All posts by Jane

Calling All “Elfs” – “Holiday Cheer at Walter Reed 2017”

Marine Moms-Bethesda's "Holiday Cheer @ Walter Reed-Bethesda 2017"

This is your opportunity to say THANK YOU to the patients at Walter Reed NMMC and let them know they are in your thoughts this holiday season.



We are very grateful  to our “Elfs” who’ve helped Marine Moms-Bethesda bring “Holiday Cheer” to Walter Reed since 2007.  Thank you for caring and for giving your precious time to bring “Holiday Cheer” to the patients and their families at Walter Reed-Bethesda.

"Great Joy For All" Marine Moms-Bethesda "Holiday Cheer"
“Great Joy For All”

“Holiday Cheer” has been one of the events over the years that really touches the heart.  Seeing support come in during the holidays from all over the country for the men and women we serve when they are so far from home is very humbling. They really appreciate your efforts. Thank you for your consideration.


“Holiday Cheer” is two parts:

  1. We are collecting hand-written Holiday cards to give to wounded, injured and ill in-patients and out-patients.  Address is below.  FINAL POSTMARK DATE is Saturday, November 18, 2017.
  2. Adopting two single Marines and a Marine and his or her family through the Wounded Warrior Battalion at Walter Reed.

Cards (screened and bundled) and gifts for the Marines (bought from a “wish list”) will be delivered in December to our contact at Walter Reed and they’ll take it from there.

Would you like to be a Marine Moms-Bethesda Elf?  If so, here’s how!

“Holiday Cheer Cards”

Marine MOms-Bethesda "Holiday Cheer" cards

  • Card bundles will be given to wounded, injured and ill out-patients and in-patients (all service branches) at Walter Reed-Bethesda.


  • We would like to make up a minimum of 50 packets.  If we have enough cards, we’ll make up more.
  • If there are extra card packets left from the initial delivery  at Walter Reed-Bethesda, they will be distributed at other military and VA hospitals.

PLEASE follow our Guidelines for sending cards:

  • Flat-faced cards are best. Please, no glitter or anything that can fall off and get into open wounds.  They can cause secondary infections.  Cards with glitter, flocking, or glue that dries, cracks, and falls off, or little beads, etc., cannot be used.
  • All cards are screened.
  • No need to put the cards in individual envelopes.

Marine Moms-Bethesda "oliday Cheer@ Walter Reed-Bethesda"


We bundle the cards without them.



  • Please use your first name only inside the card.  For security reasons we do not pass on names and addresses to either the recipient or the sender.
  • No enclosures, please.
  • Please rubber band individual signatures together to help making sorting easier for us.  Example: 6 different people wrote their own cards with just their own signature on it, and all of the cards are sent in one box or envelope.  Please bundle each persons’ cards separately.  Our “Elfs” will love you for this!
  • If you wish acknowledgement your cards were received please include an email address. (We won’t spam you, promise!)


Mailing address: The old “Cordova, MD” address is no longer in use and P.O. Box 22 has been closed. Please remove the old address from your address book if you still have it.

Our NEW mailing address is:

Marine Moms Bethesda

P.O. Box 3172

Easton, MD 21601

FINAL POSTMARK DATE is Saturday, November 18, 2017.

Please consider printing a flier to share with others at work, school, church or other places. This would be a great service project for Scouts or school, or a worthwhile activity to include at a VFW, American Legion, Rotary Club, or other meeting.  The flier downloads as a .pdf.

“2017 MM-B Holiday Cheer at Walter Reed Card Campaign Flier”

Marine Moms Bethesda gift for Walter Reed-Bethesda patients

Part 2 – “Marine Elfiness”

We’re adopting a Marine family and two single Marines (male and female) at Walter Reed-Bethesda.  

When the date is closer we’ll have a “wish list” for Santa and the “Elfs” will shop accordingly to bring “Holiday Cheer” to them.  Gifts will be dropped off to our contact at Walter Reed for delivery in early December.  After the holidays we’ll post an After Action Report.

Thank you for helping to bring some “Holiday Cheer” to patients during their recovery at Walter Reed over the holidays while they are so far from home!

If you’d like, you can read about last year’s event here:

Holiday Cheer 2016 AAR

Questions?  Please contact Jane:

Jane (at) MarineMoms (dot) Bethesda (dot) org


Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day 2017

Gold Star Mothers and familys Day 2017 with pi and bannerWe have friends whose sons came home with the American flag draped over their coffins. They are “Gold Star Mothers”. That’s what the Gold Star in the banner above represents – a son or daughter lost during war time. You might see it hanging in a window at their home or as a sticker on their car.

Gold Star Mothers sometimes wear the pin you see in the picture.  It’s actually called a “lapel button”, not a pin. It’s small, maybe you have to look twice to notice it. Sometimes the Mom will turn it into a necklace.

