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~ Welcome to Heartwarmers ~

http://www.heartwarmers.com

The best thing to happen to mornings since the Sun!

 

Your morning thought for the day:

And I'm proud to be an American,

where at least I know I'm free.

And I won't forget the men who died,

who gave that right to me.

-- Lee Greenwood

 

Gail shares a touching Memorial Day tribute.

Have a safe holiday weekend and let's "never forget."

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Help Our Own Lissa Coffey Get Her Own Oprah Show

Lissa is one of our esteemed writers and contributors. And she is

auditioning to have her own show on Oprah's new network called OWN.

Needless to say, there is stiff competition and Lissa needs all of

our votes. So check out her audition, vote for her, and spread the

word to all your friends. Let's see if we can get a fellow

Heartwarmer/Petwarmer on the Oprah network. Click here to watch and

vote: http://tinyurl.com/3xfduml

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LEST WE FORGET

by Gail Bracy

We all wore them in the 70s -- those stainless steel POW-MIA bracelets.

The best-dressed high school students had AT LEAST one each, and

we all wore them proudly. After all, war was dirty business, and we

were doing our part... by remembering.

We were wearing bracelets that had the name and rank of a

soldier Missing In Action or who was captured and kept as a Prisoner

of War. Our bracelets told which country the soldier represented, as

well. They listed where the soldier was stationed when he

disappeared and his home state. There was information concerning his

last-known address, so if you wanted to, you could send a note to the

family, telling them that you had their son's name on your bracelet,

and that you'd never forget him.

That was the idea, after all -- to wear the bracelet until he

came home, or simply to always remember him.

I had every intention of writing to the parents of "my guy," but

every effort was interrupted by important things thinks like pajama

parties, dances, pep rallies, bicycle trips and county fairs. Things

like summer camp, tree climbing, book reading and birthday parties.

I would remember to write later.

I promised myself at least weekly for a number of months that

I'd write to his parents, yet never seemed to have the time or the

postage stamp. There were no home computers or email messages back

then. I would remember next week after final exams. Yes, I'd

remember next week. This was important stuff, and I'd remember.

We started choosing colleges. I wanted to find a husband and

start a family. Sue was going to be a chemist. Cliff was going to

be a missionary on some island in the Pacific, and Wanda was going to

be a dental assistant. Joe was going to open a car repair shop and

Millie was going to marry Fred and start having children.

Everyone was heading out into the big world to make his/her mark.

Time passed....

I'd occasionally run across my bracelet as I emptied drawers or

filled boxes to go to college, my first apartment, another college,

our first house. I'd remember to write after I unpacked and before

classes started, babies came, jobs, changed, I was sure. This was

important, and I'd remember. Part of the hesitancy was a result of

not knowing what to say.

It was fifteen years after high school graduation that I met John.

John sported one of those stainless steel bracelets. No one

wore them anymore. Memories of the Vietnam War and life in the 70s

rushed through my mind in an embarrassing memory of unmailed letters

and unkept promises.

I remembered! I remembered the sit-ins, the protest marches,

peace signs, "War is not Healthy" posters and black lights. I

remembered the perfumes that were named after nature -- Wild Grasses,

Ocean Mist, Warm Earth. I remembered John Denver and Annie's Song

and bell-bottom pants, chokers and fringed everything. I remembered

Richard Nixon's 'ending that war' for us, and how proud I was. I

remembered his trip to China. I remembered it all.

But the warmth of the memories was soon replaced by the

ice-water jolt of the realization that I had unfinished and important

business. YOU know the kind -- the complete shock, embarrassment and

urgency that makes your heart race and your skin crawl. The kind

that makes you hear rushing wind when everything's still, the feeling

that you've committed an unforgivable offense. I had forgotten to

write The Letter.

I had forgotten to wear the bracelet. I had forgotten my

commitment to those who were missing or dead. I forgot that these

people were somebody's children. I had forgotten to remember.

As John fingered the bracelet and told me about his POW, I saw

tears glistening in his eyes, threatening at any moment to cut a

trail down his cheek and through his beard and mustache.

He looked at me and said, "You know, my son graduated from West

Point, and he may well be in the same position as these poor guys one

day. I pray that it never happens, but if it does, and if God wills

it, and my son disappears, I pray that someone remembers. We must

never forget."

Lt. Col. Bruce G. Johnson (USA, MI, 6/10/65, South Vietnam),

please forgive me. Please forgive us all, lest we forget.

-- Gail Bracy <storm1981 at twcny.rr.com>

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Gail says, "I live in Watertown, NY, and very much enjoy writing.

One of my passions is photography, and I hope to one day combine my

photos and stories in a book of my own."

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FROM OUR MAILBAG

(in response to last week's story, Controlling Nature)

Dear Heartwarmers:

I think my mother may have had the same problem as Mr. Walker.

I lost her in 2005, but I haven't had to buy a toothbrush OR

toothpaste since her major stock of items was moved into MY house. I

once wondered what was going to happen to all that STUFF, although I

think I really knew. Now, as I prepare for my own move to another

state, I'm the one who gets to shovel it all out.

-- Susan <iveysusan at bellsouth.net>

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HEARTWARMERS ANGEL CLUB

http://www.heartwarmers.com/angel

"Thanks for the stories. They uplift my day. God Bless."

-- Rhonda Schmitzer, Turpin, Oklahoma

A big heartfelt thank you to our newest Heartwarmers Angel Club

members. These are the folks who make Heartwarmers possible! If

you're interested in joining, for only $1 per week, please visit

http://www.heartwarmers.com/angel for details. If you are interested

in becoming a Bronze member, just send your check for $25 payable to

. Thank you!

* Thank you Kelly Graser of Anchorage, Alaska,

your very generous support, again! *

Gold Members:

IIa George Schertz, Texas

Rhonda Schmitzer Turpin, Oklahoma

Stan & Edda White San Clemente, California

Kingsley Munroe Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

David Johnson Caseyville, Illinois

Constance Good York, Pennsylvania

Kelly Graser Anchorage, Alaska

Satoshi Shimasaki (Uncle Toshi) Yokohama, Japan

Albert Blight Byron, Minnesota

John Terry Niceville, Florida

Susan Karam Fall River, Massachusetts

Ann Berger Colville, Washington

J. L. Bowen Stanton, Kentucky

Jeanne Escher-Pickel Irving, Texas

Joan Kiefner El Dorado Hills, California

Kathy Pippig Clovis, California

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Looking for a convenient and very inexpensive phone card?

Visit: http://www.pocketwarmers.com/c

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sure to let us know. It's easy to change. Send a blank email from

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Grace says: Nanna and PawPaw had just picked Lark up from day care,

and she was talking to herself in the back seat as Nanna drove toward

home. When PawPaw tuned in to Lark's one-way conversation, she was

saying, "I don't want to get in trouble. I want to get in "Happy.""

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