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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
Neal

ACA Lobby Day

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For those of you who are going to be in DC on Monday night, there is going to be a visiting session at 7 p.m. at Malone House, where the soldiers go when they are upgraded to outpatient status at Walter Reed Medical Center. If your interested in meeting a few of us there, just pm me and I will pass Ryan Leishman's (the ACA Rocky Mountain Regional rep) information on to you. He is the person who set this up. He needs to know, because there are only so many at a time allowed to visit and he needs to keep an accurate head count.

Susan, here is another reason for you going to DC early.....

Stagger, I just happened to notice your comment about having a better understanding of me since meeting with fivestring.... I hope he only told you the good things........ :rolleyes:

After all, a lady does have a reputation to protect!!! :smile: I guess we're back to the "stays in the apple" thing again....

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Higgy.

How could "Fivestring" have anything to say about you to "Stagger-Lee" :excl::excl: He knows we're all angels on this forum.

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I'm sure that Fivestring just told Stagger Lee what a "nice" person I was.. :wacko: :wacko:

The reason he knows what a "sweet" person I am, Ann, is because I see him every year at conference and talk with him every so often on the phone.. He's a nice guy and good friend...even if he does get "unstrung" every once in a while.. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

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Now??? Why would I say anything bad about you Higgy.... I don't know anything bad about you. But I will keep you in suspense... LMOA!!!!! Have a great day. Jerry :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

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I can just about imagine what you know or don't.... :laugh: :laugh: Just, no phone calls to Hubby when I'm not around.... He has wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too many stories... :tongue:

See you very soon Jerry...... Are you guys coming in for the Malone house thing on Monday night?

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I can just about imagine what you know or don't.... :laugh: :laugh: Just, no phone calls to Hubby when I'm not around.... He has wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too many stories... :tongue:

Everyone make a note to call "hubby" while Tammie is in D.C. Then she really can just imagine what we know !!!!!

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Do call...... go ahead..... I dare ya!!!! :biggrin: :biggrin:

I know what I've done... and I had a ball, so, I won't worry... I'm proud of every one of them! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

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Higgy -home with the flu today, fun! If I don't get a chance to tell you, I want you all to have fun in DC and be so proud of what you are doing. I don't think you will have to worry about accomplishing either one! :laugh:

Make sure and report in on how things went. By the way.....got cast for custom liners by OWW last week, of course they are only trying one at a time, little hard to tell what works when they do that...kind of like wearing one tennis shoe on one foot and a high heel on the other. I'll let you know if anything comes of this or not. It will take at least 10 days for them to make 1 special liner I guess...There will be no more with this company if this does not work..

Wish I was able to go with you...I will be there in spirit with you.

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I just realized that there will be a full moon while yall are in DC. That might add to the stories that could come from the trip !!!!!!

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And what a gorgeous full moon it was rising over the Washington Monument. Pics will follow.

It is a wild city. Driving is an experience. We've had two very good drivers. They good drive as bad as the rest of the drivers in this city. HAHAHA

Stagger Lee took us on a wonderful tour of the city monuments at night. We saw the Vietnam memorial, the Lincoln monument, and the White House. All of these required some more walking. We saw the Washington monument from a distance. It is cold as all get out, but we had a great time. We treated him to dinner and a tank of gas. Thanks so much Stagger. You are a great tour guide.

We are all quite exhausted. We had meetings all day today. Some of us had to go from the Senate side to the Rep side and back and forth. That is a 3-4 block walk up and down hill because, for those of you who've not been here, the Capitol building does literally sit on a hill. The Senate office buildings are on the north end of the capitol and the Rep buildings are on the south. There are three large office buildings for each side. It's also quite a walk once you're inside. It was quite a positive experience except some of the meetings could have been arranged to keep a bunch of amputees from having to do so much walking. My hip is speaking to me right now and that's after a Jack and coke and 3 Advil. I had four arranged meetings and one extra that I chose to sit in on with Tammie. The last one is the only one where I actually got to meet the Rep. All the rest of the meetings were with legislative assistants to the respective legislator. Some were receptive and others not so much.

