Memorial Day, May we Remember

b94e8b97-8e65-4694-96f4-b668fe156dc2_FULLSCREEN

On this Memorial Day we recognize those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to this country. We sit here and not only mourn the loss of those who gave their lives but remember those who did. I took this a few years ago In Woodstock, Illinois. As the soldiers you see changing out the old flag with the new salute as the change is made, the Rifle was with the pair of boots, and the helmet and dog tags adorned it. This is a way to honor a fallen soldier in the battle field.This is called the Battlefield Cross this practice goes back to the Civil War possibly earlier. It was a way to mark the dead or fallen before they were removed from the battle field.

This one was raised on a memorial day vigil for a fallen soldier from the surrounding area. I never did read the dog tags on the rifle. I often wondered who it was. I wish I knew the man who gave his life for this country. My way of showing he was remembered was from this photo. It was later published on Vogue.It Photovogue.

We often forget those who watched their brothers fall on the battlefield and do not think what they watched, what they witnessed or how they felt at that very moment. They watched their brother in arms fall before them. They were possibly a friend or even family member at times. Soldiers looked out for each other as they even lay dying. Some would try to comfort them in their last moments as they drew their final breath.

I am sure I cannot imagine the pure horror as soldiers came off a troop transport and stormed a beach as German soldiers following their orders to open fire opened up their full arsenal on our soldiers.the pure horror as their friends fell and they had to move over them as they lay there dead. Bombs dropping, the beach being shelled from a distance by battleships to try to compromise enemy positions and destroy them. Bullets flying through the air, and grenades, and mortars exploding all around them. I really cannot imagine the sights the sounds or the screams. To me it was the ultimate sacrifice. these soldiers were out to stop a ruthless dictator who had his sights set on taking over the world.

Soldiers who have died during battle knew the ultimate price they had to possibly pay, and yet they enlisted to defend you and I. They had families to lets also not forget them, moms, Dads, Brothers, Sisters, Cousins, Uncles, and Aunts. Those people have had to deal everyday with the loss of their loved ones. They watched their family members leave for war knowing they may never see them again.

Memorial Day is not just about your backyard Barbecue, or that beer you hold in your hand. It is not about going out to the lake, or seeing how drunk you can get. Memorial Day is about recognizing those who have served and  gave their lives for our country defending our freedom. It is also about honoring the families of the fallen those who have had to watch as their loved ones casket was carried that last 15 feet, with an American Flag Draped over it. It is about the Mother, or the son daughter or father who stand and lay their head on the casket as they weep because their family gave their life. They gave their lives for their families, friends, and for us the strangers they never knew so that we could have our Freedom.

Today as you watch the parades, or the wreath being laid on the tomb of the unknown soldier on television. Please take a moment of silence and say a prayer no matter your religion. people of all different races and religions and sexual orientations gave their life to defend you. They defended you so that you could be with your family, and be there to honor them today.

Thank you to those who gave their lives,

Brian Andrews

Advertisements

Wondering what is around the Corner

Image

       So next week January 15th, 2014 I leave Northern, Illinois for the Fields consisting of Corn, and Soy and a Vintage town in Central Illinois. At the same time I am excited, I still feel some sadness, because of some things I leave behind, like my Family, and Friends mainly. I grew up here since I was about 14 years old or so, and have been in this area since. I got Used to places like McHenry, Illinois. Although me and my ex-wife are no longer together, I met her here in this area, and we had 3 beautiful kids together. I will be getting them a week of winter break, spring break, and all of summer. It is more time to spend with them overall though. Normally I only get them every other weekend on Saturdays and Sundays. I will be sad that they are over 200 miles away.

     I know this will be a change, like I said I am leaving my kids here with their mother, but I know they are still in good hands. I have many memories here though. High School Hanging out with my friends at the High School football games when I was a teenager and the dances after the games. Homecomings, turnabouts, and proms where many new relationships were made, but heartbreak also happened at times. Spending Time at the Spot which was a pool hall in McHenry, Illinois. Working at the McHenry outdoor theater forever and a day.Many nights spent there watching movies. Movies such as Casper, Finding Nemo, Jay, and Silent Bob Strikes Back, The Others, and the list goes on and on.

