Saturday, April 28, 2007

To Remember A Close Friend

 My father served as a navigator in the Korean Conflict.  In 1968, when I was 15 years old, he was recalled to active duty during the Vietnam war.  Our family of 7 was moved from the east coast to Forbes AFB in Topeka, Kansas. Our neighbors in our duplex house were Anne and Tom who also had 5 children.  Our families grew very close, and remained in contact even after my father's tour was over.

  I was by then a senior in high school and had become an ardent anti-war activist when Tom's plane was shot down near the end of the war. I was saddened by the senselessness of his death so near to the end.  I was aware that Ann was challenging the identification of his body, but as I entered college and eventually married,  my contacts with the family diminished. 

 I am now an English teacher and one of my students was doing a research paper on the role of the Air Force in Vietnam.  I began assisting him, and stumbled upon the information about Tom during our search.  I was unaware of the information which had been released through the Freedom of Information Act.

 Now, as we deal with a war which reminds me, sadly, of Vietnam, I am proud to wear Tom's memorial bracelet in the hope that his memory will remind me to encourage others that things like this should never happen again.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

To Remember "A Soldier's Soldier"

Major Doglas E. Sloan was the son of a friend of mine that I worked with while he was employed as the VA rep for Charlevoix County in northern MI where I am employed as the Senior Bldg. Inspector. His son was a Ranger trained 82nd Airborne veteran who was a company commander in the 10th Mtn. Division in Afganistan. Major Sloan was showing his relief officer around when he was killed by an IED on 10/31/06 just hours before he was scheduled to go home. He was buried with full honors at Arlington on 11/14/06 in a ceremony attended by hundreds (including myself). Major Sloan was loved not only by his men but also by his fellow officers. He was described by those that knew him as "A Soldiers's Soldier" and will be sorely missed by all.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Because I Don't Others To Forget The Price Of Freedom

I lost one of my dearest friends, Cpl. Mark D. Kidd, in January of this year.  I remember hearing about bracelets such as these from people that lived through the vietnam era.  I ordered my bracelet to act as a reminder to everyone that see's me wearing it that freedom is not free, and it is paid for in the lives of our men and women in arms.  My friend Mark paid the ultimate cost for freedom, and even though I know I will never forget him, I don't want others to as well. 

To Continue Honoring SGT Demmon As My Mother Once Did

My mother got the original bracelet in 65 or 66. Because, Sgt Demmon went MIA on my brother's birthday. She never took it off  until she passed away in 1986.  She did ask that I continue to wear it until he came home, and I promised I would. 
It was Stainless Steel, the black paint for the lettering have long wore off. I wore it up until last year, when I bent it badly after grabbing for something and the bracelet caught.  Given the age of my bracelet, I didn't want to bend it back, so I put put away and have been searching for someway to replace it. I feel incomplete without it, having wore it for so long.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

For the Sympathy I Feel for Those Still MIA

The name I selected is that of my cousin. His Father is my God Father.

I served 20 years in the Air Force including the Viet Nam era. I did one year in Thailand, non combat, but remember vividly all the news of those actually in combat.

I have read many books on the period, but know you cannot really experience what went on unless you lived it.

I feel great sympathy for all those who died, but especially those still missing as there is no closure. I read this week were they have found and identified bodies from WW II and even WW I so there is still hope.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Lest We Forget Freedom Isn't Free

My Mother and I were driving into town one day behind a car whose back was almost completely covered in bumper stickers, and there was one in particular that made me want to resort to acts of road rage. I don't remember the exact wording (and I wouldn't repeat it if I could) but the basic idea was that our President is a miniature Hitler and all the soldiers who have died in the war on terrorism were nothing more than greedy murderers who only fought so that the US could steal innocent people's oil rights!

Now I don't have any close family in the Military, but I am a patriot and I love the people who make up my country. And I believe that God still has a plan for this nation. So when I read that bumper sticker it made me mad enough to spit nails. Because the only reason that the person who owned that car could have had the freedom to display such a dishonoring message was because of the brave men and women fought and gave their lives for that person's rights and freedoms. And whether the owner of that car realized it or not, they were dishonoring the only things that protect their rights to publicly trash their country's honor. So I started to look for a way I could show my support for our troops and my country without resorting to acts of violence (such as road rage) and I came across your website. I ordered a bracelet with the words "Lest We Forget" on it because if our country is to keep it's freedom we have to remember that our freedom isn't free.


Monday, April 16, 2007

For Vietnam MIA Philip Mascari

Philip Mascari was my MIA when these bracelets came out the first time. That bracelet has long been broken and in my jewelry box in pieces.

Philip's parents Sal and Gene worked for my mother in her travel agency in NJ. We went through many dark days with them, but were always hopeful when Philip went missing. They were outside sales for our office. My mum put them on our IATA list so that they could get discounted travel when they went on missions to find him. Sadly, they never did though they did have hope. Other parents that had gone in the past on other trips and had reported a siting of him which in turn made them never give up, but sad to say, they never did bring Philip home.

He is always in my heart. I do believe to this day he is alive and somewhere over there ....whether by choice or being held I don't know ...........I pray for his return. But after all these years, I wonder if his return will ever happen, and if it did, how he would adjust to the world of today. A lot of things have changed since his capture ...but I will continue to pray for him and ask God to do what is best for him.

God Bless Philip Mascari and God Bless the U.S.A.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

For German Citizen Jens Schelbert Who Sacrificed Himself for America

I ordered my KIA bracelet for my friend Jens Schelbert. He will truly be missed. Jens didn't have to be in Iraq..he was born a German citizen, and came to the United States with his mom as a child. He enlisted in the Army and loved it very very much that he stayed in and got his citizenship. He was so proud of it. Every young tanker that he ever worked with..and every NCO around him and above him respected him greatly. I do not know many men who are half as good as he was..and always will be. He truly had a kind and generous heart and totally gave of himself to everyone around him. Few are left whom are as great as he. I shall always miss you my dear friend...I have worn my bracelet everyday for you...and always think of you because of remind me that you sacrificed what many Americans wont for their own country....themselves.

Auf Wiedersehen meine sanfte Seele

Saturday, April 14, 2007

For Two Fallen Brothers

I ordered two bracelets for my boyfriend. About a month ago or so, he and I went to North Carolina for the home coming of the platoon he was in. (He was a marine and has made it out and home safely... Thank God.)

When we were there, one of the soldiers, whom had lost both of his legs and part of his left hand, had these bracelets on for his two fallen brothers. My boyfriend was touched by this and wanted them. I had to wait for one of the names to be listed, then I ordered them and had them shipped to his house as a surprise. It's a touching and memorial token.

All gave some, some gave all... and that I will never forget.

Friday, April 13, 2007

For Cpl. Todd Godwin

I found your site while I was still Iraq. I was going to buy a bracelet for Todd when I was still over there, but I never did. You see, Cpl Todd Godwin was a Marine with the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines Scout Sniper Plt. I was the Navy Hospital Corpsman that was assigned to them. We were all en route back to Camp Fallujah on the 20th of July 2004 when our convoy was rocked by a massive IED. Todd was killed instantly, but as a young Navy Corpsman, you do your best and try to keep them alive.

During the rest of my deployment, we lost a total of 21 Marines and had countless wounded. I remember everyone of these young Marines, but Todd is the one that I took the hardest. I'm out now and have tried to put the stuff behind me. Since figured that I never will, I have finally accepted these losses, and purchased a bracelet with Todd's name. So I guess that's why it took me so long to get a bracelet.

Semper Fidelis,

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

To Remind Me Why I am at the Air Force Academy

I ordered this bracelet, as a cadet at the Air Force Academy, to remind me of why I am here, and to let me never forget my friend, and all those that serve in harms way, all of those that I may lead upon graduation.

Friday, April 06, 2007

In Honor of Bennie Dexter

I went to high school with Bennie Dexter in Bend, OR. He was a couple of years ahead of me and I always thought he was a great guy, shy but friendly. When he was MIA I had a special spot in my heart throughout the years. I never took the opportunity to wear a bracelet at that time as I was attending college and raising a family. As the years have gone on I have never forgotten Bennie and feel that it is a privilege to wear one of these bracelets in honor of his service, commitment, sacrifice and memory.

Jean (Cecil)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

To Continue to Support Our Service Men and Women

I got the Memorial Bracelets because the ones we had as teenagers were returned home in one way or the other and I just wanted to continue to support those who were not. One of the bracelets was for my mother and one for me.

I feel no matter how long it has been, we need to continue to support our service men and never ever forget them or what they did for us and their country. God Bless them all from all the past, present, and future wars! The bracelets are very nice and I know they were made with love and respect!

Thank You for your site. I hope that more people find it and continue to keep the memory of all service men and women alive!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

For LT Long

Receiving the bracelets really brought a flood of emotion. I flew with each of those Airmen.

And, the day LT Long was shot down, I was supposed to be in the right seat. I was bumped by someone else. I knew how to fly. Things may have different, very different if I’d been able to get to a safer position.

Just another story behind a bracelet.