Monday, December 9, 2013

US Air Force - Flash Mob

Getting into the holiday spirit with this flash mob performance by the US Air Force Band at the National Air and Space Museum.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

238th Birthday of the Marine Corps.

This past Friday night,  9 Nov 2013 Distinguished MARINES in Rhode Island met at the West Valley Inn in West Warwick, RI to celebrate the birthday of America's Premier Fighting Force.  They like to think so.

Jerry did as well.  So the point isn't debatable.

Ed Malloy, Carl Weston and Steve Cileli all called me on the days leading up to the Marine Corps Dinner.   They get a little sad as it was a special time of the year for them and they always considered Jerry as their OWN.  It was a little quiet  as Jerry used to make his pit stop here before heading to the Birthday Party with his fellow Devil Dogs.  As always he is there in spirit as he was on the minds of many of his fellow MARINES.

Hard to explain yet I am sure you'll all agree that the MARINES are a special Breed.  There is no distinction between MARINES.  They are just all MARINES.   They take care of their own.

Pat Femino,

who sat with Jerry at what was to be his last Marine Corps Birthday was in attendance and cut the cake with another MARINE who is the same age.  Along with a Lance Corporal who was the youngest.
Jerry and Pat became fast friends in a short time.

I heard from Leon Femino who sent Pat's regards to the entire Sherlock Clan.  He prays everyday and keeps Jerry in his prayers.  Typical Gyrene always looking for an angle!

The Pipes and Drums Massed Bands played at Waterfire Salute to Veterans in Providence on 10 November 2013.  It was fitting that we marched the Torch Bearers down to Water Place Park and played the Military set.

We had just finished the Military set and heard someone calling my name.  It was Dolores and Steve Sherlock!  

Unfortunately we had to move out as we had to play at a fundraiser for HONOR FLIGHT in Newport,  and another fundraiser in Westport, MA.

So Happy Birthday MARINES.  The MARINES are taking the fight to the enemy as you read this.  In places you will never hear of with names you won't recognize. They are in Afghanistan, Africa and other locations.   Just know that MARINES are taking care of business and keeping America Safe.


We signed up knowing the risk. Those innocent people in New York didn't go to work thinking there was any kind of risk.
Pvt. Mike Armendariz-Clark, USMC; Afghanastan,

Sunday, November 10, 2013

RIP: Norman Lejeune

Succasunna, NJ - Normand Leo Lejeune, 80, passed away peacefully on Monday, November 4, 2013. He was the beloved husband of Viviane (Joyal) Lejeune for 58 years, together they resided in Succasunna, NJ for 32 years after moving from Rehoboth, MA. Born in Central Falls, RI, he was a son of the late Alfred and Yvonne (Bessette) Lejeune.
Norman Lejeune
Norman L Lejeune

Normand was a graduate of the former Sacred Heart Academy, Central Falls and then served his country in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. He worked for Unisys Corp. in Field Engineering in various management positions for 33 years until his retirement. Normand was a communicant of St. Therese Church, Succasunna, NJ, and a member of the Knights of Columbus Council #2212. He played basketball in high school and was an avid golfer and bowler.

Besides his loving wife, Normand leaves five children, Susan Adler and her husband, Steve of Randolph, NJ, Paul Lejeune of Parsippany, NJ, Diane Deininger and her husband, Bruce of Franklin, NJ, David Lejeune and his wife, Sheri of Bristol, CT and Daniel Lejeune and his wife, Kerri, of Circle Pines, MN; nine grandchildren, Jennifer, Kimberly, Jordan, Kelly, Matthew, Craig, Jacob, Emilie and Kennan; brother of Roger Lejeune of Pawtucket, RI and the late Roland Lejeune who lived in Cumberland, RI.

VISITATION will begin on Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 9 a.m. at WILLIAM W. TRIPP Funeral Home, 1008 Newport Ave., Pawtucket, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:30 a.m. in St. Teresa Church, 358 Newport Ave., Pawtucket. Interment with Military Honors will follow at Notre Dame Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts to Roxbury Volunteer Fireman’s Association, 122 Main St., Succasunna, NJ 07876 or St. Therese Church, 7 Hunter St., Succasunna, NJ 07876 will be appreciated.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Veterans Day Ceremony

Veterans Day Ceremony

Please help us spread the word about this Veterans Day, November 11.  We will be at the Iwo Jima Memorial all day (weather permitting).  We will have some displays and memorabilia along with information.  We will have a large sign for visitors to sign which will then be given to the Veterans Hospital.  Ceremony by the Marine Corps League set to begin at 12:15 pm.

