Just One Smile For Ape

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!!

I have received the box of pillows, the box of blankets, the box of pj’s and boxer/briefs and socks, the phone cards, the box of tampons. I have my work cut out for me tonight doing sponsor labels.

The rest of the apes went out today along with enough candy to have everyone in the hospital fail their pt test. We still have more!!! We had one group send 6 large boxes of candy here. That was enough for everyone, but of course others sent some also.

Just in case you did not know, we still have troops in Afghanistan. I know that might sound stupid to some of you, but I talked to a troop yesterday who said he went home in Nov for his mid tour. He was wearing the digital uniform and someone asked him what uniform he was wearing. When he told them the Army uniform, they did not believe him and then asked where he was at. When he told them Afghanistan the reaction was that, “Hey right, we don’t still have troops there.” I have a request to supply a small list of items to the hospital there if anyone is interested. The items are FLAT sheets (NO fitted), phone cards, blankets and electric blankets, letters of support.

The last two days we have been swamped with patients. The buses are full and more than usual. Last week and this week seems to be a lot of shoulder injuries, dislocations, tears, etc.

I had a heart-wrenching experience today. A patient that I have seen for a couple days was to go home today. He has both arms and hands wrapped thick in bandages. He also has half his face and neck burned. When I saw him today as I was giving out the cards, candy, and apes, I said something about I thought you were to go home today. He said that he guess that it was wishful thinking and too positive an outlook. He was so depressed and sad, but a hug was not possible due to his injuries. I noticed that the bag of candy was not open from yesterday’s rounds and asked if he wanted me to open it for him.  He said no that he just did not feel much like eating. I gave him two apes one for his wife and one for him but I just felt like crap leaving him there by himself.

Our very last ape went to a young man in the mental health ward. I was giving everyone an ape and everyone was smiling when we were handing out the candy and cards. There was one kid that would not smile and some one told him that he had to smile to get the ape. He was not going to do it. So I gave everyone else one and went to his side of the table squatted down next to him and said that this was the last ape that I had and it needed a friend. Just one little smile and I could give my friend away to another friend. HE SMILED!!! Not even a fake smile but a real one with a small laugh. Everyone was like XXXXX smiled. I gave my ape friend away to live with a new friend and gave the young man a kiss on the cheek. These wounds are rarely seen by the human eye but cause just as much pain for our troops.

I could have easily given away twice the number of Valentine Apes as want I brought. They were the right size; color and the face seem to have everyone just fall in love with them. Not something our troops could wear to protect them from the cold or something to put on their feet but the Valentine Apes sure warmed a lot of hearts and put a smile on a face that no one thought could smile.

I have to go and start the sponsor labels so Good Night and Happy Valentine’s Day again everyone.


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