After our Saturday Victory Rally, a few of us took a roadtrip to American Legion Post 129 in Toms River, NJ to see the Cpl Michael Crescenz Murial. We had a wonderful time, met many great patriotic Americans.
more photos to come
After our Saturday Victory Rally, a few of us took a roadtrip to American Legion Post 129 in Toms River, NJ to see the Cpl Michael Crescenz Murial. We had a wonderful time, met many great patriotic Americans.
more photos to come
We had many new faces this week, including a couple from Scranton and twin sisters who were WAC’s (Women Army Corps) in the mid-60′s. Thanks to all who came to support our troops, country, and flag.
more photos later
Another terrific rally. We were thrilled to have 2 active duty troops stop by and say hello. We also had 5 military moms and their husbands. At the end we sang the National Anthem, said the Pledge of Allegiance, and said a group “Lord’s Prayer” for our troops protection and success.
Above, Blue Star Mom Mary Lou leads us in singing the Star Spangled Banner. Her son Matt is in Iraq. Joining together to proudly sing the anthem and salute our flag in public – is the greatest most patriotic feeling.
We had several newcomers including this young lady named Janet. Her and her mother were walking by to do some school-clothes shopping. Both were very supportive and grateful to see us stand up for our country and our troops.
Below is Mike, he’s active duty Navy, graduated from Hendersen HS here in West Chester. He spent a year in the war, training Iraqi Marines to guard oil-rigs and he recently completed 3 weeks of rigorous specialized Raven training to keep airports safe and free from saboteurs and terror attacks. 35 members started and 22 finished. Here he is pictured with his mom Pam. Pam attends as many rallies as she can, to be with others that share so much in common. Mike brought his older brother Ross and cousin Roy (on right).
Here’s Jon “Doc” Kromer of Coatesville. He’s active duty Army and currently stationed in Maryland after completing 15 months as a Combat Medic in Afghanistan. He said he’s “going for the gold” – he’s applying to become an officer and we wish him well, he’s an outstanding young man and medic. This photo is Mike, Doc, and me – always happy to see our heroes.
Below are 5 of our military moms who come to enjoy each other’s company and be with people that share their common experience of having a loved one serving to keep our country strong and free. We have 9 military moms that come on a regular basis and it’s growing. Their husbands always join them and are great examples of honorable men who maintain a quiet strength as they await the return of their hero sons and daughters.
Here’s Gail, she was walking by just in time to see us sing the National Anthem and pray for the troops. She told me that she was from Upper Darby and was in West Chester for an event and “just happened to be walking by”. She said she was very grateful to see us. When we finished she approached me and said, “This is unbelievable, I’m so glad I saw this.” Her voice broke when she said this, “My son just arrived in Iraq 2 days ago.” She told me his name is Robert and he’s in the Army and this is his 2nd tour in Iraq. I told her that we have many other moms in the same boat and she is welcome to join us anytime. She’ll be surrounded by friends and “family” who understand how hard it is to have your loved one do this most difficult of duties. Our group truly appreciates the sacrifices of our Military families.
In addition to our Military Families and patriotic citizens, we have a lot of veterans. Many are Vietnam Veterans who help lead the way in making sure that today’s troops get the support and praise that they deserve. They don’t want their effort to get undermined or have their honor stolen, the way they were during the Vietnam War.
A soldier stopped at the light and thanked us. “It’s always great to see you here, we love you guys and we appreciate your support.” He trains at the National Guard Center a few blocks away. Next is my mom, Marie, the woman who taught me and all six of her kids to love our country, she’s standing with my daughter’s boyfriend, Rick.
Our Troops and their families will always be in our hearts, minds, and prayers.
Thanks to all who take time to come together to remember the ones who sacrifice and make our freedoms possible.
Please join us every Saturday at the corner of High and Market St in West Chester, Pa from 11AM till noon.
God Bless America.
Last November (2008) a West Chester resident and hero passed thru the veil. His name is Freddy Eissler, he had just turned 20. All his life he wanted to attend the Naval Academy and be a Navy Pilot, like his father. It wasn’t easy, but he made it, and last September he became a Midshipman at the USNA.
He is the eldest of Helene and Fred’s 5 children. The only son. His accomplishments during his life are astounding. In 8th grade he became an Eagle Scout. He was a scuba diver and could captain a sailboat. In high school he lettered 4 years in football and was All-Conference. He could speak 2 languages. And he was an underdog, who overcame the odds. He wanted to help his friends. He was proud of his Irish heritage and with the red hair, looks like the map of Ireland. He grew up in a Catholic family of great faith.
His mother, Helene, found out about our Victory Movement shortly after we started in Sept 2007. She is the proudest Navy wife and mom you ever met. She came to a few rallies when she could. I remember her telling me that Freddy would be attending the Naval Academy.
When news of Freddy’s illness became public – like everyone I was stunned, but we got the word out and everyone started praying. Freddy should have passed in 6 hours, but with shear determination and grit, Freddy beat the odds and survived for over 6 days. During that time many unexplainable things occured. I think it was all the prayers that were pouring in from all over the country.
Since he passed, his mother has been keeping a journal of all the amazing things that have happened, intimate stories of faith and hope. She’s put it all on paper and has made it available for us to read. I am proud to be her friend and grateful that she took the time to write this story.
I’m sure many of you will appreciate her heartfelt story of faith, love, and family.
Here is what she wrote to me:
All of what you see each day is just a sign of the times we are living in. The good book says it so clearly…”when good is evil and evil is good…”
I apologize that I have not been much of a support these last several months but I know you understand. But I was not left to sit and sulk. God had other plans for me and my family these last eight months…and in fact I was literally commanded by heaven to write the attached story of my son. As you read you will understand why. As you know the is the Hour of His Divine Mercy. In this Hour He is wiling to bestow such great graces on those who trust in His ways…me and my family and Freddy’s friends and now even those who never met my son are experiencing these great graces. It is a beautiful story for the Christian who knows and love Our Lord and Savior…as you do. I hope you get a chance to read it and pass it on…
I am very open to thoughts and discussion. I think this story calls for Christians to start talking…and saving souls…
Helene Eissler’s email - email@example.com
Thank you Helene for this gift. I’m sure the people that read our Sheepdogs blog will appreciate it too. We look forward to seeing you on the corner again sometime. You will be with family and true friends. I’ve told Helene that I often ask Freddy to help get me a guardian angel that will help me when I was injured last Christmas or when I feel anxiety.
If you want a copy of Freddy’s story, please send me an email and I will forward it to you. (Unfortunately, I can’t upload it, it’s 141 pages and I get a “file too large” message).
Use the “contact us” link on the right hand column (under ”Pages”)
UPDATE – On 10-22-1988 we remembered Freddy’s Birthday and put this story on the front page for a few days.
Happy Birthday Freddy!
You were always there for your family, friends, and country and you still are.
So far these concerts have provided over $2.5 million in college scholarships for children who’s parent was killed or disabled while serving their country.
I found my spot in front of the stage and I was getting situated with my 3 signs and this young guy, (red shirt above) came over and said, “Do you want help with your signs?” I said, “Yes, I want to walk around with them, would you do that with me? His name is Bobby and it turns out he’s a Midshipman at the US Naval Academy, Class of 2012. He’s from Florida. I told him I am friends with Freddy Eissler’s family and he said, “I knew Freddy”. He told me he visits Freddy’s grave often. We formed a quick friendship and we started at one end of the stadium and walked in front of each section and all the people would stand up and clap and cheer. Our signs said, “THANK YOU MILITARY FAMILIES”, “THANK YOU US TROOPS” and “VICTORY IS THE ANSWER”. You can see a picture of us from Hannity’s website below.
