremost the Army comes first and everything else comes second. It is something that I am still trying to get used to. As a civilian you only spend time away from your spouse because one of you needs or wants time away with the Army separations are part of the job description. I find that I have distanced myself more from friends and family back home because they don’t understand exactly what I’m going through. Unless you actually are a military spouse you will never truly understand what one is going through.

What is the best part of being a military spouse?
Friends who become family very quickly. I feel closer to my friends that I have made here than some of those who I have been friends with for years. The extreme pride I feel for my husband when he puts on his uniform each morning.

The kids saying goodbye to Mark

Your husband is currently deployed in Afghanistan, and he’s been gone for about a month.  How are you coping?
Mark has been gone for a little over a month, although it feels a lot longer. I was a wreck when he first left but I am starting to get a routine down which make things a little better. I seem to have thrown myself into my kids and working on the house more than I have since we have been here. I don’t want my kids to feel like their mother can’t cope just because their dad/step-dad isn’t around.

How are your children handling it?
They really seemed to struggle at first. They were asking on a daily basis when he was coming home and now that he has been gone for a bit they have eased up on that. Although my 6-year-old still tells everyone she meets that her daddy is in Afghanistan killing the bad guys. It isn’t exactly what I want her telling people but she knows her daddy and his friends are making it possible for her to go bed at night and sleep safely.

What are the toughest times not having your husband home?
I think it is hardest when something needs done around the house that he would normally take care of. The front porch light burnt out two days after he left and I just cried. It sounds silly because it’s just a light but it caused my first mini-breakdown. The nights are hard too because we normally hangout watching movies and things after the kids go to bed and now there is just me here. I also hate sleeping alone and even when one of my kids crawl in bed with me it just isn’t the same.

Do you find yourself glued to the news stations?
Actually I promised Mark that I wouldn’t do this just for my own sanity. I watched CNN for a few hours one day and found that I could learn more accurate info by just talking to my hubby.

The family

Do you have a huge homecoming planned for him?
I don’t have anything set in stone for his homecoming. I know that I am hiring the photographer who took our family pictures to photograph the homecoming but that’s all I have for now. I would rather do something small and simple with just us and the kids rather than something huge.

I think this picture is soooo cute!!

What advice do you have for a new military spouse?
Don’t get mad at your spouse for things they can’t control. Your plans will always get screwed up by CQ, Staff Duty, or late nights for no reason. Learn to be laid back and to go with the flow, you will be much less stressed. Nothing in the Army makes sense, they sooner you accept this the better off you will be. Febreze does NOT cover up the Army smell…you will eventually learn to like it, you’ll even miss it when/if your spouse deploys.

What got you interested in blogging?
I accidentally clicked on the most popular blogs on Myspace one day a few years ago and one of them caught my eye. I read it and I was hooked on reading them. I eventually started my own just to get things of my chest. I did it mainly for my friends and family. I started to get more and more readers that I didn’t know which made want to write more for some reason. I quit for a while because of getting married and moving, I’m slowly making some sort of comeback.

Do you feel that there are perks to having so many years between your youngest and oldest child?
It has it positives and it’s negatives. They aren’t very close because of the 10 year difference but since they are so spread out I can enjoy different things with each of them. I can play with my son, watch cartoons, and just be silly and with my oldest I have someone to hangout with or someone to go do things with. I can take her shopping or to the movies and not have to seem something rated “G”. Also with the huge gap I always have a sitter if I need it! lol

Sara & Lisa

Lisa & Sara ~ I just thought this was such a cute picture!!

Tell me when you’re going to come visit NY with Lisa….
Oh I wish we could. I have never been to New York and would love to at least say I have been there. Sadly the Army doesn’t pay too well so I just can’t afford it right now. So when are you coming to Texas to visit us? You only have a limited time ya know, she is moving soon!:(

You got to have a video conference with your husband this week. What was it like? How did it go?
Do you feel like seeing him helped you miss him less? What were your feelings after?
It was amazing and depressing at the same time. We only were allowed five minutes each because there were so many soldiers who signed up. It went well and I didn’t cry like I thought I would…well at least were he saw (I waited until we were done). I think it made me miss him more because I was wanted to feel him so bad and yet I couldn’t.

You lived at Ft. Hood during the shootings here earlier this year. What was it like that day? What were you doing when you heard about it? How have things there changed since then??
I was working that day and got a text message from my husband saying there was a shooting and the next thing I knew he was texting me saying all of Fort Hood was on lock down. All I could do was watch CNN to see what was going on because all of the phone lines were busy. I finally made it home to an empty house because my girls were locked in their schools, the neighbor had my son and they were locked in the school as well. I sat on my couch glued to the tv and basically just answered phone call after phone call from people back home making sure we were all ok.  All of my family was separated in different locations around post, which was the worst feeling because when something major is going on you want your family with you.  When the finally opened Hood back up it was close to 9pm at night, my poor babies had been at school all day. I had a lot of questions to answer from my kids and had to deal with the fears that something or someone would come hurt them. My husband’s company had 11 wounded and 4 killed that day. So there is a constant reminder of that day when I’m at the company. My husband was actually supposed to be at the SRP building that day and was fortunate enough to need some medical and dental work done before they could stamp him as deployable.  I never though that a bad back and a cavity could be such a blessing.

Happily Ever After....

Do you have any questions for Sara?
Ask away, she’s got lots of time while she waits for her hero Mark to come home….

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Meet Lisa Bathrick Miller

While brainstorming about what to write blogs about, I wanted to find a way for my readers to get to know some of the awesome people who I know.  The best way I could come up with was an interview series.

