"In these pages many mysteries are hinted at.
What if you come to understand one of them?"

"Words let water from an unseen, infinite ocean
Come into this place as energy for the dying and even the dead."

"Bored onlookers, but with such Light in our eyes!
As we read this book, the jewel-lights intensify."

- Rumi

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Penultimate Toast

Well, here we are. Welcome to my little corner of the blog-o-sphere. It's been one heck of a ride since Friday when we started this grand adventure. If you followed the tour schedule, you're coming here from JL Oakley's blog over at: http://historyweaver.wordpress.com. And now you're here, at the end of it all.

First off: if you've missed any of the other blogs during Blog Tour de Troops, you should go check those out. My post can wait until your done. This is one of those things that you're really going to want to save for the very end.

Second, I've been so moved by the support everyone has shown for our troops, I'm not going to give just one book coupon to people who comment, I'm going to give three, and send those three books to a soldier for everyone who posts. You'll be getting coupon codes for First Chosen, Halloween Jack and the Devil's Gate, and Knight of the Living Dead. Surprise!

Third: When I saw that I had the last spot on the tour, and that I was going to be wrapping the whole thing up, I must admit to feeling a little intimidated. I started wracking my brain, trying to come up with something to bring all these wonderful posts together with some semblance of a conclusion. Here is my contribution to our collective honoring of the men and women who serve our country and defend our freedoms.

In the 19th century, toasts were a very important and formalized part of military conduct. Toasting at meals and social gatherings both in the army and navy was highly ritualized. The last, or ultimate, toast of the evening was reserved for the country the soldiers served. The second to last, or penultimate, toast was to honor those comrades in arms who had fallen in service to their country. After any exchange with an enemy where the forces were even remotely closely matched, it could be almost guaranteed that one of their brothers in arms was absent, and would never be joining them again.

The glasses would be raised in honor of the fallen, and the words spoken were simple, "To absent friends."

We are fortunate in the United States to have a volunteer military. Men and women choose the wear a uniform knowing that they might one day be called upon to lay down their lives in those uniforms, and it means that sometimes, all to frequently, someone is missing from the table at the mess who will never join his or her fellow soldiers again. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, and children will also never sit at a holiday meal with these heroes. Too many of us know of someone who has chosen to wear a uniform, gone off to defend our way of life, and will not return.

And so, as I close out the Blog Tour de Troops, I can think of no more fitting words than simply:

"To absent friends."

145 comments:

  1. hi! your post is a fitting wrap-up to the tour but i got goosebumps when i read the last line. it made me sad thinking about those who sacrificed their lives and for the loved ones they left behind. to present company and to absent friends, i raise my glass as well!
    thank you very much for your contribution to the troops and for participating in this tour. c",)

    aobibliophile(at)gmail(dot)com

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  2. This is the end, my only friend, the end. mrice6@cox.net

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  3. The generosity of you and your fellow Indie authors is amazing.
    Thank you to all our service men, women, and families.
    kindle3.user@verizon.net

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  4. Wow I'm sure many would be touched by your generosity!
    A well written last post for the tour :)

    ycelestial@hotmail.com

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  5. What a fitting end to this tour. Perfectly put.

    "To absent friends."

    sue DOT carney AT ethosforensics DOT com

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  6. Thank you for taking part in the Tour and thank you to all that have served our country.

    andreagrendahl AT gmail DOT com

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  7. Thank you for participating in such an amazing cause :) Your blog truly was the perfect end to such a wonderful event. Thank you so much
    I appreciate all the personal sacrifices soldiers in America and my home country of England make so selflessly to keep our countries safe.
    My Granddad was in the RAF and fought during WWII, as a big reader himself before he died I know he would have loved the idea of the Tour de Troops.

    shroudedheart(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  8. What a terrific send-off for the tour of support and remembrance. Please send my copy of the book as an extra copy to the troops.

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  9. Thank you for this book tour. Thank you for sending books to our troops. pringpringles(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  10. A fabulous ending to a truly remarkable and very worthy cause. I feel very honoured to have received so many awesome books already and how fantastic that for every free book I got, a soldier got one too! It's been a real blast!

