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(The following story was written by Lori Kimble, a 31 year old
proud military wife. Mrs. Kimble, a California native, currently lives in
I was sitting
alone in one of those loud, casual steak houses that you find
all over the country. You know the type--a bucket of peanuts
table, shells littering the floor, and a bunch of perky college kids racing
around with longneck beers and
Taking a sip of my iced tea, I studied the crowd over the rim of my glass.
My gaze lingered on
a group enjoying their meal. They wore no uniform to
identify their branch of service, but they were definitely "military:"
shaven, cropped haircut, and that "squared away" look that comes with pride.
Smiling sadly, I glanced across my table
to the empty seat where my husband usually sat. It had only been a few months since we sat in this very booth,talking about
his upcoming deployment to the Middle East. That was when he made me promise to get a sitter for the kids, come back to this
restaurant once a month and treat myself to a nice steak. In turn he would treasure the thought of me being here, thinking
about him until he returned home
I fingered the little flag pin I constantly wear and wondered where he was at this
very moment. Was he safe and warm? Was his cold any better? Were my letters getting through to him? As I pondered these thoughts,
high pitched female voices from the next booth broke into my thoughts.
"I don't know what Bush is thinking about. Invading
Iraq. You'd think that
man would learn from his old man's mistakes. Good lord. What an idiot! I
can't believe he is
even in office. You do know, he stole the election."
I cut into my steak and tried to ignore them, as they began an
tirade running down our president. I thought about the last night I spent
with my husband, as he prepared to
deploy. He had just returned from
getting his smallpox and anthrax shots. The image of him standing in our
his gas mask still gives me chills.
Once again the women's voices invaded my thoughts. "It is all about oil,
know. Our soldiers will go in and rape and steal all the oil they can
in the name of 'freedom'. Hmph! I wonder how many
innocent people they'll
kill without giving it a thought? It's pure greed, you know."
My chest tightened as I stared
at my wedding ring. I could still see how
handsome my husband looked in his "mess dress" the day he slipped it on my finger.
I wondered what he was wearing now. Probably his desert uniform, affectionately dubbed "coffee stains" with a heavy bulletproof
vest over it.
"You know, we should just leave Iraq alone. I don't think they are hiding
any weapons. In fact, I
bet it's all a big act just to increase the
president's popularity. That's all it is, padding the military budget at
expense of our social security and education. And, you know what else? We're just asking for another 9-ll. I can't say when
it happens again that we didn't deserve it."
Their words brought to mind the war protesters I had watched gathering
our base Did no one appreciate the sacrifice of brave men and
women, who leave their homes and family to ensure our freedom?
Do they even know what "freedom" is?
I glanced at the table where the young men were sitting, and saw their
faces change. They had stopped eating and looked at each other
dejectedly, listening to the women talking. "Well, I, for
one, think it's
just deplorable to invade Iraq, and I am certainly sick of our tax dollars going to train professional
baby-killers we call a military."
Professional baby-killers? I thought about what a wonderful father my
is, and of how long it would be before he would see our children
That's it! Indignation rose up inside me.
Normally reserved, pride in my
husband gave me a brassy boldness I never realized I had. Tonight one voice will answer
on behalf of our military, and let her pride in our troops be known.
Sliding out of my booth, I walked around to the
adjoining booth and placed
my hands flat on their table. Lowering myself to eye level with them,
smilingly said, "I
couldn't help overhearing your conversation.
You see, I'm sitting here trying to enjoy my dinner alone. And,do you
know why? Because my huband, whom I love with all my heart, is halfway around he world defending your right to say rotten
things about him."
"Yes, you have the right to your opinion, and what you think is none of my busness. However, what
you say in public is something else, and I will not sit by and listen to you ridicule MY country, MY president, MY husband,
and all the other fine American men and women who put their lives on the line,just so you can have the "freedom" to complain.
Freedom is an expensive commodity, ladies. Don't let your actions cheapen it."
I must have been louder that I
meant to be, because the manager came over
to inquire if everything was all right. "Yes, thank you," I replied. Then, turning
back to the women, I said, "Enjoy the rest of your meal."
As I returned to my booth applause broke out. I was embarrassed
for making scene, and went back to my half eaten steak. The women picked up their check and scurried away.
finishing my meal, and while waiting for my check, the manager
returned with a huge apple cobbler ala mode. "Compliments
soldiers," he said. He also smiled and said the ladies tried to pay for my dinner, but that another couple
had beaten them to it. When I asked who,he manager said they had already left, but that the gentleman was a
wanted to take care of the wife of "one of our boys."
