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May 20, 2008

Operation Fresh Air I - 2008

Lisa in DC has a fantastic recap of Operation Fresh Air I, complete with photos (which I didn't get a chance to take - thanks!):

I think we could all agree that too much time inside... is just too much. For me, even exercising in a gym is punishment. I'll bundle up in layers, but please, just let me go outside for a walk, okay?

So perhaps, more than others, I was excited when I read about Operation Fresh Air last year.

Some military wives (mostly of the Marine variety, I believe!) in the DC area conceived of Operation Fresh Air, an opportunity for those recovering and rehabilitating at our DC-area military hospitals to spend a day fishing at a Virginia State park. I don't fish much, but how cool is that?

The events, OFA I and OFA II, were very popular with those who had a yen to get outside, and this year was no different. Despite a sprinkle (okay, shower) or two, the guys that came to fish yesterday never left the dock. Folks had to carry food out to the pier so they'd eat! I joked that Chicken Parmasean sandwiches might have been a bit better than chicken parm over spaghetti, but it was still yummy and the fisher-guys adapted. Just as some of them do for other things. They are such an inspiration, and it's such a pleasure to be able to help in any small way with an event that they clearly enjoy so much.

Someone caught an eel, which was suitably gross for the young boys. Check.

Someone flew a kite along the pier. Check.

Someone caught a fish 10 minutes before it was time to climb back on the bus. Check. Check.

Several little someones giggled and played and spent time with dad and mom, fishing, playing on the beach, munching on tasty fixings, and just generally chilling out.

Please note, for those who made donations through Soldiers' Angels for OFA last year, there were funds left over so yesterday's main course was your gift.


Lisa did a great job of covering OFA I and II in 2007. Since that time, we've been busy little bees. Carrie, Cyndi, MaryAnn from Soldiers Angels Germany and I are starting a non-profit organization called Honor Their Service. Our goal is to improve the lives of wounded vets and their families and to make sure that all military veterans know their service and sacrifices have not been forgotten. Part of that mission includes outings like Operation Fresh Air, but we plan to expand our activities to meet other needs in the military community. We're just getting started now, so we're very excited about the future.

Many thanks to Lisa and Soldiers Angels and to the Friends of Leesylvania State Park. We believe there is great potential in getting military and military-friendly charities to work together. We can do so much more together than any of us can accomplish alone. I hope to talk more about this in the coming months. For now, I just feel incredibly privileged to be able to work with such energetic and caring ladies.

Update: we got a link from The Donovan! Thanks!

Posted by Cassandra at May 20, 2008 07:37 AM

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Despite the bad weather, Op Fresh Air 2008 has gotten off to a great start.
I'm looking forward to seeing what other things we at Honor Their Service can do to support our guys, gals and families at Walter Reed and Bethesda.

Posted by: Carrie at May 20, 2008 09:12 AM

"Update: we got a link from The Donovan!"

Oh, man! Now we haf'ta behave.....

I'll just go back to my corner now. Maybe Mongo has finally arrived with my beer-gram.

Posted by: DL Sly at May 20, 2008 12:12 PM

Well done, ladies. Thank you.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 20, 2008 12:21 PM

"I'll just go back to my corner now. Maybe Mongo has finally arrived with my beer-gram. 0>;~}"
Mongo delivery delayed...

Ox side-swiped by crazy person in Porsche waving digital torque-wrench at Mongo and cursing about getting dumb arse out of way... It not arse, it ox!

And Mongo say dit-oh to well done ladies!

Posted by: Mongo at May 20, 2008 01:49 PM

Damn you, Mongo. And damn that ox!

Posted by: HomefrontSix at May 20, 2008 02:08 PM

Oh give me a home,
Where the buffalo roam,
Cause you can't drive a Porche
In their herd.

Where seldom is heard,
Those discouraging words,
"Whadda ya mean, we're outta beer!
That's absurd!!"

Posted by: DL Sly at May 20, 2008 02:39 PM

If there is anything I can do to help with Honor Their Service, please let me know. I'm doing a fundraiser with CJ of A Soldier's Perspective right now. Just an idea...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at May 20, 2008 09:15 PM

Thanks, Miss Ladybug! We'll definitely keep you in mind.

Hopefully we'll be ready to start doing that sort of thing soon. We'd like to be able to offer potential donors the assurance of a tax deduction as well as the knowledge that we've gone through all the wickets to become a tax-exempt org. first. I think that gives them a bit more confidence that there is at least some oversight going on, and rightly so :)

Posted by: Cassandra at May 21, 2008 07:24 AM

Awww, thanks, Miss Ladybug.:)

Posted by: Carrie at May 21, 2008 09:10 AM

I only wish I had better pictures. Picture phones do not do so well on cloudy days... :-)

Thanks for letting me join in the fun. Can't wait to see what y'all come up with next!

Posted by: Lisa in DC at May 22, 2008 12:39 AM