So, I saw this... and thought...
OMFG! If every person I was "rude" to, plotted to kill me, I'd be dead a million times over.
This is an example of poor and great parenting.
Poor, on behalf of the child and his friend that plotted to kill a girl in school for being rude...If you believe that "nurture and not nature" is to blame here.
And Good, for the parents of the 4th grader who actually saw something (the knife on the school bus) and said something!
Who knows what would have happened if he didn't speak up!
I remember being in the 5th grade, and thinking that the world was unfair, and that I was smarter that I actually was. But, I don't ever remember making a "hit list" and plotting to kill a classmate.
So, if it;s not Nurture at work here, and these kids come from good homes, with attentive parents, than Nature must be at work, correct? And if that is true, is it possible to reverse or correct this child before he turns 18 and is sent back out into the world, where he will find out exactly how "rude" people can be?
Things like this scare the hell out of me, because this kid grew up in America... No matter what you think about our government, our leadership, or our financial climate... It only takes one trip overseas to see how lucky we all are to be born here. Are we doomed, not only as a society, but as a human race when you see a child capable of something like this?
And just when you thought the world was ugly, I give you this!
A 2 year old, singing Pearl Jam! This is what good parenting looks like!
Dear 7 foreign college kids, trespassing after midnight around Boston's water source...
Are you looking to get shot? And I don't mean by the authorities...
I mean by the regular people living out by the Quabbin. We're all a little "jumpy" around here lately, for OBVIOUS reasons, and if you were out there for "legitimate" reasons, you're lucky the authorities found you first.
I mean, lets be real for one second... IF you were out there for a legitimate reason, out of the 7 of you college educated people NOT ONE said "Hey, maybe this isn't a good idea?"
Personally, I'm having a hard time thinking of a legitimate purpose for your late night hiking extravaganza, but maybe that's the cynic in me!
But, lets just say for fun, that is was an innocent "mistake" on your part... Use your f*cking heads, before you are wiped off of the face of the planet, and we all have to listen to your parents cry, and talk about how wonderful and smart you were. So smart, that you got yourselves killed for looking like trespassing terrorists in the middle of the night.
Innocent or not, you're on about a dozen government lists now. Good luck filing your taxes, or getting on a flight at Logan. That is if the people in charge of those lists actually talk to each other. Ooops, there I go again being a cynic! Or, maybe just a bitch!
And just when you thought evolution was put into reverse...
There is this. A five year old drummer playing Kiss, better than Kiss!
So, I saw this.... and thought to myself... Thank GOD I'm not one of the cool kids!
I was never part of the popular crowd growing up. I was into Sports, Band, Theater, and hung with the Metalheads among others... So I guess, I'm not cool enough to wear Abercrombie. GOOD!
While they make larger sizes available to men, because they are "athletic", they don't for women, because they don't want fat and ugly people wearing their clothes.
This said 2 things to me.
1. That athletic women aren't attractive. No muscular gymnasts, tennis players, or too tall beach volleyball players need apply.
2. That is you ARE wearing A&F clothes, you 'think' you are cool, and better than everyone else.
Never mind if you have a few extra pounds on you like the 'athletic' men who can get XL clothes...
Because I promise you that all of the XL A&F shoppers are not NFL Running backs!
And while I respect any companies right to sell what they want, and market it how they want...
If you are going to preach attractive and cool, get a better looking CEO than Mike Jefferies!
This guy couldn't get laid without his Black Amex card if he tried!
And just when you thought the douchebags were winning...
There is this!
Hey lady, in case you haven't noticed over the last 12 years... People don't have a lot of tolerance for screwing around on an airplane! People are tense, nervous, and paranoid being locked into a metal tube, surrounded by strangers, flying at 50,000', and 700 mph, and filled with jet fuel. They have a right to be a bit worked up! They don't need you acting like you're the star of a romantic comedy starring Kevin Costner, and your dumb ass during the flight!
You're lucky I wasn't on that flight...
I would have smashed your head before the flight attendant could get past the drink cart!
And just when you think the gene pool has all but dried up...
The Bruins put on a clinic, of what it looks like to play with heart!
OK, I saw this over the weekend, and I couldn't believe it. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, because these people (I refuse to call them kids because many of them are over 18) were small kids on September 11, 2001. To them, they think it's Pearl Harbor, something that their parents remember, but that is so far removed from their own reality. But, I cannot help but be offended, and pissed off that there are this many idiots, gathering together online, after the Marathon Bombing, with the united front of "He's too cute, and too much of a stoner" to be a terrorist. One girl said "I just don't see it!"
I tell you what honey... Come to Boston. You wanna see it? Go visit the Richard Family. You'll see more than you want to! Go sit down with Jeff Bauman, or Carlos Arrendondo, or any of the other victims, and witnesses of the Marathon Bombing.
What is so hard to believe? That Suspect #2, worked on explosives in his dorm room, at a college where he was getting financial aid? Or that he was involved with a premeditated attack on a group of civilians, on a State Holiday? Or that he was too much of a pussy to tell his bully big brother NO? Or that he could shoot at uniformed police officers, in the middle of a neighborhood? Or that he ran over, and helped to kill his own brother to save his own ass? Or, that he hid overnight, wounded, in a boat, trying to escape?
You know what I'm trying to figure out? Why someone who used this country as a life boat, and was given public assistance, financial aid, medical care, food, housing, and finally CITIZENSHIP, could so easily turn on that nation, and justify the killing of 2 women, and an 8 year old boy, and wounding hundreds of others?
I'm also trying to figure out what went wrong with you and your parents, that you think because he's too cute, or that he smokes pot that he isn't capable of evil? So, attractive people are good, and ugly people are evil? Pot smokers are good, and booze drinkers are evil? What the f*ck is wrong with you?
I have an idea... You explain the countless video angles to me, if #2 wasn't the bomber... How is he in the video, in the place of the bomb one minute and running away without his backpack the next. You said "I don't see it", well OPEN YOUR F*CKING EYES AND YOU WILL!
If you are the future of this country, we may as well just end it all now, because we are all doomed!
Come to Boston.... Or better yet don't. Because if I saw you walking down the street with your stupid tattoo, in honor of #2, I'd punch you in the mouth and knock your ass out!
And just when you think that the world is doomed...
You see this video from Astronaut Chris Hadfield, from the International Space Station.
He's one of the smartest people on Earth, and beyond, yet he still has enough of a sense of humor to want to use his unique position for something fun, like a music video. I wonder what David Bowie thinks of it?
It must be such a nice view from up there. You're far enough away to not see the evil that lives on the planet.
Bonus Zen, for anyone that loves fighter jets as much as I do!
Like I said yesterday, I will be blogging about what pisses me off, and what makes me think that we are all doomed...
And then, giving you some hope that maybe there is something nice about the Human race!
I'm pissed at the woman, who was "disgusted" by the protestors in Worcester, who didn't want Suspect #1 buried here. She said that it was "America, at it's worst"... To those people who think we should be "leading by example", and showing that we can rise above, and show "compassion" to the bombers rotting corpse... I ask you this...
Who are you trying to convince? The millions of people, living in the Middle East, being fed hatred disguised as religion? Because they don't watch CNN. They won't see, and sure as hell won't hear about how "humane" the Americans were.
You know what they will be shown? Pictures of how we "glorified the Martyr" by burying him with dignity.
You live in VIRGINIA!!!!!
I'm sure you would have had issue burying the Pentagon terrorists next door on 9/12/01!
You quoted Jesus, saying that we are supposed to "Love our Enemies", so why didn't #1 and #2 do that? Why did they opt to blow us up instead?
I'm glad you took him off of our hands! But, wasn't it supposed to be a BIG SECRET where that maggot was "laid to rest"?
So why did his uncle announce it to the world today?
I hate to tell you, but I predict that you haven't seen the "worst of America" yet, now that everyone knows where you buried a non-citizen terrorist, on American soil, marked or unmarked grave... And when it starts costing money to repair the damage done, by outraged and admittedly criminal Americans, you and his uncle will be the first one's asking for financial help to make the repairs. Sorry, my donations will be headed to the One Fund!
And speaking of September 2001...
Today, New York City got its tallest building status back!
The Freedom Tower was topped live on TV, and now stands a symbolic 1776 feet tall!
It may have taken over a decade to erase that scar on the skyline, but it is beautiful and gives me hope that we can recover from anything.
And finally, and as extra dose of Zen on this Friday...
I give you Boston!
Over the past few weeks, like many other people, I have been on an emotional rollercoaster. I have seen and heard things that have pissed me off, to my core. And then, a few minutes later, I see or hear something that renews my faith in humanity.
For some reason, when I post something positive online I get very little reaction...
But, when I freak out and let my temper get the best of me... I hear from so many people who either want to argue with me, or cheer me on!
So, I thought I would use this blog to show what is pissing me off, and making me think that the human race is doomed, and then show something that may just keep me from thinking that all humans are selfish, self centered a$$hats!
Today, I am so aggravated at the thought of Ariel Castro in Cleveland. He was collecting unemployment, hiding in plain sight, all the while torturing and abusing 3 young women just miles from their families who were desperate to find them. As the stories come out about the house of horrors that those women, and one child endured... News is also coming out, that Ariel is not the ONLY sociopathic Castro. I am still not convinced that his brothers aren't involved in some way, and it seems his daughter shares that family gene! Read that terrible story here! In the U.S., only murder cases are eligible for the death penalty, but to me... what he did was so much worse than murder. Ariel Castro, whose picture I refuse to post because we have all see it too much already, deserves to live the rest of his life the way those poor girls did. And unlike those girls, his life... should be short, very short!
And just when you think that a family could be so filled with evil, hatred, and all that is bad in this world...
My love for our Armed Forces knows no limits! But, when I see something like this, after what our city has just experienced, my heart is forced to grow to make room for the love!
Thank you gentlemen, for your service, your sacrifices, your dedication, your love, and your support!
Anyone that knows me, or that has listened to my show, knows that my emotions are worn right on my sleeve. After the heartbreak that we all experienced at the Marathon on Monday, and the fear that we have been dealing with all week, today I had enough!
Suspect #2 had shut down our city, and I couldn't take it anymore! I snapped!
Now that Suspect #2 is in custody, here is the audio from my mental meltdown this afternoon!
I am so proud of you Boston, and so grateful for our first responders...
There are many ways that you can Support The Troops. You can send care packages, help the families while the soldiers are deployed, volunteer, and then there's running...
Anyone who knows me, knows that I will do ANYTHING to help our troops! And they are probably the only people that can get me to run a 9K!
Yup, it's about 5.4 miles... And for a DJ at WAAF, that's a LOT!
I know I can do it, because I've done it before!!!
But, I need your help to meet my fundraising goals!
I'm running for "My Guys"... Who will you run for?
Get the feeling of crossing Home Plate at Fenway Park, and help the Home Base Program!
They do such amazing work with our troops!
The Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program serves New England by identifying, motivating, and clinically treating wounded service members and veterans with combat stress and traumatic brain injury and their families. The Home Base Program serves the nation as a model for private-public collaborations as an educational resource about the invisible wounds of war that now effect an estimated 30 percent of those who served or are serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. We are also working on the development of new treatments for post-traumatic stress (PTS) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
In New England, an estimated 50,000 veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan are affected by TBI and/or combat stress. These invisible wounds of war are complex, individualized and extraordinarily challenging for all those affected. Families of veterans affected by combat stress and/or traumatic brain injury often need support as they seek ways to better understand and support their loved veteran. Many veterans struggle with the stigma associated with these injuries and may be reluctant to seek care.
Many veterans struggle with the stigma associated with these injuries and may be reluctant to seek care. While anxiety and distress may not be as obvious as the physical wounds of war, the scars are just as painful and deep.
Through a range of activities and events, the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program informs and educates the community about combat stress and/or traumatic brain injury as we seek to mitigate the stigma and encourage veterans and their families to get the support and care they deserve.
Since the number of professionals specifically trained to diagnose and treat these injuries is inadequate to handle the growing demand, the Home Base Program also offers opportunities for health care professionals from across New England and beyond to increase their understanding of how to help veterans.
Dimebag Darrell was WAY ahead of his time. Dime was famous for getting you with fireworks, if you were brave enough to pass out in his house after too much drinking. I had the pleasure of drinking with him a few times, and he had a giant liver, and a hollow leg! There was no way that you were ever going to get the jump on him after smiling with a Black Tooth Grin! These videos are part of Panteras DVD's and are still hilarious! I just wish that social media had been there to catch his brilliance, the way that it is now! Imagine the possibilities...
These people have taken practical jokes to a new level, including fireworks!
So, judging by the news coming out of Worcester, it's ok to assault police officers? Well that's what a group of high school students and even a "parent" thought yesterday afternoon when 50 of them surrounded 4 uniformed officers and assaulted them, causing injury. Yup, you read that right, a "parent" too. I use quotes, because the proper definition of parent is "a person who brings up and cares for another". Well, when your child is attacking a uniformed police officer, and you jump in and help... you are not "Bringing up" anyone, and therefor you are not a parent. You are an a**hole!
Being in a crowd of 50 and surrounding a small group of police officers does not make you tough.
You know what makes you tough?
You are tough when you are a little girl in Afghanistan, and walking to school everyday when terrorists, your community, and even some in your own family do not want you to be educated!
You are tough when you save the lives of 36 fellow Marines while you are under attack in Afghanistan!
You are tough when you are a police officer who is surrounded, outnumbered, and ARMED, and you never take out your weapon to defend yourself because you are surrounded by KIDS!
So, to those students in Worcester I say this: The world is bigger than Worcester, and a hell of a lot meaner too. Since it's obvious that your "parents" are not going to teach you the life lessons that you need to learn, you are doomed to learn them the hard way!
Worcester, MA (December 10, 2012) - On Monday, December 10, 2012 at approximately 2:07 PM officers assigned to the Community Impact Division were stationed in the area of Hamilton Street and Harrington Way as North High School was letting out students for the day. The purpose of the officers' presence was due, in part, by an altercation on Friday, December 7, 2012 when a fight involving several students broke out when school was ending for the day. On that day an off-duty Worcester Police Officer was driving by the school when the students were getting out. The officer observed 3 students kicking and punching a person who was on the ground. The off duty officer stopped and exited his vehicle to break up the fight. The three youths then attacked the officer and beat him as well. Several police officers responded to the scene and disbursed the unruly crowd which now grew to approximately 30 students. The 3 aggressors were placed under arrest. Those arrested were 16 years old and charged with Assault and Battery on a Police Officer, Disorderly Conduct and Disturbing the Peace.
Today, as students were leaving for the day a 15 year old male walked by the officers and began to loudly yell profanities at the police officers present on Hamilton Street by Stratfield Street. This male was causing a disturbance for the neighbors as he continued to yell profanities at the police. At this time two officers approached this male and asked him to stop yelling swear words. The teen apologized to the officers and stated that he was on the basketball team and did not want to get into trouble. At this time, approximately 40 to 50 teens began to gather and surround the officers. The teens were ordered to stay back but they refused. The group started to chant to free the teen that the officers were talking to. The group continued to close in on the two officers. Fearing for their safety the officers called for assistance.
Several officers arrived at the scene and immediately ordered the crowd back. There were two main aggressors in the group, Mr. Emmanuel Natal, 18 years old and Ms. Jasmine Hudson, 17 years old. Ms. Hudson began to yell to the police that she did not have to leave while Mr. Natal pushed his way through the crowd clenching his fists and yelling and swearing at the officers present. At one point, Mr. Natal refused numerous orders to leave the area and attacked one of the officers by punching the officer twice in the chest. Mr. Natal was tackled to the ground by other nearby officers. Natal began to violently resist being placed under arrest. While this was taking place John Clough, 17 years old, jumped on an officer's back while they were securing Mr. Natal. Mr. Clough began to violently resist arrest and fought with two police officers. As a result, one of the officers broke his leg in two places when they all fell to the ground during the struggle.
A 15 year old male was now acting aggressive to a female officer at the scene. Two other officers encountered this male and were in the process of placing him under arrest when Ms. Hudson approached one of the officers and began to punch him in the face. At the same time, a 16 year old female began to punch the same officer in the back of his head. The nearby female officer pulled the 16 year old off of the officer and the teen began to pull the officer's hair and punch the officer in her face with a closed fist.
Ms. Hudson was physically subdued and placed under arrest. Meanwhile the mother of the 16 year old female, Elsie Rivera, 37 years old, got in between the police and her daughter and tried to separate the daughter from the police. Ms. Rivera began to punch the female officer in the arm to try to free her daughter while the daughter was still actively resisting arrest. Ms. Rivera was placed under arrest and her daughter was eventually subdued and placed under arrest.
Ms. Rivera and her 16 year old daughter were both charged with Assault and Battery on a Police Officer, Resisting Arrest, Disorderly Conduct and Disturbing the Peace. The 15 year old male was charged with Disorderly Conduct and Disturbing the Peace. Ms. Hudson, Mr. Natal and Mr. Clough were all charged with Assault and Battery on a Police Officer, Resisting Arrest, Disorderly Conduct and Disturbing the Peace. The 15 year old male who instigated this incident was not in the area when the crowd was eventually under control.
The police officer was transported to a nearby hospital by Worcester EMS where he will be treated for his leg injury; his injuries will keep him out of work for several weeks.
Over the last few days, many people have asked me what I thought about "the girl from Plymouth". You know, the one yelling and flipping off the camera at Arlington National Cemetery, in front of the sign that says Silence and Respect. Lindsey Stone is her name and if you didn't know it before, after the news tonight, you will. This story has taken on a life of it's own, and it's only getting worse for Lindsey. Her and her co-worker, who were on a business trip last month in DC, when they visited Arlington and took the photo, are now both on unpaid leave from their jobs. The organization Living Independantly Forever, had to release a statement on their Facebook page condemning the photo, and stating that their employees actions do not reflect the company, or their stance on Veterans etc. There is even a page on Facebook, asking for their firing, and it has over 10,000 "likes" already.
So, how do I feel about it? Well, up until she posted the photo on her Facebook page, and all hell broke loose, I think Lindsey Stone was one of the luckiest people on the planet.
