Skip to comments.Slowly, very slowly, Winding Down at Walter Reed - Week 330 August 12, 2011
Posted on 08/16/2011 5:09:07 PM PDT by kburi
Its 6:30 pm on Friday evening at Walter Reed. Flag Row is being set up and the banners are on three corners. The first FReepers are taking to the corners with signs and flags.
As the first flag is posted , passing cars start honking and dont stop until we have left for the evening.
Tonight, as usual, we talked with wounded warriors, family members and staff who were walking into or out of Walter Reed. And the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) bus stopped for a rare third time allowing some of us to directly thank the wounded warriors for their service.
Three weeks from now these corners will be silent and empty on Friday evenings for the first time in almost 6 and a half years.
All the wounded warriors and staff will have been transferred to Bethesda or Ft Belvoir. And our mission, to support the troops and their families at Walter Reed, will have come to an end.
The regular Friday nights started April 15 2005, as a counter protest to Code Pink which was demonstrating against the wounded at Walter Reed.
Their protests were anti-military, some signs were vile, and had no place in front of Walter Reed where severely wounded soldiers were brought to recover.
Those early days were confrontational until January 20, 2006, when the DC Chapter of Free Republic took over all four corners at Walter Reeds front gate.
This meant that families of wounded warriors and the wounded warriors themselves didnt have to see anti- military protesters as they were entering or leaving Walter Reed.
We have been there for the troops and their families for 330 consecutive Friday evenings to insure that Code Pink types did not return to the front gates of Walter Reed. They havent!
Over the years, more than 200 Free Republic members and "lurkers" have spent multiple evenings at these Friday night rallies. And over two thousand additional Americans from all over the country, have visited with us on their travels to DC. On 9/11/09 alone, almost 700 visitors were with us at the front gates of Walter Reed!
Our presence has not been a commitment, but an honor in which we have been privileged to participate.
Our presence has been meaningful: Walter Reed staff, officers, wounded warriors family members, and, especially the wounded warriors themselves, have repeatedly told us how important our presence has been to their morale.
A writer of an early After Action Report summed up our mission as: Lifting the spirits of our war-wounded heroes is what we aim to do.
To see After Action Reports beginning in March 2005, please check BufordPs Walter Reed Freep Archives :
Tonight we were joined by two wounded warriors, Patrick and David. In addition, a visitor, Peter came to visit for awhile. He volunteers for the Red Cross at WRAMC and also coordinates Team River Runner which takes wounded warriors kayaking weekly.
The DAV bus returned and stopped. We were able to briefly visit with the wounded warriors and their families.
Special thanks and a shout out to Ron, the DAV driver. He has been a volunteer driver for the Aleethia Foundation for over seven years, and has been especially supportive of the wounded warriors.
Tonight was the 330th consecutive Friday night that the DC Chapter of Free Republic has been at the front gates of Walter Reed to support our soldiers. Our calculator says that is 6 years, 4 months and 2 weeks of consecutive Friday evenings. A lot of people over the six years have made this commitment possible.
It doesnt seem possible, but after tonight only two Friday evenings remain.
August Calendar For the Walter Reed Transition
The DC Chapter of Free Republic invites all who have participated over the past 6 ½ years to join us on either or both of the two remaining dates below.
August 19, and 26 We will continue at the front gates until the last wounded warriors are moved to Bethesda. We expect the Friday night dinner buses to operate through early August. However, it depends on how many wounded warriors sign up. Many are already at Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda.
The Aleethia Foundation will continue to coordinate these dinners from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, or WRNMMC for short.
The DC Chapter will continue at the front gates of Walter Reed until August 26. Walter Reed officially closes during the last week of August .
Mr. and Mrs Trooprally, BufordP, CindyTrueSupporter, Fraxinus, Kburi, Lurkers Allie, Bill, and Jim, RonGKirby, Sensei Ern, Tammycat and Idaho, VictoryNY, Visitors Kim and Peter.
Seven moonbats tonight and all left promptly at 9 pm. Still very quiet on the moonbat front.
The DC Chapter invites you to join us for the last two Friday nights between the hours of 6:30pm to approximately 9:30pm. The last Walter Reed dinner buses are scheduled through early August. And we will be at the front gates until the last wounded warrior has been transferred (August 26 will be our last Friday night). So the clock is ticking and we would be honored to have you join us before these long term consecutive Friday evening rallies come to a close.
David and Patrick Wounded Warriors drop by to talk
Bill, BufordP and Kburi
VictoryNY and the Hospital in background.
The last troops to be moved are on the top two floors.
Six years ago, these two corners at the front gate were Code Pink, anti-military territory.
ConcreteBob got us permits for all four corners, moving Code Pink members a long way
from the front gates.
