Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Few more pictures

A few more pictures, then the rest will be on the photobucket site listed in Taylor's links.

AnySoldier trip

We just got back from Missouri for a fund raising for What a weekend!!! Not enough time or space to write about everything, but it was great!

We got to meet Marty Horn and his wonderful wife Sue and beautiful daughter Sasha for the first time, we have talked with Marty several times but this was the first in meeting him. Talk about a family devoting their time to this country! They are tireless and selfless in making sure that our troops are taken care of, and taken care of good! They have put their whole lives into to make sure that ALL of our troops know they are appreciated and not forgotten, no matter what the crap news reports.

Friday, we got to meet Lt. Col. Mitch 'Taco' Bell. VERY COOL! Tanner doesn't impress easily and he was completely smitten with Taco! Taylor couldn't wait for Saturday when she would get to see her beloved Major Pain again! It was SUPPOSED to be that she got up bright and early and there would be a police escort and a hummer waiting to take her to the airport to surprise Major Pain, then whisk those two back to the opening ceremony. As fate would have it, Major Pain's flight was delayed and he had to spend some lovely time sitting in the terminal with the cleaning lady with a huge mole, telling her whole life story to him. (is this karma? ROFL!) So, Taylor was told that the escort was off and she was crushed.

But, she was still going to the airport to pick him up, it was just messing the whole thing up........but we got it to work. We showed up to the staging point around 10 a.m. and were amazed by the amount of bikes that showed up. The bikes were pulling out at 11 for a 2 hour ride, and Major Pain's plane wasn't landing until 1 p.m. just outside of the staging point (see why things got messed up?)

Our plan was to have Taylor's picture taken with ALL of the Patriot Guard Riders that showed up at the ending point so we didn't do anything like that and we later regretted it.

The National Anthem was sung just beautifully and so heartfelt by a Navy guy, and when I say he put his heart and soul into it, I mean he really did! Beautiful! There was a bagpipe player who played Amazing Grace and then he played the Marine Corps Hymn, time for Taco and Taylor to talk. Taylor was able to present to a Wounded Warrior a certificate of appreciation, Taco got one, Taylor got one and Marty and Sue got one. Taco talked a bit about Taylor and then Taylor got up and talked about what it meant to be an American, asked everyone to support their troops because we know our troops support us! She then presented Marty a check for from the donations she was able to get for them.

We then took off to get to the airport to pick up Major Pain and we got special passes to get right back into the terminal. Taylor still had to go through the metal detectors and I could see a bit of the fear coming back to her from our very unfortunate last time going through one. We made it through OK and to try to make Taylor smile, I just belted out 'Yeah, you are not Taylor the Terrorist today!' As soon as I said it, Taco gave me a very stern look and very authoritatively told me to NOT say that again! (he is a commercial airline pilot) I had never given it a thought, good Lord help us had I gotten Taylor in trouble with the TSA yet again!!!!!

We walked a bit to get down to where Major Pain was and wouldn't you know it, as we rounded the corner, he almost ran smack right into us! He grabbed ahold of Taylor and flipped her in the air like she was a sack of potatoes. Look at her little face, I think it says it all!

He changed into his HOG gear likety split and we were off for the guys to get on their bikes and ride like the wind to try to make up the lost time. The weather God's however had a different idea. They no sooner got going at a good pace when the skies opened and it rained, not just a nice steady rain, but a torrential downpour. We stopped at an overpass for their safety and all laughed about it. The rain stopped and one bike took off, the sky opened again. He had to come down a side road to get back to the other side of the underpass. The rain stopped and off took another bike, the same came the rain. It went like this until half the bikes were on the OTHER side of the road headed in the OTHER direction. The kids got a big kick out of it.

We finally got going only to be hit by another blast of rain but they toughed it out and kept going. Pretty soon the sun shined a bit and they were getting dry, except for their boots. We pulled into a gas station and one guy took off his boots and when he turned it over, it was like pouring out 2 cups of water, Taylor laughed a good one because of that.

They were able to see that a huge wall of not good weather was coming from where they needed to go, so they decided it best to go away from it and around it. What should have been about a 2 hour ride ended up being more like over 5 hours! We however got to go through some beautiful rolling mountains (Ozarks) and even saw a castle. Some of these homes didn't just have land, but it was like estates. It was breathtaking country to see. Then we came upon some areas where you could swear you heard the dueling banjos from the movie Deliverance!

