Tuesday, January 30, 2007

AC360 - The Toughest Battle: Healing Heroes

(credit: Stillife)

Last night’s show was truly moving. I sat there with a lump in my throat watching these soldiers’ stories. I started out the night wondering which would be better for our soldiers, US backed medical facilities like our Veteran’s Hospitals or privately funded facilities such as the newly erected Center for the Intrepid. By the end of last night's show, I got my answer.

Anderson opened last night’s program with this statement: “Combat medicine has improved to the point that more than 90 percent of the wounded now survive. They survive, though, to fight the toughest battle of their lives.”

I don’t know if many of you watched the CNN Presents documentary Combat Hospital which has been shown in the past couple of months. It was a hard documentary to watch, for sure. But it was incredible to watch the dedicated military medical staff of the 10Th Combat Support Hospital try to save each and every wounded soldier that passes through their doors. From that hospital in Baghdad many severely wounded soldiers are transferred to places like Walter Reed Medical Center and Brookes Army Medical Center. The Brookes Army Medical Center specializes in amputees and severe burns. Their staff is truly amazing at what they do. I was stunned to see the research that is performed at Brookes as well.

And just one look at this new privately funded Center for the Intrepid, tells you that our soldiers will be receiving the best care imaginable to help them on the journey to recovery. The rock wall, the shooting simulator, and the many other high-tech rehabilitations are truly remarkable. The best part of this facility was that it was built from donations from the American public. What a wonderful show of support to our brave heroes!

(credit: Stillife)

As I watched last night, I wondered if the US government could provide, thru federal funding, a facility of this magnitude. Time Magazine writer, Michael Weisskopf answered my question in his article today. Mr. Weisskopf was severely injured while embedded in Iraq three years ago. He was sent to Walter Reed Medical Center for long term medical care. Although he doesn’t say it in this article, I’m sure that Weisskopf is grateful to the medical staff at Walter Reed who helped him recover. But he does point out the pitfalls of this aging facility.

He also answers the question I had last night as to why Walter Reed is scheduled to close. As Weisskopf says, “The exercise equipment we had at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington was old, the therapy wards and gyms overcrowded. There was no "flowrider" to help rebuild abdominal muscles in a water slide, nor laser gun studio to regain digital function by firing M4 replicas against video images. We made do with the best the government had to offer.”

The one thing that I was struck by, that Anderson did not cover last night, is that in the courtyard of the Center for the Intrepid, there is a sculpture called “The Broken Circle.” Weisskopf’s imagery says it all, “The circular object is jaggedly linked at its bottom, a symbol for those who will go through life imperfect but complete. “

Bob Woodruff: One Year Later
Another embedded reporter who fought a long hard battle at Walter Reed Medical Center has been showing up for work quite regularly lately! One year ago yesterday, Bob Woodruff and cameraman Doug Vogt were also severely wounded while embedded in Iraq. According to TVNewser, Charlie Gibson closed his program last night reminding viewers of the one year anniversary. He also gave an update on his colleague, Woodruff's health. Both Charlie Gibson and a close source of mine have said that Bob Woodruff has been working on a documentary about his injuries and his recovery which is due to air in February. Its wonderful to hear that Woodruff and Vogt are doing well.

Fisher Houses help comfort families
A few days ago, Phebe covered the auction of the CNN Hummer for the Fisher House Foundation. Over the weekend, I did some research on these Fisher Houses. The Fisher family has made a wonderful philanthropic dedication to our soldiers and their families. Several Fisher Houses, spread out over the United States, provide housing for families of wounded soldiers for less than $10 per day and their amenities are first class! I popped on the site for one of the Fisher Houses in San Antonio, Texas (the one featured I the program, I believe). Guests of the house have only wonderful things to say! And I found the sweetest of amenities, The Medi-Teddy! How adorable is this teddy bear? It's given to children who stay at the facility to help them adjust to their new environment. Kudos to the Fisher family for opening their hearts to our wounded heroes and their families!

(credit: Liberation337)

A Request for the Andergun!

Well, I have to apologize to you for this fangurl moment! Really! Given the somber topic of last night’s program, squee is not very appropriate. But, I’ve done my best to hold it in and it just has to come out!

One of our avid readers asked for a screencap of Anderson and his gun. Well here are a couple caps courtesy of Liberation337. I can only tell you that when this segment came on last night, I got in soooo much trouble! My husband takes only so much and then his patience runs out. Last night he had enough just 20 minutes into the program. I guess my falling on the floor, clutching my heart in awe as Anderson so aptly shot that gun, put him over the top! Sorry, honey! LOL! As one of my friends said, "Anderson…Gun…’nuff said!"

