Crestron hosted the third Eagles Program dedication ceremony yesterday for the Wounded Warriors Battalion – East at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, unveiling the new home theater donated to provide comfort and entertainment for America’s heroes recovering from injuries sustained during combat overseas. The Crestron Eagles Program was conceived by Crestron President George Feldstein to honor the service and sacrifice of our wounded warriors returning home from battle.
The Bethesda Naval Hospital is part of Wounded Warrior Battalion-East, located in the suburbs of Washington, DC. It is a temporary home for marines recovering from severe injuries sustained from combat missions, sniper attacks and IEDs. Many of the wounded men and women are undergoing multiple brain surgeries, but are very optimistic and looking forward to returning to their units or starting their lives as civilians. As the Battalion motto states, they may be “down, but not out.” Every marine has big plans for a bright future, and today was an emotional day for all who participated.
Attending the ceremonial ribbon cutting were Officer in Charge Lt. Colonel Benjamin Hermantin, Gunnery Sergeant Charles Strong-SNCOIC, Company Gunny Staff Sergeant Charles Nesbitt, members of the L/Cpl Robert J. Slattery Detachment #206 Marine Corps League, and the entire Wounded Warriors Battalion. Cpl Jesse Brassart and LCpl Frank Parenti held the ribbon, while Sgt John McNamara cut it.
“We want to thank Crestron for giving us this very generous gift,” Staff Sergeant Charles Nesbitt said. “I can’t tell you how much all these marines appreciate your support and how much they enjoy the system you’ve provided.”
The marines presented Crestron with a certificate of appreciation, a photograph of the battalion signed by every marine, and two medals, which were accepted by Government Market Manager Pete Baca, USMC Ret.
“Thank you for your kind words, but we are the ones who are grateful and honored to be able to do this for you,” said Crestron director of marketing, Vincent Bruno. “You all have made great sacrifices for us — to preserve out freedom. This is merely a small token of our appreciation for all you do and are doing.” Bruno then presented Staff Sgt. Nesbitt with a gold engraved plaque.
The installation would not have been possible without the donations and efforts of industry partners. AVI/SPL installed the system, ICD did all the programming, and the other vendors kindly gave the necessary equipment: Marshall Furniture (custom cabinet), Triad (speakers and stands) and Velodyne (sub-woofer). Crestron donated an Adagio home theater system, CEN-IDOCV interface for iPod, TPMC-6X touchpanel, a 52-inch HD plasma, and a Blu-ray player.
The young men and women receiving treatment and recovering at the Bethesda Naval Hospital spend most of their days at “appointment” with doctors and physical therapists. There are occasional off-base trips and activities offered, but there is little to do at the hospital and boredom is often their biggest enemy. The new theater provides hours of fun and entertainment, and motivates the troops to gather and socialize when their not at appointments.
“Last weekend I was here watching pre-season football rather than at home,” explained Gunnery Sgt. Charles Strong. “The TV here is much better and it was more fun to hang out with some of the other guys.”
The next hospitals scheduled to receive a home theater are Warrior Transition Battalion at Brooks Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, and Wounded Warriors Battalion – West in San Diego.