26 July 2005

"You guys are what we are fighting for... "

This letter was recently received by Patti Bader, founder of Soldiers' Angels.

I have been chatting with one of your Angels for about a year now. Her name is XXXX and I told her about how my unit has gone through countless patrol and convoy ambushes and how we lose at least a soldier every time we go out.

I was pretty down and upset that my comrades were dying and that I was still alive. She asked for people to send me cards and letters to help cheer me up and show their support for what we are doing over here.

I just wanted to say thank you so much because I have been swarmed every day with letters and cards that come from your group and I share them with my squad and they all tell me that it really makes their day when they see how much people back home care about us and support us.

My whole squad just start crying when I show them the countless letters that I get from your group. They just can't believe their eyes when they see that so many people care that much to write to soldiers that they don't even know just to say hi and so their support. Thank you so much.

You guys are what we are fighting and dying for everyday. Thank You.

I tell my dad who is a WWII vet about all the letters that I have received from you guys and he says that it makes him smile and cry at the same time to hear of the support that the military is getting from back home. He says that he wished this group was around during Viet Nam when he had two sons over there because it would have made their day to see that people really cared for them and what they stood for even if they did not like the fact that we were in a war.

Like I said over and over again Thank You.

Proudly Serving God And Country,

SPC XXXX

25 July 2005

4th of July Visit to Outpatients at Kleber near Landstuhl

As we sit outside the barracks on this beautiful Independence Day 2005 the planes heading into Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany fly overhead. Each time, we all look up. “C-17”, comments a Soldier, “much more comfortable evac than a C-130”. “C-5”, says another, a few minutes later. Then, “another C-17”, says a Marine. Each time, we fall silent for a moment before we start talking again.

They talk about how weird it is to ride on the bus from Ramstein to the hospital on a public highway with non-Military vehicles all around them. One says, “I’m like, those vehicles are so close to us! Where the %$&§ is the gunner - why isn’t he firing warning shots at them?!?” He’s been here for two days now, so it’s funny.

I look over at a guy with a cast on his arm who’s really quiet and ask, “When’d you get here?” “A couple of hours ago”, he answers. I hand him a beer and welcome him ‘home’.

As always, they can’t quite figure out what we’re doing there. “You guys aren’t Military, are you?” “Is your husband down range?” “Are you a Military Mom?”

“Then why are you here?”, they eventually ask.

“Well, we’re Soldiers’ Angels and we’re here because we love and support you.”

A chorus of, “Wow, that’s really nice”, “Cool!”, “We get so much stuff from ya’ll down range”, “Damn… ”

Willie, Rudi, Natalie and I arrive at 10am because we know the staff are busy with new arrivals in the afternoons. We have snacks like brownies and chips in baskets decorated with red, white and blue ribbons, 5 more pictures for the Wall of Thanks, and 10 more Transitional backpacks for the hospital.


That’s Natalie on the left and me flanked by Air Force and Army.



Rudi’s probably thinking that if I have one more comment about how he’s hanging the pictures then I should do it myself...


The pictures are part of the ongoing Wall of Thanks project. Our goal is to fill the hallways of the barracks with pictures from people back home as a personal expression of thanks and support.

After we’re done we go out to the picnic table outside the barracks. Willie and Rudi have brought soft drinks, beer, and picnic baskets full of food, plates, silverware – even a tablecloth. We know there are lots of guys who don’t feel up to leaving the barracks and don’t have much to look forward to this 4th of July.


As guys come out for some sun or to smoke, we round them up. Here we are with one Soldier (in the red T-Shirt) and trying to convince another (in the background) to join us. Despite my threatening gesture with a fork Willie is able to persuade him to come over.


The group gets bigger…



… and bigger. It’s like a big backyard picnic with a bunch of strangers who come and go, but everybody has fun and is able to forget about other stuff for a little while.



It’s after 9pm and time to go. Rudi says a last goodbye and Willie gathers up all the picnic stuff.

If you would like to help support our projects for the soldiers in Kleber barracks email me.

23 July 2005

About Soldiers' Angels Germany

Soldiers' Angels Germany is a group of volunteers - military and civilians - living in Germany. We are supported by the Soldiers' Angels Foundation and many private donors.

As part of the Soldiers' Angels Medical Support Team, our mission is to support wounded and ill warriors being treated at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center facilities after medical evacuation from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Please read About Medevacs to Germany and Balad: The First Step of a Long Journey Home.

Information about wounded/ill service members (family only, please)
- Contact the unit's Rear Detachment which can provide you with information.
- Call the LRMC 24 hour number, which can be found here. Please be prepared to provide proof of identity.
- You may also email me for general information. Patient privacy laws (HIPAA) are strictly observed by Landstuhl staff and no medical information is available through Soldiers' Angels Germany.

In 2010, Soldiers' Angels Germany provided over 300 onsite volunteer days, 1500 offsite volunteer hours, and distributed about $300,000 in donations at LRMC. Donations include phone cards, clothing, Blankets of Hope, snacks, get well cards, and much more. See the links under "How You Can Help" to the right.