Ah, visions of CIA Andy! (cue the James Bond theme!)

And on that note ladies and gents, I’m going to go have a cool drink! Martini, shaken not stirred! (just kidding!)

23 comments:

MissAnne said...

Wow, I had mentioned to someone last night how I hoped for a screen cap of this. Great minds think alike!!!

Anonymous said...

Awesome post Sheryn.....amazing stories.....the bear is so cute....are they for sale....can we buy them to raise funds for the vetrans.

OMG thanks for posting the pics of Anderson and the gun.....he seems like a natural....maybe not Mr. Cooper's first visit to a "firing range".....I have always wanted to do that. Your DH sounds too funny :)

After reading previous blogs.....I saw you do something nice for Anderson's birthday in the form of donations....is this the plan again this year and any thought on the organization because maybe Fisher House/Centre for the Intrepid would be ones to consider.....just a thought

Unknown said...
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Anonymous said...

I was kinda hoping you weren't kid'n about that martini. Sounded good. ,)
Andy's gotta gun?! Fox be afraid. Be very afraid. hehee

Anonymous said...

Hi Sheryn,
Great post! I am so excited to see this project completed, and all on private funds. I had to stay at a Fisher House once - and it was nowhere as nice as this new one but the spirit is the same. Whether you are the family of a Colonel or a Private, they treat you all equally with love and respect and try to get you thru a tough situation. In our case, it was very touch and go, and the Fisher House people were there for us. We were fortunate and got our dad back in one piece (and thanks to FH so were we!).

Unknown said...

Sheryn, I'm seriously laughing at the visual of you rolling on the ground, clutching your heart... dramatic yet entertaining LOL! But yeah, I have to admit, Anderson with the gun was uh...well... kinda sexy. I would have never thought that since I hate guns but who knew?

Anonymous said...

Very nice post sheryn! Last night's show was very moving and I'm so glad Anderson was there for the opening. Kudos to him for bringing attention to this story. And the gun...well...hmmm...yes... *grins*

CM

Sheryn said...

Hehe PT, you know me and my flare for the dramtic!

It went sorta kinda like that! LOL!

Anonymous said...

great post sheryn.....sorry bout before :)

Anonymous said...

According to the 360 blog, Anderson's interview with Michael Ware will be aired in full tonight!

Anonymous said...

Next time rock climbing.

Anonymous said...

Hey....just wanted to say Anderson with a gun was kinda hot but also scary!! I would think as up-scale as he is and the life he was brought up in I doubt he has ever really fired a real gun. If he has I'd be amazed!

Rachel said...

What CANT he do, well besides math. This could be a "Thanks" to the editing Gods at CNN. I bet they have tons of footage of him missing the target and he damanded they only show the clips him hitting the target. We all know he is a perfectionist....

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the "pucker" pictures and of course the "big gun." Nice!

Anonymous said...

Loved the show last night...but did you catch Anderson's make-up!! OMG!! He needs a new make-up artist for sure!! His face was so brown and he kept putting his hands to his face which were white as a sheet...then in all the close ups of him you could see the foundation going a little bit down his neck then stop...and it didn't even stop evenly...it was all jagged!! Then the rest of his neck was white as a sheet also. I'm wondering if he did it himself!?! If not the make-up artist needs to go! Jees...I could do better than that with my eyes closed!!

Roonie said...

I had shivers going down my spine as he shot at the screen.

Anonymous said...

@rachel the misses go on the AC360 blooper reel - you know the crew has one and probably threaten to show it every once in awhile. But nothing beats Anderson saying virgin instead of version when he was in Smuggler's Gulch last year.

Anonymous said...

Rachel...I thought the same thing...I bet there is a whole lot of footage of him missing the target but he only let them show the ones he hit! Too bad...I'd like to really see how good he is! He should've shown the misses...after all he is always trying to keep everyone honest...why not himself!!

Anonymous said...

Whether or not Anderson has fired a gun might depend on how much time he really spent in Mississippi as a child. Hunting in the woods is very popular down there!

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha Shanderson..the first thing that went through my mind when I saw those pictures was the song "Janie's got a gun" Of course I began singing "Andy's got a gun" - badly I must admit!

Anonymous said...

Great blog Sheryn, but one question for the rest of you, what makes you guys so sure he missed?

Oh ye of little faith!

Phebe said...

OMG Ms. Em, Sheryn and I were singing this afternoon. We're all a bunch 'Andy's got a gun' this afternoon. We're all a bunch of sick puppies.

Anonymous said...

@ Sheryn

Thanks so much for honoring my request of the caps of Andy with a gun. Priceless!!!!

Kay