Skip to comments.Freep #85 at Walter Reed - From Summer to Winter All in One Evening
Posted on 12/05/2006 5:52:41 PM PST by Tom the Redhunter
It was another amazing evening outside of Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC. The faithful Freepers started gathering to show their support for our troops in the early evening, and before long we had all four corners covered.
And once again, the good citizens of Washington DC showed their support by honking and waving from their cars as they drove by on Georgia Avenue. At first I thought that it was my imagination, as we seemed to be getting more support from the passers-by than usual, but as I spoke with other Freepers they got the same impression too. Occasionally we'll get a thumbs-down, or a "bring them home!" shouted at us, but by far most are messages of support. Given what we read in the news, it is encouraging to know that whatever their view of the politics of the matter, the vast majority of Americans support the troops.
Without further ado, here is the list of Freepers who were in attendance: Albion Wilde, Bill from MD, BufordP, Cindy-True-Supporter, Danang68, Fraxinus, George and Ethel, ilovew, Jimmy Valentine's Brother, Just A Nobody, Keith, Kristinn, Mike, PleaDeal, R.T. Delta, Sarah, Sasha, Taco Mamma, TFroatz, tgslTakoma, Tom the Redhunter, Trooprally, and VAFlagWaver
Readers of these AARs (After Action Reports) know that one of our objectives, and the original one, is to keep the communist-sympathizing Code Pink nutjobs away from the entrance of the hospital. Another, of course, is general support of our troops and their mission. But a third, one that I've thought about recently, is to make sure that the horror of having our troops spit on and called '"baby killers" that we went through after Vietnam is never repeated.
In this I believe we have been successful.
Through shame and exposure we have forced Code Pink to put away their "Maimed for a Lie" and "Enlist here to die for Halliburton" posters and replace them with messages such as "Love the Troops - Hate the War".
Now, you and I, dear reader, know full well that the Pinkos couldn't care less about the welfare of our troops. Most are too infected with Bush Derangement Syndrome to think that deeply. But it is a victory, is it not, when we can force them to rid themselves of the obnoxious messages of hate that they displayed in 2005 when they first started their anti-war protests outside of Walter Reed?
Take a look at their latest:
"Vigil" my foot, it's an anti-war protest.
I recall several Freeps last year when the Pinkos would bring out some of their older signs of the "No Blood for Oil" variety. We would hoot and holler at them from across the street, and sure enough, it would be gone the next week, if not that very same night.
Last night the same pathetic 8 or 10 Pinkos showed up, halfway down the street where no one sees them, and no one cares. To be sure, part of our mission is to make sure that never again are they at the entrance of the hospital.
Here are some of them, if you care. You'll notice that someone of them drags a poor wheelchair-bound lady out each night where they prop-up a sign in front of her.
But enough of them. As I said in my last AAR, the Pinkos are, in a way, irrelevant. We're there for the troops.
While some of you, especially in the midwest, have been hit with blizzards, we had a warm spell last week, with temperatures reaching into the 70s on Friday. So when we showed up at Walter Reed that evening, most of us were in short sleeves. It was, however, very windy, so we were not able to deploy the MOAB as usual. Here is our "Mini-MOAB" that we deploy in bad weather
As the evening wore on, however, a new front moved in and the temperature dropped precipitously. By 9:00 it was in the low 40s, and when I checked the next morning my overnight thermometer showed freezing temperatures. While we started out dressed for summer, by the time the bus came all of us had our coats, hats, and gloves on.
The upside is that with the wind our flags looked beautiful. I'm at lower left in this photo, and behind me is Jimmy Valentine's Brother. I believe TroopRally is at right facing the other direction.
And, as you'll notice, I was in short sleeves, so the photo must have been taken early in the evening. Here's another of some Freepers later on, when we were bundled up. In the foreground are tgslTakoma and Danang68
Here's another of Taco Mamma who is having a hard time holding on to her flag. Beside her are Fraxinus and Ethel (in blue).
In addition to the usual honks and waves from the passers-by that evening, we received visits from other supporters.
The first was "Specialist Dale", a hospital worker. She came out right as we were gathering to say how much she and the troops inside appreciated what we were doing. She pointed up to the hospital and said that soldiers had even requested window rooms so that they could see us.
Not long later a lady who said that she worked for the DOD stopped by to tell us how much she appreciated what we were doing. She said that she was on her way in to pick up a wounded soldier (or Marine, I forget which) to take him to a special dinner at the White House. She said she would make sure and drive him buy us on her way out.
Now if you're a regular reader of these AARs then you know that this sort of thing happens every single time. Over the past year and a half we've heard messages of support from hundreds of troopers and their families.
And once again, anyone who thinks that all these rallies are meaningless exercises in feelgoodism is severely mistaken. Over the past year and a half I've heard from probably over a hundred troopers, their relatives, and WR employees, and I'll tell you that everyone in there knows that we're out there and the vast majority appreciate it.
