I was away at camp for a few days while mom volunteered for Vets Journey Home. This national organization is designed to heal the emotional wounds of military combat service and operates in Maryland, Wisconsin, Michigan, Southern California, and Texas. The weekend was held in Pennsylvania for the first time September 28 – 30. Mom is so honored to have been asked to staff the weekend. In fact, she said this was the most rewarding volunteer work she’s ever done and that’s saying something because she does a LOT of volunteer work.
She’s not allowed to share much with me about the weekend since I have a tendency to blog when she’s not looking….like now. What I can tell you is that this is the first time some of the veterans who participated were able to share their experiences in a safe, nonjudgmental place filled with loving hearts who genuinely wanted to help them heal their wounds from service. Some of them were welcomed home to hostility. Some came home to indifference. Some never even received a “thank you.” These veterans fought so that we could be safe. Mom witnessed a release of the burdens the veterans who participated carried, some of them for more than 40 years. They were wounded when they arrived Friday night. By Sunday afternoon, they smiled….and laughed. They all had beautiful smiles. Mom is still a bit off balance from crying so much so when she picked me up from camp we spent the day snuggling. I got extra belly rubs too!
If anyone knows veterans who came back from service emotionally wounded, I would absolutely recommend they participate in this program. Mom said it was life transforming. There’s another session in December and spots fill up quickly. The program is free of charge for veterans so donations are very much appreciated and welcomed. I’m just putting it out there….
I would like to do something life transforming so I asked if I could staff the next weekend instead of going to camp. Afterall, if Beetle Bailey’s Sergeant First Class Orville P. Snorkel’s (Sarge) dog Otto can be in the military, certainly I could staff a veterans weekend. Mom said there are some rules. For instance, staff isn’t allowed to wear sandals because of the intensity of the work and movement in the room……..
HEY MOM, I DON’T WEAR SANDALS, DO I?
Nope. No sandals.
MOM, DO I DO ANYTHING IN EXCESS?
Okay, let’s skip that one.
MOM, WHAT TIME DID YOU START EACH DAY DURING THE WEEKEND?
WHAT TIME??? SAY THAT AGAIN…..
I really loved camp. Did I mention that my report card said I excelled at sunbathing?
So today I am thankful. If not for these brave men and women who served our country, I might not be free to unlock my food bin and have a feeding frenzy or knock over the trash can and strew trash everywhere or have fun pulling mom’s important papers off the table and tearing them to shreds when she’s not home.
I live in the land of the free and the home of the brave because of our military – all of them heroes. Because of them, I am free! I am brave (until mom gets home)!
I am Pugsley!