More later and some pics to entice you.

Neal

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The pleasure was all mine.

I wasn't impressed with the ACA's handling of the event, but the company of Higgy, Barb, Fivestring, Neal and Ryan could not have been more pleasant. I'm just sorry that I didn't get to show you more stuff.

Next time...

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Hey Stagger,

My sentiments echo Neal's... You were a most AWESOME tour guide.... It was fantastic even if all of us hadn't of been sporting tired limbs from the day on Capitol Hill...Seeing DC as we did was a great opportunity.. I really wish I would of had more time.. It was a great, and very memorable time. You will have to let us know how things come out with the photo of your van...You know how those full moons go.....

If there is a next time, let's hope it isn't after running all over Capitol Hill for the day...

Maybe we all need some skates...You were great with short cuts...

Neal, how did your tour of the MATC at Walter Reed go? What were your impressions? Also, a quick question. Who was your tour guide once you got to MATC?

By the way...Barb..... what was all the phone calls to Jon for? Were you trying to find any stories out to "try" to torment me with? :laugh: :laugh: I have had people tell me to get lost, just never that they "lost" me.... :biggrin:

Jerry......Thanks my friend......that would of been a long way down the steps at the Lincoln Memorial.... what good company you are.. I think I will have a photo with me, for you, in Atlanta...from my Representative's office..

One added note, I already had one email from a Senator from my state, waiting when I got home..

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Here's a few pics of the scenic sights.

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Our 10Am appt at Walter Reed turned into 10:15-10:30 because of traffic on a few people's part. We didn't get onto the floor to visit soldiers in their rooms. We did get a full tour of MATC from Roger Someone-or-Another. It was awesome. If only we could have access to the facilities our fine young soldiers have.

Judge Jack Farley was there. Most of us knew Jack from his attendance at the ACA conferences. He ended up having lunch with us at the hospital cafeteria. Ryan and I could go back this morning for a visit with the soldiers, but Ryan needs to be at Reagan Natl at 12:00. That's enough time, but barely.

Since cab rides are pricey and scary, Ryan and I decided to explore the Metro. We took a free shuttle from Walter Reed to the nearest Metro station. We boarded a southbound train. Though we got on the wrong train heading in the wrong direction at one point, we finally made it to Arlington Natl Cemetary. We got to see the Kennedy gravesite as well as the final public viewing for the day of the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknowns. It was a very solemn but awe-inspiring experience. The views from Arlington are terrific. We got a glimpse of the Pentagon from high atop a hill. That is one huge building.

We made it back into DC. We ate at a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. We met a great couple from Florida who were about Ryan's age, 30-something, (I was the old man in the group, 52). We seemed to hit it off with them. We ended up having coffee and seeing a little of Chinatown with them. They are supposed to call and include me in their touring today. That is a relief for me as I really didn't know what I was going to do after Ryan left.

All-in-all it has beed a wonderful experience. Seeing how Congress runs didn't surprise me one bit. Being a small part of it though was a great experience. The ACA could have done a much better job of organizing. Being here with such good friends made it one memorable experience for me.

I feel as I do after conferences. I miss you guys already. Tammie, Jerry, Barb and Ross......I had such a great time with you guys. Ross is a great tour guide and I might just be back for more. Let me not forget Susan and Jean from New Jersey. It was a wild ride from Walter Reed to our hotel that night. Jean pulled it off like a local, route recalculation and all LOL. I guess New Jersey must be a lot like DC in traffic. You guys are terrific. Susan, you must work on Jean to join the forum.

Enough for now. I will post some pics after I get home.

Neal

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I'm still waiting on one photo--the one that I got from a new red-light camera whose location I was unaware of until Tammy and Barb made me run through it and all of the lights flashed. (DOH!)