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  11. Thank you for participating in this wonderful tour.
    Please send my copy to the troops. I already have a copy!!
    Thanks Again,
    Laura G.

    cardinoles@gmail.com

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  12. Thank you for wrapping up the tour so beautifully. I am excited to read your 3 books. :)

    allyreads81 at gmail dot com

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  13. Thank you for participating and donating books, especially 3 of them!

    acm05@juno.com

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. I raise my glass and say "To absent friends".

    You are all amazing.Thank you for doing this and supporting our troops. These books looks like great reads! What an fantastic surprise. THANK YOU!
    tweezle(at)gmail(dot)com

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  16. Thank you for sharing your books, This tour is wonderful idea!

    artgiote at gmail dot com

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  17. Excellent wrap up post Todd. Very cool that you are giving away so many books for this cause.

    scottpoe (at) hotmail.com

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  18. What a perfect ending to a fantastic blog tour. Thank you for supporting our troops and providing both them and us with reading material. :)

    Saph
    saphsbookblog at gmail dot com

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  19. Hi,
    thank-you for participating in this wonderful cause.
    patsymac2 (at) yahoo.ca

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  20. Its fun tour to be a part of now if I only could read faster. Lots of books before. love books.
    Thank you Vets of the past present and future for our freedoms. thank you rhonda rlrlaney at yahoo dot com

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  21. We are one lucky country that we have people who volunteer to keep us safe!! Thank you for donating a copy of your book to a troop! Martha – MESchlegel3@gmail.com

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  22. thanks for a great post. You can send my copy to the troops as well.

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  23. Thank you for participating in such a worthy cause. Anytime we can let a member of the armed forces know we appreciate what they do, it is a great thing. Many in my family, including my dad, myself and my brother have served. My brother is still in the army. I know it makes him feel good to know others care.
    mehjaf@yahoo.com

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  24. Good morning everyone who beat me here. Thanks for your kind words and your support of our cause this weekend. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about how the content of my post was going to be received. I am currently moved to tears by your support and kind words.

    @thesilverchick: I need to get your email so I can send you the coupon codes.

    @Anonymous and Georgia: Thank you so much for your generosity for our troops

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  25. "To absent friends."

    rivawriter(at)yahoo(com)

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  26. "To absent friends."

    pamela at pbdesigns dot biz

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  27. Thank you so much. You and the other authors rock for doing this! What an AWESOME thing to do!

    Thanks,
    Marsha S.
    ladymargaretrose@yahoo.com

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  28. Awesome blog tour for a great cause! Thank you.

    quinnsmythwood(AT)gmail(.)com

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  29. Thank you so much for participating in this lovely event. God bless our troops!

    Karen

    kmoaton@Hotmail.com

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  30. @aobibliophile™ - Goosebumps? you made my day. Every writer I know dreams that his or her writing can cause a reaction like that. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the books.

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  31. @Shrouded Heart - I'm glad you stopped by. The Penultimate Toast originated in the British Navy, and like many other fine traditions, we borrowed it shamelessly. Here's to you Grandfather!

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  32. @cardinole: Thanks for your generosity at sending your copies to a soldier. That's truly what this event is all about.

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  33. Thank you for supporting our troops through this blog tour. Thank you to all who now serve or have served in the past.
    cmhswi(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  34. The blog tour is over, but may we never forget the sacrifices our military men and women have made and continue to make.
    rinald47@gmail.com

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  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  36. This is a great cause.
    Great post.

    I already have a copy of "First Chosen",so you can donate my copy to a soldier.
    divavixenqueen(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  37. @Cassandra: I hope you enjoyed it, and I will absolutely send a copy to a soldier. Thanks for stopping the cause!

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  38. Thanks for being part of this tour and I hope your book makes somebody’s day better :)

    You wrote a very nice last post for this tour.

    hellenlovesbooks (at) gmail (dot) com

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  39. Happy to support a good cause.

    jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

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  40. @Allyson, @acm05, @tweezle, @Diana, @Sapphyria, @Anonymous- Sorry about the mass responce but I'm playing catch up. So many people posted before I was even awake. Thanks for supporting our event, and I'm glad I could surprise you with the extra books.

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  41. To absent friends, family, loved ones.

