If you could see me now...you would see that my feet are not touching the ground! Earlier in the week I was one sad lady when I tried calling a very special Marine....and got "sorry this number is no longer in service". I could only hope that our paths would one day cross again as they had several times since that first time we met at Walter Reed.
But life goes on right! AND so Saturday came and we were going to the 5th annual Grit-together at SGT Grits Marine store in Oklahoma City, OK. We always enjoy these parties at SGT Grits. Each year since the book was published we have been invited to sign books...a great way to sit in one spot and be able to talk to most of those attending the party! We enjoy talking to old friends and making new ones! Kind of reminds me of a Girl Scout song we learned "Make new friends and keep the old....one is silver and the other is gold". I can tell you we have lots of "silver" and "gold" and we cherish every friendship. Many came by to tell us how much they enjoyed the book...some tell us how they loaned the book out and never got it back...or "FINALLY got it back. We enjoy hearing thier stories and visiting.
Each year SGt Grit does a challenge coin to commemorate the party. Since Eddie is a collector we made sure we got one for him! We also were so happy to pick up our order of our own challenge coins that are designed to go along with the book. You can see a picture on our book web site. Eddie has so many coins we need to purchase another container for display! You can see pictures of the Grit-together and an online catalogue at www.grunt.com .
There was another author there. Not only did I buy his book but he got a big hug from me. I have this "thing" for Corpsmen! They are special people! You see my father Charles Gaudette was a career Navy Corpsman. He served with the Marines in the Pacific in WW2, during Korea and Vietnam. He did med-evacs from Okinawa to Vietnam until he died of a heart attack in May of 1969.
AND it was a Corpsman who saved Eddie's life on that hot August day in 1965!
SO I give all the Corpsmen I meet a big hug and tell them "thanks" for all they did. John "Doc" Hutchings book is tittled The Names NOT on the Wall. His web site is http://www.thenamesnotonthewall.com/ .
Being with all the Marines and enjoying good food was fun...BUT the best was yet to come! Remember me telling you about my lost Marine?
The miracle! While talking with a young Marine, Tim Horton, we had met before I somehow got to talking about my Marine...and he asked me his name. He'd known Travis Greene from Walter Reed! What a small world! AND to make matters even BETTER, Tim knew how to find a number where Travis could be reached! WELL I was floating! I'm sure I was grinning from ear to ear! This was the best of best days for me! Seeing Tim again...and getting a number for Travis. I am not sure if either one truly knows what seeing them over and over again means to us. We are blessed as we see them adjusting and getting on with their lives. Injuries such as Eddie's and theirs change everything in their lives...BUT life can still be so full and so good.
It was late when we got home on Saturday....BUT I called Travis on Sunday and it was good to talk with him. I'm sure he probably didn't want me to call him "My hero". These young men as with Eddie, don't think they are heros. BUT I think they are! And Travis is so like Eddie at that age! I will tell more of that story later when I tell of our first visit with Travis at Walter Reed in 2006. Along with all of that I learned that Travis is going to school to be a teacher...
Eddie also went to school and earned his teaching certificate! (This should be a bit of a "teaser" like the media uses...tune in later to learn more about Travis).
I hope we will be able to continue our friendship for a very long time.
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