Sunday, March 30, 2008
I met so many wonderful heroes that day. A warrior from Fort Riley who I’d been speaking to on a fairly regular basis and who was at BAMC for surgery, found me in the crowd of “angels”. That touched me deeply.
There is one wounded warrior (I’ll call him AB) and his family from Texas that I will never forget meeting! (And look forward to meeting up with again at the FOA2008 Bicycle Ride). He’d been injured early on in the war, March 31, 2003, and the family had “just found” Soldier’s Angels in June 2007. AB’s mom and I had spoken a few times in the month prior to this event and when I heard I was going to San Antonio, we invited the family to the BBQ.
To tell you that AB and his family were an inspiration to me is a total understatement. He and his family took the hearts of each and every “angel” who attended this event! Speaking for most of us that met this family; we were humbled by the faith, strength, determination and love this family has and share with the world. We were able to surprise AB with a presentation of a laptop from the VALOUR IT program—much to his immense delight. Soldiers’ Angels also was putting its name on 2 rooms at the Fisher Houses at BAMC that day. We asked if he would do us the honor of choosing one. He was proud to do so.
AB was seriously injured March 31, 2003. He was a medic with the 82nd Airborne and was seriously injured going to the aid of an injured soldier.
Hero? In my eyes--YES!
March 31, 2008 is AB’s “Alive Day”. Happy “Alive Day” AB!
How DO you say thank you…………………….
Sunday, March 23, 2008
What makes this ride--notice "ride" not "race"--unique is that it is truly a "team effort". All participants ride together as a group and all finish together as a group. The ride is open to all--civilian, active duty military, retired military, our wounded military.
This is the 3rd year I've worked a wounded warrior bicycle ride. I can not begin to explain the vast array of emotions spent over those days, by riders and volunteers. Last year, at the end of the ride, one of the wounded warriors I knew from WRAMC was so happy and full of joy. He said to me "L.........., this is the first time I've felt normal since I lost my leg". Can I tell you that I will work from morning to night making rides like this happen for these warriors!
Last year, the son who "I let turn 16---sigh" rode the ride. He grew up over those days and I've been told by those that rode with him that he is no longer to be called a kid. He earned "man" those days. This year, he's not able to ride due to a previous committment. He is a LT in the Explorer unit with our local fire department and they have a competition scheduled for that same time. There is next year!
Anyway, if you aren't doing anything May 3 & 4th, come join us in Bethesda MD to Gettysburg PA for an experience you will never forget! It will be 110 miles of many emotions--many will be overwhelming but in a very good way! Participants are always welcome and encouraged to ride. Volunteers are always needed!!
I know that's where you'll find me! You'll also find my blog-father Laughing Wolf who is planning on riding the ride and blogging on his site and Blackfive. I believe I've heard rumors that Chuck might ride too!
Sign up! The more--the merrier!LDR
Thursday, March 20, 2008
First and foremost, I think about the Warriors. The warriors and their families that have sacrificed so much to keep me and mine safe here at home; the warriors and the families of the wounded and ill warriors who have made that sacrifice for us; the warriors and their families who have made the ultimate sacrifice. God Bless All. How do you say "thank you"…………………
I think of how this war has changed my sons who are very big military supporters in their own right. The innocence of their young lives was shattered on September 11 and as friends were deployed in the GWOT.
I think about how this war has changed me--this "Old Jersey Gal" who went from being afraid to speak in public, timid, shy and quiet (and afraid to fly) to fighting for our wounded and ill warriors; holding my own with Generals, Colonels and other officials to be sure "our guys/gals" are being taken care of in many different ways and speaking in public. (I am no longer afraid to fly)
I think about how this war changed a mom whose son was deployed and asked her to write to some of his buddies who weren't receiving mail and now oversees one of the largest non-profit military support groups--Soldiers' Angels. How do you say "thank you"………………
Public support of the war is not high. Our deployed warriors need to hear words of support and encouragement from those of us here at home. Soldiers' Angels has filled that need since 2003. How do you say "thank you"………………….
Working as I do with the WWST, I can only hope and pray the public support of our veterans of ALL WARS remain in the forefront. With all these heroes have gone through, a simple "thank you" means the world to them. Their response is "thank you--I was just doing my job". Truly humble heroes. How do you say "thank you"…………………..
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
In the future, I hope to share with you some of the wonderful things the Wounded Warrior Support Team accomplishes here in the States. I'll share stories about the establishment of a team in a new base, the VALOUR IT program, our Transitional Backpacks, some team happenings and upcoming projects.
Let me give you a brief background of the team. It was established in November 2004 as a "card writing team" to our wounded warriors. 20 minutes later, the WWST was born and has been on the fast track since! What a ride it's been!! Working in conjunction with the Wounded TLC Team (the card writing team), Soldiers Angels is providing support to wounded warriors throughout the United States and Germany, even at times to our warriors who are recovering in theater.
We have small, vetted teams in most medical facilities who visit the wounded upon request. Our visiting teams are not "door knockers", they visit on a request basis. With the inception of the WTU's and WTB's, our teams are growing in leaps and bounds, establishing Soldiers Angels support in bases throughout the country. The support provided by the teams vary from a simple hello to taking a warrior or family member to the store; from bringing the warrior and/or family member home baked cookies to just sitting talking, the WWST's are there.
Between the VA Hospitals and these WTU's and WTB's, the support of our wonderful angels is so needed!! These areas are the areas that are and will be needing support in the future. I'm proud to say that Soldiers' Angels is establishing support in these facilities!!