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.
Due to the weather, the base had a 2 hr delay in opening causing some who had registered to cancel at the last minute. Thus, we experienced some difficulty rounding-up a quorum of 5. We had 2 attendees from Fisher House and 3 from WRNMMC.
The soldier in the wheel chair lost his legs from an IED a few years ago during the Afghan / Iraq War. He was back at WRNMMC for additional surgery to improve his ability to walk. He said grace at our table praising God and thanking Him for mercy, healing and peace for each of us attending. He demonstrated that he is a real Patriot and Believer. We would have taken him and his wife alone if necessary…a quorum of 5 is only a “goal”!
On January 17th, 2016, representatives of FUMC Church visited ThunderCat Technology LLC, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business (SDVOSB), one of our donors to the FUMC Military Ministry. The purpose of our visit was to update the President and the Staff of ThunderCat concerning our continuing efforts to support Wounded Warriors located at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda MD and the Veterans Medical Center in Washington, DC as well as FUMC WWII Veterans. Noteworthy, ThunderCat donated the funds to start and continue our third monthly Limousine and Lunch Event supporting the Veterans Administration, Fisher House, in Washington DC.
Left to Right: Dixon Hemphill & Richard Johnson, FUMC WWII Veterans, FUMC Pastor David Bonney, and Mr. Tom Deierlein, President and CEO of ThunderCat Technology LLC, an SDVOSB. Notice the paper and large coin in the hands of WWII Vets and David – these are “Challenge Coins” that were presented by Tom.
Ed McMeans gave a presentation illustrating the support provided to our Military Veterans. Since 2004, FUMC has been supporting wounded and ill veterans, families and caregivers with four programs:
- Wolf Trap events
- Credit cards, diapers, etc.
- Veteran lunches and discussions
Limousine and Lunch Event for VA Medical Center and Fisher House in Washington, DC.
We had 4 Limo Guests. With Guy our Limo Driver and FUMC escort Allen Kriskowski, we had six. We lunched at Red Lobster in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Michael and Barbara Jean Strickland attended for the first time. Barbara is the wife and caregiver of Michael who served in the Army from June 1975 to March 1985 as a Radio Teletype Operator and was stationed in Nuremberg and Babenhasuen, Germany, as well as Fort Gordon, Georgia. Michael and Jean will be here into next month for medical reasons.
Tammy Point the caregiver for her father, US Air Force Retired MSGT George E. Point, who is in the VA Hospice Facility came with us the previous month. Tammy was accompanied by her sister, Dr. Merle Point Johnson, also assisting as caregiver for her father during this difficult time.
The table talk and limo discussions ranged from talk of our veteran’s military and civilian experiences, some politics, and old movies. The significance of age differences came to light when talk turned to texting and emailing’s negative affects on interpersonal relationships. Somehow mimeograph machines and their sweet chemical smell entered the discussion. Two of the six had no idea what a mimeograph machine was!
As with past Limo and Lunch excursions, everyone had a wonderful time. It was an honor for all present to be among those who also served and continue to serve
Each who attended expressed their thanks to all those who provide the Limo and Lunch opportunity to Military Vets and Caregivers.
We had 5 attendees, 2 from Fisher House and 3 from WRNMMC plus our driver, Arthur.
Wally (USN) and Mary were from Fisher House living there while receiving cancer treatment. Also receiving treatment were 3 Army personnel, Walt, Nelson and William. It was the first time attending for all and we had a great time. We played the WWII Quiz and we passed around the FUMC WWII Tribute Book. They were a sharp group and knew WWII History.