Sunday, July 12, 2009

Strawberries, Colt's Players, Michael Phelps, Mayor Ballard and Jerry Seinfeld...


It's been an interesting weekend.

I stopped by the grocery store the other night, and noticed a pound of strawberries for .88 cents, same price for grapes, cherries for $1.99 a pound and bananas at .59 cents a pound. I couldn't help but reflect how very blessed we are to live in such a prosperous nation, and wonder how anyone could go hungry when you can buy a pound of bananas for .59 cents.

Enough about fruit. On Friday night, we unintentionally, bumped in to a couple of Colt's players, and then later on saw Michael Phelps, eight time Olympic gold medal winner. I almost walked right by Michael Phelps, I didn't recognize him, mainly because he had clothes on I think. Phelps was in town for the National Swimming Championship, and had just broken another world record.

The next morning, during a 5k race, we bumped into the Mayor of Indianapolis, Greg Ballard. It was great to meet the mayor, and a great event! Later that day we saw Jerry Seinfeld, who, as expected had everyone in stitches.

The National Guard holds a car show each year, it is their main fundraiser to raise money for the families of fallen soldiers. We did a quick run through, and started to head for cover when the rain began. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a military helicopter. It's not everyday that you get to look at this type of equipment up close and personal, so we decided it was worth getting a little more wet.

By the time we made it over to the helicopter, it was really starting to pour. The crew quickly invited us to jump in and get out of the rain. So there I was, sitting in a Blackhawk Helicopter! That was pretty cool. What was more touching to me though, was the crew. As I thought about the events of the weekend, I had to pause. The abundance that we enjoy, the freedom to move about, and the opportunity to explore and enjoy our nation, is because of what these guys do everyday. Not just keeping us safe, but protecting our entire way of life.

We sat out the rain storm together, as Chief Warrant Officer 3, Jay Burleson, patiently and kindly answered all our questions. It was amazing to me that these guys were were so open, willing to share their experiences, and gracefully answer a barrage of questions. From serving in Iraq to Katrina, each crew member had their own stories to share.

Of all the experiences over the weekend, this is what I'll remember most. I realized that all the special things that happened this weekend, were only possible because of the brave men and women that continue to stand up, and not only keep us safe, but protect our way of life.
Here's to you CW3 Burleson, CW2 Noble, and Sgt. 1st Class Barnett. Thank you for your great attitude, your willingness to share your stories, knowledge and experiences.... but most of all... thank you for your continued protection you offer to all of us.


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