Memorial website in the memory of your loved one
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Thanks for being there for me Patrick!  / James Membrere (Friend, played football )
I used to play football with Patrick when we were young. We used to get together on the weekends, and play at the park when we were just starting High school.. I remember Patrick telling me very close and personal things about his life at the time. I would give him advice, and he would give me advice. We would go to the Sunnyvale Town Center mall- when it was still there, and hang out. He was always a good guy, even back then. I'm so sorry to hear what happened to you. My condolences to your family. Miss you Patrick! Miss that smile bro. James Membrere
Patrick's Face Book Page  / Nadia McCAFFREY (MOTHER)
https://www.facebook.com/PatrickRyanMcCaffreySr.1970.2004
Patrick's Face Book Page  / Nadia McCaffrey (MOTHER)
https://www.facebook.com/PatrickRyanMcCaffreySr.1970.2004
MEMORIES OF PATRICK FROM IRAQ  / Nadia McCAFFREY (MOM)
Dear Muriah, Thank you so much for sharing your memories, I treasure all memories of Patrick. Thank you for your service to our country. Feel free to call if you like to talk... FROM Muriah Bohannon: I would like to introduce myself, my name is Muriah and I served in Iraq from Jan - Jan 2004/05. I was a combat medic and secondary 50 cal gunner on 5 ton gun trucks for convoys. I was stationed at LSA Anaconda and that is where I met Sgt. McCaffrey. He has been weighing on my mind a lot lately. I ran with him in Iraq in April, May, and June of 2004. I was an Air Force Gun Truck company that also provided force protection and security. Patrick's crew started running with us when we started pushing Turkish tankers to Falluja and Syrian border. We were on the same convoy the day Patrick was ambushed. The roads were black and we were coming into BIAP if my memory serves me correctly. We were told at the last minute to take a different route and detour off of rout Irish the Tiger team stayed on the same route. I remember hearing a Tiger team was hit but my life was very busy too, constantly off and on convoy and it wasnt until a couple of days later I was able to meet up with the crew in the chow hall and that's when I heard the news. I don't know why it has taken me this long to look up his story/family maybe because I'm still healing (I'm rated as 100% total perm PTSD). I hope you don't mind me writing and I am attaching a picture of the boys on our our 1st trip to Falluja. The story behind the picture they were telling VERY NAUGHTY DIRTY JOKES and singing 90's R&B song's and I remember Patrick always smiling and laughing and he should be the one standing (sunglasses) next to the HumV behind LT Tyson is up front. Thank you for your service and I am sorry for your loss
IN MEMORIAM  / Nadia McCaffrey (Mother)

IN MEMORIAM

To my son Sgt Patrick Ryan McCaffrey

This is part of his journal; this is what he felt, this is what he wrote that day:

“Sept 11 2001,
I woke up went to the gym as I always do about 7am and I was beginning my workout I noticed people around the TV’s. I ignored them and continued my workout, and I couldn’t help but notice more and more people around the TV area, I had to go look. I sat there in complete awe. I witnessed the most horrible thing I have ever seen in my life. As the planes struck the towers, and then the pentagon than the field in Pennsylvania, something happened to me. I drove home and woke Silvia and turned the TV on so she could see, she sat there in disbelief as I did. I got ready for work, and as I drove to work I heard all over the news, the radio stations and people’s face the scared looks on their faces.


A different look was on mine I started becoming angry, that someone dared to hurt our people on our own land. Than Osama Bin laden came on TV and accepted the responsibility for the attacks on us and our country. I saw something in our people that made me proud, they started to come together, and hold their heads up high, and show that they will stick together. I kept close to the radio stations and news stations as they reported on the attacks and the organization that was responsible. I began to look at myself and wish that I could do something for my country to help. Little did I know that I would soon find that something.

Sept 30 2001, I called an army National Guard recruiter and inquired about joining. It seemed perfect, I instead of talking like a lot of people do about defending the United States, I could actually partake in defending our soil from ever being attacked again. I came home and told Silvia, my wife, that I wanted to join, and she understood why I wanted to join but didn’t agree with me joining.
That night we sat and watched TV, and saw the news clipping of the people’s families that were left behind, and when Silvia saw the children crying for their vanished families she looked at me and said OK.

