Jason received his Purple Heart today, from the Commandant of the Marines, and it was quite an impressive ceremony. The Commandant, himself, is very personable and knows how to make you feel totally comfortable. We got up in the morning and were going through our normal pace of getting ready when we received a call from Bridgette. "The Commandant is going to be here at 11:00, not the 12:00 we were told before!" We still had plenty of time, but it felt like it was a bit more urgent now. We still needed to get over to Jason's room and set up some decorations; I needed to finish shaving him; and we didn't have a shirt ready for him (or at least I didn't think we did). On top of that Bridgette still had to get the girls over to Day Care before she could get to Jason's room. We called David to let him know of the time change, and I think I woke him up (he is still on California time).
We got over to Jason's room and put up a Marine flag we had, and a couple of other little things. We talked to Sgt. Linderman about Jason's uniform shirt (digi), and found out that it was on its way, but still needed Jason's E.O.D. (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) pin. Not a big deal because we had plenty of time, and Bridgette was bringing his pin. It was now just a little after 09:00 and we thought we could relax a little. Then came the news, the Commandant was going to be there by 10:00, and now it was an urgent issue. David wasn't here yet, Bridgette was dealing with the construction traffic (and there wasn't any parking - one of the many challenges here). Sgt. Linderman brought in Jason's shirt and David showed up. We were in Jason's room, finishing the shaving when the Commandant showed up, with a few others and we weren't ready. The Commandant (a Four Star General, for those wondering) came in to the room and actually helped us with the final touches of getting Jason's shirt on properly, except that Jason still didn't have his pin. That was okay, because MGySgt Todd was there, and he had his pin and offered it to Jason. The Commandant liked that idea, though I think it made Jason a bit nervous because MGySgt Todd is at a higher level than Jason, so it is a slightly different pin. I think the Commandant noticed and told Jason not to worry, and to consider it a temporary increase. While the Commandant was putting the pin on Jason, Bridgette walked through the door, with her father Gary, and we were now ready for the presentation.
The presentation of the medal wasn't too long, nor was it too brief. I guess they have been through this enough that they know how to do it just right. The Commandant spoke of the history of the medal, and how George Washington was the one who created it, and why. How it became known as the Purple Heart, and how it was brought back into use during WWII. The Commandant also spoke of Jason's future and how it is still a very bright future and that if he wanted to remain in the Marines there was a job for him. After he was finished the Commandant and most of the other officers that came with him, left with MGySgt Todd remaining. He stayed and spoke with Jason for a short while longer. Jason attempted to give back the pin, but MGySgt Todd told him that it was now his, and I think this meant as much to Jason as the Purple Heart.
The rest of the day was pretty much a nice calm day, with an opportunity for Jason to get out side again. I'm getting pretty good at transferring him from his bed to the chair, and I don't mind doing it, though I do look forward to when Jason can move himself. Bridgette and David worked the front of the Geri-chair, and I worked the back, with Linda bringing along the "tree" that had all the drips and drugs that are still needed for Jason. It was a nice smooth ride for Jason, and he got to stay outside as long as he wanted. The only thing that didn't go smoothly today was at the end of the day when his temperature went up over 101 degrees, though you really couldn't tell that by looking at Jason. Most of the temp increase was probably due to all the activity from the day, and it simply wore on him. David and I were able to squeeze in a Giants vs. Nationals Baseball game (second half anyway) at National Park (tickets courtesy of Craig and Lisa H.), after Jason went back inside. Linda stayed with Jason for the remainder of the evening until David and I returned from the game. Jason has surgery in the morning, so we won't get to see him until after noon sometime. That's okay as we have some errands to attend to, so as far as I am concerned, it is a good thing.
Thanks, again (yeah, I'm going to keep thanking everyone for their continued support)for all the prayers and positive thoughts. It is appreciated.