Thank you Veterans

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We cleared our desk today to examine how best we might acknowledge our gratitude for the generous contributions to the Catch Ministry. If we worked with paper, the floor would be littered with sheets that had crumpled beginnings such as …

  1. “You’re the best.”
  2. “You knocked us off our feet!”
  3. “Our hearts are still smiling.”
  4. “Your thoughtfulness is a gift we will always treasure.”
  5. “We are touched beyond words.”

There is simply no way we can thank you for your heartfelt support — except, maybe to say we are humbled by your graciousness.

We stayed with the word “humbled,” trying to express what humble means — and then we remembered:

Of all the gifts to the Ministry, one gift stands out. It was given anonymously in honor of two Veterans who are no longer with us.

Please, dear Catch community, allow us to introduce to you the late First Lieutenant Charles Gilman Kelley and the late Officer Doris Arlene Stephens who both served in the World War II effort.

First Lieutenant Charles Gilman Kelley left his family in silent service as he piloted the A-26 Douglas “Invader” medium bomber in the WWII European Theater of Operations in 1944. He flew 49 missions behind German lines, targeting communication systems such as bridges, railroad lines and yards — and singled out weapons including German V1 buzz bomb launch sites and V2 missile launch sites. Similar to playing a game of pool, getting “behind the 8 ball” bombardier nose generally meant the enemy was in a tough situation and unlikely to escape. Take a look:

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An American poet, Maya Angelou spoke often in support of our Veterans with enthusiasm and is quoted as saying: “How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”

Stop for a moment and join us as we recognize Officer Doris Arlene Stephens and celebrate her service in the World War II effort as a Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, or “WAVES” who performed her duties in support of the US Navy’s stateside war effort in the Pacific. In memory of Officer Stephens:

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Let it be known that our flag does not fly because the wind moves it, it flies from the breath of each serviceman and woman who protects it.

So this evening as you read this brief “Catch,” we encourage you, as we are trying to learn ourselves that when attempting to put into words our expression of gratitude to you and for the Veterans, I bet Lieutenant Kelley and Officer Stephens would look down at us with appreciation if we not only try to find the words but if we lived by them … as they did.

Special thanks for your anonymous gracious contribution.

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