Category Archives: 2014
Thursday, December 4th – MM-B’s “Holiday Cheer 2014” Luncheon at the USO
Our annual Holiday Luncheon!
Special Thanks to:
The Warrior Family Coordination Cell for helping us coordinate the event.
The Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment-East at Walter Reed for their advice and help.
Preventative Med for ensuring the safety of our service members through good food practice policies.
The USO at Walter Reed for the use of their room and kitchen, and to their volunteers for assistance.
Huge Thanks to:
Our “Elfs”, many of whom who have been doing “Elfie” stuff with us since 2007, helping to make the event so special!
Our MM-B Volunteers, who pull everything together to make the luncheon a success!
And most especially, Tremendous Thanks to:
Our Nation’s service members and Veterans who’ve put their lives on the line defending our country.
A room at the USO at Walter Reed.
Choptank Marine Corps League Detachment #439
Washington State Operation Thank You
Joanna & Joel in Florida
Barbara in Alabama
Mary T. in Maryland
Continue reading Thursday, December 4th – MM-B’s “Holiday Cheer 2014” Luncheon at the USO
November 9, 2014 – 4th Floor: Marines, Veterans, and Thanksgiving
Today’s Luncheon was a celebration of the USMC’s 239th Birthday and Veterans Day, serving a Thanksgiving Day meal!
Carey & Chris
Joanna & Joel
WA State Operation Thank You
Turkey & Ham
Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Potato Soup & Fresh Fruit Salad
Stuffed Celery, Cranberry Sauce
Cheese & Pepperoni Tray
Pickles & Olives
Assorted Drinks & water
Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pumpkin Pie & Cake
The Niftie Gifties:
Quilts from Olde Kent Quilters
Patriotic Pillowcases from Bayside Quilters of the Eastern Shore
Marine & Army Lap Quilts from Jean in Ohio
Scarves from Eleanore in New Jersey
We send out the call for sign-ups to our luncheon volunteers and they help when they can. Some months we have two or three, this month we had seven. Even though we staggered the arrival times, I thought we’d be knocking elbows with everyone in the room, and we were – until the line began to form. Continue reading November 9, 2014 – 4th Floor: Marines, Veterans, and Thanksgiving
October 23, 2014 – Good people doing good things.
There are a heck of a lot of nice people doing good things for our service members at Walter Reed.
Mercy Hall has closed. The residents moved over to Sanctuary Hall, the new barracks, in the early summer, and food events aren’t allowed there. Base policy. Today was our first luncheon at the USO Warrior and Family Center.
We reserved a room in the new USO for today’s luncheon. Their volunteers were very helpful, checking in with us every so often to see if we needed anything. They stayed busy greeting people as they entered the building, making them feel at home, keeping the snack bar stocked for the guys and gals coming in, and a multitude of other things.
The Warrior Family Coordination Cell (WFCC), the office tasked with coordinating events in cooperation with the different service branches and the USO, sent a Sailor down to offer help, and then later during the event, stopped by to check on us again. Yes, they are military, doing the job they’re assigned, but they went out of their way to help us out. Continue reading October 23, 2014 – Good people doing good things.
Holiday Cheer 2014 – Would you like to be an MM-B Elf?
The holidays are right around the corner and it’s time to plan for “Holiday Cheer 2014”!
We’ll be serving out-patients at Walter Reed during this luncheon. They live on their own or with their caregivers in dorm-like rooms. Many are young, single, and do not have family living with them.
Not all are “combat wounded”, however they are at Walter Reed-Bethesda for medical reasons during active duty service. Our Holiday Cheer event and bi-monthly luncheons are a HUGE morale booster for them!
The event consists of a holiday meal, Christmas stockings, handwritten holiday and Christmas cards from across the USA, cookies baked by our local “Elfs” AND a whoooole lotta CHEER!
“Holiday Cheer 2014” will be on December 4th, 2014. Location: USO. Serving Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM This event will be limited to 25 wounded, injured, or ill service members and their family members, first come, first served.
Would you like to be a Marine Moms-Bethesda Elf? Sponsor a stocking or send cards! Here’s how!
Continue reading Holiday Cheer 2014 – Would you like to be an MM-B Elf?
October 5, 2014 – 4th Floor
Today’s team was Dina and Deb. Here’s Dina’s AAR (slightly edited):
Hey Jane. Just wanted to fill you in on today’s luncheon. Since it was just the two of us, we pushed back the start time to 11:30. But we were more than ready to start at just after 11:00!
