Thank You America, A Country Of Choice.


I will always remember with fond memory and cherish those years I served this county, my country of choice and will always remember the friends I lost in the war


by Sami Jamil Jadallah


When I first arrived in the US back in 1962 as an immigrant, my oldest brother Nabil was undergoing basic training at Ft. Bragg, NC.

He was to stay there a few extra months for his jump training. Nabil left for Columbia, South America back in ’53 and a year later my father was able to get an immigrant visa to the US and Nabil joined my father in 58.

It was in ’62 that I first met my brother Nabil since his departure in ’53. Within couple of weeks of arriving home back in Gary, Indiana Nabil was on his way to Fairbanks, Alaska where he stayed for 18 months.

Almost a year to the date after graduating from high school, I got my draft notice in Washington DC where I was working for National Airlines. I took my induction tests and welcoming papers in Chicago and joined the US Army on June 2nd 1966. Of course no need here to mention what I saw, which was so shocking of men doing all they can to get out of the draft and going to war.

The train trip from Chicago to Ft. Polk; LA was a long one almost 36 hours with a breakfast stop in Jackson, Mississippi. Since arriving in the US I traveled to cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, Ann Arbor, South Bend, Washington DC and New York, but it was my first trip South and I could not believe the poverty I saw as we traveled south to Louisiana. I guess not much has changed since then.

Basic was not so easy, and I was assigned to a company with a bunch of guys from Texas, Illinois, Arkansas and Indiana and of course every one wanted to show how tough they were and of course the drill sergeant took care of that behind the barracks.

I was so lucky to be selected a squad leader from the first day and I shared a room in the wooden barracks and it was on my first day that I was called in to the office of the CO to inform me, as Muslim, the mess made arrangements for me to have special meals.

I very much appreciate this gesture and I told this story thousands of times to people in the Middle East who questioned treatment of Muslims. Of course that was before September 11th, when all that changed.

The Vietnam War came home to Gary in 64, with the first funeral I attended. The brother of my girl friend was killed in Vietnam. Of course that was neither the first nor the last death that I remember.

My bunkmate on the train down to Ft. Polk died within days of arriving in Vietnam and a classmate from high school Jack Nurse was the first one to die from our graduating class. The war was every thing to us in those years.

Lucky for me, I was sent to Ft. Monmouth, NJ for communication school and I was able to manage and pass the 10 weeks electronic school and I was the only one out of 25 graduating class that did not receive orders to proceed to Vietnam.

I was sent to Ft. Huachuca, AZ. Frankly it was great assignment. While at Ft. Monmouth, I was selected as squad leader and I was selected squad leader within one week of arriving in Arizona.

The War in Vietnam was intensifying with hundreds of thousands finding their way to Vietnam, and my brother Nabil was one of those. He was stationed in Pleiku. Nabil later was to serve in Panama, in Puerto Rico, Honduras, Salvador, Peru, Ecuador, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. He lives in San Anton.

Soon after graduation from high school, my bother Lutfi joined the US Marines and soon was followed by other brother Suleiman who joined the Army and soon after I was discharged my other brother Taiseer joined the US Marines.

It was an American family with 5 out of 6 brothers serving the nation.

While at Ft. Huachuca I won the “soldier of the month” several times and was nominated to attend the 6th Army NCO Academy in Ft. Louis, Washington. There was the real challenge and competition. I was skinny guy with a foreign accent and I could not believe when my name was put up for competition.

Throughout the weeks I was in Ft. Louis, I had to compete every day with guys who were the perfect Army poster. The competition ran all the way to the graduation ceremony with this army poster guy and me from South Dakota taking turn leading the troops. I could not believe it when the commanding general called my name and awarded me the “Leadership Award” it was truly the best honor I had in my life.

I left the army after my two years with the rank of Sergeant E5 and I returned home to Gary, Indiana looking for job. I was turned down everywhere I went. I chose not to apply to US Steel. After two weeks of job hunting, and after a long day of searching I decide to walk into Burns Memorial Chapel, a funeral home and I got the job.

While at Horace Mann High School my counselor always wanted to steer me toward non-college career and I simply refused. Few years later I was invited to become the guest speaker at “college night” at the same school.

A year after honorable discharge I enrolled at Indiana University where in addition to going to school full time, I worked as an orderly at Mercy Hospital, at Inland Steel, a bus driver at the university among other jobs. I went on to earn a bachelor degree, a master of public and environmental affairs and a law degree.

The training I had in the US Army was of great help to me while at Indiana University and it helped me win the presidency of the Freshman class and the presidency of the student government a year later and it helped me win the chairmanship of the Indiana Student Association, an association of all colleges and universities in the state of Indiana.

Being an active member of the IU Veteran Club made all the difference in winning such competition and so many thanks to all my friends members of the IU Veteran Clubs for their support. Yes, not-withstanding the anger and protests against the war, we were really “in” on campus and were very active in community and student affairs.

September 11th was a watershed for us in this country, and we became the “enemy”. So many things have changed. I must share with you this interesting and moving story.

My Marine brother Taiseer’s car and house in St. Petersburg, Florida was attacked and the St. Pete Times carried the story and the police report.

The next day and to the shock of every one in the housing complex, a retired Marine Colonel came looking for him.

As the people gathered around to see what is going on, upon meeting with my brother, he opened his brief case, gave my brother the US and Marine flags and as every one watched in amazement, told my brother “we US Marines stick together, and any one bothers you, you know where to find us.”

