Horseshoe Tournament

Horseshoes Stafford LHCP president talks with 1st Vice Commander Bruce Miller before event.Horseshoes-Stafford-01Brownie Conley looks over competition as horseshoe teams from all over Northern Virginia prepare to battle it out for “Top Dog” position and trophy.Horseshoes-Stafford-02Beck enjoying the day, without rain!Horseshoes-Stafford-03Looking for that perfect shot.
Horseshoes-Stafford-05JayMike and Brian check out how close that toss was!Horseshoes-Stafford-07Brian prepares to toss and hopes for ringer.Horseshoes-Stafford-08Mike Lee’s turnHorseshoes-Stafford-17Second round of shoes for play offs.
Horseshoes-Stafford-09Horseshoe teams battle it out 1st place.Horseshoes-Stafford-10Jerry Howard American Legion Department commander talks with vistors about competitionHorseshoes-Stafford-11New friends and great supporters!Horseshoes-Stafford-12LHCP volunteer, Sherry, exchanges raffle tickets for money.
Horseshoes-Stafford-14Ann, Evelynn and Francis help out at LHCP support our troops card signing table.

Horseshoes-Stafford-16Ron, Gary and Day all caught with food in their mouth. MUST BE GOOD!

Horseshoes-Stafford-13Sherry caught selling more tickets to AD Carter and his lovely wife.Horseshoes-Stafford-15Jim does great job cooking hamburger and hotdogs!!

Manassas HOG Chapter Poker Run

A Winning Hand for Soldiers

By ELISA A. GLUSHEFSKI

 

Justin Reynolds getting Kissed by Karen
Karen Grimord, president of the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project, kisses the hand of Justin Reynolds prior to the Poker Run, which started in Manassas and ended in Woodbridge Sunday, June 18, 2006. The 120-mile route allowed local bikers to take part in an event where the proceeds would go to the Landstuhl Project, which provides relief items to members of the military who have been injured in Afghanistan and Iraq. Reynolds is one of those soldiers, sustaining injuries while serving in Iraq. (Photo By Joe Brier / Staff Photographer)

On Feb. 3, somewhere in Iraq, U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Justin A. Reynolds drove a Humvee over an improvised explosive device. Both of Reynolds’ feet were broken, along with a bone in his leg and shrapnel tore through his knee.

A short time later, the entire left side of his body was paralyzed and the 22-year-old lost vision as a result of a virus he contracted after the explosion, said Reynolds’ father, Bob Reynolds. Had it not been for Karen Grimord and her charity organization, the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project, Bob said he and his wife wouldn’t have known how to manage. “As parents not in the service we didn’t know who to call [for help],” the Ohioan said. “[Grimord] was his mother over there as far as we’re concerned.”

About 80 motorcyclists signed up Sunday morning for the Manassas chapter of Harley Owners Group’s Poker Run – a charity ride to benefit the project. The game was five-card stud poker. Each motorcyclist paid $15 per hand, randomly picking their first card at Whitt’s Harley Davidson in Manassas – where the ride started – then picking the next three cards at various stops along the 120-mile pre-planned route and ending at American Legion Post 364 in Woodbridge, said Mike Lee, coordinator of the event.

Landstuhl Hospital Care Project provides comfort and relief items to sick, injured and wounded military members who served in Iraq, Kuwait or Afghanistan. Before the rally, Reynolds – a soft-spoken, stout young man – sat in his wheelchair and delivered a brief and selfless speech, thanking Grimord and the attendees for their support. “Your support is what makes us men and women do our job,” he said. “It gives us wounded soldiers a piece of home, when our only possessions are cutups and hospital scrubs.” Tears spilled from Grimord’s eyes as Reynolds closed his speech. “Karen was my mother away from home and she will always be in my heart.”

Based out of Grimord’s Stafford home, the organization took form after she took a trip to Germany in August 2004 to visit her daughter and son-in-law who were stationed at Ramstein Air Force Base, about 10 miles from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. There was no grand vision in Grimord’s mind, though, when she first began sending care packages from the states to the Landstuhl. After sending her first package of about 500 DVDs, Grimord almost immediately called the hospital chaplain to find out what else they needed.

