East Coast Wounded Warriors
October 25 was a banner day for the Purple Heart Hero Support Group at Bethesda.
We served a record number of meals to families, wounded warriors and staff. We were joined by our friends from MarineParents.com from places as far away as Missouri and Florida. They were in town for the Marine Corps Marathon which ran that morning.
Those of us who have been working at Bethesda were so happy to welcome back Joseph Lopez and his mother, Barbara. Joe participated in the Marathon on his hand cycle and Barbara ran the half marathon. Both were glowing.
A delightful young Wounded Warrior was wheeled into the conference room where burritos, salad and chips from California Tortilla were set up as a buffet. He told us he was not only a Marine himself, but that his mother had been a Marine. Later he brought his beautiful, young wife back so she could have a burrito dinner. He told us the harrowing tale of driving along a road in Afghanistan when his vehicle rode over an IED. His bravery and good humor were an inspiration to us all.
Mothers and fathers came in to get their suppers, bemoaning their wounded children's lack of appetite. They all came back saying, once their child had seen their tray of burritos, they wanted some! Many of the parents were grateful for the salads after days of fast food.
Click here for California Tortilla website.
The next suppers served at Bethesda will be on November 29th.
Peggy Densford – PHHS East Coast Manager
West Coast Wounded Warriors
October's dinner was incredible!
Kitchen Art Studio in San Diego did an outstanding job cooking for our Wounded Warriors this month. I told them I was looking for a "homemade meal" for our men and they went above and beyond! We have been serving meals at Balboa for a year now and it has always been my dream to serve pot roast, something their moms would cook them. Every table I stopped and talked to told me it was the best dinner they had ever been served at the Liberty Room, hands down. We had many go back for seconds and thirds!
Click here for the Kitchen Art Studio website.
Kitchen Art Studio cooked pot roast with vegetables and gravy (so tender!) , REAL mashed potatoes made with butter and heavy cream, green beans sautéed in olive oil and garlic that tasted as though they had just been picked off the vine, and salad! We ordered for 125, they cooked for 200. No one left hungry and there were plenty of wonderful desserts made with a great deal of love by MP volunteers. Many took take out boxes to have leftovers for the next night, it was that delicious! The volunteers were sad that the Army did not come down for this feast, but I don't think it bothered our Marines at all, lol.
The food was fantastic, but the best part was that the Sergeant Major for 1st Marine Division came and spent the whole evening with all of our Wounded Warriors. Watching him interact with our Marines just gave us all such a sense of pride - he is everything the Marine Corps stands for; honor, courage, and commitment. He spoke to everyone individually and you could see how much our boys appreciated him being there. There were smiles and laughter ringing throughout the Liberty Center. The Sergeant Major spent the entire evening there and you could see the love and respect he had for our heroes was mirrored right back in their faces. Not only did he talk to our boys, but he made it a point to thank each and every one of our volunteers; what an incredible Marine. One could readily see why he has been invited to speak at so many Marine Corps Balls. He is a leader among men.
Every time we serve a dinner I wonder how we can make it better. We have the most wonderful volunteers in the world, whatever needs to be done, one of them is right there. No Marine, Sailor or Soldier ever sits by himself. No one comes in without a warm friendly smile and a hug. They are so appreciative of Marine Parents, there are times when I'll be saying goodbye to one and I turn around and there are three or four more waiting to hug me and thank us for being there.
This is all made possible because of you, and we thank you! Please keep supporting our Purple Heart Hero Support Program, it is so very important. There is no mess hall for these heroes and the cafeteria closes at 2 pm. Yes, they can go to McDonalds, Subway or Rice King located on the hospital grounds, but even they get old after you've been there a couple of months. Help us continue to bring these great dinners to our Wounded Warriors by making a donation today!
Joyce Orrell – PHHS West Coast Manager
A Special Thank You
We'd like to extend a huge thank you to the Purple Heart Hero Support October 2009 Sponsors. The meals provided this month at Bethesda and Balboa were funded by:
Marine Corps League
Pvt George Phillips Detachment
Oct 2009 In-part
Gabrelcik Investments, LLC
Oct 2009 In-part
Ret. LCDR from Florida
Oct 2009 In-part
Thank you for supporting our Wounded Warriors and their families through your contribution to Purple Heart Hero Support!