August 12, 2010
It was another herculean effort by Karen and the team back home to have sewn a personalized flag and shipped it in time for this mornings presentation. At 9am I walked into FedX at 143 Bozeman St and was handed the precious package. The ceremony was held at Fort Harrison in Helena in the medal of Honor Gardens there near the front gate. A number of participants were on hand for the event including the base chaplain, Gold Star families, Honor Guard, PGR and the media. The setting was very inspiring surrounded by the Rocky Mts around Helena.
I was able to speak for a while explaining the mission and then present to Ron and Donna Koontz the personalized flag that arrived that morning. The presentation was a complete surprise and when I called the family’s name to come forward there was utter shock. Actually I had forgotten myself it was a surprise and realized it when the overwhelming emotions of the moment spilled out.
My heart aches for each family as I am able to touch lives in this most special and unique way. I do not think that the general public quite understands the enormity of what this flag and its symbolism means to so many. It is only when one experiences the event and speaks to the families that the importance and significance unfolds.
My sincere thanks to Lisa and Jeff for arranging today’s tribute of Sgt Scott Dykman, 20 Dec 2006, Iraq.
After the ceremony we all headed to Buffalo wild wings to break bread and fellowship.
Following lunch a beautiful 2 hour drive from Helena thru the mountains, (thanks to Stan), we arrived in Missoula MT early evening and into a Walmart parking lot. Here with about 34 other RVs we weathered in for the night. I managed to convert the RV old VHS player to a DVD and was proud of myself for getting all the wiring correct. I love movies and at least now when I am at a Walmart I can occasionally rent a redbox. and maybe think about chineese.
Tomorrow: Missoula, MT Harley Davidson, meet and greet 9am.
PS: The back is coming along better, still a bit restricted and sore.