Soldiers' Angels sponsored a weeked at the shore for 15 wounded service members and their families from Walter Reed Army Hospital and Bethesda National Naval Medical Center. Arriving in Point Beach mid-day Friday, they hit the beaches and boardwalk, enjoying the unrestricted time to do family things, relax and eat the Beach Boardwalk food. Saturday was a day of kite flying, amusement rides, massages, relaxing and eating. :0) They do love good food.
Friday dinner was a wonderful buffet catered by Spanos in the Lido Café. Saturday dinner was a clambake, catered by Melanie's Clambakes. Simply delicious. Many thanks go to The White Sands--hotel and spa!, Spanos, Melanie's Clambakes, Briggs Transportation and Point Pleasant Boro Fire Co #1--who jumped in and provided a place for the clambake when the first venue fell through. A marvelous time was had by all who were able to attend. More pictures when I receive them.
I'll link to Lynette's full report when it's available, but for now, I'd like to focus on one of the guests - our friend LTC Augustin Pegulescu of the Romanian Army.
(Update: Lynette's story available now here.)
Augustin spent about 5 months here at Landstuhl after being wounded on January 9, 2009 in an IED attack during a mission about 50 km south east of Lagman Base in Afghanistan. He was later transferred to Walter Reed to be fitted with a prosthetic leg.
Before being wounded, Augustin previously served in Bosnia, Kosovo, two tours in Iraq, and a prior tour in Afghanistan.
It's great to see Augustin doing so well and enjoying himself while enduring the extremely challenging work of learning to walk again with a new leg. We look forward to seeing him again at Landstuhl on his way back home to Romania after completion of his rehab at Walter Reed.
Three US Soldiers were killed in the January 9 attack which severely wounded Augustin and another US Soldier.
Fallen Americans honored by Romanian Army
Three U.S. soldiers who lost their lives were honored recently by the Romanian military. Lt. Gen. Teodor Frunzeti, PhD, Chief of Staff of Romanian Land Forces (ROULF) awarded post mortem, in a ceremony held on Jan. 16 at ROULF HQ in Bucharest, three U.S. Army soldiers who lost their lives in Afghanistan. Chief of Staff of ROULF conferred the Emblem of Honor of Land Forces to Maj. Brian Michael Mescall, and the Emblem of Merit “In Service of Peace” 3rd Class to Sgt. Jason Ray Parsons and Cpl. Joseph Michael Hernandez, “in appreciation to the esprit de corps, courage and priceless supreme sacrifice proven and dedicated together with the Romanian Land Forces’ comrades in arms in the war against terror in Afghanistan.”
“By conferring these awards, we want to express our deep respect and consideration for the supreme sacrifice made by the three soldiers in the name of freedom. As American and Romanian soldiers of Land Forces train and fight together, we also honor our heroes together,” said Lt. Gen. Frunzeti. The awards were handed over to Ms. Jeri Guthrie-Corn, the Chargé d'Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, to be sent to the families. The ceremony was also attended by Col. Kevin Leek, Chief, Office of Defense Cooperation, Lt. Col Taft Blackburn, Defense Attaché for Army, and other ROULF generals and officers.
We thank the Romanian Army for standing with us in Iraq and Afghanistan, for all of their sacrifices, and for honoring their brothers - our own Fallen Heroes.