We came to Germany under the most stressful conditions imagineable for the loved ones of soldiers... the not knowing. Our lives since August 23 have been forever altered and touched by events and people... and as we prepare to leave, I'd like to tell you about just some of the people...
First, of course, there are the wonderful people of Soldiers Angels -- 40,000+ strong world wide and growing! Especially, Willie who was in Germany immediately for Noah, and Patti who was there for us in the U.S. from the git-go. The goodness and caring in their hearts are unmatched. (Willie, we're coming back as tourists some day really soon and will take you up on your offer to show us around your wonderful country!) Then there are Kathy and Stacy at the Fisher House here at Landstuhl, Germany who saw to our every need and who provide a first class haven for the families of our soldiers with serious medical needs. As the holidays approach, please consider foregoing just one gift to a person and instead give generously in their name to the Fisher House in Landstuhl (send checks to Fisher House - Landstuhl, CMR 402, Box 669, APO AE 09180, Attn.: Kathy Gregory) or the Fisher House nearest your homes. Their caring and kindness and professionalism is beyond any expectations.
A BIG THANK YOU to LTC B., LT F., SFC Jenny D. and the other case managers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center who not only deal with the needs of the wounded and ill soldiers (like Noah) from the minute they arrive to the minute they leave -- day in and day out -- but who showed us every courtesy and all respect (and are a bunch of really nice people to boot!) Not to mention the caring and gifted medical staff at LRMC. You people are the best! Families of soldiers should rest easier knowing that we have seen first hand the quality of care the soldiers get here and in Balad (we hope you never have to find out first hand, we just want you all to know!!)
SUPER HUGS to Mr. and Mrs. Greyhawk who stopped by to see Noah and then took the time to come by and see us once we arrived... Two brighter, witty and more friendly people you will never meet (don't forget to come visit!!)
Another BIG SALUTE to Capt. Todd F. whom we met in line at Newark Airport boarding our plane to Frankfurt who overheard the airline people speaking with us and offered to get us from Frankfurt to Landstuhl (1-1/2 hours by car) if our shuttle transportation was a no-show because of our extended flight delay... Todd is here protecting our forces everywhere from biohazards -- another soldier caring for your soldiers!
To Holly & PFC Lucas (a very young married couple) now back in the U.S. Lucas was three weeks into his deployment and got tangled up with an RPG on the roof of a building and now has 5 rods in his back but was already planning on how to get back to his unit before they could even get him to sit in a chair! You are in our prayers and thoughts every day... and you'll be hearing from us!!
And to the towering Sgt. Jim S. who was being treated at LRMC for an out-of-control immune reaction (his body was treating his own skin like an infection and it was peeling off in sheets (sorry for the visual)... who pushed Noah's wheelchair for a few days and then insisted (nicely) that Noah get off his butt and walk 'cause it was good for Noah [smile]... was all set to get back to his unit in Afghanistan when word came that his beloved grandmother had passed away suddenly back home in Minnesota and is flying tomorrow to attend her funeral. Our thoughts are with you, too, Jim and we'll be in touch... Give that girl of yours a hug & kiss for us!
And our prayers are with Kevin and his parents B & K... Kev has a serious blood infection which he acquired in Afghanistan and is not responding to treatment... all my friends will be storming heaven for you, K... and us, too!! (ok, start praying!)
And to Sgt. Tom and his wife Debby ... Tom shattered his heel in Afghanistan and walked on it for six days (just thought it was bruised) because there was no way he was leaving his guys... Tom, it's ok to use the crutch... really - it's very manly!
And we don't know the soldier's name, but he is arriving here tomorrow from Afghanistan as he is about to become a father for the first time... but she's really early... IT'S TRIPLETS!!! (We're not sure what's in the water here, but we saw a 6 mos. old set of identical triplet girls today being walked by their Dad!)
And the AF mom who is here with her 5 year old for a brain disorder (Dad's on the ground in Iraq) and will be sent back to the U.S. for a special pediatric surgeon to look at the case... but spends part of her day visiting other parents in need of cheering and who brings her rambunctious son to the beds of soldiers who just need a hug from a kid 'cause they miss their own so much!
And a heartfelt thank you to all of the visitors to this site who have continued to keep Noah and our family in their thoughts and prayers. We have been deeply touched and have had our faith fully restored in the goodness of the human family.
And finally tonight, our hearts and thoughts and prayers and tears are with the family of the soldier from Noah's company that made the ultimate sacrifice yesterday... we only received the notification this evening that we had lost one of our own and that the family had been notified, but no name was given... Since we've been here we haven't been in contact with our Guys... and we dread that the first news that may greet Noah when he makes it back to his home base is that one of his own has perished... This does not get easier.
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