May 22, 2016 – 4th Floor: Armed Forces Day Luncheon

Reserved parking sign in front of the hospital.
OH we were so happy to see this sign in front of Walter Reed! It meant we didn’t have to find a place in the parking garage. Thank you, IWFLO, for your thoughtfulness!

What did you do for Armed Forces Day?

After a short break, we’re back at Walter Reed!

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!

Armed Forces Day poster, May 26, 2016
President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country.
On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days.
The single day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense. (Credit:

The Team:

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…

Setting up the luncheon room.

There wasn’t time to take many pictures.  Once we got everything upstairs things were pretty busy setting up, and then the folks began coming in.  We served combat patients, their family members, regular surgical patients and their family members, and hospital staff.

The Menu:

Cheese platter, sandwich makings and all the fixin’s, chicken noodle soup, chips, fruit salad, all kinds of cookies, and assorted drinks.
And smoothies…

The Niftie-Gifties:

Snack bags made up by Julie, quilts and pillowcases by Bayside Quilters of the Eastern Shore, and purple umbrellas were available to the patients and their guests if they wanted them.

After a week or more of rain here in Maryland, the umbrellas seemed like a great idea.  The woman behind me in Walmart asked if they were being bought because of Prince and “Purple Rain”.  I said, “No, they’re for ‘Purple Hearts’.”  Turned out her sister had been at Walter Reed a few months ago for surgery.  Small world, isn’t it…

Patriotic Centerpiece for the May 22 Armed Forces Day luncheon

Suzan brought this beautiful arrangement with her.  At the end of the luncheon she gave it to one of the nurses’ stations.  Thank you for your thoughtfulness, Suzan!

The Stories:

One of the patients’ wives helped us out in between keeping an eye on her husband.  That was so sweet of her.  Thank you!

At the request of the hospital staff, Suzan rocked the hallways delivering take out boxes to the patients.  It got to where she’d pop in the room, fix a plate, give me orders for the next one, meanwhile I was manning the smoothie machine, serving our guests, and trying to play short order cook.  Next time we’ll ask the staff to do this.  Whew!

An older veteran visiting his wife hung out with us for a lot of the luncheon and even helped us pack up.  We really enjoyed seeing  pictures of his new grand-daughter and the wood-working he does.  His sense of humor was great, too.

He asked if we had a panel van to bring the stuff to the hospital. Nope, just an old Ford wagon.

Car full of stuff.
Getting ready to unload the car at Walter Reed.

When he suggested maybe the smoothies needed a little sugar, I told him this was a recipe we always use… then I got home, discovered oops… not… he was right… So – apologies to the smoothie drinkers… next time we’ll be back on target with them!

The luncheon was appreciated by all.  Thank you to our supporters for enabling us to make the day happen. Your support is so appreciated.

To those we met, whether a patient or family member, combat injured or a “regular” patient, or a staff member caring for the patients,  your sacrifice is beyond any words we can say.  Thank you for your dedication to this great country. It’s always an honor to serve you.

As Memorial Day approaches, please take a moment on that day to remember those who defended Freedom and paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.

 Headstone Rows at Arlington Ntional Cemetery, May 26, 2016, Flags In.
Headstone Rows
Soldiers place American flags in front of headstones during “Flags In” at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., May 26, 2016. The soldiers are assigned to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as “The Old Guard.” Soldiers assigned to the regiment placed approximately 230,000 flags during the event, with each of the cemetery’s headstones receiving a flag for the Memorial Day holiday. Army photo by Rachel Larue

Our next luncheon is August 22, 2016.

Service members are still serving all over the world in very dangerous places. Please keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

With Respect,


Marine Moms-Bethesda Patriotic centerpiece

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