27 August 2011

The End of an Era: Last patients transferred from Walter Reed to Bethesda

Earlier today the remaining inpatients at Walter Reed were transferred to the combined National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda. The transfer was moved up a day due to the approaching hurricane. More than 100 inpatients were moved without incident and the flag was lowered for good at 102-year-old Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

26 August 2011

Prayers for Sgt Jamie Jarboe

You only need to watch this video to know what type of people Jamie and Melissa Jarboe are.

On April 10, 2011, Jamie was shot by a sniper while on patrol in Afghanistan. The round went through his neck, damaging his trachea and fracturing his spine. The Jarboes have been told that Jamie will be a quadriplegic, but the biggest challenges to his recovery have been complications with his damaged trachea and esophagus, as well as infections.

Today my heart sank when I read Melissa's latest entry on their CaringBridge and Facebook pages:

Before Jamie was put on ventilator, I kissed his lips, told him I love him n I'll always be by his side, told him I give empowerment to Our Lord n we will follow his path, Jamie smiled n said yes I give my worries to God n then they sedated him... Jamie may be Septic, he will heavily sedated n kept unconscious so the machines can help him rest... We know God is in control and our life was created for this moment...

I had to ask the doctor if Jamie has sepsis... his answer was 'Yep'.

Both Jamie and Melissa have been incredibly strong for these many months, but they need your support now more than ever. Please take a moment to lift up this beautiful and brave young couple in prayer. You may also leave a message of support and encouragement at their Facebook page or CaringBridge page.

Update, 21 March 2012: Godspeed Sergeant Jamie Jarboe

25 August 2011

Final Comfort

U.S. Army Flight Medic Brandon Lowther (l.) holds the hand of a fatally wounded U.S. Army Soldier as he is airlifted by the Medevac helicopter of 159th Brigade Task Force Thunder on August 24, 2011 to Kandahar Hospital Role 3. Two U.S. Soldiers were heavily injured by gun shots and brought to the hospital. Photo: Johannes Eisele AFP/Getty Images.

23 August 2011

Task Force Thunder MEDEVAC

U.S. Soldiers gather next to a destroyed vehicle as their wounded comrades are airlifted by a MEDEVAC helicopter from the 159th Brigade Task Force Thunder to Kandahar Hospital Role 3, on August 23, 2011. Three Soldiers were wounded while their vehicle was destroyed up by an Improvised Explosive Devise. Photo: Johannes Eisele, AFP/Getty Images.

U.S. Soldiers carry a wounded comrade to a MEDEVAC helicopter from the 159th Brigade Task Force Thunder, to be airlifted to Kandahar Hospital Role 3, on August 23, 2011. Three Soldiers were wounded while their vehicle was destroyed up by an Improvised Explosive Device. Photo: Johannes Eisele, AFP/Getty Images.

U.S. Soldiers gather near a destroyed vehicle and protect their faces from rotor wash, as their wounded comrades are airlifted by a MEDEVAC helicopter from the 159th Brigade Task Force Thunder to Kandahar Hospital Role 3, on August 23, 2011. Three Soldiers were wounded while their vehicle was destroyed up by an Improvised Explosive Device. Photo: Johannes Eisele, AFP/Getty Images.


Semena, a ten-year old wounded Afghan girl is carried by U.S. Army medic Stephan Flynn to a MEDEVAC helicopter of 159th Brigade Task Force Thunder to be airlifted to a Kandahar hospital, Aug. 21, 2011. The girl was wounded by shrapnel on both arms. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images.

Veteran and Entrepreneur Nick Palmisciano Appointed to Soldiers' Angels Board of Trustees

Veteran and Entrepreneur Nick Palmisciano Appointed to Soldiers' Angels Board of Trustees

New Trustee Brings Marketing Skills to Military Support Nonprofit

PASADENA, Calif., Aug. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Soldiers' Angels announces the appointment of veteran and entrepreneur Nick Palmisciano to its volunteer Board of Trustees. Palmisciano will apply his proven skills in branding and marketing to improve fundraising and help the organization better tell the story of the powerful impact its hundreds of thousands of volunteers have on military personnel, veterans and their families.

