Sailor Recruits Enjoy A Magical Thanksgiving

“Welcome aboard the USS Thanksgiving! At the helm today, we have Captain George who will be steering us into a magical port called Oak Park, Illinois — a place where they have TVs….computers….phones….and good food.”

The thirty-four sailor recruits cheered and ooooorah’d as we pulled out of Great Lakes Naval Training Center heading for a Thanksgiving Day to remember. Most of them had been told they would be picked up and taken to a community soup kitchen to serve dinner to poor homeless people — they had no idea that Mother Goose and Company had made other plans for them!

The day started at 7:30 a.m. at the garage of Mid-America Charter Lines in Elk Grove Village, IL. Mother Goose had been chosen as the hostess with the mostest for this most exciting day — of course, as a Navy Mom, Mother Goose is very familiar with young sailors and relished the idea of riding the tour bus to pick up the recruits at the boot camp so bright and earlie in the morning.

Mother Goose and Captain George Kousakis in front of the 46 passenger tour bus!

Mother Goose and Captain George Kousakis in front of the 46 passenger tour bus!

We arrived at the base in plenty of time and with just a little bit of run-around, we loaded up the recruits. The U.S. Navy has implemented the Adopt-A-Sailor program for the recruits who can’t get home for the holidays. Organizations can apply to adopt as many recruits as they can accommodate, and if the application is accepted, you get to pick up your sailors for the day! It’s such a GREAT program! Look at their smiling faces!

Onboard the USS Thanksgiving...

Onboard the USS Thanksgiving…

We arrived in our magical port where the computers, phones, TV and food were warmed up and ready for them. The sailors politely lined up to remove their coats, scarves, gloves, and covers (hats) and then politely asked where the computers and phones were. AND THEN THEY STARTED SMILING AND DIDN’T STOP SMILING FOR THE NEXT EIGHT HOURS!!!

In boot camp (also referred to as basic training), the recruits are completely unplugged. There are no TVs, no radios or music, no computers, no phones, no internet — nothing but marching and training and discipline and eating their meals in five minutes. They learn new names for things — the bathroom is now the “head”, hats are now “covers”, time is now measured in 24-hour segments, they are known by their last names only and there is no hugging.

So Mother Goose hugged them all day long.

These sailors immediately found their way to Facebook, their emails, their favorite online games and surprised their moms and dads (and in some cases, their wives!) with phone calls. Most of the guys and gals had not heard the voices of their families since they left their hometowns for boot camp five or six weeks earlier! Imagine the tears on the cheeks of the moms all across the country as they heard the voices of their young sailors…

"Thank you, Ma'am.  Is this Heaven?"

“Thank you, Ma’am. Is this Heaven?”

Checking in with family across the country.

Checking in with family across the country.

This is Edward -- he's from Puerto Rico and not especially liking the Chicago winters...

This is Edward — he’s from Puerto Rico and not especially liking the Chicago winters…

Ms Melvina, her caterer friend Kimberly chatting it up with some happy recruits.

Ms Melvina, her caterer friend Kimberly chatting it up with some happy recruits.

Besides the young recruits, our amazing team at Easter Seals also invited the veterans in our community who participate in our programs and services. It was a wonderful mix of young and old, squids and old salts, volunteers from all walks of life serving turkeys and the fixin’s donated and cooked by so many gracious helpers. It was a team effort and those are the best kinds of efforts according to this goose.

Dear Erin cooked a turkey and connected us with the amazing bus!

Dear Erin cooked a turkey and connected us with the amazing bus!

Retired Army Drill Sergeant Daniel, his wife and son Ethan served all day long.  They are the owners of an amazing online biz, Gruntstyle.com.  GREAT place to go on Cyber Monday for some VERY cool and patriotic American apparel.

Retired Army Drill Sergeant Daniel, his wife and son Ethan served all day long. They are the owners of an amazing online biz, Gruntstyle.com. GREAT place to go on Cyber Monday for some VERY cool and patriotic American apparel.

So many smiles...

So many smiles…

IMG_0536

The food line was amazing!  Seven turkeys, two hams and a partridge in a pear tree!

The food line was amazing! Seven turkeys, two hams and a partridge in a pear tree!

Our dinner with the recruits and veterans had a full agenda, including the Presentation of Colors by the Oak Park Police Department, poetry reading by Ms Josie Pierce of the American Women of Oak Park and Austin, presentations of roses to veterans and live music by a really talented musician named Ernie.

