November 2008 – 5th Floor: Conversations…

Welcome“I could smell it out in the hallway!”

“Real food!”

“Fill your plate – there’s plenty! Sandwiches there, chili over there, drinks behind you.”


“NO calories in the brownies!”



“Was your son wounded or are you here for something else?”

“My son was wounded – suicide bomber.”

“It’s my husband – IED.”

“Where was he?” Continue reading November 2008 – 5th Floor: Conversations…

October 12, 2008 – 5th Floor: Fall is in the air


It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that Brenda picked daffodils for the table decorations and now here we have pumpkins, gourds and wheat.

Where did the summer go?



Robin suggested doing a potato bar with all the toppings for this month’s luncheon. Deb’s Chili, sour cream, chives, bacon bits, jalapeno slices, butter, cheese sauce and broccoli made for a meal in itself. Continue reading October 12, 2008 – 5th Floor: Fall is in the air

August 23, 2008 – 5th Floor: Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…

at the beach

…except when your son is recovering from a crushed pelvis and other injuries acquired while training Iraqis in house-clearing and half of the house fell on him – third deployment.

Or your son returns home on leave safely after two deployments over there and then is involved in a very serious car accident at home.

Or you’re the girlfriend who flew in from far away Continue reading August 23, 2008 – 5th Floor: Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…

June 28, 2008 – 5th Floor

The Stars at might are big an dbright Deep in the Heart of Texas

And so are their families, at least the one we met at the latest MarineMoms-Bethesda luncheon was.

The men hung out with us Moms for most of the luncheon waiting for their Marine to come out of surgery and the women came in toward the end of the luncheon.

Wonderful family and so supportive of their Marine.

“OUR HERO” t-shirts that the girls had made and were wearing.

All were wearing a button with his picture on it. Continue reading June 28, 2008 – 5th Floor

May 28, 2008 – Mercy Hall

Mercy Hall

A few days after our March luncheon, I asked the Moms what they thought about changing the venue of the luncheons. We had met a Marine who hung out with us that day and learned he lived in Mercy Hall while waiting for his medical discharge.

Mercy Hall“Mercy Hall? Where’s that”

“Over there.”

We peeked out the window.

“How many of you guys are over there?”

“I’m not exactly sure, somewhere around…”

Wheels began spinning in our minds…

It was a unanimous vote – let’s see if they’ll allow us in Mercy Hall for a luncheon.

They did! Continue reading May 28, 2008 – Mercy Hall

January 27, 2008 ~ 5th Floor

Windchimes in the treesJust Hangin’ Out

Running a few minutes late I arrived at Deb’s in time to join her for leftover ziti and a big salad for lunch Saturday.  We started preparing for our Sunday luncheon with the grocery shopping trip that afternoon.  Deb and I grabbed our two carts and headed into Costco with The List, printed on card stock ‘cause I’m out of printer paper.  My printer says I’m out of printer ink, too, but I think it lies… been printing with it for a month now since the lights have been blinking.

The List is divided into sections: Continue reading January 27, 2008 ~ 5th Floor

December 29, 2007 – 5 East Luncheon & Operation Santa at the Hospitals

Have you ever walked into Mom’s kitchen…

Grilled Cheese and had all of your taste buds suddenly attacked by delectable, lip-smacking smells? Mmm hmmm…



That’s exactly how it was Saturday when you walked into the room after the Moms got the soup crockpots set up  and the grilled cheese skillet going. Continue reading December 29, 2007 – 5 East Luncheon & Operation Santa at the Hospitals

September 30, 2007 – 5 East

Busy Day on the 5th Floor at Bethesda Naval Hospital!

But first an FYI:

New Amputee Care Center Opens at Walter Reed on September 13, 2007.


I had a late start heading over to Deb’s Saturday. See… there was this pasta salad I wanted to make that morning for the luncheon on Sunday. It turned out to be more of an event than I thought it would be. Took all morning and half of the afternoon…. It was absolutely worth it, though. GOOD stuff.

