Today the girls and I relaxed at home and started watching the first Twilight, then the second ... The love story is so strong and compelling. It reminds me a lot of Jamie and I and the bond we had. I remember it often and at times I wonder if it jaded me a bit, not in a bad way but in the way of setting my standards so high it's hard for someone to reach them.
As I type this I think about the day the girls and I had today, would it be different if Jamie was here? The answer is no.. We would of all lounged in our pajamas and watched movies cuddled on the couch together.. Just enjoying the moment. When I think of anyone else taking that place it is still unimaginable to me, while I know at some point there may be that option, I just don't see it now.
At the start of the last Twilight my phone rang and I was reminded of a request made by the Kansas Koyotes for me to do the coin toss at today's game. It was nice to be welcomed and invited ... I appreciate it but all the work that goes into it is at times overwhelming. Organizing volunteers and then getting equipment ready. Making sure I have everything loading in my car and kids my girls good bye. Sure,it looks cool getting my photo on the field but do you understands what goes into the daily operations of a non profit? The work each day from not only me but hundreds of VOLUNTEERS daily.. I'm amazed and thankful to the people who have my back and understand the purpose, the pride and sacrifice that has gone into the Military Veteran Project. We all smile because we can <3
I learned through the death of my husband that we have been at war far too long, I have learned that people have forgotten. I learned that before my husband was wounded he felt like America didn't care. I learned how to care for my husband and I leaned protocol and military operations. Everything I learned wasn't luck it was survival it was what I had to do to keep my husband alive for our wedding anniversary or to hear lil Lexi read her first book..
I promote the positivity in my posts, my encouragement for others to never give up, just as I have nor will ever give up on carrying on Jamie's dying wish.. But something as a simple as a coin toss isn't luck.. It is a mere freedom denied to many and a freedom of going outside the safety of my home, driving on a road with our IEDS or bombs and waking into a public place and choosing the items I want to buy..Each day will come with a smile and an encouragement just know the reason I live each day because my husband can not and I will use my freedoms on American soil because I can..
And I will never forget the man who loved his country so much, he was willing to die for it and he did.
I am thankful for today, for the ability to hurt and heal.
This morning among many things I am getting ready to travel to Fort Riley to meet with families, command and soldiers to show support for the fallen and be the face of a survivor to give hope to others..
I remember a little bit of my life after Jamie passed away on March 21, 2012.. what I remember the most is all I wanted was Jamie to wake up and come home to the girls and I. It was a haze of events for the first six months after Jamie passed, I did everything I could do to stay busy and never have a moment of free time to realize the true reality of my life. I started volunteering, speaking and running away from waking up from the traumatic events I had endured the last year of Jamie's life.
Each person grieves in a different way, each person loves in a different way, each person lives in a different way and I was no different from thousands of other military families who had suffered a loss. All each of us ever want is to hold a sign that says welcome home to our Military Hero and see them smile one last time, but to so many we are denied that opportunity.
Five Fort Riley soldiers killed in Afghanistan helicopter crash
Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2013/12/19/3187709/moran-5-soldiers-killed-in-afghanistan.html#storylink=cpy
Five of the six soldiers killed in Monday’s helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan were from Fort Riley, authorities said Thursday.
All five soldiers were assigned to the 1st Infantry Division’s 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, Fort Riley said in a news release. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
One person aboard the Black Hawk UH-60 was injured and survived the crash in Now Bahar, Afghanistan.
Officials originally said the helicopter had experienced engine failure before the crash, but they later said it was unclear whether that was the case.
According to initial reports, the troops had mechanical problems and came under fire after the crash. It was unclear whether any of the casualties were the result of enemy fire.
The five Fort Riley soldiers have been identified as Chief Warrant Officer Randy L. Billings, 34, of Heavener, Okla.; Chief Warrant Officer Joshua B. Silverman, 35, of Scottsdale, Ariz.; Sgt. 1st Class Omar W. Forde, 28, of Marietta Ga.; Sgt. Peter C. Bohler, 29, of Willow Spring, N.C.; Spc. Terry K.D. Gordon, 22, of Shubuta, Miss.
Also killed was Staff Sgt. Jesse Williams of Elkhart, Ind., who was with the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany.
“We offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of these Big Red One soldiers,” Maj. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, 1st Division and Fort Riley commanding general, said. “We stand ready to support them, and I urge our community and nation, while remembering their sacrifices this holiday season, to do the same.”
U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said in a statement, “As we pay tribute to their service and sacrifice, we are reminded that freedom is not free.”
Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2013/12/19/3187709/moran-5-soldiers-killed-in-afghanistan.html#storylink=cpy
Take a moment of your time to show your veterans you support their service, stand for a disabled Veteran who can not, live for a veteran who gave his last breath for you to exercise your freedoms and protect the family they left behind.
"Never should one person use their popularity as a platform to voice their personal opinions.." -Melissa Jarboe
Today, I posted the above quote on social media and while the world was in the midst of an uproar over Phil Robertson, many of us were in shock at the cuts to Military retiree benefits to thousands of veterans around the world.
