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Welcome to our August 2006 newsletter.

I am pleased to announce that Steve P in Lincoln, Nebraska is the winner of the rafter mounted chin up bar.

Chin Up Bar

Steve, you have until September 30th to contact us so we can send this to you. Congratulations.

Because this newsletter is so late, on 30 September we shall draw a name to win a vanity stool.

Vanity Stool

The newsletter is so late because of a very moving experience I had a month or so ago. I was not sure how to handle it as I do not seek praise and am embarrassed by it. However this praise is not just for me, it is for everyone who works at the factory as we were all part of the decision.

We sell exercise equipment, mostly on eBay. We have professional grade chin up bars and one fairly inexpensive lower priced semi-professional bar. We received a bid on the lower priced bar and I found out that the bar was going to be used by a group of Marines. I emailed the buyer and let him know that because of the use the bar was going to be subjected to, I was going to send the professional model at the cost of the semi-professional model.

Although I thought the bar was going to Hawaii, when I received the address to which I should ship the bar, I found out that the bar was going to Iraq. I discussed this with the guys at the shop and they indicated that they did not want to charge anything for the bar. We shipped the bar and sent a zero dollar invoice. That should have been the end of the story.

Several weeks later I received a package in the mail. The package contained an American Flag and a red folder emblazoned with the Marine Corps emblem. Inside the folder were the following.

helicopter

citation

The accompanying letter was enclosed.

Dear Bill

I wanted to send a thank you note for the pull-up bar, as well as an American flag that I hope you will display proudly. I also wanted to tell you about the Marines and the sailors that you are supporting with your generous gift.

I am currently stationed in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii with Heavy Marine Helicopter Squadron 463. We fly the mighty CH-53D Sea Stallion Helicopter. My squadron is currently deployed to Al Asad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 05-07. We have been in country for more than three months now, and the job that these young men and women do to keep us in the fight is simply miraculous.

This helicopter was inducted into the Marine Corps in the late 1960's and MHM-463 was the first Heavy Lift Helicopter used in Vietnam. Our Marines work 14-18 hour days ensuring that these 40 year old aircraft are ready day and night for the full gamut of missions that our operational tempo throws at us. So far we have not missed a beat.

Our squadron has moved well over one million pounds of cargo and more than 20,000 Marines, soldiers, sailors, and Iraqi security forces to all corners of this country. The Marines never complain, they hardly sleep, and they rarely eat. All they want to do is accomplish our mission of fixing and flying helicopters.

I have placed a copy of your e-mail that indicates "No Charge" in our workout room for the Marines to read. Most of them read it and smile. Some comment on how awesome it is to receive support from people they will never meet. I want you to now that gestures like this have a very positive impact on the morale of our Marines and sailors. They don't ask for much, they just want to know that the work they are doing is appreciated. You and your company have certainly done that.

Sincerely,

Captain Jim Beaulieu, USMC
Semper Fidelis.

No matter what one thinks of the war and no matter what your political leanings, these men and women deserve our wholehearted support. We here at Decotec feel that Marine Squadron 463 is now part of our family. We pray for a safe deployment for Capt. Beaulieu, Capt Friestman, Corporal Harquail, Lance Corporal West and Staff Sergeant Gollner and hope for the time that they may return safely to their families.

If you would like to send words of support you may send them to me and I shall forward those emails to Capt. Beaulieu.

Everyone in the Mann family was brought up to help others. There is a long tradition of community service within this family. I personally have been very active with choral groups and currently serve on the Board of the Angeles Chorale. I also still transcribe books into Braille for blind children, photograph graves for the California Transcription Project and do volunteer work for the U. S. Forest Service through the Angeles National Forest Fire Lookout Association.

The fire lookouts continue a long tradition of providing fire lookout, fire prevention, and quasi-ranger duties by greeting forest visitors and explaining the role of the forest in our lives. Unfortunately the Department of Agriculture does not have the funding to maintain and restore the old fire towers. The various Fire Lookout Associations throughout the country raise funds to carry out this important work. Pam Morey of the San Bernardino National Forest Association has put together a cookbook of recipes collected from fire lookouts throughout the years to raise funds to restore a lookout tower in the San Bernardino National Forest. The funds from the purchase of this cookbook will be used solely for that purpose. In addition, the purchase of the book will enable one to access a website with over 1,000,000 recipes. As I am writing this, Pam is facing the threat of a forest fire burning very close to her home in the San Bernardino mountains.

Cookin With Fire

The book is being sold for $14.00 plus $4.20 postage within the 50 states. Anyone wishing to purchase the book and help this worthy cause can contact me being sure to put in your name, address, phone number and that you are purchasing the cookbook. I thank you for your consideration of donating to a cause of which I feel very strongly.

I am always eager to hear from the visitors to the site and the readers of this newsletter.

Wishing everyone a safe enjoyable Labor Day Weekend.

Until next time, paraphrasing Charles Osgood, I will see you on the Internet.

Bill

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