Monday, October 31, 2011

British SAS & US Marines Vs. Taliban

I recently sent out a member survey and one of the things you said you wanted to see more of was footage from Afghanistan & IRAQ. Funker530 just uploaded a new video of British SAS & US Marines involved in a fire fight with Taliban from 2011.

This video is not something you're going to see on the news and puts you right into the action with our soldiers on the frontlines of Afghanistan. If you like it please click the "Like" button, add it to your favorites and share on your Facebook & Twitter.

Funker also has early video access for people that join his Facebook Page.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

One drop of water in the ocean

In March 2009 I joined Twitter after many years of running Support Our Troops efforts on Facebook someone had sent me a YouTube link of the cast of “Red Eye” on Fox News making fun of Canadian soldiers after it was announced that in 2001 our Combat mission would be ending. I had received messages about this from families of fallen soldiers as this happened on the day when we had lost soldiers in Afghanistan .

I found the guys from the show and posted on my blog about what they had said and they made their “Forced” public apologies on air.

I started to search around twitter and found there was a huge military community on there and met some amazing people doing amazing things such as @OpGratitude, @HeroFund and others. Searching hashtags such as #RedFriday #SOT and #MilitaryMon I decided to stick around on there.

I never really paid attention to “Trending Topics” on Twitter as they are usually about games, celebrities and things that don’t really interest me however today on October 29th, 2011 I heard the news that thirteen soldiers had been killed in Afghanistan one of which was Canadian. Instantly my heart came up in my throat as I have a lot of very close friends serving in Afghanistan at the moment and my heart was racing as I was waiting to hear the name specifically of the Canadian Soldier who had been killed.

I then logged in to Twitter and had a look at the Trending Topics list and although I am not going to repost what they were I posted the following :

13 soldiers were killed in Afghanistan today & all trending topics are about pop stars & idols - my heroes wear camo #Thankasoldier

I then noticed a lot of people began to share this and send out the post as a tribute to the thirteen soldiers that had been killed and I started to see my Twitter light up with replies and people sending along their condolences from all over the world.

About a hour later the name of the Canadian soldier was released MCpl Byron Greff from the PPCLI so I posted a photo of him and send out a condolence to his friends and family.

I noticed the retweets of this started to fly in which took me off guard as this was our 158th soldier killed in Afghanistan and every one since I joined twitter I would send out a memorial tweet in their name but had never seen anything like this.

You see, I’ve noticed a lot of trends on twitter and mostly its “lets see if we can get this trending” kind of things or a celebrity will post a funny word and within a hour its on that list, well tonight not only for MCpl Greff but for all our fallen from all countries of the coalition in Afghanistan a difference was made.

Yesterday a friend of mine in the US ARMY posted on my Facebook wall calling me a battle buddy and said “Dave I don't know if you know this but U.S. Army soldiers always have a battle buddy someone that always stands by your side no matter what. We call them "BATTLE BUDDIES". Your every soldiers Battle Buddy. Thank You for what you do.”

These words will stick with me forever and although I may not be able to physically go to battle with our men and women in uniform I will always stand along side of them. Thank You to everyone that reposted this tonight my faith in Twitter was restored and will continue to Support Our Troops no matter what.

Although sometimes you might feel like one drop of water in the ocean you never know how one post or tweet can affect or reach people all over the world.
Thank You

The Brave Ones

This poem was written by Dallas Loeffler the thirteen year old son of a soldiers wife. He wrote the poem for Remembrance Day at his school and with the news of thirteen NATO soldiers being killed today in Afghanistan I thought it would be appropriate to share with everyone.

Thank You Dallas for this amazing tribute.

The ones who fight for us.

To have this life that we have

I thank you. No, we all thank you.

For protecting and helping us

Going to school and having a family

And no having our lives be wasted.

We give you all the thanks, gratitude

And hope we can provide.

But sometimes we get a lovely body filled

With generosity lying there in Flanders Field.

