Wounded Warriors: The ‘Real’ VIP’s
By Brig. Gen. Ed Wilson, commander, 45th Space Wing
/ Published March 03, 2011
PATRICK AFB, Fla. -- During Tuesday's Military Appreciation Day held at Space Coast Stadium, a few leaders from the Wing and our mission partners were invited to visit with community business leaders in a "VIP Suite." It was a great opportunity to share perspectives and gain an appreciation for the challenges we're facing in the region.
However, it didn't take long to understand there was only one real VIP in the room.
And that was Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Gordon who proudly represented the 100-plus Wounded Warriors currently residing along the Space Coast. Chris lost his right leg above the knee in 2005 when an Improvised Explosive Device hit the Stryker vehicle he was riding in near Mosul, Iraq.
And it should go without saying that I was not the only one in the room (or the stadium) who felt that way.
At the top of the 5th inning, when Sgt. Gordon, along with his 12-year-old son, Justin, were introduced on the field, everyone, including the New York Mets and Washington Nationals, rose in wave-like fashion to pay honor and give thanks to one of our nation's true heroes.
It was inspiring.
Lisa and I felt the same way on Saturday when we had the good fortune to have lunch with a group of other Wounded Warriors. Our Airmen & Family Readiness Center took the lead as just one of their outreach efforts. Day to day the A&FRC actively works with over 30 Wounded Warriors here and in neighboring communities.
Listening to what they have gone through, hearing them discuss what they still have in front of them, and admiring the positive outlook they maintain for the future is humbling.
These injured servicemembers are simply looking for a hand to help put their lives back together, individually and for their families.
Here at the Wing, and throughout the Air Force, we are wholly committed to our Wounded Warriors. It's the very least we can do for these VIP's.
Please keep each of these heroes in your thoughts and prayers, plus never be shy about supporting them personally.
Thanks again for what you do for all of us.