A SMALL reminder of the HUGE sacrifice paid by their child while in service to our country – your country and my country.

We hope you will take a moment to stop, pause, reflect on, and honor the sacrifices paid by those who have made this country great, and remember the loved ones they’ve left behind.

Their pain is deep, their courage is strong.  Our hearts are with you this day and every day.

Reflections on Memorial Day 2017

Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are always with the men and women, and their families,  who have sacrificed so much for our country. NOT a day goes by that we don’t remember them.

In Memory of our HeroesMemorial Day is to give remembrance to, and honor our Nation’s war dead.

The first “Decoration Day”, 30  May 1868, was designated by  General John A. Logan

“for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.”

In 1967 the day was officially named “Memorial Day”.

On June 28, 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved Memorial Day from its traditional date to the last Monday in May in order to create a convenient three-day weekend.

Several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19th in Texas; April 26th in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10th in South Carolina; and June 3rd (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Have things really changed that much since May 30, 1868? Continue reading Reflections on Memorial Day 2017

AAR – “Holiday Cheer 2016”

giftBeing far from home in a hospital over the Holidays is no fun.

We were grateful to once again have the opportunity to bring some “Holiday Cheer” to recovering Marines at the hospital.


On December 7, 2016 Marine Moms-Bethesda delivered gifts and cards to the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Battalion-East Detachment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. This was our 10th year bringing cheer to patients!

The car is packed and ready to head over to Walter Reed!
The car is packed and ready to head over to Walter Reed!







With so few combat patients on the hospital ward, we focused our “Holiday Cheer” efforts on our annual card campaign and adopting three recovering Marines.
Continue reading AAR – “Holiday Cheer 2016”

Choptank MCL Detachment’s 241st USMC Birthday Party

Every year on November 10th, United States Marines all over the world gather to celebrate their Birthday.

From the Continental Marines in 1775 to the Marine Corps of today, their rich history and Warrior ethos binds them together.

“Once a Marine, always a Marine.”

Choptank Marine Corps League Detachment 439 celebrated their Brotherhood and Birthday Thursday evening at the VFW Post in Easton, MD. Marines from WW II thru the current missions were represented.

Check In! The Ladies checked everyone in, gave out door prize tickets and sold raffle tickets for the 50/50.









The Easton High School JROTC presented the Colors.









After the opening ceremony and formalities,  Wayne and the Gunny told a few “sea stories”.  We won’t try to re-tell them here because no one tells a sea story like a Marine. You had to be there.

There were mentions of Belleau Wood,  “OohRahs”, “UrrrrRahs”, and even a “HooRah”, and someone saying, “When I was in, we used to say “Gung Ho!”

Wayne, the Detachment’s Commandant, said, “The one thing we all have in common is Boot Camp. ”  Comments about “sand fleas”, “alligators”, and oh… “Hollywood Marines” were heard.  All good-natured, connections they all have.











The Brotherhood is there no matter where they went to Boot Camp, what their MOS was, or where they served.

After the buffet prepared by the VFW Ladies – wings, meatballs, pulled pork, rolls, cole slaw, baked beans, veggie tray, chips and dip, it was time to cut the cake.

Two cakes, one chocolate and one yellow.






Marine Corps tradition is to have the oldest and the youngest Marine in the room cut the cake. This represents the passing of the honor, experience and heart of the Corps to the next generation of Marines to carry on.

This year’s oldest Marine is 91 years young, and fought on Okinawa in WWII and the youngest Marine is 27 years old.

2016 Cake Cutting Ceremony


It was a nice evening in the company of Heroes.

They signed cards for us to give to the combat patients at Walter Reed, and presented Marine Moms-Bethesda with a very generous donation toward our 2016 Holiday Cheer project of adopting two single Marines and a Marine family living in the out-patient barracks at the hospital. We are very grateful for their support over the years. Thank you, Marines!

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Choptank Marine Corps League Detachment, we can hook you up with one of them for more information, just let us know.  They currently meet the 4th Thursday of the month in Easton, MD and would love new members.

Happy 241st Birthday, MARINES!

Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert B. Neller’s 241st Birthday Message can be read HERE.

And a video is here:

241st Marine Corps Birthday Message

Commandant of the US Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller and Sgt. Maj. Ronald Green speak to Marines and sailors about the importance of reunions and staying connected. (US Marine corps courtesy motion imagery/Released)

“The Few and The Proud.”

There’s a reason for this.

With Respect,



November 6, 2016 – 4th Floor: USMC & Veterans Day Theme

Proud to be an American!

Ten years of luncheons at Bethesda/Walter Reed.

It has always been an honor to serve the patients and their families and today was no different.

As things have changed at the hospital, we’ve adapted our luncheons.  Thoughts of years past and how things have changed come to mind as we reflect on those we’ve served.

