Thanks Barcardi Rick for this Great Story!
This is one of the best articles
I’ve seen in a long time.
Please take a few minutes
and enjoy it as much as I did.
A Story Of a Soldier in Iraq and His Dog...
and so much more... Enjoy!
They told me the big black Lab's name was Reggie, as I looked at him lying in his pen. The shelter was clean, no-kill, and the people really friendly.
I'd only been in the area for six months, but everywhere I went in the small college town, people were welcoming and open. Everyone waves when you pass them on the street.
But something was still missing as I attempted to settle in to my new life here, and I thought a dog couldn't hurt. Give me someone to talk to. And I had just seen Reggie's advertisement on the local news. The shelter said they had received numerous calls right after, but they said the people who had come down to see him just didn't look like "Lab people," whatever that meant. They must've thought I did.
But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie and his things, which consisted of a dog pad, bag of toys almost all of which were brand new tennis balls, his dishes and a sealed letter from his previous owner.
See, Reggie and I didn't really hit it off when we got home. We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter told me to give him to adjust to his new home). Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too. Maybe we were too much alike.
I saw the sealed envelope. I had completely forgotten about that. "Okay, Reggie," I said out loud, "let's see if your previous owner has any advice.
To Whomever Gets My Dog:
Well, I can't say that I'm happy you're reading this, a letter I told the shelter could only be opened by Reggie's new owner. I'm not even happy writing it. He knew something was different.
So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes that it will help you bond with him and he with you. First, he loves tennis balls. The more the merrier. Sometimes I think he's part squirrel, the way he hoards them. He usually always has two in his mouth, and he tries to get a third in there. Hasn't done it yet. Doesn't matter where you throw them, he'll bound after them, so be careful. Don't do it by any roads.Next, commands. Reggie knows the obvious ones ---"sit," "stay," "come," "heel." He knows hand signals, too: He knows "ball" and "food" and "bone" and "treat" like nobody's business. Feeding schedule: twice a day, regular store-bought stuff; the shelter has the brand. He's up on his shots. Be forewarned: Reggie hates the vet. Good luck getting him in the car. I don't know how he knows when it's time to go to the vet, but he knows. Finally, give him some time. It's only been Reggie and me for his whole life. He's gone everywhere with me, so please include him on your daily car rides if you can. He sits well in the backseat, and he doesn't bark or complain. He just loves to be around people, and me most especially.
And that's why I need to share one more bit of info with you...His name's not Reggie. He's a smart dog, he'll get used to it and will respond to it, of that I have no doubt. But I just couldn't bear to give them his real name. But if someone is reading this ... well it means that his new owner should know his real name. His real name is "Tank." Because, that is what I drive. I told the shelter that they couldn't make "Reggie" available for adoption until they received word from my company commander.
You see, my parents are gone, I have no siblings, no one I could've left Tank with ... and it was my only real request of the Army upon my deployment to Iraq , that they make one phone call to the shelter ...in the "event" ... to tell them that Tank could be put up for adoption.
Luckily, my CO is a dog-guy, too, and he knew where my platoon was headed. He said he'd do it personally. And if you're reading this, then he made good on his word. Tank has been my family for the last six years, almost as long as the Army has been my family. And now I hope and pray that you make him part of your family, too, and that he will adjust and come to love you the same way he loved me. If I have to give up Tank to keep those terrible people from coming to the US I am glad to have done so. He is my example of service and of love. I hope I honored him by my service to my country and comrades.
All right, that's enough. I deploy this evening and have to drop this letter off at the shelter. Maybe I'll peek in on him and see if he finally got that third tennis ball in his mouth. Good luck with Tank. Give him a good home, and give him an extra kiss goodnight - every night - from me.
I folded the letter and slipped it back in the envelope. Sure, I had heard of Paul Mallory, everyone in town knew him, even new people like me. Local kid, killed in Iraq a few months ago and posthumously earning the Silver Star when he gave his life to save three buddies. Flags had been at half-mast all summer. I leaned forward in my chair and rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the dog.
"Hey, Tank," I said quietly. The dog's head whipped up, his ears cocked and his eyes bright.
He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on the hardwood floor. He sat in front of me, his head tilted, searching for the name he hadn't heard in months. "Tank," I whispered. His tail swished.
I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each time, his ears lowered, his eyes softened, and his posture relaxed as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood him. I stroked his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried my face into his scruff and hugged him.
