Oct 1, 2007
Well, today is the start of my last week and I have mixed feelings. I am glad to be going home and get back into the swing of LHCP and shipping our supplies out to those that depend on us, but I also want to be here to work with the troops, chaplains, doctors, nurses, corpsman, techs, liaisons that make Landstuhl the great place that it is. I have found many changes here since my last visit. Most have been good. The number of seriously wounded is way down from my last visit. The chaplains are still just as caring and compassionate. I cannot sing the praises of the chaplain’s assistants enough. As much as I harass poor Adam Whitehead, he has been instrumental in helping me get items from the warehouse so that I can get them mailed out. This is one sailor that I would recommend to anyone as being top notch.
I think most of the liaisons are overworked and their needs to be at least two for each unit deployed. Some of these guys and gals work 7 days a week nonstop. Most are very concerned about their comrades and work hard to support them here. I have heard some of them say that they wish they could be deployed with their units, but the work that most of them do is so important to the heart and soul of the wounded that I don’t think many of them understand the effect that they have on their fellow troops.
There needs to be more volunteers at the WWMC, but I think most people have their own ideas of the work they wish to do and when it does not fall in line with what they wish to do they leave. If all you do is stock shelves or pack boxes to go downrange the support you are providing to our troops is very important. I find that what is more important is the feeling of satisfaction knowing that you walked away tired and sore but with a full heart. I am a greedy person. I like that feeling when my heart is so full of love that there is no more room and you feel like you are going to choke on it. I find that the only way to get that is when you truly have no hidden agenda. You do what is needed, not necessarily what you want to do, and the reward is greater than anything you can imagine.
Today was a beautiful day. There were a variety of items brought from the warehouse to either go inside the WWMC or to go downrange. We had several patients come in on two flights. We have a lot of kids coming in with headaches. I wonder if it is stress, if it is the blasts, or if we will ever know.
I want to thank Kathi for stopping by with the small item that was requested. I am to thank you and let you know that “It made her feel like new.” She was sore and felt old and tired but you made a difference, thank you!” She flies today. I am sorry I could not talk more, but we had to get to the mailroom with my load of boxes.
We took about 12 boxes to the mailroom today for our units downrange and picked up about 40. They were full of magazines and books. Due to fire regulations and the amount of books we already have, we have no use for these magazines. Most of them were 3 to 5 years old so the library and thrift store will not take them. I have sent so many books downrange I have no other contacts requesting books and the magazines are so old that they are not requested by our troops. This organization spent almost $500 in shipping to send these here. It is depressing to know that someone spent so much time to do all of this and spent good money but the items just cannot be used.
I forgot to mention that last week one of the patients from the week before came in to say good-bye. He said that he had to come see me before he left. He is meeting his wife in N.C. before heading home to see the kids. Anyways, I took him to lunch and I know that someone had sent money for me to do that. I am sorry I did not post this before now but I guess old age is creeping up on me. Anyways, he wanted Burger King so that is where we ate. Tomorrow I will be taking another patient to lunch if he stops by before we get too busy.
I have about 4 boxes left to go through for tomorrow morning and then a new shipment from the warehouse. I need about 5 volunteers and good boxes to get this all done but there is a rotation of troops and so everyone is getting ready to leave here and I just will not be able to finish this on my own. I hope I have made some improvement in their warehouse for this Christmas rush.
Karen M. I got an email from one of the units downrange and he said that he got some of our blankets so I thank you for your hard work in helping out there while I have been gone. I know that you and Brian have been trying to stay on top of it all and it looks like you are doing a great job. I will be home soon and you can fill me in.
Sandra thank you for all of your help with my rental car arrangements. Kathi, thank you for traveling back and forth in dealing with the car rental people. I could not have done it without you.
My computer time is likely to be more limited as the computer I have been using will be cut off Tuesday night.
Today I worked 10 hours in thanks to Jeanne Dedman and her contribution to my trip. I believe I only have one more person for tomorrow even through I had 4 other contributors. Again, I would like to thank each of you for making this trip a little easier.