Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Story About Patriotism

What does it mean to be patriotic? For someone like me, born in South America, raised in Europe, and a resident of the United States of America for 10 years it means a lot of things. Patriotism comes from the Latin word patria, which means homeland. You have no idea how often I ask myself where is my home… Venezuela? Italia?? Florida??? I can give you several reasons why each is or is not my patria. For example, I was born in Venezuela, a great deal of my family lives there, and it is a beautiful country; on the other hand, I’ve spent most of my life away from Venezuela and although I have had several opportunities and one attempt to go back, I ended up and stayed in Florida, USA. Why? I love living in the United States! First, because I have been able to accomplish some of my dreams, including earning a degree, starting a family, and purchasing my first home. I also love the comfort and freedom that we so often take for granted. Finally, although the US is often antagonized as the symbol of extreme capitalism and consumerism, it actually is a country where equality and generosity shape its policies and day to day life. For me being patriotic means to love my homeland and my homeland is America, a land of freedom, a land of comfort, a land of opportunities, a land of generosity, a land of second chances, a land passion… Does it mean America is without defect? Certainly not, but that is what patriotism and love are all about, being united and unconditional in spite of shortcomings and ups and downs.

American Values

American Values
Our American values are not luxuries but necessities, not the salt in our bread, but the bread itself. Our common vision of a free and just society is our greatest source of cohesion at home and strength abroad, greater than the bounty of our material blessings. - Jimmy Carter

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Showing Great Respect for Disabled Veterans!

Shane F. D'Onofrio is truly a special veteran. His organization www.whatwouldyougive.org is a group of Disabled Veterans, Veterans, Active Duty Military and Citizens of the United States of America helping our Disabled Veterans. They provide grass-root support for all of our Veterans, by assisting them to achieve their after-military life goals, as well as providing safe havens for veterans while building camaraderie among the local community, our Veterans and their families. Shane should be an inspiration to all American. Thanks for what you do. Take a look at the video below about What would you give.org.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Early Thanksgiving For Soldiers in Iraq

US soldiers gathered for an early Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday at a base near Baghdad, saying they are glad they will soon be going home. Soldiers and contractors at Victory Base Complex (VBC) on Baghdad's outskirts dined at tables decorated with colourful paper turkeys and "Happy Thanksgiving" signs hanging overhead. "We're going to do the Thanksgiving meal here today instead of on Thursday, because we're closing out," said 38-year-old Staff Sergeant Christopher Quimbly, the DFAC manager. "Today on the menu, we have crab legs, turkey, ham, dressing, yams, green beans, rolls, corn bread, mashed potatoes, (and) a variety of deserts," he said. "Over 2,000 pounds (almost 900 kilograms) of turkey, over 2,000 pounds of ham" and "probably about 3,000 pounds of mashed potatoes" are being served, he said. "I'm thankful for everything here, I'm thankful every day. ... This means a lot. Quimbly, who is married and has two sons and three daughters, said he is "definitely looking forward to getting home." He arrived for this tour, his fifth, in May 2011. "I think it's a good morale boost for everyone," Specialist Shawna McNeil, a 23-year-old on her first tour of duty in Iraq, said of the meal. "It's good for us because we know that time's dwindling down, it's not much longer, it's the last meal -- we're at the home stretch, ready to go home. "I think it's good for everyone to be together and have a good meal. I know a lot of people probably miss their families, so just a little something helps out," she added. "Seeing that this is the last (cooked) meal for the soldiers here ... it's a good thing, 'cause we know we're moving out," said 45-year-old Sergeant James Scott, who is on his second Iraq deployment. "It's been a really good experience, and they've done a really good job," he said of the meal. "It's the beginning of closing it down, and having a new year back home," he said, adding: "I'm ready to head back to Kentucky -- just get back and relax, and be with the family." President Barack Obama announced on October 21 that US forces would leave by the end of this year, bringing to a close an almost nine-year war that has left thousands of American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis dead, and cost hundreds of billions of dollars.

