day of remembrance

Today is Monday and a national holiday here in the United States.  We celebrate Memorial Day today to honor those that have died while in service fighting in any war.


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But as usual, with most holidays, we decide to celebrate it for something else.  Memorial Day is now celebrated as the unofficial start of summer, picnics and camping season.


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From Keystone RV Company website article ‘Why You Should Never Wish Someone a “Happy Memorial Day”’ –

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day as a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America.  Since Memorial Day honors those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our Nation you should not wish someone a “Happy Memorial Day.”

The above-mentioned article has ‘11 Facts You Didn’t Know about Memorial Day’ – click the link above to find out what those facts are.

Whether you live in the United States or another country, let’s not forget the many brave people who have died in the many wars of this world’s history.


Lt. Dan

Do you know Lt. Dan?

Lt. Dan Taylor?

Have you heard of Forrest Gump?

Gary Sinise who portrayed Lt. Dan Taylor in the landmark film Forrest Gump formed an enduring connection with servicemen and women throughout the military community.

Gary Sinise formed a foundation that helps serve our nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.  Click ‘Gary Sinise Foundation’ to find out more information.


Gary Sinise also starred in TV series CIS:NY and currently in the series Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.

You might be wondering why I am writing a post about Gary Sinise.  Well, Gary Sinise also has a band called the Lt. Dan Band.  The MacDill Air Force Base had a free concert this past Saturday night in one of the airplane hangars and guess who was playing?  Yep, Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band.


The evening weather was perfect and my Gary and I had a wonderful time listening to some great music from Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band.

I wanted to share several pictures and a small video clip.

MacDill AFB

Some excerpts from

MacDill Air Force Base, located in south Tampa, was constructed as MacDill Field, a U.S. Army Air Corps, later U.S. Army Air Forces, installation just prior to World War II. With the establishment of the U.S. Air Force as an independent service in 1947, it became MacDill Air Force Base.

MacDill AFB is also home to the headquarters for two of the U.S. military’s joint warfighting combatant commands: Headquarters, United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), and Headquarters, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). Both commands are independent from one another and each is commanded by a respective 4-star general or admiral. Two additional sub-unified commands are also headquartered at MacDill AFB: Commander, United States Marine Corps Forces Central Command (COMUSMARCENT), commanded by a 3-star general, and United States Special Operations Command Central (USSOCCENT), commanded by a 2-star general.


I could copy and paste much more information from Wikipedia – if you are interested please click the above link.

MacDill AFB is our new home for the next 6 months.

I wanted to share some pictures with you today.

This base is beautiful and I have just begun to take photos of it.

Over the course of our stay, I plan to take many more pictures.

PCM Visit

In my post ‘Pain Explained?‘, I wrote the following –

Could the pain I have experienced for 10 weeks now be a result of Lymph Nodes and Bones?

I will receive answers and have more information next week.


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In my post ‘This Friday – The Next Stage‘, I wrote the following –

Friday of last week I met with Dr. L. to discuss the results of the previous week’s tests and my future.  At this time, there is no indication my cancer has spread to any major organs or my bones.  However, it is confirmed my cancer is in the lumbar region Lymph Nodes as well as the thoracic region Lymph Nodes.

In today’s post, I write the following –

A little over 3 months ago, I had major surgery to remove my bladder, prostate and other male related organs.  The surgery recovery, I feel is satisfactory, but I have experienced some pain ever since then.  You may remember immediately prior to surgery I was experiencing major pain and was on major pain medications.  At that time I was experiencing many different pains and some of those pains I no longer feel.  Now, many weeks into my recovery; I continue to experience major pain and continue major pain medications.

Upon a recent visit with my Oncologist Dr. L. at the Moffitt Cancer Center, I asked if these pains could be a result of the cancer being in my Lymph Nodes, particularly the lumbar region.


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This is the region that most of the pain is originating from and then spreads to other areas of my body.  Dr. L. responded that the pain I am experiencing would not be a result of my cancer.

I mentioned in my post ‘quality of life……. (or lack of it)‘, that I have 2 specific pains that cause discomfort in my daily activities and is affecting my quality of life.  I also mentioned I had an appointment with my Primary Care Manager (PCM); and we discussed my current pain issues.

The visit with my new PCM Dr. T went very well and I was extremely satisfied with her ability.  Dr. T. is the head of Internal Medicine at the MacDill Air Force Base medical facility and she took quite a bit of time to discuss my past medical history and current issues that are taking place.  She was truly interested in me and having me feel better.  Additional medications were prescribed and referrals are submitted for other specialized care.

