Center for the Intrepid opened in San Antonio
We were fortunate today to witness an amazing ceremony. We made the drive down to San Antonio to the Brooke Army Medical Center to be a part of the opening of the Center For The Intrepid. This is a new facility for the rehabilitation of our Service Men and Women wounded in combat. The facility was amazing, and entirely funded by private contributions.
Contributions by all those wearing HeroBracelets for instance. This center is what we are funding with the sale of HeroBracelets and from what I saw, it was worth every penny.
There were upwards of 5000 people there in attendance including hundreds of Soldiers and Marines, in uniform, being treated for their wounds. We met some of these men and women and it is not something we will soon forget. We heard many speeches, from Generals and polititians (Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator John McCain among them). And we saw the performance by John Mellencamp.
It made me proud to know HeroBracelets had a hand in building this facility. Considering the cost of the facility, it wasn't a big hand, but a hand nonetheless. And it's made it easy for thousands of people to show their pride in our men and women in uniform while helping to build the facility.
And I really am wanting to avoid the usual cliches here. We all really did something for some amazing people. What we all did (meaning everyone who has ever bought a HeroBracelet) can never truly repay these guys, but it's a start.
Here is what the Fallen Heroes website has to say about the facility:
CENTER FOR THE INTREPID FACTS
Overview: The Center for the Intrepid is a world-class physical rehabilitation facility focused on medical and rehabilitative care of wounded warriors and veterans, injured in service to America, many of whom have suffered limb-loss. Its premier facilities incorporate the best technology and techniques anywhere in the world and are beyond state-of-the-art.
Description: The four-story, 60,000 square foot Center for the Intrepid includes clinical space, a military performance lab with a gait lab and computer assisted rehabilitation environment, a pool, an indoor running track, a two-story climbing wall and prosthetic center. The Center will provide amputees and those with severe extremity injuries the best opportunity to regain their ability to live and work productively. In addition to serving as a premier rehabilitation center, the CFI is actively involved in clinical research.
Cost: The $50-million Center for the Intrepid was built entirely from private funds generously donated by more than 600,000 Americans through the Intrepid Fallen Heroes fund.
Ongoing Fundraising: Although sufficient funding has been received for the construction costs, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is accepting donations to provide additional services to the patients who will be treated in the Center and their families. These services may include facilities for patients' children, additional medical equipment and supplies, medical research to improve the care of patients, and other areas. One hundred percent of the contributions will continue to go to these services, with nothing taken out for the Fund's administrative costs.
Eligibility: Wounded warriors and veterans who were injured in the current Global War on Terrorism will be the initial beneficiaries of the facility. The Center for the Intrepid serves traumatic amputee patients, burn patients requiring advanced rehabilitation, and service members undergoing limb salvage techniques. Eligible patients are evaluated by a health care team to determine if they have the potential to benefit from the advanced rehabilitation offered, prior to being cared for at the Center. Access to the facility will be based upon the space available to provide the care in a safe environment.
Reasons for Construction: To date, more than 23,000 service members have been wounded in operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Those who suffer injuries so severe that they require extensive medical care, years of treatment and rehabilitation, are medically discharged from the armed forces. Some are treated at Brooke Army Medical Center, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Medical Center. Their future quality of life, their ability to care for themselves and provide for their families, and their very survival depends on the treatment, rehabilitation and advanced training skills they receive following their injury.
Why the center was built with private funds: The Army currently provides superb medical and rehabilitative care for wounded warriors and will continue to do so. The Army is extremely grateful that a private, non-profit association is partnering with the Army to provide the best possible venue anywhere in the world for our wounded warriors. These wounded military members, injured in service to America, are top-notch athletes who deserve a facility that is the best in the world.