Nearly two years later, the program has expanded to a nationally sponsored organization that makes monthly shipments tailored to the needs of each hospital. “If the hospital needs Colgate toothpaste, we send Colgate toothpaste,” she said. “We don’t send them Crest.” Each Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom patient receives a $250 voucher from the Department of Defense, Grimord said, that can be used at the Post Exchange. Most arrive with nothing more than the clothes on their back, she said, and the needs of the men and women sometimes exceed the allowance.

Kris Paquette, a three-year motorcyclist, said she was shocked to learn the military does not provide the sick, injured and wounded with any personal care items beyond the $250 voucher. “It’s a crime that the military doesn’t provide our troops, with adequate clothing, toiletries and other comfort items,” she said. “This is just such a good cause.”

Dan Sullivan, who retired in September of last year as a lieutenant colonel in the Army, found the cause to be particularly dear to him. “It just makes it a little more comfortable for them over there,” he said. “Makes them feel less like a patient and more like a human.” Reynolds is currently stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and has a year left of service.

Another “We Remember” News Article

We Remember” Campaign Raises $8,053 for Severely Wounded U.S. Military Personnel

Campaign Benefits the Injured Recovering in Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany

WHEELING, W.VA. – June 9, 2006 – Hundreds of seriously wounded U.S. military personnel recovering overseas will have their spirits lifted as Upper Ohio Valley residents and businesses contributed $8,053 to the “We Remember” campaign.

The fundraising effort was sponsored by: the West Virginia High Technology Consortium (WVHTC) Foundation; WTOV-TV9, Steubenville-Wheeling; Main Street Bank, Wheeling-Wellsburg; and WOVK-FM, Wheeling. The local fund drive was conducted with the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project (LHCP), Stafford, Va.

The funds raised during the three-week campaign will be used to purchase “comfort items” for patients at U.S. military hospitals and medical units in Iraq and Afghanistan in addition to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany.

“If we’re this excited about the donation total, imagine how our injured military personnel will feel when they receive their comfort items and they realize that there are people who they’ve never met that care about them. We can’t thank the local residents enough for remembering those hospitalized individuals who are so far from their homeland and their loved ones,” said WVHTC Foundation Vice President and General Manager Joseph Allen.

Rich Lucas, Main Street Bank president, said he and his staff are proud to again partner with local organizations to help charitable activities. He added, “This is our fourth fundraiser working in conjunction with other local businesses and organizations. This one was really special and heartwarming. It was an honor to help the men and women who are protecting our freedoms.”

In addition to Main Street Bank receiving donations, the campaign sponsors held a bake sale, raffled a patriotic hand-woven basket and held an auction for a portrait of a former historical building at Bethany College.

The WVHTC Foundation, headquartered in Fairmont, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization functioning as an engine of economic change for growing a regional and statewide high tech business sector. The foundation has established a multi-faceted approach to maximize economic development, commercialization and workforce development. In addition to its Fairmont headquarters, it has offices in Wheeling, Moundsville and Glenville.

Karen and GreggKaren and GreggWe Remember
We Remember
Listening to TV CrewListening to TV CrewJoe SpeakingJoe Speaking

Karen and Joe

Karen and Gregg

American Legion, Joe and KarenAmerican Legion,
Joe and Karen

Having Lunch Finally

Having Lunch Finally

Channel 9

Channel 9

Karen at Radio Station

Karen at Radio Station

Joe at Radio Station

Joe at Radio Station

Soldier Art Action

Soldier Art Action

2nd Radio Station

2nd Radio Station

Channel 9 News

Channel 9 News

We Remember Campaign Graphic Artist with his work

We Remember Campaign Graphic Artist with his work

Troop Support Sought

By BETHENY HOLSTEIN
 

WHEELING — The West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation and Main Street Bank of Wheeling are urging local residents to remember those who serve their country this Memorial Day by donating money to provide items for soldiers healing in overseas hospitals.

The “We Remember” campaign was announced Friday by both the organizations in conjunction with the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project of Stafford, Va.

“What this campaign is about is recalling what is the true meaning of Memorial Day,” WVHTC Foundation Vice President and General Manager Joseph Allen said. “We are going to show that this Memorial Day, we remember those soldiers. … We are going to remember our fighting men and women.”

The funds raised will be used to purchase “comfort items” for patients at U.S. military hospitals and medical units in Iraq and Afghanistan in addition to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany.

“As time goes by, we sometimes desensitize ourselves to the ongoing war,” Main Street Bank Senior Vice President Cheri DeBlasis said, adding that it is important to think about what wounded soldiers go through as they work to heal. “These men and women sometimes require weeks and months of treatment.”

Karen Grimord, president of the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project, spoke at the announcement of the campaign, which was held at West Virginia Independence Hall, and she described her experiences helping soldiers in the hospital in Germany.

“Many times all they have is their hospital gowns and sheets,” Grimord said. “Sometimes their belongings are thrown together, but they might not even be on the same flight.”

The four military hospitals inform Grimord of their patients’ needs and she, in turn, relays the information to the various fund-raising campaigns throughout the United States. Allen said the locally raised funds will be used to purchase the needed items to be shipped overseas. Grimord commented on how much the soldiers appreciate all they are given.

“It is such a wonderful feeling to know that some people really do care,” Grimord read from a thank-you note she had received from a soldier. “It brings tears to my eyes knowing that you want to help. God bless America and people like you.”

While there have been a wide variety of items needed, several of those typically requested include jersey shorts, non-logo colored T-shirts, sneakers, pajamas, blankets, pillows, sweat pants and foot powder.

“Regardless of your position on the war, we have young men and women who are severely wounded and need our help. As Memorial Day approaches, what a great time to remember these individuals with our donations to purchase items they need to ease their emotional and physical pain,” said Allen.

Area residents can drop off or mail a donation to Main Street Bank, 2001 Main St., Wheeling, W.Va. 26003. Checks are to be made payable to: We Remember/Main Street Bank.

In addition to direct donations to Main Street Bank, a bake sale will be held in the bank’s lobby beginning at 11 a.m. June 2.

The WVHTC Foundation, headquartered in Fairmont, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization functioning as an engine of economic change for growing a regional and statewide high tech business sector. The foundation has established a multi-faceted approach to maximize economic development, commercialization and work force development. In addition to its Fairmont headquarters, it has offices in Wheeling, Moundsville and Glenville.

Support Local Campaign

U.S. Military Personnel Asks Local Residents to Support Local Campaign to Aid the Wounded

WHEELING, W.Va. – May 24, 2006 – Representatives from the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps today called upon Upper Ohio Valley residents to consider making a financial donation to the “We Remember” campaign, which benefits severely wounded military personnel recovering in Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany.

The campaign, announced last week, will raise funds to purchase “comfort items” for the wounded, including socks, T-shirts, sweat pants, jersey shorts, shoes, pillows and other items either not provided or difficult to obtain. The campaign is sponsored by the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation and Main Street Bank, Wheeling.

Local residents can drop off or mail their contribution to Main Street Bank, 2001 Main St., Wheeling, WV 26003. Checks should be payable to: We Remember/Main Street Bank. The campaign is being held in conjunction with the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project (LHCP), Stafford, Va., which purchase the items for the military personnel.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Justin Floridia and U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Justin O’Shaughnessy, both veterans of combat, issued their plea for public support of the campaign during a news conference held at Main Street Bank. The two men currently are assigned to the Armed Forces recruiting office in Wheeling.

Floridia, who served several tours overseas, said that during combat he saw comrades wounded, and waited with them until medical personnel arrive. He said the ordeal, from the initial injury to being treated and evacuated to a field medical operation then to a regular hospital, is extremely traumatic.

“Can you imagine how it makes a wounded solider feel when he or she receives letters or packages? They’re in a hospital far from their military family and their real family back home. It can get lonely and they’re usually spending most of their time in their hospital room. Receiving a letter or package from home is something they will never forget,” explained Floridia, a native of Cranberry, Pa.

“It touches them deeply knowing that they have not been forgotten by the folks back home. The ‘We Remember’ campaign provides a great opportunity for local residents to show them that they still care.”

Floridia, a member of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, currently is serving as a recruiter in the Wheeling office.

O’Shaughnessy, who participated in Operation Enduring Freedom, said serving his nation is a great personal pleasure and receiving support from “back home” makes it all worthwhile.

“When you’re overseas, anything received reminds us that everyone cares. It’s not so much what they receive, but more that someone took the time to send it that really counts. That’s such a morale booster,” noted O’Shaughnessy.

“Please, any opportunity local residents have, such as this campaign, will have earth-shattering significance to the patients.”

Joseph Allen, WVHTC Foundation vice president and general manager, said the campaign has received a favorable response from the community.

