Archive for August, 2011


9/11 First Responders to be Recognized

August 31, 2011
by United States Merchant Marine Academy ALUMNI on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 10:50am 

With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 quickly approaching, the Academy plans to recognize all midshipmen, alumni, faculty, staff, Coast Guardsmen and volunteers who responded to the World Trade Center rescue and recovery efforts on that fateful day in 2001. All of those first responders who were honored by the Academy and the Secretary of Transportation for their many hours at the 9/11 site will be recognized on Saturday, September 10th at 1430 on the Tomb Field sidelines during the pre-game ceremonies of the KP-USCGA football game. Anyone who can attend is asked to RSVP to Lisa Donitz at at the earliest possible time (no later than Thursday, September 8th) to expedite event planning.

FYI on the role USMMA and its midshipmen played an important part in rescue efforts on 9/11.

Found via

Unit Citation for 9-11 Efforts

10/3/2005 – The contributions of U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) personnel in responding to the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 were formally recognized by Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta during a ceremony in New York City recently.

Secretary Mineta attended an event at the World Financial Center in Manhattan on Sept. 17 to recognize the civilian merchant mariners who assisted in the evacuation and rescue efforts at Ground Zero following the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center.

During the program, Secretary Mineta made special note of the 180 midshipmen, faculty and staff from the USMMA who took part in the 9-11 relief efforts. The Secretary presented a pennant that signifies the Department of Transportation’s Outstanding Unit Award to CAPT Eric Wallischeck, who represented of the Academy at the event.

Immediately following the 9-11 terrorist attack, members of the Academy community operated a fleet of nine small vessels ferrying rescue personnel and supplies around New York Harbor. This was a particularly significant action since access to the Ground Zero area by road transportation was severely limited.

The Award’s citation reads in part: “USMMA provided significant humanitarian relief, easing the burden on firefighters and other rescue personnel during those desperate and difficult first days…

“Over the course of nine days, USMMA [vessels] moved in excess of 1,500 firefighters, EMTs, police officers and other rescue personnel, and moved several tons of food, water, rescue supplies and materiel from locations in Brooklyn and New Jersey to the landing area [near Ground Zero].

“By their outstanding courage, resourcefulness and commitment of service over self, the members of the United States Merchant Marine Academy…reflected great credit upon themselves and have upheld the highest traditions of the Department of Transportation.”


Best About Both

August 30, 2011

This post is kind of hard for me to write. I made a promise to myself that this blog would not be where I would vent current personal issues but then if you want to know what it is like being a “SnipeWife” and “How do I do it?” then sometimes I might need to touch upon a relationship issue.

I was recently asked what is the best thing about DH being home. The buffer. He’s my first line of defense. He answers the phone when I don’t want to; he entertains the children the first 30 minutes they’re home from school so I can gradually transition from silence to the busiest portion of our day; he takes turns putting them to bed; he loses his cool with them letting me know it is not just me they drive crazy. He’ll say “no” for me and I don’t have to feel guilty.

He cooks. He cleans. He chauffeurs the children to their various activities and rarely complains about how busy we are.

On the flip side I was asked what is the best thing about when DH is gone. I very quickly and candidly answered, “I don’t have to take his feelings into consideration.” I can just get up and go and the children have to follow along. I can stay in work-out clothes and not wonder at the end of the day if I should have tried to “clean up” for him. After all, all those old relationship books say we wives should greet our husbands at the door in a freshly pressed dress, heels, and a cocktail so he can relax from his long day at work. HA! NOT!

If you were to ask these questions two years ago, the first answer would be the same. I’m not so sure about the second. I think if you asked me in two years I would hope it would be different as well. But I can see how such an answer can be a precursor to things I don’t ever want to deal with and places I don’t ever want to go. I can see how such a simple thought as “I don’t have to consider his feelings” can turn into resentment of the times when you do. Once that resentment takes hold it quickly passes to the other partner and it is a downhill spiral many marriages do not survive once the children are gone or retirement from service happens.

My statement right now does not reflect resentment. It reflects what I’ve been going through the past year, the self-reflection I’ve been doing, the “speed-bump” DH and I are going through regarding communication and the stress of his job. We are on uncharted territory with his new position of authority and even here at home with T1 in middle school and becoming a teenager. And it all comes at a bad time with my personal crisis and mystery pain/illness. I do not resent him or resent that I have check in with him, ask him first, or put my plans on hold for the time being–I do all those things willingly, not because he asks it of me, but because I believe he makes far greater compromises and sacrifices for me and the children.

As I said, two years ago the thought wouldn’t have crossed my mind, and I suspect two years from now it won’t either–as long as I rein it in. I’m struggling with having to consider everyone’s feelings right now–church, extended family, the school, the PTA, the scouts, the soccer teams… DH is just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It has been good to look at these two questions. Taking stock of what I’m feeling right now and being forewarned that this tiny seed could become such a horrible festering wound to our marriage is a good thing. I can do everything I can to acknowledge what I’m feeling right now and know that tomorrow will be full of different feelings and circumstances and there is no reason for either of us to resent the other if we are honest and working together as partners in this marriage.

I hope that young couples living “this life” or even military families can read this honest reflection and take one thing: the moment you start to resent anything about your spouse you are in grave danger of losing everything. Keep it in check and communicate because you may be surprised how the other person is feeling too. Armed with this realization about what I’m feeling, I have to do everything I can to make sure DH understands I do not resent him. If I were oblivious of what I was feeling and why, if I were acting and reacting accordingly then DH could suddenly start resenting the way I was treating him. Without talking to him about it we would suddenly create such a vicious circle.

For only having lived together 8 years of the past 15 1/2 years of marriage we’re not doing too badly. And I praise God for the strength of our marriage, even when it gets rocky.


Run, Cassie, Run!

August 26, 2011


It is time. You’re letting us know. So now we have to let you go.

Let you go so that your pain ends. Let you go so that you can run again. Run again and never be tired, never hurt, and always get the prize.

If you want it. You were always more interested in chasing the other hounds and you wanted badly to play with the horses. You will be able to do whatever your big heart desires.

Perhaps you will just make people sandwiches with the other leaners who have gone on before you.

Go to sleep sweet, sweet girl. It is time to rest. When you wake you will be all new.

I don’t believe animals have Souls, but the souls they do have are for a purpose. You served yours and I am so grateful we got to be your forever home. So perhaps when the world is made new again we will see you too, just running and running.

Forever in our hearts…



August 23, 2011

I recently posted on FB that it has been a roller coaster week–very emotional time about the dog’s final days; I’m PMSing; school is starting and T1 is going to middle school; my health problems. I haven’t even felt like posting but I will here in a little bit. And then we get an earthquake. This has been quite a day. I’m glad DH was here. Only a few things fell off the walls, nothing significant. My mother had just left our house and she thought her car was breaking down. Phone lines and cell signals are down; people aren’t acting the sanest right now and real “winners” are getting interviewed on TV but thank goodness for FB and the internet–we can post all about it!

%d bloggers like this: