Bikers Ride, Play Cards for Good Cause

By JENNIFER BUSKE
jbuske@staffordcountysun.com

 

HOG Rally 19
Good Cause

Bikers from around the region will gather Sunday to take a little road trip, play some poker and raise money for a good cause.

Starting at 8:30 a.m., motorcycles will gather at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1503 in Dale City to begin the second annual Landstuhl Hospital Care Project Charity Poker Ride.

“Bikers are big supporters of a lot of non-profit organizations and charities,” said Landstuhl Hospital Care Project founder and biker Karen Grimord. “Some bikers have tattoos, leather and the whole nine yards, but they have deep pockets too and love to help out.”

Sunday’s charity event, which also includes a variation of five-card stud poker, will bring bikers on a 117-mile journey through Manassas, Woodbridge and then into Stafford where they will finish at American Legion Post 290, according to Michael Lee, chairman of the poker ride.

In order to play the poker game, riders, who pay a $20 entry fee, get a spreadsheet that contains all card numbers and suits at the start of the event, Lee said, noting that entry-fees go to the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project. Participants make five stops along the route to draw cards and those with the highest hand, and the lowest, win a cash prize at the end.

“Most motorcyclists like to come out and support these things,” Lee said, noting that they had about 100 participants last year and raised about $7,000. “They don’t need much of an excuse to get out and ride.”

Prizes are awarded at the end of the ride at the Stafford American Legion, Lee said. There will also be food, a 50/50 raffle and door prizes that have been donated by area businesses.

The Landstuhl project is a non-profit organization that purchases and supplies “comfort and relief” items for military personnel sick or injured in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan, according to its Web site. Items are distributed to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, field hospitals in Afghanistan and Iraq and to Veterans Affairs facilities in America.

“I’m a Vietnam vet,” Lee said, about why he got involved with the poker ride. “I know these kids are coming back seriously wounded and then oftentimes are just forgotten. They come out of Afghanistan or Iraq, show up at Landstuhl and have nothing – no toothbrushes, clean clothes, nothing. This project helps out with that.”

Grimord said they send a variety of supplies, but what is currently in demand is duffle bags, breakaway pants, pajama bottoms for men, fleece blankets and men’s travel size deodorant. The organization ships every week, Grimord said, adding that they will soon be getting, and then shipping, 1,400 pounds of blankets.

“I know these kids overseas need all the help they can get and that’s my motivation, and the motivation of the people involved,” Lee said. “I’m just happy people have fun and are raising money for a good cause.”

Grimord said the Landstuhl project also aims to help keep up troops’ spirits, letting soldiers know they have support back home. Grimord said that oftentimes the men and women feel they aren’t supported, and she hopes the donations and photos from fundraisers like the poker ride will show them otherwise.

“If the troops could only see the people that come out on this ride and see how much support they have,” Grimord said. “It is just a great event and shows many people do care.”

 

Want to go?

What: Landstuhl Hospital Care Project Charity Poker Ride

Where: VFW Post 1503 – 14631 Minnieville Road in Dale City

Time: Registration begins at 8:30 am.; the ride at 10 a.m.

Cost: $20 and an additional $5 to play two poker games.

Jenny Boyle Concert

By Carmen L. Gleason / American Forces Press Service

 

Birchmere-Concert
Birchmere Music Hall

WASHINGTON – The owners of a musical landmark on the outskirts of the nation’s capital and a vocalist who uses her talents to entertain U.S. troops kicked off Fourth of July festivities for local service members here last night as a way of thanking them for their service.

Gary Oelze and Ralph Capobianco, co-owners of the Birchmere Music Hall, closed their doors to the general public to treat about 150 veterans, reservists and active-duty military to an evening of free food. Then musician Jenny Boyle and her band took the stage to “wow” the crowd as she belted out a mix of original work and classic hits that had the crowd hanging on her every syllable.

“We’ve both been in the service,” said Capobianco, a former Naval aviator. “We were pleased to close off the venue for our service members.”

Oelze, a former Air Force pilot, said it was a fun way to thank the crowd for their military service.

Boyle is no stranger to military audiences. The singer has traveled to 26 countries to perform for troops, in addition to performing multiple times at the Pentagon and Walter Reed Army Medical Center, in Washington, D.C.

“This is how I thank these folks for what they do on a daily basis for our freedom,” she said of her performance. “We have the best men and women serving our armed forces,” she said. “And there’s nothing I love more than telling them that.”

