Tactical Gear Stand Project

Posted March 29th, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Montgomery

 

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Sgt. Luke Hatfield and the body armor stand I made for him.

American soldiers, law enforcement personnel and folks who play military simulation games like Airsoft and Paintball wear heavy body armor. In recent years I’ve built a large private collection of body armor used in Iraq and Afghanistan and learned that it takes some doing to store or display this life-saving gear.

A while ago I found a video on YouTube of a simple gear stand for that gear. Unfortunately, when I built a replica of the video’s stand, it didn’t work very well … so I spent some time re-thinking the entire design. When you click on the hyperlink below, it will open up a PDF file of the result of my efforts to design a low cost, easy to use and easy to build stand for storing and displaying heavy tactical gear. Now I have an eye-catching display of my body armor collection and I’m sharing the idea with soldiers.

Soldiers in the Joint Base Lewis McChord area are invited to contact me. If they will provide the boards, we can build a stand in under two hours in my garage.

my  'soldiers'

my ‘soldiers’

 

Here are the plans to build the stand:  Plans to build a Tactical Gear Stand

When a soldier comes home

Posted February 4th, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Montgomery

 

No additional comment needed for this one.

Charity — & our son, Eric — helps Delaware babies

Posted January 2nd, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Montgomery

Eric-2012

Our son, Eric Montgomery, of Lewes, DE, makes his business work for children ….

LEWES, DE — Many Sussex County newborns come home from the hospital to nurseries painted robin’s-egg blue or cherry-blossom pink, with brand-new cribs set beneath calming and colorful mobiles, and shelves already laden with toys.

Many others come home with parents who are unable to afford the most basic necessities – bottles, clothing, diapers, baby wipes, blankets, lotions and all of the other items that most families could not imagine living without. For Philip Brown, founder and president of Bear Hugs for Babies, the stark contrast has become all the more apparent with the persistent economic downturn that has gripped the county for nearly four years.

“We see so many hardworking families who manage to live paycheck to paycheck until someone loses a job, which becomes all the more overwhelming when they’re bringing a son or daughter into the world,” Brown says. “There’s no way to describe the kind of stress that comes from knowing that you’re not going to be able to provide the most basic, essential things that a newborn needs.”

The level of poverty faced by these families surprised Brown, a Sussex County native, when he returned home after living for several years in Philadelphia, where he founded a volunteer group that distributed teddy bears at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“I thought it was a cool thing to do – something that brought a lot of happiness to the volunteers and the parents and kids,” he remembers. “I started thinking about setting up a similar initiative here, but realized that there are thousands of families who need much more than a teddy bear.”

Brown also realized that the region, with its postcard-perfect towns filled with civic-minded businesspeople and well-established volunteer networks, was an ideal place to establish a nonprofit organization that would meet the needs of these families.

“I knew there were plenty of people who would be emotionally affected by the challenges facing newborns and their families and also saw a lot of potential for businesses, hospitals, social service agencies and everyday residents to work in partnership to help them.”

Founded in 2001, Bear Hugs for Babies now provides basic essentials to hundreds of newborns in Sussex County each year.

Delivered in baskets to families at the hospital or referring agency, the supplies typically include essential items such as diapers and bottles as well as booties and clothing, blankets handmade by local volunteer groups and the signature item – a teddy bear.

The organization learns of the families through referrals from approved social service agencies, hospitals and other organizations and tailors the contents of the baskets to each family’s individual needs.

The organization also works closely with a large network of businesses that offer financial support, volunteers, space for collecting items and raising visibility, and more.

“I’m often amazed by the creativity our business partners bring to their efforts,” Brown says. “Judy Ciemana, the manager of Rita’s Ice at the Midway Shopping Center, has been phenomenal. She started out with a donation can and then went on to give out coupons for people who brought items in.

“And last year she created a Bear Hugs Christmas Tree. Schell Brothers also came up with a great way to support us by donating the use of Independence Hall at Independence for a 1950s-themed fundraiser last year.”

Another local benefactor is The Computer Guy, a small business owned by Eric Montgomery that has kept the organization online for the past several years.

“The internet is one of the first places people go to when they want to learn about volunteering or anything else,” Brown said. “We depend on our website for promoting our organization, facilitating donations and forging connections with the organizations that connect us with the families we serve.”

Like many of the individuals who have supported Bear Hugs during the past several years, Montgomery has become a true believer in the organization’s simple formula for bringing hope and happiness to Sussex County families.

Eric Montgomery

Eric Montgomery 

While first becoming involved on a professional basis as Bear Hugs’ technology adviser, he became personally involved in supporting the organization after seeing the direct impact of its services.

In recent weeks his involvement became both personal and professional when the organization named him its community relations director.

“Eric understands that local business people want to see tangible results of their investments,” Brown says. “He matches his heartfelt interest in what we do with his expertise in engaging all of the people who want to help.”

Brown and Montgomery both believe that the success in the organization’s partnerships comes from a collaborative approach that enables each business or organization to use its unique resources and interests to, in Brown’s words, “help us put pieces of the puzzle together.”