First, she is a woman, born in the U.S.A.., which the odds are against in the grand scheme of things. She could have been born in Afghanistan, China, or in the Congo, where she would have led a very different life. She could have been born in N. Korea, or Iran where I'm sure they do not look kindly at disrespecting their war heroes. Here in the U.S.A.., what she did isn't a crime, it's protected by the First Amendment.
Second, in one of the most tragic economies America has ever seen, Lindsey is employed, at what looks like an amazing organization, that is really helping people and changing the world for the better. How many of us can say that about where we work?
And finally Lindsey, judging by her actions alone, has made it through life without knowing anyone in uniform. That has to be the case right? I mean, how could she have family who has served in previous wars and do what she did? Or, how could she know someone now that is currently serving, after 10+ years of war and terror, and make the trip to Arlington and do what she did?
She's never had to say goodbye, or cry herself to sleep worrying. She's never packed a care package, or written a love letter to someone far away. She's never had to pray for a Skype call, or be afraid of the doorbell in the middle of the night. She's never had to see someone she loves go and look evil in the eye, only to come home a different person.
And most importantly, she's never attended a funeral, where a flag is given to a crying widow, or mother "On behalf of a grateful nation".
She doesn't know anyone buried at Arlington, except for the few that she learned about in school like JFK. She probably doesn't even know what Section 60 is.
How lucky for her!
She's part of the 99% that don't have someone they love, in harms way. How amazing for her. Up until a month ago, Lindsey Stone was living the American dream. The dream where Memorial Day and Veterans Day means long weekends off for BBQing, beer drinking, and good deals on new cars. Up until a month ago, Lindsey Stone wasn't afraid. Now, as the hours go by, she learns more and more that her "innocent" joke, wasn't a joke at all. Somehow, she made it through the gates at Arlington, and wasn't overcome with the sadness and loss that everyone else feels. But, now she feels sadness and loss... and regret too I bet.
When I first saw that photo, I thought it was a photo shopped joke, or a cruel prank. I even gave her the benefit of the doubt that she could be the victim in all of this. That someone took her picture and put it in front of that sign, to try and make her look bad. Obviously, that is not the case. This photo will follow her for the rest of her life. Every time she applies for a job, or applies for a loan it will come up. When her kids Google their Mom, that will be the first picture they see. Her name will be remembered, and she'll be treated differently by anyone who remembers... forever.
She released a statement on Facebook saying that it was a joke, and that they were just acting like "douchebags"...and that they meant no disrespect. Lindsey, you're right... you were acting like douchebags. You came up with the idea for the picture, you took the picture, and then you posted the picture online, and at no time did you think for a second... THIS ISN'T A GOOD IDEA!?! How comfy that little bubble that you live in must be!
Do I think that Lindsey Stone is the most evil person in the world? No! I am confident that there are people way more evil than she is. Arlington is filled with the bodes of those who died fighting that evil.
Do I think she is one of the dumbest? Yes, she probably is.
Like I said, up until she posted that picture, Lindsey Stone was one of the luckiest people on the planet...
Most people are surprised to hear that I've been to Iraq & Afghanistan, but I don't shoot guns. I went shooting for the first time AFTER I got home from Iraq in 2006. Maybe I should have learned BEFORE I went to the Middle East! Well, today I decided to change all that!
I met a guy named Phil in Afghanistan and went on some missions with him and his guys.
(Phil is on the right in the picture below)
Phil recently introduced me to Matt Devito from Downrange Firearms Training. Matt said that no matter how inexperienced I was, if I took his class, I would be able to shoot! He was right. Today I headed to NH, and took a 4 hour, private class and I brought Andrew our video guy along to capture it all on HD video (just in case I did something stupid!).
Here I am with Matt and Phil. We made the biggest guy, hold the smallest gun! :)
The video is on the way, but until then... Check out some of the pictures and more importantly the firepower that I wrapped my hands around!
Here's what was on the menu!
Andrew our video guy, captures Matt explaining what to do and what NOT to do!
Let the shooting begin!
WWII M1 Garand
Trying to learn how to be a sniper, watch out evil pumpkins!
Thank you Matt, for a great class! Now that I've started shooting, I'm addicted!
I can't wait to take your next class!!!
(Note the S&W 500 in my hand. YES, I shot that too. Wait until you see the video!)
Anyone who listens to my show, knows about my love for our service men and women, and my dedication to our Veterans! They are the "other 1%" who have volunteered, and dedicated themselves to protecting all of us. Imagine writing a blank check, and that check is worth your life. That's what they have done.
When you say "Support The Troops" it shouldn't just mean, while they are overseas. It means, supporting them and their families while they are gone and more importantly, when they come home. Did you know that more soldiers die from suicide after returning home, than die on the battlefield? PTSD, TBI, unemployment, divorce, and the overall feeling that they just don't "fit in" at home anymore, are just a few reasons why. Did you know that the divorce rate for deployed soldiers is almost 80%? Or that children of deployed soldiers have a harder time in school?
Generations of Veterans have been welcomed home as heroes, others were chastised, and still more were never even recognized at all. Our generation should learn from those that have come before us. This weekend, while you are enjoying the deals on cars and mattresses, make sure you thank a Veteran for everything that they have sacrificed in service to this country. They don't ask for thanks, and they don't expect it, but they deserve it, and so much more!
If you're looking to support some great Military based charities in honor of a Veteran in your life, allow me to suggest
Veterans, click here for a list of places to eat and drink this weekend for FREE!
Patriots Will Honor Veterans and Military Members Sunday
Veterans and active members of each branch in the military and Coast Guard to be honored in pregame flag ceremony. Patriots Charitable Foundation focuses on "Veterans and Military Volunteerism" as part of the ongoing Celebrate Volunteerism initiative.
In a pregame ceremony, more than 100 active military members, representing each branch of the military and Coast Guard, will join members of the Kraft family, Patriots alumni and cheerleaders to display a large American flag that will spread the entire length of the field.
The game will also feature a flyover from 439 Airlift Wing in Westover, Mass., a Color Guard ceremony performed by the Army National Guard and national anthem sung by the 215th Army Band’s Voices of Freedom. During the game, all service men and women will be asked to stand and be recognized and messages from military members serving oversees will be played in-game on the video boards.
Throughout the weekend, veterans and active military can enjoy a free trip to The Hall. From Friday, Nov. 10 through Monday, Nov. 12, The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon will offer free admission to all veterans and active military with their military ID.
Check out the list below, for Veterans Day events in your area. Feel free to add to this list by commenting on this blog!
At American Legion Post 40 199 Federal Furnace Rd. in Plymouth, MA. 6:30pm In honor of the Marine Corps Birthday and Veterans Day, we will be having a Chicken Parmesan Dinner at 7:00 followed by dancing
DUXBURY The unveiling ceremony for the Duxbury American Legion Post 223’s War on Terrorism Memorial will be held at 11 a.m. Veterans Day (Sunday Nov. 11), with a reception at noon inside the Post, which is located at 5 West St. The memorial is dedicated to Army Lt. Timothy Steele, 25, who died while serving with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan Aug. 23 of last year. He was a 2004 graduate of Duxbury High School and 2009 graduate of West Point. The memorial is also dedicated to all other men and women who have lost their lives fighting the war on terrorism, wherever they served their country. Two of Steele’s Fort Drum comrades will be in attendance, including 1st Lt. Derek Rondeau, who will be the keynote speaker and served with Steele in Afghanistan, and 1st Sgt. William Collins, who will present the Fallen Soldier display.
The public is invited to attend and are requested to RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 781-536-4086.
Salute to Veterans Date: Monday, November 12th, 2012 9:00AM-11:30AM Where: Berkshire Christian School 259 Kemble Street Lenox MA 01240
Join students and staff to honor veterans and their spouses with a brunch a patriotic program. Enjoy a free brunch and listen as our students express their gratitude through music and recitation. All veterans and families welcome. To RSVP please call 413-637-2474 by Nov 7th. Info@berkshirechristianschool.com
Veterans' Day Celebration at the State House
Date: Sunday, November 11th, 2012 10AM-11:30AM Where: Massachusetts State House, Memorial Hall. 24 Beacon Street, Boston MA 02111
Join the Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services along with distinguished guests and speakers in celebrating Veterans Day at the State House. **OPEN TO THE PUBLIC** For more information contact Sharlene Queenan at 617-210-5930 or email: email@example.com
Charlestown Lions Club Sunday November 11, 2012 9a-12p Pancake Breakfast Knights of Columbus Hall 545 Medford St, Charlestown, MA. 02129
$5 donation, children under 5 FREE
FREE Veterans Day Cruise- From Quincy & Boston
Date: Sunday, November 11th, 2012 From Quincy Shipyard at 10:15am, returning 2:30pm, Also departing from Long Wharf Boston at 11:00am returning 2:00pm
Join us on a special cruise highliting the military history of Boston Harbor. We will be making a stop at Fort Warren on Georges Island for a tour of the fort and a special tribute to longtime veteran and volunteer Charlie Boyer: Tickets are FREE for Veterans and cost $5 for families and friends. Reservations strongly recommended, space limited.
For reservations visit: www.bostonharborislands.org or call 617-770-0040 ext. 102.
Veterans' Day Fun Run 5k/10k Race, Walk or Roll
Date: Saturday, November 10th, 2012 Where: Bedford VA 200 Springs Rd, Bedford MA 01730
Join the Bedford VA in this year's Veterans' Day Fun Run! Proceeds will go to support deployed members & their families in the local community. Register at: www.afafunrun.com. Pre-Registration: $30.00 by November 1st. Or Race Day Registration: $35.00. For race questions and or volunteer opportunities: Call Ryan Lafferty 781-271-4581 or 978-727-3604. Kristin Pressly 781-687-4988 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Elizabeth Price 781-687-3067 or email: email@example.com
Sunday November 11
at the American Legion Post 193 in Winchendon, Cub Scout Pack will be honoring the Veterans both past and present.
Way back in 1999, waaf.com was still a new thing. We were just learning all of the cool things that we could do with it. Well, watch this video, and feel free to laugh at our "fancy" in-studio computer, and our website. Oh, and you can laugh at me too! :)
There couldn't be 2 more polar opposites this election year than Kid Rock & Sean Penn. They are on opposite sides of the voting booth, and like most of America, they are split right down the middle. They have shot insults back and forth in the press over the years about the war... But, one thing brings them together... They are both Americans.
I can't tell you how sick I am of the commercials, facebook status updates, tweets, and opinions from both sides. It's ripping this nation apart, and sometimes I think that's EXACTLY what the extreme left and extreme right want... And most Americans fall somewhere in the middle. As citizens we know what it's like to compromise... But in DC, they don't even know how to spell it! I love this country more than anything, and after my trips overseas to Iraq & Afghanistan, I was even more convinced that I was so lucky to be born a girl in the USA! If I had been born anywhere else on Earth, I would be lucky to still be alive. Sometimes Americans need a reminder of how lucky we are. Our country may not be perfect, but we're free to say that out loud and do something about it!
Well, leave it to Kid Rock and Sean Penn, two opposites, who are both living the American dream, to remind us of how lucky we all are!
This movie will make you laugh, but more importantly, it should make you think!
Well, I thought that I had seen it all... Until I saw this! The Air Sex World Championships! It's like Air Guitar, but just not as nerdy, and a lot more slutty! Or maybe it's MORE nerdy, and less slutty? I don't know, But you have to admire their techniques no matter how scary they may be!
When I was a little girl, I was normal! I wore dresses, and had stuffed animals. I wore Mickey Mouse ears, and was... cute, or so I've been told.
What happened you ask? 2 things changed the course of my life forever!
1. My Mom let me listen to the White Album on our old, hutch style, stereo system. It had a radio, turntable, and 8 track. I loved pushing the button on the 8 track and skipping from song to song. The White Album, is not the Beatles best album in my opinion... but it has some of my favorite songs! They were on a lot of drugs at the time, and maybe not the best influence for my young mind. I still LOVE Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, Glass Onion, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Rocky Raccoon, and one of my all time favorite songs... Blackbird.
2. My Mom took me to see Grease. At the end of the movie... When Sandy come to the carnival in the leather jacket, spandex pants, with the red heels and big hair... smoking a cigarette, I said "She is so pretty, I want to grow up and be just like her!" Today Olivia Newton John turned 64 years old... and I still look at her in that movie and think... Bad Ass Chick!
See, I could have grown up normal... But the Beatles and Olivia Newton John had other plans!
With the 11th anniversary of 9/11 upon us, it brings mixed emotions for me. Obviously, the sadness of that day is the first emotion that I feel. The vulnerability of being attacked on our own soil, was something that my generation had heard about but never experienced. We were truly afraid. Pride is the next emotion that comes to mind. I was proud of how we stood as a nation, and united in our grief, anger, and patriotism. I was also proud of our team here at WAAF, for switching gears on a moments notice and doing something none of us ever thought we would have to do... the news. We became a well oiled machine, and you allowed us to be part of a day that none of us will ever forget.
The flag we hung in the WAAF studio that morning, still hangs today. It's hard to go through a day, without looking at it, and remembering.
Five years later, I headed to Baghdad, to say Thank You to our local troops, who had volunteered to go after the people responsible for that terrible day. I got to see with my own eyes, just how brave and selfless our troops could be. I spent the day of 9/11/06 with the 181 Engineers at Camp Cropper, and the night at a USO concert featuring Drowning Pool. They asked me to introduce them on stage, and it was one of the most emotional things I have ever done in my life.
Five years later, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I headed to Kabul, Afghanistan to visit our local troops. They were still, after all of these years serving our country proudly, and deserved to know that we hadn't forgotten about them. Unlike Baghdad, where I moved around a lot, I stayed with the same guys for the entire trip and went out on missions to visit other bases and other units. You can't spend that much time with people, and not get close. I made lifelong friends there.
A year has gone by, and another somber anniversary is upon us. But, I also have some great memories of this date, and I am conflicted by them. Obviously, I still remember the victims, and their families. However, I can't help but smile, thinking about all of the amazing people that I have met during my trips overseas. So, I went back, and looked at all of the video that we shot in Afghanistan, and there was a lot of serious, and emotional stuff. But in 2 1/2 weeks, you are bound to have a little fun, no matter where you are.
Now that "My Guys" are all home safe and sound, here is a little anniversary gift. Some of our greatest hits... The laughter through the tears.
Over the weekend, I headed out west to Barnes Air National Guard base to visit the 104th Fighter Wing. I've been out there a few times before, because of all of the cool aircraft that they have. I flew a refueling mission with the A-10 Warthogs. Those things are loud and totally badass! A few years later, I got to
fly in an F-15 with WOD my pilot.
It only took 9G's and 630mph to get me to pass out, and earn the Callsign: NARKO :)
I returned a couple of years ago to fly with John Klatt in his 300E stunt plane! So much fun!
But, the Mass. Air National Guard, is more than just kickass aircraft, a lot more!
On Saturday, I spent the morning training with the on base Fire Department. They dressed me up like a baked potato, and took me inside the burn house to 'save' a couple of dummies from the smoke filled tower. I was amazed at how heavy 'dead weight' was. The heat, the heavy gear, the sensory deprivation, the limited mobility, and the absolute trust in your partners required is beyond comprehension!
We even made Andrew our camera guy, put on a mask and follow me inside. This video should be awesome. I'm not sure that he knew this was in his job description. They lit a fire in the building and got the heat up to 900* at the ceiling. I got smoke in my eyes, and after my eyes teared up I looked like Alice Cooper as the make-up ran down my face. Not a problem that these guys have to deal with on a daily basis. I had to get in the shade, and take a few minutes to cool down, I though I was going to pass out! I don't know how they do it for hours at a time. I grew up in a Fire Fighting family, and I've been around it all of my life... But I have a new found respect for the job after that!
We got back to the firehouse, and I was soaked to the bone with sweat. Andrew was laughing his ass off when he took this picture!
The guys were busting my balls pretty bad about the last time I wore 'bunker gear'! There was a lot less under my suspenders! You'll have to find an old Mantown calendar to see that pic! ;)
After I spent some time sliding down the pole, it was time for lunch! After a pulled pork sandwich and fries, we headed to the Demo pit to blow up stuff. After a little begging, I got the OK to push the button for the Earth shattering KABOOM!
We set up a camera closer than we were allowed to stand, and hoped that it didn't get destroyed. They put us outside of the fence, and showed me how the switch worked. "Fire in the hole" BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!
A pound of C-4 is fun as hell to blow up, I wanted to do it again! We went down and inspected the damage in the pit, a 2' crater with a huge black smudge on the wall. NICE! We headed inside to learn how the EOD works, and to play with the toys. What could possibly go wrong?
We asked about dynamite, and how to build a bomb from a candy container. We heard the guys "talk shop" about their deployments, and took a tour of the training facility. I had to try really hard NOT to steal a fake bomb, but I knew nothing good would come from that. I can see the headlines now, "Boston DJ causes explosive scare, shipped to Git-Mo".
It was time for the suit... Unfortunately, for the EOD, the only frame of reference anyone has of them is The Hurt Locker. As it turns out, they look at that movie the way Slash looks at Spinal Tap... a joke. But the suit that Jeremy Renner wore, was in my future. The had a size small, but they thought it would be much funnier to see me in a large! They were right. I have never worn a Kevlar diaper like that before! The entire thing weighs around 85 pounds, with a big part of that in the helmet. YES, I made a Darth Vader reference, I had to!
They had me walk around outside with an inert missile, and not one person took a double take. I guess that's normal out there! They put me on the floor, and laughed as I tried to get up. They turtled me! Someone got the brilliant idea, of handing me a jump rope. You'll have to see the video, to see how that turned out. All I will say is that the EOD guys were crying from hysterical laughter, and I almost passed out again. Anything to make those guys laugh, talk about a stressful life!
After taking abuse from Andrew the camera guys all day, the EOD guys stuck up for me, and made him wear an OTV, just like I wore in Afghanistan. They handed him a training gun (they didn't trust him with a real one) and told him that he looked like a terrorist. You be the judge!
Later on that night, during that crazy rain storm, I bumped into some guys at the NCO's club that I met in Iraq 6 years ago during WAAF's Boston to Baghdad trip! It was so good to see them again, and I hope to go flying with them again soon!
The video is on the way, and you will see how foolish I looked trying to do the jobs of these highly trained and brave guys. The beer tasted great at the end of a long, and sweaty day! Thanks to everyone at Barnes, who couldn't have been nicer to Andrew and I. Thank you for everything you do for us! #SupportTheTroops
(thanks to MSGT Smith for taking the pics, while Andrew was busy coming up with stupid things for me to do, while dressed in super hot gear, in the sun!)