     The good thing about moving though is I am starting a new life, and getting to make new friends. I will also be able to break out the camera and explore new areas. the closest Wal-Mart will be about half an hour or so away. It is an amazing little town so Vintage, with a splash of modern with the outlet mall. St. Louis and Chicago are only about 2 hours or so away in case I do want to go to either city. Lets face it going to see a Blackhawks game at the United Center is Expensive and it will be cheaper for me to go to see them play the Blues in St. Louis.  Monicals Pizza is a delight to go to if your ever in Central, Illinois, and they have the most amazing French Dressing for their salads, and an even more amazing Pizza. We may not have places like we got up here like a Jewel, as those seem reserved for northern Illinois, and the Chicago Land area. We do on the other hand have the convenience of an IGA. If your hungry late at night places like Denny’s and a 24 hour subway are open. Some of the Best Carmel Apples I have ever had come from the Candy Kitchen there.

    I know I will miss the convenience of some of the stuff here. Most of all though I will miss My family, kids, and My Friends the most. I will be back occasionally to see them and spend holidays and such with them though. I hope my friends also maybe find it in their heart occasionally to come visit me to, I will not have very many friends to start down their, and sure would be nice to see some familiar faces on occasion!!! Well I am going to go for now I hope you enjoyed this it is different than I normally write. But if you like this hit like share it and please follow!!!

Thank You,

Brian

Drive-In Memories

Image

       Photo Above: McHenry Outdoor Theater, McHenry, Illinois

As the Sun starts to set, so does the time I knew. Growing up on Friday, or Saturday nights the parents used to get us in our pajamas, pack a couple of bags of Okee-Doke Popcorn, usually cheese and regular, and put us in the car and take us to the Cascade Drive-in, in West Chicago, Illinois. We used to go when I was real young in the 69 Camaro that was my Mom’s, or the 69 Barracuda which was my Dad’s. The Camaro was Blue with a white rag top, what a beautiful car. 

        When the upkeep got to expensive for those cars, my Mom and Dad bought an 83 Citation, It was Maroon with a Hatchback. Again they would pack us in that car, and at the Drive-in they would put the seats down, and we could lay in back. We would usually try to make it through the first movie, and sometimes on a rare occasion we would make it through the second one to.

      I remember seeing some great movies there, but before every movie they would either run a cartoon, like popeye, heckle and Jeckyl, or a Bugs bunny Cartoon. Sometimes if we were lucky they would run a Three Stooges short  until the sun set far enough down for the movie to start. This is not a practice alot of Drive-In theaters do anymore that I would love to see brought back.

       We saw such movies as Karate Kid 2, The Last Star Fighter, Space Camp, Starman, and the Three Amigos. Those days the theaters had playgrounds, of course they were monkey bars, swings and maybe 1 or 2 other items. Playrounds became a thing of the past when people became sue happy, and the playgrounds were all metal equipment. The Insurance companies basically told the theaters no more. Another sad notation in our American culture.

      Years later my family moved to the McHenry County area. It was fairly rural but the one thing we did have and still do, if we can keep it alive is the McHenry outdoor theater. I worked there 11 summers, and I enjoyed every minute of it. The crews I worked with became my summer family, and I even met my ex-wife there. Even though we wound up getting divorced we had 3 beautiful children together. My kids when they were younger would get in the car and we would take them because daddy was working, and they could watch a movie. They basically spent every summer night when they were younger at the Drive-in.

      Now the McHenry Outdoor Theater is facing its biggest challenge. It is becoming to expensive to run 35 mm film anymore, and alot of companies will not produce first run films in 35 mm format. Most theaters have now switched over to digital, and McHenry is trying to do the same. If they do not raise the money to put in Digital Projection they could be facing a grim, and heartbreaking future.

        Most Drive-ins I remember are now a thing of the past. I do not like this because people have become to lazy, and would rather spend time on their couch with cable or red box and watch movies in the comfort of their own home. I would rather be at the outdoor sitting in my car enjoying a double feature, or even a single feature because some theaters do not have double features. I want to eat popcorn, drink Coca-Cola, and eat hotdogs, pizza, and burgers.

     So far this year I have relived some of those old memories I went to the McHenry Outdoor a few weeks ago, and just last week I went to the Harvest Moon Drive-in, in Gibson City, Illinois. Harvest Moon Is a Twin Drive-in in the middle of Gods country. It is the worlds first wind powered theater, with digital projection on each screen. It has a wonderful little concession stand to.

     If you want to see the McHenry Outdoor stay open please patronize it, become a good customer. Lets not forget the Drive-In It is a good family night, and we do not want to forget the way America was. Thank you for reading this I really hope you enjoyed this!!!

