Socks and Back Scratch

10-7 2005

Judy, You know what it is, it is being vested. Not for pay but for the fact they are a human being, they are someone’s son, daughter, father, brother, or sister.

There was another young man in today and he was quite badly chewed up from shrapnel from a tank mine that ripped through his humvee. I first put a pair of footy socks on him and he said, “MMM, you just don’t know what a good pair of socks feels like.” His feet were bad, but those socks must have felt really good. He had just the hospital gown on and I asked him if he would like some pants and he said that he could not wear them due to his leg being so heavily bandaged. I went to the store room and brought back some break-away pants. I asked him if he had anything on under the hospital gown. He said yes and I started to unsnap the one side of the break a way pants and he untied his robe and there he stood in his boxers. I have to admit I was expecting a little more than boxers but he was so excited about those break-away pants, it did not seem to bother him. I had to do most of the clothing since he only had half of one arm to work with.  When he left, he had socks, shoes, some boxers for later and SOMEONE else to help with, break-away pants, and a zip up hoody. He said he was a new human being! He was having some kind of reaction to the drugs and he was itchy. He kept trying to scratch his back on everything. I gave him a good back scratch and he said he would be back down tomorrow after they give him his pain shot, because the walls just don’t scratch like that. My son usef to like my back scratches. He goes back into surgery Friday to remove more shrapnel from his eye, arm, and leg. Please keep him and all these kids in your thoughts and prayers.

I was speaking with a guy who works with patients coming from down range. His patients stay at Ramstein. These are patients that come straight through on the aircraft or that stay at Ramstein for a few days. He got wind of me and our project. They are kind of the forgotten ones and could use our help. They make trips to LRMC for whatever supplies, sweats, shampoo, pj’s, boxers, etc. that LRMC has to give them. We might also be getting a request from a small hospital in the field that does not seem to be getting any or much support.




Sue, I give these guys hugs all the time. I always ask first if it is ok to give them a hug and I have never been told no. When I hug them, I tell them thank you for everything they have done for me and my country and I support them. So I will give the next guy a hug for you.

We have a FOB that needs help now! They are under fire all the time. They get very little if no packages (last package was received 5 weeks ago). I can’t tell you where they are, but they are requesting just about everything. We need trial size shampoo, shaving cream and lotion (not hotel size), candy lets get someone in the group to take charge to do something special for Thanksgiving and Christmas that we can send ASAP. No SINGLE blade razors. I know they are more expensive but the other stuff is crap and the guys hate them. We need letters of support maybe from a school or scout troop.(DO NOT SEAL THE ENVELOPES) We need BEEF jerky, disposable cameras. Let’s get talking so that we know what each other is sending so that we don’t end up with all the same item.




Friday was a slower day. Most of it was sorting in the stock room. I did speak with the nurse from down range and she will be going back down on Monday or Tuesday.

I find it amazing what some people will send to the hospital!!! Some of it we just can not use and must give to Goodwill.

I spoke with the Mr. T, he does the ordering for the clothing closet. What a job he has! He has such a terrible time getting supplies in. What we can order and get labels on and get to him in 3-4 weeks takes him months. I have given him some of my contacts for ordering from Lands End so maybe that will help the process.

I met a young man who will lose his leg once he gets back to the states. He has nerve damage that can not be repaired and they will have to take it off. His liaison came down Thursday to get clothing for this young man’s roommate. I had given her (the liaison) black break-aways, white long sleeve t-shirt, a black hood sweat shirt and black knit hat. The liaison said that the kid who was being dressed and the kid who will lose his leg were going on and on about how sharp he looked in his new duds. She was asked to come back down Friday and get the second kid the same outfit. Well, I did not have a second black hoody but I had a medium grey one so I gave her that.

She asked me if I could take the clothing up to give it to him. OF COURSE !!!! I did not know what to expect, but when I walked into the room there was a young man of about 23. He had a few incisions on his face, but looked great. We talked for about 15 minutes. He told me that he was going to lose his leg when he got back to the States and will get a super human leg. He had such a positive outlook. He was glad to be alive because his buddies did not make it that day. I gave him my card for honoree information for a shipment. He left Saturday for his flight back to the States.

Some of you may know and some of you may not. Last March, I convinced the liquidation company for The Athlete’s Foot Store to give us all the shoes they had left over from their court ordered bankruptcy. One of the conditions was that I had to take EVERYTHING that was left in the store. Well, we had baby shoes, hundreds of shoe laces, sports cleats, reflective safety vests, red and blue footies and gel shoe insoles. I gave the sports cleats to the local schools, some of the shoe laces went to K-2 graders for crafts, the baby shoes went to the Woodbridge American Legion children’s project, and the safety vests went to a Boy Scout Troop that does parking for arenas in AL.

It was the last two items that had me for a loop since I did not want to throw them out but knew no one that wanted them. The guys in the field do not like the gel insoles for their boots and these were mostly woman’s sizes. WELL, I was talking to the Chaplain who works on the mental health ward and he said those guys are forgotten a lot and they only had the hospital slip on slippers. I told him about the little footies I had and asked if they could use them. He checked with the ward and IT IS A GO. Brian has mailed them to me and I will take them in tomorrow.

The gel insoles are also here and will be given to the hospital staff. So, that means that all the items given to us from the Athlete’s Foot Store found good homes and none of it was taken to the dump.


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