Shipping Information:
MTD
Attn: Soldiers' Angels
CMR 402
APO AE 09180

Important:
- Check links to the right under "HOW YOU CAN HELP" for current needs before shipping donations.
- Notify us when items are shipped.
- Include a note with your name, Email address, and short description of items sent in your packages. Without this information, we regret will not be able to confirm their receipt.
- Please allow 6-8 weeks for receipt confirmation.


Soldiers' Angels has received numerous awards, including the Department of Defense's Spirit of Hope Award and the Army's Civilian Award for Humanitarian Service. In August of 2010, Soldiers' Angels Germany received the Presidential Citizens Medal for the organization's volunteer work at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.




Please take a moment to view the Soldiers' Angels Project Overview Video which contains more information about our mission, particularly our Medical Support efforts. Created by Laurie of Soldiers' Angels New York.




Dear Maryann,


I am home now, and working hard at being Kim’s husband (you may recall that this is my current career goal!).

I just wanted to thank you and your Angels again (and again) for what you do every day to care for, uplift and honor our wounded and their families.

On my visit to Landstuhl (I stopped there twice this year to visit our wounded and thank the staff), I was so humbled by your caring attitudes and selfless service. I just wanted to say thanks.

Of my enduring memories of my life as a Soldier, there is little doubt that the way we care for and protect each other will be top of the list, and in amongst those memories will be the countless Samaritans like you and your Angels.

Thanks.

Respectfully,


CSM Jeffrey J. Mellinger

Multi-National Force – Iraq CSM Aug 04 – May 07


Photos of staff, patients, and angels at Landstuhl hospital can be found at the Soldiers' Angels Germany Facebook page.

"Support our troops, make their home worthy of them."

As Ralph Peters notes in his NY Post column today, it’s been a while since we’ve heard the latest on Army recruitment numbers. In the spring, media coverage of recruitment shortfalls was everywhere.

And now? Overall year to date, first-time enlistment and re-enlistment rates are all at over 100% of targets.

Guess we have to face it: Patriotism is alive and well. Soldiers believe in the Army, and they believe in their missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. They love their comrades, too. And yes, the word is "love." They would die for the man or woman serving beside them. They're risking their lives to save a broken state, to give tens of millions of human beings a chance at decent lives, to do the grim work that no one else in the world is willing to do.

Their reward? The Cindy Sheehan Extravaganza. Predictions of disaster. The depiction of Michael Moore as a hero and our soldiers as dupes. And a ceaseless attempt to convince the American people that there's no hope in Iraq.

The ugly truth is that much of the media only cares about our soldiers when they're dead or crippled. That's a story.

As you read this, 500,000 soldiers are on active duty because they chose to serve their country. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of Reservists and Guard members have been called into uniform. And they're all behaving as true soldiers do: Running toward the sound of the guns, not away from them.

We should be humbled by their choices, honored by their sacrifices, and proud of what they're fighting to achieve. Instead of the jerk's refrain "Support our troops, bring them home," the line should run "Support our troops, make their home worthy of them."

Our young men and women in uniform — in every service — deserve far better than we've given them.


Read the whole thing.

21 July 2005

About Medical Evacuations to Germany

(See also Balad: First Step of a Long Journey Home)

Injured and ill soldiers are normally extracted by a medevac helicopter to a U.S. Army Combat Support Hospital (CSH) at a forward field operating base or FOB. Once they have undergone surgery, if necessary, and are in stable condition, their overall condition is evaluated. If doctors there agree on the need, the patients are then transported to a level II military treatment facility (MTF). The closest is Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

There are a number of aircraft used to medevac patients to Germany, the most common being C-17 Globemasters and C-130 Hercules. (C-141 Starlifters are typically used for the medevac from Germany on to the U.S.) The C-17 is configured to carry 48 litter patients on racks along the center of the aircraft and troop seats for 40 ambulatory patients along the walls. The C-130 can be configured to carry "all litter" with racks for 70 litter patients along the walls, or "all ambulatory", or a combination.

OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM (AFPN) -- Capt. Kristen McCabe holds a soldier's hand and talks to him during his flight to Germany. The special forces soldier was seriously injured in an ambush in southern Afghanistan. McCabe is a Critical Care Aeromedical Transport Team nurse with the 438th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. (U.S. Army photo by Cpl. Keith Kluwe)



OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM -- U.S. Air Force aeromedical-evacuation technicians carry a soldier from the medical airlift staging facility at Baghdad International Airport to a C-130 Hercules. The 15 people who staff the MASF are responsible for getting sick and wounded people out of the combat environment and into a hospital where they can receive more extensive care. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cherie A. Thurlby)


Upon arrival at Ramstein AFB in Germany, the patients are transferred 5km by bus to LRMC where they are evaluated and admitted either to the hospital or to the Medical Transient Detachment outpatient facility.

