Thursday, March 3, 2011
Marine Corps Marathon!
Some of you may know that my son recently completed an overseas tour of duty in Afghanistan. And, like most Army moms, I was very anxious for most of the deployment. The only respite from that anxiety came during an R&R tour when my son came home for two weeks. The USO arranged for us to surprise him at the airport and bring him home with us. This is just one of many little things they do to support our troops overseas.
I know this is a cheesy beer commercial, but this is what the USO organized for my son's return, and in Atlanta the volunteers tell me they do this for every soldier, any time of the day or night. They have food and drinks available for soldiers on long layovers, and that's just what they do for our men and women returning from deployment. Overseas, they provide phone time so soldiers can talk to family members, and they support wounded troops, and provide entertainment programs (which really help with the stress of a tough deployment, and I think that one could make the argument that any deployment to the middle east is a tough deployment), and supply care packages, and generally look out for the well-being of our soldiers.
When Joshua got home safely, I felt this overwhelming gratitude that he had made it safely home. And then my thoughts turned immediately to his buddies, and the thousands like them, who are still serving overseas. I've become friends with the family members of some of these young men and women, and I know they pray every day for the safe return of their loved ones. And I had to do something for those who are still over there, serving patiently so that I have the freedom to think and speak and write and worship as I choose.
So, when I saw that I could run the Marine Corps Marathon to support Team USO, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to give something back to the men and women who are waiting for their turn to come home. And, because I have to drag my training partner along with me in everything I do (or maybe she drags me along - or a little of both?), I conned Melissa into signing up, too! Ok, that's a lie - I didn't have to do any conning - Melissa is a retired Marine, and she jumped at the chance to support the troops and run the People's Marathon.
Of course, now we have to do some fundraising, because if we run but don't raise anything we haven't supported the troops at all. So, I'll keep you all updated on our fundraising efforts as we go along. If you have any great ideas, I am happy to hear them! And if any of you are interested in joining us, you can do so here: Team USO. There is a fundraising committment, but we have nearly nine months to make it happen, so I think we can manage!
Oh, and I think we have to push Greece back a year - Melissa has her heart set on running it for her 50th birthday, and what's another year? So, there will be another year of adventures before I have to change the name of this blog!