Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Southern Mississippi Angels

I was recently honored to visit some Angels belonging to the "Wounded Team" in Southern Mississippi. Lead by Jeanne Graser, better known as "Granny", these Angels have shown remarkable support of all our military even through the most dire of times.

Many of these Angels lost most, if not all of their possessions in Hurricane Katrina, some lost their homes as well, but they continued to support our troops--both wounded and deployed. An email to Granny, telling her of a soldier in need and these Angels would donate what they could to help. I don't remember a single time where this group did not help in some way.

American Legion Post 77, Waveland, MS donated their hall for a Meet and Greet Dinner. Commander Russell Voorhees and Post Commander Ray Cuevas made that happen for us. Thank you so much for your assistance. Another thank you to Post 77 for their help in setting up and cleaning up.

50+ guests, including wounded, active duty, retired military, Soldiers' Angels and civilians attended the dinner. Representatives from the Silver Slipper Casino and the Hollywood Casino also stopped in. Many of the retired military who attended were supported by Soldiers' Angels while deployed or recovering from combat injuries in WRAMC or BAMC. One of these retirees was helped by Soldiers' Angels in getting home after Katrina hit. A wonderful group of Women Roller Derby Skaters also joined us. They will be skating with Soldiers' Angels on their shoulders and will be promoting Soldiers' Angels in their travels. What a wonderful group! I just wish I was in Mississippi to see them skate!!

After acknowledging the local Angels and the American Legion, we made a presentation describing the many different Soldiers' Angels teams and how we support the deployed, wounded and veterans.

WLOX-TV was there and did a wonderful piece about the event. Thank you to WLOX and to Al Showers--Al, you are a true "Angel".

Soldiers' Angels recognized Jeanne Graeser, aka Granny, for her unwavering work on behalf of our soldiers. Granny was one of the Angels who lost her home and possessions in Katrina and she never stopped her support of our soldiers. If anything, her support got stronger. She has said that helping support our military is what helped her through this devastating time. She is famous for sending the warriors letters containing her "Granny Adventures".

These past few days have been a few of the best spent. The people of Southern Mississippi are so very friendly. The generosity shown is amazing. What great Americans! What great Angels!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

So very proud...

Volunteering in itself is more than rewarding. Seeing miracles every day and getting to witness startling recoveries are bonuses. Today, I spotted one of our longtime warriors across the lobby, and I noticed his head was higher than normal. You see, for the past 2 years, this humble warrior has been confined to a wheelchair while he recovers and gets used to 2 prosthetic limbs. Today, I saw him standing upright and my heart swelled like the proudest of parents. It took all I had to hold back cheerful tears I was afraid would overcome me, and I didn't want to risk embarrassing him. I know I smiled from ear to ear, but it was no comparison to the smile that warmed his face as he walked over to me. While we see progress all the time, watching a warrior make the move from wheelchair to crutches gets me every time. This warrior's journey has not been without struggle and complications, but true to a soldier's spirit, he has persevered, made great strides and rarely complained.

It's getting to witness milestones such as this that humble me, every single day and make everything we do on behalf of our warriors so very worth the effort...every time...