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A lesson in freedom...

About six months ago, I'd decided to put flags on my car. At first, it was something of an eye catcher in order to draw a little more attention to my business, however, almost immediately after doing so, I became quickly educated about how some people react to the symbol of our country.. Some people stare and have looks of confusion, I've been saluted, I've been given the middle finger, I've been beeped at, and let me not forget the disgusted looks. I'll admit, for a while I took my flags down. Then, I got a little angry at myself and now, I'm happy to say, they are back on my car, and here's why.. I love being an American, I love being able to have the freedom to even place the American flag on my car. I feel like a mini parade of hope every time I hear my flags blowing in the wind. We are all American, and although we may be from different parts of the world, we live, work, and breathe here. I do not love what is happening here, in America. I'm not a supporter of our government. I'd compare their behavior to children, but then I realize that even children don't act the way they do. Making America great again, is not going to come from whom we elect, it never really has, and it probably won't in the future. However, what we fail to see is right in front of us, the greatness begins with US! and the irony is, that US, is right in the USA! How GREAT is that!! Every person whom has given, not lost their lives for this country, should be honored, no matter what your feelings are about why they were lost. We are able to do what we are able to do, because of them...

We are our country, we are our hope, and only we are Americans! So, fly your flags, be good to one another, and if you see me driving by, wave and smile, we are GREAT!!! And Thank A Veteran!!

Christine Marie Buccheri
Vernon, CT

A Marine Family

My Father James Denzel Hill was in the Marine Corps from 53 to 66. Had already hit Korea and Vietnam. Was going to do his last stretch to get his 20, but was told he would go right back to Nam. So he just got out. Growing up with this guy, you could tell he was all Marine. Did not talk about the action he seen,but we knew it was there. He drank alot for years,and finally had a massive heart attack in 81 and died at 46. I personally think this was a crutch for all he did for this Country. My Father was a Hero. 4 of his boys,myself included, all went in the Marine Corps and kept his name going. Very proud of the Hill family. Semper Fi Dad

Edward Hill. USMC
Charlotte, NC

Honoring a WWII Ace Fighter Pilot

I am honored to know and love Major Frank McCauley, a WWII Ace Fighter pilot, who will be 100 in November. He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal last May. His plane was Rat Racer. Frank is my father-in-law and one of the kindest, most loving people I know. He has participated in panel discussions with fellow Aces and he lights up when speaking about his missions. It's amazing to hear the details that these men recall from so long ago. They are proud to have served and helped to secure our freedom. My grandson just joined the Marines. Although it is scary, he is so very excited to serve. I see the pride in Frank's eyes and now I see the pride in my grandson's eyes as he anticipates his time serving our country. Feeling very honored to be the in presence of such amazing men.

Diana Runnels
Grass Valley, CA

Not a first homecoming but a second

Not only did my kids fall for a first homecoming a few yrs back but surprises and pranks are hot in our household! They will get a new surprise!

The kids had NO idea dad was coming home again! And dad had no idea what he was going to do as he expected his Whole family waiting for him on the pier!

Not quite what he had planned but it was even better!

Kate neuman
Chesapeake, VA

It's always about our kids!

My husband deployed our kids had no idea that dad was back! I always try to make something special between the kids and dad! Mom is home with them- but dad not always! So it's a surprise for both the kids and dad!

Kate Neuman
Chesapeake, VA

Combat Ready

2008 Det 10 the combat engineering team I was with constructed the First armorment loading center in Iraq allowing for preditors to fly Armed missions on enemy sites. This saved lives, saved money and showed can do

Len Macari
Providence, RI

Homeward bound on the "Hustler"

January 1968: After 9 months in the field at various Fire Support Bases with the 1st/22nd Inf. Rgt. of the 4th Inf. Division, I was headed out of the field on my last chopper ride in the central highlands of Viet Nam to Camp Enari, where I spent my final 3 months on the Camp's mortar battery located on the perimeter as a 4.2 inch heavy mortar crewman. Despite all hell breaking loose with Tet offensive, and rumors of heavy fighting and casualties around Kontum, I was never sent out as a replacement, and ended tour of duty on the first of April 1968.

Pete Gill
Pioche, NV


Served with pride aboard the USS Enterprise from 1985-1989. Transited the Panana Canal and sailed around Africa.

Deployed to the Middle East three times including twice in the Persian Gulf.

Participated in Operations Preying Mantis, Earnest Will and the Libyan Expedition.

I would do it all in a heartbeat.

Tom Dorney
Fairfield, CT


My daughter Heather was only eight years old, and she really could not understand why I had to travel halfway around the world, but more important, why I had to leave her. I have experienced many highs and lows in my life, but I have never felt the extreme pain that rips at one’s heart when they have to leave their children behind to serve their country for an extended period of time. I will never forget heading down the terminal tunnel at Saint Louis Lambert Airport to board my plane and hearing Heather screaming on the top of her lungs, “Daddy PLEASE don’t leave me!” I made the mistake of turning around, and the sight of my miracle baby in complete hysterics still haunts me to this day. I was speechless, and my heart was completely broken. I knew there was nothing I could say or do to make her feel any better at that moment. I had already done my very best to explain to the kids why I had to go. All I could do was yell back to her that I loved her more than life itself, and then I was forced to turn my back on my daughter as a stewardess informed me that it was time to board the plane.

As I took my seat, I could still hear Heather’s desperate pleas for my return, until they shut the terminal doors. Whereas most planes are warm when you board them, to me, the plane was freezing. I have never felt so alone in my life.

Leaving family, friends and the comfort of home is a feeling service people rarely get used to. For most of us, its duty we serve, because our hearts would carry us in a different direction. So when a person is deployed, receiving caring letters in the mail from family and friends is the best morale builder there is.

Brian Scott Sherman
Belleville, IL


Hello let me introduce myself my name is Brian Scott Sherman. I am a disabled retired veteran who has proudly served our glorious country for 33 years. I served in the United States Air Force for 23 years and have been a Government Contractor for the past 10 years. I have committed much of my life to the United States of America because I wanted to give something back to her. I truly believe there is a reason for everyone's existence and mine was to serve old Glory!!! To this very day, I still get goosebumps when I hear a patriotic song and shed a tear when I see one of my Comrades return home from a deployment and are reunited with their families. Unfortunately many of our citizens who live in the land of the free have no idea the countless sacrifices those who serve this great land make. It hurts my heart deeply when I hear people make comments like the following: Hey they volunteered to serve so I do not feel they deserve any special privileges. It was their choice so suffer the consequences.

My answer when given an opportunity to respond has been - Yes they did volunteer to serve which makes them my hero's. They give us the opportunity to live free and enjoy many things that so many of us take for granted like water!!! They put our Country first, because they love and respect her. If my Hero's did not volunteer America would be lost without a doubt!!!

Think about that last statement for a moment before ever saying something so hurtful and sad towards my Hero's again...

My God bless you and our glorious land we call the United States of America.

Brian Scott Sherman
Belleville, IL
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