Tripler AMC command group steps up to the plate -- literally
December 1, 2011
TRIPLER ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Hawaii -- In the true spirit of the day, the command team, Tripler Army Medical Center, visited inpatients bearing gifts and later served staff and patients Thanksgiving dinner in the Anuenue Café, Nov. 24.
"It was an uplifting experience for me as I accompanied the commander and Mrs. Gallagher as they went from room to room talking to our patients," said Staff Sgt. Robert King, food service non-commissioned officer.
The visit to the wards was especially poignant when Brig. Gen. Keith Gallagher, commander, Pacific Regional Medical Command and TAMC, and wife Sandra, visited the Intensive Care Unit.
Flown in from Guam following hospitalization there, sixty-one year old Anthony Santos, underwent quadruple heart surgery just the day before. Already sitting up and feeling pretty chipper, the retired (30-year) Marine and former firefighter hadn't had any heart problems until recently, when he was told he needed surgery now.
"The doctors are pretty great over here, that's what got me up and Adam. Everything went very well. I'm feeling good -- I should only be here a couple of more days then I can go home," said Santos.
Following visits to every ward within the hospital, the team gathered in the Anuenue Café where they donned an apron and chef's hat and took their places in unfamiliar territory -- behind the serving line.
"I really enjoyed the role reversal. It was great for staff morale because they got to be served and it was obvious that our command team enjoyed the opportunity to serve," King said.
An addition to the team was Lourdes Acosta, daughter of Navy Capt. Jose Acosta, deputy commander for clinical services. A freshman at Sacred Hearts Academy, Lourdes accompanied her father as a means of fulfilling a community service school requirement, but came away with more than that.
"I think that it was really great to help spread the joy to the people by serving them food," she said.