June 29, 2010 – Tuesday
After a short nights sleep we awoke to a completely flat tire. I tried driving it to the gas station but their tire pump would not fit it. I walked over to Walmart tire center but they couldn’t help. We had not yet activated AAA to we were a bit stuck, now just 2 hours before our 10 am ceremony at the capitol. Walmart suggested we try Sams club around the corner so we limped along to their shop. I am not a member there so was unsure what to expect. The two mechanics said they would take a look and ended up fixing the flat for us at no charge! We were on our way and in enough time to make our 10am ceremony.
We rolled into Charleston and were welcomed into the state parking lot. The Capitol building is absolutely beautiful with the dome coated with a gold overlay. On the front steps of the state house we met Gold Star grandmother Emma Johnson and three other GS families for a small ceremony. Unfortunately there were no others in attendance. I had hoped for Patriot Guard presence or other veteran organizations or legislators. I had spoken to different groups but noone showed up, I was a little disappointed that these families had no support but each other.
Despite the turnout we all began to get to know each other better and I was was about to begin the presentation when who should walk up to us but the Governor himself. He was a most welcome addition to our ceremony and read the certificate as we presented a personalized flag to Emma in tribute to her grandson Adam Crumpler. After which the Governor signed our pledge and agreed to bring Honor and Remember to WVA.
After the ceremony we went into the capitol for a leisurely lunch and shared stories of our kids. It was great to spend time and get to know these families on a more personal level. There was a plaque dedicated to the GWOT heroes in one of the hallways and we visited that together. We met the State adminitrator a 20 year marine vet who also signed our pledge and welcomed us into his office for a visit.
About 1pm we headed to Cincinnati where we were going to stay with Mike and Char our friends from Virginia. The drive was a long and tedious one, 5 hours over the West Virginia and Kentucky mountains. We now had the RV so the ride was a bit different. The roads were steep and a little scary with such a large vehicle. We made it however and settled in for a wonderful dinner, good conversation and a restful sleep.
Tomorrow: RV going in for service, dinner meeting with Honor and Remember of Ohio, state director, Tom Mitchell.