First Response Backpacks
We received the backpacks you sent to the Chief a couple of days ago, and they are wonderful. I must admit when the Chief first approached me I was apprehensive, but after seeing them I can not thank you enough. They are exactly what we need--one backpack with everything the wounded solider needs. Our mission in the CASF is to temporarily hold and transport all the wounded in Iraq out to Germany. We process about 30 a day but not all have a need for your backpack--we estimated about 3-5 a day come with nothing... Thanks in advance for any help you can provide. - Mike
This kind of support usually comes from family, not homefront strangers who have hearts of gold. There are not enough thank yous to give to you all. You are absolutely wonderful. Your care packs are just in time for our mission...We are taking them with us in our ambulances. - SSG D
To have backpacks sent to your CSH or Military hospital, please email the SA Wounded Team.
About First Response Backpacks
When military personnel are injured or wounded, treatment and transportation occur with such speed that sometimes their gear and personal items never catch up with them. They are often evacuated wearing the same clothing they wore when they were wounded--clothing that is often damaged in action or removed during treatment--and soon find themselves without easy access to basic supplies.
To address this situation, Soldiers' Angels created the First Response Backpacks. The backpacks provide a complete set of comfortable clothing, a full set of travel-sized toiletries and accessories (such as toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, shampoo, and soap), an international calling card, and a handmade Blanket of Hope. We also include a zippered, hooded sweatshirt with the Soldiers' Angels logo. Since the First Response Backpacks project started, Soldiers' Angels has distributed more than 25,000 backpacks for the wounded.
How First Response Backpacks are Used
First Response Backpacks are one of the first indications wounded or ill soldiers receive that Americans back home are thinking of them. They are distributed in-country to Combat Support Hospitals and other major facilities that treat or transport the wounded, as well as smaller facilities where a mildly ill/injured soldier might stay for a short while before returning to his or her unit. At each of these locations, the backpacks enable medical personnel to quickly grab an all-in-one pack that meets the basic hygiene needs of patients so that the staff can focus on medical concerns. The knowledge that caring Americans "back home" cared enough to create this special backpack is an immense comfort to the sick, injured and wounded.
How You Can Help
Right now, the best way to help Soldiers' Angels get a First Response Backpack to America's wounded heroes is to donate a backpack here. For more ways to help the wounded, check out our other teams and projects listed here.
While I was in Iraq, I was injured pretty bad. During my flight for life, all of my clothes were cut off in order to insure proper operation on my wounds. Your foundation gave me a shirt and pair of shorts that I greatly appreciated. I never had a chance to say thank you, so I'm saying it now. Thank you for giving me something when I felt like I had nothing. - Anonymous soldier
You and your organization are amazing! - Allison, 745th Forward Surgical Team, Afghanistan
I was MEDEVACed [and] my uniform was cut off me to allow the doctors and everyone to do what they do best. Once I woke up in my hospital bed, a nurse handed me a bag from your organization....I cannot tell you how happy I was to open a bag and find clothes that I could put on and feel human again. The weirdest thing was not getting the clothes, but rather the feeling of being at home again. Over here everything smells “Army.” ...the military has a certain smell that comes with it. This bag for a few minutes helped me forget about the pain and everything else going on over here and made me feel like I was back at home in Kansas with my wife and kids....Words cannot express my thanks to all the wonderful people you have working and volunteering to help all of us over here. It is because of all the people like everyone in your organization that allows us to do what we do. - SFC A.J., December 2009
Thank you all very much for providing my husband with a care package after he was injured...He received shirts and pants from you to make his stay more comfortable as he recovers from the IED encounter. He was so happy that he received something....You showed my soldier love in his time of need and I appreciate that more than I can express. Thank you for being such good people fighting for the best cause of all, the love and respect of those serving. - Jessi, December 2009
I was wounded…when an IED blew up the vehicle I was in. My soldiers and I all survived the blast. When we were evacuated to the emergency center in Afghanistan, our clothes were cut off of us as our treatment began. I came to in the hospital and…had nothing. Thank you for taking care of my needs and those of my soldiers. It meant so much to have our dignity looked after by someone. Thank you so much for caring! – Sergeant First Class J.B.
I recently had to stay overnight in the hospital at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait and because of the situation, did not have time to go to my living quarters to retrieve my personal hygiene items. When I arrived at the hospital I was given one of the kits that you supply and it was very helpful. Without it, I would have had to purchase those items that I already had, so it was a money saver as well as a stress reliever. Thanks so much for what you do in order to help service members. - SFC J.W.
John and I received one of your back packs. I was shot in
Hi, I was recently wounded in combat in Iraq. It was a pretty good hit and. When I was medevac'd obviously I didn't get to grab some important items. :) I woke up the next day and had nothing to wear, or any hygiene stuff. My uniform I had on was blood-soaked and unwearable. This very sweet nurse (in the pic) brought me a backpack full of goodies from you folks, and there was even pajamas. :) The hospital robes didn't fit me, and I just managed to squeeze your clothes on. :) I felt a lot better with a shower and some pants on... all with your gift. I ended up having to go to a few more hospitals by helicopter to get some specialist work done, as some of the wounds were deep. I took the bag with me everywhere--it was all I had. It was the best thing that could have happened at that time. I just wanted to say thank you for all you nice people do. Here is a pic when I was released: my nurse, my friend on the left, and thats me with the new "facejob."
