Wednesday, August 01, 2007

He's home.

Little time to write, but the pix say a lot. I'll be back in touch. You know it.

The moment I've been waiting for:

Yeah. I'm crying, he's laughing at me.

And a few pictures we've all been dying to see:

And a movie. Brian is filming, laughing in the background.

As I write, Brian's at the mall, picking up some shorts and shoes. His buddies will finish up their softball games, and in an hour, we'll be laughing over cold beer and hot steaks.

All, for now, is right with the world.



  1. I am doing my happy, happy, joy, joy dance for you! Give him a big 'ole hug from this Soldier's Angel!

  2. xoxoxoxo from Becky, Jack, and David. Wish we were there, too! Crack a cold one from the bev fridge for me.

  3. I'm so happy for you right now. I kept check back... "What, still waiting? Ack!"

    Remember I said I'd help with the garlic bread if you had any soldier stragglers show up.

    Just let me know and I'll throw down 50 bucks for a Great Impasta gift certificate for you two so I can make good on my offer.

    This is great news. That picture next to the beverage cooler was worth a million!


  4. Tell Brian thanks for the pix & vids.

    Isn't it amazing how kids can find ways to have fun, even in the middle of a "fire-zone"?

  5. Anonymous10:48 PM

    Hey fantastic, Thanks Brian it's great to have you back in Illinois.


  6. Anonymous2:16 AM

    I'm glad your son is home. However, since you live under the obvious delusion that the "war" in Iraq is about American freedom, and that Democrats are opposed to the "war" while Republicans support it, I thought it a fitting time to put this issue in the proper perspective, compliments of Paul Findley, a former Illinois Congressman:

    U.S. has paid a huge price for subservience to Israel


    Published Wednesday, June 06, 2007

    In the greatest service of his long public life, former President Jimmy Carter warns of the grave consequences of America’s phenomenal subservience to Israel. In his latest book and recent lectures, he focuses on how Israel’s cruel occupation, made possible by massive and unconditional U.S. support, has subjected the Palestinian people to terrible suffering for 40 long years.

    Beyond that grave human tragedy, candid observers must cite U.S. complicity in Israeli lawlessness as the major factor that prompted the horror of 9/11 and lured America into launching three costly, wrong-headed and failing wars - Afghanistan, Iraq and the war on terror. The linkage is easily identified.

    America’s support of Israel’s brutality was the main motivation for 9/11. Nine-eleven would not have happened if any U.S. president in the last 40 years had refused to finance Israel’s humiliation and destruction of Palestine. Michael Scheuer, a former CIA analyst now a consultant to CBS News, recently told a congressional committee that “our unqualified support of Israel” was the main reason for 9/11. Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, President George W. Bush’s first special envoy to the Middle East, has stated that the United States invaded Iraq for Israel and oil.

    The U.S. acts of war in Afghanistan and the war on terror were President Bush’s retaliation for 9/11. Israel - and only Israel - urged the United States to invade Iraq. Israel’s lobby in Washington pushed hard and prevailed.

    Despite this grim record, U.S. subservience to the wishes of Israel’s leaders does not change. Israel is the only nation urging the United States to attack Iran. The lobby is pushing hard again. If the United States assaults Iran it will be on Israel’s behalf.

    Congress, like the rest of America, is totally devoid of debate on the amazing role of this small nation in critical U.S. policy. Members are fulsome in public praise of the Jewish state, but no politician mentions the illegal behavior of Israel or the staggering burden it imposes on our country.

    How did Israel gain this influence?

    It all started 40 years ago. On June 8, 1967, the U.S. commander in chief, President Lyndon B. Johnson, turned his back on the crew of a U.S. Navy ship, the USS Liberty, despite the fact that the ship was under deadly assault by Israel’s air and sea forces. The Israelis were engaged in an ugly scheme to lure America into their war against Arab states. They tried to destroy the Liberty and its entire crew, then pin the blame on the Arabs. This, they reasoned, would outrage the American people and immediately lead the United States to join Israel’s battle against Arabs.