20170416_194313 (2)These referrals for specialized care include a Urologist to continue the care and follow-up of my recent surgery.  Other referrals include Neurologist, Pain Management, and because I have the service available to me, a referral was put in for Optometrist.   Recently, I have noticed the eyes are not what they once were and having an examination would be a benefit.

I expect several more weeks of appointments to take place and the hopes are this pain that is affecting my daily activities can be controlled to a minimal level so that I may have a better quality of life.

Stop & Listen

Back in December of last year, in my post ‘Reveille‘, I wrote the following words –

In the mornings after reveille, the National Anthem is played.  In the United States, we play the National Anthem before sporting events and sometimes other types of activities where large amounts of people are gathered.  I would acknowledge the song and maybe sing along with it or, maybe not.  Since living at NAS, that has changed; I feel differently when I hear this song now.  The song has more meaning for me.  Why?

No matter where on the base one is – when the National Anthem is played in the morning or evening, everyone stops what they are doing and gives their attention.  Military personal both active and retired salute and civilians with their hand on their heart.  My heart pounds as I am stopped in my tracks and begin singing the National Anthem – what an honor.

In today’s post, I write the following –

From Wikipedia –

The Star-Spangled Banner” is the national anthem of the United States of America. The lyrics come from “Defence of Fort M’Henry”, a poem written on September 14, 1814, by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the large American flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, flying triumphantly above the fort during the American victory.

My friend and fellow blogger Jennie over at A Teacher’s Reflections published a wonderful post back in November of last year about the significance of this song with children.  I did not realize there is a book The Star Spangled Banner by Peter Spier that depicts the words to this song in full color illustrations.  Please stop over to Jennie’s blog and check out her wonderful post Children and “The Star Spangled Banner”.

Having lived on the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida – I heard this song every morning.  We sing it many times in our lives without much thought into the words and the meaning of the song.  I realize the following video is rather long (11:38 minutes), but if you have time to watch it, please do.  I hope you listen to the words and watch the video today, and learn something you may have not known and maybe just maybe, it brings to you a new significance; and the next time you hear it, a since of honor and pride will fill your heart.

United We Stand

In many of my posts I mention that I currently live on the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida.  I would like to think I bring a unique perspective when writing about my experiences and feelings while living here.  In my post ‘Reveille‘, I wrote about the pounding of my heart when I hear on the loud speakers the National Anthem after reveille.  In my post ‘Moment of Silence‘, I wrote about taking a moment of silence to observe and honor the death of one of the Blue Angels pilots.

These events and experiences have changed me and I see some things differently.

Do I have a different perspective today than I once had?

Yes, I do have a different perspective today about many things because of where I am living and my health and what I am living with and without.

Living on a military base can change perspective.

Living with cancer can change perspective.

Living with less possessions can change perspective.

On the Naval Air Station, I see young women and men training, working and serving this country.  They stand tall and proud and I see sincerity in them and this has me thinking about the importance of this country to me and those around me.

Last year I had minor surgeries, chemotherapy and most recently a major surgery.  At this point in time parts of my future are unknown with regards to what comes next with my cancer journey.

I stand tall and proud and I think about the importance of others in my life that are helping me through a difficult time.

Today I live with much less as last year the downsizing was completed and living minimal is taking place.  What a relief to have less and realize the importance of it.

The military enlisted, those serving I salute you and honor you and say ‘Thank you’.

Those around me helping me through a difficult time, I appreciate you and want to say ‘Thank you’.

And to my husband, the one who is always beside me, you are amazing and to you I say ‘Thank you’.

Some lyrics from the song ‘United We Stand’ –

There’s no where in the world that I would rather be

Then with you my love

And there’s nothing in the world that I would rather see

Than you smile my love

For united we stand. Divided we fall

And if our backs should ever be against the wall

We’ll be together, Together, you and I

Steven Hall Grimnes

I searched the internet for him and his story.

I found some information on ‘The National Archives’ website, but no information I did not already know.


Who is this person, and what is his story?

I know the Name, the Rank, the Branch of Service, the Wars, the Time Lived; but I do not know anything else.


But there are thousands upon thousands who rest in peace and who are recognized a few times a year for their life and their time serving us.

My husband served and saw some action and my son serves and saw no action.

Many others have served and are serving that were in action; and many died in action – still many never to return from action.


As I currently live on the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida; I drive by the area of land almost every day.

Upon returning from our recent trip, I once again drove by; but this time it was different – because of the season.


Rows upon rows of them, garnished with wreaths and bows of red to mark the season.

I stood in awe at the site and it reminded me of the sacrifices these individuals made and still make today.


Let us not forget about those serving in the military and are away from family this time of the year.

Let us not forget about those that have served and who rest in peace in our national cemeteries across this great land.

Who are these people, and what are their stories?



