The report released earlier Thursday at the Pentagon about the grim mental-health issues facing U.S. troops at war brings into focus the need for the spouse-support group at Walter Reed. It’s supported by the non-profit Walter Reed Society. Following up on Wednesday’s post, here is the latest from Gayla Romanowsky at the five-day Significant Other Support Group gathering now underway:
Today was a GREAT day! Everyday I’m excited about what the day is going to bring. What are we going to talk about today? What will we learn? I’m a sponge just waiting to soak in all the information. Today we went straight into our separate group sessions. Each group I believe have about 8 people in it. I really like it when we split up because it allows people who normally wouldn’t speak and are very quiet — to open up. No one is forced to say anything — they just speak at their own pace and when they are good and ready to tell their story.
One at a time over the past 2 days we’ve taken turns talking about our own personal story. Wednesday a couple of the ladies really opened up to the group. I looked around the room and everyone was just locked in to every word this person had to say. I was truly touched by her words and I could tell by looking around the room I wasn’t the only one. It’s amazing how much we all have in common.
The next thing we did was meet up in our big group room to do Qi Gong with Ms. Robin. I LOVE this Qi Gong….where has it been all my life? I love it so much I can’t wait to go home and have daily Qi Gong exercises with my family and even teach my co-workers! It’s amazing how something so easy and fun can really heal and rid your body of such negative stress and energy. In the past I would’ve not been so open-minded and it probably wouldn’t work or it would — but I would deny it. I truly believe because I am completely open to learning and doing anything that will not only help myself — but will help my husband — that it DOES work. My husband always says he will try anything once. I can’t believe he never taught me the Qi Gong before.
Today we had a special guest with us from CBS — I’m not sure if I can say who she was — so I won’t and we’ll just say as soon as I heard her name — I remembered her from my past. She’s a great person and I was so excited that after all these years I finally got to meet her in person. I’m looking forward to our interviews tomorrow! I’m excited mostly because I know it will bring awareness to this program. I recently found out that this program wouldn’t be if it wasn’t for monetary donations. I had no idea. I’m grateful that I am here and I have this opportunity to learn. I’m honored that all these great and strong wives are opening up to me and letting me in. You can look around our room and its like we’ve known each other forever and we just got back together for a reunion. Its amazing how much we all care for each other in just 3 days.
Today was our tour day. We started our tour with a visit to the AUSA (Association of the United States Army). All I can say is I am jealous of the Army. The Air Force doesn’t have a program like it and I wish I could start something up when I get home. What a great organization that gives back to the Army families! We also were able to do a little sightseeing and hang out with our “buddies”.
DC is absolutely beautiful! The only thing that is now hitting me is how hard it is to be away from my family. I miss Dave and the kiddos. Luckily for me I have the iPAD2 and I can FaceTime with them when I get back to the room. I give them my daily updates of what we did and then I get on my husband for not telling me about something I learned that day. Why didn’t you tell me about this??? And this??? Did I even tell you about Ms. P….I’ll just say Ms. P — I’m not sure what it is about her but all the guys LOVE this woman — she keeps them in check. If my husband thinks they are not talking about something he thinks is important — he threatens me with…I’m going to call Ms. P about that. What? Really? No really — everyone is absolutely wonderful! The staff has welcomed us with open arms and hearts. I love this program. I think I’m just excited about spreading the awareness. I truly feel “SOS” is helping me grow and I know it will help me become a better person FIRST- wife, mom, and even Airman.
Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.
Gayla “Romo” Romanowsky
“Dave Romanowsky’s #1 Fan!”
PS—I forgot to mention I slept like a baby last night. I practiced Reiki last night and it really works. I lived in Japan for 8 1/2 years—how come this is this first I’ve ever heard of this???