Jill Biden was in the Bay Area Wednesday visiting with soldiers and their families at a traumatic injury rehabilitation facility in Palo Alto.
For about an hour, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden talked and posed for pictures with three soldiers currently receiving medical and rehabilitation services at the Polytrauma System of Care facility on the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto campus.
One of the soldiers, Army Pfc. Geoffrey Quevedo, 20, of Reedley, said he arrived at the polytrauma facility just before Christmas, about a month after he was wounded by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.
Quevedo, who was awarded the Purple Heart Medal last week, lost his left foot at the ankle and left arm below the elbow in the explosion. He also suffered severe facial lacerations and multiple wounds from shrapnel.
Quevedo told Biden that he was nervous when he first arrived at the facility last month, not knowing how he would be cared for or how he would be able to recover from the severity of his wounds.
"You get real nervous, like, 'Oh my God what's going to happen to me?'" he said.
After befriending the nurses and therapists and starting the center's "system of care" that helps soldiers and their families overcome the mental and physical challenges of rehabilitation, Quevedo said he is now able to look forward to getting his normal life back.
"Walking the dog, playing with my daughter and my nephew ... I want all that back," Quevedo said. "Everybody's helping me with that."
First on his agenda was learning how to use his prosthetic arm and foot, he said.
Together with First Lady Michelle Obama, Biden started the Joining Forces Initiative, which brings attention and support to the needs of active military personnel and military families in communities throughout the U.S.
Biden called herself a "military mom" -- her son Beau was deployed to Iraq -- and said she travels regularly to military hospitals and bases around the country to speak personally with service members and their families.
After leaving the military hospital, Biden appeared at an event in San Francisco called "Apps for Heroes," a technology initiative that aims to create iPhone applications catering to the unique needs of soldiers and their families.