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New Program Began May 2014: Warrior Support Team
After 7 years of support to Purple Heart Heroes and Families, we've moved forward with a new program, Warrior Support Team, to focus on the needs of all returning warriors including wounded, ill, injured, and those living with PTS/COS (Post Traumatic Stress/Combat Operational Stress), as well as the needs of their family members and caregivers. To learn more and see our current work, visit WarriorSupportTeam.com.




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Purple Heart Hero Support™ Meal Summaries

Since the Purple Heart Hero Support™ (PHHS) program began in 2007, our volunteers have served over 25,000 meals to Wounded Warriors and their family members. The program began in early 2007 at Bethesda Naval Hospital, and in December 2008, the Wounded Warrior Barracks of Naval Medical Center San Diego, CA (a/k/a “Balboa”) was added and volunteers began serving meals on our behalf. Purple Heart Hero Support™ numbers have grown each year, with 6,155 meals being served in 2011 and 9,500 meals served through October 2012.

Each week throughout the year, PHHS volunteers take care of all the details required to deliver meals to hundreds of injured servicemen and their families as they recover in hospitals in Bethesda and San Diego. A man with a son in the hospital comes in to the dining room with 5 children in tow. He is very grateful to find supper for his hungry brood. A wife at Walter Reed tells a PHHS volunteer how much the suppers mean to the Purple Heart families; it’s especially difficult to find good meals there on Sundays, as other dining facilities are closed. A volunteer brings along the young black Lab that she is training to be a service dog. Shy and hesitant at first, the dog warms up right away to a young wounded Marine who has come in a wheelchair with his big brother to get some supper.

Volunteers will hand-carry food to the waiting room on the third floor ICU. There might be families there who don’t want to leave their wounded hero to come to the 4th floor to get supper and are thankful that we are there. Volunteers send food up to the PTSD and TBI patients and staff on the seventh floor, and across to Mercy Hall, a small transitional barracks for out-patients who usually don’t have family staying with them. Volunteers hand out free copies of the Wounded Warrior Handbook, a resource full of vital information that will guide these people through this difficult new phase of their lives.

These are just a few examples of why we are proud of the PHHS program.

Purple Heart Hero Support™ volunteers truly treasure the time they get to spend reminding our Wounded Warriors that they are appreciated and remembered. West Coast manager Joyce confessed, “I may have to come home every week, but my heart remains there.” The meals we provide always bring great joy and fellowship to our young men and women. “What your organization brings to the barracks is…important,” said one Wounded Warrior. “You are there every week. We know and love you guys, and you bring that touch of home to us all. You're all our parents away from home.”

We look forward to continue bringing that “touch of home” to our Wounded Warriors, and to expanding our program in the future. We are currently working to provide almost 900 meals a month to the hospitals we are now connected with, and are initiating a new program in December 2012 in the Naval Hospital in Twentynine Palms, California. The assistance of our generous sponsors and volunteers helps alleviate the costs of labor and meals; however, Purple Heart Hero Support™ still has spent close to $70,000 through October 2012 to fund the program. If you would like to make a donation to our Purple Heart Hero Support™ Meal program, feel free to visit our donations page, or if you know a business that would be willing to sponsor a meal, use the link to the left to contact us.


Click here to join the Purple Heart Hero Support Group on Marine Family Network
   



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