After our visit in Washington DC in May of 2006 we drove to Camp LeJeune, NC...but first stopped at Quantico, VA. (Our vehicle just has a way of ALWAYS heading directly towards ANY and ALL Marine bases). As we entered the base book store we were surprised to hear "Hi Eddie". It was Wendy, one of the ladies we had met in March who works in the Semper Fi Injured Marine Fund office. She introduced us to General Mattis who was with retired General Zinnie (He was there signing his book.) As we travel, we are blessed to meet many wonderful and interesting people.
From Quantico, we continued on our way to Camp LeJeune to visit the Wounded Warrior Barracks. The barracks are such a blessing to our injured troops. Eddie would have loved to have had this as a choice when he was injured. Back then, he was not given a chance to stay in the Marine Corps...he tried but was turned down. Today our warriors may stay in to finish their tour and some are even able to re-up and continue their Marine careers. This is especially good for someone like Gunny B....who had 18 months left on a 20 year career. If he had been forced to get out when injured he would not have been entitled to his full 20 year retirement benefits. BUT through this program...he is. The program was the idea of Lt Col Maxwell (you can read about it at http://sempermax.com/ ) We were blessed to meet his wife Shannon Maxwell but would not meet her husband until another visit.
At the Wounded Warrior barracks, the Marines were gathered into one room and Eddie told them a bit about himself. He then began talking with them, answering questions and hearing their stories. We were there for over 4 hours!
They did not want to let him go! They wanted to tell them their stories and had a lot of questions for him about sports, transportation and all of the things that he'd learned about after his injuries.
This was also a good visit for me as I was able to meet with a Marine wife I had met online at Classmates. She and her husband came by the barracks and we had time for a short visit while Eddie was with wounded Marines.
Once we were able to leave the barracks we headed toward the home of someone we had met at one of Eddie's Marine reunions. Captain Dan McMahon had served with Delta 1/4 after Eddie had been injured and left Vietnam. We had a great visit with him and his wife. After spending the night we left the next morning for home. Another wonderful trip! We feel very blessed to be able to visit our injured troops.