Thursday, October 29, 2009


Before we left for the MWSA Conference in Orlando I sent an email to someone who lives near there in the hopes of finally meeting her. We had only talked to her on the phone and via email....after she located us because she wanted to talk to Eddie about her brother Danny.

Saturday morning we attended MWSA workshops...but soon it was nearly noon and...I was feeling a little nervous. Eddie probably was too, but wouldn't say so. At least by now he has come to realize that all that happened on that August day in 1965 was not his fault. He had been point man...but he had done everything "by the book". That day 3 men loss both legs and two good men died.

In August of 1965 Felicia was just 10 years old when she was told that her brother Danny would not be coming home alive. I remember that my youngest sister Lois was only 9 when our father lost she appeared as she tried to grasp that her daddy was gone forever. It is hard for any of us to lose a loved one...but when we are older we understand those things do isn't so for the young, they don't understand. When Felicia first contacted us she wanted to know all that Eddie could tell her about the time he spent with him. And of course the events of that day.

And now we were about to meet her and her husband. She put us right at ease with a big hug and beautiful smile. She was glad to finally meet us as we were her! After a few brief words we went into the hotel restaurant, had a good lunch and visited for a long while.

It is good when families can visit with those their loved ones served with and it is good for the one who served with their loved one. Not only is there healing but also it is an assurance that the one who has paid that ultimate price will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.

Eddie gets a BIG HUG! What a day! We are so happy to have finally met Danny's family.
Connie Beesley

Eddie's Radio Interview Part 1 -- October 9, 2009

Eddie's Radio Interview Part 2 -- October 9, 2009

Connie's Radio Interview - October 9, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Perfect Valor

Had a busy few days...including some long hours of babysitting for some family friends. Can't get much done with little ones around. I will try to get the rest of my blogs about the MWSA conference done this next week as we are leaving on the 3rd of November for Veterans Week in Branson...and will have more to write about that when we return.

On Saturday night after the banquet we gathered to watch a documentary film the was brought to the conference by Richard Lowry who was one of the recipients of an award. His book Marines in the Garden of Eden won a silver medal for history. It is the story of the battle for An Nasiriyah. AND is now in my stack of "books to read"...I need about 48 hours in a day in order to catch up on the reading I want to do.

I knew the film we were going to view was about the battle for Fallujah and as I entered the room I nervously took a seat. The story began in late 2004...all I could think of was one date that kept screaming in my mind...November 9th, 2004.

Perfect Valor details some of what it took for our Marines to win the battle for Fallujah. While it concerned a different group of Marines than those that I was writing to in 2004....the experiences had to be the same. It was the same time, the same place. I started writing to a LCPL Tyler Farmer because I had gotten to know his mother. Marty in an online chat room on Classmates. I started writing to Tyler in June of 2004 and wrote to him on each tour until February of 2006. He served with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines Kilo Company.

In August of '04 I got an email from Tyler's mother with the address of a Marine who could use some more mail: LCPL Steve Segura. I began writing to him...over the course of the next few months I wrote 7 letters.

In the middle of September I received a lovely card from Steve...he wrote:
"I want to thank you so much for writing me and I enjoy reading every letter. A little about myself. My name is Steve. I'm 26. I have 1 older sister, 1 older brother, 4 younger brothers, 4 nephews, 3 nieces, no kids of my own. It means a lot that you wrote to me. I hope to keep hearing from you. Oh yes, I'm from Homestead, Florida. I get out of the Marine Corps on Jan 16. I have a lot of plans after the Marine Corps. When I get my pictures back I'll send you some. Write me again soon please.

Love always your friend, Steve"

The last letter that I sent to him was dated October 22, 2004. I am sure he received that one as it was never returned to mail is when a Marine is injured or killed.

I will never forget the day when I was sitting at my computer going through my email...Marty had sent an email...she had just heard from Tyler...Several of his friends had been injured and Steve had been killed on November 9th, 2004...

I remember loudly saying "Oh NO...NO...NO! And soon Eddie was in the room next to me asking what was wrong. I told him and he held me while I cried for this young Marine who had paid the ultimate price.

All through the film I kept thinking about Steve...and some tears fell but I managed to watch the entire film. It is well done...and gives credit to those who are there fighting this war. And it causes one to reflect on the cost of war...and remember that we still have troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. We need to NEVER forget that while we go through our regular days...they are in harms way fighting...fighting terrorism to keep us safe.

Thanks for bringing the film Richard...even though some memories are is good...I will carry the memory of a young Marine named Steve Segura and WILL NOT FORGET him...and many others.

Connie Beesley

Monday, October 19, 2009


While at the MWSA Conference we were able to meet many wonderful people: two of those were Chris Martini and Rebecca (Becca) Bryan. We were privileged to view his current film "Trooper".

