Yesterday was a roller coaster of emotion from one end of the spectrum to the other. April 7, 2008 I had spent a few hours of the day at Walter Reed Army hospital with, among others, Yankeemom, her daughter and ConcreteBob. The four of us had left WRAMC and driving over to Virginia to check into a hotel for them might with plans of attending some events in DC the following day. After we checked into the hotel we drove a short distance to a restaurant. As we were walking from the car to the front door my phone rang. It was an uncle I rarely hear from. He was calling ot tell me that my father had died. Even today when I reflect on that call is seems so surreal.
I am thankful that I was with such dear friends who took great care of me along with many others. ConcreteBob took me back to the hotel. I called a friend of mine who works for Delta Air Lines. She got my information and made all of my flight changes and called me back. It was too late in the day to get a flight home so I had to stay the night. But she got me on the first flight out the next morning.
I called Uncle Jimbo and cried my eyes out. I think I probably called him several times. The word began to get around and my phone beeped with text after text. I remember one of the first texts coming from CJ. The texts, calls and emails came pouring in. I'll never be able to thank eveyone enough for their kind words and support.
The next morning ConcreteBob had me at the airport first thing and I flew home. After I got home the support and love from fellow troop supporters, Wounded Warriors and their families, deployed military personnel, bloggers and other friends around the nation continued to pour in. I will never be able to thank everyone for helping me through those days as they did.
I found it to be so appropriate that yesterday was the final day of voting for the 4th Annual Milbloggie Awards. Awards given to military related blogs in various categories. My blog was nominated for best U S Military Supporter and the voting was intense and we didn't end up on top but it doesn't matter. Everyone (and there are so many of you) who has been a part of the various troop support projects that I have written about on this blog is a winner. That's really all that matters. I was incredibly touched by the support, private messages, emails, texts and calls from all of you. I'm equally grateful to all of you who kept getting the word out and recruiting people to vote. Some of the stories still have me chuckling - like the LTC's wife who walked a MAJ step by step through the voting process. THAT'S dedication to the cause.
Thank you all for your contributions to this blog, to the many support projects for our beloved deployed, wounded, Veterans and military family members. Thank you for your encouragement, hours of listening when I needed to vent, always stepping up when there was a need, getting the word out ASAP when necessary and for just being such great Americans.
Several of you have written to me about how my dad would be proud. Yes, he would be. He would be proud of me and he would be proud of each one of you.
I also want to thank JP and Andi at Milblogging.com. They, along with other volunteers, spend hundreds of hours each year maintaining the site, preparing for and executing both the Milbloggie Awards and the Milblog Conference. And they do one hell of a job.
The VA Mortgage Center You Served Blog is airing live coverage of the Milblog Conference so click on the link (especially Saturday) to "attend" the panel discussions and view other great events planned for this year.