Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day - A Canadian Perspective

Today is Memorial Day in the United States and five years ago before I started all my Support Our Troops effort I did not know anyone personally in the USA and I wasn’t a member of Face Book so there was no status to post in honour of troops in the States. The first person I met through my groups was Angelia Phillips. Her son PFC Michael Phillips was killed in action in IRAQ and through his passing me and Angelia have become very close friends and she was the first official volunteer of

Last night when I was on Twitter I noticed a lot of posts from people about a R&B artist that had been injured in an accident and people were posting things like “Pray for **** **** on #MemorialDay” and rumors were spreading that he had passed away and I saw posts sending out RIPs to him as Memorial Day Posts. I was talking with Angelia and she told me to move along and ignore those people as it was getting me quite upset. I am very thankful to have people like Angelia to go to any time and even though I have never met her I consider her a true friend.

Through the “Thank A Soldier” cause page on Facebook I have met many members of the forces serving in IRAQ & Afghanistan and paired up schools with them as pen pals, and sent care packages to some troops in IRAQ that had some Tim Hortons coffee when they were in Afghanistan and requested some be sent.

In Feb 2009 Jason Joyce of The US ARMY organized to have an American flag flown in Taiji, Iraq for a day in honour of and our group members. To me this was something amazing as being from Canada to get this honour from friends in the military in the USA spoke volumes of taking down the borders of troops support.

I have also become friends with some people that run some amazing organizations in the States such as Operation Gratitude, Wounded Warriors Project, Bonnie Jill laflins Hounds for Heroes, Hike For Heroes and many more.
I’m writing this post because someone questioned me as to why I was posting Memorial Day posts if I am in Canada. Well my answer to that is simply our men and women stand together in battle, we should support them together as well. Right now there are Canadian troops leading operations in Afghanistan, There are Canadian troops helping with training in Texas and California
Last year on the day before Memorial Day I received the following in my email :

Dave Murphy, thank you sir for all you do with regards to our brave man and women in uniform. I know we don’t know each other, that’s why I feel somewhat uncomfortable asking you for a very big favor. I know you’re very busy, especially today, but I still like to ask if you can help me.

Sgt. *. ****, a hero and a dear friend of mine, served 20 years in US Army, saw combat in three wars and if you should ever speak with him, he’ll make it sound like no big deal. To get to my point. He just had a liver biopsy done last Thursday, The test came back, cancerous tumor of the liver, the Doc. said. Needles to say he’s not in the best of spirits. I know that he is not the only one having health issues, so why him? He has a son that’s due to graduate from helicopter school, that’s his only family here in US. We are both originally from Romania. As far as friends, not many. He lives in ******* Ft. Stewart by him self. I was thinking, today being Memorial Day and the bad news, maybe you could give him a call just to say a few good words. I will call him too, but I doubt that he will get more then three, four calls.I think it will mean allot to him.

So I thought ok Memorial Day I can do this, I finally got up the nerve and gave him a call, told him who I was and what my website does. I also told him that I would send out a request for thoughts and prayers for what he is about to go to and I could tell it meant a lot to him. When he asked where I was calling from and I said “Calgary, Alberta Canada” he says “But you are not American, no” I said “Soldiers are soldiers as long as they are Coalition allies and I respect what you do” There was a silence on the phone and he simply thanked me for calling and thinking of him, but it made me so proud to talk to one of our heroes. He had served in three different wars, given 20 years of service to the United States ARMY and I am so honored to have spoken with him today. I have removed his name from this write up but please keep him in your thoughts and prayers if you can.

I will never forget that call and always observe Memorial Day along with you all.

Thank You

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Meet some friends of ours

A few days ago I had the pleasure of speaking with Michelle McQuigge from the Canadian press about what our plans were after Canada’s combat mission ended in Afghanistan. I wanted to feature the article on here to introduce you to some other Canadians doing amazing things also who were also featured in this article.
Hero To Hero – Team Canada – Kevin McHarg I met Kevin a few years back on Facebook and heard of the Hero to Hero program which is a morale program for Canadian & US troops where first responders send the shirts off their backs with messages of support on them as well as care packages to our men and women serving. You can also check out HeroToHero.US for the US Version.

The Red Friday Ladies – Karen & Lisa These two ladies are responsible for bringing Red Friday to Canada five years ago this month and also have hearts of gold when it comes to Support Of our troops. They have no ulterior means or out for any sort of gain or recognition for the things they do they just want people to never forget our men and women all over the world. Check out “The Red Friday Ladies” on Facebook & Twitter

"Karen Wilson (AKA Petrolia Cookie Lady) has sent thousands of cookies to our Canadian Military overseas . On May 28, 2011 she had sent 35,700 cookies. All baked in her home by herself. She sells her cookies and "Support our Troops" buttons that her husband M.B. makes to raise the money to make the cookies. The people of Petrolia and business of Petrolia have helped her make her dream come true and she continues today sending cookies. She wants our Canadian Soldiers to know that they are loved, they are our Hero's and will never be forgotten. Check out her Facebook page

Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press
TORONTO - When Canada's combat mission in Afghanistan entered its final phase, Karen Wilson got on board. The Ontario grandmother doubled her electric bill and burned out a convection oven while producing more than 35,000 cookies as a show of support to the Canadian soldiers who were putting their lives on the line in the war-ravaged country.

