Hello, everyone, we're back!
Jason and I were invited to head up to Pelican Hill Resort, along with other Wounded Warriors and their caregivers, to attend a long weekend (Saturday to Tuesday AM), and see if we could shoot some clay pigeons and do some golfing. Since neither of us had much experience with either of these, it seemed like a good idea. It was put on by the Carrington Charitable Support Group and the Gary Sinise Foundation, with support of the Veterans Airlift Command. Please go on line and check them all out to learn more about what they do. Who knows, you just might be moved to send a donation their way.
Anyway, we left Saturday afternoon, to drive up to Newport Beach area, where Pelican Hill Resort is located, and we stayed until late this morning. What was really cool about this whole thing was that Jason was able to do the driving, with his new truck (it was just about a 90 minute drive, which is getting real close to his limit of driving - more on that some other time). We were not the first to arrive, nor the first to leave, so I guess you'd have to say we were kind of in the middle. It was great seeing all the folks again, that we hadn't seen in several months. They live out on the East Coast, so they had to be flown in (er go, Veteran Airlift Command). Some of them basically looked the same, while others had gotten married and all kinds of changes in their lives.
Linda had the girls with her, and was visiting with her parents (Joe and Jess), and because that meant they were kind of close, Linda and the girls came to dinner, on the first night Jason and I were there. The girls were particularly excited about being there, and when they saw the dinner was right down on the beach (actually very close to the beach), it was more interesting to play in the sand than visit with the people.
The clay shooting was great fun, and I was totally amazed at how well some of those guys were able to shoot. There are a couple of the Warriors there who are quad-amputees, and they were still able to shoot the guns. The range master had managed to put together these systems that allowed them to work the shot guns with their prosthetic devices. I know this won't be a surprise to some of you, but some of them were better than me. Jason ended up receiving a new shot gun case and an ammunition bag (to me it looks like a small camera bag). We all had a great time, though it was a long day, and I was plum tuckered out.
The next day was the golfing, and again all kinds of great things for the guys. We were golfing on a scramble with groups of four golfers. The rules were that no hole was to take more than six shots - if you hit six you simply moved on to the next hole. This helped to keep the game moving along, and everyone was able to get back to their rooms for a couple of hours of rest and clean up. Jason and I were with Anthony Netto, and two other gentleman, one being a golfing magazine editor, so we were actually a group of five. I think that was because we didn't expect Jason to get beyond the ninth hole, and he actually only made it to the eighth. I left the group at the same time to make sure that Jason got back to the room safely and was comfortable - besides, I wasn't doing very much to help the group score anyway. It was fun, and today my right arm feels like it had a great workout, and the elbow is soar.
There were dinners at the end of each of the days, and the overall focus was not only on the Wounded Warriors, it was also on their caregivers. The one dinner where all the caregivers were recognized was when I missed not having Linda with me the most. Because she was there for the initial gathering and dinner, most of them thought she was going to be with us the entire weekend. They are already working on next year's event and we have been told we will be there next year. That time Linda will be staying with me, and she can enjoy all the fun (and get very tired).
Finally, there was this morning's breakfast meeting, with all the main people who would be involved with the building of the homes, including Jason's. We had seen Gary Sinise earlier, but he had to get back to Bethesda, so he wasn't at this breakfast. It was very rewarding to everyone, to be able to sit down with them and get the chance of this weekend, to get to know them better. We thought they were all great people, with huge hearts, and now we KNOW they are great people with huge hearts. It is good to be back home, and Gracie seems to be feeling much better now. She was having a bit of a difficult time trying to figure out what was going on, yet still managed to sleep like she does, even when there is all the activity going on around her.
We left after breakfast, and this is when I guess we had the greatest challenge. Neither of us had any cash, and we wanted to take the toll road (much faster) to get back home. We managed to finally find a bank and got the needed cash, and then we were moving on down the road. Again, it took less than 90 minutes to get back home, even with the search for the bank, and then I unloaded the truck. Linda got home (she had made a quick trip to pick up some things at Target) about two minutes after we did, and to make the day even better, tonight the Giants won! Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.