The next day, the St. Pete Times carried a picture of my brother Taiseer wrapped in the American flag. Well, I guess this is the US Marines.

I will always remember with fond memory and cherish those years I served this county, my country of choice and will always remembers the friends I lost in the war and will always remember the friends I made while at Indiana University.

Joining the US military was the least thing my family can do for this country, a country that gave us home, citizenship, rewarding careers and so many friends. Thank you America for every thing.

God Bless You America.

Nordstrom Opens First Florida Store in Boca Raton.(Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News)

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News October 31, 2000 | Walker, Elaine Nov. 1–Ask a die-hard shopper what he or she likes about Nordstrom and the answer will usually be either its legendary customer service, liberal return policy or vast selection of shoes.

South Florida consumers will get the chance to experience the things that make Nordstrom unique on Friday, when the retailer opens at the Town Center at Boca Raton.

The Town Center store marks the beginning of the Seattle chain’s expansion into Florida. While the majority of Nordstrom’s 75 full-line stores are in the West, the company has been expanding on the East Coast since 1988. this web site nordstrom promotion code

“We’ve looked at Florida for a long time,” said Blake Nordstrom, who in August became president of the company his great-grandfather founded as a shoe store in 1901. “We think that there are a lot of opportunities here. It’s a natural extension of our growth.” Nordstrom is scheduled to open in Fall 2002 in Coral Gables, as an anchor at the Rouse Co.’s Village of Merrick Park. The chain also has committed to projects in Orlando and Tampa.

And Blake Nordstrom acknowledged this week that the company has looked at other sites in Broward County and North Dade for a full-line store. Plus, the company is looking for sites for Nordstrom Rack stores, the company’s retail outlet store.

“We have a strong desire to fill in some of those areas if possible,” Nordstrom said.

Nordstrom’s opening is part of a grand reopening of the Town Center, which has undergone a major renovation and the addition of a new 267,000-square-foot wing. In addition to Nordstrom, the expansion will add more than 30 stores and restaurants, including Cole Haan, Hugo Boss, Lucky Brand Dungarees, J. Jill and Legal Seafood.

Mall managers and many retail analysts expect Nordstrom to lure customers from as far as Miami-Dade County.

“They’re a good attraction,” said Herbert Leeds, president of Leeds Business Counseling, a Miami retail consulting firm. “They bring more people to a center because they’re unique from a quality and inventory standpoint.” While Nordstrom is most often compared to stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s, it is not a full-line department store. Nordstrom carries only apparel, shoes and accessories, not any home or electronics merchandise.

The Boca Raton Nordstrom will have the extensive shoe collection that is the company’s trademark. It will stock almost 80,000 pairs of shoes for men, women and children in sizes up to 13 for women and 20 for men.

At Nordstrom many services that other competitors charge for are complimentary, including personal shopping, basic alterations, delivery, gift boxes and shoe shine.

Plus, Nordstrom sales associates are authorized to do whatever it takes to satisfy a customer. That can mean changing a customer’s flat tire, taking merchandise to their office or returning merchandise for them to a competitor’s store.

It’s that service that has made loyalists out of people like Ruth Margolis. She moved to Coral Springs nine years ago from San Francisco and has driven to Atlanta just to shop at Nordstrom.

“You’ve never seen anybody so thrilled to have a new store opening,” said Margolis, who was checking out the store at Monday night’s charity grand opening. “I’ve already got my credit card warmed up and ready to go.” But Fort Lauderdale retail consultant Bill Wholey isn’t sure there are enough shoppers in South Florida who are familiar with the Nordstrom name. He thinks the company has made a mistake by hop-scotching across the country, instead of sticking to the region it knows best. see here nordstrom promotion code

“They’re coming in here, and they’re unknown,” Wholey said. “They’ve got to introduce people to the store. If they don’t do a good job of that, they’re going to be in trouble.” The expansion into South Florida comes at a time when Nordstrom is struggling to rebound from disappointing operating results and a declining stock price.

The retailer announced last month that it won’t meet Wall Street’s third-quarter earnings expectations and will at best break even. The poor performance has been blamed on excessive inventory markdowns, severance costs related to management restructuring and a writedown on its investment in the Internet grocer

The Nordstrom family took back management reins of the company two months ago, when Blake Nordstrom was named president. His brother Pete Nordstrom was named president of full-line stores and their father Bruce Nordstrom became chairman.

While Blake Nordstrom declined to discuss any details of his plan for improving the bottom line, analysts expect his focus will be on the company’s merchandising, which was unsuccessfully revamped under previous management to attract a younger customer.

“We’ve taken our eye off the ball, and we haven’t executed as well as we could,” Blake Nordstrom said. “We’re committed to improving and demonstrating that through our actions.” Walker, Elaine


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Sami, a Palestinian-American and a US Army Veteran (66-68), recipient of the "soldier of the month award and leadership award from the 6th Army NCO Academy, is an international legal and business consultant with over 40 years of international experience, in construction, hospitality services, conservation, and defense, in the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa. Sami is a holder of BA, MPA in Public and Environmental Affairs, Jurist Doctor from Indiana University. While at IU he was elected class president, student government president and chairman of the Indiana Students Association, Active in peace movement as a co-author of the pre-amble for the One State for All of its people and voluntary service program SalamNation. A frequent contributor on national and international affairs. He resides in the United States.