February 15, 2009 – 5th Floor

Dear Warrior…

Dear Warrior
From a retired Navy Veteran and his wife in Maryland

Before a luncheon, I send out an encouragement/support note request to the groups I am on, and I also include the request in the MarineMoms-Bethesda newsletter. Then a day or two before the luncheon, I format them into a word document and print them out.

They are placed in a white 13×9 envelope and hand-delivered by us to the families or patients at the luncheons.

I print out a few more than I think I will need just in case, and the leftovers are given to the Marine Liaison’s office for guys we may have missed, like if they were out on a day pass, or for incoming patients who may arrive in between luncheons.

The notes are for all branches of the military.

Here are a few that were received for this luncheon:

Thank you for proudly serving our country!

I salute you for your sacrificial service at home and abroad.

May God bless and protect you as you faithfully served our nation.

I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

You are a great American!

–From a Marine Mom in Pennsylvania







–From a retired Navy family in Indiana

And then sometimes there’s a note in the P.O. Box for the Luncheon Crew.

Dear Marine Moms








Thank you for your kind words.

The New Jersey family who sent this included two Valentine cards that were included in two of the envelopes. The couple who sent the note at the top of the page sent enough that all the envelopes had one inside. We had four pages of email notes to take – thank you Pat, Marcia, Theresa, Chris, the B. Family, Teresa, PCBOA, and Maria for this month’s notes. I hope I didn’t miss someone… if you sent one, it was passed on.

You have touched more people in a positive way than you will ever know.

As far as a card collection for Bethesda, Walter Reed, Balboa, and Brooke – that is a major undertaking. Something to think about…

Oh… I include an MM-B comb in the note envelope. Someone sent us 1,000 of them!  They’re the perfect size to fit in a shirt or pants pocket or fit in a small purse.

MMB comb

When I stepped out of the elevator Sunday I immediately noticed the collections of pictures drawn by little kids, and the posters and banners from different groups and organizations, signed with well wishes that were displayed up and down the hallway. That was so great to see, so cheerful, and little kids – their drawings are great – straight from the heart.

We met some extraordinary people Sunday.

Set up 1I spent time in the day room chatting with a Marine who was injured in Afghanistan 3 years ago and has been in and out of the hospital for leg surgery.

He would like to thank all of those who helped him through the time he was injured to the time he arrived at Bethesda. I don’t know his name, but if you think you know him, I am passing on his thanks to you from him.

One of the things that he spoke about is the help that the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund gave to him and his family. We hear this group mentioned over and over at the hospital. All good stuff. You can find out more about them here:


Please keep this Recon Marine and his family in your thoughts and prayers as he recovers and transitions into civilian life later this year.

We also met an Army Mom who was there with her son. They’re an HOO RAH Army family! His Dad and his sister are also Soldiers.

I immediately recognized the beautiful Soldiers’ Angels pin on her sweater. Soldiers’ Angels does sooooo much good for our troops and their families both stateside and abroad. You can find out more about them here:


There was a Corpsman who came in and filled take-out boxes for his patients.

A Marine wife made it a point to stop in to say thank you so much for doing the luncheons – she and her husband just happened to be in the hospital while we were there.

A Navy Chaplain came in toward the end, chatting with us as he filled his plate.

We meet all kinds of people on the hospital ward and we do our best to make them feel comfortable when they come into the room.

All the leftovers are taken down to the pantry for later, and we’ve also begun taking some over to Mercy Hall for the guys there. The guys at Mercy Hall are always welcome to come over to our luncheons. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. We never know who will show up.


We did things a little differently for this luncheon. Robin and Deb did the shopping and I stayed home, then we all met at the hospital Sunday morning.

Caitlyn joined us for the first time and we were happy to have her. Deb, Robin and Gladys were once again outstanding with the menu choices. They tickle me – they get on a roll with a theme and next thing you know, there’s a party planned!

And then there’s Bob – need some manly muscle and he’s there; need someone handy with a power strip and a bunch of crockpots – he’s there; if the salad needs stirring – he’s there; if someone’s trying to fit aluminum foil into a cardboard box to fill it up with donuts to take over to Mercy Hall – he’s there – he’s everywhere! 🙂

That’s how the Crew is – we see something that it looks like someone needs help with or something that needs doing and we are there. I couldn’t be more blessed with the people who help with the luncheons – a great bunch of troop supporters.

After the warming tray and crockpots were set up and things began to heat up and bubble, smoothies made and lined up, desserts set out and cake cut, the lip smacking delectable aromas enveloped you when you walked into the room. Smelled like Mom’s Kitchen at home!

Menu this month was a Mexican theme. Mexican chicken soup with sour cream, cheese, and avocado toppings; Mexican beans and rice; Mexican lasagna; taquitoes; a cheese and olive platter; garden salad; fruit bowl; some kind of salad Deb made with corn, tomatoes, avocado, and lime juice; Tostitos and nacho cheese; Taco dip; Fritos; a chocolate cake; cookies; Entenmann’s; and sodas.

Grateful Thanks to those who helped make this luncheon possible.

Until next time –

Continued prayers for our military and their families.

Love and Hugs,




The pictures below are from a display in one of the hallways in the hospital.

“A Tribute to Our Country’s Medal of Honor Recipients”

Medal of Honor Display 1 Medal of Honor Display 2 Medal of Honor Display 3 Medal of Honor Display 4 Medal of Honor Display 5