Today was a pretty exciting day for us, as we were given the opportunity to speak at a Medical Symposium at Balboa Naval Hospital. There were people from all over the country, and even a couple from out side the country. The focus on the three day symposium is care and treatment for the wounded and injured service members, and how to get them back on their way to productive lives. Almost a year ago we were asked if we would be interested in participating and speaking, and we said yes. Actually, the question went to Jason and I, and I kind of just included Linda.
As it turned out we were given nearly an hour to speak and address the audience and it went well. I think we could have gone much longer, so we had to be very aware of the clock. Besides there were other speakers on the stage. The symposium also included Gary Sinise, and it was good to see him again. He made the comment to me that we were sure seeing each other quite a bit lately, and I had to agree with him... and that it was always great to see him. Linda and I had put together a small photo presentation of Jason, and it went well. I started out thinking I could do it with 10 to 12 pictures, then it went to 15, and finally ended up with 23. It was very difficult to limit the pictures, and we literally went through a thousand of them, or more. The way it worked was that while Linda and I were talking the pictures were being shown behind us, and we would simply talk about them. When we got to the end of the pictures it was like a signal to Jason and then he came out on stage. The affect was wonderful and he received a standing ovation. Jason did a great job of addressing the audience as well, and even though there was no rehearsal, it went off very smoothly.
After speaking there was a break and we got to talk with some of the other special guests as well as some of the rest of the audience. Everybody said we did well and when Linda had to go to the rest room she said some of the ladies in there were crying because they were touched so much by what we had said. I was actually surprised that neither of us cried on stage, as we both usually get emotional when we start talking about it. We also let the folks from the VA (there were several in attendance) what challenges we had encountered with the VA, as well as some of the strong positives we had experienced. All together I'd say it was probably a 8.5 out of a possible score of 10, for us, and if they have another one next year I think I'd like to go.
Once we were done speaking, like I said, there was a break. At this point Gary went over to the hospital and visited the patients. He is consistently doing all he can to help the guys and as he says, he can never do enough, but he can always do more. We eventually were able to get to the van and head on back to the house. Jason had been up for several hours and he needed to get back down. We basically stayed at home the rest of the day and enjoyed the rest. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive