300 years isn't very long in the scheme of things on this old planet of ours, but a lot has happened in the United States of America in that short span.
In 1775 a revolution was begun that, within a decade, would change 13 colonies, a continent, and eventually the world.
In that struggle men, and women died so that a nation would be born, free of the rule of Kings, and become a Republic of Free Peoples.
Yes, I know, it was not a perfect union.
We all know the story: The Brits tried again... and we kicked their Ass... again ( I know it was more complicated than that, just go with it, ok ), we had a spat with Mexico, then spent a few years fighting amongst ourselves before having a spat with some other Spanish speaking nation, and in between all this our citizens, and Military spread across the land encountering the Red Man on the way to finding our nations Manifest Destiny in... Hollywood.
( I KNOW, I KNOW, it's more complicated than that, just go with it ok! )
Our ancestors, and many still living elders, and siblings, then fought The War To End All Wars, PTS. 1 AND 2, fought the Chinese to a draw, got their Asses handed to them on a platter by another passle of Asian Commies, all the while playing the Ruskies to a draw long enough to see them capitulate, and "Tear Down That Wall!" to end the "Cold" War.
Yes, it was more complicated than all that, but we won! Freedom, and Democracy won!
A Freedom, and Democracy won through the blood and sacrifice of the men and women of America's Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and National Guard.
These martyrs of patriotism gave their lives for an idea. - Schuyler Colfax
They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this Nation. - Henry Ward Beecher
Decoration Day is the most beautiful of our national holidays.... The grim cannon have turned into palm branches, and the shell and shrapnel into peach blossoms. - Thomas Bailey Aldrich
On this day, once known as Decoration Day, but now known as Memorial Day, with Taps sounding all around us, we honor, and remember, those valiant dead... by placing flags on graves, giving heartfelt speeches, and penning great words of homage, and then going to parades, and to the park for family picnics.
The Official Website for Arlington National Cemetery is here.
In the last 15 years new battles have been taken up by our valiant men, and women in uniform, and more names have been added to the long list of those we pay homage to.
In the 90's a new enemy took aim at all that America, and the West stand for, fueled by our country doing what was right in keeping Saddaam at bay, then joining the world in sorting out the mess that was Yugoslavia after Tito.
On Sept. 11, 2001, the enemy struck back, and though they are Muslim, it is important that we never forget that they are not ALL Muslims, and that when the opportunity came to free themselves of the shackles of oppression, and head down the road to Freedom, and their own forms of Democratic Rule, the overwhelming majority in 2 nations welcomed the chance, and those who enabled them, to take those 1st steps.
Our respect, and admiration goes to those in our Military who have given their Last Full Measure in The War Against Terror, on its 1st fronts... Afghanistan, and Iraq.
But, as we pay homage to the dead we must not forget the living, and show our support for those overseas on this day.
And that brings me to one Lainey Poche...
In October 2003 I wrote about an article that told of the Positive Results in Iraq.
At 330am on the 29th of May, 2005, an unexpected comment was left to this piece:
Nice website you have here, thought you might like to take a look at mine. My name is Lainey Poche and I am stationed in Iraq with the 256 BCT. My website has pics of what it is like here and what soldiers do in their spare time. Nothing negative, all positive! This is stuff you won't see on the news! Thanks for supporting the troops!
SGT Lainey J. Poche
HHC 256 S-1, Admin Assault
Casualty Reporting, Red Cross
She left her URL, and so I paid a visit to the Army Chic. :-D
A Guest Book, Chat Room and Feedback page, and a Question and Answer Forum are just one part of the full experiece of this site.
Let her explain:
My name is Lainey and I am currently stationed in Iraq with the Army National Guard out of Louisiana, HHC 256 Inf Bde. I figured this would be a great way to show pictures to my family and friends. I am 23 years old. In civilian life I work as a behavioral manager for a brain injury center. Being in Iraq isn't as bad as I expected. The people here really need our help and I am very proud to be serving my country. The media often portrays this place as being so horrible and that couldn't be farther from the truth. Even the little things we do everyday are making such a big difference. You will never see anything negative on this website, only the positive. In no way am I trying to sugar coat the situation. I do realize that we're in a hostile environment. People need to know that soliders are making the best out of the situation here! I have pictures in here from my deployment process and I also have personal pictures, the total # of pics on this site is up to 1,372.
You go Girl!
Anytime you find yourself discouraged over the negativity of some those against the War, and the fight against America's Terrorist enemies check out some of Lainey's pics, and visit some of the important "Support the Troops" sites on her Links Page.
She encourages folks to link to her site, and to use her pics in POSITVE ways to "Help me spread the positive word around about the troops!"
Visit Lainey at: Lainey's Photo Website.
Thank you Lainey for your service.
The next edition in this series will appear on June 8th.