I know this is a little past due! But a month ago today, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville, AR. Donations made to Operation Homefront from various sponsors and local businesses, who also had booths set up at this event, enabled us the opportunity to give free backpacks to K-12 graders of military personnel on base. Men and women ranked up to E6 had to register their children online prior to the event. I, along with two airwomen, “manned” the registration table, ensuring each individual who had registered was able to get their ticket to pick up their loaded backpacks. There were over 200 children who received free backpacks and school supplies that day! Though less demanding than other events I have volunteered at with Operation Homefront, this event enabled me to see just how grateful these families were for the donations of Operation Homefront to help ease their burden of school supply shopping. I volunteered from 7 am until 1 pm, witnessing the enthusiasm and appreciation of the men and women serving our country. What a great experience!
Today I spent 6 hours with Cecil Ennett, the Community Liaison of Arkansas for Operation Homefront. We set up a table at the State House Convention Center in downtown Little Rock at 7:15 am this morning. This was a pre-deployment event for the Arkansas National Guard 1038th Engineer Company that will be deploying soon in which the following organizations had tables set up that provided information to soldiers and their families about resources they can use during and post-deployment.
Military Family Life Consultant
Personal Financial Consultant
Transition Assistance Advisor
Military One Source
VA Regional Office
AR National Guard Education Office
Employer Support for Guard and Reserve
Family Assistance Coordinator
Sexual Assault Response Coordinator
VA Medical Center
Jones International University
Hero 2 Hired
It was incredible to see the variety of soldiers that fight for this country. With differences of race, age and personality, they each had their own way about them. My role was to hand out free 1 pound bags of coffee to the individuals, as well as give them information about how Operation Homefront can help them and their families during this time in their career. Having my significant other deployed overseas for 9 months, it would have been wonderful to know of such a great resource to help during those tough times. Answering their many questions was something that I never thought I would find so rewarding. This gave me an opportunity to understand their thoughts and concerns as they embarked on a new journey. Many of the soldiers brought along their children, wives, parents, girlfriends, even grandparents to receive as much information as possible and let them all be more at ease knowing how many organizations are available to help them. It was also astounding to see how many young men had advanced themselves to the rank of E-4 in their very early twenties. The rank of E-5 is a sergeant; and to me, their accomplishments of getting that far that quickly is mind-blowing, showing their determination, perseverance and dedication to their duty. I felt honored to be in the presence of such astounding soldiers. May God bless them and their families during their time away as they fight for our freedoms. To them, and all other service members, do I owe such gratitude.
Operation Homefront: http://www.operationhomefront.net
Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program: https://www.jointservicessupport.org/YRRP/yrrpevents.aspx
This morning at 11:11 am, I, along with two other students, and seven faculty/staff members at Hendrix College, read war-related poetry at Young-Wise Stadium Plaza in honor of those men and women who gave their lives fighting, those who served our country and are now veterans, those who are still serving this country actively, in the Reserve or the Guard, and of course, those families who support them. Every aforementioned person has made an ultimate sacrifice for our country, and I’d like to thank each and every one of them for all that they have done. They are truly an inspiration to me, and motivate me to fight each and every day for what I believe in. Here’s to you. Happy Veteran’s Day!
The two poems I read are:
“Afghan Christmas Day” by Mark Quince and “I Am With You” by Hannah Carpenter, both written in 2009
Well, Saturday morning started with about an hour to ring in the weekend with Kristi :) Then Saturday afternoon, my friend Rebecca and I went out and got our fishing licenses and visited Craig Campbell Reservoir on Lake Conway and had a blast! And Sunday (today), Boots and I went out to Beaverfork Lake for a little and then to Kristi’s neighborhood lake to sum up the weekend! So much water and sun time! Fun!
With Kristi and Boots!
With Rebecca and Boots!
Today I had the incredible opportunity to go fishing with my friend Kristi at her parent’s house here in Conway and we had an absolute adventure! The sun was shining with just a few clouds, a little bit of a breeze: perfection.
As you can see from the pictures, Boots loved the water (he didn’t swim though)! He would stare at the bobbers in the water and whenever they moved, he would cock his head (sounds like we could train him, Chrys :P ) He tried attacking the fish each time we caught one and was so astounded by their movement. Kristi and I each caught a few fish, some of which swallowed the hook and we had to take back to the house to clean out and save to cook (although I won’t be partaking in the cooking or eating this time). It sure was a blast and I can’t wait to go out there again soon!
Today was my baby’s first day at a dog park and being around more than just three dogs :) We went to Murray Park in Little Rock on a 2 acre fenced dog park! It made me think of a kindergartener going to their first day of school! We walked in, and he whined a little bit and turned back jumping on me. After being around the dogs a little bit, he started to run and play with them. And our last 45 minutes at the park, he was finally playing fetch and tug-o-war with a couple of the other dogs! It was a beautiful day with a high of 85 degrees, cool crisp air and not a cloud in the sky. It was a wonderful experience and we will definitely be going back on the weekends! Thank you to Chrys who brought this baby boy into our lives :) And thank you to both of you for helping me from sun up to sun down to keep a smile on my face. I love you both!