Sunday, June 28, 2009

Over the Celebrity Hype: Real Heroes Die Every Day

This week marked the passing of three high profile celebrities: Ed Mc Mahon, Farrah Fawcett and Micheal Jackson. While I am certainly aware of each of them, the attention they received in the social media universe and the traditional media space was crazy. Particularly the King of Pop.

Word of his condition spread on Twitter like wildfire before traditional media could even get a foot in the door. Everyone I followed seemed to want to jump on the bandwagon and almost all had something to say.

I follow @PattyGale on Twitter. I often agree with a lot of comments she makes and this week she tweeted something that resonated so strongly with me. "Sorry, can't get into the last 2 days of news. Sad for the families yes. However, real heroes die every day & don't get headlines."

I loved this statement - I had been thinking it since I began to see the Twitter flurry that had erupted over MJ's death. She literally took the words out of my mouth.

I had no desire to tweet about their deaths. I had no desire to state my unending (and mind you non-existent) love for the musician. I think it's crazy that fans rushed to his home and hospital. That people were overcome with emotion - bursting into tears.

It's not that I don't think that passings aren't important - they are. But they are private. And most importantly, I do feel that we channel an inappropriate amount of energy into how much we care about people that appear on the silver screen or fill our heads with tunes.

I think its fine to pause, reflect on a life, and wish nothing but peace to the ones they left behind. I just don't think I need to participate in what I call a celebrity Twitterpaloza.

Patty's right. Real heroes die every day and few stop to pay attention. And if you're a regular reader of my blog you know that I'm referring to the military members of our fine nation.

I do think it is fascinating that some people can touch our lives in profound ways, even if we never meet them. For those people to change our line of thought, to help us look at the world in a different way or broaden our horizons. But for me, those people are rarely celebrities. They are often the men and women of our nation's great forces. Because they are my heroes.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Father, My Hero

In honor of Father's Day, I wanted to pause for a moment and write a brief post about my wonderful father. While he's not one for gushiness, I try to always make a point of telling him that he's the best father in the world on this very special day.

The Dad who wears BDUs and serves his country selflessly every day. The Dad that not only takes care of me but of ALL of his troops - even when that number is over 300. The Dad who sends me laughter via email when he's in Iraq. The Dad who never forgets to thank his family for their support of his service.

My Dad really is the best Dad - but not just because he's in the military. While it cannot be denied that his occupation was my one way ticket to travel the world, the opportunity to speak different languages and see other cultures, or live out such extraordinary adventures, he's amazing without the military hooah. After all, he is the man that held my hand throughout that journey and the man that made it such an incredible adventure.

Truth is, my father is someone I will always aspire to be like. An amazing leader. An amazing role model. Brave. Intelligent. Generous heart. Brilliant sense of humor.

I would not be the strong, independent, fearless woman I am today if it were not for him. He made me believe in myself from day one and because of that I always believe that I can do anything. That I am someone special. And without him, I would have never learned to push myself beyond the limits I think I have.

After all, it was my father who helped me climb to the top of Mt. Fuji when I thought I could not climb another foot. It was my father who told me it would be okay when I moved my senior year of high school and was faced with rebuilding my life yet again. It was my father who taught me the true meaning of suck it up and press on.

And it was my father who offered profound wisdom to me when he told me that when it comes to life that it is "not the result it is the journey." Something I have taken to heart and tried to live by every day.

Many thanks to my phenomenal father for all that he has done and all that he will do. I love you Dad. You are my hero.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Stephen Colbert: MR. USO

Stephen Colbert did an AMAZING job in Iraq this week. His four shows were witty, tasteful and most of all tremendously supportive of our brave men and women stationed in the land of sand.

Some of my favorite things about this week . . . I really enjoyed when . . .

- Colbert flew with the AF Thunderbirds. I liked watching Colbert's reaction, mid song, during takeoff. In regards to the pilots, as a Air Force brat, I've always loved a man in a flight suit and this was no exception. The Thunderbirds are all SUPER hot and they are unbelievably talented.

- Colbert complimented the troops for doing their job in "140 degree heat in full battle rattle." When my Dad was in Iraq he'd tell us how the insane the heat was. It's something we can never understand here.

- Colbert compared Iraq to a bag of trail mix and said the the M&Ms were the US Troops.

- Watching Deputy Prime Minister Baham Saleh discuss Iraq and his gratitude to the US Forces.

- Seeing and hearing the entire palace sing the Army Song - proud and strong after Colbert attempted to get them to do the hokey pokey.

- Tom Hanks and Colbert packed care packages for the troops. It was my favorite part when Colbert tried to send puppies and ice cream to Iraq

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Tom Hanks Care Package
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorStephen Colbert in Iraq

A big THANKS to Colbert, his entire team and of course the USO. If you missed any of the shows this week visit the microsite for his tour Mr. USO.

You can watch full episodes there or download them via iTunes. Proceeds from your iTunes purchase will benefit the USO. If you have a few dollars please also visit the USO's website and donate money. Our troops, and their families, rely on the USO. When you help support the USO, you help them.

If you're tight on cash but want to help, try doing something for a family of a local military family. Bake them cookies. Help find a babysitter. Stop by to just say thank you. The families left at home are at war too - just in a very different way.

