2019 Issue 1 Newsletter

Inside this issue:

  • In the Eyes of a Foreign Missionary
  • Troop Thanks
  • 2019 Spring Events
  • 2019 Sponsors (February-March)
  • Honorees for 1 st Issue 2019
  • On Facebook?
  • Unit Needs Continue

You can also view and download the original form 2019 Issue 1 Newsletter PDF version here.


In the Eyes of a Foreign Missionary

Who is Now a Friend

The story of how I met Karen Grimord, and by extension, working with The Landstuhl Hospital Care Project, is inextricably linked to the story of my voyage to America. Between the years 2011 to 2013, I opted to serve a volunteer mission for my church.  I was assigned to labor in the Northern Virginia area. A quiet boy without much in terms of years and experience, I was excited at the prospect of living so far away from my native Durban, South Africa.

I still remember the first day I met Karen. I’d been in the neighborhood for barely a week when we got an urgent phone call from a member of our congregation who said that, “a lady needed help packing boxes.” It was a Monday, the only day we got to ourselves from our busy schedule.  We reluctantly agreed and headed over to the address I had hastily penned down on the wrapper of my Chick-fil-A sandwich.

We actually found Karen in her backyard, digging what looked like a hole for a fireplace. We told her who we were and why we had come. She looked skeptical, and with good reason; we weren’t dressed for the part! White shirts, ties and dress pants don’t inspire confidence in the kind of work we would be doing. But we won her over by rolling up our sleeves and getting to work. And that was the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship.

Karen’s house (more particularly her garage) became something of a second home to me. We spent hours in there packing boxes, taking orders and sending off shipments to the local post office. It wasn’t until my third visit, tape gun in hand and sweat on my brow, as I worked on the next box that I asked who all of these care packages were meant for. She looked up slowly and responded: “It’s for soldiers that served our country and are now wounded and need taking care of in Landstuhl, Germany.” That was a sobering moment. I saw the passion in her eyes, the fire in her gut. I felt it deeply and I wanted to know more.

Everyone back home always asked me what my first impression of the United States was and my answer always took them by surprise because it’s not the typical response that they expected. ‘Til this day, I’ve emphatically stated that Americans have a level of devotion and patriotism that I’ve never seen before. It is rarely loud or boastful, but clearly felt and visible in quiet acts of service. It is the needle to their fabric, thread woven carefully into their symbol red, white, and blue. America has no existential crisis; they know exactly who they are and what they stand for. That is something to be admired.

It didn’t take long for Karen to take me on trips to D.C. proper and show me all the sights and monuments. I don’t think I quite got over the fact that this was the kind of stuff I only saw in movies; and dramatic ones at that-I half expected an alien invasion to take place starring yours truly! But on a serious note, two places of interest stood out to me more than the rest. The first was Arlington Cemetery. When I went there I was shocked into silence. I didn’t speak for the whole day that day. Not only was it the reverence of the sacred ground that was Arlington, but it was the evidence of commitment and sacrifice for the greater good. My tears were matched only by the row upon row of pearly-white marble. The second place was the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Whereas before I had seen those who had died for what they believed in, here I saw what the living were willing to do for one of their own. Their dedication and precision were equaled by the passion in their eyes and the fire in their gut- the exact same that I saw in Karen when we were packing boxes in her modest garage. That left an indelible mark on me, one I will never forget.

Since that day, I was never the same. And working on care packages took on a different meaning. I knew who it was for, and why they chose to serve. I even felt a connection to them all in some small way; though we hailed from different countries and speak in different tongues, we all were far from home, serving and working for an ideal that we believed in, trying to make this world just a little bit better. It’s been six years now since I was last in America, but if I close my eyes I can still see Karen’s garage, I can still smell the mulch on the warm summer’s air, I can still hear the screech of the tape gun as we worked on yet another box. The cardboard all stacked up neatly in a row from floor to ceiling and the table which had the laptop and phone, ready to take another order and send out the next shipment. All told one simple story: the nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten.

Sphelele Mngoma


Troop Thanks

The LHCP is an incredible group of people donating to a good cause. While I was deployed, I worked in a program that helped to ease the transition of combat airmen returning home. That process would have been very difficult without LHCP support. On the first day out of a combat zone, the airmen were able to collect and utilize many of the donations made. These items included, sweaters, jackets, umbrellas, and hygienic items. After seeing the items available to them, there eyes would light up and there seemed to be a sense of relief—that they didn’t have to worry about not having anything. The LHCP is pivotal in easing the transition of our airmen returning from deployment. Karen and her team were phenomenal in ensuring the needs of many were met.

