Tomorrow our family flies to Washington, D.C., to visit our son at Walter Reed Hospital. It was exactly one year ago that we received a call that he had been severely injured in Afghanistan. He has made a miraculous recovery thanks to his courage and the tremendous support he has had this year. Surgeons, nurses, and physical therapists have all dedicated themselves to helping Luke recover.
The Olympia community has also rallied around him and supported him in amazing ways. There is much in the news right now about the mismanagement of the VA. I know that as a nation we need to get this right and attend to our injured veterans in prompt, caring, ongoing, realistic ways.
But I also want to share another important story. Behind the scenes, without any recognition, our congressman Denny Heck and his staff have gone to bat for Luke. When Luke was first flown to intensive care at Walter Reed, Heck quietly showed up and introduced himself to Luke, his wife and infant son. He has stood by them visiting regularly, intervening to help Luke’s in-laws be stationed nearby to provide crucial support, and just being a caring presence.
This is the kind of public service that changes lives. This is real, authentic support that honors the sacrifice we ask of our soldiers when we put them in harm’s way. I hope all our wounded veterans and their families have the care they so deeply deserve.