Our Chaplain, Angel 6. and his wife provided us with a poem and a Christmas video that features some of our brothers and members of the American military who fought in the Vietnam War. Rockford veterans and supporters show up at near the :50 second mark but you should watch the whole thing. See the link to the video below or click here.
This is Angel 6 writing. The poem itself came from a desire to express sentiments I had been feeling for years, ever since the day the Vietnam Veterans Honor Society and the Smoke Brothers first took me under their wing upon my return from Iraq. Vietnam Vets truly were my heroes while I was growing up. For them to look me in the eye and call me "brother" meant more to me than I could possibly express!
Here's the poem.
I came home.
You were the tip of the spear making sure I was welcomed home!
You looked me in the eyes and called me brother! The healing began.
Vietnam Vet, you are my hero! Vietnam Vet, I thank Almighty God, you are my brother!
Angel 6 continues. My wife came up with the video idea. Our church for more than half a century has put on a summer music concert. It has always had patriotic elements. For years the only theme was in fact patriotism, the whole God & Country thing. My wife now oversees the concert. She was familiar with my poem. She presented her video idea. It grew from there. One of her colleagues came to a Smoke at the LZ with his cameras. He then produced the video for our 2022 Summer Music Celebration.
Here's the link to the video. It's on a Googe photo page.
"... whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Hey, Blackjack 6, thanks for the door. "Capt. Ken"
Thanks to all everyone who braved the cold, 40 mile an hour wind on Veterans Day. Click this link to see almost 200 pictures and one or two good videos. It was nice to see and hear Mayor Tom McNamara. Here's a little known fact: his father, John McNamara, former Mayor of Rockford served in Vietnam as an Army Officer. Go Papa, and God Bless them all. "Capt. Ken"
Please join us at 11:00 a.m. Friday, November 11, 2022 when we honor all our Veterans. We'll be at Midway Village, LZ Peace Memorial, 6799 Guilford Road and we hope to see you. Thank you for your support and THANK YOU veterans for your service. See you Friday morning. God Bless the United States of America.
The 2022 Fall VetsRoll, sponsored by Finnegans' RV Center, was a great success. Here's a link to the videos from channel 23, WIFR. Welcome Home, "Skipper" and "Admiral" and "Tango" and "Ramrod." Thanks to Aaron and Andy.
Thanks again from Nick Parnello, aka, Blackjack 6 to all those who came out August 7, 2022 for the LZ Purple Heart Memorial dedication. If you have any pictures please email them to FlyNickNow@gmail.com. Click here to go to SmugMug to see the 158 pictures and videos we took.
Sept. 24, 2022 Pictures from our LZ Smoker Brothers "Capt. Ken" Nelson, Tango. Ramrod and others took of Sgt. Flag's tour of the Peace Memorial and the new Purple Heart Memorial. What a great tribute to those wounded in combat and all who honorably served. We are so blessed to have all those who volunteer and take care of the LZ Peace Memorial. Every one of them. And a big HOORAH to all our Smoke Brothers.
The pictures of the unveiling of the Purple Heart Memorial will be online pretty soon. Thanks for your patience.Here's the link to all our pictures.
OPERATION LZ PURPLE. The LZ Smoke Brothers are proud to announce the birth of a new memorial at the LZ Peace Memorial and you're invited to attend. As always, Gold Star Mother Andie White will be with us. Please join with us at 2:00 P.M. Sunday, August 7, 2022. We're located at the northwest corner of the Midway Village campus, over by the Central Christian Church's parking lot. Here's a link to everything you ever wanted to know about the Purple Heart but were afraid to ask. Remember, that's Sunday, August 7, 2022 at 2:00 in the afternoon. Thank you for caring and for your support of all veterans.
Daniel "Seabee 1" Burd, a Vietnam veteran and Navy Seabee, died at home on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. Nick Parnello gives everyone a nickname so Dan was appropriately named "Seabee 1". Seabee truly was Number 1 in everything he did. Whether he was visiting and giving communion to the sick, or helping out at St. Rita's Catholic Church, or doing his thing at the LZ Peace Memorial, Seabee put his heart and soul into everything he did.
Seabee was one of the original LZ Smoke Brothers. These are the folks who take care of the LZ Peace Memorial and prepare it for military ceremonies on Memorial Day, Flag Day, Agent Orange Ceremony and Veterans Day. To many of us, Seabee was the Smoke Brothers chief cook and bottle washer. He loved grilling brats and he made a pretty good cup of what he called Navy coffee.
Some of us were fortunate to have visited Dan the day before he passed away. We'd like to thank his wife, Lori and son, Todd "Senior Chief" for allowing us to be with Seabee one last time.
Funeral services will be at Fitzgerald Funeral Home, 1860 S. Mulford Rd., Rockford, Illinois on, Wednesday, July 6, between 5 and 7 pm. Here's the link to Dan's obituary at Fitzgerald Funeral home.
Flag Day 2022 at the LZ Peace Memorial. We have a video and slideshow of how we respectfully and reverently retire Old Glory on Flag Day 2022 at the LZ Peace Memorial. Mr. Marine explains why the flag is folded 13 times.Then he picks up one of 13 folded flags and hands it to Charlie 6, who along with Skipper unfolds the flag and they place it in the Ceremonial Burning device.They salute the flag as it is retired and the ashes are buried later in a solemn ceremony. Thank you for coming to help us honor Old Glory.
This Flag Day was one of the hottest ever. One of the Vietnam veterans said, "If you think this was hot, you should go back to Vietnam, where it was always stinking hot, with bullets and death in the air. The Memorial Day story & slideshow follows this story.
Below are two links to the pictures Capt. Ken took, and the beautiful cards we gave out. Pictures of our Flag Retirement Ceremony held here at the LZ Peace Memorial on Flag Day 2022 PIctures of the handout cards we always hand out.
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