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Showing posts from May, 2014

May 31, 2014

Today began with both Linda and I doing our best to get the place ready for Jason's birthday party, as he turns 31 today and that kind of makes it a special birthday. It was a simple gathering of some of our friends, and it came off very well. We didn't over decorate (at least I don't think we did), or over prepare food - though on that front it was excellent carne asada and guacamole dip for the chips (thank you, J.B.). It looked to us like Jason was having a good time, and so were his daughters, so it was a very good day. The only thing is that it seems like Linda and I have been running pretty hard for these past few days, and we are now tired. As a result my post is short, and we're going to bed, with the hope that we can sleep in a little tomorrow. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

May 30, 2014 -- Number 1000

Well, it looks like I did it... I have been with Jason for most of time during these past 3+ years. I began this blog as an attempt at documenting his progress of healing and making steps at getting his new "normal" established. He has, from the beginning, done more and succeeded more than anyone (except maybe himself) expected. From early on, during this journey, I have been told that greater things await Jason, and it is only a matter of time before we find out what those greater things are. I think most of us already know that he is a great motivator, and helps others to come to grips with their own new normal, but we still think that he as even more to offer and we look forward to seeing what it is. Because this is the 1000th post; I think I might begin to cut back on posting every day, and go to every-other-day, or to whatever works.

This morning we got up to go to formation, and so the three of us (me, Linda and Jason) jumped into the van and headed off to the hospital…

May 29, 2014

For those keeping track... This is the 999th post in the continuing saga of SSgt Jason Ross' recovery.  I think he is the one remaining combat wounded Marine here in Balboa, though I don't know that to be a fact. Most of the others who are here, are a result of being in some sort of accident, ranging from training to motorcycle or automobile accident. There are also some who are being treated for cancer and are very sick and need hospital care and treatment. Also, the number of people who are now a part of the Wounded Warrior Battalion has gone down drastically, to the point where there are only about 72 members now at Balboa.

One of the things that Jason was able to do, after he finished his regular appointment with PT was to go and visit with Dr. Shue, and Van from Mobility Solutions. They are working to come up with a better seat configuration for Jason, so that he can be a little more comfortable. We looked at some alternate materials and ways of layering them, and that wa…

May 28, 2014

Today started out as a day to get things done or at least into motion. We did get the girls off to their respective schools, with Jackie riding along with Jason and I and Stacy going with Grandma. Jason had to be at his formation at 07:30, and it was on a Wednesday because this past Monday was a holiday and the guys were given Tuesday as a day off. Right after the formation I got a chance to speak with a couple of the people in charge of the battalion and asked them about Jason's retirement ceremony. He will be going on what is known as terminal leave, at the end of June, and this is when he uses up the rest of his leave time. The guys who work in finance know that there is a financial benefit to doing this, and Jason was one of those financial guys, before going EOD. Anyway, things are now in motion and we will be scheduling his official retirement date and ceremony in the next week or so.

Jason and I got back to the house and Linda came out so that we could all go to lunch toget…

May 27, 2014

Today was more of a day where we were able to get a few things done (ran some errands) and still had time to relax a little. One of the bigger errands was Jason wanting to get over to the gymnastics school to check out their summer program and to see if it was something that he would be interested in, for his two daughters Stacy and Jackie. There are some logistical issues to be worked out, but it looked like something that he might be taking advantage of. One of the instructors talked about a friend of her's who was also EOD, only he is Navy, instead of Marine. He is also a wounded warrior (bilateral above the knee amputations), and he still comes in to the gym and gets some exercise. He sounds like a great guy.

We also did a few things around the house and made a few other trips, though there really wasn't a great deal accomplished and it felt really great. Jason did get a hair cut, and he looks like a Marine again. After the hair cut we came back to the house and dropped hi…

May 26, 2014 - Memorial Day

I hope you all had a memorable Memorial Day, I know we did.

We got up early enough, Linda and I were up at 06:30 (actually it was an oops on my part. I looked at the clock and thought it said 07:20, so I jumped up and Linda was right behind me - after taking a shower I looked at the clock again and said, "Oops, it's only 06:40 right now, we have plenty of time."). Anyway, our breakfast was relatively simple with Linda and I eating yogurt and toast and Jason eating Cheerios (he really doesn't like yogurt, unless its frozen). The girls showed up at 08:00 and in the next half hour we were getting ready to head over to the U.S.S. Midway, for a tour of the ship.