Many of you know Gary and I live in an RV park located on the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida.  As indicated in my post ‘Moment of Silence‘, NAS is home to the Blue Angels Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron.

Per –

The air station also hosts the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) and the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute (NAMI), which provides training for all naval flight surgeons, aviation physiologists, and aviation experimental psychologists. With the closure of Naval Air Station Memphis in Millington, Tennessee and the transition of that facility to Naval Support Activity Mid-South, NAS Pensacola also became home to the Naval Air Technical Training Center (NATTC), providing technical training schools for nearly all enlisted aircraft maintenance and enlisted aircrew specialties in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard.

NAS Pensacola contains Forrest Sherman Field, home of Training Air Wing SIX, providing undergraduate flight training for all prospective Naval Flight Officers for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, and flight officers/navigators for other NATO/Allied/Coalition partners. TRAWING SIX consists of the Training Squadron 4 (VT-4) Warbucks, Training Squadron 10 (VT-10) Wildcats and Training Squadron 86 (VT-86) Sabrehawks, flying the T-45C Goshawk, and T-6A Texan II.

NAS is home to many military and civilian personal who live and work on or near the base.  Every day I witness young enlisted individuals training and I view them coming and going to their classes and/or jobs.  Interactions with these individuals are always pleasant and respectful.

NAS is a large base; spread-out and therefore has many speakers located for communication.  These speakers are also used for reveille. has the following –

 Full Definition of reveille

:  a signal to get up mornings

:  a bugle call at about sunrise signaling the first military formation of the day; also:  the formation so signaled

In the mornings after reveille, the National Anthem is played.  In the United States, we play the National Anthem before sporting events and sometimes other types of activities where large amounts of people are gathered.  I would acknowledge the song and maybe sing along with it or, maybe not.  Since living at NAS, that has changed; I feel differently when I hear this song now.  The song has more meaning for me.  Why?

No matter where on the base one is – when the National Anthem is played in the morning or evening, everyone stops what they are doing and gives their attention.  Military personal both active and retired salute and civilians with their hand on their heart.  My heart pounds as I am stopped in my tracks and begin singing the National Anthem – what an honor.

The National Anthem has new meaning for me – as does reveille.


Last month, I wrote in my post ‘Moment of Silence‘, that Gary and I attended the NAS Pensacola Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show that was held just across the street from our RV park on the Pensacola Naval Air Station.


I took many pictures and wanted to share some with you. has the following –


Simple Definition of high–flying

: flying far above the ground

: very successful or determined to succeed

image1Man must rise above the Earth—to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.

— Socrates

I will be there soon, Pensacola

In my post ’18 days and counting!‘, I wrote the following –

My final appointment with my urologist Dr. F. was last week at which time I received all my medical records for my next doctors.  Image2When we leave Dallas on August 2nd, we will make our may to Pensacola Florida the location of my next surgery.  My new primary care manager is selected and appointment scheduled for August 8th.  Because Gary is a military veteran and I am his spouse I have access to the healthcare system at the Naval Air Station Pensacola.  Once the primary care manager appointment is complete, a referral will be submitted then an appointment will be scheduled with the urologist at the Naval Air Station medical facility.  Once the urologist consultation takes place, we will proceed with the best course of action to take care of my bladder cancer.

In today’ post, I write the following –

In less than 2 weeks, Gary and I will be in Florida!


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When we depart on August 2nd, we will drive our first day to Monroe, Louisiana and stay overnight at an RV park.

Then next day we will drive to our next destination of Pensacola, Florida.

In Pensacola, we will park Max (the 5th wheel – our new home) at an RV park within the Naval Air Station Pensacola.  Because Gary is a military veteran; we benefit from discounts on the park rental and also have access to most facilities on the Naval Air Station such as commissary, gym, and other important services.


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Our home for the next several weeks or months is directly across the street from where the Blue Angles are headquartered.  My understanding is they practice on Tuesdays & Wednesdays for about 55 minutes each day.  I look forward to seeing them and hope to take some pictures or videos of their practice.

Our new temporary home will be located in walking distance from the beach of the Gulf of Mexico.


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The sand, sun & water should make for a great combination when it comes time for me to recover from my next surgery.

At this point, I have no date for the next surgery.  You know the one; where my bladder is removed.  At this point in time, I am assuming I will be having a radical cystectomy. has the following –

Radical cystectomy: If the cancer is larger or is in more than one part of the bladder, a radical cystectomy will be needed. This operation removes the entire bladder and nearby lymph nodes. In men, the prostate and seminal vesicles are also removed.

My understanding is prior to this surgery; some people will go through several weeks of chemotherapy.   In a couple of weeks, I should know details of the procedure and all that it entails upon my appointment with my urologist.