Labor Day Weekend 2012, I'll be spending it with friends and family, BBQing, skydiving, riding my motorcycle, and enjoying the last weekend of summer. A far cry from last year!
Labor Day Weekend 2011, I was leaving Logan airport early Saturday morning, heading to London, then Bahrain, and finally to Kabul, Afghanistan. It was my second trip overseas (Iraq 2006), and the first for my producer Mike. We spent months planning, training, passing medical tests, gathering gear, preparing our electronics, writing our wills, and mentally getting ready for the trip of a lifetime. We were headed in Kabul, through the commercial airport as 2 civilians, anxious to meet our military escorts, members of Hammer company 1-182 Infantry, Massachusetts Army National Guard.
When we landed, my luggage was missing, including my body armor. It was held up in London's strict baggage inspection. My first convoy was going to be free of any safety equipment, or so I thought. Within 2 minutes of meeting the guys that we would spend the next 2 weeks with, these strangers were all offering to give me their vests, and helmets so that I would be safe. I'm sure their families would have been proud and frightened at the gesture. I spent 45 minutes in the M-ATV hoping that we didn't get attacked because one of "my guys" was wearing no safety gear, and while it was their job to protect me, I could not have something like that on my conscience.
Our days were filled with a mixture of jokes, picture taking, ball busting, sweating, preparing for missions, going on missions, taking tours of facilities, more sweating, blogging, packing, unpacking, eating, sweating, and trying to do a radio show in 120* heat thousands of miles away from home.
Our nights were filled with much of the same. It was an emotional rollercoaster from the time you woke up, until the time you went to bed. BTW, with our schedule we were going to sleep at 0400 and waking up at 0600. No rest for the wicked!
Just like my trip to Iraq in 2006, my favorite times were spent hanging around with the guys. Sitting at the chow hall table, enjoying the US militaries fabulous food (my favorite was the red jello), or smoking cigars at a picnic table learning how to play cards. I made a few close friends in Baghdad on my first trip, so I knew that I would leave Afghanistan with a new group of brothers... I just had no idea how many!
During the trip, I was exhausted, sick with a terrible cough from the dry and badly polluted air, sore from the heavy gear and cramped quarters, scared, emotionally raw, slaphappy, overwhelmed, and strangely, I couldn't get enough of it. I loved every minute! I tired my best to sit down every day and blog about what life was like for me, and more importantly for our local heroes who were halfway through their year long deployment.
The 2 weeks went by in a blink, and before we knew it, it was time to come home. Once again, we had a very scary time at the airport. People always ask me what the scariest part of the trip was... That answer is easy. Any time that I wasn't surrounded by the military. In other words, Kabul International Airport, and in my private room to sleep. Troops weren't allowed inside the airport at all, and my room was a metal box, with no windows and only one door. Not a place to be during an explosion. I didn't sleep very well in there. I preferred the chair in the QRF shack (and so did Mike), surrounded by the noise of my guys! I would rather be on a convoy, at night with them, rather than in a quiet bed alone, sounds stupid I know. But, they made me feel safe and I knew that I was.
I cried the entire day getting ready to leave Afghanistan (I was told that I'm the only person that ever has), I cried during the convoy to the airport, and the entire flight from Kabul to Bahrain. Once in Bahrain, I drowned my sorrows in a long drink list courtesy of my new found brothers, and they watched me and Mike plow through it on Skype. It's amazing how drunk 2 Bostonians can get in an Irish pub, in the Bahrainian airport with a 3 page drink list from the Infantry! We sobered up halfway to London. Ouch!
Before we knew it, we were at Logan again. It was Sunday night in Boston, and we still smelled like Kabul. We missed our guys something awful, and spent the next the next 5 months packing care packages for them, chatting online with them, and making plans for their return. They were 5 long months, and we made a LOT of plans.
It seemed like forever, but early one morning, 5 months ago, I watched "My Guys" (as they had become known), walk off a plane, and smell the 'fresh' air of Boston for the first time in a year. I cried again.
The last 5 months have been spent getting to know them in a different way, out of their uniforms, calling them by their first names, meeting their families, attending their weddings, riding their motorcycles, playing with their kids, and watching them struggle to get back to "normal". I've talked them through divorces, and layoffs, buying and in some cases losing homes, drinking to celebrate, and drinking to forget. Crying from laughter, and from sadness and guilt. It took me a few weeks to get back to 'normal' after only being there for 2 weeks, but I am changed forever by the experience. Now imagine how it is for them? 5 months later, and they still have large pieces of themselves overseas. They look the same from the outside, but their insides are changed forever.
They have been bound together by a year at war, and even though I knew them for a short time during their deployment, I am bound to them forever as well. They are the best people I know. They are generous, selfless, brave, funny, loyal, truthful, blunt, crass, sensitive, and loving. I put my life in the hands of strangers, and it was returned to me in the hands of friends. I have been forever changed because I met them, and knowing that they are out there, protecting all of us, helps me sleep at night.
Happy Anniversary guys, I love you all more than you will ever know. Thank you for your service, your sacrifices, and your gift of friendship and love. I only hope that someday I can repay what you have given me.
Dark Knight Rises composer Hans Zimmer, has written a new song "Aurora" in tribute to the victims of this shooting, and is donating 100% of the proceeds to the families. Check it out, and download it below.
I know I know.... The Bruins won it LAST YEAR! The LA Kings won it this year.
Let me explain... a very good friend of mine works for the Kings, and he's important enough in the organization that he got to hoist The Cup on the ice the night that they won it, he's getting a ring, his name is going to be etched into it, and....
HE GOT TO TAKE THE STANLEY CUP HOME FOR THE DAY!!!!
For all of the haters on Facebook that say I'm a traitor, and not a true Bruins fan, I say this... The only thing that rivals watching your hometown team win The Cup, is watching someone you love and respect win it. Knowing the blood, sweat, sacrifice, long hours, and drive that it took to reach the pinnacle of the sport.
I've met players and coaches. I've grown up idolizing Cam and Ray, Bobby and more recently Big Z and Timmy T, but when you know someone personally, and they finally achieve their lifelong goal... their dream... it's a special thing.
For all of those who say that "If you didn't win it, you shouldn't touch it", I say this... I'm not the first, and I won't be the last person to touch it, that hasn't won it. Vinnie Paul from Pantera, had 4 strippers ride the cup in his Crowne Royal shaped pool, after Dallas won it. It's been dropped, eaten out of, molded, filled with booze, ridden by strippers, sunk to the bottom of a pool, and even pooped in (or so I've heard). Me putting my arm around it, is not at all disrespectful. Active players won't touch it, unless they win it, for fear of jinxing their chances... Well, I can honestly say, that I have NO CHANCE of winning it, so I'm not worried about the jinx.
I even read someone's comment that said "I would never turn my back on the B's and attend a Kings party!" Really? OK, the next time a friend of yours wins The Cup, don't go to the party. I wasn't missing it for anything! I still love the Bruins, but if they're knocked out of the playoffs, bet your ass I'm routing for my friend and the Kings!
I was honored to be invited to this special party, and I couldn't be more proud or happy for my friend. It's an amazing accomplishment to win the most impressive trophy in all of sports.
Here are some of my pictures.
A HUGE hug for Lord Stanley...
A picture for all of "My Guys" that I met in Afghanistan. They were all deployed when the B's won it, so I wanted to take this picture for them!
I HAD to drink out of it. But, everything has been done... So, I thought CRAZY STRAW!!!
Even though it only weighs 32 pounds, it's pretty heavy after a while. A good heavy though! :)
I couldn't stop touching it. Rubbing my thumb over Bobby's name, and Ray's name too. And to finally see Cam's name on it was awesome. I had to take a picture of the 2010-2011 Champion Boston Bruins!
It was a chance of a lifetime... But, now I must come to terms with my jinx, and that I will never with The Cup myself. :(
If you got to spend a night with The Cup, what would you do?
Hundreds of women turned out, with credit cards one hand and a cocktail in the other to scream, yell, hoot, holler, and act on their worst behavior... all for a good cause!
The money is still being counted, but we do know that this was out BEST YEAR EVER!!!
Special thanks to Brian Richard for the great entertainment and to the Hard Rock for letting us take over for the night! And finally... THANK YOU to all of the Boston Firefighters for everything that you do in uniform, and out of it! ;)
It's that time of year again... When the roads are filled with bikers, headed north, with bags bungeed to their bikes. The roar of motorcycles breaking up the serene Lakes region of New Hampshire. Paint jobs, chrome, loud pipes, burnouts, wheelies, leather, and of course... GIRLS!
For 89 years, Laconia has hosted a week of heaven for bikers!
Are you headed up this week? For a nice change of pace, the weather is looking GREAT this year!
I'll be up this weekend for sure! If you want to hang out, you can find me here!
Over the long holiday weekend, I was able to get to the drop zone and make some skydives. If you've been listening to my show for a while, you know it's one of my passions in life. This past weekend, 16 of us decided to put a friendly wager on the table and do a dueling 'speedstar' jump. 2 teams of 8, jump out of the plane, without being connected, and see which team can build an 8-way formation the fastest. The teams are made up of all skill levels, so we are by no means competition level, for anything other than bragging rights and fun.
In the air, I am in the star on the right, black jumpsuit.
It wasn't pretty, but it was a blast. Neither team got to 8, but we almost did.
Memorial Day weekend, is the unofficial start of summer... Many of us head to the backyard for a BBQ, or head North to the beach or to the Cape for the long weekend. But, we should not forget that this is a solemn weekend of remembrance. The sacrifices of our troops, the ultimate sacrifices, made by so many so that we can enjoy those BBQ's and beach days should be honored this weekend as well.
There are 300 Million people in the United States, and 1/2 of 1% serve in the armed forces. After 10 years of war, it amazes me that there are still people in this country that do not know someone who has deployed, but there are people like that. People who are lucky enough to watch the news and not be afraid, people who spend birthdays, and anniversary's with those that they love. People that go to bed every night, snuggled up to their soul mates without a care in the world. But the 1/2 of 1% of this country have missed those birthdays and anniversaries. They go to sleep alone, and their loved one's avoid the news, because it's too hard to think of the worst case scenario.
Fortunately for us, most of our brave service members come home at the end of a deployment. They come home different, but they come home. There are those, who do not. Those that have fallen, fighting for what they believe is right. THAT, is what Memorial Day is really about. Remembering them. It's the least that we can do. Remember the families that will never be whole again.
But, it's not just about this war, it's about all of them. Millions have died for those BBQ's and beach days... MILLIONS! And even if you don't know someone who has served and died in the last decade, I promise you that there is someone in your families past who did in another war, in another time. The 300 million of us, owe everything that we have to those brave, fallen warriors, who gave up everything for us.
This weekend 750,000 bikers will make their annual ride to Washington DC to pay tribute to our nations heroes for Rolling Thunder. But, you don't have to ride a motorcycle to our nations capitol do remember the fallen. Just remember!
This Memorial Day, I will be thinking of 2 of those brave soldiers...
PFC Jonathan Roberge who was the first KIA from my home town of Leominster since Vietnam.
and Sgt. Edward Grace who I had the privilege of meeting in Afghanistan.
Enjoy your weekend, just take a few minutes out of it to remember why we have Monday off!
It makes me happy to see people getting involved in support of our troops!
For many of them, the hardest part isn't serving overseas... It's coming home!
I can tell you from personal experience, from my trips to Iraq and Afghanistan, what a humbling experience it was to have these brave men and women watching my back... and to not be able to return that honor back to them is tough... That's why I do everything that I can to support them and their families once they've returned home.
I've interviewed a lot of people over the years. Actors, athletes, and of course musicians... But few of them have led a life half as exciting as Bear Grylls. An adventurer, survivor, SAS soldier, TV star, and now an author. He's got his Best Selling Book "Mud, Sweat, and Tears" in stores and a bunch of new projects in the works.
As I fellow skydiver, I wanted to talk to him about jumping, travelling, his injuries, sleeping inside a dead camel, and what it's like to travel with a wife that packs too much crap!
This morning, I may as well have won the lottery. The last of My Guys were coming home from Afghanistan! I woke up at 2:15 this morning, to get ready to meet the plane at Logan. I was invited on a "Super Secret Squirrel" mission to surprise the guys before the Welcome Home ceremony in Melrose. Once the got off of the plane, they were bussed over to Terminal E for what I am sure was the best tasting Dunkin' coffee that they have ever had! The line was LONG, but well worth it!
At 6:30, it was time to get the buses on the road to reunite these guys with their families... FINALLY! With a State Police escort, the buses made it out of Logan, through the tolls and tunnel, and onto 93 North faster than anything I have ever seen! Traffic? What traffic!
The city of Melrose rolled out the red carpet for the 182. The fire department raised their ladders over Main street, and hoisted a HUGE flag for the buses to drive under. People came running out of their homes to wave at the returning heroes, and people waited patiently as the buses passed by, only honking their horns in support.
As we approached Memorial Hall, hundreds of loved ones lined the streets with banners and flags, screaming "Welcome Home and We Love You". The soldiers filed inside and got into formation so that they could be addressed by their Commander, LtCol Stewart.
After a brief greeting, and words of thanks from the command, they were released to their families. Kids ran to their Dad's. Wives and Mothers cried with happiness. Buddies hugged, and posed for photos and some soldiers even held their new babies for the first time. It was a very emotional scene. The room began to empty very quickly, as these battle tested soldiers could not wait another minute to complete the last leg of their journey home. A hot shower, a home cooked meal, and a good nap in their own beds were all on the itinerary.
It was an honor and a privilege to visit these men in Afghanistan, and it was just as much of an honor to meet their loved one's today. To put faces and names to the stories that I had heard over the many late night conversations in Kabul. These men are a testament to all that is good with America, and it's due to the amazing families that they all come from.
Thank you 182, for taking me in and protecting me while I was with you, and thank you to your families for the sacrifices that you have made during your soldiers absence. We all owe you a debt of gratitude... Something a simple "Thank You" does not feel like enough to repay.
Here are some videos from the local news crews of the scene... It was such an honor to be a part of this special day!
I had a chance to talk to Sammy Hagar yesterday! It's hard not to be happy, when you're talking to him, because he's always happy! It's contagious! Maybe it's his band Chickenfoot, or his best selling book, or maybe it's his new rum... Whatever it is, he's a happy guy!
he talked about his past, his Dad, Van Halen and the feud that broke up the band... He accused me of stalking him, promised to bring me some rum, and told me that I was nuts for being a skydiver!
Take a look at Afghanistan from the air! I got to fly around the 'Ring of Steel' for about an hour, touring the bases, neighborhoods, and mountains that surround Kabul! Sometimes it's tough to figure out where you are because it looks like it could be anywhere... and other times, it can only be Afghanistan that you are looking at!
Thanks to the chopper pilots and the 26 MEB for setting this up for us!
This was one of the most emotional days of the trip. We had to drive about an hour outside of Kabul, into the country. There was a pretty big group of us, because when a general goes out to check up on things, it's a big deal! Along the way we passed evidence of the difficulties that still face Afghanistan. Vehicles that fell victim to IED's are everywhere!
When we arrived at the school, the Afghan soldiers were already there, as were the construction supervisors, translators, tribal elders, and a few kids. We took a tour of the construction, and Gen. Hammond pointed out a few ventalation issues that remained in the construction. His concern was that the kids wouldn't be warm enough during the winter months. They also looked at the new well, and discussed the time table. Then it was time to meet the kids, who had already started to gather outside, as soon as they saw the 'American trucks' pull in.
The US soldiers that escorted me, had prepared boxes of toys, pens, chalk, and candy for us to give out. What surprised me, was that the Afghan soldiers, the little boys, and the little girls had to be put into separate groups. First, the soldiers were given some soccer balls to keep them from 'intervening' while we played with the kids. Soldiers in Afghanistan have 'on average' a 3rd grade education, which is part of the recruiting problem. The more people grow up uneducated in Afghanistan, the longer it is going to take us to get out, and leave the country to stand on it's own two feet. The most important part, is that we leave them as a ally, because we cannot afford to have Afghanistan raise another generation that is desperate, uneducated, and hating America! We all know what comes from that! So, once the soldiers were taken care of, the male US soldiers, started tending to the little boys, and LT. Sullivan and I were left to handle the 35-40 little girls who had bravely arrived. They are used to being ignored, or worse. So everyone thought that if American women spent some time with them, that they would come out of their shells a little bit. They sat quietly at first, organized in a row, and shy. I started handing out pieces of colored chalk, so they could write and draw. These girls will all be allowed to attend this school when it opens, since that is a requirement of the US military. All schools are open to all students in the community, even the girls! I wore gloves to hide my long fingernails, since my hair was enough for them to adjust to! They thought is was CRAZY! We handed out the pens, and then got to the good stuff... LIFESAVERS! They love them! Everyone got something, and they were so grateful for the smallest gift!
As we finished the line of little girls, the boys started to run over to us, and they were much more aggressive. They grabbed and demanded. At one point I was surrounded by kids, and the girls were starting to back away, giving in to the boys aggression! This made me VERY upset! I saw one boy, about 10 years old, hit a 5 year old girl, so that he could take what I had just given her... I SNAPPED! I grabbed the kid by the shoulder, and screamed at him. Even though he didn't understand what I was saying, he could tell what my message was. he looked at me, like "who is this woman telling me what to do"? and as you can imagine, that did not go over well with me! I grabbed the chalk, and candy from his hand, and pushed him out of the way so that I could return it to it's rightful owner. She looked at me with confusion and gratitude in her eyes. I don't think any woman had ever stood up to a 'man' in front of her before, and certainly not FOR her. I rubbed her hair, and face and tried to get her to understand that I cared. She took the candy and chalk, and ran for the safety of the larger group of girls. The boy, still dumbfounded, walked away glaring at me. He learned a valuable lesson that day! DO NOT piss off purple haired bitches from Boston! :)
As we were getting ready to leave, I approached the US soldiers, and talked to them about the incident. I asked if it could have a negative impact on community relations, and for that I was sorry. They said "Don't be sorry"! One soldier said "That little girl will never forget the day a woman stood up for her, and that little boy, the tribal elders, and the Afghan soldiers, will never forget seeing a tough woman stand up to a man like that... even if he was only 10" but, in Afghanistan nothing is easy... They also told me, that it was possible that the little girl will be beaten because of what I did. I cried the entire ride back to the base, thinking of that little girl. Progress is slow in Afghanistan for many reasons, but seeing that school, and those children gives me hope that someday things will get better!
