April Fools!!!! I Confess.

April 1, 2008

Okay, it’s time for me to confess the part that I played in the April Fool’s Joke at A Soldier’s Perspective.

As you know, the past couple of days, I’ve been keeping everyone updated on a letter that CJ and CplM had “supposedly” received from the Pentagon, in this post and this post. CJ had called me a couple of days ago and asked that I play along and explained the April Fools joke. That’s all it was. Apparently though, some people don’t have a very good sense of humor and CJ has received some pretty hateful emails. I hope that it’s not anyone that ventured over there from here. Please stop by and let CJ know that we’re still glad is around and we appreciate his sense of humor.

One Day In The Life Of A Mechanic

February 16, 2008


Well, here it is, my life as a soldier, but where to start! Let’s see!!! After a good night’s sleep, dreaming about playing music for my friends and family, I am awoken by the irritating buzz of the alarm clock. I fumble around and eventually, I slam my hand down on the snooze button, turning the clock off. My eyes are glazed with fatigue and burning as I switch the alarm off and stumble out of bed. I give my wife a kiss on the cheek, and say “I love you” as I go into the bathroom and prepare for PT. After a shave, I change from my night clothes, into my PT Uniform, with the black shorts, and the gray shirt with that weird symbol on the back and the word “Army” on the front. Then I get that all important PT belt around my waste, grab the keys, and out the door. As I drive down my street, I hit a road block, Wheeler Traffic. Oh bummer, this traffic is backed up for ever. But it’s a good thing I got up early, if you leave after 5:30, you’re not getting far…

Into the parking lot where I walk a little ways to the PT field just in time for the gang to be forming up. “Begley, where have you been?” the squad leader asks? I reply, “Traffic, but I’m here, safe and sound”. “Well don’t make it a habit, Begley” the squad leader says, just in time for the first sergeant to call “Fall in!!” We stretch out and conduct PT. That was a good run.

We’re dismissed to conduct personal hygiene and are ordered to report to work at promptly 9:00, which is really 8:50.  As we stand in formation, the CSM conducts roll call and we go to work.  For the next 2 hours, it’s nothing but turning wrenches and helping our local operators PMCS their equipment.

At 11:30, it’s off to lunch for about an hour and a half, my favorite, Philly Cheese Steak, who here loves Philly Cheese Steaks? Then it’s back to work.  As I’m turning my wrench, I hear my NCO in the distance. “Begley! come sign this!!” and I hurry along to accomplish my task.

After that, I’m done with my job and dripping with sweat, I go to change out of those coveralls and prepare for formation.  We receive our daily notes and briefings from our squad leader and are dismissed.

Back home I go, and quickly out of the uniform, I change, relaxing with my beloved wife and watching those soaps that you love to hate, but must watch, I mean you’re glued to the tv as you wonder “what happens next?”

Then I end up taking my little one for our evening bike ride around the air field.  That is the time where she’s the happiest, because she’s with her daddy.  It’s going to hurt when I deploy in May, but I will be back.

I finally end up getting a shower, then it’s off to bed where I get up and repeat the whole cycle over again.  That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

It’s a lot of work being a soldier, but the rewards of serving my country and protecting my family is more than enough motivation to drive me through my day.  It got me through Afghanistan, and soon, I’ll test it again in Iraq.  No matter what situation I’m in, I will always be proud to be an American, and will always be honored to serve by my fellow men and women as a warrior soldier. HOOAH!

Orange County Chopper Reveals National Guard Chopper

January 18, 2008

On January 17 and again on January 24, the Army National Guard’s Patriot Chopper will be featured on a Learning Channel program. In September, the construction of the bike was revealed at the Army National Guard Readiness Center in Arlington, Virginia. The bike, which was built by Orange County Choppers will be documented on the show, American Chopper.

