Armed Forces Day weekend, our first luncheon of the year.
Thank you to those who serve – our Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen, who sacrifice everyday and keep our country safe!
Suzan and Jane. Guy had to pass at the last minute. Please send good thoughts and energy to him, he’s still recovering from bronchitis.
SSG from the IWFLO was a tremendous help to us setting up and then later, packing up. You are so appreciated by us! Thank you!
It’s always an adventure with Suzan, a seasoned veteran Marine Mom whose son was with the Airwing when the Osprey was first being tested.
We first met in March 2006 at the Patriot Guard Mission for LCpl. Matthew Snyder. Matt’s mom, Julie, came on board MM-B a few years later, does the snack bags for us and helps at luncheons when she’s able. Small world, isn’t it…
Deli Platter: Turkey, Ham, and Roast Beef
Rolls & assorted breads
Chicken noodle soup
Fresh fruit platter
Soft drinks, juice, and water
Washington State Operation Thank You asked us to look for Josh so we did, and we found him and his Dad. We had a packet of notes for Josh along with the pantry bag of snacks and a beautiful quilt made by Bayside Quilters for him to give to his wife.
Janet and Lew coordinated the luncheon. Menu was lasagna, a pasta dish with tomato and sausage, Diane’s delicious potato soup, deviled eggs (they were being taste-tested by a mom before they had barely been set down on the luncheon table), cheese platter, salad, chips and dip and fresh fruit.
The desserts were, as always, luscious.
Thank you, Becky, Colleen, Diane, Mary Jane, and the cookie bakers for your contributions!
This was Sarah’s first visit with us so I grabbed her for a quick walk around the ward during a slow spell.
Signs and artwork on a door to a Corporal’s room.
I showed her where the massage therapists do the seated massages.
Jaime and Kelly had a little respite from doing their seated massages so Kelly worked on Jaime a little bit to get the kinks out.
They were working in one waiting rooms.
The waiting rooms have bookcases filled with games and books.
And comfortable chairs facing a big screen TV, with computer and internet access.
We couldn’t pass by the opportunity to take a picture of the Marine flag! A General and a Sergeant Major were there visiting their Marines and took a picture of two of our volunteers. Thank you!
We ended up back at the doorway to the luncheon room where the cart with the notes, quilts, and pantry bags are placed. They are handed out as the patient or family member leave the luncheon room.
Julie shopped for and packed the bags. Janet formatted the emailed notes into a word document, printed them out and packaged them up. Thank you, Ladies!
Not a whole lot of food leftover to label and stash in the pantry.
Fresh vegetables are always welcome.
They don’t last long after we leave!
We loaded up and I had to bug out early, leaving the crew recapping the events of the day. Our volunteers came from within a two hour radius of Bethesda and it is always a pleasure spending a few minutes after a luncheon catching up and chatting together.
Our MM-B volunteers are great. They all share in the work load, each one taking on tasks that make the luncheons so special, picking up where others run into glitches when needed.
It is heartwarming to see their care and concern for the patients and families, and each volunteer goes the extra mile to ensure their needs are met while we are there; whether it’s making sure they know where the pantry is or helping them carry things back to their rooms or just lending an ear to listen. . .
Today’s luncheon crew:
Janet, Lew, Katie, Stephanie, Elizabeth, Mary, and Sarah
With Jaime and Kelly from “Touch of Relief” Thank you! Job WELL done!
Each one of us brings something away from our time spent at the hospital, and we each have our own reasons for wishing to serve our HEROES by volunteering with the luncheons.
When someone says to me,
“I don’t know how you can continue to go month after month and see what you see,”
I think to myself,
“How can I not? If those of us who can – don’t – then who will?”
Whether it is volunteering at a military or VA hospital, planning special events for homecomings or to recognize Veterans from past wars, writing letters and sending care packages, making neck coolers to send to “over there” as the temps rise above 100 degrees, or organizing a support group for families, or sending food back to the base with your son as he heads back after a weekend home, or standing in a flag line at a funeral, posting a message on a legacy page for a Fallen Hero, or inviting 12 Marines to your home and enlisting the whole town to provide the support to give them the best weekend they’ve had in a long time, or supporting those who do any of these things – all is needed and all is appreciated more than most of us will ever know – unless we ourselves have been there/done that…
To see the patience of a father as he helps his son into a wheelchair to go to physical therapy – the time it takes, the effort it takes… neither one complaining…
To listen to a girlfriend express her feelings about the war and her boyfriend losing both of his legs…
To see a mom again – for the sixth luncheon…
To watch our volunteers come together and pull off yet another fabulous meal to honor service members and their families who have sacrificed so much…
After leaving Bethesda, I stopped by a friend’s house. Gladys and Bob were hosting a BBQ for their Marine Corps League Detachment and had invited me to stop by on the way home. The Detachment was honoring one of their members who was headed “over there” very soon…
This war on terror is going on ten years now… and actually before then, but many of us just didn’t realize it and some still don’t.
Every service member serving right now volunteered to do so.
I am grateful for the opportunity to show support to the Marines, Soldiers, and Sailors we meet at the hospital.
Today’s luncheon was a very powerful one to me.
6/8/2011 – I received an update from Josh’s Aunt the other day that included a video made by a friend of their family.
After following his recovery since the end of April, watching this video was very special! I just wanted to stand up and cheer for Josh!!!