"It's me now, Tank, just you and me. Your old pal gave you to me." Tank reached up and licked my cheek.
So whatdaya say we play some ball?" His ears perked again.
"Yeah? Ball? You like that? Ball?"
Tank tore from my hands and disappeared into the next room.
And when he came back, he had three tennis balls in his mouth.
If you can read this without getting a lump
in your throat or a tear in your eye,
you just ain't right.
Have a Happy & Safe Memorial Day
Remember Those Who Served
ALL GAVE SOME, SOME GAVE ALL
The IQD Team
The IQD Team
Investigate, Question & Deliver
Friday, May 25, 2012
Highlights/Summary & Replay of Conference Call FINAL COUNTDOWN
Conference Call Replay - May 25, 2012Download/Playbackor
760-569-7699 Pin 769478#In honor and respect of Memorial Day we will not be holding our Sunday night call... Make some plans and do something really great to honor our Veterans... Remember what Memorial Day is all about...
Straight Talkin Mike's Transcription of the Recap of Tonight's News
(Listen to the recording for all of the detailed analysis of the articles discussed after each news article listed - the following is just Straight Talkin Mikes recap of the news discussed) RecapCentral Bank is really stabilizing their as rates quickly as they can
-really trying to get things moving in the right directionThey are working with the Finance Committee..looking to bring their rate down to 1000 dinars to one dollar...which is from 1166 down to 1000 - we talked earlier at length about how that works....take the time to listen to the explanation about this - it will help you understand - basically they want to stabilize their currency so they can do more things with their currency in the futurewhether it is drop the zeroes- those type of things --finally working in conjunction with the Finance CommitteeFinally a sense of urgency to stabilize everything - get the banks involved and get the legislation they need to get the things they need to passIMF & World Bank are reiterating what they have said...they are going to help guarantee loans..help get the banks get off the ground...when people come to invest in Iraq their contracts will be backed if they can not be fulfilled by the Iraqis taking the fear out of investing in Iraq ...Think about it....there is an Urgency to stabilize the currency....IMF and the World Bank is coming in and saying we are behind Iraq - really pushing toward some sort of conclusion to move forward - Good news is you have the Banks standing behind the loans which will help them increase the investment coming to Iraq - all happening at the same time - We know that Chapter 7 is coming to a close very shortly too....everybody is lining up to make sure everything moves quickly and accordinglyAll very good and positive things - That will help increase the stability and the currency and support whatever Shabibi is going to do with his money
- Everybody is positioning themselves to take advantage of some sort of eventTomorrow is D Day Folks day for MalikiLooks like Saturday or Sunday is going to be D Day...We will know whats going to happen..We will know whether he is going to capitulate or give them the ministers or he's going to get his Vote of No-Confidence - The sides are lined up...lets wait and see
- Its like a Good WWG wrestling match - we will have to see what happens after its all done and who ends up the Champion of it all - Whatever it looks likes it will be a government of Iraq that is complete.....Ministers seated - Power shared...Contracts being signed and moving forward
- whatever that looks like...lets not get caught up on what that looks like..who those people are...thats for them to sort out - all we like to see is that the government is complete and moving forward no matter who is at the head of it Everybody is talking like it is done folks....Positive results from the G 5 + 1 meetings that concluded on Friday.....Talabani had meetings with Jeffries and it went very very well......sounds like something has been settled....looks like things are all done
....."The New Iraq"EVERYTHING IS POSITIVEAnd there you have it...
Straight Talkin' Mike On The Straight Talk Express
Bringing You Another Night of Positive News!
