18 January 2009

The day I learned having 3 boys is almost as cool as having your own squad!

From left to right: Andy, Brian, and Steven Erly.

Well, they're young men, not boys, but that's what their mom Lisa Erly called them ;-)

We met a couple of months ago when Lisa emailed to say her husband Bill was coming to Landstuhl through a Red Cross volunteer program and the family was coming along.

Bill (Prof. William Erly, MD) is a Professor of Neuroradiology at the University Medical Center, University of Arizona in Tuscon. There are exchange programs for various kinds of civilian doctors at Landstuhl, but Bill was the first radiologist. He thought if he volunteered his services over Christmas, a doctor deployed here might be able to take leave for the holidays.

Lisa and the guys prepared for the visit by starting a drive for some of the items on our "how you can help" list, including lounge pants. Andy and Steven collected get well cards from their wrestling team and Boy Scout troop.

Some of the $1000 donation of lounge pants from the University Medical Center at the University of Arizona in Tuscon. The photo's not great, but you get the picture. That's a lot of lounge pants!

While at Landstuhl, Bill spent his time reading CTs and MRIs as well as giving some continuing education lectures for the Military radiologists.

Lisa and her sons volunteered with Soldiers' Angels. I can't believe how much we got done!

We stocked the donations shelves for the outpatients in both buildings with blankets, clothing, and personal care items. We opened and sorted an entire mountain of incoming freight. And the guys moved a bunch of REALLY heavy boxes from one storage room to another which was a huge help in getting things organized.

Lisa and her sons filled about 35 backpacks with clothing, personal care items, and get well cards AND delivered many of them to the Service Liaisons. We also made rounds to the nurses' stations and other staff bearing Christmas gifts.

In all, I think the 5 of us made 5 trips through the hospital. Imagine how many trips that would have been for one or two people! See what I mean about having my own squad?

Not only did I very much appreciate their hard work and enjoy their company, it was also a true pleasure to meet a family with such a strong sense of service to others.

Thank you to the entire Erly family on behalf of Soldiers' Angels and the patients at Landstuhl, and thank you to the University Medical Center at the University of Arizona for the generous donation!

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