The bike was built from designs that were submitted by Soldiers. The Patriot Chopper will be the first of three motorcycles built for the National Guard by Orange County Choppers. Last year, Soldiers were asked to submit ideas for the National Guard sponsored motorcycles. This particular bike is red, white and blue. It also features the Army Combat Uniform pattern. Also includeed will be a list of every US war and comflict that the National Guard took part in.

The four Soldiers, who had their ideas used for the bike were CWO David Vasquez, SFC Matthew Billet, SFC Richard Crawford and PFC Joseph Scheibe. The Patriot Chopper, along with the other two bikes, once completed will be used by the National Guard for recruiting, as well as for the promotion of motorcycle safety.

Army Times

The Gratitude Campaign

January 12, 2008

Stop and think for a minute. How many times in your life, have you taken time out of your busy day, to observe the people around you? How many times, have you thought about the contribution that a person makes to our society and taken a moment to show your appreciation for what they do? Like perhaps, the firefighter, whose job it is, to respond to fires in the city they serve, the police officer, whose job it is to enforce the laws and ensure that you’re safe, maybe the paramedic who responds to the call for emergency medical assistance and perhaps saves a life, or even the Soldier whose job it is to respond around the world at a moments notice to ensure that people are safe and free from tyranny and injustice. Stop and think about it. Set your political beliefs aside and really think about the last time you took a moment to let anyone, who makes a difference in the lives of others, know, that they’re appreciated for the job that they do.

Often, as we go about our day to day lives, we cross paths with people who make an impact in their neighborhoods, their workplace, their local communities, their counties, their state or even in our country. Just as often, we don’t take the time to say thanks. Maybe because it feels awkward to us, maybe because we don’t wish to make that person feel uncomfortable, or perhaps, we just don’t take the time to do so, for whatever reason. Maybe our reason is that we’re in a hurry or that person seems to be in a hurry and we don’t want to impose. Think about how often, you’ve wished that someone would have taken a moment of their time to tell you thanks for a job well done and how it would have made you feel, if they’d done so.

Yesterday, one of my co-workers sent me an email with a link to a webpage, that I’d like to share with our readers. That page, The Gratitude Campaign really got me thinking about how often people in our society take the time to show their appreciation for each other, for the jobs they do or the service that they perform. I’d like to share the story of The Gratitude Campaign.

For the past several years as I’ve been traveling around the country, I’ve been approaching soldiers in the airports and thanking them for serving for us. On several occasions I have noticed that it felt a little awkward for both of us. There are several reasons, some of which I am even just now learning as I produce this film and talk to more soldiers. But they have always appreciated being thanked, and I have always felt better having expressed my gratitude.

I started to think that it would be nice if civilians had a gesture or sign that they could use to say “thank you” quickly and easily without even having to approach. I did some research and found the sign that we are now using.

Is this limited to the military? Not at all. If you look around you I’m sure that you’ll find lots of people who are serving their communities, from local to global. If you appreciate their service, give them a sign. Say “thank you.”

Take a moment to watch the video and see how much of an impact, this simple idea can make.

The sign we are using is intended to communicate
“thank you from the bottom of my heart. ”

To make the sign simply place your hand on your heart
as though you’re saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Then
pull your hand down and out, bending at the elbow
(not the wrist), stopping for a moment at about the belly button with your hand flat, palm up, angled toward the person you’re thanking.

According to Norman Heimgartner, Ed.D., author of “Behavioral Traits of Deaf Children” and former Professor of Education at the University of Puget Sound, this sign originated in France in the late 1700’s, and was published in “Theorie des Signes”, a dictionary of signs by the Abbe Sicard. The sign was brought to the United States in 1816 by the Reverend Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, founder of Gallaudet University, who later modified it to start at the chin rather than at the heart. That sign is now the standard sign for “thank you” in American Sign Language. The original sign, starting at the heart, is less commonly known today and might now be considered “slang”. For more information on American Sign Language, please see American Sign Language Teachers Association.

