Monday, May 2, 2011

This is a MUST READ blog today! Thank you to our soldiers!!!!!!!

In light of the recent events, I struggled to try to write a blog about weddings and fun and sparkles and fairy dust today...And then I thought of my friend Tiffany Stoner, with Nathaniel Edmunds Photography. Her and her husband, Tim, and her brother Nate, have created this beautiful, touching, and pristinely done book documenting their family's experience during Tim's deployment as Commander of his MEDEVAC unit. It has been set up to have proceeds benefit children whose parent(s) are serving are country in the military. It truly showcases the hearts of its authors, and the underlying commitment that they have to each other, their family, and their country. Beautiful photography, poignant stories, and touching moments that make us all sit back and feel proud to have people like Tim Stoner fighting for us. They are an inspiration to us all to have created such a loving, strong bond with each other, their four children, and to have the grace, strength and courage to share their story with the world. Thank you so much for sharing your hearts with us!!!!!! On a day like today, marking history, victory, and gratitude, this is a MUST read today. Enjoy!

Excerpt from FamilyPrint

Saturday | August 11, 2007

It's here. It's finally here...we are in the eleventh hour.

We are currently completing our dessert flight training and will be crossing-the-berm soon. the eleventh hour is producing more energy, anxious energy, within the soldiers. Some people release this extra energy by working out, some pack and repack, some clean weapons - again, some read, some listen to iPods, many are joking with their buddies, smoking, chewing tobacco, and some simply sit in solitude.

This window we are in is having quite a diverse affect on the group. You quickly see how people deal with enormous amounts of stress: in public, by mentally escaping, or by remaining quiet.

Most of the soldiers want to end the training, and end the waiting by 'going forward' and 'getting into the fight'. I too, just want to go.

The visual picture of a boxer comes to mind. Just before the bell rings, many boxers begin to jump around, shadow punch and move - exuding energy, concentrating and increasing focus.

We have plans, and contingency plans, for everything, bus we simply do not know 'what's next'. We've never been here before. The State of Indiana has never sent a helicopter unit into combat, in any war, ever. We were not handed an overall strategy, an operational plan, or tactical plans. There has been no playbook, we have defined, built and refined it along the way.

The team is highly capable, and confident - amazingly confident.

As I write, tears begin to well up in my eyes. I will not hide them.


FamilyPrint is a book focused on One Family’s Unique Reflection During War. It has also been established as a nonprofit organization assisting the children of deployed soldiers.

Army National Guardsman Major Timothy Stoner, commander of Indiana's first BlackHawk unit in Iraq, and his wife Tiffany chronicle their journey into and out of war.

Stemming from the blog established as their primary means of communication during wartime, FamilyPrint: One family's unique reflection during war, tells the story of this
family of six.

Trading wingtips for combat boots and managing four children under the age of six, Tim and Tiffany transform their difficulty into an experience of graciousness, growth and gratitude. “The dialogue drew in our families and supporters and touched so many people’s lives,” says Major Stoner, who was awarded the Bronze Star during his deployment. “It became our compass and the foundation for what created this book.”

Not only does FamilyPrint depict this candid wartime experience with words, but also via the breathtaking photography of Nathan Rowe, who beautifully captures the agony of separation and the utter joy of coming home.

Indiana’s Governor, Mitch Daniels says, “When a National Guardsman deploys there are truly two people at war: the soldier who goes to fight the enemy and the spouse who stays behind to face, in many ways, an equally difficult task. Tim and Tiffany Stoner’s new book is a useful reminder of the debt we owe to both members of any National Guard Family.”

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