Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 881 - Oct 27, 2010

Wow. Lots of pictures. Lots of links. I wanted to share with y'all all of the newscasts and links and articles and things that that have been sent to me. If I have missed anything, please feel free to let me know (either through the blog comments or via email - on the right somewhere). Video

USF Article

WTSP News Video

ABC News Video

Bay News 9 Article

Bay News 9 Video

Tampa Tribune

Tampa Tribune Article 1

Ok - I apologize if any of these are redundant. I started it a while ago and since then had to run to the airport and pick Breezy and Chris up.

And now here are a ton of photos of yesterday. There are so many, but I narrowed it down to give you guys a nice rounding of events.

This is Mike from Operation American Pride. He was in charge of this whole welcome and he also raised the money for Kevin's iPad. Thank you so much, Mike!

A couple of these photos have a woman handing Kevin a flag. This is a special flag that was flown at Ground Zero and if I am not mistaken Kevin is the first wounded soldier to have the honor of 'holding onto it' for a few weeks. It was presented to him from the new Chief of Staff at the VA hospital here in Tampa.

This was truly an amazing event - ranking right up there with his Purple Heart Ceremony in East Brady!

And it was so nice to meet some of our neighbors! We haven't ever really had a chance to meet many of them before now (who am I kidding - most of these homes weren't even built when we left, lol), but it's really great talking to folks.

But now - it's time to get things taken care of here. Like that sprinkler system that isn't working on one side of the house and the ice maker that doesn't really like to make ice and all those other stupid little things that need taken care of. It's just so hard to do these kinds of things when you are so far away...

But before I go, once again - A HUGE THANK YOU to all of the folks that made yesterday a special day. Apparently even the folks at Southwest Airlines knew of this because they boarded him first and made everyone else wait until the was completely settled (even though he was at the end of the handicapped line) and they announced it in-flight that he was a wounded hero and the stewardess doted on him the whole time. She knew his name and story before we even boarded.

We also had some members of the police escorting us at times and stopping traffic for the procession. When we got close to the house, there were also people standing in the middle lanes of the roads with banners and signs.

Kevin just grinned all night from ear to ear!


GrannieEv said...

How absolutely wonderful!

Mary Neal said...

Aw Leslie, that made me cry. Kevin and all our soldiers deserve that kind of a welcome.

Flee said...

This was beautiful!! Typing with tears streaming down my face!!

Anonymous said...

This is so absolutely beautiful! Kevin so deserves this (not to mention his family also). I was able to share in the purple heart ceremony. My daughter was with me. She could not understand why tears rolled down my face many times during that ceremony. Tears are rolling again. My heart hurts for you and your family for all that Kevin has had to endure. NOBODY deserves the pain and suffering he has been through, thus putting you through it also BUT in some little way, this jesture makes us all aware that there are still REAL people in the world. People who love and care about total strangers. Those who will recognize the sacrifices of others and understand REALLY what this country was founded on and what the military is all about. It truly is a brotherhood. I did not serve (although I have served the veterans for 26 years)- I do understand the bond.
I so much admire you for the time, effort, love you have given in the worst possible times and to Kevin - your sacrifice was an incredibly huge sacrifice, thank you for stepping up to the plate and serving. Thank you for being the person you were and the person you are now. You are an incredible young man. God bless you!

Melody (lacyquilter) said...

Very cool. Love the bike procession. So deserved.

Tina said...

I still have tears in my wonderful!!! Thanks for sharing that with us!! You both deserved that 8 )
Hugs from El Paso,

Anonymous said...

So well deserved.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your day with us! What a welcome home!!! :)
I hope Kevin is feeling better too.
Take care and enjoy being home!
Kathy in IA

Anonymous said...

Leslie, I really don't know how you keep it together. I know that you have had some really rough roads and all of his amazing kindness doens't make it all better, but I just can't stop crying. There are wonderful people out there, thanks so much for sharing.


bearlythr said...

I think its wonderful that Kevin was shown the honor and love that so many of us in this country feel for our heros. So much of the time we just dont have a way to show it....
God bless you, Kevin and the rest of your family and may any bumps in the road be small ones.
Always in my prayers,

Cathy M said...

Awwww, you got me crying again.

Anonymous said...

That was so great to see all the pictures. I was exhilarated to see all the people out to thank and support Kevin. It's something that I would have loved to experience in person. It conveys the message that so many of us would love to share...KEVIN,...thank you for your sacrifice and love of this country. We appreciate it so much.
Leslie, thanks for being the Mom that instilled such ideals in your son on this country's behalf. Hang in there, we support you and pray for you all. God Bless America!

Martha K said...

Leslie how WONDERFUL for all of you it's times like this that makes you proud of our country when you see all the caring ,respect and good wishes welcoming you home. Thanks for sharing. Martha K

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! How awesome for all of you!
You all deserved that and so much more. As always we continue to pray for all of you.
Melissa Ion

Michelle Long said...

Well, it is pretty hard to read all the comments with tears rolling down my face also.. LOL! But I am so happy Kevin got the reconition he deserves. You are awesome Les! Great pictures. Thanks for posting them!

Long-time RN said...

How exciting! I've got tears rolling like so many above. To think you guys were in the ER a short time before this, you're both amazing! Wonderful to see Kevin walking through the crowd and the wonderful welcome for the arrival to Tampa. High five to you both and to the organizers of the welcome!

Thanks so much for providing the links.

Jessica said...

What a wonderful homecoming! God bless Mike and OAP for making it happen. I'm so glad that Kevin was well enough to enjoy it and could see how many people appreciate him. It was great to see the news videos and see his face as he took it all in! All those motorcycles must have been quite a sight. I've been thinking of you all and keeping you in my prayers. Take care.

East Coast Pizza said...

Welcome Home Kevin from East Coast Pizza Staff

Miss Em said...

What a fantastic welcome home!!!!
I am really surprised that Kevin wasn't wanting to be the "dare-devil" by asking for a ride on one of the 'Bikes'. I'm sure that one of them would have taken him for a short one and all of the other riders would have gone just to make certain that no cars got to close.
Nothing like the feel of the wind on ones face as you bounce down the highway. ;~)
Kevin hope you are enjoying the pool.
Leslie, take more than a few minutes and have some quiet time with your MOM and DAD. Sometimes that is the best medicine around.

Miss Em