Blair Mansion Inn dinner

Last night I had the fortunate experience to be able to go to the Blair Mansion Inn Restaurant down in Takoma Park, MD for a dinner hosted by the Maryland chapter of the Nam Veterans Motorcycle Club.  Getting down there was quite an adventure thanks to traffic on 495 and in Takoma Park.  It wasn’t the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater that you may see if you click the link above, but a local band called Bad Influence volunteered to play all evening for nothing but tips.  The former Assistant Secretary of the Navy was there (and gave a very touching and patriotic speech), along with a WWII veteran from the Battle of the Bulge.  The entire evening was dedicated to injured soldiers and police officers, and those people (along with any accompanying family members and the motorcycle club members) made up the entire crowd.  We had an entire dining room of this mansion filled.  Dinner was buffet-style and consisted of some tuna alfredo, roast beef, fried chicken, green beans (which were particularly awesome), coleslaw (also very good), mixed veggies, some pasta salad, and rolls.  I had the alfredo, coleslaw, and green beans, as well as a couple Jack & Cokes.  Don’t worry, I had plenty of food on my stomach and water to drink, so I wasn’t even a little buzzed when I left for home.

The event kicked off at 7:30pm and when mom and Bob (who came as my guests) and I all left at 10 o’clock, the band was still playing and about 1/4 of the people were still there mingling and drinking and dancing.  The band was really good and the MC members and their wives came around and talked to each of the WTU soldiers that attended (the WTU was invited, but only about 10 of us showed up).  Those were some very nice people.  The ladies at the table next to ours were so nice and they chatted back and forth all evening with mom, Bob, and I.  They asked me about Korea and my injury and my plans once I get out, and one of the women gave me a Christmas card from her class (similar to the lady at the Fire Dept. in my last blog).  It was mostly scribbles, but inside there was a picture of stick figures that the woman told me were suppose to be the child and I.  It was really cute.

Being in this unit has really made a lot of opportunities available to me that I never thought I’d have.  There is even a group of soldiers that are going to the Pentagon this Friday.  Unfortunatly you had to have been over to the sandbox to go, but that’s just one example of something else that was made available to us.  There’s been ball game (basketball and football) tickets donated, invitations to Congress, concert tickets, so much stuff that it’s actually hard to do it all.  The weekend I went on the hunting trip there was a concert and Christmas party that I missed.  Coming from Korea where you had to pay to do almost everything that was offered, this really caught me off-guard.  There’s just so many people and organizations out there that want to express their thanks to us soldiers (particularly the wounded ones) for doing what we do.  The only thanks they want from us is to accept their gratitude and enjoy what they offer.  What can you really say to people like that?  “Thank you” just doesn’t seem like enough, does it?

Keep your powder dry.

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