Tuesday, May 20, 2008

MAY 17th NATIONAL ARMED FORCES DAY

One of the joys in living in a small town is the way the community gets behind events. Last Saturday was just such a day here in Coweta.
Blue Star Mothers had a campaign of selling yellow T-shirts to the community that had the blue ribbon that said "Coweta Support our troops" and below the ribbon "until they all come home" Blue Star Mothers is a nation wide organization of mothers who have son's serving in the Armed Forces. They fix up care boxes to send to the troops. Coweta has the only current Blue Star Mothers Club in Oklahoma.
At 9 a.m. Saturday morning we meet in the parking lot of a shopping center and formed the looped ribbon with the streamers hanging down out of people wearing the yellow T-shirts. Here is one section of the group. The two men standing on either side of the chair were two of our local pastors who participated.
Here is another shot of some of the group.


Yet another shot of others. There were about 50-60 of us all together. After the human Yellow Ribbon was formed they took pictures from a large stepladder. Wish I had one to show you and the local TV station flew over with their helicopter to film it. It was a beautiful morning and Mickey & I were honored to take part, in this small way, to honor all the men and woman who put their lives in harms way to protect our freedom.

As is this wasn't enough excitement for the day at 11 a.m. there was another celebration held in our Church parking lot. This event was to surprise and honor one of our church members who had just returned from Iraq the night before at 11 p.m.

Here is the story: His name is Andy Stiles and he lives next door to our Pastor and his wife, Paula, and also another young couple, Joe & Amy, in our church. Andy had an old 1973 Plymouth Barracuda in his garage that he had owned since 1979. Our Pastor and Joe got together and decided they were going to get the car painted and tuned up as a surprise for Andy while he was gone.

As so often happens when someone steps out to GIVE, God steps in and turns it into even a bigger blessing both for the gift and the giver. This project grew until Wyotech (Wyoming Technical Institute, commonly known as WyoTech, is a for-profit college system founded in Laramie, Wyoming, in 1966. Initially an automotive-themed school, under the ownership of Corinthian Colleges, Inc., WyoTech now offers courses in other mechanical oriented trades.) had gotten involved and the car was literally taken apart, piece by piece, and completely rebuilt and restored.

Here is the rebuilt Cuda. Our Pastor, Gary Rogers, is on the bullhorn telling the crowd what is taking place and happening. The young boy by pastor is one of the Honor Guard that would later bring the flags into the services inside the church honoring Andy and all veterans in service. The young men behind the car are the 25 young Wyotech students that volunteered all of the man hours in restoring, rebuilding and repainting the car. They were from many different state, one even from Alaska.



Here is a shot of the crowd watching the event.

Here is the completely restored 1973 Plymouth Barracuda.

Andy's wife had managed to keep this entire project a secret!! She drove Andy, blindfolded, from their home to the church. Pastor, on the bullhorn, had quited the crowd so when he got out of the car he did not hear anything.
Here is Tammy and their two small girls leading the blindfolded Andy to the car.


We weren't close enough to actually get pictures of his face when the blindfold came off and he actually saw his car. Needless to say, he was speechless and very overwhelmed. Here they are presenting him with a Wyotech jacket.


The entire event was filmed by both Channel 6 and 2 and it is going to be shown on Special Edition but we have not been given the showing date yet.

We are so happy to belong to such a wonderful church that reaches out constantly to the community of Coweta. The Blue Star Mothers were also a part of the program at this event. The Church auditorium was 1/2 full for this program and the biggest part were not church members but people from the community.

As if this wasn't enough excitement for one day one of the couples, Gary & Shirley, had our Sunday School class over for a wonderful cookout at 6 p.m. There were 10 of us present and we had a ball. We took me, and my very sore knee!, home about 9:30 to bed. I rather over did it that day, but wouldn't have missed a moment of any of it.

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12 comments:

CONNIE'S THOUGHTS FROM THE HEART said...

Sounds like a wonderful day full of excitment and blessing. I am so glad that you were able to be a part of it all, "sore knee and all."

Have a joyful day. connie from Texas

The Olson's: said...

What a wonderful FULL day! And such a privilege to partake in things so meaningful. Glad to hear that your knee is getting better - enough for you to be out all day!
~ Leanne

Tammy said...

What a great way to honor those who serve our country...
My husband was in the Navy for the first three years of our marriage so this is near to my heart.
Hugs,
~Tammy

Dawn said...

What a wonderful day! And what a unique way to honor that young man.

We are a big small town, and lost our first son to Iraq. It has been on the front page every day for over a week. They buried him yesterday. The streets were lined with flag waving people as the hearse took him to the cemetery. Made me proud of our town as well.

Mountain Mama said...

Oh what a wonderful fun thing to do. I just love being involved in surprises like this. I can only imagine how touched he must be.
Thanks for posting this. I hope others will be inclined to do the same.

diana said...

sounds like a fun and wonderful day - for everyone involved.

It's All Good! said...

I love hearing about good people honoring our veterans and those still serving. What a fun day for you!
God bless.
Brenda :)

Nadine said...

How very exciting. I bet the human ribbon looked great from above. I love what you all did to honor our service men and women.

PEA said...

This post made my heart swell with pride for your wonderful church community and its members...what a wonderful thing you are all doing and what was done for Andy is beyond wonderful!! I can well imagine his reaction to seeing his "new" car. Nice to know that love and caring for others is still alive and well in this world of ours!! xoxo

Sharon said...

Susan,

I have an urgent prayer request, but cannot find how to get on the prayer blog. It is for Michelle's son named Tyler. He was just in serious car accident that totaled the car and we know no other details. Her blog is http://treasurethemoment-michelle.blogspot.com/

I found this out through Candy's blog.

Please post it in the prayer blog.

Thank you!

Sharon

Crystal said...

What marvelous events in your town! God is indeed working in all of you as you reach out to the community and others. And what a great example you are to others. Thanks for sharing and inspiring me!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

What a full full day! I am so glad you all were able to be there. Glad our knee was able to hold out for you.