How could they?

Filed under: , , by: PearlsofHonor

Alvin Mays, a Pearl Harbor Survivor, living in Augusta, GA runs a landscaping nursery. Thieves have hit his place 4 times in the last few months, stealing equipment and costly plants. See the video here.

The right note for Service

Filed under: , by: PearlsofHonor

We heard something on the radio on Friday about a corps of volunteer bugle men & women who honor our Veterans with a live playing of Taps at every funeral they can. The all volunteer core is called Bugles Across America and was started by Tom Day, who felt our service men and women deserved more than just a CD or an electronic "fake" bugle as authorized by Congress. These "alternative methods" are only used when a live bugler is not available. There is a shortage of serving buglers, so he is actively recruiting anyone who can play Taps to attend funerals in their area and show their respect to the departed and the family with a live salute.

Bugles Across America now has over 5000 bugler volunteers located in all 50 states and growing number overseas. Since the Department of Veterans Affairs is expecting more than 1/2 million veterans to pass every year for the next 7 years, Bugles Across America is ALWAYS recruiting new volunteers.

Bugler Volunteers can be male or female. They can play a traditional bugle with no valves, or they can perform the ceremony on a Trumpet, Cornet, Flugelhorn, or a 1, 2 or 3 valved bugle. The bugler can be of any age as long as they can play the 24 notes of Taps with an ease and style that will do honor to both the Veterans, their families, and the burial detail performing the service.

I find anything less than a real bugler to be disrespectful to the family and would like to take a minute here on #militarymon to recognize this great group for the honor they do our vets.

Prepping for the Honor Run

Filed under: , , , by: PearlsofHonor

We have just about everything together to join The Honor Run in Mesquite, NV on Thursday, September 3rd.

Metal of Honor will be on display under the big tent at the Casablanca Resort in Mesquite, NV on September 3rd. Stop by and see how much you know about Pearl Harbor as you look over the engravings on the bike.

We'll trailer the bike and chase the Run from Mesquite to San Marcos, CA on September 4th.

I'll ride Metal of Honor the last 50 miles from San Marcos, CA to Oakley Sunglasses Headquarters on September 5th. The bike will then be on stage with Medal of Honor recipient John Finn (if his health allows.)

I'm really excited to hear that a portion of the monies raised will go to a Fischer House here in Las Vegas at the new VA Hospital. I encourage all my fellow vets and riders to join us for the NV leg from Mesquite to Baker, CA and make a donation for our hometown vets.

The cross country leg of the Honor Run is leaving Missouri this morning, on the way to Kansas. You can follow the progress of the run at their blog.

More information about the Honor Run
The Honor Run, on the other hand, has become just that. Being denied the opportunity to go to Afghanistan or Iraq and still wanting to give back to our military, Barr joined forces with the president of the 1st Marine Division Association, Oceanside, Colonel Len Hays, USMC, ret., Harry Steelman and Major Bill Mimiaga, USMC, ret., who in December of 2008 decided to expand on a state-wide riding concept developed in Texas. "Initially we were thinking of doing a one-day run in California but then we thought 'why not do a nationwide ride?' and it took off from there." Barr said. When the 1st Marine Division Association came on board the only looking back was in the side-view mirrors.

The first of three scheduled runs, Barr envisions this annual event to run indefinitely. "Each year I believe it will get bigger and better." Barr said as he begins to mention the seemingly endless list of supporters which are highlighted on the web page,

Regardless if for three years or for thirty, the thousands of supporters and riders for The Honor Run are proud to join forces with Dave Barr in making this ride all about The Fisher House and the heroes therein.

In Memorial

Filed under: by: Krystal

Local Pearl Harbor Survivor Ray Turpin was laid to rest this week. He passed away following a stroke. Our condolences to his family, especially our friends at Red Rock Harley. He was the grandfather of the Service Department Manager. More on Mr. Turpin from the LV Sun. Mr. Turpin served aboard the USS Oklahoma.

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Challenge Coins

Filed under: , , , by: PearlsofHonor

John and Frances sent me this challenge coin created to honor his 100th birthday last month. It came with a as note thanking me for being part of his birthday celebrations. John gives these coins out to friends and people he meets as a kind of souvenir. Various groups or private individuals pay to have them minted for him. Many current and former military personnel have these coins made and the ones from high-ranking officials can be very valuable to collectors. In John's case, the coins are highly prized because of his status as the oldest living Medal of Honor recipient.

