07 December 2006

Landstuhl Medical Staff Honored for Extraordinary Treatment of Injured Canadian Soldiers

Candace and Wendy wrote to tell me about this, which I found at The Torch via The Armorer.

U.S. military hospital exceeds 'call of duty' with Canadians: Hillier

Canada's top soldier paid tribute to a U.S. military hospital in Germany on Wednesday, saying it gave excellent medical care to more than 100 Canadian troops wounded in Afghanistan.

Gen. Rick Hillier, the chief of defence staff, presented the staff of the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl with a special Canadian Forces Unit Commendation.

"They went above and beyond the call of duty," Hillier told CBC News on Wednesday after the ceremony.

"What we saw here in Landstuhl from which our soldiers benefited was the best characteristics of humankind. We saw men and women, doctors and nurses and specialists at the hospital, who looked after our soldiers on the worst days of their lives. They looked after them as if they were their own."

At least 110 injured Canadian soldiers have been flown to the centre for treatment since Canada began its mission in Afghanistan in early 2002. Of those, about 100 have gone to the hospital in the past year.

Three Canadians soldiers who were treated at Landstuhl — Master Cpl. Paul Franklin, Cpl. Jeffrey Bailey and Pte. William Salikin — attended the ceremony where Hillier presented the award. All three soldiers, who have recovered from their injuries, were wounded in a January suicide bomb attack that killed Canadian diplomat Glyn Berry.

SAG readers may remember the three from this post, and our joint effort with Candace of Waking Up On Planet X to generate messages of support for their families during their stay in Germany.

Hillier said the hospital deserved the recognition.

"They treated them well. They gave them world-class medical care, but most importantly, as our soldiers have told me, they gave that treatment with compassion. They are remembered by our soldiers with great affection."

Hillier said the three soldiers who attended the ceremony are living proof of the care provided at the hospital.

"As the staff here told me, they often don't get to see the effect of their work in the longer term. To have those three soldiers return and to be getting on with their lives and to be so energetic and irrepressible, was inspirational to the staff here at the hospital and it was a great chance for those three men and their families to thank the staff for their work they had done on their behalf."

From the Canadian Forces Press Release:

“We have had the honour and pleasure of treating our Canadian brothers and sisters in arms, giving them the same high level of care that we provide our own wounded sons and daughters, said U.S. Colonel W. Bryan Gamble, Commander LRMC. It is an extreme tribute and privilege to accept this award from the Canadian Forces, on behalf of the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, ” he said.

Proud to stand with you, Canada!

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