Eight o'clock in the morning, the seasoned turkey is placed into the oven. By nine o'clock, the sound of vintage rock'n roll and busy feet can be heard as you near the Polytrauma Rehabilitation Program (PTRP) kitchen at VA Palo Alto. The smell of sautéed onions and celery paired nicely with the sweet aroma of pumpkin pie. The week before Thanksgiving, members of the PTRP Alumni gathered to prepare a meal for the Veterans that are currently in the program as well as the therapy team.
The PTRP Alumni meet every month for a community building activity. Meetings usually consist of pizza and a movie or the occasional football game. This Thanksgiving season Marine Veteran Jason Poole, one of the founding members, suggested taking this opportunity to pay it forward. "We wanted to serve those that have helped us," said an alumni member. Even though all the alumni have graduated from the in-patient program, many still receive regular outpatient care at the hospital.
"I remember that my time here during the holidays was the hardest. We just wanted to come together and show some of our fellow Vets that there are other guys out there that know what they are going through," commented another alumnus. Over 20 Veterans and staff attended the luncheon.
PTRP is one of four facilities in the country designed to return a Veteran or Service Member with traumatic brain injury or polytrauma to the least restrictive environment in the community with meaningful daily activities, including return to active duty, work and school, independent living, or supported living.
To find out more about PTRP, visit the PTRP Web site.