Old Glory

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Update time!

Well, we have now gone over $5,000!  We currently have $5,436.91 in our account for Wings for Our Troops "in loving memory of CPL Chad S Wade".  I couldn't be more thrilled.  We are still pulling everything together for our 501 C-3 and hopefully that will actually be sent to the IRS within the next 30 days (I hope)...  Once that happens we better hang on tight, because we will be rolling then.
We continue to hand out our brochures and share the word and spread the news of our website at http://www.wingsforourtroops.com/ as well as just reaching out and educating people about what our Marines actually have to pay out of pocket.
I will say I don't feel quite so bad for not knowing they had to pay for their own ways home and back to base before and after deployment, because almost everyone I talk to about this didn't realize it either.  I guess unless you are actually a part of that military world you just do not know.  I was one of them like so many others.
That is another amazing thing about this foundation.  It will bring attention to the fact that these men and women don't make much of a living (less than a first year school teacher) and out of that modest paycheck they still have to purchase and dress out uniforms, pay rent, food, and plane tickets home.  It doesn't go far that's for sure.  I don't know about you, but the thought of a service man or woman not being able to afford to go home and see their families and friends before or after deployment breaks my heart.  It's one thing for parents to fly out to see them, but there are so many other family members that they would love to see and spend some much needed time with and it's impossible to get all those people to these bases all over the country so let's help these young men and women get home without the burden of a plane ticket or bus fare.  Let them enjoy a little R&R and just love on family and have their families love on them.  Isn't that what it's all about anyway?  That's the very least I feel we can do when they are giving up all the comforts of home to fight for our freedom.  Thank you in advance for all I know we will do!

CPL Chad S Wade (taken when he was still LCPL)

Friday, August 19, 2011

What is Gold Star "courtesy of Susan Templeton"

I was just like the most of the world and had never head of "Gold Star Mom" or "Gold Star Families".  Unfortunately now, I'm all too familiar with this term and what it actually stands for.  For those that don't know, Gold Star Mom or Father or Families means they have lost a family member in combat.  Now that I'm a Gold Star Mom I am embarrassed that I never knew what this was, but like Susan I am determined that all Amercians are educated and remember that there are sacrifices being made not only by the Marine or Soldier, but entire families.  She shared a poem that I truly needed this week and I want to take the liberty to share it with you as well.  There are two actually...
A Poem for Gold Star Mothers,
Mom, I had a fall today.  I bruised my knee
I was running home from school with my first report card
I was so proud and wanted you to see my first Gold Star
You came running so fast and blew that magic air on my bleeding knee
How could such a simple act make that knee feel so much better

Mom, I had a fall today.  I bumped my head
It was my first day without the training wheels
You and Dad were clapping so hard that I turned to see you
The tree did not move out of my way and my head hit the branch
It was the first time I heard you say, Let me kiss it and make it feel better, and it did

Mom, are all Moms magic like you

Mom, I had a fall today but this one hurt my heart
I thought my first love would last forever
When she left I thought the world would end
This time it was I who was running to you, and you were there
You gave me the magic Mom hug and a lesson in life that we must walk through each valley
To be able to climb the next mountain 

Mom, I had a fall today, this was a bad one
You were so far away, I could not run to you, or you to me
In those last few moments I could feel your breath
I felt your lips touch my forehead
When I felt your arms I closed my eyes the pain was gone

The Gold Start you carry now has me inside
I go with you wherever you go and my love will live in your soul
Till our two souls are together again

Robert Foster September 25, 2005

The Gold Star Mother's Prayer
I know dear sons and daughters
I know just where you are.
I feel your arms around me
I know you're never far.
And though my heart is heavy
and I wonder how to go on,
I feel your arms around me
and I know that you're not far.
So I will stand tall and proudly for everyone to see
How very proud I am of you... and pray
you'll be proud of me.

So thank you, Susan, for sharing this, because my heart truly needed those words this week.  I've struggled and been very weepy, but this did provide comfort. 

Momma Bear
Gold Star Mom of CPL Chad S Wade (5-25-88 --- 12-1-10)

Gold Star

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Slow as a snail, but will be worth it!