Since I have been home from 'The Stan' as they call it... I've had a bunch of people ask me what our guys need over there? Well, my answer is... It depends on where they are! Some of the guys that I met stay on base, and have almost everything that they need, but could use some creature comforts from home. Some guys, go out on missions and are asking for things for the kids that they meet along the way. While other guys, are WAY out, and have limited access to anything. They are the one's we hear from the least, because they have limited access to the Internet etc. So, the point of this blog, is to make one long list of things, so that people looking to help, companies looking to donate, and soldiers who would like to make requests, can all be in one place! Please do not share personal info like APO addresses etc here. We need to protect the identities of our troops, and your personal info back home! If you have specific questions on who to send things to, if you don't have a soldier in your life, email me directly firstname.lastname@example.org This is what I have so far!
1. Dunkin Donuts coffee! Everyone asks for it, especially the seasonal stuff that they miss.
2. Cleaning supplies like Clorox wipes, disinfectant sprays, Swiffers etc. Everything is DIRTY over there, and being able to keep things kinds clean is a HUGE plus.
3. video games and DVD's because they just can't get enough of them!
4. small toys, candy, and simple school supplies for the kids that they meet. This goes a long way with the elders in the communities where our guys are working. The more the locals trust our soldiers, the more valuable intel on the Taliban they are willing to share!
5. simple athletic equipmant wiffle ball stuff, soccer balls, basketballs, street hockey gear, playing cards and poker chips... any distraction during your off time, is a good one.
6. Canned air to clean electronics, night vision, and guns!
OK, that should get you started! Comment on this blog to contribute to the list, and thank you to everyone who asked me to do this, and of course... Thank you to our troops! We're all thinking about you!
I only coughed 5 times today... That's down from my normal 20 or so, since I stepped foot in Afghanistan.
The cough started almost immediately and has been a reminder ever since that my trip was real! Every night, I get off of the air, and sit in my office, trying to figure out how to get what is in my head... out. How to describe to the people back home, what it is like for our guys over there. That was my mission after all wasn't it? I'm just having a hard time putting the emotions that I feel into words. Maybe I should have paid better attention in college!
The night before I left for Afghanistan, I had a terrible dream. I dreamt that I died over there. On the Friday before my flight, I questioned whether I should go at all, wondering if I was the 'moth to the flame'. Then I questioned my fate, and maybe if I canceled the trip, I would die in a car accident on 495 or something. I tried to write 'the letter' that most soldiers write and leave for their loved one's just in case... I couldn't do it. I couldn't decide what my last words should be. I didn't know how to put my feelings into words, kinda like now! So, I did what I do best. I sat in a recording studio, and recorded a message for my family. I cried the entire way through.
Of course I was running late when my airport ride arrived to pick me up. I was frazzled, and still hadn't finished packing. I said my goodbyes quickly, and was filled with anxious and excited feelings. The anticipation on the flights kept me from napping, and I couldn't wait to get there.
When I arrived, it was a assault on my senses. The frenzy in the airport, and the inability to communicate with anyone when my luggage didn't arrive. The smell in the air, the sights in the streets, and cramped feeling in the M-ATV on the way to the base, told me right away that this trip was going to be unbelievable.
You can't imagine the ping pong of emotions that I was feeling, going from smiling and taking pictures, to attending briefings, and discussing worst case scenarios. Every minute has the option of going from good to bad and vice versa. There is a lot of waiting around in Afghanistan too. Waiting for something to happen, and then rushing around in a choreographed frenzy when it does. Going from a Spades game, to gunfire in minutes. I was enjoying a hot shower, at 6am one morning, and reacting to air raid sirens the next.
It's sensory overload in Afghanistan. And our guys have to put blinders on, and only pay attention to the mission in front of them. Now imagine that those blinders must block out abuse, starvation, suffering, anger, violence, and pure hate. They must ignore physical abuse happening on the sidewalk while they drive by. They are too busy looking for terrorists who may be trying to bomb them. They must ignore begging children, and search for IED's. Just complete the mission, and get back on base. Live to fight another day! We all talk about living each day as if it were our last... Well, these guys actually do it.
People always ask me what they need... Well, they don't need much. They have many of the comforts of home. The PX is filled with stuff that they can buy. They have free laundry services, and the Chow Hall is open 24/7. They need distractions, like we all do. Movies, Music, and video games are great for that. The Internet however, makes it tough to download those things over there. Many of the guys send external hard drives home, so they can be filled with stuff and sent back. The number of songs in your iPod is like a badge of honor, and it's not all what you would think.
One of my fondest memories with the guys, was on the road in the truck and we were arguing over what to listen to in the headsets. We let the shuffle feature decide and we spent 4 minutes in a convoy singing 'Call Me Al' by Paul Simon, complete with the Chevy Chase horn solo! Please press play and listen to the song while you read the rest of this...
This song, combined with the terrible surroundings is quite the definition of contradiction!
Back on base, the guys and I had to decide if we have the 'energy' to call home and get caught up on the days events. Family and work drama like who's mad at who, and what didn't get done today, can really add mental stress that you can't handle when you haven't slept in 2 days, it's 100*, and you were just getting shot at. I wonder what is worse for our soldiers... to live through letters like they did in WWII, when you waited for them at the mailbox every month, or Skyping home to watch your daughter on the potty, and read her a story before bed, only to have her scream and cry when you try to say goodbye. My work emails, and instructions on the broadcast became background noise and it was nice to be able to say... "I'm sorry the Internet isn't working, you're going to have to handle it without me." Sure, it puts a burden on the people back home, but with everything else going on in your head, there just isn't room. You have to put your feelings in a box here, and lock them away. Emotions are too dangerous to have on a day to day basis. The guys were surprised at how I reacted to certain things, because I was still thinking like I was at home. I hadn't developed the callous of war that is required to survive a year long deployment, and I never would. I only had 2 weeks to cram as much experience as I could into it. The smells they said would go away in a few days, and they were right. You get used to the smell of burning poop in a few days, but you pay the price of not being able to smell anything. They've been there for 5 months already and the callouses were already there. They need them to survive the next 7 months. They can't focus on the birthdays, anniversaries, football games, bachelor parties, and quiet dinners with their soul mates that they will miss. They need to shut off their humanity, and just survive. Sometimes I think that I was a branch to that humanity, when I was one on one with them. They would let their guard down, and talk about their wives and kids. The guilt that they felt missing out on the small things. They talked about their mom's and the cards they would get, and how they would never be able to repay the sacrifices they are making at home, to help with the grand kids and the mortgages. They would talk about near death experiences, and fellow troops that didn't come home from the last deployment. I tried not to show too much emotion, and just sit quietly and listen to what they had to say. I would reach out with a hand on the shoulder, or a pat on the back, knowing that human contact over there is pretty uncommon. I knew some stuff already because of my Iraq trip, and thanks to my husband and his deployment experiences I've learned a little more. Sometimes it's easier to talk, when you aren't asked anything. The other person just has to be willing to listen, and not judge. The standards of conduct are different when you are at war, and they don't want to be judged on their actions. The blinders of war are necessary for survival. I know that none of those guys would drive by the things they have seen back in Massachusetts, but they are required to in Afghanistan. They are not eager to shoot people back home, but are ready, willing, and able to do it on a moments notice there. Even the definition of 'clean' is not the same there, I learned that myself. If you want to send them something, send them cleaning supplies. It's oppressive to feel dirty and disgusting all of the time. It's impossible to keep anything clean, especially your electronics. Being able to control something small like a clean room, makes you feel somewhat human.
The roller coaster of emotions that I rode for 2 weeks, is a tough ride to get off of. Fun one minute, fear the next. It's like I slammed on the brakes and I'm sitting in the middle of the road, unsure of what just happened, and what to do next. I went through a similar experience 5 years ago when I returned home from Iraq, but this time it's WAY worse. I spent more time with one group of guys, and I had WAY more interaction with the locals. In talking with the guys, they are all expecting to bond over this shared experience together, but are very aware that they will scatter with the wind when they return. Some of them plan on leaving the military, some are already talking about marriages and kids, and some plan on heading back overseas as a private contractor, so that they can make some 'real money'. Whatever they decide, those plans are going to take a little while to get going. They are all going to need time to downshift.
When I got home Sunday night, my family was waiting at my house, cooking a big dinner, and waiting to hear all about the trip. I just wanted to come home, take a shower, and sit alone in the peace and quiet. Of course I couldn't say that to them. The bevy of questions was too much for me. Where to sit, what to drink, what I felt like eating... these are not tough questions, but for me at that moment, they were. It was too much for me. I ate my dinner, unpacked my gross, dirty clothes and took a long and much needed shower. I found the disc that I left for my husband, and broke it. Thankfully he'll never have to hear what was on it. I fell asleep on the couch for a bit, but when it was time to go to bed, I couldn't sleep. Isn't that always the way? After a night of pacing around the house, it was time to go to work. I probably should have taken a few days off, but there was too much to do! I've been clinging to Skype, my email, and facebook waiting for updates from Kabul. The guys have been asking how we are doing, and sending us messages that they miss us. One guy told me that he "missed my face". He said I was a welcome distraction at the end of a tough day, and that he looked forward to our card games and ball busting. I'm sorry if these blogs seem melodramatic to some, or if people don't believe that you can develop this kind of love and respect for strangers in such a short time, but it's how I feel. I worry about the families of these men, who may not understand why they are the way they are when they return. These loved one's who haven't experienced these soldiers, in the way that I have. I don't know them at home, in their jobs, with their kids... I only know them in their dirty uniforms, planning missions and playing Madden. Just a small part of who they really are, but a part that the rest of the people in their lives don't get to see. How lucky am I, that I got that chance?
I fear that as the days go by, and the more my cough fades away, the memories of my trip will fade along with them. The feelings that were so strong, will slowly slip into distant memories. I don't want to forget one moment, I want to feel every emotion just as strongly as the first time. With the invention of 'Social Networking' and the 'friend counter' that we all have on our facebook pages it's not easy to make REAL friends. I think that this trip has given me some lifelong friends, and I look forward to seeing them at home, surrounded by the one's that they love. I just hope that the callouses will fade away, and the blinders will eventually come off. That day can't come soon enough, and the date is circled on my calendar. Until then, I hope that I don't stop coughing!
Having to leave our guys in Afghanistan was tough form Mike and I. We got to see some old friends, and make some new ones! It's amazing how close you can become to people in just 2 weeks. Maybe it has something to do with the close quarters, or the long hours, or maybe it's the life and death circumstance that you are experiencing together. We walked around the QRF shack, and asked all of the guys one simple question...
If you could have 1 drink right now... what would it be?
We got some interesting answers...
Jameson & Ginger for Noftle
Tangeray & Tonic for Tanguay
A 'Stunt Man' for McConvey (he's such a pain in the ass!) Just in case you didn't know what a Stunt Man is... It's a shot of tequila, but you snort the salt, and squeeze the lemon into your eye. Like I said... He's a pain in the ass!
Or the Brooklyn Hooker... Pickle juice and JD.
There were simple requests like the Rum & Coke for Torch, and the Jager bombs for Foucher, Dustin and Murphy!
My Spades partner Scot asked for a Capt. and Coke and so did Bourne.
There was the Johnny Walker for Ward, and the Guinness for 'Tall Murph', and the Irish Car Bomb for Farrell. I think he just wanted us to order that in London, so we would get arrested!
Bill just wanted a shot of Makers Mark, and Mussig just said "Something strong"
Vath asked for a Soco and Cran (which I thought would be gross, and was actually great!)
Valentin wanted a shot of Patron!
As you can see, the guys just wanted us to be a couple of drunk f*cks at the airport!
Guys... These drinks are for you!
May you all make it home safely, so we can enjoy a round of drinks together! We miss you!
I was hunkered down with 'my guys' while the embassy and ISAF HQ were under attack. I had guys, who were total strangers the week before, making plans for my safety and thinking of my needs before their own.
2 weeks ago, I was on my way to Afghanistan having no idea what lay in front of me. I didn't know that I would make lifelong friends, I didn't know that I would witness life changing events, or see the worst that humanity has to offer.
Today, I am sitting in my climate controled office, eating microwaved food, and watching TV. My guys...? they are sleeping. Well, I hope they are sleeping... it's the middle of the night in Kabul. If they're not sleeping, it's because bad things are going on!
It took 9 months of planning to get this trip together, and in 2 weeks it's gone like a blur. If it weren't for the pictures, I would question whether it happened at all. The people in the office, have been congratulating me (and Mike) on a job well done, and asking questions like "how crazy was it REALLY over there?" The truth? You don't want to know... The stories that we've heard from the guys, the things that we've seen are not things that your brain allows you to forget, once you've heard and seen them. We got 2 weeks worth, 'my guys' get a years worth or more, if this isn't their first or last deployment. After 10 years of war, getting out with only one deployment is lucky.
I've been told by more than one veteran, that it's easier over there. The mission is clearly in front of you. You know who the bad guys are. You know what you're doing, and where you need to be. You're trained, and ready. It's simple. That is NOT the case back home. It's complicated, and messy at home. It's trivial. Lines at Dunkin Donuts, traffic, office gossip, laundry... these are all things that seem like a GIANT waste of time.
2 weeks ago, we were strangers.
A week ago, I was asked by a soldier to pass along a message to his wife, if he didn't come back from a mission. Before I left on Saturday, another soldier asked me to visit his sick and pregnant wife in the hospital, because he wasn't going to be home to do it.
2 weeks ago, I was the DJ.
A week ago, someone said "she's not in the Unit" and the response from one of my guys? "She may as well be!"
It's impossible for anyone to understand what our soldiers go through when they are sent to war. We've all had the experience with a family member from WWII or Vietnam. We've heard the stories that they are willing to tell. We've witnessed the dark places that they go to find those stories. It's called the 1000 yard stare, shell shocked, or more recently PTSD and TBI. I would never say that I understand them, or what they have been through. What I can say is this... I have been allowed not once, but twice in my life, to see behind the curtain. I've been given this gift, to peer briefly into a world, that most people will never understand. As an Army wife, it's an interesting perspective that I know most wives will never have. I have a new found respect for my husband and every other person that has worn a uniform for this country, and had to defend it's honor, in the face of hate and evil.
How will they be when they get home? How will they 'get back to normal'? Is that even possible? How will their families and friends react to the new person in the old body? How will this generation change the direction of our country as they age? What lessons can be learned from their sacrifice? How do you say 'thank you' for what they have given up, because they signed a blank check in service to our country, and we cashed it.
1 in 4 children will die in Afghanistan before the age of 5.
the average life span in Afghanistan is 48
A M-ATV up armored vehicle costs approximately $450,000
A new school costs $150,000
Digging a well to supply a village with fresh water costs $5,000
The war in Afghanistan costs $9.8 BILLION dollars a month
The average education of an Afghan soldier is the 3rd grade.
These numbers surprised me, for several reasons, especially the mortality rate of the children here. I'm not sure why I was surprised, after driving through the country and witnessing the things that I did.
Now I am not claiming to have all of the answers... As a matter of fact, I don't have ANY of the answers! But, I have seen many people comment on facebook saying that we should pull all of our troops out of Afghanistan, and just drop bombs... After looking into the eyes of this countries people, I can't imagine feeling that way. The children have such an innocence about them, and they're eyes almost beg for help. We saw a woman laying in the road so that she could stop traffic and get her kids to beg to the people in the stopped cars. We saw people buying raw meat on the side of the road from 'butchers' who were slicing in *100 degree heat, with no refrigeration or sanitary facilities. People just stop on the sidewalk and squat down to go to the bathroom. I've seen people do that while drunk, in an alley after a Sox game, but never like this. In this day and age, how can people still live like this? This country is such a contradition.
How can a military convoy get passed in a rotary by a guy on a donkey, talking on a cell phone?
How can people punish their infants by burning them, and then drop them off at the front gate of a military base knowing that the US soldiers will get the child medical care? Only to have the children returned home after?
How can grown men, who have sworn to protect their country, steal supplies from children that they receive from US troops?
How can women walk on gravel roads, with 2 small children, wearing full burkas, carrying firewood, and wearing HEELS?
In the last 10 years, the # of children in school in Afghanistan has increased 500% and the number of girls in school has tripled. I heard that part of the recruiting issue with the Afghan National Army is the fact that they are illiterate, and most only have a 3rd grade education. So before they can join, they have to learn to read and write. Imagine our country run by 3rd graders... Oh wait a minute, sometimes it feels like it is!
The only thing that makes me feel better about the financial drain of this war, is that education and healthy water is cheaper than trucks and guns... Maybe someday the nation of Afghanistan will have different problems, and maybe they won't, only they can decide their own path. But, after seeing what I saw, I can't imagine pulling our troops out of there and leaving that nation prey for the Taliban. They would never have a chance.
I still think about those kids every day, and I can't imagine how our troops will be coming home after a year in that country, witnessing what they have. If you think our country has problems, take a trip to Afghanistan...
The weather is amazing most days, even though it rained yesterday for the first time since we arrived. The scenery is unlike anything that I have ever seen. The mountains are majestic like the Rockies in the U.S. The fabrics and the clothing are so exotic and beautiful. There is a tangible optimism amongst the people that I've met, which would surprise most people back at home. Now, make no mistake... I am very well aware of the fact that I am in a war zone. This country is like walking around an episode of the Flintstones sometimes. The images of the dirty children playing in the streets rather than learning in school, the puppies that I know will never be loved like they would back home, the women in the burkas walking behind their husbands who are desperate for civil rights, and the buildings that were once beautiful, and are now blown apart remind me that the world is less than perfect. There is so much work to be done here, and it's going to take the Afghan people generations to move forward as a society.
