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Sunday 23 June, San Francisco Airport

I was standing in front of my seat 27D waiting for 27E to show up since 27F had just sat down. As he approached with a smile (I found out later it belied how he was really feeling) and asked; "How's things?" I replied; "Waiting on you." It was 27E.

His name is Todd. He's 6'1" tall about 160 lbs lean and fit. Despite his slightly disheveled look you knew he was in the military, the haircut, the backpack were separate giveaways the two together nailed it. He had deep blue eyes and dishwater blonde hair, a good-looking kid. VeloVixen later said; "God, he could be your son he favors you so much." Yeah, I know. He may not be my son, but from now on he'll forever be one of my boys. Just as Brandon and Richard  along with every recipient of a Care Package we ever sent will be one of my boys, our boys. Todd, the good-looking 82nd Airborne medic from  Northern California will forever be one my boys. Along with the kids I coached for five years coaching Pop Warner Football are and will always be one of my boys.

Spec. Todd Applegate is a medic in the 82nd Airborne, with 7 months left in his enlistment. He was returning to Fort Bragg after attending his brother's wedding the previous evening. The post nuptial partying explain his disheveled look.

I gave him the pickle that came with my sandwich hoping the potassium would help him in the recovery from the effects of the previous evening. Later I would share my coconut water for the same reason. Letting him rest would work too.

During his time with the 82nd his unit has been deployed twice. As Todd explained pointed out with  both pride and weariness, the 82nd is the most deployed unit in the Army. So the chances of the 82nd or at least elements of the 82nd being deployed to Afghanistan at least one more time are high.

"Do you mind if I put In memory to my father-in-law on the outside of a few of the boxes? He passed away last night." asked the kossack we all know and love as TheFatLadySings. "Of course not," I reply. "Do you mind if I offer a suggestion to that?" I ask. "Add his rank, branch of service and the date of his service to it." Later she would thank me for suggesting she put the memorial to her father-in-law on the boxes, I reminded her that it was her idea. I do this for her. And for her father-in-law who was a Staff Sgt. from WWII.

Knowing that during her moment of grief, packing some boxes and memorializing him brought her comfort is just another example why I do this.

I do this for kossacks like ccasas wants to honor her husbands service. Her husband who was severely injured two years ago in San Jose while on business while ccasas was in Minneapolis packing Care Packages with us. Talk about bittersweet! I do it for her AND her husband.

This year, staff from the local Walgreens store where we purchased items for the packages, came to help pack boxes on Saturday.  Sixteen Walgreens employees volunteered their personal time, coming with children and parents in tow.  One of the employees, Maria, spent countless hours making hand-cut appliques for special cards to put into the boxes to remind the recipients that they are loved and cared for.  Here are some pictures of Maria and her handiwork:  

I do this for the pleasure it brings to others to contribute.

I do it for Sgt. Martin;


Dear Tony,

Hey, this is Sgt. Martin. I’m a recipient of one of the many packages that you took the time and money to put together. Man, we sure do appreciate the support. You know people like yourself really make our job easy to do because you always appreciate what we work hard doing. Even though we are working abroad, you understand the sacrifices that we need to make to keep the trouble from coming home to the states.

I don’t know if you had the pleasure to serve or do any time in a war-torn third world countryt, seems as if you have, life Afghan. We are doing some good work, but it’s hard to change a lifetime of oppression. The people want a change but need lots of encouragement in order to reach the first step.

Just wanted to drop a line to thank you and anyone that helped you to support us. Don’t know if you know 1st Sgt. Pinkerton personally, but thanks alot and that from my Marines also.

Sgt. Martin,
Marine Corps

Sgt. Martin and his Marines have become my boys too. They're all my boys, Brandon, Richard, Todd, Sgt. Martin, Skip, Mark and all the rest. I do it for my boys.

I considered not posting this here in Mojo Friday, but this is where it all began. This is where it belongs.

On with the games!!  

Mojo Friday Guidelines

1)   If you comment you have to recommend all comments. (in order to receive mojo you have to give mojo. It's only good mojo manners.)
2)  Everything you say may be taken as a joke (so if you ask a question, expect a silly answer)
3)  You must recommend the diary (and pimp it unapologetically)
4)  You don't have to comment to recommend.
5)  You can't steal my idea (right, like that ain't goin' to happen)
6)  Please, no pictures or YouTubes until after 300 comments. Now, after 300, use a little common courtesy and be responsible in the number.
7)  Mojo mojo mojo mojo, mojo mojo mojo.
8)  TexDem (that's me) is not bound by the guidelines. Heh

Mojo Friday Goals

A. At least 300 different commenters and 1000 comments by 1:30 PM EST and 1500 by 5:00 PM EST Friday Night that it's posted.

B. 100 recommends for each comment, at least.

C. Stay on Recommend List at least five hours (this requires some strategic planning by you guys, refer to guideline #3)

D. At least 200 diary recommends. 300 would be better, spread the word.

E. And always, fun fun fun.

F. Have at least 75% average participation rate as seen here in the Mojo Friday Postgame Show by Woodtick and bjedward.

G. (New) Have at least 30 kossacks over 90% participation (see here for some tips).

H. Overload the servers with recommends, not to mention dominate Top Comments Mojo list. (we do tend to mess with the site with all of our recommends at one time)(also, to dominate the Top Comments Top Mojo we need at least 50 comments with over 200 recommends, see guideline B)

I. That's enough for now. (Have a suggestion? Post it.)    

MKinTN posted a diary to help everyone achieve greater success called How to Succeed at Mojo Friday Without Really Trying.    

For those of you new to MF (Mojo Friday) we have our own lingo about a few things. Thank's to MF'er Jez (the link will explain) go to this diary for a little more fun and explanation. Official Mojo Friday Snecktionary.    

Originally posted to Mojo Friday on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 07:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Netroots For The Troops®, IGTNT Advisory Group, and Military Community Members of Daily Kos.

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