A tweet from the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Bob McDonald. Just a picture him and my dad chatting at the VA hospital today…
I called my dad to let him know a picture of today’s events is on twitter. My dad doesn’t even understand what twitter is but he was thrilled. Mr. McDonald toured the hospital, talked with staff and visited a few patients on the PolyTrauma floor. That is where my dad lives at the moment. My dad is the one sitting in the chair, the lady is my step mom, the man in the suit is the secretary and the doctor is someone my dad says he has never met until today. Lol. I think he might be the head of neurology but I could be wrong about that part.
When I called my dad to ask him about the experience he just went on and on. It turns out Sec McDonald was also 82nd Airborne, stationed at Fort Bragg at the same time my dad was. He says Mr. McDonald even mentioned going out for a beer someday when daddy gets back to himself. Dad also said the hospital was asking him yesterday if he would approve a visit but they wouldn’t tell him who. I think he realized how serious it was when he saw the security convoy walking around. Then while the secretary was in daddy’s room there were several security men with earpieces and wires going down the back of their shirts. That’s probably when it sank in for my dad.
I think all of this special treatment feels weird to my dad. He says he would understand if he had made a career out of the Army. But he didn’t so he doesn’t see why anyone cares about his health. The VA hospital has treated him (and the other patients) like royalty or something. I guess my dad isn’t used to that. There is a kitchen on the floor he is on and the food is all free!! Several organizations, including HEB, donate regularly to the hospital. That was hard for him to get used to. I can only hope that everyone there understands how much this kind of treatment means for a man like my father. Having a stroke is a life changing event. Not just physically but very much emotionally as well. The little things they do to give them hope, to make them feel just as important now as before the stroke, it is priceless! It gives him hope. Without hope he would not be motivated. Without motivation he wouldn’t be walking again! And soon this motivation will help him work towards a full recovery on his right arm too. I have to pay it forward somehow. I will pay it forward!
My dad has nothing but good things to say about his Army experiences. He jumped out of airplanes while stationed in NC. He claims to have enjoyed every single jump. When I ask if he was scared he says “The scariest part was the plane ride home! Did you know on a civilian plane you do NOT get a parachute? I looked at that flight attendant and told she must have lost her mind if she thought I would ride without my chute! Then she showed me the face mask. I asked her what the hell that was for. I said..that might help me breathe better before I die but it ain’t gonna save me if this thing goes down!!!”
God bless our troops and their families! Thank you to all who have served.
Much Love To All