Old Glory

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Another one comes home

We were honored to bring another soldier home this week for pre-deployment leave. 

To say he had a easy breezy flight home would not be a true statement.  Without going into details, he and a buddy found themselves in a stressful situation that nearly caused this trip home not to happen, but in true military form and the relentless determination of a mom these young men made it home. (Plus a little paying it forward by the Pianalto family themselves) 

This one was a little bonus trip as this soldier returned home to Northwest Arkansas.  I have to say, that was pretty cool. I just wish I could have made it to the airport to help welcome him home myself. 

The pictures below show exactly what this is all about. Seeing these families reunited even if only for a short visit. 

Our thoughts and prayers will be with Infantry Specialist Pianalto and his family on his deployment as well as the rest of his unit. 
       Picture courtesy of Pianalto family
      Picture courtesy of Pianalto family

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sending another home

It is pure joy and honor that we were able to send LCPL Stonerock home to spend some much needed family time with a seriously ill grandfather. This story doesn't just have to do with sending him home for a visit. His grandfather has been his father figure most if not all of his life and he has been diagnosed with what is likely a terminal illness. He is 76 years old and believes he has lived a good long life, so extreme treatment is likely not an option for him (his choice). 
We were fortunate enough to be contacted by the USMC at Camp Pendelton FRO (Family Readiness Officer) to see if we could help this Marine and of course we were eager to help. 
His mother & grandfather were over the moon to get him home in time in the event things don't go as positively as they would like and it was our honor to do this for them.   His mom kept insisting she pay us back. No, I said. That's not what this is about. This is about thanking them for their service and making sure we give back even in the smallest of ways. 
This foundation was born out of the desire to show our gratitude and appreciation for our service men/women as well as the families that support them in their service and sacrifices for our country. This is the least we can do and it is our honor to do so. 
Now one of my favorite parts of this story outside of sending him home. I had requested a picture of her son and she said she would even send one with him and his grandfather. I thought, bonus. Well, when she asked her dad if she could take his picture and send it to us he said "not while I'm sitting in this chair" (he was in a wheelchair) so he insisted on standing even as weak as he was. I instinctively asked her if her father was a veteran by chance and she said, yes, he was in the Army. Ah, the fact that he would not be pictured in a wheelchair made perfect sense now.  We are honored to send any of our service men/women home but when we are making a 76 year old veteran happy at the same that's just icing on the cake. Thank you Stonerock family for your sacrifices to our country and for allowing us the honor of sending your son/grandson home. God bless your family as you travel this journey. 
   "Picture courtesy of Momma Stonerock" 

Monday, March 30, 2015

2015 Whitey's Chicken Cook

What a success!  We raised $2,070.00 selling chicken and if that isn't impressive enough, we did this on the Saturday that most everyone in our area was starting their Spring Break!  We had so many family and friends that showed up to help with everything from grilling the chicken to bagging and selling.  While it is always a ton of work it is also very fun and so fulfilling. 
The satisfying feeling you get isn't just with how much money you raise (for me anyway), but it's seeing people come together to raise money for others and in our case, our military men and women.  It doesn't get much better than that.  People put anything may have had on a Saturday after working all week to donate their time and efforts to raise money to send our troops home.  To sit back in my shoes and watch that on Saturday, March 21st was truly emotional for me.  I truly appreciate each and every person that volunteered to work the chicken cook regardless how much time you had to spend there.  I truly appreciate each person that purchased chicken or in many cases just gave money and asked for nothing in return.  I truly appreciate our local fire department in Rogers, AR that show up nearly every year and park their truck there with the American Flag flying from the ladder and if they are there and a child walks up, they stop and show the child the truck and talk to them.  It is so amazing to see. 

If you have never had the chance to join us, I encourage you to come out next year.  Even if you don't purchase a thing or even work, just to see that kind of community kindness come together will warm your heart.

To all of you that came out and worked, bought chicken, or t-shirts, or just donated money, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  You were inspirational in helping us send our troops home!