Last Sunday I went out to Staten Island to visit with my oldtime friend Nick and watch the Jets versus the Patriots. We spoke about old times and ate a lovely pasta dinner, while my team didn’t lose and his team didn’t win. After a raspberry ice on Hylan Boulevard the doctor drove me down to the St. George terminal. I caught the 9PM ferry and sat at the stem to admire the clear evening sky.
Several women were taking photos of the Statue of Liberty and I offered to shoot them as a group. They passed me their cameras and I posed against the railing. Each thanked me in a different accent and one lady explained that their group had traveled to New York thanks to the Wounded Warrior Project.
“It’s nice to get away from the care-giving.” Another woman admitted holding onto her new friend’s hand.
“No one knows what we go through day to day.” The first lady sounded like she was from Kansas. “MY husband came home and I’m glad he’s back, but it will be a long road until he can take care of himself.”
These were tough women. They hid their tears, but they were also quick to criticize the government and the American people. The lady from Kansas was in her 30s. She had two kids. No one was helping her with her husband, who had lost a leg in Afghnistan.
“Because they are volunteers, no one thinks about them, but I don’t have that luxury.”
“I know.” I see the apathy every day. “People care more about BooBoo Honeybear or whatever her name is than the troops.”
“It’s Boo Boo Honey.” Her friend corrected me and said, “We dont’ expect them to care. They turned off this war long ago.”
“Not all of us.” I remain firmly against the war and the neglect of our troops. Over 2,000 US troops have been killed in Operation Enduring Freedom and more than 17,000 have been seriously wounded in America’s longest armed conflict. “Bringing the troops home is long overdue and taking care of the troops here is never mentioned by the TV, but people know of your sacrifice and that of your loved ones.”
We spoke a little more. They came from everywhere in America. None of them were walking about on their husbands and boyfriends or girlfriends or wives. They were a loyal group. I wished them well on their stay in New York and they waved with a smile.
For more information about the WOUND WARRIOR PROJECT please go to the following URL