July 22, 2012 – 4 East

Don at the grill.Hamburgers and hot dogs?  Yes, Don’s at it again!

Last month’s 4 East BBQ was a hit, the weather was great, Don and Barb enjoyed being over at Mercy Hall grilling and had offered to do it again.  Would the weather hold?  It looked like it would so we went with it!

By the time Barb, Don and I arrived at the hospital Katie, Kathy and Dina were upstairs setting the room up while Gladys stayed with our stuff downstairs.  Andrea and Nancy were not far behind us.  This was Andrea’s first luncheon with us, and Nancy had driven down on Friday from Connecticut to join us.

After every thing was up in the room I took Nancy over to Mercy Hall so she could see where we grill and do the Mercy Hall luncheons.  Don already had the grills cleaned and the coals going.

We went back over to the room to finish setting up and things got pretty busy.  Barb went back over to Mercy Hall to pick up the first batch of hamburgers and hot dogs from Don.

Stars and Bars Forever and the niftie-giftie tableMost of the “niftie gifties” were with us this time. “Warrior Song – HARD CORPS t-shirts for Marines and their Mom/Wife/Girlfriend/or Sister from an anonymous Elf; baby quilts, mom quilts, manly quilts and pillowcases from Bayside Quilters, cards from Cub Scouts, word search books, encouragement notes, and pantry bags.  The pantry bags, quilts, pillowcases and notes were a little bit depleted by the time we remembered to take pictures.

We have the slippers and hats from Carole and the Castaways but with the temps being in the high 90′s and low 100′s, I decided to leave them home to save for cooler days.  The music and movie CDs will come with us next time.

The cards Katie brought from the Cub Scouts are so cute!

combat medicSometimes I wonder if people think we only serve Marines, but we serve ALL service branches at our luncheons.  Seeing Army insignia on the doors is new to us so when we get home I look them up.  This one, when I saw it, I thought it had to do with an Army Medic because of the snakes on it, and I was correct.

God Bless him, we know he has saved a lot of lives over the years and wish him the best.

It was a good luncheon.  Menu was hamburgers, hot dogs, brats and all of the fixin’s, chicken salad, pasta salad, potato salad, tossed salad, green beans, of course the cheese, pickles and olives, fresh strawberries and angel food cake, cookies, smoothies and assorted drinks, different flavors of pie – apple crumb, blueberry, sweet potato, and… pecan? I forget.  The grocery store sells them in half sizes so we were able to offer so many different kinds.  Pretty cool.

Almost as cool as finding green bean casserole in cans for Thanksgiving the first year my Marine was deployed so many years ago…  Things have come a long way since 2004, ’05. ’06… All kinds of care packaged-size things now that weren’t around back then.  Medical advancement has come a long way, too.  Lots more support groups now than there were then.  Laws have changed as well.

One of them is The Family and Medical Leave Act Military Family Leave Entitlements.  I will never forget during our first visit to the hospital in October 2005 when a Marine mom told us she had used up her two weeks leave while at Bethesda, and had to choose between staying there with her son, or going back to work.  If she stayed, she was going to lose her job.  Now, this was a HUGE company she worked with.  She never did tell us who it was, just that it was big.  She stayed with her son.  Although families still have to make decisions like this at times – stay or go home for different reasons, the laws have come a long way.  The latest updated information about The Family and Medical Leave Act Military Family Leave Entitlements can be found here:

http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs28a.pdf

July 22, 2012 MMB Luncheon crewThank you Barb, Don, Katie, Dina, Nancy, and Andrea so much for your help!  Gladys, we missed having you with us.  Thank you for helping out with the shopping and delivery.  Job WELL Done!

Love and Hugs,

Jane