East Coast Wounded Warriors
On January 9, 2011, the Purple Heart Hero Support group served the first suppers of the new year at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The group was joined by the service dogs and handlers of Veterans Moving Forward.
The PHHS volunteers were very busy serving many Marine family members on the 5th floor. Trays of food were delivered to the PTSD and Behavioral Medicine wards. Families with wounded warriors in ICU were grateful when PHHS volunteers brought trays of food to them, as they were reluctant to leave the bedsides of their wounded warriors.
Click here for California Tortilla website.
One family did bring their wounded warrior to the 5th floor conference room so he could enjoy California Tortilla’s buffet of burritos, salad and chips. He had suffered a serious head injury so he was wearing a protective helmet. His wife pushed him in a wheelchair, and a friend also came down to help carry the food back to his room. Despite all the help there still weren’t enough hands to carrying everything. One of the PHHS volunteers carefully put the wrapped burritos in the warrior’s cradled arms. He looked up and apologetically said, “I just don’t think I can carry the drinks.” He was assured that carrying the burritos was very helpful to his wife.
The dogs and handlers of Veterans Moving Forward went to the PTSD ward to visit the patients there. One PHHS volunteer told us that one patient sat isolated from the other unwilling to interact. Hoewver, after the dogs had been in the ward for awhile, the wounded warrior got up and slowly moved towards the dog to pet it.
Three medevac wounded arrived that evening and were taken straight to the ICU. Food was wrapped up and taken to the Marine Liaison’s office to be kept for the families of the newly arrived wounded.
The PHHS volunteers are currently scheduling two meals a month at the National Naval Medical Center for the next six months.