East Coast Wounded Warriors
On March 6th the East Coast Purple Heart Hero Support team served suppers of burritos and salads from California Tortilla at the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Maryland. A delicious buffet was set up in the 5th floor conference room. The Purple Heart Hero Support volunteers proudly hung up their new banner along the wall of the conference room.
Girl Scouts Troop 3374 from St. Mary’s County, Maryland, collected donated boxes of Girl Scout cookies for the Wounded Warriors. To earn a merit badge, the Girl Scouts had to retire a worn American flag. After cutting out the blue field from the flag, they cut out all fifty stars. To the stars, the girls attached a message of appreciation and good wishes to the Wounded Warriors. Each star was placed in a small plastic bag and attached to a box of Girl Scout cookies. Patients and families alike were very touched by the girls’ warm-hearted gesture.
Volunteer Mary Jane brought along the young black Labrador Retriever that she is training to be a service dog. This was the dog’s first visit to the hospital. He was very shy and hesitant, but he warmed up right away to a young wounded Marine who came in a wheel chair with his big brother to get some supper.
Other volunteers made sure suppers were taken to the PTSD/TBI ward for patients there. Volunteers also visited the ICU waiting room to offer supper and compassion to families keeping vigil for their critically wounded Marines.
An ambulatory patient from the 5th floor came to get a burrito. As he spoke to volunteer Rene, she learned that he was a psychologist who had served with a Marine detachment in Afghanistan. Rene mentioned that she had just come from taking supper to Marines in the PTSD ward. This patient spoke warmly of those Marines whom he called his own. He said they saved his life.
Food was also delivered to Mercy Hall, the barracks for the long-term recuperating Wounded Warriors. They are always grateful to have food for midnight snacks when they wake up, struggling with pain management.
The volunteers left at 6:30 p.m., and there was not a scrap of food left!!