Skip to comments.The Last 18 Wounded Warriors Leave Walter Reed – Saturday, August 27, 2011
Posted on 09/01/2011 7:18:33 PM PDT by kburi
Shortly after 6 am Saturday morning, and less than 9 hours after our last Friday night at Walter Reed, the first members of the DC Chapter of Free Republic began to arrive at the gates where the ambulances would depart Walter Reed.
Between Silver Spring, MD and Bethesda, Montgomery County, MD police cars were already at every intersection to ensure a non-stop passage for each ambulance to the newly named Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda.
By 6:30 am, the banners and signs were ready for the first of 18 ambulances. A food court, courtesy of the Trooprallys and Lurker Bill, was set up on a corner. The coffee and doughnuts were very welcome.
7 am was the scheduled move start time. The first ambulance was several minutes late. But once they started, another ambulance followed every several minutes or so.
From the front gate, we could see the long line of ambulances waiting to go into the big white tent where each ambulance was loaded and then drove slowly to the front gate and stopped.
A DC police vehicle drove in front of it and escorted the ambulance to the Maryland line, where the Montgomery County police took over.
The ambulance carrying the last wounded warrior, left shortly after 8:45 am. The gates were closed after that.
As the ambulances passed us, every so often we could see a hand waving at us. These were the most severely wounded soldiers and we know that they knew, we were there supporting them.
Colonel McHugh, the Garrison Commander, came out to talk with us and thank us for being there over the years to support the wounded warriors and their families.
Later, Colonel Coots, the Walter Reed Healthcare System Commander, came out onto Georgia Ave to thank us.
If you have to get up early on a Saturday morning, this was the morning, slightly cool and clear.
With flags waving, banners hung and signs held, each ambulance was greeted until it disappeared up Georgia Ave. Meanwhile, traffic was building and passing cars were honking and waving just like a typical Friday night.
We were joined by three visitors: Kate, a volunteer with Honor Flight, Janet, an Air Force Staff Sergeant on her way to Afghanistan and Sirak, who used to live in the neighborhood, saw us and wanted to join us.
We were also joined by some members of the press: NPR, Matt of the Washington Post, CBS, the Army News Service and a couple of others. They had little understanding of who we were and why we were there.
Maybe the American flags confused them.
This was a very nice end to the 6 years and 4 months of consecutive Friday evenings at Walter Reed.
It ended because BRAC decided to close Walter Reed, the US Armys flagship hospital, and not because Americans couldnt find the time on Friday evenings to support our troops.
God Bless Our Troops and their Families
FReepers, Lurkers and Visitors on August 27, 2011
Mr. and Mrs Trooprally, CindyTrueSupporter, Fraxinus, Kburi, PrezUSA222, RonGKirby, TammyCat, VictoryNY, Lurkers Bill, Bryan, Jim, Kim and Terry. Visitors: Janet, Kate and Sirak.
To see After Action Reports beginning in March 2005, please check BufordPs Walter Reed Freep Archives :
Bill Sets Up The Food Court, While CindyTrueSupporter Keeps Watch
The First Ambulance Is Ready To Leave Walter Reed
Bryan, Kburi and Bill
VictoryNY, Bryan, NPR Phtographer(Kneeling)
and Matt, the Washington Post Photographer
The Ambulances Keep Coming
And Coming ..
DC Police Escorts Led Each Ambulance Up Georgia Ave
Cant Miss This Corner - RonGKirby and Terry
Sirak and Fraxinus Waiting For the Next Ambulance
Flanked By Kim and Tammycat, An Air Force Staff Sergeant
(on her way to Afghanistan) Stands With Her Parents
The Ambulance Carrying The Last Wounded Warrior to Leave Walter Reed
God bless you all for being there one last time esp on such short notice. The dedication of all of you is truly inspirational and greatly appreciated. WELL DONE!
Thank you all for your dedication during so many year’s for this wonderful, inspiring cause.
You have our gratitude and love.
Y’all done good. Real real good.
God bless you all and thank you!!
Thanks to one and all for your devotion. One last thanks to concretebob for the coup de grace. Bless you all. Mr. TroopRally, will have to find other threads to mock your pasty legs.
God bless all who serve and may I have the honor of carrying water for all who have spilled blood for the preservation of freedom and honor on this little, insignificant world. Your service is immeasurable.
Good-bye, Walter Reed.
Thank you to all who have stood watch!
