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Sunday, November 11, 2007

In the company of heroes...

Rob and I had the Honor of attending the USO's "Salute to Heroes" dinner last night at The Plaza Hilton in St Louis. Rob along with several others were honored with awards for "Exceptional Achievment and Extraordinary contribution".

First off, hats off to the USO for all that they've done and have been doing. I have been looking for a long time for a place to donate my time and I think I have finally found it. I was never aware that the USO runs almost completely on volunteers. They have a "home away from home" so to speak right here at Lambert field airport where service members on layovers waiting to get home or waiting to deploy or just waiting can put up their feet, take a nap with a goose down comforter, a shower with toiletries donated from area hotels, make a free phone call anywhere in the world courtesy of verizon, and get served snacks and beverages from area volunteers....wow....they also have a mobile USO van that goes to mass deployments to serve service members and family members coming home or waiting to deploy...they can make pizza on the van how cool is that...I'm getting off track here




I was humbled to the point of tears by the experience of being in the company of the servicemen being honored last night, all of whom had their own story of heroism or exemplary service.


This was a fundraiser for the USO, so area companies or private donors sponsored tables which allowed the military honorees and their guests to come to the event at no cost. Rob and I sat with some amazing people. Millenium Communications CEO sponsored our table, Barb (CEO) walked into a USO Sept 12, 2001 wanting to help in some way. Six years later, she's on the board and still serves coffee every week at the USO at the airport and has been known to go to deployments at 3 am just to send our troops off knowing that they are supported...and she actually said she was honored to sit with us....see I'm crying again....

Rob and I have been so very fortunate. In the past several years he has not had to deploy, (he has been an ALS Flight Chief and before that taught at the NCO Academy) . This was his last week and he has gone back to a deployable position. I know he wants to go, not because he wants to leave us, but I think because he feels he needs to go. There is also, a certain amount of guilt I think, for me, as well as him to have watched so many of our friends have to go...




We have never been to an event (and Rob has been in for 23 years) where we felt so appreciated, supported, loved...wow



A very cool lady named Ann sat by me last night, I'm not sure if she works for Barb, or with her or is just a friend...anyway something she said resonated with me and I really wish it would be a position most would take...



she said "I don't care who you are, democrat or republican, whether you love Bush or hate him, when our troops go you get your ass behind them! Support them!" (I got the impression Ann wasn't someone to ever mince words, my kind of woman!)

Here are the 2 pictures that actually turned out, but I am not going to be bummed...there were photographers there so I'm thinking we'll get more...


Yes, that is a real live American Bald Eagle, and again with the tears already, I can't even begin to tell you how amazing it was to be that close to one. When he flapped his wings it created a breeze you could feel all over the hall...


The entertainment for the evening were these amazing ladies "American Belles" they travel all over singing...think Bob Hope with the Andrews Sisters...They were amazing....

If you are interested in volunteering click here USO

ps...Rob was honored for his ALS (Airman Leadership School) being chosen for The Best ALS in AMC by earning the "Spirit of Excellence" Award all 3 years he's been there and earning Best ALS Flight Chief Air Force Wide for 2006, and for AMC for this year.

have a nice night....

3 comments:

Janine said...

congratulations Rob on being honored. Amy and Rob you both look stunning.

Christi Snow said...

The night sounds awesome! Gorgeous photos...you look so pretty! Congrats to Rob on the awards...that's awesome! I understand about the deploying...DH has been eligible, but just hasn't been, but that changes in January when he will deploy until May. Thanks for the link!! :)

Victoria said...

Hello from the American Belles! Thanks for your kind words and congratulations to Rob!

Love,
The Belles
www.americanbelles.org