We were humbled through the meeting because Dick and I could not help but think it should not have been so much about us but rather about those who are so committed to serving our country. We are so proud to have a strong committee in Hastings planning activities and raising awareness about our soldiers’ needs. We feel very lucky to have a means to plug into something that will help serve THEM.
We received the award because we started a program of giving free midweek room nights to local soldiers. We also encourage their spouses to come and enjoy the inn when they can even when their husband is away serving. Life is stressful “holding down the fort” alone. Sometimes a few wives of soldiers will take turns watching each others’ kids and a few of them will come for a short getaway together. We love serving them too.
Last November we participated in the National B & B Veterans Day gift to soldiers. Hundreds of B & B s throughout the country joined in offering free rooms the Wednesday before Veteran’s Day. We were asked to donate one room. We donated all eight. It was a time we will long remember. We had a Marine who served in Vietnam who came by himself, a war widow and her daughter, two couples who knew each other since the guys served in the same regimen during World War II and a few young soldiers and their wives. These soldiers had just returned from Afghanistan and were assigned to go back soon. There were tears and hugs and lots of great story telling that night and the next morning. It was like we were all at the same camp and found out the war was over.
We flew every flag we had not just on the front porch. Each bedroom door was adorned with the red, white and blue and the breakfast fruit was strawberries, blueberries and white melons and— yes we even stuck flag toothpicks in the bread pudding We wanted to demonstrate that we really truly appreciated them.
So after that special day, Dick and I reminisced about that opportunity we had. We were inspired to “crack it up a notch” as Emeril says. So now we open it up to donate to as many local soldiers as we can —midweek overnights of R &R and not limit it to one day to honor them. And like I said — the honor bestowed upon us by the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Campaign belongs to our service men and women and their families. Back at ya!