Protected by
Heavenly Father's Arms
(Formerly Known as "In Harm's Way")

Your prayers are requested in behalf of these brave souls
(and their families left behind) who serve "in places dark and dusty".

(Colorful phrase courtesy of Michael Brophy, 09/07/03, who learned its meaning first-hand during his seven-month deployment)





Nicolas Allred Jala's Brother

 Returned to Home Base
7 Dec 2003

Jeff Andersen Kevin and Leslie's Friend

Returned to Home Base
22 June 2003

Gregory Auer Kevin and Leslie's Friend  
Jeff Becker Paul and Carol's Friend Deployed 6 Sep 2003;
Due Home Dec 2003
Jeff Benefield Kevin and Leslie's Friend

Returned to Home Base
31 May 2003

Jeremy Brock Kevin and Leslie's Friend

Returned to Home Base
May 2003

 Chris Biederman    

Kay's Friend

Civilian Adviser
Attached to the Army
Darrel Bouton Paul and Carol's Friend Deployed 29 Feb 2004

Returned to Home Base

Returned to Home Base

Ian Boyd

Paul and Carol's Friend

Returned to Home Base
24 May 2003

Michael Brophy

Paul and Carol's Friend


Returned to Home Base
26 June 2003

Steve Bruington Paul and Carol's Friend

Returned to Home Base
04 October 2003

Chuck Burton

Jean and John's Son

Returned to Home Port
Mid-April 2003

Beth Check Paul and Carol's Friend Leaving 17 Mar 2004;
Due Home June 2004
Melissa Chock Kevin and Leslie's Friend  
Scott Coon Kevin and Leslie's Friend

Returned to Home Base
May 2003

Adrian Costanada Jenco's Brother Deployed 2 Sep 2003; 
Due Home March 2004
Scott Curry Kevin and Leslie's Friend  
Kamm Davis Kevin and Leslie's Friend Wounded 04/03: Sgt. Davis, 31, was standing with his upper body exposed from the top of his light-armored vehicle as it pushed forward in a late-night convoy southwest of Baghdad.
     Suddenly, another light-armored vehicle in front of him came to a stop and Sgt. Davis' vehicle swerved to avoid it. After skidding down a berm, his vehicle rolled on top of and then completely over him.
     Amazingly, Sgt. Davis was not crushed. While he was badly hurt, suffering some internal bleeding, he was standing on his own at the hospital Monday.
     "It's a miracle that I'm alive," he said. "I just thought, 'Oh my God. Oh my God, I'm gonna die.'  " -
By Guy Taylor

Returned to Home Base
13 Apr 2003

 Senior Civilian Advisor
Attached to the Army

Paul Dobie Class of '66

Returned to Home Base
07 Dec 2003

Jeremy Drage

Paul's Friend

Returned to Home Base
23 June 2003

Civilian Adviser
Attached to the Army

Bill Elliot

Paul and Carol's Friend

Returned to Home Base
Mid-April 2003

Mark Empey Kevin and Leslie's Friend  

Jason Frix

Carol's First Cousin's Son

Returned to Home Base

Civilian Advisor Todd Givens Our Friend - Class of 1965 Leaving Feb 2004

Returned Home
August 2004

Tony Gonzalez

 Paul and Carol's Friend

Returned to Home Base
11 May 2003

Jeff Hawkins Kevin and Leslie's Friend

Returned to Home Base
22 June 2003

Jason Hise

Rick and Shari's Nephew

Returned to  Home Base
Third Week of May 2003

Chris Holman Paul and Carol's Friend

Adrian Hope

Cheryl and John's Son-in-Law

Returned to Home Base
13 June 2003

Michael Hubbard

Paul and Carol's Friend

Returned to Home Base
5 Sep 2003


Returned to Home Base
2 Mar 2005

Brandon Kelly

Paul and Carol's Friend

Returned to Home Base
Mid-April 2003

Redeployed 16 Sep 2003

Returned to Home Base
20 Dec 2003

Sean King Kevin and Leslie's Friend

Returned to Home Base
28 June 2003

Michael Kotter Kevin and Leslie's Friend

Returned to Home Base
22 June 2003

Joshua Kulp Paul and Carol's Friend

Returned to Home Base
12 Aug 2003

Mark Kunz

Paul and Carol's Friend

Returned to Home Base
3 May 2003


Returned to Home Base
10 Dec 2003

Chase Lester Rick, Shari and Tyler's Friend  
Dan Marshall Paul and Carol's Friend

Deployed 2 Dec 2003; 
Returned Home 13 Dec 2003

Laura McManus Pam's Daughter

Returned to Home Base
 1 Dec 2003

Luke Merano

Nathaniel's Friend

Returned to Home Port
29 May 2003

Jack Owens Lewis and Mary's Friend  
Don Paradice Sandy and Linda's Cousin

 Returned to Home Base
October 2003
" recover from ill health while in Iraq.  They are considering sending him back once he is well."

Redeployed 2 Nov 2003 
Returned to Home Base
June 2004

Brian Penrod Dickie and Leslie's Son

Returned to Home Base
 11 May 2003

Nick Percy Kevin and Leslie's Friend

Returned to Home Base
May 2003

Will Phifer Sandy and Linda's Cousin's Husband

Returned to Home Base
 19 July 2003

Rob Powell

Paul and Carol's Friend

Returned to Home Base
Mid-April 2003

Redeployed Sep 2003

Returned to Home Base
 22 Oct 2003

Andy Ratliff Kevin and Leslie's Friend

Returned to Home Base
May 2003

Arch Ratliff Kevin and Leslie's Friend

Returned to Home Base
Early May 2003

John Riding Paul and Carol's Friend

Returned to Home Base
 1 Mar 2003

William Robinson Kevin and Leslie's Friend

Eric Satersmoen Kevin and Leslie's Friend

"Thought I'd give you a quick update on Eric Satersmoen. He returns to Camp LeJeune on Memorial Day and is being flown by the Sect of Navy to a Memorial Day program in St. Paul, Minnesota the same day. (He's from Prior Lake, MN). God bless you the support you are giving to our troops and thank you for including Eric on your website."