    The scheme almost worked. It failed because, despite the carefully planned multipronged assault, the Liberty crew managed to broadcast an SOS over a makeshift antenna. When the appeal reached U.S. aircraft carriers nearby, the commanders immediately launched fighter planes to defend the ship. Informed of the launch, President Johnson ordered the rescue planes to turn back immediately.

    For the first time in history, forces of the U.S. Navy were denied the right to defend a Navy ship under attack. Johnson said, “I don’t care if the ship sinks, I am not going to embarrass an ally.” Those were his exact words, heard by Navy personnel listening to radio relays.

    The ally Johnson refused to embarrass was Israel. When the SOS reached the top military commanders in Israel, they immediately canceled the assault, claiming it was a case of mistaken identity. At the White House, Johnson accepted Israel’s claim, even though he knew it was a lie. Then Johnson magnified the day’s infamy by ordering a coverup of the truth. Liberty survivors were sworn to secrecy. Even those in hospital beds and badly wounded were threatened with court martial if they told anyone what actually happened. The coverup has been continued by every administration since Johnson’s.

    It proved to be a fateful turning point in Israel’s power over U.S. foreign policy. The Liberty experience convinced Israeli officials that they could get by with literally anything - even the murder of U.S. sailors - in their manipulation of the U.S. government. Financial aid to Israel began to pour like a river, all of it with no strings attached. According to The Christian Science Monitor, this outpouring has now cost U.S. taxpayers more than $1.4 trillion.

    Costs go far beyond money. Thousands of American families are blighted forever, with America’s once high moral standing in shambles. Because of its unqualified support of Israel, Washington is hated worldwide as never before.

    The principal source of Israel’s influence is the fear it seems to instill in every sector of our society. The most effective instrument of intimidation employed by its lobby is the reckless accusation of anti-Semitism, often leveled at anyone criticizing any aspect of Israeli behavior. I can personally certify that for many years it has cast a blanket of fear over Capitol Hill and blocked any semblance of debate.

    I unintentionally contributed to that fear in 1985 when my book, “They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s lobby,” was published. It reports in detail the efficiency of Israel’s U.S. lobby, its history and tactics.

    My book became a bestseller. I hoped it would inspire public officials and other citizens to revolt against the lobby’s influence on U.S. policy, but several of my former colleagues told me it had the opposite effect. One said, “After what AIPAC did to you and (Charles) Percy, I vote with the lobby every time.”

    Israel’s grip on America seems impervious. Two distinguished political scientists, John Mearshiemer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard, strode resolutely into the Middle East minefield a year ago by co-authoring a paper on Israel’s lobby. More recently, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” a book written by former President Carter, revered worldwide for his effective work on international conflict resolution, was published.

    With few exceptions, America’s major editors, producers, commentators, academics and politicians have given these courageous initiatives the silent treatment. Nationwide, the lobby’s influence is pervasive, sustained and deep, a phenomenon unprecedented in U.S. history. It is impossible to explain the silence except as a reflection of profound fear.

    The situation is highly dangerous. America has already paid a towering price for our subservience to Israel, and great additional burdens seem inevitable. If the United States is involved in acts of war against Iran, anti-American protest will rise to new heights, especially throughout the Islamic world. It will inevitably deepen the widely held belief among Muslims that America seeks to undermine Islam.

    The outlook for reform is grim. Elected officials of both major political parties in Washington seem hopelessly captured by Israel’s agents. So does every serious candidate for the presidency in 2008. All U.S. citizens must accept a measure of responsibility for Israel’s grip on America. Those of us who knew what was happening did not protest with sufficient force and clarity. Those who did not know should have taken their responsibility as citizens more seriously. They should have informed themselves.

    The scene is likely to improve only if U.S. elected officials are criticized so forthrightly from home that they fear a constituent revolt more than they fear Israel’s lobby. This, of course, will not happen until the countryside benefits from a rigorous and edifying public debate about Israel’s role in our national life.

    Paul Findley, a U.S. representative from Illinois from 1961-83, lives in Jacksonville. He is the author of five books, including the Washington Post seven-week bestseller, “They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby,” Chicago Review Press.

