Think of him as your solider

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

For the past 18 months, I have been working on a joint Department of Defense and Department of Veteran's Affairs pilot program called The Disability Evaluation System, or DES. Basically, the two departments work in conjunction in order to help some of the Gulf War's most seriously injured veterans. Working on this project has been hard for me, because many of the claims are for people my age or even younger, and many have catastrophic injuries.

Today, one of those service members took the time to come visit the office with his mother and speak to us about his struggles thus far. They traveled up to Baltimore from Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital outside of Washington, D.C., a place that has been their home for almost 3 years, since the service member was flown out of Iraq after stepping on a land mine. His injuries are unbelievable, and he is only 25 years old.

Although seeing this young hero was extremely emotional and heart-wrenching, it was even more emotional hearing from his mother. When the accident occurred, she quit her job as a nurse to be her injured son's full time advocate, sleeping in his room on a hard hospital cot, and fighting with doctors and physical therapists to get him the care that he deserved.

The whole time she was talking, she kept referring to him as "her baby" and "her soldier." Here was this big, 25 year-old man, but to his mom, he was still her baby. It just goes to show, that no matter how old people get, they are still someone's baby and mothers are willing to do everything in their power to make sure their babies are not hurting.

She encouraged us to imagine that every case we work is "our soldier," someone who is important to us and what an important lesson as we approach Veteran's Day on November 11th.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

A couple of months ago, Adam and I started watching Glee on FOX Wednesday nights. Let me say, that the show really brings out the inner band/chorus nerd in both of us, plus it really appeals to our sense of humor. We find the sarcastic and off-the-wall jokes and comments hilarious and usually spend the whole episode laughing.

Throughout the show, they have little vignettes where certain characters sing a song that has something to do with the story line. It made me think about how much a song can describe a situation, a feeling or a story.

Have you ever been listening to a song and you can totally relate to it, or you are just so moved by the moment, the notes, the chord progression, the words that it catches you off-guard? That is honestly why I think music is so can be a song without lyrics and it still has the ability to make you feel a variety of different emotions.

When it came to picking the song for our first dance at the wedding, we had a hard time. We didn't know whether to pick one of our old favorites, or something new and different. Eventually, I heard a song on XM radio and fell in love with it because it describes one of my favorite times of the day.

Anyway, if you haven't watched Glee, I would recommend it, then you can write long, drawn-out blog posts about what music means to you.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

On Friday night, Adam and I drove through the pouring rain to Mechanicsburg for another busy weekend. The plan was to meet with the minister, the DJ and celebrate my Dad's birthday with a nice dinner and then pumpkin carving. Even though it was raining, we picked out some great pumpkins and had a wonderful evening carving them and celebrating Dad's birthday with carrot cake made from scratch by my sister, Sally.

When we were growing up, Dad always used to carve our pumpkins for us after we would scoop all of the goop out of it. Usually, we would stand around the kitchen table that was covered with newspapers and Carrie, Sally and I would argue about what the face should look like. Dad usually drew the design quietly, maybe listening to our design ideas, maybe not, but our pumpkins would always turn out to have great little faces.

Over the past couple of years, we haven't carved pumpkins at home, we were all busy doing different things. It was fun to sit around the kitchen table and carve pumpkins, even if Adam was the one carving it for me this time.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

On Tuesday afternoon, Adam and I went to have our engagement pictures taken. The pictures were kind of an afterthought, considering we have been engaged now for about 16 months, and I wasn't even sure that I really wanted to have them taken. I am very happy that we went, because the pictures are great! Here are some of our favorites:

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