Working with USO Part of Their Life

Ralph & Noel Burr (left side) Michele Chapdelaine, (back row right side) Kathy O'Donnell, Brian Walrath

Ralph & Noel Burr (left side) Michele Chapdelaine, (back row right side) Kathy O’Donnell, Brian Walrath

A special thank you to Noel and Ralph Burr for their work with the USO Northern Ohio. Noel Burr, volunteer coordinator for the Bainbridge USO, wrote a chapter, “What’s a Mother To Do?” in our book, Love You More Than You Know. Her husband, Ralph is a retired Army Colonel. Noel and Ralph started packing boxes at the Chagrin Falls Armory in 2003 when their daughter, Kathy was deployed to Kuwait.

The Burrs are a military family. Two daughters served in the Air Force and another daughter in the Army. Making their grandparents proud, two grandchildren now serve in the Air Force. All deployed family members commented on how important it is to receive packages.

In an article by Joan Demirjian in the Chagrin Valley Times, Mrs. Burr says, “We all work to keep a little bit of home going to the troops. We are in need of beef jerky, nuts, canned tuna or chicken, individual packages of soup and cereal, socks, Q-tips, shaving cream, and gel razors, travel-size bay wipes, hand sanitizer and sunscreen.” Noel said, “We like to include cards and letters in the packages as well.”

Donations can be dropped off at any time at a donation site inside the front door of Highway Garage at 8410 E. Washington Street or at the packaging office, 16706 Chillicothe Road on Wednesdays 1:30-3:30pm.

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Together Since the Beginning Quads Enlist

The phone rang. My daughter, Katie was rushed into surgery for an emergency C-section and delivered triplets two days short of 27 weeks gestation. Our beautiful little ones weighed in at 2.8 lbs. (our grandson Chase), 2.4 lbs, (our granddaughter Clara) and 1.10 lbs. (our granddaughter Madeline).

Katie and her husband, BJ are riding the emotional roller coaster of daily events in the neonatal intensive care unit. The little ones are hooked up to all sorts of things like monitors and ventilators. The babies are receiving milk via a tube from their mouths to their stomach that is as thin as fishing line.

Five milliliters are in a teaspoon. Chase and Clara are “eating” 12 milliliters every two hours. Madeline (the mighty might) is receiving  a little less. As we pray, we thank God and celebrate each day. By the grace of God, the babies will continue to grow as they approach their third week of life.

Our children’s and grandchildren’s lives are so precious. I can only imagine the courage Kim Pollock, the mother of the quads and her husband have to have supporting their daughters and sons enlisting in the National Guard all at the same time.

They too will be riding the emotional roller coaster of events as they start their journey as a military family. As these quads approach their eighteenth year of life, we will pray for their safety and thank God for their patriotism.