I'm not going to do the writing/speaking this time, I'm going to allow the Fulford family do the talking. Thank you Nicole and Austin not only for your service and sacrifice each day for us, but for the kind words you spoke about Wings for Our Troops and for allowing us to share your story and pictures. We truly appreciate you giving us this opportunity to assist your family. It was our honor to do so.
Please take the time to read this thank you letter and if you know someone in active service that needs our assistance in getting home, please let them know about Wings for Our Troops "in loving memory of CPL Chad S Wade".
Thank You Letter From The Fulford Family
This letter has been almost a month in the making.
This organization, Wings for our Troops, is one that we will never forget. I don't know how to thank you all for what you do, but I hope this letter finds every person involved in the organization, so they can know what kind of gratitude we have for what you do. This is our story and what you have helped bring to my family.
My husband Austin, has had a whirl wind spinning around him for the last 6 months, he really hasn't caught much of a break in terms of stress. Between moving with a wife who was 7 months pregnant, having his grandfather almost pass away just one month before our recent crises (the same week as the birth of our son), then the news that his father had been hospitalized...his prognosis was grim, the doctors didn't know if he would even make it through the night.
I began to look for airline tickets, we had gone through the same process a month before this with his grandfather, as airlines tend to do the ticket prices had gone up exponentially. Luckily his grandfather had shown signs of improvement, so we did not follow through with sending my husband home at that time. Knowing that his fathers condition was so severe the doctors couldn't even guarantee him making it another day, there was no hesitation to start the process of getting him to Georgia. Trying to purchase tickets to fly across the country, two days before you intend to fly, is the most financially terrifying experience. I called my mother, who in the past has saved me quiet a bit of money when I would fly home to visit during my younger service years, and she didn't hesitate to start seeing what kind of discounts she could find. My husband and I had decided I would not make the trip with him because it would be impossible for us to afford it. That's when I got the call from my mother saying she had gotten in touch with an amazing woman within your group. Tami you are wonderful, it was such a pleasure to speak with you, I could tell this is a cause that you are passionate about, I hope you know you have touched our lives forever.
Tami gave me all the information on what WFOT needed to submit our situation to your board, she was very diligent and it took no time to get an answer on whether or not WFOT would be able to help us. When she called to tell me we BOTH had tickets and would be flying the next morning so my husband could be with his father...I could not believe it. To top it off, I would be able to bring my 7 week old son with me, in hopes of his grandfather getting to meet him at least once.
Thanks to WFOT my husband did get to see his father again. The reunion was overwhelming, even thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes. His father, lying on the hospital bed, with dozens of wires and tubes connecting to various machines and monitors crying out to his son as he walked into the room. Austin, in full paper protective gowns and bright blue rubber gloves, trying to console his now sobbing father who despite his condition and all the wires and tubes is now desperately trying to get out of the hospital bed to hug his son who he hasn't seen in almost three years. My husband held his hand and put another on his shoulder, telling him it was alright and he was there, to not get out of the bed and everything was alright.
Austin's father Tommy's condition started to improve dramatically, he had to stay in the quarantine area the entire time during Austin's visit, but each day he either maintained health or improved slightly. We are so please to bring the news that he is still improving slowly, and the doctors are optimistic that his health should keep improving. It will be a long road to full recovery, but with hard work and diligent care, it is possible he will make a full recovery. My son Henry and I were unable to visit with Tommy, due to the seriousness of the infection he had contracted. The doctors almost didn't let my husband in for fear he would bring it home to the baby, however with the proper personal protection precautions it was possible. Henry and I were able to visit with Henry's great grandfather and great grandmother while my husband spent his days at the hospital with his father. Henry's great grandfather is 89 and just recently went through some very difficult health problems himself, we are so thankful to get the opportunity for Henry to meet him. His great grandmother is 91 years old and does an amazing job caring for her husband.
I hope after reading this letter you were able to feel all the gratitude our family has for what you do. Thank you so much again, you've touched our lives and there are not enough ways to express how much we appreciate it. I am including a few photos of us from the trip, the video is of my husband and his father being reunited...we chose to share this very personal video with you because without you this would not have been possible.
The Fulford Family