Ernie sang with passion and style about America and love of country, love of God.

Ernie sang with passion and style about America and love of country, love of God.

And then it was time to climb back aboard the USS Thanksgiving and head back to the base…hugs and tears all around. As Mother Goose climbed onto the bus, the sailors started singing at the top of their lungs!

“Anchors Aweigh, my boys, Anchors Aweigh. Farewell to foreign shores, We sail at break of day-ay-ay-ay. Through our last night on shore, Drink to the foam, Until we meet once more. Here’s wishing you a happy voyage home.

Blue of the Mighty Deep; Gold of God’s Sun Let these colors be till all of time be done, done, done, On seven seas we learn Navy’s stern call: Faith, Courage, Service true, with Honor, Over Honor, Over All.”

When we arrived at the base, thirty four sailors filed out of the bus with thankful hearts and happy faces. Each and every one of them gave Mother Goose a GREAT BIG HUG and said “thank you” and “happy Thanksgiving” and “God bless you”. Mother Goose smiled…

The Goose Mans the Booth

Every weekend, indeed everyday, brings new opportunities to build awareness of the old Blue Star Banner tradition. Mother Goose and, of course, Mr. Goose have been spotted in several locations lately — making those connections to military families and explaining the benefits of having a banner hanging in their front windows.

Mark is completely in charge of setting up our booth and blowing up the balloons.  Thank you, dear!

Mark is completely in charge of setting up our booth and blowing up the balloons. Thank you, dear!

In fact, just this past weekend, we braved the drizzle and dropping temperatures in lovely, convenient Oak Park to occupy a booth at the 40th Annual Day in Our Village celebration. Thousands of local residents visited Scoville Park and were treated to tasty concessions, an excellent variety of live music, pony rides, face painting, hair dyeing, balloons, candy, a lot of brochures, information overload AND the opportunity to sign Thank You cards to send to the troops.

Love that kid in the front...

Love that kid in the front…

Yes, that’s dear Mother Goose manning the Blue Star Family Platoon booth!

You may notice that she is wearing large dark sunglasses even though the day is obviously overcast. Nobody even knew that behind those glamorous Hollywood shades, Mother Goose was hiding two hideous eye infections…

We had thousands of visitors to our booth and so many folks signed the Thank You cards. People care very much about our brave servicemen and women — often Americans really want to do something concrete to show their support, but are simply unaware or unsure of ways they can make a difference in the day of a soldier or sailor.

Hundreds of Americans signed cards to send to the troops!

Hundreds of Americans signed cards to send to the troops!

Mother Goose is always glad to provide those ways and opportunities.

A very special shout out to a friend of Mother Goose who showed up at the booth with a container of freshly baked bars to bolster the energy level of this goose. Regina is the mom to a very special Marine — a Purple Heart recipient who will be retiring from the Marine Corps this autumn. In fact, Regina and I met BECAUSE she had a Blue Star Banner in her front window!

Regina saved my life with her home-baked, still warm from the oven gooey bars.

Regina saved my life with her home-baked, still warm from the oven gooey bars.

THAT’s exactly why I do this for a living! Well, actually, I don’t get paid…yet.

I am working towards making that dream come true.

Doesn’t it seem like this would be the perfect career for this goose?

In the weeks to come you will be called on to support a very special project of mine. I will share details as the days draw nearer, but let me just say right now that Mother Goose is going way out on a limb with a military family support project that will dazzle you and bring a tear to your eye…

Enough said.

A Blatant Plug for the New Blog

Many of my most faithful readers have asked, “Where are you, Mother Goose? We miss your daily stories about people you know and places you go.”

And I do apologize for my seemingly absent stories, but I must tell you about the most exciting experience I’ve had in a long time! I met yesterday with a young man AND an older gentleman. Now before you get your undies in a bunch, please hear me out…

This was an interview I was conducting of a young U.S. Marine veteran who is now an accomplished and exhibited artist in the Chicagoland area. I am currently telling his story for all to hear over at that other Mother Goose blog, Mother Goose Salutes.

Of course, I am not one who likes to toot her own horn, per se. Or honk her own praises…

But this is such a great story about such an amazing man that I just have to invite you over there to read it. Here’s just a snippet from the story:

“I’m actually thankful for getting blown up in Iraq four times. I’m actually happier now being an artist rather than getting the business management degree I always thought I’d get.”