Image

Photo above: Harvest Moon Drive-in, Gibson City, Illinois

My Daughter Graduates 8th Grade Tonight!

brianna

So today I am a proud father of an 8th Grade Graduate for a second time, last year at this time my oldest became an 8th grade graduate, and now its my middle child, and my second daughter. It seems like just yesterday I was holding her, and looking into her eyes for the very first time. My daughter has been one of my pride, and joys. Next year she moves on to become a freshman in high school. I am so proud of her, she has become an amazing person, and has become a great clarinet player, and also sings in chorus.

I was the first to gaze into her beautiful eyes the day she was born. My daughter was born  a month premature, and was a little over 5 pounds at birth. She was a tiny little thing, and still is. She has never let her size stop her, or get in her way. She has learned to be an amazing cook to. We have had many good moments together, from holding her, to her teaching me, yes you heard that right she has taught me a few things, but the one thing she taught me last year was how to use an open faced reel while fishing!.

I think my kids are the most amazing kids in the world!!! I could write, and write about my daughter, but I just want her to know that I love her, and am VERY, VERY PROUD OF HER!!!.

A life remembered!! Msg. Timothy Bodden

BoddenTR01c

Today I had a friend pass at an early age, I learned this when I logged onto Facebook this morning. As I will never forget my friend, I decided to write something today, and let the words of others be my voice today. When I was growing up my dad would talk about his friend “Bodden”. This was the only name I knew him by until a few years ago. Msg. Timothy Bodden went missing in Vietnam. He was well liked, and had a daughter. I never knew him myself but thought I would write about this man, and his courage to defend others, when no one else would. He served proudly, and gave his life for that purpose, and left this world to soon. So without further ado, I present to you written in the words of others, the day America lost a soldier and a friend!.