Not only does she sing and play guitar, Boyle is also a songwriter. Calling it one of her most exciting tunes, Boyle said “World of Dust,” was written following her visit to troops deployed to Afghanistan and the song is her tribute to them.

Deployments are monotonous, said audience member Marine Sgt. Noah Tretter. Currently serving as a tour guide for visitors at the Defense Department’s headquarters, Tretter has deployed twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan.

“When someone comes out to the middle of nowhere to perform for troops it means a lot,” he said. “And when they are talented like this young lady it makes it even better.”

Crowd
Almost showtime

Although the evening centered on expressing appreciation to troops, several grassroots support groups also attended to educate the audience on the services available to them and their families.

Members of the Defense Department’s America Supports You program, which spotlights troop-support efforts and helps to connect home-front groups with service members and their families at home and abroad, had information booths set up in the Birchmere’s lobby.

“It’s plain and simple, I want troops to know that we are here for them and support them,” said Karen Grimord of the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project. Her organization provides comfort and relief items to military members who become sick or injured from their service.

Her organization has shipped more than 14,000 pounds of sweat suits, house slippers and personal hygiene items to the medical center in Germany since December 2004.

Operation First Response President Peggy Baker shared Grimord’s sentiments. Since 2004, her group has assisted more than 2,000 families or troops coming through Landstuhl and Walter Reed medical centers with both personal and financial needs.

At her booth last night, she had a quilt on which supporters could write messages. The quilt, which was nearly covered by night’s end, will soon find its way into a backpack along with clothing and hygiene items that will be delivered to a combat support hospital in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The concert had a special meaning for Baker, whose son deployed to Iraq in March. “It goes to show that there are so many Americans supporting our troops,” she said. “It is amazing.”

“The entire event was wonderful,” Baker said. “You can always tell when you’re in a room filled with heroes; and the Birchmere had a special feeling tonight.

December 9, 2012
Jenny Boyle Concert

Jenny Boyle and Band
Jenny Boyle and Band

Military attending concert interested in project
Military attending concert interested in project

Karen and Vince from the Office of Secretary of Defense Entainment.
Karen and Vince from the Office of Secretary of Defense Entertainment.

Jenny Boyle Concert
Jenny Boyle Concert

Karen and ASY group
Karen and ASY group

lhcp
Jenny Boyle Concert

Karen thanks Jenny
Karen thanks Jenny

Norwich Ride to Remember our Troops

Norwich 2nd Annual Ride for Troops
Norwich 2nd Annual Ride for Troops

“Ma’am do American’s still support our effort, do they still care?” I have been asked this question several times over the last 12 months by troops serving in OIF/OEF. My answer is always yes and I’m sorry our media feels more incline to show those that do not, but trust me we are still here.

The Norwich American Legion Riders from post 189 held their second annual LHCP benefit. As I traveled through the beautiful hills of Chenago County with the red barns, white silos and homes with large front porches I thought about last years motorcycle rally and the dedication and conviction these individuals had shown our troops. It has been exactly a year since their last benefit; would the residents of Chenago County be less supportive of our troops, as the main stream media has been reporting of our American population? I can report that a lack of support is not happening in Chenago County, in fact it more than doubled, hooah!

I want to tell you that my words will never express the outpouring of support I viewed through the side mirror of a motorcycle this past weekend. When you look in a mirror you usually see what you have left behind, passed by or what is getting ready to pass you but in Norwich , NY it was different. The route is 80 miles though winding, curving, wooded, beautiful back country mountain roads.

I could not help but notice the farmer’s fields that had not yet been planted and watch the birds swimming in the large pools of water, either from a recent rain or from all the snow that had just melted. I noticed that you would not lose site of one silo before seeing another. But as we got into the route I saw them, they were all lined up like military troops themselves. One leading the pack, then one on the right, one on the left about 15 yards behind, then another on the right, about the same 15 yards, another to the left. Then myself and in the side mirror I saw those that continued behind me. Some might think they were just all following the leader but it is so much more.

Look in the side mirror and you see the lights from each bike and you realize that each one is a beacon of pride, faith and each light represents another American that came out to say I have your back. That beacon of light that says can you see us, we are here and we will not forget that you are there, defending freedom. Have faith in us that we will be here for you now and when you return; we will have faith in you.