Oct 11 2001, I went to MEPS, swore in as an American soldier recruit.”

Sgt Patrick Ryan McCaffrey



Born May 26 1970, Stanford hospital, CA.



KIA June 22 2004 Balad, Iraq

With all my Love, mom  / Nadia Mccaffrey (mother)

If Tomorrow Never Comes. 


If I knew it would be the last time that I’d see you fall asleep, I would tuck you in more tightly and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time that I see you walk out the door, I would give you a hug and kiss and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time I’d hear your voice lifted up in praise, I would video tape each action and word, so I could play them back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time, I could spare an extra minute or two to stop and say “I love you,” instead of assuming, you would know I do.

If I knew it would be the last time I would be there to share your day, well I’m sure you’ll have so many more, so I can let just this one slip away.

For surely there’s always tomorrow to make up for an oversight, and we always get a second chance to make everything right.

There will always be another day to say our “I love you’s,” and certainly there’s another chance to say our “Anything I can do’s?”

But just in case I might be wrong, and today is all I get, I’d like to say how much I love you and I hope we never forget.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, young or old alike, and today may be the last chance you get to hold your loved one tight.

So if you’re waiting for tomorrow, why not do it today?

For if tomorrow never comes, you’ll surely regret the day, that you didn’t take that extra time for a smile, a hug, or a kiss and you were too busy to grant someone, what turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today, whisper in their ear, tell them how much you love them and that you’ll always hold them dear, take time to say “I’m sorry,” “please forgive me”, “thank you” or “it’s okay”.

And if tomorrow never comes, you’ll have no regrets about today.

Author Unknown
Missing Pat  / Michael B. (Soldier-Friend)

 Patrick was my friend and i had the honor to serve with him on that mission. I remember he ask me on that day to pray with him and for him just like he had many times. He was an honorable soldier and i will say you and I have been blessed by his presence.
H. was also shot although just getting shot isn’t cool. I owe pat a lot when a Lt was bothering me he was the only one who stood up for me. I will always be forever grateful to him for his guidance and compassion and his friendship. He was and always will be a great man who has touched my life greatly. I would like to know where he is resting so I may get a chance to visit him and pay my respect to him.

Sgt Patrick McCaffrey  / Chris Murphy (Friend Soldier )
“...Even though Sergeant McCaffrey was relatively new to the Army he had progressed
quickly to a position of leadership and respect. He was a natural leader with his care
for his fellow soldiers and the way others would look up to him for advice and follow his
lead. He was a team leader a position he was more than capable of handling.
Sergeant McCaffrey’s contribution to the company as a combat life saver was
incredible. He constantly was ensuring that all the other combat life savers in the
company had all the supplies in their aid bags and where ready.
He provided care for the other soldiers constantly and was always providing tips to ISG
about how the other soldiers could improve their health and well being When a combat
life saver was called he was always one of the first if not the first to respond.
He looked after everyone in the company always asking how everyone was doing and
helping them with their problems. Sgt McCaffrey was a hard charger and very
proactive.
His leadership has nothing but great things to say about him and all the soldiers
considered him a friend. Many of the soldiers considered him a close friend and will
miss him greatly.
Even though we are all stricken by his loss it is really hitting us hard. He was more
than just a friend to many of the soldiers he was a brother”.

From a close friend a brother and a fellow soldier:

Chris Murphy
6th Anniversary  / Peggy Childers (no)

To the family and friends of Sgt. Patrick R. McCaffrey:
Remembering Patrick on the anniversary of his passing. Mei our fallen heroes never be forgotten!
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"

www.IraqWarHeroes.org 

 Peggy Childers Carson City Nevada

A good man  / Stephen Beard (Friend from High School )
Pat and I went to Jr. High and High School together.  We played football together at Homestead.  We weren't best of friends kind of ran in different circles but we were friends.  I remember Pat being a very kind and fun guy the kids of guy everyone liked and no one ever had anything bad to say about.  I was so impressed and grateful when I heard Pat decided to serve after 9/11.  That's the kind of man he was.  I was shocked and saddened the day I heard he was killed.  I can't believe it was 6 years ago.  Pat you are gone but not forgotten.  To his family we grieve with you and are so sorry for your loss.  We miss you Pat. 
VISITING PATRICK  / NADIA MCCAFFREY (MOTHER)

The Huffington Post April 24 2010 

 Brigid BrettWriter.

