JOSH BLOG: A Salute...
January 22, 2009
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I fly home tomorrow from what has been such a fantastic trip. Taking in the spirit of this city during this historic time has certainly been etched in my memory forever. Considering how frantic I knew this time table would be, it has been a very well balanced trip. I performed at a few events near and dear to my heart but also made sure to take some time from the festivities and learn a few things. Like today…
Today was a day off so I was happy to have the opportunity to once again visit Walter Reed Army Medical Center. It says “Army” but they take military men and women from all branches. Unlike the last visit (which was a few hours before a concert), I had time to visit the many wings of the hospital and check out their many facilities. In addition to a state of the art rehab center, I was pleasantly surprised to learn of the incredible advances in the world of prosthetics. I had the pleasure of meeting two gentlemen who travel from military hospital to military hospital monthly and specialize in recreating prosthetics for these men and women who are being treated in house. These two men have the capability of recreating limbs so close to their original ones that if shown a picture of a soldiers original tattoo they can recreate it on the limb. When shown pictures of these new limbs attached, I really couldn’t tell it was a prosthetic. Its a wonderful and satisfying thing to give back to the patient.
The real reason I feel compelled to write this tonight is the same reason I felt compelled to visit again. Our troops. Now, I could get into a discussion and probably an argument or two over our involvement in this war. But one thing I know we can all agree on is that these are some of the most spectacularly brave, high-spirited men and women I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting. And they deserve our attention.
Hearing stories all day that I would never in a million years see on cable news, it really drives home how brutal and unforgiving combat is for these young soldiers and how seemingly unfathomable it is that veterans from all wars we’ve waged many times go unnoticed or untreated after preliminary help has been administered. Not to mention the psychological trauma and the burden left to many family and loved ones who are forever changed by their new reality.
As we celebrate this historic election and hope and pray that our troops really do come home soon, and safely, lets also give our thanks and let them know that at home, at hospital, and abroad, they’re not alone.
www.USO.com is one of many ways you can show your support.