Thursday, January 22, 2009

Army vs Marines

Seems there is a bit of rivalry between branches of the military. Always has been and always will be. Some boost they are better then the other, while the other will say the same. I know you all know what I am talking about!!!!!

While Taylor is a Marine, hard core and hard charging, she has a wonderful supporter in SFC Noble, Army recruiter. Taylor LOVES being a Marine and it is something she is damn proud of. She is also very proud to be an American and very proud of the other branches that have and are now serving. Many of her very first pen pals were Army. And you all know of her love for Marty Horn at and he has been VERY good to her as well.

A while back, Taylor needed some help and called on the recruiters of all branches and they all showed up to help. She stood so proud with them. Then, she needed more help and the Marines said they would be there and guess what? They didn't show up. (gulp) Who showed up though just as he promised? Yup, Army, SFC Noble! He has been there for her on anything she has asked and we love him for that.

The Army just had a presentation and asked us to be there. I knew they were going to give a plaque to Taylor. What Noble didn't know was that, Taylor thinks the world of him as well and before HE could present to her, SHE presented him with a certificate of appreciation! Hers thanked him for being there and helping and his was about Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. He feels she holds all of these traits and I have to agree.

She stood and talked about how the Marines and the Army have to razz one another, which she is more then glad to do, but they also have to respect one another and that she whole heartily respects and appreciates her friend, SFC Greg Noble.

Every time we talk to him, he just gushes at how amazing and outstanding Taylor is in all she does for the troops. He beams when he talks about her. Taylor does just the same when talking about him though and is always sure to point out that while she is a Marine, he has been there for her every single time she needed it and that means the world to her.

She did have to do a bit of a devilish giggle though, when it came time to take a picture of her and Noble together, she wanted it taken under a Marine Corps picture! He laughed and said he would do it only for her, but they compromised and stood at a neutral point!!!

We went out to eat last weekend with Grampy Guns (retired Master Gunnery Sgt whose nick name is Grumpy, except for when it comes to Taylor) and when we walked in, we saw a table full of Army guys. Taylor walked up to them and shook each of their hands and then was able to give out Patriot Guard Rider coins to each of them. We got a picture of her with them and she is sitting on one of the guys laps. Now let me ask you this, how many pictures have you seen of a Marine sitting on an Army guys lap?!?! ( I do find the look on the guys face whose lap she is sitting on very funny! Maybe he didn't like a Gunny sitting on his lap?! Really, he was very nice and offered up his lap to her!)

Presidents Own Marine Corp Band

Taylor has been to Washington twice now for her medical testing. Each time, she has been there just shy of being able to see the drill teams at 8th & I or the Sunset Parade. It upset her both times, as she really wanted to see these.

The Presidents Own Marine Corps Band was coming to a university close to us and it was set up so that Taylor could go there and meet the band! To her, this was exciting because she had missed out on her chances while in Washington and this was like they were coming to her! We were so incredibly lucky as Taylor got to bring her good friend, Sgt. Cugliotta with her and they were taken back stage before the concert to meet with Col. Colburn. They then were taken back behind the band and able to meet many members of the band. We got special seats up close and let me tell you, the band was amazing. Listening to them, just made you so proud of your country!

During intermission, they were taken back stage again and able to meet up with Col. Colburn again as well as other members of the band. Both Taylor and Dean were given special coins and it was a great night. One that Taylor won't be forgetting any time soon.

Once again, Taylor was shown just how much she is appreciated for all her hard work and as always, it just made her glow and made her stronger. I can't thank everyone that was involved enough for making sure this happened for her.

Now if we can only get her to meet the Commandant!!!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Helping out

Back in the summer, Taylor held a fund raiser to help out veterans, called Gunny's Veterans Ride. She has been able to do some really nice things with the money she has raised.

She gave some money to homeless veterans, she gave some money to a veteran who has become very sick and the medical bills mounted, she gave some money to help get a flight of WWII veterans to Washington to see their monument. Once she heard about this, and was able to give a sizable donation, she found out that much more money was needed. She made a few phone calls and I am so proud to say, she got enough money on her own to fund half of the flight!!!

What was really cool about this was, the people in charge were so impressed, that when Taylor presented the check to them, they told her SHE was going with these great heroes! So, Taylor was able to fly back to Washington with over a dozen of our greatest generation and spend a whole special and magical day with them.

I will have to post pictures of that day later as most from Taylor's camera didn't turn out. It was a spectacular day for her and they also went in to an air museum and she was able to see the Enola Gay. To be able to share this afternoon with these men was amazing for her as she got to witness first hand all of them seeing THEIR monument for the first time. She got to witness their emotions and she got to hear some incredible stories first hand.

What has made this even more special was that she was able to have our neighbor, Jack Palmer, go with her. He was a top turret gunner on the B17. He took with him his beloved friend, Ray Hora.
Ray fought in Germany, France, Belgium, Africa and The Battle of The Bulge. Sadly, Ray just passed away. I told Taylor that she was able to give him a gift he hadn't gotten, she was able to make sure he went on that flight, he went and did some healing and hopefully, in his heart, he got closure. I will also post more about that later with pictures of Ray.