The medical facilities in Germany are transitional facilities. After a short stay (3 days to 3 weeks), the patients either return to Iraq or Afghanistan or are flown to a medical facility in the US for further treatment.

To find out how you can support our injured and ill troops during their stay in Germany email me.


Two Videos about Medevac Flights to Germany



This first video shows the transport of non-critical and ambulatory patients. It starts at the CASF in Balad, Iraq. Patients on litters are taken from the CASF to the bus for transport to the aircraft. On the bus, the litters are suspended to reduce jarring during the short ride. The patients are awake and conversing with the Airmen of the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing.

Then you'll see the inside of the aircraft where the litter patients are placed on "racks". Behind the racks you can get a glimpse of the ambulatory patients who sit along the outer sides of the aircraft in troop seats. Specialized in-flight medical personnel care for the patients during flight.




This video is about Critical Care Air Transport. The CCATT, or Critical Care Air Transport Team, is made up of highly specialized personnel experienced in the in-flight care of critically injured patients with multiple trauma, burns, and other life-threatening conditions.

The first green litter you'll see holds supplies/equipment. Later a team of six Airmen carries the first patient on board the aircraft. At about the 1:52 mark you get a good look at what is required to safely transport critical patients out of theater. The patient's head is to the right of the shot. Equipment is mounted on a raised rack over his lower extremeties.

The medical equipment includes miniature versions of everything found in a typical critical care hospital environment: Complete monitoring of vital organ functions, ventilator, an electronically-controlled multi-channel infusion (IV) system, electronic wound vacs, and drains and other catheters as required by the patient's condition.

After arrival at Ramstein Air Base the patients are accompanied by medical personnel during the 5km drive to Landstuhl hospital. A few days later the process is reversed as the patients are again prepared for flight, this time from Germany to the US - the last leg of a long journey home.

Your donations - from receipt to distribution



Mail call! Mail is delivered about three times a week. Yvonne's got a big smile on her face even though she's now got her work cut out for her :-) Those large boxes are blankets and although it looks like a lot, the number of blankets shown here can be gone within two days. (All of these photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.)




The receiving room where donations are unpacked and documented.




Here volunteers are sorting mixed personal care items so they can be stored and distributed by type.




Many items are distributed as soon as they unpacked, but others move into storage. Nothing stays around long - the items in the storage rooms turn over completely about once a month. The shelves shown here have bins of knit caps, flip flops, and men's deoderant in addition to the blankets you can see.




Like most medical facilities, space is tight so our shelves are only a few feet apart. Part of the shelf to the left has a box with religious items as well as electronics like hand-held games and iPods. On the back wall you can see some blankets sorted by service branch.




Toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, razors, shaving cream, nail clippers, q-tips, combs, foot powder, deoderant, lotion - you name it, we got it (from all of you!!).




In another storage room additional blankets and travel pillows are stored in boxes stacked against the back wall, and in front of the shelves are grab bins with lounge pants.




Sweat pants and hoodies are most difficult to keep in stock, as you can see by the sparse shelves. T-shirts, underwear, and socks are stored on an island of shelves to the right in the middle of the room.




Leta unpacking a shipment of sweats.




Clothing, blankets, and personal care items are placed on self-service shelves in the laundry rooms of both outpatient barracks so they are are available 24/7. There are three sets of shelves in each building where the outpatients stay while being evaluated and treated at the hospital.




Gold Star Mom Linda Ferrara helping a patient select a blanket. He's wearing a Soldiers' Angels t-shirt he received in an SA backpack at a hospital in Afghanistan.








Linda and MaryAnn unpacking quilts.




Calling cards, blankets, travel pillows, knit caps, and other items are delivered to the hospital wards for inpatients, as well as coffee for the nursing staff.





May no Soldier go unloved,
May no Soldier walk alone,
May no Soldier be forgotten,
Until they all come home.

19 July 2005

All Sewing / Knitting Projects

Blankets of Hope. Blankets (no lap robes or knitted items, please) are always needed both in Germany and at the Combat Support Hospitals. Email me for complete information.

Knitted/crocheted items as well as lap robes for patients at VA and other long-term medical facilities in the US. Remember that many veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are in these VAs - and that the older guys there are Heroes, too! You can find detailed information here.

Knitted and sewn baby items for the newborns of deployed troops. Please visit Operation TopKnot and Operation Marine Corps Kids for information.

Knitted and fleece watch caps for both Germany and the CSHs. They must be black or other dark color and look like the examples shown here:
- Knitted Caps
- Fleece Caps

Thank you for caring about our soldiers who have sacrificed so much for us.


This information is current as of June 2011.

18 July 2005

First Response Backpacks

The Soldiers' Angels have adopted the Combat Support Hospitals in Iraq and all the Military hospitals worldwide. Soldiers’ Angels Germany supports the patients at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. See About Medical Evacuations to Germany.