This coin will join the silver one shown below that John autographed for me for the Coronado 4th of July Parade. This one is a bit odd as there is a typographical error on the reverse of the coin, but the overall design is very well executed.

Along for the ride with Dwight and Sandy

Filed under: , , , by: PearlsofHonor

We've been asked by Dwight and Sandy to join them next week for the filming of an upcoming episode of Pawn Stars on the History Channel. The show is set at a local Vegas pawn shop and apparently, they've come across a 1959 Harley Davidson that they want to restore.

Dwight and Sandy will both be involved in the restoration project on the Harley as we mentioned in the last post. Dwight has the producers talked into doing a very short segment on Metal of Honor as an example of Dwight and Sandy's craftsmanship. Not sure exactly what to expect when we head over to Dwight's shop early next week, but I am all for any excuse to show Metal off. We hear the show will air very soon after filming. As soon as we have a date, we'll post it here.

Speaking of rides, we are also getting ready for The Honor Run during the first weekend of September. Still trying to find a good wireless credit card processor and outfits for my booth girls.

Haven't heard of The Honor Run? Got a motorcycle? Hit the road for our Heroes!

Ride for those who can't

America’s heroes need your help. Today’s technology mercifully moves an injured soldier from battlefield to fully-equipped hospital in less than an hour. What’s this mean? It means the number of amputees we bring home from war has skyrocketed over previous conflicts. It means 1 in 4 injured warriors now come home with a traumatic injury of some kind. And the hospitals they come home to, while better equipped to handle them, are often ill-equipped to provide for their families. What can we do? Here’s what we can do. There’s this thing called The Honor Run, a coast-to-coast ride that ends in Southern California with a massive party at the Oakley Headquarters in Foothill Ranch. You can ride all the way or just for a day for the same low price. The donations we raise will help a number of organizations take care of the men and women who took care of us. As well as their families.

Dave Barr, a double-amputee, will take off from the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28th.

As he and his buddies pick up steam and riders crossing the country, they’ll roll through a bunch of states. Ending up at Oakley headquarters in Orange County, California for a monumental celebration.

Word is, this thing could be up to thousands as it thunders on home.

The 1st Marine Division Association is on board. So's law enforcement, firefighters and the Vietnam Veterans of America.

So’s CSI New York’s Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band, scheduled to get it on at the giant celebration at Oakley on the 5th.

All we need are you and your brothers to ride with this very simple message.

"America, the time has come to pay back our heroes."

With pennies. Dollars. Jobs. Education. Care. Whatever we’ve got. There are no politics in these efforts. No Republicans. No Democrats. Only Americans. We need your help out there on the road. To ride. To support the ride. To spread the word on the ride. We need all of America, but the message starts with you. These are our heroes. They fought for all of us. Now’s our chance to fight for them.

Ride for them. Ride for you. Ride for honor.

Register here

posters and stickers are here!!!!!

Filed under: , , by: PearlsofHonor

Here's what the new Remember Pearl Harbor bumper sticker looks like on Krystal's car. She finally managed to get one on the truck straight and with no bubbles, so we'll get a picture of that up soon.

.... and here's what Dwight's face (Purcellz Customz - Metal of Honor paint artist) looked like when we took him over a stack of posters, stickers, bookmarks and flyers. He is pictured on the flyer along with Sandy from Chrome Fusion (Metal of Honor engraver). Can you believe he said his mom was gonna be thrilled to see him on the flyer and that we made his day? He was really floored by how beautiful the photographer made Metal look in the pictures and loved the poster.

By the way, if you watch Pawn Stars on the history channel, look for Dwight's work in an upcoming episode. He is going to restore the paint on a 1950's era Harley Davidson pan head motorcycle for the show. He was on the phone with the show's producers when we arrived. Don't tell me I don't know how to pick talent! We just heard that Sandy is going to do the chrome work on the bike for the same episode. Maybe we'll go see if the Pawn Stars guys can peg the value on Metal of Honor? They appraise unique collectibles all day, right?

Yesterday, we took posters over to Red Rock Harley's service department. Matt and the crew there take the best care of Metal of Honor and my Street Glide whenever they have to go in.