Eric's Dad, Craig Satersmoen

Returned Home 26 May 2003

Daniel Schreiter Kevin and Leslie's Friend  
Ishtar Shabazz Michael and Leneen's Friend Due Home April 2004
Casey Shockley Kevin and Leslie's Friend  
Russ Smith Kevin and Leslie's Friend

Returned to Home Base
Late May 2003

Jade Sumsion Kevin and Leslie's Friend  
Solomon Teague Linda's Brother Due Home Dec 2003

Tim Trapp

Paul and Carol's Friend

Returned to Home Base
5 Oct 2003

Chad Trebil

Kevin and Leslie's Friend

Returned to Home Base
22 June 2003

Joe VonNiederhausen Paul and Carol's Friend  

Michael Walles

Linda's Son-in-Law


Doug Weitzel

Paul and Carol's Friend

Returned to Home Base
18 April 2003

Redeployed  16 Sep 2003;

Returned to Home Base
27 Oct 2003

Nathan Wilson

Kevin and Leslie's Friend

Bill Worthington Kevin and Leslie's Friend

Returned to Home Base
28 June 2003

Barry Zimmerman

Wanda's Cousin


If you have names you'd like added to this list, please contact the webmistress at <>.  Thanks!

I've Got Your Back

  I am a small and precious child, my dad's been sent to fight.
  The only place I'll see his face is in my dreams at night.
  He will be gone too many days for my young mind to keep track.
   I may be sad, but I am proud. My daddy's got your back.

  I am a caring mother. My son has gone to  war.
  My mind is filled with worries that I have never known before. 
Everyday I try to keep my thoughts from turning black.
  I may be scared, but I am proud. My son has got your back.
I am a strong and loving wife, with a husband soon to go.
There are times I'm terrified in a way most never know.
I bite my lip, and force a smile as I watch my husband pack.
  My heart may break, but I am proud. My husband's got your back.

  I am a Soldier, serving  proudly, standing tall.
 I fight for freedom, yours and mine, by answering this call.
 I do my job while knowing the thanks it sometimes lacks.
Say a prayer that I'll come home. It's me who's got your back.

 - Author Unknown

Poem courtesy of my oldest son, Lewis Harty of IL - 03/24/03.  Thanks, Lewis!

Flag and bugle image courtesy of: sent to me by my niece, Shari of VA - 03/28/03.  Thanks, Shari!

Prayer for Our Soldiers

"God, hold our troops in your loving hands.
Protect them as they protect us.
Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need.
Send them love, send them light, and send them home soon.

 Please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our troops. 
This can be very powerful. 
Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier, prayer is the very best one.

God Bless You!

Prayer courtesy of Sarah Puckett Kressaty of CA - 03/29/03.  Thanks, Sarah!

Military Prayer Point

This is a truly beautiful site, courtesy of
Cheryl Mays Howard ('66) of VA - 04/03/03.  Thanks, Cheryl!

 Light a Candle for Peace

Courtesy of Sarah Puckett Kressaty of CA - 03/31/03
and Janice McCain Rose of VA - 04/01/03. 
Thanks, Sarah and Janice!


"Preserve me, O God, for in thee do I put my trust."

- Psalm 16:1

Dedication to Our Soldiers

I don't know if you've already seen this......but it's good........Turn up the speakers.

Courtesy of Janice McCain Rose of VA - 04/04/03. 
Thanks, Janice!

This is, indeed, very moving.

This also seems to be broken at the moment. 
It is so powerful that I'm leaving it up in the hope
that the break is temporary.

Defend America

This web site came to me from a fellow Naval Academy alumnus. 
It provides a way to send your thanks to our service men
and women who are defending our freedom.

I would hope you can find a place for a link to this site for a few weeks; that should provide ample opportunity
for the regular visitors to add their names.

God Bless America,

Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 04/03/03

Thanks, Dave!

"But Thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head."

- Psalm 3:3

Project Constant Hope

Operation USO Care Package


Hi folks, I am enclosing a little poem I wrote.
I wrote this shortly after arriving here in the Persian Gulf, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
We had been getting sporadic news from the states and it seemed most of what we were getting was
about people protesting against the military being here.
Most can tell you that I am very passionate about what I do as a U. S. Marine.
So....I felt so strongly about the protests that sat down and wrote a little something that expresses
my feelings on the matter from the Marine side of the coin.
I shared this with a few friends and family.
I have become really surprised and humbled at the reactions I have received on this.
My wife, Shellie told me many had requested it, so, I am sending my poem, titled, "The Stand" to you.
I hope you enjoy it.
God's Peace.

I read in the news how you made a stand,
You marched in the streets of our country's land,
Trying to say who is wrong or right,
Telling our country they should not fight; 
Marching against Marines, like me, here,
Defending the rights you hold so dear, 
Assuming I love to kill and maim,
Acting like this is some sort of game; 
You call yourselves experts on what we should do;
On September eleventh, where were you, 
While thousands of Americans suffered and died?
Are you trying to say this is something you can abide? 
Were you at the funerals as they lowered the caskets?
Maybe you should remove your rose colored glasses.
I so want to feel the comforts of my home,
Where recently I left my family alone, 
Yet I'll do my duty in this far off land,
So you can march on Washington and make your stand.
Do not despise me for what I do,
Because truth be known, I do it for you, 
To hopefully free you from terror's arm,
So you can have your freedoms, free from harm;
What is the price for the life you live?
What is the payment you have to give? 
Is it starring in a movie, or singing a good song,
That has kept you free for all this long?
It is men like me, and others too,
Doing what our country calls us to do, 
Sailing the seas to this far off land, 
While you stay at home and make your stand.
I am not bitter, this is the life I choose,
So the rights you express so freely, you will not lose, 
You may not support me for what I do,
But you need to know, I do it for you;
When this is over, when we are through,
I would rather you just say, thank you, 
For giving you the time you had, 
To march in our streets and make your stand.


