The 137th National is now "in the books" and it certainly presented challenges to us. My sincere thanks to all who helped to make this skirmish a success. First, the host staff, led by Bobby Hannula and Chuck Kindle, did a magnificent job. I spent many hours with them and saw the stress that they were under. I tried to thank every member of the host teams personally as they worked. The bathrooms were great, the bridge traffic flowed smoothly, the logistics and ordnance crews were always on top of things, registration handled many extra aspects due to the weather, and the entire staff pitched in to help each other. The Statistics Office had results out very quickly and very accurately. The provost guard had a tough job and handled it very well. Many skirmishers, myself included, had to move to higher ground due to the rain and as far as I could tell the membership handled that wonderfully. Those who normally camp on the high ground welcomed their fellow skirmishers and I heard of no problems with this movement. Chester Lauck, who is the Director of Emergency Services for Frederick County, VA, and the N-SSA's Emergency Director was GREAT! He coordinated the efforts to keep us safe and constantly monitored the flow of Back Creek. Chester is a great one to have in time of emergency and stress (and any other time) and he proved it many times during this past week. I greatly appreciated his wisdom and guidance as we needed to evacuate some areas during Thursday- Friday night. Tim Scanlan, our Property Manager, worked an unbelievable amount of hours to keep the roads open, the potholes filled, and helping other people. He is a real treasure for the N-SSA.

All of the team matches went smoothly and the cooperation from our skirmishers was greatly appreciated. Due to some computer issues, and a need to re-assign some musket teams, Linwood McMahon and Ernie Woods, did a lot of extra work to make sure that the computer programs met our needs. Organizing the awards programs is a massive undertaking and the folks who did that were great. They always put the right set of medals in my hands! Our staff photographers captured everyone's picture as the received their awards and all of the first place teams, and special individual awards were photographed a second time. One of the real pleasures as commander is being able to shake hands with every member who shows up to receive their award.

The memories of the "Mud March" will stay with us for a long time. I think that many of us will remember the great shooting by certain teams like the 110th Ohio but we will also remember the friends, the cooperation, and the help that we gave each other. I am very thankful and proud to be a part of this wonderful organization! I also thank you for all of the support that you give me as commander. I look forward to seeing you on the firing line!