On November 18, I arranged for Operation Second Chance to treat our Caregivers in Battle Company to lunch and a movie. While in the movie, I got a call from "Unknown" so I let it go to voice mail. I was only holding the phone because I worried Chaz would need me and he had the girls. So unless you were Chaz you got to talk to my voice mail because we were enjoying Breaking Dawn.
We left the movies and I checked my voice mail. The ladies with me will tell you I was really excited. The voice mail was from the White House. The lady said she had heard that I would be the perfect person for a project they are working on and asked for me to call her back. We went to Starbucks and while the gals were getting drinks I returned that call to the White House. The lady I spoke with explained to me that Joining Forces (the First Lady & Dr Biden's task force to help military families) was looking for some people to have make a video on how Americans can support our troops. I immediately said yes and we scheduled to meet at our apartment that following Monday.
Monday came quick and seriously as the White House staffers were entering our apartment building General Chiarelli's assistant called. The General wanted to speak with me. I said, "I am so sorry but the White House is literally in my building and I am going to make a video for Joining Forces in just a few minutes, I mean no disrespect but can I speak with him at a later time." We joked about how I bet she never heard that one before and she said well no I haven't, but I totally understand and we'll call back. Moments later the ladies from the White House arrived.
I should have known something was up when one of them was panicking because her cell phone was about to die. She asked if she could borrow mine for a second and I said of course. I left the room for a second to talk with the girls and we sat down to talk about what we were doing and why. They explained that they wanted me to talk about our life as a wounded warrior family and then if I could give them some non-profits and tell them how Americans can help the non-profits help our troops.
Then my phone rang. I said "Oh I bet this is for you." The staffer then said, "How about you answer it?" I said ok. When you watch the video you'll see the beginning of the call. Yes I was totally surprised. I was totally shocked. I had no idea that was going to happen. If I did, I would have made Chaz stay home for it! It is beyond cool to have our First Lady call you and tell you she has heard great things about you and to thank you for what you are doing. The best part was the ladies from the White House were so proud that they pull that surprise off. They were so excited for me, you could see it in their smiles. It was beyond cool. You can watch the video at www.whitehouse.gov/joiningforces/thanks but I want to fill you in on what you won't see.
You don't see Mrs. Obama asking me about our family and then the girls and Chaz individually. You don't see her asking me, "How have we not met?" You don't see she and I talking Chaz's medical stuff. To me the coolest part was I could hear her smile and feel that she truly cared through the call. I seriously thought it was a joke, but one look at the White House staffers faces and I knew it was legit. Our call was not short and sweet like you see on the video. We actually talked way longer then I would have ever thought. It was so reassuring to hear from her that she knows about my blog, she knows about the things I've done at WRAMC and Bethesda to help other families. It was great to be thanked for doing those things. I don't do the things I do to get a pat on the back. I do them to hopefully bring a smile to someone's face, or take a little stress away from others, or maybe even make another families' road a little easier. However, pats on the back are always nice and encourage me to keep on going. The little pats on the back tell me I am on the right course!
After the call, I had to take a few minutes and soak it all in. The ladies with me that day were so cool. They were so happy to have been a part of that surprise. I know I would have been too. How great to be a part of surprising a wounded warrior wife with a call from the First Lady?!
Then we actually shot the video that we had originally discussed. What I did was name a ton of non-profits and what they do and what you can do to help them help military families. There is going another video later on and that piece will be in it. I named a bunch of non-profits. If for some reason you only see me talk about one, please remember I am not the editor of the video. I do not know how they are putting it together. I love so many non-profits, it would be torture for me to pick just one. So I talked about every one I could think of so now the ball is in the White House's court. Let me put it this way, if you helped our family in any way I can assure you I talked about you. I just can't promise you'll see me talk about you on the later video.
The best part about all of this is I get to share part of that experience with our families and all of you! You'll see me and the girls in our chair talking in this video. I was telling them what had just happened. Then Thanksgiving Day we watched the video together. Chaz is not a big talker, but I know he is as proud of me as I am of him. Deryn informed me I am a super cool mom because Mrs. Obama called me.
I am so thankful they videoed it so I could share it and you all could see it. If you will please go to that link and scroll down below the video of Mrs. Obama and myself, you will see that you can fill out an interactive card with the help of the USO. It's free, it's easy and it's a great way to say thanks to our troops and their families!! So please take the time today to do it!!! Please share the link with your friends so they can also fill out the USO's interactive card as well. It is so important that the military families know how much we support them!!
You can also watch the video here http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2011/11/23/surprise-call-first-lady Have a great day!!!