Labouring in her kitchen in Petrolia, Ont., Wilson churned out shortbread confections by the hundreds, devoting no less than eight hours a week to the task. On weekends, she sold baked goods and homemade "Support the Troops" buttons at community events to finance her project.
As Canada prepares to end its combat role in Afghanistan for good, Wilson is looking forward to the first lull in her schedule since 2008. She acknowledges looking forward to the break, which she expects to spend mostly with her grandchildren, but hopes the respite is temporary.

"Even when I bake in the summer when it's hot, I keep thinking when I pull them out of the oven, I'm hot and the sweat's coming off me maybe a little bit, but I think, 'Those young guys are over there, and they're in much worse conditions than I am,'" Wilson said.

"If I can just send a little bit of love and the taste of home, it makes me happy."
Wilson's attitude is typical of the civilians who devoted time and often money to the cause of promoting Canada's troops. The nearly decade-long mission in Afghanistan has inspired Canadians across the country, many of whom had no direct connection with the military, to launch grassroots projects designed to encourage soldiers in their work.

Some of those initiatives, such as the "Red Fridays" movement, took on a national scope and demanded major commitments from their founders. Military wives Lisa Miller and Karen Boire have spent the past five years organizing campaigns and rallies urging Canadians to don red on Fridays as a mark of support for the troops. Miller admitted to feeling a little burned out.

"I think I'm just going to take a break," she said. "It takes a lot of energy and time when you plan these events. I'd like to slow down a little bit." Miller and other military supporters, however, say their work is far from over, and are bracing for a long-term struggle to maintain public interest in military affairs once the high-profile mission has faded from the headlines.
Kevin McHarg, a firefighter from Sarnia, Ont., who started Hero to Hero Team Canada, said public support will almost certainly wane as the mission recedes into history. "Everything has a life," McHarg said.

"No matter how good a cause it is, people get weary of hearing about it. You can't do anything about it except try and do your part to keep things going." McHarg collects used shirts from fellow firefighters, police officers and other first responders across the country. The shirts are emblazoned with handwritten messages of encouragement, packed up with contributions from local businesses, including Wilson's cookies, and shipped to soldiers serving abroad. McHarg, who currently devotes a part of every day to his project, said he'll likely have to work even harder to drum up future clothing donations once the combat mission ends.

The end of Canadian combat in Afghanistan won't diminish Hero to Hero's mandate, he added: there will still be hundreds of soldiers deployed in Afghanistan in a training capacity, as well as many others in locales around the world, including Haiti and Libya.

Dave Murphy, a 35-year-old Calgary resident behind a series of online campaigns to promote the efforts of Canadian soldiers, said he feels the same way. Murphy's website,, has attracted more than 4.1 million Facebook supporters from around the world, about a quarter of whom live in Canada, he said. Some of Murphy's advocacy efforts were directly tied to the Afghan mission, such as the successful campaign to encourage Tim Hortons to provide free coffee to the soldiers deployed at Kandahar Airfield.

The end of the combat mission means even more opportunities to promote military causes, said Murphy, noting that his current campaign to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder has taken on new urgency as war-weary soldiers return from the battlefield.

The Forces boosters all say supporting the troops must continue long after the mission in Afghanistan comes to an end. "Some people just assume that because our soldiers, for the most part, are coming out of Afghanistan that we're going to stop," McHarg said. It's just a matter of letting them know that no, we're not stopping."

This article has been featured in : Yahoo News Canada, Winnipeg Free Press, News1130,, Times Of India,,,, 570 News, 600 CKAT, 610 CKTB, 680 News,,, AM 1150,,,, My Kitchen, 630 CHED, CJOB 68 Manitoba, iNews 880,, News Talk 1010,,,, Penticton herald, The Cornwall Daily, AM 770 CHQR,, AM 980, 900 CHML, Q107, Kelowna Daily, 640 Toronto, CKNW, Yorkton This Week, CJ104 Toronto, Sarnia Times, K93,, Medicine Hat News, Humboldt Journal,, USA Today,,, Brandon Sun, Lethbridge Herald, NEWS,, Portal for North America, 923 Jack FM, Sask Lifestyles, The Guardian - News, Merrit News - Merritt BC, Western Star, The St. John's Telegram, Canadian Mortgage magazine, Cranbrook Daily

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Canadian soldier to donate 50% of album proceeds to Veterans

Over the past few years I have used many of MCpl Elton Adams songs in our videos on our YouTube Channel and now he is doing something special for our Veterans. The Canadian Veterans Advocacy Homeless Veterans Program has a mission called “Pennies For Veterans” and Elton Adams is going to be donating 50% of every album sold on to this program.

The Canadian Veterans Advocacy, is a modern veterans advocacy supported by thousands of Canadian soldiers, veterans and patriots who believe that supporting our troops during these times of war often means more than just wearing Red on Friday. It is our patriotic duty to advocate on behalf of Canada’s Sons and Daughters and equally important, stand diligently on guard to ensure that our disabled veterans are accorded the very best in quality of care and financial compensation from our parliament should they be injured or wounded in the course of battle. Last year, on November 6, the 1st Canadian Veterans National Day of Protest, a nationwide event where in thousands of veterans participated, was organized through this advocacy.

MCpl Elton Adams was born and raised in Roddickton, Newfoundland, Canada. At the age of seventeen Elton Adam enrolled in the Canadian Forces. During his first six years was employed with the First Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in Shilo Manitoba. While serving with this Regiment worked in both B and C batteries and ventured to Bosnia on Roto 7. It was also at this time he started to write his own music.

While with the Artillery he played and sang for the troops all of the time. In Bosnia his band, “Guns and Hose’s”(this was our band name because the Artillery had the big-guns and we practiced in a Fire hall—hose’s) opened up for the CANCON show. Domestically, he had a band called, Dirty Laundry and performed for almost all of the Regiments functions, private parties, and local bars.

On December 29th, 2009 We hosted a live show at the Kensington Legion which was streamed live to members of via Ustream. you can watch the entire concert BY CLICKING HERE

Elton’s Songs Used in ThankasoldierNETs YouTube Videos:

Hard – a song used for PTSD awareness video called “The Battle Of The Mind”

What a Soldier Left Behind – a video made for Remembrance Day

Miss You Like Hell – used for The Gratitude Project Part One

Please check out Elton’s website and purchase one of his albums today for $10.00 and $5.00 will be going to The Canadian Veterans Advocacy.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My battle with PTSD

I wanted to share with everyone why my new project “Operation You’re Not Alone” means so much to me personally. I decided to write this up after receiving an email from someone saying “You have no idea what it’s like to have PTSD who made you an expert?” well I don't claim to be an expert on anything but I felt the need to share this with you all.

I have been doing efforts to support soldiers since 2007 and have met a lot of our men and women online and in person. I have spent many nights on the phone until late hours of the morning just talking to them as they know they can talk to me in confidence and not worry about me posting names or any information publicly on here or Face Book.

as you may or may not know in 1994 I was attacked by three guys in Ottawa, Ontario and stabbed thirteen times – 11 times on my back and twice on my upper leg which still affects me to this day. The three guys that attacked me were of Somalian background and for many years after this happened when I would see people of that decent even though I knew it was just three guys I would get filled with anger and not know what to do with myself.

It got to so bad that on occasion if I was on public transit and any Somalians got on the train I would almost have a panic attack and would get off at the next stop and get on another train.
I thought I was fine and didn’t think I needed help for it but two years ago I finally had enough and it was through talking with a soldier about how he was going through the same situation when he would be driving down the road here in Canada and see an old beat up white pick up truck he would go another route or pull off the road.

I am not by any means comparing what I went through to what our troops go through but I do know what it’s like to carry something around in side with you for a long time and damage it can do.

I saw someone on a regular basis for almost two years and now am fine and have gotten rid of all my anger towards that event and think about all the positives that have come from it.
“Operation You’re Not Alone” is only a few days old, and someone said to me last night, “Your YouTube video only has 1300 views are you disappointed?”

My answer to that is “No” I have already connected over forty soldiers together via email address in confidentiality and have gotten emails from soldiers who have been through it send me their emails to give out to anyone seeking help, that to me has already made it a success whether it stays at 1300 views or gets 1.5 million views.

It has also helped me tell my story about my battle I went through in my mind for the last eleven years and typing out this blog is probably one of the hardest one’s I’ve ever written but if it helps others, then it will have served a purpose.

Please check out the Launch on YouTube:

Thank You!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

OPERATION You Are Not Alone

After the amazing response to "The Gratitude Project" I wanted to come up with a way for people to come together in a show of support for Troops experiencing Operational Stress & PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) after returning from Operations around the world.

I came up with the idea of Operation You Are Not Alone to bring awareness to PTSD and to let our soldiers that may be suffering from this that it's Ok to ask for help and that they are not alone in their struggles. There are many organizations out there that offer support and hopefully if enough of our men and women see all these messages of support it may make it a little easier to come forward and seek help.

Please check out the Launch on YouTube:

How to be a part of Operation You are not alone!

1. Take a photo of yourself holding a sign with a message of support

2. email it to

*Note : You can send any message you like, in any way you like as long as it is in support of our soldiers

"This is me and my friends on prom night (I am the one in the back, holding up the sign). Before we went out to celebrate graduating grade 12, we made it our mission to take this photo. This operation means so much to me because my father is suffering from PTSD. He has had it ever since he came back from Bosnia. I don't want other soldiers to suffer like he has, I want them to know that it's okay for them to get help.I want them to know its not a weakness to ask for help, in fact its the opposite -It takes a lot of strength. No matter what, I will always support our troops."