Well today was not bad for a Monday. The chaplain’s assistants went to the bunkers to get more supplies. There are 5 supply rooms here at LRMC and yet boxes and boxes more at bunkers. There is still Christmas candy here, I had to throw some out today as it was expired.
It was a busy day but steady. I got boxes and boxes of sweats and black duffel bags out. We have another organization who donated black bags, but they are a little too small for the troops and we have a lot of them, so we are trying to get them all out the door. We had 3 patients come back today asking if we had a larger bag.
I did not get breakfast this morning, so the staff forced me to go to lunch. I guess after my renal failure last year and me spending the night as a patient at LRMC, they all feel they need to take care of me. I get caught up in the work and don’t realize that the day is half gone.
Just as I was leaving, the young man with the infection on his face came in and I asked if he would like to go to lunch. He did so I did not have to eat lunch by myself. Maria just emailed me last night asking if I was going to buy any of them lunch and I told her I never know what will happen day to day. Don’t you know she asked just in time and I told this young man lunch was on Maria. (Please feel free to forward that check to Sharon Buck, our faithful treasurer . Ok Karen, I will!) He said to thank Maria for him. He had been really craving Subway so we satisfied that craving. He is heading back to the Middle East Thursday.
The mom of the ICU patient came in also. She arrived just as the hospital commander and VIP visitors showed up. I was stuck on one side of the WWMC and her on the other, with the VIP and entourage in the middle.
The hospital commander explained to our visitors how the WWMC worked. Then the chaplain told the hospital commander who I was and that LHCP had sent the plaque for the WWMC that the hospital commander had presented to the WWMC staff. He shook my hand and thanked us. He gave me a commander’s coin and thanked us for our work again.
I explained to our visitors that all the items were new and showed him some adaptive clothing. The mom had moved closer and I felt bad I could not get to her. I thought I would put the attention on her and ask how her daughter was. It worked. I explained to the visitors that her daughter was in ICU.
She said she did not need anything, that she had just come in to thank me for helping her. She gave me a hug and started crying. My back was to the VIPs and she was facing them. She told them that knowing the WWMC was here really helped the moms of our wounded troops. It was an emotional scene for the VIPs as we hugged for about 30 seconds, but it is good for them to see the impact of the work done by the staff of the WWMC.
As I was leaving tonight, one of the chaplains was walking down the side walk. He yelled out to me, “Karen, leaving already?” I told him I was and he asked didn’t I have 5 more hours of work? They are always teasing me about working so many hours and weekends, but that is why I am here.
I had several people email me privately asking about the story the young man told me the other day. I still cannot tell the story, no matter if I send it privately or not. If you want to know what some of our guys go through, get a book I read a while back. “House to House” is a gripping story of life on the front line. It is not for the faint of heart. It uses foul language and describes situations that will help you understand what those in combat experience. Some will not agree or like what is portrayed in the book, but read it and take time to absorb each chapter.
My back hurts and my feet hurt so I am going to just lie on my bed and read what may be another really great book about our troops and the life on the front line.
Today I worked 8.5 hours. Thank you Bob Long!