Walter Reed

Some of you know that I attended a BBQ on Saturday at Walter Reed for the injured troops. It was a low-key affair but provided everything I would have wanted to see. There were food, tunes, folks and fun. Awesome Kasey organized some kick-butt donations for the guys directly and they seemed well received. Today Erin got a call that said we were welcome back any time and that the guys had a great time. It was then that I got excited.

I got the impresson that the type of activity we were throwing was foriegn to for the participants. We were just there to grill and hang. Hear stories, get to know them and spend an afternoon saying, "Thank you."

There were times I wanted to say it while I was there but I couldn't because I was afraid of the violence of my emotions.

Some of you may know that I had a Grandfather who was wounded in Korea and another who was lucky in Argentina. I loved both my Grandpa's beyond what I can express here. Each of them died some time ago but I still miss them and in these men, I saw them. In the missing legs topped by smiles. The awesome attitude surrounding me in the midst of some of the greatest prices I've ever seen paid. I saw their wifes, some of their children and I couldn't help but hope that I was repaying kindness bestowed to my family.

Each time I glimpsed that, I wanted to just hug the person I was looking at and cry my thanks. To tell them that I do vote. That I try to remember every time I speak ill of an elected official openly--they are the force that makes me safe.

I was sitting at a patio table in Seattle with my boyfriend over Labor Day. Some protesters set up on the corner just behind us and, as usual, Bas engaged the protestors in conversation. When that happens, I just sit back and learn. he said to the protester, "Do you realize what an awesome country this is? That you can be here without fear?!"

Those are the things that I hear in my head when I look at the side of a face--smooth where an ear should have been. I couldn't say "Thanks" but I could show it. I shopped, cooked and helped. I hope they knew.

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