Above, I saw this shirt and got into a conversation with this “Proud Army Mom”, her name is Chris and her son, Corey, is in Iraq right now. Chris and her husband brought 2 of Corey’s 3 sisters to the concert. It’s always a thrill to meet the families and tell them how much we appreciate their sacrifice.
Here’s Army Major Scott Willens, he’s an Iraq veteran and is currently assigned to Ft Detrick . He’s got a DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) and a PhD and a fantastic singing voice. He sang the National Anthem earlier.
A “Sold Out – Standing Room Only” crowd of 17,000 patriots showed up to see Lee Greenwood, Charlie Daniels, Michael W. Smith, and Billy Ray Cyrus. The loudest ovations were for WABC’s Mark Levin , Curtis Sliwa, and Ollie North from FOX News. And the best part was when we all stood, shoulder-to-shoulder, and sang along with Lee Greenwood singing of “God Bless The USA”.
Sean Hannity tossed a bunch of minature red, white, and blue footballs to the crowd. I was lucky enough to catch one and gave it to a kid next to me, a 9th grader from Toms River.
The show includes many great acts, but the best part is meeting all these great Americans from around the country. Including these 2 Vietnam Vets (below). Welcome Home!
At the end of the concert, Billy Ray Cyrus sang, “Some Gave All” to the parents of a Marine hero who died trying to save the life a fellow Marine in Iraq, Ollie North stood with them, tears in everyone’s eyes.
Going to the Freedom Concert has become a highlight of my year. It’s the next best thing to heaven, being surrounded by thousands of patriotic citizens, troops, and military families.
Well done to Sean Hannity, and Oliver North for giving us a chance to help raise money for the families of our greatest patriots.
See more pictures from Sean Hannity’s Website HERE.
Once again, decent Americans stand tall to honor our nation, our flag, and our most beloved treasure – Our Troops!
We love our country and we are proud to show public patriotism. We are not thugs and we are offended by those who call us thugs, brown shirts, and racists. Most of us are veterans or military family members. Thanks to all who take time out of their busy lives to stand up for the values and principles that made America the good and great country that it is.
Below is Amber and her husband Julio (with Marine Charlie – Vietnam Veteran). Amber is in the Air Force and was walking by when she saw us. She was impressed and grateful and wants to share our story with all her friends. She’s been in the service for about a year. THANK YOU Amber for your service and loyalty to our country.
Here’s Garry, a newcomer and Navy veteran. Also, Adam is a newcomer, he heard about us from our Wall Street Journal article and said, “I’ve been wanting to come here for over a year, and I finally made it.” His dad was in Marines. Adam is standing next to my mom, Marie.
Matti, our littlest patriot.
Blue Star Moms Mary Lou (son Matt is in Iraq) and JoAnne (son Greg is in Afghanistan) sign Bibles which will be sent to the troops. The Bibles have a special “cami” cover and special made for the troops. All of us signed them and wrote messages of support and gratitude to our heroes.
This is Major John Preston, he’s 87-yrs old. I met him as I was putting my flags back into my garage after the rally. He said, “You’re carrying valuable cargo” and I said, “What do you mean?” and he said, “The Flag.” I asked him if he was a veteran and he said, “Yes”. He told me he was in the US Army Air Corps, he was a fighter pilot. “I flew Mustangs” he said. He was in from 1941 to 1945 and he saw a lot of action. He flew dangerous missions out of England. He lives in West Chester and said he would try to come to our rally sometime. We are always thrilled and honored to meet our heroes, past and present.
Above is Fred and his 2 sons Josh and Jeremy. Jeremy is a sophomore at East HS and Josh is a freshman at Shippensburg. These 3 great patriots volunteered to help a Marine Mom move her furniture to her new location. When a military family member asks for a favor, we are glad to help. Fred called me and said, “I have 2 teenage sons that lift weights and they will be glad to help her move.” Thanks Fred, Josh and Jeremy – You represent to very best of America’s spirit of helping a friend in need.
The “Salute The Troops” coin was passed from Vietnam Veteran (Bronze Star/Purple Heart) Tony to John, a student at Coatesville HS. Congrats John!
Thank You Troops! Thank You Military Families! God Bless America!
Standing together in support of America, our Flag and our Troops is an uplifting experience. Thanks to all who were there, especially the Military Moms and Dads. At the end of our 1-hour rally we enjoy singing the National Anthem and saying a group “Lord’s Prayer” for our troops.
Below are some of our military families, Mary Lou, Rosemary, Harry, and Joe. Great Americans all.
Special welcome to our newcomers, Rob, Norman, Mick, and Paul.
Below is Miriam and her veteran husband Al (Air Force Pilot) – they are a very proud military family. Their son is an Admiral at the Pentagon, and their grandaughter is with the Delaware National Guard (Medical unit), getting ready to deploy to Iraq. “We are very proud of her, she’s 23 and she’s a beautiful person,” said Miriam. Her grandaughter graduated from Hendersen High School, here in West Chester, Pa.
Special thanks to John Paul, an Army officer who stopped by to say “Thank You”. Here’s John and his girlfriend Erin and with his grandfather, also an Army veteran.
Thanks again to all our patriots, of all ages, for standing behind our troops and America. See you next Saturday.
God bless America
Karen Porter, the leader of the Chester County Peace Movement wrote a newsletter today. In it she calls us “thugs, brown shirts, nazis, violent, that we are “faking our respectability” and more. Why? Because we dare to express our freedom of speech and we dare to come out on the corner to support our troops, flag, and country (notice she calls it their corner). I guess she doesn’t notice that most of us are veterans or that many are military moms and dads. The CCPM continues to believe we are paid and trained by “corporate interests”. I guess seeing us sing the National Anthem and saying the Lord’s Prayer is too much for her. Here’s an excerpt of what she wrote about us.
Almost two years ago, we faced a group of nothing less than thugs and bullies on our (yes, “our”) street corner. We saw them for what they were – a violent, hate-filled, stop-at-nothing, truly fascist group controlled by the money powers in this country and egged on by the ignorant. Call it what it is: I called them for what they are, the “brown shirts” of our time – and that is exactly what they are.
What woke me up is the fabricated “town hall meeting” dramas that we are seeing play out with increasing intensity and frequency across the country on the health-care issue. They started with the crazed tea parties. Those tactics are truly frightening and sickening. The brown shirts are now coming to those meetings in great numbers - bought and paid for by corporate interests, which is exactly what fascism is all about. Just as Hedges warns, I see a bunch of fasicts, a bunch of Nazis in our midst – driven on a personal level by racism first and foremost..
For the past several months, I have been a bit off-key, folks. Some of you have asked where I’ve been. Well, I’ve been here, but sometimes life is what happens when you’re making your plans.
To write with inspiration, one must be inspired – and I have found the past few months anything but inspiring. On a personal level, I’ve had some – shall we say – “challenges.” No, my health is fine, no worry there. It just seems like a lot of other personal concerns have taken priority, as often happens with life. Additionally, like many of you, I’ve been in a wait-and-see mode during the first months of the Obama administration – as, unfortunately, the Obama’s Afghanistan Quagmire develops – whether through any fault of his, or not, remains to be seen. I am not sure what the answer is there – but it’s not war, I say, as we sink deeper and deeper into war there.
No, peace on earth is not here – so we stand on that street corner every Saturday (though I’ve even had to miss a few of those lately). As the weeks go by, I see an even greater need to be there on that corner.
We have never faced a more serious time. We are facing a time that requires that we be on that street corner now more than ever. If you have been reading recent essays by Chris Hedges, I think you’ll know exactly what I mean right now. Go back to the book I keep recommending to you – American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. And also read Michelle Goldberg’s Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism. The horrors those books foresee are, I worry, happening before our eyes right now. Just because we elected Obama doesn’t mean these people have receded into the woodwork – they are coming out with guns-a-blazing – literally.