Courtesy of my friend, Judy, in IL - 03/30/03.
Thanks, Judy!

For the last several years I have watched the most selfish, ”I-me-mine-gimme-gimme” generation move from cribs to strollers to bikes to cars.  I have been amazed at, what my wife refers to as, the “micro-wave” generation demanding instant gratification.  The attitude that they are owed this and that and everything should be given to them …  not worked for, not earned …  but given.  Yes, I acknowledge that we all love our children, but the attitude has been so selfish. …UNTIL you hear something like this:

(paraphrased from a news story I heard on the radio)


Evidently on TV last night a newsman “embedded” with a group of U S Marines was giving a report and he had arranged a telephone connection for this particular front line outfit to use to call home.  When he asked the first three who they wanted to call..  “girlfriend, spouse, parents” he offered … all three said they would like to call Florida to the parents of a fellow Marine that had been killed in action. 
The reporter was overcome with emotions.


Just when you think they are useless kids …  they go and become real men and women. 
This generation has moved from cribs to bikes to cars and now to tanks, ships & planes way too quickly. 


May God protect all the kids that are protecting us.

This story courtesy of Jim Dossett ('66) of VA - 04/03/03.  Thanks, Jim!

I asked Kevin Eikenberry of if he had something appropriate for this page. 
He sent me the following version of Jim's story:

Martin Savidge of CNN, embedded with the 1st Marine battalion,
was talking with 4 young Marines near his foxhole on April 2, live on CNN. 
He had been telling the story of how well the Marines had been
looking out for and taking care of him since the war started. 
He went on to tell about the many hardships the Marines had endured
since the war began and how they all look after one another. 
He turned to the four and said he had cleared it with their commanders
and they could use his video phone to call home.
The 19-year old Marine next to him asked Martin if he would allow his platoon
sergeant to use his call to call his pregnant wife back home
whom he had not been able to talk to in three months. 
A stunned Savidge, visibly moved by the request,
nodded his head and the young Marine ran off to get the sergeant. 
Savidge recovered after a few seconds and turned back to
the three young Marines still sitting with him and asked
which one of them would like to call home first,
the Marine closest to him responded without a moment's hesitation. 
"Sir, if is all the same to you we would like to call the parents of a buddy of ours,
Lance Cpl. Brian Buesing of Cedar Key, Florida, who was killed on
3-23-03 near Nasiriya to see how they are doing". 
At that Martin Savidge totally broke down and was unable to speak. 
All he could get out before signing off was
"Where do they get young men like this?"

This story courtesy of Kevin Eikenberry of IN - 04/05/03.  Thanks, Kevin! and

Also sent by Janice McCain Rose of VA - 04/07/03.  Thanks, Janice!


"Perhaps it is time to post Kipling's poem, "Tommy",
on "In Harm's Way".  
While there appears to be high regard
for our service people right now,
it never hurts to remind ourselves how easily we can
slip into indifference when the shooting stops.

"The poem appears in many places on the Net. For attribution purposes, I got this one from:"

- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 04/03/03

Thanks, Dave!

by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,

The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.
We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!





















Nice Paint Job - Painted on the superstructure of the USS Bonhomme Richard

Courtesy of Janice McCain Rose of VA - 04/05/03.  Thanks, Janice!

Recovery of the USS Cole

Courtesy of my niece, Shari of VA - 01/21/03
Thanks, Shari!

Operation Prayer Shield

Courtesy of Cheryl Mays Howard ('66) of VA - 04/07/03.  Thanks, Cheryl!

Positive Pause

Courtesy of Cheryl Mays Howard of VA - 04/07/03.  Thanks, Cheryl!

Wave a Flag

Courtesy of Janice McCain Rose of VA - 04/09/03.  Thanks, Janice!

Send a Thank You Card to Jessica Lynch

Courtesy of Wanda Drews of TN - 04/09/03.  Thanks, Wanda!

Courtesy of Leslie Dick of NC - 04/11/03.  Thanks, Leslie!
She received it from SSgt. William G. Robinson, USMC. 
Thanks, Sgt. Robinson! 
And Semper Fi!

Again courtesy of Leslie Dick of NC - 04/12/03 - and again from
SSgt. William G. Robinson, USMC:
"Here is another picture that was taken off of the back of our Naval Ships.
It was sent to me by the father of the Sailor who took it.
His other son works for me."
Thanks so much, Leslie - and Sgt. Robinson!

Politics and Protest

"THIS is what our Nation is responding to.
Please remember that in the difficult times ahead."

"...takes a long time to load but it is beautiful and
very worth the wait.

Courtesy of Ann Estes Northcutt of IL - 04/11/03.  Thanks, Ann!

If I Die Before You Wake

"This is another beautiful site you might want to add to your site
under 'In Harm's Way'........check it out........."

Courtesy of Janet Gieseke of TN - 04/08/03,
Janice McCain Rose of VA - 04/13/03
 Mary Bennett Harty of IL - 04/15/03
Adrienne Harty of NC - 05/07/03 and
Celesta Johnston of AZ - 05/08/03. 
Thanks, Janet, Janice, Mary, Adrienne and Celesta!

Cheryl Mays Howard ('66) of VA shared with us this beautiful tribute she wrote to her son-in-law, Adrian Hope. 

Adrian and His Fish



Although you were a grown man when first we met,

Already so tall with dreams fixed and some spent,

Graduation day had already come and gone,

Achievements made and honors won,

And I with three daughters but not a son,

trusting in God's will to be done.

Though sorrowful to have missed

hearing your sweet voice ring,

or rocked you and sang of horses and kings.

God in His wisdom made you our son

by loving our daughter, with her you are one.

My eyes don't just see a tall grown man,

but the little boy with a fish in his hand.

