Showing Appreciation to the Nation's Wounded Warriors

Visit to wounded warriors in VA hospital
Major Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese, commanding general of 1st Marine Logistics Group, talks to family members of wounded warriors at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Palo Alto, California, Oct. 8, 2014. (Cpl. Christopher J. Moore/U.S. Marines)

PALO ALTO, California -- Marines with Recruiting Station San Francisco and sailors from Navy Recruiting Command San Francisco visited wounded service members at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Palo Alto, California, on Oct. 7.

As part of San Francisco Fleet Week 2014, active-duty sea service members 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 spoke and spent 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 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, 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 still are part of a big military family.

"When a wounded Marine, soldier, airman or sailor is visited by a uniformed service member, it reminds them that they are not forgotten," Brown said.

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 health care and their morale," Brown said.

Marine Sgt. George Puryear, a patient at 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 said events such as 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," Puryear said. "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.

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