But, the reason why I am writing this blog is our guys... Well, actually they are my guys now! I've been accepted into this group with open arms. As a woman, being allowed this kind of access to an Infantry unit in a war zone, is a special thing. They are not used to having a girl around. The long walk to the woman’s latrine is evidence of that. The guys were shocked from day 1, when they saw that I didn't pack suitcases, and that all of my stuff was in Army issue duffel bags. I traveled light here, since I knew I was going to be moving around a lot. I packed stuff that I knew I would need, and nothing more. 'Acting like a girl' is not going to win me any points here. I knew that before I arrived. It's a lesson that I learned 5 years ago in Iraq. From minute #1, they guys have treated me with respect, and have taken me under their wings. I'm always trying to stay out of the way, apologizing when someone needs to get by. I try to keep my stuff out of the way, and keep from making their lives any more difficult. But, I always here the same thing... "You're fine, you're not in the way, relax".
To the people back home who have loved ones over here, I can tell you this... You're loved ones are brave, well trained, hard working, and very special human beings. It's been an honor getting to know them. They miss home, and they long for the days that they can hang out at the bar and watch the Sox and the Pats... But they also love it here. They are understood here. They are surrounded by people who relate to them, and don't question why they do what they do. I try to imagine these guys, back at home, working 'regular' jobs and it's hard for me. I only know them this way. I know that reintegration is a tough thing for our troops that have seen combat overseas. The suicide rate for our veterans is scary, the divorce rate is well above the average, the incidents of alcoholism, drug abuse, and violence is evidence of this issue too. It's tough to imagine what they are going through, until you witness it firsthand.
The events that occurred in Kabul yesterday are a perfect example.
Yesterday the ISAF headquarters came under attack by the Taliban. I was there the night before, taking pictures and handing out T-shirts to the local troops that are stationed there.
When the word came down that the attacks were happening, the sirens went off on Camp Phoenix. The QRF (Quick Response Force) that we have been embedded with, were activated and told to get ready. 'My guys' started preparing for whatever may come their way. They began packing up the trucks with ammo, and water. They programmed the radios and cleaned their weapons. They had classified briefings to go over intel, and made plans based on possible scenarios. I was asked by one soldier to use my SAT phone, so that he could call his wife. He knew that she would be watching the news at home, and he wanted her to know that he loved her, before he 'rolled out'. He asked me to keep her number, and to call her if there was bad news. Remember that I just me him a week ago! I was told by Nick, my 'body guard' to get my stuff together, and stick close to 'the shack'. I'm safer around all of the troops and all of the weapons, than I would be in my room alone, Mike too. The guys were pacing around, waiting on the 'go ahead' to go and do their jobs. There is nothing they hate more, than sitting around when they know there is work to be done! They went through the training, and they want to be the ones to make a difference.
The war in Afghanistan is so different than Iraq. Here, they are fighting with a scalpel, not a machete. Most Afghans are good, and our troops are not here to hurt them, or destroy their way of life. They are here to root out, the select few insurgents that are hell bent on destruction and terrorism. This makes fighting a war very complicated. They have to worry about civilian casualties, and collateral damage, while hunting down and killing the enemy. It's a tough job, and they are doing their best. When innocent people are hurt and killed, it's used against the allied forces, to try and convince the populous that the troops are bad and that they don't care. Progress is slow. The guys waited around all day, 'all dressed up and no place to go'. The word came down that intel was sketchy and that while CNN was reporting rocket fire and attacks down town, it was possible that it was a plan to get the bases to deploy the fighting forces off of the major bases, thus leaving them weakened and easy targets. The question of how many resources to deploy, was the question to answer.
We passed the time with a card game, a movie, and video games depending on your poison. Some guys took the time to get a few minute nap in, while others just paced around counting the seconds until it was time to go. I just waited to be told what to do, and in the mean time... I took pictures. I figure that they guys would like to have these photos later on, to remember this experience.
They kept their senses of humor, and goofed around with me. Asking which weapon I wanted to take with me, and if I was ready for my first firefight. I knew very well that I would not be hitting the road with them, but if I could have gone, I would have been in that MATV so fast, it would have made their heads spin! I feel safer around them on the road, than I do on the base in my room alone. Its sounds stupid I know, but it's the way that I feel. I napped briefly on a chair in the middle of the chaos, and it was the best sleep I've had since I arrived.
In the middle of the night, some of the guys rolled out, leaving another team back on base 'just in case'. I was told to get some rest, and given specific safety instructions about what I should do if the base sirens went off again. While I struggled to get to sleep in my room, the guys in the shack waited to get the call, and the guys sent to ISAF earned their CIB's (Combat Infantry Badges) when they were shot at, and when a grenade was thrown at their vehicles. One minute they were joking around with me, and the next minute they had shrapnel hitting the sides of their trucks. That's how it is here... You never know what the next minute will bring, but whatever it is... they are ready for it.
I'm sitting here, trying to figure out what makes these guys tick. What makes a person run towards danger, when most people scatter away from it. They are not 'super heroes like in the comic books. They are mortal men, with flaws. They know that they are not perfect, but somehow together, when the sh*t hits the fan, they become perfect together. I am so grateful for the opportunity that they have given me, and I just don't feel worthy enough to accept this gift of friendship and loyalty that they have presented to me. I know that in a few days, I'll have to say goodbye and I don't know how I am going to do that. Soon enough, I will be at Logan, ordering an iced coffee, and heading home to my family, while 'my guys' are still here, waiting to go to work when they are needed. I'm not sure how I'll say goodbye, or how I'll feel. I just hope that I leave them with a little love from home, and the understanding that they have changed my life forever. One SGT. told me that I was 'breath of fresh air here' and another wrote home saying 'that the opportunity to just sit around and talk about Boston with someone from home was appreciated'.
It's not the scenery, or the culture, or the weather... it's the guys! That's why I love Afghanistan!
I've been spending a lot of time over the last few days, just hanging with the guys here in Afghanistan... It's amazing the conversations that you can have, while you are sitting at a picnic table praying to the internet gods! It takes so long to load pics, audio, and video that you have nothing better to do, than ask questions of anyone that comes your way. There is such a cross section of people here, it's amazing. There are over 15 countries involved in the allied forces in Afghanistan. The number of private contractors is amazing, and I cannot believe the number of locals that are walking around on base. Local Afghan civilians cook on base, they clean on base, and the build everything on base. Obviously they are supervised, but I NEVER had this kind of access to the local Iraqi's 5 years ago. It's culture shock times 10! Here are some of my observations so far.
1. burning tires and poop is bad for your sense of smell, and your lungs.
2. the sound of a Blackhawk hovering over your bedroom is something that you get used to, and amazingly makes you feel relaxed.
3. people with purple hair (especially women) in Afghanistan get stared at constantly. It's actually quite funny now!
4. there is such a thing as a 'brass magnet' and I am that person! It's UNREAL! The guys in my unit think it's out of control. They can never relax, you never know when a General is going to pop out and surprise us!
5. there is no other place that a dedicated soldier wants to be, than with 'his guys'. No matter the injury or illness, they just want to get back to work. I've never seen dedication like I have seen here.
6. bureaucracy is everywhere, even in a war zone.
7. there are certain things that our troops cannot live without... video games, movies, music, and Skype. Skype is the greatest for these guys. I'm watching a few soldiers Skype with their kids right now, and it makes me want to cry.
8. if you are tired enough, you can fall asleep anywhere!
9. DO NOT leave your Facebook page open in a room full of soldiers! BAD things can happen!
10. ball busting is he same in any language!
11. you could make a fortune selling frozen margaritas here. I would pay $1000 for one right now!
12. Army coffee and hot chocolate is a great way to start the day... waking up at 0500 to drink it is NOT a great way to start the day.
13. it is possible that the biggest and toughest looking guy in Kabul, is an accountant. I'm not kidding, his name is Donald, and he is HUGE!!!
14. anything can become normal, even people carrying automatic weapons into the cafeteria to eat breakfast!
15. having a private security detail and up armored vehicles drive you everywhere makes you feel like the President!
16. you can tell 'dick jokes' in front of the pastor, and not feel bad. He may even laugh!
17. jello is awesome
18. It's a small world. We keep bumping into people that we grew up with! My producer Mike is going to run from Mayor of Camp Phoenix soon, he knows everyone!
19. grown men, no matter how tough, LOVE to make ice cream sundaes!
20. "If you can win a war with Matchbox cars, why would you use a gun?"
This is an Afghan interpreter, that works with our soldiers every day. He is from Kabul, and he's not afraid to speak out against the Taliban. What he is doing is very brave, but also very dangerous. This makes him a target. I told him that I would not use his name or take his picture. He insisted that I do both! He wants people to know what Afghan citizens think about the Americans, and the job that they are doing overseas. If there is a definition of bravery, his picture should be with it!
When we thought about putting the AAF to Afghanistan trip together, we had a clear vision of what we wanted to accomplish. We wanted our troops to know that after 10 years, we still support them. We wanted to make sure that they knew, that we recognized all of the sacrifices that they have made, and that their families have made. On that fateful morning thousands of lives were lost. Thousands more were changed forever, because they lost a loved one. We learned the true meaning of bravery when the first responders ran in, when everone else ran out. We also learned what a difference a few people could make when they banned together, to stand against a common enemy on Flight 93. Their American spirit has been felt every day since. The lives of many others changed that day too. The image of our beloved country, under attack, inspired thousands to enlist in the armed forces, knowing that war was soon to follow, and those who were already enlisted volunteered to extend immediately because they knew that they would be needed. In the 10 years since September 11, 2001 our nation has seen it's share of ups and downs. The economy has suffered, and our resolve has been tested. The one thing that has remained the same, is the spirit of our troops. They have endured multiple deployments, months and years away from home. They have seen the worst that humanity has to offer when faced with the enemy, and they have seen the hope for the future in the children who will hopefully grow into the generation that finally fixes the worlds problems. In my opinion there are no better human beings on Earth, than our soldiers. They work so hard, are not paid enough, they are used as political pawns in Washington, and they pay the price for the policies that they follow. They deserve all of of love and support, but they don't always get it. Today, I carry with me all of the love and support from the WAAF listeners to Afghanistan, where are troops are hard at work rebuilding a nation, and forging alliances with a people who will one day stand on their own two feet, and defend themselves.
Here are some of the pictures from the memorial service this morning, where members of all of the allied forces joined together this morning to pay tribute to every soldier who has died since September 11, 2011. Every name from every nation was read out loud. It took 2 1/2 hours just to read the American names. Another hour to read the names of the UK soldiers, and the rest of the day to go through the names of every other country involved in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn.
The flags of the allied forces, at half staff in Patriot Square.
Members of the allied forces during the memorial ceremony.
The US and Afghan flags flying together.
General Hammond from the Mass Army National Guard speaking during the memorial service.
A member of the Canadian Army photographs members of the Mass Army National Guard during the memorial service.
The bunker gear tribute outside of the fire station on Camp Phoenix.
With members of the base fire department on Camp Phoenix
The patches from all of the fire houses that have been represented on base.
The third base that we visited yesterday, was by far the craziest.
Camp Bala Hissar has one mission, to monitor and protect the Aerostat balloon. It looks like a small blimp that hovers over Kabul, and is fixed with high res cameras and surveillance equipment that is operated by civilian defense contractors. This 'balloon' helps our troops keep track of possible targets, and allows an overview of the city day and night. I heard that it's a 25 million dollar balloon! You should see how big the helium tanks are for this thing!!!
This base is built into the side of a mountain in Kabul. The top of the mountain is protected by Afghan National Army troops, who work hand in hand with the US soldiers.
Let's just say, they are not used to having a woman around... Especially a woman like me!
The US troops that are in Bala Hissar right now, are half Mass troops and half from Alabama! This place is a cultural melting pot, and it works! They are very isolated fro the other bases, and are completely self contained. They build everything on base themselves, including the basketball court!
The hoop is a perfectly bent piece of rebar! These guys have skills.
The most amazing part of this base, is what it's named after. Bala Hissar, is a 1000 year old fort that was designed and built by Genghis Kahn, and the ruins of this fort still stand right above the camp! Check out some of these pictures. It's so amazing here. With the amount of unrest that this area has seen over the last 1000 years, it is unbelievable that these walls still stand! They just don't build things like this anymore!
We had to take the toursist shot! The views here are unlike anything that I have ever seen!
And even though you are surrounded by beauty, there are still obvious reminders of the destruction that this area has seen over the years!
This is where you would have lived, if you were a high ranking officer in the time of Kahn! Not too bad!
This is a lake bed, that is filled naturally at certain times of the year by runoff from the mountains. This entire area, was designed by Genghis Kahn himself. There is irrigation tunnels, and aqueducts that move the water around the village. And we spent 15 billion on the Big Dig???
And even thought this is a 'War Zone' the kids still play like every other kid, in any country in the world.
So, I finally had some time to sit down in front of a computer and try to explain what the last 48 hours have been like! In one word... CRAZY!
Mike (my producer and I) got to Logan airport at 6am on Saturday 9/3. We were allowed to park in the 'super secret' parking lot close to the gate. Our friends Tim and Barbara served as chaueffers, so we didn't have to take out a loan to keep our cars there for 2 weeks. We were met curbside by a "friend with a really awesome badge" who helped us navigate the check in process, and airport security. Our trip was a complicated one... Boston to London, London to Bahrain, Bahrain to Kabul. Total travel time 27 hours! We got upgraded to 1st class for the first leg of the journey, but after that... Let's just say Mike and I were close, very close in coach!
In London, we had barely enough time to get across the airport to make our connection. Those shuttle bus drivers are nuts. In Bahrain, Mike and I found an Irish Pub to toast the guys before we got into Afghanistan. Once we landed, we went through immigration in just a few minutes, and headed to baggage claim. It turns out that my bags were flagged by security in London because of the body armor, and they never made the Bahrain flight. I got the #'s for the airline, and headed through immigration. As soon as we left the airport doors, we were loaded into MATV's and driven through downtown Kabul, to Camp Phoenix.
Here are some of the lessons that we learned along the way.
Getting through security at Logan is a hell of a lot easier, when you are accompanied by a guy with a REALLY cool badge!
When checking bags, if you have military orders, present them in the beginning of the process. It will save you time and lots of money. (especially when checking body armor)
Savor every Dunkin Iced coffee, you never know how long you will be without one.
Flying First Class is awesome, PERIOD!
Jack N Coke at 9am is OK, when your final destination is Afghanistan.
Fruit cups RULE!
London drivers are FAR WORSE than Boston drivers.
In flight entertainment on Gulf Air includes Cheers, Happy Days, NCIS LA, and Barney... in Arabic.
Watching the sunrise over Baghdad from the window of a plane, is pretty damn cool.
People in Bahrain appreciate Linkin Park. It was playing in the airport upon arrival.
Fanny packs are all the rage in Bahrain.
Bostonians will find an Irish Pub anywhere one can be found. Even in Bahrain.
Malibu & Pineapple is good for breakfast.
There is NO ONE with purple hair in Afghanstan. Correction, there WAS no one with purple hair in Afghansistan!
The reason why we beat the Brits during the revolution... Their bags didn't make their connecting flight!
A BIG thank you to John Dennis, Dale Arnold, Chach, Meter, and everyone at WEEI for having me on this morning to talk about AAF to Afghanistan! Just in case you missed the interview, you can listen to it here!
Well, the official announcement has been made, and my departure is coming up fast! Once again, this trip is the culmination of months of work, hours of phone calls and forms, and calling in every favor that I could think of! I am so thankful to everyone who is involved with this project, and believe me... there are a lot of people on that list!
There's the obvious... everyone here at WAAF, Mike my producer, who volunteered to go with me. Without him, there would be no trip! Believe it or not, there was not a HUGE line of people begging to head into a war zone! The staff at the Mass Army National Guard have been amazing. They've been coordinating from which units I will visit, to printing T-shirts, and helping me track down the necessary gear. The EMBED office in Afghanistan, has been amazing as well, leading me through the paperwork process. I can tell you that after 2 trips to the Middle East, my record is CLEAN! I must include the Commanders and the members of the 182 Infantry, and the 26th MEB for accepting my EMBED application, and taking on the added responsibility of having a purple haired, rock DJ tag along during their deployment. If they felt that it would have a negative impact on their safety or impede their performance, they had the right to say NO. Thankfully, they didn't. I also have to thank the list of sponsors who stepped up to help cover the costs, of such an ordeal. Since the list of things provided to EMBEDS is very short (shelter, food, protection, and emergency medical) there are a lot of expenses involved. Flights, armor, medical costs, equipment, and fees, just to name a few. Thanks to the Mass Association of Realtors, Porter & Chester Institute, Manchester/Nashua Harley Davidson, DCU, Boston Firefighters Union Local 718/Boston Fireman's Post #94, Vater Drumsticks, Lane Printing, New Balance, and of course the Mass Army National Guard have all played a part in getting this trip off the ground! To all of them, I am eternally grateful!
Once the paperwork process began, and the expenses started to be taken care of... The uncomfortable conversations begin. There is nothing more 'fun' than having meetings about worst case scenarios. Sitting down with my bosses here at WAAF, to discuss injury, kidnapping, and death is no way to spend your lunch break. These meetings are enough to keep any boss from letting an employee head overseas. Thankfully, this was just an uncomfortable meeting and we've moved on. They know that I will be with the best, brightest, and bravest! I understand that everyone here is worried, but there are hundreds of families going through those very emotions everyday while their loved ones are deployed.
I spent the last couple of days making sure that I have everything on the 'required pack list', washing all of the gear, and going through my personal paperwork to make sure that everything is in order before we leave. All this, for 2 weeks! Now just imagine being one of these brave soldiers, or married to one! How do you plan to have your spouse be away for over a year? It's just mind boggling to think of everything you would need to do before they leave! How do you say "I love you" to the people in your life enough, to take care of an entire year of being away? The answer? You can't.
This is the reason for this trip! AAF to Afghanistan, is all of our way to say "Thank You" for everything that our troops go through to protect us, and everything that they give up to do their job! There is no way to say "Thank You" enough, but we'll try!
I'll start checking in, on the air from Afghanistan on Tuesday September 6!
A HUGE thank you to Gene Lavanchy and the Fox 25 Morning Show staff for having me on the show this morning! AAF to Afghanistan is a very personal journey for me, and it means a lot that you guys were willing to have me on! I will definitley come back with great pictures and stories when I return from Afghanistan!
