We had a great meeting today. It started off with two of the Bend South Little League team that just won the state tourney last Saturday. The vets were excited to meet the young guys and gave them a rousing welcome. One of the guys grabbed a hat and started collecting money to help them get to their next tourney. The guys were generous and raised nearly $250 with a quick pass of the hat.
I then asked the boys if they would like to meet Dan Fouts. Dan was there with his Great Uncle who is a regular member. Judy was standing with the mothers who started to cry when they saw the outpouring of the veterans who wanted to help. As I was introducing them to Dan, Judy informed them on who he was and they began to cry even more. Dan was great and engaged the two young guys in conversation.
Next on the agenda was the National Guard. I was called last week by Major Wulf who said that a few of them would like to join us for today's meeting. They too were given a rousing welcome by the appreciative vets who enjoyed having them join them. Afterwards, the guard members asked me if I could get Dan to take a picture with them. Dan graciously agreed and while Zin moved on with the program, I got the Guard members together for their picture.
I then realized the Colonel Brock was reading the letter from his son in Afghanistan. He had told me earlier that his son had written a page and a half letter in appreciation of the help that the brothers had given him and his comrades. I listened as a proud father read the letter from the Captain son that he so much pride for.
With all this happening, the meeting had a special feel to it. The smiles were brighter and the jokes were louder. Dr. Carnahan joined us for the day and I introduced him to the ones who had not met him. The Dr was one of the men who helped get the VA clinic started here in Bend and is held in high esteem in the veteran community.
We also talked of Bob Maxwell leaving tomorrow for France where he is to walk where he fought in WW2 including his first time back to the spot where his courageous actions earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor.
The retired British officer, David, showed up and I was able to give him the last of the Battle of Briton coins that were given me. I was excited when he informed me that his father had fought in the battle. This gave this award an even better meaning. I know now that the coins have gone to the right people.
After the meeting, Zin, Ray, and I got together to discuss our getting a 501C coverage for the group. Someone informed us that we needed to get this because we were doing so many things to assist people. We agreed to match the $250 raised by the veterans at the meeting.
Add in the $100 raised in the evening by the poker players and we have raised $850 to help these young players and their families on their trip to the regionals this week. A truely profitable day in far more ways than one.