Then we went to see Sandy, Jason and Joyce at Chrome Fusion to drop some posters for them. They are cooking up the neatest new cover products for their Austin Steiner line. This one in particular would make a great gift for a military man. They mentioned that a Remember Pearl Harbor coin to go inside the timing covers will be available soon. They are working with the mint on the design right now. Of course, I'll have to get one for the Street Glide as Metal already has a beautiful Purple Heart engraved on hers.

Then over to drop some posters off to Mark at Color Reflections. His team printed and installed Metal's trailer wrap.

Last stop, was at Nate's front porch. Had to leave quite a few posters for the photographer!

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Give them the sign

Filed under: by: PearlsofHonor

It takes a few seconds and means so much.

A big hand for the folks at Fort Campbell

Filed under: by: PearlsofHonor

photos from AP

After decades, the soldiers and community of Fort Campbell, KY finally gave these Vietnam Era Vets the Welcome Home ceremony they deserve. Three cheers to them! Full story here from AP and NPR.

A little gift for our new buddy Troy

Filed under: , by: Krystal

I made up these new banner's for Bouhammer's Afghanistan blog as a thank you for having Dana on the Youserved Podcast last week. Troy was so nice when I asked him, right out of the blue, to have Dana on the show that I felt I should lend him a hand to make his blog rock even harder. If you have family in Afghanistan, or just want to know what's going on, Troy's blog is a great read. OOORAH!

Metal of Honor posters will soon be available

Filed under: , , , by: PearlsofHonor

metal of honor motorcycle poster World War II pearl harbor tributeWe're going to send these posters to the printer this week. These gorgeous images were taken by our friend Nate over at Black Diamond Digital and the poster was put together by Krystal (the Marketing Director) with a great deal of over the shoulder direction by yours truly.

The 36" x 24" glossy posters will be available for purchase both here on the blog and when we do appearances with Metal of Honor.

If you'd like one, they are just $10 + $2.50 shipping. You can email Krystal to preorder one until we get the order button up on the blog. You can also request that we toss in a bumper sticker for $2 more.

Proceeds from these two items will be used to offset the travel costs to take Metal of Honor out on display. The truck and trailer average about 8-11 miles per gallon.

While we're on that subject ... did you remember to make plans to join us at the big finale party for The Honor Run? We'll have Metal on stage with John Finn (if his health allows). We also heard Gary Sinese and his Lt. Dan Band are on board for a concert.

Heroes and History on John Finn's 100th Birthday

Filed under: , , , by: Krystal

At the end of last month, Dana had the incredible honor of being invited to another one of John Finn's many 100th birthday parties. This one was held at Naval Air Station, North Island Coronado, CA on the 25th of July. Over 400 people were in attendance. Dignitaries, military brass from every branch and elected officials gathered with long time friends and several of John's old Navy shipmates. Of course, such a gathering is filled with historic import.

Robert J. Modrzejewski (Marine Corp, MOH, Vietnam) signs John's 100th birthday image.

Dana wrestled with what to present John on his big day. He finally settled on a gift that would be made more memorable by the other "special guests" we heard were invited — 12 of the other living Medal of Honor recipients. With the help of our friend Mark at Color Reflections, we created this mounted, archival image of John holding the sign from the highway near his home that has been renamed in his honor. In the background is the unfurled Medal of Honor society flag from the parade at Coronado on July 4th.

The party also afforded the opportunity to take this once-in-a-lifetme picture of the gathering of these American Heroes.

Left to Right standing: Leonard B. Keller, Richard A. Pittman, Drew Dix, Michael E. Thornton, Jay R. Vargas, Thomas R. Norris, Robert J. Modrzejewski, Walter J. Marm, Walter D. Ehlers, Jon R. Cavaiani

James A. Taylor, the widow of Admiral James B. Stockdale, and John F. Finn

Perhaps the most well traveled "guest" was this United States flag presented to John by the U.S. Navy. It was flown aboard every active duty aircraft carrier in preparation for John's big day. We've noted before the immense esteem John is held in by our serving sailors. He was quite touched by this gesture of respect.

Since Dana is a Navy man himself, he couldn't resist asking Lil Larkin (John's long time friend) to take this picture of him with a model of the Lockheed S3 Viking, presented to John by the VS-29 ordnancemen. It's the very same plane Dana served aboard during his tours of duty during the Gulf War. Next to it, is a picture of the sailors aboard the U.S.S. Stennis spelling out John's name out on the flight deck.