By the time we got to the ending point, most of the bikes were gone. But from what we understand, they had a great time. Taylor was able to give to Major Pain his certificate of appreciation and then we were able to witness Marty and Sue present a family of a fallen soldier a check from anysoldier and treatanysoldier. Very emotional to watch. But it made us so proud to know these people and to know that they care so deeply.

With everyone being gone, we didn't get a picture with Taylor and all her Missouri PGR family, but there were a few there and some American Legion Riders we got to snap a few with! While we searched in vain for some chocolate cigars for Taylor to be able to share with her brother and hero Marines, Taco and Major Pain....we couldn't find any! How priceless would that have been?! But we were able to get a few pics with her pretending to have the real thing!!!!!

The lady in charge, Della, did an outstanding job. She worked very hard to ensure this was a great day and it was. Our troops are very lucky to have such a strong supporter as herself.

We were able to meet many new people. One man, once he saw Taylor talk came up and asked if we knew a man named Kai (from Patriot Guard). We were shocked and said yes. Come to find out, this man was from a group of riders that know of Kai and Michigan's own JimmyK and he had remembered them posting about Taylor. Shows what a small world it is! It was great meeting you Harry!

We came away not feeling like we had met people for the first time, but felt like we were with long lost family. Being around so many wonderful people, we just know that Taylor is going to be even more determined to push on with her mission.

Della, great job!! Taco, thank you for taking the time, especially with Tanner and thank you for your service to our country. Major Pain, you know how we feel about you! THANK YOU. Marty and Sue, we are so honored to be able to help you, you in turn have helped us more then you will ever know. THANK YOU!

Another parade and giving support to Lester

The Daughters of The American Revolution are still honoring Taylor! They asked her to be in yet another parade and this was a really big one, it lasted well over an hour! We are proud of Taylor's accomplishments, but also so proud of the big sister she is. Each time she has been asked to be in a parade, she has always asked to make sure that her brother Tanner can be in it with her, after all, he is her 'wing man'. He loves being in them with her.

Just before we left for Missouri, we paid a visit to Lester. If some of you will remember the story of Lester from Taylor's Day, when he came and gave her a precious memento he had saved since WW11, a shiny beautiful Marine button off of the Blues uniform.

He is having some issues and had to have surgery last week, so we paid him a surprise visit and boy did he ever light up! We gave him one of Taylor's dog tags that were made up by woodmaster, and he immediately put them on and was so proud of them!

Please keep Lester in your prayers, he has a lot of history in him that we need to know about and he is a VERY proud American Veteran.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


I would like for you to know that there is a poster on that has Taylor's name and it is NOT our Taylor. It has been brought to my attention a few times, so I checked. While they have the same name and same is NOT our Taylor!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wonderful heartfelt gift

Taylor got a beautiful surprise gift in the mail yesterday. One of her fellow brother Marines was just horrified by the way Terrorist Taylor was treated at the airport when she was bringing home her spent casing from MOUT at Camp Lejeune and how her casing was taken from her from the over the top TSA agents.

He had told me a bit back that he had a special casing that he had had for a couple of years and was just waiting for that right time to do something with it and once he read what happened to her, he knew what that RIGHT thing was.

Here is what he sent to me in the email describing what it is:

When Pammie and I went to DC for our Marine Birthday Celebration in 2005, we attended the Ceremony at the Iwo Memorial at Arlington Ridge. The finale' was The Rifle Salute and TAPS. That was on November 10th. On the 11th, we returned to the memorial, and without the crowds from the day before, we went up close to the huge monument. In the small grassy area in front of it, I noticed something laying in the grass, almost hidden. It was one of the brass casings from the previous day's Rifle Salute, and I can't figure out how those Marines could've missed it. But I have it and intended to do "something" with it, rather than just keep it laying on my dresser, where it still sets. What I'd like to do is make some sort of "frame" for it, noting the "history" of this casing, so it could be wall-hung. I can't think of anyone more deserving to display this than Taylor.

