THe Harting Family

THe Harting Family

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Not So Wordless Wednesday

During this holiday season please take a moment to remember our wounded warriors. I am posting a photo of two of the several Wounded Warriors who are recovering from our last deployment. The courage these young men exhibit makes me want to be a better person. Although these are certainly not the first nor will they be the last, they are our bravest and still fighting their own fight..for recovery. Please do not forget them, please do not turn away from them. Instead of staring please go up and thank them and ask them what happened. I have been told they prefer that to the stares. So to The Darkside Families of our wounded, know we are thinking of you all and we are still here. And of course to our Darkside fallen, we are forever grateful and we will never all our Wounded and Fallen from every service across this nation...THANK YOU.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Please Read

My friend Mary who lost her husband on our last deployment is getting ready any second to deliver her and Lukes son. This is their third son. Please take a minute to go to her blog and read about what it is like for her to grieve at this time and read how beautifully she expresses something we should all one knows how it feels to go through this unless you have yourself. She is amazing...I had to share

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Some Good and Surprising News to Share!

Well fellow bloggers. I know I have been off line a bit with my blogging. But as usual I promise I am keeping up with all of you and what you are up too. With homecoming, our trip to Slovenia (I promise to post pics soon) and our ball things have been crazy. Well I forgot I didn’t share some super exciting and unexpected news.
Last month we were up in Kingman preparing for our trip to Europe. My hubs and I were at a tattoo parlor (post for another day) when I see my hubs checking his phone for an email (I had heard the notification) . Well as usual I see my hubs looking with interest at the email and was waiting for him to share the email with me for what seemed like a long time. So I asked him, “what is it babe?” I was sure it was bad..he wasn’t sharing and he seemed incredibly pale so I was starting to worry. Again, I asked him, “What is it babe?”. After what seemed like an eternity my hubs came up besides me and laid the cell phone next to me on the bench and just pointed at it. I picked up the phone to see an email from SgtMaj Cochran, Gregs old SgtMaj from our last duty station. And I read the contents, “ Congratulations on your selection to SgtMaj” ........WOWSA.
Now I was in shock, surely this wasn’t right, a joke maybe? Someone with the same name? Just couldn’t be right. The reasons being a few. My hubs was in the below zone for SgtMaj, not just in below zone but way down buried in the below zone. So far down we weren’t even sure if he would be in zone next year. No one ever gets pulled out of the below zone for SgtMaj. at least not that we were aware of. It wasn’t even on our radar this year...we were so out of the loop with looking for this message to come out because we figured there was just no way. Those of you that read my blog and understand, above, zone and below will completely understand our shock.
It took about a whole day of not believing and about 100 congratulatory emails and text before we realized it was true. So I guess this may mean a possible PCS for us, and exciting new adventure. When I met my hubs he was getting ready to go in the Corps and I asked him what he wanted to be, he said he wanted to be a SgtMaj....well babe, you did it. And I could not be prouder.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Marine Corps Birthday Ball 2011

This year our son attended his first Marine Corps Birthday Ball with us. He has just attended his own at school for ROTC but this was his first with us. It was so nice, he came with a lovely young lady who dressed so nice and was so polite, our son has great taste. What I loved was how some of the Marine Corps Officers that were ROTC Midshipmen came up and introduced themselves to him and asked him about his program. Michael was feeling a bit out of place wearing a midshipmen uniform to a Marine Corps Ball but that quickly went away when he felt the camaraderie with other ROTC Alumnae.

This picture was taken at the Caesars bar the night before the ball, we had a great time just sitting there and as we did more and more people were coming to celebrate. Lets just say I drank a bit more then I would have liked but still had the best time.


more, me and my hubs...

This was taken at Shadow Bar after the ball, if you notice I have changed out of my fancy wear since my feet were killing me and I didn’t have any flip flops to put on or I would have, these ladies are the best!

Me, Dawn, and Michelle. These girls were my rock during deployment and well Dawn is being Dawn! LOL

Me and Dawn. Dawn is about 5ft Tall and well I am not..I look like an amazon next to her!

Me and my handsome hubs. He always looks so handsome and he always makes me feel like the prettiest girl in the room.

Some of the Lima ladies with Dawn.

The ball was amazing this year. The room was beautiful and the mood was awesome. We started off the ball with a montage of our fallen, it was a bit hard to swallow and I did my best to hold back the tears but it was hard not to think of those not with us that night. I felt like they were, and I wished more then ever my friend Mary could have been there. She was home awaiting the birth of her son but when Luke flashed on the screen I felt like she was there with us. We also were able to see some of our severely wounded Marines that were able to make it as well. It did my heart good to see the spirit of these young men was not left on a piece of ground in Afghanistan, but it was fully intact and evident in their smiles in that ball room. I know some of them have a long way to go but I have no doubt they will get there. What an amazing night, I love the Darkside and I love that we have these memories forever.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veterans Day 2011

Happy Veterans Day to all of you that serve or who have served this great country of ours. And to a Veteran that never got the thanks deserved, R.I.P. dad and thank you for laying your life on the line for an ungrateful nation and to all his friends that came home to the U.S. of A. only to have backs turned to them, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. Let us hope that no other veteran ever knows the pain of our Vietnam Veterans and their families. My father was K.I.A. in Vietnam and I know today he would be proud to see how we honor our vets coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Let not another single vet ever be forgotten or rejected ..... THANK YOU.

