Category Archives: 2014

June 8, 2014 – 4th Floor Luncheon In Pictures

Reports from the Moms is, “Things are quiet on the 4th floor these days.”

Let’s hope it stays that way!

Trying something new – today’s luncheon in pictures. Don’t turn your speakers up, I haven’t figured out how to add sound.

June 8th 4th floor luncheon











One thing’s for sure, no one leaves hungry when they’ve gone through the moms’ buffet line!

We’ll be at Mercy Hall on June 19th, our last luncheon there, then they will move over to the bigger barracks. 

If you feel what we do is a worthy cause, please consider buying a raffle ticket or two.  $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00.  The winner’s name will be drawn at our August Mercy Hall soon-to-be Sanctuary Hall luncheon.  This is our only fundraiser.  Thank you for your consideration.  Click on the picture for the details.

Our 2014 Raffle Quilt, “MAY ALL EAGLES FLY!”









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

Love and Hugs,


May 18, 2014 – 4th Floor: What time of year is it?

May 18 luncheon

What time of year is it?

It’s BBQ season!

June 8 Marine Moms-Bethesda luncheonThe Team:

Dina, Barb & Don, Steph, and Katie

Thank you, Dina, for taking the lead with the luncheon and to all of you for a job well done!

The Menu:

Hamburgers, hot dogs, brats, and all the fixin’s

Potato soup

Baked beans

Green beans

Fresh fruit

Assorted desserts & drinks

Fresh smoothies

quilts, pantry bags,desserts and drinksAAR:

The ward is pretty quiet – this is GOOD!



Leftovers were taken to the TBI Ward, the kitchens (called “nourishment centers” – they aren’t “real” kitchens although they have a coffee maker, microwave, toaster, and fridge), and I think someone said some stuff went over to Mercy Hall.

Our next luncheon is June 8th on the 4th floor.

Luncheons are funded by our volunteers and by supporters both local and across the country.  Thank You!

(Photo credit goes to Katie.  Thanks for sharing the pictures!)


If you’re interested, our Annual Quilt Raffle has begun.  This is our only fundraiser.

This year’s quilt was once again donated by Bayside Quilters of the Eastern Shore.  “May All Eagles Fly!”

We are an ALL VOLUNTEER support group with 100% of the proceeds from the raffle supporting the luncheons.

We serve combat wounded patients, injured patients, and ill patients – all service branches, and their family members who are on the 4th floor, ICU and the Traumatic Brain Injury Ward at Walter Reed.

Every other month we serve wounded, injured, and ill out-patients living at Mercy Hall, a small transitional out-patient barracks. When Mercy Hall transitions over to the new building we expect to be serving many more service members.

Yes, the draw down continues in Afghanistan, however troops are still being deployed there, and to other dangerous (and not so dangerous) places.  For example, we’ve served patients (and their families) who were injured during training accidents and off-duty accidents – abroad and stateside.  .

If you feel our luncheons are a worthy cause please consider buying raffle tickets. $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00.  Click on the picture below for details.  Thank you for your consideration.

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

Love and Hugs,



raffle quilt
Marine Moms-Bethesda’s 2014 Raffle Quilt, “May All Eagles Fly!”





April 26, 2014 – 4th Floor: Thank You, Chik-fil-A!

Chik-fil-AThis was a Chick-fil-A luncheon!

Gladys entered a contest the Chik-fil-A at Waugh Chapel in Gambrills, MD was holding. She wanted to use them for a luncheon.  Winner would receive 50 chicken sandwiches. They ended up choosing 10 winners and Gladys was one of them!

Then we discovered Chik-fil-A isn’t open on Sundays. (GOOD for them!)

The Liaison Office was great and worked with us so we could host a Saturday luncheon. Thank you!

I arrived around 9:30 to set up the room.  The Marine on Duty helped me arrange the room and lay out the tablecloths, she was great!   Gladys and Bob arrived shortly after 11:00 with the hot sandwiches and they were definitely a hit!  We were busy!  Chik-fil-A even provided hot boxes to keep the sandwiches piping for the trip over and during the luncheon.


Thank you, Chik-fil-A at Waugh Chapel!  What a wonderful show of support you provided for the patients and families at Walter Reed!  You made their day!

Thank you also to Bob and Gladys for donating the sides, soup, and drinks served with the chicken sandwiches.


Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches

potato salad

cole slaw

2 snacky stuff and dessertchicken soup


cheese, hummus, and crackers

assorted desserts & assorted drinks

3 watermelon, drinks and pinwheels









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

Love and Hugs,


April 20, 2014 – 4th Floor, an Easter Brunch!


Easter BrunchAn Easter Brunch!

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!


Infantrymen disrupt Taliban lethal aid in Helmand province
April 17, 2014, Helmand Province
Photo By: Cpl. Joseph Scanlan










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.

Love and Hugs,


April 10, 2014 – Mercy Hall, Barb & Jane’s Excellent Luncheon!

steeplesBarb and I rode over together to Mercy Hall.  It was nice having someone to talk with during the hour and half drive to Walter Reed.  She’s good company.

Thursday DC Beltway traffic is a little heavier than the Sundays we go over and this Thursday was no different. It was comforting to see the steeples, we knew we were almost there.

We arrived and unloaded, the Sailors set up the tables for us, then I went to park while Barb began pulling everything out and arranging the food.

Did you know parking at Walter Reed during the week is the pits?  Yeah, it is. She was almost finished by the time I got back.

The luncheons make the drive and the parking worth it though.  The guys and gals enjoy them and are so appreciative of the meal.  Lots of new faces this month.  December was the last time we were there and we saw a few guys who had been to that luncheon.

We had to cancel February’s Mercy Hall luncheon, the first time this has happened in our many years of going there. This was a winter we’ll be talking about for a long time… until the next one anyway.  We aren’t used to a lot of snow in this neck of the woods.

Easter carrots and cookiesMenu:

appetizer, buffalo wings with ranch and blue cheese sauce, meatballs in spaghetti sauce, rolls, green beans, potato salad, dessert and assorted drinks.

Oh, the Easter Bunny dropped off some carrots.  And yes, those are Red Velvet Cookies.

One of the Dads said it did his heart good to see us Marine Moms. He’s a Marine Veteran who was there with his Navy daughter.  (We told him one of us is a Marine Mom and the other is a Navy Mom.)

We saw a few patients with musical instruments, had not seen that before.  The NICoE next door has music therapy.

We may have one more luncheon at Mercy Hall before the move over to Sanctuary Hall.  When that happens we expect to be serving double, maybe triple, the number we’re serving now.  But hey, we’ve got the logistics down pat!  And we love a challenge!  And we love who we serve!

Thanks so much for your help, Barb, and for sharing your pictures!  It was an excellent luncheon!

Lunch is ready at Mercy Hall
Lunch is ready at Mercy Hall!

Thank you to our supporters.  I wish you could see the look on their faces when they come into the lobby and see the buffet. Most of them don’t know we’ll be there.

“This is for us??? Thank You!”

And we say, “No, thank YOU!”

One day, most likely, the men and women we serve at Mercy Hall will be transitioned into the Dept. of Veteran Affairs health care system.

When I heard about this, dated April 10, 2014, it made my blood boil…

“Deaths at Phoenix VA hospital may be tied to delayed care”

How someone can do this and keep a clear conscious – keep secret lists, when they are supposed to be serving Veterans who have willingly served our country, with all of the money that’s been poured into the VA in recent years, hiring thousands of extra help, supposedly making progress in the long wait times for appointments – is beyond my comprehension.

How do they sleep at night?

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

Love and Hugs,


March 23, 2014 – 4th Floor: Yessireee MARINE Moms!

luncheon roomNice luncheon!

The TBI Guys came down and yessireeeeeeee MARINE Moms!  They got hugs from all of you!!!  ARMY Moms, they were from you, too!

Love the staff from their floor, they take great care of their patients, very caring and very protective.

So are the combat nurses, Corpsmen and medics on the combat wing.

We also served combat patients and their families, and some active duty patients who weren’t combat wounded, at Walter Reed for other medical reasons.

One of patients came in and had a German accent, spouse of a Veteran.  Imagine our surprise when Suzan started speaking German to her!  That was pretty cool…

We were reminded of HIPAA when one of the nurses came in and asked if we were taking names, someone had seen us writing something down.

I told her no, we were just making marks for each of the people we served and showed her the paper.

Keeping track of who we serve helps us plan for the next luncheon.   It also helps us budget our money knowing how much it costs per person to serve the luncheons.

Julie had made up snack bags and we had quilts and assorted varieties of Chef Boyardee on the niftie-giftie table to give out.

