Two Years Since WST Transformations
Added February 9, 2017
Along with celebrating the MarineParents.com 14th anniversary, we are celebrating another anniversary for our outreach program, the Warrior Support Team (WST).
Two years ago, we made a change to our WST program on the East coast. We transitioned from serving meals twice a month to wounded warriors and family members at the Walter Reed hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, to serving recovering warriors, caregivers, dependents, medical personnel, and other active duty military at the USO Warrior and Family Center on base. This change in our program reflects the changing patient population and a transformation in our mission as we moved from a focus on the newly wounded to attention to the needs of those gradually recovering from visible and invisible wounds. We continue to serve meals to inpatients on the Behavioral Health and Traumatic Brain Injury wards of the hospital. Over the course of the last two years the number of meals we are serving has doubled. WST- East is led by by manager Susan Kristol and assistant managers Mary Ann Schilling and Peggy Densford with a group of approximately 15 dedicated volunteers.
Also two years ago, our WST program on the West coast saw a change in leadership. Volunteers Dale and Lori Larson have been managing the meals at the Naval Medical Center San Diego (Balboa) for two years and have since doubled the number of people in attendance. With a group of approximately 13 volunteers, they serve meals once a week to the residents of the wounded warrior barracks, upwards of 70 patients at a time, every Thursday afternoon for dinner. The Larson family works closely with the staff at both MarineParents.com corporate office and Balboa to arrange meal delivery from local area restaurants. The patients are happy to grab dinner and spend time visiting with one another in the Liberty Center.
The Warrior Support Team strives to provide resources and fellowship to wounded, ill, and injured troops and veterans, including those living with post-traumatic stress, as well as to provide resources and support to family members. WST volunteers serve meals, assist at events, provide resources to enhance the comfort of patients, and distribute educational materials.