Friday, December 28, 2007

Calmer Of The Storm

Old Rag Cramps

Ok, so only Molly and my calves are cramping today after our 9 miles Old Rag summit hike the day after Christmas. We met Kevin Shon and dodged the rain to enjoy a cold and damp day in the Shenandoah's.

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More Christmas Laughs

Christmas evening has been shared with the Breen family for at least the past ten years. No one can resist Kevin's authentic Irish coffees and Kate's Baby Jesus birthday cake. Throw in Kev, Dan and Conor and you see what we found when we arrived home. More laughs on Christmas. Dan says it wasn't his idea but we are not so sure.
To the Breen family, we love you one and all.

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With a scream, looking out the kitchen window, Molly discovered this one in the back yard 20 minutes after we got home.

Thank You Free Lance-Star

With his sister Molly (left) looking on, 1st. Lt. Sam Chamberlain receives a kiss from his wife, Gretchen, during a visit to his parents' home in Stafford County. Chamberlain recently completed a tour of duty in Iraq. Photo by FLS Bob Martin
Area residents sent money to Sam Chamberlain's family to help them buy special T-shirts for him and his company. Photo by FLS Bob Martin
Photo by J. Chamberlain
Enjoy the link to an article published the day after Christmas in our local paper. Sam and his story made front page. It was a very nice article even if Sam isn't a Ranger. The reporter never heard him say "Sapper" or didn't know what a Sapper was. Oh well, it is the thought that counts and we thank the FLS for their support.

Breach Hell

Here is the first of several slide shows I have put together with Sam's images from his 14 month deployment in Iraq.
Army Strong!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Glorious Christmas 2007

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Merry Christmas To All

The Chamberlains wish you all a blessed Christmas 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

Eat Your Heart Out, Ben

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Bob Kravetz's all original, 1954 Chevrolet Corvette, the 600th made. His father won it in a contest. "Why you like beer in 25 words or less." Priceless...

Amazing Neighbors

Sam and Gretchen were arriving at Reagan National at about 9:45 pm on Saturday night. We decided to head north early and see the National Christmas tree. Before we left we put out several welcome home signs. Two in front of the house and one out at the neighborhood entrance.

Imagine our surprise as we turned off Deacon road and saw several candle luminaries lighting up our sign. Then as we turn onto Fox Run Lane and approached the Breen's house we were overwhelmed. The street was lined with people waving flags and holding more welcome signs. All the way to our house, people waved and cheered.

How can we every thank everyone for their love and support for the past 14 months.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Alaska Christmas

Since we're coming home for the holidays we had our gift exchange last night, here are a couple photos.


Gretchen's new bike jersey

A new down jacket

Only a bow for Jasper, but he's ready to spend the holiday with Mom and Dad practicing for the Iditarod.

Got to try out the new -10 deg mummy bag

More bling for my dress blues

Sam's new watch that will do everything but cook breakfast.

Monday, December 17, 2007


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On a quest for the perfect nordic snow we spent the afternoon cruising around powerline pass, just north of Flattop mountain, in the Chugach mountains, with a gorgeous sunset overlooking the Anchorage bowl. Love & Peace, Samuel

Skijoring is a winter dog- or horse-powered sport popularized in North America and derived from the Scandinavian sport of pulka. It involves a horse or from one to three dogs hitched directly to a human being on skis. Skijoring can also take place behind a snowmobile or an all terrain carrier such as the Bandvagn 206. In this case, several skiers or soldiers can be towed on the same rope. The rope is passed around the skiers skipoles and continues to the next person in line. Skiers then preferably hang on to their skipoles, supported by their arms.

While skijoring behind a dog or horse, the person wears a wide waistband with a clip for attaching a lead, which is attached to the harness worn by the dog. Special quick-release hitches or hooks are available, used so that the skijorer may unhook the dog's lead rapidly. The dog provides extra power to the skier, who uses either a classic cross-country technique, or the faster skate skiing technique. Unlike regular cross-country skiing, the skis are hot waxed from tip to tail, to avoid slowing the dog team down.

Any dog over the age of one year, and in general good health, can pull a skijorer. The classic northern breeds, such as Siberian and Alaskan huskies, Malamutes, Inuit dogs, take to skijoring with glee. However, any pet dog is capable of enjoying this. Border collies, Golden Retrievers, Giant Schnauzers, Labs, and many cross-breeds are seen in harness.

The dogs are taught the classic mushing commands to start running (hike), turn (gee and haw), and stop. Training is best done on foot, before the person straps on their skis, to avoid being pulled into objects, like trees or half-frozen creeks.