A special shout out to all our men and women serving abroad. It was great to see you this week - tan and smiling! Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication. You're all of our heroes!

***Special note: photo courtesy of the MR. USO website ***

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Colbert Report's First Show From Iraq

Stephen Colbert is now officially my favorite comedian. I checked out his first show from Iraq and it was HILARIOUS!

He kicked off the show with some stellar comments. Here are a few highlights:

- His staff took standard BDUs and made them into a suit. He looked surprisingly cool!

- During his monologue he referred to Iraq as "the country so nice we invaded it twice"

- He let troops know that he wanted to come to Iraq because he "always wanted to cook a microwave burrito in my pants"

Colbert also showed a few clips from his 10 hour-long "basic training." He dubbed it "Stephen Strong: Army of Me." I especially loved the Louis V luggage and the iPhone portion.

Later in the show he took time to interview General Ray Odierno, the head hancho in the land of sand. Odierno let Colbert know that his training experience was not at all realistic and that he needed to get a regulation hair cut to even be considered a trainee.

Colbert refused and then President Obama appeared on the screen. He first gave a shout out to our troops and then calmly gave an official order to Odierno to buzz Colbert's head!

For the record, I know that Colbert will miss blow drying his locks every morning but he looked pretty good with his buzz. He may even grow to like this new look!

The show was awesome and I can't wait to see what they have in store for us for the rest of the week.

Here's a little snipit of the show - and a shout out from John McCain.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Operation Iraqi Stephen: Going Commando - John McCain
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorKeyboard Cat

Click here to see the full episode OR visit iTunes and download it. Proceeds go to the USO!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tweet To Remind - Help Raise $1.65 Million for Troops by July 4th

Today, as I was giving well deserved shoutouts to my military twitter peeps in honor of the Military Monday Twitter movement, I came across a tweet that made me smile. I'm a follower of Bob Woodruff and today he simply tweeted the following: "Support our troops is no longer a slogan. It's an action. #tweettoremind #militarymon."

Tweet to Remind - have you heard of it? It's all a buzz in today's #MilitaryMon chatter. I checked out the site and it seems that Woodruff's latest effort is a partnership between his foundation and the PR powerhouse Porter Novelli. Through the partnership, a unique idea has been born - a goal to raise $1.65 million by July 4th; proceeds will be given to America's soldiers as they return home.

The website, which also links to, is a movement of Woodruff's foundation that "educates the public about the needs of injured service members, veterans and their families as they reintegrate into their communities and empowers people everywhere to take action."

If you remember, Woodruff suffered near fatal injuries in 2006 from a roadside bomb. He was on assignment in Iraq for ABC’s “World News Tonight." His wife and family have channeled their experience into creating the Bob Woodruff foundation in hopes of helping military families across the nation. Special thanks to them for their generous time and efforts.

Please take time to visit the Tweet to Remind website, donate and spread the word throughout your blogging community. Most importantly, don't forget to TWEET! Follow the movement @remind_org or @tweettoremind. Our nation's forces and their families give everything they have, every day of the year, to protect our freedom. They are our heroes. Please take time to thank them in a small way.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Stephen Colbert to Broadcast From Iraq!

I've talked about my likeness for Colbert before. He helps military brats and genuinely likes our military community.

And for some time now, he's discussed an upcoming trip to the Persian Gulf and this week it was announced that he really is going!

The Colbert Report has deployed to Iraq on a USO tour entitled "Operation Iraqi Stephen: Going Commando." He's landed safely and Colbert will broadcast four shows from Baghdad next week, where he’ll be entertaining an audience of about 450 troops. Catch the shows when they air Monday through Thursday.

Comedy Central reports that the operation "is taking place at an undisclosed military base. The week will feature many segments including Colbert putting together USO care packages for the troops and 'shout outs' from notable figures in society."

Check out the announcement here for further info, including a list of his notable guests. Stellar. On a special note, they have also reported that proceeds from sales of "The Colbert Report" on iTunes during the week of June 8 will benefit the USO.

Here's a clip from his show, where he asks his viewers to do what anyone would do with this type of secret . . . leak it! Tweet about it, blog about it, etc.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Exclusive - Where and When Is Stephen Going to the Persian Gulf - Iraq Announcement
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorKeyboard Cat

So in the words of Colbert himself . . . Go Forth and LEAK! :) Spread the news and tune in!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

NBC's Today Shines Spotlight on USO and Troops!

NBC's Today show took time this morning to shine a spotlight on military families across the nation. With a segment appropriately named "Call to Action," Meredith, Ann and Al talked about why our military troops and their families are so important to our great nation. Check out the videos below.

A heartfelt look into military families' lives when our loved ones are deployed . . .

Ann's Interview with Jill Biden - remember that her son is also deployed.

Here's Al's interview with the USO. Check out this care package assembly line! Brilliant!

I was THRILLED to see the USO and our military community receive so much air time on our nation's best morning show. The USO is an amazing organization and they've been fantastic in supporting our community in the past and present.

Big thanks to Today for showing America's bravest and reminding our citizens to thank them for their service. Warm hugs to all military families around the world and safe thoughts and prayers to their deployed loved ones.