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  1. #1
    Ride It Like You Stole It CowgirlUp's Avatar
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    What Memorial Day is to me
    I used to think Memorial Day and the three day weekend was a time to party, have cookouts and sleep in. On January 27th, 2004 all that changed. I'll never forget getting the call at 11 pm that my cousin, who was like a twin to me (we were only 8 months apart) had been killed by a roadside bomb outside Baghdad.



    This time of year is always so hard for me. I want to have fun and I honestly try to. But every year I find myself crying everytime I see a pic of Arlington or I hear a 21 gun salute. It completely hits home now what Memorial Day is.

    If I may, I would like to dedicate this thread to the memory of Staff Sgt. Lester O "Buddy" Kinney and all the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for this country.
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  2. #2
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    I'm so sorry for your loss.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador JudiMoore's Avatar
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    I'm so sorry for your loss and would like to add my appreciation for the service and the sacrifice we sometimes take for granted.

    If we just take a moment to reflect on our country and the many thousands of people who have sacrificed to keep it free, this Memorial weekend could be a real tribute to them.

  4. #4
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    This is exactly what Memorial Day is all about. I too regret your loss, Amy. And while we are all barbecuing, drinking, fishing or whatever it is we do on this weekend, if every American can take just 30 seconds to think (not even verbalize any of it, just think about it) about what our military men and women, and non-military support people for that matter, go through on a regular basis and the losses that they and their families suffer in the name of their country, then the Holiday has a legitimate purpose.


  5. #5
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    I honor the memory of Staff Sgt. Lester O "Buddy" Kinney and all the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for this country.

    My grandfather is an ex-POW from a camp in Germany. His stories are unbelievable - the things these guys endured so that we could be a free nation. God bless all those who have served and are serving in the military.

  6. #6
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Rest in piece, Seargent... and all those heroes that we owe our piece to. Glory and honor.

    Geno

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    We will be having some moments of quiet reflection this weekend for the friends and family we know that served our country and some that gave the ultimate sacrifice. I know of one WWII veteran in particular who wouldn't want us to be somber all weekend and would want us to enjoy the liberty he and his fellow veterans secured for us. So, we'll be having a bbq and raising a glass in remembrance of all the brave men and women who protect and defend our freedoms.

    May those who gave their lives rest in peace. May those who are currently in harm's way accomplish their mission and come home safely to the family and friends that love them.
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gr_Sacc
    My grandfather is an ex-POW from a camp in Germany. His stories are unbelievable - the things these guys endured so that we could be a free nation. God bless all those who have served and are serving in the military.
    As was my Dad.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleScooter
    As was my Dad.
    My maternal grandfather was a Navy frogman demolitions expert. He was supposed to take out the obstacles on the beach on D-Day. All their explosives went overboard and they had to take out the obstacles by hand. He was one of the very few survivors from his squad that day.

    I also had a step-grandfather who was a Marine on Iwo Jima and I have a friend who was in the Army Air Corps and served on a B-17 as a radio gunner.

    They all have stories of harrowing experiences, miraculous survival, and of friends they lost. It's truly awe inspiring to hear what these people went through to preserve our freedom. I'm truly grateful there are people like that who are strong enough and brave enough to take up such a burden and make such a sacrifice for the rest of us.
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
    - Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.

  10. #10
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    One of the great tragedies of the past 40 years has been the treatment of the brave men and women who have fought overseas to protect the American way of life.

    From the founding of the US through the Korean War, returning solders, especially the wounded, and the memories of those who did not return, were treated with gratitude and reverence. Since Viet Nam, and lame-brain politicians who see dangers that do not exist, these same brave Americans have been sent off into increasingly deadlier situations, only to face disdain and in some cases, outright contempt upon their return, from their fellow citizens, due to political differences, and from the govenment that sent them into harm's way, despite their heroic efforts at the expense of great bodily and mental injury.

    The policy of the present administration to cover-up, rather than truly honor the memories of those who have given their lives and both honor and to properly provide for those who have returned with physical and mental scars from their service is yet another scandal.

