April 15, 2004

TOUCHING

I hadn't checked my email account in a few days, and what I found brought tears to my eyes. Some Milblogs contributors are fighting to see who can donate the most to Spirit of America. Then Greyhawk jumped in and promised part of his tax refund, and also pointed out that our wounded servicemembers in Landstuhl Regional Medical Center here in Germany are in desperate need of toiletries and essentials since they've been medevac-ed. Soldiers' Angels fired back a response:

We have sent 100 backpacks to Landstuhl filled with needed items ie socks, clothing, cd players, hygeine items att phone card
we have also sent over 100 boxes of needed items. We also are sending the backpacks to the combat hospitals in Mosul and Tikrit and EVEYONE has been used.
West Point class of 55 is donating we are trying to send more and they need it. A big call for slippers and tennis shoes, our guys are mostly coming in with no boots.
The need is great there and Soldiers' Angels would be honored to work with you in providing for the wounded.

It really touches my heart to know that so many people are donating and reaching out to our servicemembers. Now I need to go earmark some of that tax-free money the husband's been making for Castle Argghhh's contest...

Posted by: Sarah at 11:04 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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1 I just had a thought, I'll email this to Michele of ASM as well, is there one website that lists ALL of the support efforts going on - I mean, all these giving campaigns, whether for troops or for Iraqi's or whatever. It would be amazing and powerful to see a more complete list of all the things people and troops are doing.

Posted by: Beth at April 15, 2004 05:04 PM (+Q/Xw)

2 I just visited a wounded soldier at Landshtule. It has changed my life. He reccieved a backpack and they are great, but it was the last one for the day. They need so much more!!! Hope folks keep donations coming as they can help so much. However besides money, action is also despereatly needed. Go visit the hospital nearest you, and take some goodies with you for the waiting room. Go hold a soilders hand, give him a magazine, comic book, small toy, anything to help pass the time, and say thank you. Also needed are wallets. You can't buy one at this hospital, and many arrive without them as they get lost or stolen in the chaos. Thanks for putting out the word. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: Heather at April 15, 2004 05:48 PM (yTFw1)

3 Well, I don't think I'll trump anyone else's competitive donation (money is tight this month), but I was happy to donate. And great blog, by the way!

Posted by: Kimberly at April 16, 2004 12:36 PM (hkGvr)