In my heart the songs were sung long ago,

to a little boy I did not know.

And now the boy has become a man,

and a soldier defending freedom in a distant land.

Yet not alone, but girded with

A mother's prayer and God's perfect plan.

May you be safe and soon come back home,

and always know you're never alone.  


 - Cheryl Mays Howard ('66) of VA, Mother-in-Law

Adrian and Chera



                                              Courtesy of Cheryl Mays Howard ('66) of VA - 04/11/03. 
                                             Thanks, Cheryl!


"If there is one thing upon this earth that mankind love and admire
better than another, it is a brave man, --- it is the man who dares to look the
devil in the face and tell him he is a devil."

- James A. Garfield

 Courtesy of MOTIVATIONAL QUOTE of the DAY from
Thursday, April 24, 2003

The Final Roll Call

Courtesy of Cheryl Mays Howard ('66) of VA - 04/28/03.  Thanks, Cheryl!

Arthur Lee Galloway, Jr.
(14 April 1947 - 27 Mar 1971)

This page is dedicated to the memory of Lee Galloway,
York High School, Class of 1965,
Virginia Military Institute, Class of 1969,
who perished in Vietnam.

Lee represented all that was good and right and beautiful in this country.
He was one of the finest young men I ever met, and I delighted in our friendship.
I shall never forget his gorgeous red hair, his glorious smile and his infectious laughter.
Nor shall I forget the shock I felt on learning of his death. 
It had never occurred to me that Death could have claimed one so fair so soon in life, not him, not Lee. 
He was the brother I never had, and I miss him still.

- Carol Buckley Harty of NC - 05/01/03

The Men Who Won The War

By Jim Lacey 
(Jim Lacey was one of the imbedded reporters with the 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, KY .)

Since returning from Iraq a short time ago I have been answering
a lot of questions about the war from friends, family, and strangers. 
When they ask me how it was over there I find myself glossing over the fighting,
the heat, the sandstorms, and the flies (these last could have taught
the Iraqi army a thing or two about staying power). 
Instead, I talk about the soldiers I met, and how they reflected the best of America. 
A lot of people are going to tell the story of how this war was fought;
I would rather say something about the men who won the war.

War came early for the 1st Brigade of the 101st Airborne when an otherwise quiet
night in the Kuwaiti desert was shattered by thunderous close-quarters grenade blasts. 
Sgt. Hasan Akbar, a U.S. soldier, had thrown grenades into an officers' tent, killing two and wounding a dozen others. 
Adding to the immediate confusion was the piercing scream of SCUD alarms,
which kicked in the second Akbar's grenade exploded. 
For a moment, it was a scene of near panic and total chaos.

Just minutes after the explosions, a perimeter was established around
the area of the attack, medics were treating the wounded, and calls for
evacuation vehicles and helicopters were already being sent out.
Remarkably, the very people who should have been organizing all of this
were the ones lying on the stretchers, seriously wounded. 
It fell to junior officers and untested sergeants to take charge and lead. 
Without hesitation everyone stepped up and unfalteringly did just that. 
I stood in amazement as two captains (Townlee Hendrick and Tony Jones)
directed the evacuation of the wounded, established a hasty defense,
and helped to organize a search for the culprit. 
They did all this despite bleeding heavily from their wounds. 
For over six hours, these two men ran things while refusing to be evacuated
until they were sure all of the men in their command were safe.

Two days later Capt. Jones left the hospital and hitchhiked back to the unit:
He had heard a rumor that it was about to move into Iraq and he wanted to be there. 
As Jones -- dressed only in boots, a hospital gown, and a flak vest --
limped toward headquarters, Col. Hodges, the 1st Brigade's commander, announced,
"I see that Captain Jones has returned to us in full martial splendor." 
The colonel later said that he was tempted to send Jones to the unit surgeon for further evaluation,
but that he didn't feel he had the right to tell another man not to fight:
Hodges himself had elected to leave two grenade fragments in his arm
so that he could return to his command as quickly as possible.   

The war had not even begun and already I was aware that I had fallen in with a special breed of men. 
Over the next four weeks, nothing I saw would alter this impression. 
A military historian once told me that soldiers could forgive their officers any fault save cowardice. 
After the grenade attack I knew these men were not cowards,
but I had yet to learn that the brigade's leaders had made a cult of bravery. 
A few examples will suffice.

While out on what he called "battlefield circulation," Col. Hodges was surveying
suspected enemy positions with one of his battalion commanders (Lt. Col. Chris Hughes)
when a soldier yelled "Incoming" to alert everyone that mortar shells were headed our way. 
A few soldiers moved closer to a wall, but Hodges and Hughes never budged
 and only briefly glanced up when the rounds hit a few hundred yards away. 
As Hodges completed his review and prepared to leave, another young soldier
asked him when they would get to kill whoever was firing the mortar. 
Hodges smiled and said, "Don't be in a hurry to kill him. 
They might replace that guy with someone who can shoot."

The next day, a convoy Col. Hodges was traveling in was ambushed by several Iraqi paramilitary soldiers. 
A ferocious firefight ensued, but Hodges never left the side of his vehicle. 
Puffing on a cigar as he directed the action, Hodges remained constantly exposed to fire. 
When two Kiowa helicopters swooped in to pulverize the enemy strongpoint
with rocket fire, he turned to some journalists watching the action and quipped,
"That's your tax dollars at work."

Bravery inspires men, but brains and quick thinking win wars. 
In one particularly tense moment, a company of U.S. soldiers was preparing
to guard the Mosque of Ali -- one of the most sacred Muslim sites – when agitators in what
had been a friendly crowd started shouting that they were going to storm the mosque. 
In an instant, the Iraqis began to chant and a riot seemed imminent. 
A couple of nervous soldiers slid their weapons into fire mode,
and I thought we were only moments away from a slaughter. 
These soldiers had just fought an all-night battle. 
They were exhausted, tense, and prepared to crush any riot with violence of their own. 
But they were also professionals, and so, when their battalion commander,
Chris Hughes, ordered them to take a knee, point their weapons
to the ground,
and start smiling, that is exactly what they did.  Calm returned. 
By placing his men in the most non-threatening posture possible,
Hughes had sapped the crowd of its aggression. 
Quick thinking and iron discipline had reversed an ugly situation and averted disaster.