The new flag plaques have been installed.  Come toll the bell for your veterans when his name is called.

Call us if you have any questions, Gary at 860-291-9666.

Thank you to all our Veterans for our FREEDOM!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Honor Flight to Washington

This past spring while attending a dinner for the 100 Club I had the honor of sitting with several former Fire Chiefs who are also decorated Viet Nam veterans.  Former Chief of Warwick Fire  and Brad Preston who sponsored the table pulled me aside. They wanted to speak to me about the Providence Police Department Pipes and Drums attending an Honor Flight and following the Veterans down to Washington.

As you all know, Jerry's sons and daughters decided on Honor Flight for donations to be made in Jerry's name.  For me this was a no brainer.

This event is being hosted and funded by several entities including the Rhode ISland Fire Chiefs Association and Ocean State Job Lot.

We have already played at two Honor Flights so far this year.  In fact George Farrell of the RIFCA had reached out to the band on a "feeler" to see if we would be willing.

Roger Aspinal who is President and myself as Vice President were excited.  The fact the other people were approaching us indicated the high interest.

Brad Preston is a United States Army Special Forces NCO veteran of the Cold War and is the Special Forces Association Chapter President.  Tom Rowan is a US Army Special Forces Officer who served in Viet Nam and was the  Commander of Company A 2nd Battalion 19th Special Forces Group.

Everything was moving forward.  Band members were extremely excited about participating in this event.    We would be doing what is called a massed band event with the RI Professional Firefighters Pipes and Drums for the Honor flight. We had been playing together for these events n the past.

Both Bands agreed to practice together and we worked almost every week to tune, march and tighten up both bands.  One of our Band Mates Father who is a retired Battalion Chief in Providence would join us as a Guardian and escort for one of the Vets.

Things were moving full speed when tragedy struck the Providence Police in August.  Our own Tenor Drummer Officer John Raposa was killed in a traffic accident in Jamestown, RI while off duty.

John's father was committed more then ever to the Honor Flight.

Things began moving fast and September 28th arrived quicker then we realized.  What an outstanding day.  I met with numerous Veterans.  Men and Women.

We marched them down to the Gate at TF Green.  We had a chance to meet and greet with the Veterans.  They were soon off.  We followed off soon after and arrived in BWI before them.  Not sure how that happened.

The Vets were met at the Airport by the Honor Flight Ground Crew at BWI.  Military Units from all Service Branches were present to meet the Vets.  An Airforce Band was playing hits from the 1940's!

We moved quickly to the bus and were off to DC escorted by the United States Park Police with Motorcycle units and marked Vehicles.

Arriving at the Memorial was quite a sight.  I had been to DC with Jerry in February 2002. The construction was just beginning on the site.

Carl Weston, Manny Soares and Bob Boehm all looked at me and we shared a moment.  Carl Weston spoke and said. " You know Jerry would have loved all this.  Wish he was still with us to take all this in.  He would have had us all laughing."  Yes he would most certainly would have.

Soon the Pipe Majors and Drum Majors went down to the site to figure out where and what we would be doing for the festivities.    We would march in and play a short set to gather everyones attention and then march back out.   Once all the RI Vets arrived we would March them in to Scotland The Brave.

We would play the Military Set.  Several VIPs were to speak.  General Colin Powell was on hand to speak as well as the RI Congressional Delegation.  Also present was Robert Dole.  Veteran US ARMY officer with the 10th Mountain Division.  Senator Dole was wounded in action in Italy.

Events moved forward rapidly and we were soon marching the Vets in.  It was a humbling experience.

Det. Clarence Gough of the PPD photographed the event and you can see lots of great shots on a FB look that Steve has provided in an earlier post.

I met with several Veterans.  Of course everyone wants a photo with the guy in the Fuzzy Bonnet.  I had a group of veterans from Long Island approach me.   They wanted me to pose with them with some band members.  I said sure but wouldn't you want to pose with the Dignitaries and Politicians.