Debbie shared a Great Memorial Day Tribute article dedicated to her Dad, Tim, Yukon and all the Veterans Please take the time to read the article....."Of Memorial Days, and Sons and Daughters""It is the formal holiday that reminds us that every day is independence day; as the motto goes, The Home of the FREE because of the BRAVE"
"May we all be as fortunate as to have the opportunity to pass on what we love about our nation to our children. May every generation never forget the valiant warriors who sacrificed on their behalf. And for the kids to young to remember the wars, and the significance of the supreme sacrifice they represent for the rest of us, may their parents take the time on this, and every Memorial Day to explain." Memorial Day Salute to our Veterans"Of Memorial Days, and Sons and Daughters"
::::::: SOURCE LINK :::::::The I.Q.D. Team, Ltd.'s News Coverage
for Friday, May 25, 2012 CBI / ECONOMYCentral Bank confirms the reduction of teams dinar exchange rate to 4%World Bank and the International Monetary Fund shall conclude a cooperation consultant with IraqHigh value of the Iraqi dinar against the dollar after the regulatory actionParliamentary Finance: Delete the zeros depends on control of the Central Bank of the dinar exchange rateGOVERNMENTWitnesses say the supporters of Maliki, "burning" image to Barzani and al-Sadr calls for an alternative Hours on the deadline for meeting Najaf .. And politicians walk in the language of figures for the withdrawal of confidence from the Maliki or NajafiDuring a meeting with Talabani .. Jeffrey renews U.S. support for the political process and democracy in IraqIraqi Foreign Ministry announced the conclusion of the meeting of the Group 5 +1 with Iran in BaghdadMoqtada al-Sadr calls on Maliki to visit Najaf before the withdrawal of confidence from the Prime Minister
NEWS ARTICLE LINKS
What a great night of news, analysis and discussion and Q & A
Listen to the call for all the rest of the news shared and more during the Q & A
SOME GREAT Q & A TONIGHT AS ALWAYS
We are getting closer every day......GET R DONE!!
Conference Call Replay - May 25, 2012Download/Playbackor
760-569-7699 Pin 769478#
As Always.... Discussion and Analysis of the Latest Iraq, Dinar & RV News....Pre & Post RV Information...Q & A
Every Tues, Thurs & Sun 8PM EST
760-569-7676 769478# or 712222#
Of Memorial Days, and Sons and DaughtersBy Bingham C. Jamison, CFA | May 25, 2012 | With the holiday upon us, a friend recently asked me how I planned to teach my children about the importance of Memorial Day. As a former Marine and veteran of two tours to Iraq, the question surprisingly caught me off guard. I have written extensively about war and its cruel influence on those who waged it, but the concept of passing the difficult lessons I learned in Iraq on to my children has only rarely crossed my mind. It’s not that I want to keep things from my family. My oldest child is a preschooler, and so until recently my kids have been too young to grasp the concept of patriotism. My son is only 18 months old and surely too young to understand, but my three-and-a-half year old daughter, a precocious beauty wise beyond her years, has already developed a strong capacity for empathy. She may not yet truly understand the meaning of the flag, or why we place our hand on our heart when we listen to the National Anthem at a ballgame, but somehow she knows that if Daddy cries during ”The Star-Spangled Banner” it’s because he misses his friends. Without fail, when the anthem invokes an emotional response from me, she asks me to pick her up at the end of the song, and she kisses the tears from my cheek. Embarrassed, I tell her that the tears are Heaven’s raindrops helping wash away Daddy’s sadness. Although she’s never at a loss for questions, thankfully my explanation always seems to suffice. So now that Memorial Day is here, how do I teach my daughter that the holiday is about much more than just barbecues and American music? About more than fireworks and festivals? Before I got myself sober, Memorial Day was always a day of drunken mourning; a day to wallow in guilt and anguish for surviving when others did not. It was a day of morbid reflection, the anticipation of which haunted me for weeks ahead of time. I was wholly consumed by my twisted thoughts and emotions. I avoided interaction altogether, and generally forced myself to watch war movies because somehow I felt obligated to relive the sense of combat, as if to pay homage to my fallen comrades. Luckily for my sake, and now my daughter’s, I am sober and able to address the concept of Memorial Day in an entirely different, more productive and rewarding manner. I advocate on veterans’ issues, and serve as an advisor to Veterans Healing Initiative, a nonprofit that helps veterans access treatment for addiction and PTSD. For far too long I hijacked Memorial Day and made it about me. But Memorial Day isn’t about me. It’s about remembering and honoring those who never made it home. It is the formal holiday that reminds us that every day is independence day; as the motto goes, the home of the free because of the brave. So this year I will teach my daughter about Memorial Day by doing, not lamenting. Perhaps we will plant a flag at the gravesite of a fallen warrior, or perhaps we will attend a parade or a speech. Perhaps I will invite my close group of friends, all fellow combat veterans, to share the day with my family and me. Or perhaps I can teach her the words to the National Anthem or the Pledge of Allegiance. I can honor those who didn’t make it home by embracing their legacy. I can teach my daughter about patriotism, about loving our country, by showing her my devotion to and respect for those who have gone before us. May we all be so fortunate as to have the opportunity to pass on what we love about our nation to our children. May every generation never forget the valiant warriors who sacrificed on their behalf. And for the kids too young to remember the wars, and the significance of the supreme sacrifice they represent for the rest of us, may their parents take the time on this, and every Memorial Day, to explain.
