Air Force wives collect blankets, bedding for military hospitalsBy Julia LeDoux Patriot Editor
Grassroots project provides comfort-Air Force wives collect blankets, bedding for military hospitals
Six hundred pounds of sheets and blankets were delivered to Karen Grimord’s home in Stafford last Thursday, and she could not have been happier.
.“This will take care of a lot of needs for the hospitals for two months,” said Grimord, president of the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project, a grassroots organization that provides comfort and relief items for service members who become sick or are injured in Iraq, Kuwait or Afghanistan.
Grimord and volunteers Sherry Karlson and Angie Ribuffo-all Air Force wives- quickly unloaded the bedding supplies from the back of a semi-truck and stored them in Grimord’s garage.
“There’s enough room for my husband’s motorcycle,” laughed Grimord, who became serious as she discussed the organization’s mission.
The Landstuhl Hospital Care Project began in 2005 and is supported by American Legions Posts and Auxiliaries in Arlington, Lorton, Springfield, Stafford, Spotsylvania, Culpepper, Woodbridge, Fredericksburg, Annadale, Centreville and Triangle she explained. Its efforts are also supported through donations that come in from all across the country via its website, LandstuhlHospitalCareProject.org/.
“Nobody asked us to do it, we just did it,” said Grimord, who has family members who have served in the Middle East. It was through that connection that Grimord discovered that patients at Landstuhl and medics serving on the front lines needed items like bedding, toiletries and clothing.
Grimord and her family began collecting the items and shipping them overseas but discovered they could not do it all by themselves. She contacted area American Legion Posts, who quickly joined in the effort. To date, three tons of donated items have been sent to troops serving overseas.
Each monthly shipment sent by the group honors a fallen service member, continued Grimord, who said the quality of life items lift the spirits of wounded troops and remind them that people “back home” appreciate their sacrifice. September’s shipment honors PFC Benjamin T. Zieske, 20, who died May 3 of injuries he sustained in Kirkuk, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated during a dismounted combat patrol. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 327 Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.
“You can’t forget the ones who are over there,” Karlson added.
Each month the list of needed items changes and can be found on the project’s Web site. Donated items must be new and packaged and can be dropped off at Grimord’s home at 29 Greenleaf Terrace in Stafford.
Monetary donations can be sent to Sharon Buck, project treasurer, at 14101 Rectory Lane, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772. (Address has changed since article printed)
Volunteers planned to pack up the latest shipment Wednesday at the Stafford American Legion.
The group plans to hold a barbecue benefit with hotdogs, hamburgers and more to raise money for the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project on Sept 24 beginning at 2 pm at the Stafford American Legion Post 290’s horseshoe team challenges all comers to a competition during the benefit. Entrance fee for a two-person team is $100 with all proceeds benefiting wounded warriors at Landstuhl Hospital in Germany. Teams should contact vice commander Bruce Miller at (540) 659-2394 to reserve their team’s spots.