“Shortly after we announced the campaign last Friday, Main Street Bank began receiving donations. Very often these young men and women only have hospital garb and little in the way of other clothing. The campaign will help boost their morale and make them feel more comfortable as they continue their long recovery process,” commented Allen.

Rich Lucas, Main Street Bank president, explained that all donations will be forwarded to the LHCP, which, in turn, will purchase the items needed by the hospitals. He said stickers will be placed on each item purchased signifying it was sent on behalf of the residents of the Upper Ohio Valley.

“It’s such a simple process to stop by our bank and leave a donation or to mail a check to the bank. Regardless of your position on the war, the fact remains that these wounded men and women could really use our support, “ said Lucas.

The LHCP is headed by its president, Karen Grimord, who visited Wheeling last week to help announce the local fund drive. She periodically receives lists of items needed by the wounded from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and the field medical units in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The WVHTC Foundation, headquartered in Fairmont, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization functioning as an engine of economic change for growing a regional and statewide high tech business sector. The foundation has established a multi-

faceted approach to maximize economic development, commercialization and workforce development. In addition to its Fairmont headquarters, it has offices in Wheeling, Moundsville and Glenville.

In addition to its Wheeling location, the Main Street Bank has a branch office in Wellsburg.

2nd Annual Karaoke Benefit

Hook & C's 2nd Annual Karoke
 
By Rudi Williams / American Forces Press Service

 

WOODBRIDGE, Va., April 10, 2006 – The Landstuhl Hospital Care Project added $4,400 to its coffers April 7 to buy items needed by wounded, injured and sick servicemembers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, and hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Karen Grimord, the project’s coordinator.

The money was raised during the “Hook & C’s Karaoke” 2nd annual benefit, held here this year at American Legion Post 364. American Legion Auxiliary Unit 176 and American Legion Post 176, both in nearby Springfield, Va., donated $2,000 and $1,000, respectively. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7916 of Occoquan, Va., also presented a $300 check to the project.

“Last year, I was asked by Karen Grimord and Karen Monk (former president of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 364) to do a karaoke to help raise money for the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project,” said Ed “Hook” Hudgins, an electric tower crane operator and member of the Sons of the American Legion. “I suggested having a cookout and karaoke and we had a good turnout at American Legion Post 162 in Lorton (Va.). We raised more than $1,000.”

In keeping with Hook’s cookout idea, this year’s benefit featured t-bone steaks grilled outdoors and assorted seafood dinners. There were also raffles and drawings for door prizes to raise money. The rest of the money came from personal checks from benefit attendees.

The “C” in Hook & C’s Karaoke is Claude Burns, a retiree from the Washington Post security division.

This marked the fourth benefit held by the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project since Grimord and her husband Brian founded it in November 2004. “We try to provide mostly clothing items, but we’ve also extended to hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan that need supplies, including bed sheets,” Grimord said. “The project started supporting three hospitals In Iraq in 2005 and one in Afghanistan this year.”

Pointing out that the project is an item-specific organization, Grimord said, “We don’t just send whatever we can get our hands on. We send the items that they specifically want.”

For example, the hospital in Afghanistan asked for bed sheets and pillows to use on litters. When patients arrive at hospitals, their clothes are ruined, stained or cut off in the treatment process. The project helps out by taking monthly orders from Landstuhl’s Pastoral Services Department.

The April order includes sweatpants and -shirts, long-sleeve t-shirts, men’s pajamas, ankle socks and slippers, pillows, quilts, blankets and travel-size mouthwash and toothpaste, among other items.

In addition to holding fund-raising benefits, the project pays for items with donations from American Legions, Veterans of Foreign Wars, churches and other organizations.

Grimord began seeking donations for hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan after learning of the need from people who escort seriously wounded servicemembers from theater to Landstuhl.

She said she’s always amazed when seriously wounded patients arrive at Landstuhl don’t want to take any of the donated items. “Those whom we almost have to force to take something feel that their biggest responsibility is to get back to the field,” she said. “They want to get back to their guys. They have a responsibility, a job that needs to be done, so they want to get back to the field. So they don’t want to take any items.

“Then you have patients who know they’re going to come back to the states because they injury are so badly,” Grimord said.” They don’t want to take anything because they want to leave it for the next patient coming in behind them. They don’t feel that they deserve to take the sweat pants, underwear, and t-shirt or winter jacket.”

