Saturday, July 22, 2006

Day 2 @ Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital: Norris Galatas Update

Today we got up and went to breakfast in the dining hall....saw SFC Ellis Martin and my old buddy who drives the Mologne House Shuttle. We saw Dustin's mom Jana at breakfast and she said Dustin was doing better. He has good days and then bad, so they just take it one day at a time. I went by the Family Assistance Center and saw our friend Valerie and everything was all new and different.

Then Spc Taylor stopped by to get a Brigade patch from Norris...they are all assigned to the Med Hold Company now and wear the Med Hold patch and Taylor wanted a 155th BCT patch to take home with him...he said Sergeant Galatas always had extras of everything and they all knew where they could get whatever they needed...from boot laces to belt buckles. Taylor lives here in Maryland and commutes to WRAMC every day. He was with the 2/11th ACR (tanker unit) from Fort Irwin that was attached to the 155th. He was in the tank that hit an IED shortly after Norris was injured. He was in the tank with SGT Wong. He says SGT Wong went home to California and is attending college and SFC Voccio was assigned to Fort Knox. Virgil and Dieterich both re-inlisted and returned to Fort Irwin. Taylor gave me his patch with the Black Horse on it. That will be a cherished keepsake for me!

The appointment with General Surgery was very late...we missed our appointment with anesthesiology. But I really liked his two surgeons. One of them was at LSA Dogwood [in Iraq] back in 2003! He said it was good to be able to talk to someone who knew Dogwood and how it was there. They both listed lots of concerns (mostly risk of infections and blood clots) but both said if all goes well, they will reverse the colostomy and close up his belly. He won't have the heavy wound vacs this time and even if they can't pull him completely together, they will put in a mesh for support and cover it all with a skin graft so he will be covered completely. (I warned them about Galatas and how if anything could possibly go wrong, it would, so they said they would bring flashlights just in case a meteor struck) LOL! They were both concerned, but very professional...he is in good hands. And August 3rd is still the schedule so it is still our special prayer day. Our next appointment is Monday morning with pre-op. (2 hours of paperwork).

My sister Amy came and picked us up and took us to Outback Steakhouse and we had a wonderful dinner. Tomorrow we will see who we can hook up with and hope to visit with Dustin, Regina and Jana. We plan to go to the Commissary at Forrest Glenn and buy some groceries to put in the fridge. I have already walked off about 5 pounds! We walk everywhere here. It is like a big college campus. Norris wobbles faster than you think...he is hard to keep up with. Anyone who wishes to send cards and letters of support or even a "community box" for the wounded at Mologne House, just send them to us and we'll deliver. Beef jerkey and "party snacks" are good. Easy cheeze, some kind of crackers, beef summer sausages, brownies, cookies, DVD's and CD's are needed. And some kids's toys and games would be appreciated I think. Lots of little ones here this time. Just like in Iraq, they all share. Nothing is wasted.

I'll write more tomorrow. Thank you for your prayers and kindness. Love you.
Janis and Norris Galatas


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