April 19, 2015 – 4th Floor: It’s Spring!

Flowering trees at Walter Reed
Spring has sprung! April 2013, Mercy Hall patio.

Way-uhl, we forgot to take pictures so here’s one from 2013 taken at a Mercy Hall luncheon.

And the sandwiches were sooo pretty. And tasty. Yep, sandwiches can be pretty. Something about nice, large, unsquished croissants with chicken or tuna salad on them to make them extra special. They were excellent.

Spring-time Menu!

Deviled eggs

Tuna salad sandwiches

Chicken salad sandwiches

Potato salad

Assorted fresh fruit

Chicken noodle soup

Chocolate cake & yellow cake

Chocolate chip cookies

Freshly made smoothies

Assorted drinks and water

The Sponsors:

Washington State Operation Thank You

Easton Rotary Club, Easton, MD

Bayside Quilters of the Eastern Shore

Colette

James

The Team:

Dina and Colette. Thank You, Ladies! Job Well Done!!!

~*~*~*~

So very happy Spring is here!

Dina perked the luncheon room up using red and white checked table covering over the plain white tablecloths. While she was in the kitchen preparing some things, Colette set the buffet tables up. It was a pleasure working with them.

This year’s raffle quilt, “Blooming Freedom”, was underneath the many DVD movies to choose from and lots of quilts from Bayside Quilters.

We stayed pretty busy getting things ready. With the few patients we’re serving now, setting up is a breeze, doesn’t take as long as it used to. After serving 100 or more patients, family members and staff at luncheons a few years back, serving a dozen or so feels strange… and good…

Agent Orange is an ugly thing, isn’t it?  Mrs. came in to the room to see what was on the menu, then came back a little later to fix plates for him.  “After 40 years we thought we were all clear…”  They’re facing a new life together now…

Thought the TBI guy was a staff member. He was in uniform, very friendly. Thought the Medic he was with was his buddy. Well he was, and he was also his escort. It wasn’t until he was walking back to the elevator I noticed the signature U-shaped scar on the back of his head.

The patient in the wheelchair was very self-sufficient, back in the hospital recovering from follow-up surgery. He offered to help us when it came time to pack everything up. We promised him the leftover deviled eggs if there were any. He was tickled to have the DVDs to choose from.

We kept running into a mom in the hallway and in the kitchen as she went back and forth to her son’s room. She came down for lunch. Asked her how long she has been there. Not very long…

The sister of a non-combat patient fixed lunch and then chose an afghan to take back to the room for her sister who was having trouble staying warm because of the nature of her medical condition. She came back a short time later with a poem she had written called “MOM”, for mothers of Marines. She asked if she could read it to us, and she did. She gave us permission to post it. I will on Mother’s Day.

The luncheons may be smaller. The impact on the patients and their families is still as large as ever.

We’re honored to have the unique opportunity and privilege of serving luncheons at Walter Reed to say “Thank You” to the men and women who have served our great Nation.  And we’re grateful for your support and caring hearts, couldn’t do it without you.

~Surfing~

Did you know the VA offers eligible Veterans a free Agent Orange Registry health exam for possible long-term health problems related to exposure? Information can be found here:

http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/

There are more specific details about the free exam here:

http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/benefits/registry-exam.asp

Important points about registry health exams:

  • Free to eligible Veterans and no co-payment
  • Not a disability compensation exam or required for other VA benefits
  • Enrollment in VA’s health care system not necessary
  • Based on Veterans’ recollection of service, not on their military records
  • Will not confirm exposure to Agent Orange
  • Veterans can receive additional registry exams, if new problems develop.
  • Veterans’ family members are not eligible for an Agent Orange Registry health exam.
  • The registry evaluation is separate from VA’s disability compensation process and does not confirm exposure during service.

TBI Recovery Support Program

http://dvbic.dcoe.mil/tbi-recovery-support-program

The Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Recovery Support Program (RSP) ensures that its clients are supported and connected — and stay connected — to appropriate resources as they progress through the entire continuum of care to recovery.

Since 2007, DVBIC’s TBI Recovery Support Program, formerly known as the Regional Care Coordination Program, has been providing medical and non-medical services and resources to service members, members of National Guard and reserves, and veterans who have sustained a TBI, as well as family members and caregivers, as they negotiate complex systems of care. The program’s Recovery Support Specialists (RSSs) are assigned to 14 regions throughout the United States and Germany to provide a nationwide network for care coordination.”  (More info at the link above.)

~*~*~*~

Marine Moms-Bethesda's 2015 Raffle Quilt, "Blooming Freedom".
Marine Moms-Bethesda’s 2015 Raffle Quilt, “Blooming Freedom”.

Like what we do? Please consider supporting the luncheons by buying a raffle ticket. “Blooming Freedom” is this year’s raffle quilt, donated by Bayside Quilters of the Eastern Shore. (Thank you!!!) This is our only fundraiser. 100% of funds raised are used toward the monthly luncheons. $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00.  Click on the picture for the details. Thank you for your consideration.

Our next luncheon is May 17th.

It’s that time of year here in Maryland. One day the heat is on, a few days with the windows open, then windows are shut and the air conditioner’s turned on… And oh my gosh, I just saw a fire fly!  Summer’s right around the corner, isn’t it?

And with summer comes the fighting season and hot temperatures in the middle east… doesn’t it? Brave men and women are serving in dangerous places. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Until next time…

With Respect,

Jane