The trip was from Friday to Sunday with unrestricted time for these heroes to enjoy their families without worrying about appointments and schedules. The only “scheduled time” was dinner each evening. There is no end to the appreciation from these heroes for a trip such as this. Most, if not all, of the other trips sponsored have the time scheduled to the minute. This trip gives them the unstructured time to relax, regroup and do normal, family things.
The bus arrived around noon on Friday. After check-in, some explored the beach and boardwalk; some explored the town; some simply took to their room to relax. The hotel, The White Sands Resort & Spa, makes these warriors most welcome. The Spa accommodates them with the various treatments offered and appointments, working with them at the warriors convenience.
We had some very special guests at our dinner Friday evening at the Lido Cafe. The weekend prior, I’d met some retired Marines at the Seafood Festival in town and invited them to join us. What a wonderful way to say “thank you” to them. The Marines who made the trip from NNMC had a great time talking with them, as did all our warriors. Rich Lowe, Soldiers’ Angels Board of Trustee, also coined these Marines.
Saturday was a day for kite flying, kayaking, spa treatments, and indulging in all the boardwalk goodies. A group had never had ice cream and waffles; another had never had zeppole’s. If the boardwalk was open Sunday morning, they’d have gone back for more waffles and ice cream.
The weather cooperated Friday and Saturday, but the rains came late Saturday evening and through Sunday morning. It didn’t stop many of these adventurous souls though. We found them coming back from a last walk on the boardwalk—soaking wet, from a “taco search” about 8 blocks from the hotel.
All said this was exactly the type of weekend they needed. They could be themselves and enjoy the time spent with family and friends. This was a special trip for 2 soldiers who will be returning down range in the next few months—so this trip meant even more than we knew to them when we invited them.
Many, many thanks to Soldiers’ Angels for this trip. They are already looking forward to next year!
Thank you to the following: The White Sands Resort & Spa, Spanos, Melanie’s Clambakes, Point Pleasant Boro Fire Company #1, Briggs Transportation, Eyre Bus Service. Of course, thank you to all the angels, in DC and Jersey, who worked hard to get this together and get them gathered onto the bus! LOL