20 August 2010

The 2010 Presidential Citizens Medal

Now that I've recovered somewhat from the shock of all this, I thought I'd finally do a post and share some personal photos. Having been informed a just a little over two weeks before the ceremony that I'd been selected, I didn't have much time to get used to the idea.

Before I knew it, I was here.

All of us recipients were picked up at our hotel and brought into this beautiful room in the East Wing of the White House upon arrival. At first we stood around and talked (it was great getting to know everyone!)... but then when we wanted to rest our feet we were afraid to use the furniture. Fortunately someone finally got up the nerve to ask if we could sit down.

What a view!

I took this photo during the rehearsal for the ceremony.

Me and my friend, the Senior Army Aide to the President, who read the citations. He knew it was called "Landstuhl Regional Medical Center" and not "Landstuhl Air Base", which was originally in the script. Good man. RLTW!

After the rehearsal we requested a pit stop. Here we are in the room leading into the room that leads into the ladies' room taking pictures of each other taking pictures :-)

When we came back upstairs, the foyer was being prepared for the guests - complete with a Marine Corps string quartette. My mother thought they were from the Salvation Army :-/

Another beautiful room. At one point the door to the foyer opened and some of the recipients noticed their family members had arrived. Chaos ensued, with the awardees going out or bringing family members in. As the President was expected to come in and meet us any minute, the room needed to be secure with all of us in it. The poor military aides deserve a lot of credit for making order out of anarchy - getting us to follow the rules must have been like herding cats.

Another anarchy moment: My sister took this photo in the East Room before the ceremony started and long after photos were prohibited. It was a small and intimate ceremony including the President, the recipients and their families, a few Senators, and the press. Just perfect.

The entire family together with "my" two senators from Wyoming, John Barrasso and Mike Enzi. Meeting them was one of the highlights of the day. I very much appreciated them taking the time to attend the ceremony and to chat with us. Senator Barrasso actually took my Mom for a little spin right there in front of the stage so she could say she'd danced in the White House! They are good people and great Americans, and we're lucky to have them working for us in DC.

Here I am with my very proud parents.

It was an incredibly exciting day and a once in a lifetime experience to spend the afternoon in our beautiful White House with its rich and proud history. It was tremendous honor for me to accept the Citizens Medal on behalf of ALL of us at Soldiers' Angels.

The award is a wonderful acknowledgement of the volunteer work carried out by many thousands of Angels over the years who have been and continue to send care packages to our deployed troops, make blankets for our Wounded Warriors, write condolence letters to the families of our Fallen Heroes, visit our VAs, send donations, and many, many other activities that embody the motto of Soldiers' Angels: "May No Soldier Go Unloved". It was an honor and a privilege for me to accept the Citizens Medal on behalf of our founder, Ms. Patti Patton-Bader, and all of my fellow Angels and our donors.

Last, but not least, I am deeply grateful for the thoughtfulness and effort of those who nominated me for the award. You know who you are. Thank you.


David M said...

Congrats Maryann...you most definitely deserve this recognition.

Nelda said...

The quilt our son received in Landstuhl is very special to us.  He has since received many more, but this is one of our favorites!  Thank you for what you are doing!

DL Sly said...

Great pix!  And recognition not only well-deserved, but long overdue.
Congrats and OooooRAH!!

FbL said...

Thanks so much for sharing all of this!  I was afraid you wouldn't...

TracieH said...

Congratulations Maryann :)   Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Greta said...

Thanks for sharing, for being you and for all you do! Love you!

Rachel said...

<span>Congrats!!! I cannot think of a more deserving person here at LRMC than you! There are no words to express the gratitude that the nurses of the ICU have for the loving way you care for all of us all. You sit with our patients holding their hands and even sometimes their oxygen so they can breathe easier. You truly are an angel to them and to us!!!!</span>

Rink said...

Congrats!  You so deserve this award!  And to be able to share it with your parents is an extra bonus.    Knowing that you are there to help our fallen heroes makes you an angel. YOU ARE THE BOMB!

lisa-in-dc said...

Happy Dance for you!  And I love that your Senator took your Mom for a spin.  Priceless and perfect.

Becky's Mom said...

Congratulations on your well deserved recognition and for being a special angel to our wounded heroes.  It was a pleasure and honor to finally meet you when I was in Germany visiting Becky.  You are one of a kind and I for one am so grateful for your dedication and hard work.  The pictures are priceless especially the one of you with your mom and dad.  How proud they looked.  Thank you.