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Monday, January 28, 2008

Battle of the Bulge, Fort Indiantown Gap, PA

WOW, what a weekend, not too cold and no snow, darn-it. :( Oh Well, it could have been like 3 yrs ago, more than 2 feet of fresh beautifully white powdery stuff. :D

The Photograph to the left of the 2 American Soldiers was STAGED. The photograph was taken at a previous Bulge a few years back, but it's still a pretty cool photograph.

I arrived late on Friday, managed a quick hair updoo and then got dressed for a spin around the party scene. Saturday morning I was able to locate a wonderful woman who does wonderfully period hair for free and she did a spendid job on mine.

This is us that evening at the USO Show being held at the Officers Club on FIG.

Saturday was full of adventure. Got up early to watch the guys truck out to the field. Got a lot of really great photographs, I'll upload a few later and update the post.

Hung out with a friend of ours on Vendors Alley and even managed to find a few decent period finds myself. A classic brown corded clutch and 2 pair of forearm lenght gloves. Great finds. :D

The USO Show was okay this year, nothing to rave about. So I won't. :D

Joe and I ended the night with a photograph of the two of us, which we don't have near enough of. :D

I have a notebook of things to write about, I'll update a bit later once I have more time. See you next year!

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Story of A Fallen Marine & His Dog...Full Story at CNN

I wish I had come across this story sooner. It's heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. The sacrafice of both family and Man's best friend is felt by all.

From Rusty Dornin

(CNN) -- A U.S. military dog whose handler and best friend was killed in Iraq gets a new assignment on Friday -- retirement with the late Marine's family.

Dustin Lee's parents and younger siblings prepare to take Lex home from Albany, Georgia, on Friday.

It took months of lobbying by the family to get the adoption approved by the military.

Lex was beside Cpl. Dustin Lee when Lee was killed in a mortar attack in Falluja.

In spite of his injuries, the dog didn't want to leave Lee's side after the attack, according to the Marine's father.

Other Marines reportedly had to pull the dog away from the young man's body so medics could reach him.

It brings tears to my eyes everytime I read it. I can't imagine what both family and Best friend are going through, I just hope they can find some closure in each other. Here's to the Lee family and to Lex! THANK YOU both for your sacrafices!

My Pit Bull Terrier - A Poem

~author unknown at this time ...

What Animal Do I Speak Of? By Patty Letawsky

Their love is like no other,

their heart as pure as gold.

Yet while going on a friendly walk,

they're faced with stares of cold.

They're so very close to human,

in how they act and what they do,

Unless you've known their devoted love,

it's impossible to explain to you.

They are greatly more misunderstood,

thany any other breed.

We tend to punish this loyal dog,

Instead of mankind's deeds.

They are always and forever clowns,

with a wish for center stage.

Yet while displaying this sense of humor,

most people disengage.

They, oh, so want to make new friends,

and run and jump and play.

Yet when they happily approach,

most people shy away.

Often I've seen children poke,

or hop on for a ride.

And when I felt they might get mad,

they've only beamed with pride.

I've seen there children yank and pull,

with nary a reaction.

Yet media's not interested,

unless they've put someone in traction.

When other dog's have made the news,

this breed's name they affix.

But when this brave dog saves the day,

they call him "boxer mix".

They love to snuggle up real close,

to give lots of loves and kisses,

Yet they suffer more than any,

from unfair prejudices.

Their tails wag hard and hips twist, too,

more so than other mutts.

So those of us who know the breed,

we call them "wiggle butts".

What animal do I speak of,

Whose love is so unique?

If you've truly known one,

you know of whom I speak.

There is no creature on this Earth

who will ever make you merrier.

The animal I do speak of,

it's the American Pit Bull Terrier

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A War Dog Mystery - SOLVED

From the pages of The United States War Dogs Assocation comes a story that left me choked up. A supremely done website dedicated to honoring the Past, Present and Future of our Nation's War Dogs and their Handlers.

Here lies Hambone Jr.

Faithful Friend

of the

47th. Infantry Regt.

9th. Div. U S Army

May 1944

Simon Newbery, Vet. UK emailed me with this photo and the following information:

This grave marker of a WWII War Dog (Hambone Jr.) is near Simon's parents home in Alresford, Winchester, Hants, England along side a famous River walk called "The Dean." This town was used for the D-Day invasion.

By posting this photo and information, I am hoping someone who reads this will be able to further enlighten us.

If you have any further information, please email us at:

Mystery Solved ...

Reverence for military mascot show memories of WWII still live.

"If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England." -- from the poem "The Soldier" by Rupert Brooke

By Vincent Z. Whaley
Johnson City Press Staff Writer

(Published Thursday, Aug. 17, 1995)

ALRESFORD, England — Although Hambone Jr. never participated in battle, he was granted a privilege many soldiers tried not to think about during World War II.

He was buried in his homeland.

Hambone was an infantry regiment's canine mascot, and his duty was to run alongside the soldiers, provide entertainment and keep their thoughts away from battle and pain and death.

