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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

If you care

The fighting in Afghanistan has escalated, and the coalition is taking an increasing number of casualties.

I know that people care that our troops are in harms way.

They care when our troops get injured.

They appreciate the hard work of our medics who continue to save lives on the battlefield, day in, day out.

But folks back home often don't know what they can do to show that they care.

They can't do anything about the bullets and IEDs, but *I* know that they can provide a little TLC that makes a big impression.

Soldiers' Angels sends hundreds of our "First Response Backpacks" each month to combat support hospitals in theater and to our Landstuhl Regional Medical center in Germany. You can send one of these backpacks with a personal message by making a $55 donation at the Soldiers' Angels store.

The backpacks include:

I know that $55 is beyond the means of some, but if you're able, I hope you'll consider it. Details are HERE. Those of us who've visited our military hospitals know that these gifts are truly appreciated by our wounded warriors... and make for a least a few grateful moms!

Haven't got that much cash? Okay, no problem. MaryAnn can always use some extra cards of encouragement for our ill and wounded at Landstuhl. Click HERE for instructions.

Or, if you're like me and just like to go shopping for items that are appreciated by patients at Landstuhl, go HERE to see MaryAnn's list. Whether it's microwavable treats or pjs or flipflops, I always enjoy putting together a package of TLC to send across the pond...

I hope you'll choose one of the above.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

"...it seems like love really does make a difference."

At last month's lunch at the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, I was talking to a visitor who was visting a troop who had been badly injured and was receiving treatment at the hospital.

I commented on how wonderful it was that he lived here locally and was able to come visit his friend. We Angels hear over and over again how big a difference it makes for patients to have visitors, especially family and friends.

The friend said, "You know, it seems like love really does make a difference."

I couldn't agree more, but I must admit that the comment was extra memorable because that visiting friend was male, and maybe 30. Not your average comment from a 30-something guy.

During that same Soldiers' Angels visit (our monthly buffet lunch for patients, visiting family and friends, and medical staff), I also met yet another military family who had been touched by the love of another Angel, my buddy MaryAnn in Germany. MaryAnn always seems to be around when she's needed. This time it was to hold the phone so that a wife could talk to her husband, who was thousands of miles away in a hospital in Germany. He was unconscious, but MaryAnn held the phone so that his wife could send her love.

You can't tell me that that didn't make a difference.

If you'd like to help provide some TLC to our troops, consider "adopting" a deployed troop or signing up for the Soldiers' Angels Wounded/Medic team and help send a little love to our wounded and our medics laboring away to give our men and women the very best care that they can. There are some very busy medics in Afghanistan that could use your support. I just sent some brownies, rice krispy treats.... and a little love last week.

MaryAnn has details on those busy medics here and here and here.

Sign-up today. It's a great way to show your support whenever you are able.

Welcome Home, Captain Speicher

From FOXNews:

'Remains of the first American lost in the 1991 Persian Gulf War have been found in the Anbar province of Iraq after a nearly 20-year search, the U.S. Navy said Sunday. Captain Michael "Scott" Speicher['s]...disappearance has bedeviled investigators since his jet was shot down over the Iraq desert on the first night of the 1991 war.'

'Officials said Sunday that they got new information from an Iraqi citizen in early July, leading Marines stationed in Anbar province to a location in the desert which was believed to be the crash site of Speicher's jet.

The Iraqi said he knew of two other Iraqis who recalled an American jet crashing and the remains of the pilot being buried in the desert.

"One of these Iraqi citizens stated that they were present when Captain Speicher was found dead at the crash site by Bedouins and his remains buried," the Pentagon said in a statement.'

The rest of the details are on the news and the web, and while the news makes me sad, I'm very grateful to know that we take such great care to bring all our missing and fallen warriors home.

That dedication by our armed forces is demonstrated everyday by the units who focus on nothing but this sober task. The importance of this work to those who've served and to their loved ones can be seen in those who make sure that we don't forget.

My prayers and condolences go out to Captain Speicher's family, especially his children. I'm so sorry for your loss, but so humbled by and grateful for your father's service to our country.