Roster: Dina, Jane, and Suzan, with help from Julie, Barb & Don, and Christie

Thank You All!  Job Well Done!


Deviled eggs

cheese and pepperoni tray

BBQ pulled pork

turkey & cheese wraps

chicken noodle soup

fresh fruit salad

mac & cheese

cole slaw

green beans

assorted cookies

pound cake and apple pie

asst drinks

and smoothies.

Christie's noteDeep Gratitude to those of you who support the luncheons.  They are very much appreciated by the patients and families, more than you know…

There are times when the only food some of the patients have had in months is institutional food.

Other times a patient’s appetite isn’t good, nothing sounds or looks good to him or her, one of the family members goes back to their room with a plate of food and a few minutes later, they’re back in the luncheon room to get something for their loved one.  And sometimes, they come back a few more times… we never know what’s going to hit the spot for someone.  Today it was the deviled eggs.

March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month.

Troops are, and have been, coming home from war with mild to severe Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).  We’ve met severely injured TBI patients at Walter Reed.

Their injuries have happened during training accidents, in post-deployment leave accidents, or when they stepped on an IED, or their vehicle was blown up by an IED, or a blast from an IED 100 yards away affected them, or shrapnel hit them, or when they were shot in the head.

There are two different kinds of traumatic brain injuries

  • penetrating brain injuries – caused by a bullet or shrapnel.  With this kind of TBI scars are often apparent.
  • closed brain injuries – the brain gets rattled around inside the skull from an explosion.  These wounds are “unseen”, no scars.

Walter Reed/Bethesda provides state of the art treatment for traumatic brain injuries through their Traumatic Brain Injury Service / Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC).

BrainLineMilitary has extensive information about Traumatic Brain Injury.  Their website states:

In the military from 2000 through 2012, more than 266,000 service members sustained a TBI.  Brain injury has become known as the signature wound of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most brain injuries are mild, and most people recover in a matter of weeks. provides military-specific information and resources on traumatic brain injury to veterans; service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard, and Reserve; and their families.

Many of these service members have young children.  Our Daddy Is Invincible! written by Shannon Maxwell, whose husband was injured in 2004 in Iraq, is an excellent book written for children about TBI.

Take the time to learn about the symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury.  That “forgetfulness” or “dizzy spell” you, your loved one, your co-worker, or your employee has may be a symptom.  As service members transition out of the military into civilian life we may be seeing more of these injuries in our communities.

If we, civilians, understand the causes, symptoms, and coping skills for Veterans with TBIs, it will help make their transition easier, won’t it?

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

Love and Hugs,




February 23, 2014 – 4th Floor

What a great luncheon our volunteers planned and what a treat it was for the families and patients!

chicken soupMenu:
mini-egg rolls
sloppy joes,
tuna sandwiches
chicken soup and crackers
fruit salad
cole slaw
red beans and rice
green beans
cupcake cake
smoothies and asst. drinks


tuna salad, rolls, and cole slawSpecial THANKS to

Cornerstone Deli and market for their donation of tuna and cole slaw




quilts an dpillowcasesand to Olde Kent Quilters for their gorgeous quilts and pillowcases,




scarves, beanies, and slippersand to Carole and the Castaways for the slippers and hats.






Well, the food of course!!!

I wasn’t there so these are notes from phone conversations afterwards:

  • Gladys’ first trip down to ICU with Elizabeth to invite the combat families up.
  • The TBI guys came down. We love having them come to the luncheons!
  • A combat family on the 4th floor came back several times, which is what we encourage!

cookiesThe volunteers chipped in for cookie platters for the staff lounges on the 4th floor and 7 East.

Thank you all for a job well done!

The next luncheon is March 23rd, same time, same place, different menu, different crew!

Love and Hugs,






February 13, 2014 – Snowed out from Mercy Hall

We hated to do it. Especially after telling them in December we’d be back to Mercy Hall in February.

Following the weather map for a week, seeing the storm creep closer and closer, watching the weather reports become more and more ominous as the luncheon date drew near, we didn’t want to take a chance being on the road during a snow storm.

Beltway driving around D.C. is awful on a good day, and we don’t live next door; our travel time has us out the door early in the morning to be at Walter Reed by 10:30 AM. And then there’s the drive home heading into rush hour.