We got to the ship and were given special attention. We got into the parking lot area with very little trouble and guided to a parking space that was right in front of the entry point. Craig Fisher, Director of Partnership Marketing, was our guide, and we had a great time, though we had to get going after only bei…

May 25, 2014

This morning we got up slowly and enjoyed the restful beginning of the day, and even had Cream of Wheat for breakfast. We were having a nice relaxed slow morning, as we were headed to the Padres vs. Cubs game a little later in the day. We new it was to be an early afternoon game, so we wanted to get there with plenty of time, and not have to worry about parking or trying to figure out where we were.

We had been invited to sit in the owners box, and it was excellent seating. There was also plenty of food and drink, since it was right at noon, and fit our lunch schedule perfectly. We even got the chance to meet one of the owners of the Padres, as he came in a little while prior to the game beginning. Actually Linda, Jason and I were the first to arrive, and it felt kind of nice walking into an owner's box.

The Padres won, with the final score being 4 to 3, so it all worked out well. We sat at our table with Ben and Judy, from the Gary Sinise Foundation, and had a great time. Even Ja…

May 24, 2014

Today was a bit different, from the days we usually have. I still got up early enough to get out on my bike, before traffic got too bad, and Jason was resting comfortably, and even Linda got up at her early hour. So, you might ask, "So what is different about today?" Well, the difference is that Linda was able to get out with a friend and actually have a good day, or I should say, "girl's" day out.

My ride was one of those that I like to do, to practice on some lower hills and attempt to push my speed just a little. I really don't go far (less than 12 miles today) yet I still get a good work out, and my legs feel like it. Jason and I had the house to ourselves for a good part of the day, and when Linda came home she was feeling recharged and happy. It was a good day for all of us... Heck, I even changed out Mr. Jingles (the rat) cage.

Linda came home mid afternoon and other than making a quick errand run we effectively stayed home the rest of the day. It wa…

May 23, 2014

Today has been a busy day for us, and it began with a 22 mile bike ride for me. Actually it began with a quick breakfast for Jason, and I had an apple and a glass of water. I don't like to eat much prior to a long bike ride. Last night I was informed, by Jason, that there wasn't going to be a formation and then later told it was going to take place at noon. This kind of changed my plans for the ride, but it all worked out. By the time I returned from the ride I had time to cool down a bit and then take a shower.

Linda had gone to participate in an activity at Jackie's school, and she was also back at the house prior to going to formation. After taking Jason completed formation we headed on back to the house, as it was around 13:00 (1pm) and Joselyn was scheduled to be here at 14:00 (2pm). Joselyn showed up and I asked her when her husband would be arriving (he is a mechanic and was going to take a look at a problem with the van) and she said he would be here at about 16:00…

May 22, 2014

It was a busy day for us, and it began with a nice and quick 12 mile ride, at about 06:45 this morning. I was very happy that I made the ride in just under an hour and there were a number of stops due to traffic, though it wasn't too heavy. I got back to the house by about 07:40 and then had to cool down, so I could take a shower. I did find out that eating an apple a few minutes prior to the ride was exactly what I needed to have the energy to make the "loop."

Jason and I took off for the hospital, where he had an appointment and Linda took off actually a little before we did. As it turned out Jason and I were done before Linda, so she ended up meeting us at Carl's Jr. where there was a small media event going on. It was to bring some attention to the Carl's Jr. Stars for Hero's program, and for Anthony Netto's Stand Up And Play foundation. The folks at Carl's Jr. provided the food and there were a number of decorations and finally channel 10 abc New…

May 21, 2014

The girls were up this morning, after a little encouragement from Grandma and Grandpa. Both of them wanted to take another 15 or 20 minutes, but that wasn't going to happen. Actually Stacy wasn't too bad and Grandma has a special way of coaxing the girls to get moving better than anyone else. We all walked over to Stacy's school this morning, while Jason stayed back at the house. There was a special field trip going on and Stacy was pretty excited to be going - They were going to Sea World. When we finally did drop Stacy off, and then leave, Jackie didn't give us any trouble at all, and I guess she is finally getting used to the fact that Stacy goes to a different school than she does.

Once back at the house Jason was getting ready to head over to his appointments with PT and Wound Care. He worked with Dawn at PT and she was generally pleased with the motion in his arms, and commented that he must have been exercising them well, or Mike, they other PT specialist, is do…

I

What a wonderful day...

The day started with the same craziness that we usually have, when the girls are with us, and today it just seemed to be in overdrive. Both Stacy and Jackie were in great spirits and having a great time while Linda and I were getting them dressed. I am soooo glad to have Linda here now, especially since the girl's hair is getting longer and needing just a little more attention (and skill) than I can provide. Anyway, they were both ready to head out, on time and looking very cute.

Jason had his PT appointment and then needed to get some Rx from the pharmacy. We also had a chance to do a little visiting with some folks we don't see as often as we used to, and it was very nice. One in particular, Torn, was in good spirits and witty as ever. He and Jason were exchanging comments on everything from growing crops in Iowa to the Polar Bears at the San Diego Zoo. It was nice to watch the two of them, as it seemed to help both of them, and I know it made me feel…

May 19, 2014

Well, this morning got off to a fast start with the girls full of energy and excited about their school day. Stacy is especially excited about doing more and more activities outside and getting into more physical activities. With Jackie, she is just plain happy and loves to run - my opinion is that if she continues to develop the way she is, she will be a future runner, as she already has a natural kick.

Jason had to get to his formation and then on to his class. It was an hour long class, so it provided me with some time to get over and speak with Mr. Cheney. He is the one who was the point-man or primary contact for getting us the van. I explained to him the challenge of using the van and that the suspension just wasn't working correctly. He said it was supposed to have an "air-ride" and that a compressor should be responsible for keeping the vehicle balanced. The compressor isn't working, though I did recall hearing it the first time I drove it down. I looked for …
Today was National Candle Lighting Day, in remembrance of all fallen warriors from ALL U.S. conflicts. I hope some of you lighted a candle, though I realize that a bunch of you probably didn't even know about it. I found out about it from Mark Bruh, as it is something he got started back in 2007. Today was the greatest success so far. I thought it was a good idea, so that is why Linda and I decided to join in - perhaps more of you will join in next year.

Okay, on with the blog...

Yesterday we pretty much stayed at home, except for a short (17 mile) bike ride, and a visit up with our friend, Anthony Netto. It was good getting with him, to just talk and go over some of the things going on. I've been getting more involved with his Stand-Up-And-Play organization, as I believe it is something that is providing help and hope to many folks who would otherwise not know the joy of being up-right again. Right now he is working to redesign his paramobile, so that it has a smaller "f…

May 16, 2014

This morning we got up early, so that Jason could get to his formation. Formation was actually kind of fast today, and immediately afterward he had to go find some dental records. Apparently someone dropped the ball or lost his record because he was missing this in his battalion records. He went over to the dentist and got the update and everything was fine again. Otherwise we were done for the day, at Balboa and all we needed to do was to head up and pick up the "new" van.

An organization, North County Warrior Support, had received a wheelchair accessible van, and wanted to get it to a Wounded Warrior, so that transportation was taken care of. Because Jason is working on getting his own truck, eventually, it was decided that I would get the van, and we'd have it for our use, instead of constantly relying on borrowing the Semper Fi Van. The van is a 1996 Chrysler Town & Country with a ramp and kneeling mechanism. The best part is that it looks almost brand new, and t…

May 15, 2014

Well, for all those wondering about the fires down here in San Diego, they are just about all under control and soon to be out. Of course there will probably be other fires through the summer, so don't rest on your comfort zone, too much.

Jason had an early appointment with his new recovery care coordinator here at Balboa, and it was nice getting a chance to speak with her. A little later in the day I also received a call from Shane C. our Federal Recovery Care Coordinator, who will be monitoring Jason and his progress for the rest of Jason's military career and then well into his civilian life. As Shane put it, "As long as I (Shane) am still working with the VA I will be Jason's Recovery Care Coordinator. Jason could move to another state and I would still be his Coordinator." This actually made me feel much better, knowing that there is going to be that continuity.

The other appointment that Jason had was with Wound Care, and they were happy with the progress t…

May 14, 2014

Today started with a mad rush to get the girls up, dressed, fed and out the door to their schools. Of course the girls didn't know we were rushing, as they were happily playing and eating their breakfast just like normal. We needed to get things done in a "timely" manner, since we needed to be up to Fallbrook by 09:00 so that we could meet with some of the people who will be directly involved with the building of Jason's new home. As it was, traffic was great except for one accident, going the other way, so it only had a minor impact on our progress.

We got up there at almost exactly 09:00 (maybe 5 minutes late), and we all introduced ourselves to each other, since some of the people we hadn't met yet. Jason then transferred over to the paragolfer and we began to "walk" the property. I think I got a couple of shots that will show how the place is laid out, so I will get some of them on here by tomorrow. The funny thing is that I was wearing an older pai…

May 13, 2014

Today was a busy day, and tomorrow is going to be even busier. We got started with Linda taking the girls to their respective schools and then Jason and I headed down to the DMV, where I was able to get the title transfer done on a donated wheelchair accessible van, over to Linda and my name. This is going to be the permanent van for our use, and we won't be "borrowing" a van from the base any more. This is a good thing for all of us, and even though it was a bit of an effort to get all the logistics out of the way, we are very happy and honored to have the van donated to us. It came from a group called North County Warrior Support.

There was another bonus for today and that was a visit from some old friends. Jim and Harriet Boomer came by, to have lunch with us. They are down in San Diego, getting some things ready and in place for their daughter's wedding, coming up next month. You could tell they had been working on this and I think they appreciated the break to h…

May 12, 2014

Another early day, with Jason heading off to formation, and then immediately afterward he had a class he was to attend. That class was to be an hour, so I decided to walk around the hospital compound and take care of a few things, where there were conflicts in this weeks schedule. The conflicts were easy fixes, just needed to be taken care of, so that they no longer existed. I figured I had plenty of time, since Jason had told me the class was going to be an hour. As it was, I was done in a little over a half hour and walked back to the van. I opened the door and sat down, thinking I was going to get a little rest and Jason showed up. So much for an hour long class.

We headed on back to the house, where the first thing Jason wanted was to take a shower, and then I did a dressing change. Everything is looking good, though it is going to take some time for the two areas to heal over. All the serious wound areas are basically closed, with those two that resulted from shearing motion are …

May 11, 2014 - Happy Mother's Day

Today was a very nice and relaxed day, though we did get some exercise in, early in the  morning. I rode my bike up Linda Vista Road, again and my legs feel like it. My goal is to be able to ride all the way up without stopping, and I believe even though it will be a challenge, it can be done. Linda spent some time on the elliptical trainer and is getting better at it every day she uses it.

After that, and a shower, I made a breakfast of French Toast and some fresh berries. Well, at least Linda and I had some of the berries, Jason just won't eat those "things," as he will refer to them. This pretty much set the tone for the rest of the day, and it was very relaxed. Linda got some laundry and ironing accomplished (she loves to iron the girl's clothes) and I cleaned up the kitchen. The rest of the day was spent taking care of things like email and responding to phone calls from the boys.

Tomorrow Jason has a couple of appointments and then we have a couple of errands t…

May 10, 2014

This morning started out much different than the last few. We were able to sleep in and enjoy each other's company, and we didn't have to get up until nearly 07:30. Well, actually I got up first and let Linda sleep in a little bit longer. When I went down stairs to see how Jason was doing, the first thing he said to me (after the usual, "Good morning.") was that he wanted a shower, and I wasn't a bit surprised. Where I was surprised was when I got all the dressings off and saw how good the wounds were progressing. ALL of them have shrunk some and it looks like in a matter of maybe a couple of weeks, as long as there isn't too much activity, they should all be closed up and we can move forward with the next step.

After the shower and we all had breakfast, Jason wanted to go to the grocery store to pick up a couple of things. I was up for that and I had a couple of things I wanted to pick up as well. We got back home and then we all kind of just kicked back and…

May 9, 2014

It has been almost two days since my last post and even though I am tired I figured I'd better get something out there, so you all know what is going on...

Yesterday was a busy day, and we did a few things done, and I even went on a short bike ride. The reason for the business was because we, Lind and I, were planning on heading up to visit one of our other sons, David, and his family, up in Los Angeles. As it turned out we got everything in place and did our best to make sure Jason would be okay, basically on his own, for most of the time. Joselyn was still coming in on Friday (today) to spend some time with him and make sure he was comfortable, and it all seemed to work out just fine.

Jason was able to get around and make himself breakfast and lunch and there were no emergencies to worry about. He knew he could get in touch with us, as we kept our phones charged and with us all the time, and as it turned out, he didn't need to get in touch with us. In fact the only real comm…

May 7, 2014

Today started out with a bunch of fun. I came down at about 06:30, to get the girls going, and I thought it was a little early. To my surprise, Jackie was already up and playing in her room and Stacy was still in bed... she was awake, but still in bed. Jackie was full of energy and ready to play so I had to calm her down a little before trying to get her dressed. I decided that I would work on Jackie before trying to get Stacy up, and I think it was the right thing to do, proceeded. A few moments later I was attacked by Stacy, as she likes to jump on my back, while I was helping Jackie to get dressed. In a few moments, Linda was down helping to rescue me, and then we got the girls dressed. Besides, Grandma does a much better job on their hair than Grandpa.

