By Ms. Gloria Montgomery (Army Medicine)April 19, 2013
FORT HOOD (April 5, 2013)--Native Texan and Warrior Transition Brigade (WTB) cadre, Staff Sgt. Guadalupe Reyes, never imagined he would be an honored guest of the Texas House of Representatives, calling it a "humbling experience" to be standing on the same dais where Texas political legend Sam Rayburn once stood.
The reality set in March 27 when the applause began after the pounding of the gavel signifying the March 20 passage of Texas House Resolution 770, which honored Reyes, as well as Sgt. 1st Class David Renteria, a WTB platoon sergeant with F Company, and Isabel Tilzey, a former Fort Hood nurse case manager, for their "vital role" in warrior care and helping Soldiers heal, especially the Soldier who started the recognition campaign: Sgt. Maj. Danny Foley, a Texas Army Reservist who is a remote care Soldier with WTB F Company.
"I felt that they needed to be recognized for the support and care that they provide to the Soldiers at the Warrior Transition Brigade. They mentored me going through my treatment because I was physically and mentally distraught. They comforted me by calling me and catering to my needs when I needed it and were very supportive to my family as well," said Foley, who had wanted to thank his F Company care team by presenting each of them with a Texas flag that had flown over the state capitol building in Austin.
But his District 50 representative wanted to do more than just give them a flag and began a campaign to not only recognize the trio on the House floor, but also to honor the Fort Hood WTB and its mission of providing "emotional and physical support to men and women who have bravely and selflessly served in defense of our nation and who have returned home in need of care."
"I was shocked," Foley said when he was contacted by Rep. Mark Strama (D-Austin) who drafted House Resolution 770 that pays tribute to Reyes, Renteria and Tilzey for performing "a service that is essential to the safety and security of this nation, and when they suffer serious injury or illness, those who provide their medical and rehabilitative care themselves render a service of immeasurable value--to the warrior, to the warrior's family, and to the country at large."
"The people on this House floor know the commitment every day that is made by our military" said Strama, "but to have it brought home to us right here on the floor made a big impression," adding that the line to shake the hands of the WTB group following the resolution adoption was the longest he had seen since the House hosted Texas native and 2012 Heisman trophy winner Robert Griffin III. "It's good to bring a story here that tells us some of the successes we are having in taking care of our men and women."
Also on the podium was Foley's command team: Maj. Edwin Aycock, commander, F Company, and 1st Sgt. Raymond Walker, the only non-Texan on the podium.
Aycock, who hails from Dallas, said those involved in caring for the nation's wounded, ill and injured Soldiers do so not for the accolades, but for the rewards.
"It's great when others recognize that it is a lot of hard work and a lot of man hours involved into bringing a person back to an operational status," he said. "And as a native Texan, it's a good thing to be recognized by the highest level of state leadership."