Saturday, May 9, 2009

Retired Major General Donald C. Storm was appointed as the Adjutant General of the Commonwealth of Kentucky by Governor Ernie Fletcher on Dec. 9 2003 and served in that position until Dec. 11 2007. I ran my first mile in his honor today.

If you read about all of Gen. Storm’s accomplishments, one would think that it would be an intimidating experience to meet such a man. I had the privilege of meeting Gen. Storm in May of 2007. Upon entering his office, I was nervous for about 2 seconds before I realized that Gen. Storm was warm and friendly. He immediately put me at ease. Not only is the man brilliant, but he is full of interesting stories about his experiences in life. He has a huge heart for all that serve and has a strong interest and concern for the family members of our military. Gen. Storm shared the story of his feelings of concern for his parents during his first deployment many years ago. He told me of their reunion when he returned from deployment and the fact that he would never forget seeing their relieved faces when they were reunited. He took that experience with him throughout his career and made sure to set the family of our soldiers as a priority. I can tell you that from the perspective of this “Marine Mom” I find it very comforting to know that such a leader would be truly concerned about family members of our military. We need to know that someone is looking out for our loved ones. When one joins the military, it has to come first. It is a lot easier to understand the commitment one is making to serve when the families are considered a priority. Thank you for all you have done to make this nation a better place, Gen. Storm, and thank you for showing me a side of military leadership that I would have never thought existed!

My second mile today was run in honor of CPL Josh Watkins, USMC. Josh made the ultimate sacrifice on October 21, 2006. Josh served with my son in 2nd Tank BN, Tow Platoon. Josh and a few other Marines in the Tow Platoon stepped in to work with the new replacements for one last shift. Most of the unit was packed and ready to come home to the states. That small group was met by sniper fire in the last hour of the last mission of the deployment. Josh was hit and died a few hours later. I don’t think anyone will ever understand the timing for this one. Josh served two deployments in Iraq. He was a good Marine and a special friend. He will always be fondly remembered. We are forever grateful for your sacrifice Wookie.

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