The First Response Backpacks include a t-shirt, get well card, Blanket of Hope, underwear, socks, etc. Receiving these items from everyday Americans provides a level of personal support that has a very positive impact on a patient´s morale, and therefore on the recovery process.

Soldiers' Angels is requesting donations of:

Get well cards
Blankets of Hope
Phone Cards
T-Shirts (solid color, M, L and XL)
Sweatpants & Zippered Hoodie Sweatshirts (M, L and XL)
Sleep or Lounge Pants (M, L, XL)
Boxerbriefs (M, L and XL)
Socks
FlipFlops to wear while showering (men's large sizes)
Non-skid slipper socks

Please send all items to:

MTD
Attn: Soldiers' Angels
CMR 402
APO AE 09180


Please notify us when items are shipped.
- Include a note with your name, Email address, and short description of items sentin your packages. Without this information, we regret we will not be able to confirm their receipt.
- Allow 6 - 8 weeks for receipt confirmation.


First of all, I want to thank you for the great support you have given us in the form of the Soldiers' Angels Backpacks. Soldiers really appreciate the thoughtfulness that goes in to filling and providing one of the backpacks.

One soldier recently told me that if it were not for the backpack and its contents he would have had nothing to wear except a hospital gown all weekend until he could have gotten off the ward and down to the chaplain’s closet.

Thanks again for your thoughtfulness and support.


This information is current as of June 2009.

" ...even in a hell like this , God has sent yet another Angel"

From Sara of Soldiers' Angels.

Dec 18, 2003

Dear "Army Mom,"

Just wanted to take a second to tell you what happened in Iraq today. It was raining - and I was just coming in to my headquarters when when I passed by one of my newer soldiers - an immigrant from the former Soviet Union - and one of my BEST privates.

I was stopped in my tracks, for behold - on such a dreary day he was smiling. I was being funny (at first) and I said "awww you got a package with some goodies? Who sent that to you?" And as I expected to hear him say "my mom“ (or something like that) he turned his face to me and said "I don't know...." he had a smile on his face.....and as I saw his eyes glazing he said " ...that's why I was smiling" and at that my eyes began to glaze too.

I can never take for granted their service, not for one minute - not for one second. And now... even in a hell like this - God has sent yet another Angel.

I'll bet you didn't know that did you? How truly amazing - how close we come to God in such a far away place.

And how silly I am for thinking that this private's safety is for me only to keep. Seems there are many who share this burden - and make me sleep sound.

You made one of my soldiers smile today - sitting there by himself - and for that, you have touched my soul.

I'd thank you, but that's not why Angels do what they do (I know). So instead I'll just say - Well Done! You can rest easy, message received. And I'll do my best to bring them home. I owe God one ;-)

Thank you from my soul,



PS From the Fourth Army son of a mom like you no doubt.

17 July 2005

Blankets of Hope



The Soldiers' Angels have adopted the Combat Support Hospitals in Iraq and all the Military hospitals worldwide. Soldiers’ Angels Germany supports the patients at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. See About Medical Evacuations to Germany.

Angels are needed to sew blankets! These blankets have brought hope and comfort to many of our wounded heroes. If you'd like to sew Blankets of Hope, send me an email for guidelines and shipping information.

* We are requesting twin-sized fleece blankets and quilts for Germany (no lap robes or knitted items, please). Minimum width 45", minimum length 60". Thank you. *

(For information about lap robes and other knitted/crocheted items for patients at long-term medical facilities in the US, please send an email to the Crochet Team.)




“Dear Angel,

I got shot in the foot and I got your blanket in a backpack… I do not mind going back to my unit knowing I am fighting for people like you… “




Wanted to pass this on to you about Jeff, the injured Marine.

He was sent to Germany, then to a hospital in Maryland for further repair and rehab. His folks were flown to Maryland last Wednesday and returned Sunday.

At work the next day, his Mom told me Jeff had his BLANKET with him! She said that it was practically the only thing he had with him when he arrived in Maryland.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!

God Bless you for making sure he got one of your blankets. You're a blessing to those soldiers and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Kim




"If it had not been for your support I would have had nothing.

I know that a blanket may not seem like much back home, but here it can make a lot of difference.

You will never know how much you helped me."




Dear Ms Bailiff,

One of your blankets today went to a wounded soldier who lost his friends. It is heartbreaking to listen to him talk about his friends and the incident.

The blanket has a special meaning to him, and although he has a long road to recovery, I know he will never let it go. Your display of compassion and patriotism means so much to them.

It was indeed an honor to pass on the blanket to this soldier who placed everything on the line to protect our freedom.

MAJ C. M., 10th CSH (Combat Support Hospital)


This information is current as of June 2011.

Godspeed SGT Brian Romines

American Pride

This is about the homecoming of a young soldier lost about 3 weeks ago. It was written by the commander of the unit back home, and read to SGT Romines’ company in Iraq. It is posted here with permission.


