Schenecker Family Update

Below is a statement released by Col. Parker Schenecker Friday, Feb. 18, 2010. His wife, Julie Schenecker, remains in Hillsborough County Jail under arrest for the murder of their children Calyx and Beau.

“Today, I met with my wife Julie for the first time since I returned from my duty overseas. The meeting was both emotional and productive. We discussed numerous topics but focused mostly on how so many people continue to honor and remember the lives of Calyx and Beau.  I felt it was important and proper to inform her in person about my need to focus on the future, and my intention to file for divorce.  Clearly the events of January 27th have taken Julie and me on different paths. I have said for many days now that I will spend the rest of my life honoring the memory of my two beautiful children Calyx and Beau. This difficult but necessary step will help me to do just that…move forward.” Col. Parker Schenecker.

Girl Scout Cookies from Home Program, Apps and Recipes

Girl Scout cookies go on sale at booths in the Tampa Bay area on Feb. 25.

If you crave Thin Mints, Tagalongs or Somoas, imagine what its like to be serving in the U.S. Military overseas when it’s Girl Scout cookie time. Even if you’re not a “cookie monster,” you can still contribute to the Cookies from Home Program for military troops through the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida.

The program sends Girl Scout cookies directly to U.S.  troops serving in combat zones through a partnership with Support Our Troops. Last year, 45,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies were donated to U.S. military troops. And the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines did more than eat them, the troops also used the cookies to create bonds with village children.

Thin Mints is a traditional favorite of Girl Scout cookie lovers.

“…thank you for allowing my team to give out your cookies to the needy families in Iraq. Without your help, my job would be considerably harder,” wrote a soldier serving on a reconstruction liaison team in Baghdad.

Donations to the Cookies from Home Program may be made in person at Girl Scout booth sales which begin Feb. 25 or online at Girl Scouts of West Central Florida through March 20.

It won’t be difficult to find a Girl Scout cookie booth in the Tampa Bay area. The Girl Scouts of West Central Florida are participating in a pilot program that offers a mobile phone app that will locate the nearest Girl Scout cookie booths. The app will list the dates and times the booths will operate in Hillsobourgh, Polk and Pinellas north to Citrus, Hernando and Sumter counties.
The app can be downloaded free by calling **GSCookies  (**472665437) from a mobile phone, or by searching for “Cookie Locator” in the iPhone App Store or Android Market Place.

You can also go to the West Central Florida Girl Scout web site and search for a Girl Scout Cookie Booth by zip code using the cookie booth locater system.

And if you find you have an abundance of cookies, the West Central Florida Girl Scout Council also made some Girl Scout cookie recipes available from their Dessert First competition last fall. Additional recipes are available from the West Central Florida Girl Scout’s baker, Little Brownie. Each cookie has its own set of recipes.

Where I’m From: It’s About Being a Marine

Major Gen. Ronald L. Bailey.

The U.S. Marine Corps is using Black History month to launch its national campaign: Where I’m From, which showcases Marines and their hometowns.

Major General Ronald Bailey is a St. Augustine, FL  native and currently the Commanding General of the Marine Corps Recruiting Command and based in San Diego.

Bailey was a football star and member of the Army ROTC at Austin Peay State University when the Marine selection officer convinced him in 1977 to give the Corps a try.

“I fell for that old macho, ‘it’s too tough for you’ trick,” Bailey said. “After I got in the Marine Corps, I realized my personality and my goals and what I wanted to do in life and what I wanted to become were in line with the United States Marine Corps.”

He met  African American role models in the Corps who convinced him to make it his career. He said the military offered him opportunities and he agreed that the military has been in the forefront of social change such as dealing with desegregation after WWII.

“Work hard, do your job, be the best, then you’re going to be okay,” Bailey said. “You know as I and many in America understand the difficulties we’ve traveled, but we’ve grown from it and we’ve gotten past those and we still are getting past those.”

Major Gen. Ronald Bailey, center.

“Even when I look at the ‘Where I’m From’ Campaign, it’s a success story,” Bailey said. “You have individuals from their community showing that you too can be successful in life and you too can be a U.S. Marine.”

The campaign’s goal is to initiate a conversation with the American public not just the African American community. So, the multi-media campaign will continue beyond this month with TV and radio ads as well as internet banners. The “Where  I’m Fromwebsite shows a map with photos of Marines near their hometowns.

Initially, the Marine Commandant testified against lifting the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy regarding military service members’ sexual orientation. But, Bailey said the commandant now says it’s a “leadership issue” and is “stepping forward and carrying out the policies of our nation.”

“The environment that I’m establishing on my base and the recruiting command is one of acceptance,” Bailey said. “To insure that every Marine will have the opportunity to reach his or her potential regardless of age, race, sexual orientation. It’s about being a Marine and Marines do the right thing.”

To learn more about the U.S. Marine Corps “Where I’m From Campaign”, click here.

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