What I am Thankful For

by Hank Schrader, USMA ’71, Europe Destination Specialist & Europe River Cruise Expert

I have a lot to be thankful for.  Maybe after you read this, (please read it all, I think you will be glad you did), you might reach out to someone and tell them what you are thankful for—directly to them and maybe add a comment or two back to us.  We hope you do—nothing is better than hearing from you all!  So, here goes:

Our Family

First, and foremost my wife Anne.  Here it is short and sweet—I don’t say it as often as I should, but you have made my life AWESOME! 

Anne, Hank & Anne (Ft. Ord 1986) & Kelly, Anne & Hank Oct 10. 1987 (just before our wedding)

Our wonderful daughter Kelly, Matt (son-in-law) & Lissie (granddaughter) are a constant source of joy and wonderment—they are all really fun folks who are just good, hard working and it makes us very proud.  And, although I am incredibly biased, we have the best granddaughter in the world!


Front Row, Lissie, Anne, Kelly (daughter), Back row Cody, Hank, Amber (niece) Mindy (niece) and Tom on the Carnival Triumph Cruise 2014

Anne’s sister, Missie, Mike (brother-in-law) & Ryan (nephew)—the adults are caring, involved folks in the community and their church, who also work hard yet have raised a great young man ready to go to college next year—this bright guy will be a huge success.  Great family!

Next up, the Nephew & Nieces. 

Mindy (niece), Tom (her husband) and Dustin & Dalton—another unique family—Mindy is serving her country in the Air Force and Dustin & Dalton are in college and will be assets to somebody in the future.  Tom is a great Dad—we are so proud of you all!

Amber (niece) & Cody (her husband)—young folks with a bright future—they love sports, are gracious and just easy to be around.  Because of folks like you, the future of our country looks very good.

Lance (nephew), Elaine (his wife) and Nolan & SamLance served his country in the 10th Mountain in Bosnia and now is a policeman and firefighter—does impressive sound like a good term to describe him?  Elaine is a dynamo working Mom, whose tales of the two boys, Nolan & Sam are hilarious.

And no family tribute would be complete without mentioning our dogs past & present—Duncan, Harley, Buddy Lee (all in doggie heaven) and Louie—all put up with us no matter what and just wanted us to know how loved we were.  Take all that is good in this world and bundle them up with tails that never quit wagging and you know why they put a smile on our faces every day!

Doggie Heaven Dogs–Duncan (top). Kelly with Harley & Buddy Lee




They say you can’t choose your family, but we choose well to say the least!  THANKS FAMILY!

My Classmates, Army Buddies and Track & Rugby Teammates

No words will do this group justice—they shaped my life, shared the ups and downs, pushed me, picked me up, made my life a constant joy and still influence my life today.  Our shared hardships and service to our country during my Army and West Point years went a long way to make me who I am.  Added to these great folks are my sports teammates who I have forged an unbreakable bond.  DUDES, YOU GUYS ROCK—THANK YOU ALL!

Hank as plebe (freshman) 1967 & at Graduation June 9, 1971

Hank running the mile relay against Navy at West Point–I never lost to Navy!


Ft Benning Rugby Team 1975–Hank 2nd row with his arm around future Chief of Staff of the Army,  George Casey


1977 Panama Founder’s Day (of West Point) with 2 classmates


Officers of 4-20 Infantry ready for the jungle in Panama–I’m on back row 5th from the left 1978

The Sports Teams I Coached—Football, Rugby and Track

Growing up, next to my parents, no one influenced me like my coaches.  They just had a knack to get the best from me.  I tried to do that as a coach.  In a magazine article I wrote for American Football Monthly, I wrote the following “You can still care yet be demanding.  There is a fine line between firmness and harshness, between firm leadership and bullying, and between discipline and pettiness—great coaches know the difference and practice every day.”  I tried to live up to that as much as possible every day I coached.  While our time often was brief, it still lives on—almost all have really gone on to become great citizens who can make us all proud.  I can’t begin to tell you how much you have meant to me—THANKS FOR LETTING ME COACH YOU AND FOR YOU OUTSTANDING EFFORTS TOWARDS OUR GOALS AND STAYING IN TOUCH!


West Point Rugby Team 1983 at Sandhurst, England–my first coaching job


Hank (head coach) with his St John’s Military Academy Football Team 1993


Teaching my players, Bellevue HS, just before we won the 2001 State Football Championships

Our wonderful Clients who are our Trusted Friends

Anne & I work in the best possible business—we make travel dreams a reality!  Our slogan says it all:  Savor life . . . make memories . . . Visit Dream Destinations!  Your journey begins here!  THANKS ALL YOU WONDERFUL FOLKS WHO TRUSTED US TO PLAN THEIR TRIPS—WE LOVE YOU ALL

D Day Group
D Day 70th Anniversary Trip we led in 2014
AmaWaterways Chef’s Table with Clients on a river cruise Photo Anne Schrader

Some awesome clients we escorted in 2015 on an AmaWaterways Rivers & Castles river cruise  Photos Anne Schrader

Our Great Vendors

The hardest part of the travel business is finding the right suppliers who constantly deliver a product that exceeds our client’s expectations.  It is a partnership we do not take lightly.  We have learned from you and respect you continuing efforts to deliver high quality products.  Your business development directors combined with great education programs have made us much more professional.  High on this list are AmaWaterways, Scenic, Celebrity, Azamara, Travel Guard, and Europe Express.  We also appreciate all you dedicated employees who have made our vacations and our clients’ vacations fabulous.  THANKS FOR BEING SUCH GREAT PARTNERS!

Now It’s Your Turn

Do yourself a favor—tell someone thanks today for any reason.  We all have so much to be thankful for—for me the hard part is perhaps leaving someone out–I hope I didn’t.

From Anne & Hank—Happy Thanksgiving and Thanks Again to All of You for Your Trust in us!


8 thoughts on “What I am Thankful For

  1. Great tribute Hank. Wishing you the best for Thanksgiving and the upcoming Holiday season. We’re thankful to have met you and Anne and appreciate all the travel help you’ve given us past and future!


  2. Hank, That brings back a lot of memories. I have a copy of the 4-20 picture as well. I am kneeling on the right front. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and thank you for reminding us what is important.


  3. What an awesome tribute my friend! We are extremely thankful for yours and Anne’s love and friendship over the past 4 years! We sure do enjoy traveling with you and can’t wait for our next adventure.
    M & D


  4. […] Please be thankful you get to travel and see the world and different cultures.  I wrote a whole blog about this for the Thanksgiving holiday last year.   One part was about wonderful vendors, who provide great trips to our clients–we couldn’t do it without you!–and see the wonderful gift of flowers from AmaWaterways in the picture above.  Another part was about our wonderful clients who are our trusted friends.  I wrote:  Anne & I work in the best possible business—we make travel dreams a reality!  THANKS ALL YOU WONDERFUL FOLKS WHO TRUSTED US TO PLAN THEIR TRIPS—WE LOVE YOU ALL!  Here is the link to the whole blog  What I am Thankful For […]


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