Monday, October 31, 2011

3/4 Memorial Never Forget

Lo there do I see my father. Lo there do I see my mother and my sisters and my brothers. Lo there do I see the line of my people, back to the beginning. Lo, they do call to me, they bid me take my place among them, in the Halls of Valhalla, where the brave may live...forever.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Love and Gratitude

On Monday, after a 24 hour delay, the love of my life finally made it home. On Sunday the day before, finally , after a very long and stressful deployment, I had a mini break down at the main gate hanging signs for my love and some of the others that couldn’t make it to homecoming that I offered to hang signs for. I thought I had been doing good, I thought I had kept it together....and I did, until we were 24 hours away from it all being over. At the gate with one of my dearest friends, Dawn...I almost completely came apart. I was agitated, I was irritable and I was throwing a temper tantrum. I was feeling the complete opposite that of a woman that was 24 hours away from getting her husband home safe. It was really difficult for me to try to understand why I was feeling that way, I actually knew why but up until then I hadn’t given those feelings a voice. To be quite blunt, I was seriously pissed off.
I was pissed off because there were 5 families that weren’t getting to hang signs, to know the joy we were all feeling at the end of this deployment, from all accounts one of, if not the most difficult deployments some of our Marines have been through. Not only did we lose 5 brave souls, we had 90 of our men, wounded. These are the statistics the media doesn’t report, and how about the countless others that were going to come home or who were already home with invisible wounds. This deployment sucked and at the end of it I found out I was pretty angry. I wanted to be thrilled that day, hanging our sign, welcoming our men home but I found myself really angry and I wanted to hit someone. I expressed this to my friend Dawn who told me if I hit her she was going to hit me back, and she would have no doubt, so that kind of made me snap out of it.
Monday the morning of our homecoming our men were again delayed several hours, I was called by another great friend Michelle who let me know , her husband had come home on Advon so she was anxious as only a real friend would be for me to have my homecoming and as excited as she was on the day of her own homecoming. So her and Dawn came over to my house that morning, Starbucks in hand to sit with me to help keep it together for this day, another friend came to do my hair so I would looMk pretty for my husband. During the day I had chatted with the mother of one of our fallen, and the wife of another of our fallen, who I also consider a dear friend. Their pain was palpable, this would have been their homecoming day as well, these were 2 of our Lima boys, and they were having a hard time, rightfully so. I didn’t want to tell them that I was angry they weren’t getting their day, so much so that is colored my whole day the day before, because if I have learned anything going through deployments it is that these things didn’t happen to me, it’s not about me, it’s about those families, the Goyets, the Lucas’s and the countless other families that have lost their heros. They both assured me that although they were struggling they were so happy we were all getting our Marines home safely. And I know they meant it.
The day of my homecoming I decided to take off my “advisor” hat and just be a wife waiting for her husband, the whole day I stayed home waiting to hear that our buses had rolled on to base, once I got the call that my husband was on base I made it to the field. It was a festive day, we had a family drive all the way from Texas to BBQ for their son and all his brothers, it was quite amazing and a huge task that we will never forget so thank you Delay Family. I found a corner to hang out in with my dear friends and we all gathered getting frequent updates about their arrival at the armory, and it took FOREVER, Did I mention the Commandant of the Marine Corps along with the SgtMaj of the Marine Corps decided to go greet our men at the armory and after came over to the field to chat with the families, it was really nice and they had come the night before as well to greet our PMT and some others. I will tell you there were countless times that I would look at children playing waiting for their their dads that I didn’t wish I would see Zach and Tyson waiting for their daddy, smiles ear to ear. Or hugging one of our moms wishing it was Martha as well here to greet Mark, their absence was so obvious to me, as I am sure it was to many others that day . I would like to add I keep referring to Mark and Lucas because they were Lima Marines, but in no way does it mean our other fallen didn’t cross my mind on countless times that day. Paul, Christopher and Jason were with us on that field that day as well...and we will always say their names at every give opportunity. Jasons grandmother and mother left lovely comments on my facebook the day my husband came home, Jason would have been home this week as well, and I will be at that homecoming and I will be wishing and thinking of his family as well. They are amazing woman that I feel lucky to have had been able to have a dialogue with.
Ok I am rambling. What I want to say is I am thankful, and my heart is full of gratitude to have my husband home, and my sons father. I know I am lucky, I will never take it for granted the gift I have received to have him come home. And I am grateful for friends that “get” it. I am also looking forward to helping my friend Dawn on her homecoming day, and until they all come home, I will keep waiting.
To our Darkside Families that lost their heros...we love you, we support you and we will never forget.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

When We Were Very Young

When I was growing up I was very tall and awkward. When I was 12 I was taller then most the boys I knew. It made me have terrible self-esteem issues and I never felt like I was pretty. It didn't help that my cousin Joni was what I considered a beauty. She was of average height and blonde hair and what I thought "perfect". Obviously many years later as I grew into my height and felt comfortable in my own skin I was so happy those "awkward" years were behind me. I have a husband I adore, that adores me. We have a son we are so proud of that will do great things in the world, at the very least he is a young man of great character and empathy and he just never ceases to make us proud.
So back to my story. I was on a Facebook page that was about the neighborhood in Philadelphia where I grew up . The admins put up a question everyday and todays was, Where did you hang out as a kid? So I answered. So long story short I get a message from one of the woman who read what I had written and asked me who my mother was (I don't have my maiden name on Facebook) and when I told her she was so excited that she knew me. She said I hung out with her cousin and she was a bit younger then me. She said she will never forget me because she thought I was a "Supermodel" because I was so "tall and beautiful" and that she loved when I came around because I was so nice to her and she thought when she grew up she hoped she was a "beautiful" as me. I have to say that pretty much floored me. So I was talking to my son about it later. I told him about the exchange and I told him, boy I wish I would have known that because I felt so ugly when I was growing up. And my son says to me, "mom, most beautiful girls feel that way." WOW...really? Now don't get me wrong, I don't in any way think I am beautiful , I am sure my son does and I am positive my husband and parents do because well, they love me. But I just thought what an interesting day...why do we spend so much time as young people so insecure, why don't we tell others how beautiful we think they are? Why is being a teenage girl so hard and why are we so hard on one another as females. I know it's deep....but really, don't you think it matters?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Unexpected Finds