4 Visiting the wounded soldiers and marines in Landstuhl Medical Center on God Friday the 09th April 2004 I have wondered me many times what could I do more for the soldiers and now the marines in Iraq. So I have had the idea one day to go to the Landstuhl Medical Center, in Landstuhl. Together with good friends from me we went to Landstuhl and for to say to all heroes “Thank you very much for fighting the war” and “Get well soon”, to all young American men and women who are putting their lives at risk in Iraq day for day for more as a year and now longer and nobody knows how long they have to do this. Our hours in Landstuhl have been a wonderful thing. The manager from the Landstuhl Fisher House has picked up us at the Gate 3 in front of the hospital at 2 pm. She has given us a wonderful warm hearted welcome. She is a great lady. After a short talk with her at the Fisher House, we went together with a group fight attendants from the AA-Airlines to the Hospital. They have brought to the wounded and the hospital a lot of girl scouts cookies. This was for us the first visit in a military hospital. We have had 15 empty backpacks with us, which we have given the Fisher House for the wounded patients. This is something that they need so much to carry their belongings in it. I have read to go by Air Force further, all patients need backpacks or sport bags but not shopping bags. So we are glad that we could give something to make the trip to the US for the wounded soldiers and marines easier. From Kristi from Florida, we have had with us a very large Easter basket too. She has sent it to me for to give it to a special hero. We have had luck, a SPC from Waterbury from the Connecticut Army National Guard, injured in a non-hostile incident in Iraq was in a barracks in Landstuhl. One of the officers told us that he will bring the basket to him on Easter. I will say to them, thank you very much for doing this and bring to injured soldiers a wonderful Easter basket. To lie down in a hospital far away from home and alone on a holiday is not so easy, for nobody! So we have thought we will bring 15 Easter bugs and 4 small Easter baskets with us with candies and chocolate to give it to wounded, injured or sick soldiers or marines, so we know that someone is thinking of them on Easter.For us all it was a great honour to went together with the manager from the Fisher House to the wounded marines and soldiers and to give them the magnificent and useful backpacks, which have been dispatched to Landstuhl through Soldier`s Angels Foundation, Keystone Soldiers and United Spinal Assoc. The backpacks we are given to the soldiers and marines have had a lot of good things in it - all things they need so much: Hooded Sweat Shirt, Military Brown T-Shirt, Black Sweat Pants Package of Boxers and Socks, 120 minute ATT calling card, CD Player (w/extra batteries), 1 Stick Deodorant, 1 (1.5 oz.) shave gel , 1 (2 oz.) bottle of Shampoo and Body Bath, 2 Disposable Razors, 1 (4" handle) toothbrush, with bristle cover, 1 (.85 oz.) tube of toothpaste and more goodies. I must tell you that the eyes from the marine have told me that they both were very surprised, to see the backpack and to see that people are thinking on them. And as they saw what the backpack contents, they could not believe it. But the greatest thing near all the things they need so much was the CD player, this was the best of all! It was a great thing to meet them and to see that they saw that people are looking for them. We have seen marines and soldiers lying in their beds, full of pain and with eyes filled with tears, who could not make any movement without pain. By every Hero we have visited we have seen that they appreciate our visit by them, sometimes they looked at first a little bit surprised, to see that Germans visit them and that our German group said to them “Thank you very much for the great job they all have done for us all” This was a great thing, to give them handshakes and this brought us tears in the eyes. And they told us always again and again, thank so much for doing this for us. Someone has taken his T-shirt directly out of the backback and Irene has helped him to do it over his wounded arm. Another marine told us how he was wounded in Iraq. It is always the same bad story you read day by day in the news…as he was speaking, you could see that his body was there, lying in the bed and in his thought he was fighting and wounded again. At first he has spoken normally, and step by step when he told us his story he was imaging the fight again so that he now begins to speak faster and faster and his eyes have seen the terrible pictures again. We think that all marines and soldiers were really pleased to have had a visitor. We have visited or spoken with about more as 15 marines and soldiers, in the hospital and in the Fisher House. A few have had serious medical problems I think a lot of them told me that they are going further to Walter Reed or Bethesta or to Texas for more medical care. I told them that they can give me an e-mail if they want that our group can do something for them here in Landstuhl or in Washington DC. The most of the wounded were alone there and their love ones are in the States, but a few family members have taken the opportunity to stay in the Fisher House and so they have the opportunity to look the whole day for their wounded family member. The Fisher House is a great thing. We all have seen that all the nurses, doctors, and all the other staff and the women and men from the Fisher House do a great job. Wilhelmine Aufmkolk, Germany JosephineFS@aol.com

Posted by: Willie at April 25, 2004 11:16 AM (U++a5)

