Monthly Archives: November 2012

Cole Comes Home

Meet our newest addition to the family! In September Sean received a guide dog from Guide Dogs for the Blind in Portland, OR.  He spent two weeks in Oregon learning to care for and work with his new dog, Cole.  Cole is a young black lab (1 1/2 years old) who is all business on his leash and playful puppy when off duty.  Since returning home, Cole has started working at the elementary school when Sean volunteers. He goes to the store, the VFW, and of course on daily walks with his new pal Chili.  The dogs get along beautifully together. Cole has even traveled to Washington DC to see the president and tour our nation’s capitol. 

Want to see more?  Add Cole as a friend on Facebook

67th Annual BVA Convention–Galveston Island

BVA Convention Top Ten:
1.  Gulf of Mexico
2.  Poolside Bar
3.  The Strand
4.  The Elissa
5.  The Pleasure Pier
6.  The Lone Star Flight Museum
7.  NASA
8.  The Space Shuttle Training Simulator
9.  The Awards Banquet–I was elected as the first BVA Auxiliary Board 
     Member (Secretary) from the OIF/OEF generation. 
10.  Reconnecting with OPS friends!
The Gulf of Mexico
Lou and Melissa at The Elissa
Warm summer night by the ocean at Galveston Pleasure Pier
Billy Baxter showing off at the Lone Star Flight Museum
Mission Control, Johnson Space Center
Old Mission Control Room, Johnson Space Center
Operation Peer Support Group at NASA
Sean with astronaut Mike Fossum
The family ready for the banquet
Cate and Melissa at the banquet
Melissa, Christina, and Lou
Birthday girl Cate and husband Tim
Lou and Ben

Horses for Heroes

July took us back to Colorado for the Challenge Aspen Horses for Heroes program in conjunction with Sopris Therapy Services.  We had an AMAZING trip with friends, old and new.  I spent the week with my horse, Jilly, and Sean spent his week getting to know Navajo.  The program incorporated music and art therapy into the daily sessions with singer/songwriter Mack Bailey and artist Sheri Gaynor.  There was an afternoon of fishing and swapping TBI stories up on the mountain.  Our week concluded with a cookout at the Carbondale Rodeo.  
Sean and I also attended the Vince Gill and Amy Grant Golf Classic, an annual fundraiser for Challenge Aspen.  We had the opportunity to visit the horses at Sopris before the evening’s charity dinner and concert. The music was beautiful and we were able to speak with Vince and Amy after the show. We are forever grateful for the opportunities provided to us by Challenge Aspen.

Helen Deutsch Writer’s Workshop–New York City

In June of 2012 I was invited on a Caregiver’s Writing Retreat sponsored by Wounded Warrior Project.  Forty caregivers of veterans from across the nation were flown into New York City for a weekend of lights, sounds, laughter, and writing.  
We spent two full days working in our writing groups with professional mentors (you can read about my amazing mentors here: and honing our writing skills.  In the evenings we attended a play and had time to explore Times Square.  Several of us had the opportunity to visit Ground Zero and see the beautiful memorial fountains.
We returned in September for part two at the Writer’s Guild.  Working once again with our mentors, we had the chance to delve deeper into our writing and into ourselves to really find our “voice” and practice our craft.  The highlight of the trip was an evening bus tour around NYC and the surrounding boroughs which was wrapped up at an authentic NY pizza joint.  
My group has formed an online writing group to encourage one another to keep plugging away at our writing and discover where it takes us!