Grimord said she was puzzled when a wounded helicopter pilot asked her if all the items were donated, and when told, yes, he said, “These guys deserve it.”

“I told him he didn’t include himself, and he said, ‘No,'” Grimord noted. “He said he was a ‘fly boy’ and that the guys and gals on the ground deserve it all. I told him that we’d lost 14 ‘fly boys’ in two weeks and that he had the back of the ground pounders and asked him who has his back. I asked him, ‘So what makes you less deserving?’

“They always think someone else is more deserving,” she noted.

Grimord returned to Landstuhl Jan. 17 to spend another 45 days volunteering. While there, she passed out 235 pink, red and white Valentine apes with little Xs, Os and messages of “I Love You,” or, “I’m Ape for You,” on them.

She also mailed 20 pillows to a hospital in Iraq en route to the airport. To her surprise, as she was waiting to pay the postage, the postmaster took out a debit card out of his wallet and paid the $21 shipping cost himself. “He thanked us for everything we do,” Grimord said.

One day, while waiting for a busload of patients that were flown from Iraq to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, the doctors, nurses, chaplains and technicians saw the bags full of little apes. When they started commenting about the apes, Grimord started passing them out.

“They stuck them in their breast pockets so the little arms were hanging out,” Grimord chuckled. “When the patients got off the buses, they were greeted by all these doctors, nurses, chaplains and technicians with little apes hanging out of their pockets…..Of course, we gave apes to the patients, too.”

Grimord said that during her fall visit to Landstuhl, a wounded Marine told her about his battalion needing sweats because of the cold. She got information about their sizes and arranged to send sweats for all 300 Marines, by size.

When she returned to Landstuhl in January, the Marine sent her an e-mail message asking for her mailing address because he had something to send her.

“When I opened the box, there was an American flag with a note saying that it they had flown it over their camp headquarters in Iraq in my honor on Jan. 5 for the support I’d given them,” Grimord said. “You don’t expect that kind of thing. You don’t expect anything because they’re the ones doing all the work.

“Every time I look at that flag,” Grimord said, with tears welling up in her eyes, “it brings tears to your eyes. That’s for all the guys we’ve lost, all the guys that have sacrificed themselves and their families. That just tells you how much this support means to them.”

 

H & C 2nd Annual 01Among donors for the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project were Loretta Smith, left, who presented a check for $2,000 from American Legion Auxiliary Unit 176 in Springfield, Va.; her husband, Leon Smith, who presented a $1,000 check from American Legion Post 176; Karen Grimord, the care project’s coordinator; and B. J. Richardson, commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7916 of Occoquan, Va., who presented a $300 check to the project. Photo by Rudi Williams

 

H & C 2nd AnnualKaren Grimord, founder and coordinator of the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project, poses with Ed “Hook” Hidgins – the “Hook” in Hook & C’s Karaoke, during a benefit at American Legion Post 364 to raise money to purchase items for wounded servicemembers at Landstuhl and hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan. Photo by Rudi Williams

 

 

 

 

H & C 2nd Annual Ed “Hook” Hudgins, right, an electric crane operator, and Claude “C” Burns, a retired Washington Post employee, volunteered their “Hook & C’s Karaoke” to raise money to help wounded servicemembers from Iraq and Afghanistan. Photo by Rudi Williams

 

 

H & C 2nd AnnualClaire Veneziano performs a karaoke song during the Hook & C’s Karaoke 2nd annual benefit for wounded, injured and ill servicemembers at the Army’s Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. The event was sponsored by American Legion Post 365 and the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project. Photo by Rudi Williams

 

 

H & C 2nd AnnualKaren A. Monk, former president of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 364 in Woodbridge, Va., reads a copy of the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project pamphlet during a fund-raising benefit at Legion Post 364. The pamphlet was part of the display at the benefit. Photo by Rudi Williams

 

H & C 2nd AnnualAmong donors for the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project were Loretta Smith, left, who presented a check for $2,000 from American Legion Auxiliary Unit 176 in Springfield, Va.; her husband, Leon Smith, who presented a $1,000 check from American Legion Post 176; Karen Grimord, the care project’s coordinator; and B. J. Richardson, commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7916 of Occoquan, Va., who presented a $300 check to the project. Photo by Rudi Williams