We were invited to join NTI nursing school in Springdale, AR to celebrate and honor our Veterans. They offered to allow us to set up a table and sell our Wings for Our Troops t-shirts and share our story. We were suppose to be silent participants (in my opinion), but they graciously allowed us to sell our t-shirts and with every t-shirt sold they would receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win some great prizes donated from several businesses throughout the Northwest Arkansas area. There were many who just gave cash donations and the others bought t-shirts. We ended up raising $526.00 from t-shirt sales and cash donations! It was truly a blessing to see how people really care. It will warm your heart to witness things like that.
Everyone also had a chance to purchase a balloon and put the name of a Veteran in memory or in honor of and release them at noon. They ran out of red, white, and blue balloons so when they went to get additional balloons they found orange ones. Tennessee orange balloons! 🙂 It was so cool and Wendy Jones gave Tebo and I orange balloons with Chad’s name on them to release. It warmed our hearts.
The staff and students at NTI were just so wonderful and made us feel so welcomed. In addition to all the staff and students along with Veterans that were there to help celebrate, were also some of the “Nuts”. Clint, Billy, Chris, Emily (she is a student and Clint’s wife), Wendy (Emily’s mom), and Tory came to show support and love to our Veterans and to show how much Chad means to them as well as us. It is the most amazing thing to see these young men and women support and encourage us even after almost 2 years. It truly shows me they were Chad’s friends forever. As a parent, there is a huge amount of comfort that comes from knowing your child’s friends are true friends forever even when your child is no longer on this earth.
All in all it was a great day yesterday. It was bittersweet to say the very least, but it was a great day. We got to honor some Veterans that may not have been appreciated as much in the past and that makes anyone feel good. Thank you to all Veterans past, present, and future. You are not forgotten and you are truly appreicated for your service and all your sacrifice.