Sir,

I just wanted to give you a brief about the return of the body of Brian Romines last night from St Louis, MO. At the St Louis airport, the fire fighters and the department showed up with their trucks and in respect, they fully extended their ladders and crossed them with a flag in memory of SGT Romines.

They left there in a motorcade and travelled on I64 to I57 in Mount Vernon. In Mount Vernon, IL as the motorcade drove down the interstate they were greeted by what appeared to be several hundred people on the Mt Vernon overpass each supporting a US flag and each person was either saluting or had their hand over their heart. It was an awesome show of respect.

Once the motorcade passed under the overpass, they were met by 50 to 60 motorcycles, which lined the shoulder of I57. Once the hearse passed, all the motorcycles fell in behind the motorcade becoming one massive convoy. Semi trucks and cars were pulling over to let us pass and some got out of their vehicles on the side of the road and in various ways showed their respect. It was truly a very emotional experience to see all the bikes two wide and in one long convoy and it was even very surprising to see that no cars travelling on the interstate broke the line. I noticed that many guys from the unit were in the motorcycle convoy in civilian attire. We travelled down the interstate with the state troopers in front and behind, lights flashings.

About 10 miles into the trip we encountered an overpass that was lined with police cars, lights flashing and the police officers were on the edge of the railing saluting our convoy as we passed. Each overpass for many miles was very similar; they were lined with people, law enforcement, or fire fighters each doing what they could to show the Romines family and their son Brian Romines the utmost respect.

As we travelled, the convoy grew. At many entrance ramps, motorcycles were waiting and they joined us as we passed. Starting at the West Frankfort exit, it was very similar to the Mt Vernon experience, fire trucks lined the overpass, signs were posted, flags were flying, lights flashing, and a large crowd had gathered. Every 10 to 15 miles police cars were in the Interstate medium with their lights on as well, officers were either waving or saluting.

Once we changed from I57 to I24, we ran into a major car accident, which had the traffic backed up for many miles. Our police escort drove on the shoulder of the road passing the 3 mile long traffic jam with, at this point, about a 100 bikes in tow. Reaching the accident scene the fire fighters and officers at the accident stopped what they were doing and held their helmets and hats over their hearts as we maneuvered through the wreck. At this time, it was getting dark and being at the back of the pack it was impressive to see the long trail of motorcycle tail lights flowing back and forth, up and down with the curves and hills of the road.

The trip from the interstate to Anna was equally impressive. Many residents on the motorcade route had gone through the trouble of putting up signs and flags. Each little town that we travelled through reminded me of a night time parade; the only difference being that the people lining the streets were somber and for the most part, were holding their hand over their heart or holding lit candles. Cars lined the night streets with their flashers blinking. For the country roads between the small towns, we encountered many residents that had set up near the road and waved as we passed, again many with lit candles.

We entered Anna around 10:30pm and it appeared as if the entire community had come to be present for the arrival of SGT Romines and his family. Channel 3 and channel 12 news were present with their big trucks and cameras. The long line of motorcycles converged into one very long line, each bike took his turn stopping at the side of the crying mother, and each received a hug from a most grateful family.

From there the bikes parked in an assembly area and the riders formed a horseshoe mass around the front of the funeral home. Our uniformed soldiers then appeared at the back of the hearse and very professionally removed the coffin from the car and proceeded to move it into the funeral home. They did an outstanding job, you would have been proud of them. Once inside the crowd of several hundred remained outside and you could have heard a pin drop for the first 30 minutes.

I was awestruck from the entire experience. At some point around the 30 minute mark, an older woman just could not hold it any longer and she just started balling. Loud enough to be heard for blocks. That is all it took to start a chain reaction that opened up the watery flood gates. It only took one split second and it seemed as if the entire crowd teared and up and begin to cry. I had to walk away to keep from being overwhelmed by the event myself. I noticed many tough-guy types walking away for the same reason, each looking uncomfortable in the process.

I would say that the entire experience from Mt Vernon to Anna was the most humbling experience that I have ever had.



Godspeed, SGT Romines. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.

14 July 2005

LRMC Contact Information and Post Access

LRMC Website Main Page

Contact Information
24 hour information
DSN: 486-8106
CIV: 06371-86-8106
CIV from the US: 011-49-6371-86-8106


Information about wounded/ill service members (family only, please)
- Contact the unit's Rear Detachment, which should be able to provide you with information.
- Call the LRMC 24 hour number above. Please be prepared to provide proof of identity.
- You may also email me for general information. Patient privacy laws (HIPAA) are strictly observed by Landstuhl staff and no medical information is available through Soldiers' Angels Germany (about us).

You may also wish to read About Medevacs to Germany and Balad: The First Step of a Long Journey Home.


Landstuhl Post Access - Military ID required.

There are several ways to access Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. However, there is only ONE way to enter Landstuhl by vehicle, through Gate 3.