Hi Everyone!! I know bad blogger. I have been reading all your blogs and enjoying them as often as I can. Nothing like sitting down with a cup of coffee and catching up on all your bloggy goodness.
I have found myself really distracted these days, for those of you that have been following my blog you know we have been dealing with, going through, suffering through, holding our breath through.....deployment. The good news is we are XX amount of days from homecoming!! I couldn't be happier for everyone of us.
One thing I do know for sure about deployment is you never really stop learning and having new experiences as a person alone with your thoughts, a lot. I had a lot of eye opening moments this deployment. I learned what true Grace was by seeing a woman and a mother carry herself in a way I didn't even know possible at the loss of her husband. I thought I knew the true meaning of Grace, I was wrong. I feel blessed to have been witness to it and have it become part of what inspires me as a mother and a wife.
I have seen friendships tested, some have failed miserably and some have blossomed in a way that more then makes up for those that failed. Some lessons (especially at my age) you think you have learned, only to realize that basically some life lessons are garbage in and garbage out, and need to be re-learned.
The good thing about re-learning a lesson is you see it through more mature lenses...and reminds you to keep focus on the things that are truly important.
I have gained a few very close friendships through all of this that I have no doubt will last longer then this duty station, and I will be in touch with these woman for a long time.
So....stay tuned for some happy news coming soon and pics!! Happy Days are right around the corner.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My Son...I Miss His Face

I love facebook, and I love that my son is my facebook friend. And every now and then I find a gem that I can lift off his it is, let me share...

Monday, September 12, 2011

I WON!!!

Ok, so the title of my post is deceiving, what can I say? I didn't actually win, but when I am done you will see I in fact did. A few months ago they were having a Spouse Appreciation contest with MCCS. I had seen the flyer about it because well I glanced at it and after almost 2 decades of marriage, I knew it just wasn't something my hubs did. I knew he appriciated me, I have no doubt but he really isn't a contest kind of guy. So I will admit when I found out that he did in fact enter, and write something from the hell hole he currently resides at I was FLOORED. My hubs?? Did what??? So when I was lucky enough to be given the essay he wrote I read it with tears in my eyes. I mean, I know I am a lucky girl, always have, and never needed to "win" a contest to know it. But after reading this essay I had realized that I did win. No matter what MCCS says, no matter who they deemed the "winner" of this contest, I have in fact hit the jackpot and I am definitely the winner in my eyes. Thank you to the worlds best husband for this amazing gift, I love you and miss you more then words could ever express, you are my prince. I hope you enjoy the essay as much as I did.

How Can I Not?
The question at hand is why I appreciate my military spouse. The simple answer is how can I not? How can I not appreciate a woman that has been my base of support since before my career even began? A woman that was there the day I shipped off to Recruit Training, and has been there every day since. A woman that has lifted me up when I was down, held me accountable when I was wrong, and never failed in giving me a dose of reality when I got too full of myself. A woman that helped me raise a son that is now an Honor Student in college and future Marine Corps Officer.
How can I not appreciate a woman that followed me first to Japan, then to Europe, then to Africa, and then to TWENTYNINE PALMS! A woman that has had multiple careers so that I could excel at one. A woman that has been with me for my lowest of lows and helped me through my deepest darkest moments? A woman that has stayed home through multiple deployments as a single parent. A woman that has attended funerals for my friends and my Marines in my stead. That has borne the brunt of the grief of their families alone because I could not be there where I should have been to see them off.
A common saying amongst spouses is that “the hardest job in the military is being a military spouse”. If asked, Heidi would tell you that is certainly not the case. She would tell you that military members have a huge responsibility and therefore so do their family members, but that being a military spouse is a privilege. She would tell you that being a military spouse is a life chosen and therefore doesn’t rate any special appreciation.
Over almost two decades I have had very little to disagree with her on. However, seeing her over the last months of my current deployment as she has held the family members of my Marines together, bolstered them during the tough times of which there have been many, shared in their successes and in their grief, helped the young ones figure out this Marine Corps life and shared faith with the seasoned ones, I have found I must disagree with her on this.
How can I not appreciate a woman who is just as responsible for my successes as I am? Not just career successes but life successes. How can I not appreciate a woman that has made me a better Marine, a better leader, a better citizen, a better person?
So why do I appreciate my military spouse? How can I not?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Simple Words

I can't verbalize what that morning in September has meant to me, my family and the country. But I know people were lost that day and our troops have sacrificed every day since. I think the words that are important are the words inscribed on the memorial itself.

No day will erase you from the memory of time.

from Vergil's Aeneid

Monday, August 29, 2011

Please Read

I want to share a new blog with you all. It was started by Mary, Mary is an amazing lady. She is the mother to two fabulous little boys and one on the way. She is a woman of deep faith and Grace that I have rarely witnessed. Mary is a Marine (I would say Former but once a Marine always a Marine) and a volunteer, a teacher to her boys, and a wonderful supporter to fellow mil-spouses. Mary is also a brand new War-Widow. I didn't want to add that, because she is so much more, but she may forever be defined by that last title she has recently earned, not by her choosing, just the hand she and her boys were dealt. Her husband SSgt. Leon Lucas (Luke) was much loved and respected by all those who knew him and will never be forgotten. His loss will be mostly Mary's and her sons. We will stand by her in dark times and good times and hopefully for the rest of time. But I want to share her blog because in the short time I have come to know Mary, she has taught me so much. So please if you can support her blog please do so.
Thank you!
PS..couldn't hyper link her banner please just click Mary, Mary..thank you...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Amazing gRACE

Yesterday a group of the wives from our battalion went down to San Diego to be part of the America's Finest Half Marathon. Not all of us were runners, and some of us were but just couldn't run 13 miles for various reasons and some were running. But here is the what we all were doing, no matter if we could run or not, we were going to honor our fallen from our 3/4 family. This day wasn't about running, it wasn't about a single one of us but it was about reminding people that they should remember our fallen, our bravest this country has to offer and to NEVER FORGET. We all wore these fantastic shirts that were made by one of our Darkside Moms and on the back listed in order were our fallen. Our men are still in the fight, and we want to honor them as well. I have to tell you, if you can run, if you can't , whatever your shortcomings or strengths you have a voice, you can remember our fallen and our men still fighting. Put a sign in your front yard, take a marker to your shirt and put some names on it. Pick a name at random from the MANY there are. Take a name from a past war, put it on your facebook status, twitter it. The point is find a way to remember them, to say their name, to let others know them. To NEVER FORGET.






