Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Unsung Heroes

Right now, I'm watching C-SPAN and listening to Congressman Al Green (TX) comment on one of the "greatest stories never told..." He along with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL) are speaking today to convince the other Congressional Representatives to pass the bill awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the WASP.

It's amazing to me that despite having been promised military status and taking the military oath, not to mention 38 of them giving their lives for our country, the WASP did not receive veteran status or any recognition for their wartime service until over 30 years after the WASP were disbanded. Now, over 60 years after their service, they are finally seen as deserving of recognition. They did not volunteer to serve their country looking for recognition and praise - but they surely deserve it.

Hmm, looks like they passed the Bill - just like that. Congressman Green closed by asking for the support of the House "if a vote is called for." The Speaker then said "The question is, will the House suspend the rules and pass S614. All those in favor say Aye (several ayes in background) all those opposed say no (crickets chirping...). In the opinion of the chair, two thirds being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the Bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table."

I wish I could have been there to see it in person (maybe along with some American Politics professor to explain everything...). Though at times it is quite boring - as evidenced by the fact that the Representatives themselves don't show up...It can actually be very interesting to visit and watch what goes on in the House of Representatives in person. I was lucky enough to get to see it a couple times while I was an Intern at the Pentagon. I actually got to see the Senate vote on increasing funding for the war. It was kind of crazy how at one point the room was pretty empty and then, within the last ten minutes, it seemed people came out of the woodwork to vote. They had cards they put into slots at their seats and then they voted. The vote is then shown on one of the walls. Once they voted some of them stayed for a few moments to talk with their colleagues and others left right away. It was a good feeling being in the room and actually watching history in the making.

So, now the bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the WASP will go before President Obama for final approval and his signature. Once signed it will become a law...Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has a press release regarding the bill on her website... Read More......

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Three Thursday Thoughts

1. My little sister had her baby yesterday. The baby was almost 8.5 pounds! Very exciting stuff...I can't wait to meet her but it looks like it will be July before I get back down to KY...We've got quite a lot of stuff going on the next few weeks...so a 10 hour round trip for a couple days isn't really in the cards. I'll be in KY for about a week in July anyway so it seems as if it'd be better to wait until then so I get some real quality time with my sister and her two daughters...

2. I've been reading Marion Chesney's Edwardian Murder Mystery series. It's pretty good though not as good as her Hamish Macbeth or Agatha Raisin series...I started with the Hamish Macbeth series after a friend recommended it and then moved on to Agatha Raisin for a while. I started the new series because I am missing two of the Hamish books (I got the rest really cheap on eBay) so am waiting to read the others until I get those two...In the meantime, I also finished reading a biography about Alice Roosevelt Longworth and Volume 1 of the Complete Sherlock Holmes, both of which I really enjoyed. I'm about a third of the way through Gulliver's Travels but I'm just not taking to it so I keep putting off picking it back up again...I already told my husband that I'd like Volume II of the Sherlock Holmes for my birthday or Christmas. I enjoyed Sherlock much more than I thought I would...though I've always loved mystery stories...even as a little girl some of my favorite books were Nancy Drew and those books where you could pick the outcome - I don't remember what they were called...

3. My husband handed me an article yesterday he thought I might enjoy and turned out I loved it. One of the magazines we receive is "Military Money Magazine" which we get because I'm a member of the National Military Family Association. The article was Sarah Smiley's "Shore Duty" column. I occasionally read her column because she has a lot to say about being a military spouse though I had missed this one. The article was essentially a review of a documentary called "The Way We Get By." It's mainly about three residents of Bangor, Maine who, along with many others, are unofficial greeters for American troops passing through the airport. What really struck me about this article was the fact that I myself have benefited from these greeters at Bangor. Back in 1998, I was headed out for my first deployment as a 2nd Lt. We went to Bangor because we were flying the rest of the way to the UAE with the "Mainiacs" and one of their KC-135s. We got there late and it was already dark. There were only about three or four of us and the airport seemed pretty dead. When we got off the plane, all I remember is being greeted by some very nice people who asked if we needed anything, told us where we could go to get a good lobster dinner and thanked us for our service. Now, I don't know if they were the same people covered in this documentary, but it's something I have never forgotten. The fact that people came out to meet us and see if we needed anything made an impression on me I'll never forget... Read More......

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Little Sister

My little sister is having a baby in just over a week. On Father's Day actually...they say the baby is too big to wait for the due date of 19 June so if she (the baby) doesn't come out herself by the 10th, they are scheduled to induce.

On a side note, while I think it's kind of cool to get a new baby for Father's Day, doesn't that mean that neither of them will have their own "special day" since they'll have to share it from here on out? You guys that are dads, let me know what you think.

So, I'm pretty excited to be an aunt again. Her first daughter is adorable. I only hope for the next one's sake that she is just as cute or wicked smart. My sister is going for her PhD so maybe the second one will be brilliant? Though baby #1 seems like she's pretty intelligent too. We may be a bit biased though when we say she is light years ahead of all the other kids her age...nah, I think she really is that smart, and cute, and sweet...I could go on and on...I can't wait to see the next one!

I've offered to come down and help out but can't get a straight answer from my sister. Does that mean she doesn't really want or need help or that she isn't sure I really want to do it despite having offered? There's a lot of family in the area so I would assume she has ample help available, but you never know. I would just like to know what I can do so I can figure out my game plan - I've got a lot of travel coming up in the next couple months and I need to plan. Despite my earlier post about learning how being spontaneous can be fun, I still need a plan!

I can't believe that they say the baby has to come out early because otherwise it will be too big. They are estimating about 7.5 pounds...how is that too big? That's tiny! Half the size of my cat! Though I guess when you are giving birth to it it probably feels like a giant pumpkin...but when it comes to holding it, changing diapers and dressing it? Tiny, tiny, tiny! I can't wait to see her, tiny fingers and toes and all... Read More......