Sunday, December 26, 2004

A Letter from a Soldier in Iraqi Territory...

This is a copy of the actual letter sent by an American Soldier assigned in Iraq. A permission from the letter recipient was given to me for purpose of reitirating to many, what we, as Americans, our soldiers are saying. Please allow me to just use initials of the names stated in her letter to protect their identity.
The letter started this way...

Merry Christmas

As we depart another year, we thank the Lord for rendering us another full year of blessings. It has been a year of wonderful experiences and adventures for the H family. This year have given us a new meaning of the holidays.

In March, I was given a short notice to go to Birmingham, Alabama, get all processed for possible deployment to Iraq (continue to be in the army reserve). Fortunately, it was just for readiness process, not my turn yet to head to the theater of operation (combat zone). It was such a relief that I did not deploy yet, I was able to see Mel graduate from high school. My family from California joined us to celebrate her graduation and we were all able to spend time together. The school invited us to attend the rehearsal, which was also the award ceremony. Mel had an idea that she might be getting an award, to her surprised not only was she presented one but six awards. She was proud of her accomplishments and proved that her hard work was such an investment. We too, share such pride. UF is where she was admitted for college and started classes in the summer. It was exciting to get her all ready for college, reminded me of my own college years. Der, Erik and myself were able to move her to her new home (dorm.). Did not hit us until we were in the process of moving and saying goodbye, that our firstborn has grown to a young adult leaving home for college. Fortunately, college is only 90n miles from home. So far she is doing well, though she claims, she is not quite challenged wet, at least for now.

In June, I finally got my turn for deploymentto Iraq, join an FST (FORWARD SURGICAL TEAM). Getting ready for such uncertainties (do not think you can really be ready heading to war)was not easy and leaving the girls and Der for at least 4 months was tough. As of July 15, I am now military active duty and on 18th of July, I headed for texas for in processing to leave the country. One of the toughest things I have to do is say goodbye for now to my family. I know that it has been also the hardest thing unimaginable for them. I know I will be doing my job where I was going, but for Mel, Erik and Der, it was tough not knowing how would I do and scared for my safety. I cannot reassure them enough that I will be okay (I have to admit I was scared). Just getting to Iraq was itself an experience. Left the US on chartered plane to Germany then Kuwait. After hopping from one military plane to another, from C130 Chinook and Black Hawk, by 1100pm 3 days after we left the States, we arrived safely in Tikrit. Witnessing first hand what we do in Iraq, I am confident; we are helping the less forunate achieve their freedom. Freedom comes in such a high price, all the dollar spent, the brave soldiers, Iraqi soldiers and all coalition forces who have lost their lives and most importantly, the many bodies mangled. I witnessed this, day after day and did what I know best in relieving some pain and doing anesthesia. I am so fortunate to be blessed to be able to care for our soldiers and work with such incredible soldiers. Camaraderie is what kept us all going. Despite being mortared almost everyday, we were able to carry on our duties. We were also fortunate to be able to communicate with our families back in the States. We were well taken cared of by military, reasonable living conditions, (necessities become luxuries) and a lot of food. 3 weeks to my heading home, we were ordered to go another mission, this ime to Operation Enduring Freedom, in Afghanistan. This time, we were forward as can get to the combat grounds. We set our operating room and within 3 hours we were operational. 2 theaters of operations in my 90 day tour, it has been a rewarding experience. This time, we were in such an austere environment, not only we survived it but we all thrived. I would like to thank again everyone who had been very supportive to my family and me in this time of our lives. What an honor and privilege to have served our country. It was life changing experience. Third of November, I was back in American soil and what great feeling it was. I have been trying to get back to civilian life and doing well but just taking it slow. It has not been as easy as I thought. Again, thank you to all.

My family were all busy taking care of their businesses in school...Der helps out the most....

December 1-th, we celebrated our ?? wedding anniversary, one more event in our lives to be thankful for and got spent some time in the US V. I.. Not only Der and I were able to spend time together, it was a great way for me to decompress from military life back to civilian life.

As we celebrate the birth of Christ, we give thanks to the Almighty God for keeping us all together and safe. I asked that we all be patient with what is going on in the Middle East and the rest of the world struggling for freedom, and pray for all our brave soldiers and their families who have been doing other duties selflessly.