The highlight for me was a family I saw walking the halls…that I invited to come have some lunch. They declined at first, but came by about 30 minutes later without the older gentleman. I asked them who they were visiting and the man said, “My dad, he just got a kidney on THURSDAY!” I couldn’t believe he was the man I saw walking the halls earlier…three days after a kidney transplant!!! Amazing things happening at Walter Reed, as you know!!!!
The quilts were a big hit and families were so appreciative! It never gets old to see how genuinely thankful the families are to receive our goodies!
I got the wings and wraps at Wegmans (through their catering department). I was very satisfied with their stuff. I was able to order the food on line and then pick up the stuff on Saturday night. I would definitely use them again. They have a great variety too.
Here are some pictures from today…
Thank You! Job well done, Ladies!
Wheat Wraps (Roast Beef, Ham, Turkey and Cheese)
Fresh Fruit Platter
Sodas & Water
We’re very grateful to our supporters who help make the luncheons happen!
Thank you to those who serve our country, past and present!
In other news:
DoD May Deploy up to 4,000 Troops to Combat Ebola
By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
FORT MEADE, Md., Oct. 3, 2014 – The Defense Department could deploy up to 4,000 service members to Liberia as part of Operation United Assistance against Ebola, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters at the Pentagon today.
There are 205 U.S. service members in Liberia today with another 26 in neighboring Senegal. All service members are supporting the lead federal agency for American participation in the crisis — the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel “has approved the potential deployment of up to 4,000 [service members],” Kirby said. “But I want to make one thing real clear, that that’s a potential deployment. That doesn’t mean it is going to get to that number.”
Testing labs operational
Operations are moving forward in Liberia. “Over the last 36 hours, two Ebola testing laboratories manned by personnel from the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center are now fully operational,” Kirby said. The labs can process about 100 samples each day.
U.S. personnel are also on track for completing a hospital for infected medical personnel on Oct. 18. “Construction of two treatment centers for other Ebola victims will begin today and should be completed by the end of the month,” the admiral said.
Kirby forecast a significant increase in the operations tempo in Liberia and with it an increase in troops.
Read more at the link above.
Check this article from Oct. 1, 2014 out.
Hagel Authorizes 700 Soldiers for Liberia Deployment
A snip from it:
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has authorized the deployment of 700 soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division headquarters element to Liberia to help with the Ebola epidemic there, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said here yesterday.
The soldiers will deploy in late October, Kirby told reporters during a briefing, and they will become the headquarter staff for the joint forces command, led by Army Maj. Gen. Gary J. Volesky.
Read more at the link above.
Is sending our troops over there really a good idea? What will the long-term ramifications of this be to our troops, their families, and our country?
And then there’s what’s going on in Iraq…
Until next time, continued prayers for our military and their families.
Love and Hugs,
September 7, 2014 – 4th Floor
We never know who or how many we’ll serve at a luncheon. Today’s luncheon was busier than we’ve seen in a while. I don’t know if it’s because we’re on the events calender now or because the fighting has increased ‘over there”. Sure, there’s a draw-down. The fighting is still happening. In Afghanistan, and now we’re back in Iraq – sort of. Who knows where this will lead…
Statement from Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby on Haditha Dam Airstrikes
“At the request of the Government of Iraq, the U.S. military on Saturday conducted coordinated airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists in the vicinity of the Haditha Dam in Anbar province. We conducted these strikes to prevent terrorists from further threatening the security of the dam, which remains under control of Iraqi Security Forces, with support from Sunni tribes.
Many thanks to today’s crew for taking a beautiful Sunday to serve the Warriors, their families, and the other patients on the 4th floor, TBI Ward, and the CCU families. I wasn’t there. Elizabeth sent the AAR and Mary took the pictures.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Sandwich Platter– Turkey, Ham, Roast Beef
Tomatoes and Mozzarella Salad
Fresh Fruit Salad
Bags of Chips
Assorted bottled/can drinks
A bit from Elizabeth:
Stephanie and I went down to ICU… Two of the nurses/corpsmen on the ICU unit knew all about us and were very helpful. We ran into Sgt Major P. as he was visiting in ICU. There was one family there that we did bring up with us. They had a cute little 2 year old who loved watching Bob make his smoothie. He hung onto the edge of the table and watched Bob’s every move.
