honor

All posts tagged honor

Rib cook off

Published July 19, 2015 by lynn k scott

I am a proud Blue Star Mom.  I am fortunate enough to be part of a local Blue Star Mothers chapter.

For those who don’t know what a Blue Star Mother is,  it’s mothers who have children serving in the military.   You normally hear about Blue Stars when their children deploy.

Part of what we do, as a chapter, is attending various events, collect donations and inform the community we are here to support our activity duty and vets, as well as their families.

While sitting in our booth this weekend, at the rib cook off, I was quickly handed a trivet with a business card.  The gentleman said, “Semper Fi” as he returned back to his booth.

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I was stunned.  We really don’t expect acknowledgment.   When we do, it is often from those we support.  I will never get used to it.

After recovering from my beautiful surprise gift, I walked over to the Marine vet’s booth and properly thanked him for the gift.  Two other Blue Star Moms who were also working that day, received trivets as well.

Such a small token made my day.  I am proud of what we do.  Whether we are shipping 100 care packages to deployed troops, helping get donations to mail those packages, collecting hygiene supplies, helping a local shop donate a car to a local Airman, we are moms making a difference.

Of course, we had somegood bbq after my shift. wpid-20150718_133031.jpg

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Completed the Relay for Life (2015)

Published July 13, 2015 by lynn k scott

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I completed my first 24-hour Relay for Life this past weekend (July 11-12).  Next year, I hope to serve on the committee for the planning and running of the Relay.  I was fortunate to have a great co-captain.  Nicole and I kept each other motivated and we worked really well as a team.

It was a good “get your feet wet” type of event.  All in all, I walked a total of 17+ miles by the time we completed the final lap.  My nine year old daughter stayed with me the for the entire event as well.  She completed about 3 miles on her own.  I’m very proud of her for sticking it out.  She was enamored with sleeping outside in a tent for the first time.

With each lap completed, you get the opportunity to pick up a bead to represent that lap.  You choose the color(s) that work for you.  I chose beads to represent the cancers in my family:  Stomach, Breast, Lymphoma, Brain and Lung.

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The wind was not our friend.  It tried to take out booth and chuck it at the fire department across the track.  Thankfully, our neighboring booth, had someone who staked it down for us.  Next year, we will be prepared for the wind with weights and our our own stakes.

I also learned, I am not meant to sleep on the ground.  Since I don’t go camping much, I will invest in a good sleeping blanket and a cot to put that sleeping blanket on.  Being as this was my first time captaining a team, I think we did rather well.

One of the really fun parts of the Relay was the “Mr. Dixon” contest.  Guys and boys dressed up as women, many donning pink, and walked around collecting money.  The won who collected the most, was then named, “Mr. Dixon”. I couldn’t resist a photo and actually got a picture with him!

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The luminaria ceremony was especially difficult for me.  We heard two speakers; both survivors.  The second speaker was 18 years old and a 12-year survivor.  Her words were moving and powerful.  When she read the poem, “What Cancer Cannot Do”, the flood gates opened.  I had read that as the closing of my sister’s eulogy.  Then there was the slideshow.  Seeing her on the screen sent me running for the bathroom.  I was sick to my stomach because of all the emotion.  I really am glad it was at night. There was no one to see my tears.

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We woke up around 3:00 a.m. and started our morning.  The nice part of waking so early is you get to see a beautiful sunrise. A reminder that it’s a new day with new opportunities.  Another day to make a difference.

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I did enter a raffle for a painting that moved me as soon as I saw it.  It’s an acrylic painting that was done by a local artist.  I paid my $5.00 in raffle tickets and put them all in the painting raffle.  After I woke up the next morning and resumed my laps around the track, the entire team stopped me.  They remembered me and why I entered the raffle; told them about my sister.

They were so pleased to inform me that I had won.  I started crying again.  The person I had spoken with about why I was drawn to it, actually cried when my name was pulled.  She knew it would mean the                                                                                        world to me.  I received several hugs from that team.

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It’s amazing the love and support at flows freely at the Relay for Life.  There is no judgement.  We are all there for such a great cause.  Whether you are there to help set up, work registration, are a survivor, a team captain, walking a few laps, making a donation or simply encouraging others, your dedication to the cause is valued.

Relay for Life: Tomorrow

Published July 10, 2015 by lynn k scott

The day is finally here; or will be tomorrow.  I’m making my Relay post now because tomorrow, there is just no way possible for that to happen.

We will wake up around 5:00 a.m. and get ready to pack up the cars and leave for the Relay around 6:00 a.m.  My daughter, who is nine, will be spending the next 24+ hours with me at the Relay.  She is very excited to be a participant and is looking forward to manning the booth and selling items to add to our team donation.

