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Beyond Tribute Launches!

Many moons ago I thought my first BSF post would be about my hysterically funny misadventure at the Fredricksburg, VA pre-election Obama/Biden Rally. But that post will have to be patient. It’s been waiting a few months, so what’s a little longer?

Yesterday I had the distinct honor of being in attendance at the launch of Beyond Tribute. As I walked into the room, I was happy to see a familiar face, Sue Hoppin, immediate Past President of the Bolling OWC. Score! I had someone to sit with, which was important since Stephanie’s car was rear-ended on I-95 and she was unable to meet me at the event as planned. (Stephanie is okay! Thankfully no one was seriously injured!)

One thing you must know about me, is I am no fan of formality. I understand it and respect it, but if faced with the knowledge of a receiving line, I will hide in the ladies room until it is over. My avoidant behavior didn’t begin with my husband’s military career, it began at weddings. I just never know quite what to say in that 5 second spurt of handshaking. So as I looked around at the folks in the room, I contemplated whether I needed to go hide out for a bit, but decided to risk remaining seated. Turned out to be the right decision.

Thankfully there wasn’t a receiving line, but that isn’t to say I did not experience a 5 second handshake which I found to be thoroughly engaging.
As I was awaiting the start of the program, a blond woman sat down in the row in front of me. She immediately turned around, stuck out her hand and smiled at me as she enthusiastically said, “Hi! I’m Jill Biden!” Yes, that Jill Biden, AKA Dr. Biden. And because I didn’t feel the pressure to perform in a receiving line, I was actually able to tell her my name and organization with comfort and ease. We didn’t have time for me to gush and act the fool much else, because the program was seconds away from beginning and the once empty chair to her left, directly in front of me, now was chock full of, none other than,General Wesley Clark.  Yes, that Wesley Clark.   Lucky me, being all of Not Even 5 Feet, Gen Clark isn’t freakishly tall and  didn’t block my view.  Although I do wonder what would have happened had I tapped him on the shoulder and asked him to “scrunch down.”  Instead I found my self somewhat fixated on the back of his head. It’s nicely shaped, his haircut was very even, although I momentarily wondered if he uses hairspray or gel to keep his coif. (BTW,Congratulations, you are now just as distracted as me from the purpose of this post)

The launch of “Beyond Tribute”. What a fabulous concept  that American’s can still shop the Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day sales and at the same time be supporting Veteran’s Service organizations.  I think Bob Balaban put it just the right way when he said, “This isn’t just a call to action, it’s a call to conscience.”  And yeah, it’s a wonderful way to remind retailers and the public that the best way to capitalize on these holidays is to pay back the veterans for everything they have done for our country.

So in the words of Pamela Eggleston, go “hit the sales, shop at the stores” which have taken the pledge, take the pledge yourself and have safe holiday weekend.   Particularly as we go into the 101 Critical Days.


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