5 Our second visit in Landstuhl Medical Center on 06 May 2004. I am glad that I have found new friends, who are going with me to Landstuhl Medical Center to visit our all wounded Heroes. Carolyn an American and Cristina a Spanish nurse and I we went through the hospital to say the wounded troops, “Thank you very much for all the good things they have done” and give them all greetings from the Soldiers Angels Foundation, and the KONTAKT Wiesbaden e. V. a German/American Friendship Club. We had with us a small gift for 20 Heroes, 1 T-Shirt, 1 underpants, 1 socks with a nice “Get Well Soon” card. And we have taken the e-mail cards and letters which we have received from the States with us too. Thank you very much to all the wonderful people from the States send e-mail greetings and cards for the wounded in Landstuhl. Our visit in Landstuhl Medical Center began with a short visit in the Fisher House, to look if the filled backpacks from the Soldiers Angels Foundation http://www.soldiersangels.org, are arrived. But they were not there so we must wait further until the 40 backpacks arrived. Day for day more injured U.S. soldiers arrived from Iraq to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. The hospital has been a fixture on America's military landscape for more than five decades now, serving as midway point for wounded troops returning home for more treatment. It is the greatest US military hospital in Europe. You see how the guys are stretched out in their beds sometimes with third in one room. And if you see in their faces you must not see their body, you can see in their face the whole experiences they all have made. The most of them we have visited were wounded servicemen and women have been wounded in action in Fallujah, the flashpoint in Iraq's Sunni triangle. Often their insurgents launched from the mortars and shrapnel hit their legs. We visited soldiers who are lying in their beds and they were full of pain so they could not move their body. So we have lied down the gift on the end of their beds. I was so sad to see this that so much very young man was wounded. But I found that a lot of wounded soldiers and marines were in a good mood others were sad, some were afraid but their trust against their self was great. A lot of them wore hospital clothes and it looks that they had not other things to wear. So our small gift was something what they could use. You see very young men, directly from the school going to the military, after a short time they were ready to fight the war. Often we heard that they were only a short time in Iraq and after 1 month or 3 months in battle they were wounded on their legs and other parts from their body. We have met two wounded who are going back to Iraq directly or in a few days. Others wounded soldiers and marines were going further to Walter Reed or Bethesda for more medical treatment. For a lot of the wounded troops is Landstuhl Medical Center is this not the end from any medical treatment. We went from room to room and we said thank you for the great job they have done and gave them greetings from the Soldiers Angels Foundation and from the KONTAKT Wiesbaden e. V. German/American Friendships Club http://www.wiesbaden.army.mil/PAO/KONTAKT/Kontakt.htm . On one floor the staff asked us if we have an appointment with anyone and we told her that we are coming to say “Hello” and would like to give the wounded a small gift. So she told us it was not allowed to go further on this ward. But a very young wounded in a wheel chair saw us and I would like to give him something but it was not allowed. So after a small talk with the staff there and we went back but I have given him fast his gift and his eyes would be very great and I could see in his face a great thank you for doing this. A young man from Texas told us as we asked him if we can do more for him, "chocolate", was his answer. So we have determined that we have something forgotten. We have made bags with something they all need, to go back home, but we have something forgotten for them self. Carolyn was so nice that she told him that she will bring him chocolate tomorrow. A wounded told us that he was for 20 years on active duty stationed here in Germany and he was now 1 month in Iraq as it was happened. Terrible thing and he do not know how long he has to stay now in any hospital. But they all were glad that someone were looking for them and bring something that they need. Sometimes they were a little bit astonished to see us. As a German I will say it is not a question if our government was for or against the war. It is important that anyone see that anything is to do and do it. So I am glad that I have found so much wonderful people, who are give me the opportunity to support the soldiers in Iraq and now since a few weeks in Afghanistan and the wounded in the US hospitals, Walter Reed and Brooke Texas and special here in Landstuhl Germany. I will not miss this. This is a great job I think. And I am glad that I can give something back to the Americans, who have given as enough care packages after the WWW II and much more over the years. We visited a soldier in the TV-room and he told us that he can go home in a few days and that he was glad for this. Another patient was walking over the floor with crutches as we appealed him and hand over him his gift, he was very astonished about this, but he rejoice it very much. Another story is a wounded soldier in a wheel chair drove past to us as we were talking with another wounded. He was very fast driving past, wore black sunglasses and was off! After more as an hour we met him again near the cafeteria. I have addressed him and told him that I would like to give him a small gift. He looked at me very astonished, but as he saw that I will say only thank you to him and will give him greetings from the Soldiers Angels and the KONTAKT Wiesbaden he is not longer so inhibited. As we so told and Cristina and Carolyn are coming to us too, a smile is coming over his face. He told us that he is from the 25th stationed in Hawaii and he was 3 months in Iraq before it was happened. And what was happened, you knew it of you have seen him in his eyes. His face was white and you saw in his face all the terrible experiences with his body he has made and his story was written in his face. To lose a leg, as a young man, in his best years is not so easy. In this few minutes in which it was happened has changed his life for every time. We asked him if he would like to have a coffee with us, and he said, yes. So we had a coffee with him and we have told about so much things. This was a great experience for me to see how he could smile again. Nearby the cafeteria we meet a young man he told us he has to go back to Iraq today. And his mood was great. Carolyn told to him and he asked her to walk with him together to the bus stop. She told us that he was so happy that someone went with him to the bus and he was not alone in this moment. These hours in Landstuhl were a great experience for us all. For a few staffs we have had a nice cook books in German and English with us to cook German kitchen and we saw that they enjoyed it that someone has thought on they too. We have seen again the lacks of backpacks and the normal things we all need everyday. So we think we can fill small backpacks for about 15€ (1 Euro is at the moment 1,20 $). We need about for this 1 T-Shirt 3 Euro, 1 pair socks 1 Euro, 1 underpants 1 Euro, 1 small backpack 5 Euro, for hygiene article 5 Euro and we can fill the backpacks by ourselves here in Germany. For me it is always a great thing to see how we can make the wounded troops laughing. And I am glad that I can work together with the Soldier`s Angels. Wilhelmine Aufmkolk, Germany JosephineFS@aol.com A member from KONTAKT Wiesbaden e.V., German/American Friendship Club and Soldiers Angels Foundation

Posted by: Wilhelmine Aufmkolk at May 13, 2004 11:34 AM (U++a5)

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