Past Luncheons – September 13, 2009
Wives, mothers, fathers, sisters, cousins.
Just a few of the family members we met today on
Some had been there 5 weeks; some arrived just
two days ago.
Some travel back and forth from their home state
to the hospital, as they can.
Others have stayed so long that their sons are
“It’s okay to go home now, Mom. I’ll be fine.”
One had two sons deployed at the same
time. Now one’s stateside…
One’s son was twice to
Iraq, Purple Heart from his second
Afghanistan… now he’s at
Met mostly Marines at the luncheon.
Some from the same units.
Cancer, prognosis not good. Yep, at 21.
The docs made the diagnoses while he was in
A couple of patients,
retired Vets, in there for other things came in and filled a plate.
When I say “headcount” it includes wounded, family
members, and staff. It doesn’t really reflect the number of patients. A Gunny told me how he figured out headcounts
for luncheons a few years back so I use that formula – kinda like
an algebra formula… It seems to work for us. My problem is I’m not
good with quantities and buy too much.
The headcount for the luncheon was double what
it has been in the past since after Bush’s surge kicked in over in Iraq.
Lots of family members there this time.
Doctors, Surgeons, Nurses, Corpsmen, Physical Therapists,
Navy and Marine staff.
The Chaplain was back. We met him back last spring.
Really nice guy and we enjoyed chatting with him again.
A Nurse who served for eight years, got out and
missed it so she went back in. Her husband was also in the military.
Some Docs totally cracked us up, they were so funny
- oncology and psyche Docs.
An Intern who was floating between Walter Reed
Bethesda on different wards
A Corpsman came in several times to fix plates
for his patients, then for himself.
He had a sweet tooth, came back a time or two afterwards
for some Entenmanns’. Or maybe the goodies were for one of his patients
- not sure, I should have asked.
Didn’t have room in the car for the gift bags so
left everything in grocery bags and then put them in the pantry labeled
and dated for the families..
Left some boxes of grab and go food for the guys
at Mercy Hall in the Liaisons’ office.
Dave came through again with the Entenmanns’. Deb let Dave know we had a luncheon coming up
the Monday before. Dave put a couple of boxes together. Scott picked
them up from Dave’s business on Friday. Jean picked them up from Deb
and Scott’s on Saturday and brought them with her.
It was her first time in the parking garage so
I made sure she didn’t get lost – wouldn’t let her go by herself.
We might not have seen her again. Thanks to Deb, I’ve finally figured
the garage parking out; know exactly where to park so coming out of
the hospital the cars are within sight of the door. .
We gave out the Stars from Jan and Linda in
Florida to the patients and some of the staff.
Oh by the way, that reminds me!
won the Energizer Bunny “Keep On Going” contest! She is going to use
the $15,000.00 for care package postage! Way
to go Dee!
Gold Star Mom Cathy in
Georgia made beaded campaign ribbons
for us to hand out. The patients really liked them.
The Dunkin Donuts gift cards from Chris were a
real treat. “COFFEEEEEEE!!!!”
We also left a container of coffee, sugar, Splenda
and coffee filters in the pantry.
Had some “Trail
of Tears Remembrance Motorcycle Ride” t-shirts from Grizz and
Tennessee with the niftie
Red, white, and blue afghans from Esther’s Ladies
at “Hooks and Needles for Our Troops” went to good homes. I love to
tell the guys the story behind the afghans.
Homemade pillowcases from Bayside Quilters. Two
little girls, about 7 and 4, had fun choosing one.
Quilts were given out from the quilters. One had
been made by a 13 year old, her first quilt, and she was determined
that it go to someone at
Now I know if you’re a quilter you know what that means. A true, selfless,
caring, gift of love. She included a note to whoever it ended up with.
And it really touched the Marine’s heart that it
was given to. His mom came back for an address so he can write back
The note writers outdid themselves this month.
I printed out 8 pages for each packet plus had some handwritten cards
to slip inside the 13”x 9” envelopes.
We had stuff from Della, Amy, Jim. The non-perishables
and pantry items were really appreciated with some of it things we
normally would not buy.
We met the “Cane Man” and his daughter
who were there to hand out canes to guys who could use one. He was
there trying to catch the guys who were leaving in the next few days.
They are beautiful. He’s making wooden pens for them now, too.
Marine Semper Fi Fund Sponsor was there with his adopted Marine
spending the day with him.
