Old Glory

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

WOW!... Update

WOW is the best way to describe how I feel right now.  To date with Paige's fundraiser in Asheville, NC at Fun Depot we have a total of $4,819.97!  Can I get a WooHoo!  That's awesome for a foundation that is still in the start up stages.  The generosity of people never ceases to amaze me and it can continue, because apparently I like to be amazed.  LOL!
Seriously though, I am touched by all the people so willing to give of their money, time, encouragement, and over all support.  With the state of our economy like it is right now and to still have so many people willing to give so willing to our foundation and see that it's as great a cause as we feel it is really touches my heart. 
To update everyone on where we are right now... We have filed with the state of AR for our article of incorporation so that piece is complete.  We currently have our accountant working on our 501 (C)-3 application and what an application it is (wheeww), but he will be able to get that done for us and once that is filed and accepted we will be able to really target key supporters that we will feel will be willing to support us.  Once this happens this thing will really get wheels and take off. 
I'm looking forward to coming up with our first fundraiser here in AR to raise money solely for Wings for Our Troops.  This is about paying it forward for us.  This foundation won't bring our Chadman back, but it will certainly give another Marine the opportunity to spend time with his loved ones before deployment and after.  That's what it's all about.  I still cannot imagine not having had those eleven days with Chad before he left and I truly cherish every second he was here.  I never want a family to know their child went off to war and didn't come home and they didn't have those last days with them before they left.  I couldn't imagine how much harder this would all be without having had that time with him. 
Thank you for all who have already given and for those who will be giving in the future, thank you in advance!  I truly feel like this foundation has already been blessed.  I guess you could say that we must have our own guardian angel looking down on us throughout this process.  Hmmmm... that's right, we do!  Thank you too Chad.  :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Our Neighbors

I hope everyone is as lucky or will be as lucky as we are to have as great a neighborhood as we have.  Not only did they step up and take good care of us right after Chad passed away, but they have continued to show us nothing, but love and support.  They agreed to place an American flag/pole at the entrance of our subdivision (Oxford Ridge, Bentonville) http://www.oxfordridge.net/ and we were all fortunate enough that when one of our neighbors started talking to Lowe's and Home Depot regarding the pricing and details around getting it installed, Home Depot not only donated the flag pole and 2 flags, but they also installed it at no charge and made sure that it was within regulations with the lighting we currently have there.

Then the neighbors of Oxford Ridge donated and took care of getting it created, a stone in memory of Chad.  We knew it was coming, but didn't know when so what a nice surprise when we pulled into the subdivision last night after work to see it not only had arrived, but had already been installed at the base of the flag pole.

We are so blessed to live in a neighborhood that still knows the meaning around "neighborly".  Of course they have made it impossible for us to ever move from there (not that we would ever want to), but we are there as long as the good Lord will allow us to be and we couldn't be more grateful and happy for that.  I just hope we are able to repay the generosity one day or at least do a good job of showing them what this has meant to us. 

Thank you to our Oxford Ridge family.  We couldn't have gone through and continue to go through this part of our life's journey without each and every one of you.  We love you all!

Flag Pole at entrance donated by Home Depot

Stone under the flag donated by Oxford Ridge residence

Oh the red tape!

It may not seem like it since we haven't had many updates lately, but we are progressing.  I am amazed at how much time and paperwork it takes to get things in order for a non-profit foundation.  My goodness!  We are in the process of applying for our 501 (C)(3) and once that is completed we will be on our way to hopefully collecting some major money.  My sister's fundraiser in NC was a huge success and I expect to receive a check for a little over $1,300 by the end of the week!  Great job sis!  She is already planning her next one which will be a golf tournament (details to follow later) and I am certain it too will be a huge success.  We are looking forward to all the fundraisers we will be doing here in AR as well and once we get all our paperwork completed the fun stuff will begin!  We have received many donations through the mail.  Some from family and friends and some from complete strangers.  It's been so heart warming to see these come in like they have.  We will be selling some bracelets with our name and website on them (pictures to follow later) as well as t-shirts that we hope to have created in the near future.  There are lots of things in the works, but at least we are still moving forward.  Our huge supporters with http://www.daisyandelm.com/with her R.E.D. Friday Jewelry (Remember Everyone Deployed) and http://undergroundvintage.blogspot.com/2011/07/busy-bees.html with her items she is donating the proceeds from and don't forget the Christian Rock Band "Take It Back" http://facedownrecords.com/ who will have t-shirt made with our logo on the back and band picture on the front for sale and all proceeds will go to WFOT are making huge contributions as well as getting the word out.  A big thank you for that! 
I look forward to the next update being one that announces we have our 501 (C)(3) completed and many more steps behind us.  Thank you to Russell for his time and help with everything as well as everyone on our Advisory committee.  I know it takes a huge commitment and dedication to work on a foundation like this and Tebo and I are so grateful to each and every one of you.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I won't steal her thunder (much), but I couldn't wait