Veterans of that Era have no filter.  Much as Jerry was, they speak thier mind.  "Son I have nothing in common with any of those people.  I have more in common with you and the Cops and firefighters.  We want a picture with you fellows.  You came all the way from Providence to play for us.  That speaks volumes.  No get it down son."  Whoops.  Yes Sir!   I gathered up a crew and we posed for quite a few photos.

The Commandant of the Marine Corps came afterwards with his Command Staff.  We were soon off and moving back to the Hilton at the airport for a lunch.  We played for the Veterans at the front of the Hotel as they arrived.

I was introduced to a Veteran who was from Long Island.  His escort was a retired Suffolk Count Police Officer.  The Veteran Named Cookie, was a B17 Ball Turret Gunner who flew 51 missions in the Pacific.  He flew from Saipan, Tinian and later Iwo Jima.  My head snapped around.  Jerry had Assault landed at those tree Island.  I brought this gentleman over and into the circle while the band played. I handed him the mace and he kept time.
 He hugged me and looked at me and said "Thanks I appreciated that."

The band had to scarf food quickly as we had an early flight out.  We got back to Warwick and then went over to Doherty's Ale House and met with Fans of  The Bands and family members.

We gathered up both bands and then marched into the Bar.  Military Set, Amazing Grace, The Balmoral and Rakes of Mallow.    We were done.

We will be playing another Honor Flight coming up soon.

Additionally both Bands will be playing at the Salute to Veterans at Waterfire.  That same night we will be heading to Newport to play at O'Brien's for a fundraiser for Rhode Island Fire Chiefs Association for Honor Flight.

This will take place on Saturday 9 November 2013.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Honor Flight - Sep 28, 2013

The Baltimore Sun had a nice write up of the recent honor flight to the WWII Memorial in Washington. You can read the full story here,0,2052113.story

The Providence Police Pipe & Drum Corp accompanied the veterans on the trip and posted over 100 photos to Facebook. Hopefully, you will be to view these:

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tropical Storm Jerry

The National Weather Service got around to a tropical storm named "Jerry". Fortunately, according to the projections, the path it will take won't bring it near the USA mainland.

national weather serivce
Tropical Storm Jerry
The image was borrowed from the National Weather Service here

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Largest Honor Flight in History to Assemble at WWII Memorial on September 28, 2013

Ocean State Job Lot funds chartered planes from three airports for WWII veterans to visit nation’s capital in honor of their service.

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (September 19, 2013): On September 28, 2013, nearly 600 World War II veterans, their guardians, active duty military personnel, medical personnel, and other guests from New England and New York will travel to Washington, D.C. to visit the World War II Memorial. It is the largest, single Honor Flight tour of its kind in the history of the Honor Flight program.

Thanks to Ocean State Job Lot’s Charitable Foundation and the generosity of its customers who made donations at the retailer’s 110 stores throughout the region, the daylong trip comes at no cost to the veterans or their families and enables elderly WWII veterans to visit their memorial, which was dedicated in 2004, for the first time.

“It’s our way of giving the recognition and respect that we think these veterans deserve,” states Marc Perlman, owner/partner of Ocean State Job Lot, a leading closeout retailer based in Rhode Island with stores in six New England states and New York. “This trip, with chartered airplanes leaving from three different airports, brings veterans from all military service branches together along with their guardians, and marks the largest group of its kind ever to assemble at the World War II Memorial.”

Known as “Operation: Gratitude 2013,” three Southwest Airlines charters will leave T.F. Green (Providence, R.I.), MacArthur (Islip, N.Y.) and Logan (Boston) airports, respectively, early on the morning of Saturday, September 28, 2013, arriving at BWI Airport in Baltimore. From there, the honorees will travel by bus to the Memorial and, if time, to other sites as well before enjoying a special dinner in their honor at the Airport Hilton in Baltimore.

Established in 2004, the Honor Flight Network is a nonprofit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans, transporting them to Washington D.C. at no cost to them to visit and reflect at their memorials. The program was conceived in Springfield, OH by Earl Morse, a physician assistant, private pilot and retired Air Force Captain who wanted to honor the veterans he had cared for. At that time, the World War II Memorial had just been completed in D.C., yet many veterans were in their 80s and lacked the physical, mental and financial resources to visit it on their own. The first Honor Flight tour was made in 2005. Thereafter, a network of participating programs called “hubs” formed across America in order to pool resources, experiences and alliances to get veterans to their memorial safely. Presently there are 127 hubs in 41 states. The three hubs participating in “Operation: Gratitude 2013” are Honor Flight New England, Honor Flight Rhode Island (supported by the Rhode Island Association of Fire Chiefs) and Honor Flight Long Island.

