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Wounded Warrior Updates

No quilts to show this time. I did make a delivery of two boxes shipped to me from Alanna from Malibu. She doesn’t quilt, but instead sends morale booster boxes for the little Marines out there. This time there were oodles of Easter and bunny rabbit theme books, puzzles, toys and a cake topper complete with track and a toy truck that would go round and round. I think she was having entirely too much fun shopping for these items. As a grandma I know I see things and grab them for storage in my gift closet. When a need comes, open the door and voila!! The Marines were at first puzzled because it wasn’t a quilt. When I explained what it was, their eyes got wide and things started flying out. Main comment was it was like having another grandma out there – the ultimate compliment from these guys. Good job, Alanna.

Everything is carefully wrapped in zip lock baggies, which is also appreciated.

Out in the parking lot for the WWB is a newly donated vehicle – the largest golf cart I’ve ever seen – complete with a wheelchair ramp on the side

These aren’t my best photos – being shot from my phone. Too many items to lug around with me during tax season, so please accept my apologies for the grainy texture and movement – guess I need a tripod?

What I really wanted to talk about was the nature of the beast for the injuries at the WWB. I’ve heard, in sotto voce, from a few visitors that these Marines don’t appear to have much in the way of injury. Hanging around every week during tax season I get a vastly different picture of the extent of damage done to these fine young Marines. If you read the article in today’s Parade magazine that came with the Sunday paper, you’ll see a note on traumatic brain injury. I was also cleaning up the huge accumulated pile of magazines on one of my sofas and found September 2008 issue of Popular Science. In this issue is a very good article about blast trauma, entitled “Shock to the System”. These Marines have been discharged from the actual hospital setting but are in no way ready for normal, mainstream work. They have all the traumatic brain injury memory problems discussed in those two articles and more. One Marine this season was my project. It took FIVE appointments to get him to my office to begin fixing his tax situation. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to come. Five minutes after we would set an appointment he absolutely could not remember there was one made. Having experienced the widow’s fog after the death of my husband I can relate in a tiny manner. I would promise folks that I’d do something. Learned that I had to write down what I said I’d do. Once the note was put down in the to-do pile the memory of it absolutely left my brain. Six months to a year later I’d find the note as it rose to the surface – and then had to decide if I’d do the thing tardy or never at all. While doing the taxes I watch the Marines struggle with log in id’s and passwords. Some have huge notebooks filled with all the things they have to REMEMBER. If they ever lost those books or the phone with memo capability, their ability to function is toast. The WWB is striving to assist them with regaining memory functions and coping mechanisms so they can get back on track, and a good job done by the USMC in addressing this issue.

Now I’ll get off my soap box and get back to crunching numbers for tax returns…..the accumulated pile of quilts needing binding is crying out to me, but I must have strength and resist for another three weeks!! Hope you and your families have a great spring.

Therese Thomas

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