29 January 2016

"Keep breathing"

Sgt. Oliver Campbell has deployed to Afghanistan several times since he joined Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Army Ranger battalion in 2013. He was wounded on a mission there earlier this month. His mother, Carol, visited him at an Army hospital in Germany for his initial medical treatment. Photo courtesy of Carol Campbell via The News Tribune.

Army Ranger Sgt. Oliver Campbell and a teammate from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment are now recovering at Walter Reed Military Medical Center after a Jan. 16 attack in eastern Afghanistan’s Paktika province.

Campbell, 22, was the more seriously wounded of the two, with a bullet lodged close to his heart. Three other bullets passed through his body.
Now, “he’s doing very well,” said his mother, Carol Campbell of Kansas City.

In his letter to friends and family, Campbell thanked his teammates for keeping him alive after the attack. He praised the flight surgeons who revived him when his heart stops and the nurses who’ve tended to him.

“I owe a lot of people thank-yous for everything that has happened in the past week,” he wrote.
He also gave thanks to actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

“Believe it or not, when I was laying there all jacked up, the movie ‘The Revenant’ came to mind,” he wrote. “All I could think of was that line, ‘Keep breathing.’ ”

Read the entire story here.

25 January 2016

Sunnrise at Arlington

Sunrise at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, Va after a record breaking snowfall blanketed the Washington DC area with 18 inches of snow. (Photo by SPC Nathan Johnston)

20 January 2016

Service & Sacrifice: Surgery count high, spirits higher

Veteran Michael Trost guesses he's had 28 surgeries since being wounded in Afghanistan. He now faces another major operation. Photo: WBIR.com.

Four years and dozens of surgeries later, MSgt Michael Trost speaks frankly about his next major surgery: He is choosing to have his badly damaged lower right leg amputated just below his knee so part of his toe can be used as a new thumb.

“I’m not losing a leg, I’m gaining a thumb,” he said with a chuckle, sitting in the kitchen of his family hobby farm in Blount County, TN.

Story and video here.

31 December 2015

Auld Lang Syne

To friends and loved ones who can't be with us; and to those who are no longer with us.

You are always in our hearts.

Auld Lang Syne (to days gone by)... farewell 2015.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy 2016.

25 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

The Christmas Tree at Landstuhl Hospital Fisher House. Photo: Soldiers' Angels.

And the angel said unto them,
Fear not: for, behold,
I bring you good tidings of great joy,
which shall be to all people.

For unto you
is born this day in the city
of David a Savior,
which is Christ the Lord.

Thank you and Merry Christmas to all of our generous supporters. May you find joy this holiday season knowing you have uplifted our Wounded Warriors through the priceless gift of love.

At Christmastime and always, our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines serving all over the world hold a special place in our hearts.

Your Soldiers' Angels Team in Germany

Gold Star Christmas

To our Gold Star families, with love.

Merry Christmas from Heaven

I still hear the songs
I still see the lights
I still feel your love
on cold wintery nights

I still share your hopes
and all of your cares
I'll even remind you
to please say your prayers

I just want to tell you
you still make me proud
You stand head and shoulders
above all the crowd

Keep trying each moment
to stay in His grace
I came here before you
to help set your place

You don't have to be
perfect all of the time
He forgives you the slip
If you continue the climb

To my family and friends
please be thankful today
I'm still close beside you
In a new special place

I love you all dearly
now don't shed a tear
Cause I'm spending my
Christmas with Jesus this year.

--John Wm. Mooney, Jr

26 November 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Soldiers of 10th Mountain Division celebrated Thanksgiving holiday at the TB Gamberi dining facility Nov. 26, 2015. The staff of TB Gamberi DFAC gave the Soldiers a special Thanksgiving holiday d├ęcor along with a top-notch six-course meal that consisted of traditional holiday feast and varieties of ambrosial irresistible desserts. Maj. Somnuk served the Soldiers. Photo by U.S. Army Maj. Asha Cooper.

Like all Americans, this year we will be giving thanks for our families, our freedoms, and the blessings of liberty that are secured by those who proudly wear our Nation's uniform. Across our country, thousands of families have an empty space at the table because a loved one is far away from home answering the call of duty. And although they are far away, they are in the forefront of our minds and prayers today.

Today, and every day, we thank those who fight for our freedom.

Wishing you and your families a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

11 November 2015

Because of the Brave

To our Veterans past and present - you have served at home, and in far away lands. You have kept your fellow Americans safe and free at home, and you have freed millions throughout the world from tyranny. You represent the legacy of those throughout our nation's history who know the ugly of war, but who believe there are things even uglier than war. For you, the words DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY are a way of life. Thank you for your courage and for your sacrifices. Thank you for your service. God bless you all, and God bless America.

"We believe in fighting to keep all people safe and free to be themselves, because it is the right thing to do."
- Linda Ferrara

10 November 2015

Happy 240th Birthday to the United States Marine Corps!

Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we've fought for life
And have never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.

Happy birthday to the United States Marine Corps!

09 November 2015

Well Done, We Love You

Captain Matthew Charles Ferrara
14 October 1983 - 9 November 2007

On November 9, 2007, 1st Platoon, Chosen Company, 2/503, 173rd ABCT, was ambushed by an overwhelming enemy force as they returned to Combat Outpost Bella following a meeting with tribal elders in the nearby village of Aranas.

Five Soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team and one Marine from the Mountain Warfare Training Center were killed. Eight more paratroopers and 11 Afghan National Army soldiers were wounded. Despite the heavy casualties taken during the opening minutes of the ambush, with nearly every man either killed or wounded, the patrol was ultimately able to repel their attackers and call in support.

Ammunition was dropped to the survivors by the arriving Apache helicopters, and eight separate air crews subsequently conducted what was to become a combined 31-hour MEDEVAC and recovery mission involving multiple lifts.

Our love, thoughts, and prayers are with Matt's family and the families of his brothers-in-arms who gave their lives for each other, their loved ones, and their country on 9 November 2007. We will remember them always.

* * *

Im Memoriam:

1st Lt. Matthew C. Ferrara, 24, of Torrance, Calif.
SGT Jeffrey S. Mersman, 23, of Parker, Kansas
SPC Sean K.A. Langevin, 23, of Walnut Creek, California
SPC Lester G. Roque, 23, of Torrance, California
PFC Joseph M. Lancour, 21, of Swartz Creek, Michigan
all of Chosen Company, 2-503rd PIR, 173rd ABCT, and
Marine Sgt. Phillip A. Bocks, 28, of Troy, Michigan

* * *

With gratitude to the MEDEVAC crews for their professionalism, selfless service and dedication to duty during our Heroes' final hours and to the AH-64 crews not only for their protection, but whose gun cameras documented this mission.

Those who say that we're in a time when there are no heroes, they just don't know where to look.

- Ronald Reagan