“Of all the wars in recent memory, it was World War II that truly threatened our very existence as a nation, and as a culturally diverse, free society,” states Mr. Morse, founder of Honor Flight. “The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates 640 World War II veterans die each day. Our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out. We thank Ocean State Job Lot for their generosity in keeping our group’s mission alive and bringing honor to their service.”

# # #

Founded in 1977, Ocean State Job Lot is a growing, privately held retail chain with 110 stores in New England and New York, approximately 4,000 employees, and annual sales exceeding $540 million. Job Lot sells brand name, first quality merchandise at closeout prices. Shoppers find an ever-changing array of household goods, apparel, pet supplies, seasonal products (gardening, pool supply, outdoor), and kitchen pantry staples at a fraction of their typical price. The Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation has a long history of philanthropic leadership, placing emphasis on local food banks in communities where Job Lot operates stores. The Foundation also supports medical and educational institutions, disaster relief efforts, the performing arts, our military service men and women, and special needs and foster children. Ocean State Job Lot is headquartered at 375 Commerce Park Road in the Quonset Point Business Park, North Kingstown, RI 02852. Phone: (401) 295-2672; Web:

Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America's veterans for all their sacrifices. The group transports our nation’s heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill. Honor Flight, Inc. is headquartered at 300 E. Auburn Ave. in Springfield, OH 45505-4703. Phone: 937-521-2400; Web:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Remembering the fun times!

Jerry would have celebrated another birthday today had he not left us to join Rita and the gang upstairs. I am sure they are having a good time. It was one thing he knew how to do.

remembering the fun times

Jerry knew how to have fun

Do you have a good fun story to share?

Friday, August 9, 2013

The power of technology

Technology sometimes gets talked about as being bad for us, how much it changes our lives, how it is depersonalizing life. My view is that most anything taken to an extreme is not good. And in this particular case, the use of technology to bring a view to those who are unable to travel to the national capital to see the Memorials that were built for them is priceless.

Monday, July 29, 2013

5th Annual VJ Day Candlelight Ceremony of Remembrance

The Iwo Jima Memorial Historical Foundation, Inc. will be holding the 5th Annual VJ Day Candlelight Ceremony of Remembrance on Saturday, August 17th.  The public is invited to attend this FREE event and participate in this solemn ceremony by remembering a deceased loved one who served at any time in the U. S. Armed Forces.
The ceremony will remember and honor ALL of America's Veterans who served at ANY time in the Armed Forces and who have since passed away or who were KIA/MIA/POW.  Among those being remembered are the 100 Connecticut servicemen who were killed in action during the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima. The public is invited to participate by remembering any special veterans in their lives who has passed away. The ceremony will include singers, bagpipes, invocation, speakers, taps, rifle salute, riderless horse and the lighting of candles. The public is invited to call the name of a loved one and toll the bell for each. Everyone is invited to bring a photo of the veteran they would like to remember and place it on the "Wall of Honor" or email it to us for inclusion on a digital photo frame.  This Foundation event has been designated as the National Hub for the “Spirit of ‘45” events in Connecticut which celebrates the “can do” attitude of the Greatest Generation.
The Newington Memorial Funeral Home is once again generously co-sponsoring this event and assisting in the ceremony.  The ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Newington Memorial Funeral Home located at 20 Bonair Ave, Newington.  The brief ceremony will be followed by an escorted procession to the National Iwo Jima Memorial where the second part will take place.  Parking at the memorial is extremely limited and will be reserved for elderly, handicap, presenters and motorcycles.  Those wishing to attend are strongly urged to first go to the Funeral Home where a bus to the Memorial will be provided.  In case of rain, the entire ceremony will take place at the Funeral Home.
The Iwo Jima Memorial Historical Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization whose mission is to maintain the National Iwo Jima Memorial, educate others about the history of the Battle for Iwo Jima and to perpetuate the memory of those who fought and died there.
Sponsors and Volunteers are needed to help with this event. For more information, please contact Gary Roy at (860) 291-9666 or email You may also visit the Iwo Jima Survivors website or Facebook page at where more information will be posted as it develops.

