Monday, July 20, 2009

Day 417 - Jul 20, 2009

We didn't really do anything today. I knew Kevin would sleep the bulk of the day so I took Rigney back to the airport by myself so that he could head back to Germany. Kevin really enjoyed having him here and I am so glad that Nate took the time to come.

I am also very glad that SSG Wilson and Sgt G (now civilian though) came. I only regret that I didn't get to spend any time with them, but Kevin did and that's more important. Here is a pic of the guys:

Tracy and her husband Jody came in and spent the day here with us. It was just a nice, relaxing time.

Ronnie also came in to visit Kevin on his lunch break from work. We sure love that boy!

And I did want to thank three more groups of people that were very important. There will be more, but I am too scatterbrained to think of everything at once, lol.

Anyway, I do want to thank the Patriot Guard and the Legion Riders (please excuse my ignorance if they are one and the same). It was so moving to have them take part in this ceremony (and in the parade too). I will say that as I came through the barrier the riders created on both nights, I felt so overwhelmed with thanks and I realized then the enormity of what had happened and how "big" it really is. Sounds strange, I know, but sometimes you are so busy living it, you just don't realize how unreal or how monumental it all is.

I also want to thank the Riverfest committee for allowing us to be part of the annual event. I know it added a lot more stress to the weekend, but we do appreciate it.

And to get to the photos - obviously I couldn't be taking any. I have a couple here, but a woman name Hallie sent me a link to her photos that she said I could share with everyone here. Thanks so much Hallie! They are awesome!

Click here to view them.

Here are two that I have:

If you read the comments on the blog, you may have heard of Howard the Duck. Here is a photo of him with Rick and Lorraine. Howard made Kevin smile many times throughout the last year.

I wish I had more photos...hopefully some more show up here, lol.

I do want to share the article in today's Post Gazette as well. You can view it by clicking here. Isn't that photo of Kevin and Breezy just so wonderful? (Rebecca - that totally makes up for the photos of me with a towel on my head, lol!!) There is also video of the ceremony that you can view by clicking here and more stories of other families that are going through similar situations.

And now I am going to answer two quick questions from comments that are a few days old.

Linda - I would love a copy of the Derrick if you still have it. I don't have access to that one at all.

Denver - you asked what I meant by Kevin's retirement...Kevin is still active-duty. I am working on getting him medically discharged, but it's quite the time consuming event apparently. I did research this extensively quite a while ago and because Kevin is basically in the VA system already, there is really just no reason to keep him active duty. I am sure there will be questions about this so y'all can just send them along.

And I think I am going to go eat two pieces of cake now (I can't decide between them so what the heck, right?). One from Joan, who makes the absolute best chocolate/peanut butter texas sheet cake and one from miss Patti who makes a white cake with raspberry filling that is utterly to die for! I am just so hungry!!


Simpleswine said...

I don't comment often, however, just for thought... Imho, it may be best to stay Active Duty, and possible get another Promotion, to SGT (E-5), which would give him a higher pay when he does Retire... just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie
I was not sure if you knew kevin made the front page of the NEWS-HERALD.And Breezy too. It is from Franklin Pa.
I have a copy of it for you just in case you don't have one. I will have Ronnie get it to you.

Jenna said...

Hi Leslie,

I'm not sure if you remember seeing us last night, but we were the family with the two young children sitting across from you at dinner. I couldn't believe it when I saw Kevin in person. I have never met either of you personally, but feel so connected through your blog. I wanted so badly to speak to you both last evening, but was sure you are all in need of a bit of quiet relaxation. Kevin looks amazing - even better than in the pictures. Anyway, had I gotten the nerve to go up to you guys last night, I would have said Thank you for doing what you do. Caregivers for wounded soldiers never get the compensation, gratitude, etc. they need and deserve. And please tell Kevin THANK YOU for sacrificing so much for all of us. I just wish there was more we could do for you and your family.

Anonymous said...


Did Kevin's father come to the ceremony?

Anonymous said...