Monday, November 21, 2011

What Holly Does For Her Country

In August of this year, Holly Lenhardt, a veteran volunteer for the American Red Cross in Northern New Jersey, worked non-stop after Hurricane Irene brought havoc to the Northeastern part of the United States. She recalled, "People walked out of the night to our location and got hot meals. The look on their faces and their expressions of gratitude motivated us to press on, knowing fully that we are indeed providing a crucial service. We moved our location three times that night and stayed until no more people showed up!” Lenhardt is a true veteran of volunteering. She learned to love volunteering while growing up. When President John F. Kennedy said his famous words: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” Lenhardt took these challenging words to heart. During her formative years, this credo has remained a guiding principle in her life. A volunteer at the American Red Cross since November of 2010, Lenhardt occasionally, helps directly at disaster sites, those mostly relate to house fires and floods. When faced with larger local disasters, she often works with the Red Cross' Disaster Relief Response Manager in manpower requirements, and acts as a liaison to local community volunteers. The victims’ thankful expressions of gratitude explain why Holly Lenhardt is a dedicated volunteer. “The hours can be long, but when I hear from clients about how much they appreciate what we have done for them, it makes it all worthwhile. Although I would never want to have anyone go through a disaster, if they do, I can only hope that I or another volunteer will be there to help.”

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Pledge Allegiance To My Flag

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Francis Bellamy, The Youth's Companion, 8 September 1892

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Volunteer Work …An American Tradition

American Tradition
From the days of neighbors pitching in to raise a barn to the many service organizations of today, volunteers have kept democracy alive. Regardless of your age, or experience, you can be helpful to some organization or cause. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average for the last five years, 28% of Americans have volunteered annually. That really doesn’t sound like a lot, considering the opportunities available. You can read to the elderly, collect, prepare or distribute food, mentor youth, provide management assistance, teach, tutor, or fund-raise Improving the community is only one aspect of volunteerism. Also valuable are the advantages offered to those who volunteer. For the student, volunteer work offers valuable job experience and the opportunity to learn new skills. Women who want to return to the work force find volunteering a good introduction to the job market. Volunteering is an alternative to boredom, an outlet for creativity, a chance to be productive. Volunteerism is an introduction to interesting people and activities. Volunteer hours and goods are sometimes measured in terms of dollar value. The true worth of volunteerism is beyond measure, both to those who receive added quality of life and those who feel the satisfaction of giving of oneself, one human being to another. Volunteer. Help carry on this valuable American tradition.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

America Is A Great Nation

"We must always remember that America is a great nation today not because of what government did for people but because of what people did for themselves and for one another." -- Richard Nixon

Monday, November 14, 2011

Today's Patriotic Quote:

"The things that the flag stands for were created by the experiences of a great people. Everything that it stands for was written by their lives. The flag is the embodiment, not of sentiment, but of history." -- Woodrow Wilson

Friday, November 11, 2011

Proudly Salute Our Heroes

Proudly Salute Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day to the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces. Thank you for the tremendous sacrifices you have made to defend us and our freedoms that we all too often take for granted.

To Our Patriotic Veterans... Thank You.

Thank You Veterans
To all the veterans who served or are serving now, we thank you. 
 The freedom we have now as Americans is the result of veterans.
The veterans of the Revolutionary War gave us our country.
Out of the Civil War, veterans gave us a united nation, and slavery was abolished.
The brave veterans of World Wars I and II helped save the world from tyranny.
The veterans of Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, including other conflicts, have and continue to protect us from daily threats.
We must never let our current or future generations forget that our freedoms we have today have been paid for with the sacrifices of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and women.
From the Greatest Generation of World War II veterans to the newly returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, we owe a debt of gratitude.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Our Veterans

Veterans Day
Veterans Day
"Our veterans accepted the responsibility to defend America and uphold our values when duty called."
- Bill Shuster

