Monday, August 25, 2014

Company B's Day Out

The company I worked for (many years ago) would issue challenges to see which department could operate for a specified time with the least number of accidents or similar things specific to our department and/or job.  In addition to recognition, the winner received a prize.  Likewise, the WTB (Warrior Transition Battalion) challenges the companies (A, B & C) periodically.  Challenges involve several items relative to their jobs with specific criteria for each.  The company excelling in meeting the criteria are rewarded. Company B (Bravo) was the winner earlier this year.  They requested a day out at Lazy U Ranch. Everything finally came together on Friday, August 22.

Breakfast snacks
Sharon, Susan & I arrived at 8 a.m. to find some wounded warriors, case workers and staff already there setting up tables and ice chests full of water.  They helped us unload the donuts and other breakfast snacks.
More people arriving

All the time more people were arriving.  We ended up with approximately 60 including spouses and children.

There was fishing, bean bag toss, kayaking, chess, scrabble, dominoes and other board games.  Or one could just relax, watch the water or watch the grass grow. Lt. Johansen encouraged all the warriors to participate in several activities.  He said to put a check mark beside their name on the sign in sheet every time they completed an activity.  At the end of the day everyone with 5 check marks would be put in a drawing for a prize to be announced at the time of the drawing. (One night's lodging in Fredericksburg.)

As it got closer to noon and became obvious not everyone was able to attend due to appointments, some called spouses to come join the outing.  Davila's Barbeque catered lunch for us.  They served promptly at noon.  It was a nice surprise to have green beans and parsley potatoes rather than slaw and beans.  Very good food and friendly people.

We loaded up the car and left for home a little before two.  The "party" was still going strong.

Special Thanks to:
 Craig Russell who so generously shares the ranch with veterans both active and retired.
 Ben Kvanli, Olympic Outdoor Center in San Markos, who provided kayaks for the event.

Go To for lots more photos.

Friday, August 1, 2014

New Feature

Just finished adding a "button" on the right side of the blog that takes you to our Newsletter!!  Now you can download it or read it on line.  Woo Hoo!!

To use it go to the right of this blog and scroll down until you see "Newsletter" and click on "download" which is directly beneath it.

Issue 7 is currently available.  The next one should be available early October as we publish quarterly.  Hope you enjoy it.

Special thanks to Don Doss who made this possible!!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Words From The Heart

We all get those "Do Not Delete" "Pass On" emails.  If your like me practically all of them go in the trash.  There are exceptions and I just finished reading one which I feel compelled to share through this blog. This is just one of several poems written by Corporal Aaron M. Gilbert , US Marine Corps

Although it was written by and addresses the Marines it applies to all of those brave men & women serving their country so we Americans can live in the way to which we have become accustomed.

Following the poem is the letter that Corporal Gilbert sent to his father.  Enjoy!!

Hooah & God Bless!


We all came together,
Both young and old
To fight for our freedom,
To stand and be bold.

In the midst of all evil,
We stand our ground,
And we protect our country
From all terror around..

Peace and not war,
Is what some people say.
But I'll give my life,
So you can live the American way.

I give you the right
To talk of your peace.
To stand in your groups,
And protest in our streets.

But still I fight on,
I don't bitch, I don't whine.
I'm just one of the people
Who is doing your time.

I'm harder than nails,
Stronger than any machine.
I'm the immortal soldier,
I'm a U.S. MARINE!

So stand in my shoes,
And leave from your home.
Fight for the people who hate you,
With the protests they've shown.

Fight for the stranger,
Fight for the young.
So they all may have,
The greatest freedom you've won.

Fight for the sick,
Fight for the poor.
Fight for the cripple,
Who lives next door.

