I attended a barbeque party with my sister and husband, hosted by Ambassador of Japan and Mrs. Ichiro this past Sunday. It was held at the Japanese Embassy; the gathering honored General Eric Shinseki, Secretary of the VA, and his wife, Mrs. Shinseki, as special guests. Other honored guests included OIF and OEF veterans and wounded warriors.
My husband and I spoke with the Shinsekis about his VA experiences (which have been very good so far), his trials and tribulations at Walter Reed, and my work with Blue Star Families. Mrs. Shinseki mentioned in our conversation that she met with Kathy Roth-Douquet, BSF Founder and Senior Advisor, several days ago and that it went well. Mrs. Shinseki mentioned that she saw Blue Star Families as the 21st century answer to military families! I told her that I thought this was a good description of what Blue Star Families stands for. We actually spoke with them for about fifteen minutes before other attendees realized who we were speaking with. Everyone was running for the food lines at the beginning (and the food was worth the running and the wait), while Charles and I decided to speak with the Secretary before he got tied up. It turns out that this was a good plan.
On Monday morning, Claire Woodward, our Executive Director, received a “very nice note” from Mrs. Shinseki mentioning that she met us. It is nice to be recognized and it is wonderful for Blue Star Families!