THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

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Honoring Service

I support Wreaths Across America. They will be laying wreaths at Arlington Cemetery next Saturday Dec 15th at 8am. This holiday season and Memorial Day weekend, these grounds seem to look so special and to me the most beautiful besides the fall when the trees provide color to the vast rolling hills. But they are very different. Memorial Day invokes a great sense of pride and almost a smile. Christmas evokes the loss of family, very special memories and tears.

A week from today.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Maybe one of these years I’ll get down and help with the laying of the wreaths. I thank the many who volunteer on these cold December days.

More Random Thoughts of the Day

Working my hardest, on relaxing.

I think my cell phone is more charged than I.

My children are teaching me. Of course they have been since birth. I’m just so glad I’m open to learning from them.

I’m already anticipating Sunday breakfast. Think I’ll have a glass of OJ before bed to quell the cravings.

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Veterans Day Respect

I am very grateful and thankful for the freedom you veterans and active duty service members provide me and my family. I wish more were appreciative of the service you provide. I’m very disappointed at the same people so willing to send you in harm’s way and then not help you in your time of need. Days like today remind me to share, donate, support and respect this day and all veterans throughout the year.

Photo by Mike Hartley

I spent a lot of time at Bethesda Naval Hospital when I was young. It was the last station for my father when he was active duty I believe. Also as a dependent it was our medical facility. I remember vividly the years as a young boy and teenager going there and seeing war injuries of kids from Vietnam. Mainly loss of limbs and other disfiguring injuries. I remember trying to make eye contact and giving a smile to them as we would pass. I didn’t want them to feel different.

I remember my mother saying to me as we saw these men rehabilitating or waiting or recovering from multiple surgeries. She would say to me to never forget, that there is someone always far worse off than you. Be thankful of your health. Be thankful for your father and those who fight for us.

Moms are Moms for a reason. They know whats right.

So my salute and respects on this Veterans Day.

Random Thoughts of the Day

It’s not that I didn’t have any random thoughts yesterday, I just thought I’d have time for a second post and thought wrong.

I got a great idea for Xmas, wonder if I can pull it off.

Feels good to be alive this fine Sunday morning. Of course that could be the meds talking.

Either this is going to be a day of rest or a day of chores. And the battle begins.


Sunday morning visit

I saw the morning mist burn off just after sunrise. I saw the bluest sky in a while. I saw many brave men and women. I saw kids learning history. I saw the beauty of fall. I saw families crying. I saw my parents. I saw the changing of the guard. I saw the trumpet come out to play taps and my eyes filled with water.

A few minutes with family this morning.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Taps Man
Photo by Mike Hartley

Old Guard
Photo by Mike Hartley

I think the colors here come from below and above.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Guns, in the hands of the right people.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Each season here is unique.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Brass on the hill.
Photo by Mike Hartley

A class leaving the Tomb of the Unknown Solider.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Cemetery Beauty
Photo by Mike Hartley

Battle of the Bulge Memorial.
Photo by Mike Hartley


Morning with Mom and Dad

A brisk but beautiful morning. The sun was in and out of the clouds early. Which seemed to match the place I was in. One minute you had bright sun glistening off the headstones. The next a shadowy silence and the cloudy changing of the guard.

Many were paying respects.
Photo by Mike Hartley

The tour buses were mainly empty. But there were a lot of people here paying respects to loved ones and friends.

Morning Rounds to mainly empty buses.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I try to make a holiday visit every year.

Many sweeping views.
Photo by Mike Hartley

You know you can stand there and your ears hear silence or the rustling of leaves. But if you know someone here your mind is filled with voices.

Thanks to Wreaths Across America.
Photo by Mike Hartley

My Mom used to love wreaths.

Honor Guard
Photo by Mike Hartley

People were very respectful at the changing of the guard. It gals me when the Guard has to admonish someone for bad behavior.

Every once in a while the sun breaks through.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Merry Christmas Mom and Dad. As the family gathers tomorrow, look through my eyes to see the joy you have left behind. Thank you so much for all you gave me. I miss you.

Always make your parents proud.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Merry Christmas everyone.

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Don’t let the memories fade

When you are remembered fondly, memories are not forgotten. And to all those that work holiday’s. A salute from a fellow worker. And if you can squeeze in a few minutes of grill time like I hope to, then remember how lucky we all are on this Memorial Day. And if you see someone who doesn’t know or has forgotten, gently remind them.

Photo by MIke Hartley

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A morning ride

Thought’s today. Missed hugs and laughter. Missed lessons and tips. Missed wisdom and love. Jeez I miss my parents. So I went for a visit. I thought I’d beat the road closures for Rolling Thunder but NOO. That’s OK, I got in fine, a few minutes after they opened at 8am. Paid my respects to Mom and Dad and then visited another friends parents. The ride home was about double the length as normal. That’s OK, wouldn’t have missed the anniversary of Mom passing for the world.

101st Airborne Memorial outside Arlington’s gates.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Rows and rows of voices lost. So at your cookouts today and tomorrow remember those no longer with us please.

Memorial Weekend
Photo by Mike Hartley

Will be back soon for another visit Mom and Dad.

Happy Memorial Day Dad
Photo by Mike Hartley

Miss you Mom
Photo by Mike Hartley

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Wreaths Across America

I will continue to thank this organization (Wreaths Across America) and now support them with a donation in their 2017 efforts. I appreciate the work they do at many military cemeteries across the country and here at Arlington. Some of their handy work below at the USS Serpens Monument.

The USS Serpen Monument at Arlington Cemetery. Photo by Mike Hartley

The USS Serpens Monument at Arlington Cemetery.
Photo by Mike Hartley

And on the many graves on the rolling hills of Arlington.

Wreaths at Arlington. Photo by Mike Hartley

Wreaths at Arlington.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Sorry about the somber start to a Monday. I just didn’t want to forget a mention of this organization and do my part to see it continue. Like I said I’m on a mission to do more for others this coming year.