On my vacation to Australia, I met a professor and historian who told me about an ancient Aborigines culture about aging. (This was also confirmed when reading ”Mutant Message from Down Under” upon my return). They do not believe in celebrating birthdays, because people automatically get older. What happens to a person on the inside of their heart and mind is what is important. So, the ancients passed along the tradition of “getting better”.
At some point in the year, a person is allowed to call together a gathering of people to celebrate, when that person feels they have “gotten better”. This year, I am not celebrating the fact that I have grown older. Definitely wiser and more mature (except when I act like a child … hehe) and am on a path of enlightenment. For those of you who have asked what my New Years resolution is … it would be difficult to top last year.
2010 was my year to do something “extraordinary” every month. As I look back over the past year, I am smiling on the inside out, from having accomplished that task. There probably has never been a year where I crammed so much in 365 days than 2010. Take a walk with me, or a scroll …
January - Started off the year with a bang, by being featured as a hero in People Magazine
People Magazine, January 11, 2011
Spent quality time with friends I love like family in Arcata, California for my birthday & had a whole lot of help making fudge and Valentines for our Wounded Warriors
The Sky Angel's birthday trip to Kristina's 2010
Visited Wounded Warriors @ Landstuhl in Germany through Airline Ambassadors
LRMC Wounded Warriors ~ Germany, January 2010
February - Was part of a very special gift to one of my valiant heroes, as I provided a buddy pass, and escorted his fiance’ (she is from Ireland) to Ft. Polk, LA to visit before his second deployment to Afghanistan with the National Guard
Visiting with our troops before they deployed to Afghanistan
Was invited and attended a select pre-screening of the Gary Sinise & Lt. Dan Band documentary in Los Angeles
Also attended Reality Cares fundraiser in LA for Can-Do.org & helped promote awareness to Eric Klein’s humanitarian efforts
The Sky Angel with a great humanitarian, Eric Klein of can-do.org
March – attended Gary Sinise & Lt. Dan Band concert, where I got to meet “Lt. Dan’ (aka Mack Taylor from CSI NY) in person & talk to him briefly about “Operation Iraqi Children” & “Operation Gratitude” (took one of my Navy heroes to the concert, too!)
The Sky Angel just before the concert, New York City
Spent St. Patrick’s Day with my dear friend, Karen, in Charleston, SC
Went to Tijuana, Mexico to procure another TIGGER pinata for our troops overseas
This website was born (thank you so much to my webmaster and friend for helping throughout the year!!!)
Volunteered at an International Womens Day fund raiser in WA DC for Haiti relief efforts with Airline Ambassadors
April - volunteered in Haiti for a week helping my friend, Eric Klein at CAN-DO.org and was deeply touched by the tenacity of the human spirit
Orphanage in Haiti ~ April 2010
May – attended a graduation at Embry Riddle University in Prescott, AZ, where we witnessed students being sworn in as Officers to the US Armed Forces. (it was awesome!!)
Was in the hospital for 5 days with a kidney infection and some form of sepsis (infection of the blood) from a parasite I apparently had in my bladder from being in Haiti (who knew???). Spent extra days recuperating in Pennsylvania with friends.
Had a friend suggest that I start taking TIGGER with me everywhere and take pictures. Whenever our troops see TIGGER, it is my tribute them.
Tigger pinata sent to National Guard unit in Afghanistan, 2010
Spent an afternoon in Baltimore, where I got to visit with one of my heroes who was home on R&R (Sgt. Carlos Castro)
June - Was in the right place at the right time to give one of the heroes I had been supporting, Sgt Jonathan Kirkendall a ride from the airport to meet up with his beautiful family when he as home on leave. (it was the first time we had ever met!)
Attended a heroes wedding in Portland, Oregon (Ed was the first recipient of a TIGGER pinata when he was deployed to Afghanistan with the National Guard)
Spent time visiting my parents best friends (& my adopted family) for their 50th Wedding anniversary (love you, Jan & Lerry!!)
Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary, Jan & Lerry!!
July – featured as one of the heroes in “Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes 2″ by Steve Flairty (what a huge compliment!! Thank you so much, Steve!!)
Flew to Philadelphia and helped a dear friend study to get her FAA recertification, after she was out of work for 8 months due to illness.
Visited with a couple of heroes while on a layover in Columbia, SC (Ft. Gordon)
August – attended 30 year high school reunion in Bothell, WA
September – helped throw a 40th birthday party for my dear friend,Tracy, in Laughlin, NV
Accomplished my 10 year goal of seeing the last of the 7 Natural & 7 Man Made Wonders of the World, vacation in Australia and snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. (an AMAZING adventure!!! Thanks for joining me, Grunge!!)
10 years, 7 Man Made & 7 Natural Wonders of the World ... what's next? hehehe
Spoke at Center Street United Methodist Church in Portsmouth, Ohio to update them on my progress in supporting our troops & the importance of “Mail Call for Our Heroes” & did a book signing with Steve Flairty … then we all went to a heroes house for lunch! What an amazing group of people!!
Volunteered with co-workers in Cincinnati to help build a Habitat for Humanity house
October -Sent the TIGGER pinata procured in Mexico to Spc. AJ Kirkendall and his 101st Airborne Unit in Afghanistan
Had a very successful fund raiser in Hadlock, WA for Christmas Care Packages for our Valiant Heroes in Iraq & Afghanistan (thanks to “Angel 2″ for orchestrating this & the folks @ Valley Tavern for each of your efforts!)
Valley Tavern Fundraiser, October 2010
Completed my own FAA recertification (I get to be a flight attendant for another year, YEAH!! )
Visited Wounded Warriors at Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Maryland
Commandant Amos & his lovely wife, Bonnie - Bethesda, Oct 2010
November – sent 8 Christmas trees with decorations, and a whole lot of “surprise” care packages to 8 different units on the battlefields of Iraq & Afghanistan, including 190 calling cards from SPA WARE to enable them to call home for the holidays as part of “Mail Call for Our Heroes”
Attended “Stand Up For Heroes” with Rafael & Angie in NYC thanks to Bob Woodruff and the kind folks at Remind.org
The Sky Angel stopped by Rockefeller Center on her way to "Stand Up For Heroes"
December - Visited Wounded Warriors at Bethesda, and attended a Christmas Party at Walter Reed Medical Center, hosted by Operation Home Front
Bethesda Naval Medical Center, Maryland ~ December 2010
Early Christmas in Seattle with family & a small group of friends
Some friendships last a lifetime ...
Sent out the remaining goodies I had collected for the troops for the holidays (their special requests and personal gifts)
Visited with a hero who returned from Iraq in June 2009 & met his lovely girlfriend in Fort Hood, Texas on Christmas eve …
Spent Christmas day visiting our Wounded Warriors and their families at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas
Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas ~ Christmas 2010
Hard to believe this was all accomplished between working full time, overcoming a major illness, writing to our troops once a week & sending them care packages monthly. Pretty impressive, if I do say so myself! However, I know I would never have the strength or tenacity if it weren’t for my faith and the Spirit inside of me!
What will 2011 bring??? … stay tuned, because this is going to be my year of “being better!” My commitment this year is to take time every month to honor and take care of myself and those people who mean the most to me. May we each have a year of compassion and passion.
That all being said, if you want to make a difference in someones life and don’t know how, please click on http://adoptahero.us/ and adopt a service member through their deployment today.
The Sky Angel
PO Box 122037
Covington, KY 41012-2037