It seems like we are doing a ton of work in the background and not moving very fast, but I promise we are making progress.  We are continuing to work on our 501 C-3 status, but it just takes a lot of time and even more paperwork (I know right, in this "paperless" world we live in). 
We have our bracelets that we are working out the details to find the best way to sell these through our website so that everyone has an opportunity to have one rather than just those right here close.  Tebo did an amazing job with them and I can't wait for us to place our next order because all of these are gone... 

WFOT Bracelet

Our website continues to be tweaked and as we have those that contribute on a regular basis we are adding their links to our website so check it out at http://www.wingsforourtroops.com/.  I long for the day that I can post pictures of our first Marine picking up his ticket to go home and show you what you have helped us accomplish.  It will happen!

We have brochures printed and boards to use for presentations with our logo on it and it is very exciting to see these things completed.  Now we just need to get in front of some groups and get more support and backing and then look out....

There are several of us reaching out to celebrities, sports figures and teams, and the media in every avenue we know at this point and while we haven't really gotten anyone to really put their name to our foundation we did receive some autographed items from Toby Keith which is very exciting so when we have our first silent auction those items will certainly be on the bidding block.  Thank you to the Toby Keith company for doing this for us.  We will catch our big break one day and all the work will have been worth it.

I know my sister in NC has a golf tournament planned in October so if you are in the Asheville, NC area and want to participate or just watch check it out!  As we get a little closer I will post more details, but right now I believe it is scheduled for October 8, 2011.  Yeah!  I know this will be as successful as her Fun Depot fundraiser was. 

We are also planning a chicken cook in Rogers, AR next year (most likely in the month of May) so as we have a date confirmed I will be sure to get the details out so everyone in our area can come out to support this worthy cause. 

Things are moving, just maybe not as quickly as I like to move, but they are moving none the less.  I promise to keep you updated as things change.

On a side note... I would like to say that my bonus boys in Chad's unit are starting to finish out their contract with the USMC!  Chip Tippett was the first to head out and is now residing in Virginia and still working with the government and Chip, we are so proud of you!  Good luck to you son and enjoy every minute of life with your family.  Next we will have RoRo getting out in a couple of weeks and I can't wait.  Texas better get ready.  It will never be the same!  You have a precious young man heading your way and you better be good to him or momma bear is coming to visit!  You've been warned.  My Seth(y) gets out soon (date TBD) and I can't wait, because I know I get to wrap my arms around his neck when he does.  Hurry up son!  Then we will have Rob Schmidt and Shawn Spratt heading home.  Rob, Gladys, and little Abby will be stopping by on their way to Virginia and I can't wait.  They weren't able to be with us when the guys came in June so this will be a nice treat.  Shawn, Lindsay, and Suri will be living in OK which is super close to us so they better look out, because I plan to see them often and spoil Suri every chance I get.  Then my Zach(y) (and Chad would have) gets out October 9th (which also happens to be his beautiful bride's birthday) and head to Texas.  Ladies, it will be tough for him to beat that gift, but I've told him he still has to get her a present.  :)
TJ is getting out soon and heading to Georgia.  There are others like Zach Seabaugh and Brian Hinkle that will be getting out around some of these dates, but I don't have their exact dates yet, but I can't wait until they are all out and in safer jobs.  Yes!  I will always worry, but at least the worry will be different than what it has been.  Speaking of Brian Hinkle. I have to say that his mom is absolutely a doll.  She sent us a check for our foundation with the sweetest note and then just this week she sent another one and said she came in to some extra money this week and wanted to do all she could for our boys.  It wasn't until then that I even made the connection that it was Brian's mom.  It just never dawned on me until I talked to RoRo.  I hope to meet her in person one day and it would be even better if it was when I was handing our first Marine a plane ticket and she could just help me do that! 

There are lots of things going on and while it is exciting that the foundation is taking off and the guys are finally going back to civilian life and we are finding our "new normal" without my Chadman I don't want to ever forget that there are still too many of our men and women in uniform fighting and in danger and away from the comforts of home.  This latest tragedy with the Seals and soldiers killed in Afghanistan.  My heart goes out to all the families and friends.  I know what they are facing and it won't be easy and I just hate that they are now a part of this group, but lets not forget to lift them up in prayer and often. 

I look forward to more updates soon and I expect my bonus boys to be letting me know their actual dates when they get them so I can know where they are and when...  :)  Thanks again to all who are helping in every way with launching this foundation.