Thanks to you!

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.Bill_1

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13 responses to “Thanks to you!

  1. I’m so glad that he made it home safely, Vicki. And I have fond memories of the Say Hi to Bill posts. Damn, he looks a lot like Rich doesn’t he?

  2. Very well said, Vickster. Your BIL is a hero to me — even though I think we’re not doing right over there most of the time. Congrats to Jane; sounds like a pluperfect person.

  3. Wow!

    Hurrah for Mamacita!

    Glad Bill’s home. Hi, Bill!

  4. So very happy that your family is back together and complete. And didn’t Michigan win on Saturday?

    I have been reading the tributes on and off today; all touching, all real, all putting faces and personalities to the names and numbers. I wonder if the raw emotion will ever fade. And then I’m not sure I want it to.

  5. Vicki, add me to the list of people who are pleased that Bill has returned safe and sound, and who are grateful for his service and leadership. And hooray for Mamacita, my idol.

  6. How cool! Good for Mammacita!

  7. The men from that family seem to be truly remarkable. Warm welcome back to Bill and tell Rich that was a pretty wonderful post on Sunday. Hope that all is well and getting even weller

  8. Welcome Home Bill!!!!
    Excellent post sweetie!
    Have a wonderful day!
    *^_^
    (=’:’=) hugs
    (“)_ (“)Š from da Cool Raggedy one

  9. How very proud you must be of Bill, and rightfully so. His courage goes way beyond most people’s bounds of the word.

    MJB

  10. Oh Vicki. . . . this is one of the very nicest things that has ever happened to me. Thank you. And please give Bill a big hug from me.

    You are truly one of the most beautifully and sincerely nicest people I have ever “met.” I think I adore you.

    I feel very honored. I might be crying.

  11. I read Mamacita’s tribute. Nicely done, as were all the tributes that I read. I had no idea so many of my blogging buddies were involved in that.

    Doesn’t it make you wonder what folks would have written about you or me, if we had been a victim of the tragic act?

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