(Maybe you need to stop and read that quote again…)

Marine veteran and artist, Richard Casper at The Corner Bakery.

Marine veteran and artist, Richard Casper at The Corner Bakery.

Please consider this an open invitation to follow The Ballad of Richard Casper, a real life American hero with a vision to help other disabled veterans — perhaps to even save the lives of some of our returning troops who suffer from Traumatic Brain Injuries and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Love, Mother Goose

Mother Goose Begins Another Blog Project

In response to an overwhelming request for more stories about our brave servicemen and women and the families who support them, Mother Goose is honking for joy to announce the launch of a new project, Mother Goose Salutes.

http://mothergoosesalutes.wordpress.com/

The mission is over in Iraq (as far as we know anyway…), and I know that our country is drawing down and out of Afghanistan. We have troops and advisors around the world, but no new wars coming up after Afghanistan. More than a decade of war has left our nation tired and in need of healing and restoration.

But by the same token, we have thousands of veterans to care for now that the wars are ending. We still have families flying Blue Star Banners and praying for their soldiers and sailors and airmen and women. And now we have the new policy from the Defense Department lifting the ban on women in active combat duty. The higher ups are beginning to dialogue about a new Selective Service plan that might include women.

There are so many stories of heroes and so many local events honoring our Heroes. Mother Goose is running from person to person in the Chicagoland area telling them that military families have special needs and challenges. You can see the tracks of her big old rubbery feet in the fresh-fallen snow — she’s got so much ground to cover and so many stories to tell. The Goosemobile is warming up even now for an appointment to talk with a Gold Star Mother about her upcoming “Support the Troops” project.

Will you follow me on that exciting journey?

Will you join me?

Will you join me?

Are you afraid that Mother Goose will abandon her first love of telling heartwarming stories for the general public? Never fear! Mother Goose has been around for years and years telling those thought-provoking and tear-generating stories for all to hear. I’m not going anywhere far away, just another adventure around the corner.

With love and goosedown to stay warm today,
Mother Goose

To Honor our Brave American Veterans

The family of Mother Goose spent Friday evening in the company of 2,000 luminaria.

So sad and yet so beautiful — my picture doesn’t come close to capturing the magnitude of 2000 luminaria all lined up in rows. Reminiscent of Flanders Field, but with all the lights there was a feeling of hope.

Each year, Cantigny Park in Wheaton sets them up in the Grand Parade Field to honor and pay tribute to the men and women who have served our great nation. Each of the candles represents seven 1st Infantry Division soldiers killed in action from World War I to the present, a total of 13,599 as of August 2012. That’s just in the Big Red One. The candles also stand in memory of the more than 650,000 soldiers and sailors and airmen and women who have given their lives in combat in defense of our country since the Revolutionary War.

The First Division Museum at the park also presented a program which featured living history re-enactors reading War Letters — letters written from the “front” from the Revolutionary War to the present day. It was moving and sobering — and because warriors are also human, the letters frequently brought smiles and some laughter from the audience. America’s sons and daughters, husbands and wives, expressing their longing for home, their hatred of war, and mostly their love of family.

This is the lobby of the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park.

“War Letters” was accompanied by a multi-media presentation of music and pictures and film clips of soldiers in days gone by.

We brought two of our kids to this evening of remembering the veterans and soldiers. It is the hope of this old goose that my children will grow up to change our world into a place where peace is the only option. Though we honor and love our veterans and soldiers and their families, we mourn the mad loss of life and pray for peace in our land and in our hearts.

God bless you today.

Love, Mother Goose

“Where’s The Head?” and other questions…

Mother Goose with her family in tow reached the U.S. Navy frigate, USS De Wert, in the nick of time. We waited for the other passengers and tourists to disembark the water taxi and embark the military ship, and then tried to find our sea legs as we climbed the accommodation ladder (a ladder suspended over and inclining down the side of a ship to facilitate boarding the ship from boats).

Looking up and trying not to fall overboard, I was beholden of our beautiful stars and stripes — a fitting start to our tour of the ship.

Glad to know we are with fellow Americans.

As you can easily discern, once aboard the USS De Wert, Mother Goose quickly learned Navy lingo. And also because I am a goose, I immediately began searching for the rest room. Mother Goose even asked several sailors and tourists, “Where’s the head?” They were more than happy to show me — because I was using the correct terminology for ships and other watercraft.

There were brass plaques and signs throughout the ship, explaining the history of USS De Wert as well as departments onboard.