Since then, I have often wondered how we created an army of men
who could fight with ruthless savagery all night and then respond
so easily to an order to "smile" while under impending threat. 
Historian Stephen Ambrose said of the American soldier:
"When soldiers from any other army, even our allies, entered a town, the people hid in the cellars. 
When Americans came in, even into German towns, it meant smiles, chocolate bars and C-rations." 
Ours has always been an army like no other, because our soldiers reflect a society unlike any other. 
They are pitiless when confronted by armed enemy fighters and yet full
of compassion for civilians and even defeated enemies.

American soldiers immediately began saving Iraqi lives at the conclusion of any fight. 
Medics later said that the Iraqi wounded they treated were astounded by our compassion. 
They expected they would be left to suffer or die. 
I witnessed Iraqi paramilitary troops using women and children as human shields,
turning grade schools into fortresses, and defiling their own holy sites. 
Time and again, I saw Americans taking unnecessary risks to clear buildings
without firing or using grenades, because it might injure civilians. 
I stood in awe as 19-year-olds refused to return enemy fire because it was coming from a mosque.

It was American soldiers who handed over food to hungry Iraqis,
who gave their own medical supplies to Iraqi doctors, and who brought water to the thirsty. 
It was American soldiers who went door-to-door in a slum because
a girl was rumored to have been injured in the fighting;
when they found her, they called in a helicopter to take her to an Army hospital. 
It was American soldiers who wept when a three-year-old was carried out
of the rubble where she had been killed by Iraqi mortar fire. 
It was American soldiers who cleaned up houses they had been fighting over and later occupied --
they wanted the places to look at least some what tidy when the residents returned.

It was these same soldiers who stormed to Baghdad in only a couple of weeks,
accepted the surrender of three Iraqi Army divisions,
massacred any Republican Guard unit that stood and fought,
and disposed of a dictator and a regime with ruthless efficiency. 
There is no other army -- and there are no other soldiers - - in the world capable
of such merciless fighting and possessed of such compassion for their fellow man. 
No society except America could have produced them.

Before I end this I want to point out one other quality of the American soldier: his sense of justice. 
After a grueling fight, a company of infantrymen was resting and opening their first mail delivery of the war.
One of the young soldiers had received a care package and was sharing the home-baked cookies with his friends. 
A photographer with a heavy French accent asked if he could have one. 
The soldier looked him over and said there would be no cookies for Frenchmen. 
The photographer then protested that he was half Italian. 
Without missing a beat, the soldier broke a cookie in half and gave it to him. 
It was a perfect moment and a perfect reflection of the American soldier.

This selection courtesy of my niece, Shari of VA - 05/15/03
Thanks, Shari!

A Story Worth Sharing... An unreported story worth sharing...

At a recent Soldiers Breakfast held at Redstone Arsenal, AL, Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA) Jack Tilley shared the following story.
The incident was recorded by James Henderson, with the U.S. Army Redstone Huntsville Chaplain Association Chapter.

He -(SMA Jack Tilley) - described a recent visit to our wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Medical Center
in Washington that I (Chaplain Henderson) will never forget.

The Special Forces soldier had lost his right hand and had suffered severe wounds of his face and side of his body. 
As SMA Tilley described, how do you honor such a soldier, showing respect without offending?
What can you say or do in such a situation that will encourage and uplift?
How do you shake the right hand of a soldier who just lost his?
Finally he told how he acted as though the man had a hand,
taking his wrist as though it were his hand and speaking encouragement to him.

But he said there was another man in that group of visitors who had even brought his wife
with him to visit the wounded who knew exactly what to do.
This man reverently took this soldier's stump of a hand in both of his hands, bowed at the bedside and prayed for him.
 When he stood from praying he bent over and kissed the man on the head and told him he loved him.

What a powerful expression of love for one of our wounded heroes!
And what a beautiful Christ-like example!
What kind of man would kneel in such humility and submission to the Living God of the Bible?

It was George W. Bush, President of the United States and Commander in Chief of our Armed forces, a true leader.

This selection courtesy of Kay Wren of MI - 06/13/03
Thanks, Kay!

I knew there was something bothering me, something that was missing from
("In Harm's Way") with all its tributes and heroes and music.
And then I remembered about Ernie Pyle and Captain Waskow and World War II.

- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 06/17/03
Thanks so much, Dave!  It isn't missing any more.

Ernie Pyle, "Captain Waskow's Men Say Good-Bye," 1944

From the New York World Telegram; condensed and reprinted in Reader's Digest. March 1944. 53-54.


In this war I have known a lot of officers who were loved and respected by the soldiers under them. But never have I crossed the trail of any man as beloved as Captain Henry T. Waskow of Belton, Texas.

Captain Waskow was a company commander in the 36th Division. He was young, in his middle 20's, but he carried in him a sincerity and gentleness that made people want to be guided by him.

"After my father, he comes next," a sergeant told me.

"He always looked after us," a soldier said. "He'd go to bat for us every time."

I was at the foot of the mule trail the night they brought Captain Waskow down. The moon was nearly full, and you could see far up the trail. Dead men had been coming down the mountain all evening, lashed into the backs of mules. They came lying belly down across the wooden pack-saddles, their heads hanging over the left side of the mule, their stiffened legs sticking awkwardly from the other side, bobbing as the mule walked.

I don't know who the first man was they brought down. You feel small in the presence of dead men, and you don't ask silly questions. They slid him from the mule, and stood him on his feet for a moment. In the half light he might have been merely a sick man standing there leaning on the other. Then they laid him in the shadow of the stone wall.

