Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jerry's Clan - Christmas 2011

Jerry's clan gathered on Wednesday to celebrate our Christmas for 2011. A good time to get some family photos. We went outside to take advantage of the good lighting. It was brisk with a breeze so each family didn't stay long but we did get some good photos.

In order of eldest to youngest, the siblings lined up for their family pictures

Steve's group

Sherlock Christmas

Bob's group

Sherlock Christmas

Mike's group (missing Kathy)

Sherlock Christmas

Eileen's (missing Mike)

Sherlock Christmas

Joan's group (missing Frank)

Sherlock Christmas

Patti's group

Sherlock Christmas

And Jerry's 13 grandkids posing once

Sherlock Christmas

and twice

Sherlock Christmas

and airborne!

Sherlock Christmas

Jerry surrounded by his grandchildren

Sherlock Christmas

Jerry surrounded by his kids

Sherlock Christmas


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and a health update

letter M Foam letter  e letter R letter R letter Y

letter C letter h letter R Junior Scrabble letter i letter S letter t lovely blue M letter A letter S

An update on Jerry:

All went well with Jerry's last of the series of scheduled brain radiation treatments on Wednesday morning. The treatment was followed by a meeting with Dr. Hepel, the radiation oncologist.

Dr. Hepel was clearly surprised (in a good way!) how well Jerry has held up through the radiation treatments. He noted that, based on how Jerry was a few weeks ago, he couldn’t see Jerry tolerating anything more than the recent course of treatment. However, from the man who could hardly sit up… to now not arriving in a wheelchair, walking a few times a week, good appetite and eating well, minimal symptoms… he has bounced back much better than Dr. Hepel expected.

They will let Jerry have a couple of weeks to recover and enjoy the holidays. Then their tentative plan is to use radiation and low-dose chemo to treat Jerry’s lungs. Dr. Hepel says that he can see the two specific areas to treat in the lungs, and that they haven’t seen tumors outside the brain and lungs. He said that in a hopeful tone. He didn’t say it directly, but we can infer that radiation for the lungs is now a part of the lung treatment plan because he tolerated the brain radiation better than expected.

Enjoy the holidays!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Brouillard's Christmas (video)

The Brouillard's extended family gathered for their annual Christmas party featuring a special appearance by Santa Claus.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lunch with Jerry And Pat

Jerry attended the recent MARINE Birthday Ball.  He was introduced to Placido "Pat" Femino a Combat Engineer with the 5thMARDIV.  

Jerry said that he'd like to have lunch and spend some time with Pat.  Thanks to Ed Malloy and Paul DiPalma that meeting came together yesterday.

I picked up Jerry and then drove over to North Providence and picked up Pat.  Several choices were thrown out for lurch and we settled on Blackies on Rte.  116 in Smithfield.

Jerry and Pat were pretty happy to see each other.  The initial meet and greet was emotional for an outsider.  Two seemingly older Gentleman  who have mellowed with age.  The years were torn by back to a simpler time when life was defined in moments of survival in close combat.  They gave each other the Warrior Abrazo.  

The one thing I realized is that both of these guys have a keen sense of humor and you can quickly become the target of buffoonery by either. 

Carl Weston stopped in and he quickly became a target of Pat.  Carl had a previous engagement but sat in for a beer with these two Elder Statesmen of the MARINE CORPS veterans of RI.  Before Carl left Pat engaged in alittle buffoonery at Carl's expense.   Carl and I will be chuckling over that one for some time.

Pat and Jerry spoke of there times in the Marine Corps Recruit Depot and of time spent on Iwo.  Jerry and Pat both spent approx 37 days on Iwo and spoke of the only Banzai attack which took place on the Airfield at the end of the campaign.  They spoke of Harry Kizirian another MARINE from Rhode Island.  Both recounted meeting Harry Kizirian on different occaisions.

Pat travelled back to the US via aircraft and ended up at landing at Logan and then up to the Portsmouth Naval Yard.  Jerry as you may know came back by troopship and across the USA by train.  Ending up in Bainbridge, MD.

They spoke of the Bomb being dropped and the end of the War.  Mustering out and their experiences with doctors and young 90 Day Wonders.  Most of the officers stateside had very little clue what these men had experienced.

Pat and Jerry both have six children.  Three boys and three girls as they both said in stereo!

