The last few days have made for some fun at the Red Cross! On Sunday we hosted a Pizza Party for the ICW staff at the hospital. The Intensive Care Ward is the area where patients who are not critical enough to warrant a bed in the ICU but still require round the clock care, stay during their time at the Joint Command Theater Hospital. We work quite closely with the staff at the Ward, because these are the patients that we primarily visit at the hospital, typically conscious but unfortunately stuck in bed, often times with debilitating, sometimes life changing injuries. The members of this staff work so hard on the medical care of these soldiers, but also find themselves in the difficult position as the people the wounded turn to for moral support. That is part of our goal in visiting the patients is to provide a bit of relief for the hospital staff.
Yesterday also proved to be an exciting day at the Hospital as I was invited to watch a Purple Heart Ceremony. I happened to be in the right place at the right time as I ran into the military press representative who asked me if I’d like to watch. I wasn’t sure what to expect but the ceremony was not exactly what I had imagined. It was very informal and took place in one of the hospital hallways, but at the same time, because the General was presiding, all the military personell were at their most formal. It also wasn’t quite as I pictured because the two soldiers who received the award were obviously still suffering from their wounds, but they were doing their best to be as professional as possible for their ceremony and their General. Mostly though, I really had to actively stop myself from crying ( I was the only woman there and I would have shot myself if I’d actually lost it) but I couldn’t believe how emotional I found the whole experience. I couldn’t help but find the ceremony representative of all the soldiers I had seen and met since the start of the deployment who had lost their arms or their legs or their hands or their hearing, and I found myself wanting to cry for them and for the two who were being honored that day.