We’re all home, safe and sound.  I know it will take the Belmonts a few days before they are really settled in at home.  I, on the other hand, have been home since Monday evening and now am ready to tackle the business of everyday QOV stuff.  Wait…I have one major obstacle:  A four month old bulldog puppy. I thought I was through with kids and puppies with only grandkids and an aging Jack Russell mellow terrier to tend to.

In any event, I just wanted to touch base with you all.  You know, a brief nod, saluation…some thoughts on what it is we accomplished. But better than something from me right now,  I want to grab a young 3/8 Marine’s observation who posted to the blog.

As you walk through the barracks your quilts and hundreds more like it are lining the racks of the marines in 3rd battalion 8th marines.  We can’t tell you how much it means that you dedicate your time in order to show appreciation for us.  I hope this letter shows you the appreciation we have for you.

Reading this brings tears to my eyes.  Looking at the slideshow Kat put together of the awarding of the QOVs fills me full of emotion.  There really is so much we will  share with you about this trip that you made possible.

One thing for sure.  We will do this again, next year…this time Army.  And, we can and will cover combat ALL our combat warriors with our wartime Quilts of Valor no matter what the odds are or how daunting it may seem.

Lastly, that $#@%#$ pup is going to boot camp to learn Marine discipline or else he is OTD.

Another item:  Our mission statement needs tweaking.  I will be sending out a general email to ask for your thoughts.  But more on this later.

FILM note.  Sean has the raw footage and is doing something with it.  We have over 1,500 still images from the trip.  We already have learned that video is a much different beast than stills.  You can’t do it properly with one person, no matter how hard you try.  You need a crew of at least 3 people: cinematographer, audio person and general assistant (gopher).  You also need good LIGHTING which we don’t have and will need to get.  Our boom pole worked well once we put a AA battery in it.  Filming in High Definition (HD) eats up storage in the P2 cards faster than you can say “yankee doodle”.  We need more storage  especially when doing interviews.  We also need a system to store camera, mics, etc so they don’t get lost.  We need a checklist to make sure all is well and accounted for.

And, really, this is the really last item.   On the trip, I decided that Gail’s blackberry was better than my iPhone.  So I went and got one.  Oy vey.  What a disappointment.  Today I updated my iPhone with the latest and greatest software update.  I can now text in the horizontal position!  Verdict: my  iPhone is better than Gail’s blackberry.

Mine is better than yours!

Mine is better than yours!