Friday, July 26, 2013

twenty questions

One thing I know to be true
Before cleaning the floor it is
Better to complete dusting the table

How many food courses will be
Served determines the need for
Silverware when setting the table

Her twenty questions were expected
The best poker hand was no match
When Helene was holding the table

It was hard to be patient when
He wanted desert before the
Dinner dishes had cleared the table

Don’t kick, be gentle, get
Help, many hands make
Light work folding the table

Sadness hangs like wet laundry
In the living room where there
Would be conversation leaving the table

For Helene D Geoffroy

This was originally posted to quiet poet where you can find my other poetry

Monday, July 8, 2013

Helene D. (Joyal) Geoffroy

Helene D. (Joyal) Geoffroy, 74, died peacefully on Saturday, July 6, 2013 amongst family. A lifelong resident of Pawtucket, she was a daughter of the late Armand Albert and Ernestine Regina (Brouillard) Joyal. A communicant of St. Cecilia Church, she served as a choir member and music librarian for over 50 years.
Helene and Jerry in 2010

Most recently employed at Fiore Asmussen, she had also worked for Thomson Apex, Industrial National Bank, and as secretary for the Young People’s School for the Performing Arts. Helene was the mother of two sons, Eric George Geoffroy and his wife, Heather Archer of Berkeley, CA and Gregg Robert Geoffroy and his girlfriend, Aimee Krasovich of Alameda, CA and her late daughter Lisa Margaret Geoffroy. She leaves a brother, Albert Joyal of Westbrook, CT, and three sisters, Viviane Lejeune in New Jersey, Colette Robichaud and Anne Brunelle both of Pawtucket. She leaves 36 nieces and nephews. Helene was also the sister of the late Rita Sherlock, Pauline Barrette, Mariette Bruneau, Jean Joyal and Armand Joyal. Her funeral will be held Thursday at 9 a.m. from WILLIAM W. TRIPP Funeral Home, 1008 Newport Ave., Pawtucket, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in St. Cecilia Church, 755 Central Ave., Pawtucket. Burial will follow at Notre Dame Cemetery. VISITATION will be Wednesday 4 to 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts to the Organ Restoration Fund, c/o Blessed John Paul II Parish, 697 Central Ave., Pawtucket, RI 02861 will be appreciated.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Vietnam Veterans Memorial - Virtual Wall

To remember and honor the veterans of the Vietnam War, this website is interactive so you can look by name, by city, state, etc.

Vietnam veterans memorial
Virtual Wall

You can visit the site by going directly to

Monday, May 27, 2013

Honor Flight from RI

The Providence Police Pipes and Drums saw off the recent group of RI WWII and Korean War veterans who made the honor flight to Washington, DC. Channel 10, WJAR captured the event with this good summary and set of interviews.

Spend some time this Memorial Day to reflect and give thanks to those who served to create the freedoms we enjoy!

News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Jerry got to Washington without as much fanfare when my brothers and I took  him down in Dec 2007

