Reminder: It's Memorial Day, which means we remember the fallen heroes of our great land. On Memorial Day, it's not too late to take time to reflect and honor those who gave their lives so that we may live and live in freedom.
We're speechless. It's so powerful no one can fully grasp what that really means. We enjoy freedom because they shed their blood for us.
When we share on media to help veterans and their families, we always try to share the powerful quote from John 15:13 which says, "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."
On another note, many of our heroes exemplify the trait of being humble: They don't think they deserve a lot of attention. Yet this only verifies that they deserve the attention. Many living heroes state simply that the ones who didn't come back are the real heroes. We agree, but with one revision: The ones who came back are heroes, too. We believe that their fallen comrades would want them to be thanked, too.
Remember the fallen heroes and the heroic families who also incalculably sacrificed. To our Gold Star families, we have a message from our hearts: We honor your fallen heroes and we honor you, our Gold Star families, this Memorial Day. We do not forget what your son, daughter, mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, uncle, aunt, brother, and sister did. No words express how we feel. We honor your loved ones who gave all, and we honor you, too, because you still feel the pain of the sacrifice. You are loved. Your fallen heroes are not forgotten. We honor them today. May our Lord Jesus give you comfort, love, and hope on this day.
God bless you always,
Carrie Stoelting and Stacie Stoelting
Sisters and founders of Unite the USA
Battle Hymn of the Republic
Stacie and Carrie sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic
A poignant song for Memorial Day is "Battle Hymn of the Republic" reminds us that evil never wins. God's truth is marching on! Here's a video of one of our TV appearances, which we dedicate to veterans, fallen heroes, and Gold Star families: -Stacie Ruth and Carrie Beth
Unite the USA Responds
We at UnitetheUSA.org have decided to draw attention to our brave military men and women, elderly veterans in nursing homes, military families, and all veterans through Mission Possible: Honoring Heroes 2020. Send us your hero's photo and we will post it with an opportunity to honor him or her. E-mail us their information and photo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even during this pandemic our servicemen and women are serving and working hard. For example, there are thousands of members of the Air and Army National Guard supporting the COVID-19 crisis response at the direction of their governors. They are helping in many ways like flying ventilators and other critical equipment to support response efforts in other states. Even now our servicemen and women are putting others first as they serve.
Instant Ideas to Help Today: Send a gift card, e-gift card, or gift credit card. Make a phone call. Send a text. E-mail. But do something.
Read on to see resources that specifically help our military and their families. Most of all, pray for our country and for all Americans affected by COVID-19.
COVID-19: Ways to Cope and Reach Out
During this unusual time we need to practice ways to reach out to others and take care of ourselves, too. Here are tips to do exactly that. While most of these ideas can be applied to anyone, we especially hope these ideas can be of help for our heroes and their families who are going through so many unique, additional challenges due to COVID-19.
1. Pray and read Scripture every day. Spending time in prayer and in the Word will help us stay spiritually healthy and strong. We all need to do this daily. Listen to praise and worship music throughout the day. Inspirational music helps us be uplifted and focused on Jesus. When we are strong we can help others better.
2. Send a care package. Have some fun and send a thoughtful care package to our heroes at home and abroad. Click here for to read 7 Affordable Ideas for Military Care Packages. If you are military personnel, click here to request a care package.
3. Send a card, text, or e-mail to veterans, servicemen and women, and military families. Reach out to them. Many of them are facing even greater challenges during COVID-19. We encourage you to reach out to family and friends as well. Reaching out to others will help uplift you, too. It is a win-win idea!
4. Choose one new person a day to contact. Pray and ask the Lord to place a person on your heart to contact. Call someone or write a note of encouragement daily. It will make you feel good, too.
5. Implement aspects of an old routine or form a new routine. Even though America is starting to slowly reopen, routines have still largely vanished. It helps to have structure during the day. Military kids especially need the comfort and support of a routine while encountering so many new, rapid changes.
6. Have some fun. Think of ways you can enjoy life right now. Get creative. For example, there are a lot of fun, free, clean comedy videos available. For example, check out Jeanne Robertson. Her comedy is clean and fun for the whole family. If you have kids at home, check out this link to find lots of free fun ideas for all ages. Share these ideas with military families!