    Thank you so much for participating in this. As the daughter of a wonderful man who served in Vietnam and died far too young as a result of his exposure to Agent Orange, you and the others have given me the opportunity honor him through my words.

    And I appreciate it!

    I'm looking forward to reading your work! You can find me at DinozzoGibbs @gmail.com

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  42. @BJ - Thank you, and thank you to your father for serving.

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  43. @Helen - That's one of the primary reasons I write, is to try and entertain people enough to brighten their day.

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  44. Thanks to those who serve, their families - and to everyone participating in this tour. What a wonderful way to support the troops!

    Please send my copy to the troops, as well.

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  45. Thank you for participating in this :)

    Coming from a military family, I know how much this means to them. I want to thank all of my family members formerly in the military and send a special shout out to my 3 cousins and numerous friends currently serving. I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!

    brittanyrose40 AT yahoo DOT com

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  46. @Berit - Thank you so much for your generosity. These books really make a difference for our troops' moral. Cheers to you.

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  47. @Brittany - My thanks also to your cousins, friends, and other family members who have served. Hopefully we can let some of them know how much we appreciate them.

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  48. a fitting end to this amazing tour.


    Shirleykcarter at yahoo dot com

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  49. Thanks for supporting the troops
    Candy
    dragonfly1976@gmail.com

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  50. Thanks for supporting our troops!
    Love your post,
    SWyland808@msn.com

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  51. @Shirly, Candy, and Tink - Thanks for the kind words on my post, and thanks for joining us on this adventure.

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  52. Thank you for participating in the tour and supporting the troops. Thank you also for such wonderful generosity.
    Have a great day!
    pauline@pjhandcrafts.com

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  53. I have choosen to wear the Army uniform for the last 24yrs and still do daily, untill next year when I finally retire. What many may not relize is that absent frends is not now nor has it ever been just about the soldiers of ones unit. I sha ll explain.

    YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED THE TABLE SET BEFORE YOU. IT IS FILLED WITH SYMBOLISM. I WILL EXPLAIN.

    THIS TABLE IS SET FOR OUR PRISONERS OF WAR AND THOSE MISSING OR KILLED IN ACTION -- FROM ALL WARS.

    THEY ARE NOT WITH US TODAY. THEIR CHAIRS ARE EMPTY, BUT SAVED FOR THEIR HOPED RETURN. LET US REMEMBER THEIR ABSENCE.

    LET US REMEMBER THE MEN AND WOMEN PRISONERS OF WAR FROM ALL BRANCHES OF SERVICE THAT ARE TOO OFTEN FORGOTTEN. LET US REMEMBER THEM.

    THE TABLE CLOTH IS WHITE, SYMBOLIZING THE PURITY OF THEIR INTENTIONS TO RESPOND TO THEIR COUNTRY'S CALL TO ARMS -- SO THAT THEIR CHILDREN COULD REMAIN FREE. REMEMBER.

    THE LONE CANDLE SYMBOLIZES THE FRAILTY OF A PRISONER ALONE, TRYING TO STAND UP AGAINST HIS OPPRESSORS. REMEMBER.

    THE BLACK RIBBON ON THE CANDLE REMINDS US OF THOSE WHO WILL NOT BE COMING HOME. REMEMBER

    THE SINGLE ROSE REMINDS US OF THE LOVED ONES AND FAMILIES OF OUR COMRADES IN ARMS WHO KEEP THE FAITH AND AWAIT THEIR RETURN. REMEMBER

    A SLICE OF LEMON IS ON THE BREAD PLATE TO REMIND US OF THEIR BITTER FATE -- IF WE DO NOT BRING THEM HOME. REMEMBER

    THERE IS SALT ON THE PLATE, SYMBOLIC OF THE FAMILY'S TEARS AS THEY WAIT AND REMEMBER.

    THE GLASSES ARE INVERTED. THEY CANNOT TOAST WITH US TONIGHT -- MAYBE TOMORROW, IF WE REMEMBER.

    THE RED, WHITE AND BLUE RIBBON IS TIED TO THE FLOWER VASE BY A YELLOW RIBBON THAT WAS WORN BY THOUSANDS WHO AWAITED THEIR RETURN. REMEMBER

    THE FADED PICTURE ON THE TABLE IS A REMINDER THAT THEY ARE MISSED VERY MUCH AND ARE REMEMBERED BY THEIR FAMILIES. REMEMBER.

