Monday, June 30, 2008


After posting a recent piece, I got to “reflecting” upon the many different people I’ve met and experiences I’ve had since the GWOT began. I would never have met any of these wonderful people nor had the experiences I’ve had, if not for the war. Each person I’ve met along the way has touched my heart and enabled me to continue on this path that I am on. Each person I’ve met, whether Angel, Warrior or Colleague, has helped me grow into the person I am today.

These people have come into my life because of the war. Then I think of the cost of my growth. The price paid--not by me--but of our warriors and their families. It is a steep price, full of sacrifice, bravery and, in some instances, pain on their part.

When I think of the Warriors and their family members I’ve met, how or what can I ever do to thank them? Those deployed heroes; those wounded heroes who are meeting their “new normal” head on—many wanting to get back into the fight. How do we thank their families for their sacrifices?

This war has changed us all. Our innocence of September 10, 2001 is forever gone. In its place is a new awareness, a sense of pride and patriotism. Our Nation has grown since September 11, 2001. Has it been a good growth? Yes, I believe for the most part, it has.

I thank God for each and every person that has come into my life since that fateful day….I just wish the price paid wasn’t so high.

Once again—thank you, heroes for keeping us safe. Thank you heroes from ALL the wars. Thank you.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Take a Few & Email Marines

Maj Pain posted this on Blackfive as well as One Marines View.

Please, make a few minutes and email these Marines words of encouragement and support. It will only take a few minutes and will make a world of difference to these warriors!


Friday, June 20, 2008


Wednesday night, my son drove his best friend to the Armory here in Jersey. He’s heading to Fort Bliss for training and then onto Iraq in the very near future.

After all this time, C is the first person we’ve known personally BEFORE they were deployed. We’ve “met” the warriors after they’ve deployed when we “adopted” them through Soldiers’ Angels; we’ve met them when they’ve come home and are in the hospital.

It was with heavy hearts we said farewell to C. The young man who I watched grow up and ride bicycles with my son; who was just as much at home here as he was at his house, was getting ready to deploy. He was holding back his tears, just hugging on us for such a long time. I held back the tears as I hugged him, this big 6’4” young man and told him that we are there for him. I hugged him and told him everything would be alright and immediately started praying that God keeps his hands on C’s shoulders. It hurts.

Saying “farewell” to C has caused me to reflect and admire upon the strength of our warriors and their families even more than I did. Many have said “farewell” multiple times. How heart wrenching. How strong they are.

Since the GWOT began, we have heard about so many heroes, but we don’t hear too much about the families of our warriors and the sacrifices they are making while their loved one is fighting the fight. The families of our warriors are the “quiet heroes” who send their loved one off to war and quietly keep the home-life running. We see the families of the wounded who arrive at the hospital and become advocates for their warrior, leading them through the maze of the military medical system. All this is done with strength and courage.

At the request of a couple of warriors at WRAMC, I recently posted about saying thanks to our warriors when we see them. I’d like to take that one step further and ask that we remember the families of our warriors. Say thank you to them as well. Ask how they are doing. Ask if they need anything. They are giving so much more than we will ever know.

Thank you all…….


(Yes, Patti, I will submit him to Soldiers' Angels when he is deployed and will have some "Angel Friends" reach out their wings to him as well)

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Power of a Cookie...

Being a member of the Wounded Team, I have the privilege of visiting our wounded warriors on a regular basis. Their strength, courage and determination never cease to amaze me and I leave inspired, each and every time.

Something that truly amazes me though, is how it’s not always the grand gestures, but the little things that can make a difference: how a simple “Thank you for your service”, a warm smile or just some home made goodies can bring a little bit of happiness to a young service member struggling with life experiences and the wounds of war.

I used to bring cookies and brownies occasionally, until I realized that this small act, of bringing something home made, was so very welcome and appreciated. I now find myself baking on a regular basis, bringing not just cookies and brownies, but pies, cakes and other assorted items. (“Buckeyes” anyone? yes, thanks to Daniel, I now know what these are…but I still haven’t figured out how not to make them have flat bottoms, ha ha ha) Every week when I visit, I see young men and women, their families too, cruising by the area where I sit, just to see what I’ve brought. Often times they may just swing by and sample a cookie and be on their way, some will sit and chat for a bit, sometimes they will stay longer. It is during these chats when the warrior or the family member may begin to open up. I have had some amazing conversations over carrot cake, giggles while they sampled cheesecake as well as dreams and sorrows shared over gingersnaps. For some reason, this small gesture inspires comfort and I am happy to take the time every chance I get, to be able to warm a warriors heart, if only for a moment.

So do the little things: say Thank You, shake a service member’s hand, welcome them home, pay for their meal, give a warm smile whenever possible and know you may be giving them more than you realize.

The power of a cookie…who knew…


Thursday, June 12, 2008


I saw “The Bus”.

After all these years, working with our wounded warriors and their families at Walter Reed, I saw “The Bus”.

“The Bus” that brings the wounded from Andrews Air Force Base to Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

The ambulance bus.

The “Walter Reed Bus”…………

You’d think seeing “The Bus” wouldn’t have affected me, since I’ve met and spoken with so many of our warriors and their families over the years, but it did. Those who know me personally know that I’m not too often at a loss for words, but that’s what happened.

I had just left the base and was heading home. Up ahead, I saw flashing lights and I didn’t think anything of them. I thought it was a fire truck. It wasn’t. It was “The Bus”. I was on the phone with MD and totally lost my train of talk.

On the ride home, I kept thinking about “The Bus”.

It is not “just a bus”. It is an ambulance carrying precious injured cargo—the heroes injured in their efforts to keep me & mine and you & yours safe here at home. How many warriors were on “the bus” when I saw it? I don’t know. But those lives are forever changed. All who rode in “The Bus” are forever changed as are the lives of their families and friends.

MD told me of a mom who hadn’t been there when the bus bringing her son to WRAMC arrived, but how wonderfully the nurses on the bus took care of him and made the ride as comfortable as they could for him. The medical personnel on this vehicle are tops!

………How DO you say thank you??? Thank you heroes!

(MD—I bet you thought I was going to talk about a different bus, didn’t you?).


Monday, June 9, 2008


We recently returned from a visit to DC where we met with some of our wounded warriors and had a chance to chat with them.

One of the warriors told me how wonderful it felt to be told “thank you” by someone in the airport. He’d been traveling with his wife and they were having lunch while on a layover. A lady quietly walked over to them, excused herself and said to his wife that she wanted to hug him to say “thank you”. This touched the warrior deeply.

Another mentioned how he’d been thanked by a little boy in the airport. He said it brought tears to his eyes. He hadn’t been thanked before.

I was asked by members of the “Soldiers’ Angels Family” at Walter Reed who we refer to as “The Posse”, “The Mafia” or “The Contingent” to help pass this along. These fellows saw this and asked if I’d help spread the word and keep spreading it. Please go, watch and do this when you see a Soldier, Sailor, Airmen, Marine or Coast Guardsmen. They are sacrificing so much to keep us safe.

Thank you.