Organizations and businesses such as Read Aloud Delaware and Kids’ Ketch in Lewes have become involved because of their interests in early childhood development.

And businesses such as Sign-A-Rama, Top-Notch HVAC, The Cottage in Lewes, and Soroptimist International of Seaford have provided much-needed financial support.

Many businesses and organizations also support special events hosted by Bear Hugs’ mascot, Kody O’Bear, who appears in parades and children’s events to promote the mission of Bear Hugs for Babies.

“The more visible we become, the more apparent it is that people really want to do something to help these families,” Brown says.

“Whether they go to our website to donate or volunteer or enlist their employers as our partners, we do our best to make it simple and gratifying to be involved.

“We’re here for Sussex County because its people have always been here for us.”

This month, volunteers got to hang out with Kody O’Bear, the mascot of Bear Hugs for Babies during Story Time with Kody, which benefited the Patriots Head Start Program.

A Random Act of Culture

Posted November 5th, 2010 by Dr. Jerry Montgomery

 

The Opera Company of Philadelphia brought together more than 650 choristers from 28 participating organizations on Saturday, October 30, 2010, to perform one of the Knight Foundation’s “Random Acts of Culture” at Macy’s in Center City Philadelphia.

Accompanied by the Wanamaker Organ – the world’s largest pipe organ – the OCP Chorus and throngs of singers from the community infiltrated the store as shoppers, and burst into a pop-up rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s “Messiah” at 12 noon, to the delight of surprised shoppers.

This event is one of 1,000 “Random Acts of Culture” to be funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation over the next three years. The initiative transports the classical arts out of the concert halls and opera houses and into our communities to enrich our everyday lives. To learn more about this program and view more events, visit randomactsofculture.org.

(A big THANK YOU to my colleague and friend, the Rev. F. Mark Dowdy, for finding this gem. Now go out and share it with someone else!)

Peace

Posted October 26th, 2010 by Dr. Jerry Montgomery

Peace be with you, friends.

Enter and don’t be afraid.
The door to my home is open
and you are welcome here.

There is room in my home for everyone.
The house is clean, warm and lighted brightly.
Each room waits for you
and offers comfort and rest within.

The table is ready for us
and the fruits of the fields are spread before us.
Fresh, cool and renewing water also is here,
sparkling in the light.
A chair waits for you
where the sunbeams dance thorough the window.

Please sit down, rest and refresh
your body and your soul.
Eat all the food you want;
drink to refresh your thirst.

All, all here is for you.

No matter who you are
or where you are on life’s journey,
You are welcome here.

‒Gerald W. Montgomery,
adapted from the work of Ernest Homes, 2010

Our Separation

Posted October 18th, 2010 by Dr. Jerry Montgomery

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__________________________________________

by Jerry Montgomery

(Eric’s father)

 

I speak of a bond,
knowing in my heart it once was.
Yet never again will I feel this bond.
This I fear.

I am in my old age now,
with a well-seasoned understanding
of the preciousness of life.
Yet, I know, no matter how great
my successes and failures in life,
this void only can be filled by one.

He left with words, angry words,
not once reflecting
on what had come to pass.
A darkly colored view perhaps,
but an honest view none-the-less,
and one he used to move away
abandoning his roots, the past and me.

The scars left my in heart are deep,
as if canyons were opened.
Now time acts like the wind and rains
constantly eroding and
changing our memories
of what was and what wasn’t.
Yet back then, when we needed to,
we could not move enough mountains,
to fill these canyons between us.

My scars,
the years of silent pain,
can be erased
by the simplest of things.
A warm embrace,
perhaps more than one.
A touch,
a touch so he can say “I’m OK.”
A look,
a look to say, maybe, just maybe,
that “I am your son,
and I’ve come home.”

Each day my eyes
are filled with tears,
reminding me just how much,
how much he really is missed,
and maybe even needed,
needed at those many moments
of the despairs and joys
that fill daily life.
For I know it is because of him
that I still wait
to tell him once again
he is still loved,
that my love never stopped
even in the rain of angry words.

To think that life could truly
be as one alone, is to be a fool.
Each life begins alone
and each life ends alone.
Yet as the years have passed,
I’ve learned that deep within my soul
life itself is much to the contrary.
It is not being alone,
we never are!
We could not exist,
I’ve learned, without one another.

I speak not aloud of this,
not to another soul,
for it is within my being that I cry,
it is my soul that weeps.
My soul can never be complete
without him,
without the love
between a father and son.

So in the silence of night
I continue to fear,
to fear that I may never know
if our bond can be restored,
even if we both work at it,
to the long lost
innocence of childhood.

Yet, I will always love him
even past the boundaries of my grave.
My son, I love you.

 

Dedicated to Eric William Montgomery,
The Computer Guy of Lewes, Delaware,
who is my son and
of whom I am immensely proud.

Copyright © 2010
Gerald W. Montgomery
All rights reserved

 

The Senility Prayer

Posted October 18th, 2010 by Dr. Jerry Montgomery

God grant me the senility
to forget the people
that I never liked anyway,
the good fortune to run
into the ones that I do,
and the eyesight
to tell the difference.

…so far, so good!