Veterans Biomedical innovation. It’s a really long story, today however, I have another average day of trying to maintain my composure and work ethic as I face a day to day experience on my own in what the reality is of working a day job and satisfying the day to day demand of a biomedical device development, efficacy and acceptance. Through the prism of sacrifice and in honor of two I served with who gave all, I am the mountain.
After envisioning, creating, proving and donating hundreds of Temple Massagers to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Mothers of Military Service members (MOMS), Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), Veterans Service Organizations and individual veterans globally in hopes of honoring the service and sacrifice of PVT Curtis Young and SFC Michael Ottolini.
I went back to my old Army National Guard Armory in 2010 because I heard they were being deployed and that is where this long story all began.
I served under SFC Michael Ottolini in Delta Company 579th Combat Engineers. It was the late 90’s and I was suffering from headaches and started developing the Temple Massager to help myself. That unit was where it all began. I met with the company commander to show him the device and that I would donate however many he needed. He tried the device while sitting on an Army cot and went quiet and went quit for a few seconds. He pulled the device off of his head and asked if I could be present at the pre-deployment family support event. While at the event I saw folks I had served with that remembered me talking about the Temple Massager and when I showed them the device they were happy to see it. I donated 80 units the 579th Engineers that day. When they returned a year later I was given a letter from the company stating the Temple Massager acted as a natural form of combat stress relief. What mattered more was that on the day I was invited to be present and donate Temple Massagers a Soldier came up to me and said thank you and that he will be sending his Temple Massager home. I asked why?
He explained to me that his daughter was injured in an IED attack while serving in Iraq and she lives with him and his wife. His daughter has a hard time falling asleep and she couldn't rub her own temples because of arm damage so he and his wife rub their daughter’s temples to help her go to sleep. He was going to send his Temple Massager to his wife to give to his daughter because his wife had to take another job due to her husband’s deployment.
I explained to the Soldier that I had brought some other colors for any family and caregivers. He offered to pay me for the Temple Massager but I said no need, he insisted and I again refused to take any money. He asked why I would not accept payment and I explained that the price was already paid through the sacrifices of PVT Young and SFC Ottolini. He chose a pink Temple Massager for his daughter and he took his black Temple Massager to the Middle East with him.
It has always been servicemembers and veteran’s comments, feedback and inspiration that showed me the way. Like a beacon on a dark foggy path into the unknown of discovery, they lit my way. I took my marching orders from service members and veterans and disregrded any monetary gain.
For Curtis and Mike.