Day 79 – Salem, OR

August 24, 2010 Tuesday,

Last night I met Paul and his sister Michele. Paul moves at about a hundred miles and hour and has been feverishly working on pulling together the best ceremony possible. He had been in touch with the veterans affairs office, legislators, Gold Star families and the PGR. It is an all consuming effort to pull people and places together and have it all work out smoothly. Paul was a bit concerned along the way at the lack of response in many directions but I will have to say it worked out most beautifully.

The event was held at the Iraq/Afghanistan memorial just south of the Capitol. It was very well attended by many many participants I would have to guess maybe one hundred including; legislators, Gold Star families and an amazing group of PGR.  The setting and the weather was absolutely beautiful. The venue was perfect. After I was able to share the message of my mission I was honored to bring tribute to two particular families. Mrs Pat Lucas in honor of her son killed in Iraq in 2005 and Mrs Betty Welsh in tribute to her son killed in Lebanon in 1984. It was extremely emotional to be able to remember these two lives in this way with so many onlookers bearing witness to this experience.

The PGR added such an amazing blessing to all, as they embody, in my opinion, the patriotic example this county needs.  Thanks to all who attended and shared this moment, thanks to the legislators who were touched enough to want to establish this in Oregon and to Paul for his amazing work in pulling this together. One side note please say a prayer for Paul because at the event he inadvertently ripped a ligament in his leg and ended up in terrible pain. He has since gone to the hospital but no word on the prognosis.

At the event today I met Linda and John Gibson, Gold Star parents to Sgt Brennan Gibson KIA 12-10-2006 Iraq. I will be headed to their home in Eugene for the night. I also met Jon Belona, who is the founder of Run for the Fallen. Jon and I have been corresponding for two years and he honored me by attending today and we will all be hanging out for the evening. looking forward to the fellowship!

Tomorrow: Travel day to Lakeview, OR

Blessings, George

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