This is the review Eddie wrote for the film:

Someone once said that "War is Hell" referring to the actual combat situation. Many times the hell begins after the tour of combat is over. Chris has done a great job portraying that in Trooper. In the film we see a father and son who fought in different wars both struggling to come to grips with the changes war has made in their lives and those around them. In watching the film the combat veteran realizes that he is not alone in his struggle and those around him understand a little better why he is as he is. Now let the healing begin. Thanks Chris

We have been in touch via email with both of them and have added them to our list of those we call friends. We are very blessed to be able to be involved in organizations where we meet such talented people. It was our pleasure to be able to visit with Chris for awhile after viewing the film.

Chris sent an is a portion of what he wrote:

The making of TROOPER was chock full of epiphanies and moments of synchronicity,but one in particular was Chris Roth, our Line Producer’s, bumping into Dwight Zimmerman, who would later become a producer, on the streets of Brooklyn.Turns out we were down a major location for the film, his house, and Dwight was like an Angel coming down from above. Dwight is a military writer and liked the story about a Vietnam Veteran Father helping his Iraq Veteran son adjust after War. I have been living in Dwight’s house with a camera ever since as Dwight is aware. :))))Well Dwight suggested I screen the film at the 2009 Military Writer’s Association Conference in Orlando.Joyce Faulkner, the President of the MWSA conference, opened the door to us and I was on the plane for Orlando.All went smoothly until I realized I was in a room made up entirely of Combat Veterans,mostly Vietnam, WWII, and Gulf War Veterans. I started to sweat and panic before the screening.This was much more important than I initially imagined. For if the film failed on this front,it FAILED, in my mind. All I was thinking was how I could get out of this alive, maybe could sneak out with my film and nobody would notice, maybe I could disappear before the Q&A. No joke, this kid was nervous. The lights went down. During the screening, I had no idea how the film was being registered,really. I know how these things go. It can go either way. The film finished and the lights came on and I found that all my fears were false. THEY LOVED IT.

AND Becca Sent us some pictures: (I am thankful for these....can't believe I did not carry my camera with at all times).

Chris and Becca

Eddie and Chris

We wish Chris the best with his film.

Connie Beesley

Friday, October 16, 2009

MWSA: Military Writers Society of America

This past week end we were able to attend the Military Writers Society of America Conference in Orlando, FL. The beautiful weather was just the beginning of an enjoyable time. As a board member, Eddie was asked to be the MC for the Saturday banquet and the Auctioneer for the Sunday auction AND I was given the title of SGT Major! Yes....they needed and wanted someone a "bit" bossy...or maybe it was just someone who could get things done! I was in charge of making things flow as scheduled.

We were able to spend time with old friends we met before and made some new and wonderful friends. In the next few blogs I will be telling some of the events of the conference.

I'd like to start with something very special that was sent to us by someone we met at the conference...Mike Mullins. Many emails have been heating up the Internet since the conference...all of us still talking about the week end. In one of those emails we received a beautiful gift from Mike: The email subject line read "a little thing I did"


Face like a hawk;
Eyes that blaze and leave no doubt;
The man is what you see, no other way…
God gave him more
Than ever He took that day.

Beesley lost much when he met Betty then.
Flesh and bone disappeared
In war’s whirlwind.
Eddie stands tall, taller than you and I.
His feet don’t touch the ground;
His head doesn’t reach the sky.

It wasn’t so good at first.
He couldn’t accept his gift of life.
Then he met the angel
Who was to become his wedded wife.
Now they do God’s work,
Reaching out to wounded and maimed GIs.

He writes, he preaches, he changes lives…
He gives them hope by example
And shows them strength here on earth,
Sharing her smiles and dimples.
Years ago his legs went to heaven,
Beesley will join them in God’s own time.

Mike Mullins, 11/12/09

Michael D. "Moon" Mullins, author of "Vietnam in Verse, poetry for beer drinkers." "ViV" won the Gold Medal for poetry, 2007, from the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA). The book is available on line from on-line Amazon, B&N, and B-a-M book stores.It is available as an audio-book from the author. Please contact me at this e-mail address; or via land mail at POB 456 Windfall, In. 46076.Vietnam Veteran, Delta 3/7, 199th Light Infantry, '68-'69. Vice President of the MWSA. One dollar from either version goes to the Wounded Warrior Project.

WHEW! NEVER had a poem written for us before! AND wanted to share it...
We met other wonderful folks and will have more stories to tell in the coming Chris Martini and the film he let us view...Richard Lowry and the film he showed stirring up some memories...AND meeting a special lady and her husband....the sister of CPL Daniel Duffy.

Connie Beesley