Limousine-to-Lunch event for Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Hospital and Fisher Houses
Ed McMeans, FUMC escort, and our Limo driver, Jim, took eight military veterans and caregivers to Tony and Joe’s Seafood Restaurant on the Potomac River at Georgetown Harbor. (Four from Fisher Houses and four from WRNMMC.) Everyone was in a picture taking and festive mood. Attending from WRNMMC were: Lt. Col. Tommie Berger, Captain Walter Laffittie, Staff Sergeant Lawanda Jones and Staff Sergeant Magalie Atilus. Members of this group have been deployed to Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq and other locations, each on several occasions. Members from Fisher Houses were: Winnie Baltrush, Anabel Galong, Donald and TR Rowe. Winnie and her Navy veteran husband have been staying at a Fisher House, both being treated for cancer. Sadly, her husband recently died from brain cancer less than a month ago. Winnie has great faith and knows God will continue to take care of her. Interestingly, one of the guests asked me if I was the Pastor of FUMC. While flattered, I said no but that I would pass on your thanks to our Pastor David Bonney. It was a wonderful day, full of good food and fellowship.
Thanks to our Veterans for their courage and service and may God continue to watch over them.
Limo-to-Lunch Event for Veterans Administration Fisher House and Medical Center in Washington DC
On a beautiful Wednesday, June 8th, 2016 we held a Limo and Lunch event supporting veterans and caregivers at Fisher House and The VA Medical Center in Washington DC. We had 7 guests plus Hugh our Limo Driver and FUMC escort Allen Kriskowski. We lunched at The Red Lobster Restaurant in Silver Spring, Maryland. All who attended the lunch were ‘First Time Limo Lunch guests’.
- Michael Strickland, accompanied by his wife Barbara, from Goldsboro, North Carolina is here for treatment. Michael was stationed at various US military bases in Germany for 13 years. After his army career was over Michael and Barbara drove an 18-wheeler, as a team, on round trips between Miami to Boston for 15 years. A lot of stories of their trucking experiences filled the lunch table conversation.
- Members of the Tedeneck family, Kim, Kathy and Britini, were here to support their USN veteran grandfather undergoing treatment for stage 4 throat cancer. They all hail from who Martinsburg, West Virginia.
- Annie Aranmolate is here for her daughter, an Air Force Veteran, rehabbing from a stroke.
- Austin Brown, served in the Air Force for 20 years active duty followed by 4 years in the Air Force Reserve. He performed the critical duty of Loadmaster on C-130s, C-141s and C-5As. Austin was also an excellent baseball player. He was the starting catcher on a military championship team while stationed in Rota, Spain.
As it is on all our previous Limo Lunch excursions everyone had a wonderful time. It was an honor for all present to be among those who also served, each in their way, and sacrificed to keep America free and who continue after their military service to serve again and again. All who attended expressed their thanks to all those who made possible a great escape from the Fisher House confines and their reasons for being there.
Limo-to-Lunch for Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Fisher Houses
Ed McMeans FUMC escort and our Limo driver Michael took 10 Military Veterans and Caregivers, including a one year old child to Tony and Joe’s Seafood Restaurant on the Potomac River at Georgetown Harbor. Despite the pouring rain, our spirits were joyful and we had a wonderful time. As usual, there was plenty of chatter covering many topics. We lunched on seafood appetizers. Deep fried shrimp in cole slaw was the favorite followed by the Calamari and Chilled Shrimp. We next had a Caesar Salad, followed by the main courses, Salmon was the favorite, and concluded with dessert, Key Lime pie or Ice Cream Chocolate Sunday. It’s a pleasure to serve our veterans and caregivers!
Limo-to-Lunch for Veterans’ Fisher House and Medical Center, Washington, DC.
We had 7 Limo Riders including Hugh our Limo Driver and FUMC escort Allen Kriskowski. We lunched at The Red Lobster Restaurant in Silver Spring, Maryland. The 5 Fisher House guests who attended the lunch were ‘First Time Limo Lunchers’.
- Austin Brown served in the US Air Force for 20 years from 1969 to 1990 including 2 tours in Vietnam and Service in Panama, Grenada and Desert Storm. He also served 4 years in the USAF Reserves.
- George Dye served 2 tours in Vietnam as a member of the US Army. Parts of his duties were with the Air Calvary, sitting in the doors of the ‘storied’ Huey helicopters with his M-60 during Personnel Drop Off and Pickup Operations. Additionally, he conducted reconnaissance of targeting sites also performed from the Hueys.
- Monica Washington, George’s Caregiver, met in a Veterans hospital over 10 years ago while both were going through cancer therapy. Both live in the Martinsburg, West Virginia area. Monica served in the US Army Reserve repairing and rebuilding Humvee engines. Deborah, (not pictured) the sister of Monica, is assisting with George’s treatment at the VA Medical Center.
- Carolyn Coore, whose Army Veteran brother Joseph was receiving palliative care at the time of the Limo Lunch, spoke about giving support to others instead of needing support from others.
As it is on all our previous Limo Lunch excursions everyone had a wonderful time. It was an honor to be among those who served and sacrificed to keep America free and for those who continue to serve as caregivers.
