Recently I have shared some holiday celebrations with wounded warriors from Walter Reed. In just the last three months, these families have experienced a move to a new facility, an earthquake, a hurricane, continued recovery, and now the holiday season is upon us. While many of us go to holiday parties, I challenge you to consider our incredible Warriors during this holiday season. Such scenes of simple joy in families who have endured heavy challenges this year deserve recognition.
Consider a young soldier with a serious neurosurgery two days out grinning from ear to ear as the British ambassador greets him, completely unselfconciously and proudly introducing his girlfriend. Picture children lined up to “play” the Australian instrument, a didgeridoo that I swear is where the “Droid” sound derives! Consider multiple service members in wheel chairs in full dress uniforms with small babies and toddlers clamoring to tug at their ears, mouths, and medals while dignitaries deliver toasts to their valor. They’re focused on their child… Picture a Christmas party in the Warrior Café and the loud sound of a zillion conversations and cheers over raffle drawings for generous gift donations. Relish in the group hug of families and friends who didn’t know each other until recently, joined in the common goal of support and healing. My personal favorite is when these courageous men and women readily demonstrate they are truly shining human beings we would do well to emulate.
Why am I writing about this? Because I have the privilege of new friends, new experiences, and new appreciation for our Warriors this year and especially … wait for it … their Caregivers. Last year, many of these same warriors and caregivers were in vastly different medical phases. Yes, many, many warriors and families spend multiple Christmas celebrations and New Year entries at the hospital. Progress is often slow, but it IS progress!
Caregivers, we salute you today and everyday. It is a special time of year, and we are making steady progress with raising awareness of what you manage on a daily basis. Make it a very good week!
Blessings and care,