Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Meet Our Newest Medics

This is our newest contact and all-around neat medic Spc. Bobby and some of his crew from the Joint Services Team Aid Station. The two huge guys in the back are visitors from the Raider's Football team and it appears they brought along a couple of cheerleaders from the team, too.

Here's our very own Specialist. making the visitors feel at home, what a great guy to go out of his way like that!

Seriously, though, this is one busy aid station, and they see a lot of injured soldiers. The American, British, Canadian, Australian and Dutch medics work together to take care of them.

They just reached out to Soldier's Angels this week to see how we can work together and give them some extra support. We've started shipping them some of our Tranistional Backpacks for the wounded, along with coffee, extra clothing and toiletries for the wounded soldiers.

Bobby and I are working together to gather some of the things the medics need, and get them sent to his unit.

Stay tuned for more on this unit.

Soldier's Angels

Friday, February 09, 2007

A tribute to Aunt Mary - a very special Angel

I had the opportunity to meet Aunt Mary and learn about the wonderful work she loved to do for our soldiers last August. Her Niece wrote me and sent this photo of Aunt Mary filling snack bags to send to wounded soldiers in the hospital in Balad, Iraq.

She was 101 years old when this picture was taken, and her niece wrote that "she and Aunt Mary packed 24 snack bags for the hospital in Balad today, it was the PERFECT job for her and she was truly disappointed when we were done all too quickly. She made noises about going and getting more stuff so it's off to Big Lots we go... feel free to use the picture perhaps to inspire other Angels to get involved too. We can't let a 101 year young lady show us up! "

Aunt Mary passed away during the night in her sleep very peacefully on February 8, 2007 . She had started to decline shortly after the new year, and had been under the care of hospice for the last 3 weeks. Of course she was very sweet natured up until the very end.

Since supporting "her soldiers" was so important to Aunt Mary, her family asked that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: Soldiers Angels, 1792 E. Washington Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91104

Here is a video tribute her family had been working on for her birthday party, but feel it is even more appropriate now to share these pictures/music with all the people that loved her. One of the most endearing characteristics of Aunt Mary was how appreciative she always was, for even the smallest thing you did for her. She loved to say..."wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!" Hence, the music in the video...


We feel absolutely honored to have had the opportunity to take care of her the past few years, and just incredibly blessed to have had her in all our lives for almost 102 years...what a gift!With love, Bob, Mary Jo, Rachel and Rick Stamper

I just know there are ranks of soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen standing at attention and gently escorting her by the arm as she enters those Pearly Gates this morning.

God Bless, Aunt Mary.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

Wounded Spirit

We recently received this From an Air Force doctor - -

Here are some real motivators for you: If I hear airmen griping and complaining, I jump into them pretty quickly now. Most people over here have nothing to gripe about compared to Marines. Marines are different. They have a different outlook on Life.

A couple of marines with Soldier's Angels backpacks

One Marine Private was here for several days because he was a lower priority evacuation patient. He insisted on coming to attention and displaying proper military courtesy every morning when I came through onrounds. He was in a great deal of pain, and it was a stressful to watch him work his way off the bed and onto his crutches.

I told him he was excused and did not have to come to attention while he was a patient, and he informed me that he was a good Marine and would address "Air Force Colonels standing on my feet, Sir."I had to turn away so he would not see the tear in my eye. He did not have "feet" because we amputated his right leg below the knee on the first night he came in. I asked a Marine Lance Corporal if there was anything I could get him as I was making rounds one morning. He was an above the knee amputation after an IED blast, and he surprised me when he asked for a trigonometry book. "You enjoy math do you?" He replied, "Not particularly, Sir. I was never good at it, but I need to get good at it, now."

"Are you planning on going back to school?" I asked."No sir, I'm planning on shooting artillery. I'll slow an infantry platoon down with just one good leg, so I'm going to get good at math and learn how to shoot artillery". I hope he does.

I had the sad duty of standing over a young Marine Sgt. when he recovered from anesthesia. Despite our best efforts there was just no way to save his left arm, and it had to come off just below the elbow.

"Can I have my arm back, sir?" he asked."No, we had to cut it off, we cannot re-attach it." I said. "But can I have my arm?" he asked again."You see, we had to cut it off."He interrupted, "I know you had to cut it off, but I want it back. It must be in a bag or something, Sir.""Why do you want it?" I asked."I am going to have it stuffed and use it as a club when I get back to my unit."I must have looked shocked because he tried to comfort me," Don't you worry now, Colonel. You did a fine job, and I hardly hurt at all; besides I scratch and shoot with my other hand anyway."God Bless the Marines. Heroes, every one of them!

Col. Brett W. USAF