When we were leaving  Blackies a young man approached them.  He said," I want to thank you for your service.  I saw your Jacket and just wanted to say thanks."  Pat was wearing a windbreaker with the Flag Raisers embroidered on the back.  Both Pat and Jerry had Iwo Covers on. Pat immediately introduced the young man to Jerry'  "Please meet my friend Jerry who was also on on Iwo Jima."

The young man shook hands and reiterated his thanks to both MARINES.  Pat said to Jerry;  "Jerry this makes it all worth it doesn't it!"  Jerry replied with a grin; "It sure does."  I hesitate in putting this to words but the moment was defined by both Pat and Jerry getting quiet.  Giving each other a knowing look...  I  have watched the interviews of vets like Dick Winters, Babe Heffron, and Bill Guarnere they get quiet when remembering things long ago.  The jaw lines become taught and the eyes take a set.  I've noticed it is a common occurrence.  It will pass quickly and they move forward.

I don't care to describe anything else as it was a moment of reverence.  We all moved to the vehicle and the talk moved to politicians and things typically Rhode Island. 

Pat and Jerry
We were met back at Pat's home by his son Leon.  Leon was introduced to Jerry and I.

Jerry and Pat have agreed to meet in the future.

There is nothing particularly glorious about sweaty fellows, laden with killing tools, going along to fight. And yet — such a column represents a great deal more than 28,000 individuals mustered into a division. All that is behind those men is in that column, too: the old battles, long forgotten, that secured our nation... traditions of things endured and things accomplished, such as regiments hand down forever; and the faith of men and the love of women; and that abstract thing called patriotism... all this passes into the forward zone, to the point of contact, where war is girt with horrors. And common men endure these horrors and overcome them, along with the insistent yearnings of the belly and the reasonable promptings of fear; and in this, I think, is glory.
Fix Bayonets! by Capt John W. Thomasen, Jr., USMC

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Jerry and some of his grandchildren

When Jerry's grandchildren took a couple of minutes to pose on the Thanksgiving weekend, this was one of the results.

Sherlock cousins

Jerry, don't think your cap would pass muster that way!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Health update - 2

Further tests to confirm the initial diagnosis have been completed. We just received word that Jerry will be starting radiation treatment for a tumor on his brain on Thursday, Dec 8th.

Jerry is approaching this treatment in true Marine fashion, there is no retreat, just forward motion.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Brunch at Fish Tale

After a real meal meal and conversation at Lenny and Joe's Fish Tale Restaurant in Westbrook, CT we stopped for a walk along the breakwater.

You can share what we saw

As you can hear, the wind was strong and covered up most of what Ray, AL and I said.

Friday, November 11, 2011

236th Marine Corps Birthday Dinner

Happy Birthday Devil Dogs.
10 NOV 1775 TUN Tavern in the city of Brotherly Love the Marine Corps was formed.
MARINES all over the Globe celebrated in high form on this night.
Places like Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa and in every place where an American Embassy sits the MARINES celebrated.
In Rhode Island one distinguished group of MARINES celebrated at the Alpine Country Club. The Task Force is headed by Ed Malloy and assisted by Carl Weston, James Smith, Dan Cunningham and that legendary Marine Infantryman and Providence Police Officer Steve Cileli.
Steve as you may recall is the MARINE who started taking Jerry to the Birthday Dinner and brought him on board for the first time. Few of Jerry's children and grandchildren understand the ROCK STAR status that Jerry has with his fellow MARINES. Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima.
Scenes of some of the fiercest close quarters combat that catapulted the US MARINES CORPS into history. Jerry came through although he lost some good friends. You have to watch as an observer the reverence that is shown to Jerry and guys like Placido " Pat" Femino of the 5th MARDIV.
Brianna Moody picked up Papa yesterday to run errands and then brought him to the residence to get ready. Brianna presented Jerry with a MARINE Corps tie adorned with the EGA's
in gold of course, on a blue background. ( Special thanks to the Marine Corps Museum Store for getting it here ASAP.)
Jerry tied it on and remarked" Oh Yes this makes it!" The requisite pictures were taken with Brianna and Jerry's daughter Joan. Then off to the Alpine Country Club.
Upon arrival, Jerry was greeted by MARINE Task Force Leader Ed Malloy. Ed was busy making last minute adjustments and greeting all MARINES.     Marine Steve Cileli got Jerry squared away immediately with admission details. Jerry is always excited to see Steve and counts him in his inner circle of MARINES.

