Thursday, January 14, 2010


Photo Courtesy by Tech. Sgt. Francisco V. Govea II

The two feet belong to U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. James Rybacki. The four feet belong to his military working dog, Torca.  Both are with the 78th Security Forces Squadron.  They are searching for narcotics at checkpoint 4, near Dabaray, Afghanistan. 

It is easy to say that Staff Sgt. Rybacki and Torca risk their lives every day, but difficult to comprehend. It is easy to say thank you, as I sit at my computer working on my newest Pockets of Peace book, POCKETS OF PEACE, Military Working Dogs, The Depth and Intensity of the Bond and chatting back and forth on Facebook with James. 

It doesn't matter if it is a good day or a bad day, hot or cold, rainy or sunny, Afghanistan or Texas. It is what it is.  It is what connects us.

I find it slightly perplexing.  I am in my jammies at 9:00 with my obligatory steaming cup of Latin American coffee, and James is in Afghanistan preparing to go to bed  after he calls his wife, (his "first obligation,") in Georgia. I told him that my therapy dog Kelsie and I will be visiting the twenty six residents and their families  at the Fisher House at Lackland AFB tonight, as the USO prepares them dinner.  He responded, "You will have a great time."  He knows me this well.  He knows where my heart is - where love heals my deepest wounds. 

I asked James if he would write the introduction to my book and his response, 'I would be honored."  He is a remarkable man.  One to be proud of, one to immulate, one to remember.  One to remember each time you see a serviceman or woman.  And one to remember each time you crawl into your bed at night free from fear. 

Remembering is an act of grace.  Listen to your life.  Are you preparing to live - not living.  Are you waiting for the right time?  We spend much too much of life waiting!  Service for our country allows us an invitation to know better! These men and women facing extraordinary danger daily, hourly, are doing this so that we may live the lives we have been given - live them right now, not tomorrow or next year - but right now! 

Our lives are so full, mostly of ourselves, that there is little room for anything else.  Today I ask you to remember James and Torca and all of our troops in harm's way.  They are there for us.  Are we there for them?

I asked James what, if anything, he wanted me to send to him and/or Torca.  "Milkbones maybe, I don't really need anything."  But after just a bit of probing, he will also be receiving gourmet coffee.  "The coffee here will kill a cow."  So milkbones and coffee will soon be off to Afghanistan. 

For U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. James Rybacki &  those serving this beautiful country remember:
Life is Short
Break the Rules
Forgive Quickly
Kiss Slowly
Love Truly
Laugh Uncontrollably
Never Regret Anything That Made You Smile!

Anyone wishing to contribute to the coffee/milkbone fund please visit, and contribute via paypal or credit card. 
Just put Milkbones and Coffee in the Comment line and these items will be off to other MWD teams as well!


"My MWD has a lifetime of fame and I'm honored to serve with him. He is one hell of a MWD." 
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. James Rybacki

"If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun."
Katherine Hepburn

1 comment:

  1. Patsy, what a beautiful heartfelt post but I'd expect nothing less from you. I'm on Facebook and plan to share the url for your Coffee/Milkbone fund to share with my circle of friends.