Of course, another question I asked the sailors was “Who is this ship named after?” And they were more than proud to tell me that story. The frigate was named for Hospitalman Richard De Wert (1931–1951). De Wert was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism while serving with the 7th Marines during the Korean War. Though wounded twice in battle, he continued to go out into the enemy fire to rescue other injured Marines. He was killed in action saving a friend.

Twenty-year old Hospitalman Richard De Wert was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for acts of valor during the Korean War.

A helicopter landing pad near the stern of the USS De Wert.

Mother Goose asked if a helicopter could actually land on this warship. “Yes,” replied the ensign who was acting as our official tour guide. “In fact, we even have two helo hangars.” And then she showed those places to us. By the way, it is more “navy” to call them “helos” so from now on, Mother Goose will be using that word…

As a naval warship and anti-piracy craft, we would expect to see some weapons. We saw quite a few mounted along the rail of the ship.

This is a real gun. And the real husband of Mother Goose…

We also saw guns slung across the backs of several uniformed sailors.

A real sailor talking with the real husband of Mother Goose.

Mother Goose asked, “So where do you keep the big guns?”

Navy Ensign with the sweet white cover showed us the big guns.

Here’s the back of the mounted machine gun. Very powerful weaponry, friends.

Bad guys, beware!

M.Goose in the bow of the boat. Perhaps she is dreaming of joining the U.S. Navy and seeing the world… So many ports, so little time…

USS De Wert, a powerful Navy ship with an excellent crew of sailors onboard. Land ahoy! There’s the great city of Chicago on the horizon!

Mother Goose had one last question. “Do you know how many sailors there are in the U.S. Navy?”

The good folks at Wikipedia were proud to answer that question: The service has 321,053 personnel on active duty and 106,188 in the Navy Reserve. It operates 286 ships in active service and more than 3,700 aircraft.

Please remember to pray for our servicemen and women on the land and on the sea and in the air — don’t forget that there’s still a war being waged in Afghanistan with American sons and daughters dying everyday in the name of freedom.

According to this Associated Press report, “In July, 40 U.S. servicemembers died in Afghanistan in the deadliest month for American troops so far this year. At least 31 have been killed this month — seven when a helicopter crashed during a firefight with insurgents in what was one of the deadliest air disasters of the war. Ten others were gunned down in attacks from members of the Afghan security forces — either disgruntled turncoats or Taliban infiltrators.” http://www.military.com/daily-news/2012/08/22/americans-tune-out-afghan-war-as-fighting-rages-on.html?ESRC=eb.nl

Since the war began in Afghanistan in October 2001, we’ve lost 2,000 men and women.

Isn’t it time to bring our soldiers home? Enough is enough.

Love, Mother Goose

Anchors Aweigh for Mother Goose

Did any of the brave sailors on the USS De Wert realize that Mother Goose came aboard yesterday afternoon? What a surprise it would have been to them all had I taken off my disguise! No doubt I would have been recognized and immediately shuffled to the head of the tour line.

Perhaps they would have wanted to have their picture taken with me…

At the very least, the commander of the ship would have invited me to dinner in the officers’ galley, and I would have told him an amusing story or two..

It took a great deal of self-restraint on the part of Mother Goose, but my true identity remained intact whilst we explored this very powerful naval warship from top to bottom, forward and aft, bow to stern, crow’s nest to hull and all points in between. It was a wonderful and unforgettable experience.

The ship was anchored off the coast of Chicago this past week as a celebration of the War of 1812 Bicentennial and the spirit of goodwill and good neighborliness with Canada since the time of the demilitarization of the Great Lakes. There were several ships to tour — Canadian and U.S. Coast Guard cutters and patrol boats were moored at Navy Pier.

Canadian boats, HMCS Moncton and HMCS Summerside moored side by side on the north side of Navy Pier, Chicago

We love the pageantry of banners and flags.

Very Canadian. Very nice.

But you know Mother Goose…if there’s a bigger and better Navy ship to tour, she’ll wait in line for more than two hours in the blazing hot August sun for just a chance to see it up close and personal. To me, it was the chance of a life time.

USS De Wert is waaaaay out there on the lake.

A random and very friendly sailor in his dress whites. He patiently answered many people’s questions.

As we waited, Mother Goose remembered that this very same ship, USS De Wert, was in the news last year as it carried out anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia. The ship and its crew was also instrumental in the rescue of an Italian boat which had been captured by Somalian pirates. All I can say is, “Go Navy! Honk honk!”.

