Monday, May 21, 2012

Back in California!!

It's that time again. When all the USA players get together to go to war on the volleyball court. Today we had a special guest.  Two from the US Army and one from the Women's Paralympic team. This morning truly showed me how blessed I am as well as an honor to wear red, white, and blue.

We were to hear an amazing story from Silver Medalist, Kari Miller (one of the best liberos in the world)

Her story truly touched my heart. Here she is playing the sport she has grown to love and understands the true meaning of team work. She also shared accident with us. I got emotional because you would think she would be the one complaining about it but instead she is strong and found a way to bounce back. Being on the court could be very stressful at times but it's the ones who play together despite the bad that come through on top. 

Another inspiration was hearing Scott Smiley. For those of you who don't know who that is. Scott is the first blind active-duty officer. His story sent chills up my spine. He told us up to the very last moment of his sight. The thing that admire is that he wanted to stay in the army. It's a family to him.  He told us how he had to counsel a few of his soldiers, give advice, calm them down, motivate them, and so much more.  Being on the volleyball team we are a family too and we provide for one another. 

They made it both perfectly clear that you don't have to like one another but on the court or on the field we fight to the death, we have each other's back, and we protect each other. Off the court we can go our separate ways. I feel today a lot of people think we have to be the best of friends in order to play well and that isn't the case at all. 

Their speeches got me thinking about my father. He was the captain in the military and he would tell me stories about the war and how you would know when a bullet came only after it went by you because it made a loud "ZIPPING" noise. Just goes to show you how thankful I am. It truly is a blessing and I have nothing to complain about. I could have lost my father, he could have been an amputee but instead he is healthy and living his life. 

The highlight of the night was being handed the american flag that each of the soldiers wear on the uniform as well as a coin. 

Coin: Members of the U.S. military have a long-standing tradition of carrying a special coin symbolizing unit identity and esprit de corps. With bonds forged in battle thousands of miles from home, these custom coins minted for military units – each bearing their own revered symbols and mottos – capture in metal the essence of their affiliation and their fierce pride. Known to generations of American military personnel as challenge coins, they are a vital part of military life today and are revered by troops in every branch of service.

Flag: I am sure a few of you are curious as to why the flag is backwards. If you want to learn more go to..... but in short it symbolizes the flag being carried into battle. 

Receiving these two items truly meant a lot to us. Once we step on the court we are going into battle with USA on our chests. I hope this blog inspired you. I wish I could've recorded the meeting this morning it was truly was an honor. God Bless