Thursday, January 31, 2008

What we didn't see on the news......

Looking at the news today, what do you see? Britney Spears, Britney and oh wait, there is some more of Britney. We see Hil and Obama slugging it out and flinging it pretty good. What didn't you see today?

PFC Raymond Jacobs, F Co./ 2d Bn / 28th Marines / 5th Marine Division, who was a member of the Marine patrol that put up the FIRST flag on Iwo Jima, has passed away.

Where was this on our wonderful news? I guess it wasn't important enough or newsworthy enough. I guess it is forgotten by the powers to be in charge of the news just how iconic that flag raising became to the country. Sure, the first flag raising wasn't THE picture, but it was raised in honor and in pure determination. The first flag set in place for the 2nd flag to be raised and that photo was captured and in one snap shot, the country pulled together. I guess the powers to be have forgotten just how powerful and how meaningful that flag raising was.

If you go to You will find in Mr. Jacob's own words what happened that day, along with powerful photos. When you read this, please pass it onto others so that they may know.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Military Appreciation Night

Taylor has been planning on a Military Appreciation Night now for a few months and it came to happen tonight.

One day, she came home and said she had been walking down the halls looking in all the trophy cases. She noticed there were trophies of all sorts of sports. There were plaques for academics. There was a Hall of Fame. There was nothing for our military or the alumni that have served. We told her to do something about it. So, she stood before the school board and presented an idea on how to recognize her school's alumni that have served.

A flag was flown over Washington DC, one over our state capital. There were two Marines from her school that were in Iraq, and they had a flag flown in Iraq for the school. These flags were put into shadow boxes along with their certificates. She had a beautiful plaque made up with the seals of each branch put on it and had an inscription put on it.

She went to all the recruiters offices and asked them to stand with her and they all did. These guys were great. The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines stood tall with her. We couldn't get anyone from the Coast Guard to even call us back.

For the Color Guard, we had the immense pleasure of Lester and Don. Lester is a WWll veteran who came and stood for Taylor the day she took her oath as a Marine. He has many health issues and if you scroll down in her blog, you will see a picture of her visiting Lester during one of his hospital stays. Lester just got out of the hospital not to long ago and he is still pretty weak. But he carried out that huge heavy 14 lb rifle and guarded the flag as long as he could. It was great.

The art dept. made some patriotic banners welcoming the veterans and the band played patriotic songs, including a song for each branch.

The 3 flags were presented, one by Sen. Fred Upton's office, one by State Rep. Rick Shaffer and the other, by Cpl. Cugliotta.

Taylor stood before the crowd and told them why she wanted to do the project. She then told the crowd that when they see a veteran, it is their duty to thank that veteran. She thanked the crowd for coming, she thanked the veterans and then said 'God bless you and God bless America'. A wonderful evening.

We are so proud of Taylor and hope tonight will renew a veteran's spirit, and hope that it will grow a seed in a young one's heart to want to stand up and serve their country with pride.


Yesterday, Jan 23, was Taylor's birthday! Word got sent out and let me tell you, she got tons of emails and cards wishing her a great day, and great day she had!

While she didn't get any of the weaponry she wished for *maybe SOON* she did get some goodies she had been wanting. She got a guitar so she can challenge her brother, Tanner, on guitar hero. She got a nice shadow box and some unit patches that have been secretly sent to her, and she thinks that is really cool! She also got a daily calendar that has pictures of the WWll flying aircraft that she is so interested in.

We went out and had a really nice dinner and then she got to go pick out a ring she had been wanting as well.

Thank you everyone for making her day special!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Free Throw contest

Taylor did it again! She won the first round of the free throw contest. For this particular one, this is 3 years in a row now. She has for the past several years, done two different ones. For the Elks, she has always won the 1st and 2nd round and ended up going to Hope College where she just never had any luck.

For this one, the Knights of Columbus, she has won the 1st round and then has no luck on the 2nd. To us though, she is such a winner! She goes up against girls that are half her size and that have played. Because of Taylor's medical condition, she can't play. It is hard, she wants to so badly and she has the skill, but more so, the heart and spirit.

With her medical condition, visual spatial problems are a big thing. So, how she can nail those free throws we don't know. Not only can she do the free throws, but she can stand far behind the 3 point line and swish it! As tiny as she is, it is funnier then all get out to watch her do it. And it isn't a struggle, she doesn't jump all over the place, she doesn't do the funky chicken with her arms, she just looks at the hoop and there goes the ball......