We do not provide food for the CCU patients, they are usually on special diets or can’t have solids. However the luncheons are a nice break and a distraction for their families.
The 4th floor consists of more than one ward and serves other types of patients in addition to combat wounded. A Dad asked Jillian and Hallie to visit his daughter. Can you tell they’re Orioles fans? 🙂 In an environment of mostly males, they were welcomed visitors for her.
Sounds like the event was a hit. Many thanks to those of you who support the luncheons. It means so much to those we serve.
Please keep our military and their families in your thoughts and prayers.
Until next time…
Love and Hugs,
August 3, 2014 – 4th Floor: Changes
After our July 20th luncheon we received an email from Walter Reed’s Environmental Health Department with new policies we’re required to follow.
I asked if there had been complaints and was told:
No, we are just trying to equally apply the standard for special events across NSAB
and ensure that the food served in the best possible way to prevent foodborne illness.
We look forward to working with you, so you can best serve the patients and families.
These policies, good food handling procedures, were implemented at today’s luncheon:
food transported safely to the hospital (already did this).
food gloves (we already used them).
head coverings (*flashback* – elementary school lunches and the lunch ladies! We chose ball caps instead of hair nets).
cold food kept below and hot food kept above specific temperatures during the event (bought food thermometers so we could be assured we were within their requirements).
hygienic serving equipment (we already did)
And the biggie:
Please be aware that home baked goods i.e. cookies, brownies, or pies are
authorized at this time. Homemade goods i.e. casseroles, salads, or
pot roast have to be store bought.
Today’s luncheon was all store bought.
Our luncheons are a welcome break to the fast food the families live on and have been a mixture of home made and store bought items. This is how we’ve been able to keep the costs down. Example:
Today’s 4 lbs of pulled pork BBQ and 24 rolls cost $98.58.
July 20th’s 5 lbs of pulled pork BBQ cost and 24 rolls cost $49.99.
Cheese, olives, & pickles, pulled pork BBQ & rolls, tuna fish salad,
chicken noodle soup, potato salad,
fresh fruit salad, cucumber & tomato salad,
chocolate chip cookies, water and assorted drinks.
The heath inspector came in to make sure the food was being handled properly, checked the temperature of the food, and gave us “two thumbs up” before he left.
We appreciate the need for the food policies and will continue to serve the patients and families in the best possible way.
Many thanks to Deb for helping out at the last minute.
Special thanks to our supporters who help make the luncheons happen with their generous donations.
And as Gladys said on her Facebook page:
Although the number of wounded patients has decreased, there is still a need to support those who have sustained injuries while defending our country. Marine Moms-Bethesda will be there until the last patient and their family members go home.
That’s the Plan.
“Adapt and overcome.”
Until next time, continued prayers for our military and their families.
July 20, 2014 – 4th Floor: DEDICATION
This is the word that describes my thoughts after Sunday’s luncheon.
The volunteers’ dedication – month after month helping out with the luncheons, some for many years, some just beginning, all willing to help where needed.
In 2005 and 2006 Janelle and I popped in to visit Marines and their families we had met online during our sons’ deployments. We began doing the luncheons in an organized manner in 2007.
Gladys and Bob have been with us since 2008. Tremendous supporters of our Marines.
Steph, since 2010. She heard about us through Marines at a Walter Reed event before Walter Reed moved over to Bethesda.
Dina, since 2012. Married to a Marine Veteran, she believes volunteerism and giving back to the community is important, and wanted to teach their sons by example.
Deb, since 2013. Our “Army Brat”, Deb grew up mostly in Germany, living in the United States a total of two years while in grades 1 – 12.
and Colette was with us for the first time today. She supports Veterans in another important way and wanted to do more. We met Colette at the Serving Together Veterans Resource Fair in May.
Each of them pitched in enthusiastically both in the weeks before and on the day of the luncheon with planning and prep to be ready to serve the patients and families at 1100. We were ready 20 minutes early.
Two Sergeant Majors stopped by while we were there to say hello before they visited the wounded Marines.
For those unaware, to reach this rank in the Marine Corps, the highest enlisted rank, takes a huge commitment, lots of perseverance, and tenacity. Dedication.
The dedication shown to their Marines, visiting them on a beautiful summer Sunday when they could be home with their family instead, is a huge morale booster to the wounded Warriors. And they don’t just visit wounded Marines on the 4th floor, they visit them wherever they are in the hospital.
The Warriors we met – DEDICATION.
