Day 97 – Lompoc, Santa Monica, Riverside, CA

September 12, 2010

Today was planned to be a very busy day. I will be back on that breakneck pace for the entire day.  It started out at breakfast with Debbie and her friends at the American Legion in Lompoc. It was one more opportunity to share the vision and eat among veterans. This was an extra special morning because I had a surprise noone knew about. Debbie has been on my list for a flag for quite sometime and she insisted that I not present her one this visit. We wanted to focus on the Vietnam families last night. However this morning I did present her with a flag in honor of Derek.  Surprises are what I like best and there are a few more planned on the trip.  It was my honor to give her this tribute for many reasons but especially because it touches my heart to continue the mission.

I met many wonderful people in this city many I will not remember their names, But thank you all for the wonderful experience Sherry, Randy, Joe, Petros, Jo, John, Tom and many others especially little Derek my basketball buddy , Debbie’s grandson who last night led the pledge of allegiance so proudly. He is the son of her younger son John.

Moving on I had a three hour drive to Santa Monica, where Terrie Hobson my CA project manager had set up a speaking opportunity on the beach there. Every Sunday thousands of crosses are planted in the sand in memory of all lives lost in the war on terror. Today being escorted by a marine color guard I was able to share my vision with several hundred on the beach. I also met Vietnam veteran Dusty Diamond a hardened vet with years of experiences behind him. An honor to meet such a dedicated individual so consumed with helping other vets less fortunate than himself.

After Santa Monica I visited my son Kenny who lives just a few miles from here and then later I drove the 80 miles to Riverside where I met at American Legion Post 79 to speak. This is the post that initiated, thru long time supporter Ray Trosper, the resolution which was accepted by the AL Dept of California, adopting Honor and Remember as their symbol of remembrance. Many attended this evening including several Gold Star families, Legion members and active duty National Guard. It was an intimate gathering and another wonderful opportunity to share.

I drove the 80 miles back to LA to stay with Kenny and for a welcome visit with my son. We happen to be a Redskin family and this is opening day against the Cowboys. However my trip to Riverside will not allow me to watch  and hopefully Ill get the highlights tomorrow.  One of my dreams is to have professional sports teams wearing Honor and Remember patches for one game. Maybe next year.

Tomorrow: Nothing I hope

Blessings, George