Monday, August 15, 2011


Today while I was getting my son's stuff together to take him back to his sophomore year in college it dawned on me. When the wars started my son was in the 4th grade. Now he is going into his second year in college and his dad is still in the fight, we are still doing this. It has been such a huge part of our lives, a dominating force that has controlled so much of the last 10 years I can barely remember what we used to have to plan around.
It really puts things in long we have been doing this.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Do You Want Your Homecoming in a Music Video???

I very rarely have guest bloggers and never promote contest, but this one is well worth posting. It's for a great cause and I would love to see some of my readers have a chance of getting their homecoming featured in a music video. Also the sale of the CD as mentioned promotes Fisher House which I endorse 110%. Do you know there is a Fisher House at Dover AFB? It is a great place of comfort for families going to see their heroes final return to their final duty station. Fisher Houses are also a place where the families of our Wounded Warriors can stay to help care for their loved ones and spend quality alone time with their hero. Please take a minute to read and think about submitting your own homecoming, I can not wait to see the finished product.

I want to thank Heidi for letting me be a guest blogger on her Empty Nest & All The Rest blog. I'm helping a company promote a contest where they will be featuring videos of military personnel coming home/seeing their families for the first time in a long time. The cool part about this contest if you're a music fan is that 10 of the videos we get will be featured in a music video that will be played on channels like GAC, CMT, and other music channels. The person who uploads the our favorite video will be flown to Nashville to be on TV and introduce the premiere of the music video with the artist on GAC.

The song is "Soldier Coming Home" by Jamie O'Neal. If you're a country fan you probably remember Jamie's number 1 hits "There Is No Arizona" and "When I Think About Angels". It will be released on a CD called My Country Smash Hits 2 in November. The CD also features songs by Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert and more.

What's special about the CD is that some of the proceeds go to the Fisher House, which provides housing for military families when their loved ones are injured so they can be close to them while they heal.

You can upload your videos at right now. Hopefully one of the readers of this blog will be lucky enough to win the trip to Nashville or get their video featured in the music video. Thanks again Heidi for letting me share this info with your readers and I hope you get to see your husband soon.


Adam Moore

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


My heart is heavy, my head wants to explode, this deployment may be too much at this point. Is it ever going to get easier? Is it ever going to stop? Will I come out of the other end of this without anger, bitterness and feeling defeated? We have another name, not a stranger, not a young man I may have passed in the hallway while visiting Battalion, or maybe a young man that held the door for me while coming to visit my husband. But a name I can put a smiling face too, a person that I laughed with, and who my husband had great affection for. A man with a wife I have spent hours chatting with, who I was really looking forward to getting to know better. Of a young father I witnessed pushing his sons around in a cart at the commissary while finding food to make for his wife while he was home briefly from some training, a man that has left the world with 2 young sons and another on the way, each one that has eyes that look back at me with the gleam of their fathers. My heart is heavy, my thoughts now with Mary, his wife and their sons. Knowing how this is hurting me, and imagining his brothers still in the fight, mourning one of their fierce warriors, one of their brothers, another name for the hero scrolls, but to us not just another name.
RIP SSgt. Leon Lucas Jr. KIA 8/1/11 We will never forget you....

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Anatomy of a Military Spouse

**This is a blog post from my friend Kama, our husbands work together and are deployed together. Kama is a rare soul. She is a military spouse, she is an athlete, she is a mother but most of all she is a great friend. Always upbeat, always optimistic and always trying to help others better themselves in a non preachy very helpful way. She blogs on Semper Finest Care Packages and this is one of her latest post and I wanted to share it with you all. I hope you all love it as much as I do.

Anatomy Of A Military Spouse

You walk past a woman with two kids in tow. She seems frazzled, as her kids begin running around her in circles, though she barely seems to notice. On her wrist is a band you recognize, but only abstractly. You can tell it must be her last name, and that the print is military in nature, but you aren’t sure what branch she is representing. It doesn’t matter now, it clicks in your head – she must be a military spouse. Since it is a Saturday afternoon at the park and she seems to be alone, coupled with the bracelet adorning her wrist, you make up your mind her husband is deployed. You are right.

You feel bad for her, for her ‘situation’, as it looks like she could use some help and might not be getting any for quite some time. Her kids are fighting, and she swoops down with the calm of a mother and sternness of a father, dousing the fire before it gets out of hand. You are impressed at her swiftness, and how able she seems despite being a single parent. You catch her eye and she smiles, and you see something more, something beyond the basic observations you made earlier. She is strong. She’ll be fine. You are right.

At this point you sit down at the picnic table where she has now opened a book and settled into her afternoon at the park. You tell her your name, and that of your kids’, and she gives hers as well. You get up the nerve to ask her if she is military and she says that yes, she is. You go one step further and ask if her husband is deployed. He is. Wow, you say. For how long? How do you manage at home with two little ones and no help? She smiles and says, A year, but I have help. She goes on to tell you of her ‘sisters’, other military spouses who are going through the deployment with her, some with kids, some without, all unified in their strength to not just survive this, but thrive in it. They take turns running while one watches the kids. They get together in the evenings for a glass of wine once a month at least. They understand that with loneliness comes solitude; that with his absence comes independence. Interesting. She seems like she has it all under control. You are right.

She works full time, takes the kids to soccer and ballet, recitals and school plays, doctors’ visits and dentist appointments, and sometimes – just sometimes – she reads a book at night till she falls asleep. She smiles guiltily like she considers it a vice. She runs marathons, has a college degree and again, sheepishly, confesses to love The Real Housewives of L.A. Most of all, she loves her kids and her husband. Wow, you say again, this time to yourself, this is one of the most amazing women I have ever met. You are right.

Aren’t you scared, you ask her. Of what, she replies. That he might not come home you answer somberly. Her smile fades, and a look of peace and wisdom beyond her years creeps over her face. I am a military spouse, she says with pride. I chose this life as much as my husband did. I am prouder of him and his sacrifices than I could ever be afraid. Because the thing I fear most is having nothing to stand behind, to stand up for. I believe in him and if he doesn’t come home, I will let my kids know what a hero their dad is. You take this in a moment before you reply. You don’t want to sound corny, or out of place, but she is the hero too you say. You are right.