Hello Leslie
I am Spc Jonathan Burke my mother (Ruthie Burke) has been keeping track of Kevin since his accident. I went through basic training with Kevin and I couldnt believe it when I found out he got injured in afganistan. I didnt know how to react which is why I waited until now to do so. I remember Kevin in basic as the one who always lightened the mood when everyone wanted to just give up. Your son is and always be in my prayers and thoughts I love seeing him recover how he is and just seeing that smile on his face requardless of his situation. im sorry for missing the purple heart ceremony, I wanted to be their I just couldnt get the time off. I havnt talked to kevin since basic but please let him know that my entire family is and has been praying for him and you since the accident. and will continue to until his full recovery. He is and always be a good man and soldier in my eyes. God Bless you, I will be praying for you. If you would like to reply my e-mail is
I would love to hear back from you, but please dont feel obligated

Jesse said...

Dear Leslie, I am an Iraq war vet and retired form the Army. I was at the parade Friday with the PGR. It was so heartwarming to see Kevin smiling and throwing candy to the kids. You have done a great job taking care of this true American heroe. Nothing we can do will ever repay him for the sacrifices he and your family have made. Never be ashamed or slow to ask for help or fight for what he deserves. He put his life on the line for this country and this country will never forget that.
Also for your information the PGR and Legion Riders are seperate groups but work together a lot and some people are members of both. I have freinds in FL that are near you and I will be down there in September if you ever need anything do not hesitate to call on us veterans your sons brothers and sisters! Gods blessings and speed to you all.
Jesse J. Mercure
SFC US Army retired

Anonymous said...

Kevin's Dad was not at the ceremony or any of the other events of this past week.

He felt it could create stress and that would not be fair to Kevin, Breezy or Leslie.

He did what he felt was best for everyone.

He stayed "involved" through other family members & friends who were there.

A Kammerdiener Family Member

Jodi said...

Hi Les, Kev, and Breezy!

I just got my computer up and running again, and I had to catch up on all that happened in the last 5 days. Everything looked like it went smooth and great! I watched the video and cried, and I looked at all the pictures and cried. Kevin, you look so great kiddo! I am so proud of you. Les & Breezy, you ladies looked so beautiful and poised. I really wish I could have been there, but I thought about all of you all weekend. I am glad all went well and Kevin got the recognition and honor as a hero such as himself deserves. Thank you for posting all the pics and links of everyone else's pic. Thank you for letting all of us be a part of it.

Andrew's Aunt Jodi

MOE said...

I have to say something about an early post from a Kammerdiener family memeber.......

It kills me that Tim claims the reason for not being at his own son's Purple Heart ceremony is because he didn't want to cause any stress. His own mother said it was because he knew people didn't like him. In either case is that any reason not to attend? I think not! He could of easily stood in the crowd and noone would of even known he was there, But "NO" he just chose to not go at all and make up stupid excuses of why he wasn't there. This was such an honor for his son, and he couldn't even grow a pair of balls and suck it up and just go!

"He did what he felt was best for everyone" That is pure BULL!!! He did what was best for "TIM" not everyone!

Tim stayed "involved" through family memebers....What?? Are you kidding me?? How involved is that? Hell, hearing someone talk about the ceremony and being there are two totally different things

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses.... I guess that's what we'll always just get from Tim!

Jessica said...

As always, it's great to see Kevin with his buddies. He always looks so happy. What a wonderful community you have to come together and support you the way they have. It's a shame that Kevin's dad couldn't be as supportive. I don't care how old you are, a kid always wants his father's support and approval.

Take care. You guys are always in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Leslie, The cermony was wonderful. What a turn out. I could not begin to pin point your angry against Tim & his family. I agree He could of stood in the crowd somewhere, somehow. I personally think that every member of his family should of been there aunt uncle cousins. Thank you for for giving the grandparents credit. I know i grew up with divorce parents. I don't care what any one says it effects the children. Because so many are selfish. I don't know Tim's reason for doing what he did. I don't agree with what he did. We all need to rise above and do what is right in God's eyes not are own. If I could take the hurt away from your family in the situation I would and so would many others. You need to come to peace with this in your heart somehow. How you get there is a rough road? Please cling to God to give you direction. You many have to forgive to move on in your life. If you have made the progress you have in the last year you can also truimph this situation also. Like you said don't burn your emotions on anger you have better things to do. Easier said then done I know. As Leslie, Kevin, Breezy and many others realize life turns on a dime. Would of you thought 2 years ago. That Kevin would be in this situation. We all need to realize that life is to short. As this family has. Kevin your support is out there. There was a tremdous amount of love in that crowd on Sunday. I am so sorry that Tim was not there for you. Your a brave man. Thank you for my and the freedom of my family. May the Lord give you guidance.