We left him there beside the road and went back into the cowshed and lay on the straw and talked, waiting for the next batch of mules. Then a soldier came in and said there were some more bodies outside. We went out into the road. Four mules stood there in the moonlight. The soldiers who led them were waiting.

"This one is Captain Waskow," one of them said quickly.


Two men unlashed his body from the mule and laid it in the shadow behind the stone wall. Other men took the other bodies off. Finally there were five lying end to end in a long row. You don't cover up dead men in combat zones. They just lie there until somebody else comes after them.

The mules moved off to their olive groves. The men in the road seemed reluctant to leave. Gradually I could sense them moving, one by one, close to Captain Waskow's body. Not so much to look, I think, as to say something in finality to him and to themselves.

One soldier came and looked down, and he said out loud:

"God damn it!"

That's all he said.

Another one came, and said, "God damn it to hell anyway!" He looked down for a moment and then turned and left.

Another man came, I think he was an officer. It was hard to tell officers from men in the dim light, for everybody was grimy and dirty. The man looked, into the dead captain's face and then spoke directly to him, as though he were alive:

"I'm sorry, old man."

Then a soldier came and stood beside the officer and bent over, and he too spoke to his dead captain, not in a whisper but very tenderly, and he said:

"I sure am sorry, sir."

Then the first man squatted down and took the captain's hand, and he sat there for a full five minutes holding the dead hand in his own and looking intently into the dead face. And he never uttered a sound all the time he sat there.

Finally he put the hand down. Gently he straightened the points of the captain's shirt collar and rearranged the tattered edges of his uniform around the wound. Then he got up and walked away in the moonlight, all alone.

Welcome Home!

16 Oct 2002
Michael, Ben, and Leneen Brophy

Our "extra" son, Michael Brophy, returned home at 1:30 AM this morning, Thursday, June 26, 2003!
We are ecstatic!

- Carol Buckley Harty of NC, 06/26/03

The local paper asked me and the other Dallas area mayors to provide
a short piece on what Independence Day means to me.
The next day I e-mailed this to the reporter and she thought it was great.
So often we do not take time to reflect on such things, much less to write it down so that it might be read by others.
I readily admit that I became quite emotional thinking about my dad in this context.
Hope you enjoy.

June 24, 2003

Independence Day, the Fourth of July, means different things to different people.
Hot Dogs and hamburgers, lemonade, watermelon, home-made ice cream, family and friends flood my memory bank.
I also remember Old Glory, the Stars and Stripes and massive fireworks displays,
not to mention the patriotic music that still sends chills down my spine.
The Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful and the Battle Hymn of the Republic will stick with me for evermore;
but most of all I remember my father, that proud man who served his country well as a U. S. Marine.
Seriously wounded at Iwo Jima, he came home to live the “American Dream.”
He married, bought a home, had a son and worked hard all his life to provide for his family.
He never talked about the war or his wounds, but I found out after he died in 1990
that he left a big part of himself on that hell hole in the South Pacific.
What does Independence Day mean to me?
It means freedom, liberty, sacrifice and service.
Thank you dad and for others like you who paid with their blood so that we can live free,
independent yet inter-dependent lives in the good old U.S.A.

- Bill Turner - NNHS, Class of '65

Mayor, Ovilla, Texas

Thanks, Billy Turner!

4th of July 1967

A Soldier’s Story

It was July 4th, 1967. John Howard (NNHS class of '66) was 19 years old, 
and his platoon (101st Air borne Division) were out on patrol in Viet Nam.
They had not had baths in months.
They found themselves in a little open area in the jungle,
surrounded by hills with a riverbed that was dry but still had a stream.
The walls around the riverbed were about 7 ft. tall and about 20 or 30 ft. across.
In the middle there was a stream.
Not having had baths for months, it seemed safe enough to jump into the water, which was not very deep.
Instead of setting up a perimeter like they should have,
the men began to throw off the equipment and clothes and get into the water.
Not long after, they began receiving enemy fire, pinning them down in this small riverbed. 
Humor prevailed even in a life threatening situation.
The sight of nude soldiers returning fire wearing only boots, steel "pots", a
nd ammo belts while trying to get clothes on at the same time was just too 
The hysterical image of a lot of bare rears in his face still makes John laugh.
They could not get out as they were pinned down and had to call in the Air Force
who dropped napalm on the enemy so the soldiers could clear out safely.
Miraculously, no one was injured.
It was the 4th of July and the napalm lit the sky up like fireworks.
The only thing missing were the hot dogs!
The humor seemed to outweigh the danger that day.
God was surely present...

- Cheryl Mays Howard ('66) of VA - 06/27/03

Thanks, Cheryl - and John!

This is long, but very powerful!

- Sandi Bateman Chestnut of NN, VA - 06/29/03
Thanks, Sandi!

Christy Ferer is a 9/11 widow who recently was a member of a group of
celebrities (including Robert DeNiro and Kid Rock, among others) that took
an Armed Forces Entertainment Office and USO-sponsored trip to Iraq to show
support for the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines still over there.
Following is an e-note she sent her escorts about the experience; in her
cover note, she said she intends to submit it to the NY Times for
publication.  It is really powerful, and very moving, and will make you
proud that you have chosen to serve your country, and proud to be an

Enjoy...and thanks as always for all you do for America's Air Force! 

             Brig Gen Ron Rand

When I told friends about my pilgrimage to Iraq to thank the US troop's
reaction was under whelming at best. Some were blunt. "Why are YOU going
there?" They could not understand why it was important for me, a 9/11, widow
to express my support for the men and women stationed today in the gulf.

But the reason seemed clear to me. 200,000 troops have been sent halfway
around the world to stabilize the kind of culture that breeds terrorists
like those who I believe began World War III on September 11, 2001.
Reaction was so politely negative that I began to doubt my role on the first
USO / Tribeca Institute tour into newly occupied Iraq where, on average, a
soldier a day is killed.