We thank you in all your hard work and bravery

To go out there and protect our country as well as you can.

Thank you for your hard work.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Jody Mitic Inspiring Others

So recently I posted a blog called "Who Inspires You" for The Ellen show to which the response to has been amazing. I received an email from a Veteran who wanted to share his story anonymously about how Jody Mitic has inspired him.

Re: Jody Mitic

I was involved in a motor vehicle collision in 1999. I was diagnosed as having suffered a mild traumatic brain injury and mild traumatic brain stem injury, along with other physical problems. Unknown to me at the time, I gradually found that all the mental resources I had unconsciously accessed over the years to combat what was later diagnosed as PTSD (mildly started with my military service but had become full-blown during 17 years of serving as a Police Officer) were no longer available to me.

Years of several different prescription medications helped keep everything on a somewhat even keel until I began to suffer adverse physical symptoms from the continued use of the medications. Those symptoms departed after I stopped the medications on my own accord. When the mental problems increased, counseling helped with making me understand what PTSD is, along with all the other buzz words for conditions that accompany the problem and gave me new mental resources to combat all the demons.

However, over the past few years, those symptoms have increased to the point where it has become virtually unbearable to live with. Suicidal thoughts are a constant invasion of my sanity. By following what Jody Mitic is accomplishing after his severe physical disability brought on by his service to this country, I am able to control most of the emotional problems, particularly the suicidal thoughts. I draw upon Jody's strength, courage and resolve to continue to excel and succeed physically and attempt to apply those same attributes to my daily life. If it were not for his example, I wonder if I would still be here today let alone being as active as I am.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Thank A Soldier Member Survey

On December 8th 2011 "Thank A Soldier" Facebook will turn three years old and currently has 4,174,808 members which is amazing and I thank you all for being a part of it. Thank A Soldier Facebook is the largest military group in existence and has also won a Mashable Award for best of social media.

You will find the link to the survey below but I wanted to share with you some quick facts:

Thank A Soldier Members 4,174,808
YouTube Video Views : 271,416
Thank A Soldier Montly views : 150,000
Number of letters sent to soldiers as Pen Pals : over 8000
Countries represented on TAS Monthly traffic page : 47

Those are some pretty amazing numbers and please if you have any suggestions feel free to click the comment link below or email INFO@THANKAOLDIER.Net

Thank You

Please also check out our current Projects:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The most inspirational person I know - MCpl Jody Mitic

As I embark on my new mission to get health I want to share with you the story of the most inspirational person I know, MCpl Jody Mitic - A member of The Canadian Forces who is a TRUE HERO and more of an inspiration to me than I could ever attempt to put in to words but I shall try.

"I realized I must have stepped on something. I freaked out ... I was screaming at the top of my lungs. I was calling (for the others) but they were already working on me to stop the bleeding." Sweating due to shock, he started to shiver. Despite the bone sticking out of his left leg, he kept talking to his guys to keep his mind off the injuries. "My job was to let them help me, stay focused, to control my breathing."

One of the medics who assisted in nursing Jody back to health is his now girlfriend Allanah and they also have a child together. Jody also does work with the Soldier On program and is one of the most inspiring people I know.

In 1994 I was involved in a mugging and attacked by three guys in Ottawa, Ontario and stabbed 13 times. Two of these wounds cut the muscle in my leg and if it wasn't for two off duty fire fighters who jumped out of their car when they saw me lying on the sidewalk I would have lost my left leg. To this day I still have no nerves in my upper left leg and for years I used it as an excuse to be lazy. Watching a YouTube video about how Jody Mitic was to run a half marathon on prosthetic legs was the kick in the ass I needed to get me going.

You see for years If I walked over 1km I would have severe leg cramps, If I went to the movies I'd have to get up and walk around to not have pains in my leg. That was until I read about Jody.

Two years ago in June, I did the Loops for troops 5km walk and had no pains at all, as I was feeling tired during the walk I thought about Jody and it kept me going. This past June I cut 20 minutes off my time and now walk 5km a day with no problem or pain.

I have said this many times before but THANK YOU JODY as without your inspiration to get going I am not sure what I would be doing right now and I will make you proud!

You can read more about our new project on the Original Post HERE and click below to join our Facebook page
Follow mine & Chris`s mission on FACEBOOK

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Canadian country singer talks about her trip to Afghanistan

My dream of performing for our Troops began many years ago. Being born in a military town (Gander, NL), it was instilled in me as a child to always appreciate those who are in the Canadian Forces and as a proud Canadian, I give thanks to those people everyday in my prayers.

I had been constantly asking my label to send me overseas so that I could at least say thank you to those men and women that sacrifice so much for our beautiful country. This dream came true Oct 6, 2011 as we left Canada and flew to Kandahar, Afghanistan.

We stayed in KAF and were given many tours around the base. We shot guns, we shook hands and we made friends.

Every night, I found myself in bed sleepless, thinking of the many battles and hardships that my new friends had gone through and still are going through. Being face to face with death, having lost friends and loved ones and many that will never be able to have the memories of death & fear leave their minds. I would lay there and ask myself, "why am I so lucky?" Answer = Our Soldiers.

I visited a place called Role 3, which is a state of the art hospital located on the base. There we saw injured soldiers and Afghan children. I wanted to crawl in the corner and cry myself into another world. My life was forever changed from that moment. We as Canadians sometimes complain about the stupidest shit. Our food doesn't come out perfectly at a restaurant, the weather is too hot or too cold, being stuck in traffic..blah blah blah.

We are spoiled. When something isn't going right during your day, think about the soldier who is face to face with gunfire. The Soldier who had to leave his new born baby and wife to fight for you to live so free in Canada and the Soldier who didn't come home because he was a target of the Taliban.

My favourite saying is "If you don't stand behind our Troops, try standing in front of them". Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the courageous & brave men and women of the Canadian Military who give their all for us. We are so blessed to be Canadian. God Bless you & your families.

Tara Oram Gander, NL

For more information about Tara you can visit here her Facebook page "Tara Oram - The Music and Me" and

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

B&Bs Open Their Doors to Veterans on Nov 10 in a Large Scale Effort to Thank the Troops

Thousands of active military and veterans will awake refreshed on Veteran’s Day to a gourmet breakfast at B&BS in the U.S. and Canada

Inns and B&Bs throughout the U.S. and Canada will honor active military and veterans by opening their doors with complimentary stays on November 10, 2011, in observance of Veteran’s Day. To date more than 450 inns and B&Bs have signed up to participate in the B&Bs for Vets program in the U.S. with an additional 210 offers from Canadian innkeepers, and more are being added each day. Organizers expect to surpass the 900 participating inns that joined in the program in 2010, expecting innkeepers to offer free stays to thousands of vets on the eve of Veteran’s Day so they can awake refreshed on 11-11-11 for a gourmet breakfast and Veteran’s Day events. For a complete list of participating inns and B&Bs, for participating inns in the United States and for a list of participating Canadian B&Bs.

“I can’t think of anything more important than honoring veterans with a complimentary stay, “ told Teresa Jacobson, co-owner of Azalea Inn in Savannah, GA to WTOC in an interview last year.

“The B&Bs for Vets program is such a great way to honor not only the military, but their wives and families as well. My wife served too; supporting me while on multiple deployments,” told Michael Dawson, Army Chaplin to Amy Dolan, innkeeper at Inn Above Onion Creek in Austin, TX.

The B&Bs for Vets program started in 2008 when Kathleen Panek, co-owner of the Gillum House and a handful of other innkeepers in West Virginia opened their doors to veterans in honor of Veteran’s Day. This year, the Professional Association of Innkeepers International will coordinate the B&Bs for Vets program in conjunction with to thank veterans and introduce them to today’s B&B experience.

