The team at Freedom Alliance has been working hard during the last month to reach out to our wounded vets in various parts of the country. We do this by organizing special events and outings that will be beneficial in terms of recovery, while also honoring the veteran and his or her sacrifice for our country.
POLYTRAUMA VETS VISIT VIRGINIA AQUARIUM
The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach was one recent destination when Freedom Alliance sponsored 13 patients and 2 staff persons from the polytrauma unit at Richmond’s VA hospital.
Most of the patients in polytrauma suffer from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which require an intense regimen of rehab and medical procedures. Of all our wounded heroes returning from war, many are diagnosed with TBIs as a result of their service. Considerable therapy is required to regain their cognitive abilities.
This particular outing provided an opportunity for the patients to look forward to, as well as offering a break from day-to-day hospital routines.
After several hours of fun at the aquarium, the fellows enjoyed a seafood lunch at Catch 31 Fish House and Bar in Virginia Beach.
Felix, a recovery-care coordinator and fellow injured service member, was pleased with the turnout and hopes to schedule another trip. “The guys really enjoyed it and were very grateful,” he said.
ARMY, NAVY, AND MARINE CORPS BOND OVER CIGARS
Over on the West Coast, in the San Diego region, it was another gathering of the Freedom Alliance Cigar Club. These fellows—representing three branches of our nation’s military—toasted, dined, and savored their cigars while discussing combat gear, weapons, tours of duty, and chow halls, all while touting service pride.
At the conclusion of their evening, the vets met up with their spouses, girlfriends, and kids, who had enjoyed their own night of fun courtesy of Freedom Alliance. The next cigar club event is being set up, and all look forward to an upcoming round.
S.O.C.O.M. W.T.B. AT CITI TENNIS OPEN
Back on the East Coast, it was time to do something special for our heroes in recovery at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Recuperating under the excellent care of medical staff is the SOCOM Warrior Transition Brigade (WTB). These are members the United States Special Operations Command who have been injured in combat.
Five soldiers from this unit joined Freedom Alliance and friends for the Citi Open Tennis tournament in Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park.
Attending this event with the injured service members were their families, SOCOM staff, and a couple of other Walter Reed patients: Marine Sergeant Ronnie and recently retired Army medic Specialist Will.
Our guests viewed the day’s matches from a luxury suite and were able to meet some of the players, as well as Admiral James Winnefeld, USN, the second highest-ranking member of our armed forces. The admiral got chummy with our young medic and ultimately invited Will to conduct the honorary coin toss to commence the game.
With awe and due regard, the Freedom Alliance folks witnessed some impressive tennis skill that day, which included an intense Samuel Groth from Australia as he fired his fierce 163 mph serves at his opponent.
There was great camaraderie within the suite and a lot of excitement, especially from a first sergeant with the WTB, who wants to pursue future opportunities for his men with Freedom Alliance.
“We had a great time with you,” Ronnie told us later, “Thanks for the invite and for everything Freedom Alliance does to support me and my family.
Such activities as these—the aquarium, cigar club, and tennis match—are more than a few hours of fun. Freedom Alliance goes further by establishing personal relationships with each of our guests and seeing that they feel recognized. It’s about healing and well-being, and ultimately showing our soldiers that America cares.