Memorial Day is For The Living, as Well

This Memorial Day weekend, as you kick off the summer with a cook-out or trip to the beach, or simply enjoying a long weekend off from work or school, take the time to thank a veteran or active-duty serviceman or woman. They and their fallen compatriots are the ones who have, through decades of skirmishes and wars, ensured that you will be able to enjoy that cook-out or beach trip, job or education. They have sacrificed so that you and I can enjoy liberty, and the myriad benefits of living in a free society, which so many of us take for granted. Unlike in many countries around the globe, we are free to travel where and when we please. I don't need a special permit to visit relatives in New York and you don't have the government dictating what your job will be or where you will live. Go ahead and open that skateboard store or tattoo parlor or pampered pet boutique. Plan a family trip - there are no restrictions. Oh, and the next time you're at the grocery store, take a moment to marvel - yes, marvel - that you have foods from all over the world to choose from, as well as food in abundance.



Abundance is a word which well describes our country and our people. We have an abundance of food, and material goods and places of worship and choices on virtually everything under the sun. Some Marylanders are giving out of the abundance of their hearts, time, and when able, their wallets, so that they can support their fellow Marylanders who are serving in the military abroad. It's not about politics; it's about supporting fellow Americans who are in harm's way far from home.

These support efforts range from the idea of an individual to corporate contributions. Grace Fellowship Church, on Deerco Road in Timonium, is collecting baseball gloves for our troops. Jim Antonakos is coordinating the effort. An employee at Oakcrest Retirement Home, he explains the genesis of the project, " John Kolarik, a resident, mentioned that his grandson, who is stationed in Iraq, said the soldiers needed something to pass the time. He asked his grandfather to help, who then asked me to implement a plan. If anyone is interested in donating a new or gently used baseball mitt, it would be appreciated. Oh, and there's a real need for left-handed gloves!!"

Charlene Riikonen, Founder and President of Cera Products, Inc. in Columbia, is a self-described military brat, who has lived and worked everywhere from Naples to Bangladesh. Her company produces brown-rice-based products which correct medical dehydration. This very serious problem, afflicts by her estimate up to 40% of troops stationed in Iraq, at one time or another. "It's most serious when the soldiers have first arrived there, and then during the hot season. They're carrying 50 lbs. of gear and it's 115' in the shade. These guys need the best hydration. If they're in heavy gear, and sweating a lot, and dehydration is sinking in, it's harder to think clearly. They don't want to be hooked up to an IV in the field, or knocked out of commission for a few days." While many branches of the military use their products (at reduced cost), they have also donated supplies to the Maryland National Guard and Special Forces units.

On May 23rd, Dr. Bob Strahl, founder of A Taste of Home (ATOH), met with Maryland National Guard representatives of troops about to be deployed, and distributed 1,600 calling cards which had been graciously donated by AT&T. Strahl thanked ATT&T, "This kind donation from AT&T is a tremendous kind and caring act to help these brave men and women keep in touch with their loved ones while serving in dangerous and distant land. we have a golf fundraiser open to the public on June 12th, and ATT&T has also committed to help in our calling card fundraiser this coming Veteran's Day, and WCBM radio is also slated to partner with us."

Strahl goes on to note the gratitude expressed by the soldiers, "Sgt. Joseph even had a certified mission flag flown in our honor. Another soldier had this to say, "I can't tell you just how important it is for me and my men to know that we are well thought of."

What have you done lately to let a vet or active-duty soldier know that they are "well thought of"? What a touchingly simple hope, that each one of us can fulfill in one way or another. You can start by saying ,"Thank you for serving our country."

Brooke Gunning may be reached at wintiffin@aol.com
To donate baseball gloves, drop them off at Grace Fellowship Church on Deerco Rd. in Timonium, 410.561.8424 or contact the coordinator Jim at Jimamusic@gmail.com
To donate to "A Taste of Home," visit their website atasteofhome.org
To learn more about Cera Products, visit their website www.ceraproductsinc.com
 




 


About CeraSport

CeraSport® is a rice-based rehydration and energy drink that restores essential fluids and electrolytes to prevent and correct dehydration and enhance athletic performance. Established in Maryland in 1993, Cera Products scientifically developed its high performance medical and sports rehydration products along with physicians at Johns Hopkins University.

Unlike most sports drinks on the market, CeraSport has no added simple sugars or fruit juices; it contains only Cera's patented blend of rice syrup, essential electrolytes, and flavors. A gluten-free product, CeraSport has a unique carbohydrate base which provides quick and sustained hydration without causing cramping or other problems. CeraSport is used by all types of athletes from world class triathletes to weekend warriors. CeraSport proudly sponsors 2007 World Champion Mirinda Carfrae, and 3 x Ironman Champion Chris McDonald. Our unique sweat replacement drink is also used by law enforcement groups, SWAT teams, firefighters and all branches of the US military, including the Army Rangers and Navy SEALs.


About Cera Products Inc.

CeraSport® is a rice-based rehydration and energy drink that restores essential fluids and electrolytes to prevent and correct dehydration and enhance athletic performance. Established in Maryland in 1993, Cera Products scientifically developed its high performance medical and sports rehydration products along with physicians at Johns Hopkins University. Unlike most sports drinks on the market, CeraSport has no added simple sugars or fruit juices; it contains only Cera's patented blend of rice syrup, essential electrolytes, and flavors. A gluten-free product, CeraSport has a unique carbohydrate base which provides quick and sustained hydration without causing cramping or other problems. CeraSport is used by all types of athletes from world class triathletes to weekend warriors. CeraSport proudly sponsors 2007 World Champion Mirinda Carfrae, and 3 x Ironman Champion Chris McDonald. Our unique sweat replacement drink is also used by law enforcement groups, SWAT teams, firefighters and all branches of the US military, including the Army Rangers and Navy SEALs.

For more information go to www.ceraproductsinc.com.

Cera Products Press Contact: 
410.309.1000 or sales@ceraproducts.us