Recently, I have been totally turned off by “politics,” sickened by what is happening nationally. We elected the best President we could possibly have – and the dark forces, unfortunately, are doing every vile, hateful, nasty thing they can do to prevent any success on his part, to prevent any improvement in the plight of the American people. Hedges has been warning us of this all along – and I have tried to maintain optimism in spite of Hedges’ warnings – until last night.
Almost two years ago, we faced a group of nothing less than thugs and bullies on our (yes, “our”) street corner. We saw them for what they were – a violent, hate-filled, stop-at-nothing, truly fascist group controlled by the money powers in this country and egged on by the ignorant. Call it what it is: I called them for what they are, the “brown shirts” of our time – and that is exactly what they are. They have not changed in nature but cleaned up their act once their direct ties to the Republican Party became apparent and they entered the realm of formal party politics. Their signs are toned down, their most vicious dogs have been called off (at least, if they are there, they are relatively muzzled now out of nothing but political concerns), they make a great showing of faked “respectability.” But they still are what they are.
Now we see them on the evening news every night – we see the “tea parties,” and now we are seeing what I saw last night that inspired my “coming out” with this message to you – I woke up last night.
What woke me up is the fabricated “town hall meeting” dramas that we are seeing play out with increasing intensity and frequency across the country on the health-care issue. They started with the crazed tea parties. Those tactics are truly frightening and sickening. The brown shirts are now coming to those meetings in great numbers – bought and paid for by corporate interests, which is exactly what fascism is all about Just as Hedges warns, I see a bunch of fasicts, a bunch of Nazis in our midst – driven on a personal level by racism first and foremost (who the hell does that black President think he is, anyway, trying to fix “our” country?”). They are the crazed “birthers,” the Palin nuts, the ones warning of euthanasia of the elderly, the ones talking about “socialism” (who don’t even know what the word means), the ones now getting press locally for faked “Constitution” classes (where were these nuts when Bush was shredding the Constitution to ribbons?); they are the thugs we have faced for almost two years. I saw last night that, finally, Rachel Maddow had a line printed on the screen using the word I’ve used for two years to describe this group – THUGS. Thanks, Rachel, for stealing my term.
These people are (1) not going to surrender power to a black man and (2) fanatics who will stop at nothing. I mean nothing. Got that?
It’s time that all of you understand that if you didn’t before. Some of you probably still don’t have the ability to understand how dark certain forces can be – if you can’t understand it, please go back and read some pre-World War II German history. Then maybe you’ll understand the gravity of this situation we face. Hard economic times. Scapegoating. Racial and ethnic hatred. Violence. Paranoia. Anti-intellectualism. Religious fanatacism. Sexism. Powerful money interests pulling so-called “populist” strings. What I see happening right now in this country has happened before – about 70 years ago in Germany, friends.
It’s time for you to decide where and when YOU will stand up against it. The fact that Barack Obama was elected President was not the end of the story of the difficulties we face in this country – it was only the beginning. And, if you don’t believe me, google and read the writings of Chris Hedges. He’s the Jeremiah you should be reading right now.
Karen Porter, Esq., Director
The Chester County Peace Movement
Today was our 100th consecutive Saturday Pro-Troop rally on the courthouse corner in West Chester, Pa. We stand united in support of our troops and their noble mission. We continue to grow and we looked spectacular.
Today was very uplifting. We were honored to have 3 military moms today. Joanne’s son Greg is in Afghanistan, Mary Lou’s son Matt is in Iraq, and Maureen’s son John Paul will deploy to Afghanistan soon. We want them to know we are behind them and all their buddies. We always take time at the end to say the Lord’s Prayer for our troops and sing the National Anthem.
We had several newcomers, including Paul from West Chester and Dennis and Pauline from Exton. Also my mom, Marie, joined us today – always great to have her with us, she feels great and is fiesty as ever.
Thanks to all who make our patriotic rallies happen. Our troops give up their time so that we can enjoy ours.
THANK YOU TROOPS! THANK YOU MILITARY FAMILIES! GOD BLESS AMERICA!
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