When troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq are injured or ill, they’re normally extracted by medevac helicopter to a U.S. Army Combat Support Hospital (CSH) at a Forward Field Operating Base (FOB). If they need more treatment, they are then transported to a level II Military Treatment Facility (MTF), which usually lands them at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Germany, the closest Level II MTF.
Soldiers’ Angels is proud to have a group of military and civilian Angel volunteers who support wounded and ill service members being treated at LRMC facilities! Many times, because of the nature of their extraction and the urgency of their care, our deployed troops come to LRMC with nothing. No toiletries, no change of clothes, no comforts… That’s where our Angels come in! Our team swings into action to provide needed personal care items, calling cards, clothing, handmade blankets and other items. They also visit with patients to provide support and comfort during what can be a very stressful and/or traumatic time.
Here’s a note we got from one of the troops who was sent to Landstuhl. It just goes to show how much our support means to them:
“I was wounded in 2011 in Afghanistan. There's not a lot I remember about my stay in Landstuhl but I do remember the kind words and the great people who went out of their way to make sure I was warm and comfortable and able to talk to my family. I don’t recall any names or faces for that matter, but to everyone at Soldiers’ Angels, thank you. Thank you for being there for guys who don't know what's coming next for them in a time where nothing makes sense. I still have the blankets that you guys brought me and they will always be a source of comfort to me and my family. Thank you all again for all you did for me and continue to do for my wounded brothers and sisters.”
MaryAnn our Soldiers’ Angels Germany Team Leader. She recruits and organizes volunteers at LRMC and helps plan special events for patients there.
How long have you been the Landstuhl Team Leader?
Began volunteering in 2004, became Team Leader in 2006.
How long have you lived in Germany?
What are some things people should know about the soldiers who come through LMRC?
I wish more Americans were aware of the gallantry, professionalism, and dedication of our service members and their families. Extraordinary acts of courage, heroism, and sacrifice are being performed every single day on the battlefields. But not one of "our guys" thinks he is a hero - they all say they are just doing their jobs.
Very few people are aware of the chain of events that occurs when a service member is injured. From the Flight Medics who drop down from helicopters under fire to the medical staff of the Forward Surgical Teams, to the aeromedical crews who fly our wounded to Landstuhl where they are cared for by some of the most compassionate and dedicated professionals anywhere at the world's busiest trauma hospital. It is an extraordinary feat carried out by extraordinary people who - like our service members - also say they are "just doing their jobs". I think people would be very, very proud of their fellow Americans and I wish their stories were told more often.
What’s one of the most memorable experiences you’ve had while serving in Landstuhl?
My most memorable experiences at Landstuhl are of being with service members upon regaining consciousness after suffering grievous injuries. Invariably, upon waking up, they do not ask about themselves but, struggling to say their first words, ask if their buddies are ok.
Also dear to my heart are the patriotic and compassionate donors I've gotten to know - many of whom have been regulars for up to 10 years - who continue to send donations of clothing, personal care items, and blankets for our patients. They truly live the meaning of the Soldiers' Angels motto: "May No Soldier Go Unloved".
What are some of the most requested or needed items?
You can view our current list of most-needed items at the blog here.