WASHINGTON, D.C.--Crestron hosted the first Eagles Program dedication ceremony at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital today, 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.
“This theater system represents the largest single donation any military hospital has ever received,” explained Pete Baca Jr., USMC Ret., CTS. “They may get a thousand or even five thousand dollars, but they were amazed when I told them what we wanted to do.”
The home theater means so much more than mere entertainment to these men and women who are undergoing long-term physical and occupational therapy. “We treat the person rather than the injury,” said Colonel Terrence McKenrick, Commandant of Walter Reed. “These Warriors in Transition receive physical rehabilitation, occupational therapy and professional education so they are fully prepared to re-enter society.” The emotional aspect of recovery cannot be underestimated. Colonel McKenerick explains that socialization is vital for emotional health and a complete recovery.
“Before the theater was installed, soldiers would stay in their rooms all day with the doors closed – shut off and withdrawn from life,” recalls Col. McKenrick. “This gets them out of seclusion and reconnected with the outside world.”
The ribbon cutting was a simple celebration of valor, commitment and hope. The community room was transformed into a state-of-the-art digital home theater, adorned with banners, flowers and balloons to mark the special occasion. The more than forty “warriors in transition,” including five brave soldiers who had recently received their Purple Hearts and Bronze Stars, were overwhelmed by the technology and the generosity exhibited by Crestron and its partners.
Crestron donated an Adagio home theater system, CEN-IDOC interface for iPod, TPMC-8X Isys i/O WiFi touchpanel and a 52-inch HD plasma. Chris Wildfoerster, Director of Business Development at Crestron, called upon partner companies to contribute to complete the system. “It took just one phone call to each partner,” said Wildfoerster. “Once I explained what we were doing, everyone wanted to help.” LG Electronics, Velodyne, Triad and Marshall Furniture each contributed to this life changing gift. Jose Rodriguez of Dal-Media and Kevin Busza of ICD Systems donated their time and talents for the system installation and programming.
“We really appreciate the support and kindness that Crestron and their partners have shown us,” said Command Sergeant Major Jeffrey Hartless. “This theater makes a huge difference in the lives of our wounded warriors.”