and we selected Honor Flight as the charity of choice when Jerry left us

Friday, May 17, 2013

The final toast for Doolittle's Raiders

It's the cup of brandy no one wants to drink. 
On Tuesday, in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, the surviving Doolittle Raiders gathered publicly for the last time. 
They once were among the most universally admired and revered men in the United States. There were 80 of the Raiders in April 1942, when they carried out one of the most courageous and heart-stirring military operations in this nation's history. The mere mention of their unit's name, in those years, would bring tears to the eyes of grateful Americans. 
Now only four survive. 
After Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, with the United States reeling and wounded, something dramatic was needed to turn the war effort around. Even though there were no friendly airfields close enough to Japan for the United States to launch a retaliation, a daring plan was devised. Sixteen B-25s were modified so that they could take off from the deck of an aircraft carrier. 
This had never been tried before -- sending big, heavy bombers from a carrier.
The 16 five-man crews, under the command of Lt. Col. James Doolittle, who himself flew the lead plane off the USS Hornet, knew that they would not be able to return to the carrier. They would have to hit Japan and then hope to make it to China for a safe landing. 
But on the day of the raid, the Japanese navy caught sight of the carrier. The Raiders were told that they would have to take off from much farther out in the Pacific than they had counted on. They were told that because of this they would not have enough fuel to make it to safety.
And those men went anyway. 
They bombed Tokyo, and then flew as far as they could. Four planes crash-landed; 11 more crews bailed out, and three of the Raiders died. Eight more were captured; three were executed. Another died of starvation in a Japanese prison camp. One crew made it to Russia.
The Doolittle Raid sent a message from the United States to its enemies, and to the rest of the world: 
We will fight. And, no matter what it takes, we will win. 
Of the 80 Raiders, 62 survived the war. They were celebrated as national heroes, models of bravery. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer produced a motion picture based on the raid; "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo," starring Spencer Tracy and Van Johnson, was a patriotic and emotional box-office hit, and the phrase became part of the national lexicon. In the movie-theater previews for the film, MGM proclaimed that it was presenting the story "with supreme pride." 
Beginning in 1946, the surviving Raiders have held a reunion each April, to commemorate the mission. The reunion is in a different city each year. In 1959, the city of Tucson, Arizona, as a gesture of respect and gratitude, presented the Doolittle Raiders with a set of 80 silver goblets. Each goblet was engraved with the name of a Raider. 
Every year, a wooden display case bearing all 80 goblets is transported to the reunion city. Each time a Raider passes away, his goblet is turned upside down in the case at the next reunion, as his old friends bear solemn witness. 
Also in the wooden case is a bottle of 1896 Hennessy very special cognac. The year is not happenstance: 1896 was when Jimmy Doolittle was born. 
There has always been a plan: When there are only two surviving Raiders, they would open the bottle, at last drink from it, and toast their comrades who preceded them in death. 
As 2013 began, there were five living Raiders; then, in February, Tom Griffin passed away at age 96. 
What a man he was. After bailing out of his plane over a mountainous Chinese forest after the Tokyo raid, he became ill with malaria, and almost died. When he recovered, he was sent to Europe to fly more combat missions. He was shot down, captured, and spent 22 months in a German prisoner of war camp. 
The selflessness of these men ... there was a passage in the Cincinnati Enquirer obituary for Mr. Griffin that, on the surface, had nothing to do with the war, but that captures the depth of his sense of duty and devotion: 
"When his wife became ill and needed to go into a nursing home, he visited her every day. He walked from his house to the nursing home, fed his wife and at the end of the day brought home her clothes. At night, he washed and ironed her clothes. Then he walked them up to her room the next morning. He did that for three years until her death in 2005." 
So now, out of the original 80, only four Raiders remain: Dick Cole (Doolittle's co-pilot on the Tokyo raid), Robert Hite, Edward Saylor and David Thatcher. All are in their 90s. They have decided that there are too few of them for the public reunions to continue. 
The events in Fort Walton Beach this week will mark the end. It has come full circle; Florida's nearby Eglin Field was where the Raiders trained in secrecy for the Tokyo mission. 
The town is planning to do all it can to honor the men: a six-day celebration of their valor, including luncheons, a dinner and a parade. 
Do the men ever wonder if those of us for whom they helped save the country have tended to it in a way that is worthy of their sacrifice? They don't talk about that, at least not around other people. But if you find yourself near Fort Walton Beach this week, and if you should encounter any of the Raiders, you might want to offer them a word of thanks. I can tell you from firsthand observation that they appreciate hearing that they are remembered. 
The men have decided that after this final public reunion they will wait until a later date -- some time this year -- to get together once more, informally and in absolute privacy. That is when they will open the bottle of brandy. The years are flowing by too swiftly now; they are not going to wait until there are only two of them. 
They will fill the four remaining upturned goblets. 
And raise them in a toast to those who are gone.

For additional information on the annual reunion, you can visit

My thanks to good friend Doug B for sharing this

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I ask for your support ! Thank you - Andy Brouillard

An email from Andy Brouillard announces that he will be participating in the Relay for Life in New Tampa, FL this weekend.
Thank you for supporting my sister Lucille last year when she was undergoing Cancer Treatment. She is recovering and will be walking in this year's Relay For Life as a survivor thanks to many of you. 
I am asking for your support again. 
Like most of us, I know too many people whose lives have been touched by cancer. That's why I've joined with the American Cancer Society to help save lives by participating in a Relay For Life event. 
Relay for Life
Relay for Life
The American Cancer Society Relay For Life program is about so much more than just walking around a track overnight. At Relay For Life events, we celebrate loved ones who have won their battle against cancer, remember those who are no longer with us, and fight back against this disease that takes so much from so many. 
I will be participating in Relay on Friday and Saturday, May 17 and 18 at Freedom High School in New Tampa and would appreciate your support with an online donation toward my fundraising goal. In addition to funding lifesaving research, every dollar raised helps the American Cancer Society provide services to cancer patients in need, like providing rides to treatment for those who don't have transportation of their own. 
Thank you so much for your support. Together, we are saving lives from cancer and creating a world with more birthdays! 

