HOTH Happenings

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The MD HOTH has been very busy.  In addition to our regular visits to our wounded heroes at Walter Reed, we’ve taken some of the troops and their families out to dinner, to our local VFW, to a motorcycle show at a local Harley dealer, and to a picnic sponsored by our local Lion’s Club complete with swimming, games and even a whole grilled pig!

A new soldier we met in the hospital told us he would love an Arby’s Arbecue Sandwich and orange swirl shake.  Well, we searched high and low for an Arby’s even going into Virginia.  Unable to find one that trip, we found one, it turns out, in a nearby town on our next visit.  His wife was so thrilled when we called to tell her we were able to get his favorite meal!

These guys and girls don’t ask for much.  Something as simple as a sandwich brightened his day.  While we were talking to another soldier we’ve known for some time, we mentioned the Arby’s story.  He told us that he too, loves Arby’s and couldn’t find one.  Well, he now knows where to go!

At the PGR Gathering of  the Guard in Virginia, a young girl of about 9 or 10 came up and said she wanted to do her part and help…she donated a quarter to the PGR HOTH.  We’ve collected home made cards from school kids and a local school had a “penny wars” to raise money to help with our PGR picnic we held at Walter Reed this June.  They raised $600!    

Our VFW hosted a picnic complete with live music, games and good eats!  We took some of the troops to that as well.  

We just stopped in to see one young soldier who we’ve known since last winter.  He’s outpatient and by himself as his family has gone back home.  He’d traveled to Europe to visit his unit on its return, maybe he was out when we’d stopped by other times, so we hadn’t seen him in about 2 months.  When we knocked on his door and he came out, we hugged and chatted.  Then he said that he was just thinking of us that morning and thought that everyone forgot about him.  I can’t tell you how badly that made us feel!  We assured him he’s not forgotten and we’ll do everything in our power to make sure he never is.    

On a more somber note, a soldier who we’d gotten to know over the past several months passed away unexpectedly at Walter Reed.  She was from our home state of MD.  We had become rather close with her and her family, always getting plenty of hugs from all of them.  We were contacted by the CAO to ensure that the PGR was in attendance at her service.  The kids reached out for hugs that morning when we paid our respects.  We assured all of them that we will always be there for anything they need.  

Most states are good at following through with keeping up with those we tell them about.  We ask that someone from the state get back to us when we contact them about one of their own.  Unfortunately, there are so many wounded troops at Walter Reed that we can’t notify about all of them but we do our best to.  Please help us make sure they’re not forgotten when they leave our care here at Walter Reed.