Family, friends, and sometimes even troops themselves send I-Report salutes nearly every day to U.S. military serving their country away from home. Take a look below as family and friends share stories of the troops they love.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
'My future husband and my hero'
This is my fiance Lt. Nicholas Bajema who is serving with the U.S. Army, 82nd Airborne, 5-73 CAV in Baquba, Iraq. He has been there since August 2006 and just recently was promoted from 2Lt. to Lt. His family and I are so very proud of him and the strength he and his fellow soldiers have had over the last 11 months. This is his first deployment and although he is from Seattle, we met while in college at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz. and we both often joke that it's a good thing he went to college in the desert to know how to deal with the 100-degree plus heat! We all miss him dearly but are overwhelmed with pride for him and his fellow soldiers.
-- Tessa Hill of Gilbert, Arizona
Monday, June 25, 2007
'A listening ear for the injured and hurting'
My husband serves with the 2/325AIR as their chaplain. He goes out with the troops to be there if needed. He is a listening ear for the injured and hurting. He helps to provide for the spiritual needs of our troops while they fight for the rest of our freedoms. He is my best friend, a wonderful father to our two great boys and the love of my life for the past 17 years. We miss him but believe we are all right were we are needed at this point in time. No picture but a big thank you to our chaplain assistants who protect and help our chaplains everyday. We love you and counting the days until you are home again.
-- Angela Gilliam of Fayetteville, North Carolina
'My soldier, my best friend, my love, and my hero'
My hero and I met last year on MySpace while he was deployed in Iraq. During that time, I got a unique look into a soldier's life away from home. After long days of patrols and missions, Drill Sargeant (Allen) Murphy -- then a Staff Sargeant -- would log into Instant Messenger to ask me about my day. Often, I would start complaining about the 90-degree weather, my children's behavior, or how I had hurt myself by stubbing my toe before I would return the question. His answers would give me a much-needed reality check: days when 120-degree temperatures were considered a mark of "good" weather, realizations of missing his children and realizing their next hug would be two years from their last, gratitude for not being injured when a IED hit his truck (yet again).
During the past 18 years, Allen has served his country in many different capacities -- including a 1991 Desert Storm deployment, a deployment for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and a year-long deployment to Iraq in 2005-2006. Most recently, he has fought along side of the other soldiers in the 2nd Platoon Easy Company of the 2nd Battalion of the 506th Infantry of the 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, KY. Soon, his duty will be performed as a Drill Sargeant to train others to defend our country. He is my soldier, my best friend, my love, and my hero.
In this picture he is getting ready for patrol in his Humvee, a.k.a. "Pork Chop Express", on February 16, 2006.
-- Rosemarie Stanton of Clarksville, Tennessee
Paratrooper and golfer
Spc. Marcus Tiller is serivng in Iraq in South Baghdad, he is a paratrooper in the Amry's 82nd Airborne stationed in Fort Bragg, NC. He has been on this deployment for a year now and will be coming home in November. His passion is golfing and looks forward to pursuing that as a career and getting a businesss degree, with his return. He is from Orange City, FL, and moved to NC after joining the Army. I cannot wait until he returns. I love and miss him more and more everyday.
This photo was taken at the Lowes Motor Speedway last 4th of July in Concord, NC.
-- Brittany Ramey of York, South Carolina
Friday, June 22, 2007
'Our first real family picture'
My husband (Nathaniel Pote) is serving in Iraq right now. He's been overseas for about a month now. This is our first deployment. It's tough being an army wife. My husband has been in the military for about 7 years. He's a wonderful husband and officer. We've been married a little over 2 years. We have no kid's yet, but we have a dog. He's a wonderful man and he's my officer and a gentleman.
Here's a picture of our little family. This was taken just a few weeks before my husband deployed. It's our first real family picture.
-- Pualani Pote of Ozark, Missouri
'I am so proud of my brother'
I am so proud of my brother Brandon Shelton. He not only is the wonderful father 3 beautiful children but he is protecting our country and others in Afghanistan. I love you so much Brandon!
