Mattie and David, two staff members, just returned to the office from a week-long trip to San Diego working with the volunteers in our outreach program, the Warrior Support Team. Amazing work staying in touch with wounded, ill, and injured warriors at Balboa in San Diego (we also are at Walter Reed in Bethesda). We are hoping to extend that reach and will work toward that.
In the last week or so, a Marine Mom has visited our office twice. She is the mother of a Marine named Talon who was killed in the aircraft disaster in Mississippi a couple weeks ago. They live just 20 minutes or so from the office.
She is seeking support, of course, and wants our assurance that his memory and his sacrifice will never be forgotten. She has asked us to make shirts for the memorial ceremony for her son, and we will do that for the 20+ family members.
Another Gold Star mom, Sandy, who I have worked with since 2006, has already talked with her and is setting up a time that we can all go to lunch together, to hear about her son, to help her understand the pain will never go away. Never. We will work on having a private Luminary Lighting ceremony so she knows that the last Sunday in September will always be reserved for their family.
As tragic as this is, it's moments like this that I know why we are who we are and why we do what we do. I thank God for Mattie and Marilyn holding Talon's mother's hand and showing her we are here for her. I thank God for Sandy being able to open her own wounds fresh again to reach out to another Gold Star mom who never wanted that title.
God is good. He gives us opportunities that we must embrace. He reminds us why we are here. He helps me to see that our work in boot camp is just the stepping stone and that our work beyond boot camp is crucial. Forge ahead and take on the heavy lifting, because we can, and we will, and there is always a way.
God Bless and Semper Fi,