Our son has safely returned (Dec. 17,2007) from his first deployment to Iraq. THANK YOU to all of you who have kept him in your prayers, sent him emails and packages, and for your support of [Mrs] T and myself. FReeRepublic is a great place to hang ones hat.
We share the screen name "TROOPRALLY". You can determine you wrote the post by the "[Mr] T" or "[Mrs] T" at the end of the post, unless you're already having a running "postersation".
We shared the name since before we became FReepers. Since we do so much together, it is easier to share the name than keep sending items back and forth to each other. In September,2005, we organized three consecutive Wednesday pro-troop, pro-mission rallies to counter the antiwar group, MOBilizing Mothers, formerly Mothers Opposing Bush. They had to change their name because President Bush won the election (HeeHeeHeeHee). But they kept the 'MOB'.
The September rallies were in Olney, Maryland. The same corner as the Olney FReeps that are posted on FR. This link is the best of the FReeps in Olney (As of March 01,2006): Best of the Olney FReeps
Trooprally is also part of our email address for the September,'05 rallies. For continuity, we kept "Trooprally" for our FReeper name and "Trooprally2" as our Protest Warrior screen name.
We are also regulars at the Walter Reed FReeps since first going there on Sept. 23,2005. We regularly attend FR and PW rallies.
Both of our families have very strong military back grounds, though [Mrs] T is the only one of us who served in the military. She was in the Army during the early 70s, and was stationed state side. She is a member of the local American Legion Post.
[Mr] T had a brother (USMC)who was seriously wounded in Vietnam in 1967, and another brother (USMC) killed in Vietnam several months later, and is buried in Arlington Cemetery. A third brother was medically discharged from the Marines 1971 for non-combat injuries while also in Vietnam.
He later waived his medical discharge, graduated a 2nd Lt. from collage, and in 2004, retired as a Colonel. He served in Operation Desert Storm and was part of the Marine division that secured the Iraqi/Kuwait border. His son graduated from the Naval Academy after 9-11 and is currently a Marine helicopter pilot. He's had one stint in Iraq and is due for another this summer, 2006.
[Mr] T's mother joined the American Gold Star Mothers (AGSM) and eventually became its National President. She was instrumental in helping to get the Vietnam Wall built. Our family still has her ground breaking shovel from the Wall, with the red-white-blue ribbon still attached. [Mr] T remembers the weekend the Wall was dedicated. He participated in the reading of the KIA at the D.C. National Shrine that Friday/Saturday. [Mr] T's mother was also instrumental in getting Vietnam Memorials built in Wheaton, MD, Kensington, MD and Utica, NY. Until her health declined, she was president of the Potomac Chapter of the AGSM.
[Mrs] T had two brothers seriously wounded in Vietnam. One brother was wounded in the same fire fight as [Mr] T's brother. In fact, we first met each other as teenagers while visiting our brothers on Ward 5C of Bethesda Navel Hospital. Our brothers' beds were right next to each other. (Fifteen years later, after going in different directions, we met each other again and got married.) [Mrs] T's other brother was wounded in 1968. The three were at times all on the same ward at Bethesda Navel Hospital.
One of [Mrs] T's sisters had 3 sons who all joined the Marines in the 80s & 90s. One is now a U.S. Marshall. He's probably seen us on their pictures taken of the D.C. FReeps at the White House. [Mrs] T currently has two cousins (brother & sister), He's an MP in the Army and she's also an MP, but in the Air Force. They both have had three tour of duties in Iraq. A niece recently got out of the Navy but married a sailor while serving. He is still serving in the Pacific Fleet.
Our immediate family also has a strong military back ground. One daughter joined the Navy but was medically discharged due to a continuous reoccurring injury sustained during basic training in Chicago. Another daughter joined the Marines, served for five years pre 9-11 and eventually married a Marine she met while stationed at Quantico.
Our only son also joined the Marines. He waited to join until an MP slot came open. He is now a Staff Sgt. and a NCIS investigator. The NCIS commander of Cherry Point, NC sought out our son and requested that he be transfer to NCIS. We are very impressed with his career. Concretebob who meet our son only once, was also impressed with him. Concretebob jumped at the opportunity to go with us to his SSgt. promotion ceremony at Cherry Point. It was a family affair. His uncle, the retired Colonel, was present. The colonel was our son's commander's commanding officer a few years back. Our son's cousin, the helicopter pilot, actually swore him in. Its great having so many family members in the Camp Lejeune, NC area. Makes visits so much easier. We were overwhelmed when ALL of the Marines we met during our son's promotion described him as the "BEST". Not just good at his job, but the "Best". Made us very, very proud of our son's "most excellant" reputation.
Our sons best memory of the Marine Corp was when he was a LCpl. stationed in Albany, GA. While still an MP, he was on guard duty when an Iwo Jima Vet passed through the gate. We our son read the Vet's DD2 form inorder to get on base and saw that he was at Iwo Jima. Our son snapped to attention, saluted the Vet, and told him to proceed. That "Old Corps" attitude got our son an invite to an Iwo Jima reunion in Georgia. Our son was in Marine Corps heaven listing to the "salty" stories. As it turns out, one of the Vets at the reunion is from Olney and is [Mrs] T's American Legion Post commander.
Our family's military history is the reason for our screen name's tag line: Never Give Up - Never Give In - Remember Our Troops
It is also why we swore to never let an anti-troop group have free street or sidewalk time to themselves. We will be there countering their negative messages even if it is just the two of us.
We are also firm believers that FreeRepublic does not have the resources and manhours to counter the many anti-troop demonstration. We are diligent in trying to coordinate and inform other similar pro-troop, pro-USA groups to attend each other's rallies. For short notice of a rally, if each group can only muster a few members, those few will add up to a respectable number.
We have contacts with the Protest Warriors, local college student groups like the Collage Republicans (CR) and individuals at the Leadership Institute (LI). While LI is a non-political organization, there are individuals that support FR at Walter Reed and its rallies. As an example, at the February 25,'06 Walter Reed Rally, 15 G. Wash. CRs show up. Free Hit Counter