Brandon had a baby boy named Alexander James (A.J.) Shelton born on March 2, 2007, and his wife Jenny and children are so proud of him and cannot wait to see him again.
This is Brandon in front of the helicopters he flies for the Army as a Black Hawk Pilot.
-- Kelley Steen of Raleigh, North Carolina
'He is my hero'
Hi Robin, I saw your "salute" this morning and had to send my son's photo - he is my hero! Cpl. JZ Senbertrand of Villas, NJ is 21 and currently serving his second tour of combat in Iraq with USMC 3/6 KILO. He joined so "others would not have to." He felt he could help protect us from the insanity in that region. We expect his return in August and we will travel to Camp Lejeune, NC to celebrate the battalion! Our brave military deserve the very best salute for volunteering to protect our freedom! God Bless the USA.
-- Dianne Scarlett of Villas, New Jersey
'Nathan misses his dad'
This photo is of Cpl. Daniel Stroud of the United States Marine Corps and his son Nathan who is now 16 months old. Cpl. Stroud deployed on April 10th on board the USS Bonhomme Richard and is currently serving in Iraq. He is due home sometime in November. Nathan misses his dad very much and every day he kisses this exact photo and talks to him. My husband is an avid CNN viewer and especially loves to watch Robin. This would make his day if he was viewed on her segment.
-- Lana Stroud of Anchorage, Alaska
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
One last hug
My brother, Brandon Corbett, was just deployed to Iraq. This picture is of Brandon and his mom at the send-off ceremony on June 6th, 2007.
-- Crystal Vogel from Des Moines, Iowa
'I miss my son, dearly'
This is my son, Specialist Nathaniel Magallanez. He has been serving in Iraq since August 2006. He is part of thee 82nd Airborne Infantry Division out of Ft. Bragg, NC. I miss my son dearly. I pray for his safety daily. Please keep supporting our troops.
-- Delores Magallanez from Tyler, Texas
This is a picture of our son, Spc Robert Huffman Jr, on the left, my daughter Tabi in the middle and Lance Corp. Adam McCullough on the right. This picture was taken just minutes after my son got off the plane from Afghanistan. Adam shipped out for Iraq two weeks later. He is in Fallujah and is expected to come home in October of this year. The boys have been best friends since grade school.
-- Jeannie Huffman from Lisbon, Ohio
Father of seven
This is my brother Sergeant 1st Class, Ronnie P. Quetel, Sr. of Squad 651, Maintenance Company. He has dedicated twenty years of his life honorably serving the Virgin Islands National Guard, presently in Fort Bragg and soon to be deployed to Iraq.
-- Linda Quetel from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
'My daughter the fighter'
My daughter Joyell Riley is a translator with the Marine corp. She is embedded with an infantry unit in central Baghdad. We worry everyday about her. She is in one of the most dangerous regions of Iraq. Her unit was recently pinned down by gunfire. There are only a few women translators and only three that we know of are embedded with fighting units. Please pray for her safety.
-- Brenda Porter from Bellevue, Ohio
'Happy Birthday Mike!'
It's my brother’s birthday on June 24th and I wanted to give him a salute for all he does! His name is Captain Mike Erickson. (He's on the left) He is a helicopter pilot with the United States Marine Corps. He's currently serving his 4th tour of duty in Iraq with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. We are all so proud of him and hope he returns safely to us once again! Happy Birthday Mike!!
-- Marie Erickson in Richmond, Virginia
Can't wait to get back to Oregon
Our son's name is Casey Kunders. He's serving in Afghanistan. He is 24 and a 2001 graduate of Coquille High School in Oregon. He is a Specialist with the 91rst M.P. Bn. 272cd Co. He has been deployed for the last year. Casey misses the outdoor activities and can't wait to get back to the Pacific Northwest.
-- Larry and Londa Kunders from Coos Bay, Oregon
Guarding Baghdad zoo
My husband is in his third tour in Iraq. This is a photo of him at "his" zoo. SFC Herb Mowery with 15th BSB, 1st Cav. Div is assigned as the representative to the Baghdad zoo. He primary focus is to rebuild the infrastructure of the zoo and preserve a good quality of life for the animals. Mowery is pictured with a female cheetah, who belonged to Uday Huessin. SFC Mowery visits the zoo weekly, he also escorts dignitaries and news crews to see the improvements made.
