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Anthony is a Corpsman second class with the United States Navy. He is stationed with the second batallion, seventh marine unit out of Twentynine Palms, CA. He was deployed for his second tour of combat duty on January 29, 2007. Anthony takes great pride in his job and in "his" marines.
Anthony was injured on April 20, 2007 when a SVBIED (suicide vehicle born improvised e device) was detonated under an overpass where they were standing post. He and 7 other marines were injured in the incident. Anthony sustained a head injury, an injury to his lower back, a punctured right lung and minor scrapes and scratches on his legs, hands, arms and face. He was medivaced to 3 different medical stations before finally being sent to Landstuhl Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany. There he was cared for by loving hands of the ICU nurses and doctors for just shy of a week. On Friday, April 27, 2007, he was then medivaced to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.
Happy Independence Day!
Jul 5, 2013 1:28amOh My Goodness, I don’t even know where to begin. It’s been a LONG month and a half since I updated last! Let’s do the “Thompson Family Rewind.” The last time I updated was Mother’s Day and that was a great day, but the next big event after that was Memorial Day and we had a great one! Our friends, Janies and Wesley Rummel invited the whole family over to Janies’ parents house for a barbecue with friends and family. I accepted the invitation, but as it got closer I started to get hesitant about taking Anthony. I called Janies a couple of times to make sure that her folk’s house was accessible for Anthony and she assured me it was. After the second phone call I got a call from Wesley letting me know that he and Janies’ dad were building a ramp just for Anthony to be able to be a part. I exhaled and on Memorial Day Monday, we packed up the van and headed over to the Hyatt house for a day of pool, food and great company. They had the perfect place on the back porch, under a fan for Anthony and we had a wonderful time. We are truly blessed to have such great friends that want us to be a part of events. We are very lucky. At around 6pm, we packed up our things and got ready to go, as we were packing up, I heard “Anchors Away” over the speakers and my eyes started to well up. I stopped and just looked at Anthony and quietly sang along to myself. After the song was finished, Janies’ dad came out and said, “That’s for my Navy boys!” (Wesley is a Navy Veteran as well) I was so moved; I gave him a huge hug and thanked him for having us at his home! Anthony had a great time out for Memorial day and I know the only thing that would have made it better is if he could have partaken in many beers along with his friends!
The week following Memorial day was my time to frantically prepare for mine and AJ’s trip to Florida and Disney Cruise with our friends Shannon and Journey Allen (our friends from Tampa; Shannon’s husband was also injured in the war and also has a severe traumatic Brain Injury). AJ and I gave our main man, Anthony, a big hug and a kiss and told him we’d see him in a week. I told Anthony to be good and not cause any problems. My mom came to the house and stayed with Anthony and I knew he was in good hands and all would be good. AJ and I hopped on a plane and flew to Orlando where we were picked up by Shannon and Journey. It was so great seeing them again; it had been way too long. It was a short drive to the hotel we were staying at for three days. Once we got there, we unloaded the car and got settled in our condo. Once we got everything in the room, we went and explored the hotel and then grabbed dinner at one of the restaurants and after dinner, ran to the grocery store and picked up movies to watch that night. Tuesday morning, we started our routine. Breakfast, pool time, lunch time, pool time again, shower time, dinner time and then hang out time and finally sleep. This went on for three days until it was time for check out so we could go and board a ship to take us away for a bit. On thursday, we boarded our ship “Disney Dream” and embarked on a three day adventure. The ship was AMAZING! This was a first cruise for myself AND AJ and we had an absolute blast. We were never without something to do and we all enjoyed every single minute of it. The only thing that made it better was spending it with great friends. AJ and Journey got along great, even after not seeing each other for two years; it was like no time had passed at all. They got to hang out with dolphins, feed and touch sting rays, swim all day and party all night. All the while the mommies (Shannon and I) had a fabulous time as well and got to spend tons of quality time together. I honestly thought three days would be long enough for a cruise, but I probably could have done 4 more days...next time! That said, by Sunday, I was ready to get home and see my man and tell him about what we had been missing and how we should have taken more cruises...umm, I mean Cruises in general. hahaha Our flight was delayed coming back home, but when we finally made it home, all I wanted to do was hug my man and relax...vacation is so tiring.
