Named after our country's first Army Surgeon General Major General Merritte W. Ireland, a surgeon, the Ireland Community Hospital boasts nearly half a million square feet of care giving space including seventy-six beds. Nearly BRAC'd in 2005, the hospital was saved from closing due to the distance troops would have to travel to receive care in it's absence from this former Armor Center now turned U.S. Army Human Resource Center of Excellence.
"I think it's Santa..." whispered one youngster who was enjoying time at his father's place of work... instead it was Chad, Mike and Robi Powers of American300 along with their local nonprofit hosts, who entered the cafeteria now turned Santa's Village, complete with Mrs. Claus, Santa's Elves and a Santa's Workshop.
"This is awesome, we're a little over a week away from Christmas and these care giving troops have brought their kids to Ireland (hospital) to kick back and have some fun." said Chad Crittenden. "Part of our message is the important role that caregivers have played in our recovery process. We were able to share some stories with them here at Fort Knox and we're aiming to do the same at Joint Base San Antonio tomorrow."
After four days on the road at US Air Force Missile Bases in northern Montana and North Dakota, Mike and Chad were ready for what lay ahead, thanks to the efforts of local nonprofit: 'Operation Resilient Warrior', the American300 team was treated to a mix of caregivers and warriors, some of which couldn't take leave to visit family and friends during this holiday seasondue to wounds that they are recovering from. One such group... the wounded warriors of the Fort Knox Wounded Warrior Transition Unit (WTU), an Army-wide effort to to ensure that all of our troops have hands on care and guidance through the sometimes very difficult process of either returning to full active duty or reserve status, or taking a medical discharge with lifetime benefits.
"I'm stuck here through the holidays, having you guys here today is Christmas comes early." said a US Army Wounded Warrior, "...we all have those days when giving up seems like the thing to do, throwing in the towel is looking good... hearing and meeting Chad and Mike, is going to help me get through this holiday season." he added.
With a professional 'cadre' and mantra that builds on the Army's strength of 'unit cohesion' and teamwork, WTUs are focused on helping soldiers return to full duty status or exit service and enter the civilian world. "It's soldiers helping soldiers with an ample dose of professional care- givers and guidance councilors mixed in." says Robi Powers, American300 Warrior Tours founder, "We've brought great Americans with special messages to share to over 300 bases in the past 3 years, this is our first visit at one of the Army's WTUs, and I can't think of a better group to share their life stories with then Chad and Mike."
With a flight to San Antonio on the next days horizon, and a visit to one of the off base churches that many of the WTU warriors attend, the Never Quit Tour team spent the evening at the base bowling alley, joking, laughing and simply having a good time with some of our nation's heroes... "Mike's ability to adapt is truly inspirational." said Sergeant First Class Jim Faulkner who along with his wife Christy helped start the all volunteer effort: Operation Resilient Warrior.
Throwing strikes with a double windup fast pitch style technique hadn't been witnessed at the alley and quickly grabbed the attention of many. "I've only bowled twice since loosing my left leg, I tried to lay down the 'pro throw' like Chad had going on and it wasn't working" said Schultz, "but this windup method seems to be getting the job done...it's all about adapting and never quiting."
The NEVER QUIT Holiday Troop Tour continues at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas... stay with us as 'The Tour Continues..."
Please Visit and Support our hosts in Kentucky: Operation Resilient Warrior
Learn more about Mike at: www.monstermike.com
Learn more about Chad at: www.surviorchad.com
American300 Warrior Tours - Honoring our Service Members, Their Families and the Areas in which they Live and Operate In by bringing Americans to Honor America's Heroes!