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A Man and his Jewelry

September 29, 2008

There’s been a lot of talk about Hero Bracelets these last few days since the bracelet phenomenon was recharged with the presidential debate.  I’m not concerned about the current stories about who should and shouldn’t be wearing a bracelet and making it a political event.  I don’t care.  I do care to share just a little about these bracelets and educate a smidgen on how much they mean.  It may make the current media firestorm about the bracelet a little more understandable, not to mention my being appalled when Obama botched the name during the debate.

Hero bracelets started out small, with a crude name engraving of a soldier MIA or KIA.  The bracelets became an overnight success being splashed across the media and of course, word-of-mouth in the military community.  The word-of-mouth that I received was that any service-member was allowed to wear a bracelet.  At that time bracelets being made were silver, bearing the names of fallen or missing in Vietnam.  The Husband quickly ordered one and it adorns his left arm night and day. 

The idea started as a way of remembering the missing and killed, if the service-member were recovered, the bracelet would then be returned to the family.  Today, Hero Bracelets are worn by everyone, including wives of deployed soldiers, they can be customized with a specific name, and there is now even a purple heart bracelet for those wounded in action.  

From what I understand, the military has unofficially made the bracelet part of the uniform.  Of course, they are not issued to servicemen, but that’s just to say that no service-member is going to be ordered to remove the bracelet while in uniform.  In fact, the servicemen I know would not remove them regardless of the situation.  This is an honor thing.  Brothers honoring brothers.  Holding tight to our military family and always remembering the sacrifices of those before us. 

The Husband is so attached to his bracelet that he will without thought remove his wedding band before he removes his bracelet.  That’s just the way it is.

Speaking of bracelet wearers, there’s another man in my life that wears a bracelet.  The Brother has a black bracelet, indicating a fallen hero, and wears it with pride every day of his life.  The Brother is deployed to parts unknown at this time, but shortly before he deployed he participated in another honorary event.  The Brother was a swordsman in a fourth generation military wedding for a buddy of his.  The famous photographer, Platon was wrapping up a year of following service-members to put together a photo essay.  The October 6th issue of The New Yorker is released today!  Go… buy a hundred couple copies of it.  The photos are heartbreaking, heartlifting and just downright beautiful.  The Brother is (obviously) in the wedding photo (slide 4)… it’s the only Marine picture in the group.  The Brother is the second dude (with the turdsmirk) from the left.  Isn’t he gorgeous!  It’s so nice to see him looking all dapper in his dress uniform, happy and healthy. 

I’ve cooked so many good things lately that I can hardly keep up!  Last week I tried another Rachael Ray recipe for Pork Spaghettini.  Of course, I left out the mushrooms, but this was fantastic.  It was the perfect flavor of Chinese food, but lightened up considerably. 

Pork Spaghettini
Rachael Ray (with my comments)

1 1/2 lb boneless pork long roast, sliced 1/4″ thick and then into 1/4″ strips
(I just sliced it 1/4″ thick, not into strips… no excuse, just lazy)
1 1/2 c chicken broth
5 T soy sauce
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped (I minced them)
1 lb spaghettini (couldn’t find it… so we used whole grain spaghetti)
1 lb snow peas (I used frozen)
1/4 c vegetable oil (I used 2 T olive oil)
1 lb cremini mushrooms, quartered (you know I didn’t use these!)
2 bunches scallions, cut into 1/2″ pieces
(1 t crushed red pepper flakes)
1/2 c salted roasted peanuts

I was having a hard time focusing on anything that night, so I just kind of muddled through this recipe.  This is how I did it, which is slightly different than Rachael Ray’s technique.

In a bowl, combine the pork, 1/2 cup chicken broth, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and half of the garlic.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until almost al dente, drop in the snow peas and cook a few more minutes until heated through and pasta is cooked.

Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the scallions and the remaining garlic and cook for about 1 minute; transfer to a small bowl. In the skillet, add the pork mixture and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup chicken broth and 3 tablespoons soy sauce and cook until the liquid is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Return the garlic and onion mixture to the skillet and remove from the heat. Add the pasta and snow peas and toss. Top with the peanuts.

Next time, I won’t use so much chicken broth because I was looking for a lo-mein type of dish, which this truly did achieve, just a little too wet. 

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 29, 2008 13:26

    This is exactly what I am craving. I think I will make something like this for dinner tonight… with mushrooms. :)

  2. September 30, 2008 07:52

    That looks just like take out, which makes me want it more! I think I need to make this.

  3. September 30, 2008 17:45

    I’m heading over to see your brother. I really love your posts. They are meaningful and full of depth….and good food too! No wonder I stop by every day.
    As for the creme brulee while dieting, well, Cooking Light has a couple recipes but they’ve never knocked my socks off. I’d wait and save it for a reward.

  4. September 30, 2008 17:47

    Ok I’m back. What great photos and of course your brother is a handsome son of a gun-love the smirk!

  5. September 30, 2008 18:41

    Great post! I loved the photo with your brother- stunning! The recipe looks wonderful, I know my husband would love it!

  6. October 13, 2008 10:22

    I came across your blog entry about HeroBracelets. I started the project in 2004 and it’s, to my amazement, still going strong. We never thought that people would care enough to keep the project alive. But we’ve been truly humbled by the responses from around the world. It’s been an amazing four years, hearing from literally thousands of people from around the world. The stories that come in every day take your breath away.

    We’re very happy we’ve been able to make a small difference. Especially in the lives of families that have lost a service member in the war. We’ve also been able to raise over $100,000.00 for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

    We’re starting a new project we’re calling HeroFlags.org. Units deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan are signing country flags and sending them to us. We’re going to put them up on ebay and donate 100% of the money raised to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

    So thanks for the kind words. Write us at HeroBracelets about your Heroes.

    Chris Greta
    Director HeroBracelets.org

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