Armed Forces Services Committee

Sept 24, 2007

Today started with last night actually. My bed did not cooperate and so I beat it most of the night. I am guessing with as much as I pulled on the blankets, beat the pillow and moved all around the bed and beat it to death that it will behave itself tonight and let me get some sleep. If not, I might have to set fire to it. :-0

The rest of my Monday was one of those Monday’s that you always think about when you say, “oh, your having one of those kind of Monday’s.” It was just a bunch of little things that never went right. Parking here is a nightmare. I went to park where I normally do and had to drive around and around and around. When I was on the opposite side someone pulled out and then just as I was getting ready to come up on it someone pulled into the parking lot ahead of me and pulled right into MY parking spot. Then around and around some more and then a woman came out and I sat and watched, Of course it took her 5 minutes to get the baby in and then the huge stroller in the back but I was not going to budge even if there was a car behind me. HA I got this one!

I went to go pick up the key in the office where we get them was closed for whatever reason. Not so bad, I can use the set the chaplain’s office has. Get to the chaplain’s office but there was no-one in the main office to get me the key.

Got into the clothing closet and I normally have the first couple hours to get it done up from the rush from the night before. But this morning we had two flights first thing and the normal progression of seeing their doctors then us did not happen so I got patients almost immediately.

It is also sad when you have to tell a patient that we do not have a certain item, so here is the current list. We are completely out of these items due to AAFES not fulfilling orders from the chaplain’s order. Medium white under shirts; large white under shirts; ankle socks; crew socks; tube socks; medium and large black or dark gray sweat pants; size 10 and 10 1/2 men’s tennis shoes; and men’s deodorant. I know there are probably more items, but those are at the top of my mind after fighting with my bed last night. If you know of any groups collecting $$ please suggest that they donate it through us so that we can purchase items needed. We can do bulk purchases and our turn around is quicker than AAFES which is how the WWMC is purchasing their items.

I had them bring in more items from the warehouse. So I got about 10 boxes out today with 6 more ready for tomorrow morning. It is difficult work to do since I am trying to recycle boxes that come in here. Most people send priority and those boxes cannot be used again. Others use cheap boxes and they are smashed, crushed and split before they even get here. Our boxes are good when they get here but are too big to be used for the large bottles of lotion, shampoo, bars of soap, conditioner or large toothpaste. I also have to pull off every stamp, label, and tape from any box I use. It is very time consuming.

We had more VIP’s come through today. Let me see if I can get this correct. They were congressman and woman that sit on the Armed Forces Services Committee. The chaplain came out and asked me if I would explain the operation of the WWMC. Several of them came up to me before I could start to thank me for my work there. Neil Abercromie from Hawaii and Madeleine Bordallo from Guam were the first. After I walked them through what we do Joe Wilson from South Carolina came up to me and showed me a picture of his son who was in a uniform and he thanked me for my work as a father of a serviceman. He said as a parent it meant a lot to him. Abercromie and Bordallo came up afterward and we had a really long talk about Hawaii and Guam since we lived on Guam and my son is on Hawaii. Abercromie asked my last name and how to spell it and where my son was. Let’s just say that if Jeremy needs anything I think he is now well taken care of.

We had a patient come in today that broke his leg while under fire. He was not shot, but broke it due to jumping off of something and the pallet he jumped on broke and he broke both the bones in his leg. Six or seven of the patients this week have injuries due to sports they were playing. Three were from them goofing off and getting hurt. One of the patients who came in this morning got in late last night. He decided to put on a short sleeve shirt and shorts. By the time he got in to see us from his 40-minute bus ride he was frozen. So don’t tell Brian but I dressed another one in the clothing closet today. 🙂

Most of the time the kids come in and they will take something that we have. They know that they need something but every once in a while you get someone that won’t take a thing because they want to save it for the next guy. We had one today. He waited for his buddy and the entire time he said he did not need anything. Well, the last time I had a patient tell me this it took me a while but he walked out with a pen. It was only a pen but he did not leave empty handed. Today I started with the same thing. Do you need boxers, t-shirts, a blanket and he would say no, no, no. I started with the toiletries. I usually start with mouthwash; dental floss and toe nail clippers because they usually always say yes. This guy was no, no, no. I was “oh, no” he is going to be difficult one. I told him “you will not leave here with out taking something so let’s try some more.” I went for my old standby of the pen, no. Cards to send home? No. Then I asked him if he had children? Yes. What sex? 3 girls. I told him he would have to send a little box home of gifts. I pulled out the little box of stuffed animals and he saw the Disney characters and he said, “oh yeah, I have to take 3 of these. This is where we went every year.” Then I showed him a handmade quilt with a log cabin and old farm tractors. That was a hit also. So I can say I have yet to fail. No one leaves the WWMC empty handed.

After everyone left I got a surprise visit from a very dear escort I met on Saturday. He looked good and we gave each other a very big hug. He is feeling much better and we had a talk and he said he did not know what got into him but he is feeling much better. He had a big smile on his face and looked like he had not had the same fight with his bed as I had with minE.

I worked 9.75 hours today thanks to Eileene Brady and her contribution to my trip.

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