MSGT Air Force


2019 Spring Events

May 18, 2019 The Norwich American Legion Post 189 will hold their 14th annual motorcycle ride fundraiser for LHCP. Without such hard-working, dedicated individuals and groups like these, LHCP would not be able to continue. We thank you for your many years of support and look forward to seeing the pictures! Maybe this year we can get one of Brian and Karen Grimord!


2019 Sponsors

Individuals and Families

Adkins, E., MN
Arseculeratne, R., VA
Auman, C., FL
Barnhardt, C., MI
Bath, D, AL
Bath, M., AL
Breidel, G., MN
Bolen, D., SC
Broeker, J., FL
Burkel, D., MN
Byrnes, E., PA
Casali, L., FL
Daniels, B., OK
Dennis, T., FL
Eanes, L., VA
Ellsworth, L., TN
Hansen, L., VA
High, T., TN
Hurley, P., FL
Kelly, P., IL
Kosele, D., FL
Lambert, R., MD
Lienczewski, E., MI
Marion, D., TX
McKay, A., AZ
Osgood, J., APO
Payton, B., FL
Roberts, G., TN
Sann, R., DC
Seljeskog, P., SD
Smith, B., FL
Steinman, M., NV
Stutts, T., TN
Waddell, C., NC
Waddell, M., NC
Wolford, C., PA
Zimmerman, R., PA

Businesses and Organizations

American Legion Post 74 SAL Squad 74, FL
American Legion Riders Post 189, NY
American Veterans Post 21 General Fund, FL
AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Post 21, FL
Benevity Fund, Calgary, AB
Beyond the Call of Duty Ministries Inc., FL
Carlie Lynne’s Inc., FL
Carrollton Zilwaulkee VFW Post 1859, MI
Cheyenne MNT Chapter, CA
Crosspointe Church, MS
Euclid Veterans Association, OH
Forty and Eight Voiture 880 Inc., FL
Hillsboro Athens LLC, TN
Holy Family R. C. Congregation, IL
Cheyenne MNT Chapter, CA
Crosspointe Church, MS
Euclid Veterans Association, OH
Forty and Eight Voiture 880 Inc., FL
Hillsboro Athens LLC, TN
Holy Family R. C. Congregation, IL
McPhail’s Auto Sales, FL
Network for Good, DC
Sebring Benefit, FL
Sons of AMVETS Squadron 21, FL
VFW Post 4300, FL
VFW Post 4300 Riders Inc., FL
Veron McCune Post NO 132 Auxiliary, OH

Honorees

January

Army Lt. Col. Richard J. Berrettini

Died January 11, 2008, Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

Army Lt. Col. Richard J. Berrettini
Richard J. Berrettini

21, of Cranston, R.I.; assigned to Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; killed June 23 when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near her convoy vehicle in Fallujah, Iraq.

February

Army 2nd Lt. Emily J.T. Perez

Died September 12, 2006 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

Emily J.T. Perez
Emily J.T. Perez

21, of Cranston, R.I.; assigned to Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; killed June 23 when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near her convoy vehicle in Fallujah, Iraq.

March

Marine Lance Cpl. Minhee Kim

Died November 1, 2006 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

Marine Lance Cpl. Minhee Kim
Minhee Kim

20, of Ann Arbor, Mich.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve, Lansing, Mich.; died Nov. 1 while conducting combat operations in Fallujah, Iraq.


On Facebook? Want to help LHCP?

You may have noticed friends on Facebook holding a fundraiser for their favorite charity on their birthday. LHCP has been so honored in the past few months by two young children, asking for donations to LHCP for their birthday! Please consider doing this as well!

Also, go to our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/theLHCP and follow us there if you haven’t already. Share the posts to let your friends know about us! Thank you


Unit Needs Continue

At this time, LHCP is placing focus on receiving monetary donations. Unit needs are fluid; and we can quickly respond using cash donations to purchase requested items.

Please make checks payable to

Landstuhl Hospital Care Project.

and mail to:

LHCP President
Attn: Karen Grimord
29 Greenleaf Terrace
Stafford, VA 22556

Thank you.

 

 

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