January 30th, 2011 ~ 5th Floor

It’s A Super Bowl Party!

cheesePlenty of good food – fried chicken wings, mild Buffalo wings (with hot sauce on the side), and Bourbon Chicken. Chili, toppings, and corn bread to go with it. Roast beef, turkey, and ham sandwiches, wraps, carrot-ginger soup, cheese and pepperoni, and assorted pickles.

There’s more! Taco dip and scoops, onion dip and chips, mini-hot dogs in sauce, and nuts. Then moving on to the sides there was pasta salad, potato salad, corn and tomato salad, garden salad, fresh veggies and dip, and fresh fruit salad. Can’t forget the desserts – brownies, cookies, and Entenmanns’.

The luncheon was sponsored by “Caring U.S. Naval Academy Graduates” with instructions to provide a

festive, all out, soup to nuts meal.”

Thank you all for making the day amazing!

January’s volunteers traveled from south of DC, the Annapolis area, south of Baltimore, Southern Maryland, the Eastern Shore of Maryland and points in between.

Elizabeth and Katie were great, jumping right in with their help and menu ideas when we began planning the luncheon back before Christmas. They will be coordinating future luncheons for MM-B.

Our favorite guys were with us and helped carry in the huge amount of food we brought with us.

Mary joined us for the first time and we are looking forward to having her with us in the future. Barb and Don, thank goodness for them! What didn’t fit in my car fit in theirs’.

Brenda, one of our original crew members, was with us for the first time in over a year. It was nice catching up with her on the drive over and back. Gladys and Bob shopped for and packed the pantry gift bags. Everyone contributed to the menu in some way.

We are very grateful to be partnering with “Touch of Relief”. Jaime and Kelly set their massage chairs up in one of the day rooms away from the hustle and bustle of the ward. Once word spread around the ward that they were there, they stayed busy working out the stress on family members with their “magic fingers”.

Pillowcases and a baby quilt from Bayside Quilters and all of the lap robes crocheted by Marya’s friends were given out. Miss Shirley sent along this note with the lap robe she made:

“I would like to donate this lap robe for a disabled veteran in honor and memory of Robert “Shank” Todd for his dedicated service to his country. Thank You!”

Melissa in Ohio sent more of the beautiful fleece blankets to pass out with gorgeous handmade cards attached to them. Two of them went to Louisiana Marines and one went to a wife who was there with their two daughters while their Marine recuperates. Nice and cozy to snuggle in on these cold Maryland days.

All of the pantry bags were given out along with the notes of encouragement. (Thank you, Note Writers, OTY, Joanna, Mary, and our other “Elfs”!)

Gladys, Elizabeth and Katie Jan 2011Food was taken to 7 East, ICU, over to Mercy Hall, and leftovers were stashed in the pantry for the patients and families to help themselves to later. We all stayed busy! We even had a chance to sit back and get to know each other a little better.

It was nice having the extra helping hands at the luncheon. We were able to do everything we try to do while we are there but aren’t always able to accomplish.

Our luncheons are more than just putting food on the table. We try to spend a little time talking with “our guests”, listening to stories about their Marine, Soldiers, Sailors. I said to one Marine mom that I wished I had a tape recorder. Her son was a year out of high school, had a great job, was making great money, brand new truck, living “the good life” but felt something was missing. He wanted to “make a difference” so… he joined the Marines. The admiration in her voice for her son… this is where I told her I wished I had a tape recorder.

You won’t read much here on our website about specific details of the conversations we have with the patients or their families. We don’t mention full names and ranks, and we have very few pictures of our wounded Warriors or their families on the site. We are in “their space” when we host a luncheon and we believe the privacy of the patients and their families is extremely important.

Why? Well… how would you want to be treated if you were far from home during a very challenging, very emotional, very stressful time? The patients and families have enough on their minds without worrying if what they say to us is going to be quoted online, or that names and ranks with pictures will be posted on our site.

From the mother of a wounded Warrior:

“You are so cautious, Jane, when it comes to protecting the patients and their families….  I’m grateful for your commitment to helping but not pushing to get into the lives of the patients. “

There is this little word that comes to mind:


We are there to provide a meal, encouragement, and “touches of home” to make their stay at the hospital a little brighter.

There are other support groups that work hand in hand with the hospital to provide needed assistance to the Warriors and their families. There are articles online (if you dig deep enough into a search engine – the mainstream media doesn’t often carry Warrior stories on their front pages) if you would like to read about anything more detailed than what we post here. I have seen quite a few written about Marines and Soldiers we have met on the hospital floor or at Mercy Hall. Check the stories out – they are inspiring… stories of true HEROES.

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

Love and Hugs,