I'll relate one story to you from a few weeks ago that will illustrate the point. I was standing outside of the main entrance, holding a "Support the Troops" sign as usual. Out come two of our warriors, and although both had long pants on I could tell that each was missing part of a leg and had on a prosthetic.
"Thank you for your support!" each said. "We're going downtown, can you point the way to the subway stop?" As the station is a few blocks off and it's a winding path through the streets to get there, there was no way I was going to let them walk. "Hop in my car and I'll take you" I said, and off we went. On the way they told me that one was Army and the other a Marine. One had been wounded in Fallujah and I forget where the other got hit.
Once again they started in on how much they appreciated what we were doing (and prefaced everything with "sir"). "Guys, thanks" I replied. "But all we're doing is standing on street corners holding signs. It's you who are doing the real work. We do this because we appreciate you." This went on for another minute, and ended as all these conversations do - I got them to agree that we each supported the other.
What an amazing bunch they are. Here were two guys, each with an injury they will carry with them for the rest of their lives, and here they are saying that they appreciate us. They're selfless and patriotic, and we are a fortunate nation indeed to have such men and women.
As usual, some of the troopers from the hospital came out to visit with us. We don't like to post close-up photos of them, so this is the back of the jacket of one of the soldiers:
Pretty cool, we thought.
A few more photos of Freepers having fun while saluting our troops. Here are Fraxinus, George, Kristinn and Ethel
"Lurker Bill" has become something of a one-man institution during these Freeps. Every Friday he arrives like clockwork and takes up his station on what we now call "Bill's Corner". His dedication is truely admireable. tgslTakoma, andBufordP are beside him at left. As you'll also notice, this photo was taken relatively early on, because by 8:30 or so tgslTakoma had on her red down coat and winter hat.
If You Can Make It...
If you live anywhere within driving distance of Washington DC, we'd love to see you for the evening. Many times over the past year Freepers and supporters have taken Friday off work to drive considerable distances to join us for the evening. There are many places to stay in the area, and of course if you want to make a weekend of it there's no better tourist spot than our nation's capital. Just a thought, but again we'd love to see you, and if you have questions send one or more of us a FreepMail.
* A special thank you to PleaDeal for taking all of the photos used in this post.
Tom the Redhunter blogs at The Redhunter
* Reports and photos of all Freeps are kept by BufordP (thank you, buddy!) at his master list of all AARs
Tom is correct - the temps started out warm, but dropped like a rock. Our noses might have been cold, but our hearts were warmed by the troops who came out to talk to us and thank us for caring about them. God Love 'em. They volunteer to defend and protect complete strangers; how could we not be here every Friday to remind them that we love them and appreciate their service and sacrifice.
Please join us if you are in the area. It's wintertime here in DC, but our Freeps will continue.
Thanks, Tom, for the great report. I think having a rolling team of report-writers is a good idea. Thanks to all on that "team," too!
Great report and thanks to the FReeper Warriors who always do a great job at Walter Reed.
From your West Coast FReepers and Protest Warriors who do the same at Naval Medical Center, San Diego.
Rock on, SoCalPol. Thank you for keeping the faith on the West Coast.
There was also a guy in uniform who came out. He said he's a nurse at WR and he wanted to thank us and let us know how much all the guys appreciate it. I don't think he said what his name is.
Taxman Bravo Zulu! for the FReep, the pics and a most excellent AAR.
Great AAR, Tom and thank you all for what you do at WR.
God Bless our troops!
The pic you reference me in with the mini-MOAB, is myself and BufordP setting it up. Buford is behind and holding the other end of the banner, also in short sleeves. Usually it is a one FReeper job, but the wind was so bad, it took two FReepers this night.
PLEA DEAL - Great pics and thanks for doing double duty last Friday.
TTR -G reat report. I had to vamoose as I was not prepared for the temperature drop. I'm still fighting off a cold that is lingering on and on.
Thanks for the terrific report. I hope the weather is a little kinder this coming Friday night.
Ping to WR #85 - From Summer to Winter All in One Evening!
Outstanding report Tom. You are so right...the troops come out to thank us, but the BLESSING IS ALL OURS.
I can't believe it sometimes, they ARE doing the hard work, and then they thank us for being there. I know it's hard to fight without support so maybe that's why they thanks us...just for the support.
Anyone who lives in the area, and doesn't go to the Walter Reed FReep at least ONCE has no idea what they are missing. You never know who you'll meet, or where they'll be from, but the bottom line is...it's an experience you'll not soon forget. If nothing else, you'll spend an evening talking with some very patriotic FReepers. There ARE worse ways to spend an evening.
great report, Tom.
Hey all! I hate being at the mercy of my wife with her car. I got there five minutes before the bus arrived, so I guess that does not qualify as being at the Freep.
My bike is now in the shop, and I plan on riding it through the winter, as long as there is no ice on the streets...as soon as it gets fixed.
THANK YOU FREEPERS for being so steadfast in your support of the troops. Thank you for letting those heroes know that we appreciate your sacrifices!