But when your time comes,
Do what I've done.
For if you stand up for freedom,
You'll stand when the fight's done
By: Corporal Aaron M. Gilbert , US Marine Corps

July 23
Hey Dad,
Do me a favor and label this 'The Marine' and send it to everybody on your email list. Even leave this letter in it. I want this rolling all over the US and Canada and The World. I want every home reading it. Every eye seeing it. And every heart to feel it. So can you please send this for me? I would but my email time isn't that long and I don't have much time anyway.
You know what Dad? I wondered what it would be like to truly understand what JFK said in his inaugural speech. 'When the time comes to lay down my life for my country, I do not cower from this responsibility. I welcome it.' Well, now I know. And I do.. Dad, I welcome the opportunity to do what I do. Even though I have left behind a beautiful wife, and I will miss the birth of our first born child, I would do it 70 times over to fight for the place that God has made for my home. I love you all and I miss you very much. I wish I could be there when Sandi has our baby, but tell her that I love her, and Lord willing, I will be coming home soon. Give Mom a great big hug from me and give one to yourself too.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Breaking the Silence

WOW, it's been a while since we posted. Guess I need to bring you up to date on what's happening with the ministry.  Based on the lack of participation last summer, 2013, we decided to suspend R&R weekends until September.  By doing this it has given the ministry team and volunteers a much needed rest.  

Card classes at WFSC continue on the first and third Tuesday of each month.  If you haven't been in a while or have never participated please consider joining us. Class begins at 10 A.M. and is usually over by 11:30-12.  We then visit over a light lunch.  Everyone makes two cards which they take home with them. Incidentally, this class is NOT exclusive to women - many men have joined in the fun.

Three of the team members design the cards and teach the class.  Just as personalities are different, so are the designs.  Lisa's cards are whimsical. Many are designs specifically for kids.  Jackie loves bold color while Sharon leans toward softer hues.  All three designers are talented and provide beautiful fun cards for us to make. They never repeat a design.

Inside Blank

The ministry continues to work with Chaplain Ginsburg identifying needs and planning events.  The ministry is also expanding, but more on that later.

Be Blessed!!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Saying Goodbye to the Burgess Family

Sharon Massey, Dan & Genette on R&R weekend
Last Monday, May 19, Dan Burgess' retirement ceremony was held at WFSC (Warrior Family Support Center).  Jackie Heupel, Susan Quindry & I were on the road early so we wouldn't be late.  Dan, Genette, Kaylee & Gracie have become family to us.  You see, Genette & Dan have been making cards with us since about the third or fourth class we taught at WFSC.  About 20 minutes into that class this guy with a great smile rolls into the room totally disrupting the class.  Genette introduced him and he is very proud of the fact that he signed her up for the class.  Seems Genette is an avid card maker and was unable to bring her supplies with her.  That was the beginning of a great relationship.  We dubbed Dan our "Poster Boy". No matter what was going on with him medically, he always had a great smile and of course a wise crack.  One of the first things he told us was "If you ladies want to lose weight really fast, step on an IED".  You can imagine what it was like once he got to know us.

This was the first retirement ceremony I've seen and for me it was moving.  We learned that Dan had been:

  • medically discharged once before but wanted to continue to serve his country so he joined the Reserves and was deployed to Afghanistan;
  • wounded by his encounter with an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan with the 350th Psychological Operations Company.

Genette was also recognized for her devotion to taking care of Dan and for the help she has been to WFSC, Fisher House & the battalion.  One of the things she did was testify in Washington D.C. regarding the inequities of benefits for wounded reservists.  They do not get the same benefits as an enlisted wounded soldier.

Colonel Edwards presenting Medal
Congratulations & Presentation of Flag

After the speakers were finished and had presented Dan with a medal, an American flag and several certificates, it was Dan's turn.

He called his "girls" up with him and acknowledged he couldn't have gotten through everything without them thanking them for putting up with him even when he was difficult. It was so wonderful to see the love these four people have for each other.

Susan & Jackie with Dan
Then Dan recognized people in the audience who had been instrumental in his treatment & recovery, i.e. trauma nurses, Judith Markeltz, etc.  There were many more but my memory is short.

Gracie, Kaylee, Jackie & Susan
When he was finished and everyone had a chance to tell the family congratulations and goodbye the ceremony moved inside for cake and punch.
Dan actually cut the cake with LOTS of Supervision
Dan, Genette, Kaylee and Gracie we will miss you but are so excited for you and your new adventure in Florida.  GOD Bless you and keep you safe.

