Here is an email from a troop that came in yesterday or the day before.
I received the items from your store/shop the other day just prior to boarding my bus back to XXXX. Besides the items, the people who worked there were very supportive and just real friendly. For the 2 minutes I was there, I felt somewhat normal again and not as if I was in a uniform and had been in a combat environment for past 6 months. I thanked all who were there and I in turn was thanked for what I did. I didn’t leave without a hug either.
I also found that one of your staff was there on a volunteer basis. She said that she was to be there for 6 weeks and I thought how great is that that someone volunteered to help me in some way shape or form. It was really good to hear.
Know that your service is a great one to provide to our injured service members. I cc’ed my wife because I want her to know as well that there are people here besides the MD’s who go the extra mile.
Sorry I have not posted in two days, but I have been busy with some behind the scene things. Dianne S., you are a true life saver and I know that this family feels blessed for having your help.
For those of you new to the project, please read the Blog on the web page from my last visit. For those of you that have been around since last fall, I was known as the “Name on my briefs lady,” this trip it is the “Toe Lady.” The young man I told you about with the hat on his foot with the tassels is making quite the rounds. I have had several people coming in asking if I’m the toe lady. I have to laugh, because, can you imagine the look on my face the first time I was asked that? The second guy said yea this guy had this hat on his foot to keep his toes warm and said that this “very nice, rock on, cute woman” gave it to him from the clothing closet. (The nice and cute I understand the meaning of, but the “rock on” I just have to hope is also good. LOL) The problem is that XXXX does not remember names and could not remember mine so he calls me the “Toe Lady.” So 3 patients later and I’m the Toe Lady. I have been known for lots of different things, but this is a new one to add to the book. LOL.
Last fall it was the name on the boxers, yesterday we were a little busy and this man says, “Hey this couple in Stafford, VA by the name of GRIMORD sent these socks here.” I turned around and asked if it said Mr. and Mrs. Brian Grimord. He said “rock on.” (Someone has to tell me what the means.) Everyone looked at me like, how did you know that. So I told them I was Karen Grimord and what we did and why I was there. I was told to let each of you know how much this means to each of them. Dianne, you have two more pairs of ankle socks before yours are gone from the shelf.
I waited on a young man yesterday who had surgery two days ago. Very nice and very polite! We had our small chit chat and said our good bye. Today, I found out that he worked for one of the Generals and I got coined for the support this young man was provided. It is a very nice coin from the Third Infantry Division, Outstanding Soldier, “Rock of the Marine” General. I wish I could “coin” all of you for the great work that you do to keep our shipments coming in here and down range.
Four nights ago a young man, XXX, came down from the mental health ward. (some of them get 1 hour passes). I waited on him and he was very nice and quite the joker. He told me that he has been diagnosed as being bi-polar. The next night he came back with someone new to the ward. Now remember this kid has been “SHOPPING” already once, as I’m helping his new friend he looks around and picks out some CD’s, sun glasses, and a sweater. The next night XXX comes down with the friend from the night before and another new member of the ward. Again the same thing, I help the new patient and XXX goes checking out everything, keeping everyone laughing the entire time, but picking up this little thing here that thing there. XXX asked if he could exchange his small black bag for one of the larger ones (they are only allowed one bag). I told him sure bring the small one back down the next day. Yesterday afternoon XXX came down and tried to tell me, in a very round the bush way, that he had so much wonderful stuff that he could not fit it all in the bag. I laughed and said of course you do, you are worse than any woman I’ve ever met about shopping. I told him to keep both the bags, but his shopping was shut off, no more, done, finished. Everyone started to laugh and he looked at me and smiled and said well can I still come down here and talk with you? I gave him a big hug and said of course you can, any time. So tonight, he brought back all the friends from the nights before and another new member of the ward. He started to go shopping, he had his back to me and I looked at him and his friends were, “OHHHH” XXX look at Karen.” He turned around really slow and had this smile on his face that he thought would melt me. I told him I have a son that used to try that and it just would not work. Everyone was laughing and told him he had met his match. He leaves here in a couple days and I will miss my 4-4:15 appointment with this very wonderful young man.
Tomorrow is my 25th anniversary. I will deliver some of our Valentine apes early. Patient load is light compared to last fall and we have enough to go around the hospital now and then also on Valentine’s Day. This will give the guys going home a small gift for Valentine’s Day also. One of the chaplains’ assistants told me today that the apes were very appropriate because she did consider me ape for our soldiers. My 25th may not be spent with my husband, but I guarantee you it will be spreading love to the wounded military personnel here at LRMC.
I promised a young man today that I would ask all of you to say a special prayer or take a moment and think about his friend who has all four limbs broken and is in bad shape. I will not post the name, but I’m sure the man upstairs will listen anyways.
That is it for the night, time for bed.