High Speed Photography

Elf Yourself

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Matt's Recent Photos

air assult exfilMultaka playground
Sufera Olia petting zooAll,
Here are some recent pictures. We recently completed another air assault...nothing cooler than seeing 6 UH-60 Blackhawks flying in to pick you up (only got a picture of 4 of them).We also have a number of people we visit regularly, and the picture in the park is in a really safe area. Always fun to get out and interact with the people, even if we have our armor on.Anyways, things are going well here, nothing to major but continuing to do our job and looking forward to getting home soon.
Take care,

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Everett Pearce Kramer

Everett Pearce Kramer
Born 11-26-2007 at 1:40 pm
7 lbs. 11 oz. 20 1/2 in.
All are doing well. We hope to have everyone home Thursday.
Love, Eric, Emily, Erin and Everett (& Tally)

He has already surpassed his birth weight and comes in at 8 lbs 8 oz.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ben Stine - My Confession

Take a minute to read this.. Thanks for sending it Lisa

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, "Merry Christmas" to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a crche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away .

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her "How could God let something like this happen?" (regarding Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response.
She said, "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"

In light of recent events...terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.
Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW."

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says . Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in. My Best Regards.
Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Coast Guard Flies Santa To Villages In Alaska

KODIAK, Alaska – Santa, portrayed by Coast Guard Commander Scott Williams, dances to the musical voices of three choir members from the Larson Bay school choir as they sing “Never do a Tango with an Eskimo”. Santa was brought to Larson Bay by a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Kodiak as part of the annual Santa to the Villages program here. Santa to the Villages is sponsored by the Coast Guard Officer’s Spouses Association as a way to allow the children of remote villages around Kodiak Island to experience the joy of meeting Santa and receive a gift from him. During Santa’s visit to the school, each student was presented with a small gift and a candy cane. Hats and gloves were given to the younger students. The Coast Guard has been transporting Santa and the elves by boat and helicopter to the remote villages of Kodiak Island for more than thirty years. (Official Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Richard W. Brahm)
Kodiak, AK (Dec. 5)--Santa Claus and his helper, Kathy Gundersen, relax aboard a Coast Guard helicopter on their way to Karluk. Santa and his staff traveled on Coast Guard helicopters to eight remote villages on Kodiak Island. USCG photo by PAC Marshalena Delaney
Larsen Bay, AK (Dec. 5)--Santa Claus waves goodbye to the crowd of children and adults in Larsen Bay. Santa and his staff traveled on board Coast Guard helicopters from Air Station Kodiak. USCG photo by PAC Marshalena DelaneyKODIAK, Alaska - Santa Clause, otherwise known as Coast Guard Commander Scott Williams, presents gifts and candy to students inside the Larson Bay School Thursday afternoon.
Santa was brought to Larson Bay by a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Kodiak as part of the annual Santa to the Villages program.
Each child was given a candy cane and a wrapped present. Hats, gloves and scarves were given to the younger children.
Santa to the Villages is sponsored by the Coast Guard Officer's Spouses Association as a way to allow the children of remote villages around Kodiak Island to experience the joy of meeting Santa and receive a gift from him.
The Coast Guard has been transporting Santa by boat and helicopter to the remote villages of Kodiak Island for more than thirty years.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Update from Matt

Tabitha Gregor
Tuesday, December 4, 2007 2:33 PM

I got a call from Matt today. Other than a cold he is doing ok.
They spend a lot of time out in the local communities.
He asked me to get this list out for anyone wanting to send care packages. He wants me to thank everyone who has sent him packages, they help him to feel a little at home. And I am truly grateful for all the support.

Small bottles of Hand Sanitizer
Crackers ("the round ones")
Trail Mix (in the individual pouches)
8 oz Gold Fish pouches
He is also asking for individually wrapped candy and
Dollar Store stuffed animals, to hand out to the local children.

Thank you again for your support,
Love, Tabi

Monday, December 3, 2007

"Mush" Is Not A Breakfast Cereal

As many of you know, Sam and Gretchen have a 1 1/2 year old Huskie named Jasper. He comes from Iditarod sled dog stock. This past Saturday Sam and Gretchen were invited to spend the day in Willow, AK with the kennel owners. Jasper is about the age where a Musher starts getting his dog into harness to begin the training process. I think Sam said the day started about 12 deg. and went up to 18.

Not enough snow for the sled. The 4 wheeler is used year aound for training

Denali (150 miles away) can be seen in the background at the end of the road

Jasper, on right in blue harness.