In The Company Of Heroes
October 15, 2007
Friday, just like any other day, my alarm went off at 5am. But this day was going to be a bit different than my usual Friday at the office, because Friday I had a special mission to carry out. I went about my typical morning routine of getting ready, backing out of the driveway at 6:20am and heading towards Fort Hood. But I wasn’t going to my usual destination. Intead of continuing down Hood Road to the Copeland Center, I took a left and headed for the 1st Cavalry Division’s headquarters building, where I met up with several others in front of the building near the flag pole. We had a special destination in mind, in San Antonio, at Fort Sam Houston. After about a 3 hour drive through Austin and on to San Antonio, we finally saw the signs directing us to our destination …. Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), where we would spend the day visiting with some of our nation’s Wounded Warriors, our country’s Heroes. As some of you may recall, I wrote an article back in January about the Center For The Intrepid which opened it’s doors at Brooke Army Medical Center, to provide state-of-the art rehabilitation for our Wounded Warriors who are being treated at BAMC. You see that, as you drive in the front gates.
I’m not new to this, as I had made several trips to Walter Reed Army Medical Center when I lived in Maryland and visited the Wounded Warriors there, so I knew what lay before me, inside the walls of the hospital….. some of our nation’s Best and Brightest….. our country’s Heroes who had been wounded in combat in either Iraq or Afghanistan. I was accompanied on this mission by 4 other ladies. One a 1st Cavalry Division wife, one a 1st Cavalry Division mother and 2 ladies from one of the local WalMart stores, as well as a Colonel from 1st Cav headquarters, and a Command Sgt. Major. Upon our arrival, we were met in the lobby by 2 1st Cavalry Division Soldiers who were part of the Warrior Unit Liason Office at Brooke Army Medical Center, a Chaplain, and a Chaplain’s assistant. After a short discussion, we were on our way.
We spent the day visiting numerous Wounded Heroes at BAMC, from a Command Sgt Major who was injured in a mortar attack, to the privates, specialists and sgts who had been injured in IED attacks, mortar attacks and other forms of contact with the enemy. Some had lost limbs, some had been severaly burned over a large percentage of their bodies, but one constant remained. Their Warrior Spirit. The desire to get out of the hospital and get back to their units and be with their brothers and sisters in arms, the desire and determination to “get back in the fight.” That Warrior Spirit was strong in each and every Soldier we visited. Their motivation, positive attitudes and determination to continue to serve their country were amazing. These young men and women … Heroes, each and every one of them. Someone that we as Americans should be proud to support. They deserve nothing less then our full support, thanks and appreciation, as they know the true meaning of selfless courage and sacrifice. As I took my turn in greeting these Heroes, sharing my appreciation for their service and sacrifice, I was truely humbled in their presence.
I had taken along CDs that were donated by JD Danner. JD, if you all recall, has written several Troop support songs, which I’ve featured before here at A Soldier’s Mind. You can re-read those stories, by going here and here. JD had been here at Fort Hood, the first week in October to perform at Fort Hood’s Domestic Violence Prevention Month, kick-off activities. She was unable to stay long enough to visit BAMC with us, but wished for our Wounded Heroes to know that they had her support and gratitude, and asked that I make sure that each Soldier I visited, got one of her CD’s. I made sure of that, it was an honor to do so.
We arrived back at Fort Hood around 4:30pm Friday afternoon. My mission had been completed. I WILL go back again, as often as I can. For those of you who have the opportunity to visit the wounded at either Walter Reed or Brooke Army Medical Center, I strongly suggest you take that opportunity. It will be well worth your while and a day that you’ll never forget. It’s an experience of a lifetime. I got home and reflected on my day, a day in which I was able to spend …… In The Company Of Heroes.