Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Blankets sent

As most of you know, Taylor held a blanket drive for the troops. People were so generous in helping her, giving blankets and or money to help ship, as well as Bob Cook who gave up a few hours of his time to give Taylor boxes to ship these in and then helped pack them up, all 21 boxes and then help load them up to take to the post office and haul them there and then help me unload them all. Boy, that was a bit of work!

I am proud to say that Taylor shipped out over 170 blankets, 21 boxes total. We have more here that came in after the first shipping went out and they will be going out soon.

We sent these out a week before Christmas and I was completely shocked when we got an email from a MSgt. stating they got some boxes from Taylor and were a bit puzzled by who GySgt Taylor Batten was and then by the amount of boxes they got!!! They read a note from Taylor, saw a picture of her and a letter that I wrote to them about Taylor. I wanted whoever that got these blankets to know about her and why she was sending them.

Taylor picked out a Marine unit and then the 82nd Airborne to send the blankets to. I was very proud of her for that, she could have very easily just sent all the blankets to her Marines, but she loves Army to and they are over there as well, so it was HER choice to send half to each unit.

Now we were shocked that the blankets got there so fast, but also in what this MSgt. said. It just goes to show how small of a world it really is. The MSgt. was so touched by what Taylor did and the letter, he showed it to his command and to his XO. Guess what? That XO happens to be none other then Taylor's beloved Major B!!!! Taylor just shrieked when she read that! What are the chances that out of all the deployed Marines, she sends off to a unit and someone in there happens to know her personally?! We have laughed several times over this. For those that don't know of the story of Major B, scroll down and you will find their story in her blog.

What has become of this has been pretty emotional for us. Taylor's letter and story has been passed around this Marine unit and she has gotten several emails from those guys. Then, the story was posted on their official website and now she is getting emails from family members. I have cried several times tonight already. I am with Taylor and I know she is amazing and I know what she does is amazing, but when you see it all the time, I guess I have become 'used' to it. It is just Taylor's normal, if that makes any sense. But then to get emails from guys that are in a war zone, thanking HER for being there for them, well, it snaps me right back into reality. When I read an email from a mom whose son is on his first deployment and had been involved in an IED attack with one of his friends being hurt, it snapped me back to reality. The reality of just how special my child is and just how amazing she is.

She continues her fight for herself each day, yet never looks for herself, but beyond. She looks out for what she can do make sure her troops feel they are loved and taken care of. That they know they are doing something worthwhile, that they matter. Now the in turn are doing the very same for Taylor.

I am not sure if I am able to post the website information of the unit she sent to and what they have on their webpage. I will ask if I can post it and if I can, I will do so.

I want to thank everyone that has helped Taylor make this blanket drive the success it was, even if only 1 blanket had been collected, it would have been a success to her because that is 1 person that would have been touched. But as it is, it is hundreds of people that have been touched. Not just by those that got blankets and kept them, but by those that got blankets and then handed them over to someone else who needed it more then they did, or an Afghani child. It has touched parents of those whose child is that Marine over there. It has come back and touched us as well.

Thank you everyone!

Marine Corps Ball

Taylor finally got to go to her first Marine Corps Ball! She was so excited and it was such a nice evening for her. I have to tell you though, it took some encouraging to get her to go in a DRESS! She looked beautiful and she had fun being around all the Marines.

The ceremony included one of her good friends, Adolf Kalafut, Iwo Jima veteran. He was the guest of honor and he is a wonderful man to know. He is also a wounded warrior, and that brings him even closer to Taylor's heart. He loves her so and many times when talking to her, he gets tears in his eyes and he just keeps on hugging her. It is such an honor for her to know him and to be able to call him a friend and a Marine brother.
As the evening wore on and the dancing started, boy did we get some laughs!!! Marines sure do look great in their blues, but they also sure do look GOOFY in those blues when they have 'indulged' and then get out on the dance floor!!!!!

I got Taylor's picture taken and it was one of those moments that after it happened and you walk away, you smack yourself in the head and go DOH! Here she was standing around all these fine looking Marines, and I didn't for a minute think to have them all come up with her to have their picture taken with her. WHAT WAS I THINKING?! Well, there is always next year.

She had a wonderful time celebrating the Marine Corps birthday in fine fashion and with those that she loves the most.