Monday, July 18, 2011

It Could Have Been Mine

Our battalion lost another Marine this past week. A young Marine, a LCpl by the name of Christopher Camero. It hasn't made it to the Media yet, but I am sure it will soon. LCpl Camero turned 19 years old this past February, just 3 months older then my son. LCpl Camero graduated from High School last year with the class of 2010. The same year as my son. But this wasn't mine, but it could have been, it hit close to home. My heart goes out to this young mans family, his mother, those he loved. Christopher was from the beautiful Island of Hawaii. I am not sure where he will make his final resting place. I am not sure how he will be honored and remembered but I do know I will never forget this was someones son. Aren't they all someones son? Please remember this young man and say his name.


Day is done, gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky
All is well, safely rest
God is near.
Fading light dims the sight
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright
From afar, drawing near
Falls the night.
Thanks and praise for our days
Neath the sun, neath the stars, neath the sky
As we go, this we know
God is near.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


My hubs, he has grown some hair which is so odd to me, I am so used to the bald head. He is under strict orders to return home sans hair..!! This is the first image of him I have seen for months!

Nothing can take away the pride I feel for my husband and his Marines. The Marines of 3rd Battalion 4th Marines rock. And the Marines of 3/4 Lima Co. Well I have an extra soft spot for these guys. They have faced a difficult deployment and they still have a fair amount of time left, but my heart could literally explode when I think of them, of all the 3/4 Marines in general. I think of our families of our wounded, the ones you don't see in the paper, or the news crawls, the ones that have seen their Marines come home missing a body part or nursing a gun shot wound or wounds. Who although their deployment is over, it isn't really because now they are nursing their wounded Marine, and knowing that their Marine wants more then anything to be back in the fight, back with their brothers. And even though they have done their part and their brothers are grateful they are still alive, it is something that will sit with them until they are ALL home. My heart aches for the families of our fallen, how they are dealing with their grief while we are still waiting for our Marines to get home. Are they still waiting? Does that feeling ever go away for them? It's a part of my thoughts every day, at least once maybe twice or more, "how are they doing today?"
I reflect over the first part of this deployment, and how far we still have to go and I am grateful for the friends I have made, some I know will be friends for life, you don't go through this stuff without finding what people are made of, that is for sure. I am so grateful to a handful of ladies that make all this bearable. We have been there for one another and we will continue too. I think some of our husbands will be so surprised to see that some of us are now as close as some of them are, it should make for an awesome Marine Corps Ball this year that is for sure. I just hope everyone is thinking about those still out there. As our current administration spins tales about the draw-down and those of us in the know want so badly to think it is true but know deep inside that it's still a long road for our loved ones. We know that our husbands have not stepped on the sand in Afghanistan for the last time.
Well I started this blog just to show you all my handsome hubs but thought I would write something to go along with it...
Please send your good thoughts to all our Marines of The Darkside.

Friday, July 1, 2011

It Wasn't My Intention....

It was never my intention to have to turn my blog into a Memorial site but I am afraid that is what it has become these last few months. I learned earlier this week that my husbands company lost another Marine, our Battalions 3rd in 6 weeks. My heart breaks a little more with every Marine that we lose, every family member that we have to say good-bye too. I am friends with this young Marines mother on facebook, as the family readiness advisor I have the pleasure of getting to know a lot of our families. I am not sure if that makes it better or worse. It just is what it is. Marks father as you will read below is a Navy Commander, which makes Marks mom a Navy Wife as well as a Marine Mom. She is asking for prayers and healing and I wish I could hand deliver those both to her I would in a second. Please keep this family in your thoughts, please like I have asked and will continue to ask from my readers is say this young mans name, let us never forget his sacrifice.
Please keep 3/4 "The Darkside" in your thoughts as well. Thank you.
Thank you Cpl. Mark Goyet, we will never forget you.

CORPUS CHRISTI — A Sinton Marine killed Tuesday in Afghanistan has been promoted posthumously and is being honored for valor in combat.

Mark Goyet's family learned Thursday he was advanced from lance corporal to corporal and is being awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with "V" for Combat Valor.

Goyet, 22, was killed in action Tuesday during combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps on Feb. 25, 2008, and was in his second combat deployment. He volunteered for service in Afghanistan after serving in Iraq.

A Marine casualty assistance case officer visited Goyet's family for several hours Thursday and informed them of the increased rank and medal, the Marine's father Navy Cmdr. Raymond Goyet said.

Mark Goyet's body was expected to arrive in Dover, Del. Thursday, but U.S. Department of Defense officials told the family it could take several days before he will return to Texas.

"Plans for funeral services and memorials will be made as our son arrives home," Goyet said.

The younger Goyet was a mortar man assigned to 3rd Battalion, 4th Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Marine Corps Ground Combat Training Center Twentynine Palms, Calif.

His other service awards include the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal and Afghanistan Campaign Medal.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Say His Name

Yesterday I had the honor to attend the funeral of a young Marine from our Battalion that was KIA on 11 June. His name was LCpl. Jason Daniel "Iron Man" Hill. He loved fishing, running, his friends, and was described as a fierce protector of all who knew and loved him. He was raised by a single father with 2 other brothers, he was the middle child. I would also like to mention his mother Patrice who also is mourning the great loss of her son. As a mother myself this type of loss is unimaginable. I believe Jason found god with the help of his mother and his grandparents. At the end of Jason's service they played a beautiful rendition of the national anthem and we were all blown away by the depth of this song. We found out that Jasons mother had actually recorded it and it was beautiful. His father was a Marine, his older brother is currently serving and was also deployed to Afghanistan when he was notified of his brother being killed and he escorted his brother home. He also has a younger brother who intends to follow in his families footsteps and join the Marine Corps as well.

The Hill men were amazing yesterday, I could see that the loss of this son, brother and friend will leave a huge hole in their lives, but they wanted no one to mistake that Jason died doing what he loved, and what he believed in. His father wanted us all to go speak of Jason, to tell them that he was a hero, that he understood what he was doing, and he chose to do it. He wants everyone to remember men like his out there still, Jason's other brothers. I have to say his father was an incredible man and did everything he could to make us all "know" who his son is and was.