CAPT Glen Kernusky, Mistress Carrie, SSG Jamie Gaiten, SGT Brian Kilgore and AAF to Afghanistan producer Mike Saia.
97.7/107.3 WAAF Honors the 10th Anniversary of the September 11th Terrorist Attacks
Boston, MA (August 23, 2011) As the 10th anniversary of September 11th approaches, 97.7/107.3 WAAF will pay tribute to the loss and sacrifice that has been endured by our country’s military, first responders and their families since the catastrophic attacks of September 11, 2001.
In an ongoing effort to share the stories of the servicemen and women overseas, WAAF is sending afternoon drive personality, Mistress Carrie, on a mission to Afghanistan, “AAF To Afghanistan.” She will not only lift the spirits of the soldiers, but also share with WAAF listeners what life is like on the front lines. From her home base of Kabul, Carrie will send back photos and video of life in Afghanistan. She will bring soldiers with her on the radio, reuniting them with loved ones via telephone.
Preparations for the trip are underway and include rounds of shots to ward off disease and wearing heavy body armor on a daily basis to become accustomed to carrying around the extra fifty pounds of weight. Gifts for the soldiers – custom t-shirts and signed Red Sox memorabilia – are being collected and shipped ahead of time to Afghanistan.
WAAF is committed to honoring the memory of those lost in the ongoing war on terror as well as all who continue to fight on the front lines.
Keep your eyes on my blog for updates throughout our trip! -Mistress Carrie
Matt Cameron may be the busiest man in music! He was the drummer in Soundgarden, and the band broke up. So, Matt got a job with another legandary band that you may know... Pearl Jam! Then in 2010, Soundgarden announced that they were getting back together. Rather than leave Pearl Jam, Matt is somehow balancing 2 bands, while being married with kids! 2 bands, 2 tours... and lots to talk about! What about a Pearl Jam, Soundgarden tour with Temple of the Dog? Is Pearl Jam playing Fenway Park in September? What clubs did Matt love to play in Boston? When is the new Soundgarden album coming out?
Click below to listen to the interview and find out the answers to those questions and more!
BOSTON -- A Groton Marine has been killed in Afghanistan, officials said.
The Marine Corps liason to the House of Representatives confirmed Corporal William Woitowicz's death with Rep. Niki Tsongas at about 4:45 p.m. Wednesday.
Â Woitowicz, 23, was killed Tuesday in combat in Baghis Province. He was assigned to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Special Operations Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
I don't know much... But I do know this... Our troops should not be paying to bring their Army issued weapons home from Afghanistan! And after the video below, surfaced online... Delta now agrees with me! They have 'modified' their baggage policy for our troops returning from overseas! Why does it take public outrage to get the right thing done?
A suggestion for Delta, change your slogan to "Delta Airlines, our troops M4's and Grenade Launchers fly free"!
Now that a few days have passed, the people of western Massachusetts have had a chance to survey the damage and come up with a plan to rebuild. I was asked by my friends at the 104th Fighter Wing in Westfield, to post this volunteer information. When the tornados hit, we got tons of calls here at WAAF, from people looking to help. But, these small towns didn't have the means to organize a huge volunteer effort on NO NOTICE. But, they are now asking for help. If you feel compelled to do something, and you don't have the extra money to donate to the relief effort... Maybe this is a better alternative. A list of requests and contact information is below! Thank you for being so generous with your time, money, and resources! You guys are the best!Â
The following notification is being sent per request of Jim Wiggs, Emergency Management
If you wish to volunteer your services to assist in getting Westfield back to normal operations, please contact us at (413)642.9359 and indicate you would like to volunteer.Â Please let us know what you may be capable of assisting us with and how many volunteers you have.Â We can use experienced chain saw operators, landscaping type assistance, people to rake, people to drag items out, people to feed volunteers, provide water, etc.Â We can use trucks, ATVs, wheel barrows, and other items to remove debris.Â You may also email us atÂ WEMAHELP@CityofWestfield.Org
Â Thanks for your support for the City of Westfield in this time of need.
Â Sincerely Jim Wiggs, Director, Westfield Emergency Management Agency
I got this press release today. There are lots of troops that live in theÂ areas destroyed by the tornados. Here's how we can help them!
Military Friends Foundation to Offer Support to
Local Military Families Impacted by Tornado DisasterÂ
The Military Friends Foundation, a non-profit organization serving Massachusetts National Guard, Reserve and Gold Star Families, is offering emergency financial support for local families of deployed Guard and Reserve and families of Fallen Service Members who were impacted by Wednesday nightâs tornado.Â
âWe are grateful that while our service members are sacrificing for the greater good of our Commonwealth, especially our Guardsmen who are serving our Nation overseas, the Military Friends Foundation is there to assist our military families in their own time of crisis,â saidMajor General Joseph C. Carter, the Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard. Preliminary estimates indicate that more than a hundred families of deployed Citizen Service Members may be impacted.Â
âI commend the Military Friends for their efforts to aid military families who have been affected by these devastating storms. Their quick response to help these families will go far in the recovery efforts for the Commonwealth,â saidState Representative Harold P. Naughton Jr., House Chair of the stateâs Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. âAs a veteran of the Iraq War, I can say with confidence that the efforts of the Military Friends Foundation will be a great comfort to those overseas who are worried about loved ones at home. As we rely on members of the National Guard to protect us in times like these, it is important that we follow the example of the Military Friends Foundation and do our part to help protect their families as well.â
Immediate family members who face damages from the storm and live in Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester Counties â areas deemed disaster zones by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency - are encouraged to contact the Military Friends Foundation at (617) 733-7994, via email at email@example.com or online at militaryfriends.org/911.
âThe initiative being shown by the Military Friends Foundation is an excellent example of how Massachusetts citizens come together to help each other quickly during times of need,âsaid Treasurer Steven Grossman, who oversees the stateâs Veterans Welcome Home Bonus Program and manages the Mass. Military Family Relief Fund. âI offer my deepest condolences to all families that have been impacted by the recent storm and extend my sincerest wishes that these funds can play a small part towards getting veterans families back on their feet.â
âWe are pleased to be able to partner with state and local agencies to assist families of deployed service members who are struggling to deal with the aftermath of the tornadoes,â saidMilitary Friends Director Richard Girard, an Air Force veteran, of Agawam, an area impacted by the recent storms.
For more information on how to apply for assistance or to make a donation to support a local military family, please visit www.militaryfriends.org.
The Natick Veterans Council is honored to bring the only replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial located in Washington, D.C.Â Â known as "The Moving Wall" to Natick on June 9th - 12th Â 2011.Â They are bringing the wall to our community to honor and respect those thatÂ made the ultimate sacrifice through remembrance and education and to give our community an opportunity that they would never otherwise have.
The Natick Veterans Council is a local non-profit,all volunteer organization; it does not receive any funding from the town of Natick.Â They cannot bring The Moving Wall to our community without your support.Â They need to rely on private/corporate sponsors to raise approximately
Â $50,000 that is required in orderÂ to bring this memorial display to our community.
Friday, while billions of people around the world were transfixed on the Royal Wedding, President Obama was in Tuscaloosa, Alabama visiting the families who lost everything in the tornado's... What we all didn't know was that he had justÂ ordered a super secret mission to kill Osama bin Laden. It's a good thing that he didn't get invited to the wedding after all huh?
And Saturday night, while at the White House 'Correspondence Dinner',Â TheÂ PresidentÂ was laughing and joking with a room full of press, and behind the smile, he knew the SEALS were hours away from capturing and/or killing the #1 man on the FBI's most wanted list. Public Enemy #1!Â A man with a 25 million dollar bounty on his head, that no one has been able to find!
And on Sunday night while we were allÂ going about our lives,Â The President was in the 'Sit Room' watching the Seals invade a $1 million dollar compound in Pakistan.
When it was over, The President broke into every network to tell us the amazing news!
And we weren't the only people watching the President on TV. Our own troops in Afghanistan were hearing the news at the same time!
And just like that... he's gone.
Sometimes you don't realize that you are living through a moment that will go down in history, and other times... You are very aware! Time slows down. You remember exactly where you were and what you wereÂ doing when it happened.
I was shopping with my mother when the news broke about John Lennon.
I was in class when the Space Shuttle exploded.
I was in the WAAF studio,Â when the towers fell.Â
And I was on my couch, with my dogs when I heard the news about Osama bin Laden.
I couldn't run to wake my husband up fast enough. He's an Army veteran, who fought in the War On Terror in Iraq for almost 2 years. I couldn't believe that I could actually say the words "They Got Him!"
The world changed again this weekend. The country was united in celebration and people are once again waving flags and chanting USA! USA! USA! Just like they were after 9/11.
I just wish that this 'euphoric' state would last.Â I wish that people were this vocal with their patriotism every day.
If there is anything positive that we can take from the last 9 1/2 years, It's this...
On 9/12/01 and today... Americans came together, united in their love of this country.
Today was a good day!
To our troops... You have made me proud once again! Job well done.
I'm not really sure how it happened yet, the nerds around here are working on it. On Friday, my Mistress Carrie Facebook page,Â which had almost 10,000Â of youÂ joined together, was deleted from Facebook.
So, after several emails sent to Facebook, pleading my case... I have decided to build a new one!
So, am I the only person that has never watched an episode of American Idol? Judging by the ratings, I just might be! Well, the show is relaunching tonight with 2 new judges... Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith's own, STEVEN TYLER!
With all of the Aerosmith drama over the last couple of years, with Steven's addiction relapse, the band looking for a new singer, the fighting backstage at Fenway etc... Idol didn't come at a great time. Or did it?
The argument can be made (and has been by Kid Rock) that there is NOTHING Rock 'n' Roll about being a judge on American Idol. It's a glorified karaoke night, but with no egg rolls. But, with the success of some of the artists that have come off of that show like Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry and Kelly Clarkson it's obvious that there is SOME talent on this show.
On the other hand, this could be good for Aerosmith. They could be introduced to an entire new fan base, with Steven Tyler now in millions of homes every week on one of the most popular TV shows in the US. That could help the band set up the new album that they are supposedly working on while American Idol is taping in LA, and could help them sell more concert tickets and downloads of their older music, to this new found fan base.
But, what if it doesn't work? What if no one tunes in? What if they tune in and Steven and J-LO suck? What then? Does it hurt Aerosmith? Does anyone care either way? I guess we'll find out tonight when the new season premieres, won't we? Does this mean that I have to watch it now? I just may have to tune in... UGH! What does that say about me? Do I lose my 'rock credibility' if I watch 'Idol' tonight?
What doÂ you think?
The good thing about this, is that Steven Tyler has been doing tons of press for the show, including this from last night on Jimmy Fallon. Jimmy has been doing these skits with all different types of artists, and they have all been great... Including this one. It's Jimmy with The Roots and Steven Tyler doing 'Walk This Way' RUN DMC style!Â Enjoy!
"The Dropkick Murphys' seventh album Going Out In Style is the story of Cornelius, an Irish immigrant in America. The record begins with the character's raucous Irish wake and then flashes back to the beginning of his story, covering all the major moments in his extraordinary life along the way. That may sound a bit dry, but the music itself is exactly the sort of high-energy sing-along punk fans have come to expect from this long-running Boston band."
Foo Fighters want YOU to direct their next music video.
Foo Fighters have worked with some of the top directors in the business including Michel Gondry, Mark Pellington, Jesse Peretz, Sam Brown & The Malloys. But now itâs your turn. The band is giving 11 aspiring directors the opportunity to create a music video for a song from their new album which drops this spring. The videos will premiere on Fuse.
This could be your big break. So what are you waiting for? Upload your reel and show us what youâve got!"
"The Massachusetts Iraq and Afghanistan Fallen Heroes Memorial Fund was founded by local decorated military members, veterans and Gold Star Families. Dedicated to honoring Bay State men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and gave their lives to our nation, our group is working with the state officials to create a permanent Memorial to our fallen heroes. Since the state can not fundraise for the Memorial, our group has been selected as the nonprofit partner that will take on the official fundraising role. We have filed the required paperwork needed and our request for 501c3 nonprofit status is currently pending. In the meantime, we are honored to be working with Groton-based Veterans Advocacy Services. So any donation to the memorial will be tax-deductible."
This is an amazing organization that is raising money, to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. These heroes were members of our community, and their families and loved one's should know how much their community appreciates their sacrifices.
"THE MASSACHUSETTS IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN FALLEN HEROES MEMORIAL FUNDâs first fundraising dinner is on THURSDAY DECEMBER 2, 2010 at the Boston Convention and Exhibitors Center. We hope that you will join us as a sponsor or in supporting this cause by purchasing a table or tickets. Funds raised at the dinner will be used to support the permanent Memorial to our fallen heroes here in Massachusetts. Dinner sponsorships will also allow some Massachusetts Gold Star Family members who have lost a loved one to attend the dinner free of charge. "
OK, I have a question for you...
If a member of ROCK royalty does a song with one of the biggest POP stars in the world, should we play it?
As WAAF's Music Director, this is something that I'm not sure about.Â Yes, Â we play the Beastie Boys, and Cypress Hill, and House of Pain but those artists and songs have become classic Rock party songs over the years...
But when a guy like Slash does a song with Fergie, and the song ROCKS... Should we play it?
She made a name for herself as a Black Eyed Pea, and then she became 'The Dutchess' for he solo career...
But when she's with Slash, she becomes one scary, badass bitch! A woman after my own heart!
Check out this video, and then tell me what you think...
Should WAAF play 'Beautiful Dangerous'?
I'm still trying to recover from 48 hours in a rock stars life! It's hard work! Planes, limos, parties, courtside seats, political rallies and Jessica Rabbit. DAMN!
Here's what I can remember!
Kid Rock invited a few radio people from around the country, that have been there "since the beginning", to attend his private Halloween party. I was honored to be included in that group. We've been friends for a very long time. Since the Warped Tour before Devil Without A Cause came out. It's been a crazy ride... more crazy for him than me... But anyway.
I took off from Logan on Friday afternoon around 2pm.
Landed in Detroit around 4...
After battling Downtown Detroit traffic for almost 2 hours, we checked into the hotel, dropped our bags, and headed to the Pistons Game. Kid Rock was being presented with a banner for selling out the arena 21 times! He was also given permanent court side seats!
We were escorted into the Presidents club (very fancy) for drinks and food before the game. Drinks included Kid's very own beer,Badass American Lagar!
We were also given gift bags from the Pistons with t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts etc. I felt a little dirty thinking about putting on a Pistons shirt... I have to be honest! But, they say... "When In Rome" right?
I don't want to hear that I am a traitor! I am a Celtics fan to the CORE!!! I put it on, with the agreement that Kid Rock would sign it, and take a picture, so that we could auction it off for charity! Which he did!
Hopefully we'll raise some money for charity with this!
After all of the American Badass beer and Jim Beam that we could drink, we were escorted COURTSIDE for the game!
These seats don't suck!!!!
After the game (which they lost by 1 point with 2.5 seconds left in the game) we headed back to the hotel... to close down the bar and take in a little local culture!
Kid Rock headed to DC for the Daily Show's Rally to Restore Sanity!
While he was hanging with Jon Stewart and Cheryl Crow, I went shopping and bought this KILLER hat!
Before I knew it, it was time to hit the party! I went dressed as the 'Corpse Bride' in my old wedding dress!
A big change from my wedding day just a couple of years ago huh?
The party was in this HUGE warehouse where the band practices, and where he keeps all of his gear and cars!
I took some car pics for you!
He's got one of the General Lee's from the Dukes of hazard TV show!
And a Ford GT
And this BADASS Firebird!
After I spent the first 30 minutes drinking and checking out his cars, someone went on stage and introduced the Village People! It was Kid Rock (as the cop) and the Twisted Brown Trucker band in costumes!
They wouldn't let me video the performance... But I got some great photos!
Did i forget to mention the 'dancers'???
The band played the entire new album 'Born Free' which is coming out on November 16.
And it's exactly what you would expect! It's got something in there for everybody! Especially if you are a 40 year old guy! Since he turned 40, he wanted to write a song about that, it's called F*ckin' Forty and it's funny!
After the band finished, it was time to party!!!
And we did a lot of that! I think I was dancing!!! And I NEVER DANCE! EVER!
Before long it was time to get in the photo booth!
Then I got some company! (after he finished hanging out with some HOT redhead dressed like Jessica Rabbit! She wasn't bad, she was just drawn that way!)
The next morning I needed something to eat before my flight home!
48 hours in the life of Kid Rock, and I am still recovering!
He is in Europe for the MTV awards and I am just trying to figure out how he does it!
Best Halloween EVER!
The video isÂ here!!! Check it out!
And check out the new video for Born Free! See the car? Look familiar? :)
It's time to shake off the gloves, grab the jersey, and have a good ol' fashioned brawl over the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees list!
Every year we preface this fight with the statement that music is an art that is IMPOSSIBLE to judge! It's something that means different things to different people.Â It's subjective, and therefor should not be 'voted on'.
Whew... Now that we've got that out of the way...
Let's judge shall we???
Here is the list of nominees for the Class of 2011. The inductees will be announced in December.
Kid Rock, Aaron Lewis and Finger Eleven also came into town for the big celebration, but they all left Boston after the party was over... but not Papa Roach!
They had the choice to spend the night in Boston, or travel to their next show a day early in Chicago! They chose to hang out in Beantown! So, I pulled some strings with the jocks down the hall, and got 4 tickets next to the Red Sox dugout at Fenway. I offered them up to Jacoby &Â Jerry from PR and their tour manager Eddie who has been a friend of mine for the last 10 years. I assumed that they would use the 4th ticket to invite someone from the record label etc, but instead they asked me to go. I said yes of course.
It should be noted that these tickets are very tough to get and very expensive if you could buy them (not sure WHy you would ever sell them if they were yours! Â I kissed a ton of ass to get them!) Â The surrounding seats are filled with a mixture ofÂ 'suits' trying to close business deals, and old time fans who have had these season tickets for decades... We obviously did not fit in! I think the quote of the night was "a turd in a punchbowl!" Gotta love it!
I met the guys in the seats after my show. But before they could arrive, a beer vendor came over to ask me if LB was joining me!Â HA!Â Once Jacoby, with his eyeliner and facial tattoos, Jerry and Eddie got here, the whispers started. I'm sure some people thought that we must have mugged someone for the tickets... Before long, we were the novelty of the section. "Hey, lets talk to the freaks sitting behind us"
Being from Cali (Jacoby & Jerry) and Florida, (Eddie) they were getting a bit chilly when the sun went down, butÂ for me and everyone else at the game, it was a perfect night at the ball park.
