July 29, 2010 – Mercy Hall: Marine Moms-Bethesda Luncheon Today!

entryway to Mercy Hall This is what people saw when they walked into Mercy Hall on the day of our luncheon. A welcoming entryway…a pretty flower arrangement… a poster.

Cool poster, eh? One of our “Elfs” had it made up for us using pictures we have taken over the years. Thank You!
Sometimes even the best laid plans have to be revised. The storm that hit the D.C. area on Sunday as we were leaving the hospital after our 5 East luncheon, affected our volunteers who were coordinating the Thursday luncheon at Mercy Hall. Electricity went out in parts of the area for several days, and food was lost in homes and stores.

Elizabeth had to work at the last minute and couldn’t come. Susie enlisted Lauren and they scampered around gathering things together. Then there was an early morning meet up in rush hour traffic so Elizabeth could pass on something to Susie.

Everything worked out fine.  We have Plans A, B, C, and if needed, Plan D!

I don’t think people realize how scattered Marine Moms-Bethesda’s volunteers are.  Our volunteers range from just south of Baltimore to more than an hour east of the Bay Bridge, to the rolling hills of northern Virginia, the shores of southern Maryland, and places in between.  It takes a lot of coordinating to make sure all of the bases are covered for our luncheons.

It’s also a challenge working all of our volunteers into the luncheon schedule.  I have tried to accommodate everyone’s schedules, and have filled in empty slots as the year went on with newer volunteers,
as openings come up.

Often times the openings are slim to none.  Names go on a waiting list after the new people return their volunteer application and the signed Code of Conduct to me.  Saying “the roster is full” means  “The roster is full!”  It does not mean that I am “turning you away”.

We’re limited to the number who can attend a luncheon with us.  I’m not going to bump someone who’s been waiting for 6 to 9 months to attend a luncheon, simply to place a new volunteer in the schedule – regardless of how enthusiastic they are for extra turns with us.
Would that be fair?
I don’t think so.

pretzels and snacksPretzels and chips, dips and salsa and delicious brownies
covered one table.


buffet tableWings, pulled pork, baked beans, and crab gazpacho soup, watermelon, and subs donated by Subway filled the other two tables.



niftie gifties

Over on the “stash table” Lauren had boxes of snacks she donated.
Thank you, Susie and Lauren, for your time, donations, and quick thinking under “Semper Gumby” circumstances!

The “I Served” stickers proved to be popular! We are out of the Afghanistan stickers, and have only a few of the Iraq ones left.

beer, pizza and pretzel quilt from Bayside QuiltersA few months ago our supply of quilts was getting low, and I asked Chris if it was possible for Bayside to make some “manly quilts” for the guys. This is one she came up with. Beer, pizza and pretzels! It went to one of the newer Marines at Mercy Hall.

I passed along a gorgeous red, white and blue quilt that Bayside Quilters sent to Janet, for her upcoming visit to a patient at the VA hospital in Richmond.

Susie distributed some quilts from “Quilts of Valor” at Mercy Hall, and  over on 5 East.

notes and heartsIn addition to keeping an eye on the table, refilling food platters and making sure we didn’t run out of plates and silverware, Janet had the encouragement notes ready to hand out to the guys and gals.  She also had some hearts from “Hearts for Heroes” that she handed out along with the notes.  There were some of both leftover, so she was able to pass them out on 5 East after we left the barracks.

Cpl. Archie the Therapy DogOne of our friends that we have known for almost a year
dropped by with a friend.  Highly decorated Corporal Archie was spending the day with her.


His DI did an outstanding job! The Corporal was on his best behavior!  He enjoyed the attention he received and
it was a real pleasure to meet him.

pool table at Mercy Hall

There were some intense games of pool going on inside Mercy Hall between the Sailors and the civilians who work behind the desk.


We missed Judi at our June luncheon, were happy to see her again!  The last time we saw her at Mercy Hall she was excited about leaving in a few days for the Warrior Games in Colorado.

She didn’t come home with a medal, but she did come home with this:

Warrior Games tattoo






Today’s Luncheon Crew: Lauren, Susan, Janet, and Jane with help from Elizabeth.  Thank you!  Job well done!

There is a satisfaction in seeing the good things that have come about through our luncheons over the years.

I am extremely proud of what Marine Moms-Bethesda has become.
I am proud of, and very grateful, for the dedicated volunteers
and supporters who help with our luncheons, never asking for nor expecting anything in return.

I will do my best to continue the tradition of Marine Moms-Bethesda:  “Taking care of our sons by another Mother.”

Until next time, continued prayers for our military and their families.

Love and Hugs,