To Gate #3, from direction Mannheim via Autobahn 6: Note Landstuhl Autohof 1,000 meters as warning that exit is near. Take exit #13 Landstuhl/Ramstein/Miesenbach/Air Base. At end of exit ramp (stop light), turn right toward Landstuhl. Go straight to the end of the road. Take a right at the light (follow signs to Hauptstuhl, US Hospital), pass Kaufland Store on the right and go through the traffic circle (direction Alle Richtungen). Continue straight till you see signs to US Hospital/Reha Zentrum, take a left and go straight (about 3 kilometers) till you see signs to US Hospital. Take a left and continue to go straight till you see the gate.

- OR -

To Gate #3, from direction Mannheim via Autobahn 6: Note Landstuhl/Ramstein/Miesenbach/Air Base as warning that exit is near (you will take the next exit). Take exit #12, (62)Pirmasens/Trier/Birkenfeld/Kusel. Once on the exit ramp follow direction Pirmasens (62). Once on (62), follow direction Pirmasens/Landstuhl, then direction Landstuhl Atzel. After about 4 kilometers take exit #11, Landstuhl Atzel/US Hospital/Martinshöhe. Turn left. Go straight about 1.5 kilometers until you come to a V in the road then turn right. Go straight for about 1.5 kilometers then turn right. This road will bring you to Gate #3.

For map click here.

Landstuhl Regional Medical Center

LRMC Website Main Page

Contact Information
24 hour general information
DSN: 486-8106
CIV: 06371-86-8106
CIV from the US: 011-49-6371-86-8106

Information about wounded/ill service members (family only, please)
- Contact the unit's Rear Detachment which can provide you with information.
- Call the LRMC 24 hour number, above. Please be prepared to provide proof of identity.
- You may also email me (family members only, please) for general information. (Alternate email address here.) Patient privacy laws (HIPAA) are strictly observed by Landstuhl staff and no medical information is available through Soldiers' Angels Germany (about us).

See About Medical Evacuations to Germany for general information about the medevac process and videos of medevac flights.


* * *

Medical evacuation flights to Ramstein AFB in Germany take about 5 hours from Iraq and 7 hours from Afghanistan. From there, patients are brought to nearby Landstuhl hospital.

The Landstuhl hospital is for service members with serious injuries or illness requiring surgery and hospitalization. The average stay is under a week before being stabilized and sent on to a military hospital in the US or transitioned to the MTD outpatient barracks right next to the hospital.

The Medical Transient Detachment (MTD) houses outpatients with less serious injuries or illnesses not requiring hospitalization, or for those transitioned out of the hospital after treatment. There may be about 100 outpatients staying for an average of 7-14 days before being flown home to the US or back to Iraq, Kuwait, or Afghanistan.

In 2010, about about 10,000 sick and injured patients were aeromedically evacuated to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center from Iraq and Afghanistan.

LOCATION
Landstuhl Post is a permanent U.S. Military installation located in the German State of Rheinland-Pfalz, 5K south of Ramstein Air Base. See Contact Information and Post Access.

POPULATION SERVED
As the largest American hospital outside of the United States and the only U.S. Medical Center in Europe, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center provides primary care, tertiary care, hospitalization and treatment for more than 245,000 U.S. military personnel and their families within the European command. It is also the evacuation and treatment center for all injured U.S. Service Members and contractors as well as members of 44 coalition forces serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa Command, Central Command, European Command and Pacific Command. With a staff composed of more than 2,000 military and civilians, LRMC has approximately 150 physicians, 250 nurses and 40 Medical Service Corps officers.

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS
LRMC has played a major role in many world events. Today, LRMC provides medical treatment to casualties injured during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation New Dawn in Iraq. LRMC treated the victims of the USS Cole bombing in October 2000. The hospital has also played a integral part in the repatriation of the three American soldiers who were taken prisoners of war in Yugoslavia in March 1999, and treated American and Kenyan victims of the U.S. Embassy bombing in Nairobi in August 1998. In 1994, it served as the treatment point for hundreds of Bosnian refugees injured in the Sarajevo marketplace bombing, as well as treating victims of the 1988 Ramstein Air Show disaster, and the victims of the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine Corps Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. During Operations Desert Shield and Storm in 1990/1991, more than 4,000 service members from that region were treated at the facility, and more than 800 U.S. Military personnel deployed to Somalia were evacuated and treated here. Elements of the hospital went to Rwanda during the crisis there. LRMC is a major fixed medical facility assisting in the Balkan operations (Operations Joint Endeavor, Guard, Joint Forge), and the peacekeeping operation in Kosovo.

12 July 2005

Phone Cards for Wounded Warriors


The Soldiers' Angels have adopted the Combat Support Hospitals in Iraq, Afghanistan, and all the Military hospitals worldwide. Soldiers’ Angels Germany supports the patients at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. See About Medical Evacuations to Germany.

One of the most requested items for injured and ill service members transitioning through Germany is phone cards.

Phone cards used at medical facilities in Germany do not need to be international or global, as the patients call through DSN (military network) phone lines.

