April 22, 2012 – 4 East “Tween”
“Janie, I think you should make the macaroni and cheese.” The Marine Veteran had been telling me this since he sent in the recipe for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund Family Cookbook that Gladys put together to raise funds for the Semper Fi Fund a few years ago.
Today seemed like a good day for macaroni and cheese. I made a triple recipe. When the cheddar melted, covering the top of the macaroni and cheese sauce, it looked perfect and was one of the first things we ran out of.. Comfort food is inhaled at the luncheons. Would you like the recipe? Contact Gladys for your copy of the cookbook.
$10.00 plus shipping and Gladys donates every penny after production costs to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. It is on page 129 of the cookbook, “JB’s Fave Macaroni and Cheese”. I left out the jalapeno peppers and fresh mushroom’s though. I think the secret to the recipe is following the pasta directions included in the recipe. When I made it for the family as a test run, I followed the directions on the pasta box and it wasn’t as good.
The drive over to Walter Reed was white-knuckle driving, for me anyway. Rainy, icky nasty drive over the Bay Bridge and through Annapolis. By the time I hit the Beltway the sky had lightened up some and the pouring rain was mostly a drizzle. I called Elizabeth to let her know I was running late. Traffic was slow and there was a back up caused by an accident.
Katie, Elizabeth and Ruthi were already there and unloaded when I pulled up behind Diane and Kathy. It wasn’t long before we had the room set up and we were ready to serve at 11:00 AM. Menu was BBQ Chicken Sliders, Kielbasa and Meatballs in spaghetti sauce, turkey wraps, assorted chips, cole slaw, potato salad, JB’s Fave Macaroni and Cheese, corn salad, potato soup and toppings, garden salad, grapes, cake, brownies, Pecan Nut Bars, popcorn, smoothies and assorted drinks.
Katie had some cards with her from a Cub Scout Den to hand out.
Ruthi from the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society’s Combat Casualty Assistance Program was with us. We first met Ruthi at the Wounded Warrior Support Network Conference that Semper Max hosted this past December. Ruthi had children’s books to give out to the kids and parents and left us samples to have at future luncheons, so if anyone wants them we’ll be able to order the books for them. Thank you, Ruthi! The books were made possible by a generous grant to the NMCRS from Tee it up for the Troops.
Bob and Linda had given us lots of CDs and DVDs to give out and one of the volunteers brought Girl Scout cookies.
Kathy was a welcome addition, joining us for the first time. Like so many of our volunteers, her son is out of the Corps now and this is a way for her to “give back”. “Once a Marine, always a Marine.” “Once a Marine Mom, always a Marine Mom!” For many of us, the “family connection” does not end when our sons and daughters EAS.
It was a good luncheon. We were busy. Met new people, saw some we had seen at previous luncheons. Some have been there for a very long time while others were getting ready to move down to Richmond VA Medical Center or over to Tranquility Hall later in the week.
The road to recovery is long. Walter Reed/Bethesda is just the beginning of what may be years of recovery. Showing support to the Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen, and their families during this time is so important and the “touches of home” you help us provide are so appreciated by them.
They may have moved on when we go back in a month, or they may still be there. There are so many visitors during their stay on the hospital ward throughout the week, they may not remember us,. Privacy is a luxury for them. We don’t push ourselves on the patients or families; we just stay in the luncheon room or right outside the doorway, help them take things back to their room if they want our help, listen if they want to talk, and provide comfort food, letting them know people care and appreciate their sacrifice.
Thank you Katie, Elizabeth, Diane, Kathy and Ruthi for helping with this luncheon! Job well done!
Looking ahead for Marine Moms-Bethesda:
Our annual quilt raffle is about to begin. Here is a sneak peek at the quilt Bayside Quilters made for us to raffle this year, “Stars and Bars”. The quilters decided to hand quilt the quilt this time. All proceeds from the quilt raffle will support the luncheons at Walter Reed and Richmond. More information can be found here.
Until next time, continued prayers for our military and their families.
Love and Hugs,
Helpful links for all service branches:
For Marines and their families:
USMC Wounded Warrior Regiment
Sergeant Merlin German Wounded Warrior Regiment Call Center
You do NOT have to be a Marine to call – just someone who CARES for and is CONCERNED about a Marine.
24 hours a day – 7 days a week 365 days a year contact: Anonymous.
1-877-4USMCWW or 1-877-487-6299
A Marine WILL speak to a Marine if they call.
This is a pilot program available in certain States. Complete anonymity.
For Navy and Marines and their families:
Navy Marine Corps Relief Society
Combat Casualty Assistance Visiting Nurse Program
For Navy, Coast Guard, and their families:
Navy Safe Harbor – Wounded, Ill, and Injured Support
For Army and their families:
Warrior Transition Command
Army Wounded Warrior Program
For Air Force and their families:
Air Force Wounded Warrior
For Special Ops and their families:
U.S Special Operations Command Care Coalition
Defense Centers of Excellence