As we would crest a hill I would lose site of those at my back but the sound of their bikes let me know they were ok and one by one the lights would emerge over the crest to say I’m still here. We may have been individual’s each with our own type of motorcycle and not able to verbally speak, but we traveled through the 80 miles as one, our engines our voices, united for our military troops.

Thank you Paul, Bill and all the American Legion Riders from Norwich!!

Fueling Up for big dayNo flag stand availablePaulLook how much I have grown in a year!
Fueling up for a very big day.No flag stand available, I am proud to hold it.Paul Russo sharing his wisdom.Look how much I have grown in a year. Not much longer and I will be riding one myself.
Line them up to show support.Rolling in and lined up.Rolling out to hit Two more
Line them up to show support.More rolling in and lined up.Rolling out to hit the 80 mile ride.Two more showing their support of our troops.
 Leaving VA HospitalVeterans thanking veteransIn FormationShowing our support
Coming into the local VA home to visit veterans of past wars. Veterans thanking veteransIn formation, riding as one.If only the troops could see the support from Norwich and beyond.
Heading To Next StopBarn and BikesAround the curvesBikes in Mirror
 Heading out to our next stopBarns and bikes along a nice route.Around the curves.Look in the mirror and see those that have your back.

Marilyn and her Red Hatters

Marilyn and her Red Hatters

CORDIALLY INVITE YOU

TO OUR ANNUAL LUNCHEON AND FUNDRAISER

ON APRIL 18, 2007 AT 12 NOON

AT THE HOME OF

Erhla and Dan

For the benefit of our American Wounded Soldiers

Red Hatters
Red Hatters

Red Hatters Erhla Cantor Hostess
Red Hatters Erhla Cantor Hostess

Erhla and husband Dan host the gourmet luncheon fundraiser at their home.


Red Hatters Marilyn at the Mic
Red Hatters Marilyn at the Mic

Marilyn at the mic. What a delightful day!!


Red Hatters Elinor Dickman
Red Hatters Elinor Dickman

Elinor Dickman receives gift of roses after playing a piano concert.

Group sends ‘stitches’ to injured soldiers

‘Stitches’ to injured soldiers

Knitted gifts are their ‘way to help’

By Meghan Van Dyk
Daily Record

 

Quilt
Quilt

Maureen Moniz knew when she learned how to nit at age 6 that the skill would come in handy to stitch scarves, sweaters and blankets as gifts for loved ones.

But she never thought her handiwork would be worn by wounded American soldiers overseas.

Decades later, Moniz now collects and ships handmade blankets, Afghans, knapsacks and cast socks to troops at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

Her effort is on behalf of the Madison-based Stitches of Love, part of the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project (LHCP), a larger program that supplies the U.S. military hospital with every thing from toothpaste to clothing to lab equipment.

“I was looking for a way to help, and I was thinking I could do something for our troops,” sand Moniz who lives in Convent Station. “LHCP looked great because I knew I could knit.”

Stitches of Love has about 90 members in the United States, Germany and Israel. Moniz collects and ships between 15 and 25 blankets every month. She has knitted 10 of her own since she became coordinator in August.

Stitched to each blanket is a tag that reads “With my deepest gratitude and respect. Thank you for your service,” Moniz said. “They are like an emotional hug to each soldier.”

Knitters are asked by the organization to be creative and to keep in mind that recipients will be mostly males- meaning no pin, red or lace, Moniz said.

A shipment

This month’s shipment will include 11 quilts made by a group from the Defense Language Institute in California. Thirty, 6-inch squares of fabric, each featuring a drawing or note to the troops, are sewn together to form 3 foot by 5 foot blankets.

The quilts this month are being sent in honor of Specialist Ross McGinnis, 19, of Knox, Pa., who died in Baghdad after smothering a grenade to save his battalion.

“It’s hard not to think about who the recipients will be when you’re making them,” Moniz said. “Many are children who don’t have their mothers. I am eternally grateful there are young men and women who leave home so my daughter can be with me.”

The boxes are donated by Pack Ship N More in Madison and the shipping costs are donated by Moniz’s husband Joe’s electrical contracting business. Moniz wished to keep the company’s name anonymous.

Quilt for SOL
Quilt for SOL

Although it’s difficult to quantify how many wounded troops are touched by LHCP, Founder and President Karen Grimord estimates more than 2,000 received some form of help from the organization last month alone.

Grimord started LHCP after noticing the hospital’s lack of videos and DVD’s to entertain recovering troops during a 2004 visit.

