We had a fast and furious weekend in D.C. Joe and I flew in Saturday morning and had lunch with great friends. If you have never eaten at Ted’s Montana Grill …. you should. The food was amazing and the company was even better. We were with our dear friends that we met through No Greater Sacrifice, Rebekah, Andy and sweet Anna Ruth Lovorn. No Greater Sacrifice is the organization that recognized Joe in 2011 and awarded him the “Freedom Award”. This is what sparked this whole new adventure that we are living! After lunch, we were able to make a trip up to Bethesda to visit our injured Special Operations friends. It was humbling to be back in the hospital seeing the guys. The visit reminded us of how far we have come since our time in Walter Reed. Our country has been at war for a long time and it is easy to forget about the damage that war leaves behind but please please keep these people in your prayers. They are fighting for their lives day in and day out.
Sunday morning started VERY early! We got our gear and headed out to the race start. Joe ran for Brooke Army Medical Center. BAMC is the home of the Center For Intrepid (aka CFI). This is where Joe learned to walk/run and also where his prosthetists are located. They are great at what they do and keep us well supplied with legs. I ran for
No Greater Sacrifice Endurance. No Greater Sacrifice supports the children of our nation’s fallen and wounded Service members. They deliver scholarships and resources to improve their quality of life through the pursuit of higher education.
It’s funny – even though I am married to Joe and I see/deal with his amputation on a daily basis – I will never get used to being in a large group of injured soldiers. Makes me teary EVERY TIME! As we walked through the crowd with this morning, it was an eerie feeling to have so many people turn and stare. I am always in awe of Joe in these situations – he doesn’t seem to notice the stares and comments – me, not so much. When we finally reached the start line, it was such a relief to be in the company of all of the wounded soldiers where everyone was in the same boat. Once we arrived at the start, it was like a reunion. We ran into friends that we have met along the way in this journey. Instead of people who feel sorry for us, we are surrounded by laughter, encouragement and jokes.
Ten minutes before the start, Joe is all business – making sure his regular leg is at the finish line and stretching. He gives me a quick wink and he’s ready to go. When they shot off the canons, he took off – our friend Harvey Naranjo ( a therapist at Bethesda) told me that he was going to try to run with Joe…. I think he stayed with him for less than 1/4 mile 🙂 I was so proud to be able to watch Joe take off – after a mile, he was a distant yellow dot with the word “Persevere” on his back.