Those of you who have been stopping by for a while remember when we had Say Hi to Bill Day. Bill is my brother-in-law who got called back to serve again in Iraq after 3 months of retirement; he was 55 and had over 30 years of service in Special Forces.
The posts around Bill and his tour in Iraq drew more response than any others. You all left an amazing number of heartwarming comments full of concern and support. You refrained from talking politics and offered up your thanks for our service men and women, pure and simple. When Jim had his MixMania fans send duplicates of CDs for the 332d Civil Affairs Brigade, lots of others joined in and ultimately I shipped over 300 CDs and 200 DVDs to that group in Baghdad. Bill and his able assistant, Mary, distributed these and also organized a media library. (Contrary to popular opinion, Winged Migration was a big hit. Along with an old copy of Matango, The Fungus of Terror.)
Bill is home, safe and sound. Some of his group aren’t. He has mixed feelings about his efforts there but here, in a family where we are strongly opinionated in several directions, we are merely thankful for his life, his work, his dedication.
Bill said it meant so much to him and his people that people left comments (which were printed off and posted), sent pictures from their children, letters and all of the media diversions. His group had very little down time and he personally had almost no opportunity to use the computer for anything but business so he wasn’t really able to respond the way he wanted.
This weekend Bill brought a thank you of sorts and asked me to pass it on to you all. On his 360th day in Iraq he bought this flag at the PX and he and members of the 322d Civil Affairs Brigade flew it- for YOU- in Baghdad. The flag is one of those simple nylon affairs, special only in it’s meaning. I’ve been thinking about it and, because we already have two beautiful flags- one from the service at Arlington and one my sister Betsy gave me to fly at Wit’s End shortly after 9/11- I am going to send this one on to one of many deserving people.
Jane (Mamacita), the queen of CD music mixes, sent somewhere near a hundred mixes to be shipped over to Baghdad. She also is my idea of a dedicated citizen: She’s a topnotch teacher and a woman who speaks (and WRITES) her mind eloquently, intelligently and with humor. She is a person who shows more respect for the rest of us, in her own feisty and often irreverent way, than anyone I know. On this day, the five year anniversary of 9/11, she has written a beautiful tribute as part of the blog community’s campaign to remember. Jane, there’s a flag coming your way. Thank you. And thanks to all of you for your prayers, thoughts and good wishes you sent to Bill.