When she returned, she collected more than 400.

Then, she learned there was a lack of underwear, then shoes and sweat suits.

“From day one, I was born on a military base to a military family,” Grimord said, fighting back tears. “I know what (the troops) go through, how they feel.

To do this little bit for them, compared to what they’re doing for us–so many people take it for granted–it’s the least I can do.”

Grimord collects supplies from her home in Stafford, VA. With help from volunteers from the American Legion, the ROTC and even her husband Brian Grimord ships an average of 2,300 pounds of supplies to the German hospital each week.

For Grimord and Moniz, there is no end in sight.

Even when the troops come home, LHCP will continue to support U.S. troops at home in local Veteran Affairs hospitals nationwide, Grimord said.

Moniz, a retired infant care nurse, now runs her husband’s electrical contracting business. She also volunteers to cook soup for the homeless at St. Vincent Martyr Church in Madison and translates books into Braille for the American Red Cross Metro Chapter of N.J. in Fairfield.

“I’d like to see a world where we need no blankets, where there are no wounded soldiers,” Moniz said. “But as long as there are we’ll be here.”

CORRECTION TO ARTICLE Printed

Stitches of Love (LHCP) ships more that 2,300 pounds of supplies each month to hospitals in Germany, Iraq and Afghanistan. The locations were incompletely reported.

Helping to heal wounds of war

Stafford woman who helps recovering soldiers in Landstuhl Hospital in Germany visits with President Bush

BY AMY FLOWERS UMBLE

 

George W. Bush
President Bush, left, gives a tour to members of military service organizations who support U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2007, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Karen Grimord was born in 1961, the same year John F. Kennedy said: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”

On Wednesday, the Stafford County resident got the chance to ask the current president what she could do for her country.

Just keep doing what you’re doing, she said was the gist of President George W. Bush’s reply.

Grimord received an invitation to the White House because of her nonprofit group, Landstuhl Hospital Care Project. She was one of 10 people honored this week by the America Supports You organization, which recognizes programs offering support to the United States military.

Grimord started the organization in 2004, after visiting her daughter and son-in-law, who were stationed in Germany. She toured the nearby Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and learned that the wounded U.S. troops wanted DVDs to watch while recuperating.

Her family helped Grimord collect 485 DVDs. Next, she began gathering and distributing sweat suits when a chaplain told her the troops often arrived at the hospital with only hospital gowns. Soon, the project exploded as special requests poured in, and the group started sending packages to field hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Grimord has volunteered at Landstuhl twice, including a visit on her 25th wedding anniversary.

People often ask Grimord why she does so much for the troops.

She does it partly for her father, her husband and her son-in-law, who all served in the Air Force, and for her son in the Navy.

But it isn’t that simple, she said.

“I didn’t find LHCP, LHCP found me, you know what I mean?” she said. “It knocked me on top of my head and said, ‘This is what you have to do.'”

Grimord hopes she expressed this to President Bush, but she can’t remember everything she said to him.

She does remember that when he entered the room, she remained standing until he sat down–a military protocol her father had ingrained in her.

“My dad would have kicked me from here to Puerto Rico if I had sat down before the president did,” she said.

She said the president thanked her for her work, but she shrugged off the praise.

“It’s so awesome for me to get up every single day to pack boxes, to raise money, or for me to go to Germany to work in the hospital,” Grimord said. “It’s worth it to me, because the troops do so much more than what we are doing.”

Amy Flowers Umble: 540/735-1973
Email: aumble@freelancestar.com

Brownies’ fulfill their desire

Brownie Troop from Florida collected 350 boxes of donated Girl Scout Cookies for our wounded troops
Brownies collect 350 boxes of cookies for LHCP to send to our wounded troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and LRMC.

Brownie Troop Abby and Chasity
Abby and Chasity are more than willing to leaning a helping hand to support our wounded troops.

Brownie Troop Mya
Mya carries her responsibility with pride.

Brownie Troop Ava delivers to Goin' Postal to ship to LHCP
Ava shows she can carry her load to help with pride also.

Injured soldiers to receive Girl Scout cookies as part of Leesburg Brownie troop’s fundraising campaign

Members of the military who have become sick, injured or wounded from service in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait will soon receive some Girl Scout cookies thanks to a Leesburg Brownie Troop and the local community.