Personal opinions of Senators, Congressmen or others voting on bills are irrelevant - from my understanding these men and women are to be the voice for the rest of the nation. Granted, they represent states, districts or county citizens, their job is to consider the well being and benefit those they serve. That is right, those they are SERVE. They are voted in and may easily be voted out.
take a moment of your time to show your veterans you support their service, stand for a disable Veteran who can not, live for a veteran who gave his last breath for you to exercise your freedoms and protect the family they left behind.
Click the link below to sign the petition, take a moment of your time to show your veterans you support their service, stand for a disabled Veteran who can not, live for a veteran who gave his last breath for you to exercise your freedoms and protect the family they left behind.
Washington (CNN) -- The Murray-Ryan budget plan, which passed a key Senate vote Tuesday, punches way above its weight. The relatively skinny, 77-page bill would affect millions of Americans, as well as programs, fees, companies and, oh, the entire economy for years to come. Here's our scorecard:
• The Pentagon: There are smiles among the camouflage. Thanks to Murray-Ryan, the budget-cutting hatchet has been downsized to a knife. The deal reverses billions in budget cuts so that the military's discretionary budget will actually go up $2 billion next year (over the budget-cut amount this year). Also, after years of juggling unpredictable, temporary spending bills, the two-year budget deal allows generals and admirals to do something that is military 101: Plan ahead.
Budget deal passes key Senate vote
Sen Paul: New budget is a step backwards
Murray: Budget deal was a compromise
Budget deal angers military retirees
• Federal employees: Two biggies -- the deal slashes the chances of a shutdown in January or any furloughs in 2014. And there's a bonus: A technical change in the bill allows federal workers who are married without kids to obtain health benefits under a new, cheaper "self plus one" category. They currently have no option but "single" or "family" plans.
• The needy: Head Start, Meals on Wheels, just about any federally funded program that directly serves the needy could benefit from Murray-Ryan. How exactly the numbers will land is still unknown, but because the budget deal replaces budget cuts for nonmilitary programs, nonprofits are hopeful. "This is good for us," Jenny Bertolette from the Meals on Wheels Association of America told CNN.
Another benefit: As with the military, these programs will know their funding levels for two years and can do critical planning.
• TSA: The Transportation Security Administration wins from increased security fees -- the budget gives the agency more reliable funding.
• Appropriators: Imagine Muhammad Ali in his prime, with boxing gloves on but forced to sit outside the ring. That's how the members of Congress' appropriations committees have felt for years. Once considered to be some of the most powerful people in the capital, the lack of any long-term spending agreement has nearly cut them out of the process. Until now. The Murray-Ryan plan means appropriators are back on the canvas and will decide how to carve up more than $1 trillion, agency by agency.
Zelizer: Obama's rough year
• America's reputation: For three years, the world has watched the U.S. government limp from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis. The budget deal sends a message that even a deeply divided Congress may be able to do its job and govern.
• Santa: No fiscal cliff. No health care debate. Santa and his sleigh can lift off without any cable channels showing partisan bickering from the House or Senate floor this year.
• Young, career military: This compromise deal will mean less retirement pay for military retirees younger than 62. Specifically, it cuts the annual cost-of-living adjustments to a level under inflation.
CNNMoney: 5 things the budget deal won't do
• New federal workers: You've got a government job! Congratulations! But if you start that job after January 1, this budget bill would cut your pay by 1.3%. That would be an increased, mandatory contribution to the federal pension fund.
• Unemployed: The clock is ticking, but the budget agreement does nothing to address unemployment benefits, which expire this month for about 1.3 million Americans.
• Air travelers: You will pay more to be safe. This plan boosts the TSA security fee to $5.60 for each one-way trip. Technically, airlines pay the fee, but you know how that works. A few companies have already admitted that the increase will probably be passed on to consumers.
• Scammers and con artists: The budget deal makes it harder for anyone to access and use the Social Security numbers of dead people. And prisoners? Think twice about trying to get an unemployment check. That's illegal, and this deal will make it harder for you to pull off that scam.
• Gas and oil industry: Two hits: The petroleum industry is set to lose a $50 million research program and a kind of backdoor moneymaker in which oil companies purposely overpay into a federal fund and gain higher-than-market interest payments from the government as a result. That's fini.
• Wealthy federal contractors: This may be hard to believe, but right now, federal law will pay up to $952,308 in salary for any single contract employee. The Murray-Ryan budget deal would cut that down to $487,000.
• The years 2016-2023: While this budget deal significantly blunts forced budget cuts (the "sequester") set for the next two years, it would leave those cuts at full power for the following seven years. In addition, this bill adds a new set of forced budget cuts and a few extended fees (customs fees, for example) for 2022 and 2023.
• The long-term future of the U.S.: Medicare. Social Security. These fiscal monsters may be silent now, but are set to rise over the next two decades to become huge financial threats to both the federal budget and the U.S. economy. This bill does not address the coming long-term problems.
My name is Melissa Jarboe, military spouse, wounded warrior wife and war widow. Today and everyday moving forward, I will honor the sacrifice of our men and women who selflessly serve our nation.