Sam’s medical status: Ali (Erin’s sister) arrived back in Bethesda on Friday and will stay through the weekend. She is such a good support for her sister. After Ali arrived at the hospital she called and said that Sam was being moved out of the ICU to a regular hospital room. I’m not sure of all the particulars, but it will be much more comfortable for the family since there will be more chairs available and it will be much easier to speak to Sam and immerse him in the daily banter of his family. In the ICU, it was uncomfortable and there were many more restrictions on visitors. One of his nurses who has been off for a week came back yesterday and was very surprised at Sam’s progress.
I wrote a blog entry a few days ago about a group of volunteers in Bangor Maine who greet the troops at the Bangor Maine International Airport as they leave for Iraq or Afghanistan, or arrive back from their deployment from those countries. I’ve learned a little bit more about these groups and I would like to speak a little more about them.
Greeting the Troops: The first group is called The Maine Troop Greeters. This group of volunteers of anywhere from 20 to 100 people greet each and every troop transport heading in or out of the Bangor International Airport to and from Iraq or Afghanistan. It doesn’t matter if the troops are at the airport at noon or 3:00 AM in the morning—they are there to cheer on the troops. The Maine Troop Greeters also provide snacks, cell phones for a call home, and sometimes a shoulder to lean on when needed. To learn more about the honorable work these people do, click on the hyperlink above or in my “blogroll” listing.
Ladies from Freeport: Another group affiliated with the Maine Troop Greeters is the Freeport Flag Ladies. These ladies accomplishments are too numerous to mention, so I will direct you to their web site and and add it to my blogroll so you can read all about them. Among other activities, these ladies drive from Freeport to Bangor (2-3 hour drive each way depending on traffic and weather conditions) to help the Maine Troop Greeters greet and cheer on the troops arriving and leaving from the Bangor International Airport.
A photo to cherish: Both of the above mentioned groups take many pictures of the troops and post them on their web sites. How do these organizations affect the troops? Sam was so excited about his sendoff from the people in Maine, that he called Erin and told her how wonderful it was to be treated in such a special way by people that didn’t even know him! And Erin—how did it affect her? She went right away to the Troop Greeter web site, found a picture of Sam (see my previous blog picture) and uses it as her computer desk top background.
These pictures are coveted by the friends and families of the military men and women. The Maine Troop Greeters and Freeport Flag Ladies are both non-political organizations and their main purpose is to show the men and women of our military how much they appreciate the sacrifice they make for our country.
To the men and women of the Maine Troop Greeters and Freeport Flag Ladies: words can not express my heartfelt appreciation and the respect I have for the work your organizations perform for our troops.