MARINE Paul DiPalma let Jerry know that a fellow veteran of Iwo Jima would be
joining Jerry at the table of honor. Jerry was getting tickets for the raffle and ran into Paul Chalko, retired Providence Police Lieutenant. Paul is a veteran of the Chosin Resevoir and was with Jack Mainor where both were wounded.

A Navy Corpsman recovered them both and sent them south when the MARINES
turned around and advanced through the CHICOM Army and broke out. Both Paul and Jack were severely wounded but survived to lead successful lives and raise families.
We miss Jack Mainor to this day.
Paul DiPalma escorted Jerry to his table and then brought over Placido "Pat" Femino of the the 5th MARDIV. Pat and Jerry immediately fell in to animated conversation.
Several MARINES came over and said hello to Jerry and Pat. Jose Pineda and his brother along with Dave Perez, a new comer to the Dinner.   Jose and David are both Providence Police Officers.

Another Devil Dog Came over.  Eric Cuellar celebrates his own birthday today!  Eric is a Providence Police Officer and veteran of Iraq. Eric posed for a picture with Jerry and Pat. 

Marine James Smith stopped by and checked in on Jerry as well.  Jim kidded Jerry about his full head of hair. Jerry has quite a few of us beat.
Intelligence reports that Jerry passed on his salad but polished off his Scrod.
The cake was then cut by the oldest Marine 93 year young Colonel and the youngest Marine.
Dinner was followed by guest speaker Col. Theodore Gatchell USMC (RET.) two tours in the Republic of Viet Nam and Professor Emeritus at the Naval War College.

The Commandants Message was played.  Jerry and Pat were reported to be very excited.  The message linked the similarity in attacks on Pearl Harbor and the AQ attack on America on 9/11 and how motivated Marines responded.  Historical video from WWII and current MARINE COMBAT Operations in South West Asia kept everyone capitvated. 
The raffle took place, conducted by Carl Weston.
Ed Malloy called the roll of honor for MARINES who passed away over the year.
Then Marine Piper Manny Soares piped out the Colors with the MARINE CORPS Hymn.  Marine Bob Boehm was to play as well but fell ill and reported to sick bay.   (Bob had surgery and is up and well.  Jerry wanted to stop in and see him but it was alittle hectic. )
Once again Jerry had an outstanding time. His wry wit was on rapid fire according to Eric Cuellar.
 Jerry and his fellow MARINES sang the Marine Corps Hym at the end of the night.  It was a rousing chorus and a final OOORAAAAHHHH.   Check out the video link.
There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy.
Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Health update

What we know now:

Dad has been loosing weight so some tests have revealed he does have emphysema  The doctor wants to do a biopsy to determine what type of lung cancer he may have.

What we do not know:

When the biopsy will be. It again raises the issue that he is taking Aggrenox and the doctor wants him off it for a week before and after. His primary care physician would not allow this for the last proposal a couple of years ago now. Circumstances have changed so maybe this one will get worked out between the doctors.

Once they find out what kind of cancer it is, the treatment options will be discussed.

We'll keep you posted as we take a new turn on this journey.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Joyal Brouillard Brunch

The Joyals and Brouillards have combined to meet for brunch once a month as opposed to meeting separately. A smaller group than anticipated appeared at the Village Haven in North Smithfield.

The waitress took our group picture with Al's camera:

Next month we are scheduled to go to Wright's Farm (9/11/11)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Saturday lunch with Jerry

Saturday is usually lunch over at Ernies. Ernie being a retired heavy Rescue Fire Fighter Captain has some great talent. Cooking is one of them. All though I have to caution him on the "HEAT" his meals are gourmet killer! He is the Chef of Fire.

The crew varies from week to week. We tend to solve all the worlds problems in under two hours or less. It takes place in Ernie's shop among firearms and Bridgeport tool machines.

I pickup Jerry and should I not bring him I usually get the third degree from the crew as to why he is not present. Jerry has Rock Star importance among these guys not because of charming Irish wit and good looks but because of his Elder Statesman status as a UNITED STATES MARINE VETERAN Of World War Two. The crew is very patriotic and dyed in the wool American.

Jerry is well versed on many subjects and is less prone to holding back as of late. The topics covered are politics, public misdeeds, tomfoolery and pension rights to name a few.

He was extremely pleased about the Navy Seals lifting UBL'S scalp back in April. Of course it pains him to hear of casualties especially MARINES.

Today the topic was the pension stuff in Providence and the recent discussion of layoffs.