Here's the link to the Navy Compass newspaper's story.

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Bumper Stickers off to press

Filed under: , , , by: Krystal

In preparation for our appearance during the Honor Run with John Finn at the big finale party on September 5th, we just sent these bumper stickers off to the printer. We'll have them for $2 each and will make them available for purchase on the blog once they get back from the printer around 8-20. Maybe we can raise enough cash to pay for the gas to get Metal and the trailer to Mesquite, then down to California and back.

The alternate design had the flowers & blue from the top of the blog, but Dana said that just wasn't gonna cut it for being put on a Harley. So I created this more reserved design. They look very good on his truck and we made it small enough (8" wide by 3" high) that it can go on the saddlebags of a motorcycle or helmet.

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Confirmed for the Honor Run in September

Filed under: , , , by: Krystal

We'll be joining The Honor Run on September 3rd in Mesquite,NV with Metal of Honor. We are thrilled to be part of this great project and hope you'll ride with us in support of our returning heroes. It's just $35 to ride. Register or donate here.

Appearance on YouServed Radio episode #50

Filed under: , , by: Krystal

Dana is out riding his Streetglide Harley this morning so he can clear his head for tonight's appearance on BlogTalk's Radio's You Served episode #50.

One of our great twitter friends is Troy Bouhammer, who is the cohost of the show. He writes at BouHammer's Afghanistan, Military Pundits and the YouServed Blog. He's a very active miliatry supporter with a long record of service himself and we can't say enough nice stuff about how helpful he's been in making Dana feel welcome during his first publicity experience related to the book and bike.

Dana will be on during the last half hour of the show. You can listen live or tune in later as the show archives within an hour or so of airing. Please join us in live chat so you can ask questions about Metal of Honor and Dana's book project.

Summary of the show:
Tonight we will feature Phil Taylor from The American Fallen Soldiers Project commits to honor, respect and forever remember those who have sacrificed their lives protecting our freedom while serving in our Armed Forces. The 501(c)3 non-profit organization makes available hand painted original portraits of America's fallen heroes to their families free of charge, and is supported solely through individual and corporate donations. After Phil we will be talking to our old friend Matt Daniels from This is Matt's second time on the show and he will be on to give us an update on all the great things that GA is up to, to include some exciting new videos they have up on the site. We are also very honored to have Mr. Dana Harbaugh. Dana is the author of Pearls of Honor: Their Duty to Remember. Dana, through his own Deontos Publishing, tells a moving story of the Survivors and their mission, born of his deep friendship with the Survivors and their families. Dana is a Navy brat and a Navy man himself. He is a combat veteran twice awarded for heroism under fire. We will cover more of his military background later on in the show. The reason Dana is with us is not only to talk about his book but also because he purchased a 2009 Harley Davidson Cross Bones motorcycle which he made into a rolling tribute to the survivors of Pearl Harbor.

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Supporting American jobs or Marketing dollars?

Filed under: , , by: PearlsofHonor

So here I am, working hard on chapters of my book Pearls of Honor: Their Duty to Remember, while Krystal (my Marketing Director, book designer, and whatever else she is doing for me today person) is busy trying to find a way to print this book here in America.

Since it is about American heroes and our economy needs all the help it can get, I really feel that I want to spend my money in America on this project. It's no small chunk of change, either to print a 200+ page book, hardbound with a lots of full page photos. We got one quote that was $68,000 for 5,000 books. I am willing to pay, but that does eat into the budget to market the book once it is printed. It could be HALF the price to print overseas. So you see where this is not a nickel and dime debate I am having with myself.

I want as many people as possible to learn about the tireless efforts of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and see for themselves how they work to Keep America Alert, but at the same time, you have to make decisions that are best for your business and allow you to reach the widest reading audience.

We've been asking around to printers and publishers we know in the industry, looking for a more affordable "Made in America" option, but it looks like we may have to send the printing overseas, most likely to China. It seems to be the only cost effective way to have a coffee table book done these days. We looked at the 7 or 8 big coffee table books I have here at the house and all of them were manufactured overseas.

Any suggestions out there in blogland for another option we can try?

Update 8-10-09: We have changed the orientation & size of the book and MIGHT be able to swing printing it in Ohio or Canada. Awaiting quotes now.

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