The Brownie troop is partnering with Landstuhl Hospital Care Project to send boxes of popular Girl Scout cookies overseas. Through out the recent Girl Scout Cookie selling drive, the Brownies offered customers the option to donate boxes of cookies to the hospitalized overseas.

Going Postal is underwriting the shipping to send the 350 donated cookie boxes to LHCP headquarters in Virginia where they will then be distributed overseas to troops at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and field hospitals in combat areas such as Afghanistan and Iraq.

Spaghetti Dinner

American Legion Auxiliary SupportsAmerican Legion Auxiliary SupportsAmerican Legion Auxiliary SupportsAnn dishes up more dishes than one person can carryNot possible without our great supportNot possible without our great serversSome of our littlest supportersSome of our littlest supporters
SherrySherry, LHCP member, sells door prize tickets.Sherry selling raffle ticketsMore ticketsOur GREAT support for the night comes out to a round of applause!!!Our GREAT cooks, servers and host for the night comes out to a round of applause!!!LHCP President with our supportersLHCP president & LHCP treasurer with our supporters
The Briseno familyThe Jay Briseno familyBrian tells his story while a patient at LRMCBrian tells his story while a patient at LRMCOld Friends meet again.Brian tells group what meeting Karen at LRMC meant to him.Brian thanks Karen“She looked past our injuries and made us feel human again”
 Brian thanks Karen for her support at LRMCNo words needed but they thanked each other for their service.Hugs are always goodHugs are always goodBrian Higgins and Joseph Briseno meetBrian Higgins and Joseph Briseno meet

Brian Higgins and Joseph Briseno hugBrian Higgins and Joseph Briseno hug.

Joseph ask Karen to read the group a poem he wrote about his son JayJoseph ask Karen to read the group a poem he wrote about his son Jay, who was injured in 2003.Share a moment of quietShare a moment of quiet as they grasp for composure during the reading.We are here to helpWe are here to helpBrian Higgins showing his story in LHCP newsletterBrian Higgins showing his story in LHCP newsletter to guest.
Brian Higgins and LHCP Secretary has good time!!Brian Higgins and LHCP Secretary has good time!!How many tickets would you LIKE!!How many tickets would you like?Bill buying tickets from SharonBill buying tickets from Sharon, LHCP treasurer

and the number isAnd the number is

Another raffle ticketAnother raffle ticketSharon with the Dust of Mission raffle bucketSharon with the Dust of Mission raffle bucketDust off Mission Flag WinnersDust off Mission Flag WinnersSharon and Joseph reads about Dust off Mission flagSharon and Joseph reads about Dust off Mission flag

Jerry Howard Dept Commander LHCP President and Kathy HowardJerry Howard Dept Commander LHCP President and Kathy

Karen sneaking a quiet minuteKaren sneaking a quiet minuteKat Higgins gives LHCP President hug for the support Brian Higgins received from LHCPKat Higgins gives LHCP President hug for the support Brian Higgins received from LHCPKat Higgins meeting LHCP secretaryKat Higgins meeting LHCP secretary
Lorton AL Commander Lorton ALA President with LHCP board membersLorton AL Commander Lorton ALA President with LHCP board membersMail Clerk takes the night offMail clerk takes the night off from mailing LHCP boxes.Rachel Sharon KarenRachel, Sharon and KarenKaren and Sherry No words needed We Done GoodKaren and Sherry, no words needed, “We Done Good”
Ray HarrigonRay HarrigonClowns of all kinds come out to supportClowns of all kinds come out to supportThom getting kiss after giving check to LHCPThom getting kiss after giving check to LHCPBrian and Karen GrimordBrian and Karen Grimord
Dance the nightDance the nightLHCP

Operation Popcorn and Blankets

Popcorn and Blankets
Popcorn and Blankets

Following their annual popcorn drive Talakto District of the Greater Alabama Council held what their Popcorn Chairman, Lynn Sevigny, called “Operation Popcorn and Blankets for Soldiers.”

This was an opportunity for local corporate organizations to support our service men and women that are serving overseas thru the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project (LHCP).

Lockheed Martin & Miltec Systems both made contributions to BSA by supporting the annual popcorn fundraiser to purchase 12 cases of popcorn to send to soldiers in the field and our wounded military personnel at the Landstuhl Hospital in Germany .

The remainder of their contributions was sent to Landstuhl Hospital Care Project to purchase comfort and care items for our wounded or to purchase much needed blankets for our soldiers in Iraq , Afghanistan and other locations as needed.