7. Check out Military One Source for a multitude of resources available for military families, veterans, and current servicemen and women. It is a "one-stop-shop" for resources and ideas! And, learn about Project Pillows by One Touch Awakening. Servicement and women are deployed without a pillow. Project Pillows sends this item of comfort to our heroes.
8. Surprise a hero or military family with dinner. Have dinner delivered from a restaurant or make dinner for them yourself. It's a great way to show you are thinking of them and that you care.
9. Pick up the phone. Give a veteran in a nursing home a call. Or Facetime with them. While it's great to send written messages, there's still nothing quite like hearing a person's voice or seeing someone smile. Call to reach out to our heroes and their families.
10. Reach out to those who are alone. There are many veterans who are alone right now whether it be in a care center in quarantine or elsewhere. Reach out to a military spouse who is alone. Reach out to a military family who needs support. Be the difference.
Unite the USA's Featured Veteran of the Month:
This Month's Bible Verse
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." John 14:27
Memorial Day Tributes
May this Memorial Day cause us to remember the selflessness, the grit, and the courage of our current servicemen and women and veterans. Please read the below true stories of heroes who willingly gave their lives to save their comrades and defend freedom. Share these stories with your family and friends.
Edwin Francis Jemison (December 1, 1844 - July 1, 1862) served during the Civil War. He was only 16 years old when he became a Confederate soldier. Edwin served in Company C, 2nd Louisiana Infantry, from May 1861 until he was violently killed by cannon fire at the Battle of Malvern Hill. Edwin's portrait has since become one of the most famous and iconic images from the Civil War. His face is a reminder that young boys died on both sides during the deadliest war in American history...such a tragedy.
Ralph Whittington-Ince (1898-1918) served his country during WWI as part of the 11th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment.He arrived in France on February 1, 1917. Ralph saw a lot of action while overseas. On November 8, 1917 he served in an attack against the enemy Germans. Ralph led his platoon and penetrated 350 yards into the enemy's support line. He brought rapid fire against the fleeing enemy. The attack drove them into an American artillery barrage. Ralph Whittington-Ince did everything in his power to protect his men. In fact, when the remaining Germans refused to come out of their dugouts, Ralph ordered to have them all blown up.
By early evening of November 10, 1918, Ralph was badly wounded by machine-gun fire. He died of his wounds the following day. He was posthumously awarded the Military Cross.
His Colonel wrote: "He has done such excellent work with the battalion. I cannot tell you how much we all feel his death; he has served so long in the battalion and was loved by all ranks."
Second Lieutenant Ruth M. Gardiner
(May 20, 1914 - July 27, 1943) was a nurse in the
U.S. Army Nurse Corps during WWII. She was the first American nurse to lose her life in the line of duty during the war.
Ruth entered the U.S. Army Nurse Corps in January 1943. She served in the Alaskan Theater of Operations and earned the rank of Second Lieutenant. She was one of six nurses in Alaska during the Aleutian Islands Campaign of World War II. The nurses assisted in medical evacuations by plane and covered 3,500,000 air miles. They evacuated over 2,500 sick and wounded patients. During the evacuations none of the patients were injured or killed.
Tragically, on July 27, 1943 her plane crashed while on a medical evacuation mission near Naknek, Alaska. Ruth was killed while transporting patients.
Private Rudolph "Rudy" Johnson (1924-1945) was only 20 years old when he was killed during WWII. He was killed in action in 1945.
Rudy was assigned to the 92nd Infantry Division and he was stationed in northern Italy in the area of Lama di Sotto. Some of the heaviest fighting against German counterattacks occurred where he was stationed. His unit reported that he was missing in action Feb. 6, 1945. Two weeks later he was reported to be killed in action. Private Rudy Johnson's remains were not identified until recently. In March of 2018 he was laid to rest at the Arkansas State Veteran's Cemetery.
U.S. Army Sgt. Frank Suliman (1930-1950) was in his 20s when he fought against members of the Chinese People's Volunteer Forces in North Korea as a member of the Army's 9th Infantry Regiment in the 1950s.
