Although Memorial Day is over, I wanted to share this story. Our neighbors and friends Charlie and Shannon Messina invited us to a horse show at the Larkspur Ranch in Indian Land. This was more than a horse show - it was family, friends and neighbors telling Rick Valentine, Shannon's brother, good luck, goodbye and God bless.
He is on his way to Iraq.
The unique part of the horse show on the program was event 11 - "Create a Class" - and they certainly did that. Rick rode a beautiful horse while carrying an American flag.
Yes, I am proud to call myself a flag waver; I love my country and appreciate the military, the veterans and all the soldiers that were left behind.
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When Rick went into the ring, they asked all the veterans to walk into the ring. They said a prayer, sang a song and then this wonderful horse bowed in honor of all the veterans. There was not a dry eye at the horse show!
The neighbors, friends and family were all treated to a delicious menu consisting of barbecue, chicken wings, hot dogs and four or five different versions of potato salad. And the desserts! Oh, those wonderful desserts, all under one tent.
Rick and Rebecca Valentine and their two children said their goodbyes and left early.
Only a few in the crowd knew why, but actually they were going home to watch "America's Most Wanted." John Walsh and "America's Most Wanted" is helping in the search for the murder of Donna Barnhardt, Rebecca's mother. She and another victim were murdered at the Sun Drop Bottling Co. in Concord, N.C. last year.
I am confident that John Walsh will help find this murderer and justice will be served. This senseless murder took more than two victims; it took Rebecca's mother and the two Valentine children's grandmother away at a time when she was needed the most.
A little message to Rebecca and Rick: challenges bring out the greatness in us. God bless and keep you all safe.
A special thank you to Charlie, Shannon and Christian Messina for inviting us to this wonderful Memorial Day event.