Yep, concretebob and Protest Warriors are a blessing in disguise. That Jan. 20,2006 was one Friday that [Mrs] T and I missed. Had to do with a 30th Anniversary cruise in warmer parts. But we were glad to get back to 4 corners the following Friday.
And don’t worry about the “leggs”. We are still in Olney,MD countering the Quakers. This Saturday will be 5 years - 9 months. It has not been continuous because we took some Saturdays off for things like the 1st GoE rally on March 17,2007 and the 1st 9-12 rally in 2009.
Kburi - A big THANK YOU for your last AAR from Walter Reed.
A THANKS also goes out to the following AAR writers that documented an era that has come to an end. Hope I got everyone:
Albion Wilde, ArmyMarineMom; BillF; BufordP; daughterofTGSL; Kristinn; PleaDeal; tgslTakoma; and TomtheRedhunter
Thank You ALL
Those closed gates seem to carry a huge message....THE END!
I know that this is not the end of FReepers supporting our troops. I know that we will all find new ways to be of service in the coming years.
I will see you all in some parks, at some buildings, and on some street corners in the future. I will be very happy to meet you again!
I was there for number 100 which was colder than cold and a few others. I know so many readers would have loved to be part of this effort but for the distance. I have told many folks all over our Nation about all that you folks have done (and the reason you started). God Bless you all as I know you have some special angels waiting.
Check out BufordP’s Archive above for the number 100 write-up.
Cold rain, sleet turning to snow, just another Friday night!
Jim Robinson joined us that night. Check out the photos and see if you see yourself.
what a great report & great pix. So glad you were all there.
humorous ...”maybe the American Flags comfused them”... LOL
Well, I have a feeling the RATS will make their presence known at Bethesda eventually. Maybe time to reserve all the corners for next five years?
God spped & thank you for sharing & the ping!
No photo but words. I was pleased to play a small part in both this as well as serve as a marshal for Gathering of Eagles the next morning. I left WR, drove to Balston and slept in the car until taking a bus to the mall. I stood with you folks a couple of other times including once with a sign of thanks for a young man from my tiny hometown in Oregon that gave his life in Iraq. Here’s what I wrote on #100.
Count me as one of the 60 that showed support! When I returned to work yesterday here in Hopewell, VA, I told my co-workers I been to D.C. and “had seen the elephant”, first at WRMC and the next day when I worked as a marshal for GOE. What an experience Friday night and I loved every minute of it. I sat across the street at 5:30 waiting to see if anyone would show and then saw RL getting salt out of his trunk to cover all four corners. One of the first to approach me was a reporter for a Canadian newspaper. I pointed him toward RL and Mr. TroopRally as I knew they could help him. Soon a couple from Washington state (some place near Vancover showed up) and a while later a couple arrived in a taxi. They were there for the first time and said they were from Gulf Shores, AL. Before too long it became too much for the lady and he said they needed to get a cab. It soon was obvious you can’t hail a cab at that corner. We put her in my SUV and he walked up the street to get a cab. I got distracted and next time I looked they were gone so all must have been OK. I couldn’t believe the strong support from the drivers passing by, from both private and commercial vehicles. My heart did skip a beat twice when I saw emergency buses with lights flashing arrive from probably Andrews with wounded. I had to smile when two or three pinkos came up to the corner and wanted to “talk”. One of the lady old faithfuls said, “get outta here, we’ve heard all your crap before, this is our corner and you’re not welcome.” They soon went back to their sad little spot with their tail between their legs.
Darn blurry screen. DC freepers are the salt of the earth and should go down on record as being our troops number one loyal supports. It has been a huge privilege to gt to know you guys.
It was a privilege to meet all of you. Thanks so much for holding the line. I’m glad you crossed my path in life
An era has come to the close, and that’s bittersweet in this instance I think. Some of my fondest memories are of standing with you guys at that corner, going all the way back to Freepers such as Kristinn, Tgsl Tacoma, Angelwood,
Connie Hair, Doctor Raoul and many others that have come and gone at FR. Kristinn, you’re about the only one who is still around.
Living in Texas, I didn’t get to join y’all very often, but it was an honor and a thrill for me when I could be there.
God bless you everyone—and God bless our troops, wherever they are around the world.
One question: Did the Pinkos show up?
No Pinkos showed, and for the record I circled Navy Med last night after 7pm and saw no sign of them.
Please note that BufordP has been here for the duration and JimmyValentinesBrother only recently wasn’t able to continue.
CindyTrueSupporter is another, almost from the first (altho initially she didn’t have a Freeper name).