 Pasta Salad

Oh… Yeah… the yellow card… It says:

“Pasta Salad”

And under that, it says:

“Marines ONLY look inside”

 You had to be there to know what it said.

And you had to be a Marine. Continue reading September 30, 2007 – 5 East

August 26, 2007 – 5th Floor

Marine Parents Motto: “Semper Gumby – Always Flexible”

Parrot and palm tree decorations


Thinking all was set in stone for our August luncheon, an out-of-state friend bought a plane ticket for the trip east so she could attend August’s luncheon with us, check in on her son’s buddy, and spend time relaxing with Janelle and me. Exciting!!!

The last time we had seen each other was the weekend of homecoming 2006 and we were really looking forward to seeing each other again. She was going to come in on Thursday evening, we would spend Friday with Janelle shopping and sight-seeing, Saturday at the hospital, and she would fly home in the wee hours of Sunday morning. WOO HOO Susan was coming for a visit!

A few hours later, the phone rings, and… uh oh… the luncheon’s date had to be switched to Sunday afternoon instead of Saturday. Mad scramble to switch tickets around – yeah – you know the feeling… gotta love those airlines. 😉

Long story short, Susan still has her ticket and we’ll see her after the first of the year. In the end, after a whole lot of “Semper Gumbyness”, everything turned out wonderful and that’s what counts.

Deb and Jean unloading.


We spent Saturday afternoon shopping and that evening putting the gift bags together as Mother Nature entertained us with one of the more awesome thunder storms of the season. We arrived at the hospital, did a cart safari and then Janelle and a Marine headed upstairs with the first load of goodies while Deb and Jean unloaded more stuff. Poor Jean… her first visit with us and it looks like she is wondering where in the world we are going to put everything. 🙂

It’s been a hot summer here in Merryland and smoothies seemed to be a good idea for something different on the menu. Deb brought her Vita-Mix, the Mother of All Blenders, with her and spent the afternoon making them up to order.

Hula Girl


Hula Girls had been requested.

I can’t seem to figure the settings out on my new camera though… this picture is most definitely outta whack…







DoctorsYa know you’re gettin’ old when the Docs look the same age as your kids, right?

We always invite the medical staff in for lunch when they peek in the door and a few doctors stopped by on a break to fill their plates and chat with us for a few minutes.

Miracle Workers is the name that comes to my mind.

 Angels on Earth.

Our Marines are in excellent hands.

A lot of really good things took place Sunday. It was a good feeling having the room looking cheerful and festive for the patients and their families when they walked through the door into the room.

Parents and wives were able to meet and connect and encourage each other. We had a head’s up to be on the look out for a Marine Mom, her son, and his wife and were able to give her a Marine Mom hug from the Oklahoma Marine Moms.

I passed on a Tennessee nifty-gifty to a Tennessee Marine from a former Tennessee Marine of a past war (can you say orange?), and we did our best to fatten up Deb’s wheelchair buddy with smoothies. There was a big, dark chocolate candy bar in the gift bag that made at least one Marine really happy. The Marines who wanted to got a lei. “Hey! Wanna lei???” You should have seen their eyes open up wide! hehe

Buffet Aug 2007

It takes so little to give encouragement and to bring a smile to someone’s face.

“Touches of Home” make all the difference.

We’re going back at the end of September. Football theme next time. I wonder if Deb has a cheerleader’s outfit. GO RAVENS!!!

Until next time,

~ Jane


August 26, 2007 Luncheon Supporters

  • Entenmanns’s
  • DAD of TN, Inc.
  • Ann Thomas and Julie Butts-Marine Moms and Independent Arbonne Consultants
  • Washington Operation Thank You
  • Chris- Marine Mom; Loretta – Marine Mom’s Friend
  • The Sharratt Family – Marine Family
  • Those who sent well wishes by way of email to pass onto the patients
  • And the awesome Marine Liaison Staff.

Thank you!


Bringing "Comforts of Home" to Bethesda (now Walter Reed NMMC) since 2005.