I'm so happy that I get to write this post on Veteran's Day...it could not be more perfect timing. Before I tell you about my trip, I want to say how incredibly grateful I am for the sacrifices of the men, women, and their families who have served and are currently serving our country. I think it's easy to keep our blinders on, to stay so focused on our lives, that we forget that there are those that are risking their lives everyday---every moment of every day--for each one of us. We see things on the news, horrible tragedies and deaths in war zones, we think how terrible and sad it is, then we turn around and go on with all the things we have the privilege of doing, thanks to those very soldiers. I've learned a lot in the past couple of months. I've spoken to military spouses, who have shared their struggles, concerns, and sacrifices. I personally cannot even imagine having my husband gone for 12 months, 15 months, or even 4 months. My gratitude is just as strong for these spouses who give their husbands and all that entails, children who give their fathers, and families that give their time together on our behalf. I've also seen and spoken to veterans, back from war, who have seen unspeakable violence, that lived in conditions that I have a hard time even conjuring, and who were willing to give their very lives for you, and for me. Whatever your political affiliations, whomever you voted for last week, whether you believe in large government or small government, you have the ability and freedom to voice and exercise those opinions because of others. It's too important to forget, or take for granted, and we should feel just as personally involved when we see those tragedies as if one of our own was lost...because they were.
I've made a commitment to take my blinders off, to be more aware, and to find ways to help. It doesn't have to be big, it just has to be sincere. Happy Veteran's Day to all soldiers...and to my own grandfather, father, father-in-law, and brothers who have honorably served (and one that still is serving) their country. You all deserve the very most we can give.
I was privileged this past weekend to travel to Columbus, OH, along with three other fellow bloggers, to the campus of Ohio State University, to work with The Home Depot Foundation, and the Celebration of Service to update and renovate an on-campus house for student veterans. What a whirlwind!
According to The Office of Military and Veterans Services, Ohio State as over 1600 students that are veterans and active duty members of the military, and over 1000 members of their staff and faculty are veterans. The home is owned by The Ohio State University Office of Student Life, which can house up to 10 student military veterans at a time.
We started the day by gathering with all of the volunteers from The Home Depot, talking about what needed to be accomplished, dividing up responsibility, and of course, doing The Home Depot cheer. :) The coordinators and directors of this event from both The Home Depot Foundation and Ohio State were wonderful, and all of their hard work was paying off. It was such a pleasure to work with them all!
I was assigned to painting duty on the third floor, where we would be painting walls and ceilings. At the same time, new flooring would be going on, which proved to be quite the challenge. This is an old home, and while very beautiful, the hallways are very narrow. It was actually quite comical at times as we all piled in, squeezed by each other, and painted over each other's heads. We worked it out, though!!! Simultaneously, painting and flooring was also going on on the second floor, landscaping was being done outside, and a shed was being built to store bikes and other items.
We had a blast painting, and talking to all of the other volunteers. They were all so amazing, and such hard workers, that he work went very quickly.
Here all four of us are together...
Traci from Beneath My Heart
Lori from Witty Little Secret
Gail from My Repurposed Life
I was especially touched by all the messages that were left for us on their doors by the veterans, expressing their appreciation.
All in all, it was such a wonderful trip, and the house looked amazing! I'm so grateful to The Home Depot, for the opportunity to be involved with this incredible network; to The Home Depot volunteers, for volunteering their own time and talents, and most especially to the veterans.
I'm so looking forward to my next venture...here in my own town! I have the opportunity to serve a family here locally, and I can't wait to meet them and know who they are. I will definitely fill you in as soon as I know!
The Home Depot partnered with bloggers such as me for their Celebration of Service Blog Network. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.