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Soldier's Sacrifice

Soldiers Sacrifice
 "Never in the history of the world has any soldier sacrificed more for the freedom and liberty of total strangers than the American soldier." - Zell Miller

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Veteran's Day Free Meals

Veteran's Day Free Meals
If you have ever served in the U.S. military, there are plenty of Veteran's Day free meals to be had this year. You'll be able to stop into any of the restaurants below on or around Veteran's Day this year to get your free meal.
 Stop into a participating Applebee's on Friday, November 11, 2011 to get your Veteran's day free meal. You'll be able to choose a meal from a limited menu that includes steak, cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, salad, pasta, chicken, and shrimp. You can see the complete menu by using the link above. This deal is dine-in only and beverages and gratuity are not included.  You'll need to bring in one proof of military service such as a U.S. Uniform Service ID card, U.S. Uniform Services Retired ID card, current Leave and Earnings statement, photograph in uniform, be wearing your uniform, a veteran’s organization card such as American Legion or VFW, or a DD214.
In Mechanicsburg, PA, The Keystone Apple Group will be wearing Flagshirt.com Flag Shirts on Veteran’s Day.
On Monday, November 14, 2011 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Golden Corral will be giving out Veteran's Day free meals to any person who has ever served in the U.S. military. No identification is required to get your free meal.  
Texas Roadhouse will be giving away Veteran's Day free meals on Friday, November 11, 2011 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.Free entrees include your choice of steak, country fried chicken, country fried sirloin, pulled pork, pork chop, cheese burger, BBQ chicken sandwich, pulled pork sandwich, grilled chicken salad, or chicken critter salad plus your choice of sides. You'll also get a free coca-cola product, tea, or coffee.You'll need to bring in military ID and this is for active, former, and retired military. Dine-in only.
Stop into any Outback Steakhouse on November 7-11, 2011 to get a free Bloomin' Onion and Coca-Cola product. This offer is for veterans as well as active duty military.You'll need to bring in one ID such as a U.S. Uniform Services ID card, U.S. Uniform Services Retired ID card, current Leave and Earnings statement, DD form 214, a veterans organization card, a photograph of you in uniform, or you can wear your uniform to get your free Veterans Day meal.
5. Hooters Veteran's Day Free Meal on Friday, November 11, 2011 Stop by a participating Hooters anytime on Friday, November 11, 2011 and get a Veteran's Day free meal. You'll get to choose between 10 free wings in boneless or traditional style. A drink purchase is required. You'll need to bring in a military ID or proof of military service.  
You can stop into a participating McCormick & Schmick's on Sunday, November 13, 2011 to get your Veteran's Day free meal. Your free lunch or dinner entree will be from a limited menu and reservations are recommended. Bring in a form of identification such as your VA card, VFW card, American Legion card, discharge papers, DD214, or other veteran's ID.
Stop into any Hy-Vee grocery store with in-store dining and get a free breakfast on Friday, November 11, 2011. You'll get to choose from a wide vary of breakfast foods set out on a buffet.Find a Hy-Vee near you and call to confirm that they are participating and the hours of the free buffet.
On Friday, November 11, 2011 between 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., active, veteran, and retired U.S. military personnel and their immediate family members can stop into a 7-Eleven and get a free, small Slurpee drink. You'll need to present proof of current or former service.
9. Champps Americana.  All Veterans and Active Military will receive a free burger on November 11th. Proof of service required. Offer not valid for the Pepperjack Bacon Stack Burger or Kobe Burger. Dine in only, valid at participating locations. 

10. Chili’s – free meal, Friday, Nov. 11. Chili’s is offering all military veterans past and present their choice of one of 6 meals. This offer is available from 11am – 5pm on November 11, 2011 at participating Chili’s in the U.S. only. Dine-in from limited menu only; beverages and gratuity not included. Veterans and active duty military simply show proof of military service.  

