Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Table-for-six Size Halibut is Angler's Just Desserts

Homer, Alaska
Captain Mike Manns, left, congratulates Dan Prisaznuk of Homer on his 340.6-pound derby-leading halibut. Prisaznuk landed it Monday on Manns' charter. At 97 inches long, the halibut reportedly took an hour and a half to pull in.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Operation driCARE

Sitting at his desk, Safety Systems Corporation CEO Todd Wilson holds up a handful of garments. “If I had a son or daughter or husband, brother… anyone I knew in Iraq right now, if the government didn’t give them these or if I couldn’t ship them over, I would get on a plane and deliver them myself. Nobody,” he continues, “no body in an active combat role should ever go to work without these on.” He's talking, of course, about our line of industry-first performance wear garments with built-in flame resistance. You already know the blend is patented. Todd's company is the world’s only supplier.

But he is in Chicago. The conflict he mentions is thousands of miles away. And, the distance from where he sits to widespread recognition of his technology solution and its adoption most days he says can feel like light years. “Imagine you’re me,” he says. “I read the papers and hear the news just like you. I see the accounts of military burn injury victims returning to Brooke Army Medical Center. I have something right here, right now, that can change the future and I want people to move faster. Kids are getting burned over there every day… and I sit here in Chicago wondering ‘What in the world does a person have to do?’”

As you know, this week Todd decided to do something radical. For nothing more than the nominal cost of shipping, for anyone who will give him the name and address of a friend or family member on active duty in the military, he will ship a garment to the soldier at zero cost for the garment. He’s prepared to give away up to a million dollars of his inventory.

“If I have to do this one soldier at a time,” he finishes, “then that’s what I’ll do. But I’m hoping ten troops over there tell ten friends and before long they all do what I can’t: they'll bring the message from the bottom up, in ways and using words and actions more effective than anything I have at hand. In the meantime,” he says, holding up a fistful of his performance wear garments with FR protection, “I’m going to do whatever I have to do to get these into the hands of people who need and want them most right now.”

Sam At Work

(click to enlarge image)
Here is an undated photo of Sam, hard at work, with a GPS in hand.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Perfect Weather For Marathon Acheivement!

Hi Family and Friends,
I did it! I joined the 26.2 club! I finished my first marathon today in 4:28. I kept a pretty steady 10 minute mile pace and had awesome friends to cheer me on at the end when I needed it! My whole Army wives Bible study came out and cheered at miles 17, 21 and the finish. And of course Beth and my friend Michaella were there cheering me on from the beginning. It was an awesome race. The weather was perfect, a cool 59 degrees and overcast with a light mist of rain towards the finish. I didn't even sweat very much because it was so cool. I even saw a moose at mile 9 just strolling out of the woods. Six miles of the race was on trails through the woods across from Post and I heard that some runners even scared a black bear up a tree - only in Alaska! I am walking pretty stiff now, but actually feeling pretty good. All of my training paid off and am I so glad I did this. Having Sam gone is so hard and training for this race has kept me sane and healthy!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Happy Solstice Everyone!

In Alaska, the land of the midnight sun, Summer Solstice is as big an event as New Years! It marks the longest day of the year which here in Anchorage means almost 20 hours of daylight! It basically never gets dark, but only dusk. To commemorate this special event my friend Elisabeth, my sister Beth and I climbed Flattop Mtn overlooking Anchorage at midnight. The attached pic was taken just after midnight. You have got to love a place where you can still be out climbing mountains at midnight!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Messages From Home

Gretchen sent along this link to a special edition of the Fort Richardson Alaska Post called Messages From Home. You will need Acrobat Reader for the .pdf file. Gretchen's message to Sam is on page 3.

dirFIRE Blog

We even made it onto driFIRE's Blog.
If you read down a couple of their posts, it gives very good reports on the over-all performance of the t-shirt we are sending to Sam's company.

Kind Words From Pastor Laura

June 19, 2007

What a wonderful article! I'll be sure that we get a link to it on the church website and post a copy of it in the narthex. I am very proud of our members for putting their faith into action in this way. I am always amazed at what a generous congregation we have.

It speaks a lot to Sam's concern for his men that he was willing to endure more discomfort for the sake of being in solidarity. I know that is a deep military value, but it is also at the root of our faith- following the one who took on flesh for our sake and walked our way with us. So often in the Scriptures it says that Christ had compassion on the people- that he suffered with them. Please thank Sam for being a reminder to us of how to have compassion for our brothers and sisters.

And we will keep praying that these next few months will go quickly and that Sam and his men will continue to be safe.

In Christ,
Pastor Laura

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sam's Recent Missions

June 8, 2007 Here are just a couple photos to share of my missions so far.
We used the bull dozer to knock down some buildings blocking a patrol base field of fire. Just a few days earlier the patrol base was hit by a 4000 lb suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED). (This mission lasted 5 days "outside the wire", away from his FOB. Sam remarked all they had for bathing was two-a-day baby wipe showers. ~~ Jay)

June 3, 2007
The second photo is of my platoon doing route sanitation. This is where we come through with graders, bulldozers, and a bobcat, improving the shoulders and median of major roadways so the AIF (Anti-Iraqi Forces) can't hide IED's. We also like to use fire and burn the brush and weeds. This day we used 3000 gallons of diesel.

