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MISSION COMPLETE …


Soldiers bow their heads in prayer before they move inpatients from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

Mission Complete! D.C. Chapter of the Free Republic has completed over 330+ Friday Nights of standing guard at the gates of Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

The regular Friday nights started April 15, 2005, as a counter protest to Code Pink which was demonstrating against the wounded at Walter Reed.
Code Pink’s protests were anti-military, some signs were vile, and had no place in front of Walter Reed Army Medical Center where severely wounded soldiers were brought to recover. The early days were confrontational until January 20, 2006, when the DC Chapter of Free Republic took over all four corners at Walter Reed’s front gate.
This meant that families of wounded warriors and the wounded warriors themselves did not have to see anti-military protesters as they were entering or leaving Walter Reed.
The FReepers have been there for the troops and their families for 330 consecutive Friday evenings to insure that Code Pink protestors did not return to the front gates of Walter Reed. “They didn’t!”

“Over the years, more than 200 Free Republic members and "lurkers" have spent multiple evenings at these Friday night rallies. And over two thousand additional Americans from all over the country have visited with us on their travels to DC. On September 9, 2009, almost 700 visitors were with us at the front gates of Walter Reed!”

As the FReepers say, “Our presence has not been a commitment, but an honor in which we have been privileged to participate.” Their presence has been meaningful, “Walter Reed staff, officers, wounded warriors’ family members, and, especially the wounded warriors themselves, have repeatedly told us how important our presence has been to their morale.” A writer of an early After Action Report summed up our mission as: “Lifting the spirits of our war-wounded heroes is what we aim to do.”

One of the last patients leaves Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Aug. 27, 2011, for the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., marking the end of an era before the two flagship hospital merge


The FReepers stood strong for last time on Saturday, August 27 at the gates of Walter Reed as the transfer of the final wounded warriors and patients took place.


Supporters from the D.C. Chapter of Free Republic send off the final patient from Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

As the Red Cross flag comes down from the front of the hospital, it signals the final closing of the iconic medical center. "The Red Cross flag is the symbol of health and healing, and symbolizes the end of physical patient care at Walter Reed," said Colonel Coots, the Walter Reed Healthcare System Commander.


Army Command Sgt. Maj. Rodolfo R. Delvalle, center, marches with honor guard members as he holds the U.S. flag after it was lowered for the final time at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Aug. 27, 2011. Delvalle is Walter Reed's command sergeant major. DOD photo by Sebastian J. Sciotti Jr.

Now the corners are silent and empty on Friday evenings for the first time in almost 6 and a half years. All the wounded service members and WRAMC staff have been transferred to WRNMMC-Bethesda or Ft Belvoir. The FReepers’ mission, to support the troops and their families at Walter Reed Army Medical Center has come to an end.

MISSION COMPLETE! THANK YOU D.C. FREEPERS!

Navy Rear Adm. Matthew L. Nathan (center), the commander of the National Naval Medical Center, greets one of the last 18 patients being transferred from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. Aug. 27, 2011, to what will become the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. (Defense Department photo/Donna Miles)

For more info go to http://www.army.mil/article/64422/Walter_Reed_inpatients_move_to_Naval_Medical_Center_in_Maryland/