Veterans interested in reserving a room on November 10 are asked to contact the inn/B&B where they wish to stay. Proof of military service will be requested, and all policies of the inn will be enforced for free stays. To see a complete list of participating inns and B&Bs in the U.S. and Canada, or While some have already filled, new inns and B&Bs are being added daily. An easy sort offers by state or province makes finding the right place to stay easy.


Saturday, October 8, 2011 is very happy to announce a new project called "Just Say Thanks"

I was approached online a few weeks ago by someone that was wondering what they could do more on Remembrance Day to say thank you to veterans and soldiers. One thing I've also seen in the past five years of running this website is that sometimes people want to say thank you but aren't sure how to or just not that comfortable with the situation.

That being said we are launching "Just Say Thanks" a series of cards online (FREE of charge) that can be printed off and given out to veterans and soldiers all year round. You can also save the files to your computer and email if you have friends or loved ones serving overseas.

Our only request is that if you do that please include the link to this blog so that people can share their stories via the comments section and see how many are sent.

We are encouraging people to print these off and if you're at a Remembrance Day Ceremony or Veterans Day in the States put one in an envelope and hand it to a soldier or veteran when you see them in public.

To Print the cards:

Step 1 : Click on the below photos

Step 2: right click and select Save Image As.... (Save the file to your desktop)

Step 3 : Open the file on your computer and print it

Step 4: Write a Message on the back and please include "" at the bottom

"Remembrance Day (Canada) & Veterans Day Card (USA) Card"

- Thanks to S. Blanch for designing the card you can see more of her work here


"Thank A Soldier - Year round card" with space to write a note


If you have a design that you would like to create and have featured on our webpage you can send to

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Phoenix Coyotes Goalie pays tribute to fallen hero

Phoenix Coyotes’ goaltender Jason LaBarbera chose to pay homage to stalwart Pat Tillman with his 2011-2012 goalie mask.

LaBarbera wanted a mask that honored both the U.S. and Canadian Armed Forces serving overseas. More specifically, he wanted one side of the mask to honor the late Pat Tillman; the defensive back for theArizona Cardinals who left the NFL to enlist in the U.S. Army with his brother after 9/11, and who was killed by friendly fire on April 22, 2004 in Afghanistan.

"With all circumstances leading up to the passing of Pat Tillman aside, I felt that he put a face to the everyday soldier," said Arrigo.

The mask depicts Tillman and his brother in military gear, along with an image of Pat Tillman as a member of the Cardinals, who like LaBarbera's Coyotes play in Glendale.

The opposite side of the mask features a single, faceless solider with helicopters above his head. Throughout the mask is a red-and-sand-colored camouflage that matches the Coyotes' team colors.

Part of the design: Multiples stars and maple leafs that serve as a tribute to "both Canadian and American forces serving in their respective theaters," said Arrigo.

On the front of the mask is a yellow ribbon, an acknowledgement that those serving overseas are in the thoughts of those back home.Arrigo said the mask was a perfect way to honor Tillman and the rest of the men and women still serving around the world.
"Personally, whether or not you agree with the actions overseas, I feel we need to support, to no end, our brave forces," he said.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

What do soldiers need from you?

Nothing more than that we be mindful of their sacrifice, appreciate their effort and take the time to understand what they're trying to achieve in Afghanistan before forming an opinion. To honour soldiers and to support their mission is not hagiography. It is not blind patriotism, or unquestioning acceptance of any government's propaganda, be it Conservative or Liberal.

It is simply to recognize that people, who believe passionately in a humanitarian ideal, volunteer in the service of that ideal and then risk their lives for it, are praiseworthy.

Behind the combat glasses, the body armour, the helmet and the assault rifle, is a man or a woman whose fear and discomfort are managed only by training, the company of other soldiers and the knowledge that we, the public, support them.

- An editorial from the Owen Sound Sun Times