THANK YOU TROOPS AND VETERANS FROM THE IQD TEAM
(thanks to Brenda for sending this to us)
Thanks to Michael, one of our listeners, for sending this to us
Give Thanks to Our TroopsPosted by Megan Slack on November 24, 2011 at 06:00 AM ESTJoining Forces has partnered with the USO to create an interactive thank you note that lets people all over the country tell our service members all over the country how grateful we are for everything they do.Help build a nationwide wave of support by adding your note to the card. If we each do our part, our veterans and their families will get the recognition they deserve this holiday season.Give Thanks to the Troops Who Have Fought for USThere’s no better time than the holidays to let our servicemembers know how grateful we are for everything that they do.Help Us Build a Nationwide Wave of SupportJoining Forces has partnered with the USO to create a nationwide interactive thank you card. Just fill out a note and it will be added to a map along with messages from people all over the country, showing our troops and their families just how much we appreciate their service and sacrifice. If we each do our part, our veterans and their families will get the recognition they deserve this holiday season.LINKAnd, don't miss this video of First Lady Michelle Obama making a suprise phone call to thank one military spouse.
November 14, 2011 -- Updated 1921 GMT (0321 HKT)
Supporting injured veterans
Operation Finally Home builds custom homes for wounded U.S. veterans
Actor and Iraq war veteran J.R. Martinez is closely involved with the nonprofit
Martinez: I know the mental, physical struggles these veterans are dealing with
Editor's note: Voting is under way for the 2011 CNN Hero of the Year. The winner will be announced at "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute," which airs live December 11. See the Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2011 and cast your vote at CNNHeroes.com.
(CNN) -- Actor and Iraq war veteran J.R. Martinez is the spokesman for Operation Finally Home, an organization that provides free custom-built homes for injured veterans.
The nonprofit was started by Dan Wallrath, who was a top 10 CNN Hero last year.
Martinez recently sat down with CNN's Sonya Hamasaki to talk about CNN Heroes, his recent success on "Dancing With the Stars" and the efforts of Operation Finally Home. Below are excerpts from that interview.
Sonya Hamasaki: What inspired you to get involved with Dan Wallrath's efforts?
J. R. Martinez: I heard about him in Houston, Texas, and that's where we met.
I heard about the great things he was doing by himself with just a couple of friends. And I thought to myself, "Anyone who's doing things from the goodness of their heart is somebody I want to be involved with."
Hamasaki: How does Operation Finally Home work?
Martinez: Operation Finally Home helps to give wounded troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan a mortgage-free home. It really changes lives, and it gives people hope.
A lot of times, one of the biggest things for our troops is getting jobs. If they can have a home, it then kind of alleviates some pressure and they can start focusing on the job aspect of things.
Hamasaki: What's it like to see the reaction when someone finds out they have a free home?
Martinez: It's amazing to witness the transition ... to see their emotions and their body language completely change.
And it's not just the service member; it's the spouse, it's the parent, it's the brother or sister, it's the child. There's this change all the way across the board. It's a beautiful thing to witness that kind of emotion.
Hamasaki: What's your personal connection with the organization?
Martinez: It's a great feeling to be able to be part of the movement.
I know the emotional void and the mental struggles and the physical struggles that the men and women and the families go through when they're recovering. So it allows me to understand the importance of it, and it gives me the opportunity to serve.
Hamasaki: What other projects are you working on?
Martinez: I'm involved with "Dancing With the Stars" at the moment, and it's an exciting ride. It's fun, and it's a great platform for me to share who I am with people.
At the same time, I'm still doing motivational speaking. I believe that we all have something to share with someone else that can better someone else's life.
Hamasaki: Who are your personal heroes?
Martinez: There are a lot of people who can be classified as heroes and do great things and inspire me.
My mother is my hero. My mother has done so much for me in my life and has continuously been there and been my rock.
Then I come across wounded troops who persevere every single day, who smile, who have a positive attitude, and they're my heroes for what they have done.
And Dan Wallrath is a hero for the hope he's given to these families by giving them a brand new homeLINK
J.R. Martinez: Free homes give hope