Friday, December 6, 2013
Everything I Am That’s Good…
On the evening of December 4, 2013 I was selected as one of ten Honoree’s from a list of Nominees designated for the Still Serving Award. Our names were submitted to a panel of Judges selected by The Flagship, a Mid-Atlantic Region military newspaper. I’m not certain I can say why. But I was included in a group of career military men and women, all Officers, who after long careers, one of which was cut short by severe wounds suffered in battle, continued their service within their chosen endeavors and communities. As the short bios were being read I sat in awe of what the other Honoree’s had accomplished, both in and out of their respective branches of service. I’m thinking I just longarm quilts.
I was beyond honored, humbled and grateful to be included with these men and women with the likes of Jason Redman…the man whose career was cut short by battle and whose experiences would lead to the creation of Wounded Wear…to stand in his presence and that of the other Honorees was an experience I will long remember.
I stood there proudly though and honored not only by the nomination from Diane, a quilter and fellow Tidewater Quilters’ Guild member and a QOVF quilter. I stood as a representative of the Quilts of Valor Foundation knowing that the more than 10,000 Volunteers stood there with me. I stood proudly as a Marine, knowing my son, a career Marine and my father a WWII Marine and the history of Marine Corps stood with me. I stood feeling somewhat out of place being the only non-career military and the only Enlisted Ranked Honoree which made me stand just a little prouder and a little taller…taller being something I don’t get to associate with very often. I stood there knowing I did good.
Good is the key word. Because everything I am that’s good is directly related to the one that makes me stand the proudest and the tallest.
Everything I am that’s good is directly related to the 15 year old girl that walked into my life on my first day of high school in 1961. Everything I am that’s good is directly related to everything I have that’s good whether it be this honor or having a son, grandchildren, a beautiful daughter in-law, good friends, a successful career in law enforcement a Sunday motorcycle ride, a weekly golf game, longarming a quilt, being associated with the Quilts of Valor, the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association or just doing the best I can to be a good husband. Everything I am that’s good is related directly to Elaine Navarro-Page.
I was the Honoree, and it was a good feeling. But as it is often in my case the recognition was being directed at the wrong Page. Because without her I’m not certain anyone would have ever associated the word ‘good’ in the same sentence with Les. I did do good…because as always standing right beside me was ‘better.’ And in the heels she had on that night…taller. I’m throwing them out when she’s not looking.
Quilt till you wilt…we do…