U.S. Soldiers celebrate Army’s 232nd birth

U.S. Army Soldiers move to the UH-60 Black Hawk after searching the area for items of interest during an aerial response force mission, Iraq, March 31. Soldiers are assigned to the 1st Platoon, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway.
Friday, 15 June 2007
BAGHDAD — The United States Army celebrated its birthday worldwide Thursday.
U.S. Soldiers marked the 232nd Army birthday through a variety of events including flag ceremonies, organized runs and re-enlistments.
“Since our Nation’s founding, members of the United States Army have answered the call in time of America’s need,” said U.S. President George W. Bush in his message to all U.S. Soldiers. “These brave citizens have triumphed over brutal enemies, liberated continents and answered the prayers of millions around the globe.”
At Camp Victory, Iraq, Task Force 3rd Medical Command Soldiers celebrated with a flag raising ceremony.
“For more than 200 years, the American flag has been the symbol of our nation’s strength and unity,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Virgilene Davis, assistant G-1 Noncommissioned officer-in-charge. “The American flag has been a prominent icon in our national history.”
Soldiers at Fort Bragg, N.C., celebrated the Army’s birthday with its 11th annual ‘Army Birthday 10-miler’ where approximately 900 runners showed up at 6:00 a.m. to participate.
Gen. Richard A. Cody, the U.S. Army vice chief of staff, gave the participants some words of encouragement shortly before the race began.
"There's no better way to start the day at the home of the Airborne," said Cody. "There's no better way to start celebrating the Army's 232nd Birthday than with a little 'shuffle' to see who's strong and who is Airborne Army Strong," referring to the moral fiber and determination every Soldier carries.
Donna M. Palisca managed to make an effort to squeeze time in to celebrate the Army birthday and became the overall women’s champion of the Fort Bragg Army Birthday 10-miler timed at 1:07:21 before going on with her day.
"My goal was to break 70 minutes," said Palisca. "In three hours my husband is deploying to Iraq, so I wanted to get back to see him off."
While some Soldiers enjoyed the celebrations, others decided to honor the Army with additional service.
Forty-nine Task Force Marne Soldiers at 3rd Infantry Division headquarters in Baghdad celebrated by re-enlisting, said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Samantha M. Stryker, who is with the unit’s public affairs office.
“Today’s Soldiers symbolize the nobility of service,” said Acting Secretary of the Army Pete Geren, U.S. Army Chief of Staff George W. Casey, Jr. and Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth O. Preston, through their ‘2007 Army Birthday Message.’ “Today’s Soldiers are motivated by an unwavering belief that they will be victorious on the battlefield because we have fought this way since 1775 and always will.”
“While the Army has much work ahead of us, it has much to be proud of and to celebrate,” they said.
(U.S. Army story compiled by Spc. Carl N. Hudson, Combined Press Information Center)

Keeping Cool In The Heat Of Battle

Photo by: Reza A. Marvashti
The Free Lance-Star
Date published: 6/19/2007
by Rob Hedelt
photo by Reza A. Marvashti
Stafford parents of soldier in Iraq raising money to buy cool and safe shirts for his unit

LIKE SO many other parents of soldiers in Iraq, Jay and Valerie Chamberlain yearn for the day their son returns.
The Stafford County couple, who live in Woodlawn, nervously follow news reports.
In between infrequent phone calls and e-mails, they do all that they can: sending care packages, checking on their son's wife in Anchorage and praying every day for 1st Lt. Sam Chamberlain's safe return near the end of the year.
"You never can quite relax and feel like everything is okay," said Valerie.
But recently, the couple came up with a practical way to make a huge difference for their son and the 75 or so other soldiers in his company.
"We'd hear from him about how terribly hot and humid it is there," said Jay, a retired FBI agent who now works as a consultant in the Washington area. "It's even worse because he and his men constantly have to be in full gear and body armor, with temperatures in the daytime at 115 degrees or more."
The Chamberlains decided to get 24-year-old Sam, commander of an engineering unit in the Army's 25th Infantry Division, a few new-age moisture-management T-shirts to help him cope with the heat.
They originally planned to send him a handful of Under Armour shirts. But they learned that's not a good idea because the polyester shirts can complicate injuries in combat situations, melting onto the skin.
They were steered toward shirts made for combat and law enforcement, trademarked as driFIRE. The company that sells them says the shirts are "designed to deliver the ultimate in moisture management, comfort and flame-resistant safety."
Initially, the Chamberlains were thinking small, just trying to get a few shirts for Sam, who knew from the time he was a student at Stafford High School that he wanted to go into the military.
But when they shared their idea with him, the young officer, who attended West Virginia University on an ROTC scholarship, gave the idea thumbs-down.
"He told us he wouldn't wear anything all of his men didn't have," said Valerie. "So we just decided to work at getting a shirt or two for all of the soldiers in this company."
Getting enough money to pony up $25 each for the 150 or so driFIRE shirts sounded like an unreachable goal.
But as the Chamberlains went to friends, relatives and members of their church, Christ Lutheran in Fredericksburg, they found people willing to give.
"The idea of helping all the men over there is a little overwhelming," said Valerie. "But helping the men in this one unit in this small way, with a shirt that will help keep them cool in the 115-degree heat, is something that people can relate to."
The Stafford couple has set up a special account at a local bank for contributions and a special e-mail address for questions.
"We're working with a supplier that will handle all the shipping and is giving us a pretty good price for the shirts," said Jay.
The more money they get, the more shirts they'll send.
"We're sure Sam will be able to distribute them to other soldiers equally in need," Valerie said.
The effort has given them a very real way to help their son.
"We're very proud of his service as a combat engineer," said Jay. "But his unit spends much of its time 'outside the wire,' out in the countryside on missions. We won't really be able to relax until he's on his way home."
Until then, it looks like he and his men will at least be better able to cope with the heat.
And it will mean so much because of the support our community is demonstrating in getting those shirts there
Contributions can be mailed to Valerie J. Chamberlain, T-Shirt Account, c/o BB&T, 375 Chatham Heights Road, Fredericksburg, Va, 22405. Contributors may also make deposits at any BB&T branch; they will be deposited in that specific account. For more information, e-mail