A graduate of West Point, Palmisciano is a former U.S. Army officer, Fortune 100 employee and successful entrepreneur. He is the Founder-CEO of online-based Ranger Up Military and MMA Apparel, associated military content site The Rhino Den, and social media/guerilla marketing management company Wombat Vengeance, LLC. He also founded nonprofit Train the Troops MMA, which brings world-class Mixed Martial Arts athletes to deploying military personnel for extra hand-to-hand combat training.

Soldiers' Angels appreciates Palmisciano's years of active support and welcomes his increased involvement as a new Trustee. "We are excited and thrilled to have Nick on board, and look forward to the new dimension he brings to Soldiers' Angels," says Founder and CEO Patti Patton-Bader. "His strong record of entrepreneurial and online development will help us continue to meet the needs of military personnel, wounded heroes, veterans and their families."

Palmisciano was impressed with Soldiers' Angels from the moment he heard about the organization while visiting wounded warriors at Walter Reed. In the three years since, his admiration and association have grown and he is excited to be directly helping an organization he believes is unique in the military support field. "This is an organization asking individuals to help these troops personally: by writing a letter, visiting a hospital, making a quilt, or donating to very specific causes," he says. "This is an organization telling Americans that one person can make a difference and asking them very clearly to be that person."

After serving in the U.S. Army from 1998-2003 and leaving as a Ranger-qualified infantry captain, Palmisciano completed his MBA and spent five years in development/acquisitions, sales and branding for John Deere before entering the entrepreneurial world fulltime. He holds an MBA from Duke University Fuqua School of Business and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Soldiers' Angels is a volunteer-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing aid and comfort to American military personnel, veterans and their families. www.soldiersangels.org

SOURCE: Soldiers' Angels

17 August 2011

"Heartbreaking and uplifting": Air Evac Shows Commitment to Wounded

"There is a huge effort going on in Afghanistan and we've got to take care of these guys. I don't think the public really knows how many people are getting injured over here."

- Lt. Col. Terry Lonergan, a critical care transport doctor from the 59th Medical Wing at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, deployed to the 10th EAEF.

Another great video and story at Military.com.

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan – It is at once heartbreaking and uplifting; and it reveals the best of the US military while showing the worst and what they face.

Within the huge cargo bay of the C-17 Globemaster III the sick and wounded of the Afghanistan war sit in seats along the bulkhead or lay on litters bolted to the floor. Most of the servicemembers being evacuated on a recent morning flight could move on their own, but more than a half-dozen had to be carried aboard.

The aeromedical evacuation flight out of Bagram is just part of the long journey home for the war's wounded and sick. For many the medical treatment that began at a forward operating base led to air evacuation by a C-130 Hercules, the venerable cargo carrier that may also be configured for medical transport.

Craig is a level 3 facility which can provide the same quality of care and treatment you'd expect to find at a good U.S. hospital.

For those who can't be fully treated there, doctors and nurses ready them for air transport to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, and the U.S. aboard the Globemaster or even a KC-135 Stratotankers. The tankers, though much smaller than the C-17, are able to carry cargo as well as fuel.

The aeromedical flights within and out of Afghanistan, and medical care provided all along the way, mean that 95 percent of troops still alive when they reach Craig will survive, officials say.

But even when the odds are grim, the effort to help critically wounded servicemembers testifies to the dedication of the medical teams. That was apparent in one case on a recent flight by a team of four captains whose sole mission was to sustain a single Soldier en route to Landstuhl.

The wounded man was comatose and both his legs were gone; the team regularly checked the array of tubes, instruments, bags and monitors stacked on a special tray that straddled his litter.

16 August 2011

Remembering Mike Stokely

SGT Mike Stokely
KIA 16 AUG 2005 near Yusufiyah Iraq

My thoughts are with you and your family today, Robert. We'll always love and remember Mike.

Part of Mike's legacy - Hughes, Ark., native, Staff Sgt. James Robinson, Company C, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, hands out school materials donated by the Mike Stokely Foundation at a school in Mullah Fayad, March 27. (U.S. Army photo/Staff Sgt. Tony M. Lindback)

12 August 2011

On a 'Band Aid' Flight in Afghanistan

"We want [people] to know we are giving the best care possible to the nation's sons and daughters."

- Lt. Col. Sherry Hemby, commander of the 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Flight at Bagram

"Band Aid" or "bandage" flights are the regularly scheduled - and emergency - fixed-wing flights which transport patients from various combat hospital locations throughout Afghanistan to the main hospital at Bagram Air Field. From Bagram, the patients then move on to Landstuhl and, ultimately, the U.S.

At Military.com.

"We'll do anything to get [patients] where they need to be," said Maj. David Scheiber, an emergency room nurse who, like others with the 455th, is an Air National Guardsman. Back home in Buffalo, N.Y., he is also a full-time firefighter.

And if it takes the whole team to get just one wounded warrior out of harm's way, the 455th will do it, Scheiber said.

"They'll launch a special plane and activate an entire group of people just for one person if there needs to be. It's a huge undertaking to move an aircraft to a FOB for an individual and bring him back," he said. "You see how much work it takes for us to move a group... and that's the same amount of people they would use for one person."

10 August 2011

Veteran NASCAR driver T.J. Bell racing for a special cause at Watkins Glen

At this weekend’s Watkins Glen NASCAR Race (Sunday, 1p.m. ET on ESPN), keep your eyes peeled for the Green Smoke Chevy, driven by T.J. Bell. Right behind each door will be the Soldiers’ Angels logo, and a decal on the bumper will read “Text Soldier to 20222,” encouraging viewers to donate. There’s a lot more to the story, including a very special American hero who has been made an honorary pit crew member with full NASCAR qualifications, so check it out!

The press release from The Hero Organization spills the beans about that honorary crew member:
In addition to representing Miami-based Green Smoke®, Bell will race for a special cause. He recently formed an alliance with the Helping Early Responders Organization (H.E.R.O.). H.E.R.O.'s primary mission is to support and assist the non-profit organizations that help the men and women who are firefighters, police officers, E.M.T.s, members of our armed services and their families in their time of greatest need. Bell and Green Smoke will host these heroes as their trackside guests. The Watkins Glen H.E.R.O. will be Captain Dennis H. Knowles and the non-profit organization that H.E.R.O. will feature is Soldiers' Angels.

"Captain Dennis Knowles will be with our Green Smoke® Chevy team this week at Watkins Glen," Bell said, of his guest that is a graduate of Buffalo State College and Canisius College. "Captain Knowles has served our country for twelve years and he’s now able to be on inactive reserve. It gives him the opportunity to be an asset and inspiration to the Addison Central School District where he teaches sixth grade. Hopefully the honors he’s earned for his years of service at the World Trade Center site, in Kuwait and Afghanistan make as much of an impression on his students as they have on me.”

Since Captain Knowles is a military veteran, the No. 50 Green Smoke® Chevy will feature a special Soldiers’ Angels “Text Soldier to 20222” decal as part of the team’s alliance with H.E.R.O. Soldiers’ Angels volunteers provide aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, veterans and their families. By texting “Soldier” to 20222, racing fans will be able to immediately donate $5 to the Soldier’s Angels non-profit organization.
Check out the Green Smoke car (without the Soldiers' Angels logo, which won't be revealed until later this week), so you know what to keep an eye out for Sunday!

07 August 2011

Purple Heart Day

Today is Purple Heart Day. On August 7, 1782, General George Washington - then the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army - established the Purple Heart award, originally designated as the Badge of Military Merit. In this 2007 photo, taken by the late Chris Hondros, General Petraeus awards a Purple Heart at the 28th CSH in Iraq. Hondros was killed in April 2011 along with Tim Hetherington while covering the conflict in Libya.

The Purple Heart exists in its current form since 1932, and is awarded to service members "wounded or killed in any action against an enemy of the United States or as a result of an act of any such enemy or opposing armed forces".

During World War II, almost 500,000 Purple Heart medals were produced in anticipation of the huge number of casualties estimated to result from the planned Allied invasion of Japan. The invasion never happened due to the dropping of the atomic bomb on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In fact, the total combined casualties of the sixty-five years following the end of World War II — including the Korean and Vietnam Wars — have not exceeded that number, so the Purple Heart medals awarded today are part of that stock.

As of 2010, a total of over 1,900,000 Purple Hearts have been awarded in our nation's history - over 35,000 to service members for wounds sustained in the Iraq War and over 7000 for the war in Afghanistan.

05 August 2011

Wounded Warriors Arrive at Bethesda Naval Medical Center

View more videos at: http://www.nbcwashington.com.

For the first time on July 29, 2011, all patients leaving Germany on medical evacuation flights bound for the Washington, D.C. area were brought to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Up until then, the patients' service branch and/or type of injury determined their destination - Bethesda or Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

In the coming weeks, the Walter Reed's 5000 staff members will be divided between Bethesda, which will be renamed the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and the newly completed Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Virginia.

About 150 Walter Reed inpatients and 350 of the hospital's 430 ambulatory patients will go to Bethesda in late August. The remainder will be sent to Fort Belvoir.

Walter Reed Army Medical Center will then shut down on September 15, 2011. The hospital first opened May 1, 1909.

04 August 2011

The Littlest Patriot

Our friend Troy of You Served Radio and Bouhammer.com called him The Littlest American Patriot back in March of 2010. Back then Connor Love was just 6 years old but had already, together with his grandfather Howard, sent out over 1000 boxes to troops overseas. Troy continued, "Not only is he spending quality time with his Grandpa, he is also doing something productive with that time. He has more patriotism in that little pinky of his than many Americans I meet and interact with every day." A few days later Troy and CJ interviewed Connor on You Served Radio - the youngest guest ever to be on the show.

Troy recently posted the video story above and I just had to share it.

Not mentioned in the story - Connor also supports our wounded warriors at Landstuhl, as well as their caregivers. Here's one of his latest shipments.

Shipment of toothpaste and lip balm for our warriors at Landstuhl from Connor Love of "Connor Cares Troop Support".

...and a box of goodies for the nurses.

Connor also answered the call back in 2009 when photographer Chad Hunt was embedded with some Airborne Ranger Scouts near the border of Pakistan and asked for a supply of high-quality hiking socks for the platoon.

Soldiers' Angels salutes you, Connor, for all you do for our guys. We love you!

National "Day of the Deployed" to Recognize Soldiers' Sacrifices Introduced in U.S. Senate


Soldiers’ Angels Thanks Hoeven for Introducing Senate Resolution

Soldiers’ Angels gratefully announces the support of Senator John Hoeven for a national Day of the Deployed. Senator Hoeven recently introduced S. Res. 253 in the U.S. Senate to designate Oct. 26, 2011 as Day of the Deployed in recognition of the sacrifices of U.S. servicemen and women currently deployed around the world. Today he called on his fellow Senators to co-sponsor the resolution.

In 2006, Soldiers’ Angels asked then-Governor Hoeven to sign the first ever Day of the Deployed proclamation in honor of deployed warriors from North Dakota. A growing nationwide movement, Day of the Deployed has been celebrated every October 26 since 2006 with events, parties, governors’ proclamations and pomp and circumstance in support of our nation’s deployed troops and their families. Americans have used the Day to reaffirm their patriotism and allegiance to our flag and country, and to honor our brave men and women in uniform who are selflessly putting their lives on the line to protect and preserve our way of life.

Soldiers’ Angels encourages patriotic Americans to support S. Res. 253 by communicating the importance of this national day of honor to their state senators by letter, email or phone call requesting they co-sponsor S. Res. 253 with Senator John Hoeven. Contact info for all senators is available at www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

The Day of the Deployed proclamation has received the support of 40 governors across the nation who signed their own state proclamations honoring service members in the state they governed. Soldiers’ Angels is proud to see this declaration of troop support honored state by state, but believes it is time to make Day of the Deployed a national day of honor and welcomes Sen. Hoeven’s role in bringing that about.

October 26 is a day of honor originated by Soldiers’ Angels and recognizing our deployed service members and their families. Soldiers' Angels is a volunteer-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit with hundreds of thousands of volunteers providing aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, veterans and their families. (Tax ID# 20-058-3415). Questions regarding Day of the Deployed will be answered at DayoftheDeployed@SoldiersAngels.org