    My father fought in the South Pacific during WWII. He was wounded, contracted malaria, spent a year in a military hospital, and was reported as killed in action to his parents (a mistake, he's still kicking today at 90). His service in protecting us at home against the Axis powers was seen as heroism and respected by citizens and by the government. He received good medical care through the VA and eventually he was able to obtain a small service-related disability pension. His words of wisdom to me: "Stay out of the military."
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
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  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffiliateHound
    His words of wisdom to me: "Stay out of the military."
    That's very similar to the words of wisdom my dad had for me: "Never work for the government." He did so for 28 years, so he knows what he's talking about. Still, we need men and women to make that sacrifice, so I appreciate what they do.
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
    - Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager BeachBDM's Avatar
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    What a great and appropriate thread Amy! I too am sorry for your loss. You must be very proud of him.

    I too have family in the military and will be honoring they and others this very special day. My brother, my son and my nephew are serving proudly as follows:

    S.Sgt Joshua Martin, USAF (currently stationed in Iraq)
    M.A. Mitchell Neary, USN (currently stationed SWFPAC, Bangor, WA)
    Airman Jesse Adams, USAF (currently stationed Edwards AFB, CA)

    Sandra Martin
    Proud Sister, Mother, Aunt of these brave gentleman proudly, bravely, serving our great Country.
    Sandra Martin
    sandeebottom at hotmail.com

  13. #13
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Memorial Day 1964 - I was 8

    Grandpa was the patrioch of our large Italian family

    We just got home from an outing at Wantagh Park on Long Island, walking to the backyard where all the 1000s of cousins were waiting for our barb-b-que

    Grandpa, my mom and I we walking on the side of the house to the backyard. Grandpa looked at mom and said "Anna"... then died right there (stroke)

    First time I ever saw someone die.

    Ask me what I had for breakfast yesterday, I couldn't tell ya.

    Ask me what shirt grandpa was wearing that day... how many wrinkles were in his face, how his hair was parted, the exact shade of green on the blades of grass on the lawn... and it's permanently etched in my brain.

    Forty years later I still think about grandpa on Memorial Day. Yes, there's a tear. But the rest is fond memories.

    And that's what Memorial Day is all about - remembering... honoring.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    My mom had a cousin she was close to that she lost in Vietnam. Seven years ago, the company I was with at the time offered to fly all their employees and a guest/spouse to Washington, D.C. (near the company's headquarters) for the annual Christmas party. I took my mom with me so she could see the Vietnam War Memorial and find her cousin's name on the wall. I had made a rubbing of it and took pictures for her 12 years earlier because she hadn't been to D.C. since before the wall was erected. I also took a picture of her next to her cousin's name while we were there. I talked to her last night on the phone and she told me how much she cherished that experience.

    If you're ever in D.C., visit the war memorials, especially the Wall. It's an incredible experience that you'll never forget.
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
    - Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.

  15. #15
    Ride It Like You Stole It CowgirlUp's Avatar
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    Thanks all, and thanks to the heroes in your families I can't even begin to imagine what our POW's went through.

    I truly enjoy talking to war veterans. They have such stories to tell and you can't help but be amazed by their modesty at their bravery. I don't know of one veteran from any war that boasts about being a hero. They always say they were just doing their job.

    Buddy wore a silver bracelet of a Vietnam POW/MIA and I wish I could remember the name of the soldier that was on it. He never took it off, not even for his wedding. He told me once that he believed if enough people remembered that the soldier was missing, maybe all that good energy would help find him and bring him home.

