It’s Sunday and I feel like I’ve been run over by a raunchy steer, or like Wayne Powell, a runaway hay bale! Russ and I zipped over to Alabama, Thursday evening. Perhaps zipped is not the correct verb to use. Since Russ is comfortable only when he is driving, he drove the 14 hours straight, while I alternately napped and worried about his ability to stay awake. He gets five stars for his stamina and driving! Daybreak saw us approaching Selma and Scott’s flag raising ceremony. Unfortunately, we missed that ceremony by about 15 minutes, but arrived safely at his dorm door escorted by a friendly security officer. The officer was necessary because we entered the main gate, missed a turn and exited the back gate before we quite knew what happened. While Scott completed his exit class, we caught a quick nap in his dorm/hotel room. I can vouch for the comfort of both his bed and his room. Mind you, nothing makes up for being away from home for two months.
We spent the afternoon talking to Scott until it was time for him to return to the base and get ready for the big graduation ceremony. We were amazed to see 1300 men and women in dress blues accompanied by various family members in formal attire. I think Russ was murmuring something about ties that he hated and uncomfortable suits, but I just smiled and let him murmur. He looked spiffy. I would say that Scott was the one who had complaining room. He wore the bibbed formal shirt, cummerbund and short formal jacket and looked fabulous. He took good care of us, even in the midst of the busiest of activities. We started dinner around 6:30p.m. and walked out of the huge dining room just before 10:00p.m. We didn’t take many pictures, but our hearts have many memories to treasure. The food was excellent, our table mates friendly and interesting, and the graduation speech excellent. It was presented by Lt. Col (ret) Barry B.Bridger. He was captured by the Chinese during the Vietnam War and was a POW in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. He believed the reason he and many others survived the tortuous trial was spirit and integrity. The enemy could take away everything that our bodies require for life, but they couldn’t break the strong in spirit. When every ounce of who you were was degraded by the guards; our soldiers of integrity could still be strong and proud. He was an amazing speaker.
There were colorful ribbons and medals on proud chests to be seen everywhere. I questioned Scott about his, only to find one I would prefer he didn’t wear. He wears a Bronze Star given for those who come under enemy fire. He made light of it, but I can tell you this Mother’s heart was glad he was home.
The most memorable moment for me was the tribute to fallen comrades. A solemn parade of men and women, each carrying a hat from one of the forces, slow marched through the hall, to an empty table. There they carefully placed and saluted the hat on the table, as the name of the fallen one was read to the assembly. When all hats were lovingly laid on the spotless tablecloth, a sword was placed in the center. The glasses were raised to the ceiling then turned upside down on the table. The entire assembly stood at attention as Taps was played to send their comrades on their journey home to God. I can assure you that every parent there hoped never to experience that song for their son or daughter.
Scott had to be at the airport by 6:30a.m. Saturday, so we hugged him goodbye, and sent him with prayers and good wishes home to his waiting family. We headed back to Texas at the same time. It was more interesting returning than going. In the dark of night, those ghostly moss laden trees loomed out at me like giant monsters. They looked just as ghostly in daylight, but much less menacing. I can see why they make horror movies in the swamp! Folks, I can tell you that the rest of this country is having lots of rain. Every creek and river was flooded, ditches were deep and all was green except the trees.
We returned home to the sad news of the passing of Junior Evans. Like many in the community, I can’t think back to a time when Junior, accompanied by Bonnie, was not part of our local events. Even when his health started to deteriorate, he attended ballgames, 5
Paul Gibson is undergoing cancer treatments. Kathy says it’s serious, but they are hopeful. Charlotte Conley is in the hospital strengthening her body so that she can undergo treatments. Annie Granados is still under hospice care at home. They need our prayers. Harold Hardman was out of church today. He is dealing with a bad back and uncooperative knees. It was good to see Alfred up and about today, and Pete Smith was in town paying us a visit. Gladys Powell is home from her trip to Scott and White for knee surgery. If they ever want to test a pain medication I would not ask her to be the control. She must have the pain tolerance level of a rhinoceros! Way to go Gladys, we wish you a speedy recovery, and do what the doctor says. My sister-in-law decided she knew better than her doctor and messed up her new knee. I may not like doctors much, but if you have to go to one, at least do as they say until you’re out of danger. Billie Standlee has fallen several times recently, so please keep her in your thoughts. Woody Carroll is still seeing the doctor for his back pain. At last report he was doing better, but he has to go back to the doctor fairly often. George Hill will be headed for a second surgery soon. He fell and dislodged one of the wires that keep his pain under control. That’s quite a few people to add to your prayer list, but I hope you can find the time to send their needs up to God.
Paula Shannon called to let me know there will be a memorial service at the First Christian Church for Sue Williams on Sunday, March 20th at 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend this celebration of her life.
So with our troops in mind, please pray for their safe return and protection from cowardly attacks. We have over a dozen young men and women serving from our community. Donald Skelton’s nephew is in training as I write, and will be deployed very shortly. That will add to the list from our area. Please pray for them and their families. Our government needs our prayers, and we need to firm up our resolve, and do what is best for this great country. We need some of that rain that has fallen on other parts of this country as well. God bless our men and women in uniform and may God bless America.
th quarters and fundraising dinners. He was one true blue Coyote fan! Lord Ware shared a Junior story with Barry. He said Junior would go driving down the road, then slam on the brakes, grab his rope and chase Lord trying to rope him.He did it just for fun!Our hearts go out to Bonnie and Melissa and the rest of the family. Funeral services were held on Tuesday to send this wonderful man home to Jesus. Please keep the family of Chauncy Mays in your prayers also. I believe that is Ruthie’s nephew.