July 15, 2010
It was an early morning for us as we left the beautiful home of the Deraps, a filling breakfast a full gas tank and a fixed rear end. Dale and his crew had helped us tremendously and his business Advanced Chimney was amazing.
On our way at 6am headed 4 hours to our next destination state Kansas. Our trip was arranged by Dianna and the Gold Star mothers of KS. We were headed toward an unknown location in Ft Leavenworth because the mothers had found out that Westboro Baptist was planning on openly protesting our visit in Topeka and at the base. We ended up arranging the ceremony at a local VFW to over 200 PGR, VFW members, Gold Star families and invited legislators and active duty military. The ceremony was extremely touching and ended with three personalized flag presentations, to Vietnam mother Betty Puliam, Gold Star Parents Bill & Virginia Harris and Cindy and Jim Butler. The support at this event was amazing.
Afterwords we were taken on base to the Training center and given a personal tour of the officer training facility which is one of the most modern and technologically advanced as I have ever seen. The integration of teaching and electronics and communication capability was unsurpassed. the tour was conducted by Col Lynn Rolf who was one of the original designers and project manager. Our visit was followed by a spectacular lunch with many of the mothers and friends. This is my heart, to be able to share with families, add new friends to my family and hear stories f their incredible loved ones. These are the heroes that make this country strong and free. Resting tonight at the home of a wonderful Gold Star family.
Tomorrow: Five hour trip to Lincoln, NE. Ceremony at statehouse 2pm.