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) Limo-to-Lunch Event at Tony & Joe’s (T&J’s) Seafood Restaurant on the Potomac, Georgetown Harbor
The Limo to Lunch trip on Tuesday, April 19th was a huge success. We had a total of 13 warriors and family members. A total of 14 had shown-up and we had to turn one away, since the limo could only seat 13 – She was a family member who had shown up as an alternate in case we had a no show.
We had one of the new “13 passenger” limos, but we couldn’t fit them all inside comfortably, so one of the families from the Fisher House (2 guests) had a car nearby and graciously elected to drive themselves.
The group had a great time – lots of laughs and joking. All were very grateful for the outing. One couple had been there for 6 months and had never been out anywhere. One young lady is recovering nicely from serious brain surgery, but stated that she wants to go back to Afghanistan. It’s unlikely she will be sent back, but it is not uncommon desire among our troops to return to hazardous duty.
Considering their courage and patriotism, our soldiers and families enjoy and appreciate a simple outing to lunch in a limo. This recurring affirmation makes this program all the more meaningful.
Limousine-to-Lunch Event for VA Fisher House Medical Center in Washington, DC
On April 13, 2016, eight of us went to lunch at Red Lobster. Our group included six Fisher House Guests; our Irish driver, Hugh; and Ed, the FUMC Escort. We had a super lunch consisting of appetizers (fried and chilled shrimp, calamari; and lobster-filled mushrooms); and a variety of entrees topped off by scrumptious dessert choices. Joanne Miserandino was with her husband (Army retired) at the Fisher House while he is under care. Lu and Ed, both Navy, were at the Fisher House with their Marine son who was undergoing treatment. Sandy Morgan shared a “personal lesson” on how we are to open our arms to all people and love and respect them. Ed the escort (he’s old) forgot to get the names of the other two guests. The lady in the red jacket in the picture did mention that Ed’s jokes weren’t as good as Allen’s, the normal escort. Notwithstanding, a wonderful time was enjoyed by all. It’s always fun to share stories, a few bad jokes and fellowship with such wonderful people.
Several FUMC veterans and their spouses were able to visit Knight Point Systems (KPS) LLC, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business (SDVOSB). KPS is a strong supporter of our Military Veteran Ministry at FUMC. President Bob Eisminger, the owner and a West Point Graduate, attended. Doug Duenkel, COO also attended along with 30 or so employees from the headquarters office. The veterans who attended were John Swart and Richard Johnson, WWII; Ed McMeans and John Smith, Vietnam. Dixon Hemphill and Walt Morris were unable to attend at last minute due to traffic issues slowing Dixon and a “new walker” that hadn’t been test driven by Walt.
The time we spent at KPS was very enjoyable by both KPS staff and FUMC guests. During the first hour, we made a presentation to bring KPS up to date on our support for WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans. We talked about the six programs FUMC provides for Veterans:
- Limousine and Lunch
- Wolf Trap Events
- Credit Cards, Diapers, etc.
- Veteran Luncheons and Discussions
- Veterans Celebrations
- Congregational Care
The Oral History Film featuring our WWII Vets stories was shown, followed by a wonderful luncheon where we all had a chance for fellowship. Many war stories were shared and appreciated. It was a special time for all.
Some recent kudos from Veterans we support:
- Thanks so much for the great outing. The lunch was great, but the fellowship was better. (Homer and Dianne Jackson)
- Thank you for a wonderful time! Kristine and I had a blast, and we had the chicken for dinner! We’ve posted on Facebook and acknowledged FUMC for its generosity. You guys are awesome! (Anne-Marie)
- Thank you for giving us the opportunity to get away from the Hospital environment even for only a few hours. The relaxed conversations were wonderful! (Steph and Floyd Houston)
- “Thanks so much. I haven’t had a break since October when I came to take care of my daughter. It was wonderful and I felt re-energized”
- “I just love to get out and ‘smell’ the roses!” (Joe Crebs)
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center FUMC Limousine to Lunch Event held at Tony & Joe’s Seafood
We had 12 people attending: our church sponsor and driver, Wounded Warriors (ill and injured), a supporting family medical caregiver, a military spouse undergoing cancer treatment, as well as family caregivers. We also had Colton and Jackson, the young sons of Kayla and Andrew. It is unusual to have children this young; both Colton and Jackson are under 18 months of age. Andrew received serious injuries due to the explosion of an IED over 6 months ago. This is the first time in many long months that the family was able to get out. Their children were wonderful, sharp and well-behaved. Jackson particularly liked the colorful lights in the Limo. And he liked looking into the limo window between the passengers and the driver. Jackson wanted to make sure the driver knew where he was going!
- Walt Sigrist, dressed as a farmer, has won the best costume at the VFW Halloween parties for the past three years. His daughters, mainly Judy, are responsible for his outfits, both for Halloween and otherwise! Walt will be 94 this summer and hopes to win his fourth “Best Costume” this Halloween at the VFW. He plans to dress as Caitlyn Jenner! We suspect he will WIN again for his 4th title!
- Buck Shelton passed on July 7, 2015. His wife Nancy received a certificate from the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States in January 2016 recognizing Buck’s service.