The Los Angeles Times.



Visiting Patrick

It's a perfect Oceanside day: wispy clouds moving across a blue gray sky and just enough wind to keep blowing over the plastic vases I've brought to put the red and white roses in. Eventually I give up and lay the flowers on the stone framing his name. PATRICK RYAN MCCAFFREY. SGT US ARMY. MAY 26 1970. JUNE 22 2004. BRONZE STAR. PURPLE HEART. OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. REDSKINS FOREVER.

Two summers ago I visited Patrick's grave at the Lawn of the Folded Flags with his son Patrick Junior or PJ. Nearly 13 with smooth brown skin dark eyes and a dimpled smile he already looked like the photos I'd seen of his father. And four years after his dad's death he still spoke about him as if he were alive saying things like "My dad and me our favorite movie is Black Hawk Down. We've watched it hundreds of times together."

I watched PJ walk around the stone where his dad was buried and then kneel down and run his fingers over its smooth cool surface. He took a piece of paper out of the pocket of his shorts folded it tightly and buried it in the earth beside his father.

Later he told me what he'd written: Dad this is Patrick. I promise I will stay out of trouble. I want to make you proud of me. I miss you.

There were little stickers all over the gravestone. PJ's younger sister Janessa who lives in Oceanside had pasted them there. Tiny hearts glittery statues of liberty American flags. Today the stickers have faded into blurry white shapes that I trace with my fingers.

I never met Patrick McCaffrey but I've met a lot of people who have and they all say what an unusually good man he was and how badly they miss him. After the United States terrorist attack on September 11 2001 Patrick joined the 579th National Guard Engineers Alpha Company out of Petaluma California. He thought he'd be serving at home but he was sent to Iraq. Two hours before Patrick was gunned down by the Iraqi soldiers he was training someone took a photo of him helping a friend who'd collapsed from heat exhaustion in the 125 degree heat in Balad Iraq. His flag-draped coffin was one of the few to be welcomed home and captured on film by the media at that time.

When I stayed with his mom Nadia at her home in Tracy California I slept in the room that Patrick put together for PJ and Janessa to stay in when they visit their grandma. I slept in their bunk bed surrounded by Lion King pillows and a beady-eyed teddy bear wearing a knitted American flag vest and a poster of Nicholas Cage in Windtalkers.

The next morning Nadia made creamy scrambled eggs and told me in that rich French accent of hers about the time she and Patrick lived in Tahiti for a year-and-a-half before he became a teenager. They went barefoot and ate breadfruit cooked over an open fire. Patrick learned to kayak and windsurf and deep sea fish charming the locals and the tourists. While I sipped my coffee and savored each bite of my eggs she told me how Patrick learned the history of the island and how he'd team up with some of the taxi drivers and take tourists on tours of the island showing them the waterfalls and sacrificial sites. Although he never charged for these tours he'd usually get tips that he'd bring home to his mom.

"I picture him in Tahiti I think more often than anywhere else" Nadia said a distant look in her eyes.

Now I sit on the lawn by Patrick's grave and notice how tall the nearby tree has grown and think of Patrick's mom. The last time we spoke I could hear the deep weariness in her voice. Weariness from her body and its continual large and small betrayals. And weariness from wanting to do more always more for the young Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who reach out to her each day.

I take out the email I've printed from John Keith a young veteran with PTSD who lives in Texas.

