A Blatant Plug for the New Blog

Many of my most faithful readers have asked, “Where are you, Mother Goose? We miss your daily stories about people you know and places you go.”

And I do apologize for my seemingly absent stories, but I must tell you about the most exciting experience I’ve had in a long time! I met yesterday with a young man AND an older gentleman. Now before you get your undies in a bunch, please hear me out…

This was an interview I was conducting of a young U.S. Marine veteran who is now an accomplished and exhibited artist in the Chicagoland area. I am currently telling his story for all to hear over at that other Mother Goose blog, Mother Goose Salutes.

Of course, I am not one who likes to toot her own horn, per se. Or honk her own praises…

But this is such a great story about such an amazing man that I just have to invite you over there to read it. Here’s just a snippet from the story:

“I’m actually thankful for getting blown up in Iraq four times. I’m actually happier now being an artist rather than getting the business management degree I always thought I’d get.”

(Maybe you need to stop and read that quote again…)

Marine veteran and artist, Richard Casper at The Corner Bakery.

Marine veteran and artist, Richard Casper at The Corner Bakery.

Please consider this an open invitation to follow The Ballad of Richard Casper, a real life American hero with a vision to help other disabled veterans — perhaps to even save the lives of some of our returning troops who suffer from Traumatic Brain Injuries and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Love, Mother Goose

“Where’s The Head?” and other questions…

Mother Goose with her family in tow reached the U.S. Navy frigate, USS De Wert, in the nick of time. We waited for the other passengers and tourists to disembark the water taxi and embark the military ship, and then tried to find our sea legs as we climbed the accommodation ladder (a ladder suspended over and inclining down the side of a ship to facilitate boarding the ship from boats).

Looking up and trying not to fall overboard, I was beholden of our beautiful stars and stripes — a fitting start to our tour of the ship.

Glad to know we are with fellow Americans.

As you can easily discern, once aboard the USS De Wert, Mother Goose quickly learned Navy lingo. And also because I am a goose, I immediately began searching for the rest room. Mother Goose even asked several sailors and tourists, “Where’s the head?” They were more than happy to show me — because I was using the correct terminology for ships and other watercraft.

There were brass plaques and signs throughout the ship, explaining the history of USS De Wert as well as departments onboard.

Of course, another question I asked the sailors was “Who is this ship named after?” And they were more than proud to tell me that story. The frigate was named for Hospitalman Richard De Wert (1931–1951). De Wert was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism while serving with the 7th Marines during the Korean War. Though wounded twice in battle, he continued to go out into the enemy fire to rescue other injured Marines. He was killed in action saving a friend.

Twenty-year old Hospitalman Richard De Wert was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for acts of valor during the Korean War.

A helicopter landing pad near the stern of the USS De Wert.

Mother Goose asked if a helicopter could actually land on this warship. “Yes,” replied the ensign who was acting as our official tour guide. “In fact, we even have two helo hangars.” And then she showed those places to us. By the way, it is more “navy” to call them “helos” so from now on, Mother Goose will be using that word…

As a naval warship and anti-piracy craft, we would expect to see some weapons. We saw quite a few mounted along the rail of the ship.

This is a real gun. And the real husband of Mother Goose…

We also saw guns slung across the backs of several uniformed sailors.

A real sailor talking with the real husband of Mother Goose.

Mother Goose asked, “So where do you keep the big guns?”

Navy Ensign with the sweet white cover showed us the big guns.

Here’s the back of the mounted machine gun. Very powerful weaponry, friends.

Bad guys, beware!

M.Goose in the bow of the boat. Perhaps she is dreaming of joining the U.S. Navy and seeing the world… So many ports, so little time…

USS De Wert, a powerful Navy ship with an excellent crew of sailors onboard. Land ahoy! There’s the great city of Chicago on the horizon!

Mother Goose had one last question. “Do you know how many sailors there are in the U.S. Navy?”

The good folks at Wikipedia were proud to answer that question: The service has 321,053 personnel on active duty and 106,188 in the Navy Reserve. It operates 286 ships in active service and more than 3,700 aircraft.

Please remember to pray for our servicemen and women on the land and on the sea and in the air — don’t forget that there’s still a war being waged in Afghanistan with American sons and daughters dying everyday in the name of freedom.

According to this Associated Press report, “In July, 40 U.S. servicemembers died in Afghanistan in the deadliest month for American troops so far this year. At least 31 have been killed this month — seven when a helicopter crashed during a firefight with insurgents in what was one of the deadliest air disasters of the war. Ten others were gunned down in attacks from members of the Afghan security forces — either disgruntled turncoats or Taliban infiltrators.” http://www.military.com/daily-news/2012/08/22/americans-tune-out-afghan-war-as-fighting-rages-on.html?ESRC=eb.nl

Since the war began in Afghanistan in October 2001, we’ve lost 2,000 men and women.

Isn’t it time to bring our soldiers home? Enough is enough.

Love, Mother Goose

In Honor of a Hero

Today my heart is heavy. Though I didn’t know Marine Corporal Conner Thomas Lowry, I feel his mother’s pain. Though I haven’t lost a son or daughter or a husband to a desert war in a faraway place, my tears fall for families who know that kind of loss. This Marine was killed in Afghanistan on March 1st; he was a gunner on a humvee during combat operations in Kajaki District. He was 24 years old, and had planned to be home in June.

This morning, he arrived at Midway Airport in Chicago. They’ll carry him to his family and they’ll carry him to a visitation service. They’ll carry him to funeral mass and they’ll carry him to his final resting place. And God will carry his family and friends.

I have many questions: how does a mother cope with this kind of loss? Will her son’s ultimate sacrifice be remembered by this nation in weeks to come? When will the troops come home for good? Will there every be a good and believable reason for this war?

We honor you, Corporal Conner Lowry. We pray for your beloved family and friends and fellow Marines. Someday, we’ll be able to throw our arms around you and shake your hand and thank you properly for your service to the United States of America. We don’t say “goodbye” because you’ll be with us. Blessings to you.

Marine Corporal Conner Thomas Lowry, rest in peace.

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