In Pain He Still Said Good-Bye

by Karen Grimord on May 4, 2009

My last day in Germany has arrived and, as always, it is going to be difficult to leave.  I have met some wonderful military members.  They serve our country and protect our way of living.  They have shown they are the few and the proud, they have done more before 9 am than most of us do in a day.  The military is not a perfect bunch, but they are a breed to themselves.

Monday was a busy day with not much of it being spent in the WWMC.  I said bye to many of the liaisons and spoke to one of them about Justin.  Many of you know him from my past blogs and posts to the LHCP yahoo group.  I dropped some excess food off at the USO and they have been very well stocked with LRMC WWMC items since I have been here.  I showed another volunteer where they were located so she can help clear excess food supplies.

I did my last pillow run to the wards.  Judy and Callie W., I am very proud to tell you that all the pillows Judy made and Callie stuffed and sewed shut are gone.  They have been for weeks.  I take the pillows to the wards in great big clear plastic bags.  The patients can see the pillows inside and yours were a great hit with the wounded.  One of your pillows was perfect for a patient to prop up his arm so his shoulder was comfortable.  He said the hospital pillows were a little too flat and big.

The day before I left for Germany, Kathy, Brian, and I were getting the last of the supplies in Virginia sent out to our contacts.  We had a lot of boxes to go through.  Kathy was opening and pulling the letters from the boxes and I was doing database entries and printing address labels.  Brian was taping up boxes so they would be ready to use.  As a box was opened, Brian and Kathy would ask which contact needed blankets, pillows, scrub caps, and so forth.  We had items flying every direction.  Kathy opened a box with some sneakers in it.  She had not read the letter in the box and asked me where to send the supplies.  One item was some sneakers and I told her all sneakers go to LRMC.  So, in the box they went.  Later that night she called me to say she had made a big mistake.  The box she opened had come from Judy.  Judy has traveled from Michigan to Virginia to help pack shipments and learn the database we maintain for our annual report.  One trip, she had a pair of sneakers on like I used to have.  I told her that these were the only sneakers I had found that did not make my foot hurt since I had broken my 2nd metatarsal and I wished I could find another pair of them.  I told her I had been to all the shoe stores with no success.  Well, my dear LHCP sister had found them and sent them to me for my trip to LRMC.  Little did we know they were on their way to LRMC, but not on my feet or in my suitcase.  All was well; I was heading to LRMC and would just grab the sneakers once they arrived in Germany.  Each time the mail came, I unpacked all the boxes in hopes of finding my pain-free sneakers.  Judy and Kathy, you will both be glad to know they arrived today.  I had to laugh when I saw them, as I fly back to the states in two days and they traveled to Germany by USPS and will travel back on my feet.  Judy, they fit perfect, I thank you for your help in protecting my puppies.

I came to work at 9 and left at 1630 but I don’t feel I can say I worked 7.5 hours.  I am going to only put down 5 hours for today.  Thank you to Shelley Jansen!

I went to work on Tuesday and one of the volunteers helped get the last excess packed up to go to Iraq.  I got the address labels on at 4:30 and they are ready to be sent out on Wednesday.

I met Mike, another patient from one of the tours, in the hospital.  He asked what I was going to do my last night in Germany.  I told him pack a suitcase and go to bed early.  He talked about going to dinner and I said that was a nice idea.  He had to get a battle buddy and their pass, since the patients can’t go off LRMC without one.  At 6:15, Gabi yelled down the hall for me.  I opened my door and she told me I had a lot of guests.  It was Weston, Brian, and Mike, all there to have dinner with me.  We walked to the Chinese restaurant across the street since I had already turned in the rental car.  We had a nice time and decided that we needed a group picture.  My batteries for the camera were dead and since none of the guys had their camera, we walked back to LRMC.  Weston got his camera and we had a USO volunteer take the last picture that was to be taken for this trip.  Brian was still very sore from his surgery which meant even more to me.  He came to say bye even though he was still not feeling well.

I worked from 9:00 to 2:00 in the WWMC and from 2:00 to 4:00, one of the chaplain’s assistants and another chaplain’s office employee took me to turn in my car, then we picked up chicken for the patients chicken night at the Wounded Warrior Transition Building and they dropped me off at the hotel.

I will be traveling home as life continues at LRMC.  We must continue to do what we do here so that we can make their job at LRMC and across the Middle East easier.

Thank you to Bob Tuscon and the Western States Big Q Shriners!

Weston and the Group

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