"Patrick everyone says that you're the guy who was always there for them who would do anything to help anyone. Well listen to what your mom's been up to" I say. Then I read part of John's email out loud. The tiny American flags around the soldiers' graves flutter in the wind:

I am a disabled Iraq War Veteran. I was on an aircraft carrier during Operation Iraqi Freedom. After returning I suffered a 12 ft. fall breaking my ankle in several places breaking my back in three places and suffered a TBI (traumatic brain injury.) After getting medically retired my case was handed over to the Department of Veteran Affairs. I was awarded 60% disability compensation which equates to $900 a month. After struggling with this situation for three years I became very suicidal and depressed. I wrote a letter asking for help and sent it to every Veteran Organization Senator Congressman and anyone else I could think of that might listen. That is when I met Nadia McCaffrey. She was a very refreshing person to have in my life. She automatically made me feel at ease. She actually listened to me and was genuinely concerned about my situation. She became proactive in getting me to appointments with the VA and that is when I stopped thinking about suicide every day... She's not only my friend but I consider her a mother as well...

I fold up the email and put it back in my bag. I watch people in black clothes leave a distant gravesite and walk up the hill to their cars. I pour some water on Patrick's gravestone and scrub it with the small yellow towel I've brought for this purpose. I picture PJ the first time I met him in his red and black football cleats impatient to get out on the field.

Then I remember how he'd pointed to the raised REDSKINS FOREVER letters on his dad's stone the day we visited him together. "See here? Me and my dad are big Redskin fans. I'm going to keep playing football and I'm going to be really good at it because I know that's what he wants." Then his eyes started to tear up and he looked away and started chewing on the inside of his cheek.

Before I leave Eternal Hills I call Nadia. I know how much it hurts her to be so far from where her only child is buried. She picks up after one ring and I tell her where I am. I hear her swallow.

"Is it raining there?" she asks.

I tell her the sun is shining. "It's peaceful here on the Lawn of the Folded Flags" I say. "And though Patrick's so far from you he's surrounded by his band of brothers by all the other warriors from all the different wars."

"Yes" she says so softly I can barely hear her.




Volunteer advocates serve vets  / NADIA MCCAFFREY (Mother)

BRETT: Volunteer advocates serve vets
Story

By BRIGID BRETT
For the North County Times of San Diego

Although Chaplain Fred Tittle left Vietnam in 1970 he only filed for compensation from the Veterans Administration in 2003.
"I never considered filing a claim; as a matter of fact it was filed for me ... I'm not sure if I ever would have unless prompted by someone else another combat veteran. This is one of the reasons I do the work that I do with injured veterans; I know how difficult it is to ask for help."
Tittle is a former combat-disabled Marine who is working as chaplain at Moffett Field located near Sunnyvale with combat-disabled veterans as well as active duty members. Most of the injured have traumatic brain injury and PTSD.
The last time I talked to him he had just helped an Iraq veteran and his family who were living in a homeless shelter find "a more suitable calm place to stay and get them connected with help and resources." The couple have a young daughter and the wife was about to give birth at any moment.
On a given day Tittle will drive a soldier to her doctor's appointment defuse a potentially violent altercation with the police and help a confused and frustrated veteran fill out his mountain of forms so he can get his disability compensation. He does not get paid for any of this.
John Keith an Iraq veteran was at the lowest point of his life when he e-mailed Nadia McCaffrey last year. McCaffrey's son Patrick was killed in Iraq in 2004 and she has since become an advocate and "kind of a mom" to many young veterans who have been flailing utterly alone and desperate in the months and years after serving their country.
In physical and emotional pain Keith felt like he couldn't keep trying to get his benefits trying to deal with the VA trying to find medications that wouldn't make him have black-outs. It was through McCaffrey's emotional support and practical guidance that he was able to regain his strength and start advocating for himself ---- and others. McCaffrey does not get paid for saving and rebuilding lives.
Mary Ellen Salzano started the California Statewide Collaborative for Our Military and Families because she saw the need to save lives by not only connecting the dots but connecting the humans. She spends most of her waking hours helping people who are struggling with a myriad of issues and a sense of deep desperation to get in touch with people who might be able to help them. She does not get paid.
The VA has seen a 26 percent increase in suicides mostly among 18- to 29-year-old veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It's time to create a new kind of work force ---- of paid advocates.
BRIGID BRETT writes from Valley Center. Contact her at brigidbrett@aol.com.
Posted in Brett on Friday Januari 22 2010 12:00 am | Tags: Brigid Brett Columns Nct Opinion




