I had the opportunity to do another VTC (video teleconference) with my family back home last night after the big win by the Huskers. Last time, we only had 10 minute time slots, which went by incredibly fast. This time I got an entire 30 minutes. It was, I'm searching for a word here, ummm, there it is, AWESOME! In all caps which is extra-awesome for me. Erika and Benjamin were there, along with Erika's dad who was at drill at the Armory and came to help with Benjamin, as he can't really sit still for more than 10 minutes. He did good though, he recognized his daddy and waved at smiled at me quite a bit. Erika's dad shared the latest news about what is going on back in Nebraska with the Guard. Nebraska was number 1 last year out of all of the states for Warrant Officer recruiting, which is one of his main focuses of his job. Quite an accomplishment. Benjamin made it about 15 minutes before he got bored and wanted to go play with some stuff. It was really nice to be able to talk face to face with the wife and see her smile and laugh at my dumb jokes. Talking on the phone is nice, but getting to see her and Benjamin in person is so much better. All in all, it was a great 30 minutes and that combined with the Husker W has me in a pretty good this Sunday morning.
Blackfive had a couple of posts this week that caught my eye. They are both charitable organizations that are supporting the troops over here. The first one is called Valour-IT. Here is a quick description:
Project Valour-IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss (Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss' father), provides voice-controlled software and laptop computers to wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand and arm injuries or amputations at major military medical centers. Operating laptops by speaking into a microphone, our wounded heroes are able to send and receive messages from friends and loved ones, surf the 'Net, and communicate with buddies still in the field without having to press a key or move a mouse.
Follow this link to get more information and/or make a donation. There are also updates every few days at Blackfives blog.
The second one that really caught my eye was a project called Snowball Express. This is an all expenses paid Christmas vacation for children that have lost a parent in the war.
Our goal is to make this holiday season as joyous an occasion as possible. The children and their surviving parent or guardian will fly to Southern California courtesy of Southwest Airlines, and will stay at hotels in Orange County that have been donated by corporations such as Marriott and Ayres, among others. Oakley World Headquarters is providing a party for the families, featuring an extreme sports show and major entertainment. The Crystal Cathedral will be hosting a special presentation of “The Glory of Christmas”. The weekend will end on a high note, with a full day at Disneyland/ California Adventure hosted by the Walt Disney Corporation.
You can go to their website at snowballexpress.org to donate. Check out the page called Why for a moving account on why the founder puts this together. Here is the summary post on Blackfive as well with some more information.