The storm was predicted to hit Wednesday night and continue into Thursday afternoon, so on Monday, before Thursday’s luncheon, we went with our gut feelings, sent our regrets to the Liaison Office and cancelled with the hope of rescheduling.

Good thing we did.

snow Mercy Hall Luncheon









Thursday Mercy Hall





Walter Reed closed down, too, essential personnel only.

If we don’t make it back this month or in March, we’ll be back at Mercy Hall on April 10th!

On another note, I just read this, dated February 13, 2014.

“Marines Don’t Plan to Cut Wounded Warrior Program”

But according to the article, the Army does.

Such a shame, our military being cut so drastically…

I’m reminded of this poem.



I went into a public-‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,

The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”

The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,

I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:

O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away”;

But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play,

The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,

O it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play.


I went into a theatre as sober as could be,

They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;

They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,

But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, wait outside”;

But it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide,

The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,

O it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide.


Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep

Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;

An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit

Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.

Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul?”

But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,

The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,

O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.


We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,

But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;

An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,

Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;

While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, fall be’ind”,

But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind,

There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,

O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind.


You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:

We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.

Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face

The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”

But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;

An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;

An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!

~Rudyard Kipling

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

Love and Hugs,


January 26, 2014 – 4th Floor

A Sunday Luncheon

sanwiches, soup and chiliI miss it so much when I’m unable to go to a luncheon I’ve signed up to help with. I feel like I’ve let the other volunteers down, and I just really enjoy being at the hospital and seeing the smiles when a Warrior or a family member walks into the room, sometimes guided there by the scent of “real” food wafting through the corridors of the 4th floor in Building 10.

Today’s luncheon was one I had to miss…

NO worries, though! When I spoke to Gladys she was ready and more than willing to take on a luncheon with just her and Bob if needed. Elizabeth and Stephanie were able and willing to drop food off and share their supplies if needed. Julie sent some food along with the pantry bags via Gladys, and Katie was able to be there to help Gladys and Bob, so! All was well and good to go!

sides and sandwiches

Gladys touched base with me later in the evening and shared how the day went. I told her, “You know, we read about and watch on TV what’s going on and then we see the “back story” at the hospital, the people who made it happen, who were a part of it, who made history.”

And after thinking about what she had told me, I was reminded of this quote by John Stuart Mill:

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

You see, there was a patient there, with his family for support, and many of his Brothers by his side. They don’t serve for the money, or for the platitudes, or for the college benefits, or to build their resumes…

They serve for “Love of Country”. And they take care of each other.

Our country, and this world, is a better place because of them.

From Gladys:

Marine Moms-Bethesda served lunch at Walter Reed on Sunday.  We were thrilled to see many empty rooms!  We were honored to meet a wounded Warrior and got to meet his family and two other buddies that had flown to be with him and offer him moral support.  Their spirits were so high, and you could see immediately the spirit of camaraderie among them. 

The family members and some of the patients were so happy to be served some home-made food!  The menu was a hit and we had almost no leftovers!  It consisted of Chili with all the toppings, including cornbread and some out-of-this-world biscuits; home-made chicken noodle soup, finger sandwiches, fruit salad, a vegetable tray, and cookies and cupcakes for dessert.  Bob making smoothies.As in the past, the strawberry smoothies that Bob made were a hit!  He has turned into quite a smoothies expert!  All the patients and their family members received a gift bag with some goodies, put together by another Marine Mom. 

Every time we serve lunch at Walter Reed we are reminded of the sacrifice these young men and women and their families have made for all of us.  We are proud and honored to continue to support them and are already looking forward to our next lunch.

Semper Fi!


Thank you Gladys, Bob, Katie, and Julie for your help with the luncheon! Job Well Done!

Jaime from “Touch of Relief” was also at the luncheon providing free seated massages for the family members.  Thank you, Jaime!

To our Supporters, you do a wonderful service, enabling the luncheons through your kind generosity.  What is better than “comfort food” when you’re so far from home?  Thank you for your support.

Our next luncheon will be Thursday, February 13, at Mercy Hall, serving the residents and their families. Serving time 11:30 to 1:00 PM, but if you’re going through before or after those times, stop by anyway. We know you have places to go and things to see – rehab, doctors appointment, physical therapy, med boards, meetings. We’ll have take out boxes available for you.

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

Love and Hugs,




fruit, veggies and sidesdesserts, drinks, and pantry bags