All my Love And Respect  / Scott Steiner (none)

"I never want to forget the sacrifices of so many young men and women. I am so proud it makes me cry. I understand in theory only that war is a part of human nature but so is love and caring. I wish I could take the families pain away but I can't. I am committed to loving ALL people myself and our environment. I am committed to working on my happiness everyday because so many have died for my freedom to live my life. Thank you is not enough but it is all I have. All my love and respect.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEjz-wAQLSA&feature=PlayList&p=477CB1585D5551F3"

Scott Steiner of Worthington OH USA

Thank you!!!  / Joseane Targonski

Thank you Sergeant Patrick McCaffrey for your service to this country! Words can't certainly show how grateful we are. You represent the best in the servicemen who fought and still fight for freedom and peace here and around the world. Your sacrifice is not in vain! God bless you and your family!

In Patrick's memory  / Shirley Stark (none)

"To the family of Patrick McCaffrey: Mei God bless you and be with you....Patrick is in a better place and he will be in your hearts as well as mine. Remember the best times you've spent with him...therefore his memory will never be lost.
We lost our grandson Mei 29 2004 in Iraq.

They are all Hero's. "Some gave some Some gave all""
Shirley Stark of Huntingdon Tennessee

ARMY LEADERSHIP LISTEN TO SURVIVORS  / NADIA MCCAFFREY (MOM)

http://www.army.mil/-news/2009/10/19/28985-army-leadership-listens-to-survivors-at-sos-summit/ ,

Photo Credit: Rob McIlvaine.

Nadia McCaffrey admires a poster of her son Sgt. Patrick R. McCaffrey who gave his life in June 2004. McCaffrey has since worked tirelessly for survivors and veterans.

ARLINGTON, Va. (Oct. 16, 2009) -- About 55 survivors of fallen warriors traveled from Germany and points across the United States earlier this month to discuss and evaluate the progress Survivor Outreach Services has made.

The theme for this year's SOS summit represented both the process of grief and an assessment of how well the one-year-old organization is addressing the needs of survivors: "Embracing Our Survivors Along the Journey...Are We Making a Difference?" Attendees included parents, spouses, adult children and uniformed survivors of active Army, National Guard and Reserve warriors.

On hand to hear their concerns were Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. and Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli. Donna Engeman, survivor advisor to the Army's Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command's survivor's services, opened the summit Oct. 7.

"You are always part of the Army family for as long as you want to be, and at this summit you now have the chance to voice your opinions, suggestions and concerns," Engeman said.

Engeman, herself a survivor and a dedicated Army spouse for 23 years, lost her husband, Chief Warrant Officer John Engeman, when he was killed in May of 2006 in Iraq. She became active in helping the Army improve its support system for survivors of fallen servicemembers when she was at the Pentagon for a Gold Star Remembrance ceremony in 2007.

"I was standing in the hallway and thinking to myself, 'if I ever get a chance to tell the Army what I think...' and suddenly I found myself standing alongside of Gen. Casey, so I told him in so many words that this whole casualty assistance process stinks," Engeman said.

She turned to walk away figuring he would just go fix it.

"Don't walk away," Casey called out to her. "You're going to help me."

"About a year later, two weeks after beginning work as survivor advisor for the FMWRC, I suddenly found myself being asked by Sheila Casey, the general's wife, to deliver a presentation on Survivor Outreach Services. She didn't listen to my protests that I had never spoken to a large group before.

"You just don't say no to those two," Engeman laughed.

Brig. Gen. Reuben Jones, commanding general of the Family and MWR Command since July, served previously as the adjutant general for the Army. In that position, the Casualty and Memorial Operations Center, or CMOC, fell under his command.

"In my former life, I spent many hours over at the casualty operations center and I remember many of your Soldiers. It gives us no greater pleasure than to serve you all and over these next three days we will listen to you and try and fix what's not working. If we can't, then the Defense Department will, and if they can't, it will go to Capitol Hill.