Isn’t that easy? There’s been so much discussion here as well as on other blogs about what people do to show their support of the Troops and the people at The Gratitude Campaign have made it so simple and easy to do. While, for many of us, it’s second nature to go up to a Soldier that we see and tell them how much we appreciate them, for so many others it’s uncomfortable to do so. This makes it easy for each of us, to show our appreciation for those who do so much in our society. I challenge everyone, especially those of you who find it hard to have anything good to say about the job our Troops are doing, to try it and let us know how it worked for you.

Happy Holidays And Peace To All

December 24, 2007

I just wanted to wish everybody a great Holiday Season. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. Also, to thank everyone who comes to this blog and reads the stuff Terri, Anthony, and Me post. I hope you stop by more often in the future, and enjoy yourselves with those who love you. Take care.

Question and Answers We’d Like Your Help On

December 11, 2007

Marty’s sister-in-law is taking a college course in Government. For her final, they were asked to read the following questions and answers that were provided by her professor. They are then to ask other people if they agree with the professor’s questions or if they disagree and provide their reasons why they agree and disagree. I told her that I’d post the questions here and get our reader’s responses as well. Please feel free to leave your answers in the comments and I’ll make sure that she gets them. I think our reader’s answers and insight will be very interesting. Thanks for your help!

1. How do American arms exports affect the American people?
Instructor’s Answer: Arms exports are an important source of American jobs and help maintain U.S. military manufacturing capacity. They also have some negative consequences. When American weapons are used in a conflict -for example, by Israel against the Palestinians - America is also blamed for the attacks. U.S Forces regularly find themselves up against sophisticated weaponry of American origin, which is harder to defend against.

2. What should I do if a comrade is wounded?
Instructor’s Answer: Your orders are to continue to fight if a comrade is wounded. Many ignore these orders. You iwll have been trained in basic first aid. This may be enough to save your comrade’s life. A human being can suffer brain damage in as little as four minutes if he or she stops breathing. If more extensive care is required, call for a medic or corpsman.

3. Does the U.S. military prefer to fight at night?
Instructor’s Answer: Yes. The U.S. often uses inclement weather or darkness to attack. The U.S. military possesses a wide range of night-vision capabilities, more than most enemy armed forces.

4. What does the military say I should do if I am taken prisoner?
Instructor’s Answer: Do not give any information other than your name, rank, date of birth, and Social Security number. According to the U.S. Military Code of Conduct, you must try to escape and to help others escape. You must not promise your captors you will not try to escape.

5. What if I am asked to do something I consider immoral?
Instructor’s Answer: The military will condition you to act based on your orders, not on your conscience. However, if you believe and order to be unlawful, you must refuse to carry it out.

6. Should I believe what I see on TV about the war?
Instructor’s Answer: Not necessarily. The presence of the media in the modern battle environment makes it hard to hide significant troop action. However, it also presents an opportunity to provide misinformation. In the Gulf War, U.S. military leaders told the media that the main attack on Iraq was likely to be an amphibious assault on its eastern border with Kuwait. The media repeated this. News teams focused their efforts on covering the troop buildup in that area. The enemy did the same and was unprepared when the U.S.-led attack streamed into Iraq from the Saudi Arabian border in the west.

Fact Check

December 5, 2007

Okay, every know and then I will post something in reply to some of the nonsense that is fed to me by my university professors, my mom(sometimes), and just plain people who I run into on a daily basis that hate our military so damn much.

I will call the series “Fact Check”, and I will carefully and respectfully take a part the argument made by the nuthouses that surround me in my life and create a sophisticated and balanced rebuttle to some of their innuendos. No, I don’t do this because I enjoy it. I just do it because I don’t feel like staying quiet when someone tries to force feed me something that they megalomaniacly believe in when I may disagree.

He’s Home!!!!!!!

November 29, 2007

Don’t think I need to say anymore!

