The San Antonio Military Medical Center often has VIPs, but Wednesday, SAMMC had an out-of-this-world visit by Commander Chris Cassidy, calling from the International Space Station 260 miles above earth.
Although his web cam image wasn’t the best, the wounded warriors and hospital staff still called it a once-in-a lifetime conversation.
“Even from outer space, we were able to see what he sees,” said Master Sgt. Jesse Alderete, a wounded warrior from Port Lavaca.
The ISS commander, a former Navy Seal, was at SAMMC last year to personally speak with wounded warriors.
“You guys motivated me to appreciate all the things I enjoy every day. We all enjoy every day,” Cassidy said as the ISS hurtled through space at 17,000 miles an hour.
He promised them a return visit with the mementos he took with him into space.
Among the items he held up before the camera, “This Purple Heart that I was given by you guys,” Cassidy said.
The questions Cassidy was asked varied from the scientific research on board to the space meals the crew eats that look nothing like they do on earth.
“Shrimp cocktail is one of my favorite. Seafood gumbo is another one of my favorites,” Cassidy said. “So, lots of good yummy food to eat.”
Many seemed to agree those had to be better than MRE’s, the meals ready to eat for military members in the field.
Joseph Banales, a young member of the audience, said he was surprised by Cassidy’s answer to his question.
Banales said, “Some kids want to be astronauts but he didn’t want to be one until like he was already old, like 20.”