You can donate AT&T 60-minute phone cards directly to patients in Germany by purchasing at the Soldiers’ Angel Store and using our APO shipping address in Germany. Price includes shipping, and purchases made at the SA store are tax deductable.

If you are a Sam's Club member, this 15-card pack of 60-minute AT&T phone cards is an excellent value at $31.23.

Also, AAFES is now selling Prepaid Phone Cards to everybody! Handy "Units vs. Minutes" chart, info on buying for a specific military member or to make a donation, "Ship to Shore" prepaid cards, etc.

And (sad to say) do not itemize "phone cards" anywhere on the outside of your envelope, package, or customs form.

Our shipping address in Germany:

MTD
Attn: Soldiers' Angels
CMR 402
APO AE 09180

Important:
- Please notify us when items are shipped.
- Include a note with your name, Email address, and brief description of items sent in your shipment. Without this information, we will be unable to confirm their receipt.
- Please allow 6 - 8 weeks for receipt confirmation.

I would like to take this opportunity to present you with our heartfelt thanks for your donations of backpacks and phone cards. The Chaplains’ office ran out of phone cards today, and your timely donation of 20 phone cards delivered by Anne Patton-Villalobos yesterday, and the 60 I received in the mail today have kept us in business and kept soldiers in touch with their families.

I cannot express enough our gratitude for your generosity. Please know that your efforts are appreciated in the truest sense of the word.


This information is current as of June 2011.

“How we live our life is more important than how long we live”

Soldiers’ Letters from Iraq

Earlier this year Willie received heartbreaking news from one of “her” Soldiers in Iraq. The family of an Iraqi Soldier with whom he trained had become victims of a terrorist bomb attack. The Iraqi Soldier's wife and one of his daughters sustained burns while the other daughter, a 2-year old, later died of her injuries.

Willie offered to send condolence letters from fellow Soldiers’ Angels:

"...Thank you, Willie, for your condolences and prayers. I am sure that Maria's parents would appreciate the gesture…. Of course there is nothing that we can do to replace their loss, but like everything in life there is something to be learned or reaffirmed from this.

To me, the lesson is that life is precious like freedom and should never be taken for granted. We should always enjoy the company of our loved ones and friends and not fret over silly things that can cause problems because we can never know when our time will come. "Don't sweat the small stuff!" I was told, and that means there are things in life more worthwhile than worrying about stuff.

I think that how we live our life and those other lives we touch along the way is more important than how long we live. Maria lived a short life, but she touched a lot of people along the way. She will not be forgotten, and her legacy will live on through how we conduct our lives and exercise our right to be free."

So life goes on in this part of the world. Just gotta stay focused and continue to try and make a difference....."


Recently, Willie received an update from the Soldier:

"... I received them (your condolences letters) about three weeks ago and I posted them a couple of days after I got them. I posted them for the rest of the soldiers in our bunker to see how people from all over support the Iraqi soldiers, and I also wanted our Iraqi interpreters to read the letters to know that not only do U.S. soldiers get letters of encouragement from the U.S., but so do Iraqi Army soldiers too. Please convey my sincere thanks and appreciation to all the "angels" and people who took the time to write. Another U.S. soldier who works directly with the Iraqi soldier who lost his daughter made sure that the letters got to him and his unit...."


lettersia

Condolence letters to an Iraqi soldier on the loss of his daughter in a terrorist bomb attack with Arabic translations. They were posted in the bunker of a US unit tasked with training Iraqi forces.


Just one of the many examples of the sense of compassion that separates us from the terrorists. Thank you, Soldier. And thank you, Angels and Friends.

Read more about this Soldier's unit, the Konohiki Task Force, in this March 24, 2005 article in The Honolulu Advertiser. The TF is a group of Hawai'i National Guard and Reserve soldiers who are living and training with Iraqi soldiers. At the time the article was written, little Maria had not yet succumbed to the injuries sustained in the terrorist firebombing.

05 July 2005

Patriot Guard Ride for LT Garrison Avery, cont'd

... back to Patriot Guard Ride for LT Garrison Avery, part 1

Before we left the coffee shop parking lot we had been told by our ride captain that we would not have a police escort for this funeral so we were basically on our own and would have to stop for traffic lights and that sort of thing - no one seemed to mind, because why we were there had nothing to do with whether or not we had a police escort.

As the bikes started forming staggered lines to get out into traffic, a van pulled across the oncoming traffic lanes for us and a woman got out and stood in the road to let us all go -- with the window of our truck cracked open, I could hear people cheering and honking their horns in support - they knew why we were there.

