March 25, 2012 – 4 East
The wedding was the same day as the luncheon, so Jess and I hit the road Saturday evening. We were with the crew in spirit, though, as we drove down the interstate on the way to Sarah and William’s wedding. It was nice to see this at one of the rest areas. The picture was taken about the same time the luncheon was beginning.
The first word that comes to mind when I think of our volunteers is “AWESOME!” Yes, that’s with CAPS, bolded and an exclamation point! It’s difficult at times to plan a major event month after month with everyone spread apart geographically and most of the communication being done by email. Stephanie & Co. did it again!
Taco Dips & Tortilla Chips
Sloppy Joes, Bourbon Chicken, Wings, Sausage Gravy and Biscuits
Chicken Noodle Soup and PBJ’s
Fruit Salad and Tossed Garden Salad
Macaroni Salad, Tuna Salad, Potato Salad
Macaroni and Cheese, Potato Wedges, Assorted Chips
Assorted Desserts and Drinks
Nancy from Connecticut came down to help us out.
In Nancy’s words:
It is a humbling, yet wonderful experience to do the luncheon – these guys who have given so much are still soooo polite (m’am for everything!!!) and so thankful for the things that are provided. I am hoping that there will be another opportunity for me to come down.
I agree with Nancy. It is a very humbling experience! I had really hoped to meet her in person but yes, perhaps another time!
A donation came in specifically for more chafing dishes. Thank you!
One of the moms told Mary it was the best fruit salad she had ever had.
A lot of logistics are involved with a luncheon. Julie, our “Bag Lady”, dropped the pantry bags off to Katie earlier in the week for her to bring with her. After the luncheon, extras were taken over to Tranquility Hall. Barb and Don stopped by my house on the way to the hospital Sunday morning and picked up the supply boxes, the quilts, and baby blankets from Bayside Quilters.
Sean and Jillian made the smoothies with Macy’s help. John helped Katie with the attendance sheet, and Kelly floated while Elizabeth, Mary and Stephanie kept the food flowing. Barb and Don helped where they were needed. Jaime from Touch of Relief joined us again providing free seated massages to family members.
We let the TBI Ward know in advance we would be there and some of them came down, as well as people from other floors. Combat wounded are spread around the hospital, especially those coming back for additional surgeries, treatment, or rehab. We may meet families at Walter Reed, see them down at Richmond, then see them back again at Walter Reed. The road to recovery is difficult and long.
Yes, the luncheons are humbling in more ways than one. According to NPR’s article, By the Numbers: Today’s Military, 1% serve in uniform today. Over 44.000 have been wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq. http://www.npr.org/2011/07/03/137536111/by-the-numbers-todays-military The resilience and perseverance of the patients, the devotion of the families who are often their caregivers, and the dedication of the staff are something few are able to witness. It is an honor to serve meals at the hospital to our Defenders of Freedom who are working toward their new mission – recovery.
It is also humbling to me that our volunteers give so much of themselves toward the luncheons. The hours of planning and preparation are somehow slipped into their already busy lives. Many of them have said to me, “How can I not? It could have been my son.” .Their unselfish steadfastness toward our mission does not go unnoticed.
From an “Elf” in Alabama:
thanks for all you do especially for our men returning ill and their families! Granny Barbara Hug n Kisses
And from another “Elf” in Illinois:
I would like to thank everyone for the support that you have given to our wounded service men and women and their families.
Most of our thanks come the day of the luncheon from the patients, family and staff in words and smiles.
Our supporters are also humbling. We are frugal with the funds sent toward the luncheons and are very grateful for their donations.
One of our ongoing projects is collecting emailed notes of support and encouragement to pass on to patients and families while we are hosting a luncheon. You can read more about it here.
If you think it is worthy of your time, please take a moment to send a quick message which we will include in our next batch of notes.
West Virginia in the spring is beautiful.
And they honor their Veterans.
Thank you for hosting today’s luncheon Stephanie, Mary, Elizabeth, Jillian, Sean, Katie, Don, Barb, Jaime, Kelly, John, Macy! Job Well Done!
Until next time, continued prayers for our military and their families.
Love and Hugs,
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.
“From the everyday stressors of life to the stressors related to combat, stress can affect even the strongest Marine. The DSTRESS Line was developed by the Corps to provide professional, anonymous counseling for Marines, their families and loved ones when it’s needed most. Call today to speak with one of your own.”
(NOTICE: THE DSTRESS LINE IS A PILOT PROJECT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE TO CURRENT AND VETERAN MARINES, ATTACHED SAILORS, AND FAMILIES WHO ARE LOCATED IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS: OR, WA, CA, NV, AZ, ID, MT, NM, UT, CO, IA, KS, MN, MO, ND, NE, SD, WY, HI, AK AND WEST TEXAS (FORT BLISS, EL PASO AREA).
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