This will be my first year being a team captain and I can guarantee it won’t be my last.  This will be a way for me to honor my sister, Kathi, while we support those who have won or are still fighting their battle.

The theme of the Relay is “Movies”.  Being my co-captain and I are both military moms, we chose to go with a military-type movie.  We didn’t have a lot of time to choose and picked, “Max”.  I contacted a local movie theater to see if they had any promotional posters.  As luck would have it, they did. Phew…I didn’t know where I’d get a Malinois on such short-notice.

I’ve printed up words and laminated them:  Honor, Loyalty, Semper-Fi.  We are going to hang them around our booth.  We’ll hang our poster and decorate with red, white and blue streamers.

We received some donations to raffle off:  a tutu dress, an afghan, and a few other items.

tutu

We will donate some homemade brownies for the dessert part of the evening that will take place at midnight.  We are going to also sell homemade cookies, biscotti, muffins, popcorn balls (gluten-free) and brownies (gluten-free) lip balm, glitter crayons, earrings and rings.

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We should have a lot of fun.  The lil miss is looking forward to staying up as late as she wants.  I don’t think she’ll make it much past midnight, but we’ll see.  I am pretty much taking the 12-6 shift to be walking.  For me, that is “my time” to remember my sister.

The luminaria dedication is at 9:00 p.m.  I am glad it’s then because I was in tears when my daughter started decorating the luminaria bags.  I shed a couple more when she completed them and almost lost it when I received an email about a caption for Kathi’s picture for the dedication.  At least the red circles that develop under my eyes will be somewhat masked by the darkness of the evening; even though the track is somewhat lit up.

1st bag

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I am excited for tomorrow and what it will bring.  Each year we will continue to grow our team and make more strides to wiping out cancer and making it a permanent memory!

Memorial Day Tradition

Published May 5, 2015 by lynn k scott

With Memorial Day only a few weeks away, I’d like share a tradition I have started with my daughter.  This will be the third year we honor our fallen military.

Perhaps you’ve been to a cemetery and seen coins on the tombstones but never understood why.  There are a variety of beliefs as to how this came about and why.  I am focusing on the present and our military personnel.

Penny = you visited the grave
Nickel = you trained in bit camp together
Dime = you served in the same company
Quarter = you were there when they died

Each year, I take my daughter to the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery.  We take a bag of 50 pennies.  She picks the headstone.  I read the name, rank, branch and years of birth/death.  She then places a penny on the headstone and says, “Thank you for your service”.

I am teaching her the real reason behind Memorial Day.  I am teaching her that freedom isn’t free.  It can get emotional.  It can raise questions you might not be prepared to answer (depending on the child’s age).  However, I personally believe it is important to honor those who fight and die for us.

This  picture was from last year.  It was the final grave we visited and I will never forget it.  My daughter thought it was “funny” that there was a bottle of beer there.  I explained why some people do that.  As I went to read the headstone, I stopped.  My daughter looked at me, just after I  wiped a tear that was threatening to fall.  I told her that the Marine (if I remember correctly) that was buried there, was her brother’s age.  She made a slight gasping noise, bent down, hugged the stone and then said, “thank you for your service”.  Then my tears really fell as I said a sllient prayer for his family.

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As an Army mom of a soldier in the 82nd Airborne, I consider it an honor to make this acknowledgment each year.

Won’t you consider joining us in our tradition?

QOTD: Topic – Sleep

Published March 31, 2015 by lynn k scott

“We must never forget why we have, and why we need our military. Our armed forces exist solely to ensure our nation is safe, so that each and every one of us can sleep soundly at night, knowing we have ‘guardians at the gate’.”  (Allen West)

I originally was going to post a true sleeping quote as I am lacking in that today.  However, in my quest for today’s quote, I found this and my Army-mom heart swelled a bit, I nodded in agreement and the today’s quote was selected.

Why? Why? Why!!!

Published March 29, 2015 by lynn k scott

Address me as Lynn or Ms. Scott
This is my pen name
So it matters not

I need to share
I need to speak
It's not really your approval
That I seek

I blog in her honor
I blog as a reminder
I blog to assist
I blog to be kinder

There was a time
When petty pride
Allowed my feelings 
To run and hide

We were sisters
And sisters will fight
A decade of silence passed
Which now keeps me up at night

It wasn't a matter of right 
It wasn't a matter of wrong
It's such a shame
We didn't realize that all along

We made amends
We found each other again
Fate was twisted
So that not where this ends

In just nine short months
In no time at all
Cancer took you from me
I felt my world fall

I miss you dearly
I still can't let go
Time doesn't heal all wounds
I want you to know

Some days I laugh
Some days I cry
Some days I wonder
Why? Why? WHY!!!

