East Coast Wounded Warriors
The East Coast Purple Heart Hero Support volunteers met at the entrance of the National Naval Medical Center, soon to be known as the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, on Sunday, September 26th to serve suppers to the families of Wounded Warriors. When the volunteers arrived at the fifth floor conference room where they routinely set up the food, they found it under two inches of water caused by a clogged pipe on the sixth floor. Not to be deterred, the dauntless volunteers quickly conferred with ward staff and came up with a suitable alternative.
As usual, California Tortilla of Bethesda, Maryland promptly delivered burritos, salad and chips. Volunteers swiftly set up the trays of food and drinks. Barbara, mother of Lt. Mark, USN of Carrier Air Wing Five, again sent homemade cookies which she had carefully individually wrapped as dessert for the families. The PHHS volunteers started circulating throughout the fifth floor, inviting family members to eat. Parents who have been at Bethesda for awhile were delighted to see the PHHS group and the supper they provided. They said they really looked forward to the colossal burritos. Volunteer Virginia stayed very busy pouring drinks and assisting family members. The diligent corpsmen came to prepare trays for their non-ambulatory patients.
Click here for California Tortilla website.
The PHHS volunteers also handed out business card folders to families of Wounded Warriors. Very often, these brave Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen see several different specialists during their long recuperation. Families have to keep track of all the professional cards that they receive. MarineParents.com saw the need for an organizational tool and created wallet sized portfolios to hold these cards. The families at the NNMC were delighted with these card holders. Several mentioned how they had stacks of cards that they were struggling to keep arranged. The MarineParents.com portfolios were a welcome solution.
Volunteer Mary Ann Schilling went up to the 7th floor PTSD/TBI ward to see if patients there were hungry. She came back with a large request for the delicious Latino meal. Trays of burritos, salad and chips were transported to the 7th floor. Ward staff opened up a conference room for their patients to enjoy their special meal. One nurse thanked the volunteers profusely, saying “You have no idea how much this means to the patients on this ward”.
A staff chaplain arrived on the fifth floor to comfort and counsel families of Wounded Warriors. He also expressed his appreciation to the PHHS volunteers. He said, “Sometimes just the decision to go out to get meals is too much for the anxious family members.” The food and companionship provided by the PHHS volunteers is important to help these families cope with such a stressful time in their lives.
Volunteers Paul and Joe took trays of burritos, salad and chips over to Mercy Hall, the barracks for recuperating Wounded Warriors. The food was set up in the lounge. This was especially welcome as it started to rain, making the walk to the mess building especially uncomfortable.
PHHS volunteers will be serving meals at the National Naval Medical Center throughout the fall and winter.