-- Angela, Morgan and Chloe Mowery from Harker Heights, Texas
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
This is a picture of [Spc. Jeff Smith] and our daughter Ceilidh at the airport saying goodbye on the day he returned to Iraq after his 2 weeks of R&R concluded.
-- Heather Smith of Fort Stewart, Georgia
'True American boy soldier'
Pfc. Alan Maldonaldo stands guard at Contingency Operating Base Speicher near Tikrit, Iraq. He has been in Iraq since November and will spend his 21st birthday there. His mother had this to say:
Shout out to my boy! Love you, get home. We're proud of you! He's a true American boy soldier. Just want to shout out to all of them. God bless them all.
-- Mary Maldonaldo of Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey
'He's coming home tonight'
Dustin Levijoki served in Iraq for 14 months before going to Germany. He returned home on June 12. That day, his mother said she was "really excited" to see him:
I am very proud of him. Probably one of the hardest things I've ever done is to see him go over to Iraq. I hope he gets to stay over here for a while.
-- Anita Levijoki of Hayti, South Dakota
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
'Loves serving his country'
My husband standing next to Gary Sinise ( Lt. Dan from "Forest Gump"). My husband Brad is in the Army serving in Iraq. He has been there for almost a year and got extended. Anyways I am sooooo very proud of him for what he and the other soldiers do! And my husband loves serving his country!! I love you Brad!!
-- Emily Lewis of Fort Bragg, North Carolina
'I am very proud of him'
I would like to salute my son TSgt Bill Farrell USAF serving his second tour in Iraq. He is a true American hero and my hero. I am very proud of him.
-- Veronica Farrell of Port St. Lucie, Florida
Monday, June 4, 2007
Happy birthday wish
Dear CNN, Hi my name is Sheeda Ramsaran, I am a proud wife of a solider -- Staff Sgt Deoraj Ramsaran, who is serving in Baghdad, Iraq, for the second time. My husband is not going to be home for his Birthday. I would like to salute my husband on his 25th birthday on June 15th. Thank you, I appreciate what you 'CNN' do for military families.
-- Sheeda Ramsaran of Florida
'His daughter's hero'
Hello Robin & Company: I would like to salute my husband, SSG Tyler Bell, with A 1/ 319 AFAR. The orange one is my husband standing in a sand cloud. He is a bronze star recipient, and his daughter's hero. Currently he is serving his third deployment in less than four years. He loves the Army and he loves being and American. Thank you so much.
-- Kelly Bell of Fayetteville, North Carolina
Friday, June 1, 2007
'Very proud of our son'
I would like to salute my son CW2 (promotable) Micah Johnson of the 1-227th Air Cav, A Company, 1st Cavalry Division, out of Ft. Hood, TX, currently serving his second tour in Iraq at Taji. Micah flies the AH-64D Longbow Apache Attack Helicopter. His mother and I are very proud of our son and love him very much, and all of our boys in A Company.
-- Michael Johnson of West Chazy, New York
'Terrific father, amazing soldier'
My husband, SPC. Robert E. Perry III, is currently serving with Charlie Troop, with 1-325 AIR, 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, NC. He is now stationed in Taji, Iraq. Bobby is our rock. He is a wonderful husband, terrific father and amazing soldier. We have missed him dearly since he left for the first time in July 2006 and are anxiously awaiting his return this November. I want him to know that no one is more proud of him than we are! He is our real life, All American Hero!!
-- Leah Perry of Fort Bragg, North Carolina
On CNN TVEvery weekday morning on Headline News' Morning Express, anchor Robin Meade and her team do a shout-out to U.S. troops by showing off photos and videos sent in by their loved ones. Tune in every hour between 6 and 10 a.m. to see the salutes on air, or click through the archives on this page.
Send your own saluteDo you have a friend or family member serving abroad in the U.S. military? Please share your story on iReport.com!