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Neil, I hope the rest of your trip is fun and relaxing! I hear there is a Pompeii exhibit in the National Gallery, if you're into art at all. I would be interested in their aquarium too, and the IMAX is fun. Guess I'll have to go back.

I loved Networking with you guys at Walter Reed on Monday night at the Malonge House, for the families of Wounded Warriors. (it was nice to meet Ryan, and Stella and Colin and a few more I did not know since I am relatively new to ACA.) It was wonderful seeing Tammie and Neil and Barb again. The weather was perfect for this time of year in DC, on Monday evening.

Jean and I shared a room to save on expenses and we did well together. We both live in South Jersey. Tuesday was a long tiring day, but we met with our New Jersey representatives - well, their staffers anyway, but Morgan Sheets said that they meet with so many people that often the staffers are the ones who make suggestions to their bosses. There was also a bus from Amps in Action in New Jersey, who came with their group T-shirts supporting proper medical coverage for prosthetics. (can't remember the exact theme- but it was good) We made a great showing in Lautenberg's office - there were about 20 of us there, mostly amputees. Same as in Andrew's office. Congressman Andrews was very helpful and possibly key in getting the NJ legislation passed, so we thanked him for that also.

Walter Reed was awesome yesterday. Neil, thank Ryan for setting that up. We didn't really get to interact with soldiers very much, but I was very impressed with their facility for their wounder warriors. They definitely have some state of the art equipment, and seem to have a lot of their ducks in a row - psychiatric counseling for ALL - so no one is stigmatized. Therapy Dog in the Gym. Group outings for warriors with limb loss to help them reacclimate to the community. Really, really cool simulators - one cost a million dollars and was one of three in the world - boy I wish I had access to that! I also brought a portable DVD Play to donate to Ward 57, but wasn't able to go to Ward 57 myself because of time constraints, but I was told by the very nice woman involved with our tour that it would be given to a wounded warrior that could make good use of it. It was wonderful seeing Jack Farley also - I love talking to Jack since he is AK as I am and is in Stan's negative pressure system - I always learn a lot from talking to him. I'm glad we stayed for lunch so we could network before going back to the "Real" world.....

The weirdest thing for me was having breakfast with no tables on Tuesday morning. THAT was interesting, lol! I was also wondering if we made some of our own appointment and then notified Morgan if that might be helpful. Sheila said they looked into some type of shuttle for the Hill, but there is only one vendor that you can use and it would've been $5000 I think. I think getting back and forth is difficult at best - LOTS of walking!

I think for only the 2nd year, they did pretty good. Over 200 participants from 34 states. Not shabby at all, and we were noticed!

This bill needs to be reintroduced since the old one died during the last congress. They are looking for co-sponsors for the bill, so talk to your state people if you weren't able to attend. I'm sure Morgan can give you talking points to do that. It sounds like it will be reintroduced soon - then the issue of getting it passed - so the work continues. Sometimes this process takes years, so we still have to just keep plugging. I think the fact that since the Wounded Warriors are mostly getting proper prosthetic coverage means that the Government FINALLY acknowledges what proper prosthetic coverage and care means. This will hopefully help us civilians at some point.

Hope to see you all soon, though I'm not sure I'm going to conference this year - I'm looking for work and money is tight.

Hugs,

Susan :tongue:

Our 10Am appt at Walter Reed turned into 10:15-10:30 because of traffic on a few people's part. We didn't get onto the floor to visit soldiers in their rooms. We did get a full tour of MATC from Roger Someone-or-Another. It was awesome. If only we could have access to the facilities our fine young soldiers have.

Judge Jack Farley was there. Most of us knew Jack from his attendance at the ACA conferences. He ended up having lunch with us at the hospital cafeteria. Ryan and I could go back this morning for a visit with the soldiers, but Ryan needs to be at Reagan Natl at 12:00. That's enough time, but barely.