The one girl that keeps beating her for the last 3 years goes to all sorts of basketball camps and what not. She cracked her dad and I up the other day by mentioning this girl by NAME.

I told Taylor even if she never made one basket, she would still be a winner to us because she is beating the odds once again by even being out there and trying. Can't ask for much more then that.

This time, she took her music, sat in a corner and had her eyes closed. I asked her what she was listening to and she said her Marine Corps hymn. She made 12 out of 15.

We are working on the final details for the Military Appreciation Night she put in motion for this Thursday, Jan 24. She is very excited about it and hopefully, others will be to.

Now if any of you read this before the 23rd, it is Taylor's birthday, please send her some birthday wishes!!!!!

Marine Corps League

The little Gunny went to her first Marine Corps League meeting last week. She was almost overcome with amazement and awe with all the generations of Marines she was in company of. It was interesting to see the reaction she got there. We were the only female there, plus her being a child, they just weren't sure on how to act!

She had the honor of meeting yet another Iwo Jima veteran and at one point, he was overcome with emotion and shed a few tears at her true devotion to what he fought for. He and another older Marine, a Guadalcanal veteran, were so enthralled by her that they kept calling her over to talk to them, not paying attention to the meeting. At one point in time, the 3 of them got a stern 'pay attention'!

When Taylor stood and introduced herself, it wasn't in that soft little girl voice, she stood up so fast her chair about flipped over and she snapped out GYSGT TAYLOR BATTEN SEMPER FI and at that, the room erupted with OOH RAH's and SEMPER FI's. From what I understand, the meeting was pretty tame, in order to accommodate the 'young one' which didn't sit well with Taylor. I told her that I will have to talk with these men and let them know the real her and that they do not need to treat her with such sensitivity.

I regret I didn't take any pictures of that night. Had the camera in my hand, just got caught up in everything and didn't take one.
Sen. John McCain made a campaign stop in Kalamazoo and Taylor was invited as a guest of Sen. Fred Upton. She got reserved seats right next to the podium and while she didn't ask any question like she wanted to, he looked at her and she smiled and he smiled back, pointed at her and winked. While she is to young to be real political yet, she liked being there and listening to what he had to say and when he talked of how he would take care of the veterans, she stood up and clapped and yelled out a few times. Some of the stuff didn't matter to her, what mattered was when our service members were brought up and then she perked right up.

We were able to meet a wounded soldier there. He was injured and he told us of how at first, he was taken care of, then he stepped in the red tape nightmare. As most of you know, when someone is wounded, at times, they are neither financially here nor there. This young man was wounded significantly, got into the red tape of financial help from our government and lost his house. Now his credit is ruined. Taylor wants to see from whoever is in charge of our nation, they make sure this doesn't happen. She shook his hand, told him she was sorry and that none of our service members, wounded or not, should be treated like that. If they fight for this country, this country needs to step up and take care of them a whole lot better. Pretty strong convictions for a 13 year old huh? Not, how is my hair, my clothes, gossiping with the other girls, worried about what to put on the MP3 player or what she will get next........worried about how our troops are being treated. VERY PROUD OF HER!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I know most of you that read Taylor's blog are just as pro military as we are and you all hold the troops close to your hearts. I know most of you say prayers for ALL the troops and or send positive thoughts their way.

I however have a request. Could you please say a few extra for some of Taylor's good buddies that are headed overseas right now? Taylor has always sent care packages and it has always been to random contacts she found at She has had the unbelievable privilege to be able to meet some of those contacts in person! And she views them all as some of her best buds.

Well, now Taylor won't be having to send care packages to random contacts, as there are several that she knows either there right now or are going to be very shortly.

Major B, Lt. Col. W, Spc BJ G, and Major S. Soon there will be someone else, but we haven't seen him post it yet that he is going, so we will keep that quiet until he lets others know and then we can post his name as well.

Major B VOLUNTEERED to go back. Taylor is incredibly proud of these guys and as most of you know, if she could, she would be there to and I say that in all seriousness. She however, at times, allows the little girl in her to peek out and she gets worried.

Please, keep all our troops in your hearts. Please, say a little extra prayer for Taylor's buddies.

On to some more fantastic news!!!! You know we shamelessly plug and for good reason, go check it out. Anysoldier was able to get over $25,000 worth of entertainment equipment to hand deliver to none other then Taylor's beloved Wounded Warrior Barracks!!!!! They will be delivering it on Jan. 14. Taylor about jumped out of her skin when she was talking with Marty and he told her about it, she was that excited!