The Chicago skyline was beautiful as we sped away.

Our group of warship-bound tourists boarded a water taxi which very quickly delivered us about a mile out into Lake Michigan to where the De Wert was anchored. What a beautiful sight to behold our glorious American flag flying in the stiff lake breezes. It made me want to start singing our national anthem…

USS De Wert is a REAL Navy warship. Mother Goose puffed up with much patriotic pride as we drew closer…

Please come back tomorrow if you’d like to go take the tour of USS De Wert with Mother Goose and her family.

Chicago’s lighthouse

Biker Goose

This past weekend, Mother Goose attended a local festival, Rockin’ for the Troops, a fantastic fundraiser for the organization Operation Support our Troops — America. Beside “manning” (or goosing) the exhibit table in the Expo Tent on behalf of the Blue Star Banner tradition, we also enjoyed many different aspects of the festival.

What’s a festival without an inflatable airman?

There were many bands on the stage Saturday, but one of the most wonderful was a group out of Chicago known as The Voice. They perform mostly classic Motown hits, and they do it with a great passion!

The Voice in their peach-flavored, nice-tailored suits. These guys were HOT!

And, of course, headlining the concert was the Lt. Dan Band, featuring Gary Sinise. This cover band is so wonderful — Gary takes them on USO tours around the world to entertain the troops in harm’s way. I believe he said they had been out on eleven tours this year already. Gary has a GREAT patriotic heart, and is involved in so many ways making life better for the troops and veterans, including his own Gary Sinise foundation and Operation Iraqi Children.

Of course, Mother Goose could not get close enough to him to honk “I love you, Gary!” in his ear, but the nice people at Wikipedia have let me borrow this picture of Gary taken a couple years ago in Chicago.

One heckuva patriot, Gary Sinise…

One of the biggest thrills for Mother Goose was about midway through the evening when the Wild Fire Chapter of Villa Park came riding into the park — you could hear the sweet roar of Harley-Davidson motorcycles and see the crowd rise to their feet in salute for these fun people. Bikers are actually really nice folks. And with the natural shift in demographics these days, most bikers are actually the same age as Mother Goose — some older, some younger, but mostly they are people just like us! Seriously! Here are some pictures of some awesome bikes:

As far as the eye could see…

So much shiny chrome, it burned the eyes of the goose.

This bike was painted to honor the memory of 9/11. It was breathtaking in person, and stopped us in our tracks.

Port side view of the 9/11 bike. Or maybe it’s the starboard side? I don’t know, I’m only a goose, not a sailor…

Certainly you are asking yourself, “Why is Mother Goose so intensely interested in bikers and Harley-Davidson motorcycles?”

Mother Goose and Brother Goose

Maybe it’s in my genes…

Biker Goose is done puffing up her patriotic feathers for now. God bless our brave troops!

Acts of Valor in Colorado

I am quite certain that many of my patriotic friends have seen the movie and now the DVD, Act of Valor. This is a true-to-life movie about U.S. Navy Seals, starring REAL Seals involved in REAL Seal activities. It’s very well done, and Mother Goose has mentioned it before, of course. And because Mother Goose is such a patriotic person herself, she listens to the movie soundtrack and in fact, keeps it in the Goosemobile at all times.

Today as I was driving out to the western suburbs to have an iced coffee with a dear friend, I had the volume turned up. Way up high and singing along with the first song on the CD. It’s called “For You” — and it’s a heartfelt song written and performed by Keith Urban. Here’s a YouTube video of the song if you are at all interested…

I believe that Mr. Urban wrote it especially for the movie, but today it means even more as we consider the heroes in Aurora, Colorado last Friday.

Three of the men who perished in the movie theater were military guys: a sailor, an airman and a Navy veteran.

Petty Officer John Larimer

Staff Sgt. Jesse Childress

Navy veteran and father Jonathan Blunk

Each of these brave soldiers and sailors died protecting and saving somebody they cared about. Each of them took a bullet that would have killed someone else. Look at the opening lyrics to Mr. Urban’s song:

Well, all I saw was smoke and fire…
I didn’t feel a thing.
But suddenly I was rising higher…
And I felt like I just made… the biggest mistake.
When I thought about my unborn child…
When I thought about my wife…
And the answer rang out CLEAR from somewhere up above

No greater gift has man, then to lay down his life for Love.

