The Soldier and the Squirrel introduces children to the Purple Heart

through a loving story of a friendship between a newly wounded soldier

and Rocky the squirrel with his backyard friends. This story began as a

blog during my first year in bed after my incident. With much

encouragement, it is now a book and has been placed in the

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum. Please watch the video

on the About page to learn for the Soldier & Rocky are changing children's






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Rebuilding America's Warriors - One Woman's Idea Changing Lives

There's something about Maggie. It's something you can't touch. A passion for our wounded that runs so deep the only way she could manage it was to create an organization providing free reconstructive surgery for troops injured at war.

Maggie Lockridge thought her work was done. She had just sold her plastic surgery recovery facility in Beverly Hills after twenty years of tending to the needs of the rich and powerful. Maggie was the best known but least acknowledged woman in town. From Hollywood to European royalty, her anecdotes of clientele could fill a book. And it has. Her book Facelift Hotel (protecting the true identities of her guests) was self-published and is now under development for a possible scripted television series. But it was a different show that would change the course of her retirement and her life.

Bob Woodruff was journaling the affects of war in his televised documentary "To Iraq and Back". But as Maggie watched the wounded troops being interviewed, she noticed something nobody was talking about. The scars that still remained.

Within weeks Maggie developed the mission and 501c3 submission for Iraq Star. A play on the words 'rock star'. If the rich and powerful can be treated like gods, why shouldn't our wounded be treated the same? With a roster of Beverly Hills surgeons, and hotels willing to lower their fees, her tool chest was ripe for making a difference. Iraq Star would pick up where the VA left off. The goal of the VA was to get the troops functional. Maggie saw young men who still wanted to date, who wanted their wives to see them as they were, and fathers who wanted their children to not be afraid of the scars.

Iraq Star flourished. Dr. Phil contacted them asking for help with Randy Gollinger, a troop in need of a prosthetic eye and orbital reconstruction. Dr. Michael Groth offered his services Pro Bono and the segment aired to national acclaim. The world saw how one woman's idea could make a difference and how one young man's life was changed forever. Randy's story was followed up on The Doctors. Dr. Phil McGraw still sits as an Honorary Board Member of the organization.

It was a time when the war was still relatively new. The influx of wounded to Walter Reed had exploded. The hospital was overwhelmed and the backlog within the VA system numbered in the hundreds of thousands. The red tape caused troops in need to crumble under the pressure of paperwork and miles logged to get treatment in far away towns. Iraq Star flew them to Beverly Hills, picked them and a loved one up at the airport, set them up at a hotel near their doctor's office, took them to their appointments or organized their transportation, paid for meals, medication, OR fees and all fees not offered Pro Bono by the surgeons or covered by Tri-Care. All with the assistance of famed plastic surgeon to the stars, Dr. Norman Leaf as its Medical Director.

Then something happened. The war expanded into Afghanistan. Iraq Star the name no longer represented its mission. A Facebook post requesting submissions for its new name. Sue Muskin at BAMC-Brooke Army Medical Center- came up with Rebuilding America's Warriors or R.A.W. The name was perfect.

Maggie is more than a philanthropist. She is a former Air Force nurse who tears up at the sight of the American flag, she is a mother of two and grandmother of five. I am responsible for four of them. And I could not be more proud of this woman who has adopted over a hundred sons and daughters over the years who have changed our lives with their determination to be pro-active when they discovered that someone truly cares about who they are - not just as troops at war, but warriors in life.

Rebuilding America's Warriors has expanded its mission to become a national network of doctors across the country so troops can now be treated for free right near their home, avoiding travel. But they are still rock stars. We are struck by their presence and awed by their stories. And know in our hearts, Maggie was a nurse and administrator to royalty to prepare her for how our returning wounded should be treated every day of their lives.

For more information on Rebuilding America's Warriors go to

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