They started asking questions about the park, and like any good Red Sox fan... I knew the answers. I explained the red seat, the monster, Pesky's pole, and the 406 club. Jacoby explained that the only baseball player that he could name was Wade Boggs, so that must make him a Sox fan right? When David Ortiz got on deck right in front of us, they laughed as people called him "Papi". Well that was it, Jacoby can now name 2 players Boggs and Papi. He spent the rest of the night, regardless of who was up to bat, yelling 'Aye Papi' very funny!
I forced them to order a Fenway Frank, warned them about the bathrooms, and giggled during the 7th inning stretch because they didn't understand why everyone was standing up. But, the highlight of the night came during the 8th inning. "Sweet Caroline" is a traditon at Fenway, and YES I am aware that it's a weird one. They asked "why does everyone in Boston love Neil Diamond so much?" I explained, that by the time the 8th comes around, most people are so drunk that the only thing they can sing is... "Ba Ba Ba and So Good, So Good"
After the first go around, I decided to go first and make an ass out of myself... BIG surprise... I started singing, in my awful... sick, raspy voice. They all laughed at me! But, they jumped in with me... We looked like idiots! But, it was awesome! They talked about learning the song for their show at the Palladium in October (click here for details). So, if you are going to the show, don't be surprised if your hear a rock version of Sweet Caroline, and Jacoby yelling 'Aye Papi"!
(Jacoby, me, Eddie and Jerry)
Thanks for a great night guys! I just wish that the Red Sox could have won it for you!
Slash came into Boston last night to destroy the House of Blues... And, I haven't checked yet this morning, but I wouldn't be surprised if the building is gone! He started his day in beantown with the tweet "@Slash F*ck, Boston is a pretty city."
Taddy Porter and Tab the Band did a great job of getting the sold out crowd worked up, but when Slash came out... It was VERY clear who everyone was there to see!Â Slash took the stage (ON TIME) and from 'note one', made that guitar his BITCH!!!!! They started with Ghost off of the new solo album, and like a runaway train... it just kept getting faster and more intense! Myles Kennedy is the closest thing to vocal perfection that can be found! He was able to shift gears from classic GNR songs, to Slash's Snake Pit songs, to Velvet Revolver songs, to new SlashÂ songs, and evenÂ an AlterbridgeÂ song seamlessly... Man can that guy sing! The real treat of the night, was the old GNR songs that we all know and love! They were perfect! Myles hit every note, and so did Slash! It should be noted that Slash's band are no slouches either! If you closed your eyes, you could almost confuse their performance with the original GNR in their heyday! Of course, it's minus the late start, the lead singer tantrums, the riots, and the fights with fans etc! Instead, you got 2+ hours of 5 guys on stage doing what they love... and it showed!
Nightrain showed the crowd that they were in for a night filled with classics, Civil War was only missing the 'failure to communicate' intro, Rocket Queen wad 'dead on balls', the first note of Sweet Child O' Mine sent chills down your spine from the first, infamous note.Â Finishing with My Michelle into Paradise City sent everyone home wondering what decade it was.
The look on the faces of the fans 25 and under was hilarious! They've never seen GNR as they once were... They've grown up with the music, but have only been exposed to the shell that once was GNR. (I like to call itÂ 'braidsÂ N buckets') Â It was like watching 2000+ people have an epiphany simultaneously!Â I felt like screaming "Yes, that is what it is supposed to sound like!"
Nuggets of Snake Pit, new songs and Velvet Revolver classics made the set interesting and diverse. I loved Fall To Pieces! But, when they started playing Rise Today from Myles's band Alterbridge, I was impressed! Slash's lack of ego, allowed the bright spotlight to be shown on someone other than himself! That NEVER would have happened if Axl were anywhere around Boston!
They played until after midnight, and left me sad that it was over. That almost never happens anymore. No beer swilling, no falling down, no mistakes, no egos... just Rock N Roll in its purest state. I think the broken guitar string count was at 6, at the end of the show.Â Hendrix, Vaughn, Iommi, Van Halen, Page and the like would have been impressed by the clinic that Slash put on last night. He is a Guitar Hero, in the true definition.
Slash left Beantown with this tweet "@slash Goodnight Boston! Always a rockin' time in Beantown! Man, I wish we could have hung out longer. Iii|; (,"
We do too Slash, we do too!
I need a nap!
(photos courtesy of my iPhone with the Hipstamatic app)
IÂ interviewedÂ Chris Cornell when he was a member of Audioslave and as a solo artist, but Soundgarden was long gone by the time I started on the air at WAAF. Out of the grunge bands, I always gravitated to the heavier one's: Soundgarden, Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam. We got AIC back, even after losing Layne, and Pearl Jam never left... But Soundgarden held out and made us sweat for long enough! They're back!
I talked to Chris today about a lot of things... How the reunion took place, why the band broke up, when they are touring, Temple of the Dog reuniting with pearl Jam on tour, what's up with the new music, how Nirvana got all of the credit for the grunge movement,Â why people tweet about pooping and so much more!
I'm not really sure what he can do to top what's he's already done... But, Kid Rock has finished a new album and it will be here soon!
Here's the press release!
Â KID ROCK UPS THE ANTE WITH âBORN FREEâ
NEW STUDIO ALBUM DUE NOVEMBER 16thÂ ON ATLANTIC RECORDSÂ
NEW YORK, NY â Kid Rock will release his 8th studio album, âBorn Free,â on November 16thÂ via Atlantic Records.Â The record was produced by Rick Rubin and mixed by Greg Fidelman. Â The first single from the album will be, appropriately, âBorn Freeâ which hits radio September 14th.Â Â âBorn Freeâ is in many ways a transformational album for Kid Rock.Â While there is still the edge, wit, and swagger of previous albums, he doesnât rap, thereâs no metal â there isnât even a parental warning sticker.Â Â Says Kid Rock, âThe catalyst for this record was Detroit, and my thoughts on the world through the lens of Detroit. Â Watching everything go downhill over the past few years, the economy, the loss of jobs everywhere, I wanted to make a record that reflected the times but that still had soul."
Â The bulk of the album was recorded live in a two week span in Los Angeles with a stellar cast of musicians including Heartbreaker Benmont Tench, Red Hot Chili Pepper Chad Smith, David Hidalgo from Los Lobos and Chavez guitarist Matt Sweeney.Â Studios in Detroit, Nashville and Atlanta were used to incorporate collaborations with Bob Seger, Sheryl Crow, Zac Brown, Trace Adkins, and in a pairing surely never to be replicated â T.I. and Martina McBride on the track âCare.âÂ Kid Rock and Rick Rubin, as friends, have spent many hours talking about their respective histories â starting in hip-hop, crossing into and creating new territories â as well as the need for a great new American classic rock record that challenges the field.Â âBorn Freeâ is in part the result of those conversations â an album that is meant to be played from start to finish.
Kid Rockâs last album âRock âN Roll Jesus,â released in 2007, debuted at #1 and stayed in the charts for 100 weeks, becoming the biggest selling Rock album of 2008.Â His hit single âAll Summer Longâ hit #1 in 8 countries and provided Kid Rock the opportunity to expand his huge touring base outside of America. Â Â Kid Rock has a unique ability to genre-hop, marking his territory everywhere.Â He hosted last years CMT Awards (whose ratings rose 19% over the previous year) and performed at events ranging from the Grammyâs to the VMAâs,EMAâs and CMAâs to the Hip Hop Honors. Â He has performed for and visited troops overseas numerous times, and remains one of entertainments most vocal supporters of our soldiers abroad.Â In the past year he has entered into a unique partnership with Jim Beam, while at the same time expanding his philanthropic efforts through his own Kid Rock Foundation.
The appearances scheduled to promote âBorn Freeâ will be revealed shortly, in addition to tour activities.
I got this press release today, and it made me happy!
I can't wait to see this concert!
TO RELEASE (sic)nesses DVD ON SEPTEMBER 28
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â JUNE 2009 DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL PERFORMANCE IN FRONT OF 80,000 Â FANS CAPTURED IN ITS ENTIRETY
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â MEMORABLE CONCERT IS ALSO ONE OF THE FINAL MAJOR Â PERFORMANCES OF LATE BASSIST PAUL GRAY
New York, NY: On June 13, 2009, SLIPKNOTheadlined the annual Download Festival in the UK, performing in front of 80,000 of their rabid fans. The performance was absolutely electric, in typical Slipknot fashion, especially since it came hot on the heels of one of the strongest years in Slipknotâs illustrious career.
It was indeed a year of âfirstsâ for a band that was a decade-deep into their hard rock superstardom and dominance.Their latest album, 2008âs All Hope is Gone, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 charts âthe first time in their history. Slipknot embarked on a two-year touring trek that was globally successful, playing to packed houses across continents, including their headlining stint at New York Cityâs legendary Madison Square Garden, which was stacked to the rafters and chronicled by Rolling Stone.
It makes perfect sense that the band, known for their eclectic DVD collection, ranging from multi-camera angle concert documents to arthouse-style films, would release (sic)nesses, which captures a special performance at Download. All Slipknot shows are memorable, but this one is particularly memorable, as the band blasted through hits from all of their Platinum albums. On stage is Slipknot in its most natural state and (sic)nesses will put you in the front row.
30 cameras were on hand to capture every possible angle of the band as they motored through their parade of hits; the cameras also caught the fans on tape, as they are just as crucial an element of a Slipknot show as the band members themselves.
Perhaps most importantly, (sic)nesses is one of the final major performances for founding member Paul Gray, who tragically passed away in May 2010. While initially unintended, the concert is a testament to the legacy of Gray, where fans can enjoy a lasting glimpse of the bassist doing what he loved most.Â
Additionally, the DVD also includes a 45-minute behind the scenes documentary created by band percussionist Clown,Â as well as all four music videos from the All Hope Is Gone cycle.
Lastly, All Hope is Gone has gained Platinum status, capping off a passionate, turbulent and ultimately unforgettable album cycle.
TRACKLISTING FOR (sic)nesses:
4. Wait and Bleed
5. Get This
6. Before I Forget
8. The Blister Exists
9. Dead Memories
10. Left Behind
13. Everything Ends
18. Spit it Out
Audible Visions Of (sic)nesses
45 minute film directed by M. Shawn Crahan that captures Slipknot on the road during the All Hope Is Gone cycle
I saw this on one of the airshow planes... It gives the term 'bird strike' a whole new meaning!
Here I am with my two favoriteÂ Air National Guard pilots... John Klatt and WOD!
A HUGE thank you to Chief Johnson, MSgt Smith, John Klatt, the John Klatt Airshows staff, and everyone in the 104th Fighter Wing of the Mass. Air National Guard! Thanks for a great day! I'll see you at the AIRSHOW this weekend in Westfield!!!
A couple of years ago MSgt. Smith from the Mass Air National Guard came up to the studio and invited me to fly in an F-15 Eagle. I SAID YES!!!
At 9 G's I 'took a little nap' earning the callsign NARKO, short for narcoleptic (they added the K to make it more Rock N Roll).Â But, at least I didn't throw up!!! Evidence included! My empty vomit bag!
Today MSgt Smith called to invite me to fly with Lt. Col. John Klatt in an aerobatic airplane! Lt. Col. Klatt is a pilot for the Air National Guard, but he also flies in airshows in this aerobatic aircraft.Â
According to his official website www.johnklattairshows.com theÂ aircraft I will be flying in is called the 300 Extra. The Extra is powered by a 300 horsepower variant of the Lycoming 540 six cylinder engine. It weighs 1470 pounds empty and is certified to a load factor of +/- 10 Gs. NICE!!!!!!
For details and directions to the Westfield International Airshow, which is FREE and open to the public click here!
For more information on the Air National Guard call 1-800-TO-GO-ANG or log onto www.goang.com
If you or someone you know are an experienced medical professional, and would like more information on what role you can play in the Massachusetts Air National Guard please contactÂ MSgt Kevin Eccleston Kevin.firstname.lastname@example.org
You know how much I love the men and women in uniform who protect this great country, and I am so thankful for this chance to fly!!!
A full report on my flight coming Thursday afternoon, and YES we will get it all on video for you!
Well, we got the new song Black Rain today! New Soundgarden... Actually it's new/old Soundgarden! A left over track from theÂ Badmotorfinger sessions!
If you haven't heard it yet, tune in at the top of every hour today! We've put Soundgarden "On Top" all day today!
Personally, I LOVE it! But, I am biased, because I am a huge fan!
Being a huge fan, also makes me jealous of everyone who got to go to Lollapalooza this past weekend! Soundgarden was the co-headliner along with Green Day!
Blabbermouth released their set list from Lollapalooza... It's filled with songs that Soundgarden fans would want to hear!
The band's setlist was as follows:
01. Searching With My Good Eye Closed
04. Rusty Cage
05. Blow Up The Outside World
06. Let Me Drown
09. Jesus Christ Pose
10. Fell On Black Days
11. Ugly Truth
12. Get On The Snake
13. Burden In My Hand
15. Black Hole Sun
17. 4th of July
18. Face Pollution
19. Like Suicide
20. Slaves & Bulldozers
They have not released 'official' video from the show...
BUT, someone in the crowd loaded some video onyou YouTube...
Check them out!
Posted on Blabbermouth:
SOUNDGARDEN singer Chris Cornell told USA Today that "Black Rain" captures "that super heavy version (of the band) we were finally realizing to its fullest potential about 1991."
"Black Rain" will be included on new SOUNGARDEN hits collection called "Telephantasm", which is due on September 28.
The set will be bundled exclusively for one week with copies of Guitar Hero: Warriors Of Rock, marking the first time that a full-length music retail CD has been made available as part of a video game package.
Cornell said that the partnership with Guitar Hero is a way to re-introduce the band â which broke up 13 years ago â to new audiences, explaining, "There are a lot of different ways to get your music out (and) . . . this clearly to me is one way to do that. Guitar Hero has actually turned on a lot of young music fans to music that they otherwise might not have ever heard."
Expanded editions of "Telephantasm" will also be available on September 28.
Cornell told USA Today in his first interview since SOUNDGARDEN reunited earlier this year that the group is taking its return one day at a time, saying, "I think our goal now is to do what we always wanted to do, which is to â at our own pace and in our own time â just do what we want when we want to do it. Whether it's shows, songs, whatever it might be, records, we'll know when we get there."
SOUNDGARDEN's gig at the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago was only its third gig since the reunion was announced in January.
Lollapalooza is happening this weekend in Chicago! And, if you didn't book your flight and buy your tickets WAY in advance... I guess you're not going, right? WRONG!!! You can watch the show LIVE, online!
Godsmack frontman Sully Erna will offer a new solo album that has been seven years in the making. The record, dubbed Avalon, will be in stores on September 14, with the first single, "Sinner's Prayer," arriving at radio on August 3. The album will feature an array of guest players - such as classically trained cellist Irina Chirkova and percussionist Niall Gregory of Dead Can Dance -Â and Erna stresses that it is not a Rock record.hand drums, cellos, flutes andÂ piano, making it very different from his signature sound with Godsmack.
"I truly believe that this is my best work to date. I'm more proud of this record than any other music I have ever recorded," Erna wrote in a blog on Godsmack's MySpace page.Â "It is so pure and organic, every ounce of my blood, sweat and tears has been poured into this body of work. Without a doubt, I have completely exposed myself in this album. More importantly, it's just a very cool musical journey you go on when you listen through. Although, as I've said before, I must emphasize that THIS IS NOT A ROCK RECORD! This is a series of beautifully arranged compositions that I have created over many years. Some compositions are newer, written with the help of my solo band mates. Others have been shelved over time waiting for the right moment to be released. That moment is finally here, and I couldn't be more proud to share it with all of you!"
Erna goes on to explain that the album was recorded with instruments such as
"It is very eclectic and intellectual. It is something that you will want to put on when you're in the mood to lie on your couch, dim the lights, and light all your candles and incense," he wrote.Â "Just vibe out to this hypnotic variety of music, and enjoy the pictures that will be painted in your mind. This is a very visual record, so for sure the visuals will come. Don't be surprised if it triggers some deep emotions within you based on your own life situations. Either way, enjoy the ride, it's a beautiful one!"
What do you think about a Sully solo album? Will you buy it even though it's very different from Godsmack?
As I told you last week, Linkin Park are releasing a new album on September 14, called A Thousand Suns. It was co-produced by Rick Rubin and LP's Mike Shinoda. The first single is called The Catalyst! We got the new song today, so keep listening for it.
The song is also going to be featured in the new Medal of Honor video game, which will hit store on 10/12.
LP's DJ Joe Hahn directed a full length preview of the game, featuring the new single... Check it out!
I talked to Brent Smith from Shinedow today! He was very excited about putting the Carnival of Madness tour together and taking all of his friends out on the road! He also talked about Twitter, pooping, supporting the troops, why Sevendust kicks so much ass and so much more!
Click the link below to hear the entire interview!
Paul from Puddle of Mudd called in to talk about the Civil War, why his girlfirend doesn't laugh at his jokes, the rumors surrounding Puddle of Mudd, Supporting the Troops and the Carnival of Madness tour!
Click the link belore to listen to the entire interview!
Sully Erna has been busy lately! With The Oracle debuting at #1 on the Billboard chart (the 3rd straight time for Godsmack) and a tour that is sure to follow... What is going on with the rumored solo album that he recorded?
You may have noticed that Â if you buy the deluxe edition of The Oracle on iTunes... You get a bonus track! It's a song called The Departed featuring Sully and Lisa Guyer.
Check it out below!
This quote was posted on the official Sully Erna facebook page on January 27, 2010. "Â SOLO RECORD is also coming this year. Looking like an August release for the entire CD.
This record is by far the best music i've ever written, and i really look forward to all of you hearing it. And i really look forward to introducing Lisa Guyer (my singer on this record) to all of you. Girls, you are gonna love her voice. AMAZING!!!
I put everything i know into this record and it is truly a timeless, beautiful piece of art. Completely opposite of what Godsmack does, but nevertheless, very beautiful record. So when you're not in the mood to crank up and drive 100 mph, this is the record you're going to want to put on when you need to just zone out and enjoy some wine and candles. Have fun with it!!
