Karen’s LRMC Trip Blog
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
We had two planes come in today but it was kind of quite in the WWMC. Tomorrow I guess they will all come in at the same time.
Lori B. I thought about you and your question about how to thank the troops. You asked:
“I have been thinking for a while that I would like to say something to the military personnel that I see in airports, etc., along the lines of ‘thank you for your service,’ with no further discussion expected. But, I don’t want to sound condescending. I have no-one serving in the military in my family to ask if this would be appropriate, appreciated, or considered rude. “
I talked to a young man earlier tonight who is on his 3rd tour. This is not the interesting fact, since I run into many wounded that wish to return to finish the job they started. What did surprise me was that out of the blue he said that he used to get really embarrassed when people would come up and thank him for his service. He never knew what to say. He told me he was doing his job. He showed me a tattoo on his arm which says ‘NOBODY’S HERO.’ He explained that it makes him uncomfortable at times, because he came from a country that treats him completely different and to walk into a place where people clap or line up to shake his hand for doing his job is unnerving at times. We talked about the fact that it takes all of us to make it work, no matter the job at hand. He needs vehicle mechanics to make sure that his vehicle gets him where he needs to go. He needs cooks to feed him, he needs chaplains to provide spiritual support and he needs people back home to send things he and other servicemen cannot get their hands on. He said it took three tours, but he finally figured out how to reply and it is with, “thank you for your support.”
We talked about AFN coming in tomorrow to do an interview with me at the WWMC tomorrow and how I had tried to get out of it; that I had sent the AFN names of military members who were serving in the Middle East; patients and others I had met, who I thought were the real story. He told me that he thought I would be an interesting story. I told him there was no way to make unpacking, packing, folding clothes for shelves into an interesting story. He asked me why I did it, and then I remembered what I had told Maria. It is like the master card commercial that says something like: hot dog 2.99, team’s jersey $30, tickets to the game $150, catching the home run ball priceless. Well, this job volunteering at LRMC goes something like this: Car rental – $800.00; Hotel room – $100/day (so I can unpack the mail, stock shelves, clean store rooms); Plane ticket – $1500; seeing the look of appreciation of the wounded warriors face – Priceless. That is why I do it; helping me become a better person is priceless.
So for all my LHCP supporters, I thank you for your support and know that you are priceless to a wounded warrior and they “thank you for your support.”
I’d like to thank Larry Walley for helping make this trip possible. He has been a member of the LHCP Yahoo Group since March 2008. Thank you for all your support, Larry!