Since cab rides are pricey and scary, Ryan and I decided to explore the Metro. We took a free shuttle from Walter Reed to the nearest Metro station. We boarded a southbound train. Though we got on the wrong train heading in the wrong direction at one point, we finally made it to Arlington Natl Cemetary. We got to see the Kennedy gravesite as well as the final public viewing for the day of the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknowns. It was a very solemn but awe-inspiring experience. The views from Arlington are terrific. We got a glimpse of the Pentagon from high atop a hill. That is one huge building.

We made it back into DC. We ate at a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. We met a great couple from Florida who were about Ryan's age, 30-something, (I was the old man in the group, 52). We seemed to hit it off with them. We ended up having coffee and seeing a little of Chinatown with them. They are supposed to call and include me in their touring today. That is a relief for me as I really didn't know what I was going to do after Ryan left.

All-in-all it has beed a wonderful experience. Seeing how Congress runs didn't surprise me one bit. Being a small part of it though was a great experience. The ACA could have done a much better job of organizing. Being here with such good friends made it one memorable experience for me.

I feel as I do after conferences. I miss you guys already. Tammie, Jerry, Barb and Ross......I had such a great time with you guys. Ross is a great tour guide and I might just be back for more. Let me not forget Susan and Jean from New Jersey. It was a wild ride from Walter Reed to our hotel that night. Jean pulled it off like a local, route recalculation and all LOL. I guess New Jersey must be a lot like DC in traffic. You guys are terrific. Susan, you must work on Jean to join the forum.

Enough for now. I will post some pics after I get home.

Neal

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Hi All,

I sure did have a great time in D.C. for the insurance Parity. Senator Byrd rep. lives only 5 miles from me.. I thought that was awesome!!. His main office is in Martinsburg, and he only goes to D.C. once a week. I have his telehone number and will be getting his e-mail soon.

As far as walking, I got very sore and also blew out my sock too... Lots of walking in D.C. since 9/11...... Didn't use to be that way... maybe the next time they could provide shuttle buses.. Make it easier on us folks who have distant walking issues..

By the way, THANKS a Million Stagger Lee, You might think of buying a bus and start your own D.C. tour bus company. You did a Wonderful job of showing us all the sites. Even though it would take more than 4-5 days to see everything in D.C.

I hope everyone had a good time!!!! And it sure was nice to meet the new amputees. Love the photos Stagger Lee.

Jerry :smile: :smile: :smile:

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Sounds like everyone had a fine time and did some really important work! Wish I could have been there!

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Hi All,

I sure did have a great time in D.C. for the insurance Parity. Senator Byrd rep. lives only 5 miles from me.. I thought that was awesome!!. His main office is in Martinsburg, and he only goes to D.C. once a week. I have his telehone number and will be getting his e-mail soon.

As far as walking, I got very sore and also blew out my sock too... Lots of walking in D.C. since 9/11...... Didn't use to be that way... maybe the next time they could provide shuttle buses.. Make it easier on us folks who have distant walking issues..

By the way, THANKS a Million Stagger Lee, You might think of buying a bus and start your own D.C. tour bus company. You did a Wonderful job of showing us all the sites. Even though it would take more than 4-5 days to see everything in D.C.

I hope everyone had a good time!!!! And it sure was nice to meet the new amputees. Love the photos Stagger Lee.

Jerry :smile: :smile: :smile:

It was great seeing you too Jerry and meeting Stagger Lee also! :biggrin:

I think we all did a great job! They won't forget us soon!

Susan

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It sounds to me like you all had a blast BUT I would think the walking part would hinder alot of amputees from going. I think I will let you guys do the leg work.

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WOW!!! Sounds like you all were very productive. Stag, I was recently in DC seeing the sights. I wish I would have known you then and had my own tour guide. :wink: Sorry I couldn't join you.

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My niece lives in DC and works at the Kennedy Center. When I get up to visit her, I will let you know, Sasquatch....I mean, Stagger.... BTW, she's a gorgeous, single, wonderful young woman :smile:

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