The trip to Anniston went really well. The night I got there I went to dinner with someone from BAE systems. We had Mexican food, which, you can never go wrong with. If you are what you eat, then I am from south of the border. I eat way too much Mexican. Anyway, I loved her. She put me at ease about being there.
The next morning I met up with her, then met up with her colleagues who were to present the check to me for Operation Homefront. I told my story (I was really nervous), and broke down a little (They were really supportive, though), and spoke about how important it is to have organizations like these. Operation Homefront does so much for military families and now has a Wounded Warrior Wives group. These types of groups are extremely important because the best support sometimes comes from people who are in your shoes, and these allow a place for the spouses to meet. From there we can vent, cry, laugh, and just be there for each other.
Basically what BAE Systems did, is they had five days where their company, worldwide, held some sort of fundraiser for Operation Homefront. They did everything from Wii bowling tournaments, to tacky tie days, to baked goods sales. I'm not positive as to the amount that was raised, but it's really cool to see people pull together for a good cause. I know this money will really help someone in need.
While I was there I was also given a tour of the place. I got to wear some funky steel toed shoes with my dress. That was attractive. Especially the socks. I'm telling you, I was hot stuff. And you better believe someone who worked there pointed out my runway worthy ensamble. The HR manager showed me sort of what they do there. Here is what I gathered... Big guys use big machines and fire to mash metal into puzzle pieces that eventually will fit onto a vehicle used over seas. Lol. Obviously, I had no idea what I was looking at, but it was really cool to see! I'd never seen a factory like that before. And amazingly enough, even though it was quite hot, everyone seemed very happy to be there. That made me happy.
Another thing I really liked about the company is that they realize sending their employees overseas to work can result in PTSD just like military. They are starting their own PTSD program within the company so that their employees do not have to seek help elsewhere. I thought that was really neat. They are also trying to hire more Wounded Veterans and are allowing them to use the services as well. More recently they are adding help for the families as well. I had a chance to sort of suggest a few ideas for that section of it. It seems like they really do want to make sure their employees are well taken care of, and the fact that they include the families in that as well, is very cool. I mean, really, if the wife isn't happy, nobody is happy!
So, I'm happy I got to help both Operation Homefront and BAE Systems in some way. Even if it was small. I'm also happy I spoke in front of people, even if it was a small group. That was way out of my comfort zone, but it felt good. People seemed to respond well, and hopefully it helped them see that their money is going to a good place.