This week’s interviews all have a military connection.  Meet my friend LisaLisa and I grew up together in Red Hook, NYLisa is an army wife.  She was a wonderful friend to help out my friend Sara Caraway Kowalski when she moved to TX and needed a friend.  You’ll be able to learn more about Sara in tomorrow’s blog.

Name: Lisa Bathrick Miller

Blog link:
http://miliwifeaviation.wordpress.com

Age: 31…yeah getting old!

Location: Currently Ft. Hood, TX

Lisa & Joe ~ September 20, 2008

Relationship Status: Married since September 20, 2008

Kaleb, Bailey, and Trevor

Children: I have 3. Trevor is 11, Kaleb is 7, and Bailey is soon to be 5.

Occupation: I’m a mom, wife, and everything in between

What is the most challenging part of your job?
Making time for me.

Joe & Lisa

What is the best part of being a military spouse? Being able to live in different places.  Kids get to experience different things. It can be a tough life, but I wouldn’t change it!

How many times has your husband been deployed?
Since he has been in the Army, he has deployed 3 times. Together we have gone through one.

How do you handle it when he’s gone? You have good days. You have bad days. Then you have down right horrible days. I lived on my computer waiting for him to get online. If I had to go out, I would always have my phone on me. Friends are always helpful, especially if they are going through the same thing. Oh and alcohol is always good company for misery. LOL

What advice do you have for a new military spouse? One thing a newbie might have problems with is dealing with being alone…ALOT. They tend to expect their soldier home at 5pm. Well it doesn’t always work that way. There are days my husband goes to work at 7am and doesn’t come home til 8pm.  Some new wives (and even some not so new) will get so mad at their husbands. They have to realize it is not their fault! They have to be able to adapt, be flexible, and be understanding. Oh yeah…  and please don’t be one of those wives that runs to the commander every time you get mad at something.  It’s embarrassing to your soldier, and makes life hell for him.

Lisa

What got you interested in blogging? Boredom I suppose. I just wish I had interesting things to write about.

(except for the deer)

We grew up in a small town in New York State. How different is it living in Texas? Well its HOT during the summer! And summer is about 9 months out of the year. The interstates and highways are way weird here!  They talk weird. Although I am the one always getting accused of that. Real estate is so much cheaper.  BUGS…big ones at that! We have bigger deer in NY though. The trees here are different. I miss the trees back home. Thats just a few things…

Lisa, Keleb & Trevor at Monster Jam!

I know your ex-husband lives in another state. How difficult is it to coordinate visits for your children?
They go for a month in the summer. They are old enough to fly by themselves so it isn’t too bad. My step daughter will be turning 5 next month, so she will be able to fly by herself as well.

Heaven on Earth

When you lived here in New York you used to work at Holy Cow which is many opinions is the best ice cream there is.  Does all other ice cream taste like fluff to you?
There is nothing that tastes as good as Holy Cow ice cream.  Still to this day, my hubby and I can be sitting on the couch and out of no where I will say “God, how I could go for a hot fudge sundae from the Holy Cow!” Maybe next time you are in Red Hook you could send some my way? And yes I am going to be picky…send CHOCOLATE!  {HOLY COW – HEAVEN IN RED HOOK}

We’ve known each other since elementary school.  Do you have any funny or thoughtful memories of us?

One time your mom took us to her friend’s house so we could go swimming. We were in the pool for what seemed like forever, but I don’t think your hair ever got wet. LOL

What are you favorite TV shows on right now? I like Chuck. I can’t wait for Amazing Race to start again. And I am a total HGTV and Food Network junkie! House Hunters and Chopped are a couple of my favorites.

You lived at Ft. Hood during the shootings here earlier this year. What was it like that day?  What were you doing when you heard about it?  How have things there changed since then??
That day was actually supposed to be pretty special for me. It was my 31st Birthday, and since my husband and I have been together it was the first birthday of mine that we were actually going to be together! I was super excited even though we didn’t have anything huge planned. The only thing I wanted for my birthday was to spend it with my husband.  Well, that didn’t happen!

The kids had half day of school that day.  I had just picked up my little one from the school across the street. We were sitting in the livingroom, looking at their papers from their backpacks. My friend either text me or called me, I can’t remember which one. She was the one to tell me what was going on. Funny thing is, I live just about a mile from where it was all going on, and I had no clue.

I turned on the tv right away. As she was getting info from a friend on post, she was relaying it to me. My husband was in a training center much farther away from where the shooting took place. He didn’t know about it till a little later. What was frustrating was there was so much talk going on about there being 2 or 3 shooters.  Some were on the loose on post, supposedly near my house. They told everyone to lock all their windows and doors and close all their blinds. Sirens were going off telling you to stay in your house. It was scary! So many stories were swirling around. Later to find out most of them were not true.

Post was on lock down. Some kids in schools that let out a little later were stuck there. Soldiers couldn’t leave to go home. People who lived on post or had kids in schools on post couldn’t even get on Fort Hood. It was a long afternoon that turned into a long night!

My husband finally got to come home around 8pm. Needless to say, I wasn’t in a very Birthday mood! I was very upset! Same question everyone had…how and why could this have happened? Very frustrating that one of our own could do this. Still makes me very angry.

Lisa's Family

Lisa on a weekend getaway in Fredericksburg, TX

Lisa & Joe in Fredericksburg, TX

Joe & Lisa at a winery in Fredericksburg, TX

Do you have any questions for Lisa??

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