Hellgate Boat Ride
A recent event took place at the Hellsgate boat ride in Grants Pass honoring the wives and children of a fallen brother. This event was called a “Snowflake” and it focused on the kids. Some participants traveled in excess of six hours to attend this event. NCOA holds this event for many reasons. Sometimes just getting out and doing something different allows mom and children a break from everyday events and hardships from their loss.
One wife was asked, “What do you remember the service doing to help you during this life changing event”. Her response was “Everything is a big blur. I remember when it was time to put him to rest, the military service had taken care of all necessary and critical events. They provided on going assistance and were open to any and all questions”.
You could see how excited the wives and children were about going on this trip by their outburst of laughter, silliness and just plain excitement. From the time they arrived to the time they departed they were addressed with pride, honor and thanks from all other participants on the ride. One child stated, “I like the people thanking me for my dad and what he did.”
We stopped on the way back for something to eat and at the end of the meal, one unrelated participant asked if he could speak to the children and parents. He lost his father, the same way they did. He mentioned that every mother stepped up for the best for their child. He advised, “You can do anything and this is your start point. I am a fighter pilot in the Air Force and got there because of my mother.” As he closed his talk with them, he had them promise to continue and always do the best they can. He then asked for a “high five” and a hug. They charged him and continued with each of these points of appreciation for some time.
It was evident that the wives and children received pride, patient and honor. Please remember this for some day we pray that many like these people will step forth and honor our families for what we have done.