Monday, June 18, 2007

Robison Wedding

(Click on any image to enlarge)

Aunt Barb and Debbie
Bill and Heather
Aunt Barb and Bill

Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Mother Nature's Fury ~ III No Kayaking Here

Tuesday, No kayaking to Harrison Island MD032. The plan was qualifying a new US Island. Sitting in the car during the storm I had a lightning strike so close it sounded like a shotgun went off inside.
(click on image to enlarge)
You think I'm mad I didn't get to Sharpshin Island, MD033, how mad did this sky look (Wednesday) before the heavens let loose,

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Women's Run: It's All A matter of Time

A sea of Run for Women participants crowds 16th Avenue in Anchorage. Women's Run: It's all a matter of time
FASTER: 4,479 run to support women's breast cancer research effort.
Anchorage Daily News
Published: June 10, 2007
It's not often the 22nd-place runner gets more ink than the winner, but the Alaska Run for Women isn't a typical race. (The story continues)
2007 Chamberlain, Gretchen, Eagle River, AK
75th (overall) 19-24 age group, 10/122 (age group place) 7:41 (pace) 0:38:25:40 (time)
307th (overall) 19-24, 38/114, 08:54, 0:44:31.50

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Mother Nature ~~ Full of Fury II

Two images, taken from our front porch, during Friday night's thunder storm.
(Click on image)
This image was selected by WUSA Channel 9 for Tuesday's 5pm weather. See YouTube link below

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Hands of Christ

No one will snatch them out of My hand. John 10:28

“I need a hand,” someone says. They don’t really mean they need the palm and fingers at the end of our arm. Rather, they need the aid our hands can give.

People wanted Jesus to give them a hand. Jesus’ hands lifted the disease and illness from many. Jesus’ hands blessed little children. Jesus’ hands were raised in prayer and praise. On the night He was betrayed, His hands washed the disciples’ feet and served the first Communion meal. Hours later, His hands were nailed to a cross. There Jesus said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!” (Luke 23:46). Jesus’ hands did His Father’s work, and when the Savior needed a hand, He entrusted Himself to His Father in heaven.

Jesus’ hands help us too. He comes to all who need His loving touch. He dirties His hands with the work no one else would tackle, healing demoniacs, the sick, and the lame. He rescues us from the clutch of sin and death, forgiving our sins and lifting us to the Father. He holds us in His nail-pierced hands and promises us that “no one will snatch” us from Him or His Father (John 10:28–29). With such hands to hold and help us, we are safe—both now and for eternity. In His hands, we are healed and made whole.

Hold us in Your hands, O Jesus, and commend us into the hands of our heavenly Father. Amen.
Portals of Prayer - A Daily Devotion from Concordia Publishing House

Time For A Drink

Gabe taking a sip of water
Staff Sgt. Chuck Shuck and his K9 partner, Sgt. 1st Class Gabe, both with 178th Military Police Detachment, 20th Military Police Battalion, take a break to hydrate during a cordon and search operation in the village of Shukran, near Forward Operating Base Q-West.
U.S. Army photo by Spc. Amanda Morrissey
More information on Engineer Specialized Search Dogs

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Mother Nature - Full of Fury
Grizzly shows film crew less attractive side of nature,
Bear dines on the remains of two moose calves; another grizzly laps up a hastily abandoned latte.
Anchorage Daily News
(Published: June 5, 2007)

Full Story:

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Playing With My New Camera

(click on any image to enlarge)
Billy, the terrorist cat

I am having fun playing with my birthday present, a new Nikon D40, 6.1 Gb digital SLR camera. ~~ Jay

Friday, June 1, 2007

Delaware Graduation

Photo by J. Chamberlain: Molly and Maggi 26 May 2007, Newark, DE University of Delaware put on a very nice graduation ceremony dispite the early morning heat and hugh crowds.