Sunday, July 8, 2012

New Life

It's been a very long time since we've last posted and figured now is the time to touch base and say "Thank you. This will be the last post on this blog. As all good things come to an end, so too does this little blog that we wrote sharing our feelings and emotions about working with our wounded warriors and their families.

Meeting these warriors and families have been a humbling experience and have made me a better person for having met them. Many of the people I've worked with have been an inspiration to me, giving me opportunies to grow in ways I never would have imagined. To you--I thank you.

I especially want to thank my Blog-Father, Laughing Wolf, for sharing his blogging expertise with me and encouraging me to proceed. Who knows, there might be a blog in the future.

God Speed All.

Monday, February 28, 2011

San Antonio--March 2011

I know, it's been a very long time since I've posted--but I'm back!

I'm heading to San Antonio at the end of this week to attend some workshops at the Soldiers' Angels Board of Directors Meeting. I am so looking forward to catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. I'm especially excited to know that the Medical Support Teams from Germany and the United States, including our Combat Medical Support Team, will be able to spend time together.

There will be live blogging going on during Friday's meetings. I hope to be able to share new and exciting news "as it happens" on Friday. Keep your fingers crossed that it works for me. :)

Keep our warriors and their families in your thoughts and prayers.....they are all true heroes! God Bless them all!

Monday, September 13, 2010

September 11, 2010

Soldiers’ Angels sponsored their 5th Annual Jersey Shore Trip for wounded/injured/ill service members from Walter Reed Army Medical Center this weekend. Soldiers’ Angels brings these service members and their families to the Jersey Shore so they can have quality time away from the hospital and all the appointments scheduled throughout the week. The only “scheduled” event is Saturday dinner.

Our warriors started arriving at The White Sands Oceanfront Resort & Spa around noon on Friday. They were pleasantly surprised when they were told to “Go—have fun. The boardwalk is a block away, the beach is right here. We will see you for dinner at 5:15 tonight”. These war hardened warriors smiled like big kids and took off to enjoy the boardwalk. Dinner Friday night was just a quick meal of subs and the night was theirs to enjoy.

Saturday was the most perfect day. The sun was shining, the temperature was wonderful! They played on the beach digging holes and burying each other; some ventured into the ocean; another guest had never seen the Atlantic Ocean; a few enjoyed the Spa services at The White Sands; most went and enjoyed boardwalk food. Of course, I had to tell them about the waffles and ice cream!

Saturday evening, it was off to Point Pleasant Beach Fire Co #2 for a Clambake. Melanie’s Clambakes, out of Tuckerton, has catered for us for the last 2 years and did not disappoint. The food and service was excellent. Our service members and their families feasted on lobster or chicken, clams, red potatoes, corn on the cob and watermelon. Then to end the night, the fire company took them for a ride in a fire truck.

Yes, Sunday was raining, but it did not “dampen” any spirits. They slept in until 9 and it was time to head back to DC. The smiles on the faces of the warriors and their families were priceless!

Yes, it was the weekend of September 11. What an honor it was to be in the company of real heroes!

A big thank you to Patti Patton Bader, Ana-Marie Smith and the Board of Trustees for making this weekend happen. To the “DC Team” and the “Jersey Angels” who worked so hard—I am proud to stand with you. Anthony deserves a special thank you for setting up and breaking down the fire company hall for us. Geordie and Construct Marketing—Thank you! It was a pleasure to meet you and look forward to seeing you again. Thank you to The White Sands, Melanie’s Clambakes—you rock! To anyone that I have forgotten, please know this “old Jersey Angel” thanks you from the bottom of her heart for making this an unforgettable weekend for these heroes!
Alas--I forgot my camera :( I will post some pictures later when Lynda emails me some that she took.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Off Topic—Kinda Sorta

I received this email from Granny the other day and it got me to thinking about the wonderful people I’ve met on this remarkable journey as a volunteer with Soldiers’ Angels over the past 6 years

Here’s the email:

i have a lot of granny adventure stories that i write to the troops...but i guess the one that sticks in my mind the most is after katrina...i am a single ole woman,,,an i was living in a fema camper that really was in bad shape,,,i went daily to fema an asked for help,,,,they never could fix leaked an smelled like gas...well,,,i kinda lost i really lost it...i talked to my soldiers angel mentor daily...she could see that i was having a hard time....we had never met face to face...but emailed an talked with each other on the phone....i remember sittin in the computer tent talking with her,,,cryin,,, daugther offered to pay her flight to i had no family close by....well,,,my mentor had never flown in her life an would not fly as she was very scared...i asked her please finally,,,,she did...Lynette flew here an stayed with me for a week...helped me mentally,,,a lot...just imagine someone that u really didn't know coming when u r at the bottom of the u really didn't know each other....i will never forget her,,,an what she did....i kinda think that is what we do for the soldiers...we are all there for them....

What Granny neglected to say was that during her time of crisis, she was also there as a support for me while recovering from major surgery that I’d had earlier that August. So while she cried to me—she was also there while I cried to her. She was the first person to make me laugh about “the new me” and I still giggle about it when I think about it and her "tattoo" idea.