    AS WE LOOK UPON THIS EMPTY TABLE, DO NOT REMEMBER GHOSTS FROM THE PAST, REMEMBER OUR COMRADES.

    REMEMBER THOSE WHOM WE DEPENDED ON IN BATTLE. THEY DEPEND ON US TO BRING THEM HOME.

    REMEMBER OUR FRIENDS. THEY ARE THE ONES WE LOVE -- WHO LOVE LIFE AND FREEDOM AS WE DO.

    THEY WILL REMEMBER WHAT WE DO. PLEASE HONOR AND REMEMBER THEM.

    "To Absent Comrades."

    and honestly this always brings a tear to my eye when I hear the words and realy listen.

    again thank you for your support. ryan.mills68(at)gmail(com)

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  54. Ryan,

    Thank you for sharing this and for dedicating your life to defending our freedom. I have copy and pasted this into my personal files so that I may refer to it in the future.

    I hope to see you again in next year's tour!

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  55. Thank you so much for supporting our troops!

    nook_heartnsole at yahoo dot com

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  56. I would have to add -- "To absent friends, the roads we walk, the beginning, the end, and the friends we make in between."

    There is a wonderful song a longtime friend of mine would sing at gatherings, but I can't seem to find the lyrics--the gist of it was that we should savor each and every moment, because moments are fleeting, and we can never live that single moment over again.

    Thanks again to all my fellow authors and everyone who's followed the tour. This one's for all of us, and especially the soldiers that will reap the largest benefits from this effort.


    ~ Erin M. Klitzke
    athensmcleod@hotmail.com

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  57. I used to send books overseas via ‘Books for Soldiers’, and this is the best way I’ve seen yet to continue that effort!

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  58. @Heartnsole - Thanks for joining us.

    @The One and Only Doc - Thanks for sharing and joining in this adventure.

    @Otterdaughter - I'm glad we could help you continue this tradition.

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  59. Thank you for your support.

    kolists a\t gmail dt com

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  60. Hi Todd! I already have First Chosen but thanks so much for supporting the troops. You guys at the IBC are amazing!

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  61. What a great ending to the tour. I already have Fist Chosen if you would please send that copy to the troops. I look forward to reading the other two. Thanks!

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  62. What a great cause - thanks for supporting our troops!

    I look forward to reading your book!

    Sandi(at)Beckman(dot)me

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  63. @Karen - Thank you also for helping us support.

    @Reading - Thanks for picking up my book already, and thanks for the shout out to the IBC.

    @Rachel - I'll absolutely send your copy of First Chosen to one of our troops. Hope you enjoy the others. Please remind me your email addres.

    Sandi: Thanks for stopping by and helping the cause. Hope you enjoy the books.

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  64. Thank you for participating in such an amazing cause, you and all the other authors are doing a beautiful thing, thank you! :)

    Marta

    mpa931 (at) yahoo (dot) es

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  65. Okay, now that I am in tears over the simple toast you have chosen to close with and reading Ryan Mills comment which gave it in its entirety, I just wish to reiterate again thank you for participating in the tour and for putting books in the hands of the troops. Your generosity of three books is astounding. Please donate the copies that would come to me to one more soldier. I cannot thank them enough for their sacrifice.

    Sophia

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  66. Thank you for your generosity. As the mother of two young men in uniform, I know that sometimes they need something to take their minds away from the present reality. Reading is a great way to do that.

    The email address I use for ebooks is merikat1948 at hotmail dot com

    Thank you again.

    Mary Ann

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  67. Thank you for participating. I look forward to your books. wanda72(at)aol(dot)com

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  68. It's a wonderful thing all these authors are doing with the Blog Tour de Troops. I was just reading a news article in which active duty troops were lamenting the lack of new books to read! Thank you for your generosity and the contest!

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  69. Wow, this is amazing. I am SO glad we can send so many books!

    Melissa918 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  70. Wow! What an incredible wrap-up to a phenomenal blog book tour. That toast brought humbles & grateful tears to my eyes--as it should. *wipes the tears off her cheeks & raises her glass* "To heroes both past, present, & future."