Peter, Trooprally, Kim and Sensei Ern
Jim and Fraxinus
One ambulance tonight two views
Friday Night Bus Returns Wounded Warriors From Dinner
Thanks for the great AAR. I have bittersweet thoughts about not being at WR on Friday nights. Our wounded warriors really appreciate us being there. Some do not realize that the moonbats are down the block, as it should be. I call that “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED”.
Things that I will not miss: Temperatures in the teens, wind chills just as low, Hurricane Ernesto where no one had dry clothes even with full body rain gear, Snowmagedan, 115 heat indexes, growing old at WR, chipping away 2” ice on the sidewalks so we can stand there.
Things that I WILL miss: That humbling experience when a soldier in a wheel chair with double amputations rolls out of the gates to thank us for being out there, the friendship of fellow FReepers, the 2 Walter Reed chaplains that pulled over and blessed our group, pizza, celebrating birthdays, all the honks, waves and salutes of passing supporters of our troops, the doctors that stop and tell us that we really are helping the soldiers to mentally deal with their injuries.
Three things that helped get me threw several long, rough nights at WR:
We let our Vietnam Vets down, we will not let down this generation of heroes. Our soldiers protect the home front and we will protect their rear guard. We have a dog in the fight with our active duty Marine son.
Thank you to all our Vets and active duty military. Semper Fi
Thank you guys for all your support.
So many memories and you state them so well. I will miss being able to share these Friday nights with you guys. God bless you all.
Yep, I forgot to mention that I will miss the “leggs” contests.
We always have the Olney FReep. I have been remiss in not posting an AAR for about a year. But there is not much difference to write about every week. The Quakers, about 4 whose average age is 1960’s throw back hippies, just stand there. And they come only when the weather is good.
Our side averages around 8-10. Good conversation, local Legion joins us, lots of waves and honks. At least one of our 2 WWII Vets show up each week, rain or shine, hot or cold.
Hi from Florida and thanks for posting the great photos! Bless you all for all you have done to stand in support of our troops! We were honored to get to stand with you a few times, and know you all will be there until all our wounded warriors are moved to the new medical center. God Bless our Military!
Tell those WWII vets I salute them and send them a cyber hug for their service.
Ditto that, God Bless our Military
I will have [Mrs] T transfer your cyber hug for a real one.
Good deal. Thank you.....and her.
Great job on this and every AAR, kburi; with a shout-out to three of the DC Chapter’s former AAR writers, BillF, PleaDeal and Tom the Redhunter; and to kristinn, tgsltakoma and Angelwood who led the DC Chapter from its Clinton days through the first three years of the Walter Reed rallies; to Mr. and Mrs. Trooprally for leading until now, and and also to principal AAR photograpers Mrs Trooprally, PleaDeal, Tom the Redhunter, iMacMan and Gadsdenman.
And I would personally like to thank the leftist monsters down the street and their soulless union puppeteers who paid them to be there week after week bearing spiteful and treasonous signs. Without your inspiration, we FReepers may not have realized how much our counter-rallies, gratitude and support would matter to the troops and passersby.
So thank you, all you pathetic old commies. We took your lemons and made lemonade for the soldiers.
Also, purposely under the radar, in a program started by FReeper LandryFan and Dustin10thMountain (one of the recovering soldiers at WRAMC who had lost an eye), were our stealth activities on base to provide one-on-one support: thank-you hugs, handshakes, conversations, listening ears, resource directions and gift items. From books and DVDs to snacks, grooming items and clothing, an association of FReepers from across the country donated approximately $250,000 worth of gifts, acted as drivers for various events, took recovering troops out for day trips or dinners, gathered greeting cards and children’s letters from their communities, held barbecues for the wounded and formed a dedicated prayer group to petition for Divine support for the troops, their families, WRAMC medical caregivers and staff.
I would shout-out the names of the many FReepers who led this effort, but it was done in the spirit of selfless giving inspired by our Western civilization that miraculously grew out of the same middle east that now houses the enemies of peace, so I will just say: you know who you are, C, T, L, B, E, and so many others.
—All in response to a handful of nasty hippies who thought they would relive the 60s outside of Walter Reed — well done, pinko dirtbags!
Thanks for your dedication to this effort!
Thanks for introducing me to FR!!!
Well said, er written
God bless all for a mission well done!!!! Thanks to all of the Walter Reed FReepers for the years of service to our veterans and their families!! Braving freezing weather, chipping ice from the sidewalks, etc to rally is an inspiration to those of us still on the line!! Please pass congratulations on to all those involved from California!
Deborah Leigh aka oneamericanvoice
Great job, everyone!! Well done!!
If you want off my ping list get over it!