Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Balboa Navy Hospital April 2006

In April of 2006 we went out to Southern California to visit Balboa Navy Hospital.

We were given directions to the section of the hospital where the Marines and their Corpsmen stay. As we arrived we met a young Marine in the hallway. He seemed to want to talk about some things that were troubling him so we visited with him for a while then went on to the room where the Marines were gathering for our visit.

In addition to getting to speak with the Marines, Eddie was in for another treat; a reunion with two of the people he knew from the time he was in the Navy hospital in Oakland in 1965! He was glad to see Sandy Kirkpatrick Holmes, one of his nurses and also James Greenough, a Corpsman who worked on Eddies' ward. I teased Eddie about hugging on Sandy a lot....making up for not being able to back then when he was in the hospital! It was also good to see James.
We had learned he lived in southern California when we had met him at one of Eddie's Marine reunions. You see after leaving Oaknoll hospital, James had gone to Vietnam and was assigned to the same unit that Eddie had been in...
Delta Co, 1st Bn, 4th Marines. A reporter from the local paper was there to record the reunion of these three and their visit with the Marines.

Eddie spoke to the group and then gave them all copies of his book and visited with them individually. In this group there was one female. Seeing injured females is still hard for us...but in this war they are out there in harms way as well as the men and they are being injured too.

During all of this the first young man we had met had come in and stayed close by me. We talked some more. I was glad to listen and just be there for him to let him know that we care and hopefully it helped him some.

It was a good day, a good visit. We feel so thankful that we are able to visit with our injured troops. In us, I hope they see that being injured doesn't mean you can't have a full and wonderful life. Eddie has accomplished so much and hopefully that inspires them to look eagerly to their own futures.

Connie Beesley

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