To share the news that my sister's, Paige, fundraiser was apparently a huge success.  We don't have final dollar amounts yet, but it does exceed $1,000!  Thank you not only to all the family and friends and even those we didn't even know for showing up (some family drove 4 hours to be there), but to Fun Depot of Asheville, NC for believing enough in our cause to help us out and offer their establishment to make last night possible.  One thing is for sure, when my sister (heck my entire family) gets their minds around something and it becomes a passion there is truly no limits to what they can do.  The bar has been set really high now so I hope there are many out there with guts to try and out-do last night at Fun Depot in Asheville, NC by Paige and Crew!  Thank you to all that showed up to support physically as well as financially!  I will let her post the details and pictures, but I wanted to give kudos too.  Love you sis and all who helped you make last night the huge success it was!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Big Thank You for a Fundraiser!

My sister (aka BFF Sis) in North Carolina is hosting a fundraiser at Fun Depot this weekend.  She did something completely out of her comfort zone today by having a live interview on camera with their local news station http://www.wlos.com/shared/newsroom/top_stories/videos/wlos_vid_4850.shtml  They did a very good job of apparently keeping her calm and relaxed during the shoot because she looked and sounded like a pro!  You go girl!  You didn't even sound like a hillbilly like I did!  So not fair (for the record).  I am very proud of you and so thankful that you have taken such a huge part in our Wings for Our Troops foundation.  I can't wait to hear how much money ya'll raise, because I have a feeling it will be off the charts!  So you out there!  If you live close to Asheville, NC and don't have major plans this weekend I urge you to join my sister and the rest of Asheville at Fun Depot (July 8th) for a fun filled family day of games!  Thank you sis.  Love you big as the sky! 

Friday, July 1, 2011

4th of July 2011

Well, it's the 4th of July weekend upon us and I have to say, I enter this weekend with a heavy heart to say the least, but it may surprise you why.  Don't get me wrong.  I miss my son.  This has been a tough week for whatever reason and I will admit, I've been a bit on the weepy side all week, but I've finally made it to Friday and I don't have to face a Monday in the office (thank you Lord!).  I'm not a huge fan of fireworks (never have been), but knowing that will be going on all weekend isn't what it is giving me a heavy heart today.  My heart is heavy for my bonus boys.  You might wonder why, but this is part of the reason my heart is heavy.  I have been so touched by the people reaching out to not only myself, but my entire family and that has been amazing.  We have received so much love and support and I can never express what that has meant for us.  My heart is heavy, because I don't know how much love and support my bonus boys have been receiving.  They are the ones that had to live the nightmare on December 1, 2010.  They are the ones that were not able to bring one of their brothers home.  They are the ones that will have to live with that the rest of their lives and all I can do is hope that I can play a small role in their lives to help make them feel better and show them love and compassion as they re-enter the civilian world (which will not be easy for any of them) and try to move on with their lives after all they have experienced, been through, and lost.  They loved Chad.  They loved him in a way that no one else will ever understand or begin to comprehend.  Yes, I loved Chad more than a person should be capable of loving another human being and only a parent can understand that kind of love.  Yes, families loved Chad with all their hearts and have been forever changed.  Yes, Katie (Chad's wife) loved him with all her heart and soul, and yes, his friends loved him with all they had, but these "Band of Brothers" that served side by side with Chad loved him in a way that we will never understand.  It's my hope and prayer that they are the ones remembered this weekend as well.  I hope and pray during all the celebrating and all the fireworks and parties that you stop for a moment and remember not only Chad's brothers in service, but all military men and women that have seen war and lost someone in battle for where there hearts are we will never understand and that is what breaks my heart.  These young men will forever have a place in my heart like none other.  I love each and every one of them and today my heart breaks for them.  I don't plan to shoot off fireworks this weekend.  I feel I truly have nothing to celebrate.  I don't say that for people to feel sorry for me (and please do NOT), but when your heart is heavy it's hard to celebrate.  I will spend time with some friends and I will have a good weekend, but I do not plan to celebrate big with booms and flashes.  I plan to celebrate in my heart that all my bonus boys made it home safely and are now in a much safer place (physically) while I continue to pray that their hearts and minds heal as quickly as it possibly can and that they always know that we love and appreciate them for all they have done and sacrificed and continue to sacrifice every day.  Please take time this weekend to remember what these men and women have gone through and the losses they have experienced and if you have a military person that has been in war stop for a few seconds to think what hearing fireworks going off might bring to their minds.  The thoughts and fears of hearing something blow up might do to them this weekend.  I don't mean to put a damper on your festivities this weekend, but I do plan to give you something to think about other than beer and fireworks.  It's not about that this weekend.  It's about our men and women in uniform and all they have done and lost for us.