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Wounded Warrior Battalion Update

From Therese Thomas, WWB update 1/26/2011

Wednesday I made another tax return preparation run to the WWB. Lots of returns to finish/start/fix (from other preparers) for this and prior years. I’m really glad to help these young Marines getting one small thing in their life handled well. I’ve seen a lot of changes since August 2006 when I first walked through their doors. The WWB has gone from a group of less than ten folks to hundreds. At first it was almost too close, but then it grew to a small family, a larger one and now it is very grand. Some of the close knit feeling is gone but I believe the care is as fine, if not better than what it used to be as everyone has been learning how to deal with their issues. It used to be combat wounded, then wounded or injured, and now the phrase is WII: wounded, injured or ill. They cover all the bases and make a valiant effort to not let anyone fall through a crack.

Since I now have ZERO access to rooms (prior it was extremely limited) I cannot verify that quilts are on their racks. The doors are closed down the hallway and each Marine’s room is his or her own space. In the past month I’ve fielded a few questions as to whether quilts were still needed. My response is YES!! Perhaps even more now as with the increase in population, the homey and comfortable feel of the building is morphing back into a full-fledged USMC facility. In the quiet of their rooms and beds, these WII Marines (wounded, injured and ill) still need to keep up their mental and psychological strength with the life-long battle ahead of them. The quilts are intended to wrap around them with the arms of the quilters across the country.

When the uber kind folks from Bridgeport made their huge delivery, there were lots of quilts. Since then the population has grown to over 130 in the barracks and a few in housing close to the barracks. The numbers assigned to the Battalion keep growing. I haven’t shown photos of quilts in the most recent newsletters as I was bringing with each weekly visit quilts that had already been photographed. Those that arrived after Bridgeport were kept in my spare bedroom until the inventory dropped. Right now there are about five of those quilts remaining to take over.

Then yesterday a box with a quilt arrived!!! Next week I’ll take it over and you’ll get to see its beauty.

What I did take that was new to the WWB were boxes of goodies.

Barbara M of Taft, California sent two types of boxes: One had these fabulous two-color knit hats. It looks like a great pattern that could be fast to work up. Funny how we find one pattern and stick with it until….oh- shiny!!….we diverge our path and get attracted to something new.

picture of knit hats

Bright, cheery, flexible to fit different head sizes and she did make S M & L sizes. We’ve had a tough winter and these will be wonderful for small and large Marines and their families. Good job!

picture of toys and games

This box of toys was wonderful – air bender, transformers, Old Maid card games and picture puzzles. Barbara has sent two more boxes, but my truck was full so I’ll talk and show them next trip.

Terri G. of Solon, Ohio sent two boxes of her lunch stroll and shop forays.

One can never have too many crayons. The puzzle books, jig saw puzzle, MARBLES and Toy Story figures will be loved by some young Marine.

picture of toys and games

More BIG boxes of crayons, bead kits, transformer books and of course the mandatory princess items

picture of toys and games

In closing please don’t take the absence of quilt photos as a declaration of no more need! The war action is not slowing down and there will always be a need to show support of our Marines (and other branches of the Service). Lives and people change and I understand the slowing of quilt deliveries. Filling the void with toys has been so unexpected and wonderful – and also needed!!

Even if “all” you can do is think good thoughts and send your own version of prayer in support of these brave young men and women, it is all good. Everything counts – no matter how small. Thanks to you all for continuing to read my ramblings and send your items of support to the Wounded Warrior Battalion – West.

Therese Thomas

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