    As much as I've tried to deter my daughter from wanting a career in the military, she still wants to join the army. We are a military family and she wants to be a soldier. Even after Bud was gone, she still wanted to go. How can I stand in the way of such determination? Most teenage girls' room is covered with posters of boys and rockbands, Aubrey's is covered in Army recruiting posters and assault vehicles. She has received four consecutive awards from the U.S. Marine Corps for outstanding physical fitness and displays them like diplomas.....lol

    I like the idea of just taking a few moments this weekend to remember and honor our military.
    Be the change you want to see in the world ~ Gandhi

  16. #16
    Ride It Like You Stole It CowgirlUp's Avatar
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    Beach BDM, wow! You have many in the service right now! Hugs to you this weekend :^)

    Billy Kay, all I can say is WOW! What a powerful memory. You're so right about there being a tear but also great memories. I definitely have those and I cherish every one of them. Like the time I told Buddy to pee on a electric fence so we could cross a field (well, it was funny for me)

    MeadowMuffin, I can honestly say I have never had a more moving moment in my life then the day I was in Arlington for Buddy's graveside. You can't help but feel something when standing before all those headstones and then seeing the war monuments. You can see them a million times in picture....but nothing compares to standing before them.

    I'm hoping to take my daughter this summer to DC. I want her to be able to see everything before she goes on a school trip.
    Be the change you want to see in the world ~ Gandhi

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rgrsgrl
    MeadowMuffin, I can honestly say I have never had a more moving moment in my life then the day I was in Arlington for Buddy's graveside. You can't help but feel something when standing before all those headstones and then seeing the war monuments. You can see them a million times in picture....but nothing compares to standing before them.

    I'm hoping to take my daughter this summer to DC. I want her to be able to see everything before she goes on a school trip.
    I have never left Arlington with dry eyes or without a lump in my throat. Pictures do not do justice to the immense gravity of the place and the feelings you experience there. It's so solemn, so reverent, yet incredibly peaceful. It embodies what our veterans deserve, respect and reverence. That was another place my mom commented on last night that she will always cherish memories from. She'd like to go back.

    If any of you ever go there, you must see the changing of the guard, yet another group of men that make incredible sacrifices just to remember and guard the fallen. They are on duty 24/7/365 in front of the tomb of the unknown soldiers no matter what, even hurricane strength winds. There is no finer definition of dedication and loyalty than that.
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
    - Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.

  18. #18
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meadowmufn
    I have never left Arlington with dry eyes or without a lump in my throat. Pictures do not do justice to the immense gravity of the place and the feelings you experience there. It's so solemn, so reverent, yet incredibly peaceful. It embodies what our veterans deserve, respect and reverence. That was another place my mom commented on last night that she will always cherish memories from. She'd like to go back.

    If any of you ever go there, you must see the changing of the guard, yet another group of men that make incredible sacrifices just to remember and guard the fallen. They are on duty 24/7/365 in front of the tomb of the unknown soldiers no matter what, even hurricane strength winds. There is no finer definition of dedication and loyalty than that.
    When my daughter was a kid, she was a performer. She spent several years with a local musical group, and in 1987, they (Mrs. Hound and I went along) traveled to the East Coast to perform at various landmarks and patriotic sites, as part of the 200th anniversary of the ratification of the US Constitution.

    Though they didn't perform there, we did go to Arlington Cemetery for the changing of the guards, and some members of her group participated in a wreath-laying ceremony. Your're absolutely right - Arlington Cemetery is one of those places that words or pictures cannot describe; you have to be there and feel the emotions, the surroundings, the history...

    They did perform in such great places as the Old Post Office in Washington DC, historic Old Town Alexandria, the Philadelphia Art Museum, and the Baltimore Inner Harbor.

    It was a fabulous trip for the kids, who were about 8-14 years old then, and for my wife and me.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
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  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Amy,

    Your sweet and thoughtful message is a true tribute to Buddy. My respect, appreciation, and heartfelt "thank you so much" are offered in memory of the Sarge.

    It is my personal observation that we live in a country in which a minority of folks actually think about, sincerely appreciate or take the time to actually, truly care about the great sacrifices that our men and women in the military and support services give to keep this country safe. We are so into ourselves, money, self fulfillment, self indulgence, selfishnness, Starbuck logos, our own convenience, privilege, and me'isms that we do not genuinely reflect about others.