Frank's sister said, "He was way up in North Korea, and he said, 'It looks like this is going to be over. I'm going to be home for Christmas. That was it. We were so happy. He's coming home for Christmas." Tragically, that never happened. Frank was captured and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp at Pukchin-Tarigol. Sadly, he died there of dysentery and pneumonia. He was only 21 years old.
Frank's brother Robert "Bucky" Suliman recalled, "No medication, no food, he was freezing. You're not going to live if you're sick...People died. People said Frankie died."
Frank was survived by his parents, six brothers, and three sisters. After his death, he was awarded the Purple Heart for his service.
Frank Suliman's remains were returned to the U.S. in 2019 after President Donald Trump made a deal with North Korean leader Kim Jung Un.
Family, friends and loved ones gathered at the Boylan Funeral Home in Edison followed by burial at the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Memorial Cemetery.
Frank's parents siblings lost another son/brother, Marine Jimmy Suliman, in Iwo Jima. His remains have never been identified.
Sergeant Albert William Meyer (1922-1951) joined the U.S. Army and he was a member of the Service Battery, 38th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division. He served in the Korean War. Albert was captured by enemy forces on November 30, 1950, as his unit made a fighting withdrawal from Kunu-ri south to Sunchon. He was marched with a large group of prisoners to Camp 5 at Pyoktong, North Korea. Tragically, he died of exhaustion and enteritis on April 1, 1951.
Although he was buried at the camp, his remains were not identified among those returned to U.S. custody after the war. Sergeant Meyer is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
Sergeant First Class Philip Francis Brousseau (1930-1950) joined the U.S. Army and bravely served during the Korean War. He was a member of Company H, 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. on November 11, 1950, Philip was captured by the Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) during the withdrawal from Kunu-ri. He was marched to a holding point at the Pukchin-Tarigol Valley in North Korea. Sadly, Philip died of exhaustion and pneumonia on January 17, 1951. His remains have never been found.
Luie Albanese (April 27, 1946 - December 1, 1966) joined the U.S. Army on October 26, 1965 and he served during the Vietnam War.
In December 1966, while on patrol in the Republic of Vietnam, his unit were under heavy fire by concealed enemy forces.
Vietnamese forces attempted to encircle his platoon. In response to save his buddies, Louie fixed a bayonet to his weapon and charged the enemy positions which momentarily silenced the enemy fire. However, he quickly discovered that the ditch he had charged was a well-entrenched position. Louie continued 100 meters killing at least eight enemy snipers. He ran out of ammunition and was forced to fight hand to hand. Tragically, Louie was killed in action and he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
Michael Scott Speicher (July 12, 1957 - January 17, 1991) was a United States Navy pilot who served during the Gulf War. He was shot down over Iraq; he was the first American to be killed in combat of the Gulf War. Scott's fate was not known until August 2, 2009 when the Navy reported that his remains were found by U.S. Marines in Iraq. It is now believed that his plane was shot down by an Iraqi MiG-25. Scott was only 33 years old. We honor his memory and service.
Major Thomas E. Kennedy (1977-2012) served his country in the U.S. Army. He earned the rank of Major. Thomas from deployed in Iraq from February 2003 to February 2004 and from August 2005 to August 2006. He was deployed to Irag again in July 2012.
On August 8, 2012, Thomas was killed in Sarkowi, Afghanistan from wounds caused by a suicide bomber. He was killed alongside Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin, Mr. Ragaei Abdelfattah, USAID, and Maj. Walter D. Gray of the U.S. Air Force.
Thomas was only 35 years old. He was survived by his parents, wife (Kami) and twins (ages 2 and 4 years).
His awards and service medals include the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Presidential Unit Citation and the Valorous Unit Award. He was awarded a Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart posthumously.
Here is a tribute for Thomas by his family: "On Wednesday, August 8, 2012 our family lost a son, a brother, a husband, a father, an uncle, a godfather, a cousin and a friend in Afghanistan. Our country lost an outstanding Officer, a decorated war hero and a true patriot, one who gave his life for his country and the freedoms we so often take for granted. We are grief stricken and heartbroken, yet humbled and grateful for the overwhelming showering of support we have received from all the lives our hero touched..."