Sunday, October 30, 2005

What a Great Weekend

Another great FReep at Walter Reed, the end-of-season race banquet, a visit with some terrific soldiers at Malogne House, and a half a day with LCpl. Pete, USMC! Whew, I'm beat and I've still got laundry to do...

I already posted about the Sheehag - she's done - but I've been corrected as to which bathroom she used; it was the lower floor and not the second (thanks CBob!). The FreeRepublic folks are truly awesome and its such a pleasure to hang with them every week. Their enthusiasm and dedication to the troops is inspiring.

I went with some friends to the Malogne House to deliver a few items we'd bought for the wounded warriors. We met SSG Luther Richardson who is in charge of lodging for the entire complex. He's been dealing with his own injuries and complications while looking after the housing requirements of on average 900 patients. "Rich" has a terrific "I can handle anything" attitude.

We spoke with Spc. Ben Perez who is recovering from a gunshot wound to his abdomen. During his second tour in Iraq, Perez survived 7 IED attacks, but one day a sniper's 7.62 round went through his body armor and tore through his mid section. The long, angry scars he showed us told of the difficult surgeries he's endured. The soft spoken 22 year old from Michigan credited his sergeant, Joseph Caron, with saving his life. Caron exposed himself to the sniper in order to get the immobilized Perez to safety, taking two bullets himself in the process. It was great to listen to him.

I talked with several other soldiers but like an idiot, I forgot to ask if I could write about them. I'm still in awe of these guys and forget important stuff like that. I'll do better the next time.

Saturday night was the Woodbridge Kart Club 2005 Season Banquet. The hall was packed with 210+ racers, families, and assorted riff-raff, some in Halloween costumes. It was the typical rowdy party and this year the hotel kicked us out an hour early 'cause we were "disturbing the other guests." Whatever.

And finally, I got to spend some quality time with my adopted Marine, Pete. He's not supposed to be exerting himself, but the guy is too full of energy to just sit around. We had a great time doing undisclosed activities with my buddy Mike and his girlfriend at an undisclosed location where people are often seen wearing "eyes" and "ears".