Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Organizations That Help Wounded Warriors "Plus"

Organizations that help wounded warriors are numerous.  It would take me days to amass a list of them all.  Instead, in this season of giving, I am going to list a few of the ones with which we or friends of ours have had personal experience.  Some friends have been here a lot longer and could probably list a lot more, but I'm doing an abbreviated list.  If you have extra funds, which not many of us do during these hard economic times, and you wish to give to a charitable organization that helps wounded warriors, these organizations are wonderful.  And yes, there is a Derek update at the end.

Wounded Warrior Project - The WWP honors and empowers wounded warriors.  They have their hand in just about everything.  They sponsor the Tuff Mudder, they donate items to WWs at the hospital, they cater meals for patients and families, they help vets in crisis, they raise public awareness, etc.  We have been the beneficiary of some of those meals and Derek has some of their donated gear.  That's it, so far.  I'm sure he will benefit from them a lot in the future.   877 TEAM WWP (832-6997) or visit

Yellow Ribbon Fund - The YRF was founded in 2005 and helps injured service members and their families.  The following is taken from their facebook page:  Since their founding they have provided the following:   over 1,350 free rental cars spanning 55,248 free rental car days; over 18,056 free taxi rides; over 8,905 free hotel room nights; and families have used our four apartments for almost 7,171 nights; and hundreds of free tickets to sporting games, concerts and plays, and hundreds of lunches, dinners, golf games, duck and goose hunts, fishing trips and other activities...... please... what DON'T they do?  In the 144 days we have been here, we personally have used the massage days twice, had a mani/pedi once, and took a taxi to the Army/Navy game, and they provided my sister and her family with a room when they came for Christmas.  Eliza Palmer from the YRF is wonderful.
4905 Del Ray Avenue, Suite 500, Bethesda, Maryland 20814, Phone: 240-223-1180.

Fisher House Foundation (and Hero Miles) - The Fisher House provides lodging free of charge for military families during illness and rehabilitation.  Their Hero Miles program flies families free of charge to their loved ones.
Operation Ward 57 - Laura, Brittany and Heather are wonderful.  They not only give out hats, t-shirts and other items to the wounded warriors, but if the families need things, they get them.  They will bring soda, coffee, and even a flashlight or sharpies.  They assist in morale for the families, the staff and the wounded warriors.  They are named after Ward 57 from the original Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and they do wonderful things for us.

Aleethia Foundation - According to their Facebook page, they describe their mission as follows:  "The mission of The Aleethia Foundation is to support the newly injured service members with short-term therapeutic recreation, small financial grants, family emergency aid, home improvements to assist with an injured service member's mobility and other unmet needs. The doctors have determined that is is beneficial for the newly injured troops to get out of the hospital environment occasionally. Our mission is to help them get out for meals, movies, sightseeing, and visits to interesting sites."  I have gone to two of their Friday night dinners.  One was at the Press Club and the one that Derek and Krystina were able to attend was at the British Ambassador's residence.  The dinners are always delicious.

Veterans Airlift Command - Through a volunteer network, vets and wounded warriors are provided free air travel for flights for medical care and other compassionate reasons, including my friends' Christmas holiday home.   Email:
Lukes Wings - According to their Facebook page, Luke's Wings is dedicated to the support of service members who have been wounded in battle. By purchasing travel services for loved ones, they provide families with the means to visit during the service member’s hospitalization and rehabilitation. We have not used them yet, but if I need to get my kids down here, I will call them!

LT Dan Weekend - This is a four day weekend in Beaufort, SC where 100 wounded warriors and caregivers can get away and just relax. There is a bike ride and 5K and Gary Sinise and the Lt Dan Band rocks it out! We may be able to attend if enough funds are raised to allow the event to occur next year!

iPads for Soldiers - According to their Facebook page, they have donated over 400 iPads to soldiers, both wounded warriors and deployed military since their inception in 2010. I met Marie when she donated an iPad to Derek. He gave it to me. What a sweet kid.
Email: www,

iPods for Wounded Veterans - This organization provides iPods for wounded veterans to help them through their illness and rehabilitation. Derek has received a couple of iPods from them. 4 Heather Drive, Wilmington, MA 01887

There are wonderful organizations for our troops, such as Toys for Tots, Adopt a Soldier Platoon (and they have visited the wounded and helped Derek a lot, but they also do most of their work for deployed soldiers), Our Military Kids, etc. but I am concentrating on those organizations that are really specifically for wounded warriors.  There are a lot of others besides the ones listed here, but these have really helped us or our friends personally.

Today Derek had a quiet day.  He was not feeling good.  He has a little bit of a cold, so he stayed quiet.  The Secretary of the Army, John McHugh, visited today.

The rest of the day, except for visits from people dropping off gifts, Derek rested.  The best part of the day was when Dr. Nanos came to consult with us about the hand.  Of course, he cannot give us any guarantees, but he also did not tell us the hand was dead, deal with it.  We will see what the future holds.

Yesterday, Derek got himself in and out of the chair . . . by himself!  He is climbing that mountain!

Also, General Fred Franks came to visit Derek in the Matc. He had heard about Derek's story from someone while he was in Florida, and he made it a point to visit with Derek. He checked up on our concerns about Derek's hand and made sure that one of the head doctors came to visit with us

I have spoken many times about Derek's awesome nurses.  They are Derek's Goddesses.  He is like the little old man, aka letch, in the hospital bed, hitting on all the nurses, and Krystina is like the little old lady sitting in the corner laughing at him because she knows two things:  (1) he can't do anything about it; and (2) even if he could, he wouldn't.  But the nurses love it.  At least they act like they do.  They come in to chat even with they do not have to see him.  And Angela did the following to Derek's Fentynal patch:
She wrote "pretty" on it!  Only Angela.  And yesterday he had an Angela sandwich!!!
We love those two.  Derek was calling for the Angela is the ACUs, whose last name is Heroux.  It is pronounced, "Her Oooo," but she also answers to "Her O."  Derek asked for his nurse, and the person on the other end of the call button said, "Excuse me?"  So Derek yelled out, "Herro?" real loud.  Angela heard him from the nurses' station.  He now has other patients doing it, and now that's what we call her, inflection and all.  We do not mean it with any disrespect or racist tendacies.  It is just a way to make fun of her name in a way that makes her laugh.  We love her.  We love Derek's nurses.

And we love the non-profit organizations that help the wounded warriors.  Please remember them if you have a few extra dollars to spare.

Love to all!  Merry Christmas!  Happy Hanukkah!  Happy Winter Solstice!  Happy Kwanzaa!  Climb to glory!


  1. Derek looks AMAZING in the MATC yesterday! What was it you said before? More a person, less a patient? Totally true!

    We're keeping Derek in our prayers, with a special emphasis on his hand. Glad to hear his new doctor is better to work with.

  2. Always praying!
    John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
    Prayer Bears
    My email address

  3. As we approach Christmas may your thoughts turn toward why this Babe was born! Praying!
    John 3:14-17 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
    Prayer Bears
    My email address