Captain Jason

The latest news on the recover of Jason after his injury in Iraq by an IED.


Snail Mail:

Cpt. Jason Scott
WRAMC Building 20
Mologne House Hotel #316
6900 Georgia Ave. NW
Washington DC 20307

Phone: 202 577 0092

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A Snowy Morning and a Whopper of a Meatball Sandwich

We awoke to a snowy morning in DC. Jason said, "It is raining." My response, "I don't care what the weatherman/woman are saying. Go stand in it." First "white rain" I have ever seen. Of course, this being DC...

Jason headed off to PT/OT and I stayed to write yesterday's blog and respond to email. I finally sent off the last two packages to "clean out" the room. I do not know how the items accumulate; the rooms must be "fertile ground for multiplying anything" that is present in them for more than 24 hours.

I caught up with Jason in OT. Jason is working on strengthening his upper body both in PT/OT. He was working out on the wheel, you can see it in photos. He was to use both arms, but was only using his left to spin it around. John was complaining. I said "Jason is a INTP. He will use the system or beat it." Jason will get out as much as he puts into his therapy. Jason knows the rule, "No pain, no gain." I leave it up to Jason but I am sure it frustrates John his OT therapist!

Jason headed back to the room for Jodi's call, I had lunch with two very interesting Veterans. (see note) I then stopped at Subway on the first floor because Jason wanted to order a meatball footlong with American cheese and salt and pepper. This meatball sandwich was like no other Jason will ever see again! The woman put a scoop of 3 meatballs on the sandwich, then she did it again and again and again! I have never seen so many meatballs! I thought, "Will the bread last to the Mologne House?" Jason had trouble getting this lolapaloosa of sandwich into his mouth. Jason was amazed at the sandwich too but he had no trouble in eating the "whole darn thing!" So "one for the hungry patient soldier!" Thanks to the generous meatball sandwich maker whoever you are.

Jason had received a call from the VA saying the test results were in concerning his "career interests." The test is normally given to non-college students in high school or soldiers thinking about careers after the army. "Jason scored high on everything so he basically can do anything he wants to do." The test is Career Occupational Preference System (COPS). In the Potential section 11/14 scales were above 90% with 7 being above 95% of all those who have taken the test. In the Work Values section Jason scored highest in: Investigative, Leadership, Independence, Recognition, Aesthetic, Carefree, Flexibility, and Social dimensions. In the Ability Profile section Jason scored highest in Spatial Relations, Verbal Reasoning, and Word Knowledge. His lowest was in Manual Speed and Dexterity. Missing his right dominant hand and unable to use his left wrist just might limit dexterity ability. :-) We all laughed! What an ability test for Jason to take.

Jeannie's office also provides funds for clothing for job interviews so she will look into appropriate clothing for Jason when the time comes. A gift certificate is given to Brooks Brothers for the soldier to shop. Jeannie also gives out Subway coupons which Jason covets and has no problem taking as many as she will give him. She said Jason would have to come and visit often!

Because Jason does not know if he will be able to start college in the fall (health care issues and Medical Board process)--an important question was "When do educational benefits begin? How long am I eligible?" Jason was much relieved to find that the benefit time begins after he is transferred to the VA and given his rating. The benefits are available for the next 12 years from that point. Jason does not have to start college immediately after leaving WR. This is a great relief for Jason and lightened his worry.

I left Jason at 5PM to go to Quixote Center for the Wednesday evening liturgy and potluck. It is nourishing for my body and soul to be among lifelong peace and justice makers and to share a common meal as the earliest Christian communities lived and worshiped. I experience Jesus' presence in our circle as we worship amongst the many beautiful paintings from the artists of Nicaragua. I have long supported the work of Quixote financially now their circle of worship and fellowship supports me spiritually. It is enough and alleviates my feelings of isolation here in the center of the US's flagship military hospital. It is becoming clearer and clearer that here I am to learn over and over, "Each day God will provide what I need to be the compassionate presence of Jesus to those who suffer the wounds of war." I am thankful for the blesssings of this day.

Note on Two Lunch Partners:
I went to lunch in the hospital cafeteria and met the two most interesting veterans. Both had been wounded in war; one in Vietnam, one in Iraq.
I sat down first with Col. JW Ripley, USMC, retired and found that he grew up in the New River Valley, VA where Jason spent his childhood years. He told me of his career in the military and pulled out a large brass safety pin. On it hung 4 bullet casings taken from his body after being seriously injured in Vietnam. Col Ripley praised the care given by the military health care system including his two liver transplants. The Col's last assignment was to establish a Museum for Marines at Bethseda and he very proud of this accomplishment at the end of his 42 year career as a Marine. He encouraged Jason to be in touch with the Disabled Veterans of America. He felt that they are the most effective advocates for disabled veterans.

After the Colonel left another younger soldier sat down and we began to talk. He had been wounded in Iraq and lost the vision in his left eye. He is hoping to be able to complete his 30 years in the Army. Joe and his wife have adopted 3 daughters from China, the youngest is 5. He is a very proud father especially as one of his daughters has been tested with an IQ of 150. Joe talked about the plight of the children of Iraq. He told of how no one is providing for the children who have lost parents under Sadaam or during this war since 2003. The tensions between Sunni and Shiite split villages and keep the children from receiving care because the elders in the villages decide. He said the US Army liaisons do what they can but it in no way meets the tremendous challenges of the "street kids" (my words). Joe tries to help other soldiers who are also outpatients at WR. He thinks improvements could be made in the administration of health care for the outpatients. I encouraged him to make his concerns known. As an articulate outpatient I hope that the administrators listen to his voice.


Blogger Sean McHugh said...

Has Jason received a standard body powered prosthesis? With all the excellent care that these kids are receiving it seems like it takes forever until they are fitted for a functional prosthesis. In the civilian world people are usually fitted six weeks after amputation. If adjustments need to be made you get your arm back in about three days. The myo electric thing is touted as the best thing out there. Personally I disagree. To feel confident and functional nothing works better than the basic hook. In the photos I saw another man with a left hook. I hope he has been a source of hope and inspiration to Jason.

Friday, February 24, 2006 7:34:00 AM  

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