We had plenty of time so Jackie, Stacy and I walked over to Stacy's school, its just around the corner from us, and then Jackie and I walked back. As it turned out Linda ended up taking Jackie to her school while Jason and I wen…

May 6, 2014

We all got off to an early start this morning, and a big part of that was me doing the "pushing." I was feeling a little tense and really needed to get out for a bike ride. The girls got up and ready for breakfast and to go to their schools, and we managed to get them all there relatively early. I took Stacy and Linda took Jackie to their respective schools, and I was able to get out on the bike by 08:30. It was already getting a little breezy out so I decided to go for a shorter ride, down by the harbor. The one thing I was happy to see was that I didn't have to deal with too many pedestrians, at least not at this time of day.

When I got back from the 12 mile ride I was sweating pretty good. I had pushed it a bit because I knew Jason had an appointment at 11:00, and it was his first back with PT (Physical Therapy) in several months, so I didn't want him to be late, especially I didn't want him late because of me. Dawn wasn't in today so he worked with Mike, …

May 5, 2014

Happy Cinco de Mayo! I guess most people did the bulk of celebrating over the weekend, and not much really happened today. I know we didn't do much here, except that Jason wanted to take Mom and Dad to breakfast and we each had a Mexican style breakfast - but I'm getting ahead of myself.

We all got up at about 06:30, and that was probably a little later than we should have done, but it still did give us time to get the girls ready, as well as the rest of us getting ready to go. Jason had to be at formation by 07:30, and we needed to drop the two girls off to their respective schools. When Jason and I left the house, we brought Jackie with us, as the Child Development Center (CDC) is right there on the grounds, so once Jason was to his formation Jackie and I just walked over to the CDC. I got Jackie checked in and then walked back, and when I got back Jason was done with formation. Probably one of the faster formations that I can remember. Jason and I then walked over to Wound …

May 4, 2014

Okay, I know some of you are wondering what happened to yesterday's post... well it was not done simply because I was just too tired to get to it. The day started out with a nice bike ride up a very steep hill. It was about 6 miles up (I don't mean elevation, I mean start to turn around point), and some parts of it were pretty steep. When I was returning I was hitting speeds in excess of 35 MPH, and that is pretty fast for me, on skinny tires. The ride itself was just under 15 miles and even today my legs are still a little stiff. I am thinking about doing that same ride again this week, as I think it is one of the best conditioning routes I've come across, around here.

Anyway, after the ride Linda took off to take care of a couple of her errands and I stayed at the house to take care of the girls, and I was also supposed to get some rest. The rest didn't happen much. The girls are getting to that point in their lives where they don't want to take naps anymore and …

May 2, 2014

This morning was Jason's first formation in a couple of months, well, actually a little more than that. He was dressed in his camouflage uniform, and he looked like a Marine! He was happy and proud to be dressed as he was and you could see it in his eyes that he liked how he felt. It actually kind of felt like it used to, about a year ago, and I was glad he was feeling so good.

After formation we headed back to the house, to pick up Linda, so we could go to breakfast, something else we hadn't done in awhile, and since there were a couple of other errands needing to be done we decided to go over to Mimi's Restaurant. There was no wait and the food was pretty good, the only thing that could have made it better was to have somebody buy it for us... and somebody did. This very nice woman, who was sitting a little way away from us bought us the breakfast. When we found out we turned and thanked her and stopped by her table on the way out. She was a very nice person and just wan…

May 1, 2014

May 1, always seems more like the beginning of summer for me, as the weather is beginning to get warmer and people are out starting to crank up their grills or whatever they cook on. Today was a warm day here in San Diego - I think it got very close to 100 with humidity around 20%, or less. I went out for an early morning ride, because I knew I wouldn't be riding in the heat. Actually I had a small chore to take care of and a quick bike ride was a perfect solution for me. I rode pretty hard for most of it, so I was to my destination and back, in less than half an hour (I needed to go pay a bill and didn't want to just do it on line).

Jason had an appointment this morning, so we needed to be out on the road before 10:00, as we were headed up to Poway. (I think I might try a bike ride out there, once the heat breaks.) Jason had made an appointment with the GoldenBoy Mobility company, who specialized in refitting vehicles so that the wounded can still operate the vehicle. In Jaso…

January 2017

January 2017
Jason gets a visit from Gen. Jon Monett

January 2017

January 2017
With Gary at the GSF Office