Our main mission since 2007 has been serving wounded warriors and their family members. This is why we formed – to serve our “sons by another mother” who were so far from home.  And now we sometimes serve our “daughters by another mother”, too.

As the numbers of combat casualties have decreased, we’re serving “regular” active duty, Veterans, and their families more so than combat patients. Because there are fewer combat casualties, we adjusted our schedule to three luncheons this year.

Gift tableThe luncheons impact is still the same.  Food for the families when the cafeteria in the hospital is closed, family members stay with us to eat because their loved one can’t have solids, the surprise that we’re there, and the appreciation and thanks for the meal and niftie-gifties.

Our supporters and “Elfs” are very much appreciated by those we serve. You help to make the luncheons quite awesome!

We’ve watched the hospital expand and grow as Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval planned to merge.  Continue reading November 6, 2016 – 4th Floor: USMC & Veterans Day Theme

August 21, 2016 – 4th Floor: Thank You, “Elfs”!

Luncheon room, ready to serve

Sunday’s luncheon was really nice.  Dina and Dina were a pleasure to work with.  Yes, who would have thought there would be two        Dinas?  With help from HM2 C. from the WIFLO we were ready to serve a half hour early.  Thank you, Ladies. Job well done!

Dina, Dina, and the Patriotic Afghan from Andria__Aug21_2016
Dina, Dina, and Andria’s Patriotic Afghan








Brother Dave popped in to say hello, always nice to see him.  He’s so dedicated to the patients at Walter Reed.

Our “Elfs”, along with our volunteers, are dedicated, too.  They are what makes the luncheons so special for the people we serve.

August 21, 2016 niftie-gifties

Quilts and pillowcases from Bayside Quilters of the Eastern Shore in Easton, and Olde Kent Quilters in Chestertown, MD keeps giving LOVE to the patients and their families. Continue reading August 21, 2016 – 4th Floor: Thank You, “Elfs”!

Third Annual American Heroes Dinner

7/26/2016 update :

Table 19, Honoring the Sacrifice 3rd Annual "American Heroes Dinner" July 15, 2016. Photo courtesy of Mr. John Shackleford.
Table 19, Honoring the Sacrifice 3rd Annual “American Heroes Dinner” July 15, 2016. Photo courtesy of Mr. John Shackleford.








By all accounts, we’ve heard the “3rd Annual American Heroes Dinner” hosted by Honoring The Sacrifice Foundation was very enjoyable!

It was an honor to be involved as a sponsor for three VIP tables through the generosity of an anonymous donor.  Thank you for supporting this organization that is helping to better the lives of those who have sacrificed so much on our Nation’s behalf.

“Elfs” in the Chattanooga area helped us get the word out and fill the seats.  Thank you!

Special thanks to Mr. John Shackleford for sharing his personal photographs from the dinner with us.  It was nice being able to place the names on our guest list with pictures of our guests.

To view the official pictures from the event please visit Honoring the Sacrifice’s American Heroes Dinner photo gallery by clicking HERE.

=================================================== Continue reading Third Annual American Heroes Dinner

Have you taken the “American Legion Women Veterans Survey”?

Women Veterans:

The American Legion’s women veterans survey ends on Monday, July 18, 2016.

The survey will be used to make specific recommendations for congressional appropriations, Veterans Affairs programs and facilities, and increase public awareness of issues facing women veterans.

All information from the survey is confidential and submitted anonymously.

And yeah, this nosy mom checked it out before posting the link. Go for it, ladies!

Learn more about the American Legion HERE.

Love and Hugs,


Liberty 5 Memorial Ride, honoring SPC “Mikey” Yates, Aug. 28, 2016 in East New Market, MD


Army Gold Star Mom Shawna is organizing a bike show, ride, and silent auction in honor and memory of her son,  SPC “Mikey” Yates and his “Brothers”,  SPC Jacob Barton, Sgt. Christian Bueno, MAJ Matthew Houseal, and CMDR Charles Springle.

SPC Yates and his fellow Soldiers were killed in Iraq 11 May 2009 at a Camp Liberty stress clinic when another soldier opened fire on them.

Let’s come on out, Delmarva, and show our support, help two good causes, and have a great time!

Date: August 28, 2016 

Place: Johnny’s Tavern, East New Market, MD

Registration begins at 9:00 AM; KSU at 11:00 AM

$15.00 per bike

Proceeds to benefit Hogs and Heroes MD Chapter 8 and Heroes Haven, Inc. in Sharpetown, Maryland.

For more information please contact Shawna: 410-310-2552 or visit Liberty 5 Memorial Ride’s Facebook page for updates by clicking HERE.

It’s shaping up to be an awesome event, hope you can join us!

Liberty % Memorial Ride