Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Please Pause To Remember

Normally, mommy would host a holiday dinner at the Miller home. We had planned one for this Sunday -- a big Easter get together with the Millers.

But yesterday, we had to cancel it.

As you may know, the Obama administration will now again allow the media to cover and report on the return of dead servicemen and women, when they arrive at Dover Air Force Base. There had been a moratorium on this type of coverage during the Bush years.

Mommy is going on a TDY -- a temporary duty assignment -- for a week at Dover AFB. She'll be assisting the Air Force Public Affairs team there with the expected media onslaught. She'll leave on Saturday, and return on April 19.

We're missing one holiday together. The families of these dead servicemen and women will never have a holiday together again.

We ask that regardless of your faith or religion, you take a special moment at this time of the year. Remember them. Honor them for their service. Honor them for their sacrifice. They have all earned our honor and respect. And, hold their families in your thoughts and prayers.

There are thousands of members of the military in far away lands. We know many people who have served in Iraq. In fact, our friend Billy, who traveled to China with us to pick up his daughter Kassidy, is either on his way to Afghanistan or already there. His tour is supposed to last one year and we all hope and pray he will be safe.

If you have HBO, please check your program listings for the movie "Taking Chance." Based on real-life events, Kevin Bacon plays Lt. Col. Mike Strobl , a volunteer military escort officer, who accompanies the body of 19-year-old Marine Chance Phelps back to his hometown of Dubois, Wyoming. Phelps was killed in Action on April 9, 2004.

This was how his death was reported by the AP:

Associated Press -- CHEYENNE, Wyoming — A 19-year-old Marine originally from Dubois was killed Friday while battling insurgents in Iraq, his father said Saturday. Pfc. Chance R. Phelps was shot in the head during fighting in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, according to his father, John Phelps. The family was notified early Saturday of his death. Chance Phelps was deployed to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom 32 days ago as part of the 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division based in California, John Phelps said. His family last heard from him late last week, when he called to tell them he was all right after a round of fierce fighting. "We just weren't quite sure exactly where he was at," John Phelps said. "We called him on Tuesday when 12 were killed in Ramadi … he called home right after that to say he was OK. Then the next morning he was the one on the news." Chance Phelps joined the Marine Corps while still a high schooler in Colorado, where he had lived recently with his mother. Friends said he was proud to serve his country. No funeral services had yet been scheduled. The family was waiting for Phelps' body to be returned from Iraq, Wilkerson said. Phelps is the eighth person with Wyoming ties killed in the line of duty since President Bush declared a war on terrorism following the Sept. 11 attacks.

Read more about Phelps HERE and HERE and HERE.

They're not in the headlines as much as they used to be, but they're still out there doing their jobs for all of us.

And some are still making the ultimate sacrifice.

1 comment:

Billy & Nikki said...

Hey you guys. Such a nice comments regarding our military. I'm sorry that Beth is missing out on Easter. It may only be one holiday but it still doesn't make it any easier. Just one regular day away from these cuties are hard minus any special occasions even. Thanks for keeping Billy in your prayers. The support is great. We love you guys.