"To help make these changes a reality, our special advisory panel, made up of four surviving spouses and one surviving father: Donna Engeman, Dana Lambertson, Kristy Stanley, Kristen Fenty and Robert Stokely, meets quarterly," Jones said. The group was selected by Gen. Casey.

"I call on this crew to tell me which paths to take, and although they serve a two-year term and we'll be looking for replacements, their involvement will never expire because Army leadership needs all the help they can get to work your issues and concerns," Jones said.

For spiritual guidance at the summit, Chaplains Lt. Col. Thomas C. Waynick of FMWRC and Lt. Col. Michael Strohm from the Pentagon gave a presentation on dealing with grief. They asked each table to answer the questions: what do you wish everyone knew about the grief of survivors? What is the best thing the Army can do for survivors? And, what is the best thing you can do for each other?

Casey, after a few brief statements, was inundated with concerns from survivors - concerns he does not take lightly. One issue in particular caused him concern.

"We have to change the way the nation thinks about survivors and about the parents of survivors," Casey said. "I was talking to a mom and dad who had lost their son and they told me that no one has talked to them. [The Soldier's spouse was the recipient of the support.] That is wrong."

"I work with Gold Star parents, many of whom are being ignored," Nadia McCaffrey, said. Founder of the Patrick McCaffrey Foundation, named for her son, Sgt. Patrick McCaffrey with the National Guard, killed in Iraq, June 2004.

"Robert Stokely is on our panel because he's a surviving father. This issue will be addressed," Casey said.

Katrina Rojas, a surviving wife from Fort Lewis, wanted to know why the military escort, her husband's friend, wasn't allowed to accompany him back home.

"My husband and his best friend agreed to escort the other home. The paperwork was signed, but when we heard the news, another Soldier escorted him. Our hearts were broken. Why were we given a form that wasn't followed through on?" Rojas asked.

Krystal Michelle Chaney wanted to know why the Army waited so long to inform her about her husband's death.

"SOS at Fort Sill, Okla., asked me to be here today. My husband was killed in a state-side traffic accident and I wasn't notified until 18 hours later."

The notification processes need to be revised, Chaney said.

"Casualty office processes have a responsibility to notify the correct people at the appropriate time. The casualty officer in the situation needs to be very aware and clear as to who the PADD (Person Authorized Direct Disposition of Remains) is in the situation," she said.

Her loss illustrates a new issue to be addressed: the families of stateside casualties caused by catastrophic incidents should be treated the same as survivors of those killed in action or other combat-related deaths.

"Widows of stateside incidents should never be physically put to the side while a widow of a KIA death is given preference, as was my personal experience," Chaney said.

Ed Brown, a surviving father in Troy, Ala., revealed how his family was treated when their son was brought home.

"My son was killed two weeks after he landed in country," Brown said.

We knew he would arrive in the states at some point, but we weren't notified until one and a half hours before his body landed at Dover Air Force Base. From there he was sent to Montgomery, Ala., where my wife and I weren't allowed onto the tarmac to see our son come off the plane and down a conveyor belt."

"Our son was treated like a piece of luggage," his wife, Bonnie, added.

Visibly moved, Casey mentioned the movie, "Taking Chance," an HBO film based on the true story of Lance Cpl. Chance Phelps who was killed in Iraq, April 2004. The film bears witness to the fallen and those who carry him home.

"This film represents how we treat the fallen, now, and I'm sorry you had to go through that," Casey told the parents.

Engemen's son, Patrick, a captain in the Army who went to Iraq 12 weeks after his father died, and who left again to Iraq following the summit, brought up one issue that resonated throughout the room. The Army, he said, doesn't follow those who aren't beneficiaries. But many surviving service men and women continue to serve.

"Wouldn't you want to know if a survivor was in your unit," Patrick asked? "All I ask is that the Army keeps track of us."

Laura Wolf of Houston, Texas, a mother at the summit, mentioned how her son had committed suicide.

"My first military son came back from the war very different than when he went," she said. "For two years, the doctors misdiagnosed him, ruling out post traumatic stress disorder and calling it a personality disorder. He tried self medication until committing suicide."

