OCTOBER 9, 2014, PALO ALTO, California – Marines with Recruiting Station San Francisco and sailors from Navy Recruiting Command San Francisco visited wounded servicemembers at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., Oct. 7.
As part of San Francisco Fleet Week 2014, active-duty sea servicemembers visit the wounded warriors to express their appreciation and support for their comrades.
SFFW14 focuses on interoperability training between civil and military agencies to improve cooperation and coordination, as well as increase readiness through a range of humanitarian assistance operations.
The Marines and sailors were able to speak and spend time with the patients while imparting them with words of support and enthusiasm. The visit served as a way to show wounded warriors that their brothers and sisters in arms still remember and care for them.
“When a patient is here with their family they tend to recover better, their morale is higher,” said James Brown, and volunteer and event coordinator for the VA. “It’s the same when they see the support from the community and especially from members of the military in uniform.”
The visit reminded wounded warriors that they are still part of a big military family.
“When a wounded Marine, soldier, airman or sailor is visited by a uniformed servicemember, it reminds them that they are not forgotten,” said Brown.
With no large military presence in the area, the patients of the VA Hospital find it comforting when being visited by their comrades.
“There is no large military base here such as Camp Pendleton or Camp Lejeune, so when men and women in uniform come out to visit; it does wonders to their healthcare and their morale,” said Brown.
Marine Sgt. George Puryear, a patient of the hospital said the visit of other military personnel is a morale booster.
“It’s just good to know that you have other people that support and are thinking about you,” said Puryear, who was injured in Afghanistan while serving as an explosive ordnance disposal technician. He also added, events like these make it easier to deal with his recovery.
“It enables you to go day-by-day and get through the day with all the therapies and everything,” said Puryear. “Sometimes things could get monotonous, so it’s good to have someone there to break it up.”
As for the remaining schedule for Fleet Week, Marines and sailors continue to showcase their military capabilities while developing humanitarian aid and crisis response practices with local, state and federal agencies.