I don't know if I was able to thank all the people involved with Soldier"s Angels when I initially was introduced to them, but they still continue to support us in every way here at Walter Reed, which is a great distance from the EMEDDs on the Forward Operating Base where I woke up in one day and was given a backpack from them. After a devastating IED attack, which claimed the life of one of my buddies, I woke up in the EMEDD (hospital) and was given a backpack from Soldier's Angels. It was a simple no-name backpack, but inside were all the necessities I needed, for my uniform was cut off me and I had nothing in my possession. The bag contained sleeping pants and a t-shirt which I immediately donned, and hygiene items that I needed and also put to good use. There was nothing left of my belongings, but the Soldier's Angels bag made the hospital stay tolerable. Now at Walter Reed Army Medical Ccenter, they continue to support us. I have received a stocking from them at Christmas time and another bag of goodies out of nowhere one day from them.
...I think Soldier's Angels is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I cannot thank them enough, though both my wife and mother have contributed to their cause, hearing how much I praise them for their support and generosity. I will never forget the smile and feeling that came over me when I received the bag in combat and then another at Walter Reed. That will be with me always, thank you so much.
I wanted to express my dearest thanks. After an IED attack and about a two hour fire fight, myself and two of my soldiers were placed on a medevac flight and flown to a hospital. Our uniforms had to be cut off, and of course we arrived without any of our gear. So needless to say we had no clothing and hygiene items. A chaplain at the hospital brought us each a back pack with clothing and hygiene items. The items given to us by Soldiers Angels were all we had for three days, until uniforms could be given to us. I just wanted to let you know that it meant so much to me and my two soldiers to have been helped by you in our time of need. - SFC J
My Name is Sgt R, and yesterday i was medivac'd due to a heat related injury. When I woke up, I was greeted with a backpack with misc items. Items that, I might add, helped me tremendously. The clothes helped in the fact that I had none on by the time they are done with me. The other items let me stay warm and allowed me to take a shower without having to go to the PX right away. I just wanted to drop a line and say Thank You. Up until they handed me your bag, I had never heard of soldiers' Angels. I will send a thank you note to the others names that were in the bag as well. Once again, Thank You. - Sgt R
I really appreciate the boxes of backpacks that you sent for our soldiers in the ward. They (patients/troopers) were very happy to know that there are people that really care about their welfare. The smiles that were on their faces were priceless. As the 1SG of this Troop Medical Clinic (TMC), I really appreciate this from the bottom of my heart. You have a first class organization when it comes to taking care of troops. Thanks in advance for everything...
Take care and God Bless,
I wanted to take this moment to write and thank your organization for the backpack filled with supplies your group provides to wounded soldiers. I received your bag after receiving a gunshot wound to my hip. Fortunately it was a clean through and through and I was able to leave the hospital later that evening. Your goody bag definitely came in very handy to me since I'm stuck in the "rear" now, without any of my belongings or personal hygiene. Also several of my friends deployed with me had sponsors from your organization and had nothing but good things to say. Keep up the great work, and thank you for all you do and your support.
After a military bloggers' conference in Washington D.C. in May 2007, a group of Soldiers' Angels visited the wounded at Bethesda Naval Medical Center. The first person they saw was a Marine wearing one of the brand new Soldiers' Angels sweatshirts. Asked if an Angel had brought it to him at the hospital, he replied, "No ma'am, I was evacuated from Baghdad, and was cold, and was given this sweatshirt." Minimus had received, packed, and shipped the new sweatshirts, recently added to the backpack, and that they were already in use. The soldier's mother was with him and asked if he could have a second sweatshirt since he had been wearing his for six days straight, refusing to take it off.
The CASF (Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility) that I was deployed to in Iraq served over 3000 patients in the that I was there and we simply would not have been able to treat our wounded warriors with the respect and dignity that they deserve without the help of Soldiers' Angels. They supplied us needed items, such as backpacks, warm clothes, socks, underwear, tolietries and shower shoes whenever our facility needed them, even it was short notice...I truly hope that each angel who sits at home making those beautiful blankets without being able to see the recipients knows how incredibly special those are to the troops that receive them. Even while being loaded onto litters for their flight home, they would make sure that their blankets were with them. Many expressed looking foward to being able to share that special gift with their spouses and children at home. From the , thank you, thank you, thank you for everything each and every one of you do. My words cannot express the incredible feeling of support we received. Thank you, thank you.
From a Soldiers Angel:
My husband came home from work the other day and said, "Hey my boss says thank you for the backpack." Since his boss is in St. Louis, I didn't have a clue what he was talking about. He says, "You know, those Soldiers Angels ones!"
His boss' nephew was wounded in Iraq and got shipped to Germany with exactly what he had on, minus what clothing was cut off to work on him (he had a major arm injury). This soldier said that backpack was a godsend!!! He had never appreciated anything so much. Just thought I would share that you are touching people that are closer than you think!!! - elaine
I wanted to send a thank you for my husband. He was injured in Iraq in February. Since he was medi-vaced from the scene of the accident where he sustained his injuries, he had no personal belongings. He was given a backpack filled with clothes and supplies and a calling card. This was a huge help! ...You guys are doing a good thing, keep it up! Thanks so much! - Sincerely, Adrienne, wife of Specialist T.C
I want to thank your organization personally for the back packs that you have provided for the wounded and sick soldiers here... As the 1SG of this company, I want you to know that these backpacks put smiles on the soldiers' faces, and that's priceless. - 1SG X