Support Our Troops by Participating In the Comforts Of Home Contest

November 17, 2007

I received an email from one of our readers, telling me about a contest one of her clients is hosting, in order to provide care packages for our Troops this Holiday season. The company, Appliance Parts Pros, located in Van Nuys, California, has already sent 80 care packages filled with goodies to the Troops and they want to do even more!

November 16, 2007

AppliancePartsPros.com launches “Comforts of Home” holiday blog contest

Win an iPhone or Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer as well as help build care packages for US soldiers serving overseas

Contest details –
· The contest prizes consist of three Apple iPhones ® or Kitchen Aid Artisan Series ® Stand Mixers. The winners choose which one they would prefer to receive.

· There are two ways to enter the contest: Either blog about a holiday cooking horror story experienced or post a personal text, audio, or video message for the troops and then send an email to contest@appliancepartspros.com with the link. Once the post is confirmed, the email address will be entered in the contest (one entry per email address or blog), or subscribe to ApplianceJournal.com or The Repair Blog via email and receive one entry in the contest.

· A unique twist to the contest also allows participants who choose to post a blog entry to help build items in the “Comforts of Home” care packages that will be donated to US soldiers serving overseas in Iraq or Afghanistan. Each blog post adds one item to the care package.

· 80 care packages have already been sent to the men and women of Alpha Co. 3/69 AR and 2ND PLT, A BTRY 1-9 FA in Iraq and 1-508th PIR 82nd ABN DIV in Afghanistan. AppliancePartsPros.com will send additional packages built from this contest to US soldiers serving overseas in mid-December 2007.

· The contest runs from November 16 to December 17, 2007. The winners will be drawn randomly on December 20, 2007 at approx. 1pm PST in Van Nuys, CA at Appliance Parts Pros Corporate Office. Continental USA residents only.

· Items in the “Comforts of Home” care packages include: a 300-minute Military Exchange Calling Card; Writing materials; Protein-rich snacks; Personal hygiene items; 2 current magazines. A note with a link to all of the messages of support received will also be included when the packages are sent. 5 individual blog posts send 1 additional care package to a soldier.

Quotes attributable to AppliancePartsPros.com –

Roman Kagan, CEO:

“To celebrate our eight year anniversary we felt we should do something to give back to our customers and the community for helping make AppliancePartsPros.com a huge success, and to thank them for rating us as a Platinum e-tailer this year on BizRate.com. We felt this unique contest was a good way of doing that.”

“Our troops are performing a tremendous service for our country and we wanted to help them feel comfortable while they are away from home this holiday season. We’ve already heard from a Family Readiness Group leader about our donation earlier this month and we hope to help even more soldiers serving overseas through this contest.”

Matt Hansen, Manager of Operations:

“Having served as a Marine, I know how difficult it can be for the troops serving away from home over the holidays. I’m proud of the effort we’ve made to help them feel closer to home and connect with their loved ones this year.”

I think this is a fantastic idea! Remember, for each holiday “horror story” or message of support, an item will be added into the next batch of care packages that Appliance Part Pros will be sending out to the Troops and you get the opportunity to win something as well. So, everyone, think back to Holidays past and describe your “Holiday Horror Story” to help support our Troops!

An Explanation

September 30, 2007

I know that many of you are probably wondering what happened to the post that I had up yesterday about Marcus Luttrell appearing at the Texas Book Festival in November. Prior to posting the story yesterday, I sent a preview of it to Marcus’s father. After doing some research on the moderator and on the events for the remainder of the day, Marcus and his father began to have some serious doubts about what was going to take place. When looking at the Texas Book Fair schedule for the First United Methodist Church Sanctuary for November 3rd, it was obvious that the entire schedule was filled with a decidely anti-war sentiment, from the moderator, to the author appearing with Marcus to the book reviews to follow. Marcus, after consulting with Governor and Mrs. Perry decided that they didn’t want to take part in this type of agenda and have thus decided to cancel Marcus’s appearance at the Texas Book Festival.

We’ll be sure to keep everyone abreast as events for Marcus are scheduled.

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