Saturday, December 15, 2007

Saying Good-Bye to Georgia and Welcome Home! 2006

Photos of WELCOME HOME on Nov. 1, 2006
I need to finish what I started and get back on track with the original reason for this blog-at least catch up or I will forever be in 2006 and we are only a couple days away from the NEW YEAR-2008! I will just try and hit the highlights and describe some of the feelings and situations we find ourselves in during this time.

October 30-Nov. 1


  • Started off the day by visiting the Medhold Company that Rodney is attached to here in Georgia. The medhold company seems pretty unorganized from my civilian eyes but obviously I am not the one in charge :) Rodney's platoon leader has been very nice and visited us in Rod's hospital room throughout the stay. We sat in an over-crowded office for over 30 minutes waiting to meet with someone who could tell us what was supposed to happen next-not a new place for us but one that does tend to involve some stress. We did finally find out some info.- Rodney will be able to come home for about a month (the days he spent at the Fisher House are considered part of his convalescence leave) and then return to Fort Gordon. He will basically be going to formations, maybe doing some office work, going to Dr. appt.s and live in the barracks (basically like a dorm). We are not sure how long this will go on but hopefully he will be eligible for a program (CBHC) that is new that allows the wounded soldiers to be at home and go to local doctors -we will have to wait and see.

  • We then headed over to the Hospital to begin the out-processing so he can be released to go home. We met with his case manager and she gave us the list of what needed to get done. When at Fort Gordon the case worker will be working closely with Rodney and making his dr. appts. and following up to see how he is doing.

  • Rod then had an appt. with a primary care physician whom he had never met before, but it is part of the process. She just basically gave him a quick look over and his records etc.. then made a few comments and let us leave. Kinda strange.

  • We went to records to get his medical records-long wait so will have to pursue that another day-but very important.

  • Met with social worker-not sure why? She wasn't very informative or didn't offer us anything new to take with us on our journey to the unknown.

  • Went to the office for travel. We are still struggling to get on same flight-he needs someone to travel with him lucky for him I don't give up without a fight. They seem to recognize my name in this office which means I have made a name for myself-not one they probably want to share with me. I know they are just doing their job but not sure why things have to be so difficult and so much red-tape. I go into everything Army related knowing it will be more work than really necessary.

  • We did speak with a VA rep. which was very helpful and insightful. She told us not to allow them to release Rodney from Medhold until he was completely well-even the smallest thing get it taken care of.

  • Went back to Fisher House to separate Rodney's belongings into what is going home and what will go over to the barracks.

  • Went to get Rodney a new uniform jacket at the PX uniform shop-the one they sent with him-the zipper is busted. This is our dime not the militaries-that is messed up.

  • Set up things with Fort Leavenworth medical facility for the time when Rodney is home. He will be able to go to Munson Hospital to get his labs drawn for the blood thinner issues and have his leg wounds monitored. The Fort is about an hour away from where we live in Kansas.
He also had some de-briefing by a Chaplin as well as a mental health provider. I am concerned what is going on in Rod's head a great deal-he has been through a major traumatic event physically and emotionally-but right now they have said they are dealing with healing the physical first. That concerns me-I feel both can be dealt with simutanoulsy and worry about how things will be with the stress of home. We already have our moments where we are butting heads-but hopefully with a lot of love, patience and me helping to keep things less stressful we will make it thru all of this. Maybe...
WE are just wanting to get done whatever needs to be done-jump through whatever hoops we need to-so that Rodney can go home to see all the family including the kids and to be honest-as much as I like Georgia I am getting homesick for good old Kansas!

Rodney doesn't know but I have had some of our good friends at home planning a "small" welcome home when we arrive. I know he will be tired so I am putting the emphasis on "small"-Right now we don't have the ok on our flights together nor do we have a time for a flight-so hopefully all will work out on that. I know there are so many supporters back home who just want to say thank you-as well as our families that just want to see in person he is ok!

next day... Oct. 31, 2006-Happy Halloween! It feels strange to be away from the kids today especially Connor who still enjoys dressing up and going trick-or-treating-he is a vampire this year and I know Mam-mam (rodney's mom) will make sure he has a good time. Carley is going over to a friends house for a party and may-be some trick or treating. She is 13 so most likely the last big Halloween for her as a kid :(-it is hard but they understand (amazing kids)-and we are learning sacrifice is part of being a military family! Our last full day here in Georgia. We finally got the travel situation taken care of-we will be flying together! We will have a connecting flight in Charlotte so hopefully all will run smoothly. We should arrive in Kansas City on Nov. 1st around 5:00pm-so I am making phone calls to get the homecoming reception going now that we have a time of arrival! Last night we went out to dinner with one of the couples (they are from the San Diego, CA area) in the Fisher House and their son-we ate Italian. Fun and good food! It was good to be out-we just cannot move real fast with Rodney's leg injuries-but we can deal with that no problem! Tonight we are going out to eat with another couple to Red Lobster. Adam and Lisa-from North Dakota. We had a good time but it was strange to see all the little kids with their parents dressed-up for Halloween. Kinda a funny-we left the Fort to go into Augusta, so when we returned we had to show our military ID-Rodney didn't bring his. Luckily the guard let other vouch for him and we were let back on Fort. Another fun day of the journey :) Tomorrow we get to go home so packing and last minute details and we our homeward bound!!!!

Nov. 1st, 2006
Rodney went to his last minute appt.s and I packed up. Lisa was kind enough to take us to the airport so I was able to return my rental on the Fort. We flew out of Augusta which is a really small airport-our flight was late taking off but we made it to Charlotte in time for our connection (actually with time to spare but we went and ate and almost missed our flight because Rodney moves slower and wouldn't use airport assistance-but we made it). I will have to say thought that the flight from Charlotte to KC was the most uncomfortable flight I have ever taken-the seats were hard and wouldn't lay back at all-I was miserable and know Rodney had to be...Just a long day of travel after a long couple weeks in Georgia. We arrived in KC and were the last ones off the plane..Rodney's parents and sister brought Connor and a family friend, K, brought up Carley (Taylor was working)-it was so good to see the kiddos!
A surprise limo awaited to take us HOME! Connor's cub scout Pack had paid for it-the kids were so excited! I could tell Rodney was is pain and tired but he was also surprised when we got back to Gardner and headed to the High School-the total opposite direction than our house-he finally got it when he saw all the people with signs! Welcome Home Surprise courtesy of friends (Tina Vega & Keith Moll) and all our family! Thanks to you all!!!!

Finally Home...
Keep Imagining!

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