Volunteering with Soldiers’ Angels is a remarkable experience in so, so many different ways. Yes, you support the warriors-both deployed and Stateside. That alone is a fantastic experience. In fact, I am still in touch with the wife of the first soldier we “adopted” and hope to meet them this fall.

What is even more priceless, to me, is the friendships that have come from my time with Soldiers’ Angels. I have been blessed with the dearest friends since joining. Friends who have provided me support while going through the next chapter in my life. Having these ladies in my life, with their uncontrollable laughter, their “I’ve got your back” attitudes, and their unconditional friendship has been a delight and I am thankful for them each and every day. We may come from different parts of the country, but the friendships are those as close as sisters.

The warriors and their families that I’ve come to know during these times have each taken a piece of my heart. Thankfully, my heart is as big as my “butt” so I still have a lot of heart to give……and you do give a piece of your heart every time you meet one of our warriors—whether an active duty warrior, a wounded/injured/ill warrior, or a veteran.

And for all this, I can say “thank you” to Patti Patton Bader for seeing that “something” in me when she and I first spoke so many years ago. She saw the woman inside waiting to “grow” and helped me to the place I am today—not only in Soldiers’ Angels, but in my life. Had you told me in school, I’d be doing what I’m doing today and meeting the people I’m meeting today, I would not have believed you. Believe it or not—I was very quiet in school, keeping to the background and keeping my opinions to myself. LOL I know—those that know me now, it’s hard to believe!! Patti--There aren’t enough words to say thank you.

To each and every one of you that touched my heart—thank you!!

God Bless you all and GOD BLESS AMERICA and OUR TROOPS!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend. Most have plans made for the "3 B's"--BBQ, beer and beach. I'll add a 4th B in there for my family--Anthony's birthday. Many do not know what Memorial Day really means........a day that commemorates United States men and women who died while serving our country in military service. We must never forget their sacrifices nor should we ever take the freedoms they died protecting for granted. Freedom is the greatest gift--we should always remember these heroes and their sacrifices.

Many different thoughts have passed through my mind while putting this piece together. Thoughts of the men and women from wars gone by and from OEF/OIF who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that future Americans can live in freedom. I remember stories my mom has told of fellows she knew from WWII who didn't make it back. So, so many. Thoughts of the men and women who have returned home with injuries and illnesses--some that can be seen and other injuries that can not be seen--and passing from those same injuries and illnesses. I am humbled by the bravery, courage and patriotism shown by these warriors and the strength of the families left behind.

As we gather with friends and family this weekend, take some time to remember those that sacrified so much for us and remember their families, too.

.....................and if you see a veteran, please say "Thank you".

God Bless All.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wounded TLC Team

One of the truly special aspects of being a member of Soldiers' Angels Wounded Team is the opportunity we get to reach out, not only to wounded warriors, but also those who have been injured and those who are recovering from illness. Unlike many other organizations, we care for all of them, regardless of what brought them to the military hospital.

Although our weekly visits offer great comfort and assistance, our Wounded TLC Team brightens our warriors' days. This team works tirelessly, sending out cards and letters of support to those recovering. Many a time, a warrior has approached me with the biggest smile on his/her face, beginning his sentence with "I went to the mailbox today..." They don't need to finish as I know what they found: a bundle of cards from Angels all over the country, wishing them well. As the warrior recovers, it is not uncommon for our Wounded TLC member to not hear back, yet they keep sending the words of encouragement, every single week.

During my last weekly visit, Mrs. P sat to chat with me for a little bit. Her husband is currently being treated for brain cancer and to say it has been a difficult road for both of them is an understatement. She has struggled, as so many other caretakers do, to take care of her spouse and yet remain strong herself. I asked if her husband had begun receiving letters yet and she just lit up. "YES! And my husband reads every single letter, and he smiles the entire time he is reading them!" She was amazed at the amount of letters and the wonderful thoughts that were sent in each one. It never ceases to amaze my warriors and their families that total strangers take the time and care enough to send these lovely cards and letters. As the average recovery time now closes in on 2 years, the cards and letters truly do mean the world to the warriors. So many of them tell me how they keep every letter, in hopes of one day writing back to say thank you or just as a reminder of all the support they received from those for whom they sacrifice. Long after the media has lost sight of their story, or their friends and acquaintances return to their lives, our Wounded TLC Team continues to remind our warriors that we DO care, and deeply.

Dear Wounded TLC Team, keep up the great work and know you are making a difference, one word, one card, one letter at a time...



Working with our wounded/injured/ill warriors, we see the "can do" attitude. We've seen these warriors decide not to let their "new normal" defeat them, but grab onto the challenge and roar into their "new normal" with no looking back. Their attitudes are remarkable. Now, they show the world!!

This week, May 10-14 an exciting event is taking place for our wounded/injured/ill warriors. The Inaugural Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, CO. 200 wounded/injured/ill warriors from all services will be competing in cycling, archery, wheelchair basketball, swimming, sitting volleyball, shotput and more.

Keep checking this
here for daily updates.

Sometimes, there are no words but "WOW!"