Saturday, September 20, 2008

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Taylor has joined the St. Joseph County Sheriff Explorer Program.

She gets to go to the Sheriff department and learn the ins and outs of law enforcement. One day, she learned how they do felony stops, she has shot the AR 15 and has worked in the jail one day. She is amazed! All the deputies have been outstanding to her and she really enjoys going.

This week is our county fair and she had the choice, go to the fair and do kid things, or walk around with the police. I don't think what she chose to do will shock any of you!

And wouldn't you know it, she was riding in a cart and they had just picked up a big bundle of money and there was an 'altercation'. The Sgt. she was riding with, told her to 'guard the cart and the money' and off he went. So, there sat Taylor with a boat load of money, not knowing when the Sgt. was going to return to her. She later told me, she guarded that money with her life and it was a good thing no one came up, because she would have let them have it! Cracked me up, but she was dead serious! She had a great time and looks forward to going back to the jail.
There was also a booth set up for cards for veterans for Taylor to deliver.

Remembering 9-11

9-11 Who will ever forget? Who can ever forget? That is a day, just like Pearl Harbor, that should be with every person until they day the pass. As time goes on, it is so easy to go on about things and just seem to not give it much thought. We do not do that.

Today, we were able to go to a service in honor of 9-11. It was such a beautiful day, eerily like that unimaginable day back in 2001. Seeing the firefighters out in their uniforms, with all their trucks, literally gave you goosebumps and tears in your eyes.

We had a fly over by WWll war birds and just about everyone fell silent in watching them come and then go right over us. This service was special to Taylor, as she had her good friend, Cpl. Cugliotta with her. This young man, went and signed up for service right after 9-11. He loved his country enough to know that we had been attacked and we would be going to war, he loved his country enough to stand up to protect her.

He has done 2 tours, one of them being wounded. The scars inside, live with him every day. He is very proud of his service, he is very proud of his country. Taylor and he have become friends and they seem to help each other. They pull strength from one another and have that unspoken bond that Marines have. I get a smile in my heart every time I think of those two together. Taylor pushes him to do things, and in turn, he shows Taylor what strength is.

Our family remembers 9-11. We think of the people that are gone because of that day, and how life has changed because of it. We think every day of all the people that fight today. It is sad to say, we are stronger because of that day. But we are.

Marine Corps League

The day that Taylor was made a Marine, almost 2 years ago, she was also sworn in as an honorary life time member of the Marine Corps League. 2 years, WOW, time sure does fly! To think, she was a PFC and now she is a proud Gunnery Sergeant, and just how much she has accomplished in that time. The deployed, wounded and veterans have all been touched in one way or the other by Taylor's deep love for her country and military. When I sit back and look over the last 2 years, I am actually brought to tears by what has all happened.

Taylor still battles every day with her health, but she is a STRONG fighter now. The change in her has been completely miraculous. The determination she has for her causes simply astounds me.

She has been trying to go to Marine Corps League meetings in the Kalamazoo area pretty regularly. These men that she sits in with, have all been so kind and wonderful to her. I still think that they are not really sure on how to be around her. I am hoping they are getting more comfortable around her. Most of them have not heard Taylor's real story and all the things she has done, they have sort of an outline, but I think if they all really knew just what she has been through and what she has done, some of them would treat her more like the Marine she is instead of the little girl they see with their eyes.

Taylor doesn't brag up the things she has seen or done, she just sits back and listens to these men. Most of them are from the Vietnam generation back to WW11. They want to be so respectful around her and not talk how we know Marines talk! Taylor loves going there and being with these great men and I have to say, there are times that the meeting will be going and I will just look around myself at the faces, and I am taken aback by the amount of history that is with these men. I am so thankful that we have been welcomed into their 'house'.

Today, we went out and did the Adopt a Highway trash pick up with them. I had my camera, but didn't take one picture. It is a tad bit scary being along side an interstate with semi trucks whizzing by you at 80 mph, so my thoughts were not on taking pictures. Let me tell you one thing though, that is HARD work. Taylor was cursing under her breath at all the litterbugs!