THe Harting Family

THe Harting Family

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.