    I’d like to express my sincerest gratitude to you & all the amazing authors that participated in this event to honor our troops this Veteran’s Day weekend. My husband & my roommate’s fathers both served during the Korean conflict & I have friends who have served or who have children that are serving currently. The cause of supporting our troops is near & dear to my heart, though. It has been a trait of mine since high school that’s never left me. Our troops & their families deserve the utmost respect & gratitude from all of us who are safe & free because they so selflessly do everything they can to keep us from harm.

    My email is audacityshewrote at gmail dot com

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  71. My maternal grandfather & 2 of his brothers served in WWII. One of the brothers didn't make it back home. My paternal grandfather was also in the service during WWII, but he just missed being shipped out & remained stateside. I've got multiple uncles & cousins who also have served in one branch or another of the military at locations around the world. I'm very proud of them all.

    Thank you for being a part of such a worthy cause.

    drainbamaged.gyzmo at gmail.com

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  72. Thank you for supporting the troops! I think this tour is a wonderful idea and I'm glad so many authors are participating!

    chibipooh(at)gmail(dot)com

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  73. "To Absent Friends" I have too emotionally invested in this tour and have had to tone down the Blog Tour de Troops. We have so much to be grateful to our troops and veterans for. This is such a wonderful event, thank you so much for participating and honoring our veterans on their day and giving to our troops the joy of a good book. I am also thankful for your providing us readers a copy of your lovely books as well. Your efforts are appreciated.

    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

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  74. I think what you all are doing for our soldiers is a wonderful thing! My husband served in the Navy, and my mother-in-law and daughter served in the Air Force, so our men and women are very close to my heart at all times, but especially on and around Veteran's Day :)
    Thank you for the free copy of your book! I am really looking forward to reading it:D
    jwitt33 at live dot com

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  75. @Marta - It's my pleasure, and thanks for coming along with us.

    @Sophia Rose - As with the others who have chosen to send their books to soldiers, thank you so much for your generosity.

    @Mary Ann - When you next speak to or write to your sons, give them my heartfelt thanks at well-wishes.

    @Susan - Thanks for stopping by on our tour. This is exactly the point of the whole shebang - sending books as a thenk you to the men and women in uniform.

    Audacityshewrote - As I said earlier, one of the truest joys of writing is to elicit a strong emotional responce in our readers. I myself have been moved to tears on more occassions than I can count on this tour. Thank you for participating and well-wishes to your family and friends.

    @Kathrine - Thanks to all your relatives for serving. Here's hoping for thier safe return from duty.

    @Denise - I think I can speak for all the writers of Blog Tour de Troops when I say, it is absolutely our pleasure to support our troops in this small way.

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  76. @Julie - Thanks to your family for serving and standing on that line. Hope you enjoy the books.

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  77. What a great wrapup!!!

    Thanks for supporting our troops!!

    My hubby is former Marine.

    Heather
    earthsbooknook at gmail dot com

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  78. Thank you so very much for showing such wonderful support for our troops.

    As the wife of a currently serving soldier in Afghanistan, I can tell you that the upcoming holiday season is a hard one to get through. While everyone is happily getting ready to spend the holidays with family, our daughters' and I are looking across the table at an empty place where their dad should be.

    Don't take that the wrong way, we are very proud of Jon for what he does. He is a great man that has served this country for the last ten years. I am a proud Army wife. I stand behind his choice to serve this country of ours. And I thank each and every troop member that has chosen to do the same.

    I also thank their families, because it's not only the soldier's that serve, but also their families and loved ones. It's not an easy life, but it is a life that is rewarding. We all enjoy our freedoms, they don't come free.

    betty.vickery.johnson@gmail.com

    My loving soldier Jon:

    provert247 AT gmail DOT com

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  79. @Becky, thanks for coming by my blog and the tour.

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  80. @Betty - Sometimes it's easy to forget that sometimes freedom comes with a pretty heavy price tag. Here's to your husband's safe return.

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  81. Todd, What an ending to this marvelous tour, 3 books for us & the troops. Thank you so much. Such a lovely toast. "To absent friends"

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  82. Great closing for the tour. It's been an enjoyable and educational ride, and it's been a great way to celebrate Veteran's Day.

    evanbartholomew@gmail.com

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  83. @Barb - My pleasure.

    @Even - glad to have you along for the ride. Enjoy the books.

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  84. My dad was a WWII vet and landed at Omaha Beach on D-day. He didn't live quite long enough to go on one of the Honor Tours and he didn't talk about the war but he looked very dashing in the pictures. :)
    Thanks for the book and thanks for supporting our troops
    OmahaUrbanec AT aol Dot com

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  85. Thank you for caring and brightening the day of many soldiers. christygibbon at juno dot com

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  86. wow. I don't know what to say except, you said it wonderfully! To the absent friends!!! Thank you so much for supporting our troops and thank you for being the last stop!! :) And 3 books! wow!! I'll take the first one :) but that's just awesome!!
    magluvsya03@yahoo.com

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  87. That is a beautiful way to end this blog tour!! Thank you! Thank you to all Veteran's and those still serving!! "to absent friends"

    miranda.grissomATgmailDOTcom

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  88. Thank you for supporting our troops in such a wonderful way! Books have always been an escape
    from the daily happenings.

    Please donate my copies to a service member.

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  89. To absent friends! That is the perfect ending for the tour. Thank you to all our soldiers past and present and thank you to all of you for this project. What a terrific idea! Thank you for your offer but please send my copies to the troops as a small token of thanks.

    wrights5[at]hughes[dot]net

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  90. Thank you so very much!!! Your generosity and the generosity of all the fabulous authors on this tour is just remarkable!! Loved your wrap-up too!
    Laurie
    Lauriej170 at gmail dot com

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  91. Thank you so much!

    appleblossoms977@gmail.com

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  92. Thanks fro supporting the troops and these inspiring words. Please send my copy of all three books to the troops as well. Thanks again,"To Absent Friends"

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  93. What an ending! Thank you for your participation! Being a Veteran I know how important the books are to those currently serving. It is nice to escape into a book just for a moment!

    psdpoling@sbcglobal.net

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  94. @diane - I'll be your father cut quite the figure. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the books.

    @Chritsy -It is my pleasure. Thanks for helping tyhe cause.

    @magluvsya03 - Thanks you. It's so nice that my post has been so well received.

    @Miranda Grissom - Indeed and thank you!

    @MaryC -It's been our hope from day one on this that we could help raise moral a bit.

    Wrighty - thanks for your generosity to our troops.

    Laurie - I find it odd that people are thanking me my generostiy, when it's not that big a deal. I want my stories to entertain people, and if they can help bring some joy to the men and women of our armed forces, so much the better. Thank you for helping us in that goal.

    jtbiker - Speaking of generosity to our troops, thanks for giving your books for this great cause.

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  95. @Just Another Face - thanks for your service, and it is my pleasure to give my books for a bit of an escape.

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  96. That is a wonderful way of winding up this great tour. The information about toasts was interesting btw.

    Thank you for participating in this great tour, I look forward to reading your book!
    melorabrock {at} gmail {dot} com

    To absent friends indeed.

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  97. Thank you for doing this, and fine post. I think they'll enjoy your books.

    robyn.hummel@gmail.com

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  98. This was such an amazing idea! Thank you for helping support our troops!

    ruby[dot]meek[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  99. @melora - In some of my historical recreation activities, we often have an evening of toasts. I've more than once raised some very fine scotch to absent friends.

    @Robyn and @Ruby- It is our pleasure. Very happy to be doing this.

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  100. What a great way to support our troops! Thank you :-)

    SarahM
    smaccall AT comcast.net

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  101. thanks for doing this. As an army veteran of multiple deployments, I can assure you that reading provides sanity and a chance to explore worlds outside the dust/rain/dirt of the present un-fun. With the advent of eBook readers it has become even easier to read, try new authors and to feel less cut off from the world.

    sincerely - Holly (prosekniticATyahooDOTde)

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  102. @Holly - I can only imagine how much a good book can do for soldiers on deployment. It is our pleasure to use the ebook revolution to give back to the truth.

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  103. "To absent friends" indeed Slainte! Thank you so very much for your post and participation. Not to mention your generousity to the troops

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  104. This tour is so great. I'm so glad that you all are doing this for the troops. And what a real treat that they get not one but three books from you. Thank you so much. carolynvaldez51@yahoo.com

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  105. Quite solemnly beautiful.

    Thank you for participating in the tour, even if you are the last stop of this amazing journey of remembrance and thanksgiving.

    "To absent friends."

    brjf [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  106. @Carolyn - my pleasure.

    @Brian - Thank you, sir.

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  107. Thank you so much for supporting our troops and for participating in this blog tour.

    thenarcissuslibrary at gmail dot com

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  108. Thanks for participating and sharing your books with everyone. You have a great wrap-up post to end the tour.
    helpersarah2009@gmail.com

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  109. thanks for supporting the troops and participating in the event.

    eileen at booksrusonline.com

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  110. Thank you for supporting our Troops!
    t_manfredi@hotmail.com

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  111. What a wonderful post and a wonderful toast.

    Thank you for posting!
    Donna
    donna.haw@gmail.com

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  112. Thanks for supporting our troops by doing this. My father, Husband, and brother-in-law have served or are currently serving, and anything that supports them and our troops is something that is near and dear to my heart.
    Many Thanks,
    Andrea
    a_ariail(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  113. geraldr416 (at) aol (dot) com

    thanks for doing this. I remember being overseas and how much I appreciated getting stuff from home.

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  114. I'm honored to be a part of this. Our soldiers are truly heroes. Thanks for your support.
    susan.byerly@comcast.net

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  115. Well said! Tank you for supporting our troops through this blog..

    nurse6030@gmail.com

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  116. What a fitting tribute to those who have gone ahead, clearing the way for the rest of us. Thank you.

    nancyg5997@gmail.com

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  117. I want to thank you for helping support the troops, the past the present and the future. I also wanted to thank you for all your hard work in this memorial. I can't wait to read your book.
    tammi.hagberg@sbcglobal.net

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  118. @Isolabella, Sarah, Eileen Theresa, Donna, SusanB, Nurse6030, Nancy G - My pleasurem. Thanks for joining us on this grand adventure.

    @Andrea - My best regaurds and thanks to your father, husband and Brother-in-Law. I hope that those still serving have a safe and healthy term of service.

    @Gerald - Thank you for your service to our country, and we're all very happy to help

    @slyvester!123!! - We're glad to do it. The responce is worth every bit of plannning and execution. I truly hope you enjoy all the books from all the writers on the Blog Tour de Troops

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  119. Beautiful post. And certainly a fitting ending to this tour. Thank you so much for your generosity in this tour.
    Traci
    nebby AT zoominternet DOT net

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  120. @Traci - my pleasure! And it's the least I can do for what should be one of our most important holidays.

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  121. Thank you for participating in this event, I think the tour is a great way to show support for our troops and am happy to see so many participating authors. shadow31071 (at) suddenlink (dot) net

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  122. Thank you for participating in this wonderful project, and thank you to our veterans and their families for their service!

    lindaspencer@mac.com

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  123. Todd, I cannot think of a better way to end this tour. Well done. I just cannot think of more that one could say. Thank you for being a part of this and thank you for speaking for all of the authors on this tour so well as it concludes.

    Best wishes,
    D. M. Kenyon
    author at lotus blossom book dot com

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  124. @Michelle - Thank you for participating also. The success of the event depends on readers just as much as it does on writers.

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  125. This is lovely! <3

    loolookittydee @ gmail.com

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  126. Thanks for taking part in this Blog Tour de Troops and ending it so simply and eloquently.
    And thanks to the troops for what they do as well.
    (On the selfish side, I am quite looking forward to reading your books.)

    Janey
    jandhj2 (AT) yahoo (DOT) ca

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  127. Kudos to you!
    Thank you for being a part of such a great program!
    melissa.gwinn(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  128. Thank you for doing this to honor our Veterans. It means alot to me and my family!!!