I would say for me the most touching part of the service, there were many, don't get me wrong but the one that resonated with me was when a friend of Jason's spoke and talked about text messaging Jason up until he got on the plane to leave for Afghanistan. She asked him to be careful and he answered her and said, "I am so excited, I am about to go do what I have been waiting my whole life to do."...This was his first Deployment.

The Hill family laid their hero to rest at his final duty station, Point Loma National Cemetery. It was easily one of the most beautiful serene places I had ever seen in my life.

God Speed, Jason Daniel "Iron Man" Hill You will never be forgotten, as long as I have breath in my body I will say your name.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Finally Some "Light"

I know my blog has been a bit of a downer the last few weeks, even maybe months. But deployment and knee surgery has worn on me a bit. Our Battalion is having a rough go of it, and being hobbled since November has not helped my normal "sunshiney demeanor". We still have a bit of a way to go with our deployment, and we are getting through it, together. I have some fantastic ladies in my life, all of us in the same boat. We are getting one another through this, any way we can. But we are and that is what matters. So on to something a bit "lighter".
My knee! So as some of you who follow my blog know I have had a knee issue for awhile, a friend and I decided to go to a spin class the day after Thanksgiving to work off our big meals. During that class I was hurt, I sucked in up for a few weeks hoping it would get better on it's own. It never did, and after a misdiagnosis, and physical therapy I was finally sent to a fantastic orthopedic surgeon in Rancho Mirage who found out the real issue (torn meniscus) and he operated on me and I am now, about 6 weeks out feeling fantastic!
One of the ladies in our battalion started a running/walking club. Until recently I was the limper of the crowd, but I still did it, got myself out there and limped week after week, but really envious of the runners and wanted so badly to join their ranks again. Well about 2 weeks ago I went back, not as a limper but a walker, forward progress that I was happy with. One of the ladies, asked me if I would like to try and walk with her instead of the 2 days a week our club meets, maybe 5. I said, Sure! So we did, first week walking and sometimes running and it felt really good. This week we decided we should start trying to do the C25K program and I happily agreed and we completed our first week yesterday! I have to say it killed me, and at times I thought I was literally going to fall out on the track but I pushed through and did it! My endurance has taken a huge hit, I feel like I may be about 100 years old. And not only that but in 29 Palms it is about 100 degrees 8am in the morning so we moved ourselves to 7am .
Next week we start week 2, I am a little reluctant but determined to just get through it, if it doesn't kill me it will without a doubt make me stronger, and I have lost 12 pounds since my surgery so I am feeling very optimistic about getting back in shape again!
So that is my "light" I can see shining brightly in my tunnel right now. Thank goodness for support networks during deployment and training cycles. Thanks goodness for having a goal to focus on during tough times. I am truly a lucky girl to have such great friends that even when I want to give up on myself they throw up the BS flag and tell me, "not so fast"....THANK YOU.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Great Bracelets

I don't advertise on my blog, just something I am not comfortable doing it. But a friend of mine Dawn makes the cutest Name Tape Bracelets ever! She has been our go to girl this deployment to get our Marine Pride Gear and I know she is doing Navy as well. Just go check out her blog at and check them out. She also makes Keychains and pacifier clips and I think she is even going to do yard signs. Dawn is incredibly artistic (she used to be an Art Teacher) and she loves making things that make us all smile. I think you will like them so go check it out!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Thank You

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

I want to thank you all for reading my last blog post, especially those that were able to share it on their own blog as well as Facebook and twitter.
We in the military community that have experienced loss in our Military family know how important it is to not forget the names of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Ryan kept repeating that wish at every turn, even in the depth of her pain that was what she wanted us all to do, remember Paul. Remember Cpl. Zanowick. So for those of you that helped get his name out there, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Cpl. Zanowick went to his final resting place yesterday, but it is up to us to shout his name and all the others that went before and will go after.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Please Say His Name

On Friday our Battalion lost our first Marine.
Cpl P. Zanowick II
. When I heard the news I was devastated as you always are when the reality sinks in, "my husband is at WAR" Not that you ever forget but until the first man falls it's easier to compartmentalize what is going on. Ok, we have had wounded, ok but they are going to be ok. But a death is final, stinging and sobering. When I received the news it was a double blow because Cpl. Zanowick's wife and son were a big part of our group. She belonged to our Thundering tHERD running club and she was well liked and cared for. To now imagine that she was in such deep pain was almost too much for us to bear. I was comforted by the fact that I knew she had people with her, people to look after her and Uriah and a lot more people willing to drop everything to help her. Ryan is also a Marine, she no longer serves but as you know a Marine is always a Marine. She more then all of us understand what it means to make that commitment. Of what you as a Marine are willing to give for your country.
Over the last few days Ryan has been expressing her desire to keep her husbands name on our memory. To remind us all that his sacrifice deserves at least that, to be remembered and in doing so he will not be lost to us forever. So please if you could spare a spot on your blog to post a little bit about Cpl. Zanowick please do so. Please let your readers know he was a fantastic human being, a loving husband and a great dad to his little boy Uriah who will be turning 2 in August. Thank you and thank your CPL PAUL ZANOWICK Third Battalion 4th Marines "The Darkside"

Fallen Marine's family honors his life
Updated: Wednesday, 08 Jun 2011, 7:19 AM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 07 Jun 2011, 6:29 PM EDT

Megan O'Rourke
Miamisburg, Ohio (WDTN) - Tuesday afternoon, the Zanowick family found a peaceful refuge on the back porch of their Miamisburg home. It was a quiet escape from the emotional events that have unfolded over the last few days.

On Friday, 23 year-old Corporal Paul Zanowick Junior was killed by enemy fire while on patrol in Afghanistan.

"I just want people to remember him for who he was," said Ryan Zanowick, Zanowick's wife. "You know not only was he a great Marine, but he was also a great son, brother, husband and father".

Moved by the tragic of events of 9-11, Paul Zanowick Senior said his son knew early on that he wanted serve his country. Zanowick enlisted in the Marines in January, 2008.

"He had such a sense of wanting to protect us," said Paul Sr.

"You don't want this day to happen. That was a huge fear, but i respect what he choose to do and I honor it, but I would gladly have gone instead," he added.

Cpl. Zanowick made the ultimate sacrifice, but it has not gone un-noticed. American flags now hang in his honor throughout the Zanowick's Miamisburg neighborhood. A touching tribute that the family says is helping them heal.

"Overwhelming," said Zanowick Sr. "I just want to thank everybody who has contacted us, tried to contact us, prayed for us. If not for the prayers I'm not sure we could do this".

Saturday, June 4, 2011

When I Wake Up

I am sharing a post my friend Kama left on our Battalion facebook page. She is an incredible lady with a lot of strength that really gets what is important when your husband is deployed. Not allowing yourself to wallow in misery and keep going to honor what your husband is doing by keeping yourself strong. I was so incredibly moved by her writing I asked if I could share it all with you. So here it is..I hope you like it as much as I did.

When I Wake Up.

When you left, I wanted nothing more than to fall asleep. Not the quick-20-minute-I-forgot-my-coffee-this-morning-catnap kind of sleep, but more along the lines of Forever Young, Mel Gibson’s 50-year-long, deep kind of slumber. The kind where you sleep through the hurt, your body only registering a pang of hunger when it shakes the dust off, instead of the longing it aches through now. The kind where you wake up and everything is better, different. You have skipped the hard stuff, the sleepless nights filled with worry, and awaken like Aurora to your prince charming. It would be a nice dream you had instead of the nightmare I feel like I’m in now. I would tell myself it was worth it too – worth the aging on the other side for the relief right now. No delayed gratification here. I want the easy way out.

When I wake up you will be there, by my side, the valiant hero coming to get me – the princess in waiting. When I wake up you will be home safe, and that will be enough for me. But wait, no, I didn’t get your letters. Sorry, I was sleeping. And oh, I am sorry I missed your calls to check in on us. We’re fine, don’t you see? We meant to send you packages to let you know you were loved, but we figured you wanted us numb to the war you wage across the planet. I’m so very sorry you felt like we weren’t there for you – we were, but just with our eyes shut… heart barely beating… brain stagnant. I also meant to do so many things; paint you pictures, read you stories, hike new trails to take you on when you got home, raise our daughter to remember you and make you her hero, take a class or two. Wow, you’re right, I am thirty now. Asleep through the end of my third decade. Well, yes I guess there are worse things. Like the fact that our daughter is three. How could I miss that, knowing now you don’t even have pictures of her happy day? And I’m sad that she doesn’t know who you are because I wasn’t there to teach her that, yes, you are away fighting for our country and our freedom, but not far from our hearts. I missed so much while I slept through this, and was it really all worth it? No. I take it all back. I want to fight with you. For us, for our love, for our daughter and her unshakeable love for you I don’t ever want her to lose. For adventure and growing while we are apart so we fit better when you get back. For the knowledge that anything worth having is worth the struggle, the heartache, the pain.

So I will be there when you get home, arms tanned with the sun of summer days spent teaching our daughter to swim, legs made strong with the weight of her in a backpack on the trails of our new town, a heart built up with love and pride and strength that I played my part in this fight and met adversity with the gloves off – ready for anything that came my way. I will be there for you like you are there for me; even when the phone doesn’t ring and the postman’s bag is empty, I know what we have is worth it all.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why I Love Marines

I love Marines. I love the families of Marines. I love how once you are a Marine you are always a Marine. I love how Marines remember and share their history. I witnessed it growing up when men that served with my father would show up at important events in my life because my father could not. Like an unspoken oath to look after one another. I am so proud that I have had the honor to share my life with these men. Know that the truth is , "The only people that understand Marines are the Marines and the enemy." I feel privileged to have known some fantastic Marines. I was reminded of this today when I received an email from my husband telling me he received 6 care packages from someone in North Carolina and it was accompanied by this letter....

1stSgt Harting,

It is we who thank you and all the Marines of Legend 3/4 for answering the call and defending the freedoms we hold so dear. Know that your cause is respected and supported by those you defend, and please pass along our gratitude to all the Marines of the “Thundering Third”.

My father was a platoon commander with Lima Company 3/4 in Vietnam during Operation Hastings and went on to serve 31 years in our beloved Corps…I am certain he is looking down from his final resting place with admiration as you continue to create the history and legacy of that fine fighting establishment! As he once told me, “Keep your head down and your powder dry”.

Semper Fi,
David Richards

I was so moved by this, because I know that most of us in the military community feel like most of America is checked out on us. But to know we will take care of one another no matter what is what gets me through the day sometime.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day---I Love You Dad

Every year on Memorial Day I have always made it a special point to talk about my father. My father who was killed in Vietnam when I was an infant. A father who I never met, and have no memory of. I almost feel like he belongs to someone or something else. When I was growing up every year on Memorial Day our family was always asked to participate in Memorial Day activities. It was always something we did and we were so proud. I honestly had never met another person that had lost anyone in a war. I was an oddity. We actually never talked about it and it really only came up around Memorial Day. I always had such a great sense of loss, not only for losing my father when I was an infant but for losing him is such a way that was so abstract to most kids my own age that no one really understood. So fast forward many years later and the current wars, Iraq and Afghanistan people started to pay attention, a whole new generation and a whole lot more people to remember. Now I didn't only have a father to remember on this day but friends, and sons of friends. And now there is no shortage of people who speak at and attend Memorial Day events. I wish it wasn't that way, but it is. So please take a moment this weekend and remember all those who sacrificed for us, who gave all. Its not a lot to ask, at least I don't think so. And Daddy, I have never stopped thinking about you, you were my first hero, and I know you are in good company.
I love you.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


I Know it is cute to say so, to have the sticker in jest...
but being the wife of a military man is not the toughest job in....
The Marine Corps....
The Navy.......
The Army......
The Air Force.....


