This past Friday I was in Washington DC for the Restore Honor Rally. It was amazing. 500,000 people showed up to hear Glenn, Sarah Palin, Dr Alveda King and various ministers, rabbis, and imams encourage America to turn back to God and get right.
The rally was on Saturday. On Friday, as I always do when I am in DC, I went to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to join my Freeper friends as they show appreciation for the sacrifices made by this generation of Warriors.
I had sent an email the week before to the CSM of WRAMC asking for permission to hold another cookout on 10 September. I say another, because we have been doing this every year since 2007. He called me on Friday afternoon to tell me it looked as if we would be able to do it. Friday night, after spending two hours downtown with Marcus Luttrell , I made my way to WRAMC.
After the usual greetings, hugs, high fives, and catcalls to the SEIU protesters down the block, (Medea Benjamin of Code Pink fame is no longer involved and is facing felony intimidation charges on a seperate incident involving the family of Blackwater CEO Erik Prince. More on that later) I made my way to the tent the Freepers have set up in the church parking lot across the street from the Main Gate at Elder Street and Georgia Ave. I noticed a soldier in ACU's kneeling in front of a young man in a wheelchair. When he stood up, I saw the black eagle of a full bird Colonel. It was the Garrison Commander. Colonel McHugh, who had come out to tell us how much he appreciated us being there.
I introduced myself and asked if the CSM had mentioned the cookout. He said "no, but thats nothing new. The CSM never tells me anything. Why involve the brass?" I explained who we are and what we do. He said he thought it sounded like a great idea and if the CSM knew and had approved, he wasn't about to intefere.
So here is the plan. Walter Reed is closing. On 15 September 2010, the countdown to closure begins. On 11 September 2011, WRAMC will be turned over to the State Department and all wounded and hospital staff will be split between the new Walter Reed being built at Bethesda Naval Hospital and the newly renovated hospital facility at Ft Belvoir in Virginia.
This will be the last 9/11 Memorial Cookout at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. We need your help. Cooking with the Troops is a not for profit corporation dedicated to providing hot nutritious meals to wounded Warriors, their families, staff and caregivers. It is the combination of the efforts of C. Blake Powers, our CEO (Laughing Wolf on Blackfive) and the informal impromptu cookouts I've held over the last 5 years. We'd like to make this last event one for the history books. In order to do that, we need help with funding. If you can spare even 5 bucks, I promise you it will be put to good use. We have donation links at www.cwtt.org.