War News: Latest Articles at Long War Journal, by Bill Roggio et al

Check out the latest round-up of milblog & web reports on the War on Terror

Sunday, November 9, 2008

2008 Soldiers’ Angels Benefit Gala

Last week, during a very partisan week in Washington, DC, two US Congressmen did a very non-partisan thing: they co-hosted a fundraising gala for Soldiers’ Angels.

My sincere thanks to Representatives Roy Blunt of Missouri and Steny Hoyer of Maryland.

I had the pleasure of attending the event, which of course gave other Angels and me an excuse to shop for new dress up clothes. Within the Angel/Milblog world, there were quite a few familiar faces. I got a hug and hello from Patti Bader (founder of Soldiers’ Angels), chatted with Monica, Joe, and Maureen (our crew of regular Angel volunteers at Walter Reed), and said hi to Kassie (who volunteers at Bethesda, too, and who leads our Hero Flights effort as well). I chatted with LDR and Roger (two of our Wounded Team leads), plus Lisa, AnaMarie, and Kathleen. I bumped into Matt Burden, founder of Blackfive.net, while lining up in front of the bar (surprise!), and saw Laughing Wolf from a distance, but didn’t get a chance to say hello, darn it. But I did get to say hi to Carren and Chuck, who are both amazing.

But most importantly, the event gave us all a chance to talk to others about Soldiers’ Angels, to people who really knew very little about the organization before that night. I chatted with a representative from Peabody Energy, one of the corporate sponsors for the event, and his wife, as well as a table full of young congressional staffers and their friends, including some from Rep Blunt’s offices and one from the office of Senator Kit Bond.

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gave the keynote. Not bad, huh? I even got to shake his hand and thank him for being there after he was nice enough to get his photo taken with one of the folks at my table. ADM Mullen was carefully doing the rounds of the room, making sure that he said hello to each of the service members in attendance; a number of our wounded who are recovering at Walter Reed had made the trip downtown for the evening. To me, his careful attention to those who’ve made a very physical sacrifice in their service to our country was an extension of his keynote remarks. He noted that our government is doing a better job of taking care of those who serve or have served, but that there is still room for improvement. And he also noted that a key aspect of our efforts is to make sure that our men and women never return home from war to a public reception like they got during the Vietnam War; one that lingered for years.

That aspect of his remarks resonated with me because that was the driving motivation that led me to become a member of Soldiers’ Angels, four years ago this week.

I feel as strongly today as I did then: I don’t ever want anyone who serves our country with such honor and dedication to doubt my appreciation and admiration of their service.

As I’ve written in so many cards and letters, I’m so grateful and so very proud to call them “ours”.


Anonymous said...

How absolutely wonderful to have support from the business community and the congressional community to get more help with Soldiers Angels.....it sounds like you had a great time :-)


Greta Perry said...

You summed it up beautifully!

ABW said...

Sounds like it was a great time, and for a worthwhile cause!

Lisa in DC said...

ABW - It was great. It reminded me of something that I often forget: I'm so active with SA and other troop support efforts that I forget how many people know next to nothing about those opportunities.