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Friday, February 20, 2009



Goes to all of you.

Earlier this month I was having lunch with my wife. A busy north side eatery with all of the normal comings and goings. About half way through my sandwich, a man approached rather hesitantly. As he neared he apologized for interrupting and said,

“I’m a local pastor. I have been involved in several funerals that you guys have attended. I just wanted to let you know how much you mean to the families. Thank you.”

With my mouth still half full (doesn’t it always happen that way) and a large lump forming rather quickly in my throat, I eek ed out the words, “it is our honor, thank you.” And we shook hands.

With that he walked away. That was it. No long conversation, no exchanging of names. I could see in his eyes he was fighting back the emotions we are all so familiar with so I didn’t try to stop him. I’m not sure I could have talked anyway.

I just wanted all of you to know that it wasn’t me personally he was thanking, it was you. That day, I just happened to be wearing an Indiana PGR shirt, so I received your thanks.

Again, I say to each and every one of you, THANK YOU, from the families. For taking a few hours to stand a flag line, for everything.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year 2009

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Care Packages

We send a lot of packages to the troops. Our frustration with the USPS, expense, and delays are well documented.

How about the other side? Ever wonder what the troops think about the ‘delay’ in getting care packages. How about 368 days? Yes, one year, 3 days.

‘Vampire’, (“15 years light infantry experience, currently serving as a Team Chief for an Embedded Training Team with the Afghan National Army” according to his bio) has a very entertaining take on the whole mail call situation.

Click here - “Tooth Fairy and Mail (Two things that don't exist)”, have a read. As always, you can leave a comment, I’m sure he’d get a kick out of having a bunch of IPGR folks comment on his blog.

ht to LL at ChromeCurses and thanks for letting me steal this post.
Friday, November 21, 2008

Touching The Face of Grace

I found this at CJ’s place, A Soldiers Perspective. CJ found it at the American Legion webpage.

So many times, there are things that need saying and I wish I could. Then I come across someone else that has said them in terms I could not. This is one of those times.

God bless our troops, God bless our local police forces, God bless the firemen and women.

And Thank You!


On Sept. 16, Rep. Frank R. Wolf, R-Va., introduced the following essay into the Congressional Record. Written by Mitchell L. Hubbard of Winchester, Va., it tells of his son’s experiences while deployed to Iraq.

“His son’s story should make us all think about our armed forces, as well as the police and first responders, who risk so much to serve us every day,” Wolf said.

Hubbard’s essay follows:

“Whatever your political take on the war in Iraq, nothing can alter it more than having a loved one in the midst of it. Nor is anyone’s current perspective balanced until they hear at least some things from a soldier’s point of view.

“My wife and I learned these truths when our son, a 2004 Handley graduate, decided to join the Army in 2006. His reasoning was simple: he wasn’t comfortable knowing that thousands of others his age were sacrificing their own freedoms to protect his. When he signed up to join those thousands, it changed our perspective as well.

“Up to that point, it had always been other people’s sons and daughters doing the fighting. Now it would be our own child. Naturally, no one wants their child to volunteer to go in harm’s way for freedom’s sake. It was something of a conviction, though, when my wife and I had to ask ourselves why it shouldn’t be our own son in the Middle East, why we should be spared the rituals of anxiety, prayer, hope and waiting that tens of thousands of other families over here have already endured.

“In early June, we flew to Fort Hood, Texas, to see our son deploy for a 15-month tour in Iraq. Again, one’s perspective is limited until one attends a deploying ceremony for a unit of soldiers. Spouses, children, parents, siblings and friends, all crowding a gym, all clinging closely to their treasures in uniform, accompanied by flags, prayers, cheers and tears. Our son had joined a ‘band of brothers.’ My wife and I had joined the ‘band of others’ who would be waiting at home. Both those going, and those left behind, carry the war on terror in a personal way.

“Still, those of us left behind need to see something of what our soldiers see, and not only what is offered us in the news. To that end, here is one story our son, Luke, shared with us by phone that must be shared with anyone who claims an interest in what our soldiers are doing in the Middle East.

“Stationed outside a city on the Tigris River, Luke had accompanied his colonel into town as part of a security team, while the colonel spoke with a local sheik. While standing guard, Luke noticed a woman approaching from behind and cautiously turned in her direction, his rifle at the ready.

“An interpreter told our son it was OK – the woman just wanted to touch a soldier. Still uneasy, Luke stood still while the woman reached out her hand and touched his face, tears in her eyes.

“Looking to the interpreter for meaning, our son was told that the woman simply ‘wanted to touch the face of grace.’ It seems this trembling woman, like most of the people in her town, looked upon our soldiers as angels of grace, sent by God to protect her from the violence and oppression her people had come to know up to then. Learning this, our son squeezed and kissed the woman’s hand, and she left, weeping.

“The ‘face of grace.’ How many of us, safe at home debating the politics of the war on terror, have ever seen our soldiers in such a light? How many of us have even read such an uplifting newspaper account of our soldiers?

“To be sure, our soldiers are not virtuous simply by being soldiers. At home in their ‘civvies’ they are as un-angelic as the rest of us. Yet when they voluntarily get into ‘full battle rattle’ (as they call their battle gear) in a hot and hostile land, their job is both protective and sacrificial – as angelic a purpose as humans can take on.

“People like this woman, having suffered years of oppression and fear, have eyes and a heart to see this, and the desire to “‘touch the face of grace.’ Do we have the ability to see our soldiers in the same way? And not merely our soldiers: Can we see the ‘face of grace’ in the police who protect us in every town, day and night? Or in the fire and rescue teams who are ‘soldiers’ in their own right?

“My wife and I obviously pray that our son and his ‘band of brothers’ will come safely home to their personal ‘band of others.’ After listening to our son’s experience, though, we have added the prayer that Americans in every community will be given the eyes and heart to see the ‘Face of Grace’ in all who protect our lives and freedoms – especially in soldiers like our son.”
Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thankful - VIII

The 3,000 troops we sent off to Iraq in January are beginning to return home. The first group of 100 returned to the New Indianapolis International terminal. Over about the next 30-45 days, they will all be home. I am thankful that a great majority have returned or are returning safely.

Companionship of a dog(s). I know, seems kind of shallow. This is definitely one of those “if you don’t understand, I can’t explain” kind of things.

40 + years. Yea, the day is near. Another year older. It’s been a good run. Here’s to another 40!

And here’s to another 10, click here to donate to Jim and Flo... and God bless you.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day

Here in Indianapolis, on 82nd street. Near the Castleton Square Mall.

A billboard.

Says it all.

Thank you!

If you are here for the first time or it has been a while, click the “Shout it Out” link below. Please introduce yourself, tell us your branch of service and years served.

Again, God bless and thank you!

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