Monday, October 23, 2006

Our Medics, Then and Now

Medics unloading casualties from air evacuation flights

My Uncle Harry was an Aidman in WWII, which is what Medics were called then. He drove one of these Dodge ambulances from Normandy, through Belgium, France and into Germany. He told me about crawling out of a hole after an artillery bombardment, to find his ambulance full of holes. It still ran fine.

Ambulance hit by an IED in Iraq.

One night, my co-driver and I parked the ambulance and went to sleep in an abandoned farmouse. The next morning we came out and found a wounded German soldier in the back. The Germans would leave their wounded with us, because they knew we would take care of them.

Cpl. Harry S. in an interview July, 2006

We had to work on some insurgents two weeks ago. It was probably one of the more difficult things I've had to do being out here. Saving the life of somone that tried to kill us isn't on my list of things to do. But we did it and they went to jail.

Spc. Carlos G. in a letter July, 2006

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The next time someone questions whether U.S. Troops should be in Iraq....

From the European Edition of the Stars and Stripes 6 October 2006.

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. John G., of the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group at Balad, Iraq, cradles a young girl as they both sleep in the hospital. The girl's entire family was executed by insurgents; the killers shot her in the head as well. The girl received treatment at the U.S. military hospital in Balad, but cries and moans often. According to nurses at the facility, he is the only one who can calm down the girl, so he has spent the last several nights holding her while they both sleep in a chair.

Support the military, they're doing the right thing.
NOTE from Roger - I got the privilege to meet Chief Master Sgt John through email. He was our first contact at Balad Evac Hospital, and was instrumental in setting up the entire support effort there with Soldier's Angels

Thanks to John at OPFOR
and for MaryAnn for pointing us to this story..
I received an email with the following that I wanted to share with all of you....roger
"We grew up with Chief Master Sergeant John G. in a small town called Jordan, New York. My husband was great friends with "Duke" as he is still called by Doug and his other friends and family from home. One of his sisters still lives here and we check on John frequently through Nancy. She is also our great friend. These are good people. We are so proud of him and cried as we watched him on National TV being very modest concerning the love and care he gave to the little girl. We watched every repeat of the shows he was on. I then searched the internet until I found this site with his picture. I wanted to print it out for my husband as he is so proud of John. You are all angels and we are so proud of all of you and of what you do."
Margie from Jordan, New York

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Why we do it.....

This is the Hero's Highway, which leads to the E/R at the Balad/Anaconda Main Base Hospital. Every wounded soldier who arrives at the hospital comes through here.

"I work in the front line E/R smack dab in the middle of the sunni triangle. We barely have time to breathe. Not only do we take care of our fellow soldiers, but we take care of anyone that comes into our E/R via blackhawk copter, ambulance, humvee or being carried on the shoulder of their battle buddy.

Thank you for all the support you have given the troops around the world . It's nice to know that America still knows that their is a war going on and are willing to donate their time and money to help us get through this with a little love from you all. Thanks - SrA Darenda S."

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Angels deliver support to the Balad E/R just in time!

We recently started supporting the main base hospital at Balad Air Base. This is the largest military hospital in the middle-east. This hospital cares for American military as well as Iraqi children.

Thanks to our generous Angels, we are already making a difference! Here's an email I just received:

Well I have received Blankets,Flip flops, and some games, let me tell you the timing was perfect. We got a patient - a 3 year old - with burns and we had nothing as far as diapers and sure enough the next day I had Diapers big enough for him in my mail, then yesterday I received the blankets and we had 12 American patients that we used them on so they wouldn't have to use the itchy wool ones. Today I recieved flip flops and we currently have 5 patients here waiting to fly out to Germany that needed them. I also took some of the blankets to the ICU and wards for the soldiers and gave them to the 4 children we currently have in our facility. The blankets where wonderful! Such a big hit! We have been getting really busy which is not good, means too many people being injured. Well I must get to work. Thanks for everything. SrA Shannon. G., E/R

This unit needs:
Twin sized sheets, any color (new and unwashed)
Pillows and pillow-cases, standard size (new)
Bath towels - any color (new and unwashed)
Flip-flops in large sizes
Body wash - male scented

Diapers and pull-ups- sizes newborn to 6 year old
Children's clothing (can be gently used):
Newborn to 6 year old
Long dresses for girls age 10 - teen (young women can't wear shorts and t-shirts)
Powdered Baby Formula
Sippy cups
Baby Bottles

Please email me at rogerfg22 at if you can help.

Tactical Medical Support Director
Soldier's Angels

What do 1,000 donated t-shirts look like?

We have been very fortunate to connect with the generous folks at the American Cancer Society of Illinois, who have donated over 7,000 of their extra "Relay For Life" t-shirts to us. Here's a picture of about 1,000 of those shirts I recently picked up.

So, what did we do with all those shirts? Lots of wounded soldiers arrive in the Combat Support Hospitals without any of their personal gear. They uniforms are often torn, burned and bloody and have to be cut off of them and discarded. In a situation like that, a clean, dry t-shirt is a pretty nice thing to have.

The ACS t-shirts have gone into our Transitional Backpacks, thousands have gone to the hospitals and to Landstuhl in Germany. Another special destination has been to those amazing ladies at Sew Much Comfort, who turn them into adapative clothing for wear by the wounded. Be sure to read about them at

Here's a picture of Barnard, a patient at Landstuhl hospital in Germany. He didn't have any civilian clothing to wear, and dropped in our supply room to ask if Mary Ann had an extra t-shirt. He is flanked here by Samantha and Sabrina. Their dad is a soldier who just deployed to Iraq for the second time, and they and their mom volunteer with Soldier’s Angels in Germany.

Don't forget to drop by and visit the American Cancer Society. They are some real angels too.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Transitional Backpacks and Blankets of Hope make a difference for wounded soldiers in Iraq

"Unfortunately, we had a busy day yesterday. I was able to use two of the backpacks for injured soldiers, and provided some clothes to their translator who was also injuried. This soldier was very pleased with the backpack and the contents that was in the bag. He loved the blanket, and got a little mad at himself when he got some blood on it. He was surprised that it was handmade, and very impressed that it was red, white, and blue. He was discharged back to his unit.

The other soldier loved his blanket too." - Major Mike

Soldier's Angels - Welcome To Our New Medical Support Blog

Soldier's Angels - Welcome to Medical Support

Welcome to our new blog. The goal is to be able to show you what we are doing for our medics and for our wounded soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait, and most we can help.

This forum is respectfully dedicated to my wife's grandfather:
Alonzo Runnels - US Army, WWI †
to my Uncles:
Harry Swendsen - US Army Medic - Europe, WWII
Paul Swendsen - US Army forward artillery spotter - Europe, WWII †
Carl Swendsen - US Army, WWII †
Roy Swendsen - US Army Air Corp, South Pacific, WWII †
Henry Godskesen - US Army Engineering Corp, WWII †
to my Father-In-Law:
Charlie Runnels - US Navy, Korea †
to my cousin:
Harlan Roy Swendsen - US Navy, Vietnam †
to my Brothers:
Jim G. - US Army, Vietnam
Carlos Hernandez - US Army Huey Helicopter Crewman, Vietnam †
and to my Niece:
Karen B. - US Army Medic, enlisted August, 2006