This evening, November 10, all over the country and beyond, Marines are celebrating their birthday. They weren’t born under a cabbage leaf, you know. They were born in a tavern. Tun Tavern.
And ever since, for 240 years, they’ve been Defending Freedom.
I had the pleasure of attending Choptank Marine Corps League Detachment’s Marine Corps Birthday Party at the VFW in Easton, MD tonight. The Detachment adopted Marine Moms-Bethesda back in 2009, supporting our mission at Bethesda, then Walter Reed after the two hospitals combined.
Over the years, our November luncheons have become a celebration of the Marine Corps’ Birthday and Veterans Day. I remember a few years ago, a Marine in a wheelchair came into the luncheon room and all he wanted was a piece of cake. He told us he hadn’t had a piece of birthday cake and was so glad we had one. Another year, Janet had brought a huge turkey and we had all the fixin’s for a good southern Thanksgiving meal. I was outside of the luncheon room next to the niftie-giftie table and a Marine in a wheelchair came out of the room with a heaping plate and a turkey leg laying right smack on top of everything, with a huge grin on his face. It’s the little things…
The ward was pretty quiet this luncheon.
The Team: Dina, Deb, and Jane, with help from Julie, and Ryan from the Inpatient Warrior Family Office.
The Menu: deviled eggs, turkey & gravy, sliced ham, cornbread dressing, green beans, chicken noodle soup, fresh fruit salad, assorted rolls, assorted drinks, fresh smoothies, pumpkin pie, and of course, USMC Birthday Cake!
The Niftie-Gifties: quilts, pillowcases (from Bayside Quilters), hand-knit slippers (from Carole and the Castaways) and scarves (from Dina), DVDs (from Dina’s friend), and snack bags (made up by our “Bag Lady”, Julie).
Every luncheon has at least one moment that stays with us. Dina sent me this after the luncheon:
“I’m still thinking of that sweet lady/mom that jumped right in and helped us and then checked in on us again as we were cleaning up. What a blessing she was! I wish I got to talk to her some more.”
She was so helpful! She checked back in with us while we were packing up, on her way to the Fisher House to see if we needed help. We gave her extra snack bags to give out to people she knew there.
Many thanks to our volunteers and supporters for your help making the luncheon a success. You are SO appreciated!
Happy 240th Birthday, Marines!
To our Veterans, thank you for serving!
Until next time, continued prayers for our military and their families.
So… a hurricane formed down in the Bahamas the week before the luncheon.
Okay, no problem, this storm will be here and gone before the weekend gets here. Or so we thought.
Joquain decided to take his good ol’ sweet time spinning around down there traveling 3 or 4 miles an hour for what seemed like forever. It’s so easy to let oneself be dragged into the panic of a potentially deadly hurricane traveling up the Chesapeake Bay and by 2 PM Wednesday I was wondering if we should cancel.
By Friday the path was forecast far enough away we were comfortable enough to go through with the luncheon. Then we worried about wind restrictions and the Bay Bridge being closed. Thankfully it all worked out.
Dina, Deb, and myself. Thank you, Ladies! Job well done! And thank you to the Corpsman who came in on his day off to check on us, we appreciated your help!
Nope, we don’t. With the number of combat casualties down this year the luncheons have become smaller. We’re serving more non-combat patients than we are combat patients. When Dina asked how many to plan for I gave her smaller number than we’ve ever taken food for, based on the last few luncheons and they ended up serving almost three times that number. Okay, so we’re always worried we’re going to run out… She tells me they had very little in the way of leftovers.
A male petty officer wounded in Thursday’s shooting rampage in Chattanooga, Tennessee, has died.
The critically wounded sailor had been undergoing treatment at a local hospital after being shot at the Navy Operational Support Center where four Marines were killed. The Navy statement did not give the sailor’s name, but was identified by family as Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, a reservist serving on active duty in Chattanooga, according to the Associated Press. (more at the link)
PENTAGON — It is with deep regret and heartfelt sorrow that the Marine Corps can officially confirm that the following Marines were killed on July 16, 2015, at the combined Navy and Marine Corps Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee:
Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan (USMC) of Hampden, Massachusetts
Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt (USMC) of Burke, North Carolina
Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist (USMC) of Polk, Wisconsin
Lance Cpl. Squire K. Wells (USMCR) of Cobb, Georgia
“Please keep our fallen Marines in Tennessee and their families in your thoughts and prayers,” said Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr, Commandant of the Marine Corps. “Also pray for a speedy recovery of those wounded and affected by this tragedy. Our focus remains on supporting the families of our Marines.”
Our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families, friends, and Brothers & Sisters of the four Marines murdered in yesterday’s shootings in Chattanooga.
When our sons and daughters join the United States Marine Corps, their families are “drafted” by default. “Welcome to the Marine Corps Family” are words we’ll never forget hearing when we met his or her recruiter the first time. Little did we know…
And little do most people know how deeply this cuts into the hearts of this large extended Family all across our Nation.
We’re grateful for the fast response of Chattanooga’s Law Enforcement and EMTs when the call went through.
We wish the three who were wounded a complete and speedy recovery.
And we’re grateful for the men and women who so selflessly serve our country.