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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Operation Fresh Air 2008 - Part IV

I managed to get to part of the final Operation Fresh Air for 2008.

I wrote about 2008 Part I back in May HERE.

I was late, so I missed the lunch. And it was colder than expected (and I didn't bring a coat!), so I didn't go hang out on the dock with the fisher-people. Darn. However, it was a pretty day and getting outside for some fresh air is key (I was late because I'd gone out for exercise that morning!). Between fishing and kite flying, folks seemed to have a great time.

And, I did get to chat with the military wives, who coordinate and run these fishing events for our wounded vets who are recovering at Walter Reed Medical Center and elsewhere, which is always worth the trip.

When I attend, I am representing Soldiers Angels' and our tangential support for these trips. So when I get introduced, Carrie or Cyndi will say, "This is Lisa. She's with Soldiers' Angels."

Quite often the vets have heard of us, but not always. When they have, it's always fun to hear how they know about us. Last Saturday was no different.

One volunteer (a marine) said: "I know you." Someone had received a Blanket of Hope and had asked the marine to do some research into the group that had sent it. Nice.

A wounded veteran was there with her children, and she first learned about us when she received one of our insulated travel mugs in Iraq. The photo above shows one of those mugs (you can buy one of your very own at www.angelsstore.org; proceeds support Soldiers' Angels operations). Her mug was a prized item in theater, she said. "Every one knew that was my mug", making it clear that no one dared walk off with it! And I'm pretty sure she said it came home with her. It seems like such a small thing, a travel mug. I have 3 or 4 between the office and home, so you forget that when someone packs up their kit to go to Iraq or Afghanistan, they probably don't waste space on a coffee mug. But that doesn't mean that they didn't wish they had one once they got there.

It's the little things. Something to remember for your next care package!

Anyway, my thanks to Carrie for giving me the heads up so that I could head south again and join in the fun. I'm also grateful to all the women who contribute to these events - their events truly address the need that our wounded vets feel "to just get away" (that's another direct quote from last Saturday!).

Well done!

P.S. We had our monthly Soldiers' Angels lunch for patients, family members, and the navy medical staff at Bethesda yesterday, and one of the docs looked at our sign and said: "I had a silver travel mug in Iraq that had that logo on it." Heh. Small world.


Kathi said...

small world,indeed!
great post :)

Lisa in DC said...

Thanks! I couldn't believe it when the doc mentioned his mug - twice in a week!