The week after we got back was spent, unpacking, washing clothes, spending time with Anthony and taking him to appointments and movies and then all of a sudden repacking and getting ready for our next trip. Next on our list was driving to Tucson with my folks to attend my cousin’s wedding. This time Sheila would be staying home with Anthony and so again I knew he was in good hands and I had nothing to worry about. We left early on wednesday morning so we could get on the road and start the long drive west. Now I know how the pioneers felt...who am I kidding, they didn’t have iPhones, iPad and iPods to keep them entertained...poor bastards. Wednesday night we decided to call it a night and stop in Las Cruces, NM, rest and then do the next 4 hr leg of the ride on thursday morning. AJ loves staying in hotels, so of course he was in hog’s heaven. Thursday morning we had breakfast and then headed out. We made it to Tucson just after lunch time and waited for everyone in the family to arrive. First was my sister and so once she got settled, we all headed to the lobby and hung out there and did more waiting. We would do dinner every night and then always found something to do during the day; mostly pool time, which of course AJ LOVED and secretly, so did I. The wedding was on saturday afternoon and for anyone that has spent any time in the desert, you know that’s probably not the best time to do a wedding in the desert. I will say it was inside a church and the church was air conditioned, so I wasn’t complaining at all. There was a break between the wedding and reception, so of course we found a family member’s room and drank during the wait. During all this time I kept thinking about how much fun Anthony would be having spending that time with us and hanging out. The reception began around 545 and was still going when I left at 1245am. There were a few moments during the reception that I had to step out of the room and just take a breath. I missed Anthony, I missed everything about him. I mean I always miss him and think about all the fabulous memories I have with him, but during a wedding those memories and the feeling of loss are intensified and sometimes it’s harder to pull out than others, but of course, I always do. The wedding was beautiful, the reception was nice, but loud and I was thrilled to be in bed at 1 am and sleeping shortly there after. The following day, AJ and I met with my folks for breakfast and then spent the entire day at the pool with the rest of the Rodriguez-Garcia family and it was fantastic. I do love my family, but I also very much love my extended family. We got in the pool around noon and didn’t get out till after 7pm. I felt sorry for anyone that tried going to the pool for a day of relaxation, because when that family gets together it’s always a party. That night, it was my idea to get burgers for dinner and for anyone from the west coast, you know the only burgers to get are In ‘n Out; so that’s what we did. We were leaving the next day and as sad as I was to say goodbye to my sister and the extended family; I was ready to get back to my man. I miss him so much more when I’m away.
We got back Tuesday afternoon and my man looked good, but looked happy to see us and that made me feel good as well. It was good to be home and it was even better to know we were going to be there for a while. The next couple of weeks we had fun just hanging out, getting int he pool and spending time as a family; except, the three days that were spent, first, with AJ vomiting with a stomach bug and then me with a fever and vomiting with a stomach bug...it was horrible I was convinced I was dying. The only good thing is that AJ got friday, saturday he was fine and went and spent the night at Nana and Papa’s house and then sunday I got it and was dying. When Nana and Papa brought him back, he last at home a couple of hours before my mom came and got him and kept him so I could sleep and try and shake the bug. Monday, Anthony stayed in bed, so as to stay away from me and since I was little better, I figured it was the perfect time to DISINFECT. I couldn’t let Anthony catch the bug that both AJ and I got. By Tuesday, I was back to normal and good thing too, because I was ready to get AJ back. Anthony and I drove out to my parents house and picked AJ up and hung out for a bit. Wednesday I had promised AJ we’d go see Despicable Me 2, but when we went the movie was sold out, so I loaded my boys back in the van and we headed home and changed the plans to a pool day; which turned out to be perfect.
Then there was thursday, 4Th of July! Months ago we received an invite from Ellis & Ellis financial advising to be their honored guests at the Red, Hot and Blue Festival in the Woodlands and of course I again accepted. The plan was to leave Anthony in bed late today, but I had some friends stopping by early in the day and I didn’t want them not to see Anthony, so I got him up at 10am, gave him a haircut, shave and shower and then got him up for the day. We visited with my friends for a couple of hours and then chilled for the rest of the day till it was time to go at 630pm. Since we weren’t doing anything else, I made a deal with AJ(and Anthony’s nurse)...he could stay at home and spend time with Daddy if I could go and get a mani/pedi. He agreed, so I got a couple and a half hours of peace and quiet and celebrated my independence (from the house...hahaha). I came back home and got showered and dressed and we headed out to the Woodlands. The crew from Ellis & Ellis with the help of Jerry Reed and the folks from Operation Military Embrace really showed us a great time. We had prime real-estate for the fireworks and on top of that we had great company. They really took the time to honor Anthony and that’s all that mattered to me. While Mr. Ellis was introducing Anthony, he took a moment and reminded everyone about what the 4th of July meant and the importance of the National Anthem. I was very proud of him, people need to know that they need to respect the National Anthem and they need to stop, whatever it is they’re doing, and honor the men and women that fought, fight and will fight for our great nation so that we can continue to celebrate such days and revel in our freedoms. I applauded and was very moved. Anthony had a great time, you could see it in his face. He was paying attention to everything and focused on everyone that introduced themselves to him. I was so proud of him, but there was one moment that I was the most proud of him. There was one moment during the fireworks show that I glanced at Anthony and the look on his face was the same look AJ gets on his face when he sees fireworks. It was a look of utter amazement; you could see it in his eyes, he was in awe. It was a look I hadn’t seen on his face in a long while and I’m so glad I didn’t miss it! We had an amazing day as a family and I’m so lucky to have the family I have. Anthony is my hero that fought and continues to fight every day for my freedoms and for everyone else’s freedoms; even the less deserving. AJ is my little man, sometimes you listen to him tell a story and if you’re not looking directly at him you’d swear it was an old man talking, but he loves his Mommy and Daddy and makes everyone laugh all the time. Today, and always, I think about all the men and women that look at their heroes and their kids and notice all the wonderfully funny quirks they all have...I hope they’re just as thankful as I am in this very moment. Happy 4th of July, may we never forget what this day is really about. I hope you all took time to think of someone, anyone that served and celebrated this great country in which we live.
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