Surviving Deployment

Published March 16, 2015 by lynn k scott

I am proud to have son who is part of the 82nd Airborne.  While I will never understand the want to jump out a perfectly good plane, I am grateful for son’s commitment to his country.That being said, and now that it is years later, I am able to speak of one of the most stressful times in my life:  my child deploying.

My son always corrects me when I say, “you’re my baby”.  He doesn’t understand that I know he is a grown man.  I know he can make his own decisions.  Yet, he is my first born.  While I love all my children equally, I think your first born has a greater impact on your life because everything is so new.  He or she will do all the “firsts”.

When A.I.T. (Advanced Individualized Training) finished, I knew if he received one of two bases, he was going to deploy and soon.  Those bases were Alaska or Hawaii.  My son was assigned to Hawaii and it was only a matter of months before notification of deployment came.  Afghanistan would be his home for the next twelve months.

While I never had a child leave for college, I would cringe when mothers told me they knew how I felt because their kid went off to college.  I resisted the urge to ask them, “Oh yea?  Who shot at your son today?  What flying football did he dodge today?”  I quickly learned you don’t catch the “flying football” (enemy mortars) shot into camp.

I remember finding out the date he was leaving.  I was the last phone call he made.  In fact, he called me on his way to board the plane that would take my son 36-hours around the world, far away from me.  It was then I avoided news completely.  I avoided shows like Army Wives.  I stopped sleeping except a few hours a night.  I developed a phone phobia.  I started having panic attacks if my phone wasn’t in my sight at all times.  I had to do something.  I had a small child to take care of and a full-time job to work.

Yet, I lived in fear of an unknown sedan pulling up to my house, a knock on the door and hearing, “we regret to inform you…”

First, I got involved with Soldiers’ Angels.  It was a way for me to help support the troops but also to receive support from other military moms. Their understanding was invaluable.  I lived and breathed volunteer work.  I literally was writing 40 people at once.  I had to keep my mind off the deployment.  I was once asked to coordinate a Marine homecoming.  I was giddy.  I made Calvin (the Marine) a basket with his name on it and stuffed it with welcome home cards and homemade baked goods.  I was able to offer support to his mother, who pretty much was unsupported through the deployment.  She never knew we existed.  I was unprepared for her praise and gifts for getting her through the final two months before her son returned.  I put Calvin’s mom in touch with the Patriot Guard Riders who started out doing funeral escorts for our military heroes.  They expanded their work to include being there to welcome home the troops.  I had the honor of standing a flag line for a WW II vet.  It was an amazing experience.

I sought out a local Blue Star Mothers group too.  As it turned out, I was nominated for the position of Vice-President, which I won.  It was a good experience, but did not seek to run again after I completed my service.

Since I still had insomnia, my adoptees would reach out to me through Instant Messenger.  I figured I was up and if one of my “boys” wanted to talk, I would be there for them.  I had adopted several guys, unofficially, when I found out they weren’t receiving anything from home.  That wasn’t acceptable.  I become “mom” to quite a few privates. It became my calling.

My son and I would chat online often.  I was lucky enough to receive a few satellite calls.  He even took his two weeks R&R with us.  He flew 36 hours to meet his youngest sister for the first time (she was 5 then).  It’s a long story about why they were just meeting; another time perhaps.  babies

The day before he had to return, I sat in my office and just cried.  He was going back to a place that wanted him dead.  I felt a hand on my shoulder; my son’s hand.  He said, “it’s ok, Ma”.  When did my son get so strong?  When did I allow myself to get so weak?

I took him to the airport by myself the next day.  I watched him walk through the gate and board the plane.  I watched the plane take off.  No one noticed the tears falling on from my eyes.  It’s true airports see more tears than any other place. I walked silently out of the airport, to my car, where I had a complete meltdown.

I stopped myself.  I told myself “back to taking it minute by minute, then hour by hour until I am at day by day”.  I had told so many other moms that.  It was time to take my own advice.  I still adoptees who needed me.  I still had families who needed support.

I did get stronger.  I learned to handle deployment.  I had started a Facebook group for families dealing with deployment.  I “met” a young man, a sniper, who helped get me through.  He had left the Army, but his knowledge was invaluable.  I truly value his friendship.  I have since left the group I started.  My integrity was questioned and that wasn’t ok with me.

My son returned safely.  He has changed a bit since deployment, but I expected that.  He started out as a Private First-Class. He has since ranked up to Sergeant.  His men are lucky to have him looking out for them.

Deployment isn’t easy, it’s doable.  Find what works for you.  It’s ok to avoid people for awhile until you get your bearings.  It’s not the end of the world.   It’s an honor to be the mother or father of someone who will fight in service to their country.

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