Not long before Brian deployed, he was invited as a Wounded Warrior to the Air Commando Association (ACA) Banquet. Of course he would have wanted to go, but would be gone, so asked that Tyler and I go in his place. We had never gone to one of these events before, so I had no idea what to expect. Luckily, I conned a good friend of mine into watching the girls and Tyler and I were off.
Can y’all believe it?! A fancy picture with my son AND HE’S SMILING!!
So, we got to the Banquet a little before 7 and I was nervous, of course, because I am not very good about walking into a room full of people that I don’t know. We were at table 11, which as it turns out, was in the front row, 2 tables to the right of center stage … great seats!! There were around 850 people there, so we were very lucky. There were very nice people at our table, but the majority of the time were were there was spent listening to the MC (who was a great speaker, just the right amount of humor thrown in) present scholarships, Leadership Awards, Squadron and Medic of the Year. Opus One from Niceville sang and it was great, very moving.
Near the end, 5 men were inducted in to the ACA Hall of Fame and gave very short thank you speeches. Then the Featured Speaker General Peter J. Schoomaker spoke. He was retired from the Army and recalled to active duty in 2003 by the Secretary of Defense and the President to be the Chief of Staff, Army and Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2003-2007. It was so neat to listen to him speak about his past service and to listen to him and all of the Hall of Fame inductees talk about how great they this generation of our military is.
I was honored to still be able to go to this event even though Brian was not here. And while it probably wasn’t very interesting for Tyler last night, someday he’ll look back and realize what an honor it was to be there. I am always very proud of what Brian does, and so proud that he’s doing a job that he enjoys and believes in. It can be very hard sometimes, for people that are not in the military, and don’t have close friends or family members in it, to realize what these men and women are out there doing. It’s easy to say that we just want these wars over and want our troops home. But, that’s not the way it works. These men and women go to work every day, just to make our world better and safer for all of us, our children, and our future. There is such a deep and interesting history, and going last night just makes me want to know more about it. Last night refilled me with a sense of pride for our country and the men and women who defend our wonderful country.
And of course, my close friends who know what a crier I am, Yep. I sure did. I can’t hear I’m Proud to be an American or The Star Spangled Banner without tearing up, and at least I know now after last night, that I am most definitely not alone in that 🙂
I hope you all enjoy your Sunday, I guess I better get myself organized and get my grocery shopping done today.
Till next time ~ Jackie