Click here to visit my PERSONAL page
If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address: 
Click here to view the TEAM page for The Rotary Club of Tampa North 
If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address: 

Monday, April 15, 2013

The end - bitter or otherwise

There was a RadioLab podcast recently that struck me. How we deal with our end of life decisions is not something we talk about often.

I would recommend listening to this. I think it will raise some questions and perhaps generate some different answers than you might have thought you had.
Ken Murray, a doctor who's written several articles about how doctors think about death, explains that there's a huge gap between what patients expect from life-saving interventions (such as CPR, ventilation, and feeding tubes), and what doctors think of these very same procedures.

What do you think?

Did this change your mind on how you would approach the end?

If the embedded link doesn't work properly you can also listen to the episode here

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Graveside visit

While the Notre Dame cemetery was closed when I tried to visit on the 19th, I managed to get there during open hours on Saturday.


If you look carefully, do you see the angel sitting on their stone?


They have lots of company


The memorial mass for Jerry will be held at 10:30 today

Thursday, February 28, 2013

1 yr Memorial Mass

The one year Memorial Mass for Jerry will be celebrated this Sunday at 10:30 AM at St Michael's Church, Smithfield, RI.

St Michael's Church
80 Farnum Pike
Smithfield, RI 02917

View Larger Map

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Providence Police Pipes and Drums Fundraiser

Last night was the Providence Police Pipes and Drums Fundraiser at the Whiskey Republic in Providence.

Jerry was one of our early supporters at our first fundraiser.  He attended the opening Providence College Basket Ball game which was our first real public outing with our Kilts.

We exited the court playing the Marine Corps Hymn.  Jerry immediately shot to attention from his seat. Something all Marines will do on hearing the Marine Corps Hymn.

Lead Tip Drum Sergeant Carl Weston and friend of Jerry made it clear last night that we would salute Jerry.  Band president Sgt. Roger Aspinal announced before the Military set that it was the 68th Anniversary of the Flag Raising at Iwo Jima.  Many  MARINES present  started howling out the Marine Corps Battle Cry.  OOOHHH RAAAHHH!

Here is a clip of the military set played to a packed house.  Jerry would have loved this:

Saturday, February 23, 2013

23 FEB 1945 - 2 Flags on Mt Suribachi

The National Colors were raised on Mt. Suribachi  on the island of IWO JIMA not once but twice.
 There is much back story to the Flag Raising.  It is complex and confusing.

However the simple fact is that the United States Flag was planted on Japanese soil by US MARINES.

Jerry was always adamant that there were in fact two flag raising's.  As usual he was right.

Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal went ashore with General Holland "Howlin' Mad" Smith that morning and when they landed the second flag had just been raised.  It was much larger and more visible.

SECNAV Forrestal was ecstatic by all accounts upon seeing the Flag. He turned to Gen. Smith and said, "Holland, the raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next five hundred years"

68 years ago toady the marked an emotional turning point in the battle.  It didn't change the tempo of the combat.  Members of the first and second flag raisers would be killed in combat on Iwo Jima.

6,000 Americans would be killed in 38 days of what is considered one of the fiercest battles in MARINE CORPS history.

Marines today say that the benchmark has always been Iwo Jima.   MARINE Veterans of Korea, Viet Nam, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan have all pointed to the MARINES of IWO as the truly serious Gunfighters.

Hard to look at Jerry in his later years as anything but a happy go lucky guy from Pawtucket.  Who was proud of his family.   I saw the grim determination in his face and the set of his jaw in his last days.  The face of a MARINE Gunfighter who didn't have the word defeat in his vocabulary.

Tonight a special toast will be given by his friends from the MARINE CORPS and Family at the Whiskey Republic.  

Semper FI.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Sherlock's - once upon a time

Probably either in 1944 or 1945 as all are in uniform. This photo was available at Martina's funeral. The Higgins family readily agreed to make copies for those of us who wanted one. That the copy arrived in the mail on Feb 19th was special! Thank you!