Ernie made Chicken with Broccoli. With a wine sauce and pasta. Oh yeah, I ate way too much. Jerry gave it two thumbs up.

Ernie needed to test fire some weapons and we went to the range. I asked Jerry if he wanted to shoot? "Sure!" was his reply.

He first shot a 1911 style pistol in .22 caliber. We sent him down range and he drilled the target in the K5 Zone. He pressed pretty quick on the trigger.

"How did I do?" Yes PFC Sherlock you did fine. Old habits die hard." Hey Ernie you were right just like riding a bike." With that trademark Sherlock laugh.

He then shot a version of the M4 Carbine which his present day fellow Marines are fielding in Harms Way. He really liked and it reminded him of the handy M1 Carbine he carried and put to use in the Pacific.

While heading out he told me a few things. "Well I kind of shoot real fast. We had to you know against the Japanese. They would come in around 10 or 11 o'clock at night. They would get fired up on liquor and then their commanders would send them in a Banzai Charge. You had to shoot fast because there were so many. Ten MARINES would be in line shooting. You never really knew who you killed because everyone was shooting. Anyone standing in front of us got shot. The attacks could last anywhere from ten minutes to an hour. At IWO it was much different. The Japanese Commander forbid Banzai charges. He wanted every Japanese soldier to kill ten MARINES. It was very different.

I went to Marpi Point where the Japanese were pushing people off the cliffs. Do you remember me telling you about the woman we found in labor? Yes that's still pretty funny today. That woman gave birth with the help of another MARINE. He asked me if I had ever helped deliver a baby. No I said. Then the Marine said how about a farm animal? I grew up in the city we didn't have anything like that. What are you, crazy?" Jerry then said the MARINE assisted in the delivery and took his T-shirt off and wrapped the infant and gave it to Jerry.
" That woman got up and marched to the POW camp and then I took the baby over to the field hospital. I was exhausted and she marched right alongside of us after delivering a baby. Wow!'

Jerry's burn is looking better. I changed it and dressed the arm and it is looking much better. Fight with a hot cup of coffee.

8 US Service Men were killed this week in Afghanistan.

Two were in the ARMY.

Six were MARINES. They died taking the fight to the enemy. Remember that this holiday weekend. We celebrate Independence Day. They paid the price for us.

As Jerry would say, " SEMPER FI!"

"The deadliest weapon in the world is a MARINE and his rifle."

General John "Black Jack" Pershing US ARMY

Monday, June 13, 2011

Brouillard Brunch - 6/12/11

The Brouillard Brunch gathered at Savini's Restaurant in Woonsocket. A good meal was had by all eleven of us. Topped of with cake to celebrate Flo and Dick's birthdays.

Brouillard Brunch: The cake for Flo and Dick

Flo and Albert had not sat next to each other so they had some catching up to do before leaving

Brouillard Brunch: Flo and Albert


Monday, June 6, 2011

Joyal Brunch: Pig Roast

Michelle and family celebrated Jonathan's graduation with a pig roast and included the Joyal Brunch. A pig roast? Yup! Here is the full pig!

PigRoast_110605 002

Cooked 7 hours at 325, the pig was very nicely done.

PigRoast: cooking in the juices

It came apart easily to make some delicious pulled pork!

PigRoast: the 'pulled pork' part

If you'd like to have your own pig roast, you can contact Dave.

Dave's BBQ

Monday, May 30, 2011

Graduation Party

Steve, Jerry, Carolyn and Helen

Graduation Party

Dan shows how to ace the ladder ball game

Graduation Party

First pass at the food spread

Graduation Party

Lining up for the second pass, this time for desserts

Graduation Party

And the Sherlock cousins rest for a moment to take a picture

Graduation Party

This was originally posted to Steve's 2 Cents

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Honor flight

Jerry is one of the lucky ones. His sons took him to the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC in 2007. Others still need to go.

Jerry, his sons and one grandson in front of the Iwo Jima Monument can be viewed here

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Photo essay - balloon messages

After the Brouillard Brunch, last week some of the group stopped by the cemetery for a little balloon ceremony to remember Del Brouillard.

Messages were written on the balloons:


Balloons were held with care:

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Messages were crafted thoughtfully:

Brouillards_110410 005

And then the balloons were released, carrying their messages:

Brouillards_110410 006

The front side of the Brouillard head stone:

Brouillards_110410 014

The backside:

Brouillards_110410 015

The front side of the stone for Adeline

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The backside:

Brouillards_110410 018