    ~Brandy
    brandyzbooks at yahoo dot com

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  129. Your generosity is wonderful. I already have a copy of First Chosen, so feel free to donate mine to the troops. Thanks for participating in the Blog Tour de Troops! Such a great cause. :)

    ~Jesi

    jesilea(at)charter(dot)net

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  130. Thank you so much for your heartfelt post and toast. It was very fitting and appropriate for the ending of a very special blog tour. I also can't believe that I commented on every single post!

    I don't know what the final count is in terms of authors who participated, as well as how many comments there were, but I am happy to have done my part and helped 50+ soldiers get some great books.

    And, thank you also for your generosity in giving away 3 books. I think that is amazing.
    Lastly, a big thank you to the IBC for putting on this event. I look forward to the next one...
    MJB
    msmjb65 AT gmail DOT com

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  131. Thank you for supporting our troops in such a generous manner! I know that each and every book received will be greatly appreciated! And thank you for allowing me to be a part of it through you!

    What a fitting end to a very extraordinary blog hop! The generosity shown has been humbling!

    To repeat:
    "Here's to absent friends."

    iarvd@yahoo.com

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  132. Thanks for participating!

    Roxs
    roxburysnoopy-blogtourdeforce at yahoo.com

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  133. Well said. Thanks for participating in this worthy cause for our service men and women!

    pk4kid(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

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  134. Bravo... a very fitting end to a wonderful event! Thank you for your support and generosity to our troops!
    brelav@gmail.com

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  135. I got tears in my eyes even though we have 3 living vets in my family including me, hubby and my oldest son. My youngest son is about to go in the AF. I often see the news of those killed from our bases, Hurlburt and Eglin. sherahart at gmail dot com

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  136. *raises glass* "To absent friends" *swallow* Well put. . couldn't have done it any better. Thank you for being a part of the tour. Thank you to all of our troops in and out of service, veterans, and heroes who put there lives on the line everyday. You'll never know how much you mean to everyone. I hope that all those currently out there will arrive home safe and sound.
    jessangil at gmail dot com
    -Jessica B

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  137. Thanks for that story and your support of our troops.

    stefscat@gmail.com

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  138. I can't think of better way to say it. Thank you for supporting our troops!

    carmenbartATgmailDOTcom

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  139. WHEW!!! Made it to the end! I love these Blog Tours, but I am HONORED to participate in the Blog Tour de Troops. Thank you giving 3 books! And it's even better knowing our soldiers will be getting those extras too!!! :)

    I grew up a Navy Brat, so I greatly appreciate the sacrifice of our military and their families! As a former Navy Brat, I know the families definitely serve and sacrifice also! Luckily, my dad wasn't sent to war (he was enlisted during the 70's) but he had A LOT of sea duty and was out to sea for months at a time! He missed many birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. We moved around the country a lot. So another big sacrifice was that we changed schools a lot (7 times in one school year moving from Virginia to California - literally coast to coast), but I wouldn't trade it for anything! I am so proud of his service. Just as I am so incredibly proud of all the heroic men and women fighting for us today whether they are overseas or stateside, they are all important to our nation. I can't wait to see them all coming home, hopefully soon.

    I would like the troop book to go to my cousin Zachary Neer serving in the United States Army in Afghanistan.
    His email is: zach.ne(at)hotmail(dot)com

    Thanks for the free book - can't wait to read your story!
    Melissa
    missyebookmail(AT)mediacombb(DOT)net

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  140. My dad was a sergeant in the Air Force.

    I have dozens of uncles, great-uncles, a grandpa that have been in wars. These have passed on.

    I have cousins that have previously served and a bunch that are currently serving in the war. They are still with us.

    I am proud of each of them for giving of themselves in service to our country.

    God bless all who have previously served and are currently serving in the war.

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  141. This is an awesome blog tour. Following this tour has brought home to me the sacrifices that have been made by so many people, those on the front, middle and back lines, those waiting at home. Thank you for sharing and for your generousity.

    tamsyn5 at yahoo dot com

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  142. Sorry I posted yesterday at 11:54pm but I forgot to leave my email address. Here it is. I asked for you to send my copy of First Chosen to the troops as I already have a copy but would like to get a copy of the other two books. Thanks again

    pefrw at yahoo dot com

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  143. A great ending to a terrific blog tour. Thanks so much.

    readingrat@yahoo.com

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