We ask for approval months in advance for our luncheon dates, using the same day/different date from year to year when possible. This year, April 1st arrived, we turned our calenders and… guess what? April’s 4th Floor luncheon was on Easter!
The crew arrived an hour earlier than usual to do an Easter Brunch. What a treat for the patients and families!
Menu: Breakfast Strata, Silver Dollar Pancakes, cooked ham, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, cheesy potatoes, sliced tomatoes, chicken soup, fruit salad, cole slaw, macaroni salad, brownies, assorted pastries, smoothies and assorted drinks. (psst…. send pictures…please! *Update: pictures were sent. Doesn’t the food look delicious?! They also served ham.)
Gee, it looks like the Easter Bunny came to the 4th floor luncheon, too!
Thank you Elizabeth, Mary, Jillian, Gladys, and Bob for taking a special day and making it extra special for the patients and families at Walter Reed!
Please remember there is still a war going on.
Helmand Province, Helmand Province, Afghanistan – The commanding officer, Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, is assisted by an Afghan interpreter to gather intelligence from an Afghan police officer during a
mission in Helmand province, Afghanistan, April 17. The company’s two-day mission was to disrupt lethal enemy aid and to search three compounds of interest in an area suspected of Taliban influence. The compounds were suspected to contain a homemade-explosive lab, a cache for narcotics and be home to local Taliban leadership.
Until next time, continued prayers for our military and their families.
A beautiful fall day for the 238th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps! It just so happened our November luncheon date landed on November 10th, the birthday of the greatest fighting force in the world!
It was also the day before Veterans Day. Such an honor to serve the Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and their families a special luncheon on the combat ward at Walter Reed.
Katie, Julie, Dina, Deb and I planned to arrive a little before 10 AM. Deb drove, traffic was easy and she and I got there a little early.
As we rounded the corner after going though the gate we had to stop for the wildlife. No, Moms, not bored Marines… 😉 There were geese taking their good ol’ sweet time waddling across the road.
We unloaded and took everything upstairs with the help of the Gunnery Sergeant. It was nice meeting him and putting a face to the emails.
Deb went to park the truck while I began setting up the room. Katie, Julie and Dina weren’t far behind us.
Pickles, olives, cheese and crackers
Gravy and Dressing
Chicken Tortellini Soup & Potato Soup
Sweet Potato Casserole
Smoothies and Assorted Drinks
although we didn’t have a Birthday Cake, we had…
The nifty-gifties table was set up with pantry bags and other things. Julie does the shopping and packing for the bags, which have snacks and a few other things in them, just something to have in the hospital room so they don’t have to walk down the hall to the vending machine for a day or two… or three.
Also on the table were books on CDs, great for vision-impaired patients, from Bob and Linda, Carole and the Castaways’ hand-knitted slippers and beanies, quilts from both the Bayside Quilters and Olde Kent Quilt Guilds, and composition books from Katie.
Diana in Florida sent blank handmade Hanukkah and Christmas cards for the patients and families to have if they wanted them.
They were beautiful, as were the “all occasion” ones she sent earlier this year.
To everyone who help make the luncheons possible, your “Gifts From the Heart” mean so much to those we serve. Thank You!
The time came that makes all of the planning, shopping, and preparation worth it.
Moms, Dads, wives, and patients came in to fill a plate. Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania were just a few states represented. There were amputees in wheelchairs, Traumatic Brain Injury patients, other types of head injury patients…
One of the patients “signed” to us – he couldn’t speak because of his recent surgery so he spelled the words out with his hand, and his wife translated “Thank You!” for us.
Some of the people we served had been to past luncheons. More than once or twice… or thrice… and may still be there when we go back toward the end of January.
One will be moving on to a Polytrauma Unit at a VA Medical Center so he can be closer to home, and others will be back and forth between the surgical ward here at Walter Reed and Bldg. 62, the out-patient apartments, for many more months.
One Solider, very well-liked by the other patients, had started out at the old Walter Reed – three years ago… A few more surgeries and this part of his recovery will be completed, then the next steps of his rehab begins… with his Mom by his side ‘walking the walk” with him.
In spite of the life-altering injuries our troops and their families are living with in their “new normal”, their UPBEAT SPIRITS and “CAN DO” attitude are MORE than inspiring…They take their “Warrior Ethos” and they apply it to their new mission – Recovery.
Do not tell them “can not”.
They will prove you wrong.
Lessons many of us would do well to pay attention to when we’re having a bad day.
Happy Birthday, Marines!
And to our Veterans, Thank You for serving our country!
Until next time, continued prayers for our military and their families.
“Elfs”, Cookies, Stockings, Cards, and a Holiday Meal!
Here’s our AAR for Holiday Cheer 2010. Thank you to everyone who made it a wonderful success! You are SO appreciated!!!
Some “Elfs” sent gift cards, some sent stocking stuffers and ornaments, and others sent checks to help with the Santa shopping. They also helped by getting the word out about “Holiday Cheer at Bethesda” by posting on Facebook or on their websites and blogs.
Saying “Thank you” for your unconditional support of our wounded, injured, and ill service members seems inadequate to me. I have difficulty finding words strong enough to express the appreciation and gratitude that comes from the troops and their families when we gave them the stockings, cookies, cards, and food that they weren’t expecting.
So many people have given their time, money, and hearts to help with our event and each one of you have touched many people in extraordinarily wonderful ways that we will never know.
Thank you. We appreciate you.
Thank you to the “Cookie Elfs” – Kate, Barb, Don, Robin, Janelle, Aunt Jeanne and Mr. Russell, Alice, Catherine, Chris and her ladies from Bayside Quilters – Barb C. Kris S., and Marlene, and Grace. Thanks also to Delmarva Blue Star Mothers for helping to fund the cookie tins.
Jeanne, Janelle, Barb, Don. and Katie gathered together to sort the cookies into cheery tins. Each tin held a dozen assorted cookies.
Some of us Marine Moms and Dads have known each other since boot camp, others since our sons’ first deployment. Maybe our kids grew up together in the same neighborhood and joined the Marine Corps together. Still others we have met along the way through one support group or another, whether it is from the MarineParents.com site, a Yahoo group, or from homecomings, local events, a Blue Star Mothers chapter, or, yes, even chasing down a car in town with a USMC sticker on it! We are everywhere. It’s just the hooking up with each other that may difficult sometimes.
One thing we have in common is we claim every Marine we meet as our own, and we do our best to “fill in” for the parents who can’t be there for their son or daughter.
My hope is that every military family is connected to another military family. It really does help with the roller coaster ride.
The friendships you make will last a lifetime.