HOTH Happenings

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In October, we took a few of our Wounded Warriors from Walter Reed to a Backyard BBQ Bash where the guys had the chance to sample some of the contestants’ entries.  There were chicken wings, meat on a stick and some other good bbq eats.  A variety of local bands played and there was even hair painting.  We talked 2 of the guys into getting their hair painted…one chose blue and red (like a skunk) and the other, bright green.  There was plenty of time for the color to wear off before formation on Monday!  One of the guys participated in the wing eating contest.  We thought he was a shoo in but the results proved otherwise…they were full sized wings and just out of the oven hot!  He had a ball doing it though and listening to his cheering section 

We attended Walter Reed’s Oktoberfest that had all the German fixins from German food to a strong man and strong woman contest…one of the guys persuaded me to participate!  It consisted of a 1 on 1 contest where participants hold a large beer mug full of water and marbles with arms outstretched from their sides.  It sounded a lot easier than it was!!  I lost but had my Walter Reed friends behind me, which meant so much more to me than winning.

On Veteran’s Day, we had the honor of attending a breakfast with a group of Veterans at a senior living community.  Ted and I, along with 2 other PGR members, presented the colors, mingled and had breakfast with these men and women who have proudly served our country.  It really meant a lot to them and us!

A few months back a soldier told us how much he’d like to have a bicycle to ride while here at Walter Reed.  He loves the outdoors and did a lot of walking.  We put the word out and had a local Wal-Mart donate a gift card.  We took the soldier to pick out a bike and he was able to get some accessories, a jacket and gloves too.  We also had several PGR members donate used bikes and the Red Men Riders donate 5 brand new ones.  We’ve found takers for all of them at Walter Reed and have a promise of several more! 

Thanksgiving morning was spent at Walter Reed handing out home made baked goods.  A little taste of home really means a lot to the guys and girls!  We took 2 soldiers to Thanksgiving dinner with my family.  Another PGR member took a soldier and the soldier’s mom to share Thanksgiving with her family.  Although it rained, it was a very enjoyable day for all.

On several occasions we’ve taken new and gently used clothing and personal products to Walter Reed.  Clothing and personal products are a great need there.  Just this past weekend, we took some Girl Scouts with lots of boxes of their cookies.  The Wounded Warrior Christmas party was that day as well so everyone got to meet a lot of our guys and girls and say “Thanks” in person.  In attendance at the party was Elvis, many elves, a train garden and of course, Santa himself.

We have lots of toys that were donated that we’ll be taking over 1 night next week.  We’ve already taken several large boxes that were used at the Christmas party.  And we now have a contact on the Pediatrics Ward (yes, there are children being treated at Walter Reed as well).  A new member of the MD PGR is a soldier who works on that ward.  With her help, we’ve delivered toys and Girl Scout Cookies to Pediatrics.  It was like Christmas morning when we gave them to the nurse’s station! 

We’ve presented several motorcycle vests over the past few months as well.  Some are sponsored by groups or individuals and others by the MD PGR.  These are a much prized and appreciated gift!

In between our visits to Walter Reed, we have given rides to and from the airport…once for a soldier whose wife and daughter were coming to visit and he hadn’t seen them for 2 years; another time for a soldier going home on leave.  I don’t believe there is a shuttle for the airports and cabs can be quite costly and cab vouchers aren’t always available.  We have a soldier who returned to his base in Germany to out process from the Army.  He is due to come back next week and will stay with us for as long as he needs a place to stay. 

We always tell the guys that if they ever need anything, we’ll do everything we can to help…As you can see from what I’ve written here, there are many ways to help our Wounded Warriors.  Start a collection drive of clothes (don’t forget the ladies and kids too) or personal hygiene products; if you have a flexible work schedule and dependable car, take someone to the airport, shopping, fishing or out for the day; sponsor a motorcycle vest or bicycle; just visit and get to know some of these men and women who so often tell us in response to our thanks for their service, “I was just doing my job.”  We ask that anyone who would like to help out, visit with us several times and get to know some of them personally, before taking them anywhere.  We’re more than happy to get more folks involved.  If it’s a group, we prefer to keep it to a small number of people at one time.  As always, feel free to email me with any questions or to help out.  My email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.