With a lump in my throat, I gratefully turned to the soldiers
them for the cobbler. Grinning from ear to ear, they came over and
surrounded the booth. "We just wanted
to thank you, ma'am. You know we
can't get into confrontations with civilians, so we appreciate what you
I drove home, for the first time since my husband's deployment, I didn't
feel quite so alone. My heart was filled with
the warmth of the other
diners who stopped by my table, to relate how they, too, were proud of my
husband, and would
keep him in their prayers. I knew their flags would fly little higher the next day.
Perhaps they would look for
more tangible ways to show their pride in our
country, and the military who protect her. And maybe, just maybe, the two
who were railing against our country, would pause for a minute to
appreciate all the freedom America offers, and the price
it pays to
maintain it's freedom.
As for me, I have learned that one voice CAN make a difference. Maybe the
time protesters gather outside the gates of the base where I live, I
will proudly stand on the opposite side with a sign
of my own. It will
simply say, "Thank You!"
To those who fought for our Nation: Freedom has a flavor the protected
never know. GOD BLESS AMERICA!
Please pray for God's protection of our troops and HIS wisdom for their
Pass this on to as many as you think will respond. "Lord, hold
our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect
them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our
time of need. I ask this in the name
of Jesus, our Lord and Savior."
When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our
air and navy personnel in every area of the middle east. There is
nothing attached.... This can be very powerful.... Just
send this to all
the people in your address book.
Do not stop this prayer chain, please.... Of all the gifts you
to anyone in the US Military, be it Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines or
National Guard, Prayer is the very
~God Bless America~
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There is no time or distance
Our hearts are there with you
Across the miles of
Our nation's love shines through
For each of you the hero
That gives yourself each day
In every moment danger
For freedom's light
Prayers and love are with you
Our spirits now unite
We pray that God will Bless you
Within His greatest
And love that's overpowering
Within this Valentine
It comes from grateful nation
Whose proud to call
Each day our hearts are gathered
With every step we trace
A moment of your journey
We never shall
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LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT OUR NATIONS "WORDS"
AND HOW THEY CAME TO BE
In George Washington's days, there were no cameras.
One's image was either sculpted or painted.
Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing
behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others
both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters
were not based on how many people were to be painted,
by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are
"limbs," therefore painting them would cost the buyer more.
Hence the _expression, "Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg."
As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year
(May and October)! Women kept
their hair covered, while men shaved
their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men
afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn't wash the wigs,
so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread,
put the wig in
the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big
and fluffy, hence the
term "big wig." Today we often use the term
"here comes the Big Wig" because someone appears to be or is powerful
In the late 1700s, many houses consisted of a large room with only
one chair. Commonly, a long wide
board folded down from the wall,
and was used for dining. The "head of the household" always sat in
the chair while
everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally
a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in
during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in
charge. They called the
one sitting in the chair the "chair man."
Today in business, we use the _expression or title "Chairman" or
of the Board."
Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result,
many women and men had developed
acne scars by adulthood.
The women would spread bee's wax over their facial skin to smooth
out their complexions.
When they were speaking to each other,
if a woman began to stare at another woman's face she was told,
own bee's wax." Should the woman smile, the wax would
crack, hence the term "crack a smile." In addition,
when they sat
too close to the fire, the wax would melt . . . therefore,
the _expression "losing face." Ladies
wore corsets, which would
lace up in the front. A proper and dignified woman as in "straight
laced". . wore a tightly
Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax
levied when purchasing playing
cards but only applicable to the
"Ace of Spades." To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards
Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought
to be stupid or dumb because they weren't "playing with
a full deck."
Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what
the people considered important.
Since there were no telephones,
TV's or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns,
bars. They were told to "go sip some ale" and listen to
people's conversations and political concerns. Many
dispatched at different times. "You go sip here" and "You go sip there."
The two words "go sip"
were eventually combined when referring to the
local opinion and; thus, we have the term "gossip." At local taverns,
pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers.
A bar maid's job was to keep an eye on the customers
and keep the drinks
coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in
"pints" and who was drinking
in "quarts," hence the term "minding your
"P's and Q's"
One more: bet you didn't know this!
In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried
iron cannons. Those
cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was
necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how
them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a
square-based pyramid with
one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine,
which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could
in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem...
how to prevent the bottom
layer from sliding or rolling from under the others.
The solution was a metal plate called a "Monkey" with 16 round indentations.
However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust
to it. The solution to the rusting
problem was to make "Brass Monkeys.
"Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than
when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass
indentations would shrink so much that the
iron cannonballs would come right off
the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally,
"Cold enough to freeze the balls
off a brass monkey."
(All this time, you thought that was an improper _expression, didn't you.)
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