Dedication to their country.
Dedication to their families.
Dedication to their recovery.
They inspire us.
Bob has to stay busy, can’t stand to sit still so we had him folding MM-B brochures for us while we were waiting for our guests to arrive.
The buffet was set up and we were all ready to go 20 minutes early.
What’s pulled pork without baked beans?
Tuna salad for those who didn’t want pulled pork.
Fresh fruit salad and California salad.
This gorgeous afghan was made by one of the Outreach members from Bayside Quilters. I believe it went to a Soldier’s mom for her Soldier.
What a trooper! Deb signed up in January for today’s luncheon, broke her ankle, and said nothing would keep her away!
Our “niftie-giftie” table. The quilt we’re using as a tablecloth is this year’s raffle quilt, “May All Eagles Fly”, donated to us by Bayside Quilters of the Eastern Shore, Easton, MD.
Job WELL done, Ladies and Bob! Thank you for your time, donations, and dedication to the patients and their families at Walter Reed/Bethesda.
Please remember there is still a war going on. Our Nation’s Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen are all across the globe. If they are stateside they are training. If they’re deployed and not in a war zone, they are training.
On land… at sea… in the air…
If you consider our luncheons a worthy cause, please support us by buying a quilt raffle ticket or two. 100% of the proceeds directly support the patients and their families at Walter Reed through our luncheons. $1.00 a ticket or 6 for $5.00, checks or money orders should be made out to “Marine Moms Bethesda” and mailed to:
(This raffle is closed.)
Checks or money orders only, NO cash please. Please note “quilt raffle” in the memo line.
Final postmark date is August 1, 2014.
The Lucky Winner’s name will be drawn during our August 14th Mercy Hall luncheon.
Please include your email address if you’d like acknowledgement of the tickets and your phone number so we can contact you when you win.
Until next time, continued prayers for our military and their families.
Love & Hugs,
June 19, 2014 – Mercy Hall’s Last Luncheon
Yes, this was our last luncheon at Mercy Hall. We’ll move over to Sanctuary Hall in August for the next Thursday luncheon.
Special THANKS to Graul’s Market in St, Michaels, MD for their donation of the assorted rolls, potato salad, fruit salad, cookies, and apple pie!
Bayside Quilters of Easton, MD supplied the quilts. They’ve been sending LOVE to the troops at the hospital and Mercy Hall since 2009. Thank you, Quilters!
The “Two If By Tea” tea was donated by an anonymous “Elf”. Thank you!
Katie and Guy, you are always such a pleasure to work with! Job well done! Thank you for your time and dedication to the guys and gals we serve at Mercy Hall!
We met some new people, their first time at one of our luncheons. There are very few places on base to eat and there’s no commissary on base, so even though they have microwaves in their rooms, the luncheons are always a HUGE morale booster for the Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, and Airmen we serve. It was nice meeting them and always a joy to see our old friends and catch up with them.
Now… about that macaroni and cheese… We’ve been working (sorta-kinda) on a cookbook of “tried and true” recipes from the luncheons over the years and should be rolling with it probably toward the end of July, beginning of August. More details to come…
And about the move over to Sanctuary Hall – before we left the base we drove by the building. It’s huge. We’re pretty sure we’ll be serving wounded, injured, and ill out-patients as well as single, enlisted service members (all service branches) stationed at Walter Reed when we do the switch-over. We’re anticipating serving double, maybe triple (maybe more?) the number of people we’ve been serving the past few years at Mercy Hall. We’ll see how it goes.
And who knows what will happen with the situation currently going on in Iraq? First it starts with “no boots on the ground”, then “300 advisors” and a ship with 500 Marines sitting off the coast… And the draw-down in Afghanistan going on… after 5 Taliban honchos have been released from Gitmo… Maybe this is what we need to do…………
Mmm hmmm… How long have we been talking about this, Ladies, 10 years or more?
The Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen answered their country’s call and served their time over there with honor following the orders they were given. We’re proud of each and every one of you.
If you think what we do is a worthy cause, please consider buying a raffle ticket or two. We are 100% volunteer, and 100% of the proceeds from our annual quilt raffle fundraiser directly benefit those we serve through our luncheons. Administrative costs, and often times food, are out of pocket expenses for our volunteers. Final postmark is August 1st, tickets are $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00. For details, please click on the picture. Thank you for your consideration.
Until next time, thoughts and prayers for our military and their families.
Love and Hugs,