On October 15, I had the honor of visiting the men and woman of the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital of Tampa with some of my fellow teammates for a fun night of Bingo and ice cream.
Upon arriving, I quickly realized that some of the wounded veterans were even younger than me, with the ages ranging from 19 to 100 years old. I can’t begin to imagine the sacrifices they have made to serve and protect our country and an overwhelming feeling of gratitude rushed over me.
I found my Bingo seat next to Tom, a Vietnam War veteran. He shared his story with me and I was amazed to learn that he knew eight languages and has traveled allover the world. I felt so proud and privileged to help him slide his numbers on the Bingo board and to make sure everyone heard him yell “Bingo!”
Across the Bingo table was his good friend Rudy, a veteran as well. Rudy said to me, ‘Thank you so much for coming to see us. You have no idea how awesome this is.” I couldn’t believe he was thanking me. It was an absolute honor to have the opportunity to express my appreciation to some of our nation’s heroes, even if it was over a game of Bingo and ice cream.
While we said our goodbyes, I was reminded that I am so blessed for my health, for my loved ones and for the life that I am living this very day. I am so very thankful for each of these men and women and the sacrifices they have endured to defend the freedom of the United States of America. I can’t wait for the opportunity to visit again!