BODDEN, TIMOTHY ROY
Remains Identified 09/08/00
Name: Timothy Roy Bodden
Rank/Branch: E5/US Marine Corps
Unit: HMM 165, Marine Air Group 36
Date of Birth: 06 November 1942
Home City of Record: Downer's Grove IL
Loss Date: 03 June 1967
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 161914N 1064049E (XD795050)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: CH46A
Other Personnel In Incident: Frank E. Cius (returned POW 1973); Ronald J.
Dexter; John G. Gardner; Stephen Hanson; Billy Laney; (all missing); Mr. Ky
(Nung Cdr. - wounded and rescued); Charles F. Wilklow (rescued)
REMARKS: LAST SEEN IN CRASHED AIRCRAFT
Source: Compiled from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S.
Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families,
published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK in 2011.
SYNOPSIS: On June 3, 1967, Capt. Steven P. Hanson, pilot; 1Lt. John G.
Gardner, co-pilot; Sgt. Timothy R. Bodden, crew chief/door gunner; LCpl.
Frank E. Cius, doorgunner; SFC Billy R. Laney, SFC Ronald J. Dexter, SFC
Charles F. Wilklow and an unknown number of ARVN personnel, all passengers,
were aboard a CH46A helicopter (serial #150955) on an extraction mission in
Laos.
The USMC aircraft picked up a U.S. Army Special Forces team attached to
MACV-SOG, Command and Control, and the ARVN troops they were working with.
Military Assistance Command Vietnam Studies and Observation Group (MACV-SOG)
was a joint service high command unconventional warfare task force engaged
in highly classified operations throughout Southeast Asia. The 5th Special
Forces channeled personnel into MACV-SOG (not a Special Forces group)
through Special Operations Augmentation (SOA) which provided their "cover"
while under secret orders to MACV-SOG. These teams performed deep
penetration missions of strategic reconnaissance and interdiction which were
called, depending on the time frame, "Shining Brass" or "Prairie Fire"
missions.
The aircraft received extensive automatic small arms fire upon takeoff from
the Landing Zone, took numerous hits and crashed 350 meters from the LZ,
located about 15 miles inside Laos west of the A Shau Valley. The helicopter
did not burn on impact, and continued to receive fire. Three ARVN troops
were able to return to the LZ where the troops remaining at the LZ were
extracted the following day.
The troops waiting at the LZ could not search because of the hostile threat
in the area. Air searches located the survivors of the crash, but they could
not be evacuated. The only America found to be in a position to be safely
evacuated was SFC Wilklow. He gave the following account of what happened to
the crew and passengers aboard the CH46:
SFC Dexter appeared uninjured and left the wreckage with a large number of
ARVN troops. Capt. Hanson was wounded and outside the helicopter, but stated
that he had to return to get his carbine. The Marine Corps believes he died
of the wounds he received when the aircraft was overrun, although Hanson's
wife later identified her husband in a widely distributed Vietnamese
propaganda photograph of a pilot being captured. When last seen, all the
other Americans were still in the wreckage, and enemy troops (the U.S. Army
says they were Viet Cong; the U.S. Marines say they were North Vietnamese
Army - possibly a joint force of both) were tossing grenades toward the
aircraft with no attempt to capture the personnel inside. Wilklow left the
crash site, and noted that gunfire suddenly stopped. He continued to evade
the enemy and was picked up 3 days later.
When Mr. Ky, the Nung Commander was being evacuated by the last helicopter
out, he noted several men (undoubtedly Dexter and the ARVN) in a large bomb
crater firing red star clusters from a flare gun. Frank Cius was taken
prisoner and released from Hanoi in 1973. He was one of the dozen or so
captured by the Vietnamese and taken immediately to Hanoi claimed to be the
"Laos" prisoners. In reality, none of the dozen had been held in Laos.
Ronald Dexter, according to Frank Cius, was captured, and died in captivity
on July 29, 1967. John Gardner, according to the USMC, died on the ground
after the crash of the aircraft due to intense enemy fire. Billy Laney was
last seen lying wounded on the floor of the aircraft between a crewmember
with a broken back and the door gunner with a head wound.
NOTE: the USMC states that Bodden, crewchief/door gunner was shot in the
back and never left the aircraft, but reports received by the National
League of Families indicate that he was definitely alive after the aircraft
crashed. The U.S. did not know Cius was captured until he was released,
evidently believing he never exited the aircraft, and Wilklow had indicated
that the Vietnamese were not trying to capture the occupants of the
aircraft. Therefore, as door gunner, he must have been the "door gunner with
the head wound", and Bodden the "crewmember with a broken back".* )
Since 1975, the U.S. Government has received thousands of reports relating
to Americans still alive in Southeast Asia. Many of them cannot be dismissed
as untrue. Officially, the U.S. says it is operating under the assumption
that men are being held, and that the matter is of "highest national
priority". Yet, we seem unable to resolve the mystery. Nor have they ever
negotiated for the "tens of tens" of American prisoners the Lao stated they
held.
There can be no question that the communists know the fate of those who were
last seen on the ill-fated CH 46A that day. The men aboard this craft were
inserted into Laos for exceedingly dangerous and important missions. They
deserve no less than America's very best efforts to determine their fates.
If any of them are alive, they must be brought home.
*  The "Homecoming (Egress Recap) Summary of all non-returnees reported"
by returnees dated 24 April 1973, quotes returnee Frank Edward Cius Jr as
saying "(Bodden) was the port gunner with me. As the aircraft lifted, Bodden
was hit in the stomach and went down. As he stood up clutching his stomach,
he took another hit in the stomach and fell to the floor of aircraft. I was
unable to examine Bodden but his eyes remained closed and his body was
motionless the entire time we were in the aircraft. I believe Bodden was
dead when the helicopter crashed.
07/14/99
It was our pleasure today to talk to Tim's mom, Dorothy at her home in
Illinois.  She hopes no one will allow the issue of our men to fade away, or
allow history to repeat the tragedies she has witnessed with her son. She
stated there is much more information to be gotten, and much more truth that
needs to be shared. The NETWORK will continue to forward all letters to her
regarding Tim, but she stated that her health does not allow her to
individually answer the letters. Married to a WWII veteran, leaving near her
son and his family, she does share each letter with them all.
She asked that we convey to all of you, her thanks --  and she sends her
love to all of you.

    Then while researching this project I ran across this photo of a 
Marine touching Tim Boddens name on the wall!.

BoddenTR01d

    The words that follow were writtenby another U.S Marine!!!
8 Jan 2005

While I was in the Marines visiting the Wall, I bought a bracelet from a
Vietnam veteran. I was hoping to get the bracelet of someone special,
but I had no idea how special that day would be.


Tim’s bracelet was the first one my hand touched. Turned out that he, like me, was a CH-46 aircrewman in HMM-165.


I went back to the Wall every Memorial Day to pay my respects to him,
and ended up running into several people who knew him personally. I
heard some stories that were so funny my sides hurt, and I could tell
that he was also a truly fine man … the kind everyone wanted to claim
as his best friend.