Like us on Facebook to see more photos.  Thanks go to the military photographers who shared some photos with us.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Generosity Abounds

Some of the Wounded Warriors & Family from this weekend.
Thank you seems so inadequate when someone helps make something extra special for special people.  It would be impossible for this ministry to function without the support of generous individuals and businesses. Oh, we could continue to teach cards at the Warrior Family Support Center.  But providing a relaxing fun get away weekend for the men & women who serve our country to preserve our freedom requires more resources.  It requires and has been blessed with donations that allow it to continue reaching out to help these brave young men & women.

This past weekend, May 2-4 is no exception.  Local merchants provided discounts.  Other businesses and individuals made donations of various items including food, transportation, housing, time, etc.  Following is a list of these generous donations.  If by chance we omit you, please know that GOD knows of your participation and we are only human.

Weekend Housing Donated:

  • C.C. Gibbons
  • Debbi McCurdy
  • Shirley & Carl Petmecky
  • Curtis Woodard
  • Royce Ann Baethge
  • Robert Deming & Jami Carroll
  • John & Peggy Benson
  • Day Dream Cabins - Discounted
Friday Night Dinner & Bingo:

  • Evangelical Free Church - Dinner
  • Blumenhandler Florist (Dianna and Don Blount) - Large Wood Cross - $31.95 value
  • Wild Creations (Stacey and Stephen York) - All the Kids Gift Bags, $20 Gift Certificate, $10 Gift Certificate, Necklace and Earring Set-$70 value, Bracelet and Earring Set-$30 value and Gift Bags for all of the other prizes.
  • Agave Gallery (John and Kathy Bennett) - $25 HEB Gift Card
  • Dutchman's Market, Inc. - $20 Gift Card
  • Tractor Supply - Universal Traveler Battery Charger
  • Keller Williams (Barbara Segner) nd Sound Wave Electronics (Tommy Segner) - Weather Radio
  • Whataburger (Cesar Gutierres) - 12 Gift Bags full of Hats, Pens, Frisbees, Beach Balls, Koozies and Coupons for FREE Hamburgers.
  • Hill Country Express Tours - Transportation and Driver - Donated
  • El Milagro Restaruant - 20% Discount
  • The Spa at The Inn on Baron's Creek - 50% Discount
  • Above and Beyond Spa - 50% Discount
  • The Peach Tree Restaurant - $50 Gift Certificate for use on lunch.
All we can say is Thank you ALL for your support.  You Rock!!!

GOD Bless You ALL

Day of Pampering

Thirteen Wounded Warrior caregivers from San Antonio were treated to a "Day of Pampering" in Fredericksburg, Friday, May 2nd, by Wounded Warriors at Nebo.  Stacy Johnson, the event planner, Sharon Massey and Rhonda Strelke greeted the lovely ladies as they rolled into town at 9 a.m.
They were treated by Josie and the rest of the staff  at "El Milagro" Restaurant to a quick breakfast of scrumptious muffins, scones and coffee before being whisked away to relaxing pedicures or massages at two local spas.  Thank you to manager Kelly Miller and her crew at "The Spa at the Inn on Baron's Creek" and the ladies at "Above and Beyond Spa" for the wonderful half-price services  they so generously provided for the caregivers.  A happy and refreshed group of ladies emerged!

While waiting their turn to enjoy spa treatments, the ladies had an hour  to shop the shops on Main. There were several  bags with treasures to take home with many being gifts for their children.  Next on the agenda was a delicious lunch  at "The Peach Tree" who kindly gave us a gift certificate to help defray the cost.

Now with everyone relaxed and well fed, it was off to Becker Winery to savor some of their fine wines and tour the facility. Hill Country Express Tours provided both the driver and van as a donation.
The lavender fields were in full bloom and added to the pleasant winery experience.  Another  stop at 4.0 Cellars  was scheduled, but  time didn't allow, so we returned the ladies to their awaiting luxury bus by 4:30 p.m.

By the comments and contented expressions, it was apparent the ladies had had a well-deserved "Day of Pampering", and were sent home to their families with pretty pedicures, smiles and new friends.

Thank you, Fredericksburg, for being a wonderful host!

Like us on Facebook and see more photos of the event.