I will keep you all posted as we get closer to releasing it. But what i know for now is, the first single titled:
"THE DEPARTED" will be coming out in March attached to a movie called "SOLOMON KANE".
And then the follow up single titled "SINNER'S PRAYER" will be attached to the new Sylvester Stallone movie called, "THE EXPENDIBLES". I believe that single should hit radio by July with the release of the movie and the entire solo record in August."
With July almost over, August is shaping up to be a BIG month in music.
Linkin Park released the news about their new song and upcoming studio album... The new song is called The Catalyst from the album A Thousand Suns which will be released in many forms, including a HUGE boxed set! Listen for The Catalyst on Tuesday on WAAF!
Lead singer Brandon Boyd is releasing a solo album.
Here's the press release!
INCUBUSâ BRANDON BOYD RELEASES SOLO ALBUM,Â THE WILD TRAPEZEÂ INCUBUSÂ HEADS BACK INTO THE STUDIOÂ Â Â Â Â New York, NYÂ âÂ With a career thatâs spanned almost two decades, six albums, a handful of EPâs and DVDâs and a Greatest Hits album which has chronicled it all under his belt as lead singer of the multi-platinum selling bandÂ Incubus,Â Brandon Boyd and Epic Records are pleased to announce the July 6thÂ release of Brandonâs first solo album entitled,Â The Wild Trapeze.Â Fans can purchaseÂ a limited edition CD that ships with a personal letter and T-shirt featuring hand drawn artwork byÂ BrandonÂ atÂ www.thewildtrapeze.com. The album is also exclusively available digitally on the iTunes Store.Â Â Â Â âThis group of songs was born of a very different process than the many my band and I have been employing for our almost two decades at work now.Â The Wild TrapezeÂ began as pot induced meanderings on my dusty acoustic guitar while Incubus was off of the road, and has slowly been morphing into things that I originally could never have imaginedÂ ,Â "Â says Brandon Boyd. âSo much of my identity, both personally and creatively has been attached to and related to Incubus. For better or worse! And I do believe that every person in every corner of the world asks themselves at some point on their ride, âWho am Iâ¦today?âThe Wild TrapezeÂ is an exercise in self reliance."Â In keeping withÂ Brandonâs vision to make this album his very own and whatÂ BrandonÂ calls âMusic for Musicâs Sakeâ, he controlled the making ofÂ The Wild Trapeze.Â BrandonÂ penned every track off the album and performed practically every instrument heard. He designed the albumâs artwork and co-directed the video for track, âRunaway Trainâ (available atÂ music.AOL.comÂ today) with esteemed photographer Brantley Gutierrez. When it came to producing the album,Â BrandonÂ could think of no one better suited for the task than renowned producer, Dave Fridmann (MGMT, The Flaming Lips) and set forth to record the album in Upstate NY over the past few months.
Up next for Brandon Boyd, another Incubus studio album. The quintet that is Incubus (vocalist Brandon Boyd, guitarist Mike Einziger, bassist Ben Kenney, DJ Chris Kilmore and drummer Jose Pasillas) will head back into the studio later this summer to begin writing and recording a new studio album, tentatively scheduled for a 2011 release.Â
And Buckcherry made a video for their song 'Our World' and debuted it on Larry King. Here is the official statement from Lead singer Josh Todd.
"As musicians who have the benefit of the spotlight from time to time, weÂ feel it is our duty to aid in raising awareness and financial support toÂ help remedy the awful situation in the Gulf Of Mexico.
I see what's happening on the news everyday and how it only gets worse. Â IÂ think of my future and my children's future and we need to do something. Â My band, Buckcherry, wrote a song called "Our World" for our upcoming album. Â The song touches upon the environmental crisis that plagues the world every day.
A few weeks after writing and recording the song, the oil spillÂ occurred. Â We recently went back into the studio to re-write the lyricsÂ based on what was happening in the Gulf. Â We released this versionÂ exclusively on iTunes and are donating the proceeds to those affected byÂ this disaster. Â People can also visit www.buckcherry.com to donate to theÂ cause.
It is so important that each and every one of us do what we can to helpÂ those out whose lives have been harshly impacted by the oil spill."
THE GAME UNDERGROUND VIDEO GAME AND MUSIC FESTIVAL IS SPONSORED BY THE U.S. ARMY.Â TAKE THE FIRST STEP TO BECOMING STRONGER THAN YOU EVER THOUGHT YOU COULD BE. IN THE ARMY, YOUâLL DISCOVER ADVENTURE, THE CHANCE TO GIVE SOMETHING BACK TO YOUR COUNTRY AND THE KIND OF TRAINING THAT TRULY PREPARES YOU FOR THE FUTURE.
Guitar legend Carlos Santana, took his friend music mogul Clive Davis' advice and recently recorded an album of cover songs! They are not just any cover songs either... They are all ROCK CLASSICS, recorded with current rock superstars!
This album sounds like it is going to be AWESOME!
Included in the line up are...
Rob Thomas on Cream's Sunshine of Your Love, Joe Cocker on Jimi Hendrix's Little Wing, Scott Weiland on the Rolling Stones' Can't You Hear Me Knocking, Chris Daughtry on Def Leppard's Photograph, Chris Cornell on Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love, Papa Roach's Jacoby Shaddix on Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water and Nas on AC/DC's Back in Black.
Which one do you think is going to be the best?
The album is due out in September and Santana saidÂ " I was like, 'No, I don't know if I want to do this one, Clive. This one's a little challenging.' And he would stay on the phone for at least 45 minutes to an hour, three times in one year, and I was like, 'Oh, lordâ¦' But then I started realizing that someone with that intense passion of commitment couldn't be wrong, so I had to trust him. And it was incredible"
He added "What I brought to the table is my heart, knowing that I complement, I don't compete. I brought my heart, trusting that there's enough in me of purity and innocence and genuineness that I couldn't possible, excuse the expression, fuck it up. I know Eric (Clapton). I know Jeff Beck. I know Jimmy Page. And they know me. I have supreme certainty and confidence that they're going to say, 'Hey man, I love what you did with my song."
These songs are going to be PERFECT for Under the Covers which airs onÂ WAAF every weeknight at 10pm!
If you have a request for Under the Covers send it to us here!
We've been playing their classic songs for years!!! You still request them and obviously still love them, so why wouldn't the band want to get back together and make a new album?!?
Like many other bands of their era like Candlebox, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden and STP... Bush have reunited and are releasing a new album titledÂ 'Everything Always Now' in October! They'll be playing their first show together in 8 years in California in September!
Be listening for new music and a Boston concert date soon on WAAF!
What do you think? Are you excited about Bush getting back together?
It may not seem like much, in the grand scheme of things... But at least the guys from Korn are doing what they can. Check out the press release that I got today about their summer tour.
Have you done the same thing? Are you boycotting BP? Will you buy gas from there now, or ever again after the situation in the Gulf?
Let me know what you think!
For Immediate Release
June 9, 2010
Â BOYCOTT USE OF BP OIL ON BUSES/VEHICLES
DURING SUMMER TOURING SEASON
New York, NY:Â Motivated by the BP disaster and its devastating effects, heavy rock outfit KORN, who have sold more than 30 million records worldwide, take a stand by launching a boycott against using the companyâs gasoline while on tour this summer.Â The band has formally announced that it will not be fueling any of its touring vehicles with BP products and is strongly encouraging other touring artists to do the same.Â
âThe daily images are hard to watch,â says Korn frontman Jonathan Davis. âWe need to do our part to let BP know there are consequences for causing something like this. We want to send a message to corporations like BP so that they will take more preventative measures in the future.Â The more costly their punishment, the more money they will spend to make sure disasters like this donât happen again. Itâs plain and simple capitalism.âÂ
In a timely coincidence of life imitating art, Kornâs new album artwork, photography and stage set imagery reference the bandâs hometown area near Bakersfield, CA and its bleak landscape littered with oil rigs. The video for the first single âOildale (Leave Me Alone)â reveals a poverty-stricken area situated among the rich oil fields and tells a story of a young boyâs desire to escape.Â The video story echoes the bandâs own struggle out of Bakersfield.Â Davis adds, âIt was one thing for us to grow up near such poverty. But the situation in the Gulf takes things to a whole new level where peopleâs lives and livelihoods are affected forever.âÂ
Korn will spend their summer as a headliner on the third annual Rock Star Energy Drink Mayhem Festival playing in 14,000 to 30,000 seat amphitheaters. âWe urge the other acts on Mayhem and anyone on tour this year to be with us on this,â Davis also said.
Korn is touring to support their upcoming album, due out July 13, 2010.Â The title, Korn III â Remember Who You Are, is a reference to the bandâs past and is a nod to their roots.
According to online sources, this Pearl Jam song is a leftover track from Riot Act. PJ's manager Kelly Curtis, sent it out through a 'guy named Pete'. It all sounds a little weird, but the PJ guys are always doing something out of the ordinary. Good thing for us, because we get to hear this song. It's called Better Days. Enjoy!
Everyone is still healing after the death of Slipknot's bass player Paul Gray, so I'm sure it's going to be a little tough for Corey and Jim to get back out on the road with Stone Sour. I got this press release today about the upcoming album and tour!
STONE SOUR ANNOUNCE SEPTEMBER 7 RELEASE DATE FOR AUDIO SECRECYÂ
Â BAND OFFERS FANS SNEAK PREVIEW WITH NEW SONG âMISSION STATEMENTâ
STONE SOUR TOURING U.S. THIS SUMMER WITH UPROAR FESTIVAL
New York, NY: Â Three-time Grammy nominees STONE SOUR have announced a September 7th release date for their much-buzzed-about new album Audio Secrecy. Â âIt's probably the best thing I've done in a long time," lead singer Corey Taylor recently told MTV News. "We recorded 18 songs â and knowing that every tune not only has its own identity but is damn good, I'm very, very proud of that."Â
The band is giving fans a sneak preview of the album by offering a limited-time download of a new song titled âMission Statement.â Says Taylor, "In this day and age, it's important to be strong enough to know who you are. This song is not only a rallying cry for us, but it says everything about what this album means to us. This is just the beginning."
âMission Statementâ will be available for 48 hours only beginning this Thursday, June 10th at 11am EST. The track can be downloaded at www.stonesour.com.
The albumâs first commercial single will be âSay Youâll Haunt Me,â which ships to modern rock and rock radio on Tuesday, July 6th.
Stone Sour (Taylor, guitarists James Root and Josh Rand, bassist Shawn Economaki and drummer Roy Mayorga) and producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Alice In Chains, Deftones) recorded Audio Secrecy at Blackbird Studios in Nashville during the destructive storms and devastating floods that hit the historic heart of Music City.
âRecording during the flood was crazy,â says Taylor. âLuckily the studio and the band weren't affected too greatly. The studio was untouched and the neighborhood we were living in just missed being flooded. But a lot of the areas around us were decimated. Whole houses were submerged and for a week, the roads in and out of Old Hickory were completely covered with water. I've been getting the word out to people to contact Nashville Flood Relief if they would like to donate money to help the people of Nashville. Also, they can contact the Gibson Foundation (www.gibsonfoundation.org) to do the same. We were lucky, but so many people were not. I hope can pull together and do what we can for Nashville.â
While making the album, Stone Sour has been taping webisodes covering the recording process and answering fan questions. They can be viewed at www.stonesour.com.
The quintet will be previewing select songs from the album during this summerâs Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival. The 36-date tour launches August 17 in Minneapolis, MN and will visit arenas and amphitheatres across North America before wrapping October 4 in Madison, WI.Â Tickets are available via www.RockstarUproar.com and www.livenation.com.
Audio Secrecy is the follow-up to the gold-certified Come What(ever) May, which was also produced by Raskulinecz and debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart and spawned three radio hits, including the No. 1 smash hit single, "Through Glass,â âSillyworldâ and âMade of Scars.â Billboard hailed the record as âan intense, taut piece of work,â Alternative Press called the group âmasters of ass-kicking,â adding, âIn a better America, Stone Sour would be the face of American rockâ and Revolver magazine gave the disc four stars and praised the quintet for âdemonstrating a dynamic range equaled by few of their peers.â Stone Sour's self-titled debut, also certified gold, spawned the band's first breakthrough hit "Bother," which was spotlighted on Spider-Man soundtrack.Â
There are very few bands that are as polarizing, as Limp Bizkit. Some people love them, some people hate them... One thing is for sure, they have sold a TON of records and made more than their fare share of headlines while doing it. You cannot deny their success, and that if a LB song comes on the radio at a party, your head is going to bob with the beat!
Last night, there were bands all over the TV. I've been clicking back and forth watching all of the games on TV, that I lost track of whick WAAF artists were going to be on and when.
So, just in case you forgot to watchÂ these performances last night, here you go!
Here's Limp Bizkit on the Tonight Show.
Here's Green Day on with Jimmy Fallon covering the Rolling Stones!
And finally Crash Kings on Jimmy Kimmel!
After playing the Rock On The Range festival in Columbus, OH on May 23, Limp Bizkit will start "Rollin'" on a full U.S.Â tour in July and August. The Gold Cobra Tour begins in Holmdel, NJ on July 3. Other stops include Cleveland on July 5; Cincinnati on July 7; Charlotte on July 8 and Biloxi on July 10. Snoop Dogg will join the trek starting July 11 in Atlanta, and the two acts will tour together through August 15 in Auburn, WA. Limp Bizkit will then head to Europe for more than 40 headlining shows, according to Pollstar.rumored to feature guest appearances by a host of Hip-Hop artists, including Raekwon andÂ Paul Wall.Durst recently posted on Twitter, "We will be performing on Jay Leno's Tonight Show on May 10. We have no idea what we're gonna play. They want an older song. Hmmmm."
The original lineup of Limp Bizkit â Fred Durst, Wes Borland, Sam Rivers, John Otto and DJ Lethal â will unleash a new album, dubbed Gold Cobra, later this year. The band already has leaked a new song called "Why Try," which is posted for streaming on LimpBizkit.comÂ . Gold Cobra will beÂ the Bizkit'sÂ first new studio album with the original lineup since 2000's Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water, and it is
You can also hear "Why Try" below:
What do you think? Are you happy to have them back? Think they should have stayed away? Should we play the new song?
I'm not really sure how I feel about this... I mean, if MY dad was John Bonham, and I played the drums... I know thatÂ I would have a hard time getting out from underneath his shadow. But this???
C'mon dude? There isn't anyone you would rather be making NEW music with?
Then again, if anyone has the right to do it... He does, right?
What do you think?
Jason Bonham, son of deceased Led Zeppelin drummer John, is planning an audacious 30-date tour revisiting the songs of his father's band, accompanied by family photos, home movies and music from an as-yet unspecified tribute band.
In the wake of the latest rumours of a Led Zeppelin reunion being quashed, Bonham Jr looks set to get his own project on the road. This is more than just a cashing in on his father's memory -- the drummer filled in for his father for the band's 2007 reunion concert at the O2 Arena.
Bonham told Blabbermouth, "I have always loved playing the music of Led Zeppelin and after such a great night back in 2007 at the O2 Arena, I took an opportunity to [begin work on] a very special show which would look at my life with the music of Led Zeppelin.
"Old photos, home movies and videos would help take you on a journey into my life from my earliest memories right up the O2 show."
Bonham also said that the North American tour would be designed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of his father's death, in September of this year.
The 43-year-old drummer has been among the loudest voices calling for a Led Zeppelin reunion tour, meeting consistent resistance to the idea from Robert Plant.
Question? Is this just as good as Floyd touring together? Why?
Here's the press release:
ROGER WATERS COMMEMORATES 30th ANNIVERSARY OF THE WALL ALBUM WITH HISTORIC TOUR & MONUMENTAL PRODUCTION OF HIS MASTERPIECE
Â Roger Waters' The Wall North American Tour
Â TD Garden, Boston, MA â September 30th
Â Tickets go on sale Monday, May 10th at 10:00 am. Tickets are available at www.livenation.com, by calling (800) 745 â 3000 or at the TD Garden Box Office.
Â Boston, MA (April 12, 2010)- Roger Waters, co-founder and principal songwriter of the archetypal progressive band Pink Floyd, is commemorating the 30th anniversary of the original release of The Wall with a monumental tour featuring a full band and a newly-mounted state-of-the-art production of his epochal masterpiece of alienation and transformation performed in its entirety.Â The tour includes one night only at Bostonâs TD Garden on September 30.Â
Up to date details on Roger Waters' The Wall Tour, and more, may be found on the artist's newly relaunched and redesigned website, RogerWaters.com.Â Waters is personally involved with the site and will be communicating with fans through it.Â
The Wall has been previously performed live in its entirety by Waters just 31 times including Pink Floyd's 1980-81 tour in support of the album.Â A spectacular Roger Waters solo staging and performance of the rock opera in July 1990,Â celebratingÂ the fall of the Berlin Wall, drew nearly a half million fans to the Potsdamer Platz.Â
Roger Watersâ The Wall North American Tour, produced by Live Nation, will open September 15 in Toronto and runs through December 13 at the Anaheim Honda Center (please see full itinerary following).Â
The New York Times (March 2, 1980) declared that "The Wall show remains a milestone in rock history, it will be the touchstone against which all future rock spectacles must be measured."Â
Originally released in November 1979, The Wall was America's top-selling album of 1980, is one of the top-selling double albums of all time, and is still in the US Top 5 best-selling albums of all time.Â
The Wall was made into a metaphorical musical film, directed by Alan Parker with screenplay by Roger Waters, in 1982.Â
One of the most profoundly influential albums in the history of recorded music, The Wall continues to affect pop culture while resonating with generations of music fans.Â Â
WOW!!!! Tom Werner called in to talk about the Sox, the Run To Home Base, Supporting our Troops, the Yankees, Aerosmith at Fenway Park, Mork & Mindy and how slow we both run! I talked to him for 15 minutes and I didn't even ask him for free tickets ONCE!!! :)
Listen to my interview with Tom by clicking below!
They also announced that they will be one of the headliners of Lollapalooza 2010.
I really hope that they are working on a new album as well! I've been waiting for them to announce this reunion for YEARS!!! We all knew it was going to happen, we just didn't know when! The wait is OVER!!!