You all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and that all mankind someday enjoy
PEACE on earth.

Der, chang, Mel, Erik

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Instructions for L I F E

This is a nice reading, but short. Enjoy! All it takes is a few seconds to read and think over.


1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three R’s:
Respect for self,
Respect for others and
Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.
7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be
able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t
bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other
exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
20. It doesn't cost an extra penny to use these as a guidance... Bless your heart!


You may not know that many non-living things have a gender.
For example:

1) Ziploc Bags -- They are Male, because they hold everything in, but you
can see right through them.

2) Copiers -- They are Female, because once turned off, it takes a while to
warm them up again. It's an effective reproductive device if the right
buttons are pushed, but can wreak havoc if the wrong buttons are pushed.

3) Tire -- Male, because it goes bald and it's often over-inflated.

4) Hot Air Balloon -- Male, because, to get it to go anywhere, you have to
light a fire under it and, of course, there's the hot air component.

5) Sponges -- Female, because they're soft, squeezable and retain water.

6) Web Page -- Female, because it's always getting hit on.

7) Subway -- Male, because it uses the same old lines to pick people up.

8) Hourglass -- Female, because over time, the weight can shift to the

9) Hammer -- Male, because it hasn't changed much over the last 5,000
years, but it's handy to have around.

10) Remote Control -- Female. Ha! You thought it'd be Male. But consider
this -- it gives a man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while he
doesn't always know the right buttons to push, he keeps trying.

Great Thinkers

These are entries to a Washington Post competition asking for a rhyme
with the most romantic first line but the least romantic second line.

Love may be beautiful, love may be bliss
But I slept with you because I was pissed.

I thought that I could love no other
Until, that is, I met your brother.

Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are you.
But the roses are wilting, the violets are dead,
the sugar bowl's empty, and so is your head.

Kind, intelligent, loving, and hot.
This describes everything you're not.

I want to feel your sweet embrace
But don't take that bag from off your face.

I love your smile, your face, your eyes.
Damn, I'm good at telling lies!

My darling, my lover, my beautiful wife,
Marrying you screwed up my life.

I see your face when I am dreaming.
That's why I always wake up screaming.

My love, you take my breath away.
What have you stepped in to smell this way?

What inspired this amorous rhyme?
Two parts vodka, one part lime.

Sunday, December 12, 2004


O Jesus behold our family prostrate bfore thee. We consecrate ourselves to thee-our trials & joys-that our home like thine may ever be the shrine of peace, purity, love, labor & faith. O Mary loving mother of Jesus & our mother, pray to Jesus for our family. for all the families in the world. O Joseph holy guardian of Jesus & Mary, assist us by thy prayers in all the necessities of life. Ask of Jesus that special grace which He granted to Thee to watch over our home so that with Mary & Thee, heaven may find our family unbroken in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Amen.


During some point of the journey they had an
argument, and one friend slapped the other one
in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but with out
saying anything, wrote in the sand:
They kept on walking
until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath.
The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning,
but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning,
he wrote on a stone:
The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend
asked him, "After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now,
you write on a stone, why?"
The other friend replied
"When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where winds of
forgiveness can erase it away.
But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone
where no wind can ever erase it."
They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to
appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life
to forget them.
You have read this not by accident, Someone allowed you so that you may either send this phrase to the people you'll never forget or write that important person in your life. If you can’t send any of these to anyone, it means you're in a hurry and that you've forgotten your friends.
Take the time to live!
My friend, “Do not value the THINGS you have in your life. But value WHO you have in your life!”

Have You Ever?

Have you ever been just sitting there and all of a sudden you feel like doing something nice for someone you care for? THAT'S GOD talking to you through the Holy Spirit.

Have you ever been down and out and nobody seems to be around for you to talk to? THAT'S GOD wanting you to talk to Him.

Have you ever been thinking about somebody that you haven't seen in a long time and then next thing you know you see them or receive a phone call from them? THAT'S GOD.. There is no such thing as coincidence.

Have you ever received something wonderful that you didn't even ask for, like money in the mail, a debt that had mysteriously been cleared, or a coupon to a department store where you had just seen something you needed, but couldn't afford? THAT'S GOD knowing the desires of your heart.

Have you ever been in a situation and you had no clue how it was going to get better, how the hurting would stop, how the pain would ease, but now you look back on it. . ..
THAT'S GOD passing us through tribulation to see a brighter day.