Just today I found an interesting link to a picture of me paying my
respects to Tim one Memorial Day long ago. Unfortunately it’s a
password-protected educational site in Texas, and they won’t answer my
email requests for a copy. If anyone is in school in Texas, they might
be able to get a copy. That would be pretty cool to see some day.


Best wishes to all who knew and loved Tim. Semper Fi.


Sgt. Douglas Findlay, USMC


People seemed to love Tim for all his efforts, and some lives were not only saved but created because of him, as this next post would say


18 Aug 2007

My father was with Timothy right before he got on that helicopter. I
would love to talk with Richard Bodden. If it wasn’t for Timothy, my
brother would not have had his father and I would never have been born.
If you know Tim’s brother, please have him contact me. Thank you.

From the daughter of a friend,
Penny Drumm

I was moved by all the memories of him and the people that knew him but no homage was more moving than this.

Tim Bodden is the greatest hero in my eyes and I never was able to meet
him. I have read through all of the materials online that I can find on
this man and all that I can find are good and positive. Tim Bodden was
my father, I was only 2 when he went missing. So many years later, I
was given the information of who he is. What a hero to be able to say is
your father!!!!!!!

Two of my sons have gone on to be Marines. They are both also very
proud to say he is their grandfather. He gave the ultimate sacrifice
for our country. The bravery of this man overwhelms me when I think
about it. Tim is my hero!! He has given not only me but my children a
legacy that we all look at with great pride! God Bless Tim and God
Bless all who have given the ultimate sacrifice!

From his daughter,
Leona Estes

1058hanson_jpg

Grave above in Arlington National Cemetary, May all those who served be remembered!!

Msg. Timothy Bodden

06 November 1942 – 26 February 1980

Note: Death date is when he was finally pronounced dead after his remains still were not found!.

Like I said before life is fleeting, and we are only here for a moment in time. We have to know life is precious.

Thanks for listening to this story of a mans life who served his country proudly!.

Brian

http://www.virtualwall.org/db/boddentr01a.htm

http://www.pownetwork.org/bios/b/b030.htm

http://www.popasmoke.com/kia/incidents.php?incident_id=82&conflict_id=24


			

Americana, and the icons that represent us!

24ede32f-8d82-44df-bf5c-2697d71b5a2d_FULLSCREEN

I have always been a fan of American Nostalgia, and what better way to start a blog today than talk about America. Today April 15 , 2013 We as a nation were once again attacked on our own soil. Yet we do not know whether it was a terrorist attack, or a person just trying to gain notoriety by doing something that would harm innocent people. These actions will be vindicated by our government, and its citizens. We as a people have always realized certain things keep this country together, and remembering our past is one of them. Tonight I present an image I took last summer at a car show in Gurnee, Illinois. Chevrolet is an Icon from the late 50’s and 60’s. Chevrolet represents strength in American engineering something we have always been proud of.

We as a nation have never backed down to any terrorist act, and we will not start now. It is nights like these I feel like putting on an old Black, and White film, and feeling the comfort of our past. Things from the past are like comfort food. Stuff like the Drive-in Theater, Classic cars, or something as simple as a McDonald’s Hamburger. I have always loved the 50’s it was a simpler era, although the United States still had problems, we were heading towards better days. Yes we had war, but we didn’t have to worry about countries sending a nuclear warhead over. We had to worry about Equal rights for the African-American community, and today we are in a similar battle for gay equality, and rights. We need to do the right things. We need to take a stand for what is right like Equal rights. We will not stand for Terrorist Acts on our soil. We as a brother, and sisterhood should protect each other, and not hate.

I say the word We to even mean a world wide peace. We should respect each others Religions, Beliefs, and Qualities, without having to have a war because you believe we should be like you, or vice-verse. I want to see my children grow up in a world where people are equal, where war is not a thought anymore, and where they don’t have to worry what will happen to their children. I am sick of hearing one religion is better than what I believe in, or that we hate you because you are free. This has to stop, so tonight lets sit down remember our past to accomplish a better future. Watch an old movie, go through old photos, or even just sit with your family and talk about the way things used to be!. You might be surprised and learn something new.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I really hope you enjoy, and pass this on tonight!. God Bless the people who lost their lives today at the Boston Marathon, and God Bless those who were their and got injured to. We pray for all those involved from those injured to those who helped!!

Brian!!!

http://www.vogue.it/en/photovogue/Portfolio/24ede32f-8d82-44df-bf5c-2697d71b5a2d/Image