Milblog Conference: FReeper Envy
WRAMC is a huge complex of buildings that house medical and surgical services for our military. Our cabbie drove around three sides of the complex before we spied the FReepers. We popped out of the cab, introduced ourselves to FReepers Bill and GunnNutt, and immediately began choosing our signs. Not long after we arrived, a group of young men approached from inside the WR gate and began hootin’ and hollerin’ at us. One of the FReepers mentioned that it was a group of wounded soldiers; Stacy immediately went to the intersection and began waving and hollerin’ back at the guys.
The FReepers introduced us to these regulars and immediately we were all exchanging big bear hugs. I couldn’t squeeze these young men enough -- and judging by the strength of the hugs back, they were just as happy to be getting MOM HUGS as Stacy and I were to give them! I couldn't help but recall when I first saw Noah at Landstuhl Army Medical Center last August and how much I wanted to (but couldn't) hug him just as hard; I made up for it with these guys. Stacy and I both teared up pretty good when talking with the soldiers and they seemed delighted that the moms of other soldiers were there to show their support. There was a lot of hugging and picture taking going on! And, of course, the “guys” decided to go down the block where the Pinkos were and engage them -- so Stacy and I did the “Mom thing” as we called after them, “Now don’t go getting’ into no trouble down there… Don’t make us come down there to get ya!” with great glee, I might add.
It was especially difficult for me not to become emotional when seeing the shrapnel scar across the forehead of one soldier, the clearly visible scars of another where the injury to his eye area had been repaired although they could not save his eye. It was difficult not to notice the limp or the grimace on another soldier. It was also elating to have people in cars going by honking and waving in support. It was great to have a number of other milbloggers join us -- Maryann (Soldiers Angels - Germany), Toni (Bear Creek Ledger), Agnieszka (a most amazing supporter of troops!), Heidi (EuphoricReality), among others. Even when it began to pour rain and the temperature dropped 10 degrees in 10 minutes, we stayed for the guys. They are wonderful. They are heroes.
It was an experience I will always remember, always treasure. I hope to repeat it -- unless the Pinkos go away and it’s not needed anymore. (We can only hope!)