Have you ever thought why are you reading this page? THAT'S GOD, sending His message to you.

Brighten up! And grasp the blessings...

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Marriage Prayer...

A friend shared me this prayer, for strong and solid marriage.
I am sharing this with you praying that may you grow in love with each passing years.

God bless you and your beautiful family.

O God, we come to thank you for our vocation to the married state of life. We thank you for all the favors and graces we have received from you in our marriage. We thank you Lord for the love and care we have been able to show each other. We thank you for our home and for our family. O God, we want to say SORRY for the many sins we commit in our daily lives. We have been negligent, taking each other for granted, even taking you for granted. Forgive us Lord for the times we have spoiled the beauty of our wedded life. Often we have been impatient and inconsiderate with each other. In some ways we have failed in our commitment to love and to cherish each other above everyone and everything else in this world. Help us now Lord, to be more thoughtful, keeping the promises we made through our marital vows.

In that holy sacrament of Matrimony you were present, Lord, assuring us of life-long graces to be loyal to each other as husband and wife. Teach us now, Lord, to constantly ask for those graces. Make us realize our need for each other and for you in our marriage. Inspire us to reserve time for prayer, morning and evening. Without you, Lord, we cannot have a truly happy life with each other.

Divine Jesus, please continue to bless our home and family. Give us good health in mind and body. Protect us from every evil. Save us from sin and temptation. Keep us in your love and care. We pray that our children may grow in faith and knowledge. Don’t let the false maxims of this world ever lead them astray from you, Lord. We ask Mary Immaculate to obtain for us and our children, the grace to live closely to her Son here on earth and then, to be with him eternally in heaven. Amen.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


The best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love.

-William Wordsworth

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Family of the Groom...

Family of the Groom

At an Easter mass, at which some young ladies were to take their final vows to become nuns, the presiding bishop noticed two rabbis enter the church just before the mass began.

They were seated at the back of the sanctuary and insisted on sitting on the right side of the center aisle. The bishop wondered why they had come but didn't have time to inquire before the mass began.

When it came time for some announcements, his curiosity got the best of him. He announced that he was delighted to see two rabbis in their midst at the mass but was curious as to why they were present at this occasion where the young ladies were to become the "Brides of Christ."

The eldest of the rabbis slowly rose to his feet and explained, "Family of the Groom."

Monday, December 06, 2004

Old Age

Sixty is the worst age to be," said the 60 year old. "You always feel like
you have to pee. And most of the time, you stand at the toilet and nothing
comes out!"

"Ah, that's nothing", said the 70 year old. "When you're seventy, you don't have a bowel movement anymore. You take laxatives, eat bran, you sit on the toilet all day and nothing comes out!"

"Actually," said the 80 year old, "eighty is the worst age of all."

"Do you have trouble peeing, too?" asked the 60 year old.

"No, not really. I pee every morning at 6:00. I pee like a racehorse on a
flat rock, no problem at all."

"Do you have trouble having a bowel movement?"

"No, I have one every morning at 6:30."

With great exasperation, the 60 year old said, "Let me get this straight.
You pee every morning at 6:00 and poop every morning at 6:30. So what's so tough about being 80?"

"I don't wake up until 7:00."

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Dear Mom

It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you.
I had to elope with my new boyfriend because I wanted
to avoid a scene with Dad and you.
I've been finding real passion with John and he is so
nice - even with all his piercings, tattoos, beard
and his motorcycle clothes.

But its not only the passion Mom, I'm pregnant
and John said we will be very happy. He already owns
a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood
for the whole winter. He wants to have many more
children and that's now one of my dreams too. John
taught me that marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone
and we'll be growing it for us and trading it with
his friends for all the cocaine and ecstasy we want.
In the meantime, we'll pray that science will find
a cure for AIDS so John can get better, he sure
deserves it.

Don't worry Mom, I'm 15 years old now and I
know how to take care of myself. Some day I'm
sure we'll be back to visit so you can get to know
your grandchildren

Your daughter Judith

P.S. Mom, none of the above is true. I'm over at
the neighbors house. I just wanted to remind you
that there are worse things in life than my
report card that's in my desk center drawer.

I love you. Call when it is safe for me to come home.