I received this picture from my husband of one of the local children in his area of operation. He told me the kids there are so cool. Aren't kids everywhere for the most part? This started me thinking again on how hard it must be for our men fighting over there. During the day they interact with these wonderful children and at the same time fight the men that sometimes these children grow up to become, the Taliban. I can't imagine how these children view their world. I know they love the Marines, I know the Marines love them. I am thankful that my son doesn't experience this type of world. There is a huge difference between knowing your father is going to fight in a war and all that means then actually living in a war zone. I have lived in a lot of places, and I can tell you all people are the same. A quote I heard somewhere but can't recall from who was, "all men have a dream for their families" I know that is true, even in the villages of Afghanistan where the simple farmer raises his children, whatever it is this man has a dream for his children. I am comforted in knowing that after the harvest and before most of the fighting starts, the farmers leave with their families. It comforts me to look at this photo and know when the bad stuff starts hitting the fan this little boy will have hopefully been long gone. I hope someday these children can live in a place where roadside bombs are not part of their lives, where the fear of the Taliban doesn't stop a little girl from going to school. After ten years I wonder if these children will ever be born in too a better place. This young boy looks like maybe he is 5-6, and that means he has never known anything but war. Actually all of the children have known only the Taliban. I wish for a better life for all these children, of freedoms we know and liberties only they can imagine. Their life is a simple one, to live off the land, and provide a life for their children, probably the same simple life they have or maybe even a better one. I just hope the day comes when they will have a choice for themselves.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Man, My Man is HOT!

I was lucky enough to get some pics of my hubs from the front. I am only going to share this one because of OPSEC and stuff like that , not sure what types of landmarks in the others could give away his location...a lot of people don't think about that but it has been drilled in my so many times. Yes the tree line could be identified and pin point your Marines exact location. I think this one is pretty generic, so I thought I would share. I love this man, I miss this man and all I am focused on is his homecoming and getting to do all the things we like to do. I still do all those things since life doesn't just stop when our men are gone but it's never really as much fun when he isn't there. I love you babe, hurry home!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Knee Surgery

High everyone!! What not high? Well I am! Tee hee hee. And it's the best kind, the legal kind. Today I had knee surgery for a Meniscus repair, or ectomy..not sure what the doc did because I wasn't able to speak to the doc but he will be calling soon. Anyhow the above picture is what my knee would look like, if it wasn't covered with tons of ace bandages and padding, but I just wanted to give you an idea of what it looked like before it was all bandaged there is the pic, not mine but had I had a pic. So not bad, a bit swollen and I am off it for 3 days for the most part but it's really not that bad. What it is, is a new start to get myself back in shape so I can again, run, workout and just get around without pain. I have been living with this since the day after Thanksgiving last year. I am ready to get it over already.
I also find myself surrounded by some amazing women. I had my surgery in Palm Springs about an hour and a half from base. When I got there with my son (who is really taking care of me so wonderfully) one of the ladies stopped by to see me, just to make sure I was good. Since I have been home I have had 2 complete dinners delivered to me, flowers and texts from other ladies that have the rest of the week covered. Nothing makes the heart swell more then seeing people want to help you out for no other reason other then they just want too. I have found this group of women some of the most fantastic in our 17 years in the Corps as a whole. We have just banded together to get through what we know will be a rough Spring and Summer.
My son is also a huge help and has already won over all the ladies, they see now why he is so special to me. Not only because he is my son but because he is just a wonderful human being.
Still no word from my hubs which kind of bothers me, not for any other reason then I know wherever he is he is worrying about my day, hoping everything went well with my surgery and I hate that I know he is doing everything he can to call and he just may not be able too.
Well here is to the start of me getting back on track with my knee pain free!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Sometimes life gives you exactly what you need. Exactly when you need it. I love you babe and miss you too.

Friday, May 13, 2011

5 Weeks

The Poppy is beautiful...

Hubs hooch

Hubs and his CO's racks...

My hubs loves the village kids, look at that face. Who could blame him?

My hubs is tall, as you can see it really makes the living quarters tight for our big American guys...

So happy for the passage of days but even more for the passage of WEEKS! Things are going along well. Picked up the kiddo from college this week, so glad to have him home for the summer. Something very comforting about having your kid (no matter how old they get) under your roof. My hubs ability to communicate with home base has been sporadic. Apparently MCCS has what I call an "Ice Cream Truck" is actually a mobile Exchange with Wi-Fi and when the Marines see it coming they run to it like an Ice Cream truck. I was actually able to skype with my husband for a little bit ... the truck was only there for the day but it was an awesome surprise to see him and see he is ok. He was able to send some photos which I will share, nothing to give anything away, just the general scenery and living conditions. His guys are doing ok. Any good thoughts to send their way would be appreciated. I have to say I like to think of my hubs being on a tropical vacation ... it makes my days go by much easier and less stress induced insomnia.
But this brings me to another thought, sharing information. A few days ago I get a call from one of our wives about an incident she heard about with our Marines concerning wounded and contact with the enemy. She was very upset, and told me another wife had called her telling her all this stuff was happening and I would have bet a weeks pay that the wife was lying, making things up. I of course knew this because I had just talked to my hubs and he looked relaxed, sounded very good and no signs of anything like this happening as of yet, I mean we are expecting it but it hadn't happened yet. So like I always do I draft an email to my hubs and tell him about this craziness his Marines are reporting to their wives. Well low and behold I was replied to by a very upset husband explaining to me that this information doesn't serve any purpose other then to upset us back home and he had explained this to his Marines and the fact that this information is being relayed to the homefront in his words, "is pissing me off". So now I am left in the position to talk to this young wife and explain to her that she shouldn't be sharing this information with the other wives. This is her first deployment and she views deployment through the eyes of a novel, very romantic and starry eyed. Not realistic at all and she is sharing information that other wives do not necessarily want to hear. Ugh, I am sure her husband will not be sharing much information after the tone of my hubs last email. I have spent a lot of time with a lot of the young wives, and new wives and I have to say, I am concerned with their views on deployment and the repercussions of their actions. Have you come across any of this in your encounters during deployment? I realize in the infantry our population is very young, most of the wives are very young and facing first deployments. How have you approached the wife that feels it is her duty to report on all the happenings her husband tells her? How does it make you feel?