  7. Anonymous said:

    "I'm glad your son is home. However, since you live under the obvious delusion that the "war" in Iraq is about American freedom, and that Democrats are opposed to the "war" while Republicans support it, I thought it a fitting time to put this issue in the proper perspective, compliments of Paul Findley, a former Illinois Congressman"

    One must truly question your definition of "a fitting time."


  8. Chris Schweighart8:27 AM

    No kidding glock21. That is pathetic.

  9. Crazy Me: Hugs from you: coming right up!

    Becky: C'mon over here and crack one ya own self, girlfriend. I wish you were here too.

    Amishlaw: Yahhh! Whoop!

    Glock: There's a big dinner in the works; I'll be in touch, and I didn't forget about that garlic bread!

    Wil: I'll tell him, and yes, it's nice they can have a bit of fun in that mess.

    Run4: Thanks.

    Anon: You missed something: My son is home. From Iraq. Now sit down and eat your spaghetti, and rejoice along with the rest of us, ok?

    Glock & Chris: Sigh. Thanks, yous!

  10. Yea!!!!

    You looked so nervous/anxious on Tuesday night. I'm so happy for you both!

  11. Anonymous needs to start his own blog.

    Anyway, thank goodness Brian is finally home!!! Squeeze him tight and don't let him go. and pinch his cheeks like a grandma would just for me.

  12. Great pix. So glad he's home. Enjoy every second. Hug him for us! (And please thank him for us, too.)

  13. Anonymous10:27 AM

    Oh what a happy day! I stole your picture of him sitting at the beverage refrigerator and put it on my myspace....he just looks so damn happy to be in that spot with that beer, I couldn't help it!

    Thanks for sharing the pictures and the video....those are worth their weight in gold! Hope you had the best night and have a great time!

    Take care!

    Love - Angela

  14. Anonymous11:29 AM

    You have raised an exceptional son, job well done! I will be forever indebted to your son for the sacrifices he makes for my Country and to you as well, for providing us with an individual who my child can look up to as her hero!

  15. Wonderful!!! This is the greatest thing I've read today...Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy!!

  16. Wow, great news! Will you and Brian and the attendant entourage be out and about over the weekend? How long will he be home?

    The Soldier at the Beer Fridge photo is a classic.

  17. YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!Good times, good times! Very happy for all concerned. The anonymous coward is lucky they didn't use their own name. I'm sure Paul Findley, whatever his position on the US, would be appalled beyond words that you could possibly be so crass as to spout a political agenda at a mom happy to see her son home from a battlefield. That kind of behavior generally merits a serious ass kicking followed by tar and feathers. More's the pity we can't accomodate you Schmuck. Bravo Lori for being so gracious in the face of such ignorance.

  18. Your best post ever Lori!

    Welcome Home Brian! and THANK YOU!!!

    I love the photo of Brian with his "beverage cooler" *thumbs up*

  19. Jennie Tonic5:08 PM

    Welcome home, Brian!

  20. Anonymous6:38 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  21. Hi G

    Now that was the pic and the hug we were waiting for, now get back to enjoying your time with Brian, and thank him for me for the job he's doing over there for all of us...

  22. Thank The Goddess!

    And thank Brian, too, for all he does.

  23. The whole post is so wonderful. The photos of the children, the movie, the beverage fridge, the boy. I feel like bursting into tears here!

  24. Another soldier's mother4:43 PM

    Lori--thanks for the updates. Take some time off to take care of Brian! To anonymous, who picked the wrong time and place...this post is about a mother's love for her son. There is no stronger bond in all this world. Politics have nothing to do with it and I'm sorry you don't understand that.

  25. Lori - thank you for raising an American hero and for sharing what it is like to be a hero's mom.

    Brian - thank you for your service, Sir! It is deeply appreciated. Welcome home.

  26. I love all the pics but the last one is especially peaceful and beauitful.

  27. why oh why when people have something sooo important to say do they say it anonymously? I've never understood that one?


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