Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fallen soldiers

Since our airport is so close to the Army Post here I see lots of "moments" in the lives of soldier and their families.  I am always so sad when the families come in and you know their soldier is going back from R&R, you can tell how hard it is for them to say goodbye and it always tugs at my heart strings to watch them in their final moments before they leave.  I try to let the soldiers go through security very last so they can have as long as possible with their loved ones and then per our company policy they are always invited to board the plane with our Premium passengers.  I love the days when soldiers come home for R&R and the waiting room is full of families with flowers, ballons, signs, and anxious wives, I cannot tell you how many times I have reassured a wife that she looks perfect and showed her where to stand so she will see her husband as soon as he gets off the plane, it is really such a heart warming experience to see them reunited and happy.
But then there have been two times in the last month that were so hard.  the first was when a soldier escourted in a very distraught women and told me that she was the wife of a fallen soldier, she was on her way to escort her husbands body home, I did not know this women, I did not know her husband but my heart just broke to see her.  Today another set of officers walked up to my counter to tell me our plane had the sister of a fallen soldier on it, they had the parents there with them and were waiting to meet her, they asked if we could get her off the plane first so she could get to her family without having to wait in the crowd, so of course I notified the captain of the plane who then notified the flight attendant and I was able to meet her at the plane and escourt her to her family, I cannot tell you how hard it was to see her hug her Mom and just break down.  I do not know this soldier, I am not even sure of his name, but all the same I feel for his family, it brought tears to my eyes to see them, I had to take a minute prior to finishing the flight.
With deployment looming over us, having a husband and a brother and now numerous friends in the military seeing first hand the families of fallen soldiers makes you realize how easily it could be me, and makes you appriciate all the more the sacrifices our military and their families makes everyday.
I know I will say and extra prayer tonight for these families and I know they will be in my thoughts for a very long time.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


We went to Ireland to visit my brother and his wife a couple weeks ago, we had a wonderful time seeing everything, our first day there we wandered downtown and saw Saint Patricks Cathedrial, it was gorgeous and the grounds and flower gardens were so wonderful, I wish my yard looked like they do.
Later that night we went to the Ocean wandered out to the lighthouse and then had dinner at the cutest little place. On our second day we went to the "casino" it is really a house that was built on an estate to entertain guests, we learned about the history of the house and the owner as well as the man who designed and built it, it was pretty interesting.

From there we headed out the malachi castle, both Ty and I agreed the inside of this castle reminded us a lot of the Valley House (our Great Grandparents house), we were able to go inside as well as wander around the grounds.Later we had lunch at a cute authentic Irish Pub.On our way back to Dublin we stopped and spent a couple hours wandering through an old cemetary, I love to do that, I think old cemetaries are so peaceful and interesting.
we spent a lot of time in downtown Dublin, this street had all the great shops and street preformers, they were fun to stop and watch.
We took a day and went to see the Guiness factory, of course Dublin is famous for Guiness beer, the factory actually takes up a whole block with several buildings including it's own church on the grounds.After that is was off to see the old jail, that was pretty interesting, this is the new part, and considering it was a prison it was really very nice compaired to the old part.This is one of the cells, in this part of the prison they tried to only have one person to a cell, but there were times when that did not work, I cannot imagine living in this small space by myself and to share it with someone would have been horrible.
This same day we went to the museum and saw a lot of interesting things, among them the bog men, they were really neat, I had heard of them but had never seen one, it is amazing that they could stay so well preserved for 100's of years in those bogs.We bought lunch at a little fish and chips vendor one afternoon and then ate it on the grass at Christs church, this is the other big cathedral in Dublin, Saint Patricks is cathlic and Christ Church is Prodestant, Ty told me the way to tell the differenece is the Catholic churchs have crosses on top and the Prodestant have roosters, still not sure why roosters but it was interesting.
We went to Dublin Castle, Beth had been here numerous times and since each tour guide tells you different things, she was able to fill in with extra facts she had learned, that made it really interesting and many of the people on the tour ended up staying with us so they could also hear her tell us extra things.The castle is built over actual Vicking ruins and we were able to go down and see some of them as well as some of the original parts of the castle from medevil times.This is an original stairwell that deliveries would have been made at.
This is on the grounds of the castle, overlooking the Queens gardens and the stables.This shows the only remaining origianl tower of the castle (the castle burned down and was rebuilt many years ago) also this is the church on the castle grounds, this is also the church they use to film scenes in the series the Tudors.
We went out to Bray to the ocean and had wanted to hike to the top of this hill that looks over the whole town and ocean, but it was so cold and windy we only made it half way, it was still a very pretty view.
Richard and I wandered back down town our last day there and found Temple bar, several of his soldiers had told him about it, it is a pretty cool place, very old built sometime in the 1800, they had live music, great irish coffees and were just very nice, they let us behind the bar to have a picture taken, it was a really fun.
I should have all the rest of the pictures on our piccassa album by the end of the day if anyone wants to see the rest you can access that from here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Some Updates

I have not bloged for such a long time, to much going on I guess, but had a few spare minutes today and thought I would do some updates.  Staci graduated 5th grade and will start middle school next year, we went to her awards ceremony, she made the honor roll again with all A's and she also recieved the Presidents Gold Award for citizenship and grades, we were pretty proud of her, not very many kids recieved this so it was pretty special.
Right before Richard and I went to Ireland, (those pictures will be in a later post) we flew to Dallas to get our passports renewed/name changed, while we were waiting we walked over to see all the JFK stuff, neither of us had seen it before so was pretty interesting. 
This is the book depository, it is a museum now.Richard stood on the grassy knoll, there are two x's in the road to show where both shots were, the whole area is much smaller than I expected, but very interesting to see, there are several memorial gardens in this area as well, we wandered through, they have gorgeous fountains and flowers, it was a pretty peacful place considering it is right off the freeway and in the middle of town.