I know many tears have been shed by the spouses, children and even the warriors. I have shed thousands of tears at hundreds of goodbyes. Some of the experiences come with the knowledge I will not see the person again this side of glory - I know that. Yet, even in those painful partings it is not the same as sending a loved one off to war.
I can't imagine the tears shed when the phone call, or notification comes that a loved one has been injured.
I surely could never record the number of tears falling during multiple surgeries, painful rehabilitation as well as the days when they are just worn down - and out.
Before the soldiers and their families arrive the volunteer staff goes through a time of training to better prepare us. There are a few medical specialists here that provided us new (new to me) clinical information on what occurs in the brain during injury as well as healing.
Since my first Warrior Getaway, I haven't really understood "why" the Imagination Station worked; I just knew it worked. It's hard to explain the sight of grown men and women wounded in battle, putting on prom dresses, way too small clown costumes and parading around grinning like they won the lottery.
Now I know. My array of crazy clothes, boas, wigs and wild wearables gives their brain a spurt of norepenephrine. I am not just a purveyor of fun - I'm a pharmacist!
As the warriors arrived they were quickly corralled by Care EE into the "dope zone." There aren't enough superlatives to describe a 6'4" soldier with a long brunette wig on, holding an inflatable guitar making like Jon Bon Jovi.
After dinner the children went off for their own age appropriate fun, while the adults were entertained by "Tina Turntable" and her sidekick (Dana Crews the Program Director). We enlisted a few soldiers and started the evening event with our own rendition of the famous tune by the Black-eyed Peas, "I've got a Feeling."
"Tonight's gonna be a good, good night."
A good night indeed!
We played various versions of games popularized by the TV Show "Minute to Win It." They included tying a pair of pantyhose (filled with tennis balls) to your head and knocking over water bottles; applying vaseline to your nose and putting your face in a bowl of cotton balls and filling a basket up with the fluffy captures.
One soldier was laughing so hard he was literally laying on the ground laughing until he was crying.
Now that's the kind of tears worth crying and counting. When it was all said and done I walked past one of the newcomers and asked "Did you have a good time?"
"I had a blast!" he replied. Then he broke out laughing. He said, "I haven't had a blast since...
Iraq! He turned to his friend and repeated his "play on words." "Hey, I just said I haven't had a blast since Iraq." Laughter was heard far beyond the moonlit night at Tapatio Springs. It was heard in the heavenlies.
"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." Proverbs 17:22
Dolling it out like a doctor!
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