    I served in the late 60's to late 70 as a battalion tank commander in the Marines when another war was not so popular. Unfortunately, in that time in history, soldiers were hated and openly chastised by fellow countrymen. At least with the middle east, whether one supports being there or not, we seem to have gained an appreciation for the fine men and women who think enough about security, safety and protection of freedom that they are willing to serve their fellow man and in some cases pay the ultimate price.

    I honor Buddy, and with him, all of the fine men and women who serve. I honor them not only on Memorial Day, but on every day in which I wake up and am allowed to roam freely to wherever the mood takes me, say what I want to say without fear for my life, practice my faith or beliefs in the manner I choose without being condemned to death an an infidel, pursue my chosen path of employment, own a home, cars, FISHING rods, be free to start my own business, choose how my children are raised, and every other blessing and privilege that we have in a free country that will not allow terror or dictatorship to destroy those gifts or our safety at home.

    A hug to you and my most respectful salute to Sarge "Buddy"

    Alan
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  20. #20
    Ride It Like You Stole It CowgirlUp's Avatar
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    Thanks Alan! That made me cry (but a happy one)

    My daughter is reading over my shoulder and she's very impressed you were a tank commander. Look out, you have a fan now, lol
    Be the change you want to see in the world ~ Gandhi

  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rgrsgrl
    Thanks Alan! That made me cry (but a happy one) My daughter is reading over my shoulder and she's very impressed you were a tank commander. Look out, you have a fan now, lol
    Amy, as you know (and obviously appreciate) good tears serve a fruitful purpose. I am proud of Buddy, and I am proud of his family (you and the rest) for the love and pride you all have for him. He truly deserves it.

    It was my lifetime honor to visit the Viet Nam Memorial in 1999 and finally get to honor some of the fine men with whom I served that are now memories on the wall. I am so very proud to have been their team mate, and so thankful for what it means to serve. Buddy knew that same pride, and I can see that you and your fine family do also.

    Now, let's smile, think of fishing and enjoy the freedom to do anything we want to do this holiday!! That's a good thing.....
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  22. #22
    Ride It Like You Stole It CowgirlUp's Avatar
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    lol, I hear ya! I've got my poles ready, my blue blockers and my game face on. If I don't catch anything big tonight I give up fishing...........until tomorrow heehee
    Be the change you want to see in the world ~ Gandhi

  23. #23
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rgrsgrl
    lol, I hear ya! I've got my poles ready, my blue blockers and my game face on. If I don't catch anything big tonight I give up fishing...........until tomorrow heehee
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  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALH - AmeritrustRx
    I served in the late 60's to late 70 as a battalion tank commander in the Marines when another war was not so popular. Unfortunately, in that time in history, soldiers were hated and openly chastised by fellow countrymen. At least with the middle east, whether one supports being there or not, we seem to have gained an appreciation for the fine men and women who think enough about security, safety and protection of freedom that they are willing to serve their fellow man and in some cases pay the ultimate price.
    Thank you for your service, sir! I've worked with many a Vietnam and Desert Storm vet over the course of my career and have an enormous amount of appreciation for what they've done and continue to do. I've never met a group of more selfless human beings in my life, the complete opposite of the me-me-me mentality that you mentioned, Alan.

    If the lake wasn't going to be so crowded this weekend, I'd take the hubby fishing. Instead, we're just going to hang out in the backyard instead, playin' frisbee with the dog and bbq'ing. That'll be ALMOST as fun as fishing, but not quite.
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
    - Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.

  25. #25
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Right back atcha Meadow. Hey, if you can't go fishing, nothing wrong with hanging with the family and doing some good old BBQ!!! If I can suggest a fun thing...

    You can get a couple rods out, rig em up with a hookless spoon etc., set a target up in the yard and have a casting accuracy contest. I've done that with fly rods before with my sons. Problem is, the oldest boy now puts me to shame! ouch.

    Have a great time with your family!!
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