During a recent trip to England to retrace the wartime steps of my late grandfather, Starlin H. Hughes, I came across the dog's grave in the quaint village of Alresford.

This is where my grandfather, who served with the 47th "Raiders" Infantry Division, 9th U.S. Infantry Division, had been stationed prior to the D-Day invasion of Normandy, France, in 1944.

Hambone's grave, alongside a weathered path, was just one example of how America is remembered in a country that was once bombed nightly. For example: In Winchester, about eight miles from Alresford, I stopped an elderly lady treading the cobblestone street and asked for directions to the bus stop for Alresford. She was going to her dressmaker's shop to have her late husband's Royal World War II medals sewn to a shield. After kindly displaying the gallant war achievements, she directed me to the bus stop — just across the street.

I met a gray-haired gentleman in an Alresford pub, the Swan Hotel — one of several pubs in which GIs of the 47th frequented during the war. After consuming a mid-morning pint of "bitter" beer, he escorted me through the town square in search of the building where the 47th had been headquartered.

We arrived at a white and navy building with a small, plaster plaque attached to its outer wall. The inscription states: "THIS HOUSE WAS THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE 47TH. INFANTRY REGT., 9TH DIVISION, UNITED STATES ARMY, 1943 TO D-DAY JUNE 1944."

The man then explained the legend of Hambone Jr. and supplied directions to his grave, which is located just beyond the village along a rocky footpath beside the Alresford River.

A thatch-layered cottage outlined with pink and violet flowers sits along the river. A cobblestone bridge possessing arches that sink beneath the calm brook complements the fairy-tale dwelling. The grave of Hambone Jr. is not far from the moss-covered riverbank.

Along the opposite side of the footpath, the tombstone rests among thick vegetation. Weather-beaten and etched in algae, the monument clearly states, "HERE LIES HAMBONE JR., FAITHFUL FRIEND OF THE 47TH INFANTRY REGT., 9TH DIV., U.S. ARMY, MAY 1944."

Countless war memorials can be found across England during this final year of World War II's 50th anniversary. None, however, seem as classic as the one dedicated to a military mascot known as Hambone Jr.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Woman's Lost Pug Given As Christmas Gift

I cannot fathom what this family is dealing with right now. Nor what the sick woman must be dealing with at the same moment. And that poor child caught in the middle without even knowing it.

While one suffers from a deficent moral compass, the other shows GREAT human compassion. I just hope for the best with all parties involved.

Woman's Lost Pug Given As Christmas Gift

Jan 3, 11:05 PM (ET)

DALLAS (AP) - The holidays were sad enough for Kim Velevis and her husband after their lovable pug "Scooter" dug its way out of the backyard and disappeared on Christmas Eve. But the real blow came with the new year: A letter from an anonymous woman who had found the friendly dog and gave it to her daughter as a Christmas present. To compensate for Velevis' loss, a $20 bill was enclosed.

"The puppy has a different name now, but he has plenty of food and toys. My daughter adores him. He sleeps with her every night," said the letter, which arrived Wednesday.

Velevis, 28, said she feels for the guilt-ridden woman, who described herself as a nearly penniless alcoholic. But she wants the dog back.

"We knew the first thing our Scooter would have done is find people," Velevis said. "He must have wandered up to this sick lady who, in desperation and in an attempt to fix her own life, ruined ours."

Velevis, who is 5 1/2 months pregnant with her first child, said she and her husband brought the wrinkly faced pooch home in July 2006 when he was about 8 weeks old.

Scooter could still be nearby. The typewritten letter, which carried a Tulsa, Okla., postmark, said the woman found the dog while visiting her daughter in Dallas. She wrote that her ex-husband has custody of the girl.

The woman, who discovered an address on the pug's collar, described a series of difficulties in her life.

"I lost custody because of problems I had with alcohol, and I have lost everything else," she wrote. "I have been sober for 6 months, and I am trying to turn myself around, but I have lost everything. My little girl wanted a pug dog like your little dog (very much!)"

The woman wrote that she cannot ask for forgiveness, "but I do want you to know that he does have people who love him and are taking care of him."

Velevis said she has no interest in pursuing charges against the woman and would be glad to purchase the woman's daughter another dog.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Welcome to 2008

Yet another year has flown by us and what have we accomplished? What do we have to show for it?

Well, if I told you what I have to show for it, I'd have to kill ya. :D *just jokin*

I'm looking forward to this year. I have much on my place and to start off with, a Living History event, the recreation of WWIIs Battle of the Bulge. Look for a write up with pictures at this end of this month.

My BIL will be leaving for Iraq soon and I've plans to visit my sister and nephew for a few days this month to help her out. Plus, I love that little man! :D

I find myself torn between two blogs, this one and my Xangan blog. :( So, if I lapse in time on this, check out my Xangan for updates. :D

With the WWII historical events, I'm also dabbling in recreating the Civil War. This should be a fun year for my blog. I am also volunteering with the American Legion and Honor Flight, when they visit the WWII memorial here in DC.

Look forward to seeing you around. Have a Wonderful 2008! :D