It was about 3 miles from the rendezvous point to the church, and all I could think, was man, this is it... I am going to see these "uninvited guests" as they are called by some, or the "Topeka Twinkies" by others. Either way, we were confirmed at the briefing that they would in fact be there, even though they had only been given a 30 minute permit to protest. I realized in that 3 mile ride, that I really and truly didn't want to see them. Not even for the "gawk" factor - I had neither need nor inclination to see those people. I was too focused on why we were there - the thought of seeing them physically disgusted me -- my mission was clear: to see this family into the church and help them get through this day.



pgr_avery_2


The unofficial count of bikes today was 246 -- most of whom had 2 on board -- and 14 "cages" (cars/trucks), most packed to capacity -- we got out of the car, our flags in hand, and moved to the lines of other Guard Riders who were lining the sides of the street in anticipation of the family's arrival. We were also told that there would not be a casket at this funeral. The Ride Captain got in the middle of the street and called everyone to attention - out of I don't know how many people, total silence fell at the Captain's word. We stood there, listening to him speak, flags of all sizes waving in the air, representing all branches of the military -- and without warning, he introduced us to Lt Avery's father, Gary and 2 brothers, Clinton & Jonathan.

His father seemed very strong, but you could tell by looking at him that his grief was taking its toll on him. He spoke to us in a loving tone, a few times hearing his voice crack -- thanking us for standing there out in the cold, thanking us for our support, and thanking us for being part of this day.

Thanking us.

This man has lost a son, the other 2 men lost a brother, and his wife of 8 months lost a husband, immeasurable loss... and they were thanking us. At that point, the governor of Nebraska and one of the Senators made their way to the center with the Avery family, they too thanked us for being there in support, making it easy to not pay attention to "those people". They then introduced another family who was in attendance supporting the Avery family -- a family who just 2 months before had lost their son and brother in the war -- they had not met before this, but they now shared a bond that runs far deeper than blood.

We were then told that the Avery family had invited us all to come into the church and be a part of the service after the Governor made his way into the church -- they had hot coffee brought in for us, and when we made our way into the church lobby, there were some extended family members who were there with us - they were randomly shaking hands and thanking us for being a part of this day, honoring their family in this way.

The captain came out and advised us that the family would be making their way through the lobby and to make 2 lines of people as an honor guard to stand at attention when the family comes through. I stood there, the 2nd person away from the door, my flag in hand and all at once, my mind just flowed over with thoughts. At this point, I didn't know that Lt Avery had been married -- I knew small bits and pieces about him, I couldn't imagine the feeling of loss.

This person that I didn't know at all -- I started to think about what it would be like to take someone that I cared about and make it so I could never see or hear or touch them again & my insides started to hurt.

That's when I saw his father again, but this time, he had his arm wrapped tightly around his mother, and they started to make their way across the lobby. Wow is the only word I can use to express how badly my heart weeped for them -- the Captain called the Patriot Guard to attention, people who were previous military saluted, others covered their hearts with their hands -- I think that this made it real for his mom... she wasn't crying before she started walking through us, but by the time she reached the sanctuary doors, I could see the tears streaming down her face. The next 3 people in line were Lt Avery's 2 brothers, who stood on either side of his Widow Kayla.

Some of the guard went upstairs to the balcony to watch the service, but anyone who knows my issues with heights, we stayed on the ground level and watched the service on the closed circuit TV. I watched family members talk about him, not just about him being a soldier or a hero, but him being a good kid in school and someone who knew how to get what he wanted -- They showed a montage of photos of Lt Avery from his childhood all to his graduation from West Point, to his wedding day -- I became a part of this person -- rather, this person became a piece of my heart -- his widow --

I stood there watching the service with Tony standing right next to me, and he could tell that I was thinking about something else, and asked what it was... as I tried to get the words out, I felt my voice breaking and my eyes start to sting, and even now as I sit here and write this, I have a knot in my throat and my eyes burn -- I can't imagine what his wife is going through -- hell right now must seem like a vacation compared to what she is going through inside.

Knowing that there was no goodbye - no last I love you - no last kiss... just a voice coming through a rickety line at the phone center of whatever FOB he was on... There was no casket to rest her head on as she wept -- There was no body brought back from Iraq... all she had was a confirmation of his death and a headstone in a memorial garden to visit. I can't imagine that profound level of pain... I mean, what do you say to her... all you can say is "I am so sorry" and be there. And we were.



pgr_avery_3


When the service ended, we packed up the rider who came with us and gave our fellow riders a windshield just like we'd done on the way up - we had all forgotten about Fred Phelps and his "church", our reason for being there had been carried out -- our mission accomplished. One thing did strike me on the way home though - the rider who had broken down and ridden up with us said from the backseat - if there was ever a good reason to come out of what Phelps does, it brought all of us together, and I know from the bottom of my heart, that even when there is no more Fred Phelps, we will still be here, supporting our fallen heroes and their families, because that is our mission, and we will Ride on until each one comes home.

Go Rest High on that Mountain Lt Avery --- Your work on Earth is done.

GodSpeed. Take care everyone.

Ingrid



Grey Eagle has a tribute page for LT Avery here.

Find out more about the Patriot Guard Riders.

From JournalStar.com in Lincoln, Nebraska: Fallen soldier honored; protesters kept away

... back to Patriot Guard Ride for LT Garrison Avery, part 1..