I got a call a few weeks ago from a friend and Vietnam Marine chopper pilot and who is also a retired Air Force gentleman (and yes, I do know some gentlemen) telling me his Parish was working on the idea of starting a Milsupport Ministry. They were looking for someone well versed on the subject to attend a meeting and give some pointers and ideas. Well, that person was busy, as were the next 50 or so they ask, so he ask me to do it.
I agreed and tonight was the night. I don’t mind, and even enjoy standing in front of strangers and talking. Though you graduates and masters of Toastmasters would be cringing in the audience like a kid in a classroom listening to the teacher scrape her nails across a chalk board, things went well. They had some very good questions and, though I had handouts of suggested items and instrucitons, many were taking notes (or doodling on the handouts.)
It was a room full of vets, a couple of which were Mustangs (men who joined as enlisted and went on to become officers) and people who were raised as military brats or were married to men in combat situations from Vietnam to the present.
I only talked for about 20 minutes and, as I said, handed out some information and examples of how to send and what to send to the troops. No one fell a sleep (the coffee was strong.)
Then a lady who was both a Marine milbrat and Marine wife with 5 kids, also gave a talk on the family side of military life. She talked her experience as both a brat and wife and about how the Parish could support the families with deployed people.
It was one of the most enjoyable evenings I had in many a day. Great people, good snacks and great coffee. Those Catholics really know how to put out a spread.
But more importantly, there will be some of our guys and gals getting some surprise packages in the mail soon. And that’s a good thing.
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