Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Goodbye Mommy...Be Safe

Merrilee was a real trooper as she trekked to BWI Airport on Veterans' Day evening, to send mommy off on a six-month deployment to the big sandbox. Both mommy and Merrilee held up well.

Merrilee has always loved the airport. She loves all the activity and she loves airplanes. But tonight, she was focused on mommy and telling her "I love you" and "Goodbye mom..."

There were hundreds of people near the international terminal, outside the Air Mobility Command gate. They were there on this Veterans' Day evening to greet servicemen and women who were returning from overseas deployments. One of the greeters was Gary Smith. Gary went to high school with Merrilee's dad, and he attends Merrilee's church.

These greeters are all a part of Operation Welcome Home. After Vietnam, America learned a lesson. You may not like the mission or the war, but you ALWAYS honor those who do their duty and who serve their country.

Operation Welcome Home is just one small way America expresses its thanks. We watched as these military members were greeted with cheers, waving flags, signs, and welcome home "goodie bags" and to a person, they shook hands, high-fived the crowd, and beamed back some smiles of their own. Merrilee wanted to be a part of the action....

You can join Operation Welcome Home, or make a donation. If you'd like to go to the airport to greet the members of the military, OWH's web site has all the information. Here's a little more video to give you a sense of the crowd and the reception these service people get...

Just before we parted, one lady from Operation Welcome Home went up to Merrilee's mommy. She said, "We are proud of you and your service. Please be safe."

That is our prayer -- that all of these people separated from their families, off in distant lands, stay safe and return home safely very soon. And that includes our friend, Billy, who has been away in Afghanistan. We hope he gets to see his precious daughter, Kassidy, very soon.

1 comment:

Billy & Nikki said...

I thought about you guys all day Wednesday. Tears rolled down my face watching those videos. The military men and women and their families are so blessed to live in this country where they get so much support from the citizens. I'm sure Merrilee will keep you so busy you won't have much time to dwell on Beth being gone and hopefully looking at the blog and chatting with you guys on the phone and Skype will help Beth get through the next six months. Kassidy and I are really anxious right now because as we speak Billy is venturing back to the states to spend two weeks at home and then will be heading back for the second half of his deployment. I'm so excited to reunite Kassidy with her daddy that it is absolutely killing me. Many pics on our blog to be posted soon I'm sure. Everytime I mention that daddy is on his way home she screams out of excitement.