Sherlock Family

Left to right, back row: Edward, John, Gerald, Henry, Paul
front row: Helene, Angela, Grandpa Sherlock, Grandma Sherlock, Fran, Martina

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

1st Anniversary

Two things for today.

One: 68 years ago, the Marines landed on Iwo Jima. Among them Jerry charged ashore as part of the 1st Joint Assault Signal Company in the 4th Division. He was lucky to walk off the island when it was all over. When asked about his time there, most of the time he said: "the real heroes did not come home."

Two: 67 years after he had landed and was lucky to walk off the island, Jerry took his last walk from us. I still think there was something about that connection.

Deep in the archives, there are recordings of Jerry talking of his life. I was fortunate to capture from his earliest memory up to the beginning of the 1950's. Unfortunately, I did not get more than that. His health problems started intervening. A couple of times when we did sit to record turned out to be TIA incidents where we rushed off to the hospital. I got a little gun shy after those incidents.

What we have we can listen to again and again. And treasure for the guidance and example he did set!


This is a brief recording where Jerry recalls his earliest memory and how there were two "Henry's".

Time: 4 minutes, 8 seconds

MP3 File

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Iwo Jima - 68 years ago - Feb 19

On Feb 19th, it will be 68 years since the flag was raised on Iwo Jima and one year since Jerry left us. Special commemorative events will be held in CT on Sat and Sun, Feb 23, and Feb 24.

The poster for the event to commemorate this important date:

Additional information can be found on the Support our Survivors webpage

This day will be one of prayers for those who fought with Jerry on Iwo Jima. He always said that the real heroes did not come home.

An anniversary Mass for Jerry will be held 10:30 AM on Sunday, Mar 2 at St Michael's Church in Smithfield, RI.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Allie and Brad (video)

Allie and Brad got married last week, hard to believe it is a week already! My brother Bob was able to capture this video of the ceremony at the last minute to share with Diane and others who could not make it to the ceremony.

It was a very nice event. I think this captures the ceremony very well.

The storybook story got off to a great start last week!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Allie and Brad - A storybook story

Allison and Brad got married on Saturday in a storybook wedding. There will be more pictures and stories to share but here is a shot of all the cousins and partners

Allie and Brad with Sherlock and Proulx cousins

The entrance song was from "The Princess Bride"

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Prayer Card - Martina (Sherlock) Higgins

For those unable to travel to the wake and or funeral, here are the front and back images of the prayer cards for Martina.



One of the songs during the service was "Hail Mary, Gentle Woman" written by Carey Landry.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Martina B (Sherlock) Higgins

96, formerly of Wanda St., Narragansett, passed away on Friday, January 11, 2013 at Rhode Island Veterans Home in Bristol. She was the beloved wife of the late John J. Higgins. Born in Pawtucket, she was the daughter of the late John F. and Mary (King) Sherlock. 
Martina was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy serving as a nurse during WW-II in Honolulu, HA and later was an operating room supervisor at Adelphi Hospital in Brooklyn, NY and South County Hospital in Wakefield before retiring. 
She was the devoted mother of John J. Higgins and his wife Gayle of South Hadley, MA and the late Cmdr. Edward J Higgins and his wife Gerry Higgins of Alexandria, VA; loving grandmother of Bernadette Higgins, Andrew Higgins, Sarah Higgins and John J. Higgins; dear sister of Henry Sherlock of Providence, Angela Brousseau of Snug Harbor, Helene Mainor of North Kingstown and the late John, Edward, Gerald and Paul Sherlock and Mary Frances Campbell; and loving aunt of many treasured nieces and nephews.

Funeral from the NARDOLILLO FUNERAL HOME & Crematory-SOUTH COUNTY CHAPEL, 1111 Boston Neck Rd. (Rt.1A), Narragansett, on Wednesday, January 16th at 9:45 a.m., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Thomas More Church, 53 Rockland St., Narragansett at 11 a.m. Private interment will be at Mount St. Mary Cemetery, Pawtucket.   
VISITING HOURS are Tuesday, January 15th from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. 
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: St. Thomas More Church, 53 Rockland St., Narragansett, RI 02882.
Jerry with brothers and sisters
Front from left to right: Martina, Angela, Jack. Back left to right; Henry, Helene and Jerry
The picture was taken at RI College following the reception after Fran's funeral in 2007.

Obituary was originally posted to the Nardolillo Funeral Home web page here