Captain Jason

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


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Snail Mail:

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

Phone: 202 577 0092

Monday, April 03, 2006

Jason and Friends Visit the Pentagon

We were up early at 6:30 so Jason could get dressed in his newly acquired ACU's then I drove Jason to the Metro in Silver Spring where he would meet Hunt, Lee and Spence to go the Pentagon for a personalized tour. They would take the Metro down to the Pentagon.

Some highlights Jason shared:
  1. Having a special tourguide assigned to them on a minute's notice. She, Navy, was very surprised as it takes "weeks to schedule a special tour." Good to know someone who is an aide to the Sec. of Defense.
  2. Being able to visit top security clearance sites within the Pentagon as companions to Col. Grimsley, aide to the Secretary.
  3. Being immersed in the history of the Army. Jason saw the only flag of the Army without the national insignia because it was made in 1775. There is a picture whose mat is signed by each head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. When the Chief leaves they make a copy to take with him. I believe the custom of signing the picture started earlier 20th century.
  4. Seeing a 4 star general wait outside of Sec. Rumsfeld"s office. "Generals don't wait."
  5. Learning that Sec. Rumsfeld has a "real open door policy" for his inner circle of advisors. They can enter his office at any time even if he is in a meeting with someone else. Jason and his fellow captains met the Secretary in his office. (The other captains for the first time.)
  6. The Pentagon has a complete shopping mall on the bottom floor, a movie theater, and a hospital. 16,000 military persons and 7000 civilians work there each day. I think Jason said it is the largest building in the USA, built shortly after WWII because of the tremendous growth in the military during that war.
  7. Visiting the site of the 9/11/01 Memorial, to open in 2007. Jason said each person who died will have a "mound chair" from under which water will flow water. The chairs are to be set in the path the plane took as it hit the building. Jason learned that the plane did not directly hit the Pentagon but hit the ground first then "skipped into it." The site is being prepared and Jason got to see the "architect's rendition" which he said "is beautiful." Jason said the building was being renovated and the section that was hit by the plane on 9/11 had a minimal number of employees because of the ongoing work.
  8. Jason and the captains were impressed by the Hall of Heroes; the Medal of Honor recipients. Jason said they spent a lot of time reading about the soldiers including Audie Murphy.
Overall it was a great day for Jason. To me he appeared relaxed and affirmed after his visit to the Pentagon when we ate dinner together later in the day. Jason and friends returned to Silver Spring where Jason said "Goodbye" as they had to began their return trip to Ft. Stewart in Hinesville GA. Jason said, "We walked and walked all morning," after his return to Mologne House about noon. He skipped meeting the Knicks and Dana Carvey who were both at Mologne for autograph sessions in the early afternoon.

At three o'clock at Mologne House Jason along with other soldiers met Idaho Senator Craig who wanted to discuss the soldiers' experience and expectations of the Veterans Administration. The Senator serves on the committee which oversees the VA. Jason was included because Dow is born and bred Idahoan, Orofino and surrounding areas. Jason has many relatives living in Idaho. (And if you remember, Jason sat next to an aide of the Senator at the State of the Union address in January.) After the meeting which lasted about an hour, Jason said, "Mom, you should have come down it really was a good discussion, the Senator really did want to know from us about the VA." I thought Jason would want to be alone with the soldiers and the Senator so I did not attend. Jason returned to the room with a very nice basket of goodies, (however no thing huckleberry for you Idaho folks who will want to know.) Jason said the VA is shifting resources to "community centers" to support the veterans "at home."

He also said there was discussion on health care coverage as always a priority concern. The Senator made clear that the VA will always provide health care for retired military and their families and combat wounded veterans. Jason is a level 2 after level 1 brain damage priority of care for the VA. Because of the limits to its health care system, the VA will not be able to provide free health care for veterans with only 4 years etc service. Veteran groups are a strong proponent of universal health care for veterans. Jason said the fee for short term veterans would be only $36 a month at this time (not sure if this is in place or proposed.) With millions of Americans uninsured or unable to find care; I can understand why the veteran's advocacy groups are pushing hard for this proposal.

Jason and I went to an Outback "I want a steak" located in Hyatsville MD. We enjoyed the meal, Jason said, "I can only eat 9 oz" during which it began to rain and thunder! the storm we had been hearing about had arrived. After we stopped at Safeway to grocery shop and while I went in Jason stayed in the car and talked to Jodi on the phone for their evening visit.

Jason used this conversation to tease his aunts Sue and Barbara when they called as we were driving to dinner. "Sen. Craig said they are going to divide Idaho between Montana and Wyoming. Just don't need it or is it wanted. Going to make Puerto Rico the 50th State" His Aunts took him seriously way too long. They called because they wanted Jodi's email as they were going to send her copies of Jason as a younger man and boy. Jason said, "No way."

Katy and Personal Assertiveness:
At the age of 63, in my public life I have always been outspoken for the causes I have championed especially women's rights and peace and justice. I have moved in circles where consensus is the model of decision-making. In my private life, I have been a person who always put the "other's needs first." As a chaplain in hospice I put the needs of my patients and families first as is appropriate to the ministry. In my family I was the third oldest and oldest girl of the 7 children and was always trying to take care of my younger siblings. I have become aware of the need to be assertive for my own needs especially through experiences here at WR. I have been placed into a living situation that is totally "neutral" to an individual's needs. If I don't speak for me, it won't happen.

When Dow and I came to WR in October, we were granted access to the fitness center here on post. Jason's condition being very serious I did not attempt to use the fitness well into the new year. When I went to the center they asked that I give them a copy of the permission to put on file. Staff said, "this way we will check ID against letter" and I would be able to enter. Permission slip after permission slip was lost, till finally yesterday the desk staff said, "you need to update your permission slip. The old one is not here." I asked, "Who is the supervisor?" I want to talk with her/him. You would have to talk to Ms. Irving in Bldg 11." "Let's call her right now to get this straightened out!" "No, you have to call her on your own."

I thought, "Is this worth it? Do I have energy to pursue gaining hassle free access? Yes, I really do want to continue using the weights." I returned to Mologne, called the number and got her. "Can't meet you right now, I am coming to Mologne. Have a copy of the permission for me." I met Ms Irving at the lobby desk, showed her the copy which she herself had signed on 11/9/05; it being open-ended, no "until date" was sited. Ms. Irving called the fitness after I told her the staff person wore no ID and spoke with the person behind the desk, "If a person presents letter and ID, let him/her in. That is the procedure you are to follow." "Thank you Ms Irving, if I am denied access may I call you as follow up?" "Of course" and off she went to organize the visit by the Knicks.

I gain strength when I speak for myself, to meet my own needs; not in violation of another but to gain peace for myself. May you speak for your needs and wants; you are worthy of a good, happy life filled with growing and pleasure. Continue to pray and hold in good thoughts for Jason's healing especially his eye, arm and digestive tract. Tests have not yet been scheduled.

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