"Welcome to my blog space. I believe that God has carefully placed gems in our paths to fill our days with joy. The challenge for us is to take the time to notice them. My desire is to share the gems in my life so that, hopefully, you will see the ones He's placed in yours. I hope what you read here will be worth your time and you'll want to return often." - Cathy

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

International Incidents – Part Three

This is the third, and final, installment of International Incidents. I’ve shared with you about the international encounters I had on our trip to the First Infantry Division Reunion and I’ve introduced you to some of the veteran heroes I met on our trip. This week I will move to the present and talk about some First I.D. active duty soldiers and their families. 
Celeste and Frank
My friend Celeste, the wife of one of hubby’s Vietnam buddies, and I were sitting in one of the hotel lobbies crocheting and catching up on our family happenings. I was trying a new dishcloth pattern and Celeste was working on a baby blanket as we chatted the time away.
All of a sudden the cutest throwback to the 1940’s approached us and knelt down in front of Celeste. She wanted to learn the pattern Celeste was using. It seems Tonya* and her husband, an active duty soldier who came home from Afghanistan in June, had found out a few days earlier they are expecting.
She sat and talked to us about her life with a soldier until her husband, who had been part of a round table discussion, came out to get her. He had one more presentation to take part in and would be done in ninety minutes. She asked if we were going to be there crocheting for a while. When we said we were, she asked her husband to go with her to the car to get her crochet supplies.
Similar to Tonya's Hairdo
She came back with her yarn and hook and we talked some more. Though only 22 years old, she identified herself as an “old soul” and I had to agree with her. She does some of the things my mother used to do. Last Thanksgiving with her husband at war, she found herself and her daughter alone for the holiday. She sent out a notice on the Post’s messaging system and invited any of the other wives who were going to be alone to come to her house. Tonya cooked the turkey and dressing and the others brought side dishes. Growing up we rarely had a holiday gathering without at least one young soldier or soldiers wife at our table.
Tonya talked about budgeting, and making her own pot scrubbers, and sewing her daughter’s clothes and other things she does to cut expenses. She was an amazing young woman and a trendsetter. Her hairdo was a 40’s up do style in front and straight in back and her clothes were 40’s inspired with a modern twist.
This pleasant time was contrasted by watching a young soldier who’d lost his legs trying to walk on his new prosthetic legs. Every step taken with a walker was painful and required taking a break to breathe every three or four steps. At times during the weekend we’d see his wife pushing him in his wheelchair. His time in Afghanistan has required his family to find a new normal. They appear to be well on the way to doing that. I hope they make it.
At the Saturday night banquet, a Brigadier General gave an update on how technology is being used to make war safer for our fighting men and women. Kind of an oxymoron, huh? A safe war.
I am thankful to have been exposed to these fine military men and women. I’ve been reminded, once again, of the cost others have paid for my freedom. Jesus was one of those who paid a price I could not pay to settle a debt He did not owe. I could cry at their sacrifice, but that isn’t productive. There is something I can do, and you can join me. I’ve listed the names and addresses (below my signature) of four active duty soldiers who have been wounded and are recuperating from their wounds. Cards will let them know we are proud of them and are thankful for their sacrifices.
Go and make it a joy-filled day for someone else-
* Name Changed

Brooke Army Medical
Sgt. Jesse McCart
3851 Rodger Brooke Drive Bldg. 3600
Ft. Sam Houston, Texas.78234
Three others from his unit also at Brooke Army Medical are: Sgt. Jordan Sisco; PFC Edwin Gonszales; PFC Joshua Erickson. Jesse McCart lost both legs and one arm. Prayers have brought him from dangerously critical to a place of survival. Injuries to the other three happened in the same incident.


  1. Csthy: I enjoyed your series on the reunion. Our son works in Topeka, KS. We have been to visit him several times. We always go past Ft. Riley when we go on a day trip to Abilene. I worked as a civillian for the Army here in Indiana.

  2. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving kind comments. One of the people we had at our holiday tables was a lady who was a civilian working for the Army. She was a physical therapist who was working with my little brother. She became part of our family and we followed her through dating, marriage,and her first two children before they moved away and we lost touch. Be blessed!

  3. Cathy, Thanks for this meaningful series. You have made the soldiers more than just a name, rank and serial number by sharing their stories.

    1. Thanks, Debbie! It made a difference to me when I heard some of the back stories and I hoped it would translate to my readers. Be blessed!