Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Remembering Jeremy: A True American Hero!!

“Jeremy was the epitome of a Ranger squad leader; he is a hero to our Nation, the Army and his family.”--Col. Michael E. Kurilla, commander, 75th Ranger Regt
My heart is heavy today as I go to the funeral of an Army Ranger!

We went to church with a wonderful family that had 4 sons. My husband and I worked with their boys in the youth group, and I went with their youngest, Jeremy, on a missions trip to Monterrey, Mexico.

Three out of their four sons decided to join the military. I remember talking to Jeremy not long before he left to join the Rangers. Tragically, on June 14th, Jeremy was killed in action.

Special Operations Press Release:
FORT BRAGG, NC – A U.S. Army Ranger was killed in action on June 14 during combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Staff Sgt. Jeremy Andrew Katzenberger was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.

He was killed by direct fire from enemy forces during a heavy firefight while conducting combat operations in Paktika Province.

A native of Weatherby Lake, Mo., Katzenberger enlisted in the U.S. Army in October 2004. For more than six years, Katzenberger served as a rifleman, automatic rifleman, team leader and Ranger squad leader in 1st Bn., 75th Ranger Regt.
The 75th Ranger Regt. has been continuously deployed to Afghanistan since October 2001.

“Staff Sgt. Katzenberger was a phenomenal Ranger who died while leading his men in an assault against our enemies. He died while protecting our Nation and we will not forget his sacrifice,” said Col. Michael Foster, commander, 1st Bn., 75th Ranger Regt. “He was universally respected by every member of this command and was a devoted, loving husband and proud father. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Katzenberger family.”

Katzenberger previously served on four deployments to Iraq and this was his fourth deployment to Afghanistan.

“I wish the American people could truly understand the dedication and sacrifice that Staff Sgt. Jeremy Katzenberger made for his country. Since early 2005, Jeremy has either been in combat or training for combat. This was his eighth combat deployment,” said Col. Michael E. Kurilla, commander, 75th Ranger Regt. “Jeremy was the epitome of a Ranger squad leader; he is a hero to our Nation, the Army and his family.”

Katzenberger is survived by his wife Colleen A. (Montgomery) Katzenberger, son Everett James both of Richmond Hill, Ga., and his parents Robert and Peggy Katzenberger of Weatherby Lake, Mo.
...Shades of Gray's pictures of Jeremy's processional

...Gov. Nixon orders flags to half-staff in honor of fallen soldier

My thoughts and prayers have been with the Katzenberger family ever since I learned of his death. May God comfort them during this time of tragic loss!

Sites in honor of Jeremy:
Remembering Jeremy
Remembering SSG Jeremy Katzenberger

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Review of A Place of Yes!

The Myth of Normal!
There is no normal. People and families are who they are, and each one is unique. Your childhood was what it was, and your life now can be whatever you want it to be. Don't seek out normal. Seek out functional. Seek out successful. Seek out happy. To do that, you have to find what works for you, never what you think is supposed to work for people in general.

Don't look to others to show you what you are supposed to be. There are no people "in general." It doesn't matter what anybody else thinks of your life. All that matters is what you think of it, and what you decide to make of it.--Bethenny Frankel
The latest book I finished reading was A Place of Yes, by reality star, Bethenny Frankel. The above quote was my favorite from the book, although I highlighted a big portion of it. While, I would've never imagined reading a book by one of the Real Housewives, Frankel is my favorite. She is very real and genuine. She is open, honest and inspirational in a way that others can't be.

I found her personal story compelling and her words of advice motivating. Her Act on it chapter was one of the reasons that I decided to step out in faith and go to Africa! I highly recommend it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

My 2011 Book List!

As you can tell from the lists, I indulged in my criminal justice side at the beginning of the year. Ann Rule is a phenomenal criminal justice writer.

I am now trying to finish Bush's memoir and I have a zillion other books I'd like to get too, as always.

Here are the books that I have read:
1) 365 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism--Rachel Laferriere
2) September 11, 2001--Wilborn Hampton
3) Smoke, Mirrors, and Murder--Ann Rule
4) Praying Successfully--Charles Spurgeon
5) Every Breath You Take--Ann Rule
6) The Pastor's Wife--Diane Fanning
7) Senegal--Elizabeth Berg
8) Senegal--Tanya Mulroy
9) Day by Day with C.H. Spurgeon--Al Bryant
10) A Place of Yes--Bethenny Frankel
11) Mary Slessor--Sam Wellman
12) The Power in Prayer--Charles Spurgeon
13) The Kingdom of God in Africa--Shaw
14) Genocide in Rwanda--Frank Spalding
15) The Attack Against the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania--Amanda Ferguson
16) Door of No Return--Steven Barboza
17) The Oklahoma City Bombing--Geraldine Giordano
18) The African-American Slave Trade--R.G. Grant
19) David Livingstone: The Pathfinder--Basil Matthews
20) The Attacks on the World Trade Center--Carolyn Gard
21) Murder at the 1972 Olympics in Munich--Sonneborn
22) The Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103--Doug Wicker
23) Sudan--Charles Piddock
24) John Wesley's Awakening--James Richard Joy
25) Dashing Through the Snow--Mary and Carol Higgins Clark
Here are the books on CD that I've listened too:
1) Green River, Running Red--Ann Rule
2) Kiss Me, Kill Me--Ann Rule
3) The Stranger Beside Me--Ann Rule
4) Too Late to Say Goodbye--Ann Rule
5) Epic--John Eldredge
6) Men in Black--Mark Levin
7) Flags of our Fathers--James Bradley
8) The Skinnygirl Rules--Bethenny Frankel

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I am Going to Senegal, West Africa!

I have been horrible about neglecting my blog lately. I have tons of stuff I want to post, its just been hard to find the time. I am hoping I can find a balance between work, writing and everything else and still find a little time to blog.

I am very excited about the subject of this post. For about a year or so, I have felt this nudge from God about going to Africa on a short-term missions trip. I have been studying the countries with my son in school and praying for different countries via Samaritan's Purse's Prayer Points.

An opportunity arose recently for me to go, and the more I checked into it, the more it seemed right up my alley. I prayed about it and talked to my family and stepped out in faith. God has been amazing. I found out about the trip a little late, so I needed to raise $2,100 in a little over a week. I knew that if God wanted me to go, He would provide. And that He did. He waited up until a couple days before, but He provided. The whole amount was $3,500 and I am almost there. Amazing!!

I have been reading and learning a lot about Senegal. Its definitely going to take me out of my comfort zone. I will be in the "bush" a big part of the time. And its a Muslim country, so I will have to wear covered attire.

Yet, I am excited about what an opportunity God has provided. Jeremy Camp's song, Walk by Faith is my theme song for the trip and the summer. Stay tuned for more posts!!

Senegal--Tanya Mulroy
Senegal--Elizabeth Berg