So, she got her wonderful gift yesterday. When she opened up the package and saw the casing, her little face just lit up! Then, once she read what the plaque said and I told her that her brother Bill was replacing what was taken so horribly from her, she actually got tears in her eyes and in the one photo where she is holding up the plaque, you can see them.

This is what the plaque says:

On the 230th Marine Corps Birthday
November 10, 2005
The Ceremony at the Iwo Jima War Memorial
at Arlington Ridge
concluded with the Rifle Salute and 'Taps'.
On Veterans Day, November 11,
An empty .308 casing from one of those M-14 Rifles
was retrieved by the base of the Monument.
That casing is now being presented to
Our Little Sister Taylor,
Semper Fidelis

What a great gift! Thanks Bill!

(update on the TSA agents, I had called and talked to their manager about what happened. He told me he would talk to those involved and get right back with me. 2 weeks passed by and nothing, so I called him back. He told me he had spoken with those involved and right away he gave me the impression that nothing was being done, as he was told by the lady that searched her that she in fact told Taylor everything she was doing. He told me that everything they did was within regulations and they were doing their job. My frustrations got the best of me and I told him that if by doing her job she meant that she took my daughter off behind a wall and wouldn't let me in with her, told my daughter to spread eagle and that was ALL she said to Taylor, then yes, the lady did one hell of a job. He also asked me again why I did not state BEFORE we went through the metal detection unit about Taylor's medical condition. I asked him WHY would I do that if there was no reason to? I did not state to them before I went in I had skin cancer, what is the point of that? The fact is, once everything happened, and I tried to explain of Taylor's condition, I was flat out told it did NOT matter and I couldn't speak. The fact is, Taylor was taken away from me and I was not allowed to be with her. The fact is, Taylor was searched and patted down and not once explained to WHY or WHAT they were doing. The fact is, Taylor heard the man telling me the FBI was being called and she got incredibly upset and they did NOT care. Had everything went how the agents told their boss it did, I would not have called and I would not be upset. I told him I totally appreciate the job they do, I want to know that my child is safe while flying, I never want another 9-11 ever again. Nothing is being done as far as he was concerned because he talked to his agents and he felt comfortable in what they told him. Then he mentioned that there is no audio recording in that area so there is no way to prove anything. Nice huh? I am now in the process of writing a LONG letter to the head of TSA)

Saturday, June 9, 2007


In Kalamazoo, there was a wonderful Memorial Day 5 day symposium honoring our veteran's held by Lest We Forget Our Vet's. Each day was dedicated to a different era and a traveling museum with bits of history were there. A man also brought in his models of certain war scenes and they were very realistic and historically correct.

There were many who showed up for the WWll day and I guess it was quiet a day, we unfortunately were not able to make it but I wish we could have. This is a generation who we can learn so much from and yet, they are almost gone.

Sadly, for the Vietnam and Iraq wars, not many showed up. We aren't sure on why, maybe because it was during a work week? Anyways, we showed up and watched Laura DeRoo speak on behalf of the Blue Star Mothers. If some of you will remember, her son is SSgt. Gabriel DeRoo who the PGR had a mission for last summer and this is the one that we showed up on our own just to show support as Taylor read in the paper that the protesters were to be there and she told us 'We HAVE to go and show our support' and that is how we met the PGR.

Taylor and Tanner were able to meet Bob Heft, the creator of the flag as we know it today. They even got to hold onto the original flag he created many years ago and let me tell you, it is worth a LOT of money! The man that made the models also had several pieces of clothing and outfits from the different wars and he let Taylor put on a flack jacket vest and helmet from Vietnam, her little knees about buckled from the weight!

Taylor was able to stand up and talk for a few minutes as well. Always makes me so proud to see her stand in front of people and talk from her heart.

We also got a very wonderful gift in meeting LCpl Christopher B, who just got back from Iraq not to long ago. He and his mom drove all the way from Jackson so he and Taylor could meet. What a treat!

On Sunday, the PGR had a meet and greet and wouldn't you know it, the sky god's must have not been happy with a certain someone because they opened up with a fury and let it pour rain and thunder and lightening. There were a few times driving that we had to slow down because we couldn't see in front of us, so because of the weather, the turn out wasn't as good as it could have been but we had about 40 people there and several brave souls that even rode their bikes!

Taylor has been asked to be in another parade this coming weekend, she is pretty excited about being in yet another one.