And I wondered, would I give my life?
Could I make that sacrifice?
If it came down to it, could I take the bullet… I would
Yes I would, For You

And so the tears rolled down the feathery cheeks of Mother Goose one more time as she considered the lives of these brave men and the ultimate sacrifice they made last Friday in Colorado.

Though I am a goose, I ask myself sometimes, “What makes a hero?” What is inside a person to cause him to throw himself (or herself) into harm’s way without any rational thought to his own safety, but only considering the welfare and protection of another human being? I don’t know…

Are we born with that automatic response? Is it something they train the guys to do when they are in boot camp? But there are heroes outside of the military, of course. What lies within the heart of a person that they would put another before themselves, especially in a crisis where there is no time for thought? How do they take on death in place of another human?

In accounts of all three of these men, they had mentioned to people in their lives that they would in fact die for another person if need be. All three of them had already thought this through and had made up their minds about it! To me, that is so amazing! These men are not fools. They are not glory-seekers. They are not death-wishers.

They simply love.

They just know that dying for someone is the ultimate love.

They lived out their lives with the rich acceptance that dying for love is everything.

It goes against every instinct within us. All of our instincts point to survival, not sacrifice. Instinct says “every man for himself” and “look out for number one”.

It’s just all about love, dear friends. Please be kind to one another today. Please pray for the families and friends of John, Jesse and Jonathan.

Mother Goose Rocks the Expo Tent

Mother Goose had the great joy and privilege of attending the 7th Annual Rockin’ for the Troops festival yesterday at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, IL. This family-friendly event is the primary fundraiser for Operation Support our Troops — America, a great patriotic organization that has been packing boxes of supplies and goodies and sending them overseas to our men and women in harm’s way. Headlining the concert was Gary Sinise’s Lt. Dan Band. WOW!

You are probably thinking that Mother Goose spent the day with Gary. Perhaps you are wondering if I was on the stage singing with the Lt. Dan Band. Maybe you’d like to see a picture of Mother Goose dancing with Mr. Sinise…

Well, I’m sorry to report I don’t have any pictures of any of those circumstances.

But it was still a rockin’ good time!

We arrived at the park early on in the hot sunny day as representatives of Blue Star Banners. We were ushered into the Expo Tent with our boxes of supplies and our brochures and our banners and our balloons and our basket of candies. We quickly set up our exhibit — concert goers and curious tent crawlers were already milling around to see what sort of goodies might be available for free.

Just a little background on the Blue Star Banner…originally designed and implemented during WWI and seen in windows ever since, the service flag has a blue star on a field of white to symbolize a member of the family serving in the Armed Forces of the United States of America. Mother Goose, of course, has a banner with two blue stars representing her sons, Adam and Erik, who serve in the U.S. Navy. I have a deep burning desire to see these banners displayed in the windows of homes across our communities and nation.

Sometimes we Americans forget that we are at war and that our precious sons and daughters, our brave husbands and wives are making sacrifices each and everyday around the globe to protect our freedom here. Hence, the banner in the window serves as a reminder to the neighborhood that freedom is never free. In our society, military families are often invisible until there is a tragedy in the news. The Blue Star Banner gives recognition to military families because they deserve to be known for their daily sacrifice, and hopefully never need to replace a blue star with a gold star, the ultimate sacrifice.

So here are some photos of your friend, Mother Goose, honking and flapping about Blue Star Banners at the Expo Tent at Rockin’ for the Troops!

How wonderful that our exhibit table was right next to the industrial fan! I didn’t mind at all…

How much patriotism can one goose display?

I met so many nice folks and chatted happily about banners until I was hoarse. America is filled with GREAT people, and I think I met most of them at the Expo Tent.

I made many new friends, and got face-to-face greetings and hugs from many people I have only known from afar ala facebook and email. By the way, have you been to the Blue Star Banner page on Facebook? It’s a really neat virtual place to see banners hanging in the windows AND faces of the men and women we call our Heroes. Please click on the little box over there on the right and you’ll end up in Blue Star Banner land. You can even “like” us if you’re feelin’ it…

Mother Goose wants to tell you all about the concert itself, but let’s just stop here for now.

I learned last night that one of the servicemen who was tragically killed in Aurora on Friday was a local sailor. Please bow your heads today and pray for the family and friends of Petty Officer John T. Larimer of Crystal Lake, Illinois. This is a sad time for America — please be kind to the people in your circles today. Love, Mother Goose

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