We see DEDICATION in the staff and volunteers who provide care and support for them
And we also see a DETERMINATION and GRIT in these
wounded Marines and an intensity of STRENGTH within these families.
There were three of us at this luncheon, Jean,
Gladys and me, and things were pretty quiet in the Liaisons’ office
so it took us a little longer to set up. Only had one cart to use and it
took three trips plus carrying stuff up by hand to the floor on the
The ziti was kept warm on one of those tray thingies
with sterno under it, garden salad, a cheese and pepperoni bowl, bread
and rolls, candy, baklava, cookies, different sodas, smoothies, Entenmanns’.
Not many pictures this time, no time to take them,
but lots of memories – the last memory is of a
new patient being wheeled to his room as we were leaving, with his
mom and dad following the bed.
Shortly after merging into the unusually heavy
traffic on the beltway to head home an older woman sped past me driving
a car with a bumper sticker that read,
Not the Answer.”
No one likes war.
Does she realize that Islamic
jihadists are worldwide, not just in
but creeping into countries in sleeper cells and through the court
systems? Does she understand that the bad guys consider beheadings
and instilling extreme fear is an acceptable way to control the tribal
regions? Does she think that suppressing a population and keeping
it in fifth century ignorance and poverty is hunky dory?
Does she truly
realize just how fortunate she is to live in the
United States of America? She can
ride around with any kind of bumper sticker she wants on her car,
wherever she wants to drive, going 20 mph over the speed limit with
no worries of hitting an IED, and no worries of bad guys chopping
her fingers off after she
votes… and I can write here that I disagree with her bumper sticker.
forget the Heroes.
The Rules of Engagement in
Afghanistan have changed
again, becoming even stricter for our troops while fighting bad
guys who blend in with the population and who hide behind women and
Four Marines were killed
when they didn’t receive the air support they needed.
Certain politicians are once again playing their
the funding for the war for another six months to make a political
point” game and yet members of Congress have no problem bringing
the pork home to their own districts.
Yeah… I’m grumpy this time around.
A friend’s son was KIA.
Second deployment. Green Beret. Bronze Star Recipient.
Rest in Peace Sergeant First Class Bradley Bohle.
You bravely walked the walk so many others won’t.
and you will not be forgotten.
Now is not the time to let our strength of mind,
our fortitude, and our willpower to become weak.
We have four more luncheons scheduled this year,
two in October – 5 East and Mercy Hall, one in November on 5 East,
and one in December at Mercy Hall.
Our December 3rd luncheon will be “Christmas at
Bethesda” with more details
coming soon in the Marine Moms-Bethesda newsletter. If you would like
to be added to the newsletter mailing list, you can sign up for it
to the right on the sidebar. Make sure to check your junk folder for
the confirmation email after you do.
I’m envisioning the homemade Christmas stockings
stitched by Bayside Quilters stuffed full, tins of homemade cookies
from local military moms and troop supporters, and Christmas cards
for the wounded warriors from across the
A few new Crew members are coming on board between
now and the end of the year, Sally, Barb and Suzan will be helping
with luncheons for the first time and Janet will be taking over the
support notes for me. We are slowly growing, and with good people.
It’s now Sunday, September 20… a week later…
Former Marine Oliver North defined the word “HERO”:
people who overcome evil by doing good at great personal risk. Through
self-sacrifice, fortitude and action — whether they succeed or fail
– heroes provide a moral and ethical framework — and inspiration
– for the rest of us.”
There was a Veterans’ Muster in
yesterday and our Marine Corps League friends invited us to join them
at their table. They even let me put Snoopy cards on the table to
have people sign to take to
Our local Blue Star Mother chapter was there.
This was the new chapter’s first venture out in
public and their table looked great! They had a memorial to Sgt. Bohle,
the chapter’s president’s son, and the organizers of the event had
a moment of silence for him.
People who “walk the walk”
Each one a Hero.
You can join them… Support the Troops. Thank the
Walk the Walk with them… and for them.
Until next time, continued prayers for our military
and their families. Oh that reminds me. If you’re a Prayer Warrior
and are interested, Prayer Central has formed an Afghanistan Prayer Patrol.
Love and Hugs,
P.S. If anyone knows how to get burnt-on spaghetti
sauce out of the bottom of those big blue and white speckled pots,
can you shoot me an email and let me know how? I did two of them in
making ziti for the luncheon. Would be much appreciated. The other
option is to toss them and I really don’t want to do that. Might need
them again. firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks!