Dr. Biden Thanks Wounded Troops, Caregivers in San Antonio

Oct. 23, 2014 | BY Elaine Sanchez , Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs
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Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, toured the Center for the Intrepid yesterday, thanking wounded service members and caregivers for their service and sacrifice at each stop along the way.

The visit marked Biden’s third to the CFI, Brooke Army Medical Center’s state-of-the-art outpatient rehabilitation facility.

Biden’s latest visit was inspired by her trip last month to the Invictus Games, she said, an international sports event for wounded service members held in London. Her focus for this visit was on learning how adaptive sports were aiding warrior-athletes.

“I wanted to see what an amazing job they’re doing in rehabilitation,” she said, referring to the CFI patients and staff.

Biden’s first stop was to see the FlowRider, a surf machine that’s a long-standing favorite at the CFI. The machine promotes core strength and balance, and also preps some budding surfers for coveted trips along the coast of California. Biden cheered as Army Staff Sgt. Angel Perez showed off his boogie boarding skills, balancing on the rough, watery slope.

Upstairs in the physical therapy gym, Biden talked with several warriors, including Army Sgt. Cory Muzzy and his wife, Michelle. Muzzy was injured in an artillery training accident at Fort Bragg, N.C., in February, losing most of his vision, his right leg above the knee and his left leg below the knee. Biden spoke with the soldier for a few minutes, also thanking his wife for providing such staunch support.

“I wouldn’t be doing as good as I am without her,” Muzzy agreed.

A few feet away by the rock-climbing wall, Army Staff Sgt. Jen Lee greeted Biden proudly wearing his Olympic medal around his neck. Lee, who lost his left leg above the knee in a motorcycle accident, is a member of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team that took gold at the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, in March.
“The CFI opened doors for me,” he said. “I started playing sled hockey here and I was lucky enough to be good at it.”

“That’s an understatement,” Biden said with a laugh, gesturing at his gold medal.

Biden also reunited with Army 1st Lt. Kelly Elmlinger, whom she met at the Invictus Games last month. Elmlinger, from BAMC’s Warrior Transition Battalion, competed in track, field, cycling, and swimming, dominating the field in wheelchair racing and cycling in all categories.

Biden wrapped up her visit with a roundtable discussion with military spouses.

“Thank you for all you do,” she told service members, staff and family members on her way out. “You’re doing an amazing job.”