Another survivor recalled how a parent told her she was not allowed to sit with the Gold Star mothers because her son was not killed in combat, but committed suicide.

Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff, listened as spouses and parents around the room told their stories of suicide in the military.

"My job is to cut the number of suicides, which is more about mental wellness of force Soldiers and families. I lost 168 Soldiers to combat and one to suicide," Chiarelli said. "For this one Soldier, I made the biggest mistake of my life when I didn't allow his name to be placed on the Honor Wall."

Chiarelli says he is now trying to get Soldiers to understand that traumatic brain injury and PTSD are both real, and that the stigma - which some Soldiers feel will end their career if they seek help -- is a major issue that needs to be resolved.

"With eight years of war in two theaters and more deploying, I need to stand and speak up for the Soldier. Consequently, I'm like a scud missile. Communicate anything with me and I'll try to get something done," Chiarelli told the parents, spouses and children of survivors.

Casey, himself a survivor who lost his father, Maj. Gen. George W. Casey, in Vietnam in 1970, echoed Chiarelli while calling out for more help.

"There is clearly and rightly a lot of pain in this room, but solutions aren't going to happen overnight. As you leave this summit, spread your arms and bring in others. Obviously, the issues we've heard means we haven't been doing enough for our survivors," Casey said.

During the second day of the summit, attendees were invited to visit Arlington National Cemetery.

"Gen. Chiarelli offered us the opportunity to visit Arlington National Cemetery. He and his staff work with ANC folks, so they came up with this wonderful program for our summit attendees," Engeman said.

Survivors Janae Sturgis and Ed Brown, along with Brig. Gen. Reuben Jones, laid a wreath in a special ceremony in Section 60, where most of the fallen from Iraq and Afghanistan interred in Arlington have been laid to rest.

(Rob McIlvaine writes for FMWRC Public Affairs.)


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Sincere, heartfelt Condolences to the family,  / Josiane Martin (None)

I'm a french born Blue Star Mother (5 Stars). My family prays for you and mourns with you because all our kids serving this Country are Brothers and Sisters in arms.  Be strong be Proud of Patrick because he is a Heroe.

Josy Martin

SDNC Blue Star Mother

 

 

IN MY SON'S NAME, WITH ALL MY LOVE, ALWAYS...  / Nadia McCaffrey (Gold Star Mother )

In your name my son with all my love:

Meeting and introducing http://www.ValleyForgeCenter.org General Eric Shinseki at Arlington ceremony. General Shinseki is very interested to know more of the project. I will meet with him again in October.


http://www.army.mil/-news/2009/09/28/27962-army-honors-gold-star-mothers-at-pentagon/

Army honors Gold Star Mothers at Pentagon

United States Army (press release) - USA
Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh speaks with Nadia McCaffrey Gold Star Mother following a ceremony Sept. 25 at the Pentagon.

Thanks for being a hero  / Randy Lange (HS classmate )
Patrick and Family

Thanks for your sacrifice--though it breaks my heart that you had to leave us so young and leave your family behind.  I didn't know you personally but you have my ultimate respect.  We went to HHS at the same time.  Mei your soul now be at peace away from the craziness of the world. 

All my Love and Respect

Randy
Thinking of you today  / Cari (friend)

Thinking of you today

Good afternoon. My name is Cari and I was friends with Patrick in high school. You won't recognize my name or face. But he and I were friends throughout our years at Homestead. My maiden name is Mitzman, we ended up being together a lot as our last names were close together alphabetically. My mother met you and your son on an open house our freshman year. She came home and told me how nice he was and how polite he was and how handsome he was and wanted to know why I didn't talk about him when I came home! (It is exactly the reason that makes me think that he did not come home and talk about me!) But I wanted to let you know that he was a great friend of mine. Several of my family members are in the service and have been or are serving now in Iraq or Afghanistan. Please know how sorry I am for your loss, but how thankful I am to you for giving your son for my safety. I hold him in the highest regard. Know that my prayers are with you and the rest of your and his family.

Cari

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