11. Denny’s Veterans Day Appreciation Event, Nov. 11. 2011. Free Grand Slam breakfast to any veteran from 6:00am – 10:00pm. Only valid in Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo areas. Call ahead to verify, and check with your local Denny’s if you live in another area.  

12. Famous Dave’s – Friday Nov. 11th. Free or discounted meals on Veterans Day. Offer varies by location.

 13. Krispy Kreme – Free doughnut. Available only at participating Krispy Kreme stores. Offer available to all active-duty, retirees & veterans on Friday November 11th. Be sure to call ahead to verify your local Krispy Kreme is participating

 14. Subway – Free Six Inch Sub, November 11, 2011. Select SUBWAY® Restaurants will offer a FREE six inch sub or flatbread to military veterans on Veteran’s Day. This offer is valid only on November 11, 2011 at participating local SUBWAY® restaurants, Military ID or proof of service required. Note: SUBWAY® Restaurants are franchises, so this offer may not be available everywhere. Please call ahead for participation and times.

15. T.G.I. Friday’s – Buy one get one free Nov 11.  Valid for all US Military personnel and veterans. Must wear uniform (if permitted by your service) or present military ID or other proof of service. Only valid at participating locations for anyone with an old or current military ID. 

16. The Olive Garden, Free entrée. Offer good for veterans and active duty military, on Friday, November 11th during regular business hours. Chose from a special menu; all entrées inlcude freshly baked garlic sticks and choice of soup or salad. Offer good in US and Canada, proof of service required. 


Monday, November 7, 2011

Gratitude For Our American Veteran's

“The willingness of America's veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.”
-Jeff Miller

Friday, November 4, 2011

Honor Veterans, Remember Their Sacrifices

One-million men and women have laid down their lives in defense of our nation since 1776.

Each took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, both foreign and domestic.

Each made the supreme sacrifice and their legacy is the freedom we enjoy now, and much too often, take for granted.

Veterans Day was set aside to honor and remember over 26 million such Americans – Americans who answered their country's call.

On this Veterans Day, we salute all of our nation's veterans, those who have worn the uniform in the past, and those who wear it today.

We owe our freedom to them.

There is no better time than now to say THANK YOU.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Proud Patriotic Veteran

Army veteran Charles Hardway lives a quiet, serene life in Roxana, IL these days, but patriotic flags still decorate his front door as a constant reminder of the sacrifices made by our country's devoted military. "I keep the flags on my front door in memory of all the veterans," Hardway, 73, said. "They are still very close to my heart." He was drafted into the Army in1956, where he served for two years in active duty. "I served in Korea in 1957," he said. "I spent 13 months there." After completing active duty, Hardway served with the 936th Army Reserve Unit until 1984. Completing a nearly 40-year career, Hardway retired as sergeant first class. While proud to serve in Korea, Hardway said he was fortunate to have missed being sent to Vietnam by something as simple as a flip of the coin. "One unit went, and one unit stayed," he said. "Mine was the unit that stayed." By the time Desert Storm came around, he was on disability and no longer able to serve actively. But he made sure anyone driving past his home knew just where his heart was by the reminders of the military decorating the outside of his home. Hardway said he thinks the military still is an important part of the American landscape, and is vital to protecting the nation and instilling values in young people. "I think joining the reserves is a great idea for young people," he said. "I learned a lot from my years (in the military), and I have met a lot of different people from all over."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Our Veterans Have Made The World A Better Place

"From the world wars of Europe to the jungles of the Far East, from the deserts of the Middle East to the African continent, and even here in our own hemisphere, our veterans have made the world a better place and America the great country we are today." John Hoeven

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Today's Quote

“He came home, I want to shout from the rooftops on Veteran’s Day. Thank God. He served, then returned. May they all.”

Holly Lebowitz Rossi, whose husband, Rob, served in Iraq for 14 months