Monday, November 12, 2012

Honoring those who serve . . .

Over the last 10 months I have had the honor of becoming good friends with two Marine wives whose patience, commitment and dedication are unmatched.  Because of these friendships I have a new appreciation for those who serve and on this Veterans Day, I thank my friends Melinda and Kirsten for helping me gain a new appreciation and reverence for the fact that Veterans Day and Memorial Day were not created just to torture stay at home mommies like me with a day of serving as referee and entertainment for the children!

Of course, in the spirit of maximizing the amount of time the children are strapped in their seats, and minimizing the amount of time they can mess up the house I've decided to attend a Veterans Day parade that is at least 1/2 hour from home . . . each way.  This ensures the event is at least 1/2 day long, and most importantly shows the children the amazing people who make sacrifices for our safety and freedom everyday!

Information about our local San Diego parade can be found on the Veterans Day parade website.

I also thought this would be an appropriate time to share the lesson I learned about attending an official military event:

When you are invited to a Medal of Honor Flight ceremony where the Commandant of the Marine Corps is present and you are sitting in the front row, DO NOT bring papers to the outdoor ceremony; otherwise, you may find that as they land and taxi the jet, your papers (FROM THE FRONT ROW) will fly around and it won't be until 10 minutes later that you realize the soldier 3 rows back has your papers and as you are frantically trying to find them he holds them up and says "I got you covered".
This F-18 was painted to recognize the sacrifices of Medal of Honor recipients.  You can't see it too well, but some of the coolest features are a Medal of Honor on the back flap (I know Kirsten will tell me what that is as some point, but right now "flap" will have to do).  The plane also has the names of two Navy service members - Master-At-Arms Second Class, Michael Monsoor and Lieutenant Michael Murphy as well as two Marines - Sergeant Dakota Meyer and Corporal Jason Dunham.  In addition, on the sides of the plane are the Medal of Honor citations explaining the sacrifices of these extraordinary men.  Witnessing this ceremony and sitting with members of one of the families was truly humbling.

You can see a video clip about the jet and the ceremony here, but I want to share what Lt. Col Bob Brodie (Kirsten's husband) said about the plane -

“My hope is that folks can be inspired by men that have given it all and really have asked for no thank you at all,” said Commanding Officer of VMFAT 101 Lt. Col. Bob Brodie.  “They really have just dedicated their whole life to something that’s much bigger than they are as any individual.”

Got to meet the Commandant of the Marine Corps.  How cool is that?!
And finally, below is a random photo that I think is so cute.  This is Lt. Col. Brodie with our girls as well as his at the recent Air Show.  And yes, that is a plane that he actually flies often!

Enjoy a safe and happy holiday, and don't forget to remember and pay tribute to those who make our enjoyment of this day possible!