Besides, with Robert De Niro, Kid Rock, Rebecca and Johns Stamos, Wayne
Newton, Gary Senise Lee Ann Wolmac who needed me?

Did they really want to hear about my husband, Neil Levin, who went to work
as director of New York Port Authority on Sept.11th and never came home? How
would they relate to the two other widows traveling with me? Ginny Bauer, a
New Jersey homemaker and the mother of three who lost her husband, David and
former marine Jon Vigiano who lost his only sons, Jon, a firefighter and
Joe, a policeman.

As we were choppered over deserts that looked like bleached bread crumbs I
wondered if I'd feel like a street hawker, passing out Port Authority pins
and baseball caps as I said "thank you" to the troops.  Would a hug from me
mean anything at all in the presence of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders and a
Victoria Secrets model?

We arrived at the first "meet and greet"  made me weep. (why?)  Arrmed with
m16s and saddlebags of water in 120 degree heat the soldiers swarmed over
the stars for photo and autographs.

When it was announced that a trio of  9/11 family members was also in the
tent it was as if a psychic cork on emotional dam was popped.

Soldiers from every corner of New York, Long Island and Queens rushed toward
us to express their condolences. Some wanted to touch us, as if they needed
a physical connection to our sorrow and for some living proof for why they
were there. One mother of two from Montana told me she signed up because of
9/11. Dozens of others told us the same thing. One young soldier showed me
his metal bracelet engraved with the name of a victim he never knew and that
awful date none of us will ever forget.


In fact at every encounter with the troops there would be a surge of
reservists -- firefighters and cops including many who had worked the rubble
of Ground Zero, came to exchange a hometown hug.  Their glassy eyes still do
not allow anyone to penetrate too far inside to the place where their trauma
is lodged; the trauma of a devastation far greater than anyone who hadn't
been there could even imagine. It's there in me, too. I had forced my way
downtown on that awful morning, convinced that I could find Neil beneath the

What I was not prepared for was to have soldiers show us the World Trade
Center memorabilia they'd carried with them into the streets of Baghdad.
Others had clearly been holding in stories of personal 9/11 tragedies which had
made them enlist.

USO handlers moved us from one corner to the next so everyone could meet us.
One fire brigade plucked the 9/11 group from the crowd, transporting us to
their fire house to call on those who had to stand guard during the Baghdad
concert. It was all about touching us and feeling the reason they were in
this hell. Back at Saddam Hussein airport Kid Rock turned a "meet and greet"
into an impromptu concert in a steamy airport hangar before 5000 troops.

Capt. Vargas from the Bronx tapped me on the back . He enlisted in the Army
up after some of his wife's best friends were lost at the World Trade Center.
When he glimpsed the piece of recovered metal from the Towers that I
had been showing to a group of soldiers he grasped for it as if it were the Holy
Grail. Then he handed it to Kid Rock who passed the precious metal through
the 5000 troops in the audience. They lunged at the opportunity to touch the
steel that symbolized what so many of them felt was the purpose of their mission -
which puts them at risk every day in the 116 degree heat and not knowing if a
sniper was going to strike at anytime.

Looking into that sea of khaki gave me chills even in that blistering heat.
To me, those troops were there to avenge the murder of my husband and 3
thousand others. When I got to the microphone I told them we had not made
this journey for condolences but to thank them and to tell them that the
families of 9/11 think of them every day. They lifts our hearts. The crowd
interrupted me with chants of " USA, USA, USA."  Many wept.

What happened next left no doubt that the troops drew inspiration from our
tragedies. When I was first asked to speak to thousands of troops in Quatar,
after Iraq, I wondered if it would feel like a "grief for sale" spectacle.

But this time I was quaking because I was to present the recovered WTC
recovered steel to General Tommy Franks.  I quivered as I handed him the icy
gray block of steel. His great craggy eyes welled up with tears. The sea of
khaki fell silent. Then the proud four-star general was unable to hold back
the tears which streamed down his face on center stage before 4,000 troops.
As this mighty man turned from the spotlight to regain his composure I
comforted him with a hug.

Now, when do I return?


It has been a while since I have written to my friends at First Lutheran Church about what's really going on here in Iraq.
The news you watch on TV is exaggerated, sensationalized and selective. Good news doesn't sell.

The stuff you don't hear about? Let's start with Electrical Power production in Iraq.
The day after the war was declared over, there was nearly 0 power being generated in Iraq.
45 days later, in a partnership between the Army, the Iraqi people and some private companies,
there are now 3200 mega watts (Mw) of power being produced daily, 1/3 of the total national potential of 8000 Mw.
Downed power lines (big stuff, 400 Kilovolt (Kv) and 132 Kv) are being repaired and are about 70% complete.

Then there is water purification.
In central Iraq between Baghdad and Mosul, home of the 4th Infantry Division,
water treatment was spotty at best.. The facilities existed, but the controls were never implemented.
Simple chemicals like Chlorine for purification and Alum (Aluminum Sulfate) for sediment settling
(The Tigris River is about as clear as the Mississippi River) were in short supply or not used at all,
and when chlorine was used, it was metered by the scientific method of guessing.
So some people got pool water and some people got water with lots of little things moving in it.
We are slowly but surely solving that.
Contracts for repairs to facilities that are only 50% or less operational are being let,
chemicals are being delivered, although we don't have the metering problem solved yet
(It's only been 45 days).

 How about oil and fuel? Well the war was all about oil wasn't it? You bet it was.
It was all about oil for the Iraqi people because they have no other income, they produce nothing else.
Oil is 95% of the Iraqi GNP. For this nation to survive, it must sell oil.
The Refinery at Bayji is at 75% of capacity producing gasoline.
The crude pipeline between Kirkuk (Oil Central) and Bayji will be repaired by tomorrow (2 June).
LPG, what all Iraqis use to cook and heat with, is at 103% of normal production and we, the US ARMY,
at least 4th ID, are insuring it is being distributed fairly to all Iraqis.
You have to remember that 3 months ago, all these things were used as weapons against the population to keep them in line.
If a town misbehaved, gasoline shipments, LPG pipelines and trucks stopped, water was turned off, power was turned off.

Now, until exports start, every drop of gasoline produced goes to the Iraqi people, crude oil is being stored,
the country is at 75% capacity now, they need to export or stop pumping soon, thank the UN for the delay.
All LPG goes to the Iraqi people everywhere.
Water is being purified as best they can, but at least it's running all the time to everyone.

Are we still getting shot at? Yep.
Are American Soldiers still dying? Yep, about 1 a day from the 4th ID, most in accidents, but dead is dead.
If we are doing all this for the Iraqis, why are they shooting at us?
The general population isn't. There are still bad guys who won't let go of the old regime.
They are Ba'ath party members (Read Nazi Party, but not as nice) who know nothing but the regime.
They were thugs for the regime that caused many to disappear in the night and they have no other skills.
At least the Nazis had jobs they could go back to after the war as plumbers, managers, engineers, etc...
these people have no skills but terror. They are simply applying their skills....and we are applying ours.
There is no Christian way to say they must be eliminated and we are doing so with all the efficiency we can muster.
Our troops are shot at literally every day by small arms and RPGs.
We respond and 100% of the time, the Ba'ath party guys come out with the short end of the stick.
The most amazing thing to me is that they don't realize that if they stopped shooting at us,
we would focus on fixing things and leave. The more they shoot at us, the longer we will stay.

Lastly, realize that 90% the damage you see on TV was caused by Iraqis, not the war.
Sure, we took out a few bridges from military necessity,
we took out a few power and phone lines to disrupt communications,
Sure, we drilled a few palaces and government headquarters buildings with 2000lb laser guided bombs
(I work 100 yards from where two hit the Tikrit Palace); he had plenty to spare.
But any damage you see to schools, hospitals, power generation facilities, refineries, pipelines,
was all caused either by the Iraqi Army in its death throes, or Iraqi civilians looting the places.
Could the army have prevented it? Nope.
We can and do now, but 45 days ago the average soldier was lucky to know what town he was in,
much less know who owned what or have the power to stop 1,000 people from looting a building by himself.

The United States and Britain are doing a very noble thing here.
We stuck our necks out on the world chopping block to free a people.
I've already talked the weapons of mass destruction thing to death; bottom line, who cares?
This country was one big conventional weapons ammo dump anyway.
We have probably destroyed more weapons and ammo in the last 30 days
than the US Army has ever fired in the last 30 years
(Remember, this is a country the size of Texas.),
so drop the WMD argument as the reason we came here;
if we find it, great; if we don't, so what?
I'm living in a "guest palace" on a 500 acre compound with 20 palaces with like facilities
built in half a dozen towns all over Iraq that were built for one man.
Drive down the street and out into the countryside 5 miles away (I have)
and see a family of 10 living in a mud hut herding two dozen sheep.
Then tell me why you think we are here.

Deputy Division Engineer 4th Infantry Division
01June 2003


 Let the people of the U.S. and the world know just what our men and woman are doing  in Iraq.
I couldn't live like those people do and I don't think 98% of the  people in the US could either.

--- WHIT, 08/04/03

Courtesy of Wayne Stokes of VA  and Billy Turner of TX - 08/13/03. 
Thanks, Guys!

I thought you would appreciate these pictures. 
They were sent to me by a lady who works for Knight-Ridder news in California,
and is a shooting instructor I work with several times a year. 
The shots give a great picture of the true spirit of our armed forces.

- Romeo Gacad/AFP - John Moore/AP - Damil Sagolj/Reuters - John Moore/AP

- Dave Arnold of VA - 09/26/03
Thanks, Dave!


Bed a little lumpy...?

Toss and turn any...?

Wish the heat was higher...?

Maybe the a/c wasn't on...?

Had to go to the john...?

Need a drink of water...?


It is like that!

Count your blessings, pray for them,

Talk to your Creator


the next time when...

the other car cuts you off and you must hit the brakes, 


you have to park a little further from Wal-Mart than you want to be,


you're served slightly warm food at the restaurant,


you're sitting and cursing the traffic in front of you,


the shower runs out of hot water,

Think of them...

Protecting  freedom!

Courtesy of Janice McCain Rose of VA - 12/06/03. 
WOW!  Thanks, Janice!

The proud warriors of Baker Company wanted to do something to pay tribute to our fallen comrades.
So as we are part of the only Marine Infantry Battalion left in
the one way that we could think of doing that is by taking a picture of Baker Company saying the way we feel.
It would be awesome if you could find a way to share this with our fellow countrymen.
I was wondering if there was any way to get this into your papers to let the world know that
"WE HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN" and are proud to serve our country."

Semper Fi

Courtesy of Janice McCain Rose of VA - 12/10/03. 
Thanks, Janice!

* Carol, this comment was made by our oldest daughter,
Wendi, who is now 27.  I had forwarded her the email
that Todd had received and had forwarded to me.

"Can we take him out of the 'In Harm's Way' category
and put him in 'Protected By God's Arms'?

I agree.
Let's make a new category "Protected by God's Arms".
Sounds good to me.
* Agreed - we'll have a name change. 
But I'll take the liberty to amend it
once more without altering its meaning,
as I know the too frequent or informal use
of the name of deity may also be offensive
to some whose names are also on the list.
- Pam (and Todd) Givens of Northern VA - 02/12/04 Thanks!  - Carol Buckley Harty of NC - 02/13/04

Military clip art courtesy of - 03/24/03

Bronze Star clip art courtesy of - 05/25/03

Purple Heart clip art courtesy
of (posted by Claymore) - 06/10/03

 Gold Bar clip art used to form Divider Line courtesy of - 12/11/03

Return to NNHS Class of 1965