In an ongoing effort to reach out to patients of the Polytrauma Transitional Rehabilitation Inpatient Program, or PTRIP, Freedom Alliance designs special events and customized contributions for this rotating unit of heroes at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Hospital in Richmond, Virginia.
In December, we gathered for an end-of-year troop appreciation dinner at the Hard Shell, a seafood and steak restaurant in the Shockhoe District of downtown Richmond. Outgoing patients told the new PTRIP patients about the dinner, and when we visited in February with valentines and flowers, we learned that the new residents wanted a dinner, too.
Thus, we hit the Hard Shell again for lobster tails, crab cakes, and filet mignon, with another round of our PTRIP friends. The general manager of the restaurant generously treated the eleven patients and staff to fried calamari, lobster dip, and crab arancini appetizers.
We met for the first time George, a young Army private first class, who served in Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. George is at the polytrauma center, learning to speak again after a tragic Humvee accident inhibits his ability to walk and function normally.
His mother attended the dinner, as well; both of George’s parents relocated to Richmond from New Jersey, with a financial grant from Freedom Alliance.
It was a pleasure also to include Justin, a Marine from Texas, and Kyle, a naval officer from Illinois. Both are rehabilitating from severe brain injuries.
Out of our gratitude for their sacrifice, we wish all the PTRIP patients and family the best with their recovery and hope that we can help during the process.
What’s up next for this fun-loving gang? Whitewater rafting on the James River—stay tuned!